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Forums: April 2012 Kickstart Forum: How The Ethical Argument Fails Animals
Created on: 07/21/12 12:52 PM Views: 2159 Replies: 11
How The Ethical Argument Fails Animals
Posted Saturday, July 21, 2012 at 12:52 PM

So I've noticed that there's a bit of whole-food hate coming from some ethical vegans lately. Perhaps partly because they don't enjoy a whole food diet themselves, but also because they think people will be put off veganism if the diet is restricted to minimally processed wholefoods.

Well, as most of you know, I didn't go vegan for ethical reasons. I went vegan because meat and dairy products give me gas. Still, by some mysterious power, I have quite a thorough understanding of the ethical vegan mindset. And although I can see where they're coming from here, I feel that this view is flawed for the following five reasons:

1) It involves a certain amount of apathy for the audience's health.

2) The land clearance necessary for growing oil crops results in a significant amount of suffering, for humans and animals.

3) There's a certain amount of critter suffering involved with all agriculture. So if you're growing crops, say wheat, and you're discarding half the end product and just using the white part of the flour, then you'll need that much more land to get the same amount of calories. More land use = more critter suffering. Of course you could argue that the land use is not double because the leftover product is fed to animals who would otherwise have required more land for food. The thing is, in the context of a vegan world there wouldn't be many animals to feed the leftovers to, so the by-product would mostly be wasted. And in the context of the current sytem where food processing by-products are fed to animals, there's the issue of the health problems that animals suffer from eating the other half of our processed foods.

4) The manufacture and use of the industrial machines that make processed vegan foods involve a lot of suffering for humans and animals. Not only with the procurement of the raw metals materials, but also the manufacturing of the machines, and the fuel needed to operate said machines.

5) I think there is now overwhelming evidence that oil-laden junkfood vegan diets result in lots of health problems that wholefood vegans do not get. More health problems = more medications = more animal testing.

Now, I'm not saying this stuff to give any of you guys a guilt trip about eating processed foods. The truth is I actually eat a fair bit of processed food myself (mainly in the form of white flour). I guess what I'm reacting to is the wholefood bashing that's going on in some vegan circles and this flawed (IMHO) view that promoting a half-food vegan diet is somehow better for animals.

The more I think about it, the more I realise that people who go vegan for health reasons are actually saving more animal lives than the people who go vegan for ethical reasons.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this ?

Wash your back

RE: How The Ethical Argument Fails Animals
Posted Saturday, July 21, 2012 at 9:54 PM

Thoughts? I think you got a good message out there. I went vegan for a lot of different reasons, all of which are important to me. However, another person's reason that really made me think and I have long remembered, is from a woman who called herself the peace pilgrim.

She decided to sell her belongs and walk across the US for peace. In one chapter in her book, she stated she stopped eating meat for one simple reason. She decided she would not do anything in her life she wasn't willing to do for herself, to appreciate the difference between willing and able. She would nevver be willing to raise an animal and slaughter it for appetite. So she stopped eating meat. She later found dozens of other reasons that made her feel it was the best choice.

I don't like bashing of any kind, plain and simple. I saw something the other day that when you speak you promote, better to promote happiness then promote negatively and spread complaints and hate. I didn't say it as well I am afraid.

Always offer kindness and a soft word to the beings around you; You do not know their journey. Your words can be the hug they need or the shove that breaks them.

RE: How The Ethical Argument Fails Animals
Posted Sunday, July 22, 2012 at 12:50 AM

theodore wrote:

So I've noticed that there's a bit of whole-food hate coming from some ethical vegans lately.

I wasn't aware that "whole-food vegans" and "ethical vegans" were duking it out. I guess I didn't even realize there were distinct separate schools of veganism. Why should one vegan care or hate what another vegan eats?

The whole idea is appalling and confusing to me...

RE: How The Ethical Argument Fails Animals
Posted Sunday, July 22, 2012 at 9:31 AM

slt wrote:

theodore wrote:
So I've noticed that there's a bit of whole-food hate coming from some ethical vegans lately.

I wasn't aware that "whole-food vegans" and "ethical vegans" were duking it out. I guess I didn't even realize there were distinct separate schools of veganism. Why should one vegan care or hate what another vegan eats?

The whole idea is appalling and confusing to me...

There are some truly militant vegans out there. To the point that I quit using the term vegan. I eat a plant based diet. I'm very non-confrontational. Unfortunately there are some that have given "vegan" a bad name.

Vikki ~

RE: How The Ethical Argument Fails Animals
Posted Sunday, July 22, 2012 at 10:01 AM

Oceandog, SLT,

Many thanks for your thoughts on this.

Theodore

Wash your back

Edited 07/22/12 4:19 PM
RE: How The Ethical Argument Fails Animals
Posted Sunday, July 22, 2012 at 10:07 AM

Vicki

Thanks for your thoughts also. I didn't see your post at the time.

Theodore

Wash your back

RE: How The Ethical Argument Fails Animals
Posted Monday, July 23, 2012 at 12:26 PM

Oceandog wrote:


She decided to sell her belongs and walk across the US for peace. In one chapter in her book, she stated she stopped eating meat for one simple reason. She decided she would not do anything in her life she wasn't willing to do for herself, to appreciate the difference between willing and able. She would nevver be willing to raise an animal and slaughter it for appetite. So she stopped eating meat. She later found dozens of other reasons that made her feel it was the best choice.

There was a person who worked where I work (he's since moved elsewhere) who was vegan when he worked here BUT he did just that - he learned how to raise and slaughter/butcher animals. His opinion was if you're gonna eat it, you should do the work or at least understand the work involved, not just buy a tidy sanitized package from a big shiny grocery counter.

--Deb

RE: How The Ethical Argument Fails Animals
Posted Monday, July 23, 2012 at 1:00 PM

Deb,

I think if you want to eat meat, that is the responsible way to handle it. Start to finish, not having someone else hide the unpleasantry of it for you. For me? I agree with the Peace Pilgrim, I could never kill an animal, much less the process afterwards. Good thing I am a veghead!

Always offer kindness and a soft word to the beings around you; You do not know their journey. Your words can be the hug they need or the shove that breaks them.

RE: How The Ethical Argument Fails Animals
Posted Monday, July 23, 2012 at 4:06 PM

Oceandog wrote:

Deb,

I think if you want to eat meat, that is the responsible way to handle it. Start to finish, not having someone else hide the unpleasantry of it for you. For me? I agree with the Peace Pilgrim, I could never kill an animal, much less the process afterwards. Good thing I am a veghead!

Yeah, I couldn't do it either myself but hubby has in the past. When he was 11ish, his family raised chickens (mostly for the eggs) and grew a large vegetable garden. Both his parents lost their jobs so they ate what they could grow/raise. Extra eggs were sold or traded with neighbors for things like fresh milk, cheese, other veggies and fruit or for cash to use at the grocery store. When the chickens got too old to lay, they became stew. He and his dad also hunted rabbits, squirrel, deer (in season), and fished. His mom also did lots of preserving and canning. They did what they needed to for survival.

--Deb R

Edited 07/23/12 4:06 PM
RE: How The Ethical Argument Fails Animals
Posted Thursday, July 26, 2012 at 5:16 PM

Well I wouldn't be able to do it either. That's one of the things I've got in common with ethical vegans. One of the very few things I've got in common with them. I think the only other thing I've got in common with them is the fact that I like to spend most of my time criticising my fellow vegans. But apart from that, we're like different species. Oh, except that I also don't wear leather. But that's for health reasons not for ethical reasons. Leather gives me some serious gas, as I think I've mentioned previously.

Anyway, my one wish is that ethical vegans come to realise how much more ethical this wholefood vegan diet is compared to their junkfood diet. Because then they might just stop badmouthing the daylights out of it every chance they get. I think it's that kind of ignorant behaviour that makes people want to disassociate themselves from veganism. Or at least disassociate themselves from ethical-veganism. I've never done a survey but I think there's a lot of ex-ethical-vegans out there. Ethical-vegans who've either gone back to eating animal products, or converted to health-reasons-veganism.

It's really the latter group that I feel sorry for the most. Having to retrospectively change their reasons for being vegan. That can't be easy. It's probably a lot harder than just going back to eating animal products. But I can't blame them for doing it, what with all the nonsense that's come out of the ethical vegan movement in recent years. Nonsense that continues to be spouted forth every passing day, and nonsense that isn't doing people or animals any good whatsoever.

Of course this is all just my opinion. But I honestly can't remember ever being wrong. About anything. Ever.

Theodore

Wash your back

Edited 07/26/12 5:22 PM
RE: How The Ethical Argument Fails Animals
Posted Friday, July 27, 2012 at 7:55 AM

theodore wrote:


Of course this is all just my opinion. But I honestly can't remember ever being wrong. About anything. Ever.

Theodore

Being wrong about something would probably cause gas Wink

-Deb R

RE: How The Ethical Argument Fails Animals
Posted Friday, July 27, 2012 at 8:51 AM

Bugsmom wrote:

Being wrong about something would probably cause gas

You could well be right, Deb.

Theodore

Wash your back


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