Luke wrote:I was just trying to picture what would happen if a province or country all of a sudden had a great awakening of conscience and decided to stop all killing of animals and immediately shut down all its slaugherhouses. What would happen next? You would have thousands of former livestock animals to take care of. Who would take care of them? Would the government have to tax people to pay for the continuing care of these animals?
KeithBC wrote:Well, it's an implausible scenario to start with. More importantly, it is an example of what Pema Chodron called "idiot compassion" - something that sounds at first thought like it ought to be compassionate, but which ends up causing more suffering than it relieves.
KeithBC wrote:All those animals with no one to tend them; all those workers suddenly unemployed ... it is a nightmare scenario.
KeithBC wrote:The day that the last slaughterhouse closes will be a day of great happiness. But I am not unrealistic enough to think that shutting down the industry overnight would be a good thing.
Luke wrote:Perhaps. But shouldn't killing animals for food (outside of an extreme survival situation) be called "idiot brutality"? Is "idiot compassion" any worse than "idiot brutality"?
Is saving one animal's life less valuable than saving one person's job? You seem to think "yes," but I think "no" because I feel that killing is almost always the worst possible action according to Buddhist ethics.
Luke wrote:You seem to view the lives of animals as being of much less value than the life of a human.
KeithBC wrote: I see the automaticness of your assumption (i.e. "almost always") as being in that category. The entire scenario is ridiculously implausible to begin with, but to judge one outcome as automatically better than another, without a careful analysis of the likely outcomes is intellectually and ethically weak, IMO.
KeithBC wrote:What makes Buddhist ethics different from Christian (or western in general) ethics is that there are no simple solutions in Buddhism. You can't just look up in a Book and find a commandment that makes it a no-brainer.
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