Lop-Sided Philosophy: VegetarianismPositronWildhawk The typical human diet requires a cocktail of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms in a chemically volatile but at least 0.2% edible selection of substances which we call food. Sustaining the chemicals that one needs to remain functional requires regular oral doses of the flesh of living things such as leeks, deer, the bacteria that won't give you appendicitis, and bars of cocoa-infused invertebrate carcasses.
The problem here lies in the equal rights of animals and plants. The food which comes from the harvested contents of animals, dubbed "meat", is incredibly popular. There are entire fast food joints named after a species of North American chicken. But it is not the most consumed matter, nor is it the most ethically produced and well-spoken. It has been argued in the name of religion, ethics and emotional attachments, perhaps lust for sheep by Yorkshire hillbillies, that consumption of meat is a no-no. This highlights the inequality of animals with plants in modern society.
Our world is full of campaigns to reduce the consumption of meat, forcing parts of the world to compromise our proteins in the form of lentils and walnuts. To make us value the lives of turkeys and other TopTenners as much as our own. But this is still discrimination. Not once have I seen a stand being made for the legally alive potatoes and peach trees, except seeing stands being made out of trees. Neither the plant nor the animal has made its own stand, but when it comes to supporting the rights of another genetic species, we have thus far only supported those that give us meat. Now what are the reasons for this?
A plant is also a living being, and they have proven intelligent and wise in a radical form, having taught us internet saps some truly dumb ways to die, and their accommodation and nutrition for worms and owls have been fruitful. An onion, like us, makes use of free energy from oxygen and carbon dioxide for what scientists have best defined as life. An individual in favour of the sausage-suppression movement would argue that all lives are worth living, regardless of how boring it is, or how often you call your parents at the age of forty. Regardless of being an evolutionary minority, you have a life. A plant may have the boring life of remaining as a static root sprout, but it's still a life. Should we be made to believe that this is hypocrisy on their part, or preju-ice the natural producers legumitimately?
First, let us reflect on how we, as highly evolved beings, differentiate from every other species. We are able to decide what we eat, and artificially produce foods for ourselves, but this still spans from natural cultivation. Some might say we have a responsibility for selecting our edible resources, but again, this reeks of disparity. Instead we have a responsibility to keep our ecosystem thriving, to make it better for all species, which we evince neither in our metabolism nor in our action towards it. All of us continue to eat vegetation, but not all meat. But we, like all animals, eat to survive. Is the compromise worthy of our time?
The animal, like us, has the choice of consuming nutrients in the form it has evolved to deplete: plants or other animals. This is in its natural instinct. The plant has no choice but to produce its natural sugars from photosynthesis, and may thus be considered a more ethical consumer. The apple tree does not destroy insects and birds around it to feed its apples, only light from the sun and carbon/oxygen compounds.
Now consider the prospect of an intelligent species existing in plant form. A static civilisation would arise from their culture, and more importantly, would grow in a world where they do not develop the instinct to kill, and would thus develop as a more humane and sophisticated race than our own. Even if no taller than daisies, a species like this would look down on our menial meat-saving world. It would be one thing to be morally comfortable with the consumption of animals, but another to be morally comfortable with the consumption of plants.
As we continue to fuel ourselves by means of meat, we escalate towards our own metaphysical crisis. We continue to dominate our planet as an army of predators, but for what cause? Is there much we are doing to positively impact our universe, given our tendency to support miscarriage of justice towards mango trees and tomato plants, and where will it take us, despite creating an unaccustomed dominance of ourselves over the still developing plants? These plants, when their own intelligent species, could potentially learn from us, but not as much as we'd learn from them. We could massively degrade our knowledge by eliminating a sophisticated culture.
Maybe our Earth would flourish if our animal DNA was reconstructed in plant form. Maybe some of us would feel more at ease with our world if it was a world in which we did not have to hunt for mustard seeds to enhance our chicken vindaloos. Maybe if our necessary biological functions were dictated by the intensity of sunlight upon us, our intelligent lives would be made much more civilised. We would lose this primitive notion to harvest the nutrients from living organisms that require the minerals as much as we do, and become more efficient biological energy producers. We shall pass this onto our children, whose seeds need not be dispersed by intercourse; another feat of our improved civilisation.
If this is not possible, however, there is a solution that is already exploited in part in the third world. In nations where the typical human diet is restricted to three daily grains of rice, and the rate of demise from malnutrition has its macroscopic consequences, the surrounding Serengeti continues to flourish. By shunting the hunting altogether, we've already created our reserves of a better world for all of our species, and if our ethical genetic engineering fails, by letting billions live off their own saliva, there is still justice being done for our planet.
That is my lop-sided philosophy on this case, and as I continue to dwell in this world where onion goes brilliantly with fried bacon, I begin to live off the flesh of others, whether they photosynthesise or not. Why do tears roll from my eyes as I cut my onions, knowing it is the onions that are suffering?
Hello, TopTenners. Following the successful Sarcasm Series, which is not at all discontinued, this post marks the introduction of my second post series: Lop-Sided Philosophy. In this series, I tackle everyday issues of controversy on a tangent, and add some absurd solutions in a deliberately foolhardy attempt at being profound, but with no trouble to be entertaining. At least that is the aim of this series.
I don't know yet how often I'll make one of these, since life is busy, but I can guarantee more of these are to come. Hope you liked the kick-off episode!
You study a lot - JaysTop10List
The things plants produce are basically the plans for a new plant. Therefore, eating plants will result in killing a baby plant. - Turkeyasylum
They also produce the majority of oxygen which we constantly breathe. - PositronWildhawk
It's a good point, but if you want a serious answer to the question. I'm okay with eating plants because animals eat plants. Secondhandedly, by eating meat, you're eating far more vegetation than I could ever hope to consume in my life. In fact, we grow enough grains to feed 11 billion people. the reason world hunger is still an issue, is because most of what we grow goes feed farm animals instead.
Otherwise, this was fun and well-written, looking forward to future posts! - keycha1n
As we arrive life, the only knowledge we have is what nature builds us with. As we grow, we make decisions according to our reasoning and religion among other flags, but it is true that our first paradigm is nature. Still, if we are to decide life is a principle to preserve and a top priority, if we consider what nature states of it, we could check the cycle of life and the alimmentary chain. Therefore, we arrive the conclusion that in a selfish way of spending our time ln Earth, our last purpose is to make the longest, and perhaps what we believe it would be the most of our lives. As Maquiavelo said, the achievment justifies the means. When we wonder what nature states we see the jungle law, you are on your own searching for your own benefit and it implies, of course, doing ANTHING, even passing over every other being's life if with this we can obtain what we want. Nature states it. What we learn/reason throughout our lives is full of infinite alternatives depending on how we are raised and what we choose as our flag. But in the end, the human being (and every other visible being) is an emptiness of ignorance disguised in an appreciation of life that gives us the illusion of knowledge, which threatens our rightful humbleness and entertains our lives.
My point is the controversy and debate this excellent post may create should be left for a moment after we realize which is the absoulte truth and the direction life should take, shall there be one. - keyson
There is one thing that differentiates plants from animals. And that is self awareness. Maybe that's the moral basis on why people justify eating plants but not animals. - Kiteretsunu
Thus the fact that the plants lack self awareness unlike animals gives the moral reason on why vegetarians eat plants but refrain from eating meat (animals). It's the same reason why most vegetarians eat eggs too. The eggs lack self awareness like plants. - Kiteretsunu
Plants are living creatures, but the fact remains, no life is possible without some form of consumption of plants. So it's either our lives or the plants. And honestly, handing over my life for a handful of chloroplasts isn't my cup of tea. - CityGuru