An_Old_Big_Tree wrote

Reply to comment by thelegendarybirdmonster in by !deleted20335


sometimes managing, sometimes not, thanks :)

He either had a naïve understanding of veganism or was critiquing naïve vegans.

I think he was critiquing a wide range of vegans, and I was just running my own veganism through his gauntlet. What I would have wanted would be for him to critique the best vegans and not the worst. If he'd started and ended with situational vegans and gone in on that, then focused on his points around supporting capitalism broadly, it would have made a much stronger case, against my veganism at least.


An_Old_Big_Tree wrote

Reply to comment by !deleted23972 in by !deleted20335

On the pain point I'm basically just an antinatalist with regards to making animals have babies. Curious about why you think what you think.

I do approach things different to most vegans, but I still think mine and Gelderloos's positions are very different despite the many convergences.

I think that generally it's not possible to make more sophisticated general arguments on these points, because developing on any of them requires the argument to become situated and therefore idiosyncratic.

For example if I did, I would have to talk about some of the following:

  • the specific conditions specific supermarkets order and reorder food under.
  • the specific ways that foods of different types are transported
  • the specific ways that waste is dealt with in those specific supermarkets
  • my own personal capacity to desert, to steal, to scavenge as part of a broader lifelong gamble with its own specifics and moving parts
  • my own relation to my health and wellbeing
  • the resources available to me personally


I know some vegans who do do this and I try to keep in the loop where I can, and where I can't if it's an option I prefer to err on the side of caution.


An_Old_Big_Tree wrote (edited )

Reply to comment by !deleted23972 in by !deleted20335

Ok I’ve been forced to think about veganism lately, so if anybody’s interested, I’m going to go through this whole article with my particular 'veganism' and see how it goes.

Unfortunately it's not presented well enough that you'll be able to follow 100% unless you also read the article. But if anybody's bored or whatever I might as well post it since I wrote it.

how the true nature of how the present economic system actually functions.

I look forward to hearing about this.

All talk of efficiency is coming out of the mouth of Capital itself

I agree. This is not why I don’t buy animal products

I don’t know why these people hate other animals so much that they would wish rights on them

I agree. This is not why I don’t buy animal products


I agree. The element of killing is not why I don’t buy animal products

If it is wrong to cause pain, why do we give animals the benefit of the doubt, and give other living things the short shrift when in neither case is it certain if or what they feel? Is our only criterion their similarity to us?

Can it dodge? Is there a significant nervous system? If both, then evolutionarily it is likely to be able to suffer in an ethically significant way.
What constitutes “significant” I don’t know, but the animals I avoid buying quite clearly feel pain, and many appear to be capable of very complex emotional lives.
And, really, it’s not that I don’t care about the wellbeing of plants either. I just think the kind of suffering is completely different, and it’s pretty easy to make the evolutionary argument for why.

Vegan morality, in other words, constitutes another alienation from nature; to prevent killing or the infliction of pain, human society would have to remove all remnants of ecosystem relations from our food production, producing human and natural spheres that ideally do not touch at all.
… I find it hard to understand someone who does not comprehend that pain is natural, necessary, and good.

No, I’m fine with pain and ecosystems including pain and death. What I’m not fine with is the avoidable yet excessive and overwhelmingly terrible suffering (doubly so for a huge proportion of animal production, which happens through forced pregnancies - bringing animals into existence just to abuse them to death and eat them). I say suffering and not mere pain to include a much wider range of things, the suffering of being locked up and other broader, anarchist concerns, like limiting potential.

Gelderloos’s critique of concern around suffering is a big shortfall one for his argument, but it can recover depending on the success of his later argument about capitalism broadly.

It is important to distinguish between these two types of radical vegans—those who think it is absolutely wrong to eat meat and those who think it is situationally wrong

Ok. Technically I am neither since I don’t think it’s wrong to eat meat, but more or less I'm situational. I think it’s wrong to enter into certain sets of relationships with animals, via the animal industry.

In this section, the struggle against industrial food production is taken as a given, and the only criticism made against veganism in this respect regards its efficacy in challening and undermining this industry

Ok so this should be the good section for me!

practical vegans generally obscure the true functioning of capitalism and thus hinder the struggle against animal exploitation and ecocide

Ok, teach me the true functioning pls

practical veganism creates a false understanding of capitalism

Ok cool you did just say a thing just like that, let’s hear it though, what is true capitalism

In the first place, true veganism is impossible for anyone who lives within capitalist society

Obviously. This whole paragraph just doesn’t make sense to argue?
I can’t be a true anarchist either except insofar as I’m situationally doing my best.

Imagine a vegan vertical monopoly that produces food, from start to finish, without bees, without manure, and hell, let’s pretend they even use organic fertilizers and pesticides, and don’t use giant tractors that crush moles, insects, and other animal life

What kind of vegan wants this world, damn Peter you must meet some brutal vegans. But ok I guess pointing this out is not actually relevant to what you’re trying to say.

Let’s put this more concretely. Every single vegan restaurant in the world, as long as they meet the minimum definition of a restaurant (selling food) supports the meat industry, because in industrial civilization, there is no meat industry and vegetable industry, there is only Capital, expanding at the expense of everything else.

This is more concrete? This for me is the crux of the whole argument and it’s reducing all purchasing to participating in capitalism which is one big system so anything you buy in any part of capitalism is supporting all of the other stuff happening in capitalism? Even insofar as this is true, which is probably limited at best because of the decentralising elements of capitalism, are you going to address the simple point of “Why not both do anticapitalism and veganism?”

The vegan argument against stealing meat is indicative

Also doesn’t apply to me, I steal whatever I want as often as I can.

However, it is the profit made by the supermarket that is reinvested primarliy in food distribution of all kinds, and secondarily in all other industries imaginable.

This is the best argument so far, weirdly couched in another argument that doesn’t apply to me. The argument being that if you buy veggies, those profits can/will be spent on the animal industry and not on veggies?

Here’s where whole questions of scale (how many vegans), of systematised food replacement/reordering by supermarkets get involved. He doesn’t talk about this stuff, and for me it’s important.

Within a market economy, a decrease in meat consumption could lead to a decrease in meat prices, which would lead to a net increase in meat consumption as those segments of the population not yet won over by veganism take advantage of the drop in prices.

What’s with this could might stuff? Veganism as a diet alone is not enough for us, that we should all know. Veganism is garbage alone, from an anarchist perspective, as is any single-issue approach.

Some mythical vegan movement that became large enough to cause a collapse in the meat industry through boycotts and accompanying sabotage would find itself in a dead end, having promoted a change in capitalism that would allow greater efficiency in world food production, a higher world population, and the destruction of ecosystems on a greater scale.

Why on earth is Gelderloos not assuming that the veganism and sabotage is happening together with the dismantling of capitalism? Again, why not both?

It is no coincidence that many of those anarchists who reconquered the ability to feed themselves—rewilding, scavenging, or setting up farms—were among the first to abandon veganism.

I agree.

For me the ethical thing appears to be to desert and help others to desert, and to live anarchistically in our territories, which includes reciprocal, harmonious, generative relationships including eating free animals. But different rules for commodities.

Veganism is a consumer relationship, but you can’t reduce vegans to veganism. vegans are multifaceted, people can do more than one thing at a time.

A vegan lifestyle in no way damages capitalism, ends ecocide or animal exploitation, or severs one’s material connections to even just the animal industry, given the interlaced nature of industiral society.

The highlighted part has not been established in this essay.


I’m fine with the health points, I don’t do veganism for my health.

Religious Tendencies …. but those who are exempt from the critique of dogmatism should still be asked why they choose to create common ground with those vegans who are moralistic and manipulative.

I go out of my way to shit on and dissociate from people with garbage politics that have similarities with mine.

Veganism refuses the possibility of learning from other animals—for me a precondition for real solidarity, but evidently not for them—by rejecting the development of an ethical framework in which we all depend on each other and sometimes eat each other, as in the animal world

Gelderloos is not engaging situational vegans here for some reason, and it’s weird how he focuses on low-hanging fruit.

Go Omnivore

Weirdly, I generally agree with this whole section, because it doesn’t say weird stuff about suffering or weird stuff about capitalist production.
A lot of vegans wouldn't consider me vegan, I suppose. I do usually just say I don't eat animal products, as shorthand for saying that I don't participate in certain relationships.


An_Old_Big_Tree wrote

Reply to by !deleted20335

Some thoughts.

Veganism and boycotts are generally different. One is an abstention model and one is a leverage model.

There are no demands that vegans make when they withold from buying products. For vegans, the entire industry must go.

When someone boycotts, they make demands. I won't buy from you until you do XYZ. Here, the industry survives once it makes changes.


An_Old_Big_Tree wrote (edited )

None of the anarchists I know who can will. For them, this is just that period before every US election where there's endless non-voter-shaming from every asshole who likes the smell of their self-righteous authoritarian farts.

Personally I think you could do plenty more meaningful things even with the little time it takes.


An_Old_Big_Tree wrote

Seems to me to be more about a relationship to knowledge.

That when you're told which answer to choose you know which answer is correct and don't need to think further on it, rather than the element of choice being removed being the reason you don't think further on it.

Those who no know go know.