Are double standards better than no standards at all? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 04-12-2011, 01:50 PM
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That was the conclusion I got from reading an article about the Obama "doctrine" in The Economist the other day.

Are we sometimes too harsh when criticising our politicians for double standards? Are there times when it's better to have at least some kind of justice instead of none? Or are double standards never ethically justifiable?

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#2 Old 04-12-2011, 01:55 PM
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I don't really understand what you're getting at. Can you give some examples?
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#3 Old 04-12-2011, 01:59 PM
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Yes, I think double standards are better than no standards at all. Mainly because I think double standards are inevitable, absolute consistency is very difficult to achieve for anyone.

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#4 Old 04-12-2011, 02:00 PM
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I thought this thread was going to be about sexism! What a pleasant surprise.

Using your concrete example: I think it is better that the UN/Nato/US helped the Libyan rebels, despite the perceived hypocrisy of not helping rebels in the other Middle Eastern countries with protests, than do nothing at all, just for the sake of having a consistent policy.

Here's another example, regarding vegetarianism: Surely it is better for someone to be a lacto-ovo vegetarian for ethical reasons, despite hypocrisy in this stance, than remain a meat-eater for the sake of being consistent.
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#5 Old 04-12-2011, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earthling View Post

I don't really understand what you're getting at. Can you give some examples?

Well, I think the article was talking about e.g. US/NATO military operations (or war if you will) in Libya where the Khadaffi regime is nasty, but comparatively perhaps not that much worse these days than "friends" of the US in the Middle East such as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Israel etc.

Edit: When are double standards definitely bad? How can I determine whether my double standards are ethically justifiable or unjustifiable?

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#6 Old 04-12-2011, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by dormouse View Post

I thought this thread was going to be about sexism! What a pleasant surprise.

+1
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#7 Old 04-12-2011, 02:20 PM
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Edit: When are double standards definitely bad?

When on them hinge inherently unethical, very harmful and cruel practices, such as in the case of the double standards people have with respect to companion animals vs. "food animals".

And also, when the double standards are inherent to the law, thereby preventing equality.

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#8 Old 04-12-2011, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by dormouse View Post

Here's another example, regarding vegetarianism: Surely it is better for someone to be a lacto-ovo vegetarian for ethical reasons, despite hypocrisy in this stance, than remain a meat-eater for the sake of being consistent.

No not really. Egg and milk production causes a lot more suffering and cruelty over the lifetime of each production unit. Which is really all an animal is to the vast majority of those who partake of the produce of her living body. A production unit.

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#9 Old 04-12-2011, 04:17 PM
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No not really. Egg and milk production causes a lot more suffering and cruelty over the lifetime of each production unit. Which is really all an animal is to the vast majority of those who partake of the produce of her living body. A production unit.

That would only be true if an individual's consumption of dairy and eggs rose as they stopped eating meat, at a rate which negated and exceeded the number of animals no longer being eaten. I don't think that is the case generally.
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#10 Old 04-13-2011, 01:36 AM
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That would only be true if an individual's consumption of dairy and eggs rose as they stopped eating meat, at a rate which negated and exceeded the number of animals no longer being eaten. I don't think that is the case generally.

That varies with each individual. Some people shift to a more plant-based diet, others increase their consumption of other, vegetarian animal products. I went from being an omni who ate meat everyday, eggs every now and then, and dairy almost never, to a vegetarian that grew to love cheese and eat a lot of dairy, eggs every now and then. So my animal product consumption didn't really change all that much, not until I went vegan a year ago.

I suppose you could say that it's a good thing that the vegetarian is more in tune, likely, with the fact that AR is something that should be taken seriously (despite the fact that they themselves are exploiting animals), and therefore it's better to have this kind of vegetarian around than an omnivore who doesn't give a [email protected] and is morally consistent in that. On the other hand, you can say that the movement might be better off with all its proponents being morally consistent: all the better to highlight the contrast with meat-eaters who don't care. Vegetarianism is a lifestyle choice more on par with meat-eating than with veganism, yet somehow it masquerades as a moral choice: this just confuses people and makes them think that their lifestyle is making a difference when it might not be, and it might be doing harm.

That said, I don't want to negate the good done if a vegetarian ends up consuming less animal products as a result of switching to that lifestyle. I just think it's important for people to know that that still involves supporting exploitation.

Direct action is always the clamorer, the initiator, through which the great sum of indifferentists become aware that oppression is getting intolerable. - Voltairine de Cleyre
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#11 Old 04-13-2011, 10:56 AM
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When it comes to politics, treating all countries as the same won't cause a double standard, but it's a dang fool thing to do.
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#12 Old 04-13-2011, 11:07 AM
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Double the standards, double the fun.
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#13 Old 04-13-2011, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by SomebodyElse View Post

No not really. Egg and milk production causes a lot more suffering and cruelty over the lifetime of each production unit. Which is really all an animal is to the vast majority of those who partake of the produce of her living body. A production unit.

Ok, well it was meant just to be another example of a double-standard/ not being 100% consistent but still doing something good.
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#14 Old 04-13-2011, 01:43 PM
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"What I hate most in this world is hypocrisy. That is more evil than an evil deed. It's a poison that deceives not only others, but also the self."

Not my opinion though.

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#15 Old 04-13-2011, 01:44 PM
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You have to speak to people at their own level, on a personal basis or as a society. Some people are sophisticated and civilized and can be reasoned with. Some need their damn teeth kicked in.

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#16 Old 04-13-2011, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dormouse View Post

Surely it is better for someone to be a lacto-ovo vegetarian for ethical reasons, despite hypocrisy in this stance, than remain a meat-eater for the sake of being consistent.

I agree that it's better to be lacto-ovo vegetarian than to eat all animal products. But I dont think that being a lacto-ovo vegetarian is any more hypocritical than being an omnivore who doesn't eat slugs or puppy placentas. There's no more "consistency" in choosing to eat some animals but not others.

And I agree with MLP's assessment, too, that most lacto-ovo vegetarians consume fewer animal products generally, than do non-veg*ns. I don't think most people go from eating hamburgers (without cheese) to a grilled cheese sandwich with a side of cheese-fries. I think people more often go from cheeseburgers to grilled cheese. And then eventually, some of those people go from grilled cheese to grilled daiya.
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#17 Old 04-13-2011, 02:38 PM
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Okay, I did not intend to start another "vegetarians are hypocrites!" or "vegetarians vs vegans" thread. However ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ElaineV View Post

There's no more "consistency" in choosing to eat some animals but not others.

I don't think I agree with that. Most vegans eat foods grown with animal manure from farms, thereby supporting the exploitation of animals, or harvested with machinery that accidentally yet inevitably kills and maims animals, or sprayed with pesticides and insecticides that inevitably find its way into the ecosystem and kill more animals than the bugs they were originally intended for, or transported on roads that inevitably lead to animals being run over etc. However, this applies to vegans and non-vegans alike, so in my view veganism is less exploitative and causes less suffering, and is therefore less hypocritical and more consistent. It's not a perfect solution, but a better solution. It's a double standard, but better than no standard at all.

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#18 Old 04-13-2011, 03:12 PM
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Quote:
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Ok, well it was meant just to be another example of a double-standard/ not being 100% consistent but still doing something good.

Ok.

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