(BTW, I do think protecting the environment is vital to our long term self interest and survival, I just recognize that people’s motivations to save animals (generally fuzzy ones with round bodies and big eyes or ones that look like they are smiling) are often emotional rather than based on deep understanding of statistical environmental models.)
Jesus you have a low opinion of humanity. Do you love your children because you hope only to insure that your DNA survives? Do you choose a mate based solely on the robustness of her hips so that she can pass many children to carry on that DNA? Do you choose your profession based solely on the basis of whether it will provide suitable access to many large and milk-bearing titted mates? And don’t give me the ‘yes, subconsciously’ argument, I don’t buy it. If you don’t believe in free will then I’m not interested in having any discussion with you. I believe in logic and science, in fact spiritually I identify as a Socratic, but I do not believe that all human behavior can be reduced to sophisticated pantomimes of base biological imperatives. I try to minimize the violence I participate in, simply because I can, I haven’t heard a solid argument not to, and it’s easy.
And I’m still not sure why you don’t understand how a person trying to reconcile “this animal=soulmate that animal=vegetable” causes cognitive dissonance. Am I using the term incorrectly? If so, please set me straight.
I’ve addressed the argument that the lines we draw between life-forms we consider food and those we care for are arbitrary (or based on self-serving biological imperatives), and why it is irrelevant anyways to the discussion of compassion, quite effectively and in a pretty bulletproof manner. I would be happy to present it to you if you are interested in taking a crack at it.