Answer

Re: The problem of slaughterhouses, discussed at the word 'pig'.

I don't think there is an 'answer'. I think that people will do what they want, and an unimaginable cascade of positive and negative consequences will result. Vegetarians will avoid meat, omnivores will eat meat, both will purchase other nefariously-produced products, and the companies that want big money* will continue to wreak massive, irreversible, undeniable ecological destruction upon the planet, as well as subjective ethical sins against life forms that we empathize with (some of us, anyway).

*As well as lots of poor folks in less-industrialized nations that feed into inhuman, cutthroat capitalist businesses to support themselves and their families, often as a result of such companies destroying their family/culture's previous way of life through the destruction of natural resources, such as farmlands, forests, uncontaminated groundwater, healthy biodiversity of wildlife, etc..

If someone wants to do something and does it, I don't really see that as a problem. Rather, I think it's only a problem if someone can't manage to accomplish something that they want to. There are some cool innovations coming out, like lab-grown meat that doesn't require the participation of any living animals, but omnivores' preference to eat the real tissues of a real animal despite the availability of cheaper, healthier, more ecologically sustainable foods that can function as dietary (and even aesthetic) equivalents illustrates to me how the average person (at least in my area/culture) couldn't give a shit what happens outside the confines of his or her immediate experience, and moves only glacially away from what's familiar in favor of what's responsible.

I don't want the world and life as we know it to end, but it's looking more and more like that's going to be the end effect that we're going to have on the planet, and avoiding this fate is looking more and more like a challenge that we, as a species, aren't capable of overcoming.

Materialism, basically. Materialism and greed are the only thing that can destroy everything great that we have going for us in life, and we've got it, in spades. However, I think that it's clear that the motivation of materialism and greed is also powerful enough to ironically save us from this self-induced fate (though possibly just send us down another hellish path). Once it stops being profitable to behave recklessly, the most powerful entities on the planet (massive corporations, the general consumer base, and superpower governments) will stop, plain and simple. If we can collectively trick this monster into pulling a U-turn, there might still be humans around in another thousand years.

View Thinker #c00f9b's profile

I agree with almost everything you said. It's hard to avoid getting things that are free of conflict, and this goes well beyond the world of agriculture.

I responded to the pig entry because I felt the need to defend the honor of some farmers I know. These are good honest people just looking to support their family, most sell their products to larger cooperations. I guess I keep sticking up for farmers because in my relatively few years on the planet I have seen my hometown (an surrounding areas) change from being a very rural farm area to being plowed over and covered with Mc Mansions. These were not unused parts of land either, almost all of them were once farms.

Evil and unethical farm practices are not only putting honest farmers out of business by outselling them, in so many ways they are ruining a way of life. You never know if the butter your buying came from a nice farm a few miles away from your home, or from a larger and more cruel farm somewhere else, less of a conflict with veggies but I don't know if my frozen peas came from a farm down the street or one in another country with unfair labor practices.

An added caution comes with buying locally. There is a touristy farm near me where they sell produce, but for a fee you can go out into the orchards and pick your own. Obviously you know the labor is fair when your picking your own fruit, but in the farm store itself a lot of times you will find apples or nectarines that are from very far away despite there being a perfectly good orchard out back.

It's just insane, the world has gotten to a point where things as simple as eating have become complex matters of morality. Do I buy the Chilean nectarines from the local farm because it will help prevent the lands from being turned into a development, do I buy the butter knowing that the lovely farm near me which sells their products to a large cooperation which has farms that have unforgivable conditions and my butter may have gotten mixed up with theirs.

Even when your killing your own food, there is somewhat of a balance. While, quite understandably many people see hunting and fishing as wrong, few people know that the money from hunting and fishing licenses go to keeping the animals healthy. Getting vaccines, scientific study on the animals population, and funds to help clear out problems in an area (red algae, ect) . Size restrictions, and kill limits make sure that a balance is maintained in a population. Example, Deer in our area are highly overpopulated since all predators were driven from the area long ago, hunters and car accidents are all that really keep the population in check. So in an odd way hunters are keeping an unbalanced ecosystem from going too far out into left field. But does all of that come even close to comparing to the fact that your taking a life? I guess it all depends on the individual.

It's such a pity that so few things in this world are clear cases of right and wrong, everything is a complex balance.

View Thinker #000000's profile

Yep. That's the tao. :-)

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The answer is there, right in front of my nose, and I still can't do anything. I still can't make it happen.

It's times like this I wish alcohol could give me the confidence I lack, but it doesn't. Nothing does.