Dean Burnett: Would you be willing to eat a jellyfish? Even if youre vegetarian, you might want to consider it.
Would you eat a jellyfish? The most probably answer “wouldve been” no; they examine disgusting. And theyre perhaps poisonous. Shall I bathe it down with a neat glass of chilled urine? But, unavoidably, some people do eat them. They might even enjoy them, the maniacs.
But Cnidaria cookery techniques aside, consider this; would it be OK for a vegetarian to devour jellyfish? If not, why not?
A lot of people are adopting a vegan food this January, and more superpower to them. Their motivatings may go( for donation, for the health benefits etc .) but its still a big wrench, to remove a immense swathe of choice from your daily diet.
To clarify, Im not vegan myself, or vegetarian. I do like meat, and I plainly scarcity the willpower to cut myself off from it exclusively. As a ensue, I have a lot of respect for those who do succeed it. But as anyone whos heard the word Im a vegetarian, except for fish will have realised, there are different levels of is committed to vegetarianism, and parties differ wildly on what the hell is consider acceptable or not.
Part of this may stem from the differ motivatings for being vegetarian/ vegan in the first place. Some do it for religious rationales, so what the hell are you chew is determined by your pious verse or scripture etc. Restrictive perhaps, but at the least you know where you stand. Other parties simply dont like meat, or are intolerant to it or other animal commodities , so simply avoid them wholly. In this case, its your immune arrangement that adjudicates your diet.
There are also voiced environmental grounds. While there are concerns over the environmental effects of favourite vegetarian-friendly elements like palm petroleum, the environmental cost of flesh production is undeniable, and careening.
But numerous parties accept vegetarianism/ veganism for moral and ethical grounds, which is fair enough. Objecting to animals being killed or digesting for our food is a perfectly logical stance. But when you get down to the actual technical minutium of what these acts represent, then it starts to get mystifying.
This accompanies us back to the jellyfish question; would it be safe for a vegetarian to eat one? If youre vegetarian for environmental reasonableness, it may even be better to dine jellyfish, granted how abundant they are without any is necessary to harmful human cultivation. But what about ethical anxieties? While technically categorized as animals, they are devoid of any brain or nervous system, and most cant even ensure where they move. Everything we know about neuroscience recommends such a man would be completely incapable of recognizing anything as complex as suffer or discomfort, and it certainly wouldnt be able to experience any emotional reaction to such an experience. So by devouring one , no torment can be said to have arisen. It may still be a living thing, but then so is a carrot. Why is one OK to feed and not the other?
The ability to perceive and support pain and suffering does seem to be a big factor in whether a species is deemed a valid part of ones diet. A quite interesting debate is available on Richard Herrings good Leicester Square Theatre Podcast with comedian and vegan Michael Legge, about whether honey is vegan. Legge insists that it isnt because its a substance made by animals, which is a perfectly logical( and coherent) debate. Nonetheless, you can also experience why some might think its OK. Removing honey from a hive generally does no harm to the bees, apart from maybe annoying them. Bees are another confusing one. They manufacture honey anyway, its not something humans oblige them to do, and they make way too much so us taking some isnt damaging.
Insects and vegetarianism have complex affairs. Many “re saying that” vegetarians should eat insects, for environmental and ethical concludes. Insects are incredibly easy to cause and contain ample nutrients, and insects too arent cognitively complex sufficient to process events like losing and ache. Nonetheless, thats individual bugs. Species like the aforementioned bees structure huge settlements, and numerous consider these superorganisms the real an expression of insect intelligence. So is it ethically wrong to harm these? I cant tell you that.
Insects, jellyfish and other species maybe seem fair game to many due to a simple failing of empathy. Big, furry or fluffy creatures we can relate to, ugly or different ones make it difficult, so fear for their wellbeing isnt so common, unfortunately.
This sort of dilemma, considering whats ethically acceptable to eat, might very well get most complex as food production engineering betterments to meet demands. Already, humans are too pervasive for modern methods to be 100% swine friendly( modern gleaning procedures unavoidably kill or dislodge many souls while gleaning vegetable crops) and our species will need increasing publications of nutrient as meter overtakes. Technology will hopefully provide solutions to this, but too muddy the waters further.
Stem cell meat is one big hope for the future, allowing meat to be changed and produced in the lab, rather than the abattoir. But are they vegetarian safe? If private individuals burger is flourished from a cluster of stem cells, then no animal has been harmed in its creation. But if those stem cells were originally taken from a slaughtered animal, is it still ethically incorrect? Yes, embarking upon, but what if its the same stem cell pipeline being used 20 year later, frustrating other swine from being used? Is it still bad then?
Maybe well end up working out how to recycle food with great economy. Presented that we are able 3D-print human tissue, its not extremely far-fetched to predict a hour when we can easily print food. Suspect a technical arrangement whatever it is you jettison consumed or unwanted meat in one resolve, its broken down into its constituent molecules( fattens, proteins, sugars ), these are fed into a printer connect specific ink from dedicated cartridges, and theyre reassembled as fresh, recognisable foods. That would be very helpful , without doubt.
But what if you ran a onu of half-eaten burgers in one extremity and used their mass to render vegetables? Would they be safe for vegans to feed? It might not look like it, but the original flesh affair is completely broken down and reassembled, exactly as it would be if you make the burgers in a compost pile and used them to originate tomatoes. That considered acceptable, why not this? Its just a faster, more technological version of the natural action that prolong us. Maybe a more environmentally friendly one? You just know parties will object though, because thats what we do.
There arent any obvious a resolution of any of this, its simply interesting to note that, when you apply detailed scientific analysis, the divide between vegetarianism and non-vegetarianism is a lot more blurry than youd expect. Its the same with hasten.
However, if in 10 years youre sitting down to a container of Jellyfish nuggets, dont allege I didnt warn you.
Dean Burnett repents sitting down to write this so close to midday. Hes on Twitter, @garwboy