On Veganism

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BoogieMonster (April 04, 2019, 17:00:41 PM):
Yes, I think this should be moved. The story so far (from my side) ...

Vegan: Humans shouldn't eat meat, even though animals do eat meat, because humans aren't animals.
Same Vegan: Animals are sentient just like humans, thus we shouldn't eat them.

Considering the horrors that factory farming perpetrates on animals, I have no problem with veganism as such. Not so enthusiastic when they get all pseudo-scientific.

My gripe above is mostly about the contradictory logic being applied. But, I do have some gripes with Veganism, in that much of it at this point is more of a religious movement than anything else. Non-ethical treatment of animals is not a necessary outcome of farming or eating animals. It relies on self-contradictory logic and is VERY prone to confirmation bias.

Moreover, lots of animals die during the production of plant foods also. Pesticides, automated Harvesters chewing up critters, etc... Not to mention where some of the fertilizer comes from....

The thing is Vegans as we find them on social media address these about 0% of the time. They don't actually want to look at or contemplate REAL changes to HOW food is produced, they'd rather insist everyone changes their diets completely and ignore any ethical remedies to their concerns outright. As such I find it more of a ego-masturbation exercise. (Especially when they're claiming, as in the above, to be "above" the natural order)

And thricely, I've seen more and more youtube videos lately by ex-vegans explaining how their religious certitude in veganism destroyed their health and nearly killed them. Before they finally capitulated to the pressure of healthcare professionals to eat some meat and got better within DAYS sometimes... That is a meaty topic that I'm sure can only be fully addressed by going online and searching for them. They're out there, and their numbers are growing.

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Brian, if you could, take your comment from the irksome thread and rather move it in here?
brianvds (April 05, 2019, 04:26:19 AM):
Brian, if you could, take your comment from the irksome thread and rather move it in here?

It's irksome, but I'll do it... :-)


Vegan: Humans shouldn't eat meat, even though animals do eat meat, because humans aren't animals.
Same Vegan: Animals are sentient just like humans, thus we shouldn't eat them.

Considering the horrors that factory farming perpetrates on animals, I have no problem with veganism as such. Not so enthusiastic when they get all pseudo-scientific.

My gripe above is mostly about the contradictory logic being applied. But, I do have some gripes with Veganism, in that much of it at this point is more of a religious movement than anything else. Non-ethical treatment of animals is not a necessary outcome of farming or eating animals. It relies on self-contradictory logic and is VERY prone to confirmation bias.

I agree: I do not have a problem with killing and eating animals as such, only with current practices in much of the industry. And yes, many vegans display signs of being cult members, blissfully out of touch with all reality. I have even seen them argue that prehistoric people did not eat meat, and thus it is "unnatural."

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Moreover, lots of animals die during the production of plant foods also. Pesticides, automated Harvesters chewing up critters, etc... Not to mention where some of the fertilizer comes from....

True, but considering that much of the plant food is produced specifically to be fed to animals, the slaughter of wild animals can be reduced if we don't use animal products.

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The thing is Vegans as we find them on social media address these about 0% of the time. They don't actually want to look at or contemplate REAL changes to HOW food is produced, they'd rather insist everyone changes their diets completely and ignore any ethical remedies to their concerns outright. As such I find it more of a ego-masturbation exercise. (Especially when they're claiming, as in the above, to be "above" the natural order)

And in the process they achieve little more than alienating people who might otherwise have listened to them. I think a lot of it is just virtue signalling. I don't think they actually genuinely want everyone to become vegan, because then they wouldn't be special anymore.

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And thricely, I've seen more and more youtube videos lately by ex-vegans explaining how their religious certitude in veganism destroyed their health and nearly killed them. Before they finally capitulated to the pressure of healthcare professionals to eat some meat and got better within DAYS sometimes... That is a meaty topic that I'm sure can only be fully addressed by going online and searching for them. They're out there, and their numbers are growing.

As far as I know it is possible to remain healthy on a vegan diet, but some supplements need to be taken, and it has to be a varied, healthy diet: you cannot simply stop eating meat and eat breakfast cereal instead. Which is apparently what some of them do. Even worse, they sometimes insist on feeding their babies vegan diets, thereby killing them.

But just as eating meat does not automatically need to imply unethical farming, so veganism does not need to imply being part of the religious vegan cult. I actually saw an article the other day in which a vegan implores his fellow vegans to stop being so judgemental and fanatic. And for meat eaters to consider cutting down rather than cutting out.

As for me, I am increasingly uncomfortable with the way in which animal products are produced. But my current arrangement with my landlady includes meals, and they are not vegetarians, so the whole issue is kind of moot. I cannot afford not to make use of the deal. My suggested compromise position: cut out products derived from mammals, seeing as they are our closest relatives, and the more intelligent animals.

Our entire attitude to animals is actually thoroughly schizophrenic and irrational. I think I have related the story here: on holiday in Mozambique, my sister in law finds a guy burying a little dog alive. She went absolutely ballistic. And yet, she has no problem munching on a juicy steak, produced in a manner actually not much different at all from the way in which the little dog was being tortured. And derived from an animal with a mind not much different from that of the dog either.

I feel the same bemusement when I see people going apeshit over yet another rhino poaching. On one recent Facebook post I even saw the dead rhino fetus (a pregnant rhino was poached) referred to as "an innocent little baby." And of course, everyone gets emotional and suggests we string poachers up in the nearest tree. But almost all of these irate people are enthusiastic meat eaters, and never spare a thought for the suffering their steaks go through before ending up on the plate. It simply doesn't make any sense.

Upon reflection, it appears to me that our relationship with animals is tribal. That is to say, it similar to the relationship most humans had with other humans for most of history: the basic rules of morality ("do unto others" etc.) counted only for your own tribe; everyone else was fair game for exploitation, enslavement or genocide. Today, this is how we deal with animals: some species or individual animals are declared part of our tribe; the rest we can freely exploit. Rhinos are our tribe, and thus we get emotional when one is slaughtered; cattle are not, and thus we can freely eat them. Similarly, poachers are not of our tribe, and thus it is okay if they are shot down like the animals they are.

Seeing as this was our attitude for most of history, there is perhaps nothing wrong with it. It would serve us well though to be honest about it. Like it or not, the vegans are probably actually more internally consistent than the rest of us.

Tweefo (April 05, 2019, 13:12:48 PM):
On "factory" farms the animals are well treated. Stress will delay them from putting on weight. So for a few weeks, months or years (chickens, sheep, cows), they live like kings. The farmer does not bond with them like with a pet, so when they are sent off to the slaughterhouse there is no sense of loss. Ok, the individual animal dies in the end, but for the different farm animal species, farming was and is a very good thing. Without farming their numbers would be way down. The consumer, buying at a modern supermarket, just see the packaged tjops or steaks. A whole chicken still sorts of look like a chicken, but packaged into wings, drumsticks and so on, it's also just pieces of meat. Again, usually no bond and no feeling of loss about the original animal. Obviously, I've got a bond with my pets, but when I see a lost dog or cat on the street I am concerned. It is a living animal out of place. I am not going to hunt it and have a cat braai tonight.
BoogieMonster (April 05, 2019, 14:20:26 PM):
Quote from: briansvds
And in the process they achieve little more than alienating people who might otherwise have listened to them. I think a lot of it is just virtue signalling. I don't think they actually genuinely want everyone to become vegan, because then they wouldn't be special anymore.

Ahhh, the 'ol Goth creed: Come be an individual by being exactly the same as us.

Quote from: briansvds
Quote from: BM
And thricely, I've seen more and more youtube videos lately by ex-vegans explaining how their religious certitude in veganism destroyed their health and nearly killed them. Before they finally capitulated to the pressure of healthcare professionals to eat some meat and got better within DAYS sometimes... That is a meaty topic that I'm sure can only be fully addressed by going online and searching for them. They're out there, and their numbers are growing.

As far as I know it is possible to remain healthy on a vegan diet, but some supplements need to be taken, and it has to be a varied, healthy diet: you cannot simply stop eating meat and eat breakfast cereal instead. Which is apparently what some of them do. Even worse, they sometimes insist on feeding their babies vegan diets, thereby killing them.

Sorry, but, from what I've been seeing lately, it smacks a little of: "Socialism would work if only people did it right". Unfortunately, the videos I'm referring to are people who went DEEP into supplementation, tried every vegan diet known to man, kept trying for years, decades, etc... people who really, really did their upmost and tried to the point of nearly killing themselves and spending ludicrous amounts of money trying to figure out why they're always sick, in pain, etc... Guys who apologise profusely in their videos for abandoning their principles, etc.

These people happily delve into all the gritty details in confessions that sometimes last hours, Have a spin....


Quote from: brianvds
But just as eating meat does not automatically need to imply unethical farming, so veganism does not need to imply being part of the religious vegan cult.

Humans have incisors and all our direct cousins are omnivores, as have we been for all living and written memory. Saying that this not true, to me is science denial plain and simple. But sure, in principle, veganism as a choice is perfectly fine. However, the way it's sold by 99.999% of it's adherents: it is religion.

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My suggested compromise position: cut out products derived from mammals, seeing as they are our closest relatives, and the more intelligent animals.

You are free to try and live to that standard but I would point out that your criteria is murky to say the best. Humans have enough laughs trying to discern and act on intelligence differences BETWEEN HUMAN INDIVIDUALS.

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Our entire attitude to animals is actually thoroughly schizophrenic and irrational.

I think so too. But I wouldn't say "Our" I'd say "their". :)

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I think I have related the story here: on holiday in Mozambique, my sister in law finds a guy burying a little dog alive. She went absolutely ballistic. And yet, she has no problem munching on a juicy steak, produced in a manner actually not much different at all from the way in which the little dog was being tortured.

Personally I would prefer a bolt to the head over live burial. However, Dogs and cats have specifically EVOLVED to appeal to our sense of pity. She is being manipulated by 1000's of years of co-evolution.

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And derived from an animal with a mind not much different from that of the dog either.

That pesky intelligence and consciousness criteria again....

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I feel the same bemusement when I see people going apeshit over yet another rhino poaching. On one recent Facebook post I even saw the dead rhino fetus (a pregnant rhino was poached) referred to as "an innocent little baby." And of course, everyone gets emotional and suggests we string poachers up in the nearest tree. But almost all of these irate people are enthusiastic meat eaters, and never spare a thought for the suffering their steaks go through before ending up on the plate. It simply doesn't make any sense.

That does NOT make sense but what DOES make sense is trying to preserve biodiversity in the name of rational self interest, which does mean focussing one's efforts on the more endagered animals kicking about. I do think the human proclivity to hunt everything to the brink of extinction is our scarcity genes run amok... and they need to be rung in a little.

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Upon reflection, it appears to me that our relationship with animals is tribal.

Yes, and as an exhibit I submit your attempt to define criteria based on how human-like an animal is (in one dimension or another).

Quote
That is to say, it similar to the relationship most humans had with other humans for most of history: the basic rules of morality ("do unto others" etc.) counted only for your own tribe; everyone else was fair game for exploitation, enslavement or genocide. Today, this is how we deal with animals: some species or individual animals are declared part of our tribe; the rest we can freely exploit. Rhinos are our tribe, and thus we get emotional when one is slaughtered; cattle are not, and thus we can freely eat them. Similarly, poachers are not of our tribe, and thus it is okay if they are shot down like the animals they are.

It's almost as if it's all arbitrary and doesn't really matter.

Quote
Seeing as this was our attitude for most of history, there is perhaps nothing wrong with it. It would serve us well though to be honest about it. Like it or not, the vegans are probably actually more internally consistent than the rest of us.

I completely and utterly disagree. Being an animal, in the animal kingdom, humans acting exactly like any other animals do, would, and could.. is entirely consistent with our natural, and messy, evolution. It's just not a very PLEASANT way to think about things, but that's the way it always was and still is. Animals kill, but protect their own, they fight war over territory and resources. Humans are animals, in more senses than the human ego ever bears to accept.

brianvds (April 06, 2019, 02:54:41 AM):
On "factory" farms the animals are well treated.

It's not impression I get.

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Stress will delay them from putting on weight.

I doubt it. They are bred to be perpetually hungry, and to grow at an accelerated rate.

As far as I can work out, stress doesn't help overweight people lose all the pounds either.

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