Meat is Murder?

…Or is it?

Note: (August 2, 2010): This has been one of my most popular posts – popular meaning people read it and had an opinion – today on NPR there is a very interesting story about how humans were able to develop a more sophisticated brain when they started to eat meat about 2.3 million years ago – our development would not have gone this far without it. Does this mean we could regress without meat? I do not know – because we know so much more about getting protein these days. The study showed that we had sophisticated digestive systems that took the energy away from brain development – interesting article – feel free to comment –

NPR Article

Note (May 26, 2010): I inquired with a few vegan friends to give me some perspective on writing this piece – my schedule got the article written faster than I anticipated and I hope that they and any of you readers will consider commenting and entering the discussion.

A follow up article to this post was published two days later and can be found here:

The dictionary defines murder as the killing of humans – not of animals. So let’s simplify my title – Meat is Killing. Or is it?

Last week I got into a challenging discussion with Facebook friend Heather Kolaya-Spealman on the very topic of veganism. Heather posted a quote that I “liked” by Schweitzer about showing compassion towards animals to which she challenged me by writing that although I may show compassion to animals I have some serious shortcomings. She pointed out that I like pets but do not think so much of animals that are killed for food. Like most people, I would agree – none of us think so much of that because the modern food industry has removed all of the nastiness from our view and we get a nice sanitized view of dinner in a shrink-wrapped Styrofoam tray at the supermarket. Even the supermarket butcher never sees a whole animal – things are nicely parceled for them and they make the final trims of the “meat” without any of the unpleasantness of the execution and gutting of the carcass. Heather did a great job of getting me to at least think about something by making a logical argument – this is what I attempt to do (sometimes more successfully than others) with this blog.

The history of mankind is full of hunting (as well as gathering) and the eating of meat. Meat provides an important part of the diet and is a great source of protein. As time evolved the population of Earth multiplied as did human need for adequate food sources and our understanding of farming and agriculture. It can also be argued that our moral and ethical needs have expanded, grown and become more enlightened. Enlightened society should grow towards a less harmful moral center – eliminating killing from our diets should and could be an attainable goal. Can we feed 300 million Americans without meat? How about 6.8 billion worldwide? I do not know the answer to those questions and I suppose the smart answer lies within – start locally.

So what do proteins do I eat? I eat seafood at least twice per week – lately I have been on a scallops kick and have been anxiously awaiting my first fried clams of the season later this week – and I eat anchovies at least twice a month. Other proteins that are common in our home are black beans, kidney beans and chicken (perhaps the most boring and bland of all meats). Less frequently we serve beef and pork and only rarely lamb. I also enjoy nuts, cheese, egg whites and have grown to like tofu, which to me is the vegetarian chicken – it is a bland, boring protein that takes on the flavor and character of whatever you cook it with. My attempts to be on the high road see me with my two decades plus “no veal” stance, my wish that I ate only high-grade cattle and free-range chickens and my hatred of fur. Of course, our family budget does not allow for the expensive meat and fowl options often. I abhor the fur industry yet I still own a fair amount of leather. Am I barely afloat in a sea of hypocrisy? Ah, the moral quandary that the modern citizen can find themselves in.

As for taste and enjoyment…I like meat – not daily, not every meal – but I do like it. I like cooking it – I love my grill and my smoker, even if I rarely use them and have also made many excellent vegetarian meals with my grill – there is still something about grilling meat and the backyard barbecue. I suppose the notion of the fun backyard barbecue should be more focused on the company you keep not the food that you eat. Interestingly, Heather also likes meat. She and many vegans do not eat meat out of a moral sense of it not being ethical to kill your supper (or to hire mercenary butchers to do your dirty work for you.) They do not care as much about the health benefits of eliminating meat from the diet but rather care about the moral benefits of not killing their food.

I am too educated to believe that animals do not feel any pain when they are killed. It was very obvious that the two lobsters I cooked recently did not care for the boiling water anymore that I would have like to have been steamed. I know no animal wants to be decapitated, disemboweled, ground, spiced and stuffed into a sausage casing for our dinner table. The rules that are employed by kosher butchers for the ethical slaughter of animals are not for the animals benefit but rather to make the pious feel good and to alleviate their guilt. Even your author, the occasional meat eater knows the notion that animal slaughter is done humanely is pathetic. It is like having a humane genocide – it is not possible.

Are humans “better’ than animals? Do we have a superior right to exist? What about animals that eat other animals? If there is a food chain – as animals eating animals seems to demonstrate? Where do humans fall on that chain? Are we supposed to eat animals? Do we have an obligation to interfere in the food chain to protect weaker animals from stronger animals? Somewhat tongue in cheek – but is it ethical to cut down a tree that could live on its own for over 100 years? Where do we draw the line? These are all questions for discussion – we need to figure out how we feel as individuals about these issues.

Modern society is far removed from the “killing” part of eating meat. The process has been industrialized and impersonalized that it is harder to realize you are eating a dead creature nowadays than in the past. In agrarian communities there is a more “hands on” feel to the food – people have to kill their own animals and cannot so readily escape the ugly side of the business. The local market only sees the neat little rows of cryovac’d dinner packages and avoids all of the blood, guts and killing.

I am capable of moving more towards vegetarianism as it is less extreme. I see the point that vegans do not want to “use” animals in any way, but using wool from sheep or eggs from hens seems logical to me. To me human beings are omnivores – our history has been that of a meat eating species but it is obvious that we learned our meat eating ways from our ancestors. We were not born with spears, bows and arrows or guns; and we needed to be able to create and maintain a fire to cook. Most of our primate ancestry eats primarily vegetable matter, but this is far from 100 percent as gorillas eat grubs and insects and orangutans eat small animals and birds with their vegetable diet.

So where does this leave us? The argument that humans are designed to be plant eaters is a poor one that does not hold up well to scrutiny. The excessiveness of veganism is in of itself a turn off to me, but I can see how it has appeal to many – it is a simple, kinder way to live. I can live with myself and the “kills” that I am both directly and indirectly responsible. With over six billion people in the world it is important that we utilize a variety of food sources. I see no reason not to eat dairy products or not to use wool – these products do not cause the death of an animal, and though they increase the need for the breeding and raising of these animals their use is not harmful in my eyes (I am sure vegans will have something to say about this.) I may love animals – but not to the degree that vegans do – I can buy Heather’s point “if you loved animals you would not kill any of them.” This ethical situation is not all or nothing with me. I may not be a vegan but I am also not a sociopath who beats and tortures animals, attempts to run them over with a vehicle or someone who hunts for “sport” only. I will continue to eat small amounts of meat in my diet, I may head towards more of a vegetarian lifestyle and I admire, even if I do not join those who choose to keep killing off of their plates.


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48 Responses to “Meat is Murder?”

  1. Heather Says:

    Dairy products do actually cause death and I can explain to you why if you like. I can also explain the wool issue 🙂 I appreciate you making a veg friendly post even though you yourself are a meat eater. There were quite a few questions i your post that I would be happy to discuss with you either through email or here so that everyone can see.

  2. sapblatt Says:

    Heather – thanks for reading and commenting – please post here for all to see. I am sure industrial dairy farming is not much better than the meat industry and it is not a happy farm life – but I have also seen local farm operations that seem very different. I would never go that extreme – but to each their own choice. Would love the hear about wool and anything else you would like to discuss – thanks again – Mike

  3. rationalrepublic Says:

    Here’s a few links if anybody wishes to pursue this issue. – explores how our bodies are fully sustainable without meat and dairy. – Earthlings, a documentary narrated by Joaquin Phoenix that looks at the five ways that humans use animals. – Meat the Truth, a documentary about the impact of the meat industry on the environment.

    Send me a message if you’d like any more info, if you have any questions, or you’d just like a bit of a chat 🙂

  4. Karen Tysver Says:

    You state in your essay that there were a few things you didn’t know. I suggest you find out. That is a major issue. People do not want to know. Do you also call yourself an environmentalist? Go to youtube and search vegan, factory farm, etc. YOu can’t write an essay without research. Peace, Karen

    • sapblatt Says:

      Hi Karen –

      Thank you for reading and commenting – I do research my essays – with the exception of one question regarding the feasibility of feeding the world with out animals my questions were hypothetical and meant to generate discussion amongst my readers. And even that question I suggest that it is doable – as I know I can sustain my family without animals if we chose to do so. I could not find consistent answers for that question so I left it as a question in my essay. This paragraph:

      Are humans “better’ than animals? Do we have a superior right to exist? What about animals that eat other animals? If there is a food chain – as animals eating animals seems to demonstrate? Where do humans fall on that chain? Are we supposed to eat animals? Do we have an obligation to interfere in the food chain to protect weaker animals from stronger animals? Somewhat tongue in cheek – but is it ethical to cut down a tree that could live on its own for over 100 years? Where do we draw the line? These are all questions for discussion – we need to figure out how we feel as individuals about these issues.

      Was meant to solicit feelings and ideas from my readers and you are most welcome to add to the discussion.

      Take care and thanks again

      • sapblatt Says:

        Karen –
        Just noticed I missed one of your questions – I tend to stay away from absolutes with one exception in my life – so to answer you I would say I am environmentalist leaning. I hike, camp, backpack, recycle etc. I write to my legislators on issues like offshore drilling. But am I militant about it? No. Do I go to rallies? No. Do I drive a hybrid or bike everywhere? No. (distance is not posssible and finances will not allow.) So perhaps I get some solace in being above average in these areas but I am not fanatical about it – more power to those who have the time and energy.
        And the one absolutist position I hold dearly is my atheism.
        Take care,

  5. Heather Says:

    Okay, so here’s a longer answer:

    “Can we feed 300 million Americans without meat? How about 6.8 billion worldwide?” The answer is a resounding and overwhelming yes. Any animal which produces one pound of “food” (flesh) will have eaten several pounds of good to produce that single pound. Lifestock are mostly fed corn and soybeans. Were those soy beans going directly to people we’d be able to feed 10X more people with soy than with cow, chicken, pig, etc. The same is true for water. The issue is not with places like the US and europe but with third world countries which may not be able to grow large amounts of good- the answer to this is like genetically modified foods which can grow in harsher climates. Until that point I do not begrudge someone who’s only source of not starving is animal products. In first and second world countries, however, it’s a non issue- we have the resources to get the food we need and the money to buy it. There is no excuse (outside of selfishness) to eat or use any animal product or byproduct.

    How dairy causes death: one word- veal. The veal industry is a direct result of the dairy industry. Dairy cows, like any other mammal, must get pregnant and give birth to produce milk. The cost of raising those cows to adulthood is too high and therefore they become veal. I’m sure you know the details of veal already so I won’t go into that. In addition, dairy cows are forced to endure horrible conditions. Please see this article: I’d rather have a ribeye than have a glass of milk-

    Wool: Firstly, lambs born for wool production are castrated, have their ears punched through and their tails cut off, all without anesthesia.Secondly, flies are a major issue and in an attempt to keep the wool cleaner an act known as mulesing. Here is a link to a quick google image search to show you what it is:,isz:m&source=lnt&ei=swT8S6DlBsKqlAfEvvHMDw&sa=X&oi=tool&resnum=1&ct=tlink The flies are then attracted to these bloody patches instead of the laying eggs in the wool.. they often get maggot infested and infected. Some die. And let’s not forget how popular lamb is as a meal.. where do you think those baby sheep come from?

    What about animals that eat other animals, the food chain, etc?

    What about it? Other animals (and we are still animals) do not have the cognitive ability to make such a choice. They use their natural instincts (of which we don’t even use since we’re just going to the store) and do not have the ability to make a moral choice like this. It also takes abstract thought abilities to empathize with the pain of your meal- not many animals have this as we humans do if any at all. In other words, it’s not a factor. What a lion eats has nothing to do with what I eat. Some meat eaters like to use “well if it’s all you had then you’d eat it!” well to this I say “Duh!” I’d say 99% of non meat eaters would eat it to survive. The point is that we don’t need to- we can survive and be more healthy without animal products than with and we can do it without hurting animals.. so why wouldn’t we? The evolutionary argument is a straw man.


    you consider yourself environmentalist leaning.. but what does that really mean? if the amount of good you do is minimal then are you really making a difference? does it matter? Well.. I do think that every little bit matters, but animal products create more pollution annually than cars, trains, trucks, planes, and boats combined. Being vegan is pretty simple and I don’t consider someone an environmentalist period if they’re contributing that severely to pollution.

    What it boils down to is caring about something other than yourself. If you care about health, the environment, or animals (all animals) then veganism is obligatory or else you may as well label yourself a hypocrite. You’ve admitted that you dont’ care much about animals or even really the environment- I respect the fact that you can admit that as I’ve already talked with you about. If you eat a chicken and you know it suffered before being murdered viciously and you don’t care… then you’re not a hypocrite at least. Those of us with large amounts of compassion and empathy may shake our heads because we will never understand what we see as something so callous and cruel… but you’re definitely not a hypocrite.

    I think I addressed all your questions- if you have more let me know!

  6. Meat is Murder? (PART II) « Symptom of the Universe Says:

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  7. Sara Says:

    I stumbled across your blog, and enjoy reading your thoughts on various topics. I have often struggled with this issue as well. I have not eaten pork or beef in a couple years, but still eat chicken and fish. After learning about the cognitive capabilities of pigs, it seemed wrong to eat an animal that is smarter than a dog and is also genetically so similar to humans that our bodies can accept organ transplants from them. I have been horrified about what I’ve read about the milk industry, but have not been able to get over my love of cheese (vegan cheese is OK, but tastes like cooking oil.) Becoming a true vegan seems daunting when even the veggie burgers I eat when my friends are having hot dogs/hamburgers are not vegan. Looking online at various restaurant information (for example Chilis) nothing on the vegetarian menu is vegan except salad with no dressing. I do not live in an area with an array of vegan friendly restaurants and I enjoy going out to eat with my friends and being able to eat if someone orders pizza. I know it is still hypocritical, but I feel like I have at least made a bit of a difference by trying to add more veggie and less meat to my diet.

  8. Grace56 Says:

    Why is ir bad to eat an animal but ok to abort a human….I don’t get the bizarre morality.

    • sapblatt Says:

      it depends upon what you consider a human – I think abortion sucks – but it would suck more to deny a woman the right to her own body – especially in the the first trimester.

    • Heather Says:

      Grace- abortion is a complicated subject because there are two things to consider- the fetus and the mother of the fetus. Let’s take the fetus first- since it is.. well.. a fetus.. we don’t have to consider it’s quality of life in the same way we do the mother’s- she has family, friends, hobbies.. a life- that the addition of a child may very well ruin.. and considering the people who are likely to get abortions that usually means poverty and diminished quality of life for the would-be child as well. Basically.. a fetus doesn’t know it’s alive and it won’t know if it’s dead.. non existence is.. well.. nothing. We’d also have to prove that it’s actually alive since it can’t exist on it’s own outside of it’s mother’s womb. Most abortions are simply forced miscarriages. Also, a fetus does not have a developed nervous system or brain- these things are essential to feelings- emotions, pain, etc and if a fetus does not feel these we have no moral obligation to it whatsoever. Vegans seek to do the least harm possible- not no harm at all (which is impossible) so in the case of abortions, the least harm possible would be adhering to the rights of women, not globs of cells or unfeeling embryos. So killing an animal would be more akin to killing an already born child or an adult. More so, abortions aren’t done for fun bur for specific necessary purposes… whereas killing an animal for food is completely purposeless other than for pleasure. Hope that helps answer your question.

      • sapblatt Says:

        Heather – that was one of the best explanations of why abortion rights are “right” and important to protect I have ever read – nicely done.
        Your sentence “whereas killing an animal for food is completely purposeless other than for pleasure” does not make sense – yes, there are other ways to eat than via killing – but the purpose is for food – so there is a purpose (not debating right/wrong of it” – we could also say “whereas harvesting of a vegetable is completely purposeless other than for pleasure” – but we would not say that – we would say it is for food.
        Thanks for the excellent contribution. – Mike

      • Lee Says:

        Unbelievable how callous you are about a baby. Well, you wouldn’t want a baby to mess with a woman’s hobbies and friendships, now would you? You people are blinded by selfish ideology. There are recent studies that show that the baby does feel the terrible pain from being ripped out of its mother’s womb. That little baby may not be able to tell you of his or her pain and suffering or tell you exactly what he or she knows, but most humane people will agree, that in the womb, the baby assumes that he or she is in the nicest, safest, warmest, and most loving place that they can be…. until someone like you comes along and makes excuses for murdering them… all the while extolling the virtues of the monstrous procedure and bewailing the plight of animals! Wo unto those who call evil good and good evil!

  9. Heather Says:

    Mike- when you’re eating something, not because you have to, but because you *want* to, then it is specifically a pleasure and no longer a necessity (anything not a necessity is automatically a pleasure). We cannot cease to eat plant material so it is a necessity, not a pleasure (although we certainly get pleasure from it). In the same way- chocolate cake, while incredibly fucking delicious, is a pleasure and not a necessity even though it’s still for food.

    • Lee Says:

      Every time I see comments from a pro-abort, they will eventually use vulgar language showing their true self. Apply your rule to abortion… most are done because the mother “wants to” because it might interfere with her hobbies, her promiscuous lifestyle, her fun, or cause some financial hardship, etc. Less than one-half of 1% are legitimately done to save the mother’s life.

  10. Grace56 Says:

    A fetus is a human from the monument of conception. A fetus is like to a baby as a baby is like unto adult. Humans are far more important than animals. BTW the great majority of abortions are done for *no* reason other than convenience.

    Quite frankly it is the baby has no choice. I do not get this argument abut a woman “right” to murder her unborn child.

    Right now you have put more value on an animal than a human. Apparently the purposeless murders of unborn human babies is ok but not that of animals. I find this very disturbing.

  11. Grace56 Says:

    BTW the argument that it is ok to abort because the fetus doesn’t feel pain is specious. What you are essentially saying that it is on to murder if the intended victim doesn’t feel it.

    Life begins at conception, this is not a religious debate, but a biological fact. If you choose to have an abortion you are killing a developing human. That doesn’t sound very vegan to me. The only time I could see allowing such killing is when the women’s health is at risk.

  12. Grace56 Says:

    statistics from abortion advocates such as the Planned Parenthood-associated Guttmacher Institute show that abortions for rape, incest, and the mother’s health account for fewer than 10% of all abortions in America.

    Pennsylvania Health Department records also provide evidence that most abortions are for convenience and birth control. Forty-five percent of abortions in 1997 (most recent year with statistics published) were repeat abortions and more than 900 Pennsylvania women per year have their fifth or more abortion.

    • Heather Says:

      Grace- not sure exactly what your point is. Of course abortion is birth control- that’s the actual definition- it controls births.. literally.

      and you’re right- i do not believe we have any ethical obligation to something which does not feel pain, fear, etc… which is why we can eat plants- no pain! In fact, you’re sounding an awful lot like omnivores who argue “but you’re murdering the plants!” which is ridiculous. The life of the mother is simply the priority.

      What you should be advocating for is not taking away women’s rights but better sex education which is proven to reduce rates of STI’s and unwanted pregnancy. Let’s also not forget that when abortion is made illegal- women simply go to back ally abortionists and we end up with not only increased abortion rates, but increased death rates of women.

      I’ll repeat again: being vegan means doing the least harm possible- not no harm at all. And when the choice is between harm to the woman and harm to a fetus- the last amount of harm tends to favor the woman, not the fetus.

  13. Grace56 Says:

    Woman rights…what about the human rights?

    BTW if you think it is ok to murder those who don’t feel pain then you are for murder of some human being as well.

    No mater how you try to rationalize it, a fetus is a human being from the moment of conception. It doesn’t matter if it feels pain or not and BTW that is up for debate)

    Apparently some human are worthless in your eyes. FYI you are not as informed as you sound.

    BTW you know what has happened since sex education became taught in the schools……an increase in illegitimate births and the rise of abortions.

    • Heather Says:

      Grace, you seem to be missing the point almost entirely. Firstly, in case you missed it- women are humans. Women’s rights ARE human rights

      What human beings do you think it would be okay to murder who don’t feel pain or fear? Perhaps you are talking about coma patients, but people make the decision to end their lives all the time.

      In areas which teach abstinence only education the rates of STI’s as well as unwanted pregnancies are dramatically higher- sex education is not the problem- lack of sex education is. Sorry- but there’s actual evidence to back that up. Studies, pollls.. actual numbers and facts.

      Of course, I’d also like to point out the obvious: this post isn’t about abortion- it’s about eating meat.

  14. Grace56 Says:

    The point is your hypocrisy (well not your specifically those who are against eating /killing animals) You apparently have no problem is murdering/killing defenseless humans.

    FYI you talk about woman rights…the right to murder? Really if the baby is unwanted give t up. Like I said or 85% of abortion are done for conveniences sake.

    It seems you are ok with murder for conveniences. Unkess of course it is an animal.

  15. Grace56 Says:

    The Dehumanization and destruction of others (in this case the unborn) apparently rests on the ability capability to sense or feel. I wonder how you animal rights advocates rationalize abortion at the later stages of pregnancy. Don you think that fundamental human rights are not intrinsic with human lives?

    You do realize that *you* were once an unborn baby.

    • Heather Says:

      Um.. Duh. Of course you have a greater ethical responsibility to someone/something that feels pain versus that which does not.

      Later term abortions are rare and only occur when the mother’s life is directly in danger. unfortunately child birth is extremely dangerous even with modern medicine (though much less so)- and women can and do still die from it- in which case it’s simply a call between saving one person or the other and the adult woman and her friends/family simply have more to lose than the child’s. It’s incredibly sad and I wish late term abortions never occured.. but if the mom is going to die if it’s not performed.. then it’s one or the other. In the same way- if someone’s life were directly at risk and they had to kill an animal (say if you were in the woods for example and got attacked by a wild animal) then I would not find it ethically wrong to kill the animal- as heartbreaking as it would be.

      And yes- I do realize that I was a baby at one point- and had my mom had an abortion I never would have known. I didn’t exist for billions of years before I was born and didn’t/couldn’t have a problem with it- so non existence simply wouldn’t have really mattered.

      And really? Have you ever been to an orphanage? I wouldn’t condemn ANYONE to that life. Not to mention the physical, emotional, and psychological damage a woman would likely go through (not including the medical bills, lost income, etc) during an unwanted pregnancy, unwanted birth, and adoption process. Is that really more ethical than taking a pill to dislodge a clump of cells? You have your priorities screwed up lady.

  16. Grace56 Says:

    Your are seeming to base your argument on somethings ability to feel pain. If an infant is born with congenital analgia and cannot feel pain then is it okay to kill it? This infant would not be able to feel pain, nor understand a concept of death or being killed, and its parents are responsible for sustaining that being’s physical well-being, no matter how much this may encroach on the parent’s body”

    Having sex with the knowledge that what you are doing could very well (contraception or not) result in pregnancy ipso facto grants permission to that foetus (or whatever it’s called) to use your body. An abortion is not, therefore, about stopping the “forced” donation of an organ, it’s far closer to donating that organ and then forcing the other person to give it back, despite knowing that you’ll kill them in the process.

    • geschrei Says:

      “Having sex with the knowledge that what you are doing could very well (contraception or not) result in pregnancy ipso facto grants permission to that foetus (or whatever it’s called) to use your body. An abortion is not, therefore, about stopping the “forced” donation of an organ, it’s far closer to donating that organ and then forcing the other person to give it back, despite knowing that you’ll kill them in the process.”

      Thank you Grace. I believe that’s the best-formed argument against abortion that I’ve ever encountered. I hope you don’t mind if I use it elsewhere.

      • Heather Says:

        Nothing grants anyone or anything to the right to use your body without your permission. Sex is a biological function- and not one that can be readily withheld (you can try but you will psychologically and biologically fuck yourself up). And that doesn’t even count children/teens whose brains aren’t even fully developed or other circumstances. I’m married but I cannot have more children for my own health… if i got pregnant (even though i’m on birth control) I would not keep it. I would risk my own life if I did.. and I will not.. but am I just supposed to never again have sex with my own husband? How moronic! Sure, you can use that argument.. if you want to be laughed at.

  17. When Is It Alright to Kill? « Symptom of the Universe Says:

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  18. Grace56 Says:

    Heather, that makes you a **rare** exception. Also I believe most people will agree to an abortion on the rare instance that a mother’s life is endangered.

    And you seem to have so little regard for humans that you don’t think they are capable of **SELF CONTROL**. That is make us different from animals is our ability to have rational thought and make intelligent choices. Humans don’t have to give in to every biological urge the moment we feel them. I suspect you have restrained yourself many times until there was a more appropriate venue. Humans don’t get F – up because they practice self discipline and restraint. In fact self-discipline and restraint was commonly taught until a few decades ago. That is a myth. Greatness and success depends on self discipline.

    Apparently animals are far more import to you than humans You are all for “animal rights” even to equate them with humans. Yet you are fine with the wholesale slaughter of the most most defenseless of all, a human fetus. So far you have justified the murder of humans on the most flimsy of reasons most of which can be boiled down to “I’m too lazy to be responsible for my actions so it is ok to kill the resulting human life” But is is evil to eat animals for the same reasons.

    I find this thinking supremely hypocritical as well as disordered. You go on about how evil it is to eat animals simply because of convenience yet you think it is fine to kill a human for the same reason.

    • sapblatt Says:

      So with Heather’s health issues included – if she were to become accidentally pregnant “those are the breaks”? People use birth control – birth control is not perfect – condoms can break, pills have failed, diaphragms and spermicide have failed etc. So if Heather’s failed she should go forth with a pregnancy that could jeopardize her life? Restraint in this case would mean “because the person cannot have a baby again she should abstain from sex until menopause so there is no risk of pregnancy.” Life dies – it happens every second. Where do you draw the line? I assume you do not believe or practice the idea that a woman should get pregnant every time she ovulates – or that a man masturbating is killing thousands of potential lives? How about stem cell research? 150 cells “die” so that we can better learn how to cure diseases. For comparison sake, the brain of a common house fly has over 100,000 cells. There is a big difference between having an abortion (which is a regretable decision – but one that must remain a women’s right) and getting a 45 and shooting someone in the face.

    • Heather Says:

      Grace, you don’t seem to understand psychology or biology past an iota of whatever they taught you in high school. Will power and self control are controlled by chemicals in the frontal lobe- varying amounts in each person- the degree to which you can access will power/self control depends greatly on mood, chemical factors, other things on your mind, etc. More so, the chemicals that are released in our bodies during arousal suppress the chemicals needed for self control/will power and dull the parts of the brain which control long term consequence thinking and decision making skills. Teenagers brains are not fully developed and they have even less of these resources than others- so yes, we are just animals and we are still controlled by our natural urges and instincts to a degree. It’s a ridiculously complicated issues and you cannot just boil it down to “just don’t do it” because that’s moronically naive and ignorant.

      Have I controlled myself before? Sure- could I do it forever since I don’t want more children? Hell no! I also have an incredibly low sex drive due to my medical issues and I *still* couldn’t go forever never having sex.

      I am all for human rights- fetuses are not humans.. they will become humans one day, but the rights of the mother and the already formed humans trumps that of a glob of cells. Not killing an animal wouldn’t hurt anyone- however, allowing a fetus to develop when it’s unwanted could hurt many many people- including the child.

  19. Grace56 Says:

    A fetus is a **human** at the moment of conception. That happens to be a fact! Not a lump of cells. You have just proved my point by indulging in dehumanization.

    Would you kill an newborn because he/she needs to be taken care of and it clearly isn’t an adult? That is your reasoning. This is a very accurate analogy…at fetus is to a baby as an baby is to an adult. You can weasel word it all you want but a fetus is a human.

    Heather I feel very sad for you because you have reduces humans to nothing but slaves to biology. The sum of human history clearly shows that isn’t true.

    FYI using a very rare “what if” event to for abortion shows you really don’t have much of an augment. And I never said she shouldn’t make love to her husband.

    You realize that 99% of abortions are simply done for convenience sake.

    AS I have said, you a a lot of posturing for “animals rights” but you don’t care about the wholesale slaughter of defenseless humans.

    • Grace56 Says:

      If all there is to be human is a series of chemical reactions then there is no love, no pain, no compassion, no comfort, no beauty. There are no roses, no Mona Lisas, no Beethoven sonatas, no teenage puppy love. All that’s left is chemical reactions, light waves and vibrating molecules.

      • Heather Says:

        Grace, love is a chemical reaction.. everything we see, hear, feel, sense, it’s all the brain performing complicated tasks. The fact that love has to do with chemicals in the brain and strengthening of neural pathways doesn’t make it nonexistent- it just makes it a natural phenomenon. Pain? really? Did you miss the part in basic middle school science where they explained how pain is a series of electrical signals sent to the brain to signal something is wrong and help with danger avoidance? Just because something can be explainable by science doesn’t make it nullified- it just makes it more fascinating.

    • Heather Says:

      a glob of fetal cells is NOT a human at conception. It’s not a fact. Not legally, not scientifically- only in the twisted brains of right wing religious fanatics. A newborn is a fully formed human- a clump of cells is not. Your comparison shows your complete and utter ignorance on the topic.

      Human history, by the way, shows us exactly that we are slaves to biology. Everything done in history can be boiled down to biology (and subsequently psychology, sociology, and neurology) and it all becomes incredibly predictable.

      And aren’t you saying that I shouldn’t have sex with my husband? If I don’t want more children what other option would you give me? According to you, having sex means I’m giving up the right of my own body, health, etc. (it’s also not a rare what if… a large number of abortions are done because they would adversely effect the health of the mother- physical or mental- not to mention that birth *always* effects a woman’s health. it’s one of the worst things you can do to a woman’s body and there is *always* danger of death).

      You’re talking about ruining lives and taking away the rights of women because you give more right to fetal cells than to the women who happen to have them attached to their uterus. That’s ridiculous

  20. sapblatt Says:

    Sorry Grace – but a fertilized egg is not a human – you will not find a court that will agree with your take. As the fetus develops it gets closer to human status, but until it exits the mother it is not afforded the same rights. Your question of would we kill a newborn is ridiculous – a newborn has been born and has full status.
    Curious – are you religious at all or do you just believe nothing should ever be killed or harmed? That is a beautiful utopian ideal, but it is impossible. We are all better off lessening the need for abortions thru birth control and education. Abstinence is a joke – and actually increases teenage unprotected sex.

  21. Heather Says:

    Mike, as you know (I hope), I would not argue that meat was essential to our evolution and brain development. However, it’s not because it was specifically animal protein but protein in general along with essential fatty acids, B-12, omega’s etc. All of those things are hugely important to human brain function- and all have vegan sources currently. Would we regress without meat? Of course not- not unless, somehow, we had to go back to hunter/gatherer status and no longer had the food sources available as we do now.

  22. sapblatt Says:

    I know Heather – I know you support meat eating when/where it was necessary – 3rd world if they had no other resources, ancient times etc…your well-stated case involves the modern times and the mechanization and wholesale slaughter etc.

  23. Grace56 Says:

    Dr. Hymie Gordon, chief geneticist of the Mayo Clinic, may speak for the medical community in saying, “It is an established fact that human life begins at conception.” Also, Harvard University’s Prof M. Matthews-Roth says, “It is scientifically correct to say that individual human life begins at conception.” From the point of conception, from the point the female egg and male sperm unite, there is formed a distinct, unique, human life. It is not the life of the mother. It is not a part of the father. It has a complete, unique, never to be repeated genetic code, and a complete complement of 46 chromosomes. As already noted, within l8 to 25 days it has a heartbeat. At 45 days it has brain waves. At 8 weeks it has fingerprints, a fully formed structure, and all its organs are present. At 9-10 weeks the child can squint, swallow, and move its tongue. At l2-13 weeks it sucks its thumb, recoils from pain, drinks the amniotic fluid and kicks. Fifty percent of all abortions occur after the 8th week, at which point everything that will be found in the fully developed human being has now been established.

    • sapblatt Says:

      …yes – we know that – you are still putting this potential birth ahead of the already alive woman.
      I will be happy to continue this debate – but I would like to know if you are religious or not – i believe I asked that question yesterday.

  24. Grace56 Says:

    I am putting neither ahead of the other. I believe the baby has just as much rights as the mother. I have state my position clearly. If Vegans are so fired up about not casing harm to animals because it is cruel then they should also be against abortion.

    You keep bringing up the very *RARE* event of a pregnancy that might cause death to the mother. Because it is rare and not typical it is side tracking. Remember the discussion was about “animals rights” I’m calling hypocrisy on most of these Vegans.

    What I believe or not is meaningless here. I have been stating facts, you have been dealing with feelings.

    My question about the newborn is a valid one. A newborn is not much like an adult. It can’t take of of itself. It can’t reason.

    Since you only consider some traits as “human” (as you are choosing to ignore biology)it is a fair question.

    As I have repeatedly stated a fetus is like to a baby as a baby is like unto adult.

  25. Grace56 Says:

    FYI people who were pro-slavery used to justify slavery by saying Negros weren’t human. Just as slaveholders and their allies once denied that Negroes were human beings, so do abortionists and their allies today.

  26. Jo Tyler Says:

    Regardless of how one feels about a woman’s right to have an abortion, we can all agree that enslaving killing nonhuman animals to satisfy our trivial desires causes unnecessary suffering.

  27. Cornelius Says:

    I see nourishment, is trivial…..

  28. Lee Says: go girl! A heartbeat at 45 days? I think we can all agree that anything that has a heartbeat is ipso facto “ALIVE”. ok, maybe not Heather who believes that all of life’s reactions boil down to a chemical reaction (How sad for her). You can never have an intelligent debate with pro-aborts with them using vulgar languag and resorting to derogatory name call like “righ-wing religious fanatics”

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