"Humane" in respect to killing animals means to minimize the animal's pain as they die.

But this seems to completely sidestep the moral issue with killing, which has nothing to do with the pain. Given the choice:

A. Suffer severe, intense pain for a short time, worse than any pain you ever experienced in your life, but survive the experience without lasting harm.

B. Die, painlessly.

Who on Earth (without a psychological issue) would choose B? The pain of death is nothing. Life is full of pain and suffering; it is normal to suffer. The significance of death is not that it might hurt you like a root canal or a kidney stone hurts you, but that it cuts short everything you might have done with your life.

The focus on whether an animal is killed with or without suffering seems to only distract focus from the much more serious moral issue of whether or when it is morally okay to kill in the first place.

But I have never before seen this position expressed. Public debate about killing animals seems to always be either "it's okay to kill these animals because they do not suffer much," or "it's not okay to kill these animals because of the suffering as they die." This seems like a completely false dichotomy to me, so why is it the norm in public debate?

  • Comments have been moved to chat; please do not continue the discussion here. Before posting a comment below this one, please review the purposes of comments. Comments that do not request clarification or suggest improvements usually belong as an answer, on Philosophy Meta, or in Philosophy Chat. Comments continuing discussion may be removed.
    – Joseph Weissman
    Commented May 9, 2023 at 13:01
  • 1
    Young, suicidal people would choose B. When the vicissitudes of existence drive the human psyche to suicidal ideation, there's a tipping point where the individual crosses a threshold of pain that through the lens of cognitive distortion, life itself becomes undervalued, despite all future-oriented optimism and rational capacity a human is capable of.
    – J D
    Commented May 10, 2023 at 19:55
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    One could also say that the focus on killing animals distracts from the moral problem of killing people.
    – Roger V.
    Commented May 11, 2023 at 11:29
  • In law the unjustified killing of a human is malum in se (bad in itself). The unlawful killing of animals is malum prohibitum (forbidden by authority). Hugh Gibbons, professor of legal philosophy, describes common law as social authority emergent from human will (I am the cause of desired perceptions). Animals and children cannot assert their will in courts. Law is paternalistic to children whose will is emergent. Mature humans are moral agents and legal persons. Moral wills, in context, may disagree on what is good or on how to cause the good. Clash of will is ethics, morality, and politics. Commented May 11, 2023 at 15:42
  • 1
    There is a classic, hard to improv take on the question
    – Rushi
    Commented May 14, 2023 at 15:03

11 Answers 11


"The focus on whether an animal is killed with or without suffering seems to only distract focus from the much more serious moral issue of whether or when it is morally okay to kill in the first place."

I don't see why it distracts from the issue. These are two separate issues that can be argued separately.

Even in the case of a criminal who's been sentenced to death...

There are 2 issues:

  1. Whether or not the state has a right to end his life at all
  2. It should happen in a way that minimizes pain/suffering

I don't think arguing that the method of execution should be painless distracts from the issue of whether or not it is ok to end a life in the first place. Arguing for 1 is much more difficult than arguing for 2.

We are much more likely to argue and persuade a group about 2, than we are about 1. Given that we're unlikely to persuade the group about 1, it is more practical to focus on 2... prevent unnecessarily cruel deaths... and human beings can be persuaded in this regard. Then once you've prevented the cruel deaths you can focus on 1... which will be much more difficult to argue for.

Plus 2 is definitely matter of a concern for anyone who is going to be executed... do you think they're thinking to themselves... "Well I'm going to die anyway, it doesn't really matter how I die?" Look at the ancient world and the cases of forced suicide to avoid being tortured and dying a slow death. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forced_suicide People are concerned with how they will die, and rightly so.

  • 2
    I like this answer - it emphasises something important in the question that “killing animals” includes, and is not radically separate from, killing humans. Yes, as a matter of general principle, one should not kill, but the ruling that killing is never permissible doesn’t seem to apply (or at the very least is sharply contested) within the human species, never mind as a question of the moral import of inter-species dynamics.
    – Paul Ross
    Commented May 9, 2023 at 7:25
  • To kill or not kill! That is the question! To kill humanely or inhumanely! That is the question! I don't see why the first question, which evokes a moral decision in a context, distracts from the second question, which evokes another moral decision in a context. I see it as two distinct moral judgments or decisions that are linked by patterns of drama. I am comfortable calling the first decision an ethical judgment in the person who decides to kill and the whole decision to kill and whether to do so in a humane manner as a moral judgment passed on the end (to kill) and the means to the end. Commented May 10, 2023 at 17:34

In Buddha's time, the prohibition was against killing, and not eating meat, and even monks were allowed to eat meat donated to them as alms. That's still how they do things in Tibet, where a small ethnic group of Muslims do all the animal slaughter, for meat which pretty much all Buddhists there eat. It was only with the arrival of Buddhism to the Confucian-influenced world, that monasteries had to be understood as a family making household decisions including about food, and so not killing had to mean not eating meat. For Buddhists the issue is the karmic consequences of being a killer, conditioning your mind like that, and increasing the number of beings out that wish you harm (from their next lives). I hear a converse point made in recent times, maybe people shouldn't be allowed to eat an animal they aren't willing to kill, because they are morally ignoring the consequences of their actions - in some ways it could be better to fully appreciate the animals sacrifice and consume it mindfully, that cause others to kill, and eat unmindfully.

If you look at the end of bull and bear and cockerel fighting, the cruelty to the animals was a concern, but the bigger one was about what impacts spectating had on audiences. We can see this with the professionalisation of boxing with the introduction of 'Queensbury rules', to eliminate facial bleeding, which previously had been the signal to begin betting on a victor. The boxers wellbeing wasn't the concern, but the blood. Opposing animal suffering says something about that person, as well as about animals.

Meat eaters that don't rely on religious law, often make a capacities-based argument, to explain why eating humans is bad, but animals is ok. This is confounded by the fact that pigs, giving the world's second most consumed meat type, are among the most intelligent animals, and so are octopuses, also widely eaten. Some animals like dolphins and whales have been given extra rights based on capacities, in most jurisdictions. Pigs are a good example of our real thinking, because although they have been shown to spontenously employ tool use, they don't make particularly good pets. Whereas, at least in England, there has been frequent outrage about eating horses, which make great pets. This points towards how our enpathy for specific species is a major factor. Eating dogs is widely regarded with horror in the West, but mostly although commercial trade in dog meat is not legal, eating dogs is - eg see moves to ban it in UK parliament. The animals we feel empathy towards, we don't just want killed humanely, we don't want killed at all except to prevent suffering.

The capacities argument can go that animals have no concept of mortality, and that they are very similar to each other so the world is not deprived of a unique voice like by the murder of a human. Our gigantically increased concern for animals on the cute and fluffy end of the spectrum, especially that interact well enough with us to be pets, shows how in practice our views on killing and meat are not generally reasoned, but felt.

I find it amusing the vitriol people have in response to this being pointed out, and the mental gymnastics they do about the various edge cases. I would advocate any defender of meat eating clearly account for exactly which meats should be eaten, seperately to just going with the flow of their local culture and refusing to introspect.

Edited to add I am kind of fascinated by the difference between act and commissioning an. I think the attitude to executioners in Ancient India as untouchables despite provision for the death penalty in Buddhist statecraft, attitudes to the Yamada clan who performed executions for the Tokugawa Shogunate in Japan, or attitudes to other executioners like Jack Ketch for English king Charles II. I feel like there has been a shift in moral reasoning from a focus on act, to one on intention, and societies have generally lost the idea of religious or ritual purity and specific acts being taboo regardless of reasons. It is interesting to note Eden and Heaven are described in the Bible as vegetarian, associating meat-eating implicitly with sin and suffering, and the drives that go with them.

Edited again Peter Singer argues that the expanding of our 'circle of concern', towards having more empathy and respect for others, is the direction of moral progress. In this picture, just as gladiator fights between slaves are just not ok anywhere anymore, that in societies that continue to develop morally, it is inevitable that killing and eating animals will just come to not seem ok anymore, like child labor, or businesses allowing worker deaths purely to save money. Eating animals just will gradually cease to seem a civilised thing - being able to make perfect far cheaper replicas using designed proteins would help of course. I mention this in response to perspectice in @AmeetSharma's post, where the implicit assumption is that it will never be possible to persuade a majority of killing animals is bad. Society has changed in major ways before. Ending the death penalty involved having the 'luxury' of being able to pay as communities for imprisonment, for instance, that just wasn't practicable for subsistence farming societies. Technological, social, and moral change, have often been interwoven.

  • 3
    I hate to state it this way, but in my contemplation, when humans live in close contact with the wilderness, living dogs and horses provide much more utility than dead dogs or horses! Hunting dogs, herding dogs, and guard dogs increase the productivity of man. Horses increase the productivity of man. Furthermore, a woman or man with empathy for their dog or horse will learn to interpret the behavior of the animal in such a way to extend the human senses of the environment. Often a dog or horse will sense "friend or foe" conditions among nature, animals, and humans before the human would do so. Commented May 9, 2023 at 20:56
  • 1
    @SystemTheory: Yeah fair points. You know how Amundsen got to the South Pole first though, right..? All the examples of independently generated writing traditions, co-ocurred with domestication of beast of burden. Possibly homo sapiens got their edge, by domesticating dogs. You can make practical, self-serving arguments from human exploitations. But they are the same arguments for exploiting other humans & ignoring their suffering & concerns. So I'm not convinced you can make moral arguments there..
    – CriglCragl
    Commented May 9, 2023 at 21:05
  • @SystemTheory Only as long as you have enough other food and not too many horses or dogs do they increase your productivity and have more utility alive than as food.
    – DKNguyen
    Commented May 10, 2023 at 0:01
  • 1
    @SystemTheory: Sounds like you draw a magic circle around humans. We used to think we were the only tool-using species.
    – CriglCragl
    Commented May 10, 2023 at 20:46
  • 1
    "AmeetSharma's post, where the implicit assumption is that it will never be possible to pursuade a majority killing animals is bad" I didn't read through the edit history if it was worded differently previously, but I read it as "hard" (which is fair) not "never be possible". Commented May 11, 2023 at 14:50

I think the answer to your headline question is trivially yes. I say so because it is possible to cite any number of over-discussed topics as being distractions from any number of under-discussed ones. Discussions of Trump's misdemeanours distract from famines in Africa. Discussions of gender rights distract from unequal wealth distribution. More generally, if A is a list of over-discussed topics and B a list of under-discussed, any member of A can be said to distract attention from any member of B.

So let's consider the variant of your question posed by the your last sentence: why is a focus on humane killing the norm in public debate? There are four obvious points to make:

  1. It is a legitimate question in itself.

  2. A focus on the humane aspects of killing allows the proponents of meat eating to counter one of the objections to it.

  3. There are many other objections to meat eating and they are increasingly being heard, their importance being highlighted by the context of rising concerns about global warming and the need to feed a mushrooming population. The debate is not as focussed on humane killing as your question suggests.

  • Are there 4 obvious points to make?
    – Scott Rowe
    Commented May 8, 2023 at 23:51
  • 2
    @ScottRowe ha, yes- the fourth was either 'I can't count', or 'I have run out of time', or 'I am losing my marbles', or 'It soothes the conscience of the guilty meat-eater'. Take your pick! Commented May 9, 2023 at 6:17
  • The OP has a point and so do you! Deuce! Dig a little deeper, but mind you I'm not suggesting a dive down lagomorphian holes - it seems ta be quite a popular pastime these days. However, if ya insist, I wouldn't say no to an offer to do so. Please note though, I'm not exactly co-pilot material if ya catch me drift, bruh!
    – Hudjefa
    Commented May 12, 2023 at 10:42

Plenty of people (including most, if not all, vegans I know of) also object to killing part in the animal (mostly meat) industry, so I don't really know what to tell you.

I don't know where you'd find your option A of "suffer [severely] ... but survive" in the animal industry, unless you're proposing something like chopping a few limbs off of an animal to eat, and keeping them alive, but I expect even most meat eaters wouldn't approve of such cruelty. We do certainly inflict harm on animals in the animal industry throughout their lives, but this isn't an alternative to death as much as it's just something we also do, because that's involved in the production of other products, because it's more convenient that way, or because we just don't care.

The possibilities for animals in the animal industry are closer to:

  1. Live a lifetime of suffering before being killed brutally (the current state of the animal industry).
  2. Live a "happy" life before being killed "humanely" (at least as happy and as humane as possible, considering that these animals are bred to have their flesh consumed by us).
  3. Don't get killed by humans at all.

(Option 1 and 2 exist on 2 ends of a spectrum of suffering.)

Between the first 2, I'd expect essentially everyone to pick option 2 (but ideally option 3) if the question were about them instead of animals. "It is normal to suffer" can't reasonably serve as justification for inflicting suffering on others.

One might make an argument with only the first 2 options if:

  • You believe that meat is necessary for human diets (which one could of course disagree with), or
  • You accept that people are going to keep eating meat regardless (at least for some time), and that you're more likely to achieve a greater reduction in suffering by fighting against animal cruelty on farms.

For the 3rd option, this would still be compared to option 1, and it serves to make option 1 even less compelling.

  • You're missing the fourth option: never have existed. All domestic animals would never have been born if not for domestication. And don't forget that option 1 is what every wild animal experiences.
    – Graham
    Commented May 10, 2023 at 0:02
  • 1
    @Graham You'll probably still have a hard time arguing a lifetime of suffering is better than non-existence (especially when we're causing the suffering). It may be compared more favourably to a "happy" farm though, but if you're arguing that creating life cancels out suffering caused, that could have some not-great side effects (like concluding that child abuse is cancelled out by parents having brought the child into the world). And no, it seems unlikely that "every wild animal" experiences a lifetime of suffering from being able to life freely with their kind, but with risks from predators.
    – NotThatGuy
    Commented May 10, 2023 at 0:22
  • 1
    Depends on whether you can show the animals have a life of pure suffering. True in some cases, sure. But in others, not so much. Chickens for example actively don't want to be free-range - being in low light in a barn surrounded by other chickens is hen heaven. :)
    – Graham
    Commented May 10, 2023 at 1:11
  • 1
    @Graham Sure, different animals could certainly prefer different conditions. Although the conditions on factory farms could probably more accurately be described as the opposite of heaven.
    – NotThatGuy
    Commented May 10, 2023 at 1:40


The moral issue is harm to an agent.

It is an unavoidable reality that every animal will die. The loss of agency for an animal, eventually, is unavoidable. Your question presumes that death for animals can be permanently avoided, hence killing them is morally overwhelmingly more important a harm than causing them suffering. This is clearly a false assumption. Both death, and suffering, cause harm.

The further narrative you include, which claims:

Public debate about killing animals seems to always be either "it's okay to kill these animals because they do not suffer much," or "it's not okay to kill these animals because of the suffering as they die."

is also absurdly false. There is a widespread animal welfare movement that seeks to avoid all killing of animals, and all farming of animals, etc. There is an organization, PETA, which pursues these objectives aggressively, and a less activist movement, Veganism, that seeks these objectives thru personal behavior changes. Plus another movement, vegetarianism, that accepts farming, just not killing animals to eat them. If you are not aware of the movements, google will give you lots of hits.

The constraint on implementing the moral principles that motivate the above movements, is the nature of our world. Living things multiply beyond their resources, necessitating scarcity, and conflict over resources. Living things cannot live without killing other living things. If humans stopped killing mammals for food, we would still be killing multiple mammals every time we drove a car, plowed a field, did any construction project, etc. And the killing of insects, arachnids, etc. in profusion is pretty much constant in all human activities.

Humans pragmatically reconcile themselves to this slaughter. This hardens and ossifys our moral sense, but some degree of hardness appears to be a psychological necessity to live in this world at all.

  • 1
    Certainly I am aware of PETA and veganism. The focus of these groups always seems to be whether an animal can suffer, and if it can suffer then they don't want you to kill it because it would suffer when you do. For example, PETA has this page about lobsters where they focus on how lobsters feel pain and suffer when their heads are cut or they are boiled.
    – causative
    Commented May 8, 2023 at 23:24
  • 3
    e.g. "Anyone who has ever boiled a lobster alive knows that when dropped into scalding water, lobsters whip their bodies wildly and scrape the sides of the pot in a desperate attempt to escape... PETA has consulted with many marine biologists about the least cruel way to kill a lobster." By the way, better to refrain from calling someone else's argument absurd or similar deliberately inciting terms. If you don't agree with a position, it's better to just say it is false or wrong. Your counter-argument should speak for you, without needing to use inciting words, which logically add nothing.
    – causative
    Commented May 8, 2023 at 23:27
  • "The best laid plans of mice and men gang oft agley."
    – Scott Rowe
    Commented May 8, 2023 at 23:54
  • 1
    Animal advocates care about both suffering and killing of animals. Tactically, most such groups push their anti-suffering program first, but their objective is to get to no killing too. In addition to finding these tactical debates, it is clear from the movement itself that both are objective. Otherwise there would be no non-kill animal shelters, no vegetarians, and no vegans. I have not upvoted your question, because I do not consider it to exhibit sufficient prior research. As a minimum skim Singer and Regan.
    – Dcleve
    Commented May 9, 2023 at 13:33
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    @Dcleve "Your question asserted there is no theory argued against the killing of animals" - no, that would be a strawman misreading. First, the question itself mentions arguments against the killing of animals specifically because of the pain involved. Second, the question asks why this type of position is the norm in public debate, not that no other positions are ever mentioned. You're probably homing in on the phrase, "Public debate about killing animals seems to always be," but the word "seems" is there to clue you in that this is hyperbole about the way things seem rather than strict fact.
    – causative
    Commented May 9, 2023 at 21:02

Original Question

[t]he moral issue with killing ... has nothing to do with the pain.

But I have never before seen this position expressed. Public debate about killing animals seems to always be either "it's okay to kill these animals because they do not suffer much," or "it's not okay to kill these animals because of the suffering as they die." This seems like a completely false dichotomy to me, so why is it the norm in public debate?

Do Not Kill - Not Killing

I have heard the Buddhist precept described as "not killing", which I interpret as "Do not harm life"; and as "Do not kill", which I interpret as "Do not end the life of a living being".

Sometime around 1994-95, during a public question and answer period at Zen Center of Los Angeles, I witnessed a dialog between Taizan Maezumi Roshi and one of his students regarding the meaning of not-killing. The question I recall was this: Do I violate the precept of not-killing when I extinguish a cigarette in the grass? (I rapidly judged that smoking in itself violates the precept!).


Roshi: You can't keep the precepts! You will go crazy! We must kill to eat!

The Source of Moral Judgments

In this context of Buddhism, or more generally, self-contemplation, it seems to me that moral judgments are never distinct from what we perceive as the causes of vitality, pleasure, and pain as these attributes map to self, other humans, and animals. Baruch Spinoza describes affect or emotion as: desire, pleasure, or pain accompanied by an idea of its cause. The goal in Buddhism is typically stated as the effort to minimize, reduce, or eliminate suffering that can be eliminated; and the precepts seem to be a means to this end. Solipsism is the idea that I only know my own moral judgments and emotions; and empathy is the idea that I feel what others or animals feel; but in reality I feel what I feel and I infer from my feelings that other humans and animals have such feelings. I do not think it is possible to form moral judgments without feelings even if the feeling is subconscious in a subject. In other words my ethical and moral evaluations are products of a biological process that incorporates my emotional drama.


No, it does not distract. The question of humane killing has nothing to do with the question of whether to kill.

A farmed animal (i.e., your classical ranch cow) has only been borne because it will be killed by us. If we decided never to eat or otherwise process cows anymore, none of those cows that we kill would ever come to live at all. Hence the overall time of them enjoying their life would be even shorter than right now - the time between birth and forceful death would be taken from them as well. The important bit is to make life before death worthwhile for them, but our act of killing them is pre-determined and cuts nothing short. Whether the life before death of a farm animal is net positive is a completely different question; but it is certain that a wild cow population would eventually attract wild predators, and live in constant fear of said predators.

A hunted animal (i.e., free-roaming deer) has - if the hunter is following proper protocols - a good chance to die of "natural" causes anyways in a similar time-span. In their world, unless we over-hunt or kill animals that "proper" hunters normally would not kill, the human source of death is just one of many. Also, if you look at how animals die in the natural world, a human-caused death is incredibly much preferable. With a professional hunter, the animal will simply wink out of existence instantly. Compare this to being hunted for hours by a pack of wolves, and then slowly, agonizingly, get eaten alive (often starting from the behind, i.e. with maximum possibility to witness the process). I would absolutely, if I had the choice, chose a quick death.

A farmed "wild" animal (i.e., deer in a very large protected enclosure) arguably has a finer life before death than wild animals, since they escape the constant fear of wild predators.

So unless you wish to discuss the totally separate question of whether to kill, it still makes perfectly sense to make sure that when we kill, it is not cruel. The choice is not "live vs. die non-cruelly" but "die brutally vs. die non-cruelly".

  • I don't think it's crazy to argue that most factory-farmed animals hardly experience enjoyment in their lives. Castrated, restrained and overfed until the butcher comes, in the worst – and most common – case. Your argument could be used to defend a culture with ritual filicide except in that context we'd (hopefully) find it absurd. The comparison with wild animals is irrelevant since we aren't kidnapping farm animals from nature. It's a different population. "So unless you wish to discuss the totally separate question of whether to kill..." Umm, that's exactly what the OP proposes? Commented May 11, 2023 at 18:46
  • @neonblitzer, I am not arguing that farm averages have a happy life on average, today. OPs question is whether the discussions around the "how" of the killing distract from the other topics surrounding the use of animals by humans. My answer specifically makes clear (or at least I hope it does) that it does not argue pro or against eating animals, or pro or against the assumed life quality of farm animals. (I.e., The important bit is to make life before death worthwhile for them).
    – AnoE
    Commented May 12, 2023 at 7:42
  • @neonblitzer, unless you wish to discuss the totally separate question of whether to kill means that if one wishes to discuss the "vegan question", then one should and can do so. Arguing that animals should be killed in a humane fashion (if they are killed at all) does not distract from that other question - if one decides that animals should not be killed at all, then the second question is moot.
    – AnoE
    Commented May 12, 2023 at 7:43

Killing humans is bad

↓ (1)

Killing animals is bad

↓ (2)

Eating killed animals is bad

↓ (3)

Eating killed anything is bad (put down that salad you murder)

↓ (4)

Living is bad since it requires killing

↓ (5)

Not killing yourself is bad

↓ (6)

Kill all humans (please insert girder)

Somewhere in here must be a logical fallacy otherwise to be moral you need to find a way to starve without killing yourself because killing humans is bad.

No where in here have I considered how the killing happens. Considering suffering implies that sometimes killing is ok if done right. So long as the prohibition on killing is an absolute bad, suffering or not simply doesn't figure into it.

The problem isn't the suffering. To live is to suffer. The problem is trying to live up to an absolute.

  • 1
    "Nowhere in here have I considered how the killing happens" - you also haven't considered why the killing happens or whether the killing is necessary for our survival. So either you're arguing against an absolute that no-one is presenting, or you're fallaciously appealing to extremes to dismiss nuanced arguments against human-caused suffering and killing of non-human animals.
    – NotThatGuy
    Commented May 14, 2023 at 12:50
  • 1
    @NotThatGuy the question presented the issue "the real moral problem of killing" and asked if it could be explored without the "distraction" of "humane killing". So I demonstrated that it could. I presented a logical contradiction so of course it contains a logical falsehood. The point is figuring out where I did that. It's a proof by contradiction. But it doesn't prove which implication false. Just that one must be. Further I explained that considering "humane killing" is simply one of many ways of reducing the killing prohibition from an absolute. Without some reduction it is an absolute. Commented May 14, 2023 at 16:13

The question is null because it is not possible to kill.

  • To kill is to cause death (a transition from living to non-living).
  • The cause of death is the earliest event that is both necessary and sufficient for the transition to occur.
  • That event is always birth, since death cannot occur without birth first occurring and once birth has occurred death is inevitable.

Given that birth has already occurred, actions and events may alter the time and circumstance of death, but they cannot cause something that has already been caused.

Whether it is moral to bring forward the time of death is another matter entirely, and I suspect the OP would not like my answer of "it depends on consent and the impact on overall quality of life" (keeping people alive and in pain with no hope of relief and against their express wish is flat out evil if you ask me).

I mention this because the question begins by examining the notion of "humane". Minimising suffering is the only option. Everyone and everything is going to die eventually regardless of opinion or faith.

The ubiquitous notion that killing is inherently naughty and not to be tolerated is essentially enlightened self-interest, a very practical application of do unto others as you would have them do unto you. The disinclination to countenance nuance stems from supportable concern that any exception is the thin end of the wedge.

  • "quality of life" -> It's worth noting that presumably no-one would accept that it's okay to kill a conscious and active person if you personally consider them to be in too much pain (you may not be able to get their consent if, say, they're too young to speak or if they've briefly fallen unconscious). There are very, very few circumstances where euphenising a person would be morally acceptable. The animal industry would, as a general rule, not involve similar circumstances.
    – NotThatGuy
    Commented May 12, 2023 at 9:38
  • 2
    This seems a bit like nitpicking to avoid addressing the actual question. Of course "kill" means to end someone's life sooner than it otherwise would've ended: that's how we all understand it, and that's almost certainly how the question meant it. Sure, it might be useful to point out this technicality as a starting point for an answer. But using that to simply point out that the question is "null", and saying how everyone understood the question is "another matter entirely", doesn't really make sense.
    – NotThatGuy
    Commented May 12, 2023 at 9:44
  • 1
    "Many legal systems make the distinction between contributing to death and causing it" - .... and? How is that relevant to anything you or I have said, or the animal industry? You argued that "it is not possible to kill" ... like, at all. No attempt to differentiate. And you're gonna have a really, really hard time arguing that humans contribute to but don't cause animal deaths, as per the law. I presented 2 extensively comments arguing against what you've written, and in response you simply say that "is a way of saying you don't like my conclusion" without addressing anything I've said.
    – NotThatGuy
    Commented May 14, 2023 at 12:40
  • 1
    This is an argument that might be worth considering, but it doesn't remotely answer the question.
    – Ludwig V
    Commented May 15, 2023 at 18:19
  • 1
    @PeterWone I'm fairly confident in saying there is no legal system on the entire planet who'd say someone who say snapping someone's neck merely "contributed" to their death, rather than caused it, even though you could argue that this is technically the case from a philosophical perspective. When legal systems distinguish between contributing to death and causing it, the former is much more indirect. So legal systems making this distinction seems quite irrelevant to your point. If you can't see why snapping someone's neck is generally immoral, I can only express concern.
    – NotThatGuy
    Commented May 17, 2023 at 8:52

If you want to achieve change, it is important to get support from many people.

I like eating meat, and animals will die because of it. It is bad, but I don’t mind because it benefits me. Having animals killed in an inhumane way is also bad. And it doesn’t benefit me in any meaningful way. If I had to pay 10 cent more to have the animal supplying my steak be killed in a humane way, I don’t mind.

So the change to have animals killed humanely is something you can achieve (a lot easier than making everyone stop eating meet. It’s better to achieve a small goal than to not achieve a big goal.

And when one goal is achieved, that also improves your chances for the second goal.


Because "humane" in respect to killing animals is not about to minimize the animal's pain as they die.

Because humane belongs to.. humans, humans are not animals.

It minimizes the suffering moral pain to humans and only then to minimize pain to killed animals or something else.

Also not all animals are mammals. Ants, bugs, fleas, cucarachas... - are animals too. What about them?

Killing ... a killing is very shortmind thing for moral. Killing is not killing of life, genus. A reproduction prevented is a killing for genus, biomes destruction is a killing for lots of kinds of the life. So are you steel worried about fiction killing as fact of killing one animal unit?

then stop it, because killing in moral means only for human killing. all other kills are not human killing, all other deaths are not human's.

This considerations you call "Humanity".

  • 2
    "animal are not animals, they are mammals" You just posted a word salad.
    – CriglCragl
    Commented May 9, 2023 at 9:11
  • 1
    Animals are not animals is stating a contradiction.
    – CriglCragl
    Commented May 9, 2023 at 9:19
  • @CriglCragl now it is better? you can count these gaffes as dyslexia Commented May 9, 2023 at 9:20
  • 1
    @CriglCragl i d made my salad little bit tasty(i hope), thx) Commented May 9, 2023 at 9:29
  • I guess people don't like the flavor of your salad, but I think you were making a relevant point.
    – Scott Rowe
    Commented May 9, 2023 at 10:19

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