How do you deal with people who claim the animals are treated well? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 12-22-2013, 07:45 AM
 
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Hello! This is my first post on VB, so hopefully I am doing this correctly. I'm Morgan, 20 years old and vegan for a little over a year now. Recently I've become friends with some people who seem to be convinced that PETA lies about animal cruelty and that farms are nice sunshiny places where animals are actually happy. One guy is a farmer himself who keeps goats and rabbits, so the perspective of this group is not very pro-animal rights. For the most part I'm pretty quiet about my veganism, but I'm starting to get a little annoyed and wondering if I should say something or spend less time with these particular friends. What do you do when people say things like, "The cows need to be milked," or "Sheep need to be sheared,"?

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#2 Old 12-22-2013, 07:59 AM
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Some people believes cows need too be milked or it's painful. This isn't true, and cows would stop lactating if they were not milked and not perpetually pregnant. Some sheep I believe do need to be sheared but it is often done in a horribly.cruel bloody manner.

As for PETA, they are NOT a great organization, but they are not the only ones releasing fairy farm footage.

I would also lend that EVEN IF animals were treated well, they do not want to die. Even "happy farms" end up at the same slaughterers as factory farmed animals.

Check out the vegan outreach pamphlets, they have some great information you may find helpful.

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#3 Old 12-22-2013, 01:34 PM
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Livestock Slaughter 2012 Summary (page 8 and 15):
http://usda01.library.cornell.edu/usda/current/LiveSlauSu/LiveSlauSu-04-22-2013.pdf

Ask how so many animals can bred and slaughtered humanely, citing the above source if necessary. You might mention how animals of those populations would need to be artificially inseminated, and how all animals to be eaten are sent to slaughter, and ask how they would feel In those situations.

Mercy for Animals has many undercover investigations, besides PETA, that you may reference.
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#4 Old 12-22-2013, 02:06 PM
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As children we're brought up with really lovely stories about farm life. Playsets, toys, books. It's not even rationale that farms are that big a part of childrens upbringing. Now that I'm thinking about it, there aren't playsets of farmers and crops.

That kind of life really died out a couple generations ago. As much as we like to romantacize about the symbiotic relationship between farmers and their need to slaughter animals to keep their family from starving, it just doesn't hold true. If you go to a store for your food, you can be vegan.

If you kill without need, it's really wrong. People don't want to think about that, so they hold on to stories. 

When they see documentaries about abuse and disease and filth, they isolate them. They know it happens, but only a small amount. Not true.

 

It's a very sensitive subject. If you think of the guilt you felt when you made the decision to be vegan, think of how people feel when they don't want to be vegan.

Best thing I find is to show the truth about where food comes from and the options we have with as little emotion as possible.

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#5 Old 12-23-2013, 06:10 AM
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Ask them do they really believe that livestock farmers love and care for their animals individually, feeding and grooming them and nursing them when they are sick or injured for many years before lovingly walking them to the the slaughterhouse where a comfy room awaits with a vet who gently administers the kill shot and the animal willingly gives it's life because it doesn't want us to go hungry in a world full of food. How would that be profitable? Farmers want money, and they make it through mass production of flesh and milk. I see sheep in the fields around my area limping, cows with tumours on their bodies... 98% of farmers don't give a **** about welfare beyond what they have to do by law, and even then who is checking on them? If a sheep can make it another three weeks until its time for loading up for slaughter, they won't call a vet because that costs money. I have known a farmer that shoots his sheep before treating them because it costs less. The sheep then can't go for sale as meat because it was not processed through the system, so its rots in the corner of the field (or is thrown in the river. I've fished them out downstream as part of my job before). 

 

When someone says a cow needs to be milked, I say yes, by its calf. The milk is for them. So many people believe that cows constantly produce milk. They don't make the connection that they are mammals, same as us, and I don't know about the rest of the women in this world but I am certainly not lactating 24/7/365.

 

Btw, welcome Morgan :)

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#6 Old 12-23-2013, 08:09 AM
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Show them information about factory farms from highly mainstream sources like the New York Times. Bypass Peta entirely with omnis.

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#7 Old 12-23-2013, 01:47 PM
 
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Unfortunately many dairy cow and goat breeds do produce far more milk than needed when pregnant or calving/kidding. IMO, if you are going "save"  these animals, spaying is the most ethical approach.

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#8 Old 12-23-2013, 01:57 PM
 
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What do you do when people say things like, "The cows need to be milked," or "Sheep need to be sheared,"?

 

I point out that I don't need dairy or wool and that production of both is economically inefficient and associated with environmental degradation/habitat destruction and/or animal cruelty.

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#9 Old 12-26-2013, 07:05 AM
 
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You might mention how animals of those populations would need to be artificially inseminated, and how all animals to be eaten are sent to slaughter, and ask how they would feel In those situations.

 
Originally Posted by River View Post

I would also lend that EVEN IF animals were treated well, they do not want to die. Even "happy farms" end up at the same slaughterers as factory farmed animals.

 

 

And slaughter happens not just to the ones bred to be eaten, but to the great majority of male chicks and dairy calves who are born, and eventually to most of their sisters when they stop producing eggs/milk.

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#10 Old 12-26-2013, 07:27 PM
 
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I'm an animal lover and I really hate hearing and seeing how they kill livestocks like pigs, cows, chicken....these animals all deserve to live and die the natural way, but not to the extent of torturing some of them sad.gif

I am not to judge them but if they choose to eat what's right, then all of us may live longer in this beautiful planet that God gave us.

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#11 Old 12-26-2013, 08:12 PM
 
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To be honest, it's hard to be legitimately angry at someone who doesn't know better.

 

You can be angry with or disagree with their views, but ultimately: they didn't look at all the facts about farming and decide that the animals are happy, they think that way because they've been brought up that way - and all the authority figures in their lives have been affirming and reaffirming these views because, you guessed it, they were brought up that way too!

 

It really is a shame that people can't take a minute to look around and realise that what's going on with the meat and dairy industry nowadays is horrific, cruel and unnecessary - As McCartney said - "if slaughterhouse had glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian" (or something to that effect!)

 

Ultimately, bringing them up on such matters will probably alienate you from them - if they want to learn about this stuff, they will come to you :) But many meat eaters will get defensive VERY quickly if you question their views, and they will assume you're just being the stereotypical veg*n snob!

 

Just be supportive where you can, and understanding where you can't. Ultimately it's their decision and some minds can't be changed, but friends are friends.

 

Hope it all works out! :))

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#12 Old 12-27-2013, 02:54 AM
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I LIVE with someone who thinks this way.  My husband and I have been together for fifteen years, and I have been vegan for several of them.  He was adamantly against it at first, but has gradually warmed up to it because he has seen how successful it has been for me.  He agrees with me about the wrongness of hunting wolves (now allowed in my state) and the horrors of factory farming (but he will still buy factory farm eggs without batting an eye because it is so removed from reality when sold in a nice package at a grocery store), but he grew up in a rural area, his grandparents were farmers and hunters, and he worked on a dairy farm himself milking cows.  He is literally brainwashed by a belief system that is very strong.  He still thinks farm animals were put here for us to use for our needs and that God commanded man to eat animals.  His parents are even worse.  He knows that meat and dairy are very unhealthy on many levels (hormones, cholesterol, saturated fat, antibiotics, salmonella etc) and his own cholesterol was been high and his doctor advised him to cut down on dairy.  But he can't get past the culture of the small farm and how farm animals are happy there and that we all have to die and would be killed in the wild bla bla.  He can't make the connection when it comes to issues like the killing of wolves by farmers because they are a threat to their livestock (which is totally unnecessary for our existence and humans have been around far longer than farming of animals has).  The fact that "livestock" are literally helpless without human intervention says something in and of itself.  We bred them over thousands of years and shaped them to do what we want them to for our benefit.  The breeding of animals for food is a highly inefficient way to feed the world and can not be humane no matter how you look at it.  Slaughtering an animal is never humane no matter how it is done.  Even on small farms, animals are slaughtered far before they reach their natural age of death.  Unlike wild animals, farm animals do not have a chance to live longer or freely.  They can't raise their young in a natural way, can't practice their natural mating instincts and selective mating (humans do that for them), can't eat food that is natural for them, can't learn to defend themselves against predators (they have to depend on humans to do that).  They are overfed or given drugs to grow bigger or produce more milk per animal and so on because it is more cost efficient for the farmer and the small farmer otherwise can't compete with the big factory farms.  On organic farms, animals are refused some medications because it would take away their organic status.  They are fed more naturally, but they are still no more protected from abuse and slaughter than on factory farms.

 

I sometimes visit rural areas and see the cows grazing in the fields and the calves playing together and chickens running around, but I know that those animals have been overbred and manipulated to do things for humans.  I know those cows are probably artificially inseminated and manipulated to produce milk, whether they "want" to be milked or not.  The chickens are laying more eggs than they would naturally, the calves are going to be separated from their mothers, even if not as soon as they are on factory farms.  Animals are tagged, tails are docked, beaks are trimmed, hair is cut.  The animals don't have a say over their own bodies.

 

And my husband thinks animals don't have the same rights to their bodies as humans.  He believes they are "lesser" creatures and his religion teaches this.  His parents fully believe this.  He thinks without human intervention most animals would not survive.  Even though animals have been around for longer than humans.  I have given him Vegan Outreach materials and all sorts of other information, shown him videos, had talks, had him read books and magazines.  He isn't going to change his mind.  It is very frustrating, but I have learned to put my efforts and energy elsewhere where it can be more effective.  At least he eats 75% vegan at home and won't prepare meat if I am home and respects that I do not want his animal products cooked on my dishes.  We have separate space for our food.  But he still mocks me for not wanting to wear wool and so on.  Hard to live with and some days I think of leaving.  He is the only person in my circle of friends that is not very encouraging about my leafleting efforts and other vegan activities I do.  I do feel for you.  I love him in other ways but it's hard to deal with differences such as this daily, especially when being mocked and made to feel like some weird extremist.  

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#13 Old 12-27-2013, 03:06 AM
 
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He still thinks farm animals were put here for us to use for our needs and that God commanded man to eat animals.

 

'Oh, you believe god put animals on this earth for humans to eat? McDonalds must be a very spiritual place for you." :D

 

On a more serious note...

Thanks for sharing that nature! It really is incredible that two people with such different views can live together let alone marry!

 

I find it very hard to find meat eaters sexually attractive now... I don't know what it is... i can smell it on their skin! :lol: 


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#14 Old 12-27-2013, 10:32 AM
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'Oh, you believe god put animals on this earth for humans to eat? McDonalds must be a very spiritual place for you." :D

 

On a more serious note...

Thanks for sharing that nature! It really is incredible that two people with such different views can live together let alone marry!

 

I find it very hard to find meat eaters sexually attractive now... I don't know what it is... i can smell it on their skin! :lol: 


Thanks!  Actually, things aren't going the best with us right now and I have thought about leaving him on more than one occasion (for more reasons than just our differences about animals but it's a biggy).  I don't want to get too personal online though.  Love the Mcdonalds line!  :)


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#15 Old 12-27-2013, 12:28 PM
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Hello! This is my first post on VB, so hopefully I am doing this correctly. I'm Morgan, 20 years old and vegan for a little over a year now. Recently I've become friends with some people who seem to be convinced that PETA lies about animal cruelty and that farms are nice sunshiny places where animals are actually happy. One guy is a farmer himself who keeps goats and rabbits, so the perspective of this group is not very pro-animal rights. For the most part I'm pretty quiet about my veganism, but I'm starting to get a little annoyed and wondering if I should say something or spend less time with these particular friends. What do you do when people say things like, "The cows need to be milked," or "Sheep need to be sheared,"?

Welcome, Morgan!

 

I confess that I don't know that much about wool. It might be theoretically possible to obtain milk without treating cows badly... but as things are, cows are butchered when they only reach middleage (if not before) because their milk production is falling off. (No retirement homes for cows.) Most of the males are butchered at an even earlier age because bulls are a nuisance (if not actually dangerous) to have on the farm, and most places just use artificial insemination.

 

Basically, the problem is that most animals are seen only as something that produces a product for human use. Even if the humans caring for those animals aren't deliberately sadistic to the animals, I have no reason to think the animals will have a pleasant life. And there's that slaughter thing that's waiting for them once they've outlived their usefulness to us.

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#16 Old 12-27-2013, 07:35 PM
 
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All it comes down to IMO is that animals simply are not ours to use. I don't care if they were pampered day and night, they are not here for us to use and exploit. 

 

Here are some posts I found helpful for addressing wool and dairy specifically:

 

wool 1, wool 2 

 

dairy 1, dairy 2

 

Also, if you don't have time to cover everything completely about dairy, sometimes it's effective to help them make the realization that dairy=veal. For some reason they don't like the idea of killing and eating babies..huh..

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#17 Old 12-29-2013, 03:31 PM
 
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All it comes down to IMO is that animals simply are not ours to use. I don't care if they were pampered day and night, they are not here for us to use and exploit. 

 

Here are some posts I found helpful for addressing wool and dairy specifically:

 

wool 1, wool 2 

 

dairy 1, dairy 2

 

Also, if you don't have time to cover everything completely about dairy, sometimes it's effective to help them make the realization that dairy=veal. For some reason they don't like the idea of killing and eating babies..huh..

 

If animals are not ours to use (and i mostly agree) then what are we supposed to do with the billions of genetic freaks we have bred for our own use (and i include pets in this category).

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#18 Old 12-29-2013, 04:22 PM
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If animals are not ours to use (and i mostly agree) then what are we supposed to do with the billions of genetic freaks we have bred for our own use (and i include pets in this category).

We neuter/spay them and let them live out their lives as best as we are able to provide for them.
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#19 Old 12-29-2013, 04:30 PM
 
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If animals are not ours to use (and i mostly agree) then what are we supposed to do with the billions of genetic freaks we have bred for our own use (and i include pets in this category).

We neuter/spay them and let them live out their lives as best as we are able to provide for them.

I'd have to agree. Ideally, not breed any more and just let the ones that we have live out the rest of their natural lives in peace. 

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#20 Old 12-30-2013, 10:35 AM
 
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We neuter/spay them and let them live out their lives as best as we are able to provide for them.

I agree in theory but I'm not so sure it's ethical to use limited resources to care for domesticated animals when so many animals living in native habitats are threatened with extinction.

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#21 Old 12-30-2013, 09:11 PM
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I agree in theory but I'm not so sure it's ethical to use limited resources to care for domesticated animals when so many animals living in native habitats are threatened with extinction.

I agree which is why I said as best as we are able. This is a hypothetical futuristic situation. I do not know what resources would be available at this point but being entirely realistic it is very possible we would need to euthanize many animals. Euthanasia is better than slaughter, and this nightmare would be over at the end of the generation. All animals must die at some point, and nature does not allow most animals to live out their full lifespan anyway. It would not be the worst thing if a task force of compassionate, well trained individuals set out to kill the animals we could not feasibly handle in the quickest, most humane way possible. Not in rushed, underfunded botch jobs like what unfortunately occurs at many shelters. Many of the factory farm animals might be so sick that euthanasia is the best option for them anyway. However, I think it's more likely that by the time we get to this point there would be few farm animals left because people would have gradually become vegan and not done so overnight. At this point PETA and HSUS and other animal rights activist groups could throw most of their money into the humane life treatment of these animals as they would no longer need to campaign or send people undercover to fight against animal slaughter. I would adopt a couple cows to live out their days at my house, and I'm sure other individuals would take in farm animals as well.

The allocation of resources is a sticky situation. I don't have the answer. I do know that we are responsible for the abominations we have created. I feel that humanity owes more responsibility to the creatures we have made and enslaved than to wild ones. In a perfect world we could help everyone but it isn't perfect and extinction is a part of the cycle of things.
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#22 Old 12-30-2013, 10:41 PM
 
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I agree which is why I said as best as we are able. This is a hypothetical futuristic situation. I do not know what resources would be available at this point but being entirely realistic it is very possible we would need to euthanize many animals. Euthanasia is better than slaughter, and this nightmare would be over at the end of the generation. All animals must die at some point, and nature does not allow most animals to live out their full lifespan anyway. It would not be the worst thing if a task force of compassionate, well trained individuals set out to kill the animals we could not feasibly handle in the quickest, most humane way possible. Not in rushed, underfunded botch jobs like what unfortunately occurs at many shelters. Many of the factory farm animals might be so sick that euthanasia is the best option for them anyway. However, I think it's more likely that by the time we get to this point there would be few farm animals left because people would have gradually become vegan and not done so overnight. At this point PETA and HSUS and other animal rights activist groups could throw most of their money into the humane life treatment of these animals as they would no longer need to campaign or send people undercover to fight against animal slaughter. I would adopt a couple cows to live out their days at my house, and I'm sure other individuals would take in farm animals as well.

The allocation of resources is a sticky situation. I don't have the answer. I do know that we are responsible for the abominations we have created. I feel that humanity owes more responsibility to the creatures we have made and enslaved than to wild ones. In a perfect world we could help everyone but it isn't perfect and extinction is a part of the cycle of things.

 

natty, thanks for the serious response but i have to strongly disagree that the current extinction event is part of the cycle of things. i view anthropogenic climate change and the ongoing pandemic of habitat degradation to be the "animal" equivalent of the holocaust. this is not a force of nature...this is an intentional event.

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#23 Old 12-31-2013, 03:57 AM
 
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I agree in theory but I'm not so sure it's ethical to use limited resources to care for domesticated animals when so many animals living in native habitats are threatened with extinction.

 

They're doomed to a miserable existence and usually a miserable death whether they're going extinct or not. In fact mass extermination of all species, including us, would be the ethical thing to do. It's selfish and speciesist to keep life on this planet around just because it's pretty for us to look at, when there's so much suffering of creatures that have no choice inherent to its continuation, and who certainly don't suffer through worrying that their species might go instinct, as that's a source of worry unique to (some) humans.

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#24 Old 12-31-2013, 11:38 AM
 
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They're doomed to a miserable existence and usually a miserable death whether they're going extinct or not. In fact mass extermination of all species, including us, would be the ethical thing to do.

 

:beatnik:i think it's time for you to take off the black beret and put down sartre's nausea.

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#25 Old 12-31-2013, 06:49 PM
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Naturebound, you can't force other people into your belief system. They either get it or they don't. You are going to have to face the fact that you are married to an omni. Were you omni when you got together?
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#26 Old 12-31-2013, 09:28 PM
 
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:beatnik:i think it's time for you to take off the black beret and put down sartre's nausea.

 

I'm amused that even here, a forum full of anti-speciesist sentiments, any positions of mine could still seem so radical they're assumed to be insincere.

No, really. If I had a button to destroy the multiverse instantly (but not any smaller subset of it, like Earth, because then the cycle would simply start all over again with new organisms), I'd push it with very little hesitation, as I've already given the problem thought. Although there is a negative gut feeling caused by associations with fictional super villains with nefarious motives for mass destruction, I can't morally justify any other decision.

 

Species conservation sacrifices the interests of individuals for the perpetuation of abstractions, such as species or ecosystems, which can have no interests but which we believe serve our own. It often seems to be a case of the Pathetic Fallacy: people's own joy and wonder at the thought of these abstractions - one of the common self-interests - causes them to feel that the abstractions' existence is inherently good, and good for the individuals they comprise.

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#27 Old 01-01-2014, 02:01 AM
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Time to listen to listen to a little Leonard Cohen methinks.
 
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#28 Old 01-01-2014, 03:05 AM
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Naturebound, you can't force other people into your belief system. They either get it or they don't. You are going to have to face the fact that you are married to an omni. Were you omni when you got together?

Yes, I was an omni when we got together.  I have long given up hope that he is going to go vegan, and have adapted to accommodating our differences (preparing meals but leaving room for him to add his stuff for instance).  I just don't appreciate him mocking and dismissing my beliefs and why I do things the way I do, day after day.  And trying to control who I talk to about my veganism.  He won't let me talk about it at church or with friends we share, though one of his friends defended me once and wanted to know more lol.


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#29 Old 01-01-2014, 06:42 AM
 
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Time to listen to listen to a little Leonard Cohen methinks.

 

"Your argument is unsound because you don't genuinely believe it" is an example of the argumentum ad hominem fallacy. Even if the claim about the person putting forward the argument were true, it would be irrelevant to the soundness of the argument.

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#30 Old 01-02-2014, 10:45 AM
 
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Originally Posted by nerdywordy View Post
 

 

I'm amused that even here, a forum full of anti-speciesist sentiments, any positions of mine could still seem so radical they're assumed to be insincere.

 

It often seems to be a case of the Pathetic Fallacy: people's own joy and wonder at the thought of these abstractions - one of the common self-interests - causes them to feel that the abstractions' existence is inherently good, and good for the individuals they comprise.

 

I think you might find it difficult to argue for mass extinction without making a few abstractions of your own. I'm wary of anthropomorphic do goodery but, for better or worse, we homo sapiens have the same drive to live (and consume) that other animals have...

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