Re: Extropians and animal rights

Ian Goddard (
Sun, 17 Jan 1999 16:16:36 -0500

Just got back on the grid after a 50-hour power vacation imposed by a nasty, albeit visually surreal, ice-glaze storm that did a lot of arboreal rearrangement to the detriment of myriad power lines.

At 10:15 AM 1/15/99 -0500, Mike Lorrey wrote:

>> IAN: If mice are in low-crowed environments but
>> get violent in high crowding, but each condition
>> is under laboratory conditions where the mice are
>> not hunting for food in either scenario, they are
>> deprived of hunting situations equally in both
>> low and high crowing scenarios. This would tend
>> to suggest that hunting depravation is Not the
>> cause of increasing violence upon crowding,
>> since the crowding is not associated with
>> any increase in non-hunting activities,
>> but is assocaited with increased aggression.
>> So hunting change is zero and yet aggression
>> change is nonzero, which speaks against the
>> theory you raise that country folk are less
>> criminal because they kill more animals.
>However, you are talking about mice and I am talking about men. ...

IAN: In the case of man, there's a good supply of alternatives to the theory that rural people are less criminal since they kill more animals.

On reason that people may become more violent when crowded is simply because they want to push others out of their way, and one way to do that is push them out of life. Perhaps that response is more of a "population control" instinct than the arising of a "repressed-hunting instinct."

Of course, interesting to observe, carnivorism arises in some varieties of frog tadpole, where some of the tadpoles eat their noncarnivorous siblings! That might work with your theory.?

> [mice and men] are distinct species with different behaviors.

IAN: That mice and men appear to respond in the same way (more violent when crowded) is a good indicator of a useful analogy, which is why they cited the study showing that on some program I've seen on "over population."

In that mouse study, it seems plausible to say that depravation of hunting was not a causal factor in the observed increase in aggression upon crowding, since noncrowded mice in the laboratory were not (I assume) hunting for food, but eating the very same lab-rat chow that the crowded mice ate.

>However, using lab mice is kinda like looking
>for the behavior in a herd of cows. They are very domesticated. Try a natural
>environment with wild mice, with and without prey. I'll try to find out if
>Labs produces a strain of lab mice which is naturally
sociopathic/psychotic. A lab
>experiment could be run with such a strain, providing non mouse prey and
no non
>mouse prey on such a strain would work.

IAN: I'd say humans are pretty "domesticated" too.

>> IAN: OK, good point, my error. By
>> "great apes" I meant the gorillas,
>> which I understand are strict vegis.
>> I guess of all the primates, they
>> seem to be the greatest...
>Yes, very. However notice how much they've evolved into a niche that cannot
>tolerate violence, and is probably what will cause them to become extinct,
even if
>not by the hands of man. Same with the orangutan.

IAN: Yes, and I agree. It could be possible to maintain the theory that survival goes to those beings that can most effectively and casually kill other beings, such that "socio-pathic" brutality and murder are the keys to success in life, and I think that grim view is only bolstered by humans.

I believe it's inherently true that those with the most guns "win"; they rule the nations and write the laws and history, and thus "might makes right" = reality.

Visit Ian Williams Goddard ------>

(+) Something can come from nothing, if, and only if, (-) (-) that something is equal to nothing ((-)+(+) = 0). (+)

"[I]n any closed universe the negative gravitational energy cancels the energy of matter exactly. The total energy, or equivalently the total mass, is precisely equal to zero."