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Vegetarians and Vegans

Discussion in 'The Vapor Lounge' started by TiSteamo, Feb 7, 2019.

  1. Accept

    Accept Well-Known Member

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    811
    Thanks!

    In addition to evolution, it's been fun (and useful) to think about the ethics material again. Got fired up in grad school where the veterinary library held a comprehensive collection of relevant books. (At the time, the veterinary faculty was especially vocal in their support of animal experimentation, so maintaining this collection was very much to their credit.) Read all of them instead of finishing thesis - and was soon shown the door!

    @OldNewbie's post above brought to mind Raymond G. Frey, author of The Case Against Animals. Frey's work is a good example of just how difficult it is to refute animal liberation/animal rights. He devised a convoluted, counter-intuitive argument based on specific cognitive requirements he claimed were needed in order to be eligible for moral consideration. Ultimately, he rejected many of his own conclusions.

    Surprisingly, these ideas are rarely discussed among professional advocates these days, IME. Just last week, had to gently edit a colleague's work because it emphasized sparing dogs in a particular type of experiment, to the exclusion of rats, who are used far more frequently.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2019
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  2. OldNewbie

    OldNewbie Well-Known Member

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    1,854
    I've read science fiction since a lad and the concept of higher and lower intelligence weaves through it all. One bottom line is the entity that can fight and win is the one in charge. Once we try to erase the huge chasm of difference between our ability to manipulate the environment and other's ability to manipulate the environment as a sign of intelligence, we're probably talking more over a weakness in language than anything else. Someday, when the millions of theoretical monkeys typing on the millions of theoretical typewriters come up with a good book, we might talk of different intelligence. Until then, our limited brains have to come up with some definition. There, while a water mammal's ability to "see" with sound in 3 dimensions shows a processing power we humans cannot duplicate...well, used to not be able to duplicate individually...might indicate a very high "intelligence", it's not going to help determine who is in charge.

    While I have read and enjoyed many books by C.S. Lewis, I don't recall the quote you mention. It certainly fits with his (and my) general philosophy. While I don't believe him to have been a vegetarian, his idea of small impact would certainly have him lean in that direction. It would be interesting to see if the quote you're thinking of is from his science fiction portfolio or his apologist portfolio. If from the later, the exact quote would be needed to see his point as his philosophical writings tend to be quite precise. For instance, I don't think he believes animals have immortal souls. As to his thoughts on angels or demons, that might be left for a more full discussion. He did think us different from animals in one regard, "The sin both of men and of angels, was rendered possible by the fact God gave us free will." His "The Screwtape Letters" helps define what he means by free will and shows how subtle the concept of sin can be. The exact same act can be either a sin or an act of grace; depending. Can eating an animal be a sin? Yes. Is eating an animal a sin? Not without more.

    [The concept of intelligence when applied to us and angels is even more problematical from Lewis' point of view. Angels are more rational and have greater knowledge, but we have an animal nature as well. We, in this life cannot perceive the heavens as they are too vast and would overwhelm our senses, they cannot taste a berry picked off the vine or feel the touch of a hand in comfort and understand the implications from those. Who is more "intelligent"?]

    Then we need to get to levels. Few would say it is wrong to kill bacteria that is trying to kill you. The question was more than theoretical to humans a bit back, should we commit genocide? You see, smallpox was/is nearly eradicated with the last known case in 1978. The only remaining smallpox virus was in two hands, the U.S. and Russia's (Soviet Union) and there was a debate as to if it should be destroyed so the deadly disease would never return. Our better nature against genocide won out and we both still have live virus. Well, either our better nature or our desire to turn it into a weapon of war.

    My cultural perspective on levels are in the meme that started with a PETA question taken and mocked many seem to find funny. And, as my wife says, it's funny because it's true. Where the line is drawn can be a very contentious discussion here or in regards to other like dividing lines--such as with abortion. Where is the line to be drawn? What criteria, outside of our own heart, will we use to divide?

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. Accept

    Accept Well-Known Member

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    Might makes right - what most view as the antithesis of ethics. Ultimately, that's where you find yourself if you argue against animals long enough. Nevertheless, there might be something to it.

    Also enjoyed science fiction and the writing of C. S. Lewis. Finally found the quote in the most obvious place - his essay "Vivisection".

    Don't forget the permafrost, in which is preserved potentially viable plagues going back millions of years. Soon to be released by global warming!

    Ingrid Newkirk, who has a devastating sense of humor, advocated for conversion of one meat eater at a time: a "hot vegan chick" should pressure her omnivorous boyfriend into going vegan, immediately after which she should dump him and move on to the next. Warning: not nearly as effective for vegan men and their girlfriends.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2019
  4. OldNewbie

    OldNewbie Well-Known Member

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    1,854
    We've been polite for so long and you're going to go with that? Please. If you don't want further discussion, fine. But, keep your straw men back on the farm and re-read what was written.

    I never wrote what was "right", but what was a universal Truth. Just because it is True, does not make it Good. People are murderers. That does not mean it is a good thing. Smart people are better murderers. That does not make intelligence bad. To conflate might makes ethically right with might makes you in charge seems intentional. As to the ethics of the situation, what is the guide you use? Perhaps you mean morals?

    This is why context and the exact quote is important. "Vivisection" had the key issue over if Man had a "right" to inflict pain on animals. Is that our question? If so, would a quick, clean kill make it OK?

    I've owned dogs all my life. I've put down some when the suffering seemed to profoundly affect the quality of their life. My (1st) wife died from cancer and went through the whole process of chemo, surgery(s) and radiation. While I will read the studies if I am ever faced with such an ultimate choice for myself, I am disinclined to go through the process if I were to be diagnosed with similar prospects she had. Now, what of a diagnosis for my dog? Is it morally better to go through chemo and have the dog feel poorly (assume very poorly) for some period of time with a possibility to delay death? The dog has no idea why I'm forcing them to be pricked by needles and vomit up their food. Do I have a "right" to inflict the pain? (Especially when they seem so in the moment. Rarely have I thought a dog worrying about how tomorrow will be.)

    Interestingly, I believe that was one justification of the scientists. It wasn't to wage war, but to protect us if we were wrong about it being dead.

    That's because boys and girls are different. (Even though we are supposed to pretend they are not.)
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2019
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  5. Accept

    Accept Well-Known Member

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    811
    Unintentional, sorry. And didn't mean to prop up "might makes right" only to knock it down. On the contrary. Ethics is on shaky ground. Even Kant had a hard time with it. Suppose it would be more accurate to say "might is all there is". Arguments challenging ethics more generally seemed very strong, at least in grad school.

    These days, as alluded to earlier, wonder what our actions matter when at best we can only guess at their most immediate effects, with no idea what might follow further down the road. Maybe we should accept (hehe) our powerlessness and do little.

    A utilitarian might say yes, it does. @seaofgreens ventured this earlier. It was seen as a flaw in Peter Singer's Animal Liberation, forcing Tom Regan to follow up with The Case for Animal Rights. The correct answer is the subject of unending philosophical debate.

    Why would you keep a dog captive, in the first place? Animals are not ours to use for companionship. You should euthanize the dog and donate the money you would have spent on chemo to a spay-neuter program. (Shocking, isn't it?)
     
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  6. abracadaver

    abracadaver aka mephisto

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    165
    While I cannot postulate ethics and moral compass repair, I can say that my animals would prefer their captivity. Since 8 of the 9 cats were throwaways, we have improved their quality of life. We have also rescued 1 of our 2 dogs. They are all "free" to run away to other /better homes. Their captivity is for their protection. It's a matter of perception. My animals improve the quality of my life. In return, I try and improve theirs. Not to derail this thread, but it feels like we have drifted a little.....
     
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  7. Accept

    Accept Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    811
    Being deliberately provocative above. It's certainly true that millions of unwanted dogs and cats would be better off with someone to care for them. They've been selectively bred over millennia to be dependent on us, after all. It would be absurd to deny this to them in the name of ideological purity.

    Still, it's an uncomfortable point for animal advocates. Lost friends over it. Many of us (including this vegan), first realized not that humans and other animals are similar, but that, for example, dogs and pigs are similar. Why are pigs just pork on the hoof, while dogs are our best friends? If we didn't know our pet dogs and cats to be capable of suffering, we might never have wondered about the other animals. And yet, many vegans continue to feed other animals - to their pets. By exploiting these animals in the first place, we've created a problem with no solutions.

    Don't think this is drifting too far off-topic. @TiSteamo is clearly more interested in the ethical basis for vegetarianism, and all of this discussion follows from that.
     
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  8. OldNewbie

    OldNewbie Well-Known Member

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    1,854
    The dog(s) were already captives of the state. I freed them to later enslave them and do my bidding. Apparently, my bidding is poop production that I have to pick up and belly rubs. They seem pretty happy about it. Perhaps we should revisit the intelligence issue.

    Or, maybe you were talking of my cat?

    The Dog’s Diary
    8:00 am - Dog food! My favorite thing!
    9:30 am - A car ride! My favorite thing!
    9:40 am - A walk in the park! My favorite thing!
    10:30 am - Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!
    12:00 pm - Milk bones! My favorite thing!
    1:00 pm - Played in the yard! My favorite thing!
    3:00 pm - Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!
    5:00 pm - Dinner! My favorite thing!
    7:00 pm - Got to play ball! My favorite thing!
    8:00 pm - Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!
    11:00 pm - Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!

    The Cat’s Diary
    Day 983 of My Captivity
    My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets. Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength.

    The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape. In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet. Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates my capabilities. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a “good little hunter” I am. Bastards!

    There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my confinement was due to the power of “allergies.” I must learn what this means, and how to use it to my advantage.


    Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try this again tomorrow, but at the top of the stairs.

    I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches. The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released, and seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously retarded. The bird must be an informant. I observe him communicate with the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. My captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he is safe. For now ...
     
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  9. TiSteamo

    TiSteamo Well-Known Member

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    153
    Well, a dog that buries a bone is a dog that worries about tomorrow ...:)
     
  10. abracadaver

    abracadaver aka mephisto

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    165
    @Accept no intention other than further enlightenment. I can watch from the bleachers. Please proceed, all of the discussion is of great interest to me.
     
  11. Accept

    Accept Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    811
    @abracadaver - didn't mean that you were being provocative. Accept's peculiar manner of speech is just an exercise in never using personal pronouns. Sometimes causes confusion. :spliff:

    Glad you find this interesting. And glad that FC is a forum where people can disagree with one another civilly, and not too seriously.
     
  12. Ramahs

    Ramahs Fucking Combustion (mostly) Since February 2017

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    Location:
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    Click to play YouTube Video
     
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  13. Accept

    Accept Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    811
    [​IMG]

    Shopping day! More sexy vegetables -avocado, heirloom tomato, and watermelon radish.
     
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  14. TiSteamo

    TiSteamo Well-Known Member

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    Very Psichedelic!!! :nod:
     
  15. Krazy

    Krazy Well-Known Member

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    649
    Location:
    up on a mountain
    That used to be the norm for us, lol. Took a fair bit of work to be able to tour in on/off.
     
  16. Accept

    Accept Well-Known Member

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    811
    Just unwinding after a long, oddly huge "Tox Expo".

    Found 2 NYT pieces worth sharing.

    This Animal Activist Used to Get in Your Face. Now He’s Going After Your Palate.

    By Nathaniel Popper

    Bruce Friedrich and his wife Alka Chandna are model advocates. Privilaged to be acquainted with them at one time.

    Your Dog Feels as Guilty as She Looks

    By Frans de Waal

    Does guilt imply agency? Had just this example in mind.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019 at 9:06 PM
  17. TiSteamo

    TiSteamo Well-Known Member

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    As for the first article, it is clear that the world cannot change overnight. But it's already starting to do it. They say it's trendy. For some it will be. For many it is a solid conviction obtained with heart and rationality.
     
  18. Accept

    Accept Well-Known Member

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    811
    Bruce Friedrich is the ultimate pragmatist. He will do whatever he feels is likely to be most effective based on his considerable experience (including civil disobedience that would make Thoreau proud). If idealism goes only so far, he'll try capitalism to drive change even further. In any case, the article speaks to the earlier discussion of lab-grown meat.

    Along those lines (kind of), stunned by the progress reported at this toxicology conference. We can grow stem cells in culture and vary the conditions to produce many different kinds of human tissue, that can then be used for safety - and even efficacy - testing. Science fiction stuff, for sure.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019 at 11:49 AM
  19. Abysmal Vapor

    Abysmal Vapor Shaman of The Pyramid of Orlin'Malah

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    Location:
    7th heaven - 666th pit (EU)
    I am vegan for almost 13 years now and i can say i dont like vegans :D... I know that everybody goes trough some kind of drama when transitioning which often becomes manic and some start think that they know best for everyone and that people are just blind fools which need their eyes opened.
    I for one have become a vegan purely based on my taste and SMELL preferences and most of all because it makes me feel good ,and makes me laugh that i have once been a GERD(reflux disease) sufferer...
    I have never liked meat or diary products... nor the animal they are produced from... They are smelly and dumb and i cant even stand being near them.. Yes i am a food nazi, i dont eat certain foods based on how they look or how they smell... Things like eggs and mayonaise makes me puke even when i think of them.... i can\t even stand vegan mayonaisE(YEP IT is a thing).... just becuase it looks like rotten pus... Dont get me started on milk which is mainly pus and altered sweat.... and some even like it moldy..... LOOOOL....
    I dont mind other people using animal products... I even have few pairs of military boots that i wear without feeling bad ,they dont smell bad and i do not ingest them...
    On the other hand i am against farms and animal living in poor conditions,but i am far away from trying to make people who eat them feel guilty,that\s for everyone to decide for himself...
    I think people should start eating people.We are overpopulated anyways,why laying waste on innocent creatures ...
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019 at 7:38 PM
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  20. OldNewbie

    OldNewbie Well-Known Member

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    1,854
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  21. Accept

    Accept Well-Known Member

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    811
    :hmm:

     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019 at 1:13 PM
  22. OldNewbie

    OldNewbie Well-Known Member

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    1,854
    Let's just say I first read an article that had a more colorful headline than the one I posted here. From the study:

    http://science.sciencemag.org/content/363/6432/eaav3218

    Our findings reveal that the transition from prehistoric foragers to contemporary societies has had an impact on the human speech apparatus, and therefore on our species’ main mode of communication and social differentiation: spoken language.​
     
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  23. TiSteamo

    TiSteamo Well-Known Member

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    Well, surely, if it were a contest of originality you would have won a lot …:D:lol:

    However, I don't think we can say "I hate vegans", because hating the "categories" of people is for nerds manga readers. :D:D:D

    Like those who say "I hate women", involving 3 billion people, just because "one" has cheated him with the plumber…:D

    It's like living looking at a sky of paper and dying thinking you saw the real one.

    But I agree a lot about one thing. Freedom is a very (very!) important thing ...
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019 at 8:46 PM
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  24. Abysmal Vapor

    Abysmal Vapor Shaman of The Pyramid of Orlin'Malah

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    3,743
    Location:
    7th heaven - 666th pit (EU)
    @TiSteamo I would say i dont like most stereotypes of woman behaviour,although not everyone is the same .There are indeed some true gems among them that would outshine the majority of us.
    Well maybe there is some stuff getting lost in translation,we have at least 10 words for dislike with different degree of severity. I would say I mean there "I dont like it very much to the extent i prefer to avoid it".
    So at least around me ,please note that i live in a very small 3rd world country ,veganism is not that popular as it is on the west,so i cannot really express thoughts about it as a worldwide thing. But the 90% of the vegans i know are overdoing the preaching,most of them dont use even half of the advice they spam around,probably because are just too hyped due to the 50 grams of fruit sugar in their smoothie they just had :D.. Ii will once again specify that this has been purely my experience with their kind ,also my feelings towards the larger part of the female population are due my experience and the data i have gather trough my life about them.
    I am aware my opinion not a popular one and i also find it funny,so i thought i'd share it because this community for sure is enough openminded to accept it just as another color of the rainbow :).
    My dental specialist says human teeth arent desinged for meat ,they are too close one to another and it gets trapped into areas which arent accesible for cleaning and can rot and produce bacteria there up to 6 months after consumption . Also humans have 4-5 times longer guts than most carnivores and meat stays in the the guts up to 4 days after consumption ,which can bring some serious trouble if you consume it more often than that.
    Another gross fact is that one of the biggest source of air polution and ozone damage are the concentrated animal farts produced in farms,lol...
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2019 at 7:29 PM
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  25. Accept

    Accept Well-Known Member

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    811
    IME, vegans frequently "hate" each other. We've chosen to separate ourselves from the >90% of people who continue to eat animals - why would we stop there? Even (especially) among advocates, there's a split between those who cling to ideological purity and those who favor a more pragmatic approach. Many of us seem prone to controlling behavior - our groups divide continually and acrimoniously. It's a useful discussion to have because, if we understand our own behavior, we could be more effective. We've made one big change in our lives, why not be more open to others?
     
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