Why I don't think it's a contradiction to be pro-choice as well as vegan

This discussion was started in the thread Is the life of the mother or father more important than a BABY??, which itself started as a debate on the comments page of the Vegetarian/Vegan Atheists group. In the former discussion, bringing in veganism to the abortion debate was considered to be broadening the discussion a bit too far and that a new discussion should be added. So, here it is.

I'm not saying anything that I hadn't said before, I don't think - first, while there aren't any tangible benefits to killing animals in terms of diet (see position paper by the ADA, as one example), the environment (see this report by the FAO - again, there's more, but I'm too lay to dig up additional resources right now), or clothing (I'm not supplying a link for this :P), there are many obvious adverse consequences to a woman who carries a child to term, including but not limited to physical pain, emotional complications, and financial losses.

Secondly, while many animals probably don't have the highly-developed sense of self-identity that human beings do, we still have reason to believe that they have some sense of self. For instance, an animal can tell the difference between an action taken by itself and another animal, can recognize friendly from non-friendly individuals, can discern between their own trail markings, songs and the like from those of others, and so on. These various facets of identity are generally recognized, I believe, to not develop in human beings until between two and eighteen months after birth. As a result, it seems reasonable to conclude that the death of a born animal is a greater loss of life than a fetus's, if such a thing can be measured.

As a result, I don't see any inherent contradiction in being pro-choice as well as vegan at the same time.

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Aaron what grounds an animals right if any to life and do you know of Peter Singer's arguments?
Do you know or understand the basic rights desires link?
I haven't read any of Singer's work (though from what I hear we agree on everything...). I hadn't heard of the "basic rights desires link" before you mentioned it; a Google search didn't come up with anything by quite the same name, but I assume you're talking about the position that a person's right to life is dependent on their ability to desire things? I don't totally agree with that position, or at least don't agree that desire is the only thing that gives someone a right to life - this is very personal for me, since I suffer from acute depression and have gone through some pretty extreme periods of apathy before :P.

However, I really don't see that it makes any difference; no rights are completely inalienable in practice, and in any case the issue that we're talking about isn't right-to-life in a vacuum, it's a matter of the rights of the fetus versus the rights of the mother. While it would certainly simplify matters to say that the fetus has no rights whatsoever, it wouldn't be sufficient to the pro-life cause to prove that they did have rights - that would have to be proven first, and then it would have to be proven that the rights of the fetus were greater than the life of the mother.
Yes the rights desires is difficult to find on the web, unless you have the source material its something that is often referred to in passing in papers, that take it for granted you've done the basics. I've had to ask some academics and work out the basics.

Personally even though I understand the how and why rights philsophers do this, I'm not happy with it myself. I think someone can have interests in such and such an affair or situation without having a particular cogntive desire. A baby may have no desire or understanding for it's future life, but it does have an abstract interest/relation to it that can be harmed.

Along these lines one could argue that while a rock has no desire to contine to exist -due to its nature- and nor does a non person animal, but none the less an animal has a biological interest in continuing to exist.

BTW If you are interested I'll pass on my Peter Singer uni lecture notes to discuss; I'd be interested in your feedback & we can start there.
I think you miss his point about the definition of right desire, people like me and i am guessing himself find such statements out of line when at periods in our life we did not desire for anything except the very death that would have freed us of living this life, Would that Desire to not live qualify as a desire that gives us right to live. Maybe i am also reading you wrong but how is an interest and a desire diferent are you defining the animals biological interest to live as different from a desire to say eat and drink by a human? I am too tired i shouldn't even be respnonding to stuff lol
First it is argued -I think correctly - that an animal only has basic sentient based desires eg avoid pain, not be hungry, etc not the more sophisticated desire to exist. Fear isn't a desire to exist in the future just a drive to avoid what is causing the stimulus. Humans have similar desires but as far as I can see the desire to exist is on deeper level of understanding that requires an understanding of yourself as a self.
see thats the problems with the words being used one second it is described as desires then they have to ad in self it goes back and forth and really doesn't accomplish much when they can be manipulated bottom line like most philosophy they are not saying much of anything and they back it up with no evidence for their reasoning we might as well break out a bible if we have no science behind our reasons
Part from some philosophers using jargon too much I don't think that is the case. IMO if you took teh time to be a litle more familiar with the arguments that wouldn't be teh case. Nor am I probably the best at conveying the arguments.
I don't see any quandary between being vegan and being pro-choice. Vegans don't approve of animals being used purely as unwilling breeding machines so why would they want human women to be treated as such? Remember, pro-choice doesn't mean running about forcing women to undergo abortions. It's about the individual woman having the right to decide on their own body.

If someone were to try to argue that a foetus is the moral equivalent of a fully-functional, independant, living animal the logical response would be, "well take it out and let it frolic around in the fields then."
Irrelevant, most moral philosophers if not all are looking for inherent qualities, not situational qualities to base moral judgments. So what is relevant is what they are or what they can do capacity wise. So for example a sentient animal is a sentient animal whether born or not and it is treated accordingly.
That's silly, and if that's what moral philosophers do, no one should take them seriously. Streamlining moralality plain an simply doesn't work. Taking out all shades of gray smacks of simplistic christian style reasoning. It's how forgiving "those that trespass against us," warps into letting your rapist off the hook, or how honesty turns into revealing something hurtful---to someone that never needed to know. But having predefined rules is much easier than weighing out long term consequences, isn't it?
Not streamlining morality, rather making it consistent and coherent.
That's the same thing. Streamline it, rob it of all emotion so that all roads conveniently point to x. If that really worked don't you think we'd all already agree on just about everything?


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