Life and its importance

Discussion in 'Soap Box' started by bhawk, Jun 21, 2011.

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  1. bhawk

    bhawk Well-Known Member

    right earlier in chat i asked a rather simple question:
    Is an animals life more important than a plants?
    this led onto several points being raised, one of consciousness and intelligence.
    Is a living things lifes importance decided by its conscious abilities?
    If so what about people in coma's? and people in severe vegetative states? are they less important than conscious people?
    Recent research has shown plants communicating via mycelium, warning others of potential threats. Now does this in anyway indicate a form of conscious which is different to the model of consciousness we so often look for?
    What if plants are literally conscious but in a way we dont recognise?
    What are the implications to vegans?
    One person stated the importance of life could possibly be measured by intelligence.
    Now intelligence is a multifaceted thing, in different forms.
    Crows, have been shown to be as intelligent as apes, fashioning tools and using them. They have a self awareness and yet they are culled as vermin.
    Pigs too fall into this category, highly intelligent yet slaughtered by the millions.
    If intelligence is a measure of the importance of life does this mean a retarded person has less importance than a member of mensa?

    basically the simple question opened a can of worms on the ethics of everything we do. The logical conclusions to each idea throws up yet more ethical conundrums

    There are many people on here more intelligent than i that i would love to hear from on this subject, i would like peoples views and any musings you may have on the subject.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 21, 2011
  2. Datura

    Datura Well-Known Member

    If there is no blood flow in the brain, they are no longer a person.

    Please explain mycelium/provide a useful link, and/or cite the source.

    Plants are the staple in everyone's diet. Conscious or not, they will be eaten and continue to be eaten - it's one's birthright to be nourished.
  3. Well-Known Member

    Plants generate oxygen. They're more important.
  4. chjones21

    chjones21 Well-Known Member

    Re the vegan thing, plenty of plants and fruits deliberately make every effort to be eaten by birds etc. it is the way they spread their seeds, they make themselves bright colours in order to attract animals to eat them, I thought!
  5. bhawk

    bhawk Well-Known Member

    Thats a good point raised, however what about those that do not wish to be eaten like the potato which used to have spines which we bred into their current form?

    As for the communication i have found three sites which will be enlightening.

  6. chjones21

    chjones21 Well-Known Member

    however what about those that do not wish to be eaten like the potato which used to have spines which we bred into their current form?

    That's funny - you know in the middle ages there was also a belief that "root" vegetables were from the 'devil' and one shouldn't eat them. Perhaps your point of view is along the same lines that eating berries and grass and peas and nuts etc. etc. is not exactly destroying the plant and/or tree --- the plant and tree remain alive and giving of their bounty to one and all (animal, insect and human) and if not eaten, more often than not it simply falls to the ground and decomposes (feeding worms or fly larva or something at least), whereas the root vegetable is destroyed by the eating of it!

    I don't really know, I am not a botanist. What I do know is that nature is very odd in the way it keeps its balance. I remember hearing about a beetle that ate the bark of a specific tree (I can't remember which, maybe the redwood?) and you could drop this beetle into an entire forest full of trees and yet if that specific tree wasn't there - it would literally starve itself to death despite being surrounded by bark!

    Nature is very odd. And very complex. And very abundant.

    As humans I sometimes think we have become so disconnected from nature that we forget it is a continuous cycle of creation, existence, destruction --- on and on and on. Destruction is a part of the cycle, without it creation would also not be able to exist, I suspect.
  7. bhawk

    bhawk Well-Known Member

    Well one of the reasons this topic caught my attention is i frequently hunt my own food, and i feel as the years go by i find myself getting "softer."
    Whereas once i would hunt and fill my freezer with all the game i could, nowadays i only take what i need as i need it, always saying sorry to the animal just before dispatching it, if im shooting i often find myself peering through the scope watching the animal for so long that i often forget to shoot it.
    Little things like whereas once i would have trampled through flower beds to get to a warren i now try my best to leave all the vegetation in tact, the thought of needless killing of anything just seems a pitiful waste to me now.
  8. chjones21

    chjones21 Well-Known Member

    Well, maybe you hit the nail on the head with the "needless" part. Be careful, be circumspect and take what is needed with thanks. I am very impressed that you hunt your own food, that seems to me far better ethically than buying it off-the-shelf.

    For me, the death of an animal is not the important part --- it is the life. And cruelty for profit. I am vegetarian but one of the main reasons I became vegetarian is not because I am against eating meat in principle but because I was against the "factory farming" processes and cruelty involved in rearing meat by these large farming corporations.

    If you, for example, had gone out and shot a wild boar and brought it back and cooked it, I would feel far happier eating that, than eating a steak from an animal that had, for example: never seen a blade of grass or a streak of sunshine in its entire life; been pumped full of growth hormones that cause incredible agony as it grows too fast for its bones; that has been kept in the same indoor cage, standing in its own excrement to the point that its hooves are rotten through; that when it goes to slaughter is what they call a "downer" -- an animal that has to be lifted on to truck by a crane as it cannot stand up. That is a life of x years of extreme misery and unnecessary suffering and cruelty, I do not want to be a party to that... Factory farming of chickens the same.

    I believe in the concept of animal husbandry, that you have small farms with farmers that know and care for their animals - be they sheep, chickens, cattle or whatever.

    It might be off topic but here are some facts about factory farming (for the US not the UK):
    Egg machines: Around 95% of the eggs available come from egg factories, where the birds are held in battery cages -very small with slanted wire floors. Five to eight birds are crammed in 14 square inches cages. To prevent agression (due to the stress) chicks are debeaked. To lift the production up the hens live in constant light.
    Broiler Chickens: As male chicks are not useful for the broiler industry, and 50% of chicks hatched are males, they need to be disposed and killed at bird. Broiler chickens are selectively bred and genetically altered to produce bigger thighs and breasts, the parts in most demand. This breeding creates birds so heavy that their bones cannot support their weight. As they are bred to grown fast they reach market weight of 3 1/2 pounds in seven weeks. Broilers are raised in overcrowded broiler houses instead of cages to prevent the occurrence of bruised flesh which would make their meat undesirable. Their beaks and toes are cut off and the broiler houses are usually unlit to prevent fighting among the birds.


    Our closest relatives at the factory farm. Many never see the daylight, others are used as living breeding machines. Pigs are born and raised inside buildings that have automated water, feed and waste removal. Dust, dirt and toxic gases from the pigs' waste create an unsanitary environment that encourages the onset of a number of diseases and illnesses, including pneumonia, cholera, dysentery and trichinosis.

    Hog Farms: As piglets, they are taken away from their mothers when they are less than 1 month old; their tails are cut off, some of their teeth are cut off, and the males have their testicles ripped out of their scrotums (castration), all without any pain relief. They spend their entire lives in overcrowded pens on a tiny slab of filthy concrete. more than 170,000 pigs die in transport each year, and more than 420,000 are crippled by the time they arrive at the slaughterhouse.2 Many are still fully conscious when they are immersed in scalding water for hair removal.
    Breeding Sows: Breeding sows spend their entire lives in tiny metal crates so they cannot turn around. Shortly after giving birth, they are once again forcibly impregnated. This cycle continues for years until their bodies finally gives up and they are sent to be killed.

    And there is also factory farming of fish in the UK. In these fish farms, the salmon live in water that is so filthy, that when one truck was transporting these fish live in the water and it crashed, they had to call in toxic/poison crews to deal with spill. They are covered in fish lice because of the amount of fish to the space, the flesh has to dyed because their diet is unnatural and they cannot respond to their natural instincts to try to go up-river to spawn as they are corralled causing innate distress and the lack of capacity to exercise/swim makes the flesh more fatty (which they want for the oils). It is all revolting - your way altho superfically seeming brutal, is far far far far less cruel.

    Sorry I don't mean to hijack your thread, I am on a bit of a rant today. I am feeling stressed and worried about all sorts of things and a bit sick.... so writing any kind of nonsense just helps me deal. A bit like deep breathing or something...
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