Why Vegans should eat Oysters. - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 04-09-2010, 08:08 PM
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#2 Old 04-09-2010, 08:28 PM
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Great news. And you'll also be supporting the local economy. I know the Washington town of Oysterville could really use the help.

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#3 Old 04-09-2010, 08:28 PM
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Actually, he's not saying veg*ns should eat oysters; he's saying they should feel comfortable about eating oysters, if they choose to do so, because oysters arguably don't differ significantly from plants in their capacity to feel pain/have any consciousness. In other words, he's not telling veg*ns what to eat.
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#4 Old 04-09-2010, 08:34 PM
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I think the fact that he's saying they should be comfortable is questionable. To me that's like the argument that it's okay to eat eggs from pet chickens, or milk from your own cow. Or even meat from an animal that died of natural causes.

That said, I'm glad he realized he wasn't a vegan anymore.

And oysters are just disgusting!

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#5 Old 04-09-2010, 08:50 PM
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I think that the forum Fark.com already had the best comment about this.



Unfortunately, it's kinda explicit. So, spoiler tags, and this may be NSFW.



[quote removed]



(I lolled)
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#6 Old 04-09-2010, 08:58 PM
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Those things are vile, who would want to eat them?
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#7 Old 04-10-2010, 12:13 AM
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Silva and Stillquiet, I'll eat your oysters, and you can have my beets. Deal?

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#8 Old 04-10-2010, 12:24 AM
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that's really quite interesting. i guess i'm not really against eating oysters-rather have someone tucking into oysters than a dead cow-but wouldn't eat one myself. even when i was omni, i couldn't bear to taste it!

it looks so...gooey.
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#9 Old 04-10-2010, 12:49 AM
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I 2nd das_nut's spoiler.
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#10 Old 04-10-2010, 06:06 AM
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^^^ I third das_nut's spoiler.



Anyway, anatomically speaking, oysters have a heart that pumps blood throughout its body, 2 kidneys to remove impurities, a type of lung and an anus. That puts it into the waaaaaaaaaaaay too close to ME or any other LAND ANIMAL for butchering.

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#11 Old 04-10-2010, 07:15 AM
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I assume that the facts in the article are true (I have no idea). But if so, he actually does make a good point. However, they way humans are, once you go justifying eating one living thing, you start to justify others. Next thing you know, you are back to being a full blown omni.



And I always thought seafood was the most disgusting food I ever tasted. I would rather starve to death than eat an oyster.
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#12 Old 04-10-2010, 07:18 AM
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Do vegans avoid pearls? I guess it's obvious they do, but it's not something I see come up, like leather and wool. And speaking of pearls, I always heard that oysters form pearls around a grain of sand that's gotten into their space, that they coat that little grain with the round smoothness so it will stop irritating them. Seems to me that if they feel irritated by the grain of sand or stone, they do experience pain and purposefully work to relieve it. He does make a good case for an environmental vegetarian to make an exception for oysters. But the rest of his case has to do with oysters being insensate, and if they experience sand as irritation, they are not insensate.
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#13 Old 04-10-2010, 07:22 AM
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I think we don't talk much about pearls because they aren't nearly as common as leather and wool, but as you point out it's obviously a non-vegan thing.
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#14 Old 04-10-2010, 08:58 AM
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I don't know why it's so hard to give up that precious veg*n batch. If people want to eat animals... well, nobody can force them not to but at least they shouldn't call themselves veg*n.
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#15 Old 04-10-2010, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mufflon View Post

I don't know why it's so hard to give up that precious veg*n batch. If people want to eat animals... well, nobody can force them not to but at least they shouldn't call themselves veg*n.

Mufflon, he doesn't. In the article he states clearly that he'd now have to call himself a pescetarian, or a flexitarian, which would of course be more accurate. But what that would not acknowledge is that he doesn't eat seafood in general, but only just this one species, an act that he's come to believe does not harm the environment or cause animal suffering. In both, he has a point, though I'm not convinced he's right on the second one. If I hear someone call himself a pescetarian, I assume he eats a broad range of seafood, and also dairy and eggs. That's not him at all; except for oysters he eats only what vegans eat, he writes. So there's not a precise label anymore that sums up his position. What comes through for me is that he, like people on veggieboards, has strong ethical beliefs and has made radical changes in the way he eats to live in accordance with those beliefs. To me he sounds like a good guy, albeit not a veg*n, not anymore.
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#16 Old 04-10-2010, 10:04 AM
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No way will I eat them! I never ate them either when I was an omni.
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#17 Old 04-10-2010, 10:31 AM
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If I remember right, oysters aren't gross at all if they're cooked. If they're raw it takes tabasco, lemon juice and a lot of beer to choke one down.
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#18 Old 04-11-2010, 12:32 PM
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Osmosis Jones was a foul live-action movie.



The oyster eating scene was more than enough for me not to eat them regardless of what they're made of.
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#19 Old 04-11-2010, 06:00 PM
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They have hearts that pump blood throughout their body. So, the thought of eating them to me kind of freaks me out.
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#20 Old 04-11-2010, 06:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepydvdr View Post

And I always thought seafood was the most disgusting food I ever tasted. I would rather starve to death than eat an oyster.



Same here. Just the smell of seafood makes me want to vomit. I've never seen an oyster in real life, only on tv or in movies. No way I would ever want to eat one.
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#21 Old 04-11-2010, 06:44 PM
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Okay, I'm seeing a lot of reaction based on whether people think the idea of eating oysters is repulsive. But that doesn't really address the merits, if any, of the article that started the thread. It looks like the reactions are coming mostly from people who didn't even read the article, because the points it raised are barely being addressed here. It seems to me that the points raised in the article cut to the core of people's ethical reasons for not eating animal products. It asks, what if eating a particular animal product actually bypasses the concerns that prompted someone to take up a vegan lifestyle? A person might have a similar reaction to the ethics of eating meat (muscle tissue) that had been grown in a lab, reproduced from a few cells of some years-dead animal, or one that had not even been harmed in the process of harvesting those cells. So the question becomes, what's more important, continuing to call yourself a vegan for its own sake, or acting ethically in a way that consumes one kind of flesh but causes no harm to the environment, supports no inhumane practices, and causes no creature to suffer pain or misery? To me that is the big picture, and it's so much more significant than whether someone considers oyster meat "disgusting" per se.
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#22 Old 04-11-2010, 11:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joan Kennedy View Post

Okay, I'm seeing a lot of reaction based on whether people think the idea of eating oysters is repulsive. But that doesn't really address the merits, if any, of the article that started the thread. It looks like the reactions are coming mostly from people who didn't even read the article, because the points it raised are barely being addressed here. It seems to me that the points raised in the article cut to the core of people's ethical reasons for not eating animal products. It asks, what if eating a particular animal product actually bypasses the concerns that prompted someone to take up a vegan lifestyle? A person might have a similar reaction to the ethics of eating meat (muscle tissue) that had been grown in a lab, reproduced from a few cells of some years-dead animal, or one that had not even been harmed in the process of harvesting those cells. So the question becomes, what's more important, continuing to call yourself a vegan for its own sake, or acting ethically in a way that consumes one kind of flesh but causes no harm to the environment, supports no inhumane practices, and causes no creature to suffer pain or misery? To me that is the big picture, and it's so much more significant than whether someone considers oyster meat "disgusting" per se.



I don't think that's the ONLY reason people do not eat animals and eat plants. Sure, it brings up a good point, but, to me, it isn't just that an oyster or plant can't feel, but that it has lungs and a heart that pumps! Plants do not. So I do not think eating oysters is okay.



I am not a Vegan just because the animals are tortured, but because I do not believe humans should be consuming flesh. Made in a lab or not, inhumane or humane, I do not agree with it.
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#23 Old 04-12-2010, 02:47 AM
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Not only does it have a heart, but when you prod the oyster, it clamps up to stop itself from getting eaten. It does it because, like cows, pigs, and chickens, it does not want to die. Who are we to decide whether they can feel or not? If one is a Vegan, then it should include all animals regardless of how insignificant they may seem. Besides, they filter water and provide reefs for other sea critters.

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#24 Old 04-12-2010, 02:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nontoxicglue View Post

Not only does it have a heart, but when you prod the oyster, it clamps up to stop itself from getting eaten. It does it because, like cows, pigs, and chickens, it does not want to die. Who are we to decide whether they can feel or not? If one is a Vegan, then it should include all animals regardless of how insignificant they may seem. Besides, they filter water and provide reefs for other sea critters.



but certain plants clam up too when touched. the matter here is whether they can feel pain/are sentinent.
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#25 Old 04-12-2010, 03:03 AM
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Flesh grown in a lab does not sit right with me. Labratory-produced flesh... Does that sound natural or healthy to you? I think they already came up natural healthy alternatives to that: Tofu, seitan, tempeh, etc. You can get all the protien and nutrients you need from a plant based diet. It is easier for our bodies to absorb and break down the proteins in plant foods. Flesh is just unnecessary, lab or no lab.



I don't eat oysters because I don't like their taste. End of story.
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#26 Old 04-12-2010, 03:11 AM
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To reply to Joan - 50 years ago I was a 4-year-old kid who would slurp raw oysters with gleeful abandon. Loved them. I also thought raw and icy cold was the only way to eat them as I grew up.



As I got older and then an adult, I realized that eating raw oysters is dangerous. I ate them steamed or roasted for a while, but didn't like the change that happened to them through cooking and just wasn't willing to accept the risks with eating them raw anymore. I remember them with fondness, but I can't look at them now without thinking of the risk of bacteria or hepatitis. For me, at least, this means I can well live without them.



I find myself thinking a lot about justification. Do I have to spend time and thought justifying why I am eating something? If so, is it something I really really need? The answer to that, I found, is no. It makes my life simpler and easier.
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#27 Old 04-12-2010, 06:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joan Kennedy View Post

It asks, what if eating a particular animal product actually bypasses the concerns that prompted someone to take up a vegan lifestyle?



If ethical meats help recruit new people to ethical eating, I'm all for it. However, hardly anyone (in my opinion) would want to eat lab grown meat. Regular people will see it as weird. Religious people will see it as an abomination. Veg*ns will see it as still being meat. Very few people will embrace it. I know they are working on making lab grown meat and it will come out in a few years. But it will quickly be shunned by everyone.



You are correct. the reason why ethical veg*ns cut out meat is to reduce animal suffering. If an animal doesn't suffer, I don't see much of a problem with someone eating it (especially if the animal died of natural causes or an accident).



As for me, I have grown accustomed to my vegan lifestyle and I would end up still eating fake meats made of soy or wheat gluten even if ethical "real" meat were available. Fake meats taste just fine and are much healthier to eat.
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#28 Old 04-12-2010, 10:01 AM
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I don't think lab meat will be shunned by nearly everyone, though I agree some groups will have objections. I think for most people the foremost questions will be how much does it cost, and how does it taste. And animal rights groups have already jumped on board: PETA has offered a million dollar prize for the first company to produce commercially viable in-vitro meat by 2012 (it's a long-shot that they'll have to pay up, but the point is that they are supporting the effort). For vegans, I guess it isn't so much "would you eat it" as "would you object to its production and consumption by others." Though I'm not vegan at this point, I think if I were I still would not object, and would be especially happy if the process matured into an environmental improvement over the live-animal-derived meat. The no-manure/no-methane aspect is exciting; likewise the less-antibiotic aspect. And I definitely would not be feeling bad for the experience of some insensate mass of muscle tissue being grown in a big tank.



One of the things Christopher Cox says he believes is that those oysters feel just about that little, that is, nothing at all, that they're practically just a mass of tissue. There's something about their not having a central nervous system that makes people confident in taking that leap. I've already stated my misgivings on that count, but maybe could be persuaded if I had a better grounding in biology. And like Cox, I'm confining my part of the discussion to farmed oysters, which comprise a good 95% of what is consumed. Farming oysters is beneficial to the area they're farmed in, no harming of reefs, and there has not been much trouble with those Vibrio microbes in oysters farmed in northern waters. Certainly not compared to trouble with the wild oysters caught in southeastern and Gulf waters.
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#29 Old 04-12-2010, 05:15 PM
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Oysters have a simple nervous system which to me implies they could well feel pain and thus it is unethical to eat them.. Plants don't have nervous systems - that is the difference. If it was proven beyond a doubt that oysters couldn't feel pain - then I think it would not be more unethical to eat oysters than plants. It still wouldn't be vegan though as oysters are animals and not plants.
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#30 Old 04-12-2010, 05:48 PM
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I doubt that a discussion of oysters and pain can be fruitful among a group of non-scientists. It's probably oversimplifying to say that it takes a central nervous system, nerves working in concert with a brain, for a creature to experience pain, distress, suffering, as we define those things. I don't think it's about proving beyond a doubt that they don't. It's more about agreeing on terms. Going all the way back to agreeing on exactly what we mean by pain, and the brain's role in enabling that function, and what kind of distress could be possible for a literally brainless creature to feel, and even what feeling means, if anything, for a bivalve.
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