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The Cognitive Chain of Being: A New Approach to Animal Rights
Quantifying An Ethics of Animal Rights, or: Why I Avoid Pork For Non-Islamic, Non-Jewish Reasons
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Most normal, civilized people living today would agree that reducing animal suffering is a worthy goal. But how do we to go about it?

We can at least all agree, at a minimum, that plants don’t have sentience, so veganism is one philosophically and logically consistent option. The problem is that while there are some almost entirely carnivorous cultures on the planet (Inuit), as well as some almost completely vegetarian ones (Indian Brahmins), there are no vegan ones. This suggests that humans are not evolved for veganism. Interestingly, some genomic studies suggest that Indians may be unusually well adapted to vegetarianism; this wouldn’t surprise me, as they seem to be the one people who have figured out how to make vegetarian food really delicious. This might not apply to other peoples. For instance, a study of German vegetarians found them to have significantly higher than average rates of mental disorders.

Another “absolute” solution to animal suffering may lie in technology, such as artificially grown meat, or fully chemical production of nutritionally optimized foods[1]. There is already work on lab grown meat, though a burger produced using these hi-tech methods costs thousands of dollars. There are even more exotic suggestions, such as David Pearce’s famous argument for genetically editing carnivorous animals to make them vegetarian and usher in a glorious era of peace between the lion and the antelope.

However, realistically speaking, vegetarianism – let alone veganism – is not going to be widely adapted anytime soon. Even in the WEIRDest countries, no more than 10-15% of the population say they are vegetarians, while vegans are in the low single digits. Meanwhile, any technological solutions are likely still decades away.

***

Approaches to Animal Rights

Consequently, most of us will still have to grapple with the consequences of destroying living, conscious entities for our own sustenance. There are a number of ways we can approach this.

1. There is the Biblical idea that animals were created to serve man, a purely functional approach that large nullifies any consideration of animal welfare. The philosopher Descartes argued that animals have no souls; under Cartesianism, they can be tortured and vivisected alive for any reason or none, as they are nothing more than automatons, or p-zombies. The most charitable thing one can say of these ethical systems is that they reflect the values of a world that was much harsher and crueler, and is now thankfully long gone.

2. There is the “speciesist” argument that treats each human as a more or less equivalent ethical unit, and places them cardinally above any animal. This is a reasonable evolutionary adaptation, and can be easily justified based on the cognitive considerations that we will consider later in this article. There are of course some edge cases, such as the extremely intellectually disabled, or babies, who may be equivalent to chimps to intelligence. However, it makes sense to ignore these – the former because of their rarity, the former because we are so evolutionarily hardwired to protect infants that we often even privilege them them over human adults. The question of exactly how much we value humans will become central should we ever create a conscious machine superintelligence, or “uplift” animals, or meet up with friendly aliens, but this isn’t an issue yet and probably won’t be for quite some time to come.

3.There is what Peter Singer called the “expanding circle of empathy” – a concept popularized by Steven Pinker – in which history consists of humanity extending empathy and associated legal privileges to more and more marginalized groups: From the family to the band, the tribe, the nation, lower classes, women, children, sexual minorities. While this concept may have been inadvertently lampooned by contemporary SJWs with their microaggressions and ever expanding categories of victimhood, there is no doubt that over the long-term, expanding empathy represented an unalloyed good in the grand scheme of things (at least assuming that one prefers not to be killed, raped, robbed, etc. by all and sundry). Indeed, as Peter Turchin argues, large civilizations would hardly have been possible without it.

Since at least the Enlightenment, this has come to encompass animals. People in medieval France revelled in cat burning, where you roasted a bunch of screaming cats over a bonfire. But the practice died out in the 18th century. Today, cat burning would be viewed as barbarous in all developed countries and most developing ones. Today, civilized countries have various laws against gratuitous animal cruelty. In most countries, people who roast cats for fun will go to jail. An Austrian acquaintance even told me her country has laws against keeping lone rabbits. Since they are social creatures, you are required by law to provide your rabbit with a companion.

However, let’s not imagine that the existence of laws like these means everything is just hunky dory. Approximately 1.2 million of America’s ~90 million dogs are put down every single year because animal shelters can’t find a home for them; this translates into a 20% chance of the average US dog meeting such a fate during its lifetime. How many tens of millions of canines have frozen to death on the streets, or been put to sleep on a vet’s operating table, when a child’s demand to get a dog for his/her birthday turned to indifference several weeks later? Perhaps it might be worth considering requiring aspiring pet owners to get a certificate of competence and making them legally responsible for their pet’s welfare (within reason).

Factory farming of animals remains a gruesome enterprise. I suspect that it is the main moral failing of the present day that people of the 22nd century will look back at in horror. Unfortunately, there is no real alternative to providing cheap animal protein, unless one is wealthy or altruistic enough to source free-range produce[2]. Public policy to penalize factory farming will raise the cost of staples, and will be wildly unpopular amongst the poor and already marginalized and economically beset blue-collar workers who have spearheaded the rise of populism in the West. Subsidies to companies or farmers that raise animals ethically could make the latter more competitive, but it creates potential for massive corruption. Perhaps when we eventually transition to universal basic income – an idea that has migrated from marginal discussion groups to mainstream politics in just the past couple of years – we could directly compensate people affected by the higher prices. Though who would have opted for ethically farmed animals, or are vegetarians anyway, would just take the savings.

4. Another view of animal rights is based on the idea of what one might call a primeval social contract, a concept that has been eloquently made on this blog by commenter AP. The basic idea is that by signing up to the human endeavour, wolves offered their loyal service (guardianship, herding flocks, companionship, etc.) in exchange for a warm hearth and the reasonable expectation that they would die in their sleep, not end up on the dinner table – at least outside extreme circumstances, such as getting stranded in the Arctic, when the calories a dog can provide would constitute an ultimate form of self-sacrificing service. Meanwhile, even though they are about as intelligent as dogs, pigs were only ever invited into the human enterprise as a source of food, not as companions. Slitting their throats and roasting them over a spit breaks no covenant.

I am personally sympathetic to this view – even though the cognitive and emotional capacities of pigs are similar to those of dogs, I would still privilege dogs over pigs, as dogs are much closer to us – “man’s best friend” and all that. It is also a viewpoint that I imagine the vast majority of Americans and Europeans – if not Chinese and Koreans – will agree with. However, I don’t think this should be used as a licence to wantonly disregard porcine suffering. At a minimum, while one could argue that they also forged a primeval contract with humans in which they got the promise of safety and sustenance until their appointed day, they certainly didn’t sign up for a conveyor belt existence from artificial insemination through life imprisonment to industrial slaughter. The same goes for other livestock animals, though in their case the horror of their existence might be mitigated by lower cognitive capacity.

***

The Cognitive Chain of Being

5. Finally, there is the standard “Effective Altruism” approach[3] – attempting to quantify the suffering experienced by any one animal during the course of its life, and dividing that number by the kilograms of meat, protein/fat calories, and nutritional benefits its meat provides. I am a big fan of quantification, because even if it’s not perfect, you can at least narrow down the debate and identify the most prospective areas for moral progress that are within the range of affordability at both the individual and social level.

Here’s one typical example of this approach: “How Much Direct Suffering Is Caused by Various Animal Foods?” by Brian Tomasik.

This is a very reasonable start, even if one can quibble with columns 4-6. But the beauty of it is that you can adjust those numbers based on your own values.

Column 5 – Suffering per day of life (beef cows = 1).

The German philosopher Schopenhauer, who argued that it would be morally better were “the surface of the earth were still as crystalline as that of the moon,” justified his assertions with the idea that there is no hedonic balance: “The pain in the world always outweighs the pleasure. If you don’t believe it, compare the respective feelings of two animals, one of which is eating the other.”

But is this really true? Sure, the deer getting ripped apart by a pack of wolves – or getting shot by a hunter – might not enjoy its last moments of sentience. But it would have had a few years of presumably mostly happy grazing behind it. I do not think existence per se constitutes net suffering, at least so long as it is not a dystopian existence. Unfortunately, that cannot be said of most factory farming, which really is rather horrific so far as most of its subjects are concerned.

The ultimate aim of mitigating or abolishing factory farming would turn the positive numbers in this column to zeros, or even negative ones, i.e. from net suffering into net satisfaction. That way, even if livestock still has to be killed in not too pleasant ways at the end so that we may have our daily pound of flesh, at least their fleeting ribbons of consciousness would not have experienced their short existence as a hell on earth.

Column 6 – Number of days of life equivalent to pain of death.

I would imagine that pain of death is correlated to the animal’s natural lifespan, as well as whether it is a social or solitary creature via knock on effects on survivors (even cows have been observed to mope for days after the deaths of relatives).

This would also be of direct relevance to the halal/kosher debate. Getting your throat slit in the open air is not the best, but neither the worst, way to go. In factory farming, the hope is that pigs – hurried along amidst the stench of fear, blood, faeces, and imminent death – are successfully electrocuted into unconsciousness, to then have their throats slit and thrown in a vat of boiling water. Does this happen rarely enough to justify condemnation of halal meat?

Column 4 – Sentience multiplier for the species (max value = 1).

This is, in my opinion, by far the most important consideration; and it is also the one on which I imagine that EA “consensus” opinion is the most profoundly mistaken on.

For instance, Tomasik’s table gives catfish – one of the more primitive creatures on the planet – a sentience multiplier of 0.5 relative to pigs! This implies that killing two catfish is as bad as killing a pig, and that eating catfish produces 200 times as much suffering as eating pork. Other, perhaps most, effective altruists don’t even think it’s worth adjusting for brain size at all, regarding it as a poor or irrelevant proxy for sentience.

This happens to be a cardinal assumption, and one that I disagree with entirely.

First, there is the obvious argumentum ad absurdum here: Based on such negligible differences in sentience multipliers, we might well argue that eating gorilla meat (a delicacy in parts of Africa) is “better” than the equivalent mass in salmon. And if one is willing to part entirely with “speciesist” prejudices, then one can even make an argument for the moral superiority of “humanitarianism” over entomophagy.

My second, less whimsical point, is that the latest serious academic theories of consciousness revolve around the concept of “information integration.” Information integration is tightly coupled to intelligence, and which in turn is correlated with biological indicators such as brain size and neuronal density.

Here is what philosopher Michael Johnson wrote about this in Principia Qualia (2016):

Furthermore, under simulations of problem-solving agents, [integrated information] seems to increases as evolved complexity and problem-solving capacity increases: (Albantakis et al. 2014)” found that “The more difficult the task, the higher integrated information in the fittest animats” and concluded “Integrating information is potentially valuable in environments with complex causal structures.” From here, it’s not a terrible stretch to say that the integrated information and the potential for adaptive (intelligent) behavior of a system are usually highly coupled. This matches the common intuition that intelligence and consciousness go together.

This makes intuitive sense. While even the simplest automatons such as insects – ants, spiders, even the 302 neuron c. elegans worm – can feel pain, experiencing or comprehending the associated feelings of fear, anguish, desperation, despair, and existential terror that usually accompany pain in humans is likely far beyond the capacities of their blessedly small brains.

A cognitive approach to bioethics effectively creates an updated version of the “great chain of being“, the medieval notion that there is a God-sanctioned hierarchy to Creation, starting with God Himself and progressing downwards to kings (His representatives on Earth), nobles, commoners, animals, and inanimate matter. This may not sit well with more egalitarian minded readers. However, at the end of the day, one cannot plausibly deny its self-evident reality – or, more importantly, the cruelties and unneeded suffering that would be created by ignoring them (e.g. killing gorillas vs. 100,000 neuron lobsters).

Nor does it call for any sort of IQ reductionism: While the Middle Ages actually did see a sort of cognitive supremacism (e.g. the literate could plead “benefit of clergy” and receive far lighter sentences), I am not arguing that the Cognitive Chain of Being should be used to differentiate between humans. While the question of whether human sentience is correlated with IQ is a very interesting one, and one that researchers should be free to investigate, given that the vast majority of human intellects are clustered within a few S.D.’s of each other doing so would not just be unethical but also useless.

This may not be the case forever. As I mentioned above, should subgroups of humans launch a “biosingularity” that massively augments their intelligence, in effect creating a new species, or should a machine superintelligence be created, or should we meet up with aliens or “uplift” animals, then the contradictions between speciesism and cognitive ethics – contradictions that are currently dormant – will come to the forefront of all philosophical debates.

But with this approach, we will at least have the tools to conduct such a debate.

***

Constructing the Chain I

Here are some considerations that might go into any serious attempt to construct an index of sentience:

1. The encephalization quotient

This is a “relative brain size measure that is defined as the ratio between observed to predicted brain mass for an animal of a given size.” The larger the animal, the greater the amount of brainpower it needs to devote to subconscious motor and metabolic functions. This narrows down its effective space for cognition, and presumably, sentience. While most very intelligent animals tend to be relatively large, this does not appear to be an absolute requirement.

2. Comparative estimates of animal intelligence.

Rather pathetically, in so far as it indicates the embryonic state of any research on this question, the best attempt I have seen to date on this (and I searched quite a lot) is a Quora answer by effective altruist Alex K. Chen: What is a good list of animals ordered by intelligence?

There is no quantification, apart from sorting them into about seven Tiers of intelligence:

  1. The Great Apes, many types of whales and dolphins, elephants, a few corvids.
  2. Smarter monkeys, bears, wild boar (>pigs), Gray African parrot, kea, manta rays.
  3. Owls, baboons, racoons, hyenas, wolves, smarter dogs.
  4. Emperor penguins, cats, octopus, naked mole rats.
  5. Stupid mammals; quail, chickens, pigeons; smarter lower vertebrates.
  6. Most reptiles and fish.
  7. Salamanders, lungfishes.

I mostly agree with this list, though I might quibble with one or two of the rankings.

3. Numbers of neurons by animal.

Are good biological correlates of cognitive capability. There is a good list at Wikipedia.

4. Neurons in the cerebral cortex.

These seem to play an especially important role, so perhaps more weight should be placed on them. Incidentally, these also happen to be strongly associated with longevity.

5. Vocabulary size

This is limited to animals that can be taught human vocabulary, or something close to it:

  • The average human masters ~30,000 words (geniuses can reach up to ~100,000).
  • Koko the gorilla knew 1,000 hand signs and understood 2,000 words.
  • Chaser the border collie understood 1,000+ words and simple grammar; admittedly, the border collie is a cognitive elite amongst dogs, and Chaser is a genius amongst them.
  • Alex the Gray African parrot knew 100+ words and had some conception of grammar.

6. Mirror tests

This a test of whether an animal has self-recognition. There are only a few cognitively elite species that consistently pass the mirror test: The Great Apes, dolphins, whales, elephants, magpies, maybe manta rays… and ants (!?).

But that one crazy insect exception aside, there seems to be an excellent correlation with Tier 1/Tier 2 animals.

7. Human IQ tests

The blogger Pumpkin Person has estimated chimps have an IQ of around 14 relative to American white norms (average = 100; S.D. = 15):

In 2007 there was a fascinating study that compared human 2.5 year-olds to chimps and other apes on a battery of intelligence tests. With the exception of social intelligence, where the human toddlers were way ahead, the apes and toddlers had the same intelligence. In other words, chimps have the same intelligence as a 2.5 year old (white) human. …

Indeed based on the intercorrelation of WAIS-IV subtests, someone who is 4.18 SD below average on the average subtest, would be 5.73 standard deviations (86 IQ points) below average on the composite score, thus my best guess for the average IQ of chimps is 14 (white norms).

Consequently, we can take chimps to be at the lowest range of the normal, “healthy” range of human intelligence. (By bell curve logic, the average chimp’s IQ will be equalled about once every 200 millionth white American; that is, there should be about one normal, healthy white American who is at the level of the average chimp).

***

Constructing the Chain II

I believe that a great deal more serious work needs to be done on this topic, instead of taking the easy way out and dismissing animal IQ as a pseudoscientific concept that is a priori impenetrable to measurement, quantification, and comparison. This may have been semi-defensible a decade ago, but since then, a g factor for intelligence has been found in chimps, monkeys, dogs, and even rodents. There was even a paper on “individual differences in cognition among teleost fishes” in 2017. IQ denialism is now almost as intellectually bankrupt with respect to animals as it is with respect to humans.

This is serious work that needs to go well beyond a blog post on a popular blog. That said, I will attempt to make a preliminary stab at this.

The chimp IQ test suggests that we may set up a distinct barrier between human and chimps (and by extension, other Tier 1 animals); while one may be able to find humans duller than the average chimp, they will be nothing more than statistical curiosities. Moreover, chimps lack a whole set of cognitives suites that humans have. Relative to us, they largely lack self-awareness, altruism, intuitive psychology, and the capacity to ask questions (though many of these capacities will be likewise strongly inhibited in ultra-low IQ humans). This may well drag the “true” IQ of chimps relative to humans even lower. That said, Alex K. Chen notes that orangutans, bonobos, and many dolphins are brighter than chimps, so at least some of the very brightest Tier 1 animals should still at least brush up against our very dullest fellow humans.

There is consequently a strong moral case to be made for extending substantial legal protections to Tier 1 animals. There is already strong sentimental support for protecting the Great Apes (as our nearest relatives), the elephants[4] (see the outrage generated by poachers), and whales (see the campaigns against Japanese, Norwegian, and Icelandic whaling). Admittedly, this might be less practical for corvids, but we should still recognize that crows and ravens[5] – at 8 S.D. above the avian mean in terms of innovations, and with a phenomenal, human-competitive capacity for facial recognition – are the cognitive elites of the avian world.

One of the smartest dogs, a border collie named Chaser, mastered over 1,000 words, which is considerably more impressive than Alex, the famous Gray African parrot (who is in Tier 2). While Chaser is exceptional, and there aren’t many border collies, it’s worth pointing out that lists of most popular dog breeds (German Shepherds, golden retrievers, Labradors, poodles, Rottweilers) are dominated by the more intelligent dogs (border collies, poodles, German Shepherds, golden retrievers, Dobermans, Labradors, Rottweilers); the main exceptions are Yorkies (moderate intelligence) and bulldogs (dumb as a box of bricks)[6]. They also have very well developed and complex personalities, as any dog owner would know. Consequently, as the most popular dogs tend to be the most intelligent dogs, it makes sense to put them firmly into Tier 2. By extension, wolves would be in Tier 2 as well. If dogs and boar are in Tier 2, then certainly it would make sense for pigs to be likewise included.

There is a case to be made that animals in this Tier deserve to have substantial protections as well, perhaps on the level of what dogs have today through their primeval contract with us. I want to return to Austria’s laws about rabbit welfare. While I don’t harbor any ill will towards rabbits, their neurobiological stats, extreme r-selected status, stereotypes, and my own limited experiences with them (relative to dogs, pigs, and even cats) all suggest that they are rather simple creatures. This is clearly legislation based on the cuteness factor, though – presumably – with rather glaring exceptions for rabbit farms. However, if even rabbits have attained this level of legal protections, certainly it would make sense to do likewise for all other Tier 2 animals.

***

Constructing the Chain III

One general observation I have made is that – allowing for the occasional exception, outlier, and unknown – there seems to be a more or less consistent intellectual distance between these Tiers.

Assuming that humans are Tier o, as one goes down by Tier we see:

  • Halving of encephalization ratio
  • Number of neurons falls tenfold[8]
  • Vocabulary size falls tenfold
  • IQ falls by ~100 points/~7 S.D. (or at least between humans and chimps)

A much harder question is what unit of sentience, ethical value, or capacity for suffering these Tiers represent. Is the the relationship between intelligence, sentience, and capacity for suffering linear? While the latter two seem to be intuitively very similar, the link between them and intelligence is much more contentious, as we have seen above.

Now honestly, this is something that people more intelligent and committed to EA should look into more seriously themselves. My intuition is that there is a linear relationship between intelligence and information integration/sentience, and my own ethical choices follow from that assumption. Obviously, different ethical choices will follow from other assumptions. If you consider that sentience “explodes” only at some sufficiently high level of intelligence, e.g. the human one, then one should not have major quibbles with fullbore carnivorism. If on the other hand you believe that even intellectual minnows such as… minnows? experience a substantial internal life relative to that of humanity, then choosing vegetarianism or veganism would be the ethically consistent choice.

***

Maximizing Protein Calories/Suffering

I redid Tomasik’s table, but resetting the sentience multiplier to correlate with intelligence. With Tier 2 pigs set to the default maximum of “1”, I then set cows to 0.1, chickens and turkeys to 0.01, and salmon and catfish to 0.0001.

Consequently, we get the following list of dieting philosophies (from “best” to “worst” in terms of animal suffering):

Veganism: Self-explanatory.

Vegetarianism: Only eggs and milk. As we can see, drinking milk and eating free range eggs – in which the chickens get to live more or less normal lives – produces almost no animal suffering.

Pescetarianism: While before you were worrying about the salmonocide, it now emerges that you can eat fish with wild abandon (just not the manta rays!).

Pollo-pescetarianism: Next one can eat chicken and turkeys, both of them rather primitive creatures with intelligence at best similar to rats. Many other rodents would fall into this category[9]. This is also in sync with popular assessments of these animals’ sentience levels; the next stage after pescetarianism is

Omnivorism: I believe that cows are firmly in Tier 3, so together with their large mass, that might plausibly make beef an even more ethical food than poultry. The relative advantage can be pushed further by making sure that the beef is grass-fed, which happens to be healthier than grain-fed beef anyway. Now yes, it is possible that I underestimate cow sentience. However, I would have to be wrong by a factor of about 4 before beef becomes merely as “bad” as chicken, even if the individual slaughtered cow suffers far more than a chicken.

In any case, this is where I have drawn my personal line since the early 2010s.

Sheep provide much less meat, as do goats.

Moreover, goats in particular have distinct personalities and I suspect that they are also smarter than cows. This makes mutton, lamb, and especially goat significantly closer to pork than to beef.

Pork, I try to avoid entirely[10].

***

A Thought Experiment

Near the beginning of this post, I speculated that if there is one moral failing that future generations will condemn us for, it is killing animals for meat[11].

This is not to imply that I agree with this assessment, but then again, the average US citizen of a Southern state in the early 19th century presumably had few qualms with slavery either. Opinion can change quickly. Outside a few pockets such as the Netherlands or the SF Bay Area, someone who supported gay civil unions, but not gay marriage, would have been seen as a hardcore progressive in 1999; in 2019, most of the US would consider that same person regressive, if not a moral troglodyte. Alternatively, consider the trend in support for interracial marriage: 1959 – only 4%; early 2010s – high 80%’s. Your grandfather who stormed the beaches of Normandy to “punch Nazis” was himself a fascist (by the standards of modern liberal discourse).

In 2014, the US killed 112 million Tier 2 pigs, 32.5 million Tier 3 cattle, and 8.5 billion Tier 4 chickens. Roughly setting the suffering deriving from that at 1, 0.1, and 0.01 respectively:

  • Pigs: 112 million units of suffering
  • Cattle: 3.25 million units of suffering
  • Chicken: 85 million units of suffering

That’s 200 million units of suffering. (Turkeys would also add 10-20 million units).

Assuming as per above that Tier 0 humans are 100x as sentient as pigs, this translates to the imprisonment/genocide of 2 million humans annually in the US alone.

Today, there are Biblical, Cartesian, speciesist, and primeval social contract biases against making this equivalence. Now note that I am not saying they are bad biases; they have made it with us this far, so they must have been evolutionarily adaptive, at the very least. Nor is there yet much of a circle of empathy towards livestock, aside from the 5%-10% of the population that is vegetarian in the developed world. However, should these biases continue to break down, should the circle of empathy continue to expand, should future consciousness research tend to confirm rather than refute the intuitions I have set down here, and – perhaps most importantly – should technological progress divorce animal protein from animal suffering, then our historical era will be seen as morally compromised as any other.

***

[1] Due to the energy inefficiency of indoor farming, this might be a necessity if we are to do interstellar travel without cryonics

[2] FWIW, there are some good selfish arguments for the latter. For instance, where I live, free range eggs cost 50% more than eggs from battery raised chickens. However, free range eggs have 2-3x the vitamin content of the latter, so opting for them might be a good deal anyway.

[3] Though to be frank, the most common EA approach is to just go vegetarianism. More power to those who go down that path.

[4] Incidentally, elephants are particularly interesting since they are not only rather cognitively developed, but their vast amount of neurons may have even given them the most developed moral sense of any animal: “Elephants practice altruism. There is a now famous story of an Indian elephant called Chandrasekharan, who was working lifting poles off a truck as it moved along, and placing them in holes dug in the ground. When Chandrasekharan came to one hole he refused to put the log in. Eventually the Mahout checked and discovered a dog sleeping in it. Only when the dog was gone would Chandrasekharan put the pole in. This sort of behaviour is typical of elephants.

[5] Though corvid and parrot brains are necessarily quite modest, they are much denser than those of primates, and perhaps better organized; this allows them to have competitive intelligence. Corvids traditionally have a fell reputation – they are seen as carrion eaters, feeders on death, evil omens. But this is yet another pet peeve I have with conventional moralities. Carrion birds prefer to scavenge, in the process cleaning up the landscape, over killing prey and causing suffering. What exactly is wrong with that? The long-lived, intelligent, K-selected corvid needs to be respected.

[6] Though my own experience is very much limited, I can personally vouch for that list. We currently have a mini-poodle female and a Yorkie male. While the Yorkie is great, the mini-poodle is much smarter than him. While our German Shepherd is long dead, he was also very bright.

[7] There is a remarkably consistent trend in macro-world history towards exponential growth in neuron numbers and the encephalization index amongst the world’s major animal groups. It is entirely possible that humans only got to where they are <25 million years ahead of other potential contenders. In other words, if we were to suddenly vanish off the face in some way that doesn’t destroy the planetary biosphere, it’s entirely plausible a new technological species will evolve from other primates, canines, pigs, crows, ravens, or even irradiated rats (Dawkins).

[8] An example of exceptions: Horses seem to have too many neurons for their low level of intelligence, while brown bears have a remarkably small amount of neurons in the cerebral cortex – but there is nonetheless a distinct pattern.

[9] For instance, nutria is a staple in the Russian South, and has made its way to Moscow in recent years.

[10] Beef bacon: A means of moral progress?

While opinions on Islamic immigration might differ, one change this creates is the appearance of alternatives to traditional pork dishes. I live in Moscow, so two examples I can immediately think of are halal pelmeni (traditional pelmeni consists of beef and pork) and, more recently, beef bacon. While Jewish/Islamic bans on pork obviously had nothing to do with altruistic concerns over pig welfare – instead, they were behavioral adaptations to the punishing disease environment of the world’s first region to experience significant urbanization – those restrictions must have still wracked up a significant positive moral tally over the centuries and millennia. Ex-Muslims looking to celebrate their apostasy with bacon and booze might stop to consider that their former religion may have had a point – if inadvertently – about the former.

[11] I was making this point as early as 2017 on Razib Khan’s blog.

 
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  1. Since Karlin is of the same generation of me, I can only assume that the ’90s milkcap game POGS memetically programmed him to accept the Porcine Occupation Government.

    • LOL: DFH
  2. Rosie says:

    Mr. Karlin, how about a trigger warning for cat lovers?

  3. Denis says:

    The problem is that while there are some almost entirely carnivorous cultures on the planet (Inuit), as well as some almost completely vegetarian ones (Indian Brahmins), there are no vegan ones. This suggests that humans are not evolved for veganism.

    My (meagre) understanding of the Jain religion is that it mandates veganism, so Indian Jains would be one such completely vegan culture.

  4. Rosie says:

    The point about elephants’ moral sense is well taken, and should be considered in conjunction with IQ. It should be noted that certain breeds of cat have been naturally and artificially selected for high bondability, trust, and affection to the human female, rendering them incapable of independent survival and therefore entitled to the utmost protection.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @Hyperborean
  5. iffen says:

    I am glad that you posted this. Some people, like me, need a real slap in the face to understand when they have been wasting their time.

  6. Super piece, one of your best. Wasted here. Needs more exposure.

    I eat pork with an uneasy soul. You can’t fatten an unhappy pig. They have to be kept physically and mentally healthy. This means at least 5 members of your gang to grow up with for the social interaction. Farrowing (giving birth) is a terrible thing but it saves piglets lives compared to using pig sties. Arguably free-range pigs have tougher lives. So pig farming is not cruel but pigs are clever (some more than others), certainly social.

    Battery hens whether for meat or eggs, on the other hand, have unhealthy and probably psychologically damaging lives, give or take a Bird Brain or two but I don’t feel guilty about eggs or poultry meat. Turkey’s have it easier than chickens. So do ducks.

    That was an interesting fact about brown bears. I would have expected them to be rather clever pigs, omnivore with hunting skills. Maybe they are like gorillas. Top of their local pyramid and going soft. Polar bears seem to be clever.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
  7. Here we see the potential maladapative consequences of a high IQ. In adopting this completely ridiculous position you make your quality of life worse for no benefit whatsoever. It would be amusing if not for the fact that this style of thinking is in fact dangerous and leads to disastrous consequences.

    My simple take is that animals exist to serve people. We are the #1 species and all others are inferior and exist only because we permit them to exist.

    Pigs included.

    Their suffering is completely irrelevant because they’re not people (let alone the very best people).

    Pigs provide healthful, tasty meat (and other useful products) at an economical price point. That is the only thing that matters.

    I’ve always felt that vegetarians, vegans, and the like should be sent to concentration camps for failing to grasp this fundamental law of nature. I never had to think about this for even a second. As soon as I first learned as a boy that vegetarians existed I hated them intensely. And I still hate them.

    Public facilities should be prohibited from serving vegetarian cuisine. Vegetarian and vegan substitute goods should be illegal. All medicines and supplements should be encapsulated in gelatin by law.

    I agree with George Orwell that philosophy ought to be forbidden by law, but if you want to put some sort of ethical underpinning to this worldview potential avenues are Confucian circles of loyalty, genetic similarity theory, and of course the good old Bible.

  8. Rosie says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    You had me going there for a second.

  9. Mr. XYZ says:

    Anatoly, I have a question–is it true that even pigs, chicken, and fish have more signs of consciousness and rationality than fetuses, newborn infants, and mentally disabled people have? :

    https://www.str.org/blog/peter-singer-rejects-inalienable-human-rights#.XHh8EYhKiUk

    Singer writes, “My colleague Helga Kuhse and I suggest that a period of 28 days after birth might be allowed before an infant is accepted as having the same right to life as others.” Singer argues that even pigs, chickens, and fish have more signs of consciousness and rationality—and, consequently, a greater claim to rights—than do fetuses, newborn infants, and people with mental disabilities. “Rats are indisputably more aware of their surroundings, and more able to respond in purposeful and complex ways to things they like or dislike, than a fetus at 10- or even 32-weeks gestation. … The calf, the pig, and the much-derided chicken come out well ahead of the fetus at any stage of pregnancy.”

    If so, is it really fair to give the former a higher legal status than the latter–ignoring any evolutionary biases that we might have?

    Also, as a side note, I have a question–did people in what is now the Muslim world eat a lot of pork before the arrival of Islam onto their territories?

  10. @Mr. XYZ

    1. I would assume so.

    2. Who gets to define what’s fair? Well… us, being a dominant and sapient species. No more us – a possible result of the runaway altruism that you suggest – no more fairness. Just the continuing grind of natural selection.

    Quite possibly, even just theorizing about Cognitive Chain of Being is also an evolutionary maladaptation, as Thorfinnsson suggests. Though I doubt it. I agree that such an outlook would have been disastrous in a 95% agricultural economy, to which we have become adapted to in the past 10,000 years. However, it hardly seems relevant to an industrial economy with huge surpluses.

    3. Interesting question. Talha would probably be able to answer that question, if he still commented.

  11. Mr. XYZ says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    In response to your point #2, I really fail to see how exactly my solution here would result in “[n]o more us.” I mean, downgrading human infants could result in the legalization of infanticide–at least in certain cases–but how exactly is that going to result in “no more fairness”? After all, adult humans are still going to be in charge of our decision-making policies. It’s not like non-human animals are actually going to get a vote in this (just like human children don’t have a vote in shaping national policies).

    • Replies: @anonymous coward
  12. Mr. XYZ says:

    Also, interestingly enough, I’ve seen pro-lifers argue that if human infants should get a high legal status based on their future abilities and/or species membership, then it’s only fair to likewise do the same for human embryos and human fetuses.

  13. @Anatoly Karlin

    Quite possibly, even just theorizing about Cognitive Chain of Being is also an evolutionary maladaptation, as Thorfinnsson suggests. Though I doubt it. I agree that such an outlook would have been disastrous in a 95% agricultural economy, to which we have become adapted to in the past 10,000 years. However, it hardly seems relevant to an industrial economy with huge surpluses.

    The intelligence and empathy necessary to contemplate the question can lend themselves to maladaptive purposes.

    In this particular question, no, it is not particularly harmful.

    The negative personal consequences you suffer are mild inconvenience, social awkwardness (depending on how committed you are), and sensory deprivation. All completely manageable.

    And to be objective, there are some benefits. Interesting conversation material, increased self-regard.

    Hypothetically, if this caught on, it would have negative but manageable consequences. It would be culturally destructive, but the world could get on without prosciutto and jamon iberico. Though personally I’d opt for the Smith & Wesson retirement plan rather than suffer such a grim existence.

    It’s the line of thinking itself that is dangerous. This is the same sort of thinking that led to “equality”. And, of course, a more aggressive approach in reducing the suffering of animals (vegetarianism, veganism).

    • Replies: @German_reader
  14. @Thorfinnsson

    The intelligence and empathy necessary to contemplate the question can lend themselves to maladaptive purposes.

    I agree; imo vegetarianism/veganism is a symptom of the same kind of softness and excessive empathy that leads to categoric rejection of the death penalty, corporal punishment etc. Well-intentioned, but such sentiments can ultimately render a society defenseless.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
    , @anonymous
  15. @Mr. XYZ

    A reasonable moral objection to killing newborns (or fetuses) despite possessing less immediate rational ability than, say, a calf, is that we are obligated to protect not only current sapience, but also the capacity of a particular organism to develop sapience in the future. We might say that, when considering the worth of an individual soul (in the sense of a “psyche,” not anything necessarily supernatural), we have to consider its value over its entire expected lifespan, not just “at this moment.”

    For example, think of a man in a deep coma with absolutely no sapience–neither a rational soul nor even a sensitive one. We are certain that this person will fully recover in less than a year given adequate medical treatment. Should we have any compunction against killing him? By Singer’s logic, no: at this moment, the man is literally vegetative, so killing him would cause no more “rational suffering” than crushing a dandelion. The only reason to oppose killing him is his soul’s capacity to develop sapience in the future.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
  16. Mr. XYZ says:
    @German_reader

    Opposing the death penalty actually makes sense. Some innocent people–such as Cameron Todd Willingham–have previously been executed in the past. In Willingham’s case, this was just 15 years ago and occurred in spite of the fact that, even before his execution, significant doubts about his guilt emerged.

    As for corporal punishment, I think that it should be discouraged but not banned. Sometimes a good dose of discipline should be in order, but one should try other options first and not overdo it if you indeed have to resort to it.

    • Agree: Rosie
    • Replies: @German_reader
  17. Mr. XYZ says:
    @Elmer's Washable School Glue

    That’s certainly an interesting argument–one that I have heard before–but it does raise a couple of questions:

    1. Should embryos and fetuses be considered to be persons? After all, they also have the potential to become sentient and self-aware in the future. This might be especially relevant if/once we will develop artificial wombs. After all, in such a case, there could be situations where a couple changed their minds and did not want to carry their fetus to term in an artificial womb but where the state would nevertheless want their fetus to be carried to term.

    Also, should this principle also extend to IVF? For instance, should a doctor who destroys excess embryos which were created through IVF be charged with multiple counts of manslaughter?

    2. Taking your logic to its ultimate conclusion would mean that killing an infant or even a fetus would be much worse than killing, say, a 110-year-old or a 115-year-old person. After all, the infant or fetus is, statistically speaking, going to have many decades of life ahead of him or her. In contrast, a 110-year-old or a 115-year-old person almost certainly isn’t going to have very much time left to live even if he or she is currently in tip-top shape. (At the very most, we should expect 5-10 additional years of life for this person in the utmost best-case scenario.)

    Should the law recognize this distinction and thus punish people much more heavily for killing an infant or a wanted fetus in comparison to killing an extremely old person? After all, the former would have lost much more additional years of life as a result of being killed than the latter would have.

  18. @Mr. XYZ

    Some innocent people–such as Cameron Todd Willingham–have previously been executed in the past.

    I know about that case, quite disturbing. Indeed that’s the only argument against the death penalty I find convincing, human lawcourts aren’t infallible.
    However I don’t believe that human life is sacred per se and categorically reject such arguments (that’s also why I’m not absolutely against abortion in all cases, even though I generally regard it as negative). Just look at the bizarre business of thousands of IS jihadis who will probably be sent back to Europe, with European governments even intervening on behalf of some who have been sentenced to death in Iraq; imo they should all be killed.

  19. Rosie says:
    @Mr. XYZ

    Taking your logic to its ultimate conclusion would mean that killing an infant or even a fetus would be much worse than killing, say, a 110-year-old or a 115-year-old person.

    As if that would be an absurd conclusion.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
  20. anarchyst says:

    As it stands now, eagles and other “protected” animal species have more “protections” than a viable human being–even one that is minutes from being born…and if democRATs have their way, humans up to 7 years of age…will be subject to “post-birth” abortion…sick.

    • Replies: @Sparkon
  21. songbird says:

    Hens are absolutely monstrous animals – they will peck another hen that died of a hemorrhage while it is still in its final death spasms.

    Going to go in the opposite direction: all our political candidates should be required to kill chickens, as a test to eliminate overly effeminate people who suffer from a false empathy. Meanwhile, people in charge of the border should, at a minimum, be big game hunters. And perhaps more: required to complete the circuit, when a murderer is sitting in the electric chair.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  22. Mr. XYZ says:
    @German_reader

    Personally, even if I were to acknowledge that some people deserve to be executed (and it’s certainly a very legitimate position–for instance, in regards to people such as Osama bin Laden), I would still think that it would be fairer not to execute anyone even if some people who are deserving of the death penalty get life in prison instead. At least that way there wouldn’t be any innocent people who are getting executed–which is my specific worry (as opposed to me thinking that all human life is sacred per se).

    • Replies: @Rosie
  23. Mr. XYZ says:
    @Rosie

    It wouldn’t necessarily be an absurd conclusion, but our legal system doesn’t appear to differentiate between the two cases that I listed in my post above. AFAIK, you’d get the same punishment for both of these things.

  24. Rosie says:
    @Mr. XYZ

    Your concern is of course very well-founded. My only qualm is that I think there are some souls that are so foul that they create a stench for everyone who must be in their presence. Like, imagine you had to guard John Wayne Gacy in prison (bring him food and such) and be reminded of his sadistic crimes for years on end. It would seem that would be traumatizing for a person.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
    , @Pontius
  25. Mr. XYZ says:
    @Rosie

    Well, if you’re not up for the job of working at a prison, no one is going to force you to have this job. In turn, this should ensure that only those people who are emotionally and mentally prepared to handle such a job are actually going to have a job working at a prison.

    • Replies: @Rosie
  26. Rosie says:
    @Mr. XYZ

    Fair enough.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
  27. AP says:

    I am not a theologian but this seems suspect:

    There is the Biblical idea that animals were created to serve man, a purely functional approach that denies the validity of non-human subjective experience

    1. It doesn’t. According to Christian tradition animals have souls, they just don’t have immortal souls. What can immortality be for a creature that is incapable of recognizing time, oneself, and one’s place in time? But their subjective feeling wasn’t denied and wanton cruelty wasn’t viewed as acceptable.

    2. Also, AFAIK the Biblical idea is that man was given dominion over nature, and ought to be grateful for the gift he has received and accordingly to treat it well – he is expected to treat his own body well too, of course. So therefore it is absurd to treat an animal equal to a human (as it is absurd to give equal rights to one’s car as to a human) and to not use it for the purpose God assigned to it (such as food) but gratuitously maiming or destroying one’s gift is to spit in the face of the gift-giver.

    The philosopher Descartes saw animals as having no soul, making them nothing more than automatons, or p-zombies.

    This was really monstrous. They would engage in vivisection and believe the creature’s screaming was no more meaningful than the noise made by a clock as its springs were unwinding. One sees a preview of Bolshevism in this new way of thinking.

    AK: Thanks, on reading up, it seems you’re right. I slightly adjusted the text to better reflect that.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @Twinkie
  28. Forget all the nonsense you have heard or written.

    It is really simple. All domesticated species have entered into a symbiotic relationship with humans where we have agreed to ensure their genes are propagated into the future for as long as we survive, but for a cost.

    For some animals the cost is relatively light, eg dogs.

    For some animals, the cost is relatively onerous, eg, food species, but they are going to die eventually anyway.

    For some, the cost is negative, in that they get to pretty much rule us, eg, cats.

    • LOL: Anatoly Karlin
  29. @Mr. XYZ

    1. Yes, and yes.

    2. This is an interesting point, although perhaps not as radical as it seems. I think most people intuitively feel worse when a young child is killed than an adult–not to say that intuition should be the origin of our ethics, but rather that this isn’t so extreme a proposition. But I would add two caveats:

    a) It could be that killing the young should be punished more severely, but it isn’t possible to punish more severely. For instance, killing a 110 year old man is still repugnant enough to warrant a life sentence. Killing a 10 year old may deserve 15 life sentences, but alas, the criminal only has one life sentence to be held for.

    b) What is the purpose of punishment here? I find it impossible to believe that punishment is actually intended as a direct moral recompense to however much wrong has been committed. If that were the case we wouldn’t have different degrees of murder, because the negative impact of killing a person is the same (or at least far closer than the order of magnitude difference in punishment would suggest). Rather punishment also is intended as a deterrent and to penalize certain actions which we consider always categorically wrong.

  30. Mr. XYZ says:
    @Rosie

    Yeah.

    I’m glad that we agree to disagree. 🙂

    • Replies: @Rosie
  31. Antiwar7 says:

    Mr. Karlin,

    How can one simply assume that plants lack consciousness? See, for example,
    https://www.the-scientist.com/features/plant-talk-38209

    Also, cells in plants and animals both release heat-shock proteins when stressed. Analogous to a cry of pain?

    • Agree: atlantis_dweller
  32. E says:

    Very interesting essay, thank you Anatoly. I’ve been toying with similar ideas myself, though not with regard to dietary ethics, but to fair distribution of resources in a hypothetical sci-fi society with multiple alien species which are of varying sizes and intelligences and require vastly different amounts of resources and living area. I won’t go into too much detail, but I do have a question related to something you touched on:

    Just how densely can intelligence be packed?
    And how come ants (ants!) can reliably pass the mirror test?
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirror_test#Insects

    If it is possible, would not the most ethical course for humanity be to bioengineer themselves to be smaller, even microscopic, and thus require fewer energy resources?

  33. Most normal, civilized people living today would agree that reducing animal suffering is a worthy goal.

    Well, then I am not a “normal” or “civilized” person. I thank God for that every day.

    P.S. Torturing animals should, of course, be punished by law. But not because it hurts animal feelings; animals don’t have feelings. It should be punished by law because it encourages evil and cruel people to act on their evil and cruel fantasies.

    • Troll: renfro
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  34. @Mr. XYZ

    is it true that even pigs, chicken, and fish have more signs of consciousness and rationality than fetuses, newborn infants, and mentally disabled people have?

    Of course it isn’t true. Are you daft? Anybody who ever had a child knows this is total bullshit. Newborn infants are more intelligent than adults. They’re born mostly blind and have no motor control until a relatively late age, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a very acute intelligence. (They need to, otherwise people won’t learn complex tasks like bipedal walking and language in just a short 12 months.)

    Also, there isn’t any sudden change when a ‘fetus’ becomes a ‘newborn’. We’re really good at taking care of premature babies now, we can successfully raise to normal childhood those born 4 months premature. Those are basically babies like any other, not ‘fetuses’. Just vulnerable babies, physiologically.

  35. @Mr. XYZ

    …could result in the legalization of infanticide

    Abortion is already legal. Since infanticide is by far mostly a female crime, we tolerate it in the name of feminism already.

  36. The real question is how will the Nigerians, Somalis, Mestizos, and Chinese that supplant Europeans treat animals?

    Sweden: Horse Set On Fire, Migrant Gang Douses Woman in Lighter Fluid

    A horse was set on fire and an elderly woman was doused in lighter fluid near a flaming grill by an “immigrant gang” in separate incidents in Sweden

    [dailymail] Playful puppy pleas for attention… unaware it is about to be skinned alive and cooked: Heartbreaking image from China’s annual dog meat festival where tens of thousands of animals are killed

    • Agree: TKK
    • Replies: @Mr McKenna
  37. @Mr. XYZ

    Singer writes, “My colleague Helga Kuhse and I suggest that a period of 28 days after birth might be allowed before an infant is accepted as having the same right to life as others.” Singer argues that even pigs, chickens, and fish have more signs of consciousness and rationality—and, consequently, a greater claim to rights—than do fetuses, newborn infants, and people with mental disabilities.

    To come up with justifications for prioritising the wellbeing of the out-group at the expense of the in-group is the product of a diseased mind and a weakness which will lead to one’s perishing.

    Some conflicts are not right versus wrong, but about right versus right. Or rather, there are merely two opposing forces. So long as one took one’s own side one has fulfilled one’s duty.

    However, I do not believe that awakened nationalities can return to the instinctual realm of Morpheus, at least not on any time scale that matters to us, so I do believe a philosophical and ideological foundation is required as an intellectual defense.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @Mr McKenna
  38. Twinkie says:

    4. Another view of animal rights is based on the idea of what one might call a primeval social contract, a concept that has been eloquently made on this blog by commenter AP. The basic idea is that by signing up to the human endeavour, wolves offered their loyal service (guardianship, herding flocks, companionship, etc.) in exchange for a warm hearth and the reasonable expectation that they would die in their sleep, not end up on the dinner table – at least outside extreme circumstances, such as getting stranded in the Arctic, when the calories a dog can provide would constitute an ultimate form of self-sacrificing service. Meanwhile, even though they are about as intelligent as dogs, pigs were only ever invited into the human enterprise as a source of food, not as companions. Slitting their throats and roasting them over a spit breaks no covenant.

    I endorse this view. If intruders were to try to abduct my children, my dogs will sacrifice themselves to protect the children. No pig will do so. Dogs are special animals with a deep bond with human beings. They deserve a special consideration.

    It is also a viewpoint that I imagine the vast majority of Americans and Europeans – if not Chinese and Koreans – will agree with.

    Things have changed in Korea:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog_meat_consumption_in_South_Korea

    In 2014, 329 restaurants served dog meat in Seoul, and the numbers are continuing to decline each year.[17] Some restaurants are reporting declines in consumption of 20-30% per year.[18]

    On December 13, 2016, the termination of dog slaughter and the closure of slaughtering facilities at Moran Market was announced by the local government and vendors’ association.[21] Moran Market, located in Seongnam, was the largest dog meat market in South Korea. Annually, it sold over 20,000 dogs and was the source of 30-40% of dog meat consumption in the country.[4] The decision was reached in an effort to mitigate the negative views of the market by remodeling it as part of a city project. All of the dog slaughtering facilities in the market were planned to be removed by May 2017 and the vendors were to be aided financially by the government in the process.[21]

    Inspired by this decision, protesters gathered at Gupo Market in Busan in February 2017, calling for the closure of the dog meat vendors there.[22] The Gupo Market is of similar size to the Moran Market and has been around since the Joseon Dynasty. In recent decades, the number of dog meat vendors in the market has decreased to only 22 due to the efforts of the government trying to improve the image of the city for tourists.[22] As of now, there have been no official statements by the local government involving plans to remove the dog meat vendors.

    On November 21, 2018, South Korea closed the country’s main dog slaughterhouse, known as Taepyeong-dong.[7] The slaughterhouse was located in Seongnam.[7] The Seongnam city council, which voted in 2013 to close the slaughterhouse,[7] will turn the area into a community park.[6]

    In June 2018, the municipal court of the city of Bucheon ruled that killing dogs for their meat was illegal. The landmark decision came after much criticism from animal advocates in the country. The court case was brought forward by animal rights group Coexistence of Animal Rights on Earth (Care) against a dog farm, which they said was killing animals without a real reason.[36]

    In major cities in South Korea, it is nowadays very common to see people walking pet dogs. I can’t see such people being okay with consuming dog meat, let alone slaughtering them cruelly.

    • Replies: @songbird
    , @Anatoly Karlin
  39. Yevardian says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    All medicines and supplements should be encapsulated in gelatin by law.

    Nice to see you back.

  40. @E

    And how come ants (ants!) can reliably pass the mirror test?

    Because the test doesn’t measure intelligence, it measures situational awareness. Humans are born without any situational awareness, it’s something that we painstakingly learn hands-on. (And some of us never do learn it, hence the large numbers of “autists” and those “on the spectrum” without any physiological deficiencies.)

    The fact that it’s a hard process for people makes us confuse situational awareness and intelligence, when clearly they’re different things. (I’m sure everyone knows the “genius who can’t tie his own shoelaces” trope; it’s real.)

    • Agree: utu
  41. Potato says:

    My favourite 2019 cognitive dissonance is that chickens need rights but human fetuses are totally fair play. Maybe we will transition to eating human fetuses? After all, chickens and cows are lively animals – eating them is a moral disgrace. However, fetuses, being just lump of cells, seem like a much more morally sound source of protein.

    • Replies: @songbird
  42. DFH says:

    Is veganism bad for your health? They all look horribly emaciated, worse the longer they do it.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  43. Think says:

    Come the fuck on Anatoly, we are living in the middle of a crashing civilization, well, you don’t, but you live in a country where hospitals still look like shit so things aren’t that rosy there either. Why worry about pigs ffs. We don’t have that kind of surplus to worry about luxury problems.

  44. Twinkie says:

    Pork, I try to avoid entirely

    And miss this? No way.

  45. utu says:

    For Jews not eating pigs is a supra-rational mitzvah that is beyond logical explanations. Arguments against it or for it are left to “the Satan and the gentile nations” not for Jews. Jews do not argue about it and do not rationalize it. Karlin’s circuitous path of elaborate rationalizations of his resolve for not eating pork is not a mitzvah, however his willingness and effort for emulation and mimicry with the Jews might be appreciated in some Jewish circles less for not eating pork than for his talmudic quality of his mind and the obsequiousness of his character. On the other hand Christians may see the pig slaughter as an act of defiance and resistance against Muslim [and Jewish] dominance and occupation as the ritual public pig slaughter, the matanza symbolized in Spain in times of Muslim occupation.

    • LOL: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @Dmitry
  46. AP says:
    @Twinkie

    Nice.

    My impression is that according to Christian tradition dogs “go to heaven”, but not because they have immortal souls. “Going to heaven” involves a resurrection of the pleasing aspects of the natural world of those who are resurrected – this would include their beloved pets (as their beloved forests, etc.). So people save their beloved pets. Thus even rocks can go to heaven also.

    • Replies: @Nus
  47. @anonymous coward

    Huh?

    Did you mean to say something other than that animals don’t have feelings? Obviously mammals have feelings, and I’m quite sure a lot of non-mammalian animals do as well. Certainly birds appear to have emotions from casual observation (haven’t looked into the science on this).

    I don’t think anyone white is going to stick up for animal torture, but countless boys have tortured insects (in particular ants with a magnifying glass) with no apparent ill effects. Depending on your point of view various animal blood sports could be considered torture.

    There were in the 1970s a number of psychological studies done on American participants in cock fighting, which were intended to prove the liberal suspicion that cock fighters are bloodthirsty monsters. The studies found that they were psychologically normal.

    Even Michael Vick came across as a man with considerable empathy after his dog fighting was exposed.

    • Replies: @anonymous coward
    , @TKK
  48. Mr. Hack says:

    Summertime in Russia and Ukraine has become synonymous in culinary circles with the grilling of deliciously marinated pork loin skewered over a fire of coals or hardwood, accompanied by many other goodies and alcoholic beverages. But front and center, of course, is the mouth watering and tender ‘shashlik’. Anatoly, it’s hard for me to believe that you (an unabashed foodie) stays away from these types of social events or don’t partake in the main offering? Tofu shashlik anybody? 🙂

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  49. @DFH

    Yes. As Karlin hinted at, there is in fact no medical need to consume any plant foods at all. But there is a need to consume animal foods. Indian Jains unwittingly consume animal foods in the form of insects, fecal droppings, etc. Jains who moved to the UK began suffering from various deficiencies.

    Basic problems with veganism:

    • No complete plant proteins
    • No plant source of vitamin B12
    • Plant vitamins and minerals generally less bioavailable than animal sources
    • Typically excessive net carbohydrate intake and thus insulin resistance
    • Excessive production of shit leads to constant flatulence and shitting (staple joke about vegan dating is how flatulence ruins “intimacy”)

    A properly designed vegan diet combined with supplements can be healthy enough, and indeed there are certainly vegans who have better diets and are healthier than people consuming the “Standard American Diet” (SAD).

    The vegans, unfortunately, are quite clever. They understand that people hate them, so now they’ve changed their rhetoric and promote a “plant-based” diet. This is claimed necessary for health reasons and, of course, the climate. Never mind that the majority of calories consumed in all countries (even the USA and Australia) already come from plant sources.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @MikeatMikedotMike
  50. @Anatoly Karlin

    3. Interesting question

    In the Middle East, it seems that pork-eating was common, or at least not uncommon, until sometime around 1000 BC. According to Marvin Harris (“The Abominable Pig”) the reason for its diminution and subsequent taboo had nothing to do with a fear of trichinosis (all undercooked meats are dangerous, most more so than pork) but was a result of environmental/ecological factors: pigs require lots of shade and water (decreasingly available as the Middle East became progessively deforested), and compete with humans for consumption of edible grains (whereas ruminants like cattle and sheep eat grass and other high cellulose plants which are indigestible to humans).

    So Islam essentially developed in a region where pork eating was already a taboo, and it then spread to regions where it was likewise largely a taboo (Middle East) or of little practical importance for environmental/ecological reasons (North Africa).

    In the case of the Islamic pork taboos, the feedback between religious belief and the practical exigencies of animal husbandry has led to a kind of undeclared ecological war between Christians and Moslems in several parts of the Mediterranean shores of southern Europe. In rejecting the pig, Moslem farmers automatically downgrade the importance of preserving woodlands suitable for pig production. Their secret weapon is the goat, a great devourer of forests, which readily climbs trees to get at a meal of leaves and twigs.

    By giving the goat free reign, Islam to some degree spread the conditions of its own success. It enlarged the ecological zones ill suited to pig husbandry and removed one of the chief obstacles to the acceptance of the words of the Prophet. Deforestation is particularly noticeable in the Islamic regions of the Mediterranean. Albania, for example, is divided between distinct Christian pig-keeping and Moslem pig- abominating zones, and as one passes from the Moslem to the Christian sectors, the amount of woodland immediately increases.

    Marvin Harris, “The Abominable Pig”
    http://etnologija.etnoinfolab.org/dokumenti/82/2/2009/harris_1521.pdf

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @songbird
  51. songbird says:
    @Potato

    Many years ago, I saw a group put up flyers comparing eating chicken eggs to abortion.

    Normally that sort of humor (though unintended) wouldn’t appeal to me, but it is quite funny, on multiple levels. The least being that eggs are gigantic haploid cells that hens slough off. They don’t even have the potentiality of to become chickens unless fertilized and incubated. Not to mention, that chickens very readily eat their own eggs. And that chickens lay nearly every day, so that if every egg turned into a chicken, it would eventually result in a big collapse of the chicken population.

  52. The scalpel says: • Website
    @Thorfinnsson

    God gave man canine teeth and incisors.
    Canine teeth and incisors are for eating meat
    Therefore, God intended for man to eat meat.
    Vegans and vegetarians believe man should not eat meat
    Therefore, vegans and vegetarians do not believe in God’s will
    Those who do not believe in God’s will do not believe God is supreme [i.e. God]
    Therefore, vegans and vegetarians are atheists
    God says that atheists go to hell
    Therefore, all vegans and vegetarians can go to hell

    Alternatively

    There is no God
    There is evolution
    Evolution gave man cannine and incisor teeth
    There are few if any humans born with teeth that do not have cannines or incisors
    Therefore, it is natural for man to eat meat, vegan and vegetarianism is dysgenic

    I would add that the most vegetarian societies are the least “free range” and most “factory farmed”

    😉

    • Replies: @jamie b.
    , @Kratoklastes
  53. @Thorfinnsson

    Did you mean to say something other than that animals don’t have feelings?

    “Feelings” as such are only interesting insofar as they’re part of your free will in making ethical and moral choices.

    Since animals don’t have free will and can’t make ethical and moral choices, what the animals are experiencing is just a complex pre-programmed response to stimuli. (Your smartphone also has complex pre-programmed responses to stimuli; feel free to call them “feelings” too.)

    What I’m saying is that the “feelings” of animals are qualitatively different from the feelings of human beings.

  54. Pontius says:
    @Rosie

    Apparently Gacy suffered a severe head injury after being hit by a swing which seemed to greatly affect his personality.

  55. My take is this:

    – intelligence alone is not sufficient. A high functioning 135 IQ psychopath might be smarter, but he’s probably less capable of real suffering than a normal 85 IQ brickie who loves his family. Animals are usually pretty psychopathic by human standards (lion and gorilla males always kill the cubs/infants of females when conquering a new harem from another male; a very bloodthirsty human, Genghis Khan, didn’t kill his oldest son, whose father was probably another man, in fact, he treated him as his own, even though, well, he must have known)

    – you need to skew the thing towards the ingroup (which should be humans), and so loyal dogs (and perhaps some other species like horses?) need special consideration.

    – we need some reciprocity, so a species whose members don’t show the slightest consideration to humans (I heard that pigs need to be fed with caution, because they sometimes bite off the hands or fingers of inexperienced people, usually children, who fed them; can anyone confirm this? you can feed corpses to pigs anytime) should receive way less consideration.

    – I have to agree with anonymous coward that the biggest reason for punishing cruelty towards animals is the suspicion that needlessly cruel people are shit (psychopathic or mentally ill), so it’s basically catching something at an early stage.

    – any totally universal theory or ideology will make it difficult to defend against aliens (who might be a million times smarter than us, but then again, might not be much smarter; it’ll be very difficult if not outright impossible to observe if they have any feelings of empathy, towards us or each other; it’s unclear what it might mean); depending on whatever we think of the risk of them arriving, this argument has a value larger than or equal to zero.

    – similarly, true universalism might make it difficult to defend us against some super-smart AI, whatever we think of its dangers.

    In the meantime, pork is one of the very few types of meat (and very good), so it’d make our diets way poorer. As utu mentioned, it’s a way of showing our cultural independence from non-pork-eaters like Muslims or Jews.

  56. @reiner Tor

    Pork itself isn’t that good. The Italians like to say, “pork needs help.” Hence why they make porchetta.

    Some cured pork products however are very good. Neither beef nor chicken can substitute in these applications because their fat profiles differ. Beef fat is considerably more saturated and thus has poor mouthfeel (especially at room temperature), and chicken is simply too lean.

    For sausage you could engineer a fat with the appropriate characteristics I suppose. The number one constituent of porcine fat is oleic acid, which also happens to be the number one constituent of olive oil. If you mixed olive oil (or avocado oil) with some beef tallow (or coconut oil for that matter) you could get a fat with characteristics similar to porcine fat.

    No such luck with cured whole muscle meats. Every cured beef meat worth eating (e.g. bresaola) is thoroughly defatted prior to curing. Beef bacon is…not bacon. At least not what anyone expects from bacon.

    You make a strong point on culture. Now that we have an unfortunate metaethnic frontier with Mohammedans within our own countries a very strong point in favor of pork consumption is of course to assert our identity.

  57. Dmitry says:
    @utu

    Lol maybe Karlin is a secret Spanish Jew, who is planning revenge against jamon and chorizo?

    But why in Israel, are the Jews so obsessed about eating pork. Although even bacon is an expensive luxury product there.

    The most fashionable restaurant chain for young Israelis is Benedict.

    It has branches in multiple cities in Israel. Always full of the young Israelis, including soldiers with guns, are there eating bacon, which is served all day and night in different ways.

    http://www.benedict.co.il/en/

    But two slices of bacon – cost like $5 if I remember.

    The weird thing is they don’t write about bacon on their website. But it’s the main food they serve in the restaurants – bacon being presented in 20 different ways.

    Pork itself has to be produced in Israel, as it is illegal to import it. In pig farms, the pigs have to be living on special platforms (so they are not “on the land of Israel”).

    What I read is that animals rights movement in Israel is constantly growing, and they are campaigning the most aggressively now to ban the pig farms.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @songbird
    , @utu
  58. c matt says:

    I suspect that [factory farming] is the main moral failing of the present day that people of the 22nd century will look back at in horror.

    I hope not. Legally slaughtering fellow humans in utero (and just out of utero) and worship of the practice seems a much bigger moral failing. However, given our current moral trajectory, I fear you are correct.

  59. songbird says:
    @for-the-record

    I’ve always been skeptical of the trichinosis theory, which strikes me as being über-PC. Ancient Jews and Arabs were probably not conducting autopsies. And it strikes me as the height of silliness to imbue them with the knowledge of 19th-century Europeans.

    Food prohibition seems generally to be about enforcing a separate identity. The castes of India have different diets, with the lower ones being the most inclusive. One of these foods is pork, which the highest do not eat. As Pork is a common food in SE Asia, this is probably due to Muslim influence over Hindus.

    But I think Islam probably adapted it from a caste system in Egypt or the Levant. The best prohibitions are things you are already accustomed to abstaining from, helpful when you are radically expanding. In a somewhat similar vein, Muhammad apparently did not like dogs.

  60. songbird says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    Every public official in Europe should be required to regularly eat pork and beef, have a dog as pet, and shake the hand of a woman every day. I imagine they would quickly adapt their behavior, but the important thing is that we assert our identity.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  61. Mr. Hack says:
    @Dmitry

    Growing up, I had a good Jewish buddy who came from an “Orthodox’ home. He would often visit me and ask my mother to cook up some BLT sandwiches for us. He grew up to become a cantor and a writer too. He once told me that he even wrote some funny short stories about the different Ukie types that he would encounter at my home, who he thought were closet ‘Nazis’. Years of daily cannabis usage took its toll on my dear friend. 🙁

    • Replies: @Rabbitnexus
  62. songbird says:
    @Twinkie

    Similar phenomenon in China, though since it is such a big country, you always hear of restaurants sending vans around stealing people’s dogs from their yards. It is no joke either – there’s a lot of video of it.

    I have heard that dogs bred for meat are a lot stupider than normal pet dogs. Can anyone confirm?

    • Replies: @Che Guava
  63. @Thorfinnsson

    Pork itself isn’t that good.

    That’s objectively wrong. Pork belly with the skin could be made delicious if you roast the skin crispy. I’ve eaten Hungarian and Vietnamese versions of it, both among the very best meat dishes I’ve ever eaten.

    • Agree: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  64. Mr. Hack says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    Pork loin marinated in some wine vinegar & garlic not good? Since when?…(I like it even better than lamb).

    • Replies: @Kratoklastes
  65. songbird says:
    @Dmitry

    Based on acquaintances at least, a lot of Jews in America seem to consume ham. “Reformed Jews”, they are called. Perhaps this is changing as they don’t seem to keep their identity as strongly as the Orthodox.

    Newly arrived Muslims seem to get a kick out of the word “hamburger.”

  66. @reiner Tor

    Pork belly is an improvement over pork, but there’s a reason people usually consume pork belly in the form of bacon, pancetta, salt pork, etc.

    And I assume that the Vietnamese version in question involves all sorts of added flavors.

    • Replies: @Twinkie
  67. Note that I stated:

    Pork itself isn’t that good. The Italians like to say, “pork needs help.” Hence why they make porchetta.

    So you love pork loin that has been helped by wine vinegar & garlic. I too enjoy marinating pork loin, and it’s especially good if you stuff it. That’s a whole lot of help.

    Even grilled center-cut pork chops, which is one of the better forms of straight pork available, are nearly always served with some kind of sauce.

    If you really believe pork is fantastic without help, I encourage you to cook a pork loin and eat it with…nothing.

    Even chicken, which is pretty flavorless and lame, is not bad roasted and eaten plain because of how juicy it is (crisp skin also really helps).

    With beef, lamb, and other red meat there is simply no comparison. They are very flavorful all on their own.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    , @Mr. Hack
    , @Anon
  68. @Thorfinnsson

    With beef, lamb, and other red meat there is simply no comparison. They are very flavorful all on their own.

    Okay, I concede that point. Even roasted salo is usually eaten with salt. (Though it’s definitely edible without, too. And, to be honest, red meat is also better with a little – really little! – salt and perhaps pepper.) A staple of Austrian cuisine, Wiener Schnitzel, is also better with pork medallion than with veal, even though ordinary people believe it’s better with veal. But, yes, it’s not on its own there, either.

    Anyway, pork is very good food, even if it needs help. I don’t think there are so many different types of meat (or, really, food), that we could easily make do without such a major item. I mean, of course we could, but not without a very good reason.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    , @David
  69. Mr. Hack says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    For me, adding garlic to most any meat product (even sometimes to fish, in the soup stock) is de rigueur. Pork loin over a flame is tender, juicy and plain scrumptuous, IMHO.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  70. Lin says:

    Since eggs are on the list, I suggest it’s time to start a ‘Sperm Lives Matter’ movement.
    Unfortunately semen has become indispensable dietary supplement to certain ‘progressives’

    • Agree: Rabbitnexus
  71. @reiner Tor

    Salt, in addition to having its own pleasant flavor and being an essential micronutrient, is also a flavor enhancer. It’s difficult to think of anything that shouldn’t be salted, though the quantity varies greatly (e.g. a green salad should have salt, but very little compared to a hunk of meat).

    Veal is not particularly flavorful. People enjoy it because of how tender it is. Schnitzel being a pounded, breaded, and deep-fried cutlet it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to use something as expensive as veal for it. Chicken actually works very well in this application too (which is quite common in the Latin American variant of schnitzel).

    I’d say the great appeal of the pig is the variety of meat products it gives us. Pork, ham, bacon, and sausage (I realize there’s non-pig sausage but pig dominates) are all quite distinct and yet all come from the same animal. Remarkable really.

    Pigs are also useful animals in traditional-style agriculture because of their scavenging and foraging. Not a consideration with factory farming of course.

    • Replies: @songbird
  72. @Mr. Hack

    Garlic improves a lot of things.

    Doesn’t change the fact that people enjoy beef steak (including steaks cut from the loin) with nothing other than salt.

    The same is not true of pork loin. It’s not tender or juicy compared to poultry, and it isn’t flavorful compared to red meat. “The other white meat” is actually a pretty good descriptor.

    • Replies: @Dessert Bunny
  73. songbird says:

    Used to know a guy that fit into this really weird category. He was like a vegetarian, in that he did not consume most mainstream meat products, like chicken, steaks, hamburgers, or pork.

    But he did eat the really weird and somewhat gross stuff. Stuff in appearance being very dissociated from animals, like slimjims, porkreins, and non-casing hotdogs. One of his older siblings explained that they had traumatized him when he was a very young boy by putting his favorite stuffed animal in a pot.

  74. @German_reader

    Indeed that’s the only argument against the death penalty I find convincing, human lawcourts aren’t infallible.

    Lawyers I have asked this seem to all huff and puff about it but not one of them has yet given me a comprehensible answer to the following suggestion.

    Whenever a judge gives a Guilty verdict, there should also be some mechanism – e.g. through a panel of experts – to also attach a probability that said verdict is justified.

    For many (most?) crimes meriting the death penalty, that probability will approach 1.

    But in cases where this probability factor is <0.99, all death penalties will be automatically suspended.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
    , @reiner Tor
    , @Lot
  75. utu says:
    @Dmitry

    “But why in Israel, are the Jews so obsessed about eating pork” – forbidden fruit, liberation?

    https://www.myrecipes.com/extracrispy/pork-bacon-israel-other-meat
    Need a pork chop in Tel Aviv? Look under “other meat” or “short cow.”

    https://slate.com/human-interest/2012/08/israels-pork-problem-and-what-it-means-for-the-countrys-christian-arabs.html

    The law—considered to be one of the most controversial in Israeli history—was designed with a loophole that permitted raising hogs in majority Christian regions in the North as a concession to Israel’s religious minorities and the young democracy. As a result, Christian-Arab towns became hog country.

    Until the 1990s, the Israeli pork industry was somewhat clandestine, but with an influx of immigrants from the former Soviet Union and a progressive Supreme Court, pork became more common in Israel.

    https://slate.com/human-interest/2012/08/israels-pork-problem-and-what-it-means-for-the-countrys-christian-arabs.html

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  76. songbird says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    I’ve known Vietnamese who put salt on fruit.

    Pork is also great in that it quite affordable to all classes, owing to the greater efficiency of pigs. Thus it is a bulwark against the evil ideology of globohomo-veganism. But the widespread appeal of pigflesh creates the confusing problem of what cut should universally be called bacon, without a national modifier.

  77. Any attempt to quantify various animals consciousness and emotional abilities, as well as vegetarianism and veganism generally, are greatly complicated if you take any of this seriously:

    Bizarre as it seems we probably should, it’s pretty legit.

  78. @E

    Very interesting! I honestly have no idea.

    One guess might be that even though insects have few neurons, most species are so old that evolution has had a very long time to refine their cognitive processes to very high degree of efficiency.

    If you really want to be impressed by insect intelligence, check out the portia spider: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portia_(spider)

    Sci-fi book by Adrian Tchaikovsky (Children of Time) in which they get uplifted – see relevant chapter.

    If it is possible, would not the most ethical course for humanity be to bioengineer themselves to be smaller, even microscopic, and thus require fewer energy resources?

    I doubt that will be possible, though I suspect we could reduce ourselves to hobbit size without losing much IQ – verbal IQ, anyway.

  79. @Twinkie

    That is good to hear about South Korea.

    • Replies: @Twinkie
  80. Rosie says:
    @Mr. XYZ

    I’ve been thinking about your 115 year old hypothetical. It occurs to me that it would be strange indeed to claim that his age would mitigate his murder. On the other hand, to claim that murder of an infant would be aggravated by the infant’s age seems perfectly reasonable, though the net effect would be the same. Sometimes, our moral intuitions are heavily influenced by framing.

  81. Mr. XYZ says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Can’t such experts also be wrong in their probability, though?

  82. @Mr. Hack

    Well I am not autistic about my culinary preferences, if the main dish is a pork dish – the only situation in which avoiding it would be socially uncomfortable – then I am not making a fuss about it. This happens perhaps once a year, if that. I don’t know to what extent this is prevalent, but in my circles, the most common shashlyk meat is lamb. Ergo for plov made over the mangal. This is also, of course, more authentic (these dishes hailing from the Caucasus and Central Asia, respectively).

    I am not sure I am a foodie. While I am interested in cuisine as in other aspects of culture, said interest is of a primarily sociological nature (e.g. is there a global SWPL “food way” based around upper end burgers served on wooden boards and craft beer?).

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    , @Mr. Hack
  83. Twinkie says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    Pork belly is an improvement over pork, but there’s a reason people usually consume pork belly in the form of bacon, pancetta, salt pork, etc.

    And I assume that the Vietnamese version in question involves all sorts of added flavors.

    Koreans eat pork belly with minimal, if any, flavoring and it is delicious! See the video I embedded in the comment earlier:
    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/animals/#comment-3067916

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  84. @reiner Tor

    – we need some reciprocity, so a species whose members don’t show the slightest consideration to humans (I heard that pigs need to be fed with caution, because they sometimes bite off the hands or fingers of inexperienced people, usually children, who fed them; can anyone confirm this? you can feed corpses to pigs anytime) should receive way less consideration.

    The former is the first time I hear of that. Google searching just turns up this story:

    Drunk farmer ‘starts fight with his own pig but dies after having three fingers and his privates bitten off’. The bizarre incident was reported to have occurred in the town of San Lucas Ojitlan, in south-western Mexico.

    You can of course feed corpses to pigs, but you can feed corpses to any omnivore.

    Also, carnivore/omnivore/herbivore divisions aren’t strict. For instance, you can find YouTube videos of cattle snapping up small, overly slow/stupid birds.

  85. @Anatoly Karlin

    Another point is that it’s not like any other sentence is easily reversible. How are you going to give back seven years in prison? And it’s not like shorter sentences get scrutinized so much. I’ve seen dubious cases where the evidence seemed shaky, but the sentence was relatively light (just a few years), but it’s enough to destroy an honest person’s life, his job prospects, what kind of wife he’ll find, etc. No lawyer seems to care much about this.

    In Hungary there was a big robbery and mass murder in 2001, where the robbers gunned down the bank clerks and the clients, too. The incompetent Hungarian justice system produced two guilty verdicts for two professional robbers (who didn’t commit the crime, as it later turned out), and it was very likely that if the death penalty had not been abolished, they’d have received it. But they weren’t fully innocent: they had committed dozens of violent robberies, including several bank robberies! So probably a fully innocent person would never have been convicted for this. The issue is usually a slightly higher sentence than deserved, in that case a death sentence instead of maybe twenty years in prison. Or, in cases which receive no spotlight at all, three years in jail versus an innocent verdict.

    To be honest, I’ve seen in Hungary murder or manslaughter cases (with the usual 15 year sentences, so a death penalty would have been out of the question), where guilt didn’t seem to be fully proven. So a potentially fully innocent person’s life was destroyed, but it never bothers these lawyers and similar people, because “nothing irreversible happened.” Fuck, these guys only had one life, and it pretty irreversibly got screwed up, if they were innocent. Which is not at all impossible.

    • Replies: @songbird
  86. songbird says:
    @E

    Could be they mirror each other naturally, meaning it is not self-recognition.

    I wonder if they tested for that. I mean something like a scenario where an ant sees another ant with a parasite on its head, so it checks its own head.

  87. songbird says:
    @reiner Tor

    I think there is a case to be made that the state should not have the power to execute people.

    However, I really think some moderate form of corporal punishment would help society. Example, people intentionally block traffic on major route into the city. They should be caned or put in stocks.

    But I’m thinking a better form might be ostracism – send them to an island. This should be done to the militant gays and lesbians that harm society. Meanwhile, open borders people should be sent to Africa.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  88. @songbird

    the state should not have the power to execute people.

    Then logically it shouldn’t have the power to wage war, which could result in the deaths of the majority of citizens.

    • Replies: @songbird
  89. David says:
    @reiner Tor

    I raise pigs from time to time. The main reason pork is less flavorful and colorful than the so called red meats is because most pigs can never get to the ground. If they could, they would eat loads of dirt, incorporating lots of minerals (especially iron). I think it’s mainly a marketing thing: the other white meat. But pigs that get to turn over dirt get more flavor and color to their meat.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  90. @Twinkie

    Korean food is inferior to that of the two neighboring East Asian countries.

    Pass.

    Pork belly was also a stupid foodie trend in the first half of this decade.

    Not that pork belly is bad (it’s not), it’s just not as good as cured pork belly products which are very widely available (especially in the United States where bacon is a national obsession).

    • Replies: @Twinkie
  91. @David

    Beef is flavorful no matter what cattle eat. It’s more flavorful if the cattle are purely grass-fed, though this results in inferior marbling and thus increased toughness. Get your steaks from grain finished cattle but your burger & dairy from grass-fed.

    Pigs, not being ruminants, are very affected by what they eat. Hence why the Spanish swine from which jamon iberico comes from are fattened with acorns and figs.

    This is also a major reason why red meat, contrary to the globohomo propaganda of the WHO and the usual suspects, is healthier than white meat.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  92. @Anatoly Karlin

    Well I am not autistic about my culinary preferences, if the main dish is a pork dish – the only situation in which avoiding it would be socially uncomfortable – then I am not making a fuss about it.

    That’s good. Being a paleo LCHF and mostly carnivorous dieter my ordinary food intake is highly restrictive. But at a dinner party I will eat whatever is served.

    Refusal to eat what other people serve, or making a fuss about what restaurants you can attend in group settings, is why everyone hates vegetarians and especially vegans. Nobody likes picky eaters, and these people are the pickiest.

    American proles incidentally are picky eaters as well (though not about meat, obviously) which is extremely irritating. Being uncultured swine some of them, especially females, act like this is something to be proud of. Many of them refuse to eat seafood, but there are also a lot of other bizarre things like disliking onions. Who doesn’t like onions?!

    Religious dietary restrictions are irritating as well but get a pass owing to thousands of years of tradition and such.

    • Agree: utu
  93. @reiner Tor

    you can feed corpses to pigs anytime

    You might not even need to be dead for pigs to eat you:
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2515069/Gangster-kills-rival-feeding-alive-pigs-year-feud-members-Italian-crime-syndicate.html

    https://www.quora.com/Do-pigs-eat-people

    Ok, maybe not the best sources, but good enough to justify eating pigs for me. They’d probably do the same to us if they could after all.

    • Agree: reiner Tor
    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  94. Twinkie says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    Many people disagree with you, including those in the video clip I embedded, but taste is subjective, so carry on.

    But it sounds like you’ve never had what those guys were having in the video.

  95. Twinkie says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    That is good to hear about South Korea.

    Yup. Their conversion to SWPL is nearly complete.

    • Replies: @Tyrion 2
  96. Tyrion 2 says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    Religious dietary restrictions are irritating as well but get a pass owing to thousands of years of tradition and such.

    Honestly, these annoy me too. There’s generally little (even internally logical) justification for them. I like to think that at one point shellfish and pork made people sick, in the absence of refrigeration. Not so much now though. As for milk and meat, that has no more basis than a metaphor about not adding insult to injury. A clerical class will be clerical…

  97. Tyrion 2 says:
    @Twinkie

    South Korea is yet more evidence for why Karl Marx might have been right. Everything is superficial, according to him, and is downstream of the form of production. Thus capitalist industrial economic development almost* inevitably leads to certain ideological superstructure.

    * The exceptions exist in such extreme circumstances that they prove the rule.

    What is one to say? That the way in which people work doesn’t actually have a substantially determining effect on how they think? Maybe, but then why is there such huge ideological convergence?

  98. Anonymous[375] • Disclaimer says:
    @Rosie

    It should be noted that certain breeds of cat have been naturally and artificially selected for high bondability, trust, and affection to the human female, rendering them incapable of independent survival and therefore entitled to the utmost protection.

    It’s the other way around. Cats carry toxoplasmosis and who knows what other pathogens that infect human female brains and turn them into cat ladies:

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/are-cats-responsible-for-ldquo-cat-ladies-rdquo/

    • Replies: @Rosie
    , @Lot
  99. songbird says:
    @reiner Tor

    Only the state has the organizational potential to wage modern war. Yet, it seems that each time there is a war, the power of the state grows intractably. Even where there is monarchy, it often effectively abolishes it or makes a joke out of it, to further the bureaucracy.

    There’s even an absurd signaling value for it, where people in the military are constantly thanked for their service, or said to be fighting for our freedom in Iraq, or other such neocon BS. There’s a constant creep to expand alliances, like the insane move to add the Baltics to NATO, or the desire to add Georgia. There’s an insane mission creep, when NATO, in whatever format, is involved in Libya

    IMO, Japan should be careful about changes to its constitution. Perhaps, they have interests outside their country, but there really is no point going to a lot of places.

  100. Anonymous[375] • Disclaimer says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    Grass fed beef and dairy are supposed to be healthier, so there are good reasons to eat it over grain fed, but I’ve never been able to get used to the flavor and tougher texture. Grass fed milk has that grassy aftertaste. Grass fed butter like Kerrygold though has no grassy flavor and just tastes better than regular butter.

    I waver between beef and pork as the best kind of meat. Chicken is too plain, and lamb has that weird taste that can be hard to get used to. Pork by itself is good as its fattiness gives it a lot of natural flavor, like in pork chops and pork belly, which is uncured bacon. And the various ways in which pork is cured and prepared make it very good. Whereas beef is best plain, and adding to it and preparing it tends to detract from its natural goodness.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  101. Rosie says:
    @Anonymous

    If you want my cat, come take him from my cold, dead arms.

    • Replies: @whahae
  102. Dmitry says:
    @utu

    Article seems somewhat melodramatic, like most English articles about Israel. It’s saying there is some controversy that Christian Arabs would lose a monopoly on farming pigs?

    How is that desirable in a capitalist country – farming should be open for anyone who complies with the regulations, not a monopoly of a particular group who do not comply with regulation.

    Moreover, article ignores that in Israel, the most pork is traditionally farmed in a Kibbutz.

    What is a culture shock is to see naive, native Israelis view bacon as an expensive “luxury product” (and this could be related to restricted supply), where they queue for it in the fashionable restaurant chains.

    Bacon is cargo culted as an elite European product, not realizing in the rest of the world (maybe excluding some variants in Italy) how cheap and low status bacon usually is.

    The way Israelis advertise 3 slices of bacon at 0:20

    • Replies: @Clyde
  103. @E

    BTW, on mirror tests:

    Our Yorkie failed it, predictactably. However, our mini-poodle – whom we have observed to be much smarter – seems to have passed. She recognized herself immediately and has enjoyed strutting and admiring herself in front of the mirror ever since. So either the people who say all dogs fail the mirror test are wrong or she is some sort of canine genius.

  104. @Thorfinnsson

    There is a logic to all that:

    1. Religious dietary prescriptions are pretty absolute, the only tolerated exceptions being if your health is in serious danger. Your eternal soul is at stake.

    2. Vegetarians and vegans, especially the more hardcore ones, consider eating animal flesh to be almost akin to cannibalism. Can’t exactly make exceptions either.

    3. Cognitive Chain of Being suggests that eating pork meat is merely an order of magnitude worse than eating an equivalent chunk of beef or poultry. Much less negative karma than in cases above. Extra committed cognitive ethicists might even go pescetarian for the next two weeks in atonement.

    Incidentally, I am on a ketogenic diet since I permanently moved to my new apartment this January.

    Further edit:

    Many of them refuse to eat seafood, but there are also a lot of other bizarre things like disliking onions. Who doesn’t like onions?!

    TIL! Onions, wtf not? They are one of the traddest European foods. I read (in Charles Murray’s Coming Apart, iirc) that when Japanese food first came to America it was treated with revulsion, because things like raw fish were repugnant to Americans; but why no seafood, though? I know they were really low class back in the 18th century, food meant for convicts, but overfishing has since made them more of a prestige food. I don’t get those proles. What is their logic?

  105. @Anonymous

    The advantage of grass-fed beef is a trivially improved ratio of omega 3 to omega 6. An advantage which can be completely obliterated by simply foregoing consumption of chicken (which has hugely more omega 6 than any kind of beef). To say nothing of avoiding consumption of industrial seed oils (i.e. “vegetable” oil).

    And I think most people clued into this are already eating seafood and/or supplementing with fish oil.

    The picture is a bit different with dairy as grass-fed dairy has much more vitamin k and CLA.

  106. Anonymous[375] • Disclaimer says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    Here we see the potential maladapative consequences of a high IQ. In adopting this completely ridiculous position you make your quality of life worse for no benefit whatsoever. It would be amusing if not for the fact that this style of thinking is in fact dangerous and leads to disastrous consequences.

    There is something deeply life denying and nihilistic about these sorts of decadent attitudes. I think the high IQ comes in after the fact to rationalize and justify the decadence that has set in. And as you say, it leads to terrible consequences, the ultimate of which is alluded to in the OP when describing David Pearce’s argument for genetically editing carnivorous animals. The problem according to this decadent view is ultimately not suffering, but life itself. Life itself is the problem, and it must be destroyed in the name of stopping suffering. It has to be genetically edited and modified and contained in a static, “lifeless” state, or transcended altogether with machines. Either way, life must go.

    Western man was life affirming and vital when he was engaging in blood sports like cat burning and fox tossing:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fox_tossing

    • Replies: @Rosie
  107. songbird says:

    I wonder how much modern day vegetarianism contributes to assortative mating.

    Also, I wonder what percentage of Ashkenazi might be vegetarians. Could be the people who weren’t picky eaters were boiled off the community, leaving a greater predilection for dietary strictures.

  108. Rosie says:
    @Anonymous

    Western man was life affirming and vital when he was engaging in blood sports like cat burning and fox tossing:

    You’re right. Western man needs to be brutal, and not only to animals, but humans, too.

    I volunteer you as the victim.

    • Replies: @songbird
  109. MBlanc46 says:

    Thank you very much for this. I hit 50 years as a vegetarian this coming July. I’ve long since formulated my own (simple) rationalization for my choice, but have steered clear of any objective analysis. This piece, which I’ve only skimmed so far, will give me hours of serious reading and reflection on the subject.

  110. songbird says:
    @Rosie

    I think I could have enjoyed those contests the Victorians engaged in of dogs killing rats.

    Haitians and Dominicans love cockfighting. I’m not crazy about the idea, but on another level, the breeding aspect, I find it really fascinating. Some roosters they breed specifically for their claws, but not for fighting, cutting them off and gluing them onto fighting roosters.

  111. whahae says:
    @Rosie

    As soon as your arms are cold and dead your cat will start eating them anyway.

    • LOL: songbird
    • Replies: @Rosie
  112. This suggests that humans are not evolved for veganism

    Wait a minute. You are saying that millions of years of evolution were not enough to make humans “normal”? That sounds about right. After all, evolution is a gigantic machine of abnormality-making.

    Same for “civilized”? Well, I guess we still have a few more years in store for that accomplishment.

    When I read the rest of the article, I will be back with more uncivilized and abnormal comments.

  113. anarchyst says:

    The environmentalist movement was quite successful in infantilizing the general public by making outlandish claims, giving animals rights, among other things
    I call it the “disneyfication” of animals, raising animals up to the status of humans, imbuing human qualities on them-Walt Disney and his animal cartoons, Bambi, among others, is responsible for turning adult humans into animal-worshipping crazies-the roots of rabid environmentalism also has its start with disney cartoons.
    The “disneyfication” of animals has done more to damage the concept of man having dominion over other living things and has contributed greatly to our present crop of anti-hunters and pro-animal activists.
    If civilization collapses, you can bet that this “disneyfication” of animals along with gun control (actually people control) will go away, people will be too busy looking for their next meal.
    PETA=people eating tasty animals.
    It is interesting to note that these same “animal lovers” have no problem with human babies being ripped out of their mothers’ wombs. In fact, bald eagles and other species have MORE protections than pre-born and now post-born humans. Go figure…

    • Replies: @Rosie
    , @Rosie
  114. AK discovered utilitarianism and Effective Altruism.
    I’m not buying any of this.
    I see morality as a way to regulate social interactions, so there is not much about animals in it.
    Seeing a human being cruel with an animal is scary because we fear that ourselves or people we love may fall prey to his cruelty. It may be because torturing animals is sometimes a sign of sociopathy and we may have some instinctual alarm bells toward this behaviour. This is distinct from socially accepted forms of brutality like venationes, corrida or organized cat burnings which tell us nothing about the psychology of the individual gladiator, bullfighter etc.
    Seeing a killer whale playing with a injured seal, like a cat with a mouse, doesn’t seem so cruel compared with seal clubbing, because is the instinctual behaviour of an animal, not the result of human moral reasoning. That’s why those who insist on reducing the suffering of wild animals caused by wild animals, strike most people as bizzare and misguided.

    AK: I have been familiar with EA for years, and even made EA-based arguments against immigration, which the UR commentariat for some reason was better disposed towards…

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  115. Rosie says:
    @anarchyst

    The “disneyfication” of animals has done more to damage the concept of man having dominion over other living things and has contributed greatly to our present crop of anti-hunters and pro-animal activists.

    We’re not that stupid. I care a great deal about animal welfare, but I have no problem at all with hunters. Indeed, I think hunting wild animals is the most ethical way to procure meat.

    • Replies: @anarchyst
  116. Rosie says:
    @anarchyst

    Seeing a human being cruel with an animal is scary because we fear that ourselves or people we love may fall prey to his cruelty.

    I suppose on some level that is at the root of all empathic feelings. So what?

    If civilization collapses, you can bet that this “disneyfication” of animals along with gun control (actually people control) will go away, people will be too busy looking for their next meal.

    True, but then if civilization collapses, I imagine people won’t be too concerned about other humans either. It is absurd to suppose that has anything to do with our moral obligations right here and now.

  117. Rosie says:
    @whahae

    As soon as your arms are cold and dead your cat will start eating them anyway.

    That is no concern to me. What matters is the affection and loyalty he shows me while I’m alive.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  118. Dmitry says:
    @Rosie

    Lol maybe you had a Russian soul in your past life, with this obsession for cats.

    Have you seen the argument about cats vs. dogs by H.P Lovecraft.

    Naturally, one’s preference in the matter of cats and dogs depends wholly upon one’s temperament and point of view. The dog would appear to me to be the favourite of superficial, sentimental, emotional, and democratic people—people who feel rather than think, who attach importance to mankind and the popular conventional emotions of the simple, and who find their greatest consolation in the fawning and dependent attachments of a gregarious society.

    Such people live in a limited world of imagination; accepting uncritically the values of common folklore, and always preferring to have their naive beliefs, feelings, and prejudices tickled, rather than to enjoy a purely aesthetic and philosophic pleasure arising from discrimination, contemplation, and the recognition of austere absolute beauty. This is not to say that the cheaper emotions do not also reside in the average cat-lover’s love of cats, but merely to point out that in ailurophily there exists a basis of true aestheticism which kynophily does not possess.

    The real lover of cats is one who demands a clearer adjustment to the universe than ordinary household platitudes provide; one who refuses to swallow the sentimental notion that all good people love dogs, children, and horses while all bad people dislike and are disliked by such. He is unwilling to set up himself and his cruder feelings as a measure of universal values, or to allow shallow ethical notions to warp his judgment. In a word, he had rather admire and respect than effuse and dote; and does not fall into the fallacy that pointless sociability and friendliness, or slavering devotion and obedience, constitute anything intrinsically admirable or exalted.

    Dog-lovers base their whole case on these commonplace, servile, and plebeian qualities, and amusingly judge the intelligence of a pet by its degree of conformity to their own wishes. Catlovers escape this delusion, repudiate the idea that cringing subservience and sidling companionship to man are supreme merits, and stand free to worship aristocratic independence, self-respect, and individual personality joined to extreme grace and beauty as typified by the cool, lithe, cynical, and unconquered lord of the housetops.

    http://www.hplovecraft.com/writings/texts/essays/cd.aspx

  119. anarchyst says:
    @Dmitry

    You are correct.
    I have observed many dog-lovers put up with not only the idiosyncrasies of their dogs, but put up with totally destructive behavior that these animals are capable of. Add to that, spending thousands of dollars on veterinary services and other attempts to “train” their dogs to their liking.
    At the end of the day, a dog that is determined to sh!t on its owner’s carpet will still do so, regardless of “punishment” administered.
    I still cannot get used to the “smell” that all dog owners’ houses reek of…when visiting, I tolerate it, but that is as far as it goes…

  120. anarchyst says:
    @Rosie

    Unfortunately, there ARE a lot of people who have been “brainwashed” by Disney animals and DO imbue human-like characteristics to animals…
    Regards,

  121. I am watching Al Jazeera. There is a documentary about Icelandic whaling. Where should whales sit on the Karlin list? Fin whales specifically.

    Are whales sea cattle? My parents ate whalemeat during the war. They said it looked and tasted like beef.

    I have to think that beer made from whale’s testicles smoked with sheeps’ dung is a deliberate challenge to metropolitan hippies. It is available in Iceland.

    • Replies: @Rosie
    , @Anatoly Karlin
  122. Dmitry says:
    @SIMPLEPseudonymicHandle

    Morality derives not from “evolution, biology, etc”, but from metaphysics.

    We have the intuition “do to others as you want done to yourself”, because we have an intuition about universality of consciousness.

    Empathy is not just instinct, but rather “instinct mediated form of perception”.

    If you want analogy – think about colour perception. “Red”, “Yellow”, “Green”, are evolved ways for our brain to mark bands of light wavelengths.

    The light wavelengths are not product of evolution, but evolution simply mediates the way we mark the wavelengths .

    Likewise, when you feel empathy, it is a result of perception of actual state of consciousness of another. What evolution mediated, is the way you can react to this, ignore it, etc.

    is the instinctual behaviour of an animal, not the result of human moral reasoning

    Your cat is also incapable of maths, but this does not mean that 1 +3 = 2.

    By the way, maths is quite a similar subject. Maths is not a product of human evolution, and appears to be independent of our perception of it in certain ways.

    Moreover, there was no evolutionary selection for our abilities in maths (perhaps beyond simple counting).

    The mediation of evolution to mathematics, is likely that we evolved (due to unrelated selection) to a certain intellectual ability, at which we are able to access the mathematical realm.

    Plato will probably be ultimately correct in this area.

    And similarly, we evolved (due to unrelated selection) to a certain intellectual level where we are able to access or at least receive intuitions about moral realm (actually metaphysics).

  123. @German_reader

    If you stay on your feet you are OK, even sitting, say back to wall.. If you fall over for any time, you are food.

  124. @Thorfinnsson

    Veganism and daddy food choices can be a hangover from anorexia. It’s a control issue more than the actual food.

  125. Dmitry says:
    @Hyperborean

    To come up with justifications

    In the cited text, it looks like he is trying to discuss the implications of the assumptions. This is objective or logical thought. It is refreshing to read.

    Unintelligent people react, and always have reacted, with hostility to logic – but to translate it to terms practical people can understand: if it wasn’t for men who enjoy thinking in logically consistent ways, we would not be writing on a computer.

    nd a weakness which will lead to one’s perishing.

    Sure, as from the beginning – when Socrates has perished drinking hemlock.

    But trying to understand the world, or even just implications of what we perceive, is often more interesting than personal self-interest.

    • Replies: @Hyperborean
  126. Dmitry says:
    @songbird

    should be required to kill chickens, as a test to eliminate overly effeminate people

    I apologize in advanced, as I will answer it all in a simplistically literalist way, but – there is no relation between masculine and feminine, and killing chickens. (Any old women on the farm, without any testosterone in her body, will be killing chickens, while Schopenhauer was an extreme male brain, and by his own writings not want to kill a chicken).

    Currently, we have wide differences between individuals in how they feel empathy, and also debates about what “objects” (or beings) we decide to assign a perception of there being consciousness to.

    Latter are very deep scientific problems (although we can presume hippies should not hug trees, as trees do not have what we currently understand to be preconditions for consciousness), while the former is one which would be understandable more by human psychology (and pathology, in the case of psychopaths).

    How people behave in this is somewhat malleable/programmable, although there will be an objectively true and false answer to both the question of what beings have consciousness, and the question of how we should correctly relate to this (and theoretically we might be to understand consciousness scientifically one day).

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  127. Dmitry says:
    @reiner Tor

    any totally universal theory or ideology will make it difficult to defend against aliens (who might be a million times smarter than us, but then again, might not be much smarter; it’ll be very difficult if not outright impossible to observe if they have any feelings of empathy, towards us or each other; it’s unclear what it might mean);

    Lol ok I didn’t fully read the comments here or Karlin’s article yet (which I am sure will be insightful).

    But your comment is the first time I hear a completely new idea (genius or madness?) for some time.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    , @songbird
  128. Rosie says:
    @Dmitry

    Lol maybe you had a Russian soul in your past life, with this obsession for cats.

    I didn’t know Russians had a particular love of cats, though I’m not surprised. They are very much a a homebody’s pet, so they are a particular blessing in cold climates. I cherish the long hours I spend during winter curled up with a book and my cat and a cup of coffee.

    Have you seen the argument about cats vs. dogs by H.P Lovecraft.

    Thank you for this. I was not aware of it. I think cats appeal particularly to contemplative types because of their beauty as well as their appeal to the other senses, the feel of their fur and the sound of their purring.

    “Every feline is a masterpiece.”
    -Leonardo da Vinci

    • Replies: @AP
  129. Rosie says:
    @Philip Owen

    I am watching Al Jazeera. There is a documentary about Icelandic whaling. Where should whales sit on the Karlin list? Fin whales specifically.

    This is a hard one, because whales are very intelligent and social, but OTOH one kill provides a tremendous amount of calories. Ideally, hunters would target large, fully grown males whose best days are behind them. Whether that is practical I don’t know.

  130. @Dmitry

    Karlin mentioned aliens, so I thought it’s a point.

  131. @Rosie

    Whales are interesting, and on the verge of extinction. It’s also cool that they are so big. I don’t want to see them go just so that a few tens of millions of people (each of whom could easily afford something similar) can gorge on them for a few decades.

    • Replies: @Rosie
  132. Rosie says:
    @reiner Tor

    Whales are interesting, and on the verge of extinction. It’s also cool that they are so big. I don’t want to see them go just so that a few tens of millions of people (each of whom could easily afford something similar) can gorge on them for a few decades.

    I was unaware that they were endangered.

  133. @Dmitry

    Well, we can’t exactly keep cats as I have a cat allergy, and don’t want to be on antihistamines all the time.

    The reason Russians prefer cats is that it’s either that or small dogs in cities, big dogs are too impractical for most.

    Big dog culture is related to: (1) Small time farming, in traditional times; largely made redundant by collectivization, and largely finished off under post-2000s capitalism; (2) High crime rates – an issue in the 1990s, not so much today; (3) Suburbia, which is much less prevalent in Russia than in the Anglo-Saxon world.

    More big dogs should appear again when more Russian cities become suburban and village people become richer.

    • Replies: @Rosie
    , @AP
  134. @Philip Owen

    Great point!

    A straightforward CCB accounting would suggest that blue whales might be comparable to or even slightly better than cows (Tier 1 vs. Tier 3, so factor of 100x; average cow is 700 kg vs. average blue whale is 140,000 kg, or factor of 200x). Smaller whale species – assuming they remain in Tier 1 – would be worse than cows, but virtually any would be better than pigs.

    Of course some additional considerations for whales:

    1) Chimps are within or almost within range of the dullest humans, and cetaceans may be more intelligent than chimps. Morally icky.

    2) Conservation issues. I forgot to mention this, but yes, obviously conserving species and biodiversity has independent value of its own.

    In the old days, fish including salmon used to be much bigger – see the accounts of the fishermen off Newfoundland many centuries ago. The bigger, less wily fish have been killed off since. Perhaps it would be a good idea to try to reengineer those fish back to the way they were.

  135. Anonymous[375] • Disclaimer says:
    @Dmitry

    Killing chickens is nothing. Women raised on farms can and will slaughter and butcher much larger animals like pigs and cattle. They are a lot less squeamish than urbanized men in that regard.

    Schopenhauer’s life history is instructive. He was from an urban, wealthy merchant family in a time when most people were rural farmers. His father was an anti-Prussian liberal and cosmopolitan. His father is believed to have committed suicide and to have suffered from depression and mental health issues. Other members of his father’s side of the family are also believed to have had serious mental health issues, and it’s believed that Arthur Schopenhauer himself inherited his depressive attitudes from his father.

    Philosophically, Schopenhauer was atheistic, pessimistic, nihilistic, and was attracted to ascetic and nihilistic strains of Eastern thought like Buddhism.

  136. Rosie says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Well, we can’t exactly keep cats as I have a cat allergy, and don’t want to be on antihistamines all the time.

    Have you ever spent any significant amount of time around a cat? I ask because allergies sometimes wear off. I almost always have some symptoms, including red eyes, when a new cat comes into our household, but then my immune system becomes desensitized in a short time.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  137. Nus says:
    @AP

    There is a Buddhist story I read a while back stating that when a human dies he meets all the animals he interacted with in his life (owned, killed, ate, kicked, bought, sold, loved, fed, etc, etc) on a bridge and they get to decide whether he goes to heaven or not. Interesting take.

  138. @Rosie

    Yes, I had a young stray (a Blue Russian) come in for a couple of months towards the end of my stay in the US. I left it with a family we were good friends with, who were happy to get a companion for their dog.

    No my allergy did not wear off.

    • Replies: @Rosie
  139. Rosie says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    No my allergy did not wear off.

    ☹️

  140. jamie b. says:
    @The scalpel

    Our canines pale in comparison to gorilla canines. Yet gorillas are rather close to purely vegan. (I’m not saying that we should be vegan. Just that our canines don’t prove anything.)

    • Replies: @songbird
    , @The Scalpel
  141. Jett Rucker says: • Website

    It must never happen (but it does) that Human A gains power over Human B because of something Human B did or did not do to any animal that is not the property of some other Human. And when Human B is caught harming the property of some other human, his liability is for damages to that other Human, not for anything the animal experienced.

    This article was very poorly edited (or, more-likely, not at all).

  142. songbird says:
    @Dmitry

    That is probably the greatest danger of aliens. Not that they would come shooting death rays, or nuking us from orbit, but that they would settle here and that the universalists would go into a purity spiral welcoming them to our detriment.

    I really think the psychology is already there. Many scifi shows have had an anti-racist message when it comes to aliens. One had aliens settling on earth in large numbers (open immigration) in the mid ’90s and the people who opposed it were made to be evil. And there is much earlier stuff.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  143. songbird says:
    @jamie b.

    Good point, but they are violent animals, with a much greater bite force. Men are about 174 PSI, woman about 100 PSI. Gorillas about 1300 PSI. Troop leaders often fight to the death.

    I was once bitten by a dog. I believe accidentally – it lunged at another dog. (BTW, let that be a lesson, never get between growling dogs) Anyway, though I was not injured since I was wearing a thick coat, I was really surprised by the force. It was something you could really feel – just the closing force. Obviously greater than a person. I look up the breed and it is only 230 PSI, supposedly, though with a very large mouth.

    • Replies: @jamie b.
  144. AP says:
    @Rosie

    Lol maybe you had a Russian soul in your past life, with this obsession for cats.

    I didn’t know Russians had a particular love of cats, though I’m not surprised

    It is also characteristic of Borderline Personality Disorder.

  145. AP says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    There are plenty of big dogs out where the dachas are. One of our neighbors has a beautiful Moscow guard dog (a breed I’ve never seen in America, it is like a more-aggressive Saint Bernard).

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
  146. Sparkon says:
    @anarchyst

    eagles and other “protected” animal species have more “protections” than a viable human being

    Except when eagles and other raptors get chopped up by wind turbines.

    The Federal Government has extended, for 30 years, a no-penalty phase for wind energy companies whose turbines kill eagles. This was done in order to foster development in ‘green renewable energy.’

    Damn the eagles! Full speed ahead with intermittent, unreliable “green” energy. How stupid are humans? Only time will tell but already the landscape is blighted with the unreliable, whirling contraptions, and many benjamins have gone done the crapper, or actually into a few favored pockets of the carbon credit wheeler dealers. Swift would love it.

    And what rights does a dog have when it is taken captive by humans
    == D o g – G u a r d i a n s == while still a puppy?

    Oh I almost forgot. The dog has the right to disturb its neighbors with incessant barking, and leave them stinking piles of dog poop.

    Mondo Cane

  147. @Hyperborean

    Peter Singer: “If animals had language, they would have rights.”

  148. @Hippopotamusdrome

    The real question is how will the Nigerians, Somalis, Mestizos, and Chinese that supplant Europeans treat animals?

    This, alas, is a paramount–and unforgivable–tragedy of our era.

  149. Anonymous[403] • Disclaimer says:

    Why no reference to Albert Schweitzer and his reverence for life ethic? Is he that completely forgotten? Sad!

  150. jamie b. says:
    @songbird

    …but they are violent animals…

    Not sure how that relates to humans being omnivores. AAR, gorillas actually aren’t particularly violent, and prefer bluff an buster to outright conflict. Their canines are largely for display (male canines are much larger than female canines).

    • Replies: @songbird
  151. The Scalpel says: • Website
    @jamie b.

    Interesting point. Thanks for the insight. FWIW, I was mainly trying to be provocative taking the two extremes – the religious vs the purely mechanistic. Yet both extremes end up in the non-vegetarian camp.

    I had not considered that canines could be exclusively for tearing the meat off enemies bones in battle, but they are not best suited for eating vegetables. Human canines are not likely to be for that purpose and perhaps there are different sub-types of canines. I am certainly no expert there. The same philosophical position could be reached in either case by using a different prop than canines.

    I myself at times, am sentimentally attracted to the vegetarian position but it seems to me it is a difficult position to defend philosophically with wide gray zones and based mostly on sentimentality and not science or traditional monotheistic religion.

    It is an attractive personal choice for many, and many interpret it differently. The same could be said for transvestism, transsexualism, etc. or less pejoratively, liberalism, conservatism, neo-conservatism etc.

  152. MEH 0910 says:

  153. There is a genetics research guy who has a bunch of documentation to support the theory that homo sapiens is a hybrid mix of pig and chimpanzee. So eating pigs is theoretically sort of cannibalistic.

    Bacon is pretty damn tasty however.

    The Hybrid Hypothesis: http://www.macroevolution.net/human-origins.html

  154. @Dmitry

    In the cited text, it looks like he is trying to discuss the implications of the assumptions. This is objective or logical thought. It is refreshing to read.

    But the usefulness of logic also depends on the worth of what those assumptions are based on in the first place.

    From a logical perspective, the corpses of deceased people, who after all are unable to appreciate the gesture of a burial, are better off being used as fertiliser and rendered down for fat, which can be used to manufacture nitroglycerine, candles, lubricants, etc.

    Yet we usually spend a lot of time, effort and money to provide people with a grave and sometimes even elaborate monuments with angel figures et al and keep the churchyards maintained and well kept for years and decades on end.

    We do this out of a sense of sacrality even though this is economically unpractical.

    As humans treasure different things, certain parts of morality will be subjective and non-universal.

    Unintelligent people react, and always have reacted, with hostility to logic – but to translate it to terms practical people can understand: if it wasn’t for men who enjoy thinking in logically consistent ways, we would not be writing on a computer.

    Didn’t von Neumann advocate an American nuclear first strike on the Soviet Union?

    If one wishes to evaluate this proposal, one needs a moral foundation, that is to say what values and ideas one prioritises above other values and ideas, before logic can be applied.

    I believe it is better to have a clear view of what one’s moral foundation so that one is swayed by conscious biases rather than unconscious biases.

    But as I stated, I don’t believe these questions can avoided, at least not by Anglo-Saxons and Europeans, so there is a need to develop coherent answers to these questions.

    • Replies: @Hyperborean
    , @Dmitry
  155. @Thorfinnsson

    I share your overall sentiment, but there should be special dispensation for people needing to avoid animal products at specific times for religious reasons, such as Lent.

  156. @Hyperborean

    “Do onto others as you would have done onto you” has a special relevance as it is possible, and perhaps even likelier than not over a longer term, for the power dynamics among humans to switch.

    Yet for animals this is different. There are probably no animals that can tyrannise us on a mass scale any longer (obviously, in a individual basis sharks, wolves and bears can still be threatening).

    Does the maxim still apply? So how do we apply this situation to animals?

    True equality is impossible due to varying endowments, temperaments and chance.

    It is in our self-interest as a species to maintain a functioning ecosystem, which implies a certain custodian role.

    However, should we act to minimise the pain of animals, even at the expense of ourselves? What about animals whose actions towards us is independent from our behaviour towards them?

    Or, should we tilt the scales so that we derive greater gain at the expense of animals’ pain? If so, how much should the scales be tilted, and why?

    These questions are dependent on our morality and are subjective.

  157. This is not to imply that I agree with this assessment, but then again, the average US citizen of a Southern state in the early 19th century presumably had few qualms with slavery either. Opinion can change quickly. Outside a few pockets such as the Netherlands or the SF Bay Area, someone who supported gay civil unions, but not gay marriage, would have been seen as a hardcore progressive in 1999; in 2019, most of the US would consider that same person regressive, if not a moral troglodyte. Alternatively, consider the trend in support for interracial marriage: 1959 – only 4%; early 2010s – high 80%’s. Your grandfather who stormed the beaches of Normandy to “punch Nazis” was himself a fascist (by the standards of modern liberal discourse).

    Ethics changes, without consistejcy whenever needed, because it is no more than useful rationalization.
    The first thing it rationalizes is the human feeling/desire of being the masters of the universe.

    So does the social contract theory. Human needs contract, humane doesn’t.
    It’s a question of ruth, rather than truth, and surely instead of ethics.

  158. ” For instance, a study of German vegetarians found them to have significantly higher than average rates of mental disorders.”

    I guess I should read the study first, but I can’t help but wonder which way causation is actually working here.

    Humans are animals, part if nature, and the rule of nature is “eat or be eaten.” The case of that Russian lady eaten by pigs shows that some pigs may not have as many qualms about eating humans as some humans have about eating pigs.

  159. Miro23 says:

    IMO an article like this need to look at the human/animal interaction over millennia. Maybe starting with the exit of humans from Africa around 50.000 years ago.

    The conclusion seems to be, that for most of this 50.000 years, there were so few humans that the natural environment was largely untouched (other that some more easily hunted large mammals, birds and reptiles, ) so what animal suffering there was, was animal/animal rather than human/animal.

    A useful source is Nicholas Wade in his book “Before the Dawn”:

    Those who left Africa carried only a slice of the full genetic diversity of the human population, and the size of the slice allows an estimate to be made of the emigrants’ numbers. Sarah Tishkoff, a geneticist at the University of Maryland, has calculated the number of modern humans who left Africa could have been as few as 160. Another estimate, made by geneticists working with mitochondrial DNA, is that the source population in Africa from whom all humans outside Africa are descended numbered at most 550 women of childbearing age, and probably considerably fewer.

    They travelled a long way over the next few thousand years, and did harm certain species:

    On the basis of burials, archeologists believe Australia was settled shortly after 50.000 years ago. This period is beyond the reach of the radiocarbon method of dating, so an alternative method must be used, known as thermoluminescence. The method is not always reliable, but in this case is supported be independent evidence: by 46.000 years ago, all large Australian mammals, birds and reptiles weighing more than 220 pounds had suddenly fallen extinct. The reason was almost certainly the activity of a vigorous new predator , human hunters. The large animals of the Americas were to undergo a similar extinction shortly after the first hunters reached the New World.

    The whole question seems to revolve around the graph below.

    From 1500 AD the human population exploded and natural habitats have collapsed.
    Currently a world population of 7.7 billion (7.714.000.000) people is harvesting natural resources to destruction, and this enormous population is growing at a rate of more that 1% (800 million people) per year.

    If natural habitats had been left intact, and the human population had stabilized around the year 1500 level, the human/animal cruelty question wouldn’t arise, or would be mostly irrelevant.

    But since natural habitats have in fact been destroyed, it’s maybe more a question of the wild animals that could have been there but aren’t, rather than how humans deal with the hopeless problem of their “protected” (foodstuff) animals. It’s notable that the wild ancestor species from which livestock animals are derived are often either endangered or extinct.

    The whole human/natural habit question needs to be re-evaluated (world one-child policy?), but in the meantime, humans on an individual basis (- you -) can recreate some habitat, and plant indigenous shrubs and trees on your own land or elsewhere. Forget the leftist Green flag wavers.

    Trees Provide Habitat for Wildlife

    It is only natural that wherever trees are planted, wildlife and other plants are sure to follow. Trees provide shelter and food for a variety of birds and small animals, such as squirrels and beavers. Enhancing growth diversity, trees create an environment that allows the growth of plants that otherwise would not be there.

    Flowers, fruits, leaves, buds and woody parts of trees are used by many different species. Bacteria and fungi contained in tree parts cause decay which makes nesting easier for some birds and increases soil fertility and structure for furrowing by other land animals.

    Trees also provide shade, reduce water and air temperatures and contribute to the overall health of aquatic ecosystems by providing habitat, shelter and food for aquatic species such as turtles, otters, beavers and fish.

    Urban Forestry Network

    http://urbanforestrynetwork.org/index.htm

  160. renee says:

    [MORE]

    Minor typographical correction: “Stupid mammals:” – the colon should be a semicolon. I was expecting you list examples of a stupid mammal, and a quail is not a mammal :).

    AK: Thanks.

  161. @Rosie

    The point about elephants’ moral sense is well taken, and should be considered in conjunction with IQ. It should be noted that certain breeds of cat have been naturally and artificially selected for high bondability, trust, and affection to the human female, rendering them incapable of independent survival and therefore entitled to the utmost protection.

    Is it right to infantilise cats such a manner? I find the moral value of turning cats into fat, lazy Turkish Sultans who are dependent on a gilded cage of women to be dubious. Surely the felines could regain a sense of dignity if they were taught to earn an honest day’s work by catching mice?

    • Replies: @Anon
  162. @songbird

    That is probably the greatest danger of aliens. Not that they would come shooting death rays, or nuking us from orbit, but that they would settle here and that the universalists would go into a purity spiral welcoming them to our detriment.

    The issue would be that we wouldn’t be prepared to fight them, even if it was possible. (Probably it’d be impossible anyway, so it wouldn’t matter much.)

    Also sending signals to outer space with detailed information about mankind and our planet is pretty retarded, and yet we keep doing it, because the universalist ideologies keep telling us that the aliens will be harmless hippies.

    • Replies: @songbird
  163. ARTICLE: [[1. There is the Biblical idea that animals were created to serve man, a purely functional approach that large nullifies any consideration of animal welfare.]]

    COMMENT: Well, I don’t know which bible he is reading, but that’s not what mine says. It says:

    Ecclesiastes 3: ” a man has no preeminence above a beast;”

    Exodus 25:3: “If you see that the donkey of someone who hates you has collapsed under its load, do not walk by. Instead, stop and help.”

    Deuteronomy 22:6 “When you encounter the nest of a bird ..whether fledglings or eggs, with the mother crouching upon the fledglings or upon the eggs, you are not to take away the mother along with the children.”

    Exodus 23:19,24:26; Deuteronomy 14:21 “You shall not boil a kid in its mother’s milk.”

    • Replies: @Anon
  164. anon[393] • Disclaimer says:
    @Denis

    yes Jains are insane about not hurting anything even plants its a fucking retarded cult but an interesting example of HBD

  165. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @Blind_understanding

    So, it’s okay to boil a kid in another goat’s milk.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  166. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @Hyperborean

    There aren’t many mice around now days except in barns. They will catch birds when they’re outside. .

    • Replies: @Hyperborean
  167. Savitri Devi is smiling, somewhere, surrounded by her horde of cats.

  168. @Anon

    There aren’t many mice around now days except in barns. They will catch birds when they’re outside.

    Aren’t there a lot of rats in cities generally speaking though?

    • Replies: @Anon
  169. songbird says:
    @jamie b.

    I’m not disagreeing that humans are omnivores. It seems irrefutable to me. What I am saying is that humans probably don’t have the biting force to make their canines explainable as existing only as weapons. They are there for eating. But there are other teeth that point in that direction as well

    Gorillas can only be called peaceful relative to more aggressive animals. They didn’t shoot Harambe for the heck of it. Males are about double the weight of females. That sort of sexual dimorphism is only explained by fighting. Fighting animals make displays to sometimes avoid battles. Good idea when they are often to the death. Magnificent animals but dangerous.

    No so aggressive as others perhaps, but wolves are also said to be peaceful and they killed over 10,000 people in Europe.

    Male horses also have canines. They are for fighting, and somewhat uncommon in females.

  170. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:

    Jews don’t eat pork, and several other animals because they have the wrong kind of hooves. The Muslims adopted no pork from Judaism but not the rest of the kosher forbidden animals and eating rules

    End of story

    Pork is widely raised and eaten in the dry areas of Spain, only a few miles 8? from Morocco and in the desert areas of Mexico where many farmers manage to raise a couple pigs without the desert killing them. Pork was widely eaten in equally dry Greece at the time the Jews were forbidding the eating of pork.

    I find it extremely annoying that people who know very little about the intricacies of keeping kosher pontificate about it and try to come up with some reasonable and sensible reasons for the whole structure of kosher food.

    • Replies: @Blind_understanding
  171. The only reason you should hunt an animal is if you intend to eat it or if it intends to eat you.

    Man is a carnivore and a hunter by nature. So he gets a good feeling when he makes a kill. It is called the “hunter’s high”. Nature rewards his successful behavior in putting meat on his family’s table. And this is moral.
    It is immoral to separate the hunter’s high from eating the meat, and to kill for the “hunter’s high” alone. That’s why trophy hunting is immoral. Also catch-and-release fishing. Lefties think that because they don’t kill the fish, it is therefore moral. Wrong! if they killed AND ATE the fish it would be moral. Catching it and throwing it back is immoral. The only reason you should hunt animal is if you intend to eat it or if it intends to eat you.

    Separating the hunter’s high from eating the meat, is same as separating orgasm from procreation: masturbation

    BTW: Catch-and-release fishing has been outlawed in many countries, including Switzerland.

    • Replies: @anon
  172. anon[393] • Disclaimer says:

    Im not going to read anything that long that pretends to be intellectual vegetarianism. I have heard it all so Ill just point a few things out your side never gets and a few you obstinately ignore. …

    AK: Well if you are going to boast about not reading the article and argue with a straw man from the get go (e.g. I don’t “advocate” vegetarianism), then I don’t see why I should publish your comment. Snipped.

  173. Killing a domestic animal is like executing a prisoner. Man should really hunt wild animals, instead of imprisoning them and executing them. All things are entitled to a good life and a quick death. No-one can ask for more. The keeping of domestic animals was forced upon us by population pressures, and is not a morally desirable thing. Nevertheless since we are obliged to do it, we should ensure our wards have a good life and a quick death. Cage-free chickens are a step in the direction of “good life”, and humane slaughter a step towards “quick death”.
    Also we should say something and do some ritual both when we kill an animal and when we eat it, just to remind us of what we are doing. This applies to hunters too.
    Of course today, most of us get our meat in plastic wrap at the supermarket. it would be better if we were to kill the animal ourselves, so we would have the blood on our own hands, so we would know what we were doing. But we don’t. But we can still observe a ritual when we eat the meat.

  174. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @Hyperborean

    Depends on the area. I don’t know if cats are up to killing nasty city rats though. Rats carry all sorts of diseases. Cats roaming the city fighting with rats would bring home rat fleas and diseases. Plus the cats would get wounded the wounds infected and need a vet.

    Cities are full of raccoons that Jill and eat cats.

    Better feed then so they stay in the yard.

    Farmers keep barn cats that aren’t fed so they keep down the mice. But farmers use those big black box traps for rats.

    When I was a kid we had cats that were fed every day, but they’d still drag home dead weasels every once in a while. Weasel probably attacked the cat

  175. @Anon

    Anon: Jews don’t eat pork, and several other animals because they have the wrong kind of hooves.

    That’s just a way to identify a group of animals whose flesh is not safe to eat.

    The reason for old religious taboos against eating pork, is that, in olden days pigs carried the trichinosis parasite – a terrible death. And this is still true today, of wild boar meat. The only reason you can eat the pork in the US supermarkets is that the pigs are fed a controlled diet under conditions controlled by the USDA. Even so, you still need to cook your pork well, just to be sure. And remember! .. After the SHTF when we enter the new stone-age, the USDA will be gone and all the old taboos against pig-meat will apply again.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trichinosis

    If you read your bible carefully, you will find a taboo against eating the meat of all land-animal CARNIVORES (includes omnivores). It was based on centuries of bitter experience. Wild boar meat, bear meat, wolf meat are all dangerous!

    nd of course the tribe’s old wise men had to make all the tribe’s survival laws into taboos, and put them on the lips of the tribal god. because this was the only way to get the tribesmen’s attention, and to enforce the laws. And that includes the dietary laws.

    AK: Blind_understanding, stop bolding all of your comments. This is rude. I don’t fancy wasting my time fixing your attempts to stand out, so if you don’t desist, your comments will start going into the trashbin.

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @Anon
    , @utu
  176. anon[393] • Disclaimer says:
    @Blind_understanding

    first there’s no such things as morals they are taboos our genetically driven culture came up with to reinforce our biostrategy. The only true good is survive by any means possible long enough to reproduce and this is purely subjective the part where you try and abstract it into how its good because all life is good is back to evolutionary faggotry.

    [MORE]

    life besides myself is good only to the extent it supports my life. The aesthetics the empathy the philosophizing and theologizing is all your DNA making shit up to get you to do its bidding- survive long enough to replicate. Being human I have all the same nonsense running through my thinking organ and neuro system more than you i actually live in the mountains with my nearest neighbor 6 miles away, but i know its all DNA bullshit even the me that i think of as me is just a skin Job my DNA made for its own use my DNA doesnt give a hit really about my human faggotry its 99% the DNA of all the other life on earth this me part was just another iteration to gain its advantage at some point in time.That said my DNA has imparted to me the truth that there is no life but my life life is not transmitted by groups or systems it is only passed down through reproduction of individual ife forms that survived long enough to reproduce so Im partial to me and yeah sure i have made contracts with other life forms from human to plants and bacteria for mutual support but those contracts all are contingent on whether they still serve me individually
    Back to your plan which my human side is in agreement with its not really doable, every one cant hunt for their own meat even if we eliminate all the useless mouths in the world which i highly recommend we do.all that would happen is whites would spread to the whole planet and be in the same situation. plant only systems are an ecological disaster plants need animals to replace the nutrients they took out and frankly we are omnivores and most plants that try to replace meats carbs are killing us whats needed is smaller farms that produce plants and animals and re fertilize the soils
    Yesz where i live we call supermarket meat slave meat and most of us hunt and raise meat but we are few and the forrest vast if all you city folk found a way to hunt in our forests they would be destroyed in no time. However if we changed from mega farms to smaller farms where the animals complete the cycle then more people could go back to farming this is already happening small intensive permaculture direct market faring is growing and proving the method, we cant offer pork or chicken quite as cheaply but we can for less than whole foods is selling factory organic meat mostly we do this by cutting out the middle man direct markets farmers markets CSAs etc
    however the useless mouths can not afford the higher prices because they being fed by others they should either be culled or sent to live the way they always have back in their nations whites can do this

  177. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    Plain pork chops loin all plain pork is delicious. It’s my favorite meat. What I like best is the texture. Sometimes beef is too chewy.

  178. Old Prude says:

    On the Yorkie foot note: I’ve had Aussies, Border Collies, Maltese and one Yorkie. The Yorkie has the biggest personality of them all, but the least intelligence. A wonderfully alive character, but I’ve watched her get stumped by the simplest problems.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
  179. wayfarer says:

    Human rights, animal rights – but no mention of insect rights?

    And as our self-centered humanity remains in a tug-of-war with itself, the proverbial canary in a coal mine, silently slips away into its death slumber.

    source: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2193494-huge-global-extinction-risk-for-insects-could-be-worse-than-we-thought

  180. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @Blind_understanding

    Trichinoisis was unknown in bible times. Wild animal raw meat can be dangerous. Inspected farm meat is inspected and regulated to prevent disease. There’s always salmonella about. Well cooked chicken and eggs the salmonella is killed with the heat.

  181. Aksavavit says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    “Pork needs help”

    What meat doesn’t need help, at least being cooked or (still better) roasted, baked or grilled?

    With regard to pork skin, in my French region of Massif Central they make a wonderful gueuse (“the poor one”) sausage or pâté with two thirds of chair à saucisse (itself one half chopped pork meat, one half fat lard, add salt, pepper and garlic to taste) and a third of chopped pork skin.

    You can boil the gueuse sausage within a cabbage soup (add carrots, potatoes, leek, shallots and celery, plus rosmary and thyme to taste). Fantastic after a walk in the snow, with a glass of our neighboring Côtes du Rhône, e.g. a Saint-Joseph or Cornas (keep their costly brothers Côte-Rôtie and white Condrieu for special events).

    The pâté de gueuse you can either bake in a deep dish or preserve in hermetic jars. It’s eaten cold, ideally with homemade gherkins.

    With respect to other lower parts of pork anatomy, they also make fantastic caillettes (‘piggies”, cf. Northeastern Occitan caillu “pig”) from one third chair à saucisse, one third any green available vegetable, be it cabbage, spinach or even curly endive, recall that porks are slayed in Winter, and one third of a mix of chopped lungs, spleen, whatever is not plain meat nor fat, again seasoned to taste and rolled into a maiden fist-sized balls, then wrapped into a piece of caul fat and baked in the oven or, again, boiled/preserved in jars to be eaten cold later.

    Finally, the non-lard grease they melt at low temperature (around 60 °C) on the corner of the wood stove to make saindoux, one of the best cooking fats, gustatively speaking at least, mixed with all the meat waste, bone scrapings, sinews, that had all been thrown into a bucket while butchering the caillu. After a good 14-18 hours, the melted grease is filetered and poured into jars, and what remains at the bottom of the pot is a tasteful, sweet pâté called griatton (nothing to do with the better known grattons from the Loire Valley).

    There they also make the best saucisson you can dream of. Probably the air quality does much to it, as proper drying is key to a good saucisson. Even industrial ones may be greatly improved by drying for a month or two, hanging from the window in your flat).

    Dans le cochon, tout est bon !

  182. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @Blind_understanding

    Don’t people hunt and eat wild boar? Some people in California do. I’ve never eaten it. Ever eaten pheasant? Best meat I’ve ever had in my life.

    • Replies: @Poco
  183. Mr. Hack says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    in my circles, the most common shashlyk meat is lamb. Ergo for plov made over the mangal.

    Well, perhaps there really are some cultural differences between Ukrainians and Russians that even penetrates their eating habits and cuisine? I’m not as familiar really in depth with Russian cuisine as I am with Ukrainian. I assumed that the usage of pork in Russia is as ubiquitous as in Ukraine? Also, an aunt of mine by marriage, a beautiful brunette from the Murmansk area was a great cook and would make a delicious shashlik at our outdoor summertime picnics made from pork. Her pelemeni were also made from ‘the other white meat’. Your circle of friends must be asiatic, substituting lamb for pork?

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  184. @Mr. Hack

    I suspect pork is the most common meat for shashlik in Russia as well, obviously my n=1 sample doesn’t count for much.

    However, I think pork certainly is more prevalent in more Ukrainian-loaded dishes, and I suspect in the Russian South as well.

    • Replies: @AP
  185. “Why I Avoid Pork For Non-Islamic, Non-Jewish Reasons.”

    I actually avoid both Jews and Muslims, not for pork related reasons, but it sounds pretty good so maybe I’ll start saying something along the lines of “I avoid Jews and Muslims because they prevent my full enjoyment of bacon, sausage, and pork bellies.”

  186. songbird says:
    @reiner Tor

    Then there’s all the human-alien miscegenation, represented in characters like Spock. I always thought that was hilarious. Vulcans are said to have green blood like mollusks. Fish are in fact closer to people. Of course, it would be biologically impossible, but it represents this crazy desire to transcend human biology and not be racist.

    I think aliens wouldn’t have to be violent to pose an existential threat. There are really endless scenarios. What if they just drove up rent? Or the cost of food? Or decided to take up the cause of human egalitarianism? Or of blacks in particular. What if they had much higher TFR, like the Moties?

    They don’t really need to be any more violent than the people invading Europe.

    I guess that is another potential explanation for the Fermi Paradox. Aliens are hiding because they know the dangers of universalism. they want to avoid something like the Africanization of space, which they know certain aliens among them would facilitate.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  187. anon[393] • Disclaimer says:

    [MORE]

    Ok i did manage to read 3/4 of it and dude youre nuts this is why when i’m king im going to stuff all you nerds in lockers to do sums you cant be trusted to lead
    fuck that death math youre doing your heads up your ass you get lost in your love of ideas and cant see reality.
    This is the last time in history where we want to establish some bullshit morality math for privileging anyone but white fucking males are you kidding me dont you get what they would do with that crap.
    maybe when we have culled the lower races or reduced them to game preserves monitored by drones and put our women back in the kitchen and nursery we can talk casually among ourselves about how we love our dogs and how clever the animals we ue are and we cut them some slack on a persoal level

    WHAT YOU DONT GET we didnt evolve rationally to be able to form some perfect civilization we can write the rules of
    theres a reason it never lasts we evolved ad hoc random often not even evolving a new trait but repurposing old code THERE’S NOTHING TO SUGGEST WE CAN EVER INVENT THE SUSTAINABLE CIVILIZATION OUR GENES WILL ALWAYS FUCK SHIT UP- except white men have come really close half a dozen times and if we could recognize its a death dance a knifes edge we might survive long enough to reboot our dna to match a custom civilization model one day.
    but inventing some cuck math that says not just nigger but cows are deserving of our protection is a sure way to wipe humans off the planet. the fact is only one species of human is going to make it if any. it doesnt fucking matter how smart some cow nigger or slant is they gotta go that we white men may become gods as we are destined to be
    get a fucking grip rusky its us or them
    these higher thoughts you have are white thoughts we all have them its what allows us to these knife edge cultures that arise every hegemonically thousand years or so and its also the faggotry that destroys us again. we have to put the slave morality aside and for our earlier heroic morality and eventually transcend that and become gods gods are not subject to morals
    God the fuck up slav

  188. @Thorfinnsson

    The fact that the human body can enter a state of ketosis illustrates that the body’s metabolism evolved (or was designed to; I’m not interested in steering off into that issue) to a point were it could survive absent any vegetation at all.

    https://ketogenic.com/

    • Replies: @AaronB
  189. Che Guava says:
    @Denis

    They are *not* vegan. Dairy, eggs, maybe other things, generally alright.

    In primary school days with parents overseas in Singapore, one of my friends was the son of the top Jain priest there. He would do little things like eating a few prawn or fish-flavoured crackers, then giggle about how he was breaking the rules of his religion.

  190. AaronB says:
    @MikeatMikedotMike

    The notion that you have to eat a ton of veggies to be healthy is as silly as the ketogenic diet. Its actually the mirror image of it, in the opposite direction, and just an American fad.

    Most traditional diets contain very few veggies.

    • Replies: @MikeatMikedotMike
  191. @songbird

    Aliens could be far smarter than us, in which case they wouldn’t have to be aggressive to destroy us. Is it aggression when you build a house, regardless of the anthills? The ants might perceive it as such.

    Humans are exterminating lots of species without consciously trying to do so. In fact, it’s the opposite: we’re trying to preserve them, but our activities have so many unintended side effects that the end result is the destruction of a species.

    And what if the aliens save us? In a reservation with a stable human population of 20 million humans. That’d still feel worse than for Jews being targeted by the Nazis.

  192. Sparkon says:

    What if they just drove up rent?

    We’ve already got plenty of human beings doing just that, not least by adopting idiotic, impractical green energy schemes that have driven up not only rents, but also the cost of doing business, the cost of transportation, the cost of staying comfortable when it’s hot or cold. That changey, hopey thing transmogrified into “skyrocketing energy prices” as our man from Kenya Hawaii put it.

    But who knows? Aliens might be here already. If you were an alien, would you trust a human being?

    Well, I enjoy a couple strips of crispy bacon occasionally when I go out for breakfast, along with scrambled eggs, hash browns, whole wheat toast with butter, coffee, and a big glass of 2% milk, but I never prepare hams, sausages or any other pork at home. In my college days when I didn’t eat very well, I fried Spam and made a delicious sandwich on rye bread with mustard and either lettuce or baby spinach. Even now, in Hawaii, they love Spam, but generally, I recommend avoiding all processed meats as well as all processed foods with preservatives, artificial color, and artificial flavor or sweeteners like especially aspartame, Margarine of course is entirely nasty.

    Along with the crockpot, I recommend cooking/frying in olive oil with a cast iron skillet and stainless steel saucepans. Don’t use no-stick cookware. I bake potatoes in the oven. Microwaved food not recommended unless in a pinch.

    Yes, you do need some veggies in your balanced diet for optimum health. Carrots are excellent and so is broccoli. I stuff some of each in my slow cooker along with a peeled russet potato, and a hunk of meat, commonly chuck or tri-tip roast, or either chicken breasts or thighs. Some prep and clean-up work involved, but the crockpot will keep the meal hot and delicious for some time as long as there’s water in there, and kitchen time is reduced which suits me because I hate cooking.

    Unfortunately neither dogs nor cats can cook.

    I have been an outdoorsman since my youth with plenty of hiking, camping, traipsing about, and peering at the wee birdies, and the big, fast ones too, like Peregrine Falcons.

    Birding is a great sport. It teaches one how to find and identify a particular species, that is if you’re lucky enough to even spot it in the first place. In the Midwestern United States, there is an aerial flood of tiny, active, colorful wood warblers from the first warm weather that allows insects to hatch, providing food for the tiny birds during their migrations northward. and it’s great sport going out on a fine spring morning trying to see as many of the different wood warbler species as possible, not that they are the only birds in the bush.

    Birds provide endless fascination for me. They are free to come and go, and I merely observe.

    In Colorado recently, a hiker was attacked by a young mountain lion that Yahoo, USA Today and other cheesy new sources are now calling a “kitten.” Traditionally, immature big cats are called “cubs.’ It was a ~40 lb. young male cougar that apparently had been abandoned by its mother.

    The 31-year-old Kauffman, who stands 5-feet-10 and weighs 150 pounds, told authorities that during the struggle he was able to hit the lion on the head with a rock then use his foot to step on its throat, ultimately killing it.

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/02/28/mountain-lion-killed-colorado-trail-runner-was-kitten-necropsy/3018766002/

    Last fall, a female hiker near Mt. Hood in Oregon was found dead and had been killed apparently by a mountain lion, reportedly the state’s first known fatality from a cougar attack.

    Meanwhile, -35 humans were killed in last year (2018) in the United States by “pet dogs.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fatal_dog_attacks_in_the_United_States

    • Replies: @Che Guava
  193. Che Guava says:
    @songbird

    That is (or was) certainly the case for Polynesian dogs, particularly in places where the Polynesians took dogs but not pigs.

    It seems also to be the case in S-E Asia, an Indonesian friend from Sulawesi, who was a big fan, said that they only use an especially stupid type of dog. This also seems to be the case further to the nth. and west of there, on the mainland.

    I am not sure about China and Korea.

    Even in Japan, I know of one place which was still serving roast dog’s testicles on a stick, as recently as 18 or so years ago. It was not a back-alley place, near the Imperial Hotel.

    I am a little sad to hear that the custom is being crushed in South Korea, or at least Seoul.

    It sounds like cultural infection from Japan, as I have said before, domestic dogs were not so popular in places where people have no space, for the last twenty or so years, you see people using them as child replacements (and almost certainly worse).

    Last time I was in Seoul, and not that long ago, there was none of that.

    Although, I am somewhat agreeing with Andre. As for the orders, I could quibble on many points, cephalopods, particular some octopodes, seem to have some very intelligent reps.

    As for parrots, cockatoos, etc., many species are capable of some speech, and at least some of what they can mimic is volitional at the least.

    I think you overrate the corvins, one of my favourite experiences in recent years was a nesting (pair?), in a tree atop a nearby hill, the game was to steal coathangers to make the nest. I have a couple of photos of the nest, quite spectacular, tree full of cooathangers, and I tried for a shot of the coathanger seizure, IIRC, got one successful one.

    There is a big park with much good material for a nest nearby, coathangers don’t make a good nest. Instead of making a workable nest, they made a bizzare scene (which I appreciated). Crows are too busy being vicious to make sense much of the time.

    I contrast this with pigeon behaviour. From the office where I am mainly working now, I like to check the ledges on the opposite building. Even though twigs are quite distant (far further than the nesting crows I mentioned), the pigeons (I know, rock doves, so naturally to select ledges), pick up a few leaves and twigs to make their nests.

    • Replies: @songbird
  194. Che Guava says:
    @Sparkon

    Apart from the term ‘birdwatching’ being my favoured term, %100 agreeing.

  195. wayfarer says:

    My income is $630 per month.

    So my grocery list is simple – apples, apple cider vinegar, bananas, black beans (canned), carrots, celery, cheddar cheese, chicken, coffee, corn tortillas, eggs, green tea, milk, mustard, oats, onions, orange juice, peas (canned), peanut butter, pepper, raisins, salt, and tomatoes.

    I eat one meal a day – dinner.

    My cat Sharky eats three meals a day – breakfast, lunch, and dinner. She’s a runt feral kitten and hasn’t figured out how to catch mourning doves – about the only game in her asphalt jungle.

    It’s rare for me to buy chicken, but when I do, Sharky gets the lion’s share.

  196. @AaronB

    You’re incorrect. Do more reading about ketosis.

  197. Poco says:
    @Anon

    Yes. I hunt and butcher wild boar, deer, turkey, squirrel, rabbit, fish, quail, and occasionally rattlesnake. Pheasant is very good but very rare where I live. Observe your meat closely while butchering and do not eat any that doesn’t look right. Cook it thoroughly. You will be fine. Kill individual animals that appear sickly but do not eat them. Burn them.

  198. songbird says:
    @Che Guava

    Heard a funny story about a crow once.

    He took up residence where a lot of bikers hung out, so he was pretty socialized with people. They fed him sometimes and even gave him a knickname. One day he took the key to one guy’s motorcycle and brought it to his nest atop a telephone pole. And it was a pretty rural place.

    • Replies: @Che Guava
  199. Isabella says:

    The one thing this writer overlooks is that humans are not naturally carnivorous.
    Comparative studies of intestinal length to spine length ratio; teeth formed [a Russian fisherman pulled a “horrific” fish out of the far Barents Sea. It was published far and wide as “the fish with human teeth” – and indeed they were exactly like the 1,2,3 molars. Turned out to be a vegetarian variant of piranha that found it’s way to Russia], pH of cells and intestine, and a few other such. We always line up with the vegetarian cows. However, if, like the Koala of Australia, we limit ourselves to only one food source, and that source dies out, so do we. We are ABLE to eat animals in an emergency, in order to ensure survival.
    However, this doesn’t mean that we follow the dictum “just because we can, that means we should”. Being able to do a thing is a beginning – it doesn’t mean we should do it.
    So – because all our measured anatomical and physiological parameters mean we are vegetarians, who are able, for a short time, to digest animals, doesn’t mean we should be gluttonising on it. New studies are also showing that people having had a heart attack can regain health – by switching to a purely vegetarian diet. Incidentally, the Jains of India do follow this diet and have for thousands of years. They are still here.

    • Replies: @Christo
  200. @Thorfinnsson

    If you grill a pork tenderloin to 140 F, slightly pink, I find it every bit as tender and juicy as chicken.
    Marinades and sauces sparkle the flavor.

  201. AP says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    We have friends from Kuban who use lamb for fancier meals but pork for regular summer barbecues.

  202. utu says:
    @Blind_understanding

    ‘The reason for old religious taboos against eating pork, is that, in olden days pigs carried the trichinosis parasite “

    No. The taboo is religious and political origin and has nothing to do with parasites. It was directed at people hated by Jews not at pigs themselves. The story of parasites is a post facto rationalization to make this Jewish irrational taboo appear having rational justification.

  203. Che Guava says:
    @songbird

    Good story, and I believe it, but more interesting, from where did the crow take the key? In the lock but not latched?In the lock but latched? Dropped? Loosely held by the biker?

    • Replies: @songbird
  204. renfro says:

    FYI…for those who have to have meat

    Turkey and white meat chicken breast contain more protein per ounce than any red meat.

  205. anonymous[389] • Disclaimer says:
    @German_reader

    Nonsense, at least in some mostly vegetarian societies, such as… India.

    There, some of the most bloodthirsty savages are of the vegetarian kind.

    Behold one of the promising future leaders of that pagan shithole called India.

  206. anonymous[389] • Disclaimer says:
    @German_reader

    they should all be killed.

    Fair enough. I agree.

    In the same way, all those whitey terrorists who have murdered millions of third worlders “should all be killed.” Maybe you know some of them too.

    I am sure you will agree with me, being such a reasonable fellow and all. Yeah?

  207. anonymous[389] • Disclaimer says:
    @reiner Tor

    it’s a way of showing our cultural independence from non-pork-eaters like Muslims or Jews.

    Yes, that should explain why you pagans took a definitely non-swine-eating man, a most blessed man no doubt, for the “son-of-god.”

    You wished for a “cultural independence” from him too?

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  208. songbird says:
    @Che Guava

    Forget the details since it was a while since I heard it, but, from what I recall, I think it was probably in the ignition. Probably a straight pull.

  209. anonymous[389] • Disclaimer says:
    @songbird

    Your real identity is that of The Godless (pagan polytheist or atheist is immaterial, because they are the same).

    That identity will play a most crucial aspect on The Day.

  210. @anonymous

    What are you babbling about?

  211. TKK says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    Vick had empathy? What an atrocious lie.

    Vick had female AmStaffs on rape racks. Older dogs had their teeth removed and claws yanked. Smaller dogs and cats were thrown into fights to work the fighting dogs into a frenzy.

    His “empathy”was a frantic move to avoid more prison time and preserve his NFL contract.

    When he was allowed back into civilized society, indeed rewarded with millions- I say with 100% certainty: Most Americans don’t give two sh*ts about dogs.

    Having worked in dog rescue for 20 years, I have NEVER had a black or Mexican family try to adopt a dog “unless”it was an AmStaff or some other powerful breed to bolster their “gangsta”creds.

    When naive dangerous liberals would overrule me and allow these crap owners to “adopt”a dog, inevitably the dog would end up in a high kill animal shelter, the right of return contract ignored. If we could get the poor dog back from these scum bags, their complaints were on the level of: he be bitin’and scratchin’and sh*ttin’in the house.

    Did you train him? Walk him? Read the pamphlets we gave you with the free food?
    Naw man.

    And for the liberal idiots who clammer for open borders, they would absolutely want to protect their animals from every Mexican I have ever met. They chain up dogs in the boiling sun with no water, shelter and food.

    Dogs did not ask to be tethered to such moronic humans. Only a very small amount of the population actually fulfill canine needs. In return, you receive a loyalty that no king’s ransom can buy. To be sure, they lead the blind, sniff out bombs and cancer and guard the home of a pauper as if it were a prince.Walking with them in the woods is akin to having a super hero with you- they miss nothing.

    As for someone defending Vick-Exhibit A as to why some people should be on a slow boat back to the Sudan with the magical Negro they defend.

  212. @The scalpel

    God gave man canine teeth and incisors.
    Canine teeth and incisors are for eating meat
    Therefore, God intended for man to eat meat.

    The ‘argument from dentition‘ is objectively idiotic for anyone who has ever seen a gorilla with its mouth open.

    Also: which “god” are you on about? Why would its intentions be of interest to an individual who understands the awful truth about the Easter Bunny?

    TheScalpel, eh? Not the sharpest knife in the drawer

    • Replies: @The Scalpel
  213. Made lots of sense… Now I’m hungry.. I have some Bullwinkle and Bambi in the freezer right next to Bessy and Porkie. But I think I wil have a big hunk of Charlie the Tuna charred just right on the grill.
    Curioulsy, there was no mention of Guinea Pigs being eaten..
    Good story on the nervous retarded little fukkas here..

    https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2013/03/12/174105739/from-pets-to-plates-why-more-people-are-eating-guinea-pigs

  214. Dutch Boy says:

    The chief cause of animal suffering is factory farming, which is harmful both to the animals and to the people who consume them.

    • Agree: TKK
  215. @Mr. Hack

    Pork loin marinated in some wine vinegar & garlic not good?

    That’s actually pretty funny – meat eaters will blather about how bland tofu is (and it is, if you just eat a block of it), but acknowledge that meat is as bland as fuck unless it’s seasoned (or marinated, or both).

    Imagine pork crackling, roast chicken or a medium-rare rib eye… without so much as salt. Gross.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  216. This is a very long article & I haven’t read it. I am sure that AK has delivered many reasonable arguments, but:

    a) my central diet consists of read meat, mostly pork & I don’t intend to change it (laziness perhaps)

    b) I hope they-pigs- don’t suffer when slaughtered, but even if they do …

    Psychologically, there is some power game about all these eating habits. Manliness is somehow connected with eating meat, and especially red meat.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  217. Agent76 says:

    I will not be changing my healthy low carb high protein food intake anytime soon. I have winged myself off all manufactured food aka man made imitation products all together. This is for those who are interested.

    60+ Vegan Recipes for Meat Lovers

    Whether you’re a vegan wanting to veganize some of your favourite pre-veg recipes or a vegan cooking for omnivores, in this roundup of vegan recipes for meat lovers there’s sure to be something for everyone!

    https://thestingyvegan.com/vegan-recipes-for-meat-lovers/

  218. The Scalpel says: • Website
    @Kratoklastes

    I appreciate the debate…:)

    argument from dentition‘ is objectively idiotic

    Are you arguing that human canine teeth are not for eating meat? I think the argument has a bit more nuances than seeing a gorilla with its mouth wide open. I am not an expert on teeth, but I suspect there are various subtypes of canines, perhaps from a common ancestor canine tooth or something similar. The fact that human canine teeth are for eating meat is enough to carry my side of the debate.

    Also: which “god” are you on about?

    Now there is an argument that is not very sharp. What difference does it make which God? Man has teeth, does he not? The real question is if one believes in God or not. In my original post I addressed both sides of the argument. I will concede that God (assuming one believes) may have given man teeth to eat meat only as some sort of test of man’s willpower to not eat meat – some sort of Job like test. But you did not make that argument, and it seems very inefficient anyway. Canine teeth don’t really tempt man to eat meat, they just make it easier.

  219. Mr. Hack says:
    @Kratoklastes

    I tend to side with Tender Bunny’s point of view expressed in comment #203, although I’d extend his sentiments to beef and chicken too, especially beef. The addition of condiments or spices to meats, especially garlic, only enhances the natural juicy flavor of a rib-eye or a roast, IMHO. BTW, most people use spices and condiments to help flavor veggies and grains too. Good vegetarian dishes are loaded with interesting spices, as AK has pointed out several times.

  220. Roy says:

    Great piece Anatoly. A question though. I share the sentiments regarding avoiding pork or animal meat (I actually apply it in my own diet to an extent), but I find it difficult to be convinced rationally of any moral need to do so. If you think about the origin of the idea of “rights”, or why it is that we don’t eat one another, it is the notion that persons have a special moral protection. Meaning, I’m a person, you’re a person, we share a society together and we realize that for us to function and claim our own protections, we must extend these protections to one another. Animal “rights” fail to fit into this paradigm, because animals are not persons. They are not members of a society of persons but a different category altogether. Are they pure automatons, probably not. But clearly they are not persons.

    You may say that the same applies to babies (or fetuses), but in those cases you have a person in the making. Also some societies felt pretty lax about dispensing with newborns such as the ancient Greeks (the myth of Oedipus reflects an echo of that). So my question is – Even if we establish a spectrum of intelligence (or suffering), how does that translate into rights given that even whales and gorillas are not persons?

    -R

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  221. gryphanon says:
    @Denis

    The first vegan I ever met (fifty years ago} was a Jain. He assured me that his family had been vegan for at least a thousand years. He was indistinguishable from any other human male I have met.
    completely whole both physically and intellectually. I have since met many Jains and they are almost all vegans. There are 6 million of them in India and they are very successful in business and thoroughly likeable people.

    If six million people can be vegan so can everybody on earth.

    f

    • Replies: @Reuben Kaspate
    , @Tark Marg
  222. @Roy

    This is an entirely legitimate – as in self-contained, not self-contradictory – ethical system that has been the much of the world’s default since the Axial Revolution.

    Ultimately, the question of whether or not to give any rights is a question of one’s empathy, which is to an extent subjective (though not too subjective; clearly, too little or too much empathy can become maladaptive).

    • Replies: @Roy
  223. Tark Marg says:

    @Anatoly

    You started on weak grounds when you start your argument with “most people would agree”. At one point most people agreed that the sun revolves around the earth, witches existed, as did heaven and hell.

    My perspective is the simple evolutionary one that immunity from forcible seizure of person or property is a quid pro quo predicated on providing greater value than the potential benefit from violence.

    For this reason, even pigs, however more sentient than fish or chickens do not qualify for rights as they cannot offer any value greater than their flesh.

    Regarding the ever expanding circle of empathy, I’d say a unidirectional meme is sure to run off a cliff at some point. In my view this happened in the broader West in the mid-late 19th century, after which decision making quality has suffered badly in my view.

    See tarkmarg.blogspot.com especially the post titled “why animal rights are wrong”.

  224. Lot says:
    @Anonymous

    That’s not how toxoplasmosis works.

    And you are more likely to get it from eating undercooked pork.

  225. Lot says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    “Whenever a judge gives a Guilty verdict”

    In the USA and other English common law nations, juries, not judges, give criminal verdicts, unless they are small fine cases like traffic tickets.

    A judge can set aside a guilty verdict but not a not guilty verdict.

    As for your suggestion, there are already too many veto points in our system. 95% of prosecutions are at the state level. A conviction requires the jury, then the trial judge, then the court of appeal judges, and possibly them the state Supreme Court to all agree on the verdict and penalty. And of course the prosecutor has to be willing to seek and defend the penalty at every step.

    After that the convict can appeal to federal district court and the federal circuit court for sure. Losing there, they can attempt to appeal still further to the Circuit Court en banc and/or the US Supreme Court.

    A typical death penalty case will go through every single mandatory appeal and attempt at several discretionary appeals.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  226. glib says:

    It is time for Mr. Karlin to try entomophagy. Plentiful, cheap proteins, mineral and vitamins, for most vitamins and minerals better than meat. and they are all lowest level animals! Insects do not totally replace the nutritional value of meat, specifically for long chain fatty acids that are so important for the brain (they are almost absent in insects), as well as for vitamin D and possibly vitamin A, though vit. A can be forced into the insect by adjusting the feed.

    But he is wrong about avoiding pork. There is one and only one food that provides high amounts of vitamin D in reasonable portions (100 g), and that is pastured lard. Fatty fish and pastured tallow are OK but need to be eaten in daily 1 kg+ quantities.

  227. lavoisier says: • Website

    If humanity manages to avoid extinguishing itself and life on the planet, we will be looked upon as savages and barbarians for how we treat the other living beings we share this planet with.

    There is no ethics in nature, and God is nowhere to be found, but our treatment of other sentient creatures is abysmal.

    And as bad as we are, the Chinese are far worse.

    We have a lot to answer for.

    • Replies: @wayfarer
  228. wayfarer says:
    @lavoisier

    Near-Death Experience of Peter Anthony.

  229. I found this interesting. It quantifies things for me having already come a long way in my own thoughts and actions on the subject of inter species relations. I’ve been crossing more and more species off the list with respect to my diet as time goes. My religion had me stop eating pigs years ago, and my conscience has me almost finished with all mammals with chickens starting to seem more and more like people to me as well. I eat ethically farmed meat and only free range eggs of course. I don’t feel we’re necessarily committing a sin by killing other animals to eat, so long as it is done properly and you cover that well in the start of the essay. I just know the more I learn about other creatures and sentience in general the harder it gets to justify.

    You mention rabbits as some kind of benchmark but did them a great disservice as it happens. The markers for sentience that you’re using don’t do it for me. Instead I find a species needs to be met properly. You need to get to know a creature before making any judgement and then if you want to measure a test of it’s intelligence design a test for that species. All methods of testing or quantifying animal intelligence seems to me to suffer from being developed from human testing models. There is also the ‘self awareness factor’ which seems to thoroughly miss the point of self awareness. A human baby raised among animals in the wild, there have been many examples, tends to have little self awareness. The best tests of self awareness produces results high among the species among whom they were raised but hardly human. After being introduced to human society and given the care and attention their cognitive skills and self awareness grow to become closer to the human mean. That is in human society. So anyone who has kept a close companion animal would know how much they grow and develop. How their own cognition and place within a human household etc grows. Their personality and self awareness grow too.

    I have had a few companion animals and always had a lot of empathy with living things. I have seen some truly extraordinary examples of not just animal intelligence and sentience also in the wild but even some spooky stuff too. I think indeed there are some senses in which we might be rather dull compared to most wild animals. In fact seen from the point of view (sic) of smell we’re pretty stupid and same goes with sight as well as hearing. The extra information these senses provide must also increase ‘cognition’ in its own ways and in many respects not normally measured by us because we frankly don’t have much of them we’d score very low as well.

    For about 15 years now I’ve had rabbits as companion animals. Not caged but with me as household, travelling and workday companions. The one I have now is 9 and has been with me since she was 5 weeks. She understands a vocabulary of dozens of words, though is far from as clever in that as a former rabbit I had was at 4 years and both fall short of a 12 year old one I have who seems to more or less understand anything said to him with an alacrity that has floored me a few times. None of my rabbits are caged or fenced. They come and go as they please and currently I’m living in a factory apartment so they have open gates and traffic including trucks and buses that come down the lane in our factory yard. The old boy got kidnapped recently and managed to escape his kidnappers and find his way into a back yard about a half mile away where he was recognized as the one I’d lost. If you knew this rabbit you’d respect him like everyone does. Rosco is just a stubborn little force of nature but his intelligence is unmistakable. Lastly just to point out how close, the girl rabbit who is my companion is by my side for all but a couple of hours a day when she spends some time in the garden or by the road verge but still within sight of her daddy even sleeps in my bed. She is clean and except when molting makes less mess in the bed than any person. Like anyone with house rabbit can tell you they are easily house trained. In fact they are naturally very fussy compared to dogs or cats and prefer to have a corner out of the way where they can do their business so a litter tray serves just fine. Once you get to know them they have amazing personalities, no 2 bunnies are alike, they are rather bossy and assertive of their rights by nature and their curiosity is on a par with any cat. They can also live for up to 20 years. We’ve known a few reach 18 and 19 plus.

    Rabbits are the happiest creatures you ever saw when they are happy. They get so excited and happy just to be alive that they almost can’t stay in their skin as they dash about and show off their astonishing speed and dexterity. When they’re being snuggled or petted or petting or snuggling someone they love, they are like love genies. They love when they love. Make no mistake though they suffer when they suffer. They know pain and the only time most will ever make a sound except a sneeze is to scream in agony at the moment or just before their death or crippling injury. They can become depressed, they can become broken in spirit and they can be rescued from the worst places of body and soul and coaxed back into life and hope…just like every other creature which has suffered. Rabbits live Alan Ginsberg’s advice paraphrased, “Live when you live, eat when you eat, love when you love and die when you die”

    I do not think there is any way to write off other species sentience based on our perceptions of their ‘intelligence’ at least not without a lot more carefully constructed and more valid methods of determining true intelligence which is relative to our environment as much as to our species. I’d guess my rabbits living the lifestyle they do where they can distinguish the sound of the fridge door opening (compared to the freezer which has nothing interesting in) or the sound of just the right plastic box lid which contains the treats — from 50 meters away and outside. The 2 older ones know who the rabbit in the window is, (we have a new girly who has been with us 6 months and is only 2 but she is learning quickly. The other 2 are inclined to stop and groom themselves a bit with the help of a ‘mirror’. My number 1 companion rabbit knows when the big light goes off it’s time to use the litter tray and get ready for bed and she hops up for a last snuggle before retiring down to my feet. The other 2 settle down together in the workshop but are waiting outside the bathroom door for their breakfast when I’ve had my shower. I take my rabbits camping, fishing and sailing. I take them kayaking a lot. They swim well but have life vests for some things. To see them living as they do with no constraints except for their safety when in public, perfectly natural and yet just routine family pets, I think most who look down on rabbits as pets compared to dogs or cats would change their mind.

    In the end anyway it was rabbits and what they have taught me by example that has been turning me away from eating meat. I don’t know if I’ll ever go as far as not eating fish but I can’t deny they too have more sentience (therefore ability to suffer and also learn) but the further I go with this outlook I would say rabbit’s influenced my thinking more than anything. Mainly this was just a plug for rabbits.

    • Replies: @Che Guava
    , @Anatoly Karlin
  230. Much to think about here. One footnote to add. When considering how animals can be used humanely we should not idealize what their lives are like in the wild, particularly how those lives end. Eventually the large majority, whether predators or prey, get sick or old, or are injured. Obviously nobody cares for them, they can no longer seek food, and they starve. Suffering is virtually part of the definition of animal life. We can try to minimize it but we can’t eliminate it.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
  231. Roy says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    But is there really another workable ethical system? Anchoring rights in an IQ spectrum can necessarily be extended into the human realm, where IQ differences abound. Can the alphas of IQs 150 and above consume for lunch the deltas of IQ below 80? The personhood distinction on the other hand is not a spectrum, but a categorical difference between creatures who are persons (on this planet only humans), and creatures which are not.

    To demystify the idea of personhood one can make the claim that beyond a certain threshold of complexity (a pre-historical singularity) the person-mind appears. Not a spectrum, but a category difference.

  232. @gryphanon

    Six million successful Jains in a country that still venerates swastikas and considers itself an Aryan country… sombebody pinch me!

  233. @Rosie

    They should target male whales because you are a female human, ideally?
    Or was there another reason for the sexual discrimination?

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  234. @Mr. Hack

    I’ve found that oddly enough a lot of Jews are obsessed with eating ham and bacon. I suppose what you see when any ‘lust’ is repressed. I’m a little surprised not to see anything similar among Muslims. I’m a convert to Islam so my views are nuanced. I have enjoyed ham steaks in particular, with pineapple and cheese and from time to time I recall these with a little wistfulness but I don’t miss eating it.

  235. Tark Marg says:
    @gryphanon

    @gryphanon:

    Jains aren’t vegans per se, they consume milk. Jainism is opposed to violence but not animal domestication.

    In any case Jainism is a shrinking and uncompetitive religion; following it will lead to the same outcome for you.

  236. JojoF says:

    You can’t argue this as if we were in it for a mental exercise, we’re part of an evolution and treating that evolution as if we, a hardly intelligent ape species (“intelligent” mainly because there’s no-one else to define the effect, on a planet whose human population has an average IQ of 86), were actually able to get this hacked.

    The conundrum we’re in proves we aren’t – we should now be EXTREMELY cautious and keep as many species alive and kicking for the simple reason that we don’t want to croak ourselves.
    I’m a dog lover but tell your dog arguments to a Muslim Primate, who will change the side of the road when he, or his lesser she, sees you approaching with your black canine… a life form he sees as a “rat” that “must be exterminated.”
    Take it, Karlin – we’re NOT an intelligent species, we just strive to be. We may be considered rats.

    And we need this evolution as long as it takes, so the fuck let’s at least get conscious about this simple thingy and reduce our barely sentient population, so we can all survive and think about what’s next.

    “Intelligence” is a matter of definition. If only herd animals like us are likely to gain sufficient communication intelligence (“social,” “verbal”), and if such also means intelligence is to a high degree delusional (“reality-manipulative,” “religious”), should be not best develop a higher-tier AI and let it decide about the matter, entirely disregarding human “ethics” ?

    Tell me if you want the Fermi Paradox explained 😉

  237. anonymous[324] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anon

    wwebd said: I do not eat much pork because I abhor the cowardice of factory farming, particularly as it applies to pork, and I live in a country where it takes too much effort to obtain pork meat that is not a product of that kind of cowardice. I have no problem with wild boar or pork from decent family farms. But I am not poor, and those of us who are not poor find it easier to abhor cowardice than we would if we were poor.
    I guess in my own little way I am an aristocrat in these things. Civilization perseveres because of aristocrats like me, so fuck off if you disagree.

    And …… if you have a little dog and the dog seems stupid – unless the dog is a teacup variety of dog – then either you are not a competent trainer of dogs or your dog is the canine equivalent of a person with learning difficulties.

    And …. The Christian view of whether animals “go to heaven” is not that hard to figure out if you believe the words of God, that heaven is full of greater things than we can imagine, and that God heeds the fall of every sparrow. I like to explain it this way: imagine you are able to speak with angels, or at least to speak with the tongues of angels: do you not think that there are very many more angels than most people generally imagine, and, given the almost unimaginable power of angels, and their love for God’s creation, do you really think that there is not, for every suffering animal, an angel who has viewed the suffering of that animal, and as such – remember we are talking about angels – as such, that the angel who has spent those compassionate moments with that animal is able to (outside of the constraints of time that are so difficult for most people to imagine as being conquered, but which will be conquered, which already have been conquered from the point of view of faithful angels) ——- can you imagine that the angels, who can see the face of God and live, will not be able to visit, in happier days, each animal they have ever observed and prayed for in its suffering? Sure your beloved pet may go to heaven with your help but for the love of God can’t you see that the angels are doing a lot more good work on this front than the average kind human?

    Since this is not a thread about abortion I will only briefly mention that in the future late-term abortion will certainly be a very very dark mark on today’s generations, probably all abortion, a form of enslavement, will be something future generations feel contempt of these generations for, but certainly, without a doubt, future generations will look on our violent and cowardly acceptance of late-term abortion and feel disgust, contempt, and disdain.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  238. As I read this article, I was being serenaded by the sirens of broiled brisket, new potatoes and a bottle of claret wafting in from the kitchen. It’s hard to give a good goddamn about animal rights when you’re famished.

  239. Liza says:

    My cookbook for Lent (Orthodox) has an introduction by a priest. He writes:

    “Orthodox monastics eat no meat in order to “soften” their hearts with compassion. It takes a hardened heart to kill an animal, and to a lesser degree even to eat meat. Consequently, fasting from meat and animal products at least on Orthodox fasting days has a similar beneficial effect of softening the hearts even of us lay people and clergy in the world.”

    We are so fortunate to live in a time when supplements are easily available for those who want to be vegetarian all the time without inducing deficiencies. The infrastructure required to bring those supps (vitamins, minerals, etc. not derived from animals) to the store shelves is not any greater than the infrastructure needed to provide 7 billion people with animal products on a regular basis.

  240. anonymous[324] • Disclaimer says:
    @anonymous

    wwebd said: that was not meant as a reply to “anon”, but as an independent comment.
    That being said, and now I am replying to anon’s comment:

    I think anon”s humor is premised on a presumed failure by the reader (or by the Biblical translator into a distant language) to distinguish between the specific adjectival form of mother (the specific mother of a specific baby goat) and the Platonic form (the mother’s milk of any mammalian creature is the milk produced by the mothers of that species).
    So yes you could boil a kid in milk from cows without violating that specific prohibition.
    Life is easy when you understand the part of life you are trying to understand; language remains difficult because human language is imperfect.

  241. Clyde says:
    @Dmitry

    All that drama and just one egg? Absurd. What is being advertised? Bacon?

  242. @Bardon Kaldian

    Is pork red meat? I thought it was not.

  243. @Lot

    I think there is still the possibility of some systemic failure, assumption of guilt after so many steps being taken, etc. At the highest levels US courts seem to be thoroughly politicized, and probably the decision will be influenced by political considerations. Although, probably most errors are false innocence (OJ Simpson, Casey Anthony) rather than false guilt. (Of the latter, I cannot recall any high profile murder case, except the Central Park Five, who were probably guilty. There was Mike Tyson, who probably had consensual sex with the woman who went to his hotel room willingly.)

    I don’t think any system operated by humans can work with 0% false positives, not even at the price of an extreme rate of false negatives. But the point is, it can (and probably does) destroy lots and lots of human lives way below the death penalty. How many false rape convictions could there be, if Mike Tyson could be convicted on shaky evidence? (Basically there was one witness claiming to have seen the purported victim “visibly shaken” after leaving the hotel room. This could have been caused by anything, like Tyson rudely kicking her out of his hotel room. Then a doctor said that her injuries were “consistent with” rape. They were also consistent with consensual sex. They dismissed all evidence to the contrary, like her sexual history. Are we to believe that a young black woman of loose morals, who willingly went into his hotel room, resisted Tyson’s advances? Tyson was a very masculine and very rich and very famous guy, probably a dream man for most black women. He doesn’t even come across as extremely dumb.)

    I think with the death penalty it’s possible to get into a state where we only execute people who, while perhaps occasionally innocent of the crime for which they are to be executed, are in general very bad criminals. We can also constantly work to reduce error rates.

    • Replies: @Che Guava
  244. @atlantis_dweller

    Females are more difficult to replace. Theoretically, I don’t know how much males are needed to raise the calves. If they are like Northern European humans, then it doesn’t matter much if only males are targeted.

    Maybe targeting older females would not be that bad either.

  245. Mactoul says:
    @Denis

    Your understanding is indeed meager.
    The Jains consume a lot of dairy. They are lacto-vegetarians

    • Replies: @Che Guava
  246. Christo says:

    “We can at least all agree, at a minimum, that plants don’t have sentience”

    The trees in my yard would beg to differ, if they were concerned with such a short lived ignorant critter far removed from their presence.

    P.S.- Missing bacon is a sin.

  247. anon[393] • Disclaimer says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    yes but you do understand that hierarchy runs all the way up to me, any life form is to serve any lifeform who can make it so i may eat your children if i decide thats what needs to happen from my perspective and if i can do it then well might makes right, its true i may decide i should not eat them just yet but rather convince them to help me eat someone else larger than me but not as strong as your children and me together game theory an all, maybe your children can do maths and realize I am bigger than them but smaller than the third and can come up with some solution maybe not thats their problem not mine

  248. Christo says:
    @Isabella

    Get back to me, when you can legitimately explain why humans evolved having incisors and canine teeth, un-needed to consume plants.

    • Replies: @Liza
  249. Che Guava says:
    @reiner Tor

    An incidental reply, and Mike Tyson seems quite wise, after burning through all the many millions of dollars from his boxing career (which included biting more than once) on parties, expensive whores and drugs, and more excessive suppliers of those, one cannot be sorry for him (he is getting money from recent media appearances, to keep him at least just well above upper-middle class for life).

    I find the biting worse than distasteful, but the interview with him that a younger (and fly or welter) boxer in Japan was showing me, except for the ugly tatoos, Tyson seemed pretty (very) sensible.

  250. Much too unnecessary words, digressions, distractions. This article failed to impress me. Rule: always use parsimony and analogous examples before abstractions and symbols.

    1. The Paleo Diet has been amply demonstrated as the most healthful and compatible diet for human digestion and metabolism.

    2. Logically, then it follows that all edible animals should be raised without pain and fear, which is an enormous improvement over life in the wild. As an index and comparator, domestic cats have only an average lifetime of 3 years versus a decade and a half as a sheltered creature.

    3. The harvested animal should be killed with no prescience and away from other animals, likewise unaware. What kind of life quality does prey animal have in raw Nature?

    4. Many aboriginal people solemnly expressed overt and ceremonial gratitude to the creature that gave its flesh in order for their people to live.

    5. All this is being practiced by intelligent survivalist Whites in the hinterlands of Alaska. Much more impressive, Mr. Karlin, than your high level of excessive and peripheral starchy and muddled fillers. Induction and the empirical trump repetition and Pure Ideas (Nikos Kazantzakis) of mostly internal logic and unexamined pedicates.

    6. Slightly modified Buddhism and nutritional science are more efficient and convincing than a meandering flood plain of useless data and so many unsubstantiated opinions and comments

  251. gwynedd1 says:

    “We can at least all agree, at a minimum, that plants don’t have sentience, so veganism is one philosophically and logically consistent option. ”

    Uh what? Why would I agree to that? Plants do not have sentience as we know it.

    And what is logically consistent with vegans having pets that are obligate carnivores , or driving animals off habitat?

  252. Che Guava says:
    @Rabbitnexus

    What a lot of rubbish on rabbits, from my two case observations, pet rabbits
    cower from their owners, the owners have the bizarre conceit ‘my bunny loves me’.

    The bunny clearly is in a panic state most of the time when in contact with anyone, including the keeper.

    The bunny owners lie to themselves about it. There may be exceptional rabbits that do not fit what I describe, but I have never seen an example.

    • Replies: @Rabbitnexus
  253. Dmitry says:
    @Hyperborean

    usefulness of logic also depends on the worth of what those assumptions are based on in the first place.

    Yes but you cannot see the assumptions, until you extrapolate the implications.

    logical perspective, the corpses of deceased people, who after all are unable to appreciate the gesture of a burial, are better off being used as fertiliser

    And it’s not a necessarily invalid point. It’s might be true.

    As humans treasure different things, certain parts of morality will be subjective and non-universal.

    A strange or interesting thing, are where we find something which seems universally binding. And here asking “why?” goes quickly to metaphysics (which of course we don’t understand well, at least yet)

    one’s moral foundation

    “Moral foundation” is not easy to find, but to start climb around the topic requires logic as our scaffolding.

    This is where the quoted text of Singer and comments of MrXYZ looks very good (sign of potential intelligence) as they are trying to extrapolate logical consequences of previously accepted assumptions.

    Obviously there is something wrong with their conclusion, so then you have to look back at assumptions.

    Because if there is not a mistake of logic, then the implications are part of those assumptions.

    2500 years ago, Socrates already would see this situation for every imaginable topic.

    so there is a need to develop coherent answers to these questions.

    Answers will not be easy to find. The important thing on the social or political level is that in society there is space for free-thinkers to explore every implication of any ideas, about anything – which is another way to say, space for intellligent men to act like conscious (or self-programming) human beings. .

  254. AK: Okay, banned.

    [MORE]

    Copy of EMAIL sent
    To:[email protected]
    Mar 4 at 8:18 PM
    Hi again Ron!
    This guy ANON is the AUTHOR OF THE ARTICLE! Pretending to be a regular commenter hanging around in the comments-section to his own article, but with authority to alter and delete comments he disagrees with, AND DOING IT! LOL! No free-speech on Unz.com! You guys just advocate it for others!

    Another example (same thread but nothing to do with me, this time)
    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/animals/#comment-3071430
    [[anon[393] • Disclaimer says:
    March 3, 2019 at 1:11 pm GMT • 900 Words

    Im not going to read anything that long that pretends to be intellectual vegetarianism. I have heard it all so Ill just point a few things out your side never gets and a few you obstinately ignore. …
    AK: Well if you are going to boast about not reading the article and argue with a straw man from the get go (e.g. I don’t “advocate” vegetarianism), then I don’t see why I should publish your comment. Snipped.]]

    BTW: Also notice Anon using boldface himself, which is the excuse he used for deleting all my comments!

    —– Forwarded Message —–
    To: [email protected]
    Sent: Sunday, March 3, 2019
    Subject: Unz.com undercover cops not showing their badge

    Hi Ron!
    I ran into a commenter “Anon” in the comments section of http://www.unz.com/akarlin/animals/
    ..who started made a threat in comment 178
    [[Blind_understanding, stop bolding all of your comments. This is rude. I don’t fancy wasting my time fixing your attempts to stand out, so if you don’t desist, your comments will start going into the trashbin.”]]

    Then he must have followed through with his threat, because my following comments are now deleted. And the earlier ones have all boldface removed. In fact, I now notice: all boldface in all comments to the article has been removed.

    I want to make these points:
    Unz.com has unidentified cops roaming the board bullying people by enforcing undefined P.C. rules, they are free to make up on the fly.
    If Unz.com wants to outlaw boldface, it could simply remove the option.
    If Unz.com want’s censors comments mixed with general public comments, the censors’ IDs should be clearly marked.
    I suspect “Anon” is the writer of the article (“Anatoly Karlin”). If so that would open up a whole new can of worms, related to undercover censorship.
    How cam Unz.com campaign against injustice in the enveloping society when it runs it’s own shop even worse! LOL!

  255. @Rabbitnexus

    She understands a vocabulary of dozens of words, though is far from as clever in that as a former rabbit I had was at 4 years and both fall short of a 12 year old one I have who seems to more or less understand anything said to him with an alacrity that has floored me a few times.

    Very interesting! Possibly I underestimated rabbits by a Tier. Much more research needs to be done.

    • Replies: @Rabbitnexus
  256. @Roy

    I think I really addressed that point, at length.

    (1) I emphatically did not say that viewpoints other than those of cognitive ethics are illegitimate.

    (1) Conveniently, human intelligence is sufficiently far above any currently existing animal that clumping humans and treating them as a discrete unit is defensible even from within the prism of cognitive ethics, anyway.

    • Replies: @Roy
  257. @Che Guava

    So you’ve known some poorly treated rabbits. Whoever raised those rabbits you describe evidently knows about as much about them as you do. Which is nothing. Do a bit of a search on Youtube and see how others live you presumptive twit. I just told you how mine live and they are hardly the first I’ve had. Maybe you should know more about something than having met a couple of examples by which to judge.

  258. @Anatoly Karlin

    There are naturally a lot of sensitive and even neurotic rabbit owners. They can be the perfect pet for people with a bit of emotional need. This can reflect on any pet but rabbits more likely to be chosen by such people if not cats. Rabbits are also naturally prey animals so have a different outlook on things, but that just changes their approach. They are much less bold. I’m very empathetic which helps bring out the personality of any companion animal I have owned and mine are unusual among rabbit owners for being completely free to roam, most still think they’d run away. They don’t. However most people don;t understand their habits to know how to make it work like this. My experience with their cleverness and ability to fit into a family actively however is common. There are Rabbit societies on Facebook for example where a browse through members’ daily stories and videos etc will soon demonstrate what Che Guava in his ignorance denies.

    • Troll: Che Guava
  259. Roy says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    I think a better formulation for cognitive ethics would be not “animal rights”, but “human duties”. Meaning, since the idea of rights for anything rather than a person is not really defensible, it makes sense to ground this in the old stoic framework of duties. In this case, a human duty to conserve, preserve and minimize suffering. How to minimize suffering? –> cognitive bio-ethics.

    • Agree: Liza, Anatoly Karlin
  260. Che Guava says:
    @Mactoul

    Slow down, Mactoul.

    You are right, but Denis was only asking a question, which I (correctly) answered abt. two days ago. They also eat eggs.

    If you want to jump on somebody, go to post 224 by blatant liar gryphanon, who *does* make the claim you are mis-attributing to Denis.

  261. Liza says:
    @Christo

    Get back to me, when you can legitimately explain why humans evolved having incisors and canine teeth, un-needed to consume plants.

    I know you were addressing Isabella, but I couldn’t resist.

    It seems to me that incisors are needed especially for initial tearing off of all kinds of food. I would say that they are needed for plant food as much as for meat. How would you get started on a root vegetable (even a soft, cooked one) or leafy greens or, nowadays, a piece of bread, without them?

    And we have 4 canine teeth out of a total of 32. I have read that this ratio of 1 to 8 can be interpreted to mean that during our evolution, we were heavily reliant on meat for one-eighth of our developmental history. At least theoretically, according to this one author whose name I don’t remember (this was way prior to internet) we should minimize meat to that extent.

    Also, that author noted that some people’s canine teeth are larger, and some smaller. My own are utterly flat, though one has a wee hint of a slant but that’s it.

    I look at people’s teeth (no, I don’t say anything) but this used to be more interesting before an apparently large portion of the population, even younger folks, are getting implants or other forms of modification that make them look like they have pasted chiclets in their mouth. White people, mostly. People from Africa and parts of the subcontinent have gorgeous teeth except for areas of near-starvation or where western diets have taken hold for a few generations. What a crime.

    There are exceptions to everything dietary according to personal circumstances and need.

    • Replies: @Christo
  262. Christo says:
    @Liza

    HI , Well yes the ultimate in incisors are in rodents(Mammalia Rodentia, IIRC) , and yes they and maybe we could chew though wood . Those pointy teeth are useful for busting seeds , but I would hate to try to chew into a coconut. LOL As to flat teeth , yea I got them too, gnashing of teeth and all that, , but I do like pointy teeth , especially Girls with pointy white teeth , hmmm. takes me back 🙂

    Anywhoo , another example of Man ,and his progenitors as being manly carnivores in many places and over all of Mankind’s time , is to note the ‘Trash Pits” of early man , Neanderthal , Cromagnon, they all primarily ate meat all kinds, the bones of what they ate are everywhere, this was of course before organized farming

    Regards,

    Note , replied on email too, no clue how to combine e-mail to show on site, have some error message

  263. @Roy

    mCategorical differences, and the rest of theories — ethics or not — are just post-hoc rational contructs.

    The only thing, other than direct or internalized social pressure, forming one’s deeds and convictions regarding other life forms, is ruth.

    Now, we live in the time where Reason is close to being the planet-common established faith.
    Saying I don’t want to eat this, or that, out of feelings of ruth, would run the risk to attract mockery, and certainly would not attract agreement.
    The subject themselves would not trust their judgment without a foundation with the semblance of rationality.

    Thousands of words and dozens of very intelligent points are then made, to turn emotional drives into faith-complying (“rational”) stances. These have a chance to change someone’s mind, and to, if nothing else, draw basic respect.
    Also, they liberate the claimant from the fear of looking like a mollycoddle (status loss).

    So we see both ruthlessness and ruth wearing mantles of intellectuality, working hard to pass undetected, undetected also by the very people who feel them. Particularly so for ruth; after all, ruthlessness is commonly read as strength, and displaying strength is all but status-harmful.

    Of course more powerful humans reason about less powerful humans as they do about “animals”, that is in instrumental terms. That’s to be expected, and if it is not seen a lot that is owing to social/cultural pressure (convenience under another name), direct and internalized. Ruth is felt for all that lives or nothing that lives.

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