Death or This God-awful threak?

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by itsstillmatt, Jul 8, 2010.

  1. samus

    samus Senior member

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    If that was directed to my question, that is a complete mischaracterization. I did not call vegans hypocrites but rather asked by what philosophical metaphysic one appeals to in order to deem this method of eating more "ethical" than another. In fact, I asked if utilitarianism was used as the moral grounding on this, and I think a pretty good case based on utility could be used. In fact, and my memory is dim on this, but I think a very noted writer by the name of Peter Singer does just this. Hazy on that though.

    Forgive me if my first thought was not exactly that you were making a good faith ethical inquiry, given the tone and context of this thread. I'm also a little reluctant to shift from defending veganism from what I perceive to be unjust barbs into making the vegan ethical case for them, as I'm not one. But taking a personal stab, I'd say utilitarianism is along the right track. I would venture that the goal of a vegan is to minimize suffering, but they're not martyrs. Humans do have an equal right to exist and to exist we must eat, and in order to produce food through agriculture, there is a non-zero probability that some animals will die unintentionally.

    I agree with you on these points - to an extent. Do I think foie can be produced humanely? I think so, though I admit I haven't studied it in depth. On the flipside, can it be produced cruelly? I think so as well, and those practices should be curtailed. And while I don't begrudge people their right to petition city councils etc. to ban it, I personally don't advocate such a ban and I am ENTIRELY opposed to paint-throwing, etc. (Incidentally, this is why the vegans I know cannot stand PETA - because their antics give the lot of them a bad name.)

    I can't claim credit for that graphic; it's made the rounds on the internet. However, "omnivore" is vegan parlance for non-vegan, non-vegetarians.

    I don't feel any examination is defensive, no. But, I do feel that few people, especially in this crowd, are out for a good-faith talk about it, and that includes throwing out stale, thoughtless arguments like those illustrated in the bingo board. As I wrote earlier, the attitudes and reaction of the Meaty Majority in this thread and in society to a very slim minority show what I think to be signs of irrational defensiveness at their values and choices being threatened.

    I eat meat, others don't, I don't care. I don't feel the need to belittle, wish ill will (however jokingly) or otherwise bitch about people who don't eat meat. And that's the crux of it.

    The problem is none of these fake meat substitutes taste like the real thing. They're merely an approximation of real food and if you can't tell the difference between the two, your taste buds suck. There are enough protein substitutes one can use without creating these vegan frankenfood monstrosities. Tofu, seitan, chickpeas, beans, etc. all taste good without having to use food coloring and strange chemicals to make them seem like meat.

    +1. Since I revamped my eating habits last year, I figured out I've been going about eating healthier all wrong. Eat food for what it is. Don't shrink from it or try to make it something it's not.

    I totally agree with both of these statements (except I really don't care for tofu or tempeh. I dig seitan.) I just think it's not hard to see why people might want flavored substitutes for meat, even if they've given up meat itself. On the flip side, I know people who gave up meat because, well, they just don't like meat, so they certainly don't want things that attempt to taste like it.
     


  2. Piobaire

    Piobaire Not left of center?

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    I was mostly talking about when people bring up field mice that may be harmed in food production or if a vegan accidentally steps on an insect. I don't understand why people look for insignificant things, as if veganism must be flawless or else it is hypocritical.

    Well, if you're claiming to be vegan for ethical reasons you have to be ready to defend that logically. The killing of mammals in the production of food for vegans claiming an ethical basis is certainly grounds for examination. I have already presented sufficient philosophical grounds for most people, but no one in the vegan "camp" has spoken to that. So what are the parameters? Are these parameters objectively measureable or just about good intentions and warm fuzzies?

    If you're a vegan because that's just what you like to eat, this is not an issue. Nothing would be an issue over your veganism then, as it's purely an issue of personal preference.

    This is like how a Repub Xtian will get skewered for not following their version of biblical teachings 100%. Lefty vegans just don't like being held to the same standard as Repub Xtians are. [​IMG]
     


  3. Dragon

    Dragon Senior member

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    I was mostly talking about when people bring up field mice that may be harmed in food production or if a vegan accidentally steps on an insect. I don't understand why people look for insignificant things, as if veganism must be flawless or else it is hypocritical.

    The issue is not really field mice or insect killed in the process. For example in your quest to protect dolphin, you may actually be contributing to the killing of more of them than any remote Japanese village. The pollution caused by the mass, commercial vegetables that you eat are not good for the environment at all. The more people become vegetarians, and the more fields necessary to grow the veggies, the more trees need to be cut, etc., etc. Just because one becomes a vegetarian, you are not necessarily "good" all of the sudden.
     


  4. Roikins

    Roikins Senior member

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    Or when they walk in the grass. Oh the wooooooooooorrrrrrrrrrrmmmmmmmmmms. I would never kill animals just so I could have a walk in the park. You have to think of the consequences.

    What about yeast or bacteria?! DEAR LORD!

    And don't forget, veganism isn't just about what you eat, it's what you wear and use. So, yeah, no leather shoes, silk, MoP, cashmere, wool...
     


  5. Nosu3

    Nosu3 Senior member

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    Well, if you're claiming to be vegan for ethical reasons you have to be ready to defend that logically. The killing of mammals in the production of food for vegans claiming an ethical basis is certainly grounds for examination. I have already presented sufficient philosophical grounds for most people, but no one in the vegan "camp" has spoken to that. So what are the parameters? Are these parameters objectively measureable or just about good intentions and warm fuzzies?

    Veganism does not require ethical logic, it's just someone's choice of lifestyle. Ethical reasoning would be needed when forcing standards or phasing out practices, which is fairly easy to do when certain animals are considered.

    Animals killed in the process of food production is irrelevant, vegans also have to eat. The "ethical basis" is much different than if a vegan were to buy dead mouse products.


    The issue is not really field mice or insect killed in the process. For example in your quest to protect dolphin, you may actually be contributing to the killing of more of them than any remote Japanese village. The pollution caused by the mass, commercial vegetables that you eat are not good for the environment at all. The more people become vegetarians, and the more fields necessary to grow the veggies, the more trees need to be cut, etc., etc. Just because one becomes a vegetarian, you are not necessarily "good" all of the sudden.

    I would much rather dolphins live without human impact and die naturally than see them devastated by the human species. It is not about just the animals dying, it's the fact that humans are the ones responsible for their slaughter/torture/destruction when better alternatives can be made.

    Veg is not just about doing good. Inaction is consent, which is why outspoken vegs are not uncommon. When people avoid animal products, it is because they want to minimize their contribution to animal harm/death as much as possible.

    I don't agree with the more vegetation, more pollution and space needed thing. The same could be said for the cattle industry or if people increased their meat intake.
     


  6. Nil

    Nil Senior member

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    What about yeast or bacteria?! DEAR LORD!

    And don't forget, veganism isn't just about what you eat, it's what you wear and use. So, yeah, no leather shoes, silk, MoP, cashmere, wool...


    I never even thought about that. It'd be literally impossible for me to live by those parameters. I'd have to begin dressing like a Berkeley hippie to be able to fulfill them and that's just not something I'd ever be willing to do.
     


  7. Incman

    Incman Senior member

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    Animals killed in the process of food production is irrelevant, vegans also have to eat.
    There aren't enough facepalm icons in the world...
     


  8. Nosu3

    Nosu3 Senior member

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    There aren't enough facepalm icons in the world...

    [​IMG] I didn't notice that, but it was in reference to the field mice that may be killed during vegetable harvesting.
     


  9. dtmt

    dtmt Senior member

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    I'm against veganism for ethical reasons. I don't think humans should be treated like that.
     


  10. Incman

    Incman Senior member

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    [​IMG] I didn't notice that, but it was in reference to the field mice that may be killed during vegetable harvesting.

    I know what it was in reference to. Don't you see the hypocrisy in that? What makes the field mouse that is killed any less valuable than the animals you are trying to save/not use?

    One would think, based on the amount of effort vegans put in to not use any animals/animal products, that the lives of many field mice would be deserving of more than a slight shrug of the shoulders as you run them over with your tractor.

    I'm certainly not arguing that there is something wrong with incidental casualties in the act of harvesting food. What I am arguing is that for a group of people claiming to value/protect/not use the lives of any animals, you guys would try a little bit harder to come up with safer harvesting methods for the animals that you claim you are not killing/using.
     


  11. Nosu3

    Nosu3 Senior member

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    I know what it was in reference to. Don't you see the hypocrisy in that? What makes the field mouse that is killed any less valuable than the animals you are trying to save/not use? One would think, based on the amount of effort vegans put in to not use any animals/animal products, that the lives of many field mice would be deserving of more than a slight shrug of the shoulders as you run them over with your tractor. I'm certainly not arguing that there is something wrong with incidental casualties in the act of harvesting food. What I am arguing is that for a group of people claiming to value/protect/not use the lives of any animals, you guys would try a little bit harder to come up with safer harvesting methods for the animals that you claim you are not killing/using.
    oh. Then, no I don't see a hypocrisy at all, vegans don't eat mice. I'll let someone who is a vegan answer. Personally I would ask, "what makes humans more valuable than other animals?" to determine whether or not a mouse is less valuable than some other animals.
     


  12. gomestar

    gomestar Super Yelper

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    kobe beef is worth a lot more than I on a per-pound basis. So is flank.
     


  13. Incman

    Incman Senior member

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    oh. Then, no I don't see a hypocrisy at all, vegans don't eat mice. I'll let someone who is a vegan answer.

    Personally I would ask, "what makes humans more valuable than other animals?" to determine whether or not a mouse is less valuable than some other animals.


    So because they don't eat them it's okay to kill them? Your logic is like swiss cheese, although I don't expect you to understand, seeing as cheese is all unethical and stuffz.

    As for what make humans more valuable than other animals; on a deep philosophical level, perhaps nothing. But the fact that we are developed enough to take over the world and live at the top of the food chain, we have de facto assumed the role of the most important animals on our planet.
     


  14. Nil

    Nil Senior member

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    kobe beef is worth a lot more than I on a per-pound basis. So is flank.

    Depends on how healthy you are. Any disease-free human would be worth a large sum on the organ black market. I dare say they would be the most expensive livestock in the world.
     


  15. coonky

    coonky Well-Known Member

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    So if it doesn't have to be all or nothing, what are the parameters? Is it okay to eat "humane" foie gras vs. gavage? Only have veal once a month?

    It can be whatever you want. We use titles such as "vegan" or "vegetarian" (or "heterosexual", "homosexual", "bisexual" for that matter) as a shorthand for describing ourselves. Of course not everyone fits perfectly into the mold. You can do/eat whatever you want.
     


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