Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.
The Caveman Eats: My Primal Recipes for Athletes and Average Joe's Alike
In any case, the point here fundamentally is that it isn't particularly disgraceful to reject our nature, as you've indicated.
As humans we can understand suffering, and even empathize with other beings even if they are from another species. I agree that its a worthwhile goal to minimize all kinds of suffering, but where do we draw the line? Its one thing to treat other beings humanely, but quite another to reject what you are.
I recommend reading "The Selfish Gene", by Richard Dawkins. Its sure to make you question what exactly "a moral high ground" even means in this context.
I find it kind of irritating when people say that animals are different because they "have instinct" or run on instincts. This is incorrect. Humans have instincts, animals have instincts. Instincts are things like: wanting to eat, newborns rooting for a nipple, babies getting up and walking, cats chasing things that move, moms taking care of their babies (and depending on species, dads), pulling away from something that hurts. Etc
Humans and animals also have emotions. Animals can be scared, angry, happy, saddened. They express it in their bodies, in their faces, just like we do. They are all different. They can be laid back or nervous. Some have tempers, some do not. Some are lazy, some are energetic. There is more to an animal than most think, but not in the ways that people who love animals often think. I mean, animals have facial expressions. I could tell my cow was going into labor because she had a look of concern and soberness on her face. And she was not chewing her cud. Wasn't long she was pushing. But people attribute human reasoning and thought processes to animals. Their dog will do something and they come up with some complex reason why he might have done it had he been a human. But he's a dog and had much, MUCH simpler reasons. A dog doesn't like that you are happy because he wants you to be happy, he likes that you are happy because he associates that mood with you being better to him. More pets, maybe more treats etc. And I think its instinctual for a dog to be happy that his master is happy- it means everything is ok, because his master knows best, knows better than he does. If master has no concerns, all is right in the world- I'm safe. But he's not able to reason that, its instinctual, just like a little child is fine when all is fine with their parents. But if mom or dad is scared or angry, then things are not.
Humans and animals also learn- their instincts may push them to learn something. For example, a cat has an instinct to be interested in a mouse. But he may not get it. But after a few tries, he may learn and become a better hunter, same as people.
However, animals are different than humans. I'm around them every day. I have horses, I am a farrier, I have beef and dairy cattle, I have cats, dogs, I have chickens and dairy goats. I not only am around them every day, I work with them, I train them, I learn how they think, how to get them to do what I want them to do- I have to know what they are going to do before they do it as much as possible, to not only prevent injury to them or myself, but to keep things going smoothly- because upset animals don't produce as well, or don't do what it is I need them to do as well. I also consider them because I love animals and their little worlds interest me. Their psychology is very similar to ours, with different variations unique to different species. They learn by sensitization and desensitization, they associate. And all the social animals all have a hierarchy. Someone is in control at all times (when I'm around it's me). This animal or human, if a good leader, is a comfort to the subordinates, even if they correct and control the others, even sometimes harshly (but fairly). Anyone who thinks it's cruel to "control" a horse, needs to watch a herd for a while. There is no horse who is not controlled by somebody at least part of his life and he doesn't care if it's horse or human (except when the human is not good at speaking or understanding horse and causes the animal stress because of it). If he's in control, he's earned it and he's probably been through a lot and a very fast and smart and even "wise" (not philosophical wise, but doesn't get upset easily, knows what things are worthy of fear and what are not, knows better ways to get out of bad situations from experience etc) animal (in a wild herd). It is in a horses nature to be controlled, to have a leader, far more than to be one.
That said, how are animals different? I think one big thing is, they do not understand time. Time of day, yes. They have routines. But they don't know how old they are. They don't know how long ago the ice storm came or how old their babies are (but they do know who they are). They all die. But if they die at 20 years old or 1 years old, I don't think it matters to them. They don't wish for longer lives, they just have that instinct that us humans have, to survive- they never really "want" to die, but they all do. They don't know when it was that a dog got in the herd and killed one of their own, they just know that they have an association that they are terrified of dogs. Animals don't know how or why, they don't, they cannot think outside their lot in life. They know the things they need to do (but don't know they know them, if that makes sense), they have the skills for their own little world, they start with the minimum and have the capacity to learn within that set lot in life. But nothing else beyond it. But they are very sensitive, small changes can totally change the hormone environment in their body. A smell, a certain person's presence.. all by association or instinct.
Animals are killed every day in nature, much more traumatically than we humans usually kill them (but thankfully are equipped with hormones and systems that will put them in shock and prevent a lot of suffering). We are the only predator that considers the feelings of our prey- as we ought to. But I can tell you, they don't consider ours.
"more you is like extra bacon with my food" - my bay <3
yeah you are
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