Vegetarian Discussion: "Going Vegan Achieves Nothing"

"Going Vegan Achieves Nothing"
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Rupert
2010-01-08 14:45:15 EST
Ball seems to make this statement often enough. I claim that the vast
majority of people living in developed nations who make a transition
to an omnivorous diet to a vegan diet achieve a signfiicant reduction
in the amount of suffering, premature death, and injection of carbons
in the atmosphere caused by the production of their food, and also in
most cases they'd probably struggle a fair bit to achieve a comparable
reduction by any means short of avoiding animal products almost
completely.

A bold claim I know. I don't have all the scientific data on hand just
at the moment to back this one up. But if there's significant doubt
about it, I guess we'd better look into the evidence. So let's get
clear about whether anyone has serious doubts about this matter.

It is true that people who avoid animal products could take other
steps on top of that, such as trying to find out whether it would be
better to eat rice or potatoes, or dropping out of technological
civilisation and joining a commune, but I guess the reality is that in
the ordinary course of events such thoughts don't really occur to
them, and the bottom line is there's probably a limit to how much time
they're prepared to invest, and how much discomfort they're prepared
to endure for the sake of the cause. You might well say that this
makes nonsense of all the rhetoric made by the likes of Francione
about uncompromising moral principle, well, that may well be, I do not
wish to defend anything Francione has said today.

My quarrel is with the statement that it achieves nothing. The goal
which I specified above is a goal that they favour, even if there are
limits to the extent to which they are prepared to sacrifice other
goals for it. Their conduct, I would suggest, is pretty rational with
regard to this goal, when you factor in the cost of acquiring
information. Not especially rational to fuss about such things as
whether wine is vegan or whether there are a few micrograms of squid
ink in this product. No, that's not rational; you'd be better off
worrying about what you can do about reducing your electricity
consumption or some such thing. I don't do that kind of thing, and I
point out the irrationality of it when my friends do it. But cutting
animal products out of your diet is not such a bad rule of thumb *if*
you favour the goal I specified above. You could adopt some form of
conscientious omnivorism instead, but in most cases that would
probably mean you would be settling for a significantly smaller
reduction. Not always, but most times. So it depends how much you are
willing to do. And, contrary to what Ball thinks, making the
transition to a vegan diet that would be quite tasty and healthy would
not require any large cost as far as information search goes. It's
just not that hard; there are no significant health risks if you just
exercise common sense. My doctor and the American Dietetic Association
back me up on this point.

So, make of all of that what you will, it is just not true that going
vegan achieves nothing. It helps to advance a goal which some regard
as worthwhile. I know many are going to chime in with "Well, there are
no grounds for thinking that you are morally obliged to do that", and
Ball is going to say that it cannot be a manifestation of *virtue* and
start talking about anal child rape, well, that's as may be, but can
we just get clear about whether we are able to move forward from all
this rubbish about "going vegan achieves nothing".

Dutch
2010-01-08 18:45:42 EST

"Rupert" <rupertmccallum@yahoo.com> wrote
> Ball seems to make this statement often enough. I claim that the vast
> majority of people living in developed nations who make a transition
> to an omnivorous diet to a vegan diet achieve a signfiicant reduction
> in the amount of suffering, premature death, and injection of carbons
> in the atmosphere caused by the production of their food, and also in
> most cases they'd probably struggle a fair bit to achieve a comparable
> reduction by any means short of avoiding animal products almost
> completely.
>
> A bold claim I know. I don't have all the scientific data on hand just
> at the moment to back this one up. But if there's significant doubt
> about it, I guess we'd better look into the evidence. So let's get
> clear about whether anyone has serious doubts about this matter.
>
> It is true that people who avoid animal products could take other
> steps on top of that, such as trying to find out whether it would be
> better to eat rice or potatoes, or dropping out of technological
> civilisation and joining a commune, but I guess the reality is that in
> the ordinary course of events such thoughts don't really occur to
> them, and the bottom line is there's probably a limit to how much time
> they're prepared to invest, and how much discomfort they're prepared
> to endure for the sake of the cause. You might well say that this
> makes nonsense of all the rhetoric made by the likes of Francione
> about uncompromising moral principle, well, that may well be, I do not
> wish to defend anything Francione has said today.
>
> My quarrel is with the statement that it achieves nothing. The goal
> which I specified above is a goal that they favour, even if there are
> limits to the extent to which they are prepared to sacrifice other
> goals for it. Their conduct, I would suggest, is pretty rational with
> regard to this goal, when you factor in the cost of acquiring
> information. Not especially rational to fuss about such things as
> whether wine is vegan or whether there are a few micrograms of squid
> ink in this product. No, that's not rational; you'd be better off
> worrying about what you can do about reducing your electricity
> consumption or some such thing. I don't do that kind of thing, and I
> point out the irrationality of it when my friends do it. But cutting
> animal products out of your diet is not such a bad rule of thumb *if*
> you favour the goal I specified above. You could adopt some form of
> conscientious omnivorism instead, but in most cases that would
> probably mean you would be settling for a significantly smaller
> reduction. Not always, but most times. So it depends how much you are
> willing to do. And, contrary to what Ball thinks, making the
> transition to a vegan diet that would be quite tasty and healthy would
> not require any large cost as far as information search goes. It's
> just not that hard; there are no significant health risks if you just
> exercise common sense. My doctor and the American Dietetic Association
> back me up on this point.
>
> So, make of all of that what you will, it is just not true that going
> vegan achieves nothing. It helps to advance a goal which some regard
> as worthwhile. I know many are going to chime in with "Well, there are
> no grounds for thinking that you are morally obliged to do that", and
> Ball is going to say that it cannot be a manifestation of *virtue* and
> start talking about anal child rape, well, that's as may be, but can
> we just get clear about whether we are able to move forward from all
> this rubbish about "going vegan achieves nothing".

Incidentally, unlike most of your others, and Google posts in general, this
post of yours does not have the line in the headers
'Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable' which limits the ability of a
responder's newsreader to automatically insert those handy carat
attributions. Try to repeat whatever you did there..

Let me attempt to clarify the above issue somewhat. If you define your goal
specifically as to reduce impact on animals and/or the environment, or
animal suffering, then any step you take that ostensibly furthers that goal
achieves "something" relative specifically to that goal. That probably
includes consuming tofu instead of hamburger. I have already conceded this
and I am quite sure that Jonathan has as well. The point I think that you're
missing is that the goal of veganism is not that, the goal of veganism is to
eliminate all obvious evidence of "animal products" from your immediate
lifestyle. The problem with that is that this tends to lead the vegan into a
false sense, consciously or unconsciously of living a "cruelly-free" life.
The "animal products" prohibition tends to be seen, incorrectly, as both
necessary and sufficient in the attaining of a [near] ideal lifestyle,
demonstrated by the "search for micrograms" example. Consumers of meat are
seen, again, consciously or unconsciously, as somehow cruel, immoral or
barbaric, falling short. I think that the cause of this what can only be
called "self-righteous" attitude is that there is a conflating of the goal I
stated first, to reduce impact, with another goal, to eliminate the
"exploitation" of animals, aka "AR". Yes, there is arguably some overlap
between the two goals, but they are in reality quite different, and in some
cases will be in conflict, such as when choosing between certain animal and
non-animal alternatives. Difficult as it may be, in order to properly
formulate a palatable strategy it is incumbent on you, or anyone, to make
this difference clear, to deal with it honestly yourself, and in your
presentation or your ideas to others.

I'll make a hypothetical example, and this will never happen because it is
impossible in real life to trace the precise impact of our food with any
accuracy.

Say you as a vegan were at the home of a person who offered you the choice
of a pre-packaged tofu burger or a 6 ounce steak from a moose he hunted and
killed himself in the nearby forest, with a single shot to the head, no
suffering. The vegan will always choose the vegetarian option, even though
it is very likely that animals death/suffering per oz is higher for the
packaged product is greater given all the agricultural and commercial
processes, packaging and transportation impacts that are contained in the
veggie burger. Be up front abut the fact that it is the "exploitation" of
the moose as a wild, free animal that is deciding your path, not the
calculation of animal suffering per ounce of nutrition. And be cognizant
that many wild and free animals are also impacted by the alternative you
chose. You, Rupert may wave your hand dismissively and readily concede all
this, but most vegans neither admit it, nor do they act as if any of it were
true or relevant.

If vegans really just want to "do better" than say some "average" diet, then
why the obsessive need to eliminate ALL animal products including sauces
with traces of octopus ink? There is a disconnect that you have not
recognized or acknowledged.



Rupert
2010-01-08 19:39:19 EST
On Jan 9, 10:45 am, "Dutch" <n...@email.com> wrote:
> "Rupert" <rupertmccal...@yahoo.com> wrote
>
>
>
> > Ball seems to make this statement often enough. I claim that the vast
> > majority of people living in developed nations who make a transition
> > to an omnivorous diet to a vegan diet achieve a signfiicant reduction
> > in the amount of suffering, premature death, and injection of carbons
> > in the atmosphere caused by the production of their food, and also in
> > most cases they'd probably struggle a fair bit to achieve a comparable
> > reduction by any means short of avoiding animal products almost
> > completely.
>
> > A bold claim I know. I don't have all the scientific data on hand just
> > at the moment to back this one up. But if there's significant doubt
> > about it, I guess we'd better look into the evidence. So let's get
> > clear about whether anyone has serious doubts about this matter.
>
> > It is true that people who avoid animal products could take other
> > steps on top of that, such as trying to find out whether it would be
> > better to eat rice or potatoes, or dropping out of technological
> > civilisation and joining a commune, but I guess the reality is that in
> > the ordinary course of events such thoughts don't really occur to
> > them, and the bottom line is there's probably a limit to how much time
> > they're prepared to invest, and how much discomfort they're prepared
> > to endure for the sake of the cause. You might well say that this
> > makes nonsense of all the rhetoric made by the likes of Francione
> > about uncompromising moral principle, well, that may well be, I do not
> > wish to defend anything Francione has said today.
>
> > My quarrel is with the statement that it achieves nothing. The goal
> > which I specified above is a goal that they favour, even if there are
> > limits to the extent to which they are prepared to sacrifice other
> > goals for it. Their conduct, I would suggest, is pretty rational with
> > regard to this goal, when you factor in the cost of acquiring
> > information. Not especially rational to fuss about such things as
> > whether wine is vegan or whether there are a few micrograms of squid
> > ink in this product. No, that's not rational; you'd be better off
> > worrying about what you can do about reducing your electricity
> > consumption or some such thing. I don't do that kind of thing, and I
> > point out the irrationality of it when my friends do it. But cutting
> > animal products out of your diet is not such a bad rule of thumb *if*
> > you favour the goal I specified above. You could adopt some form of
> > conscientious omnivorism instead, but in most cases that would
> > probably mean you would be settling for a significantly smaller
> > reduction. Not always, but most times. So it depends how much you are
> > willing to do. And, contrary to what Ball thinks, making the
> > transition to a vegan diet that would be quite tasty and healthy would
> > not require any large cost as far as information search goes. It's
> > just not that hard; there are no significant health risks if you just
> > exercise common sense. My doctor and the American Dietetic Association
> > back me up on this point.
>
> > So, make of all of that what you will, it is just not true that going
> > vegan achieves nothing. It helps to advance a goal which some regard
> > as worthwhile. I know many are going to chime in with "Well, there are
> > no grounds for thinking that you are morally obliged to do that", and
> > Ball is going to say that it cannot be a manifestation of *virtue* and
> > start talking about anal child rape, well, that's as may be, but can
> > we just get clear about whether we are able to move forward from all
> > this rubbish about "going vegan achieves nothing".
>
> Incidentally, unlike most of your others, and Google posts in general, this
> post of yours does not have the line in the headers
> 'Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable' which limits the ability of a
> responder's newsreader to automatically insert those handy carat
> attributions. Try to repeat whatever you did there..
>

I will do my best, but I really have no idea what it is that I am
doing different when we get these outcomes that you like. As far as I
can tell I am doing the exact same thing now so hopefully the same
thing will happen.

> Let me attempt to clarify the above issue somewhat. If you define your goal
> specifically as to reduce impact on animals and/or the environment, or
> animal suffering, then any step you take that ostensibly furthers that goal
> achieves "something" relative specifically to that goal. That probably
> includes consuming tofu instead of hamburger. I have already conceded this
> and I am quite sure that Jonathan has as well.

It would be great if we could be clear about that, but when he says
"going vegan achieves nothing" I just want to get clearer about what
he means. If he will concede that going vegan is rational *with
respect to a goal that vegans favour* then I guess that's fine. Then
the debate would be about whether that goal is in fact worth
favouring, and to what extent if any moral obligation comes into it.

I would like to listen to what Ball has to say about this matter. I
think of you as a quite reasonable person but I think that Ball
frequently goes off the rails in his zeal to attempt to discredit
ethical veganism by any possible means.

> The point I think that you're
> missing is that the goal of veganism is not that, the goal of veganism is to
> eliminate all obvious evidence of "animal products" from your immediate
> lifestyle.

Let's get clear about what you're claiming here. You're making some
sort of claim about "most vegans", not necessarily me. Well, I don't
know. What exactly do you think goes on in the head of "most vegans"
when they decide to go vegan, what do you think their thought process
is? You were vegan once yourself, no? Tell us all about it; what was
your thought process?

> The problem with that is that this tends to lead the vegan into a
> false sense, consciously or unconsciously of living a "cruelly-free" life.

There are certainly some clear senses in which the lifestyle is not
(in the overwhelmingly vast majority of cases) "cruelty-free". You
wouldn't be able to rationally debate that point for too long given
the facts. I don't know if I recall any occasion when a vegan that I
met online or in real life insisted that it wasn't true, *once
confronted with the facts*.

I don't know, you think most vegans haven't fully faced up to that
yet?

Have you been chatting with vegans *in real life* as opposed to on-
line in recent memory, just out of interest?

Do you think it's wise to rely too heavily on impressions formed on
the basis of usenet conversations?

What part of your experience exactly leads you to form this
conclusion?

> The "animal products" prohibition tends to be seen, incorrectly, as both
> necessary and sufficient in the attaining of a [near] ideal lifestyle,
> demonstrated by the "search for micrograms" example.

You would indeed want to be as clear as you can about what the goal is
and what is rational with respect to that goal *given the facts*, and
if you want to say that a lot of vegans haven't thought that through
all that carefully, you'll get no argument from me there. I do try to
do my bit to draw attention to these issues.

I'm not too sure whether this is all supposed to boil down to "You
keep bad company". I mean, my friends are pretty decent people I
think. I don't wish to suggest that they're immune from criticism. And
I think that some of what they do is reasonably productive with
respect to the goal of trying to reduce animal suffering.

> Consumers of meat are
> seen, again, consciously or unconsciously, as somehow cruel, immoral or
> barbaric, falling short.

I just don't know if that's a fair statement of how they think.

They don't feel good about what goes on in modern farms, make no
mistake about that.

Animal Liberation NSW is often involved in investigations of breaches
of the *existing* law. Some of my friends have gotten involved in that
kind of thing, taking video footage and so forth. When you have
experiences of some modern farms you are quite likely to end up
feeling some feeling of discomfort. I don't know if the attempt to
portray us as "clueless urbanites" is really fair. We do have access
to some factual information about what goes on. We have a toll-free
number set up where people can report things that are of concern to
them. We get quite a lot of calls.

We believe that this kind of thing is pretty widespread, and that
consumer choices contribute to it, and we feel discomfort about that
and want to try to change things. It is not that I think that my
parents and my sister are "cruel, immoral and barbaric". I do not
think that at all. Obviously I think that they are wonderful. I assume
that most of my friends feel the same way about their immediate family
members.

I don't know if your way of putting it is really all that accurate a
picture. And it could conceivably be that I have been hanging out with
vegans in non-cyberspace contexts a bit more than you have in recent
memory. I wouldn't want to assume too much.

By all means feel free to tell me about your own experiences.

> I think that the cause of this what can only be
> called "self-righteous" attitude

Let's analyse that further.

What leads you to believe that most vegans are "self-righteous"?

I just don't think you people have an especially fair picture of where
all this is coming from.

I'll leave it there. I'll address the rest of your post later.


Rupert
2010-01-08 19:40:23 EST
On Jan 9, 10:45 am, "Dutch" <n...@email.com> wrote:
> "Rupert" <rupertmccal...@yahoo.com> wrote
>
> If vegans really just want to "do better" than say some "average" diet, then
> why the obsessive need to eliminate ALL animal products including sauces
> with traces of octopus ink? There is a disconnect that you have not
> recognized or acknowledged.

I did acknowledge this. I explicitly acknowledged it in my OP. I said
it was irrational and that I try to point this out. I don't know what
more you want me to do, really.

Dutch
2010-01-08 20:27:52 EST
"Rupert" <rupertmccallum@yahoo.com> wrote
On Jan 9, 10:45 am, "Dutch" <n...@email.com> wrote:

> The point I think that you're
> missing is that the goal of veganism is not that, the goal of veganism is
> to
> eliminate all obvious evidence of "animal products" from your immediate
> lifestyle.

Let's get clear about what you're claiming here. You're making some
sort of claim about "most vegans", not necessarily me. Well, I don't
know.
---------->
I am generalizing.

What exactly do you think goes on in the head of "most vegans"
when they decide to go vegan, what do you think their thought process
is?
---------->

I think they see something on the news about animal cruelty, factory farming
or hear are persuaded by some celebrity vegetarian. After that is
self-serving to believe the what is most advantageous about being a
vegetarian, and without really thinking it through, "veganism" seems like it
is "the next level" eliminating ALL animal products to reach that final
plateau.

You were vegan once yourself, no? Tell us all about it; what was
your thought process?
--------->

I wasn't vegan long enough to mention, but I was a vegetarian for 18 years.
I did it because I was living in a country where I was unsure of the meat
supply, and kept it up after returning to Canada. I subsequently progressed
to thinking, in usual self-serving fashion, that eating meat meant you were
a cruel and thoughtless person.

> The problem with that is that this tends to lead the vegan into a
> false sense, consciously or unconsciously of living a "cruelly-free" life.

There are certainly some clear senses in which the lifestyle is not
(in the overwhelmingly vast majority of cases) "cruelty-free". You
wouldn't be able to rationally debate that point for too long given
the facts. I don't know if I recall any occasion when a vegan that I
met online or in real life insisted that it wasn't true, *once
confronted with the facts*.

I don't know, you think most vegans haven't fully faced up to that
yet?
--------->

I can only recall one who does face up to it, you.

Have you been chatting with vegans *in real life* as opposed to on-
line in recent memory, just out of interest?
---->

Online

Do you think it's wise to rely too heavily on impressions formed on
the basis of usenet conversations?
----->

Probably

What part of your experience exactly leads you to form this
conclusion?
------->

Personal memories of my own thought process combined with online.

> The "animal products" prohibition tends to be seen, incorrectly, as both
> necessary and sufficient in the attaining of a [near] ideal lifestyle,
> demonstrated by the "search for micrograms" example.

You would indeed want to be as clear as you can about what the goal is
and what is rational with respect to that goal *given the facts*, and
if you want to say that a lot of vegans haven't thought that through
all that carefully, you'll get no argument from me there. I do try to
do my bit to draw attention to these issues.

I'm not too sure whether this is all supposed to boil down to "You
keep bad company". I mean, my friends are pretty decent people I
think. I don't wish to suggest that they're immune from criticism. And
I think that some of what they do is reasonably productive with
respect to the goal of trying to reduce animal suffering.
--------->

I would agree, the claim "reasonably productive" is a fair claim. Examining
sauce labels in dark restaurants however is irrational, and looking upon
meat-eaters as barbarians, or any variation of that, is self-serving,
self-righteous, and deserving of contempt.

> Consumers of meat are
> seen, again, consciously or unconsciously, as somehow cruel, immoral or
> barbaric, falling short.

I just don't know if that's a fair statement of how they think.
------->

I think it is, based on my own experience and the words of many since.


They don't feel good about what goes on in modern farms, make no
mistake about that.

Animal Liberation NSW is often involved in investigations of breaches
of the *existing* law. Some of my friends have gotten involved in that
kind of thing, taking video footage and so forth. When you have
experiences of some modern farms you are quite likely to end up
feeling some feeling of discomfort. I don't know if the attempt to
portray us as "clueless urbanites" is really fair. We do have access
to some factual information about what goes on. We have a toll-free
number set up where people can report things that are of concern to
them. We get quite a lot of calls.

We believe that this kind of thing is pretty widespread, and that
consumer choices contribute to it, and we feel discomfort about that
and want to try to change things. It is not that I think that my
parents and my sister are "cruel, immoral and barbaric". I do not
think that at all. Obviously I think that they are wonderful. I assume
that most of my friends feel the same way about their immediate family
members.

I don't know if your way of putting it is really all that accurate a
picture. And it could conceivably be that I have been hanging out with
vegans in non-cyberspace contexts a bit more than you have in recent
memory. I wouldn't want to assume too much.

By all means feel free to tell me about your own experiences.

> I think that the cause of this what can only be
> called "self-righteous" attitude

Let's analyse that further.

What leads you to believe that most vegans are "self-righteous"?

I just don't think you people have an especially fair picture of where
all this is coming from.

I'll leave it there. I'll address the rest of your post later.
---------->

The problem that all your experience with nice tolerant vegans doesn't
address is that the fundamental concept of veganism contains an inherent
fallacy, *if* you see it as a means to reduce animal suffering. I know you
are having trouble seeing this, as I am trouble explaining it in a way that
makes sense to you.






Rupert
2010-01-08 20:36:30 EST
On Jan 9, 12:27 pm, "Dutch" <n...@email.com> wrote:
> "Rupert" <rupertmccal...@yahoo.com> wrote
> On Jan 9, 10:45 am, "Dutch" <n...@email.com> wrote:
>
> > The point I think that you're
> > missing is that the goal of veganism is not that, the goal of veganism is
> > to
> > eliminate all obvious evidence of "animal products" from your immediate
> > lifestyle.
>
> Let's get clear about what you're claiming here. You're making some
> sort of claim about "most vegans", not necessarily me. Well, I don't
> know.
> ---------->
> I am generalizing.
>
> What exactly do you think goes on in the head of "most vegans"
> when they decide to go vegan, what do you think their thought process
> is?
> ---------->
>
> I think they see something on the news about animal cruelty, factory farming
> or hear are persuaded by some celebrity vegetarian.

Let's just stop right here. I'll get round to addressing the rest
later. You've just made some kind of comment about what you think.
Well, that's awesome. But are we able to get specific at all about
which parts of your experience entitle you to make informed comment
about the phenomenon of veganism? You were "not vegan long enough to
mention", apparently. Well, how many vegans have you met in your life?
What exactly is it that you know about them?

Dutch
2010-01-09 00:20:30 EST

"Rupert" <rupertmccallum@yahoo.com> wrote i
On Jan 9, 12:27 pm, "Dutch" <n...@email.com> wrote:
> "Rupert" <rupertmccal...@yahoo.com> wrote
> On Jan 9, 10:45 am, "Dutch" <n...@email.com> wrote:
>
> > The point I think that you're
> > missing is that the goal of veganism is not that, the goal of veganism
> > is
> > to
> > eliminate all obvious evidence of "animal products" from your immediate
> > lifestyle.
>
> Let's get clear about what you're claiming here. You're making some
> sort of claim about "most vegans", not necessarily me. Well, I don't
> know.
> ---------->
> I am generalizing.
>
> What exactly do you think goes on in the head of "most vegans"
> when they decide to go vegan, what do you think their thought process
> is?
> ---------->
>
> I think they see something on the news about animal cruelty, factory
> farming
> or hear are persuaded by some celebrity vegetarian.

Let's just stop right here. I'll get round to addressing the rest
later. You've just made some kind of comment about what you think.
Well, that's awesome. But are we able to get specific at all about
which parts of your experience entitle you to make informed comment
about the phenomenon of veganism? You were "not vegan long enough to
mention", apparently. Well, how many vegans have you met in your life?
What exactly is it that you know about them?
-------->

I have "met" a lot of them, by that I mean on this forum, which for the
purpose of finding out how they think on this issue is probably infinitely
better than meeting them in person. People mask their true feelings in
person, wanting to be polite and to avoid conflict, and because the subject
never comes up. That is not the case online.

What is wrong with my response to that question? Where do you think it is
off base?


Rupert
2010-01-09 17:08:21 EST
On Jan 9, 4:20 pm, "Dutch" <n...@email.com> wrote:
> "Rupert" <rupertmccal...@yahoo.com> wrote i
> On Jan 9, 12:27 pm, "Dutch" <n...@email.com> wrote:
>
>
>
>
>
> > "Rupert" <rupertmccal...@yahoo.com> wrote
> > On Jan 9, 10:45 am, "Dutch" <n...@email.com> wrote:
>
> > > The point I think that you're
> > > missing is that the goal of veganism is not that, the goal of veganism
> > > is
> > > to
> > > eliminate all obvious evidence of "animal products" from your immediate
> > > lifestyle.
>
> > Let's get clear about what you're claiming here. You're making some
> > sort of claim about "most vegans", not necessarily me. Well, I don't
> > know.
> > ---------->
> > I am generalizing.
>
> > What exactly do you think goes on in the head of "most vegans"
> > when they decide to go vegan, what do you think their thought process
> > is?
> > ---------->
>
> > I think they see something on the news about animal cruelty, factory
> > farming
> > or hear are persuaded by some celebrity vegetarian.
>
> Let's just stop right here. I'll get round to addressing the rest
> later. You've just made some kind of comment about what you think.
> Well, that's awesome. But are we able to get specific at all about
> which parts of your experience entitle you to make informed comment
> about the phenomenon of veganism? You were "not vegan long enough to
> mention", apparently. Well, how many vegans have you met in your life?
> What exactly is it that you know about them?
> -------->
>
> I have "met" a lot of them, by that I mean on this forum, which for the
> purpose of finding out how they think on this issue is probably infinitely
> better than meeting them in person.  People mask their true feelings in
> person, wanting to be polite and to avoid conflict, and because the subject
> never comes up. That is not the case online.
>
> What is wrong with my response to that question? Where do you think it is
> off base?- Hide quoted text -
>
> - Show quoted text -

Okay. So what we have here is:

I called into question Ball's statement that going vegan achieves
nothing. You agreed with me, and he has not responded.

Then you brought up the point that you have formed a poor impression
of most of the vegans that you have met online, which is apparently
supposed to be relevant for some reason or other. I don't think that
the statement that they see meat-eaters as barbarians and that this is
deserving of contempt is fair, really. I think that they feel bad
about what goes on in modern farms, possibly more so than most people
would, and I don't think that that is deserving of contempt at all,
it's just a response to an aspect of modern life, a pretty reasonable
one it seems to me. And they wish that more people would stop eating
meat, certainly. Which seems pretty reasonable as well *if* you agree
with them about what the consequences of that would be. I don't know,
I could be missing something. You brought up the example of the tofu
burger and the hunted moose. Well, if I had compelling evidence that
the amount of suffering and death caused by the hunted moose was less
then I would choose that. I don't know, I'll ask my friends and see if
they think any differently. That's really something you should take up
with the people who think differently, not me. There's not a lot I can
do if people think in ways that I don't agree with, I don't know if
I'm personally responsible for that. I can express my disagreement,
and when we have agreement and common goals that can serve as a basis
for co-operation we can work with that.

I just looked through all of your posts and I found this statement
which looks promising:

"The problem that all your experience with nice tolerant vegans
doesn't
address is that the fundamental concept of veganism contains an
inherent
fallacy, *if* you see it as a means to reduce animal suffering. I
know you
are having trouble seeing this, as I am trouble explaining it in a way
that
makes sense to you."

If you think that I am still in the grip of some fallacy, maybe you
could just get specific about what it is and we might make some
progress.

D*@.
2010-01-10 14:18:23 EST
On Fri, 8 Jan 2010 11:45:15 -0800 (PST), Rupert
<*m@yahoo.com> wrote:

>Ball seems to make this statement often enough. I claim that the vast
>majority of people living in developed nations who make a transition
>to an omnivorous diet to a vegan diet achieve a signfiicant reduction
>in the amount of suffering, premature death, and injection of carbons
>in the atmosphere caused by the production of their food, and also in
>most cases they'd probably struggle a fair bit to achieve a comparable
>reduction by any means short of avoiding animal products almost
>completely.

· Vegans contribute to the deaths of animals by their use of
wood and paper products, electricity, roads and all types of
buildings, their own diet, etc... just as everyone else does.
What they try to avoid are products which provide life
(and death) for farm animals, but even then they would have
to avoid the following items containing animal by-products
in order to be successful:

tires, paper, upholstery, floor waxes, glass, water
filters, rubber, fertilizer, antifreeze, ceramics, insecticides,
insulation, linoleum, plastic, textiles, blood factors, collagen,
heparin, insulin, solvents, biodegradable detergents, herbicides,
gelatin capsules, adhesive tape, laminated wood products,
plywood, paneling, wallpaper and wallpaper paste, cellophane
wrap and tape, abrasives, steel ball bearings

The meat industry provides life for the animals that it
slaughters, and the animals live and die as a result of it
as animals do in other habitats. They also depend on it for
their lives as animals do in other habitats. If people consume
animal products from animals they think are raised in decent
ways, they will be promoting life for more such animals in the
future. People who want to contribute to decent lives for
livestock with their lifestyle must do it by being conscientious
consumers of animal products, because they can not do it by
being vegan.
From the life and death of a thousand pound grass raised
steer and whatever he happens to kill during his life, people
get over 500 pounds of human consumable meat...that's well
over 500 servings of meat. From a grass raised dairy cow people
get thousands of dairy servings. Due to the influence of farm
machinery, and *icides, and in the case of rice the flooding and
draining of fields, one serving of soy or rice based product is
likely to involve more animal deaths than hundreds of servings
derived from grass raised animals. Grass raised animal products
contribute to fewer wildlife deaths, better wildlife habitat, and
better lives for livestock than soy or rice products. ·

D*@.
2010-01-10 14:18:53 EST
On Fri, 8 Jan 2010 15:45:42 -0800, "Dutch" <no@email.com> wrote:

>If you define your goal
>specifically as to reduce impact on animals and/or the environment, or
>animal suffering, then any step you take that ostensibly furthers that goal
>achieves "something" relative specifically to that goal. That probably
>includes consuming tofu instead of hamburger.

Not if you feel that most beef cattle have decent lives of
positive value, which you people obviously don't.
Not if you can appreciate the fact that many wildlife thrive
better in areas used for grazing livestock than in crop fields,
which you people obviously can't.
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