Religions which condone the killing of animals are immoral

There is no justification (other than ‘the bible said it’, which I don’t accept :slight_smile: ) for the killing of, and suffering inflicted on any sentient being.

The distinction of ‘species’ is no basis for the killing of billions. I would be extremely interested to hear peoples views on this, and to see if anyone has a good argument for the killing of animals.

lets go :slight_smile:

sorry I forgot to log in; this was my post and I take full responsibility for it :slight_smile:

the arguement that i’m always reminded of when i hear ‘justificiations’ for killing/hunting/etc is one posed by st. aquains. he argues that no matter if you believe animals have souls or not, they are alive. and for a human to take pleasure in needlessly terminating a life is to also degrade your own life. this is inheriently immoral, on a fundamental level.

that said tim, it seems like you’d be the type to yell at me if i step on an ant when walking around. my point is that your post seems to miss that deliberate aspect. certainly a person should not be bound to subvert his own survival for the sake of another living being. not to say that the person cannot choose this, but he should not be morally obligated.

I think it is interesting to really observe that without the sacrifice of other living entities, then we could not survive.

Now we commonly hold that what is “sentient” is what is most like us. We can take that argument even further and propose that everything including plant life is sentient to some extent. It may not have a consciousness as similar as ours, but still represents some phenomenon that is impressionable by nature occurances.

I think the extension of animals having “consciousness” which is common to ours is really a reflection of self-importance in our own consciousness.

Just like people in certain countries do not eat sacred cows because they are relatives, we transcend such consciousness into an empathetic state.

It kind of makes you feel guilt about eating a hamburger or sushi for depriving an animal of consciousness for your benefit, but does anyone really feel bad for eating a salad? You are depriving that plant’s life for your own benefit.

We see animals throughout nature sacrificing other animals and perhaps the mammel in us justifies such acts.

Perfect. Thank you trix, and thank you Thomas.

Also, excellent response, Enigma, for a question that has yet to be totally asked. It isn’t necessary to consider predation a “moral” matter, and I don’t think that it is degrading to life. Ironically, predation could be seen as a great leap of efficiency in evolution. Essentially, “eating another organism” began as a method for economizing energy and getting a more efficient concentration of nutrients through absorbing the subject host. Amoeba’s will cling to each other and race to see who can eat who first. Anyway, regardless of the complexity of the organism, the dynamic of predation remains the same.

The point that should be made is that if there are alternatives to eating another animal, say, a salad bar in which you would get the required nutrients, one shouldn’t willingly perform the task of killing that animal to eat it. The reason is because all sentient creatures have a common enemy, from ant to whale we all feel physical pain. We must, because we are all nervous creatures, and pain is a nerve state. I’m not going to not eat Elsie because she might be conscious, Enigma,…well, she might, but that is irrelevent here. What I do know, or can more safely assume, is that that cow will have a painful experience while being killed regardless of whether or not she is conscious.

And I do not eat Elsie because it is immoral. There are no morals(in the sense that trix and Aquinas believed), because I need only to show that predation evolved out of animalistic necessity, and is not a matter of ambiguous “pleasure.” It would, indeed, be “moral” to eat Elsie if I possess the physiological capability to digest her.

“Morals” are something else altogether. They are “rational” events not biological or empirical events. And “rational” doesn’t exist without a consciousness. That is, one cannot ration between existing alternatives and be from without the system without the power of negation: In nature, it wouldn’t be “rational” for an organism to forfeit an opportunity to eat another organism if it were physically capable to do so. We don’t find a tiger pardoning a zebra because he owes him some kind of moral honor, and we certainly don’t find the tiger just mysteriously deciding to suddenly cease eating zebras because he has the capacity to choose otherwise. It is this “choosing” that employs rationality. Without the nihilation of certain motives over others, an animal cannot make a “moral” action, it remains autonomous.

For one to claim that predation is immoral, one is making a totally different claim than predation isn’t “natural,” but humans are.

You were talking about Thomas Aquinas, right trix?

I fail to see how pain is an enemy. Pain is my friend. If it werent for pain, my body may very well be a bloody, mangled mess right now.

I also fail to see any immorality in the murder of others, be it animal or human. I see it being hypocritical, at times, to kill inmates and preach non-murder to citizens; but that’s the extent of the immorality there.

See, there’s nothing wrong with murder or killing. It’s all about what your goals are. It would be counter productive for me to kill another human being as I run the risk of being killed myself. It is counter productive for me to kill my neighbor’s dog as I could run the risk of going to jail. I really could care less if a dear is shot, though, or if a fish dies, or if I step on an ant. Why is this? Well, I can give you my personal opinion (I am the Solipsist), but I’ll spare you (being that manifestations get pissed off when you call them manifestations). Instead, I’ll just tell you that I really have no personal negative reprocussions to murder, and in some ways, I feel it cleans my environment. In Yorktown, VA, we had a serious deer problem. Deer were leaving the parks, walking in roads, causing accidents, charging little children, eating flowers, shitting everywhere…it was a mess. What did they do? Lengthened the hunting season. See, sometimes we need to kill to keep our world in balance. The only problem is…how do we keep ourselves in balance.

There’s nothing wrong with death, and there’s nothing wrong with giving the gift of death. Just be aware of the reprocussions on your actions and prepare to deal with them if you act out of balance with the reality I’ve given you.

For its own sake, no it isn’t Raf.

If I hung you up by your nipples and prodded your balls with a hot poker, I don’t care how Gothed out and sadistic you think you are, you will scream in agony. [I picture a Marlyn Manson mosh pit where countless youth dance with depraved abandon under the pale synthetic light, as Raf rotates on a cross in the middle of the room, naked and impaled with ceromonial knives.]

Woah…that was too much. What just happened?

Now, if I had you convinced that this event meant something, was for a purpose, you would justify enduring such pain for that end. In the absence of an ultimate justification, of which there isn’t, “pain” is meaningless and to be avoided at all costs because it is demonstraby REAL, unpleasant, and without excuse.

The beautiful people…
The beautiful people…



(Ya’ know, the very first page in Marlyn Manson’s autobiography is a quote from Nietzsche’s Will To Power(or maybe the Anti-Christ, I can’t remember)

If Nietzsche were alive today, he’d smack the shit out of that asshole…

Ummm, ok, yes, actually, my pain is very good, and yes, I am convinced that if you impaled me with a stick my pain serves a purpose.

It’s an alarm function, a failsafe so that I do not hurt myself… a deterent. It’s my Jiminy Cricket.

If you stick your hand in a fire, you feel pain. Why? So that you know not to stick your hand in the fire again. If you shove lye up my asshole and wash it down with lemon juice and freon, it would tell me not to bend over in front of fucking idiots anymore.

If it werent for pain, the human race wouldn’t have made it past the stone age before they killed themselves by bashing their heads with rocks so they can see pretty colors and a nice ringing in their ears.

Enigma. It is not necessary to eat the higher animals to survive, only plants. I am vegetarian for the most part. Eating meat consumes too much grain that starving people in this World desperately need. In ‘Diet for a small planet’ it was estimated at that time that starvation would disappear if the grain used to feed animals were, instead, shipped to poor countries, and the cows, etc, allowed to eat grass, as nature intended. It has been estimated that it takes 2500 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of cow flesh.

I suppose if my plane crashed in the Alaskan wilderness and i had already exhausted all other possible measures, i could kill and eat Fido.

Excellent point Marshall. It is not really necessary to eat the “higher” species, but I was just trying to point out that the “higher” species were just species that were considered more like us.
However, are the species that are not like us really conscious free? Perhaps the consciousness is at a different level, but if we want to get technical regarding eating what is conscious then this can transcend to even sea life and plant life.
I’m reminded of the “Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin” in which Benjamin was once a vegetarian and he noticed how the fish consumed the vegetation, then the higher species consumed the fish, so on and so forth. Which inevitably drew him away from being a vegetarian because this cycle in regards to survival really is the sacrifice of some living entity in all accounts.
Just because a species is more like us, in my opinion, is just an extension of pride in our own consciousness. Not necessarily something that is immoral. Whenever a lion attacks prey, this kind of disturbs us but it is part of the cycle and there is nothing really wrong with it. Especially if you look at our hamburger or pork consumption. We typically do not pay much heed to what we are eating in that regard, but the mammal in us can accept it.
I’m reminded of how I irritated my sister off one time by asking one of my nieces how she like her dead baby chickens (eggs) cooked? It seems gruesome on the surface, but again, the mammalian in us justifies it and denies it at the same time.


Yes I realise my post was ambiguous. I do indeed mean the intentional killing of animals. With regards to survival Marshall’s point is all that needs to be said. We dont need to eat animals for survival, and if we all stopped millions more people would survive who currently die from starvation.


Your argument is flawed. There is a fundamental difference between plants and animals, the possession of a central nervous system. It is obvious that animals possess a level of sentience which plants don’t due in part, I hypothesise, to the possession of this nervous system. Animals, unlike plants can communicate with each other, learn new things, and most importantly they can feel. Now not all animals may be able to feel the range of emotions we do, but they certainly feel many of them. Most crucially they feel pain to the same degree (as far as it can be measured) as we do. This is why we should never willingly hurt or kill them.


Pain is an alarm function to show you that you are doing something contrary to your survival, so it’s good is only instrumental to the good of your survival. If I made a machine that could inflict pain upon you at my will that pain would be bad in itself and would not be teaching you anything. You are not doing anything to jeapordise your survival, the pain is not benefiting you at all. Pain in itslef, for no other purpose, is bad.

As for nothing being wrong with killing people, well that wasn’t really what I was getting at. Again my post was ambiguous. All I was trying to get at is that it is hypocritical to hold that it is wrong to kill to humans but acceptable to kill animals. If you really believe that it is acceptable to kill humans for your own benefit, then there is not a lot I can say.

However, I get the impression that it would bother you more if humans were killed than if animals were killed. This is wrong. There are no characteristics possessed by all humans and not possessed by all other non-humans which menas one can arbitrarilly discriminate acrosss the species line. My dog has more intellegence, self-awareness etc etc etc than a severely disabled child. Therefore if it is wrong to kill or hurt the child, it is wrong to kill or hurt the dog…

I expect though that you would probably wouldn’t have any problem killing the baby (I do not intend this as an ad hominem attack). Without knowing you position fully, there is not much for me to argue against, other than to propose the following thought experiment. Imagine I entered you house, raped your entire family infront of your eyes, tortuured them, slowly killed them, and them raped and tortured you. Would you really not want to say that my actions are in anyway wrong?

Is it wrong for mammals to kill other mammals for food? I don’t think it is at all. Should we convert all predators in the wild into domestic herbivores? Start feeding our pets salad?

We are mammals and we are inherently inclined to eat other mammals. Is it wrong for a bear to eat a salmon? A salmon has a central nervous system. What about a bird (or a fish) eating a worm? A worm has a central nervous system.
This argument can spiral out of control.

I think we are inclined to believe that there is some sanctity to our consciousness and it transcends to similar consciousness, however when it comes down to survival then we eat whatever we are inclined to eat. We have canine teeth which are designed to eat meat just like other mammals. We are not inherently just herbivores. Can we intellectualize our way out of being a carnivore? Of course, but I certainly am not going to do it just because of overinflated importance of similar consciousness.

Eat salad till you puke, give me a nice juicy t-bone steak and the mammal in me will be content.

The hunter-gatherer diet of human beings consists of “a diet of wild plant foods (fruits, nuts, some leaves/stems, starchy tubers–possibly cooked), insects, and the lean meat and organs of wild animals.” … t-9a.shtml

The protein is especially needed in aggressive climates and under extreme physical duress. In the modern comfort of controlled climates and lax muscular systems, we can survive on much less protein, which should promote less butchery.

In the days of biblical animal sacrifice, people were intended to feel qualmish about it. The prophets of the Bible spoke out against piles of dead animals and rhetorically asked, whether the Butchers of so many animals thought that God needed this…

I think meat-eating is something that we could reduce very much, but only because we are living in controlled environments. Otherwise it is a fact of life that we humans are bound to have differing opinions on, due to our status (body, soul and spirit) in nature and our ability to reach a meta-level of consideration.



You are conflating two issues. Firstly there is the issue of the possession of morality. Humans possess morality, whilst I believe animals do not. Therefore to ask ‘Is it wrong for a bear to eat a salmon?’ is very misleading. It is not wrong for the bear because a bear is not bound by morality.

The second issue is given that we are moral agents, is it wrong for us to kill animals? You appear to be forwarding some form of natural law argument, that it is natural for us to eat other animals. This is also flawed. If one wants to appeal to nature for morality, one cannot pick and choose. If one wants to use animals as a model for how we should behave, then one should accept the consequences. For example, it is common in nature for there to be a hierarchical structure of society, often based on physical confrontation, and sometimes fights to the death. Territory and mating rights are often determined this way. Now consider the following case. I’m walking past your house, and decide I want it, along with your girlfriend. I then come into your house, and start threating you and attacking you. A fight ensues, which I win, and thus you are driven away and I claim your house and girlfriend for my own.

By your ‘it is natural to eat animals, therefore it is morally permissable’ argument, the situation desribed above would be morally acceptable. Clearly however, it is not. This is because morality is not derived from ‘what is natural’. I have many impulses which could be described as natural, but very few of them I would consider moral.

Now that’s out of the way, consider a better argument as to why it is wrong to kill animals. I’ve already alluded to it, be here it is in it’s full. This is the argument offered by Peter Singer.

Imagine you are confronting a racist about his beliefs. He believes that black people are inferior to white people, thus they should not be given equal consideration. How should one argue against this? One could claim that people of all races are equal, thus they should be trreated equally. This however is very dangerous. What if it so happened that white people were geneticaly slightly more intellegent than black people? Then the racist would be justified.

Instead, the non-racist should stake his argument on a consideration of interests. Here I quote Singer:

One might reject this argument and maintain that it is the possession of certain properties which entitles one to moral consideration. However, this still does not lead to an acceptable justification for the killing of animals. The problem is this. There is no one property possessed by all humans which is not possessed by any animals. Take for example a severely disabled person. By every measurable quality they are inferior to many animals. However, they are treated with the upmost care. To kill and eat a disabled person would be considered abhorent. This is completely inconsistent. If one is to morally consider severely disabled people, then one must morally consider most animals, as they are more sentient and intelligent and have a higher capacity for feeling pain.

And please, there is no need for personal attacks:

Sorry, but that wasn’t intended as a personal attack.

Are you a complete herbivore then? No birds? No fish?

Only plants, right?

thats ok :slight_smile:

I’m vegan, I dont eat any animal products at all, no meat, no fish, no eggs, no milk, no animal derived products.

sorry, that last post was mine…I forgot to sign in again :slight_smile:

You’re correct. I would kill the disabled child. And yes, I am the type of person to feel this way towards everything and everyone, including myself. No, I do not see murder as being wrong, nor do I see pain as being bad. HELLLOOO McFly, I’m an anthropocentrist. Who weeps for the children in Vietnam while collecting the body parts of your brother to send him home for his funeral? I certainly would not, as my brother would serve more personal purpose in my life than some patty-mucking son of a Charlie.

Yes, I would say they were wrong for me, and I’d also say they were wrong for you. Why? Because if you do this, you better start running or else you’re going to be the next one to die. Human life is only as valuable of those who protect it. No one protects the little girls in Bangkok from getting sold as sex slaves, so their lives are worth about $200-$600 dollars. According to This Site, I’m worth about two million. Guess I have a lot of backing… hopefully none is corporate.

Well first off, I think there is a huge difference between eating a disabled human being and eating a tuna fish sandwich, but that’s just my “morality.”
On the same note, I don’t think bringing in respect to differing races of the same species as a relative argument to impose that eating that same tuna fish sandwich is immoral, but again that is just my morality … however absurd someone wants to imply that is.

If someone wants to imply that they have some personal moral correlation for all animals with a nervous system, then that is all fine and dandy … for them; but it doesn’t phase me at all. I still think the approach that we should not eat entities based upon their nervous system is a whim of fancy due to egotism of our own consciousness.

Again, I don’t think correlation between our species (racism and eating disabled people) is an adequate argument of comparison between different species and eating habits. I really think it is just a step away from claiming that the is a moral obligation to not eat plants due to level of sensory adjustment plant life has or perhaps plants capacity to produce oxygen. Again, this morality is based on a whim of fancy using poor analogies that are irrelevant in my opinion. Eating a disabled person and a tunafish sandwich is not even close to being in the same ballpark.

While I agree that we may be bound to a morality in a subjective sense, I am certainly not bound to any type of morality that sees eating a tuna fish sandwich and disabled people as one in the same or racism from one human species to another being just as pertinent as [pick any “ism” you like] towards animals with nervous systems.

Apples and oranges in my opinion although I prefer the meat and potatoes. :evilfun:

To take this even further, it is my personal moral code to not kill anything “alive” unless I am going to eat it. I don’t kill any flies, spiders, or any insects; but rather trap them while they are alive and set them free outside. This is, however, a personal moral code.

Shame on me for eating a tunafish sandwich, but shame on you if you have ever “murdered” any insects out of disgust for the species. :wink: