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Comment Re:Vegan mums today. (Score 1) 487

then her philosophy really is too simple, as i suspect your understanding of the vegan community is.

There's no such thing as a 'philosophy of the vegan community' - there are millions of individuals each with their own ideas.

i'm not sure why "philosophy of the vegan community" is in quotes. i never put those words next to each other in that order.

i agree with you. there are lots of ideas. any that removes carrots from consumption on philosophical grounds is not representative of even a small portion of vegans.

Comment Re:Malnutrition (Score 1) 487

my answer to all of the "in the wild" comments is that cows are imported. left to their own devices, they would never have migrated here and would never have been bred into the weight-gaining machines they have been turned into by "modern" agriculture. so, by "left to their own devices," i don't simply mean opening the stalls of farms and leaving them alone. i mean what would have happened without any human interference. as for pigs, they seem to be be thriving in the wild, much to the chagrin of people who have to deal with them (see, for instance, "hogs gone wild" on discovery).

i do appreciate the fact that you took such good care of the animals. from everything i've seen and read about how most of the animals being fed to the public today are treated, what you did is no longer typical and hasn't been for quite some time. all of the new ag-gag bills being proposed are just further evidence (albeit circumstantial) that the agriculture industry has much to hide.

yes, we do live in an interconnected world, but by the logic of your last paragraph, we're all war profiteers too since the resources secured by such wars (mainly oil) are essential to pretty much everything. i do take issue with the idea that all the people who provided all those essential functions you list would not have been able to do it without eating meat. there are lots of vegetarians and vegans performing each of those functions just as well as their meat-eating counterparts.

Comment Re:Malnutrition (Score 1) 487

allow me to reply without name-calling. that is, quite simply, a very low standard for consent. again, we're comparing milking cows to breast-feeding, at least that's where this started. there is no comparison between the levels of consent given. there is no definition of "consent" i know of that would exclude a mother breast-feeding her own child. there are many definitions of "consent" that would exclude cows being milked. even with your logic, i would argue that "this situation" is one where their objections do not affect whether they get milked or not. when one's only choice has no effect, the lack of objection becomes a very, very low bar for consent. if you're comfortable with it, that's fine. i'm not.

Comment Re:Malnutrition (Score 1) 487

this is a very nice post. i enjoyed reading it and thank you for sharing because i think many vegans don't see this side of things and get unnecessarily righteous because of it.

nonetheless, i hope you're not offended that i will continue to not patronize your livelihood (or at least the one you grew up in) because i don't equate lack of objection with consent. and certainly the lack of an objection does not mean that the animals would do what you're trying to get them to do if left on their own.

Comment Re:Malnutrition (Score 1) 487

You ever been to a dairy farm? You should see what happens when to cows are not milked. Imagine a barn full of dairy cows that can raise the dead with the noise because their udders are swollen and they are in a lot of pain. They are happy to be milked. Or should we exterminate all dairy cows so they don't have to produce milk anymore? Dairy cows make milk that is what they were breed to do and all they can do. Dairy cow are better fed and like in clean barns compared to most cattle.

i have indeed been to a dairy farm. everything you describe is exactly why i don't consume dairy anymore. it's as artificial than a chip manufacturing plant.

Comment Re:Malnutrition (Score 1) 487

well, one easy standard to apply is "would they do were it not forced on them?"

I don't think that's the standard that most strict vegans use. Most strict vegans I know don't eat honey, but the bees will keep making it, regardless of what is "forced" upon them. The bees are "free" to leave. (I'm aware that they stay due to the presence of the queen, but the queen could theoretically leave too... but the bees just like making honey in that environment.)

and cows will continue to reproduce even if it isn't "forced" upon them. the question is whether these bees will simply make honey and leave it there or whether they would do something with it, not whether they will continue making it at all or not.

Anyhow, I think the real vegan rationale is more like some sort of perceived "exploitation." That's a subjective term, but I think that's really what's going on in vegan philosophy. The animals might make the food anyway, but we are exploiting them to make food for us.

Of course, we also exploit plants too when we harvest parts of them like leaves or roots, which they have to regrow (or perhaps they even die or are completely consumed). Even by eating the fruit and not letting the seeds be dispersed naturally, we often interfere with reproduction.

The problem with all of these arguments is that you can keep going and going until you can't eat anything because you're exploiting it. I've even heard some vegans have arguments about whether we can eat leavened bread -- aren't you "exploiting" the yeast??

The question is just where you stop, because you have to eat something, and generally speaking, you'll end up exploiting or killing something else in the process... no matter what it is.

the slippery slope argument again. if you view veganism as a philosophy or moral code, it's simply one of taking humans off the pedestal. we are not the end-all, be-all where everything must serve us. that is all. once you understand that, all you have to do is say, well, humans are important in some respects, so we get some resources, but everything else in the world has importance too so they deserve resources. drawing the line at animals is as much about practical convenience (ie we can just as easily get what we "need" without them) as it is a rule.

Comment Re:Malnutrition (Score 1) 487

well, one easy standard to apply is "would they do were it not forced on them?" i have yet to read about or see any animal in the wild stockpile their milk outside their bodies, let alone for consumption by another species.

So a mother feeding her child directly is vegan, but a mother stockpiling bottles of her milk (so the father can feed as well) is not?

um, simply, no. the mother can stockpile without it being forced on her.

Comment Re:Vegan mums today. (Score 1) 487

well, perhaps that's the moral. or perhaps it should be that a vegan that won't eat carrots doesn't represent the vegan community at all.

You're right - she was being philosophically rigorous.

then her philosophy really is too simple, as i suspect your understanding of the vegan community is.

Comment Re:Vegan mums today. (Score 1) 487

well, perhaps that's the moral. or perhaps it should be that a vegan that won't eat carrots doesn't represent the vegan community at all.

Or perhaps the moral is that we generally eat food that was previously alive. Where we draw lines about exploiting that "life" is usually based on arbitrary divisions projecting human feelings and morals onto things that have a very different experience of the world.

For most of the vegans I know who have a problem eating honey, I think the carrot really represents a conundrum. It is really a greater problem to exploit the work of bees than it is to rip a living organism out of the ground and kill it completely to consume it? Some people say that the bees still have a nervous system that can feel pain or something and harming or exploiting them is a problem... but have you never had a garden and stepped on a plant, or tore a leaf, or made some sort of other damage or barrier or whatever to the plant's growth? The plant will respond (albeit more slowly). It is a living thing, and it has systems designed to react to the environment, as all animals do.

The line is always arbitrary. For most people in my experience, it's primarily about "cute and cuddly" things more than anything else... and I'm not sure that's a good thing to build a moral philosophy on.

yes, indeed, the line is arbitrary. i have yet to come across a philosophy where the placement of that line lower on the food chain is less moral. perhaps the carrot presents a conundrum to those who need absolutes in their philosophy. but to those who simply want to shift that line, it's not a conundrum at all.

Comment Re:Vegan mums today. (Score 2) 487

My lady was once a raw food vegan fascist. One day she had the revelation that a carrot was alive and she couldn't bring herself to kill it. This led directly to the concept that all the food is alive, so fucking eat it. (or as I like to put it, THIS IS NECESSARY. LIFE FEEDS ON LIFE FEEDS ON LIFE FEEDS ON LIFE FEEDS ON...) A few years ago we were in the habit of eating a lot of chicken sausage. One day she asked me "Why is this sausage so good?" The answer was "because it's made out of pork". The moral is, people can change.

well, perhaps that's the moral. or perhaps it should be that a vegan that won't eat carrots doesn't represent the vegan community at all.

Comment Re:Vegan mums today. (Score 2) 487

Because people are happier using anecdote to support their opinions than they are changing their opinions when confronted by facts.

It's all about feelings.

totally agree. vegans are faced with the opinion that they and their children can not be healthy, pretty much daily. yet when the omnivores expressing this opinion are confronted by the fact that healthy vegans exist, it's very rare that said opinion changes.

Comment Re:Vegan mums today. (Score 1) 487

well, if you must have scientific study, you can start with this list. or, if you want to go beyond just the "family and children" category into general veganism, you can go up a level. the articles seem to focus on how a plant-based diet avoids many of the common childhood health problems, particularly obesity.

there's also this series of blog posts by a physician who is trying to evaluate all the scientific publications on the topic of vegan pregnancy out there. the basic takeaway in 10 different categories reviewed so far is that a well-planned vegan pregnancy is safe. while it does rely on supplements, a quick googling seems to indicate taking supplements is recommended for non-vegan pregnancies as well.

there's also this, which also relies on supplements, but the same source recommends all pregnant women take supplements and, again, i don't think they're unique in this regard.

there's also this already-quoted-and-bashed-below article from the american dietetic association.

Comment hello, straw man (Score 1) 487

But since non-human animals can't give us consent to take the milk they produced for their own offspring, that stolen cows' or goats' milk is not vegan.

Well, if you go into that, plants cannot give consent either. It seems like the only way out for vegans is starving to death.

"Giving consent" assumes being aware of the implications of what is happening. Unless you assume animals have the mental capability of understanding the abstract notion of property and the difference between stealing and buying, the act of giving consent has no meaning for them.

please remember this topic started with breast-feeding. there is a huge leap from a mother "consenting" to give her own child her own breast milk and attempts at interpreting cow behavior as "consenting" the being treated in the industrialized way by which milk is largely obtained (in the u.s. anyway).

also, isn't it a bit absurd to think property has anything to do with consent? i suppose if you want to drape the term "property" over an animal's desired treatments of their own body, i'd have to believe any animal is mentally capable.

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