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Tequila_Wolf wrote (edited )

Part of the answer.

[Image description: Picture of Abolitionist John Brown with text overlaid saying, "If a white man wants to be an ally, ask him what does he think of John Brown. You know what John Brown did? He went to war. He was a white man who went to war against white people to help free slaves. He wasn’t nonviolent. White people call John Brown a nut. Go read history, go read what all of them say about John Brown. They’re trying to make it look like he was a nut, a fanatic. They made a movie on it - I saw a move on the screen one night. Why, I would be afraid to get near John Brown if I go by what other white folks say about him. But they depict him in this image because he was willing to shed blood to free the slaves. And any white man who is ready and willing to shed blood for your freedom - in the sight of other whites, he’s nuts. As long as he wants to come up with some nonviolent action, they go for that. If he’s liberal, nonviolent liberal, love-everybody liberal. But when it comes time for making the same contribution for your and my freedom that was necessary for them to make for their own freedom they back out of the situation. — Malcolm X, On Afro-American History"]


selver wrote

Just do the best you can to live like an anarchist. That's it really.


Catsforfun wrote

Ive met anarchists who are sexist, rape apologist, racist, and gender essentialist all in one. :( the egotistical bastard thought he was "living as an anarchist" though


Infinity wrote

veganism is the most ethical decision a person can make in this world because it spreads itself over so many facets of ethics of all kinds. A lot of homeless people are not vegan, and therefore their footprint is bigger than many vegans.


BlackFlagged wrote

Don't homeless people have such tiny footprints that even middle class vegans (with their cars, houses, appliances) would use up more fossil fuels? I've never been homeless, so I'm just speculating. I actually have no idea what homeless people consume everyday.


Infinity wrote

Consuming animal products takes up a lot more fossil fuels than just about anything else you can do put together when you consider how much energy it takes to raise these products, slaughter them, ship them, and all the pollution and waste they create that eventually create the need to use more energy to clean that up if it can even be cleaned at all.

It's challenging to have a small footprint when you are homeless. There are not a lot of resources available to homeless people to throw away their waste if they have. You have to make a big effort when you are homeless to clean up after yourself. Most homeless people in my experience of being homeless and sharing time with others have not been so aware or conscious of their decisions. Maybe they are aware, but maybe they don't feel the need to make the effort. In a lot of places, they hide the trash because you have to pay for trash. In a lot of places, particularly neighborhoods where the average income is not very high, people don't pay for trash, and the city makes it illegal for people to throw their trash out in city trash bins in order to encourage people to pay for trash pickup? A lot of places you have to look for trash. Therefore what is a homeless person going to do? In those places is where you often see a lot of trash everywhere. What are you going to do when you are simply trying to survive? Live in your own filth? Maybe.

Some places I have lived the people put their trash in a pile and then put a tarp over the trash.

Some homeless people are very conscious. Usually the ones that are conscious are the nature homeless people who live in the nature. This is a different world of homelessness though. It's more like people who choose to live in the nature. Even those homeless people aren't always conscious of their consumption or waste. Sometimes they are. Some times they are drug users. Depending on the drugs you are taking, it might be challenging to be conscious of how you are living.

When the world looks at you like you are trash though it takes character not to live up to that expectation. We all question who we are and our identity in this world. A lot of that has to do with culture. What are our personal culture, familial culture, and culture of our surroundings or social culture?

Ethics is a big topic. What kind of ethics are we talking about? It encompasses many realms of what is "right" or "wrong."

Are we talking about personal footprints?

Are we considering the goods we are using? Obviously, we have more options to choose "ethical" products when we are not homeless. We don't have to shop at Wal mart for our sleeping bags which is where a lot of homeless people in America buy their gear at.

If we are considering goods we also must consider the food goods we consume.

I'm not sure what the original poster meant by ethical. It's a big topic.


Infinity wrote

oh another thing i forgot to write about...

When you live in a conventional dwelling you have ways of storing food. When you are homeless you have to band with other homeless people or it's more expensive, there is more packaging, ect. Even still it is a challenge. it requires a lot of trust as well as organization that a lot of nomadic people can't always afford. Society shuns homeless people especially if you are in the city. Because of that there is a lot of waste created from being homeless. Waste that otherwise would not be created if you lived in a conventional dwelling.

You don't have as many options to be conscious when you are homeless. Therefore a lot of homeless people create a lot of waste. Not everyone who is homeless does so with the intention of keeping a light footprint. A lot of people do it out of survival. A lot of people who are homeless are not as educated as the people here on raddle who know about politics. Some do. Most are just regular people.

If you are homeless and you like condiments are you going to carry that on your back all the time? Are you going to get the cosco sized bottle? What about water? What about everything else you need? Often you live day by day, and you have stashes in places. Hopefully your stash won't be raded. If you don't keep the essentials with you, such as a sleeping bag, it might not be there when you get back. Sometimes you have to abandon the stash because of whatever reason. Sometimes it's easier to get new clothes at the shelter, and then what are you going to do with your old clothes if you live in a city where the city hides the trash? No one wants your dirty homeless clothes. Disposing of your items is not always easy. When you are homeless you sometimes have to dispose of things that if you lived in a conventional dwelling you normally would not need to dispose of.

Being homeless doesn't automatically mean that your footprint is smaller. It just means that you have less stuff at one time. Also, a lot of homeless people are packrats. A LOT of homeless people are packrats. You would be surprised. They have stashes everywhere. And then what happens? When you are homeless you "recylce" a lot. There are many treasures to be found. Some homeless people are scavengers. But then what happens when those items are removed from recycle, and stored in a stash, and then what? Do they end up in a landfill? Or on the street? The metals always get recylced becase metal is expensive. A lot of the less desirable trashes end up in a landfill. It also depends on where people are being homeless, and what their recycling program is like out there. What about in places overseas though? where people are allowed to live in the nature? There are communities that are utopian, and others where they just trash nature.

I think veganism trumps homelessness. I don't think that is gross or classist to say that. I don't think it's racist to say that either..


________deleted wrote

This is really interesting...

I was already doubtful that being homeless under capitalism would lower your consumption too much... your experiences really demonstrate how everything we do under capitalism is going to have massive ethical implications. The problem is capitalism, and anyone that chooses to squat or be homeless to bypass capitalism is going to fail.

Thanks for sharing.


happy wrote

Friendly PSA: The word "homeless" is derogatory. These people are simply houseless because the world is already their home, just like you or I and everything else on this wonderful planet.

It's a very positive and easy vocabulary change to make.


Ant wrote

This is gross

classist white veganism


Infinity wrote

I don't understand your post.

Are you saying that veganism is gross?

Are you saying that veganism is classist?

Are you saying that veganism is a "white" thing?

Are you saying that veganism is not ethical?


Ant wrote (edited by a moderator )

well, the thought is this.

the vagueness of parts of your post associates homelessness with nonveganness in a way consistent with classist white veganism

when homelessness often means you don't get to pick and choose your food

which is to say, you're implying that one's lower class postion makes you a less good human being

that's the classist part

there's a whole world of veganism being tied to racism which I don't really have the energy to get into right now, and I added "white" because it's exactly those racist vegans who make that kind of classist claim. That is, it's the kind of claim I see coming from that kind of perspective.

To address your questions directly,

No, veganism is not gross. I'm vegan.

No, veganism is not necessarily classist on its own, but promoting it as best when there are people in class positions that make veganism impossible is
given the long and gross history of vegans being classist and racist, you can't just go saying that it's better to be vegan than homeless, which is literally your meaning conveyed in response to ziq's other comment in this thread

No, veganism is not necessarily white, but there is such a thing as white veganism in the same way that there is white feminism

I don't know if veganism is ethical, but it's what I try to do myself because of a handful of ethical reasons

Edit: added a little to classism bit


Infinity wrote

So when you say This is gross Classist white veganism

you are really trying to say that I'm implying that one's "lower class" position makes you a less than good human being because homeless people don't get to pick and choose their food?

How do you know that I don't have experience being homeless?

Do you think that homeless people are mentally incapable of thinking and making personal decisions? Are you saying that homeless people are not in control of making personal choices related to their survival?

Do you really think that homeless people are idiots?

Do you think that it is "ethical" to attack a stranger on a forum before you understand what they are even trying to say? :-)

Do you even know why I addressed homelessness in the first place? :-)

Do you not consider the ethical implications of resources involved when it comes to sourcing food?

What is your definition of "ethics," anyway?

Do you think that ethics = Good person or bad person? Like a kind person? That is where it seems like you are coming from.

Do you think that being homeless on it's own is more "ethical" than being vegan?


Ant wrote (edited )

you are really trying to say that I'm implying that one's "lower class" position makes you a less than good human being because homeless people don't get to pick and choose their food? How do you know that I don't have experience being homeless?

I said that often it means you don't get to pick and choose your food
I don't know whether you've been homeless or not, and I said what I said aware that I didn't know
And when I said "lower class" I was referring to a structural position in a class hierarchy, not making a moral claim, I should have been clearer (just like you should have been clearer)

there is no monolithic experience of homelessness that excuses you from saying it's better to be vegan than to be homeless, especially given the long history of people being racist classist vegans, because the options available to homeless people are different all around the world
similarly, there is no monolithic experience of homelessness that allows you to represent homelessness as a categorical position

I don't think homeless people are idiots, I think that homeless people are a heterogenous group in all parts of the world, with different possibilities afforded to them, and often they don't get to pick and choose their food

Do you think that it is "ethical" to attack a stranger on a forum before you understand what they are even trying to say? :-)

Calling what you said gross because I honestly think it's gross is hardly an attack on you, it's a relatively mild way of saying that I think what you've said is really not ok
Given the looooong history of disgusting classist white veganism, it seems worthwhile for any vegan when espousing veganism to make moves not to come off that way

e.g. If somebody came up to me with a pink pussy hat talking ambiguously about feminism, it's on them that I assume they're white feminists and not on me that I don't take the time to figure out their feminism
When you come along and the context of your claim is that you think veganism is better than homelessness, I see a pink pussy hat
If I had a small amount of money for every time I heard a racist vegan say something like what you'd said, I'd have a not small amount of money

I don't think I have a definition of ethics. I am weary of any definition of ethics, actually. and also I think that's too big a topic to get into here

Do you think that being homeless on it's own is more "ethical" than being vegan?

nope. I hope it's clear by now that I don't think there is a singular 'homeless' or that it can somehow be spoken for. I also don't think that these things are comparable and I think that comparing them as categories is part of the issue here.

I don’t really like fighting on the internet. I’ve tried to explain myself and recognise that I was brash. ziq seems to vouch for you based on a comment of theirs that they deleted in defence of you so perhaps I’m oversensitive. All the best to you as you continue to live in this world, fellow person


ziq wrote

I deleted it because it's not my fight and it was wrong of me to go on the attack just because I know them.


Infinity wrote

I was thinking about this post today.

I can see why how I said what I said could come off as that way.


Ant wrote

I think about it daily

I need to put more effort into understanding what other people are saying and engaging with them on those terms, I think

I need to be more forgiving of people who are genuinely trying

and since I can't tell who is genuinely trying I probably should just be more forgiving and patient in general

I've been working on ways to do that while still showing I'm not ok with what is happening

because I don't want to be complicit in things that hurt people I care about, if I can help it


Infinity wrote

define "ethical."

and do some forms of ethics take priority over others?


elyersio wrote

well, how do I survive this system and then help to kill it by starting/contributing to a growing community that socially produces survival necessities for free, without being a hypocrite?


elyersio wrote

well, how do I survive this system and then help to kill it by starting/contributing to a growing community that socially produces survival necessities for free, without being too much of a hypocrite?


ziq wrote

Homeless, I guess.


________deleted wrote (edited )

There's a lot of good debate in here about this already, but I just want to add that I lived in a squat for years and was forced to do a lot of 'unethical' things to survive.

Any attempt you make to be more ethical is only going to succeed if you have a lifestyle that will allow you opportunities to make these choices. A lot of people don't get to choose to be 'ethical' because they have no options other than survival. So it's erroneous to assume that being homeless would allow you to be ethical when homeless people's only options are to survive or die.


__deleted_____ wrote (edited )

I think this is the most important comment here because it shows how 'ethical' is really a judgemental and privileged word.


Infinity wrote

explain how that is ethical?


ziq wrote

I took it to mean "how to have the lowest footprint" or whatever. But obviously no one should be striving for that kind of elite purity at the expense of their survival.

...i thought it was s silly q so I gave a silly a.