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Thread: Dual standards in animal welfare

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    Re: Dual standards in animal welfare

    I wonder what's meant by "higher life forms" when speaking of the cat family. The words do not compute. They fail to convey anything to my mind other than anthropomorphic bias.
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    Re: Dual standards in animal welfare

    another words 'humans'

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    Re: Dual standards in animal welfare

    Quote Originally Posted by magentaflame View Post
    another words 'humans'
    Keep going, that's not informative enough.

    In what respect is a human a higher life form than a member of the cat family?

    The reason I mentioned "anthropomorphic bias" is that it means preferring humans because you're a human. I'm asking whether you have a reason for it other than some tribal loyalty.

    Higher how? A list would do.
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    Re: Dual standards in animal welfare

    Quote Originally Posted by spot View Post
    Keep going, that's not informative enough.

    In what respect is a human a higher life form than a member of the cat family?

    The reason I mentioned "anthropomorphic bias" is that it means preferring humans because you're a human. I'm asking whether you have a reason for it other than some tribal loyalty.

    Higher how? A list would do.
    Ability to solve quadratic equations?

    Fly to the Moon?

    Paint the Mona Lisa?

    Destroy the planet?

    Higher is a relative and subjective term. In the ways I list we are a higher life form. In other ways cats are superior: Cats kill and eat far more efficiently than we do. They would probably survive better in eg a post-apocalyptic winter than we would. In terms of rights they have only the rights we give them, legally speaking - and we are speaking legally in this case.

    Morally, one can certainly argue that animal life should be valued more highly. But how highly and where if anywhere is the line? Should we wipe out diseases because a disease is after all, life. Mosquitoes? Bugs on your plants? Rats or mice in the house?

    There is certainly something obscene about make up tests done on animals...

    I suppose, in a way, thank heavens there's a line at all.

    edit: And I am glad to see that there was a psychiatric report which had a big influence on the sentence (thanks Wandrin).
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    Re: Dual standards in animal welfare

    Solving quadratic equations, flying to the Moon, painting the Mona Lisa and destroying the planet are abilities we humans value because they're things we humans are skilled at. We don't value breathing particularly because any old vertebrate can breathe, it's nothing clever. That's what I meant about anthropomorphic bias. The cat - and I explicitly exclude the domesticated cat - is an astonishing creature with abilities far greater than our own in many spheres. Contrast any average wild cat with the world's best acrobat or parcouriste, there's no doubt which excels. I could name another ten attributes where a cat is equally going to win.

    The capabilities of life, and in particular multi-cellular life, are astonishing. The evolutionary development which led to the first multi-cellular lifeform far outstrips what's happened since that moment, we're all variations on that one model. If you share a significant proportion of your genetic inheritance with a banana - I've seen 30% bandied about - then to my mind a banana deserves considerable respect. The very fact that we humans have wrought such appalling havoc on nature in the last hundred thousand years is the reason I believe we should step back and make complete amends our prime directive before we do anything to further our own interests. That starts with a fifty year plan to have most of humanity's nutritional requirements met synthetically, to ban farming and to exterminate every domesticated breed of plant and animal from the planet. That is a reasonable middle-of-the-road proposal, I'm deliberately avoiding extreme alternatives.

    As for diseases, I dislike the virus but I have so little understanding of its function in ecology that I would be loath to remove it from the environment. Festina lente, one small step at a time, blatant offenders like smallpox and polio and dengue and malaria are fair game. Genociding mosquitoes is way off the playing field, they're equally victims of the malaria cycle.
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    Re: Dual standards in animal welfare

    Over the years I've returned to youtube to watch the following video as a reminder of who we are and where we come from. The video might seem simplistic, but its message is worth consideration.
    https://youtu.be/zJM4EBuL82o

    I find it difficult to see how humans who have grown up on farms or ranches or are pet owners fail to empathize with the plight of other animal species. Even our best intentions, as well as the consequences of our rules and laws, are abusive toward other species. Also, it becomes transparent that any person who claims to be opposed to slavery makes the claim only in a rhetorical sense because they fail to recognize the behavior when it stares them in the eye and is a daily way of life for them. That all says a lot about us culturally and cognitively. And if how we currently treat these other animals is reflective of us as a "higher life form" (whatever that means) or "more evolved" (a ridiculous notion in and of itself) then our species deserves extermination based on moral grounds.

    All that said, I find myself faced with one of a number of conundrums. That is that the evolution of my physical self has been reliant on and the result of the consumption of these other species. It's said that the brain is the result of meat consumption and I know that the method by which my body maintains its health is highly dependant on animal protein. So, what's a person to do?

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    Re: Dual standards in animal welfare

    Quote Originally Posted by Ahso! View Post
    Over the years I've returned to youtube to watch the following video as a reminder of who we are and where we come from.
    No no no! How can someone go to all that trouble and not know we're APES!!! We're not monkeys, we never were monkeys, go back down the evolutionary trail as far as you like and you'll find no monkey. Monkeys are on a side-branch, monkeys are not now and never have been primates, you are a PRIMATE. Primate lineage has no monkey in it. It goes back to an extinct precursor mammal that wasn't a monkey. Monkeys developed after their line from the same non-monkey precursor went up a different side-branch to the one which created apes.



    I'll offer a mocumentary discussing the current use of livestock and the rise of the vegan movement.

    Here's the mocumentary - Carnage

    and this is Simon Amstell discussing his film with Mark Kermode, it's interesting - If we keep eating animals it's going to get awkward.

    It's told from the perspective of 2067 and I take the underlying discussion entirely seriously.
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    From the upper tier of the Leppings Lane End of the Hillsborough Stadium, I watched the events of that day unfold with horror.
    When the flowers want to oxygen and nutrition, or you’re a wedding or party planner, I will help you too much.
    Write that word in the blood

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    Re: Dual standards in animal welfare

    ....HEAVY SIGH.....

    we're the higher life forms, becuase we make the rules. The welfare or abuse of animals is in our hands or on our heads becuase WE make the rules. Its as simple as that.

    Now in saying that .....one of my cats looked at me as i sighed. I offered the phone to her to respond to this thread but she just meowed..... so im going to assume and make the executive decision (because im the higher life form ) to respond to this thread.

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    Re: Dual standards in animal welfare

    An ability to communicate human to human does not make us a higher life form, it makes us human. Though, I could agree that empathizing might make us more compassionate humans. As was pointed out earlier, the rules humans live by are for the benefit of human existence. They are not for the benefit of other species.

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    Re: Dual standards in animal welfare

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    Exactly! Hence the higher life form.

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