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 Post subject: Re: Clubbing seals and eating steak (PG) PostPosted: 2012-01-22 10:39am
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Scrib wrote:
What difference does it make how old the seal is? From a logical perspective does it really matter? And the idea of 'respecting' an animal by using as much of it as possible? Yeah that smells like rationalized bullshit to me. It seems like just another way to make ourselves feel better about what we're doing. The seal's corpse doesn't care about how you 'respect' it. The purpose really makes no difference really.

Some of us in this world view needless waste as something to be avoided. We do silly things like compost our kitchen waste, or recycle aluminum cans, and turn the lights out when we leave a room. We also sometimes conclude that fully utilizing a slaughtered animal is less wasteful than not doing so. True, it makes no difference to the dead cow or seal or rabbit, but for those of us still alive in the world it might make a difference.

In other words, not everyone operates with the same ethics and morality (or lack thereof) that you do.



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 Post subject: Re: Clubbing seals and eating steak (PG) PostPosted: 2012-01-22 11:34am
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This may make me seem odd, but I fail to see the point of the distinctions being made in this thread.


That is because you are an ethically stunted person.

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What difference does it make how old the seal is? From a logical perspective does it really matter?


Yes it does. It matters because
A) You are killing a baby something that has absolutely no chance to defend itself. None. Clubbing baby seals is like going hunting for tied up moose
B) It matters in terms of population structure. Seals have high infant mortality due to polar bears, starvation etc. If you start killing them, it is a higher mortality rate than the population can take, you invert the age distribution, and the population collapses.

Quote:
And the idea of 'respecting' an animal by using as much of it as possible? Yeah that smells like rationalized bullshit to me. It seems like just another way to make ourselves feel better about what we're doing. The seal's corpse doesn't care about how you 'respect' it. The purpose really makes no difference really.


You are right. The seal does not care. The seal does not care because it has been killed. Ending the life of a creature that owns itself and experiences its own life is evil in the same way that killing another person is evil. It might not be AS evil, but it is still evil. So if you kill something, you damn well better mitigate that evil by actually USING what you kill for some constructive purpose. Meeting your need for food, clothing, shelter, various tools etc. That is why the Inuit killing them is OK. They actually NEED to kill it because they are subsistence hunters, and not a scrap of that animal goes wasted.

Quote:
Perhaps better measures need to be taken to make sure the seals die as painlessly as possible. But the arguments about the purpose seem pointless.


Nature does not exist to serve humanity. Every creature with a primary consciousness at the very least experiences pain on a level similar to the one we experience pain. They may not be able to perceive other abstract concepts that affect us, or envision a future for themselves, but simply experiencing their lives and feeling pain is sufficient for their lives to have Intrinsic Value. So the instrumental good obtained by killing them must be higher than the intrinsic value of their own lives is to them.

Quote:
People seem to make the argument that such animals are more intelligent and I guess, therefore more useful, but that problem can simply be solved by breeding the animal you need for the specific task and not worrying about the rest.


The dog is smarter than the cow. It is not a question of use. The dog can experience its life to a far greater degree than a cow is capable. Therefore, its life is valuable to it to a greater degree than perhaps the cows is. Additionally, we get a LOT of value from that single cow. Not monetary value, but value from use. There is hardly a part of the cow that does not get used for something.



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 Post subject: Re: Clubbing seals and eating steak (PG) PostPosted: 2012-01-22 08:38pm
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Scrib wrote:
This may make me seem odd, but I fail to see the point of the distinctions being made in this thread.


So you're cool with killing people for food?

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And the idea of 'respecting' an animal by using as much of it as possible? Yeah that smells like rationalized bullshit to me. It seems like just another way to make ourselves feel better about what we're doing. The seal's corpse doesn't care about how you 'respect' it. The purpose really makes no difference really.


Because the more use garnered out of the corpse, the more reason for taking the animal's life. Killing for killing's sake only contributes suffering, while killing solely for a high-end luxury item while leaving everything else to rot is only a step above killing for killing's sake.

Quote:
It seems to me the whole issue is based in some vague, emotional double standard we have in terms of animals. I see it all the time, some animals are simply valued more than others, because they're cuter or smarter or whatever. I'm not quite sure what the difference between eating a dog and a cow is but people seem to feel very strongly about it.


I personally don't care; I'd eat a dog in a second if I knew it was humanely killed and it wasn't wasted in any way.

Quote:
People seem to make the argument that such animals are more intelligent and I guess, therefore more useful, but that problem can simply be solved by breeding the animal you need for the specific task and not worrying about the rest.


The more intelligence an animal possesses, the more moral worth it possesses on the basis that it has more ability to comprehend the world and has more capacity for suffering. Hence, stomping on cockroaches is generally not frowned upon, while subjecting chimpanzees to torturous medical experiments for no reason is illegal in many nations.



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 Post subject: Re: Clubbing seals and eating steak (PG) PostPosted: 2012-01-22 10:32pm
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So you're cool with killing people for food?


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 Post subject: Re: Clubbing seals and eating steak (PG) PostPosted: 2012-01-23 01:25am
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Thanas wrote:
... Killing is an evil act that can be rationalized due to the necessity of the killing. If there is no purpose or necessity for it, then it cannot be justified. Likewise, the more you take away from the thing you kill, the harder it is to rationalize the killing.


Are you vegetarian Thanas?

Alyrium Denryle wrote:
...It matters because
A) You are killing a baby something that has absolutely no chance to defend itself. None. Clubbing baby seals is like going hunting for tied up moose
B) It matters in terms of population structure. Seals have high infant mortality due to polar bears, starvation etc. If you start killing them, it is a higher mortality rate than the population can take, you invert the age distribution, and the population collapses.


A - or domesticated, trapped, Restrained cattle killing. The cow is just not tied up before receiving a captive bolt through the brain, it spends it's entire life in captivity, either in a field, in a feeding pen or tied up waiting for the inevitable.

I'd also remind the board that while a dog might be smarter then a cow, cattle ain't as dumb as people are suggesting. They have personalities, character dynamics ect. I've seen one open a gate with her tongue. I've seen another die wallowing in shit with it's eyes rolling up and tongue hanging out. They can suffer, and in badly designed farms and slaughter houses they live under constant stress for years. Compare to the seal pup who has 14 days of, "Uh, where's mum?" followed by a loud bang.
(Also, the intelligence argument strongly suggests that you should stop eating pork)

B- Normally when I try and argue biology with you, I get curbstomped. But riddle me this. If the seal and predator population remain constant, then yeah, humans taking extra will crash the seal population, followed by the predator one. But they aren't constant are they? It's the classic population harmonic, with the predators following the prey numbers. So if we start taking a consistent numbers of seals here, all we do is shift both harmonics downwards - ie reducing the
population of both, without collapsing either population. That for me would count as sustainable. (ignoring overfishing and global warming, neither of which is affected by the seal hunt, although eating less beef might give a net reduction in global warming...)
I can see what you are arguing about the age distribution, but that can't be a cast-iron argument because it suggests that any infant predation would collapse any population, when typically it's the highest cause of death. I'd argue that the amount we take does not necessarily increase the total infant mortality but shifts it. So less are killed due to starvation, polar bears ect because we got there first.



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 Post subject: Re: Clubbing seals and eating steak (PG) PostPosted: 2012-01-23 11:23am
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madd0ct0r wrote:
Thanas wrote:
... Killing is an evil act that can be rationalized due to the necessity of the killing. If there is no purpose or necessity for it, then it cannot be justified. Likewise, the more you take away from the thing you kill, the harder it is to rationalize the killing.


Are you vegetarian Thanas?


No. And I don't see what this has to do with the topic either, sorry.


Quote:
A - or domesticated, trapped, Restrained cattle killing. The cow is just not tied up before receiving a captive bolt through the brain, it spends it's entire life in captivity, either in a field, in a feeding pen or tied up waiting for the inevitable.


That kinda depends on the farmers and the methods used, doesn't it? Note that I fully support a ban on veal and stricter controls on farms.

BTW, my sister is a vet and I come from a farming region so I kinda know to what lows human beings will sink too. However, none of that justifies seal hunting in itself. It just means that there are bad ways too raise cattle as well.


Quote:
I'd also remind the board that while a dog might be smarter then a cow, cattle ain't as dumb as people are suggesting. They have personalities, character dynamics ect. I've seen one open a gate with her tongue.


I know. The favorite animal in my family was a legendary milk cow who lived for over a quarter century. We still regularly tell tales about her and there was not a more beloved animal I can think of.

Quote:
I've seen another die wallowing in shit with it's eyes rolling up and tongue hanging out. They can suffer, and in badly designed farms and slaughter houses they live under constant stress for years. Compare to the seal pup who has 14 days of, "Uh, where's mum?" followed by a loud bang.
(Also, the intelligence argument strongly suggests that you should stop eating pork)


Again, just because there is bad stuff does not mean it justifies other bad stuff.



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 Post subject: Re: Clubbing seals and eating steak (PG) PostPosted: 2012-01-23 01:19pm
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madd0ct0r wrote:
B- Normally when I try and argue biology with you, I get curbstomped. But riddle me this. If the seal and predator population remain constant, then yeah, humans taking extra will crash the seal population, followed by the predator one. But they aren't constant are they? It's the classic population harmonic, with the predators following the prey numbers. So if we start taking a consistent numbers of seals here, all we do is shift both harmonics downwards - ie reducing the
population of both, without collapsing either population. That for me would count as sustainable. (ignoring overfishing and global warming, neither of which is affected by the seal hunt, although eating less beef might give a net reduction in global warming...)


Firstly, the thing is that you can't just ignore global warming and overfishing for seals. They depend on pack ice and large fish populations. There's a reason that seal hunting is so popular these days: most of Canadian seal hunters are out of work fishermen because the fishstocks they once went after have collapsed due to overfishing. Now, given that, do you think they'll respect seal populations?

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I can see what you are arguing about the age distribution, but that can't be a cast-iron argument because it suggests that any infant predation would collapse any population, when typically it's the highest cause of death. I'd argue that the amount we take does not necessarily increase the total infant mortality but shifts it. So less are killed due to starvation, polar bears ect because we got there first.


If you look at many endemic island populations of animals, the ones that are endangered or are extinct usually die off because their young are killed. The adults can generally defend themselves, but the young can't, and thus due to pressures from humans and their associated feral animals (rats, cats, dogs, pigs), the population distribution becomes so skewed and ruined that many species go extinct.

The brown tree snake, for example, nearly destroyed the native bird populations on Guam. The adults of many bird species, such as the island swiftlet, aren't particularly threatened by a snake, whereas the young are eaten with gusto. The island swiftlet is now relegated to a single cave that the BTS cannot get to. So, yes, putting pressure on the young of species can lead to extreme problems, even if infant mortality is normally high, because humans might be killing the seal pups that would have excelled because they could avoid polar bears and starvation.



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 Post subject: Re: Clubbing seals and eating steak (PG) PostPosted: 2012-01-23 04:27pm
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A - or domesticated, trapped, Restrained cattle killing. The cow is just not tied up before receiving a captive bolt through the brain, it spends it's entire life in captivity, either in a field, in a feeding pen or tied up waiting for the inevitable.


It is rather... complicated. I will get into hunting ethics in a later post.

Quote:
I'd also remind the board that while a dog might be smarter then a cow, cattle ain't as dumb as people are suggesting. They have personalities, character dynamics ect. I've seen one open a gate with her tongue. I've seen another die wallowing in shit with it's eyes rolling up and tongue hanging out. They can suffer, and in badly designed farms and slaughter houses they live under constant stress for years.


And I happen to think that those conditions are absolutely repugnant.

Quote:
(Also, the intelligence argument strongly suggests that you should stop eating pork)


You assume I eat pork. I do, but only once or twice a year when it is socially... obligated. 90% of my meat consumption is sustainably fished salmon (alaskan salmon fisheries are the only well managed commercial fisheries in the world), farm raised fresh water fish, and free range organic poultry.

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Normally when I try and argue biology with you, I get curbstomped.


It is that time, again :P


Quote:
But they aren't constant are they? It's the classic population harmonic, with the predators following the prey numbers. So if we start taking a consistent numbers of seals here, all we do is shift both harmonics downwards - ie reducing the
population of both, without collapsing either population.


Seal populations are already stressed by predation, collapsed fisheries, and lack of breeding sites due to the melting of pack-ice. So the adults are hungry and either forgo reproduction in a given year, or the chance of a seal pup starving to death go up. There is less pack ice, which means there is less space to breed, so some adults wont find a suitable site and will... either abort or give birth in an unsuitable location. Then predators are concentrated in what space remains. Lets assume that after all that, the seal population is still OK, and has established a dynamic equilibrium like they would otherwise, albeit at lower numbers.

Then you start taking large numbers of seal pups, like what has happened in the last few years (when catch numbers went from tens of thousands per annum to hundreds of thousands). You create a perturbation, shifting the equilibrium population down. To compensate, the population will enter a period of high amplitude oscillations. If the lower peaks reach zero...

That assumes no age structure. If there is age structure, you need to separate out the mortality rates by age. Adult seals tend to have low mortality rates (this is changing due to climate change and such... and that is a really big problem). Under normal circumstances, life time reproduction is enough to keep populations stable. New mature adults replace the ones that die. If you start killing babies, no new ones replace the adults. Now, with no increase in adult mortality, they might still reach a new stable equilibrium depending on the numbers. The oscillations might reach zero still, but there is a chance they wont. If you increase adult mortality though, the adults no longer live long enough to replace themselves, and the population enters a guaranteed death spiral.

Global warming+overfishing, and the hunt do both of these things. Upsetting the age structure completely, causing an age-structure collapse from both directions. And because of multi-generational lag times, you wont know it is happening until it is too late.

Quote:
That for me would count as sustainable. (ignoring overfishing and global warming, neither of which is affected by the seal hunt, although eating less beef might give a net reduction in global warming...)


Except you cannot ignore them, because they are stresses on seal populations that ALREADY CAUSE population problems.

Quote:
I can see what you are arguing about the age distribution, but that can't be a cast-iron argument because it suggests that any infant predation would collapse any population, when typically it's the highest cause of death.


It depends on the species. I will use turtles as an example. Turtles live a long god damn time, because infant mortality is so high that they have to reproduce dozens of times in their lives in order to have a reasonable chance of self-replacement. If I increase infant mortality too much, even living 150 years, laying 8-12 eggs a year like north american box turtles do, wont be enough to keep the population viable. I can do the same thing by increasing adult mortality from 2% per year to 4% per year. Populations are really fucked if I do both.

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I'd argue that the amount we take does not necessarily increase the total infant mortality but shifts it. So less are killed due to starvation, polar bears ect because we got there first.


If the annual catch was small, on the order of a few thousand, that might be true. However, not when you are considering catches on the order of 200 thousand. We are, in that case, killing far more than predators and starvation normally do... and they still have to deal with predators and starvation.

Quote:
The brown tree snake, for example, nearly destroyed the native bird populations on Guam. The adults of many bird species, such as the island swiftlet, aren't particularly threatened by a snake, whereas the young are eaten with gusto. The island swiftlet is now relegated to a single cave that the BTS cannot get to. So, yes, putting pressure on the young of species can lead to extreme problems, even if infant mortality is normally high, because humans might be killing the seal pups that would have excelled because they could avoid polar bears and starvation.


We have a winner.



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 Post subject: Re: Clubbing seals and eating steak (PG) PostPosted: 2012-01-23 07:22pm
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Something I forgot to mention. Predator and prey dynamics are off-set from eachother. So as the prey population drops, the predator population also drops, but lags a bit behind. So if you start killing off 300k baby seals, polar bears and various shark species etc will be at their old numbers for a while until they consume enough seals that their own population starts to starve. It wont happen instantly. Additionally, if they have a varied diet (like other seal species you dont harvest), their population fluctuations are less coupled to, in this case, harp seals, and wont cycle with them as strongly.



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 Post subject: Re: Clubbing seals and eating steak (PG) PostPosted: 2012-01-24 05:45am
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Since everybody glanced it over I'll elaborate on my point about going into the habititat.
Like Aly noted above any population that has a hard time finding breeding locations will be put under heavy stress.

Now attacking the animal in its habitat with the sole target of killing their young will put huge stress on the population.
1) During the attack not only those targetted will suffer, but instead pain and angst will be throughout the whole population forced to witness the slaughter of their young. Comparing that to cows where they are in a calm place, then remove the animals marked for slaughter from the pop. The killing will not unduly stress the rest of the pop. This would be akin to killing calves in the barn with the cows watching. Nice for stress hormones and all of that.
There are several examples of adult seals leaving non-targetted young behind in a flight frenzy for survival. With opportunistic animals like seagulls and predators picking of the abandees.
2) The attack on their breeding location will make it less favored - that means that the best possible habitat for the animal is no longer viable for it. This is a stupid way of culling a herd - it can only work in an overpopulated environment, and then only for a short time. As other species now extinct has shown all too readily.
3) By calculating the pop using adults and then killing only young will kill of the pop. This because the average age will increase beyond the fertile range. This means that the way the system works any inventory of the tot pop will return a high value which will result in new slaughter permits. Its not until its too late that there will be a huge decline in pop. Which then will take too long to enforce a stop of a lucrative practice.
Again we have seen this before in other pops.

If the only defense for stuff like this is pointing the finger and saying that it is similar to livestock then there is no argument. There is only ignorance.

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 Post subject: Re: Clubbing seals and eating steak (PG) PostPosted: 2012-01-24 06:22am
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Why are the quotas for seal hunts being raised?! several 100k per year is horriffic.

even just a few hundred a year would be bad for the population. I won't even justify the slaughter of whales. (their consumers deserve to be hunted down & 'dealt with' since they are sadly above the law)

if seal kills were limited to captive population on "farms" using methods identical to cow slaughter, would that be more moral?

Why are guns being used that DON'T kill a seal quickly? (you don't hunt deer w/ a .22LR after all, using a gun of such low stopping power is unethical)

Good luck trying to get "the powers that be" to stop the practice

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 Post subject: Re: Clubbing seals and eating steak (PG) PostPosted: 2012-01-24 07:10am
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Thanas, you said "Killing is an evil act that can be rationalized due to the necessity of the killing". I have argued, and have yet to see you refute, that killing cattle for beef is unnecessary, that beef itself is not a necessary product for us to live and thus killing cattle is as evil as killing seals. And while the 'quality' of the killing act may be worse for seals, far far more cattle are killed worldwide.
Why would you continue to support this unnecessary evil?

I'm not trying to justify seal hunting. I'm trying to equate it to eating beef, and then seeing if other people who do one and decry the other can justify their position.

As for Akhlut, Aly and Spoonist's posts, hmm, consider me educated.

I'd figured the population cycle amplitude would remain the same with the entire curve shifting downwards - but yeah, it'd need a steeper gradient to do that which would mean great amplitude cycles until it's damped out. Silly of me.

And I was unaware that the quota had been raised so dramatically in 1995. The stuff I'd previously seen only quoted back to 1997.
full data can be seen here : http://www.harpseals.org/about_the_hunt/quota_tac.php
That's something that warrants investigation.



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 Post subject: Re: Clubbing seals and eating steak (PG) PostPosted: 2012-01-24 07:46am
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ComradeClaus wrote:
A) Why are the quotas for seal hunts being raised?!

B) if seal kills were limited to captive population on "farms" using methods identical to cow slaughter, would that be more moral?

C) Why are guns being used that DON'T kill a seal quickly?

A) Because the fishermen are out of work. They overfished the fish pop - so now they need to find new forms of revenue. Add to that that to a fisherman the seal is a competitor, so fishermen have killed seals with abandon for centuries. Their rationale is that killing of the seals will increase the fish stocks.
So for a lot of govs it was chosing between fishermen + boats going out of work or find something else to do while fish stocks replenish. Unfortunately for the ecosystem politicians don't understand ecology.
B) More moral yes, but since they eat live prey - how would you do that?
C) Because you are after the fur - using a larger calibre would spoil more of the fur. So its better to let them slowly bleed to death from small calibre wounds while crying for mommy than to kill them outright.

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 Post subject: Re: Clubbing seals and eating steak (PG) PostPosted: 2012-01-24 08:42am
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C) something like a semi-jacketed hollowpoint or wadcutter (.357 or .44 magnum?) should have limited penetration & only put a fairly small hole in the target, yet cause massive shock & quick death to the target.

I've never hunted seal, & I only go after deer for meat so i'm not concerned about hide damage w/ what I use. (.30-06 all the way :luv: ) but large caliber, maximum energy transferal tends to work well in general. I've never heard of big bore NOT working. & it's not like even a .460 Weatherby Mag would blast an adult seal into furry salsa. a magnum handgun cartridge out of a rifle should be the perfect package for such game.

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 Post subject: Re: Clubbing seals and eating steak (PG) PostPosted: 2012-01-24 10:54am
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Uhm, I may be completely out of my zone of expertise here but I'd expect hollow point or wadcutter ammo to have a hell of a big exit wound in such a small animal.

Then isn't the ammo types and sizes that you mention quite expensive? That would rule them out as well. The ammo used is cheap and can be bought in bulk.

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 Post subject: Re: Clubbing seals and eating steak (PG) PostPosted: 2012-01-24 11:10am
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madd0ct0r wrote:
Thanas, you said "Killing is an evil act that can be rationalized due to the necessity of the killing". I have argued, and have yet to see you refute, that killing cattle for beef is unnecessary,


Where else are you going to get beef/meat from? If there would be an alternative that is accessible for the majority of the population then please outline it for me.

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that beef itself is not a necessary product for us to live


Meat actually is an integral part of the human diet. Maybe we eat too much but that is a question of quantity, not the issue per se. Yes, you can go without but that might cause health risks.

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and thus killing cattle is as evil as killing seals.


once again ignoring the dynamic between "wild animal" and "animal that would not exist if not for the need of humans", I see. Something you have done seveal times in this thread.

Quote:
And while the 'quality' of the killing act may be worse for seals, far far more cattle are killed worldwide.


Again, you ignore the "quality" aspect by trying to change the argument to quantity. That will not fly, especially as I am already in favor of reducing meat consumption.

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Why would you continue to support this unnecessary evil?


I never said I did, and in fact said several posts above that I would very much be in favor of stricter regulation. Something you have conveniently ignored, again.



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A decision must be made in the life of every nation at the very moment when the grasp of the enemy is at its throat. Then, it seems that the only way to survive is to use the means of the enemy, to rest survival upon what is expedient, to look the other way. Well, the answer to that is 'survival as what'? A country isn't a rock. It's not an extension of one's self. It's what it stands for. It's what it stands for when standing for something is the most difficult! - Chief Judge Haywood

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 Post subject: Re: Clubbing seals and eating steak (PG) PostPosted: 2012-01-24 12:43pm
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Thanas wrote:
Meat actually is an integral part of the human diet. Maybe we eat too much but that is a question of quantity, not the issue per se. Yes, you can go without but that might cause health risks.

This is highly questionable. Protein and fats can be obtained from various non-animal sources, and in many parts of the world vegetarians make up a significant percentage of the population. This study, at least, indicates that vegetarians are in general as healthy, or perhaps healthier due to higher fiber intake, than non-vegetarians.

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 Post subject: Re: Clubbing seals and eating steak (PG) PostPosted: 2012-01-24 12:56pm
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@Channel72

"studies" like that are dime a dozen for just about any topic in the world. Name a topic from global warming to nuclear power and I can find you a study supporting or against any point relating it. Your argument is very to weak to put it mildly.



I have to tell you something everything I wrote above is a lie.

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 Post subject: Re: Clubbing seals and eating steak (PG) PostPosted: 2012-01-24 01:20pm
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Sarevok wrote:
"studies" like that are dime a dozen for just about any topic in the world. Name a topic from global warming to nuclear power and I can find you a study supporting or against any point relating it. Your argument is very to weak to put it mildly.


I like how you put "studies" in quotes. It's a peer-reviewed scientific study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Regardless, the point is not to argue in favor of the health benefits of vegetarianism here, but to counter Thanas's statement that "Yes, you can go without [meat] but that might cause health risks." The point is, Thanas's statement that NOT eating meat could cause health risks is extremely questionable. I'd like to see some reputable evidence that NOT eating meat actually causes health risks, when there are many alternate sources of fat and protein.

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 Post subject: Re: Clubbing seals and eating steak (PG) PostPosted: 2012-01-24 03:58pm
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Well, for one, pregnant women and people with high levels of physical activity might need meat. I know doctors recommended to a friend of mine she stop being a vegetarian for the course of her pregnancy.

That being said, the consumption of meat here is merely a tangent.



Whoever says "education does not matter" can try ignorance
------------------
A decision must be made in the life of every nation at the very moment when the grasp of the enemy is at its throat. Then, it seems that the only way to survive is to use the means of the enemy, to rest survival upon what is expedient, to look the other way. Well, the answer to that is 'survival as what'? A country isn't a rock. It's not an extension of one's self. It's what it stands for. It's what it stands for when standing for something is the most difficult! - Chief Judge Haywood

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 Post subject: Re: Clubbing seals and eating steak (PG) PostPosted: 2012-01-24 11:41pm
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the consumption of meat is key. Without we wouldn't be shooting cattle.

consumption of beef is an unnecessary luxury - there are plenty of other less damaging meats available, and plenty of other outright substitutes.
Saying we need to eat beef is as about as accurate as saying we need to wear sealskin.
Yes, in the past and under certain circumstances, but it's not a necessity anymore.

You are in favor of reducing consumption and of strict controls on farms. well and good. why not just stop the practice? Why not do a little to reduce the market demand and shrink the number of cattle destined for Thanasian Butchers this year?

Thanas - you aren't arguing that killing cattle is an evil that can be rationalized by necessity, you're arguing it can be rationalized by usefulness. This is a very interesting route to take, but I'll let you decide if we explore it.

Going back to the dynamic of 'wild animal' and "animal that would not exist if not for the need of humans" which is more evil? Honestly?
I'm reminded of Douglas's Adams "The cow that wants to be eaten"

Quote:
[Ford] sat down.

The waiter approached.

"Would you like to see the menu?" he said, "or would you like meet the Dish of the Day?"

"Huh?" said Ford.

"Huh?" said Arthur.

"Huh?" said Trillian.

"That's cool," said Zaphod, "we'll meet the meat."

...

A large dairy animal approached Zaphod Beeblebrox's table, a large fat meaty quadruped of the bovine type with large watery eyes, small horns and what might almost have been an ingratiating smile on its lips.

"Good evening," it lowed and sat back heavily on its haunches, "I am the main Dish of the Day. May I interest you in the parts of my body?"

It harrumphed and gurgled a bit, wriggled its hind quarters in to a more comfortable position and gazed peacefully at them.

Its gaze was met by looks of startled bewilderment from Arthur and Trillian, a resigned shrug from Ford Prefect and naked hunger from Zaphod Beeblebrox.

"Something off the shoulder perhaps?" suggested the animal, "braised in a white wine sauce?"

"Er, your shoulder?" said Arthur in a horrified whisper.

"But naturally my shoulder, sir," mooed the animal contentedly, "nobody else's is mine to offer."

Zaphod leapt to his feet and started prodding and feeling the animal's shoulder appreciatively.

"Or the rump is very good," murmured the animal. "I've been exercising it and eating plenty of grain, so there's a lot of good meat there."

It gave a mellow grunt, gurgled again and started to chew the cud. It swallowed the cud again.

"Or a casserole of me perhaps?" it added.

"You mean this animal actually wants us to eat it?" whispered Trillian to Ford.

"Me?" said Ford, with a glazed look in his eyes, "I don't mean anything."

"That's absolutely horrible," exclaimed Arthur, "the most revolting thing I've ever heard."

"What's the problem Earthman?" said Zaphod, now transferring his attention to the animal's enormous rump.

"I just don't want to eat an animal that's standing there inviting me to," said Arthur, "It's heartless."

"Better than eating an animal that doesn't want to be eaten," said Zaphod.

"That's not the point," Arthur protested. Then he thought about it for a moment. "Alright," he said, "maybe it is the point. I don't care, I'm not going to think about it now. I'll just... er [...] I think I'll just have a green salad," he muttered.

"May I urge you to consider my liver?" asked the animal, "it must be very rich and tender by now, I've been force-feeding myself for months."

"A green salad," said Arthur emphatically.

"A green salad?" said the animal, rolling his eyes disapprovingly at Arthur.

"Are you going to tell me," said Arthur, "that I shouldn't have green salad?"

"Well," said the animal, "I know many vegetables that are very clear on that point. Which is why it was eventually decided to cut through the whole tangled problem and breed an animal that actually wanted to be eaten and was capable of saying so clearly and distinctly. And here I am."

It managed a very slight bow.

"Glass of water please," said Arthur.

"Look," said Zaphod, "we want to eat, we don't want to make a meal of the issues. Four rare stakes please, and hurry. We haven't eaten in five hundred and seventy-six thousand million years."

The animal staggered to its feet. It gave a mellow gurgle. "A very wise choice, sir, if I may say so. Very good," it said, "I'll just nip off and shoot myself."

He turned and gave a friendly wink to Arthur. "Don't worry, sir," he said, "I'll be very humane."

It waddled unhurriedly off to the kitchen.

-From The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Chapter 17.-


This is slightly disingenuous, as Spoonist pointed out further up the thread - cattle are generally slaughtered away from the herd, and are almost certainly unaware of their eventual date with peppercorn sauce. Still, and I haven't really got my thoughts organized on this point, I feel that creating a being that can experience the world purely to snuff it out at the moment of our choosing is WORSE then hunting.



"Aid, trade, green technology and peace." - Hans Rosling.
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 Post subject: Re: Clubbing seals and eating steak (PG) PostPosted: 2012-01-24 11:52pm
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Channel72 wrote:
Sarevok wrote:
"studies" like that are dime a dozen for just about any topic in the world. Name a topic from global warming to nuclear power and I can find you a study supporting or against any point relating it. Your argument is very to weak to put it mildly.


I like how you put "studies" in quotes. It's a peer-reviewed scientific study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Regardless, the point is not to argue in favor of the health benefits of vegetarianism here, but to counter Thanas's statement that "Yes, you can go without [meat] but that might cause health risks." The point is, Thanas's statement that NOT eating meat could cause health risks is extremely questionable. I'd like to see some reputable evidence that NOT eating meat actually causes health risks, when there are many alternate sources of fat and protein.


Well first thing is first. This study. I will use the abstract. Mostly because my university does not have an online subscription to that journal.

Quote:
The Oxford Vegetarian Study is a prospective study of 6000 vegetarians and 5000 nonvegetarian control subjects recruited in the United Kingdom between 1980 and 1984.


Good sample size.

Quote:
Cross-sectional analyses of study data showed that vegans had lower total- and LDL-cholesterol concentrations than did meat eaters; vegetarians and fish eaters had intermediate and similar values. Meat and cheese consumption were positively associated, and dietary fiber intake was inversely associated, with total-cholesterol concentration in both men and women.


Makes perfect sense. I will note however that some degree of cholesterol intake is absolutely necessary in the human diet. This also brings us to other issues. Namely, the use of vegan, vegetarian, piscivore, etc as categorical variables. Categorical variables are extremely useful, and may be the only way of performing a long term study like this, but there are a number of problems.

1) There is no accounting for the actual amounts. So the differences seen between groups may be inflated by the fact that meat eaters in britain do in fact eat a crapload of meat and cheese--80 kilos of meat per year per person, which is actually more due to the presence of vegans and vegetarians down-shifting the mean. That is a HUGE difference. What they should have done is look at this as a continuous variable so they can actually compare effect sizes. That would help them deal with a lot of individual variation, which is another matter

2) There is a large amount of auto-correlation between behaviors that might equally explain observed trends. Vegans and vegetarians tend to be very health conscious. They get more exercise for example. This was not controlled for statistically or in study design. Therefore, at least some of the observed differences in health outcomes could very well be due to this auto-correlation.

They also examined a cherry-picked range of health statistics. Vegans are at risk for Vitamin D3 and B12 deficiency, and have to work very hard to obtain 4 of the 20 required amino acids needed for synthesis of their own body proteins which are seldom found in plants. They are also at risk of developing iron, calcium, and zinc deficiencies.

A well managed low meat intake diet is very good for decreasing the risk of many diseases, however there is a world of difference between eating no meat, eggs, and dairy, and eating more than one's body mass in meat alone in a given year.

Quote:
A) Because the fishermen are out of work. They overfished the fish pop - so now they need to find new forms of revenue. Add to that that to a fisherman the seal is a competitor, so fishermen have killed seals with abandon for centuries.


Because obviously, a few million seals wiped out the stock of Atlantic Cod despite being in a dynamic equilibrium with them since at least the end of the last glacial maximum. Thus, the solution is to slaughter seals.

:banghead:

At this point... I will suggest in a tongue-in-cheek way that the solution is to train Attack Seals to kill the fishing industry. I hear the Navy has had some success training sea lions to kill enemy divers. Perhaps they can be trained to put bombs on boats. Commercial fisheries can become... Pinnepedowned. Or we can collectively say "You just got Sealed"

The Harbor Seals are watching you... and they are displeased.

:P



GALE Force Biological Agent/
BOTM/Great Dolphin Conspiracy/
Herpetology and Evolutionary Biology Subdirector:SD.net Dept. of Biological Sciences


There is Grandeur in the View of Life; it fills me with a Deep Wonder, and Intense Cynicism.

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 Post subject: Re: Clubbing seals and eating steak (PG) PostPosted: 2012-01-25 12:13am
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Alyrium Denryle wrote:
1) There is no accounting for the actual amounts. So the differences seen between groups may be inflated by the fact that meat eaters in britain do in fact eat a crapload of meat and cheese--80 kilos of meat per year per person, which is actually more due to the presence of vegans and vegetarians down-shifting the mean. That is a HUGE difference. What they should have done is look at this as a continuous variable so they can actually compare effect sizes. That would help them deal with a lot of individual variation, which is another matter

2) There is a large amount of auto-correlation between behaviors that might equally explain observed trends. Vegans and vegetarians tend to be very health conscious. They get more exercise for example. This was not controlled for statistically or in study design. Therefore, at least some of the observed differences in health outcomes could very well be due to this auto-correlation.


As for the high meat intake: wouldn't a lot of the poor health contributions be due to simply not exercising while having a diet made up of a great number of fats? I'm sure if you had a vegan who ate nothing but potato chips and coconut oil would have all the same cardiovascular difficulties as a person who eats a ton of meat every year and just sits at home all day.

Contrast this with a number of Native American tribes that traditionally have diets that rely heavily on animal protein for survival, such as the Plains Indians and their reliance on bison and the Inuit who traditionally eat and ate the majority of their meals from fish and pinnipeds. Although, the main problem with examining Inuit diets (since most Plains Indians aren't eating traditional diets, but very European-style diets) is that for the past 40 years, when any interest in such diets was sparked, they've been on the receiving end of all sorts of industrial pollutants entering their ecosystems (volatile organics tend to concentrate in the Arctic due to the climate being cold enough to condense them out of the atmosphere and make them available), and those pollutants are known to cause disease in and of themselves. However, given that they've been living there for millennia and apparently used to live very long lives without much cardiac disease (as did the Plains Indians), it seems compelling that the exact composition of a diet is irrelevant to a certain extent, at least vis a vis relative percentages of meat to plant.

Quote:
A well managed low meat intake diet is very good for decreasing the risk of many diseases, however there is a world of difference between eating no meat, eggs, and dairy, and eating more than one's body mass in meat alone in a given year.


Again, couldn't a lot of those results be more tied in with being sedentary rather than meat being a large proportion of the diet?



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 Post subject: Re: Clubbing seals and eating steak (PG) PostPosted: 2012-01-25 01:23am
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I just recently re-read Peter Singer's The Ethics of What We Eat, in light of this thread, and he notes some of the studies mentioned above showing vegetarian health. But in those cases, he noted the societies were accidentally eating insects as supplements unintentionally.

I am not sure if that could make up the difference. I will see if I can dredge up the exact citation.

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 Post subject: Re: Clubbing seals and eating steak (PG) PostPosted: 2012-01-25 04:42am
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madd0ct0r wrote:
the consumption of meat is key. Without we wouldn't be shooting cattle.


Actually we would -what else are you going to do with the male cattle and old cows? Not all farmers have the resources to give them a retirement.

Quote:
consumption of beef is an unnecessary luxury - there are plenty of other less damaging meats available


In this quantity?

Quote:
You are in favor of reducing consumption and of strict controls on farms. well and good. why not just stop the practice? Why not do a little to reduce the market demand and shrink the number of cattle destined for Thanasian Butchers this year?


To your first question, because it would pretty much wreck the economy. To the second, I am all in favor of it.

Quote:
Thanas - you aren't arguing that killing cattle is an evil that can be rationalized by necessity, you're arguing it can be rationalized by usefulness. This is a very interesting route to take, but I'll let you decide if we explore it.


Well, probaly both useful and necessary, actually. You need milk cows, the only way you get these is by breeding. Breeding produces male cattle. What are you going to do with it?

Quote:
Going back to the dynamic of 'wild animal' and "animal that would not exist if not for the need of humans" which is more evil? Honestly?
I'm reminded of Douglas's Adams "The cow that wants to be eaten"
[snip story]
This is slightly disingenuous, as Spoonist pointed out further up the thread - cattle are generally slaughtered away from the herd, and are almost certainly unaware of their eventual date with peppercorn sauce. Still, and I haven't really got my thoughts organized on this point, I feel that creating a being that can experience the world purely to snuff it out at the moment of our choosing is WORSE then hunting.


Would you rather exist knowing you only have a few more years to live or would you rather not exist at all?



Whoever says "education does not matter" can try ignorance
------------------
A decision must be made in the life of every nation at the very moment when the grasp of the enemy is at its throat. Then, it seems that the only way to survive is to use the means of the enemy, to rest survival upon what is expedient, to look the other way. Well, the answer to that is 'survival as what'? A country isn't a rock. It's not an extension of one's self. It's what it stands for. It's what it stands for when standing for something is the most difficult! - Chief Judge Haywood

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