Vegans Don't Help Animals Or The Planet

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Vegans Don't Help Animals Or The Planet

Postby Chris Vaughn » Fri Oct 14, 2011 3:06 pm

I really need to present this to some vegans. I'm really struggling with a lot of issues right now. I'm not eating animal products, but I'm starting to become disillusioned.

There are a few reasons (which I can source) why vegans aren't making any real change or helping animals:

1) >75% of government subsidies go to meat and dairy. I'm not sure how much you know about subsidies, but they also include quotas, which means whether the demand is there or not, the producers must produce. Wheat farmers burn silos, fruit farmers burn piles, and meat factory farmers discard the meat into landfills or other feed. In short, whether you buy it or not, it's coming into existence. The meat you don't buy ends up in the trash.
2) If you've ever worked for a supermarket, ask the meat department how much meat they throw out. The employees go through the store every morning and toss anything that isn't selling or looks "bad". I don't have exact figures, but that's a huge amount of meat. This point ties in directly with point 1). Yes, perhaps the store doesn't profit if you don't buy it, but the meat still exists, and it is now in the trash.
3) Have you ever taken a look at the birth clock? 9,000+ people per hour are born, which far exceeds the death rate. (This is worldwide.) How many of them do you think will actually be vegans? The sheer numbers of omnivores make my personal contribution to abstain matter less and less every single hour.
4) Monocrop culture--whether it's soy that feeds you (or livestock), carrots, apples--whatever--destroys the earth. Agriculture is the problem. In places where crops are now used to be forests and balanced ecosystems. People moved in, clear cut the land, killed or displaced all of the animals, and now are growing one crop. The topsoil is destroyed, so they spray fossil fuels (non-vegan, re: "fossil") on them.

Think about a veggie burger. Clear cut some land to grow the soy and wheat (see point 4). Grow it using fossil fuel machines that spread pollution (not to mention all of the harm made in producing those machines). Harvest, package it, ship it, sell it. All steps involve toxifying the water and air.

Taking these into account--especially points 1 and 2--it really seems like my personal choice to not eat animals is akin to spitting into a forest fire.

In my view, the problem is not factory farming, damaging the environment via agriculture, etc. It's civilization. The ENTIRE system is the problem. Humans moving into an area, building cities, destroying eco systems...

This is why I admire the ALF and ELF so much. They make real change. You and I can not eat meat and hold signs all day, but until somebody gets in there and grabs big companies by the balls will it actually make a difference.

Will not eating cows make more of a difference than burning down slaughterhouses?

Will not eating fish make more of a difference than disabling trawlers?

Will not eating dairy make more of a difference than destroying factory farms and freeing the chickens?

Destroy the institutions, destroy the factories, remove the threats--this is the only way to help the animals. Being vegan is trying to work within a broken system.

I know; this is the real world. I believe my personal contribution is one of the most effective: I didn't breed. I would never bring a child into this planet, and if you watch National Geographic's The Human Footprint, you'll understand why.

I think the abstinence angle is great to try to make people feel good, but it brings about no real change. Actual, radical action changes things.

If there is any rebuttal, please give it to me. I think my last ounce of hope (aka wishful thinking) is gone.

Thanks.
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Re: Vegans Don't Help Animals Or The Planet

Postby DaveQB » Fri Oct 14, 2011 3:31 pm

I like your post. I mean the potential for discussion on this topic.
4 things come to mind, perhaps more tomorrow as it is 2:30am here :shock:


1) Health. Animal products are simply bad for you. If you want to remove the element of doing it for the planet, do it for your own good.

2) Yes agriculture does damage, heck simply living your life the best you can will still cause an effect on the planet, good and bad. But think of all the crows not grown to feed the livestock that then feeds and omnivores? It is an inefficient system so if the world was vegan it would be a much better use of land.

3) How can anyone enjoy consuming animal products after you have made the connection? I would prefer to eat cardboard. So again, take the selfish approach and don't eat them cause you simply don't want to knowing what you know.

4) Just because it might not have an impact does it mean you shouldn't do it? If killing a homeless person will result in no punishment to you do you do it??
"Going to Macdonalds for salad is like going to a crackhouse for vitamins"
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Re: Vegans Don't Help Animals Or The Planet

Postby Chris Vaughn » Fri Oct 14, 2011 3:47 pm

Sorry; I should've clarified. I remain vegan; the thought of eating dead bodies, pus, and periods make me want to vomit.

It just seems like a lost cause.
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Re: Vegans Don't Help Animals Or The Planet

Postby skoptic » Fri Oct 14, 2011 6:00 pm

Sorry to hear that you're having a bad time.. My experience is that I'm vegan for a couple of main reasons

The personal, subjective & ethical reasoning will never be undermined as long as its something I feel. The global, 'objective' & ecological reasoning can be debated and argued ad nauseum with various stats etc but it'll never be my main reason or cause me to stop.

I'd like my impact to be greater, I'd like the world to adjust many things, but won't be burning slaughterhouses or destroying factory farms anytime. Also I'm expecting a child... ho hum.
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Re: Vegans Don't Help Animals Or The Planet

Postby Chris Vaughn » Fri Oct 14, 2011 7:50 pm

skoptic wrote:Sorry to hear that you're having a bad time.. My experience is that I'm vegan for a couple of main reasons

The personal, subjective & ethical reasoning will never be undermined as long as its something I feel. The global, 'objective' & ecological reasoning can be debated and argued ad nauseum with various stats etc but it'll never be my main reason or cause me to stop.

I'd like my impact to be greater, I'd like the world to adjust many things, but won't be burning slaughterhouses or destroying factory farms anytime. Also I'm expecting a child... ho hum.


Everything else aside, it is not possible to care about the environment and have a child in today's world. The two are directly at odds. Please watch this:
http://www.snagfilms.com/films/title/human_footprint

Consider all of the animals decimated to create products for people. Vegan and breeding? It doesn't make sense.
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Re: Vegans Don't Help Animals Or The Planet

Postby skoptic » Fri Oct 14, 2011 9:12 pm

Is it possible to care about the environment and not kill yourself, just think of all those animal products & resources...;)

Sorry I just think its a pretty silly statement to say you cant care about the environment and have kids - it presupposes that every pregnancy is planned, that your partner shares exactly the same views, and that you're OK with getting an abortion for the environment ... in fact so many things that only scratches the surface.

I think it's kind of similar to saying 'its impossible to care about animals and eat meat' .. something I have said in the past, but which I realise is wrong.

Can't watch that link in the UK .. But I'll find it somewhere.
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Re: Vegans Don't Help Animals Or The Planet

Postby skoptic » Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:47 pm

Interesting program .. yes we use a lot of resources, but the program is a bit of a triumph of averages and extrapolation. Enduring message - thank god the whole world is not full of just average-omni-7-pairs-of-jeans-booze-chugging americans! :)
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Re: Vegans Don't Help Animals Or The Planet

Postby Fallen_Horse » Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:55 pm

Chris Vaughn wrote:....it really seems like my personal choice to not eat animals is akin to spitting into a forest fire....


You could take the same line of reasoning with any moral action. You could say the killing of hundreds of thousands in Darfur gives you permission to kill whomever you want, since your contribution to 'not killing' is, by itself, insignificant when compared to the thousands who are killed anyway. But the point (at least for me) is not how big of a number impact I am making, but how big of an impact I am making in my life and in the lives of those I care about. Just because most other people eat meat doesn't mean I will give up my moral impetus, just like I won't give up my pacifist stance just because there are many out there who choose to murder. It is VERY challenging to live in a world where so few people are motivated to take a stance with their diet, and often it is disillusioning. But you also should not ignore the number of animals that will not be killed, simply because your veganism contributed to a .0000001% decrease in their sales. Yes, your contribution is small, but for me, EVERY life is worth saving, and if I can only save a few hundred out of the millions, then so be it.
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Re: Vegans Don't Help Animals Or The Planet

Postby Chris Vaughn » Fri Oct 14, 2011 11:31 pm

skoptic wrote:Is it possible to care about the environment and not kill yourself, just think of all those animal products & resources...;)


Don't tempt me. I've thought about it many times.

skoptic wrote:Sorry I just think its a pretty silly statement to say you cant care about the environment and have kids - it presupposes that every pregnancy is planned, that your partner shares exactly the same views, and that you're OK with getting an abortion for the environment ... in fact so many things that only scratches the surface.


One word: vasectomy. No unplanned pregnancies. And yes--I think that an abortion is well justified if thousands of animals aren't factory farmed to feed that person, don't you?
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Re: Vegans Don't Help Animals Or The Planet

Postby Chris Vaughn » Fri Oct 14, 2011 11:36 pm

Fallen_Horse wrote:
Chris Vaughn wrote:....it really seems like my personal choice to not eat animals is akin to spitting into a forest fire....


You could take the same line of reasoning with any moral action. You could say the killing of hundreds of thousands in Darfur gives you permission to kill whomever you want, since your contribution to 'not killing' is, by itself, insignificant when compared to the thousands who are killed anyway. But the point (at least for me) is not how big of a number impact I am making, but how big of an impact I am making in my life and in the lives of those I care about. Just because most other people eat meat doesn't mean I will give up my moral impetus, just like I won't give up my pacifist stance just because there are many out there who choose to murder. It is VERY challenging to live in a world where so few people are motivated to take a stance with their diet, and often it is disillusioning. But you also should not ignore the number of animals that will not be killed, simply because your veganism contributed to a .0000001% decrease in their sales. Yes, your contribution is small, but for me, EVERY life is worth saving, and if I can only save a few hundred out of the millions, then so be it.


At no time did I say it's okay to eat animals. Your Darfur comparison doesn't apply here.

And once again, neither you nor I are saving lives So long as governments have subsidies, meat manufacturers will produce and subsequently discard huge amounts of meat every year. Whether you eat it or not, it's there.

The problem with pacifism and philosophies like veganism is that they give a person a "feel good" way to not do anything. The problem is--that's not helping. Facts are facts. Animals die at a disgusting rate while you and I argue on the Internet. Not buying and eating them isn't helping that.

In order to make real change, we must act in radical ways. We can't cure the sicknesses that the "civilized" cancer causes; we need to cut out the disease at the root.
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Re: Vegans Don't Help Animals Or The Planet

Postby Chris Vaughn » Fri Oct 14, 2011 11:38 pm

skoptic wrote:I'd like my impact to be greater, I'd like the world to adjust many things, but won't be burning slaughterhouses or destroying factory farms anytime. Also I'm expecting a child... ho hum.


I wonder what you'll tell your child when he/she asks why animals are going extinct by 100-200 species per day, or that most of the world's drinking water is being polluted, or that people are getting cancer just from breathing the air, or that the corporatocracy has spent us into a black hole...

"I didn't eat animals."
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Re: Vegans Don't Help Animals Or The Planet

Postby Chris Vaughn » Sat Oct 15, 2011 12:06 am

To all:

How will you explain this and its long term effects to your children and grandchildren? Pacifism??

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-WAGf-4 ... ton&wide=1
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Re: Vegans Don't Help Animals Or The Planet

Postby Fallen_Horse » Sat Oct 15, 2011 12:31 am

Chris Vaughn wrote:At no time did I say it's okay to eat animals. Your Darfur comparison doesn't apply here.

And once again, neither you nor I are saving lives So long as governments have subsidies, meat manufacturers will produce and subsequently discard huge amounts of meat every year. Whether you eat it or not, it's there.

The problem with pacifism and philosophies like veganism is that they give a person a "feel good" way to not do anything. The problem is--that's not helping. Facts are facts. Animals die at a disgusting rate while you and I argue on the Internet. Not buying and eating them isn't helping that.

In order to make real change, we must act in radical ways. We can't cure the sicknesses that the "civilized" cancer causes; we need to cut out the disease at the root.


I disagree with your first three paragraphs, but I am still interested to hear what you are proposing with the last one. Join the ALF?
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Re: Vegans Don't Help Animals Or The Planet

Postby Chris Vaughn » Sat Oct 15, 2011 12:51 am

Do whatever it takes.
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Re: Vegans Don't Help Animals Or The Planet

Postby Fallen_Horse » Sat Oct 15, 2011 1:45 am

Chris Vaughn wrote:Do whatever it takes.

And what exactly does that involve? You are upset at the way the world works, but you haven't put forth a realistic plan to solve the issues. And always keep in mind the Serenity Prayer:
"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference."
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