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Mahk
May 9th, 2008, 03:24 AM
Apparantly it's ethically sound to eat oysters because they don't have a brain or a nervous system.

Not quite sure what you mean.

Would it be ethically sound to kill a human by shooting it in the head with an explosive bullet while it was sleeping? Same scenario really; the being is unaware it is losing its life and there is no pain, death is immediate.

journey
May 11th, 2008, 04:58 PM
Even if it doesn't have brain, feel pain, etc, the fact is, it's an animal and wants to live - I don't feel I have a right to take away that opportunity (yes, I know plants want to live too...)

I also don't use natural sponges - I don't think they have a brain, but I'm not going to have them killed for my vanity, especially when synthetic ones are available.

I think these types of arguments are the slippery slope. Once we start saying a particular animal doesn't have a central nervous system, etc. it's an easy step to 'surely they don't have pain', don't have self interest, don't plan for the future, don't suffer - people have said all those things (except nervous system) about cows and other farmed animals - like I said, I think it's just a slippery slope to start down.

VeganDaze
May 11th, 2008, 07:39 PM
I think these types of arguments are the slippery slope. Once we start saying a particular animal doesn't have a central nervous system, etc. it's an easy step to 'surely they don't have pain', don't have self interest, don't plan for the future, don't suffer - people have said all those things (except nervous system) about cows and other farmed animals - like I said, I think it's just a slippery slope to start down.

Plus, they look like giant bogies

Huddy
May 12th, 2008, 11:03 AM
Plus, they look like giant bogies
eeeeeeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwww!:surprised_ani:(spew!)

steven1222
May 13th, 2008, 02:26 PM
It does not matter whether an animal has a brain, has a central nervous system, feels pain, suffers, wants to live, plans for the future, is aware of its fate, or died of human or natural causes.

If it is an animal, it is not food. Oysters are animals, and the rest is irrelevant.

flars
May 20th, 2008, 04:12 AM
I don't know in what sense an oyster wants to live. It doesn't have a brain and cannot have a preference for continued existence. It's unclear to what extent oysters have experiences at all, but to the extent they do, they are surely disconnected. Having one oyster live for two days is pretty much the same thing as having two oysters live for one day each. An observing anthropomorphising human may disagree, but the oysters wouldn't be able to tell the difference. Of course, you could argue, as someone did, that killing oysters would place us on a slippery moral slope. I seriously doubt that, but it's an empirical question and I could be wrong. I would personally have no problem with killing an oyster painlessly, although I don't see much of an upside to it either.

I don't know where you want to go with statements like
If it is an animal, it is not food. Oysters are animals, and the rest is irrelevant. That's not an argument; it's just stating an opinion. Anyone not already agreeing with you would find it unconvincing.

harpy
May 20th, 2008, 10:20 AM
I don't know where you want to go with statements like That's not an argument; it's just stating an opinion. Anyone not already agreeing with you would find it unconvincing.

I can't speak for Steven, but I'd say rather than an argument it's a valid 'analytic' statement about veganism and oysters. By definition vegans don't eat animals; an oyster is an animal; therefore a vegan wouldn't eat an oyster (whether it has a nervous system etc or not).

As regards the experiences of oysters, I suspect they don't have much in the way of conscious wishes and feelings, but I prefer to err on the side of caution seeing I don't need to eat them.

horselesspaul
May 20th, 2008, 11:10 AM
I don't know in what sense an oyster wants to live. It doesn't have a brain and cannot have a preference for continued existence. It's unclear to what extent oysters have experiences at all, but to the extent they do, they are surely disconnected. Having one oyster live for two days is pretty much the same thing as having two oysters live for one day each. An observing anthropomorphising human may disagree, but the oysters wouldn't be able to tell the difference. Of course, you could argue, as someone did, that killing oysters would place us on a slippery moral slope. I seriously doubt that, but it's an empirical question and I could be wrong. I would personally have no problem with killing an oyster painlessly, although I don't see much of an upside to it either.

I don't know where you want to go with statements like That's not an argument; it's just stating an opinion. Anyone not already agreeing with you would find it unconvincing.
Are you trying to say, with your first post, that you think it's OK for vegans to eat oysters?

bryzee86
May 20th, 2008, 12:08 PM
Are you trying to say, with your first post, that you think it's OK for vegans to eat oysters?

Way to introduce themselves...

horselesspaul
May 20th, 2008, 12:11 PM
..and with a small font..

ALexiconofLove
May 20th, 2008, 12:13 PM
What is the difference between an oyster and, say, a plant that can move (like a venus flytrap), that makes it okay to eat the plant but not the oyster? Or should we not eat moving plants either?

ALexiconofLove
May 20th, 2008, 12:14 PM
Not quite sure what you mean.

Would it be ethically sound to kill a human by shooting it in the head with an explosive bullet while it was sleeping? Same scenario really; the being is unaware it is losing its life and there is no pain, death is immediate.

What if the human were asleep for its whole life (ie, in a coma)?

Btw, I'm not interested in eating oysters and understand that they are by definition not vegan. Just trying to figure out the logic beyond that point. :)

harpy
May 20th, 2008, 12:16 PM
I think oysters do have recognisable (though primitive) nervous systems whereas plants don't, so there's more of a chance that oysters do feel something or other when harmed. But for me it's also a case of having to draw the line somewhere for practical reasons. (Mind you I don't fancy eating venus fly traps much so would be prepared to give them honorary animal status :) )

ALexiconofLove
May 20th, 2008, 12:29 PM
But for me it's also a case of having to draw the line somewhere for practical reasons. (Mind you I don't fancy eating venus fly traps much so would be prepared to give them honorary animal status :) )

I agree. I also just don't need to eat oysters, scallops, or mussels (or venus fly traps:p). And the way they're harvested is bad for the environment. But I think it's not as bad as harming an animal with a brain and nervous sytem (though I think you're right... that mussels have some sort of nervous system... I need to go research the anatomy of scallops).

I think I read somewhere on this forum that plants respond to attack too... not by moving but by releasing natural pesticides and the like... so isn't that a bit like a nervous system?

horselesspaul
May 20th, 2008, 12:30 PM
What is the difference between an oyster and, say, a plant that can move (like a venus flytrap), that makes it okay to eat the plant but not the oyster? Or should we not eat moving plants either?
The key is in the kingdom classification here:

Oyster:

Domain Eukaryota (http://www.taxonomy.nl/Main/Classification/71606.htm) - eukaryotes
Kingdom Animalia (http://www.taxonomy.nl/Main/Classification/11166.htm) - animals
Subkingdom Bilateria (http://www.taxonomy.nl/Main/Classification/198700.htm) - bilaterians;triploblastic animals
Branch Protostomia (http://www.taxonomy.nl/Main/Classification/198701.htm) - protostomes
Infrakingdom "Lophotrochozoa" (http://www.taxonomy.nl/Main/Classification/202032.htm) - lophotrochozoans
Superphylum Eutrochozoa (http://www.taxonomy.nl/Main/Classification/201563.htm)
Phylum Mollusca (http://www.taxonomy.nl/Main/Classification/34361.htm) - molluscs;mollusks
Class Bivalvia (http://www.taxonomy.nl/Main/Classification/39046.htm) - bivalves
Subclass Metabranchia (http://www.taxonomy.nl/Main/Classification/694473.htm)
Superorder Filibranchia (http://www.taxonomy.nl/Main/Classification/39095.htm)
Order Pteriomorpha (http://www.taxonomy.nl/Main/Classification/694474.htm)
Superfamily Ostreoidea (http://www.taxonomy.nl/Main/Classification/39268.htm)

Venus Fly Trap:

Classification: Dionaea muscipula Ellis
Kingdom Plantae (http://plants.usda.gov/java/ClassificationServlet?source=profile&symbol=Plantae&display=63) Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta (http://plants.usda.gov/java/ClassificationServlet?source=profile&symbol=Tracheobionta&display=63) Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta (http://plants.usda.gov/java/ClassificationServlet?source=profile&symbol=Spermatophyta&display=63) Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta (http://plants.usda.gov/java/ClassificationServlet?source=profile&symbol=Magnoliophyta&display=63) Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida (http://plants.usda.gov/java/ClassificationServlet?source=profile&symbol=Magnoliopsida&display=63) Dicotyledons
Subclass Dilleniidae (http://plants.usda.gov/java/ClassificationServlet?source=profile&symbol=Dilleniidae&display=63)Nepenthales (http://plants.usda.gov/java/ClassificationServlet?source=profile&symbol=Nepenthales&display=63)
Family Droseraceae (http://plants.usda.gov/java/ClassificationServlet?source=profile&symbol=Droseraceae&display=63) Sundew family
Genus Dionaea Ellis (http://plants.usda.gov/java/ClassificationServlet?source=profile&symbol=DIONA&display=63) Venus flytrap
Species Dionaea muscipula Ellis (http://plants.usda.gov/java/ClassificationServlet?source=profile&symbol=DIMU4&display=63) Venus flytrap

ALexiconofLove
May 20th, 2008, 12:34 PM
Yes, I understand that a scallop is by definition an animal and therefore not vegan. :)

ETA: If plants evolved nervous systems or brains, it wouldn't be okay to eat them, regardless of the fact they are in the "plant" kingdom.

horselesspaul
May 20th, 2008, 12:37 PM
Yes, I understand that a scallop is by definition an animal and therefore not vegan. :)

ETA: If plants evolved nervous systems or brains, it wouldn't be okay to eat them, regardless of the fact they are in the "plant" kingdom.
They would then be reclassified as belonging to the animal kingdom.

ALexiconofLove
May 20th, 2008, 12:41 PM
Really? What are the standards for classifying something into the animal or plant kingdom? I thought it was based on evolutionary past.

harpy
May 20th, 2008, 12:43 PM
I think I read somewhere on this forum that plants respond to attack too... not by moving but by releasing natural pesticides and the like... so isn't that a bit like a nervous system?

Functionally, perhaps, but I don't think there's any reason to believe that plants experience sensations because AIUI their responses are triggered by completely different mechanisms.

I believe some fruitarians are concerned about the possible experiences of plants and choose to eat fruit because that's the part that the plant 'wants' to give away. Personally I'm not convinced that a fruitarian diet is adequate and so I eat all parts of plants on the them-or-me principle, and because I think it causes much less suffering than other diets.

ALexiconofLove
May 20th, 2008, 12:46 PM
Personally I'm not convinced that a fruitarian diet is adequate and so I eat all parts of plants on the them-or-me principle, and because I think it causes much less suffering than other diets.

Yup.

horselesspaul
May 20th, 2008, 12:49 PM
Cladistics vs Linnaean Taxonomy..
I'm not a biologist but I believe Cladistics relies on evolution and Linnaean Taxonomy on qualifying features.

ALexiconofLove
May 20th, 2008, 12:51 PM
Ah, okay. I slept through bio!

horselesspaul
May 20th, 2008, 12:55 PM
Haha. Me too. Luckily the exam had a lot of multiple choice questions and ACDC, as a pattern, got me through..just.

ALexiconofLove
May 20th, 2008, 01:15 PM
Fortunately our education system is apalling, and one can sleep through just about any class and succeed.

littlewinker
May 20th, 2008, 01:39 PM
It's irrelevant whether oyster know they're dying, it's so annoying when people ignore injustice as a form of suffering.

We know they're dying. A life is a life and you shouldn't end one needlessly. I agree about the slippery moral slope thing. You can't take a life on a whim, there should be no exceptions because it also blurs the lines.