17 September, 2007

An Animal's Dinner, or Animals for Dinner?

I was recently asked, "Why are you vegan, because if an animal had a chance to eat/kill you, it would."

1. Fear: If a Bear approached you in your yard, would you embrace it and be kind, or use some type of defense mechanism? Most likely, you would attack or run.

If an animal attacks a human it is most likely due to fear. It does not know your intentions or understand your language; and if anything, has been introduced to a hunter or two or a thousand. We cannot blame animals for trying to protect their homes, young, families, or self. If anything, having the type of intelligence that we do, we should understand that the burden for peaceful interaction falls on us.

2. Hunger: If the animal does attack out of hunger (which is unlikely) it is because that animal sees you as you are - another animal. Non-human omnivorous/carnivorous animals have not yet taken to gardening nor can they analyze animal rights philosophy, and human occupation of their lands is making it a great deal harder for them to find food. My point is, animals interact with the world instinctively and with a different type of intelligence than humans do. Let's not fail to note that humans have been known to eat humans under severely strained circumstances (that's not including psychopathic behavior).

3. Let's be honest: Veganism in no way states that a person cannot harm an animal (human or non-human) in the case of self-defense. But when omnivores eat animals, it is only for tradition and personal enjoyment, not self-preservation. Cows, Pigs, Chickens, Fish, etc. are bred and tortured for nothing more than fun and enjoyment...



  1. Hi Dino et. al.,

    I used to work as an orderly in a 24-hour care facility for the severely mentally disabled. Some of the individuals living there had tendencies towards violent behaviors.

    Our training always stressed safe and nonviolent ways to deal with these behaviors. You are never to retaliate with force unless your life is genuinely in serious and immanent danger.

    So for me, this question is analogous to "Why do you react nonviolently to violent individuals? Why do you try not to hurt them, when they'd hurt you if they had a chance?"

    Answer: Because it's the right thing to do. They don't have a choice, or the mental capacity to contemplate right and wrong and choose appropriately.

    Similarly with nonhumans -- and in this case, it's even more profound. Not only do they lack the moral capacity, but also the biological ability.

    I, on the other hand, have both the biological and mental basis for choosing nonviolence. On what grounds could I possibly choose anything else?

  2. Pretty damn good point there, Kevin. DISCLAIMER: NOT SAYING THAT SEVERELY MENTALLY DISABLED PEOPLE ARE DOGS, SO STFU. But like, you would go and kill a human with severe developmental or mental disabilities for striking out at you. We don't do that in a civilised country. If you're mentally incapacitated, you are not to be placed on the same moral grounding as a person who is in possession of his full mental capacities.

    Similarly, how dare you lump a tiger, whose life is based upon instinct, along with a human, who is expected to rationally think things through? Ridiculous.