Moral Question - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 06-21-2008, 04:52 PM
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Deleted for the sake of my own sanity!
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#2 Old 06-21-2008, 04:56 PM
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It's never right to use manipulation and vulnerability, in my opinion, for any matter. But, I do daily educate people about a proper veg*n diet and try to persuade people to this lifestyle.
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#3 Old 06-21-2008, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by arcticlakegirl View Post

Quite recently I met this girl (in her late twenties) through my work who was a vegan. The circumstances through which I met her were not happy ones: her boyfriend had just died of malnutrition because of a strict diet that she (the girl) had nagged him into.

I'm sorry, but I just don't believe this at all.



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Originally Posted by arcticlakegirl View Post

I am aware that this first paragraph comes out like the usual ignorant, intolerant stuff you hear about vegans

Yes, it does.



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Originally Posted by arcticlakegirl View Post

is there a point where you should stop and think... is this the right thing to do for this person?

I'd rather have people stop and think is this the right thing to do for the animals who are being killed because they taste good and the stuff made from them is addictive. Death by malnutrition is caused by starvation, not veganism.

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#4 Old 06-21-2008, 05:34 PM
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This is a troll - don't feed it.



1. Died of malnutrition - uh huh

2. vegans = ignorant, intolerant - uh huh

3. back to happily munching burgers - uh huh

4. no thought for her dead boyfriend - uh huh

5. first post by troll - typical



Report this post, and hopefully we'll get it taken care of.
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#5 Old 06-21-2008, 05:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arcticlakegirl View Post

Quite recently I met this girl (in her late twenties) through my work who was a vegan. The circumstances through which I met her were not happy ones: her boyfriend had just died of malnutrition because of a strict diet that she (the girl) had nagged him into.



How does a full grown adult die from a vegan diet? There would be obvious symptoms that a person was malnourished before they died.
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#6 Old 06-21-2008, 05:40 PM
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Maybe you could link to the story, I'm sure there must have been one in the local paper.

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#7 Old 06-21-2008, 05:41 PM
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i'm trying to imagine a scenario where someone could and would manipulate another capable sane adult into starving themselves to death- one where at some point they wouldn't think 'oh, wait, i'm/they're really incredibly skinny and very weak. i/they can't get up and walk about, and am/are super cold, my/their hair is falling out, i/they feel/look like crap. at this rate i/they might die. maybe my/their diet is sucking somewhat, i should call a doctor'. and i'm really struggling with it.



these people would both have to be mentally ill. was this guy anorexic and his gf either anorexic too (who made some mysterious rapid and easy recovery) or a sado-masochist?



you'd expect to see newspaper coverage of this- his family would sue. social services would wig out, the police would be involved. please provide a link?



i'm not the manipulating type either. i don't think its helpful to make other capable adult peoples decisions for them, and i don't allow people to make mine for me.
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#8 Old 06-21-2008, 05:43 PM
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Now I feel silly for replying. I re-read the OP (I'll admit to skimming ) and yeah, I find it hard to believe.
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#9 Old 06-21-2008, 05:54 PM
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Not exactly a very believable trolling attempt. Please try again.

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#10 Old 06-21-2008, 05:54 PM
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Hi



First of all, I am not a troll. To be honest, I'm more than a little offended that you would assume so.





1) I am a nursing student, for the past few months I have been doing volunteer work at a medical centre shadowing a senior nurse there.



2) When I talk about vulnerability and manipulation allow me to be clear: the girl was one of those flighty oblivious people, the boy was mentally ill and devoted to her. (I would prefer it if this young man's death wasn't attributed to the fact he was mentally ill and it was in some way 'inevitable', it wasn't. He was vulnerable, that's all.)





To be perfectly honest with you, I don't particularly care whether you think my story is true or a big fat lie. I don't know you. The fact is, it is a true story. So all this posturing as if you know better ("doesn't happen" "isn't possible") is pointless and wastes my time.



I posted in good faith, honestly wanting to know what other vegans thought. I don't eat meat. I don't eat dairy. But I've never been one of those people who tries to 'convert' people. I just wanted to know whether anyone has considered this other side to it. That is all.
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#11 Old 06-21-2008, 05:57 PM
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That's a pretty unusual case! I'm pretty sure there was a story written up about it at the time. Link to the article please? We are still waiting...



And if you are offended at being called a troll then don't troll.

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#12 Old 06-21-2008, 06:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arcticlakegirl View Post

Quite recently I met this girl (in her late twenties) through my work who was a vegan. The circumstances through which I met her were not happy ones: her boyfriend had just died of malnutrition because of a strict diet that she (the girl) had nagged him into.



I am aware that this first paragraph comes out like the usual ignorant, intolerant stuff you hear about vegans but there is a point and I'm getting to it. Slowly.



Obviously, this girl's diet was not well planned and she is back to quite happily munching on beef burgers without a thought for him. But it got me thinking: Is there a moral question involved in doing that thing where you convince people to adopt vegetarianism/veganism?



I mean, while obviously, one person does not control the actions of another, when manipulation and vulnerability are involved (as they were in this case) is there a point where you should stop and think... is this the right thing to do for this person?



I'll play anyway, why not? It's an interesting hypothetical, better thought out that the "what if you were on a deserted island with a chicken?" one we get.



In all our actions, all of them, we should be thinking "Is this right for the other person? Does this impact negatively or positively on the welfare of other living beings?



What you asked is a moral question for EVERY action we take, not just for vegetarianism.

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#13 Old 06-21-2008, 06:06 PM
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I am not a troll. I do not have a link to some article about a thing that happened to me in real life. Why would I?! I'm sorry if I offended people.



To be honest with you (I say that enough but nobody listens) I never meant to imply that this girl was the 'average' vegan. I also never meant to imply that veganism is going to kill anybody off. So if that's what has offended you then I am sorry.



This girl was thoughtless and flighty. I didn't like her. All I meant by including the anecdote was to provide the background to my question.



I am sorry. If you would prefer it, then how about we all forget about the girl and the boy. Pretend it was never there and answer my question anyway:



Is it always a good idea to try and convert people to veganism/vegetarianism?



There. Less offensive?
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#14 Old 06-21-2008, 06:08 PM
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Why WOULDN'T it be okay to educate people about a healthier lifestyle for them and the animals? The end choice is their own.
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#15 Old 06-21-2008, 06:10 PM
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That's what I'm saying. What if it isn't (in some cases) healthier? (for them I mean, not the animals!)
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#16 Old 06-21-2008, 06:13 PM
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If it isn't healthier, its due to some other factor, not due to the nature of veganism.

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#17 Old 06-21-2008, 06:13 PM
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Such an odd case WOULD make the papers. Pics or lies, as the saying goes. I never thought you were talking about the "average vegan" but honey, seriously, we get so many trolls doing this question, and the chicken island question et al, that it's not funny. It's not offensive, just kind of annoying when people join a forum just to poke people with dumb hypotheticals. And that is a form of trolling.



2/ That is a completely different question from the one you asked in the OP.



No, I don't think "conversion" is the way to go. I dislike rabid vegangelists as much as I hate door-to-door bible thumpers.

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#18 Old 06-21-2008, 06:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arcticlakegirl View Post


Is it always a good idea to try and convert people to veganism/vegetarianism?





Yes, except when the vegan is flighty and thoughtless and the convert is mentally ill and devoted.

It is our choices that show what we truly are far more than our abilities. ~A. Dumbledore
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#19 Old 06-21-2008, 06:25 PM
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Official Apology #1:



I am sorry for causing offense or at the very least annoying people with my post. I did not make this post to annoy others and I am truly sorry that it has. I was not aware that similar stories had been posted in the past (perhaps I should have assumed they had), but I can only stress that my story is not a lie.



Perhaps without any sort of evidence I cannot expect to be believed. And as I'm typing this, I wonder whether people will take this as me being sarcastic and difficult when I cannot stress just how sincere I am.



I have found that the best thing to do in an argument (any argument) is to apologise and to apologise profusely (I don't know if I can spell that!!).



The truth of it is: my story was a true one. Not an urban legend, not a pointless hypothetical (on the subject of: I'm missing the point of this island/chicken scenario). I was perhaps, particularly blunt in putting it across. But that is, I suppose, because I can't think of a nice way of saying it.



Again. I apologise. And to people who have viewed my posts with the tiniest grain of understanding I say: thank you.
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#20 Old 06-21-2008, 06:30 PM
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Ok, troll or legitimate, this could be an interesting thread. My apologies if you are legit, seriously, you have no idea how many people come to ask questions like this only to vanish.



To answer an implied but not asked question, manipulating the mentally ill to their detriment is moral reprehensible. Again, that has nothing to do with veganism as such.

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#21 Old 06-21-2008, 06:37 PM
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Another downside of my having been unnecessarily agressive with my first post (i.e. horror story) is that it massively skewed the question.



What I had been thinking about is this: every time we show a video or tell a story or wax lyrical about how healthy something is can we be absolutely certain that we are doing the right thing?



I suppose the best way is not to be a "vegangelist" about it. Not applying the one standard to everyone and everything and pushing it.



I suppose, my question was never a moral one unless it was framed in the story I started off with. Just a common sense one.
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#22 Old 06-21-2008, 06:42 PM
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To answer an implied but not asked question, manipulating the mentally ill to their detriment is moral reprehensible. Again, that has nothing to do with veganism as such.

Yes, manipulating someone you know is weak and dependent to do ANYTHING is wrong. I can't speak for everyone, but I've got to say that vegans aren't any more likely to take advantage of people like this than anyone else would be, perhaps even less likely, as most vegans place a high value on compassion for all living beings. What you are talking about, arcticlakegirl, if it is true, didn't happen because the woman was vegan, it happened because she is disturbed.



Your story is questionable mostly because it takes a long time for anyone to die of malnutrition, and someone should have caught on to what was going on, unless this woman kept him locked in a closet the whole time, which would again be because she is disturbed.

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#23 Old 06-21-2008, 06:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arcticlakegirl View Post




What I had been thinking about is this: every time we show a video or tell a story or wax lyrical about how healthy something is can we be absolutely certain that we are doing the right thing?



If you were living in the USA prior to the Civil War, would you also object to people who wanted to tell stories about how you could still grow plenty of cotton and tobacco without the use of slave labor? What is irresponsible about wanting to tell people that they can be healthy and happy without killing and consuming animals?

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#24 Old 06-21-2008, 06:48 PM
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Not consuming animal products does not guarantee health. However, I don't believe a vegan diet would be the soul reason for a young man to die of malnutrition. He obviously wasn't eating enough food of any kind. Generally speaking, most of the extreme 'vegan' malnutrition cases are due to an extremely poor unbalanced diet that consists of only a few foods. Cosuming nothing but pork rinds and soda won't keep you healthy anymore than a diet of organic potato chips and apple juice. People just need to use common sense.
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#25 Old 06-21-2008, 06:50 PM
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Thank you for that last and very interesting post (I mean this for the post a few posts back, so I'm sorry if it's not intended for you).



Having taken several deep breaths and finally let go of the fact that I am being questioned from all sides, it's nice that I've been undermined with yet more doubt (Hint to user: this is sarcasm).



I feel we have opened and closed the question of the story and believability. I felt that we were finished with it. I was happy that we were finished with it and I was feeling rather sore about having made so many people feel bad.



But no... if you just want to keep piling it on, that's fine.



BTW, if anyone knows how I can delete my account (and yes, I heard that sigh of relief) I would be grateful for the information. I just hate to leave loose ends.





Just to say: I have been completely and utterly honest throughout my posting history here. I have never once lied or said anything to be intentionally cruel (perhaps this one post can count as the exception that proves the rule). People have chosen not to believe me and that is fine. People have chosen to insult me... maybe that's grating just a little.



But I just want to be clear: I am not a troll. I never lied. Just because nobody wanted to believe me it doesn't make the whole thing magically untrue. No matter how much you tell yourself it does.



Feel good about yourselves for isolating a new user and fellow vegan. I'm sure that that's the 'compassion' you pat yourselves on the back for, glowing through as usual!
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#26 Old 06-21-2008, 07:02 PM
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closing thread at request of OP
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