Blog: Let Them Eat Meat

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Blog: Let Them Eat Meat

Postby Fallen_Horse » Wed Jun 20, 2012 5:46 am

I just found this blog. It's anti-vegan (mostly?), but it has quite well-thought articles. I don't agree with many of the author's conclusions, but it's refreshing (and disconcerting) to finally read some opinion pieces from an educated anti-vegan. For example, the most recent post discusses a challenge of anti-speciesism.

"This gets tricky for those philosophers who want to maintain a consistently anti-speciesist stance. That’s because it is prima facie speciesist for vegans to say that the starving or unhealthy should be allowed to kill and eat other animals, but not kill and eat other humans, since that suggests that other animals’ lives are worth less than ours. On the other hand, allowing the starving and unhealthy to kill and eat healthy humans if other animals abound is a tough sell.
So vegans who allow humans to eat flesh if their health or immediate survival depends on it, but want to maintain their claim to anti-speciesism, have two options. They can either argue that it’s not speciesist to allow the starving and unhealthy to always eat other animals before they would do the same to humans, or they can take the more consistent route and say that all sentient beings are equally fair game if you must eat sentient beings to survive or thrive."

http://letthemeatmeat.com/

Perhaps someone else can check out a few of the articles on the site and start up a good discussion here. Debate is always good, I think! :)
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Re: Blog: Let Them Eat Meat

Postby JP » Wed Jun 20, 2012 6:34 am

trouble is...

the stuff you quoted has no relevance to 99.99% of the population. Unfortunately a lot of vegan/AR activists spend too much time on useless philosophy. Thats not how social interactions work, and neither does social change.

Yeah, debating that kind of stuff is fun, kind of like playing some games, like dungeon & dragons, and equally useful for social change too.

Philosophers of course use a lot of time justifying why they are so important, but thats expected :)
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Re: Blog: Let Them Eat Meat

Postby Lordmuppet » Wed Jun 20, 2012 8:05 am

JP wrote:trouble is...

the stuff you quoted has no relevance to 99.99% of the population. Unfortunately a lot of vegan/AR activists spend too much time on useless philosophy. Thats not how social interactions work, and neither does social change.

Yeah, debating that kind of stuff is fun, kind of like playing some games, like dungeon & dragons, and equally useful for social change too.

Philosophers of course use a lot of time justifying why they are so important, but thats expected :)


Fun fact:I was a philosopher for ten years until last week :D

Your view about philosophers and AR is pretty common and to an extent i'm sympathetic but only to an extent.

We do need to separate out philosophy and rhetoric. Winning the argument often isn't enough, sadly.

You certainly go too far though. Singer's 'Animal Liberation' I'm pretty sure had a big impact and that's mainly a philosophy book. I'm sure others have also had a significant impact.

So I disagree insofar as I think the philosophy is important but I agree that winning the argument is insufficient for social change.

It also matters the sort of philosophy that is done. The dominant tradition right now in the Anglophone ethics world is frankly pretty useless due to it's methodology which very quickly abstracts away from stuff we actually care about. In particular the use that's been made of thought experiments is dodgy where your asked for your intuition about cases that you probably don't have any intuitions on (e.g. your on mars with a twin of yourself and a polar bear and you have to eat one ... okay i made that one up but it's not that far off the mark).

Oh hey and as far as this blog goes

1) they assume all AR people buy into the idea of 'specieism is what is wrong' (argh can't spell), probably because they think we are all utilitarians. That's not true. I don't rely on the concept myself and no one needs to in AR. It's interesting intellectually but unnecessary and a bad rhetorical move.
2) It's clear they haven't read any Singer even though they are talking about him. They don't understand Specieism which is (so it is argued) saying that human life is more valuable than non human animal simply by virtue of being human. It's not Specieist to say (as Singer does) that almost all (note the caveat) human lives are more valuable because we usually have more of x (be it intelligence, richness of emotional lives, ability to make plans whatever ... pick one or two) than non human animals and x is morally valuable.

The real challenge to Singer isn't the one suggested in the blog but rather objecting to the implication (which is explicit in Singer) that some animals may be more valuable than some (severely mentally disabled) humans.

edited for clarity

edited to add: without any philosophy behind it AR would just be dogma. You probably engage in a lot of philosophy yourself but you just don't call it that. Basically anything that involves informal logic involves philosophy :)

edited to add: so yeah reading that blog is a waste of time. If you are interested in Challenges to Singer read Raymond Frey.
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Re: Blog: Let Them Eat Meat

Postby beforewisdom » Wed Jun 20, 2012 8:45 am

Fallen_Horse wrote:http://letthemeatmeat.com/


What an odd name for a blog? Let the meat meat????? :)

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Re: Blog: Let Them Eat Meat

Postby beforewisdom » Wed Jun 20, 2012 8:49 am

JP wrote:trouble is...

the stuff you quoted has no relevance to 99.99% of the population. Unfortunately a lot of vegan/AR activists spend too much time on useless philosophy. Thats not how social interactions work, and neither does social change.

Yeah, debating that kind of stuff is fun, kind of like playing some games, like dungeon & dragons, and equally useful for social change too.

Philosophers of course use a lot of time justifying why they are so important, but thats expected :)


As someone who used to leaflet lot I agree that passing out leaflets of abstract ethical philosophy will not reach many ordinary people.

In regards to the larger point about philosophy in general. I know zero about music theory, but I have a feeling society would be much poorer without it. I'm pretty sure there are a lot of other things I am ignorant of that benefit me by living in a society where people make their contributions by endeavoring in those things.

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Re: Blog: Let Them Eat Meat

Postby Hiking Fox » Wed Jun 20, 2012 11:59 am

I agree with JP; philosophy is a load of bollocks that distracts people away from taking practical action to deal with situations that affect us here and now.

People go vegan because they want to reduce their role in animal suffering, human starvation, land wastage ...etc, or because they feel animal products harm their health. They don't go vegan because of some philosophical stance about the meaning and value of life. Well, maybe a tiny handful do, but they're hardly representative.

Starving people will eat whatever they can get their hands on, whether it is dead animal body parts, insect larvae, food thrown out in rubbish tips and bins etc. They'd probably be annoyed and appalled if they felt there were philosophers sitting around wasting their time speculating over it. Anyway, what do the food choices of starving people have to do with people on computers going vegan? (Aside from the fact that animal farming throughout history deprived people of land, that is?)

As for Animal Liberation, it's a crap book that promotes "free-range" egg production, written by an academic with a view of ethics that justifies causing suffering to a few to benefit many, and is therefore of little relevance to vegans.
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Re: Blog: Let Them Eat Meat

Postby vegimator » Wed Jun 20, 2012 3:11 pm

Ugh, I can never seem to escape my brother's stupid fucking blog. He kept it a secret from me for months after he created it and I only found out because I discovered it on my own. It's unfortunate that of all his writing projects, this blog is the one that's been most successful. Someone please buy a screenplay from him so this will stop.

And Lordmuppet, he definitely has read Singer and a shitload of other philosophy. He fucked up as a vegan (didn't supplement for anything for several years in and probably had a b12 or Vit D deficiency by the end) and now feels he has to justify and evangelize his new perspective. You'd think that would get old eventually.
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Re: Blog: Let Them Eat Meat

Postby xrodolfox » Wed Jun 20, 2012 5:35 pm

^ Fascinating. And sad.

I do want to respond to the ideas that philosophy is bullocks.

I think that to have a good and successful organizing plan and strategy and a series of actions to change the world and society, one first needs to have a good cognitive frame and a narrative and story which is consistent with deeply held values and experiences.

That's where philosophy fits in. Making a really strong narrative to convey in actions and organizing requires knowledge of philosophy, especially when dealing with any conflict in logic or reasoning. A good organizing drive fails when confronted with something that can destroy the philosophical foundation of a movement. However, you can't build any social change just based on solid philosophy. In the end, it's based on experiences, and that's the foundation for the explanation, which is founded on logic and philosophy.

You need both.

That's why folks that either attack the experience of veganism are dangerous to AR. They claim that begin vegan is impossible or difficult or unhealthy. That's why folks who claim the philosophical foundation of veganism are also dangerous to AR. They claim that animals should have no ethical concern to humans. Both try to destroy the experiences and philosophy, and make it harder to do the real work, which is organizing.
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Re: Blog: Let Them Eat Meat

Postby thestoatyone » Wed Jun 20, 2012 7:13 pm

Or to paraphrase Einstein; philosophy without action is heartless, action without philosophy is thoughtless...
Vincit omnia pertinax virtus

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Re: Blog: Let Them Eat Meat

Postby beforewisdom » Wed Jun 20, 2012 7:20 pm

Hiking Fox wrote:I agree with JP; philosophy is a load of bollocks that distracts people away from taking practical action to deal with situations that affect us here and now.


How much general philosophy and animal rights philosophy have you read?

I agree with you otherwise. A full hour leafletting in a busy pedestrian zone can empty out a heavy box of leaflets, will almost guarantee some people will read the leaflets and a smaller number will try it out. Writing a good rejoinder on the internet can take 20 minutes sometimes and will do none of those things.

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Re: Blog: Let Them Eat Meat

Postby beforewisdom » Wed Jun 20, 2012 7:22 pm

vegimator wrote:Ugh, I can never seem to escape my brother's stupid fucking blog


Dude, I am so sorry. I think your quote is funny though I know how deeply frustrating it must be for you. It is so good I am tempted to paste it in my sig :).
Last edited by beforewisdom on Thu Jun 21, 2012 10:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Blog: Let Them Eat Meat

Postby Fallen_Horse » Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:04 pm

xrodolfox wrote:^ Fascinating. And sad.

I do want to respond to the ideas that philosophy is bullocks.

I think that to have a good and successful organizing plan and strategy and a series of actions to change the world and society, one first needs to have a good cognitive frame and a narrative and story which is consistent with deeply held values and experiences.

That's where philosophy fits in. Making a really strong narrative to convey in actions and organizing requires knowledge of philosophy, especially when dealing with any conflict in logic or reasoning. A good organizing drive fails when confronted with something that can destroy the philosophical foundation of a movement. However, you can't build any social change just based on solid philosophy. In the end, it's based on experiences, and that's the foundation for the explanation, which is founded on logic and philosophy.

You need both.

That's why folks that either attack the experience of veganism are dangerous to AR. They claim that begin vegan is impossible or difficult or unhealthy. That's why folks who claim the philosophical foundation of veganism are also dangerous to AR. They claim that animals should have no ethical concern to humans. Both try to destroy the experiences and philosophy, and make it harder to do the real work, which is organizing.


Very well said!


I also think the blog is a better attack against Francione than against Singer, but either way, I think it's good to hear from the opposing side once in a while....
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Re: Blog: Let Them Eat Meat

Postby skoptic » Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:29 pm

thestoatyone wrote:Or to paraphrase Einstein; philosophy without action is heartless, action without philosophy is thoughtless...


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Re: Blog: Let Them Eat Meat

Postby Lordmuppet » Thu Jun 21, 2012 7:30 am

xrodolfox wrote:^ Fascinating. And sad.

I do want to respond to the ideas that philosophy is bullocks.

I think that to have a good and successful organizing plan and strategy and a series of actions to change the world and society, one first needs to have a good cognitive frame and a narrative and story which is consistent with deeply held values and experiences.

That's where philosophy fits in. Making a really strong narrative to convey in actions and organizing requires knowledge of philosophy, especially when dealing with any conflict in logic or reasoning. A good organizing drive fails when confronted with something that can destroy the philosophical foundation of a movement. However, you can't build any social change just based on solid philosophy. In the end, it's based on experiences, and that's the foundation for the explanation, which is founded on logic and philosophy.

You need both.

That's why folks that either attack the experience of veganism are dangerous to AR. They claim that begin vegan is impossible or difficult or unhealthy. That's why folks who claim the philosophical foundation of veganism are also dangerous to AR. They claim that animals should have no ethical concern to humans. Both try to destroy the experiences and philosophy, and make it harder to do the real work, which is organizing.


great post but i think there is a typo in the second sentence of the last paragraph that caused me to misread the meaning at first

edited to say third sentence not second "That's why folks who claim the philosophical foundation of veganism are also dangerous to AR."
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Re: Blog: Let Them Eat Meat

Postby JP » Thu Jun 21, 2012 8:54 am

Don't agree rodolfo mate, don't think songs internet dude questioning philosophical "foundations" had any danger to veganism or AR. Questioning experiences however are.

But in general, lack of relevance of animal rights philosophy to the overall success of the movement works both ways, I think its not that important for our side, nor is it dangerous on the other side.

There is much more significance in praxis, and personal experiences.
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