How do Aethist think about veganism?
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05-05-2014, 08:58 AM
RE: How do Aethist think about veganism?
100 virtual cows have died in my head since this thread started.
Moo

Theism is to believe what other people claim, Atheism is to ask "why should I".
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05-05-2014, 09:00 AM
RE: How do Aethist think about veganism?
(05-05-2014 08:58 AM)sporehux Wrote:  100 virtual cows have died in my head since this thread started.
Moo

I took out steaks to thaw for tonight's supper in honor of this thread. I may even wrap them in bacon. Evil_monster

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05-05-2014, 09:00 AM
RE: How do Aethist think about veganism?
(04-05-2014 11:58 PM)Michael_Tadlock Wrote:  
(29-04-2014 09:19 AM)Michael_Tadlock Wrote:  Its a debate on a moral theory, I think that is the best you can do. As a challenge, create a better argument against murder, or pedophilia. The best you can do is moral proscriptions, or make appeals to a higher moral authority or ideal. That doesn't mean its not productive and it doesn't make all such arguments invalid.

Morality is intangible and inexact. Its not a real thing but a subjective interpretation. We have to except some things as true without basis in order for a moral discussion to be possible. My axioms are very clear:

The lives of all animals have value.

Taking the life of an animal is immoral without good justification or cause

Good justification or cause includes to save your own life, or the life of another person or animal

Its not exhaustive. You can't make absolutist moral proscription, real life circumstances make you qualify everything. I can't justify 'why' these things are true, no more than anyone can justify 'why' any moral theory is true. If you reject my axioms, if you build your moral theory on an entirely distinct on non inclusive set of principles, then there is no argument I can form to persuade you.

(29-04-2014 09:59 AM)Michael_Tadlock Wrote:  I agree it is far preferable to eat animals from local farms that treat their animals much more humanely than factor farms do. If everybody went at least that far I think the welfare of animals would be much better. I would still hold the position though that is more preferable still not to eat them at all.

Also, keep in mind our evolution is not a mandate for meat eating. I agree we evolved to eat meat, but that doesn't mean we need it nor that we should continue to eat it.

(29-04-2014 12:44 PM)Michael_Tadlock Wrote:  Human beings can reason and contemplate morality and animals can't. Its the same reason we don't give animals trials by jury. If you believed that animals and humans were completely level, then you would be obligated to extend the same right we reserve for people to animals. Like voting, owning property, or whatever. Incidentally, if humans and animals are the same then murdering animals should carry the same penalty as murdering a person. On the flip side, if murdering animals isn't wrong then murdering people shouldn't be wrong either. I don't think any of us pro cannibalism right?

If you are trying to equate human an animal behavior, then eating our young, rape, and incest would all be ok because animals do it. Primantis bite the head of their mate during intercourse. It is pretty clear that we make many distinctions between people and animals. For what reason couldn't we include what we eat?

(29-04-2014 05:51 PM)Michael_Tadlock Wrote:  Lets imagine I was trying to argue murder was wrong. Something I hope we all agree on. Here are some of the arguments I might use:

Murder is wrong because:

murder robs a person of their life, which you have no right to take from them

murder robs friends and family members of their loved one, which you have no right to take

murder causes emotional distress to those who cared about the deceased

murder undermines public safety and create fear and uncertainty in the public conscience

ect.

These are moral claims. They can't be proven like math can. I can look at a rock and say "look, carbon dating puts this in the "murder is wrong" period". If we want to talk about how come murder is wrong we have to agree on some basic premises, and except them as truth so we can use them to build more complex arguments. If we want to talk about murder or killing animals in a moral compass, then we have to agree at least on this much; suffering is bad thing, and animals suffering is worthy of moral consideration.

This is what I am attempting to do right now. This is my argument. When I say I think eating meat is wrong, this is why

Why is eating meat wrong?


the price the animal pays to die far exceeds the good it provides in your diet. Its unfair and unjust to make an animal pay such a huge price for such a small pleasure.

Killing animals undermines human empathy and encourages the darkest aspects of our nature.

Raising live stock is environmentally irresponsible and ecologically inefficient

This is a semantic argument we are having. We are essentially arguing about whether or not it is possible for us to argue. I would very much like to move on. If possible, it would be great if you all could curb the insults and the personal attacks. Its starting to weigh on me quite a bit. Thanks Smile.

(29-04-2014 08:20 PM)Michael_Tadlock Wrote:  Lets start with some simple truths.

Eating an animal necessitates killing that animal.
If an human hadn't killed that animal, that animal would have lived at least one instant longer than it did.
Therefore, eating an animal means denying that creature of at least some quantity of life. Life being living moments measured in seconds, hours, days, ect.

Now I am going to make an assumption. The lives of animals, the living moments I described above, have some value greater than zero.

Is is not unfair then to view eating an animal as an exchange of flesh for life. The human gets the commodity if meat, the animal pays the price of its life.

If we use a utilitarian line of moral reasoning, that 'transaction' would be just only so long as the enjoyment the person received from eating meat was equal or greater than the harm done to the animal in the act of killing it.

I take take the position that the animal payed a far higher price; ie that it was not an equal exchange life for meat.

I need to qualify one last thing. I made an implicit assertion that the only good meat does for people is the enjoyment experienced when eating it. I stick to my assertion that you don't require meat for survival or good health.


Your right, that premise cannot be adequately supported with good reasoning.


Those are some good distinctions you made, and you were correct in assuming that when I sad "raising livestock" I meant in the context of factory farming.

There are some other simple truths that lend to the validity of that statement. It takes more energy to grow crops to feed to cows to eat for food then it does to grow crops to eat for food. This is a simple ecological fact; about ten percent of the calories cows consume translates to the amount of calories there are of cow to eat. Source, every biology text book in any high school or college classroom anywhere.

In reality, the exact math is a bit messy. Grass fed cows eat food humans can't eat, so certainly that would not count. However, more than 70% of beef, and almost 100% of chicken and pork are raised on factory farms. On factory farms animals eat some plant matter humans can't digest, but the vast majority of what they eat is corn, soybeans, barley, and other grains that are suitable for human consumption. Imagine if as a society we collective chose to feed that food to people instead of animals. More than a billion animals are raised ever year in the united states alone. Incidentally more than a billion people world wide live in abject poverty. I think it would be both practical and more human to feed people that food instead of livestock.

(30-04-2014 09:29 AM)Michael_Tadlock Wrote:  This post was like a breath of fresh air. Thank you. There are some very well thought out points and I am really glad you took the time to consider them.


That means a lot, thank you for saying that.


Alright, lets do it!


Different vegans will answer this different ways. I am more pragmatic then some, I think if you kill an animal for some legitimate reason and then eat the meat as an after thought that you haven't done anything wrong. If we are talking about practical, real work examples though, then the average person would probably only eat meat a few times in their lifetime, maybe a couple times a year at the most. When I say eating meat is wrong, I do mean in the explicit context of raising livestock for slaughter. A lesser wrong in my book, hunting or killing wild game for food.

Another vegan might answer this a different way. They might make the point that eating a dead animal you happened to find is not unlike eating a dead person if you stumbled into a cemetery. Animals bodies are worthy of the same respect and reverence after death as all people are, and therefore it wrong for much of the same reasons that cannibalism is wrong.


I didn't make that distinction, but I also didn't make that claim either. If you or anybody else were suddenly attacked by a bear, I would both hope and recommend that use some kind of deadly force to defend yourself. If a poor family in india needed to clear more land for rice patties, and the meant that some animals would die as a result, I have a hard time justifying the absolutist position that this is wrong.

Let me give an analogy. When we are talking about murder, and when I say murder I mean killing people without good cause, then a moral proscription like this one generally applies "It is wrong to kill another human being". I think we would all agree that this is more or less correct (although I intentionally left it vague).

However, in our society we don't exercise the absolute position that killing another person is wrong in every context. What about self defense? What about in times of war? What if the killing person is insane, or sleep walking, or otherwise not of the right mind? What if you kill someone on accident, is that the same severity of a crime and equivalent moral wrong doing as if you kill them on purpose? Very quickly you feel the need to define things like intent, qualify certain circumstances, and give rational people moral license in some situations. Killing animals is no different.

When we talk about any moral position, whether it be murder, theft, sexual assault, whatever, then the moral sentiments need always be weighted against the real world circumstances. Actions themselves are not moral or immoral, its the circumstances that surround those actions, the motivations of the actors, and the consequences of those actions that determine a moral judgement. I realize this is a broad statement with a lot of ambiguous terms, and we can get into that if you care too. Debates on morality are conflicted and nuanced and you don't often get the same satisfying and clear cut conclusions like you do when you debate other topics.



The official party line for veganism is that killing an animal, even the most simple of insects, is wrong. I understand why people take that position, its easier to defend. I don't personally believe that. Ants are marvelous creatures and I don't think you should go out of your way to kill them off just because, but if I find a line of them in my house I grab the bug spray like most everyone else does.

When you take that position as I have then you have to wrestle with a lot of grey area. Where is the magic "poof" if you will, that benchmark level of intelligence that makes an animal worth protecting? I don't think I can give you a satisfying answer. For me it extends to fish, amphibians, reptiles, mammals and birds. If you want to give up eating all these creatures in favor of a pure insect diet than I think that is definitely the better moral alternative. Have at it Thumbsup .

Arguments like this though run the danger of trivializing the real state of farm animals. If you have ever spent any time with a cow, you know they are dumb as rocks, no doubt about it. But they definitely 'feel'. You take their young away they are sad. If you put them in danger they are afraid. They like to hang out with some cows more than others. Cows can be very affectionate, they respond to touch, and they can tell people apart and have different reactions to them depending on how they are treated by them. I think for sure that level of intelligence is worthy of our empathy.


You don't need animals for any of our nutrien. I challenge you to name one vitamin or nutrional compound that people cannot get from plants. If vegans are dooming themselves with their diet, I challenge you to prove it.

Realistically, meat has nutrition in it, and some of it is difficult to get in large quantities in nature. I get that. The best possible diet, the optimal chemistry might include some small quantify of meat products (probably some organ meat right?). I don't think that justifies killing millions and millions of animals all the time. Its not worth the cost we make the animals, our environment, and other people pay.


Well as a vegan you don't strictly need supplements, but I do recommend you take at least some as you get older, go through pregnancy, or raise small children. As I said before, calcium and iron can be difficult to get in a vegan diet. The reason for this is calcium as a nutrient is pretty scarce in nature, although you can find natural sources of it, and many products are calcium fortified (like soy milk). Iron is readily available in many plants, but the iron is packaged in such a way that it is much more difficult for our bodies to absorb than iron found in animal meat. You have to eat a lot more plant iron to get enough. Pro tip; if you take vitamin C with a high iron food or supplement, like orange juice after eating a bowl of spinach, you can increase the rate of iron absorption by as much as 100%.

As for where do we get vitamin supplements? Most supplements are derived from cultured bacteria. Some of them, like omegra 3 fatty acids, are best taken as a food additive. Chia seeds and flax are great for that.

If you want to see examples of healthy vegans, go out and try and find some. There are a lot of horror stories out there of people who switched to veganism, didn't take care of their nutrition, and got into trouble. It happens, probably even fairly frequently. Most of us are doing just fine. I have been vegan almost two years now, my fiance just as long, and I don't take any supplements or vitamins at all. In fact I probably eat more junk food then most people, its just happens to not have milk or meat in it.


So vegans are these mentally deranged, emaciated, barely living sad people who hobble through life painfully on the way to living 80+ years right? I don't mean to be condescending, but come on, does that sound accurate to you? If everyone switched to veganism there would be new challenges, but I don't think its fair to say that everyone would be falling off left and right if we did. If veganism can't provide adequate nutrition, I respectfully and eagerly challenge you to prove it Smile.

(01-05-2014 06:28 PM)Michael_Tadlock Wrote:  Which evolution do you want to take about? Meat eating in our ancestral line is likely very new, maybe a million years or so. Our pre-meat eating ancestor got along just fine right. Look at some of our closes genetic cousins. Chimps, apes, and orangutans, just to name a few primates, get along just fine without meat.

Look at the evidence. There are literally hundred of thousands vegans in the US alone who have been vegans for decades, with no documented physical maladies as a result. For hundred of years Buddhist monks and Asia and Hindus in India have been living on vegetarian or sometimes vegan diets. This is generations of people and millions of individuals forgoing meat for literally the entirety of their lives.

Think about what we do know about nutrition. Vitamins A, B, C, and the rest, all have excellent plant sources. Fats and steroids like cholesterols and omega 3 all have plant sources. Minerals we need like iron, calcium, zinc, and magnesium all have plant sources.

If you look at the data we do have vegans, what you find is vastly superior life expectancy and health outcomes, not inferior.

"A 2009 report published in the journal Nutrition Reviews summed up several discoveries. For example, researchers found that vegetarians and vegans were about half as likely to develop type 2 diabetes as other adults. Further, in clinical trials of diabetics, a low-fat vegan regimen actually improved blood-sugar control better than the diets traditionally prescribed to patients." -Huffington Post

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/10...74525.html

Compared to the average man, a vegan man lives almost ten years longer, a vegan woman more than six years longer.

http://www.nutraingredients.com/Research...inds-study

http://www.nhs.uk/news/2013/06June/Pages...espan.aspx

Heart disease, according to the center for disease control, kills one in four Americans in the United States, and a conservative, collaborative study finds that vegans are 74% as likely, or inversely 36% less likely, to develop heart disease:

http://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/70/3/516s.full

If you really invest in your health and actively seek out variety in your diet, dramatically limit your fat, and choose whole grains and unprocessed sugars over commercial alternatives, then you will very probably do even better. Notice meat is not part of that proscription. The reason is you don't need it.

Now I will be the first to say there are confounding variables in these studies, and that it is really hard to isolate diet as a variable. That being said, the evidence is overwhelmingly clear, vegans do just fine and there is no reason at all to believe vegans are unhealthy.

(04-05-2014 08:54 PM)Anjele Wrote:  "compassionate and rational leap to the vegan diet."

This baffles me. How is being a vegan rational? I agree that there are some methods of raising meat that is less than humane, I'll give you that.

But, how is veganism rational? Predator and prey is something that exists all throughout the animal kingdom, man included. Is it wrong to kill and eat plants?

And what does atheism, which is the lack of belief in a god, have to do with menu choices?

And why are you trying to 'convert' people to your way of thinking? That's akin to the theists that try to convince people that their was is the best.

You don't want to eat a steak...don't...I don't have to make the same choice and it's not your place to tell me I do nor does it prove that you are more compassionate or rational. Perhaps more arrogant and totally full of your carrot-infused self.

I feel like meeting in the middle would be to link some of my more relevant posts, kind of like what charis recommended. These or the more relevant arguments I made in this thread, and they address a lot of your points, some points other people brought up, and some other bits that you might finding interesting.

Oh, look -- the dumbass can't win anyone over to his batshit religion, so he resorts to Gish-Galloping his failed arguments in hopes that no one will notice that every one of them has been utterly destroyed right here in this thread.

It's Special Pleadings all the way down!


Magic Talking Snakes STFU -- revenantx77


You can't have your special pleading and eat it too. -- WillHop
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05-05-2014, 09:23 AM
RE: How do Aethist think about veganism?
I am not really interested in continuing this thread any longer. This thread has been, in a word, exhausting.

During the down time I had a chance to post in other topics, and its been really wonderful. About half the time I post nobody responds to what I say at all, about the other half the time someone comments on my point or gives me a like or whatever. People who insulted me in this thread have been very kind to me outside of it. Its been great.

If I had known how this was going to turn out before hand I would not have posted. The only reason I kept going this long is I wanted to do justice to my principles and ideals. I wanted to quit some time around page six, but I was afraid that I would leave a weak, straw man impression of what veganism is and why it is important if I did that.

I said more or less as much as I wanted to say. I wish I could reword a lot of it, but I don't intend to do that here. If anyone really wants to talk about this you can bring it up with me in PM, or maybe we can go a round or two in the Colosseum or something. I just can't do anymore personal attacks. Some of you might not realize it, but there is a person on the other side of that name, and that person is very tired and very drained.

Baring any of that, I don't intend to bring up veganism on these forums ever again. Que the celebration and the victory posts.
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05-05-2014, 09:25 AM
RE: How do Aethist think about veganism?
I saw a post browsing through that said, essentially, that humans are cognizant of other animals suffering (a trait unique to humans) we should abstain from eating meat. Why does this follow? If a lion became aware that his actions hurt gazelles, if he became aware of their pain as fellow living beings, would this change the fact that his body can only properly digest meat? Why is it that our awareness seems to trump our biology? The fact that other animals can feel does not change my own digestive tract. So why should I sacrifice my own biological drive to eat what is good for me just because I am sentient?
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05-05-2014, 09:38 AM
RE: How do Aethist think about veganism?
(05-05-2014 09:23 AM)Michael_Tadlock Wrote:  I am not really interested in continuing this thread any longer.

Then why the fuck did you just post a Gish-Gallop of your batshit arguments. Liar.
Quote: This thread has been, in a word, exhausting.

Yeah tough shit that you get hit with reality when you spout a load of bullshit. That's how the fucking world works.

Quote:During the down time I had a chance to post in other topics, and its been really wonderful. About half the time I post nobody responds to what I say at all, about the other half the time someone comments on my point or gives me a like or whatever. People who insulted me in this thread have been very kind to me outside of it. Its been great.

If I had known how this was going to turn out before hand I would not have posted.

This can't be the first time you have tried to run your fucking vegan evangelization con game on others and had your head handed to you. You can't be that fucking naive.



Quote: The only reason I kept going this long is I wanted to do justice to my principles and ideals. I wanted to quit some time around page six, but I was afraid that I would leave a weak, straw man impression of what veganism is and why it is important if I did that.

And that is precisely what you left: a true picture of the weak, fallacious, batshit-crazy rationalizations you fucktards use to try to push your craycray on everyone else. Well done. You have done more damage to your claims than anyone else could.



Quote:I said more or less as much as I wanted to say.


And every bit of it was shot down handily.


Quote:I wish I could reword a lot of it, but I don't intend to do that here.

Good -- then shut the fuck up and go away already.



Quote:If anyone really wants to talk about this you can bring it up with me in PM, or maybe we can go a round or two in the Colosseum or something.

Oh, look -- the D-Wreck tactic of underground proselytization.



Quote: I just can't do anymore personal attacks. Some of you might not realize it, but there is a person on the other side of that name, and that person is very tired and very drained.

Oh, the fucking IRONY. YOU are the one who started with the personal attacks. YOU just attempted to hide them behind passive-aggressive innuendo and allusions rather than up front. WE are fucking people, too, but that didn't and doesn't matter to YOU when you are spouting your shit at us and judging us. FUCK you -- you can't take what you try to dish out.



Quote: Baring any of that, I don't intend to bring up veganism on these forums ever again. Que the celebration and the victory posts.

So shut the fuck up and go the fuck away already.

It's Special Pleadings all the way down!


Magic Talking Snakes STFU -- revenantx77


You can't have your special pleading and eat it too. -- WillHop
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05-05-2014, 11:00 AM (This post was last modified: 05-05-2014 11:17 AM by Monster_Riffs.)
RE: How do Aethist think about veganism?
This article explains very well the benefits of an omnivorous diet from a nutritional point of view.

Fun fact. The main deficiency found in legitimate studies is a B12 deficiency. This causes malformations in brain development for in infants and brain and spinal chord problems in adults later in life.

From an ethical point of view, I disagree with your foundational assumption. That of empathising with animals to the extent of ascribing them the same value of human life. I don't not advocate any animal suffering more than necessary during slaughter but I accept and understand that an amount of suffering occurs as it dies. Just like if one of my Burmese Pythons ever turned on me. I should expect my suffering is not prevalent in its concerns.

You keep dismissing the argument from evolution. You simply can't, omnivorous diets are the most suitable. It's a medical fact. We are predators and scavengers, we run on two legs to catch food. We have one stomach and we chemically break meat down better than any other source.

The final point I would make, is that of hypocrisy. If you had cancer, would you accept medical care? If you had a heart attack, would you take the post care medicines? Or would you die for your beliefs? Would you reject capsules made with animal extracts? Would you refuse cancer treatments because of the ongoing animal testing? Do you drive a car? What material is the steering wheel cover made from? What about the buttons on your CD player? If your argument is 'I can't control everything. ' I say cop out. A vegan may go 80% of the way, a vegetarian 50% of the way and an ethical omnivore may go 10%. The ethical stance of veganism infers a subtext that you go 100% of the way and this gives you the moral high ground. It doesn't, as you still use some animal products but are in denial. ... Whilst you're reading this, think about the device you're reading it on. PC, smart phone, tablet or whatever, the plastic or rubber inside your device, does it contain animal products? I bet it does and I bet you've done some mental gymnastics to square it with your worldview when you're watching dickheads on YouTube at the expense of dead animals on your device, you say it's not ok for me to eat animals? ... A lot of vegans pull out the meat is murder, meat eaters are no better than pedophiles argument. I turn that back on vegans and say, if you square your world view to drive a car and use a pc, you are like the pedophile that only rapes 1 child a year instead of 1 a week.

Just saying Drinking Beverage

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06-05-2014, 11:35 AM
RE: How do Aethist think about veganism?
(05-05-2014 09:23 AM)Michael_Tadlock Wrote:  I am not really interested in continuing this thread any longer. This thread has been, in a word, exhausting.

During the down time I had a chance to post in other topics, and its been really wonderful. About half the time I post nobody responds to what I say at all, about the other half the time someone comments on my point or gives me a like or whatever. People who insulted me in this thread have been very kind to me outside of it. Its been great.

If I had known how this was going to turn out before hand I would not have posted. The only reason I kept going this long is I wanted to do justice to my principles and ideals. I wanted to quit some time around page six, but I was afraid that I would leave a weak, straw man impression of what veganism is and why it is important if I did that.

I said more or less as much as I wanted to say. I wish I could reword a lot of it, but I don't intend to do that here. If anyone really wants to talk about this you can bring it up with me in PM, or maybe we can go a round or two in the Colosseum or something. I just can't do anymore personal attacks. Some of you might not realize it, but there is a person on the other side of that name, and that person is very tired and very drained.

Baring any of that, I don't intend to bring up veganism on these forums ever again. Que the celebration and the victory posts.

You'd have more energy if you ate meat.

Drinking Beverage

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07-05-2014, 01:08 PM
RE: How do Aethist think about veganism?
(06-05-2014 11:35 AM)earmuffs Wrote:  
(05-05-2014 09:23 AM)Michael_Tadlock Wrote:  I am not really interested in continuing this thread any longer. This thread has been, in a word, exhausting.

During the down time I had a chance to post in other topics, and its been really wonderful. About half the time I post nobody responds to what I say at all, about the other half the time someone comments on my point or gives me a like or whatever. People who insulted me in this thread have been very kind to me outside of it. Its been great.

If I had known how this was going to turn out before hand I would not have posted. The only reason I kept going this long is I wanted to do justice to my principles and ideals. I wanted to quit some time around page six, but I was afraid that I would leave a weak, straw man impression of what veganism is and why it is important if I did that.

I said more or less as much as I wanted to say. I wish I could reword a lot of it, but I don't intend to do that here. If anyone really wants to talk about this you can bring it up with me in PM, or maybe we can go a round or two in the Colosseum or something. I just can't do anymore personal attacks. Some of you might not realize it, but there is a person on the other side of that name, and that person is very tired and very drained.

Baring any of that, I don't intend to bring up veganism on these forums ever again. Que the celebration and the victory posts.

You'd have more energy if you ate meat.

Drinking Beverage

LOL leave it to Muffs.... Big Grin

It's Special Pleadings all the way down!


Magic Talking Snakes STFU -- revenantx77


You can't have your special pleading and eat it too. -- WillHop
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07-05-2014, 06:17 PM
RE: How do Aethist think about veganism?
C'mon guys lets be civil here. Vegans are good people and deserve our atheist culture. We need to integrate vegans into our understanding and mindset in order to fully evolve into a superior version of Atheism.

This superior version of Atheism will allow us the moral we need to take on any opponent we face. We must stand together to fight our enemies of Atheism. Which are few and far between. Famous Atheist Martin Luther King once stated, "We must learn to live together as Atheists or perish together as fools."

Michael I understand your point. You are man of strong words. You are truly Atheist my friend. Welcome to the family.
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