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Atheist Community of Austin
@ Matt Dillahunty

At the outset i believe that atheism and animal rights are both mutually exclusive. So i fail to understand why Matt entered into a discourse with a vegan? But then again I cant help but quote him mentioning several times that he has a high standard of moral values than god, but that he is unable to extend them to animals. Then he takes the defence that many of the vegans kill insects without any remorse and etc..etc...

But when we kill animals for food and fashion where's the equal opportunity for those poor creatures to defend themself's? Remember that animals are bred in controlled environment and are held captive. Killing animals/ insects because they can harm us is different alltogether. And killing just to appease ur taste buds is patently immoral.

Ethical ways to slaughter may again only appease your inner guilt.

All i m saying is that humans are OMNIVORES. Humans are also RELIGIOUS. Both for the same reasons, which is IGNORANCE.

God I love meat!

Bharat.D,

You're right when you say "i believe that atheism and animal rights are both mutually exclusive" this is not an issue that has anything to do with atheism. However, I happen to know more atheists and agnostics that are vegetarians and no bible thumpers who don't eat meat and doughnuts.

Some people don't eat meat simply because it's healthier and for some vegetarians it's an ethical issue. For lot's of people it's a little of both.

The only thing I can think of that an atheist might point out is that not eating meat may be an ethical issue but it's not a religious issue. The idea of clean and unclean originated with sacrifices. It involved many things not just meat. The rules about uncleanness separated the various ethnic and religious groups. That is all this was ever about - it is not rocket science.

The regulations God gave the ancient people were not concerned with hygiene, but ceremonial status. People who were unclean were not allowed to participate in religious ceremonies. If God had been giving these laws for health purposes why didn't He indicate which mushrooms are dangerous, and which herbs increase our chances for cancer. Why didn't He tell us about the more dangerous health hazards?

There were various devices for holding an ethnic-religious group together even though it might be fragmented into scattered communities. Laws of purity, especially those pertaining to diet, kept different groups apart. Each normally respected the others rules, but the fact that each group had different taboos kept them from breaking bread together and mingling socially. They could do business with each other in the marketplace, but they could not fraternize in each other's homes. Above all, laws of purity were deterrents to intermarriage, the major factor that breaks up religious communities and encourages homogenization.

However, I think the meat issue is a dilly as a social issue:

In 1906, Upton Sinclair's novel "The Jungle" was about the meat packing plants. Sinclair exposed terrible conditions in the meat packing plants for the meat and the laborers.

You might be able to find this documentary on YouTube but I watched it a few years ago and it's very good. Unfortunately the program NOW is no longer on the air.

Meatpacking in America: Still a Jungle Out There? NOW/PBS Meatpacking in the U.S.: Still a "Jungle" Out There? Dec 15, 2006 "In 1906, Upton Sinclair's novel "The Jungle" uncovered harrowing conditions inside America's meat packing plants and initiated a period of transformation in the nation's meat industry. The Pure Food and Drug Act and the Federal Meat Inspection Act were both passed later that year, and labor organizations slowly began to improve the conditions under which the country's meat packers toiled. But some critics say America's meat business has been in decline for decades and that the poor conditions found in slaughterhouses and packing facilities today are often little better than those described by Sinclair a century ago."

Honestly... This topic made me laugh mainly because the poster is clearly influenced by Hinduism. A religion well known for its ability to create paranoia in its followers at the idea of coming back as a farm animal and ending up as dinner. It's like a joke. Ask yourself what is truly driving their protectionism of extremely low intelligence animals? It's not that they're truly compassionate, they're just selfish as a result of a deluded sense of connection.

"Devout Hindu really hate being reborn as American cows. Delicious. American. Cows."

All jokes aside. They are guilty of ignoring the reality of the animal world. Animals rape and murder each other as often as they can. It's a vicious cycle of life constantly at its own throat. Furthermore, eating plants isn't morally superior at all. You are still being a parasite. And by eating parasites of parasites, omnivores aren't any less of a parasite than vegetarians, we just have a different diet of thievery.

^^ This is why I'm atheist. I love when people completely OWN a topic, like Ash just did!

ASH SAID, "Honestly... This topic made me laugh mainly because the poster is clearly influenced by Hinduism.

LINDA SAID, There is probably more diversity of religious sects in India than anywhere on earth, and Hinduism includes a very broad range of beliefs and practices, so there aren't many things that are common to all Hindu groups. Hinduism has no founder, no creed, and no single source of authority, and it is regarded as the oldest religion in the world, with roots tracing back to prehistoric times. The major religions in India are Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism. There are also Christians and India has the largest population of followers of Zoroastrianism and the Baha'i faith anywhere in the world. India also has the third largest Shia population in the world.

ASH SAID, "A religion (Linda clarifying that "meaning Hinduism") well known for its ability to create paranoia in its followers at the idea of coming back as a farm animal and ending up as dinner."

Linda said, The Hindu religion promotes ahimsa, or non-violence. Violence must be reduced as much as possible to avoid bad karma. Hindus do not eat cows; they are considered a humans "second mother" because they provide milk and the males help the farmers till the ground to plant crops.

ASH SAID, "It's like a joke. Ask yourself what is truly driving their protectionism of extremely low intelligence animals? It's not that they're truly compassionate, they're just selfish as a result of a deluded sense of connection."

LINDA SAID: Yes, creationists or fundies don't know that we are animals and there definitely is a connection. Hinduism, Buddhism, and Taoism can also be vegetarian. The official Seventh-day Adventist Church stance is that vegetarianism is the ideal diet, and that people should be vegetarians Seventh-day Adventists practiced a vegetarian dietary lifestyle because of their belief in the holistic nature of humankind.

Not all Hindus are vegetarians. Although eating animals is not entirely forbidden in Hinduism, the religion encourages people to be vegetarian. Eating animals is allowed only as a survival means when there is a drought or famine and any animal in its reproductive age cannot be killed.

Benjamin Franklin, describes his conversion to vegetarianism in chapter one of his autobiography. Franklin was not a believer, so it's doubtful that he became a vegetarian because of paranoia over coming back as a cow. Many vegetarians have no religious affiliations.

Humans are omnivores because we require protein, which is a much more efficient form of energy than plant materials, which has allowed our brains to develop relatively quickly. Here's the source article for this:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/49888012/ns/technology_and_science-science/t/sorry-vegans-eating-meat-cooking-food-made-us-human/

Our relatives in the great ape families are also omnivorous, though to the best of my recollection none of them eat other animals higher on the food chain than bugs/worms/etc. I give it a few million years before they start eating some steak, though :)

So, we don't eat meat out of ignorance, we eat meat to gain knowledge. Precious, yummy, beef-flavored knowledge.

JASON SAID: "Humans are omnivores because we require protein, which is a much more efficient form of energy than plant materials, which has allowed our brains to develop relatively quickly." LINDA: Then he gave an article on the web as the source of that:

LINDA SAID: Meat is 64% fat so it's not the best source of protein (it clogs the arteries and is bad for blood pressure) nuts, seeds, soy products, cereal, eggs and dairy are all good meatless protein choices. These groups of food each contain different amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) and different levels of protein quality. When your diet includes a variety of each of these types of foods you're consuming all the amino acids you need for muscle growth and cell repair. LINDA SAID: (why we developed intelligence) "From Robert W. Sussman, Ph.D., professor anthropology in Arts & Sciences book "Man the Hunted: Primates, Predators and Human Evolution." Sussman says it's a fact that primates have been prey for millions of years and that fact is what greatly influenced the evolution of early man. "Our intelligence, cooperation and many other features we have as modern humans developed from our attempts to out-smart the predator." Sussman based his theories on the fossil record and living primate species. Sussman's research is based on studying the fossil evidence dating back nearly seven million years. Sussman said, "Most theories on Man the Hunter fail to incorporate this key fossil evidence, We wanted evidence, not just theory. We thoroughly examined literature available on the skulls, bones, footprints and on environmental evidence, both of our hominid ancestors and the predators that coexisted with them." The idea of 'Man the Hunter' developed from a basic Judeo-Christian ideology of man being inherently evil, aggressive and a natural killer. In fact, when you really examine the fossil and living non-human primate evidence, that is just not the case."

Australopithecus afarensis shares dental, cranial and skeletal traits with both fossils that came before and those that came after it's the common link between primate and human. We have a very good fossil record of this too. Their teeth were relatively small, very much like modern humans, and they were fruit and nut eaters. Sussman discovered that Australopithecus afarensis was not dentally pre-adapted to eat meat. Sussman said, "It didn't have the sharp shearing blades necessary to retain and cut such foods, these early humans simply couldn't eat meat. If they couldn't eat meat, why would they hunt? The first tools didn't appear until two million years ago. And there wasn't good evidence of fire until about 800,000 years ago. In fact, some archaeologists and paleontologists don't think we had a modern, systematic method of hunting until as recently as 60,000 years ago. The predators living at the same time as Australopithecus afarensis were huge and there were 10 times as many as today. Approximately 6 percent to 10 percent of early humans were preyed upon according to evidence that includes teeth marks on bones, talon marks on skulls and holes in a fossil cranium into which sabertooth cat fangs fit," said Sussman. Sussman said, "Many of our modern human traits, including those of cooperation and socialization, developed as a result of being a prey species and the early human's ability to out-smart the predators. These traits did not result from trying to hunt for prey or kill our competitors."

JASON SAID, "Our relatives in the great ape families are also omnivorous, though to the best of my recollection none of them eat other animals higher on the food chain than bugs/worms/etc. I give it a few million years before they start eating some steak, though :) So, we don't eat meat out of ignorance, we eat meat to gain knowledge. Precious, yummy, beef-flavored knowledge."

LINDA SAID; Yes, you're all an example of how smart meat makes people, just keep eating that meat! The apes did evolve. There was an ancient evolutionary split between apes and Old World monkeys. Discoverers of a partial apelike skull in western Saudi Arabia say that it now appears that a poorly understood parting of major primate groups occurred between 29 million and 24 million years ago. A 2004 analysis of DNA from living apes and monkeys in Africa and Asia had estimated an earlier divergence, between 34.5 and 29.2 million years ago. An intriguing mosaic of features on the newly unearthed fossil, which dates to between 29 million and 28 million years ago, suggests that it lived shortly before a common ancestor that gave rise to hominoids (a primate lineage that includes apes and humans) and the monkeys of Africa, Asia and Europe. This is a missing link that fills in a gap in our understanding of the evolution of Old World monkeys and apes. Both man and the apes came from a common ancestor. An animal that lived about 40 million years ago, known as Aegyptopithecus, is believed by scientists to be a direct ancestor of humans. There appear to have been numerous partial splits, and numerous different fluctuating populations with various degrees of interfertility (actual interbreeding) between them. Most splits led to eventual extinction, Neanderthal man being a well known (more recent) example. When some of the apes moved from the forest into the savanna (for various reason) certain changes happened (for instance) there is evidence a jaw mutation that reduced biting power allowed the brain to grow bigger. In the forest that mutation was a disadvantage, but in the savanna the additional cognitive power given by the larger brain outweighed the loss of bite strength.

The human genome mapping provides indisputable proof that Darwin was right. Mankind evolved over a long period of time from primitive ancestors. Apes and humans evolved from a common ancestor. We are another species of apes. It's not biblical, but each species has a unique series of common ancestors linking it to the original common ancestor. Man and apes are branches of the same tree. The ancestral line for modern humans diverged from the ape tree. Hominoids, or apes that includes orangutans, gibbons, gorillas, chimpanzees, and humans. Hominidae consists of all species on our side of the last common ancestor of humans and living apes. Hominids are included in the super family of all apes, the Hominoidea, the members of which are called hominoids.

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