Re: Extropians and animal rights

Ian Goddard (
Wed, 13 Jan 1999 23:25:22 -0500

At 09:57 AM 1/13/99 -0500, Mike S. Lorrey wrote:

>I look at criminals as a natural phenomemon of the urban economic ecosystem.
>Individuals that are denied skills or opportunity to practice productive
skills in
>the society will resort naturally to predatory economics, being economically
>carnivorous upon the assets of the members of the herd. It does not matter
if the
>predator is an Ivan Boesky or John Dillinger, it is the same behavior.
Just as
>with natural predators, criminals will develop a 'drug of choice' or
>form of prey, which is why most criminals only practice one or two forms
of crime.
>Violent crime is similarly a form of repressed predation. Since in an urban
>environment, there is no other species besides humans, dogs, cats, and
rats, you
>will get sociopathic individuals who will express their natural hunting urges
>first upon 'acceptable' species to prey upon, then marginally
>acceptable/unacceptable species (dogs and cats), then as the individual
>more dislocated from society, they may prey upon the unacceptable prey
>humans. This progression is a visible indication of the progression of their
>mental illness, but the hunting urge is not the illness, merely how the
>expresses itself in an environment of a limited ecosystem.
>This is one reason why I view the general urban/vegetarian fear of guns
and gun
>owners as also an instinctual fear that the herbivore has for the
carnivore. We
>as humans also have this instinct, which comes to the fore as we practice a
>vegetarian lifestyle, since we did evolve from vegetarian/scavengers who were
>preyed upon by many predators, including homo erectus, and the great cats.
>fear, when it becomes the core of mental illness, is manifested in
>which is recognized in the literature as an irrational fear of guns. It is an
>illness of transference, as we have a natural fear of seeing the natural
>of predators exhibited.
>When attacked, a herbivore will tend to flee, while an omnivore will tend
to stand
>and fight, which explains the whole debate over right-to-carry vs.
>no-right-to-carry concealed weapons, as it is merely a manifestation of the
>different viewpoints of the herbivorous (sublimated as an economic
herbivore or as
>an actual vegetarian) humans who prefer to avoid and flee and that of the
>omnivorous humans who would prefer to stand and fight a predator, and
would prefer
>to be equally matched to that predator in weaponry. Herbivorous humans, as
>creatures, will depend upon the 'tamed' few deviants they think they have
>of (i.e. police/government) to protect them from the predators, but will
also seek
>to disarm the omnivores due to misplaced association with the predators.

IAN: An interesting theory and a lot of valid insight seems to be in there. A counter that comes to mind is: Why would mice become prone to violence in close-in high-population living? OK, that could be because they Hunt insects. So we need to see what happens to rabbits or some group of animals that is hard-core vegi, and if it did not display an increase in violence in crowded habitation, your theory could be correct. But I suspect that even rabbits will get more aggitated and cantankerous if crowded.

Of course such experiments directly imply a naked aggression against free wills of sentient beings.

>> Also, most primates aren't carnivores, and
>> as I recall, if they eat any flesh it's less
>> than 10% of their diet (the great apes are
>> strict vegetarians), and so the idea of a
>> human "hunting instinct" seems debatable.
>Uh, not quite. While the gorilla and orangutan are vegetarians, chimps and
>are omnivorous carnivores, eating everything from roots to leaves and nuts
>fruit, grubs to lizards, birds and injured ungulates, etc. including,
>each other.

IAN: What's the deal? That's 100% consistent with what I said and know.? We've probably also seen the same nature shows.

>Now, as for humans, considering that we have evidence of tool use in the
>harvesting of ungulates (proto-horses, proto-bison, mammoths, proto-deer,
etc) as
>well as other species like the great sloth, cave bear, etc, for several
>thousand years, and we have fossilized spears etc which are also several
>thousand years old, we know that hunting has been a constant practice of
>beings throughout their history. We also know that the late homo erectus
>upon the early homo sapiens, as well as many other species, so the evolved
>practices go much farther back than just human history.
>We also know from the few cases of 'feral children' that hunting is a
>which develops naturally if the opportunity is there (i.e. there is ample
>available to develop skills with).

IAN: There is also a swimming instinct that even infants can automatically access when in water. It's an interesting line of inquiry you've opened up, but again, I think there's so many other obvious reasons why crime is higher in urban and lower in rural areas; but the fact that other causes exist cannot in itself rule out the theory you've raised.

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