Killing animals is immoral except in self-defence, for survival, and for reasons of population control. Discuss.
How is this different from eating meat or fish? IOW: what’s the difference between hunting and raising cattle for meat?
IMO, there is no real difference.
Actually I think there is a difference between raising animals for food and hunting animals for food: I think animals that are hunted have a better quality of life than those raised for food. This is especially true of the nightmarish conditions in many high density feed lots and poultry houses. I think hunting is moral and eating factory raised food is immoral.
I think they’re both immoral. You’re right that raising animals for food is more immoral than hunting animals for food. note that in my OP I just said that “killing animals” was wrong (with some exceptions). I wanted to talk about hunting to keep things on topic but if you want to talk about the morality of factory meat farming that’s cool too. My position is that it’s more immoral than hunting for the reason you said.
Maybe you could define what it is that is immoral about killing animals for food? The point has been made many times that it is part of nature for animals to eat other animals, this fact might support calling hunting ammoral, but how is it immoral?
We don’t need to eat meat and we’re smart enough to know we don’t need to eat meet. Killing animals for food is immoral because we’re making animals suffer unnecessarily.
Killing plants is immoral. We’re smart enough to know we don’t need to eat plants. Killing plants for food is immoral because we’re making plants suffer unnecessarily.
Wheee look I can arbitrarily decide what’s immoral too!
Planrs can’t suffer, animals can. Besides, in my OP I said killing to survive isn’t immoral. This really isn’t all that complicated. You’re obviously not very bright, so it would behoove you to drop the snark.
So, you’ve got a misleading thread title. “Any action which causes the death of an animal, except for self defense, survival, or population control, is immoral.” might match what you’re saying better.
Which, of course, clearly means hunting is moral. Why do you think we have deer seasons? Population control.
Secondly, is euthanasia moral for animals in pain? For example, a dog that has been hit by a car and will linger in pain for several days, but will never heal? According to your logic, it is immoral.
Now, you’re claiming that basically, killing for food is immoral. I’d like you to explain why, because it’s an interesting claim, but, as far as I can tell, an inaccurate one from a physiological standpoint. Humans are omnivores, and we are designed to find animals delicious. Your claim goes against the evidence of all of human history, as we find animal bones in pretty much every human or proto-hominid burial site. Further, the great apes are all quite happy to eat meat.
You could stand to think these things through, you know.
I’m not convinced food animals can meaningfully suffer, as they don’t have a well developed prefrontal cortex. Can they reflexively respond to pain? yes. Does that mean they suffer? no. Even plants can respond to damaging stimulus to a degree.
But of course it’s hard to anthropomorphize plants.
Anyway, arguing morality is silly in the end. It’s purely subjecting and arbitrary. If I were to say there was nothing wrong with hunting animals even if they could suffer, how could you prove I was wrong?
No we are not - how many people do you know who do not season and cook their dead animal before they eat it? Mankind was around for a long time before cooking came along, and if we ate meat then, I venture it was because of lack of other sources of food, not because it was “delicious”.
After going round and round on this topic a few years ago here I came to the following conclusion on this.
The difference is hunters are killing for their own enjoyment. They find killing something fun. They are ending another creature’s life merely to satisfy their desire for entertainment. To me that is profoundly messed up.
Someone hunting for their survival is a different matter. I do not begrudge a lion hunting for its food either.
Spoken like a man who has never had steak tartare. Or sashimi. Mmmmm. Delicious.
Ivan, my cite is the behavior of the great apes, who eat meat with gusto, and with the evidence of human and protohuman middens piled up over centuries, which include animal bones and fish bones aplenty. Why do you think they’re called hunter-gatherers? Please, Ivan, read what I say, and do not think I am merely describing the last ten thousand years.
I’m talking three million years ago. If not more.
If we’ve been eating it with gusto for that long, what happened to the idea that eating meat was the catalyst for our super-duper human intelligence?
Most people I have hunted with pretty much enjoy everything about hunting except the killing. Not only is it a bit sad, but a shitload of hard work often follows. I know a couple of them who now “hunt” with a camera. I know lots of avid fishermen who catch and release.
It’s called a “guilty conscience”, but obviously, not everybody acts upon it. If you don’t feel that “twinge”, you are probably a butcher or a sadist.
Good meat (hunted, free range) is vital to human health. Soy is not a substitute.
Good meat is also a vast source of enjoyment for certain humans.
And like **badlyburnttoast **has said, the most important answer is that it is likely that animal suffering is entirely different from human suffering, given the different ways we are equipped to experience pain. **bbt **mentioned the prefrontal cortex–it is pretty well established that ‘working memory’ occurs in the prefrontal cortex, and the things we are conscious of at any given moment are the things that are being processed in our working memory. Because animals with tiny prefrontal cortices are not equipped to consciously experience things the way we do, it is safe to assume from the information we have that sea cucumbers do not suffer as humans do. It is possible to have cognition without consciousness.
Hunting for population control is moral. Hunting for food, or for fun, is immoral.
Good point. I don’t see anything immoral about painless euthanasia for mortally ill animals.
We’ve reached the stage where we don’t need to do this anymore, and we have the will to suppress any natural inclination we may feel toward eating meat. Since eating meat causes needless suffering, it is immoral to do it. What we used to do doesn’t matter as much as what we choose to do now, with all the alternatives available to us.
I’m all for “hunting” with a camera…that would be something I would enjoy a lot. Catch and release is ok(ish)…the fish still gets a hook through its face.
I suspect that most people who shoot something want to shoot something.