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Why Vegan?

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Why Vegan?
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*SD*User avatarPosts: 342Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:00 amLocation: Wales, UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Why Vegan?

Vego wrote:What expectations? In this whole conversation, the only person expecting others to live a certain way has been SD


I see you're talking to Sparhafoc here, and I wouldn't usually hijack a reply to someone else, but as it has my SN in it...

Yes, I have been, and will continue to argue that if you're going to argue for, advocate for, support or otherwise encourage a position - what ever that position may be - then you should be living as consistently as possible with that position. If you're going to engage in, or otherwise support actions that are contrary to what you're arguing for, I'm going to find this hypocritical and say so. If you weren't making these arguments, I wouldn't 'expect' you to do anything. It's only the fact that you've elected to argue for veganism that causes me to point out the flaws in your arguments, and the cracks in your logic and reasoning.

You can't be a clean air campaigner and start arguments with people who drive cars if you your self are rocking a 6Ltr Jag. Well, you CAN but nobody need pay the slightest bit of attention.

You can't criticize parents for smacking their kids arses if you're beating the shit out of your own children.

You can't frown upon others for smoking if you're burning up 2 packs a day

You can't moan about people killing animals and eating them as part of their diet when you are paying to have them killed and not even made use of.

This is the problem, not so much with veganism per-se but with vegan activists. And I would class what you're doing here to be activism, albeit not 'in ya face' activism. Veganism is quite a personal thing, and it's not always possible to make solid arguments for positions that are essentially brought about by personal feelings. But if you're going to try, you really should make sure you're practicing what you preach. People in glass houses are ill advised to throw stones.

If you want to be vegan, whatever that entails in your own bespoke game of pick and choose, then you can of course do that. And you're entitled to be happy about it and even proud of your self, if you like. But until such a time as you are living and behaving WAY more consistently with your position than you currently are, you aren't really in a position to criticize others for eating meat.

I'm not saying 'shut up' - far from it, I'm quite enjoying the conversation. I just want you to understand that although you feel strongly about veganism, as do most vegans, the arguments for it aren't NEARLY as solid as you seem to think.
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Sat Jun 30, 2018 5:39 pm
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SparhafocPosts: 2509Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Why Vegan?

*SD* wrote: I just want you to understand that although you feel strongly about veganism, as do most vegans, the arguments for it aren't NEARLY as solid as you seem to think.


Exactly.

Not to liken veganism to religion, but I have absolutely no issue at all with people who are religious simply because they cannot avoid the force of their own belief or conscience. It's shit arguments for religion that I have a problem with, and even more so, shit arguments for religion in a moralizing context.

To my mind, regardless of what the topic is, if you want to stake the moral high-ground, you'd better make damn sure you actually occupy it first.

With veganism, I already accept some ethical components that are inescapable, but these are all too often vastly over-played by those who seek to expound their beliefs to others.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Sat Jun 30, 2018 9:04 pm
VegoUser avatarPosts: 94Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:32 pm

Post Re: Why Vegan?

*SD* wrote:Yes, and what ever currently lives there isn't going to be able to continue living there if we churn the place up to plant lettuce. Hence, animals displaced/harmed/killed.

I don't understand what you are talking about. Are crops cultivated for animals not using the same techniques as crops cultivated for humans?

*SD* wrote:The quantity may be different, but I don't see that as any sort of knock-down point. Killing and death is killing and death.

The quantity and quality are different. All killings and deaths are not equivalent (otherwise we wouldn't distinguish between murders, accidents and self-defense).

*SD* wrote:You accept killing animals for veg etc, but object to killing them in order to eat them.

You keep putting words into my mouth. I repeatedly said that I believe that veganism (as it is practiced today) is a better option, not that it is perfect. I don't find killing aceptable, but the collateral killing is currently unavoidable (even without veganism) and veganism (even partial) is an improvement.

*SD* wrote:I haven't quoted the entire paragraph, you didn't answer the question I asked

If we start with unreasonable assumptions then we shouldn't be surprised if we reach unreasonable conclusions. If one bowl of cereal is not equivalent to exactly one dead rabbit, then I don't know what is the point of the comparison. For example, if only one bowl of cereal out of 100 is associated with one death, how do you compare that with killing rabbits? If you have 100 rabbit-meals, it doesn't make sense to say that only one out of 100 is associated with a death. These are different things, they are not comparable.

*SD* wrote:It doesn't matter if it's the same actual rabbit or some other rabbit.

It matters a lot because animals are not interchangeable objects. In addition, you keep assuming one-to-one and I don't know that this is the case.

*SD* wrote:A rabbit had to die for your bowl of cereal

Once again, I don't know that. It may be that no rabbit died for my bowl of cereal. By contrast, a rabbit definitely had to die for your rabbit-meal.

*SD* wrote:you are ok with that

Please stop misrepresenting my position. I am not ok with killing, veganism is just a better option, not a perfect one (presently).

*SD* wrote:Your rabbit is killed, possibly slowly and suffers a great deal ... My rabbit is killed cleanly and instantly, does not suffer

I only have your word for all of that. Anyway, you are missing part of the issue with killing: the rabbit (probably) did not want to die, maybe he was looking forward to something, maybe he had a family to care for or who cared for him. You will never know the consequences of your actions, but it doesn't mean that there aren't any.

*SD* wrote:discarded and not made use of ... is made use of

Animals are not objects to be made use of. This idea that not using a dead animal is a waste of resource is a cultural bias.

*SD* wrote:No, Vego. It really isn't. It's like saying exactly what I've been saying.

You are saying it is ok to kill sentient beings to eat (this is your position, not mine). Your justification seems to be that plant food (for humans) results in the same amount of death, so it is equivalent to kill rabbits for meat rather than killing them accidentally. However, this same amount is only your assumption, and I don't think it is accurate. If nutritionally equivalent plant food results in less deaths, then you could end up actually causing more deaths. But even in a one-to-one scenario, you are choosing specifically to end an individual life when you didn't have to (I am assuming that you are not dependent on hunting for your food security, otherwise my point is moot); saying 'I might as well be doing it' is like saying that there is no difference between someone else killing a rabbit (for whatever reason) and you killing a (probably) different rabbit (for whatever reason). This may be what you believe, but it is not true for sentient beings, human or not.

*SD* wrote:You think one individual (me) going vegan is going to have any kind of effect on the farming industry?

Yes, just like every other vegan. If our impact was literally zero, then 100% of the population going vegan wouldn't affect animal farming at all, which is highly implausible. That being said, maybe hunters have less impact on animal farming generally, but this is only because they contribute to the problem (of animal exploitation) in a more direct way.

*SD* wrote:So exploitation is worse than killing?

It depends on what kind of exploitation we are talking about. I am not saying that death is ok, but I generally don't think that death is the worst thing that can happen to a sentient being (human or not). Collecting manure is a form of exploitation, but I would consider it quite benign compared to the meat industry.

*SD* wrote:Goats are very prone to phantom pregnancies. ... Is milking her immoral under these circumstances?

I had never heard of that before, so thanks for the info. This website claims "False pregnancy is not uncommon in goats, dogs and other livestock" but this one claims "false pregnancy is rare", so I don't know. One of the defining characteristics of mammals is the production of milk by females to nurse their young, and as far as I know, this is the characteristic that is used by farmers to produce milk (impregnation without consent). I do not have enough information to say anything about your specific goat (is it an illness? is she experiencing discomfort? does she require milking?). Regardless, this is just your goat, not the milk industry.

*SD* wrote:Well I can assure you it is understood

When you confidently claim "you are ok with [death]", clearly you don't understand my position.

*SD* wrote:definition of normal ...
usual, typical, or expected

If this is what you mean, then yes, it is what most people are currently doing. In that case it is also perfectly normal to believe in god(s). So what?

*SD* wrote:And it's not an ideology either.

Denial of its existence is one of the main features of carnism. Apart from that, what I am saying by "food ideology" is really mundane: you have beliefs and practices related to food, that's your ideology, I am not trying to imply anything nefarious.

*SD* wrote:This is your opinion, not a fact.

Given the current demand for animal products, it is a fact that modern animal farming requires modern plant farming. So whatever is wrong with plant farming, it is also implied by modern animal farming.

*SD* wrote:Why is it more ok to kill field mice than poultry?

Once again, you are misunderstanding my position. I didn't say that it is ok to kill field mice, you are the only one trying to justify killing. What I am saying is that poultry death is a problem that veganism can solve.

*SD* wrote:you didn't answer my question from an earlier post about whether I'm being vegan right now,

I don't care whether you call yourself vegan right now or never, and I am not interested in giving labels to people in general. My concern is to reduce the avoidable harm that we cause to sentient beings.

*SD* wrote:And if I have one vegan meal and one non vegan meal on the same day have I been 'partially vegan' on that day.

In my personal opinion yes (although not all vegans agree with me on that), and it is better than two non-vegan meals.

*SD* wrote:someone who does [partial veganism] is in no position to be moralizing or arguing for veganism.

I don't know who you are talking about (as far as I am aware, I am fully dietary vegan every day).

*SD* wrote:Fist of all, my situation isn't a special case. Secondly, even if it were it's irrelevant.

If you are a hunter (that is the impression that I get) then I would say it is special in the sense that most people are not. It is relevant to my argument because my argument assumes that an individual is freely choosing where to spend their food money. But if you hunt for food instead of buying it, then your financial incentives are different (maybe beans are more expensive than ammunition, I honestly have no clue). And more generally, I never claimed to have an answer to all moral questions, sometimes I just don't know.

*SD* wrote:Disputed. There's also a lot of information that contradicts this claim.

The official position of the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (ex-ADA) is pretty unambiguous: "appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate" (source). What information contradicts that claim?

*SD* wrote:And humans don't 'biologically require' all manner of other things that kill animals during their production. ... If biological requirement is the criteria - bang goes your argument.

I can't tell if this is supposed to be a joke. Assuming you are serious: veganism is a potential solution to some of the problems related to animal farming, and it is feasible because animal products are not biologically required (for humans). This is all that I am saying, I don't understand what you are arguing against here.

Pills are not food

Why does that matter? Qualified nutritionists provide general advice to live as a healthy vegan, whether you want to call it a diet or not is completely avoiding the question of actual health in favor of some definition game.

*SD* wrote:I know it's there

It's not, and if you are thinking about the exchange we had earlier on the topic, I already explained the ambiguity back then.

*SD* wrote:It's a consequence of it

Please provide evidence that well-planned vegan diets generally result in nutritional deficiencies.

*SD* wrote:And I would class what you're doing here to be activism

Maybe, I don't know, I don't see myself as an activist. I don't really mind the label, but I don't compare to the more involved people who actually put their lives and reputations on the line (and I strongly object to acts of violence, although thankfully not all activists are violent).

*SD* wrote:the arguments for it aren't NEARLY as solid as you seem to think.

I don't know what it is that you think I seem to think, but so far it doesn't seem to actually match what I think. I admit that I am not always clear, but I am willing to clarify my position and we would waste less time if you would just ask me instead of regularly misrepresenting me.
"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)
Sun Jul 15, 2018 5:15 am
VegoUser avatarPosts: 94Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:32 pm

Post Re: Why Vegan?

Sparhafoc wrote:for all ... the majority of humans

You accused me earlier of whataboutism, and yet it is precisely what you are doing here. I have said many times, in the previous thread and in this one, that the starting point of my argument is reasonable access to vegan options (information, food, tools, etc). Asking me "what about people who don't have access" doesn't do anything to my argument.

Sparhafoc wrote:You've implicitly and explicitly acknowledged that a modern vegan/vegetarian diet is only viable for a small percentage of the current human population.

No, I have explicitly said that I don't know. The current situation is that vegans are a minority. I do not know how many people could go vegan right this instant. And it is not a useful question either. For example, if everyone in my city decided to go vegan right this instant, it is possible that we would experience food shortages because the current system is designed to sell a lot of animal products. This is not an argument against veganism, merely a description of the current situation.

Sparhafoc wrote:ignore the billions of people for whom your diet is not available or economically viable

How is that relevant? When you go to a store to buy an item, should you choose not to buy it because potentially billions of people in other countries don't have access to such item?

Sparhafoc wrote:revert again

It has been my position since the beginning, what am I reverting from according to you?

Sparhafoc wrote:you are ignoring the majority of humanity every time you make declarations like the above.

You quoted me saying "Animal products are not essential biologically". This is true or false regardless of access. If the only thing that you have to eat is meat, then you have no choice. But even in this situation, the biological requirement is only "eating", not "eating meat". What I call biological requirement is a property of human biology that is not dependent on region or wealth, and it is only meaningful for my argument when a reasonable choice exists. "What about people with no choice" is not an argument against biological requirement.

Sparhafoc wrote:You cannot declare that animal products are not biologically essential, then chuck in an addendum that you mean for just 1% of the human species, or whatever the number is. This genetically destroys your generalization.

To be clear (or at least clearer, I hope): I believe (based on what I have read, for example the official position of the AND) that animal products are not biologically essential for humans in general (I don't know the percentage, it could be 99.99%). How many people have the choice does not impact the truth/falsehood of this claim. Even if only one person in the world has access to what is necessary to be dietary vegan, it would still be true (or false) that humans do not biologically require animal products (and we don't even have to use new technology, with the appropriate knowledge it would have been possible for someone in the 19th century to be vegan).

Sparhafoc wrote:I am misrepresenting your argument, then you concur specifically with my argument...

I don't understand. Can you please restate succinctly the argument you are talking about?

Sparhafoc wrote:a meat-eater's diet is not premised on not killing animals, whereas a vegans is.

I don't understand. Are you saying that meat-eating is more ethical because meat-eaters don't care?

Sparhafoc wrote:Whether it's intentional cruelty or not matters not a fucking jot to the animal on the receiving end of the pain and death.

It matters a lot to figure out whether we can do something about it. And veganism can lead to a drastic reduction in cruelty to farm animals.

Sparhafoc wrote:how their food requires the death and suffering of animals.

This is a false equivalence because although whatever death and suffering occurs in industrial plant farming for humans also occurs in industrial plant farming for animals, the death and suffering of farm animals have no counterpart in vegan food production.

Sparhafoc wrote:Eliminate it except for the animals suffering from habitation loss, being chopped up by harvesters, poisoned by pesticides etc.

None of what you said are examples of animal exploitation. And none of them can be solved without a reduction of demand for animal products. Dietary veganism can at least eliminate the exploitation of farm animals.

Sparhafoc wrote:Then why aren't you working to fix that?

I am not qualified to solve technical industrial issues. Besides, even though it is an important aspect of my life, veganism is not the main one (it is easy enough that I don't spend too much time or money on it, at least not anymore). My main personal and professional concerns are far removed from veganism, food, or animal well-being.

Sparhafoc wrote:You can't convince people that your position is more ethical, and use that as a means to convince them to change their behavior when you can't be arsed to engage in the same issues yourself.

Actually, I should be able to, because the validity of my arguments does not depend on me being vegan. If I were not, you could call me a hypocrite, but it would not
count as an argument against veganism as I defend it.

Sparhafoc wrote:Why is it something you want others to do, but you're wholly resistant to it when it comes to your preferred means of nutrient acquisition?

What are you talking about? As far as I am aware, I am vegan.

Sparhafoc wrote:Your source is for the USA

Not much I can do about that, I have to wait until someone publishes a study on the topic (there are others, this one is just the most recent and complete that I know of).

Sparhafoc wrote:The world and the USA are not the same damn thing.

It doesn't matter, loss of nutrition through trophic levels is a physical constraint, it does not depend on location or economics (according to Wikipedia "Consumers at each level convert on average only about 10% of the chemical energy in their food to their own organic tissue").

Sparhafoc wrote:unless you've got a source showing that the USA can provide sufficient grain crops to feed the entire planet ...

Why the extreme? My argument does not rely on the USA providing food for the entire planet.

Sparhafoc wrote:Human food crops are grown during fertile seasons, while animal feed crops are grown during low fertility seasons.

How does that change anything? What would be the consequence of growing human food during "low fertility season"? Are you saying that you could feed more people by growing animal feed than by growing human food?

Sparhafoc wrote:So do we hop back on the merry-go-round again where you now are only talking about an elite but still somehow generalize from that tiny minority to the entire world?

I am talking about individuals with the possibility to make a choice. Individuals who currently do not have a choice are outside the scope of my argument.

Sparhafoc wrote:growing cereal crops for humans is the dominant form of mono-culturization of lands for human benefit

This sounds oddly specific. Is "mono-culturization" the only way to grow crops? If you want to claim that most crops are not used to feed animals, why not just say that?

Sparhafoc wrote:you imagine that people sow millions of hectares of grass to feed cows?

I wasn't actually imagining that, but when I looked for it, it turns out that sown pastures are a major thing. Unfortunately I wasn't able to find recent global data, only this document which states:
- "grassland is taken to be grazing land" (in a study made by the FAO)
- "Unsown grassland that occurs as a mosaic of uncultivated patches within farming land ... is ... important in smallholder systems as a source of livestock feed; in commercial systems it is more important as a wildlife habitat and a refuge for biodiversity" (iow, unsown grasslands are not always used to feed animals)
- "No grassland is entirely natural" (they give details about what they mean by that)
- "to remain productive [sown pastures] require careful management and inputs, with or without periodic resowing"

I had mixed success in tracking down clear numbers (this interactive chart shows that in 2015 67% of global agricultural area was used as permanent meadows and pastures) and this webpage shows that pretty much all the land Australians use for crop and pasture is transformed in some way, with the bulk (79% or 16 million hectares) having "no cultivation apart from sowing" (so there is at least sowing).

In short, there is no need for me to imagine it, it is apparently a fact that tens of millions of hectares of pastures are sown to feed animals (and that's just in Australia, it is possible that it happens elsewhere).

But sowing isn't necessarily the issue: according to Greenpeace "Cattle ranching is now the biggest cause of deforestation in the Amazon, and nearly 80 per cent of deforested areas in Brazil are now used for pasture."
(side note in case Dragan Glas is reading this: "Cattle ranching has the highest rates of slave labour in Brazil – just over 3,000 people held as slaves were freed from ranches last year.")

Sparhafoc wrote:a 'switch to veganism' for the entire human population of the planet, aside from requiring the deaths and misery of billions of humans,

What death and misery? And as for "the entire population of the planet": as I already said, I don't know how to solve world hunger. What I am saying is that, on paper at least, veganism can feed more people. Can the whole world go vegan right this instant? Probably not. Can the whole world go vegan in the long term (decades or centuries)? Maybe, and I hope so. How much of the world can actually go vegan in the long term? I don't know, but I believe that even 1% would be better than 0%. What is the best or fastest way to get there: veganism, reducetarianism or lab meat? I don't know.

Sparhafoc wrote:would also have the exact opposite effect of 'deconversion' to 'wilderness'

I justified my claim with the text I quoted, it's not just me saying it.

Sparhafoc wrote:your arguments are growing less and less bound by reality the further you go.

What are you talking about? What are my arguments according to you? Do you even know what my message is?

Sparhafoc wrote:In reality, we already use nearly all the most fertile lands on Earth to grow crops for human consumption. Where does this fertile land magically come from in your estimation?

What estimation? Seriously, what are you talking about?

Sparhafoc wrote:Cherry picking

Why is it cherry-picking for me to quote the parts that support my position? Would it be better if I just give you a link and tell you to find on your own whatever supports my claims? I only select the relevant parts because there is no point in me copy-pasting the whole thing (probably illegal anyway). By contrast, your "cherry picking" doesn't move the conversation in either direction (see next three points).

Sparhafoc wrote:"Aquaculture, assumed to create relatively little emissions, can emit more methane, and create more greenhouse gases than cows per kilogram of liveweight"

So aquaculture is potentially more eco-friendly than cows. Is that supposed to be an argument against veganism?

Sparhafoc wrote:"lowering consumption of discretionary products (oils, alcohol, sugar, and stimulants) by 20% by avoiding high-impact producers reduces the greenhouse gas emissions of these products by 43%."

That's great, but although these items are potentially vegan, you don't have to consume such "discretionary products" to be vegan (moreover, vegan dietitians advise against such items), so it is still not an argument against veganism (or anything I said).

Sparhafoc wrote:"One of the key challenges is finding solutions that are effective across the millions of diverse producers unique to agriculture. An approach to reduce environmental impacts or enhance productivity that is effective for one producer can be ineffective or create trade-offs for another."

How is that an argument against veganism?

Sparhafoc wrote:if you look at the actual article itself

Unfortunately, I do not have access to the full article, only the abstract.

Sparhafoc wrote:See the term heterogeneity? That's contradictory to your notion of switching all arable lands to produce crops for human consumption.

TBH, I don't see your point. Without being able to read the paper, all I have is your interpretation of what they are saying. The abstract states "Most strikingly, impacts of the lowest-impact animal products typically exceed those of vegetable substitutes, providing new evidence for the importance of dietary change." Call that cherry-picking if you want, but it seems to support my position and contradict yours. Without more information, I am unable to tell if your comment is justified.

Sparhafoc wrote:many countries would be pushed into poverty if humanity were restricted to growing only human food crops

Do you have a justification for this claim?

Sparhafoc wrote:we kill them all anyway

We kill almost all farm animals, but not all creatures living around crop fields. Heavy machinery only affects creatures physically present at the wrong time, but even then they have the opportunity to escape (and many do, otherwise they would have gone extinct by now), and farmers aren't going to chase after them in their harvesters (I imagine that it would be a waste of time and money); by contrast, farmers actually go after cows that manage to escape, making this once again a very different context.

Sparhafoc wrote:their deaths don't result in any nutritional benefit, their corpses rot, and they are lost as a species.

This is pure carnist bias. Animal death does not have to result in nutritional benefit (for humans), rotting is just bacteria feeding (and bringing back some of the nutrients into the soil), and a species isn't lost just because some of its members die (it would take most or all of them).

Sparhafoc wrote:So you imagine we're going to keep breeding milk cows even though we won't harvest their milk? Milk cow zoos?

I don't know, I don't even know if we should try to preserve genetically modified species.

Sparhafoc wrote:These animals were essentially created to serve human needs, and in the absence of that need, what place is there in the world for these animals?

Probably none. Manufacturing animals that require exploitation seems morally objectionable to me, and I see such genetic shackles as a form of cruelty (and in case you are wondering, I also view as cruelty animals used for sport and fancy-looking-but-biologically-compromised pets).

Sparhafoc wrote:we'd lessen food diversity and security

If you are worried about diversity of farm animals, animal farming itself causes a loss of such diversity. For example, according to this (very dense) document "Probably the most significant [threat to genetic diversity] is the marginalization of traditional production systems and the associated local breeds, driven mainly by the rapid spread of intensive livestock production, often large-scale and utilizing a narrow range of breeds ... The intensification process has been driven by rising demand for animal products". And things could get even worse if China manages to clone cows.

Sparhafoc wrote:cause ecological damage for no purpose rather than just a selfish purpose

I don't understand. Whatever ecological damage is caused by plant farming, the purpose is to feed humans (or produce biofuels, and there are probably many other applications that I don't know about), so it is not accurate to say that there is no purpose.

Sparhafoc wrote:I am ensuring you're informed about the implications of your ideology and how it results in many internal contradictions.

Most of what you do is provide me with unjustified claims. I check what I can, but without giving any reference that I can access, you are not really informing me, just giving your personal opinion. And these so-called contradictions are only the result of you misunderstanding my position.
"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 Mon Jul 30, 2018 2:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
Sun Jul 15, 2018 5:46 am
SparhafocPosts: 2509Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Why Vegan?

Image

Here we go again!


Generalized argument.

But your generalizing argument accounts for next to no living human.

Aha, but the 99% are irrelevant, my argument only applies where it applies, reiteration of generalized argument.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Sun Jul 15, 2018 6:13 am
SparhafocPosts: 2509Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Why Vegan?

Vego wrote:And it is not my argument (plant farming is essential, animal products are not essential).


Sparhafoc wrote:Animal products ARE essential for the majority of human life on the planet, as we've already established and you've acknowledge dozens of times.


Vego wrote:Animal products are not essential biologically, and my argument is for people who have access to options, regardless of their status as minority or majority.


Sparhafoc wrote:And the Russian Doll is back again.

Yes, yes they are.

Can we create supplements? Yes.

Are these supplements available / economically viable for all? No.

Can we fortify cereals to include the missing nutrients normally received from animal products? Yes.

Are these fortified cereals available / economically viable for all? No.

Therefore, even in our 21st century world, animal products are factually biologically essential for the majority of humans and their well-being.


Vego wrote:You accused me earlier of whataboutism, and yet it is precisely what you are doing here. I have said many times, in the previous thread and in this one, that the starting point of my argument is reasonable access to vegan options (information, food, tools, etc). Asking me "what about people who don't have access" doesn't do anything to my argument.



You're not obliged to make assertions that you can't support, but when you do I will point out that your assertions are flawed. In this case, you have repeatedly claimed that animal products are not biologically necessary. You put no restrictions on this claim - the grammar and format of your assertion is constructed in a way where you are attempting to express it as fact - you could have taken a moment to contextualize your claim, but I think we all know it would weaken your point almost to hilarity if you tried to make a generalized claim about biology that was contradicted by 99% of cases, so you opted not to acknowledge how wrong your assertion is. Sorry that reality doesn't give a damn about your conscience, but it also doesn't give a damn about your cognitive bias either.


Animal products are not necessary in an idealized world where everyone has equal access to all the supplements and fortified foods which replace the nutrients and minerals usually obtained by animal products, and where everyone lives in a place which has distribution networks to provide those supplements, and where everyone is sufficiently well off to buy them.

But in the real world, animal products are necessary - the idealized world is just for a very select group of humans perched atop an economic system that still sees 20-40 million people dying of starvation every year.

I'm alright Jack is not much of an argument even when the stakes are minimal.

It's nice you've got an ethical compunction towards saving animals. Shame you don't seem able to muster so much as a crap about human animals.

Learn what 'whataboutism' means before using the term as a distraction.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Last edited by Sparhafoc on Sun Jul 15, 2018 10:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
Sun Jul 15, 2018 6:24 am
SparhafocPosts: 2509Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Why Vegan?

https://www.worldhunger.org/world-hunge ... tatistics/

Poverty is the principal cause of hunger. The causes of poverty include lack of resources, unequal income distribution in the world and within specific countries, conflict and hunger itself. As of 2013, when the most recent comprehensive data on global poverty was collected, about 767 million people are living below the international poverty line of less than $1.90 per person per day (The World Bank, 2016).


Children are the most visible victims of undernutrition. It is estimated that undernutrition—including stunting, wasting, deficiencies of vitamin A and zinc, and fetal growth restriction (when a baby does not grow to its normal weight before birth)—is a cause of 3·1 million child deaths annually or 45 percent of all child deaths in 2011 (UNICEF, World Health Organization [WHO], & The World Bank, 2018).



A principal problem is that many people in the world still do not have sufficient income to purchase (or land to grow) enough food or access nutritious food. This is an element of “food security”. The FAO defines four dimensions of food security, all of which must be fulfilled simultaneously, for food security to exist. The four dimensions are: 1) physical availability of food, 2) economic and physical access to food, 3) food utilization, and 4) the stability of those other dimensions over time.



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It's not a surprise that you live in a dot you can barely even see on this graphic.

What you can't see there is that if you broke down Europe and North America, you'd see another terribly unequal distribution where only a minority have available networks of distribution, diverse nutritional sources flown in from all over the world, an abundance of supplements and fortified foods to choose from, and the economic power to make selections based on subjective qualities over physical and economic constraints.

I understand you live there, on top of the world. I understand it's great there. You can self-actualize and spend your resources on ways that fulfill you spiritually and ethically. No sarcasm - enjoy it! You're very lucky.

But perched atop your pyramid, you are obliged to understand that you share that platform with very few people indeed. Your position is not one to generalize from. It is not the norm whatsoever. It's great that you can afford to pop down to your local shop and buy artificial manufactured nutrients and goods from all over the world that allow you to follow your ethical notion about the welfare of animals - let's hope that one day becomes the situation for all humans in the world. But right now, the majority of the world is still stuck with either just enough food to live with often poor selections and diversity, where food choice is predominantly governed by availability and purchasing power, or they are malnourished to varying degrees and do not have the 'luxury' even of knowing that even a very limited range of foods will be available consistently.

Yes, you can talk about the 1% (or whatever figure it really is) and discuss the potential of an ethical compunction being valid for them. But you can't make sweeping generalizations that pretend the situation a select few is in is something from which we can generalize.

In factual reality - one that is not a prescription of reality formed solely of ideology - animal products are fucking essential not just to the general well-being of humans across the planet, but to their health and lives.

Like it or not, we are stuck with a system that relies on the rearing and slaughter of animals, and what we will see over the next 50 years is a dramatic increase in the number of animals so used as the human population continues to grow. It is only technology that will get us out of this trap, not sermons from the mount.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Sun Jul 15, 2018 9:54 am
SparhafocPosts: 2509Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Why Vegan?

https://data.worldbank.org/topic/agricu ... evelopment

75% of the world's poorest people depend on agriculture and agricultural related activities for their livelihood.

50% of people who are malnourished and at risk of starvation are crop farmers.

How many of the items in the diverse choice available to you at a shop allowing you to maintain a satisfying vegan diet were grown by members of this 75% & 50%?
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Sun Jul 15, 2018 10:10 am
*SD*User avatarPosts: 342Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:00 amLocation: Wales, UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Why Vegan?

I don't understand what you are talking about


I knows you don'ts.

Are crops cultivated for animals not using the same techniques as crops cultivated for humans?


Yes. But as I've already explained, you can't take those crops that are grown for animal consumption and then feed them to humans instead. They aren't really fit for human consumption. So we would have to grow more of the crops that ARE fit for human consumption if we eliminate animal products from our diets. Like I said, cut out meat/dairy etc etc and it'll have to be replaced with something, and we'll need more of that something with which make the substitute - you can't replace a thing with another thing if that other thing doesn't exist.

All killings and deaths are not equivalent


Once again, explain that little notion to the animals on the receiving end. The animals that this whole thing is supposed to be about. You don't want them to be equivalent, but to the animals concerned your intentions matter not one bit.

You keep putting words into my mouth. I repeatedly said that I believe that veganism (as it is practiced today) is a better option, not that it is perfect. I don't find killing aceptable, but the collateral killing is currently unavoidable (even without veganism) and veganism (even partial) is an improvement.


I'm not putting anything in your mouth. Explain to me where the inaccuracy is in the following statement -

You realise, and accept that animals are harmed, displaced and killed during the production of crops and all that entails. You think this is justified, and have little issue with it, you even said you don't worry about it.

But you don't think it's ok to kill animals for their meat, or even milk cows because killing things is not ok. Except when it is ok. And it's ok to kill them for sprouts. But not ok to kill them for bacon.

Are the animals that you condone the killing of, made use of in any way? No, they aren't. Are the animals that meat eaters condone being killed made use of in any way? Yes, they are. It has been explained to you several times that it cannot be 'better' to kill an animal in a likely slow or gruesome way and then not make any use of it, than it is to do so as humanely as possible and then make full use of that animal.

If we start with unreasonable assumptions then we shouldn't be surprised if we reach unreasonable conclusions. If one bowl of cereal is not equivalent to exactly one dead rabbit, then I don't know what is the point of the comparison. For example, if only one bowl of cereal out of 100 is associated with one death, how do you compare that with killing rabbits? If you have 100 rabbit-meals, it doesn't make sense to say that only one out of 100 is associated with a death. These are different things, they are not comparable.


:docpalm:

Vego, please, lend me your eyes -

The question was...

SD wrote:Let's say you're having a bowl of cereal, and let's say that for that one bowl of cereal one rabbit had to die. You'd be ok with that. So what about when I go out and shoot one rabbit so that I can eat it? No? Double standard.


You then said...

Vego wrote:Why one? I don't know how many creatures had to die for a bowl of cereal. It could be much less (or more) than one


To which I clarified...

SD wrote:Well because one is an easy number to work with, I'm sure if I'd suggested ten thousand you'd have felt that was a bit ridiculous. It only serves to make the point that some animal or other had to die, the figure isn't terribly important to the argument.


Put whatever figure you like on it, it really makes no difference to the point. ANIMALS had to die so you could have a bowl of cereal, yes? So if X number of animals had to die for your cereal, and I go out and kill same X number of animals and eat them..... Do you get it now? Please say you do. Lie to me if necessary, just please say you get it.

It matters a lot because animals are not interchangeable objects


It only matters if your agenda is to totally miss the obvious point.

In addition, you keep assuming one-to-one and I don't know that this is the case.


I'm not assuming anything. I picked a number, pulled it completely out of my arse - because the number isn't important to the argument. See above.

Once again, I don't know that. It may be that no rabbit died for my bowl of cereal. By contrast, a rabbit definitely had to die for your rabbit-meal.


So you imagine that the process of ploughing, cultivating, seeding and harvesting that cereal and then transporting it god knows how many miles in a big fuck off truck didn't kill anything? Come on, Vego. Don't be a plonker. You've already conceded that animals are killed during crop production so flip flopping around between 'Yes I know' and 'Actually I don't know because my back's against the wall' isn't a very good approach.

Please stop misrepresenting my position. I am not ok with killing


I'm not. I'm using different words to the ones you would use, but I'm not misrepresenting it. Purely for clarity, although this shouldn't be necessary but it usually is with vegans, by 'you are ok with it' what I mean is you condone it, you accept that it happens. You don't have that big a problem with it or you wouldn't partake in industries that kill animals for non essential products.

I only have your word for all of that. Anyway, you are missing part of the issue with killing: the rabbit (probably) did not want to die, maybe he was looking forward to something, maybe he had a family to care for or who cared for him. You will never know the consequences of your actions, but it doesn't mean that there aren't any.


Eh? You don't have to take my word for anything, this is objective not a matter of opinion. You think animals being poisoned by pesticides, crushed by wheels, shredded by combine headers are suffering the same amount as the ones I shoot in the head with a high powered rifle? Are you kidding me?

The ones that are killed for all your shit probably don't want to die either! Maybe they were looking forward to something! Maybe they had a family that cared about them! You#re desperate for there to be some sort of significant difference here, but in reality there isn't.

Animals are not objects to be made use of. This idea that not using a dead animal is a waste of resource is a cultural bias


Is it fuck. This idea of killing animals and wasting them is your own personal bias.

You are saying it is ok to kill sentient beings to eat


Yes. If it's ok to kill them and not eat them then it HAS to be ok to kill them and eat them.

Your justification seems to be that plant food (for humans) results in the same amount of death, so it is equivalent to kill rabbits for meat rather than killing them accidentally


By no means my only justification but yes it is one of them.

However, this same amount is only your assumption, and I don't think it is accurate


I didn't say it was the same amount. I said the quantity isn't important to the argument. The argument is about the purpose, not the quantity.

If nutritionally equivalent plant food results in less deaths, then you could end up actually causing more deaths


?

Do you mean in the world where everyone goes vegan? If that's what you mean then yes the number of deaths caused by crop production would have to increase because we'd have to do a lot more of it. Whether that increase would result in the exact same number as it currently is with animal farming I'm not sure, and it doesn't really matter. The fact is it would increase, just for a different purpose.

you are choosing specifically to end an individual life when you didn't have to


Yes. And I do have to if my intention is to eat it. Which it almost always is.

saying 'I might as well be doing it' is like saying that there is no difference between someone else killing a rabbit (for whatever reason) and you killing a (probably) different rabbit (for whatever reason). This may be what you believe, but it is not true for sentient beings, human or not


What you're missing here is that it's for the same reason. The reason is food. The rabbits you cause to be killed are for the production of the food you want to eat, the rabbits I kill are for the production of food that I want to eat. You don't get a pardon just because you don't eat the animals you cause to be killed.

Yes, just like every other vegan. If our impact was literally zero, then 100% of the population going vegan wouldn't affect animal farming at all, which is highly implausible


Cobblers. Prove it. The proposition was that if I go vegan it won't have any impact. I'm not talking about other people going vegan at the same time as me, I'm talking about ME. You prove to me that me going vegan has ANY impact on the farming industry. Good luck with that.

That being said, maybe hunters have less impact on animal farming generally, but this is only because they contribute to the problem (of animal exploitation) in a more direct way.


Aside from the bowl of cereal part, which is purely to get to the core of one aspect of this argument, I'm not basing my arguments on the fact that I'm personally a 'hunter' as you put it.

And there isn't a problem either. You think there is, that doesn't make it so.

I had never heard of that before, so thanks for the info. This website claims "False pregnancy is not uncommon in goats, dogs and other livestock" but this one claims "false pregnancy is rare", so I don't know. One of the defining characteristics of mammals is the production of milk by females to nurse their young, and as far as I know, this is the characteristic that is used by farmers to produce milk (impregnation without consent). I do not have enough information to say anything about your specific goat (is it an illness? is she experiencing discomfort? does she require milking?). Regardless, this is just your goat, not the milk industry.


It's common, go with your first citation. I know this isn't the milk industry, but it's still a perfectly valid conundrum for you to grapple with so I'd appreciate an answer. I don't believe it to be an illness, you could probably call it a biological malfunction maybe. I would say that having big udders laden with a heavy liquid and having to drag them around all day, not be able to lie down properly etc would be discomforting yes. The same applies with cows, they want to be milked, so would you if you had to haul a giant sack of heavy liquid around all day.

When you confidently claim "you are ok with [death]", clearly you don't understand my position.


I've clarified above what I mean when I say 'you are ok with' - it's just shorthand so hopefully this will no longer be an issue.

If this is what you mean, then yes, it is what most people are currently doing. In that case it is also perfectly normal to believe in god(s). So what?


Yes, it is normal. I'm not aware of anyone claiming it's not normal to believe in God's. You were arguing that I only think an omnivorous diet is normal because I've been culturally indoctrinated, I pointed out that this is incorrect. It's normal because it's normal.

Denial of its existence is one of the main features of carnism. Apart from that, what I am saying by "food ideology" is really mundane: you have beliefs and practices related to food, that's your ideology, I am not trying to imply anything nefarious


I know you're not trying to imply anything nefarious. But an omnivorous diet is still not an ideology. Veganism is. That's not a criticism, it's just a fact.

Once again, you are misunderstanding my position


I'm not. You just don't approve of my wording.

What I am saying is that poultry death is a problem that veganism can solve.


If by 'solve' you mean kill every last fucking one of them then yes, this is something veganism can achieve ;)

I don't care whether you call yourself vegan right now or never, and I am not interested in giving labels to people in general. My concern is to reduce the avoidable harm that we cause to sentient beings.


You STILL haven't answered the question. I don't care about the label either, you know what I mean by it, you understand the question being asked so please stop pretending you don't. Examining the question is not the same as answering it.

In my personal opinion yes


Ok, this answers the second part of the question so thank you. I still think it's bullshit but thank you for at least answering.

I don't know who you are talking about (as far as I am aware, I am fully dietary vegan every day).


Yes you do. I'm talking about you. Yeah, you're not putting animal derived products in your mouth, but you're still having them killed etc.

If you are a hunter (that is the impression that I get) then I would say it is special in the sense that most people are not


I am and you are correct in saying that most people are not (as in most people in 1st world civilisation) but it doesn't matter because I'm not arguing from the perspective of a hunter. I know I've made a few points from that perspective but in general I'm not coming at it from a hunter gatherer standpoint.

maybe beans are more expensive than ammunition, I honestly have no clue


This genuinely made me chuckle! Good one! In case you're interested, yes this can be the case. Certain types anyway. Plus there are plenty of other completely cost free methods of acquiring animals for food.

And more generally, I never claimed to have an answer to all moral questions, sometimes I just don't know.


Fair enough.

The official position of the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (ex-ADA) is pretty unambiguous: "appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate" (source). What information contradicts that claim?


There's plenty, I can't really be arsed to dig it up because I'm not that interested in the health side of these arguments. I will if you insist but it's not something I'd want to spend time focusing on. I think Spar and DG have included a few links regarding that in their replies.

I can't tell if this is supposed to be a joke. Assuming you are serious: veganism is a potential solution to some of the problems related to animal farming, and it is feasible because animal products are not biologically required (for humans). This is all that I am saying, I don't understand what you are arguing against here.


It's a joke in the sense that it's your argument. When it comes to eating meat (shorthand for animal products etc) you are trying to apply biological necessity as the criteria for whether this should be done or not. Then when we talk about all the things you do/partake in that also kills animals all of a sudden you don't want to use biological necessity as the criteria. You can't do that, it's a bait and switch. If you're going with biological necessity, fine, but you'll have to stick with that right across the board when it comes to activities that kill animals.

Why does that matter? Qualified nutritionists provide general advice to live as a healthy vegan, whether you want to call it a diet or not is completely avoiding the question of actual health in favor of some definition game.


I refer you back to DG's replies on this issue. If a vegan DIET is healthy, supplementation should not be necessary. This is proof positive that humans are not well adapted to eat a strictly herbivorous diet. It's obvious.

It's not, and if you are thinking about the exchange we had earlier on the topic, I already explained the ambiguity back then.


Oh yes it is -

Vego wrote:I don't dispute the completeness part (I never did, and it's not a difficult issue in practice)


No ambiguity whatsoever.

Please provide evidence that well-planned vegan diets generally result in nutritional deficiencies.


What, AGAIN? The vegan society, vegans, dietitians, common knowledge? Come on Vego, you aren't seriously disputing this are you? How much more do you want?

Maybe, I don't know, I don't see myself as an activist. I don't really mind the label, but I don't compare to the more involved people who actually put their lives and reputations on the line (and I strongly object to acts of violence, although thankfully not all activists are violent).


Perfectly fair. I wasn't bashing you for this mild form of activism you're engaged in here.

I don't know what it is that you think I seem to think, but so far it doesn't seem to actually match what I think. I admit that I am not always clear, but I am willing to clarify my position and we would waste less time if you would just ask me instead of regularly misrepresenting me


People here have asked you plenty, my self included, and extracting direct answers is like pulling teeth. You have this peculiar habit of responding without (apparently) taking into account what's already been said previously. It's resulting in a lot of repetition. I appreciate you're willing to clarify, as am I and I'll wager any other poster here, but looping back to points already addressed or refuted is causing posts to be fucking enormous, and of late copy paste of things I've already said.
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Sun Jul 15, 2018 12:03 pm
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*SD*User avatarPosts: 342Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:00 amLocation: Wales, UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Why Vegan?

As posted previously -

What Every Vegan Should Know About Vitamin B12

The Vegan Society wrote:Very low B12 intakes can cause anemia and nervous system damage. The only reliable vegan sources of B12 are foods fortified with B12 (including some plant milks, some soy products and some breakfast cereals) and B12 supplements. Vitamin B12, whether in supplements, fortified foods, or animal products, comes from micro-organisms. Most vegans consume enough B12 to avoid anemia and nervous system damage, but many do not get enough to minimize potential risk of heart disease or pregnancy complications.

To get the full benefit of a vegan diet, vegans should do one of the following:

Eat fortified foods two or three times a day to get at least three micrograms (mcg or µg) of B12 a day
OR Take one B12 supplement daily providing at least 10 micrograms
OR Take a weekly B12 supplement providing at least 2000 micrograms.


All emphasis mine.

And that's just B12, never mind anything else. From the same source that provided the definition you're using.

Every, not 'one or two'
Many, not one or two.
Vegans 'should', not the odd fringe case here or there 'might'

For the vegan society to even address this, strongly implies that deficiency is a common problem. They clearly aren't talking about exceptions, rather they are talking about the rule. I can provide you as many sources as you like, but seeing as this one is from the vegan society, and you've used their own definition, you'll struggle to be taken seriously if you try to dismiss this. And to reiterate, this is JUST B12, there are many more deficiencies common and frequent in vegans.
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Sun Jul 15, 2018 2:42 pm
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VegoUser avatarPosts: 94Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:32 pm

Post Re: Why Vegan?

Sparhafoc wrote:you have repeatedly claimed that animal products are not biologically necessary. You put no restrictions on this claim

You don't see the restrictions in what you quoted, but I mentioned them many times before (people with allergies or other medical conditions, maybe special genetics). I understand that you don't have time to read everything that has already been written, but it is tedious to keep repeating the same thing every time. You seem to believe that I am trying to make a claim of absolute universality: reading my earlier posts should show that this is not the case, and I even told you earlier that I don't know about the exact proportion of individuals.

Additionally, supplementation and fortification can be reliable sources of micronutrients, but that doesn't imply that animal products are biologically necessary. For example, there are other sources of B12 (this Wikipedia page is a bit self-contradicting): clams are potentially ethically vegan, and if you want to be a purist (because they are technically animal products), B12 can be obtained in nature through less reliable and potentially dangerous sources (untreated water, unwashed vegetables, a few algae and fermented foods). To be clear: I am not saying that people should rely on that, only that when it comes to well-identified micronutrients, the source does not have to be a body part or secretion of a sentient being.

Sparhafoc wrote:it would weaken your point almost to hilarity if you tried to make a generalized claim about biology that was contradicted by 99% of cases, so you opted not to acknowledge how wrong your assertion is

Even if I had made the claim that 100% of all humans can go vegan (and I did not make such claim, in fact I explicitly said several times that I don't know the percentage), what are these "99% of cases"?

Sparhafoc wrote:Animal products are not necessary in an idealized world

Animal products are not biologically necessary in this current world (with the caveats that I already mentioned in previous posts and that you chose to ignore). Access is a separate issue.

Sparhafoc wrote:But in the real world, animal products are necessary.

In the real world, animal products are not biologically necessary (again, with some limits that I am unable to quantify exactly).

Sparhafoc wrote:Shame you don't seem able to muster so much as a crap about human animals.

Your criticism would be justified if my claim was "people absolutely have to go vegan whether or not they can". But I never made such a claim. My preconditions are that veganism needs to be possible:
(a) biologically (general case in my opinion, although I am open to the possibility of exceptions);
(b) practically (access to resources, independently of how many people have such access).

What I mean with point (b) is that if such access is not available, then I make no claim regarding an immediate switch to veganism. So whatever complaint you have against my position in the case "no access" makes no sense because my position is not defined in this case.

Sparhafoc wrote:It's not a surprise that you live in a dot you can barely even see on this graphic.

The graphic is about undernourished people. These people desperately need more food, they are not necessarily in a position to make choices. It doesn't mean that I don't care about them, it means that they may not be able to make decisions based on my arguments.

Sparhafoc wrote:But you can't make sweeping generalizations that pretend the situation a select few is in is something from which we can generalize.

My "sweeping generalization" is that humans generally share the same biology (with possible exceptions, I won't keep repeating this all the time). Poverty has little to do with it. Access is a different concern.

Sparhafoc wrote:animal products are fucking essential not just to the general well-being of humans across the planet, but to their health and lives

Animal products are not biologically essential, which is how vegans even exist in the first place. There is nothing special going on with my genes (that I'm aware of), and poor Asian farmers don't biologically need animal products anymore than I do; however, we both need to eat something (including reliable sources of all macro and micronutrients), and if they don't have access to vegan options, then they are currently not in the scope of my arguments (I believe that this is temporary, and access will improve in the long term, even if it takes centuries).

Sparhafoc wrote:How many of the items in the diverse choice available to you at a shop allowing you to maintain a satisfying vegan diet were grown by members of this 75% & 50%?

I don't know, I try to buy local when I have the choice, but I don't always know where the items come from. Anyway, I don't get your point here. Are you saying that I should buy less local in order to support poor farmers in other countries? Or that I should buy animal products from poor countries (I don't even know if this is possible)?
"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 Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:27 am, edited 2 times in total.
Mon Jul 30, 2018 2:43 am
VegoUser avatarPosts: 94Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:32 pm

Post Re: Why Vegan?

*SD* wrote:But as I've already explained, you can't take those crops that are grown for animal consumption and then feed them to humans instead. They aren't really fit for human consumption.

Did I say otherwise?

*SD* wrote:So we would have to grow more of the crops that ARE fit for human consumption if we eliminate animal products from our diets.

Yes. Does the total amount of crops (including both crops for humans and crops for animals) increase or decrease?

*SD* wrote:explain that little notion to the animals on the receiving end

You keep focusing on one thing ignoring everything else. A life, human or not, is not defined by its moment of death. And when it comes to the killing itself, intent matters because it tells us whether or not we can do something about it. The animals may not know whether or not we could have done otherwise, but we know, and we are responsible for our actions.

*SD* wrote:You realise, and accept that animals are harmed, displaced and killed during the production of crops and all that entails.

I realize that it is happening. I am not sure what you mean by "accept" (you don't have to answer here because you give more details later).

*SD* wrote:You think this is justified, and have little issue with it, you even said you don't worry about it.

I think it is currently unavoidable (I don't know if that makes it justified or not, we just have no choice), and there is little point worrying too much about things that we don't control (we don't force the animals to be there and damage our crops). I genuinely don't know how to end these collateral deaths without harming our civilization (millions of human deaths due to food shortages and/or excessively high prices). The collateral deaths would happen even in a purely non-vegan world (not too different from current reality), but there would be less of them in a more vegan world: the more vegan (when possible), the less collateral deaths thanks to a reduction in total plant farming made possible by the higher efficiency of eating plants directly (already discussed this with Dragan Glas).

*SD* wrote:Are the animals that you condone the killing of, made use of in any way?

Again with the misrepresentation: what do you mean by "condone"? For the rest, I don't know, but I don't see "being made use of" as an argument. Dead bodies don't just disappear, but I don't know exactly what farmers do with them (this discussion gives some clues). As long as the remains are not sealed forever in some special container, any means of disposal will allow the material to be recycled by nature, so it is not really "wasted".

*SD* wrote:It has been explained to you several times that it cannot be 'better' to kill an animal in a likely slow or gruesome way and then not make any use of it, than it is to do so as humanely as possible and then make full use of that animal.

I probably missed this explanation, but it seems like a false dichotomy. I don't know how slow and gruesome the deaths of field creatures are, but:
- there is plenty of that going on in slaughterhouses;
- "making use of" is not a convincing argument for me (in other words, I don't consider a killing better simply because there is a use; and if there is a necessity, then moral concerns are less relevant);
- not everything is about death;
- labelling the slaughter "humane" does not necessarily make it good (especially if we are talking about a legal definition of some industrial practice);
- where does factory farming fit in all this?

*SD* wrote:Vego, please, lend me your eyes

I am aware of what you wrote (your clarification tells me that I read you correctly the first time), however you seem to have misunderstood my reply: the comparison makes no sense, because one death for 100 meals does not have the same meaning in both cases.

*SD* wrote:Put whatever figure you like on it, it really makes no difference to the point.

Really? Does your argument work assuming that less rabbits had to die for the nutritional equivalent in cereals of a rabbit-meal? (you don't have to answer here, I give more details below)

*SD* wrote:ANIMALS had to die so you could have a bowl of cereal, yes?

Not exactly. They didn't really have to die. We need to find a way to protect our crops; non-lethal means have been tried and don't work well from what I could find, leaving us with little choice. And the accidental deaths could have been avoided (by the animal themselves because they are free to run away from immediate danger, and maybe by the machines going slower although I don't know if it would make a difference).

*SD* wrote:So if X number of animals had to die for your cereal, and I go out and kill same X number of animals and eat them.....

I disagree with your use of "So" because if all you wanted to say was that there are deaths, then there was no need to make a comparison, and the two parts "animals have to die" and "I kill the same number" are only connected assuming that:
- the deaths are comparable (which I argue they are not);
- the death count is the same (which I believe to be mistaken).

*SD* wrote:Do you get it now?

No, because I am not claiming that veganism today is perfect, only that it is a better choice (when possible). To rephrase your statement: "if X number of animals had to die for your cereal, and I go out and kill 2X twice the number of animals and eat them" then your option would be worse (assuming such a comparison is even valid in the first place, and I don't think it is).

*SD* wrote:
Vego wrote:Once again, I don't know that. It may be that no rabbit died for my bowl of cereal. By contrast, a rabbit definitely had to die for your rabbit-meal.

So you imagine that the process of ploughing, cultivating, seeding and harvesting that cereal and then transporting it god knows how many miles in a big fuck off truck didn't kill anything?

You clearly missed my point (I wasn't talking about transporting, only harvesting). When it comes to incidental deaths, we have to use some kind of statistics because they are qualitatively different from the direct deaths required for meat. When the crop is harvested, the number of animals killed is not equivalent to the quantity (in weight or volume) of crop harvested, otherwise the resulting carnage would transform the fields into unrealistic bloodbaths. If (hypothetically) one rabbit is killed for every 100 bowls of cereals, it makes sense (in my opinion) to interpret this literally (the lower the number is, the more likely it is to be true because each individual grain could be associated with a death or not). Such a literal interpretation however is never possible with direct deaths: each piece of meat traces back directly to an animal.

To be clear: what I said was not a general claim that today's veganism is 100% death-free (this point hasn't been discussed in this thread but it was mentioned in the previous one).

*SD* wrote:You don't have that big a problem with it or you wouldn't partake in industries that kill animals for non essential products.

Our civilization requires industrial plant farming, this is not about individual food items, it is about a practice required to provide a practically essential food category (crops are required either directly or indirectly [through animal feed], and our current civilization probably could not exist without them). So it doesn't matter whether or not I have a problem with it, it is currently unavoidable.

*SD* wrote:You think animals being poisoned by pesticides, crushed by wheels, shredded by combine headers are suffering the same amount as the ones I shoot in the head with a high powered rifle?

This is you misrepresenting me because you seem to think that if I don't agree with your claim then I have to agree with the opposite. I don't know whether or not the amount of suffering is the same, how much suffering is involved in being shot in the head, how good of a shot you are. Everything you said is speculative to me, and it completely ignores industrial animal farming (and fishing).

*SD* wrote:The ones that are killed for all your shit probably don't want to die either

Of course they don't want to die, but I am not trying to make it seem like their death is morally good.

*SD* wrote:Maybe they were looking forward to something! Maybe they had a family that cared about them! You#re desperate for there to be some sort of significant difference here, but in reality there isn't.

You missed my point. As I understand, you tried to claim that killing is ok as long as it is quick and painless. I believe that a quick and painless death is preferable to a slow and painful one, but that does not make it acceptable. For example, it would be wrong to shoot someone, eat them, and then claim that you did nothing wrong because it was quick and painless.

*SD* wrote:This idea of killing animals and wasting them is your own personal bias

There is no waste because animals do not exist for the purpose of being of use to humans.

*SD* wrote:
Vego wrote:If nutritionally equivalent plant food results in less deaths, then you could end up actually causing more deaths

Do you mean in the world where everyone goes vegan?

No I mean in current reality.

*SD* wrote:The fact is it would increase, just for a different purpose.

I already discussed this with Dragan Glas, but my point is that the total plant production (including both animal feed and human plant food) would decrease. In addition, it is not clear to me at this point whether you are comparing with your practice of hunting or the meat industry.

*SD* wrote:What you're missing here is that it's for the same reason. The reason is food.

You are equivocating because killing a rabbit 'for food' in order to consume the meat does not have the same meaning as killing a rabbit 'for food' in the process of harvesting crops (in my opinion, it is incorrect or at least misleading to say that animals are killed 'for food' during crop production, just like it would be incorrect to say that animals are killed 'for transportation' during building of roads).

*SD* wrote:You prove to me that me going vegan has ANY impact on the farming industry.

If you don't already buy animal products (including meat/fish, milk and eggs) then you already have a negative impact on animal farming (less demand). If you stop hunting/milking, you are going to have to replace the nutrients with plant foods (loose term for plants, mushrooms, etc). If you can grow everything yourself, then I think that will not have any further impact on the farming industry. But if instead you buy some of your food (excluding animal products) then you will contribute to an increase in the demand for plant food and be virtually equivalent to a 'standard' vegan; this will result in an increase in the availability of plant products (to respond to the increase in demand) and a relative decrease of availability of animal products. This will make veganism more accessible and financially more attractive for other people who might have hesitated before, and their dietary shift would result in a decrease in sales of animal products (and this time the decrease would be more than just relative).

Two important point that may have been lost in this conversation are that I believe that:
- partial veganism/reducetarianism/flexitarianism/whatever-label is better than complete non-veganism;
- there is no obligation to go full vegan at once, and a slow but steady transition (months, years) is preferable to a short-term ill-prepared rush.

*SD* wrote:I know this isn't the milk industry, but it's still a perfectly valid conundrum for you to grapple with so I'd appreciate an answer.

Without knowing the reason why they are like this, there is not much I can say. If goats are bred specifically to require milking, I would consider 'creating' them unethical. Anyone who decides to take care of an animal should do what is required for their well-being (even if such requirements include milking).

*SD* wrote:The same applies with cows, they want to be milked, so would you if you had to haul a giant sack of heavy liquid around all day.

We make them like this, it is our fault. As I have stated in previous posts, there isn't much that can be done about the farm animals that are currently alive, but we can reduce this issue this by creating less of them in the future, and in the long-term perhaps stop it completely (maybe it is possible to apply selective breeding to undo what we did, I don't know).

*SD* wrote:You were arguing that I only think an omnivorous diet is normal because I've been culturally indoctrinated, I pointed out that this is incorrect. It's normal because it's normal.

And I agreed with you based on the meaning that you provided. I still don't see the point.

*SD* wrote:But an omnivorous diet is still not an ideology. Veganism is. That's not a criticism, it's just a fact.

I agree that veganism is an ideology. But carnism is not "an omnivorous diet", it is a set of beliefs and practices. Some of these beliefs are factual, and some are not. My food ideology does include the belief that it is possible to get nutrition from animal products, which is a fact. Yours (apparently) also includes the belief that it is necessary to get nutrition from animal products, and that it is somehow more ethical to consume animal products instead of the plant-based alternatives; these, to my knowledge, are not facts. More generally, it is not possible to deny that you have a food ideology: as long as you make conscious decisions, your decisions have to be based on beliefs, whether those beliefs are factually correct or not.

*SD* wrote:If by 'solve' you mean kill every last fucking one of them then yes, this is something veganism can achieve

And somehow this is not a misrepresentation of my position? Can you quote me saying that?

*SD* wrote:you're still having them killed

You keep wording things in a way that is highly misleading. Anyway, vegans are not required to be perfect, and hopefully I will do better in the future.

*SD* wrote:There's plenty, I can't really be arsed to dig it up because I'm not that interested in the health side of these arguments.

So I have to justify my claims but you don't? I already gave replies to Sparhafoc and Dragan Glas. To my knowledge there is no evidence against well-planned vegan diets, but maybe you can enlighten me here.

*SD* wrote:you are trying to apply biological necessity as the criteria for whether this should be done or not

This is why I keep saying that you misunderstand my position. Biological necessity is not "the" (as in 'only') criterion, access to resources is important as well (I have repeated this so many times in this thread, I don't understand how you missed it).

*SD* wrote:Then when we talk about all the things you do/partake in that also kills animals all of a sudden you don't want to use biological necessity as the criteria

I don't follow. My argument is not 'we should avoid animals products because they are biologically unnecessary', it is 'people who have better alternatives should avoid animal products'. These alternatives exist in theory for almost everyone because animal products are not biologically necessary (with potential exceptions), and they exist in practice for people with access to appropriate resources (I don't know how many, but hopefully more and more).

*SD* wrote:If a vegan DIET is healthy, supplementation should not be necessary.

Why? I honestly do not understand this. A diet is healthy to the extent that it doesn't make people sick, whether or not there is supplementation is irrelevant.

*SD* wrote:No ambiguity whatsoever.

Without the context... You quoted me saying "the completeness part". Part of what? Part of what you I* said "a diet that requires supplements is not nutritionally complete". What is "a diet that requires supplements"? Is it a diet that includes the required supplements, or a diet that does not include the required supplements? This is the ambiguity that I mentioned. A diet that does not include the required supplements is incomplete. A diet that does include the required supplements is not incomplete.

* I was trying to restate your position.

*SD* wrote:What, AGAIN? The vegan society, vegans, dietitians, common knowledge? Come on Vego, you aren't seriously disputing this are you? How much more do you want?

At least one. Nobody has provided what I am asking for in this conversation. I am not trying to be snarky here, I honestly don't know what is supposed to be the issue with a well-planned vegan diet.

*SD* wrote:You have this peculiar habit of responding without (apparently) taking into account what's already been said previously

From my perspective, the vast majority of "what's already been said previously" misses the point because it does not actually address my position. It is not possible for me to give you straight answers when you constantly load your questions with assumptions that I don't accept. There is an easy way to avoid this, but it all depends on you: my arguments generally assume that an individual does not have some special health condition (allergy, medication, etc), has access to the proper resources (information, money, tools, foods, etc) and has taken the time to get informed first (about well-planned vegan diets, including all relevant information regarding fortification and supplementation). Every time you build a hypothetical scenario that does not take this into account, to me you are not arguing against my position.

*SD* wrote:you'll struggle to be taken seriously if you try to dismiss this

This is what I don't get: I am aware of this information (and much more), and if you feel that I am dismissing it, it is only because you don't notice that it doesn't contradict anything that I have said so far. Just think about it for a few seconds: fortification and supplementation have already been discussed in the previous thread, and they feature prominently in several of the resources that I linked in my first post in this thread (videos, websites [also books although I did not directly reference any]). What sense would it make for me to contradict my own sources without any justification? I guess this is what you think of me and probably of all vegans, but all I can say here is that you are mistaken about my position.
"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 Wed Aug 22, 2018 11:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:11 am
*SD*User avatarPosts: 342Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:00 amLocation: Wales, UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Why Vegan?

Yes. Does the total amount of crops (including both crops for humans and crops for animals) increase or decrease?


What crops for animals? This is based on the world where everyone is vegan and therefore there are no crops for animals.

You keep focusing on one thing ignoring everything else


I've taken quite a lot of time responding to more or less everything you've said throughout this conversation, so I'm not sure what you think I'm ignoring.

A life, human or not, is not defined by its moment of death


Er, sure, so what? I don't think anyone has argued that it is. Considering it's not even what I think I very much doubt I've argued that.

And when it comes to the killing itself, intent matters because it tells us whether or not we can do something about it.


Not to the animals it doesn't. And I was under the impression that veganism is generally about the animals.

The animals may not know whether or not we could have done otherwise, but we know, and we are responsible for our actions


So it's not about the animals, then? It's about you and how you feel. Which is fine, you're allowed to feel however you want about whatever you want, but feelings are not facts and they aren't arguments either.

I realize that it is happening. I am not sure what you mean by "accept" (you don't have to answer here because you give more details later).


What word do you want me to use? You pick one and I'll use that. I'm pretty sure you know what I'm saying, you don't seem at all stupid so I'm having a hard time believing you don't get what's being said here.

we don't force the animals to be there and damage our crops


Oh, come on. This smacks of desperation. They don't force you to fund industries that kill them either.

I genuinely don't know how to end these collateral deaths without harming our civilization


I know you don't, neither do I. But like Sparhafoc, I am not asking you or expecting you to solve this. It's being argued because it puts a big old dent in your position, not because I think you can solve it.

Again with the misrepresentation: what do you mean by "condone"?


Like I said up there, you pick a word and I'll use that. I'm 99% sure you know exactly what I mean.

For the rest, I don't know, but I don't see "being made use of" as an argument


Well I do. There's a purpose to it, it's being done for a reason, not just any old reason, but a very good reason. That being, food. It is an argument. You don't have to accept it but it's definitely an argument.

Dead bodies don't just disappear, but I don't know exactly what farmers do with them


I'm not entirely sure what you're getting at here. What do you mean? What dead bodies are you talking about? Aside from things just dropping dead there aren't really any dead bodies on farms (farms with their own slaughter facilities not withstanding)

As long as the remains are not sealed forever in some special container, any means of disposal will allow the material to be recycled by nature, so it is not really "wasted".


When we kill them for meat they are being 'recycled' by nature, because we (humans, you too) are part of nature. We are not separate from nature. Vegans seem to forget this.

I probably missed this explanation, but it seems like a false dichotomy. I don't know how slow and gruesome the deaths of field creatures are, but:


I don't know how you missed it because it's been covered in several posts, by my self and Sparhafoc. But anyway...

there is plenty of that going on in slaughterhouses;


Plenty of what? Killing? Yes, of course there is. But if you mean slow, painful killing then not really. It's in nobody's interest to cause unnecessary levels of suffering, and in everybody's interest to make the death as quick and painless as possible.

"making use of" is not a convincing argument for me (in other words, I don't consider a killing better simply because there is a use


I think most people would disagree with you, and I definitely do. If animals are to be killed, then it only makes sense to 'make use of' them after the fact. If you want to argue that it's better to kill them and not make any use of them then you go ahead, but I think you'll lose practically everyone at that point. Strange personal preferences aren't really something I can argue against because you can just say 'it's what I prefer'

not everything is about death


I didn't say it was, but you can't deny that death is a rather large feature in this topic???

labelling the slaughter "humane" does not necessarily make it good


It makes it a preferable option as opposed to inhumane methods.

where does factory farming fit in all this?


I don't understand your question, simple as it looks, I don't know what you mean.

Really? Does your argument work assuming that less rabbits had to die for the nutritional equivalent in cereals of a rabbit-meal?


Maybe I'm being particularly thick today, but I don't understand this either. Do you mean if you change all the numbers and flip my argument on its head, does it still work then? Probably not, but I don't know what point you're making.

Not exactly. They didn't really have to die. We need to find a way to protect our crops; non-lethal means have been tried and don't work well from what I could find, leaving us with little choice


So in other words they did have to die. You think this is acceptable, not brilliant or fantastic or jolly good fun, but acceptable.

And the accidental deaths could have been avoided (by the animal themselves because they are free to run away from immediate danger, and maybe by the machines going slower although I don't know if it would make a difference).


Free to run away? I'm not sure if you're being serious here or not. Yes, they are free to run away but given that most of the animals we're talking about are incredibly stupid in this regard and tend to panic and not know what's going on, this isn't really an argument. FYI most combines have a top ROAD speed of 30Kph, harvesting is not done at this speed, average is roughly 15KPh working speed. Not even that fast in many circumstances.

No, because I am not claiming that veganism today is perfect


I know you're not and I'm not claiming that it has to be. What I'm claiming is that you could do more, and yet you don't. You are of course free to do whatever the hell you like, and go to whatever lengths you feel comfortable with, but you then leave your self wide open to being labelled a hypocrite. If you were doing everything you could reasonably do to avoid industries that kill animals, I'd have WAY less to argue about. It would just be a case of 'good for you, see ya later'

You are arguing that it's wrong for purpose X (X being to eat them) but it's ok for purpose Y (Y being to kill them and not eat them) and you won't concede that this is simply where you personally draw the line. I draw a line also, just not in the same place as you. But I'm fine with admitting that I do draw a line because I don't see it as a problem. I think you're under the impression that if you give any ground whatsoever you lose by default, this is not the case. If you'd concede that you do draw a line then we could talk about that instead, and it would probably be more productive, but seeing as you won't there's not much I can do other than remind you that stubbornness does not a 'win' make.

To rephrase your statement: "if X number of animals had to die for your cereal, and I go out and kill 2X twice the number of animals and eat them" then your option would be worse


You've done it again and I don't know why. Changing my argument so as to make it deliberately fail doesn't defeat the original argument. I know you're not trying to strawman me here but you're basically saying "If I reverse engineer your argument and swap the numbers around to make it ridiculous it fails!"

Yes, well done :/

When the crop is harvested, the number of animals killed is not equivalent to the quantity (in weight or volume) of crop harvested


So what?! You think it would only count as a problem if for every 5 tonnes of grain harvested 5 tonnes worth of animals had to die?! You're really getting your wacky on in this latest reply!

If (hypothetically) one rabbit is killed for every 100 bowls of cereals, it makes sense (in my opinion) to interpret this literally (the lower the number is, the more likely it is to be true because each individual grain could be associated with a death or not). Such a literal interpretation however is never possible with direct deaths: each piece of meat traces back directly to an animal.


If there's a point in there I genuinely fail to see it. I think you've brought this up because I keep arguing that vegans also kill animals for the production of their food and therefore what's good for the goose is good for the gander. If it's acceptable for you to do it then it's acceptable for me to do it, for our own specified purposes respectively.

To be clear: what I said was not a general claim that today's veganism is 100% death-free (this point hasn't been discussed in this thread but it was mentioned in the previous one).


I know you didn't claim that. Because it's not 100% death free it necessarily comes down to where you draw the line, this was argued way back in the thread, near the beginning.

Our civilization requires industrial plant farming, this is not about individual food items, it is about a practice required to provide a practically essential food category (crops are required either directly or indirectly [through animal feed], and our current civilization probably could not exist without them). So it doesn't matter whether or not I have a problem with it, it is currently unavoidable.


I'm arguing that it does matter. Otherwise you're saying a valid counter is to just state 'I don't care about that, but I do care about this' with two variants of something which are not all that distinct.

I don't know whether or not the amount of suffering is the same


Well, why don't you know? You should know. It's not hard to figure out.


how much suffering is involved in being shot in the head


Zero. Or so close to zero that it makes no difference. I'm not talking about cock-ups here, I'm talking about when it's done right.

how good of a shot you are


Olympic grade, if I do say so my self.

Everything you said is speculative to me


It's not speculative, it's factual. If you don't want to believe what I'm telling you, that's fine, but that doesn't make my information speculative.

Of course they don't want to die, but I am not trying to make it seem like their death is morally good


I don't think I am either, in fact I'm not entirely convinced food production even has a moral component to it. It might, but I'll need to chew on that for a while.

As I understand, you tried to claim that killing is ok as long as it is quick and painless.


Then you misunderstand, I don't know if it's because of something I said or if you don't understand for some other reason. My position is that if killing is going to be done, then it is better that it's quick and painless rather than slow and generally horrible.

I believe that a quick and painless death is preferable to a slow and painful one


So you do understand because you hold the same position I do.

but that does not make it acceptable


This just seems like pissing about with the definition of acceptable.

For example, it would be wrong to shoot someone, eat them, and then claim that you did nothing wrong because it was quick and painless


First of all, under most circumstances that's illegal - killing animals for food is generally not. Secondly, why do vegans always do this? We aren't talking about killing humans.

There is no waste because animals do not exist for the purpose of being of use to humans


Cop out. There is waste by definition. Just because something doesn't exist for the specific purpose of being eaten by something else, does not negate the waste factor if that animals body is put to no use when it could be. And also, if we talk about cows here (for example) they do exist to be eaten and made use of. That's how come they exist at all.

it is not clear to me at this point whether you are comparing with your practice of hunting or the meat industry.


Then I shall clarify it for you here. I am not making that comparison because there's very little comparison to be made. I'm in a strange position where I could argue one of two ways in this conversation. I could argue from my own personal circumstances and you wouldn't have a leg to stand on, I could defeat you in every aspect including suffering, statistics, quantity, method and waste factor.

The other way I can argue, which is generally the route I've chosen is to just argue based on more 'normal' circumstances.

You are equivocating because killing a rabbit 'for food' in order to consume the meat does not have the same meaning as killing a rabbit 'for food' in the process of harvesting crops


Same meaning? Do you mean the same purpose? If that's what you mean then of course it doesn't. We've already argued that the purpose to killing for crop production is in some ways worse than killing deliberately for meat and I'm going to stand by this point for reasons already given.

it is incorrect or at least misleading to say that animals are killed 'for food' during crop production, just like it would be incorrect to say that animals are killed 'for transportation' during building of roads).


This is a quibble over the use of a word, it doesn't negate the central point. If you want me to write 'for the production of food' every time then I will oblige.

I'm going to miss a bit now because 1 I don't really care and 2 you appear to pretty much concede the point anyway.

But carnism is not "an omnivorous diet", it is a set of beliefs and practices


How are you defining carnism? Do you mean eating only meat? If that's your definition then ok but if you mean eating meat full stop then no, that's omnivor[ism?!] which is what I'm arguing for.

and that it is somehow more ethical to consume animal products instead of the plant-based alternatives


I'm not arguing that it's more ethical. I think due to the length of these posts and the volume of arguments being thrown at you, you have mixed up two different points. I think if animals are to be killed, then making use of them is more ethical than not making use of them. I have also argued that for this exact reason, veganism (at least your version of it) is not more ethical than an omnivorous diet.

More generally, it is not possible to deny that you have a food ideology: as long as you make conscious decisions, your decisions have to be based on beliefs, whether those beliefs are factually correct or not.


If that's how you're defining ideology then everything involving a conscious decision is an ideology. I consciously decided to write you this reply, is that an ideology?

And somehow this is not a misrepresentation of my position? Can you quote me saying that?


Correct, it's no a misrepresentation. Under veganism (as in global scale) this is what follows. It's not what's currently happening, and I don't think it ever will, but in your world where everyone is vegan this is inevitable.

You keep wording things in a way that is highly misleading


I keep wording things in ways of which you disapprove. This is not misleading.

So I have to justify my claims but you don't? I already gave replies to Sparhafoc and Dragan Glas. To my knowledge there is no evidence against well-planned vegan diets, but maybe you can enlighten me here.


No, I do have to, which is why I decided to come back and make a further post doing exactly that, which you acknowledge further down. Plus I'd already cited sources, as did DG and you rejected them even though they provide exactly what you asked for.

This is why I keep saying that you misunderstand my position. Biological necessity is not "the" (as in 'only') criterion, access to resources is important as well (I have repeated this so many times in this thread, I don't understand how you missed it).


I didn't miss it. I know your argument is only intended to apply to those whom it applies to. Sparhafoc took issue with this, not me.

Why? I honestly do not understand this. A diet is healthy to the extent that it doesn't make people sick, whether or not there is supplementation is irrelevant.


We're back to your definition of diet again. You want to include pills/supplements in 'diet' - I reject this definition. DG gave you a good example as to why which his junk food analogy.

Without the context... You quoted me saying "the completeness part". Part of what?


Eh? I quoted you from when we were arguing about deficiency earlier in the thread. You said you do not dispute the completeness part [of the vegan diet]

Nobody has provided what I am asking for in this conversation.


False. On a Biblical scale. I provided you sources early in the thread, so did DG and I've reposted one of them on this very page. You've even responded to it so you can't say it's not there.

It is not possible for me to give you straight answers when you constantly load your questions with assumptions that I don't accept.


What assumptions? Really, which ones? I think the only assumption I've made was regarding the volume of crops required in an all vegan world. Aside from that I don't recall making any. Please cite them if you feel I have.

my arguments generally assume that an individual does not have some special health condition (allergy, medication, etc), has access to the proper resources (information, money, tools, foods, etc) and has taken the time to get informed first (about well-planned vegan diets, including all relevant information regarding fortification and supplementation)


I know what your arguments assume and I've been arguing with those assumptions in mind. I haven't argued about special health conditions not being applicable, I haven't argued about people who don't have access (although seeing as this accounts for practically everyone in the world I still think it's a valid objection) and I agreed with you early on that getting informed, whatever the subject is very important. So I don't know what you're talking about here.

Every time you build a hypothetical scenario that does not take this into account, to me you are not arguing against my position.


I'm actually not a fan of hypotheticals. I acknowledge that they can serve a valid purpose in arguments, but I don't usually dream up unrealistic scenarios to make a point. If I can't make my argument based on reality then I usually just don't bother at all.

This is what I don't get: I am aware of this information (and much more)


That information being the information that I posted, at your request? The information you keep saying no one has provided?

and if you feel that I am dismissing it, it is only because you don't notice that it doesn't contradict anything that I have said so far. Just think about it for a few seconds: fortification and supplementation have already been discussed in the previous thread, and they feature prominently in several of the resources that I linked in my first post in this thread (videos, websites [also books although I did not directly reference any]). What sense would it make for me to contradict my own sources without any justification? I guess this is what you think of me and probably of all vegans, but all I can say here is that you are mistaken about my position.


It DOES contradict your position. You were disputing the completeness of a vegan diet, I and others posted a bunch of sources and argued the point at length, then you acknowledged and conceded it and recently you'e gone back to disputing it, claiming nobody has provided any sources whilst at the same time replying TO the sources. Your only way out of it is to define diet so as to include missing nutrients in artificial pill or supplement form and then say 'Aha! See! Vegan diet is complete!' - and as I've explained, I reject that definition.
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Mon Jul 30, 2018 12:43 pm
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*SD*User avatarPosts: 342Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:00 amLocation: Wales, UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Why Vegan?

Oh, by the way, here's a very popular vegan (the same one I cited pages back) who doesn't recognise a 'range' of veganism, he says it's binary.

Relevant part is between 10 mins and 13 mins. That's just another 3 minutes I've asked you to view, Vego. Also between 17 and 19 mins contradicts your position. I'd recomment watching the whole thing but seeing as you didn't seem keen on the first one I cited, I doubt you will jump at the chance to watch this one. And he's on your side.

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Wed Aug 08, 2018 6:45 pm
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VegoUser avatarPosts: 94Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:32 pm

Post Re: Why Vegan?

*SD* wrote:What crops for animals? This is based on the world where everyone is vegan and therefore there are no crops for animals.

Before (non-vegan): total crops before = crops for humans before + crops for animals before
After (vegan): total crops after = crops for humans after (increased) + crops for animals after (zero)

My question is: do we have 'total crops before < total crops after' or 'total crops before > total crops after'?

*SD* wrote:I've taken quite a lot of time responding to more or less everything you've said

You have taken a lot of time "responding" to things that I never said. Some of your responses were unjustified assertions, and you have never provided a justification for the claim that well-planned vegan diets are unhealthy.

*SD* wrote:So it's not about the animals, then? It's about you and how you feel.

You are completely misreading me. It is about what we can do. We are responsible, so we can do something about it. We are not directly* responsible for the existence of wild animals destroying crops. We are completely responsible about everything related to farm animals.

*we are somewhat responsible for some invasive species, but there is generally no easy fix in those situations

*SD* wrote:What word do you want me to use?

It's not about the word, the problem here is that you are trying to imply that my position is something that it is not. If I am forced to choose between killing 20 individuals and killing 10 individuals, avoiding the first option does not mean that I don't care about killing 10 individuals, or that I like it, or that I think it's fine. If "accept" or "condone" is any of these options, then no, I neither accept nor condone the act. If instead you mean that I accept to do what must be done given the circumstances, then sure.

*SD* wrote:I'm having a hard time believing you don't get what's being said here.

I can't read minds, I only have your words and you are making it difficult for me to understand what you mean because of the constant berating, profanities and (crappy) jokes (you seem to have reduced that and I find it easier to read you now).

*SD* wrote:Oh, come on. This smacks of desperation.

It is you who are desperately trying to ignore what is plainly obvious: we do not control wild animals. If we don't protect our crops, our existence is at risk.

*SD* wrote:It's being argued because it puts a big old dent in your position

No it does not. My position does not depend on my ability to solve a difficult ecological/industrial issue. On the contrary, the foundation of my position is that these collateral deaths are presently unavoidable, even though theoretically they could be avoidable under the right conditions (I think hydroponics is a practical way to avoid them, but it is expensive and not energy-efficient).

*SD* wrote:I'm not entirely sure what you're getting at here. What do you mean? What dead bodies are you talking about?

I am talking about animals dying in the fields. My point was that there is no waste, even if the farmers don't make use of the corpses (but like I said, I don't really know the details).

*SD* wrote:When we kill them for meat they are being 'recycled' by nature.

I am not trying to say that eating is not natural, or that eating is useless, or that eating breaks the recycling, I am trying to say that humans eating the remains of animals killed on fields is not essential to this recycling.

*SD* wrote:It's in nobody's interest to cause unnecessary levels of suffering, and in everybody's interest to make the death as quick and painless as possible.

Actually, from a slaughterhouse perspective, the only aspect of practical importance is that animals don't move too much during 'processing'. Animals have to be bled quickly, and dead animals bleed slower because the heart is not pumping (see use of stunbolt gun and two-stage slaughter process). The problem here is what happens when the stunning fails, which is not infrequent (I quoted a figure of a >10% failure rate in a previous post, although I imagine those numbers are not easily verifiable). And this on top of the stress of transportation (animals can suffer and die during transportation to the slaughterhouse) and the hard-to-quantify issue of having a life cut short prematurely (how long could an animal live without being slaughtered? Was it a life worth living?).

*SD* wrote:If animals are to be killed, then it only makes sense to 'make use of' them after the fact.

That's just a double standard. When a pet dies, the pet owners don't generally take out the recipe book (it is possible that some do, but I doubt that it is common). Same for humans.

*SD* wrote:If you want to argue that it's better to kill them and not make any use of them

Again you are putting words in my mouth. I am not saying that it is better to not use them, I am saying that, from my perspective at least, it is not ethically better to use them.

*SD* wrote:I didn't say it was, but you can't deny that death is a rather large feature in this topic???

Why do you always try to push me into binary positions? Is it not possible for me to care about death while recognizing that death is not the only thing to care about? Anyway, iirc this part was a reaction to the idea that is is enough to consider a quick and painless death to reach a moral conclusion (just ignore my point if this is not your position).

*SD* wrote:It makes it a preferable option as opposed to inhumane methods.

If it works as people think, maybe. But even so, not all animals are protected this way (industrial fishing has no 'humane' component, in the UK instructions for small-scale suppliers read like a horror story to me, and in other countries some animals are excluded). Veganism is a better option by eliminating these issues and others related to the life of a farm animal.

*SD* wrote:I don't understand your question, simple as it looks, I don't know what you mean.

At several points in previous posts I gave examples of practices that I believe to be highly unethical and that veganism (dietary+lifestyle) can help eliminate, and those included factory farming and industrial fishing. My point here is that, although I disapprove of hunting, veganism is not a reaction to random internet users hunting rabbits on European wheat fields, there are bigger fish to release. In other words, even if you could somehow demonstrate that it is better under your specific circumstances to not be vegan, it wouldn't really change the bigger picture.

*SD* wrote:Do you mean if you change all the numbers and flip my argument on its head, does it still work then? Probably not, but I don't know what point you're making.

My point is that you are asking me to assume that the death count is the same, and I don't accept this assumption. I don't need to be convinced that a quick and painless death is better than a slow and painful one, but how do you compare 10 quick and painless deaths with 1 slow and painful one? (and that is assuming that those deaths are indeed quick-painless and slow-painful, which is not that obvious to me)

*SD* wrote:So in other words they did have to die.

Not exactly because they are free to move around, free to escape. Just like a handshake is not caused by a single individual, there is a shared responsibility here, with the big caveat that we don't have a way to communicate with the animals. And there are non-lethal ways that we can try, and maybe some that we haven't tried yet that would reduce the need for killing.

*SD* wrote:You think this is acceptable, not brilliant or fantastic or jolly good fun, but acceptable.

If this is what you mean, then yes, when there is no better solution, I accept it. To be clear: this does not mean that we should stop trying to look for better solutions, it is merely a recognition that we are not all-powerful, there are limits to what we can accomplish with today's technology.

*SD* wrote:Free to run away? I'm not sure if you're being serious here or not.

I am being serious: mobility is one of the main features of animals, it's an important function of these advanced computers under our skulls.

*SD* wrote:most of the animals we're talking about are incredibly stupid in this regard and tend to panic and not know what's going on

I doubt that they understand the details, but 'danger' is the only concept they need to grasp. Anyway, I am not trying to blame the victims here, merely pointing out that the option to escape exists, and for each animal that fails to escape I expect that there are others who succeed. By contrast, farm animals don't generally have such opportunities.

*SD* wrote:What I'm claiming is that you could do more, and yet you don't.

As long as "doing more" goes toward more veganism rather than less (in other words, you agree that being vegan is better than not), then there is no point in me addressing your claim.

*SD* wrote:leave your self wide open to being labelled a hypocrite

Thank you for your concern, but I don't care all that much about what people label me.

*SD* wrote:You are arguing that it's wrong for purpose X (X being to eat them) but it's ok for purpose Y (Y being to kill them and not eat them).

As I already said, no, this is not what I am arguing. I am arguing that purpose Y is currently unavoidable (even without any veganism) whereas purpose X is avoidable (to what extent exactly, I don't don't know, but the more avoidance the better). The wrongness of X is different from the wrongness of Y, in large part because we are talking about two completely different contexts: raising and killing a farm animal is qualitatively (and quantitatively) different from accidental deaths and crop protection.

*SD* wrote:Changing my argument so as to make it deliberately fail doesn't defeat the original argument.

I am confused by this. Are you not trying to claim that there is some kind of equivalence between hunting and accidental deaths? Or maybe we are not talking about the same thing: is your hunting activity part of the activity of crop protection (in other words, is your role equivalent to 'pest control')?

*SD* wrote:You think it would only count as a problem if for every 5 tonnes of grain harvested 5 tonnes worth of animals had to die?

I was under the impression that you were arguing about death count. It is in this context that I was trying to point out that it is not clear at all that the individual choice of hunting results in less deaths than crop farming; we have to use some kind of normalization for this comparison, whether it's volume, weight, nutrition, etc. If we don't perform such normalization, then what are we comparing: hunter-kills against total deaths in one field? This would not be meaningful because the hunter-kills only feed one person, whereas the field feeds a lot more than one person.

*SD* wrote:If it's acceptable for you to do it then it's acceptable for me to do it, for our own specified purposes respectively.

As I said, I only "accept" it because there is presently no reasonable alternative (I am guessing that fruitarians don't consume any crops, but fruitarianism is difficult and probably not eco-friendly because of the water required to grow enough fruits; and consuming animal products instead would make things worse whenever crops are used as feed). I also said (in my opening) that, even though I am mostly an ethical vegan, I am not 100% ethical vegan*, I also care about my personal health and the environment (in other words, my position has some flexibility, but I don't have some mathematical formula).

*I am fully dietary+lifestyle vegan, what I mean by the percentage is that my motivation to be vegan is not 100% ethical (in practice that means that, for example, given sufficient evidence, I would accept some amount of exploitation [how much? don't know] in exchange for the non-destruction of our global ecosystem).

*SD* wrote:it necessarily comes down to where you draw the line

Our current technology has practical limitations (and each individual has additional limitations), but ethical veganism as I understand it doesn't require any line.

*SD* wrote:Otherwise you're saying a valid counter is to just state 'I don't care about that, but I do care about this' with two variants of something which are not all that distinct.

There is no "I don't care" part, my position is about avoiding a worse option.

*SD* wrote:I'm not entirely convinced food production even has a moral component to it. It might, but I'll need to chew on that for a while.

If we are causing suffering and if we can do something about it, it is pretty clear to me that there is a moral component.

*SD* wrote:
Vego wrote:As I understand, you tried to claim that killing is ok as long as it is quick and painless.

Then you misunderstand ... My position is that if killing is going to be done, then it is better that it's quick and painless rather than slow and generally horrible.

Ok.

*SD* wrote:why do vegans always do this? We aren't talking about killing humans.

We (not just vegans, everyone) are limited in our choice of examples when we want to make an analogy. We don't have any aliens to compare with, and I personally don't get my morality from scriptures, so human behavior, while not a perfect match, is the only thing left. It also makes sense in a general context of reducing or rejecting speciesism, especially given the fact that morality has a lot to do with death and suffering, and these are features that we share with most other animals.

*SD* wrote:Just because something doesn't exist for the specific purpose of being eaten by something else, does not negate the waste factor if that animals body is put to no use when it could be.

This objectification is typical of carnism. There is no waste when we are talking about wildlife, nature just does its thing.

*SD* wrote:if we talk about cows here (for example) they do exist to be eaten and made use of. That's how come they exist at all.

The problem here is that they don't just exist, we create and manipulate each and every one of them. They exist in this form because we say so, they are our responsibility. If not for our manipulations, they would simply exist as wild animals (and not in the extremely high numbers that we kill every year).

*SD* wrote:I could argue from my own personal circumstances

From my perspective, you have been doing that quite a lot already.

*SD* wrote:statistics, quantity

It almost sounds like you are saying that you could properly justify your claims.

*SD* wrote:The other way I can argue, which is generally the route I've chosen is to just argue based on more 'normal' circumstances.

"Normal" as in hunting rabbits on a wheat field in the UK by discharging a high-powered rifle through a window with olympic-level proficiency?

*SD* wrote:We've already argued that the purpose to killing for crop production is in some ways worse than killing deliberately for meat

You claimed it in a contrived hypothetical, but you didn't connect your claim with quantifiable reality.

*SD* wrote:How are you defining carnism?

From my opening: "According to [Melanie Joy], carnism is an ideology (shared set of beliefs and practices), and "Carnists eat meat not because they need to, but because they choose to, and choices always stem from beliefs." "
In other words, it is not a specific diet (carnism is not a synonym for either strict carnivorism or omnivorism), it is the general mindset associated with the practice of eating meat (and using animal products in general). It is a concept that makes sense when there is a choice.

*SD* wrote:I think if animals are to be killed, then making use of them is more ethical than not making use of them.

Thank you for making this clear. As I already stated, "making use of" does not impact my conception of something being ethical, so to me this argument doesn't do anything.

*SD* wrote:If that's how you're defining ideology then everything involving a conscious decision is an ideology. I consciously decided to write you this reply, is that an ideology?

There are multiple definitions of ideology, and I am mostly using the one from Melanie Joy. The Wikipedia definition mentions "normative beliefs", where "Normativity is the phenomenon in human societies of designating some actions or outcomes as good or desirable or permissible and others as bad or undesirable or impermissible." (source). So if you think that writing a reply is good or desirable or permissible, then maybe it is part of some 'communication ideology' that we both share and that allows us to make sense of these patterns of light on the screen. After all, you probably believe that I am a human being and that it makes sense to make your fingers dance on your device and observe the resulting concatenation of structured sequences of characters conjured from a metaphorical web through tech-magic.

*SD* wrote:Under veganism (as in global scale) this is what follows.

Not necessarily. I briefly discussed this with Sparhafoc, but we could choose to keep some animals around (maybe in one or several special sanctuaries). I don't think that we could, nor would we want to, maintain a population of tens of billions (and to be clear, we are not really 'maintaining' such a population, we [humans] are constantly killing and replacing them). So no, a complete eradication of farm animals is not "inevitable". On the contrary, I think it is unlikely that farm animals would disappear (even today some people have pet chickens and pet cows), although in a vegan world there would be no such thing as an animal farm.

*SD* wrote:We're back to your definition of diet again.

It's not "my" definition of diet, and it doesn't matter whether you want to call it diet or something else. If the word bothers you, then use 'well-planned vegan stuff' instead. What matters to me is that it is possible to be (reasonably) healthy.

*SD* wrote:DG gave you a good example as to why which his junk food analogy.

There was nothing good with this analogy, and I explained why.

*SD* wrote:
Vego wrote:Part of what?

Eh?

Please re-read my post, as I asked a series of questions to which I immediately gave replies.

*SD* wrote:I provided you sources early in the thread

That again? Once again, back then I asked specifically about "injections", and you did not provide me with the evidence that I required (and later recognized that you did not mean injection literally).

*SD* wrote:I've reposted one of them on this very page

I don't know how to make this clearer: what I am asking for is evidence that there is something wrong with a well-planned vegan diet (or 'well-planned vegan stuff' if you prefer). You can keep copy-pasting the same thing a thousand times, it does not answer my question.

*SD* wrote:What assumptions?

For example:
- "Let's say you're having a bowl of cereal, and let's say that for that one bowl of cereal one rabbit had to die.": you are asking me to accept a hypothetical in which one rabbit had to die for one bowl of cereal, and there is no reason for me to accept this;
- "So if X number of animals had to die for your cereal, and I go out and kill same X number of animals and eat them": this assumes that X is a whole number (it could be 0.001, and you can't kill 0.001 rabbits);
- citations about B-12: you assume that I am either unaware of that, or that somehow I asked about that, or maybe I made a claim against that: none of these are true, you are just wasting time;
- you seem to assume that a Youtube video without any reference is supposed to convince me on a scientific question (it doesn't);
- you assume that everytime someone made a claim against me in a past comment, somehow that was automatically a valid argument against me and that I accepted it without providing a reply explaining why I disagreed.

*SD* wrote:I agreed with you early on that getting informed, whatever the subject is very important. So I don't know what you're talking about here.

Then why do you keep bringing up the same thing about B-12, which is included in the "getting informed" part?

*SD* wrote:That information being the information that I posted, at your request?

What request? Seriously, what are you replying to?

*SD* wrote:It DOES contradict your position.

Not in the least.

*SD* wrote:You were disputing the completeness of a vegan diet,

A well-planned vegan diet is not incomplete. This has always been, and still is, my position.

*SD* wrote:then you acknowledged and conceded it

You are rewriting history here. At no point did I "concede" that a well-planned vegan diet is incomplete (that would be a false claim to my knowledge). And since the previous thread I have only argued in favor of well-planned vegan diets.

*SD* wrote:Your only way out of it is to define diet

Once again: how you define diet is not my concern, you are merely playing with words. My claim is that it is possible to be vegan following a well-planned vegan diet (and qualified dietitians provide the specifics, not me).

*SD* wrote:he says it's binary

I listened to the 3 min, and I don't really see the point here. Some individual replying to some other individual about their interpretation of veganism? He can say whatever he wants (well, less profanity would be nice) but I don't speak for them, they don't speak for me.

*SD* wrote:17:00-19:00

The author of the video claims that "the point of veganism is to abolish the animal agriculture industry, to remove all unnecessary forms of animal exploitation, suffering and death as much as reasonably possible. What you are talking about right now is reducetarianism ... the idea that you should reduce the amount of suffering and death you cause, not eliminate it"
From my perspective, "removing ... as much as reasonably possible" = reduction. It is not clear to me that our positions are too different (I am not familiar enough with his position to be sure). That said, I have been explicit several times that what I call "partial veganism" (which is probably the same thing as reducetarianism) is a step in the right direction (less suffering is better), but full veganism is better (I wish for an end to all form of animal exploitation, and my actions are in line with this goal).

*SD* wrote:I doubt you will jump at the chance to watch this one.

Earlier you tried to justify a scientific claim by linking a video with no scientific reference (I did watch it and I iirc it didn't even include the information that I was asking for).

You are trying very hard to find flaws in what you think I said, but the conversation simply did not go the way you describe it.
"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)
Mon Aug 13, 2018 4:14 am
*SD*User avatarPosts: 342Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:00 amLocation: Wales, UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Why Vegan?

My question is: do we have 'total crops before < total crops after' or 'total crops before > total crops after'?


If I understand this correctly (which I am far from sure I do) I would lean towards... actually the more I look at it the less sure I am I understand it. I don't wish to be a pain but could you reword this in a simpler way? Or perhaps just a different way?

You have taken a lot of time "responding" to things that I never said


This again. We went through this ages ago, and we established that it's perfectly normal to expand, add anecdote, previous experience, tangents, elaborate and branch out as this is a conversation not a debate. If you'd like a proper debate, there is a section specifically for that, and I believe my very first post in this thread offered you exactly that so as to avoid this kind of weird objection. You declined. Unless you choose to accept then I will continue to answer in the way I see fit, and if that includes answering questions you didn't ask, and branching off into areas of conversation I'm interested in, and pointing out problems I see then I will continue to do so. You don't have to reply to those parts, or any parts for that matter, but ignoring them won't make them vanish and anyone reading will still see them and note that you haven't addressed them. Just because you may not have touched on a specific aspect, doesn't mean I'm not allowed to. Tbh, that wouldn't even be a criterion in a debate, never mind a conversation.

Some of your responses were unjustified assertions


Where? Which assertions? This in itself is an unjustified assertion on your part seeing as you don't even attempt to provide an example.

and you have never provided a justification for the claim that well-planned vegan diets are unhealthy.


I did. Over and over and over again. There are several pages dedicated to discussing pretty much nothing BUT this. There's even one on this very page (or possible the previous if this post rolls over onto another page)

It wasn't just me either. DG dedicated a lot of his posts to this too. All you've done is claim that "diet" includes pills/supplements and I've rejected that definition over and over.

You are completely misreading me. It is about what we can do


I'm not. You aren't doing what you could do, you're doing some of it, but by no means as much as you could. This has been addressed in spades.

We are responsible, so we can do something about it


Bingo! So, go do something about it! Do something about all the animals being killed so you can have non essential luxury items you don't need.

We are not directly* responsible for the existence of wild animals destroying crops. We are completely responsible about everything related to farm animals.


SO WHAT? We are responsible for planting millions of acres of crops in places where animals lived FIRST, if it's permissible to kill and discard them just because they're in your way then it's permissible to kill farm animals in order to eat them. Thus they are at least being made use of. It doesn't matter how little value you place on making use of them, it makes far more sense to make use of a thing than to discard a thing - especially if that thing was once alive and you've killed it.

If I am forced to choose between killing 20 individuals and killing 10 individuals, avoiding the first option does not mean that I don't care about killing 10 individuals, or that I like it, or that I think it's fine


This is the trolley problem. Surprised it's taken you so long to bring it up. It doesn't mean you don't care about the ten, but it means you care LESS about the ten, and the decision you make here reflects that. If we modify this so that it related to animals, you care LESS about the field animals killed during crop production than you do about farm animals - and this distinction is totally arbitrary. Permissible to kill rabbits / voles / mice - not permissible to kill cows / chickens / pigs. Why do you place a higher value on one set than the other? The fact that we breed the latter set DOES NOT answer this question. The fact that you don't "intend" to kill the former set DOES NOT answer this question for reasons cited a thousand times:

1) Your intent doesn't matter to the animals in question
2) The outcome for the "victim" animals is the same
3) You are aware that this is happening - it's not a case of "oh shit I didn't realise - now I do so I'll stop"

I can't read minds, I only have your words and you are making it difficult for me to understand what you mean because of the constant berating, profanities and (crappy) jokes (you seem to have reduced that and I find it easier to read you now).


I'm not berating you - you just don't like having your position challenged. I've never, not once on this forum or any other, or in real life been accused of being vague or unclear. Perhaps your reading comprehension is the real issue here.

It is you who are desperately trying to ignore what is plainly obvious: we do not control wild animals. If we don't protect our crops, our existence is at risk.


Bullshit. We control plenty of things about nature. Your existence might be at risk, but mine isn't. You are reliant on other people wiping your arse for you, I'm not. Don't assume your situation covers all bases - it doesn't. You are unwilling to protect crops by non-lethal methods, which could be done, it would just require more effort than being a keyboard warrior sitting at a desk saying "oh but I can't help it" - you could, you just wont. And that's another thing we've already covered at quite some length.

the foundation of my position is that these collateral deaths are presently unavoidable


They're NOT unavoidable. On the whole, they could be considerably reduced if you vegans would dedicate more of your time to doing that than bashing strangers on the internet. And on a more personal level, YOU could avoid contributing to the industries that cause what you are claiming is a problem - BUT YOU WONT. If you want to argue about reduction rather than elimination, fine - start growing your own veg. When I brought this up DECADES ago in this thread all you did was find as many excuses as you could to avoid doing it. Because you aren't prepared to go to that length.

I am talking about animals dying in the fields. My point was that there is no waste, even if the farmers don't make use of the corpses (but like I said, I don't really know the details).


Right, well I answered that in the same paragraph as the question.

I am not trying to say that eating is not natural, or that eating is useless, or that eating breaks the recycling, I am trying to say that humans eating the remains of animals killed on fields is not essential to this recycling.


Is not essential to? Right, so you want to draw another arbitrary line here? Or are you going to attempt an argument as to why humans should not "do" the recycling? Or is it just going to be because you don't personally like it and therefore think everyone should join you in your repulsion?

The problem here is what happens when the stunning fails, which is not infrequent


Well, unfortunately that's currently unavoidable. I mean if we're going to eat meat then unfortunately sometimes the animals will suffer a bit. Just like if you're going to eat wheat it's unavoidable that even non-target animals will suffer. Doesn't mean I'm ok with it, I just can't be bothered to do anything about it. But I'll keep pretending I'm upset about it.

It's your argument - how do you like it now?

and the hard-to-quantify issue of having a life cut short prematurely


So a bit like those field animals killed by pesticides and mangled by heavy machinery?

Was it a life worth living?


Depends what you're referring to. Some awful factory farm cramped into a crate and generally mistreated? No, I don't think it would be a life worth living. But then I already oppose factory farming so I'm on your side here. If you mean free-range then yes, I would say that's a life worth living.

That's just a double standard. When a pet dies, the pet owners don't generally take out the recipe book (it is possible that some do, but I doubt that it is common)


It's not a double standard because I haven't offered an ethical or moral objection to doing this. You've assumed it's something I would oppose without even asking me. It's not something I would do, and I imagine that falls true for most pet owners, but I can't think of a sound ethical objection to it.

Again you are putting words in my mouth. I am not saying that it is better to not use them, I am saying that, from my perspective at least, it is not ethically better to use them.


But you are more ok (I'm just going back to using "ok" because you object to every word I use here) with activities that involve killing animals and not making use of them than you are with activities that kill and do make use of them. This has been evident in your posts, is evident in the general vegan position, and is evident in your actions in every day life as you've described it. If you argue otherwise, your actions betray your words and by extension your position.

You can't deny being more "ok" (object to that word here all you want, anyone reading knows exactly what I mean) with one than the other, when your actions facilitate and finance one and not the other.

Why do you always try to push me into binary positions? Is it not possible for me to care about death while recognizing that death is not the only thing to care about?


I don't know which nostril you pulled that bogey out of but I didn't say that. I said that death is a rather large feature in this topic, there's no implication there (to anyone with a reasonable grasp of the English language) that death is the ONLY thing to consider.

(industrial fishing has no 'humane' component, in the UK instructions for small-scale suppliers read like a horror story to me


I agree. Nothing to argue about here. Which is why I don't buy fish. I eat fish, but I don't buy them. That's not having any adverse (or positive, depending on how you look at it) effect on industrial fishing, but I'm very much consistent with my own personal views and values on this so no one can accuse me of hypocrisy. This is not the case for you and your position when it comes to crop production. You said you weren't ok with it, yet you still engage in it. I'm not ok with industrial fishing so I don't engage in it.

Veganism is a better option by eliminating these issues and others related to the life of a farm animal.


You need to be more careful when using the word "farm" or "farming" - please specify whether you are talking about factory farming or free-ranging. "Farming" covers all sorts of things.

At several points in previous posts I gave examples of practices that I believe to be highly unethical and that veganism (dietary+lifestyle) can help eliminate, and those included factory farming and industrial fishing.


Yes...

My point here is that, although I disapprove of hunting, veganism is not a reaction to random internet users hunting rabbits on European wheat fields


Right...

In other words, even if you could somehow demonstrate that it is better under your specific circumstances to not be vegan, it wouldn't really change the bigger picture


I've said several times that if your objection is to factory farming - I'm right there with you. I've never denied that. I understand why we have factory farms, but that's not any kind of approval on my part. I haven't been arguing from my specific circumstances, I've mentioned them a few times but they hasn't formed the basis of my replies. I was explicit about this in my last post.

My point is that you are asking me to assume that the death count is the same, and I don't accept this assumption


Sure, I acknowledge that. I also acknowledge that I haven't backed it up with any facts and figures. It just seems to make sense that if we remove a massively used food group (meat/dairy etc) from the human diet, the intake of whatever else we're going to eat instead (in this case, crops etc) is going to have to increase on a massive scale. I did say earlier that I'm not sure if it would be the exact same amount, but that doesn't really matter. It'll have to go up a LOT, and that was the point. Do you deny this?

You can dismiss my educated guess if you want, that would be fair, but then we'll have to drop this part of the argument.

I don't need to be convinced that a quick and painless death is better than a slow and painful one, but how do you compare 10 quick and painless deaths with 1 slow and painful one?


We could compare it by considering 10 successful (so not failed) stunning and slaughtering instances of an animal, and 1 rabbit getting it's hind legs ripped off and left for dead?
Or sprayed with pesticides and then dying slowly and painfully? Which is better in your estimation? How many people can the area of crop the rabbit occupied feed vs how many people can the 10 instant kill animals feed? In this example the 10 is obviously preferable. You can reverse it and conjure an example in which the opposite may be true so I don't know what point either of us could successfully make with this kind of comparison.

and that is assuming that those deaths are indeed quick-painless and slow-painful, which is not that obvious to me


Resisting the temptation to hop to the methods I personally employ, I'll stick with factory farming. A successfully stunned and slaughtered pig is suffering considerably less (if at all) than a rabbit dying through pesticide poisoning, or being savagely maimed by large mechanical implements. How is this not obvious? Would you like to argue to the contrary?

Not exactly because they are free to move around, free to escape


So why don't they do that instead then? Because they're not really free to escape. Or are they suicidal? This is like sticking you in a mine field, saying "run or I'll just shoot you" and then you getting blown up. Is it fair to say you had the freedom to move around and escape? It hardly is when the odds are stacked against you. Down to more luck than judgment. A field animal stands practically no chance of escaping a crop sprayer, perhaps they have an ok-ish chance of dodging the combine but the sprayer will get them practically every time. If not directly then by secondary poisoning. That's why it's done, because it's so effective.

Just like a handshake is not caused by a single individual, there is a shared responsibility here, with the big caveat that we don't have a way to communicate with the animals.


A handshake is consented to by both parties involved and seeing as you note that we can't communicate with the animals we're talking about, they can't possibly consent.

And there are non-lethal ways that we can try, and maybe some that we haven't tried yet that would reduce the need for killing.


The former is something I've said several times, and yet you are still not doing this. The latter is pie in the sky.

If this is what you mean, then yes, when there is no better solution, I accept it.


Thank you. I've just been trying to find a word I can use that you don't object to. Hopefully now you know what I mean when I say ok with / accept / condone etc.

To be clear: this does not mean that we should stop trying to look for better solutions, it is merely a recognition that we are not all-powerful, there are limits to what we can accomplish with today's technology.


Agreed.

I am being serious: mobility is one of the main features of animals, it's an important function of these advanced computers under our skulls.


Addressed above.

I doubt that they understand the details, but 'danger' is the only concept they need to grasp. Anyway, I am not trying to blame the victims here, merely pointing out that the option to escape exists, and for each animal that fails to escape I expect that there are others who succeed


Also addressed above. Not being snippy, or rude or mean, or making jokes, just saying I've covered it above.

By contrast, farm animals don't generally have such opportunities.


And if they did, they'd die off pretty quickly anyway, and no one would benefit from the nutrients / products they can provide, except perhaps for those who actively seek to gather such, and even then for limited time only. If we stretch this out to every farm animal in existence escaping, then over time the species would likely become extinct because for right or for wrong, these animals have been domesticated by humans and are incapable of surviving in the wild. Some will argue (I've an entire post in this thread dedicated to exactly this) that extinction is preferable to the continued lineage of such animals, I do not share this perspective.

As long as "doing more" goes toward more veganism rather than less (in other words, you agree that being vegan is better than not), then there is no point in me addressing your claim.


I think it's been abundantly clear that I do not agree with that. For a plethora of reasons, many of which I've stated, many of which I haven't as you object every time someone covers something you didn't bring up your self.

Thank you for your concern, but I don't care all that much about what people label me


Well, that's on you. I don't care what people label you either. If you dropped dead today I wouldn't have any way of even knowing, perhaps your absence on this site maybe, but that could be explained by a multitude of reasons far less drastic.

I do, however, care whether people label me as a hypocrite. Which is why I make every effort to address any such charge by either making a reasoned argument as to how I'm not a hypocrite, or, in any case where I am - re-evaluating my position and adjusting it accordingly.

*SD* wrote:You are arguing that it's wrong for purpose X (X being to eat them) but it's ok for purpose Y (Y being to kill them and not eat them).

As I already said, no, this is not what I am arguing. I am arguing that purpose Y is currently unavoidable (even without any veganism) whereas purpose X is avoidable (to what extent exactly, I don't don't know, but the more avoidance the better). The wrongness of X is different from the wrongness of Y, in large part because we are talking about two completely different contexts: raising and killing a farm animal is qualitatively (and quantitatively) different from accidental deaths and crop protection.


It Is your argument. It's clear that it's your argument. A consensus (albeit small) of posters here recognise it as your argument. When I framed it this way the first time, one poster immediately agreed with me, another later challenged it and with further clarification also affirmed it. Once again, your intent doesn't matter to anyone but you, it definitely doesn't matter to the animals concerned, which is what this entire debacle is supposed to be about. You deny that it's about "muh feels" and yet refuse to acknowledge it's supposed to be about the animals when it doesn't suit your argument to acknowledge that.

I am confused by this. Are you not trying to claim that there is some kind of equivalence between hunting and accidental deaths? Or maybe we are not talking about the same thing: is your hunting activity part of the activity of crop protection (in other words, is your role equivalent to 'pest control')?


Hunting, factory farming and crop production all cause the deaths of animals. What I'm saying is that to those animals that are killed, it is of no consolation as to what the intent behind their demise was. They're dead. That's the equivalence. With regards hunting (there are some exceptions to this) - particularly with a suitable and sufficiently powerful "implement" the amount of suffering induced is absolutely minimal, when all goes 100% to plan - eliminated altogether. With factory farming measures (probably not all possible measures) are taken to reduce the suffering. Room for improvement? Yes. With crop production and all that entails, practically no measures are taken to reduce the suffering of the animals in question. So if you look at it from this perspective, hunting, and maybe even factory farming causes less suffering. But to anything killed, the intent, the amount of thought and preparation, the measures taken to reduce that animals suffering are of no consolation to it once it's dead. They are of consolation to the humans causing the death. Despicable human beings who don't care notwithstanding.

My hunting is by and in large about pest control, yes. Not exclusively, but primarily.

I was under the impression that you were arguing about death count. It is in this context that I was trying to point out that it is not clear at all that the individual choice of hunting results in less deaths than crop farming; we have to use some kind of normalization for this comparison, whether it's volume, weight, nutrition, etc. If we don't perform such normalization, then what are we comparing: hunter-kills against total deaths in one field? This would not be meaningful because the hunter-kills only feed one person, whereas the field feeds a lot more than one person.


I'm not sure I follow. Of course an individual's choice to hunt results in less deaths than crop farming (assuming you mean industrial scale crop farming, not growing a carrot). I don't quite get what you mean, could be me could be you, who knows. But it does sound similar to something I covered in an earlier paragraph up there ^ somewhere.

As I said, I only "accept" it because there is presently no reasonable alternative (I am guessing that fruitarians don't consume any crops, but fruitarianism is difficult and probably not eco-friendly because of the water required to grow enough fruits; and consuming animal products instead would make things worse whenever crops are used as feed). I also said (in my opening) that, even though I am mostly an ethical vegan, I am not 100% ethical vegan*, I also care about my personal health and the environment (in other words, my position has some flexibility, but I don't have some mathematical formula).

*I am fully dietary+lifestyle vegan, what I mean by the percentage is that my motivation to be vegan is not 100% ethical (in practice that means that, for example, given sufficient evidence, I would accept some amount of exploitation [how much? don't know] in exchange for the non-destruction of our global ecosystem).


I'm not sure how that addresses the quote you're replying to, but either way I have no major objection to what you just said. Other than "reasonable" being entirely subjective in this context and down to how much effort you're willing to make. There are vegans who make more effort than you, there are probably some who make less and they all have their own reasons as to why they stop where they stop. None of which are particularly useful when arguing with someone who is not vegan.

ethical veganism as I understand it doesn't require any line.


It obviously does, it demonstrably does. I even gave you an out here by telling you I also draw a line as to what I'm prepared to do and what i'm not in the name of saving animals. Your actions betray your insistence that you draw no such line.

There is no "I don't care" part, my position is about avoiding a worse option.


I worded that poorly and this, to some extent is addressed further up in this reply. I know it's not that you flat out don't care, but there are areas where you care more, and areas where you care less.

If we are causing suffering and if we can do something about it, it is pretty clear to me that there is a moral component.


Since you admitted earlier that there are things we could (and yet don't) do to address the suffering caused by crop production, why do you not do these things? Is it because you draw a line? I maintain it definitely is.

We (not just vegans, everyone) are limited in our choice of examples when we want to make an analogy. We don't have any aliens to compare with, and I personally don't get my morality from scriptures, so human behavior, while not a perfect match, is the only thing left. It also makes sense in a general context of reducing or rejecting speciesism, especially given the fact that morality has a lot to do with death and suffering, and these are features that we share with most other animals.


I'm glad you don't want to talk about carnivorous alien space cows from another dimension who want to come here to eat humans. Some vegans do (seriously).

I notice your inclusion of the word "reducing" there, a dubious notion. How does one "reduce" speciesism? After all, you don't reject it because if the field animals were replaced with humans you wouldn't just mow them down or spray them in the face with chemicals. Or would you?

This objectification is typical of carnism. There is no waste when we are talking about wildlife, nature just does its thing


Which "carnist" are you having this conversation with? I'm an omnivore. I agree, nature does indeed do its thing, and as I pointed out in a previous post, I am part of nature, so I am simply doing my thing.

The problem here is that they don't just exist, we create and manipulate each and every one of them. They exist in this form because we say so, they are our responsibility. If not for our manipulations, they would simply exist as wild animals (and not in the extremely high numbers that we kill every year).


No, they wouldn't. We would be (over the passage of time) talking about drastically reduced numbers, and knowing cows the way I do it's no stretch to speculate that given time - extinction.

Do you really think that cows, as we know them, the variety found on farms (factory or otherwise) could get along just fine if turned loose?

From my perspective, you have been doing that quite a lot already.


Not "quite a lot" - I have thrown them in on occasion I don't deny, but I've made a conscious effort not to make my own circumstances / lifestyle the core of my general arguments.

And earlier, you complained that I was generalizing, it's not possible to generalize from my own personal circumstances and you acknowledged this when you said everything about my circumstances is a special case for you (or something to that effect, it's definitely there)

It almost sounds like you are saying that you could properly justify your claims.


Now you're needling me to argue from my own personal circumstances, is that what you want?

"Normal" as in hunting rabbits on a wheat field in the UK by discharging a high-powered rifle through a window with olympic-level proficiency?


No, not even that level of normal. A level of normal more in common with how most people live. Most people don't hunt rabbits with a high powered rifle. And most people certainly aren't fortunate enough to have gained the skills and experience to do so at my level of accuracy, whether that be through choice, lack of interest, no need, or just lack of awareness that this needs to be done.

You claimed it in a contrived hypothetical, but you didn't connect your claim with quantifiable reality.


Hypothetical? What's hypothetical about arguing that a rabbit getting sprayed in the face with pesticides or mauled by a machine sucks compared with being shot in the fucking head? Hypothetical my cock. Do you just not think animals really suffer this way for crop production or just don't want to acknowledge reality?If you think I'm making it up then you need to get back to the drawing board because you're so far removed from how food is actually produced it's shameful.

From my opening: "According to [Melanie Joy], carnism is an ideology (shared set of beliefs and practices), and "Carnists eat meat not because they need to, but because they choose to, and choices always stem from beliefs." "
In other words, it is not a specific diet (carnism is not a synonym for either strict carnivorism or omnivorism), it is the general mindset associated with the practice of eating meat (and using animal products in general). It is a concept that makes sense when there is a choice.


Then Melanie Joy, who you seem to like so much, is talking nonsense. Here are the most widely accepted mainstream definitions, in my own words, as simplified as possible:

Carnivore - Eats meat, or primarily meat
Herbivore - Eats vegetation
Omnivore - Eats both

I could elaborate on all three, but that's the general gist. Examples:

Tiger - Carnivore
Goat - Herbivore
Human - Omnivore

Thank you for making this clear. As I already stated, "making use of" does not impact my conception of something being ethical, so to me this argument doesn't do anything.


Yeah, you keep saying that but you don't address the flip side. Is it more ethical to kill an animal and NOT make use of it?

Let's both kill a rabbit each (and don't fanny on about how you'd never do that etc etc) I'm going to cook and eat mine. You're going to leave yours wherever it dropped. Which is "better" (use whatever word you want, I'm way beyond caring at this point)

There are multiple definitions of ideology, and I am mostly using the one from Melanie Joy. The Wikipedia definition mentions "normative beliefs", where "Normativity is the phenomenon in human societies of designating some actions or outcomes as good or desirable or permissible and others as bad or undesirable or impermissible." (source). So if you think that writing a reply is good or desirable or permissible, then maybe it is part of some 'communication ideology' that we both share and that allows us to make sense of these patterns of light on the screen. After all, you probably believe that I am a human being and that it makes sense to make your fingers dance on your device and observe the resulting concatenation of structured sequences of characters conjured from a metaphorical web through tech-magic.


So therefore everything is an ideology. Including this "carnism" you keep accusing me of. So what's the problem with "carnism" being an ideology if everything is an ideology?

Not necessarily. I briefly discussed this with Sparhafoc, but we could choose to keep some animals around (maybe in one or several special sanctuaries).


And I wrote an entire post on this (and more regarding knock-on effects) which you didn't address.

I don't think that we could, nor would we want to, maintain a population of tens of billions (and to be clear, we are not really 'maintaining' such a population, we [humans] are constantly killing and replacing them).


Which is exactly what maintaining means in this context...

On the contrary, I think it is unlikely that farm animals would disappear (even today some people have pet chickens and pet cows), although in a vegan world there would be no such thing as an animal farm.


So are you ok with people keeping chickens now? What about cows? Pigs? In a vegan world, these animals will cease to exist at some point, except maybe under some loophole vegans of your stripe will create so as to keep a handful around in the odd back yard here or there. So close to extinction that "endangered" would be putting it mildly.

It's not "my" definition of diet, and it doesn't matter whether you want to call it diet or something else. If the word bothers you, then use 'well-planned vegan stuff' instead. What matters to me is that it is possible to be (reasonably) healthy.


It does matter to me simply because you're using it in such a way as to circumvent the fact that a strictly herbivorous diet is seriously problematic for humans. Because we aren't sodding herbivores.

What about my "well planned omnivorous stuff" - I can do that too and be perfectly healthy to a ripe old age.

If I ate nothing but deep fried battered pork all day every day but took enough pills, cholesterol meds, blood pressure meds and had enough surgeries to correct problems caused by my poorly suited DIET would you be willing to refer to that as "well planned carnivorous stuff" ??

There was nothing good with this analogy, and I explained why.


And subsequently refuted.

I don't know how to make this clearer: what I am asking for is evidence that there is something wrong with a well-planned vegan diet (or 'well-planned vegan stuff' if you prefer). You can keep copy-pasting the same thing a thousand times, it does not answer my question.


I don't know how to make clearer the fact that your request has been satisfied a thousand times over, by more than one poster. And I've addressed your "well planned stuff" thing up there. ^

For example:
- "Let's say you're having a bowl of cereal, and let's say that for that one bowl of cereal one rabbit had to die.": you are asking me to accept a hypothetical in which one rabbit had to die for one bowl of cereal, and there is no reason for me to accept this;


Someone pointed out way back that your inability to read between the lines is striking.

I am asking you to consider a HYPOTHETICAL - yes. Something I usually try to avoid but since you weren't getting the gist...
There IS reason for you to accept that SOMETHING had to die for that bowl of cereal -

SD wrote:So you imagine that the process of ploughing, cultivating, seeding and harvesting that cereal and then transporting it god knows how many miles in a big fuck off truck didn't kill anything?


That, and the fact that you've acknowledged several times the obvious fact that animals DO die for crop production.

We Both wrote: "So if X number of animals had to die for your cereal, and I go out and kill same X number of animals and eat them": this assumes that X is a whole number (it could be 0.001, and you can't kill 0.001 rabbits);


^ Here, because you're STILL not getting it, I change from a specified example number to an unspecified number and you're STILL not happy with it and complain that it's not a number!

Your previous acknowledgement that animals DO die during the course of crop production renders your nit picking and obfuscating redundant. All this just to avoid the blatantly obvious.

citations about B-12: you assume that I am either unaware of that, or that somehow I asked about that, or maybe I made a claim against that: none of these are true, you are just wasting time


You DID ask about it, over and over. And every time you did your request was satisfied, not just by me. You've asked about it in recent posts so unless your memory is abysmal you can't even blame that.

you seem to assume that a Youtube video without any reference is supposed to convince me on a scientific question (it doesn't);


Piss off, Vego. You know what I and others have meant, you know we've cited sources, and you know the information therein is true. You're just obfuscating and consequentially it's you who is wasting time. You notice how I'm the only one replying to you now? Were it not for their presence in other threads I'd wonder if the others had died of boredom / repetition.

you assume that everytime someone made a claim against me in a past comment, somehow that was automatically a valid argument against me and that I accepted it without providing a reply explaining why I disagreed.


You can disagree all you like, you're disagreeing with evidence because it's not saying things you want it to say.

Then why do you keep bringing up the same thing about B-12, which is included in the "getting informed" part?


You already know why, because I've told you several times. But just so it'll be nigh-on impossible for anyone to take you seriously when you inevitably claim I haven't told you why, here's why -

You have argued that a vegan diet is complete. This was contested. You then conceded this and I've quoted you saying that you do not dispute the completeness part[of a vegan diet]

You've then tried to move the goalposts by defining diet to include "stuff" and lobbed in the qualifier "well planned vegan stuff" to include supplements for nutrients not present, or at least desperately lacking in a herbivorous DIET.

Let's have a look at the definition of diet, shall we? I mean the real one, not your tortured version of it -

diet
[ˈdʌɪət]
NOUN
the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats.
"a vegetarian diet"
synonyms: selection of food · food and drink · food · foodstuffs · provisions · [more]
a special course of food to which a person restricts themselves, either to lose weight or for medical reasons.
"I'm going on a diet"
synonyms: dietary regime · dietary regimen · dietary programme · restricted diet · [more]
VERB
restrict oneself to small amounts or special kinds of food in order to lose weight.
"I began dieting again"
synonyms: follow a diet · be on a diet · eat sparingly · eat selectively · abstain · [more]


NOWHERE in there does it make mention of pills, injections, or foods that have been fucked around with intentionally so as to tackle deficiencies.

What request? Seriously, what are you replying to?


Your request that I provide evidence for my claim that a vegan DIET is lacking. The claim we made, you contested, you were given evidence for, conceded and have since gone back to arguing about.

Not in the least.


It absolutely does.

A well-planned vegan diet is not incomplete. This has always been, and still is, my position.


Except what you're talking about includes pills etc which even the dictionary agrees do not feature as part of a diet.

You are rewriting history here. At no point did I "concede" that a well-planned vegan diet is incomplete (that would be a false claim to my knowledge). And since the previous thread I have only argued in favor of well-planned vegan diets.


I'm starting to wonder if you're trolling. If you are, then you're very, very good at it. In case you're not, I've quoted you conceding this point already. Remember when I said I could but didn't want to go back to find it? And then you said it wasn't there? So I wen't back to find it and lo and behold there it was?

Once again: how you define diet is not my concern, you are merely playing with words. My claim is that it is possible to be vegan following a well-planned vegan diet (and qualified dietitians provide the specifics, not me).


And yet you make mention of "diet" twice in this very piece, after saying you don't care about the definition. You've just sawn off the branch you were sitting on.

I do care about how it's defined, because words mean things. Otherwise communication is impossible.

I listened to the 3 min, and I don't really see the point here. Some individual replying to some other individual about their interpretation of veganism? He can say whatever he wants (well, less profanity would be nice) but I don't speak for them, they don't speak for me.


He is quite sweary, which is unfortunate for those offended by it, but I don't control that. The point is, the dude's a vegan, and the reason for the post was to show that your definition of veganism, and what you argue for is not the norm, runs counter to any reasonable interpretation of the word and is bespoke. You can have your own bespoke definition if you want, but it loses value when it doesn't appear to be the thing it's supposed to be. Sparhafoc wrote you a very good post on this in the other thread.

You are trying very hard to find flaws in what you think I said, but the conversation simply did not go the way you describe it.


I know I've said this before, but I'll be less prone to temptation next time - I'm leaving it in the hands of the readers. This is the most repetitive thread I've ever seen on these boards, and possibly anywhere else. As I mentioned, I speculate this is the reason the others appear to have dropped out. I'm now joining them.

Adios Amigo.
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Wed Aug 15, 2018 3:28 pm
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VegoUser avatarPosts: 94Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:32 pm

Post Re: Why Vegan?

*SD* wrote:could you reword this in a simpler way? Or perhaps just a different way?

The simplest way I can think of: to feed the same amount of people, a switch to veganism would require less total crops because the decrease in animal-feed-crops would be larger than the increase in human-food-crops. More details follow.

Today the food consumed by humans comes from plants eaten directly and plants eaten indirectly (humans eat animals, animals eat plants). So the total amount of plants consumed by humans can be divided in two categories: human food and animal feed. What I am trying to say is that, in order to feed the same amount of humans, a switch to veganism would result in:
- an increase in production of human food for direct consumption;
- a decrease (to zero or near zero) in production of animal feed for indirect consumption.
The decrease in production of animal feed would free up some land for other uses, and the increase in production of human food would use some fraction of this freed-up land.

To illustrate: let's say we are using 3 units of land to produce human food (direct consumption) and 3 additional units of land to produce animal feed (indirect consumption). The total amount of land used to feed humans is 6 units. After switching to veganism, we would be using 4 units of land for human food production (increase from 3 to 4), and 0 units of land for animal feed production (decrease from 3 to 0), leaving 2 units of unused land. This results in a total decrease of land use (from 6 to 4). Assuming that the collateral deaths associated with plant farming is the same for human food and animal feed, this decrease also implies a decrease in the total amount of collateral deaths (from 6 units of collateral deaths to 4 units).

*SD* wrote:I will continue to answer in the way I see fit, and if that includes answering questions you didn't ask, and branching off into areas of conversation I'm interested in, and pointing out problems I see then I will continue to do so

What I find most problematic (other than the unnecessary bloating) is that you are implying that you are addressing my position when in reality you are not.

*SD* wrote:Which assertions?

Every time you claim that there is evidence against a well-planned vegan diet without actually providing any. Instead you claim:
- a well-planned vegan diet is not a diet (according to your definitions)
- a vegan diet is a diet that is unhealthy (still according to your definitions)
These two statements do no lead to the conclusion that a well-planned vegan diet is unhealthy.

*SD* wrote:It doesn't mean you don't care about the ten, but it means you care LESS about the ten

It means I want to minimize the damage.

*SD* wrote:you just don't like having your position challenged

As evidenced by my being here and explicitly stating "this discussion is an opportunity for me to challenge this belief" (in the previous thread) ...

*SD* wrote:I've never, not once on this forum or any other, or in real life been accused of being vague or unclear.

You have now, a good example being your non-literal use of the word injection earlier.

*SD* wrote:Well, unfortunately that's currently unavoidable. I mean if we're going to eat meat then unfortunately sometimes the animals will suffer a bit.

It is avoidable by not buying meat when we don't have to. And the suffering is not "a bit" (there are descriptions [videos, pictures, testimonies from slaughterhouse workers] of what happens, and I already linked to a few).

*SD* wrote:you are more ok ... with activities that involve killing animals and not making use of them than you are with activities that kill and do make use of them.

"Making use of" is not the issue here*, the question is whether we have to or not.

* Although in practice, the way we make use of live animals is generally exploitative and can involve a lot of cruelty, and I am not ok with that. But in principle, "making use of" does not have to be unethical (example: employer making use of employee).

*SD* wrote:You can't deny being more "ok" ... with one than the other, when your actions facilitate and finance one and not the other.

I can because switching to veganism reduces both (see the first point of this post about units of food production).

*SD* wrote:You need to be more careful when using the word "farm" or "farming" - please specify whether you are talking about factory farming or free-ranging. "Farming" covers all sorts of things.

There are issues with all forms of farming (that I know of), factory farming is just the worst.

*SD* wrote:It just seems to make sense that if we remove a massively used food group (meat/dairy etc) from the human diet, the intake of whatever else we're going to eat instead (in this case, crops etc) is going to have to increase on a massive scale.

Nowadays, any population-level change is going to be on a "massive scale". But in this case, my position is that the (massive) removal is going to be larger than the (massive) increase (details given at the beginning of this post).

*SD* wrote:I did say earlier that I'm not sure if it would be the exact same amount, but that doesn't really matter.

It does matter. I don't know how to compare direct exploitation (meat/dairy etc) to collateral damage (simple death count is better than nothing but highly imperfect). But I believe that reducing both is desirable, and veganism as I understand it does that.

*SD* wrote:It'll have to go up a LOT, and that was the point. Do you deny this?

If we are talking about the total death count, then yes I deny that "It'll have to go up", assuming constant nutritional output before and after.

*SD* wrote:You can dismiss my educated guess if you want, that would be fair, but then we'll have to drop this part of the argument.

You are the one who brought up this point, so it is up to you if you want to drop it. What I am saying is that, based on my current understanding of food efficiency (which I supported with scientific evidence several times in this thread), the opposite of what you say is more likely to be true.

*SD* wrote:We could compare it by considering 10 successful (so not failed) stunning and slaughtering instances of an animal, and 1 rabbit getting it's hind legs ripped off and left for dead? ... Which is better in your estimation?

The answer may be obvious to you but I genuinely don't know. I said "10" arbitrarily, but for me as long as it is a larger number, then I don't know how to answer this kind of question.

*SD* wrote:A successfully stunned and slaughtered pig is suffering considerably less (if at all) than a rabbit dying through pesticide poisoning, or being savagely maimed by large mechanical implements. ... Would you like to argue to the contrary?

I don't want to argue the contrary. What I am saying is that this comparison is meaningless if in reality the number of slaughtered pigs is larger than the number of rabbits. And it may very well be that the unsuccessful stuns outnumber the rabbits. Besides, as I tried to point out several times, even if all stuns were successful and less numerous than rabbits, the misery caused by factory farming is not limited to the slaughter (btw, even "free-range" animals end up in slaughterhouses).

*SD* wrote:So why don't they do that instead then?

I don't know, but my point is that we are not forcing them to be there (there is plenty of free space outside the fields). Do we agree that we are not breeding them and placing them on fields?

*SD* wrote:A handshake is consented to by both parties involved and seeing as you note that we can't communicate with the animals we're talking about, they can't possibly consent.

They don't consent to being killed, but they are still there of their own free will (or whatever equivalent makes sense for non-humans).

*SD* wrote:And if they did, they'd die off pretty quickly anyway

Do you agree that they don't have the opportunity to escape? (in rare instances some do, but by and large they can't, even the "free-range" ones would be chased after if they tried)

And even for those who can't go feral, this inability to survive in the wild is a consequence of our manipulations.

*SD* wrote:I think it's been abundantly clear that I do not agree with that.

It is actually not that clear. You are asking me to do something (boycotting wheat) which, according to you, would make me more vegan:
- if this 'something' is more ethical, then you acknowledge that more veganism is better;
- if it is not more ethical, then I don't have to do it (and probably shouldn't in case it is less ethical).

*SD* wrote:A consensus (albeit small) of posters here recognise it as your argument.

The number of people who disagree with me doesn't matter much (I am part of a minority, so I expect the disagreement). My argument involves necessity, whereas your interpretation of my argument involves utility instead: you are mistaken about my position.

*SD* wrote:it is of no consolation as to what the intent behind their demise was

I don't know where you got this idea of "consolation", but my position is about responsibility and necessity.

*SD* wrote:Room for improvement? Yes.

If true, that would be quite an understatement. My current understanding of factory farming is that the concern for suffering is secondary to profits.

*SD* wrote:With crop production and all that entails, practically no measures are taken to reduce the suffering of the animals in question.

I don't know to what extent this is true (I am not familiar enough with the various means of crop protection, but some are non-lethal). In any case, this is still a false equivalence, mainly because we can't safely stop producing crops (at best we can reduce it as described at the beginning of this post).

*SD* wrote:My hunting is by and in large about pest control, yes. Not exclusively, but primarily.

Ok.

*SD* wrote:Of course an individual's choice to hunt results in less deaths than crop farming (assuming you mean industrial scale crop farming, not growing a carrot).

I was indeed talking about industrial crop farming, but I don't agree with your statement because it is too imprecise. For example, if I suddenly decide to become a hunter, it is not clear at all to me whether I would be individually responsible for more or less total deaths; in other words, I don't know if the increase in direct deaths is bigger or smaller than the decrease in crop-related deaths. And if the hunting is a pest control activity, then it is even less clear because it would be part of the crop-related deaths.

*SD* wrote:I'm not sure how that addresses the quote you're replying to

The quote "If it's acceptable for you to do it then it's acceptable for me to do it, for our own specified purposes respectively" seems to be about the justification/motivation for the choices that we make. I was trying to say that my choices are dependent on the alternatives, and I added a few sentences about the percentage to avoid a potential confusion between being "mostly ethical vegan" (nature of the motivation) and being "partially vegan" (practical aspect).

*SD* wrote:Other than "reasonable" being entirely subjective in this context

Not "entirely", although there is some subjectivity (we are all different, with different motivations).

*SD* wrote:there are areas where you care more, and areas where you care less.

If you are trying to say that care is not binary, then I agree. I care more about people close to me than I care about others (human or not).

*SD* wrote:I'm glad you don't want to talk about carnivorous alien space cows from another dimension who want to come here to eat humans. Some vegans do (seriously).

If this is what I think it is, then it's probably just to make a point (as in 'what if the roles were reversed'). I think it is a valid point in theory, but it only makes sense for people willing to acknowledge that humans may not be the center of the universe.

*SD* wrote:How does one "reduce" speciesism?

By reducing the perceived differences in values and rights. Saying that humans are more valuable than non-humans does not necessarily imply that non-humans are indistinguishable from objects, there is plenty of room for nuance. And recognizing that 'we' are not as different from 'them' as many would like to think is what I would call a reduction in this context. In more practical terms, recognizing that pigs are individuals doesn't mean that we have to give them the right to vote, but it does mean recognizing that we share features on which we build some of our moral and legal codes.

*SD* wrote:After all, you don't reject it because if the field animals were replaced with humans you wouldn't just mow them down or spray them in the face with chemicals. Or would you?

What would happen if a population of humans were regularly pillaging our fields, causing famine in our population, and non-lethal means didn't work (then don't listen to reason, they defeat our barriers)?
Given the choice, I would still prefer to avoid running afoul of the Geneva convention, but in the case of today's crop farming the circumstances seem to dictate the means. Consumers don't want pesticides in their food, farmers would be better off not spending time and money on pest control, and the animals themselves don't want to be killed: this is just all bad (except maybe for the pesticide manufacturers) but still better than the alternative (food insecurity).

*SD* wrote:Which "carnist" are you having this conversation with?

I am talking about you (I avoid referring to people as carnists to avoid confusion with 'carnivores', and I gave an explanation of what I mean a bit further in my previous post).

*SD* wrote:I am part of nature, so I am simply doing my thing.

You are equivocating again. The way you are using the word, we could say that everything is part of "nature", but such a universal concept is practically useless (cars and computers are part of "nature"). By natural I mean independent of human will. What you do is not independent of your will. Farm animals do not exist independently of our will. Field animals exist mostly independently of our will (we can choose to end their lives, but we don't choose to create them). And more generally, whatever happens in the wild is not our responsibility (lions eating gazelles, etc). Our actions are our responsibility.

*SD* wrote:No, they wouldn't. We would be (over the passage of time) talking about drastically reduced numbers, and knowing cows the way I do it's no stretch to speculate that given time - extinction.

Do you really think that cows, as we know them, the variety found on farms (factory or otherwise) could get along just fine if turned loose?

I doubt it, but it doesn't matter because this is not a necessary consequence of veganism. At least I do not advocate for letting all farm animals loose (I already discussed this with Dragan Glas and others, but the bottom line is that this could cause a major ecological disaster, and it would be unethical to abandon individuals that are incapable of fending for themselves).

You said "as we know them" (which is to say, as we make them), so I guess you are open to the possibility that we could modify them to give them back some of the autonomy that we took from them (I think it is possible, but I don't know for sure).

*SD* wrote:And earlier, you complained that I was generalizing

I don't remember the context, but I am going to assume that it was about what you are currently talking about.

*SD* wrote:it's not possible to generalize from my own personal circumstances and you acknowledged this when you said everything about my circumstances is a special case for you (or something to that effect, it's definitely there)

This is only because, in my opinion, your personal circumstances are quite special. Hunting as part of pest/population control is different from hunting in general, and it is also different from animal farming (factory or not), for the many reasons that I already gave.

*SD* wrote:Now you're needling me to argue from my own personal circumstances, is that what you want?

All I want is for you to be clear about what you are talking about, and to justify your claims whichever option you choose.

*SD* wrote:What's hypothetical about arguing ...

What is hypothetical is your assumptions about the quantities.

*SD* wrote:Then Melanie Joy, who you seem to like so much, is talking nonsense

Or, more likely, you don't understand. Carnism is not a diet (just like veganism is not a diet), it is an ideology in the same way veganism is.

*SD* wrote:Is it more ethical to kill an animal and NOT make use of it?

Without any context, I would say that no, it is not more (or less) ethical because "make use of" has no impact on the ethical value. In other words, speaking about ethics and all else being equal, 'killing an animal and making use of it' = 'killing an animal and not making use of it'.

*SD* wrote:So therefore everything is an ideology.

Perhaps, perhaps not, but I don't know if this is implied by the definition

*SD* wrote:Including this "carnism" you keep accusing me of.

I am not "accusing" you, merely pointing out that you do have a food ideology. But yes carnism is a label for this ideology.

*SD* wrote:So what's the problem with "carnism" being an ideology if everything is an ideology?

I don't know, why would there be a problem? What you quoted was simply my answer to your question "I consciously decided to write you this reply, is that an ideology?"

*SD* wrote:And I wrote an entire post on this (and more regarding knock-on effects) which you didn't address.

Are you talking about this? I already discussed some of these points with Dragan Glass (see here for my hypothetical scenario [near the middle of the post: "In this fictional ... and killed"], and a follow-up [near the end of the post: "You may ... use to us"]).

*SD* wrote:Which is exactly what maintaining means in this context...

I was trying to point out that there is a difference between maintaining a population (for example a pet, population=1) and maintaining a population (everyday killing the current pet and buying a new one, population=1).

*SD* wrote:So are you ok with people keeping chickens now?

I gave an example about pets. If cared for properly (and acquired ethically), I don't object to pets (pets are not the only option, sanctuaries and natural reserves are other options).

*SD* wrote:In a vegan world, these animals will cease to exist at some point.

Whatever happens to farm animals as species is entirely up to us [humans]. They will disappear if we want to, and they won't if we don't want to (unless there is some unexpected event like global war or disease). We have less latitude to deal with individuals (because there are too many).

*SD* wrote:It does matter to me simply because you're using it in such a way as to circumvent the fact that a strictly herbivorous diet is seriously problematic for humans. Because we aren't sodding herbivores.

You are completely avoiding my question. I said several times that I am not interested in a definition of the label "diet". All I am saying is that it is possible (and likely) to be healthy as a vegan by getting informed and making the proper decisions (details will depend on individual circumstances). Do you object to this or not?

*SD* wrote:I don't know how to make clearer the fact that your request has been satisfied a thousand times over, by more than one poster. And I've addressed your "well planned stuff" thing up there.

No it hasn't, and you haven't addressed my point at all, you keep avoiding the question by talking about definitions. What I expect to see is you justifying your claim that a well-planned vegan diet is unhealthy (if such is your claim). Saying 'it's not a diet' does not address anything at all.

*SD* wrote:You DID ask about it

No, I asked about "injection" and you assumed that I meant it in a non-literal way (whereas I meant it literally, and I asked for clarification several times), and none of the references provided at the time addressed my request. This is very simple to verify: assume that I meant injection literally, and look back at how the conversation went from my point of view.

*SD* wrote:You know what I and others have meant

Actually no, back then I really thought that you were being literal, otherwise it makes no sense to argue the point.

*SD* wrote:You have argued that a vegan diet is complete

Almost, my claim is that a well-planned vegan diet is complete. Your personal definition of diet is irrelevant to my claim.

*SD* wrote:You've then tried to move the goalposts

No I haven't, as evidenced by this post from the previous thread ("Here is a quote ... of all that" with emphasis in the quotes). It is you who refuse to accept that you are not addressing my question at all. I am not the one who invented the expression "well-planned vegan diet", I provided you with a direct quote from dietitians. But my claim is not dependent on the use of the word diet, it only matters that it is possible to be healthy.

*SD* wrote:Let's have a look at the definition of diet, shall we?

This is pointless because my claim does not depend on the definition of the word 'diet'.

*SD* wrote:Except what you're talking about includes pills etc which even the dictionary agrees do not feature as part of a diet.

It doesn't matter what the dictionary says, it only matters that it is possible to be healthy.

*SD* wrote:The claim we made, you contested, you were given evidence for, conceded and have since gone back to arguing about.

You are mistaken about what happened, and I already explained the ambiguity back then. This confusion only happens because you consistently refuse to acknowledge that I am only arguing in favor of well-planned vegan diets, so however you want to interpret what I said back then, either a well-planned vegan diet is a diet* or it is not (according to your definition) in which case it doesn't matter because my only concern is well-planned vegan diets (and more precisely the health aspect, not the labeling).

* whatever apparent contradiction you think results from that is completely artificial and due to the way you are trying to define vegan diets

*SD* wrote:And yet you make mention of "diet" twice in this very piece.

You also quoted me saying "qualified dietitians provide the specifics, not me". I am not the one defining diet. It doesn't even matter if we use another word. What matters here is health, and quoting the dictionary doesn't say anything about health.

*SD* wrote:The point is, the dude's a vegan,

So am I.

*SD* wrote:and the reason for the post was to show that your definition of veganism, and what you argue for is not the norm, runs counter to any reasonable interpretation of the word and is bespoke.

I was explicit since the beginning that I do not speak for others, I am presenting veganism as I understand it. None of what you say changes my position: it is possible to be healthy as a vegan, and being vegan, even partially, is ethically better than not.

*SD* wrote:This is the most repetitive thread I've ever seen on these boards, and possibly anywhere else.

This is mostly due to you regularly ignoring or misrepresenting my position, and constantly bringing up old or irrelevant points.
"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)
Mon Aug 20, 2018 4:24 am
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