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Thread: Rational Veganism

  1. #1
    Anti-anti-vacccine Dandelion's Avatar
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    Rational Veganism

    This treatise on rational veganism was done by the artist of this comic to deal with the fallout from bringing to light the inconsistency between arguments against atheism and veganism. Many well-versed atheists are well aware of the logical fallacies employed for the existence of god yet will gladly partake in doling them out when something challenges their own inconsistent views. I know i've ranted about this before but more and more i'm finding my own beliefs in great conflict with most of the vegan consensus. I find veganism not only rational friendly but an imperative. We all have our sacred cows but i wish more people would choose ones that treated all cows (and animals) sacred.
    It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.

  2. #2
    TO THE CORE! La Végétalienne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dandelion View Post
    more and more i'm finding my own beliefs in great conflict with most of the vegan consensus.
    Do you feel this way among ethical/AR vegans, or only when the mystic health food vegan gurus are included?

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    Anti-anti-vacccine Dandelion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by La Végétalienne View Post
    Do you feel this way among ethical/AR vegans, or only when the mystic health food vegan gurus are included?
    When it comes to ethical vegans I tend to disagree mostly on tactic and those nit-picky items. When those tactics involve some dubious information or downplaying the ethical part I kinda take issue. Perhaps I'm naive or optimistic but I think the best course is still truth and honesty above all. Advocating a position I don't find great evidence to support (health, environment, spiritual) to "get their foot in the door" or "ends justify the means CUZ THE ANIMALS ARE SUFFERING RIGHT NOW MAN" feels just plain wrong and backwards. A rational approach isn't sexy I know but perhaps it requires me to focus on making it so. I do believe that a person who seeks rational consistency will be vegan.
    It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.

  4. #4
    TO THE CORE! La Végétalienne's Avatar
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    I think the rational approach to most things is sexy.

    In terms of veganism though, I'm assuming you mean along the lines of the rights argument ŕ la Francione? (putting aside the rights vs. welfare tactics debate for the moment) My biggest stumbling block is that it seems a bit too academic for everyday conversation. How would you answer the questions of someone who had never met a vegan before and wanted to know what veganism is and why it matters?

    I don't do a very good job of reprazentin' out in the real world. I tend to fall back on the environment/health issues but then find myself with a lack of facts to support those arguments. I know I need to do a better job of saying, "Yes, in fact, I DO care about the animals," when people mock me for being too "sensitive" or whatever. The only problem I have with that, though, is that it's easy for people to write me off as a bleeding-heart, whereas the environment/health issues have a "here's what's in it for YOU" angle.

  5. #5
    Plant-Based Person nauthiz's Avatar
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    Try the guilt trip approach instead. Make it clear that we do not need to eat animals to be healthy, and then ask them why they do. If they insist that we do need them for health, shame them for being stupid in the face of obvious truth (after all, you've been vegetarian yourself for XXX years). Maybe they'll bring up life in Nord, Greenland or something, in which case you shame them by pointing out that that's a far cry from life in a wealthy, industrialized society in a temperate climate and suggest they look for an example that's actually relevant to our lives instead.

    Keep on that and try to get them to go for the only other obvious answer, which is that it tastes good. Then you can gently help them realize that that reason boils down to nothing more than killing for pleasure.

    Someone might mock you for being too sensitive, but at the same time they really don't want to be someone who kills for pleasure. If you can get them to see themselves in that light without doing anything accusatory*, they'll have something to think about for a good long time.

    * (That's big. They have to feel like they mostly realized it for themselves. If you just straight out tell them how to see it, then they'll find some way to dismiss you. Socratic method all the way here.)
    Last edited by nauthiz; 08-23-2009 at 11:08 AM.

  6. #6
    approves this message. stegan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dandelion View Post
    A rational approach isn't sexy I know but perhaps it requires me to focus on making it so. I do believe that a person who seeks rational consistency will be vegan.
    I disagree- I think it is sexy. I've always found that the most successful discussions I've had with omnis have been more in the rational vein. Which makes it sexy to me because like you say, it's so damn hard to refute if you consider yourself a rational person. Whereas health/environment/spiritual is all relative to the individual and you get lost in the arguing.
    acid funk for your ass.

  7. #7
    someday maybe KaliMama's Avatar
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    I vote yes. Are we voting?



    The thread title reminded me of this book, which is quite sane. Unlike some twelve step groups I have known. /OT
    ~WARNING: this post may contain jokes~

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Dandelion View Post
    When it comes to ethical vegans I tend to disagree mostly on tactic and those nit-picky items. When those tactics involve some dubious information or downplaying the ethical part I kinda take issue. Perhaps I'm naive or optimistic but I think the best course is still truth and honesty above all. Advocating a position I don't find great evidence to support (health, environment, spiritual) to "get their foot in the door" or "ends justify the means CUZ THE ANIMALS ARE SUFFERING RIGHT NOW MAN" feels just plain wrong and backwards. A rational approach isn't sexy I know but perhaps it requires me to focus on making it so. I do believe that a person who seeks rational consistency will be vegan.
    Forgive me if I'm being somehow naive, but aren't the environmental arguments generally rational? I've always considered environmental arguments part of my ethical veganism. We have to raise plants to feed animals, right? Even Al Gore advocates eating less meat. :duh smiley:
    Kindness counts!

  9. #9
    Reprazents veganshawn's Avatar
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    I think the environmental for vegan reasons has been bolstered by recent studies and is a valid argument. I wish all people would be vegan because they love animals, but it isn't the case.

  10. #10
    I personally feel pretty in line with the skeptic community (in that I'm a big ol' atheist wannabe science nerd who tries to think logically). Still, I can't help but feel shoved about by the brand of skepticism going around here lately. Inaccurate/unsubstantiated health claims have been made regarding veganism. I'm sure the same could be said for any category of pro-vegan claim. That does not invalidate other arguments within the same category.

    I value Animal Rights above other categories of pro-vegan arguments. That also does not invalidate solid arguments in other categories.

    Lastly, environmentalism is pro-AR in my mind. In veganism, we tend to focus on domesticated farmed animal species. Pro-environment=pro-wildlife AND pro-human.

    That's all.

    ETA: Never mind (largely). I had a moment.
    Last edited by downwithapathy; 08-23-2009 at 02:02 PM.
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  11. #11
    Plant-Based Person nauthiz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonja View Post
    Even Al Gore advocates eating less meat.
    Less meat is more meat than no meat.

    Environmental arguments for X are used to say you should do X less, not that you should quit doing it. It's not that you should quit using cars, it's that you should buy a Prius or sign up for a car sharing program. It's not that you should quit using disposable packaging, you should just reuse and recycle it. It's not that you should adjust your daily habits so you don't need artificial lighting, you should just switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs.

    It seems to me that only vegetarians even see the environmental arguments about animal product production as arguments for vegetarianism in the first place. Everyone else just sees them as arguments for flexitarianism. I think everyone else is probably more correct, in that that interpretation is more in line with how it works in all of greendom.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by nauthiz View Post
    Less meat is more meat than no meat.

    Environmental arguments for X are used to say you should do X less, not that you should quit doing it. It's not that you should quit using cars, it's that you should buy a Prius or sign up for a car sharing program. It's not that you should quit using disposable packaging, you should just reuse and recycle it. It's not that you should adjust your daily habits so you don't need artificial lighting, you should just switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs.

    It seems to me that only vegetarians even see the environmental arguments about animal product production as arguments for vegetarianism in the first place. Everyone else just sees them as arguments for flexitarianism. I think everyone else is probably more correct, in that that interpretation is more in line with how it works in all of greendom.
    Gotcha.

    My followup is this: Is widespread flexitarianism a potential improvement/worth working for on some level?

    Also, is flexitarianism a potential gateway to veg*anism?

    I do see the value in arguing a point that doesn't give an "out."
    Last edited by downwithapathy; 08-23-2009 at 02:01 PM.
    Kindness counts!

  13. #13
    Plant-Based Person nauthiz's Avatar
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    Oh, totally. I just don't see it as a direct argument for veganism (or even vegetarianism) per se.

  14. #14
    Anti-anti-vacccine Dandelion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by La Végétalienne View Post
    My biggest stumbling block is that it seems a bit too academic for everyday conversation. How would you answer the questions of someone who had never met a vegan before and wanted to know what veganism is and why it matters?
    Rights arguments do get dry and abstract for the common person nevermind a vegan one. But really we don't need all that academic language to justify or explain it. We can distill it down to common sense plain language. "I believe in peace" is one i used to use when i was a hippie because who doesn't believe in peace? "it's the right thing to do" could be another but that might be accusatory. I think when we speak from the heart the message is felt rather than heard. In that sense it's best NOT to have a "line" and just learn how to be comfortable talking about it without the "omg i gotta get this right!" nervousness.
    It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.

  15. #15
    Anti-anti-vacccine Dandelion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by La Végétalienne View Post
    I think the rational approach to most things is sexy.
    Quote Originally Posted by stegan View Post
    I disagree- I think it is sexy.
    Obviously we have a bunch of nerds on this forum.
    It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.

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