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Haniska
Jul 10th, 2008, 03:42 PM
How about rocks? How about the mold that's alive and growing under your sink? [well my sink anyway];) For me personally there's no uncertainty regarding plants thinking; they don't. Clams are the only ones I'm unclear on. But I respect your opinion.


Like I said, its my personal stand that they don't think because they have no need to. I'm arguing because I did too many drugs when I was younger:dizzy:



Agreed. I might consider using a sponge though. From my understanding what we call a "natural sponge" is really just the skeletal remains of an animal. What I don't know is if it is alive when we harvest it. That's the key question to me. Did an animal life have to be killed to get the product?

Same here.


Do sperm think? They're one celled right? Are they an animal? They're not a plant! They move, they swim, but is that all they do? Is it just blind luck that some have "blind" head on collisions with an egg or do they have some form of sensor system to look for an egg? Do they behave differently when they hit an egg (as opposed to a uterine wall) or do they just continue to just "swim blindly" and that causes the penetration?

:confused:

Is this along the lines of your point?



Yep. That's my point. The best sperm may not think, but sperm are programmed in some way to find the egg quickly and not bump into each other or swim in circles. That way the best sperm wins. How is that any different than us? Excluding the fact that everyone gets laid and makes babies, success is at least somewhat determined by our *program* of cognitive ability etc. The way I imagine it, life started with single celled organisms that evolved. How is our ability to grab the brass ring any different that the sperms ability to find the egg? How many cells does something have to have to be considered as having its own being/sentience/worthy of life etc? Maybe the line is drawn at "animal cells". I could go with that, but I continue to spill seed on the ground.

philfox
Jul 11th, 2008, 02:32 PM
Yep. That's my point. The best sperm may not think, but sperm are programmed in some way to find the egg quickly and not bump into each other or swim in circles. That way the best sperm wins. How is that any different than us? Excluding the fact that everyone gets laid and makes babies, success is at least somewhat determined by our *program* of cognitive ability etc. The way I imagine it, life started with single celled organisms that evolved. How is our ability to grab the brass ring any different that the sperms ability to find the egg? How many cells does something have to have to be considered as having its own being/sentience/worthy of life etc? Maybe the line is drawn at "animal cells". I could go with that, but I continue to spill seed on the ground.

Can I get all feminist and philosophical on this bit here? Sperm really isn't as proactive as it has been suggested in Western metaphors regarding reproductive functions. This is a gender imagery relating more to the way we as humans regard gender roles (ie males proactive and strong and females as submissive and weaker). Researchers at John Hopkins University concluded that the sperm and the egg stick together because of adhesive molecules on the surfaces of each. The egg traps the sperm. The trapped sperm continues to wiggle ineffectively. If the digestive enzymes released by the trapped sperm start to soften the zona i.e.the outer layer of the egg, the fragile sperm can get oriented in the right direction and make it through it. http://www.shvoong.com/social-sciences/anthropology/1687709-egg-sperm-science-constructed-romance/

Instead of moving forwards sperm move side to side, the egg is able to 'trap' them. The zona essentially having egg 'catching' properties. Modern biology has shown that the 'relationship' between egg and sperm is far more mutual than the old metaphors. Although many texts still use gender metaphors for the reproductive cells of men and women.

So in the case of cells, even 'smart' cells like white blood cells and sperm cells, there is no behaviour as such. These cells do what they do but rely on other cells in the body. We are pretty complex. (I'm sitting here now imagining all my cells in my body having their own lives and wondering if we as humans are just cells in another 'body' out there. I've distracted myself now...) But there is no 'design' to these cells, they don't have intentional acts. Neither do newly fertilized foetuses. But that's what makes us as humans and even clams or oysters different to the cells in our bodies, it is just that: the cells are 'inside us', as part of us, they cannot exist independently.

[Oysters] have extremely strong adductor muscles to close their shells when threatened.

Oysters feed by extracting algae and other food particles from the water they are almost constantly drawing over their gills. They reproduce when the water warms by broadcast spawning, and will change gender once or more during their lifetime.

http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/invertebrates/oyster.html

Mollusks include clams, oysters, scallops, mussels, snails, squid, octopuses, slugs, nudibranchs, sea hares, and several classes of deep-sea wormlike creatures.

http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-mollusks.htm

I wouldn't eat a squid, therefore I won't eat clams etc, no matter how 'basic' they appear to us. I also wouldn't use sponges as they are basic animals and I don't use animal products. There are questionable effects on the ecosystem that comes from harvesting sponges, as there are coral etc.

Some sponge facts:
http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=6827

http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/invertebrates/sponge/

They also live in pineapples and have friends called Patrick....I wouldn't want to deprive their friends of their square friends now... ;)

Sorry for the huuuuuge ramble!

Mahk
Jul 11th, 2008, 09:02 PM
Can I get all feminist and philosophical on this bit here? Sperm really isn't as proactive as it has been suggested in Western metaphors regarding reproductive functions. This is a gender imagery relating more to the way we as humans regard gender roles (ie males proactive and strong and females as submissive and weaker).

I went looking for a video to witness the process and this was the first one google video linked me too:

YO4GmUrQt0M

:p

But seriously, do scientists anthropomorphize sperm (as this video does) as "looking" for eggs? Are they really just dumb, blind swimmers going randomly in all directions and just by a fluke one or two have collisions with sticky eggs? :confused:

philfox
Jul 11th, 2008, 10:16 PM
I think so, otherwise men would produce far far less ;) and women would end up pregnant far more. If you look at a lot of medical texts which have shown the more proactive role of the egg, they *still* place a gender bias upon them, ignoring their research results and skewing public conceptions. The same as white blood cells; they don't *know* what they are doing, they just do it, as part of the system of our bodies. Same as the cells in a plant which process the sunlight and C02, those cells don't 'know' what they are doing, they are just part of the greater 'whole' of the plant which is part of the building blocks which make up the plant we see, thriving on our window sill etc. Please don't think I'm trying to sound as though I know what I am talking about...I'm rambling...

However, even though I don't think plants can feel pain as such, as living creatures I do believe in respecting them more and have recently started considering when I waste plant foods. I am making far far more stock then normal because of that ;)

Mahk
Jul 12th, 2008, 05:24 AM
There was a recent Norweigan study (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/02/14/tech/main673989.shtml) on lobsters that concluded they, like other invertebrates, probably can't feel pain. That sounds fishy to me because I know they are smarter than most people give them credit for. This study (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9933553) for instance showed that they can recognize individuals they've had fights with in the past and have a memory span for such individuals for at least a day if not 1-2 weeks "for some animals" (ambiguous wording there). They then act subserviently toward them if they lost that prior fight and have a very hierarchal social network it would seem.

Looking for pain and morphine alleviation studies I found this paper (http://www.nel.edu/pdf_/26_2/NEL260205_PMID15855878_Casares_.pdf) which shows they do indeed manufacture their own "morphine" after painful events or "stress trauma" they call it ["pereiopod-ablation or lipopolysaccaride (LPS) - injection" translation: ripping their legs off :mad: or injections of something nasty] just like in mammals. Like clams they have no brains, just nerves and ganglia, so I'm thinking ganglia are all you need to think, recognize, associate, remember and I would assume feel pain.

I also found this (http://www.lobsterlib.com/lobstersfeelpain.html):

The nervous systems of lobsters and crabs produce opioids, which in mammals are chemicals that mediate pain. They also possess opioid receptors, which appear to function the same way as in other animals. Studies in crabs show that their defensive reaction to electric shocks or to being struck is reduced by morphine, that this effect is dose-dependent, and that the effect can be counteracted by naloxone, an opioid antagonist, as is also the case in mammals. It is implausible that lobsters would have pain-mediating chemicals and receptors and respond to painkillers just as other animals do if they could not feel pain.

But I couldn't find the source paper Peta is taking this from so we have to take their word for it.

philfox
Jul 12th, 2008, 09:40 AM
Taking Peta's word for something :eek: :p

Those links were quite interesting. The Norwegian study sounds a bit bias towards the fishing industry. However I'll take peta's with a pinch of salt also ;)

http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/invert.html <<Kids site I know! But it helped me understand better about ganglia.

Regarding attitudes for lobsters etc and eating them I found this Daily Mail (I know, shocking!) article http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-492557/Claws-concern-Scientists-suggest-prawns-lobsters-feel-pain-just-like-humans.html quite good for summing up Descartes' views as I'd rather gouge my eyes out than write anything about Descartes ever again.

So it's got me thinking, whereby, just because an animal doesn't have the same anatomy as we do, doesn't mean that they can't feel some sort of pain, environmental stimulus etc. Just look at a picture of a lobster, there is something in it's eyes which shows much more than mechanistic existence. The fact that they can run away and nip me with those claws makes me more inclined to think there is something going on behind those beady eyes.

Even watching spiders at work on my washing line, or even the snails munching on my salad left overs makes me think that they can't just 'exist' I mean I know that the snail isn't thinking 'mmmm this romaine lettuce is simply marvellous, could do with some dressing though...' but when you watch them, they remember things, they avoid things and although I wouldn't say they enjoyed things like we do, it must feel nice to be watered and they come out of their shells and the slugs scoot along the tray to re moisture themselves.

So I won't use, hurt, kill etc animals different to me on the off chance they don't feel the same as I do. I might be wrong, I might be over anthropomorphising the rats I share my home with, the cows in fields, the spiders on my washing line and the snails in my seed tray, but I'd rather do that, and avoid causing unnecessary pain, than to tuck into a prawn salad or swallow some oysters. If I'm wrong, I've hurt no one, but if I am right, then it scares me to think how many could be suffering out there.

Even if these animals do not feel any pain (which I highly doubt, they must at least feel stimulus) then avoiding eating them is still the vegan option. Because of the fine environmental balance in the seas as it is. Omnivores always throw the 'circle of life' and 'food chain' arguments in my face, but surely, if that is what they found important then they would look at the delicate, food chain involved in the seas and oceans we rape, pollute, steal and murder from and perhaps not tuck into their prawn salad after all...


/epic ramble with no real meaning :o

Korn
Jul 12th, 2008, 12:31 PM
If there's one thing all humans have in common, it seems to be that we don't want to suffer and feel pain. Why kill those few who have abilities we don't have? :)

Would we have accepted that someone killed and ate us if we couldn't feel physical pain? Nope.

philfox
Jul 12th, 2008, 05:56 PM
If there's one thing all humans have in common, it seems to be that we don't want to suffer and feel pain. Why kill those few who have abilities we don't have? :)

Would we have accepted that someone killed and ate is if we couldn't feel physical pain? Nope.


Korn, are you saying these creatures cannot feel pain for certain? or that it doesn't matter if they cannot feel pain? or at least pain as we feel it. I am in the middle I do not think they feel pain like humans, or even mammals, but I do think they can feel pain, at least on some level, regardless of whether it's 'like' the pain that we feel.

And indeed, I certainly wouldn't accept it if someone killed and ate me if I couldn't feel pain. Look at those people (and I assume animals?) that cannot feel pain, just because they cannot feel it does not mean they cannot be damaged. The inability to feel / react from pain doesn't mean you suffer any less, or mean your body cannot be harmed / die from that damage. I can't remember the name of the condition now which stops people from feeling pain, but it's certainly something which means as children they can do severe damage to their hands from putting them in fires etc.

Feeling pain or not, I'm not eating disabled people, lobsters or clams. *munches delicious delicious lettuce*

Korn
Jul 16th, 2008, 10:55 PM
Korn, are you saying these creatures cannot feel pain for certain?
No - I don't even think pain should be considered criterion for "when we can abuse" - or own - others (animals or humans). I don't think we should abuse or own others at all.

I don't want to eat anything that seems to have a life, a will, feel pain or who possibly may have a will or the ability to feel pain. For me (and pretty much everybody else) this does not include plants, unless they are able to escape when I make an attempt of eating them or picking them - or scream/yell at me (loud enough for me to hear it) if I "kill' them...

Sare-Sare
Jan 18th, 2010, 09:04 AM
I found this thread when looking up vegan oysters, and joined just to answer.

The argument that vegans can eat bivalves is the exact same as the argument that vegetarians can eat fish.

I'm not going to go into a lengthy discussion about bivalve sentience, but consider this:

Vegans are vegans for three main reasons:
- Human health
- Animal suffering
- Environmental impact

So, even if bivalves somehow did not suffer when attacked and killed, it is still terrible for your health, terrible for the environment, and terrible for the animals you consider sentient which are harmed in the process. The only reason you eat bivalves is for taste. Nobody goes vegan because they don't like the taste of rotting flesh - they go vegan based on health, environmental and ethical reasons.

Moreover, whenever someone tries to justify meat consumption, they usually bring up plant sentience. Their claim is that plants are sentient, so there is no moral difference between eating plants and animals. This has been brought up several times in this thread, saying that eating a bivalve is no different from eating a potato. I've found numerous articles on the internet based on this, criticising vegetarians and vegans because we condemn plants and love animals.

But nobody in these articles who is "concerned" about the ethical treatment of plants has ever considered fruitarianism. They say we eat plants, so we may as well eat animals, when if they were truly worried about plants they wouldn't eat them along with sentient creatures, but instead adopt a fruitarian diet. These arguments are hypocritical and plain stupid.

MCMLXXXVI
Jun 16th, 2010, 11:05 AM
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