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  •  Is your objection to eating the flesh (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril

    or to killing it?  It seems to me that you're concerned about that actual consumption -- I truly don't see a moral issue in that.

    •  I'm being facetious. (0+ / 0-)

      Abortion is not the same issue.  A fetus is not an independent organism, but an outgrowth of the mother, and the mother's right to autonomy is supreme.  Also, a fetus is not as sentient as even a fish - its brain has no need to be aware of itself or its environment: It's just a biological "construction site."

      "They fear this man. They know he will see farther than they, and he will bind them with ancient logics." -The stoner guy in The Cabin in the Woods

      by Troubadour on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 09:09:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  On the other hand, a cow.. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kyril

        will never be self-aware; the thalamocortical circuits are not there, and neither is the mass of the frontal cortex.

        So it's not a facile question at all, but a serious one.  

        •  I don't mean intellectually self-aware (0+ / 0-)

          as in having a concept of self - I mean it feels and perceives its environment, and has emotions.  A cow is sentient.  A fetus is not.

          "They fear this man. They know he will see farther than they, and he will bind them with ancient logics." -The stoner guy in The Cabin in the Woods

          by Troubadour on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 09:14:24 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I suggest that there's a deeper difference (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kyril

            Some animals have a qualitatively different experience of "self" than others.  Cows can feel pain, yes, but they cannot anticipate it (as far as I know, they don't even exhibit learned helplessness, something which even dogs exhibit.)  That's a significant difference, and it carries moral weight to me.

            As a result, I don't buy the core moral argument against eating meat.  I can accept the utilitarian ones (it's bad for you to eat meat because of the health consequences) or the humanitarian ones (animal husbandry is wasteful at best, and factory farming goes beyond that to outright cruelty), but I don't believe the moral arguments have much merit.

            •  So if a human were brain damaged (0+ / 0-)

              in such a way that they could still move around, eat, and respond to stimuli, but could no longer anticipate pain or show cognizance of self in the standard tests, it would be acceptable to shoot them and eat their corpse?

              "They fear this man. They know he will see farther than they, and he will bind them with ancient logics." -The stoner guy in The Cabin in the Woods

              by Troubadour on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 09:41:53 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  gotta say (1+ / 0-)
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            kyril

            A fetus responds to its environment, albeit in very basic ways, like "enough oxygen/not enough oxygen". It kicks when the mother drinks something cold; it stops moving when it's ill. Everything perceives its environment in some way. Emotions I don't know about, but then I've never seen evidence of fish having emotions, either.

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