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Old 05-17-2014, 10:56 PM   #243
Lucky Day Spa
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Originally Posted by vixnix View Post
Living to a ripe old age and maintaining a editable quality of life at a ripe old age are two different things. In my opinion optimal human nourishment includes regular consumption of animal flesh.
that's not a matter of opinion, though. the best we can say is we have a vague picture of what 'optimal' human nourishment resembles, but it's fuzzy and not the same for everyone anyway. there is a growing consensus that vegetarian diets lead to better long term health outcomes.

for most people, therefore, the 'quality of life' factors are aesthetic/sensory rather than health-related; meat is a nutritionally-convenient source of protein, iron, vitamin b12 etc., but hardly the only option. it just tastes better than the alternatives, so people are understandably reluctant to give it up even if they feel bad about animal deaths being an unavoidable part of the process. i get that. my point was simply that a preference is not in the same category of ethical justification as survival.

(i agree with you that this is a continuum rather than a binary, but i'm defining 'survival' as something along the lines 'you get sick and die without it' or 'you have no other sources of food' – i.e., it is preference-agnostic.)

Originally Posted by vixnix View Post
Whether or not instransitive gratitude is misplaced, I still feel it. You claimed I couldn't feel gratitude in that instance. I disagree, I think intransitive gratitude is a fairly widespread phenomenon. It doesn't require the consent of an object because it's not directed at one. It could be part of a survival mechanism that allowed us to form and emotional connection to our environment, which motivated us to take better care of it, this enhance our chances of survival. Many subsistence/environmentally sustainable traditional cultures have thanksgiving rituals where the thanks they have for their harvest, spoils of hunt/ agriculture are given thanks for and I don't see a reason to suspect the gratitude is not real.
i never said you didn't feel it. i said the feeling was misplaced and suggested that it was potentially destructive.

to give you another example, consider the gratitude routinely expressed by political leaders for the 'sacrifices' soldiers make by dying in combat.

now, those soldiers and their families deserve respect, absolutely, but is gratitude really the right reaction? i mean, the situations in which those deaths occur arguably arise from the interaction of a multitude of inordinately complicated systems: the military-industrial complex, nation-building political narratives motivated by xenophobia and energy security, an uncritical or complicit media that regurgitates propaganda to a working class systematically kneecapped by a laissez-faire capitalist economy that increasingly accrues wealth to the wealthy, etc. etc.

i don't offer that as an analogy, just as an example of misplaced 'intransitive' gratitude. if it encourages complacency when further action would otherwise be deemed necessary, it's easy to see how it's a bad thing, right? it makes it easier to explain away problematic processes that happen to benefit us, and uncritically preserve the status quo.

Originally Posted by vixnix View Post
As for the non sequitur, the validity of that is tied up with the question of nutrition. If I didn't need to eat meat to maintain optimal condition I would consider giving it up because of the regret I feel. That isn't the case for me. I continue to eat meat because I think it is good for me and I am self interested - at the same time, I'm compassionate enough to feel regret about my own fairly un changeable nature.
i don't know how to read this. you're resistant to change so you'd rather not bother with self-reflection?

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