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  The Ishmael Community: Questions and Answers

The Question (ID Number 181)...

    In your reply you suggest that being a vegetarian is ethnocentric. Are you implying that cannablism is acceptable? About vegetarianism you say, "It suggests that creatures that resemble us are more precious than creatures that don't." You state that you can't subscribe to the idea that animal life has some sort of higher right to life than plant life. Are we humans animal life? Isn't taking a life, any life, wrong?

    ...and the response:

    I nowhere suggest that being a vegetarian is "ethnocentric"; such an idea would be nonsense. I do not imply anything whatever about cannibalism. I don't believe I ever said that I "can't" subscribe to the idea that animal life has a higher right to life than plant life. It would be POSSIBLE for me to subscribe to it (millions of people do, after all); but the fact is that I DON'T subscribe to it. Obviously humans are animals---and to save you the trouble of asking another question, I don't subscribe to the idea that humans have a higher right to life than plants. (The fact is, you see, I consider the phrase "right to life" to be completely devoid of meaning. To say that something has a right to live is, as far as I'm concerned, as meaningless as saying that it has a right to be tall or a right to be purple or a right to
    be four-legged.) I can't imagine where you get the idea that I might believe that "taking a life, any life" is wrong.

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