Up@dawn 2.0

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Singer- Animals 14-4

How often do you think about your food, where it comes from, or how it gets to you? Peter Singer had very interesting ideas about the treatment of animals, killing or experimenting on. One of his basic ideas is that animals have the same capacity, if not a higher capacity for pain and suffering as humans. He knows that some indigenous people may have to hunt to survive, and he mentions killing an animal instantly as more acceptable than how we treat them in factories. He understands the reality of the cost of eating nutritionally without eating any meat, but also feels as if more people should be vegetarians. How do you feel about animal rights, treatment of animals, testing on them as well?
I am a not a vegetarian, however, I completely understand why people are, and I have drastically cut back on my meat consumptions in the last year.

FQ: does singer think that humans who have lost their own mental capacity are still considered persons?
Answer: no. They were at one time, but aren't any longer.


  1. Megan, there are a lot of good questions you came up with in this post. I am also not a vegetarian, mostly because vegetables and I have a strained relationship. I'm not a big fan of most, and the ones that I do like, I have to cook a certain way, so it eating would be a very challenging experience if that was all that I ate. With that being said though, I have cut meat out of my diet a lot more here recently. Sometimes I don't really notice that I will go a few days without eating meat. Unfortunately our society has centered every meal around meat and many people eat way too much of it. That, of course, leads to a higher demand and farmers have to develop more efficient ways to meet that demand. Which leads to the meat production plants, and if anyone has watched any film, video, or documentary on them, the conditions inside and the treatment of the animals are appalling. I don't approve of that and I don't approve of all the growth hormone and chemicals fed or injected into the animals to help increase production. I don't want to be eating that! So I do try to eat only organic meat and produce, because there are so many chemicals added to processed food and its not that hard to understand the correlation of between that and the rise of cancers and other diseases in our society. I rather be aware of what exactly my body is ingesting. It's hard sometimes and a tad more expensive, but the way I see it, I either pay for my food now or I pay in medical bills later. I'll choose the now. My reasons for this change may be on the selfish side, but at least I'm doing my small part to help with the treatment of animals.

  2. I often wonder if animals that eat strictly meat ever wonder about this stuff. Odds are they don't, but instinct tells them that it's alright to eat other animals. It is in their nature to hunt and consume other animals and they have evolved to make hunting easier for them. Our teeth are set up to consume meat, so are we going against nature when we choose to become a vegetarian?

  3. In our modern society, is going against nature as important than the endless killing of animals? Don't we have organs that have no true use anymore because we now walk upright, according to the theory of evolution? Should we get those organs removed then? I think the question is more about personal choice and feeling on the issue of the killing if animals. Again, I eat meat, but it's rare and I recognize and understand I do nt NEED it to survive, I just enjoy chicken and fish.

  4. I agree with David here. Animals killing and eating other animals has been part of the natural order of things since the primordial days of single-celled organisms. Just like lions evolved sharper teeth and claws to puncture, strong legs to run, and fur coloring to avoid being seen, all to help them kill and eat other animals, humans have evolved brains to help them figure out easier ways of killing and eating other animals. We didn't evolve these amazingly complex brains to sneak up on a cabbage.
    That being said, I also agree with Stephany in that the way we currently kill animals for food is disgusting. The factory farm system is just revolting and has caused me to literally give up other things so that my family can afford to eat organic as much as possible. We are NOT evolved to eat the kinds of chemicals that go into processed food, and I strongly believe that the "western" diseases such as cancer, diabetes, myocardia, etc. are direct results of a processed food diet. I believe my own cancer was caused by this as well (although smoking for 20 years didn't help either). But I digress...
    As far as animals having the right to live instead of being eaten, though, I disagree with Singer. It has actually been shown that without predators to eat them, animal populations can grow out of control and become a strain to their local ecosystem. So it's clearly part of "nature" for animals to be eaten. That includes humans. Nobody thinks a bear is evil when it eats a camper. It's just doing what bears do. We sympathize with the camper and their family, but you wouldn't see protesters marching with signs saying the bear is "wrong" for eating somebody.
    Here's a discussion question: When a camper gets eaten, it's not just the camper who suffers. Their family is also in pain, maybe for a long time. They feel loss and sadness because the camper is not with them. Maybe that's why people consider a camper's death to be "worse" than a cow's death. Does a cow feel sad when one of it's immediate family is slaughtered and eaten? Do we even have a way of knowing how a cow "feels"?

  5. I believe that it is admirable to care about how an animal is treated before it dies, but I do not believe that will stop the consumption of meat. Not only is the sacrifice of animals about the enjoyment of medium-rare steak or deer stew, it is also about population control. Without killing livestock and other game for consumption, the world would be overrun. I can agree that there is a more humane way to kill these animals, but the meat industry has come a long way since the time where "The Jungle" wasn't just literature. Hopefully as time goes on, the industry will continue to change for the better.