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Klytemnest
Aug 4th, 2008, 06:30 PM
In an interview Charlie Rose asked Richard Dawkins (author of The God Delusion) "What is the best thing you can say about religion?"

So, it got me thinking. What is the most persuasive argument for the use of animal products? Don't get mad at me, OK? I am not backsliding. I just think it is necessary for us to understand the reasoning of the other side. Perhaps then we could actually address their argument and, if reason be on our side, defeat it.

Anyway, what is the best argument you have heard for adopting an omnivorous diet/lifestyle? Which of these arguments is the most difficult for you to defeat?

Thanks,

Rami

seitan
Aug 4th, 2008, 06:37 PM
i really think the only real answer is self.

Korn
Aug 4th, 2008, 06:45 PM
Anyway, what is the best argument you have heard for adopting an omnivorous diet/lifestyle?
Frankly, I can't think of one single,valid or near-valid argument for living an omnivorous lifestyle at all, so it's hard to select a 'best' argument...

Ruby Rose
Aug 4th, 2008, 07:11 PM
I would say "cultural and social convenience"

herbwormwood
Aug 4th, 2008, 07:19 PM
If society sees animals as products and commodities then it is logical to use and profit from them. There is no reason to be vegan or vegetarian from this POV other than health or maybe environmental reasons.

Vegans mostly don't see animals as products or commodities.

Korn
Aug 4th, 2008, 07:22 PM
I would say "cultural and social convenience"

Sure... habits, "tradition" etc... but that's not arguments. :) If my family had a long tradition of wearing green underwear, I wouldn't see that as an argument for wearing green underwear.... 'Tradition' can explain why some people do what they do, but is - the way I see it - never a valid reason to keep ding something you don't want to do, or to do something that harms other living beings. Drunk driving doesn't make sense even if someone has been raised in a family where drunk driving was common. One may be less critical about driving while drunk, but 'argument' for doing it - no...

Ruby Rose
Aug 4th, 2008, 07:37 PM
The argument implied would be that in order to be fully accepted in a given culture or community, with all the psycho-social benefits that inclusion in a community brings, it would be necessary to adhere to the customs of that community. If you want to be a full part of your green-underwear-wearing family, you have to wear green underwear. It is not the same thing as your drink-driving example.

Of course, as vegans, our counterargument would be that meat-eating is not a predicate of the communities to which we belong.

null_void
Aug 4th, 2008, 07:38 PM
Danger. Let me explain, please.

Most of the dangers of the traditional diet have been explored. We mitigate these risks through things like fortification and enrichment, rather than by proper variety of diet.

Consider your average person. They don't want to think hard about meal planning. They want work-free meals that taste good. Imagine if all the people like that started eating a vegan diet? I suspect that the market would quickly adapt to provide enriched vegan "junk food," but there would be some problems in the meantime.

Please note that I don't feel this is an excuse. I believe that people should take responsibility for themselves, and that the lives of animals, plants and people are not less valuable than one's convenience. I'm just saying that I think this would be the problem with mass adoption of a vegan diet. Of course, since it's going to happen slowly anyway, it's not as much of a concern.

I'm not sure I've properly tied this to the original post, so here goes. If a person thinks that a vegan diet is unhealthy as they would implement it, you are essentially asking them to harm themselves by adopting it. If a person is not willing to take responsibility for their nutrition, it is currently unfeasible to ask them to become vegan. You need to first get them to take control of themselves.

BlackCats
Aug 4th, 2008, 07:57 PM
I think the best argument for an omnivorous lifestyle is that eating very small amounts of less fatty meats and fish as well as eating a diet rich in fruit and vegetables with adequate essential fatty acids can easily give you all the necessary nutrition your body needs without having to take any supplements such as B12. If I was an omni defending my lifestyle that is what I would say. I do think that a vegan diet is very healthy but if I ate small amounts of animal products purely for taste reasons I wouldn't see the harm in continuing it or the point in giving it up.

(I feel kind of guilty saying this, of course I would never admit this to any of my omni friends. Quickly someone disagree with me and prove me wrong!;))

Korn
Aug 4th, 2008, 08:26 PM
I think what you mention is something many non-vegans would think actually... I even agree that the argument would be somewhat valid (or at least 'semi-valid') if...

1) ...there was evidence that we wouldn't get the B12 we needed living on a vegan in a world without all these environmental-unfriendly B12 killers. Since B12 have been found in water, leaves, bark, soil and many plants, and there whole thing about analogues and reliable/non-reliable ways to measure B12 still is a big mystery, there's no proof anywhere that there wouldn't be enough B12 to everybody in a 'natural' world. The facts we already have access to points in the other direction.

2) I there was anything that suggested that small amounts of animal products would provide enough B12 in this B12 antagonistic world. Meat eaters are also exposed to all those B12 killers, so 'small' amounts probably wouldn't be enough for them anyway - plus many animal products are low in bioavailable B12 in the amounts people consume these animal products. They also contain B12 analogues...
3) The argument would make more sense if there was at least one person on this planet that could convince me that humans are well equipped to kill animals without tools, or that we are supposed to make tools that can kill just because we can make tools... or that making weapons (or factory farms) is a better solution than producing B12 directly, by fermenting plants.
4) Finally, if we would live in a world with enough wild animals to provide the B12 humans need - with the current, high number of humans on the planet. Since there are lots of humans and few, wild animals around, relying on animals for B12 requires factory farming/mass 'production' of animal products, which even many non-vegans are against.

The bottom line is that even if one could prove that there wouldn't be enough B12 in plants without these and other B12 enemies (http://www.veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=196), and someone could convince me that we always should be 100% natural (and not 'cultural'... read: not wearing man made clothes, live in houses, eat prepared food etc, since this stuff doesn't grow on trees), and even if some bright mind could convince me that it's better to produce tools for killing animals than to produce plant based B12, the only remaining argument ('it's better/more "natural" to eat animals than fermentation based B12') is immediately made invalid by the fact that we don't live in a world with enough wild, 'natural' animals to justify the 'naturalness' of an animal based diet.... in other words, that argument had to be weighed against the need for chicken factories, 'over-fishing' etc...

There isn't even enough fish in the sea to provide British school children with the Omega-3 they apparently need. Even people who defend use of fish oil agree that in a generation or two, we'll have to look elsewhere for our Omega-3 needs - at least within a generation or two!

RachelJune
Aug 4th, 2008, 09:18 PM
So, it got me thinking. What is the most persuasive argument for the use of animal products?

I think this is a great idea for a thread.

Personally, I can't think of a good argument at the moment, but I do think it's a good thing to look at how other's think and to try to understand their views in a constructive way, even if we don't agree with them. I once read a course on philosophy and was surprised at just how much of a skill it is to be able to argue for a view that you don't support, let alone are very much against.

So far the responses here have been very interesting.

Korn
Aug 4th, 2008, 09:28 PM
Danger. Let me explain, please.

Most of the dangers of the traditional diet have been explored. We mitigate these risks through things like fortification and enrichment, rather than by proper variety of diet.

Consider your average person. They don't want to think hard about meal planning.

I wouldn't call that an argument (maybe you don't either), and feel that 'fear' or 'lack of knowledge would describe the situation better than 'danger'. And - let's not forget that even a sentence like 'They don't want to think hard about meal planning' can be read as if vegans need to be more concerned about meal planning, than non-vegans, which isn't the case at all - once their habits have been changed!

null_void
Aug 4th, 2008, 10:28 PM
I wouldn't call that an argument (maybe you don't either), and feel that 'fear' or 'lack of knowledge would describe the situation better than 'danger'. And - let's not forget that even a sentence like 'They don't want to think hard about meal planning' can be read as if vegans need to be more concerned about meal planning, than non-vegans, which isn't the case at all - once their habits have been changed!

Okay, I can see "lack of knowledge" being a better descriptor.

As for the second part, I think maybe we disagree (I'd be happy to change my mind on the subject... maybe I need to look into it a bit more). I'd say that most people (at least, in my area), do no meal planning at all. I think that they'd be much healthier if they did, but because of the points listed in my previous post, they're not required to in order to sustain themselves. I'm not sure the same is true of vegans, though it is certainly getting that way as we identify nutrients that your average vegan (supposedly) doesn't get enough of, and we dump it into soymilk or some other product.

(I'm not suggesting fortification is a bad thing, by the way... I don't really know enough about nutritional science to say one way or the other).

Anyway, whatever you feel about the statement I just made, I think it's a pretty terrible reason not to be vegan. It's just the only one I can think of that might have some basis in logic. Then again, there are plenty of things I'm not particularly "aware" of in my life... and some of those are probably important as well.

Korn
Aug 4th, 2008, 10:45 PM
I'd say that most people (at least, in my area), do no meal planning at all. I think that they'd be much healthier if they did, but because of the points listed in my previous post, they're not required to in order to sustain themselves

According to a number of studies, non-vegans normally are deficient in a number of nutrients, some times severely. Since nutrient deficiencies are associated with various diseases, reduced immune system, increased risk for serious heath problems like cancer, diabetes, arthritis and heart disease, I have to disagree that 'they're not required to in order to sustain themselves'. Unlike vegans, who normally come from another diet and therefore )hopefully) learn enough about nutrition to figure out which habits they need to change and to compensate with supplements if needed, meat eaters often live in the middle of two two illusions:

1) "We don't get sick if we just add some small or large amount of animal products to our diet"
2) "Unlike vegans, we get the nutrients we need from food".

Check out some of the info in these threads if you have time...

Cancer, adaptation and the vegan diet (http://www.veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19904)

Nutrient deficiencies more common in meat eaters than in vegans (http://www.veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=24)

According to this report about a meat free (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12778049) (therefore a not omnivorous diet), vegetarian diets "offer a number of nutritional benefits, including lower levels of saturated fat, cholesterol, and animal protein as well as higher levels of carbohydrates, fiber, magnesium, potassium, folate, and antioxidants such as vitamins C and E and phytochemicals. Vegetarians have been reported to have lower body mass indices than nonvegetarians, as well as lower rates of death from ischemic heart disease; vegetarians also show lower blood cholesterol levels; lower blood pressure; and lower rates of hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and prostate and colon cancer."


This doesn't go well along with assuming that meal planning (read: seriously changing their eating habits) isn't required to in order to sustain themselves...

null_void
Aug 5th, 2008, 12:03 AM
According to a number of studies, non-vegans normally are deficient in a number of nutrients, some times severely. Since nutrient deficiencies are associated with various diseases, reduced immune system, increased risk for serious heath problems like cancer, diabetes, arthritis and heart disease, I have to disagree that 'they're not required to in order to sustain themselves'. Unlike vegans, who normally come from another diet and therefore )hopefully) learn enough about nutrition to figure out which habits they need to change and to compensate with supplements if needed, meat eaters often live in the middle of two two illusions:

1) "We don't get sick if we just add some small or large amount of animal products to our diet"
2) "Unlike vegans, we get the nutrients we need from food".

Check out some of the info in these threads if you have time...

Cancer, adaptation and the vegan diet (http://www.veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19904)

Nutrient deficiencies more common in meat eaters than in vegans (http://www.veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=24)

According to this report about a meat free (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12778049) (therefore a not omnivorous diet), vegetarian diets "offer a number of nutritional benefits, including lower levels of saturated fat, cholesterol, and animal protein as well as higher levels of carbohydrates, fiber, magnesium, potassium, folate, and antioxidants such as vitamins C and E and phytochemicals. Vegetarians have been reported to have lower body mass indices than nonvegetarians, as well as lower rates of death from ischemic heart disease; vegetarians also show lower blood cholesterol levels; lower blood pressure; and lower rates of hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and prostate and colon cancer."


This doesn't go well along with assuming that meal planning (read: seriously changing their eating habits) isn't required to in order to sustain themselves...

I will take a look at those links. From briefly skimming the posts, though, it doesn't seem to address meal planning. What I mean is, I am making the (possibly incorrect) assumption that your average vegan is more conscious of what they eat than your average non-vegan. Thus, a comparison between the two comparing nutrient deficiencies seems unreasonable.

You don't have to convince me that veganism is healthier than non-veganism. I'm a firm believer. It's also possible that I don't know what I'm talking about, right? This is all colored by my experiences with the two groups. I know a vegan whose idea of a meal was "2 biggie fries from Wendy's." I doubt he is much healthier than any meat-eater I know. Of course, he's an extreme example, but he's what I'd compare to the type of person who goes out and grabs McDonald's for lunch half the week.

Or maybe I'm wrong. I dunno.

Let me go back and re-read what you wrote.

I guess maybe I wasn't addressing your point. You're stating that my claim of "meat-eaters can survive without meal planning" is false because of the evidence you listed. Considering that evidence, I can't say I think a vegan with a poorly planned diet would be much worse... so I retract that claim.

Now I feel like I should go back and delete the first two paragraphs, since they don't really contribute much to the conversation. I won't, however, because I think some of the points are still valid. It would be neat to do a comparison between vegan and non-vegan diets that were equally well planned (either bad or good). I'd hate to be part of the "bad diet" control group, though...

Anyway. That kind of wraps up my original statement, doesn't it? Guess I was wrong. It's not a logical reason.

Klytemnest
Aug 5th, 2008, 12:29 AM
[quote=RachelJune;491427]I think this is a great idea for a thread.

Thanks, Rachel.


Personally, I can't think of a good argument at the moment,

Clearly, since we are all vegans, I imagine that none of us consider any of the arguments FOR an omnivorous diet or lifestyle to be good. If I believed there was a compelling argument for living in an omnivorous lifestyle, I would probably not be vegan.

But having said that, I wonder if any of you have encountered arguments from "the other side" that made you stop and think.

I don't want to lead this discussion or steer it in any direction, but here is an example of just such an argument:

Killing animals for food is not ethically problematic because in the wild the animals would be killed anyway - by their predators. And their death at the "hands" of the predators would be much less swift, clean, painless than if they were to be executed by human beings. So, this way, the animal gets to live in a safe environment, gets to have its food provided for it, without any fear or starvation, and, when the time comes, it is killed quickly and as humanely as possible (let's say it is, for the sake of discussion). After all, if by going vegan we are indeed trying to lessen the amount of suffering in the world, shouldn't we then begin a "save the Rabbits" campaign and find ways of saving them from the foxes? If in the wild rabbits are going to get caught by foxes, gruesomely killed and eaten, then how is this different from us hunting rabbits? To the rabbit it's all the same, isn't it?

Before I get pounced upon, please let me emphasize that this is NOT my view, that I am merely presenting an example of (what I consider to be) a reasonable argument in defense of the choice to be an omnivore.


but I do think it's a good thing to look at how other's think and to try to understand their views in a constructive way, even if we don't agree with them. I once read a course on philosophy and was surprised at just how much of a skill it is to be able to argue for a view that you don't support, let alone are very much against.

Absolutely! It warms my heart to hear you say that! And yes, it is a good thing to understand the reasoning of the opposite camp. We have to understand what they are thinking. It will inform our own thinking on the subject.


So far the responses here have been very interesting.

Indeed! I am pleasantly surprised by the interest in this thread. I foresee some stimulating conversation in the days to come...

Klytemnest
Aug 5th, 2008, 12:56 AM
I think the best argument for an omnivorous lifestyle is that eating very small amounts of less fatty meats and fish as well as eating a diet rich in fruit and vegetables with adequate essential fatty acids can easily give you all the necessary nutrition your body needs without having to take any supplements such as B12. If I was an omni defending my lifestyle that is what I would say. I do think that a vegan diet is very healthy but if I ate small amounts of animal products purely for taste reasons I wouldn't see the harm in continuing it or the point in giving it up.

(I feel kind of guilty saying this, of course I would never admit this to any of my omni friends. Quickly someone disagree with me and prove me wrong!;))

Thanks for your response, BlackCats. I used to have two tuxedo cats. now I am down to one... So I already feel a natural affinity for you :-)

Basically your hypothetical argument is that there may be some health benefits to some consumption of some meat. Is that about right?

A month or so ago I sang a concert, after which there was a reception/dinner thingy. I sat down with a few of the patrons. They noticed that the only thing on my plate was vegan food. So we started talking about diets. There was an elderly couple there. The woman told me that most of the time they ate vegetarian, but the doctor had advised her husband to eat fish twice a week. I wasn't about to get into a fight with people who had just paid money to hear me sing, so I let it go.

My objection to the consumption of fish would have been purely on ethical grounds. I was an ovo-lacto-pesco vegetarian until 2006, and I made myself eat fish from time to time (only when we ate out) because many doctors have indeed praised the benefits of fish oil. So, yes, I see "your" point that there may be a few health benefits to careful and limited meat consumption, such as fish. [Let us for the moment forget about mercury in fish; let's assume that one is talking about pure, uncontaminated fish oil]

To that my counter-argument would be "You don't need to kill fish in order to get the Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil. You can get what you need from flax seeds." In fact, I introduced my mom to flax. She bought herself a little coffee grinder and every morning she grinds her own flax seeds and sprinkles them over her cereal. This way she gets her essential fatty acids and no fish were harmed in the process. Problem solved.

Korn
Aug 5th, 2008, 02:15 AM
Killing animals for food is not ethically problematic because in the wild the animals would be killed anyway - by their predators.
What do you mean by 'not problematic'? I guess you don't suggest that we can look at what any animal does and say that we can do the same just because some animal does it? Not only would that mean that we would be taking food away from animals that need that food, there aren't enough animals in the wilderness too feed humans anyway.Following the logic you may describe, it wouldn't be "problematic" to do other things animals do either, because they do it (eat their siblings, babies etc), and we'd all end up as cruel beings copying the worst behavior (from a human point of view) from any species we come across. We don't want that. The whole idea of using other species as en excuse for doing something is not even the animals that normally are consider the 'lowest' beings do.


So, this way, the animal gets to live in a safe environment, gets to have its food provided for it, without any fear or starvation, and, when the time comes, it is killed quickly and as humanely as possible (let's say it is, for the sake of discussion).
Are you describing factory farms/chicken factories now?



Before I get pounced upon, please let me emphasize that this is NOT my view This is a vegan forum, so why not post your views - or at least their views with your responses then? ;)

Klytemnest
Aug 5th, 2008, 02:34 AM
What do you mean by 'not problematic'? I guess you don't suggest that we can look at what any animal does and say that we can do the same just because some animal does it? Not only would that mean that we would be taking food away from animals that would need it, there's not enough animals in the wilderness too feed humans anyway, and following the logic you may suggest, it would neither be problematic to do other things animals do, because they do it (eat their siblings, babies etc).


Are you describing factory farms/chicken factories now?


This is a vegan forum, so why not post your views - or their views with your responses then? ;)

Ah, I see someone pounced. ;)

I presented one of the arguments used by omnivores. I presented their point of view, their reasoning, their argument. It is not my position. So I hope that by "what do you mean" you were not addressing me personally, but rather the hypothetical omnivore (let's call him "Omni") who would present this argument.

I am presenting Omni's position and asking for comments.

Once again, we are all vegans here. Let's just put this out on the table: none of us agree with these arguments. But some arguments are more reasonable than others. Some arguments in favor of the omnivorous lifestyle are more reasonable than others. Of course, idiotic arguments like "carrots feel pain too!" are ones we can dismiss as idiotic. But there are other, more complex, better informed, better thought-out, more sophisticated arguments which we may encounter. I think it is important for us to understand that opposite side's view so that our own views may become better informed. And or those of us who are interested in promoting the vegan ideals, it would behoove us to become informed about our opponents' position, so that we know how to defeat it. This is why I started this thread.

Klytemnest
Aug 5th, 2008, 02:50 AM
[quote=Korn;491524]What do you mean by 'not problematic'? I guess you don't suggest that we can look at what any animal does and say that we can do the same just because some animal does it?

No, that was not the point Omni was trying to make. The point isn't "Hey, animals kill each other, we are animals, so it's OK to kill animals."

The point our friend Omni was trying to make was: the animals are going to be killed anyway. In the wild they are going to be killed by predators. And their deaths are going to be messy, gruesome, painful and horrific. At least at the hands of their human executioners they might meet a more merciful, quicker, less painful death. In terms of suffering, this is the better way to go (says Omni).


Not only would that mean that we would be taking food away from animals that need that food,

I was debating this with a poster on another board. From what I recall, he said that because the wolf population had been so depleted, there was an overpopulation of deer in the region where he lived. So, he thought that hunting for deer was actually performing an environmental service, rather than harming the ecosystem! How would you respond to this argument? Anyone?


there aren't enough animals in the wilderness too feed humans anyway.Following the logic you may describe, it wouldn't be "problematic" to do other things animals do either, because they do it (eat their siblings, babies etc),

That is not the logic I presented, though I can see how one might "go there". That argument is rather unsophisticated and I have little time for it... But it does come up from time to time...


and we'd all end up as cruel beings copying the worst behavior (from a human point of view) from any species we come across. We don't want that.

I agree. This is why I am never impressed by appeals to nature. The goal is not to return to a "natural" state, to jungle rule. The goal is to strive for a system of laws and ethics in which unncessary suffering is minimized and happiness is maximized. That's what I think, anyway...

Korn
Aug 5th, 2008, 03:06 AM
Sure. Let's just not make it into a list of messages that could be posted by meat eaters or other trolls. IMO, there's a major difference between discussing viewpoints non-vegans may have and just repeating what they say, and we've had cases earlier where people don't really participate in a discussion: they don't respond to counter arguments, but instead start posting the same stuff a not well informed or reflected meat eater would have done.

I know you mainly participate in discussing religion from an atheist. non-believing perspective here.... have you ever thought of the blind faith - an almost religious belief - meat eaters some times have in what they mom and dad told them? They sometimes use arguments like "meat is suitable for humans" (even if it gives them cancer etc.; their "argument" is that they don't die "immediately", so the food must be OK), or that 'animals are suffering in nature as well, because they are killed by other animals in a cruel way' - and so on.

It seems that they haven't thought of the difference between having had a life in captivity, with nothing that resembles a natural life at all with their long lives behind bars and how a life of wild sheep, cows or birds would have been. Their defense of factory farms etc seem to be all about rationalizing away their guilt, and they often use animal behavior (killing and eating others, which they not in any way would like to be a victim of themselves) as an 'argument' for how they can treat animals (or pay a slaughter to do it).

Empathy doesn't seem to include animals, and their 'arguments' rarely remind of arguments... They pick arguments like others pick fruit on a tree, randomly - just talk about the first thing thats pops into their mind - probably to defend themselves, just like that 'argument' about eating what our ancestors ate (http://www.veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=20644) - until they realized that their diet probably included termites, grasshoppers, mice, earthworms and in some cases - other humans.

starlight
Aug 5th, 2008, 03:11 AM
What is the most persuasive argument for the use of animal products? Don't get mad at me, OK? I am not backsliding. I just think it is necessary for us to understand the reasoning of the other side. Perhaps then we could actually address their argument and, if reason be on our side, defeat it.


Often people say "because it tastes good".

Personally I think it's a fairly lame argument stacked against the ethics of veganism, but it's hard to counter directly as :
- it's about their personal perception (i.e. how it tastes to them) and they are presumably experts on their own taste buds, and
- some people choose not to give a damn about the ethics of veganism

The counter argument I guess is something along the lines of "a plant based diet taste good too" but it's kinda week because omni's can, in principle, eat all the variety of flavoursome vegan food that we do aswell as meat (even though in practice they don't).

I think the argument alot of people actually use is "I don't want to think about it. la la la la la" as they stick their metaphorical fingers in their ears. What they are actually doing is choosing not to give a damn, just as I choose not to give a damn about sci-fi. That's also pretty difficult to argue against.

Korn
Aug 5th, 2008, 03:20 AM
The counter argument I guess is something along the lines of "a plant based diet taste good too" but it's kinda week because omni's can, in principle, eat all the variety of flavoursome vegan food that we do aswell as meat (even though in practice they don't). I don't think that's a weak counter argument, there's simply so much good foodstuff in this world that there's no need to eat everything one may like the taste of, especially when there are clear arguments against eating meat (animals suffering environmental/health reasons etc.)


I think the argument alot of people actually use is "I don't want to think about it. la la la la la" That's probbaly a good example of a non-argument, but I hear what you say... :)



In case some of you are not aware that we already have some similar thrads - here are some potentially interesting links:
Are there any good arguments PRO eating meat at all? (http://www.veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=7108)
Non-valid arguments for eating meat (http://www.veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=70)
Frequently used arguments... (http://www.veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13755)
Help needed to respond to these arguments... (http://www.veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14030)
Arguments against dairy products (http://www.veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3737)
The Food Chain Argument (http://www.veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=18548)
argument (http://www.veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8493)
How to win an argument with a meat-eater (http://www.veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15393)

Korn
Aug 5th, 2008, 03:31 AM
The point our friend Omni was trying to make was: the animals are going to be killed anyway. In the wild they are going to be killed by predators. And their deaths are going to be messy, gruesome, painful and horrific.
Even deaths in the wilderness can happen quickly. Personally, I'd rather have a happy life as a deer in the wilderness, and a messy, quick death, than a life in captivity with a slightly quicker, less messy death. Plus: nature is nature, and as a human, I can't really do anything with tigers that eat deer anyway, but I can do something with my own diet.



From what I recall, he said that because the wolf population had been so depleted, there was an overpopulation of deer in the region where he lived. So, he thought that hunting for deer was actually performing an environmental service, rather than harming the ecosystem! How would you respond to this argument? Anyone?
We already have threads about elephant (http://veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=18605) and roo (http://www.veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8204) culls. If you feel OK about being killed if/because there are too many humans around, I guess you are OK with killing deer as well. If not...

Klytemnest
Aug 5th, 2008, 03:42 AM
[quote=Korn;491532]Sure. Let's just not make it into a list of messages that could be posted by meat eaters or other trolls.

I didn't know we had trolls on this forum. I honestly have not encountered any drive-by postings from omnivores promoting their agenda. I suppose that does you credit, Korn. Thanks.


IMO, there's a major difference between discussing viewpoints non-vegans may have and just repeating what they say, and we've had cases earlier where people don't really participate in a discussion: they don't respond to counter arguments, but instead start posting the same stuff a not well informed or reflected meat eater would have done.

Subtle, Korn.

Nobody here is interested in promoting the omnivore point of view. I am asking that their arguments be discussed on this forum. I am hoping that this discussion will help me offer better counter-arguments to Omni's arguments in the future.


I know you mainly participate in discussing religion from an atheist. non-believing perspective here....

Is that OK?


have you ever thought of the blind faith - an almost religious belief - meat eaters some times have in what they mom and dad told them? They sometimes use arguments like "meat is suitable for humans" (even if it gives them cancer etc.; their "argument" is that they don't die "immediately", so the food must be OK), or that 'animals are suffering in nature as well, because they are killed by other animals in a cruel way' - and so on.

I am not going to go there with you, Korn. We've been down this path and last time you threatened to kick me off the forum. So, please, let's not go there again.


It seems that they haven't thought of the difference between having had a life in captivity, with nothing that resembles a natural life at all with their long lives behind bars and how a life of wild sheep, cows or birds would have been. Their defense of factory farms etc seem to be all about rationalizing away their guilt, and they often use animal behavior (killing and eating others, which they not in any way would like to be a victim of themselves) as an 'argument' for how they can treat animals (or pay a slaughter to do it).

OK. This is what I was looking for. Yes, I agree that most of it is about rationalizing. But what about hunting? The killed animal would most likely have been killed by a predator. If the killing was swifter and more humane, is this not preferable to the animal being torn apart limb by limb by its predator? From what I have read, in the wild most animals simply do not die a peaceful death. When their predators perceive that they are weak or dying, they go after them because they are easy to catch. So, the world in where old and sick animals die a "natural" death is utopian. This is what Omni (not Rami) says. What do you say to that?


Empathy doesn't seem to include animals,

I see that as the greatest obstacle to their seeing our point of view. Feelings are largely involuntary. If one is not moved to pity, then one is not moved to pity. I find it disturbing how we, people, can simply disconnect their empathy. Look at what the Nazis were able to do to the concentration camp victims - while being loving husbands and fathers! I think the answer is that children need to be taught early on to include all sentient beings within their sphere of moral concern.

Actually, now that you mention it, I found a "vegan" on youtube who was a vegan for health reasons, but according to him the whole business of "oh, I think animals are pretty, so I think it's wrong to kill them" was stupid. Wow...


and their 'arguments' rarely remind of arguments... They pick arguments like others pick fruit on a tree, randomly - just talk about the first thing thats pops into their mind - probably to defend themselves, just like that 'argument' about eating what our ancestors ate (http://www.veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=20644) - until they realized that their diet probably included termites, grasshoppers, mice, earthworms and in some cases - other humans.

Yes, I agree that many of their arguments are poor. But I'd like to hear if others have heard of any arguments that took a bit more effort to defeat.

Please keep in mind that the devil's advocate is not the devil. :devil: