Consciousness and Veganism - VeggieBoards
Forum Jump: 
 44Likes
  • 2 Post By 121674
  • 7 Post By silva
  • 7 Post By David3
  • 4 Post By Symondezyn
  • 2 Post By Thalassa
  • 6 Post By Dilettante
  • 3 Post By Dilettante
  • 2 Post By Thalassa
  • 2 Post By Dilettante
  • 2 Post By sam2178
  • 3 Post By Jamie in Chile
  • 4 Post By hveganliferm
 
Thread Tools
#1 Old 12-10-2016, 08:50 PM
From Le Dergoncave
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Le Dergoncave
Posts: 126
Question Consciousness and Veganism

There is an increasing number of scientists that believe consciousness is a fundamental property of the universe. In this view, there is a continuum of consciousness that spans from the "primitive" interactions between particles to the complex integrated consciousness of human beings.

For a discussion of these topics, go to this TED talk:
http://www.ted.com/talks/david_chalm...=en#t-10300860

Of particular interest to us here are the views of universal consciousness, pan-psychism, and integrated information views of consciousness. These are all different but related and the TED talk above discusses them briefly.

These new views appear to make the dividing line between plants and sentient animals rather subjective. Given that, can we really be confident in our moral argument that it is okay to eat plants but it is not okay to eat animals?

As a concrete reference point to this, scientists have discovered interspecies communication between plants and hornets.

Check this out:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/archi...-b97a9a68840b/

A more scientifically rigorous analysis of these views may be found here:
https://www.amazon.com/Biosemiotics-...s=biosemiotics

As a vegan myself, I'd love to hear your opinions on these issues.
Thalassa and Mr. H. like this.

Last edited by 121674; 12-10-2016 at 08:54 PM.
121674 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#2 Old 12-11-2016, 05:30 AM
Super Moderator
 
silva's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 8,955
Pretty simple. We're all for animals getting the food they need, and realize all life is eventually food. When animals die they also become plant food. The food they excrete is plant food. Their exhalations are the breath of plants as theirs is the breath of animals.

Vegans don't propose carnivores stop killing. They're only responsible for their own possibilities which doesn't require manipulationg animals.

All of life is dependent on interplay with everything else. We are all made of the same atoms that always were, and when we die those atoms become something else.
We do the best we can

Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good
silva is offline  
#3 Old 12-11-2016, 05:11 PM
Vegan since 1991
 
David3's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 3,659
Given the choice between chopping up a live pig and chopping up a live watermelon, the less violent choice should be obvious.

_________

Specific recommendations for a healthy diet include: eating more fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and grains; cutting down on salt, sugar and fats. It is also advisable to choose unsaturated fats, instead of saturated fats and towards the elimination of trans-fatty acids."
- United Nations' World Health Organization
http://www.who.int/topics/diet/en/
David3 is offline  
#4 Old 12-14-2016, 10:25 AM
Plant Powered
 
Symondezyn's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 439
I personally don't see this as evidence of sentient activity but rather a survival mechanism that occurs in all living things that seek to protect themselves from becoming food - even humans have it when our adrenaline rises during a fight or flight scenario; we cannot control it; it happens on a cellular level.

On the other hand, animals have feelings and emotions in common with humans. There is no evidence that plants have the ability to feel love, compassion, kindness, etc. whereas animals do. Therefore, since I have to eat something, I'd rather eat plants than animals.
Symondezyn is offline  
#5 Old 12-21-2016, 01:29 AM
Bandit
 
Thalassa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 544
One of my environmental science professors used to talk about the possibility of earth itself having consciousness and I *get* that. ..but as someone who studies environmental science I can tell you the kindest thing I can do for life on earth as a whole is to stop eating animals. What consciousness earth and plants may have is likely even more subtle and collective than animal instincts. Meaning that their life is indeed life but that it's more automated or a tiny piece of a higher consciousness rather than an individual consciousness, which mammalian animals and birds do have. Do fish and insects have such a consciousness? Less likely but again I revert back to the argument being the best thing for earth as a whole is to leave those fish in the sea, and yes they still feel pain and suffer.

Some people say trees scream to other trees, when felled. I will watch your talks, but I think I already embrace the concept without finding it contrary to my vegan ethics.
Riuma and Mr. H. like this.

"Thinkers may prepare revolutions, but bandits must carry them out"~
Ingrid Newkirk
Thalassa is offline  
#6 Old 12-21-2016, 10:15 AM
Veggie Regular
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 229
It seems very unlikely that plants have consciousness. However, even in the unlikely event that they do, veganism is still a better dietary choice than omnivory because eating a vegan diet save plants. In particular, meat (and dairy/eggs) are actually plants cycled through an animal's body, and the process of doing this cycling is inherently inefficient. Energy is lost, because the animals burn calories to perform bodily functions. Protein is also lost when plants are cycled through animals' bodies to make meat (or dairy/eggs) because amino acids are broken down in vivo and eliminated in waste in the form of nitrogen compounds.

So, it's much more efficient, by an order of magnitude, to consume energy and protein directly from plants, then to consume it by cycling plants through animals' bodies to produce animal food products.

Here is a link showing calories (energy) per acre:

http://www.waldeneffect.org/blog/Cal...various_foods/

Here is a link showing protein per acre:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edible...t_area_of_land

As can be seen, eating plants directly yields the greatest efficiency. That is, doing so provides the most calories (energy) per acre, and the most protein per acre. Eating non-flesh animal products, in particular dairy and eggs, is significantly less efficient. Eating flesh is the least efficient of all.

What does this mean? It means that if plants are conscious, or sentient (which I consider unlikely), then the best thing one can do, to reduce the number of plants killed, is to go vegan, because doing so is more efficient (less plants killed) than eating plants cycled through animals' bodies in the form of meat or other animal products.

Last edited by Dilettante; 12-21-2016 at 11:52 AM.
Dilettante is offline  
#7 Old 12-21-2016, 10:48 AM
Veggie Regular
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 229
Incidentally, the one area where the above analysis (that veganism is more efficient) is less certain is with respect to processed vegan foods, like veggie burgers and other faux meats. The processing consumes energy, so it's not always clear that the same efficiency gains accrue as with whole plant foods. I still believe that it's probably true that processed vegan foods are more efficient than meat on a calories per acre basis, but there haven't been many studies on this.
Jamie in Chile, Riuma and Mr. H. like this.

Last edited by Dilettante; 12-21-2016 at 11:52 AM.
Dilettante is offline  
#8 Old 12-21-2016, 04:30 PM
Bandit
 
Thalassa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 544
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dilettante View Post
Incidentally, the one area where the above analysis (that veganism is more efficient) is less certain is with respect to processed vegan foods, like veggie burgers and other faux meats. The processing consumes energy, so it's not always clear that the same efficiency gains accrue as with whole plant foods. I still believe that it's probably true that processed vegan foods are more efficient than meat on a calories per acre basis, but there haven't been many studies on this.

The top five environmentally dangerous foods are lamb, cows flesh, cows cheese, pigs flesh and farmed salmon. This is due to both CO2 or methane emissions and direct impact on the environment - which includes air and water pollution, and in the case of farmed salmon, water waste and interference with wild salmon populations. There is little justification for any "red meat" or cows cheese due to emissions, deforestation and pollution...no vegetarian foods fall on the spectrum until we get to the 10th spot, for potatoes, which is still nearly half the impact as eggs which falls at 9th. The impact of the vegetable foods - including the long demonized rice - is such a small percentage compared to the top five it's almost laughable.

The problem with faux meats would lie mainly in shipping, due to fossil fuels in transportation, BUT to look at this a little differently. ..is fuel a problem we can solve? Yes we can. We can generate power, for example, for public transportation with much more fuel efficiency and less emissions than the average car, and we have newer technology for vehicles which can be applied in the near future. Is the grain, water and land waste of farmed animals a problem we can solve without reducing it or cutting it out entirely? No, it is not unless they really start growing flesh in laboratories to sell as animal products.

Furthermore, continuing to remove fish from the seas at the rate which we do is disrupting entire ecosystems, it's not just killing the fish, it's affecting bears and even riparian plant life, and fish farming, as noted in the "top five" isn't the greatest solution to that problem.

Are whole vegan foods best for the environment? Yes. Are faux meats as damaging or more damaging than eating animal products? No (unless you are a lacto-vegetarian who milks your own goats, or gets goats milk from a local farm, which assuredly happens in developing countries but not as much in the US).
Riuma and Mr. H. like this.

"Thinkers may prepare revolutions, but bandits must carry them out"~
Ingrid Newkirk

Last edited by Thalassa; 12-21-2016 at 04:36 PM.
Thalassa is offline  
#9 Old 12-21-2016, 04:52 PM
Veggie Regular
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 229
Agreed. Faux meats are almost certainly less resource-intensive than meat and dairy/eggs, and more resource-intensive than whole plant foods.
Thalassa and Riuma like this.
Dilettante is offline  
#10 Old 01-09-2017, 06:49 AM
Newbie
 
sam2178's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by silva View Post
Vegans don't propose carnivores stop killing. They're only responsible for their own possibilities which doesn't require manipulationg animals.
That should be the slogan of the vegan forum, some people seem to think their way is absolute.
Riuma and Mr. H. like this.
sam2178 is offline  
#11 Old 01-09-2017, 09:53 AM
Veggie Regular
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 489
Most of the good points have been made.

I'd add that it might be worth however vegans in the future increasingly considering which plant foods have more effect on the environment and animals indirectly killing by the land use or cultivation, and trying to find information to help determine which plant foods are best, and which are worse, and eating greater amounts of the former.

It may be important than stressing out over whether your breakfast cereal contains a small amount of honey or the five pound note or whether a life saving medicine contains trace animal products.
Sidhuriel, Riuma and Mr. H. like this.
Jamie in Chile is offline  
#12 Old 01-14-2018, 12:46 PM
Newbie
 
hveganliferm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 2
I liked all I read, with me as a vegan, in my personal existence and needs, i consume, wear, use, participate in nothing that exploits animals, i only love them, as they love us too, if only all people would be like that, naturally or just make other choices, alternatives for all life...i make most of what i consume for my health, i make and find vegan products that I need, i just don't have much, i live life based on necessity...i reduce, reuse, recycle whenever i can, i really just live a lifeon whst i need, nothing more, nothing less, that is only way i can live...i have to do less harm and i so wish everyone would. Life would
be so beautiful, if only.
hveganliferm is offline  
#13 Old 01-18-2018, 04:54 PM
Veggie Regular
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 292
I have no interest in mudding the waters. I agree with all the POVs above.
But every once in a while I run into articles that refer to how a forest is an organism.
Anyway. it makes you stop and think

https://www.npr.org/2017/01/13/50935...es-collaborate
http://www.radiolab.org/story/from-t...-shining-tree/
http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20141...idden-internet
https://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/c...rebeyond23.htm
https://transpersonalspirit.wordpres...-intelligence/
Mr. H. is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the VeggieBoards forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off