December 15, 2006

Vegetarians are smarter, so there

The BBC is reporting on a study that shows a high IQ link to being vegetarian. The Southampton University study shows that intelligent children are more likely to become vegetarians later in life. Researchers noted that those who were vegetarian by 30 had recorded five IQ points more on average at the age of 10.

What I take from this study is a stronger conviction that people who eat meat are stupid. They're also mean spirited. And a bunch of poopy faces.

Ah, it's great to be morally and cognitively superior.


Michael Anissimov said...

Hell yes! BTW, I originally caught this on Eurekalert, you should definitely subscribe to that RSS feed if you haven't, tons of great stuff.

A couple years ago I broke my veganism and started eating fish, though. I'm not convinced there's enough self-modeling and conscious reflection going on there to produce morally relevant sensations with negative utility. In chickens however, I think there is... if I'm wrong though, this means I'm a horrible person.

George said...

I also eat fish for exactly the same reasons you describe. There's also the health aspect, namely omega-3's.

Martin Striz said...

All of the medicines that we have (and many that we don't have) were tested on animals. Most of those animals were sacrificed at some point to understand the mechanism of action.

Do you refuse all medicine too?

George said...

Hi Martin,

I'm not sure it's entirely fair to compare life-saving or life-prolonging medicine to the practice of eating meat. I don't need meat to survive, but the quality of my life is quite dependent on certain medicines.

That said, I do acknowledge your point. There are a couple of things I can say in response.

First, I'm not after moral perfection. It's not only impossible to do so, but completely insane. I'm just trying to do the best I can with each moral conundrum that comes my way, balancing my sense of ethics with my selfishness and lack of will.

Second, we need to better promote those technologies that will allow researchers to be less dependent on animal testing. Computers and simulation are are excellent start in this direction.


Anonymous said...

Personally, on the topic of fish, it's not so much that I'm convinced that fish are incredibly bright as the simple fact that I can survive without -- so why molest a part of the ecosystem if it is unnecessary? I also wouldn't cut down a random tree just because it doesn't care. So I don't have a huge moral problem with people eating most seafood, but it's not for me.

Agreed with George re: medicine. And while it is a gray area, at least a moral case can be made that the good from medicine outweighs the bad of animal suffering, while such a case can in no way be made for meat in any more developed nation with ample alternatives available.