The best arguments for vegetarianism ever!

I’m very sympathetic to the vegetarian diet — I’m not quite there, but I’ve been gradually cutting back on the meat. It also helps that my wife is fully vegetarian now. But finally I’ve heard the ultimate arguments, published in an Indian health textbook. I guess I’m going to have to stop eating all kinds of meat now!

The strongest argument that meat is not essential food is the fact that the Creator of this Universe did not include meat in the original diet for Adam and Eve. He gave them fruits, nuts and vegetables.

Whoa, I never thought of that! I’m convinced now. But hey, how about some more contemporary arguments?

The Arabs who helped in constructing the Suez Canal lived on wheat and dates and were superior to the beef-fed Englishmen engaged in the same work.

Oh, yeah, those gouty, florid, overweight Englishmen. I should have just looked at that stereotype and realized meat was bad.

But there’s more: carnivores are evil.

They easily cheat, tell lies, forget promises, they are dishonest and tell bad words, steal, fight and turn to violence and commit sex crimes.

Amazing. Fat and protein just clogs up your brain and corrupts it.

All I’ve seen so far are these little excerpts. I want more. Look at the cover:

It promises sex education. I wonder what astonishing claims it will make there?

Comments

  1. Nepenthe says

    Dates? Bleh! If I had to eat only dates and wheat I’d return to the fold of steak. I don’t think that’s the slam-dunk argument that Chand thinks it is.

  2. says

    The strongest argument that meat is not essential food is the fact that the Creator of this Universe did not include meat in the original diet for Adam and Eve. He gave them fruits, nuts and vegetables.

    And gave us collagenase. For, um, eating the extinct collagen plant, I guess.

    You can’t deny that carnivores bite cute little animals, you know. Odd, though, that God would make them, then…

    Glen Davidson

  3. says

    Morlocks and Eloi. Saw it on TeeBee so it must be true!!11Eleventy

    There is one up side to the vegie lifestyle: It lowers the price of meat for the rest of us.

  4. Tony ∞ºQueer Duck Hivemind Minionº∞ says

    They easily cheat, tell lies, forget promises, they are dishonest and tell bad words, steal, fight and turn to violence and commit sex crimes.

    So herbivores do the same thing, it’s just doesn’t come as easily?

  5. cm's changeable moniker says

    It promises sex education. I wonder what astonishing claims it will make there?

    I’m guessing that a vegetarian diet guarantees extraordinary stamina and virility. (Effect on women will not be documented.)

    Do let us know!

  6. Chuck says

    You can’t deny that carnivores bite cute little animals, you know. Odd, though, that God would make them, then…

    Carnivores only popped up after the Fall. Geez, take some science courses.

  7. markr1957 (Patent Pending) says

    Thing is, if Homo sapiens had never eaten meat, and never had the spare energy to evolve more complex brains, we couldn’t have created the internets, so this kind of loon could spew nonsense into the world? Is he suggesting Adam and Eve were – gasp – Jains? /snark

  8. peterh says

    Somewhere there’s a mention of “everything that moveth” or words to that effect and most vegetables don’t hare about such that one would notice. Personal taste as a rationale for vegetarianism I can accept – but the moralistic, pseudo-medical (except verrrrry rare instances), pseudo-ethical or downright mythological “justifications” leave me hankering for a good bit of animal flesh.

    #11: You would find turkey eggs subtly rich and smooth.

  9. says

    @markr1957

    I’m sure you’re mostly joking, but the meat=larger brains thing is speculative at best, and the animal world is filled with examples to the contrary. I’m no expert on human evolution, but there are many, many, competing hypotheses concerning the evolution of our big fat brains. Not to mention the mutations that had to occur to allow for skull expansion – maybe someone who knows more about the subject can weigh in.

    I personally think its more plausible that cooking had a greater influence on our species than what we were cooking.

  10. robro says

    moirakearney — There’s also the viral infection hypothesis.

    I’m mostly vegan…and my wife is completely vegan (plus very little oil and nuts). We’re doing it for health reasons. I feel healthier. My wife’s angina has largely stopped and her lipid numbers would be the envy of a teenager. We’ve lost a lot of weight, which is probably good.

    There’s also the environment to consider. Meat and dairy production, at least in the big factory farms, uses a lot of petroleum (fertilizers, feed production) and produces a lot of greenhouse gases (lakes of manure). I’ve read that it’s the largest producer in the US, even more than transportation.

    Ancient Levantine mythologies and moral rectitude were not part of the rationale. Actually, I can blame it mostly on BIll Clinton who is on a very low meat (some fish he says) diet since his second heart bypass and talks about it in interviews.

  11. Nepenthe says

    @17

    smellyoldgit, I got through most of that by biting a brussel sprout, but my eyes started bleeding when I got to this bit:

    Most vegetarians are women. In Britain, a person is doubly likely to suffer from vegetarianism if he is female. Part of the reason for this is that women like the taste of meat less than men. This stems from the fact that women have inherited the instincts of gatherers and men those of hunters.

    In case you missed it, here’s the golden moment again:

    a person is doubly likely to suffer from vegetarianism if he is female

  12. chigau (棒や石) says

    I didn’t get that far into smellyoldgit’s link but anyone who thinks that The Gatherers™ are gathering only nuts and berries is a grossly misinformed.

  13. Nepenthe says

    Addendum: I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that the smellyoldessayist did not intend to refer implicitly to only female-bodied trans men in that spectacular swan dive of linguistic fail.

  14. Lofty says

    a person is doubly likely to suffer from vegetarianism if he is female

    Gold standard Indglish, that.

  15. Gregory Greenwood says

    One can make a credible case for the health, animal welfare and environmental benefits of vegetarianism, but this really isn’t the way to do it.

    From the link in the OP;

    New Healthway, a book on hygiene and health aimed at 11 and 12 year-olds, is printed by one of India’s leading publishers.

    Oh look, get ‘em while they’re young in action, why doesn’t that surprise me…?

    The chapter, full of factual inaccuracies, refers to Eskimos (Inuit) as “lazy, sluggish and short-lived”, because they live on “a diet largely of meat”.

    And some charming racism to boot – I wonder if they think vegetarianism causes that too…

  16. says

    Sex education???? Probably a lot of info about Lingams and Yonis and the use of melted ghee. Not to forget poojas, (and I don’t mean the Bollywood actress)

  17. says

    Check out grumpyoldfart’s Lloydian opinions link (#17) to see that some anti-vegetarians use arguments as poorly reasoned as the vegetarians they criticise. I say this as a vegetarian and part time vegan who thinks most people who give up meat do so for stupid reasons – but then most human beings do anything they do for stupid reasons.

    I’m suspicious of people who pick on vegetarians because they seem to be the same kind of people who like to sneer at hipsters and bubble tea and astrology or religion or feminism or whatever the punching bag for good old red-blooded he-men is for today. “How dare you feel superior to me for your dietary choices! In response I shall feel superior to you because you are a latte-sipping effeminate vegan astrology-believing Earth mother-worshipping feminist hipster urban metrosexual indie movie-watching skinny jeans-wearing health food-eating tosser!”

    And the textbook is atrocious. I think India is more prone to bizarre vegetarian nonsense because the dominant religion encourages ideas about the purity, cleanliness and moral superiority of a vegetarian diet. I was once speaking to a friend who used to live in India (I’m Indian too but I didn’t grow up there). Despite being an atheist, rationalist and very right-wing, he had some odd ideas about vegetarianism. We were both vegetarians. I explained that I wasn’t vegetarian because I was Hindu – I loved meat and had eaten it until I was seventeen. I asked him if he’d ever eaten meat and he reacted with disbelief: “No way – my family have been vegetarians for hundreds of years. If I tried to eat some I’d be sick!” He seemed to think that because his ancestors were Brahmins he’d inherited a genetic intolerance for meat and it would actually make him sick! Afterwards I found out that he hated Gandhi’s Congress party and wanted Pakistan to be wiped out so I broke off the friendship.

  18. left0ver1under says

    If we weren’t supposed to eat meat, we wouldn’t have evolved incisors and we wouldn’t be able to digest its nutrients. We can live without meat, but it requires more effort managing one’s diet. As for the environment, the problem is human overpopulation, not the choice of what we eat.

    -

    Vegetarians behave a lot like religious people (I’m speaking of the populace in general, not PZ Myers or others posting in this thread).

    The vegetarians who keep it to themselves aren’t annoying. I don’t object to them practicing their vegetarianism in public, and I sometimes even help by pointing out stores with foods or restaurants I see.

    The vegetarians who try to tell others what to eat are annoying. Proselytizing diets is as irritating as proselytizing religion. If others were interested, they’d ask. Otherwise, it’s unwelcome.

    The worst vegetarians are the fundamentalists who claim a “right” to impose their views on others. One past coworker I had was fired after being caught throwing out people’s lunches from a workplace fridge.

  19. John Morales says

    Winterwind, one of my sisters is an ethical vegeratian — something I respect.

    (But she’ll eat eggs from our (happy) chickens)

  20. says

    Why vegetarians should be force-fed with lard ….

    Well that’s promising. Let’s see the link that promises I should force people to violate their diet for giggles.

    *Clicks*

    ….

    A lot of modern feminist and vegetarian literature is today propagating a lie. There is a myth that that “Man the hunter” is a myth. It is not a myth. A huge amount of study has been done on the hundreds of human hunter gatherer societies around the world. There is no tribe in which the women hunt and the men gather.

    Uo HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO

    *Gasps*

    Hua http://www.endlessvideo.com/watch?v=gFmGNqji4u0&start=0m10s&end=0m12s
    Yes, there have been plenty of studies done on it. Anthropology hasn’t been kind to sexist myths.

    The best theory for explaining the extinction of a lot of giant species such as the auroch and the woolly mammoth, is that human hunters killed them off.

    ALART: CLIMATE CHANGE KNOWLEDGE IS EMARGENCY STATUS

    At least, for the mammoth.

  21. says

    Of course it’s possible to find vegetarians who preach at meat eaters, but it’s also easy to find meat eaters who preach at vegetarians. Try doing it for a while and you’ll see what I mean. Try doing it next Thursday (in the USA) and you’ll really learn something.

    What I find key is that most preachy vegetarians know they are being annoying and feel that the cause justifies it, whereas the preachy omnivores seem convinced that the universe is on their side and that no one has the right to disagree with the received wisdom.

    It may be different in India, but I’ve never been there.

  22. sebloom says

    My purely emotional, one-word response to this article based only on my primal desire for pleasure is…

    “BACON.”

  23. John Morales says

    sebloom, you’ve never seen a triple-decker truck loaded with pigs on its way to the slaughterhouse, have you?

  24. says

    Oh lord, the last is an utter howler.

    I became a veggie simply because I don’t like meat.

    At first this might seem like the most reasonable of arguments. People are different. Some people can eat aniseed and keep a smile on their face. Perhaps a person might genuinely not like the taste of meat. If so, then it would be unreasonable to drag them into the street and force feed them lard. On reflection, though, it doesn’t quite add up.

    People like the same things. People prefer comfort to pain, temperate warmth to bitter cold, kindness to cruelty, strength to weakness, fun to boredom, laughter to grief. A species that evolved to eat a mainly meat diet will also have evolved to like meat. We do. We even prefer good meat to bad meat, cooked meat to raw. Indeed, anyone who eats meat and enjoys it will know that meat is the most gloriously delicious thing there is. It has a peerlessly nice texture, and a great taste. More, after a vegetarian meal, a person misses out on the protein rush that meat gives. This, I’m told, is one of the cues which switches off the feeling of hunger (others are the physical feeling of a full belly, and a steep rise in blood sugar levels). Consequently, vegetarian meals are never as satisfying. It is very unlikely indeed that a person would really not like meat. Further, there are many types of meat, and it is even more unlikely that one person would dislike all of these tastes by coincidence.

    Hua HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

  25. shash says

    @25

    Sex education???? Probably a lot of info about Lingams and Yonis and the use of melted ghee. Not to forget poojas, (and I don’t mean the Bollywood actress)

    Try Victorian prudishness and abstinence-only…

    From NDTV:

    But diet isn’t the only issue that’s raised in the book. While talking about life lessons, the book advocates marriage for girls between 18 to 25. “To get married without a bad name is a dream of every young girl.”

    That’s marriage between 18 and 25 for all girls, in case you hadn’t noticed – preferably to an older man. That’s quite par-on-course for Indian social conservatives.

    That’s not all that’s hilarious:

    The book in question makes several more bizarre statements. It has lauded the Japanese for their vegetarian diet, which it says leads to a longer life span, while ignoring that Japan is known for sushi and seafood.

    “They are vegetarians and live longer than most other peoples. The generous use of green leafy vegetables, soya beans and grams has helped the people to maintain vigour, strength and endurance throughout the centuries”, the book says; there is no mention of the fish in Japanese diet.

    Classic!

    This happens because of two things – one, these subjects are rarely thought of as being in any way important, since they’re not part of any standardized tests/exams, so they get just anybody who’ll work for peanuts to write them, and two, the board (the Central Board of Secondary Education in this case) recommends publishers and not individual books for these levels. Only in the 9th to 12th grades (the “board exams” are in the 10th and 12th) do they actively enforce content.

    Back in the pre-Internet era, I remember even bigger howlers in these textbooks. And engineering cram-books are another topic entirely!

  26. footface says

    I’ve been vegan for 18+ years, and I’d rather not be force-fed lard (or anything else), thanks all the same.

    I know it’s only one person’s experience, but I have seen way more sanctimonious omnivores as a vegan than I saw sanctimonious vegans as an omnivore.

  27. says

    @ 27

    “If we weren’t supposed to eat meat, we wouldn’t have evolved incisors and we wouldn’t be able to digest its nutrients”

    Well, that’s just not how evolution works – and there are clearly examples of close cousins who have much larger canines (I’m assuming you mean canines – did you mean incisors? http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/4c/Gray997.png/250px-Gray997.png) and do not eat meat (gorillas).

    Clearly we are omnivores, but the evidence as it stands points towards opportunistic red meat eating rather than obligate red meat eating, and there’s a mountain of evidence that shows elevated meat consumption (like in standard western diets) isn’t very good for health – whereas occasional red meat eating (1-3 times a week), mimicking what we probably did for thousands of years, doesn’t have the health implications.

    At any rate, the clearest argument for vegetarianism is the environmental argument: meat is water-costly and massively polluting to produce on an industrial scale that meets the demand the western world currently has.

  28. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    One can make a credible case for the health, animal welfare and environmental benefits of vegetarianism, but this really isn’t the way to do it.

    Of course we can’t. We’ve been told it’s “pseudo-ethical” and “pseudo-medical,” remember?

  29. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    If we weren’t supposed to eat meat, we wouldn’t have evolved incisors and we wouldn’t be able to digest its nutrients.

    You know, I think there’s some support for the hypothesis that erectile, external penises are evolutionarily favored in various animal lineages mainly because they make forcing copulation easier, but I’m at least 80% certain you’re not fuckingstupid enough to insist that therefore opposition to rape on ethical grounds is nonsensical, even though the logic is equivalent.

    Or, TL;DR, the “naturalistic fallacy” is a thing.

    Even if we aren’t intellectually honest enough to say “I LIKE stuffing chunks of muscle tissue in my mouth and I don’t CARE what reasons anyone can give me not to,” can we please not make fuckingstupid arguments about it? Thank you :)

  30. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    ….alternatively, I suppose you might have been making a narrowly tailored rebuttal to the claim that meat is generally unhealthy for human metabolism and I’ve just heard that particular canard in a more general sense way, way too many fucking times… x.x

  31. klatu says

    @27

    If we weren’t supposed to eat meat, we wouldn’t have evolved incisors and we wouldn’t be able to digest its nutrients.

    What do you mean with “supposed to”? That would suggest a will or intention behind evolution.
    The rest of that sentence is a text-book is-ought fallacy.

    Proselytizing diets is as irritating as proselytizing religion.

    Kettle, meet Pot.

  32. Menyambal --- in flagrante delicto says

    Our ancestors were cursorial hunters long enough to shape our bodies, I imagine our digestive systems are set up for digesting meat.

  33. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    We need more vegetarians in the world!
    Juicy, grain-fed vegetarians for when the zombie apocalypse comes.

  34. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    Of course it’s possible to find vegetarians who preach at meat eaters, but it’s also easy to find meat eaters who preach at vegetarians.

    I have seen way more sanctimonious omnivores as a vegan than I saw sanctimonious vegans as an omnivore.

    Proselytizing diets is as irritating as proselytizing religion.

    Kettle, meet Pot.

    No, no, you don’t understand, it’s only members of the minority/new group who are preachy and obnoxious. The meat-eating smirking shits are just TELLIN IT LIKE IT IS!

    whereas the preachy omnivores seem convinced that the universe is on their side and that no one has the right to disagree with the received wisdom.

    THIS.

  35. xenithrys says

    If God meant us to be vegetarians, it was sadistically cruel of Him to make animals taste like meat.

  36. says

    The craziest argument for not eating pork I ever heard was that apart from humans the pig is the only homosexual animal and if you eat it you catch it. I suppose it is the pigs fault fOr spending too much time around those horrible gay humNS.

  37. madtom1999 says

    As an ex vegetarian myself I have noted that everyone I know who has been vegetarian for more than a few years seems to develop food allergies – lactose/gluten generally but others. Not scientific I know but…

  38. madtom1999 says

    @37 ‘environmental’ is not an argument for vegetarianism. There are vast areas of the earth (mountain areas) where the only practical food from the land is meat. Also the best returns from food waste can be fed to pigs chickens etc and recover the energy in them before recovering the nutrients to them grow more food.
    On my own experimental farm in a wet region if historically you’d only grown the ‘vegetables’ which 5 years out of 7 produce ~10 times as much quality food as the animal equivalent you would come close to starving in the really wet years and have wasted a good 20% of the vegetable produce by not making the energy from seemingly inedible waste by feeding it to things that become meat.
    And another fantastic way of storing energy for the lean times is in alcohol or things preserved in it or its derivatives.
    Humans used to be intelligently opportunistic.

  39. davem says

    The Arabs who helped in constructing the Suez Canal lived on wheat and dates and were superior to the beef-fed Englishmen engaged in the same work.

    Yet I’ll bet that the canal would never have been built by the veggie Egyptians.

  40. DLC says

    Tell you what, I’ll keep my “I’m a meat-eater, rawr! ” to myself if you keep your “Eat nothing with a soul” to yourself.
    As I don’t believe in souls, that argument falls on deaf ears.

    Personally I think people should eat what they like, in moderate amounts, regulated by good sense.

  41. Beatrice says

    The problem with everyone keeping their dietary habits to themselves is that no one does it. We talk about food all the time. A former colleague is an ethical vegetarian and she found it upsetting to listen to the rest of us discussing how good the grilled chicken at lunch was, which would turn into discussing various cuts of meat and best ways to prepare them. We didn’t talk about it to upset her, but simply because food is something people talk about often. I’m not sure if others noticed or cared, but after I realized that she would get upset, I tried to redirect such conversations to “safer” topics.

    So, I’m not sure how much “everyone keeping it to themselves” is a valid proposition when it is mostly expected from vegetarians to keep it to themselves, and others to discuss pork chops at will. It’s not that all vegetarians are preachy, it’s that some find it genuinely upsetting to listen to what is just an innocent food talk to meat eaters. Compromise means both sides making some allowances.

  42. gjpetch says

    25+ year vegetarian here. I often hear the argument that vegetarians are preachy and annoying, I’m sure that does happen, yet in my (anecdotal) experience I’ve not seen that.
    When I was in school I was however held down by my schoolmates, who then proceeded to literally force meat into my mouth. This happened on a number of occasions, at a couple of different schools. I’ve been insulted to my face, bullied, humiliated, lectured to…. call me crazy, but some might even go so far as to call those experiences “annoying”!?

  43. says

    I have seen way more sanctimonious omnivores as a vegan than I saw sanctimonious vegans as an omnivore.

    That might be due to the fact, that there are a lot more omnivores than vegans, not necesarily due to omnivores being more sanctiomonious than vegans.

    As far as the environmental factors go, there is one myth around the interwebs, about how meat production increases the amount of greenhouse gas NO in the atmosphere. I looked into it and I found, that highest emissions of NO occur from overuse of synthetic fertilizers and growing of legumes.

    When I looked into the “cow poo produces methane” issue, there is often figure waved aroudn saying that methane is twenty five times stronger greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. That seems to me wrong, because that calculation compares absorptions of IR per weight unit, whereas correct would be to use volume (id est mols), not weight. When comparing mols, methane is still stronger greenhouse gas, but the number is not that high – as far as I remember, and I am too lazy to do the calculations now – it is nine.

    Not to forget of course, that bisons, antelopes, deer, wild sheep and basically any ruminants produce methane very probably too. So it seems that for proper comparison of what amount of methane produced by dairy industry etc. is unnatural (above what would occur without human civilisation), it is necesary to take into account wild ruminants, who would othervise live on equivalent land. I do not know the exact number, and I do not doubt that significatn reduction (perhaps three to five times?) of meat and dairy production would really be, in this particular aspect, helpful. But not reduction to zero.

    Ányway I asked my physician, with regard to my health issues (morbus Basedowi), if vegan/vegetarian diet would be good/better for me. The answer was resounding “NO” so, not being physician myself and not being able to find any consensus on this issue, I decied to go with that. I am all for reducing suffering in the world and if vegan diet works for someone, fine. I am trying to reduce suffering and to help environment in other ways, ways that do not pose direct danger to my health.

  44. Marc Abian says

    Vegetarians behave a lot like religious people (I’m speaking of the populace in general, not PZ Myers or others posting in this thread).

    The vegetarians who keep it to themselves aren’t annoying. I don’t object to them practicing their vegetarianism in public, and I sometimes even help by pointing out stores with foods or restaurants I see.

    The vegetarians who try to tell others what to eat are annoying. Proselytizing diets is as irritating as proselytizing religion. If others were interested, they’d ask. Otherwise, it’s unwelcome.

    So, when you say vegetarians behave a lot like religious people, you mean that they both advocate something, and advocacy kind of annoys you?

    I’m just trying to clarify because it might seem to the casual observer that you were trying to conflate the actual problems with religion with vegetarianism, and presumably you wouldn’t want to seem dishonest as well as hypocritical.

  45. Khantron, the alien that only loves says

    They easily cheat, tell lies, forget promises, they are dishonest and tell bad words, steal, fight and turn to violence and commit sex crimes.

    Hitler was a vegetarian.

  46. says

    So, when you say vegetarians behave a lot like religious people, you mean that they both advocate something, and advocacy kind of annoys you?

    Way to miss the point Abian.

  47. furiouslysleepy says

    While those are indeed exceptionally bad argument for not eating meat, I think there are very reasonable arguments to be made from an ethical (it hurts animals to kill and eat them) and environmental (it’s more expensive to get nutrients from animals than plans) perspectives.

    So I occasionally eat meat because I like to stuff cooked muscle tissue in my mouth.

    I also don’t see why vegetarians should have to shut up about it, no one’s asking you to shut up about how good the pork ribs were.

  48. Sili says

    Poor vegetarians. With friends like those, who needs anemonies?

    –o–

    Interesting how these people never seem to read beyond the first half of chapter two of Genesis.

    That diet was only good before the Fall. Now that our bodies have started corrupting we need meat to survive.

    Just look at Cain and Abel – whose sacrifice was it that was accepted? That’s right, the meat. The Bible is one long story about how to make meat for God.

  49. Rasmus says

    As an ex vegetarian myself I have noted that everyone I know who has been vegetarian for more than a few years seems to develop food allergies – lactose/gluten generally but others. Not scientific I know but…

    Isn’t lactose intolerance something that you’re born with if you have it?

    Lactose and gluten intolerance can remain undetected into adulthood and then becoming vegetarian often means means you’re going to increase your gluten intake and possibly also your lactose intake, which could be what it takes for you to notice that you’re intolerant.

  50. Holms says

    Oh look, another diet debate.

    I’m just going to say that the book has one of the most amateurish cover designs I have ever seen.

  51. ChasCPeterson says

    I imagine our digestive systems are set up for digesting meat.

    There is no call for imagination here. It’s an empirical question. Our digestive systems are set up for digesting whatever the hell we put into them. Omnivory is without question the “natural” state for humans (though of course it’s a fallacy to extrapolate to “ought”).
    Our teeth are unspecialized either way.
    Our guts are unspecialized either way (longer than carnivores, shorter and less complex than herbivores).
    Our pancreases secrete both digestive amylase (for plant starch) and elastase (for the specifically animal protein elastin). (Contrary to Glen D. @#2, there is to my knowledge no digestive collagenase.)

    The biology and anthropology are indeed well settled. It’s omnivory all the way down. None of this has anything to do with the optimal diet for any individual in the 21st Century, but we can at least winnow out some of the really stupid pseudobiological arguments either way.

  52. peterh says

    Unlike life’s other questions, this one seems not to have an easy answer.

    @#19:

    In Britain he/him is used as a neutral, all-inclusive pronoun far more often than in the U.S.

  53. mouse says

    People seem to grow irrational emotional attachments to the foods they are accustomed to. Add to that the societal reverence toward meat and you see this to extremes in those omnivores who make veg*n bashing a hobby. After 5 years vegan I still craved omelette badly, so I bought some ostensibly cagefree eggs and made a perfect one. It tasted just like I remembered to some degree, but this time it was freakin disgusting. Seriously, animal parts and their bodily fluids don’t taste as good as your brain has grown to think they do!

  54. ChasCPeterson says

    animal parts and their bodily fluids don’t taste as good as your brain has grown to think they do!

    what a bizarrely solipsistic claim.

  55. johnhodges says

    I have a short essay on the diet I’m following at
    http://www.atheistnexus.org/profiles/blogs/an-effortless-diet-revisited-october-2012

    Basically, it is a high-protein, low-carb diet, best explained and defended by Gary Taubes in WHY WE GET FAT.

    One paragraph:
    In 2000, researchers published a study of the diets of 229 hunter-gatherer populations that had been studied by anthropologists in the 20th century. Whenever possible, they ate lots of animal food; one in five of the 229 ate almost entirely by hunting and fishing. Only one in seven got more than half of their calories from plant foods. None were exclusively vegetarian. Averaged all together, these 229 populations of hunter-gatherers got about two-thirds of their calories from animal foods and one-third from plants. They typically averaged 19 to 35 percent of their calories from protein, 28 to 58 percent from fats, and 22 to 40 percent from carbohydrates. They ate the fattest animals they could hunt, ate all the fattest parts of the animal (organs, tongue, bone marrow), and ate essentially all of the fat on whatever animals they caught. The carbohydrates they ate were the sort with a low “glycemic index”, i.e. they digested slowly, with lots of fiber, so they provoked only a small and gradual insulin response.

  56. Beatrice says

    Seriously, animal parts and their bodily fluids don’t taste as good as your brain has grown to think they do!

    *facepalm*

    Protip: Don’t use this as an “argument” for vegetarianism. You’re just making yourself look stupid.

  57. mouse says

    Beatrice, if you’ll read my comment again slowly you’ll see that I didn’t use it as an argument for veganism. Acting condescending while making an inapposite comment makes you look stupid.

  58. Beatrice says

    mouse,

    I see it now, it was actually a cometary on the elections in Sierra Leone. So sorry I didn’t see the connection.

  59. mouse says

    Beatrice, I see you had no intention of sincerely trying.
    The point is that I think there is a connection between veg*n bashing and personal emotional attachment + societal reverence for eating meat. I see a number of comments here making a serious attempt to argue against vegan diet. All the rest are just bashing.

  60. chigau (棒や石) says

    Seriously, animal parts and their bodily fluids don’t taste as good as your brain has grown to think they do!

    Is a pretty stupid stupid statement.
    Doesn’t matter why it was made.

  61. Matt Penfold says

    The point is that I think there is a connection between veg*n bashing and personal emotional attachment + societal reverence for eating meat. I see a number of comments here making a serious attempt to argue against vegan diet. All the rest are just bashing.

    Pointing your your argument was poor is not bashing. You said something a bit stupid. Rather than carrying on in the same vein, why not take a step back and try to do better ?

  62. Beatrice says

    chigau,

    Exactly, I wrote that mouse shouldn’t use it as pro-veganism point because it’s stupid and just undermines their goal. If there is some goal (which looked that way to me, but whatever).

  63. Ogvorbis: ջարդված says

    I read mouse’s comment and agreed. To me (and this is just me, I ain’t telling anyone else what to think), this is an expression of the ability for some people to convince themselves that a particular food tastes bad whether it does or not. I have no idea if I like blood pudding or blood sausage, but I grew up in a house in which those two foods were held up as the ultimate disgusting foods. When I did try blood sausage, I could not get past the idea that it would taste bad which was firmly lodged in my mind.

    My daughter, a 99% vegan (she’ll make an exception for cake, even if it does have milk and eggs) has convinced herself that she does not like cheese. It used to be one of her favourite foods even though she has trouble processing the lactose.

    So, based on my poorly thought out rambling, the idea that one’s mind can convince one’s sense of taste that a previously enjoyable food, or an untasted food, tastes bad regardless of the actual taste.

    Sorry for my rambling. Not good today.

  64. Ogvorbis: ջարդված says

    And I am not intending to force my ideas and interpretation onto mouse’s writing. I do not know if this is what xe intended, that was just the way I interpreted it. Any failure of grokking is mine and mine alone.

  65. Beatrice says

    Ogvorbis,

    I read mouse as claiming that all our brains have been fooled into liking meat which actually objectively doesn’t taste good.

    Admittedly, I’m not feeling especially generous today, so I might be drawing too many conclusions.

  66. Fred Salvador - The Public Sucks; Fuck Hope says

    I wonder if the postulates of S. Chand’s NEW HEALTHWAY could be extended to Catholic transsubstantiation?

  67. Ogvorbis: ջարդված says

    Beatrice:

    I am merely stating how I read it. I am not telling anyone else how to take it. And again, my interpretation may be dead wrong. Sorry.

  68. Beatrice says

    Ogvorbis,

    No objections to what you wrote (well, except where you say you agree with mouse)! I actually agree with most of what you said, I just read mouse as claiming something a lot broader and more questionable.

  69. mouse says

    Jesus Christ, Matt, I didn’t say that the critique of my comment is bashing.
    Ogvorbis got it, except I wouldn’t say the vegan daughter convinced herself cheese is yucky. I think she just realized that it isn’t as tasty and comforting as she had previously convinced herself.
    Let me try another way. Anti-veg*n arguments based on health (particularly of helpless kids) are fair game, if mostly wrong. Anti-veg*n rhetoric tends to be premised on the notion that meat tastes wonderful and we are giving up something wonderful. Why else would you give a damn what I don’t eat as a grown adult?

  70. Ogvorbis: ջարդված says

    Okay, I was wrong. Mouse is claiming that (and meat) cheese actually tastes bad and we have to convince ourselves that it tastes good. Sorry.

  71. Dhorvath, OM says

    John M,
    That doesn’t really fit how I pictured living off of unfertile land. If ranchers are using feed, they would get it from fertile land, no?

  72. mouse says

    I don’t know where you pulled “Mouse is claiming that (and meat) cheese _actually tastes bad_” from Seriously, animal parts and their bodily fluids don’t taste _AS_ good as your brain has grown to think they do!
    “I think she just realized that it isn’t _AS_ tasty and comforting as she had previously convinced herself.”

    For what it’s worth at this point, I agree many reasons offered for vegan diet are truly ignorant and idiotic.

  73. Dhorvath, OM says

    mouse,

    I think she just realized that it isn’t as tasty and comforting as she had previously convinced herself.

    I would follow this if you had instead said her tastes and needs have changed, the picture you paint now is that cheese wasn’t tasty or comforting when she did enjoy it. I don’t think that is accurate.

  74. Matt Penfold says

    Jesus Christ, Matt, I didn’t say that the critique of my comment is bashing.

    Well you did, but clearly that was not what you intended to say. The fault is yours of course.

    Ogvorbis got it, except I wouldn’t say the vegan daughter convinced herself cheese is yucky. I think she just realized that it isn’t as tasty and comforting as she had previously convinced herself.

    A very long winded way to say tastes can changed, which is not what you said originally.

    Let me try another way. Anti-veg*n arguments based on health (particularly of helpless kids) are fair game, if mostly wrong. Anti-veg*n rhetoric tends to be premised on the notion that meat tastes wonderful and we are giving up something wonderful. Why else would you give a damn what I don’t eat as a grown adult?

    To some people meat does taste wonderful, to others it does not. However your argument was that people who think meat tastes wonderful are deluding themselves.

    We understood what you said just fine. If you did not say what you meant to say, that is your problem and you should not blame us for your failure.

  75. Beatrice says

    mouse,

    Are you or are you not claiming that meat and other animal products are objectively not as tasty as people think?

  76. Matt Penfold says

    I don’t know where you pulled “Mouse is claiming that (and meat) cheese _actually tastes bad_” from Seriously, animal parts and their bodily fluids don’t taste _AS_ good as your brain has grown to think they do!

    “eriously, animal parts and their bodily fluids don’t taste _AS_ good as your brain has grown to think they do!” makes no sense, so we have had to try and work out what you might mean.

    Again, you are blaming others for your failure.

  77. says

    except I wouldn’t say the vegan daughter convinced herself cheese is yucky. I think she just realized that it isn’t as tasty and comforting as she had previously convinced herself.

    Let me see, when somebody’s tastes agree with your opinion it’s objective, when they disagree they’re just lying to themselves.
    So, who are you, god?

  78. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    Isn’t lactose intolerance something that you’re born with if you have it?

    My best friend (who was mostly vegetarian for life, and would eat meat or fish only when forced by her parents as a child – she hated the taste of meat) could and would drink a lot of milk and milk products without any problem well into adulthood.

    Until she had chemo.

    One thing chemo does is kill off, indiscriminately, huge swathes of your gut flora. Gut flora has several known and many still unknown roles in food digestion.

    That’s why I think part of lactose intolerance has something to do with gut flora as well as genetics.

    It’s also known that gut flora is influenced by diet – studies on cows fed corn (starch) rather than grasses (cellulose) have shown rather drastic changes.

    It might be that a long-term vegan diet modifies gut flora into being unable to process certain things like lactose.

  79. Matt Penfold says

    I can remember when I was younger really liking Cabbury’s Creme Eggs. These days I find them sickly sweet and rather unpleasant. My tastes have changed, but that does not mean I did not enjoy them as much as a I did when I liked them.

  80. roland says

    I switched from petting cats to petting stacks of sandpaper, and now I realize that petting cats is, actually, no fun at all.

  81. Dhorvath, OM says

    It does mean that they aren’t categorically tasty, or that people who don’t like them would if they just ate them. I can see where mouse might be aiming, it’s just not clear.

  82. Dhorvath, OM says

    Speaking of unclear. “It does mean that they aren’t categorically tasty. People who don’t like them aren’t missing them and won’t necessarily like them if they just ate them.” I did not put that well first time through.

  83. Amphiox says

    That’s why I think part of lactose intolerance has something to do with gut flora as well as genetics.

    The lactose intolerant trait only constitutes the absence of expression of the lactase enzyme in adulthood.

    The symptoms of lactose intolerance are largely related to how the gut flora digest the lactose that is not digested earlier in the digestive tract because of the lack of lactase. It is these bacteria that release the gases that produce the bloating, and the byproducts of lactose metabolism that produce the osmotic imbalances that cause the diarrhea.

    So yeah, the gut flora has a big deal to do with the symptoms of lactose intolerance.

  84. mouse says

    I am saying that a person’s tastes seem to grow more attached to the things they actually eat, and this seems to lead THEM to believe that meat is objectively delicious, whereas I would say that it has just become subjectively more delicious to that person’s tastes.

  85. Matt Penfold says

    I am saying that a person’s tastes seem to grow more attached to the things they actually eat, and this seems to lead THEM to believe that meat is objectively delicious, whereas I would say that it has just become subjectively more delicious to that person’s tastes.

    So not what you originally said then. Which makes you look an idiot for complaining we did not understand what you said.

    Can you explain you blamed us for your failings ? Not very polite of you was it ?

  86. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    Anti-veg*n rhetoric tends to be premised on the notion that meat tastes wonderful and we are giving up something wonderful.

    Those are not the only arguments.

    It can also be argued that it can be costly and time-consumming to maintain a long-term vegan diet that provides an adequate nutrition, especially where iron and B12 are concerned, especially for people who have an increased need for them, such as pre-menopausal and pregnant women, children, and other people who are prone to some form of anemia due to illness, or particular genetic traits.

    And also that one would rather take their nutrition from actual food rather than supplements.

  87. Nepenthe says

    It can also be argued that it can be costly and time-consumming to maintain a long-term vegan diet that provides an adequate nutrition.

    None of these arguments about nutrition address the root of much of veg*nism: “moralistic,… pseudo-ethical” justifications.

  88. Nepenthe says

    Ányway I asked my physician, with regard to my health issues (morbus Basedowi), if vegan/vegetarian diet would be good/better for me. The answer was resounding “NO” so, not being physician myself and not being able to find any consensus on this issue

    It’s important to remember that physicians are generally not experts on nutrition, nor do they usually keep up with new developments in biology. The physicians I know who were trained in the ’70s and ’80s, for example, still believe that it’s impossible to get enough protein eating only plants and that vegetarians must combine foods to get “complete proteins” at each meal, the prevailing wisdom at the time. Unless your physician is actively keeping up with the literature, you’re likely getting outdated information from them. (This goes for other topics as well as nutrition.)

  89. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    None of these arguments about nutrition address the root of much of veg*nism: “moralistic,… pseudo-ethical” justifications.

    I agree. From the few times I’ve unsuccessfully tried to discuss rationnaly with hard-core proponents, it seemed to me it was mostly about some kind of moralistic purity – even vegetarians were berated for consumming milk or eggs.

    But mouse seems to imply (that’s the impression I get when reading hir posts) that the arguments against veg*nism (don’t want to attract swarms of them?) are mostly based on taste issues.

    For people who don’t have a huge portion of their time to plan and cook their meals and the money to buy exotic non-animal-derived and absorbable B12 and iron sources, they certainly aren’t.

  90. slowdjinn says

    @Peterh #71

    @#19:
    In Britain he/him is used as a neutral, all-inclusive pronoun far more often than in the U.S.

    That’s as may be, but even to an Britisher like myself the original quote is ridiculous.

  91. madtom1999 says

    On lactose intolerance: In some regions milk is happily consumed by youngsters but will cause serious problems in adults. Their ability to deal with lactose seems to ‘switch off’ with age. This seems to be genetic.

    Lactose intolerance is weird – I cant consume more than a 1/4 ounce of cowsmilk a day on a regular basis but can cope with a lot more (a pint) as a one off if I haven’t been exposed to anything more than microscopic quantities for a long period.
    I can however take goats and sheep milk in quantity as I did cows milk until my forties.

  92. Holms says

    @84 Ogvorbis

    To me (and this is just me, I ain’t telling anyone else what to think), this is an expression of the ability for some people to convince themselves that a particular food tastes bad whether it does or not.

    Agreed, and I’ll add that it works both ways. This is basically the entire process at work when someone picks up an acquired taste as a result of what we might call a ‘culture of wealth’. Something like “rich people like caviar, therefore so do I from now on”.

  93. madtom1999 says

    Just one thing about vegetarianism – don’t do it for ethical reasons if those are for not killing animals unless you grow your all your own food.
    My fields contain something of the order of 100+ mice and voles etc per acre as far as I can tell and 90% of these are killed in harvesting. Even hand harvesting with a scythe causes a lot of carcases.

  94. says

    As far as food allergies go, they definitively can develop later in life. At leaast from my personal experience – I was able to eat raw apples, carrots and parsleys (I am not sure if this is correct english name, the plant is Petroselium sp.). Nowadays if I try eat any of those, I get problems – iritated oesophagus, nausea and asthma. Funny is, that once cooked/baked, I can ea anything no problem. Andecdotal, I know, but I am pretty sure I read multiple times, that allergies can develop over time, and that goes not only for food – for cats, mites, pollen, cosmetics – virtually anything.

    @Nepenthe: I am not used to argue with my physician. It seems like really, really bad idea. Of course physicians can do mistakes and no physician is universal expert on everything. Nobody is. But the probability that her recommendations visa-vis my diet are false is much lower than for recommendations from random people from the internet. I have enough problems as it is.

    It would be just as bad idea for PZ to ignore his physicians recomendation that vegetarian diet is good for him, just because someone on the internets says so.

  95. Nepenthe says

    Just one thing about vegetarianism – don’t do it for ethical reasons if those are for not killing animals unless you grow your all your own food.

    This argument would be a lot more convincing if meat production didn’t generally involve an order of magnitude more plant harvesting.

  96. Holms says

    As far as food allergies go, they definitively can develop later in life.

    All allergies, not just the dietary variety, can wax or wane over life. My bee sting allergy for example went from a few days to three months of swelling, discolouration and oh-shit-the-swelling-is-so-bad-I-think-my-skin-is-going-to-split pain.

  97. Nepenthe says

    I agree. From the few times I’ve unsuccessfully tried to discuss rationnaly with hard-core proponents, it seemed to me it was mostly about some kind of moralistic purity – even vegetarians were berated for consumming milk or eggs.

    I was being facetious in that quote. I think calling attempts to reduce suffering “pseudo-ethical” patently ridiculous.

  98. fernando says

    In my humble opinion being only vegetarian or eating little more than meat or meat related products is wrong.

    We should eat a variety of foods: fish, meat, olive oil, bread, vegetables, fruits, dairy, etc.
    This way we can have a balanced diet, and use our teeth and digestive system to their best, because we aren`t carnivores or herbivores: we are omnivores.

  99. says

    So, when you say vegetarians behave a lot like religious people, you mean that they both advocate something, and advocacy kind of annoys you?

    I work at a grocery store. The **only** time I have heard vegetarians “advocating” its been with myths, bad statistics, babbling about misread studies, claiming that X person on the TV, or X site on the internet has the “truth ™” about it, or otherwise quoting reasons that range from unprovable, to unsupported, to rank bullshit. Its almost as bad as the number of people that, without one scrap of evidence of having Celiac disease, which can be, you know, tested for genetically, claim that they just “feel” better, by obsessing over gluten. Never mind that half the shit they buy, without knowing it, still probably has some in it, they are “sure” that the only thing that makes them feel better is the lack of gluten, and not… you know all the other stuff that is reduced, left out, added in, or otherwise different, in the same foods. Because.. you know, eating something that actually has nutritional value, instead of the crap they did before, couldn’t be the real cause.

    I would say the same goes for the vegetarians. A stupid number of people go from eating too much meat, bad diets, in general, and not exercising at all (in part because they don’t feel like doing a damn thing on their prior diet), to concluding that the single, and only, factor, is that they are avoiding meat, and only eating vegetables. Because, you know, all that other stuff is just, somehow, incidental… But, if it ended with that, it would be fine, but, no.. out comes this study, or that study, or some article where the author had about as much understanding *of* what studies actually say as a dog does about nuclear physics. Why? Because, to be obsessed with avoiding meat, it seems like a lot of people can’t just be satisfied with their own successes, they need, “supporting evidence from (in/un)credible sources”. Makes me want to slap some of the people I deal with (or, when the opportunity arises, find another fraking job, where the odds of having to deal with the level of stupidity involving both food, and certain sorts of politics, is much lower).

    Latest BS is the usual right wing, Q: “All unions are bad, therefor, isn’t the fact that you are paid shit, don’t have a lot of work hours, and just had you health cost jacked up the fault of your union, and Obama?” A: No.. the later was done before the election, to make sure that, no matter who won, we would get screwed and have to pay more for insurance, and.. you don’t want to know what happened to some of the grocery chains that didn’t have a union. The problem is your stupid insistence of electing assholes, that pass right to work laws, which make it impossible to negotiate, even when you do have one, with the company you work for, for jack shit. And, the stupidest thing about it is, “Good customer service”, is, “Don’t you dare contradict the idiots!” But, no, I haven’t seen one argument given, by anyone “advocating” it, which isn’t either based on sloppy logic, a failure to see other changes they made in their behavior, as well, or presented as valid, based on pseudoscience.

    I don’t mind the arguments that more, or most, of a diet might help if it was less meat centric. But, that isn’t what the “advocates” are presenting, nor what their sources of “evidence” are claiming, 90% of the time. No, its, “You shouldn’t eat that because, blah, blah, blah, and, oh, BTW, you should also buy a detoxification magnetic bracelet with hologram technology!” But, maybe we just, despite being a red state, just have a higher than normal level of nuts buying only vegies…

  100. Hairhead, whose head is entirely filled with Too Much Stuff says

    My nephew’s wife was/is a vegetarian (she eats dairy products and eggs); unfortunately the family she married into (mine) was filled with rude people who questioned her choices for years. She got very tired of defending her food choices at every family dinner. I kept my mouth shut, because I believe in such things being entirely personal choices. And when I visited her home, I would eat the vegetarian food they had there.

    What really annoyed me was when I invited her (and my nephew) to a dinner in my new place, I cooked her some nice stuff: couscous in vegetable stock stuffed into sweet red peppers and baked. Very nice if I do say so myself. I thought this would make a change from the salads and dry veggie burgers she would bring to family gathering. And she blew me off, didn’t come at all. My nephew said it was because the food would have been cooked with utensils which had touched meat.

    And THAT was far too much like, “I can’t swim in that pool ’cause they wuz a nigra in it!” So relations between us have been a bit frosty since then.

    (Sigh) Yes, I know it’s all stupid, but it’s family, right?

  101. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    My nephew said it was because the food would have been cooked with utensils which had touched meat.

    Is she by any chance a Hindu ?

    I have brahmin friends who will refuse to even touch meat (I had a funny experience with one of my friends who asked me to carry a grocery bag with a fish in it that he wanted to give to another friend, and had to explain this to me), and prefer their food to be cooked with utensils reserved for vegetarian food only.

    Moralistic purity is a religious concept.

  102. Ogvorbis: ջարդված says

    Girl is vegan. When she is eating at home, I use separate cooking utensils for the meat and the vegan pots and pans. I have no utensils reserved for one or the other, but I do separate while cooking. Girl will also ask at, say, Subway, that the server change gloves after putting the bacon on my sandwich and before making her veggie sub. No big deal (for me, anyway).

  103. mouse says

    Matt Penfold, you show me one place where I “blamed” you or anyone for not understanding my point. Where it was incorrectly asserted that “mouse said X” I simply pointed out that no, I did not say X. My last statement was in response to a request for clarification so, no, it was not exactly what I said to begin with but it was perfectly consistent with my first comment. Your tactics are tiresome and I ignored them earlier, but if you’re still reading this I hope you look back and see that you’ve acted like a real jerk.

  104. says

    beatrice
    As long as you’ll never try to smuggle Dill into my house…

    Well, kind of back on topic:
    For all kinds of people there are different sorts.
    There’s asshole meateater who think it’s cool to convince/tease a vegitarian, try to smuggle meat into their food and so on.
    And then there religiously vegetarian/vegan folks who believe in idiot stuff like vital powers of raw plants and who save energy because their halo glows so much.
    Both kinds are idiots.
    And then there’s reasonable folks on all sides with whom you can live. If you’re over for dinner at my place and tell me there’s stuff you won’t/ can’t eat I’ll serve you something else, but if you think that I will remove any animal product from my house because of you you need to get your head examined and stay at home.

  105. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Seriously, animal parts and their bodily fluids don’t taste as good as your brain has grown to think they do!

    Mouse, explain this.

  106. Vicki says

    Ogvorbis @84:

    It may depend on how broadly your daughter defines “like”: her pleasure in the taste of cheese, as she eats it, might less than the discomfort caused by the lactose. It’s like someone saying “no, I don’t want seconds. Yes, it’s tasty, but I’m full” because they know they’ll be physically uncomfortable if they eat another serving of the tasty whatever-it-is.

  107. Beatrice says

    OFF TOPIC:

    Giliell,

    Well, if I ever have a chance to bring you a chocolate cake, I won’t be able to guarantee that utensils used in making the cake had never been touched by dill. Sorry.

  108. mouse says

    Rev. – It was meant to say that when a person regularly eats meat [especially meat enhanced with tons of extra salt and fat] they seem to grow emotionally attached to the taste, to the point where they think it is objectively wonderful. It seems that my biggest lack of clarity was in not initially making the objective/subjective distinction explicit.

  109. Pete M says

    My wife and I are vegetarians. No one else in our families are. My family has been very supportive, and though we try to let our choices weigh lightly on them, there is no denying that our choice of diet presents them with some extra burdens when we all get together. My wife’s family is less supportive, but I think it’s mostly because they don’t quite understand our reasons. Our reasons are ethical ones, mainly having to do with the treatment of sentient animals raised to be food, but also including environmental and other reasons. It’s not primarily about health for us (we didn’t eat such an unhealthy diet before, and we don’t eat such a healthy diet now).

    Reading this thread, I see a lot of painting with a broad brush about what “all vegetarians” are like. This is as stupid as saying what “all atheists” or “all Christians” or what have you are like. I know a lot of people who, like me, are vegetarians but don’t preach and are rational and willing to discuss their reasons. I’ve also run across folks who make vegetarianism or veganism an object of zealotry – in the sense that it becomes something beyond reason, such that any who disagree are immediately morally suspect. But of course, people can be crazy about all kinds of shit.

  110. Ogvorbis: ջարդված says

    It may depend on how broadly your daughter defines “like”

    She now states that she does not like the taste of cheese. I have no reason to think she is not being honest.

    It seems that my biggest lack of clarity was in not initially making the objective/subjective distinction explicit.

    How can taste be objective? Wife loves rhubarb. I can’t stand the stuff. I love lamb. Wife can’t stand it. Which one of us is, objectively, correct?

  111. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Rev. – It was meant to say that when a person regularly eats meat [especially meat enhanced with tons of extra salt and fat] they seem to grow emotionally attached to the taste, to the point where they think it is objectively wonderful. It seems that my biggest lack of clarity was in not initially making the objective/subjective distinction explicit.

    How is this unique to meat and not to anything anyone enjoys?

    Your bias is showing.

  112. says

    Just one thing about vegetarianism – don’t do it for ethical reasons if those are for not killing animals unless you grow your all your own food.
    My fields contain something of the order of 100+ mice and voles etc per acre as far as I can tell and 90% of these are killed in harvesting. Even hand harvesting with a scythe causes a lot of carcases.

    I don’t know. You seem to be saying that because it’s impossible for us to live without killing and causing suffering to some other animals, we shouldn’t bother trying to reduce that number at all.

    It’s like, if I started a sweatshop with small children in my backyard and then said, “You can’t criticise me unless you make all your clothes yourself. Everything you buy is made by exploited labour at some point.” All our lifestyle choices cause pain and suffering, but some cause less than others.

  113. Ogvorbis: ջարդված says

    How can taste be objective? Wife loves rhubarb. I can’t stand the stuff. I love lamb. Wife can’t stand it. Which one of us is, objectively, correct?

    I’m going to change this one to make it a little murkier.

    Wife likes rhubarb, I do not. I like raw kale, Wife does not. Which one of us is, objectively, correct?

  114. Beatrice says

    mouse,

    People who claim that good/bad taste of any food can be determined objectively are wrong.

    I still disagree with your theory that people who are accustomed to eating meat think it tastes better than it really does. What does it really taste like and who can determine that?
    If we’re going with some version of this, the negative makes more sense. For example, people not accustomed to eating some kind of food, who expect it to taste bad, first time they try it have “primed” themselves to not liking it and it influences their impression of food’s taste. It doesn’t mean that the food stuff actually tastes better than they think, just that they might have liked it more if they hadn’t already expected not to like it.

  115. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    I still disagree with your theory that people who are accustomed to eating meat think it tastes better than it really does. What does it really taste like and who can determine that?

    I believe Denis Leary can tell you the answer to this.

  116. mouse says

    Ogvorbis (and Rev. and others) that’s the whole point! I didn’t think I needed to point out that all taste is by its very nature subjective. And it’s different from other things involving taste because people get extremely emotional about the subject of food, and especially attached to the taste and texture of certain types – i.e. high-fat, high-salt and high-sugar foods typically found or cooked with animal bodies. People seem to loose sight of the fact that their evolved brain is commanding them to eat a lot of stuff that’s bad for them, for animals, and for the planet particularly in the modern Western sedentary life. And I’m theorizing that in some cases the ultimate result of this is a lot of dumb arguments for eating animals and a lot of ridiculous generalizations about what veg*ns are like.

  117. Ogvorbis: ջարդված says

    I didn’t think I needed to point out that all taste is by its very nature subjective

    Then why did you write:

    It was meant to say that when a person regularly eats meat [especially meat enhanced with tons of extra salt and fat] they seem to grow emotionally attached to the taste, to the point where they think it is objectively wonderful.

    and this:

    Seriously, animal parts and their bodily fluids don’t taste as good as your brain has grown to think they do!

    Both are arguing that there is an objective value to the taste of food and that omnivores have just managed to fool themselves into thinking that meat, or products from animals, taste good when, in reality — in objective terms — they do not.

    And why do you keep adding the asterisk to ‘vegan’? It isn’t a swear word (though I cannot fucking understand why people do that one).

  118. Marc Abian says

    I know a lot of people who, like me, are vegetarians but don’t preach

    What’s wrong with preaching, and were many of the things said on here after elevatorgate, for example, preaching?

    The **only** time I have heard vegetarians “advocating” its been with myths, bad statistics, babbling about misread studies, claiming that X person on the TV, or X site on the internet has the “truth ™” about it, or otherwise quoting reasons that range from unprovable, to unsupported, to rank bullshit

    I’m sorry to hear that, but I should point out that there are completely rational reasons to become vegetarian, both in terms of ethics and health, so the comparison with religion is not valid (the comparison was made in the post I originally responded to). Obviously, things like bias and in-group mentalities exist without the need for religion, but as religion has more specific problems I don’t like “religious” as a shorthand to this kind of behaviour.

  119. Beatrice says

    It was meant to say that when a person regularly eats meat [especially meat enhanced with tons of extra salt and fat] they seem to grow emotionally attached to the taste, to the point where they think it is objectively wonderful.

    On its own, I don’t really see a problem with this. It says that some omnivores claim that their liking of meat somehow represents an objective assessment of meat’s taste. Which is wrong.

  120. Beatrice says

    Of course, the above is a position very different from other things mouse has said, so it’s difficult to say when they are backpedaling and when they are just being really really unclear.

  121. says

    Ogvorbis:
    “And why do you keep adding the asterisk to ‘vegan’? It isn’t a swear word”

    “Veg*n” is used as a substitute for vegetarian/vegan, to save half a second or so.

  122. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    mouse you also seem to suggest that meat eaters have no ability to make decisions for themselves when it comes to food.

  123. John Morales says

    [meta]

    mouse’s thesis is quite clear to me by now.

    Collated claims quoted:

    1. People seem to grow irrational emotional attachments to the foods they are accustomed to.

    2. After 5 years vegan I still craved omelette badly, so I bought some ostensibly cagefree eggs and made a perfect one. It tasted just like I remembered to some degree, but this time it was freakin disgusting. Seriously, animal parts and their bodily fluids don’t taste as good as your brain has grown to think they do!

    3. The point is that I think there is a connection between veg*n bashing and personal emotional attachment + societal reverence for eating meat.

    4. Ogvorbis got it, except I wouldn’t say the vegan daughter convinced herself cheese is yucky. I think she just realized that it isn’t as tasty and comforting as she had previously convinced herself.

    5. I am saying that a person’s tastes seem to grow more attached to the things they actually eat, and this seems to lead THEM to believe that meat is objectively delicious, whereas I would say that it has just become subjectively more delicious to that person’s tastes.

  124. Beatrice says

    ryanjohnston,

    Thanks, I was wondering the same thing as Ogvorbis.

    Morales,

    Some of those make sense, and I wouldn’t disagree if it weren’t for some things there that are not like the others:

    Seriously, animal parts and their bodily fluids don’t taste as good as your brain has grown to think they do!

    I think she just realized that it isn’t as tasty and comforting as she had previously convinced herself.

  125. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    There’s asshole meateater who think it’s cool to convince/tease a vegitarian, try to smuggle meat into their food and so on.

    Agreed. That’s being an asshole.

    And so is trying to smuggle pork or alcohol to a muslim. That it may be religious in nature shouldn’t be a reason to disrespect people on purpose.

    But there is also reciprocal respect to consider.

    Insisting that everybody follow your chosen habits, religious or not.

    I can stay friendly with vegetarians/vegans who won’t berate me or demand from me that I justify my meat eating habits, just like I will for a muslim who will not try to moralize me off drinking my beer.

    Those are also being assholes.

    It says that some omnivores claim that their liking of meat somehow represents an objective assessment of meat’s taste. Which is wrong.

    “Objective taste” is an oxymoron. And all tastes are of course things that are attached to emotions.

    I absolutely hate lobster (I am not kidding, if you force me to eat the stuff, there’s a 100% chance I will puke right in my plate), which is my friend’s 5 yo daughter’s most favorite food in the world, over chocolate. Neither of us is “right”.

    We have a saying in french:

    “Les goûts ne se discutent pas.”

  126. mouse says

    Beatrice I haven’t backpedalled at all.

    Those two remarks were intended to point out the blindness people have to the influence that our evolved brain chemistry has on their food tastes and desires. I hope I don’t have to provide a citation for the assertion that we’ve evolved through a long history of sometimes scarce food sources thus necessitating that we eat lots of sweet, fat, dense foods whenever we get the chance. So we think “bacon tastes wonderful!” As though it’s any different from a fly thinking “shit tastes wonderful!”

  127. nms says

    I’m glad mouse is here to bring us together in yet another meat-thread.

    (The way this comment is percieved by your brain is not actually the way this comment is percieved by your brain. Break free of the programming!)

  128. Tethys says

    mouse

    Chigau is not the only one who is laughing at you.

    hint* Your brain chemistry does not determine
    how things taste, unless you have a tumor.

  129. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Rev., that’s just baseless.

    really?

    People seem to loose sight of the fact that their evolved brain is commanding them to eat a lot of stuff that’s bad for them, for animals, and for the planet particularly in the modern Western sedentary life.

  130. Menyambal --- in flagrante delicto says

    Mouse, I went through quite a long phase of thinking that bacon smelt and tasted terrible. Seriously, the smell of it frying would turn my tummy. Before that and after that, I liked it well enough. Now, I like the smell, but find it a waste of time to eat—it’s too little meat for the trouble—although it tastes fine. So where’s your chemistry now?

    I liked beef for breakfast, really, but have moved more toward vegetarianism for various internal/digestive reasons. Which is saying more than I need to.

    If anybody is giving you a hard time for your dietary habits, you may have told them more than they need to know. Or maybe you need to hang out with different people. Which doesn’t mean they aren’t idiots, BTW.

  131. cm's changeable moniker says

    when a person regularly eats meat mushrooms [especially meat mushrooms enhanced with tons of extra salt and fat garlic and parsley] they seem to grow emotionally attached to the taste, to the point where they think it is objectively wonderful. It seems that my biggest lack of clarity was in not initially making the objective/subjective distinction explicit.

    … to make one of my personal biases explicit.

  132. mouse says

    Rev., I feel 100% certain that you don’t sincerely believe that I think a person’s urges to eat rich unhealthy foods = “meat eaters have no ability to make decisions for themselves when it comes to food.” At this point I think you’re being disingenuous.

    Tethys, laughing at me? Are you suggesting that brain chemistry has nothing to do with cognition in the areas of arousal, comfort, disgust etc? Moreover, the “laughing at me” comment only suggests to me that I’m among a handful of unkind assholes. Thanks for reminding me why I rarely engage here.

  133. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    At this point I think you’re being disingenuous.

    Ditto. Try real evidence, not your OPINION.

  134. mouse says

    Menyambal, I still think bacon smells lovely and I’m vegan 10 years. How does that, or the similar observations you listed, support the notion that food urges have nothing to do with brain chemistry?

    Nerd, it’s unclear whether your comment is directed at me or at Rev. If it was at me, it’s unclear what point you’re asking for evidence for. Evidence for the fact that prolific meat consumption is bad for human health, animal welfare, and air and water quality is replete in scientific papers and common sense. As for my theory that irrational urge to eat meat + societal reverence for meat ultimately leads to some dumb arguments in favor of eating meat and against animal-free diet, I haven’t and wouldn’t claim to have any more than a hunch based on regular personal experiences and observations.

  135. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    As for my theory that irrational urge to eat meat + societal reverence for meat ultimately leads to some dumb arguments in favor of eating meat and against animal-free diet, I haven’t and wouldn’t claim to have any more than a hunch based on regular personal experiences and observations.

    Exactly. Nothing but OPINION. Therefore, anything based on pure OPINION can and will be dismissed, per Chrirstopher Hitchens, *POOF* dismissed. Now, show some evidence, or give up on the claim…

  136. Tethys says

    mouse

    Being mocked does not feel nice, but it is what happens around here when people make assertions without evidence.

    I think social conditioning, salivary enzymes, and blood chemistry, have more to do with taste than brain chemistry.

  137. Ogvorbis: ջարդված says

    mouse:

    Could you please explain how the three quotes in my #149 make any sense, especially when compared to each other? I’m just a stupid public historian with a liberal arts degree, so I need lots of help here.

  138. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I keep getting the feeling Mouse is doing a presuppositional argument, just like any godbot, creobot, or liberturd, compared to an argument based on something other than their OPINION, and accepting them as an Authority. You know, real evidence…

  139. says

    Yeah, I wouldn’t be surprised if people were used to saying whatever they ate frequently tasted better than if they didn’t eat it frequently, but this isn’t really more than anecdata even for *that* position. It sure doesn’t prove anything about objective tastes.

    Mouse, you should really stick to whatever environmental or ethical ideas you have, because they’re going to be a lot more solid than this waffling.

  140. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Rev., I feel 100% certain that you don’t sincerely believe that I think a person’s urges to eat rich unhealthy foods = “meat eaters have no ability to make decisions for themselves when it comes to food.”

    your words not mine

    People seem to loose sight of the fact that their evolved brain is commanding them to eat a lot of stuff that’s bad for them, for animals, and for the planet particularly in the modern Western sedentary life.

  141. Holms says

    mouse

    Rev., I feel 100% certain that you don’t sincerely believe that I think [X].

    So… you’re claming that you believe Rev. doesn’t believe that you believe [X]. This is a good example of why people are laughing at you. I’ll agree with you that chigau is being a bit toolish, but you have provided ample motivation for such treatment.

    You said something quite silly and you’ve been alternating between climbing down and doubling down like mad ever since.

  142. w00dview says

    Speaking as an omnivore myself,I always found it the best type of hypocrisy when omnivores whine that veg*ns are always piously preaching and then in the next sentence preach about how natural and good for you meat is and how veg*ns look sooo unhealthy. Asshole omnivores also annoy me more than asshole veg*ns simply because they just sound like spiteful, petty bullies who are infuriated that people have different diets to them. Gjpetch @56 has a great example of what I’m talking about. I mean, disliking someone because they don’t like bacon? How narrow minded can you get?

  143. mouse says

    Rev. – Pointing out that people are subject to natural urges to eat unhealthy harmful foods is not a claim that people therefore have no ability to make decisoins for themselves. It simply isn’t. AND, the comment isn’t even limited to meat eaters!

    Nerd, I think you’re off base. What do you “get the feeling” is my presupposition in all of this?

    When I’m just throwing out a hunch, I’m pretty careful to try to preface it with “I think” or “it seems.” So fucking sorry if I misused the word “theory”! I’d be interested in a serious explanation of how brain chemistry has nothing to do with the development of taste.

    “I think social conditioning, salivary enzymes, and blood chemistry, have more to do with taste than brain chemistry.” I’m waiting for people to demand evidence.

    Ogvorbis – they make sense because the first one is pointing out what I attempted to illustrate in the second two: taste is subjective, and taste concerning food can be powerfully influential on one’s emotional attachment and thus (I think) lead to silly and defensive arguments in favor of eating meat.

  144. Nepenthe says

    I always found it the best type of hypocrisy when omnivores whine that veg*ns are always piously preaching and then in the next sentence preach about how natural and good for you meat is and how veg*ns look sooo unhealthy.

    My favorite is when omnivores talk about how for every animal I don’t eat, they’re going to eat three more, muahahaha. *rolls eyes* I’ve also seen omnivores tell hilarious stories about animal slaughter mishaps (“And there was blood all over the kitchen from that thing’s thrashing, lol.”) to increasingly nauseated-looking vegans. But no, it’s the veg*ns who are nasty, irrational, and judgmental.

  145. Tethys says

    Hmm, chigau is making me laugh at her acerbic wit.

    What can you expect from a irrational, meat eater who has apparently been brain washed into enjoying meat?
    I must be hallucinating that my teeth and digestive tract are adapted to omnivorousness, or that I develop anemia and lose muscle mass if I eat a vegan diet.

    mouse told us so!

  146. mouse says

    Holms, because Rev’s accusation (what you refer to as “[X]“)was based on a non sequitur, I supposed that he was being disingenuous. Laugh yourself blue, but I stand by that position.

  147. mouse says

    Tethys, don’t act like a fucking idiot. (When am I going to get banned for losing my temper already??) “Urges” do not equal “brain washing” except in your convenient twisting of my words. Moreover, a vegan diet does not bring on anemia. A poorly balanced ill-informed diet of any type can bring on anemia. I’m not going to offer evidence for such an elementary fucking fact.

  148. Holms says

    Mouse, this all stems from the initial statement of yours, which

    a) assumed that there is such a thing as objective tastes, and
    b) treated the two ‘sides’ in this discussion unequally:
    b)i) omnivores were only omnivores because of mental condition / brain chemistry, while
    b)ii) vegans etc. had no such conditioning and were just right, dammit!

    Just… stop adding to the mess.

    “chigau”

  149. Beatrice says

    animal parts and their bodily fluids don’t taste as good as your brain has grown to think they do!

    Jesus fuck you’re saying right there that food actually doesn’t taste as good as I perceive it to taste.

  150. Beatrice says

    Holms,

    Mouse obviously managed to defeat hir brain’s urges, not like us weak-willed omnivores.

  151. Holms says

    Ogvorbis – they make sense because the first one is pointing out what I attempted to illustrate in the second two: taste is subjective, and taste concerning food can be powerfully influential on one’s emotional attachment and thus (I think) lead to silly and defensive arguments in favor of eating meat.

    And here is en excellent example of the unequal treatment I just mentioned. Yes, people can get emotionally attached to shit and thus argue illogically about it, but why are vegans apparently immune? Of course they aren’t, but you somehow omit that every time.

    Tethys, don’t act like a fucking idiot. (When am I going to get banned for losing my temper already??)

    Suddenly, an emotional argument! Also, never. Not for temper alone, anyway.

    As an aside, Red Cross Australia doesn’t allow vegans to donate blood. Not because there is anything wrong with the blood itself, but because vegans take longer to recharge their iron.

  152. John Morales says

    [meta]

    Well, I can respect mouse’s attitude, if not the reasoning.

    Still, the topic ostensibly is the weak rationalisations for an ideological conceit of an Indian textbook aimed at children.

    (Somewhat akin to Creationist textbooks in the USA)

  153. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    Haven’t refreshed the thread, but:

    Mouse may or may not be touching on a valid point, that the “goodness” or “awesomeness” of certain foods is not necessarily an objective, inherent property of the foods themselves but may be influenced, often heavily, by cultural factors, including what is actively promoted as well as what one is directly accustomed to.

  154. Tethys says

    “I think social conditioning, salivary enzymes, and blood chemistry, have more to do with taste than brain chemistry.” I’m waiting for people to demand evidence.

    Fair enough.

    I doubt the horde will demand evidence for things that are self evident, such as the role of society/culture on food preference.

    If you were Inuit, you might enjoy seal and whale blubber.

    If you were Thai, you might consider sauteed crickets a delicacy.

    If you were Norwegian, you might consider lutefisk edible.

    The role of salivary enzymes in taste.

    We wanted to investigate a specific group of patients in whom taste and smell dysfunction occurred putatively related to a specific biochemical abnormality in a salivary growth factor [gustin/carbonic anhydrase (CA) VI] considered responsible for maintenance of taste bud function.

    It is well known that biochemistry has a huge role in food preference.

  155. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    @191

    It’s pretty hard, short of illness, to become anemic on a diet that contains meat.

    Iron, and especially B12, are easier to find, and absorb, in meat or eggs.

    It’s not impossible to fill your iron needs on a vegan diet, but it has to be much more planned than an omnivorous diet – and some people, like me, don’t have that extra time – heck, sometimes my lunch consists in a cup of chocolate milk.

  156. consciousness razor says

    animal parts and their bodily fluids don’t taste as good as your brain has grown to think they do!

    Jesus fuck you’re saying right there that food actually doesn’t taste as good as I perceive it to taste.

    Mouse drinks your milkshake. That’s why.

    Even though that is what Mouse said (mouse: please just admit this much so we can move on), I’m pretty sure it wasn’t intended that way. Demanding Mouse remain consistent with that line of argument would be pretty trollish and dishonest, if it’s clear enough that he/she didn’t mean that. What tastes good is irrelevant to ethical arguments for veganism/vegetarianism anyway.

    But maybe we should see how irrelevant we can get. I like the color blue.

  157. mouse says

    I realize all this stems from my first comment, which is why I wasted an inordinate amount of my day attempting to clarify and let people know what I was trying to say. Whereupon I was accused of backpedalling and climbing down.

    Holms – You ask why are vegans immune to emotional illogical arguments; who said they were?

    I’d be interested in evidence that vegans widely or inevitably take longer to recharge their iron, in a way that justifies that RCA policy. A well rounded vegan diet presents no serious challenge with respect to iron.

  158. Beatrice says

    consciousness razor,

    Ok sorry for keeping this going, I won’t repeat it any more. But I am annoyed that they say contradictory things and then pretend they’ve been consistent all along.

  159. consciousness razor says

    It’s not impossible to fill your iron needs on a vegan diet, but it has to be much more planned than an omnivorous diet – and some people, like me, don’t have that extra time – heck, sometimes my lunch consists in a cup of chocolate milk.

    Not having extra time (usually more like not wanting to spend extra time) means it’s okay to kill things? Assuming it’s true that it does take more time, does that seem like a good argument to you?

  160. John Morales says

    [OT]

    kemist,

    It’s not impossible to fill your iron needs on a vegan diet

    I note we live in C21, where pharmacological dietary supplements are easily available in developed nations.

  161. consciousness razor says

    But I am annoyed that they say contradictory things and then pretend they’ve been consistent all along.

    Yeah, I know. That’s really fucking annoying to me too. People should read their own bullshit and admit when they make mistakes.

  162. Tethys says

    Speaking of fucking idiots,

    mouse@175

    As for my theory that [the] irrational urge to eat meat + societal reverence for meat ultimately leads to some dumb arguments in favor of eating meat and against animal-free diet,

  163. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    Therefore, anything based on pure OPINION can and will be dismissed, per Chrirstopher Hitchens, *POOF* dismissed.

    That’s Hitchens’ OPINION, of course.

    *POOF*

    (Seriously, flagrant attempts to gerrymander what counts as “fact” – or “reason” for that matter – piss me off even from people whose positions I’d otherwise be sympathetic to. Especially from them, in fact…)

  164. John Morales says

    [OT]

    kemist @205, I get a bottle of multi-vitamin multi-mineral pills every two to three years, from which I have one pill every now and then until they run out.

    Just in case.

    More to the point, we in developed countries have the luxury of not needing to rely on foodstuff for all our nutrient needs.

    (IOW: Everyone can be a vegan and remain healthy without particular effort. We have more choice than in the past!)

  165. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    I keep getting the feeling Mouse is doing a presuppositional argument

    You mean you’re of the OPINION that Mouse is making a presuppositional argument?

  166. hotshoe says

    It’s not impossible to fill your iron needs on a vegan diet, but it has to be much more planned than an omnivorous diet – and some people, like me, don’t have that extra time – heck, sometimes my lunch consists in a cup of chocolate milk.

    Not having extra time (usually more like not wanting to spend extra time) means it’s okay to kill things? Assuming it’s true that it does take more time, does that seem like a good argument to you?

    Yep, seems like a perfect argument to me.

    My time, my welfare, my energy level available to aid myself my family and my community are worth plenty more than the life of any beet, soybean, chicken, cow, etc. you could possibly point at. They’re all living and they’re all appropriate foodstuffs for conscious human beings, for whatever reasons the human so desires.

    It’s a spurious argument to claim that people shouldn’t eat meat because it’s “killing”. It’s all killing to live. There’s no magic animal soul that makes killing an animal worse than killing a plant.

  167. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    @204

    I’m a full time student of engineering with a part time job. This means that I often have very, very little time to eat, and have to grab whatever is at hand.

    If a vegan diet means my health deteriorates, I’m totally ok with being an omnivore.

  168. Ogvorbis: ջարդված says

    they make sense because the first one is pointing out what I attempted to illustrate in the second two: taste is subjective, and taste concerning food can be powerfully influential on one’s emotional attachment and thus (I think) lead to silly and defensive arguments in favor of eating meat.

    How can you claim that subjectivity of taste has been your assertion the entire time? In these two quotes

    It was meant to say that when a person regularly eats meat [especially meat enhanced with tons of extra salt and fat] they seem to grow emotionally attached to the taste, to the point where they think it is objectively wonderful.

    and:

    Seriously, animal parts and their bodily fluids don’t taste as good as your brain has grown to think they do!

    One of them claims that, because of an omnivore’s emotional attachment to meat, they think it is ‘objectively wonderful’ and in the other you claim that one’s brain overrides some objective sense of taste because it actually doesn’t taste as good as I think it does.

    And when have I tried to defend eating meat? I know that humans can survive and thrive as vegetarians or vegans. They can also survive and thrive on a diet composed mostly of meat, including incredibly high-fat blubber. What silly and defensive argument are you referring to?

    I guess I really am that stupid. This makes no sense at all.

    I supposed that he was being disingenuous.

    No, the good Rev. was reading what you wrote.

    I realize all this stems from my first comment, which is why I wasted an inordinate amount of my day attempting to clarify and let people know what I was trying to say. Whereupon I was accused of backpedaling and climbing down.

    Try doing what I do when I fuck up. Just write something like: “Oh, crap, that came out really wrong. What I meant was that our socialization can really affect just how we taste foods. Sorry.” I do that often, on this blog, and no one has ever accused me of back pedaling. Writing things that are contradictory, and then claiming they are not, though, is not a good strategy for helping poor dumb me to understand what it is you are actually trying to say.

    But, that’s all opinion (except for me being an idiot, of course) so it can be poofed quite safely. ;)

  169. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    It’s a spurious argument to claim that people shouldn’t eat meat because it’s “killing”. It’s all killing to live. There’s no magic animal soul that makes killing an animal worse than killing a plant.

    Perhaps we can compromise and eat humans reading a thread where “reducing suffering” has come up three times at least and yet still pretending “magic soul” is a reasonable characterization of the argument, since they’re intermediary between plants and animals in sentience?

  170. consciousness razor says

    My time, my welfare, my energy level available to aid myself my family and my community are worth plenty more than the life of any beet, soybean, chicken, cow, etc. you could possibly point at.

    Because chickens and cows are like beets and soybeans? In what way? More like them than they’re like humans? How so?

    It’s a spurious argument to claim that people shouldn’t eat meat because it’s “killing”. It’s all killing to live. There’s no magic animal soul that makes killing an animal worse than killing a plant.

    Sure, that’s a spurious argument. It’d also be spurious to claim there’s a magic human soul that makes your life more valuable than some other animal’s life. Is that the argument you’re making? Or could it be that neither of us are making arguments about souls?

  171. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    John Morales @211

    Iron supplements for anemia are a bit different and a bit… Rough on the bowels.

    Anyway, I’d rather eat food than pills, and don’t thrust supplements.

    They’re like pharmaceuticals without the stringent control.

  172. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    I’m posting from my I pad while cooking so I’m not going to look this up right now, but aren’t there studies showing that vitamins and minerals from supplements are a very poor substitute for real food?

  173. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    You mean you’re of the OPINION that Mouse is making a presuppositional argument?

    Without evidence, it is a presuppositional argument. Evidence is what separates science from OPINION. Despite your attempts at humor.

  174. Nepenthe says

    @Azkyroth

    I prefer my overreacting omnivores braised with a side of sauteed green beans, if you’re taking orders.

  175. What a Maroon, el papa ateo says

    Wife likes rhubarb, I do not. I like raw kale, Wife does not. Which one of us is, objectively, correct?

    Easy. Your wife is correct (though you’re correct about lamb). Obviously my tastes are objectively correct.

    It is odd though, how some foods (such as olives) have gone from objectively yucky to objectively yummy, and vice versa.

  176. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    Without evidence, it is a presuppositional argument. Evidence is what separates science from OPINION.

    You haven’t presented any evidence of this, I notice.

  177. John Morales says

    Rev. BigDumbChimp @221, not really. Your digestive tract doesn’t care about the source of that which it processes — what is relevant is dosage.

    (But yes, a balanced diet which needs no supplementing is the ideal)

  178. hotshoe says

    My time, my welfare, my energy level available to aid myself my family and my community are worth plenty more than the life of any beet, soybean, chicken, cow, etc. you could possibly point at

    .

    Because chickens and cows are like beets and soybeans? In what way? More like them than they’re like humans? How so?

    it’s a spurious argument to claim that people shouldn’t eat meat because it’s “killing”. It’s all killing to live. There’s no magic animal soul that makes killing an animal worse than killing a plant.

    Sure, that’s a spurious argument. It’d also be spurious to claim there’s a magic human soul that makes your life more valuable than some other animal’s life. Is that the argument you’re making? Or could it be that neither of us are making arguments about souls?

    Are you being dense on purpose?

    You’re the one who was attempting to scold kemist:

    Not having extra time (usually more like not wanting to spend extra time) means it’s okay to kill things? Assuming it’s true that it does take more time, does that seem like a good argument to you?

    phrasing “kill things” as if you think “killing animals” is somehow worse or more questionable morally than “killing plants”.

    If that what you mean, then I’m correct to mock your idea that animals have any characteristic which makes “kill things” scold-worthy when kemist (or I) do it to animals while it’s not scold-worthy when you (or any of us) do it to plants.

    It’s all killing.

    You may not specifically believe in “animal souls” but if you believe there’s anything special about animals that should make me hesitate to kill and eat them, then it’s no different than you believing in some kind of magic moral dividing line. What? they have nerve cells? So what’s magic about nerve cells that makes an animal immoral to kill, while it remains moral to kill plants merely because they happen to lack nerve cells?

    If that’s not what you meant when you started to scold kemist for not taking enough time to adhere to a vegan diet and to earn your approval by avoiding killing animals, then please make yourself clear. I’d be happy to apologize if it turns out you do have a rational argument. But opening with an accusation about “okay to kill things” suggests that I’m not going to get any rational argument from you. Just magical thinking from the vegetable-killer.

  179. chigau (棒や石) says

    overreacting omnivores braised with a side of sauteed green beans onions

    alliteration arules!

  180. mouse says

    Ogvorbis – “It seems that my biggest lack of clarity was in not initially making the objective/subjective distinction explicit.”

    Stopping now.

  181. Menyambal --- in flagrante delicto says

    As for the killing of animals, well, for some, we domesticated their ancestors, we’ve spread their species across the planet, we’ve given them life, we’ve fed them, kept them healthy and safe, and all of that was done so we could eat them. So it isn’t just a needless killing of them. I hope their death is quick and painless, but if we didn’t kill them, we’d never have given them life or let them live.

    If we weren’t eating them, what would their life be? We keep a few animals for non-eating purposes, but we’d certainly not have herds of cows as pets. And if we did keep cows for something else, say for milk, what would we do when their milk ran out? If we kept them to die of old age, we’d not allow as many to be born. If we shoot them, we might as well eat them (and we do).

    Our domesticated animals may displace wild animals, or even humans, but they are doing pretty well as a species. I don’t like going out and shooting wild animals, but if we’ve killed off all their predators, we’d best get out there. For domesticated animals raised for food, well, that’s even more our involvement, and not just gratuitous killing.

  182. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    @228

    Also, onions objectively taste better than green beans.

    So there.

  183. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    And, this is OT, but for some Hindus, onions are not considered to be vegetarian.

  184. mouse says

    Oops, I forgot to tell Rev. BDC that I do have urges. I’ll check back to see how that is relevant.

  185. consciousness razor says

    phrasing “kill things” as if you think “killing animals” is somehow worse or more questionable morally than “killing plants”.

    That is what I think, because killing plants doesn’t cause them to suffer. I figured the context (i.e., what the entire thread is about) made it clear I meant “animals” when I said “things.”

    You may not specifically believe in “animal souls” but if you believe there’s anything special about animals that should make me hesitate to kill and eat them, then it’s no different than you believing in some kind of magic moral dividing line.

    There is a moral dividing line, but not a magical one: the ability to suffer. People tend to take that sort of thing into account if they think about morality at all.

    Let’s go back to this, from me:

    It’d also be spurious to claim there’s a magic human soul that makes your life more valuable than some other animal’s life.

    I do think humans should be treated as “more valuable” to some extent. We should to some extent put our interests ahead of other animals’. That doesn’t mean their lives should have so little value (relative to ours) that it’s outweighed by anything whatsoever that is convenient for us.

    If you mistreat an animal (or do something less harmful than killing them) then explain to everyone that you did it because “it’s convenient,” people generally won’t think that’s good enough. If somehow you were in a situation where your life or health really depended on mistreating an animal, they’d treat it like a much better justification.

    I think that’s reasonable, and I think none of that needs to have a fucking thing to do with “magical thinking” or “souls.” We shouldn’t treat animals like they’re completely worthless, because they can suffer (unlike a beet or a soybean) and suffering should matter to us (even if it’s not the only thing that should matter).

    But opening with an accusation about “okay to kill things” suggests that I’m not going to get any rational argument from you. Just magical thinking from the vegetable-killer.

    How about this? Don’t be so fucking ridiculous.

  186. Menyambal --- in flagrante delicto says

    And for some South American Catholics, the capybara, the world’s largest rodent, is a fish.

  187. John Morales says

    [OT]

    CR:

    That is what I think, because killing plants doesn’t cause them to suffer.

    Shame Lyall Watson can’t be here to argue with you. ;)

  188. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    John Morales @ 233

    Yep.

    They call this being a “strict vegetarian”. There are other things that are of vegetal origin that are not supposed to be eaten too, like garlic. Strangely, milk is totally ok.

    Not all vegetarian Hindus follow that diet, at least, not all the time. It’s mostly for gurus, and in preparation for religious ceremonies.

  189. hotshoe says

    If somehow you were in a situation where your life or health really depended on mistreating an animal, they’d treat it like a much better justification.

    Okay, then keep your fucking mouth shut when someone like me (or kemist) thinks the quality of our life, health, and our families’ welfare really depends on – not mistreating – but as painlessly as possible killing an animal for food.

    That’s plenty sufficient justification. None better needed, by your own admission.

    But opening with an accusation about “okay to kill things” suggests that I’m not going to get any rational argument from you. Just magical thinking from the vegetable-killer.

    How about this? Don’t be so fucking ridiculous.

    You’re funny when you get mad.

  190. Nepenthe says

    If we weren’t eating them, what would their life be?

    And what if your mom had had an abortion?

  191. Nepenthe says

    on – not mistreating – but as painlessly as possible killing an animal for food.

    If you think that the overwhelming majority of food animals are not horrifically mistreated before their parts land on your plate, I think you’re the one having problems with magical thinking, specifically the “if I wasn’t there, it didn’t happen” fallacy.

  192. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    Chigau

    I actually like okra.

    I’m weird that way.

    But I do loathe boiled kerela, if that’s a bit reassuring.

  193. consciousness razor says

    You’re funny when you get mad.

    Thanks? You’re not being funny, just fucking stupid.

  194. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Rev. BDC @242, both in the allium family.

    Yeah I know, but why are these off limits?

    What sort of “reasoning”

  195. Nepenthe says

    @Chimp

    If I remember my Buddhism studies correctly, alliums are supposed to inflame passions and desire and whatnot. Some religions also believe that it’s wrong to eat root vegetables because they kill the plant.

  196. chigau (棒や石) says

    Onions and garlic are ‘stimulating’.
    They cause ‘arousal’.
    That’s why the more ascetic people avoid them.
    (and it’s not only about sex)

  197. John Morales says

    Rev. BDC, yeah, I don’t get it either.

    What sort of “reasoning”

    Dunno, perhaps kemist can elucidate.

    (Still, not like Biblical food prohibitions make much sense, is it?

    (So why should Hindu prohibitions?))

  198. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    You haven’t presented any evidence of this, I notice.

    Where is yours? I see nothing but attitude.

  199. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    @248

    Yes, pretty much what Nepenthe and Chigau said.

    Ayurveda (Indian traditionnal medicine) separates food in four groups, one of which is supposed to be stimulating (or is supposed to lower your spiritual energy).

    Meat is part of that group, as well as onion and garlic.

  200. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    Also the relation with naughty sex is pretty interesting, because all the Indians I’ve ever met refer to sex jokes as “non-veg”.

    I’m ready to bet that somewhere in the book mentionne in the OP, there is something about eating less onion and garlic.

  201. John Morales says

    [OT + culinary]

    Hell, I grew up with Mediterranean cuisine.

    Sopa de ajo.

    Soupe à l’oignon

  202. cactusren says

    Everyone can be a vegan and remain healthy without particular effort.

    Haven’t had time to read to the end of the thread, but I have to call bullshit on this claim. I recently tried a vegetarian diet, and after about a month had to give it up after taking several days off work and ending up having a panic attack. I’m hypoglycemic and have to be very careful about the ratio of proteins to fats to carbohydrates in my diet. I tried all kinds of meat substitues, tofu, seitan, and tempeh, and of course incorporated a lot of beans, nuts, and lentils into my diet. The problem is the beans, nuts, and lentils had previously been the starchiest component of my diet, and I simply couldn’t make the ratios work without meat.

    The day of the panick attack I broke down and went out for a meat-based meal. I felt better about an hour after eating it. And, no, I hadn’t particularly been craving meat, and there’s no evidence that this is some psychosomatic issue. My body simply can’t process carbohydrates the way most people’s can.

    I know lots of people who are veg*n and healthy, and that’s great. But people vary in their physiology, and it simply isn’t feasible for some people to not eat meat–I for one appreciate not being told that it’s totes easy, and I could do it if I just tried hard enough.

  203. says

    I don’t see what was egregiously wrong with what mouse said. The Horde has a reputation for ripping apart any irrational claims. It’s one thing to do it to rape apologists and “racial realists,” but I don’t think advocates of vegetarianism cause as much harm, nor do they deserve to have all their statements interpreted as uncharitably as possible, even if they could be expressed a little more clearly.

    The first thing people say to me when I mention I’m vegetarian is, “I could never do that, I love meat too much. It just tastes too good. I couldn’t live without it.” That was my own reaction to vegetarians before I became one myself. A reasonable response seems to be, “You know, meat doesn’t taste that great. If you tried giving it up for a while you might be surprised how little you miss it.”

    I noticed a couple of comments claiming that taste is determined solely by the activity of our taste/smell receptors. This is false. There is a distinction between the sense of taste, which depends solely on receptors, and the percept of taste, which is how our brains organise, interpret and perceive that sensory information. The actual percept can be influence by past experience, conditioning, mood, thoughts, and brain state generally.

    We can all think of examples of how our tastes have changed over time. I used to hate orange, tomato and spinach when I was a child. Tomato in particular made me feel violently sick because I once ate tomato soup that gave me food poisoning (in India, funnily enough). Now I actually like tomato and I can tolerate the other two. I used to hate alcohol’s bitter taste as a child (my Dad would let me have a sip of his Guinness; I didn’t like the taste but I would ask to drink it because I thought it was cool and grown up) but through repeated exposure to social drinking I now sometimes crave a cold beer when it’s hot and sunny (though I still prefer the less bitter brews).

    Living in a family of carnivores, I often have plates of lamb curry or chicken sitting on the table in front of me (no beef! It makes baby Krishna cry). I still like the smell of meat despite being veggie for 5 years. Though I don’t really miss it. Also I’m not a strict vegetarian. Once for my cousin’s birthday party I was sitting at the ‘vegetarian table’ in a Thai restaurant and one of our dishes had eggs in it. The others refused to eat it but I was like, ‘Meh, food is food. The dish is already made, my choice to eat it won’t increase egg production now. Nomnomnom.’

  204. Holms says

    244 Nepenthe

    If you think that the overwhelming majority of food animals are not horrifically mistreated before their parts land on your plate, I think you’re the one having problems with magical thinking, specifically the “if I wasn’t there, it didn’t happen” fallacy.

    Oh, I like that trick. In one fell swoop, you have done away with the need to provide any evidence for your ‘overwhelming majority’ gross generalisation combined with a swipe at the mental processes of everyone that disagrees with said gross generalisation. Nice! Absence of evidence neatly turned on its head!

    Classic argument from ignorance.

    258 Winterwind

    It’s one thing to do it to rape apologists and “racial realists,” but I don’t think advocates of vegetarianism cause as much harm…

    Ah, ‘stop picking on group X when there are others that cause more harm!’ I’ve seen that before, and it was rubbish every time. True a vegetarian is not a rape apologist / kkk / religious extremist / etc., but that has never been a reason to let bullshit fly free.

    A reasonable response seems to be, “You know, meat doesn’t taste that great. If you tried giving it up for a while you might be surprised how little you miss it.”

    I don’t see why taht is so reasonable; it is the same ‘objective taste’ crap mouse tried but dressed a little more reasonably. You speak to your tastes and I’ll speak to mine; personally lamb chops in particular are fucking spot on. While it is possible that I won’t miss it, it is also possible quite likely that I will. The mere possibility that I might come to like going without it is not really a reason to try.

  205. says

    especially attached to the taste and texture of certain types – i.e. high-fat, high-salt and high-sugar foods typically found or cooked with animal bodies.

    I guess mouse actually thinks that sweet meats are really meat.
    And I futher guess that mouse also thinks that the “high fat” “high sugar” things are
    A) Objectively unhealthy
    B) Only found in an omnivore diet

    We didn’t develop tastes (and yes, to a certain extent or brains did develop in a way to distinguish good from bad, and to like sugar and fat) that make us love certain kind of foods despite them being objectively bad for us. We developed those tastes because those things were objectively good for us, i.e. they kept us from starving. Our environment has changed, that’s why we’re in trouble.

    A vegan/vegetarian diet isn’t healthier per se. Chips with lots of ketchup and a bar of chocolate with marzipan filling aren’t a healthy meal. It doesn’t become better or worse if you add a burger.

    Yes, people become emotionally attached to food. Ever heard the term “comfort food”?

    Holms – You ask why are vegans immune to emotional illogical arguments; who said they were?

    That impression stems from the fact that all your comments only eve refer to being “mistaken” about the taste of food when people eat things you disapprove of.

    kemist

    It’s pretty hard, short of illness, to become anemic on a diet that contains meat.

    Not actually true. I found it very easy as an omnivore woman of childbearing age.

    +++
    As for the argument about killing animals:
    I try to reduce my overall consumption, meaning that I’m aiming for sustainable ethical farming with the animals slaughtered more or less on spot with appropriate stunning, minimizing any suffering. What I am taking from the animal is time of life-span*.
    Currently to my knowledge there’s no indication that the animals I eat are aware of their possible life-span and things they could do in the future.
    We cannot avoid killing animals for our benefit, but yes, we can reduce suffering. How much suffering we accept seems to be controversial.
    Obviously, people like me, kemist and hotshoe draw the line somewhere else. We also have quite different conditions. Going vegetarian, not to mention vegan would mean that I marginalize my children in their social group because they coudl no longer eat lunch together with their mates in kindergarten. I’ve seen the effect of that on children with food allergies, the suffering it causes them and that’s nothing I’m going to do to them. I’m also running a fucking busy schedule already. Of course I could drop out of college again and concentrate on feeding my family correctly according to the principles of other people regardless of the suffering this causes me.
    It’s funny how easily my suffering gets dismissed in favour of other animals.

    *As compared to the same animal being taken care of at the same level until natural death**
    **Which is a stupid idea because usually we avoid animals suffering a natural death ’cause it’s cruel. We euthanise them

    +++
    Menyabal
    It has long been catholic teaching that beaver is fish so you can eat it during lent.
    +++

    Demanding Mouse remain consistent with that line of argument would be pretty trollish and dishonest, if it’s clear enough that he/she didn’t mean that.

    Demanding that mouse stops bullshitting and admits that xie did say stupid things instead of claiming xie never did isn’t.

    Nephente

    If you think that the overwhelming majority of food animals are not horrifically mistreated before their parts land on your plate, I think you’re the one having problems with magical thinking, specifically the “if I wasn’t there, it didn’t happen” fallacy.

    Well, you’re aware that there are alternative farming styles and that people might use them if possible?

    Winterwind

    A reasonable response seems to be, “You know, meat doesn’t taste that great. If you tried giving it up for a while you might be surprised how little you miss it.”

    Nope, it’s not reasonable, it’s stupid. If somebody likes something they simply do. There is no “objectively” tasting great.
    You know, depending on what I serve along with it I will preare spinach with or without bacon. The fact that it still tastes nice without it doesn’t mean it doesn’t taste fucking great with it.
    Whether you miss it or not doesn’t mean you were mistaken when you ate and liked it.
    This has nothing to do with silly “I like meat too much to give it up” arguments.

  206. Beatrice says

    A reasonable response seems to be, “You know, meat doesn’t taste that great. If you tried giving it up for a while you might be surprised how little you miss it.”

    This again?
    Some meat, prepared in certain ways, tastes great to me. Telling me that it actually doesn’t is really fucking stupid.

    It would be easy to change this into a reasonable argument, if you want to go for the taste aspect, say:

    “You know, if you tried some of the meat substitutes, you might find they taste great. You might even like them more than meat.”

  207. says

    …If you think that the overwhelming majority of food animals are not horrifically mistreated before their parts land on your plate… fallacy.

    This is a good argument against mistreating animals, not against killing them. It is possible to grow animals in happy environment where they do not suffer, where they are taken care of, their ailments are cared for, they are not hunted by predators, being constantly stressed, half starved and live on average much longer life than they otherwise would in the wild. It is also possible to kill animal swiftly, so its suffering is minimal, certainly significantly less than what occurs in nature. We, unlike other animals, have some power over how we treat and kill our food.

    I agree, and there is plenty of evidence, that many, if not most, of food animals are not grown in optimal conditions and many suffer needlesly there and later on transport to slaugtherhouse. This is partly because the demand for meat is way too high and shortcuts are taken in order to meet that demand. There are problems to take care of in order to reduce the suffering and I doubt anyone here disputes that.

    Where you get wrong is to say/or imply, if I understand your position correctly, that not killing reduces suffering. That is not true at all. Fields are full of pests, deers and boars can do significant damage to crops if not checked (either by hunters, or – preferably – by their natural predators, or both). It is not possible to grow food, even vegan food, without killing animals. But it is possible to grow food, even omnivore food, without needless suffering.
    _________________________

    [partly off topic anecdote]
    I have large garden and I like to grow vegetables and fruit for food and bonsai trees for fun. I also have problem with mice and water voles. Water voles can make serious damage to potatoes, carrots and even grown apple trees by gnawing on their roots. I have some options to deal with this problem – cats (not too effective), providing nesting place for owls (possibly effective, the problem was subjectively lower when barn owl nested at my neigbour´s), traps (very effective) or, lastly I could ignore it, in which case – taken ad absurdum – the voles and mice would overpopulate and eventually starve and fight to death and eat each other (I do not need to draw population dynamics charts on this site, neither to point out te facts that many rodents are omnivores too, do I?).

    None of the options is sans killing. It does not matter if I delegate killing to pets, or to wild animals given sanctuary/protection, or to hunger and pestilence, killing is still killing. Yet the last option is not an option if my goal is to maximize the usable input of my garden in order to feed myself and my family. It is also the option with, unarguably, the highest amount of suffering. And the option with lowest amount of suffering? Probably traps, which seem also most effective.
    [end of off topic anecdote]

  208. Nepenthe says

    @Holms

    In one fell swoop, you have done away with the need to provide any evidence for your ‘overwhelming majority’ gross generalisation combined with a swipe at the mental processes of everyone that disagrees with said gross generalisation.

    I was actually parodizing hotshoe’s swipe at veg*ns’ ethical objections to meat production as magical thinking.

    But since you’ve been living under a rock for the last thirty years and don’t know how farming is done now, go to your grocery store (assuming you live in the US, I was unable to find the system in Canada or Europe). Any meat or eggs that aren’t marked “grass fed”, “pastured”, “Animal Welfare Approved”, or “Certified Humane” comes from animals raised in factory farm conditions. If you go to a restaurant, likewise. If you purchase animal products at a farmer’s market, you’ll have better luck.

    For more fun information about intensive animal production check out this report (PDF) from the Pew Commission.

    —-
    @Giliell

    Well, you’re aware that there are alternative farming styles and that people might use them if possible?

    Sure. But, on the the whole, they don’t. I don’t personally have much against meat eating per se. I’ll happily eat the chickens from the local farm that I met when they were scratching around the pasture, doing their chicken thing. I’m not going to go to Taco Bell and get a chicken burrito and pretend that those chickens were scratching around anything but the backs of their fellow chickens.

  209. Matt Penfold says

    Matt Penfold, you show me one place where I “blamed” you or anyone for not understanding my point. Where it was incorrectly asserted that “mouse said X” I simply pointed out that no, I did not say X. My last statement was in response to a request for clarification so, no, it was not exactly what I said to begin with but it was perfectly consistent with my first comment. Your tactics are tiresome and I ignored them earlier, but if you’re still reading this I hope you look back and see that you’ve acted like a real jerk.

    Oh dear, how tiresome of you.

    Either you cannot remember what you wrote, in which case you need to be checked for dementia, or you are lying.

    However, here are some examples of you doing something you claimed you did not do.

    Beatrice, if you’ll read my comment again slowly you’ll see that I didn’t use it as an argument for veganism. Acting condescending while making an inapposite comment makes you look stupid.

    Beatrice, I see you had no intention of sincerely trying.
    The point is that I think there is a connection between veg*n bashing and personal emotional attachment + societal reverence for eating meat. I see a number of comments here making a serious attempt to argue against vegan diet. All the rest are just bashing.

    So Mouse, anything to say now ?

  210. Acolyte of Sagan says

    You guys! You could start a fight in an empty room.

    Anyhow, back to the OP, and the best argument against vegetarianism ever; VEGGIE FARTS!
    Game over, I win. I’m off to slaughter me some steak.

  211. Dhorvath, OM says

    mouse

    A poorly balanced ill-informed diet of any type can bring on anemia.

    This has been my experience.
    ___

    CR

    What tastes good is irrelevant to ethical arguments for veganism/vegetarianism anyway.

    And I would think that since taste responds to social and cultural influences, what tastes ‘good’ can change.
    ___

    Hotshoe

    There’s no magic animal soul that makes killing an animal worse than killing a plant.

    This is just silly. Do plants have an advanced nervous system that includes aversion, pain, and fear?
    ___

    CR

    If you mistreat an animal (or do something less harmful than killing them) then explain to everyone that you did it because “it’s convenient,” people generally won’t think that’s good enough.

    I don’t know if you mean to put killing on top with this statement.
    ___

    A reasonable response seems to be, “You know, meat doesn’t taste that great. If you tried giving it up for a while you might be surprised how little you miss it.”

    This again?
Some meat, prepared in certain ways, tastes great to me. Telling me that it actually doesn’t is really fucking stupid.

    Who is saying it doesn’t? The statement is that it doesn’t taste that great. As in, it’s not so tasty that it’s a necessity to your existence to consume it. Life has other pleasures.

  212. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    A reasonable response seems to be, “You know, meat doesn’t taste that great. If you tried giving it up for a while you might be surprised how little you miss it.”

    Sigh

    This non argument is just stupid.

  213. Beatrice says

    Hm, I have missed that the sentence is a suggested answer to someone saying that meat tastes so good to them they can’t live without it.

  214. Holms says

    But since you’ve been living under a rock for the last thirty years and don’t know how farming is done now, go to your grocery store (assuming you live in the US, I was unable to find the system in Canada or Europe).

    Excellent point! Well, it might have been if you weren’t speaking from ignorance regarding my life. If you knew dick about me you might have scored a hit on my nationality given three guesses, and you might have known that I spent years of my childhood on a small farm with sheep and free range hens. Throwing in a personal insult while speaking our of your arse was pretty classy though.

    Who is saying it doesn’t? The statement is that it doesn’t taste that great. As in, it’s not so tasty that it’s a necessity to your existence to consume it. Life has other pleasures.

    No, the statement is quite clear: meat doesn’t taste quite as good as it tastes. Bending over backwards to give the most generous interpretation possible – that meat isn’t tasty enough to be a vital need – is both disingenuous and pointless, as it results in a statement that can now be applied to every food ever.

    As for the ‘other pleasures’ non sequitur, again, the same can be said of every food ever. Sure I don’t need to have an omnivorous diet, but neither do I need to be veg*n. Given a choice, I’ll take a balanced diet that includes lean meat thanks. You are free to choose differently, but stow the sanctimony.

  215. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    I know lots of people who are veg*n and healthy, and that’s great. But people vary in their physiology, and it simply isn’t feasible for some people to not eat meat–I for one appreciate not being told that it’s totes easy, and I could do it if I just tried hard enough.

    I have had more or less the same problem when I tried to become a vegetarian. In my case it lasted for about a year or so. I have had some rather severe episodes, one of which nearly resulted in a highway car accident. Episodes normally start with intense nausea followed by something that looks like presyncope (faintheadedness, loss of vision, ears buzzing). Sometimes it is accompanied by a feeling of intense and irrational anger.

    In my case, it could be partially mitigated when I had time to prepare proper balanced meals at home.

    But the thing is, I don’t have that time outside of weekends. And I will point out that it only partially resolves the hypoglycemic episodes, which are annoying as hell, and potentially dangerous for myself and others if they happen while I’m driving. I don’t have them on an omnivorous diet, except if I skip meals.

    I started to understand that my diet was the problem after a camping trip with friends where I had several episodes with intense rage, and was constantly hungry. The hunger would go away after a few bites of pasta or rice with lentil, but would come back a few minutes later. Until we went to a mall and, ravenous, I decided to have some meat. That somehow sated my hunger. It was a really, really weird feeling.

    I hate it when I’m told that this is all in my head, and that I’d been doing vegetarianism wrong (that I totes suddenly went from eating beef in all three meals to eating only carrots), but that’s exactly what I was told by some people.

    We people who have problems (whether anemia or other not completely understood, hard-to-define health issues) on a veg*n diet are not supposed to exist, or it’s that we’re doing it wrong. It’s impossible that our physiology might be a bit different, and that this diet might not be possible for us without important and debilitating side-effects.

  216. ChasCPeterson says

    [meta]
    Good thread, this.

    [meta-meta]
    gah, I hate hate hate that construction.

    the voles and mice would overpopulate and eventually starve and fight to death and eat each other (I do not need to draw population dynamics charts on this site, neither to point out te facts that many rodents are omnivores too, do I?).

    nnoooo, but a) The response of all kinds of rodents to overpopulation and resource shortage is empirically well known, and it does not generally involve deadly combat, muricide, murivory, or cannibalism; this is particularly true of the two species you’ve mentioned specifically. They will instead [attempt to] migrate elsewhere, en masse if necessary. Birth rates will also plummet.
    and
    b) although te facts is that “many rodents are omnivores”, water voles are not, and the diet of nominally omnivorous house mice is not known to include other mammals.

    In short, if you’re going to try to come off all biological, get your facts stright first.

  217. Beatrice says

    Besides, a person saying that they couldn’t live without the delicious taste of meat is obviously exaggerating. Sort of like I deliberately exaggerate when I say that I would absolutely die if I never had an opportunity to eat chocolate again. Because I probably wouldn’t. If I say that my life would lose all meaning if I never taste a piece of dark chocolate filled with brandy again, that would not actually be true. Probably.

    So, it mostly means “I like it and I don’t find the option of not eating it worth entertaining so please fuck off.”

  218. Nepenthe says

    @Holmes

    you might have known that I spent years of my childhood on a small farm with sheep and free range hens.

    I’m not sure how this is relevant. The halcyon days of your youth resemble contemporary farming not at all. You buy all your animal products from similar farms? Congratulations. I’m not talking about you.

    —-
    @Beatrice

    So, it mostly means “I like it and I don’t find the option of not eating it worth entertaining so please fuck off.”

    Obviously. It’s strange though that we are suppose to accept this as an ethical argument when there are myriad things for which we don’t accept the “I like it, therefore it’s okay” argument. We would rightly consider someone who fights dogs a moral monster, yet if the same person outsources the same level of cruelty to a similarly intelligent species, we say that they just loooove bacon.

  219. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    Who is saying it doesn’t? The statement is that it doesn’t taste that great. As in, it’s not so tasty that it’s a necessity to your existence to consume it. Life has other pleasures.

    The same thing could be said about a lot of things other than food.

    About sex, for instance.

    However most people don’t entertain the thought of stopping to do it, even though it can result in an unwanted pregnancy and an abortion.

  220. consciousness razor says

    If you mistreat an animal (or do something less harmful than killing them) then explain to everyone that you did it because “it’s convenient,” people generally won’t think that’s good enough.

    I don’t know if you mean to put killing on top with this statement.

    I’m not sure I understand what you mean. Put it on top?

    I consider killing animals, people included, more harmful than mistreating them. If you disagreed with that, you could substitute anything which you do consider less harmful (as the parenthetical was supposed to indicate), if it isn’t so much less that it’s practically harmless, and it wouldn’t make a difference to the argument. I doubt anyone would seriously claim killing them is the least harmful thing you could do, which implies there are less harmful things (and that doesn’t imply those are all harmless). If something less harmful (like “mistreatment” or whatever it may be) is bad enough to need a very good justification, then something more harmful obviously needs an even better one. If there are things more harmful than killing them (perhaps even “mistreatment,” if I’m wrong or that means something different to you), then likewise the justification for those would need to be better.

    So however you figure it, if you put any substantial value on the interests of non-human animals,* then something which has a large negative impact on them shouldn’t be overshadowed by relatively smaller positive benefit for us (which I characterized as a matter of convenience, but it could come in different forms). But you’d at least have to start the conversation by recognizing that non-human animals have some value and that there is some “moral dividing line” to even talk about, rather than wave it away with a bit of transparent bullshitting about magic.

    *Which, as I claimed, most people do, but perhaps not those equating them with vegetables.

  221. says

    Are you suggesting that brain chemistry has nothing to do with cognition in the areas of arousal, comfort, disgust etc? Moreover, the “laughing at me” comment only suggests to me that I’m among a handful of unkind assholes.

    No, they are laughing because you are asserting that, when otherwise not missing any sort of needed nutrients, the brain is rigged to make people want the bad things. This is just not the case. People sometimes eat dirt too, its usually because the dirt has something in it that is ***missing*** from their normal diet. So, yeah, even a full on Vegan, if on the point of starvation, would likely willingly eat things that their brain says, “I can smell what I desperately need in there!” But, that is a far cry from, “But the rest of us, despite being well feed, are attracted like moths to bad foods.”, which seems to be your assertion.

  222. Nepenthe says

    I consider killing animals, people included, more harmful than mistreating them.

    I disagree, mostly because animals, at least livestock animals, have no aspirations or concept of the future. The have terror of pain, but it seems unlikely that they grasp the concept of death. Thus, they have an interest in avoiding pain, and seeking species-appropriate pleasure, but not in continuing to be alive. Someone who abuses a dog is doing much more harm than someone who humanely euthanizes it.

    I think it’s extremely important, therefore, to eliminate pain and fear from slaughter. I would be tickled if the meat industry adopted nitrogen gas as the preferred method, though I doubt it would mesh with the speed of the factory line. And of course the observant Jews and Muslims would object to such humane slaughter.

  223. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    So however you figure it, if you put any substantial value on the interests of non-human animals,* then something which has a large negative impact on them shouldn’t be overshadowed by relatively smaller positive benefit for us (which I characterized as a matter of convenience, but it could come in different forms).

    Again, the exact same argument could be applied to recreational sex vs unwanted pregnancy and the value of foetuses.

    I don’t think aiming for ethical purity and putting absolute weights on things, and calling some “convenience” is in any way realistic or helpful. One could arguably defend the position that my not having debilitating hypoglycemia episodes from a veg*n diet or a woman becoming incontinent from childbirth are mere “convenience” issues compared to some other organism’s life.

  224. consciousness razor says

    I disagree, mostly because animals, at least livestock animals, have no aspirations or concept of the future. The have terror of pain, but it seems unlikely that they grasp the concept of death.

    Does every person “grasp the concept of death”? For those who don’t, does that mean it’s fine if they go to the slaughterhouse (painlessly, I would hope)?

  225. cactusren says

    @kemist: Yup, that sounds all too familiar–the hunger, the anger, the lightheadedness/nausea presyncope (or syncope!)–I also get migraines when my diet is poor, or if I go too long without eating. The major thing that people don’t seem to understand is that it’s not just about avoiding sugary and starchy foods, it’s about eating a lot of fat and protein. If I could find suitable vegetarian foods (i.e., pure protein that you don’t have to mix into a sugary smoothie to make palatable), I would try again. But if I hear one more veg*n tell me “You don’t need that much protein in your diet”, or “It’s all in your head”, then I might just eat a bowl of rice in front of them so they can watch me pass out.

  226. says

    I note we live in C21, where pharmacological dietary supplements are easily available in developed nations.

    The production of which can have, unless properly regulated, which thankfully they are most places, their own environmental impacts, and/or dangers.

    If I had any argument at all for why Veganism is.. problematic to me, its purely a utilitarian one. We can manage such a diet ***only*** because of easy availability, often artificial pricing, and the expectation, not always valid, that nothing will happen to our sources. For some reason, plants tend to be a lot pickier, in most cases, about where you grow them, than animals. So.. To artificially limit your options, purely on the assumption that the options will always be present, is, in my mind, potentially problematic in many cases. If you do such a thing, you are betting on there never being *any* sort of crisis, where your supplies will be cut off. And, I am not so sure that will always be a safe bet.

    This is not an argument for continuing the stupid, environmentally damaging, etc., practices of some farming. Even when, as commented up thread, they are factually true, and not exaggerated. But, its not like those impacts disappear, in some places, just because its plants either, just ask the makeup industry, and it rain forest cocoa farms (Which you will never see admitted as existing, in the same magazine with an article on “environmental damage from farming”. Wouldn’t want to piss off your own advertisers, right?)

  227. says

    Dhorvath

    The statement is that it doesn’t taste that great. As in, it’s not so tasty that it’s a necessity to your existence to consume it. Life has other pleasures.

    No, it’s still as non-sensical and stupid as it was before.
    Nothing really tastes that great that you can’t live without it or live well without it. But to claim that it doesn’t taste as good as I actually experience it to taste, fucking irrelevant of whether you’re talking about meat or lettuce makes no sense unless you claim to know more about what I’m actually experiencing than I do.
    And “life has other pleasures”?
    I actually agree, life has other pleasures, but it isn’t an argument either. You don’t accept “you don’t need PIV sex, millions of people do without” either.
    All this doesn’t mean there aren’t good arguments, but this isn’t one.

    Nephente

    Sure. But, on the the whole, they don’t.

    No, you’re right. But it is a fact that shows that in this discussion arguments about “all, everything and everybody” are simply false.
    Look, I actually agree that we need to totally make this whole agriculture food and animal product thing up from scratch again. Much less animal products, ethical farming, more local farming and so on. But that doesn’t meant that I can ignore all the things that happen here and now.
    I find it amazing how in this discussion often all other factors get erased from the discussion and even people who are generally good about not taking their own situation as granted suddenly make claims that it’s easy and doable for everybody and that people who say “no I can’t” are just lazy and “bad” because they don’t care enough.
    I’ll tell you about my own situation. Now, I don’t oppose eating meat as such, but I’m very concerned about animal welfare. So, I try to buy only ethical meat.
    Fact: I’m middle-class enough to actually do so financially.
    But I’m not a soccer mum who will greet the husband and children with a smile and a hot caserole when they come home. My husband isn’t with us during the week, so I’m the only one responsible for two small children, al flat, my college and my job. This is possible because my children are mostly catered for by other people, because I can just send them off to daycare where they get breakfast, lunch and a snack. It’s possible because, if things go Wahoonie-shaped I can just buy myself a sandwich instead of making my own at home, because some days I can just put something into the microwave.
    And I’m not the person who has it worst. There are people with less money, less support, less time. And to claim that we just don’t care and just don’t make the effort means that you (generic) disregard our needs and possibilities. It’s pretty much like those single and/or childfree people claiming that I’m just a lazy fat pig for not making it to the gym 3 times a week

  228. consciousness razor says

    I don’t think aiming for ethical purity

    Not present in my argument. I have no idea how that’s in reference to anything I said, so I’ll guess that it’s just bluster.

    and putting absolute weights on things,

    Not present in my argument. Relative weights, yes. Actually trying to weigh things, yes. If you don’t want to weigh them at all, or just go with your gut or something, I don’t know what to tell you.

    and calling some “convenience” is in any way realistic or helpful.

    You may not be, but I think many are very serious about how important they think their convenience is.

    One could arguably defend the position that my not having debilitating hypoglycemia episodes from a veg*n diet or a woman becoming incontinent from childbirth are mere “convenience” issues compared to some other organism’s life.

    I’m happy to accept that many people’s health concerns make a vegetarian diet extremely hard or impossible. How is that even remotely comparable to spending more time planning a diet? Or not wanting to because you like how meat tastes? Or because you have fun hunting with friends? Is there any line you would draw that would be “realistic or helpful”?

  229. Beatrice says

    Obviously. It’s strange though that we are suppose to accept this as an ethical argument when there are myriad things for which we don’t accept the “I like it, therefore it’s okay” argument.

    Did you ever consider that people who answer with some version of “I like it so fuck off” actually aren’t interested in defending themselves to you, so they give the short answer in hope that they are going to be left in peace?

  230. Nepenthe says

    @consciousness razor

    Does every person “grasp the concept of death”? For those who don’t, does that mean it’s fine if they go to the slaughterhouse (painlessly, I would hope)?

    I’m honestly not sure.

    —-
    @Giliell

    I find it amazing how in this discussion often all other factors get erased from the discussion and even people who are generally good about not taking their own situation as granted suddenly make claims that it’s easy and doable for everybody.

    Meat has to be cooked. Vegetables and fruits often don’t. Canned and frozen vegetables are pretty cheap (not to mention a healthy omnivorous diet includes these anyway) and require virtually no prep. Root vegetables (potatoes, onions, etc) are much, much cheaper by weight than meat. One can cater one’s eating to the local “ethnic” shops, which generally are much cheaper than standard groceries and are more veg*n friendly to boot. Granted, learning this stuff requires an initial investment of effort, learning about what’s available, but I think the solution is more along the line of better food education, not throwing up one’s hand and saying poor people have to eat meat.

    As more people become veg*n, it will be easier for you to get a animal product-free sandwich on the go, but if you have to get one now go for it. I don’t really give a shit about one cheese or chicken sandwich every once in a while for myself. If someone gives you shit, well, they’re probably wearing underoos made by sweatshop laborers.

  231. Tethys says

    Chas

    b) although te facts is that “many rodents are omnivores”, water voles are not, and the diet of nominally omnivorous house mice is not known to include other mammals.

    In short, if you’re going to try to come off all biological, get your facts stright first.

    Rodents are known to be quite fond of bones. Anecdata- the urban squirrels in my neighborhood have developed a fondness for chicken. They love breaded chicken patties, and I frequently find chicken leg bones with both ends gnawed off under their nest.

    Possibly related to this behavioral adaptation- The latest grey squirrel living in my tree has white ears with fox colored edges.

  232. Nepenthe says

    Did you ever consider that people who answer with some version of “I like it so fuck off” actually aren’t interested in defending themselves to you, so they give the short answer in hope that they are going to be left in peace?

    Yep. Of course, they do the same with their sexist, racist and homophobic activities as well. I doubt anyone here would accept “I like rape jokes, so fuck off” as an answer.

  233. cactusren says

    @ Nepenthe

    And what about those of us with health issues that preclude veg*nism? The “everyone can do it” argument isn’t just about finances.

  234. Beatrice says

    Nepenthe,

    Just because someone doesn’t feel you are entitled to hear all their financial or health or whichever reasons for not being veg*n doesn’t mean they don’t have them.

  235. cactusren says

    Also, not everyone lives in an area where they have access to ethnic groceries or stores that cater to veg*ns. Some small towns only have one or two grocery stores, and it’s quite likely that those stores don’t keep tofu in stock. Though beans and lentils are pretty universally easy to find. Again–it’s not just about finances–access is an issue, too.

  236. says

    Nephente

    Meat has to be cooked. Vegetables and fruits often don’t. Canned and frozen vegetables are pretty cheap (not to mention a healthy omnivorous diet includes these anyway) and require virtually no prep. Root vegetables (potatoes, onions, etc) are much, much cheaper by weight than meat.

    Well, thank you for making my point by exactly sprouting that fucking stupid shit I just mentioned.
    As if people like me hadn’t thought about those things. As is we could easily do it if we just weren’t stupid and lazy.
    And this:

    Canned and frozen vegetables are pretty cheap (not to mention a healthy omnivorous diet includes these anyway) and require virtually no prep. Root vegetables (potatoes, onions, etc) are much, much cheaper by weight than meat.

    Fucking stupid bullshit.
    Surely it will be a healthy diet if I just boil 2 kg of Spinach which will then have about 700 calories for dinner. Virtually no preparation. Same as potatoes: I really don’t have to peel and cook them, that takes absolutely no time!
    Surely a kg of pasta costs about nothing, and it’s really quickly made and I could combine it with the 2 kg of spinach. That’s really tasty. And I can pack it for my kids so when all the other kids in kindergarten have Spaghetti Bolognese they can sit at a seperate table and just have their pasta and spinach!
    And instead of spending some time with my friends on Monday evenings, I can instead prepare those easy, healthy, virtually no time-consuming, cheap breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner for my kids on Tuesday because why do I arrogantly suppose that I might be entitled to have some fun myself when it’s my job as a good wife and mother to make sure everything is perfect according to the standards of other people!
    And why would I just want to look forward to some nice convenience-food that just takes 5 minutes when I come home after a mere 14 hours on Tuesdays and haven’t even cleaned up the breakfast-dishes if I can easily and in virtually no time peel and cook potatoes and vegetables!
    So, yeah, you’ve just been arrogantly bullshitting

  237. says

    cactusre
    I’m pretty sure that without knowing anything about your actual life, Nephente will soon tell you how you can easily do it. Just don’t be as lazy or stupid as I am and think you’re actually entitled to some nice things in life.

  238. Beatrice says

    Giliell,

    Balanced diet also got lost in the “veggies are cheap and easy to prepare” lesson.

  239. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    Not present in my argument. Relative weights, yes. Actually trying to weigh things, yes. If you don’t want to weigh them at all, or just go with your gut or something, I don’t know what to tell you.

    As I understand it, you want to weight things according to some absolute mesure of ethical purity.

    I don’t think that ethical problems can be adressed that way.

    I’m happy to accept that many people’s health concerns make a vegetarian diet extremely hard or impossible. How is that even remotely comparable to spending more time planning a diet? Or not wanting to because you like how meat tastes? Or because you have fun hunting with friends? Is there any line you would draw that would be “realistic or helpful”?

    Why do you want to draw lines ?

    Do you want to draw lines on when and why abortion is ok too ?

    Why not ?

    Why should Giliel’s concerns be judged frivolous or simple matters of convenience, while mine and cactusren’s are ok ?

    How much time spent and/or health problems are acceptable for your ethical standards to be fulfilled ?

  240. says

    Beatrice
    Yes. And also I’m actually in a dire need of being told how to prepare meals, because obviously I’m not able to. I seriously have no idea about how to prepare what food, what costs how much and how much time it involves. That’s why I’m still a stupid omnivore.

  241. tariqata says

    John Morales @226:

    Rev. BigDumbChimp @221, not really. Your digestive tract doesn’t care about the source of that which it processes — what is relevant is dosage.

    (I know the conversation has moved on, but have to respond.) I’m not sure that I agree with this statement as it stands, at least when it comes to supplements that deliver the nutrient in a form that has GI side effects. I’m speaking anecdotally, but I think that I probably get more benefit from eating meat once or twice a week than I did from taking iron supplements (ferrous gluconate) and promptly puking up whatever I’d eaten.

  242. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    I’m speaking anecdotally, but I think that I probably get more benefit from eating meat once or twice a week than I did from taking iron supplements (ferrous gluconate) and promptly puking up whatever I’d eaten.

    Or getting anal fissures from constipation.

  243. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    Surely a kg of pasta costs about nothing, and it’s really quickly made and I could combine it with the 2 kg of spinach. That’s really tasty.

    If I ate that, I would be a garanteed a major hypoglycemic attack within 2 hours.

    I would be better off having a chocolate bar.

  244. Beatrice says

    It’s really interesting how we get instructions about vegetables and fruit. It’s like some people assume that those who eat meat don’t actually eat or care about anything but meat.

  245. tariqata says

    Beatrice@300: Agreed, agreed, but on the other hand, when I didn’t eat meat, I was sort of amazed at how many conversations about food were along the lines of “… but what DO you eat then?”

  246. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    It’s really interesting how we get instructions about vegetables and fruit. It’s like some people assume that those who eat meat don’t actually eat or care about anything but meat.

    Actually, I don’t know many people who like to eat more kinds of vegetables and lentils/peas, or knows more ways to prepare them, than I do. For some of them, I don’t even know the english names, or if they’ve got english names.

    I just luuuuuurve Indian cuisine, and there are lots and lots of balanced vegetarian recipies in there – those were part of my diet when I was a vegetarian, and are quite yummy if a quite bit time-consumming to cook. I still cook them whenever I do have time. I actually taugh one of my Indian friends how to make parathas.

  247. Beatrice says

    tariqata (#301),

    I tried to think of a good possible explanation for that, and realized that “people are idiots” is the only one that fits properly.

  248. lostintime says

    This is an emotionally charged subject, and I’ve learned that you should never underestimate how childish people can get when it comes to the ethics of food. People often berate vegetarians for being ‘evangelical’ for example when all they’ve tried to do is answer unwanted criticism. Having to put up with unfunny jokes about bacon and waving cooked meat in the faces of vegetarians at Christmas apparently doesn’t count as evangelism for many people. Some of the worst offenders in this regard are professional chefs, who for some reason think they have a god given right to treat vegetarians like pieces of shit. Gordon Ramsey has said that if his sons turned vegetarian he would “sit them on a fence and electrocute them”. For all the stories about pushy vegetarians (which incidentally tend to remind me of the complaints about those nasty atheists) remember that we live in a meat eating world and vegetarians generally have to put up with a hell of a lot more.

  249. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    @301 and 303

    Well, to be fair, some people have very little knowledge about vegetarian cuisine, how you can prepare lentils and peas or that yogurt can be used for other purposes than as a sugary desert.

    North american cuisine has very little to offer in tasty vegetarian food.

    Most people will imagine eating pasta with vegetables, or tofu hot-dogs and burgers, and very little else.

  250. Ogvorbis: ջարդված says

    Some of the worst offenders in this regard are professional chefs, who for some reason think they have a god given right to treat vegetarians like pieces of shit.

    A few years ago, when visiting relatives in Florida over solstice, we ate at an excellent buffet at the Animal Kingdom Lodge (not staying there, just went for dinner). Girl was concerned about finding enough variety at the buffet and asked the wait staff. She brought out a young woman, introduced her as one of the chefs, and the chef then took Girl on a guided tour through the entire buffet pointing out which dishes were vegan and which were not. And they even added a couple of dishes, while we were there, which were vegan versions of dishes already on the line and let Girl know which ones had been added. She sampled about 30 different vegan dishes during that dinner and thoroughly enjoyed herself. So, luckily, not all chefs and restaurants are anti-vegan.

  251. dysomniak, darwinian socialist says

    I don’t have the patience (or is it masochism?) to wade in myself here, but I feel the need to thank all my veg*n comrades for their good work in this thread.

  252. says

    Well, I think that especially for the older generation meat is still the same as economic success. My grandmother wouldn’t understand the idea that you voluntarily not have meat as much as most people wouldn’t understand people voluntarily have an outhouse instead of an indoor toilet. And then a whole generation was raised on the idea that a propper meal includes meat. If there wasn’t you’re poor, or not really a decent cook.
    Which doesn’t mean that every omnivore is like that.

    iron supplements
    I do better with a low-dosage one, just in case you’re still having troubles.

  253. says

    I don’t have the patience (or is it masochism?) to wade in myself here, but I feel the need to thank all my veg*n comrades for their good work in this thread.

    And here’s a handy stepladder in case you want to get off your cross. Yeah, I understand, you’re still pretty much outnumbered and many people are shitty towards you but seriously, ve*ans aren’t a marginalized oppressed minority so stop acting like you are.

  254. Holms says

    Nepenthe

    I’m not sure how this is relevant.

    You considered my grasp of farming practices relevant to begin with, I simply set you straight on …pretty much everything you took assumed about me.

    Obviously. It’s strange though that we are suppose to accept this as an ethical argument when there are myriad things for which we don’t accept the “I like it, therefore it’s okay” argument. We would rightly consider someone who fights dogs a moral monster, yet if the same person outsources the same level of cruelty to a similarly intelligent species, we say that they just loooove bacon.

    What a dishonest comparison. The justification behind beating up dogs is presumably ‘shits and giggles’, while slaughtering livestock is ‘feeding people’.

    Frivolous vs. vital.

    Beating things up is insufficient; slaughtering for food is not. As it happens this is pretty much the usual level of zealotry I dread from vegans, and is exactly what gave rise to the discussion of ‘preachy omnivores / preachy vegans’ much earlier in this thread.

    A better comparison is ‘diets that include animals / animal products’ vs. ‘diets that do not’. This comparison is actually relevant to the topic and avoids such that moralising. Keep it to relative farming practices, nutrition, preparation time, and so on.

    I disagree, mostly because animals, at least livestock animals, have no aspirations or concept of the future. The have terror of pain, but it seems unlikely that they grasp the concept of death. Thus, they have an interest in avoiding pain, and seeking species-appropriate pleasure, but not in continuing to be alive.

    Uh yeah I’m pretty damn sure animals that are self-aware are also pretty fond of being alive. Dismissing such desires as non-existant simply because they do not have a philosophical explanation of life and death is just …no. What next, maybe humans that fail the ‘philosophical sophistication test’ test are equally disposable?

    Cue consciousness razor:
    “Does every person “grasp the concept of death”? For those who don’t, does that mean it’s fine if they go to the slaughterhouse (painlessly, I would hope)?”
    Nepenthe:
    “I’m honestly not sure.”

    ARGH!

    I think it’s extremely important, therefore, to eliminate pain and fear from slaughter. I would be tickled if the meat industry adopted nitrogen gas as the preferred method, though I doubt it would mesh with the speed of the factory line.

    Feeding people with an eye to humane methods is something I can agree with. The impression I have of your position though was that you opposed meat eating itself?

    Meat has to be cooked. Vegetables and fruits often don’t. Canned and frozen vegetables are pretty cheap (not to mention a healthy omnivorous diet includes these anyway) and require virtually no prep. Root vegetables (potatoes, onions, etc) are much, much cheaper by weight than meat. One can cater one’s eating…

    I like the bit where you continue to tell people how to run their lives.
    .
    .
    .
    Wait, no, that’s shitty and is exactly the preachy shit that makes these discussions a goddamn chore.

    Yep. Of course, they do the same with their sexist, racist and homophobic activities as well. I doubt anyone here would accept “I like rape jokes, so fuck off” as an answer.

    …Sigh. Fuck off anyway.

  255. Beatrice says

    An assumption that annoys me:
    being vegetarian ≠ having a healthy, well balanced diet

    At a former workplace, I brought salads, rice and veggie dishes or fruit for lunch far more often than my vegetarian colleague ate anything but pastries (or potato chips).

    (Note: considering our living situations, she should have far more time than me for whipping up a quick meal to bring to work. )

  256. Ogvorbis: ջարդված says

    Yep. Of course, they do the same with their sexist, racist and homophobic activities as well. I doubt anyone here would accept “I like rape jokes, so fuck off” as an answer.

    Well, as long as I know that eating meat means that I am morally equivalent to a Klu Kluxxer, and MRA, a rapist, and an anti-human rights religious zealot.

  257. Beatrice says

    And my amazing writing skills strike again!

    I don’t mean that it annoys me that those are not the same. It annoys me that it is often presumed that they are (from all the implications that omnivores don’t have a healthy diet, but would if they only gave up meat).

    The ≠ was saying what I believe is true.

  258. lostintime says

    #306
    That’s great to hear, and I’m sure most professional chefs are tolerant of different dietry choices, but if that’s the case then the media doesn’t serve them well. Gordon Ramsay is a particularaly bad example. I don’t know if you’ve seen any of his programmes but he’s prone to shout directly into people’s faces and has a special intolerance for vegetarians whom he regards as sub-human, he’s a dick basically. One episodde was devoted to converting 50 vegetarians, on another he hid meat in a pizza that he claimed was meat free, then laughed triumphantly as the man was forced to leave the restaurant. His mentor Marco Pierre White is also known for his swaggering aggression towards vegetarians and hates any attempt to regulate the way we produce food. Hopefully these two are just outliers, or rather the industry is just becoming more enlightened.

  259. Holms says

    311 Beatrice

    At a former workplace, I brought salads, rice and veggie dishes or fruit for lunch far more often than my vegetarian colleague ate anything but pastries (or potato chips).

    May I presume that this was meant to read:

    At a former workplace, I brought salads, rice and veggie dishes or fruit for lunch far more often than my vegetarian colleague, who rarely ate anything but pastries

    If you ask nicely, or even if you don’t, I’m sure Nepenthe will instruct you how to write your own opinions.

  260. Beatrice says

    Holms,

    *turning the sentence in my head*

    It does sound more like proper English that way. Yes, I wanted to say that colleague mostly ate pastries or potato chips, rarely bringing anything else.

    I have mangled that whole comment, haven’t I?

  261. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    It annoys me that it is often presumed that they are (from all the implications that omnivores don’t have a healthy diet, but would if they only gave up meat).

    I’ve met some online (not here, obviously) who will cite studies comparing the white-bread/burger/fries/cola north american diet with a balanced vegetarian diet as proof that vegetarianism is superior where health is concerned.

    Amusingly, in India, where a sizable portion of people are vegetarian for religious and/or economical reasons, diet-related health problems are still observed – a vegetarian diet can still be high in saturated fats or rich enough in sugar to cause cardiovascular problems or type II diabetes. So instead of pointing to red meat as the culprit, doctors over there encourage people to eat less ghee (considered a health food in some circles here !!!) and sweets.

  262. says

    lostintime
    So, Gordon Ramsey is an asshole. We get it.
    How’s that relevant to the larger discussion. And, have you considered that the 50 vegetarians were willing participants? Why aren’t you fucking angry with them?
    BTW, gendered insults like dick are not welcome here.

  263. Beatrice says

    Giliell,

    Well, vegetarians really are often being ridiculed in the media.

    Although, saying that Gordon Ramsay is an asshole is a bit like revealing that water is wet.

  264. Nepenthe says

    *shrug*

    I know moral arguments will have no effect on most omnivores, much like moral arguments against other forms of harm have little effect on the people arguing about how necessary or awesome that harm is. Wev.

    And… I have exams.

    Additionally, N-E-P-E-N-T-H-E. As in “Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe”.

  265. says

    So, Nepenthe, you get to be an asshole to everybody and then just shrug it off with “evil people are immune to reason anyway”?
    Fuck that shit.
    Nobody here had any quarrel with your moral arguments, we had a quarrel with you thinking you could just tell us we’re lazy and stupid because obviously we had never thought about those easy things (which were mostly bullshit anyway) you so graciously told us.
    So, fuck you for being a privileged arrogant asshole on this.

  266. lostintime says

    It’s been the contention of many on the thread that vegetarians can be overbearing or pushy, and this is a well known example of how often it’s the other way around. The experience of being a vegetarian and the hostility that we occassionally experience is relevant to the discussion, just as other commenters feel their interaction with vegetarians is relevant. As for the gendered insult, I suspected it might be inappropriate, so I’m sorry and I’ll choose a better expression next time.

  267. says

    So two or three people accused me of claiming meat doesn’t objectively taste as good as carnivores think it does, although I said nothing of the sort, and was careful to distinguish between sensation and perception, a distinction which those people ignored because it was inconvenient for their schema of me as one of mouse’s irrational evangelical veg*n friends. I begin to suspect that no matter how carefully a scientifically accurate statement regarding the taste or lack thereof of meat is phrased, it will elicit a strong negative emotional response.

    It’s kind of like those atheist billboards where the word “atheist” alone is enough to offend religious people. No matter how politely and sweetly the message is phrased, if it contains the name of an unpopular minority such as “atheist,” or in this case “vegetarian,” it will be unpalatable because the mere existence of any kind of minority with a message that contradicts the mainstream threatens a person’s sense of identity and must be dismissed, belittled or crushed with extreme prejudice.

    Also, tone trollage alert: it pisses me off that what passes for argument around here is, “This is fucking stupid, you’re stupid.” It’s not just Pharyngula, it’s the whole New Atheist movement and possibly the entire internet. This is why I’m usually a lurker and can’t be bothered reading or participating in comment threads unless the post seems directly relevant to me. No doubt my absence is a crushing blow to cybercommenters everywhere. My masochistic tendencies are partly to blame as I choose to do stupid things like spending weeks arguing with homophobes on Arsetube. Time for a break: I’m playing with my dogs and then catching a bus to the city to go shopping. I’ll try not to say or do any stupid vegetarian things while I’m there. Wouldn’t want to make carnivores uncomfortable by holding a different worldview and expressing it in a stupid way due to brain damage from lack of protein.

  268. Ogvorbis: ջարդված says

    So two or three people accused me of claiming meat doesn’t objectively taste as good as carnivores think it does, although I said nothing of the sort,

    You did write this:

    A reasonable response seems to be, “You know, meat doesn’t taste that great. If you tried giving it up for a while you might be surprised how little you miss it.”

    But, obviously, my little liberal arts brain has been too addled by consumption of meat to be able to grok in fullness.

  269. Beatrice says

    Winterwind,

    So two or three people accused me of claiming meat doesn’t objectively taste as good as carnivores think it does [...]

    I realized that I have misread that and I apologize.


    *refresh*

    Ogvorbis,

    THat was a suggested answer to someone saying that the meat tastes so good they can’t live without it. It doesn’t taste that good was implying that it doesn’t taste so good you wouldn’t be able to live without it.

    (Which makes it look like Winterwind thinks the omnivore saying they couldn’t live without delicious tasting meat is a complete fluffy brained idiot who thinks they would wither and die out of sadness without meat. Or something similarly patronizing)

  270. says

    lostintime
    Sorry, that came off more annoyed than intended.
    Yes, there’s a lot of asshole omnivores out there thinking that offering the vegetarian a piece of meat is the most funny thing ever and I think that nobody here disagrees with that, i.e. many people are assholes.

    Winterwind
    The space up there on that cross is getting scarce.

  271. Ogvorbis: ջարդված says

    THat was a suggested answer to someone saying that the meat tastes so good they can’t live without it. It doesn’t taste that good was implying that it doesn’t taste so good you wouldn’t be able to live without it.

    Well, I did explain that my little liberal arts brain had been addled by animal protein, right?

    Sorry. I was mixing people up.

  272. Beatrice says

    Winterwind,

    Well, I’m sick of being talked down to like I’m a complete idiot who would eat shit if it was advertized well enough, especially by people who claim some great insight into healthy lifestyle while sounding like they wouldn’t recognize a healthy diet if it bit them in the ass.

  273. Beatrice says

    Ogvorbis,

    Nah, you got the right person, just the wrong angle of condescension.

    Also, my #328 was really assholish. Winterwind probably doesn’t deserve that. Some others here do, though.

  274. Beatrice says

    Of course it’s easily doable. It’s just that I’m evil.

    Lowering my family’s meat consumption was totally evil because I haven’t stopped using meat completely and because I’m obviously trying to starve my father by denying him lots of meat. I’m a real evil mastermind.

    Also, potatoes.

  275. chigau (棒や石) says

    Have you ever actually experienced tinned vegetables?
    Honest to potatoes they’re fucking awful!

  276. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Have you ever actually experienced tinned vegetables?
    Honest to potatoes they’re fucking awful!

    Yeah, but they are sooooooo convenient. We’ll have some with a small piece of pork and either smashed potatoes or rice for dinner.

  277. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    I never realized all my years running that kitchen at a highly acclaimed restaurant and years of cooking since would mean I had no idea about food options or how to cook them.

    And all that effort I expend to source my food from particular producers / providers means I have no idea about my choices.

    Back to the drawing board.

  278. Nepenthe says

    [meta]

    I find it really interesting that a couple of omnivores chimed in right away with the stupidest possible arguments about meat eating, classical logical fallacies that the commentariat would normally jump all over and they were pretty well ignored. It was mouse that the thread decided to beat with sticks. I’m sure this is just a coincidence.

    —-
    cactuswren @289

    And what about those of us with health issues that preclude veg*nism? The “everyone can do it” argument isn’t just about finances.

    Go with God then. If you’re suffering health issues due to veg*nism, have a steak. The point is to weigh animal suffering, not to ignore human suffering.

    @291

    Some small towns only have one or two grocery stores, and it’s quite likely that those stores don’t keep tofu in stock. Though beans and lentils are pretty universally easy to find.

    I’m aware. I’m from one. I would be shocked if a town had a grocery store that stocked meat, but no beans, grains, nuts, vegetables, fruits, etc.

    @Giliell

    Note: Lazy, stupid, and evil are your words not mine. If you think that you are these things, I’m sorry, but I certainly don’t think you are.

    Surely it will be a healthy diet if I just boil 2 kg of Spinach which will then have about 700 calories for dinner. Virtually no preparation. Same as potatoes: I really don’t have to peel and cook them, that takes absolutely no time!

    If you think that that’s all that constitutes veg*n food, and additionally think that there are no veg*n quick or convenience foods, maybe you do need to learn a bit about cooking.

    —-
    Beatrice @294

    Balanced diet also got lost in the “veggies are cheap and easy to prepare” lesson.

    I’m sorry I didn’t lay out a full mealplan then. I assumed that you were familiar enough with cooking that you could fill in the dots. Maybe I should have been very explicit about the existence of canned beans and peanut butter.

    —-
    kemist @295

    Do you want to draw lines on when and why abortion is ok too ?

    Abortion is not relevant. As far as we can tell, abortion doesn’t cause any suffering whatever and, in fact, relieves suffering.

    Why should Giliel’s concerns be judged frivolous or simple matters of convenience, while mine and cactusren’s are ok ?

    Well, I guess every person has to decide for themselves where the line is drawn between their interests and food animal’s interests. There’s a continuum between “I can’t function without meat” and “But bacon is delicious”. I would hope that this is a conscious decision, made with the full knowledge of how sentient/sapient food animals are and how they are treated, but frankly, given how often I hear “but bacon is tasty” both here and real life and seeing pigs compared to beets in this thread, I’m skeptical that this happens very often.

    —-
    Holms,

    @310

    You considered my grasp of farming practices relevant to begin with, I simply set you straight on …pretty much everything you took assumed about me.

    Well, given that you started out the gates with “nu uh” in response to my arguments about industrial meat production, I thought that was a pretty fair assumption. How are you enjoying the Pew Report, btw?

    What a dishonest comparison. The justification behind beating up dogs is presumably ‘shits and giggles’, while slaughtering livestock is ‘feeding people’.

    The justification behind the “I eat meat because it’s delicious” argument is also shits and giggles. Slaughtering livestock, as you’d note reading that report, is about feeding people meat and cheaply. None of the cruel practices of industrial animal product production are necessary to feed people. And, when you get into overall food production, meat is actually a drag on the system. Contrary to apparently popular belief, meat production is not, on the whole, carried out on marginal lands.

    Uh yeah I’m pretty damn sure animals that are self-aware are also pretty fond of being alive. Dismissing such desires as non-existant simply because they do not have a philosophical explanation of life and death is just …no.

    Self-awareness is the point. Food animals are not self-aware. If we were eating elephants or chimpanzees, that would be a different issue.

    And hey, you’re the one arguing that it’s cool to slaughter animals anyway. Do you have any philosophical basis for that? At least I’m trying.

    The impression I have of your position though was that you opposed meat eating itself?

    There’s actually a bunch of veg*ns in this thread, with individual arguments. You can distinguish us by the names and pictures at the tops of the posts.

    I like the bit where you continue to tell people how to run their lives.

    I’m not telling anyone how to run their lives any more than the folk who point out that saying “cunt” isn’t cool are telling people how to speak.

    @315

    If you ask nicely, or even if you don’t, I’m sure Nepenthe will instruct you how to write your own opinions.

    I do copyedit for fun (not my own writing), if anyone wants that. … Oh, you’re just dissing me. I see. Nice one.

    —-
    Ogvorbis @312

    Well, as long as I know that eating meat means that I am morally equivalent to a Klu Kluxxer, and MRA, a rapist, and an anti-human rights religious zealot.

    You are exactly right. Being sexist (or racist, or homophobic) is a black and white thing. There is no middle ground between the person who is pro-choice but thinks abortion is tragic and a serial rapist. So, obviously, if I say I think something you’re doing is morally questionable, I’m comparing you to a rapist and not someone who lies on a job application (or something in the middle).

    —-

    I’m sorry that my 320 was intemperate. It really pisses me off when people get my nym wrong.

    And I hate potatoes. They’re like unambitious parsnips.

  279. Beatrice says

    That’s nice. Peanut butter isn’t very popular here, and I’ve only had it once or twice.

    But aren’t there some health issues with peanut butter? So it’s not exactly a good example of a food stuff that’s supposed to keep me healthy if I give up murder?

  280. Beatrice says

    I’m googling that it was a misconception that peanut butter isn’t healthy, and that it actually contains no more saturated fats than olive oil, and in fact does your heart good instead of clogging your arteries. Hmmm.

  281. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    But aren’t there some health issues with peanut butter?

    Besides some folks being allergic to peanut proteins? Just that the Redhead prefers extra crunchy, and I bought smooth…

  282. Nepenthe says

    But aren’t there some health issues with peanut butter? So it’s not exactly a good example of a food stuff that’s supposed to keep me healthy if I give up murder?

    No. Peanut butter is supposed to be quite healthy. It’s high in fat, but it’s mostly unsaturated fat. Unless you’re allergic to peanuts it’s a damn fine food. (Other nut butters are as well, but they’re much much more expensive here.)

    In terms of protein, it’s similar to Vegemite or Marmite, I guess. But maybe you use less of that stuff. I dunno.

    Murder is your word, not anyone else’s here.

    @Nerd

    I had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich the other day, first time in, oh, 4 years. It was a fucking revelation.

  283. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich the other day, first time in, oh, 4 years. It was a fucking revelation.

    I also had pineapple preserves…Peach, apricot, or strawberry preserves will also work…

  284. Ogvorbis: moral equivalent of a rapist says

    So, obviously, if I say I think something you’re doing is morally questionable, I’m comparing you to a rapist . . .

    Goodbye.

  285. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    And I hate potatoes. They’re like unambitious parsnips.

    I love potatoes, but I also love this line.

  286. Nepenthe says

    The rapist bit, not the potatoes bit. Potatoes are really underachievers. Meat eating is not at all like rape.

  287. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    Abortion is not relevant. As far as we can tell, abortion doesn’t cause any suffering whatever and, in fact, relieves suffering.

    CR was arguing that killing is worse than mistreating.

    It was relevant as per hir argument, since abortion does kill another organism.

    But if it did cause some suffering, would it change your stance on it, regardless of the other factors involved ?

    Well, I guess every person has to decide for themselves where the line is drawn between their interests and food animal’s interests. There’s a continuum between “I can’t function without meat” and “But bacon is delicious”.

    I agree with that, but as with any ethical question, I would not weight things according to a single factor, and would abstain from drawing any line. For me, Giliel’s concerns are just as valid as mine.

    Ethics and morals are not an exact science where everything gets to be weighed and measured according to an absolute. There are some things most humans can agree on (like, murder, rape or torture of other humans is bad), but I am weary of absolutes in this.

    I would hope that this is a conscious decision, made with the full knowledge of how sentient/sapient food animals are and how they are treated, but frankly, given how often I hear “but bacon is tasty” both here and real life and seeing pigs compared to beets in this thread, I’m skeptical that this happens very often.

    I think that the fact that people are arguing with you means that on some level, they do care, and that yes, they are aware of it.

    I mean, if I was hunky-dory with killing whatever animal I want to taste, I probably would have limited my posts to “har har, u’re stupid veggie, I’m gonna have three burgers for you”, rather than spend time explaining my health issues.

  288. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    Potatoes are really underachievers.

    You my friend, need to taste masala dhosa.

    Then you will know what potatoes can really achieve.

  289. Acolyte of Sagan says

    What the fuck is it with the asterisks? What the flying fuck is ‘veg*n’? I’m going to assume that it’s an abbreviation of vegetarian because it would be really pointless to substitute the ‘a’ in vegan with an asterisk, but why not just do what your teachers taught you to do when abbreviating a word, and use the apostrophe? It’s not only the correct way of doing things, it’s also easier to type an apostrophe than an asterisk as it’s a one-fingered operation on a keyboard to get a ”’ (see what I did there?), whereas one needs two fingers to press ‘Shift’ and ’8′ to produce a ‘*’. And why only use the asterisk on just the one word? Nobody is typing ‘don*t’ or ‘doesn*t’ (*don*t* or *doesn*t*?).

    While I’m at it: Totes. A perfectly good word, if it’s being used to mean ‘carries’, or to refer to the boxes used to carry things, but if you think that it’s a cute, cool, modern way of saying ‘totally’, IT ISN’T! It’s totally wrong. Stop it now.

  290. consciousness razor says

    As I understand it, you want to weight things according to some absolute mesure of ethical purity.

    Would you like to quote a single fucking thing I’ve said that gave you such a bizarre understanding?

    Abortion is not relevant. As far as we can tell, abortion doesn’t cause any suffering whatever and, in fact, relieves suffering.

    CR was arguing that killing is worse than mistreating.

    But how is abortion relevant? Are fetuses mistreated often? Where is this going?

    It was relevant as per hir [his] argument, since abortion does kill another organism.

    No. I think abortion is okay because a woman’s bodily autonomy outweighs a fetus’ life (or potential life, if you prefer). It doesn’t follow that because abortion is okay, killing other organisms in general is okay, because in general there’s nothing analogous to bodily autonomy outweighing a life. So how is that relevant?

    Ethics and morals are not an exact science where everything gets to be weighed and measured according to an absolute.

    Still not happening, but keep repeating it. I’m sure it’ll catch on eventually.

  291. says

    Same as potatoes: I really don’t have to peel and cook them

    in fact, you don’t have to peel them

    and as with a small set of other topics, all of pharyngula gets the stupids when the conversation is about vegetarianism. figures.

  292. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    But how is abortion relevant? Are fetuses mistreated often? Where is this going?

    I often find myself harassing fetuses.

  293. consciousness razor says

    I often find myself harassing fetuses.

    Well, that’s bad. No, because (as we all know) abortion is bad, it’s worse than that. So you are worse.

    You are absolutely ethically unpure, Chimpy.

  294. Nepenthe says

    You my friend, need to taste masala dhosa.

    Yes, that is very good. Potatoes are acceptable when they’re mushed and grainy and when they have a lot of support from spices and other flavoring agents. (And they’re definitely better with the skins.) But compared to, say, eggplant? Total slackers.

    *dreams of baingan bharta and baba ghanoush*

  295. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    No. I think abortion is okay because a woman’s bodily autonomy outweighs a fetus’ life (or potential life, if you prefer).

    Okay.

    What is bodily autonomy then ?

    Something that gives you a right to decide what kind of risks, or “inconvenients”, you might want to submit yourself to that outweighs another’s organism’s life.

    It doesn’t follow that because abortion is okay, killing other organisms in general is okay, because in general there’s nothing analogous to bodily autonomy outweighing a life.

    So, the only risks and inconvenients that are acceptable for you to kill other organisms are those linked to bodily autonomy ?

  296. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    I often find myself harassing fetuses.

    You’re a feotiphile !!!

    Even the RCC can’t sink that low.

    Yet.

  297. Acolyte of Sagan says

    chigau (無) says:
    18 November 2012 at 7:11 pm
    AoS
    see #156 on this thread

    Thanks, Chigau. Glad I’m not the only one.
    Can’t decide which offends my sensibilities the most though; the weird asterisk or ‘totes’. Probably asterisk, it’s totally Gauling.

  298. consciousness razor says

    Something that gives you a right to decide what kind of risks, or “inconvenients”, you might want to submit yourself to that outweighs another’s organism’s life.

    For fuck’s sake. You’ll have to dig your own way out of the hole explaining to women why their bodily autonomy* is equivalent to whatever is convenient to them.

    *But not men’s? Where’s that example?

  299. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    For fuck’s sake. You’ll have to dig your own way out of the hole explaining to women why their bodily autonomy* is equivalent to whatever is convenient to them.

    *But not men’s? Where’s that example?

    I am a woman, for what it’s worth.

    Bodily autonomy means I, man or woman, get to decide what kind of medical, psychological or financial risks, some of which are greater than others, while some might be deemed merely “inconvenient*”, I choose to submit myself to.

    What’s wrong with this.

    Maybe I should have added “As relates to my body”.

    *Note that I wrote “inconvenient” in quote marks because this constitutes a value jugement of another’s person problems.

  300. Pteryxx says

    I’m googling that it was a misconception that peanut butter isn’t healthy, and that it actually contains no more saturated fats than olive oil, and in fact does your heart good instead of clogging your arteries. Hmmm.

    Peanut butter’s all that AS LONG AS it’s pure ground peanuts with minimal additives, usually the kind that separates and has to be stirred. Most name-brand peanut butters have hydrogenated oil mixed in to make them spreadable, and extra sugar to hook kids.

  301. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    And for this:

    As I understand it, you want to weight things according to some absolute mesure of ethical purity.

    Would you like to quote a single fucking thing I’ve said that gave you such a bizarre understanding?

    Well, it’s because that, from what you wrote (it’s not a single post), I get the impression (which may be wrong) that you use a single ethical metric, that is, life.

    And, as I said, I’m very weary of absolute measures for ethics or morals.

    They sometimes lead to weird conclusions.

  302. says

    Something that gives you a right to decide what kind of risks, or “inconvenients”, you might want to submit yourself to that outweighs another’s organism’s life.

    O.o

    usually you hear this idiotic extension of bodily autonomy from libertarians who want to claim that because earning money is a physical activity, taxes violate their bodily autonomy.

    In reality, bodily autonomy refers to not having your bodily integrity violated, meaning aplying it to killing animals would mean either you’re being attacked by a cow; if you’re going to extend it to the satisfaction of cravings, then you’re effectively using the popular D00dly argument that their boners override others bodily autonomy; except you’re applying it to food cravings instead of boners.

    like I said. the stupids. all over this thread.

  303. Nepenthe says

    In reality, bodily autonomy refers to not having your bodily integrity violated, meaning aplying it to killing animals would mean either you’re being attacked by a cow


    According to the CDC
    , 108 USians were killed by cattle between 2003 and 2007.


    @kemist 349

    But if it did cause some suffering, would it change your stance on it, regardless of the other factors involved ?

    No, due to aforementioned bodily autonomy issues. If a fetus were conscious, anaesthesia would be be one option, in cases where there was no additional risk to the gravida. Maybe developing pain-free abortion procedures. Iunno. IANAObstetrician.

  304. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    if you’re going to extend it to the satisfaction of cravings, then you’re effectively using the popular D00dly argument that their boners override others bodily autonomy; except you’re applying it to food cravings instead of boners.

    My point was not to extend bodily autonomy a la looneytarian but only to ask CR if it was the only thing that might for him justify killing another organism.

    Rereading it, well, it was confusing and poorly worded.

  305. consciousness razor says

    Bodily autonomy means I, man or woman, get to decide what kind of medical, psychological or financial risks, some of which are greater than others, while some might be deemed merely “inconvenient*”, I choose to submit myself to.

    You should be able to get an abortion for any reason, no matter how “important” it may be to her or anyone else.

    However, the reasons an individual woman has for getting an abortion are distinct from the reasons she should have bodily autonomy, which is a right to make any such decisions herself, rather than someone else making them. So (perhaps unintentionally) you were claiming bodily autonomy itself is no more important than what people consider a “convenience,” which are understood to include things that are not very important at all. But if you’re working with basically the same concept, I think you’d understand that to be more important than plain old “conveniences.”

    Well, it’s because that, from what you wrote (it’s not a single post), I get the impression (which may be wrong) that you use a single ethical metric, that is, life.

    That doesn’t explain where the “purity” and “absolute” nonsense comes from. Are those supposed to mean using a single metric? Just grasping for bad-sounding words?

    Anyway, you didn’t read very well. Here’s one example of me using a metric (and alluding to more) other than life:

    We shouldn’t treat animals like they’re completely worthless, because they can suffer (unlike a beet or a soybean) and suffering should matter to us (even if it’s not the only thing that should matter).

    All those parts where I was weighing “mistreatment” and “killing”? Those should pretty obviously indicate I value both. Not the same thing, and not one or the other.

    Here’s another example:

    I think abortion is okay because a woman’s bodily autonomy outweighs a fetus’ life (or potential life, if you prefer).

    Of course, I also think that (generally speaking) stealing is bad, lying is bad, and so on. But we’re not talking about those things right now.

  306. consciousness razor says

    Bad, bad grammar:

    You [A woman] should be able to get an abortion for any reason, no matter how “important” it may be to her or anyone else.

  307. says

    Meanwhile, about ten people were killed by cougars in the last century. But what do we want to exterminate from our neighborhoods? It isn’t the local cattle.

    The best ever religious argument is the one that explains how the principle of Cow Protection is the basis for all morality.

  308. says

    Nepenthe

    Lazy, stupid, and evil are your words not mine.

    Right, I put words to the things you expressed otherwise.

    If you think that that’s all that constitutes veg*n food,

    Wrong. And if you’d read what I wrote you’d have noticed.
    What do you think we serve at home? 3lbs of steak with a side dish of black pudding?

    and additionally think that there are no veg*n quick or convenience foods

    Yes, there are some vegetarian convenience foods at the local supermarket. Which means there’s usually cream and cheese in them. From factory farmed animals, of course. Which would make them OK, I suppose, because I don’t get to see the animal that died for it.
    I could, of course, spend an additional 3-4 hours a week going to the organic foodstore to get that stuff. Silly me again with my idea about having a job instead…

    <, maybe you do need to learn a bit about cooking.

    No, you’Re totally not a condescending asshole right now.

    I assumed that you were familiar enough with cooking that you could fill in the dots.

    No, you obviously assumed that we fucking didn’t know that they sell frozen vegetables and potatoes.

    Well, I guess every person has to decide for themselves where the line is drawn between their interests and food animal’s interests.

    But you still obviously think that when I made that decision I was unaware of frozen vegetables or simply didn’t care enough.
    This totally doesn’t smell of calling me being a selfish asshole. And it’s not like those microagressions about me not being good enough, not caring enough about everybody else drove me almost into clinical depression. Because if you’re a woman, a wife and a mother really everybody gets to say how you have to run your life with totally being sure that if you don’t do like they want you to it’s because you either haven’t thought about it, or just have to be taught correctly or are simple not good enough.
    Took me quite some work to recognize that shit when I see it.
    I gave you the reasons why I can’t cut back on meat any more then I already do and you simply dismissed it with the “frozen vegetables” argument, thereby indicating that those reasons I gave you (i.e. acute lack of time and feasability) are not valid

    I’m not telling anyone how to run their lives any more than the folk who point out that saying “cunt” isn’t cool are telling people how to speak.

    No, totally not. And because there’s actually no difference in suggesting that you don’t lose anything much and that it’s a small sacrifice worth making if you give up “cunt” and asking me to give up my job and my friends, to ostracice my kids in their social group and that this is a sacrifice worth making and I could easily do it if I were just as smart and educated as you are.
    Alternatively I’m just as bad as people who know about cunt and keep using the word

    You are exactly right. Being sexist (or racist, or homophobic) is a black and white thing. There is no middle ground between the person who is pro-choice but thinks abortion is tragic and a serial rapist. So, obviously, if I say I think something you’re doing is morally questionable, I’m comparing you to a rapist and not someone who lies on a job application (or something in the middle).

    Only that you are the one who constantly brings up those people in comparison to people who for whatever reason eat meat. Funny how the OP is exactly about such ridiculous claims…
    And I’m also wondering how there’s a middleground between one person.

    And I hate potatoes.

    So what, they’re obviously a miracle cure to my actual real world problems.

    Meat eating is not at all like rape.

    Oh, that’s nice of you to notice after you noticed time after time that we’re very much like those sexists and rapists.
    ++++
    I don’t like peanut butter or indeed and combination of peanuts and sweet.

    Jadehawk

    in fact, you don’t have to peel them

    Oh, you mean I’m just supposed to serve my kids the potato-peel which is conveniently the place where most of the pesticides remain and where they build their own toxic stuff (alkaloides) (Yes, I know, totally my fault for not living in a nice old farmhouse with a potato cellar to store them correctly). Duh, that’s really the way to go with a kid with a kidney birth defect, I really was stupid again.

  309. says

    The response of all kinds of rodents to overpopulation and resource shortage is empirically well known, and it does not generally involve deadly combat, muricide, murivory, or cannibalism;…

    Hm. I was writing from my head, so I admit I could be wrong. Therefore I made now cursory search on google (generic search, not peer reviewed articles), and true, water voles are one of exceptional rodents who are really, really hard to press to eat something else than vegan diet. The more reasons for me to take care of my cats and my traps, otherwise my garden would possbly be devoid of plant life except yews and poisounous junipers.

    Mice however it seems are happy cannibals when there is food shortage.

    As for migration en masse – my post should have been “taken ad absurdum, when they cannot leave”, but the second half got lost in nirvana somehow and it does not make the point it should. Thank you for your answer, I would not otherwise spot the mistake.

    And I should not be condescending, it is a bad habit. Thank you for correction me again.

    ..Vegetables and fruits often don’t..

    Well, wrong, at least for me. I have severe allergic reactions to many raw vegetables, therefore raw sallad is not an option for me. And veggie sandwich with raw carrot hidden somewhere inside could kill me. When I buy sandwiches, I always ask if there are raw carrots in them, exactly for this reason.

    And this problem I have in addition to the nausea, hypoglykaemia etc., as described by others. If I try and eat salad for lunch, I get serious problems, unless it contains significant amount of potatoes. I would probably die without potatoes, because virtually nothing else has the same properties with regards to price/availability/volume/energy content. Rice makes me hungry, pasta as well – I have to eat every two hours with rice or pasta, which is not always possible. And if I try to eat salad, I might be better of – and I am actually better of, for some to me unknown reason – not eating at all until sometning else is available.

  310. unclefrogy says

    look taste is by definition a personal experience when we are speaking about food. It is bound up with memory and experience.
    No one is a better person because they do not eat meat or because they do eat meat. You can eat a healthy diet without or with meat as well as eat unhealthily as a vegan or a fast food junky, or a too much food eater there is a very wide spectrum of eating habits that humans practice some good and some not so good, even some that used to be very good but now are not recommended for reasons of contamination.

    So all you holier than though judgmental freaks out there who like to go on about what people should or should not eat. put a sock in it with your moralizing you sound just like the baptists.

    uncle frog

  311. bradleybetts says

    My stance on vegetarianism is very simple. If yoy want to do it, fine. I can totally understand your reasoning and I can respect that. But don’t tell me I’m immoral just because I don’t fancy ignoring millennia of Hominid evolution every time I pick up a fork. We are omnivores, so don’t have a go at me for having an omnivorous diet.

    Otherwise, all power to you. Crack on.

  312. Have a Balloon says

    I have a question.

    What do people think about vegetarian alternatives being charged at the same price as meat meals? This happens if you go to a restaurant with a set menu option (often mandatory set menu if you’re a large group), or if you attend a fancy dinner where you have to pay for a ticket.

    I’ve been to places in the past where everyone pays the same amount for their meal. There’s maybe one non-meat option, and it’s unimaginative and not very nice. E.g. A meal where the main course is a really good steak, with assorted vegetables. The vegetarian option is the assorted vegetables with some different assorted vegetables arranged in a neat shape with some sauce.

    If you’re all paying the same price, you’re essentially subsidising everyone else’s steak. Often the veggie option isn’t remotely as nice or as filling, and you feel ripped off, because you know that the assorted vegetables were probably incredibly cheap to buy, and not much effort has gone into cooking them.

    I think in this situation I would not ask to pay less as much as I would want to be served something that is actually worth the money I paid. It can be done! A good example is barbecues – I never go, because I don’t eat beef or pork. The vegetarian option is vegetables on a stick. Why not just buy veggie sausages? They exist.

  313. Nepenthe says

    Giliell

    No, totally not. And because there’s actually no difference in suggesting that you don’t lose anything much and that it’s a small sacrifice worth making if you give up “cunt” and asking me to give up my job and my friends, to ostracice my kids in their social group and that this is a sacrifice worth making and I could easily do it if I were just as smart and educated as you are.

    Yeah, that’s not overblowing things at all. Veg*ns, they’ve given up everything. All miserable people, without jobs, families, or friends. And they eat 2 kg of plain boiled spinach for dinner every night.

    And this is not at all like how assholes spend hours whining about how they could never have fun with their friends again or think freely if they didn’t say “cunt” or make rape jokes. Not in degree, but in form.

    Only that you are the one who constantly brings up those people in comparison to people who for whatever reason eat meat.

    Are you unfamiliar with the concept of “analogy”? Sexists cause harm based on their devaluing of another group; people who eat products from abused animals cause harm based on their devaluing of another group. And please do point me to where I brought up rapists first.

    Look, I don’t know what your issues are, but clearly you’ve decided to project some crap onto me. So… whatever.


    Charly

    Well, wrong, at least for me. I have severe allergic reactions to many raw vegetables, therefore raw sallad is not an option for me. And veggie sandwich with raw carrot hidden somewhere inside could kill me. When I buy sandwiches, I always ask if there are raw carrots in them, exactly for this reason.

    Then eat meat. Point me to the person here who said that health problems are not a good reason to eat meat.


    bradleybetts

    But don’t tell me I’m immoral just because I don’t fancy ignoring millennia of Hominid evolution every time I pick up a fork. We are omnivores, so don’t have a go at me for having an omnivorous diet.

    Wooo! Naturalistic fallacy! Let’s all beat bradley with verbal sticks!

    Oh, wait, we only do that when the fallacy is in support of something we don’t already agree with. My bad.


    Have a Balloon

    *shrug* To me it’s not subsidizing meat eating per se, it’s subsidizing my friends’ more expensive eating habits, which is… eh, what can you do without getting separate checks.

  314. Dhorvath, OM says

    Holms,

    No, the statement is quite clear: meat doesn’t taste quite as good as it tastes. Bending over backwards to give the most generous interpretation possible – that meat isn’t tasty enough to be a vital need – is both disingenuous and pointless, as it results in a statement that can now be applied to every food ever.

    Read the whole paragraph and tell me I am being overly generous in my reading:

    The first thing people say to me when I mention I’m vegetarian is, “I could never do that, I love meat too much. It just tastes too good. I couldn’t live without it.” That was my own reaction to vegetarians before I became one myself. A reasonable response seems to be, “You know, meat doesn’t taste that great. If you tried giving it up for a while you might be surprised how little you miss it.”

    (Yes, I bolded something I think relevant.) The only way I can see your interpretation is to ignore the context of the statement.
    In any event, yes, it does apply to every food ever. Ergo, taste is a weak part of the argument about what is ethical to consume. And were I trying to argue I might have brought that up. However, I was criticizing people for not paying attention to what was said, not making an argument. If you want to argue, argue with what people have said, not with what you want them to have said.

    stow the sanctimony.

    I will note again, I am not arguing about what you should eat. I am surely sanctimonious at times and won’t object to that characterization, but it’s not about what you, or anyone else here, eats that had me comment.
    ___

    Kemist,

    However most people don’t entertain the thought of stopping to do it, even though it can result in an unwanted pregnancy and an abortion.

    Yes there are things that can, and should in most cases, be considered before engaging in any act. Why is it so problematic to talk about the things that can be considered regarding what we eat?
    ___

    CR,
    I wasn’t objecting to the construction of your argument, just clarifying part of your position which I couldn’t be sure of by reading what you had already said.
    ___

    Giliell,

    No, it’s still as non-sensical and stupid as it was before.
Nothing really tastes that great that you can’t live without it or live well without it.

    Yes. Taste becomes, in essence, irrelevant to the question. Focusing on it is a dodge, not an argument.

    But to claim that it doesn’t taste as good as I actually experience it to taste, fucking irrelevant of whether you’re talking about meat or lettuce makes no sense unless you claim to know more about what I’m actually experiencing than I do.

    I understand that many people think this argument is being made, I don’t see it myself now that mouse has clarified their comments, and if I am coming across as believing such, I am failing at communication. Still, I will be more careful about how I phrase things on this topic in the future.

    And “life has other pleasures”?
I actually agree, life has other pleasures, but it isn’t an argument either. You don’t accept “you don’t need PIV sex, millions of people do without” either.

    I surely wouldn’t suggest to a partner that because I like PIV that they need to support my tastes though, would I? Sex is not just about me. Eating meat is not just about me either, there is more to consider.

  315. strange gods before me ॐ says

    So there’s the “guy who burns his dog with a propane torch for fun” thing. His defense is that he really does like burning the dog, a lot. It’s not a punishment, and he doesn’t hate the dog or anything weird like that. It’s convenient; five minutes of blowtorch is as entertaining as one DVD.

    You recognize this as unnecessary harm and so you are against it.

    Most adults who are not at risk of starvation can — and already do — pick carefully among their food options for various reasons. You [for most yous among the readership] can probably do veganism. You can do it one meal per day, then two meals, etc.

    If someone’s reason for not personally limiting suffering is preference, then they’re making the same kind of error the torch guy makes: they’re causing unnecessary suffering for the sake of their own enjoyment.

    Someone says “my kids!” but it’s not your kids who we’re talking to here, it’s you. You are the person who’ll be altering your own habits or not.

    We get acclimated to ignoring some others’ suffering. The more you think about this, if you’re a typical person, the more you want to reduce it, not perpetuate it. Maybe end it.

  316. says

    in fact, you don’t have to peel them

    Oh, you mean I’m just supposed to serve my kids the potato-peel which is conveniently the place where most of the pesticides remain and where they build their own toxic stuff (alkaloides) (Yes, I know, totally my fault for not living in a nice old farmhouse with a potato cellar to store them correctly). Duh, that’s really the way to go with a kid with a kidney birth defect, I really was stupid again.

    yeah, that’s totally not a response out of proportion to a simple statement pointing out that unlike for example pineapples, potatoes don’t need to be peeled.

    Wonder how many people in this thread thing I’m vegetarian/vegan, just because I find the “arguments” of the meat-eaters to be either ridiculous or targeted at strawmen?

  317. lostintime says

    Bradleybetts

    But don’t tell me I’m immoral just because I don’t fancy ignoring millennia of Hominid evolution every time I pick up a fork. We are omnivores, so don’t have a go at me for having an omnivorous diet.

    You ignore billions of years of evolution every time you use contraceptives. So your point is facile at best.

    Giliell

    In fact, you don’t have to peel them…

    Oh, you mean I’m just supposed to serve my kids the potato-peel which is conveniently the place where most of the pesticides remain and where they build their own toxic stuff (alkaloides) (Yes, I know, totally my fault for not living in a nice old farmhouse with a potato cellar to store them correctly). Duh, that’s really the way to go with a kid with a kidney birth defect, I really was stupid again.

    Sheesh, how could you be offended by a sentence about potatoes? We get that you think that vegetarianism is too demanding. Personally I find it quite easy to cook potatoes, and I don’t own a potato cellar.

  318. says

    If you’re eating animals or dairy the odds are overwhelming that you’re contributing to massive suffering.* That’s well established. So, on one side of the scale we have a horror show of exploitation, suffering, and death, and on the other…what? I honestly want people to justify their dietary preferences in light of the experiences, suffering, and death they require.

    Every vegan on the planet could be a gigantic asshole and it would change nothing.

  319. says

    Jadehawk

    yeah, that’s totally not a response out of proportion to a simple statement pointing out that unlike for example pineapples, potatoes don’t need to be peeled.

    Well, only that you didn’t mention pineapples or bananas when you made that argument. You just mentioned that they don’t need to be peeled for your given value of “to be mostly edible” which you absolutely didn’t communicate, just to dismiss my statement that, in order to serve potatoes I need the time to peel and serve them?.
    How does your statement that strictly speaking I don’t need to peel them to make them edible anyhow relate to my statement that in order to provide a healthy meal with potatoes I need to peel them? How was it just not another edition of “you’re stupid and lazy, you’re just looking for excuses so you can have some meat”?

    Lostintime

    Personally I find it quite easy to cook potatoes, and I don’t own a potato cellar.

    Yes, I admit it, I’m just too stupid and lazy, again. It’s not like I know how to cook. I’m totally depending on people telling me how to cook potatoes. It’s not like I haven’t mentioned about a trizillion times that my limiting factor isn’t money, or knowledge, but time. If you have the time to peel the potatoes every day, fine. If you don’t care about eating stuff that’s pretty toxic and therefore don’t peel them, fine.
    I suggest that you go back and read what I’ve written. I don’t consider a vegetarian diet to be too demanding, I simply don’t have time to prepare our meals myself. Therefore I have to rely on other people doing so. They don’t do vegetarian so I have to live with it.
    And if you want to go on about how it’s just me being lazy, and how I could totally do it if I wanted to, have fun.

    Dhorvath
    Well, as beatrice pointed out, it would only make sense if anybody took the “I can’t live without it, it tastes so good” literally, which I think we can agree on makes no sense.
    As for the PIV, my argument was aimed in another direction but that’s really too much off here.

    Nepenthe

    Veg*ns, they’ve given up everything. All miserable people, without jobs, families, or friends.

    You’re either really stupid or just dishonest if you think that I ever made the claim that “All ve*ans have given up everything”. If you had some sense or honesty left you’d acknowledge that I made statements about me, myself and I, not anybody else. These things would apply to me and I’ve explained again and again why going vegetarian would mean that. For ME.

    And this is not at all like how assholes spend hours whining about how they could never have fun with their friends again or think freely if they didn’t say “cunt” or make rape jokes. Not in degree, but in form.

    No, you’Re right. This is really not at all like the assholes who want to say cunt. Because one thing has actual consequences ib actual lives.

    Are you unfamiliar with the concept of “analogy”

    Indeed, I am not, but you seem to be because you’Re constantly using comparisons and then get all upset when people object to being compared to the KKK.

    Sexists cause harm based on their devaluing of another group; people who eat products from abused animals cause harm based on their devaluing of another group.

    Yes, because women are just like chickens, only less, because obviously my welfare is something that plays absolutely no role in your argument.

    Look, I don’t know what your issues are, but clearly you’ve decided to project some crap onto me. So… whatever.

    Oooh, nice bit of mental ableism in the mix.
    My problem are assholes like you who think they know more about me and my life than I do and who can clearly tell me what to do (because so far I must have been unaware of the existence of frozen vegetables. If I had been I wouldn’t claim that I actually have no time to prepare meals and get my ass into the kitchen where it obviously belongs)

    What I learned from this discussion
    Next time the topic comes up, instead of trying to give a bit of perspective why going ve*an isn’t easily doable for everybody, telling people about my life and situation, not in order to convince them that they should eat meat, or that I don’t agree with many of their points, I’ll just say bacon
    Because it will safe me from some condescending assholes who treat me like I don’t know how to cook a meal (vegetarian or otherwise), that frozen vegetables and potatoes exist and who are a priori convinced that whatever reason I have must simply be wrong.

  320. says

    just to dismiss my statement

    i didn’t dismiss it, i responded to it.

    How does your statement that strictly speaking I don’t need to peel them to make them edible anyhow relate to my statement that in order to provide a healthy meal with potatoes I need to peel them?

    because you don’t need to. but you’d chose to, to make the meal healthier.

    really, the word “need” is not synonymous with “it’s better if I did”

    And if you want to go on about how it’s just me being lazy

    projecting things into other people’s comments is one way in which this conversation is an example of pharyngula getting the stupids.

  321. says

    How does your statement that strictly speaking I don’t need to peel them to make them edible anyhow relate to my statement that in order to provide a healthy meal with potatoes I need to peel them?

    WTF?

  322. says

    really, the word “need” is not synonymous with “it’s better if I did”

    No sure, it isn’t.
    When somebody says “I need to go to the toilet” it doesn’t mean that it’s better if they did because else they leave a damp puddle on the carpet.
    It’s not like words have different meanings and connotations depending on the discourse. And since the discourse wasn’t “what are minimal requirements to make something vaguely edible and not accutely toxic” but “how can I provide a quick and healthy meal” it was totally unreasonable of me to think you meant “requirements to make a healthy meal”.

  323. says

    I honestly want people to justify their dietary preferences in light of the experiences, suffering, and death they require.

    since everyone else is just throwing a tantrum and/or projecting, I figure I might as well respond generally:

    The reason not to be vegan is the same reason virtually no one lives a carbon-neutral life, abstains from “Made in China” products, and hasn’t moved to a country where their taxes aren’t used to murder people: because their resources (time, money, willpower, health, infrastructure, etc.) are insufficient to accomplish these. I agree that it’s theoretically possible for most people to accomplish any one of these suffering-reducing goals; in practice though it’s not possible for everyone to do all these things to any large degree.
    What I do thin is possible, and therefore ethically necessary, is this:
    1)individually reducing one’s contribution to those systems however much is feasible given one’s resources.
    2)trying to change the structures that promote these suffering-causing behaviors, both on the production end (stricter regulation/prohibition of harmful practices) and on the consumption end (making it easier for people to do more as part of point 1)).
    3)weaning ourselves of the illusion that any of these practices can be defended on an ethical (rather than structural) basis in almost all instances

  324. says

    it was totally unreasonable of me to think you meant “requirements to make a healthy meal”

    peeling potatoes is not an absolute requirement to make a healthy meal. It’s an option for making the meal even healthier than without peeling it.

  325. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    because their resources (time, money, willpower, health, infrastructure, etc.) are insufficient to accomplish these.

    Along with the acceptance of the premise they should.

  326. says

    And since the discourse wasn’t “what are minimal requirements to make something vaguely edible and not accutely toxic” but “how can I provide a quick and healthy meal” it was totally unreasonable of me to think you meant “requirements to make a healthy meal”.

    What the hell are you talking about? Many potato preparations don’t include peeling. I’ve never once peeled a potato for a salad or any other preparation (let alone skins). Then again, I don’t boil things generally. Clean it and chop it up.

  327. Nepenthe says

    @Giliell

    when people object to being compared to the KKK.

    Kindly quote where I compared anyone to the KKK. That would be super. Right after you quote where I compared anyone to a rapist.

    “All ve*ans have given up everything”. If you had some sense or honesty left you’d acknowledge that I made statements about me, myself and I, not anybody else. These things would apply to me and I’ve explained again and again why going vegetarian would mean that.

    You’ve stated that you would have to give up everything to be a veg*n. I think that is patent bullshit. I literally cannot conceive of a situation, given what I know about you, that makes this true. Unless you are literally having other people hand you food all the time, without having to take time to obtain it, the “‘time” excuse is pretty fucking weak for the amount of suffering that you’re trading it for. I’ve spent a week with high-schoolers “cooking” vegan dishes on the backs of moving kayaks. Veg*n is not rocket science and it’s not climbing Mount Everest.

    No, you’Re right. This is really not at all like the assholes who want to say cunt. Because one thing has actual consequences ib actual lives.

    Having to think before one speaks and perhaps alienate one’s friends by changing is an actual consequence in actual lives. Somehow you’ve managed to decide that the change cunt-sayers have to make is worth it.

    Yes, because women are just like chickens, only less, because obviously my welfare is something that plays absolutely no role in your argument.

    Yeah, I weighed being held in a battery cage and unable to move, being electrocuted daily and standing ankle deep in one’s own shit, or having teeth have been pulled out without anaesthetic to prevent one from engaging in stress related behaviors against not enough time.

    I have an eating disorder. I’m fucking terrified of cooking and of grocery stores. I do those things because I’m not going to make an animal as intelligent as a dog lie immobilized it it’s own shit for my comfort.

    I’m with SC. I’d just like you to be honest and say, out loud “My suffering is way worse than the animals I contribute to torturing.”

    Oooh, nice bit of mental ableism in the mix.

    Yeah, ‘cuz mentally ill people are the only one’s with issues. Issues are never having a bad week or being pissed off about cooking or something.

  328. says

    Jadehawk

    peeling potatoes is not an absolute requirement to make a healthy meal. It’s an option for making the meal even healthier than without peeling it.

    Science seems to disagree with you. Especially in the light of me being unable to figure out the actual amount of alkanoides at home and a kid who has only one kidney.
    If you can justify running that risk for yourself, fine. I can’t justify running that risk.
    But it’s really not the issue. I don’t have time to cook pasta either. But in response to that I get told that there’s frozen vegetables and potatoes and they require virtually no preparation time.

  329. says

    Nepenthe

    You’ve stated that you would have to give up everything to be a veg*n. I think that is patent bullshit. I literally cannot conceive of a situation, given what I know about you, that makes this true. Unless you are literally having other people hand you food all the time, without having to take time to obtain it, the “‘time” excuse is pretty fucking weak for the amount of suffering that you’re trading it for.

    Well, at least you got that off your chest. So, you know everything better about me than I do, you know exactly how I should run my life to be good enough for you, you know it’s totally possible for me to do all that because you can manage but no, you’re not a condescending asshole.

    Jadehawk
    How about that “convinced a priori that I’m wrong” now? What do you think, what level of evidence would Nepenthe accept to believe me? Do you think there’s a way I could satisfy her so she would accept that it’s not feasible for me to go ve*an?

  330. says

    But it’s really not the issue.

    it was the issue in my response about peeling potatoes. that you think I’m somehow trying to make it about your life is not my problem. My point was literally merely that it’s in fact not a necessity, it’s an option that improves the quality of the meal.

    also:

    It is estimated that it would take 2–5mg per kilogram of body weight to produce toxic symptoms. A large potato weighs about 300g and has a solanine content of less than 0.2mg/gm

    source

  331. says

    Jadehawk
    Different source:

    Twelve samples of raw and cooked potato peels from commercial potato varieties were analyzed for their α-chaconine and α-solanine content by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Raw peels contained 1.30–56.67 mg/100g peel (wet weight) α-chaconine and 0.5–50.16 mg/100g peel (wet weight) α-solanine. Raw flesh from the same potatoes contained 0.02–2.32 mg/100g flesh (wet weight) α-chaconine and 0.01–2.18 mg/100g flesh (wet weight) of α-solanine. Peels were cooked by baking, frying and baking-frying. The two types of fried peels contained more α-chaconine (2.18–92.82 mg/100g cooked peel) and α-solanine (1.09–72.09 mg/100g cooked peel). Four commercial potato peel products – wedges, slices, fried peels and baked-fried peels – contained 3.60–13.71 mg α-chaconine/100g cooked product and 1.60–10.48 mg α-solanine/100g cooked product.

    And now please use a 12 kg child as a refference…

  332. Beatrice says

    Jadehawk,

    I’m well aware that I was an asshole yesterday, although I don’t regret everything I have written.

    I agree with a lot of your #389. I’m afraid that very different interpretations of “1)individually reducing one’s contribution to those systems however much is feasible given one’s resources.” cause a lot of the upset in this thread (and most discussions about veganism/vegetarianism).

    For example, I have significantly reduced my family’s meat consumption, and trying to reduce it more would cause me problems. We eat vegetarian about three to four days a week (fish included), on average. Meat makes a more significant part of the meal one, max two days and for the rest, I make stews or soups that require a minimum amount of meat (just enough so that my father won’t accuse me of starving him by denying him meat).

    Now, from reading Nepenthe, that would not be enough. I’m pretty sure SC would find this not to be enough as well.

    Although, the most damning fact for them is probably that I really don’t want to give up meat entirely. I might reduce my meat consumption even more when I set out to live on my own, but I doubt I’ll ever go vegetarian, much less vegan.

  333. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Oooh, nice bit of mental ableism in the mix.

    you need to get your head examined

    How do you process those statements together, Giliell?

  334. says

    since everyone else is just throwing a tantrum and/or projecting [sic], I figure I might as well respond generally:
    The reason not to be vegan is the same reason virtually no one lives

    Interesting formulation: black and white.

    a carbon-neutral life, abstains from “Made in China” products, and hasn’t moved to a country where their taxes aren’t used to murder people: because their resources (time, money, willpower, health, infrastructure, etc.) are insufficient to accomplish these.

    But of course we can do what we can. Moving is of course far more difficult than not eating animal products. We’re always subject to capitalism.

    I agree that it’s theoretically possible for most people to accomplish any one of these suffering-reducing goals;

    I stopped eating animal products immediately. Not theoretically. Really.

    in practice though it’s not possible for everyone to do all these things to any large degree.

    It’s much more possible than people think. To the extent that it isn’t, the response is that we need to work together to change the system. Compare to slavery and patriarchy.

    Can you? Not everyone or people, but you?

    What I do thin is possible, and therefore ethically necessary,

    That’s determined by anyone’s individual circumstances. is this:
    1)individually reducing one’s contribution to those systems however much is feasible given one’s resources.
    2)trying to change the structures that promote these suffering-causing behaviors, both on the production end (stricter regulation/prohibition of harmful practices) and on the consumption end (making it easier for people to do more as part of point 1)).
    3)weaning ourselves of the illusion that any of these practices can be defended on an ethical (rather than structural) basis in almost all instances

    I’m not sure how that differs from my view. What gives you the impression that I think the system can be abolished overnight? Reducing my contribution as far as feasible means being vegan. For those who can’t for whatever reason go vegan, the least is to acknowledge that this is the ethical goal. Everyone can fight for that.

  335. consciousness razor says

    This is really not at all like the assholes who want to say cunt. Because one thing has actual consequences ib actual lives.

    Huh? Non-human animals don’t have “actual lives”?

    Next time the topic comes up, instead of trying to give a bit of perspective why going ve*an isn’t easily doable for everybody,

    Everyone here has agreed that it isn’t possible for everyone. Repeatedly. (Although doing the right thing isn’t always “easy,” so doing something a little harder shouldn’t be out of the question.)

    But do we need to hear you ramble on semi-coherently about why it’s hard for you personally, while at the same time demonstrating how little you care about it anyway? Your issues with not having time are beside the point, if you don’t care enough about non-human animals to actually consider it in the first place; but you haven’t engaged with the ethical arguments at all.

    telling people about my life and situation,

    Why? You’ve excused yourself in numerous ways from having to consider being a vegan/vegetarian. Okay. So what? Why is anyone else supposed to care, if we’re (apparently) not allowed to question anything about it or make any sort of criticism? Could we at least talk about veganism/vegetarianism for everyone else?

    not in order to convince them that they should eat meat, or that I don’t agree with many of their points,

    But you did disagree with many of the points. The ones you actually addressed, that is. Mainly you’ve been talking about your personal problems with being a vegan/vegetarian and expecting no one to give you any kind of advice, lest they be “condescending” to you.

    I’ll just say bacon shut my fucking mouth, rather than be an obnoxious troll.

    Fixed.

    Because it will safe me from some condescending assholes who treat me like I don’t know how to cook a meal (vegetarian or otherwise), that frozen vegetables and potatoes exist and who are a priori convinced that whatever reason I have must simply be wrong.

    How awful that must be. I’m impressed how much you care about that, yet barely seem to give a fuck at all about animals suffering and dying.

  336. Nepenthe says

    @Giliell

    Well, at least you got that off your chest. So, you know everything better about me than I do, you know exactly how I should run my life to be good enough for you, you know it’s totally possible for me to do all that because you can manage but no, you’re not a condescending asshole.

    I’m just shocked that you’re running your life well enough for you; I guess I’m always shocked by how little animals are weighed in the moral calculus of even people I admire. Why do you give a shit whether your life is good enough for me anyway?

    I’m definitely a condescending asshole, but aren’t we all New Atheists here?

    Do you think there’s a way I could satisfy her so she would accept that it’s not feasible for me to go ve*an?

    The paragraph “I am fully aware of the suffering of livestock animals. I have watched documentaries of slaughterhouses and factory farms. I know how intelligent these animals are and how they form social groups. I have weighed the balance and decided that the suffering that I would entail by giving up inhumanely produced animal products is greater than the suffering of the sentient creatures that made them.” Or something similar.

  337. says

    Can you? Not everyone or people, but you?

    no, I’d quickly become suicidal if I tried to exert that much self-control, especially during lows. And I’m not going to become a martyr to my causes.

    I’m not sure how that differs from my view.

    I’m not sure why you think it has to.

    What gives you the impression that I think the system can be abolished overnight?

    What gives you the idea that that’s the impression I have?

  338. says

    you don’t boil potatoes? now that is fascinating.

    No, generally I bake or sautee them. I boiled some a couple of months ago and it didn’t work out (ate them anyway). Boiling isn’t a preparation I tend towards.

  339. says

    No, generally I bake or sautee them.

    oh, ok. that makes sense now. for some reason, i keep on conflating boil with cook, so that looked to me as if you said you eat them raw

  340. Nepenthe says

    Because I love this recipe:

    Five-Minute Tacos

    1 16-oz (250 ml) can black beans (or whichever beans you like better)
    1 16-oz (250 ml) can whole sweet corn
    1 small (100 ml-ish) can minced or sliced jalapeños

    Mix all the above together. Add Italian dressing or olive oil/vinegar/Italian spice mix to taste. If you have time, you can chop 1/2 a red onion and put that in there too. Put in tortillas. (I like the little fresh corn ones they sell cheap at bodegas.) Nom.

    I was skeptical about the Italian dressing at first, but it seems to go well.

  341. lostintime says

    Giliell

    It’s not like I haven’t mentioned about a trizillion times that my limiting factor isn’t money, or knowledge, but time. If you have the time to peel the potatoes every day, fine. If you don’t care about eating stuff that’s pretty toxic and therefore don’t peel them, fine. I suggest that you go back and read what I’ve written. I don’t consider a vegetarian diet to be too demanding, I simply don’t have time to prepare our meals myself.

    Err, quite so. So you don’t have time to cook meals for yourself. To switch to a vegetarian diet would be too much of a burden on your time and/or the person’s time who prepares the meals in your family. Therefore, you find vegetarianism too demanding. I find veganism too demanding for various reasons, but I can still engage in discussion with vegans, and I would expect these topics to be raised on a thread that’s ostensibly about the ethics of food.

  342. Marc Abian says

    And because there’s actually no difference in suggesting that you don’t lose anything much and that it’s a small sacrifice worth making if you give up “cunt” and asking me to give up my job and my friends, to ostracice my kids in their social group

    Fucking priceless.

    SC, are there any circumstances under which you would eat animals? Obviously, I’m not talking about do this or the terrorist says he’s going to kill the hostages scenarios.

  343. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Oh so now we’re doing recipes? cross posted

    This by the way kicks ass and was dinner tonight.

    Roasted Fried Beet sandwich with goat cheese, spinach and lemon.

    I roasted the beets at 350 seasoned with salt, pepper, Olive Oil and Balsamic until a knife pieces them easily. About 1:15 depending on the size of the beets.

    The slice them thick

    roll them in panko bread crumbs seasoned with fresh thyme, salt and pepper

    fry over med low heat in grapeseed oil until browned

    pop in a 350 oven for a few mins to make sure they are heated through

    Pile all on a slightly toasted soft bun

    If using goat cheese (yes mine sourced from friendly goat cheese farm) hit slice and warm on the bun.

    Squeeze lemon juice over zee top.

    I’d substitute Arugula but what we had was just past being good.

  344. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    jesus I must be drunk after rereading that.

    but only a half beer in

    anyway excuse typos

  345. says

    I’m trying to decide between tomato soup and beet soup for tonight.

    Most realistically though, I’ll just end up not doing shit until massive hunger head- and belly-aches drive me out of the house to eat something someone else made and that’ll make me feel better (have I mentioned yet how much I hate my brain right now?)

  346. says

    SC, are there any circumstances under which you would eat animals? Obviously, I’m not talking about do this or the terrorist says he’s going to kill the hostages scenarios.

    Then probably no. (And we’re animals.)

    But what is your reason for asking me this? If you’re saying you’d be compelled to eat other animals at whatever point, then go ahead and defend it ethically. I can pretty much guarantee those circumstances have nothing to do with our real lives, and make of them a contrast.

  347. Ichthyic says

    I’m definitely a condescending asshole, but aren’t we all New Atheists here?

    It’s a fair cop.

  348. Marc Abian says

    But what is your reason for asking me this?

    I’m wondering should my stance of not eating animals be absolute, and thought you may say something useful. Personally, I don’t have an ethical problem with eating insects, but I would never eat a dog. I’m wondering where to draw the line for myself in terms of animals, but also in terms of circumstances.; I doubt I would have problems eating animals which had to be euthanised, and perhaps there are other circumstances in which it would be ok too.

    I don’t know what to make of the rest of your comment.

  349. Dhorvath, OM says

    Giliell,

    Well, as beatrice pointed out, it would only make sense if anybody took the “I can’t live without it, it tastes so good” literally, which I think we can agree on makes no sense.

    Or if we can agree that rhetorical flourishes are okay for both vegans and meat eaters to use.
    As for the other, well, I am not the best reader. Sigh.

  350. says

    I’m wondering should my stance of not eating animals be absolute, and thought you may say something useful.

    I don’t think my stance on anything is absolute. I’ve been recommending books here for the past year or so – Jonathan Safran Foer’s Eating Animals is a good place to start (though not finish, and you can check my blog).

    Good night.

  351. hotshoe says

    SC -

    For those who can’t for whatever reason go vegan, the least is to acknowledge that this is the ethical goal. Everyone can fight for that.

    Why the fuck do you think you’re entitled to say that’s the ethical goal for everyone?

    Who died and made you god that you get to make all the ethical rules for everyone? Fuck off with that shit, you conceited ass.

    People like you who advocate veganism for all persons are the exact opposite of moral. You’re immoral and proud of it.

  352. says

    People like you who advocate veganism for all persons are the exact opposite of moral. You’re immoral and proud of it.

    lol. so what precisely is the ethical defense of eating other animals, again? (ethical; not structural)

  353. Ichthyic says

    so what precisely is the ethical defense of eating other animals, again?

    not the issue.

    the issue is: who gets to make the ethical argument?

    ethics are never, ever, absolute.

    doesn’t work that way.

    I understand his position, even if I don’t understand the anger behind it specifically.

  354. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Why the fuck do you think you’re entitled to say that’s the ethical goal for everyone?

    Because everyone is entitled to consider the consequences of actions and publicly note when some actions lead to better consequences than others.

    Who died and made you god that you get to make all the ethical rules for everyone?

    You have it a bit backwards, but that’s a common outcome of living as a theist for a long time.

    It turns out that because there is no god, we all have to argue about ethics.

    People like you who advocate veganism for all persons

    Well, there’s nothing wrong with advocating veganism for anyone, but that’s not what you’re objecting to anyway. Instead, you’re pretending that someone is demanding veganism for everyone, and that’s of course not what anyone in this thread does or is doing.

    Certainly not the person you’re ostensibly responding to, who actually said: “But of course we can do what we can. [...] It’s much more possible than people think. To the extent that it isn’t, the response is that we need to work together to change the system. [...]What gives you the impression that I think the system can be abolished overnight? Reducing my contribution as far as feasible means being vegan. For those who can’t for whatever reason go vegan, the least is to acknowledge that this is the ethical goal. Everyone can fight for that.”

    It’s somewhat amusing that the very same bit you quoted contained the counterexample that rendered your claim incorrect. Saying “for those who can’t for whatever reason go vegan, the least is to acknowledge that this is the ethical goal” is indeed not demanding nor even advocating veganism for that set of people who can’t for whatever reason go vegan — it is instead advocating the consequences of the general acknowledgement that reducing suffering is desireable.

  355. says

    Why the fuck do you think you’re entitled to say that’s the ethical goal for everyone?

    Why the fuck do you think you’re entitled to say that other beings can be tortured and killed for you to enjoy eating?

    Who died and made you god that you get to make all the ethical rules for everyone? Fuck off with that shit, you conceited ass.

    There is no god. We have ethical responsibilities to our fellow animals, human and otherwise. Start here.

    People like you who advocate veganism for all persons are the exact opposite of moral. You’re immoral and proud of it.

    Substitute abolitionism for veganism.

  356. strange gods before me ॐ says

    not the issue.

    the issue is:

    The issue in this case is hotshoe’s personal hatred for certain commenters.

    who gets to make the ethical argument?

    Everybody gets to argue about ethics if they want to. Those who get tired of it, in this venue, don’t have to participate. They can take breaks, they can even silently decline to respond.

    In such an option venue, insisting that other people should stop talking about ethics, and cursing at them, is not a sensible response. It may meet certain community standards of civility, but it isn’t rational.

    ethics are never, ever, absolute.

    doesn’t work that way.

    In any case, no one is advocating anything “absolute” here.

  357. Nepenthe says

    People like you who advocate veganism for all persons are the exact opposite of moral. You’re immoral and proud of it.

    People who advocate $(action to reduce suffering) are the exact opposite of moral… explain how that works again?

    Yeah, if that makes me immoral, I am pretty proud my immorality.

  358. Ichthyic says

    In any case, no one is advocating anything “absolute” here.

    funny, but all the arguments have seemed to trend exactly that way…

    are you really that blind to it any more?

  359. strange gods before me ॐ says

    funny, but all the arguments have seemed to trend exactly that way…

    Asserted without evidence. One suspects you’ll have to twist the meaning of “absolute” to come up with anything.

    Again: «That doesn’t explain where the “purity” and “absolute” nonsense comes from. Are those supposed to mean using a single metric? Just grasping for bad-sounding words?»

  360. hotshoe says

    Why the fuck do you think you’re entitled to say that’s the ethical goal for everyone?

    Because everyone is entitled to consider the consequences of actions and publicly note when some actions lead to better consequences than others.

    jesus fuck, you sure did get stupid today. The whole point is “better consequences” for what, and according to who?

    You certainly can’t be trusted to “consider” unbiasedly, much less be trusted to “publicly note” which actions lead to better consequences for me, my family, my species, or my planet as a whole. You’re just not that smart.

    Who died and made you god that you get to make all the ethical rules for everyone?

    You have it a bit backwards, but that’s a common outcome of living as a theist for a long time.

    It turns out that because there is no god, we all have to argue about ethics.

    Like I said, you sure did get stupid today. Fine, let’s argue about ethics. But arguing is not exactly what that conceited ass did. Conceited ass stated, as if she had godly wisdom and godly perspective, that: “Everyone can fight for that”, where “that” refers back to “[acknowledgement] that this {veganism] is the ethical goal.”

    No surprise, because she is not in fact god, she’s capable of being wrong. And she’s wrong there.

    NOT everyone can fight for “that”. NOT everyone agrees that veganism is even ethical at all, and certainly not THE ethical goal.

    Fucking arguments, how do they work.

    The issue in this case is hotshoe’s personal hatred for certain commenters.

    God damn you, you putrid slimeball. I do hate you, completely. Except that’s completely irrelevant since none of my prior comments were made with any recollection of your existence, much less motivated by my personal hatred for you.

    Are you trying to beat SC for the conceited ass award today? Really, it’s not all about you!

  361. says

    Conceited ass stated, as if she had godly wisdom and godly perspective, that: “Everyone can fight for that”, where “that” refers back to “[acknowledgement] that this {veganism] is the ethical goal.”

    which as it happens is a factually correct statement. Everyone can. Whether everyone wants to or will is a separate issue.

  362. hotshoe says

    FWIW, hotshoe, I hope this makes you happy.

    Well. well, Ichthyic – happy birthday! And here’s to many happy more!

  363. Nepenthe says

    Why are we arguing ethics with someone who equated cows and beets? There’s pretty much no argument to have after the reveal of ‘animals don’t mean shit’.

  364. hotshoe says

    Conceited ass stated, as if she had godly wisdom and godly perspective, that: “Everyone can fight for that”, where “that” refers back to “[acknowledgement] that this {veganism] is the ethical goal.”

    which as it happens is a factually correct statement. Everyone can. Whether everyone wants to or will is a separate issue.

    Sorry, Jadehawk, you’re reaching too far. If you choose reading “can” as synonymous with “possibly has the human ability to attempt” then, yes, you’re technically correct that statement is factual.

    But in any ordinary sense of the word “can”, no.

    Everyone can be converted to christian belief.

    That statement is factual in exactly the same way “Everyone can fight for that” is factual. And if I said it, people would be completely right to call me an ass – and deluded as well.

    I have absolutely no idea how I could begin to “fight” for an ethical position that I disagree with. I can’t. I can’t force myself to invent arguments in an attempt to persuade bystanders into a position I myself can never accept. I can’t force myself to ally with boosters of that position whom I believe are morally wrong. I can’t.

    Whether I “want to” has nothing to do with it.

    That’s like pretending I could become a christian if I just wanted to believe sincerely enough and prayed hard enough.

    I can’t make myself believe.

  365. Nepenthe says

    I have absolutely no idea how I could begin to “fight” for an ethical position that I disagree with. I can’t. I can’t force myself to invent arguments in an attempt to persuade bystanders into a position I myself can never accept. I can’t force myself to ally with boosters of that position whom I believe are morally wrong. I can’t.

    You really believe that animals have no moral standing whatever and that furthermore giving them moral standing is wrong? Do you support dog-fighting? Would you encourage children to set cats on fire for amusement (apparently it’s really entertaining)?

  366. hotshoe says

    Why are we arguing ethics with someone who equated cows and beets? There’s pretty much no argument to have after the reveal of ‘animals don’t mean shit’.

    Why are we arguing ethics with an fool who thinks it’s more important to protect animals from suffering than to feed hungry children by raising chickens on household scraps that otherwise would be garbage and cows on scrubby grassland that otherwise would be useless for farming?

    I may not be perfect – like vegans are – but I know who I’ll choose when I have to choose between a chicken suffering and a child suffering.

  367. hotshoe says

    You really believe that animals have no moral standing whatever and that furthermore giving them moral standing is wrong? Do you support dog-fighting? Would you encourage children to set cats on fire for amusement (apparently it’s really entertaining)?

    What the fuck does any of that goddamn shit have to do with me – like everyone, you claim – supposedly being able to fighti for the “ethical” position of veganism? You know, veganism, not dog fighting and cat firing, was supposedly the topic of your comment that drew me in to this conversation. If you suddenly feel a need to talk about dog fighting and cat firing you better take it to Thunderdome.

    Jesus fuck, Nepenthe, your behavior towards anyone who doesn’t agree with you is just plain abominable.

  368. says

    If you choose reading “can” as synonymous with “possibly has the human ability to attempt” then, yes, you’re technically correct that statement is factual.

    oh don’t try to make it sound as if my reading is implausible. won’t work. considering that SC was responding to me, the “can” was very much in the sense of “is able to”, because we were talking about structural impediments.

    But in any ordinary sense of the word “can”, no.

    “can” means “has the ability to”. that’s the sense it was used in, and in that sense it’s entirely accurate.

    Why are we arguing ethics with an fool who thinks it’s more important to protect animals from suffering than to feed hungry children by raising chickens on household scraps that otherwise would be garbage and cows on scrubby grassland that otherwise would be useless for farming?

    I may not be perfect – like vegans are – but I know who I’ll choose when I have to choose between a chicken suffering and a child suffering.

    I don’t think I’m capable of taking someone seriously who feels the need to make up such impressive crap.

  369. says

    What the fuck does any of that goddamn shit have to do with me – like everyone, you claim – supposedly being able to fighti for the “ethical” position of veganism?

    the ethical position in question is that animals are capable of suffering and therefore reducing their suffering is an ethically desirable goal. the most far-reaching of such ethical consideration is veganism, but we (SC and I) weren’t talking about that, we were talking about achieving that state.

    And obviously, disagreeing with that ethical goal would mean believing “that animals have no moral standing whatever and that furthermore giving them moral standing is wrong”; thus making dogfighting relevant.

    The problem is of course that you don’t want to accept that we were talking about reduction of suffering, because it’s so much easier to pretend we were talking about how everyone needs to become vegan right this fucking moment, even if it kills them.

  370. says

    but we (SC and I) weren’t talking about that, we were talking about achieving that state.

    hmm… odd editing fail. was meant to say “we were talking about the fact that everyone is able to take some steps to reduce animal suffering, either in their individual life or as part of getting together with others to change social structures, rather than achieving that state.

  371. Nepenthe says

    I don’t think I’m capable of taking someone seriously who feels the need to make up such impressive crap.

    What you don’t realize, Jadehawk, is that I’ve been sekritly typing super nasty things that you can’t see for some reason; hotshoe isn’t making anything up. Can’t you read #1, where I say that all meat eaters are rapists and Klansman, that little children should all starve, and that if anyone doesn’t become vegan right this second, even if it kills them, I’ll track them down and break their kneecaps? Pff.. you probably think that comment is about how gross dates are.

    And since I missed it:

    no, I’d quickly become suicidal if I tried to exert that much self-control, especially during lows. And I’m not going to become a martyr to my causes.

    I completely understand this. Very little could compel me to describe what I eat during dark days, but suffice it to say that it’s not vegan. … Have a cladoceran for happiness.

  372. says

    social structures that would make veganism/vegetarianism easier:

    institutions (hospitals, schools, daycare centers, etc.) offering vegetarian alternatives

    availability of vegetarian/vegan fast-food, incl. the microwavable stuff from the store

    “unhealthy” vegan/vegetarian food (basically, sugary and/or fatty comfort food)

    special needs vegetarian/vegan food that caters to actual special needs, not hipster woo (most notably, hypoglycemia and iron-deficiency anemia*)

    de-stigmatization of vegetarianism/veganism (esp. fighting the idea that it’s emasculating)

    - – - – - – - – -
    *the first person to say “iron supplements” is going to get hit with a shit-brick

  373. hotshoe says

    The problem is of course that you don’t want to accept that we were talking about reduction of suffering, because it’s so much easier to pretend we were talking about how everyone needs to become vegan right this fucking moment, even if it kills them.

    And another step into the stupid pool today. You are completely ignorant about what I want, what I accept, and what I pretend – or don’t pretend. You have zero basis for any of the things you just said and you surely know better. I have no idea why this discussion has brought out the worst in you.

    I’m perfectly clear that the trend of the discussion by the resident vegetarians/vegans has been that animal suffering is bad, that animal suffering should be avoided if possible, that people who cause animal suffering by eating meat should think about ways they personally could do better, that persons who need to eat meat should be careful to make a distinction between when they “need” to and when it’s merely “convenient” to, and in the meantime should definitely participate in fighting animal suffering in whatever other ways they can besides not killing for meat.

    The problem both you and that turdblossom Nepenthe have is that you (apparently) can’t see any separation between someone thinking people should eat meat and thinking people should do dogfighting/set cats on fire. Slippery slope fallacy, maybe? You have no justification whatsoever for lumping those two thoughts together. I wonder why you even bother trying to. To attempt to make me feel shame, perhaps, that I might be seen as a cat-torturer? You fail.

  374. says

    But do we need to hear you ramble on semi-coherently about why it’s hard for you personally, while at the same time demonstrating how little you care about it anyway? Your issues with not having time are beside the point, if you don’t care enough about non-human animals to actually consider it in the first place; but you haven’t engaged with the ethical arguments at all.

    Hmmm, I must have forgotten to post those things about ethical farming, what I actually do to reduce the meat consumption when I’m in charge of making meals and my actual stance on why I consider it OK to kill animals quickly.
    Oh, wait, I did, but I was too convenietly your lazy immoral meateater as for anybody to acknowledge that.

    Jadehawk
    Oh, you know, I actually agree with your 488. Give me those things and I’ll be able to switch to a 90% vegetarian diet, especially in those areas where I can’t make sure the animals were raised propperly. But they don’t exist right now therefore I can’t use them.

    hotshoe
    You’Re supposed to let the child suffer, haven’t you learned anything?

  375. Old At Heart says

    Oooh! Ooooh! Iron supplements! *smack!* Ewww…

    Three things!
    1) (from way back early 300′s) Chef Ramsey isn’t actually an ass in person, it’s a TV persona for ratings. Nice fellow, my brother took a cooking class with him teaching, said he’s quite patient and calm in person (you know, considering the reputation).

    2) V*s (if we’re taking out letters anyways) are currently villainized. Whether this is justified or not you can debate, but the fact that they are is I think an agreeable point.

    3) Certain lives do not and/or can not support certain things. While these are (numerous) exceptions to the rule, we are no tyranny of the majority proponents here. In this past week I have slept an average of 4 hours a day, today I had my first meal I made myself in 9 days (okay, it was reheated takeout, but whatever, I’ll take a win wherever I can), and I’m anemic at times. I acknowledge my situation this past week (Quite literally no time to prepare meals, no health to make concessions, no accessible alternatives) is rare among those lucky enough to NOT be in my part of our life cycle.

    Of course, you’re still doing wrong eating plants, everyone. That was mentioned above. Everyone being a Level 5 Vegan (don’t eat anything that casts a shadow) is the ideal, purely synthesized IV drips of essentials. Or more ideally, uploaded consciousness into machines and just sticking a fusion reactor in it. But those ain’t gunna happen any time soon. I encourage their research, though.

    Everyone going vegan would result in the extinction of a few breeds of animals and probably a small % of the human population, screw ‘em, we can grow mushrooms from their corpses. If we could take out all animal research while we were there, maybe stop killing parasites (they’ve got a cortex, too, after all!), we can truly become Buddhists like God intended. Parasite-ridden, toxic Buddhists.

    (I HOPE people got some sarcasm dings from that last paragraph, the following, however, is serious)

    Inhumane farming is not the only form of farming. The States has it bad, we know, you guys kinda suck in the FDA department in general. People mention returning to our roots, looking at our history, and others pass it off as stupid. I don’t think so: Meat, 3-4 meals of it a week, I think as a society that’s a possible change. (Right now it’s probably about 20 meals a week for a lot of folks, after all). We can live like the omnivores we are supposed to be: Occasional “treats” of meats with mostly other items.

    To those saying its inhumane, I also support the growth of artificial meat, 100%. Awesome idea that solves the problems of both sides if we can get it to speed. Until then, too much red meat is actually a bit bad for you, try chicken instead… Don’t go full vegetarian (I’m one of poverty: I DO eat a pile of potatoes and a few spoonfuls of peanut butter as a meal on occasion, but if I get the chance for red meat, I like it blue, I need the iron) but just see how much meat you actually consume over the course of a normal week. Consider if it needs to be that high. If it does, it does. If it doesn’t, well, maybe reconsider that breakfast sausage sandwich for oatmeal next time. (With cinnamon and brown sugar, of course, I’m no demon).

    …And finally, to end a long post, recipies! Things I’ve eaten in the past week!

    Stick spoon in peanut butter jar. Eat what comes out on spoon.
    Go to corner cheap take-out restaurant. Ask for special of the day without checking what it is, since it’s cheaper than anything else on the menu.
    Buy milkshake from fast food place. Feel smug that the container has the “100% real milk” logo on it.
    Buy coffee beans. Eat.
    Repeat earlier steps, lament my lot in life 6 days into it.

  376. says

    Oh, you know, I actually agree with your 488. Give me those things and I’ll be able to switch to a 90% vegetarian diet, especially in those areas where I can’t make sure the animals were raised propperly. But they don’t exist right now therefore I can’t use them.

    which has been my point entirely.

  377. Holms says

    336 Nepenthe

    If you think that that’s all that constitutes veg*n food, and additionally think that there are no veg*n quick or convenience foods, maybe you do need to learn a bit about cooking.

    I’m sorry I didn’t lay out a full mealplan then. I assumed that you were familiar enough with cooking that you could fill in the dots. Maybe I should have been very explicit about the existence of canned beans and peanut butter.

    Selectively ignoring obvious sarcasm in order to deliberately mischaracterise someone? Classic.

    Well, given that you started out the gates with “nu uh” in response to my arguments about industrial meat production, I thought that was a pretty fair assumption.

    Sure, except for where you got it wrong on multiple points.

    The justification behind the “I eat meat because it’s delicious” argument is also shits and giggles.

    You realise the vast majority of the omnivores in this thread haven’t been saying that right? You’re refuting a stance that is simply not representative. The point of flavour was raised, as far as I saw, only in response to the silly argument that of ‘not tasting as good as it tastes’.

    Food animals are not self-aware. If we were eating elephants or chimpanzees, that would be a different issue.

    WAT

    In all honesty that is the dumbest thing said in this thread so far. Sheep aren’t self aware? What the fuck.

    And hey, you’re the one arguing that it’s cool to slaughter animals anyway. Do you have any philosophical basis for that? At least I’m trying.

    I do, as you well know, because you replied to it. Briefly, slaughter is justified by the vital function it provides. Not exactly a complex philosophy, but pragmatic.

    There’s actually a bunch of veg*ns in this thread, with individual arguments. You can distinguish us by the names and pictures at the tops of the posts.

    That question was not adressed to the thread at large, it was directed at just one person. Maybe you noticed the name of the person I was addressing in that same post? It was ‘Nepenthe’. I was asking Nepenthe.

    OMG that’s YOUR name! :)

    So anyway I was asking for you to clarify your stance on that particular point because I – unlike some people here – dislike mischaracterising people’s stances.

    (Note: by ‘some people’ I meant Nepenthe. Please take note of the name appearing at the top of your own posts to know if this is you. Because people need to be told how names work.)

    I do copyedit for fun (not my own writing), if anyone wants that. … Oh, you’re just dissing me. I see. Nice one.

    You’re a fine one to talk. My insults are only slightly less veiled than yours.

    It really pisses me off when people get my nym wrong.

    H-O-L-M-S. Not H-O-L-M-E-S. Yes, I noticed it.

    So, yeah this thread got going with renewed vigour in my absence. I tried to follow it through to completion, but You have demonstraded an amazing ability to be a dishonest tosser. I’ll note just one last thing:

    I do those things because I’m not going to make an animal as intelligent as a dog lie immobilized it it’s own shit for my comfort.

    Hmm, a moment ago you stated all food animals as lacking self-awareness, but now that the conversation has shifted, it suddenly suits you to elevate them to that ultimate puller-of-heartstrings, the dog.

    Hence the label of dishonesty.

    Since you demonstrate a complete lack of willingness to engage in dialogue – opting instead for sneering insults while complaining about insults, prevarication and moralising – I see no reason in wasting time on you. I should have stuck with my earlier restraint, this shit always happens.

  378. Nepenthe says

    Ugh, I woke up with “Dumb Ways to Die” playing on repeat in my brain.


    @hotshoe

    The problem both you and that turdblossom Nepenthe have is that you (apparently) can’t see any separation between someone thinking people should eat meat and thinking people should do dogfighting/set cats on fire.

    Well, especially when you’re talking shoulds, what exactly is the difference between torturing pets for fun and torturing food animals for cheap* meat? Is it that, in the case of the livestock, someone else is doing the torturing? Or is cheapness and quantity of product a much nobler cause?

    *Without the cheap and the need for a ridiculously high supply, there’s no need for the torture.


    @Old at Heart

    V*s (if we’re taking out letters anyways)

    Is no one here familiar with wildcards? How sad.

    Stick spoon in peanut butter jar. Eat what comes out on spoon.

    One of my favorite meals. Have you tried pouring a packet of raisins in before the spoon? Best 20-second meal ever, but then I really like sweets and peanut butter together.


    @Holms

    Selectively ignoring obvious sarcasm in order to deliberately mischaracterise someone? Classic.

    Like you did right here?

    except for where you got it wrong on multiple points

    Care to share? I mean, on the points of substance, not whether or not you grew up on a farm.

    You realise the vast majority of the omnivores in this thread haven’t been saying that right? You’re refuting a stance that is simply not representative.

    So, I went back through the thread (woo insomnia!) and tallied all the arguments people gave for eating meat. (I think I counted one or two people in two categories because they gave multiple arguments.) 8 said something along the lines of “meat is tasty”. 6 made the argument that humans are designed to eat meat. 4 argued based on health grounds, 3 on personal health and one on more general “veg*ns aren’t as healthy” grounds. hotshoe said that animals have the moral standing of plants. Menyambal argued along the lines of “cows wouldn’t be around without us”. Giliell argued that she doesn’t have enough time. Kagehi argued that diversification in food sources is a good thing. I didn’t know what the fuck to call smellyoldgit’s…dropping. Most people who identified themselves as omnivores gave no reasons (which is fine). So,yeah, taste wins. And then the naturalistic fallacy. Both superb arguments that directly address the moral status of animals with respect to humans.

    Sheep aren’t self aware? What the fuck.

    No, they almost certainly aren’t. Self-awareness is not the mere awareness of pain, which sheep definitely have. Self-awareness is a second order cognitive function. The difference is, basically, “Pain” verses “I am in pain”. The most popular way of testing this is the mirror test, which has its issues. Elephants and dolphins are self-aware.

    Slaughter is justified by the vital function it provides.

    You’ve merely asserted that it’s vital.

    The impression I have of your position though was that you opposed meat eating itself?

    Yeah, no. Since I thought I had made that fairly clear, given that I’d stated that several times, I assumed you were conflating me with someone else in the thread or a vegetarian in your head. To quote:

    I don’t personally have much against meat eating per se. I’ll happily eat the chickens from the local farm that I met when they were scratching around the pasture, doing their chicken thing. I’m not going to go to Taco Bell and get a chicken burrito and pretend that those chickens were scratching around anything but the backs of their fellow chickens.

    Hmm, a moment ago you stated all food animals as lacking self-awareness, but now that the conversation has shifted, it suddenly suits you to elevate them to that ultimate puller-of-heartstrings, the dog.

    Pigs are as intelligent than dogs, if not more so. I don’t see how it’s dishonest to bring this up. If it’s not okay to do something to a dog, I don’t see why it’s okay to do it to a pig. Obviously most people don’t give a shit about pigs, but most people do care about dogs. It’s an emotional tactic, which makes sense because it’s countering an emotional blind-spot.

    I’m sorry I misspelled your nym that one time.

  379. says

    And finally, I would like to point out that there is of course nothing patriachal in the fact that several people feel perfectly comfortable and authorative to tell a woman, a working, studying part-tim single mum how her life actually is (because what I say can’t be true and I can’t possibly know), how I have to run it, how it’s just me not being good enough, how every aspect of my life is up for close inspection and judgement and of course how, if I don’t do everything exactly they way you think I should do it, if I don’t make every sacrifice you think I should make, I’m cruel, selfish and uncaring and that my idea about wanting to have a life, and friends, and a job is clearly completely unreasonable and I should subjugate my needs under those of others. Only this time it’s not the poor children and unfortunate husband who suffer. Yeah, how dare I think that I’m actually the person best fit to make decisions about my life and to balance my needs against those of others. Well, actually I’m quite bad at it and usually put my needs so far to the back that I end up in self-harming and destructive behaviour but it’s good to know that this is all you ever ask of me: be perfect.

  380. John Morales says

    [meta]

    Giliell,

    Yeah, how dare I think that I’m actually the person best fit to make decisions about my life and to balance my needs against those of others.

    I don’t think that anyone has claimed you’re arrogating your autonomy, but rather that your opponents have questioned your stated circumstantial justification for pragmatic approach.

  381. says

    John
    Nepenthe has explicitely claimed that my life can’t be the way I describe it to be. I guess they would also confidently tell poor people to get a job ’cause it was easy for them, and that are confident that the problem with obesity, especially in low income areas is people finding justifications to eat junk food when they could easily find, afford and prepare healthier stuff, beause I can’t really believe that it’s that hard, see, I managed easily!

  382. ChasCPeterson says

    mushrooms?
    we’re opisthokonts.

    what precisely is the ethical defense of eating other animals, again?

    I guess that would go something like: There is nothing wrong with it, ethically.

    Substitute abolitionism for veganism.

    meat is murder slavery
    a rat is a pig is a dog is a boy

    Just grasping for bad-sounding words?

    Quite a bit of this on both sides. Rhetoric, it’s called, and its purpose is often to disguise emotion as reason.

    Sheep aren’t self aware? What the fuck.

    you know something about what it’s like to Be a sheep?
    no. You do not.

    Pigs are as intelligent than dogs, if not more so….If it’s not okay to do something to a dog, I don’t see why it’s okay to do it to a pig.

    I do: Because there are other criteria applied than just ‘intelligence’ (whatever that is; I’m sure you know it when you see it).
    (By the way, they do farm/ranch dogs for food in Korea. Anybody arguing the ethics with those guys?)

    Now come on, let’s get back to talking about Giliell!!!

  383. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Oooh, nice bit of mental ableism in the mix.

    you need to get your head examined

    How do you process those statements together, Giliell?

    Also, you still have other outstanding falsehoods you have not acknowledged or retracted:

    when people object to being compared to the KKK.

    Kindly quote where I compared anyone to the KKK. That would be super. Right after you quote where I compared anyone to a rapist.

  384. John Morales says

    ChasCPeterson,

    By the way, they do farm/ranch dogs for food in Korea. Anybody arguing the ethics with those guys?

    No, no-one here is arguing with Korean dog-farming advocates… because no such people are making contentions here.

    Now come on, let’s get back to talking about Giliell!!!

    How about talking about that to which Jadehawk refers, i.e. the structural impediments to a widespread shift by the majority to an informed and educated dietary regime which includes ethical considerations, in developed countries at least?

    (As opposed to competing ideologies)

  385. Nepenthe says

    @Giliell

    Yes, I am extremely skeptical that you would literally, as you claim, have to give up everything in your life to be veg*n. If you had said that you live in a strongly Mormon community and that to publicly leave the church would mean you’d have to give up your job, friends, and family, I would believe that, because it’s not an extraordinary claim. The claim that a person in Europe with access to groceries and the internet would have to give up their job, friends, and family to become vegan is an extraordinary one.

    But apparently a generic response (which is what 286 was) to the standard claims of being unable to be veg*n for non-health reasons pointing the the existence of vegan convenience foods (time), the relative cost of animal protein versus vegetable protein (money), and the presence of vegan products in any grocery (access), constituted telling you how to run your life. And thus did you make absurd claims while whinging about potatoes. You decided to make this thread about you.

    I guess they would also confidently tell poor people to get a job ’cause it was easy for them.

    If someone claimed that they couldn’t get a job specifically because they couldn’t get to it and I pointed out that they live two blocks away from a metro station that goes directly to the job they want, I would be confident that they would not go apeshit. Although I’m less confident about that now. Because potatoes.

    @Chas

    There is nothing wrong with it, ethically.

    If your ethics include any axiom equivalent to “suffering is bad” this is not exactly a non-controversial claim. And if your ethics don’t include such an axiom, then what the fuck are they based on?

    Because there are other criteria applied than just ‘intelligence’

    Like for example…?

    By the way, they do farm/ranch dogs for food in Korea. Anybody arguing the ethics with those guys?

    Actually yeah.

  386. says

    Nepenthe

    Yes, I am extremely skeptical that you would literally, as you claim, have to give up everything in your life to be veg*n.

    Good thing I haven’t made that claim. But you know what, I don’t have to justify myself. Especially not to an utter asshole as you are.

    If someone claimed that they couldn’t get a job specifically because they couldn’t get to it and I pointed out that they live two blocks away from a metro station that goes directly to the job they want, I would be confident that they would not go apeshit.

    So, you actually gave me good and practical advice on how decrease the amount of meat we consume and what my concrete options are where I live and in my situation, like pointing me to the metro station and the actual job? Well, no, you haven’t. You gave me stupid no use information like water is wet and there are jobs in town and public transport exists without knowing anything concrete about me. You felt confident doing that. You still feel confident doing that because apparently I don’t know shit about my life.

  387. strange gods before me ॐ says

    But you know what, I don’t have to justify myself.

    Giliell, you’re pretty good at the catch-22. First, you explicitly ask:

    Do you think there’s a way I could satisfy her so she would accept that it’s not feasible for me to go ve*an?

    Then, when your explicit question is answered, you insist that it should not have been answered, and answering it makes the person an asshole.

    Here’s an idea. If that’s really how you feel, then it would be better for everyone if you don’t ask the question. You then wouldn’t be offended by any answer (win) and no one else would be baited into your mind games (win/win).

    If you don’t like the discussion, you don’t have to participate.

    But if you’re going to participate:

    Oooh, nice bit of mental ableism in the mix.

    you need to get your head examined

    How do you process those statements together, Giliell?

    Also, you still have other outstanding falsehoods you have not acknowledged or retracted:

    when people object to being compared to the KKK.

    Kindly quote where I compared anyone to the KKK. That would be super. Right after you quote where I compared anyone to a rapist.

  388. Nepenthe says

    @Giliell

    *cough*

    asking me to give up my job and my friends, to ostracice my kids in their social group and that this is a sacrifice worth making

    Oh, whoops, you only claimed that you’d have to give up your job and friends. My bad. Well then, that’s totally not inconceivable. Forget everything I’ve said.

    you actually gave me good and practical advice on how decrease the amount of meat we consume and what my concrete options are where I live and in my situation, like pointing me to the metro station and the actual job?

    Actually the stuff you’ve been having a shit fit over was generic countering to the standard “it’s too hard” arguments. For you, I gave a Taco Tuesday recipe, as a non-exhaustive example of vegan convenience food (and I do consider opening three cans and a bottle “convenience food”). I’ve been looking for places online based in Germany that make prepared meals, then I realized that if I did suggest something you’d claim that I was oppressing you with advice and dropped the idea.

  389. Beatrice says

    Nepenthe,

    Actually the stuff you’ve been having a shit fit over was generic countering to the standard “it’s too hard” arguments.

    Maybe a little acknowledgment that “it’s too hard” shouldn’t be given a generic response, since we’ve said that we don’t know each other’s situations?

    And yeah, “here’s a bean recipe” is a bit shitty answer, since it assumes we (omnivores) are idiots incapable of thinking of a vegetarian dish. We’re not talking about a problem that is thinking of a couple of new recipes, but of changing one’s entire diet so that it stays healthy, but without meat. Giliell said one of her daughters has one kidney. Since she already takes care of that in deciding their diet, it would indeed be hard for her to do it with the added “needs to be vegan” component.

  390. strange gods before me ॐ says

    [Beatrice:] Maybe a little acknowledgment that “it’s too hard” shouldn’t be given a generic response, since we’ve said that we don’t know each other’s situations?

    But it was a generic statement which was responded to:

    [Giliell:] I find it amazing how in this discussion often all other factors get erased from the discussion and even people who are generally good about not taking their own situation as granted suddenly make claims that it’s easy and doable for everybody.

    And Nepenthe’s response was that the ease and feasibility of doing so is often underestimated (true), generally other solutions ought to be sought rather than simply “throwing up one’s hand and saying poor people have to eat meat” (and Giliell evidently agrees such other solutions are preferable, so this evidently isn’t the complaint), and

    — this bit from Nepenthe is important to acknowledge in the context of the interpersonal dispute —

    [Nepenthe:] As more people become veg*n, it will be easier for you to get a animal product-free sandwich on the go, but if you have to get one now go for it.

    So Nepenthe never said she’s certain Giliell can go vegan. (It would be surprising if she did, since Nepenthe isn’t vegan herself.) She actually explicitly acknowledged that it’s not as easy now as it will be in the future, and she explicitly acknowledged possible constraints.

    If Nepenthe could have been more tactful about anything in particular, how about asking that people engage with what Nepenthe actually said, instead of reinterpretations?

    [Beatrice:] Giliell said one of her daughters has one kidney. Since she already takes care of that in deciding their diet, it would indeed be hard for her to do it with the added “needs to be vegan” component.

    Where has Nepenthe said that Giliell should make her kids go vegan?

  391. Beatrice says

    strange gods,

    So Giliell (or any other person in similar circumstance) should cook two different meals some days of the week? And we’re back to where this takes time and effort that she considers to be too much on top of her work, schooling, taking care of her family and herself.

  392. strange gods before me ॐ says

    [Beatrice:] So Giliell (or any other person in similar circumstance) should cook two different meals some days of the week?

    Heck if I know? The thing about the kidney had to do with potatoes, specifically? Do you imagine that Giliell only ever eats what her children eat, at all times? It is not of enough importance to me what Giliell eats at any particular meal for me to bother answering that question?

    Specifically I object to the insinuation that a non-veg person, who is in fact pointing out that the feasibility of vegetarianism and veganism is typically underestimated, is somehow claiming that another non-veg person can and should be doing [something which wasn't claimed], when in fact what they said was:

    [Nepenthe:] As more people become veg*n, it will be easier for you to get a animal product-free sandwich on the go, but if you have to get one now go for it.

  393. says

    beatrice
    Slight clarification. My problem isn’t cooking a vegetarian meal. My problem is cooking a meal. Those days I cook I cook vegetarian quite often (I don’t agree with the arguments of veganism as such) and when I serve or use meat I use little of it and I use ethically farmed meat.
    So, cooking gets done by other people who don’t cook vegetarian. I can take it or leave it. To change that I would have to do the cooking myself. In order to do so I would have to cut back on other things, because I can clearly either do one thing or the other.
    Now, whoever thinks I should be able to do so without being me can just stuff it where the sun doesn’t shine.

  394. Beatrice says

    strange gods,

    That was not all Nepenthe said. There were also a bit condescending parts, in more than one comment, about how we should really know how to think of a ve*n meal if we know how to cook and similar. Since we’ve confirmed that omnivores don’t in fact eat meat in every meal ever, what’s the point of that? She’s not arguing that one should go completely vegan this very moment, but when one points out their health/time management/other concerns in lowering the amount of meat in their (and/or their family’s) diet more than they already have, we get condescending comments about potatoes and beans.

    I continued with the example of Giliell’s cooking, since that’s what has been discussed in half the thread.

    When one cooks for a family, it’s more difficult for them to go ve*n. I think we can agree at least on that?

  395. Nepenthe says

    it assumes we (omnivores) are idiots incapable of thinking of a vegetarian dish.

    Someone’s never told a Midwesterner of solid German/Norwegian stock that she’s a vegetarian. Might as well tell them that one eats only endangered orchids that grow in the jungles of Indonesia. Of course, I live in a place where tuna* salad with cheese** was advertised as vegan less than 5 years ago, so… YMMV.

    So, no, I don’t assume that omnivores are readily able to think of a vegetarian dish, let alone a vegan one, given the proportion of people I’ve met for whom “vegan meal” is an oxymoron.

    *Not “tuna”. Definitely swam once.
    **Not “cheez”.

  396. Beatrice says

    Giliell,

    Sorry, I misunderstood that part. Long thread.


    Same goes for any misunderstandings of Nepenthe’s points. Sorry, if I got things wrong. I try not to misinterpret you, but there are a lot of comments and some later comments seem to say slightly different things than what you began with.

  397. strange gods before me ॐ says

    [Giliell:] Now, whoever thinks I should be able to do so without being me can just stuff it where the sun doesn’t shine.

    Who? Use quotes.

    [Beatrice:] That was not all Nepenthe said. There were also a bit condescending parts, in more than one comment, about

    Maybe you could make that case, instead of asserting it? I don’t see anything from Nepenthe which is condescending when considering the context of why it was said. So if you want to say that, how about you quote something and then we’ll discuss what led to it?

    about how we should really know how to think of a ve*n meal if we know how to cook and similar. Since we’ve confirmed that omnivores don’t in fact eat meat in every meal ever, what’s the point of that?

    Typically, when I say such things, the point is to prime readers to think about whether they could eat more vegan meals, and thus prime them to do so. I don’t know if that was Nepenthe’s point, but it’s a reasonable possibility.

    when one points out their health/time management/other concerns in lowering the amount of meat in their (and/or their family’s) diet more than they already have, we get condescending comments about potatoes and beans.

    Again, I don’t see anything condescending. I agree with Nepenthe’s summary. “Because potatoes” is a reference to the bizarre way Giliell has baited Nepenthe into a mind game.

    I continued with the example of Giliell’s cooking, since that’s what has been discussed in half the thread.

    Okay, but I don’t care. That’s not the discussion I’m having. You can have it. Here I’m just trying to explain why I’m not joining you. (I’m discussing the discussion.)

  398. Beatrice says

    Nepenthe,

    Well then, we’re going from very different starting points.

    [Since some recipes have already been exchanged here; I made a vegan meal today and it's something we eat quite often: sataraš (tomatoes cooked on onion, peppers and olive oil) with basil, and polenta (done on water, not milk, of course).]

  399. Beatrice says

    When one cooks for a family, it’s more difficult for them to go ve*n. I think we can agree at least on that?

    So I’m guessing we can’t agree on this.


    Examples? The very same comment part of which you quoted and then again here

    Since Nepenthe now says that she usually starts with the assumption that an omnivore actually doesn’t know how to make a vegetarian or vegan meal, I’m not sure where that leaves us in arguing whether her words were condescending or not.

  400. Nepenthe says

    I try not to misinterpret you, but there are a lot of comments and some later comments seem to say slightly different things than what you began with.

    I’ll admit I’ve gotten steadily pissier as folk have accused me of calling them rapists and Klan members while ignoring anything of substance I’ve said and taking the least charitable possible reading of my words. And I really like animals, especially pigs*, and I do not like when people dismiss them. But regardless of that, I am responsible for controlling the Nepenthe side of this meat-body when she’s pissed.

    So, I’m sorry Giliell, I stepped well over the line. Once it became clear how my 286 was interpreted, I should have stopped.

    *Sometimes it seems just that it will probably be pigs that kill humans off. Revenge for bacon!