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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Do you think vegetarianism is a <i>bourgeois</i> phenomenom ?<br><br><br><br>
Would we really be choosing this <i>philosophy of life</i> if we did not live in societies where food is readily available wherever one goes ?<br><br><br><br>
Omitting the religious bias/influence in third world countries, how many people living in poor countries choose this <i>philosophy of life</i> ?
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>zatopek</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Do you think vegetarianism is a <i>bourgeois</i> phenomenom ?<br><br><br><br>
Would we really be choosing this <i>philosophy of life</i> if we did not live in societies where food is readily available wherever one goes ?<br><br><br><br>
Omitting the religious bias/influence in third world countries, how many people living in poor countries choose this <i>philosophy of life</i> ?</div>
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I don't really have specific answers to your questions. But I think a lot less people would be veg if we didn't have the luxury of choosing so easily, definitely. I also think that it doesn't matter. 'Having it too easy' is not a reason not to do something. We do the best we can with what we are given. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That's an interesting question.<br><br><br><br>
Living in a bourgeois society certainly facilitates being a veg. That said, there are some minor sacrifices even those living in such a society must make to be a veg.<br><br><br><br>
I'd like to see data on vegetarian numbers in non-middle class societies. I'd wager that it's a very small percentage of the population but I'd like to believe there are people of conscience concerning animals spread through all societies.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>zatopek</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Do you think vegetarianism is a <i>bourgeois</i> phenomenom ?</div>
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No, but I've heard similar statements, people calling veg*nism a "luxury lifestyle" for example. Personally, I consider it a bigger "luxury" or "bourgeois" way when people choose a diet/lifestyle high in meat and other animal-derived foods/products (esp. when you consider the price "others" like nature/animals pay for it), although so many veg*n options are available to them.<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>zatopek</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Would we really be choosing this <i>philosophy of life</i> if we did not live in societies where food is readily available wherever one goes ?</div>
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As someone who lives in a country where food for all dietary styles is available and affordable, I would not really know, and I think the "what if" does not matter much to me, so I can only speculate on that...<br><br>
If I lived in a poor country and was in a situation where getting enough food at all was a main concern, I actually might not care much about what food that was. Depending on what were my other staple/available foods, I might actually (nutrient-wise) need to have a certain amount of meat or dairy whenever I could get/afford it. I might even consider meat/dairy a special treat, who knows.<br><br>
However, I do live in a country where I have all dietary options, and I chose the one that I think is the best wrt the environment, animals, and health.<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>zatopek</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Omitting the religious bias/influence in third world countries, how many people living in poor countries choose this <i>philosophy of life</i> ?</div>
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No idea how many would choose it as a philosophy. Many people in poorer countries though are actually living on a largely vegetarian diet (involuntarily, for economical reasons), just like even average-income people in many European countries (not sure about the US) used to, until only a few decades ago, when meat was often served only on Sundays.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>isowish</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
'Having it too easy' is not a reason not to do something. We do the best we can with what we are given. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"></div>
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<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/yes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":yes:"><br><br>
I wonder what's the point anyway when people criticize/question (not addressing zatopek here) veg*nism like "It's a bourgeois phenomenon" / "You're only living this luxury lifestyle because in this country we have all options"?!<br><br>
Next time I get something like that I should probably reply: "Then why not go ahead being bourgeois and living in luxury too?!"
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>zatopek</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Omitting the religious bias/influence in third world countries, how many people living in poor countries choose this <i>philosophy of life</i> ?</div>
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As someone who grew up in a poor third world country where a lot of people are vegetarian, this 'philisophy of life' is part of the religious bias/influence. For example, there is no prohibition in hinduism against eating meat. However, it is generally considered a good thing by most hindus not to eat meat, on grounds of ahimsa (non-violence). Thats a lot like the philisophy that drives the decision of most veg*ans in western countries too. As another example, my (non-Indian, non-hindu) husband vegetarianism was very much approved of while we were in India, even though it was very clear that this wasn't due to any religious reasons. Instead, there was an appreciation (and agreement with) the philosophy that underlies his dietary choices.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>zatopek</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Do you think vegetarianism is a <i>bourgeois</i> phenomenom ?</div>
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I think perhaps voluntarily choosing a vegetarian lifestyle is probably more common among the bourgeois, yes.<br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Would we really be choosing this <i>philosophy of life</i> if we did not live in societies where food is readily available wherever one goes ?</div>
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I believe not many of us are so dedicated that we would cope being a poor vegetarian in a poor country. Though some countries, even if they are poor, still are more vegetarian-friendly than others, so it also depends on which country.<br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Omitting the religious bias/influence in third world countries, how many people living in poor countries choose this <i>philosophy of life</i> ?</div>
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Not so many. I'm curious why you don't want to include religiously inspired vegetarians, though. Does religion somehow diminish their choice? And do you think so regardless of which religion it is? The largest vegetarian populations in the world are found in countries like India and China. (Are India and China still considered "third world"?) I believe a good portion of these people choose vegetarianism for religious reasons.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
<i>Does religion somehow diminish their choice? And do you think so regardless of which religion it is? The largest vegetarian populations in the world are found in countries like India and China. (Are India and China still considered "third world"?) I believe a good portion of these people choose vegetarianism for religious reasons.</i><br><br><br><br>
Well yes, although surya's answer seems to indicate that both approaches intermingle so as to form just one. I do draw a clear cut dichotomy between someone who chooses this philosophy for ethical reasons and someone else who chooses this philosophy for religious reasons.<br><br><br><br>
The reason(s) for our way of life is/are predominant. Take the Hitler example and his supposed vegeterianism that omnivores keep reminding us of, needless to say that this well known example shows us that the roads leading us to this philosophy are more important than the goal itself.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Indian Summer</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I believe not many of us are so dedicated that we would cope being a poor vegetarian in a poor country. Though some countries, even if they are poor, still are more vegetarian-friendly than others, so it also depends on which country.</div>
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I have to agree with this. For example, I have a friend living in rural Russia where her culture is generally a very, very poor one (monetarily). She is amazed by the idea of "veg*nism because to her, it is an enormous luxury to have food choices like that. In fact, it is not an option for her whatsoever.<br><br><br><br>
Also, we have to admit that being vegan can be expensive, much more so than even vegetarianism. Especially in areas of the country where it's uncommon.<br><br><br><br>
So I think it <i>is</i> something of a luxury philosophy, for most people in the US anyway.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>SuperChicken</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br><br>
Also, we have to admit that being vegan can be expensive, much more so than even vegetarianism. Especially in areas of the country where it's uncommon.<br></div>
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Where I live, it would only be expensive if one bought lots of processed foods like mock meats / TV dinners etc. There are not as many vegan products like that available here anyways. All the ingredients I need to cook my own fresh meals from scratch are available and affordable though.<br><br>
In fact I'm spending less on food as a vegan than I did as a vegetarian, although I'm buying a higher percentage of organic and fair trade produce now.
 

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It would depend on the foods that are available to the area. If not enough is available for a vegan to have a healthy diet, then it would make maintaining the diet rather difficult.
 

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It would seem so. We have food everywhere and therefore definitely have a choice about what we eat. However, it is also a recognition of the amount of resources we consume and the necessity of cutting excess. It takes a lot more resources away from the Earth to eat a steak than it does for a whole soy-pepperoni pizza.<br><br><br><br>
So while the philosophy of vegetarianism is held by many who have an endless cornicopia of food flowing forth onto their table, it is a recognition by those who have the cornicopia that every bit of food flowing forth comes with a cost.<br><br><br><br>
The belief that we need meat and an excessive amount of animal protein in order to be healthy is a rather bourgeois way of thinking too.
 

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As other people have mentioned, there are a lot of people in poor parts of Asia who are vegetarian for religious/cultural reasons. Also, many poor people are vegetarian by default simply because they can't afford meat (not in America necessarily, but I think this is common in third-world countries). I agree that poor people in countries or cultures where vegetarianism is not common are probably much less likely to choose this path.
 

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I don't believe in any "philosophy of life", I believe in the philosophy of sentience. As to people in poorer countries, I dunno whether they would choose it. What does it matter -- is that somehow a reason for us in rich countries not to choose it?
 

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In some countries (for example some Eastern European ones, from what I've been told) eating meat is a sign of wealth, therefore a lot of people wouldn't want to be vegetarian because it would make other people think that they were too poor to afford meat. A friend once told me about a conversation he had with an Eastern European who really didn't get the concept of British people being vegetarian because surely they had enough money to buy meat?<br><br><br><br>
I guess when either everyone has enough money to buy meat, or meat becomes relatively cheap through mass-production, it is easier to be vegetarian because if everyone can afford meat no-one will think you're avoiding it because you can't afford it.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>zatopek</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Do you think vegetarianism is a <i>bourgeois</i> phenomenom ?<br><br><br><br>
Would we really be choosing this <i>philosophy of life</i> if we did not live in societies where food is readily available wherever one goes ?<br><br><br><br>
Omitting the religious bias/influence in third world countries, how many people living in poor countries choose this <i>philosophy of life</i> ?</div>
</div>
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Well India millions of them<br><br><br><br>
Some of the reason outlined in surya post<br><br><br><br>
Interesting its harder not easer to be a vegetarian in most of the countries we live in
 

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I think that that is one of the responsibilities of living the way we do. When we are not forced to spend all of our time/energy on survival, we are able to start to think more objectively about the way we are living. With every freedom comes a responsibility. It's the same argument I use for the people who yammer on about how 'we've eaten meat since the beginning of time.... all other animals do... we're the top of the food chain.' Yack, yack, yack. We now have the ability to do otherwise, and so we should.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>nookle</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I think that that is one of the responsibilities of living the way we do. When we are not forced to spend all of our time/energy on survival, we are able to start to think more objectively about the way we are living. With every freedom comes a responsibility. It's the same argument I use for the people who yammer on about how 'we've eaten meat since the beginning of time.... all other animals do... we're the top of the food chain.' Yack, yack, yack. We now have the ability to do otherwise, and so we should.</div>
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i agree and disagree. it's not a responsibility to redefine human nature, what if someone wants to go out and hunt like their ancestors? and for the bigots out there imagine it's a Lakota hunter on tribal lands, etc.<br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Annie Dillard, A Pilgrim at Tinker Creek</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
We wake in terror, eat in hunger, sleep with a mouthful of blood.</div>
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some vegetarians love nature the way urban leftists do, with a certain idealised naivete that's a feature of a rousseau intellectual heritage. we can't even get a sensible discussion about hunting here so I'd have to agree it seems vegetarianism is bourgeois phenomenon.
 

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Naivety is making arguments from a "Human Nature" ™.
 
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