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To sustain life, the human body requires nourishment. Such is the "catch-22" - how to sustain life without destroying life? Most (but not all) consider cannibalism as the ultimate cultural taboo, so that's not an option. Eating inanimate objects like rocks or dirt don't provide what the body needs, so that's out. That effectively limits your choices to eating animals or becoming a vegetarian.

Parts of East and Southeast Asia eat dogs. Americans don't eat dogs, but they do eat cows. Hindus won't eat cows, but they do eat chickens. As far as we know, animals can't ponder the philosophy of life, the meaning of their existence, social contract theory, or the non-aggression principle. (And, don't forget that animals eat animals.) Ergo, some humans feel compelled to do it for them. Some would argue that we have an ethical obligation towards animals because we know animals are sentient and can suffer (as opposed to, say, insects). Others would argue that animals are bred and raised specifically to eat and, so, there would be less animals if we didn't eat them. And, putting aside what would appear to be a contradiction, there are even vegetarians who are against initiating force against innocent animals but support initiating force against innocent human beings. (There is even some evidence that Hitler was a vegetarian purportedly for "his general attitude toward life.")

Is it ethical to breed and raise animals for the sole purpose of killing them for food? What are the ethical considerations of eating animals? Are animals just natural resources for humans to harvest? Is it a contradiction, or even hypocritical, to be against animal cruelty yet to eat animals? Are vegetarians ethically superior to meat-eaters because they aren't initiating force against innocent victims? Does it make a difference if an animal has personality? If you think it is acceptable to eat animals, what standards do you use to determine which animals are OK to eat?


Vincent: Want some bacon?

Jules: No man, I don't eat pork.

Vincent: Are you Jewish?

Jules: Nah, I ain't Jewish, I just don't dig on swine, that's all.

Vincent: Why not?

Jules: Pigs are filthy animals. I don't eat filthy animals.

Vincent: Bacon tastes gooood. Pork chops taste gooood.

Jules: Hey, sewer rat may taste like pumpkin pie, but I'd never know 'cause I wouldn't eat the filthy motherfucker. Pigs sleep and root in shit. That's a filthy animal. I ain't eat nothin' that ain't got sense enough to disregard its own feces.

Vincent: How about a dog? Dogs eats its own feces.

Jules: I don't eat dog either.

Vincent: Yeah, but do you consider a dog to be a filthy animal?

Jules: I wouldn't go so far as to call a dog filthy but they're definitely dirty. But, a dog's got personality. Personality goes a long way.

Vincent: Ah, so by that rationale, if a pig had a better personality, he would cease to be a filthy animal. Is that true?

Jules: Well we'd have to be talkin' about one charming motherfuckin' pig. I mean he'd have to be ten times more charmin' than that Arnold on Green Acres, you know what I'm sayin'?

Pulp Fiction - Filthy Animals


Original posting by Braincrave Second Life staff on Mar 7, 2011 at http://www.braincrave.com/viewblog.php?id=493

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