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Eating: An exploration into the evils therein

         Eating has been a popular pastime, both for recreational and biological purposes.  All living things tend to consume some form of nutrient or another, in some form of intake process, for some form of survival process, in some form of repetitive chain.  There has been debate upon whether or not some forms of eating are moral or not.  A particular hot topic in the debate of the nature of ‘eating’ is the practice of animal consumption.  At question is the act of a human consuming ex-animals in the form of hamburger, roast, or even the questionable sourced Spam.  Ought we not eat animals, which can feel pain, have sentience, and have cute and fuzzy representations in Disney movies?  Or ought we dine on their tasty flesh so, as some believe, we might inherit their strengths, such as the stealth of a spider, or the divine nature of a Hindu cow?  Beliefs aside, this paper will put your beliefs aside and assume that the Hindu view of reincarnation is correct.  Furthermore since this paper argues using the philosophies of Kant and he believed in an absolute good, conclusions shall be applied to all, including nonbelievers.

          Before we explore the mystical arts of animal consumption, let us briefly explore human consumption.  By this we do not mean inadvertent consumption, such as that achieved by inadvertently ingesting dead tissue in acts such as nail biting (for exploration of that read my upcoming essay “Nail Biting: The Passive Sin”).  By human consumption we refer to one human consuming another or ones self.  There are many motives that would lead one to consume another: necessity, mental imbalance, or perhaps boredom.  But are these acts morally justified?  Let us apply the second form of the categorical imperative to these acts.  According to Kant we must “Always treat humanity . . .never simply as a means, but always at the same time as an end” (MacKinnon, p.71).  In the case of human consumption the motives hinge on treating the consumed as a means to satisfy a need, whether it be hunger, need for entertainment, or to acquire their courage, their rich tasty courage.  Since we cannot treat fellow members of humanity in this fashion, human consumption is not morally justified.

          Now that we have that clarified, before we move onto animals let us define what an animal is.  Since the Hindu belief of reincarnation is true and correct and very convenient to this paper let us define animals in perspective to this belief.  According to reincarnation if one does not behave in a moral fashion (such as eating fingernails), you accumulate bad karma (In a similar fashion, moral actions reward good karma).    After death if you have too much bad karma you will be reincarnated as a lower life form, such as a dog, slug, or the fecal consumer musca domestica.  Subsequent deaths may likewise promote you back to the levels of human (birds that deface my car aside, fowl immoral fowl that they are).  In this fashion we can assume that not only animals were once human, but that animals may become human in future iterations of life.  Taking this one further logical step, since animals once were, and will once again be human, they should be included in the definition of humanity.  

          Now let us return to the issue at hand, eating animals, and also to the second form of the categorical imperative.  Again there are many motives to eat animals, first and foremost being to satisfy the need for bodily nutrients to survive, while the second most popular motive would be to get into the Guinness Book of World Records for eating the most of animal X in one sitting.  Once again we are treating these animals (which are, according to the above definition, part of humanity) as a means to sate our own personal needs.  Since we are not treating these animals as ends, and denying their own worth, we cannot behave in this fashion, and therefore eating animals is also an immoral act.

          While eating will remain popular for as long as living is popular, there are certain forms of this pastime that are immoral.  Eating people, and their reincarnated vestiges in animal form is immoral according to Kant and according to this paper.  Since reincarnation is right and true and just, if you behave in this fashion you will most likely be reincarnated as a slug, and in cosmic retribution, be eaten yourself.
 by TheCosmicCheese

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TheCosmicCheese
Subject: What the hell is this? May 22nd, '03 9:26am

For clarification, this was a Ethics paper (Yes I turned this in, tonight as a matter of fact =) ).

The assignment was take a stance on a moral issue, and argue it using one of the ethical theories discussed in our book (egoism, utilitarianism, etc).

We also were required to quote the book and reference it in the manner in which I did.  

I half stole a quote from the cartoon Futurama at one point. The futurama quote is:
"And Fry, if you kill anyone be sure to eat their heart, to inherit their courage.  Their rich, tasty courage"
    - Professor Farnsworth

Ah so much fun I had with this essay.  I won't know my grade until next week, or possibly the week after.  I'll be sure to post it when I find out the details.  Hope you enjoyed every savory morsel therein =)



[Pretend the font is white in the below pic.  For some reason its  mis-allocating colors *shudders =( eww pink*]

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CityCowboy
Subject: O.K. May 22nd, '03 3:03pm

Well, I am glad I read your coment before rating your work. I felt like I was reading a text book, with an editor who decided to throw in a few jokes.

I think that the subject was good and clear, and (unlike myself) you are great at punctuation, and grammer!  I have to admit I skimmed the last three paragraphs because I was starting to fall asleep so I am giving you a 6.  If there were such thing as a 6.5 I would do it, but I tend to factor down.  Unless of course its my own work.

Good Job though and keep popsting we need more writing like this to keep everyone coming back.



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GoldenPanther
Subject: Yup May 23rd, '03 11:52am

I rather like the dry wit evinced in this work.  I should say though that rating requires a full assessment though... at least in my own humble opinion.

I definetly like the approach taken in the paper, mocking the subject matter openly :)


I'm the aged panther of the darkest reaches of your inner psyche.  Or something.
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yodelingwerty
Subject: Wow. May 31st, '03 4:34am

I'm blown away by this paper.  I sincerely hope that you both turned it in and got an a++ on it.  Wow.


I am slowly going crazy, 1 2 3 4 5 6 switch.  Crazy going slowly am I, 6 5 4 3 2 1 switch.
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TheCosmicCheese
Subject: My grade May 31st, '03 9:00am

I told a lot of you my prof prolly wouldn't like this paper. . .well I was right

There was only a single comment 'Nice Save...' as if I had just barely made a paper, and then below that

   -10 no wacki

then that was scratched out and she wrote rather small
  'wackiness ok'

I got a 94 . . . but she was *this* close to taking a letter grade off for being silly.  *THIS* close!  The asteriks are a good visual cue of proximity don't you think?  Ah well . . .oh and I turned it in late as well so it got marked off 2 grades, so overall 74

(If it wasn't late then I doubt she would have changed her mind on deducting for 'wackiness'.  Since it was already deducted she prolly decided to show mercy)



[Pretend the font is white in the below pic.  For some reason its  mis-allocating colors *shudders =( eww pink*]

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