Thursday, November 21, 2013

QotD: Luxurious Idiocy Edition...

Over at Gun Nuts Media, Tim weighs in on the current lion hunting hooraw:
Nevertheless, people who say that Ms. Bachman should be killed (are you KIDDING ME?) for legally taking a lion bred specifically for hunting (which is totally different than the cow they ate which was bred specifically for food because…well…shutup.) will give money to organizations that accomplish nothing of value beyond paying lobbyists and euthanizing a whole bunch of animals.
I have joked before that I got the .405 Winchester barrel for my Encore in case any lions escaped from the zoo, but in reality, you couldn't get me to hunt lion with that rifle, and here's why:



That dude came »« this close to standing in a pile of his own innards.

85 comments:

og said...

And I would rather deal with a lion than a cape, or a hippo.

One of my hunting companions is a park ranger in western Ohio. He listened to years of people whine about protecting Bambi until Bambi ate thousands of dollars of pricey landscaping, then it was KILL KILL KILL! I bet if the big cat was in their neighborhood and all the neighborhood pets were disappearing, it would be a different story as well. I'd like to see any of these morons spend a week in the Sonoran desert, or in an Ontario forest, or in the Bangueulu flats and see how they felt about killing then. Those that don't starve to death or get eaten by something might have a change of heart. For now, getting them to stop licking the windows on the short bus and take off their foam helmets and see what the actual world is like outside the nursery is far too much to ask. These are the soft toothless idiots that we should be feeding to our pets, not making into congresscritters etc.

Sorry, you just petted another one of my peeves. That 405 would be OK, if you had a couple magazines full of 40 s&w hydra-shocks backing it up.

Windy Wilson said...

And cityfolk say I don't need a bayonet lug on a rifle.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised no one got hit in the ensuing fire fight.

Mrs. Great White Hunter did an outstanding job of keeping a PH between her and trouble. Well done Lady!

Gerry

Casey said...

This is why semi-auto is preferable to bolt-action... :)

jetfxr69 said...

Tam,
Completely OT, but...quoted on PJ Media (with appropriate linkage/attribution)!!

"and I at least can deeply empathize with the blogger who wrote that “if schadenfreude had calories, I’d weigh 300 pounds.”"

http://pjmedia.com/rogerkimball/2013/11/20/obama-and-the-limits-of-schadenfreude/?singlepage=true

Steve Skubinna said...

My preferred weapon for lion would be an A-10.

og said...

Two barrels good. One barrel ba..er, not as good.

GuardDuck said...

Yeah, I suppose among the benefits of more people having to go out and shoot their own lunch would be less letters to the editor with some variant of the phrase "why did he have to shoot him X times" contained within.

The lack of respect and understanding of wild animals filters over to a lack of respect and understanding of wild humans as well.....

Anonymous said...

In regards to the recent Bachman/lion kerfuffle, I have four thoughts I need to get off my mind:

1. A woman with the last name Bachman causes derangement among a certain segment of the population. See also: Palin, Bush.

2. I have never understood some people's fascination with large predators (e.g., lions, bears, wolves), but there it is.

3. Related, certain low information types hear or read about some lions in some places being endangered. This conflates to all lions being endangered everywhere.

4. To echo somewhat Og's comment above, much of the vitriol hurled at Ms. Bachman is racism straight up. After all, these lions are not eating white children, are they? No, the people they kill, and the livestock they destroy belong to, poor brown people who don't speak English. And what's a few (more) dead brown people when you can see a majestic lion from an armored Land Rover! And then fly back home and tell all your SWPL friends about it! There is a certain colonial mentality that still persists; these poor savages need mighty whitey to teach them how to appreciate their wild life.

Rob

Joseph said...

That video terrifies me every time I see it. It's like watching one of those horror films where the good guy has a chance to kill the evil demon guy and waits to see what happens instead of attacking again.

"Shoot him again you fool!!" Is what I'm thinking every single time.

Crotalus said...

I'll bet these knuckleheads who are whining about this lion wouldn't hesitate to kill any rattlesnake (hell, any snake at all) they come across

My Mom-in-law was watching the news, and they showed a bear coming down into suburbia, here in Kollyvornia (think: Ahnuld) When they decided to tranquilize it and relocate, she thought that they ought to just leave this potentially dangerous animal alone I thought, "This, from the woman who yelled "Kill it!" to me, when I picked up a harmless gopher snake that had bitten my daughter when she first picked it up (Of course, I yelled right back, "NO!"

Anonymous said...

I thought lion medicine was a 12 gauge pump stuffed with 00 buck.
I'm closer to the Zoo than you are; how big do I need to be safe?

ChrisCM said...

OG: There's a big difference between being stranded somewhere dangerous (by accident or by descent) and having to fight for one's life and the less defenisible choice to go to that same place for the purpose of killing something.
And to Anonymous echoing OG's comments, is it the case that this lion was a threat to livestock and human life? Or was it, in fact, bred and kept on a hunting preserve in order to be hunted? If we're discussing neo-colonial mindset, surely you're not suggesting that those poor defensible brown folks need a Great White Hunter to save them?
There might be some folks out there who are staunchly against killing animals even for self defence, just as there are folks who get het up at the thought of defending one's person or property against a human threat. But they're just background noise to the more pressing question which is whether or not it's moral to actively seek out an otherwise happy creature just to take its life.

Alien said...

I'd be curious to know what calibers were involved, and how many hits. Whatever the case, the calibers were too small and the hits not enough, or maybe not in the right places.

There's no substitute for large diameter projectiles with lots of foot pounds, and plenty of 'em. As far as I'm concerned, the right caliber for charging toothed or horned anything begins at 105 MM....

Tam said...

ChrisCM,

Are you a vegan?

og said...

Mmmm. Vegan. It's what's for dinner.

ChrisCM said...

I am.

ChrisCM said...

Actually, let me be a little more honest and say I'm almost vegan. Sometimes a Reese's or something gets the better of me. But I try hard.

Steve Skubinna said...

Tam, if he is, I'd bet he's one of the cowardly types of vegan who won't even kill his own radicchio. Many vegans hire mercenaries to slaughter their food for them. It's the morally superior course.

Thomas Smith said...

It was a 12 gauge with Number 1 buck according to Capstick. Smaller pellets = more lead weight in the same case size = more energy on target. Getting into shotgun distance is another matter as far as I'm concerned though. though in this case it became non optional.

Tam said...

ChrisCM,

Cool. Just making sure. ;)

By all means, continue. :)

ChrisCM said...

When I was in Houston I did a pretty good job of growing a fair bit of my own food. No radicchio, but plenty of collards, peppers, tomatoes, squash, and what have you. Would've had my own chooks, too (I've no moral objection to home grown eggs) but the city saw fit to outlaw such creatures. No zoning, which is nice, but no backyard hens, which isn't.
Now I'm cursed enough to be living in San Francisco where I don't have enough room or freedom for either.

Heath J said...

Smallest appropriate rnd for lion starts at fire team and scales up from there..

Nylarthotep said...

Guess I was hoping the lion would eviscerate one of them.

I do hunt and eat meat. Just don't see any purpose in hunting solely for a kill or a trophy. Seems like a massive waste.

But to each his own.

Joe in PNG said...

I've got to say that popping semi tame farm raised lions seems a bit like spearfishing in the Bass Pro fish tank, if you ask me. I'm not sure Poppa Hemingway or Teddy Roosevelt would approve.

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

I hate it when I am standing in a pile of my own innards.

fast richard said...

I watched that video quite a bit when I fist saw it a few years ago. I decided which shots I thought had connected and made all sorts of judgments on the people involved, what they did right, what they did wrong. Bottom line ... Lions are dangerous, shooting them is harder than it looks, and that hunter is lucky as hell.

Tam said...

Joe in PNG,

"I've got to say that popping semi tame farm raised lions..."

Don't buy into that shit.

1) "Semi tame", my left ass cheek, and...

2) Check what the zoo-raised lions did to one of their own recently.

I love cats. I don't know that I personally would hunt a big cat unless it was actively doing me harm. But I don't project my own mores and whims onto others.

Thomas Smith said...

you know when you're playing with your cat and it bites into the webbing of your hand and wraps his cute little forepaws around your wrist and claws at your forearm with his hind legs? How much less cute would it be if he just weighed as much as 100 pounds? Wiki says a lion gets to up to 500 pounds. you're lunch and there are no such things as tame cats.

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

Semi-tame... HA! I wouldn't want to be tied to a 'semi-tame' white tail deer by a lasso to my belt...

Robin said...

Orderly, bring me my brown pants.

Anonymous said...

Didn't use enough of the right kind of gun. The tourist has a scoped rifle that doesn't kick much, an ideal rifle for an accurate long range shot. The PHs on the other have rifles with express sights, much better when something big and angry is charging you.

Tam, I remember Ross Seyfried's columns in G&A and more recently in The Double Gun Journal. He mentioned that the 416 Rigby is called the 'Portugese 22' because so many PHs carry one. The consensus is 5,000 ft/lbs at the muzzle for dangerous game, the 405Win generates 3,235 ft/lbs of energy, the 416Rigby 5,223 ft/lbs.

Al_in_Ottawa

Steve Skubinna said...

NJT, whose entrails would you rather be standing in? And I hope you'd ask permission from the owner first.

SewerDweller said...

Straight up racism all through.

Who are well to tell these people how to run their country? Or how to allocate their resources.

If these people want to raise lions for the purpose of being hunted, in exchange for Tourism dollars, who the hell are we to apply -our- moral to -their- situation, which we very probably don't know shit about.

in closing, what's the difference between beef cattle and a hunt-bred lion? The lion's slightly more dangerous. Other than that, not much.

Paul said...

Personally I would have shot him the first time I saw his rib cage.

as to critters over vegies, we are omnivorous. You try to live one leafy greens and you die, unless you take supplement's.

But then I am just an old guy. What do I know.

Joe in PNG said...

I'm sure Simba there wouldn't exactly be accepting me with purrs and cuddles (well, maybe after dinner was finished).

But there seems to be an element of proper challange there- unless they are hiking in on foot, old school, and tracking the beast down- that just seems a bit more sporting.

Because, if they're just driving an armoured Landrover to a dead cow bait in order to take a shot from a scoped BAR .300 win... meh, seems kind of lame to me, more like target practise on a lion than proper hunting.

But I'm kind of old school like that.

Cargosquid said...

Cats are never domesticated. They are just too small to eat you.

If you owned a cat the size of a rottweiler.....it would eat you.

Heck, cats the size of a medium sized poodle will try and kill you.

DJ said...

I have a copy of this video on my hard drive, and it's dated 04/08/2007. I was appalled when I watched it then, and I'm appalled again now that I've watched it again. Pete Capstick his own self would be appalled, but not for any reasons anyone else has mentioned, so, here I am again.

Watch the video carefully, particularly at about 01:43. The lion is running almost directly at the PH, who (per Capstick's advice) is down on his right knee, such that he doesn't have to lead his shot. Capstick described this as a "raking" shot. He is firing a double barrelled "express rifle", he is on the same plane as the lion, and so he is in an absolutely perfect situation to deliver a killing shot. All he has to do is put the front bead on the lion's nose and fire; more than likely, the bullet will hit between the lion's eyes and put his lights right out.

HE SHOT HIGH BY HALF A FOOT AT FIFTEEN FEET. He shot AIR, and likely the lion missed his charge only because of the muzzle blast he caught in his eyes.

Professional Hunter My Ass. Instead of giving (or receiving) a high five, he should have hung his head in shame.

Goober said...

Where is everybody always assume that these are farm hunts. You are aware that there are still wild lions, and wild lion hunting, right?

Goober said...

Not only that but we have no proof that any of this is true anyway. How do we know the lion in the videos are farm cats?

Goober said...

My very good friend killed a lion last year with a 404 Jeffries. In Zimbabwe. And it was wild.

Buzz said...

I lean towards Tam's position on this, but struggle with trophy hunters.

The taking of a life is not something I take lightly.
I hunt for food.
I would kill a large mammal/reptile to protect my life, another human's, or my property.
I don't get trophy hunting, with the sole purpose being a lame brag and possibly a wall hanging.

What does lion taste like?

Discobobby said...

I respect others right to hunt as they please, but I personally have no wish to high-five 500 pounds of furry, furious death as it sails past my head. Good luck with that.

Goober said...

If it is anything like mountain lion, it is very similar to lean pork and absolutely delicious.

We love cougar meat. Contrary to what you'd assume, cat meat is really quite good.

That being said a mature male like this is probably not very tasty. Mature male anything generally don't taste very good. There's a reason that we turn bulls into steers

Anonymous said...

The big tabbies are awesome critters. Fun to watch from a distance. A LONG distance.

Never, ever, ever forget what they do for a living. They sneak up on other critters, kill them, and eat them. And they are really, really good at it.

It would also be good to remember that even the slowest of the big cats tops out at over 50 mph, and does zero-to-50 in a little less than 'oh-#@$%, I'm lunch'. Imagine what it would be like to get hit at 50 mph by the little 100 to 200 lb furball with fangs and claws that is the tan tabby, our humble little cougar. For a full-grown African lion, double or triple the size, and keep the same top speed, an impressive 55 mph.

I can't run that fast. Can you?

BSR

Robert said...

This is the one I remembered from before. Gets him right in the forehead. The action starts at 2:10.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEIGqD80N6U&noredirect=1

Anonymous said...

If it's the video I remember, the lion was a known maneater. And the hunter came within 1/32" of St. Peter's podium.

Ulises from CA

Joe in PNG said...

"Millitant Liver" was PJ O'Rourke's take on the taste of lion, if I remember correctly.

Don M said...

I wish double rifles came in .50 BMG, but I think a Barret semi automatic .50 would be good medicine for a lion.

Natural game management doesn't exist this side of Antarctica. Humans manage game, and nearly all species will naturally over breed. That means that too many predators will drop the number of prey, and too many vegetarian prey will impact the plant life, causing mass starvation. Either case, not hunting leads to rapid cycles in animal populations.

In the greater scheme of things that is true of humans too. We have just had a good run recently, and are due for a few lean years so that the evolutionary pressures can have their effect.

Mikael said...

For how "semi-tame" these game park lions are... they'll walk over to your truck and lie down in the shade. I wouldn't recommend leaving the vehicle, but they're not shy.

http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Travel/Pix/pictures/2006/09/22/africa.jpg

http://imgur.com/gallery/59N0c

Anonymous said...

It's always interesting to see when humans run across another creature that has a different view about who is the pinnacle predator.

Allen

Craig M. said...

I believe the worst job on the safari that night was the laundry detail who were cleaning their britches.

Buzz said...

No assumptions, just wondering.
I'm very much in the Andrew Zimmern school of food adventure. (except his strange fondness for brains)

Ancient Woodsman said...

Not sure what the fuss is all about. Seems to me the PH only needed to just rack the slide on his trusty 12-gauge and the noise alone would have stopped the charging lion.

Or does one have to be in the dark, indoors for that one to work?

Tango Juliet said...

Little city kitties have managed to do me an amazing amount of damage over the years. Totally out of proportion to their size.

I want nothing to do with their African cousins.

Steve Skubinna said...

We have bear and cougar where I live. When I leave the house after dark on foot I carry a .45 and a tactical light. And realistically, the light is what's most likely to keep me from becoming bear or cougar poop.

Firehand said...

Read a few years back that a lot of pro hunters in southern African had gone to a Marlin Guide Gun in .45-70 for their backup in thick brush: all those nice foot-pounds contained in a very fast-to-use package.

Just thinking about the DISTANCE that cat covered in the charge, and the speed...

ChrisCM said...

I don't want to derail a thread with my off-topic self-righteousness (so feel free to disregard or delete, as applicable) but, for what it's worth, I haven't intentionally eaten meat in 11 or 12 years and I'm fighting fit.
As for the morality of this act, I see a very large moral difference between an act of necessary violence and an act of optional violence. I think a lot of people have a strong negative reaction to the lion-hunting situation because it is so blatantly unnecessary (clearly the woman wasn't in any danger from the lion. I assume she paid a large amount of money just to get near it) and because she took pleasure in its death (which seems sadistic). I agree that people who offer such criticisms between bites of steak or from the comfort of a leather sofa are hypocritical.

ChrisCM said...

I don't want to derail a thread with my off-topic beclowning of myself (so feel free to amend my comments to be less so) but, for what it's worth, I haven't intentionally eaten meat (non sexually) in 11 or 12 years and I'm fighting fit. I'm like, 5'6" and 96 pounds, and my crossfit instructor says I'm really strong.
As for the morality of this act, I see a very large moral difference between an act of necessary violence and an act of optional violence. It really gives me a sad when men randomly punch me in my face, while muttering something about not being able to control it. I grew a beard to look tough, not to get punched. I think a lot of people have a strong negative reaction to the lion-hunting situation because it is so blatantly awesome (clearly, as a "straight" man who is afraid of wild rabbits, I soiled myself just watching the video on this page). I assume she paid a large amount of money just to get near it, which is probably a good bet, considering lions live in AFRICA. Because she took pleasure in its death, it reminded me of the sadistic look those mean men get when they punch me in the face. (Yes, it always comes back to me getting punched in the face, for some reason.) I wouldn't know, though, because I never kill anything, ever, and I am basically Jesus Christ himself, blessing the lambs and such. Seriously, check my scraggly beard and sandals. You guys should listen to me, and stop punching me in my face. Seriously.

Tam said...

Chris,

The anonymous coward above was not me, just so you know.

ChrisCM said...

Tam, I only just started commenting here, but I've been reading your blog for long enough to know that you tend to voice your disagreements openly, honestly, and intelligently. Little chance of a mix up there, then.
Bit of a shame that somee other folks aren't capable of addressing the content of contrary views without resorting to a good old fashion "youse is probably a gay." Not much hope of settling these sorts of disagreements with words. What is it the kids say these days? "Come at me, bro"?

og said...

Chris: Why is killing plants better than killing animals? Life is life. When you take any life in order to feed, clothe or shelter yourself, how does it matter if it has a face or not? Morally, if taking one type of life is repugnant it is repugnant to take any type of life. Who gets to decide? You?

ChrisCM said...

I'm still pretty reluctant to wade completely in to a moral debate about veganism here, but I guess we'll get told if we're out of line. I came to vegetarianism based on Bentham and Singer's discussions of sentience (halfway decent summary: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sentience#Animal_rights_and_sentience and this little letter of Singer's here http://www.nytimes.com/2000/03/12/nyregion/l-peter-singer-clarifies-his-attitudes-on-sentience-210803.html. But I recommend long-form Singer if you're interested).
Animal rights led me (after a number of years) to libertarianism (if I didn't have the right to tell animals when to die, how could I assert the right to tell humans how to live?), which is now I live by a simpler, paraphrased code: I will live for no creature and ask no creature to live or die for me.

ChrisCM said...

And because I don't want to leave your questions unanswered: Yes. I get to decide. I don't recognise the legitimacy of morality (or knowledge) by consensus.

og said...

So because someone said plants cannot be sentient, it is so. But plants respond to stimuli, can emit toxins if threatened, respond to their environment. They do so differently than humans or mammals or fish, but at some time or another someone has said all the things you say about plants, about animals, even humans. Of course it wasn't true, and who knows what we will discover about plants.

So you might consider revising your code, because what you actually mean,is: You will live for no creature and will ask no creature to live or die for you- except those whose lives you consider it acceptable to destroy for your sustenance. Which puts you on an equal moral footing with us meat eaters, AFAIK.

Incidentally, morality ha nothing to do with "Consensus", that's for the global warming morons. if something is immoral, it's immorality exists outside your judgement, and always will.

ChrisCM said...

Someone didn't just "say" that plants are sentient. "Sentience" describes the ability of a being to experience stimuli, rather than simply react thereto. Evidence suggests that most creatures under kingdom animalia have some ability to experience stimuli with some individual (the brain-dead) and some class based (molluscs, I'd wager) exceptions. The fact that a lot of these creatures experience certain stimuli as suffering is sufficient for me to avoid causing that suffering unless causing the suffering is necessary to acheive a goal of greater moral importance. I have determined that the fleeting experience of eating meat for pleasure does not rise to that level.
Your reductio argument--we might learn that plants have feelings, therefore it is right to eat animals--is just as persuasive to argue that we might as well eat humans. Which is to say, it's not at all persuasive at either. We do the best we can with the information available to us. I could just as easily say "Maybe I'll one day find out that all other humans are figments of my imagination. Therefore I may treat them as I please." It's a silly argument. All the evidence available to me NOW suggests that other humans are interested beings who deserve some level of my respect. So I give them that. One can make similar observations regarding animals.
My point on consensus was in response to your question about who gets to decide what is morally repugnant. I don't contend that only I can decide what is morally repugnant, but I do contend that I am singularly responsible for learning what is morally repugnant. What is "good" or "bad" will be so independent of my decisions or my existence, but I owe it to myself to actively find out these truths through rational inquiry.

Thomas Smith said...

And lions are so cute and innocent, wait I wanna get a closer shot!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZm4ZgNHbsQ

Michael Bane said...

You know, I keep coming back to a comment from de Saint-Exupery..."People have forgotten this truth, but you mustn't forget it. you become responsible forever for what you've tamed..."

We have tamed the world, and now in our arrogance we pretend that we haven't. I have hunted game in Africa, and I've seen the local Bushman tribe — the same tribe our trackers hailed from — line up for the meat allocation from the eland I shot. Every singe part of that eland was used by the tribe. We visited the Bushman village without escort and saw rack after rack of biltong drying in the heat.

Can someone explain to me why that is a worse system than visiting the Uber-Mart and outsourcing our killing to factory farms?

Secondly, I and other hunters bring something important to the table—money. Look at the Kenya model, which sought to replace the dollars bought in by hunters with ecotourism dollars. Lots more infrastructure to accommodate the larger numbers of eco-tourists (who spend proportionately fewer dollars than hunters and yet require a greater infrastructure to support them) and lots fewer animals...some estimates are as high as 80% reduction of animals since the end of sport hunting.

And to the vegetarians among us — and I count my Sweetie among them — I strongly recommend THE MINDFUL CARNIVORE: A Vegetarian's Hunt for Sustenance. Author Tovar Cerulli makes the point that the nature of the food chain is we all kill at one level or another.

I share my parrots' love of soybeans —edamame. I grew up in the South, and we all understood what happened to the deer that liked edamame as much as people did.

Sport hunting works amazingly well in many many countries. The simple truth is that if animals — game — have no value to a community, especially a 3rd World community that remains far too close to the subsistence line, then those same animals have zero life expectancy.

I love the big cats and have made the choice not to hunt them, but when we had a mountain lion picking off neighborhood dogs (and the occasional horse), had I seen it I would have killed it on the spot, as one of my neighbors eventually did. The top of the food chain does not get to live in my backyard.

I understand why villagers poison leopards or are willing to help poachers kill elephants. Unless we want to turn Africa into the Busch Gardens Veldt "Experience" (and what's left of the Rocky Mountains into the "Jurrasic Park Grizzly Tour"...don't exit the vehicle, please!), we have to accept that in the world we have tamed, even "wild" animals must have a value if they are to survive. Eco-tourists can't or won't pay the freight. Hunters do.

Tam, as always, my best...

Michael B

og said...

Someone didn't just "say" that plants are sentient.
In other words, as I said, you read something you decided to agree with and it must be true. You have only your own conjecture on which you base the concept that plants do not experience pain. Don't bother to do any more research, you will probably not like what you find. Plants have been shown to be able to recognize their genetic kinfolk. To develop and store memories. To react to inflicted injury.
Your reductio argument--we might learn that plants have feelings, therefore it is right to eat animals--is just as persuasive to argue that we might as well eat humans.
Well, that would be absurd, wouldn't it? Except that's not remotely what I said, at all. I do NOT think it's ok to eat animals because plants have feelings too. I think it's OK to eat any damned thing I want to eat, despite it's having feelings. It is my personal opinion that it is inappropriate to deliberately cause anything undue suffering, prior to killing it and eating it.
I assign all life the same value. Why hunt a lion for a trophy only, when there are lions that need to be killed to save lives? I consider mowing ones lawn to be exactly on a par, morally, with trophy hunting. It is the killing of a living thing to satisfy your own desire to have something you enjoy looking at. . And yes, I mow my lawn, and I take the moral responsibility for doing so, exactly as I take moral responsibility for the death of every damned thing I have ever eaten in my life.
As far as eating humans, well, if someone plopped a nice big Chrisburger down in front of me, I would eat it with relish. I like Hunts, but Vlasic is ok too.. Once a human dies, they are just meat. The taboos against long pig are not shared by all humans.
We do the best we can with the information available to us.
So long as it sounds cool and we can assert some moral authority over others.
It's a silly argument.
Sure. And as I said before, it's not the argument I made. Or are you saying my argument is silly because (In your opinion) plants are dumb?
One can make similar observations regarding animals.
But don't make those same observations about plants. The fact is, that humans are alive. The fact is, that animals are alive. The fact is, that plants are alive. Humans are not alive in the same way that plants are alive, but neither are humans alive in the way squirrels are alive. Because you personally do not experience the death of a plant in the same way as the death of a human, it is acceptable. The truth, actually, is that it is still the death of a living organism.

I am singularly responsible for learning what is morally repugnant.
Actually, that's not quite true, is it? You are singularly responsible for choosing what you want to believe is morally repugnant. I respect all life. And I respect the way all life tastes. I appreciate the effort the tomato plant took to create such a juicy treasure, and all the exercise the Holstein took that made it's loins so tender, in equal measure.
I owe it to myself to actively find out these truths through rational inquiry.
So long as your rational inquiry never leads you to suspect anything other than your preconceptions. Because that would be bad. Look, I don't give a rats ass what you do. But for a moment, stick your index finger up under your upper lip. Feel along the top of the gums. Feel those? Those are the roots of your eyeteeth. Lots of animals have sharp incisors but only the omnivores and carnivores have roots that deep, and it's to allow you to bite hunks of meat off dead things. You were born an omnivore, and you will die one. You can chose vegetarianism for religious reasons, or for personal reasons, but my experience has been, if you go into forums or blogs talking about the moral high ground on which you stand vs those who kill and eat animals, you're choosing vegetarianism just to be a dick.

Kristophr said...

og:

You can't have a perfect standard of morality or rights without invoking religion.

If someone tramples my basic right of self-defense, the hand of god will not come out of the sky and squish the malefactor with his thumb.

We have rights because we have decided that these things are important enough to defend the ability of others to do them.

Morality is subjective unless you are a religious person.

I personally disagree with ChrisCM's definition of moral behavior.

Fortunately for me, he is in a small minority, too small for anyone to want to codify his jainist tendencies in the Constitution.

og said...

Morality is subjective unless you are a religious person.

Why would you say that? I know a powerful lot of completely non religious persons who are wonderfully moral. Oh, sure, Catholics consider it immoral to, for instance, masturbate. Wheras other faiths do not. But theft is certainly immoral outside of any theology. As is murder. If anything, a lot of religions pervert what is secular morality by making it subjective, not the other way around.

Firehand said...

The problem with "I won't eat something that has a face, I can live well on plants" is the number of animals/insects/etc. killed in order to grow those plants. This from Australia:
"Published figures suggest that, in Australia, producing wheat and other grains results in:

at least 25 times more sentient animals being killed per kilogram of useable protein
more environmental damage, and
a great deal more animal cruelty than does farming red meat.

How is this possible?

Agriculture to produce wheat, rice and pulses requires clear-felling native vegetation. That act alone results in the deaths of thousands of Australian animals and plants per hectare. Since Europeans arrived on this continent we have lost more than half of Australia’s unique native vegetation, mostly to increase production of monocultures of introduced species for human consumption."
Etc.
http://theconversation.com/ordering-the-vegetarian-meal-theres-more-animal-blood-on-your-hands-4659

Simple fact is that EVERYTHING lives by the death of something else. You can decide that some deaths don't bother you, but it doesn't change that things die so you can eat.

Or live, in the case of a cat that's developed bad table manners.

Firehand said...

Not the video I was looking for, but ran across this on the current problems with lions:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBz9VQDuJ-0

Several years back Animal Planet had a show I somehow caught on African lions that was very straightforward on just how bloody dangerous they are. Among other things, people trying to sneak into South Africa(because even with its problems it's better than the country they were leaving) were cutting- at night- through part of a national park, and the local prides had discovered they were a lot easier to eat than chasing down antelope or fighting Cape buffalo.

Firehand said...

Again, not the one I was looking for, but interesting:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OG1NLAMQm2M

ChrisCM said...

OG, you're right that I have not independently verified the mental function of plants. I'm not a biologist, a psychologist, or any other flavour of scientist who might have something contribute to this field. There are all sorts of scientists who have researched this and have made their research available, however, and I have tried to learn what I can from their work. My lack of direct study is no more a hindrance to my ability to form an informed opinion on this than it is to my ability to know that the Earth revolves around the sun or that red blood cells help transport oxygen around the body. You earlier expressed an opinion on the truth of global warming. Is your opinion worthless unless you are a climatologist? I hope not. I would expect that you attempted to form your opinion from careful, skeptical study of the available evidence and findings. I try to do the same.
I also hope that you do distinguish between different forms of life. You may have no moral qualms with eating a human, but I assume that you have an objection to killing one without just cause. Perhaps you also recognise that removing mores against eating humans would create the perverse incentive to kill humans solely to eat them. I hope we agree that this would be bad.
You recognise some factual distinctions between the way humans, non-human animals, and plants experience life. Do these differences carry no moral weight to you? Do you see no moral difference between pulling a weed and killing a dog? I do see a difference. I privilege most human life over most non-human animal life, and both of these over plant life. I do this because I believe (yes, based on what I have read) that animals are sentient and that sentience carries moral weight.
The argument from evolution has never had much appeal to me. I have evolved to be able to curl my hand into a fist. That does not make striking someone with my fist morally right. The morality of the act is determined by its circumstances and results, not by my ability to perform it.
As for your last point: I'm not sure what I've done to make you think that I'm being "a dick." I shared an alternate opinion on the original subject matter and brought up my own diet only when asked. I've been respectful of your opinions and tried to respond thoughtfully to each of your arguments. Practically speaking, though, I grew up eating meat and I'm aware that it's delicious. I've been vegetarian for more than ten years and this is maybe the first public forum in which I've had a moral debate of this sort. If I gave up eating meat just to antagonise people on the internet, I'm playing a real long con.

ChrisCM said...

Firehand, a mate posted the same article you're quoting from on my facebook wall a while back and I had a look through it. From what I saw, most of his citations are either to dead links or to the purchase page for various books, which makes his claims pretty hard to verify. This is a problem because the essence of the article is a numbers to numbers comparison of vegetarianism to beef consumption (with some stuff about roo thrown in). The links that DO work don't seem to support his thesis either. He claims that only 2% of Australian cattle are on feedlots and links here http://www.mla.com.au/Prices-and-markets/Trends-and-analysis/Beef/Lotfeeding. When I click on that link, I see no mention of the two percent figure, but I did read this: "Feedlot utilisation levels also rose from the corresponding period [Q1] in 2012, to average 67% nationally." Maybe I'm misreading that sentence, and I'd love to be told which number I should actually be looking at, but that looks a LOT higher than his numbers. I did a little research of my own and found that the Aus. Bureau of Statistics reports that Australia produces 26m tons of wheat annually, of which 20.5m tons are exported. Of the remaining 5.5m tons, .5m is used for seed, and the rest is split evenly between direct consumption and livestock feed. That doesn't seem to support the author's argument that wheat production is a problem caused by domestic direct wheat consumption. I'd be very curious to see what portion of the exported wheat is used for livestock feed, also. So right off the bat I have a lot of trouble believing the numbers this guy is using.
2) The strawman proposition that one must either eat meat or eat a diet almost entirely reliant on wheat isn't terribly convincing either. I don't know many people who advocate for a vegetarian diet that relies primarily on wheat, rather than fruits, vegetables, and numerous other crops that might not require the level of soil degradation this guy uses as an argument against wheat.
It's a great point that simply not eating meat isn't a perfect way to stop animal suffering, but this article makes that point with bad data and worse logic. I'm sure my diet causes some suffering, but I'm also quite confident it causes less than alternatives in which I would eat meat.

Firehand said...

Not just soil degradation, and not just wheat(who the hell said it was? that was just the example used); it's all the insects and varmints you have to kill to get the crop in. ANY crop in any quantity.

Like it or not, every living thing depends on death: from the little things that die in or on the earth and quietly rot away to feed the soil, to the plants that live on those nutrients to the animals that live on the plants to the animals that live on those animals. You don't want to eat meat, doesn't bother me in the least; just stop pretending that because you hold some life in higher regard than others(and who doesn't, except for some 'ethics' and animal-rights retards?) changes that fact.

ChrisCM said...

The article you cited exclusively discusses wheat, so I think the author of that article, and you by citing the article, "said it was." Growing wheat for feed also requires far more inputs (acreage, fertiliser, water) than does growing other, more nutritious, crops for food because we filter those inputs through livestock before we eat them. Eating cows fattened on feedlots is an obviously more input intensive than is eating those crops directly or eating more nutritious alternatives.
I'm very aware that my actions have consequences, including possibly causing the deaths of animals, that's why I inquire into these consequences, consider their morality, and act in response thereto. I don't consider that to be "pretending."

Mike_C said...

Wow, the thread that keeps on giving.

I believe marathoner Don Kardong once said "I don't actually like the taste of meat, but I like the idea of grinding up animals and eating them" or something to that effect when accosted by militant vegetarians. (And anyone who thinks militant vegetarian is oxymoronic ought to familiarize themselves a bit with the Cape Buffalo ....)

Personally, I think it's disrespectful of my ancestors who clawed (or connived) their way to the top of the evolutionary heap to NOT eat meat. (Except sea urchin roe, that's just plain disgusting. Sorry, great-to-the-Nth granddad.)

On accidental kills related to vegetables, I remember reading that the FDA allows up to 60 aphids per 100g frozen broccoli, 2500 aphids per 10g hops (so beer is right out) and so forth.

ChrisCM said...

I hope we can all agree that the existence of the FDA carries less moral weight than that of a single aphid.

Tam said...

On that, I think we can all agree.

og said...

Chris, you asked a lot of questions that I already answered. The short answer is, that I assign the same moral weight to pulling the weed as I do to killing the dog.

At some point in human history, every humans has assigned less mroal weight, for instance, to killing the wogs than "Real humans" Your "Research" shows me that you have made a decision based on your prejudices, not any factual data. Life is life. it is either all valuable, or it is not. You do not get to decide. You just choose to decide.

DJ said...

"You just choose to decide."

And the decision you make is largely moot, as you cannot live without killing something that eats and crawls about, even if it is only the bacteria in your gut that you condemn by taking a dump. That's life on this planet. You are part of it, and you can decide, if you want, to condemn yourself for an aspect of it that you didn't invent and cannot avoid.

markm said...

I'm no expert on lion behavior, but that doesn't look like an attack to me. It looks like running the wrong way in sheer panic; the guy just happened to be in the way. However, he is very lucky that the lion didn't extend claws in a disemboweling swipe on the way past.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if there was a round chambered, but that dropped rifle indicates clearly why a solid sear engagement is a GOOD THING. It appeared to be directly pointing at the hunter on the ground.
At one time years ago I read everything I could find on African exploration, big game hunting etc- and one concern of PM's was getting shot by a client if the PM was being mauled by a cat.