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Split from Veganism discussion SD and GuySDTalkedTo

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Split from Veganism discussion SD and GuySDTalkedTo
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torink1Posts: 1Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2018 10:39 pm

Post Split from Veganism discussion SD and GuySDTalkedTo

If the point of veganism is to not harm animals, are vegans against using animal products that, by using them, will by no means harm any animal?
For example, hunters discard hundreds of thousands of deerhides each year, would there be any moral problem in using skins of animals that would be discarded anyway? The hunter is not benefiting from this ether, I know some would say that the hunter will shoot more animals if you are paying him for hides but that is not the case, at least where I'm from, it is illegal to sell untaned skins and more often then not the hunter gladly gives the hide to you free and doesn't want it to be wasted. Is there a moral dilemma in this for vegans, if so, why?


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Thu Apr 12, 2018 10:47 pm
Gnug215ModeratorUser avatarPosts: 2669Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 10:31 pm

Post Re: Split from Veganism discussion SD and GuySDTalkedTo

Hi torink1,

The topic you posted in was actually restricted to just two users (who requested it), so I moved your post here.

I know that has left your post in a bit of a vacuum, but it's still a relevant question, so hopefully others can chime in.

Personally, I can only imagine that vegans (or animal lovers in general) would prefer making hunting illegal. I may be wrong...
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Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:36 am
VegoUser avatarPosts: 90Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:32 pm

Post Re: Split from Veganism discussion SD and GuySDTalkedTo

torink1 wrote:If the point of veganism is to not harm animals, are vegans against using animal products that, by using them, will by no means harm any animal?
For example, hunters discard hundreds of thousands of deerhides each year, would there be any moral problem in using skins of animals that would be discarded anyway? The hunter is not benefiting from this ether, I know some would say that the hunter will shoot more animals if you are paying him for hides but that is not the case, at least where I'm from, it is illegal to sell untaned skins and more often then not the hunter gladly gives the hide to you free and doesn't want it to be wasted. Is there a moral dilemma in this for vegans, if so, why?

Veganism doesn't have a strict and unique moral code, it's more of a "do your best" kind of thing, so the answer to your question will depend on who you ask.

Gifts are not really free: when the hunter gives you something useful for "free", you will tend to reward him with a social perk, like a positive attitude ("what a nice person"). So accepting a gift is a form of payment/incentive, and in my opinion we should refuse in this case.

If it is not a gift but instead some kind of dumpster-diving that doesn't benefit the hunter, then I would say it doesn't matter.

By contrast, I think abolitionists would say that we shouldn't even think about it in any case.

Gnug215 wrote:Personally, I can only imagine that vegans (or animal lovers in general) would prefer making hunting illegal.

Almost. Vegans are not necessarily "animal lovers" (I am not). I would prefer people to voluntarily live in a way that doesn't result in avoidable animal exploitation, so that we don't have to resort to lawmaking. But if it helps then yes, I think ethical vegans would be fine with making hunting generally illegal.
"Violent ideologies have a special set of defenses that enable humane people to support inhumane practices and to not even realize what they're doing." (Melanie Joy)
Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:19 pm
*SD*User avatarPosts: 286Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:00 amLocation: Wales, UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Split from Veganism discussion SD and GuySDTalkedTo

Gnug215 wrote:Hi torink1,

The topic you posted in was actually restricted to just two users (who requested it), so I moved your post here.

I know that has left your post in a bit of a vacuum, but it's still a relevant question, so hopefully others can chime in.


There's another thread going on here if the OP wants to chip in!
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Thu Apr 19, 2018 6:46 pm
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SparhafocPosts: 2434Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Split from Veganism discussion SD and GuySDTalkedTo

Vego wrote:Veganism doesn't have a strict and unique moral code, it's more of a "do your best" kind of thing, so the answer to your question will depend on who you ask.


That's not really true at all, is it?

Otherwise, I am a vegan who eats meat... but I am doing my 'best'.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Thu May 10, 2018 9:07 pm
VegoUser avatarPosts: 90Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:32 pm

Post Re: Split from Veganism discussion SD and GuySDTalkedTo

Sparhafoc wrote:
Vego wrote:Veganism doesn't have a strict and unique moral code, it's more of a "do your best" kind of thing, so the answer to your question will depend on who you ask.


That's not really true at all, is it?

As far as I can tell, it is true: the answer to the OP's first question depends on who you ask (an abolitionist will probably not give the same answer as a welfarist), and there is no canonical moral code of veganism (each individual vegan has to figure out how to deal with special cases).

Sparhafoc wrote:Otherwise, I am a vegan who eats meat... but I am doing my 'best'.

Someone who is eating only (accidental) roadkill would not be contributing to animal exploitation. You can call yourself whatever you want, I personally prefer to use the vegan label only for people who are fully dietary vegans, and the others could be partial vegans or flexitarians or semi-vegetarians or whatever label (or none) they feel comfortable with; this is just my personal opinion, I am not trying to be authoritative here.
"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)
Fri May 11, 2018 6:00 pm
SparhafocPosts: 2434Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Split from Veganism discussion SD and GuySDTalkedTo

Vego wrote:
Sparhafoc wrote:That's not really true at all, is it?


As far as I can tell, it is true: the answer to the OP's first question depends on who you ask (an abolitionist will probably not give the same answer as a welfarist), and there is no canonical moral code of veganism (each individual vegan has to figure out how to deal with special cases).


I am deeply suspicious of terms which are so broadened and inclusive that they appear to no longer signify the very thing they mean, not least because it makes words mean nothing at all.

I submit that the term 'vegan' is actually quite restrictive, quite exclusive, and essentially binary in the either/or sense.

Do you intentionally refrain from eating or using any and all animal products? Yes; you're a vegan / No: you're not a vegan.

Now, whether any individual who is definitionally a vegan wants to label themselves as such or not is entirely down to them and none of my business - there are hosts of valid and tangential reasons why someone might not want to be so labelled regardless of their practices.

But if someone is definitionally not a vegan then they're not a vegan regardless of whether they want to use the term for whatever reason they've alighted on, because it doesn't matter what they say they are; what defines veganism is not about identifying and subscribing to a noun/adjective.

I am not many things; for example, I am not a police officer. Now, I can run around telling everyone who'll listen that I am a police officer, but my ability to formulate the words, channel sound with my vocal chords to produce this significance in another human beings' minds doesn't actually mean that it makes my proclamation so. I remain Factually Not a Police Officer regardless of how many times I state otherwise.

Incidentally, my argument there is nothing to do with veganism in particular, but rather a growing annoyance with the modern post-truth zeitgeist where whimsy is considered to trump reality, and words have to be decoded to find out what special contrived drama one has to engage with before communicating.


Vego wrote:
Sparhafoc wrote:Otherwise, I am a vegan who eats meat... but I am doing my 'best'.


Someone who is eating only (accidental) roadkill would not be contributing to animal exploitation.


Animal exploitation has nothing essential to do with veganism - I could be a vegan while not giving two hoots about animals' subjective sensory and cognitive experiences, perhaps for religious reasons, or because I think animals are all toxic, pestilential and yucky, or for a sundry of other dramatic fictions we humans contrive for ourselves as we navigate our existence.

Someone who is eating or using any animal products is not a vegan - they are someone who is against partaking directly in the exploitation of animals; we just don't have as fashionable or catchy a noun/adjective for that position.

As an aside, it's a philosophically dubious notion that eating roadkill isn't directly partaking in the exploitation of animals due to those animals having been killed by a society uncaring of their deaths, which builds concrete strips through the environment, drives pollution-causing mobile machines along them at such speed and in such numbers that there is even such a thing as roadkill, complete with handy noun, in the first place. Of course, the counter-argument would be simple and quite compelling that at least they're making the deaths of these animals 'useful' by being consumed by a human to use their organically stored nutrients for their own well-being... something I think a vegan should still quite clearly find untenable.

But back to the point, veganism is either exclusive herbivory, or it's not really a thing. Words work so well when they're used to define rather than woolify.


Vego wrote:You can call yourself whatever you want,...


With this I wholly agree, with the obvious qualification that no one is actually obliged to accept that appellation. As such, if I ate and used animal products on a daily basis, I could of course call myself a vegan and tell every person I encountered at every opportunity, but neither you nor anyone else would be obliged to accept that, or to join in calling me a vegan. But there would still be no further mechanism you could use, no matter whether every single person in society agreed with you, to oblige me to stop calling myself a vegan. I could shout it from the rooftops while chewing on the backside of a cow.

This is one of the absurd outcomes of the farce I am really railing against here, as pointed out above! :)


Vego wrote: I personally prefer to use the vegan label only for people who are fully dietary vegans, and the others could be partial vegans or flexitarians or semi-vegetarians or whatever label (or none) they feel comfortable with; this is just my personal opinion, I am not trying to be authoritative here.


I would reply that the Law of Non-Contradiction is authoritative, you can't be something that you're not.

For a vegan, I could well imagine that a flexitarian is more identifiable than someone who doesn't give two hoots about animals just so long as they're tasty and cooked to perfection. But that doesn't make the flexitarian a vegan, it just means they eat little meat, which is true of a huge number of humans who are only vegan insofar as they don't have ready access to meat usually for economic reasons.

Don't get me wrong, I do understand the 'culture' at play here because while I live in Asia, and have lived in a number of 'exotic' countries for nearly all my adult life, I was raised in the UK and still have ties to various groups of friends there. One group in particular are all vegan, with vegan families and vegan networks of friends, and with vegan lifestyles. As I frequently have remind them; they need to keep in mind that they are a very small subgroup, of a very small subgroup, of a very small subgroup with respect to the human population, and the entire notion of veganism in their proximate subgrouping is based on a huge number of factors that they had no part in shaping, and are the unwitting beneficiaries of. To wit for the most simple example; having the luxury of being able to go vegan for purely philosophical/ethical reasons. For most of human history, that would have been utterly absurd and self-harmful, and still is in a vast expanse of the human population today.

As such, I don't think it's much to ask of vegans and philosophically-motivated eaters to be honest with themselves, not least before seeking to convince others of the elevated morality of their preferred reason for refusing to eat or use animal products.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Fri May 11, 2018 7:10 pm
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