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Re: Why Vegan?

PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 7:11 pm
by *SD*
The many differences constitute the context (including intent, which is the most important part in my opinion)


Then we disagree here and this is not resolvable. Outside of complete accidents, I don't see that intent matters. It might make you feel better because you can write it off as 'sadly necessary' (which is what you argued in the other thread) but it makes no difference at all to the animal in question. As I pointed out previously it is of no consolation whatsoever.

Total accidents have no intent at all behind them, animals killed during the production of crops are not accidental, they are a direct consequence of it which you are aware of. You know that wheat products have involved the suffering and death of animals and you support this industry.

It helps my case because reducing animal farming will also reduce the crops used to feed them, and thus reduce their associated collateral deaths (and this reduction could be substantial, maybe 50% depending on how we interpret the statistics).


But the collateral damage/deaths would increase because we'd need even more crops to feed humans if that's all they're going to eat. As I mentioned earlier in the thread, it seems to me that most of the collateral damage done during farming, whether that be animal deaths or some environmental aspect is done in the arable sector not the livestock sector. I', not trying to pull rank on you here, but as someone who has worked in the farming industry for many years I have direct experience to speak from. There are definitely more collateral deaths caused through wheat harvesting (for example) than there are from having some cows and milking them.

This is a misrepresentation of my position


It doesn't seem like it to me.

I am not arguing for a label.


I know, you've said. I disagree with you that the label is unimportant. I like to know what people are talking about when they refer to themselves as XYZ.

The label can be anything you want


I completely agree, I don't mind what label you want to use for your position, but I reject that 'vegan' is a legitimate one to wear. You are an individual who wants to reduce animal death/suffering to some extent. But not the maximum reasonably possible and practicable. That's not veganism under a mainstream definition, and even if it were I'd still submit that such a definition would be bullshit. Given that you are guilty of the same things you're criticizing, I don't see that you are in a position to moralize.

Just one more time - animals die during the production of wheat, which is a product you purchase and therefore finance, it is then reasonable to say you 'support' this industry, you wouldn't die if you didn't and yet you still do. So if you're allowed to have animals killed for something clearly non-essential, you are in no position to object to me killing an animal in order to eat it.

Labeling a meat-eater "vegan" will not necessarily make them "vegan", somewhat like calling a bike "car" will not make it an actual car


I totally agree with you here, this has been argued by my self and others, and yet you think this supports your position? It doesn't, it supports mine (and others)

Of course a meat eater cannot be legitimately labelled vegan, as you point out it's like calling a bike a car. Kinda silly, right? I gave you a few analogies a while back. Tee totallers who drink alcohol, Christians who don't believe in Jesus etc. Someone who willingly funds a non essential industry that kills animals is not a vegan under any definition I'd be willing to accept. You can't knowingly do this and then moralize at others just because they make use of the animals they kill. Whatever animals I kill, are made use of. The ones you pay to have killed are wasted.

And when it comes to being vegan, being partially vegan (for example vegan-at-home) is better than not being vegan at all, there is nothing deep here, merely a recognition of practical reality.


Once again, we disagree. You cannot be tee total and drink alcohol. You can't be anti-pollution and drive a monster truck.

You are free to do as you choose, you can accept that vegans can eat meat 'sometimes' or only on Tuesdays or something if you want to, that's your prerogative, but nobody else is obliged to join you in accepting this as an ok definition. You can call your self an astronaut if you like, nobody can stop you, but if you're not really an astronaut then you're not really an astronaut.

Avoiding non-vegan sandwiches is less constraining than avoiding all sandwiches (and all pizzas, and pasta, and many other things).


Even though bread contains wheat and after 7 pages you should now be fully aware that producing wheat also kills animals. Which is the very thing you are supposedly opposing. And whilst I agree that avoiding non vegan sandwiches is less constraining than avoiding all sandwiches, we are still left with this problem. Well, you are. Your self imposed constraints are exactly that - self imposed.

And importantly, as we seem to agree, avoiding wheat will do nothing if it is replaced with something that uses the same means of production


Avoiding meat isn't going to do anything either. I know you'd probably like to blow this off as an appeal to futility fallacy, you can if you like but it's going to remain true whether you label it a fallacy or not. It's quite alright for you to feel as though you're 'doing your bit' by not buying/eating meat - I have no problem with that but when you support other industries that also kill animals I have trouble escaping the notion that you are in fact, a hypocrite. And I do not mean this in an insulting way, although I'd understand if it's received as such.

a bit like eating less chicken but more turkey


Spot on. If we all give up meat we're going to have to eat loads more of other foods, the production of which kills animals.

In addition, avoiding stuff for a vegan today is an artifact of living in a non-vegan society where non-vegan products are widely available. In a hypothetical vegan world, there would be nothing to avoid and this constraint would not exist (in practice, the more vegan products are available, the less constraining veganism is).


Yes but as you correctly observe, this is not reality. I have no interest in idealism. Plus you'd have to rely on people adopting veganism anyway, I mean there are people who have the option to but still elect not to. This leaves you arguing ethics, and I don't think you can win on ethical grounds given the points argued repeatedly throughout this thread.

This doesn't make sense. I am arguing for a reduction in consumer demand for animal products, in the hope of reducing animal exploitation to as close to zero as possible


Aside from the fact I think any significant (impact creating) reduction in demand is unlikely, for a plethora of reasons, this statement is as woolly as a mammoth. As close to zero as possible? How close is that? How much effort should 'vegans' (cough) make to get this number as close to zero as possible? However close that is? In your case, Vego, and once again I mean no offense here, your efforts consist of what you can be arsed to do and nothing more, as already exposed earlier in the thread.

You're still going to be left with the indefensible position of exploiting them for wheat (and a million other non-essential things) whilst trying to argue that exploiting them for meat is immoral. I'm sorry, I'm not trying to be a cunt but this reeks of hypocrisy. A massive, glaring double standard.

The flexibility (for which I can't take credit, I was inspired by others)


The flexibility was brought about due to non-vegans calling out the hypocrisy of 'vegans' so they redefined it to be "killing animals is fine as long as it's for wheat or other things vegans like to have, but it's not fine for things 'carnists' like to have" - this is what happened. I gave you examples of the exact same thing happening within the theism/atheism debate. They redefined omnipotence because the original was obviously flawed and unworkable, they did the same with the Kalam Cosmoligical embarrassment argument.

Now the term 'omnipotence' just means "can do stuff that it's possible to do" - might as well say nothing really.

is a recognition of real-life constraints, and a rejection of binary thinking which, in my opinion, is damaging to veganism


You call it binary thinking, I call it a recognition that terms are supposed to mean things. Without words meaning things communication would be impossible. And as I've pointed out, and should be abundantly evident by now - I'm not here to support veganism. I'm here to support my own position, one shared by the overwhelming majority of the human population. It doesn't mean my position is correct because it's shared by 99% of people, so I'm not committing an appeal to popularity fallacy here, I'm just noting that as yours is the minority position and you are advocating for change, the burden of proof falls upon you to argue your case. Thus far I have seen nothing compelling so will not, at this present moment, be going 'vegan'

I already spent decades of my life as a non-vegan, does that mean that I can't be called vegan?


Not at all, provided you actually are vegan. Astronauts spent years not being astronauts, but if they're genuinely astronauts now it's perfectly reasonable to refer to them as such and they are more than entitled to use that descriptive label. I reject your use of the term 'vegan' because I don't see that it legitimately applies to you. You are someone who wants to reduce the death/harm/suffering of animals a bit. That's not veganism. Or if it is then veganism is a meaningless term.

If I stop being vegan at some point, would I not have been vegan until then?


Provided you really were vegan during that undefined period of time, yes it's perfectly legitimate to claim such.

If someone consumes animal products once a year (for example during family gatherings) does that make them non-vegan?


I would strongly argue that yes it does make them non-vegan. A person who does this is simply someone who eats meat (read: animal products) very rarely. That person is not a vegan. Do you actually disagree with this or are you just bouncing an idea off me? I don't mind if you are. If you do disagree then we're now in a world where vegans can eat meat/animal products and the term is literally meaningless. That person is just someone who eats less meat than me, and this is not a sound foundation for an ethics based argument.

Actually I do. You seem to be engaged in some sort of "No true Vegan" fallacy.


On the contrary, I've taken quite some time in previous posts to point out that this is not what I think. I'm not sure why you are ignoring this.

*SD* wrote:This is true, I am indeed generalizing. I do so based on the not inconsiderable amount of time I've spent on this topic over the years, and more specifically of late. It's quite possible that my generalizations don't apply to you, if you live your life in a certain way and either do or don't do certain things (I know that's vague but I'd need to know more about your lifestyle to be clearer)

I doubt you fall far outside of my generalizations but I'm absolutely fine with you proving me wrong. The gist here is that I haven't found a vegan yet who lives as consistently as reasonably possible with their vegan ideology. They all claim they do, but this is easy to pick apart. If you're going to be the first, then I'm fine with that


*SD* wrote:No. But when arguing for veganism it would be more productive and successful overall if they were more consistent with their own position.


*SD* wrote:I also conceded that vego could be a true exception in that he does everything he can reasonably do to avoid (or at least not fund) industries that cause animal suffering, death and exploitation - but then he revealed that he wasn't. Which is what I suspected


And some other posts but this should be enough to clear it up.

This has nothing to do with my position. And killing is just one of the problems with animal farming (I would object to animal exploitation even without the killing part).


Then my point about you being quite the hypocrite stands. You're fine with killing animals as long as it's to produce something you think is ok. You're entitled to hold that view, of course, but nobody else is obliged to hold it along with you.

This is not logically valid: we need food, but it doesn't have to be animal products


Yes, it is [logically valid]

It doesn't have to be wheat either. And we know what happens with wheat by now don't we? You don't have to be on the internet posting to this forum, yet it's very existence will have displaced and killed animals. The server farm (wherever this site is hosted) will have displaced animals, transporting all the components is sure to have killed a few, the electricity it requires to power it will have done the same. I realize this is an extreme example, and it's not something I'd call upon you to boycott in the name of 'veganism' because I think that would be unreasonable. But it does serve to prove the point. The food on your plate, as Sparhafoc pointed out either in this thread or the other one, also has consequences.

You are essentially arguing that it's ok to kill animals for non essential thing X, but not for essential thing Y. Which is arbitrary and not a position I'm willing to get on board with. I dislike arbitrarity anyway but even more so when it's combined with hypocrisy.

And even if we have to kill, this is not a good justification to kill more than we need


Well, who is the arbiter of what is 'needed'? I don't even disagree with you here but I know this is going to boil down to your own personal preferences, so I can't accept it as an argument. If you want to argue that eating meat is not essential, therefore not needed (leaving aside the fact that this is arguable for now) then so are who knows how many things you support non-essential. Using 'need' in this way, why is it ok to kill animals so you can be on the internet, which is something you surely won't die without, but it's not ok for me to kill them so I can put food in my belly - something I surely will die without?

Vego, the bottom line is this - if you want to be 'vegan' then by all means do so, to whatever extent you're prepared to, but arguing that others should join you, as evidenced by the many replies in this thread - is sort of pointless. You might convince one or two who are already half way there in any case, and if that makes you happy then more power to you. I am thus far unpersuaded, for all the reasons stated by my self and others.

It's like when JW's come knocking. If they want to believe in strange things backed up by only crap arguments and demonstrably false premises - they are free to do that. Just keep it at home. I'm not suggesting you've been pushy in any way, you haven't, but the way you argue it seems like a you thing, and you can definitely do you. But you can't do me. No homo intended :)

Re: Why Vegan?

PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2018 4:00 pm
by Sparhafoc
You are essentially arguing that it's ok to kill animals for non essential thing X, but not for essential thing Y. Which is arbitrary and not a position I'm willing to get on board with. I dislike arbitrarity anyway but even more so when it's combined with hypocrisy.


Absolutely, and in fact, it's a terrible argument.

It is absolutely not more ethical to kill animals merely as collateral to produce your food over killing animals specifically as food. It's less ethical as far as I am concerned.

Thus the notion that this is a step in the right direction in terms of ethics seems monstrously far from reality for me.

Whatever possible justification given - actually it was purely economical/pragmatic - the exact same justification can operate for the intentional consumption of meat. It's just more economical/pragmatic, so /shrug

Re: Why Vegan?

PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2018 6:21 pm
by *SD*
Sparhafoc wrote:Absolutely, and in fact, it's a terrible argument.


Yes, it's a massively shit argument.

Sparhafoc wrote:It is absolutely not more ethical to kill animals merely as collateral to produce your food over killing animals specifically as food. It's less ethical as far as I am concerned.


Agreed, I argued earlier that collateral damage is worse than a deliberate act (within the context of the subject matter)

Sparhafoc wrote:Thus the notion that this is a step in the right direction in terms of ethics seems monstrously far from reality for me.


Agreed. It's so far departed from reality it doesn't usually warrant serious consideration, I only entertained the notion as Vego (to his credit) kept coming back for more.

Sparhafoc wrote:Whatever possible justification given - actually it was purely economical/pragmatic - the exact same justification can operate for the intentional consumption of meat. It's just more economical/pragmatic, so /shrug


Indeed. The thing is, and I don't want to cast aspersions upon Vego, he's probably been in some echo chamber / circle-jerk of vegans telling him his arguments are fantastic and can't possibly be refuted. They're just the standard crap vegan arguments that don't hold up to scrutiny. Vego, if you come back to read this then this isn't intended to be a cheap shot, it's another generalization:

I spent a lot of time in vegan echo chambers hoping to hear some persuasive argumentation, all I heard was reinforcement of obviously problematic ideas and shit arguments. Just take a brief glance at certain vegan activist YouTubers to see what I'm talking about. They all have their little army of sycophants followers, who drool over every word they utter, high five each other at the end of every discussion and don't care that they're arguing PRATT's.

I know I'm prone to making comparisons, I've always felt like it's a good way to hammer home a point, it's like WLC fans cheering every time he says something stupid. They don't care that he's wrong, they only care that he's saying what they like to hear. I can't operate like that. It baffles me how anyone could, let alone want to.

I don't know if Vego will be back or not, hopefully he will be. He's engaged in a generous dollop of cognitive bias and he has obvious double standards. He's almost engaged in special pleading.

Re: Why Vegan?

PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2018 6:38 pm
by Dragan Glas
Greetings,

I spotted this recently:

Vegan YouTube 'drama': 'I was falsely accused of offering online sex'

Kindest regards,

James

Re: Why Vegan?

PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2018 6:47 pm
by *SD*
Dragan Glas wrote:Greetings,

I spotted this recently:

Vegan YouTube 'drama': 'I was falsely accused of offering online sex'

Kindest regards,

James


I would. I'm sorry I just would :D

Re: Why Vegan?

PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:53 am
by Vego
Dragan Glas wrote:But it is an important variable, I think you'll agree, given that they'll have to be fed.

What I am saying is that it is a distraction. For a given population size, veganism requires theoretically less resources. This advantage is still there however the population changes. (To be fair, not all vegan diets are equivalent, and fruitarianism for example is probaly not very good for efficiency.)

Dragan Glas wrote:This is a more detailed explanation of protein digestion.

Thanks, but I'm not sure what your point is.

Dragan Glas wrote:with plant (versus animal) sources

Your link points to a page titled "Plant Sources Vs. Animal Sources for Digestive Enzymes", and it is about "the proposed benefits of supplemental digestive enzymes for reducing symptoms of digestive distress, improving immune function, and treating disorders such as pancreatitis" and no references are provided. It is not relevant to our conversation.

Dragan Glas wrote:one has to supplement to make up for the missing nutrients, and aid digestion.

I am not sure what you expect me to get from this link. This is from a website that sells supplements, so of course they are going to present things to make it look like their products are required. They claim "The problem with vegan protein is that it can be hard to digest": why is that a problem? Are vegans suffering from protein deficiency? They mention a few chemicals (like phytates) but their claims are of the type "reduces absorption of X": so what? Where is the evidence that it is actually a problem for vegans following proper advice? Most of their references seem to be about in-vitro experiments, so I am not sure how relevant they are. They quote a paper saying "diets containing a high proportion of calories as carbohydrate for 2 weeks are associated with lower interdigestive and postprandial pancreatic secretion than diets that have a high fat content.": why should we care about interdigestive and postprandial secretions? Besides, there are many plant sources of fat, so it's still not an issue for veganism.

Dragan Glas wrote:the difficult choice of starving or being exploited is a poor ethical argument for such exploitation

I am not arguing for exploitation, all I am saying is that veganism is not the main cause here. This is a problem that is largely dependent on human will: humans cause human exploitation, and this can be addressed independently of veganism.

Dragan Glas wrote:Given veganism being applicable to a small percentage of the population, its benefits are far outweighed by the other criteria.

This is an empty claim. How exactly are the benefits of veganism "far outweighed" by other criteria? Which benefits did you consider, which other criteria, how did you conclude that the benefits are not just outweighed, but far outweighed?

Dragan Glas wrote:I think you're glossing over the complexity of a well-planned vegan diet

You are just avoiding my question. All I am saying is that a well-planned vegan diet (following recommendations by qualified dietitians) can be healthy. You keep claiming that it is not, and so far you don't have any evidence for it. As for difficulty, injection is not generally required (as far as I know). And more generally, what an individual requires will depend on personal circumstances. This has always been my message: get informed first, and then make informed decisions.

Re: Why Vegan?

PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:20 am
by Vego
*SD* wrote:You know that wheat products have involved the suffering and death of animals and you support this industry.

To be clear: you are the one fixated on wheat, but for me this is not about wheat, the issue is related to plant farming practices. Even if we banned wheat, it wouldn't solve anything. Given our current technology, our civilization can keep going without animal products (theoretically) but it couldn't sustain itself without modern plant farming: this makes these deaths unavoidable unless we change the practices.

We are breeding, exploiting and killing farm animals (fishing is also a major issue), this is all under our control, and we can decide to stop it. Apart from the death aspect, everything else is different when it comes to plant farming. As far as I can tell, we just can't do otherwise without putting our survival at risk.

*SD* wrote:But the collateral damage/deaths would increase because we'd need even more crops to feed humans if that's all they're going to eat.

No, it's the opposite. I discussed this with Dragan Glas, but to sum up: if we replace animal products with nutritionally equivalent plant foods, the "human plant food" production would increase slightly, but the "total plant food" production would decrease (mostly because of the food that we wouldn't be growing for animals anymore).

*SD* wrote:There are definitely more collateral deaths caused through wheat harvesting (for example) than there are from having some cows and milking them.

That depends on what the cows are fed. But more generally, this is a pointless comparison: half of total crop production is used to feed animals, so unless there is something different with crops used for animal feed, animal products as a whole probably cause at least as much collateral damage as plant products (and this collateral damage is in addition to the direct damage).

*SD* wrote:a non essential industry that kills animals

No single food item is essential, but plant farming is.

*SD* wrote:producing wheat also kills animals

You are completely missing the point: wheat is not the issue. Farm animals are avoidable. Field animals are a completely different category, and we do not have the same level of control.

*SD* wrote:Avoiding meat isn't going to do anything either.

On the contrary: avoiding meat means less exploitation and killing (direct and collateral).

*SD* wrote:If we all give up meat we're going to have to eat loads more of other foods, the production of which kills animals.

Not exactly (not "loads") and the net result is still going to be less killing overall.

*SD* wrote:Plus you'd have to rely on people adopting veganism anyway

Well yes, clearly if I am the only one it won't work.

*SD* wrote:I don't think you can win on ethical grounds given the points argued repeatedly throughout this thread.

Veganism is better on ethical grounds, I haven't seen any serious argument against that.

*SD* wrote:As close to zero as possible? How close is that?

I don't know, it depends on people with medical conditions preventing them from being vegan.

*SD* wrote:How much effort should 'vegans' (cough) make to get this number as close to zero as possible?

Being dietary+lifestyle vegan should be enough.

*SD* wrote:You're still going to be left with the indefensible position of exploiting them for wheat

I have said this several times already, animals are not exploited for crops (unless you are talking about pollinators).

*SD* wrote:exploiting them for meat is immoral

Exploiting sentient beings for anything is immoral in my opinion. To my knowledge, field mice are not being exploited, and I don't know whether pollinators are sentient (even if they are, I don't know how our civilization can exist without them).

*SD* wrote:Thus far I have seen nothing compelling

This is because you are trying to not see. You seem to be asking me for a reason to not eat meat, whereas from my perspective it is eating meat that requires a reason. Plant products involve collateral deaths, but animal products involve both direct and collateral death. And, in theory, animal products can be eliminated (at least in some regions of the world), whereas plant products can't: in my view, the distinction (and advantage of veganism) is quite clear.

*SD* wrote:You are someone who wants to reduce the death/harm/suffering of animals a bit

No, I wish for a complete elimination of animal exploitation, and I believe that veganism can accomplish that. However, I also think that partial veganism is better than non-veganism, and this is a compromise that seems attainable in the short term (in the long term, it is not enough to eliminate animal exploitation).

*SD* wrote:Do you actually disagree with this or are you just bouncing an idea off me?

I don't really have an answer to my own question. If someone does that and they want to call themselves mostly-vegan or plant-based-but-not-vegan or whatever else, the label does not matter to me. What matters is the reduction in animal exploitation.

*SD* wrote:I haven't found a vegan yet who lives as consistently as reasonably possible with their vegan ideology

This is the fallacy I was talking about: you are essentially saying that you know what veganism is supposed to be, and apparently anyone who doesn't match your standard is not a real vegan.

*SD* wrote:You're fine with killing animals as long as it's to produce something you think is ok.

No, this is not what I am saying. It is my current understanding that modern plant farming practices (which result in collateral death) are unavoidable. It is not about producing something that I think is ok. By contrast, nothing in animal farming (and fishing) is ok because it is exploitative by nature, and it can be avoided (without destroying our civilization) because we are fully in control of it.

*SD* wrote:Yes, it is [logically valid]

No, because we can live healthily without animal products (bar special circumstances).

*SD* wrote:It doesn't have to be wheat either.

I am not claiming that our civilization needs wheat, I am claiming that our civilization needs modern farming practices. Wheat is not the issue, and if we eliminate it, something ethically equivalent will probably replace it (other cereals, corn, soy, ...). On the other hand, nothing ethically equivalent will replace animal products, because the plant-based replacements will be ethically better (quasi-elimination of exploitation and overall less collateral death).

*SD* wrote:You are essentially arguing that it's ok to kill animals for non essential thing X, but not for essential thing Y.

No, this is not an accurate representation of my position. Wheat itself may not be necessary, but the production method (which is what causes the issue) is necessary for our civilization.

*SD* wrote:something I surely will die without?

Unless you have a medical condition or a lack of access to resources, you will probably not die by not eating animal products (to be clear: you would have to eat something else instead, not starve yourself on purpose).

Re: Why Vegan?

PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:25 am
by Vego
Sparhafoc wrote:
You are essentially arguing that it's ok to kill animals for non essential thing X, but not for essential thing Y. Which is arbitrary and not a position I'm willing to get on board with. I dislike arbitrarity anyway but even more so when it's combined with hypocrisy.


Absolutely, and in fact, it's a terrible argument.

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

Sparhafoc wrote:It is absolutely not more ethical to kill animals merely as collateral to produce your food over killing animals specifically as food.

And once again, killing is only one aspect. We don't just kill farm animals, we have a full system designed specifically to breed, exploit and kill them. It is not the same thing as the collateral damage of plant farming. Not even close. We choose to cause this unnecessary harm to farm animals, whereas we (currently) can't avoid the harm done during plant production. Plant food is clearly more ethical.