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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I ask because I always see vegans on the defensive and saying stuff to omnis like "I don't believe that abstaining from animal products makes me morally superior to you". It's not said in the context of acknowledging that there are other factors that count to who is living a more moral lifestyle, in which case it is perfectly understandable. It's said ceteris paribus, that being vegan and eating meat are both the same on the moral scale. Now one lifestyle obviously contributes far far less to animal suffering and exploitation so why is there a constant need on the part of some vegans to appease omnis by acting like eating meat and not eating animal products are both morally neutral choices? Have you guys encountered this? Do you think that not eating meat/by-products makes you more moral than someone who does, ceteris paribus?
 

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Maybe it's not a constant need to appease omnis. Maybe they really believe that.

Everyone in the whole world does good things and bad things, and it's up for debate whether anyone is keeping score. Regardless, if someone is, it isn't me. All I can do is try to live my life the best I can - that's all anyone can do. Omnivores don't walk around thinking "Oh I'm so evil, I murder animals." They don't think they're doing anything wrong. By the same token, there's probably abhorrent things that I do without even realizing it. Discounting the Stalin's and Mother Teresas of the world, most of us fall squarely in the middle I bet.
 

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Perhaps it's means to deflect the outrage that rises up in the minds of omnivores. Nobody wants to be the recipient of hatred, which is where their outrage comes from (as they see us hating them), and we(the vegans) don't want to be hated for being 'kind'. The positive thing that might arise from those efforts to deflect might be that the omnivore could remain a little more open to thinking about what we are saying instead of just shutting down.

Personally, I am beginning to think that for most vegans, the issue of not intentionally causing harm to animals is one part of their being, but I've also seen the scale of violence tipped against them as they resort to somewhat abusive verbal attacks against others and not necessarily in vegan/omnivore discussions. Not real often mind you because I think for the most part, we are pretty consistent in extending compassion to one and all.
 

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I think not consuming animal products (esp. from factory farms) is a morally superior choice to eating them. I don't think of myself as morally superior or inferior to anyone. "Am I morally superior to person X?" is just not something I think about (nor is it something I think is valuable to think about).

The first obvious point, you brought up yourself. That is, that that is simply one choice out of many. The vegan may make lots of other immoral choices and the omnivore may make lots of other saintly choices.

Another point is that when someone disagrees with me on morality I don't think "oh, so my morals are superior to yours". I think "so we disagree". Disagreeing with someone might lead to trying to convince them otherwise, acting to forcefully prevent them from carrying out what they consider moral, or simply agreeing to disagree.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dieselsmom View Post

Perhaps it's means to deflect the outrage that rises up in the minds of omnivores. Nobody wants to be the recipient of hatred, which is where their outrage comes from (as they see us hating them), and we(the vegans) don't want to be hated for being 'kind'. The positive thing that might arise from those efforts to deflect might be that the omnivore could remain a little more open to thinking about what we are saying instead of just shutting down.
This is also a good point on the practical side of things. Many omnis tend to be suspicious that vegans think they are better than them and that leads to a lot of the resentment and hostility that vegans face. I have no problem "appeasing" them, because I think I have a lot of flaws and legitimately don't feel superior to anyone, but I usually try to throw in something like "you should check out factoryfarming.com if you want to learn about where vegans are coming from".
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by cornsail View Post

I think not consuming animal products (esp. from factory farms) is a morally superior choice to eating them. I don't think of myself as morally superior or inferior to anyone. "Am I morally superior to person X?" is just not something I think about (nor is it something I think is valuable to think about).

The first obvious point, you brought up yourself. That is, that that is simply one choice out of many. The vegan may make lots of other immoral choices and the omnivore may make lots of other saintly choices.

Another point is that when someone disagrees with me on morality I don't think "oh, so my morals are superior to yours". I think "so we disagree". Disagreeing with someone might lead to trying to convince them otherwise, acting to forcefully prevent them from carrying out what they consider moral, or simply agreeing to disagree.
Trying to convince them otherwise or acting to forcefully prevent are both indicative of a mindset that your morals are superior, even if you aren't necessarily thinking it.

I agree with you regarding the not thinking about moral superiority. It's something I never actively think about in conversations about veganism but I ask the question because I am curious as to whether people see this issue as an intrinsically moral one or as a neutral issue where there are just differing opinions.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cornsail View Post

I think not consuming animal products (esp. from factory farms) is a morally superior choice to eating them. I don't think of myself as morally superior or inferior to anyone. "Am I morally superior to person X?" is just not something I think about (nor is it something I think is valuable to think about).

The first obvious point, you brought up yourself. That is, that that is simply one choice out of many. The vegan may make lots of other immoral choices and the omnivore may make lots of other saintly choices.
I totally agree with this. In my oppinion, being vegan is morally superior to not being vegan. But that's such a narrow field or morality, there's so much more to just the moral choices a person makes than animal rights, let alone all the other bits of a person besides. People who focus on vegan making them "superior" are very narrow minded to think that that's all that morality entails. Choice are morally superior, but people aren't.

Also, I don't think a lot of vegans and vegetarians claim that they're not superior to others to appease them. The word superior brings about such negative connotations they may want to avoid it, but moreover a lot of vegetarians and vegans feel veganism/vegetarianism is a "personal choice" and they don't mind if other people choose to eat meat. I deffinatly don't feel this way, but most vegetarians I know do.
 

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Originally Posted by Identity_thief View Post

Choice are morally superior, but people aren't.
I completely agree. That's the key in this debate on superior morality. The choice of not eating meat, which is morally superior, shouldn't be mistaken for the person making this choice, as we all have our flaws, and even omnis have qualities (from what I've heard
).
 

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I do not believe in a universal morality. That is, I do not believe there are any moral imperatives inherently a part of the laws of the universe or that are self-apparent. I believe morality, including veganism, is a human construct that has no objective value outside the minds of our selves and our communities. Therefore, I do not judge others against the measure of my own morality.

Morality is a personal choice and self-enforced behavior one formulates to be more in line with one's own vision of the perfect or better self. What sense does it make for me to judge another person by moral imperatives that I have devised for myself? If my morality is a path I've created to perfect myself or better myself, what value does that have in my appreciation of other people?
 

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Do I think being vegan makes me morally superior? Yes. I'd even go so far as to say I'm right, omnis are wrong. When talking to omnis and explaining my reasons for being vegan (animal welfare) I get mainly these responses. 'I don't care about animals, they were put here for us to eat, who cares if they suffer, meat is tasty and I'll never give it up.' To me that is a completely defensive reaction, not a reasoned one. Sometimes I find myself HOPING that most people are omnis through ignorance, because the alternative is that they know what animals go through in factory farms and they just dont care.
 

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I believe that threads fuel an us vs them vibe.

Also, I was taught by a Civics teacher that morality is to do with a person's belief system, whereas ethics are to do with the greater good. So I'd say ethically, it's better, morally, it depends on a lot of things, both for the vegan and omnivore
 

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I don't really like threads like this, especially in the support forums. I think they're divisive and not really productive.

If we ask any question of the nature "Are Xs morally superior to Ys?" and replace the 'X' and the 'Y' with two related (ideologically) classifications of groups of people, we'll have plenty of people make the claim of 'Yes' or 'No' regardless of whether they are an X or a Y or neither.

Further, which group are you asking? If you're asking the X's that would makes sense in an X support forum, but then you could just ask, "Are you morally superior to Ys?" (or something to that effect), however if you're asking anyone, it probably belongs in a different venue (like the Compost Heap, assuming we can keep it friendly and not petty).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Identity_thief View Post

People who focus on vegan making them "superior" are very narrow minded to think that that's all that morality entails. Choice are morally superior, but people aren't.
Precisely, and with that I suggest to close the thread as I don't think there's much of value that can be added to the topic.
 

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Did I become vegan so I could think of myself as better than other people? No.

Do I think vegans are better than people who aren't? Yes. How can I not? Is a father who raises his kids with love a better person than one who beats them and rapes them? Yes. People who refrain from harming others are better than those who harm. I don't see how anyone can claim differently.

People who go vegan so that they can think of themselves as superior to everyone else exist in the minds of those people who aren't up to the challenge of living according to their principles, in my opinion. They exist in myth only.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by SomebodyElse View Post

Did I become vegan so I could think of myself as better than other people? No.

Do I think vegans are better than people who aren't? Yes. How can I not? Is a father who raises his kids with love a better person than one who beats them and rapes them? Yes. People who refrain from harming others are better than those who harm. I don't see how anyone can claim differently.
This analogy is nonsense and a gross caricature. To compare vegans to loving parents and omnivores to physically and sexually abusive ones is extremely ridiculous and egotistical.

For the analogy to even approach reality, if omnivores are sexually and physically abusive parents, then vegans are loving parents who vehemently disapprove of their own brothers' and sisters' physically and sexually abusing their children but don't do a whole lot to prevent it other than maybe hand out a pamphlet or post a video.

The moment we start attaching terms like "morally superior" to veganism is the moment the lifestyle ceases being about animals and their welfare but about the human's perception of himself and his own ego. And these types of vegans, in my opinion, do more harm to our cause than any omnivore ever could.
 

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Originally Posted by JoBravo View Post

This analogy is nonsense and a gross caricature. To compare vegans to loving parents and omnivores to physically and sexually abusive ones is extremely ridiculous and egotistical.

The moment we start attaching terms like "morally superior" to veganism is the moment the lifestyle ceases being about animals and their welfare but about the human's perception of himself and his own ego. And these types of vegans, in my opinion, do more harm to our cause than any omnivore ever could.
Word. This kind of crass analogy is thrown around this forum all the time. Omnivores may eat meat - but it doesn't necessarily mean they are sexist, and misogynists, who beat and abuse their children. Jaysis.
 

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Originally Posted by Dedalus View Post

Word. This kind of crass analogy is thrown around this forum all the time. Omnivores may eat meat - but it doesn't necessarily mean they are sexist, and misogynists, who beat and abuse their children. Jaysis.
It's typically done to compare one evil act to another. They're quite obviously not the exact same thing. They're both the same brand of evil, though. If you believe that SomebodyElse (or anyone making these analogies for that matter) is actually implying that omnis "are sexist, and misogynists, who beat and abuse their children," the problem is all yours.
 

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Originally Posted by Jinkies View Post

It's typically done to compare one evil act to another. They're quite obviously not the exact same thing. They're both the same brand of evil, though. If you believe that SomebodyElse (or anyone making these analogies for that matter) is actually implying that omnis "are sexist, and misogynists, who beat and abuse their children," the problem is all yours.
What I'm saying is - it would be a lot more effective to use a better analogy.
 
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