Wild Animal Suffering

Nekodaiden

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I have never heard that argument, from an honest person, meant towards anyone but humans
Why would you infer that every animal species be aligned to human behavior other than to be argumentative?
I think you know the argument isn't "to be treated the same", but why eat one and the other, since as humans we have no need to eat either
Eh, for starters, I don't eat animals or animal products.

I don't think I inferred anything about alignment to human behavior - it's Jacob that is doing that with his arguments. Those arguments seem to stem from "speciesism" - which is what vegans often use to try to win converts. This notion, if brought to it's logical end - makes all species "equal". Hence, why Jacob might find moral imperatives to protect prey from predator in the wild. Taken further, if all species are equal, this makes humans equal (no less or greater than) any other species. Then it becomes a numbers game (ie: 1 human < 3 starving lions).

If you cannot grasp these concepts, I'm sorry. Maybe you should stay out of these threads instead of making accusations of motive.
 

silva

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Eh, for starters, I don't eat animals or animal products.

I don't think I inferred anything about alignment to human behavior - it's Jacob that is doing that with his arguments. Those arguments seem to stem from "speciesism" - which is what vegans often use to try to win converts. This notion, if brought to it's logical end - makes all species "equal". Hence, why Jacob might find moral imperatives to protect prey from predator in the wild. Taken further, if all species are equal, this makes humans equal (no less or greater than) any other species. Then it becomes a numbers game (ie: 1 human < 3 starving lions).

If you cannot grasp these concepts, I'm sorry. Maybe you should stay out of these threads instead of making accusations of motive.
I'm not questioning motives, I'm responding to how you are viewing the idea of "speciesism". I see no "logical end" that would make all species equal, when they're clearing not.
But yes, I will stay out of these threads as the hubris is suffocating
If I am getting the gist of this right, Jacob's argument seems to rest on the notion of "speciesism", the assumption that it's wrong, and the drive to correct it - in nature.

I've long disliked the "speciesist" argument (some) vegans make when trying to win converts. You know the "you wouldn't let your (insert pet here) be subject to X,Y,Z or you wouldn't eat it, so why allow/approve of (non pet animal here) to be treated the same?"

It's only as good as far as that comparison is made. Taking the premise to it's logical conclusion basically puts all animals (including humans, since we are also animals) on the same footing. If that's the value, then 3 starving lions would outweigh 1 human and therefore it would be "right" to give up/feed the human to the lions simply on the numbers. That fits the "non-speciesist" idea but in our culture and law this is rightly called "murder".
Thats ridiculous
 

alexw32

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I'm not questioning motives, I'm responding to how you are viewing the idea of "speciesism". I see no "logical end" that would make all species equal, when they're clearing not.
But yes, I will stay out of these threads as the hubris is suffocating

Thats ridiculous
Just how can one arrive at the conclusion that a single human should be fed to three lions from a plain argument that all animal life are equally valuable is beyond me. While I advocate the concept of all living beings being equal (in that they all possess consciousness), it does not justify the act of sacrificing one being for another in short of a good reason.

Also I'm not a fan of the trolley problem, since it's a complete hypothetical problem existing in the mind, the reason why people are unable to make an unanimous agreement on the solution to it is not just because their moral standards differ, e.g. utilitarianism and libertarianism, it's also due to the abstract and ambiguous nature of the problem itself, this devised scenario of having the lives of three lions and a single human at stake and putting them against each other is clearly a modified version of it, only sounding more preposterous.
 

Nekodaiden

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Just how can one arrive at the conclusion that a single human should be fed to three lions from a plain argument that all animal life are equally valuable is beyond me. While I advocate the concept of all living beings being equal (in that they all possess consciousness), it does not justify the act of sacrificing one being for another in short of a good reason.

Also I'm not a fan of the trolley problem, since it's a complete hypothetical problem existing in the mind, the reason why people are unable to make an unanimous agreement on the solution to it is not just because their moral standards differ, e.g. utilitarianism and libertarianism, it's also due to the abstract and ambiguous nature of the problem itself, this devised scenario of having the lives of three lions and a single human at stake and putting them against each other is clearly a modified version of it, only sounding more preposterous.
Why preposterous? If one (sentient) being is of X value (whatever that is), and another (different sentient) being is also of X value, the the cumulative value is 2X. If 4 beings, then 4X. If however, in a situation where 3 beings die so one can survive, then the cumulative value is reduced by 3, leaving only 1X instead of 4X.

If this is so hard to grasp, forget the fact that we are talking about different species. One mass murderer can kill 100 people or more. Or millions if they are some of the decision makers in government instigating wars. Yet no one argues that the 100 or the millions are of cumulative equal value to the 1 or proportionately small groups that threatens them.
 

Graeme M

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I am not gonna join in the discussion about wild animal suffering but I thought this a curious comment:

While I advocate the concept of all living beings being equal (in that they all possess consciousness)
Do you really mean that all living beings (I think you mean animals here) are equal because they are all conscious? The fact that consciousness is almost certainly a continuum from minimal to human would sort of count against the idea of equality. I thought the argument was more constructed around the concept of equal consideration of interests, not direct parity on one arbitrary physical quality.
 

alexw32

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I am not gonna join in the discussion about wild animal suffering but I thought this a curious comment:

Do you really mean that all living beings (I think you mean animals here) are equal because they are all conscious? The fact that consciousness is almost certainly a continuum from minimal to human would sort of count against the idea of equality. I thought the argument was more constructed around the concept of equal consideration of interests, not direct parity on one arbitrary physical quality.
I get what you're saying, but I don't see the need to view it as a factor that differentiates us, rather, it's key to unification on a higher level. While it's true that consciousness manifests itself differently across species, it can still be used to establish a sense of equality between them. With all other things are so drastically different, being able to live, to experience the very gift of life is what separates living beings from mere rocks and stones, and I suppose this is what we share in common the most.
 

alexw32

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Why preposterous? If one (sentient) being is of X value (whatever that is), and another (different sentient) being is also of X value, the the cumulative value is 2X. If 4 beings, then 4X. If however, in a situation where 3 beings die so one can survive, then the cumulative value is reduced by 3, leaving only 1X instead of 4X.

If this is so hard to grasp, forget the fact that we are talking about different species. One mass murderer can kill 100 people or more. Or millions if they are some of the decision makers in government instigating wars. Yet no one argues that the 100 or the millions are of cumulative equal value to the 1 or proportionately small groups that threatens them.
I'll get back to you later, have to run errands now.
 

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I am writing a dialogue to illustrate how my view results in a good comeback to the appeal to nature below:

Omnivore:

"If animals are worthy of being spared from being eaten for their own sake, this must also apply in nature. Apparently they are not worthy because you are fine with wild animals being food for predators. It is either acceptable for animals to be eaten or it isn't. Who or what is doing the killing and eating, whether predator, omnivore by choice, or omnivore by necessity, is irrelevant (as far as ethics but not environmental consequences)."

Me:

"I am not fine with wild prey animals being food for predators, or with predators being food for other predators, or with predator or prey animals suffering from parasites, disease, hunger, thirst, lack of shelter, wounds or any other form of suffering. Every animal has the right to live out its days in comfort and die of old age. It is only for lack of technology, resources and knowledge of ecosystems that we can't help them all right now."

Then they would start asking the usual questions about what the predators would eat in the future, overpoulation of prey animals, etc, and I would answer them. And then they would have to say "well, since animals being eaten in the wild is unacceptable, so is their use as food by humans, hence I must go vegan".

You:

(What would your response be? )
 
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Graeme M

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Alexw32, OK, I see what you are getting at, though I still feel claiming "experience" for all animals is a bit of a stretch plus it leaves you in the tricky place of defending the life of say a worm or an oyster as equal to that of a human in qualitative terms. I think it's safe to observe that the experience of an oyster probably barely qualifies as an experience. We also need to face the fact that human experience is probably substantially more nuanced than even that of other primates. I feel I'd resolve this by arguing that all lives are equal in the fundamental sense of being alive and contributing to the ecosytstem, but that the claims of individals to fair treatment are far more equivocal. Perhaps even that "fairness" itself must be equivocal.

Nobody, I'd disagree with the fundamental premise - that animals are unworthy and can be eaten. That makes no sense to me. What exactly is wrong with the "appeal to nature" view when we can clearly see what nature is and how it works? Animals are eaten, that is their role. That does not make them unworthy. Or are you appealing to some idea that there is a higher purpose to life?
 

nobody

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Nobody, I'd disagree with the fundamental premise - that animals are unworthy and can be eaten. That makes no sense to me. What exactly is wrong with the "appeal to nature" view when we can clearly see what nature is and how it works? Animals are eaten, that is their role. That does not make them unworthy. Or are you appealing to some idea that there is a higher purpose to life?
I don't think I understand what you are saying.

"In nature, animals are eaten, that is their role"?

"Oh, well that's farm animals' role in society, to be eaten" says the omnivore. Your response?

By "worthy" they mean worth saving from a predator, like a human or domesticated animal would be.

They are saying, "vegan, you don't have regard for the lives of prey animals in the wild and consider them to be suitable food for predators. Even if it were hypothetically possible for you to intervene and feed the predators a suitable replacement food (like crunchy, bioengineered non-sentient clones, tastier than the real thing) and control the population of the prey animals with genetically engineered birth control measures, you wouldn't, because you don't consider the lives of prey animals worth interfering with nature over. You don't consider them "worthy" of saving. So as far as ethics/animal rights, why are farm animals or fish or deer worth saving if prey animals aren't (environmental/conservation considerations aside)?
 

silva

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I am writing a dialogue to illustrate how my view results in a good comeback to the appeal to nature below:

Omnivore:

"If animals are worthy of being spared from being eaten for their own sake, this must also apply in nature. Apparently they are not worthy because you are fine with wild animals being food for predators. It is either acceptable for animals to be eaten or it isn't. Who or what is doing the killing and eating, whether predator, omnivore by choice, or omnivore by necessity, is irrelevant (as far as ethics but not environmental consequences)."

Me:

"I am not fine with wild prey animals being food for predators, or with predators being food for other predators, or with predator or prey animals suffering from parasites, disease, hunger, thirst, lack of shelter, wounds or any other form of suffering. Every animal has the right to live out its days in comfort and die of old age. It is only for lack of technology, resources and knowledge of ecosystems that we can't help them all right now."

Then they would start asking the usual questions about what the predators would eat in the future, overpoulation of prey animals, etc, and I would answer them. And then they would have to say "well, since animals being eaten in the wild is unacceptable, so is their use as food by humans, hence I must go vegan".

You:

(What would your response be? )
I am absolutely fine with animals living lives of their own. I no more expect a carnivore to eat anything other than it's prey than I would expect them to breath in water. It is not for me, or anyone, to decide morality in other species. It's not up to us to irrevocably change the nature of either prey or predators- they're born with instincts that rule their lives.
Humans do not need to kill or confine other beings, and as our civilization already impacts the territory of other animals the less impact we have the better. It;s only logical for humans to be vegan
 
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nobody

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Humans do not need to kill or confine other beings, and as our civilization already impacts the territory of other animals the less impact we have the better. It;s only logical for humans to be vegan
I only do animal rights vegan advocacy. I don't talk about environmental or health advantages of veganism because I think it leads to more chicken use, which causes more suffering:


You are giving an environmental answer to an argument against animal rights. The omnivore alluded to there being environmental consequences of human use of animals but stipulated that their argument was specifically against animal rights veganism.

Omnivore:

"If animals are worthy of being spared from being eaten for their own sake [not for the environment]"

"Who or what is doing the killing and eating, whether predator, omnivore by choice, or omnivore by necessity, is irrelevant (as far as ethics but not environmental consequences)."

Their premise is that animals are either suitable to be used as food or they are not, regardless of who or what is using them. I am accepting their premise and saying animals are not suitable to be to be used as food under any circumstance, due to intrisic rights. You are rejecting their premise. Because I am working with their premise rather than rejecting it, I think my answer would be more persuasive.
 

nobody

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It's not up to us to irrevocably change the nature of either prey or predators- they're born with instincts that rule their lives.
Why isn't it up to us? Is it in the domain of Mother Nature? I'm not religious and there is an almost religious reverence for and deference to the natural order which makes no sense, considering we have spent our entire history on the planet trying to control the bad elements of it for our own comfort and wellbeing, e.g. housing, immunization, etc. I am saying we should share the wealth if we can and bring comfort, safety and longevity to animals, rather than leave them to be ravaged by the bad stuff in nature.
 

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I don't think I understand what you are saying.

"In nature, animals are eaten, that is their role"?

"Oh, well that's farm animals' role in society, to be eaten" says the omnivore. Your response?

By "worthy" they mean worth saving from a predator, like a human or domesticated animal would be.

They are saying, "vegan, you don't have regard for the lives of prey animals in the wild and consider them to be suitable food for predators. Even if it were hypothetically possible for you to intervene and feed the predators a suitable replacement food (like crunchy, bioengineered non-sentient clones, tastier than the real thing) and control the population of the prey animals with genetically engineered birth control measures, you wouldn't, because you don't consider the lives of prey animals worth interfering with nature over. You don't consider them "worthy" of saving. So as far as ethics/animal rights, why are farm animals or fish or deer worth saving if prey animals aren't (environmental/conservation considerations aside)?
I would say that it is the natural order for some animals to be eaten and some to do the eating. And of course, for many to suffer. Humans could, depending on circumstance, be the eaten and the eater. But we, more than any other animal, can determine our own circumstances. In that light, we have the choice, and this is where the ethical domain emerges - in the space where choice and natural order intersect. THAT is why we can choose not to eat other animals when possible.

Mind you, I also don't think there is some moral duty on us never to use or eat other animals. All I am saying is that our moral scope can and should include other animals, but how that plays out depends on circumstances...
 
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nobody

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I would say that it is the natural order for some animals to be eaten and some to do the eating. And of course, for many to suffer.
Right. IMO, nature is beautiful, biodiversity is valuable but the natural order stinks and should be replaced with an order that is just as biodiverse but more compassionate.

And if someone is religious about it, with a spiritual reverence for nature, and doesn't want to step on Mother Nature's toes as it were, maybe she wants us to make nature safer and healthier for her animals. Maybe that's our true role.
 

nobody

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We don't have a moral obligation to protect animals from nature and the hardships it holds.
If we can avoid inflicting suffering that's the extent of our responsibility.
If you try to talk to conservative evangelicals about animal rights (not environmental veganism or anything like that), most will tell you being an omnivore by choice isn't a sin, eating meat is allowed, they have permission to eat meat and they are not required or obligated in any way to be an ethical vegan. If you ask them which they care about more, animals or keeping their moral house in order, they will choose the latter with no hesitation. They are concerned with following the instructions from God set forth in the Bible much more than they care about animals.

I don't know where you are getting your list of moral obligations and requirements, whether it's the Vegan Society or whatever, but why value checking those boxes over helping animals? If you are out in nature on a hike and see a wild animal stuck in a mud pit, are you morally obligated to call the government wildlife department to effect a rescue? Are you going to Google the laws in the place where you are hiking to see if you are legally required to call it in? Does obligation matter?
 
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nobody

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I have just realized that if we are talking about the type of veganism that is done out of compassion for animals (rather than for the environment or your health), it is better to present it as a personal dietary/lifestyle choice for people concerned about animals rather than as a moral obligation. Morality should not be brought into it and therefore the term "ethical vegan" should go.

If you make it about morality, the problem is not animals being killed but who is doing the killing. So you could have millions of antelope passing through an area being killed by starvation, dehydration, disease, parasites, fire, accidents, predators and aboriginal hunters and all these lives lost wouldn't be a problem. An antelope death would only be a problem if an omnivore by choice showed up to this area to hunt and they were the one who killed it. That doesn't make any sense. It should be a pro-animal movement, not a "pro-people livng up to their moral obligations" movement.
 
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alexw32

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Why preposterous? If one (sentient) being is of X value (whatever that is), and another (different sentient) being is also of X value, the the cumulative value is 2X. If 4 beings, then 4X. If however, in a situation where 3 beings die so one can survive, then the cumulative value is reduced by 3, leaving only 1X instead of 4X.

If this is so hard to grasp, forget the fact that we are talking about different species. One mass murderer can kill 100 people or more. Or millions if they are some of the decision makers in government instigating wars. Yet no one argues that the 100 or the millions are of cumulative equal value to the 1 or proportionately small groups that threatens them.
I acknowledged that there's something in what you say but I have a different take on this.

Stating that two things are equal in one aspect is not the same as saying they're equal in value. Banana and Durian are both tropical fruits and one could say that they're equally delicious, but Durian is more expensive in monetary value.

When we're speaking about life, why are we assigning a value to life in the first place? When a living being dies, no amount of money can bring it back, the existence of life itself remains one of the few things left that science fails to interpret adequately. In this sense, it is reasonable to state that life is invaluable, therefore it makes no sense to make comparisons between the value of one being and another.

In the case of mas vs individual, the factor being weighed is not really on the value of each individual life, but merely on the difference in number, here the value of life has been cryptically shifted. An analogy would be like this: one drop of water is essentially the same as one tank of water, they're both H2O and thus equally valuable, but yes one tank of water has more water, it's the extra amount of water that's viewed as contributing to value.
 

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We already intervene with wild animals in a major and disruptive way, thats already done, I say why not help eliminate suffering so long as it doesn't have a negative impact on evolution?

I mean many/some wild animals suffer and have worse lives than livestock, maybe in the future this will become the new vegan focus as synthetic meat takes over as a more delicious profitable efficient moral way to make meat?

What can be done to eliminate animal suffering in the wild?

Also who say the wild is any good anyway, its a cruel brutal reality/selection process for animals.

Maybe we should control wild life to eliminate more suffering and put a healthy evolution in 2nd position for priority after the elimination of suffering in position 1, you can still do both, you may even be able to do a better job of creating a healthy evolution than nature itself, and you can do something better than nature in terms of reducing suffering and making a better world/reality for all life.

But this kind of progress is for the future an ideal one, far off, not for our life time
 
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