Natural and Unnatural
I posted a question on Yahoo answers recently asking how vegans felt about breast feeding. You see, vegans differ from vegetarians in that while neither will eat meat, vegetarians are at least willing to eat animal products such as eggs, milk, and cheese. Vegans won't even eat animal products. So I was curious to know how they felt about breast feeding since that involves consuming an animal product.
The best answer I got was essentially this:
1. Vegans are against exploitation.
2. Breast feeding is not exploitation, but eating non-human animal products is.
3. Therefore vegans are okay with breast feeding, but they are against eating non-human animal products.
That seemed consistent to me.
But there was another argument brought up that I wasn't so sure about. A few people pointed out that breast feeding is natural, but eating the products of other animals is not. It was as if to say that as long as something is natural, it is okay, and if it is unnatural, then it is not okay.
I almost posted another question about that. I was curious to know how vegans felt about homosexuality. Arguably, it's unnatural since male parts and female parts are complimentary, but same sex parts aren't. To be consistent, shouldn't vegans also oppose homosexuality for the same reason? But most vegans I've met tend to be liberal, and most liberals tend to be okay with homosexuality.
Of course a lot of people will say that homosexuality is natural just because other animals also engage in homosexual behavior. But if a vegan makes that argument, they will undermine their argument for being vegan. After all, coyotes eat chicken eggs. In fact, LOTS of other animals eat eggs that don't belong to them. Does that make eating eggs natural and therefore okay? And I've also seen interspecies breast feeding, although that usually happens in captivity more than in the wild, so I guess they could say it's still unnatural.
I'm not convinced that natural = okay or that unnatural = bad. I can think of counter-examples of both. But what do you think? Do you think if something is natural that it's okay, and if it's unnatural it's not okay? And how do you distinguish between what is natural and what isn't? Are non-human animals even capable of doing something that isn't natural? If not, then how are we? If we are capable of doing what is natural and also what is unnatural, how do you tell the difference? What makes something natural or unnatural?
If you're a Calvinist, wouldn't you have to admit that the natural state of man is that he is a sinner? Isn't sin natural? If sin is natural, then how can you equate the natural with the morally permissible and the unnatural with being morally wrong?