This is a transcript of a discussion from my Discord server.
The forward ( > ) symbol indicates “responded to”.
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Through study, contemplation, and personal experience, I find the body simply does not process flesh as well as it does plant matter.
The average meat-eater’s intestines are significantly (and often dangerously) backed up, and I will not even engage in a discussion on this point with anyone who denies this and has not performed an all-liquid fast for at least 21 days. That experience is sufficient to demonstrate beyond any doubt that you’re sitting on weeks of unfinished business.
That being said, we are capable of deriving nutrients from flesh and surviving its processing on an ongoing basis. This fact does not seem to jibe harmoniously with anatomical characteristics that are ALL pointing toward a plant-based natural diet for the species (particularly fruit).
How do we explain this? I don’t know enough to attempt it. I try not to wade too deeply into science that I have no first-hand experience of, and that is rife with conflicting data, all of which is suspect in our world circumstance of deception, manipulation, and slavery.
Right now, this question is sitting in the file labelled ”Mankind: A Stranger in His Own Home”, because it’s one of many inconsistencies that make this species a singular aberration on planet Earth.
Abdul > bbblackwell
“That being said, we are capable of deriving nutrients from flesh and surviving its processing on an ongoing basis. This fact does not seem to jibe harmoniously with anatomical characteristics that are ALL pointing toward a plant-based natural diet for the species (particularly fruit). How do we explain this? I don’t know enough to attempt it.”
I think a good explanation to this may be the fact that we are not a naturally evolved species to begin with; we are (quite literally) a genetically modified species (though mainstream biology & archeology would have you believe otherwise). Knowing that, it may not be that farfetched for an alien species like ourselves to be comfortably omnivorous on the inside, but lack all such features on the outside. What is “natural” for an unnatural species? Perhaps a lot of the seeming inconsistencies rest on this question.
bbblackwell > Abdul
Absolutely, this is as likely as anything else, if not more so, and deserves to be considered in earnest.
Abdul > bbblackwell
I wonder, let’s say we did have some carnivorous features on the outside (but are still omnivorous on the inside), what would that change? Would it sufficiently alter the morality?
bbblackwell > Abdul
I don’t believe so. It would only put the natural diet” argument definitively on the side of the carnists.
Personally, I think man is meant to evolve into greater alignment with the Will of creation, via holistic intelligence. This does not mean moving away from nature, but moving toward other aspects of it, which may differ from what we did historically.
We can choose veganism, even if capable of living healthfully otherwise, and perhaps even physically evolve to better accomodate that choice (as per the principle of mentalism).
As with any journey of discovery, new vistas appear as old summits are mounted. Yesterday’s unreasonable expectation becomes tomorrow’s moral imperative. It doesn’t matter if man was originally designed to eat meat, it only matters whether he must now to survive and thrive.
Abdul > bbblackwell
I do believe that we can and should design and choose our own destinies (I believe that ability is part of what differentiates us from the animal kingdom as karmic beings).
I just think currently we are so far removed from the way things are supposed to be (naturally), I’m no longer convinced that choosing this type of food over that one is enough (without due consideration of its source). It’s all tainted in some way in my eyes, so I wish to realign and do what is right in that regard.
There’s just too much wrong going on with factory farming & modern agricultural systems, simply moving away from these centralised monstrosities into more decentralised practises will significantly improve the situation not only from a moral perspective, but also from a purely health perspective (as the nutritional density can be significantly superior).
I do appreciate Joel Salatin’s approach to this subject. He reminds us that life eating life is a fact of this dense world; for you to live, something else must die (and your body too will die one day and be food for other organisms, and the life-death cycle will continue).
According to him, we have a right (and responsibility) to participate in the life-death decomposition-regeneration cycle, and our job as stewards is to ask: how do we best honour the life of all concerned?
How do we keep from desecrating the death of a plant, or an animal (or any form of life), and move that to a place of sacredness?
He suggests that the way we do that is to respect that animal or plant in a way that allows it to fully find and achieve its physiological expressiveness and distinctiveness in life—to honour it in its “phenotypical zenith”, so we in turn can reach our own phenotypical zenith in life (so we can be in full alignment with our spirit, to reach our full potential, to self-actualise etc.)
This would be the standard to aim for imo. When we cheapen life and throw it in a factory farm, douse it with chemicals, give it a very simple and incomplete diet full of pesticides, we not only desecrate the value of that life, but that is when their sacrifice becomes more of a sacrilege.
Be it plant or animal, have we honored this sentience in life enough to deserve to be able to take its life in the end? Though it may not be morally perfect, that’s the question that I believe will move the carnist/vegan conversation forward towards significant moral improvement (and hence improvement in all areas of life).
bbblackwell > Abdul
I agree with this whole-heartedly, though I see it as somewhat tangential to the concerns of veganism. It’s hard to make this clear, but I actually see your point as more important than veganism, yet insufficient to address vegan concerns (if that makes sense).
Veganism is abolitionism. It’s about authority (invalid claims of ownership). It’s about exploitation.
Your point is also about exploitation, but doesn’t go far enough on this particular aspect. The best way to honor something is to leave it alone unless you’re aiding it in fulfilling its nature. Its nature may be part of the life cycle, but it’s not our place to force that in a particular direction (since we’re not Gods and thus not equipped to organize that with perfect alignment).
We must eat life, so we must seek a way to do this that least interferes with others’ authentic expression. Killing and eating interferes more with a cow than it does a banana, so if we can authentically express (survive and thrive) eating the latter instead, we are obliged to do so.
That’s the whole of the matter for me, but as is the case with coming into alignment, the position is well-supported on all other fronts as well (health, anatomy, etc.)
I should add that veganism may mean death to modern man even if it’s man’s natural diet. I don’t believe it is currently, but we do not live under natural circumstances, and our food is susceptible to the alterations of psychopaths. If they want veganism to kill us, it will kill us. If they want eating meat to do that, it will do that too.
Abdul > bbblackwell
“If they want veganism to kill us, it will kill us. If they want eating meat to do that, it will do that too.”
And I believe they are doing just that with both sides, hence, I’m seeing these positions more as a false dialectic, because what you decide to eat is largely irrelevant if there is zero integrity in the source, and I find it no coincidence that both sides constitute mostly of hardcore statists (that really says it all for me).
I’m sceptical whether veganism is really about “abolitionism” in the minds of most vegans (though I don’t dispute that may be the main intent of the philosophy). The main issue for me that hasn’t been adequately addressed by any vegan I’ve come across is that: why isn’t the same respect of life and care extended to that of the plant kingdom as it is to the animal kingdom? It’s the biggest inconsistency I see.
For example, wearing leather (an animal product) is non-vegan and is discouraged in principle, yet vegans seem to have no problem with taking advantage of wood, when in principle they absolutely should. Why is it ok for a tree to be mercilessly butchered for its wood? Of course it’s not right for the same reasons, but the plant kingdom is given a blind eye it seems, and that to me is not right, nor consistent in principle.
If vegans were truly principled (true to the philosophy of veganism), they’d pretty much have to give up modern life altogether and live like monks. It goes beyond food ofc, no vegan for example should be driving around cars that run on gasoline petrol, which not only pollutes the air that we breath, but is fuel that involves raping mother earth in order to acquire it (harming both the environment and wildlife).
There are countless more examples we could get into, but I’m sure you get my point. If these kinds of considerations are outside the scope of veganism, then it’s an insufficient philosophy imo, and I’d rather just stick to simply being moral.
If veganism is supposed to be about moral alignment, then it’s a redundant term. However, as a supposedly redundant term, it’s stepping on dangerous ground, as it is implying that only a plant based diet is moral and valid (when that’s simply not true).
If veganism isn’t about moral alignment, then this is where it can falter like any other religion. If you had to choose between practising “veganism” and being moral, which would you choose? You could argue that they are supposed to be one in the same, but I think it’s fair to say that with modern (supermarket) veganism, this is simply not the case.
“Your point is also about exploitation, but doesn’t go far enough on this particular aspect. The best way to honor something is to leave it alone unless you’re aiding it in fulfilling its nature. Its nature may be part of the life cycle, but it’s not our place to force that in a particular direction (since we’re not Gods and thus not equipped to organize that with perfect alignment).”
I fully respect this stance, it’s just as I already mentioned, this kind of stance isn’t really being employed by either positions (or frankly anybody it seems, besides perhaps a serious monk).
I think there is room for debate here, since I’m not certain whether it is or isn’t our place to “force” nature in a particular direction (though it’s arguable that our very presence/existence does this anyway, in which case, we have a moral obligation to spin things in a positive direction, as opposed to a negative direction). Regardless, it’s clear to me that in today’s world, we are definitely forcing things to go in a negative direction (for everyone and everything). Hence, any improvement of any degree is welcome in my eyes, and should be encouraged.
I’m certainly not against the highest degree of moral excellence possible, I’m just not insistent on perfectionism and consider all paths and degrees of moral progress as valid and good. In this case, there is a clear path where both positions have much to gain if they can simply ensure the integrity of their food supply, and one of the most reliable ways we can do that is to take things back into our own hands. In fact, doing that is so crucial to regaining our freedoms and sovereignty, right now, us city dwellers have practically zero food sovereignty (the size of your backyard withstanding). The discussion of what is best to eat becomes largely irrelevant imo as this scopes a far bigger problem than what veganism aims to solve.
(In short, if everyone went “vegan” tomorrow, we’d still be fucked.)
BastardChris > Abdul
I strongly disagree (perhaps). Eating an orange where the humans that “produced”, harvested, and distributed it were exploited is a SINGLE whammy. Eating a murdered animal where exploited humans raped it, robbed it of all life before murdering it and cutting it up into little pieces is a DOUBLE whammy. Eating a poached deer would be a single whammy. Minimizing the double-whammies is preferable IMO. Albeit, I don’t disagree that they (the masters of war) are attempting to control both sides for their purposes. The so-called “Vegans” from the AskYourself server are next gen slave robots.
Abdul > BastardChris
It’s not clear to me what exactly you are strongly disagreeing with.
There is no way modern monocultural systems or factory farming count as a “single” or “double” whammy (who knows how many moral infractions are involved, but I bet you it’s a scary number).
A clear path of moral improvement would only include a handful of whammies at most (if any at all), but that is simply not the case with either positions as they are commonly practiced today. In other words, it’s not a real victory if you decide to buy some fruit & veg from your local supermarket instead of some meat, both are engrossed with all kinds of errors. Arguing which of these is the lesser evil is not the solution, as there are paths that have little to no evil at all that are not being given due consideration (not necessarily by you guys, but I’m finding this to be the common mindset “out there”).
In other words, the problems we’re dealing with here are much bigger than simply choosing this food over that food the next time you go shopping.
BastardChris > Abdul
I’m strongly disagreeing that because enslaved humans are exploited to produce, harvest, and deliver oranges that that justifies and is equal to humans being exploited to rape, enslave, and murder animals. Even though both sides are (or may be) controlled, there remains an ethically superior position on one side and a morally inferior position on the other.
And obviously, the NO whammies is the best position. Growing your own food—eliminating the mafia’s exploitation of the producers, harvesters, or distributors of your food.
bbblackwell > Abdul
We must eat life—now what? That’s the moral question, and it’s problematic because its implication is uncomfortable (since we’re naturally inclined to preserve life), and because it robs us of the clearest line for establishing a categorical imperative.
The way I see it, we have two choices: anything goes, or a lamentably arbitrary line.
Anything goes is out for most people, as they simply cannot accept that it’s OK to eat humans (especially unwilling ones). So now… where we gonna draw our line?
We can draw it willy-nilly, as most do: plants yes, dogs no, pigs yes, chipmunks only if we have to…
But I submit that there’s a less arbitrary line, and that’s sentience (some call this consciousness, but I don’t prefer this usage).
Sentience is the idea that there is an experience (and thus an experiencer) associated with a particular being. Humans certainly have it; pigs seem to; lettuce doesn’t; clams… ehh… let’s grant them as “wiggle room”.
Is this airtight? Not at all. But we have to draw our line somewhere, and between humans and pigs is way less reasonable than between pigs and carrots.
I have said that when it comes to plants, the lights are on, but no one’s home. I believe there is consciousness underlying their existence, but with no personal, individualized aspect.
They’re basically organic mechanisms with no will. That’s my theory. In any case, they have less will then a pig, so let’s not kid ourselves with over-intellectualized justifications.
A pig is a person. It’s got a face, a mom, it makes decisions, feels emotions, dreams, and has preferences. If you think it’s OK to eat pigs, you think it’s OK to eat humans too, you just don’t want to admit this to yourself.
Whatcha think? That’s what I’ve come up with and I think it’s about as good as we can do right now. I should also note, as I often have, that I think morality—like all sciences—will advance to a point where this issue becomes far more clear.
-If veganism is an unprincipled position, then so is anarchism for the same reason: we do not suffer any and all outcomes for the sake of total adherence. We all harm life, and we all support the state.
-Veganism is about alignment, and only a plant-based diet is moral and valid. Just because we can eat meat as a means toward serving the nutritional need doesn’t mean it’s aligned to do so. We can procreate via rape, too—so what? And maybe eating meat was a way to bring us to this point, but now, being capable of advanced understanding, we’re obliged to stop. Who knows. What we do know is that it’s slavery, and we can thrive without it. What more information do we need?
-Agreed; veganism is a secondary concern to anarchism, because the latter threatens all, while the former threatens only some. This is merely a matter of prioritization within the overall theme of abolitionism, however, not prioritization between disparite concerns. Statism’s more important than African-American slavery too, but there’s no reason why we should just not care or do anything about that just because it’s not the foremost priority (especially individually).
Free your own slaves—it’s the least you can do! And many of us have our slaves chopped up in our freezer.
Abdul > bbblackwell
I myself don’t claim to have all the answers here and still consider myself in the investigative phase (both in regards to the morality of this issue, and also what is best to consume for optimal health).
At this time, the primary factor I focus on is health—what is best to eat must be what’s most healthy for me. This alone is ofc insufficient to garner the morality of the situation, but very simply, given an unlimited supply and access to any food (ready to eat in front of us), if we consume foods that are compromising our health, then we must be missing the mark. If however we consume foods that are optimal for our health, then we must be close to hitting the bullseye.
That is my personal (basic) moral philosophy in regards to food in a world where practically no option is morally perfect (at least for my own situation at this time).
I see various issues with both carnism and veganism. I should make clear that my criticism of vegans/veganism by no means is justifying carnism, I believe the true solution to this lies outside (or beyond) these two dialectics, and I think the truth of things is too complex to be able to reduce it to another “ism”.
“We must eat life—now what?…The way I see it, we have two choices: anything goes, or a lamentably arbitrary line.”
One thing I’d like to clarify here is that, you can argue that something like a broccoli or a banana may not constitute as “life” (or sentient), but we shouldn’t forget that the process of getting to that stage absolutely involves death (especially if modern agriculture was involved in that process, in which case, most likely all the major moral infractions were involved, and on top of that we’re probably also dealing with a gmo frankenstein broccoli or banana).
Can consuming such a banana really be considered to be wholly “moral”? It’s not, and this is one of the major flaws of veganism imo, because it doesn’t seem to really care about what process it took to get to that banana; the production of this unnatural gmo banana could be responsible for the deaths of millions of sentience and destruction of entire ecosystems, but so long as the banana is not conscious, it must be ok to eat and we’re morally in the clear? I don’t think so, this is where I disagree with vegans and veganism (and also carnists).
How the food is being sourced is rarely part of the debate. Why is it not? In my eyes its equally if not more important of a consideration than what exactly is being consumed.
Getting back to the original question of where we draw the line. Thinking beyond dialectics, I think it may be more the issue of where we draw the line given a particular circumstance (or available choices).
Even cannibalism becomes a moral consideration when in dire circumstances of life and death (a good real life example would be the 1972 Andes plane crash). Under normal circumstances however (not that there’s anything “normal” about our modern world, but outside of life and death situations), where do we draw the line?
And to me, it seems like the issue isn’t really solved by simply drawing the line somewhere. If we draw the line on fruits only, would this really be the morally superior choice?
What if there there are long term health consequences that arise as a result of limiting our diet to such a narrow range of produce? Doesn’t that demonstrate that strictly drawing the line doesn’t really solve the problem?
The best I can come up with is that the line ought to be drawn dynamically/morally (as opposed to arbitrarily). To cater to what the body actually needs, as opposed to “forcing” the body to adapt to particular diet.
“Veganism is about alignment, and only a plant-based diet is moral and valid. Just because we can eat meat…”
I was hoping that I wouldn’t have to clarify this one, but you are forgetting about animal products like milk and honey. Can milk for example be sourced ethically (with Love)? Absolutely. Therefore, it’s simply not true that only a plant-based diet is moral and valid. Whether it’s a good idea to drink the milk of another species is another consideration, but can it be morally sourced? Absolutely.
We don’t even need to consider meat into the equation. We could simply be comparing two types of milk instead. Which would you prefer: fresh coconut milk, or raw cows milk? Personally I really like coconut milk, but I absolutely wouldn’t be against anybody choosing to consume raw cow milk; assuming both are ethically sourced, both choices are moral and valid. Veganism rejects this because it draws the line far too low (hence the philosophy is flawed imo, because it’s no longer in due consideration of truth).
This is where certain food choices become “bad” not because they’re actually immoral, but because “veganism” (an ideology) says it’s bad. This again is where it starts to falter like other religions: eating pork is bad because the Qur’an says it’s bad, but cows and chickens are in the clear, but not crocodiles or other predators, and no cannibalism! What about crabs? Oops, it seems like God forgot about that one, some scholars say its ok, some say its not, nobody really knows…
For veganism, eating crabs would most certainly be haram, but there is no real concern whether our choices are having a negative impact on the ecosystem—we could be causing pollution, or unwisely genetically modifying nature, or simply cutting down trees willy nilly (for any reason, since anything goes for the plant world). Even if that means destruction to the ecology and various habitats, it doesn’t really matter… But it does matter in reality.
The following is what nails it in the coffin for me: you cannot be statist and be an anarchist, but you can be vegan while being a hardcore statist.
I know this doesn’t apply to you, but cmon, why are the majority of vegans hardcore statists? Isn’t that a clear sign that something is off here? Most vegans seem to only care about animal slavery, and that’s it. I’ve come across vegans that are straight up misanthropes; they would actually be willing to kill a human being to save another animal. The problem is, humans are also a thinking animal…
It’s inconsistencies like these that lead me to suspect that veganism (or certainly a lot of vegans) are unprincipled, and I believe the behaviour and attitude of most vegans duly reflect that (to be clear, you guys here are most certainly the exception to the rule).
Personally, I see no need to associate with veganism—why not just stick with morality?
bbblackwell > Abdul
This is all highly relevant and demonstrates the limitations of man’s intellectual models, including language.
Alignment is the only measure. Morality, Love, and Truth are one. This is the standard we seek alignment with.
For veganism to be valid, it must have some rooting in this context. Many vegans don’t have this foundation. The same can be said of many anarchists. Abolitionists like John Brown sought bloody war in the name of freedom, twisting the concept of Love to include rampant murder.
These isms are merely models with some practical value for describing what alignment looks like externally, in certain pockets of life experience. They are not necessary, foundational or sufficient. We can just stick to morality.
Veganism points toward a broad concern—slavery, murder, abuse, exploitation. When rational, it’s not about rigid dogma, and thus not discredited by edge cases.
What would “moral sourcing” of cow’s milk look like? The cow must be free and wild. You need some assurance of consent from the animal, and that the milk’s intended recipient—the calf—will not be negatively impacted by the diverted resource. And this assumes that ingesting infant-growth fluids from animals is part of an aligned diet for humans—a dubious proposition, to say the least.
If a vegan is a statist, then his statism is the problem. If a vegan doesn’t care how food is sourced, then this negligence is the problem. His active concerns about rights and exploitation are valid and not diminished, however, regardless of what else he may be ignoring.
And remember that true vegans—those holding to a moral, philosophical principle of abolitionism regarding animals—have just as little likelihood of actually achieving their goal as do anarchists, and I’m just talking about on a personal level. The anarchist will support the state, in nearly everything they do, and the vegan will contribute to exploitation, despite their personal philosophy.
As I always say, morality is an aggregate concern. We are one body. It is unreasonable to expect that an individual unit within a co-creative environment can uphold a standard vastly different than what’s being generally embraced.
Unless we’re prepared to embrace and defend a utilitarian moral model, we can never make this decision based solely upon how much damage is caused in procuring our food. It is wrong to even try to acquire meat because meat requires murder. It is not wrong to try to get bananas under any circumstances.
If banana people aren’t doing the right thing, that’s wholly on them. We should attempt to get “less immoral” bananas, but if none exist in our satanic society, we’re still obliged to seek bananas even if they cause more damage than meat. It’s not about making choices that will result in the least amount of suffering all things considered; it’s about categorically aligned action, regardless of what outcome results from other people’s contributions to the co-creation.
As we come into alignment, all converges upon the center. There can be no discrepancy between health, economics, morality, etc. To prosper materially must also mean to prosper in health. To prosper in health must mean to be moral. There is only one Truth. Each topic does not have its own standard.
I think our hunting-inept anatomy, coupled with the near-impossibility of sourcing non-vegan food morally, necessarily implies something about cosmic intent regarding man’s diet. To my mind, all roads lead to the same destination: that alignment does not include eating animal products under normal circumstances.
Abdul > bbblackwell
I appreciate your earnest response. If veganism was viewed and treated as a model (for guidance), I would be far more lenient and not be as critical of it. I am critical, because there are people out there who take it very very seriously… So much so, they will vilify, shame, and curse anyone that goes against it, in which case, veganism better be the truth, and from what I can see, it falters in that regard.
The mindset is understandable, especially after witnessing the horrors of factory farming, but the flaws I’m attempting to point out is akin to throwing the baby out with the bathwater. It’s a shared problem with any letter of the law philosophies that inscribe for you exactly what is right and wrong. Sometimes what’s actually moral and what’s prescribed to be moral by a particular ideology may align perfectly, but in cases where it doesn’t, that’s when we run into problems, as what’s actually moral is often wrongfully coloured to be “immoral” (or vice versa—basically a moral inversion/perversion takes place—which in essence is the fundamental problem of all religion).
To clarify, if veganism is a voluntary personal choice thing, there is no error. However, if veganism is a moral prescription, it’s in error.
“What would “moral sourcing” of cow’s milk look like?”
You pretty much listed out a good set of requirements, all of which can be met. They don’t need to be completely wild however, animals can be a part of your family domain (like pets), and the relationship can be based on Love (as opposed to slavery). Also keep in mind availablity of choices. Many in history (and perhaps still today) are not necessarily abundant in their food choices. Lets say it’s true that there exist better choices than animal milk, if that choice is not available for someone, and the animal in question is not under abuse, then milk becomes a perfectly valid and moral source of nutrition (once again, this is something veganism would unwisely and unjustly reject—another flaw).
The most ethical way to source it is when the animal gladly offers it themselves. If there is resistance, then that’s a clear indication that it’s not appropriate or the right timing to do so. Someone who has a good relationship with the animal knows when it’s appropriate, and when it’s not. The point is, it is possible to source milk ethically, and it resembles nothing like that of the industrial madness that treats these animals as mindless milk machines (to milk that money).
Whether it’s a good idea to drink it, I hear plenty of good things about raw milk, especially how it’s superior to the supermarket pasteurised (bastardised) version of it. Is it superior to my favourite coconut milk? I don’t really know, but if it was, if it was truly healthier for me, wouldn’t that mean I should go for the raw cows milk?
If I were vegan, I would have to stop myself, not because of sound morality, but because of my strict ideology (here lies the flaw imo). If veganism is a model, then it should be immediately dropped in cases where it need not apply (in which case, what would be point of the label in the first place?).
Nature’s gifts are not limited to just fruits. This idea that it’s immoral to benefit/be gifted something from the animal kingdom (full stop) is simply fallacious (if that is what veganism is suggesting).
The cows milk example is just one of potentially hundreds of examples. Sheep wool can be another. Honey another (not forgetting that it’s not just about nutrition, but it can also be about medicine, as well as various other applications like clothing etc.). But in this discussion, I don’t want to get caught up with the particular examples, the main question in regards to animal products is that: can it be sourced ethically? If the answer is yes, then veganism fails as a moral prescription. Veganism is implying that under no circumstances is it ethical to source animal products, but if there is even one such example (and there are many), then it’s no longer in due consideration of the truth of things.
“It is wrong to even try to acquire meat because meat requires murder.”
Veganism (as a philosophical standard) is already shown to be faulty in regards to animal products that don’t require murder. We don’t even need to get to the meat, but when we do, veganism completely breaks down tbh.
If it’s possible to aquire meat 100% ethically, then what does that say about veganism?
I believe you did read my post exploring this long time ago (right in this very channel), I hope you didn’t forget?
A very brief overview: predators gifting you their hunted meat is 100% morally aquired meat. You did not lift a finger, nor hurt any soul, nor interrupt the natural cycles in nature, the meat might as well have manifested right in front of you (again, whether it’s a good idea to eat it is a seperate concern).
Is there anything wrong in this scenario? Is this not 100% morally acquired meat?
The predators are going to do what they’re going to do, it would be wrong (and unwise) to stop their natural predatory-prey cycle. If you happen to be a welcomed beneficiary of that cycle, where would the immorality lie in this example?
Now, this may seem like another edge case issue, but there are real life examples like this that I can point you to, and the point is that, if there is even one reasonable example that demonstrates that it’s possible to aquire meat 100% ethically, then that pretty much breaks down the whole veganism argument (as a philosophical standard), i.e. if you go about it right, eating meat can be moral (and can be perfectly morally justified given the right scenario).
Therefore it’s not true that it’s wrong to aquire meat.
You personally might not resonate with that, and that’s perfectly ok, since this may not be your path, but this path may apply to someone somewhere one day, and I see no moral infractions in such a scenario.
bbblackwell > Abdul
This all checks out, as far as I can tell. What it leaves us with is a rather absurd definition of veganism, however, which when rightly rejected, suggests a conclusion that seems, to me, misleading.
In other words, I think we’ve got a language problem.
Veganism is a word without universal definition. It’s creator was defining a diet only, though logical conclusions led many to expand the concept to other areas of life. Some vegans say they would die before eating an animal, some think having pets is wrong… There’s varying schools of thought.
Why hold up the least valid version of a concept only to knock it down? This is what men like Dawkins and Hitchens did with Christianity, and although there are those who embrace the most ludicrous version of an idea, it’s beneath the thoughtful to engage in such light work.
Why do we need veganism? For the same reason we need anarchism… Under normal circumstances, we wouldn’t, but the majority of people can’t seem to understand that their fellow beings do not exist for their use.
Edge cases and “moral sourcing” notwithstanding, if we view veganism in spirit, rather than letter, it holds up quite well. I also think it’s most appropriate for man (being most aligned), and thus will produce the best health (absent misguided alterations to nature’s bounty).
I’d rather call out wrong-headed vegans individually, or criticize them for their inconsistency regarding human freedom, then take a stand against “veganism” as an ideal. When confronted with an absurd term, I think it prudent to adjust the definition to something alike in intent, but more practically useful, than trash it and waste what potential it has to offer.
I should also mention that I’m not convinced animals have much in the way of “gifts” to offer, and that there’s no valid justification for viewing them differently than humans in this regard. Considering that acquiring valid consent is orders of magnitude less likely with animals, I’m not sure why we should be looking to them for resources at all. Cooperation with humans and the plant world is a far more promising focus of attention.
Abdul > bbblackwell
“This all checks out, as far as I can tell. What it leaves us with is a rather absurd definition of veganism, however, which when rightly rejected, suggests a conclusion that seems, to me, misleading. In other words, I think we’ve got a language problem. Veganism is a word without universal definition.”
That is definitely a major problem. Anarchism for example does have a solid definition, in which case, for those that are earnest, it’s easy to dismiss the media propagandised molotov tossing chaotic version of it. For veganism, is it about abolitionism, or is it about adhering to a particular diet? These aren’t always mutually exclusive, and there are many problems with where veganism draws the line.
Unlike anarchism however, the mainstream seems to love veganism (which by itself should raise some eyebrows). Of course, it’s not the abolitionist—let’s be self-sufficient and grow our own organic foods version of it, it’s a veganism that is “corporate” compatible—save the planet by buying our gmo foods, don’t eat real meat sourced from real farmers, here’s our laboratory made goo that looks and tastes kinda like meat, but it isn’t!
God knows what the long-term health implications may be of consuming such unnaturally processed corporate produce, but thinking that is the more moral choice just because there’s no meat in it is severely misguided—and this is relevant because this is the mentality of the vast majority of “vegans”.
All letter of the law philosophies are flawed in this kind of way. Rejecting them doesn’t mean accepting the other side of the dialectic (just like rejecting the christian doctrine doesn’t automatically make you an atheist). The truth is beyond such labels, and hence, so is the spirit of the law. There is no “vegan” or “christian” spirit of the law, there is only a vegan or christian letter of the law, and all letter of the law philosophies (by their very nature) are flawed, if they are treated to be absolutes.
“Why hold up the least valid version of a concept only to knock it down?”
If veganism is the truth, it shouldn’t be possible to knock it down at all. The fact that it’s so easy to poke holes in it and literally end up with a situation where we have real meat that is 100% vegan compatible is a complete contradiction to the premise that all meat and animal products are immoral to consume and handle, but all plants are in the clear (there are plenty more holes we can make with the latter assumption).
There’s no need for me to continue poking holes though, I think it’s clear that we ought to take a more spirit of the law approach, and this means we ought to view these issues devoid of any preconceived labels/assumptions and simply do our best to intuit on a case by case basis (factoring in as many variables as we can). We are not Gods, so we can’t really determine the absolute moral paths for others, but we must try and do this for ourselves, as we need to take some action in our lives, so it might as well be the best possible action. In some cases, the vegan way may be representative of that, but in other cases it may not be. The mistake is thinking that the vegan way is the only way, and hence, any other way must be the highway to hell (this ofc simply is not true).
It’s the same fallacy as thinking that the christian way is the only way, or the muslim way is the only way, or the athiest/statist way is the only way, the true moral path simply is not bound to any letter of the law ideologies. The only real obligation we have is to be in alignment with our higher selves (spirit of the law); we have no such obligation to be in alignment with veganism, or christianity, or man made laws etc.
“Why do we need veganism? For the same reason we need anarchism… Under normal circumstances, we wouldn’t, but the majority of people can’t seem to understand that their fellow beings do not exist for their use…I should also mention that I’m not convinced animals have much in the way of “gifts” to offer, and that there’s no valid justification for viewing them differently than humans in this regard. Considering that acquiring valid consent is orders of magnitude less likely with animals, I’m not sure why we should be looking to them for resources at all. Cooperation with humans and the plant world is a far more promising focus of attention.”
I agree that cooperation with the plant world is promising, but why must the animal world be left out of this cooperative equation? It’s not necessary to always take a segregative approach, one can take a more inclusive approach that is very moral, possibly more so than “attempting” to leave everything as is. In fact, I doubt it’s even possible to evade the animal kingdom. If you have a garden or a farm, I’m sure you are familiar with the gift bees bring via their pollination spree. Bees are simply doing their thing, and there are ways to enhance their process that helps them out as well as everything else. You can choose not to have a beehive, but it’s perfectly moral to have one if you know what you’re doing (and there many ways of going about this too, some better than others).
We already had a discussion on consent before, and you well know that consent is not king; it is merely a factor among many other factors. With that said, animals can and do give consent. Animals are defo not stupid; they know when they are being wronged, and when they are not. If you don’t have a dogs consent to pet it, he’ll be sure to let you know by growling at you and/or biting your hand. If you don’t have the consent of a horse to ride it, good like trying to. If you don’t have proper consent to milk a cow, the behaviour of that cow will be very telling. Factory farming doesn’t care at all what the animal thinks or wants, it imposes itself, and that’s what makes it slavery (and hence wrong). If a cow willingly and comfortably allows you to milk it, consent is already baked into that interaction. Again, let’s not get caught up with the particular example, perhaps you have no interest in their milk, but could use them to till your land, would “using” them for that purpose be wrong? Of course not, it doesn’t have to be, this can be done in a positive manner, or in a (forced) negative manner—the flaw with vegan thought is that it assumes the latter must always be the case.
Even with human interactions, most “consent” is implied rather than stated anyway. Just because an animal can’t talk like a human does not mean it is incapable of communication—most of their communication is non-verbal (in fact, a lot of human communication is also non-verbal). I have pets myself and can personally verify that they understand a lot more than most of us humans give them credit for. In a way, that does give credence to the vegan argument, but imo veganism takes it too far. You’re not enslaving a horse by riding it. I mean, it’s perhaps possible that someone could be, but horse riding (using an animal) does not automatically equate to horse enslavement. Interacting with any animal can be done positively or negatively.
Veganism advocates for the more “chaste” approach, but that does have its own set of consequences. The truth is, you can’t have a relationship with the plant world without stepping on the animal world; nature works as one cohesive whole, and if you are a steward in this wholistic system, you will have to deal with the animal kingdom one way or another, it’s the nature of that relationship that counts. As city dwellers, we are largely isolated from the natural world and don’t have to deal with many of its responsibilities, but this is an unnatural way of living, and imo is not the way nature intended it.
This is perhaps why “corporate veganism” is on the rise—a grossly unnatural thing with its genetically modified overly processed laboratory grown “food”, with artificial pills, potions, and supplements on the side… I mean, this is not the way nature intended it at all! If anything, it falls in line with the unnatural transhumanist agenda that aims to entrench us in even further dependence on the system (and hence, in further enslavement).
This is where mainstream corporate veganism is heading, and most statist vegans will not only accept it without batting an eye, but will do so with a (false) “moral” vitriol—the very same people that will cultishly vilify you for not taking the vaccine full of poisons and animal products.
From what I can see, the term has been hijacked, is going under, and it ain’t worth saving (imo). It’s for the same reason why I no longer associate or identify with my own religion—it was infiltrated and hijacked a long time ago, and even though there are still many beautiful teachings that can be found in it, one can easily reap all the benefits without having to identify with the label too strongly.
I’m just seeing too many red flags with veganism/vegans tbh, and I’m not even really actively investigating it yet…
bbblackwell > Abdul
Yes, this is true… You may meet a wild horse, form an authentic relationship, and ride it with mutual joy. The problem with animal consent is akin to that of child consent—it’s not that it isn’t possible, it’s that they’re at a severe intellectual disadvantage, which makes them vulnerable.
Even if we have the best of intentions, and the animal gives its true consent, the interaction may still be inappropriate, as neither human intent nor animal consent assures proper alignment. Of course, this does not diminish your position at all, as you hold alignment as the only standard, but it explains my hesitancy to embrace this dubious, slippery-slope scenario in most cases.
I also tend toward the idea that a cultural push toward veganism would be motivated by a desire to establish dependency on a controlled, unwholesome food source (rather than Passio’s assertion that it’s primarily about our self-styled masters acting out of necessity due to environmental concerns threatening the sustainability of their human farm). Though, of course, every large-scale agenda serves numerous purposes.
I do not personally identify with vegan culture, and do not look favorably upon it (this is a running theme, as I feel similarly about “geek” culture, fitness culture, new age culture, and even anarchist culture, despite being deeply immersed in many of their most prominent features). There is much missing besides the nuanced objections you’ve raised, and your analysis only gives more reason to reject the label.
I do, however, still find it useful to employ the term, as it’s an expedient way to get at least part the story on the table in situations where an extended exploration is unlikely or inadvisable (which is nearly all cases).
I think you and I are generally on the same page with this, though I see more to be gained by promoting the idea than steering clear of it. It is largely understood as an animal rights concern, and to promote it carries that neglected message forward, while denouncing it will be generally interpreted as supportive of exploitation.
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