HappyBivouac said:Some silly lofty philosophical questions for the vegetarians & vegans:
1) Vegetarianism/veganism seems to be mostly, though not entirely, founded on the notion that killing a sentient being (animal) to take in its life energy for one's own is more morally reprehensible than killing a non-sentient being (plant) to take in its life energy for one's own. Do you acknowledge that is notion is entirely a self-serving, self-important one? I believe that we only care more about sentient beings because it's easier for us to empathize with them.
2) This one if even more out there and is pretty unrealistic, so you don't have to answer it, but bonus points if you do! If there were some sort of global effort to use factory farming, including not-torture levels of inhumane treatment but still not the ideal conditions for farm animals, that was guaranteed to give every starving person on the planet a meal a day, would you support this cause?
I love vegetarian food and have reduced my meat intake drastically in the past several years. This is the sort of stuff I would ask even if I were to go full-on vegetarian. If any of you find it horribly offensive I can remove it.
People will look differently at these things, but here is my effort to respond to your questions. My opinion will probably be different than many other vegetarian/vegans.
I personally don't understand exactly the comparison with animals and plants. We can't live well if we were to avoid hurting plants. But I do think plants and bugs deserve amount of respect despite their lack of intelligence and awareness. Like a bug to me has as much as right to live a life since it is something we only get a chance at once. If it ends abruptly, because it "bothered" you and not due to it being a hinder to your ability to live then it is immoral to kill. I think our actions should go according to what is necessary for us to do. So if we kill this bug for some spontaneous reason that is unrelated to our survival, I would see it as something wrong since this action had no importance to do so. However this would be different if this bug created a possibility to spread a disease or threaten our lives. If that last situation was the circumstance then I don't see taking away its life as something bad. Because taking life was then done in order to protect yourself.
The same logic can be applied to animals and plants too. If this killing cannot be avoided and you need it for your survival, I don't condone it. If another human being needs an animal to survive, thats how it should be. The plants belong to this situation for those who decided not to eat animal based food. If you cannot eat plants then how are you supposed to survive . Comparing an animal to a plant becomes absurd also in this reason to me.
However in this modern society today with our technology and methods we have new alternatives. We don't have to rely on animals primarily in order to survive. I am thankful for having that opportunity and luxury. To kill animals in order to survive doesn't hold up so well in these situations.
In simpler terms. Yes it is easier to sympathize and care about beings with emotions, but I do believe we should respect and avoid taking the lives of plants/bugs in ways that has no hindrance to our existence. Like you shouldn't smite this bug because it "bothers" you, or you shouldn't cut this tree because it ruins your "magnificent" view.
To answer the second question about if I would mind using animals in order for other humans to survive, I don't think there is anything wrong with that, as it is the only means of survival.