Does any of this matter? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 08-24-2004, 09:51 AM
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All,



Rant Alert! I've come to the sobering conclusion that the most depressing and inflammatory comments to deal with regarding the whole anti-animal rights, veg*n movement, aren't necessarily the hostile and ignorant ones that (too) many people rely on to argue their points. No, rather it's those that spring from the sanctimonous attitude of people who dismiss your beliefs out of hand by effectively saying, "There are more important things to discuss."







To put the matter into some context, I've had several letters published in a newspaper arguing for a ban on all hunting with dogs. Now (as a follow-up to a pro-hunter's rant) the editor has nailed his colours to the mast by arguing: This newspaper believes there are more important issues for Parliament to be debating than the vexed question of hunting.



Can somebody please tell me what can possibly matter more in this world than standing up for the interests of weak, vulnerable, and innocent (irrespective of race, gender, or species) in the face of oppression, injustice, cruelty and greed?



Indeed what do such dismissive comments say about those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice (re. British fox-hunting: Mike Hill, and Tom Worby ?) That these people were foolish, misguided?





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#2 Old 08-24-2004, 09:59 AM
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Richard... the amount of people that really care about vegetarianism or animal rights in the manner that you do is about 3-4% of the population. When 97% of the population have their minds set on other issues then it is seen as the fact that there is something more important to worry about. Stop banging your head against the wall. :-) You can't change the world, all you can do is live as you think people should live and maybe one person will see that and be inspired...and then one will see them... and so on.
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#3 Old 08-24-2004, 10:09 AM
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Can somebody please tell me what can possibly matter more in this world than standing up for the interests of weak, vulnerable, and innocent (irrespective of race, gender, or species) in the face of oppression, injustice, cruelty and greed?



IMO, nothing.



It is too frustrating to look at results, though, especially when the results are so difficult / impossible to measure at this point in the animal protection movement. The best thing to do is to focus on efforts; the results will take care of themselves eventually (although it may take a while). In the mean time, a good rant is needed every now and then.
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#4 Old 08-24-2004, 10:18 AM
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Rich - if you want, this thread can be moved to a support forum. I wasn't sure if you were looking for support or debate/discussion.
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#5 Old 08-24-2004, 10:35 AM
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Tame - I can't deny that I found the whole attitude thing deeply depressing, but I think it's also a powerful emotion to channel constructively...something good has to come from it. And if it keeps the fire inside burning brightly, then all very well. I'm not disillusioned... and will look to channel the negative energy into positive thought!



I think if my post provokes any constructive debate or discussion, then it will have a useful place in the grand scheme of things!





Redwingsfan/ mountain vegan! - definately: it's all about being the difference you want see in the world!





Thanks guys!



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#6 Old 08-24-2004, 10:37 AM
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Richard... the amount of people that really care about vegetarianism or animal rights in the manner that you do is about 3-4% of the population. When 97% of the population have their minds set on other issues then it is seen as the fact that there is something more important to worry about.





My experience is that the 97% of the population really doesn't have their minds set on any other issues, they just don't want to talk about animal rights. It's like when I say something AR related and some dumb ass says "well I care more about people" . . . well then what have YOU done for people lately? Donated anything? Volunteered your time? What? NOTHING. Then shut it and zip it.
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#7 Old 08-24-2004, 10:51 AM
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This newspaper believes there are more important issues for Parliament to be debating than the vexed question of hunting.



There likely are. Actually that's kind of surprising when you think about it because normally they'd be bending over backwards trying to look after the small minority special interest groups like your self. You can look at it this way. Either your TOO small or TOO large for them to worry about.

Life's a b**** when the rest of the world won't conform to your superior views isn't it?



Did somebody say this was the debate forum?



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#8 Old 08-24-2004, 10:55 AM
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What moved me to become vegan in the first place is the apparent total indifference of the world to cruelty. When I have a problem with the way billions of animals are systematically tortured and killed (I don't think this is an exaggerated statement), most folks smile and nod, or become defensive (I have more hope for the defensive ones, but not much). It's frustrating being part of a minority, especially when you are so sure of your convictions and so passionate about the right.



I mean, how could ANYONE think factory farming, hunting, etc. is no problem?



Still, until recently, I was one of them. I can only blame it on cultural conditioning that encourages us to simply not think about it. I could eat a burger with my left hand, pet my dog with my right, and see no contradiction. (Still kinda weirds me out that I was so oblivious to the obvious. Makes me wonder what other issues I've just turned my brain off to, you know?)







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#9 Old 08-24-2004, 11:02 AM
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Can somebody please tell me what can possibly matter more in this world than standing up for the interests of weak, vulnerable, and innocent (irrespective of race, gender, or species) in the face of oppression, injustice, cruelty and greed?



I don't think there is anything that matters more...but the real concern here is not one of importance but of priorities. Our resources, especially time, are limited. We have to consider what is most likely to be effective when deciding what to do right now. It sucks, and in a perfect world we would not have to take such an attitude...but life sucks, and our world is highly imperfect. When our resources are limited and must be divided, delivering food aid to a few thousand starving people would naturally be a wiser use of resources than trying to bring an end to sport hunting (for example).



Of course, the political issue you bring up is a much more complicated one, and causes more problems than it can solve. Special interests always detract attention from the big picture whether we agree with said interests or not. But that's a topic for another thread.
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#10 Old 08-24-2004, 11:23 AM
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We all have our priorities. For many of us, it's giving the animals a voice, protecting them, maybe even giving them certain rights.



For other people, preventing children in 3rd world countries from dying of starvation is more important to them. Or maybe it's saving endangered species...



My feeling is that many of these problems -- planetary, human, animal -- all stem from some of the same root issues. What happens in this world is that people deal with the symptoms and not the disease. We activistic types need to address the disease. It will be hard to get people to listen, and even harder to effect change (the problem being so systemic), but our efforts are very, very important and can change the face of our world if we try hard enough, because one way or another, the world is going to be different in 20 years. We can have a hand in making it a better place instead of a worse place, so I'd say what we do really does matter.
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#11 Old 08-24-2004, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by The Rev View Post

What moved me to become vegan in the first place is the apparent total indifference of the world to cruelty. When I have a problem with the way billions of animals are systematically tortured and killed (I don't think this is an exaggerated statement), most folks smile and nod, or become defensive (I have more hope for the defensive ones, but not much). It's frustrating being part of a minority, especially when you are so sure of your convictions and so passionate about the right.



I mean, how could ANYONE think factory farming, hunting, etc. is no problem?



Still, until recently, I was one of them. I can only blame it on cultural conditioning that encourages us to simply not think about it. I could eat a burger with my left hand, pet my dog with my right, and see no contradiction. (Still kinda weirds me out that I was so oblivious to the obvious. Makes me wonder what other issues I've just turned my brain off to, you know?)







The Rev



This post describes my feelings/thoughts better than any other than I can remember (including any of my own posts).
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#12 Old 08-24-2004, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by The Rev View Post

What moved me to become vegan in the first place is the apparent total indifference of the world to cruelty. When I have a problem with the way billions of animals are systematically tortured and killed (I don't think this is an exaggerated statement), most folks smile and nod, or become defensive (I have more hope for the defensive ones, but not much). It's frustrating being part of a minority, especially when you are so sure of your convictions and so passionate about the right.



I mean, how could ANYONE think factory farming, hunting, etc. is no problem?



Still, until recently, I was one of them. I can only blame it on cultural conditioning that encourages us to simply not think about it. I could eat a burger with my left hand, pet my dog with my right, and see no contradiction. (Still kinda weirds me out that I was so oblivious to the obvious. Makes me wonder what other issues I've just turned my brain off to, you know?)







The Rev



You see these are just your opinions though. Many others will have differing opinions than yourself. This makes me want to touch on the vegan superiority thread. Having a set of beliefs and living by them does not set someone apart from another in thinking they are superior due to those beliefs. It's when you try to force those beliefs on to others that sets you apart.

For example I may like to eat meat once in a while (not as often as you'd think I'm sure). I think I'm safe to say that if you could stop me from eating meat some how you would. Funny thing is that I'd never try to force you to eat it your self. There in lies the feeling or superiority that you possess.

You and I see animals differently and you'd call me ignorant. I'd say the same thing about you though from my own experiences.



Jeffer



P.S. Rev I'm not trying to single you out here. I'm just refering to what I see with vegans in general.
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#13 Old 08-24-2004, 11:35 AM
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There is nothing wrong with focusing ALL (yes, ALL) of one's efforts on ONE (yes, ONE) issue. There is nothing wrong with Amnesty International focusing on SOLELY human rights, PETA focusing SOLELY on animal rights, and Doctors W/O Borders focusing SOLELY on medical care of humans in crisis areas around the world.



Similarly, if an individual wants to focus all of their charitable giving on one issue, like AR, that's fine. There is no good reason to disrespect another's good cause just because you think other things are just as important or more so.



One of the reasons I support the AR movement so much is that I believe it is one of the most neglected areas of need. If people were not so dismissive about animal welfare and protection, I would support other causes more than I do. People who fight the AR movement are contributing, at least indirectly, to the overall suffering of humans also, since part of the AR effort (and monetary support) that could contribute to relieve human suffering is dedicated to fight AR opponents.
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#14 Old 08-24-2004, 11:40 AM
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You see these are just your opinions though. Many others will have differing opinions than yourself. This makes me want to touch on the vegan superiority thread. Having a set of beliefs and living by them does not set someone apart from another in thinking they are superior due to those beliefs. It's when you try to force those beliefs on to others that sets you apart.



Should Amnesty International stop fighting for human rights in the world because it is just their opinion and they shouldn't force it on others? Should the US ignore China's and North Korea's HR abuse since it's merely our opinion and we shouldn't force it on others? Should we have just allowed Hitler to go on for the same reasons?
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#15 Old 08-24-2004, 11:42 AM
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Jeffer, you know I like you, but maybe you're feeling a little defensive and that's why you think we feel superior? For example, I'm pro choice. I understand that people who are anti choice are so because they think that it is ethically and morally wrong to have an abortion, and I can respect that. But I don't frequent an anti abortion web site and tell them that they're wrong for feeling morally superior to me. For all I know, they are. I don't even frequent a web site to tell them that they're wrong for trying to take the choice away from me. I just try to vote in a manner to minimize the chances that the choice is taken away from me and from other women.



You have to admit that the chances are MUCH greater that the choice whether or not to have an abortion will be taken away than that the choice whether or not to eat meat will. So I have to ask, what motivates you, especially if our concerns are so insignificant?
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#16 Old 08-24-2004, 11:44 AM
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Jeffer, you know I like you, but maybe you're feeling a little defensive and that's why you think we feel superior? For example, I'm pro choice. I understand that people who are anti choice are so because they think that it is ethically and morally wrong to have an abortion, and I can respect that. But I don't frequent an anti abortion web site and tell them that they're wrong for feeling morally superior to me. For all I know, they are. I don't even frequent a web site to tell them that they're wrong for trying to take the choice away from me. I just try to vote in a manner to minimize the chances that the choice is taken away from me and from other women.



You have to admit that the chances are MUCH greater that the choice whether or not to have an abortion will be taken away than that the choice whether or not to eat meat will. So I have to ask, what motivates you, especially if our concerns are so insignificant?



Execellent point and question.
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#17 Old 08-24-2004, 11:53 AM
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You see these are just your opinions though. Many others will have differing opinions than yourself. This makes me want to touch on the vegan superiority thread. Having a set of beliefs and living by them does not set someone apart from another in thinking they are superior due to those beliefs. It's when you try to force those beliefs on to others that sets you apart.

For example I may like to eat meat once in a while (not as often as you'd think I'm sure). I think I'm safe to say that if you could stop me from eating meat some how you would. Funny thing is that I'd never try to force you to eat it your self. There in lies the feeling or superiority that you possess.

You and I see animals differently and you'd call me ignorant. I'd say the same thing about you though from my own experiences.



Jeffer



P.S. Rev I'm not trying to single you out here. I'm just refering to what I see with vegans in general.



I wasn't trying to express any superiority, but rather to relate my own feelings. To passionate vegans, it seems incomprehensible that anyone could be completely indifferent to animal suffering, but most people are. I also don't think that that suffering is a matter of opinion (unless your asking for the animal's opinion).



Anyway, I've never been in the habit of telling people what they should or should not eat. I would love it if everyone shared my passions and avoided meat, but they don't, and that's life. So, if anyone got the impression from my post that I look down on non-vegans, please be assured that is not the case.



I hope that cleared things up.







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#18 Old 08-24-2004, 12:24 PM
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I wasn't trying to express any superiority, but rather to relate my own feelings. To passionate vegans, it seems incomprehensible that anyone could be completely indifferent to animal suffering, but most people are. I also don't think that that suffering is a matter of opinion (unless your asking for the animal's opinion).



Anyway, I've never been in the habit of telling people what they should or should not eat. I would love it if everyone shared my passions and avoided meat, but they don't, and that's life. So, if anyone got the impression from my post that I look down on non-vegans, please be assured that is not the case.



I hope that cleared things up.







The Rev



Again like I said before that my post wasn't directed specifically at anyone.



I do how ever, throughout this site, see a trend to act or move against others in those beliefs and that's what disturbs me.

Being vegan is cool there's no doubt about that. I've said it before that I admire someone that holds those values and many times before I've also tried to support those decisions by others.

You have to admit though that if there was a petition going around to stop the deer hunt this year here in Ontario, most everyone would sign it and try to stop it, even before understanding the issues about the hunt.

All that would need know is that some animals where going to be killed.



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#19 Old 08-24-2004, 01:02 PM
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Back on-topic, please.
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#20 Old 08-24-2004, 01:10 PM
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I thought we were on topic?
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#21 Old 08-24-2004, 01:15 PM
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I thought you were too!
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#22 Old 08-24-2004, 01:22 PM
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The Rev:

To passionate vegans, it seems incomprehensible that anyone could be completely indifferent to animal suffering, but most people are.



That's a bit of an oversimplification, isn't it? I don't know anyone who is 'completely' indifferent, just selective. Sorta like you, your dog, and your hamburger example.
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#23 Old 08-24-2004, 02:42 PM
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The topic is whether any of our activism matters. The side debate about veg*ns pushing their beliefs on to others (or not) is a different topic entirely. FYI, since you brought it up.
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#24 Old 08-24-2004, 04:07 PM
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Life's a b**** when the rest of the world won't conform to your superior views isn't it?



Did somebody say this was the debate forum?



Jeffer





LOL! i find this statement pretty ironic coming from you.



i thought being a vegetarian or at least trying to reduce the consumption of animals was part of the TOS of veggieboards. so whats a non vegetarian non AR sympathetic person like yourself doing on this board?

“There is a distinct difference between having an open mind and having a hole in your head from which your brain leaks out."-James Randi

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#25 Old 08-24-2004, 04:33 PM
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The topic is whether any of our activism matters. The side debate about veg*ns pushing their beliefs on to others (or not) is a different topic entirely. FYI, since you brought it up.



Ah. I have been corrected Although you could say that Jeffers is implying that activism doesn't matter and that we are just judgemental and being superior. Either way . . .it's interesting though.
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#26 Old 08-24-2004, 04:35 PM
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LOL! i find this statement pretty ironic coming from you.



i thought being a vegetarian or at least trying to reduce the consumption of animals was part of the TOS of veggieboards. so whats a non vegetarian non AR sympathetic person like yourself doing on this board?





i think he did say that he is interested in that, just not in the way that everyone else is
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#27 Old 08-24-2004, 04:48 PM
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oh i must have missed something then because judging by all the anti veg posts and the signature line he has i was under another impression. im sorry for being off topic.



in reply to the original post...



the reason that most people dont care about animal rights is because most humans are self centered. if it does not concern them then they dont want to think about it. most of these same people who dont care about AR or AW are also not contributing to society in other ways either. i mean how often do you see a stranger helping an old lady across the street? or volueenteering for a beach clean up project or giving blood?



there are few of us who give and many who are all too eager to take, and take and take.

“There is a distinct difference between having an open mind and having a hole in your head from which your brain leaks out."-James Randi

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#28 Old 08-24-2004, 04:51 PM
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My experience is that the 97% of the population really doesn't have their minds set on any other issues, they just don't want to talk about animal rights. It's like when I say something AR related and some dumb ass says "well I care more about people" . . . well then what have YOU done for people lately? Donated anything? Volunteered your time? What? NOTHING. Then shut it and zip it.



once again i totally agree with Alfiedog...

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#29 Old 08-24-2004, 11:37 PM
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I agree that there are more important things than banning hunting dogs.



But hunting dogs do sadden me... I don't care that they're hunting, that's fine, that's what they do, but their lives outside of hunting usually aren't that great. We've had people come to the animal shelter looking to adopt dogs for hunting purposes, and they say the dog must stay outside, because it's important that they don't get attached to the owners. I'm hoping that's not the general case, because that's pretty sad. It doesn't even make sense to me, since in a hunting situation, you would think you'd want the dogs to feel like part of "the pack" and have a bond with their owners/pack leaders... but I guess not. Anyways, I suppose that's not really what the thread is about. There are a lot of issues that are important to a lot of different people. People should be free to voice the issues that matter to them, and the representatives can feel free to ignore or address those issues. If they ignore and address the ones I agree with, they'll get my reelection vote.
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#30 Old 08-24-2004, 11:46 PM
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the reason that most people dont care about animal rights is because most humans are self centered. if it does not concern them then they dont want to think about it. most of these same people who dont care about AR or AW are also not contributing to society in other ways either. i mean how often do you see a stranger helping an old lady across the street? or volueenteering for a beach clean up project or giving blood?



Uhhh... Sometimes people don't care about AR/AW because they just don't care. That doesn't mean they're self-centered, it's just not something that interests them.



And to say they're not contributing to society - my, my. So if I contribute all my spare time and money to fighting cancer, AIDS, and multiple sclerosis, but couldn't care less about AR, then I'm a self-centered person who doesn't care about society?



And not caring about AR/AW isn't mutually exclusive to cleaning up the beach or helping people pick things up. People are nicer than you give them credit for. Just because they don't care about AR/AW doesn't mean they're horrible, uncaring people.
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