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Atheists; How supportive are you of animal rights?

I am an atheist and I am very into animal rights. I'm considering becoming a vegan. Anyway, I just wanted to get other atheists' take on this because my friend is an atheist and he doesn't care about animal rights at all. He basically thinks humans are at the top of the food chain so we can do whatever we want to the "lesser species" of the planet. I can't understand how anyone can be so cold hearted, but anyway, where do you stand on this issue?

Update:

@Mindoflife - I hope that is not actually what you envisage the meat industry to be like. Think more rusty cages and grinding machinery, less happy mooing cows strolling around in the sunshine.

Also, giving an animal what it wants in life is different to giving it what it needs. But I won't get into this argument... apparently I am "too passionate" about it.

Update 2:

Just to point this out - I stated that I am considering becoming vegan, while this is true I am not trying to convince anyone else to do the same so please spare me the snotty comments. I agree that eating meat is natural - No one can deny that fact, but it is the mass production and cruel treatment of animals that I am against, not the actual consumption of meat or other animal products.

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  • 10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    You're a vegetarian eh? If you're so into animal rights.why are you eating their food?(apologies,old joke).

    I consider myself a naturalist(one who studies the natural world) so I'm all for animal rights up to the point when it becomes extremism. PETA and their ilk only serve to damage their own cause.

    Interesting that people think giving animals human rights is being discussed,nobody suggested such a thing.

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  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    I am an atheist that believes strongly in animal rights, although that does not extend to the right of all animals to live. I eat meat and enjoy it, as I am an omnivore and am driven to do so by nature. I find vegan and vegetarianism to be a little elitist since plants also die to be consumed, or at least have their seed wasted, and I think it is funny that a vegan would not have a problem swatting a mosquito biting him or her in a heartbeat or taking antibiotics to kill a bacterial infection. Our very lives are based on the death of other organisms. Our immune system has evolved to very effectively destroy foreign life. We live by destroying others.

    When I eat meat, I try to avoid sources that mistreat their animals. I buy free range chicken and eggs when I can, I don't eat veal and I do my best to act ethically in regards to all life - plant, animal and other.

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  • 10 years ago

    I'm very much supportive. However, whomever said "humans are at the top of the food chain" obviously never swam with sharks. I understand that by nature, humans are born to be carnivores, but we are also an advanced civilization that we can now choose the way we get our nutrition. There is no longer a need to eat meat in order to get protein. A vegan or vegetarian diet can be extremely healthy if it's done the right way.

    Source(s): animal-loving agnostic-atheist
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  • 10 years ago

    I'm supportive of animal rights. I was a vegetarian for two years, but I'm not anymore. The only reason I stopped was because I moved in with someone who ate a looot of meat, and I didn't want to starve. I figure once I'm out of the house and on my own, I can be one again, because I'll be supporting myself and cooking my own meals. I still think eating meat is pretty disgusting.

    But other than that, I haven't really done anything else to be supportive of animal rights. I've always kind of wanted to, but I never did. I should look into it.

    This was a good question, by the way.

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  • 10 years ago

    I am very supportive of animal rights - I'm a vegetarian and am also considering going vegan. Although, I'm mainly veggie for environmental reasons but also I think, however we've evolved, why eat meat when we don't need to? That's a bit strange in my opinion. Lol, I'm also a big Morrissey fan which might have also had an impact. But seriously, within reason, I'd say if animal suffering can be avoided it most definitely should be.

    xx

    Source(s): It's about 50/50 in my family who is veggie and whose not so I'm cool with other people eating meat. I get teased for being veggie by my sister's boyfriend but I don't care - he's thirty six and he spends all his time playing video games so his opinion doesn't really matter to me to be frank.
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  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    I'm very strongly against animal cruelty. Though I don't see what my lack of a belief in deity has to do with it.

    Though I do also accept the fact that I'm an omnivore, and I take no shame eating meat. I would kill an animal if my survival depended on it. But that's a far cry from beating the crap out of Spot just because he peed on the rug.

    I'm not so sure that I'm "on top of the food chain". When I die, my corpse gets eaten by decomposer species. It's a cycle.

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  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    I love animals and was a vegetarian for a number of years simply because I love animals. I finally broke down because I had a hard time eating the right foods and I was losing weight and getting scrawny which is unlike me.

    I am still conscientious of what exactly I eat. Open range eggs, fish. I still don't eat beef or chicken much, but do on occasion.

    My personal thoughts are that I have seen the horrors of what goes on in slaughter houses and it does offend me. This should offend any Christian or any person who is sane. I do not think humans are the "top" of anything. This ego-centrism is offensive or the false teaching that we are made in God's image is just as insulting to me.

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  • Vegan feminist agnostic. I have never taken a protein supplement in my life because protein is in almost everything, including the nuts I'm eating right now. What humans do to other animals to produce meat is horrifying and tears at the fabric of society. It also causes great environmental degradation. And tell your friend that we are not at the top of the food chain, sharks are.

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  • 10 years ago

    I'm a vegetarian (but not a vegan, couldn't give up cheese) because of ethical concerns. I don't believe that everyone should be forced to my position, however. What you eat is a choice. I DO think the state of our current meat industry is deplorable, but that doesn't mean it couldn't be made much better and people could continue to eat meat (it would likely be a lot more expensive, though).

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  • 10 years ago

    Against them. Humans have rights in virtue of our methods of survival. Animals do not have these rights.

    So, I don't live with my cat; I own her. She's my property. She eats what I give her, she sleeps on the furniture that she's allowed on, and she doesn't make plans. If I want to get rid of her, it's my perogative.

    I don't live with the animals in my fish tank. I own them. They are my property. If I think a coral colony is growing too large, I have no qualms about fragmenting it and giving it away (or, in the case of my star polyps, just throwing the frag out, as many people consider them to be nothing more than pests). I control their temperature, their specific gravity, the source water, their photoperiod and photointensity, and I give them no say in the matter.

    I consume plants, use antibacterial soap, and use mouthwash without any concern for the lives that it takes. As soon as animals, plants, or microbes can assume the responsibilities that come with having human responsibilities, I'll consider giving them the same rights that people enjoy.

    Don't get me wrong: I love animals. I really do. But I won't pretend that rights are a consequence of merely being alive.

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