Why I’m Not a Vegan (by Mark Bittman) - Page 6 - VeggieBoards
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#151 Old 06-05-2013, 11:25 PM
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No, its not practical to produce wheat flour without some insects....but it is practical to avoid wheat flour. So then, why is one food considered vegan when it contains more animals than the non-vegan example? In this case as well the animals are physiological similar.

The point I'm trying to get at isn't that "wheat flour isn't vegan", instead that a "life style that seeks to exclude, as much as practical possible, all forms of animal exploitation" doesn't necessarily result in a dietary lifestyle that is animal free. With this criteria, there are cases where directly eating nutrient dense animals would result in less animal exploitation and as such should be the desired action.
what's practical and possible is different for everyone. i think it's rather presumptuous to say it's practical or possible for people to avoid wheat flour. but, i think you're missing the point entirely.
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#152 Old 06-05-2013, 11:50 PM
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Per your advice logic, I tried jogging in my home, the way I do in the park. It's only a small house and setting off down the stairs at 6mph I fell down on my arse trying to avoid a spider coming in the other direction. I was going to ask members of my running club, Baildon Runners, if they wanted to come on an indoor 10k run next week but the risk of frightening or even killing spiders was so great that I decided not to
You're trying to make a joke, but you're not explaining why jogging in the park where you know you're going to kill numerous insects instead of jogging at home is justifiable when you don't want to harm any animal. Obviously running with friends or in competitions isn't necessary for life....so it is not a "impossible demand" to avoid these activities.

It would also be possible for someone who was ill to not take any medication, and then just become more sick and then die. Indeed it would be possible for anyone to just kill themselves, and by doing so, they might " exclude, as far as possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing and any other purpose", so I think what is possible in the definition of veganism, includes the welfare of the vegan, which may include them having a worthwhile life.

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#153 Old 06-06-2013, 12:52 AM
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even one of the dominant philosophic figures (e.g., Peter Singer) in the animal rights movement isn't vegan (though he is vegetarian).

 

I really like much of what Peter Singer writes, and I do not know about the status of his current diet.  However, Peter Singer is not an animal rights person, and he's not considered so by himself or others active in animal rights.  In fact, he has said that monkey vivisection can be justified from his utilitariarian perspective.  That is absolutely not an animal rights perspective, and the problem with utilitarianism at its extremes. 


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#154 Old 06-06-2013, 01:22 AM
 
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The above is correct. I agree on much that Singer says but not what he says on animal welfare/rights. I don't understand how anyone can say animals don't have an interest in continued living? It's a skewed theory.
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#155 Old 06-06-2013, 02:09 AM
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Lol. Keep on running outside. smiley.gif

My daughter met a handsome boy on holiday here from Leeds a few weeks ago, btw. smiley.gif

 

We're all handsome in Yorkshire, but there are disadvantages. As the rhyme says:

 

Yorkshire born, Yorkshire bred

Strong in the arm, weak in the head

 

 

Anyway to remain on thread, I suppose Bittman even using the term "semi-vegan" has done we vegans a service if he's got people talking about veganism and about diet. 

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#156 Old 06-06-2013, 07:24 AM
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what's practical and possible is different for everyone. i think it's rather presumptuous to say it's practical or possible for people to avoid wheat flour. but, i think you're missing the point entirely.

^^ This! ^^
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#157 Old 06-06-2013, 07:52 AM
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No, its not practical to produce wheat flour without some insects....but it is practical to avoid wheat flour. So then, why is one food considered vegan when it contains more animals than the non-vegan example? In this case as well the animals are physiological similar.

The point I'm trying to get at isn't that "wheat flour isn't vegan", instead that a "life style that seeks to exclude, as much as practical possible, all forms of animal exploitation" doesn't necessarily result in a dietary lifestyle that is animal free. With this criteria, there are cases where directly eating nutrient dense animals would result in less animal exploitation and as such should be the desired action.
what's practical and possible is different for everyone. i think it's rather presumptuous to say it's practical or possible for people to avoid wheat flour. but, i think you're missing the point entirely.
I think he keeps making his point over and over and over again. For some reason, he wants vegans to eat oysters, but never mock meats, because the ethics of not wanting to kill anything apparently isn't scientific enough. Or too dogmatic.
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#158 Old 06-06-2013, 08:08 AM
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I think he keeps making his point over and over and over again. For some reason, he wants vegans to eat oysters, but never mock meats, because the ethics of not wanting to kill anything apparently isn't scientific enough. Or too dogmatic.


hehehehe

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#159 Old 06-06-2013, 05:07 PM
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There's a difference between intentionally killing/exploiting animals and doing things that will likely lead to some accidental deaths (e.g. driving a car or even not wearing a screen over your mouth is going to lead to some insect deaths).

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#160 Old 06-06-2013, 06:46 PM
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I'm not sure what you don't understand, these two issues are separate matters.

I'm not sure what you don't understand. It's either rooted in scientific or philosophical considerations/criteria or it's not. At one point you claim it isn't rooted (therefor it's dogma), then you admit it may be, but that doesn't mean it's not dogma.

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A dogma is something that is given by authority (e.g., vegan society), the origin of the ideas or the origin of the authority doesn't determine whether something is or isn't a dogma.
My example is to show that the "general usage definition" doesn't work,

So it's dogma because a general usage definition "doesn't work" (your position)? Which, to be clear, isn't the definition given by the Vegan Society. Yet you claim that it's dogma because it's given by an "authority"? Yet it's not, because it's a general (I'd argue first order approximation) definition. A shorthand.

Your points seem to be muddled up.

General definitions are, for the most part (as in general usage), quick, short definitions used to convey an idea in a specific context. If you want to get nitpicky, then use a more rigorous definition. In other words, perhaps the issue is with the definition, but then perhaps it's an issue with you trying to apply the definition out of context.

I wouldn't claim Newtonian Physics is dogma simply because I try to apply it to relativistic or quantum mechanical situations. It applies to a specific context and is perfectly valid within that context.
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that is, it cannot separate products in "vegan" and "non-vegan" categories in a way that is consistent with vegan dogma.

It can separate products as vegan and non-vegan within a specific context. Although you keep trying to show that a general definition is dogma simply by repeating the claim. rolleyes.gif
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perhaps you think that because nobody in the west actively/knowingly consumes insects.

No, I don't know why you'd think that.
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So my point? Vegans will universally say that #1 is vegan and #2 isn't....yet this determination doesn't appear to be based on any ethical criteria instead the determination of an authority.....the vegan society.

What? How is a general definition the definition from the vegan society? I thought someone already posted the Vegan Society's definition, which is different that your claim.
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I never said it has no "roots" in philosophic criteria, I said that it currently isn't based on a philosophic criteria.

What? You stated (bolding mine):
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I'd suggest that veganism is a dogma because its definition, as commonly given, is not rooted in any philosophic or scientific criteria.

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#161 Old 06-07-2013, 03:05 PM
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No, its not practical to produce wheat flour without some insects....but it is practical to avoid wheat flour. So then, why is one food considered vegan when it contains more animals than the non-vegan example? In this case as well the animals are physiological similar.

The point I'm trying to get at isn't that "wheat flour isn't vegan", instead that a "life style that seeks to exclude, as much as practical possible, all forms of animal exploitation" doesn't necessarily result in a dietary lifestyle that is animal free. With this criteria, there are cases where directly eating nutrient dense animals would result in less animal exploitation and as such should be the desired action.

It's hard to take seriously a claim that someone knows better how to minimize animal exploitation than people who claim to care about that issue when he does not claim to really care about it himself.  At this point, you're just being a Cassandra.  There's no conspiracy by "vegan authorities" to misdirect attention.  Most vegans are actually quite willing to consider different arguments on the larger problems in the world, though in fact a little less so after being told that we don't think for ourselves, especially when that assertion appears to just be based on our failure to arrive at the very same conclusions as you have.


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#162 Old 06-07-2013, 08:30 PM
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I really like much of what Peter Singer writes, and I do not know about the status of his current diet.  However, Peter Singer is not an animal rights person, and he's not considered so by himself or others active in animal rights.  In fact, he has said that monkey vivisection can be justified from his utilitariarian perspective.  That is absolutely not an animal rights perspective, and the problem with utilitarianism at its extremes. 
I assume if you define "animal rights" in terms of a canonical set of dogma beliefs...then he isn't an "animal rights person". But that is the difference between dogma and philosophy, Peter Singer is a philosopher that has spent a good deal of his life thinking about and making the case for animal liberation. I don't think he is too concerned about whether people consider him a "animal rights person", after all, he predates the popularity of animal rights and veganism in the US....anyways.
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#163 Old 06-07-2013, 08:38 PM
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There's a difference between intentionally killing/exploiting animals and doing things that will likely lead to some accidental deaths (e.g. driving a car or even not wearing a screen over your mouth is going to lead to some insect deaths).
Yes, there is. But when you know that X results in the killing of animals....X is no longer "accidental". How is doing some action (which can easily be avoided) that you know is going to cause animal deaths any different than eating a dead animal?

So, to use the example in this thread, how is jogging in the park where you're knowingly killing animals any different than avoiding the jog and just eating the insects?
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#164 Old 06-07-2013, 09:53 PM
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I'm not sure what you don't understand. It's either rooted in scientific or philosophical considerations/criteria or it's not. At one point you claim it isn't rooted (therefor it's dogma), then you admit it may be, but that doesn't mean it's not dogma.
I'm not really interested in playing these games. But I will explain what I'm saying once more. Firstly, when I say veganism is "rooted in philosophy" I'm being charitable. Donald Watson isn't exactly a philosopher, just a guy with some ideas. Secondly, when I say that veganism is "rooted in philosoophy" I'm speaking about its historic origins not its present day incarnation. On the other hand when I say that veganism isn't "rooted in any philosophic or scientific criteria" I'm using the term "rooted" in a different way, to refer to the present day incarnations relationship to philosophy and science.

As for the dogma issue, I'm not going to look back at what I've said to see whether I've "muddled" matters. After all, that is always a possibility. Instead I will explain my position on this once more as well. What constitutes a "vegan lifestyle" is determined by an authority, namely the vegan society, not some rigorous (and as such philosophic) moral criteria. To use the previously example, honey is not "vegan" because the vegan society says its not vegan and not because it has rigorously shown that honey involves more animal suffering than whole wheat or other foods that are concerned "vegan".

As for the vegan society not utilizing the "definition" I referred to before, see here:

http://www.vegansociety.com/become-a-vegan/

But, of course, its never explained why exactly this is a meaningful moral statement nor is it explained what is meant by "from an animal". But that's because its not a philosophic doctrine, its a dogma.


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There's no conspiracy by "vegan authorities" to misdirect attention.  Most vegans are actually quite willing to consider different arguments on the larger problems in the world, though in fact a little less so after being told that we don't think for ourselves
I never suggested that there was any conspiracy, I just suggested that veganism is a dogma. And I certainly didn't suggest vegans don't think about "larger problems in the world".
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#165 Old 06-07-2013, 10:04 PM
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It would also be possible for someone who was ill to not take any medication, and then just become more sick and then die. Indeed it would be possible for anyone to just kill themselves, and by doing so, they might " exclude, as far as possible and practicable...
It would, but that is a much different situation. Jogging in a park is a matter of personal amusement, not life and death. The other posters justification of jogging sounded like a justification of eating beef by saying "well....what would me and my friends cook our 4th of July BBQ. Vegetables? Ha"

Here we have an activity, an activity that is known to cause numerous animal deaths, and this activity can be easily avoided. So why is this activity justifiable, while consuming the same amount of insects not? This ignores, of course, that the park itself causes larger animal deaths and parks aren't a matter of life and death either. Personal amusement.
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#166 Old 06-07-2013, 10:43 PM
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I'm not really interested in playing these games. But I will explain what I'm saying once more. Firstly, when I say veganism is "rooted in philosophy" I'm being charitable. Donald Watson isn't exactly a philosopher, just a guy with some ideas. Secondly, when I say that veganism is "rooted in philosoophy" I'm speaking about its historic origins not its present day incarnation. On the other hand when I say that veganism isn't "rooted in any philosophic or scientific criteria" I'm using the term "rooted" in a different way, to refer to the present day incarnations relationship to philosophy and science.

As for the dogma issue, I'm not going to look back at what I've said to see whether I've "muddled" matters. After all, that is always a possibility. Instead I will explain my position on this once more as well. What constitutes a "vegan lifestyle" is determined by an authority, namely the vegan society, not some rigorous (and as such philosophic) moral criteria. To use the previously example, honey is not "vegan" because the vegan society says its not vegan and not because it has rigorously shown that honey involves more animal suffering than whole wheat or other foods that are concerned "vegan".

As for the vegan society not utilizing the "definition" I referred to before, see here:

http://www.vegansociety.com/become-a-vegan/

But, of course, its never explained why exactly this is a meaningful moral statement nor is it explained what is meant by "from an animal". But that's because its not a philosophic doctrine, its a dogma.
I never suggested that there was any conspiracy, I just suggested that veganism is a dogma. And I certainly didn't suggest vegans don't think about "larger problems in the world".

Well, logic, you can acknowledge that a term can be used in multiple ways perhaps even depending on context. Veganism is similar. As already stated, some use a shorthand version in certain contexts, that being vegans avoid/don't use animal products (or it can be stated more complex but with a similar underlying theme). Second we can go with a more robust version and see if it applies to your example.

You continually refer to the Vegan Society, yet they do define it:
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What does ‘vegan’ mean?

Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as possible and practical, the use of animals for food, clothing and any other purpose.

Although, given your post, a shorthand, simple version is also useful in some context. This doesn't mean that it's the same in all contexts or that we can simply apply rigorous examples and see if it applies to all cases.

However, even a definition doesn't imply dogma. But it's interesting how much your arguments, even contradictory ones are achieved simply due to various definitions. You attempt to get out on technicalities because your contradictory arguments or statements are based on differing definitions or context, yet you have some serious hang ups about using definitions out of context and stubbornly insist on these particular definitions.
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And I certainly didn't suggest vegans don't think about "larger problems in the world".
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Vegans focus on the use of animal products, but ignore the fact that family pets, clearing land for crops, riding horses and numerous other things are also animal exploitation.

Huh. I guess family pets, clearing land for crops, riding horses and numerous other things could be considered animal exploitation aren't "larger problem(s) in the world."

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#167 Old 06-07-2013, 10:54 PM
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I assume people die every year due to being electrocuted in bathtubs. Suppose 50 people die each year (I just made it up). Suppose the government could step in make bathtubs illegal and only allow people to use showers which do not lead to any cases of electrocution and it (the government) also executes 50 random people. Not quite the same thing is it. Or let’s make it more interesting. Suppose that the gov has 5 random people electrocuted annually and televises the event. This makes people more careful and as a result only 10 people die annually from bathtub electrocutions (in addition to the five). So the second method results in fewer deaths. However there is no question that it is immoral whereas not taking any action is more moral. My point is that this moral principle seems to be a prevalent one for humans in general and not only vegans.

 

Let’s give another example. Building a road with medium safety rating costs say $20M (20 expected deaths annually) whereas building one with high safety rating costs $50M (10 expected deaths annually). The gov could arrange mock crashes with 3 random people and then preserve their bodies chemically and display them at the road entry with a safety warning which causes others to drive more carefully resulting in only 2 more deaths annually. Clearly that would be immoral. Now as for building a safer more expensive road, it depends on how much value we place on safety. Yes money can be weighed against lives and it has to be done. We cannot spend billions more just to save couple of lives more, we’ll collapse as a society. But knowingly causing harm is a big no no even for non vegans. Intentionally shooting an undeserving victim in the head (with that as the goal) to somehow save billions in unacceptable. The difference is having harm as a goal and having harm as an undesired side effect. Humans in general view the former as much more morally disgraceful than the latter (whether or not they apply it to animal). That is the difference.

 

Why don’t I try to minimize my accidental insect consumption by discriminating between vegan foods? Why do I walk when I don’t need to? I feel entitled to do those things. I feel I am entitled to walk where I please as long as I don’t intentionally step on sentient beings. I feel I am entitled to eat non sentient beings even if it unintentionally leads to the deaths of some sentient beings. I could discriminate between sentient beings. If it was expected to lead to dog deaths (like it leads to insect deaths) I would almost certainly avoid it. Part of this has to do with insects being everywhere and no good methods of making them stay away. But in the end there is personal discrimination. There are ad hoc morals which I use and which almost certainly every other human on Earth uses.

 

You said something about deontological ethics. I have no idea what that is, maybe you can explain them to me smiley.gif You said it provides criteria for judging whether actions are “moral” or “immoral”. Here is another system for you: flip a coin! If it comes up tails the action in question is “moral”, and if it comes up heads it is “immoral”. Once an action is decided it cannot be changed, i.e. you can only decide actions which have not already been decided. Once an action is declared “moral” or “immoral”, it does not change due to future flips. Clearly just because a system can decide does not mean it is any better than one of being influenced by others. If people followed my “morals” the world would be a better place than one with coin flips. Humans are influenced by the morality of the society they live in and that includes you. Do you think we would have similar morality if we were born 3000 years ago?

 

But that is not all, we mix and match “morals” as we please. I could like a general principle except in certain cases, so I make exceptions. Someone else makes other exceptions. You mention general criteria. Why are general criteria better? Why is an ethical system with more general principles better than one with more specific principles? Isn’t that dogma or simply your personal preference?

 

I have noticed that humans sway from general principles, vegans and non vegans alike. Why do many meat eaters see no problem with eating cows but are utterly disgusted by eating dogs or cats? We are all affected by cultures, individuals, media, predispositions, circumstances and so on. That includes you.

 

You get enjoyment out of walking and that is why you walk. Suppose you unintentionally kill on average 5 insects on one of your walks. Suppose I offer you $5000 to stay home for that day, to make up for the enjoyment of walking (and any other benefits) and place 5 insects before you to step over. Would you take the deal and intentionally step over insects? The consequences are not all that matters!

 

 

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Yes, there is. But when you know that X results in the killing of animals....X is no longer "accidental". How is doing some action (which can easily be avoided) that you know is going to cause animal deaths any different than eating a dead animal?

So, to use the example in this thread, how is jogging in the park where you're knowingly killing animals any different than avoiding the jog and just eating the insects?
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#168 Old 06-07-2013, 11:17 PM
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It would also be possible for someone who was ill to not take any medication, and then just become more sick and then die. Indeed it would be possible for anyone to just kill themselves, and by doing so, they might " exclude, as far as possible and practicable...
It would, but that is a much different situation. Jogging in a park is a matter of personal amusement, not life and death. The other posters justification of jogging sounded like a justification of eating beef by saying "well....what would me and my friends cook our 4th of July BBQ. Vegetables? Ha"

Here we have an activity, an activity that is known to cause numerous animal deaths, and this activity can be easily avoided. So why is this activity justifiable, while consuming the same amount of insects not? This ignores, of course, that the park itself causes larger animal deaths and parks aren't a matter of life and death either. Personal amusement.

well one could argue that jogging, and other fitness activities were a matter of life and death.

One could argue that life and death would be too simple a dichotomy, and that quality of life was important.

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#169 Old 06-07-2013, 11:38 PM
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well one could argue that jogging, and other fitness activities were a matter of life and death.
You can argue that physical fitness is important, but I'm not talking about physical fitness in general but instead jogging in the park. One can just as easily exercise in your home where there is much less of a chance of harming animal life.
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One could argue that life and death would be too simple a dichotomy, and that quality of life was important.
One could, but if you're going to use this reasoning as a justification for killing insects in the park....why can't you use it as a justification for eating shrimp? Assuming of course the person in question likes shrimp at least as much as the other poster likes jobbing in the park.
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#170 Old 06-07-2013, 11:51 PM
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I assume people die every year due to being electrocuted in bathtubs. Suppose 50 people die each year (I just made it up). Suppose the government could step in make bathtubs illegal and only allow people to use showers which do not lead to any cases of electrocution and it (the government) also executes 50 random people. Not quite the same thing is it.
No, its not the same thing...but why? Because the government killing people is entirely avoidable. There is no connection to the two situations. Instead suppose that the ban on bath tubs results in 50 deaths in showers by other means. Now its the same thing. People need to eat and they need to eat something so there is never the avoidable execution, the only question is which situation involves less of what you're trying to avoid.

If a bowl of insects provides similar nutrition (in terms of calories, etc) as a cup of whole wheat flour and yet required less animal deaths than the whole wheat, why would the whole wheat flour be preferred?
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#171 Old 06-08-2013, 12:01 AM
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@Logic
About the jogging in the park for fun:

So what is some guy, sitting at home, wants a can of beer.
Deer, rabbits etc get killed on the roads all the time by road traffic, and I'm sure the odd truck carrying beer kills something like that.
So would you say that if drinking a can of beer(which is totally unnecessary to survive) is vegan, then so is eating venison, or rabbit and the occasional pheasant?

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#172 Old 06-08-2013, 12:19 AM
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I never suggested that there was any conspiracy, I just suggested that veganism is a dogma. And I certainly didn't suggest vegans don't think about "larger problems in the world".

I question your motives.  Like any word in common usage, (as opposed to clinical terminology) vegan could be redefined by popular consensus.  But why?  I think what you're getting at is that you think there's something fundamentally wrong with the vegan concept and the whole community that maintains it.  Yet I have found no alternative superior, Bittman included.  Vegans are upfront about their motives.  I'm not so sure there's any profit in debating your Socratic irony.


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#173 Old 06-08-2013, 07:15 AM
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Yes, there is. But when you know that X results in the killing of animals....X is no longer "accidental". How is doing some action (which can easily be avoided) that you know is going to cause animal deaths any different than eating a dead animal?

So, to use the example in this thread, how is jogging in the park where you're knowingly killing animals any different than avoiding the jog and just eating the insects?

 

I'm not sure why you're asking me how there's a difference when you agree there is a difference in your first sentence.

 

We could debate the meaning of "accidental", but instead just replace it with "unintentional". Unintentional meaning there is no intentionality to kill.

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#174 Old 06-08-2013, 07:16 AM
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A dogma is something that is given by authority (e.g., vegan society), the origin of the ideas or the origin of the authority doesn't determine whether something is or isn't a dogma.


How is the vegan society an authority?

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#175 Old 06-08-2013, 11:10 AM
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You could eat only the orange and not the insects. That is also avoidable in your situation. Walking is also often avoidable; people often walk because they want to not because they have to. The question was intentional and unintentional (side effect) harm. Perhaps a better way to think of it is using others.

 

If a cup of wheat resulted in more animal deaths than eating insects then if the method of death is similar (or better for the bowl of insects) and they have the same nutrition, eating the wheat rather than the bowl of insects is not morally superior, in my view (other factors may be relevant). My speciesism plays a role here, I would not take the same deal with humans.

 

My point is that what you are talking about is a human characteristic not a vegan one. You have avoided my last question to you!

 

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No, its not the same thing...but why? Because the government killing people is entirely avoidable. There is no connection to the two situations. Instead suppose that the ban on bath tubs results in 50 deaths in showers by other means. Now its the same thing. People need to eat and they need to eat something so there is never the avoidable execution, the only question is which situation involves less of what you're trying to avoid.

If a bowl of insects provides similar nutrition (in terms of calories, etc) as a cup of whole wheat flour and yet required less animal deaths than the whole wheat, why would the whole wheat flour be preferred?
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#176 Old 06-08-2013, 01:09 PM
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I'm not really interested in playing these games.

....

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#177 Old 06-08-2013, 08:24 PM
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So what is some guy, sitting at home, wants a can of beer.
Deer, rabbits etc get killed on the roads all the time by road traffic, and I'm sure the odd truck carrying beer kills something like that.
So would you say that if drinking a can of beer(which is totally unnecessary to survive) is vegan, then so is eating venison, or rabbit and the occasional pheasant?
I'm not saying anything, I'm asking a question. If pleasure seeking (jogging in the park) is justification for killing animals, its unclear why that doesn't extend to eating as well.

As for road traffic, though you're speaking about it as if its entirely legitimate....but do humans really have the right to build roads over other species habitat? I don't think that question has an obvious answer. And if you answer positively, why would humans have the right to destroy other species habitat but not to kill them for food?

Humans destroy habitats left and right...just like they eat meat. How are these fundamentally different? In both cases you're putting the needs and/or desires of humans ahead of other species.

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I question your motives.  Like any word in common usage, (as opposed to clinical terminology) vegan could be redefined by popular consensus.  But why?  I think what you're getting at is that you think there's something fundamentally wrong with the vegan concept and the whole community that maintains it. 
Actually, no, that isn't what I'm getting at. Instead that veganism is a dogma, not a philosophic of scientific matter. As such its not something that is "wrong" or "right", instead its something that is either believed or disbelieved similar to a religious tenet. The purpose of all my examples and questions is to show that veganism isn't derivable from ethical considerations, if anything it raises more questions than it answers.

So its not that I think veganism is "wrong" just that its independent from animal rights issues (which is an actual philosophic matter).

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We could debate the meaning of "accidental", but instead just replace it with "unintentional". Unintentional meaning there is no intentionality to kill.
How are they unintentional? If you know that X will cause animal deaths and you do X....how are the deaths unintentional? Are they unintentional because you are really not out there trying to kill animals? If so, the same can be said of meat eating. People are eating meat to feed themselves, not to intentionally kill animals, that is just an unfortunate side effect that people tolerate. Just as killing insects its a tolerable side effect of jogging in the park. What exactly is the moral distinction here?

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How is the vegan society an authority?
They decided what is and isn't vegan, its not up to personal reflection. What happens if you question the dogma? You're outcasted.
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#178 Old 06-08-2013, 08:39 PM
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Well, logic, you can acknowledge that a term can be used in multiple ways perhaps even depending on context. Veganism is similar.
Words can have multiple independent meanings, but an "ism" shouldn't. Are you seriously trying to suggest that there are multiple forms of veganism?

In any case, I linked you to the definition because you complained about me using it....as if its not something they say.

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Although, given your post, a shorthand, simple version is also useful in some context. This doesn't mean that it's the same in all contexts or that we can simply apply rigorous examples and see if it applies to all cases.
Ignoring that they are both, in fact,"shorthand" as important details are absent in both cases. But shouldn't the multiple definitions connect to each other in the appropriate way? This is precisely what I've been getting at, its not clear how a lifestyle that avoids "animal exploitation as much as practical possible" is a lifestyle that doesn't use products "from animals". For example, its by no means clear that eating whole wheat involves less animal exploitation than eating a bowl of shrimp. You'd have to develop some sort of "animal exploitation calculus", something that the vegan society hasn't done.
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#179 Old 06-08-2013, 09:03 PM
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Vegansim spares suffering which is not spared by non-vegans. Being non-vegan requires taking lives which would not be taken by vegans. Non-vegans will cause pain which is avoided by vegans. Those are real results.

 

The difference is using an animal for personal profit (i.e. eating their flesh) and killing them as an undesired effect of what you are doing (something you would like to avoid if you could.) Here is a parallel, the US has been attacked and is going to make war with the culprit. It expects that there will be innocent casualties to this conflict. They are undesired but practically unavoidable (it would very much like to avoid such casualties). Compare that to taking the culprit’s innocent family and killing them one by one until he surrenders (perhaps resulting in much fewer (though intentional) casualties). Here you are using them and you profit from their death, and you do not want to avoid it. Or compare it to a terrorist killing innocent civilians with the goal of killing innocent civilians (would not avoid it if he could). We do not profit by accidentally stepping on insects, and we would avoid it if it was practical. I feel that I have a right to walk. I also feel I am entitled to eat non sentient beings and would avoid collateral damage if I could in getting those foods. When you eat meat you are profiting from the death of a sentient being, and you would not want to avoid it, in fact your profit is solely based on killing. Such thinking is prevalent among humans and not only vegans (as demonstrated), although they do not apply it to animals in the same way vegans do. Yes vegans are a subset of humans, we all know that. If you have troubles with this concept take it up with humanity not vegans, or provide justification as to why it should not be applied to non human sentient beings in the way vegans do (when harm is practically avoidable) but should still be applied to humans.

 

Seems to me like you have simply decided to call something “philosophical” and another thing “non-philosophical”, whatever that means.

 

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Originally Posted by logic View Post


I'm not saying anything, I'm asking a question. If pleasure seeking (jogging in the park) is justification for killing animals, its unclear why that doesn't extend to eating as well.

As for road traffic, though you're speaking about it as if its entirely legitimate....but do humans really have the right to build roads over other species habitat? I don't think that question has an obvious answer. And if you answer positively, why would humans have the right to destroy other species habitat but not to kill them for food?

Humans destroy habitats left and right...just like they eat meat. How are these fundamentally different? In both cases you're putting the needs and/or desires of humans ahead of other species.
Actually, no, that isn't what I'm getting at. Instead that veganism is a dogma, not a philosophic of scientific matter. As such its not something that is "wrong" or "right", instead its something that is either believed or disbelieved similar to a religious tenet. The purpose of all my examples and questions is to show that veganism isn't derivable from ethical considerations, if anything it raises more questions than it answers.

So its not that I think veganism is "wrong" just that its independent from animal rights issues (which is an actual philosophic matter).
How are they unintentional? If you know that X will cause animal deaths and you do X....how are the deaths unintentional? Are they unintentional because you are really not out there trying to kill animals? If so, the same can be said of meat eating. People are eating meat to feed themselves, not to intentionally kill animals, that is just an unfortunate side effect that people tolerate. Just as killing insects its a tolerable side effect of jogging in the park. What exactly is the moral distinction here?
They decided what is and isn't vegan, its not up to personal reflection. What happens if you question the dogma? You're outcasted.
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#180 Old 06-08-2013, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by logic View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blobbenstein View Post

So what is some guy, sitting at home, wants a can of beer.
Deer, rabbits etc get killed on the roads all the time by road traffic, and I'm sure the odd truck carrying beer kills something like that.
So would you say that if drinking a can of beer(which is totally unnecessary to survive) is vegan, then so is eating venison, or rabbit and the occasional pheasant?
I'm not saying anything, I'm asking a question. If pleasure seeking (jogging in the park) is justification for killing animals, its unclear why that doesn't extend to eating as well.

As for road traffic, though you're speaking about it as if its entirely legitimate....but do humans really have the right to build roads over other species habitat? I don't think that question has an obvious answer. And if you answer positively, why would humans have the right to destroy other species habitat but not to kill them for food?

Humans destroy habitats left and right...just like they eat meat. How are these fundamentally different? In both cases you're putting the needs and/or desires of humans ahead of other species.


.

what about a walk in the park? What about any walk for pleasure?

So unless someone just sits at home on their time off from work, if they work, then they can't justify their veganism?

The same with roads; if you agree that building roads is a justified activity for human society, then you can't justify veganism?


Drinking a can of beer(or even a can of coke) is morally equivalent to eating a steak?





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