On killing animals for fun

Inspired by an exchange earlier today, I submit the following:

There is no difference, morally, between eating meat through choice and killing animals for fun. In both cases, you are causing an animal to be killed for your own enjoyment.

I of course except from this situations of life and death, etc. But there’s no reason that any one in the West couldn’t be a vegetarian if they wanted to be that I’m aware of.

But you are not, in both cases, causing the animal to suffer for your own enjoyment. On the one hand you have the slaughterhouse, where it’s all over quick; on the other hand you have the bear-baiting pit, the cockpit, the dogpit, the ratting-pit, the fox hunt . . .

I don’t think that there’s much qualitative difference in suffering, if such a thing can be measured at all (maybe in bear baiting).

I disagree. To say your point another way, killing an animal is never justified except life or death, by which I assume you mean said animal is attacking me and I must kill it to avoid my own death.

You are correct that, unlike times past, choosing to eat an animal is no longer a matter of life and death, nor using an animal’s skin to stay alive against the cold. We have non-animal alternatives to both food and clothing. I would have to be convinced that these alternatives are sufficiently available to everyone. But even if if we’re not there yet, it’s conceivable we could get there if we tried hard enough. So for the sake of argument only I could stipulate that everyone in the West could choose to be a vegetarian.

It’s a stretch, though, to say killing an animal for fun is the moral equivalent to choosing to eat an animal to survive (although I’m a teensy bit more sympathetic to the equivalence of wearing an animal). Clearly there is a different mind-state, a definite moral deficiency in someone who would actively commit the killing of an animal solely for the entertainment value provided by the killing act itself.

Someone who eats meat is responding to a natural hunger impulse with a food source we’ve evolved to be able to process. To take the argument to the opposite extreme, one could argue it is immoral - or at least inhuman - to suggest as a society we ban meat as a food source.

Killing animals for fun?

Surely you jest.

Maybe not, after all you’re the guy that killed tigers and elephants (endangered species) just so as not to commit a social faux pas

Oh and suffering can easily be measured, which would you prefer, a slow lingering agonizing death or a quick bullet in the head

I just stumbled on the original thread that inspired this one (starting post #17). I clearly misread where the OP was coming from.

Elephants are an endangered species?!

Sorry, I meant tigers::smack::

It depends on which species we are talking about.

African Bush Elephants are classified as vulnerable.

African Forest Elephants are endangered.

Asian Elephants are are also endangered.
Did you think they were thriving?

For the record I don’t have a particular problem with hunting as long as it is done with some dgree of responsibility but I do have a problem with killing endangered animals. That’s outside the scope of the OP of this thread though.

Scratch the :smack: and I’ll go with Laughing Lagomorph as SBSO stated he’d killed both species in India

Small British Shop Owner, do I understand you correctly: when you were much, much younger, you were in a situation where it was deemed acceptible (perhaps expected of you) to kill an endangered animal, and having done so then you regret it now - chalking it up to youthful lack of better judgement? Or do you maintain today that what you did then is perfectly defensible, i.e. killing an animal you knew to be endangered for no purpose other than immediate entertainment is okay?

If the former, I think I get where your coming from. If the latter, I doubt you’ll find sympathy in trying to equate that reprehensible act to eating meat.

(after preview: I want to distinguish, Laughing Lagomorph, responsible hunting with killing an endangered animal which act is de facto irresponsible)

That seems to be wrong to me- do you honestly believe that animals can’t suffer? I don’t know how it would be possible to prrove it either way, in fact I don’t even know if you can prove another human does.

I don’t hold morality to be consistent over time, but to be a set of standards which fluidly evolves depending upon culture and situation. I have no regrets about doing what I did, but I wouldn’t do it now, because it has become much less moral than it used to be, a bit like, say, slavery, racism, burning witches as so on.

Were you to have formerly engaged in, say, slavery, racism, burning witches and so on, at a time when they were more accepted, would you now have any regrets about doing what you did?

It’s unlikely that I would, although it’s quite possible that in the intervening years my meantality would have changed so much that I may have had.

Why don’t you tell us the story of why it is you killed the animals? I got part of the story from the other thread, but maybe it would clear things up if you told the story in it’s entirety.

I agree, it would certainly help us if we could see what kind of pressure, moral or financial, you may have been under at the time. Crikey, it wasn’t under the influence of the arms or tobacco trade was it?

Is it really possible, though? Everyone? I suppose we’d have to first calculate how many people there are in “the West” and the acerage necessary to feed all of them on a vegitarian diet, and how much actual fertile acerage there is that could be put to the task (excluding where there are currently buildings unless we’re talking eminent domain)… are there existing numbers out there?

You have not established that enjoyment = survival. People eat to live.

And a great deal of eating, both of animal and plant matter, is for enjoyment. Unless you’re pretty damn poor, if you are eating meat, then you are participating in the killing of animals for pleasure. Not that there is anything wrong with that… :smiley: