Controlled Extinction

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by barkomatic, Sep 20, 2010.

  1. barkomatic macrumors 68040

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    #1
    This is an interesting opinion piece from the New York Times by Jeff McMahan. He suggests that not only should human beings refrain from eating meat -- but he also proposes that we have the moral imperative to keep carnivorous animals from hunting, killing and eating one another. Such activity causes suffering for the hunted animal. He suggests we could accomplish this by either genetically altering them so that they consume vegetable matter instead, or we cause the controlled extinction of said animals. I'm not sure if this applies to insects and aquatic life as well.

    This seems to be quite an extreme view -- and for that reason I'm not sure that he literally believes this, or if this is an intellectual exercise that questions the justification of a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle.

    http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/09/19/the-meat-eaters/?ref=opinion

    I think that this propostion is entirely insane, but it does raise a question in my mind that I'd to like to pose to vegetarian and vegans. Are you bothered by predation in the natural world? If not, why is this behavior not ok for human beings but fine for animals?
     
  2. likemyorbs macrumors 68000

    likemyorbs

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  3. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #3
    I think we have a moral imperative not to screw around with the balance of nature.
     
  4. chrmjenkins macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    #4
    Even though he heavily stipulates that we should not do so without understanding, I cannot imagine that we would ever reach a point to make those kinds of decisions. Moreover, I feel it's possible to strike a balance with the other animals in our particular ecosystem that involves continuing to eat meat.
     
  5. likemyorbs macrumors 68000

    likemyorbs

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    #5
    Eventually all meat will be cloned without the need for slaughtering animals
     
  6. chrmjenkins macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    #6
    You'll have purists who refuse to eat lab meat.
     
  7. chris200x9 macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    lolwut? How whould that happen? We can clone animals by replacing stuff the letting nature take it's course. How do you purpose we clone dead meat?
     
  8. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

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    #8
    This seems to be a bit of an understatement. :D
     
  9. chrmjenkins macrumors 603

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    #9
    He's referring to tissue generated in a lab from a source group of cells. They've already done this with some organs and have also gotten lab mice to grow specific cells like ears on their backs. It seems that high-scale cost effective meat generation is an eventuality.
     
  10. fivepoint macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

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    #10
    This guy is lunatic fringe, for sure!

    Off topic perhaps, but this reminds me how ironic I've always found it that the world PETA members and other 'animal activists' propose, is one in which millions and millions of (cows for example) would cease being slaughtered for human consumption, but would also cease being born in the first place... Obviously is there's no reason or financial gain to raise cattle, farmers will stop doing just that.

    Do PETA members, etc. believe that any given animal which exists for the purposes of food consumption would be better off having never lived than living the life that they do?

    "Booooo - I mean, Mooooo!"
    [​IMG]
     
  11. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #11
    That's not an interesting article. It's completely idiotic.

    Controlled extinction of carnivorous animals? Good god, Christine O'Donnell sounds more sane than this wacko.
     
  12. StruckANerve macrumors 6502

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    #12
    Lol, I don't even no where to start with this idea.
     
  13. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #13
    True.
     
  14. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #14
    Don't predatory animals try to kill their prey as quickly as possible? Cats of all sizes bite the neck to crush the windpipe and/or sever the spinal cord. Alligators do the death roll, which probably snaps the neck. Raptors bite the head off pretty quickly. Efficiency for the predator usually means a quick and painless death for the prey. Having to fight your food is not a good way to survive.

    TLDR: That guy's stupid.
     
  15. barkomatic thread starter macrumors 68040

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    #15
    He seems to think that most suffering in the world has to do with the predatory instinct. In that regard, I think there may be a partial truth to that--think about it. During the mortgage crisis we all read about "predatory lending". Child molesters and those who abuse children are called "predators". It comes up over and over again.

    Does eating meat make us all predatory though? Perhaps from an evolutionary standpoint it does to a *certain* extent--because we must hunt for something. Since we live in a world where we don't have to hunt for our food perhaps this twists our predatory instinct into something different--like taking advantage of others financially or pursuing someone criminally for sex.

    It's interesting to think about, but genetically altering or killing off carnivorous animals and forcing human beings to be vegan isn't going to reverse millions of years of evolution.
     
  16. fivepoint macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

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    #16
    No, that's not really true. Yes, many animals kill as quickly as possible... but that's simply to improve their odds of completing the successful killing. Haven't you ever seen video of Orcas playing with seals before they kill them? Cats (both domesticated and wild) will do the same thing... play with a mouse before they kill it... injure it somehow and train or play with it long before it ends up dying. Komodo dragons and other predators such as snakes that use toxins and poisons to subdue their prey might take days or weeks to kill their pray as the poison settles in and slowly renders the prey helpless.
     
  17. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #17
    Umm...no. This guy is just nuts. There is nothing to consider here at all.
     
  18. MyDesktopBroke macrumors 6502

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    #18
    How about, why is it okay for a larger male to steal any female and mate with her? Would you be okay if Dwayne Johnson showed up at your house, beat your face in, and screwed your girlfriend? Why not? Animals do it.

    How about, why is it okay for animals to kill anything they can? Would you be okay if a murderer killed your best friend if he also made sure to eat him, so the body wouldn't go to waste? Why not? Animals do it.

    Except humans are self conscious, have morals, can judge what choice is right or wrong, etc. Humans don't need to hunt or kill to survive. In fact, humans that give up meat are arguable more fitted for survival that those who indulge in it. Vegetarians (healthy ones, not pro-anas) live longer, get less diseases, and those diseases are not as severe as most other people get.

    I don't understand why, as a vegetarian, I get asked to "justify" not eating meat and supporting an industry that mass slaughters animals after raising them in disgusting conditions while being one of the leading causes of obesity, global warming, environment destruction, etc.

    And yes, the idea is completely insane.

    P.S. I have absolutely nothing against people who eat meat. I still love the smell of bacon and ham. Who couldn't?
     
  19. chrmjenkins macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    #19
    Can you explain this one for me? As far as I have seen, the land needed to accommodate the entire world going vegan would also entail environment destruction.
     
  20. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

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    #20
    Predatory animals are a key part of the balance of nature. Eliminate predators because they cause "suffering" to prey only would mean a population explosion of prey and suffering through starvation.

    If the author of this piece had thought this over, he would have not written it and we would have nothing to waste out time debating.

    While I have the thought, doesn't suffering begin with birth? That can't be a painless process...

    Dale
     
  21. Mac'nCheese macrumors 68030

    Mac'nCheese

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    #21
    Found this on wiki:

    n a world of diminishing safe water supplies it is worth bearing in mind that animals fed on grain need much more water than grain crops. In tracking food animal production from the feed through to the dinner table, the inefficiencies of meat, milk and egg production range from a 4:1 energy input to protein output ratio up to 54:1. The result is that producing animal-based food is typically much less efficient than the direct harvesting of grains, vegetables, legumes, seeds and fruits for human consumption. A person existing chiefly on animal protein requires 10 times more land to provide adequate food than someone living on vegetable sources of protein.
     
  22. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

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    #22
    ^^^where's the reference for that?^^^^

    He raises this point in the essay in paragraph 7. Perhaps a little far in for the average attention span?
     
  23. Mr. Chewbacca macrumors 6502a

    Mr. Chewbacca

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    #23
    Wow, if thats even 1/4 true,,, wow.

    Still not giving up meat but since my gf is a semi-vegitiarian I'm also by proxy. Its not that bad having a full meal with out meat. I find that eating far less meat than I used to has helped make me feel better.

    Not to say I would EVER go full veg... You dont ever go full veg...
     
  24. chrmjenkins macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    #24
    I understand the propensity for inherit inefficiency (you effectively eat vegetables second hand through a meat product that expended energy to digest it in the first place), but I'd like to see a specific reference for that last 10:1 claim. Meat is much more calorie dense than vegetables and can be cultivated year round, whereas fresh vegetables would be seasonal.
     
  25. Mac'nCheese macrumors 68030

    Mac'nCheese

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    #25
    I've heard many times in these arguments that it takes more resources to raise cattle then to go vegan. This one was from:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_vegetarianism

    Don't get me wrong. Just cause its on the net don't make it 100%true and I personally LOVE meat; just thought I try to answer another posters question.
     

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