I have some questions for Boss Redd, and I hope they are taken in good spirit as I'm not trying to catch anybody out.
1. You say that farming sentient animals is wrong. What's your definition of sentient and does this apply to anything in the animal kingdom? Is sentience black and white or is it a sliding scale? An argument could be made that a human is more sentient and has more awareness than a fish.
Is a sponge sentient? It's hard to imagine how it could be. It's an animal, but has no real brain. For animals that don't qualify as sentient and aren't endangered, is it OK to eat them?
2. How do you feel about natural fertiliser (dung) being used in organic farming. The quantities required can only be produced by (inorganically) farmed animals. The alternative way to get nitrogen into the ground is by factory produced fertilisers.
3. How do you feel about people in third world countries using beasts of burden, farming etc. For example there are people who's lifestyle has been fishing for generations, they do it in a sustainable way and that's the only way of life they've ever known. Is it more ethical to force them into veganism, or let them continue doing what they're doing. Do they also deserve to be shamed and compared to rapists?
4. Chimpanzees are known to hunt, kill and eat monkeys. They do this despite being able to subsist entirely on plants. What's your feelings on sentient animals that kill other sentient animals. Are they evil? Is their activity morally wrong? Can only humans be held to moral standards? if so, doesn't that place our level of sentience way above any other animal?
My personal feelings are this: I think that right now there is a kind of blind spot when it comes for farming certain animals. I think birds and mammals do have a pre-requisite level of intelligence that means we shouldn't be factory farming them, the term sentience is very loosely defined. All mammals have very similar brains, apes are known to be the smartest in most ways, but birds have also been shown to be among the most intelligent animals. Maybe not chickens though....
When it comes to other animals such as fish, insects, reptiles. I think we need to determine what level of higher function they actually have and assign rights accordingly. Insect protein my be a highly efficient source of food in the future. As for fish, I think fishing on the scale we do now is just terrible for the ecosystem, so regardless of the fish's feelings, I am against that.
I think in the future farming animals in the way we do now on this scale, will be looked back upon in a very negative way. There's little justification for it. It is not an environmentally good for the planet, it's not efficient use of farmland, and it's not really required in our diets, especially not at the levels we consume. That's even without ethical considerations.
You could say I'm more pragmatic than emotional on the subject.
post edited by Dr Cool - 2017/11/19 02:24:27