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[deleted] wrote (edited )

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nulloperation wrote (edited )

I say naive in the sense that the act of killing the animal is presumed to be in a little bubble separate from the rest of our world, there's like this pure intentional act we can imagine - growing a plant versus slaughtering a calf - cut off from the bloodsoaked reality of every single thing you do in this civilization.

I think this "naivety" may perhaps be less for vegans themselves but rather for ease of explaining towards others.

Say I'm visiting a friend for dinner; if I request that they refrain from adding flesh or bodily secretes to the dish, then that is a fairly clear request that requires very little information to accomodate. On the other hand, if I ask that they avoid causing any indirect suffering in their choice of ingredients, it'd be very challenging, quite possibly impossible to accommodate, and therefore more likely to be seen as unreasonable.

That doesn't mean that vegans (i.e. people taking action to prevent direct suffering) per-se "naively" do not care about indirect suffering; on the contrary, they'd probably be more likely to be concerned about any kind of suffering.

I think many carnist disingenuously use similar all-or-nothing arguments to justify not caring about any suffering at all.

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[deleted] wrote

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nulloperation wrote (edited )

If what you care about is purely whether harm has been done to animals, then this hard moral line wouldn't make any sense.

The thing is, this hard moral line is a baseline. It doesn't mean that vegans believe that anything is fine as long as it's above that. It doesn't mean that any vegan would happily buy GMO corn doused in Round-Up or dates picked by Palestinean children.

Just because you have a hard baseline doesn't mean that you can't have any nuance. For many vegans, it's just the starting point of negotiation about reducing unnecessary suffering.

(Just because you support a ban on assault rifles, doesn't mean that you buy any handgun you come across, right?)

A vegan - in the privacy of their own home - would refuse to eat a fish.

In fact, carnists also have hard moral lines, just different ones, e.g. not eating human flesh, or certain animals considered cute. That's why the horse meat scandal in UK upset so many carnists there too; it transgressed their hard moral line. Just because carnists see themselves above cannibalism, and wouldn't even eat a human toe in private, does that make them similarly naive then?

Perhaps some vegans may believe they have a magic vegan license which means that their gasoline powered cars are entirely disconnected from oil spills or habitat destruction from road construction. But it's not a requirement of veganism to hold those alleged beliefs.

it has nothing to do with their friend making them dinner.

It does though. Cooking and eating are social situations. Being vegan, you end up having to explain veganism to others, unless you live alone and cook every meal for yourself. And, in explaining it to others, having an understandable vocabulary is helpful.

Even if vegans have different motivations and strategies, and some go further in requests towards those around them, like those taking liberation pledge, it's still useful to be able to agree on a word that defines this baseline, without that word necessarily being dogma.

Also, many vegans define veganism as preventing unnecessary suffering. This doesn't specify direct suffering, and I suspect many vegans would love to go much further in reducing the amount of suffering we consider necessary. But given the current resistance to veganism as well as widespread indifference to many kinds of suffering in general, it will take time.

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[deleted] wrote (edited )

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nulloperation wrote (edited )

Why are you managing your own diet so particularly when literally everything you use or eat in this world kills animals, destroys the environment, and requires coerced labor?

Because nuances, because degrees, because in-betweens, because shades of gray. Omitting those, we can get strange conclusions:

  • Waged work is wrong in the first place, so why even bother to unionise?
  • We'll never eliminate traffic deaths, so why even have speed limits or seat belts or any road signs at all?
  • Your bathroom is never going to be totally clean anyway, so why don't I just take a shit on the floor?
  • People will all die at some point anyway, so why don't I just go shoot a whole bunch of them right away?

If your argument is that there's suffering happening no matter what you eat (and therefore, implicitly, the extend of suffering is irrelevant, so why bother?), then why would you consider cannibalism unethical? (Not that you have actually written that, but I am assuming...)

I'm aware that there may well have been some aphids killed in the process of growing the salad I'm eating. I discriminate based on the perceived capacity for the animal to suffer. I'd weigh harming an aphid below harming a pig, and harming a pig below harming a human. You would, too, I am sure.

Nuances, friend, nuances!

The question is why is that the baseline.

I think a reason why veganism is a baseline for some is that it sets high ambitions for reducing suffering while still being easy and practical to explain and to follow. Do you have any suggestions for alternative baselines? (that don't make you starve, while also not leading to increased indifference towards suffering)

If you care about the non-human, this whole thing's gotta go,

I agree! I AGREE! Yet the question still remains: In case the whole thing hasn't gone tomorrow, what do we do in the meantime?

Why are you managing your own diet so particularly when literally everything you use or eat in this world kills animals, destroys the environment, and requires coerced labor?

It goes beyond diet. Many vegans would consider it unvegan to buy wool or leather. And fighting against one aspect of environmental destruction and forced labour doesn't exclude fighting other aspects. You don't have to choose between solidarity with enslaved non-human animals and solidarity with, say, refugees. If you're anti discrimination by race, it doesn't mean that you're pro discrimination by gender, etc.

I agree that if someone was only focusing on animal liberation while being dismissive towards other struggles for liberation, then that would indeed be naive and narrow-minded. However, that isn't a mindset I've come across often, if ever. I can get suspicious that it may be an anti-vegan strawman (because I've heard it often) but, then again, I don't know what vegans you've been talking to.

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[deleted] wrote (edited )

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nulloperation wrote

We can stop traffic deaths if we get rid of traffic. Maybe tearing down the signs will help!

Yea, there's some truth to that. I loved the article The forgotten history of how automakers invented the crime of "jaywalking".

It's killing a pig or killing a pig.

Yea, well, again, there's a quantitative difference. Looking away from the suffering of enslaved animals for a moment, eating a pig that has been fed soy its entire life is way less efficient that eating the soy directly, and hence kills more pigs.

I am also not sure where in the salad production the rape of pigs and pig transports come into the picture.

You can say the word nuance all you want, it doesn't change the fact that ethical vegans somehow think their diet is moral, other people's diet is immoral, while both of their diets are relying on the same violent system.

Yes, thanks again for educating me on what I somehow think. How would us vegans even know what we were thinking if not for the carnists explaining it to us?

I'm dismissive of vegans & politicizing one's diet. If it were up to me humans would be the endangered species. I am for animal liberation, what I am against is people giving a fuck what I eat, or neurotically policing what they eat - because what you eat is not the problem, civilization is the problem.

Yea, and I am a climate activist and all for reducing CO₂ emissions, but I'm quite dismissive to bicyclists as I prefer to fly around in my private jet. I'm just against bicyclists politicizing types of vehicles and policing my means of transport.

I'm also an anti-racist, although I love to yell racial slurs against anyone I think look foreign. I'm against people giving a fuck what I say, because that's not the problem. Civilization is.

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celebratedrecluse wrote

Exactly, veganism is a liberal ideology and as such is bound up inextricably with commodification. Thus, it is experienced almost entirely as a consumer practice rather than a genuinely contrasting alternative to the capitalist hegemonic food market & food factory system.

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nulloperation wrote

Thus, it is experienced almost entirely as a consumer practice

The fact that vegan activism happens sort of negates that assertion. Taking a look from a Raddle post from last week, surely you wouldn't describe the Animal Save movement and what Regan Russel was doing as "consumer practice", right? Neither DXR, right?

Regardless, as I understand you, you aren't so much making an argument against veganism, but rather arguing that we need to go much further than veganism in fighting capitalist hegemonic food system. I'm sure many vegans will agree with you on that one.

veganism is a liberal ideology

I do object to the description of veganism as inherently liberal. Like, you somehow need to eat flesh to be proper leftie? Absurd.

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celebratedrecluse wrote

I do object to the description of veganism as inherently liberal.

It's defining yourself as an individual liberal subject, based on consumption choices and public-sphere performativity. You can't get much more liberal than that, lol.

If you want to discard liberalism, you discard describing yourself as someone who consumes in a particular type of way, and instead define yourself by your creative pursuits, for example, as well as other endeavors which are not bound up in consumptive economic activity alone.

surely you wouldn't describe the Animal Save movement and what Regan Russel was doing as "consumer practice", right? Neither DXR, right?

Consumerism isn't the only aspect of veganism as a liberal ideology, but it certainly is liberal to go on USA's Democracy Now and talk about your non-violent "protest". The entire goal of these actions is opposed to the principles of direct action, because it's aimed at getting an imagined liberal public to change its individual consumptive behavior, rather than actually challenge or build alternatives to the agribusiness industry. It's delusional to think that the influencing of individual consumption choices, is anything other than a self-consciously described indirect action.

Like, you somehow need to eat flesh to be proper leftie? Absurd.

You've entirely twisted my point, because you're so deep into the blinders of liberalism you cannot see your surroundings. It really doesn't matter what you eat at all, and vegans/vegetarians/religious wingnuts are always the people who are trying to make that argument. Not to mention the class disparities obscured by such puritanical discourse.

As an aside, I'm not a leftist. I'm a communist and anarchist, not a leftie or a liberal.

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nulloperation wrote

you're so deep into the blinders of liberalism you cannot see your surroundings.

Aw snap, the top anarchist in charge on Raddle has denied me membership of the exclusive anarchist club!

it certainly is liberal to go on USA's Democracy Now and talk about your non-violent "protest".

Yea, I hope you got to tell Graeber that he was wrong, and all those liberal BLM "protesters" demanding abolition of the police ... sheesh, I wouldn't want to be seen around one of those.

(I would find it more interesting if you addressed my points rather than resorting to name-calling and postulates about word definitions.)

Serious question though: What do you think then about vegans that do violent actions?

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celebratedrecluse wrote

Aw snap, the top anarchist in charge on Raddle has denied me membership of the exclusive anarchist club!

This reeks of insecurity

Graeber, BLM libs

Yes, some of these people have also engaged in liberal first-worldist politics, which doesn't interest people like me and has been met with critique by people like me. It doesn't mean that some of them aren't interesting and do interesting things sometimes. But to pretend there isn't substantial liberal recuperation happening in these examples you brought up, is to basically refuse to acknowledge the reality. It is necessary to understand how liberalism is continually reified, otherwise one cannot understand how to chip away further at it and build an actually radical, autonomous future.

(I would find it more interesting if you addressed my points rather than resorting to name-calling and postulates about word definitions.)

I actually have been engaging with your points, the criticism of something as having liberal characteristic is a constructive discussion of limitations, and an invitation to explore a point of view which challenges your own. Rather than seeing this as a threat, you could see it as an opportunity to learn about another person's point of view. I think you have a desire to negate any criticism of veganism as an ideology or praxis, perhaps because it is crucial to your identity. Frankly, if this is the case, This is a shallow way to explore politics and I encourage you to try on other shoes before you keep on your walk.

What do you think then about vegans that do violent actions?

Well, I find incredibly inspiring the resistance of indigenous people to the destruction of the Amazon for cattle grazing and other colonial & exploitative activity, a crucial aspect of which is the opposition to the large multinational agribusiness industry and its militarized policing arms, and those fights are sometimes but not always mutually violent. But it's not really framed by western liberal veganism in the way I think you mean. So perhaps that's not a good example.

Honest: I can't really think of any politically violent vegans who committed that violence for the advancement of veganism, ALF and ELF usually did non violent actions. Those people, generally have had a broader analysis of their situation, and while their approach hasn't really borne much fruit it's a commendable legacy of insurrectionary anarchism and direct action, because they usually weren't trying to inspire consumption chioces at least as their primary goal, but rather tried to alter the things in the world which they wanted to change, directly, through their own decisions and actions.

Anecdotally, I find most "vegan activists" to be as a group rather disconnected from the material realities of collective struggle, and thus frustrating although partially well-meaning. I do dislike a social norm I have observed in some of these groups, to engage in pointless and shallow virtue-signaling, at the expense of intersectional understanding and practice of struggle. However, this is not fair to label all people who identify their diet as vegan as like this, it's a large group of people now and the trend of a majority doesn't dictate the behavior of an entire subculture, and additionally it's more indicative of psychopathologies associated with leftists and liberals in general than it is with vegans in particular.

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nulloperation wrote

I think you have a desire to negate any criticism of veganism as an ideology or praxis, perhaps because it is crucial to your identity. Frankly, if this is the case, This is a shallow way to explore politics and I encourage you to try on other shoes before you keep on your walk.

Yea, when I see people who I love and respect for their work in fighting a cruel system being dismissed as "liberals" engaging "almost entirely [in] a consumer practice," then it saddens me. I feel the need to express why their work is of tremendous value to me. You are right that is a part of my identity, but how exactly is that shallow?

But to pretend there isn't substantial liberal recuperation happening in these examples you brought up, is to basically refuse to acknowledge the reality.

I think you are correct in this, and while that's also true for veganism, that's quite far from the initial assertion, that "veganism is a liberal ideology". There are many vegan anarchists and, yes, there's also a lot of anarchist anti-vegans spewing out a lot of bunk, like, say, Peter Gelderloos' apathetic argument that death isn't really sad anyway:

The Western tragic ideal, which is inextricable from the capitalist war against nature, presents death as a bad thing, and apparently so do some vegans, but to the rest of us, this only appears as philosophical immaturity.

I think the carnist bunk needs to be addressed the same way racist and sexist bunk needs to, and while I think you're making some valid points, this thread is still rich with nonsense carnist distortions. It's just sad in the same way racism and sexism is, especially in an anarchist space.

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ruin wrote

You’ve made points that I both agree and disagree with, but I think your last statement is my issue with this discussion.

By framing it as carnist vs vegan is to take dietary choices (regardless of their motivation) and frame them as ideologies.

In doing so the conversation will obviously be tied to ideals and absolutes and lacking in nuance as you keep pointing out.

I was hoping the op would clarify the context of the blog post itself. It was about karmic attribution which seems more interesting and nuanced than an ideological moral argument about veganism, and I don’t believe in karma...

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