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The moral case for veganism.

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The moral case for veganism.
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VegoUser avatarPosts: 74Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:32 pm

Post Re: The moral case for veganism.

Dragan Glas wrote:Again, you are selective in what you emphasize in promoting veganism.

I merely emphasize what matters for the specific point that I am making. I did include the context to show that it doesn't impact my claims. You are the one trying to read more into the study than is actually there.

Dragan Glas wrote:spurious association between antibiotics in meat, and their mental health issue, as I explained earlier

You didn't explain anything, you just fabricated an unjustified claim.

Dragan Glas wrote:it's not necessarily more healthy.

Although I can't tell if you are trying to say something by underlining the sensitivity to animal suffering (which is not a myth), I can agree with almost everything you have written up to and including that point.

Once again: for the purpose of this conversation, it is not my claim that a vegan diet is more healthy (although I could defend it).

Nothing so far leads to the conclusion that a meat-free diet is inherently unhealthy.

Dragan Glas wrote:These psychological factors are hardly a good reason to change one's diet - particularly if they also result in/exacerbate mental health problems.

I don't understand what you are trying to say here, or why it is relevant to the conversation.

The study draws conclusions regarding people with specific issues, how does that generalize to everybody?

In fact, the authors state "It is possible that subtypes of vegetarians (e.g., health motivated vegetarians vs. ethically motivated vegetarians) may psychologically differ and show different associations with mental disorders." In other words, it is not appropriate to generalize the findings of this study to all vegetarians and vegans.

Dragan Glas wrote:So, the "psychological factors" are given less importance than the probability that the onset of a mental health problem precedes a switch to a vegetarian diet.

Your phrasing is a bit strange, but I think I agree.

And to be clear: the temporal order here precludes that the change in diet causes the pre-existing mental health condition.

Dragan Glas wrote:The study also reports that a change in diet most closely precedes the onset of a eating disorder.

So now the goalpost has moved to a specific subset of mental health problems, namely eating disorders?

Dragan Glas wrote:This is likely to result in a nutritional deficiency exacerbating the individual's mental health

This is speculation on your part.

And even if true, why couldn't this deficiency be addressed in a vegan diet?

Dragan Glas wrote:And I again repeat my point that, without medical assistance, one is going to find it more difficult to ensure that one's not suffering a nutritional deficiency of some sort, exacerbating an existing mental health disorder.

This is not specific to veganism, any diet (including omnivorous) can be deficient in something.

I would say here that vegans have the advantage of knowing what to be mindful of, and modern fortified foods and supplements could actually make it harder to develop a deficiency. In addition, there are many ways to check the expected nutritional value of a meal (for example websites specializing in diet management like cronometer.com).
Sat Mar 03, 2018 6:52 pm
Master_Ghost_KnightContributorUser avatarPosts: 2693Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 11:57 pmLocation: Netherlands Gender: Male

Post Re: The moral case for veganism.

The way I see it there is really one argument that matters.

The unnecessary cruelty we subject onto conscious creatures that we use as food.

This is a very good argument. Heck do we even need another argument?
Everything else I have seen being argued about this topic is pretty much bullshit. It is neither healthier or unhealthier to either opt for a vegan or omnivorous diet.
And if it is really health you are concerned about, how come that same argument doesn't really persuade you to ban pot, tobacco or alcohol?

Do you not care about the misery you inflict upon cattle? Do you think it is such a bad idea to broaden your horizons and try new dietary options that require less meat, if part of the reasoning is to reduce suffering of fellow conscious creatures?
Do you think if we had 2 ways to doing things that we would not advocate for the one less barbaric?
Do you think for a moment, that if we could synthetically reproduce the taste and properties of real meat without cutting up animals, that was cheaper and produce less harm to the environment, that we would be so ignorant as to advocate to keep the slaughter house in business?
"I have an irrefutable argument for the existence of...." NO, STOP! You are already wrong!
Sun Mar 04, 2018 1:12 pm
VegoUser avatarPosts: 74Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:32 pm

Post Re: The moral case for veganism.

Master_Ghost_Knight wrote:The way I see it there is really one argument that matters.

The unnecessary cruelty we subject onto conscious creatures that we use as food.

This is a very good argument. Heck do we even need another argument?

I agree with most of your post, and I also agree that unnecessary cruelty is the most important aspect for the moral case for veganism.

That said, promoting veganism requires spending some time on details because the cognitive dissonance is extremely strong with meat-eaters, as evidenced here and elsewhere. To be more precise:
* unnecessary killing is morally objectionable, regardless of how "humane" we think the procedure is;
* veganism needs to be at least not unhealthy, otherwise it opens the door to the "human > non-human" argument, and questioning of the unnecessary-ness.

I believe that once one accepts that a vegan diet is feasible, there is no moral or rational argument against going vegan; this discussion is an opportunity for me to challenge this belief.

Master_Ghost_Knight wrote:Do you think for a moment, that if we could synthetically reproduce the taste and properties of real meat without cutting up animals, that was cheaper and produce less harm to the environment, that we would be so ignorant as to advocate to keep the slaughter house in business?

I hope not, although some purists might decide that they don't want this "synthetic crap" and prefer the "real thing" instead. Some will cling to their culture and traditions no matter what. And the co-existence of synthetic and non-synthetic options might lead some to think "it's all synthetic anyway" and keep being oblivious of how their food came to be.

And let's not forget that the animal-products industry has a lot to lose, and they are not above using aggressive advertising and misinformation campaigns to keep the machine running.

But yeah, things will work out. Probably.
Sun Mar 04, 2018 1:53 pm
Master_Ghost_KnightContributorUser avatarPosts: 2693Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 11:57 pmLocation: Netherlands Gender: Male

Post Re: The moral case for veganism.

Vego wrote:* unnecessary killing is morally objectionable, regardless of how "humane" we think the procedure is;

True, but don't get me wrong, if you are gonna do it please do it as humanely as possible.

Vego wrote:* veganism needs to be at least not unhealthy, otherwise it opens the door to the "human > non-human" argument, and questioning of the unnecessary-ness.

But it is not unhealthy, there are entire cultures (India springs to mind) where people have been vegan for centuries, they seem to be doing fine.

Vego wrote:I believe that once one accepts that a vegan diet is feasible, there is no moral or rational argument against going vegan; this discussion is an opportunity for me to challenge this belief.

Oh, ok, if it is an argument that you want...maybe because most countries don't have an enough fertile land to make the large variety of produce necessary for a healthy diet and thus they are forced to cultivate just grass (that humans can't eat but cattle can) and get the nutrients indirectly by eating the cattle, which otherwise there wouldn't be enough food for everybody.
Seams to be a pretty good argument. But is it applicable tough? Is this true of most western countries? I'm not convinced so.

Vego wrote:
Master_Ghost_Knight wrote:Do you think for a moment, that if [...] we would [...] advocate to keep the slaughter house in business?

I hope not, although [...]

Well, hum... ha... thanks for thinking that we are not bad people, my point wasn't "do you think we are all bad people?", I was not criticizing you. I was making a point to everybody, because I know they are not advocates of animal cruelty, and I know they would be the first in line to advocate against things like bull fighting. We know that slaughtering animals for food is cruel, and animal cruelty is a problem. It doesn't become less of a problem just because you eat it, it just makes it harder to solve, or maybe make people less likely to care. And if we had a clear definite solution that addressed everyone's concern, they would have no problem in switching sides and say "yes, it is a problem".

Having said that, other arguments like, being healthy this way or that way its is really not argument. There are allot of cultures with different dietary cultures, some with or without meat, and they all seam to be fine. And I can guarantee you that when they are shoving burgers down their face that they are not thinking "oh man, I'm doing this because it is so healthy right now!". Well its not, but you are not gonna die from it, so let's stop pretending otherwise.
"I have an irrefutable argument for the existence of...." NO, STOP! You are already wrong!
Sun Mar 04, 2018 7:24 pm
VegoUser avatarPosts: 74Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:32 pm

Post Re: The moral case for veganism.

Master_Ghost_Knight wrote:
Vego wrote:* unnecessary killing is morally objectionable, regardless of how "humane" we think the procedure is;

True, but don't get me wrong, if you are gonna do it please do it as humanely as possible.

Yes.

Master_Ghost_Knight wrote:
Vego wrote:* veganism needs to be at least not unhealthy, otherwise it opens the door to the "human > non-human" argument, and questioning of the unnecessary-ness.

But it is not unhealthy, there are entire cultures (India springs to mind) where people have been vegan for centuries, they seem to be doing fine.

Reality doesn't like it when things are too easy. Animals don't produce B12, bacteria do. A possible way to get this bacterial B12 is from untreated water. It's fine if you don't mind some cholera too, but we try to avoid that nowadays (incidentally, India has some odd stuff going on with its fluvial microbiota).

Dragan Glas got something right about nutritional balance: vegans do need to think about it. We just don't need to overthink it.

Master_Ghost_Knight wrote:
Vego wrote:I believe that once one accepts that a vegan diet is feasible, there is no moral or rational argument against going vegan; this discussion is an opportunity for me to challenge this belief.

Oh, ok, if it is an argument that you want...

I didn't mean it like that... It's just that some people think they have the ultimate anti-vegan argument, or some kind of "good reason" to not go vegan, and I believe it likely that they are mistaken.

Also, repeating myself to avoid misunderstandings: vegetarianism, partial veganism and positive attitude toward veganism are all commendable steps in the right direction.

Master_Ghost_Knight wrote:maybe because most countries don't have an enough fertile land to make the large variety of produce necessary for a healthy diet and thus they are forced to cultivate just grass (that humans can't eat but cattle can) and get the nutrients indirectly by eating the cattle, which otherwise there wouldn't be enough food for everybody.

It was probably lost in everything that has been written already, but I am mostly concerned with people who already have, or will eventually have, a reasonable vegan option available. A surefire way to solve world hunger is asking me too much (and in addition to purely technical considerations, big money and politics come into play and then it all becomes messy).

Master_Ghost_Knight wrote:Having said that, other arguments like, being healthy this way or that way its is really not argument.

I agree that human health arguments are not the core of ethical veganism, and they don't help much the "moral case" as I have been arguing it so far: it's about the non-human animals.

That said, if someone wants to become vegan just for the health benefits (some of which are scientifically demonstrable), they will also be helping the animals and the environment in the process, so I think it is moderately useful to keep that aspect visible in this discussion.
Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:37 pm
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