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#61 Old 03-25-2014, 07:57 AM
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I would agree, but in this case veganism becomes a sort of religion and there are many people that aren't willing to make such a leap of faith. For these folks there seems to be two responses. First, and this seems to be much more common, is to try to "redefine" veganism so such leaps of faith aren't required and other folks that wish to abandon the veganism in favor of a more scientific animal rights philosophy. I like the second option.
 

I understand that Donald Watson wanted to extend vegetarianism in 1944 to exclude the cruelties inherent in milk and egg production because these cruelties to him seemed "wrong". Nothing religious about this ( I think he was an atheist) and nothing that he could measure in a scientific way. Animal cruelty just seemed "wrong" to him

 

So no "leap of faith" for DW. No "what's in it for me?". I don't think he could have comprehended veganism without compassion and neither can I.

 

Of course some things, such as love and compassion are difficult if not impossible to measure but that doesn't mean to say that they don't exist. Just ask your spouse/partner.

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#62 Old 03-25-2014, 09:22 AM
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I would agree, but in this case veganism becomes a sort of religion and there are many people that aren't willing to make such a leap of faith. For these folks there seems to be two responses. First, and this seems to be much more common, is to try to "redefine" veganism so such leaps of faith aren't required and other folks that wish to abandon the veganism in favor of a more scientific animal rights philosophy. I like the second option.


As for the potential for food borne-illness, that is certainly a reason why an individual may want to avoid them regardless of whether they are vegan or not, but I think when this is mentioned in relation to veganism is largely a diversion from dealing with the ethical issues. Its the "try to find something bad about bivalves and hope the other side forgets we are talking about ethics" strategy....


Alright, I had a conversation with my mom on just this sort of topic, and together I think we came up with an interesting way to deal with this scenario. Each and every animal is particularly adapted to it's place in the food web and it's place in the ecosystems as a whole. We as humans try to judge what suffering is based off of arbitrary scientific distinctions, but honestly each and every animal is intelligent in and adapted to it's particular place in life. Cats eat meat, and that's okay. Monarch butterflies make a trek across a continent every year without ever having seen where to go, and can be more accurate than some GPS's. We wouldn't think of butterflies as intelligent in the sense that we are looking at it scientifically, but they can do something few humans could ever accomplish. Bivalves live in precisely their environment and are good at what they do - sift particulates from the water. They do have nerves that cover their bodies and do respond to pain stimuli in such a way as to befit the magnitude of the pain. Even if they don't have a brain, they are still animals. We still don't need to eat them. It's not a religion or cult to believe that we shouldn't need to kill animals for food in the modern day since we can survive without them.

Excellent response, thank you. And Mom. smiley.gif
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#63 Old 03-25-2014, 01:41 PM
 
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 Bivalves live in precisely their environment and are good at what they do - sift particulates from the water.

Plants are good at what they do to and they definitely respond to environmental stimuli (even touch) in a graded way too.  Some utilitarian vegans are now arguing that we should consider "plant suffering" (in aggregate). I obviously disagree.

 

 

 

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They do have nerves that cover their bodies and do respond to pain stimuli in such a way as to befit the magnitude of the pain.

This is not correct for sessile bivalves like oysters and mussels. Oysters have isolated ganglia but their "sensory nerves" (e.g. axon tracts) have devolved (disappeared). Just like plants there is no plausible mechanisms by which they could *perceive* pain.

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#64 Old 03-25-2014, 01:57 PM
 
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 First, and this seems to be much more common, is to try to "redefine" veganism so such leaps of faith aren't required...

 

 

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... and nothing that he could measure in a scientific way. Animal cruelty just seemed "wrong" to him

 

 

 

Thanks to the "Singer clause", vegans can now avoid exploitation as much as possible and practical. Practical is a synonym for "reasonable".  Reason is the basis of science and, IMO, should be the basis of veganism.

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#65 Old 03-25-2014, 02:34 PM
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This is not correct for sessile bivalves like oysters and mussels. Oysters have isolated ganglia but their "sensory nerves" (e.g. axon tracts) have devolved (disappeared). Just like plants there is no plausible mechanisms by which they could *perceive* pain.

 

Stefano and colleagues (2002) point outthat the immediate rise in immunocytes and a later increase in opiates in mussels and leeches subject to cold water shock are not only normal stress responses but the same as found in humans after coronary artery bypass surgery. These animals also show adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) downregulation of immunocyte activation, again similar to that of mammals. Even more interesting is the heart rate increase of juvenile queen scallops (Aequipecten opercularis) under predation threat when on a substrate that offered no refuge (Kamenos et al. 2006). And the heart rate of mussels increases in response to a chemical cue in the effluent of their predator, the dog whelk (Nucella lapillus; Rovero et al. 1999). While these observations are scattered, they make it clear that the physiological systems are very similar across widely diverse vertebrate and invertebrate animals.

 

Source: http://ilarjournal.oxfordjournals.org/content/52/2/205.full.pdf+html

 

They cite the studies that found this. Last I checked, biologically, opiates are released in small doses in response to pain and/or stress, which the mussels showed a response to under threat of predation and under cold water shock. And it directly calls out the study having been done on mussels, which you claimed don't feel pain. Practical or not, there has been scientific evidence that even sessile creatures feel pain and stress.


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#66 Old 03-25-2014, 02:36 PM
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I guess it depends if you see a vegan as someone who does not eat animal derived products(most common look at it), or someone who tries to cause no suffering from their diet. If you believe the animal cannot suffer(be it from physical or mental) then I see why a vegan may try to include bi valves in their diet. Not saying it's right or wrong to eat them, just that I can understand the point of view.

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#67 Old 03-25-2014, 02:52 PM
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Well plants also make incredible adaptations and are in ways good at what they do. They respond to harmful stimuli as well; some even respond as quickly as oysters. I don't really see why people want to eat the things but I don't see how it is any worse than killing plants for food.
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#68 Old 03-25-2014, 03:39 PM
 
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Stefano and colleagues (2002) point outthat the immediate rise in immunocytes and a later increase in opiates in mussels and leeches subject to cold water shock are not only normal stress responses but the same as found in humans after coronary artery bypass surgery. These animals also show adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) downregulation of immunocyte activation, again similar to that of mammals. Even more interesting is the heart rate increase of juvenile queen scallops (Aequipecten opercularis) under predation threat when on a substrate that offered no refuge (Kamenos et al. 2006). And the heart rate of mussels increases in response to a chemical cue in the effluent of their predator, the dog whelk (Nucella lapillus; Rovero et al. 1999). While these observations are scattered, they make it clear that the physiological systems are very similar across widely diverse vertebrate and invertebrate animals.

 

Source: http://ilarjournal.oxfordjournals.org/content/52/2/205.full.pdf+html

 

They cite the studies that found this. Last I checked, biologically, opiates are released in small doses in response to pain and/or stress, which the mussels showed a response to under threat of predation and under cold water shock. And it directly calls out the study having been done on mussels, which you claimed don't feel pain. Practical or not, there has been scientific evidence that even sessile creatures feel pain and stress.

 

 

scallops, leeches and dog welks are not sessile bivalves. because oysters and mussels are sessile bivalves they have  devolved cerebral-pleural ganglia (bivalve correlate of cns) and lack sensory afferents.

a good summary of the science:

http://sentientist.org/2013/05/20/the-ethical-case-for-eating-oysters-and-mussels/

i went back and read some of the original manuscripts and can provide more citations if you are interested...

 

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These animals also show adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) downregulation of immunocyte activation, again similar to that of mammals.
Last I checked, biologically, opiates are released in small doses in response to pain and/or stress,

ACTH and/or opiates have been detected in planarians and single cell organisms so there is absolutely nothing special about ACTH or opiates. They are simply chemical messages used by cells to communicate a response to a stimulus. It's also important to not confuse a cellular stress response with pain.

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#69 Old 03-25-2014, 09:35 PM
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So no "leap of faith" for DW. No "what's in it for me?". I don't think he could have comprehended veganism without compassion and neither can I.
You can make a strong argument against most dairy and egg consumption but we aren't discussing dairy and eggs, instead whether veganism should exclude all animals regardless of their attributes and the ethical basis for such an exclusion. I have no idea what Donald Watson would have said about bivalves and there is a good chance he wasn't familiar with them in the first place. I certainly don't think we should be basing an ethical position in 2014 on what some guy thought decades ago.

In any case, I was agreeing with you that veganism, as currently conceived, requires faith.
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#70 Old 03-25-2014, 09:43 PM
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Thanks to the "Singer clause", vegans can now avoid exploitation as much as possible and practical. Practical is a synonym for "reasonable".  Reason is the basis of science and, IMO, should be the basis of veganism.
But the "Singer clause" isn't really taken seriously by vegans, its only employed when it can be used to justify the accepted list of products but is ditched as soon as there is a conflict.
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#71 Old 03-25-2014, 09:57 PM
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Each and every animal is particularly adapted to it's place in the food web and it's place in the ecosystems as a whole. We as humans try to judge what suffering is based off of arbitrary scientific distinctions, but honestly each and every animal is intelligent in and adapted to it's particular place in life.
You can say the same thing about plants.
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Even if they don't have a brain, they are still animals. We still don't need to eat them. It's not a religion or cult to believe that we shouldn't need to kill animals for food in the modern day since we can survive without them.
If one cannot formulate an ethical theory that can justify the exclusion of all animal regardless of its attributes then I'd suggest what you have is a faith-based position....a religious like position. Its interesting to note that vegetarianism, and by extension veganism, are historically rooted in eastern religious beliefs.

And we do need to kill animals for food. Billions of insects, millions of mammals, etc die each year in the production of plant foods. So, ethically, the question is which lifestyle results in the least amount of animal suffering, etc. There are strong arguments why you should avoid beef, pork, chicken, etc.......but things get very murky when you start to consider insects, bivalves, etc.
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#72 Old 03-26-2014, 10:13 AM
 
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But the "Singer clause" isn't really taken seriously by vegans, its only employed when it can be used to justify the accepted list of products but is ditched as soon as there is a conflict.

 

 

I think it only seems that way because many vegans of the Singer persuasion are more likely to focus their energy on practical things (e.g. animal welfare/environmentalism) as opposed to arguing about veganism on the internet/social media. 

 

 

 

 

 

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#73 Old 03-26-2014, 12:16 PM
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I think it only seems that way because many vegans of the Singer persuasion are more likely to focus their energy on practical things (e.g. animal welfare/environmentalism) as opposed to arguing about veganism on the internet/social media. 
I would imagine that presenting a consist and well supported argument for their lifestyle would be a "practical thing" but how much time one spends arguing for their position, on the internet or else where, is besides the point. Veganism, as it exists today, is not based on the "Singer clause" but instead on forbidding the direct use of any product derived from members of the animal kingdom. If it was based on the "Singer clause" veganism would look a lot different, for one, there wouldn't be an universal list of forbidden products and Singer himself is not a vegan. The "Singer clause" is only mentioned when inconvenient information is brought to light and the focus is then shifted to "reducing suffering" (or something similar) and then the focus is re-shifted to the dogmatic approach when someone has questions about issues like bivalves. So, in practice, there are two inconsistent versions of veganism and which one is used depends on which questions are being asked.

In any case, since veganism is not derivable from the "Singer clause" there is more going on in people that associate both with veganism and Singer and there are numerous people influenced by Singer that aren't vegan.
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#74 Old 03-26-2014, 12:25 PM
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 I certainly don't think we should be basing an ethical position in 2014 on what some guy thought decades ago.

 

I can at least agree that Donald Watson really was some guy. :up:

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#75 Old 03-26-2014, 01:53 PM
 
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The "Singer clause" is only mentioned when inconvenient information is brought to light and the focus is then shifted to "reducing suffering" (or something similar) and then the focus is re-shifted to the dogmatic approach when someone has questions about issues like bivalves.

 

Oh please....there are far more non-dogmatic vegans than you believe. The fact that VO, VRG, and PCRM are non-dogmatic ecumenical vegan-centric organizations speaks to this fact.

 

 

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#76 Old 03-26-2014, 02:48 PM
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Oh please....there are far more non-dogmatic vegans than you believe. The fact that VO, VRG, and PCRM are non-dogmatic ecumenical vegan-centric organizations speaks to this fact.
There are? Can you point to me to a well developed argument for veganism? Not animal rights, not animal welfare issues.....but veganism as currently conceived. Singer isn't such a person, he isn't vegan and veganism isn't derivable from his work. For example, if I can show that eating a bowl of shrimp involves less animal suffering than eating some peanut butter, which isn't far-fetched, then this would be acceptable under his view yet not vegan.

Though I consider veganism a matter of dogma, I don't know if I'd suggest that all vegans are dogmatic, I think the reason some people cling to veganism are due to psychological factors (herd-behavior, wanting to be part of a group, etc).
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#77 Old 03-26-2014, 04:51 PM
 
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Singer isn't such a person, he isn't vegan and veganism isn't derivable from his work. For example, if I can show that eating a bowl of shrimp involves less animal suffering than eating some peanut butter, which isn't far-fetched, then this would be acceptable under his view yet not vegan.

Though I consider veganism a matter of dogma, I don't know if I'd suggest that all vegans are dogmatic, I think the reason some people cling to veganism are due to psychological factors (herd-behavior, wanting to be part of a group, etc).

 

The utilitarian motivation has always been a part of veganism even if it was not as well formulated as in Singer's, "Animal Liberation". For example, Donald Watson described himself as a hedonist on several occasions. I also disagree that Singer is not vegan. Singer calls himself a flexible vegan, which is, IMO, a much more rational way to describe vegan practice than the instagram/tumbler righteous-Vegan4life stereotype.

 

Matt Ball (cofounder of vegan outreach) has this to say about Singer's veganism:

 

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For example, if Peter Singer (author of Animal Liberation) were to eat a dish that contains hidden dairy when at a colleague's house, or if Carole Morton (who runs Green Acres Farm Sanctuary and is a humane agent in a rural PA county) were to eat the eggs laid by the hens she has rescued ... do I want to cut them off, shun them from our vegan club?
 
Being vegan, for me, isn’t about any definition. Rather, what is important is lessening suffering and working for animal liberation as efficiently as possible. It has nothing to do with personal purity or my ego. If, by some bizarre twist, eating a burger (or, better yet, a triple-cheese Uno’s pizza) were to reduce the amount of suffering in the world, then I would do it. 

 

Word, Matt.

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#78 Old 03-26-2014, 05:02 PM
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I've been vegan for nearly 10 years. Never once has anyone asked me whether I eat bi-valves, much less asked for a reason that I don't eat them. Sure, I've been asked if I eat fish from time to time, but never specifically bi-valves. So I'm pretty sure that the only place you'll ever have to defend eating or not eating bi-valves is here, on VB.
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#79 Old 03-26-2014, 07:13 PM
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The utilitarian motivation has always been a part of veganism even if it was not as well formulated as in Singer's, "Animal Liberation". For example, Donald Watson described himself as a hedonist on several occasions.
I don't know to what degree Donald was an utilitarian but I doubt he had a deep understanding of ethical theories. But this doesn't answer my question. Who has made a strong and well developed argument for veganism as it currently exists? You say its not a dogma....show me. Attempting to redefine veganism just demonstrates my point.
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I also disagree that Singer is not vegan. Singer calls himself a flexible vegan, which is, IMO, a much more rational way to describe vegan practice than the instagram/tumbler righteous-Vegan4life stereotype.
A flexible vegan is not a vegan....just as a flexitarian is not a vegetarian. Singer's views are in conflict with vegan doctrine.....so I don't understand the idea that its a "more rational way to describe vegan practice". He isn't vegan instead he behaves in a way that are consist with his philosophic position.....a position that doesn't lead to veganism.
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Matt Ball (cofounder of vegan outreach) has this to say about Singer's veganism:
Peter Singer eats more than "hidden dairy" and Matt's comments, unsurprisingly, miss the key issue. Singer's philosophy is not consistent with vegan doctrine. There is nothing about Singer's philosophy that excludes, in principle, the consumption of animals......even sentient ones. He acknowledge this, in away, but if Matt is serious about what he is saying, then why doesn't he drop the vegan title? Its just a word. Perhaps because he is financially vested in it? That's fine, he has to eat, but most people don't have a financial interest in the vegan brand....so why bother associating with it when it conflicts with your underlying ethical position on matters?
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#80 Old 03-26-2014, 11:45 PM
 
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A flexible vegan is not a vegan....just as a flexitarian is not a vegetarian.

 

 

Flexible veganism is not a flexitarian invitation to munch on double cheese cow burger, it's an acknowledgement that the goal of veganism is not dietary purity but to practically and/or symbolically avoid exploitation.

 

 

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Peter Singer eats more than "hidden dairy" 

Singer has stated that he eats a vegan diet at home but does not quiz people about ingredients when eating out. I know many vegans who folliw this approach to varying degrees. In fact, both Bruce Friedrich and Matt Ball have publicly advocated for this more rational approach to the "food boycott" aspect of veganism. An ideological boycott accomplishes nothing if we antagonize omnivores by being rigid idealogues!

 

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 but if Matt is serious about what he is saying, then why doesn't he drop the vegan title? Its just a word.

Of course he is serious -- and I am too. For me, veganism is not some sort of narcissitic dietary/fashion subculture. The only goal of veganism for me is ethical. I don't give a fart about food, cosmetic, and fashion purity. I only care about these things if they can lead to less exploitation. If they become a barrier I too would not hesitate to eat Matt Ball's metaphorical cheese burger. Heck, I've more or less done this on several occasions (and it was truly disgusting).

 

More from Matt:

 

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Another way to look at it: if you asked the average person on the street about vegans in 1995, that person would have mentioned their nephew’s crazy misanthropic friend. When asked about vegans now, people think of Bill Clinton, Ellen DeGeneres, Jonathan Safran Foer, and the latest athlete to go vegan.

Of course there are still screaming vegan police – still angry, and, basically, still impotent folks who focus not on cruelty to animals, but on hating vegans and vegetarians who have chosen to value pragmatism and results more than purity and exclusivity.

As Jack Norris put it long ago, we want a vegan world, not a vegan club. That’s what Vegan Outreach is all about. However, as we know, there still are – and will always be – those who draw self-worth from being apart from and superior to the rest, who want and need their exclusive vegan club.

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#81 Old 03-28-2014, 10:48 PM
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Flexible veganism is not a flexitarian invitation to munch on double cheese cow burger, it's an acknowledgement that the goal of veganism is not dietary purity but to practically and/or symbolically avoid exploitation.
And, as said before, flexible veganism isn't veganism....if it was you wouldn't need to preface it with "flexible".
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Singer has stated that he eats a vegan diet at home but does not quiz people about ingredients when eating out. I know many vegans who folliw this approach to varying degrees.
Singer has said a lot of things, here is what he has to say about "drawing a line":

"Drawing precise lines is always difficult. I shall make some suggestions, but the reader might well find what I say here less convincing than what I have said before about the more clear-cut cases. You must decide for yourself where you are going to draw the line, and your decision may not coincide exactly with mine. This does not matter all that much ." p. 170, Animal liberation (updated edition).

That isn't the vegan position, vegans aren't "allowed" to decide things for themselves instead they are told which products must be avoided for them to be vegan.
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Of course he is serious -- and I am too. For me, veganism is not some sort of narcissitic dietary/fashion subculture. The only goal of veganism for me is ethical. I don't give a fart about food, cosmetic, and fashion purity.
I don't know anything about what you do, but for Matt Ball, his statements seem to conflict with his actions. His organization, vegan outreach, spends its time trying to convert people (largely college students) to veganism and little else. The only thing that comes to mind is his financial interest in the vegan enterprise.
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#82 Old 03-29-2014, 06:36 AM
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Thanks to the "Singer clause", vegans can now avoid exploitation as much as possible and practical. Practical is a synonym for "reasonable".  Reason is the basis of science and, IMO, should be the basis of veganism.
But the "Singer clause" isn't really taken seriously by vegans, its only employed when it can be used to justify the accepted list of products but is ditched as soon as there is a conflict.

It seems a bit rude (and inaccurate) to lump all vegans together and insult us all in one inaccurate blow.
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Oh please....there are far more non-dogmatic vegans than you believe. The fact that VO, VRG, and PCRM are non-dogmatic ecumenical vegan-centric organizations speaks to this fact.
There are? Can you point to me to a well developed argument for veganism? Not animal rights, not animal welfare issues.....but veganism as currently conceived. Singer isn't such a person, he isn't vegan and veganism isn't derivable from his work. For example, if I can show that eating a bowl of shrimp involves less animal suffering than eating some peanut butter, which isn't far-fetched, then this would be acceptable under his view yet not vegan.

Though I consider veganism a matter of dogma, I don't know if I'd suggest that all vegans are dogmatic, I think the reason some people cling to veganism are due to psychological factors (herd-behavior, wanting to be part of a group, etc).
Herd behavior? :rolls eyes: Well, at least you said "some vegans" here, not "all." As if there are vegan gangs roaming the streets, so many vegans around that we inspire herd behavior. And for years now I have thought we were just a small subset of vegetarians trying to individually live our lives.
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#83 Old 03-29-2014, 12:49 PM
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It seems a bit rude (and inaccurate) to lump all vegans together and insult us all in one inaccurate blow.
I'm not trying to insult anybody, the point of that comment is that if a vegan took the "Singer clause" seriously its unlikely that they would be vegan, as currently understood, and wouldn't have much interest in whether others were committed to veganism or not. Also, the Singer clause" is not equivalent to the "don't use animal products clause" so switching between the two depending on the questions being asked is peculiar and, I think, points to a weakness in the underlying vegan position.
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Herd behavior? :rolls eyes: Well, at least you said "some vegans" here, not "all." As if there are vegan gangs roaming the streets, so many vegans around that we inspire herd behavior.
Yes, herd behavior, humans are social animals and everyone is influenced by the groups they associate with. I suppose some may find this idea insulting, but its just a reality of human behavior. So, in the case of veganism, someone may have some misgivings about vegan ideology but still associate with veganism because they are committed to the group and don't want to be alienated from the group.
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#84 Old 03-29-2014, 02:15 PM
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I'm not trying to insult anybody, the point of that comment is that if a vegan took the "Singer clause" seriously its unlikely that they would be vegan, as currently understood,

 

As currently understood by whom?

 

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and wouldn't have much interest in whether others were committed to veganism or not.

 

Because?

 

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Also, the Singer clause" is not equivalent to the "don't use animal products clause" so switching between the two depending on the questions being asked is peculiar and, I think, points to a weakness in the underlying vegan position.

 

Who is "switching between the two depending on the questions being asked"?
 

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Yes, herd behavior, humans are social animals and everyone is influenced by the groups they associate with. I suppose some may find this idea insulting, but its just a reality of human behavior. So, in the case of veganism, someone may have some misgivings about vegan ideology but still associate with veganism because they are committed to the group and don't want to be alienated from the group.

 

Your speculation is just that. From my experience consuming animal products tends to be "herd behavior" and it's often independent thinking that leads to going vegan or vegetarian. It's also a decision that frequently alienates people from their social groups, despite your speculation that it is the opposite. There is no "the group". It's not a group or a community or a club. There may be vegan groups and clubs and communities here or there, but there is no "the group". When I went vegan I knew one other vegan and that was online. After losing touch I knew no other vegans for years.

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#85 Old 03-29-2014, 04:57 PM
 
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I don't know anything about what you do, but for Matt Ball, his statements seem to conflict with his actions. His organization, vegan outreach, spends its time trying to convert people (largely college students) to veganism and little else.

While VO definitely advocates for veg*nism their rather famous "compassionate choices" pamphlet is a pure animal welfare/rights argument:

 

http://www.veganoutreach.org/cc.pdf

 

You can disagree about the effectiveness of the "food boycott" aspect of veganism but to suggest that VO is a dogmatic vegan advocacy group is just ridiculous.

 

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 The only thing that comes to mind is his financial interest in the vegan enterprise.

 

 I'm willing to bet you cannot provide  evidence to support this ad hominem.

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#86 Old 03-29-2014, 08:36 PM
 
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Logic, please stop pigeonholing vegans into one narrow category. I don't question trace dairy and animal products when I'm offered bread by my friends, I acknowledge that the boundaries between what's vegan and what isn't is extremely fine and constantly changing and often it is up to personal judgment, I tell people that meat reduction is a very noble aspiration, and it is not a black and white 'either you're with us or you're not', yet I identify as vegan, and I don't feel it is wrong for me to do so.

 

Just because we like to give simple answers when people ask us who vegans are or how to be vegan, in the interest of not giving them a 100 page infodump, doesn't mean that veganism is simplistic.


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#87 Old 03-29-2014, 09:07 PM
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I don't think this will get us a conclusion on eating bivalves or not. Leave it to your personnel opinion. Let's be honest many vegans reasons for eating the way they do differ from person to person. We have all stated how we feel and think about it, and I believe have done little to sway others.

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#88 Old 03-29-2014, 10:12 PM
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As currently understood by whom?
By the vegan society and other such organizations....and as advocated by the vast majority of vegans.
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Originally Posted by cornsail View Post

Because?
See the Singer quote in my last post. If one is motivated by Singer (or similar arguments) then where one draws the line is a difficult and personal question, as such, insisting that others draw the exact some lines as you shouldn't be important.
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Who is "switching between the two depending on the questions being asked"?
It occurs all the time in debates. For example, in this case, because the "Singer clause" doesn't apply well to bivalves one instead relies on the doctrinal approach of "vegans don't use animal products".
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Originally Posted by cornsail View Post

Your speculation is just that. From my experience consuming animal products tends to be "herd behavior" and it's often independent thinking that leads to going vegan or vegetarian. It's also a decision that frequently alienates people from their social groups, despite your speculation that it is the opposite. There is no "the group". It's not a group or a community or a club. There may be vegan groups and clubs and communities here or there, but there is no "the group". When I went vegan I knew one other vegan and that was online. After losing touch I knew no other vegans for years.
The fact that humans are a social animal that exhibit many herd behaviors isn't speculation and given this my claim is rather plausible, but until one does a study on the underlying psychology of veganism my claim will, of course, remain conjecture. But I was more so providing an explanation of why someone would remain committed to veganism despite having misgivings about veganism.

As for eating meat being "herd behavior", of course, but nobody blindly goes with the herd in every aspect and avoiding some herd behaviors doesn't mean you're not susceptible to others. As for there being no "the group", I think that is a strange claim to make while posting on a vegetarian only website. But, as I mentioned above, I was trying to explain a particularly situation and I wasn't trying to claim that all vegans are vegan due to herd-behavior.
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#89 Old 03-29-2014, 10:23 PM
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I am moving this thread to the heap so a debate may continue outside the support forums.

Remember, keep it civil. Attack ideas, not people or groups of people.

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#90 Old 03-29-2014, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by unethicalvegan View Post

While VO definitely advocates for veg*nism their rather famous "compassionate choices" pamphlet is a pure animal welfare/rights argument:

http://www.veganoutreach.org/cc.pdf
Wouldn't call it an "argument" and while it isn't advocating veganism explicitly it is advocating vegan products. But still, the organization is committed to veganism and isn't a general purpose animal rights/welfare organization. In fact, I'm not aware of anything vegan outreach has done to promote animal rights. Do you know whether they've promoted any animal rights legislation?

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Originally Posted by unethicalvegan View Post

 I'm willing to bet you cannot provide  evidence to support this ad hominem.
What ad hominem? I claimed that there appears to be a conflict between what he says and does and the only explanation that comes to mind is his financial interest in the vegan enterprise. But, of course, there may be another explanations. Though it doesn't help that the second part of the pamphlet you referred too looks like a marketing brochure for Tofurky, etc.

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Originally Posted by Yingchen View Post

Logic, please stop pigeonholing vegans into one narrow category.
I haven't been pigeonholing vegans into any category, I have been primarily talking about vegans that have been motivated by Singer's philosophy (or similar considerations). Since veganism is not derivable from Singer's philosophy, or the "Singer clause", something else must be motivating these people to associate with veganism. I suggested one possible explanation and it was not intended, by any means, to be exhaustive.
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Originally Posted by Yingchen View Post

Just because we like to give simple answers when people ask us who vegans are or how to be vegan, in the interest of not giving them a 100 page infodump, doesn't mean that veganism is simplistic.
I'm not so sure this is a good strategy, but in any case, where are the complex answers? Can you point me to a well developed, philosophically and scientifically, argument for veganism?
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