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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I'm Ben and I'm new to Veggieboards. I have been a vegan for almost a year now, and already I know how to brush off the usual arguments against veganism. But my roommate (who I actually respect a lot) pointed me to a couple of online articles/blog posts that present intelligent critiques of political veganism. I am a vegan mostly for ethical reasons, but I like to think that my actions have some sort of political effect. I want to be making a difference in the world, not just feeling better conscience-wise.<br><br><br><b>The first article</b>is specifically on veganism and argues that all of our dietary choices combined don't even make a dent in the factory-farming meat industry. It's kinda disheartening and I'm not sure how to respond.<br><br><br><b>The other post</b> is from that same blog but is way longer, and only touches on veganism toward the end (you have to scroll down a lot), but makes some really mean criticisms about our lifestyle. I'm used to getting crap from conservative carnivores, but this guy seems to be a communist or something<br><br>
Am I missing something obvious here or are these actually intelligent criticisms?? How should I (or we) respond to something like this?
 

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I've never come across an intelligent criticism of the vegan principle of avoiding exploitation whenever possible. I don't think I ever will.
 

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What is it about veganism or vegitarian that threatens people to the point of actually caring enough to try and come up with these articles?<br><br>
seriously, even before I decided to go vegitarian, I cant recall giving anyone a hard time about their choice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yeah I know I hate how people can't just accept that it's a personal decision...even though I think it's wrong for anyone to consume animal products. But the thing that bothers me about these articles is that they seem to be saying that the ethical dimension is nice and all, but in the end we're not really helping animals or the environment. And I like to think of myself as a pretty compassionate and eco-conscious person
 

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Stop obsessing over VB, "Ross Wolfe", and get a life.<br><br>
This is, what, like 3rd time you're creating an account here. What's wrong with you? Don't you have any better use for your time?<br><br>
Is there no one else on the Internet you could force to read your precious writings? Can't you get a friend and make them read them?<br><br><br><br>
(I obsess over VB too and waste time, but that's different!)
 

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It's very clear. If you want people to bother to read your writings, be honest and courteous about it. Don't make up fake accounts and force yourself in like a third grade spammer.<br><br>
And remember, even if you yourself feel you've written the most thought-provoking thing to man, it may not strike someone else that way.
 

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Even if it doesn't hurt factory farms' revenue, it still saves animal's lives.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Sevenseas: I don't know how to convince you otherwise, but I'm not the author of the articles that are linked here. Check my IP address or something; I am who I say I am
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Ben Rosenblum</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2877411"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Sevenseas: I don't know how to convince you otherwise, but I'm not the author of the articles that are linked here. Check my IP address or something; I am who I say I am</div>
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Don't worry about it, we just have a small problem with banned users being reincarnated. It just happened, so it's fresh in our minds.
 

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On the first article:<br>
The author writes "the drive toward exploitation, war, and environmental destruction will always be essential." According to the author, there's no point in trying to change anything. He's just a complete pessimist with a puny immagination.<br>
Responses:<br><a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7AWnfFRc7g" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7AWnfFRc7g</a><br><a href="http://dalailamacenter.org/blog-post/robert-wright-evolution-compassion-talks" target="_blank">http://dalailamacenter.org/blog-post...mpassion-talks</a><br><a href="http://www.ted.com/talks/steven_pinker_on_the_myth_of_violence.html" target="_blank">http://www.ted.com/talks/steven_pink..._violence.html</a><br><br>
The other post:<br>
He's basically just name-calling. His only real point is that he thinks there's no substantial consequence of veganism ("They are reduced to mere niche markets within the greater totality of capitalism."). But all that stems from his WRONG assumptions about veganism as a boycott against capitalism, which it's not. He just doesn't understand real veganism. (I explain that <a href="http://www.vegansoapbox.com/there-is-no-market-solution/" target="_blank">here</a> and <a href="http://www.vegansoapbox.com/two-kinds-of-vegans/" target="_blank">here</a>).
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks, ElaineV, for the support. I don't like capitalism or big corporations much but the important thing for me is that animals don't suffer just for humans' pleasure. So maybe the author just got the focus wrong? Maybe it's okay to just be a "niche market" or whatever, just a more compassionate one<br><br>
But the thing that still gets me is from that first article saying the overall meat consumption has increased and that the supply and demand model of economics doesn't really work out, so that decreasing demand won't actually change the amount that is supplied. It ties my head in knots. Maybe this marxist theory is just full of crap
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Ben Rosenblum</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2877548"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
But the thing that still gets me is from that first article saying the overall meat consumption has increased and that the supply and demand model of economics doesn't really work out, so that decreasing demand won't actually change the amount that is supplied. It ties my head in knots. Maybe this marxist theory is just full of crap</div>
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Well it all comes down to you then. Do you follow your own conscience or go with the masses? If you woke up tomorrow in an alternate universe where everyone but you thought it was acceptable and enjoyable to have sexual intercourse with three year old children, and you could do nothing to change them, would you just give in and start raping kids too?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>SomebodyElse</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2877552"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Well it all comes down to you then. Do you follow your own conscience or go with the masses? If you woke up tomorrow in an alternate universe where everyone but you thought it was acceptable and enjoyable to have sexual intercourse with three year old children, and you could do nothing to change them, would you just give in and start raping kids too?</div>
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Of course not....but that's the whole thing. I would ethically make the choice to not have sex with three-year-olds just like I ethically make the choice not to eat anything with animal products. But that means everything just remains on the ethical level, and doesn't have any political or social impact. And that really bothers me.<br><br>
I'm not about to stop being vegan just because it might make no difference whether i am or not....but I really wanna believe it makes a difference. And I think it has to. It's just that these articles make some strong points that I don't have an answer for because I don't know really how to respond. And if anyone can help me out with this (like Elaine V did) that would be really awesome
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block"><a href="http://www.nonhumanslavery.com/" target="_blank">some pro-vegan abolitionist websites</a> promote <a href="http://www.nonhumanslavery.com/veganism-a-truly-revolutionary-concept" target="_blank">the ridiculous notion that veganism is somehow more “revolutionary” than political Marxism</a></div>
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Did we step on someone's wittle toes? Awwwwwwwwwwww ...<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">But the lesser-known practitioners of lifestyle politics are hardly less smug, sanctimonious, and self-satisfied</div>
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Apparently so, and instead of 'ouch' the author goes with 'poseur' (albeit thesaurusically enhanced). All I can retort with is "I lost my thesaurus, so I'll just call you a poopy-head!"<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">decreasing demand won't actually change the amount that is supplied</div>
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Ask 100 vegans if 'decreasing demand' is a PRIMARY motivator of their veganism rather than a desired effect and you'll get ... I dunno ... 3 or 4 yes answers. Only a handful anyway. Ask if they'd be vegan even if it would never have an effect on demand? Most probably would.<br><br>
I submit the following evidence in objection to the "decreased demand not leading to decreased production" - VHS tapes and Kodachrome film to pick two products that recently achieved ZERO production.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Ben Rosenblum</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2877562"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
but I really wanna believe it makes a difference.</div>
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Why do you want to believe? Why not just figure it out or make an elaborate justification?<br><br>
If you want to actually determine something, then relying on other people's claims isn't going to help much. First off, I wouldn't call anyone's claims "Intelligent Criticisms" second, start with your response (as you'd respond) to both articles. In other words, write a response (assuming that won't mean you'll be responding to yourself <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/wink3.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=";)">).<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Ben Rosenblum</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2877548"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
But the thing that still gets me is from that first article saying the overall meat consumption has increased and that the supply and demand model of economics doesn't really work out, so that decreasing demand won't actually change the amount that is supplied. It ties my head in knots. Maybe this marxist theory is just full of crap</div>
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So, meat consumption has increased. What do you take from that? That veg*ism does nothing? Vegetarianism is only one aspect to a very complex situation. Saying that veganism does nothing simply because worldwide meat consumption has increased is cherry picking data.<br><br>
Besides, if you don't think just being vegan makes a difference or that supply and demand aren't at least somehow related/correlated, then become an activist and encourage others. If 1% of the population is vegan, will that change meat consumption? What about 10%, 20%, 50%... Are you saying that this person claims that meat consumption will still rise?
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Ben Rosenblum</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2877562"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Of course not....but that's the whole thing. I would ethically make the choice to not have sex with three-year-olds just like I ethically make the choice not to eat anything with animal products. But that means everything just remains on the ethical level, and doesn't have any political or social impact. And that really bothers me.<br><br>
I'm not about to stop being vegan just because it might make no difference whether i am or not....but I really wanna believe it makes a difference. And I think it has to. It's just that these articles make some strong points that I don't have an answer for because I don't know really how to respond. And if anyone can help me out with this (like Elaine V did) that would be really awesome</div>
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You've got to get to a point where you begin to recognize which arguments are worth answering and which are not. As I have said, I have yet to see a truly intelligent, rational, and objective criticism of veganism. All the arguments I've seen to date are based on justifying the emotional attachment people have to their carnist ways. There's plenty of nit-picking and disagreement concerning the best ways to put veganism into practice, and the best ways to advocate it to others, but there really is no valid argument against the basic vegan ethic.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Ross Wolfe</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2877411"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Sevenseas: I don't know how to convince you otherwise, but I'm not the author of the articles that are linked here. Check my IP address or something; I am who I say I am</div>
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1. I can't check your IP. 2. Proxy servers.<br><br>
The thing is, the fact that you have to resort to spamming your political views is sufficient for me to form an opinion on their quality already beforehand. They're written by Ross Wolfe, a spammer, and apparently there's not enough interest in them, so the writer has to spam them. That's not too good.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Sevenseas</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2877712"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
1. I can't check your IP. 2. Proxy servers.<br><br>
The thing is, the fact that you have to resort to spamming your political views is sufficient for me to form an opinion on their quality already beforehand. They're written by Ross Wolfe, a spammer, and apparently there's not enough interest in them, so the writer has to spam them. That's not too good.</div>
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Maybe the OP is merely a hapless pawn of one of Ross Wolfe's minions, in the person of this highly respectable room mate?
 
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