Re; ‘Freeganism Is Evil’ – A Pro-Freegan Story Analogy

Here’s some incredibly niche philosophy arguments encase you ever feel the need to defend rescuing animal products that have gone past the best before date like bread with whey in it from shops for free and eating it yourself or sharing them out:

Firstly it can be great animal rights advocacy in rare circumstances like so; by setting up a Food not Bombs stall in the town centre and putting up a vegan sign in front of a big pan of vegan stew and a freegan sign infront of rescued bread. The vegan sign can provoke lots of interesting conversations about the ethics of breeding and killing animals. While the freegan sign can get people talking about a further layer of if it is true that harming animals for their meat, milk and eggs was necessary to feed the population, how come so very much meat, milk and eggs ended up rotting in supermarket skips instead? Which can provoke further conversation about the evils of producing such an energy intensive product like meat to just become food waste, while people are starving around the world.

Secondly non-human animals we farm don’t experience a worse quality of life worrying about whether they’re going to be eaten by other humans after they’re dead, humans do as a species norm.

Thirdly there exists healthy human cultures in which humans being eaten by non-human animals after they’re dead is seen as a positive, for example in Tibet, having your energy transferred into that of a bird is seen as a beautiful thing or green burials where your body can more easily become nutrients for both animals and plants. So then, healthy human cultures in which non-human animals are eaten by humans is also likely possible.

And finally, even if it’ll be a better world when everyone is vegan and we’re all disgusted by animals products (in the same way as if no one ever felt pressured by sexist beauty standards to shave their legs again), that doesn’t mean that it’s not morally permissible to consume some of those animal products at the moment i.e. it’s not comparable to cannibalism where you’re causing worse quality of life in other humans by normalizing it or normalizing the standard that women should have their genitals mutilated as neither the choice to shave your legs or eat thrown out animal products necessitates violating anyone’s rights or causing harm to anyone.

Intro

Yo, so this is a response to Vegan Footsoldiers video entitled ‘Freeganism is Evil’. My understanding – extrapolating from his story analogy – was that he believes you can’t both be a great human rights advocate and not care about humans interests as a species norm during a humans life time, to then go against them by eating them. And that the same applies to animal rights advocates and animals. But basically I disagree, because animals aren’t worrying about events past their death, so they aren’t suffering a worse quality of life imagining maybe they’ll be eaten by humans after they’re dead.

He also wrote in the comments he uses Immanuel Kant’s indirect principle to justify calling freeganism immoral, so I’ll flash up on the screen my formal refutations of that now for anyone curious you can pause the video or come back to them later, 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5. [At the bottom of this post]

But the point of this video is I’d just like to tell a story analogy back, because I think narratives as intuition pumps are useful.

So here we go…

The Story

Once upon a time the good people of London and of all Britain were horrified to hear that a girls genital mutilation ring was discovered in the capital city. A deeply abhorrent and unethical tradition from the land of their origin, the families and surgeons had forced children to have their clitoris’s chopped off. They tried to keep their terrible work secret and warned the children that they must never tell, and most of the children never did, and yet the story came out. One night the ten o’clock news reported that multiple children had been subjected to this horrible abuse.

The people of Great Britain were horrified, they shuddered at what was one of the most ethically repugnant operations continuing to exist in Great Britain. How could it be happening? Why were the children not saved? Was it still happening even now?

The people cried for justice, something must be done! Questions were asked in Parliament, what were the police doing to stop these heinous acts? Stirred into action by the loud clamour of the people, the police searched for information on where the genital mutilation was taking place.

Then suddenly, the surgeons, the elders and parents responsible who had been able to cause unquantifiable tragedy during its short existence thankfully all were arrested and charged by the police. Newspapers across the land carried pictures of their heads bowed in shame, names were named, details given. In the courtroom they all admitted guilt and were each sentenced to prison. Justice! Justice! The repulsed crowd of onlookers shouted as the perpetrators were escorted in handcuffs out of the courthouse and stuffed into the police vehicle.

Two human rights activists stood together gravely, feeling a sense of deep tragedy for the victims while shedding bittersweet tears of resolution knowing that the foul people responsible would be put behind bars where they belonged, where they would have the time to contemplate such heinous crimes.

Jane and Billy were their names. It was these two human rights activists who played the most important part in the story for they had taken it upon themselves to spy on the genital mutilation ring and alert the police.

They already knew what had been going on well before the media picked up on the story and having had little faith in the police to do something about it, thankfully Jane and Billy had become vigilantes to track down the perpetrators themselves Without the help of these activists it would have likely taken much longer with much more bloodshed until the perpetrators were finally brought to justice.

They had frantically run to the police station after having received word of the mutilation that would take place that day to alert the police and point out who the doctor and parents responsible were. The police had broken down the door to the secret location in the middle of the night. The parents had already years ago mutilated their two eldest children’s genitals and were in the process of mutilating the youngest two when the police stormed the building.

One of the children fortunately was unharmed but one wasn’t so lucky, the girl was experiencing massive blood loss and had gone into shock. She was rushed to the hospital accompanied by the human rights activists as they had been at the scene when the police made the raid.

At the hospital whilst the medical staff raced to save the injured child’s life the human rights activist waited distraught in the corridor just outside the operating theatre, Billy paced up and down. Furious at himself not having been able to bring the police to the location sooner. Jane sat with her head in her hands, if only they had been able to arrive just five minutes earlier, maybe even just one minute earlier. Never before had 60 seconds meant so much to either of them.

It wasn’t long before the surgeon walked glumly out of the operating theatre door and into the corridor where the activists waited now frozen, now unable to take a breath in anticipation of the news. Looking up from her chair Jane burst into a whale of tears even before those six heart-breaking words could escape from the lips of the medic, ‘we did all that we could’.

Billy threw his arms around Jane in an attempt to comfort her as she cried engulfed in sadness and regret for not having been able to have saved the girl from this terrible fate. They gathered their things, knowing there was a long night still ahead, the police would want statements. It would be many hours before they would be back home.

A week later, Billy and Jane, still reeling from their experience, were walking round the supermarket together when Jane got a text from their daughter Sam asking for a safety razor. She turned round to Billy to read out the text and they both looked at each other concerned.

Sam was 14 years old and had been a young advocate at school for girls not needing to shave their legs if they didn’t want to. For Sam, the point had always been that women should not alter their bodies to conform to cultural standards or gratify the male gaze. She’d often been teased at school but had always laughed it off. Had someone said something really mean to her for her to suddenly want to shave her legs now?

They discussed the issue some more, but decided they better get the razor as it was her decision and if she changed her mind again, she could always let the hair grow back. They could hardly fight so hard for girls to exercise their rights over a cultural norm like FGM and yet not trust their daughter’s judgement in the matter of shaving her legs.

When they got home they talked to their daughter, trying to find out if she was feeling pressured into shaving her legs, and worried that she was being influenced by advertisements or all the bullying over the years. They were relieved to find out that now it was summer she just wanted to try out shaving her legs to see what it felt like. Billy and Jane were glad to have talked it through and furnished her with her very own safety razor.

The next day was a Saturday and Billy and Jane were busy setting up a ‘Food Not Bombs’ stall in the town centre. They had worked hard all morning on a massive pan of vegan stew that could feed 500 people. Fragrant with cardamom and coconut oil, thickened with red lentils, it contained squashes and pulses, potatoes and vedge. Billy had rescued the crusty bread to dip in the stew from an overstuffed supermarket skip the night before. Jane noticed that it contained the tiniest amount of whey from cows milk, but because they were giving it away, she knew the corporations wouldn’t profit from their work.

They put up two signs on the table, ‘Vegan Stew’ and ‘Freegan Bread’. As well as tons of pamphlets and leaflets with helpful advice on living a low impact vegan or freegan lifestyle and the various campaign struggles in the city and internationally.

The vegan sign provoked lots of interesting conversations about the ethics of breeding and killing animals. While the freegan sign got people talking about a further layer. If it was true that harming animals for their meat, milk and eggs was necessary to feed the population, how come so very much meat, milk and eggs ended up rotting in supermarket skips instead? This provoked another conversation about the evils of producing such an energy intensive product like meat to just become food waste, while people are starving around the world.

So, when it came time to fold down the table and go home, a great day of advocating for human and animal legal rights, plus environmental protection had been had.

Driving home they got to talking about how years ago, Jane had used rescued cheese to help her stay strong in her decision to go vegan. Jane had got the idea from a documentary she’d watched which talked about a therapist who devised a technique in group therapy to help people quit cigarettes. On day one, they emptied bags full of cigarettes into the centre of the group circle, to show them the abundance, so that that stress about scarcity was dulled.

She had worried that she might have been weak willed enough to fail without the rescued cheese and convince herself that going vegan wasn’t for her. But she knew that probably that happens to a lot of people. If more people had access to animal products from a source that is doing no further harm to animals, it might help them in their transition to not buying it anymore. And that could only be a good thing.

Freeganism had had that same effect of re-aligning the value of junk food for her, getting rid of low-level addictions. When you see the mountains of packaged baked goods, croissants and doughnuts produced that day in the shop, stacked in a mountain all in front of you, you know you can get that sugar crash whenever you like, you stop seeing it as such a hot option.

Billy then remarked how interesting it is that buying cigarettes for that therapeutic technique is doing a little harm in the short term, buying the fags profits the tobacco industry. Yet the therapeutic technique serves a greater good long term.

And yet with freeganism not only is no harm being committed, it’s carbon negative because you’re eating food that would otherwise have been thrown out, so less food needs to be produced.

Then Jane said; I used to think it would be as simple as saying, “imagine if you grew up knowing that you were going to be killed for your meat!” Because of how compassion for our fellow human beings works, we couldn’t imagine causing them that fear. The harm would have this cumulative effect on the culture, our community bonds, and who we know we are. Like abhorring female genital mutilation.

But it’s not the same thing. Animals aren’t burdened by those questions, don’t know they’ll be killed for their meat, don’t live in fear of that end. But by buying animal products, we perpetuate the industry that profits from their killing, and contributes to the devastation of the environment.

Billy said, that’s the point isn’t it? In Tibet, having your energy transferred into that of a bird is seen as a beautiful thing, so funerals at the top of mountains and your remains left as a tasty snack for the vultures is not so unusual. He said; it would be a great thing to move away from graveyards with cold gravestones in rows. Imagine if more people chose to be buried at a memorial woodland site. A tree planted in remembrance of you, your remains feeding the tree.

Finally Jane said; Right, so culture can be good or bad, we have to look towards something more concrete like what brings us happy flourishing and go from there. Like, it probably will be a better world when everyone is vegan and we’re all disgusted by thrown out animal products. And it would be great if no one ever felt pressured by sexist beauty standards to shave their legs again!

But at the end of the day, it’s not like cannibalism, where you’d be causing worse quality of life in other humans by foretelling a gruesome ending. And the same goes for normalizing the standard that women should have their genitals mutilated. Both ideas are barbaric, and rightly rejected.

Neither the choice to shave your legs or eat thrown out animal products causes harm to anyone, so I don’t really see why people ought not do it. Even though I want that culture without any more domestic animals or carnism, I still just see a win in the political act of rescuing animals and wasted food, building relationships with people that can benefit from those calories or companionship, where no positive change would happen otherwise.

“Here, here” they both said while enjoying a little laugh. And laugh they did.

Formal Arguments

First here’s my formulation of Footsoldiers argument which is IMO unsound:

A1) Kant’s Indirect Principle Against Advocating For Freeganism

P1) If I accept Kant’s axioms then I accept the indirect principle established in the groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals

P2) If I accept the indirect principle established in the groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals then I would agree that treating non human animals without dignity would harm myself

P3) If I accept the indirect principle established in the groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals then I have a moral duty to not harm myself

P4) If I agree that treating non human animals without dignity would harm myself and that I have a moral duty to not harm myself then I should live in a way which treats animals with dignity

P5) If I should live in a way which treats animals with dignity then I should reject consuming animal products (as it is the antithesis of treating animals with dignity)

P6) If I should reject consuming animal products then I shouldn’t promote freeganism (as to do so would constitute promoting self-harm)

P7) I accept Kant’s axioms

C) Therefore I should be against freeganism

Through consquentialism it’s easy to come to the conclusion that the ethical issue is breeding and killing of animals, cutting short their interests to experience wellbeing. And that if non-human animals aren’t experiencing worse quality of life worrying about whether they’re going to be eaten by other humans after they’re dead, then there’s no ethical issue to freeganism.

Through deontology however, you might think you should reject consuming all animal products on principle as you feel it is the antithesis of treating animals with dignity.

So the arguments I’d suggest you use on such a person is firstly you could use a simple comparison to argue the way the person is applying dignity is a category error, like I do in the story analogy by saying:

It probably will be a better world when everyone is vegan and we’re all disgusted by thrown out animal products. And it would be great if no one ever felt pressured by sexist beauty standards to shave their legs again!

But at the end of the day, it’s not like cannibalism, where you’d be causing worse quality of life in other humans by foretelling a gruesome ending. And the same goes for normalizing the standard that women should have their genitals mutilated. Both ideas are barbaric, and rightly rejected.

Neither the choice to shave your legs or eat thrown out animal products necessitates violating anyone’s rights, so I don’t really see why people ought not do it.

And in formal logic terms:

A2) Rejecting the utility of culturally specific disgust reactions

P1) Non-human animals don’t experience a worse quality of life worrying about whether they’re going to be eaten by other humans after they’re dead, humans do.

P2) IF there exists healthy human cultures in which humans being eaten by non-human animals after they’re dead is seen as a positive (for example in Tibet, having your energy transferred into that of a bird is seen as a beautiful thing or green burials where your body can more easily become nutrients for both animals and plants) THEN healthy human cultures in which non-human animals are eaten by humans is also likely possible

P3) There exists healthy human cultures in which humans being eaten by non-human animals after they’re dead is seen as a positive

P4) If non-human animals don’t experience a worse quality of life worrying about whether they’re going to be eaten by other humans after they’re dead, humans do AND healthy human cultures in which non-human animals are eaten by humans is likely possible THEN even if it’ll be a better world when everyone is vegan and we’re all disgusted by animals products (in the same way as if no one ever felt pressured by sexist beauty standards to shave their legs again), that doesn’t mean that it’s not morally permissible to consume some of those animal products at the moment (i.e. it’s not comparable to cannibalism where you’re causing worse quality of life in other humans by normalizing it or normalizing the standard that women should have their genitals mutilated as neither the choice to shave your legs or eat thrown out animal products necessitates violating anyone’s rights)

P5) IF (even if it’ll be a better world when everyone is vegan and we’re all disgusted by animals products, that doesn’t mean that it’s not morally permissible to consume some of those animal products at the moment) THEN (IF I should live in a way which treats animals with dignity THEN I should not reject consuming animal products [as it is not the antithesis of treating animals with dignity])

P6) I should live in a way which treats animals with dignity

C) I should live in a way which treats animals with dignity, and I should not reject consuming animal products (as it is not the antithesis of treating animals with dignity)

Or secondly without even challenging their gut disgust reaction to thinking it would be treating the animal without dignity you could try something close to a consequentialist argument:

A3) Refutation of P5 of A1 using Tom Regan’s worse-off principle

P1) If I should live in a way which treats animals with dignity then I should promote freeganism on rare occasions where it’s an effective advocacy tool at encouraging people to stop buying animal products because the principle that I should avoid very minor self-harm in the disgust it brings to mind when advocating shouldn’t override the principle that it’s immoral to pass up easy opportunities to encourage people to stop buying animal products (which leads to the breeding and killing of animals) because I wouldn’t want to live in a world in which everyone passed up on those opportunities, so I should act according to that maxim by which I can at the same time will that it should become a universal law

P2) I should live in a way which treats animals with dignity

P3) P1 entails if I should live in a way which treats animals with dignity then I should not reject consuming animal products (as it is not the antithesis of treating animals with dignity)

C) I should live in a way which treats animals with dignity, and I should not reject consuming animal products (as it is not the antithesis of treating animals with dignity)

Or thirdly you could you could try challenging the necessity of the disgust reaction:

A4) Kant’s Indirect Principle For Advocating For Freeganism

P1) If I should live in a way which treats animals with dignity THEN I should promote freeganism on rare occasions where it’s an effective advocacy tool at encouraging people to stop buying animal products because although killing an animal isn’t treating the animal with dignity, eating an animal to prevent waste is, because you’re eating food that would otherwise have been thrown out, so less food needs to be produced, causing less harm to the environment AND if it had gone to the landfill it might have gotten eaten by maggots which can survive on any food like rotting vegetables, but it would be much less dignity than you could show the animal by putting that energy to use in achieving happy flourishing yourself and setting an example for others.

P2) I should live in a way which treats animals with dignity

P3) P1 entails if I should live in a way which treats animals with dignity then I should not reject consuming animal products (as it is not the antithesis of treating animals with dignity)

C) I should live in a way which treats animals with dignity, and I should not reject consuming animal products (as it is not the antithesis of treating animals with dignity)

Or finally you could try nudging them away from deontology with a kind of virtue ethics argument a la W.D. Ross:

A5) Refutation of P5 of A1 using W.D.Ross’s principle of prima facie duties

P1) If I accept W.D.Ross’s theory of prima facie duties THEN I accept any felt obligation is a prima facie duty, though it can be overridden depending on the circumstances by another one, that doesn’t mean that the original obligation disappears, it simply means that it’s defeasible and it usually continues to operate in the background.

P2) If I accept any felt obligation is a prima facie duty, though it can be overridden depending on the circumstances by another one, that doesn’t mean that the original obligation disappears, it simply means that it’s defeasible and it usually continues to operate in the background THEN I accept when I have a felt obligation that talking positively about the consumption of animal products is disgusting and would be an act of self-harm to myself AND I learn about people using freeganism as an effective advocacy tool in turning people vegan who wouldn’t otherwise have considered it, such that I now feel a stronger felt obligation to do the same that the duty to do the latter is overriding, but I’m going to work extra hard to advocate for veganism such that I can know I’ve contributed to a future world in which no one needs to talk about the positive effects of consuming animal products, because the initial obligation still operates in the background even though it was overridden.

P3) I accept W.D.Ross’s theory of prima facie duties

P4) P2 entails if I should live in a way which treats animals with dignity then I should not reject consuming animal products (as it is not the antithesis of treating animals with dignity)

P5) I should live in a way which treats animals with dignity

C) I should live in a way which treats animals with dignity, and I should not reject consuming animal products (as it is not the antithesis of treating animals with dignity)

References

The video I’m responding to is called ‘Freeganism is Evil’ by Footsoldier:

The idea for the analogy came from this great video called Thoughts On Freeganism by Catherine Klein:

“I understand that shaving my legs and my armpits and everything is a sexist double standard, why are women expected to be completely hairless in order to be seen as attractive? It doesn’t make sense and I think it’s totally badass when women break this norm and go all natural. It does make me question my choices like I probably should be like fuck the patriarchy and stop shaving, just like I probably should be horrified by my leather boots and throw them out because one could argue that shaving your legs is an example of internalized oppression, but at the end of the day, neither of my choices here are causing direct harm to anyone, so I don’t really see changing my ways as a moral necessity.”

Freeganism article on the Philosophical Vegan Wiki:

Freeganism video catalogue

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Response Video to ‘Veganism vs. Animal Liberation’

Full Transcript:

Alright, this is going to be a response to Eisel’s video on ‘Veganism vs. Animal Liberation’ with a critique at the end about common arguments he uses in his videos.

So, as far as I know Eisel has never tried to come up with precise wording for what his preferred definition of veganism would be, so at a guess from watching his videos, I can imagine it would be something along the lines of:

“A personal duty to respect the dignity of animals & a desire to build a social movement to, among other things, lobby government for a higher percentage territory of managed wildlife habitat.”

And we can guess his argument for this philosophy being contained in the word vegan is that… its the best descriptive adjective for a human-centred movement. And, that the goal is to win over enough passionate people who are dedicated enough to take on the personal principle of avoiding animal products, as a basis for finding each other and organizing to making changes to our communities and institutions.

The person he’s critiquing would like to abandon the word vegan in favour of advocating the ideology of anti-speciesism, as an element of total liberation. So more like a social justice movement where anti-speciesism is one axis of oppression among other struggles like anti-racism & anti-sexism. Therefore an animal-centred movement alongside other oppressed-centred movements.

So, positives to Eisel’s critique are, by solely advocating for animals through a social justice approach, you just are going to get meat eaters being turned away from caring about animals because vegans look like deluded people who view animals as citizens.

As well as vegans feeling more justified in taking violent action for animals, who they start to view as members of our society. When in reality, like I said in my earlier video, animals can’t conceptualize a tactical war to achieve rights, so they can’t desire it.

We aren’t even able to alleviate their suffering like we could human prisoners with the optimistic notion that direct actions done in other places now, may one day lead to an end to their suffering.

Negatives are, he never acknowledges any better arguments for putting more focus on words like animal liberation.

I think we need to be fighting for incremental legal animal rights laws which make it less profitable to breed animals for food. And one philosophical and legal approach which is gaining more prominence is Martha Nussbaum’s capabilities approach, which we can say is about liberating animals to be able to express their capabilities in the wild. Links below in the description.

As well, I think he’s wrong to claim Animal Liberation is primarily tied to Singer’s views on utilitarianism. The most common association people will draw it to is the Animal Liberation Front, which people already understand that if you have activists willing to liberate animals from cages, they obviously won’t also be buying animal foods.

I have nothing against veganism as a marketable word for a boycott identity, but in terms of explaining where the principle comes from, I think legal animal rights movement, says it really clearly in the name itself about how it’s a political movement, rather than veganism with it’s history and etymology in vegetarianism, which was simply a lifestyle society.

So in conclusion, I think as well as and even better than a vegan identity, we need to start thinking of ourselves as legal animal rights advocates also, which can encompass arguments for animal rights, liberation and/or welfare.

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Part 2

Alright this is the point in the video where I’m going to go into critiquing Eisel’s most commonly used arguments, if you never feel tempted to watch an Eisel video and couldn’t care less the effect he and people like him have, that’s okay, you can just click off the video now.

So, I watched Eisel’s videos for a long time because he talked about a lot of topics I care about like a rewilding habitat approach to advocating for veganism, nihilism and encouraging a pragmatic, social science approach to many questions.

But, even though I was grateful to be introduced to lots of little conflicts between different world-views that I wasn’t previously aware of, I felt his views on issues were somewhat simplistic.

Firstly, let’s talk about his habit of arguing against the worst arguments for a world-view in order to appear superior.

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2a. Arguing against straw-men

So, Eisel likes to make the argument that you can draw an association between the top academics making arguments for a particular issue and the ineloquent layman who got their talking points from twitter, then dismiss both their reasoning as equally baseless.

[Video Clip – Veganism vs. Anti-Capitalism (vs. The Vegan Anarchist] [3]

Many of the problems we have within the intellectual ghetto of 21st century vegan politics are basically the same as the problems you have with the rest of planet earth or western academia or what have you.

And doubtless this is true in many cases, but often he never proves conclusively the association and in my view simply enjoys teeing off against bad arguments which make him look good.

So to demonstrate, imagine two rooms of people, where in both rooms one person is advocating veganism and the other is raising concerns about how it may create problems for preserving and increasing the number of people who can speak indigenous languages and play an active role in the culture.

In the first room of laymen twitter users, we’re asked to imagine that the person raising concerns about veganism’s impact on indigenous culture would view the threat as being so detrimental, that they would rather stick rigidly to one conception of what indigenous culture entails and not accept any idea of the culture evolving over time.

So, the meat eater asks the vegan; “do you see nothing positive in these indigenous cultures? Do you see nothing worth saving in native tradition?” And so, having laid the premise of someone putting forth a bad argument that we the listener would also be frustrated to have to answer, Eisel can jump in to save the day and answer with an apparent sense of superiority:

[Video Clip – Answering “White Privilege” (VS. Joey Carbstrong!)] [4]

My answer to that is two-fold, one, when you think of culture, do you of it as a weakness or a strength? I’m dead serious, really think about it, is your culture holding you back? Is it dead weight? Is it a burden you’re going to place on the shoulders of the next generation?

Cool, so for Eisel that’s video over, that’s the advice to remember to take away with you. But how would this actually go over, if you were in a room with a well read, articulate person offering reasonable concerns about the impact of veganism on indigenous people. Well we can imagine the meat eater asking “What about indigenous people on the bones of their asses, hunting as a cheap way of acquiring food and having a culture of sharing with elders in their community who can’t do it themselves, do you see nothing about that worth preserving? And now Eisel’s answer;

[Video Clip – Answering “White Privilege” (VS. Joey Carbstrong!)] [4]

When you think of culture, do you of it as a weakness or a strength?

Clearly this is inadequate, and everything about taking those actions in that circumstance and that culture is commendable. Did it sound like that argument could be put into practice just as easily on a more nuanced critique of veganism and it be just as easily refuted, as Eisel would have you believe?:

[Video Clip – Veganism vs. Anti-Capitalism (vs. The Vegan Anarchist] [5]

Every so often, London School of Economics has people with PhDs, who are on the far-left, making these same sorts of arguments, and they’re just as easily refuted.

So, the correct answer for me there is to say, of course I wouldn’t condemn them for killing animals in that hyper specific circumstance, and I would campaign for free & better education, community gardening projects, etc. To improve their lot in life. But, if you’re living in the city and your only access to hunting grounds is driving an hour out your way, then a healthier and more ethical use of your money would simply be picking up tofu from the supermarket instead of meat.

As a side note, this is also where I view my definition of veganism as an animal products boycott behaviour as having advantages over other ones like the vegan society which defines veganism as a philosophy:

Firstly, because when simply explained as a behaviour, it’s less easily misunderstood as a belief-ism one needs to buy into which could negatively change everything about how one currently views the word. And rather can be related to as a tool for achieving goals one has through ones own philosophy and culture already. Like the Mi’kmaq legend of how a demi-god used magic to obtain unlimited amounts of beaver meat from a single bone, reflecting a wish for abundance disconnected from the need to hunt.

Secondly, The strong commitment is clear through it being a boycott protest, which we can really easy conceptually tie to other boycotts, where someone boycotting South African products during apartheid wouldn’t feel comfortable flying over their and joining the police force themselves. More so than in other definitions where you’re just saying you’re abstaining from using the end animal products.

And finally, I am actually fine with my definition being softer on for example subsistence hunters. I’ve got a video on my channel of Penan tribes people in Indonesia explaining how it would be repulsive to them to keep animals in captivity to farm, and I think this is great animal rights advocacy, so again a positive distinction.

2b. Faulty comparisons

So, a faulty comparison is when you compare one thing to another that is really not related, in order to make one thing look more or less desirable than it really is.

For example, the comparison; broccoli has significantly less fat than the leading candy bar!

While both broccoli and candy bars can be considered snacks, comparing the two in terms of fat content and ignoring the significant difference in taste, leads to the faulty comparison.

Now in Eisel’s case, here’s an example from his video called Against Anarchism:

[Video Clip – Against Anarchism (In Principle and in Practice, esp. “Left Anarchism”)] [4]

So someone could challenge me, I’m steal-manning Theo’s position here to say well look even if you don’t subscribe to this long term more utopian idea of where this is going to, and even if you don’t agree with this in principle, in this sense, can’t you see some short-term benefit in anarchism here and now, in the same way that I can see a benefit in charity. . .

And if I argued back pointing out the relative historical triviality of libertarianism, look this isn’t really a major influential political philosophy, but if on a scale of one to ten, if we rate libertarianism like a three out of ten, then left-wing anarchism is a zero, it has no significance at all.

Now, the obvious mistake he made here is the pragmatic goals of right or left-wing anarchists would simply be to win people over to transitionery policy steps through left or right-wing libertarianism. So the logical comparison to make would be comparing support between right wing anarchism and left wing anarchism, or right wing libertarianism against left wing libertarianism. Not comparing the more public friendly image of right wing libertarians against the more radical side from the left wing anarchists.

Next, an example from his video on China’s policies in Xinjiang towards the Uiyghur Muslims:

(Video Clip – China is Right About Xinjiang. By Eisel) [5]

Is it fair to say that this is cultural genocide? My answer to that question is yes, this is cultural genocide, but we should say in the same breath without any hypocrisy that what the government of the United States of America attempted to do in Afghanistan also was cultural genocide.

So even if we examine the cultural project that the United States embarked on and compare it to the cultural project that the government of China is embarked on, we have to say the body count for what China is doing and how it is doing it is much much lower, the negative impacts are much more limited.

Now, in reality the cultural heritage that was attempted to be destroyed in Afghanistan, if we can even call it genocide really was only aimed at disarming the movement of rural Pashtun’s who chose to take up arms only 10 years earlier, naive though that aim was. Rules of engagement listed mosques as protected buildings and a conservative Islamic government was put in place.

China on the other hand is locking up millions, bulldozing it’s towns and mosques, subsidizing settlers to move in on mass and take coordinator positions. All in an effort to brainwash the people into thinking of themselves as more like Han Chinese who should praise the state for their glorious history. So the level of cultural destruction is played up in the Afghan case to appear more equal and suffering as a result is played down in the Chinese case to appear better.

And finally a video he did on civil disobedience:

(Video Clip – Civil Disobedience is the Opposite of Democracy. By Eisel) [6]

Do you think Israel should be ruled by the sober judgment of a hundred percent of the population participating in a democracy where they have to stand up and make rational arguments where they believe in and consider the law of the Constitution and people get to vote and all this stuff [In short…] do you think it should be a procedural rational democracy involving everyone OR do you think that a small minority of religious fanatics should just be able to go and engage in civil disobedience?

. . . Civil disobedience is; rule of your society by the most militant minority.

So, this is both a bad comparison and a faulty dilemma, there are obvious degrees of punishment a government can bring down on people breaking the law, any direction the society goes in for either not controlling or bowing to protesters demands is still the moral culpability of the government and those who participated in the party political process. There is an obvious legal and moral difference between victimless civil disobedience aimed at all people being treated equally in society like collecting salt from the sea or staying seated on the bus, to that of stealing another country’s resources against international law.

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2c. Jumping to conclusions

So, in the video I’m responding to he claims Singer has said he himself eats meat:

[Sanity vs. Insanity: Veganism vs. Animal Liberation] [7]

Peter Singer very casually talks about eating meat in his own life when he’s in a particular situation at a restaurant other people order meat and he’ll eat meat too for no reason

But try as I might googling, I can’t find any quote anywhere to back up his claim, so more than likely this is just part of a long running pattern of Eisel jumping to conclusions that fit his narrative.

The reality is not much better, but the fact is Singer acts vegan when at home and vegetarian when travelling and there are no vegan options in the restaurant he wants to visit.

When I’m shopping for myself, it will be vegan. But when I’m travelling and it’s hard to get vegan food in some places or whatever, I’ll be vegetarian. I won’t eat eggs if they’re not free-range, but if they’re free-range, I will. I won’t order a dish that is full of cheese, but I won’t worry about, say, whether an Indian vegetable curry was cooked with ghee.

Singer’s book ‘Animal Liberation’ promoted a preference consequentialist view which makes veganism an obligation, it was only later he started to slide towards hedonistic utilitarianism.

I also found a particularly hilarious example of Eisel not watching the video he’s responding to to the end and making a response video critiquing the guy for burning a poster of Mao Zedong, which he in fact doesn’t do and Serpentza gives the same reasons for not doing it that Eisel is supposedly critiquing him for doing.

So, Serpentza makes a video saying how he couldn’t understand at first why Chinese people don’t reject putting up posters of Mao Zedong in the same way German people reject putting up posters of Hitler today, but he learnt to sympathise with the fact it’s part of the culture to see him simply as a symbol who kept the country strong and independent.

Eisel’s response; ‘why would you burn a poster of Mao Zedong, you don’t have any sympathy for the Chinese people or their culture, you ignorant, unresearched, lazy fuck.’ Hahaha

(Chairman Mao – Why do people worship this MURDERER? By Serpentza) [8]

04:40 – [The communist party are] very good at engineering what people think from a very young age through education and through various different social programs. People still believe that if it wasn’t for him, China wouldn’t be the way it is, people still believe that he’s a great man who maybe made a few small mistakes and if you want to call a few small mistakes murdering millions of people, so be it.

11:10 – So at the end of the day, am I going to burn this portrait of Mao Zedong? No I’m not going to burn it and you all know why because I respect my Chinese friends, I respect my Chinese family and I respect Chinese people and their opinions, at least to a certain degree. And while I do not agree with everything that this man stands for – and why honestly if I could have met him in real life, just like most people say about you know taking out Hitler, if they met him in real life that’s something I would have done – at the end of the day though because I do respect my Chinese friends, family and Chinese people, I will not burn this because it’s distasteful, because it shows a massive lack of respect towards the Chinese people.

(Against Serpentza, re: Chairman Mao’s Portrait on the Wall. By Eisel) [9]

03:25 – So he had a video recently in which he featured himself burning a portrait of Mao Zedong. I guess I’ll give the link below this video and currently that video has over 200,000 views, so I certainly can’t hope to challenge that by reaching an audience of equal size and you know he’s reaching that audience because he’s telling people something they already want to hear. . .

04:55 – I am not in a position to say to people who put his poster on the wall this is all that Mao Zedong represents this is the only thing it represents and this is what it must mean to you. . .

I think it comes down to a trend of Eisel’s to jump to conclusions about a persons position so that he can believe he has superior positions to the person and mock them. It’s part of a conspiracy mindset. Like believing with confidence the assassination of both Kennedy brothers was done by the CIA and that people like Abby Martin are government agents for Russia.

I’ll link to another funny example where he did this to me in the description box down below.

But yeah, that’s the end of the video, all the best, peace.

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References

1. Beyond Compassion and Humanity; Justice for Non-human Animals by Martha Nussbaum – https://activistjourneys.wordpress.com/2020/07/25/beyond-compassion-and-humanity-justice-for-non-human-animals-martha-c-nussbaum/

2. The Capability Approach – https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/capability-approach/

3. Veganism vs. Anti-Capitalism (vs. The Vegan Anarchist) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFqvoTLd5_k

4. Against Anarchism (In Principle and in Practice, esp. “Left Anarchism” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FaTvML9ATaY

5. China is Right About Xinjiang – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqgPw5Z-Guw

6. Civil Disobedience is the Opposite of Democracy. – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gs9HO4BjwrY

7. Sanity vs. Insanity: Veganism vs. Animal Liberation – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXghrCRoz5s

8. Chairman Mao – Why do people worship this MURDERER? By Serpentza – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_ZCf1dZv6g

9. Against Serpentza, re: Chairman Mao’s Portrait on the Wall – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_AFVx0SOZk

10. Eisel’s use of faulty comparisons to oversimplify problems. – https://philosophicalvegan.com/viewtopic.php?p=48462

Debate On The Definition of Veganism

Debate Proposition: We should define veganism as “an animal products boycott” which is primarily against animal agriculture, and not “veganism is a way of life that seeks to place the value of animal life, health and liberty above the value of substitutable classes of goods, services and uses derived from animals.”

At the 32:30 mins mark in the video, I gave a rebuttal to Shadow’s definition, on why I think myself and other vegans don’t and shouldn’t have to fit under his definition, but either he didn’t understand it and/or I didn’t explain myself clearly enough.

He views anyone who would ‘substitute meat in their shopping trolley for vegetables’ as what qualifies them as a vegan (fitting under his definition), but I disagree that it has to be because you’re strictly valuing a hypothetical animal that got a chance to live, higher than the one that died to make the animal product which you’re substituting for vegetable products.

I desire to grant guardianship laws to animals to collectively be able to seek refuge in a specific area of wildlife habitat because I can recognize they desire to express their capabilities, having land they can call their territory helps them fulfil this need, and I can recognize if I was born into the world as an animal or severely disabled human I would want access to resources to fulfil my needs.

Another way of saying this could be I place the value of getting to see wildlife in dense wildlife habitat above the value of strip malls, business parks and open cast coal mines.

I don’t think I ought place the value of animal life, health and liberty above the value of substitutable classes of goods, services and uses derived from animals.

So two exceptions to the rule could be:

  1. I don’t think I’m viewing the value for the animal to live in the wild as being higher than the value a sheep would find on a semi-wild farm protected from predators and then turned into a substitutable class of meat towards the end of it’s life. (Even thought I think a fully wild habitat would offer more life for more animals and not slaughtering would offer a more virtuous life for the human).
  2. And I even think that I value the class of goods of carrots above the substitutable class of goods of apples which puts the value of animals life lower in some circumstances, like turning over soil to let seagulls feast on the worms.

My argument is simply that we ought engineer a set of circumstances in which a much higher number of animals are getting to express their capabilities in wildlife habitat. But I don’t think that necessarily has to be hashed out to ‘doing it for the animals’ or ‘because I’m viewing their life in the wild as universally of higher value to ways you could individually treat them as means to an end substitutable classes of goods or services.’ Because I wouldn’t necessarily.

Shadow Starshine’s response to the exceptions to the rule (after the debate had ended) was:

Right, let me respond to the second point first. It’s where I’ve admitted that my definition has the highest weakness is that what a “class” is, is vague. I obviously don’t mean specific fruits and meats and whatever to constitute legitimate classes, and I want “food” to be a class of product. or “medicine”, things of that level. I agree that one can sort of twist the wording of class to mean things like you’re implying which is beyond my intention.

The first point is interesting, I may or may not agree with it. I’ll think on it.

How to simply explain what veganism is and argue for it

Script for a two part video series, plus formal syllogisms.

Part One

Part 2

Coming soon!

Table of Contents

  • 1. The Vegan Definition – 1a. Intro
    • 1b. How to explain what veganism is
    • 1c. Why not other definitions?
    • 1d. What specifically is wrong with other definitions?
    • 1e. Good definitions
    • 1f. Outro
  • 2. Arguments for Veganism – 2a. Intro
    • 2b. General Purpose – Name The Trait
    • 2c. Consequentialist – Marginal cases
    • 2d. Virtue Ethics – Respect for Animal Capabilities
    • 2e. Deontology – The Golden Rule
    • 2f. Nihilist Ethics – Property Rights for Animals
    • 2g. Outro
  • 3. Formal Syllogisms – 3a. General Purpose – Name The Trait
    • 3b. Consequentialist – Marginal Cases
    • 3c. Virtue Ethics – Respect for Animal Capabilities
    • 3d. Deontology – The Golden Rule
    • 3e. Nihilist Ethics – Property Rights for Animals
  • 4. References

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1. The Vegan Definition

1a. Intro

Hello, okay this is going to be the first of two videos, where in this first video I introduce my preferred definition of veganism, explain why I think it’s the best one for advocacy, then in the second video run you through 5 a-mazing arguments for veganism and how best to argue for it. This is mainly for vegans to become better skilled at advocating, but any feedback is more than welcome.

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1b. How to explain what veganism is

I define veganism as simply “an animal products boycott.”

I make the point of saying it’s one campaign tactic among many, aimed primarily at achieving the end of animal agriculture.

And that personally I see the principle behind the action as being grounded in the animal rights movement, seeking collective legal rights for animals to have a refuge in dense wildlife habitat where they aren’t subject to human cruelty. In a similar way to how the act of boycotting South African products or the act of boycotting the Montgomery bus company was grounded in a larger civil rights movement.

Other boycotts didn’t have a specific name for the identity one took on when boycotting, the principle for why they boycotted was contained in what it meant to be part of a larger movement e.g. being a civil rights advocate. So I would just encourage people to think of themselves as animal rights advocates first, fighting for the legal protection of animals. Though you could also call yourself an animal liberation advocate fighting to free non-human animals to be able to express their capabilities in managed wildlife habitat or a sanctuary.

As for why someone would arrive at the ethical conclusion to boycott, it could be a million ways, but the three main ethical schools of thought you can draw from are consequentialism, virtue ethics and deontology. I would just be prepared to tailor your arguments to the person you’re standing in front of, as we’ll discuss in the second video. It’s not important for you to know the school you’re arguing from, but I’ll give you them anyway as an introduction to each ethical argument for an animal products boycott.

So, five ways to explain the principle that got you into veganism and what branch of philosophy it may be related to:

Hedonistic Utilitarianism: The principle of not breeding sentient life into the world where you know you will cause more suffering on a global calculus than happiness. Examples: climate change, stress and pain in slaughterhouse than longer happy life in wild with low rates of predation, stress to slaughterhouse workers who are more likely to abuse their family).

Preference Consequentialism: The principle of not breeding sentient life into the world to kill when you know they will have interests to go on living longer than would be profitable. Examples: They have habits for things they’d like to do each day and they show you by their desire not to be loaded onto scary trucks and to a slaughterhouse with screams and smells of death.

Virtue Ethics: The principle of not breeding a sentient life into captivity when you know you could leave room for other animals to enjoy happy flourishing being able to express all their capabilities in wild habitat. Not wanting to parasitically take away life with meaning for low-order pleasure in our hierarchy of needs which we can find elsewhere.

Deontology: The principle of everyone should only act in such a way that it would still be acceptable to them if it were to become universal law. So not breeding sentient life into existence, only to keep them confined, tear families apart and kill them later, as you wouldn’t want it to happen to you.

Nihlist Ethics: The principle that you should be wary of in-authentically acting in a way you don’t believe due to outside social pressures, like that acting un-caringly is necessary to what it means to be a man. So testing out values you were brought up with against new ones as you go and coming to the conclusion that you prefer a society where most have the value of seeing animals flourishing in nature and not in captivity/pain.

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1c. Why not use other definitions?

The reason I would encourage people to use the definition “an animal products boycott” and not other definitions is it gets at the root motivation people have for being vegan without being divisive about which ethical system is best.

In 1944 those members of the vegetarian society who were avoiding all use of animal products, created their own vegan society and came up with the word vegan. They did this after a series of debates in which they voiced their concern that we should also be advocating the boycott of the dairy and egg industries.

Now I acknowledge that one problem with defining veganism as an “animal products boycott” is people saying “well would you be okay with hunting wild animals yourself then?” But to that I would answer “implicit in the word boycott is an ethical judgement on the activity that creates the product.”

So, for 99% of people protesting animal farming, it’s going to be hypocritical to go hunting, because you’re desiring to prevent the incentives for the killing from ever happening so you couldn’t then go out and do it yourself. It’s a positive that we get to really easy conceptually tie this to other boycotts where someone boycotting South African products during apartheid wouldn’t feel comfortable with flying over their and joining the police force themselves, more so than in other definitions where you’re just saying you’re abstaining from using the end animal products.

But I am actually fine with my definition being softer on for example subsistence hunters. I’ve got a video on my channel of Penan tribes people in Indonesia explaining how it would be repulsive to them to keep animals in captivity to farm, and I think this is great animal rights advocacy, so again a positive distinction.

So the idea that some tiny 0.001% of people who might boycott animal products, may also feel fine with going out hunting themselves would just be one of a number of fringe groups you already have under many definitions, like neo-nazis desiring to boycott animal products and wanting to commit harms against humans. Which we simply have to denounce or distance ourselves from in our animal rights advocacy anyway.

Another concern people may have is that boycotting sounds like you’re primarily negatively opposed to a thing and trying to reduce your reliance on that thing. But I would argue you have that with every definition and that by creating a distance between the behaviour (veganism) and the principle (animal rights) you allow people to see the action as part of a big tent animal rights movement, where you’re hoping through boycotting, lobbying, starting vegan cafes, food not bombs stalls and foraging groups to create the breathing room necessary for legislation and rewilding where you can get to enjoy a more compassionate local community and see more animals flourishing in wildlife habitat.

To draw attention away from veganism as a political act is to make veganism look simply like an identity one takes on to look cool or be part of a subculture. Whereas people can relate boycott’s to other real world events as great positive coming together moments under a liberation politics. For example car-sharing during the Montgomery bus boycott, students leading the call to stop subsidising Israel and before that South Africa, the widespread boycotting of a reactionary tabloid newspaper in the UK that ran stories saying mass suffocation at a football stadium due to overcrowding and fences were the fans fault. So boycotting to show your real felt ties to the land you stand on. The first boycott was people simply withdrawing their labour from an imperialist landlord in Ireland in a desire to build something greater once he’d left, so I think it is very flexible to positive intention [1]

Now, does this definition leave room for any exceptions to the rule? Well yes in a way, but I would say a positive one, in that it allows for waste animal products to be used if no profit finds its way back to the person who caused the harm. If you can get a supermarket to redirect its 1000 loaves of bread containing whey from going in the dumpster to a food bank, that can only be a benefit to the world.

Also, it doesn’t attempt to include animal entertainment boycotts in what it means to be vegan, and simply leaves that to be included in what it means to be an animal rights advocate. Although it’s so similar one could raise an eyebrow about why someone would boycott animal agriculture and not animal cruelty as entertainment. People already view veganism as simply abstaining from the use of animal products, so we just do have to contend with why awful people like some eco-fascists desire to be vegans and denounce them. To try and pretend that someone boycotting animal products can’t also be an awful person in other ways is wilfully ignorant. In the same way, claiming that ex-vegans could never have been vegan for not having understood the ethical arguments is fallacious and off-putting.

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1d. What specifically is wrong with other definitions?

Why not define veganism as reducing suffering which is the consequentialist reason for being vegan? Because ‘reducing suffering’ is too big, too abstract, too idealistic, beyond the capacity of one person to ever achieve, laudable but doomed to failure. Whereas ‘boycotting animal products’ is not. ‘Reducing suffering’ creates the impression of the martyr, the need to live a ridiculously puritan lifestyle, like Jain monks sweeping the floor everywhere they walk. And excludes all other ethical systems.

Why not define veganism as the rule that ‘man should not exploit animal’ which is the deontological reason for being vegan? Because it immediately brings to mind the plenty of ways we can pragmatically rescue animals and improve their circumstances while still less obviously exploitative-ly keeping them captive, e.g. rescuing dogs, chickens or horses. And excludes all other ethical systems.

The debates that lead up to the creation of the vegan society were about the dairy industry. They were raised equally from a concern about well-being and about rights:

Dr. Anna Bonus Kingsford, a member of the Vegetarian Society in 1944 argued for a total boycott of animal products, saying “[the dairy industry] must involve some slaughter I think and some suffering to the cows and calves.”

Why not define veganism as a hodge-podge of the two main ethical systems, consequentialism and deontology, as the modern vegan society tries to do? Because it’s far too convoluted and open to misinterpretation. You get into debates about what does “as far as is possible and practicable” mean, when you could just say veganism is a boycott. If you aren’t capable of participating for being eating disordered for example, that’s ok, you can be ethically on par with or more ethical than a vegan in your own way, but you just aren’t able to participate in the boycott.

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1e. Good Definitions

So, In summary, I’ll go over what I think are the best definitions:

What is veganism?

  1. An animal products boycott.

(This is a minimal behavioural commitment, with very little confusion about what it entails. The idea that it’s a protest allows for other priorities to override the idea like the need to take vaccines with egg product, but either way it’s still a strong commitment to a commercial boycott. It’s both the reason the vegan society was created and simply the colloquial understanding of a vegan as ‘a person who does not eat or use animal products’, but leaves room for freeganism.)

And/or…

  1. A way of living which seeks to exclude all use of animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.

(This includes other boycott behaviours like avoiding animals in entertainment, but is vague about whether it entails a weaker or stronger commitment to the act of boycotting itself. Potentially we could move to solely this one definition when we can afford to give more or less equal focus to campaigning against other industries).

What is Animal Rights?

The philosophy which says animals should be granted collective legal rights to have a refuge in dense wildlife habitat where they aren’t subject to human cruelty. With the few exceptions where the law is overridden by right to self-defence or special dispensation from the government for example to practice some scientific testing to cure diseases, as well as breed and keep guide dogs for the blind.

(If a fox kills a rabbit because it’s the only way it can stay strong and pass on it’s genes, it’s part of a wonderfully delicate ecosystem. I have the choice to pick an apple off a tree and enjoy watching the rabbit. So, not wanting to parasitically take away life with instinctual desires to express their high order capabilities for low-order pleasure in our hierarchy of needs which we can find elsewhere.)

What is the Animal Rights Movement?

(Same again, just swapping philosophy for social movement, so…)

A social movement which seeks to gain collective legal rights for animals to have a refuge in dense wildlife habitat where they aren’t subject to human cruelty, etc. Etc.

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1f. Outro

Let me know what you think in a comment down below, all the best, peace.

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2. Arguments for Veganism

2a. Intro

Hello, okay this is going to be a long video, so time-codes in the description if you just want to flick around. This is the second video in a two part series, where in the first video I introduced my preferred definition of veganism, why I think it’s the best one. And now in this video I I will run you through 5 a-mazing arguments for veganism. This is mainly for vegans to become better skilled at advocating, but any feedback is more than welcome.

So, what are the best arguments for advocating veganism?

Well that really depends on your audience, but I’ll run through a few and give my thoughts on the pros and cons of each.

First off let’s start with an argument that is designed to work on any ethical system, called name the trait.

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2a. General Purpose – Name The Trait

Basically it asks what would be the ethical implications for humans if we used the same justifications that meat eaters use for how we treat animals.

  1. Would you prefer not to kill a human for food if you could easily access and eat plant food?
  2. Would you prefer not to kill a non-human animal for food if you could easily access and eat plant food?
  3. If you answered that you’re not ok with killing humans for food and you are ok with killing non-human animals for food, what trait is true of the animal that would let you feel justified in killing animals. And, if that became true of humans, would you then feel justified in killing humans if you could easily eat and had access to plant food in either scenario?

So lack of intelligence, no social contract, etc.

So one positive feature of this argument is it directly makes real for people the severity of their actions.

The negatives are it doesn’t directly deal with any of the pragmatics of day to day living. It’s this abstract hypothetical in which if the other persons position is shown to be absurd, nothing they said was of any value. You may win your point but still alienate the person. People like to have the feeling that they have imparted some knowledge about the world in a two way conversation, not that they are just being shown up for their mistakes.

One way to alleviate this problem could be to ask beforehand, how confident are you on a scale of 1 to 10 that eating animal products is ethically justifiable in your current situation in life? Engage them in the idea that we all have assumptions we were raised with which we have to work hard to see through sometimes, as a precursor to asking your questions. Having had the conversation, ask if their confidence was increased or decreased.

But even this tact again runs the issue of people just saying a high number and then feeling obligated to argue strongly to justify their conviction. Or even coming away with a lower number, but now believing it’s even more of a complex topic than they previously thought – so feeling vindicated in continuing to consume animal products because “there are no easy answers”, even though the agnostic position should be to ‘do no harm’.

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2b. Consequentialist – Marginal cases

Very similar to name the trait.

When meat eaters try to justify the killing of non-human animals they often reach for the idea that humans have some superior ability which entitles them to control the lives of those without that ability. How this intuition plays out in society has led to disabled people working below minimum wage or the putting off of using tax payers’ money towards accessible public amenities like bus stops with the right pavement height for wheelchair users.

Quoting from Wikipedia:

The argument from marginal cases takes the form of a proof by contradiction. It attempts to show that you cannot coherently believe both that all humans have moral status, and that all non-humans lack moral status.

Consider a cow. We ask why it is acceptable to kill this cow for food – we might claim, for example, that the cow has no concept of self and therefore it cannot be wrong to kill it. However, many young children may also lack this same concept of “self”. So if we accept the self-concept criterion, then we must also accept that killing children is acceptable in addition to killing cows, which is considered a reductio ad absurdum. So the concept of self cannot be our criterion.

Then we can say for any criterion or set of criteria (either capacities, e.g. language, consciousness, the ability to have moral responsibilities towards others; or relations, e.g. sympathy or power relations), there exists some “marginal” human who is mentally handicapped in some way that would also meet the criteria for having no moral status.

Positives are it works well on consequentialists.

Negatives are: because of its focus on how similar humans are to animals it could unintentionally leave you with a warped picture of only the cost and complexities of helping disabled people to engage in as many of the aspects of society that they are capable of and would like to. So coming to the end of a discussion solely focused on connecting two negative facts about some disabled people and non-human animals.

Therefore it’s important that there should be time spent acknowledging both the unique perspectives of neuro-divergent people who have improved our society dramatically like Albert Einstein. As well as the unique capabilities of non-human animals to pursue what they have reasons to value, that is a great source of wonder to us, which inspires the arts and which we can study through behavioural science.

Which leads us well onto…

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2c. Virtue Ethics – Respect for Animal Capabilities

If the wonder that we experience in viewing wild animals is not ‘how similar to us they are’, but their ‘real opportunities to do and be what they have reason to value’ and one sufficient reason we grant this freedom at least to a basic extent to humans is they have a desire to achieve what they find valuable then; the fact non-human animals experience this desire too means we ought extend these freedoms to animals.

So, a holistic world-view of not wanting to reduce both the quality and quantity of positive experiences humans can have with animals, as well as animals with other animals for low-order pleasures such as taste/texture.

From the philosophical vegan wiki:

Veganism is at its core about peace and compassion. By not buying animal products, you may even feel more at peace and start to get other ideas about how to become a more compassionate person in other areas of your life. Feeding your virtue in one way can help you become a happier person, while doing harm to animals can lead to cruelty or caprice in other ways e.g. the link between slaughterhouse workers and rates of domestic violence.

Of course be prepared to acknowledge that there are fringe cases of people going vegan as a method to feed a concept of superiority and use it as a tool to bash others over the head with.

Positives are it’s hard to argue against without making yourself look bad aha.

Negative are: we’re used to treating virtue as an extra something special we’re not required to do, but makes you an even better person if you do voluntarily. So the idea that we ought do something just because we find wonder in it doesn’t appear to hold a lot of weight on it’s own. Therefore probably best used in tandem with an argument like name the trait. Still the argument offers an avenue to talk about what goals and ambitions people have and how breaking with addictions to unhealthy foods could make them happier because of the compassion they would also be showing animals and the better world with more wildlife in it that they could help to bring about.

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2d. Deontology – The Golden Rule

The golden rule isn’t strictly deontological and can be used on anyone, but it is also very close to how deontologists you may encounter view philosophy, like Kant’s categorical imperative for example: The principle that everyone should only act in such a way that it would still be acceptable to them if it were to become universal law. So when applied to animals; not breeding sentient life into existence, only to keep them confined, tear families apart and kill them later, as you wouldn’t want it to happen to you.

From the philosohical vegan wiki:

  • Ask people if they accept the golden rule
  • Ask if they were in an animals’ hooves if they would like being born into this world as property, only to be killed at a young age for another’s taste pleasure.
  • The response should typically be “no”, but…

There are three common objections:

  1. The objection that we could eat nothing, because “If I were a plant I wouldn’t want to be eaten either”

This is easily answered, but may lead into more discussion: If you were a plant you would not care about being eaten, because plants are not sentient and have no brain or ability to think. The only likely response is plant-sentience, which is an argument rife with pseudoscience and misunderstanding of physiology and the nature of sentience and intelligence, as well as often supernatural claims.

  1. The arbitrary objection that the golden rule only applies to humans.

Which begs the question of “why?”, and “why not only to your own family and not to strangers?” Or “why not only to your own ‘race’?”

  1. The rejection of application of the golden rule to those who in theory would not or could not apply it back to you.

This is a misunderstanding of the golden rule, which operates independently of how others might treat you.

Positives are it’s simplicity.

Negatives are by comparing ‘how similar to us they are’ in their desire to avoid simple things like pain, it again, like the first two arguments, unintentionally draws people’s attention away from animals desire to ‘do and be what they have reason to value’. E.g. conjures up imaginings of having to share a busy high street with masses of sheep and cows because they want to enjoy the same right to free movement as you. However, you can easily argue that as humans there are some ways that we can intelligently gather that fences separating human habitat from animals would be a plus because it’s in cows own interest not to get lost inside a concrete jungle.

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2f. Nihilist Ethics – Property Rights for Animals

If you desire the ability to live a full life on your property because it satisfies a desire you have to meet your basic needs and you’re in favour of guardianship laws to protect this ability for severely mentally disabled people in court because they can’t defend themselves then; you should really desire non-human animals who also have these needs have a legal right to their wild habitat as property and should enjoy guardianship laws which protects their legal rights in court through appointment of a guardian to represent the case of one or a group of animals unless another reason is specified on pain of living in bad faith.

This centres the discussion on how you may be excluding other groups because it’s the social norm. If there’s one norm that unites nihilists in their rejection of universalist ethics, it’s that of the desire to live authentically, so not acting in a way you don’t believe due to outside social pressures, like that acting without compassion is necessary to what it means to be a man.

Everyone has some values they were brought up with that inform their meta-ethical system. It’s up to us to test out those values as we go along against new ones we discover and decide what kind of world we want to live in. We are meaning-seeking creatures innately, we can if we chose seek the happy flourishing of ourselves and others in the process, instead of living a life predicated on taking from others happy flourishing unnecessarily.

Getting to a stage in human civilization where we are able to derive meaning from compassionately caring for the basic needs of every person could be a great thing, just like we could find meaning in getting to see more land freed up for wildlife, where animals are able to express all their capabilities.

Positives are it gets you to appreciate what core basic necessities you take for granted as a means of encouraging the other person to show compassion for animals.

Negatives are it is primarily made to work on nihilists highly concerned with authenticity. Again could be used in tandem with name the trait, to first show a basic commonality for how we all come into this world with certain needs and then ask what trait justifies excluding one group from moral consideration over another.

Secondly people may question the logistics of granting rights to animals today which leads to a procedural tangent about how to incrementally introduce the law in parts. Complications like, the time to grant habitat rights in planning disputes. Then when to introduce rights for some of the few farm animals left to live a full life seeking refuge in semi-wild habitat, pigs being al. Or where and when pigs are allowed to go feral, with the proviso that we can re-introduce predator species to keep the population in check. But misunderstandings like these are crucial intuitive blocks as to why the general population may find it difficult to accept an argument without a clear understanding of the pragmatics of how vegans envision progressing to this more ideal society. So, even if tiresome for the vegan who’s gone over it a million times, it’s always useful to being open to going over it again.

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2g. Outro

But yeah, that’s the end of the video, remember to tailor the argument you use to the person you’re talking to. I’ll put a link to the full script in the description, so you can read back the arguments, plus formal syllogisms if you’re curious. Let me know what you think in a comment down below, all the best, peace.

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3. Formal Syllogisms

3a. General Purpose – Name The Trait

P1) Humans have moral value.

P2) If your view affirms a given human is trait-equalizable to a given nonhuman animal while retaining moral value, then your view can only deny the given nonhuman animal has moral value on pain of P∧~P.

P3) Your view affirms a given human is trait-equalizable to a given nonhuman animal while retaining moral value.

C1) Therefore, your view can only deny the given nonhuman animal has moral value on pain of P∧~P

P4) Animals have moral value.

P5) If a being has moral value, we ought not support the use of that being for animal products.

C2) Therefore we ought not support the use of animal products

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3b. Consequentialist – Marginal cases

P1) Some humans (infants, young children, profoundly intellectually disabled) are intellectually comparable to non-human animals.

P2) If the well-being of non-human animals (e.g. their avoiding a given amount of suffering, their benefiting from a given quality of life) is morally less important than ours (in virtue of these lesser intellectual abilities), then the well-being of these humans is equally less important (in virtue of their lesser intellectual abilities).

P3) But the well-being of these humans isn’t morally less important than ours.

C1) Therefore, The well-being of non-human animals is not morally less important than ours.

This entails (if you like in conjunction with P4. Our well-being is morally important) the Principle of Equal Consideration: human and non-human animal well-being is of equal intrinsic moral importance (i..e moral importance in itself and apart from its further effects) – e.g. all else held equal, the fact that an act would inflict a given amount of harm (e.g. a given amount of suffering) on a human or a non-human animal is an equally strong moral reason against it.

Defense of P3: It is deeply implausible that intellectual ability affects the intrinsic importance of one’s well-being once we distinguish (i) its role in making one a moral agent who owes duties vs. a moral patient who is owed duties, (ii) its role in affecting the instrumental importance of one’s well-being for others, and (iii) its role in determining how beneficial or harmful certain things are for you (including how much typical human adults benefit from living vs. how much non-human animals and profoundly intellectually disabled humans benefit from living).

Defense of P2: The only relevant thing that distinguishes non-human animals from intellectually comparable humans is bare biological species membership, but it’s deeply implausible that bare biological species membership is relevant to the intrinsic moral importance of someone’s well-being once one we focus on what it really is: something like potential to interbreed to produce fertile offspring, psychology-independent morphology, phenotype-independent genotype, history of phylogenetic descent. It’s no more plausible that these matter to the intrinsic moral importance of someone’s well-being than someone’s ethnicity / continent of ancestry and consequent facial features, hair texture, and skin colour (race), or her chromosomes and relative gamete size (sex).

The weakening: Even if somehow intellectual ability or biological species memebership per se mattered to the moral importance of someone’s well-being they couldn’t matter very much. Since they seem utterly devoid of moral importance; surely it is safe to at least conclude:

C2) Principle of Minimal Consideration: We should / are morally required to avoid inflicting enormous harm on non-human animals for what is at most relatively trivial benefits for ourselves.

Empirical considerations about factory farming, human health, environmental effects, and, if you like, further philosophical considerations about what makes death a harm, the potential relevance of the fact that future farmed animals won’t exist unless we buy animal products, and the probabilities that one’s purchasing decisions will make a difference of various kinds and to what extent this matters, we get:

P5) To avoid inflicting enormous harm on non-human animals for what is at most relatively trivial benefits for ourselves, we must be vegan.

Finally, C2 and P5 entail:

C3) We should / are morally required to be vegan.

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3c. Virtue Ethics – Respect for Animal Capabilities

P1) If the wonder that we experience in viewing wild animals is not ‘how similar to us they are’, but their ‘real opportunities to do and be what they have reason to value’ and one sufficient reason we grant this freedom at least to a basic extent to humans is they have a desire to achieve what they find valuable THEN the fact non-human animals experience this desire too means we ought extend these freedoms to animals.

P2) The wonder that we experience in viewing wild animals is not ‘how similar to us they are’, but their ‘real opportunities to do and be what they have reason to value’ and one sufficient reason we grant this freedom at least to a basic extent to humans is they have a desire to achieve what they find valuable.

C) Therefore the wonder that we experience in viewing wild animals is not ‘how similar to us they are’, but their ‘real opportunities to do and be what they have reason to value’ and one sufficient reason we grant this freedom at least to a basic extent to humans is they have a desire to achieve what they find valuable AND the fact non-human animals experience this desire too means we ought extend these freedoms to animals.

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3d. Deontology – The Golden Rule

P1) If I would like to be treated well then I should treat others well

P2) I would like to be treated well

C1) Therefore I should treat others well

P3) I would not like to be treated badly then I should not treat others badly

P4) I would not like to be treated badly

C2) Therefore I should not treat others badly

C3) Therefore I should treat others well and not treat others badly

P5) Non human animals count as “others”

P6) Veganism is entailed by treating others well and not treating others badly

C3) Therefore I should be veganism

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3e. Nihilist Ethics – Property Rights for Animals

P1) If I desire the ability to live a full life on my property because it satisfies a desire I have to meet my basic needs and I’m in favour of guardianship laws to protect this ability for severely mentally disabled people in court because they can’t defend themselves THEN I should desire non-human animals who also have these needs have a legal right to their wild habitat as property and should enjoy guardianship laws which protects their legal rights in court through appointment of a guardian to represent the case of one or a group of animals unless another reason is specified on pain of living in bad faith.

P2) I desire the ability to live a full life on my property because it satisfies a desire I have to meet my basic needs and I’m in favour of guardianship laws to protect this ability for severely mentally disabled people in court because they can’t defend themselves.

C) Therefore I desire the ability to live a full life on my property because it satisfies a desire I have to meet my basic needs and I’m in favour of guardianship laws to protect this ability for severely mentally disabled people in court because they can’t defend themselves AND I should desire non-human animals who also have these needs have a legal right to their wild habitat as property and should enjoy guardianship laws which protects their legal rights in court through appointment of a guardian to represent the case of one or a group of animals unless another reason is specified on pain of living in bad faith.

Defence of P1: The different identity relations between humans and animals would be the other specified reason, if you desire to do something simply because of reason x, and reason x applies to this other group, then unless another reason is specified you’re likely simply excluding the other group because it’s the social norm. So you haven’t thought it through, hence living in bad faith. You can still easily get out of it by saying you don’t care about speciesism, but that would be adding another reason.

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References

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Boycott

The bizarre case of vegan Neo-Nazis & deprogramming vegans who glorify violence

Part 1 – Identifying a problem

 

Vegan Neo-Nazis

So I’d like to tell you the story about a pair of ex-anarchists, ex-Animal Liberation Front convicts, Walter Bond and Camille Marino who have launched the website ‘Vegan Final Solution’, a Neo-Nazi platform trying to recruit from the vegan & animal liberation milieu. Here are some of the ideas they promote: [1]

WE ADVOCATE a third position beyond left and right-wing ideology; a third position that encompasses the best of both, and discards the rest.

WE ADVOCATE a hierarchy where those that exercise self-discipline and self-sacrifice for the good of animals and the earth are deemed more deserving of life than the gluttonous, selfish drones that shovel dead animals into their grotesque faces, simply to satiate their lust for rotting meat. With hierarchy, we separate the wheat from the chaff.

WE ADVOCATE a total lack of concern for egalitarian issues. The whole laundry bag of activist, and so called “total liberation” issues, not only seeks to put the focus right back on worthless people, but also undermines the animals’ safety by making society more cohesive and functional.

So classic fascist ideology, plus a bunch of dog whistles to Classical Nazi code-speak: Final Solution, Third Position & Life unworthy of life.

Also letters he would send from prison had nazi propaganda on the back, so that’s always fun. [Video]

 

Now the case study of groups who supported or continue to support them

Walter Bond was supported by the group ‘Unnoffensive Animal’ in a hopeful disregard for his fascist leanings, they were convinced by his support group that his early fascist writings were just a short lived cause of traumatic prison conditions. They encouraged vegans to send letters of support and buy his book. Allowing their respect for his actions to get in the way of transparency and accountability. [2]

He was and still is being promoted by the North America Animal Liberation Press Office, SupportWalter.org & Forward to Eden. [3][4][5]

And finally listed on the website for people they view as ‘friends & allies’ are Gary Yourofsky (ADAPTT) & Black Rose Belarus. [1]

 

So what commonalities can we find among all these groups?

Well for one, a strong commitment to vandalism as a campaign tactic and potential tolerance for violence which goes further than that.

Now disclaimer; I’m not saying all graffitiing is wrong or all revolutions are bad. I’m not even saying there’s a risk of thousands of die hard vegan anarchists becoming Neo-Nazis.

I am saying there’s a risk of politically ignorant people who glorify violence (like Gary Yourofsky’s apolitical misanthropy) finding common cause with eco-fascists and not seeing the harm they’re doing promoting this shit.

I think the few revolutionary groups who are promoting this Nazi website should be a wake up call. And so an issue we should work to untangle for how people get duped into first glorifying ‘propaganda by the deed,’ bodily harm and violence, for the animals today – where it would be completely unethical and counter-productive – then find common cause with Nazis.

So I think we need to do a better job of explaining where some direct action goes overboard and becomes both unethical and ineffective. As well as checking in on our friends who look to be going down a bad path and provide them with the support they need.

 

Part 2 – Solutions

 

Step 1: Putting social pressure to bear on groups, organisations and content creators

 

We need to discourage the excuses that could easily lead to this happening again.

People’s appreciation for Gary’s speech turning them and others vegan also got in the way of people condemning him for his support for violence, his wishing rape on people as punishment & calling Palestinians psychopaths and their rights supporters insane. [6]

As well, Anonymous for the Voiceless made a post about the man who took a bunch of people hostage at gunpoint until the President made an online post promoting the movie Earthlings… ‘Just asking the question’ as to whether it was a success or failure for the animals, without clearly condemning his actions. [7]

It’s really worrying that 100s of vegans on Facebook would comment in favour of the Ukraine hostage taker and have their profile public showing police everything about their life. It shows both the level of unethical-ness and the naivety that could likely easily be swayed into promoting an edgy neo-nazi who hides the real outcomes of their politics only slightly.

Finally it’s important to make people aware of when the person they’re following has far-right leanings, so they aren’t sucked down the rabbit hole of bad justifications without realising where the end conclusion is leading. I’ll put a link in the endnotes to an article for further reading on racists in the vegan movement. [8]

 

Step 2: Deprogramming individuals who glorify violence

 

How does someone begin to take on beliefs which glorify violence?

Some examples we could think of could be obsessively watching animal cruelty videos, being insulted by friends & family over your vegan diet and not being able to avoid seeing people eat meat.

We could simply do a better job of checking in on newly vegan friends and promoting online spaces for them to find people to talk to.

Remind them they were blindly ignorant once too, so we need to have compassion for the perpetrator too.

 

How does someone potentially work up to taking unethical violent acts?

Blocking foxes from getting mauled to death, so gaining the confidence to get into stand-offs with fox hunters. Similarly with blocking fascists marching through immigrant neighbourhoods.

Disclaimer; I’m very much pro hunt sabbing and protesting fascists, I’m pro people getting active and feeling invested by protecting each other and foxes.

But, I also know people who get obsessed and all I’m saying is don’t be afraid to bring up with your friend that they may need to take a break or could be turning people away with their not comprehensible rants on Facebook. Get talking to them about other campaign tactics they can engage with for a time. [9]

Remind them the best advocacy tool we have is just shining a light on their cruelty and defending the victims. The few fox hunters we can annoy into not wanting to go on the hunt again pales in comparison as a goal to the amount of people we can get to question their meat eating by just showcasing their cruelty and showing how a fox or multiple foxes lives were life was saved.

 

Part 3 – What are the philosophical justifications for violence

 

1. Self-defence by proxy.

Reasonable grounds that when confronting systemic violence, you are preventing the total number or rate at which animal lives experiencing unjust cruelty stay the same or goes up. Not true of today.

Reasonable grounds that there was no way of avoiding injury to the perpetrator or any potential injury would be less than the well-being gained for the lives saved. Not true of today.

You could grant that in a hypothetical future if we were to get to a place where 99% of the world were vegan and less animal products being produced causes a drop in demand, yet we still hadn’t made meat eating illegal, then; you could risk injury to the perpetrator by citizens arresting them, while you free the animals where there was no other option than risking potential injury because the value for the sentient animals being free to live in a sanctuary is greater.

 

2. Desire for a war of self-determination

Animals can’t conceptualize a tactical war to achieve rights, so they can’t desire it. We aren’t even able to alleviate their suffering like we could human prisoners with the optimistic notion that direct actions done in other places now, may one day lead to an end to their suffering.

You could grant in the socialist case if 99% of society had been fully socialised and a previous factory owner had locked themself in and was refusing to move for wanting to employ only who they like and keep the profits to themself, some force in picking them up and moving them would be acceptable. Obviously revolutions are a lot more complicated than this hypothetical and I do commend cases like the Kurdish uprising in Northern Syria which took power from a regime who had rolled tanks on demonstrators and outlawed teaching of their native language.

But, even in the human case there are key foundations you need to work from, like the probability you won’t just give an excuse for the oppressor committing even worse horrors as was the case with the Rohingya militants who ambushed a police checkpoint, resulting in army & citizen campaign to burn down many villages, plus murder and rape those that couldn’t get away.

As well as a responsibility to put down arms after winning political freedoms and a majority are in favour of diplomacy through electoral politics, like in Northern Ireland today.

Much of the problem I think is animal rights activists confusing these two arguments. But what do you think? What other ways can you think of for talking someone down from their beliefs glorifying violence?

 

Part 4 – Closing Arguments

 

Time on earth is the greatest gift we have

Even if it could be argued that a war of terror, killing those involved in animal agriculture was the easiest route to reducing the number of animals bred into living horrible lives… I would still say it’s ethically wrong to be the person who takes another’s life just because it’s the easiest way. You could have worked to become president and outlawed it with one signature, you could have inspired a 1000 liberators to break every cage.

It’s an act of self-harm to treat life with such disregard when you could have been that same deluded person shrouded in the justificatory trappings of society treating your behaviour normally.

What I see is vegans in mourning for the animals, angry and wanting to find an outlet for that anger. After the vegan activist Regan Russell was killed, many ALF actions happened in response, and if taking the risk to slash slaughterhouse trucks’ tires in the dead of night is how you develop stronger bonds with a group of people and gain the confidence to do amazing things like travel the world and learn from other liberation struggles, then I’m all for it…

But, I don’t think the way we win today is treating a cold bureaucratic system with equally cold disregard in whose life we had the resources to be able to intimidate this week. Time on earth is the greatest gift people have, to make mistakes and learn from them, so I could never condone risking injury to people when fighting such a monolith as the animal agriculture industry today.

Let me know your thoughts in a comment down below, all the best, peace.

 

Endnotes

  1. https://veganfinalsolution.com/
  2. https://www.facebook.com/liberateordie/photos/a.261410787880915/579192992769358
  3. https://animalliberationpressoffice.org/NAALPO/2020/07/28/vegan-final-solution-com
  4. http://supportwalter.org/SW/index.php/2020/07/25/new-website-created-by-camille-marino-and-walter-bond-officially-launched-today
  5. https://www.facebook.com/forwardtoeden/posts/3118564944864698
  6. http://veganfeministnetwork.com/hero_worship/
  7. https://www.facebook.com/anonymousforthevoiceless/posts/3264530266902514
  8. https://philosophicalvegan.com/wiki/index.php/Racism_in_Veganism
  9. https://philosophicalvegan.com/wiki/index.php/Common_Allies

How To Advocate To Pro-Vegan Leftists (Mock Vaush Debate)

 

Full Transcript

 

[This is the intro to a debate that happened between 2 YouTubers on the topic of veganims and animal rights.

At the 1:10 mins mark Vaush presents an argument, then I jump in to mock debate how I think the conversation could have more ideally gone.]

Vaush: Howdy

AY: So, you currently are not a vegan?

Vaush: That is correct

AY: Now if we replaced all the animals in the factory farms with humans you wouldn’t say it’s morally wrong…

Vaush: We can skip a few steps, I include animals in my ethical system, I agree that meat eating is morally unjustifiable. I’m not… “believes meat eating is fine,” I’m… “knows veganism is correct and is too much of a moral hypocrite to go forward with it.”

AY: Oh ok, well honestly I don’t know how much I have to say to you then, I’m not like a psychologist who can work your brain.

Vaush: Yeah, no, what we do is unironically monstrous with the factory farming.

My argument here, and this is one of defending hypocrisy, so I recognise my bias in this respect, but the argument I would have here is comparable to the argument I would make for not for example telling people to not buy t-shirts that were made in China. It’s that we live in a system of such unfathomably inhuman production and it’s so convenient to adhere to the ethical modes of production in which we live, that I don’t know if I can condemn a person ethically on an individual level for participating in systems that are so much larger than them. You know?

Script: Okay I can answer that, so it’s important to acknowledge where someone is either unaware of or incapable of following a vegan lifestyle, that they are not individually responsible for the act of eating meat, even though the act itself is still unethical.

But we should be wary of extending that lack of individual responsibility away from extreme situations like being stranded on a desert island, to today where a lot of industry happens to be unethical.

Because even if we grant there’s a better system we can move to such that all consumption under capitalism currently is unethical, there exists a scale of immorality such that we hope once people become aware of particularly bad industries, they will get on board with living a low-impact vegan lifestyle.

So there’s two things:

  1. There’s the potential harm in playing down the effectiveness of the vegan boycott, because a really important positive attribute to acknowledge about this lifestyle is it’s a broad food category that in its wholefood form is easy to distinguish on the shelf. Therefore experimenting with the diet doesn’t need to feel like a burden to take on board in the same way researching and seeking out conflict-free minerals in everything you buy can be for example.
  2. The potential harm in exaggerating exceptions to the rule of individual responsibility.

But yeah you accept buying animal products is unethical, it’s just a case of some of the individual responsibility gets shared more evenly with the collective society for say voting parties which maintain the status quo, which in turn alienates/socially conditions you into not having full agency.

Vaush: Yes, I agree that meat eating is morally unjustifiable. I’m not… “believes meat eating is fine,” I’m… “knows veganism is correct and is too much of a moral hypocrite to go forward with it.”

Script: Cool, so yeah, you just have a critique of where activists put their energy?

Vaush: Yes, I just think advocacy is more effective when it’s being done outside of the demand by consumers, I don’t think there’s any likelihood or any possibility of getting the vast majority of people off of their meat diets.

Script: Well I would say existing as a vegan in the world is this really positive step to showing your seriousness and dedication you’re willing to put in, so then being better able to find each other and get organized, for example people’s willingness to start a food not bombs stall or guerrilla garden.

Secondly It’s not the case that we need to win over everyone to veganism in order to make massive change, if a large enough minority can create breathing room for legislation and food co-ops on the way to a vegan world, I do think it’s both an obligation to attempt it and to make the transition easier saving humans and wildlife. As well as driving less, buying second hand, etc.

Thirdly, boycotts have the effect of bringing communities together under a liberation politics. For example car-sharing during the Montgomery bus boycott, students leading the call to stop subsidising Israel and before that South Africa, the widespread boycotting of a reactionary tabloid newspaper in the UK that ran stories saying mass suffocation at a football stadium due to overcrowding and fences were the fans fault. So boycotting to show your real felt ties to the land you stand on as necessary optics for seriousness on the left.

And finally I’d just say there’s a way you could take this concern for shifting the blame onto individuals too far the other way, in that I think we’d agree if someone was obscenely rich and spent all their money on luxury items, never donating to campaigns or charities that we would need to bring about a better society you would think badly of this person because they would be displaying the same indifferent behaviour you’d expect of someone who say participated in systemic racism, for example excluding your generationally low-income black friend with no car from playing on your sports team by never seeing it as your responsibility to offer to drive to pick them up so they can join in.

Vaush: Yes. Look forward to discussing this more.

Script: Great, also if you could look into some animal rights news stories to cover on your stream, I do think there’s a lot of damning political stories which would do the job of bringing people further left as well as hopefully towards veganism. I’ll leave links to some in the description you can take a look at.

Alright, take care.

Vaush: Yes. Have a good one.

 

Description

Debate On How Best To Explain What Veganism Is

I debated Vegan Footsoldier in the Arthuria discord on my claim that:

We should define veganism as “an animal products boycott” which is primarily against animal agriculture, and not “the doctrine that man should live without exploiting animals” which is vague and excludes people with other ethical systems.

Below is my before and after notes on the discussion:

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Pre-Debate Notes

How to explain what veganism is

I define veganism as simply “an animal products boycott.”

I make the point of saying it’s one campaign tactic aimed primarily at acheiving the end of animal agriculture.

Personally I see it as being grounded in the animal rights movement, seeking legal habitat rights for animals to live without being subjected to human cruelty.

Finally as for why someone would arrive at that ethical conclusion, it could be a million ways, but the 3 main ethical schools of thought you can draw from are consequentialism, virtue ethics and deontology.

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Why not use other definitions?

The reason I would encourage people use the definition “an animal products boycott” and not other definitions is it gets at the root motivation people have for being vegan without being divisive about which ethical system is best.

In 1944 those members of the vegetarian society who were avoiding all use of animal products, created their own vegan society and came up with the word vegan. They did this out of a concern that we should be advocating the boycott of the dairy and egg industries.

Now I acknowledge that one problem with defining veganism as an “animal products boycott” is people saying “well would you be okay with hunting wild animals yourself then?” But to that I would answer “implicit in the word boycott is an ethical judgement on the activity that creates the product.”

So, when I boycott products containing palm oil because of rainforest destruction needed to produce the product for example, it wouldn’t suddenly be okay for me to then go out and do that rainforest destruction myself just because I didn’t sell the palm oil on.

You can’t desire that all commercial use of animal products stop existing in the world through a commercial boycott and also do an action which through your boycotting hope to prevent the incentive for it ever happening.

Now, does this definition leave room for any exceptions to the rule? Well yes in a way, but I would say a positive one, in that it allows for waste animal products to be used if no profit finds it’s way back to the person who caused the harm. If you can get a supermarket to redirect it’s 1000 loaves of bread containing whey from going in the dumpster to a food bank, that can only be a benefit to the world.

Also, it doesn’t attempt to include animal entertainment boycotts in what it means to be vegan, and simply leaves that to be included in what it means to be an animal rights advocate. Although it’s so similar one can raise an eyebrow about why someone would boycott animal agriculture and not animal cruelty as entertainment. People already view veganism as simply abstaining from the use of animal products, so we just do have to contend with why awful people like some eco-fascists desire to be vegans and denounce them. To try and pretend that someone boycotting animal products can’t also be an awful person in other ways is wilfully ignorant. In the same way, claiming that ex-vegans could never have been vegan for not having understood the ethical arguments is fallacious and off-putting.

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What specifically is wrong with other definitions?

Why not define veganism as reducing suffering which is the consequentialist reason for being vegan? Because ‘reducing suffering’ is too big, too abstract, too idealistic, beyond the capacity of one person to ever achieve, laudable but doomed to failure. Whereas ‘boycotting animal products’ is not. ‘Reducing suffering’ creates the impression of the martyr, the need to live a ridiculously puritan lifestyle, like Jain monks sweeping the floor everywhere they walk. And excludes all other ethical systems.

Why not define veganism as the rule that ‘man should not exploit animal’ which is the deontological reason for being vegan? Because it immediately brings to mind the plenty of ways we can pragmatically rescue animals and improve their circumstances while still less obviously exploitative-ly keeping them captive, e.g. rescuing dogs, chickens or horses. And excludes all other ethical systems.

The debates that lead up to the creation of the vegan society were about the dairy industry. They were raised equally from a concern about well-being and about rights:

Dr. Anna Bonus Kingsford, a member of the Vegetarian Society in 1944 argued for a total boycott of animal products, saying “[the dairy industry] must involve some slaughter I think and some suffering to the cows and calves.”

Why not define veganism as a hodge-podge of the two main ethical systems, consequentialism and deontology, as the modern vegan society tries to do? Because it’s far too convoluted and open to misinterpretation. You get into debates about what does “as far as is possible and practicable” mean, when you could just say veganism is a boycott. If you aren’t capable of participating for being eating disordered for example, that’s ok, you can be ethically on par with or more ethical than a vegan in your own way, but you just aren’t able to participate in the boycott.

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Grey areas

With every definition there are a 1000 grey areas like oysters or backyard eggs. I would just direct the conversation back to the core of getting consensus first on the ethical issue of where the majority of people get their meat from. What’s important is this definition focus’s the conversation and is easily accessible.

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Inherent in the word boycott is an ethical judgment on the act itself

The only reason to desire to boycott both animal food and clothing products is an ethical judgement on the process of obtaining animal products, so hoping to prevent the incentive for it ever happening through not supporting it.

People didn’t do a ‘South African products boycott’ because they were inherently against tropical fruits, they did it because of the method used to obtain the fruits through predominantly black laborers living under apartheid.

Veganism is ‘an animal products boycott’ in the same way the boycott against South Africa was ‘a South African products boycott’. It’s a boycott primarily against animal agriculture.

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Easily comprehensible and accessible

A really important positive attribute to acknowledge about this lifestyle is it’s a broad food category that in its wholefood form is easy to distinguish on the shelf. Therefore experimenting with the diet doesn’t need to feel like a burden to take on board in the same way researching and seeking out conflict-free minerals in everything you buy can be for example.

All that appeal is lost if you try to include researching to boycott non-vegan parent companies in the same animal products boycott.

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Focuses the conversation on it being a political tactic

It’s not the case that we need to win over everyone to veganism in order to make massive change, if a large enough minority can create breathing room for legislation and food co-ops on the way to a vegan world, I do think it’s both an obligation to attempt it and to make the transition easier saving humans and wildlife. As well as driving less, buying second hand, etc.

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Immediately relatable to other boycotts people feel positively about

Boycotts have the effect of bringing communities together under a liberation politics. For example car-sharing during the Montgomery bus boycott, students leading the call to stop subsidising Israel and before that South Africa, the widespread boycotting of a reactionary tabloid newspaper in the UK that ran stories saying mass suffocation at a football stadium due to overcrowding and fences were the fans fault. So boycotting to show your real felt ties to the land you stand on as necessary optics for seriousness on the left.

Post-Debate Notes

Summary

The two issues I don’t think I addressed well enough were (1) That I don’t think everyone should have to accept a definition of veganism cashed out to exploitation, when for some philosophies it’s antithetical and (2) That it worked in favour of my argument that other boycotts don’t even have a word for the action, like the Montgomery bus boycott, it was simply done by people who were civil rights advocates, like veganism can be done by people who are animal rights advocates.

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Transcript of the debate abbreviated down with notes added

Footsoldier: 1. The definition isn’t allowing us to understand a principle which guides our behaviour, you’re starting off with behaviour, which then you can infer a principle from and then infer more behaviour.

2. It doesn’t even get at what we mean by vegans in the first place because a zoo is not a boycott of animal products.

Theo: 1. Well I would appeal to other boycotts in the world that don’t need to narrow down to one philosophical reason [for example] why people boycotted South African products.

2. [I agree it doesn’t attempt to encompass what the vegan society definition does today, but..] The debates that led up to the creation of the vegan society were about the dairy industry, they were raised equally from a concern about well-being and about rights. [So it should only be considered a boycott and be left open to how people come to the conclusion.]

Footsoldier: You’ve appealed to previous boycotts we can just think about what happened in india when Gandhi tried to boycott the British products and that wasn’t because the principle was to boycott british products, no the principle wasn’t to boycott anything, the principle was that there was like oppression…

Theo: I’m saying that it doesn’t attempt to encompass everything about you and by saying this is one tactic; it allows room for [people] thinking of you as someone who decides to join other boycotts. [I’m saying if there was a word for what Gandhi’s followers did, the definition would similarly be ‘a British products boycott’ primarily against British rule of India. By vegans being people who boycotts industries, it immediately has real world connotations for people of someone who takes ethical stances against a problem in the world, which they would like to end, rather than just an identity one takes on to look cool or something. The montgomery bus boycott was understood as a bus boycott, but the people who did it were civil rights advocates, like the people who do veganism can be animal rights advocates.]

Wanting the end of the animal agriculture industry is very similar to wanting the end of animal cruelty as entertainment and other things.

Footsoldier: Right so so you agree that the definition would be more suitable if it included something about ending animal exploitation rather than just saying about the behaviour we should engage in without actually informing us of the principle which is at work.

Theo: No because people are varied and the way to advocate to people is to appeal to their interests and appeal to whether they happen to be a consequentialist or happen to be a virtue ethicist, there’s loads of ways of of explaining how you came to the conclusion of veganism, I can list off a few for you if you like:

Consequentialism: The principle of not breeding sentient life into the world to kill when you know they will have interests to go on living longer than would be profitable.

Nihlist Ethics: The principle that you should be wary of in-authentically acting in a way you don’t believe due to outside social pressures, like that acting uncaring-ly is necessary to what it means to be a man.

Like these are things that we can explain after we have just explained that we’re doing a political campaign, we’re doing a tactic where we’re hoping to end the animal industry, dead simple, come on board.

You don’t need to like adopt this image of like what a vegan is in your mind, it’s for everyone. [ I mean to say an exclusive clique image where everyone needs to think almost exactly the same]

Footsoldier: You need to know that the principle of veganism has to do with the non-exploitation of animals and you can phrase that differently if you’re a consequentialist you might say I don’t want to fund a system which reduces or it causes suffering to animals. You can cash this out in so many different ways and it it’s perfectly compatible.

Theo: But not completely, not everyone wants to include the word exploitation in how they define their ethical system. To some people it’s completely antithetical to wanting to think about the being outcome orientated.

Footsoldier: You can just have a different interpretation of the word exploitation in that sentence for example you said about freegans, well we can say oh well is it financially exploiting animals…

Theo: I don’t disagree that you can, but I’m just saying the immediate image when you tell someone the definition is exploitation, a large section of people interested in one type of philosophy is going to be repulsed by that. You can hash it out to consequences, but immediately things are going to come to their mind, pets, anti-natalism, all these things, they’re gonna think, why would you seek to end every single exploitation, holding the door open for someone, obligating someone through social pressure to do that, it doesn’t seem like a pragmatic thing that you can just get someone on board with, this campaign tactic.

Footsoldier: I just don’t understand what you’re even trying to say now it just seems some sort of bizarre appeal to someone might be annoyed with the word exploitation.

Theo: We should define veganism by what is easiest to explain and what is easiest to get people on board with.

To boycott something is to have an ethical judgement against something, so it must contain ethics.

Footsoldier: No it’s not, I could just say; “boycott this and you could be like okay then” and have no reason why you’re doing it, you’re just following an order, following an instruction, whereas if I said don’t exploit animals or don’t abuse animals, don’t pay for animal suffering, don’t pay for animal abuse, then you know; “oh well I shouldn’t buy animal products then” and then it’s the same thing you’ve derived the boycott behaviour from the principal.

Whereas if you just say boycott, then that’s not giving a principle really, that’s just giving a behaviour you all follow, you’re laying down a rule which you all follow, but you don’t understand the principle behind the rule.

Theo: The colloquial understanding of a vegan is someone who abstains from all use of animal products, so food and clothing items like leather. So we just have to contend with that’s how people see veganism, that’s how they act in the world, it’s an action and then why someone does that, it’s a philosophy and it encompasses loads of people.

If you try to close it down to deontology you’re gonna get… it causes all these debates that are unnecessary, people you meet in the street are going to be like; “oh well do you agree with anti-natalism then?” or “Do you not like keeping pets then because you think you might be exploiting them?”

If you can tailor why someone is vegan to the person that you’re talking to, then that’s brilliant, just “come on board with this action, it’s political, we just want the end of the animal agriculture industry, you can do other boycotts, we’re just looking for you to do this one thing and here are a bunch of reasons why you should do it.”

You can tailor it, you can use any argument you want, marginal cases it’s it’s completely tailor-able to what the person you’re standing in front of is thinking.

Footsoldier: Right well there’s one last point I want to cover before we wrap this up… it was part of your introductory speech, so even on a deontological view um under accounting of morality you can you can still have positive rights you can still say that I wouldn’t want to live in the world where um animals that come into my garden hungry aren’t fed or something this so you could still have some sort of duty that you see to yourself of being nice to animals caring for animals going out of your way to um improve the lives of animals you can still do that on earth and framework.

Theo: I don’t disagree I was saying that it leaves room to both view vegans as being against keeping any animals captive and for some minority of vegans to beat people over the head with the idea that they shouldn’t keeping animals captive, when that’s not the place we need to be in right now, for advancing veganism, advancing the boycott.

When Kat Von D came out as vegan on her social media, that was introducing loads of people to veganism, but then her whole feed was filled with anti-natalists just being like “oh you’re so terrible, you had a kid and that’s not vegan”

It just does this, with the definition so restricted to exploitation, it just breeds these people that think “oh yeah that that’s who I am, that defines everything about me.”

I’m saying a bunch of fringe groups, so anti-natalists, anti pragmatically keeping pets right now, people who spend all their life researching and boycotting parent companies and shaming other people for not being as well read on every company; they love that they think that the definition includes exploitation because it creates this incentive to live your life with zero exploitation to any animals or humans and if you’re not doing that we can shame you and I just don’t think that’s productive.

Footsoldier: Right so what you’re saying is because some fringe crazy people in some fringe subset of the movement are weird…

Theo: Well it’s not even that, it’s that plus people who you meet on the street, who you want to advocate to them, it’s the same with how you don’t like that people have in their mind that [veganism is about] it’s reducing suffering, I have the same issue with people having it in their mind that it’s about not exploiting, because it immediately comes to their mind all these separate issues with anti-natalists and stuff and think that that’s what they need to take on board to become a vegan.

Footsoldier: Well look I’ve got no problem if someone says I am vegan I believe that man should not exploit animals because exploiting animals causes suffering and reduces utility and reducing utility is bad well then what’s wrong with that?

Theo: I don’t see anything wrong with that either, I think we should, but it doesn’t have to [I got cut off, but was going to say it shouldn’t only be restricted to those reasons, I’m disturbed with how you’ve welcomed people who boycott animal products giving up the vegan label because you’ve argued them out of thinking of themselves fitting in the definition. But, I’m far more concerned with non-vegans who we advocate to getting turned off by this definition with the word exploitation in it, which is why I related it to you being concerned with people having in their mind that veganism is about wild animal suffering.]

Footsoldier: So why is your definition advantageous? Why should I adopt your new problematic definition which doesn’t describe veganism properly?

Theo: It does describe the action of being vegan, it infers an ethical stance and then it leaves room for you to explain why you have that ethical stance, why you came to the ethical conclusion and that’s very important to leave it open.

Footsoldier: Well do you want to do a closing statement?

Theo: I’ll see if I check my notes, yeah grey areas, with every definition there are 100 grey areas, like oysters or backyard eggs, I would just direct the conversation back to the core of getting consensus first on the ethical issue of where the majority of people get their meat from, what’s important is the definition focuses the conversation and is easily accessible. I think that’s what we need right now as a movement, maybe later we can merge other boycotts into this one, like animal cruelty and that can be our focus, but right now just the animal agriculture industry, not using leather, not using animal food as an ethical stance.

New Playlist: Other – Atheism

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KANADAJIN3 On Islam

A big YouTuber with over 200,000 subs, converts to Islam and much video responses ensue on the shallow reasons, phenomenon and potential subversive cultural effect. Kanadajin responds in the comments and further response video attempts are made to encourage her to think about what ideology they really are signing up for and promoting. Finally I caught up with them on twitter at the end of all this.

I actually am interested in hearing the case that a benign monotheism attached to pre-existing traditions might have been a force for good in unifying tribes and advancing science, civilisations etc. And that a reformist/abstractionist religious practice can play a part today in helping the disenfranchised find a voice by using fables in their holy book to find solidarity with each other (Saba Mahmood’s Politics of Piety), whereas fundamentalists and neocon war mongering cannot. But I would still only regard Islam as an ideology that was the best of a bad bunch that had traction at the time

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The polite face of psychological warfare in mormon chat

An attempt at engaging missionairies on the immorality of a 10% church tax on people on minumum wage or unemployed.

There’s many things I want to help politicize about the mormon church’s antics, from them sending missionairies to the global south, to their online recruitment efforts to convert people going through a dark period in their life.


Missionaries in the Global South

When it comes to the global south, I think we should stop taking a nicely nicely approach to poor indoctrinated missionaries and say you can’t help here, you will only hurt so you’re message is not welcome here, and activists should actively attempt to shut down their proseltysing efforts.

  • 1. “Be thoughtful by not eating too much if food is in short supply.” Not really realistic considering the cultural pressure for all men to go on a mission at 18 without any income for 2 years.
  • 2. Preaching abstinence only in HIV hotspots is evil, there are ‘Jack’ Catholic Nuns advocating condom use in Kenya because they’ve seen how much damage it has done and agree with the scientific consensus, for mormon missionairys to go into communities and preach anything that blocks fertility is from the devil is so so wrong.
  • 3. “Members should obey, honor, and sustain the laws in any country where they reside or travel”“Never suggest that people emigrate to another country, even for work or schooling.” Going to countries where people are escaping persecusion and gaining automatic asylum, sustaining the churchs relationship to that oppressive government over the refugees international rights is evil. How that worked out for the mormon church in Nazi Germany.

Online Missionaries

Facebook and mormon.org chat has become a powerful wing of the church in creating a platform for lonely and vulnerable people to come to them. By each missionary talking to 3-10 people at one time, 24hours a day, it’s not hard to imagine they have better results than walking door to door.

If you ever want to remind yourself the mental jumping jacks orthodox Mormons go through to accept certain scripture or church policy, I find it quite funny, a breif look at r/exmormon shows it’s pretty cathartic for ex-members too depending on how traumatic their departure was.

If we wanted to go further and create a publicity stunt, I’m sure we could organise a communications blockade for a day, by getting many people to log on at one time (using an IP scrambler like Tor to chat multiple times) with a central message, e.g. to stop their preaching of practising healthy sexual desires (masturbation, homosexuality) being from the devil.

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New Playlist: Archiving – Vegans Conversing and Debating

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Discussing Kalel-Gate with LayVegan, Critical Thought & BernieBro

Analysing the fall out, other vegans reaction to another ex-vegan.

Lay Vegan: I thought this would be a great opportunity to talk about the coherency of labels, the definition of veganism, why incidents like this seem to divide us and you know what’s behind this dichotomy just in like the responses that her video has garnered as these inevitably do with with ex-vegans.

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The uneasy à-bas-le-ciel + Unnatural Vegan collaboration

It was a thing once upon a time. Although UV holds the position of not mentioning smaller channels on youtube that they don’t recommend for concern of popularizing their channel, Eisel mentions her ever so often and sends a tweet their way.

They fought the good fight against diet pseudoscience, but it wasn’t to last. They still cover much of the same topics, even covering the same response videos to the same people.

I intended to make a series on their disagreements so as to hilight the different factions of the movement they represent, but after the first video it just became too much of a mammoth task to try and distill down so many videos. I may pick it up again one day:

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Wazzup Ask Yourself’s Discord

All started off with this video recording of AY fans sabotaging another vegan project at his encouragement. In the description I wrote an open letter to Isaac and summary of the conflict with the Philosophical Vegan forum to counter his BS framing:

So public invite to your discord, I feel I might as well tell you I re-joined soon as you booted me, I’m really happy to come back under my real name if you’d prefer so you’d see when I was online, can answer questions and be the resident philo/commie punch bag, I just am going to be keeping tabs because you’re spreading racism at the same time as veganism and mixing the two. And it’s not like you aren’t encouraging your fans to troll the wiki and they aren’t vociferously combing the forum for screencaps.

Hope the share links for the Piers Morgan video are helpful, all the best, Theo.

— History of conflict with the philosophical vegan platform —

• AY dismisses FriendEd with poor use of NTT, Brim leaves comments highlighting the contradictions so could address the root implications of FriendEd’s philosophy with him. FriendEd invites Brim on his channel to debate.
• AY takes huge personal insult, starts making attack videos on the forum, portraying us as pushing absurdly complicated advocacy, when we’re simply critiquing his arguments and philosophy.
• At the same time as we’re simply discussing the arguments among a small group on the forum, I’m sharing wiki articles about vegan lifestyle to places like reddit, encouraging others to sign up and make edits themselves.
• AY pins a comment to his latest attack video encouraging people to troll the wiki, forcing us to lock the space up.
• AY opens up his discord with regular public links, so I release a video recording of them trolling the wiki.
• AY continues making attack videos, encouraging fans to crawl through the forum for information and make memes straw-manning the platform.
• Still being in the discord through public links, I’m able to make short jokesy videos and long recordings of content that interests me (NTT, racism, ethics, not personal gossip).

Racism in Veganism – 2018 Year in Review

  • Isaac defending Cory and Tara McCarthy on race IQ
  • Isaac stating his belief that having mixed race children will likely be lower IQ
  • His promotion of Jack Green while he knew his nazi beliefs.
  • Jack’s full outing himself as classical nazi.
  • Trying to cover his tracks without public retraction and denounciation.

Comedy:

Pirate Radio:

Whistleblowing:

Disilusionment in his idol:

Extra:

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