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HVG New Year Statement on Humanist Vegetarians

This forum is set aside for the BHA Humanist Vegetarian Group. All of Think Humanism's registered users are welcome to participate. If you wish to receive news and announcements from this group, please register with the HVG user group. See instructions near the top of the HVG forum.

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clayto
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Joined: July 22nd, 2007, 6:34 pm

HVG New Year Statement on Humanist Vegetarians

#1 Postby clayto » February 7th, 2009, 4:27 pm

I have been in some correspondence with Roz of the Vegan Society with regard to my personal statement for Marilyn Mason in the HVG New Year Newsletter (see thread). We have discussed an addition which she would like to see:

Quote: "The most important thing to me is getting the evolutionary perspective in as I know that this will appeal to humanists. So how about:

"Veggie humanists do not believe that human beings are special creations made by God, but instead animals that have evolved from other animals. Therefore any difference between a human being and another animal is simply a matter of degree rather than a difference of 'type.' Pigs, cats, dogs and chickens feel pain and also a whole range of complex emotions such as fear, jealously, pleasure, affection, misery, depression etc and therefore have the same interest as humans in avoiding pain, fear etc and enjoying pleasure, affection etc. Therefore we consider it unethical to cause suffering to non-human animals by imprisoning them in cages, denying them their natural (pleasurable) behaviours and by performing painful procedures on them.

Maybe also add the Peter Singer thought experiment:

To expose speciesist attitudes, atheist philosopher Peter Singer suggests that when we consider whether a given animal experiment is justifiable we should ask ourselves whether we would be prepared to perform it on an orphaned human being at a mental level similar to that of the proposed non-human animal subject. Only if the answer is affirmative could we claim that our readiness to use the non-human animal was not based on a speciesist prejudice against giving the interests of other animals a similar weight to the interests of members of our own species."


Our discussion revolved around various circumstance in which I think there might be valid exceptions to "it (is) unethical to cause suffering to non-human animals by imprisoning them in cages, denying them their natural (pleasurable) behaviours and by performing painful procedures on them." I suggested various circumstance where 'imprisoning' etc might be necessary and ethical. Without going into the intervening detail Roz's last contribution was

Quote: "A lot of people say that animal experimentation is necessary for medical progress. Of course we (presumably meaning vegan's) don't agree with that but it's why I shy away from the word 'necessary.' For me animals should normally be free, as dangerous animals have their environmental niche and it is for us to keep away from them rather than
imprison them for our safety.

How about just adding the word 'systematically'?:

Therefore we consider it unethical to systematically cause suffering to non-human animals by imprisoning them in cages denying them their natural (pleasurable) behaviours and by performing painful procedures on them."

I am now going to pass this on to Marilyn but in addition I thought it might be of interest to some of you.

Chris
clayto

clayto
Posts: 384
Joined: July 22nd, 2007, 6:34 pm

Re: HVG New Year Statement on Humanist Vegetarians

#2 Postby clayto » February 16th, 2009, 9:23 am

Roz (Rosamund Raha) has asked me to make it clear that her comments are in a personal capacity not as an officer of the Vegan Society.

She says "Would you be able to change this to 'I have been in some correspondence with
Rosamund Raha' and take out the 'of the Vegan Society.' It's just that our
CEO/Council of Trustees are very strict that things don't look like thy come
from the Vegan Society when they are simply the point of view of one person."

Chris
clayto

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Alan C.
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Re: HVG New Year Statement on Humanist Vegetarians

#3 Postby Alan C. » February 16th, 2009, 11:29 pm

It's a bit quiet upstairs Chris, and while I know you don't like my comments, I'm sure you won't mind me making them.
"The most important thing to me is getting the evolutionary perspective in as I know that this will appeal to humanists. So how about:

"Veggie humanists do not believe that human beings are special creations made by God, but instead animals that have evolved from other animals.

How about you drop "Veggie" as the first word? Then it makes more sense.

Therefore any difference between a human being and another animal is simply a matter of degree rather than a difference of 'type.' Pigs, cats, dogs and chickens feel pain and also a whole range of complex emotions such as fear, jealously, pleasure, affection, misery, depression etc and therefore have the same interest as humans in avoiding pain, fear etc and enjoying pleasure, affection etc.

Do you not think we (meat eaters) know that? Sometimes your arrogance amazes me! I believe flies, spiders, woodlice et al, have emotions (pain,fear, plesure etc) That's why I don't kill them.
Therefore we consider it unethical to cause suffering to non-human animals by imprisoning them in cages, denying them their natural (pleasurable) behaviours and by performing painful procedures on them.
So do I!

Maybe also add the Peter Singer thought experiment:
Ah..........Your personal godhead Peter Singer, what is it with you and this guy? (You never seem to quote anybody else)

To expose speciesist (sic) attitudes, atheist philosopher Peter Singer suggests that when we consider whether a given animal experiment is justifiable we should ask ourselves whether we would be prepared to perform it on an orphaned human being
Why "orphaned"? Why not ANY human being?
at a mental level similar to that of the proposed non-human animal subject.
How could you even measure that?

Chris, I take animal welfare very seriously, the fact that I eat meat doesn't in any way diminish that fact, and as long as I can source ethically produced meat, I will continue to consume it.
Your Vegitarian utopia can never come about, for reasons I've given on other threads.

X Alan.
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

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Paolo
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Re: HVG New Year Statement on Humanist Vegetarians

#4 Postby Paolo » February 17th, 2009, 7:16 am

As Alan pointed out, pretty quiet on this thread, so I thought I'd chip in and agree with what Alan says above.

clayto
Posts: 384
Joined: July 22nd, 2007, 6:34 pm

Re: HVG New Year Statement on Humanist Vegetarians

#5 Postby clayto » February 17th, 2009, 10:43 am

Alan C (and Paolo)

You seem not to have grasped that the passage you are criticising is not a statement of my position but, as explained, is copied from an email from Rosamund Raha, to whom your apology for the discourteous remark "Sometimes your arrogance amazes me!" should be directed.

Again, as explained, the the passage is Roz's personal response (not on behalf of the Vegan Society, as she wishes to emphasise) to my earlier New Year Statement which came about following a request from Marilyn Mason (again, as explained in the relevant thread). I have placed it here in case anyone wished to make constructive comments.

I am afraid any value in your comments may have been lost in the way you have responded but I will forward a copy to Roz (who may not follow our Forum) in case she does want to answer some of the points you have made. Personally I agree that it would make sense to remove the 'Veggie' from in front of 'humanists'. The Singer quote which upsets you so much is (as explained) not derived from me. Someone else may wish to comment.

Chris
clayto

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Paolo
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Re: HVG New Year Statement on Humanist Vegetarians

#6 Postby Paolo » February 17th, 2009, 11:07 am

clayto wrote:Alan C (and Paolo)
I am afraid any value in your comments may have been lost in the way you have responded

Surely the value remains, but I agree that the method of delivery may indeed make that value less likely to be acknowledged.

By the way, I was agreeing with the content of the comments rather than their delivery - I hope that makes them more palatable.


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