Alvin M. Revzin amrevzin at
Mon Dec 25 12:15:50 EST 1995

In article <Pine.A32.3.91.951222154841.37689A-100000 at>,
Sandra L Wegert <sandraw at U.Arizona.EDU> wrote:
..In short what do I say to
>> somebody attacking my vegan life style with this???????

Pain has many definitions, almost all of them fairly arbitrary. We know
about pain in people because we are people and can communicate fairly
accurately with each other. As you move away from people, things get more
arbitrary because communication becomes more difficult to establish. That
is, we think we know when a dog feels pain, but we cannot really know it,
for a dog, and know progressively less about pain for a fish, for a fly or
for a fern. 
So, we tend to develop arbitrary criteria. 
For your purposes, there is no real answer to the question for, by some
definitions, you are causing pain to plants when you harvest them. For
that matter, your very existence results in the death of thousands of
animals whose food and space you are occupying. This poses a moral
conundrum for many, but a false one. We are as much a part of nature as a
tiger. It is in the tiger's nature to eat meat, or anything else it can
get hold of,-- and it is in our nature to do the same.
So,- we need no justification for any dietary preferences we may have,
always excepting, of course, cannibalism  :-).

Happy Holidays

Al in OK

A. M. Revzin PhD 

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