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Disregard of Life?
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brainiac3397 Offline
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Post: #1
Disregard of Life?

One of our budgerigars seems to have gotten sick, and obviously needs some veterinarian care, or at least a check up. However, my mother doesn't care for pets(some childhood thing + insecurity). So it's up to my father to take the bird.

However, he doesn't believe money should be wasted on caring for creature. He believes that with the money he spends on the visit to the vet, he could buy multiple numbers of the bird. He doesn't say it malicious(well, it's a pretty malicious statement in my opinion) but as a humorous thing.

I'll probably offer to pay the cost.

Sure, the bird itself is pretty cheap. But does their low cost really justify disregarding their life/health? How would a human feel if some other specie "bought" us and just let us die when we got sick because there were so many of us to make us cheaply replaceable.

Sure, a budgerigar doesn't have much to give. It's not a working animal. It costs money to maintain(food and stuff), but I'd rather lose some money than let it die and replace it. Even if there are so many, each bird can possess a unique personality(as our 3 each do).

Again I'm reminded how morally inferior my parents are...Noo
(and how annoyed I am by humanocentric beliefs)

So. What's your thoughts on this matter, and as a whole. Does the material value trump the sentimental value of a living creature?

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(06-14-2013 08:02 AM)Potato Wrote:  watch the fuq out, we've got an "intellectual" over here.

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brainiac3397 Offline
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Disregard of Life?

Why?

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(06-14-2013 08:02 AM)Potato Wrote:  watch the fuq out, we've got an "intellectual" over here.

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Disregard of Life?

The value of a life is priceless. Can't be measured in money. So any healthcare it needs is cheap compared to the loss of its life.

How old is the bird, though?

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RE: Disregard of Life?

I had to read the first paragraph slowly to figure out what budgerigars meant.

(02-12-2014 01:15 AM)brainiac3397 Wrote:  How would a human feel if some other specie "bought" us and just let us die when we got sick because there were so many of us to make us cheaply replaceable.

Probably not good. :(

(02-12-2014 01:15 AM)brainiac3397 Wrote:  Sure, a budgerigar doesn't have much to give. It's not a working animal. It costs money to maintain(food and stuff), but I'd rather lose some money than let it die and replace it. Even if there are so many, each bird can possess a unique personality(as our 3 each do).

It seems there's one who's "working," as a YouTube star: http://www.youtube.com/user/MsJumpinJude

Pet budgies have continued to make headlines all over the world for their mimicry, talking ability, and charm. One budgie, named Disco, has become an internet superstar.[35] As of 2013, Disco has been viewed over 6,067,744 times on his YouTube channel.[36]

Anyway, I agree, unless the cost is exorbitant, go to the veterinarian. At some point, with pets, the question does come up of whether it's worth it. Do you spend thousands of dollars to put a sick pet in a pet hospital? Sometimes, whether people or other animals, the body can recover from sickness, or there are cheap at-home remedies that might help. In other cases, there's nothing medical treatment can do.

But in this case, it sounds reasonable enough to go for a basic check-up.

And making a joke based on "we can just buy more" is certainly insensitive, particularly for an animal you've developed a personal attachment to.

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xcriteria Offline
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RE: Disregard of Life?

Another point here is in opportunity cost, or tradeoffs, regarding how you spend money (and time.)

What are you giving up, for a chance at healing your pet?

Hypothetically, you could pay for the treatment of a human, instead...

This is where difficult ethical/decision dilemmas, even Sadistic Choices (tvtropes) can arise.

Who do you save, or help... or what do you prioritize... when time, resources, and capacity to act is limited?

In the case an initial visit to a vet over sickness, for a beloved pet, the overall cost and benefit is most likely worth it, overall. But you could imagine a scenario, where this is visit 35 to the vet, one of your parents is dying, and the country is in the middle of a war, where hundreds of neighbors all need urgent medical care which the government can't afford.

Then, say, you're asked to help find survivors for a train accident, with the time you were going to spend going to the vet and applying the suggested treatment. And you get another call about going to the front lines to coordinate resistance against an enemy incursion that threatens to take control of the territory containing the only available vet.

What would you do then? :o

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Fortunately, there's no such chain of dilemmas and emergencies in play here... which simplifies the decision.

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brainiac3397 Offline
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Post: #6
Disregard of Life?

Sure, I'm no absolutist(except when it comes to authority. BOW DOWN! Mwahaha). I follow a pretty basic moral code. Right thing to do? Then do it. That's how I can skirt the dark side while playing a banjo...wait, I don't know how to play a banjo.

The cost would probably be less than $100, half of which would probably go to the visitation fee. The other half probably for the meds. The sick bird seems to have some sort of respiratory infection making it difficult to breathe but it's nothing some meds won't handle. However, to get both a diagnosis and the meds, we need a vet visit.

Bird is pretty young. She's maybe half a year or so(my sister believes her a bit older than 1 year though. The last one suddenly died from illness, so I buried her quickly outside and my father got a new bird, under the pretense he had come to take her in morning before my sister woke up).

(02-12-2014 03:12 AM)SadArio Wrote:  
(02-12-2014 02:36 AM)brainiac3397 Wrote:  Why?

Know those kids that constantly ask their kids for a puppy or a kitten? That never happened to me because I don't like pets all that much. I mean, I have trouble taking care of myself let alone an animal. It's just too much work and I would eventually just throw them off a cliff because I'm a sadistic bastard.

Did that satisfy your curiosity?

My sister didn't really ask for the birds. We got them for her birthday a surprise. However, even though she's mid-teen, she tends to play with them as sort of entertainment, whereas I hold the role of "guardian" protecting the welfare of the birds. She may play with them, but I stop her at the point of using the birds as toys that have no thought(as in keeping her from overly interfering with the simple life of a bird, be it with their eating,sleeping or safety).

In fact, I'm more on the side of animals than humans. While I do believe animals possess a consciousness or whatever you call it, and we just can't understand them, I also believe that not many animals can overcome instinct. Whereas humans are evidently capable of higher intellect and thought. Sure, there are cases where a person "loses control", but that doesn't apply to all humans.

Plus, petting a human just doesn't sound as fun...

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(06-14-2013 08:02 AM)Potato Wrote:  watch the fuq out, we've got an "intellectual" over here.

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Disregard of Life?

Quote:Plus, petting a human just doesn't sound as fun...
With the right human, that can be loads of fun... Razz

Definitely get Flappy Bird checked out. ... Hopefully it's not actually called Flappy...

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Disregard of Life?

Nah. What an uncreative name.

No. Our birds are called Chirp, Tweet(being the sick one) and Squeak.

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(06-14-2013 08:02 AM)Potato Wrote:  watch the fuq out, we've got an "intellectual" over here.

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Disregard of Life?

Is anyone else here absolutely astonished that brainiac cares for something other than world domination?
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RE: Disregard of Life?

Yeah, I noticed the apparent incongruity , too. A sort of Pet the Dog moment. Razz

Seriously, though, I've seen other indications that brainiac has Hidden Depths. This one might even qualify as a Moment of Heartwarming. Smile

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Disregard of Life?

I've got one for ya, x; TvTropes will ruin your life.

Brainiac, I filled with both surprise and pity to hear that your parents are, as you say, morally inferior. Instead of caring for this pet you have included in your family unit, they would be content to let it die? For shame! They would not (hopefully not) make the same choice if it ever regarded a human life.

Living beings, generally speaking, are worth keeping alive. (I make exceptions for certain varieties of bugs, if I am ever actually successful in killing them.)

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RE: Disregard of Life?

You raise an interesting question, about animals and the way we treat them. We eat other animals, yet other animals do to. I'd rather not go into that since that's a rather complex debate.

Morally though, your father is an asshole. You can replace the bird, but if there's enough disposable income, it's worth keeping the bird. Plus, you have to feel for that bird. It's just there, and trying to live its life. It's messed up to take away that bird's life just because "you can replace it". Indeed, imagine the same being applied to humans....

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Disregard of Life?

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(06-14-2013 08:02 AM)Potato Wrote:  watch the fuq out, we've got an "intellectual" over here.

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Disregard of Life?

brainiac your sense of morality is just as biased as your father's. i don't see you giving any concern for all the chickens raised on farms http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rpbtBgLfl90 but when it's your own bird...

Quote:(and how annoyed I am by humanocentric beliefs)

vegans are the only people who can say that without being hypocritical.

i'm not vegan btw. 100 animal lives isn't worth satisfying my craving for meat.

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Disregard of Life?

Yeah, what's done to animals is actually quite horrible to be honest. However, a lot of us eat meat, and that's not easy to change. Really.

Actually, meat factories somewhat remind me of the factory model education system. Like pumping up the animals is equivalent to all the standardized testing. Not the same, obviously, but parallel.

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RE: Disregard of Life?

(02-12-2014 02:04 PM)Potato Wrote:  brainiac your sense of morality is just as biased as your father's. i don't see you giving any concern for all the chickens raised on farms http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rpbtBgLfl90 but when it's your own bird...

Quote:(and how annoyed I am by humanocentric beliefs)

vegans are the only people who can say that without being hypocritical.

i'm not vegan btw. 100 animal lives isn't worth satisfying my craving for meat.

As I mentioned elsewhere, I'm reactivist based on factors. Only fools hold absolute ideals. It's why I dislike 100% vegans, and humanocentric bigots.

Never said I'm not biased. I simply mentioned that it isn't right my bird's life be disregarded simply due to it's low material value, but slightly high cost of care.

So I hate vegans, and I hate humanocentrics. Then again, I'm not too fond of humans as a whole so at least I've got a single idea there.(I waver between tolerate to varying degrees of misanthropy)

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(06-14-2013 08:02 AM)Potato Wrote:  watch the fuq out, we've got an "intellectual" over here.

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Disregard of Life?

Quote:I simply mentioned that it isn't right my bird's life be disregarded simply due to it's low material value, but slightly high cost of care.

high cost of care is a pretty good reason to disregard an animal's life if you don't have an emotional attachment to it. there are animals in shelters that are being killed because no one will adopt them. aren't we all disregarding their lives?

Quote:Never said I'm not biased.

then why blame other people for being biased? why be annoyed at people who hold humanocentric beliefs?

Quote:However, a lot of us eat meat, and that's not easy to change. Really.

there is absolutely no real incentive for us to change. birds aren't gona rebel against us. why not treat them as nothing more than food

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RE: Disregard of Life?

You hate vegans, because you have an absolute hatred for absolute beliefs?

:O

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RE: Disregard of Life?

(02-12-2014 02:15 PM)Hansgrohe Wrote:  Yeah, what's done to animals is actually quite horrible to be honest. However, a lot of us eat meat, and that's not easy to change. Really.

Actually, meat factories somewhat remind me of the factory model education system. Like pumping up the animals is equivalent to all the standardized testing. Not the same, obviously, but parallel.

Yeah, there are parallels. One thing that can be changed, even if people eat meat, is how animals are treated while they're alive.

But, it's also possible to eat less meat products, and in many cases healthier. I have to say, I really like vegetarian/vegan food, but I was never ever even exposed to most of those kinds of ingredients and recipes until I moved to NYC.

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RE: Disregard of Life?

(02-12-2014 08:27 PM)Potato Wrote:  
Quote:I simply mentioned that it isn't right my bird's life be disregarded simply due to it's low material value, but slightly high cost of care.

high cost of care is a pretty good reason to disregard an animal's life if you don't have an emotional attachment to it. there are animals in shelters that are being killed because no one will adopt them. aren't we all disregarding their lives?

Same with humans. Not killed, but dying, or living in horrible conditions. It's a pretty intense reality if you think about it.

I don't think that negates people's rights to live their lives, and own and care for pets, who aren't in such dire circumstances. But it's something to reflect on and better understand the underlying causes of.

(02-12-2014 08:27 PM)Potato Wrote:  
Quote:Never said I'm not biased.

then why blame other people for being biased? why be annoyed at people who hold humanocentric beliefs?

Fair enough questions. Even if people have bias, it's possible to better understand that bias, and overcome it where possible and appropriate. (In contrast to clinging to biases as a normative fact of life.)

Dan Ariely has an excellent clip about this:



Watch on YouTube

(02-12-2014 08:27 PM)Potato Wrote:  
Quote:However, a lot of us eat meat, and that's not easy to change. Really.

there is absolutely no real incentive for us to change. birds aren't gona rebel against us. why not treat them as nothing more than food

Reading that, my brain can't help but think of a film... where the animals do rebel...

Seriously, one reason to treat them is more than food is to empathize with them as living creatures with conscious experience. Even if one eats the animals, this can impact how they're treated while they are alive.

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Disregard of Life?

Quote:Even if people have bias, it's possible to better understand that bias, and overcome it where possible and appropriate.

we won't benefit from overcoming anthropocentrism, the bias is in favor of us.

Quote:Seriously, one reason to treat them is more than food is to empathize with them as living creatures with conscious experience.

that reason is weak because the empathy that people feel for farm animals is weak. and there's no reason for us somehow "try" to feel more empathetic because poor conditions for the animals means cheap food for us.

the only way it can get better for the animals is IF the price of lab grown animal products become as low as farm grown



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(This post was last modified: 02-13-2014 01:29 AM by Potato.)
02-13-2014 01:27 AM
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Chanku Offline
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Disregard of Life?

(02-13-2014 01:11 AM)xcriteria Wrote:  
(02-12-2014 08:27 PM)Potato Wrote:  there is absolutely no real incentive for us to change. birds aren't gona rebel against us. why not treat them as nothing more than food

Reading that, my brain can't help but think of a film... where the animals do rebel...
It reminded me of Animal Farm...

Also Animal farm has been made into a movie twice.

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02-13-2014 03:48 AM
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RE: Disregard of Life?

Note that I'm not looking at this black and white. Just because I don't like bigoted humanocentric beliefs, doesn't make me 100% on the side of animals.

Sure, I'm not a fan of vegans. Especially those who believe eating meat is evil cause it's from a living animal. Worse if all they do is spout their beliefs to you at every moment.

What perplexes me here is why human action must be linked to an idea or belief? Why must my views correlate to an existing philosophy? Couldn't I simply adopt the mindset of what's best for me combined with what my belief in right or wrong?

In the end, that's all it really comes down to. Whose idea you follow? If you're going to leash to an idea, might as well be your own!

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(06-14-2013 08:02 AM)Potato Wrote:  watch the fuq out, we've got an "intellectual" over here.

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02-13-2014 05:02 AM
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Disregard of Life?

Actually, I say we make an anti-school documentary in the style of Food Inc. That'd be a very interesting concept.

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02-13-2014 10:49 AM
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brainiac3397 Offline
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Disregard of Life?

Food Inc?

Sounds familiar but I'm not sure if I've watched it.

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(06-14-2013 08:02 AM)Potato Wrote:  watch the fuq out, we've got an "intellectual" over here.

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02-13-2014 11:58 AM
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Potato Offline
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Post: #26
Disregard of Life?

Quote:What perplexes me here is why human action must be linked to an idea or belief? Why must my views correlate to an existing philosophy? Couldn't I simply adopt the mindset of what's best for me combined with what my belief in right or wrong?

In the end, that's all it really comes down to. Whose idea you follow? If you're going to leash to an idea, might as well be your own!

you said your father's comment about your bird reminded you that your parents are "morally inferior". i don't think what he did in this particular instance was morally inferior to what you and me do to the euthanized dogs that nobody would adopt, to the animals that we eat...etc

"I never said half the shit people say i did." -Albert Einstein

"I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail, there is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers. That is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark."-Stephen Hawking

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."
02-14-2014 12:12 AM
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xcriteria Offline
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RE: Disregard of Life?

(02-13-2014 05:02 AM)brainiac3397 Wrote:  What perplexes me here is why human action must be linked to an idea or belief? Why must my views correlate to an existing philosophy? Couldn't I simply adopt the mindset of what's best for me combined with what my belief in right or wrong?

In the end, that's all it really comes down to. Whose idea you follow? If you're going to leash to an idea, might as well be your own!

There's a lot to be said for this, and it merits further discussion. In fact, this would be good to quote in the SS book/materials and even a sort of course meant to spur people's discussion and reflection on the ideas they adopt.

However, it's worth nothing that often existing philosophies do appeal to people. When some elements of a philosophy match with one's preferences, it's very common for people to adopt the whole thing (even if they do question bits, or later break the bits apart a bit.)

As an example, consider your embrace of different political philosophies at different points. How did that work? What have you learned from embracing, then moving past, various philosophies?

(This is really an important topic to consider, for a lot of reasons.)

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02-14-2014 02:26 AM
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xcriteria Offline
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RE: Disregard of Life?

(02-13-2014 05:02 AM)brainiac3397 Wrote:  Sure, I'm not a fan of vegans. Especially those who believe eating meat is evil cause it's from a living animal. Worse if all they do is spout their beliefs to you at every moment.

This sounds a lot like stereotyping. Not all vegans go around pushing their beliefs or practices on others. Not all see consuming animal products as "evil." Many do take issue with how animals are often treated in the food production process.

But disliking vegans, as a category, sounds suspicious, when it comes to seeking out biased thinking. Not all vegans are the same. If your main issue is people who run around judging and wanting to change others, there are some of those in any category, but if you start to see a category as mostly the most dislikable examples, you've got a bias going that will feed into your misanthropy, despair, and ill-will in general. (Hypothesis, but likely accurate.)

(02-13-2014 11:58 AM)brainiac3397 Wrote:  Food Inc?

Sounds familiar but I'm not sure if I've watched it.

Food, Inc. (Wikipedia)

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Watch on YouTube

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02-14-2014 02:35 AM
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xcriteria Offline
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RE: Disregard of Life?

(02-13-2014 01:27 AM)Potato Wrote:  
Quote:Even if people have bias, it's possible to better understand that bias, and overcome it where possible and appropriate.

we won't benefit from overcoming anthropocentrism, the bias is in favor of us.

Well, general point taken. Razz

However, I think there are some benefits to be had from being able to perspective-take, and not be totally caught up in any "-centrism" (including egocentrism, cultural centrism, and the like.)

When it comes to making decisions, it's understandable (and often sensible) for people to prioritize their own interests. But doing so with a broader context and range of understanding in mind can lead to much better decisions, when it comes to one's own interests and those of others.

In short, sometimes win-win, or win-win-win, scenarios are possible that can't be discovered when one is caught up in a single, heavily-biased perspective.

(And, likewise, failing to understand others interests and perspectives could lead to things like, destroying them, or upsetting them, in ways that end up being harmful to one's self. Destroying an ecosystem, or disrupting a population, then being unable to benefit from it at all in the future, is one example.)

(02-13-2014 01:27 AM)Potato Wrote:  
Quote:Seriously, one reason to treat them is more than food is to empathize with them as living creatures with conscious experience.

that reason is weak because the empathy that people feel for farm animals is weak. and there's no reason for us somehow "try" to feel more empathetic because poor conditions for the animals means cheap food for us.

Not all people feel weak empathy for farm animals, though that's probably true in general. (It could change, though....)

Actually, poor conditions can lead to poor-quality animal products (disease, low nutritive value, full of harmful chemicals.) They can also lead to increase waste, and therefore, expense.

Temple Grandin talked about this in her TED talk... which covers a lot more than the perspectives of animals...



Watch on YouTube

(02-13-2014 01:27 AM)Potato Wrote:  the only way it can get better for the animals is IF the price of lab grown animal products become as low as farm grown

I think that's only one of several ways. For one, some people are willing to pay more for better-quality food, or food based on better treatment of animals.

For another, vegetarian and vegan options provide a range of alternatives that are arguably equivalent to artificial meat. I think most people probably aren't familiar with these. I certainly wasn't before I moved to NYC and met some people who were vegetarian and vegan. I actually prefer many of these kinds of foods, including things based on tempeh, tofu, chickpeas (falafel, hummus), and a range of other ingredients.

On a mass scale, yes, inexpensively producing "meat" in a lab or factory would provide a different kind of disruption. Many businesses are heavily based on mass-produced animals and low-quality meat (fast food, school lunch) available at the lowest possible cost. However, there are also other ways to go about making food.

(02-14-2014 12:12 AM)Potato Wrote:  you said your father's comment about your bird reminded you that your parents are "morally inferior". i don't think what he did in this particular instance was morally inferior to what you and me do to the euthanized dogs that nobody would adopt, to the animals that we eat...etc

Yeah, "morally inferior" is a rather extreme diagnosis. "Selective empathy deficit" might be more accurate.

In fact, there's a term, "circle of empathy" that describes who and what fits into a person's sense of empathy. One's pets and family tend to fall more within that than anonymous others, whether humans or animals...especially when thinking about large populations.

One related term is "collapse of compassion": The Collapse of Compassion (article)

(A related trope is A Million is a Statistic.)

When it comes to beings you'd expect would be in someone's circle of empathy (a family pet, a specific named creature that one's familiar with, and in proximity to), a callous disregard for its life seems especially appalling. But, it's worth stepping back and looking at that in context.

@brainiac, what's your dad like in general? Does he have empathy, and moral qualities, in other contexts than the comment in question?

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Disregard of Life?

When I say morally inferior, I may have meant in a more general scale(hence the "Im reminded" part of my statement). There's a lot of things my parents do that "good" people wouldnt do. The right thing is often cast aside for greed,selfishness,envy and lies. Its worse when they dont realize how "ugly" they're behaving.

I like to think of my father as a con man wih a family. He has a bad habit of lying(small lies but he does it a lot and it can be an inconvienience), coupled wih some negligence(he'll and forget. A tad on the irresponsible side). Also really thrifty, beyond the money-saving degree. He ends up collecting useless junk. However, he's still a good father. But it's his personality that sort of bothers me(both my parents. Like them as parents and have no complaints, but as people they just make me cringe at their beliefs and behaviors). Oh he's also quite the conspiracy theorist...he isnt a big fan of Jews and thinks they've got the world by the balls.

Its mainly me here. When compared to my standards they dont rank as high. Heck, its the reason for much cinflict between my mother. They just cant comprehend my thoughts and ideas(I once couldnt. Then decided I couldnt because I was trying so hard to find a group I fit into. Later I realized I could be my own individual group yet be capable of interacting with all groups). I guess to them it all appears contradictory and oxymoronic.

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(06-14-2013 08:02 AM)Potato Wrote:  watch the fuq out, we've got an "intellectual" over here.

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