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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?

Reply to Wark.

It seems that you've created this image of a morally impeccable vegan in your head and you blame Vego for not adhering to it. It's brilliant strategy, really, You can't lose :)


Nope. Perfection or impeccability isn't required, as stated several times. It's not a strategy either, I just see problems with his position and I'm talking about them.

All Vego is doing is "not buying meat". I'd say that's a lot if the objective is to decrease animal suffering.


Vego isn't decreasing any suffering. You think that if someone goes vegan right now that all the farms and slaughter houses and supermarkets are alerted? Do they get an email saying "hey guys we've just heard Bob from Vegetable avenue has gone vegan - no need to kill cow/chicken/pig 956844443 after all - let it go"

Comes back to my previous point about the sheer amount of traction veganism requires in order to make even a minuscule dent. Oh appeal to futility I hear you cry... I view it as an appeal to reality.

See? One word, collateral, and we've made meat eating more vegan than wheat eating.


I don't really know what you mean here.

Vego explicitly said that he wasn't speaking for all people using the label "vegan"


So? I wasn't aware that replies must be restricted to specifically what Vego has said? Are we not allowed to add thoughts, context, examples, bring up other on-topic issues during the conversation? If you look at my replies to Vego, you'll see that up until the last few I was replying to pretty much every sentence he posted. Blow by blow. The thread title is "Why Vegan?" not "Here's my own personal twist on veganism and you can't talk about veganism in general"

You set a standard for being a vegan and blame Vego for not upholding it


No again. Still don't do that. Vego posted the definition of veganism he's using, which is in and of itself open to manipulation and has massive amounts of wiggle room. I am objecting on the basis that he, by his own admission is not adhering ANYWHERE NEAR AS MUCH AS HE COULD to that definition. Do you not think this is an issue? I certainly do.

Correct me if I'm wrong but I think both You and SD admitted to addressing "general vegan arguments" and not Vego's arguments specifically.


I see that this is a reply to Sparhafoc rather than me, but I'll give you my own take on it. I admitted, very early on in the thread that I was generalizing and would continue to do so. That doesn't mean I haven't addressed what Vego has actually said. If you, or Vego think I've missed, or dodged some direct point and not addressed it then feel free to point me to it and if I haven't addressed it then I shall. Provided it's at least mildly important to the subject.

By that logic we should stop worrying about global warming because we can't stop CO₂ emissions entirely.


That's not really the same thing, but even if it were the problem we're having in this conversation would still remain. Vego has come to argue for veganism. It has been discovered that vego isn't vegan enough, in my opinion, to be pontificating on the superior moral virtues of veganism compared to non-veganism. He has the option to be more consistent with his position than he actually is being. This is a problem. To tie it back to your comparison, it's like some clean air greenpeace campaigner driving around in a fume spewing monster truck. If they're driving a Prius then there's less to object to. Less holes to pick.

If Vego managed to eliminate all things that cause any animal suffering from his diet/life and one day was riding his bike and swallowed a bug, I bet you'd jump out of bushes and shout that he wasn't a true vegan.


Again, I'm aware that you're talking to Sparhafoc here but I (as already stated) would not do this. And seeing as I'm (again) clearly stating that I wouldn't, any further insistence from your self or Vego that I would is nothing more than a strawman. A particularly dishonest one at that.
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Sun May 20, 2018 5:30 pm
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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:It is a valid concern, I don't ignore it, I don't deflect it, and I have addressed it several times


Vego 2018.

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


Also Vego 2018.


As mentioned, your abilities encompass quite reasonable measures to reduce the death and suffering of animals further than you actually do. With no wacky extremes like "perfection" necessary. This is my last reply to you unless you drop the perfection crap.
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Sun May 20, 2018 5:56 pm
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*SD*User avatarPosts: 342Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:00 amLocation: Wales, UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Why Vegan?

Actually fuck it I'm at a loose end so I'll address the rest of your reply to me (as in Vego)

No, you just gave your personal opinion. In addition (in relation to the previous posts), legal does not necessarily mean ethical. Animal farming is exploitative by nature and comes with many issues; I gave a few examples in previous posts.


No, I gave you facts. I'm not arguing legality at the moment. I brought it up earlier during our exchange regarding pest control but I'm not arguing legality right now.

Arable farming is exploitative by nature. Hit Google Earth and look at the gigantic patchwork quilt of agricultural land most of the developed world is. The UK is a good example. You think it looked like that before humans wanted to grow crops on a massive scale?

Yes you do, you are in denial. The perfection that you demand is your personal standard for what you think a vegan should do.


Addressed in a previous post.

Please quote me saying that I "can't"


You have ALLUDED to an inability to do this through a series of excuses.

You are so focused on this one specific activity ("Growing your own") that you seem to have lost sense of perspective.


I am focusing on it because it demonstrates a problem with your position. You are not practicing what you preach. You'd like to get away from this part of the conversation because you know it's a problem.

Vegans don't have to grow their own food to have a positive impact on the world


Positive impact? Oh dear. I've covered this in my reply to Wark. If you want to start with "I don't have to so neeeeerrrrrrr" then I don't have to stop eating meat.

And it is not required for the label either


According to some vegans, me ceasing to shoot rabbits and eating them isn't required for the label either. Does veganism mean anything or not? When you lot figure it out, hit me back. Don't you want people to know what you're talking about when you tell them you're vegan? Or should they have to painstakingly find out what you think is ok and what you don't? If I said I was an atheist, you'd know what I meant. Nice and clearly defined. What does veganism mean? That wishy washy anything goes version from the vegan society?

You can keep yelling it in all caps until you are blue in the face, you are simply wrong.


Sorry I didn't realize this was a 90's chatroom where capital letters are considered shouting. It's called emphasis, bold on this forum isn't particularly bold, italic isn't particularly italic. Find something else to complain about.

Just buying wouldn't take long, but growing my own wheat, soy and other beans? Several months I guess.


How many times have I said no one expects you to grow your own wheat? You don't have to EAT (oh noes more offensive caps) wheat based foods, you CHOOSE (damn) to when you could choose not to. And you don't grow so much as cress.

I agree that not buying meat isn't so hard. But I don't berate anyone, you are the one doing that.


It;s not about the not buying meat being hard, it's about the fact that you're changing nothing in abstaining. It might make you feel better, and that's perfectly fine but if you imagine you're saving animals by not buying meat you are mistaken. Not even one less animal is being farmed or slaughtered just because you don't eat meat. And yes that is shorthand (as you suggested earlier) for not buying animal derived products.

I'll berate any blatantly hypocritical argument I see.

An ideology is not a group of individuals.


Without individuals to contemplate and form an ideology the ideology wouldn't exist. Your beliefs don't exist in a vacuum.

I already did, and you said that you don't accept my justifications.


Where did you do that? What exactly are you referring to?

Small animals killed during the production of animal feed.


Can you be more specific? Cows are generally grass fed, are you talking about silage harvesting? I guess there could be some small animals killed harvesting that, yes. It's not something I've noticed but I accept this is entirely possible. But I think this is fine because the cows have to eat, and I want to have milk and cheese. As do most people. So those animals killed during silage harvesting - not ok, those animals killed during wheat harvesting - totally ok. :roll:

No, reality is not that simple. If someone wants to be vegan for one month every year, then that's just what they are. Use another label if you want


It is that simple. This is just you wishing it wasn't that simple. Partial vegan is a nonsense term. It's like someone saying they're tee-total except for when they drink alcohol. Yeah they can do that for sure, but what's the point in identifying as tee-total? It's bullshit. You just wish it wasn't.
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Sun May 20, 2018 6:46 pm
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VegoUser avatarPosts: 94Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:32 pm

Post Re: Why Vegan?

*SD* wrote:This is my last reply to you unless you drop the perfection crap.

You need to drop the vegans-are-not-good-enough crap; as long as you keep trying to impose this binary worldview where you define the standard of what is acceptable for vegans, the criticism won't change. Reducing our consumption of animal products will reduce animal exploitation (and collateral damage, more on that below), and for veganism this is already a big improvement.

To be more explicit here (partial repeat/restatement from the previous thread): when you (not you personally, general "you") go to a supermarket and you see a piece of meat, the animal is already long dead and cannot be saved anymore. But giving money to the meat industry ensures that there will be more meat next time. If you reduce your meat-buying, eventually the meat producers will produce less (otherwise they lose money). In the ideal case of a hypothetical world where people stop buying animal products, producing meat would be a waste of money and animal farmers would stop breeding animals, bringing animal exploitation and its inherent cruelty to zero (or close enough).

In other words, in the context of animal exploitation by humans, veganism cannot save today's animals, but it can in principle eliminate most future killing and cruelty.

*SD* wrote:Arable farming is exploitative by nature.

Yes (to be clear: animals killed incidentally are not being exploited and are currently unavoidable, whereas farm animals are being exploited and are avoidable), and what is it used for? According to this UN report (English document, p. 80) "more than half of the world’s crops are used to feed animals, not people."

In other words (with the appropriate assumptions because I don't have specific numbers), more than half of the collateral damage due to crop production could be eliminated by going (dietary) vegan.

*SD* wrote:You have ALLUDED to an inability to do this through a series of excuses.

No, this is just what you want to believe. I happen to be interested in this topic, others may not be, but it doesn't matter because growing our own food is not a requirement.

*SD* wrote:You don't have to EAT (oh noes more offensive caps) wheat based foods

Boycotting staple foods (thus making buying stuff more constraining than it already is) and replacing them with nutritionally equivalent homegrown vegetables is an added difficulty. It is up to each individual to decide, not you.

*SD* wrote:can we walk like 50 yards in front of the combine to check for animals so you don't shred them

How many people would it take to do this on a large scale? Is this unpaid work? What you are suggesting is not a consumer-level solution. However, if some farmer decides to implement this and market it appropriately, then I (and probably others, even non-vegans) would be willing to pay a bit more for it.

*SD* wrote:Where did you do that? What exactly are you referring to?

In our discussion here "farm animals also consume plants ... so I expect that moving away from animal products will reduce the unintended deaths involved in plant farming in general" and at a few other places (I think I gave more details somewhere).

*SD* wrote:Can you be more specific? Cows are generally grass fed

The UN quote I gave above is a bit general (most crops are used to feed "animals") and the details vary by country so it is a bit hard to be specific, but I will try.

Earlier with Dragan Glas I referenced this page (new link, website was updated and previous link points to something else now). It states that:
- forages include "cereal straw"
- "Silage can also be made from cereal crops such as maize and wheat"
- "Over 50% of cereals produced on Scottish farms is used for animal feed"
- "For ruminants, feeds of this type [home-grown crops] are necessary to supplement fresh or conserved feeds that do not provide sufficient nutrients for the animals."
- "Non-ruminants (such as pigs and poultry) are unable to digest forages, and so their diets consist almost entirely of these feeds [home-grown crops]"
- "These forages [for cattle] may be supplemented with cereals and other by-products to increase milk yield or liveweight gain."
- "[Sheep and goats'] diet is similar to that of cattle, although barley and other cereals are usually fed only to pregnant and lactating ewes and to young lambs."
- "Pig diets typically include cereal grains, oilseed meals, and other by-products of the human food industry."
- "Poultry – chickens, turkeys, quails, ducks and geese – are typically fed on cereal grains"
- In the EU, some of the feed has to be imported because "the EU is not self-sufficient in protein-rich feed." (the old link had details about imports which are not here anymore).

Wikipedia mentions various uses of grain, soy, corn, and barley in North America (cattle feeding). And "Modern feeds for poultry consists largely of grain, protein supplements such as soybean oil meal, mineral supplements, and vitamin supplements" (poultry feed).

Maybe more details can be found on farmers' websites, but I think there is already enough to be confident that there could be collateral damage involved in raising farm animals in several countries.

*SD* wrote:So those animals killed during silage harvesting - not ok, those animals killed during wheat harvesting - totally ok

Neither is ok. What I am trying to say is that it is incorrect to state that raising farm animals doesn't cause collateral damage (it does), and then use that to establish a (false) moral equivalence between eating meat and eating wheat: eating farmed meat is worse because of both the direct killing and the collateral damage.

*SD* wrote:what's the point in identifying as [vegan]?

It is a convenient signal for social and commercial interactions. Being strict about definitions would be useful for statistics and scientific studies (because we need to know what "vegan diet" means in a given study in order to draw conclusions). Other than that, I don't think there is much point worrying too much about the label.
"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 May 21, 2018 2:45 am
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 3187Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: Why Vegan?

Greetings,

Apologies for the absence - life, etc.

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

Such practices would not occur if we weren't using the animals as tools. These animals (farm animals in general) don't just happen, we breed them on purpose. This is the issue with the kind of excuse that you are trying to make: it is assumed that the animals are inevitably there and that we have to use them. Ethical veganism questions both of these assumptions.

Ethical arguments for veganism are dependent on the health arguments, and the necessity of food production for humans - if crop production were enough to provide everything humans needed, then there'd be no need for ASFs.

Vego wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:Trade agreements tend to be an overall package
...
In time, it's hoped that the countries around the world that trade with the EU will adopt similar practices as in the EU.

These practices exist because of high demand, and there is no guarantee that it is even possible to keep up the production without them (why do you think the Australians are dragging their feet on mulesing?). With veganism we don't have to wait for some nebulous future: there are steps that we can take right now, like avoiding animal products.

Again, ignoring the need for ASFs - hence the "high demand".

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

You missed my point regarding the regulation part: even if animal welfare regulations exist and are enforced, they may not always be ethical. And even if the EU is a paragon of animal welfare, the rest of the world (which is not just the USA) is not there yet, as you have noticed. And the international trade is ultimately rooted in consumer demand, which makes consumers indirectly responsible for trade agreements.

As for those compliance levels: with progressively more veganism I expect less market pressure and consequently increasing compliance, hopefully worldwide.

Yes, as I said, by switching crop production for animal feed to humans, and using waste as animal feed.

It will reduce the need for ASFs to some extent but not eradicate it - at least until technology advances to the point where we can grow animal protein in a lab.

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

I don't really know what you mean by "not the norm", but even if cows didn't need "corn" at all, according to the text I quoted pigs and poultry require it (or something similar).

They don't "require" it, it's normal for industrial farming of pigs, and poultry - not cattle.

This is why I pointed out the need to switch crop production for animal feed to human consumption - it would reduce the need for animals in the long term. which is in keeping with veganism's stated goal of the reduction of animal exploitation.

Vego wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:Vego said: "There is no B12 debate, both of you are twisting my words. I was asking why SD thinks it requires injection.

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


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

Is there some technical issue preventing you from reading my text? Why is it so difficult for you (both) to accept that I was simply asking "why do you think vegans require injection?" and that you have done nothing but try to spin that into a big deal about me denying whatever you seem to be concerned with?

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

Yes, does this seem controversial?

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

I'm not sure why you cannot accept this.

Let's say that a vegan has a diet that is generally considered healthy by vegans, like some kind of whole-foods plant-based diet, let's call it D. If I understand correctly, you would say that D is actually made of two parts: the diet proper (fruits, vegetables, ...) and the required supplements. And because there are required supplements, you conclude that the diet proper is inherently unhealthy. What I am saying is that it is irrelevant because the vegan is going to eat D and be healthy. You are just playing a word game.

Again, you're not reading between the lines.

You can't argue against B12 supplementation because veganism requires supplementation - a point that both SD, and I, have been making throughout our responses - with cited sources.

Like someone arguing that a junk food diet is healthy with supplementation is ignoring the fact that if it requires supplementation it can't be healthy in, and of, itself.

Vego wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:You don't seem to be able to read between the lines.

I wouldn't say unable, but I am bad at doing that. Please tell me when I am not being clear.

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

Why couldn't we eliminate "such produce" by decreasing the plant-based food production, since we don't need as much anymore?

:facepalm:

This is another example of you're failure to read between the lines, although I'm not sure if this is a case of naïvete on your part due to utopian idealism.

I suggest that crop production for animal feed be switched to humans, whilst waste is used for animal feed, thus reducing the reliance on ASFs.

In contrast, you're suggesting that, as we won't need animals, we can get rid of these, and the crop production for animal feed.

Do you not see the problem with this?

It would result in global starvation since the reduced crop production won't be enough to feed the whole world - particularly those in the developing world, who are particularly reliant on ASFs.

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

The goal of veganism is not to "free-up crop production for human consumption", it is to decrease animal exploitation, which would incidentally free up crop production.

And in a hypothetical mostly vegan world, the "leftovers" would be plant-based, and could be used for composting or maybe as feed for the manure-producing animals we discussed previously (and we would not eat them).

Veganism's stated goal is a luxury that cannot be workable without reference to humans and human welfare.

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

So meat is still less efficient. Thanks for the update.

But necessary on health grounds.

Vego wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:That's a rather emotive misrepresentation of dairy farming, don't you think?

I tried not to overdo it, but it is emotive on purpose because animals are not objects. As for it being a misrepresentation, you tell me: "artificial insemination", "Weaning of calves", "complete eradication of udder inflammation is difficult", "culling of cows with high SCC", "Lameness is a significant animal welfare concern". Notice the absence of a long-term retirement plan. Maybe all these euphemisms are really innocuous in Europe, but elsewhere, my description would be the euphemism.

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

(I don't think your quote illustrated your point, but it doesn't matter here) You are rigging your argument by declaring that human exploitation is difficult to fix (through political/legal means), and locking it with animal welfare even though the two issues could (and probably should) be handled independently.

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

Whose side loses 70 billion members on land and 2 trillion members in the sea every year? Frankly, even if things look rosy in your bubble, globally there is no comparison. And importantly, we don't have to choose between the two, we can, and should, tackle both issues.

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

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

Yes, could you provide a few references please? (just the most important ones, no need to turn this conversation into something else)

The main report on trafficking is the US DOJ's TIP (Trafficking In Persons) report, published annually since 2001, which covers sex- and non-sex-based trafficking.

Other sources cover various aspects of trafficking: UNODC report on organ trafficking, Trafficked persons beaten to death, etc. A Google search for any form of trafficking will show any number of sources, if you wish to investigate it further.

My main point is that a switch to plant-based food will inevitably result in a increase in human trafficking, and exploitation, for picking/packing. And, lest you say these can be addressed with legislation, etc, consider the amount of human rights abuses going on throughout the world currently, and the fact that these have yet to be addressed.

Vego wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:Perhaps, perhaps not.

Finally we agree.

Dragan Glas wrote:The fact that food can be freed-up for human consumption, and food waste/manure would be used as feed instead of crops, is a step in the right direction for your vegan utopia, is it not?

My "vegan utopia" is about reducing animal exploitation; I suppose a reduction in crop production in your scenario would save at least some of the rodents, but so would a diet shift toward veganism for the same reason.

You cannot put animal welfare above humans. I realize you've said you're not, yet one keeps getting that impression.

And the shift would reduce the amount of ASFs as well, which is the main point I'm making. If there was more crop production for humans, we'd need less ASFs.

Vego wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:If you're now going to back away from it for fear of some future exploitation based on the implications of the word "control"...?!

Tight control of animal life is not "some future exploitation", it is one of the main links in the causal chain resulting in exploitation today.

And a reduction in such - even if you're worried about the future implications of the word "control" - is still better than what's happening at present. At least that's how I'd see it. if it's important to you.

Vego wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:Let me cite some more articles to show that it's not just my opinion.

Thank you.

I didn't deny that climate change would have an impact, but things are more complicated than you make it sound. Your reference mentions a two-phase development, and the "bad" outcome is the second phase. There is no consideration of actual production details (various animals and plants, nutrition, new geographic distribution of agriculture adapted to climate). And since vegan diets would be more efficient, we might be able to accommodate a progressive loss of productivity for a while longer. And one of the articles cited by your reference says "the interactions between various global change factors under field conditions create substantial complexity that is not currently well understood" and "Even in the most pessimistic scenarios, it is highly unlikely that climate change would result in a net decline in global yields." I am not saying that they are necessarily correct, what I am saying is that talking about catastrophic scenarios decades into the future is speculative, and your apparent confidence in your claim is unwarranted. (in other words, this is another candidate for "perhaps, perhaps not")

Putting all one's eggs in one basket with a switch to solely plant-based food when climate change could up-end everything is not a wise decision.

Vego wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:And abandoned farms, and crops, will not produce food.

Veganism will probably not help in this bleak scenario, but this is not a reason to not try to engage in a diet shift today.

Perhaps but we can't solely rely on plant-based food at present.

Vego wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:Killing some/a lot/most is "better" than killing all

You may have missed it, but in my scenario the mass euthanasia is the last resort; we would try to save as many as possible before that.

That said, I think you are making the same mistake as someone else in the other thread: this killing-of-not-all "at any one time" that you mentioned (aka current reality) is 70 billion animals/year (this rate itself is probably increasing every year). In my scenario, the mass euthanasia would be a one-time fixed number. What we are currently doing is breeding and killing more and more with no upper limit. As I understand it, my hypothetical scenario could be the lower limit.

The killing will stop when we develop the means to grow animal protein in the lab, and then upgrade it to industrial levels.

Vego wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:their bodies could be used for food, clothing, etc.

I did not specify the clearing in my scenario (I would personally favor burial if possible).

Dragan Glas wrote:That would be a far more respectful way to treat their deaths.

The issue that I wanted to point out was "die under current practices ... for a purpose - humans", which is the idea that killing is supposed to be praiseworthy or "better" as long as it is of use to us.

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

Taste is not as simple as you make it sound. It is partially cultural and variable over time. Some vegans describe a change in their perception of taste, apparently due to acclimation to food that is not overloaded with sugar, salt and fat (as I understand, the constant consumption of these overloaded foods can dull the sense of taste, but it is reversible).

And just in case you didn't know: it is possible to have healthy, tasty and diverse vegan meals without having to rely too much, if at all, on processed foods.

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

I can somewhat see the case for taste, but the health that you have described in this conversation is just a label, it is not actual physical health.

Actually, it is "actual physical health", as the vegan diet is not inherently healthy, as has been pointed out to you by all those who've responded.

I still think that the arguments for veganism are altruistic, and unrealistic, at present.

Kindest regards,

James
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"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
The Age Of Reason
Last edited by Dragan Glas on Fri May 25, 2018 8:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Wed May 23, 2018 4:18 pm
*SD*User avatarPosts: 342Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:00 amLocation: Wales, UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Why Vegan?

You need to drop the vegans-are-not-good-enough crap


No, I don't. I never - at any point - argued that no vegan could ever be consistent with the definition you're using, I actually stated the opposite. I said perhaps YOU may be that exception to the general hypocrisy within veganism. But you aren't so it doesn't matter.

as long as you keep trying to impose this binary worldview where you define the standard of what is acceptable for vegans,


I think you'll find you're the one who defined it. You provided the definition, not I. It has been exposed, through a series of your own postings that you don't follow that definition even nearly as closely as you could.

No, this is just what you want to believe. I happen to be interested in this topic


Excellent! So, tell me, Vego, what have you done towards this since my last reply? What do you mean nothing? You went out and paid into the industrial crop production industry where loads of animals are killed instead? Because you couldn't be arsed to buy some seeds? Gosh I'm so surprised.

but it doesn't matter because growing our own food is not a requirement


Ah, well that's alright then! As long as that particular tick box doesn't exist on your personal sheet of how to not be a raging hypocrite that's fine!

Not eating meat isn't a tick box on my sheet of what to eat.

It is up to each individual to decide, not you.


Lol. And you've decided! Which is fine! Any vegan can draw the line wherever they want! I'm vegan today, but I'll be out shooting rabbits later. I'm a partial vegan, you see.

How many people would it take to do this on a large scale?


Many variables to consider, such as the amount of crop to harvest perhaps?! You could focus on one farm, maybe the one closest to you, even if it's gigantic it would still be achievable by simply walking and looking.

Is this unpaid work?


No! The payment is in the satisfaction that you've done a little bit MORE to help reduce the numbers of innocent sentient beings forced through the cheese grater against their will! The animals that don't want to die! All it costs you and your vegan comrades is a walk in a glistening field of wheat on a beautiful summers day! Surely this is compensation enough? These animals could be saved at no cost to your self, other than time. But as pointed out earlier you're happy to spend time writing posts about how terrible cheese is. Why not spend that time doing the above?

What you are suggesting is not a consumer-level solution


Yes it is. The problem here is in your numbers. There aren't enough of you and there never will be. That's not something I can, or wish to change.

Neither is ok


So get off your arse and do something about it.

What I am trying to say is that it is incorrect to state that raising farm animals doesn't cause collateral damage (it does)


I didn't say that. What I said was I couldn't immediately think of something that would be collateral damage within the livestock sector. You then came up with an example, which I did not dispute.

and then use that to establish a (false) moral equivalence between eating meat and eating wheat:


Actually yes I can. You are contending that killing animals in order to eat them is wrong. I have argued, repeatedly, that animals are also killed during the production of wheat - which is something you do not NEED to eat and yet you think this is ok. If you don't think it's ok then stop buying it. We have been over and over this and you're STILL resisting it. Are you going to die if you stop eating wheat based foodstuffs? No, you are not. Are you going to continue to buy them? Yes, you are.

eating farmed meat is worse because of both the direct killing and the collateral damage


This is reliant on an acceptance that killing animals directly is wrong a priori, I have not accepted this and neither has anyone else who has thus far posted in this thread. You have made no successful case as to why this should be accepted a priori.

It is a convenient signal for social and commercial interactions. Being strict about definitions would be useful for statistics and scientific studies (because we need to know what "vegan diet" means in a given study in order to draw conclusions). Other than that, I don't think there is much point worrying too much about the label.


It's a label you can twist and warp to mean anything you want it to mean and define within your own parameters, according to what lengths you can personally be bothered to go to. Identifying labels are at least of some importance, lest no one knows what the fuck you really mean.

I know I've said this before in this thread, but I feel like it's going round in circles and for that reason I should probably jump out and let you continue with the other respondents. I bear you no ill-will, and I'm aware that my posts can be somewhat brash, but this conversation is kinda irritating due to its repetitive nature. I feel like my points just aren't hitting home with you, and having read the thread in its entirety it seems I'm not alone in that feeling. I realize replying to everyone is a massive undertaking, especially with many posts being as long as they are (mine included) and this would be time consuming for you. I've made the points I wanted to make, so all the best to you and I'll read with interest any further progress within this thread.
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Fri May 25, 2018 8:01 pm
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VegoUser avatarPosts: 94Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:32 pm

Post Re: Why Vegan?

Dragan Glas wrote:if crop production were enough to provide everything humans needed, then there'd be no need for ASFs.

Given their lower efficiency, ASFs are not needed in theory (both in terms of nutrition and population size). What we have in practice today is just the way things are, not how they must be.

Dragan Glas wrote:Again, ignoring the need for ASFs - hence the "high demand".

There is no such need. There is a need for food and proper nutrition, and it can be covered by well-planned vegan diets.

Dragan Glas wrote:
Vego wrote:I don't really know what you mean by "not the norm", but even if cows didn't need "corn" at all, according to the text I quoted pigs and poultry require it (or something similar).

They don't "require" it, it's normal for industrial farming of pigs, and poultry - not cattle.

I am not an expert in animal nutrition, but when they say "Non-ruminants (such as pigs and poultry) are unable to digest forages, and so their diets consist almost entirely of these feeds", to me it looks like there isn't much choice.

Dragan Glas wrote:This is why I pointed out the need to switch crop production for animal feed to human consumption - it would reduce the need for animals in the long term. which is in keeping with veganism's stated goal of the reduction of animal exploitation.

This sounds great, but you are confusing me here. When you say "switch crop production for animal feed to human consumption", that means that humans would eat more crops, and consequently less ASFs to maintain nutritional balance. It is true that in this scenario the resulting diet doesn't have to be strictly vegan, but I have said several times that I am in favor of people reducing their consumption of animal products, and (dietary) veganism is just going one step further. It looks like we agree on something, but I can't say for sure.

Dragan Glas wrote:Like someone arguing that a junk food diet is healthy with supplementation is ignoring the fact that if it requires supplementation it can't be healthy in, and of, itself.

This is not a valid comparison. Vegan "junk food" exists, but a vegan diet doesn't have to contain any. And a diet of carrots only is nutritionally incomplete and unhealthy, it doesn't mean that carrots are junk food or unhealthy, or that a diet containing carrots is a junk food diet or unhealthy. You are making up arbitrary rules and playing with words.

Dragan Glas wrote:
Vego wrote:Why couldn't we eliminate "such produce" by decreasing the plant-based food production, since we don't need as much anymore?

:facepalm:

This is another example of you're failure to read between the lines, although I'm not sure if this is a case of naïvete on your part due to utopian idealism.

Or maybe you misunderstood what I was saying. It wouldn't be the first time, although in this case I may be partially at fault because of the ambiguity that I try to clarify below.

Dragan Glas wrote:In contrast, you're suggesting that, as we won't need animals, we can get rid of these, and the crop production for animal feed.
...
It would result in global starvation since the reduced crop production won't be enough to feed the whole world - particularly those in the developing world, who are particularly reliant on ASFs.

There seems to be a misunderstanding somewhere. It is possible that we agree (or not), but we ended up talking past each other because of some ambiguity related to the expression "plant-based food". I will try to restate using different words to make things clearer (I hope). I will call plant production for animal feed "plant-based feed production", plant production for human food "plant-based food production", and the sum "total plant-food production". By switching to veganism, plant-based feed production would decrease (because less animals), plant-based food production would increase (to maintain nutritional balance), and total plant-food production would decrease (because of lower efficiency of ASFs). There is no global starvation here.

In addition, if there is waste in the plant-based food chain, we should also try to address it directly (reducing the waste).

Dragan Glas wrote:But [meat is] necessary on health grounds.

No, it is not. If you want to make this case, you have to show that humans cannot generally be healthy without eating meat (excluding special cases and non-health related constraints). And if you intend to say something about protein, please make sure that you can show that animal protein specifically is biologically necessary, because protein is not a synonym for meat.

Dragan Glas wrote:trafficking

Just to make something clear: I don't deny the existence of human abuse/exploitation/trafficking, I am only interested in how it relates to veganism.

Dragan Glas wrote:US DOJ's TIP (Trafficking In Persons) report ... UNODC report on organ trafficking

While I thank you for providing these documents, there is a total of more than 600 pages, a bit too much for me to read entirely. I did however try to find relevant information.

Agriculture is often mentioned in the DOJ report, but it is a vague term and it doesn't necessarily mean that it is all for human food. In addition, these issues can in principle occur in many places, including in animal exploitation ("ranching", "fishing"/"fisheries", "animal breeding", "herding"/"cattle herding"/"animal herding", "livestock", "hunting", "poultry industry", "seafood", "shrimp and fish processing facilities, pig farms, and poultry farms").

Dragan Glas wrote:Trafficked persons beaten to death

This one is short enough for me to read, but it is about the Rohingya. Quite frankly, using this as an excuse to eat meat would be a bit of a stretch.

Dragan Glas wrote:My main point is that a switch to plant-based food will inevitably result in a increase in human trafficking, and exploitation, for picking/packing.

It is possible that I missed it in these large documents, but so far your high-confidence belief seems unjustified. If human trafficking can happen outside plant farming (as it apparently does) then an increase in plant farming could merely shift the location of the trafficking (follow the workers), without necessarily increasing the total amount. I think you are oversimplifying a complex topic.

Dragan Glas wrote:And, lest you say these can be addressed with legislation, etc, consider the amount of human rights abuses going on throughout the world currently, and the fact that these have yet to be addressed.

I don't claim to know how to solve all these issues, but politics/lawmaking/policing seem more suited to the task than eating meat. Even if these issues have not been fixed yet, at least they are recognized as issues (already illegal in places, immorality not in dispute). By contrast, animal exploitation in general is considered "normal" by too many people (in my opinion), and attempts to justify it (like what you are doing) don't help.

Dragan Glas wrote:
Vego wrote:My "vegan utopia" is about reducing animal exploitation; I suppose a reduction in crop production in your scenario would save at least some of the rodents, but so would a diet shift toward veganism for the same reason.

You cannot put animal welfare above humans. I realize you've said you're not, yet one keeps getting that impression.

Ethical veganism is explicitly about animal exploitation. It doesn't mean that we deny the existence of human issues, it's just a different problem. I don't know how to properly compare the two for all possible criteria, but when it comes to total death toll, life span (in proportion of maximum) and opportunities for a life worth living, the difference is very clear.

Dragan Glas wrote:[from previous post, to remember what we are talking about]
The fact that food can be freed-up for human consumption, and food waste/manure would be used as feed instead of crops, is a step in the right direction for your vegan utopia, is it not?

...

[last post]
And the shift would reduce the amount of ASFs as well, which is the main point I'm making. If there was more crop production for humans, we'd need less ASFs.

This is confusing to me. If by ASFs you mean animal products (meat, milk, eggs, fish, and all derivatives) then a dietary shift toward veganism would accomplish this goal (and all the crops would eventually be for humans).

On the other hand:
- using food waste to feed animals doesn't free anything for human consumption (it is waste, so it wouldn't have been eaten by humans);
- the demand (not "need") for ASFs is not due to a lack of crops for humans;
- feeding food waste to animals will not reduce ASFs, it will only make them seem more efficient (and even that will just be an illusion, because if we give X% of "wasted" human food to animals, this is statistically equivalent to decreasing human food production by X% and increasing animal feed production by the same amount [same absolute value, not necessarily same percentage]).

Dragan Glas wrote:Putting all one's eggs in one basket with a switch to solely plant-based food when climate change could up-end everything is not a wise decision.

There are hundreds, maybe even thousands of types of edible plants with affinities for many different kinds of environments, and that is not even taking into account modern bio-engineering. This "one basket" argument is completely meaningless.

In addition, animal exploitation is a significant contributor to climate change ("global livestock ... 14.5 percent of all anthropogenic GHG emissions" according to the FAO). I would say that it is not a wise decision to keep financing the problem when we don't have to.

Dragan Glas wrote:Actually, it is "actual physical health", as the vegan diet is not inherently healthy, as has been pointed out to you by all those who've responded.

No, it is a play on words, and I explained why several times. The amount of non-vegans believing otherwise doesn't matter: saying it includes supplements therefore it's not healthy is not necessarily true. If you want to claim that a well-planned vegan diet is not healthy, your justification has to start with a well-planned vegan diet and somehow show what is wrong with 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)
Last edited by Vego on Sat May 26, 2018 7:22 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Sat May 26, 2018 4:48 am
VegoUser avatarPosts: 94Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:32 pm

Post Re: Why Vegan?

*SD* wrote:You provided the definition.

The definition given by The Vegan Society doesn't say anything about doing things right now. And I stated multiple times that it is ok to update our practices over time.

My position boils down to: getting informed (to make informed decisions) and going at our own pace (despite the urgency of the situation, we need to avoid burned-out ex-vegans). This is what I have been advocating all this time (it is more or less explicit in many of my posts), and it is what I live by.

In addition:
- veganism is not a religion, there is no sacred text with an obligation to obey rules and definitions;
- I am vegan for several reasons (as I said in my opening: 50% ethical, 30% environment, 20% health) so an excessive focus on any one aspect is missing my point.

*SD* wrote:what have you done towards this since my last reply?

You are not the Vegan Judge, so I don't care much about your opinion of me. But fwiw, when I was a health vegan I was avoiding all processed foods, including anything flour-based. I decided to relax after a while because it was too constraining for me (negative impact on my quality of life).

*SD* wrote:You went out and paid into the industrial crop production industry

Your argument is poorly thought out. The issue is due to some aspects of modern farming practices. So, the meaningful part of the solution is not growing our own vegetables, it is to avoid buying the products of these practices (and it's not just wheat, also corn, oats, soy, etc). And nutritional balance has to be maintained, either through a commercial replacement (not wheat -> corn because that would defeat the purpose of the restriction, but maybe wheat/corn/soy/etc -> rice) or homegrown vegetables (and the issue here is which vegetables and how much).

Our civilization is highly dependent on plant farming. Ending industrial plant farming is not an issue that can be addressed without a major change in food production or dietary habits. Once again, I am not saying that it is impossible, but it is not as simple as you make it sound, and not a requirement for veganism.

*SD* wrote:
What you are suggesting is not a consumer-level solution

Yes it is.

No it is not. Your solution involves updating the farming practices, this is what I call production-level. What you are requiring is either actual farm work or some kind of activism (not all vegans are activists, nor is it required).

*SD* wrote:This is reliant on an acceptance that killing animals directly is wrong a priori

There are many reasons why there is no equivalence, I gave two and you don't seem to object to the second ("You then came up with an example, which I did not dispute"): as far as collateral damage is concerned, eating meat is not better (and because of the lower efficiency, it can be much worse depending on the kind of meat).
"Violent ideologies have a special set of defenses that enable humane people to support inhumane practices and to not even realize what they're doing." (Melanie Joy)
Sat May 26, 2018 4:55 am
SparhafocPosts: 2516Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Why Vegan?

Vego wrote:
Sparhafoc wrote:the collateral deaths of sundry animals ... should absolutely be a concern for a vegan in the production of nominally vegan foods.

It is a valid concern, I don't ignore it, I don't deflect it, and I have addressed it several times in the previous thread and in this one. You are the one expending efforts in ignoring my answers.


In reality, Vego - you haven't actually addressed it - you've spent energy removing it from the table.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Sun May 27, 2018 1:20 pm
SparhafocPosts: 2516Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Why Vegan?

This thread is misnamed. It is called 'Why Vegan?' but every time I've discussed the topic, Vego has complained that I am not addressing his reasons for being vegan. The title should read 'Why I am vegan!" and then there'd be no issue. Of course, if the thread had just been about why you are vegan, I wouldn't have replied because I am not actually interested in why you are vegan, not least because I don't know you from Adam and couldn't really give two hoots either way about any of your choices in life. But because that wasn't the topic of the thread, I responded on topic talking about the many examples of whys I've heard from my vegan friends.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Sun May 27, 2018 1:22 pm
SparhafocPosts: 2516Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Why Vegan?

Vego wrote:
*SD* wrote:This is reliant on an acceptance that killing animals directly is wrong a priori

There are many reasons why there is no equivalence, I gave two and you don't seem to object to the second ("You then came up with an example, which I did not dispute"): as far as collateral damage is concerned, eating meat is not better (and because of the lower efficiency, it can be much worse depending on the kind of meat).


And this has been addressed in spades.

Eating meat is not predicated on not causing death to animals, collateral or otherwise.

Being vegan IS predicated on not causing death to animals, collateral or otherwise.

From my perspective, you're just not willing to countenance this valid point and instead use irrelevant whataboutism to wallpaper over the cognitive dissonance.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Sun May 27, 2018 1:25 pm
VegoUser avatarPosts: 94Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:32 pm

Post Re: Why Vegan?

Sparhafoc wrote:And this has been addressed in spades.

No, it has been ignored or maybe accepted as valid (it's not easy to tell). We feed a lot of crops to animals, so collateral damage due to crop production is involved in animal production. Moreover, because animal products are less efficient than plant foods (animal products require more plants compared to directly eating plants) eating meat can be linked to more collateral damage than being vegan, making veganism a better choice for this specific criterion. I have yet to see you or anyone justify the contrary; at best you could say that some animals get to graze, but this comes with other issues (living conditions, direct killing, environment, ...).

Sparhafoc wrote:every time I've discussed the topic, Vego has complained that I am not addressing his reasons for being vegan

You posted something, I posted an answer. It wasn't clear to me that you were not initially talking about my points.

Sparhafoc wrote:The title should read 'Why I am vegan!" and then there'd be no issue.

At least you deserve some credit for originality. So the real issue is the title of the thread, not that you have mistaken beliefs about human nutrition or what veganism is or isn't ...

There are many reasons to go vegan (fully or partially), and I can best defend my own. I understand that not all reasons are good, but going after arguments made by people who are not there to defend themselves is just ranting. And despite what you said in an earlier post, you can't address "all" arguments for veganism, good or bad. More problematic however is your apparent assumption that an argument is good or bad because you believe so: beliefs should be challenged (and this applies to me too).

Sparhafoc wrote:Eating meat is not predicated on not causing death to animals, collateral or otherwise.

It is predicated on finding ways to justify it (or looking the other way), because given our current technology, causing death is how meat is generally produced. Just because you don't care or feel justified doesn't mean that you are correct.

Sparhafoc wrote:Being vegan IS predicated on not causing death to animals, collateral or otherwise.

To the extent that it is reasonable to avoid it. 100% cruelty-free/death-free is currently not a reasonable expectation. If the collateral damage isn't a concern, then it is not an argument against veganism; if it is a concern, then veganism is still preferable.
"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 May 28, 2018 2:16 am
SparhafocPosts: 2516Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Why Vegan?

Vego wrote:
Sparhafoc wrote:And this has been addressed in spades.

No, it has been ignored or maybe accepted as valid (it's not easy to tell). We feed a lot of crops to animals, so collateral damage due to crop production is involved in animal production. Moreover, because animal products are less efficient than plant foods (animal products require more plants compared to directly eating plants) eating meat can be linked to more collateral damage than being vegan, making veganism a better choice for this specific criterion. I have yet to see you or anyone justify the contrary; at best you could say that some animals get to graze, but this comes with other issues (living conditions, direct killing, environment, ...).


Exactly the problem already addressed: you immediately launch into whataboutism, directly ignoring the point you're supposedly addressing.

Again, veganism is predicated on not killing or harming animals for the benefit of human consumption; meat eating is not.

You can keep refusing to engage in the idea, Vego... but there it remains.


Vego wrote:
Sparhafoc wrote:every time I've discussed the topic, Vego has complained that I am not addressing his reasons for being vegan


You posted something, I posted an answer. It wasn't clear to me that you were not initially talking about my points.


Well, it should have been given the fact that I expressly stated it and repeated that statement a number of times.


Vego wrote:
Sparhafoc wrote:The title should read 'Why I am vegan!" and then there'd be no issue.


At least you deserve some credit for originality.


Well, given I am not being credited for all the valid ideas and arguments I've brought to the thread, then sure, why not? I'll take a shiny sticker saying "Vego Approves"


Vego wrote:So the real issue is the title of the thread, not that you have mistaken beliefs about human nutrition or what veganism is or isn't ...


From my perspective, it's you who's got mistaken beliefs about human nutrition and what veganism is or isn't.

Just because you're vegan, doesn't make you an expert on why veganism any more than being a Christian would make you an expert on why Christianity. But it does often correlate with the contrary as to why you don't understand why not veganism.



Vego wrote:There are many reasons to go vegan (fully or partially), and I can best defend my own.


I don't care about your reasons in comparison to the reasons provided to me by people I actually know, people who are my friends.


Vego wrote: I understand that not all reasons are good, but going after arguments made by people who are not there to defend themselves is just ranting.


Poppycock. It's exactly how discussions work. This isn't a debate format - regardless of the impulse you seem to have to aggressively challenge others - it's a discussion, and in a discussion it is perfectly normal to raise examples, data, anecdotes and experiences to talk about one's prior engagement with the idea at hand.


Vego wrote: And despite what you said in an earlier post, you can't address "all" arguments for veganism, good or bad.


Because you're the judge?

Not how it works. My ability to address arguments for veganism is not predicated on your acceptance of those arguments.



Vego wrote:More problematic however is your apparent assumption that an argument is good or bad because you believe so: beliefs should be challenged (and this applies to me too).


As opposed to your assumption that an argument is bad because you believe so? Well, given that I care what I think, and I don't care what you think, I would consider it only rational for me to put more weight on the former than on the latter: you assuredly do too.

However, you can of course not establish that my motivation revolves around assuming anything. It is an idea you are trying to foist off, but failing to do so. You're the guy subscribing to an ism here, not me.


Vego wrote:
Sparhafoc wrote:Eating meat is not predicated on not causing death to animals, collateral or otherwise.


It is predicated on finding ways to justify it (or looking the other way),...


Utter twaddle.


Vego wrote:... because given our current technology, causing death is how meat is generally produced.


Uhhh?

No, nothing to do with our 'current technology' - rather, it's the way it's always been because that's the way the universe works. Might there be a way to change this in the future with technology? Yes. Is there now? No. Appeal to the future if you like, but then the moral ramifications only operate in that imagined future.


Vego wrote:Just because you don't care or feel justified doesn't mean that you are correct.


Just because you care doesn't mean you are correct.


Vego wrote:
Sparhafoc wrote:Being vegan IS predicated on not causing death to animals, collateral or otherwise.


To the extent that it is reasonable to avoid it.


Cobblers. And it rather puts a puncture in the supercilious moralizing at strangers when you refuse to abide by your own strictures while telling others how they should behave.


Vego wrote: 100% cruelty-free/death-free is currently not a reasonable expectation.


Right, 100% cruelty-free/death-free is currently not a reasonable expectation. Therefore, there is no moral compunction not to eat meat.


Vego wrote: If the collateral damage isn't a concern, then it is not an argument against veganism; if it is a concern, then veganism is still preferable.


If the collateral damage is a concern, then vegans should spend their energies on resolving the fact that is antithetical to their stated moral requirements, not spend their energies trying to convert others to join them in their self-delusion.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Mon May 28, 2018 3:34 am
VegoUser avatarPosts: 94Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:32 pm

Post Re: Why Vegan?

Sparhafoc wrote:you immediately launch into whataboutism, directly ignoring the point you're supposedly addressing.

I am trying to explain why I think that veganism causes less collateral damage than meat eating, so whether I am right or wrong, I am addressing the issue (pigs/chickens/grain-fed cows/etc are directly relevant to veganism). Unsupplemented grazing animals are only one aspect of animal farming, it would be a mistake to focus on it and ignore everything else.

Sparhafoc wrote:Again, veganism is predicated on not killing or harming animals for the benefit of human consumption; meat eating is not.

I don't understand what you are trying to say here. I already said that the mechanical act of eating meat is not the issue, it is how the meat is obtained, and that generally requires killing and cruelty to match consumer demand.

Sparhafoc wrote:From my perspective, it's you who's got mistaken beliefs about human nutrition.

I gave you references to support my claims, some made by non-vegans. Your reluctance to take them seriously is your own bias.

Sparhafoc wrote:
Vego wrote: And despite what you said in an earlier post, you can't address "all" arguments for veganism, good or bad.


Because you're the judge?

No, because "all" is too much, especially if you want to address all the bad arguments.

Sparhafoc wrote:You're the guy subscribing to an ism here, not me.

Actually you are, it's just that you don't see it. You have an ideology related to food, just like me.

Sparhafoc wrote:Might there be a way to change this in the future with technology? Yes. Is there now? No. Appeal to the future if you like, but then the moral ramifications only operate in that imagined future.

I think you misread me here.

Sparhafoc wrote:you refuse to abide by your own strictures

You clearly don't understand my position.

Sparhafoc wrote:Right, 100% cruelty-free/death-free is currently not a reasonable expectation. Therefore, there is no moral compunction not to eat meat.

This absolutist conclusion is not reasonable.

Vego wrote:their stated moral requirements

I can't tell if this is about me or not, but not all vegans think the same way.
"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 May 28, 2018 5:03 am
SparhafocPosts: 2516Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Why Vegan?

Vego wrote:I am trying to explain why I think that veganism causes less collateral damage than meat eating, so whether I am right or wrong, I am addressing the issue (pigs/chickens/grain-fed cows/etc are directly relevant to veganism). Unsupplemented grazing animals are only one aspect of animal farming, it would be a mistake to focus on it and ignore everything else.


Veganism isn't about 'causing less' it's about not causing it. You don't sit down to a plate of vegan food saying, well this caused less pain and death in animals than if I ate meat.

The production of vegan nutrition for humans *also* results in pain and death for various animals. The comparative quantities are not relevant to this.

Ergo, it's hard to see how you can moralize at people when you are actually engaging in the exact same thing you are moralizing against. Either it is necessarily immoral for our diets to require the pain and death of animals, or it isn't necessarily immoral.

I am not actually expecting you to resolve this issue because it is not resolvable. However, it does put moral arguments into a more realistic setting than idealized fantasy.



Vego wrote:I don't understand what you are trying to say here. I already said that the mechanical act of eating meat is not the issue, it is how the meat is obtained, and that generally requires killing and cruelty to match consumer demand.


And the mechanical act of eating vegan food is not the issue, it is how the vegan food is obtained, and that generally requires killing and cruelty to match consumer demand.

I am not moralizing. To me, humanity is not yet really in a position to have a moral compunction towards eating vegan food because the same excuses you'd use regarding the necessity of killing animals to produce your food are just as valid as a meat-eater can give to excuse the necessity of killing animals to produce their food.


Vego wrote:I gave you references to support my claims, some made by non-vegans. Your reluctance to take them seriously is your own bias.


And I gave you references that counter your claims. Incidentally, the fact that you think scientific/factual claims are contingent on the beliefs of the people presenting them is very odd and indicative of having wholly the wrong idea about supporting beliefs with facts.

My reluctance to take your claims seriously are based on how you cite a source that doesn't support your claim, then repeatedly overlook the content you don't want to see.


Vego wrote:
Sparhafoc wrote:Because you're the judge?


No, because "all" is too much, especially if you want to address all the bad arguments.


Still rubbish. It's not like arguments are infinite. In reality, there are a suite of arguments, and these can be fairly wrapped together and categorized, i.e. environmental, moral, health-based etc.

And yet again, for the umpteenth time, I have already explained the purpose and value of separating the wheat from the chaff. Removing all the bad arguments is a selective process where only the better arguments are left.

But when bad arguments persist, then the focus necessarily continues on destroying those argument until all parties concede their paucity... at which point progress can once again become the focus.


Vego wrote:Actually you are, it's just that you don't see it. You have an ideology related to food, just like me.


No, I am not. Not only have I already addressed this nonsensical assertion on your part, and not only have you failed to respond to it, but the mere act of you asserting something doesn't make it true.

This is exactly equivalent to a Christian claiming that atheism is a religion, or a Creationist claiming that science is a belief system. The objective is to set up a false parity so that criticism of one can be deflected by whataboutism to the other.

Regardless of the fact that you can cite someone saying something, the mere act of corralling words into grammatically coherent sentences does not lend the resulting meaning validity.


Vego wrote:
Sparhafoc wrote:Might there be a way to change this in the future with technology? Yes. Is there now? No. Appeal to the future if you like, but then the moral ramifications only operate in that imagined future.


I think you misread me here.


I don't believe I did - I just went a step further than you're prepared to accept.


Vego wrote:
Sparhafoc wrote:you refuse to abide by your own strictures


You clearly don't understand my position.


Or you don't.


Vego wrote:
Sparhafoc wrote:Right, 100% cruelty-free/death-free is currently not a reasonable expectation. Therefore, there is no moral compunction not to eat meat.


This absolutist conclusion is not reasonable.


I agree that absolutist conclusions are not reasonable, which is why I keep challenging your absolutist conclusions. For example, my sentence above is a reductio ad absurdum using your own argumentation as its basis. You don't accept the above formulation, but you want others to accept your equivalent formulation.

This is a problem humans always face. It's so easy to see when someone else is doing wrong, but one can always justify one's own actions, set them in a rich narrative of explanation that blurs the sharp distinction available when viewing the activities of someone else.


Vego wrote:
Vego wrote:their stated moral requirements


I can't tell if this is about me or not, but not all vegans think the same way.


Irrelevant, and a far too frequently used cop-out.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Last edited by Sparhafoc on Mon May 28, 2018 7:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
Mon May 28, 2018 6:09 am
SparhafocPosts: 2516Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Why Vegan?

Carnism is not actually an idealogy because, except for the briefest moment of modern history and in an extremely restricted geographical and socioeconomic situation available only to a fraction of a percent of the human population, eating meat has factually been a nutritional necessity.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Mon May 28, 2018 6:12 am
WarKChat ModeratorUser avatarPosts: 1221Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 9:59 am Gender: Tree

Post Re: Why Vegan?

Sparhafoc wrote:
Veganism isn't about 'causing less' it's about not causing it. You don't sit down to a plate of vegan food saying, well this caused less pain and death in animals than if I ate meat.


It's exactly about reducing animal suffering.

Sparhafoc wrote:The production of vegan nutrition for humans *also* results in pain and death for various animals. The comparative quantities are not relevant to this.

Ergo, it's hard to see how you can moralize at people when you are actually engaging in the exact same thing you are moralizing against. Either it is necessarily immoral for our diets to require the pain and death of animals, or it isn't necessarily immoral.

I am not actually expecting you to resolve this issue because it is not resolvable. However, it does put moral arguments into a more realistic setting than idealized fantasy.



Why does it have to be black or white? Reality isn't that simple. Do we stop searching for cure for cancer just because it's impossible to cure everyone? Do we stop trying to slow down climate change just because we can't reverse it to state before industrial revolution in a blink of an eye? Is it even moral for people to say anything about CO₂ emissions as long as we breath out CO₂? Do we stop striving for equality just because there will always be bigots?

Sparhafoc, why do You keep arguing against creationists? Surely you can't change their mind most of the time.

I'm surprised that You and others have such a big issue whit this topic. Especially that from the get go Vego said that his reason for being vegan was ethical. It's about decreasing animal suffering by not buying meat i.e. decreasing demand.

He's just one person, it won't change a thing. He can't solve all the problem in an instant so why bother at all? A vegan on the Internet said something that sounded vaguely like he was claiming to be morally superior, an extra sausage for breakfast for me, that'll teach'em!!

Ok, I'm exaggerating but that's how I perceive your arguments, more or less.
Did you see that ludicrous display last night?
Mon May 28, 2018 8:05 pm
*SD*User avatarPosts: 342Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:00 amLocation: Wales, UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Why Vegan?

With all due respect, wark, everything you just posted has been addressed multiple times. By more than one poster.
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Tue May 29, 2018 12:03 am
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SparhafocPosts: 2516Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Why Vegan?

WarK wrote:
Sparhafoc wrote:Veganism isn't about 'causing less' it's about not causing it. You don't sit down to a plate of vegan food saying, well this caused less pain and death in animals than if I ate meat.


It's exactly about reducing animal suffering.


But then, if its a moral/ethical compunction, why is there a line abruptly introduced when it comes to the deaths of collateral animals in the production of grains and other harvests?

The only reason offered is economic: it's not economically feasible to produce that food without the collateral deaths of those animals. So if moral compunctions cease at economic lines, then how is that scenario genuinely different from the vast majority of humans who eat meat?


WarK wrote:
Sparhafoc wrote:The production of vegan nutrition for humans *also* results in pain and death for various animals. The comparative quantities are not relevant to this.

Ergo, it's hard to see how you can moralize at people when you are actually engaging in the exact same thing you are moralizing against. Either it is necessarily immoral for our diets to require the pain and death of animals, or it isn't necessarily immoral.

I am not actually expecting you to resolve this issue because it is not resolvable. However, it does put moral arguments into a more realistic setting than idealized fantasy.



Why does it have to be black or white? Reality isn't that simple.



But that is exactly what I am saying: it is not black and white. There is no moral compunction, no "please go vegan". For there to be a moral component, it would need to be black and white. One would have to elect to engage in an immoral act, rather than an act being perceived as immoral by those few who can elect not to engage in that act.


WarK wrote: Do we stop searching for cure for cancer just because it's impossible to cure everyone? Do we stop trying to slow down climate change just because we can't reverse it to state before industrial revolution in a blink of an eye? Is it even moral for people to say anything about CO₂ emissions as long as we breath out CO₂? Do we stop striving for equality just because there will always be bigots?


Neither do we say we've got a cure for cancer just because a treatment works on some forms of cancer, in certain situations, for some people. We can't make morality imperatives - morality being something fundamentally normative in nature - out of the particular, the peculiar, or the distinct.



WarK wrote:Sparhafoc, why do You keep arguing against creationists? Surely you can't change their mind most of the time.


I am not clear what you mean, WarK. Do you mean in this thread, or generally? In this thread, I may have mentioned Creationism once or twice, but only in terms of an analogy. If you mean generally, it's because they serve their bad ideas up in front of me. I don't go out looking for bad ideas, but if one is placed before me then I challenge it. Changing anyone's mind figures not at all into my motivation. Bad ideas exist to be destroyed.


WarK wrote:I'm surprised that You and others have such a big issue whit this topic.


I don't have a big issue with this topic; I have a big issue with very specific component pieces of this topic which are the bits I address.

My position on veganism is positive: more power to you. I have no interest in convincing vegans to stop being vegan. Further, I have said many times in this thread that veganism will one day become normative, and it will be unethical to kill animals in place of the readily available synthetic substitutes. Only the obscenely rich and the dispossessed will eat the flesh of animals.

So I think I am being misconstrued.


WarK wrote: Especially that from the get go Vego said that his reason for being vegan was ethical. It's about decreasing animal suffering by not buying meat i.e. decreasing demand.


I've addressed this so many times. In fact, it was in the first words I wrote on this thread. I am not talking about Vego or his reasons. With all due respect to my fellow human being, I don't know him from Adam and don't really care about his motivations for anything. Rather, I am responding to the topic question posed: Why Vegan? And I am addressing bad arguments given in favour of that. Along the way, I have quite clearly posited some good arguments for veganism, so again, I am at a loss as to how I am being so misconstrued.


WarK wrote:He's just one person, it won't change a thing. He can't solve all the problem in an instant so why bother at all? A vegan on the Internet said something that sounded vaguely like he was claiming to be morally superior, an extra sausage for breakfast for me, that'll teach'em!!

Ok, I'm exaggerating but that's how I perceive your arguments, more or less.


Well, the problem for me then is that none of my arguments actually employ any of those ideas.

I have never talked about one person not resulting in a great change.
I have never talked about solving all problems in an instant, so why bother?
I have never talked about a vegan on the internet saying something.
I have never taunted by declaring I will eat extra meat.

So obviously I cannot address your perception of my arguments when that perception does not correspond in any way to what I've actually written, nor to a position I've taken, nor to a position I would ever take.

The closest one to any position I've taken is the third, only I am talking about an entire group of friends in the UK who I've known for decades and who are ardent vegans, not just in consumption but in lifestyle. The reason I am referring to them is because, as I've said, I am addressing 'why vegan?' and I've heard many, many arguments from them over the years which I believe I can faithfully represent. But I didn't talk about 'a vegan on the internet said X' - I only ever responded to Vego citing some random vegan on the internet saying X.

All other examples of contended moral superiority are drawn directly from this thread and Vego's words.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Tue May 29, 2018 12:53 pm
*SD*User avatarPosts: 342Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:00 amLocation: Wales, UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Why Vegan?

Sparhafoc wrote:But then, if its a moral/ethical compunction, why is there a line abruptly introduced when it comes to the deaths of collateral animals in the production of grains and other harvests?


This is exactly the point I was arguing earlier in the thread. I didn't get an answer beyond "intent tho" - which isn't particularly satisfying. Perhaps you'll have better luck extracting the reason for the line from Vego. Although as I recall he contends that he has no such line, I've argued it's quite clear he does, in common with just about everyone in the world.

I am not clear what you mean, WarK. Do you mean in this thread, or generally?


It appears Wark is trying to charge you with an appeal to futility fallacy. I could be mistaken, but this is what it looks like.

I don't have a big issue with this topic; I have a big issue with very specific component pieces of this topic which are the bits I address.


Well put.

Well, the problem for me then is that none of my arguments actually employ any of those ideas.

I have never talked about one person not resulting in a great change.
I have never talked about solving all problems in an instant, so why bother?
I have never talked about a vegan on the internet saying something.
I have never taunted by declaring I will eat extra meat.


The main reason I'm posting a reply here (aside from the fact it's too hot outside to do any work) is to address this part. I think some of it is directed at me, rather than you. If this is the case I'll add a little about each one:

I did the first, although it wasn't really intended to be an argument, it was an observation and as far as I'm concerned, a fact. The only reason I went there at all is because the appeal to futility contention was about to rear its head and I wanted to nip it in the bud. Which seemed to work.

I didn't do the second, it was contended that I did, several times but I didn't. It's another round about way of bringing up the appeal to futility fallacy.

Don't think I did the third, but if I did I'm not clear as to why this would be a problem.

I am guilty of the fourth, I did this on page 5. However, given the manner in which I wrote the relevant part, and the words I chose to use, I'd have thought it plainly obvious that I was, in fact, taking the piss. Joking. Dicking around. There is a term for it but it escapes me at present. Something about exaggerating the arse off the position as an expression of exasperation. In case there's any confusion, I didn't really go out and eat a piece of freshly hacked cow in front of the still conscious creature.
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Tue May 29, 2018 1:51 pm
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