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Hippocracy

September 2008

My soft panpsychism leads me to value all life (no speciesism here.) This causes me some issues.

Sarah Palin is against abortion and for hunting, and apparently sees no contradiction in this. Doctors, following the Hippocratic tradition of ‘first, do no harm,’ generally seem to have no problem eating animals. I know pacifistic meat-eaters, and I suspect also the occasional vegetarian war-supporter.

Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea comes to mind as a pretty good example of how it's possible to honour and revere animal life while still taking it – although I don't have too much of a problem with killing for one's (immediate) survival. We live in a world that sometimes leaves that the only option.

I'm prepared to concede that sometimes killing is necessary. We do (with reservations) have a pretty natural impulse for survival; that's the way nature works. And sometimes it's them-or-us, and I think 'us' is usually a reasonable answer. However, the times we need to kill for our own survival are becoming fewer and further between, and I take issue with unnecessary killing of anything.

KT commented:

Chch Vegetarian Centre is having it's annual vegetarian expo this weekend. It's just down the road. They have films. And treats. And workshops. Could be interesting. If you're into that sort of thing.

Christina commented:

RLP has written a post about hunters vs people who eat meat out of a supermarket, and he made a pretty good point (sorry I don't know how to make links!) I think.

Matt commented:

I'm guessing you mean Guns, vegetarians, hunters, and a divided America.

Matt commented:

And yes, that's kinda where I stand; I have room in my world for conscious and conscientious meat-eaters. (As I've said before, I think anyone who wants to eat meat should have to kill it themselves at least once.)