Ethics of eating meat

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Re: Ethics of eating meat

Post by UncleBob » Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:21 pm

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Re: Ethics of eating meat

Post by UncleBob » Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:22 pm

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Re: Ethics of eating meat

Post by UncleBob » Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:23 pm

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Re: Ethics of eating meat

Post by Nature of a Man » Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:42 pm

UncleBob wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:22 pm
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I'd assume a militant vegan would be someone who engages in violence against humans, but not animals, which would be hypocritical and nonsensical if the goal was nonviolence, as well as privileging a lesser form of life to a greater one.

(Much as if one was privileging a simpler form of life such as an insect over a more complex one, such as a mammal like cattle or horses, that would also be hypocritical and bizarre).

I'm aware that some "vegan" groups such as PETA or ALF have engaged in violence or hostile protests against people to promote "nonviolence" against animals, (which is why they aren't taken seriously, not to mention that humans are a part of the "animal kingdom" as far as zoology is concerned).

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Re: Ethics of eating meat

Post by Jester » Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:59 pm

Nature of a Man wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:21 pm
Jester wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:14 pm
Do you believe Jesus cooked the fish for the Apostles and then abstained? Does Jesus sin when he practices necessary evil?
As far as that goes - whether or not he abstained, I'd argue that Jesus being God in the form of a man isn't a comparable scenario (which I wouldn't be worthy of discussing here), so whether or not Jesus engaged in eating fish wouldn't have any bearing on Jesus being a sinner, or on eating meat being a necessary evil (I attempted to describe what I meant by "necessary "evil" above).

My argument was simply that Jesus cooking fish for the Apostles for the last supper, isn't the same as endorsing indiscriminate killing or eating of animals. (It does indicate though that Jesus never commanded any and everyone to become vegans, which I agree with).
I don't think anyone here is tracking with your accusation of indiscriminate killing. Please link us to an article or source of all the Christians who support the Doctrine of Indiscriminate Killing and I will fight it along side of you.

As for the actual conversation we are having.
How do you separate sin from evil? It sounds as if you are saying "Jesus can participate in necessary evil but that has no bearing on him being a sinner." Please correct me if that is not what you are saying.
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Re: Ethics of eating meat

Post by hugodrax » Tue Nov 27, 2018 4:07 pm

Can you define “indiscriminate?”
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Re: Ethics of eating meat

Post by Nature of a Man » Tue Nov 27, 2018 4:11 pm

Jester wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:59 pm
Nature of a Man wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:21 pm
Jester wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:14 pm
Do you believe Jesus cooked the fish for the Apostles and then abstained? Does Jesus sin when he practices necessary evil?
As far as that goes - whether or not he abstained, I'd argue that Jesus being God in the form of a man isn't a comparable scenario (which I wouldn't be worthy of discussing here), so whether or not Jesus engaged in eating fish wouldn't have any bearing on Jesus being a sinner, or on eating meat being a necessary evil (I attempted to describe what I meant by "necessary "evil" above).

My argument was simply that Jesus cooking fish for the Apostles for the last supper, isn't the same as endorsing indiscriminate killing or eating of animals. (It does indicate though that Jesus never commanded any and everyone to become vegans, which I agree with).
I don't think anyone here is tracking with your accusation of indiscriminate killing. Please link us to an article or source of all the Christians who support the Doctrine of Indiscriminate Killing and I will fight it along side of you.

As for the actual conversation we are having.

How do you separate sin from evil? It sounds as if you are saying "Jesus can participate in necessary evil but that has no bearing on him being a sinner." Please correct me if that is not what you are saying.
Difficult to say, but my take is that if Jesus is God in the form of a man, one couldn't easily compare Jesus' actions to that of an ordinary person, so I don't feel I can go there any further.

I understand that my use of the term "necessary evil" is what you're uncomfortable with - I was using that term to refer to things which are permitted on earth, but which would't exist or have a need to exist in heaven (e.x. a lion lying down with the lamb implies that killing for food would not exist in heaven, despite being permitted on earth).
hugodrax wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 4:07 pm
Can you define “indiscriminate?”
I wouldn't be able to do so perfectly myself.

My very limited understanding of law is that defining things legally more or less requires a credible authority or expert(s) on the subject to use sound judgment, but that there is no "perfect" scientific formula for it.

(This is my understanding of how court rulings, such as US Supreme Court rulings on the meaning of Constitutional terms work- beyond that, I know nothin').

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Re: Ethics of eating meat

Post by FredS » Tue Nov 27, 2018 5:24 pm

Nature of a Man wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 4:11 pm
hugodrax wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 4:07 pm
Can you define “indiscriminate?”
I wouldn't be able to do so perfectly myself.

My very limited understanding of law is that defining things legally more or less requires a credible authority or expert(s) on the subject to use sound judgment, but that there is no "perfect" scientific formula for it.

(This is my understanding of how court rulings, such as US Supreme Court rulings on the meaning of Constitutional terms work- beyond that, I know nothin').
C'mon man. You introduced the term into the discussion. Surely you have an idea of what you meant by it.

Careless?
Wasteful?
Excessive?
Without regard for the animal?
Without regard for the animal's soul?
Without regard for proper stewardship?
Without regard for the sustainability of the animal population?
Without regard for others who may depend on that animal population?
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Re: Ethics of eating meat

Post by DepartedLight » Tue Nov 27, 2018 8:29 pm

Jester wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 2:07 pm
I have a moral obligation to feed my kids meat. To not due so would be child abuse. The ethics of eating meat is to eat meat. To call the design of eating meat "a necessary evil" is to attribute evil to the designer.
oh wow.

ya know. He kind of has a point.
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Re: Ethics of eating meat

Post by Nature of a Man » Wed Nov 28, 2018 12:11 am

FredS wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 5:24 pm
Nature of a Man wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 4:11 pm
hugodrax wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 4:07 pm
Can you define “indiscriminate?”
I wouldn't be able to do so perfectly myself.

My very limited understanding of law is that defining things legally more or less requires a credible authority or expert(s) on the subject to use sound judgment, but that there is no "perfect" scientific formula for it.

(This is my understanding of how court rulings, such as US Supreme Court rulings on the meaning of Constitutional terms work- beyond that, I know nothin').
C'mon man. You introduced the term into the discussion. Surely you have an idea of what you meant by it.

Careless?
Wasteful?
Excessive?
Without regard for the animal?
Without regard for the animal's soul?
Without regard for proper stewardship?
Without regard for the sustainability of the animal population?
Without regard for others who may depend on that animal population?
I'd assume that an ordinary person in day to day life would have to just use common sense and sound judgment, just as they would with anything else - as far as defining it like a legal scholar would, I wouldn't be qualified to do that at all.

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Re: Ethics of eating meat

Post by Jester » Wed Nov 28, 2018 6:34 am

hugodrax wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 4:07 pm
Can you define “indiscriminate?”
This guy is looking for a nomination.
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Re: Ethics of eating meat

Post by John-Boy » Wed Nov 28, 2018 7:04 am

Jester wrote:
Wed Nov 28, 2018 6:34 am
hugodrax wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 4:07 pm
Can you define “indiscriminate?”
This guy is looking for a nomination.
What exactly do you mean by "nomination"?
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Re: Ethics of eating meat

Post by tuttle » Wed Nov 28, 2018 9:24 am

Nature of a Man wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:21 pm
tuttle wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:13 pm
Nature of a Man wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 2:51 pm
"Get up, Peter. Kill and eat." - God
On this, I wouldn't agree that this is a unilateral endorsement of "killing or eating" indiscriminately, but a specific commandment to Peter in the context of Peter's specific role or duties in life.

(e.x. Arguing that because God told Peter specifically to kill and eat, is the same as God glorifying killing itself as a whole would seem problematic to me.)

My Biblical take is that eating meat is, in life in general, a necessary evil for most ordinary humans in regards to the fact that humans are imperfect and living in an imperfect world.
I also don't take the "Kill and eat" command to endorse indiscriminate slaughter, but what command of God has ever been indiscriminate?

It's the 'necessary evil' part that's not making sense here. Even in the context of Peter being told to kill and eat, Peter responds that ain't no way he'd eat anything unclean, to which God says, Don't call anything God makes clean unclean. And recall what Jesus said, "Man is not defiled by anything that he puts in his cake-hole, but rather from what comes out of his mouth".

I would then contend that the slaughter of animals for food, in this light, is not at all any kind of a shade of evil, much less a necessary one.
Thanks.

My argument was that things which would not exist in heaven, but are permitted to exist on earth, are necessary evils (e.x. eating meat, or elements of living in an imperfect world, such as military and law enforcement). While things not prohibited to exist on earth, would be "unncessary evils" (e.x. murdering other people, as opposed to killing animals).

If the lion is said to lie down with the lamb in heaven, I take this as indicating that eating other animals for food is necessary evil of earth, but would be unnecessary in heaven (as well as being related to the fall of man from Eden).
Two things.

1) The term 'necessary evil' is mainly what's at issue. It's loaded and I'm not sure what you've loaded it with. I take a term like 'necessary evil' as something that is evil as an actual evil, regardless of necessity. Therefore if you consider it an actual evil, I'm having a hard time with your usage of it in this context since it obviously flies in the face of clear commands in Scripture that eating meat is not evil whatsoever, again, regardless of necessity.

2) As to the idea that things that wouldn't exist in heaven but are permitted to exist on earth, I'd venture to say that we'd all agree that at the Last Day, however that's interpreted, that Sin will be no more. But perhaps we should be careful about what we think will be 'permitted' or 'not permitted' regarding things that aren't sin.

The one thing that jumps out at me is marriage. Christ specifically says that at the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage. Does that mean that marriage here and now, is a 'necessary evil'? That seems like a stretch considering Paul emphatically points out that the ultimate purpose of marriage is to reveal a mystery about Christ and the church. So just because something may not be continued at the resurrection doesn't necessarily mean it is because it is evil, sinful, or lacking in something.

As to meat specifically, I don't know if there is enough in the images of a lion eating straw and a wolf living with a lamb allows us to say with confidence that no meat will ever be eaten at the resurrection. Perhaps we might infer that lion's and other predators will no longer hunt for meat. But again, it's hard to say with confidence that resurrected humanity will never eat meat based on that passage, especially in light of other eschatological passages in the same book (Isaiah 25).

On this mountain the LORD of Hosts
will prepare a banquet for all the peoples,
a feast of aged wine, of choice meat,
of finely aged wine.

On this mountain He will swallow up
the shroud that enfolds all the peoples,
the sheet that covers all the nations;
He will swallow up death forever.

The Lord GOD will wipe away the tears from every face
and remove the disgrace of His people
from the whole earth.

I've highlighted the pertinent part. Perhaps someone says we ought to interpret that just as an image of the good things to come in terms that we understand in the here and now. Ok. But then I guess we do that with the peaceful predator passage above as well.

Point is, I have no issue with anyone who wants to eat meat ethically, or even avoid meat altogether, but if one wants to use Scripture in order to justify their position in the way that you have, then you have to face the fact that the Scriptures don't put slaughtering animals for food in the 'sin' category, and not even the 'necessary evil' category.
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Re: Ethics of eating meat

Post by Joshoowah » Wed Nov 28, 2018 9:36 am

Nature of a Man wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 4:11 pm
Jester wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:59 pm
Nature of a Man wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:21 pm
Jester wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:14 pm
Do you believe Jesus cooked the fish for the Apostles and then abstained? Does Jesus sin when he practices necessary evil?
As far as that goes - whether or not he abstained, I'd argue that Jesus being God in the form of a man isn't a comparable scenario (which I wouldn't be worthy of discussing here), so whether or not Jesus engaged in eating fish wouldn't have any bearing on Jesus being a sinner, or on eating meat being a necessary evil (I attempted to describe what I meant by "necessary "evil" above).

My argument was simply that Jesus cooking fish for the Apostles for the last supper, isn't the same as endorsing indiscriminate killing or eating of animals. (It does indicate though that Jesus never commanded any and everyone to become vegans, which I agree with).
I don't think anyone here is tracking with your accusation of indiscriminate killing. Please link us to an article or source of all the Christians who support the Doctrine of Indiscriminate Killing and I will fight it along side of you.

As for the actual conversation we are having.

How do you separate sin from evil? It sounds as if you are saying "Jesus can participate in necessary evil but that has no bearing on him being a sinner." Please correct me if that is not what you are saying.
Difficult to say, but my take is that if Jesus is God in the form of a man, one couldn't easily compare Jesus' actions to that of an ordinary person, so I don't feel I can go there any further.

I understand that my use of the term "necessary evil" is what you're uncomfortable with - I was using that term to refer to things which are permitted on earth, but which would't exist or have a need to exist in heaven (e.x. a lion lying down with the lamb implies that killing for food would not exist in heaven, despite being permitted on earth).
Did no one else catch this? Maybe I'm nitpicking here, but there are a few biblical and theological issues with this statement, no?

Eh, it's probably nothing.

Carry on.
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Re: Ethics of eating meat

Post by Nature of a Man » Wed Nov 28, 2018 4:10 pm

tuttle wrote:
Wed Nov 28, 2018 9:24 am
1) The term 'necessary evil' is mainly what's at issue. It's loaded and I'm not sure what you've loaded it with. I take a term like 'necessary evil' as something that is evil as an actual evil, regardless of necessity. Therefore if you consider it an actual evil, I'm having a hard time with your usage of it in this context since it obviously flies in the face of clear commands in Scripture that eating meat is not evil whatsoever, again, regardless of necessity.
---
I wouldn't totally agree with that, I'd agree that necessity would factor in to it to an extent, such as in regards to vices such as greed, gluttony and whatnot - if things such as meat were consumed in excessive ways significantly beyond the necessity, or ways in which regard for the life of the animals was ignored, I believe it would tie in with the vices above, as well as with Bible verses which mention caring for animals:

“A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.” (Proverbs 12:10)

I agree that there is no specific part of the Bible that I know of which ever outright declared the eating of meat "evil" in the way described above, perhaps that wasn't the best choice of words.
2) As to the idea that things that wouldn't exist in heaven but are permitted to exist on earth, I'd venture to say that we'd all agree that at the Last Day, however that's interpreted, that Sin will be no more. But perhaps we should be careful about what we think will be 'permitted' or 'not permitted' regarding things that aren't sin.

The one thing that jumps out at me is marriage. Christ specifically says that at the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage. Does that mean that marriage here and now, is a 'necessary evil'? That seems like a stretch considering Paul emphatically points out that the ultimate purpose of marriage is to reveal a mystery about Christ and the church. So just because something may not be continued at the resurrection doesn't necessarily mean it is because it is evil, sinful, or lacking in something.

As to meat specifically, I don't know if there is enough in the images of a lion eating straw and a wolf living with a lamb allows us to say with confidence that no meat will ever be eaten at the resurrection. Perhaps we might infer that lion's and other predators will no longer hunt for meat. But again, it's hard to say with confidence that resurrected humanity will never eat meat based on that passage, especially in light of other eschatological passages in the same book (Isaiah 25).

On this mountain the LORD of Hosts
will prepare a banquet for all the peoples,
a feast of aged wine, of choice meat,
of finely aged wine.

On this mountain He will swallow up
the shroud that enfolds all the peoples,
the sheet that covers all the nations;
He will swallow up death forever.

The Lord GOD will wipe away the tears from every face
and remove the disgrace of His people
from the whole earth.

I've highlighted the pertinent part. Perhaps someone says we ought to interpret that just as an image of the good things to come in terms that we understand in the here and now. Ok. But then I guess we do that with the peaceful predator passage above as well.

Point is, I have no issue with anyone who wants to eat meat ethically, or even avoid meat altogether, but if one wants to use Scripture in order to justify their position in the way that you have, then you have to face the fact that the Scriptures don't put slaughtering animals for food in the 'sin' category, and not even the 'necessary evil' category.
I'm not sure what the best choice of words are, though the Bible does seem to have notions of concepts such as having regard for the life of animals, as well as not consuming or seeking things in ways which are in excess - I'd assume the same principles would apply in regards to consumption of animals for food, though I see nothing unilaterally prohibiting animal consumption, or ever referring to it with the term "evil".
Last edited by Nature of a Man on Wed Nov 28, 2018 4:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Ethics of eating meat

Post by Nature of a Man » Wed Nov 28, 2018 4:38 pm

FredS wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 5:24 pm
Without regard for the animal's soul?
As far as that goes, that's an interesting discussion:

My understanding is that most Western concepts of soul are related to a concept called Descartesian dualism, and that animals aren't regarded as a having souls, at least in the sense that people are.

There is another more general definition of "soul" I hear used though, in which soul refers to the pattern in which someone or something's components are arranged that creates its unique identity.

In this latter sense, everything has a "soul" that defines a thing as what it is, possibly in the sense of "the whole being greater than the sum of its parts".

(e.x. A pile of computer parts wouldn't be a computer- only once the parts were arranged together would they be a computer - and if it was taken apart, it would cease to be a computer, even if the parts themselves were identical).

Even in this sense though, the "souls" of objects, such as rocks, or of animals, wouldn't be the same as the souls of humans, in terms of their complexity and defining components.

(e.x. In the case of a functioning computer with an operating system, versus a non-functioning one - the physical parts or hardware might be identical, but the latter would be different and more complex than the former, since its "soul" wouldn't be defined solely by its physical parts, but also by its software, or the electricity which gives function to its operating system).

-

As far as the discussion itself goes though, I'm not sure how the notion of an animal's soul would directly factor into discussions on eating of meat.

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Re: Ethics of eating meat

Post by FredS » Wed Nov 28, 2018 5:13 pm

Nature of a Man wrote:
Wed Nov 28, 2018 4:38 pm
As far as the discussion itself goes though, I'm not sure how the notion of an animal's soul would directly factor into discussions on eating of meat.
It doesn't. I didn't write that it does.

I was trying to understand what you meant when you wrote about 'indiscriminate killing'. I listed a few possibilities to see if any of them touched on your intention. "Indiscriminate" could be defined as 'random' or 'without careful thought' so I wondered if you meant 'killing without careful thought as to whether or not the animal has a soul'. I don't think they do, but there's something there that makes it emotionally more difficult to kill and eat the family dog than the beef cow. Or the neighbors cat.
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Re: Ethics of eating meat

Post by Nature of a Man » Wed Nov 28, 2018 5:23 pm

FredS wrote:
Wed Nov 28, 2018 5:13 pm
Nature of a Man wrote:
Wed Nov 28, 2018 4:38 pm
As far as the discussion itself goes though, I'm not sure how the notion of an animal's soul would directly factor into discussions on eating of meat.
It doesn't. I didn't write that it does.

I was trying to understand what you meant when you wrote about 'indiscriminate killing'. I listed a few possibilities to see if any of them touched on your intention. "Indiscriminate" could be defined as 'random' or 'without careful thought' so I wondered if you meant 'killing without careful thought as to whether or not the animal has a soul'. I don't think they do, but there's something there that makes it emotionally more difficult to kill and eat the family dog than the beef cow.
I'm assuming in that you mean soul in dualist sense in which humans have souls, but not animals, but I'm not an expert on the philosophy behind it so I can't comment.

Indiscriminate would everything important into account, such as the raising and preparation methods, whether or not the animals are being killed or hunted in excess quantity, or killed solely for sport as opposed to food - whether or not the meat or animal products are consumed in healthy quantities, and so on.

In day to day life, a person would just have to use common sense to discern the difference, rather than be paranoid or hypochondriac about it.
I don't think they do, but there's something there that makes it emotionally more difficult to kill and eat the family dog than the beef cow.
I'd assume that might have to do with the fact that a dog is a companion, rather than just another beast, or that certain animals just tend to make better companions than others.

As far as nature as a whole goes, there is some hierarchy to the animal kingdom; the overall pattern is that I see is that more complex creatures or forms of life tend to naturally be harder to kill than less complex ones (e.x. lives of animals generate more concern than lives of bugs or insects), but I don't totally understand the logic to it.

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Re: Ethics of eating meat

Post by hugodrax » Wed Nov 28, 2018 5:37 pm

Nature of a Man wrote:
Wed Nov 28, 2018 5:23 pm
FredS wrote:
Wed Nov 28, 2018 5:13 pm
Nature of a Man wrote:
Wed Nov 28, 2018 4:38 pm
As far as the discussion itself goes though, I'm not sure how the notion of an animal's soul would directly factor into discussions on eating of meat.
It doesn't. I didn't write that it does.

I was trying to understand what you meant when you wrote about 'indiscriminate killing'. I listed a few possibilities to see if any of them touched on your intention. "Indiscriminate" could be defined as 'random' or 'without careful thought' so I wondered if you meant 'killing without careful thought as to whether or not the animal has a soul'. I don't think they do, but there's something there that makes it emotionally more difficult to kill and eat the family dog than the beef cow.
I'm assuming in that you mean soul in dualist sense in which humans have souls, but not animals, but I'm not an expert on the philosophy behind it so I can't comment.

Indiscriminate would everything important into account, such as the raising and preparation methods, whether or not the animals are being killed or hunted in excess quantity, or killed solely for sport as opposed to food - whether or not the meat or animal products are consumed in healthy quantities, and so on.

In day to day life, a person would just have to use common sense to discern the difference, rather than be paranoid or hypochondriac about it.
So, just in the interest of trying to figure out where we're at vis-a-vis the consumption of meat: would it be fair to say you believe it is permitted but we shouldn't be jerks about it. Kill and eat but dont go crazy?
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FredS
The Trappists say shut it, still talking
The Trappists say shut it, still talking
Posts: 22100
Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 6:00 pm
Location: NOCO (Northern Colorado)

Re: Ethics of eating meat

Post by FredS » Wed Nov 28, 2018 5:41 pm

Can I eat one of the neighbors cats as long as I'm intentional about which one I kill and only do it, say, once every two months?
"If we ever get to heaven boys, it aint because we aint done nothin' wrong" - Kris Kristofferson

"One of the things I love about CPS is the frank and enthusiastic dysfunction here. God help me, I do love it so." – OldWorldSwine

"I'd like to put a hook in that puppet and swing it through a bunch of salmon!" - durangopipe

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