Jeff Nelson

Jeff Nelson

Posted February 23, 2010

Published in Animals

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Do Humans Have Rights?

Read More: animals, ethics, stargate

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For those of you with Netflix, you know what a pleasure it is to discover hidden treasures you may have missed.

Recently we started watching old episodes of Stargate SG-1.  This is a sci-fi show about humans who travel to other planets through a "star gate" system. 

The bad guys in this series are a race called the Goa'uld. The Goa'uld are a parasitic creature that requires a host in order to live.

The Goa'uld feel they are superior to everyone else in the galaxy and have no problem using humans for their purposes.

Who does this sound like?

It was rather interesting to find some deep, ethical, philosophical issues being discussed on an old science fiction TV show.

Watch the segment below, which is a trial where the Goa'uld representatives gives the argument why it's acceptable for the Goa'uld to use humans as they do. The human host victim is answering questions, and two humans are defending him, and trying to answer the Goa'uld's argument.

I don't want to give too much away. Watch this clip and tell us what you think.



16 Comments | Leave a comment


Never saw the appeal of StarGate SG-1, though I did enjoy the sequel StarGate Atlantis. This particular episode was dreadful, I felt 'MacGyver' too easily dismissed vegetarians as idiots - at least that was my impression when I first saw the episode. A better TV show would be Star Trek TNG. They had many episodes that touched on the subject (first season's quote "we no longer enslave animals for food purposes" is still in my head).


We've been avid fans of Star Gate for years, and we too have been re-watching the series recently. This trial was one we also enjoyed for the same reasons.

We've also been long-time Trekkies. I remember the show Veggiedude refers to in which a character proudly states they no longer enslave animals for food. That was cool too.

On a time line of evolution, I believe the Star Trek statement came first. The Star Gate debate, which challenged viewers to think, followed a few years later.

Perhaps these shows reflect an increasing awareness of the topic in our society. Perhaps it's part of the spiritual maturation of humankind as we learn to respect each other.

Initially, we figured out that enslaving fellow humans was wrong. Gradually, we are figuring out that enslaving any sentient being is wrong. ...all part of the awakening of our hearts!


Animals are undoubtedly very intelligent, in some respects more intelligent than humans. Yet, their organs of speech are not developed enough so that their verbal language is not as advanced as that of humans. If only they had an advanced verbal language, there is little doubt they would organise themselves into massive trade unions in order to protest against the cruelty perpetrated by humans towards them!


Thanks for sharing Jeff. What season and episode is the clip from?

@veggiedude & deborah:
Can you remember the show's season and/or episode in which the mentioned line/discussion appears?


Here's a utube of the star trek statement:


Very cool, thanks. :)


The episode is Lonely Among Us, I believe from the first season.

More about vegetarianism in Trek is here:

Leonard Nimoy is veggie in real life, possibly influenced by his character as Spock.


Thanks so much! I've found the episode. Like you said it's season 1 episode 7 of Star Trek TNG.


I would recommend another show from around that era, 'Kung Fu' with David Carradine. A few episodes had the main character Caine explain he doesn't eat meat and sometimes others would become veggie by the end of the episode because of his influence (at least a couple times). He was never preachy about it, and often seemed to stand back as a casual observer than to get involved. For example, he once told a kid the rabbit would outrun the fox chasing it. "How do you know?" asked the kid. "Because the fox is running for his dinner, and the rabbit is running for its life".

Carradine later adopted some of Caine's philosophy by learning martial arts and becoming vegetarian.

My site talks about it:


Yah, that was a profound show. I remember how well he portrayed the inner stillness. I didn't remember the veggie references though! How cool!


"Because the fox is running for his dinner, and the rabbit is running for its life" was a statement used in WenDo, a western adaptation of eastern martial arts especially for women and their self-defence.

Women sometimes (erroneously!)think they are helpless and too weak to protect themselves. They easily identify with the rabbit, and in doing so, are encouraged to look for our talents and strengths.

This is getting off topic... but while I'm at it... another example of effective self-defence by a smaller, weaker being is the behavior of a kitten who does not want to be held. :-)


Does anyone know what season/episode this Stargate clip is from?


Season 3, Disc 4 - it's called Pretense.


Great! Thanks so much. :)


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