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Why Vegan?

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Why Vegan?
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SparhafocPosts: 2204Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Why Vegan?

It appears Wark is trying to charge you with an appeal to futility fallacy.


For clarity, I don't think it usually happens, but one person can change the world. I think what usually happens is that the ground changes, the vista of ideas shift unconsciously over time, sometimes through technological advancement, other times through the weight of past ideas crashing against each other. People born into the later system will naturally pick up ideas that challenge the formerly held 'natural' positions of the past, although both past and present ideas are usually founded on unconscious premises.

Can one person change the world? Yes. Is it likely? No. Did I make any argument ever in the history of my life connected with that idea either for or against a position? I genuinely don't believe so.

Incidentally, typing in 'futility fallacy' into Google netted me a top search for a fucking men's rights advocacy forum! :roll:
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Tue May 29, 2018 2:21 pm
*SD*User avatarPosts: 176Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:00 amLocation: Wales, UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Why Vegan?

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

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


^ From a different post.

This has been one of my main arguments throughout the thread. As I said in my previous post "intent tho" is as good as it gets (it seems). I detailed this a few pages back, I used rabbits as an example. Rabbits get killed with pesticides, even some herbicides are toxic to animals. They are killed, hurt, displaced, generally fucked with during ploughing, sowing and harvesting. They are dispatched as pests deliberately for the protection of vegan crops, as are pigeons and several other creatures. Lots of vegans know this, Vego knows this because it's been explained to him (he may have been aware of it before it was explained but seeing as it's been pointed out he has no excuse for not being aware of this) and vego says he doesn't worry about it. But Vego objects to the same animals being killed for meat. Given that Vego could, if he so chooses, refrain from supporting the industries that do this, I find that he is not really following the definition he, himself provided. I've pointed out more than once that seeing as he is the one bringing the argument, he really should be practicing what he preaches. Given your above quoted post, it seems you also view this as a problem. Perhaps (hopefully) now this point will be taken seriously.

As if the intent somehow matters. I don't see that it does. When an animal is killed it is of zero consolation to that animal as to the reason or justification a human has for it's demise. Whether it be a deliberate act, or collateral damage - it's dead either way. A waste, one could argue, in the case of the latter.

This seems lost on Vego and I can't understand why, it's not a particularly complicated point. The argument (as in this item of argumentation) seems to be that it is actually ok to kill animals for the production of food, as long as that food is vegan food. Which I find, frankly - bizarre. And irritating when vegans try to blow it off as "carnists arguing wheat tho haha silly flesh eaters" as if there's no relevant point being made at all.
You can if you like, but I don't have to join you.

You do you booboo.
Tue May 29, 2018 2:44 pm
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SparhafocPosts: 2204Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Why Vegan?

For clarity, the exchange earlier went like this...

Sparhafoc wrote:There is one other task that a vegan needs to perform when suggesting that it is immoral for others to eat meat. That is the hard, inescapable fact that the production of their food inevitably and directly results in the deaths of numerous animals, many of which are sentient. Examples of this are the large numbers of small mammals killed through the harvesting of crops, not to mention the loss of habitat for agriculture.


Vego wrote:And until we develop a technology that allows us to grow plant food without killing anything (maybe growing in space, I don't know) this is simply a problem that doesn't currently have a practical solution. Animal farming does have a practical solution: consuming less of its products.


Sparhafoc wrote:Does not make any sense: the former has just as many practical solutions as the latter, they're just not ones you're willing to countenance, for whatever reason.


Vego wrote:I don't know what you are talking about. Individuals growing their own crops: not practical, not scalable. Replacing harvesting machines with human labor? Indoor fields? If it can be done, that would be an advantage for veganism. But if it is too expensive, then it's not really practical.



So until we develop a technology that allows us to grow plants without killing anything, then the death and suffering of animals is a necessary evil.

But even without the technology that allows us to grow meats without killing anything, the death and suffering of animals is immoral.


In reality, a vegan lifestyle is not practical in exactly the same terms for the majority of humans on this planet. How many vegans are currently possible according to availability of varied produce, fortified foods, supplements, distribution networks, economic conditions etc? No one really can tell, but it's already been floated in this thread as less than 1%.

A solution for less than 1% is not actually a solution to anything.
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Tue May 29, 2018 3:09 pm
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatar
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Post Re: Why Vegan?

Greetings,

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

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

"Must be"?

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

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

For a minority of the global population, therefore - whatever the moral argument - it's impractical.

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

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

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

In the wild, boar (wild pigs) forage for roots, tubers, etc. Farming practices don't cater to this except in the case for pig-slop fed in troughs. Again, I'm talking about the UK/Ireland - in America, and elsewhere, things are different.

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

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

If you need injections, it's not healthy - does that make it clearer?

I'm not talking about extreme diets - I'm talking about a "balanced vegan" diet.

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

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

Dragan Glas wrote: :facepalm:

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

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

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

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

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

Let's take it a step at a time.

1) Currently, there is a sizable proportion of crop production used for animal feed;
2) There is also a sizable proportion of waste;
3) If this waste were used for animal feed instead of the crop production for animal feed, this would free up more crop production for human consumption;
4) Rather than total plant-food production going down, it would need to increase for a number of reasons:
i) Population is increasing, and will continue to increase for the foreseeable future;
ii) Plants produce less protein, etc, than animals - for that reason, there will be a need for considerably more plant production to make up for this difference;
iii) Land currently used for corn (maize) for animal feed would be better used for fruit/vegetable production, as they are a better source of nutrition. There may be a question as to whether the soil suitable for corn would be equally suitable for other crops, and thus causing a problem with meeting nutritional needs.

The key reason for a need to increase total crop production is our ever-increasing global population, which comes back to my point about reducing our population growth.

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

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

Humans evolved to include meat in their diet, despite what you may believe and/or were told to the contrary.

We're evolved omnivores, not herbivores.

Our stomachs produce hydrochloric acid to break down complex proteins - animal, not vegetable, protein.

It's not intended for carbohydrates, and vegetable proteins - that's what saliva is for, which is why it's important to chew your food: to give saliva the time to break down simpler proteins and carbohydrates, in conjunction with mastication.

We've evolved to extract B12 from animal proteins, and absorb them in the presence of other animal proteins, and fats. Trying to absorb B12 absent these is not possible through digestion - that's why B12 is also given through injections (particularly for those unable to absorb B12 through digestion - such as those suffering from "rickets"). In fact, a moral vegan - if they're to abide by their ideals - must inject, rather than take B12 in pill form. Either the pill contains animal extracts to facilitate absorption, or the "vegan" must include other animal proteins/fats in their diet for the same reason.

Vego wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:trafficking

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

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

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

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

As I said elsewhere, livestock farming requires skilled labourers - picking/packing of fruit and vegetables does not. Therefore, exploitation of migrant labour is predominantly of the latter. With an increase in plant-based crop production, exploitation of migrant labour will increase.

Vego wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:Trafficked persons beaten to death

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

Just because it's a topical subject does not mean that it's the only example of what has, is, and will continue to occur worldwide.

I put the welfare of people before animals, and make no apology for that.

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

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

And I think you're avoiding the consequences to humans in favour of livestock.

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

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

As I've said elsewhere, until we can grow animal protein in the lab, and scale it upwards to industrial proportions, current practices will continue, if only at a lower level.

And if you wish to address the death of animals during crop production, you should be advocating for hydroponics, and indoor crop production.

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

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

A life worth living for humans takes precedence, in my view.

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

...

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

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

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

I believe I've addressed this above but just to reiterate, we need to increase total food production to cater for our ever-increasing global population.

We will continue to need ASFs until we can artificially grow animal protein/fats on an industrial scale - only then will the need for/killing of livestock be ended.

That's the simple reality.

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

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

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

All of these other potential crops would still be affected by climate change.

The one-basket argument is still valid - as in everything, having a diversified food supply is the safest option.

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

No, it is a play on words, and I explained why several times. The amount of non-vegans believing otherwise doesn't matter: saying it includes supplements therefore it's not healthy is not necessarily true. If you want to claim that a well-planned vegan diet is not healthy, your justification has to start with a well-planned vegan diet and somehow show what is wrong with it.

The need for supplements.

Kindest regards,

James
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"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
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Tue May 29, 2018 4:40 pm
SparhafocPosts: 2204Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Why Vegan?

We've evolved to extract B12 from animal proteins, and absorb them in the presence of other animal proteins, and fats. Trying to absorb B12 absent these is not possible through digestion - that's why B12 is also given through injections (particularly for those unable to absorb B12 through digestion - such as those suffering from "rickets"). In fact, a moral vegan - if they're to abide by their ideals - must inject, rather than take B12 in pill form. Either the pill contains animal extracts to facilitate absorption, or the "vegan" must include other animal proteins/fats in their diet for the same reason.


Do you have a source for this please James?

I was under the impression that cyanocobalamin was a purely synthetic vitamer of B12 and produced solely through bacterial fermentation which doesn't need to be released through contact with stomach hydrochloric acid, but is already in free form so it can combine with glycoprotein secreted by the stomach’s parietal cells.

For me, the issue here is actually availability and cost, but there are various health aspects relevant too.
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Tue May 29, 2018 5:10 pm
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatar
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Post Re: Why Vegan?

Greetings,

Sparhafoc wrote:
We've evolved to extract B12 from animal proteins, and absorb them in the presence of other animal proteins, and fats. Trying to absorb B12 absent these is not possible through digestion - that's why B12 is also given through injections (particularly for those unable to absorb B12 through digestion - such as those suffering from "rickets"). In fact, a moral vegan - if they're to abide by their ideals - must inject, rather than take B12 in pill form. Either the pill contains animal extracts to facilitate absorption, or the "vegan" must include other animal proteins/fats in their diet for the same reason.


Do you have a source for this please James?

I was under the impression that cyanocobalamin was a purely synthetic vitamer of B12 and produced solely through bacterial fermentation which doesn't need to be released through contact with stomach hydrochloric acid, but is already in free form so it can combine with glycoprotein secreted by the stomach’s parietal cells.

For me, the issue here is actually availability and cost, but there are various health aspects relevant too.

:oops: Somewhat difficult for me to provide a specific source, Sparhafoc, as it's something I've picked up over the years from reading various books, articles, etc.

I did a Google, and found this - not sure how reliable it is.

Kindest regards,

James
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"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
The Age Of Reason
Tue May 29, 2018 5:17 pm
SparhafocPosts: 2204Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Why Vegan?

Dragan Glas wrote: :oops: Somewhat difficult for me to provide a specific source, Sparhafoc, as it's something I've picked up over the years from reading various books, articles, etc.


That's alright - I know the feeling all too well. My university education was just before the advent of widely available computers and the internet, and consequently I never had links to even a fraction of the things I studied. I remember in the early days of internet discussion groups being told I was evading substantiating my claims because I was referencing paper literature not immediately available! :D


Dragan Glas wrote:I did a Google, and found this - not sure how reliable it is.


No problem, but I am still skeptical of this. I believe that cyanocobalamin functions adequately as a B12 vitaminer assuming the absence of other medical factors.


https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2809139/

Advances in the Understanding of Cobalamin Assimilation and Metabolism

The haematological and neurological consequences of cobalamin deficiency define the essential role of this vitamin in key metabolic reactions. The identification of cubilin-amnionless as the receptors for intestinal absorption of intrinsic factor-bound cobalamin and the plasma membrane receptor for cellular uptake of transcobalamin bound cobalamin have provided a clearer understanding of the absorption and cellular uptake of this vitamin. As the genes involved in the intracellular processing of cobalamins and genetic defects of these pathways are identified, the metabolic disposition of cobalamins and the proteins involved are being recognized. The synthesis of methylcobalamin and 5’deoxyadenosylcobalamin, their utilization in conjunction with methionine synthase and methylmalonylCoA mutase, respectively, and the metabolic consequences of defects in these pathways could provide insights into the clinical presentation of cobalamin deficiency.


This discusses genetic defects which may prevent absorption of cobalamins, so assuming these genetic defects are absent, it shows clinical support that the body can metabolize them.


https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-1010 ... al/details

Before taking cyanocobalamin, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to any form of vitamin B12; or to cobalt; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

If you have any of the following health problems, consult your doctor or pharmacist before using this medication: a certain eye disease (Leber's optic neuropathy), a certain blood disorder (polycythemia vera), gout, iron or folic acid deficiency anemia, low potassium blood levels (hypokalemia).

Cyanocobalamin taken by mouth should only be used if your body can properly absorb it. You may need a form of vitamin B12 that is injected or inhaled in the nose if you have any of the following health problems: pernicious anemia, food absorption problems, stomach/intestinal surgery (such as gastric bypass or bowel resection), stomach/intestinal disease (such as Crohn's disease, colitis, diverticulitis, pancreatic insufficiency), irradiation of the small bowel.


So there are a range of health factors which may make B12 supplements inappropriate, which would then require fortified foods (which are much less widely available and excessively costly in many parts of the world). However, B12 supplement is actually suggested for the elderly as our ability to metabolize B12 from food sources diminishes with age.


Edit: quote tags
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Last edited by Sparhafoc on Tue May 29, 2018 5:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Tue May 29, 2018 5:32 pm
SparhafocPosts: 2204Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Why Vegan?

Ahhh... this seems a more comprehensive source with more accessible information: https://web.archive.org/web/20070831112 ... 033700.htm

((Found via Wikipedia))
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Tue May 29, 2018 5:35 pm
WarKChat ModeratorUser avatarPosts: 1202Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 9:59 am Gender: Tree

Post Re: Why Vegan?

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


WarK wrote:
It's exactly about reducing animal suffering.


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

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


I eat meat and dairy and have no plans to stop. So maybe I'm posting in the wrong topic. :)

The argument that I find reasonable for becoming a vegan is that by not buying meat we as consumers could impact production of meat, albeit in a small way. The less (animal) suffering the better.

I don't mind drawing an arbitrary line. We do it with other issues such as abortion or which drugs are illegal. Different people have different limitation, economical or practical. In future, when it becomes more feasible, such a line could be moved farther.

I think I now understand your (and SD's) objection better. I don't know any vegans personally so I never had first hand experience with them deriding me for being immoral (when they themselves were eating vegan food that too caused animal deaths).

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


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




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


Yes, I think that was what I was trying to do, didn't know it had a name. To me limiting how much meat we buy and just talking about the impact of using animals for food is a step in the right direction.


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

So I think I am being misconstrued.


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


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


My apologies, I clearly didn't follow the topic closely enough and got the impression that You were addressing Vego specifically.
Did you see that ludicrous display last night?
Tue May 29, 2018 8:07 pm
WarKChat ModeratorUser avatarPosts: 1202Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 9:59 am Gender: Tree

Post Re: Why Vegan?

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


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


Yeah, my last two points were the least serious, if at all.

As for the first two points, as I said, I don't mind drawing a line. Sure, if a vegan bashes you for being immoral not realising their own impact on animals then I think your objection stands. If their goal is to just decrease the amount of animals suffering but growing their own food is too much of a hassle, I don't mind.
Did you see that ludicrous display last night?
Tue May 29, 2018 8:28 pm
*SD*User avatarPosts: 176Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:00 amLocation: Wales, UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Why Vegan?

Very reasonable replies indeed, wark, very reasonable indeed. I'm glad that the point has been recognised and acknowledged, and perhaps more importantly appreciated and understood.
You can if you like, but I don't have to join you.

You do you booboo.
Tue May 29, 2018 8:38 pm
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SparhafocPosts: 2204Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Why Vegan?

WarK wrote:The argument that I find reasonable for becoming a vegan is that by not buying meat we as consumers could impact production of meat, albeit in a small way. The less (animal) suffering the better.


Sadly, I think it would take a more concerted effort to actually affect market forces. One person stopping doing something would not result in a lowering of production, and presumably the product would just go to waste.

But if enough people stop consuming something, then I agree it would have the effect of lowering production and therefore lowering suffering.


WarK wrote:I don't mind drawing an arbitrary line. We do it with other issues such as abortion or which drugs are illegal. Different people have different limitation, economical or practical. In future, when it becomes more feasible, such a line could be moved farther.


This I agree with and it forms one of my central arguments in this thread. I genuinely believe that line will be moved by technology in this instance. If we can make synthetic meat that is indistinguishable from animal flesh in texture, taste, smell etc., and it was either the same price or possibly even cheaper, then there'd be little reason for anyone to want to kill an animal to get the same product. On top of that, synthetic meats could be further tinkered with to be more healthy than our traditional domesticated animals' flesh.


WarK wrote:I think I now understand your (and SD's) objection better. I don't know any vegans personally so I never had first hand experience with them deriding me for being immoral (when they themselves were eating vegan food that too caused animal deaths).


Some of my oldest friends are vegan and have always been, or have mostly been so for as long as I've known them. We often get into rip-roaring discussions, but they remain civil for the most part. I do think that dearly held emotional positions are genuinely best not argued with people who you don't care about as much. When you care about someone, then you can accept their arguments as being just that rather than being intended to wound.

I did manage to quite seriously piss one of my best friends of the vegan persuasion off last time I was in the UK by saying that I felt that tiger conservation was fundamentally flawed in principle (my argument being based on an ecological species concept) and she even went to bed still cross with me... but we sorted it all out the next morning over tea and coffee respectively. :)


WarK wrote:My apologies, I clearly didn't follow the topic closely enough and got the impression that You were addressing Vego specifically.


Not a problem and thank you for taking the time to clarify that.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Wed May 30, 2018 2:20 pm
VegoUser avatarPosts: 83Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:32 pm

Post Re: Why Vegan?

Sparhafoc wrote:Veganism isn't about 'causing less' it's about not causing it.

It's about not causing it if possible. Short of that, causing less is a realistic goal if we are talking about collateral damage. That said, animal exploitation could come to an end (or quite close) with dietary and lifestyle veganism.

Sparhafoc wrote:And I gave you references that counter your claims.

No, in a previous post you gave me a reference that was not informative, and I explained why. Then you made a post about people suffering from malnutrition, and also included a few papers where the focus seems to be "populations in developing countries" and "regions where protein and micronutrient malnutrition is prevalent". Malnutrition is a tragedy that needs urgent care, but it is outside the scope of my claims.

In addition, in that old post, you said "Ergo, the notion that this is a low bar is far abstracted from reality". I don't know what to reply to that, because it looks like you didn't understand my claim. People who don't get enough food need more food, whether it's meat or something else. And if they don't get enough food (even with meat included), deficiencies of all kinds are to be expected; but a vegan diet is not required to be a starvation diet, so this doesn't counter anything.

Sparhafoc wrote:My reluctance to take your claims seriously are based on how you cite a source that doesn't support your claim.

If you are talking about the links I gave regarding nutrients earlier: they do support my claim (which is that, outside medical exceptions, we don't need animal products, whether biologically or in practice for those with proper access to resources). You quoted something about selenium and then went on about people who potentially lack access to resources. This is not an argument against my claims, because I explicitly require such access to be available. Rejecting this constraint is like asking me "what if, by hypothesis, veganism is not possible?" in which case there is nothing for me to address (under the hypothesis that you can't go vegan, you can't go vegan).

Sparhafoc wrote:It's not like arguments are infinite.

Good arguments may not be infinite, but I don't see why there would be a limit to the bad ones. I have seen many arguments against veganism (some people make lists, I linked to one in my opening), but even for the categories that I am aware of, I don't think that I have seen the end of it.

Sparhafoc wrote:Not only have I already addressed this nonsensical assertion on your part, and not only have you failed to respond to it, but the mere act of you asserting something doesn't make it true.

What makes it true is simply the recognition that whatever we think we know, we had to learn through personal experience or trusted sources. My assertion is really mundane: we all have beliefs about almost everything, including food. Whether you believe or not that it is acceptable or necessary to eat meat, eggs, wheat, bananas, it's all part of your food ideology.

Sparhafoc wrote:I don't believe I did

I was merely trying to make room for special cases like lab meat (which as of today is still a futuristic idea). If we exclude such special cases, meat as we know it will always require death in principle, regardless of improvements in farming practices, I think we agree on that. By contrast, the collateral death in agriculture is not required in principle and future improvements in farming practices could reduce the problem. But even without such improvements, a hypothetical vegan world would at least solve one of the two issues.

Sparhafoc wrote:Or you don't.

I understand my position, but you keep refusing to accept it, and instead try to argue against some kind of extremism that I have explicitly rejected many times (I see a reduction in the demand for animal products as possible and desirable, it is what I am hoping for in the short-term, and going full vegan is just the natural endpoint).

Sparhafoc wrote:I keep challenging your absolutist conclusions.

You are confusing things (veganism as I defend it, my opinion of your claims). I have tried my best to present a flexible view of veganism, there is nothing absolutist about it. Your mistakes in understanding my arguments are a separate matter.

Sparhafoc wrote:except for the briefest moment of modern history ... eating meat has factually been a nutritional necessity.

Unless we were obligate carnivores at some point, eating meat was never a nutritional necessity. Even so, I am mostly interested in today, and today we know that it isn't a nutritional necessity (according to dietitians, not just me).

Sparhafoc wrote:why is there a line abruptly introduced

We are not exploiting field mice, we are competing against them for the same resource (land) and the collateral damage will happen as long as we require intensive agriculture for our survival. I don't believe that we can do otherwise, given our current technology, population size and other constraints, but if we can, that would be great (and hopefully in the future we will). By contrast, we are exploiting farm animals, and it is in our power to put an end to it. This is not about a line, we have two different set of circumstances (different goals, different methods, different outcomes [animal exploitation is more than just killing], different constraints, different solutions).

Sparhafoc wrote:The only reason offered is economic

Many reasons were offered, you just ignore them or dismiss them because you are focusing on your own personal definition of veganism. There is no moral equivalence between the killing of farm animals and the killing of field creatures: we are in control of farm animals population, and each one that we make is almost guaranteed a shortened life (and a particularly miserable one for those in intensive farming); by contrast, we do not have the same control of field creatures population, they are more-or-less free to move around, and for every one that is killed, many more escape, otherwise they would disappear. If anything, too much collateral killing is actually an ecological problem (pesticides) which is yet another difference with animal farming (where there is incentive for more killing in order to get more meat at lower prices).

Sparhafoc wrote:For there to be a moral component, it would need to be black and white.

Apparently this is your opinion, but it doesn't make sense to me. I have already said, that feasibility and choice are a requirement. If one has the option to go vegan, the choice is made at every purchase.

Sparhafoc wrote:My position on veganism is positive

I admit that it doesn't really look that way to me. But if it is true, that is great.

Sparhafoc wrote:So I think I am being misconstrued.

Welcome to the club.

Sparhafoc wrote:I am responding to the topic question posed: Why Vegan?

My stated goal was "a more informed starting point", but you have chosen to keep repeating the same old misconceptions about veganism.
"Violent ideologies have a special set of defenses that enable humane people to support inhumane practices and to not even realize what they're doing." (Melanie Joy)
Last edited by Vego on Mon Jun 04, 2018 7:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
Mon Jun 04, 2018 4:45 am
VegoUser avatarPosts: 83Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:32 pm

Post Re: Why Vegan?

*SD* wrote:I didn't get an answer beyond "intent tho"

I never tried to be this dismissive ("tho" is what meat-eaters are doing) and you got more than that, you just ignored it all. There are many differences in kind and quantity between animal exploitation and collateral damage: it's not the same thing.

*SD* wrote:They are dispatched as pests deliberately for the protection of vegan crops

No, as far as I know, this can happen for all crops, whether they are for humans (I am not sure what "vegan crops" are) or animals.

*SD* wrote:Vego could, if he so chooses, refrain from supporting the industries that do this.

Not easily. It's not just wheat, it's everything that uses modern farming practices. Avoiding wheat would already be challenging (yet another dietary constraint) but it would be for nothing if it is compensated with something else (like corn). In addition, as long as money goes into the meat industry, intensive farming practices will keep growing, regardless of how plant foods are produced. These are really two different issues, and going vegan already tackles both (because a lot of animals are fed a lot of crops). Going further is just that: going further (and I have been quite explicit since the beginning about the flexibility of my position).

*SD* wrote:I find that he is not really following the definition he, himself provided.

Actually I do, as I already explained.

*SD* wrote:he really should be practicing what he preaches.

I do, but even if I didn't, why does that matter? If, hypothetically, I secretly splurge on steaks when nobody is looking, that would make me a dishonest individual, but it wouldn't affect veganism as I present it.

*SD* wrote:When an animal is killed it is of zero consolation to that animal as to the reason or justification a human has for it's demise.

True, but morality is also about intent and necessity. I am not currently aware of a realistic way to end modern (plant) farming practices, there is nothing that consumers can do about it, short of everyone becoming at least partially self-sufficient. On the other hand, a shift to dietary veganism is (in theory) a reasonably easy way to end animal farming and reduce the collateral damage.
"Violent ideologies have a special set of defenses that enable humane people to support inhumane practices and to not even realize what they're doing." (Melanie Joy)
Last edited by Vego on Mon Jun 04, 2018 7:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
Mon Jun 04, 2018 4:49 am
VegoUser avatarPosts: 83Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:32 pm

Post Re: Why Vegan?

Dragan Glas wrote:"Must be"?

I was simply trying to say that we currently observe a high demand for animal products, it doesn't have to be this way.

Dragan Glas wrote:For a minority of the global population

Once again, my arguments only apply to people with proper access to information and resources. If there are only 100 million individuals who fit the criteria, then my arguments only apply to these 100 million individuals (this number is just an example, I don't know how many there are right now, and I don't know how high it can go in the future, hopefully billions).

Dragan Glas wrote:If you need injections, it's not healthy - does that make it clearer?

If by "injection" you really mean injection (the method):
- it is not a general requirement (some individuals might require it for medical reasons, I am not aware of a general requirement);
- if this were true (I don't think it is, and I may not be the only one) I guess it would make vegan diets incomplete (counting an injection as "food" is a stretch imho), and the result would be an increase in the practical difficulty of veganism.

Dragan Glas wrote:Let's take it a step at a time.

1) Currently, there is a sizable proportion of crop production used for animal feed;

Yes. I have seen various numbers (a third, a half, three quarters), and I guess 50% is reasonable.

Dragan Glas wrote:2) There is also a sizable proportion of waste;

I don't know the proportion, but let's say it is sizable.

Dragan Glas wrote:3) If this waste were used for animal feed instead of the crop production for animal feed, this would free up more crop production for human consumption;

It would free up arable land, which we could then use for "more crop production for human consumption", so yes.

However, I am a bit confused here. This point 3) is about feeding waste to animals, but it is not clear to me whether we are in your scenario (where people presumably keep eating ASF) or mine. With what you say below in "4)ii)", it looks like it's my scenario, but then it wouldn't make sense to keep all the animals around (we already have too much manure, and without the need to kill billions every year, at least we would considerably dowsize the population of farm animals). On the other hand, if we are in your scenario, then I don't understand what "4)ii" is about.

Dragan Glas wrote:4) Rather than total plant-food production going down, it would need to increase for a number of reasons:
i) Population is increasing, and will continue to increase for the foreseeable future;

In the long term, an increase in population will lead to an increase in total plant-food production, but this is true with or without veganism.
(In the short term, it's not so clear)

Dragan Glas wrote:ii) Plants produce less protein, etc, than animals - for that reason, there will be a need for considerably more plant production to make up for this difference;

Not exactly. Plants are less dense in energy and macro-nutrients, but the difference in nutritional efficiency (based on the paper that I quoted earlier in our conversation, or even the simplified 3:1 ratio that you mentioned) means that the increase in total plant production will not be considerable.

Dragan Glas wrote:iii) Land currently used for corn (maize) for animal feed would be better used for fruit/vegetable production, as they are a better source of nutrition. There may be a question as to whether the soil suitable for corn would be equally suitable for other crops, and thus causing a problem with meeting nutritional needs.

I don't know exactly what would grow where (will probably depend on local climate), but I think farmers can rotate their crops, so this may not be an issue.

Dragan Glas wrote:The key reason for a need to increase total crop production is our ever-increasing global population

The scenario that I gave in my previous post was assuming a constant population, but it is true that this assumption would only work in the short-term. However, the decrease in total plant production in my scenario is also relative: in the long term, the total plant production would follow the population trend, but it would be lower than it would be without a general change in diet.

In other words, switching to a vegan diet will not prevent a long-term increase in production due to population growth, but (in my scenario) it will at least lighten the load on our resources.

Dragan Glas wrote:, which comes back to my point about reducing our population growth.

Changing human population growth is outside the scope of veganism.

Dragan Glas wrote:We're evolved omnivores, not herbivores

We already had this conversation in the other thread: ability to eat meat is not a requirement to eat meat.

Dragan Glas wrote:Our stomachs produce hydrochloric acid to break down complex proteins - animal, not vegetable, protein.

It's not intended for carbohydrates, and vegetable proteins - that's what saliva is for, which is why it's important to chew your food: to give saliva the time to break down simpler proteins and carbohydrates, in conjunction with mastication.

This is a very strange. Are you claiming that in humans digestion of plant proteins doesn't occur in the gastro-intestinal tract, or that somehow it requires saliva? Can you please provide a justification?

Dragan Glas wrote:We've evolved to extract B12 from animal proteins, and absorb them in the presence of other animal proteins, and fats. Trying to absorb B12 absent these is not possible through digestion

Please provide a reference for this claim.

(I noticed that this point was discussed by others, but I haven't had time to read everything yet)

Dragan Glas wrote:Just because it's a topical subject does not mean that it's the only example of what has, is, and will continue to occur worldwide.

It's not about being in the news, your reference is irrelevant to veganism. What is happening to them is tragic, but it is not caused by going vegan.

Dragan Glas wrote:And I think you're avoiding the consequences to humans in favour of livestock.

No, you are making an extraordinary claim (dietary shift to veganism would increase human misery) and you have very little to back it up. While it is true that some potentially vegan products can lead to various problems (typical example: palm oil), things are not as simple as you are trying to say.

Dragan Glas wrote:And if you wish to address the death of animals during crop production, you should be advocating for hydroponics, and indoor crop production.

Veganism already partially addresses this issue. I am in favor of the techniques you describe, but farmers have to find a way to make use of them on a large-scale.

Dragan Glas wrote:The one-basket argument is still valid

No, diverse vegan diets already require a diversified food supply. And as long as something can grow somewhere, there is always the possibility that we might replace it with a human-edible analogue. Maybe poor countries can't do this yet because of various issues (poverty, lack of technology, political instability, etc), but there is no reason to think that it can't be done in a reasonable time frame.

Dragan Glas wrote:The need for supplements.

The need for an actual justification.
"Violent ideologies have a special set of defenses that enable humane people to support inhumane practices and to not even realize what they're doing." (Melanie Joy)
Mon Jun 04, 2018 5:24 am
*SD*User avatarPosts: 176Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:00 amLocation: Wales, UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Why Vegan?

I never tried to be this dismissive ("tho" is what meat-eaters are doing) and you got more than that, you just ignored it all. There are many differences in kind and quantity between animal exploitation and collateral damage: it's not the same thing.


I didn't really mean you were being dismissive as such. No, what happens is vegans take the arguments being made by their opponents, add 'tho' on the end and imagine this somehow counters whatever that argument was. I didn't ignore anything, I know you said more words than that, but it boils down to intent. This is not a misrepresentation of your position.

There are some differences between the two, yes, but what difference do these differences actually make? This is a distinction without a difference.

No, as far as I know, this can happen for all crops, whether they are for humans


I can't tell whether you're agreeing or disagreeing here. It does happen for all crops, yes. How does this help your case or affect my point?

I am not sure what "vegan crops" are


All I mean here is crops. I could have omitted the word vegan, I only included it because what I mean is vegan food

Not easily. It's not just wheat, it's everything that uses modern farming practices. Avoiding wheat would already be challenging (yet another dietary constraint) but it would be for nothing if it is compensated with something else (like corn). In addition, as long as money goes into the meat industry, intensive farming practices will keep growing, regardless of how plant foods are produced. These are really two different issues, and going vegan already tackles both (because a lot of animals are fed a lot of crops). Going further is just that: going further (and I have been quite explicit since the beginning about the flexibility of my position).


Where is the difficulty in not buying wheat based foods? And I'm aware it's not just wheat, but there's no need for me to carpet bomb you with every foodstuff out there. I was sticking with wheat because it's a good example and helps with focusing on one thing rather than loads of things.

"yet another dietary constraint" - yes, but all the other dietary constraints you already have are imposed by no one other than your self. Your restricted diet is outside my control (as it should be) - it's not my fault and not my problem. If you choose to impose restrictions upon your self, and from there find things difficult I can't help that. Yeah, you'd have to compensate with something else, and that something else is subject to the same issues as wheat (using corn as an example, as you mentioned it)

To be honest Vego, I think it's the flexibility of your position that's causing the most bother here. It's too flexible. It's flexible to the point where it's not even really a thing. You can use whatever definition you want, it's not like I can stop you, and nor do I wish to, but the way you're arguing for veganism renders the term almost meaningless.

Actually I do, as I already explained.


Actually you don't. As I already explained. I'm not going to write it all out again, it's already up thread and on previous pages.

I do


You don't. See above.

If, hypothetically, I secretly splurge on steaks when nobody is looking, that would make me a dishonest individual, but it wouldn't affect veganism as I present it.


I wasn't suggesting you were lying about not eating meat, Vego, this is accepted at face value. Veganism as you present it is what the problem is. Under your definition veganism can mean anything anyone wants (you actually said this earlier in the thread) or nothing at all.

I am not currently aware of a realistic way to end modern (plant) farming practices


Neither am I, but my position has no requirement to seek to remedy this. Yours does. Or at least should.



This part of your argument boils down to:

It is fine to kill animals when producing food, as long as that food is vegan food.

Another way to put it is:

It's fine to kill animals for any number of reasons (crops, construction, driving, logistics etc) but not to eat them.

Or:

Killing animals is fine as long as you don't eat them afterwards.

Which is at best peculiar, at worst fucking stupid.

It strikes me that of the reasons we kill animals, to eat them is probably one of the better justifications. After all, food is essential to life, not in a hyperbolic way - literally essential. Buildings aren't, cars aren't, transportation isn't and almost anything else you care to name (please note the word 'almost') isn't either. You won't die without these things (generally, let's not talk about ambulances and hospitals etc right now) but without food we perish. Therefore killing animals in order to eat them is right up there with the top/best justifications.
You can if you like, but I don't have to join you.

You do you booboo.
Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:47 pm
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Dragan GlasContributorUser avatar
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Posts: 3093Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: Why Vegan?

Greetings,

Again, apologies for the delay in replying.

Vego wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:"Must be"?

I was simply trying to say that we currently observe a high demand for animal products, it doesn't have to be this way.

I wasn't sure if you were being a vegan ideologue.

Vego wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:For a minority of the global population

Once again, my arguments only apply to people with proper access to information and resources. If there are only 100 million individuals who fit the criteria, then my arguments only apply to these 100 million individuals (this number is just an example, I don't know how many there are right now, and I don't know how high it can go in the future, hopefully billions).

It's unlikely to be billions. Given the current population of around 7.6 billion, the 1% equates to 76 million, so 100 million might be achievable - if only as 1% of the global population increasing.

Vego wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:If you need injections, it's not healthy - does that make it clearer?

If by "injection" you really mean injection (the method):
- it is not a general requirement (some individuals might require it for medical reasons, I am not aware of a general requirement);
- if this were true (I don't think it is, and I may not be the only one) I guess it would make vegan diets incomplete (counting an injection as "food" is a stretch imho), and the result would be an increase in the practical difficulty of veganism.

That would also be a factor against a general take-up of veganism.

Vego wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:Let's take it a step at a time.

1) Currently, there is a sizable proportion of crop production used for animal feed;

Yes. I have seen various numbers (a third, a half, three quarters), and I guess 50% is reasonable.

Dragan Glas wrote:2) There is also a sizable proportion of waste;

I don't know the proportion, but let's say it is sizable.

Dragan Glas wrote:3) If this waste were used for animal feed instead of the crop production for animal feed, this would free up more crop production for human consumption;

It would free up arable land, which we could then use for "more crop production for human consumption", so yes.

However, I am a bit confused here. This point 3) is about feeding waste to animals, but it is not clear to me whether we are in your scenario (where people presumably keep eating ASF) or mine. With what you say below in "4)ii)", it looks like it's my scenario, but then it wouldn't make sense to keep all the animals around (we already have too much manure, and without the need to kill billions every year, at least we would considerably downsize the population of farm animals). On the other hand, if we are in your scenario, then I don't understand what "4)ii" is about.

Although I was still talking about my scenario, the crux is: how much ASFs can be replaced by an increase in crop production for human consumption given that the global population is increasing?

Vego wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:4) Rather than total plant-food production going down, it would need to increase for a number of reasons:
i) Population is increasing, and will continue to increase for the foreseeable future;

In the long term, an increase in population will lead to an increase in total plant-food production, but this is true with or without veganism.
(In the short term, it's not so clear)

Dragan Glas wrote:ii) Plants produce less protein, etc, than animals - for that reason, there will be a need for considerably more plant production to make up for this difference;

Not exactly. Plants are less dense in energy and macro-nutrients, but the difference in nutritional efficiency (based on the paper that I quoted earlier in our conversation, or even the simplified 3:1 ratio that you mentioned) means that the increase in total plant production will not be considerable.

In the case of the 3:1 ratio, that would appear to suggest that we'd have to produce three times as much crops per unit of animal protein - that is a sizable increase in crop production.

Vego wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:iii) Land currently used for corn (maize) for animal feed would be better used for fruit/vegetable production, as they are a better source of nutrition. There may be a question as to whether the soil suitable for corn would be equally suitable for other crops, and thus causing a problem with meeting nutritional needs.

I don't know exactly what would grow where (will probably depend on local climate), but I think farmers can rotate their crops, so this may not be an issue.

Granted but it still means a considerable increase in crops to replace ASFs.

Another competing factor is crops for bio-fuels, which would be part of the switch from geo- to bio-carbons: these will require their own land usage, which will also make a switch to veganism more difficult.

Vego wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:The key reason for a need to increase total crop production is our ever-increasing global population

The scenario that I gave in my previous post was assuming a constant population, but it is true that this assumption would only work in the short-term. However, the decrease in total plant production in my scenario is also relative: in the long term, the total plant production would follow the population trend, but it would be lower than it would be without a general change in diet.

In other words, switching to a vegan diet will not prevent a long-term increase in production due to population growth, but (in my scenario) it will at least lighten the load on our resources.

If there's a need to increase crop production three-fold to replace ASFs, that would increase the load on our resources, I would have thought.

Vego wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:, which comes back to my point about reducing our population growth.

Changing human population growth is outside the scope of veganism.

Perhaps, but switching to veganism may be, at best, little more than a band-aid.

Vego wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:We're evolved omnivores, not herbivores

We already had this conversation in the other thread: ability to eat meat is not a requirement to eat meat.

Again, perhaps so but the vast majority of the population will have to continue doing so, as veganism only works for the well-off in the West.

Vego wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:Our stomachs produce hydrochloric acid to break down complex proteins - animal, not vegetable, protein.

It's not intended for carbohydrates, and vegetable proteins - that's what saliva is for, which is why it's important to chew your food: to give saliva the time to break down simpler proteins and carbohydrates, in conjunction with mastication.

This is a very strange. Are you claiming that in humans digestion of plant proteins doesn't occur in the gastro-intestinal tract, or that somehow it requires saliva? Can you please provide a justification?

Dragan Glas wrote:We've evolved to extract B12 from animal proteins, and absorb them in the presence of other animal proteins, and fats. Trying to absorb B12 absent these is not possible through digestion

Please provide a reference for this claim.

(I noticed that this point was discussed by others, but I haven't had time to read everything yet)

Digestion starts in the mouth with a combination of chewing, and saliva - up to 30% of starch digestion occurs here. Pancreatic lipase helps break down fats in the duodenum, and small intestine.

The stomach is more geared to breaking down complex proteins - there's always acid in the stomach but this increases during digestion.

In a sense, we don't eat foods properly. We should separate carbohydrates from meats, rather than having the "meat and two veg" type of meals, so that the digestive system can focus on one or the other, not have to deal with both at the same time. Some dietary practices, such as reported in the Bible, do this.

With regard to B12, as I understood it, we needed to eat B12 pills with the relevant proteins, etc, for it be digested properly - this being the reason for injecting, which bypasses the digestiion. Sparhafoc has, however, linked a couple of sources that indicate that it's possible to take B12 on its own, so I'm no longer sure about this.

Vego wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:Just because it's a topical subject does not mean that it's the only example of what has, is, and will continue to occur worldwide.

It's not about being in the news, your reference is irrelevant to veganism. What is happening to them is tragic, but it is not caused by going vegan.

Again, perhaps, but a switch to veganism may increase such exploitation - I'm not sure that this will be addressed by changes in laws, etc. Exploitation of (unskilled) workers has a long history.

Vego wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:And I think you're avoiding the consequences to humans in favour of livestock.

No, you are making an extraordinary claim (dietary shift to veganism would increase human misery) and you have very little to back it up. While it is true that some potentially vegan products can lead to various problems (typical example: palm oil), things are not as simple as you are trying to say.

Perhaps but I'm pessimistic about those who put profit before people becoming philanthropists.

Vego wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:And if you wish to address the death of animals during crop production, you should be advocating for hydroponics, and indoor crop production.

Veganism already partially addresses this issue. I am in favor of the techniques you describe, but farmers have to find a way to make use of them on a large-scale.

By growing crops on multiple shelves indoors, one would increase the yield per unit area, as against growing crops in a field. There was a program on TV some years ago that addressed this question, and indicated that it was more economic to do so - needless to say, I can't find it now on Google.

Vego wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:The one-basket argument is still valid

No, diverse vegan diets already require a diversified food supply. And as long as something can grow somewhere, there is always the possibility that we might replace it with a human-edible analogue. Maybe poor countries can't do this yet because of various issues (poverty, lack of technology, political instability, etc), but there is no reason to think that it can't be done in a reasonable time frame.

I don't see the vast majority of the world being able to do this in any meaningful way - only the West to a certain extent in the near-future. Longer-term, if we can grow animal protein on an industrial scale...

Having said that, I saw this today: given that 80% of life on Earth are micro-organisms, it makes sense to harness this resource.

Dragan Glas wrote:The need for supplements.

The need for an actual justification.[/quote]
Addressed above regarding injections making it more difficult to switch to veganism.

Kindest regards,

James
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"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
The Age Of Reason
Fri Jun 08, 2018 10:20 pm
VegoUser avatarPosts: 83Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:32 pm

Post Re: Why Vegan?

*SD* wrote:There are some differences between the two, yes, but what difference do these differences actually make?

The many differences constitute the context (including intent, which is the most important part in my opinion). This is why a kill is not necessarily equivalent to another kill, and animals exploited for food are not morally equivalent to animals killed as a by-product of modern farming practices (more below).

*SD* wrote:I can't tell whether you're agreeing or disagreeing here. It does happen for all crops, yes. How does this help your case or affect my point?

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).

*SD* wrote:Under your definition veganism can mean anything anyone wants (you actually said this earlier in the thread) or nothing at all.

This is a misrepresentation of my position. I don't know how to express it more clearly: I am not arguing for a label. The label can be anything you want, but the ideas will not change regardless of how you label them. Labeling a meat-eater "vegan" will not necessarily make them "vegan", somewhat like calling a bike "car" will not make it an actual car.

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.

*SD* wrote:Where is the difficulty in not buying wheat based foods?

Avoiding non-vegan sandwiches is less constraining than avoiding all sandwiches (and all pizzas, and pasta, and many other things). 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 (a bit like eating less chicken but more turkey).

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).

*SD* wrote:To be honest Vego, I think it's the flexibility of your position that's causing the most bother here. It's too flexible. It's flexible to the point where it's not even really a thing.

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. The flexibility (for which I can't take credit, I was inspired by others) is a recognition of real-life constraints, and a rejection of binary thinking which, in my opinion, is damaging to veganism. This flexibility is also necessary in principle: I already spent decades of my life as a non-vegan, does that mean that I can't be called vegan? If I stop being vegan at some point, would I not have been vegan until then? If someone consumes animal products once a year (for example during family gatherings) does that make them non-vegan? The potential issues are endless.

*SD* wrote:Actually you don't.

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

*SD* wrote:Killing animals is fine as long as you don't eat them afterwards.

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).

*SD* wrote:without food we perish. Therefore killing animals in order to eat them is right up there with the top/best justifications.

This is not logically valid: we need food, but it doesn't have to be animal products. And even if we have to kill, this is not a good justification to kill more than we need. And veganism as I understand it should help reduce exploitation and killing (direct and collateral) to a significant extent.
"Violent ideologies have a special set of defenses that enable humane people to support inhumane practices and to not even realize what they're doing." (Melanie Joy)
Last edited by Vego on Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
Sun Jun 10, 2018 11:56 pm
VegoUser avatarPosts: 83Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:32 pm

Post Re: Why Vegan?

Dragan Glas wrote:how much ASFs can be replaced by an increase in crop production for human consumption given that the global population is increasing?

You are adding a variable (increasing population) that makes this unnecessarily complicated: whether the population is fixed, increasing, or decreasing, the outcome is the same: eliminating ASFs can (in theory) help feed more people.

Dragan Glas wrote:In the case of the 3:1 ratio, that would appear to suggest that we'd have to produce three times as much crops per unit of animal protein

No, it's the other way. This ratio, as I understand it, means that the nutrition that one can get from direct consumption of one unit of plants, one can also get from indirect consumption of 3 units of plants through animal products. With your example, we'd have to produce only a third of the crops to get the same nutrition directly from plants. The paper that I linked goes into more details and estimates that "Replacing all animal-based items with plant-based replacement diets can add enough food to feed 350 million additional people, more than the expected benefits of eliminating all supply chain food loss".

Dragan Glas wrote:Granted but it still means a considerable increase in crops to replace ASFs.

No, it's the opposite: replacing ASFs will (in theory) result in a decrease in total crops to get the same nutrition.

Dragan Glas wrote:Digestion starts in the mouth with a combination of chewing, and saliva - up to 30% of starch digestion occurs here.

I asked specifically about plant protein because you mentioned it in your previous post. Starch is not protein.

Dragan Glas wrote:a switch to veganism may increase such exploitation

I don't want to derail the thread, but the Rohingya crisis has nothing to do with veganism. And as I tried to say earlier, it is not clear to me that the total human exploitation would increase because of plant production. And if the poor people involved in these issues don't work the fields, what are they doing? Would their lives be better off staying in poverty and potentially starving? My guess is that they have to make very difficult decisions to survive, and greedy individuals take advantage of their precarity. This is an important and difficult issue, however it is not a good argument against veganism.

On the contrary, when it comes to human well-being, I would argue that ASFs actually have a negative global impact through their contribution to climate change, and veganism could help to prevent that.

Dragan Glas wrote:By growing crops on multiple shelves indoors, one would increase the yield per unit area, as against growing crops in a field.

I don't know much about this topic. My guess is that if it were really cost-effective, farmers would already be doing it. For example, according to this "Hydroculture compared to traditional farming in terms of crops yield per area in a controlled environment was roughly 10 times more efficient than traditional farming, uses 13 times less water in one crop cycle th[a]n traditional farming, but on average uses 100 times more kilojoules per kilogram of energy than traditional farming." (emphasis mine) In other words, it can be more resource-efficient but less energy efficient (and the difference seems quite substantial, which is bad news for climate change).

Dragan Glas wrote:Having said that, I saw this today: given that 80% of life on Earth are micro-organisms, it makes sense to harness this resource.

Thanks for the info.

Dragan Glas wrote:Addressed above regarding injections making it more difficult to switch to veganism.

Not addressed. "Supplements" is not a synonym for "injections", and you haven't said anything (unless I missed it) to show that well-planned vegan diets cause health issues.
"Violent ideologies have a special set of defenses that enable humane people to support inhumane practices and to not even realize what they're doing." (Melanie Joy)
Mon Jun 11, 2018 12:05 am
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatar
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Post Re: Why Vegan?

Greetings,

Vego wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:how much ASFs can be replaced by an increase in crop production for human consumption given that the global population is increasing?

You are adding a variable (increasing population) that makes this unnecessarily complicated: whether the population is fixed, increasing, or decreasing, the outcome is the same: eliminating ASFs can (in theory) help feed more people.

But it is an important variable, I think you'll agree, given that they'll have to be fed.

Vego wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:In the case of the 3:1 ratio, that would appear to suggest that we'd have to produce three times as much crops per unit of animal protein

No, it's the other way. This ratio, as I understand it, means that the nutrition that one can get from direct consumption of one unit of plants, one can also get from indirect consumption of 3 units of plants through animal products. With your example, we'd have to produce only a third of the crops to get the same nutrition directly from plants. The paper that I linked goes into more details and estimates that "Replacing all animal-based items with plant-based replacement diets can add enough food to feed 350 million additional people, more than the expected benefits of eliminating all supply chain food loss".

I've been looking for some calculator of protein for meat versus plants.

This article does cover this aspect, which - if correct - would suggest you're correct, in which case, I withdraw that objection.

However, there's still this to consider - swings and roundabouts, it seems.

Vego wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:Granted but it still means a considerable increase in crops to replace ASFs.

No, it's the opposite: replacing ASFs will (in theory) result in a decrease in total crops to get the same nutrition.

Depending on how the above conflicting interests turn out...

Vego wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:Digestion starts in the mouth with a combination of chewing, and saliva - up to 30% of starch digestion occurs here.

I asked specifically about plant protein because you mentioned it in your previous post. Starch is not protein.

This is a more detailed explanation of protein digestion.

Yes, the body has to work harder to break down animal protein because it's a "complete" protein - with plant (versus animal) sources, one has to supplement to make up for the missing nutrients, and aid digestion.

Vego wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:a switch to veganism may increase such exploitation

I don't want to derail the thread, but the Rohingya crisis has nothing to do with veganism. And as I tried to say earlier, it is not clear to me that the total human exploitation would increase because of plant production. And if the poor people involved in these issues don't work the fields, what are they doing? Would their lives be better off staying in poverty and potentially starving? My guess is that they have to make very difficult decisions to survive, and greedy individuals take advantage of their precarity. This is an important and difficult issue, however it is not a good argument against veganism.

On the contrary, when it comes to human well-being, I would argue that ASFs actually have a negative global impact through their contribution to climate change, and veganism could help to prevent that.

It is a obvious inference - more plant production results in the need for more unskilled labourers for picking/packing said produce, ergo more exploitation of said unskilled labourers.

And the difficult choice of starving or being exploited is a poor ethical argument for such exploitation, as Baggini noted in one of his essays.

There are conflicting issues regarding the benefits of a switch to vegetarianism, the effects on/of climate change, and the exploitation of migrant workers. It depends on where one puts the emphasis - people or animals. Given veganism being applicable to a small percentage of the population, its benefits are far outweighed by the other criteria.

Vego wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:By growing crops on multiple shelves indoors, one would increase the yield per unit area, as against growing crops in a field.

I don't know much about this topic. My guess is that if it were really cost-effective, farmers would already be doing it. For example, according to this "Hydroculture compared to traditional farming in terms of crops yield per area in a controlled environment was roughly 10 times more efficient than traditional farming, uses 13 times less water in one crop cycle th[a]n traditional farming, but on average uses 100 times more kilojoules per kilogram of energy than traditional farming." (emphasis mine) In other words, it can be more resource-efficient but less energy efficient (and the difference seems quite substantial, which is bad news for climate change).

Given the current switch to alternative sources of energy away form geo-carbon, by combining solar, geothermal, and wind energy (all free sources), hydro-culture should become economic.

Vego wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:Having said that, I saw this today: given that 80% of life on Earth are micro-organisms, it makes sense to harness this resource.

Thanks for the info.

Here's another interesting article.

Vego wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:Addressed above regarding injections making it more difficult to switch to veganism.

Not addressed. "Supplements" is not a synonym for "injections", and you haven't said anything (unless I missed it) to show that well-planned vegan diets cause health issues.

I think you're glossing over the complexity of a well-planned vegan diet - a "meat-and-two (or three) veg" diet is guaranteed to be healthy. Even making sure that half your plate is brightly coloured veg is even healthier.

Having to supplement your diet, whether vegan or not, is not a good advertisement for it.

Kindest regards,

James
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"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
The Age Of Reason
Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:47 pm
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