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Killing Things: The Value of Animal Life.

Browder

Wishes He could Fly
If a fly annoys me, I will kill it. I won't even try to expend the extra effort in trapping and releasing it outside. Call me a terrible person, but I feel absolutely no guilt doing this.

But obviously I wouldn't do this to a cat. Or a bird. Or any animal that isn't a bug. Thought horrifies me.

Obviously this is hypocrisy. If I profess to value all animal life equally then I would try to treat their lives the same, right? So I don't profess. I like some animals more than others and I openly admit that I'm arrogant enough to decide their life and death on a whim.

I know most of you hate me but I have a question. At what point do you believe killing an animal is acceptable? Does the type of animal matter? Do you kill the fly that's disturbing your sleep, even though you work for PETA? Why or why not? Am I killing a thing or a person?

Bit open ended, but discuss.
 

Ames

it smells like dust and moon light
Flies? Just open up a window and they will find their way out eventually. It's a lot less effort than trying to swat down those tiny aerial acrobats.

But I believe that all living things are sentient to some degree, no matter how small.

I'm not the type of person that kills stuff for pure enjoyment or anything, but I will kill something if it bugs the hell out of me.
 

Eske

Don't believe the mask...
This is actually something I used to think about a lot. I think for the most part, in Western society, it comes down to sentiency. How much intelligence the animal is assumed to have will increase or decrease it's life's value. An animal viewed as unintelligent will be less valuable than an animal with high intelligence. But I don't entirely understand why this is. Is it because we have to draw the line, somewhere? Technically, plants are living beings, as well -- but we treat them like objects, because they (are assumed to?) have zero sentient ability. However, I also know that a lot of people will kill rodents without a second thought -- despite the fact that rats are actually fairly intelligent creatures. Also, there's a big difference between killing an animal out of necessity (i.e. for food), and killing an animal because it's not important and/or bothersome (such as swatting a fly). Or is there? Cows and pigs, though fairly intelligent and social, have been viewed as stupid animals for a long time. Is this why we have no trouble killing them for food, as opposed to a dog, which we actually do view as highly intelligent and social?

tl;dr: idk lol.
 

Catilda Lily

May all your bacon burn.
I kill mosquitos and ticks.
 

Ames

it smells like dust and moon light
tl;dr: idk lol.

Yeah, it's a rather difficult if not impossible line to draw.

Most people here have probably never seen a cow get slaughtered. I have. They know what's going to happen to them when the farmer comes out with a machete. They aren't stupid.

The cows cry. They literally cry. And tremble in fear. And when the other cows see the blood, they too start crying. It's sad, but that's just how things are. It's not like you can change it or anything.
 
I harm anything that harms me and I can return the payload to it.
A mosquito or a fly is ruining my day? Then good bye.

A cat bit me? I won't do anything but shout at it.

The more possibilities it will develop personallity, the more I will be friendly to it.
 

Zaraphayx

Banned
Banned
It's a lot less difficult when you realize that if the animal was in your position it would likely kill you without a second thought.

Also we're much more aware of the emotions of mammals because we ARE mammals and we share some base communication methods with most other mammals.
 

Folgrimeo

Member
I kill insects, like mosquitos or spiders or ants. They're pests, they annoy me, and I fear if they touch me they'll hurt or kill me. I don't want to find out whether a spider is lethal or not, I just don't want to be near it in the first place. Snakes I don't go out of my way to kill just because I think every one is venomous, but I've accidentally killed tiny harmless snakes before and didn't mind. Slugs I don't try to kill either because if I do, I'll never get that slime off. So for the most part, the tiny annoying things that I can easily knock off without needing to be careful.

Anything else, no killing. I haven't been in a situation yet with a grizzly bear to tell whether I'd make exceptions for "it's gonna kill me" animals, but seeing as how I've never fired a gun before, I'm going to guess no to that too.
 
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Stargazer Bleu

2b forgot is worse than death
A fly I never even give a second thought about killing them. I only killed spiders that are near my bed.
Ants in my home I will kill as well.

Flies? Just open up a window and they will find their way out eventually. It's a lot less effort than trying to swat down those tiny aerial acrobats.

But I believe that all living things are sentient to some degree, no matter how small.

I'm not the type of person that kills stuff for pure enjoyment or anything, but I will kill something if it bugs the hell out of me.

Every time I tried to do this that one would fly out and 2 or more would fly in.

Or that fly would keep bumping into the window in all parts but the open part.
 

Shico

Member
For me part of the justification in if I should feel guilty about an animals death is the level of 3 things: self awareness, intellegence, and lifespan.
For example, bugs, fish and crabs are all on the low end of those 3 things so I feel less bad about their deaths than any other creature.
I know some people who would be vegtarian but they still eat fish because there is less guilt to eating fish.
 
Kill every bug in sight. No sympathy, they're mindless, breeding drones. Besides they're not cute like mammals.
 

RedFoxTwo

Sarcastic Lurker
I'm always very careful not to fall into the pit-trap of defining "Alive" as a boolean, hence I overcome OP's moral dilemma.
 

Oovie

Fabulous Secret Powers
Kill every bug in sight. No sympathy, they're mindless, breeding drones. Besides they're not cute like mammals.
I think the world could survive with less mammals, but take insects out of the picture and everyone is fucked.
 

Kit H. Ruppell

Exterminieren! Exterminieren!
insects no i dont care about em at all, i mean theres to many anyway.

How can there be too many insects? As many as there are (how many is that,anyway?), we still ignore them for the most part.
 

Wolf70

*Insert Something Witty*
It not really intelligence that I conciser, but how sentient a creature is. Is a fly really aware of it own life? Yes, in some small degree, but is it a level of sentient thought worth preserving. I don't know. That hard to judge... I try of let pests out, unless they can cause physical harm to me.
 

Atrak

Psychological Egoist.
Flies? Just open up a window and they their friends will find their way out in eventually.

Yeah.

Anyway, if a fly, gnat, or mosquito bugs me, I will kill it. If there are ants in the kitchen, I will kill them. If there is an insect that can sting inside the house, I will kill it. I'm not really worried about them stinging me, because I would otherwise leave them alone, but my little brother would try to catch them or swing stuff at them. If I find a brown recluse, it's dead. If I find a black widow, it's dead. Other spiders and insects I leave be, unless they are trying to suck my blood or something.

The other day I was cleaning some rotting lumber out from behind our house. I got an empty wheelbarrow, loaded the wood into it, and took it off to a hole to be burned/buried. I emptied the wheelbarrow by hand, and then looked down into the wheelbarrow to see a copperhead snake. It was only about a foot long. I got something heavy and crushed its skull. Then I picked it up while it was still alive and went to ask someone to make sure it was a copperhead. I don't want to kill non-poisonous snakes. It was. That snake was not in the wheelbarrow when I started, so it had been on the lumber I was picking up with my bare hands. That was the third copperhead we had killed that day.

However, if we're not at my house, I am more tolerant. One time I found a wasp in the art building of a university. I took it outside and let it go. At my college, there was a spider on the floor. Everyone told me to kill it, but I just took it outside and let it go. If I find brown recluses or black widows, I will kill them, even if it's not at my house.

Hell, if I'm walking in the woods, I take care to avoid running into spiderwebs, which are every-fucking-where. If I do walk through one, I shrug and move on. I don't really give a fuck if I accidentally destroy a spider's web, but I have no reason to intentionally do so.

Tl;dr: I'll kill it if I have a reason.
 
after a while to think about it, here is the order by which i value life:

humans
vv
large land mammals
vv
sea mammals
vv
large birds (birds of prey)
vv
large reptiles
vv
(if there are any) large amphibians
vv
large fish (sharks, rays, ocean sunfish etc...)
vv
small mammals
vv
small reptiles
vv
small amphibians
vv
small birds
vv
small fish
vv
large plants
vv
normal insects
vv
small plants
vv
annoying insects
vv
protoctista
vv
fungi
vv
bacteria
vv
viruses

eg. i would rather kill an insect then a large, old tree, but i would rather kill grass then an insect, uness it was a really annoying mosquito, for example.


if you can think of anything else that i have clearly missed, tell me and i will (depending on if i still have internet) edit it.
 
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Kit H. Ruppell

Exterminieren! Exterminieren!
Maybe abandon the concept of the "Great Chain of Being", because we haven't always been around, and we will eventually die off as has happened with an immeasurable number of species before us. I am curious as to your size distinction though; how large is "large"?
 
it depends, there are exceptions to most of the stages, but in general, thats how i feel.
 

Kit H. Ruppell

Exterminieren! Exterminieren!
it depends, there are exceptions to most of the stages, but in general, thats how i feel.

You cannot deny that, in biological terms, the real heirarchy is the exact opposite of what you assume it is; every multicellular organism is a breeding and feeding ground for the prokaryotes.
The one thing that worries me often is the possibility that our attitude toward other species stems not so much from religion as it does biological programming, and that kindness and compassion are useless. It hurts to think of it. I'm honestly ashamed to think of it.
 
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