Can a vegetarian that doesn't eat animals because they don't like the thought of causing the animals pain,

eat animals that don't "feel" pain.

Animals such as clams, oysters and scallops can NOT feel pain. In order to feel pain an animal has to have a brain to process the sensation. If they don't have a brain they can't "feel" pain. Clams, oysters and scallops don't have brains.

So, if a vegetarian who doesn't eat animals because they don't wish to cause them pain won't eat these bivalves, what would the reason be?


austin--C'mon. Tell us how you really feel! LOL

Update 2:

queen---I understand what you're saying and respect it, but you're answering the question using your reason to not eat meat and not the one I provided. I'm asking the veges that don't eat meat because of the causing pain issue.

Update 3:

basket---see queen's additional details

I'm sorry you don't like the question. Complaint noted.

Update 4:


Update 5:

wine---we're gonna need something that's available on a more regular basis....LOL

Update 6:

twilight--I respect your answer but again I'm not talking about vegers who don't eat meat because they don't want the animals killed, I'm asking about the ones who don't eat meat because they don't want to cause the animals pain...there's a difference.

Update 7:

catkin-----good answer. Science has proven that the bivalves don't feel pain. They react to "pain" in the same way that science has proven plants do. It's chemical.

Update 8:

J.R.--Go to shell LOL that's a good one. Fish have brains. Do vegers who think fish don't feel pain have brains?

Update 9:

Laredo---it's back to school for you.

Those are ALL animals. They are invertebrates, but they are animals nonetheless. Crustaceans (along with insects and spiders) are in the arthropoda phylum. Bivalves are mollusca phylum.

Update 10:

Jess---you did not answer the question asked.

Update 11:

sweetpea--"So if you put a person under anesthesia, you could kill and eat that person because it wouldn't cause him/her any pain?"----bizarre analogy.

Update 12:

jenny----thanks for your answer but the question was aimed at VEGETARIANS who don't eat meat because they don't want to cause the animal pain. That's not you is it?

Update 13:

jenny---I'm used to being attacked...LOL....a lot of these folks are quite familiar with "me".

Update 14:

I can only shake my head is disappointment at the lack of comprehension exhibited to my question. I'm asking a question to vegetarians who don't eat meat because they don't want to cause the animals pain. Why are people who are vegetarians for other reasons answering the question? I guess they have a right to but it not helping answer my question.

Update 15:

sandstorm---people don't eat people. Would you mind answering the question?

Update 16:

drusilla--"the fact that bivalves have some sensory system, though primitive, would probably be enough to convince them to avoid bivalves,"---while the details are different, bivalve's response to "pain" is very similar to plant's response to "pain".

Update 17:

prodigy--"A vegetarian is someone who does not eat any animals/animal by products"---are milk and eggs considered "products" and not "by products"?

Update 18:

tweety---plants react the same way, they move away as best they can but are fixed at the base in most cases. Bivalves and plants react the same. So the pain reaction argument is moot.

Update 19:

prodigy-----you are a hypocrite of a different sort, you expect me to be moved intellectually by your responses while you ignore my message and condescend me in the process. Very typical vegan elitism. Maybe when you aren't so full of yourself you will realize that I'm here to learn and then maybe your knee-jerk defense mechanism can take a question off.

"Next time I will make it easier for you to comprehend"

Case in point. Condescending.

If you wish to be talked down to on a regular basis it's not difficult to achieve. I asked you an honest question because your wording didn't fit what I consider common knowledge.

If you don't like my questions NEVER answer them. If they're going to be misplaced condescension, they won't be missed anyways.

25 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    If pain was the only reasoning a person decided to become a vegetarian... sure, they could eat clams. Although the hardcore veggies might show up to picket their house. I can see the signs now "Go to Shell : Leave Clams Alone!" and "The World is Your Oyster, The Oyster is NOT Your World!"

    I think this is why some people are pescetarians... they don't think fish feel pain, so they go ahead and eat it.

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  • 1 decade ago

    That's a really interesting question.

    Most people don't go veg just for that reason only, so it's somewhat hypothetical, but I'm not sure most veggies who did avoid meat simply because of the pain involved would eat the bivalves. First, it's an easy cutoff to simply say - nothing in the Kingdom Animalia is going to cross my lips. Second, the fact that bivalves have some sensory system, though primitive, would probably be enough to convince them to avoid bivalves, simply because you can't be totally certain that they feel no pain.

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  • 1 decade ago

    A vegetarian is someone who does not eat any animals/animal by products.

    Your question is like a double negative. People that don't eat animals because they do not want to cause anything pain may eat clams, oysters, etc. However by eating these animals they are no longer a vegetarian(since they are now eating meat). People can eat anything they choose, I'm sure there are people out there that follow this method of thinking, they are not vegetarians though.

    It reminds me of a question I heard once which was, "Does it make you mad when guilty people are let free?"(they were referring to when someone gets off with no jail time, despite the fact it appears they did the crime) Why does this question remind me of yours? Simple because, if a person is let free, they are not guilty, by definition. In the U.S everyone is innocent until "proven" guilty. Therefore if the person is found innocent, then a guilty person was not set free. If a person chooses to eat seafood that feels no pain, they are no longer a vegetarian.

    I believe there are people like this. Didn't they make up the word pescaterian for themselves. Most of these people don't think fish/seafood suffers like cows, pigs, etc do.


    "are milk and eggs considered "products" and not "by products""

    I was trying to be more concise with my explanation by just putting vegetarian and not vegan as well. So to clarify for you, a vegetarian/vegan is someone who does not eat any animals/animal by products. Next time I will make it easier for you to comprehend. And before editing and asking about leather, etc. I am only talking about what would not be eaten.

    Its a shame that out of the whole thing I wrote, you didn't seem to take anything from it. Which is the exact reason I usually do not answer your questions, as you are not actually looking for an answer, but rather a way of making yourself appear superior to others. You do not take anything from the answers people write, you just try and find ways to belittle their answers, harass people, and try and make yourself look as if you know what you are talking about(which may appear that way to you, but not to most other people.)

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    First, i think u need to define your definition of pain instead of putting it into quotes. Even though these animals don't have brains, they still have the ability to move away from harm and respond to noxious stimuli. They retain their ability of perception. This might be hard to believe but the brain can serve a variety functions in different animals in addition to its main role. Organisms have evolved to adapt to the environment for the sake of survival. Keeping this in mind, Perception is present in these animals w/o brains. They do have the ability to recognize a stressor (harm) and move away from it. Technically, this type of differentiation plays a role in other animals (with brains) in recognizing pain.

    Now if you don't eat animals because of pain causing reasons, think about what helps them perceive pain-its not their brain alone. Other sense organs work too-in animals without a brain sense organs still work to help their survival.

    In my opinion this isn’t really an issue of what the animals feels but what u consider to be pain. To a certain extent it is pain, not significant and not in terms of modern society. But from a biological pt. of view : if an animal can recognize harm, make a goal directed judgement and action to move away, then of course the “brainless” organism is displaying a response similar to a pain response

    Its up to you to draw a line differentiating what you want to recognize as “pain”. But don’t try to impose your view of “ since they don’t have a brain they can’t feel pain” on others. This interpretation is totally up to the individual.

    I hope this helps. I understand these types of decisions are hard since there are no definite answers.

    P.S i'm a vegetarian who doesn't eat meat because of the pain it causes. and i don't eat seafoods. Or wear leather . Bacteria is another issue that i won't get into unless u want me too.

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  • Catkin
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Although sea creatures were the last animals I stopped eating when I went veg, I stopped eating bivalves b/c they *are* in the animal kingdom & although they have a very different physiology than other "food" animals, I can't be cetain that they don't feel pain/can't enjoy their existance. Maybe there's a reason behind the phrase "happy as a clam,"


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  • 1 decade ago

    I'm a vegan because of the reasons you describe. I don't like clams, oysters or scallops so it's not really an issue for me. If I did though, I still wouldn't eat them because I don't want to support the fishing industry... they cause pain to other sealife which can feel it. I don't like the thought of us humans trawling through the oceans like we own them and destroying everything in our path. I suppose it may be a different story if I went out and got them myself but whether they feel pain or not, I still see them as alive and wouldn't want to kill them.

    Interesting question... I appreciate how you've asked it. Most people attack but you seem to genuinely be interested in what people have to say so good for you!

    Source(s): EDIT: What's the difference between the moral grounds of a vegan and vegetarian... forget about the label... your question was aimed at people who don't eat meat because it causes animals pain. So yes that does apply to me. I don't eat meat because it causes pain... clams and oysters etc may not feel pain but the process of fishing which is indiscriminate towards species does cause pain. When fishing for one species, they often cause pain to other sea creatures. Therefore the process of catching them does cause pain.
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  • 1 decade ago

    For veggies, the issue here is eating something that is classed as an animal. Veggies don't want animals to die. Some people call themselves veggies when actually they eat chicken, fish, various animals, but not red meat. For them it's a health issue. For others it's ethical.

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  • 1 decade ago

    So if you put a person under anesthesia, you could kill and eat that person because it wouldn't cause him/her any pain?

    OK, shellfish are gross, but they play an important role as water filterers and food for, say, cute sea otters.

    Technically, you could anesthetize any animal you wanted and kill it with "no pain." Technically, animals are supposed to be stunned when they're slaughtered...not that it always happens, but it's SUPPOSED to.

    I don't think most vegetarians/vegans are worried about the pain of an animal's death so much as the other issues involved with eating animals.

    Like wasting resources for food, damaging wild animal populations, fouling the environment for fish/shellfish farming, eating something that could very easily make you very sick (red tide, anyone?) or just not wanting to eat something slimy and squooshy.

    I think your question is kinda moot because I doubt that's what motivates most veg-eaters.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    They could eat them with whatever reason that they come up with, but they wouldn't be vegetarian......unless the scientific community decides to move them into their own kingdom.

    Hmm, but would it not matter because they were part of the kingdom:Animalia when the word was created. I have no ****** clue nor do I care all that much.

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  • 1 decade ago

    In response to: "Isn't it ironic that vegetarians won't eat animals because of causing them pain? Yet, they have no problem causing pain to things they don't plan to eat, like unborn babies, dogs, people, rodents, roaches, spiders, and snakes. More ironic is that those same vegetarians will wear leather belts, shoes, jackets, and carry a leather purse without blinking an eye. Where do they think leather comes from?"

    I'd love to know how many of "these vegetarians" you've actually met. Cuz I've met very few, if any. The ethical vegetarians as opposed to the health vegetarians I've met have NEVER used leather or anything else the animal had to die for. I'd also love to know how many unborn babies, dogs, people, rodents, roaches, spiders, and snakes I, or other vegetarians, have hurt, not to mention HOW? I call bullshit. You're just instigating with nothing backing it up.

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