Is veganism at the "moral baseline"?
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20-04-2012, 08:23 AM
RE: Is veganism at the "moral baseline"?
Hey, Woof.

The correct term for fishitarian is pescatarian Cool

Sup, StreetW?

I was a vegan for 7.5 years. I don't think that veganism is the moral baseline. It's a cultural diet, not a biological one. By that I mean that humans evolved as omnivours, not herbivours. Also, you need to supplement with B-12 because it's an essential vitamin that only really comes from animal sources (or yeast). So it's a technological diet. So it's not a moral baseline.

But it is very much a reaction to something terrible.

Factory farming is nothing less than institutionalised atrocity. There's nothing wrong with eating meat per-se. But in most hunter-gatherer societies, hunters had some ritual to thank the spirit of the prey for feeding and clothing the family. They promised to use the entirety of the animal as a sign of gratitude for the forfeiture of the animal's life. But in farming, it gets harder to thank the animals because the volume of death increases. By the time you get to factory farming, the slaughter is so automated, not only do people not thank the animal, but they care so little about them that the industry literature promotes viewing them as inputs only and not as living feeling creatures.

The treatment of animals in factory farms is so beyond deplorable that the language actually fails us. It's truly perverse and shameful. On top of that, there are so many injuries due to close quarters, that they use antibiotics prophelactically. It's not uncommon to see animals with gaping wounds, literally gaping, that aren't infected because they're pumped full of antibiotics. 90% of the world's antibiotics are used prophelactically in livestock, which is a serious contributor to the problem of so called superbugs.

Then we get into the hormones used that get into the water and into us. There's a reason that 10 year old girls have the breasts and figures of 18 year olds.

To say factory farming is immoral isn't accurate. Morality is simply absent.

Veganism, at least the more liberal versions (the non "veganazi" versions), is a reaction to this industry. It (the industry) is something to not be supported. The morality of veganism comes from sacrificing something to protest an atrocity. There are health reasons to do it, but those have nothing to do with morality.

Someone mentioned eggs and milk and fish, and there's just as many issues with the industrialisation of those industries.

Another protest that is just as moral is to only eat meat that is either raised or hunted humanely. When I was a vegan, I had an agreement with myself that if I ever found myself with a people that legitimately hunted as a way of life and that had that sort of respect for the lives they took that it would be OK to eat meat. Never happened, but, y'know.

I don't know. For me the factory farm thing is an out of sight out of mind thing, like child labour or what our soldiers really do overseas. "I see nassing!"

So veganism: a moral protest but not the baseline.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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20-04-2012, 12:12 PM
RE: Is veganism at the "moral baseline"?
(20-04-2012 08:23 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Woof.
...
Then we get into the hormones used that get into the water and into us. There's a reason that 10 year old girls have the breasts and figures of 18 year olds.
...

Xenoestrogens are also postulated as a contributing factor to the ongoing decline in testosterone in American males.

A Population-Level Decline in Serum Testosterone Levels in American Men doesn't point to any specific factors, but it does investigate the phenomenon.

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20-04-2012, 08:46 PM
RE: No.
(19-04-2012 09:19 PM)Chas Wrote:  It is a choice, not as baseline.



Nature is red in tooth and claw. I don't want to be unnatural.


Wouldn't veganism be considered natural, though? It would be after all the result of a decision made via natural processes in the brain.

It would seem to me both sides over-simplify the issue. On the vegan side, you hear a lot of dumb and overly simplistic arguments: humans don't have claws, fangs, enormous strength and speed necessary to kill animals and devour them themselves. On the other hand meat-eaters say stuff like "animals kill animals" or "we've evolved doing it", which doesn't seem to me to explain the moral value attached to the action in the slightest.

After all, we've all heard numerous atheists like Dawkins say things to the effect of 'survival of the fittest' being a way of life would be a terrible way to live. It seems to me that using a survival of the fittest-esque argument to describe why it's okay for humans to kill animals is rather dehumanizing and actually does reduce us to mere animals acting purely the way "nature intended".
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20-04-2012, 08:53 PM
RE: No.
(20-04-2012 08:46 PM)streetwaves Wrote:  ....
It would seem to me both sides over-simplify the issue. On the vegan side, you hear a lot of dumb and overly simplistic arguments: humans don't have claws, fangs, enormous strength and speed necessary to kill animals and devour them themselves. ....
The main argument that I hear is that most of the humans' teeth are designed for vegetation, not ripping flesh--and that humans' digestive system is designed for vegetation more than meat. The closest thing to fangs, strength I hear is that considering the amount of energy that humans would use to catch animals, they'd have to make a huge kill otherwise they'd have used more energy than they will acquire.

Or even as most vegetarians (OK, All that I know) say: humans are omnivores. We can eat virtually anything. Now the catch comes as I've seen things that say we can't live on only meat, but we can live off of vegetation only.
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20-04-2012, 09:02 PM (This post was last modified: 20-04-2012 09:03 PM by Chas.)
RE: No.
(20-04-2012 08:53 PM)elemts Wrote:  
(20-04-2012 08:46 PM)streetwaves Wrote:  ....
It would seem to me both sides over-simplify the issue. On the vegan side, you hear a lot of dumb and overly simplistic arguments: humans don't have claws, fangs, enormous strength and speed necessary to kill animals and devour them themselves. ....
The main argument that I hear is that most of the humans' teeth are designed for vegetation, not ripping flesh--and that humans' digestive system is designed for vegetation more than meat. The closest thing to fangs, strength I hear is that considering the amount of energy that humans would use to catch animals, they'd have to make a huge kill otherwise they'd have used more energy than they will acquire.

Or even as most vegetarians (OK, All that I know) say: humans are omnivores. We can eat virtually anything. Now the catch comes as I've seen things that say we can't live on only meat, but we can live off of vegetation only.
No, we can't be healthy on plants only. There are chemicals you can't get from plants.

Our canines and incisors evolved to rend flesh, our molars to crush plants and bones.

Veganism and vegetarianism are ethical choices that people make. I don't share their ethos.


Quote:Then we get into the hormones used that get into the water and into us. There's a reason that 10 year old girls have the breasts and figures of 18 year olds.
Oh, I thought that was just a bonus.

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20-04-2012, 09:13 PM
RE: No.
Quote:No, we can't be healthy on plants only. There are chemicals you can't get from plants.
Certainly we cannot be vegans without supplementation, but to play devil's advocate, supplements do exist so why shouldn't we simply take them to fill the gaps? Would you continue eating animal flesh if scientists figured out how to perfectly mimic meat without killing any animals, simply because it's "natural"?

Quote:Veganism and vegetarianism are ethical choices that people make. I don't share their ethos.
My question is why not, though? Believe me, I can relate to your position. But simply telling myself I disagree is only a temporary solution until I get an unsettling feeling a week later asking myself if I'm really doing something wrong without realizing it.
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20-04-2012, 09:21 PM
RE: No.
(20-04-2012 09:13 PM)streetwaves Wrote:  
Quote:No, we can't be healthy on plants only. There are chemicals you can't get from plants.
Certainly we cannot be vegans without supplementation, but to play devil's advocate, supplements do exist so why shouldn't we simply take them to fill the gaps? Would you continue eating animal flesh if scientists figured out how to perfectly mimic meat without killing any animals, simply because it's "natural"?

Quote:Veganism and vegetarianism are ethical choices that people make. I don't share their ethos.
My question is why not, though? Believe me, I can relate to your position. But simply telling myself I disagree is only a temporary solution until I get an unsettling feeling a week later asking myself if I'm really doing something wrong without realizing it.
If there were (and I believe there soon will be) a very, very good (need not be perfect) mimic at the same or lower cost, I would choose it because I am ethically disturbed by industrial meat production and concerned about the environmental effects. I don't think it wrong to eat meat, but I don't think it is without ethical issues.

My original comment was meant to be amusing. Consider

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20-04-2012, 11:00 PM
RE: Is veganism at the "moral baseline"?
I wouldn't argue that the death of any animal is 100% immoral... after all, the skins cells that die from your showers are "animals". The bugs that you possibly step on are "animals". You literally have to the draw the line somewhere between acceptable and non-acceptable killings.

Also, like other meat-eaters, we don't kill for fun... we kill because it helps us survive. It's not that I disagree with you, because I don't --- we are omnivorous, which means veganism is a possibility, and animals that we kill tend to die horribly after living in horrible (dare I say evil?) living conditions. And there's certainly nothing unethical about giving up meat... it's just something that I personally couldn't do in my economic situation.

And I'm not sure that I would even if I could afford to do it. It wouldn't be so hard if every meal was prepared personally and eaten alone, but who does that? You'll be constantly stepping on the toes of those who still eat meat.

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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21-04-2012, 02:20 AM
RE: Is veganism at the "moral baseline"?
(20-04-2012 08:23 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Woof.

The correct term for fishitarian is pescatarian Cool

Sup, StreetW?

I was a vegan for 7.5 years. I don't think that veganism is the moral baseline. It's a cultural diet, not a biological one. By that I mean that humans evolved as omnivours, not herbivours. Also, you need to supplement with B-12 because it's an essential vitamin that only really comes from animal sources (or yeast). So it's a technological diet. So it's not a moral baseline.

But it is very much a reaction to something terrible.

Factory farming is nothing less than institutionalised atrocity. There's nothing wrong with eating meat per-se. But in most hunter-gatherer societies, hunters had some ritual to thank the spirit of the prey for feeding and clothing the family. They promised to use the entirety of the animal as a sign of gratitude for the forfeiture of the animal's life. But in farming, it gets harder to thank the animals because the volume of death increases. By the time you get to factory farming, the slaughter is so automated, not only do people not thank the animal, but they care so little about them that the industry literature promotes viewing them as inputs only and not as living feeling creatures.

The treatment of animals in factory farms is so beyond deplorable that the language actually fails us. It's truly perverse and shameful. On top of that, there are so many injuries due to close quarters, that they use antibiotics prophelactically. It's not uncommon to see animals with gaping wounds, literally gaping, that aren't infected because they're pumped full of antibiotics. 90% of the world's antibiotics are used prophelactically in livestock, which is a serious contributor to the problem of so called superbugs.

Then we get into the hormones used that get into the water and into us. There's a reason that 10 year old girls have the breasts and figures of 18 year olds.

To say factory farming is immoral isn't accurate. Morality is simply absent.

Veganism, at least the more liberal versions (the non "veganazi" versions), is a reaction to this industry. It (the industry) is something to not be supported. The morality of veganism comes from sacrificing something to protest an atrocity. There are health reasons to do it, but those have nothing to do with morality.

Someone mentioned eggs and milk and fish, and there's just as many issues with the industrialisation of those industries.

Another protest that is just as moral is to only eat meat that is either raised or hunted humanely. When I was a vegan, I had an agreement with myself that if I ever found myself with a people that legitimately hunted as a way of life and that had that sort of respect for the lives they took that it would be OK to eat meat. Never happened, but, y'know.

I don't know. For me the factory farm thing is an out of sight out of mind thing, like child labour or what our soldiers really do overseas. "I see nassing!"

So veganism: a moral protest but not the baseline.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
RE seafood, from a hard line factory farming position, I see red meat slaughter, particularly some methods, as far worse than most aspects of fish slaughter, both in the methodologies and the fact that that most sea food appears less evolved and thus less prone to suffering.
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21-04-2012, 06:08 AM
RE: Is veganism at the "moral baseline"?
Hey, gang.

Some really thoughtful posts. Me likey.

Hey, Woof.

I know there is an argument that fish have fewer pain sensors. I'm not a marine biologist and can't confirm it. Although when I saw Sharkwater, I wept. If you haven't seen that documentary, do yourself a favour.

The issue with the automisation of fishing (through mammoth fishing trawlers) is that it's like clearcutting the sea. They scrape the bottom of the ocean, destroying habitat outright. They haul in tons upon tons of fish, much of which they can't sell; what's called bycatch. So they just dump them, dead, over the side. In some industries it's a 3:1 bycatch:catch ratio and in other industries it's as high as 20:1. It's just annihilating diversity and habitat and populations in the oceans. Then we look at big fish numbers, like tuna, sailfish, etc... there has been a 90% population collapse in the last 100 years due entirely to overharvesting. Canadian fishermen collapsed the Atlantic cod fishery; something that was unthinkable because of the sheer robustness of the cod population. There is absolutely nothing sustainable about what's going on in big fishing.

The factor that both industries share is an utter disregard for the animals they kill, and I don't feel I'm being hyperbolous here, without mercy.

Hey, Starcrash.

There's a religion in India called Jainism. It has a huge focus on the protection of life. Extreme sects of Jainism live as fruitarians and others wear masks so they don't inhale microorganisms. It's fascinating.

I don't know that vegetarian/veganism is that much more expensive these days. Although there is a lot of making food for yourself and that can be more expensive.

There's a field that postulates that blood type has a lot to do with whether or not someone can live without meat. When I was a vegan, I didn't miss meat at all. You could wave it in front of me and I didn't care. My best friend was a vegetarian for 3 years and it was misery. He was tortured when he saw meat. It was super difficult for him the entire time. We met a woman who was working in this field (I have no idea what it's called) and lo and behold, my blood type was conducive to vegetarianism and his was not.

Hey, Elemts.

Tell whoever that's telling you that to look at their teeth, top row, third from the centre. They're canines. Front teeth are for slicing, canines are for rending and molars are for grinding. We have the teeth of omnivours. If they disagree, refer them to a dentist Cool

Hey, Chas.

The single chemical we cannot get from plant sources or manufacture internally is vitamin B-12.

Hey, Waves.

You have reminded me of a really important point.

Quote:Wouldn't veganism be considered natural, though? It would be after all
the result of a decision made via natural processes in the brain.

Yes.

I had forgotten that. And forgotten why.

Genetically, we're omnivours. That's incontrovertible. So the "natural" human diet is omnivorous.

But we aren't just controlled by our genes. We're also controlled by our memes. Memes are every bit as important as our genes.

Veganism is a cultural diet. I didn't invent it. The idea spread to me memetically. Because it is a memetically driven cultural trait, it is, for sure, "natural".

Now, the connotative meaning of "natural" tends to be viewed as "lacking human interference". So by that rationalle, veganism isn't "natural". But the denotative meaning has to include behaviours that are the expression of memes.

So when specifically asking whether or not veganism is the moral baseline, for sure, it's a moral choice because it is a protest against something immoral; namely factory farming. In other cases, it's perceived as a moral choice because meat eating itself is viewed as immoral. But it is possible to be moral and eat meat. Although, I gotta say, knowingly contributing to factory farming has to be considered immoral. At any rate, veganism is natural because it's memetic, unnatural if you want to limit natural to the genetic (which is fine if you want to think in 100-year-old terms), a moral choice, but not the moral baseline because there are other cultural choices that are antithetical to veganism and that are moral as well.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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