Re: Extropians and animal rights

Natasha Vita-More (
Mon, 11 Jan 1999 16:14:08 -0600

At 01:14 PM 1/11/99 -0800, Robin wrote:

>Here is a consequentialist argument for eating animals: cows lives are
>overall worth living, even if they are slaughtered at the end. What happens
>if you convince the world that you from now on you will no longer eat cows,
>and instead spend the same amount on fancy vegetable foods? The demand for
>cows goes down and the demand for veggies goes up. Farmers will choose to
>grow fewer cows to meet that demand, and will choose to plant more fancy
>veggie crops. People who used to have jobs processing cow meat will switch
>to jobs processing veggies. And so on.

Here is a consequentialist argument for raising cows not to be eaten: cows lives are overall worth living because they produce dairy products that some people enjoy such as milk, butter, cottage cheese, creme brulee, tarimasu, not to mention eggnog or a white russian.

Another reason for keeping some Herefords, for example, around would be for nostalgia, pastoral scenes that people driving down the highway can enjoy from afar -:)

>In order to eliminate that bad end-of-cow-life experience, you elimate
>the entire cow life experience. If that whole cow life is "worth living"
>in some sense, this wasn't necessarily a kind thing to do. (Unless you
>think those veggie lives are more worth living, even though they get
>killed in the end.)

Robin, forever the pragmatist, I revere you my friend.