Try Veganism

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Re: Try Veganism

Postby YAFF » Tue Nov 27, 2018 2:42 pm

Elessar wrote:I think we disagree on this one.

We’ve evolved to be able to survive in a variety of environments, from almost entirely plant-based in the rainforest to almost entirely meat-based in the arctic.

The difference is that nowadays we have pretty much any type of food readily available, so it’s possible to have a well-balanced diet with little or no meat. That doesn’t mean we didn’t evolve to eat meat though, because we did. It’s just not essential. It’s likely though that we have an instinctive desire for meat when it is available though, and those instincts are difficult to overcome simply by force of will or through a few memes about animal cruelty.

My response to the earlier point that other animals eat other animals is that they don’t do so ok the mass level that we do, with intensive farming etc., so the argument isn’t entirely valid. Other animals are essentially operating at the level that we were at prior to the agricultural revolution.


There is no question our ancestors evolved to eat meat....out of necessity... but that doesn't change the fact physiologically we are not optimally suited for consuming animal products as the diagram illustrated. And yes the (major) difference today is that there's plenty of food and it is not necessary for the vast majority of humans to continue to cause unnecessary suffering and death to animals. Causing unnecessary suffering and death is obviously immoral, no? It is easy to be vegan these days- even if you choose to supplement yourself with B12 (such as nutritional yeast).

The "instincts" that you say are "difficult to overcome by force of will" isn't the case for me and just about every vegan I know personally. It's a choice. Love for animals, the environment and one's health are the fruits of such a choice. Yeah there's an adjustment period but we are adults who don't have to slavishly succumb to our selfish desires. Perhaps you speak for it being difficult for yourself my friend? I know you've toyed with the idea because surely you recognize the ethical issues involved. https://www.vegansociety.com/go-vegan/why-go-vegan

Here's a well known experiment. Take a 2 year old toddler. Put them in a crib. Place and apple and a bunny in the crib. Come back in 8 hours- What do you think the odds are the 2 year old will east the apple and play with he bunny?

“You put a baby in a crib with an apple and a rabbit. If it eats the rabbit and plays with the apple, I'll buy you a new car.”

― Harvey Diamond

"A few memes about animal cruelty"? Yeah vegans do much more than that. I am an activist. I hit the streets and do outreach. We protest. We do whatever is legally in our means (and sometimes beyond). Memes are, however, useful.

And, again, not all animals eat other animals so that's a nonstarter.
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Re: Try Veganism

Postby Elessar » Tue Nov 27, 2018 5:54 pm

I’ve done more than toy with it - I haven’t had lamb/pork/beef/chicken for 2 years (last time was 15 January 2017 and it was a really horrible, chewy, gristly piece of meat at We Three Loggerheads pub after a walk up Moel Famau).

But I don’t think there’s any benefit to proselytising. You’re asking people to stop doing something they did since childhood, something their parents did, something they did at school, and something which the majority of other people do. Of course educating people is important but I suspect (because it’s how I felt) that all the memes and shock tactics often have a negative effect, especially when someone who spent just as long as me or even longer (I’m not aiming this at you) guzzling meat like Henry VIII suddenly starts saying I’m an evil animal killer.
 
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Re: Try Veganism

Postby YAFF » Wed Nov 28, 2018 3:04 pm

Elessar wrote:I’ve done more than toy with it - I haven’t had lamb/pork/beef/chicken for 2 years (last time was 15 January 2017 and it was a really horrible, chewy, gristly piece of meat at We Three Loggerheads pub after a walk up Moel Famau).

But I don’t think there’s any benefit to proselytising. You’re asking people to stop doing something they did since childhood, something their parents did, something they did at school, and something which the majority of other people do. Of course educating people is important but I suspect (because it’s how I felt) that all the memes and shock tactics often have a negative effect, especially when someone who spent just as long as me or even longer (I’m not aiming this at you) guzzling meat like Henry VIII suddenly starts saying I’m an evil animal killer.


On my facebook page the memes I use are not graphic or insulting. Even here I don't post slaughterhouse pics unless provoked by someone. Proselytizing may have a negative effect with some people but isn't that usually a petulant reaction like "don't tell me what to do"? How do you feel about Arby's commercials? How do you feel about the 24/7 effort by meat and dairy to preach to you? Is it only messaging that contradictions your lifestyle and viewpoint that annoys you?

I know you might claim it's not the same but slavery was once something people did and/or was considered normal. Many many immoral things were/are tradition practiced or accepted as the way things are by the majority. Causing unnecessary suffering and pain is simply wrong and consuming animal products when it isn't necessary cannot logically be moral. But let's come at it a different way. Putting aside whether it's immoral to harm animals or whether it's proper to place animals on our level as humans the fact that 50% of all grain is fed to "meat animals" instead of feeding 2 billion starving humans is just immoral. The environmental impact is worse than global warming. That's immoral. The psychological toll slaughterhouses and factoring farms take on the workers is immoral. Etc. It's time to evolve out of this paradigm. It's not sustainable and it's clearly cruel. The current system cannot continue much longer so activism is necessary. It has always been so.
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Re: Try Veganism

Postby Elessar » Wed Nov 28, 2018 6:12 pm

YAFF wrote:How do you feel about Arby's commercials? How do you feel about the 24/7 effort by meat and dairy to preach to you? Is it only messaging that contradictions your lifestyle and viewpoint that annoys you?


Well clearly it doesn’t actually contradict my viewpoint, because as I said, I haven’t had meat for nearly two years.

Despite being atheist I get just as annoyed by some of the more relentless atheists (and I’m pretty relentless myself), eg Dawkins and Gervais, who I like most of the time but sometimes think they take it a bit too far.

It’s not just a case of changing lifestyle or viewpoint. You’re asking people to fundamentally unlearn a lifetime of conditioning. Something their parents and teachers did and said was not just fine but a normal part of life. It’s not too dissimilar to the current cult of plastic bags. We’ve known for years that plastic bags are bad, and the little efforts to reduce them are great, but all of a sudden they’re seen as the devil’s work and now people feel victimised for doing something they’ve been doing all their life. It’s not a good way to teach people, and I’m pretty sure that if I googled it I could find psychological data to back that up.
 
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Re: Try Veganism

Postby Elessar » Wed Nov 28, 2018 6:26 pm

Actually another example is preaching about vaccinations, and I know I’m guilty of this myself. The evidence suggests that telling anti-vaxxers that they’re basically murdering children (which they are) isn’t actually helpful. Likewise climate change deniers. And presumably Trump supporters. The difference is that it doesn’t matter to me if some idiot on QOL wants to support Trump. I don’t really care, and as a human I might feel a bit better by ranting at them. But if you want to save animals, a softly softly catchee monkey approach is more likely to work than telling everyone how wicked they are.

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Re: Try Veganism

Postby YAFF » Thu Nov 29, 2018 4:30 pm

Elessar wrote:Actually another example is preaching about vaccinations, and I know I’m guilty of this myself. The evidence suggests that telling anti-vaxxers that they’re basically murdering children (which they are) isn’t actually helpful. Likewise climate change deniers. And presumably Trump supporters. The difference is that it doesn’t matter to me if some idiot on QOL wants to support Trump. I don’t really care, and as a human I might feel a bit better by ranting at them. But if you want to save animals, a softly softly catchee monkey approach is more likely to work than telling everyone how wicked they are.


Well, sure, lots of heavy-handed activists and naturally it can be a turn off. It can come across self-righteous with superfluous indignation. Usually goes nowhere. Since I consumed animal products for 44 years I try to steer clear of such tactics unless I am encountered by an antagonistic little shit like action. But, understand, it IS very distressing to vegan activists what happens to other animals by humans. When you get responses like "Mmm, bacon" when you post cute pig photos enough times it can grate on the nerves (and worse)

There is, however, anecdotal evidence that graphic and/or logical arguments equating consuming animal products with murder works on some people. When I do outreach in person I use a very friendly reasoning approach encouraging compassion and gentle prodding that it's unnecessary for most people to continue this archaic habit. Having an online persona allows a person to be more aggressive. Let's face it. People are free to be dicks online.
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Re: Try Veganism

Postby Elessar » Sun Dec 09, 2018 3:41 am

There’s a bit of a paradox to the idea of veganism as well. Two of the frequently made points seem to be:

1) Humans are no better than any other animal so we shouldn’t eat them.

2) It’s okay for animals to eat other animals because it’s their nature and they haven’t evolved the ability to reason that it is unethical.

So hold on....are we no better than animals? Or do we have a better ability to reason? It can’t really be both.

I think the second statement is hard to deny but we can dismiss the first one, and accept that actually humans do have a unique status as the only species capable of reason. Then our responsibility isn’t to treat animals as our equals, but to treat them well. And if we accept that, then is there any problem with ethical farming? As long as the animal doesn’t experience unnecessary pain or suffering, is there a problem? They’ll never feel like prisoners or slaves because they don’t have that ability to reason (if they did, we could criticise them for eating each other). The reality of course is that much of modern-day farming IS cruel and unethical, whichever way you try to dress it up.
 
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Re: Try Veganism

Postby action » Sun Dec 09, 2018 7:15 am

Elessar wrote:There’s a bit of a paradox to the idea of veganism as well. Two of the frequently made points seem to be:

1) Humans are no better than any other animal so we shouldn’t eat them.

2) It’s okay for animals to eat other animals because it’s their nature and they haven’t evolved the ability to reason that it is unethical.

So hold on....are we no better than animals? Or do we have a better ability to reason? It can’t really be both.

I think the second statement is hard to deny but we can dismiss the first one, and accept that actually humans do have a unique status as the only species capable of reason. Then our responsibility isn’t to treat animals as our equals, but to treat them well. And if we accept that, then is there any problem with ethical farming? As long as the animal doesn’t experience unnecessary pain or suffering, is there a problem? They’ll never feel like prisoners or slaves because they don’t have that ability to reason (if they did, we could criticise them for eating each other). The reality of course is that much of modern-day farming IS cruel and unethical, whichever way you try to dress it up.


good post, but I'm sure Yaff will now threaten to come to your house and punch you in the face (it looks like vegans don't really have the ability to reason either, placing them more at the level of animals)
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Re: Try Veganism

Postby Elessar » Sun Dec 09, 2018 7:27 am

Well I think that given how awful much of modern farming is, and how relatively straightforward it is to survive without meat (although not so much without dairy!), the easiest way to avoid being part of a cruel industry is to avoid meat altogether. But in principle, animals raised ethically and killed in a way that doesn’t cause them pain and suffering is perhaps acceptable, I would argue.

We’re disgusted by humans being killed and when it happens we talk about wasted potential, lost hopes and dreams and suchlike. Humans can hope to live a full natural life, and anything less (or even a short natural life) feels like being short-changed. We plan our lives based on a finite, but quite long existence.

Animals don’t share that experience with us. They don’t have hopes and dreams, and they don’t worry about their past, their future or their mortality. Perhaps that’s a blessing! But it means that a cow in a field isn’t worrying about being slaughtered for meat, so if it can be done in a way that causes no suffering, is there an ethical problem? Furthermore, animals in the wild don’t tend to die of natural causes. They usually die as a result of the constant struggle for survival - it’s a jungle out there!

As I said, the easiest way to avoid the problem is just to avoid meat altogether, but it’s interesting to discuss the philosophy and ethics behind it.
 
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Re: Try Veganism

Postby YAFF » Tue Dec 11, 2018 4:17 pm

Elessar wrote:There’s a bit of a paradox to the idea of veganism as well. Two of the frequently made points seem to be:

1) Humans are no better than any other animal so we shouldn’t eat them.


? That is not an argument any vegan activist makes. The correct argument is that humans and other animals are similar in all the ways that matter. Sentience-related. The similarity of traits. If it's not ethical to harm a human unnecessarily based on these traits (not simply because of an arbitrary law) than other animals deserve the same consideration.

Why would it be wrong to treat a human the way a factory farm pig is treated? Why is murdering a human wrong? What do you base that on?

Elessar wrote:2) It’s okay for animals to eat other animals because it’s their nature and they haven’t evolved the ability to reason that it is unethical.

So hold on....are we no better than animals? Or do we have a better ability to reason? It can’t really be both.


No that's a (unintentional?) strawman so your post has become circular. Some animals eat other animals. Some animals, such as cats, MUST be carnivores. Humans are not physiologically built like carnivores and the consumption of animal products are one of the major killers of humans. Humans and other animals do not need to be identical/equal in every aspect. It's the similarity of the traits that matter which are the mitigating factors when it comes to ethics. Why do you grant humans immunity from abuse but not other animals? What traits?

Also, the fact we have greater intelligence should obligate us to make better decisions. Animal agriculture is environmentally destructive, detrimental to our heath, etc.

**The one exception is action of course. It would be fine for anyone to kill and eat that shamelessly selfish, obnoxious, troll. It's doubtful he deserves sentience anyway**
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Re: Try Veganism

Postby YAFF » Tue Dec 11, 2018 4:37 pm

Elessar wrote:. But in principle, animals raised ethically and killed in a way that doesn’t cause them pain and suffering is perhaps acceptable, I would argue.


Nonsense. But I'm sure cannibals can use the same reasoning. Maybe there's a superior race out there that will enslave humans in the same way. Oh we'll resist and argue for our rights...but just like squealing pigs and moaning cows we will be ignored. They have a higher life experience than us, after all.

Elessar wrote:We’re disgusted by humans being killed and when it happens we talk about wasted potential, lost hopes and dreams and suchlike. Humans can hope to live a full natural life, and anything less (or even a short natural life) feels like being short-changed. We plan our lives based on a finite, but quite long existence.

Animals don’t share that experience with us. They don’t have hopes and dreams, and they don’t worry about their past, their future or their mortality. Perhaps that’s a blessing! But it means that a cow in a field isn’t worrying about being slaughtered for meat, so if it can be done in a way that causes no suffering, is there an ethical problem? Furthermore, animals in the wild don’t tend to die of natural causes. They usually die as a result of the constant struggle for survival - it’s a jungle out there!


Sorry but yours, mine and especially action's "hope and dreams" mean absolutely nothing in the big picture and these uniquely human treats do not scale the threshold of being more worthy of ethical treatment than other animals. All animals want to live and "higher" animals are very similar in all the traits that matter to us. Again, sentience-related. It's funny to hear you say these things with you being an atheist. Religious people actually have better reasons (delusions) for placing humans above other animals. "Image of God".

Yes there would be an ethical problem slaughtering that cow. It wants to live and enjoy it's life experience and you DON'T NEED to take that away from that cow. You are doing it for selfish, greedy reasons.

There are mentally-disabled humans who have the same level or less of a life experience than cows. Would it be ethically acceptable to kill them?

Elessar wrote:As I said, the easiest way to avoid the problem is just to avoid meat altogether, but it’s interesting to discuss the philosophy and ethics behind it.


Agreed. Elessar, you (unlike the nitwit action), know the morally superior position is veganism for those that can live that way. Sam Harris knows it too.
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Re: Try Veganism

Postby Elessar » Tue Dec 11, 2018 6:29 pm

With no human involvement, most animals die young and a few lucky ones survive to reach reproductive age. Applying agricultural methods to the process with humans as the end predator isn’t all that different to what would happen if we weren’t involved, but arguably the animals enjoy a better life until the moment of death because they have a reliable food supply and don’t have to worry about predators (although this fear is instinctive so they probably do still have it.

The sentience argument applies to cruelty, so if the cruelty part can be eliminated, there should be no problem with eating meat. I agree that if humans are only exempt because they can reason, mentally disabled humans should be fair game, but I think that whilst that makes logical sense, it’s such a different subject that the same arguments can’t really be applied. For a start though, whilst it might be as logically acceptable to eat a profoundly mentally disabled human as a healthy cow, it’s nothing more than an intellectual exercise because I doubt there’d ever be a mass market for that!
 
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Re: Try Veganism

Postby Elessar » Tue Dec 11, 2018 6:32 pm

YAFF wrote:
Agreed. Elessar, you (unlike the nitwit action), know the morally superior position is veganism for those that can live that way. Sam Harris knows it too.


I agree, but it’s also morally superior to avoid any kind of fossil fuels, which probably means avoiding all transport and electricity, amongst various other every day things we take for granted. Somewhere we have to decide what we’re happy to do despite some moral questionability. At the moment I don’t eat meat but I think there’s enough moral ambiguity for it to be totally acceptable for someone else to carry on doing so without me interfering. I note that Brian May made a very similar point yesterday actually.
 
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Re: Try Veganism

Postby YAFF » Wed Dec 12, 2018 10:05 pm

Elessar wrote:With no human involvement, most animals die young and a few lucky ones survive to reach reproductive age. Applying agricultural methods to the process with humans as the end predator isn’t all that different to what would happen if we weren’t involved, but arguably the animals enjoy a better life until the moment of death because they have a reliable food supply and don’t have to worry about predators (although this fear is instinctive so they probably do still have it.


All animals including humans are thinking (action excluded), feeling, sentient being each has a personality, no different to your pets (dog, cat, horse, bird, hamster, etc,). Nonhuman animals are treated as units of production, inanimate objects.

Non-human animals have been bred artificially bred to meet the demand for animal products. If the demand diminished, the number of animals bred would decrease. Animals should stop being bred. It isn’t a question of either they get eaten by wild animals or by us. We don’t need to be breeding and eating them in the first place.

Age of animals slaughtered vs natural lifespan
https://www.aussieabattoirs.com/facts/age-slaughtered

Since not all animals die young from predators, sickness and accident it is random chance as to which ones will be killed so there's no way of predicting how certain individual farm animals would have fared. Therefore it is wrong to lump them into a collective. Animals can have their own agency. They have their own personality. Their own conscious life experience.

Even if it were true about life expectancy factory farm animals absolutely do not have a "better life" as for the most part spend their short lives in abject misery. Cramped quarters, slavery, enforced pregnancy, other misc. abuse. Humane farming is a gross myth. It is completely unnatural for them regardless of age of death.

But let's say they did have a better life. Let's be consistent. We must take it to logical conclusions. It's evolution. Certain humans are born with diseases that will cause a premature death. Some are hard and/or expensive to care for. Why not just euthanize them since they're going to die soon anyway? Better for everybody, right? Certainly abort fetuses that have down syndrome. Why not breed humans for slave labor, scientific/medical experiments and/or harvesting of their organs? Legalities aside, why not? There'd be a huge market for this. Huge. It's happened before. Slavery is good for business. Donor organs are desperately needed. Some of these humans would likely die prematurely anyway and everybody dies, right? Treat the slaves good. They don't have to worry about lodging and food. Gainful employment is worked into it. Then when no longer useful just euthanize them. It would be better than long, debilitating disease, right? Plus you have these male "incels" out there that have very little chance to reproduce outside of rape. We should breed women for them to have sex with for reproduction or at least to lesson their frustration before one of them commits another mass shooting. There's so many useful, beneficial things we can achieve with human breeding. That is of course only those of us that can afford these "products" or have business that would benefit. Poor people are a drain on society. Same with the mentally ill and violent criminals...drug addicts too. We will treat them well. They won't have to struggle for food and shelter. When they are no longer useful we will kill them painlessly. They should be thankful they had any life at all! We bred them for this purpose. They wouldn't even have existed.

Elessar wrote:The sentience argument applies to cruelty, so if the cruelty part can be eliminated, there should be no problem with eating meat.


Human Cannibals will be happy to hear that. As long as they render their meat animals unconscious before killing them it's permissible. Got it. Some potential superior race of beings might be happy to hear that when they start eating humans one day. Good to know it's okay to kill and eat sentient beings if we eliminate "cruelty". It's not cruel apparently to kill something that doesn't want to die. Solves a lot of pesky questions.

Elessar wrote:I agree that if humans are only exempt because they can reason, mentally disabled humans should be fair game, but I think that whilst that makes logical sense, it’s such a different subject that the same arguments can’t really be applied. For a start though, whilst it might be as logically acceptable to eat a profoundly mentally disabled human as a healthy cow, it’s nothing more than an intellectual exercise because I doubt there’d ever be a mass market for that!


Maybe not. But is market value the issue? In that case I say we breed humans for slavery, experiments and harvesting of organs. HUGE demand. Human meat may not be unappealing but many many of us would benefit from human breeding. Humans all die anyway.

As I'm short on time I've quoted the following from that website on Australian slaughterhouses:

"No matter what the process of slaughter will always involve some level of of suffering. Stress, terror (fear). Could happen when herded and shoved into a transport truck, during transport itself or unloading at the slaughterhouse. Then they are jailed in holding pens often without food or water or shackled upside-down, forced up the ‘race’ or along the shackle line by kicking, punching, pushing or electric prodder, or when they’re finally killed. With such large numbers of animals being killed, it is impossible for stunning methods to be effective every time.

Above all, though, these animals do not want to die. It is not their choice and is long before the end of their natural life span. Regardless of whether they are unconscious at the time their throat is cut, their death is unjustified and unnecessary, especially when it is so easy to live without consuming their flesh or by-products."
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Re: Try Veganism

Postby YAFF » Wed Dec 12, 2018 10:12 pm

Elessar wrote:
YAFF wrote:. At the moment I don’t eat meat but I think there’s enough moral ambiguity for it to be totally acceptable for someone else to carry on doing so without me interfering. I note that Brian May made a very similar point yesterday actually.


And I think it isn't acceptable. Just because we do one thing that's environmentally destructive doesn't mean it's a slippery slope. Driving a car for example can arguably be considered a necessity to survive in this world for a majority of humans. Consuming animal products is absolutely NOT a necessity to survive in this world for a majority of humans.
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