1587: "Food Rule"

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1587: "Food Rule"

Postby sardia » Wed Oct 07, 2015 4:35 am UTC

http://xkcd.com/1587/
Image
Alt Text> I won't eat invertebrates, because I can fight a skeleton, but I have no idea what kind of spooky warrior a squid leaves behind.

Is this a pacman joke?

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Re: 1587: "Food Rule"

Postby geomike » Wed Oct 07, 2015 5:04 am UTC

Some scallops have eyes. Way too creepy to eat such things.

http://www.wildlife-art.net/kimberley131.html

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Re: 1587: "Food Rule"

Postby Hamsvlekiss » Wed Oct 07, 2015 7:10 am UTC

. . . How can you not know octopuses and shrimp have faces??

Also, plants are so alien that their genitals are separate organisms living inside the larger organism, they summon wasps via smell to lay eggs in anyone foolish enough to munch on them, and they communicate/trade with/poison each other secretly via a vast underground network of fungi. I'd be more worried about figs (which start out hollow and full of flowers, then trap the pollinating wasp inside and digest it) than an oyster.

(P.S. Bivalves are basically really lazy snails, and their bodies poke out like cartoon tongues. How can you not find that adorable? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=irF5sBTVniI )

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Re: 1587: "Food Rule"

Postby sotanaht » Wed Oct 07, 2015 7:12 am UTC

sardia wrote:http://xkcd.com/1587/
Image
Alt Text> I won't eat invertebrates, because I can fight a skeleton, but I have no idea what kind of spooky warrior a squid leaves behind.

Is this a pacman joke?


THERE IS A SKELETON INSIDE YOU RIGHT NOW!

Spoiler:
it's an internet meme, nothing at all to do with pacman. Pretty much exactly what it sounds like if you think of skeletons as "scary", independent entities and then remember the above

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Re: 1587: "Food Rule"

Postby Hamsvlekiss » Wed Oct 07, 2015 7:17 am UTC

Disappointing that people can be so open-minded about some aspects of science, and so proudly ignorant of others.
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Just replace math with biology and that's about how I'm feeling.

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Re: 1587: "Food Rule"

Postby The Moomin » Wed Oct 07, 2015 9:21 am UTC

Where do foods like Potato Smiley Faces and making a face out of bacon and fried eggs come on this list?
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Re: 1587: "Food Rule"

Postby I am Jack's username » Wed Oct 07, 2015 10:31 am UTC

My food rule: don't collaborate in an atrocity that's orders of magnitude of orders of magnitude worse than all other atrocities ever committed, combined.

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Re: 1587: "Food Rule"

Postby Laeraren » Wed Oct 07, 2015 11:08 am UTC

This thread got incredibly serious.

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Re: 1587: "Food Rule"

Postby orthogon » Wed Oct 07, 2015 11:09 am UTC

Food rules.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1587: "Food Rule"

Postby da Doctah » Wed Oct 07, 2015 11:58 am UTC

Shrimp have a kind of face, if your definition is flexible enough.

Peeps have a face too. Is someone seriously suggesting that eating Peeps is cruel?

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Re: 1587: "Food Rule"

Postby cellocgw » Wed Oct 07, 2015 12:28 pm UTC

geomike wrote:Some scallops have eyes. Way too creepy to eat such things.


The Hills Have Eyes -- so don't eat dirt :mrgreen:
daDoctah wrote:Peeps have a face too. Is someone seriously suggesting that eating Peeps is cruel?

It is to the person eating the Peeps
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Re: 1587: "Food Rule"

Postby jc » Wed Oct 07, 2015 12:51 pm UTC

I am Jack's username wrote:My food rule: don't collaborate in an atrocity that's orders of magnitude of orders of magnitude worse than all other atrocities ever committed, combined.

I like to mess with vegetarians' minds by pointing out that eating a slice of bread means eating the remains of a hundred or so wheat (or other grain) seeds, each a living organism that was killed by tossing it live into a hopper and grinding it up. OTOH, killing one cow or pig supplies the meat for hundreds of sandwiches.

We're mammals, so we can't live without killing other organisms and eating them. It's only a question of how many of them have to die to make our meal. (This calculation can get complicated when you consider how many earlier deaths are required to make our food's meals.)

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Re: 1587: "Food Rule"

Postby Keyman » Wed Oct 07, 2015 12:57 pm UTC

This is why you don't eat squid

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Re: 1587: "Food Rule"

Postby I am Jack's username » Wed Oct 07, 2015 1:10 pm UTC

jc wrote:I like to mess with vegetarians' minds by pointing out that eating a slice of bread means eating the remains of a hundred or so wheat (or other grain) seeds, each a living organism that was killed by tossing it live into a hopper and grinding it up. OTOH, killing one cow or pig supplies the meat for hundreds of sandwiches.


Did any of them point out that seeds don't feel pain or suffering because they lack nervous systems? Rejecting speciesism is about not causing pain and suffering just because it's felt by something of a different species, despite the fact that you wouldn't do those kinds of things to a severely mentally disabled member of your own species. Also, factory farmed cows and pigs eat things that contain vastly more seeds than the calories gained from eating the cows and pigs.

If you really want to make a vegetarian shut up, tell them to watch the documentary Earthlings, because the diary and egg industries somehow managed to top the meat industries when it comes to depravity.

It's harder to get us vegans to shut up to, because of the writings of Peter Singer ;).

jc wrote:We're mammals, so we can't live without killing other organisms and eating them. It's only a question of how many of them have to die to make our meal. (This calculation can get complicated when you consider how many earlier deaths are required to make our food's meals.)


True for some organisms, but not true for things that can feel pain and suffering.

If humanity still exists a hundred years from now, I think our current speciesism will be viewed as worse than all human slavery, genocide, rape, torture, etc. ever committed.

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Re: 1587: "Food Rule"

Postby Moose Anus » Wed Oct 07, 2015 1:43 pm UTC

From what I understand, if you don't eat stuff because you don't want to cause pain, then oysters are a good choice of food.
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Re: 1587: "Food Rule"

Postby stianhat » Wed Oct 07, 2015 1:46 pm UTC

Personally I like to point out to vegetarians that they are in fact condemning animal life to die horribly and cruelly. Nature is a bitch. Getting tazered and have your throat slit in a factory is a love poem compared to being eaten alive by the next predator up the line, or slowly starving, until you are so weak that the predator beneath you starts eating you. Or insects. Debilitating diseases. Broken, untreated limbs. Most*) animals have a better life being farmed than this.

Humans are the only animals that actually care about their food and how its life was. That is a huge step up.

*) Yes, most. Counting by weight. I still believe there is a lot to do - capitalism generally does not perform well with unmeasured parameters like animal welfare. And healthcare, but that is a sidetrack...

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Re: 1587: "Food Rule"

Postby Laeraren » Wed Oct 07, 2015 2:03 pm UTC

stianhat wrote:Personally I like to point out to vegetarians that they are in fact condemning animal life to die horribly and cruelly. Nature is a bitch. Getting tazered and have your throat slit in a factory is a love poem compared to being eaten alive by the next predator up the line, or slowly starving, until you are so weak that the predator beneath you starts eating you. Or insects. Debilitating diseases. Broken, untreated limbs. Most*) animals have a better life being farmed than this.

Humans are the only animals that actually care about their food and how its life was. That is a huge step up.

*) Yes, most. Counting by weight. I still believe there is a lot to do - capitalism generally does not perform well with unmeasured parameters like animal welfare. And healthcare, but that is a sidetrack...


Eh, I am by no means a vegetarian myself, since I'm a horrible person that just doesn't care, but I don't find this argument logically sound. All that horrific nature stuff happens to wild animals anyway, and the domesticated animals wouldn't exist if it weren't for the fact that we were planning to slaughter them or harvest their bodily products. It's not like we're catching wild animals to humanely slaughter on any significant scale.
Last edited by Laeraren on Wed Oct 07, 2015 2:04 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1587: "Food Rule"

Postby Whizbang » Wed Oct 07, 2015 2:04 pm UTC

stianhat wrote:Personally I like to point out to vegetarians that they are in fact condemning animal life to die horribly and cruelly. Nature is a bitch. Getting tazered and have your throat slit in a factory is a love poem compared to being eaten alive by the next predator up the line, or slowly starving, until you are so weak that the predator beneath you starts eating you. Or insects. Debilitating diseases. Broken, untreated limbs. Most*) animals have a better life being farmed than this.


The difference being that most of the animals we eat are bred and raised as food. Do you really think there would be billions of cows if it weren't for humans eating them? So, this leads you into the age-old conundrum of how to compare and rate suffering. Does the greater suffering of a small number of wild cows outweigh the milder(?) suffering of a great many cows that are bred for the purpose? Does the torture and brutal killing of an individual outweigh the pinprick of billions?

Saying that we all must eat and that we have evolved to eat other animals is all well and good, but trying to quantify suffering gets you into some muddy waters.

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Re: 1587: "Food Rule"

Postby orthogon » Wed Oct 07, 2015 2:24 pm UTC

I am Jack's username wrote:If humanity still exists a hundred years from now, I think our current speciesism will be viewed as worse than all human slavery, genocide, rape, torture, etc. ever committed.

This possibility seriously concerns me. When I think about the ways in which I may turn out to have been on the wrong side of history in ethical terms, it seems the most likely. I try to ease my conscience by not eating mammals or dinosaurs, but will that be enough to persuade my great-grandchildren that I wasn't a truly evil person?
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1587: "Food Rule"

Postby Whizbang » Wed Oct 07, 2015 2:27 pm UTC

No.

They will be much more concerned with who you voted for on American Idleol.

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Re: 1587: "Food Rule"

Postby Echo244 » Wed Oct 07, 2015 2:36 pm UTC

<Glances idly at history>

Even when we stop doing something that's unambiguously bad, we get very handwavy when it comes to criticising any of the people benefitting from it. Especially with a slightly indirect concept like animal welfare, rather than something that directly and immediately affects humans 100 years from now. I'd be more comfortable betting on humanity 100 years from now being angry at what we're doing to the climate, how swiftly we're consuming natural resources, how carelessly we're watching pack ice melt etc. etc. rather than how we treat animals.
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Re: 1587: "Food Rule"

Postby orthogon » Wed Oct 07, 2015 2:38 pm UTC

Whizbang wrote:No.

They will be much more concerned with who you voted for on American Idleol.

I'll have to tell them that, back then, England was not part of the USA, and that furthermore we used to have our own world-leading broadcasting organisation before the Tories destroyed it in 2016.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1587: "Food Rule"

Postby cryptoengineer » Wed Oct 07, 2015 3:44 pm UTC

I can't see the problem in eating meat. We're evolved as omnivores, and strict vegans have to go to unnatural lengths not to
suffer from B-12 deficiency. (Historic vegans - eg Jains - obtained it by unwittingly eating insects and other animal contaminants
(esp dung) in their food). B12 is produced by bacteria.

If we stop killing animals for meat, it won't be because we've all become happy tofu freaks; it will because we can grow animal meat
in vitro, without bothering with the whole animal.

This message approved by PETA (People Eating Tasty Animals)

ce

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Re: 1587: "Food Rule"

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Oct 07, 2015 3:53 pm UTC

Laeraren wrote:
stianhat wrote:Personally I like to point out to vegetarians that they are in fact condemning animal life to die horribly and cruelly. Nature is a bitch. Getting tazered and have your throat slit in a factory is a love poem compared to being eaten alive by the next predator up the line, or slowly starving, until you are so weak that the predator beneath you starts eating you. Or insects. Debilitating diseases. Broken, untreated limbs. Most*) animals have a better life being farmed than this.

Humans are the only animals that actually care about their food and how its life was. That is a huge step up.

*) Yes, most. Counting by weight. I still believe there is a lot to do - capitalism generally does not perform well with unmeasured parameters like animal welfare. And healthcare, but that is a sidetrack...


Eh, I am by no means a vegetarian myself, since I'm a horrible person that just doesn't care, but I don't find this argument logically sound. All that horrific nature stuff happens to wild animals anyway, and the domesticated animals wouldn't exist if it weren't for the fact that we were planning to slaughter them or harvest their bodily products. It's not like we're catching wild animals to humanely slaughter on any significant scale.


Oh, I dunno. The scale may be small compared to the ones we raise, but we can hunt species to extinction, by accident, on a lark. We're pretty good at hunting wild animals.

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Re: 1587: "Food Rule"

Postby rmsgrey » Wed Oct 07, 2015 7:11 pm UTC

The pertinent question when it comes to food animals is, it seems to me, whether or not, having been born to be slaughtered, the animals are better off than if they'd never existed in the first place. That raises the further questions of how you weigh a lifetime of being looked after against a violent death at the end of it...

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Re: 1587: "Food Rule"

Postby da Doctah » Wed Oct 07, 2015 8:10 pm UTC

Y'know what's just as speciesist as considering some other creature fit to be eaten? Assuming that just because we feel horror at the thought of being eaten it must be the same for everything else. The late Douglas Adams had an idea that more people should consider: suppose the cow/pig/chicken/oyster wants to be eaten? What if the greatest pleasure it has in life is the thought that some day, it will be able to provide some other creature a really nice meal?

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Re: 1587: "Food Rule"

Postby InternationalSpaceStation » Wed Oct 07, 2015 9:03 pm UTC

I hate seafood but I mean, I think Randall poorly argues his point here since it should be pretty obvious to him that squid and shrimp do have faces whereas oysters do not.

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Re: 1587: "Food Rule"

Postby Eternal Density » Wed Oct 07, 2015 9:07 pm UTC

And the first search result for Noted Skeleton Racist is... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B19Hat-zXt8
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Re: 1587: "Food Rule"

Postby TheCyberMelOWNED » Wed Oct 07, 2015 9:48 pm UTC

Dead squid leave behind etherial pens. (if curious about what a pen is, google "squid pen")

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Re: 1587: "Food Rule"

Postby senor_cardgage » Wed Oct 07, 2015 11:01 pm UTC

da Doctah wrote:Y'know what's just as speciesist as considering some other creature fit to be eaten? Assuming that just because we feel horror at the thought of being eaten it must be the same for everything else. The late Douglas Adams had an idea that more people should consider: suppose the cow/pig/chicken/oyster wants to be eaten? What if the greatest pleasure it has in life is the thought that some day, it will be able to provide some other creature a really nice meal?


Then there are also those species whose natural life cycle includes offspring eating their parents, mates eating each other, etc.

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Re: 1587: "Food Rule"

Postby Mambrino » Wed Oct 07, 2015 11:11 pm UTC

Whizbang wrote:
stianhat wrote:Personally I like to point out to vegetarians that they are in fact condemning animal life to die horribly and cruelly. Nature is a bitch. Getting tazered and have your throat slit in a factory is a love poem compared to being eaten alive by the next predator up the line, or slowly starving, until you are so weak that the predator beneath you starts eating you. Or insects. Debilitating diseases. Broken, untreated limbs. Most*) animals have a better life being farmed than this.


The difference being that most of the animals we eat are bred and raised as food. Do you really think there would be billions of cows if it weren't for humans eating them? So, this leads you into the age-old conundrum of how to compare and rate suffering. Does the greater suffering of a small number of wild cows outweigh the milder(?) suffering of a great many cows that are bred for the purpose? Does the torture and brutal killing of an individual outweigh the pinprick of billions?

Saying that we all must eat and that we have evolved to eat other animals is all well and good, but trying to quantify suffering gets you into some muddy waters.


We should not compare the life of domesticated cows to life of their wild predecessors, we should compare how we treat them to how we could treat them. Thing that I can agree with vegetarians and vegans is that most of industrialized animal-based food production treats livestock either not well enough or actually horrendously. I'd be fine with the argument that breeding animals for food to sustain our own existence is okay if we treat them with respect and care about them and let them live a happy life, until a fast and painless death. The problem is that this seldom happens.

Some of my grandparents' families had cows for milk, about the same way humans have held cows for milk thousands of years, and my understanding (I didn't question them on the issue, but hear some tidbits of stories and such) that their life could be viewed as mostly not-very-horrible compromise between a human and a cow standard of living (except for things like that because of local climate, they spent more time indoors in a cramped building during winters than they probably would have liked, if cows could have such abstract thoughts, but that could not be helped and that's how humans were able to live here in the first place [edit. and to think about it, on a historical time scale, until quite recently significant number of humans here probably were not that much better compared to their livestock during winters]).

Yes, today we have antibiotics, and instead of treating animals with them the same way as we do with humans, most of the world just stuffs the animals with them. Small, cramped housing then was understandable, but today we could do better, except that it isn't financially profitable. I also agree that avoiding eating meat at all leads to very unnatural behaviour for us, but we consume meat in amounts that are far above than a human biology would require.

But I also agree that any personal decisions people make to limit their meat consumption or go vegan, while commendable, are not a solution. This is quite comparable to climate change, really: the suffering / unbearable CO2 emissions won't disappear despite the individuals doing the morally right things in their lives, because one person's life is small and their footprint is small and it's not plausible that enough individuals would ever do it (no matter how much "morally right people" show their displeasure). Rules of the game should be changed.

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Re: 1587: "Food Rule"

Postby Copper Bezel » Thu Oct 08, 2015 12:16 am UTC

Most people would be squicked at eating something that used to be sapient, no matter how ethically sourced. I don't think it entirely unhealthy to be squicked at the thought of eating something that used to be sentient. Philosophical arguments seem to me mostly not relevant and outgrowths of those sentiments rather than causes. As it becomes culturally and economically more tenable, I see more people opting not to eat meat, those who do eating less, and the meat produced being held to higher standards of sourcing. More about tastes than morality, I should think.
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Re: 1587: "Food Rule"

Postby armandoalvarez » Thu Oct 08, 2015 12:38 am UTC

orthogon wrote:
I am Jack's username wrote:If humanity still exists a hundred years from now, I think our current speciesism will be viewed as worse than all human slavery, genocide, rape, torture, etc. ever committed.

This possibility seriously concerns me. When I think about the ways in which I may turn out to have been on the wrong side of history in ethical terms, it seems the most likely. I try to ease my conscience by not eating mammals or dinosaurs, but will that be enough to persuade my great-grandchildren that I wasn't a truly evil person?

Why would you worry about what people will think of you when you're dead? They probably won't think about you (individually) at all. Something is either right now or it's wrong now. That won't change based on the conclusions of people in the future, anymore than the fact that most people think eating meat is OK today necessarily makes it right.

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Re: 1587: "Food Rule"

Postby Copper Bezel » Thu Oct 08, 2015 12:44 am UTC

Take it as a proxy then.
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Re: 1587: "Food Rule"

Postby jc » Thu Oct 08, 2015 3:02 am UTC

Whizbang wrote:
stianhat wrote:Personally I like to point out to vegetarians that they are in fact condemning animal life to die horribly and cruelly. Nature is a bitch. Getting tazered and have your throat slit in a factory is a love poem compared to being eaten alive by the next predator up the line, or slowly starving, until you are so weak that the predator beneath you starts eating you. Or insects. Debilitating diseases. Broken, untreated limbs. Most*) animals have a better life being farmed than this.


The difference being that most of the animals we eat are bred and raised as food. Do you really think there would be billions of cows if it weren't for humans eating them? ...


Of course, a biologist would likely put a slightly different spin on this: Our domestic cattle, goats and sheep are the most "successful" grazing species on the planet, and their "success" is explicitly due to their being adopted as food animals by humans. This isn't a value judgement, of course, since such things have little meaning in biological circles. It's just an observation that these domesticated species are doing "better" (in an evolutionary sense) than their wild relatives. Whether they're living "better" in the value-judgement sense depends on the accident of what humans claim them.

And, as others have pointed out, the fate of almost all wild and domesticated grazing animals in our world is pretty much the same. They spend some time grazing, perhaps they produce a few offspring, and then a predator kills and eats them.

If you want to make value judgements, you are welcome to do so. This is somewhat a mixed story, though. Some of our domesticated species have pretty good lives compared to their wild relatives, before we kill and eat them. Others (notably our commercial-farm chickens and pigs) have short, miserable lives compared to their (rare) wild relatives. Still others (mostly our pets) live much longer and better lives than their wild relatives, and rarely get eaten after they die of "natural causes" that we don't know how to prevent. "It's complicated", as they say.

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Re: 1587: "Food Rule"

Postby Mikeski » Thu Oct 08, 2015 4:54 am UTC

jc wrote:Our domestic cattle, goats and sheep are the most "successful" grazing species on the planet, and their "success" is explicitly due to their being adopted as food animals by humans.

"Being really tasty" as an evolutionary advantage. In your face, monarch butterflies!

(Better double-check that in google, I suppose...)

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Re: 1587: "Food Rule"

Postby udqbpn » Thu Oct 08, 2015 5:02 am UTC

There's apparently a group of people who want to deal with the whole "well wild animals eat each other" thing in a different way than saying "ok we can eat them too now." They want to actually genetically engineer carnivores to be herbivores. http://www.treehugger.com/natural-scien ... egans.html.

I know a lot of you will probably think this is crazy. I like to think however, if it were the case that HUMANS could only survive by eating each other for some reason, everyone would be clambering to fix the problem, likely with genetic engineering or some other thing. (Que people saying "if it were natural for humans to eat each other, then because it were natural it would be good" (no comment) and other people saying "well that's not how things are." I know that's not how things are, that's why i used the word "if," have you not heard of hypothetical situations and there may be a point to using them?)

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Re: 1587: "Food Rule"

Postby Copper Bezel » Thu Oct 08, 2015 5:26 am UTC

Yes, but practical and ethical reasons for not wanting to be an obligate cannibal are readily available within the society in question. It is not inherently inconsistent to ban nuclear weapon tests and not also petition to shut down the sun.
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Re: 1587: "Food Rule"

Postby Mikeski » Thu Oct 08, 2015 5:28 am UTC

udqbpn wrote:They want to actually genetically engineer carnivores to be herbivores.

Futurama did that joke already.

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Re: 1587: "Food Rule"

Postby Neil_Boekend » Thu Oct 08, 2015 8:04 am UTC

jc wrote:I like to mess with vegetarians' minds by pointing out that eating a slice of bread means eating the remains of a hundred or so wheat (or other grain) seeds, each a living organism that was killed by tossing it live into a hopper and grinding it up. OTOH, killing one cow or pig supplies the meat for hundreds of sandwiches.
While I am not a vegetarian, that argument is bovine fecal matter. Do you think the pig or cow didn't eat anything? In fact that pig or cow ate over 10 times the total amount of grain or soy or whatever you would have eaten (I even hear "25 times" as a figure).

Mambrino wrote:Yes, today we have antibiotics, and instead of treating animals with them the same way as we do with humans, most of the world just stuffs the animals with them. Small, cramped housing then was understandable, but today we could do better, except that it isn't financially profitable. I also agree that avoiding eating meat at all leads to very unnatural behaviour for us, but we consume meat in amounts that are far above than a human biology would require.
Dunno about most of the world, but here in the Netherlands meat can not be sold if it contains antibiotics, presumably because antibiotics cause bacterial resistance in humans. The cow may be grown faster on antibiotics (some work as growth hormones too) but before the cow is slaughtered they need to be off antibiotics for quite some time. I have a feeling this is a European law, but I'm not sure.
Mambrino wrote:But I also agree that any personal decisions people make to limit their meat consumption or go vegan, while commendable, are not a solution. This is quite comparable to climate change, really: the suffering / unbearable CO2 emissions won't disappear despite the individuals doing the morally right things in their lives, because one person's life is small and their footprint is small and it's not plausible that enough individuals would ever do it (no matter how much "morally right people" show their displeasure). Rules of the game should be changed.
I disagree with you there. If a sufficient part of the population makes those life choices then the problem will be solved. Vegetarianism also decreases CO2 emissions, by the way.
Mikeski wrote:A "What If" update is never late. Nor is it early. It is posted precisely when it should be.

patzer's signature wrote:
flicky1991 wrote:I'm being quoted too much!

he/him/his


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