Being vegetarian/vegan is making me severely depressed? is this normal? please help. - VeggieBoards

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#1 Old 06-26-2016, 02:37 PM
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Being vegetarian/vegan is making me severely depressed? is this normal? please help.

ive been vegetarian for just over a year now and over the past 3-4 months ive noticed ive started to become severely depressed. I think about the horrors these animals have to go through every single day and it makes me so angry and i find myself in floods of tears nearly every other day, is this normal? im also starting to distance myself from my meat eater friends and family, i keep telling myself "its okay,you used to be like them, they just havent been educated yet" but it doesnt help! Whenever i have dinner with my family i can feel the anger building up inside me! having to sit and watch my young neice and nephew eat murdered animal bodies infront of me makes me want to puke! whenever i see meat on the TV and in adverts it makes me SO ANGRY. i work in retail so i have to scan through packets of cold meat and bacon every day and i always find myself judging the customer that im serving. IS THIS NORMAL? I dont think it is but i have no one in real life to talk to about this so i would really appriciate any sort of input you may have x
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#2 Old 06-26-2016, 03:05 PM
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I went through a similar thing for about the first month or so after becoming vegan. Most of my sadness stemmed from the realization that I had been contributing to this suffering my whole life, and the guilt was overwhelming. On top of that there is an immediate feeling of separation from yourself to the rest of the world - you suddenly feel like you're the only one who can see the truth; it's almost like taking the red pill in the Matrix! LOL

However, once I got into the groove of my new lifestyle and figuring out where I fit in once again, as well as coming to terms with the fact that I cannot change what is past - only my choices going forward, I found a peace with it all. Since you've been veg*n for a year now and this is a fairly recent occurrence I'd wonder if it might have something to do with other changes that might be going on in your life right now. Hormonal changes, life events, sometimes even just changes in our own personal growth/spirituality can all affect the way we perceive things and our emotional reaction to them.

If you are finding it unbearable to be around your family, or perform normally in the workplace, it might be wise to consider speaking with a counsellor. It doesn't help the animals (or anyone else, including you!) if you lose your job and alienate yourself from your family and friends; you have to take care of yourself first before you can care for others
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#3 Old 06-26-2016, 03:19 PM
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Thank you so much for replying. I agree with you 100 percent. I've been thinking about going to see a counsellor as I have no one else to talk to about this because all my friends and family eat meat, only problem is, the counsellor would need to be vegan! I wouldnt feel comfortable opening up to a meat eater about my problems, but i dont think you can request a vegan counsellor?
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#4 Old 06-26-2016, 03:28 PM
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I thought about that; I imagine it's a bit of a tall order, but nowadays you can find ANYTHING on the internet! ^_^ Perhaps you can find online counselling with a vegan counsellor?
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#5 Old 06-26-2016, 04:18 PM
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Thank you so much for replying. I agree with you 100 percent. I've been thinking about going to see a counsellor as I have no one else to talk to about this because all my friends and family eat meat, only problem is, the counsellor would need to be vegan! I wouldnt feel comfortable opening up to a meat eater about my problems, but i dont think you can request a vegan counsellor?

The counselor wouldn't necessarily need to be vegan. Anger and depression over the state of the world is common. A truly professional counselor will be focused on helping you understanding your feelings, and how to direct your feelings in a positive way.

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#6 Old 06-27-2016, 08:20 PM
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ive been vegetarian for just over a year now and over the past 3-4 months ive noticed ive started to become severely depressed. I think about the horrors these animals have to go through every single day and it makes me so angry and i find myself in floods of tears nearly every other day, is this normal? im also starting to distance myself from my meat eater friends and family, i keep telling myself "its okay,you used to be like them, they just havent been educated yet" but it doesnt help! Whenever i have dinner with my family i can feel the anger building up inside me! having to sit and watch my young neice and nephew eat murdered animal bodies infront of me makes me want to puke! whenever i see meat on the TV and in adverts it makes me SO ANGRY. i work in retail so i have to scan through packets of cold meat and bacon every day and i always find myself judging the customer that im serving. IS THIS NORMAL? I dont think it is but i have no one in real life to talk to about this so i would really appriciate any sort of input you may have x
I've gone to see therapists off and on for quite some time. They were almost always able to help me, even though only one of them was vegetarian.

Even though you're not feeling good right now, it's very important that you continue to eat plenty and get some exercise. It's easy to accidentally forget to eat if you're feeling sad, but not eating can make things so much worse. Eat some things that you like, and take a brisk walk (or better yet, ride your bike). Let us know how you're doing.

.

_________

“Under the twinkling trees was a table covered with Guatemalan fabric, roses in juice jars, wax rose candles from Tijuana and plates of food — Weetzie's Vegetable Love-Rice, My Secret Agent Lover Man's guacamole, Dirk's homemade pizza, Duck's fig and berry salad and Surfer Surprise Protein Punch, Brandy-Lynn's pink macaroni, Coyote's cornmeal cakes, Ping's mushu plum crepes and Valentine's Jamaican plantain pie."

from Witch Baby, Francesca Lia Block, 1991
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#7 Old 06-27-2016, 09:06 PM
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I can certainly remember experiencing something similar to you in my first year of veganism. Like you, I found it difficult to think of my friends and family in the same way. Unpleasant and frustrated conversations became more and more frequent. However, after a number of years, this feeling of confrontation has really dissipated. I've noticed that by continuing to live a vegan lifestyle and still doing normal things with friends and family I've had quite an impact on them. In my opinion, the best way to convince someone of something is to lead by example. Eat delicious vegan food with them, be healthy, have fun and perhaps you'll have more of an impact than you would have initially thought. You could even try cooking them a delicious dinner or dessert, they might enjoy it!

With regards to your job, it's ok to stop working somewhere which isn't in line with your ethics. If you're in a financial position to leave the retail store and look for another job which doesn't involve selling meat, go for it. If you have to keep working there while you find yourself another job that's ok too, you'll figure it out.

Empathy is being able to place ourselves in the position of another and experience what they are feeling. This is the foundation of ethical consumption.


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#8 Old 06-28-2016, 02:57 PM
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It is important to remember that you can control your actions and not other's. Also, there could be a small proactive approach you could have with family meals - cook for them! Cook veggie friendly dishes.
Plus, it's not strange to distance from old friends and make new friends throughout your lifetime. Say this was over a different issue like partying. Your old friends party every day until 3 am. You have a nice new job with a start time of 5 am. You might not hang out with your old friends as much unless they shift to working in the mornings as well. You make new friends with other people who work first thing in the morning. Friends unfortunately do come and go.
Seeking professional help is never a bad idea.
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#9 Old 07-06-2016, 08:21 AM
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no thats not normal, maybe get your blood tested to make sure you're getting enough nutrients, remember to eat enough, and get professional help
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#10 Old 07-06-2016, 08:34 AM
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no thats not normal, maybe get your blood tested to make sure you're getting enough nutrients, remember to eat enough, and get professional help
Hi grace-sis!
Have you always been veg?
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#11 Old 07-06-2016, 08:59 AM
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In my opinion you are looking at things in the completely wrong way, it is not surprising that you start feeling depressed this way.

If you look at everyone around you as horribly immoral people, no wonder you are not going to be happy in life.
Here is how I look at things, it makes for a much better life:
Living in and of itself causes unnecessary suffering to other sentient beings. Vegans and non vegans are both guilty of this moral crime. Non vegans in the obvious ways we all know about. Vegans in more subtle ways.
We switch between eating rice, pasta and potatoes as we choose, while one of these staple foods is overall more efficient to cultivate and therefor results in less animal suffering because less agriculture has to be done to meet our caloric needs.
We buy computers, phones, ipads, mp3players, clothing, etc, all things that have an impact, drain resources, contribute to pollution, even exploitation of animals and humans alike.

Veganism is defined as avoiding causing suffering and exploiting animals as far as is possible and practicable. It is an ideal that can never be fully attained by anyone.
We could all go and live in self-sustaining communes, eating only the most efficiently cultivatable foods, using a lot less resources than we do now and we would cause a lot less animal suffering. Is it possible? Yes, because some people do so. Is it practicable? To some people it is.

What I am saying is, you would do better to see veganism for the ideal it is and appreciate whatever effort people around you are willing to make, because we as vegans are far from perfect ourselves.
Appreciate that one friend who comes with you to a vegan restaurant and forgoes that one meat meal he wouldve otherwise had.
Appreciate that one family member who because he felt inspired by you decided to incorporate a "meatless saturday".
Etc.
Stop looking at the things people do wrong, and start looking at the things people do right and you will be a lot happier I think
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#12 Old 07-06-2016, 01:02 PM
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Robobo, that is an excellent way of looking at things!
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#13 Old 07-06-2016, 01:39 PM
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One more piece of advice while Im apparently on a roll
You said you work in retail and feel bad about scanning through meats and bacon every day. Depending on where you live, if its somewhere liberal, you could maybe talk to your boss and propose a monthly "green day" for the store or something, where you set up signs inviting people to try something in your vegan/vegetarian section. Think some green decorations and some signs "Join us in our green day, try 1 of our vegan/vegetarian items and save x amount of carbon emissions and x amount of water"

However if you do decide to do that, it would be best to approach it from a climate change angle, and not mention anything about animal suffering. It has to be positive and uplifting for it to be attractive for your boss to actually go along with it

Talk to your boss and tell him about how people nowadays care about the environment and suggest it might be beneficial for the stores reputation to show that the store cares too.
And not only is it potentially good for animals and the environment, but such showing initiative if you come up with and organize the whole thing is good from a career point of view aswell
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#14 Old 07-06-2016, 08:35 PM
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I would say "don't do that to yourself." You are training your brain to get angry at seeing people do things, and that will never do. I mean when that target is gone, what will be the next target? It is the young person's version of the angry old man screaming at the kids on his lawn. Don't scream at the kids on your lawn. They will think you are weird and scary. Try to channel that emotion to good deeds. It is energy and can be used for good things or bad things. Do volunteer work. Show people that vegans are not crazy hipsters out on the latest fad diet.

That's the only sane advice I can give.
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#15 Old 07-10-2016, 02:43 PM
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Robobo, I liked your post and it is probably very good advice for the OP. But I have a question.

Suppose you were living in a slave-holding community and were indoctrinated since birth in rascist thought patterns. Then suppose you began to have a change of heart. You started thinking that it was not right for a human to own another as property. Perhaps you still clung on to some rascist thoughts, but at the least you were sure that slavery was abominable and it pained your heart every time you saw a slave get whipped. Suppose that the vast majority of the people around you reacted to your beliefs with mockery if not open hostility, as they certainly would have.

Would the very few friends who respected your beliefs to the extent of not whipping their slaves while you were standing directly beside them be enough to keep a smile on your face as you went about your daily routine? Would you--and the slaves--be better off if you stopped looking at the things they were doing wrong and instead looked at what they were doing right? Maybe your neighbor gave his slaves 6 lashings today instead of the usual 7. Would that have been enough to make you happy?

Perhaps more importantly, and this may be getting a bit off-topic, would the institution of slavery have ever come to an end (or come to an end as early as it did) through happiness and smiles? If my reading of history is not in error, the global slave trade was forcibly ended through, in essence, a moral change of heart and outrage originating from citizens of the only naval power with enough might to do something about it--the same naval power who had been for years the greatest offenders in this injustice. Without a doubt the citizens of Britain as well as proponents of abolition everywhere fell far short of perfection themselves and reveal themselves in their writings to have been what we consider today to be grossly rascist. Yet they were able to identify at least one big injustice in the world and extend the necessary judgement across the board. They said THIS at least is wrong, and if it's wrong for us to be doing it it is wrong for others to be doing it. And the world became a better place because of it.

Do we lose the ability to affect change by avoiding looking at the minor things people do right instead of the major things they do wrong that should justifiably make us angry in spite of our own failure to perfectly live up to the ideal?
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#16 Old 07-10-2016, 06:06 PM
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Robobo, I liked your post and it is probably very good advice for the OP. But I have a question.

Suppose you were living in a slave-holding community and were indoctrinated since birth in rascist thought patterns. Then suppose you began to have a change of heart. You started thinking that it was not right for a human to own another as property. Perhaps you still clung on to some rascist thoughts, but at the least you were sure that slavery was abominable and it pained your heart every time you saw a slave get whipped. Suppose that the vast majority of the people around you reacted to your beliefs with mockery if not open hostility, as they certainly would have.

Would the very few friends who respected your beliefs to the extent of not whipping their slaves while you were standing directly beside them be enough to keep a smile on your face as you went about your daily routine? Would you--and the slaves--be better off if you stopped looking at the things they were doing wrong and instead looked at what they were doing right? Maybe your neighbor gave his slaves 6 lashings today instead of the usual 7. Would that have been enough to make you happy?

Perhaps more importantly, and this may be getting a bit off-topic, would the institution of slavery have ever come to an end (or come to an end as early as it did) through happiness and smiles? If my reading of history is not in error, the global slave trade was forcibly ended through, in essence, a moral change of heart and outrage originating from citizens of the only naval power with enough might to do something about it--the same naval power who had been for years the greatest offenders in this injustice. Without a doubt the citizens of Britain as well as proponents of abolition everywhere fell far short of perfection themselves and reveal themselves in their writings to have been what we consider today to be grossly rascist. Yet they were able to identify at least one big injustice in the world and extend the necessary judgement across the board. They said THIS at least is wrong, and if it's wrong for us to be doing it it is wrong for others to be doing it. And the world became a better place because of it.

Do we lose the ability to affect change by avoiding looking at the minor things people do right instead of the major things they do wrong that should justifiably make us angry in spite of our own failure to perfectly live up to the ideal?
Theres a huge variance in justifiable anger. Frankly, many of the people involved in freeing slaves were slave holders themselves. Abolition took many, many years, and even today racial inequality rears its ugly head everywhere. And that's within specism. So yeah, I don't see any benefit in hating people who do what they see as being ethical. Not everyone has the views of animals.
I stay away from a local animal rights group due to peoples inability to get along with others.
Most people are very much against cruelty towards animals, it's there belief in what's cruel that differs.
Getting across the practical reality of not needing to use animals is a far easier way to affect change in how they perceive animals.
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#17 Old 07-11-2016, 01:48 AM
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Robobo, I liked your post and it is probably very good advice for the OP. But I have a question.

Suppose you were living in a slave-holding community and were indoctrinated since birth in rascist thought patterns. Then suppose you began to have a change of heart. You started thinking that it was not right for a human to own another as property. Perhaps you still clung on to some rascist thoughts, but at the least you were sure that slavery was abominable and it pained your heart every time you saw a slave get whipped. Suppose that the vast majority of the people around you reacted to your beliefs with mockery if not open hostility, as they certainly would have.

Would the very few friends who respected your beliefs to the extent of not whipping their slaves while you were standing directly beside them be enough to keep a smile on your face as you went about your daily routine? Would you--and the slaves--be better off if you stopped looking at the things they were doing wrong and instead looked at what they were doing right? Maybe your neighbor gave his slaves 6 lashings today instead of the usual 7. Would that have been enough to make you happy?
The analogy doesn't really work, because as I said, if we just give up animal products and don't go any further, we are guilty of the same moral crime, just to a smaller extent.
For your analogy to work I would in that case still have to have slaves and whip them every now and then.

Quote:
Perhaps more importantly, and this may be getting a bit off-topic, would the institution of slavery have ever come to an end (or come to an end as early as it did) through happiness and smiles? If my reading of history is not in error, the global slave trade was forcibly ended through, in essence, a moral change of heart and outrage originating from citizens of the only naval power with enough might to do something about it--the same naval power who had been for years the greatest offenders in this injustice. Without a doubt the citizens of Britain as well as proponents of abolition everywhere fell far short of perfection themselves and reveal themselves in their writings to have been what we consider today to be grossly rascist. Yet they were able to identify at least one big injustice in the world and extend the necessary judgement across the board. They said THIS at least is wrong, and if it's wrong for us to be doing it it is wrong for others to be doing it. And the world became a better place because of it.
Again, we are talking about something completely different, it is quite absurd to compare the two.

IF, and that is a big IF, there is a road to worldwide veganism, Im convinced it will not happen with that kind of mentality you are describing.
It must happen with understanding and uniting people by common goals that each and every one of us would be willing to do.

7 billion people incorporating 'meatless monday' has larger economic and environmental consequences than 350 million people going completely vegan.
If all vegans/vegetarians stopped their judgemental attitudes and turned their efforts to uniting people in achieving that first goal, not only would the demand for meat (and therefor the amount of animal suffering) reduce drastically, but the demand for vegan alternatives would rise enormously, leading to lower prices for those alternatives, and a much greater variety of them. (basic economics 101)
That would then in turn make it easier and more attractive for people to also incorporate a 'meatless tuesday', which would again have similar significant effects which keeps making it easier and easier and more attractive for more people to go completely vegan.


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Do we lose the ability to affect change by avoiding looking at the minor things people do right instead of the major things they do wrong that should justifiably make us angry in spite of our own failure to perfectly live up to the ideal?
So no. And I don't even agree that anger is in fact justifiable.

Consuming animal products is a personal choice, and so is giving them up. The day you move to a self-sustaining commune where everyone uses the least amount of resources possible and eats only the most efficiently cultivated foods (all possible and practicable) is the day where you are (at least in theory) allowed to start pointing fingers.
(and even on that day it would be counter-productive and self-serving to do so)

Last edited by Robobo; 07-11-2016 at 01:57 AM.
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#18 Old 07-11-2016, 06:26 AM
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Moving forward

Your sensitivity is terrific. You have to move forward now as you are starting a new commitment to not including animals in your diet. Congratulations on your successes. Perhaps you can look at blogs like Dr. McDougall's on health benefits of being Vegan or look into new recipes to make - since eating boring food will make you want to stop. I agree with the others that you may want to seek counseling to help you get through this.
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#19 Old 07-11-2016, 11:47 PM
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The analogy doesn't really work, because as I said, if we just give up animal products and don't go any further, we are guilty of the same moral crime, just to a smaller extent.
For your analogy to work I would in that case still have to have slaves and whip them every now and then.
Only if the degree of culpability is comparable. And maybe we should talk about that.

But many abolitionists had been slave-holders, and even the ones who weren't did not ever in their lifetime believe all races should be treated equally. They were guilty of the same moral crime of rascism that slavery was founded on but to a lesser extent.
There were also the likes of Thomas Jefferson whose words inspired those fighting for liberty for generations...and who was a hardcore slave-holder. We appreciate and revere the moral positions he penned despite his utter failure to live up to those ideals himself.

Basically what I am having trouble accepting is the notion that one must be completely devoid of blame before making a moral judgement. Why?

I get how the closer you are living up to the ideal yourself the more persuasive power you're gonna have with others. If that is all you are trying to say then we are in agreement.

But why is it necessary to be a paragon of virtue before one is allowed to point at the more obvious moral errors? Paragons of virtue are, well, hard to come by to say the least. Pretty much everyone is mostly living according to the morals of the time, while some make baby steps forward which, when pointed out to others, can result in progress.

I mean, if you make the statement "X is bad", how much X you are doing yourself is irrelevant to the validity of the statement, is it not? (it is relevant to your capacity to persuade others, certainly)

Quote:
Again, we are talking about something completely different, it is quite absurd to compare the two.

IF, and that is a big IF, there is a road to worldwide veganism, Im convinced it will not happen with that kind of mentality you are describing.
It must happen with understanding and uniting people by common goals that each and every one of us would be willing to do.

7 billion people incorporating 'meatless monday' has larger economic and environmental consequences than 350 million people going completely vegan.
If all vegans/vegetarians stopped their judgemental attitudes and turned their efforts to uniting people in achieving that first goal, not only would the demand for meat (and therefor the amount of animal suffering) reduce drastically, but the demand for vegan alternatives would rise enormously, leading to lower prices for those alternatives, and a much greater variety of them. (basic economics 101)
That would then in turn make it easier and more attractive for people to also incorporate a 'meatless tuesday', which would again have similar significant effects which keeps making it easier and easier and more attractive for more people to go completely vegan.
I don't think it's absurd. We are talking about two big moral injustices with movements against them headed by people who are guilty themselves to a lesser extent. I am not the first person to compare animal liberation to the historical struggle for abolition.

But that said, you may be right for all I know about which mentality would best lead to the desired outcome, speaking practically. I can't say I know.

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So no. And I don't even agree that anger is in fact justifiable.

Consuming animal products is a personal choice, and so is giving them up. The day you move to a self-sustaining commune where everyone uses the least amount of resources possible and eats only the most efficiently cultivated foods (all possible and practicable) is the day where you are (at least in theory) allowed to start pointing fingers.
(and even on that day it would be counter-productive and self-serving to do so)
Where is the line where a personal choice begins?

Pretty much all of us are guilty of telling a lie from time to time. But not all to the same degree. There are people who rarely lie. There are occasional liars. There are habitual liars. There are people who have built such a career out of dishonesty that they make Pinochio look like the Buddha. Are we not allowed to pass a moral judgement about the latter types because dishonesty is a personal choice?
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#20 Old 07-12-2016, 02:37 AM
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Only if the degree of culpability is comparable. And maybe we should talk about that.

But many abolitionists had been slave-holders, and even the ones who weren't did not ever in their lifetime believe all races should be treated equally. They were guilty of the same moral crime of rascism that slavery was founded on but to a lesser extent.
There were also the likes of Thomas Jefferson whose words inspired those fighting for liberty for generations...and who was a hardcore slave-holder. We appreciate and revere the moral positions he penned despite his utter failure to live up to those ideals himself.

Basically what I am having trouble accepting is the notion that one must be completely devoid of blame before making a moral judgement. Why?

I get how the closer you are living up to the ideal yourself the more persuasive power you're gonna have with others. If that is all you are trying to say then we are in agreement.

But why is it necessary to be a paragon of virtue before one is allowed to point at the more obvious moral errors? Paragons of virtue are, well, hard to come by to say the least. Pretty much everyone is mostly living according to the morals of the time, while some make baby steps forward which, when pointed out to others, can result in progress.

I mean, if you make the statement "X is bad", how much X you are doing yourself is irrelevant to the validity of the statement, is it not? (it is relevant to your capacity to persuade others, certainly)
The original reason why I posted this was because you asked:
"Would the very few friends who respected your beliefs to the extent of not whipping their slaves while you were standing directly beside them be enough to keep a smile on your face as you went about your daily routine? Would you--and the slaves--be better off if you stopped looking at the things they were doing wrong and instead looked at what they were doing right? Maybe your neighbor gave his slaves 6 lashings today instead of the usual 7. Would that have been enough to make you happy?"

The intention of that comment was solely to point at the absurdity of your heart feeling pain when your friend whips his 50 slaves 10 times a day, while you whip your 3 slaves 2 times a day.
I agree fully that you don't need to be completely morally virtuous in order to be able to point out moral errors, and indeed your level of persuasive power will most likely rise with your level of moral virtuousness.

Quote:
I don't think it's absurd. We are talking about two big moral injustices with movements against them headed by people who are guilty themselves to a lesser extent. I am not the first person to compare animal liberation to the historical struggle for abolition.

But that said, you may be right for all I know about which mentality would best lead to the desired outcome, speaking practically. I can't say I know.
It is definitely not absurd to draw parallels between the two, but that was not what you were doing.
You asked: "Perhaps more importantly, and this may be getting a bit off-topic, would the institution of slavery have ever come to an end (or come to an end as early as it did) through happiness and smiles? "
As if to imply only the same strategy used by abolitionists could end animal exploitation/cruelty. That however, as I showed, is a critical error in logic, regardless that there exist parallels between the two.

If that implication wasnt your intention, but solely my assumption, then my apologies


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Where is the line where a personal choice begins?
Im not even sure there is such a line. If there is one though, Im pretty sure it's not gonna be based on a quantitative difference, it will more than likely be based on a qualitative difference.

What I mean by this is, now vegans and non vegans both indirectly kill animals in brutal ways for no reason other than personal pleasure/luxuries. Lets say a vegan contributes to about 50 animal deaths per year due to the extra normal agriculture done to support the large variety of plantfoods he/she wants to eat. Lets say a meat eater contributes to 1000 animal deaths per year. This quantitative difference consuming animal products vs not consuming animal products isn't where the line of personal choice should be drawn, because its arbitrary.
It's not even correct in all cases: someone who eats meat once a week and never has any children will probably even have a lower animal bodycount than a vegan with 4 children.

If such a line were to exist, I would argue it should be drawn as to distuingish a qualitative difference, such as animal deaths vs NO animal deaths for the sole reason of personal pleasure/luxuries/comfort of living.
Just like you wouldn't ever argue drawing that line based on a quantitative difference for matters such as slavery.

Quote:
Pretty much all of us are guilty of telling a lie from time to time. But not all to the same degree. There are people who rarely lie. There are occasional liars. There are habitual liars. There are people who have built such a career out of dishonesty that they make Pinochio look like the Buddha. Are we not allowed to pass a moral judgement about the latter types because dishonesty is a personal choice?
What kind of moral judgement would you be passing? "You're a liar!"? Claiming he/she is a bad person because he/she lies that often?

I refer you back to my:
"(and even on that day it would be counter-productive and self-serving to do so)"

Last edited by Robobo; 07-12-2016 at 04:20 AM.
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#21 Old 07-13-2016, 10:20 PM
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It is definitely not absurd to draw parallels between the two, but that was not what you were doing.
You asked: "Perhaps more importantly, and this may be getting a bit off-topic, would the institution of slavery have ever come to an end (or come to an end as early as it did) through happiness and smiles? "
As if to imply only the same strategy used by abolitionists could end animal exploitation/cruelty. That however, as I showed, is a critical error in logic, regardless that there exist parallels between the two.

If that implication wasnt your intention, but solely my assumption, then my apologies
I didn't mean to imply it was the only strategy that could end animal exploitation, or even the best one. I don't like to take options off the table so quickly tho

Quote:
Im not even sure there is such a line. If there is one though, Im pretty sure it's not gonna be based on a quantitative difference, it will more than likely be based on a qualitative difference.

What I mean by this is, now vegans and non vegans both indirectly kill animals in brutal ways for no reason other than personal pleasure/luxuries. Lets say a vegan contributes to about 50 animal deaths per year due to the extra normal agriculture done to support the large variety of plantfoods he/she wants to eat. Lets say a meat eater contributes to 1000 animal deaths per year. This quantitative difference consuming animal products vs not consuming animal products isn't where the line of personal choice should be drawn, because its arbitrary.
It's not even correct in all cases: someone who eats meat once a week and never has any children will probably even have a lower animal bodycount than a vegan with 4 children.

If such a line were to exist, I would argue it should be drawn as to distinguish a qualitative difference, such as animal deaths vs NO animal deaths for the sole reason of personal pleasure/luxuries/comfort of living.
Just like you wouldn't ever argue drawing that line based on a quantitative difference for matters such as slavery.
I guess this is where we still disagree. I can get behind an arbitrary line if the arbitrary line is useful. I'm no expert in law, but I think that if we took a close look at the legal system we would find arbitrary lines all over the place (drug law, etc). Reality is muddy and sometimes where a qualitative line isn't readily apparent, an arbitrary line is better than no line at all. That's how it seems to me, at least.

Especially if we are talking about what counts as pleasure/luxury, that line might be a difficult one to rub out. Extra normal agriculture done to support the large variety of plantfoods has, I think, benefits beyond pleasure, such as variety of nutrition leading to improved health, and the efficiency of outsourcing production of food that allows us tremendous more time in our lives which leads to countless other benefits. We could theoretically even use those benefits to do good which outweighs the damage we do. By contrast, I don't think any benefit derived from consuming animals products save when starving could outweigh the damage we do in confining, abusing, and slaughtering them for that purpose. (Unless I'm overlooking something?) Of course pleasure/luxury is a part of it all, but it can it be isolated from other types of utility?

The animal rights movement often uses the standard of veganism. Call it an arbitrary line, but it makes a lot of sense to me.

1. It encompasses the vast majority of animal deaths caused by humans.

2. The evidence has been mounting for years that animal products are not just bad for animals but bad for human health as well, which makes drawing a line between pleasure and necessity in this vicinity of the moral map somewhat clearer than elsewhere (yet not 100% devoid of muddiness, perhaps).

3. Full insistence that we not only give up animal products but drastically altar our lives in order to all be in self-sustaining communes would, most should agree, be less likely to lead to an increase in veganism, let alone that.

Besides all of this, once a line has been drawn, however arbitrary, there is an argument that could be made that the loss of momentum that might result from attempting to redraw the line could ultimately work against the end goal.

I'm a consequentialist when it comes down to it. That's why I do take seriously your recommendations on what may or may not be counter-productive.

Quote:
What kind of moral judgement would you be passing? "You're a liar!"? Claiming he/she is a bad person because he/she lies that often?

I refer you back to my:
"(and even on that day it would be counter-productive and self-serving to do so)"
That he/she shouldn't lie so much. Have you not ever been upset at somebody for telling lots of lies, especially if you or others were hurt by the lies?
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#22 Old 07-14-2016, 12:47 PM
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I guess this is where we still disagree. I can get behind an arbitrary line if the arbitrary line is useful. I'm no expert in law, but I think that if we took a close look at the legal system we would find arbitrary lines all over the place (drug law, etc). Reality is muddy and sometimes where a qualitative line isn't readily apparent, an arbitrary line is better than no line at all. That's how it seems to me, at least.
From a legal point of view an arbitrary line can in fact be useful in certain circumstances (definitely not for drugs though, but thats a discussion for another thread), but I thought we were talking here about from a moral point of view.

But speaking from a legal point of view... Considering the climate crisis we are facing and all other horrible side effects from animal product production and consumption, I would not mind a law against ALL animal agriculture (provided every country introduces it), it would definitely be useful.
Also for THOSE same reasons, vegans could still continue their standard plantfood diet with all the variety they want, because that difference in environmental impact is ofcourse negligeable.


Quote:
Especially if we are talking about what counts as pleasure/luxury, that line might be a difficult one to rub out. Extra normal agriculture done to support the large variety of plantfoods has, I think, benefits beyond pleasure, such as variety of nutrition leading to improved health, and the efficiency of outsourcing production of food that allows us tremendous more time in our lives which leads to countless other benefits. We could theoretically even use those benefits to do good which outweighs the damage we do. By contrast, I don't think any benefit derived from consuming animals products save when starving could outweigh the damage we do in confining, abusing, and slaughtering them for that purpose. (Unless I'm overlooking something?) Of course pleasure/luxury is a part of it all, but it can it be isolated from other types of utility?
I would argue the variety of nutrition leading to improved health is a poor argument. I'm no expert, but I would be willing to bet my left nut more than 2-3 types of veggies, nuts, legumes and switching between rice, pasta and potatoes, does not lead to more health benefits than just eating either rice, pasta or potatoes every day (depending on which is most efficient) and having only 2 or 3 variants of veggies, fruits, nuts to choose from.
Also the outsourcing of food production can still be done with only these limited choices between fruits, veggies, nuts. We would still outsource food production, the people who we outsource it to would just only grow those variants of crops, so that also is not really a good counter argument either.
Im pretty sure from a moral point of view that deems killing/hurting animals as immoral, there are no real benefits to continue eating any and all plantfoods that are worth more than the animal lives/suffering it costs to maintain this habit, just as there are none to continue meat consumption.

Quote:
The animal rights movement often uses the standard of veganism. Call it an arbitrary line, but it makes a lot of sense to me.

1. It encompasses the vast majority of animal deaths caused by humans.

2. The evidence has been mounting for years that animal products are not just bad for animals but bad for human health as well, which makes drawing a line between pleasure and necessity in this vicinity of the moral map somewhat clearer than elsewhere (yet not 100% devoid of muddiness, perhaps).

3. Full insistence that we not only give up animal products but drastically altar our lives in order to all be in self-sustaining communes would, most should agree, be less likely to lead to an increase in veganism, let alone that.
Depends on what purpose you want to use that line for. To inspire people to veganism? By all means do, it is a very good line for that purpose.
To judge people and potentially hate them for not turning vegan? (or even feel sad because they dont turn vegan) Sorry, not a good line for that purpose.

Quote:
Besides all of this, once a line has been drawn, however arbitrary, there is an argument that could be made that the loss of momentum that might result from attempting to redraw the line could ultimately work against the end goal.
That argument could be made. However I think mine of it being easier trying to get the whole world to incorporate 'meatless monday', with all accompanying consequences I described, is more convincing.

Quote:
I'm a consequentialist when it comes down to it. That's why I do take seriously your recommendations on what may or may not be counter-productive.
Good to hear
Quote:
That he/she shouldn't lie so much. Have you not ever been upset at somebody for telling lots of lies, especially if you or others were hurt by the lies?
If I had lied to that person on multiple occasions myself, just a lot less than he/she lied to me, I would never point fingers in such a way, but that's maybe just me.

Last edited by Robobo; 07-14-2016 at 12:54 PM.
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#23 Old 07-20-2016, 09:58 PM
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If you are not drinking heavily, take B12, and know your vegan Omega 3 foods (walnuts, flax seeds or oil, hemp milk, fortified soy milk, pasta sauce or fishless sticks with added ALA/DHA) there isn't a physical reason why veganism should make you depressed.

However, I think becoming sad, angry and even depressed can be initial reactions to "waking up" to the terrible state of the world.

If you're overwhelmed, seek counseling, try meditation and taking nature walks, engaging in non-political hobbies like music or sports or dancing, and know when to turn the Internet off (and just avoid television news entirely, read it instead).

I sometimes have this problem and it's exacerbated by spending too much time on line.
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#24 Old 07-20-2016, 10:19 PM
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One more piece of advice while Im apparently on a roll
You said you work in retail and feel bad about scanning through meats and bacon every day. Depending on where you live, if its somewhere liberal, you could maybe talk to your boss and propose a monthly "green day" for the store or something, where you set up signs inviting people to try something in your vegan/vegetarian section. Think some green decorations and some signs "Join us in our green day, try 1 of our vegan/vegetarian items and save x amount of carbon emissions and x amount of water"

However if you do decide to do that, it would be best to approach it from a climate change angle, and not mention anything about animal suffering. It has to be positive and uplifting for it to be attractive for your boss to actually go along with it

Talk to your boss and tell him about how people nowadays care about the environment and suggest it might be beneficial for the stores reputation to show that the store cares too.
And not only is it potentially good for animals and the environment, but such showing initiative if you come up with and organize the whole thing is good from a career point of view aswell
It would likely be easier for the OP to get a different job more aligned with his or her morals...switching from grocery or restaurant work to clothing retail ...or even a different job entirely. ..would likely be beneficial to his or her mental health. Arguing with the boss might just be arduous and stressful, and depending on if it's a corporation, they aren't going to change anyone's mind, I can tell you that much.

I find some of the advice here simplistic. The OP isn't necessarily mentally ill, and might just need to work somewhere else that more closely aligns with their values, or is at least more ethically neutral.

Also stop watching television advertisements completely. Television is awful. If you have favorite shows watch them on Netflix or Google Play, and stop watching advertisements. They're totally disgusting on more levels than just animal rights issues.
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#25 Old 07-20-2016, 10:27 PM
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Robobo, I liked your post and it is probably very good advice for the OP. But I have a question.

Suppose you were living in a slave-holding community and were indoctrinated since birth in rascist thought patterns. Then suppose you began to have a change of heart. You started thinking that it was not right for a human to own another as property. Perhaps you still clung on to some rascist thoughts, but at the least you were sure that slavery was abominable and it pained your heart every time you saw a slave get whipped. Suppose that the vast majority of the people around you reacted to your beliefs with mockery if not open hostility, as they certainly would have.

Would the very few friends who respected your beliefs to the extent of not whipping their slaves while you were standing directly beside them be enough to keep a smile on your face as you went about your daily routine? Would you--and the slaves--be better off if you stopped looking at the things they were doing wrong and instead looked at what they were doing right? Maybe your neighbor gave his slaves 6 lashings today instead of the usual 7. Would that have been enough to make you happy?

Perhaps more importantly, and this may be getting a bit off-topic, would the institution of slavery have ever come to an end (or come to an end as early as it did) through happiness and smiles? If my reading of history is not in error, the global slave trade was forcibly ended through, in essence, a moral change of heart and outrage originating from citizens of the only naval power with enough might to do something about it--the same naval power who had been for years the greatest offenders in this injustice. Without a doubt the citizens of Britain as well as proponents of abolition everywhere fell far short of perfection themselves and reveal themselves in their writings to have been what we consider today to be grossly rascist. Yet they were able to identify at least one big injustice in the world and extend the necessary judgement across the board. They said THIS at least is wrong, and if it's wrong for us to be doing it it is wrong for others to be doing it. And the world became a better place because of it.

Do we lose the ability to affect change by avoiding looking at the minor things people do right instead of the major things they do wrong that should justifiably make us angry in spite of our own failure to perfectly live up to the ideal?
I think you're absolutely right. ...this isn't just about animal rights, either, it's also about the environment, global poverty and human health.

I get really sick of people acting like they should apologize for being vegan. We are right, they are wrong. Does it mean we should be cruel to people or lash out? No.

I think encouraging vegetarians and even reducetarians, is more helpful than condemnation of non-vegans.

HOWEVER. ..why should the OP force herself to scan meat, or watch hamburger ads? It's not going to make them a better person for doing things against his or her values.

I bet some of the depression and anger would alleviate by working elsewhere and taking a break from TV. Then he or she would have more positive energy for activism, and tolerating friends or family.
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#26 Old 07-20-2016, 11:50 PM
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no thats not normal, maybe get your blood tested to make sure you're getting enough nutrients, remember to eat enough, and get professional help
Normal is a relative term. What is normal in a certain culture can be downright horrific, and if being desensitized even to things you care about is "normal" I think I'll pass.

If she became a Christian, for example, she wouldn't be asked to hate, condemn or hurt non-Christians. She would be encouraged to continue loving non-Christian family members, to help strangers and forgive sinners. HOWEVER, she would also be encouraged to stop hanging out with a group of thieves and working as a prostitute. I'm not even exaggerating for effect, its the same principle here.

If working at a job where she feels like she's selling out, by selling meat, actually, it's totally normal to feel disgusted about it, and the rational solution is to seek other work, not get her blood tested or get professional help.

She also does not have to watch TV fast food advertisements, any more than a Christian has to watch a film they feel is amoral or immoral.

Western people scare me. This is exactly how corporations got so much control, by this attitude of tolerating the intolerable to appear "normal."
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#27 Old 07-21-2016, 12:32 AM
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We switch between eating rice, pasta and potatoes as we choose, while one of these staple foods is overall more efficient to cultivate
Which one? I don't eat much rice at all, a little pasta and a little potato. I'd be happy to virtually give up two of these to cause less harm.
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#28 Old 07-21-2016, 07:06 AM
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Thank you @Thalassa for returning here with your wisdom!
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#29 Old 07-29-2016, 10:40 PM
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Thank you @Thalassa for returning here with your wisdom!
Thank you for making me feel welcome!
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#30 Old 07-30-2016, 12:58 AM
Not such a Beginner ;)
 
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Thank you for making me feel welcome!
I pretty much always agree with your posts, as you might notice with all the "likes"
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