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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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