Monday, 13 September 2010

Morning Scepticism: Necessity

One repeated claim I hear from vegans is that eating meat and using animal produce is not necessary, therefore the cruelty to animals since it can be avoided is wrong. Now as someone who lives in the modern day, pretty much my entire life has elements of the superfluous to it. With eating meat at least there's nutritional value to it, yet there's little in the way of necessity I can argue for the scotch shipped halfway across the world in my glass. If I were to cull the superfluous from my life, meat would be one of the last things because it does serve a purpose beyond the pleasure.


Anonymous said...

I don't understand your point here.

Does the production and transportation of scotch inflict as much cruelty as that of meat?

It sounds to me like you finish by addressing the statement "everything superfluous is bad", when the original statement was "cruelty inflicted for superfluous gain is not worth it".

These are entirely different statements, and I don't understand why you (apparently) morph between them.

Kel said...

No I'm addressing the specific statement that because we don't have to eat meat then we shouldn't. It's not that everything superfluous is bad, but that because it is (somewhat) superfluous that it should be avoided. The difference between the scotch and the meat is whether the harm is direct or indirect. Because with meat we can see the direct link between the action it being killed with the action of eating it, people get more easily outraged. Yet there's plenty of suffering that goes in the process of manufacturing scotch, without even mentioning the money and resources that could have gone to helping out members of our species.

It's not morphing between them, but abstracting out the component of the argument I find weak.