Open thread for episode 22.03: Matt and Don


Don talks about Chris Sevier and the lingering opposition to same-sex marriage.

Comments

  1. Evil God of the Fiery Cloud says

    If memory serves Vegan Gains (the final caller) filmed his grandfather having a heart attack to make a point about the damage eating meat can do to one or something like that. I’ve seen the guy on a fair amount of podcasts and whatnot and I find it amusing he tries to make a moral argument of eating meat when it’s he himself doesn’t really ever demonstrate empathy.
    That said, I’ll be happy if the vegan calls peter off and disappear again for a while. They never really struck me as particularly pertinent to the subjects of the show and the discussions aren’t especially interesting.

  2. DMuir says

    Vegan Gains (VG) made a recording of his call into atheist experience. However, after Matt hung up on him, VG then proceeded to immediately mute the sound from the show and for a second talked what sounded like trash about the experience. VG only commented for a second or two before the video ended. Considering how he acted during the episode, I am not surprised that he did this after.

  3. CJ says

    Vegan gains kept it calm and cool while matt got mad and hung on him. He cant even grasp the concept of extending empathy to animals…

  4. paxoll says

    The sad thing is that vegans seem to never have the mental capacity to understand all the ways they are wrong.

  5. robertwilson says

    Yeah, this guy argues like he’s incapable of remembering anything but the last thing Matt says and then going with the black and white argument.

    Then he thinks Matt is changing arguments when he’s just building arguments from a clear basis and a clear framework. How can he process any complex conversation like this…

    And what is with this vegan obsession with the show of late anyways?

  6. paxoll says

    What is this Toronto thing Matt was talking about, I don’t see it on his webpage. Also what is Peterson doing at the event. I hope they are going to debate something because that dude is crazy.

  7. Neil Graham says

    Oh wow, do yourselves a favour and don’t visit the vegan gains YouTube Chanel. The comments section is full of responses you’d expect from most cultists. One guy congratulated Dick for his victory in the 30 minute debate 3 minutes after it was posted. After he was called out, the commenter said, “yeah well Richard always dismantles his opponents. But I made sure to watch the whole video later just to make sure.”

    These people are nut jobs. They are unable to recognize they are shifting the burden of proof.

  8. Evil God of the Fiery Cloud says

    Running under the assumption yer talking about Jordan Peterson (I missed the opening of the show), that dude is something of an odd duck to me. While I agree with him on some matters of individual liberty, there’s alot of other shit which he speaks definitively on that frankly stun me. Somewhat amusingly in regards to how Matt’s little talk with Vegan Gains went, he (Peterson) recently had a Channel 4 in England with a woman who was constantly taking what he said and saying “so what you’re saying is this” and not really getting what he said right.
    On twitter one dude said “I don’t think it’s too early to say this, but I think Jordan Peterson is this generation’s Christopher Hitchens.” which was such a crazy statement I actually didn’t believe I’d read it right at first glance.

  9. says

    I think the vegans see the Atheist Experience as a platform with which they can use to promote their messages.

    Until they can make a direct connection between veganism and atheism/theism, I wouldn’t give them airtime. The guy isn’t a great or entertaining debater, and his agenda is completely off-topic.

  10. freedomfighter says

    i thought vegan callers would be a waste of time, but they’re pretty much the same as the religious fanatics.

    no idea of how logic and reason work and they just can’t seem to get it no matter what.

  11. Monocle Smile says

    Vegan Gains called the show? Probably skipping that part.
    For the crowd not familiar with the YouTube fitness industry…there are a large number of “vegan” fitness personalities that are lying about either what they actually put in their bodies or the actual state of their health.

    Jordan Peterson is a baffling person. The guy rails against identity politics while sinking himself neck-deep in ideology politics and committing the same sins of the former group. Much of what the dude spouts doesn’t seem to be of any real value and I can’t even remotely understand why he has such a cult following.

  12. simondotau says

    Looks like the Vegans are down-voting this episode. (And looking at comments on VG’s live stream, it seems their level of philosophical analysis is limited to “Matt lost his temper at VG therefore he lost the debate.” Also lots of people pretending to know who Matt was just so they could say “I no longer agree with him.” All pretty typical lightweight junk.)

    P.S. I had chicken for dinner tonight. And that chicken probably ate a worm. So I figure that chicken is just as morally bankrupt as me; that little clucking bastard.

  13. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To MS
    Remember, it’s not identity politics if it’s the majority Republican Christian white males doing it.
    /sarcasm

  14. Magnus Leitet says

    “It’s not an arbitrary distinction. It’s a recognition of differences in cognitive abilities to understand, garanty and protect rights. It’s about moral obligation because that only exist between thinking creatures.” Matt

    The consequence of this premise for whom gets rights, is that we in principle could kill and torture infants, mentally retarded and highly sentient animals like apes, dolphins etc. The counter to this argument as Mat points out, could be that other humans (with those cognitive abilities) could be negatively affected by this killing and torturing. But in principle, if we take an absurd example, we were no one would ever know, or it happened ones on another planet, were society would NEVER be affected (which was the counter argument), it would still clearly not be morally ok. So something else is clearly the basis for whom gets rights. Hint sentience. It also seems dishonest to say that the reason we ex. don’t kill mentally retarded that lacks the cognitive abilities to understand, garanty and protect rights, is that others would be negatively affected. Instead of saying that this being is ex. sentient and is capable of experiencing pain/suffering, and therefore this being have rights. But if Matt says that, we can’t in theory be morally consistent and still eat animal products (if we have the option not to). To sum it up. The reason we do not kick stones, is not because stones lack cognitive abilities to understand, garanty and protect rights, but because stones isn’t sentient, and do not experiences pain/pleasure.

    Argument from marginal cases
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_marginal_cases

  15. AdvancedLamb says

    It’s not morality if you aren’t obligated to do the best you can. Like Vegan Gains was saying, all along, (because context is important no matter what Matt bloviates about) NEEDLESSLY killing animals (in that all of society could move towards plant based diets) means that you literally have the ability to not cause this suffering, it is inherently immoral to think not only that you must “reciprocate” rights, but to have specific guidelines or categories of creatures by which you will recognize the importance of keeping them away from harm. I don’t really understand how you guys can call yourselves skeptics and just all unanimously insult and whine about vegans, like, you really can’t see any pragmatic or ethical arguments for veganism? Talk about being practically religiously close-minded. I’m a meat-eater btw.

  16. Robin says

    Robert the vegan hasen’t really provided any new evidence to support his claims. Last time he was on air, he didn’t mind meat eating when there is no suffering and when he said that, he went on that meat is harmful for ones’ health.

    He is the one sipping water now because thinks that drinking soda has harmful effects.

  17. AdvancedLamb says

    So it’s all about what kind of society we promote, I wonder what kind of society massacring billions of animals leads us to…hmmmm. Matt I lost 100% of my respect for you, not that you should care, but I hope you enjoy getting looked at with mocking gazes for the rest of your life.

  18. Simon Eberhart says

    Matt said he is against torturing animals. Does he mean it is morally not permissable or is that something he is morally virtuose about? If it isn’t morally permissable I would like to know why as I like to torture animals and noone so far has given me a reason for thinking it is a moral obligation to not torture them.

  19. grasshoppermouse says

    I thought Matt was in unusually weak form tonight. While there were much better questions Vegan Gains could have asked to clarify Matt’s position, Matt’s position was weak from a purely technical standpoint. He needed to drop the whole ‘burden of proof’ thing, because in matters of ethics, there can be no burden of proof because right and wrong are subjective. However, answering clearly why he believes eating meat is okay is essential for the debate in order to understand what moral framework he’s coming from. He did eventually get into that, but again, when Vegan Gains tried to clarify things when he brought up social contract, he muddied the waters by saying ‘it’s about well-being’ again. Since eating animals is clearly not in their well being, it would have made more sense for him to say it’s about well-being for those within the same social contract.

    I also wonder what his logic is, in the name of consistency, for why humans incapable of understanding our social contract would be included. Babies make logical sense to include (they have the potential to understand the social contract once they are no longer babies), but if that’s the standard he’s going by, then saying ‘I’m including these humans who clearly don’t meet the standard I set out because it feels bad not to include them’ seems like a bit of a cop out.

    Now, there are good arguments on why it’s not a moral obligation to eat meat, but you first have to put forth what trait or quality gives innate value to a life, and then in order to be morally consistent, you have to accept the implications of where you draw the line. For example, I am not a vegan though I rarely eat meat, but I think intelligence and capacity for emotions and cognitive ability are the defining features. Because I don’t think it’s okay to eat the mentally challenged, in the name of logical consistency I’d consider eating any great ape (whose intelligence could overlap with a mentally challenged person) would be cannibalism. However, it’s unlikely that any human will have a low enough intelligence to overlap with any animals we eat. However, in the name of ethical consistency, I consider it hypocritical for anyone to get upset over people eating dogs in china if they eat pig meat over here, because pigs are more intelligent than dogs.

    By Matt’s presented logic, if an alien species came to Earth and we could not communicate and thus could not enter each other’s social contracts, it would be morally okay for them to eat us and us to eat them, even if we were both aware that the other was intelligent, because we’re not part of the same contract. Which is fine if that’s the perspective he wants to have, but he’s just really bad at presenting it and it gives the feeling of him arguing from emotion. He *wants* to eat meat, he doesn’t really seem to have a solid idea of why he considers it okay, and so he has a very weak argument on why he considers it a virtue and not an obligation.

  20. Skye Eldrich says

    I am SO tired of Vegans presenting an unhealthy dietary choice as if it is a great moral quandary. Seriously. I might be the only one here, but my opinion on this is about as simplistic as it gets: As long as they’re killed humanely, until animals stop being tasty, I will continue to eat them.

    …Am I the only one who just wants to sit these people down and eat the greasiest, fattiest, ugliest baconburger you can find and make them watch?

    Honestly, vegetarians are fine. They have a sustainable dietary choice that actually has a cuisine involved. I wouldn’t CHOOSE it personally, but it’s fine. But even taking eating meat out of the equation, not eating milk products or unfertilized eggs is STUPID. It actually HARMS cows not to milk them, and those eggs would just rot otherwise. Not to mention, they’re vital for human surivival. Choosing not to eat these deprives your body of vital proteins that no amount of soy can replace.

    My biggest problem with Vegans versus Vegetarians is simply… Veganism is a religion in all but name only. THey worship the Holy Soy, and try to force it on others by coercion. I don’t let Christians evangelize to me, and I won’t ever let vegans do the same.

    And for the love of all that isn’t holy: DO NOT FEED KIDS VEGAN. Children CANNOT survive on a vegan diet and they WILL develop malnutrition, growth defects, health issues, and possibly die.

    Can we just… not have vegan callers on from now on? They have nothing to do with atheism or the question of a god… and they’re incredibly obnoxious.

  21. markko says

    I didn’t get the idea that in Matt’s opinion intelligent and thinking aliens are go for his lunch just because we can’t communicate right off the bat. You don’t evaluate other beings intelligence and thinking just only with ability to communicate with it at first contact. I also don’t get the arguing with specific, that one person does not need to eat meat to live, and then going over to generalization that entire humankind doesn’t need to eat meat to live. Sure, its been demonstrated that humans can live without animal products but it haven’t been demonstrated yet that entire countries can make their economy work and people can live without using animal products. In my knowledge there isn’t even big vegan communities(in colder climates, yes I know that in Asia there are such places) which have been around long time and can sustain themselves.

  22. sayamything says

    So…Richard brought up Hitler…yeah yeah, Godwin’s Law and all that. More to the point, though, his “social contract” argument seems to fail on a level not mentioned in the call: Hitler did what he could to hide the nature of concentration camps. You could make an argument that people “really knew” what was going on, but at best the citizens of Nazi Germany were perpetuating a convenient lie. The Nazis claimed Jews were being resettled, or they were being protected, rather than wiped out.

    Gawsh, if it was so socially acceptable, one would think that they’d be a little more open about it.

    Even in a less civilised time, killing Jews, Roma and homosexuals (not to mention other groups) wasn’t outright acceptable. Slavery? Slavery was heavily contested “a few centuries” ago.

    Steve from the UK was frustrating. I’m not sure if he was just not getting it or if Matt threw him off his script, but it’s one of my least favourite parts of apologetics. Not that I have any parts of apologetics I really like, mind. Richard also did this, but there was so much more wrong with his argument.

    @Monocle Smile: Jordan Peterson railing against “identity politics” is completely consistent with how it’s used in common speech: “Identity politics” means “things I don’t like.” It’s just another way to thumb your nose at issues that you either don’t value or actively oppose.

  23. sayamything says

    Also, holy crap, I just looked at dat like bar. Is this specifically because of the vegan issue, or what?

  24. Max says

    Please stop taking vegan callers!!!!! I’m saying this as a vegan! No one ever makes good arguments when a vegan calls in, and this includes the hosts! I don’t see what is ever gained by this other than having all my hair pulled out in frustration! It has nothing to do with atheism!!!

  25. Pony says

    If I understood correctly, Matt suggested that cannibalism falls into the category of an objective moral wrong, based on using human wellbeing as a foundation for morality.

    So when the caller asked whether it would be moral to consume a human body found dead by the road, as one might — in certain circles, I suppose — scoop up a dead moose and take it home to eat, Matt said it would not. The explanation seemed to be that it would violate a social contract, essentially, and Matt made a point about the wellbeing of a living Don who trusted that Matt would carry out his post-mortem wishes and bury him in a box with an atheist “A” to mark his grave.

    But there exists today at least one culture in which it is an obligation for members of the community to consume part of recently deceased members (detailed, if I recall correctly, in Caitlin Doughty’s recent book, “From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death”). Some members even excuse themselves to vomit before returning to complete the task.

    I wonder if Matt would say that those tribe members are being immoral. If not — as I would suggest — then the idea of not eating human corpses is not, and cannot, be any kind of “objective” moral precept.

    I also think there is room for discussion regarding whether the ability to think and recognize such things as rights and consequences is or should be the hallmark about whether we may or may not kill something. For example, human infants are not as intelligent as pigs or dogs, and cannot recognize rights and so on, but we tend to believe that killing one would be morally wrong.

    When I think of abortion, I often think in terms of viability: pre-viability outside the womb, I don’t see, absent the insertion of a religious notion of a soul or something similar, how one can objectively argue that the fetus is an independent being, due the moral protections of a post-partum human being.

    Anti-abortion types now love to talk about 20 weeks as being some sort of rock-solid threshold for when fetuses can feel pain (the research is thin; most experts put the line at 24 weeks), but I always argue that if pain is the measuring stick, then why is it OK to inflict pain and torture on say, pigs and poultry (cattle and sheep, with the exception of veal calves, are never raised in “factory farms” — they live on pasture and, as slaughter approaches, many/most spend time in a feedlot, but that’s not the same as the horrific conditions endure by hogs and poultry … I graduated from ag school, so I know all this shit), which are far more “sentient” by any measure than a 20-week-old fetus? These are the arguments on which I stand to support legal abortion, at least through the 24th week.

    I do think Matt has it right about eating meat when he says that it is not doing so is not a moral obligation, but it may well be — as I think — a moral virtue.

    But I don’t think either Matt or the caller very effectively made their case here.

  26. Pony says

    @Skye Eldrich

    I’m not a vegan, but it is an absurd overstatement to suggest that vegan diets are “unhealthy.” Many vegans are extremely healthy, including some top athletes (such as endurance runner Scott Jurek, who wrote the book “Eat and Run”). And in general, they have fewer weight problems, cholesterol issues, heart problems and avoid other maladies of the carnivore.

    I do think, from personal experience and being around lots of people promoting lots of different ways of eating, that a vegan diet won’t work for everyone, just as a meat-eating diet won’t.

    But when people spew nonsense generalizations like the one I note above, they look intolerant and foolish.

  27. Tynee Danza says

    So, the guy that wants to marry his porn stored on his laptop is a former JAG OFFicer! Seems legit.

  28. DMuir says

    @ 12 grasshoppermouse

    If Matt was weaker, I suspect it was because he had just had the flu for a week.

    I disagree that he should “drop the burden of proof” because in every situation whether it relates to ethics or not, if someone has taken up a positive position, they then hold the burden of proof if they want to convince others to also hold it.

  29. paxoll says

    Burden of proof is a convenient way to explain how belief (morals are a belief) is rationally arrived at. If you claim something as true then you have the burden to prove that before expecting anyone to believe it. The claim is that eating animals (unnecessarily) is immoral. You have to give a rational argument for why that is true.

    Animals can feel pain, animals can suffer, how does that influence whether killing them to eat is moral? The vegan will try to compare this to humans. Is killing someone necessarily immoral? Do you care about the well being of a psychopath trying to murder you? Killing another person indiscriminately is immoral because it hurts human society and in turn ourselves, would you like to live in a society where you have to worry about every other human randomly trying to kill you? This is why morality is rationally objective, it is an equation where you have an “if” “than” that is reversed. If you indiscriminately kill people, than other people will do the same to you. Reverse this for morality, you shouldn’t kill other people IF you don’t want them to kill you.

    What is the rational “if” “than” statements that vegans make to convince others on their morality of eating meat? If you eat meat, then you’ll be unhealthy and die early? (not what the vegan on the show claimed). This is about bodily autonomy, removing that is immoral. If you eat meat, than you cause suffering by factory farming No, those are two different things. Raising animals humanely increases their wellbeing and reduces their suffering greatly from what they would experience in the wild. There are humane ways to kill animals and we do that for the most part. Animals do not have the capacity to understand and reason their fate so the existential suffering that humans have is unique to ourselves (to our current knowledge). Lets see, whats another one…oh. If you eat meat, than you contribute more then a vegan to the destruction of the planet with global warming and habitat destruction. This is a false dichotomy, plant farming can be as destructive or more destructive then animal farming. The farming of plants that need lots of water in california, which is a natural desert, is very destructive. Humans are only able to eat a small portion of plants that we grow, this leads to a large amount of waste, this waste is typically sent to feed animals. There is a optimal combination of both that provides the most food on the smallest amount of land.

    Lastly as an aside. Everyone needs to go watch Aron Ra’s videos on phylogeny. Everything that is living is the same at one level or another. Whatever line in the sand vegans use to determine what is and is not immoral about what to eat needs justification and they seem to be unable to do that.

  30. Gabriel Pereira Vaz de Carvalho says

    Sorry but the last call was so painful I had to come here and post this.

    First, there is a reason we grant rights, there is a goal. Usually when we grant rights it goes like this:
    “I don’t like being killed for no reason, therefore I’m in favor of punishing anyone who kills another without sufficient reason to reduce the chance of that from happening to me or to those who I care about.”

    It is simple and straight forward.

    If you try to do the same with any animal it is not as straightforward. The only thing humans would gain in granting rights to animals is generated by empathy. So in the end any decision about animal rights comes down to:

    “Should we force a diet restriction on everyone so that some members of our society don’t feel bad?
    How numerous are the ones bothered about it?
    How far should the restriction go?
    Domestic animals? Cute Animals? Mammals? Vertebrates? Any animal who wish to live? Anything with cognitive ability? Any living thing?
    If we restrict to a certain point is the number of members who are bothered by this still relevant enough to justify a restriction?
    Are there ways to solve or attenuate the problem any other way? for example not torturing animals in the process?”

    What our society decided so far is that because of the deep empathy a large portion of the population feels about domestic animals, we should restrict them. We decided that the the benefit you get from eating a dog is small enough compared to the pain others in your society feel when you do so to justify a restriction. And even this is highly debatable.

    I’m not even going to go into the whole morality rabbit hole because I just don’t get it. The entire concept of it makes no sense to me.

  31. Neil Graham says

    Just took a quick search of vegan gains history as a youtuber… I found a video of him mocking somebody for contracting cancer because cancer is apparently caused by eating meat. And found another video of him mocking a widow of a suicide victim because…he ate meat and that’s why he committed suicide? Whether Richard actually believes what he says or not is irrelevant – he’s an awful human being and I’d really like to not see him back on the show.

  32. markko says

    @Pony, limiting consciously your eating options with certain kind of foods is diet. So the veganism is diet but I don’t know what you mean meat-eating diet. Diet where you eat only meat? I guess it surely isn’t for everyone. But in my opinion you can’t refer to eating habits where you don’t limit your eating options with anything as meat-diet.

  33. Tom R. says

    God damn vegans. Give it up! You’re mental cases! Humans are omnivores. Get over it already. That guy was a waste of time.
    Glad Matt is back!

  34. cag says

    Lions, Tigers, Cheetahs, Hyenas, wolves, Cougars, Jaguars, even house cats, are we to ban them all? This is the PETA Dilemma – unable to condemn, unable to prevent, forced to abide.

  35. Robin says

    The comments on Vegan Gains channel are interesting. Because it isn’t about the discussion but about how Matt reacted emotionally. They seem to be stuck on the animal rights parts. Instead of seeing that Vegan Gains/Richard didn’t provide any evidence why it is immoral to eat meat. (and i can understand why Matt didn’t go that route because that would be a repeat for the show)

  36. paxoll says

    He parlayed a failed argument into 15 minutes of youtube internet popularity. Bravo, for suckering another few thousand subscribers.

  37. Justin says

    very dishonest when veganism came up. you always interrupted richard – twisted his words around, changed your words around whenever it sounded better for you. you accused richard for being dishonest and changing the words around when in the end the only one who did this was you, matt. it is very shameful to see how arrogant you are. you are a very toxic and dishonest person and you should definitely think about changing yourself. we dont’t need even more dishonest and selfish people.

  38. robertwilson says

    “I also think there is room for discussion regarding”
    There’s room for a lot of discussion about a great many things.

    The trouble is, instead of discussing things the caller did as many religious callers do when talking about morality. They got stuck on this or that word, re-framed the position incorrectly and then got confused when Matt actually went over everything, leading them to think Matt was being inconsistent when he was simply trying to keep everything in his framework.

    Regardless of any of that, based on the content of his channel (per above) he’s a horrible human being and “Evil God of the Fiery Cloud” already figured his biggest problem out @2 – he doesn’t demonstrate much empathy for anyone. No wonder it’s so easy for him to be confused by moral arguments that require empathy.

  39. says

    in other news, that was a lovely example of pseudolaw from don. we don’t hear enough about it on axp, probably because most theists employ pseudoscience when tackling their biggest threat — evolution. but just as peddlers of pseudoscience demonstrate a basic ignorance and disdain for science, peddlers of pseudolaw demonstrate their absence of legal scholarship. you’ll notice in chris sevier’s filing the lack of legal citations or anything resembling a reference to case law, legal precedent, judicial opinions or legal terminology. his repeated filings make him a vexatious, frivolous nuisance. as someone who followed the 200+ birther lawsuits from the eruption of overnight constitutional scholars during obama’s term (i won’t be surprised if you’ve never heard of any of them; they all went nowhere), i found the machinist’s handiwork very very familiar …

  40. StonedRanger says

    My morality is not informed by my atheism. The fact that I eat meat is because Im an Omnivore and that’s what Omnivores ( and carnivores) do. I don’t see what this vegan crap has to do with atheism or the atheist experience. Its a waste of the shows time, and is apparently nothing more than some random vegan guys appeal for attention via his you tube channel. Please stop wasting everyone’s time taking these calls. That’s my 2cents.

  41. noexitlovenow says

    @StonedRanger “I’m an Omnivore and that’s what Omnivores ( and carnivores) do” That is, of course axiomatic. Of course, saying you are what you do has nothing to do with morality. Your 2 cents is not worth much.

  42. Sus Scrofa says

    All I see here is “as long as slave labour stays cheap and legal, I’m gonna keep slaves” and other stupid, fucking digusting, idiotic nonsense. I could go into detail how rights should be determined by the capabilities of individuals (not gross group membership like Matt seems to imply), how non-moral agents’ behavior like lions doesn’t fucking matter when determining the rights moral agents like ourselves should respect, but you’re all going to call me a cultist and dismiss it like the fucking intellectually lazy baffoons you are. Whoever actually cares about atheism in this day and age, and thinks discussing important rights issues on a channel that is supposed to contribute to skepticism as a whole is a waste of time, is a detriment to the societal progression of this species.

  43. noexitlovenow says

    @Skye Eldrich
    “DO NOT FEED KIDS VEGAN. Children CANNOT survive on a vegan diet and they WILL develop malnutrition, growth defects, health issues, and possibly die.”
    Citation required.
    P.S. It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19562864

  44. noexitlovenow says

    @cag
    “Lions, Tigers, Cheetahs, Hyenas, wolves, Cougars, Jaguars, even house cats, are we to ban them all? This is the PETA Dilemma – unable to condemn, unable to prevent, forced to abide.”
    Of course, you are responsible for what YOU do. If you don’t want animals to suffer unnecessarily (the position of anyone I want to know) then you have a choice to make. Given that vegan diets are healthy, promote a healthier environment, increase the potential production of calories for the human population the choice is not difficult for informed compassionate people. Pointing to wild carnivores without large frontal lobes in their brains has noting to do with choices you or I make.

  45. freedomfighter says

    You idiots saying Matt didn’t make a strong case need to go back to school.

    It is not Matt’s responsibility to make a case against Veganism. It is up to Vegans to make their damn case and convince us that it’s somehow morally and medically superior.

    The null hypothesis is that we eat meat because we’re animals and some animals happen to eat meat. That’s it you retards. Don’t come here and try to defend this Vegan gains muscle head by saying that Matt didn’t make a strong case.

    It’s exactly the same as telling Atheists to prove that god doesn’t exist.

    And if you say that you no longer think that Matt is good at debating or reasoning then you’ve never understood logic and reason in the first place. THINK. LEARN TO THINK LOL.

  46. noexitlovenow says

    @Gabriel Pereira Vaz de Carvalho
    Actually, in the end any decision about whether YOU choose to refrain from eating animals comes down to your compassion for their suffering. If you don’t want animals to suffer unnecessarily (the position of anyone I want to know) then you have a choice to make. Given that vegan diets are healthy, promote a healthier environment, increase the potential production of calories for the human population the choice is not difficult for informed compassionate people.

  47. noexitlovenow says

    @freedomfighter
    “The null hypothesis is that we eat meat because we’re animals and some animals happen to eat meat.”
    Seriously, you think that is a moral argument? (Even though you were willing to speculate regarding the mental capacity of others, I’ll refrain from similar speculation about you).

    “It’s exactly the same as telling Atheists to prove that god doesn’t exist.”
    But, of course, it isn’t the same. One question is a matter of fact; the other is a matter of care.

    If one accepts that one cares about the suffering of animals (as Matt does and as many people do) and that animals raised for food suffer (which they surely do) then one would need to justify to oneself (at a minimum) whether continuing to eat meat reflected ones values given that vegan diets are healthy, promote a healthier environment, increase the potential production of calories for the human population.

  48. Rexlee says

    I wonder what idealistic Planet Richard comes from. I wonder how he would survive if on his planet they had insects , mice, rats, birds, rabbits etc. that destroy crops. Feral animals like cats, dogs, goats, pigs, horses that destroy the environment for man to farm productively. Foxes that kill chickens , calves and lambs needlessly. Flies and mosquitoes which spread disease.
    I live in an agricultural area in Oz and we have to consistently exterminate rabbits and foxes. I hope that arseholes like Richard never become politicians who outlaw the extermination of pests and vermin.
    Start up your own Vegan eXperience show Richard and we will call you if we wish to convert you to killing animals. Don’t hijack the AXP with your nonsense!

  49. noexitlovenow says

    @Rexlee
    Of course, none of what you said has anything to do with whether you should choose to reduce the suffering of animals by refraining from eating meat and other animal products.

    If one accepts that one cares about the suffering of animals (as Matt does and as many people do) and that animals raised for food suffer (which they surely do) then one would need to justify to oneself (at a minimum) whether continuing to eat meat reflected ones values given that vegan diets are healthy, promote a healthier environment, and increase the potential production of calories for the human population.

  50. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Our vegan friend is right to complain about that use of the null hypothesis. I begin to really despise the null hypothesis and frequentist statistics for how easy it is to misuse and how it often is used to teach the wrong this GS to people. Ditto for “the burden of proof”. The burden of proof argument used here is wrong. The burden of proof, most commonly, is a tool to ensure fairness in discussions. It’s a social norms that says that someone making the unusual claim has the social burden to provide proof, and that they should not push that burden onto someone else i.e. “Google it”. It is not about which position is actually true. It’s not a tool in epistomology. We all have the moral burden to use all currently available evidence to come to the best supported conclusion. This doesn’t change based on some speaker who vocalizes a claim. Neither veganism nor meat eating is the default moral position. There is no such thing as an a prior null hypothesis.

    Of course, if one has a lot of background information for the truth of some claim, and someone disagrees, it’s entirely reasonable to dismiss the person and especially if they demand that you do research for them. That’s the correct use of “burden of proof”.

    Popularity of a position is a bad justification for truth. Attempting to say that meat eating is the “null hypothesis” is X based on an argument to popularity is fallacious.

    Similarly, saying that meat eating is the null hypothesis because “it’s natural” is also extremely fallacious.

  51. noexitlovenow says

    @Skye Eldrich
    “It actually HARMS cows not to milk them, and those eggs would just rot otherwise.”
    If people don’t drink milk or eat eggs, then other people would not breed them to produce these products. They would not exist for exploitation. Further, the dairy industry forcefully impregnates cows so they will produce milk. If they stop doing that the cows will stop producing milk like any other mammal.

    “Not to mention, they’re vital for human survival.” Choosing not to eat these deprives your body of vital proteins that no amount of soy can replace.”
    This is completely ignorant. The fact that you assert it so forcefully given so much evidence to the contrary belies a lack of intellectual honesty and humility. I eat a vegan diet (and I don’t currently eat soy (although soy is a heath promoting food)). I am actually trying to reduce my consumption of protein and it is difficult. Today I got 179% of the recommended amount of protein (a recommendation I think it too high) and more than 125% of the recommendation for every single essential amino acid. If I tried to get more I could easily get more. Where do you think the animals get their protein? They get it from eating plants, and we can cut out the middle animal, and get ours from plants as well. .

    It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19562864

  52. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To vegetarian / vegan guy. I notice that you are conflating the two diets. Please don’t do that. My limited understanding is that veganism is far worse health wise and far harder to do correctly compared to vegetarianism.

    Also, herbivore animals often have the benefit of specialized digestive tracks which we humans do not, so you’re comparing metaphorical apples and oranges with your bad argument “others animals can do it, and therefore so can humans”.

  53. Monocle Smile says

    I see the cultists have arrived.
    I had an extremely dishonest conversation with noexitlovenow before, so I will not engage. I’m pretty sick of this topic.

  54. noexitlovenow says

    @EnlightenmentLiberal
    I am not conflating the two diets, even though I am willing to defend either. If you accuse me of something, you should give an example. Your limited understanding is incorrect regarding health. A vegan diet is also not far harder to do; although, when you remove more foods from your diet more substitutions need to be made – so a little more difficult.

    The point is animals do not produce protein. They get it from plants. It is true that some animals have specialized digestive tracts, and can digest foods that humans cannot (like cows eating grass). However, my point is that animals do not produce protein, and it is true that we can get all the amino acids that we require from eating plants.

  55. noexitlovenow says

    @EnlightenmentLiberal
    Did you space out a little after the first comma? Is that where your confusion came from?

    It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes.

  56. The Wild Monk says

    Why would an atheist assume well-being or happiness are objective? How would you scientifically show this to be objectively true?

  57. stevenaumann says

    I don’t think that Veganism and “morality” in regards to animals has any place on a show that is talking about atheism vs. religion. I think these people just want a soapbox to preach their message. I admire their resolve but I came here to think about atheism and religion. It is totally off topic and I wish it could be a policy to politely refuse the calls.

  58. noexitlovenow says

    Matt especially should consider a vegan diet, if only for his own health.
    Matt is a type two diabetic.
    Vegan diets have been shown to often improve and sometimes reverse completely type two diabetes, sometimes in a few as a couple weeks.

  59. paxoll says

    Lets look at truth of the spammers claims, although we all know this already. Farming doesn’t reduce animals suffering, massive amounts of animals must be killed to farm land (go watch all the mousetrap videos on youtube). Secondly plant farming is based on profit not nutrition, thus they plant the wrong crops in the wrong areas and use industrial farming technology that hurts the environment, such as high water requiring plants in a desert like california. Thirdly, humans are only able to process a small processed part of the plant, producing a large amount of waste. This waste is typically used to feed animals who are able to process that plant material, making a combined plant and animal based diet the optimal use of land. Fourthly, getting an “appropriately planned” vegetarian diet that supplements nutrients that are primarily found in meat is not simple and not reasonable for large amounts of the human population, this is a ridiculously privileged point of view.

    We will ignore the fact that ethically raised animals suffer much less then wild animals, because most people agree that some forms of “factory farming” causes unnecessary suffering and most agree that is bad and expecting vegetarians to make the distinction is way too difficult. But now lets look at what happens to the animals when we stop eating meat. First thing that happens is the price drops as the industry tries to sell their product. This is peoples jobs/businesses and livelihood, so they aren’t going to simply stop. So they cut back on expenditures, meaning the animals will be treated worse. They consolidate the industry and ramp up production to make the most per animal as they find new markets to sell the cheaper product to (but hey, at least our catfood will be 100% pure chicken). Not eating meat will not make factory farming animals go away, it will simply make it much worse for the animals. The solution is to eat ethically raised animals.

  60. Handsome Shaq says

    All I know is that if I gave up meat, a significant portion of my life’s enjoyment would go down the drain. I’ve had every vegan/vegetarian substitute I could find, and if I had to eat those for my whole life I can’t imagine I’d really enjoy food anymore.

    Maybe some people can be happy and satisfied without meat, but not me.

  61. StonedRanger says

    @Noexitlovenow Your opinion is useless to me. Nothing you said about my comment is going to make me or anyone else stop eating meat. Youre here just to talk shit to people. I see you trying to pick a fight with everyone here. Its not going to work with me. You have a nice day now, hear?

  62. markko says

    @noexitlovenow, appropriately planned anything is useful but people most often don’t plan properly. So the vegan diet is quite often harmful. Also there is no point for limiting your food resources. If you are masochist and take pleasure depriving yourself of things that then its your business. I don’t see why the need to preach it to others.

  63. noexitlovenow says

    @StonedRanger
    I’m not picking fights with people. I’m correcting people who of their own accord asserted things that are wrong, illogical, or irrelevant. You don’t need to thank me. I’m happy to do it.

  64. says

    Would we be so quick to harvesting and eating plants if they could scream? Probably, if they screamed all the time and for no reason.

  65. noexitlovenow says

    @paxoll
    Lets look at truth your claims that you are asserting without citation.

    “Farming doesn’t reduce animals suffering, massive amounts of animals must be killed to farm land.”

    The fact that animals are killed during the production of plant foods, is in no way evidence that a vegan diet does not reduce suffering. Most animal agriculture relies feeding these plant foods to animals in order to produce calories in an inefficient process that requires growing an animal that needs to breath and generate warmth etc. For every 1 kg of high-quality animal protein produced, livestock are fed about 6 kg of plant protein (http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/78/3/660S.full). If you eat a vegan diet not only are you not torturing and killing the animal you eat, but you are also killing fewer animals during harvest because you are eating the foods directly and so do not need to feed the animal multiple times the same amount of food in order to produce the same amount of calories and protein.

    “Secondly plant farming is based on profit not nutrition, thus they plant the wrong crops in the wrong areas and use industrial farming technology that hurts the environment, such as high water requiring plants in a desert like California.”

    Please explain to me how eating animal products solves this problem.

    “Thirdly, humans are only able to process a small processed part of the plant, producing a large amount of waste. This waste is typically used to feed animals who are able to process that plant material, making a combined plant and animal based diet the optimal use of land.”

    If your only consideration is land use efficiency this may be true. “In order to reach the efficiency in land use of moderate-fat, vegetarian diets, our study suggests that New Yorker’s would need to limit their annual meat and egg intake to about 2 cooked ounces a day,” (http://news.cornell.edu/stories/2007/10/diet-little-meat-more-efficient-many-vegetarian-diets).
    That is almost one third of what they currently eat. So currently our land use allocation is very inefficient because we are eating too much meat. This leaves a lot of room for individuals to eat a vegan diet before we come up against any potential land use inefficiencies, and there are many other considerations beyond land use efficiency (including animal suffering, other environmental issues, and health).

    “Fourthly, getting an “appropriately planned” vegetarian diet that supplements nutrients that are primarily found in meat is not simple and not reasonable for large amounts of the human population, this is a ridiculously privileged point of view.”

    I’m not sure your point. If something is reasonable for you, it doesn’t matter about anyone else. The point is to reduce suffering (among other things), and if you are “privileged” to live in a world where this is possible you are responsible for your choices in that context. I’m not sure why you would think otherwise.

    Further, please explain the nutrients found in meat that are not readily available in available plant foods. In fact, traditional Okinawans, were the longest lived people on the planet and less than 2% of their diet came from meat. 67% came from sweet potatoes, 6% from beans, 9% from other vegetables, 15% came from grains. (https://www.huffingtonpost.com/dan-buettner/okinawa-blue-zone_b_7012042.html) These are not foods that are difficult to obtain.

    “We will ignore the fact that ethically raised animals suffer much less then wild animals, because most people agree that some forms of “factory farming” causes unnecessary suffering and most agree that is bad and expecting vegetarians to make the distinction is way too difficult”

    I’m glad that we are going to ignore it, because I’m not sure what this has to do with your choice to eat meat. Whether wild animals suffer more or less than non wild animals is completely irrelevant. I didn’t realize that expecting meat eaters to understand this would be way too difficult.

    “But now lets look at what happens to the animals when we stop eating meat.” “First thing that happens is the price drops as the industry tries to sell their product. This is peoples jobs/businesses and livelihood, so they aren’t going to simply stop. So they cut back on expenditures, meaning the animals will be treated worse. They consolidate the industry and ramp up production to make the most per animal as they find new markets to sell the cheaper product to (but hey, at least our catfood will be 100% pure chicken). Not eating meat will not make factory farming animals go away, it will simply make it much worse for the animals.”

    This is made up nonsense pulled right out of your ass.

    First off, the effect on the agricultural system of you not eating animal products is the relevant context in which you decide whether to eat animal products. The effect of you doing this will have almost no effect on the agricultural system so you can make your choice to reduce the suffering of animals without considering any larger effects to the agricultural system.

    Secondly, another scenerio, admittedly pulled out of my own ass, would be as follows. In the real world, the changes will be gradual as individual people choose compassion, health, environmental sustainability, and increased food production over time. Relative prices will adjust so that animal agriculture will gradually become less profitable gradually over time and other agriculture will become more profitable gradually over time. Farmers will gradually drop out of the no longer profitable animal agriculture system and grow more plants to meet demand. The farmers who can most easily make the adjustment will do so first reducing the pressure somewhat on those that cannot make the adjustment as easily. These types of gradual market adjustments happen all the time.

    As demand for animal products is reduced and the prices drop more people might be willing to pay for more ethically produced animal products which would actually improve the lives of animals in the animal agriculture system.

    As demand for animal products has grown the intensification of animal agriculture has grown, I’m not sure why you would now reason that as demand for animal products goes down that we would then see an intensification of animal agriculture for that reason. Further, It is unclear how you would intensify animal agriculture further; although, market forces under either condition might have this effect. Also, if this did occur, I imagine that this might also have the effect of reducing demand even further as people choose to no longer contribute to the even more obvious cruelty of animal agriculture, which in turn would reduce the amount of animal agriculture.

    “The solution is to eat ethically raised animals.”

    Here we disagree regarding whether this is possible and what this means. However, since you have asserted that this is so, what is your definition of ethically raised animals, and what are you doing differently to make this happen? What changes are you making? Are the changes you are making bringing about better treatment of the animals raised for food? Do you really have much control over this?

    P.S. I am not a “spammer”; however, I will respond to bad arguments (if I feel like it), and in this think tank full of knowledgeable logicians there are a lot of them.

  66. markko says

    @noexitlovenow, TLDR. You are arguing from the point of view of wealthier people who can afford to be vegans. And you don’t take in consideration of different areas of world. Also please bring forward any practical situations on a large scale where stopping eating meat or not using animal products has solved any problems which you brought up. Person can stop eating meat and stop using animal products and nothing changes but countries can’t.

  67. noexitlovenow says

    @markko
    “appropriately planned anything is useful but people most often don’t plan properly. So the vegan diet is quite often harmful.”

    You have the ability to plan properly. This is the relevant context in which you make your choices. Further, I don’t think this planning is as difficult or as razors edge important as you think. It is simple. We also know, given the amount of obesity, type two diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and high blood pressure that a lot of omnivores are not planning properly. In fact, we could say (similarly) that an omnivore diet is quite often harmful.

    “Also there is no point for limiting your food resources.”

    Of course, as explained, and as you are aware, the point is the reduction of animal suffering.

    “I don’t see why the need to preach it to others.”

    I’m not preaching to others. You will notice that every one of my posts (save one) is a direct response to someone else’s assertions (preaching).

    One reason for preaching, however, would be to change the culture to reduce animal suffering.

    For that matter, if you don’t see why the need to preach it to others, why do you feel the need to argue with me?

  68. noexitlovenow says

    @markko
    You responded, prematurely, to a post which was a response to @paxoll as indicated.

    My much shorter response to you is above.

    “You are arguing from the point of view of wealthier people who can afford to be vegans. And you don’t take in consideration of different areas of world.”

    I’m not sure your point. If something is reasonable for you, it doesn’t matter about anyone else. The point is to reduce suffering (among other things), and if you are “privileged” to live in a world where this is possible you are responsible for your choices in that context. Arguing that other people cannot afford to be vegans says nothing about the context from which you make your ethical choices. It is unclear why you might think it would.

    “Also please bring forward any practical situations on a large scale where stopping eating meat or not using animal products has solved any problems which you brought up.” “Person can stop eating meat and stop using animal products and nothing changes but countries can’t.”

    The context in which you choose to not eat animal products to reduce animal suffering, improve the environment, improve your health, and/or improve the amount of food produced is the current one – not some fantasized context. In the current context your choice can do all those things.

  69. says

    Please, please moderators ban noexitlovenow. This vegan troll is very annoying as well as totally off-topic, and deeply dishonest.

    “I’m not preaching to others.(snip) One reason for preaching, however, would be to change the culture to reduce animal suffering.”

    He/she has just using the show and the forum to preach his/her attempt to control other people. noexitlovenow is no different from the various religious trolls who turn up, pick arguments, and have NO intention of honest dialogue.

    People have certainly heard of veganism, people can do their own research, and make their own decision on food choices. It is like the theists who turn up at this forum with the strange belief that no one here has ever heard the “Good News”, and all we need to accept religion is to be told how true it is. The idea that people could hear about “god” or “an ethical diet”, understand it, and then reject it does not seem to exist in their minds.

  70. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Further, please explain the nutrients found in meat that are not readily available in available plant foods.

    Vitamin B12.
    www vegansociety com/resources/nutrition-and-health/nutrients/vitamin-b12/what-every-vegan-should-know-about-vitamin-b12

    PS:
    Sorry if this is a double post. Not sure if my web browser ate my previous post.

  71. sayamything says

    You know what else cures diabetes? Prayer.

    Matt should totally look into prayer to cure his diabetes.

  72. freedomfighter says

    @noexitlovenow

    You must be retarded because you actually don’t read or try to understand what we’re trying to say.

    Again.

    WE’RE NOT MAKING ARGUMENTS

    IT’s YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO CONVINCE US

  73. freedomfighter says

    @noexitlovenow

    And don’t you bring science into this. If you do if means you don’t understand science and how we scientists translate results into real world decisions.

    Go back to school, maybe listen to yours and professors for once instead of plugging your ears and spew bullshit.

  74. freedomfighter says

    @noexitlovenow

    Let me demonstrate how much of a hypocrite you are.

    You use a car I assume? Car crashes cause death. Cars reduce the amount of exercise we get. Cars create smog. I bet you don’t know how much harm roads do to the environment? Many car parts are built by slave labor in China. Building, maintaining, and disposing cars and car parts and fluids cause tremendous damage to the environment, animals, and us.

    Do we even think about removing cars? No. We try to minimize impact. We like cars.

    American and most other first world nations (WHERE VEGANS LIVE) could have build high density megacities with trains and buses but they chose sprawl instead.

    First world nations use the most resources per capita and cause the most damage to the environment due to their excessive consumption.

    You think being Vegan is actually helping?

  75. paxoll says

    @noexitlovenow
    Your argument.
    Eating vegetarian reduces suffering….you just admitted that me eating vegetarian diet would have 0 impact on the market/industry. You also falsely assume that the 7 lbs to produce 1 lbs means you need much more land to grow food for meat, but that is not the case since animals can eat all the plant product. The environmental impact is completely different as well as an acre of hay pasture is going to be much less ecologically harmful then an acre of tomatoes. https://www.elementascience.org/articles/10.12952/journal.elementa.000116/ Like I said before the most efficient use of land is a mix. So more grains/vegetables the more pest species like insects and rodents. Is the suffering of 100 mice not as significant to you as 1 pig or cow? Your argument fails at every point. There is NO reason to try and adopt a vegan diet, there is many many reasons to eat less meat and more vegetables.

  76. Handsome Shaq says

    I can’t imagine having to live without meat. Nothing vegans or vegetarians have come up with brings me anywhere near the satisfaction of even the shittiest dollar store burger. I’m not going to make my life unenjoyable for the sake of clam rights or chicken freedom.

  77. markko says

    @noexitlovenow, vegetarian diet is diet for more wealthier people. Specially in northern countries. Meat here is quite cheaper than soy products. And you have very narrow view of field so to say. You argue from individual level or some small group level. Take a step back and try to get a grasp how would it affect countries and economies. What would India do if people would stop eating beef? Its one of the biggest importer of beef and it would lose huge amount of its income. And all industries which use animal byproducts. And this “reduces animal suffering” is weird argument. Shortly you want to reduce their suffering by letting them die out. If there are no animals then they can’t suffer. I guess there is no need to react any of your comments because there is no rational argument for veganism, only emotional and speculative. There is no working examples that veganism works for larger populations and economics and countries. None.

  78. says

    From what I’ve read, there are seven nutrients that it is difficult to impossible to get from a strict vegan diet. Some are produced in a person’s body in very small, usually insufficient, quantities and, as every person is different, should be tested for and supplemented where necessary for maximal health.
    Vitamin B12
    Creatine
    Carnosine
    The cholecalciferol form of D3
    Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
    Heme-iron
    Taurine

    You can take supplements for these, or eat food that contains them. It is a problem when people, including babies and children sicken or die from *poorly done* vegan diets (which has happened).

    And as for cat food being all chicken – only in the very short term. Pets who need factory farmed meat ought to be eliminated as well. How can an ‘ethical vegan’ support factory farming meat at all, even if it’s for carnivorous pets? $28 billion dollars a year are spent on dog food alone in the USA every year. A good chunk of that pet food comes from factory farmed meats. There is no way small, ethical farms could cope with that sort of demand. No more kittens and puppies for everyone. They have to go, too. Maybe dogs would prefer to roam in feral packs than be part of human family. No service animals, unless they too can eliminate all meat from their diet with plant-based products. If ethical veganism is correct, even if it’s gradual, there will come a day when no one has a pet. For mostly plant eating pets, maybe a bird doesn’t want to be caged or a horse doesn’t want to be kept for riding, even if they are treated with seeming kindness by their human owners.

    How far can the moral/ethical imperative be pushed? Should ethical veganism extend to preventing natural, carnivorous/omnivorous predators from harming herbivores? A deer is an ‘unnecessarily’ dead and eaten animal whether a wolf or a hunter kills it because there must be a way to have a plant-based diet suitable for even predators if we just cared enough to make it happen. Sure, predator animals probably don’t have the same moral imperatives that humans have, but humans, as fully reasoning beings and having the moral and ethical imperative to harm no animals, ought to extend that to every creature. Right? Right? Where *is* the line drawn?

  79. noexitlovenow says

    @EnlightenmentLiberal
    Vitamin B12 is cheap and readily available. This is hardly a impediment to eating a healthy vegan diet.

  80. noexitlovenow says

    @freedomfighter
    But, of course, I am responding to arguments. Whether or not it is my responsibility to convince you, I am responding to arguments. The fact that you are unable to recognize that shows just how dishonest or divorced from reality you are.

  81. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    I thought that you asked for a nutrient that historically only comes from meat, and today only comes from meat or supplements.

  82. noexitlovenow says

    @freedomfighter
    Of course, Eating a delicious and healthy vegan diet LIMITS THE SUFFERING OF ANIMALS and the other issues I mentioned, and DOES NOT RESTRICT MY LIFE OTHERWISE.

    I do restrict my driving, but calling someone a hypocrite is just a gambit to avoid arguing about the subject.

    Ad hominem (Latin for “to the man” or “to the person”), short for argumentum ad hominem, is a fallacious argumentative strategy whereby an argument is rebutted by attacking the character, motive, or other attribute of the person making the argument, or persons associated with the argument, rather than attacking the substance of the argument itself.

  83. Robert, not Bob says

    @Gwynnyd
    Your last paragraph touches on what I think is the most important point. All these vegan ethics arguments assume an absolutism that’s almost religious-a sort of “either be infinitely good or abandon morality altogether” expectation. We humans are not omnipotent (and never will be), and so it cannot be our responsibility to fix the entire universe. Humanity still needs animal-based food, and though it likely will be possible to abandon animal farming in the future, that time is not yet.

  84. Monocle Smile says

    I mentioned ethical farming and cultured meat last time, but noexitlovenow invented excuses to keep preaching, just like this time. Notice the goal post shift when EL identified Vitamin B12.

  85. Nathan says

    Of course, Eating a delicious and healthy vegan diet

    So can we all just laugh at this for awhile.

  86. noexitlovenow says

    @Robert, not Bob
    “All these vegan ethics arguments assume an absolutism that’s almost religious-a sort of “either be infinitely good or abandon morality altogether” expectation.”

    Of course this is nonsense.

    You could just as easily assert the same nonsense regarding any support for ANY compassionate action.

    NO ONE suggested we “abandon morality altogether”. NO ONE suggested that people be “infinately good”. This is just you misrepresenting the arguments.

    Strawman Fallacy : Substituting a person’s actual position or argument with a distorted, exaggerated, or misrepresented version of the position of the argument.

  87. noexitlovenow says

    @EnlightenmentLiberal
    Yes. You indicated that veganism was difficult. I asked about nutrients that you need from meat. You properly pointed out B12. I properly pointed out that B12 is cheap and available and is not a hindrance to a vegan diet.
    No shame in any of this.

  88. noexitlovenow says

    @paxoll
    Thank you for that link. I was looking for that.

    The conclusion of that paper indicates: “Indeed, we demonstrate that under a range of land use conditions, diets with low to modest amounts of meat outperform a vegan diet, and vegetarian diets including dairy products performed best overall.”

    Of course, I am arguing for a vegan diet based on many reasons including compassion for suffering animals (let’s not lose track of this). That said, since you believe that land use is so important I expect you are going to convert to a vegetarian diet. I would be happy to provide you with any information to help you in this transition.

    Further, you are making your individual choice in the context of an inefficient land use system where more meat is being produced than is optimal. In that context, you can make the compassionate choice of veganism while actually improving the the efficiency of land use. Since land use efficiency is so important to you I expect you are going to convert to veganism.

    Or are all these land use arguments merely red herrings that really have no impact on your choice?

  89. noexitlovenow says

    @Monocle Smile
    “I mentioned ethical farming and cultured meat last time…(bullshit deleted)”

    When cultured meat is something that you can actually purchase in the real world it becomes a relevant option for reducing the suffering of animals. Until that time, it is irrelevant to making compassionate choices made now in the real world. To the extent it actually becomes a thing and can be efficiently and environmentally produced, I’m all for it.

    This was my position then, and it is my position now. Please tell me what part of this position is not reasonable.

  90. paxoll says

    @noexistlovenow, Why do you continue to ignore the fact that eating vegan does NOT reduce suffering of animals. It doesn’t on a personal level, and it doesn’t on a global level. This isn’t like carbon emissions, where me not driving or using lots of energy will directly reduce the problem in a small amount. I’m not the one actually causing the animals to suffer, I am giving financial incentive for others to do it. The only way for me to make a morally virtuous action is to buy ethically grown food. Is all your food grown ethically? Unless you are a farmer and know exactly I doubt it. This is simply a virtuous act, not a moral imperative.

  91. Nathan says

    I love watching the vegans fail, I’m going to have a steak now noexitlovenow, you have failed at everything you tried to achieve, I hope you know that.

  92. Chancellor of the Exchequer says

    This thread is a mess, LOL.

    Vegan eps always bring in the amusement.

    I’d think what’s his name being a utewbur already painted him as a jackaninny. Fitness bros are not to be trusted, add veganism along with utewb and you’ve got a shitstorm.

  93. Robert, not Bob says

    @Noexitlovenow

    Since I was talking about my subjective reaction-as in, they seem to be this way-I don’t think the strawman fallacy applies. Technically. *toothy grin*

  94. noexitlovenow says

    @Robert, not Bob
    That is a childish dodge – I FEEL that you are doing x rather than taking responsibility for your assertions. The fact that you take pleasure in that childish dishonesty says more about you than it does about me. Technically.

  95. Monocle Smile says

    “Here’s a perspective that has less than a snowball’s chance in hell of being impartial!”
    Thanks for that garbage. Troll harder.

  96. noexitlovenow says

    @paxoll
    “Why do you continue to ignore the fact that eating vegan does NOT reduce suffering of animals.”

    I have not seen evidence that this is so. As I indicated, while the cultivation of crops to feed a vegan does kill some animals, far more animals die in the cultivation of crops to feed the animals we eat and other activities related to raising animals for food, and the unnecessary suffering of the animals we kill for food is obvious.
    Here is one discussion regarding this.
    http://www.animalvisuals.org/projects/data/1mc

    “It doesn’t on a personal level, and it doesn’t on a global level. This isn’t like carbon emissions, where me not driving or using lots of energy will directly reduce the problem in a small amount. I’m not the one actually causing the animals to suffer, I am giving financial incentive for others to do it.”

    I’m not sure the point here. This appears to be irrelevant hair splitting. If you want me to respond to this, please clarify.

    “The only way for me to make a morally virtuous action is to buy ethically grown food.”

    Yes. Ethically grown food reduces the suffering of animals. The way to best reduce the suffering of animals is to eat plant foods.

    “Is all your food grown ethically? Unless you are a farmer and know exactly I doubt it.”

    We are able to make compassionate choices based on the information we do have. The fact that we don’t have perfect information is irrelevant. Further, I thought you just said that: “The only way for me to make a morally virtuous action is to buy ethically grown food.” First you are stating that it is important and then you are mocking me indicating I cannot know whether my food is grown ethically. If I cannot do it how can you? Which is it? Further, eating plant foods is going to be more compassionate than anything coming out of a slaughterhouse.

    “This is simply a virtuous act, not a moral imperative.’

    This is an assertion that needs to be argued rather than merely asserted. Further, it is not a distinction that I find important. It is imperative that we act virtuous. I chose to eat a vegan diet out of compassion for suffering animals, and that is what I ask others to do. If you look over my posts, I think I have been consistent in this. Whether it is also a moral imperative (to the extent this can be determined) is irrelevant to me.

  97. Monocle Smile says

    noexitlovenow said:

    I chose to eat a vegan diet out of compassion for suffering animals

    Interesting how every bit of “science” this person has presented has fuck all to do with this point. Cluttering up your motive with red herrings is not the mark of an honest person, especially when you’re continuous wrong and move the goal posts everywhere.

    Why do vegans act as if non-vegans give a flying fuck about how vegans see them?

  98. indianajones says

    I showed my vegan sister this thread. She wishes that this person would get off her side as they are embarrassing.

  99. noexitlovenow says

    @Monocle Smile
    Not sure what you are on about. I’m responding to the arguments of others.
    I have consistently argued for being compassionate to animals. This is something that reviews my posts honestly can comprehend. The fact that someone else argues, yes but land usage, or yes but privilege, or any other argument means I need to address the arguments they make before we can get back to being compassionate to animals. Of course, anyone who thinks rationally and reasonably can recognize and understand this.

  100. noexitlovenow says

    @Monocle Smile
    Correction to the above:
    This is something that anyone who reviews my posts honestly can comprehend.

  101. markko says

    @noexitlovenow, could you please stop this “veganism reduces animal suffering”. It does not and animals don’t suffer when raised in good environment. If you want to reduce animal suffering then make sure they can live good life. Going vegan does not help that absolutely in any way. That is a fact.

  102. markko says

    Can’t edit comments but wanted to add: Your argument that animals suffer is like – if animals live then they suffer. So we must stop using them so they don’t have to live.

  103. noexitlovenow says

    @Monocle Smile
    Further, indicating that compassion for animals is a reason for veganism does not negate all the other reasons. There are four (at least). Compassion for animals. The environment (including global warming). Health. And the efficient production of food.
    These are all arguments that support a choice for veganism. There isn’t a need to choose one. They all apply.

    The reason I addressed compassion at that time in that context is I was juxtaposing that concern with the one raised by @paxoll regarding moral imperative which I found less relevant.

  104. noexitlovenow says

    @markko
    That was all nonsense.
    Yes. Veganism reduces animal suffering.
    If you want me to address what you say, please actually make a coherent argument.

  105. noexitlovenow says

    @markko
    Let me try to address what you said.

    Yes. Veganism reduces animal suffering. When we stop purchasing meat (for example) this reduces the demand for meat. This reduces the animals produced for slaughter. Fewer animals raised for slaughter means less suffering.

    Further, there may also be a band wagon effect. When people recognize that you are vegan they may also contemplate a similar choice. When they see that you do it easily and healthily, they will be more likely to do it as well. This further reduces the demand for meat and reduces the animals produced for slaughter.

    Further, as more people choose to not eat meat, more restaurants and food producers will cater to this choice making this choice still easier. It might even become trendy or commonplace. This will encourage even more people to make this choice – further reducing the demand for meat and the animals produced for slaughter.

  106. markko says

    @noexitlovenow, you can’t presuppose that animals suffer because they live. Animals don’t suffer and if there is suffering and bad living conditions then only solution for decreasing that is to provide them with better living environment. Not to go vegan and let animals just die. That is not compassion. Lets say there is village where one person raises livestock and they live in bad environment and suffer because of that. When all people on village decide not to eat meat anymore then how the life quality of livestock improves exactly? You repeat and repeat that it reduces animal suffering but you haven’t brought any examples. Only – if you don’t eat meat, animals currently living die off soon and there is no need to rise new ones and because there is no animals anymore they don’t have to suffer. Its argumentum ad absurdum.
    And what works for one person does not necessarily work for population. I ask you again, where is example that large populations and economies can do without using animal products? If you claim that it works you should be able to show examples. Otherwise you are just fantasizing here.

  107. paxoll says

    Noexitlovenow,

    “Why do you continue to ignore the fact that eating vegan does NOT reduce suffering of animals.”

    I have not seen evidence that this is so.

    Despite the explanation on how industry works. So

    Veganism reduces animal suffering

    I have not seen evidence this is so, in fact https://www.riseofthevegan.com/blog/veganism-has-increased-500-since-2014-in-the-us vegetarians have gone up 500%, from 1% of the us population to almost 6%, and meat production http://beef2live.com/story-meat-production-year-0-133329 has also gone up. If you think that is because we are sending that meat overseas https://www.fas.usda.gov/data/review-us-tariff-rate-quotas-beef-imports So it seems like your unsupported assertions, are wrong, while mine are more accurate. You have had plenty of evidence that eating vegetarian does NOT reduce animal suffering. You link is simply an argument against inhumane factory farming, it does not support any assertion that eating vegetarian reduces animal suffering.

  108. Handsome Shaq says

    A well fed and well treated chicken can’t fucking tell if it’s being raised as a pet or raised to be a succulent basket of chicken nuggets.

    Factory farming is horrific and should be regulated, but a well-treated animal that is ultimately humanely slaughtered for food doesn’t suffer anything whatsoever.

  109. noexitlovenow says

    @marko
    If no one buys the livestock that is the last generation of livestock raised for food. This reduces suffering. If you do not understand supply and demand, I’m not sure how to explain it to you.

    The question before you is do YOU have compassion for suffering animals. If you do, you will refrain from eating them because that reduces their suffering.

  110. CReaper says

    Richard was incredibly dishonest during that last call. Putting his own words and opinions into Matt’s own when Matt never said such a thing. Reminded me of the Sye-Matt debate.

  111. noexitlovenow says

    @paxoll
    You did a lot of work, but your argument is nonsense.

    I have still not seen evidence that eating vegans do not reduce animal suffering.

    First of all, you make a very tenuous sloppy arguement that is not based on real evidence of the thing you are trying to prove.

    Further, I’m not sure your point.

    Could it be that vegans reduced animal suffering by reducing the amount of meat they ate while the 90% (or so) of non-vegetarians increased animal suffering by increasing the amount of meat they ate? Have you heard of the so called “paleo” and “keto” diets?

    Of course, you are responsible for reducing the suffering YOU cause. You can reduce this suffering by reducing the demand for the end product, of course.

    Further, the link I provided was in no way simply an argument against inhumane factory farming, and it does support any assertion that eating vegan reduces animal suffering. This is so clearly so, your asserting otherwise is unexplainable without my suggesting you are not arguing honestly.

  112. noexitlovenow says

    @Handsome Shaq
    “A well fed and well treated chicken can’t fucking tell if it’s being raised as a pet or raised to be a succulent basket of chicken nuggets.”
    So the chicken you eat is treated as well as a pet? If it isn’t, I’m unsure what point you are trying to make.

    Factory farming is horrific and should be regulated, but a well-treated animal that is ultimately humanely slaughtered for food doesn’t suffer anything whatsoever.
    Since we agree that factory farming is horrific, I guess you are now going to refrain from purchasing animal carcasses that arise from that system then?

  113. paxoll says

    @noexitlovenow either you are a troll as monocle has stated and are purposefully obtuse, or you are too stupid to educate. I’m done with you.

  114. jigglefresh says

    Ugh! Dozens and dozens of posts about veganism, on a blog that has zero to do with dietary choices. I find vegans to be, in general, the most annoying and pompous group of people, at least among those groups which don’t really matter.

  115. smithute says

    Rick said we don’t know of anything that is timeless and spaceless. I think that’s not quite true because photons don’t experience space or time because they move at light speed. From our perspective they do exist in time and space but from a photon’s perspective time and space doesn’t exist. But photons are hardly godlike and we can prove they exist.

  116. Vivec says

    @117
    When possible, yes, I make an effort to buy meat that isn’t made using factory farming. My family farms goats for meat, for example.

    That said, I do buy factory farmed meat occasionally, because I don’t really care enough to give up going to the golden arches once in a while.

  117. Vivec says

    Finally, it lets me log in. Apparently you have to log in through another blog if you use google to sogn in and then come here?

  118. noexitlovenow says

    @jigglefresh
    All but two of my posts are responses to bad arguments (often insulting). I would have been happy to not post had the carnists not been so defensive and felt the need to make ridiculous arguments. I would have preferred to enter the blog and found no one trying to insult or argue against veganism. The arguments started on your side.

    If someone says I know animals suffer and I don’t care that argument dies pretty fast. But if someone argues that vegans are stupid, because they don’t realize that milk and eggs are “vital for human survival”, that is so wrong that it requires a response.

    Then when I refute an argument they decide they need to try again so I respond in kind.

    Unfortunately, this think tank is filled with people who are argumentative, but don’t know how to make good arguments, so there are a lot of responses.

  119. says

    @Jigglefresh

    couldn’t agree more.

    Every time a vegan comes on here and preaches, I am going to have a steak dinner for every post they make. yum.. better line ’em up – I’ve got a lot to get through.

    I hate zealotry in all forms, be it religious zealotry, veganism or any other form of zealotry.

  120. noexitlovenow says

    @paxoll
    It is also possible that non-vegetarians were switching from chicken, pork, and fish, to eating more beef.

  121. says

    If no one buys the livestock that is the last generation of livestock raised for food. This reduces suffering. If you do not understand supply and demand, I’m not sure how to explain it to you.

    Addressing this to the blog and not the zealot:

    slight correction: “If no one buys the livestock that is the last generation of livestock raised.”

    Please note the placement of the full stop (or period for the Americans among us). It is important.

    Domestication of any animal species is one of the most evolutionary advantageous things that species could do. Since the only reason to exist for any animal species is the propagation of the species, if man stopped eating these animals for meat, they would also stop breeding them.

    So at a species level, the concept of veganism is evil.

  122. noexitlovenow says

    @shaun
    Yeah, I hate zealots too. Every time I see an atheist zealot comment I send $10 to Answers in Genesis and say a Hail Mary – that will show them. I hate those atheist zealots. Why can’t they just mind their own business. Some of the even follow a television show about the fact that there isn’t any god. How lame is that. Then they even go hang out in a blog so they can talk about the fact that there isn’t any god some more. Stupid, stupid, atheist zealots.
    (I’m being sarcastic, of course).

  123. says

    (I’m being sarcastic, of course).

    Slight correction. You’re being a wanker, of course.

    Now fuck off and don’t bug me, you fucking stupid vegan zealot.

  124. noexitlovenow says

    @shaun
    First of all, YOU going vegan does not eliminate ANY species, of course. It does, however, reduce the suffering of many animals.

    Currently, the population of domesticated animals is an ecological problem. YOU going vegan reduces the suffering of animals AND reduces the ecological problem caused by the overpopulation of domesticated animals.

    If and when, the the species of domesticated animals is threatened (in a 100 years or more), we can discuss further what, if anything, should be done about that, but until that time you are promoting the suffering of animals without any good reason that you have expressed.

  125. noexitlovenow says

    @shaun
    You sure resort to insults fast. First, zealot. Then fucking stupid wanker.
    Yep. vegans are so obnoxious – not you.

    P.S. The cattle industry is destroying rain forest and threatening species and over fishing is threatening species much more than any vegan is.

  126. says

    @noexitwhatever

    No, I learnt long ago not to argue with idiots, since they take you down to their level and beat you with experience.

    Telling you to fuck off is not an insult, it’s what I want you to do. Nor is calling you a wanker, since I think all zealots are wankers. It’s just a generic pejorative for all zealots.

    I only engage people who are capable of reasoned debate. Zealots are not.

    Now you can try to get me to respond further, but there is no point. I won’t be responding. Time to stop feeding the trolls.

  127. says

    Question for whoever is moderating.. how is veganism in any way a topic that is within scope for an atheist blog?

    Should thread hijacking ever be allowed?

    This is not like Sam from the UK. He is circular in reasoning, but at least his claim is related to the believer/atheist dichotomy.

    Veganism, by contrast has no bearing belief/lack of belief.

  128. noexitlovenow says

    @shawn
    “No, I learnt long ago not to argue with idiots, since they take you down to their level and beat you with experience.”

    Don’t make an argument if you are going to whine when you get a response.

    “Telling you to fuck off is not an insult, it’s what I want you to do. ”

    I didn’t say that this was an insult so you are clarifying this unnecessarily.

    “Nor is calling you a wanker, since I think all zealots are wankers. It’s just a generic pejorative for all zealots.”

    It is, OF COURSE, an insult and meant as an insult. No one arguing in good faith would try to suggest otherwise. I also looked up synonyms of “pejorative” and included was the word “insulting”.

    “Now you can try to get me to respond further, but there is no point. I won’t be responding.”

    Your choice. I understand. Perhaps you now realize that your original argument was not worth defending.

    Let me emphasize again, don’t make an argument if you are going to whine when you get a response.

  129. noexitlovenow says

    @shawn
    “Question for whoever is moderating.. how is veganism in any way a topic that is within scope for an atheist blog?”
    “Should thread hijacking ever be allowed?”

    All but two of my posts are responses to bad arguments (often insulting). I would have been happy to not post had the carnists not felt the need to make ridiculous arguments. I would have preferred to enter the blog and found no one trying to insult or argue against veganism. The arguments started on your side.

    Also, the last fifteen minutes of the show this week was a debate about veganism and compassion for animals. If it is on the show I would think that subject might reasonably come up in the blog.

  130. says

    Now, being careful to step around the troll, please note the trolling tactic.

    An attempt reengage someone who says they will no longer engage. The put the bait it there “well obviously you’re running away because your arguments don’t stand up to scrutiny”.

    Now, I’ve said one thing.. that at a species level, domestication is great for animals. That doesn’t need to be taken any further. I don’t really care whether or not it stands up to a zealots scrutiny because nothing ever does.

    I eat meat and will continue to eat meat. So that’s the end of that.

    It’s like when a theist continues to try and convince me of their god. It’s ain’t gunna happen. Give me evidence there is a god I’d go oh wow.. there is a god after all. Still not converting and worshiping regardless.

  131. says

    There is zero relationship between veganism and atheism. Why it is even tolerated on the show at all is a mystery to me. Perhaps because Matt likes a fight.

    There is an attempt to link veganism with morality in a way similar the way to atheism plus tried to append support for social justice and other causes onto atheism.

    I find this completely unacceptable and for this reason. At this point, atheism becomes religious. There are people who will then start saying, “Well if you’re a good atheist, this is what you believe’.

    Atheism is a single position on a single question – do you believe there is a god?”

    To even engage vegans, then, is to admit that an atheists forum does grapple with questions of what it takes to be a “good atheist”. It’s not a position that should even begin to be entertained.

  132. says

    As an amendment to the above, think of the yoga community.. where if you are not a vegetarian people are starting to frown upon you.

  133. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Question for whoever is moderating.. how is veganism in any way a topic that is within scope for an atheist blog?

    I am not affiliated any way with AXP, but they’re pretty lax concerning moderation and topics here. IMO, especially because they accepted this guy as a caller, and this is the thread for this episode, I personally don’t see a problem with him going on in this thread.

  134. says

    @EL

    Is the troll the actual guy who was on the show? I didn’t think he made that clear whether or not it was him or some other zealot.

  135. Ethan Myerson says

    I haven’t listened to this episode yet… are there topics addressed other than veganism?

  136. says

    For anyone still following this, I find it significant to learn that this coincides with a campaign by a vegan group to get people to stop being “speciesist”.

    @ethan only the last half hour was hijacked

  137. noexitlovenow says

    @Shaun.
    That is an argument that has been around for a while. That argument is most closely associated with Melanie Joy. There has been arguments over animal suffering for a very long time and there isn’t any reason to associate this debate with any “campaign”.

    Socrates, as written in Plato’s The Republic (469-399 BC) –

    Socrates: Would this habit of eating animals not require that we slaughter animals that we knew as individuals, and in whose eyes we could gaze and see ourselves reflected, only a few hours before our meal? Glaucon: This habit would require that of us.

    Socrates: Wouldn’t this [knowledge] hinder us in achieving happiness? Glaucon: It could so hinder us in our quest for happiness.

    Socrates: And, if we pursue this way of living, will we not have need to visit the doctor more often? Glaucon: We would have such need.

    Socrates: If we pursue our habit of eating animals, and if our neighbor follows a similar path, will we not have need to go to war against our neighbor to secure greater pasturage, because ours will not be enough to sustain us, and our neighbor will have a similar need to wage war on us for the same reason? Glaucon: We would be so compelled.

    Socrates: Would not these facts prevent us from achieving happiness, and therefore the conditions necessary to the building of a just society, if we pursue a desire to eat animals? Glaucon: Yes, they would so prevent us.

    Evidently, Socrates is a zealot.

  138. noexitlovenow says

    @Shaun
    Charles Darwin (1809-1882) – There is no fundamental difference between man and the higher animals in their mental faculties . . . The lower animals, like man, manifestly feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery.

    Evidently, Charles Darwin was opposed to people being “speciesist”

  139. noexitlovenow says

    @Shaun
    Henry David Throeau (1817-1862) – I have no doubt that it is a part of the destiny of the human race, in its gradual improvement, to leave off eating animals, as surely as the savage tribes have left off eating each other.

    Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) – A man can live and be healthy without killing animals for food; therefore, if he eats meat, he participates in taking animal life merely for the sake of his appetite. And to act so is immoral.

    Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) – At the moment our human world is based on the suffering and destruction of millions of non-humans. To perceive this and to do something to change it in personal and public ways is to undergo a change of perception akin to a religious conversion. Nothing can ever be seen in quite the same way again because once you have admitted the terror and pain of other species you will, unless you resist conversion, be always aware of the endless permutations of suffering that support our society.

    Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965) – Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace.

    Ruth Harrison (1920-2000) – In fact, if one person is unkind to an animal it is considered to be cruelty, but where a lot of people are unkind to animals, especially in the name of commerce, the cruelty is condoned and, once large sums of money are at stake, will be defended to the last by otherwise intelligent people.

    Carl Sagan (1934-1996) – Humans–who enslave, castrate, experiment on, and fillet other animals–have had an understandable penchant for pretending animals do not feel pain. A sharp distinction between humans and “animals” is essential if we are to bend them to our will, make them work for us, wear them, eat them–without any disquieting tinges of guilt or regret. It is unseemly of us, who often behave so unfeelingly toward other animals, to contend that only humans can suffer. The behavior of other animals renders such pretensions specious. They are just too much like us.

    Goddamn zealots every one.

  140. says

    Wow. Desperate troll persists despite no response!

    And the only reason I post now is because I find an interesting point here. The use of the “appeal to authority” fallacy, exactly as a religious person would use it in a similar debate.

    You atheists all worship Darwin.. so if I can quote mine something from him, I can get you to comply because you have to obey him. Er no.. I don’t give a flying fuck about Darwin’s opinions.

    Similarly with the opinion of Socrates and bunch of other people, I don’t give a flying fuck about them either.

    But interesting to see that disingenuous people of all stripes use the same logical fallacies in their rhetoric.

  141. noexitlovenow says

    @Shaun

    You have done nothing but insult me. You have called me fucking stupid, a wanker, a zealot,and a troll.

    It is hardly a post of yours that does not contain an insult.

    THIS IS TROLLING BEHAVIOR THAT I HOPE THE MODERATORS TAKE NOTE OF.

    When you use the insult zealot – that is kind of a argumentum ad populum as well as being merely an insult and trolling behavior. It is not an argument.

    The only actual argument you have made depends on cows being an endangered species – something completely divorced from reality.

    My point was that the vegan compassion debate is a very old one (Socrates), that the anti-specism argument is an old one and not part of any “campaign”, the trolling insult “zealot” is one that evidently applies to many people whom you may recognize and admire, and that the arguments they make make a lot of sense. Further, Carl Sagan and Charles Darwin are actual authorities that know something about the nature of the inner life of animals – at least more than a guy who doesn’t know how to do much more than insult.

  142. says

    Cry me a fucking river. A troll complaining about being called a troll.

    I’m not debating you. Already said that when I said no point in engaging a zealot.

    I’m sorry if you don’t like being called a zealot. Too fucking bad. Once again this is not an insult, this is my opinion of what you are.

    Zealot: “A person who is fanatical and uncompromising in pursuit of their religious, political or other ideals”.

    In general terms, vegans are zealots, just like creationists. So no point debating.

    Troll: “person who sows discord on the Internet by starting quarrels or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages”

    Can’t think of anything more off topic that hijacking an atheist thread with vegan propaganda. So the definition of troll can not be deemed to be an insult but an accurate behavioural description

    fuck off: vulgar slang for “go away”. So not exactly an insult as such, more a request.

    So.. go away.

    PS, have to concede.. wanker was just gratuitous name calling. And it felt good.

  143. noexitlovenow says

    @shaun

    I have been a member of FTB for a long time and have as much right and reason to contribute to this blog. Actually more, as I am actually providing arguments and discussion instead of merely insulting and trolling.

    Of course, the fact that you can find the definition of an insult in the dictionary does not make it any less an ad-hominem insult, any less an argumentum ad populum, any less trolling, any more contribute to the discussion, or make it any more of an argument. Further, just because it is your actual opinion also does not make it any less a gratuitous insult, nor does it make it contribute to a reasoned discussion.

    As I’ve pointed out, I in no way “hijacked” an atheist thread. I mostly responded to others who made insulting comments and arguments regarding veganism (such as they were). They opened the topic – as did you when you felt the need to insult and make a bad argument. The fact that mine is the minority opinion hardly makes me a troll. I’ve actually contributed much more to the discussion than you have.

    Troll: “person who sows discord on the Internet by starting quarrels or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages”

    It is true that people got upset, but I’ve noticed that this group of free thinkers really don’t like it when people respond to their poor arguments. Getting upset is not necessarily an indication that you were wronged. If someone posts an argument, for example, that veganism is evil because it endangers the species raised for meat, and the species raised for meat are in no way endangered, this suggests that the conversation can be furthered by pointing this out as well as any other improper framing involved. This is merely suggesting a correction to the original post. Further, it directly addresses the earlier post – not extraneous – not off-topic.

    If the original poster then responds with insults, instead of either conceding the point or proposing a further clarification, that is an indication that the person providing the insults went off the rails – not the person who merely corrected him regarding the non-endangered cows.

    Further, the AXP episode connected to this blog also included a discussion of veganism. The fact that you don’t like that does not change this.

    Finally when you realize your bad behavior the appropriate response is “I’m sorry”, not “it felt good”, but that requires class.

    I’m happy to not post responses to you. You can reach this state of nirvana easily. You merely need to refrain from insulting me, from disparaging my arguments, and refrain from insulting or disparaging veganism (a topic you don’t want discussed anyway).

    I suppose that if you express objectionable opinions about other topics I might want to respond, but, given your demonstrated inability to handle being corrected and lack of restraint regarding insulting and trolling behavior, I would probably just decide not to bother. Also, I’m probably not as interested in the other topics.

  144. markko says

    @noexitlovenow says – “The question before you is do YOU have compassion for suffering animals. If you do, you will refrain from eating them because that reduces their suffering.”
    This is not compassion and if you behave this way then you have no regard for animal welfare and are horrible human being. Because in your view you have suffering animals but you decide to do nothing. You just watch how animals suffer until they die and then you get your self gratification because there are no animals and there is no more animal suffering. Do you behave same way with humans who need help? You watch them struggle with their problem without helping them until they die and then you are going to say – now is all well because there is no more humans with this kind of problem.
    You truly are horrible human being.

  145. says

    Finally when you realize your bad behavior the appropriate response is “I’m sorry”, not “it felt good”, but that requires class.

    OMG.. how sanctimonious is that comment? Well only one response to that.. fuck off!

    What a self righteous, holier than though tosser. I’ll say sorry… sorry you’re so butthurt.

  146. noexitlovenow says

    @markko
    This is an example of a need to be argumentative and insulting without actually making a reasonable argument. Evidently you believe being more aggressive makes you more right.

    Let’s temporarily disregard most of the nonsense you have posted.
    Let’s skip right to your conclusion:

    “You truly are horrible human being.”

    Please support this assertion. You have not supported this AT ALL. You are going to need to try again. We can start with what actions do you take that you know I do not take regarding the treatment of animals that make you a better person than me. Does you paying someone to breed, warehouse, and slaughter your food somehow make you more virtuous? If so, please explain this. My food does not cry or scream or tremble in fear. Yours does.

  147. markko says

    @noexitlovenow. I support this claim that you truly are horrible human being with your statement that you just watch how animals suffer and do nothing other then changing your dietary choice. You have stated it over and over again. Animals suffer and you just stop eating meat and think that its decreases animal suffering. It does not. Your choice of food does not affect the animal who is suffering right now.
    And your assumptions about my food are wrong. My food does not cry or scream or tremble in fear. Animals live their life contently and the brief moment of their death does not make their entire life being one long suffering. I said before and say again, your presupposition that all animals suffer is wrong and baseless. Of course you can find examples where there are bad living conditions for animals but when you do you do not sit down and watch how they suffer until they die like you promote here constantly. You promote public awareness and take steps you can to improve their living conditions so that animals don’t need to suffer. But again, you don’t do that. You just change your dietary options, sit down and watch suffering animals until they die. And then applaud for yourself – see, no animals, no animal suffering. And again, that is why I said that you are horrible human being. I don’t see how any reasonable person who has compassion and cares for animals can take such standpoint.

  148. noexitlovenow says

    @MARKKO
    Let me ask again.
    What actions do you take that you know I do not take regarding the treatment of animals that make you a better person than me?
    In order to justify the ridiculous statement “You truly are horrible human being.” you will need to answer this question.

  149. Vivec says

    Oh boy, are we legit appealing to Socrates’ kallipolis?

    Socrates was arguing in favor of a fascist police state that outlawed any non-propaganda forms of media because he thought it was better for the soul, and argued that democracy was bad because it let people choose what they want to do with their lives.

    So like, yeah, he was kind of an idiot zealot. No less so than a christian zealot that wants to bring about a holy theocracy a la Handmaid’s Tale.

  150. noexitlovenow says

    @Vivec
    Of course, if you purposely ignore the point of the post you can spin any fake diversion. This is a dishonest and doesn’t promote reasoned discussion. It is trolling behavior.

  151. Vivec says

    You asked if Socrates is a zealot, quoting a passage with him designing his ideal city. I responded that, given the account he gives of his ideal city, he is indeed an insane zealot.

    Also, lol, not gonna feel too bad about being accused of trolling by a vegan on an atheist blog.

  152. StonedRanger says

    At first I was bored by noexit, now I am in stitches. Troll whines and then whines some more. To paraphrase ‘I been here a long time and I have every right to troll here so you guys stop being mean to me’. Hilarious. Please do go on, tell us some more. Just like every christian I ever talked or debated with, Noexit is right and everyone else is wrong. No matter what we say or how we present it, just wrong. So in the spirit of the game, Noexit, you are wrong and I am right. (Accompanied by lots of foot stomping and teeth gnashing).

  153. noexitlovenow says

    @Shaun
    Butthurt?
    Dude, you should review your posts.
    You make an argument that relies on cows being endangered. I point out that cows are not anywhere close to being endangered. And you lose you temper and do nothing but insult ever since.
    Kind of the definition.

  154. Vivec says

    @158
    Alright, pedant, you sarcastically referred to Socrates as a zealot, which I affirmed using literally the same work you quoted.

    I think the other fun citation is Doyle, given that he was an idiot that thought fairies are real.

  155. noexitlovenow says

    @Nathan
    Please point out something relevant. Cows are not anywhere near being endangered. If you and I stop eating cows this will make no difference. If everyone in this blog stops eating cows this will make no difference. If everyone in the United States stops eating cows this will make no difference. They will still not be near to being endangered.

    If and when, the the species of domesticated animals is threatened (in a 100 years or more), we can discuss further what, if anything, should be done about that, but until that time you are promoting the suffering of animals without any good reason that you have expressed.

    When making arguments you should engage in minimal reality checking to determine whether your argument actually has any relevance to the real world.

  156. Nathan says

    Well this proves it, you have no understanding of how cattle are raised. Vegans are the dumbest people alive.

  157. noexitlovenow says

    @Nathan
    Rather than insult, which I have found that is all you are good for, make an argument then, if you can.
    Enlighten me how an understanding of how cattle is raised shows how cows endangered if you and I stop eating them.

  158. Nathan says

    Domesticated cows are breed for their consumption, if there is no demand people will stop breeding them. How is this hard to understand?

  159. noexitlovenow says

    @Nathan
    Yeah. That is my argument. We agree on this; although, there are a couple of geniuses on this blog who argue otherwise.
    If people stop buying bits of cow carcass in the super market and stop buying Big Macs, the cattle ranchers stop breeding them. If they aren’t bred they cannot suffer, and we cannot mistreat them or kill them.
    How is this hard to understand?

  160. Nathan says

    And if we killed all animal life on Earth there would be no suffering anymore. Problem solved.

  161. noexitlovenow says

    @nathan,
    Again, I suggest you try a little reality testing again.
    There are negative consequences for us and the planet that wold result from that non-serious proposal.

  162. noexitlovenow says

    @Nathan
    It in now way leads there. You should try going outside or something. You have lost the ability to argue about real things in the real world. You are talking nonsense.
    More trolling.

  163. Nathan says

    You want people to become vegan so they won’t breed animals so animals won’t suffer. This will cause them to become extinct, which you agreed was good. You are the one who needs to rethink things.

  164. says

    @Nathan

    As you can see thinking isn’t vegie troll boy’s strong suit. Actually can’t comprehend that there actually won’t be cows around.

    Thinks (due to a vegan mindset) that this will only mean that the forced breeding by humans will stop and there will continue to be a happy little community of wild cows that set up a small independent state of their own somewhere near Denmark.

    Either that or he actually thinks they would be better off not existing as a species rather than being domesticated. Since the detail of what he wants here isn’t clear and since I won’t engage to ask, I can’t really be sure.

    The former shows naivete to believe that. The latter shows zealotry, to even entertain the idea that a species is better off not existing rather than being domesticated.

  165. noexitlovenow says

    @Nathan
    I’ve already explained this, and anyone who actually thinks about the real world instead of mere concepts understand it.

    Cows are not anywhere near being endangered. If you and I stop eating cows this will make no difference. If everyone in this blog stops eating cows this will make no difference. If everyone in the United States stops eating cows this will make no difference. They will still not be near to being endangered.

    If and when, the the species of domesticated animals is threatened (in a 100 years or more), we can discuss further what, if anything, should be done about that, but until that time you are promoting the suffering of animals without any good reason that you have expressed.

    When making arguments you should engage in minimal reality checking to determine whether your argument actually has any relevance to the real world.

  166. noexitlovenow says

    @Shaun,
    Still trying to argue that if you and I stop eating cows they will become extinct?
    Please re-read my response above.
    You are being purposely dense and dishonest.

  167. Nathan says

    Why would we keep breeding cows if we weren’t going to use them? Also, 100 years, seriously?

  168. says

    @Nathan

    Herein lies the problem of talking with zealots. They will dismiss anything you say that does not align with their views.

    It is quite obvious to everybody else around that if cows are no longer used for food then we will stop breeding them.

    But let’s assume that we just let them go and fend for themselves.. then what? Well they’re not staying on the farmland are they? That land will be used by the farmer to produce other stuff. So they naturally will have to move into the habitats of other animals, causing disruption to their environment and starvation among species competing for the now scarce resources.

    In addition to that, a slow moving, docile species becomes the favourite of the predators.

    You haven’t made life better for the cows, you’ve made it worse. Starvation and predation are what controls species numbers in the wild.

  169. theisntist says

    I’m an omnivore but I gotta say, you guys are making some of the stupidest arguments against vegetarianism I’ve every heard. Seriously, Cows are gonna go extinct if we don’t eat meat? Like in India? This topic has opened my eyes to the reality that being a skeptic on the god claim has no bearing on one’s ability to look at other things rationally.

    My view is that our perspective on the treatment of animals is a byproduct of religion, we’ve been told for centuries that humans are below god and above slaves and animals. Even after we throw god out of the equation and abolish slavery we still consider ourselves above the animals, it’s hard to step off that pedestal voluntarily.

    If morality is based on well being, and I think it should, why wouldn’t that extend to all feeling creatures? The burden of proof should lie with those who wish to allow the suffering of creatures to continue, to make their case as to why that is acceptable.

    I’m not arguing against eating meat, rather against allowing suffering, which in today’s factory farming methods are almost
    synonymous.

  170. says

    theisntist..

    Interesting. All of a sudden someone who has never posted on here before pipes, and despite claiming to be an omnivore (and therefore not a vegan).. parrots the vegan view precisely.

    Is this a sock puppet by any chance?

  171. says

    My view is that our perspective on the treatment of animals is a byproduct of religion, we’ve been told for centuries that humans are below god and above slaves and animals.

    That is a view that you are entitled to. I personally look at this as:

    1) Trying to tie in the eating of meat to religion, thus making the topic relevant to an atheist forum. Frankly, given the comments on the thread about the relevance of this discussion to atheism I find this attempt transparently disingenuous.

    2) Trying to tie the domestication of animals to human slavery, thus making it a moral argument of equal magnitude.

    I suspect that this poster is either a sock puppet or a colleague of the other vegan troll. Of course I can’t verify this, but when you hear a duck quacking…

  172. noexitlovenow says

    @theisntist

    “Seriously, Cows are gonna go extinct if we don’t eat meat?”

    Exactly.

    That is the quality of argument I get from this think tank full of “skeptics”. They seriously make this argument. You point out how nonsensical it is and they just return with the same. Not only that but there a couple who have teamed up with this argument. You would think one would straighten out the other, and there might be a bit of “the intelligence of crowds thing” going on, but no they seem to reinforce the delusional argument.

    The problem is they don’t argue honestly, they just want to get the insult in. I cannot imagine that they actually think this is a good argument. I have to think that because the alternative is just too pathetic/sad.

    One thing I have found when arguing in this forum there is a lot of arguing that makes no reference to the real world. They make abstract conceptual arguments that miss the mark so tragically because they don’t calibrate with how things work in the real world.

    Of course, anyone living in the real world and thinking honestly and reasonably understands that the world population will stop eating meat over time and that this will take a long time – probably with some never doing so. Further, anyone living in the real world and thinking honestly and reasonably understands that humans are capable of monitoring the health of the domesticated animal populations and taking action if they think those populations need to be preserved. (There are already private sanctuaries with domesticated animals, and the populations are not even threatened yet).

    Further, we all as individuals can make compassionate choices. Each is responsible for their own ability to respond to animal suffering. We don’t need to wait for others. It isn’t an everyone at once or none situation, of course. Anyone making the compassionate choice reduces the suffering of animals and endangers the populations of domesticated animals not one whit.
    In fact, currently, the population of domesticated animals is an ecological problem. An individual going vegan reduces the suffering of animals AND reduces the ecological problem caused by the overpopulation of domesticated animals so is currently it is a win/win situation.

  173. noexitlovenow says

    @Monocle Smile
    ““in a 100 years” “This should tell you all anyone needs to know.”

    What does it tell you?

    Evidently, you are too timid and too dishonest to actually make an argument?

  174. noexitlovenow says

    @Nathan
    “Why would we keep breeding cows if we weren’t going to use them?

    We would breed them to the extent that we used them. As people stopped eating meat over time we would breed fewer and fewer of them, of course.

    Please focus on the real world and how it works. Do you really expect that everyone on the planet is going to stop eating meat at once? Seriously?

    “Also, 100 years, seriously?”

    That was a guess. The point is the world population will stop eating meat over time and that this will take a long time – probably with some never doing so. Further, humans are capable of monitoring the health of the domesticated animal populations and taking action if they think those populations need to be preserved.

  175. noexitlovenow says

    @Shaun
    “Really? agreeing with your own sock puppet? Now I’ve seen it all.”

    What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

  176. noexitlovenow says

    @Nathan

    “But let’s assume that we just let them go and fend for themselves.. ”

    Why the fuck would we do that?

    That is the whole point of not breeding so many – so you don’t have any that people are not being raised for food.

    Try to keep up.

  177. says

    So… All this back and forth with a zealot. Is there a single meat eater now who is more inclined to go vegan?

    Kind of pointless really. What vegie troll doesn’t get is that zealotry turns people off. Especially people such of atheists who by their very nature oppose dogma. Kind of self defeating isn’t it?

  178. noexitlovenow says

    @MARKKO
    Still no response.
    What actions do you take that you know I do not take regarding the treatment of animals that make you a better person than me?

    In order to justify the ridiculous statement “You truly are horrible human being.” you will need to answer this question.

    Evidently, you merely wanted to insult me, but did not have any lead in that pencil.

  179. noexitlovenow says

    @Shaun
    “Kind of pointless really. ”

    Not sure why you insist on doing it then – especially when you think it is off topic.

  180. Mobius says

    Oh, Jeez. Practically the whole thread has been hijacked by the Vegans. What a waste of time.

    When it comes right down to it, a Vegan diet without supplements is not going to support a human in full health. As has been noted above, some essential nutrients just can’t be found in plants. So a Vegan diet require supplements, and some of those supplements are a bit pricey. Pricey enough that a poor person can’t afford them. So a person on a very limited budget is going to require meat or other animal products to get the essential nutrients in their diet.

    We evolved as omnivores. We humans don’t have the digestive tract to go full Vegan without supplements.

  181. indianajones says

    @Shaun and perhaps some others. I want to agree with you, and I will. But before I do I want to point out that I think that when you, and others, have said things like ‘Every time a vegan comes on here and preaches, I am going to have a steak’ that that is just being a dickhead about it. If nothing else you are allowing those that disagree with your position to affect your behavior. And in a way that it is specifically them being a dickhead about it. Or so it seems to me. I, OTOH I think, try not to let dickheads influence my behavior one way or the other.

    But that’s a nitpick and is in not way meant to imply that I in anyway endorse the opposing dickheads’ position. There are non-dickheads who more intelligently and cogently and honestly put very similar arguments. I mentioned my sister above as a personal example. To labor the point perhaps, I can dismiss individual what I am calling veganist dickheads whilst not dismissing veganism and without being a militant aveganist

    Moving on, I want to address the atheism+ point you raised. I agree that the attempt to append support for xyz to atheism was a mistake, but for different reasons. It came from a good place being trying to demonstrate that atheists are also, again what I am going to call, goodists. It caused a rift or rifts between atheists who wanted to also advance the causes of several good things who disagreed about where the emphasis should lie. The idea that that Atheism as a bare definition ONLY and some, wanted to add to it is actually an encouraging sign I think. Note the kind of arseholes who insisted that definitional atheism was the only true atheism, often with dogmatic fervor. Adding to it was a bad idea coming from a good place, It was not a bad idea for the reasons the dogmatists advanced, I think. That being that atheism could now be reasonably appended by default to other things in many peoples thinking as it has shrunk that small towards being assumed. It is becoming that un-important in that sense. Just as no one called themselves a theist until there was an option and now they do, although their trajectory is on the way down towards irrelevance. When it was just assumed, it had no real meaning, added no information to any other position held. Now that it can’t be necessarily assumed, it needs a label. Atheism is on it’s way to not having to be explicitly stated because (sooner and sooner I hope!) it is on it’s way up and soon it won’t add any information in exactly the same way.

    So you know, there’s that….

  182. says

    ‘Every time a vegan comes on here and preaches, I am going to have a steak’ that that is just being a dickhead about it.

    You’re welcome to your opinion about how I comment. It doesn’t concern me.

    I consider it pointless to engage zealots, but that doesn’t stop me expressing my disdain for them, and I will do that how I see fit. That is not the way you would do it perhaps, but then you do it your way and I will do it my way.

    I’m not one for being concerned about offending people.

  183. says

    Moving on, I want to address the atheism+ point you raised. I agree that the attempt to append support for xyz to atheism was a mistake, but for different reasons.

    With regard to that, I’m not saying the ideals expressed by atheism+ were bad by the way. I think that a lot of atheists are socially progressive. People who moved in such circles would see that as the social norm. To then dictate that what you see as a social norm *MUST* be part of what being an atheist about was a really bad direction to take.

    From time to time you hear conservative atheists call in and they feel as though they are outsiders to the atheistRead mo‘Every time a vegan comes on here and preaches, I am going to have a steak’ that that is just being a dickhead about it.

    Read more: https://freethoughtblogs.com/axp/2018/01/21/open-thread-for-episode-22-03-matt-and-don/#ixzz55NtCCaHQ

    Moving on, I want to address the atheism+ point you raised. I agree that the attempt to append support for xyz to atheism was a mistake, but for different reasons.

    With regard to that, I’m not saying the ideals expressed by atheism+ were bad by the way. I think that a lot of atheists are socially progressive. People who moved in such circles would see that as the social norm. To then dictate that what you see as a social norm *MUST* be part of what being an atheist about was a really bad direction to take.

  184. indianajones says

    Fair ’nuff Shaun. I was more trying to wrench the thread back to something I consider more relevant to the show though.

  185. indianajones says

    Oh, and then you are posting your 198 I was writing my reply to your 197 lol. I by and large endorse your 198.

  186. says

    Moving on, I want to address the atheism+ point you raised. I agree that the attempt to append support for xyz to atheism was a mistake, but for different reasons.

    With regard to that, I’m not saying the ideals expressed by atheism+ were bad by the way. I think that a lot of atheists are socially progressive. People who moved in such circles would see that as the social norm. To then dictate that what you see as a social norm *MUST* be part of what being an atheist about was a really bad direction to take.

    ..Was all I meant to say. The shell I am using added the extra text. Apologies for that.

  187. indianajones says

    Oh, and to round out, my thoughts on you causing offence. I am not one to be spectacularly concerned either. I simply don’t find it very effective, to the point of alienating people whom I respect and agree with. But hey fill your boots, with my hearty endorsement. I AM concerned about being influenced by dickheads, one way or the other.

  188. says

    I simply don’t find it very effective, to the point of alienating people whom I respect and agree with.

    I take your point and I agree exactly with what you’re saying as a matter of fact. I see these tactics and they are off putting to me as well. I certainly debate much more civilly when I disagree with someone but feel they are arguing a case in good faith.

    However, when it comes to me experience, I have yet to encounter one that argues in good faith. Therefore I don’t debate, I dismiss.

    With some others, people of religious faith for example, these people are entitled to their beliefs and if they choose to hold those beliefs and don’t do anything to me, I have no problem with their faith and their beliefs though I don’t hold them myself. I could debate a sincere believer civilly if he was prepared to concede that I had a right to not believe as much as he has a right to believe.

    Same with vegans. They are welcome to choose not to use animal products. It is their choice.

    However when they insist I do likewise, they should be given short shrift immediately. If I come across harsh it is because I am not then trying to persuade or sway anyone. I am saying.. show’s over.

  189. Theisntist says

    Although I comment here infrequently, I certainly have done so a number of times. To suggest I’m a sock puppet because I happen to agree with someone else is absurd. None of the points I made were expressed by the vegan poster. (My actual name is Ian and I live near SF.)

    I also agree that saying you’re going to eat a big steak out of spite is ridiculous, it reminds me of the rednecks that spew black smoke from their trucks to stick it to Al Gore.

    Animal right are admittedly tangential to atheism, but the topic is an opportunity to apply our reason in a new direction, one which challenges a different set of assumptions that we’ve grown up indoctrinated into. If the topic makes you angry perhaps you should spend less effort expressing that anger and more effort asking why.

  190. paxoll says

    @Theisntist, not sure where you came into this convo, but I have very reasonably rebutted every single one of noexitlovenow’s arguments. I have done so with reason and logic with links to evidence to support my conclusions. He has ignored them and continued to spout the same rhetoric. From all of the evidence and reason the overwhelming conclusion is me eating a vegetarian diet would not reduce animal suffering at all. In fact approximately 18 million americans have done this and have not reduced animal suffering at all. Mandatory shutting down of our entire meat industry, would not reduce animal suffering in the long run.

  191. theisntist says

    Paxoll, considering the quantity of comments it’s not surprising my previous one skipped your notice! It was comment 81, and I was immediately accused of being a sock puppet.

    Sorting out your comments from the far more toxic Shaun’s, I do agree that humanely raised food is a reasonable goal, but I don’t think it is possible to humanely raise the amount of meat that is presently consumed worldwide. If for instance meat consumption was cut in half, through an increase in vegetarianism and a reduction of meat by others, it’s probably possible to raise living standards of food animals to a reasonable degree, but a combination of public policy and personal choices would be needed for such change to take place. Here in CA we voted to increase the space afforded to egg laying hens and breeding sows, and prices barely went up. That’s a start. But if we were to mandate all beef cattle be raised to the standard of, say Neiman Ranch (a local outfit that raises it’s beef humanely), we would need far more land devoted to raising beef, and unless it is coupled with a significant reduction in beef consumption, that’s impossible. Yes that would increase prices, but is it fair to demand cheap prices if they require suffering to maintain?

    This is off topic to atheism, but I think it’s important to ask what a world based on secular morality should look like if we question all assumptions based on childhood indoctrination. Leonardo DaVinci is perhaps history’s greatest example of someone who questioned assumptions, and in his words, “the time will come when men will look upon the murder of animals as they look upon the murder of man.”

  192. sayamything says

    @Nathan the human race needs to be told not to eat Tide Pods. I’m pretty sure we should be put out of our misery at this point.

    Then we can let nature get back to natural animal suffering, the vegan way. 😉

  193. paxoll says

    @theisntist There is a difference in animals not suffering, and animals living an idealized life. While brainstorming realistic methods for obtaining the most ethical standard of raising animals for food may be interesting to you, it is irrelevant to the topic and argument presented. Which is in order a) is it morally wrong to eat meat, and the answer to that is no. b) not eating meat reduces the suffering of animals. which the answer to is also no.

  194. Theisntist says

    I agree that one person not eating meat might not reduce suffering of animals since others will probably eat it instead, the same can be said of one person not having slaves. Changing an unjust system requires a combination of personal choice and public policy, and both require first accepting that the present system is morally wrong, and that means extending our moral code to include a group that has been traditionally excluded.

    So, even though one person not eating meat doesn’t of itself reduce suffering, it’s mathematically impossible to end the suffering of food animals without a lot of people doing so.

  195. says

    @Theisntist

    If you are not a sock puppet quite happy to apologise.

    Doesn’t mean I don’t stand by my comments that I disagree with your attempts to link religion and slavery with meat eating. They are both weak arguments all the same in my opinion.

    You may have a a different view depending on how you see world from where you are. In Australia the religious dominionist idea isn’t very prevalent. This idea that we have stewardship over the land and the beasts to do as we please is one for the fundies in America to own. Being around those type of people may colour your view.

  196. says

    Changing an unjust system requires a combination of personal choice and public policy, and both require first accepting that the present system is morally wrong, and that means extending our moral code to include a group that has been traditionally excluded

    @Theinstist

    For someone who isn’t a vegan, you’re doing a good impression of one. I’m calling bullshit on that.

    On the subject of the present system being morally wrong, I disagree. We are animals. We are predator animals. Our biology is omnivore not herbivore. living being consume other living beings to survive – all living beings. There is no other option.

    But please.. if you are inclined to reply, please explain to me how on the one hand you claim to be an onmivore, yet express the view that eating meat is morally wrong – a tenet of the vegan church?

  197. markko says

    @noexitlovenow says
    @MARKKO
    Let me ask again.
    What actions do you take that you know I do not take regarding the treatment of animals that make you a better person than me?

    I don’t need to justify myself or answer that question. I only react to your actions which you promote here to allegedly lessen animals suffering. First you assume that animals are suffering just because they live. That is incorrect and animals don’t suffer by default just because they are alive.
    Second, what do you promote here that others and you do for animals that live and suffer in your opinion? Nothing for them. Nothing! You let them suffer until they die and do nothing for THEM. You only to something for yourself to get better felling. You just change your diet and you do that for YOU.
    Third, your approach to problem is cruel and heartless. I just can’t see it in another way. If there are living beings who suffer then your solution is – let them live and suffer until they die. And then you congratulate yourself and say – see, living beings do not suffer anymore. Because there are no living beings anymore.
    Maybe you are not horrible human being but you surely do all to display yourself that way here.

  198. Theisntist says

    @shaun
    Sorry, I’m still not a sock puppet, your psychic powers aren’t as strong as you think. I’m also still not a vegan. If you reread my posts, I’m not arguing against eating meat per se, but against animal suffering. Unfortunately, with present factory farming methods the two are pretty much synonymous. I love a big pasture raised, humanely slaughtered steak, but it costs more and uses more land, so if we similarly raised the standards for the treatment of all food animals there would be less meat to feed a growing human population, therefore reforming our food system to reduce animal suffering would require a significant reduction in meat consumption.

    Don’t worry, f the system were reformed, you personally wouldn’t have to become a vegan, but you would have to pay more for animal products which might cause you to eat less of them.

    I keep going back to the slavery comparison, because their lives are similarly atrocious. Many slaveholders viewed the practice as wrong (Jefferson comes to mind), but continued to own slaves who they hopefully treated with dignity while working to reform the system.

    Similarly, I think I can do more to reform the system by purchasing humanely raised animal products than I can by being a vegan, but I appreciate the choices of vegans and vegetarians, because they are helping to conserve the extra land needed to raise my humanely raised hamburger!

    By the way, my views stem from my first job working at an egg ranch. No creature should be forced to endure the cruelty I witnessed there. I suspect if every carnivore saw the conditions their food animals endured they would have a different attitude.

    If you still think I’m a vegan sock puppet then you are beyond reach.

  199. Evil God of the Fiery Cloud says

    So it seems there’s no show today? Was it posted somewhere what’s going on?

  200. Evil God of the Fiery Cloud says

    Nevermind. Seems it’s tech issues. The initial alert was somewhat alarmingly vague, hahaha.

  201. General Zod says

    Am I the only one that thinks that Zach sounds like good ol’ “Mark of Austin Stone”?

  202. says

    If you still think I’m a vegan sock puppet then you are beyond reach.

    Well looks like I’m beyond reach then.

    When I see this from you:

    Leonardo DaVinci is perhaps history’s greatest example of someone who questioned assumptions, and in his words, “the time will come when men will look upon the murder of animals as they look upon the murder of man.”

    And then compare that that to the noexit guy who has now disappeared, and his use of quotes from historical figures, I get suspicious. No one can know if someone is truly a sock puppet, but why not flag something like that and let others make up their own minds?

    Comparing the killing of animals for food to the murder of a human is a very vegan thing. So don’t piss on my shoes and tell me it’s raining.

  203. Theisntist says

    Since Shaun is dead set on making an unproven accusation (which I happen to know to be incorrect), I’ll return the favor: I am convinced that he abuses small animals by putting them up his butt. No one can know for sure, but it’s a very carnivore thing to do. Impressive accomplishment while simultaneously pulling theories out of the same orifice.

  204. Mobius says

    No AXP this Sunday. What a lousy way to start the week.

    As for theisntist being a sock puppet…well, I certainly can’t say with certainty, but it is a bit suspicious the he shows up just as noexitlovenow disappears, uses the same arguments and style of writing, and even uses the same style of screen name.

  205. says

    @Mobius

    It’s times like this I wish I had a greater understanding of the techniques used to determine unique writing style (whatever they are called).

    But.. like I said I was just putting a suspicion out there. That way others, like yourself, can say either I’m talking rubbish or maybe I have a point.

    I find sock puppetry to be a particularly reprehensible tactic – usually impossible to prove and very disruptive to sincere online debate. So if I suspect, why not just say so?

    The thing is, why use a sock puppet? If your views are self evidently valid they stand by themselves. It shows the weakness of your argument. If you have to tell a thousand lies to defend your truth, what kind of truth is it?

    In this case the original poster wasn’t cutting through, so suddenly a new poster appears and continues the “meat is murder” and “eating meat is immoral” line of attack. Far too coincidental for me.

  206. theisntist says

    Okay guys, you are sounding like a bunch of Alex Jones level conspiracy theorists. I agree that sock puppets are a “reprehensible tactic” so we actually have some common ground here. But you are wrong to say I’m continuing the “meat is murder and eating meat is immoral line of attack”, because I’ve never made that point, I’ve argued that the level of mistreatment that is standard in the present system is immoral and am suggesting steps to make it humane. (Yeah, the DaVinci quote was against eating meat altogether and I considered altering it to better fit my position, but who am I to edit DaVinci?) I jumped in because you guys were making some bad arguments that I felt needed to be countered, but now you’re making an even worse one that I know it is empirically false.

    This is an interesting topic if one lets go of their biases and just tries to look at it openly. If meat eating isn’t intrinsically immoral, but the system that produces it is, is it then immoral to eat meat? There is no bright line such as with slavery, but we should all be able to agree that forcing an animal to live its whole life unable to turn around is immoral, and multiplying that by millions is a moral outrage.

    Secular Humanism is the most common form of an atheist moral code, and it’s blind spot is right there in the name, Humanism. Darwin showed us that humans are animals, and the divisions between us and them are not so clear as we’d like to think.

    As Richard Dawkins explained, “Such is the breathtaking speciesism of our Christian-inspired attitudes, the abortion of a single human zygote (most of them are destined to be spontaneously aborted anyway) can arouse more moral solicitude and righteous indignation than the vivisection of any number of intelligent adult chimpanzees! […] The only reason we can be comfortable with such a double standard is that the intermediates between humans and chimps are all dead.”

    And I guess I’m not the only meat eater that is able to see the moral dilemma of my actions. Dawkins, when asked if he ate meat and if so, why, replied, “What I am doing is going along with the fact that I live in a society where meat eating is accepted as the norm, and it requires a level of social courage which I haven’t yet produced to break out of that. It’s a little bit like the position which many people would have held a couple of hundred years ago over slavery. Where lots of people felt morally uneasy about slavery but went along with it because the whole economy of the South depended upon slavery.”

    You might not agree with my attempts to link the meat industry with slavery, or our view on animals with religion, but then you’ll have to take it up with Dawkins.

  207. Monocle Smile says

    @theisntist
    It’s getting harder and harder to find atheists who so casually use Richard Dawkins to bolster a flaccid argument from authority, so that makes me a bit suspicious. Personally, I don’t give a fucking fuck what Dawkins says, and I laugh at the term “speciesism.”

    Darwin showed us that humans are animals, and the divisions between us and them are not so clear as we’d like to think.

    Firstly, Linnaeus showed this well before Darwin, and secondly, the divisions for the most part are still significant. Sapience, for instance, is largely what makes us human. Only a few other animals border on sapience, and note that we don’t eat them. I also don’t actually know anyone who’s okay with vivisection of a living adult chimpanzee and it’s baffling that you seem to imply that loads of us are. Calling secular humanism’s focus on humans a “blind spot” is a reach at best, dishonest garbage at worst.

    If meat eating isn’t intrinsically immoral, but the system that produces it is, is it then immoral to eat meat?

    No, and this has already been exposed as a dishonest line of argumentation. Move along; nothing to see here.

  208. RationalismRules says

    @theisntist

    Quoting Dawkins:

    What I am doing is going along with the fact that I live in a society where meat eating is accepted as the norm, and it requires a level of social courage which I haven’t yet produced to break out of that. It’s a little bit like the position which many people would have held a couple of hundred years ago over slavery. Where lots of people felt morally uneasy about slavery but went along with it because the whole economy of the South depended upon slavery.

    That’s a good demonstration that Dawkins can make as crap an argument as any of us.

    It takes ‘social courage’ to campaign against social norms, but to simply not participate in them only requires courage where there is pressure to conform. Perhaps there may once have been social pressure to eat meat, but in Dawkins’ lifetime I would think that the most you could say is that vegetarians may have been regarded as ‘a bit odd’.

    Meh, I was keeping out of this one because sanctimonious vegans bore the crap out of me. Can’t let such a specious argument from a bit of a hero pass without comment, though.
     
    Since I’m here, I will add:
    @Shaun
    theisntist reads to me far more reasoned and reasonable than noexitlovenow. I don’t buy the sock puppet hypothesis.

  209. says

    meat eating isn’t intrinsically immoral, but the system that produces it is, is it then immoral to eat meat?

    Actually I have to say that’s a fairly strong argument.

    @RR

    Fair enough, it’s just conjecture

  210. says

    I am vegan and here’s my two cents. My objection to eating meat is: Factory farming makes me sick to my stomach, and as long as I do not kow where the meat in my grocery store comes from I won’t eat it.
    But to the immorality of eating meat, I don’t think it is. There are ways of killing animals quickly and humane.
    But factory farming I think is immoral. It’s not good for the animals in any way and not good for us eating these animals that have been filled with medicine and pushed through a meat machine.
    I think Sam Harris is right when he says that factory farming is a horror show and is ethically indefensible.

    I know there is meat to be bought that has not been factory farmed, but still, it would take some convincing before I eat meat again.

  211. paxoll says

    @theisntist One problem with those lines of argument is the fact that not only are humans animals, but according to the tree/bush of “life” everything is equal and related. For a vegetarian what makes it wrong to eat a lobster, but you can spray your home for roaches? Why is it ok to kill tons of rodents and insects to grow a field of tomatoes? Why is it wrong to eat a cow because it can suffer but not cauliflower that also responds to harmful stimuli? There is an arbitrary line drawn in the sand that requires some rational explanation to put it there and vegans don’t have one.

  212. Theisntist says

    @paxoll

    Reduction ad adsurdum much? No sane individual would ever equate the welfare of a cow with that of a cauliflower. There is a big difference between “response to harmful stimuli” and suffering.

    A reasonable goal is to prevent unnecessary suffering, which means different things for different species. If we’re going to eat chickens, for instance, we need to figure out what a chicken needs to have reasonably decent existence, and a stress and pain free death. Some animals need complex social structures and may be impossible to humanely raise for food.

    In the case of vermin, some of which are intelligent and social (such as rats), the key word is “necessary”, because allowing them to flourish would lead to disease and squalor. It is a justified war!

    As to equating the welfare of plants and animals, here is a fact to keep in mind, animals come from plants, and it takes several pounds of grain to make a pound of meat, so eating meat requires the death of not only that animal, but the death of everything it ate. So even if plants suffered it would still be more ethical to eat them than to eat higher up the food chain.

    This is a complex subject, and both carnivores and vegans are frequently guilty of looking at the issue simplistically. Both camps need to stop seeing this in absolutes so we can move towards a more humane food system.

  213. paxoll says

    @theisntist, please explain the difference between response to harmful stimuli and suffering? Is it the anticipation of that stimuli? No because you go on to talk about decent existence and complex social structures. Vegans can’t even make a good definition of suffering, because they want to draw their arbitrary line in the sand.

    Next you move the goalpost and talk about “unnecessary” suffering? Maybe you should stop arguing a side you don’t agree with.
    As for your “justified” war, that is absolutely ridiculous and off topic, what makes it just? The rats are eating the grain we want to eat, is a justified reason? How is that different then raising a cow, we are producing the animals and then killing them.

    As for your ridiculous animals eat plants too, that only matters to people trying to argue AGAINST eating something, as well as the links to research I ALREADY provided that shows that plant and animal farming is the most efficient way to produce food. Sorry but the “carnivore camp” is not putting forth unsound arguments and unsupported assertions. Ask any “carnivore” on this forum if we should treat our food animals humanely and they will say yes. Not a complex subject.

  214. theisntist says

    I found this quote from a professor, which seems to apply, “if you want to quickly anger even the most reasonable person and make sure that he or she is no longer thinking rationally, start a conversation about eating meat.”

    “Response to harmful stimuli” is a good term for how plants without nervous systems adapt and survive. It’s basically a computer program at the cellular level that evolved which favors survival. Crude robots can be programmed to do the same thing. Nobody sane would argue that plants or self driving cars can suffer. But what can?

    It’s true all creatures are equal in an evolutionary sense (unlike the classic view with humans at the pinnacle), but not equal in their ability to suffer. For instance, it is possible that oysters haven’t evolved to feel pain. Their nervous systems are crude and since oysters don’t go anywhere, there was no need to develop a pain feedback loop to tell them what not to do. So bivalves might be the most humane meat source possible.

    I admit that when you move up to more intelligent creatures the boundaries get fuzzy, but that’s no reason to throw up your hands and settle for business as usual. Getting rid of veal crates for cattle, gestation crates for pigs, and battery cages for chickens is a start. Deciding that intelligent animals living in crowded squalor, never seeing the sun or engaging in their species’ natural behaviors is a reasonable next step. Of course, squalid conditions are usually the cheapest, most efficient way to raise meat. If we take the animal’s welfare into consideration, we would have to settle for a less efficient system. So, carnivores may agree we should treat food animals humanely, but we don’t, so what are they going to do about it?

    Secular Morality, not being bound to a thousand year old dogma, is in many was superior to Religious Morality, but not if we grandfather in some of its omissions of convenience.

  215. says

    I found this quote from a professor, which seems to apply, “if you want to quickly anger even the most reasonable person and make sure that he or she is no longer thinking rationally, start a conversation about eating meat.”

    Why the continued insistence on the use of quotes? It doesn’t bolster your argument. They’re rubbish quotes anyway. It seems what you’re trying to imply with this one is that those disagreeing with you are not thinking rationally. That is rubbish.

    ISecular Morality, not being bound to a thousand year old dogma, is in many was superior to Religious Morality, but not if we grandfather in some of its omissions of convenience.

    I really have an issue with this one. For the same reason I outlined earlier. I don’t like the going down the path of defining a set of items defined as “secular morality”. That’s when being secular is bound by dogma.

    For a meat eater, you make a great vegan. Why don’t you 1) just go vegan, or 2) just admit to everyone here that you are in fact a vegan who felt it would sound better if you claimed to be a meat eater.

    Now I personally don’t give a flying fuck if someone is a vegan – that is their business. I do give a fuck though if they say that because they are, I should be one too in order to be a “good person”. No different from my view on religion.

  216. says

    both camps need to stop seeing this in absolutes so we can move towards a more humane food system.

    I see this as a particularly, er, “problematic” statement. The way I am looking at it only one one camp wants to insist that they conform to their views.

    Like I already said.. I don’t have a problem with vegans being vegans. But they have a problem with me eating meat.

  217. Oli says

    Just want to give my two cents on this, because vegans are often represented or maybe represent themselves so negatively.

    I am a vegan and I have no problems with people eating meat. My reasons are purely personal, I am relatively convinced it is healthier and I came to the conclusion that meat doesn’t really increase my quality of life. (Btw I think this supplement thing is just not correct. I am perfectly healthy and take zero supplements. But this is of course debatable) I learned to cook and discovered the variety of vegan meals you can make and I just didn’t need it anymore. Sure I could eat some from time to time but I just figured if I don’t need it, it’s just unnecessary that an animal has to die for it (I know of course it doesn’t die directly for me, but still).

    What I have a problem with is obviously when animals are treated terribly. And I think many people will agree. I often hear: “Yeah that’s terrible and I don’t support that at all.” But the next day they buy the cheapest discounter meat. Which is literally supporting it with your money. But I understand that, I surely also buy cheap stuff sometimes that is made by people in very bad work conditions for example. So this is no blaming or thinking I am supperior or anything.

    What I would hope for is for people simply to think a little bit about their meat consumption. I used to eat meat pretty much everyday to every meal, just because I was used to it, even if it wasn’t very good meat. Maybe people could reduce it just a bit and it might even be beneficial for them and then spend a bit more money on meat that doesn’t come from factory farming.

  218. Theisntist says

    @shaun
    Not sure why you have such a hard time accepting the fact that carnivores exist that care about the quality of life of our food animals, but there are lots of us.

    The quote about rational people becoming irrational on the topic of meat can apply to vegans as well, but in the present thread it is in response to arguments such as “if we go vegan cows will go extinct” and “if we outlaw gestation crates we must also allow termites to eat our homes”. A five year old can see the flaws in the logic.

    The specific claim that I jumped in to address is that veganism does nothing to reduce suffering, which is why I have focused on the reality that making our food system more humane would require a reduction of meat production. If this thread was a bunch of vegans saying we need to stop all meat production I would be pointing out how a lot of land is only usable for grazing, and that humanely killing animals is no big deal, since every living thing dies – it is the quality of life that matters. I’m sure I would be as popular as a fart in an elevator, but no matter, I’m not an ideologue.

    Society has come a long way in our additude towards slavery, minorities, women, gays, transgenders, the handicapped, and endangered species, and we did it largely by turning away from our religious traditions. In my opinion the next wave of reform will be in the treatment of food animals. But for that to happen, rational people need to stop turning into blathering idiots when the suggestion is made that perhaps it’s not nice to lock sentient creatures in solitary confinement for life for the crime of being tasty.

  219. Porivil Sorrens says

    @232

    But for that to happen, rational people need to stop turning into blathering idiots when the suggestion is made that perhaps it’s not nice to lock sentient creatures in solitary confinement for life for the crime of being tasty.

    Opposition to factory farming was mentioned and supported several times in this thread.

  220. says

    Not sure why you have such a hard time accepting the fact that carnivores exist that care about the quality of life of our food animals, but there are lots of us.

    Look I’ll call this for what it is. A strawman. As Paxoll has already said, there is not one person contributing to this blog who doesn’t agree with the idea that farm practises should be humane. To put that up as your position is an attempt to misrepresent what everybody else on here believes so that you can claim some kind of moral high ground.

    This is why I believe you’re a closet vegan who finds some percentage in pretending to eat meat for the purpose of debate. That you are prepared to advance such a strawman argument suggests you’re not above disingenuous debating tactics.

    As for proposing that domesticated animals would go extinct if we no longer used them for food, why do you claim that is an irrational argument? What makes cows, sheep and pigs privileged species, when virtually every other species on earth is under threat from man? How does it make it irrational to say that without man’s protection, these species would do no better than thousands of other species? The main threat to animals is habitat destruction. What natural habitat do domesticated animals have without farmland dedicated to their existence?

    You don’t just get to assert that other people’s arguments are irrational without actually showing in what way they are irrational.

  221. theisntist says

    I’ve made my points. You don’t get it, that’s okay. I’m not going to worry myself about whether a random guy in Australia is capable of understanding nuance. 234 posts is plenty for this thread. Night night.

  222. says

    I’m not going to worry myself about whether a random guy in Australia is capable of understanding nuance.

    Ain’t got nothing to do with nuance. Got everything to do with you strawmanning. So you get called out for that and your response is, “Ah, dumb Australians ain’t got no grasp o’ nuance. Not like us city folk from Calaforn-I-A”

    Kind of easier than to back out that admit that A) we get what you’re saying B) there ain’t much nuance in the position of animals should be raised humanely and C) We spotted your strawman.

    I guess I left you nowhere to go. It’s what usually happens when people get called out.

  223. Monocle Smile says

    @theisntist

    Not sure why you have such a hard time accepting the fact that carnivores exist that care about the quality of life of our food animals, but there are lots of us.

    Shaun already called this out, but what the fuck is this shit? The implication that nobody else in the thread cares about the welfare of livestock is such a laughable and obvious lie that you seem to have outed yourself as a troll.

    If this thread was a bunch of vegans saying we need to stop all meat production I would be pointing out how a lot of land is only usable for grazing, and that humanely killing animals is no big deal, since every living thing dies

    Yet another “let’s ignore the whole thread and trollishly hope nobody notices” pile of crap. Try to stick the flounce.

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