Re: Extropians and animal rights

Michael S. Lorrey (
Mon, 11 Jan 1999 11:43:59 -0500

Ian Goddard wrote:

> At 10:06 AM 1/10/99 -0600, Natasha Vita-More wrote:
> >We now can afford to be vegetarian, and the foods produced these days for
> >vegetarians are substantial and contain the necessary nutrients, we no
> >longer need to hunt and kill animals for food. Regardless of meat eaters
> >excuses that there are farms that breed animals for food and that is their
> >purpose and justify this as necessary for human nutrition, I have
> >difficulty in understanding the defense. The cow has nerve endings and
> >feels pain. The cow also reproduces and cares for its young. The look of
> >horror on the cows face when it is sent to the slaughter house is a vision
> >I try not to draw up from my memory bank.
> >
> >The sport of killing animals for fun, not for food, does still occur and is
> >legal, unless the animals is a protected species. This type of sport is so
> >foreign to me that I am deeply saddened by this type of activity and
> >represents a sub-human psychology in killing life just for fun.
> IAN: Well stated! I see the extropian meme
> as inherently antithetical to death and acts
> of harm & aggression against sentient beings,
> with the awareness that there are inherently
> conflicts between human and nonhuman claims,
> but the goal is to zero-out harm to others.
> Humans need to get space-born so that they
> can stop stepping on the little guys on Earth.

Organized agriculture imposes far greater harm on the environment than either subsistence or sport hunting or fishing. Just because agriculture does its deeds by slowly, methodically tearing up the wilderness, burning the flora, tilling it under, then poisoning it to death with artificial fertilizers and pesticides, which drain off into undeveloped wildernesses within the same watersheds makes it no different, and even more heinous and underhanded than the sporting contest of animal (who happens to be human) hunting animal. The major part of transhuman sentiment which I object to is the continued insistence that man is separate from nature. It is not, nor will it ever be. We evolved as bilateral omnivores, (male hunters, female gatherers), so being carnivorous is as much a part of our nature as eating plant matter.

Vegetarianism also damages the environment because it displaces other species in the pyramid of life. The prairies which could be supporting millions of buffalo, prairie hens, quail, wolves, coyotes, and eagles are instead feeding millions of city dwelling corn flake eaters. This practice decreases diversity, creating monocultures both in the species being preyed upon (the plants, as hybrid wheat, corn, etc) and in the species doing the preying (homogenized humanity).

I have often thought that the reason why vegans are so opposed to carnivorous humans is that they feel the instinctual fear that the herbivore has of the carnivore, and are merely trying to legislate the 'threat' out of existence.

It will be interesting to see if, in our desperation to fill every natural niche, we use our technology to develop humans that photosynthesize. If so, I imagine that as more of the population shifts to such a lifestyle, there will be increasing calls to outlaw the eating of plants by vegans, they will argue that it is immoral to prey upon innocent plants (who can feel pain, as even current science has shown, are territorial, and defend themselves with poisons, both as irritants and toxic pesticides) with arguments like: "This type of predation is so foreign to me that I am deeply saddened by this type of activity and represents a sub-human psychology in killing life just for fun."

Mike Lorrey