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August 20, 2010

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Cats, or dogs, are carnivores.
Chickens, or cows, are herbivores.
You got to treat carnivores humanely.

Unochicago, thanks for the comment, which demonstrates wonderfully the kinds of squiggly lines we all draw: pigs, after all, will happily eat any kind of flesh they can get their snouts on. Tuna and mackerel are feared predators of the ocean. The main part of the lobster diet, in fact, is fish and crustaceans. This carnivore/herbivore distinction proves fairly shaky if we're trying to use it to decide which animals to treat "humanely" (a beautifully chosen word, by the way). I think what we eat and don't eat has much more to do with the cultural influences of taboo, habituation, and availability than any logical or moral decision-making.

I agree with your last point.

Pigs, as a matter of fact, chickens too, would eat any kind of flesh. However, they don't go out to hunt themselves. People admire "power", such as that demonstrated by the hunting skills of dogs and cats. However, we don't witness Tuna and mackerel prey very often. This is another squiggly line.

How about Chinese poetry?

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