god0fgod wrote:I'm talking about those animals without sentience. We all know chickens, pigs and cows are sentient.
Well then, since this tangent started over an ethics discussion about what we should or shouldn't do with animals, why is such a narrow definition relevant? We're obviously talking about doing genetic experiments with something bigger than insects.
We accept killing animals for food because of one or more of a few reasons:
1. We don't care.
2. We feel animals are unlike humans and were put there for our benefit. Hence humans should assume all superiority and rights over animals.
3. We feel it's natural for the stronger and more intelligent animals to take others for food; Survival of the fittest.
4. We feel happy as long as the animal has had a good life; Organic, free range and roadkill.
I would tend to put my own feelings about my omnivorous diet thusly:
1) As per your #4, I am not comfortable with animal suffering. I do feel better if I think the animal was not treated cruelly in life.
2) We are natural omnivores, as demonstrated by the fact that it is difficult to acquire all necessary nutrients from a vegan diet. I know it can be done, but it does take a lot more work (and some of the necessary supplements are derived from animal sources anyway). In short, animal protein is, more or less, a necessary component of our diet, albeit not quite so large
a component as certain people seem to think.
I don't know where you stand in particular, but regarding your #1 and #2, people who declare that animal suffering means nothing strike me as rather callous, to say the least. Regarding #3, people need to stop treating Darwinian evolution as if it's a moral principle rather than a scientific theory. Nobody thinks gravity or electromagnetism are moral principles.