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Why Vegan?

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Why Vegan?
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*SD*User avatarPosts: 287Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:00 amLocation: Wales, UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Why Vegan?

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I'm not saying 'shut up' - far from it, I'm quite enjoying the conversation. I just want you to understand that although you feel strongly about veganism, as do most vegans, the arguments for it aren't NEARLY as solid as you seem to think.
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Sat Jun 30, 2018 5:39 pm
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SparhafocPosts: 2434Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Why Vegan?

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


Exactly.

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

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

With veganism, I already accept some ethical components that are inescapable, but these are all too often vastly over-played by those who seek to expound their beliefs to others.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Sat Jun 30, 2018 9:04 pm
VegoUser avatarPosts: 90Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:32 pm

Post Re: Why Vegan?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*SD* wrote:you are ok with that

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pills are not food

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

*SD* wrote:I know it's there

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

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

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

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

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

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

I don't know what it is that you think I seem to think, but so far it doesn't seem to actually match what I think. I admit that I am not always clear, but I am willing to clarify my position and we would waste less time if you would just ask me instead of regularly misrepresenting me.
"Violent ideologies have a special set of defenses that enable humane people to support inhumane practices and to not even realize what they're doing." (Melanie Joy)
Sun Jul 15, 2018 5:15 am
VegoUser avatarPosts: 90Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:32 pm

Post Re: Why Vegan?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sparhafoc wrote:revert again

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sparhafoc wrote:Your source is for the USA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What estimation? Seriously, what are you talking about?

Sparhafoc wrote:Cherry picking

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

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

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

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

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

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

How is that an argument against veganism?

Sparhafoc wrote:if you look at the actual article itself

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

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

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

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

Do you have a justification for this claim?

Sparhafoc wrote:we kill them all anyway

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sparhafoc wrote:we'd lessen food diversity and security

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

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

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

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

Most of what you do is provide me with unjustified claims. I check what I can, but without giving any reference that I can access, you are not really informing me, just giving your personal opinion. And these so-called contradictions are only the result of you misunderstanding my position.
"Violent ideologies have a special set of defenses that enable humane people to support inhumane practices and to not even realize what they're doing." (Melanie Joy)
Sun Jul 15, 2018 5:46 am
SparhafocPosts: 2434Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Why Vegan?

Image

Here we go again!


Generalized argument.

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

Aha, but the 99% are irrelevant, my argument only applies where it applies, reiteration of generalized argument.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Sun Jul 15, 2018 6:13 am
SparhafocPosts: 2434Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Why Vegan?

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


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


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


Sparhafoc wrote:And the Russian Doll is back again.

Yes, yes they are.

Can we create supplements? Yes.

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

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

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

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


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



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


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

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

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

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

Learn what 'whataboutism' means before using the term as a distraction.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Last edited by Sparhafoc on Sun Jul 15, 2018 10:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
Sun Jul 15, 2018 6:24 am
SparhafocPosts: 2434Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Why Vegan?

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

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


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



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



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

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

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

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

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

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

Like it or not, we are stuck with a system that relies on the rearing and slaughter of animals, and what we will see over the next 50 years is a dramatic increase in the number of animals so used as the human population continues to grow. It is only technology that will get us out of this trap, not sermons from the mount.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Sun Jul 15, 2018 9:54 am
SparhafocPosts: 2434Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Why Vegan?

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

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

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

How many of the items in the diverse choice available to you at a shop allowing you to maintain a satisfying vegan diet were grown by members of this 75% & 50%?
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Sun Jul 15, 2018 10:10 am
*SD*User avatarPosts: 287Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:00 amLocation: Wales, UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Why Vegan?

I don't understand what you are talking about


I knows you don'ts.

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


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

All killings and deaths are not equivalent


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

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


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

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

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

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

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


:docpalm:

Vego, please, lend me your eyes -

The question was...

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


You then said...

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


To which I clarified...

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


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

It matters a lot because animals are not interchangeable objects


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


?

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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

Once again, you are misunderstanding my position


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

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


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

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


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

In my personal opinion yes


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


Fair enough.

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


Oh yes it is -

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


No ambiguity whatsoever.

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


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

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


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

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


People here have asked you plenty, my self included, and extracting direct answers is like pulling teeth. You have this peculiar habit of responding without (apparently) taking into account what's already been said previously. It's resulting in a lot of repetition. I appreciate you're willing to clarify, as am I and I'll wager any other poster here, but looping back to points already addressed or refuted is causing posts to be fucking enormous, and of late copy paste of things I've already said.
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Sun Jul 15, 2018 12:03 pm
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*SD*User avatarPosts: 287Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:00 amLocation: Wales, UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Why Vegan?

As posted previously -

What Every Vegan Should Know About Vitamin B12

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

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

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


All emphasis mine.

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

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

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