Here is P Diddy:
"Being of a squeamish nature, I haven’t watched the video, but do you know where it is sourced from? Australia has pretty strict laws on how animals are processed (to use the clinical term) for slaughter and AQIS does regular inspections of all Australian abattoirs. Even cattle slaughtered for halal consumption has a stungun applied to the forehead and then the halal slaughterman cuts the throat. I’m guessing that the video is probably American, and without the benefit of the stungun.
I agree that animals can feel pain, show love (or a variation defined as fondness, loyalty, or at worst associating human presence with reward) and express curiosity – anyone who has cared for a pet would most likely agree. But I also think that there is a human ability to accept double standards or turn a blind eye or delude ourselves that lets most of us enjoy our meat while not thinking about where it comes from.
There is also a concept which you didn’t refer to – you may have considered it but not thought it worth raising – being the right of the predator, or the food chain concept. Do humans, as a more capable predator, have the right to kill and eat other animals - which admittedly is a slightly elemental argument, but if we eliminate the suffering aspect and breed, raise and kill humanely without suffering, does that make it ok. I don’t think Australian abattoirs are there yet because focus is on throughput and volume because its run as a business but it could get to the same stage that the egg industry has moved to where eggs are graded as caged, barn or free range (my personal protest is that I only buy free range eggs...)" (Powell 2011)
I encourage anyone who has concerns to offer critique or argument, see if I can justify myself."I haven't sourced the video no, and that is something I probably should have done, I think the point was even if the animals are killed humanely (is that possible? Think, for example your loved ones being killed the ways in the video, or the ways you mentioned), there are still the other issues of environment and suffering, all of which I think are reason enough, on their own, to give up meat. But when added together? Make a very strong case for me, at least, to abandon meat..
I agree, yes humans can accept a double standard, but that's also what I'm arguing against, as in, what is the basis for the double standard? Is it valid? Again, for me? No, for you? Sure. The same double standard is what allows us to live happily while places like Africa and the Middle East suffer, which I also don't agree with, as in we can do something to help, which is what I'm advocating with the denial of meat.
The last point you raised is an interesting one, and was cited to me tonight. I don't agree with it, but let me tell you why. It seems to me if I have understood you (and others), than an argument from biology is being made, as in, we have evolved to be the best at killing, or have evoled to be at the top of the food chain so shouldn't we kill? I think a hidden premise in this argument might also be: other animals kill, but do we think a lion is inhumane for killing the gazelle?
In response I would say, evolution has adapted us to also have consciousness, intelligence and as an emergent result we have culture, science etc. We also have the ability to deny our biological urges (laws against rape go directly against our biological urge to procreate), hence it seems plausible that as the dominant species on this planet, it falls to us, to maintain the well-being of ourselves, this planet, and all the other life on this planet. With that in mind, it seems plausible to me, that given we know our eating of these animals causes either suffering or pain or both (and environmental concerns) that we are duty-bound, as the dominant species to protect other species, to reduce suffering. Especially as we can live healthily without meat. I guess the point is, and I take a long time getting there I know, is we deny our biology and the rules of this planet all the time, I think we are justified in doing it in this case. As in the hidden premise (that I admit, could be my own interpretation), a lion doesn't have the capabilities to know it can be a vegetarian, it doesn't have consciousness, self awareness etc, hence it does what it's biology tells it, it doesn't keep animals in pens and it's eating of the gazelle doesn't cause environmental concerns. So while it still is causing pain, it has no other way to live it's life, we do." (Bezant 2011)
As if upon request I received a startling beat down from the President of the Atheist Community of Austin (Texas), and all round smart dude, Matt Dillahunty
"The pain argument is a non-starter, for me. Certainly I'm against excessive pain and animal cruelty and I'll favor improvements in the slaughter industry, but if suffering (the awareness and cognizance of pain) is the foundation, then the argument fails the instant one points out that it is possible to kill without pain.Any thoughts guys?
This is a rights issue. What sort of rights should we afford non-humans - and why? And are all non-humans afforded the same rights - and why or why not? Do the gnat, chicken, dolphin and chimp have the same standing?
Humans aren't granted rights because we can experience pain and suffering, we initially take those rights as an act of volition and then grant them as a matter of empathy, practicality and a conscious awareness that it increases the well-being of all of us.
I tend to afford the same opportunity for rights and defense of rights to all animals and I do so equitably. It's not immoral for the shark or the lion to eat me...and vice versa.
All that said, there are other arguments (including ethical ones) for vegetarianism that still intrigue me and may even sway me, but the simplistic pain arguments are, I think, horribly flawed.
Is it immoral for me to anesthetize a bunny so that it doesn't feel pain? If I then lop off it's head, am I immoral - even though it did not suffer?
Suffering simply can't be the criteria. It's a good emotional argument but it fails in its task. I could kill another human being and make it downright pleasant, using the right drugs - and it'd still be immoral.
It baffles me that so many science-minded individuals fail to see that the suffering argument fails falsification." (Dillahunty 2011)