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Why Vegan?

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Why Vegan?
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*SD*User avatarPosts: 167Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:00 amLocation: Wales, UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Why Vegan?

Dragan Glas wrote:Greetings,

SD, thank you for your posts - please don't think I'm ignoring you by not responding to you ... although, I'm doing that now anyway. :facepalm:

I've found one "line", in that Vego wants to ban all forms of "exploitation", as he perceives/defines it.

Kindest regards,

James


Not at all dude, no issues. If he does indeed want to ban all forms of exploitation that's a whole other road of discussion, with many a winding turn! It's always going to come to a question of line drawing with the moral/ethical arguments for veganism. As I said, this is usually denied by the ethical vegan, but in most cases it's quite easy to prove the existence of the line. Vego's only way out of this is if he/she isn't funding anything that causes the exploitation or destruction of animals. This is highly unlikely to be the case (which is why I was asking about lifestyle etc) so there clearly will be a line being drawn somewhere. Once it is established as to where that line (Vego's) is actually drawn, it can likely be argued that it's arbitrary. If this turns out not be the case, Vego will be the first for me - and I've done this quite a bit by now.

Vego - Please don't think you're being ganged up on here, I realise a few of us posters are arguing from different angles and you are flying solo (at least so far anyway)
"Killing animals and eating their lifeless corpses is fun" - SD 2018
"Remember, it's totally ok if you pay for them to be killed for wheat, but abhorrent if you do it for meat" - SD 2018
Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:41 pm
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VegoUser avatarPosts: 74Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:32 pm

Post Re: Why Vegan?

EDITED Quick response to last message by *SD* at the end of this post.

*SD* wrote:The gist here is that I haven't found a vegan yet who lives as consistently as reasonably possible with their vegan ideology.

So what if you know 1000 vegans who are not consistent, or if no vegan in the world is 100% reasonable? Does that make veganism invalid somehow? Are vegans required to be perfect?

Vegans are just people.

And not all vegans share the same values (as I illustrated in my opening, and I left out things like abolitionism and flexitarianism), or the same personality. An example is this video from vegan channel à-bas-le-ciel: "Why I Hate Vegans & Why Vegans Hate Me." (the first ~2min are just an intro; "How I Became Vegan" also has some relevance to this conversation)

*SD* wrote:most vegans, even the really vocal ones will be taking at least B12 supplements, often in injection form.

All human and non-human animals need a source of B12, and vegans (and non-vegans) can get it through fortified foods and supplements, of which there are several types and delivery forms. It is possible that some people don't absorb B12 normally and need injections, but they would need that regardless of their diet. People can inject B12 for various reasons, but if you are going to make such a big claim ("B12 injection is frequent and even necessary for veganism") then you need a justification, because it sounds like a myth.

*SD* wrote:I see you've touched on this in your reply to Dragan Glas and it looks like you're trying to define "diet" so as to include artificial or synthesised supplements.

I am not trying to do that, and I have no interest in defining "diet" (I already talked about this word in my opening). Dragan Glas is the one who was trying to define "healthy diet" unfairly: if you declare that supplementation is unhealthy by default, then many vegans have an unhealthy diet without necessarily being unhealthy as a result, and that is just playing with words.


*SD* wrote:Pests? So you consider something that gets in your way a pest? I know what you're getting at so I won't strawman you, but not everything is a pest just because it's messing with crops.

"Pest" is just the traditional name in the context of farming. I used "rodents" in the other discussion to simplify (not all pests are rodents, or even animals), I guess I'll just do that again.

*SD* wrote:And even if it were, they are still sentient creatures going about their lives like anything else.

You should probably read my opening post, otherwise it will feel like I am just repeating myself.

*SD* wrote:you don't care about pureeing rabbits so you can have cereal based food products

I don't know what this "pureeing" is. But let's say you are correct: can we avoid it? If we can't, then what sense is there in me worrying about it? I don't stress too much about it, not because I don't care in principle, but because the best I can do is live my life and contribute to society according to my abilities (physical, mental, financial, and so on).

*SD* wrote:you'll undoubtedly object to me shooting a few so I can eat them.

Yes, because you don't have to (unless you don't have access to vegan resources, or you have a special medical condition).

*SD* wrote:Just making the point that it's a bit of an oversimplification.

You can look at my answer to Dragan Glas just before your post to notice that my concerns are not limited to killing (I also said so in previous posts). And FWIW, killing is involved in the production of eggs (male chicks are "discarded", hens are killed when their productivity declines), milk (male calves = veal, cows are killed when their productivity declines), and wool is not fun.

*SD* wrote:
Farm animals are avoidable.


So is a whole fuck-ton of other stuff. Let's not go down this road because it just goes on forever and usually amounts to one huge tangent.

I don't understand, this is fundamental to ethical veganism. If you reject that we don't have to kill/exploit farm animals, you might as well be saying that ethical veganism is not possible.

*SD* wrote:Vego - Please don't think you're being ganged up on here, I realise a few of us posters are arguing from different angles and you are flying solo (at least so far anyway)

Standard fare for a vegan.
"Violent ideologies have a special set of defenses that enable humane people to support inhumane practices and to not even realize what they're doing." (Melanie Joy)
Last edited by Vego on Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Tue Apr 17, 2018 6:34 pm
VegoUser avatarPosts: 74Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:32 pm

Post Re: Why Vegan?

Dragan Glas wrote:Given that vegan food isn't "cruelty-free" due to exploitation of workers, an increase in plant-based food production is bound to lead to an increase in exploitation of labourers, including trafficking of migrants.

Your initial message was "a switch to plant-based food" and now you are talking about "an increase in plant-based food production". A lot of our crops are used to feed animals, so I don't know if a "switch" would necessarily result in an increase in production.

Even so, we are back to the previous thread: why would this switch make things worse than they already are? Are you saying that the production of animal food is cruelty-free for humans? Does it even make sense to compare the atrocities of animal exploitation with the exploitation of human workers? Have you considered that maybe working conditions for humans are easier to improve?

Dragan Glas wrote:It doesn't matter ... occur in the US.

Maybe I am not expressing myself properly, but this is just messy, so I am going to try to simplify.

We can make as many catastrophic scenarios as we want, and try to find potential problems and solutions for anything. For example, if you are worried about manure, we can keep using animals (not for food) until we can build some kind of gastrobot; just make sure to collect the manure "normally" rather than using some kind of industrial pump.

None of that changes that today, based on what we know (resource availability, human nutrition, food efficiency) going vegan seems doable and beneficial. It's not just me saying that, multiple studies have been published (I referenced one, I can give you a few more if you want, and you can find more in Mic. the Vegan's videos that I linked) and, although there is a lot of uncertainty and unknowns, the direction seems clear. If all you have is just more speculation, then this is pointless.

Dragan Glas wrote:It still comes down to too many people.

Population size still isn't an argument for or against ethical veganism.

Dragan Glas wrote:No, I'm asking you for your thoughts on whether making a non-vegan animal eat a vegan diet is ethical or not.

If someone who should have known better causes unnecessary suffering (through diet or otherwise) to an animal that they decided to care for, then I would consider it abuse, so not ethical.

Dragan Glas wrote:However, in the other thread - if I recall correctly this time - you had said that the farm animals would have to be slaughtered, which appears to be contrary to your stated goal of minimizing the suffering of farm animals.

Where "carnists" are killing some farm animals for food at any one time, you suggest killing all of them in one go.

What would be done with all this meat?

I am going to assume that you are asking me about the fictional scenario that I mentioned in the other thread; if this is not what you meant, you may have to provide me with a link or a quote to refresh my memory.

The biggest issue with what you just said is the word "some"; it's like saying "some people are lactose intolerant", which is a complete misrepresentation of reality.

In this fictional/hypothetical scenario, everyone in the world decides to go vegan overnight (let's just pretend that they can feed themselves somehow, since this is not the point of the exercise). Now we have about 70 billion farm animals that would have been slaughtered, and some more who are still maturing (next year's "batch"). My preference would be to give them all a proper retirement through a combination of adoption and sanctuaries (maybe repurposed factories). However, there are so many animals that my guess is that there wouldn't be enough resources to do that for all of them, and inevitably we would end up with many animals (probably billions) that we could not care for properly. We might be able to "release" a fraction, but too much of that and we risk causing some ecological catastrophe. In the event that we are left with animals that we truly cannot care for, then it is my opinion that we should perform mass euthanasia as it would be our last resort.

In this fictional scenario, there is no meat, only sentient beings who lost their lives due to our cultural brutishness. When it comes to death toll, this would be preferable to a more realistic slow elimination of animal exploitation, because every year we wait, tens of billions more are abused and killed.

Dragan Glas wrote:You're looking to get rid of all farming - even farming that does not involve killing, such as dairy, and wool.

I mention killing because it is easy to conceptualize, but as I have said multiple times in previous posts, killing is not the only issue, far from it.

And BTW, production of milk does involve killing (think about the process, seriously). Try to cover your eyes with this wool.

Dragan Glas wrote:Which translates to drawing a line to include all forms of what you perceive/define as "exploitation".

Do you honestly need a definition to recognize that farming causes suffering? Once again, by using the word "perceive", you are trying to deny the reality of non-human suffering.

As I tried to explain in my opening, I just assume that reality is worse than I imagine, and given what I have seen so far, I believe this is a safe assumption.

Dragan Glas wrote:
Vego wrote:Your statements are arbitrary because all you do is define "healthy diet" in a way that is convenient to you. What if I define "healthy diet" as potentially including supplements? This is yet another moot point.

No, I didn't define "healthy diet" - I based my statement, and conclusion, on the article I cited.

Did you give me the right link? What does that have to do with supplements? (your statement was "Anyone eating a healthy diet doesn't need supplements", which I find objectionable)
"Violent ideologies have a special set of defenses that enable humane people to support inhumane practices and to not even realize what they're doing." (Melanie Joy)
Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:12 pm
*SD*User avatarPosts: 167Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:00 amLocation: Wales, UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Why Vegan?

So what if you know 1000 vegans who are not consistent, or if no vegan in the world is 100% reasonable?


I don't focus on consistency, I'm not the one offering up an ideology and arguing that everyone else should adhere to it. You wanted to make the case - so make it.

Does that make veganism invalid somehow?


Well, if the position (veganism) hasn't been successfully argued for then in a way it does. It's your case to make - make it.

Are vegans required to be perfect?


No. But when arguing for veganism it would be more productive and successful overall if they were more consistent with their own position. And again, I don't give two shits about consistency but I'm not the one arguing for a position for which consistency would be key.

Vegans are just people.


Yup.

And not all vegans share the same values (as I illustrated in my opening, and I left out things like abolitionism and flexitarianism), or the same personality. An example is this video from vegan channel à-bas-le-ciel: "Why I Hate Vegans & Why Vegans Hate Me." (the first ~2min are just an intro; "How I Became Vegan" also has some relevance to this conversation)


I'm somewhat familiar with a-bas-wotsit. But I only see what others reply to as for the videos.

All human and non-human animals need a source of B12


We do, yes.

and vegans (and non-vegans) can get it through fortified foods


We can also get it through non fortified foods. And before you get into it I'm aware of how B12 is actually produced.

It is possible that some people don't absorb B12 normally and need injections


This is true, so? Vegans are more likely to need B12 supplementation than non vegans. As mentioned, even the more "hardcore" (excuse the word but you probably know what I mean) vegans readily confess to this.

but if you are going to make such a big claim ("B12 injection is frequent and even necessary for veganism") then you need a justification, because it sounds like a myth


I can, just off the top of my head without doing any digging at all, point you to some VERY prominent and popular vegan activists who admit to this. How familiar with this debate are you? If you aren't aware that vegan activists admit to this then I'm wondering how new you might be to the argument. Ever heard of Richard Burgess? AKA Vegan Gains?
Go argue with him about B12, I quite like the guy tbh, although many would argue he's a complete basket case. But he does seem to know his shit when it comes to nutrition and even he admits he takes B12 injections and has to have regular blood work done. And this is a guy who knows his ass from his elbow when it comes to nutrition.

I am not trying to do that, and I have no interest in defining "diet" (I already talked about this word in my opening)


Ok, fine.

Dragan Glas is the one who was trying to define "healthy diet" unfairly: if you declare that supplementation is unhealthy by default, then many vegans have an unhealthy diet without necessarily being unhealthy as a result, and that is just playing with words.


I did not and do not declare that, I offered my opinion on whether I think it;s reasonable to refer to injections and pills as part of a diet. You haven't really addressed what I said, maybe you're confusing my reply to the aspect with what DG said.

"Pest" is just the traditional name in the context of farming. I used "rodents" in the other discussion to simplify (not all pests are rodents, or even animals), I guess I'll just do that again.


You don't need to explain farming to me. I'm not a farmer my self, but I have spent many many years working on farms. Most of my friends are farmers so I still spend a good deal of time on farms, even though that's not my work any more. I know not all pests are rodents, I know not all pests are animals. The issue here is what you're willing to call a pest and more importantly - why.

You should probably read my opening post, otherwise it will feel like I am just repeating myself.


I already have and you already are.

I don't know what this "pureeing" is


Do you not? You know what tomato puree (excuse the lack of the little thing above the E) is, yes? That's what a combine does to a rabbit when it's harvesting cereal crops. I know - because I've done it.

But let's say you are correct: can we avoid it?


I am, see above. And yes, of course we can avoid it. Grow your own! I do and I'm not even remotely close to being vegan. If I can do it, why can't you? I probably eat less cereal crops than you do, especially with you being vegan. This is what I was getting at when I was asking about your lifestyle. My footprint is probably smaller than yours, and I eat meat every single day. I take my own game, I grow my own vegetables, herbs, and gather my own fungi, berries, occasionally flowers for flavouring depending on season.

If we can't, then what sense is there in me worrying about it? I don't stress too much about it


To hell with them then! The point is, unless you're part of an incredibly small minority who do everything they can reasonably do to avoid death/harm/suffering etc you're a hypocrite. If you live in accordance with your ideology, there is no argument for us to have. Chances are you could do more towards that than you're probably doing. I'll guarantee you I fund the killing of LESS animals (pests or otherwise) than you do, and I eat meat every day.

Yes, because you don't have to (unless you don't have access to vegan resources, or you have a special medical condition).


No medical conditions that I'm aware of. Doesn't mean I don't have any, just means I'm unaware of them if I do. This line of thought doesn't lead to veganism. I grow.... as above. I take my own game.... as above. Why is it wrong for me to do that? I can literally open my bedroom window and shoot a rabbit, or a pigeon right now - perfectly legally and without any suffering, clean cook and eat it as part of a meal without any ill effects. You don't mind shoving the rabbits through the wood chipper (essentially, to a rabbit, you get the point) so you can have stupid bread, so why can't I take one in a far less gruesome manner? Remember, you're talking to someone who has harvested crops. When the combine draws a creature in, especially one as big as a rabbit, you see a red haze through the chute and that gets spat into the bin at the back (the bin is where your cereal crop is).

You can look at my answer to Dragan Glas just before your post to notice that my concerns are not limited to killing (I also said so in previous posts). And FWIW, killing is involved in the production of eggs (male chicks are "discarded", hens are killed when their productivity declines), milk (male calves = veal, cows are killed when their productivity declines), and wool is not fun.


I've read it.

I'm aware that in factory farming in certain areas of the planet male chicks are discarded. I do not agree with this being done, I think it's despicable practice and you can rest assured I'm very much in favour of the abolition of such. This is generally not the practice where I live, I can't tell you it doesn't happen but it's not the norm.

Male calves - not entirely true, most are kept for beef stock, yes some are taken for veal, this is a lengthy conversation to have. I'm willing to have it but there are already several aspects to discuss. Do not assume I'm avoiding this area, I'll go there but it would need to be specifically about that rather than everything else already being discussed in this thread.

I don't understand, this is fundamental to ethical veganism. If you reject that we don't have to kill/exploit farm animals, you might as well be saying that ethical veganism is not possible.


In a way I am saying that. But it depends where you want to take the discussion. And please don't come back with some shit "appeal to futility" thing - blowing off objections is pretty much why veganism isn't exactly setting the world alight.
"Killing animals and eating their lifeless corpses is fun" - SD 2018
"Remember, it's totally ok if you pay for them to be killed for wheat, but abhorrent if you do it for meat" - SD 2018
Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:34 pm
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VegoUser avatarPosts: 74Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:32 pm

Post Re: Why Vegan?

*SD* wrote:No. But when arguing for veganism it would be more productive and successful overall if they were more consistent with their own position. And again, I don't give two shits about consistency but I'm not the one arguing for a position for which consistency would be key.

You are confusing vegans and veganism. Vegans are people, you are asking too much. I already expressed what I think of veganism in my opening post. You don't seem to have any specific argument.

*SD* wrote:Vegans are more likely to need B12 supplementation than non vegans. As mentioned, even the more "hardcore" (excuse the word but you probably know what I mean) vegans readily confess to this.

I don't argue against supplementation, and you are the one who mentioned B12 first.

*SD* wrote:
but if you are going to make such a big claim ("B12 injection is frequent and even necessary for veganism") then you need a justification, because it sounds like a myth


I can, just off the top of my head without doing any digging at all, point you to some VERY prominent and popular vegan activists who admit to this. ... Ever heard of Richard Burgess? AKA Vegan Gains?

I provided various links in my opening post to get started, but I never recommended getting health information exclusively from random Youtubers (even those that I linked sometimes provide incorrect information).

It doesn't look like you know what you are talking about.

*SD* wrote:The issue here is what you're willing to call a pest and more importantly - why.

I let farmers define what they call pest, I am just a consumer.

*SD* wrote:
You should probably read my opening post, otherwise it will feel like I am just repeating myself.


I already have and you already are.

You are giving me answers that suggest that you are not aware of what I posted initially.

*SD* wrote:And yes, of course we can avoid it. Grow your own!

Many people can go vegan, not everyone can grow their own food (some vegans do). You sound like an absolutist, and this is not what I defend.

*SD* wrote:I do and I'm not even remotely close to being vegan. If I can do it, why can't you?

I don't know if I can or not. Going vegan was a change in my life, but what you are suggesting (becoming somewhat self-sufficient) would be a much bigger change. In perspective, veganism is relatively simple, just buy slightly different stuff. Growing my own food to the extent that you suggest (wheat!) would involve a far more radical change in lifestyle (I don't even have a garden, and my window only has a view on another building). I am not saying I can't do it, just that this is going to require more time and effort.

*SD* wrote:My footprint is probably smaller than yours, and I eat meat every single day. I take my own game, I grow my own vegetables, herbs, and gather my own fungi, berries, occasionally flowers for flavouring depending on season.

Well, you are part of a minority (this is not a criticism, I think it is awesome -minus the game part- I am just saying it is not common in my experience).

*SD* wrote:unless you're part of an incredibly small minority who do everything they can reasonably do to avoid death/harm/suffering etc you're a hypocrite.

You are mistaken about my position: I have said several times (in the other thread and also a bit in my opening) that partial veganism and even just positive attitude toward veganism are an acceptable compromise/steps in the right direction.

*SD* wrote:If you live in accordance with your ideology, there is no argument for us to have.

So for you this is not about veganism, you just want to judge vegans?

*SD* wrote:Chances are you could do more towards that than you're probably doing. I'll guarantee you I fund the killing of LESS animals (pests or otherwise) than you do, and I eat meat every day.

It's great that you are not funding more. But are you ultimately causing less killing and suffering?

*SD* wrote:I take my own game.... as above. Why is it wrong for me to do that?

It seems to me that if you are already in a situation where you are self-sufficient, and you are able to grow your own food, then the killing doesn't seem necessary. But my arguments do not generally apply to people who live under special circumstances.

*SD* wrote:You don't mind shoving the rabbits through the wood chipper (essentially, to a rabbit, you get the point) so you can have stupid bread, so why can't I take one in a far less gruesome manner? Remember, you're talking to someone who has harvested crops. When the combine draws a creature in, especially one as big as a rabbit, you see a red haze through the chute and that gets spat into the bin at the back (the bin is where your cereal crop is).

How many rabbits are killed in proportion of the amount of cereal consumed (by humans)?

*SD* wrote:I'm aware that in factory farming in certain areas of the planet male chicks are discarded.

"Certain areas of the planet" ... According to this "As of 2018, worldwide around 7 billion day-old male chicks were culled per year in the egg industry." Researchers are working on new technology to avoid it, but as far as I can tell, this is still standard practice globally, and it is not a small thing.

*SD* wrote:
I don't understand, this is fundamental to ethical veganism. If you reject that we don't have to kill/exploit farm animals, you might as well be saying that ethical veganism is not possible.


In a way I am saying that.

Why?
"Violent ideologies have a special set of defenses that enable humane people to support inhumane practices and to not even realize what they're doing." (Melanie Joy)
Tue Apr 17, 2018 10:35 pm
*SD*User avatarPosts: 167Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:00 amLocation: Wales, UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Why Vegan?

You are confusing vegans and veganism. Vegans are people


Now who's playing with words? I'm quite aware that vegans are people. In the same way Astronauts and Christians are also people.
Veganism, is an ideology that vegans (by definition) hold to. I don't really know what point you were trying to make there.

you are asking too much


I don't see how. You just don't want to move that line you claim you don't have. I don't care whether you move it or not, we're having this conversation because you raised the subject.

You don't seem to have any specific argument.


And yet I've given you specific arguments.
1 - Rabbit mulching
2 - Inconsistency
3 - B12

I don't argue against supplementation, and you are the one who mentioned B12 first.


That's probably one of those specific arguments I haven't made? Yeah, I mentioned it first and you asked me to back it up, which is a fair request, so I did.

I provided various links in my opening post to get started, but I never recommended getting health information exclusively from random Youtubers (even those that I linked sometimes provide incorrect information).


You can moan about the source if you want, but it still backs up what I said about B12. What's the point in me giving sources if you just dismiss them out of hand? Do you disagree with Vegan Gains? Because I'm telling you he admits to it quite openly. If you disagree with him then you should probably challenge him on it. It's not like he's the one and only vegan on the planet that admits to taking B12 injections.

It doesn't look like you know what you are talking about.


It doesn't look like you want to acknowledge widely accepted facts within the vegan community. If you're vegan, you are more likely to need B12 supplementation than if you aren't. I'm not saying that makes veganism wrong, but it doesn't do too much to inspire one to go vegan.

I let farmers define what they call pest, I am just a consumer.


Ok. Rabbits are defined as pests, not just by farmers, but by LAW. All of England and Wales are legally classed as "rabbit clearance zones" and land owners are legally required to control rabbit populations on their land. There can be hefty penalties for not doing so.
So when I go shooting rabbits, might as well eat them surely?

You sound like an absolutist


No, not at all. I just think if you're going to argue for a position then you should probably be doing as much as you reasonably can to live consistently with that position. I don't expect anyone to go to absolutely insane lengths, just do what they can. You could probably be doing more than you are, so we're back to the line drawing. That's why I keep saying that unless you're a real true exception, it's always about the line. And hey, you might even be that exception, I don't claim no such vegan fits the bill. I just haven't met them yet.


I don't know if I can or not. Going vegan was a change in my life, but what you are suggesting (becoming somewhat self-sufficient) would be a much bigger change


Sure ya can! Believe in your self! It would indeed be a big change, surely one for the better?

In perspective, veganism is relatively simple, just buy slightly different stuff


Not in perspective, in theory it is. On paper it is. In practice it's not that simple. It's not just a matter of going to the next shelf and grabbing the soy milk instead of the cow juice. How much death, harm, suffering and decimation goes into producing that soy milk? You're just swapping one perceived evil for another.
Vegan food is also fucking expensive (if you want anything that's even remotely interesting), not that readily available when compared to non vegan foods and when present, lacking in variety. There's a hell of a lot more to it than just buying "Slightly different stuff"

Growing my own food to the extent that you suggest (wheat!) would involve a far more radical change in lifestyle


I can see why you've taken it like that, my bad. I didn't mean grow your own wheat specifically. I just meant grow as much as you can grow for your own consumption needs with regard to fruit, veggies etc. I think wheat might be asking a bit much of most people. Like I said, I'm not calling for you to do anything outrageous.

(I don't even have a garden, and my window only has a view on another building)


Lots of people don't have a garden. Buy grow bags, grow things in pots, rent an allotment - there are plenty of ways around this snag. Buy hydroponic lighting - I don't think that's a crazy expectation? People buy that so they can grow weed which is far less essential than food.

I am not saying I can't do it, just that this is going to require more time and effort.


Surely worth it, though?

Well, you are part of a minority (this is not a criticism, I think it is awesome -minus the game part- I am just saying it is not common in my experience).


Yeah, somewhat I guess. But one doesn't have to be privileged financially or otherwise to do what I do. This is an avenue that's open to pretty much anyone really. You might be able to dream up an exception here or there but most people can grow their own veg etc, even if not all of it, some is better than none.

You are mistaken about my position: I have said several times (in the other thread and also a bit in my opening) that partial veganism and even just positive attitude toward veganism are an acceptable compromise/steps in the right direction.


This term "partial vegan" is problematic. What exactly does it mean according to you? I would have thought one is either vegan, or not. Where's the middle ground? When someone is identifying as vegan the question then becomes how consistently are they living with that position? Assuming they're arguing for it of course. But you already are so that's why we're here. If some "vegan" is only eating meat 5 days a week but not arguing for veganism, I don't care. I only care when it's being argued for and only then do I start pointing out the slight chink in their armour of only eating dead bodies 5 days a week.

So for you this is not about veganism, you just want to judge vegans?


I'm not judging anyone. I mean if you want to call it that then fine but I don't see it as judging. All I'm doing is pointing out problems as and when I see them. If you want to be vegan, great, go ahead, I really don't care. But you're here arguing for it, and I'm just giving you my views on the matter. You're under no obligation to reply to me.

It's great that you are not funding more. But are you ultimately causing less killing and suffering?


I don't quite follow this? What do you mean?

It seems to me that if you are already in a situation where you are self-sufficient, and you are able to grow your own food, then the killing doesn't seem necessary. But my arguments do not generally apply to people who live under special circumstances.


I'm not 100% self sufficient. I do buy stuff, primarily things I can't grow due to climate etc. Pineapple, grapefruit, lemon, orange etc. I do grow my own apples and cherries, blackberries (well, they just appear) and other things but not absolutely everything I eat is produced through self sufficiency. The killing is necessary because that animal is forming part of my meal. And don't forget the law insists that I kill them too! I'm being a little facetious but there's no meaningful distinction to be found between a rabbit being killed for wheat and a rabbit being killed for meat.

My circumstances aren't all that unique, not around here anyway but even if they were it wouldn't matter because the fact would remain that there's little stopping you from doing the same. Don't wanna eat rabbits? Fine, don't. But you could be living that bit more consistently with your veganism if you were doing the other things I mentioned.

How many rabbits are killed in proportion of the amount of cereal consumed (by humans)?


I honestly have no idea. I can't even imagine how we could measure this. But I can tell you it's not just the odd one here and there, it's going to be a significant number. And it's not just rabbits either. You have any stats on this? I'd be interested to see.

"Certain areas of the planet" ... According to this "As of 2018, worldwide around 7 billion day-old male chicks were culled per year in the egg industry." Researchers are working on new technology to avoid it, but as far as I can tell, this is still standard practice globally, and it is not a small thing.


I agree with you it's not a small thing and I have no problem believing that number you gave. But you are referring to factory farming and that's a practice that's rapidly becoming despised by "the public" - and rightly so. Just FWIW - of the things I buy, food wise, none of it is ever from factory farms. It's all local stuff. Except the citrus fruits and the like.

Why?


The answer depends on how far you take the ethical argument. If you accept that you draw a line somewhere, which I'm going to continue arguing you do, then that line is where you stop caring about ethics. We can talk about moving lines etc later but you haven't yet conceded that you do in fact draw one. Do you care about ethics when it comes to cows but not rabbits? Vegans engage in (or fund) death, harm and suffering all the time, they just declare it's ok for wheat but not for meat.

You have a line and I want you to tell me where it is. Use examples if you wish.
"Killing animals and eating their lifeless corpses is fun" - SD 2018
"Remember, it's totally ok if you pay for them to be killed for wheat, but abhorrent if you do it for meat" - SD 2018
Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:32 pm
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*SD*User avatarPosts: 167Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:00 amLocation: Wales, UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Why Vegan?

Just for your reference, and in support of my B12 comment - here is VG openly admitting that the vegan "community" (so not just him) acknowledge the need for B12 supplements. This is said within the first 3 minutes of this discussion. VG can quite properly be classed as a representative of veganism/vegans, he has 312K subs, and many vegans would agree that he is representative of the movement/ideology. I don't massively care about this point, I just wanted to add this in support of what I was saying about B12. More of an FYI than anything else.

"Killing animals and eating their lifeless corpses is fun" - SD 2018
"Remember, it's totally ok if you pay for them to be killed for wheat, but abhorrent if you do it for meat" - SD 2018
Wed Apr 18, 2018 6:43 pm
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VegoUser avatarPosts: 74Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:32 pm

Post Re: Why Vegan?

Quick notes before starting:
(1) I tried to answer your questions in order, but some points seem to be related/duplicated. You can reorder things if you want, or maybe just drop the duplicates.
(2) I added an "insert" to answer your last post, but I feel like it detracts from the conversation, so feel free to ignore it if you think it is off-topic.

*SD* wrote:Now who's playing with words? I'm quite aware that vegans are people. In the same way Astronauts and Christians are also people.
Veganism, is an ideology that vegans (by definition) hold to. I don't really know what point you were trying to make there.

My point is that criticizing vegans is not the same as criticizing veganism. To adapt your example, saying that Christians don't follow their ideology is not the same as saying that the ideology is wrong. An individual is not the same thing as an ideology, this is not a play on words.

*SD* wrote:And yet I've given you specific arguments.
2 - Inconsistency

All you said was that vegans do not behave consistently. This should not be a surprise because vegans are just people, not perfect. In other words, this is just an observation of a phenomenon that is difficult (probably impossible) to avoid.

*SD* wrote:Yeah, I mentioned it first and you asked me to back it up, which is a fair request, so I did.

You didn't back anything up, you just told me to take it to Vegan Gains. Do you see me telling you to go argue with Dr Greger?

*SD* wrote:Do you disagree with Vegan Gains?

Are you Vegan Gains? I am not interested in a proxy discussion with someone who isn't there.

INSERTED

*SD* wrote:VG can quite properly be classed as a representative of veganism/vegans

Why? I don't claim to speak for others, why would I accept others speaking for me?

*SD* wrote:he has 312K subs

And we all know that popularity = quality.

*SD* wrote:many vegans would agree that he is representative of the movement/ideology.

This is their prerogative. I have consistently been saying that the first step in going vegan is to get informed, that doesn't mean looking for a guru.

/INSERTED

*SD* wrote:If you're vegan, you are more likely to need B12 supplementation than if you aren't.

This is not what I was asking. I never argued against B12 supplementation, and don't intend to.

Correct me if I am mistaken, but I had the impression that you said that injection is required or common (or both). This is what I am asking you to justify, because claiming that vegans have to inject nutrients obviously "doesn't do too much to inspire one to go vegan".

*SD* wrote:Rabbits are defined as pests, not just by farmers, but by LAW. All of England and Wales are legally classed as "rabbit clearance zones" and land owners are legally required to control rabbit populations on their land. There can be hefty penalties for not doing so.
So when I go shooting rabbits, might as well eat them surely?

Veganism is about making informed decisions. If you are coerced into killing animals, then it is a different issue.

*SD* wrote:You could probably be doing more than you are

Of course, there is nothing special in that. I am constantly trying to improve my life, and hopefully tomorrow I will be a better person than today. I don't see what the argument (or any "line") is here.

*SD* wrote:It would indeed be a big change, surely one for the better?

Maybe. I believe that "vegan me" is already a far better person than the old "non-vegan me", and nowadays I am looking for information to keep going in the right direction. I like the channel okraw (raw vegan, grows a lot of stuff himself), and I have been interested for a while in growing my own food (especially greens), and I intend to do what I can. However, even though dealing with food and veganism has become more important to me than in the past, it is not the main focus of my life (could change in the future, I don't know).

*SD* wrote:On paper it is. In practice it's not that simple.

I already addressed that here. Repeating myself: the first step is to get informed. Veganism is not trivial, but it is not that difficult, and it depends on individual circumstances (lacto-vegetarian -> vegan: no big deal; FastFoodarian -> vegan: yeah, I can see this one).

*SD* wrote:It's not just a matter of going to the next shelf and grabbing the soy milk instead of the cow juice.

You are conflating two issues: getting informed, and implementing. Getting (and staying) informed requires some effort, I never said otherwise.

*SD* wrote:How much death, harm, suffering and decimation goes into producing that soy milk? You're just swapping one perceived evil for another.

There are reasons to believe that animal products involve a lot of abuse and suffering. There is less information available for plant milks (to my knowledge). In addition, farm animals also consume plants (and it can be less efficient -more plants needed- to eat the animals rather than plants directly), so I expect that moving away from animal products will reduce the unintended deaths involved in plant farming in general. (this is one of the duplicates I mentioned, there is a similar point later)

*SD* wrote:Vegan food is also fucking expensive

Processed vegan food can be. It is however not true to claim that dietary veganism has to be expensive, it depends on what is available and personal preferences. Whole-food plant-based diets can be cheap.

Besides, the price of animal foods is a bit of an illusion because of the subsidies, the potential health costs, and of course the environmental externalities.

*SD* wrote:There's a hell of a lot more to it than just buying "Slightly different stuff"

I was making a comparison ("relatively") with your suggestion: changing buying habits is simpler than becoming (partially) self-sufficient. Once again, I am not saying it is not possible to grow one's own food, and maybe it is not even that hard after a while. When I promote veganism, I don't want people to think that they have to do everything right the first time, this is just asking too much.

*SD* wrote:This term "partial vegan" is problematic. What exactly does it mean according to you?

Is somebody who eats animal products once a week a vegan? Partially, mostly, generally, ... I am not trying to be normative, this is just a recognition that veganism does not have to be all or nothing.

*SD* wrote:I would have thought one is either vegan, or not.

For the label maybe, but I am not arguing for a label. The behavior does not have to be 100% or 0% (and it can change over time, hopefully toward 100%).

*SD* wrote:Where's the middle ground?

Anywhere you want to be, there is no rule (which is a bit of a problem to get reliable statistics about veganism in the world).

*SD* wrote:When someone is identifying as vegan the question then becomes how consistently are they living with that position?

I am not sure I understand your question. There are many ways to be vegan, and I don't think that being dogmatic about practices is a good long-term plan.

*SD* wrote:I'm not judging anyone.

You are when you criticize people for being inconsistent with respect to what you think their ideology is or should be. Given the misunderstandings, general ostracization, and misinformation going around, you are just making it harder for everybody. Veganism is a positive stance, it is about compassion and trying to make the world a better place. Some vegans are rude, others are misinformed and promote dangerous information, and this deserves criticism. But telling people who are actually trying when others don't seem to care that they are not good enough is being judgemental.

*SD* wrote:
It's great that you are not funding more. But are you ultimately causing less killing and suffering?


I don't quite follow this? What do you mean?

You said "I fund the killing of LESS animals (pests or otherwise) than you do". If you don't buy meat (or not too much), this is great.

But when you say that your food growing avoids killing rodents, I don't know what the overall balance is because you are doing your own killing.

*SD* wrote:there's no meaningful distinction to be found between a rabbit being killed for wheat and a rabbit being killed for meat.

This "the law forces me to kill rabbits of my own free will and I like it" argument is just too bizarre and confusing, I don't know what you expect with that. I will pretend that we are talking about farming, but you can just ignore it if it doesn't make sense to you.

There are at least 3 distinctions that I can think of:
(1) we don't know how many rabbits are accidentally killed, it is not necessarily 1:1.
(2) growing animal feed amplifies the accidental killing which is then added to the intentional killing.
(3) businesses are aware that ethical vegans want less killing, which is an incentive to invest in R&D to figure out a way to reduce the accidental killing (I am not saying it is easy, but if no one cares the problem is never going to get solved); by contrast, a rabbit killed for meat sends a very different message: keep going, and make it cheaper next time; from an ethical perspective, the two couldn't be more different.

*SD* wrote:But you could be living that bit more consistently with your veganism if you were doing the other things I mentioned.

As far as I can tell, I already am, and you are mistaken if you believe that vegans don't think about growing their own food: vegans don't need your judging. And as I said, I am not an absolutist. What I mean by that is that nobody is required to define a set of hard rules to follow right now and keep doing that as strictly as possible forever. There are always things that could be done better (or worse).

*SD* wrote:
How many rabbits are killed in proportion of the amount of cereal consumed (by humans)?


I honestly have no idea.

It was an honest question (I tried to find info but came up blank). Since you seem to claim some kind of expertise, I thought you had some numbers. I already know that cow milk can be very unethical, but how am I supposed to know if soy milk happens to be worse than cow milk? I can only make decisions on information I have (or educated guesses), and as far as I can tell, switching from cow milk to plant milk would be an improvement. Would it be even better to make my own plant milk from homegrown soybeans? Maybe, but I don't think anyone should see this as an immediate requirement of veganism. Ending (or at least reducing) animal farming is a very visible and easy to understand goal: the evidence is plain for all to see in the supermarket.

*SD* wrote:But you are referring to factory farming and that's a practice that's rapidly becoming despised by "the public" - and rightly so.

Despising is one thing, but as long as the cash keeps flowing ...

According to a USDA report most animals (79% steers, 49% cows, 64% hogs, 53% broilers) purchased by "processors" came from CAFOs in 2005, and the trend was up (Entire report, p.25 table 5; this document is not easy to understand for me, so please tell me if you have better information).
In addition, according to this USDA summary about "humane slaughter": "As of January 2012, there are approximately 800 FSIS-inspected livestock slaughter establishments that slaughter approximately 150 million head of livestock per year, and approximately 300 poultry slaughter establishments that slaughter approximately nine billion birds per year." By my calculation, assuming 24/7 operation, that means about 1 bird/s in each establishment (slaughterhouse): how "humane" could that possibly be? And that is just for the "inspected" establishments... And all that just in the US (just imagine increasing demand and production in China).

My point here is that I believe it is a mistake to underestimate or downplay the magnitude of the issue.

*SD* wrote:Do you care about ethics when it comes to cows but not rabbits? Vegans engage in (or fund) death, harm and suffering all the time, they just declare it's ok for wheat but not for meat.

You have a line and I want you to tell me where it is. Use examples if you wish.

I don't understand. I wish for the end of all animal exploitation as soon as possible. I also try to be realistic, and I recognize that if this ever happens, it is probably going to be after I am gone, possibly with the help of knowledge and technology that we don't have yet. I don't know what is the best or fastest way to get there. I believe that veganism as I practice and promote it opens a steady path to this end. Not all vegans would agree with me (and that's fine), but in my view veganism is about doing our best, and I don't mean that in some kind of strict sense because dogmatism can backfire (ex-vegans who tried too hard are evidence of that). There is a need for some push (how much? don't know) because bad things are going on as we speak. There is no need to involve any line.
"Violent ideologies have a special set of defenses that enable humane people to support inhumane practices and to not even realize what they're doing." (Melanie Joy)
Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:29 pm
*SD*User avatarPosts: 167Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:00 amLocation: Wales, UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Why Vegan?

Righty ho, I'm just going to reply to the bits I consider worthy of discussion because these posts are getting huge. Whatever I don't reply to, it's safe for you to assume I don't care about it, or that it's splitting hairs. In which case I still don't care about it.

My point is that criticizing vegans is not the same as criticizing veganism. To adapt your example, saying that Christians don't follow their ideology is not the same as saying that the ideology is wrong. An individual is not the same thing as an ideology, this is not a play on words.


I didn't say Christians don't follow their ideology (most of them don't but that's besides the point) - I said they are people.

All you said was that vegans do not behave consistently. This should not be a surprise because vegans are just people, not perfect. In other words, this is just an observation of a phenomenon that is difficult (probably impossible) to avoid.


Most vegans don't behave consistently, and you've admitted you're one of them and yet here you are arguing for veganism. A position for which consistency is pretty damn important. "I'm not perfect tho" is not an argument.

I agree that 100% consistency in all situations right across the board is impossible, unless you're some demented robotic imbecile that cares more about consistency than achieving goals. I'd give you a source for a vegan activist who argues that consistency is absolutely essential, but you'll just dismiss it so I won't bother. FYI it's listening to him that put me right off caring too much for consistency. Counter productive on his part indeed.

You didn't back anything up, you just told me to take it to Vegan Gains. Do you see me telling you to go argue with Dr Greger?


I did. It's there for anyone to see. You just don't like it because you want to ignore the B12 thing. I made a statement about B12, you called it a myth so I provided you with a source. I told you VG isn't the only source. Do you actually speak to any vegans? Do you follow any vegan debates? This is pretty readily available info but you seem unaware of it.

Are you Vegan Gains? I am not interested in a proxy discussion with someone who isn't there.


Yes. I am Vegan Gains. He's always shovelling meat into his face.

No, obviously not. Right, I don't want to see any more sources for where you get your info from because you're dismissing mine out of hand. All citations will now be ignored. You argue your points, I'll argue mine - no backing up of points is necessary.

Why? I don't claim to speak for others, why would I accept others speaking for me?


I didn't say he was speaking for you - I said he can reasonably be classed as representative of the vegan movement. He's on YOUR side, not mine. That doesn't mean you have to agree with him but you do need to realize you're not even arguing with ME at this point. And yes I do think if you have an issue with the B12 thing you should take it to those vegans (of which there are shit loads) and discuss it with them. I don't care if vegans have a B12 deficiency, it doesn't cause me a problem.

And we all know that popularity = quality.


And what do you know of the quality of his content? Not much I'm guessing. The guy goes into massive details about nutrition - it's his "thing" if you will. Fuck I'm giving the guy props for knowing his shit on the subject and you want to just dismiss him out of hand? Ok you do that! He's a guy I fundamentally disagree with on the subject of veganism in general, you're a vegan and you disagree with him about B12? When you guys figure out what your needs are feel free to get back to me. This is an internal argument and I'm not in the club so I really don't care.

This is their prerogative. I have consistently been saying that the first step in going vegan is to get informed, that doesn't mean looking for a guru.


It is indeed. So who should potential vegan recruits be listening to then? Certainly not a vegan of many years whose actual job is promoting veganism, arguing for veganism, being a vegan activist and engaging in debates frequently. And definitely not one who can speak in great detail about nutritional needs. According to you.

And wouldn't a guru be a pretty good source of information? Or are gurus a bit crap when they say something you don't like?

This is not what I was asking. I never argued against B12 supplementation, and don't intend to.

Correct me if I am mistaken, but I had the impression that you said that injection is required or common (or both). This is what I am asking you to justify, because claiming that vegans have to inject nutrients obviously "doesn't do too much to inspire one to go vegan".


I don't think I said "required" or "common" but I'd be happy enough to stand by common irrespective of whether I actually used that word or not. And I have justified it. I even linked a video where you'd only have to watch the first 3 minutes. What do you want me to do? Dig you up something in writing rather than a video where a vegan is saying exactly that?

Veganism is about making informed decisions. If you are coerced into killing animals, then it is a different issue.


That's just a nothing statement. Nobody is being "coerced" - where did you get that from? The point in mentioning the law was to support my claim that rabbits are pests, not just as defined by farmers - whom you said you let decide on the issue. Do you just not like it when someone backs up a point?

Of course, there is nothing special in that. I am constantly trying to improve my life, and hopefully tomorrow I will be a better person than today. I don't see what the argument (or any "line") is here


A beautiful platitude.

I like the channel okraw


I like the channel Vegan Gains and he says you need B12 injections.

You are conflating two issues: getting informed, and implementing. Getting (and staying) informed requires some effort, I never said otherwise.


No, I'm not conflating the two. You implied, well fuck it you actually stated that all you need to do is buy "slightly different stuff" - I pointed out that it isn't quite that simple. Especially if you're arguing for ethical veganism (which according to your OP, you are) rather than just dietary veganism.

There are reasons to believe that animal products involve a lot of abuse and suffering


Please define abuse and suffering. If you mean grinding male chicks I agree, if you mean milking cows I disagree.

There is less information available for plant milks (to my knowledge)


There may well be lessinformation available but there is still information out there, which I've been spending some time on. Have you? Plus it doesn't take an over active imagination to realize that soy crops (for example) are fucking enormous and need to be grown and harvested somewhere that animals will already be living. Soy crops also displace habitat, kill, maim, abuse and cause suffering of animals. Coffee farms do, tea plantations do, anything you want to grow on a commercial scale does.

will reduce the unintended deaths


I don't care about unintended deaths. I don't care about intent when it comes to food production. I don't care about direct vs indirect killing when it comes to food production. "indirect tho" is a limp as fuck excuse vegans use to appease their own guilt when they're munching on bread. "Oh but I only wanted to get the wheat, I didn't mean to vaporize the rabbit" - who cares. Tell it to the rabbit.

Processed vegan food can be. It is however not true to claim that dietary veganism has to be expensive, it depends on what is available and personal preferences. Whole-food plant-based diets can be cheap.


Yeah, well I did say "anything remotely interesting" which you've left out. This isn't an argument but I don't really fancy eating bowl after bowl of lettuce or artichoke or something.

Besides, the price of animal foods is a bit of an illusion because of the subsidies


Not for me. It's about 7p per round to shoot rabbits, birds etc. Less, practically free by methods other than shooting. But I digress, I know you're talking about supermarket prices. I tell you what I'll do, next time I visit a supermarket, probably next week, I'll pay more attention to the pricing and see if I can do a realistic comparison between what I'd normally eat (eat, not buy, so assume I'm buying it instead) and the vegan alternatives. I think if I buy the more enticing vegan foods, so more in line with my usual diet then the vegan option will turn out more expensive.

When I promote veganism, I don't want people to think that they have to do everything right the first time, this is just asking too much.


Yeah that's fine, I wasn't saying people aren't allowed to fuck things up.

Is somebody who eats animal products once a week a vegan? Partially, mostly, generally,


I disagree. This just sounds like painting the target around where the arrow has landed. Moving the goal posts. By this definition I am vegan. Interestingly, and I intended to bring this up in previous posts but didn't - I was in a voice call with some vegans a few weeks back. In a vegan echo chamber (not intended to be a pejorative there) there were 5 vegans vs me at one point. All very civil and everything, and I started explaining a few things around pest control, I also brought up my goat argument (I mean actual goats not GOAT the acronym) and all 5 of them conceded that even doing what I do, shooting rabbits, eating dairy etc I can call my self vegan. And they're working with the same definition you are (the vegan society one) - I thought it was bizarre but if vegans are willing to define it in such a way that I can eat meat every day and still call my self a vegan - that's on them. I'm happy to go into more detail on this bit, because it was really interesting.

It's a bit like the Kalam Cosmological argument for God. The old version starts with "That which exists has a cause for its existence" - then when people pointed out that God (if he/it exists) has to fall under the umbrella of "that which exists" then he/it must also have a cause, so what caused God? Theists started panicking thinking oh shit we cant have this because God is special and doesn't need to have a cause so they redefined it to be "That which BEGINS to exist has a cause for its existence" - clearly moving the goalposts.

Similarly - Omnipotence. This was once defined as "all powerful" - good ol' God can do anything. Anything! Then some people pondered, If God is so powerful, can he create a rock so heavy he can't lift it? Leading to a paradox. There are many examples of this. Like the unstoppable force vs the immovable object etc. So they redefined omnipotence to be "can do anything that is....erm....doable"

Great, fine by me. Just keep redefining God to be a bit less impressive every step of the way.

For the label maybe, but I am not arguing for a label. The behavior does not have to be 100% or 0% (and it can change over time, hopefully toward 100%).


I agree, it doesn't have to be 100% but I've found the vegans I've interacted with (and that's a fair amount by now) to be not even approaching that mark. They don't do as much as they reasonably and practicably could do to reduce harm death and suffering to animals. They're eating bread, scoffing on soy, drinking coffee, wearing wool or having woolen rugs, you name it. All this shit can be eliminated but they don't care. We don't even have to go to extremes like no laptops and no phones, these hypocrites aren't even ridding their lives of the basic things I just mentioned. Yet they'll moan all day long about a cheese sandwich. They'll fill their bellies with cereal crops and whatever else because the creatures that die for the production of such don't count in their game of pick and choose.

Anywhere you want to be, there is no rule (which is a bit of a problem to get reliable statistics about veganism in the world).


Err, yeah I should say so! Fine, I'm going to keep gorging on corpses, unfertilized embryos and a variety of animal secretions - this is my vegan middle ground! C'mon man be real. If you want to weaken veganism to the point where it can be anything anyone wants it to be (as did those 5 vegans I talked about earlier) then be my guest.

There are many ways to be vegan


Name 3! Here are my 3
1 - Eat as much meat as you can, dairy, fish, eggs*
2 - Eat as much meat as you can, dairy, fish*
3 - Eat as much meat as you can, & dairy*

* Or have every other Tuesday off and only eat lentils - you're still vegan

you are just making it harder for everybody


I'm not here to promote veganism. And I don't care if you label me as judgmental. I haven't said anything I can't back up, and I definitely haven't said anything untrue. You've contested the B12 point but that's not my fight to have. You need to argue that with the vegans who are saying it's required or at least advisable. I don't know with absolute certainty if it's true or not, but when actual fucking vegans are saying so, it's reasonable to think there just might be some truth to it.

But when you say that your food growing avoids killing rodents, I don't know what the overall balance is because you are doing your own killing.


First of all I didn't say that but whatever, I think I understand your question now. If I'm mostly growing my own stuff then I am personally funding less killing I would think? Does it make a difference to how many animals are killed in the commercial production of crops I grow my self? No, not a fucking shred. If everyone who has so far read this thread immediately went vegan right now that wouldn't alter anything either. For veganism to succeed in making a noticeable dent in the death and suffering it would need to gain MASSIVE traction, truly ENORMOUS traction. You'd need a significant chunk of the population to get on board with it. I admit I don't have a crystal ball but I can't see that happening. Because I'm not seeing it happening. We are living in a time when communication has never been easier and yet hardly anyone is vegan. What percentage of people even attempt to go vegan? I don't know but the last stats I saw were that OF those who try, 74% "fail" and revert back to eating a non vegan diet, for varying reasons. Now I don't know if that figure is true or not, I'll dig it up if you want, but I have little trouble in believing it.

This "the law forces me to kill rabbits of my own free will and I like it" argument is just too bizarre and confusing, I don't know what you expect with that. I will pretend that we are talking about farming, but you can just ignore it if it doesn't make sense to you.


I didn't say that so this is bordering on a strawman. The bit you're talking about is when I was saying that rabbits are classed as pests, both by farmers and by law, I shoot them so I might as well eat them. Where's the confusion here?

As far as I can tell, I already am


You're already doing the things you've already said you aren't already doing?

vegans don't need your judging


What vegans need is B12. I don't give a fuck what vegans need. I'm not here to support veganism, or hadn't you noticed?!

And as I said, I am not an absolutist. What I mean by that is that nobody is required to define a set of hard rules to follow right now and keep doing that as strictly as possible forever


What you mean is you can pick and choose. You can stroll right on by the juicy Rib Eye and feel good about your self safe in the knowledge that you're headed right for the next aisle where only who knows how many creatures had to die so you could have your soy thing instead.

It was an honest question (I tried to find info but came up blank). Since you seem to claim some kind of expertise, I thought you had some numbers.


I took it as an honest question and I replied in an honest fashion by saying I don't know. Not a clue. I'm an expert on shooting rabbits, I'll even declare my self an expert on pest control but I'm not an expert on statistics. No I have no numbers, I even said I cant fathom a way to calculate this. We agree that there are animal deaths during crop production, I'm offering some insight as someone who has done this to say it's not an insignificant number. That's about the best I can do for you on that one.

I already know that cow milk can be very unethical


You do, huh? How many cows have you milked? And what are you calling unethical?

but how am I supposed to know if soy milk happens to be worse than cow milk?


Try looking it up? I have. You clearly know how to internet so what's stopping you?

Would it be even better to make my own plant milk from homegrown soybeans? Maybe


Undoubtedly it would but again, I think this might fall foul of "reasonable" expectations. Doable? I guess so. Commendable? Indeed. More consistent with veganism than most? Without a doubt.

Despising is one thing, but as long as the cash keeps flowing ...


Sure, that's the goal of giant money making conglomerates. But as I'm sure you're by now aware, I don't run a supermarket. I don't fund as much killing as your average joe, or even your average vegan so the rest of that I'll leave out.

This was longer than I intended!
"Killing animals and eating their lifeless corpses is fun" - SD 2018
"Remember, it's totally ok if you pay for them to be killed for wheat, but abhorrent if you do it for meat" - SD 2018
Last edited by *SD* on Thu Apr 19, 2018 6:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:18 pm
WWW
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 3020Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: Why Vegan?

Greetings,

I think there are some misapprehensions on your part about farming practices outside the USA, where I assume you live. Your posts appear to assume that we all are involved in industrial-scale farming, with unethical practices like in the US - we're not.

For example, the wool video showing tails being cut off with a knife doesn't occur here (in Ireland), nor in the UK (I'll let SD address that if he wishes) or Europe. There are guidelines for farming practices in Europe:

Farm Animal Welfare Advisory Council
Tail docking
Sheep’s tails should not be docked routinely, only if there is a real threat of fly strike.
Sheep farmers should consider carefully whether tail docking within a particular flock is
necessary. Tail docking may be carried out only if failure to do so would lead to
subsequent welfare problems because of dirty tails and potential fly strike. If it is
considered that both tail docking and castration are necessary, thought should be given
to performing both operations simultaneously so as to minimise [sic] disruption through
repeated handling and the potential for mis-mothering and distress. In any case the use
of tail docking should be carried out before seven days of age
.

Cows aren't fed corn-based feed, as they are in the US - they're grazed on grass, and fed fodder (hay) in winter. As corollary to this, Ireland's farm-land produces more wheat than America, by percentage of land-use.

Europe has some very strict regulations. The EU was an out-growth of the EEC, whose original promoter was France, mainly due to its concerns over its subsidized farming, to protect their dairy farming for hand-made cheeses, along with small vintners wine-producing vineyards. Without those subsidies, France's farm sector would likely collapse.

Also, regarding the B12 debate, I have to agree with SD - and this emphasizes my argument that any diet, where you have to take vitamin pills and/or have injections to ensure it's balanced, can't be healthy:

B-12 And The Vegan Conundrum

If I have to bend myself into a pretzel to eat healthily, I don't see the point. I do - and will continue to - eat white meat, particularly fish, and I make no apologies for that. Any time I go to a restaurant, if there's fish on the menu, I choose it every time. [In fact, I did so yesterday evening at the restaurant I go to, having visited my mother in the care home. I also got a free dessert, as a regular, because the chef only had a small portion of hake left! :D ]

Vego wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:Given that vegan food isn't "cruelty-free" due to exploitation of workers, an increase in plant-based food production is bound to lead to an increase in exploitation of labourers, including trafficking of migrants.

Your initial message was "a switch to plant-based food" and now you are talking about "an increase in plant-based food production". A lot of our crops are used to feed animals, so I don't know if a "switch" would necessarily result in an increase in production.

In America, maybe - not in the rest of the world, as my above point shows.

In Europe, an increase or switch to plant-based produce would result in increased production, and with it would come increased exploitation of migrant workers.

Vego wrote:Even so, we are back to the previous thread: why would this switch make things worse than they already are? Are you saying that the production of animal food is cruelty-free for humans? Does it even make sense to compare the atrocities of animal exploitation with the exploitation of human workers? Have you considered that maybe working conditions for humans are easier to improve?

There is less exploitation of farm labourers in animal farming because they have to be trained as stockmen, with check-able qualifications in various countries. Picking/packing plant-based produce doesn't need qualifications - as such it suits cheap migrant labour. And with that comes exploitation.

And I put people before animals - and from your previous posts, I take it that you do too.

Vego wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:It doesn't matter ... occur in the US.

Maybe I am not expressing myself properly, but this is just messy, so I am going to try to simplify.

We can make as many catastrophic scenarios as we want, and try to find potential problems and solutions for anything. For example, if you are worried about manure, we can keep using animals (not for food) until we can build some kind of gastrobot; just make sure to collect the manure "normally" rather than using some kind of industrial pump.

Given that I posted an article, as well as a video, on the subject of dealing with food waste and manure, I've already dealt with this. It makes me wonder if you read/watched either on The ManureEcoMine Project?!

Vego wrote:None of that changes that today, based on what we know (resource availability, human nutrition, food efficiency) going vegan seems doable and beneficial. It's not just me saying that, multiple studies have been published (I referenced one, I can give you a few more if you want, and you can find more in Mic. the Vegan's videos that I linked) and, although there is a lot of uncertainty and unknowns, the direction seems clear. If all you have is just more speculation, then this is pointless.

You say it's possible to go 100% vegan, I say climate change will undercut all that.

Vego wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:It still comes down to too many people.

Population size still isn't an argument for or against ethical veganism.

I grant that - but I argue that climate change is a practical limiter on switching to veganism.

Vego wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:No, I'm asking you for your thoughts on whether making a non-vegan animal eat a vegan diet is ethical or not.

If someone who should have known better causes unnecessary suffering (through diet or otherwise) to an animal that they decided to care for, then I would consider it abuse, so not ethical.

Thank you - something else on which we can agree.

Vego wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:However, in the other thread - if I recall correctly this time - you had said that the farm animals would have to be slaughtered, which appears to be contrary to your stated goal of minimizing the suffering of farm animals.

Where "carnists" are killing some farm animals for food at any one time, you suggest killing all of them in one go.

What would be done with all this meat?

I am going to assume that you are asking me about the fictional scenario that I mentioned in the other thread; if this is not what you meant, you may have to provide me with a link or a quote to refresh my memory.

The biggest issue with what you just said is the word "some"; it's like saying "some people are lactose intolerant", which is a complete misrepresentation of reality.

"Some", "a lot", "most", are all less than "all".

Vego wrote:In this fictional/hypothetical scenario, everyone in the world decides to go vegan overnight (let's just pretend that they can feed themselves somehow, since this is not the point of the exercise). Now we have about 70 billion farm animals that would have been slaughtered, and some more who are still maturing (next year's "batch"). My preference would be to give them all a proper retirement through a combination of adoption and sanctuaries (maybe repurposed factories). However, there are so many animals that my guess is that there wouldn't be enough resources to do that for all of them, and inevitably we would end up with many animals (probably billions) that we could not care for properly. We might be able to "release" a fraction, but too much of that and we risk causing some ecological catastrophe. In the event that we are left with animals that we truly cannot care for, then it is my opinion that we should perform mass euthanasia as it would be our last resort.

In this fictional scenario, there is no meat, only sentient beings who lost their lives due to our cultural brutishness. When it comes to death toll, this would be preferable to a more realistic slow elimination of animal exploitation, because every year we wait, tens of billions more are abused and killed.

So, all the animals would be killed, and their carcasses presumably incinerated to get rid of them.

What a wasteful death-toll!

At least when farm animals die under current practices, it's for a purpose - humans.

Vego wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:You're looking to get rid of all farming - even farming that does not involve killing, such as dairy, and wool.

I mention killing because it is easy to conceptualize, but as I have said multiple times in previous posts, killing is not the only issue, far from it.

And BTW, production of milk does involve killing (think about the process, seriously). Try to cover your eyes with this wool.

I've already addressed this above - if you wish to do something, change practices in America to match the EU's.

Vego wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:Which translates to drawing a line to include all forms of what you perceive/define as "exploitation".

Do you honestly need a definition to recognize that farming causes suffering? Once again, by using the word "perceive", you are trying to deny the reality of non-human suffering.

As I tried to explain in my opening, I just assume that reality is worse than I imagine, and given what I have seen so far, I believe this is a safe assumption.

I'm not denying that there is suffering of animals in industrialized farming, particularly in America - I'm arguing that going 100% vegan is neither practical, nor necessary.

Vego wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:No, I didn't define "healthy diet" - I based my statement, and conclusion, on the article I cited.

Did you give me the right link? What does that have to do with supplements? (your statement was "Anyone eating a healthy diet doesn't need supplements", which I find objectionable)

As a general guide to "healthy diet", it suffices.

And my point - which I reiterated at the start of this post - is still valid.

Kindest regards,

James
Image
"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
The Age Of Reason
Last edited by Dragan Glas on Thu Apr 19, 2018 6:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:49 pm
*SD*User avatarPosts: 167Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:00 amLocation: Wales, UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Why Vegan?

Dragan Glas wrote:For example, the wool video showing tails being cut off with a knife doesn't occur here (in Ireland), nor in the UK (I'll let SD address that if he wishes) or Europe. There are guidelines for farming practices in Europe:


You are correct. Any farm, be it large scale, home or hobby would be reported pretty damn quick and shut down if this was found to be the practice.
"Killing animals and eating their lifeless corpses is fun" - SD 2018
"Remember, it's totally ok if you pay for them to be killed for wheat, but abhorrent if you do it for meat" - SD 2018
Thu Apr 19, 2018 6:22 pm
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Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 3020Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: Why Vegan?

Greetings,

*SD* wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:For example, the wool video showing tails being cut off with a knife doesn't occur here (in Ireland), nor in the UK (I'll let SD address that if he wishes) or Europe. There are guidelines for farming practices in Europe:


You are correct. Any farm, be it large scale, home or hobby would be reported pretty damn quick and shut down if this was found to be the practice.

Thanks, SD.

I also took the liberty of Googling the "animal deaths in crop production?" question.

I'm sure you'll find something of interest.

The Davis [2003] study appears suspect - 18 out of 33 mice died, however 17 were due to predation, only 1 due to harvesting. I haven't seen anything for rabbits.

However, pest control to protect fruit, and vegetable, produce would appear to account for more deaths.

Kindest regards,

James
Image
"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
The Age Of Reason
Thu Apr 19, 2018 6:47 pm
VegoUser avatarPosts: 74Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:32 pm

Post Re: Why Vegan?

*SD* wrote:I didn't say Christians don't follow their ideology (most of them don't but that's besides the point) - I said they are people.

I didn't say that either (please stop misreading me, more on that below). Criticizing people for not following/being inconsistent with their ideology is not the same as saying that the ideology is wrong. I am saying that you are criticizing vegans instead of veganism.

*SD* wrote:Most vegans don't behave consistently, and you've admitted you're one of them and yet here you are arguing for veganism. A position for which consistency is pretty damn important.

Compassion is one of the most important (from my opening: "moral considerations are primordial"), and consistency can be expected in the ideology, but not the people. This is not laziness, it is a recognition of our limitations as people. This is not saying that vegans can just do whatever, it's just that we shouldn't feel down about our failures, and keep trying.

*SD* wrote:"I'm not perfect tho" is not an argument.

It is if we are honest about it. Veganism as I (and others) defend it recognizes that vegans are not required to be perfect. Which is why criticizing vegans for failing to adhere to the words of the definition is not a good argument against veganism, it is only a personal attack against vegans.

*SD* wrote:I did. It's there for anyone to see.

You are being disingenuous. Here was my question initially (emphasis added):
but if you are going to make such a big claim ("B12 injection is frequent and even necessary for veganism") then you need a justification, because it sounds like a myth.
(note: the "B12 ... veganism" was not from you, it was me trying to restate what I thought your claim was)

And here was your answer (emphasis mine):
I can, just off the top of my head without doing any digging at all, point you to some VERY prominent and popular vegan activists who admit to this. How familiar with this debate are you? If you aren't aware that vegan activists admit to this then I'm wondering how new you might be to the argument. Ever heard of Richard Burgess? AKA Vegan Gains?
Go argue with him about B12, I quite like the guy tbh, although many would argue he's a complete basket case. But he does seem to know his shit when it comes to nutrition and even he admits he takes B12 injections and has to have regular blood work done. And this is a guy who knows his ass from his elbow when it comes to nutrition.


This does not answer my question at all. You literally told me "Go argue with him", are you denying that? Is you telling me that he "does seem to know his shit" supposed to turn some arbitrary claim into a convincing argument? And then you posted a video of some online group meeting. In my exchange with Dragan Glas, when I had a specific point to make I didn't just tell him "go watch this" (unless the video itself was my point), I actually tried to check the source and provide the relevant information. By contrast, you just dismissed my question. Do you honestly think that someone reading you should be convinced that vegans need B12 injections?

And before you start telling me that I am moving the goalpost: I have never argued against B12 supplementation (oral, injection, or anything else): not in my life, not on this website, or anywhere else. If you believe otherwise, you are just wrong.

*SD* wrote:The guy goes into massive details about nutrition

I am only interested in the details that show that vegans generally require injection. As far as I can tell, it is not true.

*SD* wrote:Dig you up something in writing rather than a video where a vegan is saying exactly that?

I have seen videos where vegans make false or misleading claims, sometimes misrepresenting the very article that they are putting on screen. Do you expect me to be uncritical of any piece of information just because it comes from a vegan that you like? What I am asking you is to provide a good reason to believe a claim that sounds like anti-vegan propaganda.

*SD* wrote:So who should potential vegan recruits be listening to then?

Why do you think that one unique source should or even could have all the answers? I provided links in my opening to get started, and some of them give advice regarding validating sources, but there is no hard rule. It would be irresponsible for me to say "that person has all the answers". Each individual is responsible for deciding how they allocate their trust (multiple sources probably better than just one), and how much fact checking they are able to perform.

*SD* wrote:And wouldn't a guru be a pretty good source of information? Or are gurus a bit crap when they say something you don't like?

What I am saying is that it is potentially dangerous to only trust one source, especially one that is likable because then unreasonable things might sound reasonable.

*SD* wrote:Nobody is being "coerced" - where did you get that from?

From you, although I may have answered the wrong part of your text, my bad. I was thinking of "And don't forget the law insists that I kill them too!": these are your own words, right? Maybe coercion is too strong, but aren't you suggesting that you are not legally free to do otherwise? (I couldn't tell if it was a joke because I am not familiar with your laws)

*SD* wrote:You implied, well fuck it you actually stated that all you need to do is buy "slightly different stuff" - I pointed out that it isn't quite that simple.

Here is part of what I said (emphasis added): "In perspective, veganism is relatively simple, just buy slightly different stuff. Growing my own food to the extent that you suggest (wheat!) would involve a far more radical change in lifestyle ..."
This whole paragraph is making a comparison regarding practical methods of food acquisition. Instead of misinterpreting, maybe ask me to rephrase if you think I am not being clear.

*SD* wrote:Please define abuse and suffering. If you mean grinding male chicks I agree, if you mean milking cows I disagree.

In relation to milking, I am thinking about separating the mother from her calf (causing emotional distress for both) and using mechanical pumps on the udder; I don't know how much the pumps hurt, but they can cause bleeding.

*SD* wrote:Plus it doesn't take an over active imagination to realize that soy crops (for example) are fucking enormous and need to be grown and harvested somewhere that animals will already be living. Soy crops also displace habitat, kill, maim, abuse and cause suffering of animals. Coffee farms do, tea plantations do, anything you want to grow on a commercial scale does.

This is true of almost any modern human activity (building houses, bridges, water facilities, ...). Unless you are suggesting we all go back to nature, I don't see how this is a convincing argument.

*SD* wrote:I don't care about unintended deaths. I don't care about intent when it comes to food production.

Intent matters quite a lot for moral considerations. If you don't care about intent, then there is no moral case for veganism.

*SD* wrote:This isn't an argument but I don't really fancy eating bowl after bowl of lettuce or artichoke or something.

This is where "get informed" is important. You are misrepresenting vegan food.

*SD* wrote:I disagree. This just sounds like painting the target around where the arrow has landed. Moving the goal posts. By this definition I am vegan.

I am not trying to tell you that you are vegan. I am not trying to tell anyone how they should call themselves. Some people are strict vegetarians and reject the label vegan. Some people call themselves semi-vegetarian, flexitarian, ...

You are going too far with your idea of "definition".

*SD* wrote:if vegans are willing to define it in such a way that I can eat meat every day and still call my self a vegan - that's on them.

I can't speak for others, but this is not what I am doing. You are generalizing too much. FWIW I don't think "vegan" is appropriate for somebody who rejects the ideals of veganism and chooses to kill animals when they don't have to

Some people have medical conditions that prevent them from being dietary vegan even though they adhere to the ideology; they cannot be dietary vegan but they can change the rest of their lifestyle (like clothing). Strict definitions just don't work well in reality, this is why we need some flexibility.

*SD* wrote:I've found the vegans I've interacted with (and that's a fair amount by now) to be not even approaching that mark. They don't do as much as they reasonably and practicably could do to reduce harm death and suffering to animals. They're eating bread, scoffing on soy, drinking coffee, wearing wool or having woolen rugs, you name it. All this shit can be eliminated but they don't care.

Raising awareness is fine, but I am not the vegan police, I don't try to tell others how vegan they should be. And if someone decides to stop consuming animal products without changing anything else in their lifestyle (just dietary vegan), it is still better than nothing.

As for getting people to care when they currently don't: I already know about that, and vegans are not the worst offenders.

*SD* wrote:If you want to weaken veganism to the point where it can be anything anyone wants it to be

I don't. I don't call people anything, it is their choice if they want to call themselves vegan. However, I believe that it still needs to mean something, and in the case of ethical veganism, I think a minimum would be adherence to the ideology and at least an honest attempt at practicing.


*SD* wrote:And I don't care if you label me as judgmental.

You said that you didn't judge, and I explained why I think your claim was mistaken. I am not trying to be insulting, it is an illustration of the point I made earlier: you are not arguing against veganism, you are arguing against individual vegans.

*SD* wrote:I don't know with absolute certainty if it's true or not, but when actual fucking vegans are saying so, it's reasonable to think there just might be some truth to it.

Not good enough. This is how people get bad information and damage their health or their quality of life. Health claims should be taken seriously. If it is true that vegans need B12 injections, this needs to be known.

*SD* wrote:Does it make a difference to how many animals are killed in the commercial production of crops I grow my self?

It does if people think that doing what you do is more ethical than going vegan. But yeah, the few people reading this probably don't care too much.

*SD* wrote:For veganism to succeed in making a noticeable dent in the death and suffering it would need to gain MASSIVE traction, truly ENORMOUS traction.

I agree somewhat (minus the hyperbole), and I even said something similar in the other thread. But the danger here is fatalism, like saying "one vote doesn't count much so we might as well not vote".

*SD* wrote:Because I'm not seeing it happening.

It is slow, but I am seeing changes around me and online. Attitudes are changing in the news. Religious people in Israel are pushing for veganism because they recognize that religiously correct slaughter is not possible on a large scale. I gave other examples of optimism in my opening.

*SD* wrote:OF those who try, 74% "fail" and revert back to eating a non vegan diet, for varying reasons.

Possible, but these "varying reasons" are what matters for veganism today. We need to understand and address them so that the failure rate decreases. The flexible approach to veganism that I advocate for aims to do that, not by changing the definition, but by making veganism more accessible and less stressful. This is a long-term plan, I don't think anyone expects that next year all the problems will be solved.

*SD* wrote:What you mean is you can pick and choose.

What I mean is that people who want to go vegan don't have to try to go completely vegan immediately, and that it is okay if they cannot resist the urge to eat cheese once a month. I am not saying it is okay to consume animal products, but 95% vegan is better than 0%.

*SD* wrote:And what are you calling unethical?

The issues that I mentioned earlier are enough for me. But if you want a more official stance, in the UK in 2017: "An advertisement stating that “humane milk is a myth” has been cleared by the regulator following complaints from members of the dairy industry that it was inaccurate and misleading." (link)

I am not trying to define humane, cruelty, abuse, and so on. If you think the practices of animal farming are acceptable to you because they are technically legal, this doesn't affect ethical veganism.

*SD* wrote:Try looking it up? I have. You clearly know how to internet so what's stopping you?

I did, without much success. Without the information, it seems to me that at best it would not be worse because crops are used to feed cows (maybe 1 glass of cow milk requires the same rodent deaths as 1 glass of soy milk, I don't know). But you are oversimplifying the problem by focusing on rodent death when there are many other factors to consider.
"Violent ideologies have a special set of defenses that enable humane people to support inhumane practices and to not even realize what they're doing." (Melanie Joy)
Fri Apr 20, 2018 1:39 am
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 3020Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: Why Vegan?

Greetings,

I'll reply later to the main post, just noted this on the BBC:

France to ban use of meat terms to describe vegetable-based products

Kindest regards,

James
Image
"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
The Age Of Reason
Fri Apr 20, 2018 1:47 pm
*SD*User avatarPosts: 167Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:00 amLocation: Wales, UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Why Vegan?

are you denying that?


Nope. Why would I? It's what I said. I'm intellectually honest. And I stand by it, arguing with me about B12 is futile, you have a vegan activist acknowledging the need for B12 supplementation, I provided a source (one of many I could cite) - you can keep pretending it isn't a thing if you like but that's not my problem.

does seem to know his shit


Yes. Because he does seem to know his shit when it comes to nutrition. Do you see many of us corpse munchers arguing about whether we need B12 injections? I've never had this exchange with anyone who isn't vegan. Yet in the vegan community this is a hot topic.

And then you posted a video of some online group meeting


It's a DEBATE, in which there are two vegan activists and two non vegans arguing the topic and B12 comes up within 3 minutes? And the VEGANS are acknowledging the need - resist the point all you like, again, yet again, take it to the vegans.

Do you honestly think that someone reading you should be convinced that vegans need B12 injections?


No, what I think they should do is what you're NOT doing - I think they should go to actual fucking vegans and ask them - especially those who focus on nutrition. Such as..... guess who?!

And before you start telling me that I am moving the goalpost: I have never argued against B12 supplementation (oral, injection, or anything else): not in my life, not on this website, or anywhere else. If you believe otherwise, you are just wrong.


I didn't say you argued against supplementation, I said quite the opposite. I'm arguing against it. You were verging on including supplements as part of a "diet" - see previous posts. You didn't outright say it, I grant you, but you were verging on it.
I challenged the notion that artificial supplements can be classed as part of a diet.

I am only interested in the details that show that vegans generally require injection. As far as I can tell, it is not true.


Once again, not my argument to have. Vegans are acknowledging this quite widely, I guess you must know better.

Do you expect me to be uncritical of any piece of information just because it comes from a vegan that you like?


Nope. I"like" vegan gains because he's entertaining to watch, and tbh isn't nearly as irritating as some other vegan activists I could cite.

What I am asking you is to provide a good reason to believe a claim that sounds like anti-vegan propaganda.


Already have, you dismissed it so I am now dismissing you. Because that's valid, right?

Anti Vegan propaganda?! From a VEGAN?!

Why do you think that one unique source should or even could have all the answers? I provided links in my opening to get started, and some of them give advice regarding validating sources, but there is no hard rule. It would be irresponsible for me to say "that person has all the answers". Each individual is responsible for deciding how they allocate their trust (multiple sources probably better than just one), and how much fact checking they are able to perform.


It's not one unique source! I've only cited one and you blew it off because you don't like what he has to say! I stated there are MANY more but why would I bother?!

What I am saying is that it is potentially dangerous to only trust one source


I agree completely! Would you like me to cite more sources so you can dismiss them too? Because they're saying things you don't like on the internet?!

From you, although I may have answered the wrong part of your text, my bad. I was thinking of "And don't forget the law insists that I kill them too!"


Yes, and what did LITERALLY the very next sentence say? Well? What did it say????

In relation to milking, I am thinking about separating the mother from her calf (causing emotional distress for both) and using mechanical pumps on the udder; I don't know how much the pumps hurt, but they can cause bleeding.


This doesn't happen in the way vegans would have others believe. It is true that they get separated sometimes, perhaps often, but it's not like the instant they appear they are whisked off to some other place and tortured until their eventual death. I will not disagree that this causes distress to the mother, but I will submit that this distress is very rapidly overcome. And those calves are very well cared for. I see no reason to assume that the clusters cause pain, I've milked cows, zillions of them. They show no stress at all when being milked. They usually arrive at the parlor without being "taken" there because they want to be milked. When being milked they are fed, they have their hooves washed and any medical treatment in injection form they may need (when they have their faces in food it's a good time to give them any jab they may need)

Once this is done, they wander back outside to do cow stuff. They are checked frequently to see that there are no problems. And then round and round we go, they come back to the parlor. This is the life of a cow on a typical dairy farm here.

This is true of almost any modern human activity (building houses, bridges, water facilities, ...). Unless you are suggesting we all go back to nature, I don't see how this is a convincing argument.


That's what I said. So we're back to that line you insist you don't draw. Again. C'mon man where is it?

Intent matters quite a lot for moral considerations


No it doesn't. If the animal is being killed, what difference does your intent make to anyone or anything other than you? The rabbit chewed up by the combine when we're grabbing your wheat, or the exact same rabbit being shot so I can eat it is in the exact same boat either way. It's getting killed. Line.

If you don't care about intent, then there is no moral case for veganism.


There could be a moral case to make for veganism, I've not disputed this. But if you're not doing all you could reasonably do to reduce death harm and suffering to animals then YOU can't make it. I don't care about intent when it comes to food production because I'm not going to declare that it's OK to kill animal X for production of food Y but not ok to kill same animal X for production of food Z.

If a Jain wants to argue the point, I will lose. I will disagree but I'll still lose. Because they are consistent as fuck with their position. Vegans aren't.

You are going too far with your idea of "definition".


No I'm just operating within the definition you posted. That of the vegan society.

FWIW I don't think "vegan" is appropriate for somebody who rejects the ideals of veganism


Me neither. We agree here. But there are many who will argue otherwise - again, not my battle.

it is their choice if they want to call themselves vegan. However, I believe that it still needs to mean something


Yes! Absolutely! Me too! Veganism should mean something, the thing is the definition you're using allows way too much wiggle room for people like me. Which essentially reduces it to absurdity. Like I said, that call with 5 vegans, all conceding I can still use the label "vegan" even though I intentionally kill animals and eat them.....

Might as well say I'm a Christian but I don't think there was ever a Jesus.

I think a minimum would be adherence to the ideology and at least an honest attempt at practicing.


Yeah but an honest attempt at practicing only includes what you can be bothered to include and nothing else. It includes moaning about cheese but doesn't include not buying bread because animals die during the production of that too. Line. Where's yours?

you are not arguing against veganism, you are arguing against individual vegans.


No. I'm arguing against a consensus of vegans. If you're an exception and want to argue your own way that's fine, I said that earlier. It's not my fault that a consensus of vegans are making the points I'm arguing against. Once again, you should take that up with them if they're spreading misinformation.

Not good enough


Pot, meet kettle.

This is how people get bad information and damage their health or their quality of life. Health claims should be taken seriously. If it is true that vegans need B12 injections, this needs to be known.


Agreed. So you are resisting the point that vegans are more likely to require B12 supplementation, this is now on record and people will start taking your advice. It won't affect me because I'm not a vegan.

Or should they not just look to you as a source and check if there is any other info out there which contrasts quite starkly with yours?

It does if people think that doing what you do is more ethical than going vegan


What I do IS more ethical than going vegan. I am directly responsible for less deaths, direct or indirect than your average vegan. What have you eaten today? Let's do a little comparison if you like? I think this could be genuinely interesting.

I agree somewhat (minus the hyperbole), and I even said something similar in the other thread. But the danger here is fatalism, like saying "one vote doesn't count much so we might as well not vote".


Where was the hyperbole?

It's a poor comparison and it takes nothing away from my point - veganism needs MASSIVE traction to make a dent. And even if it were to succeed it would have gigantic consequences in other areas. I'll elaborate if you wish.

examples of optimism


Optimism can be fine. I don't think you're a crappy person for caring about this issue. I;m certainly not deaf or blind to what you're advocating for, but I'm not an idealist.

I don't think anyone expects that next year all the problems will be solved


I agree. I'm not suggesting that vegans think they're taking over the world in the next few minutes. If I gave the impression that's what I think then that's my bad - but it's not what I think most vegans are about.

What I mean is that people who want to go vegan don't have to try to go completely vegan immediately


I disagree. I think they do. Lest you get random internet arse holes like me arguing the toss.

I don't think people who want to stop raping have to go completely rape free immediately. I think it's ok for them to rape just a bit less, maybe only once a week instead of every day.


I am not trying to define humane, cruelty, abuse, and so on. If you think the practices of animal farming are acceptable to you because they are technically legal, this doesn't affect ethical veganism.


It's not the legality per se, it's because I've done it and I'm not seeing what you're seeing. The fact that my position is recognised and enshrined in law bolsters my point.

But you are oversimplifying the problem by focusing on rodent death when there are many other factors to consider.


Rabbits aren't rodents. Remember, not all pests are rodents, not all pests are animals :)
"Killing animals and eating their lifeless corpses is fun" - SD 2018
"Remember, it's totally ok if you pay for them to be killed for wheat, but abhorrent if you do it for meat" - SD 2018
Fri Apr 20, 2018 8:19 pm
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VegoUser avatarPosts: 74Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:32 pm

Post Re: Why Vegan?

Dragan Glas wrote:I think there are some misapprehensions on your part about farming practices outside the USA

Actually, you are the one with the misapprehensions, as I will try to illustrate.

Dragan Glas wrote:For example, the wool video showing tails being cut off with a knife doesn't occur here (in Ireland), nor in the UK (I'll let SD address that if he wishes) or Europe.

You are saying "doesn't occur" but the guideline you quoted says "should not be docked routinely". Not the same thing. And from an ethical vegan perspective, it would be preferable to avoid creating situations in which we consider "that both tail docking and castration are necessary".

Dragan Glas wrote:There are guidelines for farming practices in Europe

When we ask about non-human well-being and you answer that there are guidelines, you are actually avoiding the question. And BTW, guidelines are not regulations. And even if we pretend that the guidelines/regulations are ethical (not obvious to me), Europe is not a closed bubble. There are exports and imports. For example, "Animals exported live from EU countries are routinely being subjected to abuse, illegal transportation conditions and inhumane slaughter". In the other direction, Europe buys wool from Australia where mulesing (which you saw in the video) is still being performed, even though Australia said they would phase it out by 2010.

With brexit, things could get even messier (I don't know for sure).

The organization World Animal Protection offers an interactive map where 50 countries have been ranked by their standards of animal welfare (scoring details on the website). It is incomplete and doesn't really go into fine details (like individual establishments or practices), but what I want to illustrate is: only a few countries get a high ranking of A or B (about 10, including the UK), not all of Europe is homogeneous, and the the whole of North America is ranked D, worse than India, France and Australia that are ranked C. I mention India because I remember a documentary showing how cheap Indian leather is produced (not ethical).

Unfortunately, it is difficult to find information about the flow of ethically questionable merchandise in the world, so we have to rely on educated guesses, activist documentaries, and investigative reportings telling us that "possible cases of fraud have hindered efforts to track the true fate of [Australian] livestock".

To summarize: The problem goes far beyond the USA, and Europe is not completely sheltered. This is a global issue.

Dragan Glas wrote:Cows aren't fed corn-based feed, as they are in the US - they're grazed on grass, and fed fodder (hay) in winter.

Why are you focusing on cows and corn? According to UK's Food Standards Agency "These forages may be supplemented with cereals and other by-products to increase milk yield or liveweight gain." and "Non-ruminants (such as pigs and poultry) are unable to digest forages, and so their diets consist almost entirely of these feeds [home-grown crops]". In addition, illustrating once more the global nature of our civilization, "Approximately 20% of the feed materials used in the UK are imported from outside the EU, as the quantity of home produced feed is insufficient to meet demand. Soya beans and soya bean meal from North and South America, and maize gluten feed from the USA, are the principal imported feed materials."

Dragan Glas wrote:Also, regarding the B12 debate, I have to agree with SD

There is no B12 debate, both of you are twisting my words. I was asking why SD thinks it requires injection.

I do not argue against B12 supplementation. I have never done so, and I don't intend to. Please stop misrepresenting my position.

Dragan Glas wrote:and this emphasizes my argument that any diet, where you have to take vitamin pills and/or have injections to ensure it's balanced, can't be healthy

Health is evaluated by looking at the individuals. It is simply not true to claim that the use of supplementation is by default unhealthy.

Dragan Glas wrote:If I have to bend myself into a pretzel to eat healthily

Misrepresentation of veganism. It is very easy to take oral supplements and consume fortified foods. I don't know what you are talking about, and I don't think you do either.

Dragan Glas wrote:
Vego wrote:Your initial message was "a switch to plant-based food" and now you are talking about "an increase in plant-based food production". A lot of our crops are used to feed animals, so I don't know if a "switch" would necessarily result in an increase in production.

In America, maybe - not in the rest of the world, as my above point shows.

You don't show anything, you just make confident claims without actually knowing what you are talking about.

According to this report by the European Environment Agency:
* "There is not one uniform European food system."
* "a large proportion of the nutrient losses are related to the expansion of the livestock sector"
* "Nearly half of cropland is used for feed production." (most but not all cropland is inside the EU from what I understand)
* "Livestock production is more than six times as inefficient as crop production in terms of protein output ... As a result, dietary shifts to consuming lower quantities of meat, dairy products and eggs would reduce environmental impacts as well as reduce health risks"

Dragan Glas wrote:In Europe, an increase or switch to plant-based produce would result in increased production

Unjustified claim. I told you earlier that a switch wouldn't necessarily be an increase, you have to justify that first (adding "In Europe" is not a justification, just speculative hand-waving).

Animals eat crops, even in Europe (see my references above).

Dragan Glas wrote:, and with it would come increased exploitation of migrant workers.

This is a flimsy argument. Why focus on migrant workers? The issue you are describing could, and probably should, be addressed by improving working conditions (maybe through better workplace regulations). Using this as an excuse is just a form of fatalism (shouldn't we try to improve working conditions over time, with or without switch?).

And most importantly, there is no basis to make a comparison with animal exploitation: what do you mean by "exploitation of migrant workers"? How is it comparable to a cow being forcibly impregnated year after year only to have her baby taken away every time and her teats sucked dry by industrial equipment until she can't stand anymore?

Dragan Glas wrote:Picking/packing plant-based produce doesn't need qualifications - as such it suits cheap migrant labour. And with that comes exploitation.

What kind of exploitation are we talking about here? Are they getting imprisoned, mutilated, repeatedly violated, and killed for their meat when they become too weak? Or are you suggesting that Europe is so special that farm animals have a better life than human migrant workers? And if so, wouldn't that mean that Europeans don't care all that much about people?

Dragan Glas wrote:Given that I posted an article, as well as a video, on the subject of dealing with food waste and manure, I've already dealt with this. It makes me wonder if you read/watched either on The ManureEcoMine Project?!

I was trying to say that this back-and-forth regarding individual points is fruitless because it is just a sequence of speculations. I only used the manure thing as an example, because you seem to imply that we need to keep farming animals for manure.
Your video talks about controlling production starting from the pigs and cows. I am concerned about this "control", and here is what I was trying to say:
* collecting manure does not require killing animals for food, and I imagine that it could be possible to give the animals a life worth living in exchange for their waste;
* however, as long as it is viewed as a resource, someone somewhere will want to optimize its production, and that could involve a tighter "control" of the pigs and cows, which creates potential for abuse;
* if in the future we can develop a machine to produce manure from grass (by mimicking the digestion of the animals), then there will be no need to keep using the animals as tools, and that to me would be the preferable outcome.
I don't know precisely what the "control" involves in the video, but my guess is that it could have the same kind of impact on the animal's well-being as control over business operations has on pasture grazing.

Dragan Glas wrote:You say it's possible to go 100% vegan

Can you quote me saying that? If you can't, then stop misrepresenting my position. If you don't know or don't understand what I am saying, just ask and I will restate.

What I am saying is that those who can should try because it makes sense scientifically. 100% is my wish, I don't know if it is possible.

Dragan Glas wrote:I say climate change will undercut all that.

You keep saying it, but without justifying. The EEA report above states "Climate change is projected to improve the suitability of northern Europe for growing crops and to reduce crop productivity in large parts of southern Europe, although the effects will differ between different types of crops and livestock and also depend on adaptation measures". All we can say from that is: it's complicated. Your apparent confidence in your claim is unwarranted.

Dragan Glas wrote:"Some", "a lot", "most", are all less than "all".

What I was trying to say is that, in the context of your sentence, your use of an emphasized some suggests to me that you think it is a minor issue, whereas in reality it is a major issue.

Dragan Glas wrote:So, all the animals would be killed, and their carcasses presumably incinerated to get rid of them.

What a wasteful death-toll!

At least when farm animals die under current practices, it's for a purpose - humans.

I honestly cannot tell whether you are trying to make a joke here. If it is a joke, then just ignore this section. But assuming you are not joking, what you just said is a clear illustration of the importance of vegan activism and outreach. You might want to take a few moments to meditate on the meaning of Melanie Joy's quote that I use as signature in order to make sense of what I am writing.

Animals are not objects, but they probably do not have a human-like worldview. Saying that they are dying "for a purpose - human" is pure hubris, and morally bankrupt.

In my hypothetical scenario, there is no "waste" in the sense that you seem to imply, and there is at least some genuine respect for all the lives lost.

Dragan Glas wrote:I'm arguing that going 100% vegan is neither practical, nor necessary.

Why do you keep mentioning "100%"? Is this a way to avoid having to justify your claim because nothing is ever really 100%? Surely you must have noticed by now what I think of 100%?

I don't know how much veganism is possible in practice, how long it is going to take to reach "peak vegan", and what is the best way to get there. For individuals with access to proper resources, veganism doesn't have to be impractical. And for ethical veganism, the existence of animal exploitation creates the moral necessity. As for the environment, going vegan can help clean up our mess, it doesn't have to be "necessary", it can be about what kind of society we want to be (for example by considering how much environmental degradation we are willing to tolerate).
"Violent ideologies have a special set of defenses that enable humane people to support inhumane practices and to not even realize what they're doing." (Melanie Joy)
Last edited by Vego on Fri Apr 20, 2018 10:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Fri Apr 20, 2018 9:57 pm
VegoUser avatarPosts: 74Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:32 pm

Post Re: Why Vegan?

*SD* wrote:arguing with me about B12 is futile

I am not arguing against B12 supplementation. You talked specifically about injection. If this is not what you meant, fine, you could have just said that.

*SD* wrote:I challenged the notion that artificial supplements can be classed as part of a diet.

It doesn't matter whether supplements are classed as part of a diet or not, that's just arguing semantics. What matters is that vegans can be healthy.

*SD* wrote:It's not one unique source! I've only cited one and you blew it off because you don't like what he has to say!

You don't get it. All you do is make unjustified and highly emotional statements. You don't know what you are talking about.

*SD* wrote:Yes, and what did LITERALLY the very next sentence say?

I did say that I couldn't tell if it was a joke. I have read about places in the UK where people are expected to cull deer herds. For all I know your case could have been similar. Since I didn't see anything funny in your text, I wasn't sure what you were joking about. And since you kept mentioning the "LAW" for no apparent reason several times in the text, I made a guess. Apparently I guessed wrong.

*SD* wrote:That's what I said. So we're back to that line you insist you don't draw. Again. C'mon man where is it?

No idea.

*SD* wrote:
Intent matters quite a lot for moral considerations


No it doesn't.

Since you reject that intent matters when talking about morality, you have effectively dismissed my case.

*SD* wrote:
You are going too far with your idea of "definition".


No I'm just operating within the definition you posted. That of the vegan society.

What I meant is that you made it seem like the point of the definitions is to label people against their will.

*SD* wrote:No. I'm arguing against a consensus of vegans.

You know less about veganism than you think. You have done very little apart from criticizing other people for being "inconsistent". You even said "I will disagree [with a Jain] but I'll still lose. Because they are consistent as fuck with their position. Vegans aren't." This is pretty clear: you don't care about the ideology, you have decided to focus on "consistency" and exclude everything else, and you just criticize people who, according to you, fail to adhere to what you imagine their ideology is.

*SD* wrote:
What I mean is that people who want to go vegan don't have to try to go completely vegan immediately


I disagree. I think they do.

You can think it all you want, they just don't. Humans do not necessarily behave completely rationally, vegan or not.

*SD* wrote:The fact that my position is recognised and enshrined in law bolsters my point.

I am almost starting to doubt that we live on the same planet.
"Violent ideologies have a special set of defenses that enable humane people to support inhumane practices and to not even realize what they're doing." (Melanie Joy)
Fri Apr 20, 2018 10:39 pm
*SD*User avatarPosts: 167Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:00 amLocation: Wales, UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Why Vegan?

I am not arguing against B12 supplementation. You talked specifically about injection. If this is not what you meant, fine, you could have just said that.


I know you aren't and I didn't say you were. What difference does it make which form the supplementation takes? Pills or injection? It makes no odds how it's taken, it could be suppository for all I care.

It doesn't matter whether supplements are classed as part of a diet or not, that's just arguing semantics. What matters is that vegans can be healthy


I haven't denied that they can be healthy, what I've argued is that in order to be healthy it's quite likely that they will need to take a supplement in one form or another. As agreed by a consensus of... vegans. This is getting boring.


You don't get it. All you do is make unjustified and highly emotional statements


No, I do get it, because it's clear I've spent far more time on this topic than you have. This is obvious to anyone reading. What's emotional about saying vegans are more likely to require synthesised supplements than non vegans? Did you imagine I was crying when I wrote that?

You don't know what you are talking about.


It's very, very rare for me to use the following three letters together but LOL.

Is this the level you're reducing the discussion to?

Let's get this fucking right - here's what happened -

I made a claim about B12

You asked me to back it up

I backed it up and you blew it off because you don't like it

DG then offered you another source to go to and you still don't like it so you're blowing that one off too.

Incorrigible much?

Apparently I guessed wrong.


M'hmm.

No idea.


I have an idea. It's drawn wherever you can be arsed to draw it, this has been exposed already but I'm not going to dedicate the rest of my life to getting you to admit it.

Since you reject that intent matters when talking about morality


It doesn't. Not to the subject involved and you have made no case as to why it should. I've explained why it doesn't matter, you've ignored it. Carry on.

you have effectively dismissed my case.


Yes, I have, because you have failed to make it. That's the beauty of fora like this, it's not reliant on any concession from either side of an argument. It's all there for anyone to read, if they do so wish.

What I meant is that you made it seem like the point of the definitions is to label people against their will.


No, I've been well aware of how different strokes of vegan draw lines in different places. And that's fine, each vegan can draw their own line wherever they see fit. It's when arguing that those lines get exposed. But you aren't content with just drawing your own line and being happy with it, you want to argue that others should do the same, as evidenced by the existence of this thread.

As for labelling, I'm not sure that sums it up accurately. I'm unwilling to label my self vegan, even though I could, potentially fall under some definition or other. I'm concerned with what is reasonable above technicalities. I've already had vegans concede that I can say I'm vegan, even though I eat meat all the time, and the meat I eat is largely due to the fact I've shot something in the head. Deliberately.

You know less about veganism than you think


So say you. After investing the amount of time I have in the topic I'm not going to accept the notion that I "just don't know enough tho" from someone who was seemingly oblivious to the B12 topic.

You have done very little apart from criticizing other people for being "inconsistent"


Wrong again. I've done a lot more than that. Should I repeat my self? You play your game of pick and choose, and pat your self on the back because you don't eat bacon. You're happy enough to kill animals for bread. I won't play your game. I'm sure you sleep soundly knowing you don't eat the corpses of the animals that get massacred during the production of the food you do eat. I'm more consistent than you are. Even though I don't care about consistency, I'm STILL more consistent with my position than you are with yours.

You even said "I will disagree [with a Jain] but I'll still lose. Because they are consistent as fuck with their position. Vegans aren't.


I certainly did.

you don't care about the ideology


Correct! I DON'T - because I'm not an idealist or a massive fucking hypocrite.

you have decided to focus on "consistency"


Nope. How many times have I said I don't care about consistency? I'll count if you like. You've entirely missed the point.

Here....

I DON'T CARE about consistency because following it through to its proper conclusion leads to counterproductive positions and absurdity that practically NO ONE will be on board with. But even with that said, I'm fully consistent with my own position, and I'll venture so far as to say I'm more consistent with VEGANISM than YOU are! You fucking hypocrite!

and you just criticize people who, according to you, fail to adhere to what you imagine their ideology is.


No, I don't just do that. I imagine what their ideology is?! Maybe YOU should read your OP wherein you include the definition of VEGANISM as supported by the Vegan Society?!

You can think it all you want, they just don't


I think a lot. I also do a lot of research. You, clearly do not do either. And yes they do or they're hypocrites.

I am almost starting to doubt that we live on the same planet


Me too. As I don't live on planet pick and choose like you. And nor would I wish to.
"Killing animals and eating their lifeless corpses is fun" - SD 2018
"Remember, it's totally ok if you pay for them to be killed for wheat, but abhorrent if you do it for meat" - SD 2018
Sat Apr 21, 2018 8:05 pm
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VegoUser avatarPosts: 74Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:32 pm

Post Re: Why Vegan?

*SD* wrote:What difference does it make which form the supplementation takes? Pills or injection? It makes no odds how it's taken, it could be suppository for all I care.

It makes a big difference for the perception of difficulty. An injection or a suppository are more inconvenient than an oral supplement.

*SD* wrote:What's emotional about saying vegans are more likely to require synthesised supplements than non vegans? Did you imagine I was crying when I wrote that?

I don't know if you were crying, but you were definitely swearing here and there. And as for your "more likely" statement, the problem is that it is too vague. If someone, vegan or not, does not have an adequate source of B12, I expect that they very probably will develop a deficiency.

*SD* wrote:I backed it up

No, you refuse to address "injection".

*SD* wrote:DG then offered you another source to go to and you still don't like it so you're blowing that one off too.

Unless I missed it (I read it and did a search), it did not say anything about a requirement for injection. Once again, I do not argue against B12 supplementation. Me liking it or not has nothing to do with it: the information addressing injection (which is my concern) does not appear to be there.
"Violent ideologies have a special set of defenses that enable humane people to support inhumane practices and to not even realize what they're doing." (Melanie Joy)
Sat Apr 21, 2018 10:38 pm
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 3020Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: Why Vegan?

Greetings,

Vego wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:I think there are some misapprehensions on your part about farming practices outside the USA

Actually, you are the one with the misapprehensions, as I will try to illustrate.

I disagree, as I will address later.

Vego wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:For example, the wool video showing tails being cut off with a knife doesn't occur here (in Ireland), nor in the UK (I'll let SD address that if he wishes) or Europe.

You are saying "doesn't occur" but the guideline you quoted says "should not be docked routinely". Not the same thing. And from an ethical vegan perspective, it would be preferable to avoid creating situations in which we consider "that both tail docking and castration are necessary".

Such practices are for the benefit of the animals in question, not for the farming sector, such as keeping the wool clean.

Vego wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:There are guidelines for farming practices in Europe

When we ask about non-human well-being and you answer that there are guidelines, you are actually avoiding the question. And BTW, guidelines are not regulations. And even if we pretend that the guidelines/regulations are ethical (not obvious to me), Europe is not a closed bubble. There are exports and imports. For example, "Animals exported live from EU countries are routinely being subjected to abuse, illegal transportation conditions and inhumane slaughter". In the other direction, Europe buys wool from Australia where mulesing (which you saw in the video) is still being performed, even though Australia said they would phase it out by 2010.

With brexit, things could get even messier (I don't know for sure).

Trade agreements tend to be an overall package - it's difficult for countries to pick-and-choose the bits they like, since this results in a one-sided agreement, which the other country/countries would reject.

The above is not the only case of what one might find unacceptable: since 2015, the EU has banned testing cosmetics on animals, thus no cosmetics can be developed with the use of animal testing. However, cosmetics that have been tested on animals can be imported from outside the EU.

This is not meant to be an approval of such practices - rather, as with diplomacy, one continues to talk with others whilst hoping to change how they behave. In time, it's hoped that the countries around the world that trade with the EU will adopt similar practices as in the EU.

Much as trade continues to occur between countries despite (accusations of) human rights abuses.

Vego wrote:The organization World Animal Protection offers an interactive map where 50 countries have been ranked by their standards of animal welfare (scoring details on the website). It is incomplete and doesn't really go into fine details (like individual establishments or practices), but what I want to illustrate is: only a few countries get a high ranking of A or B (about 10, including the UK), not all of Europe is homogeneous, and the the whole of North America is ranked D, worse than India, France and Australia that are ranked C. I mention India because I remember a documentary showing how cheap Indian leather is produced (not ethical).

Unfortunately, it is difficult to find information about the flow of ethically questionable merchandise in the world, so we have to rely on educated guesses, activist documentaries, and investigative reportings telling us that "possible cases of fraud have hindered efforts to track the true fate of [Australian] livestock".

To summarize: The problem goes far beyond the USA, and Europe is not completely sheltered. This is a global issue.

I'm glad you note that the UK has the highest rating (and, although Ireland isn't included, I'm virtually certain it has a similar rating) - certainly higher than the US, which is still lower than any of the EU countries. Whatever shortfall in the EU, the US still has the worst rating in comparison.

Your comment about the guidelines not being regulations, although valid, shows that you didn't read your WAP source. For example, the UK's profile says:

According to a 2009 report “Farm Animal Welfare in Great Britain: Past, Present and Future” produced by the Farm Animal Welfare Committee (formerly the Farm Animal Welfare Council), an independent governmental advisory body, there is strong welfare legislation and good compliance generally, with most farmers having made determined efforts to ensure an acceptable quality of life for farm animals.[2] During its existence, the Farm Animal Welfare Committee has had influence on the development of animal protection around the world through developing the concept of the Five Freedoms and producing a wealth of high profile scientific evidence-based reports and advice.[3]

The Codes of Recommendations have been valuable in providing guidance to those involved in the farming industry, and have assisted the promotion of animal welfare legislation and promoted good practice.

That organization is the same one that produced the guidelines from which I quoted regarding tail-docking.

It later goes on to comment:

Regarding compliance, the UK’s Chief Veterinary Officer reported in 2009 that Animal Health, an executive agency for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs that also works on behalf of the Scottish Executive and the Welsh Assembly (now called the Animal and Plant Health Agency), had found a level of compliance with animal welfare legislation of 99% at inspections carried out at markets. The agency also found a 97% level of compliance on thousands of random inspections of farms, although the level of compliance for inspections made in response to complaints or to farms targeted for inspection using a risk model was much lower, at 77%.[5]

And lest you think that this is without consequence, It goes on to mention that there is legislation in place to enforce prison sentences (up to a year) and/or fines (up to £20,000).

Vego wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:Cows aren't fed corn-based feed, as they are in the US - they're grazed on grass, and fed fodder (hay) in winter.

Why are you focusing on cows and corn?

Because in the US that is the primary feed for livestock - hence my wish to comment on it in comparison with Ireland, the UK, and the EU.

Vego wrote:According to UK's Food Standards Agency "These forages may be supplemented with cereals and other by-products to increase milk yield or liveweight gain." and "Non-ruminants (such as pigs and poultry) are unable to digest forages, and so their diets consist almost entirely of these feeds [home-grown crops]". In addition, illustrating once more the global nature of our civilization, "Approximately 20% of the feed materials used in the UK are imported from outside the EU, as the quantity of home produced feed is insufficient to meet demand. Soya beans and soya bean meal from North and South America, and maize gluten feed from the USA, are the principal imported feed materials."

Yes, corn is used to supplement grazing, and fodder - however, it's not the norm over here.

Vego wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:Also, regarding the B12 debate, I have to agree with SD

There is no B12 debate, both of you are twisting my words. I was asking why SD thinks it requires injection.

I do not argue against B12 supplementation. I have never done so, and I don't intend to. Please stop misrepresenting my position.

You appear to be denying that veganism is not unhealthy - we're arguing that if a diet requires supplementation, whether through pills and/or injections, it's not inherently healthy.

To put it in context, it's like someone arguing that "a junk food diet is healthy - with supplements (multivitamin/zinc/iron/etc pills)".

Yes, it's healthy, if that's how you define healthy - but most people would argue that a junk food diet isn't healthy in and of itself. And the same applies to veganism - if you need supplements to address deficiencies, then the diet isn't - can't be - healthy in and of itself.

That's the point that I - and, I believe SD - am making.

Vego wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:and this emphasizes my argument that any diet, where you have to take vitamin pills and/or have injections to ensure it's balanced, can't be healthy

Health is evaluated by looking at the individuals. It is simply not true to claim that the use of supplementation is by default unhealthy.

No, you're defining health as individually-based - diets are either healthy or not. If one needs to supplement a diet to address deficiencies, then the diet cannot be healthy, as I've pointed out above.

Vego wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:If I have to bend myself into a pretzel to eat healthily

Misrepresentation of veganism. It is very easy to take oral supplements and consume fortified foods. I don't know what you are talking about, and I don't think you do either.

You're simply trying to deny the obvious.

It's "easy to take oral supplements and consume fortified foods", you say.

If the diet were inherently healthy, I should only have to eat food - not take supplements or fortified foods.

I'm not sure why you cannot accept this.

Vego wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:In America, maybe - not in the rest of the world, as my above point shows.

You don't show anything, you just make confident claims without actually knowing what you are talking about.

You don't seem to be able to read between the lines.

By "a switch to plant-based food", I meant that we increase plant-based food production whilst decreasing - or even ending - animal-based food sources. This would undoubtedly result in "an increase in plant-based food production", since there would be no farm animals to eat such produce.

In fact, an increase would occur even if there were animals being used for food, since not all of the increased plant-based food production would be for such farm animals.

Vego wrote:According to this report by the European Environment Agency:
* "There is not one uniform European food system."
* "a large proportion of the nutrient losses are related to the expansion of the livestock sector"
* "Nearly half of cropland is used for feed production." (most but not all cropland is inside the EU from what I understand)
* "Livestock production is more than six times as inefficient as crop production in terms of protein output ... As a result, dietary shifts to consuming lower quantities of meat, dairy products and eggs would reduce environmental impacts as well as reduce health risks"

Yes, countries within the EU are allowed set up their own practices - just as with states in the US. Nutrient losses are also due to the economics of food - "mountains", and "lakes" of food due to subsidies, and a lack of demand, where milk is proverbially poured down the drain because dairy farmers can't get the price they want due to a glut in the market. As a earlier article I cited pointed out:

Every year around a third of all food produced for human consumption is wasted, according to the United Nations. That equates to 1.3 billion tonnes of food down the drain and huge amounts of avoidable greenhouse gas emissions.

"Food loss and waste also amount to a major squandering of resources including water, land, energy, labour and capital," said Professor Montse Jorba Rafart, an expert in agrifood technologies from Leitat, a Spanish technological centre.

Instead, this waste could become a sustainable solution for another resource-heavy agricultural sector – animal feed.

As I said before, using this food waste as animal feed would free-up crop production for human consumption.

And the "more than six times as inefficient", which is based on earlier research that claimed that it takes 6-20kg of corn to make 1kg of meat, has recently been challenged by research that shows it could be as low as 3kg corn to produce 1kg of meat.

Vego wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:In Europe, an increase or switch to plant-based produce would result in increased production

Unjustified claim. I told you earlier that a switch wouldn't necessarily be an increase, you have to justify that first (adding "In Europe" is not a justification, just speculative hand-waving).

Animals eat crops, even in Europe (see my references above).

And I addressed that above.

Vego wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:, and with it would come increased exploitation of migrant workers.

This is a flimsy argument. Why focus on migrant workers? The issue you are describing could, and probably should, be addressed by improving working conditions (maybe through better workplace regulations). Using this as an excuse is just a form of fatalism (shouldn't we try to improve working conditions over time, with or without switch?).

And most importantly, there is no basis to make a comparison with animal exploitation: what do you mean by "exploitation of migrant workers"? How is it comparable to a cow being forcibly impregnated year after year only to have her baby taken away every time and her teats sucked dry by industrial equipment until she can't stand anymore?

That's a rather emotive misrepresentation of dairy farming, don't you think?

The issue of rights, whether of humans or animals, is going to become more difficult, as your WAP website notes regarding the UK:

The department comments that “policies such as climate change mitigation, livestock intensification and improved food security and increasing food production to meet key global environmental challenges, all have the potential to affect animal welfare, and robust welfare evidence is needed to underpin government policy in these areas.”[7]

And it's not a case of "fatalism", it's just a case of being realistic about (the future of) the world, and human nature.

Vego wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:Picking/packing plant-based produce doesn't need qualifications - as such it suits cheap migrant labour. And with that comes exploitation.

What kind of exploitation are we talking about here? Are they getting imprisoned, mutilated, repeatedly violated, and killed for their meat when they become too weak? Or are you suggesting that Europe is so special that farm animals have a better life than human migrant workers? And if so, wouldn't that mean that Europeans don't care all that much about people?

Again with the emotive language.

Trafficked migrant labourers get raped, beaten to death, have their organs removed without permission for the black market, etc.

So, who has the worst of it, given that humans are sapient, rather than merely sentient?

And if you want me to provide citations for any of the above claims, and more, I'll do so.

Vego wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:Given that I posted an article, as well as a video, on the subject of dealing with food waste and manure, I've already dealt with this. It makes me wonder if you read/watched either on The ManureEcoMine Project?!

I was trying to say that this back-and-forth regarding individual points is fruitless because it is just a sequence of speculations. I only used the manure thing as an example, because you seem to imply that we need to keep farming animals for manure.
Your video talks about controlling production starting from the pigs and cows. I am concerned about this "control", and here is what I was trying to say:
* collecting manure does not require killing animals for food, and I imagine that it could be possible to give the animals a life worth living in exchange for their waste;
* however, as long as it is viewed as a resource, someone somewhere will want to optimize its production, and that could involve a tighter "control" of the pigs and cows, which creates potential for abuse;
* if in the future we can develop a machine to produce manure from grass (by mimicking the digestion of the animals), then there will be no need to keep using the animals as tools, and that to me would be the preferable outcome.
I don't know precisely what the "control" involves in the video, but my guess is that it could have the same kind of impact on the animal's well-being as control over business operations has on pasture grazing.

Perhaps, perhaps not.

The fact that food can be freed-up for human consumption, and food waste/manure would be used as feed instead of crops, is a step in the right direction for your vegan utopia, is it not? If you're now going to back away from it for fear of some future exploitation based on the implications of the word "control"...?!

Vego wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:You say it's possible to go 100% vegan

Can you quote me saying that? If you can't, then stop misrepresenting my position. If you don't know or don't understand what I am saying, just ask and I will restate.

What I am saying is that those who can should try because it makes sense scientifically. 100% is my wish, I don't know if it is possible.

I've re-read the other thread, and see that Laurens put the question to you that, if full veganism wasn't possible - only 70% say - that there'd still be a need for animals as food. I see that your reply to that was much as you state above. I appear to have taken your wish as a statement of possibility. I apologize for the mistake on my part.

Vego wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:I say climate change will undercut all that.

You keep saying it, but without justifying. The EEA report above states "Climate change is projected to improve the suitability of northern Europe for growing crops and to reduce crop productivity in large parts of southern Europe, although the effects will differ between different types of crops and livestock and also depend on adaptation measures". All we can say from that is: it's complicated. Your apparent confidence in your claim is unwarranted.

Let me cite some more articles to show that it's not just my opinion.

Will rising carbon dioxide levels really boost plant growth?

But, as we know, C3 plants waste a lot more resources at higher temperatures, so any increase in photosynthesis from rising CO₂ levels seems likely to be at least cancelled out by the effects of the global warming it will cause. And that's without factoring in changes to rainfall patterns such as more frequent droughts. Solutions that seem to be too good to be true generally are – and, for the moment, that still seems to be the case for the idea that CO₂ enhanced crop yields will feed the world.

Gauging the effects of water scarcity on an irrigated planet

Despite the small global impacts, the researchers observed that explicitly representing irrigated land under water scarcity as well as changes in water availability for agriculture can have significant impact at the regional level. In places where rainfall is relatively low and/or population growth is projected to outpace irrigation capacity and efficiency improvements, water shortages are more likely to limit irrigated cropland expansion, leading to lower crop production in those areas.

The affected regions will undoubtedly lead to resource conflicts over water, and arable land. Surrounding regions will experience an influx of refugees, as has been shown by the war in Syria leading to an influx of refugees to Europe.

And abandoned farms, and crops, will not produce food.

It doesn't bode well for the future of humanity or the world.

Vego wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:"Some", "a lot", "most", are all less than "all".

What I was trying to say is that, in the context of your sentence, your use of an emphasized some suggests to me that you think it is a minor issue, whereas in reality it is a major issue.

I wasn't suggesting that - merely that it's the lesser of two evils, if you wish to view it as such. Killing some/a lot/most is "better" than killing all, particularly since you appear to imply that the resultant carcasses are not to be used for any purpose.

Vego wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:So, all the animals would be killed, and their carcasses presumably incinerated to get rid of them.

What a wasteful death-toll!

At least when farm animals die under current practices, it's for a purpose - humans.

I honestly cannot tell whether you are trying to make a joke here. If it is a joke, then just ignore this section. But assuming you are not joking, what you just said is a clear illustration of the importance of vegan activism and outreach. You might want to take a few moments to meditate on the meaning of Melanie Joy's quote that I use as signature in order to make sense of what I am writing.

Animals are not objects, but they probably do not have a human-like worldview. Saying that they are dying "for a purpose - human" is pure hubris, and morally bankrupt.

In my hypothetical scenario, there is no "waste" in the sense that you seem to imply, and there is at least some genuine respect for all the lives lost.

I wasn't joking - I was pointing out the wholesale waste of a cull of all farm animals, and their destruction by incineration (with the concomitant air-pollution), when their bodies could be used for food, clothing, etc. Just like older hunter-gatherers would use up every part of a animal they'd killed. That would be a far more respectful way to treat their deaths.

Vego wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:I'm arguing that going 100% vegan is neither practical, nor necessary.

Why do you keep mentioning "100%"? Is this a way to avoid having to justify your claim because nothing is ever really 100%? Surely you must have noticed by now what I think of 100%?

I don't know how much veganism is possible in practice, how long it is going to take to reach "peak vegan", and what is the best way to get there. For individuals with access to proper resources, veganism doesn't have to be impractical. And for ethical veganism, the existence of animal exploitation creates the moral necessity. As for the environment, going vegan can help clean up our mess, it doesn't have to be "necessary", it can be about what kind of society we want to be (for example by considering how much environmental degradation we are willing to tolerate).

The problem with vegan meat-substitutes is the fact that it isn't as palatable as meat itself.

I've tried vegan substitutes for sausages, and chicken. Yes, they smell somewhat like sausages, and chicken, and they have a texture somewhat similar to them but they lack the one thing that makes them palatable: taste.

That taste is caused by fats - animal fats.

Until the vegan food industry can reproduce that taste by synthesizing such fats - until vegan meat-substitutes can pass the taste equivalent of the Turing Test - the majority of people will not be bothered to change.

Whatever moral argument one makes, whether you like it or not, health and taste take precedence in people's minds.

Kindest regards,

James
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"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
The Age Of Reason
Sun Apr 22, 2018 2:12 am
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