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PinkFluffyCloud
Mar 13th, 2005, 08:03 PM
I couldn't agree more. My point is that if we have to choose between a certain number of animals and the natural environment, then it's better to choose the natural environment. In the end, not choosing the natural environment leads to the death of more animals later on, so in a sense, you didn't save much. Which, of course, does not mean that I see raising and then killing animals as being environment-friendly, far from it, in fact.

Yes, but that argument doesn't make any sense because most of the animals bred largely today are bred by humans anyway. So it just goes back to the argument FOR Veganism, doesn't it? ;)

PinkFluffyCloud
Mar 13th, 2005, 08:12 PM
We humans got ourselves into the environmental mess we're in, now we have to find solutions. Eating animals will never be a solution, people just try to find any way that they can to justify their own flesh cravings. :(

Hasha
Mar 13th, 2005, 08:17 PM
Yes, but that argument doesn't make any sense because most of the animals bred largely today are bred by humans anyway. So it just goes back to the argument FOR Veganism, doesn't it? ;)

Of course. What I was commenting on before was your belief/comment that even if eating animals were a solution to the problem of Ozone Layer destruction, you still wouldn't think that meat-eating is okay. That's where we differ. If eating animals were indeed the answer to the enormous environmental destruction, then I'd say okay, fine. But, given that meat-eating is part of the problem and certainly not a part of the solution, yes, we do go back to the argument for veganism. It's just more of an environment-based than a big-brown-eyes-based (i.e. individual-based) argument.

PinkFluffyCloud
Mar 13th, 2005, 08:37 PM
Of course. What I was commenting on before was your belief/comment that even if eating animals were a solution to the problem of Ozone Layer destruction, you still wouldn't think that meat-eating is okay. That's where we differ. If eating animals were indeed the answer to the enormous environmental destruction, then I'd say okay, fine. But, given that meat-eating is part of the problem and certainly not a part of the solution, yes, we do go back to the argument for veganism. It's just more of an environment-based than a big-brown-eyes-based (i.e. individual-based) argument.

Yeah, I see we are in agreement that meat-eating adds to the problems, I guess that is the basis for your Veganism? We just don't agree on the big-brown-eyes bit. I would actually have to chose to discontinue living rather than eat animals if it came down to it. I feel that strongly about it. Animals just aren't food in my vocabulary! ;)

Hasha
Mar 14th, 2005, 03:49 AM
Actually, PFC, the basis for my veganism is rather heterogeneous, and it would be a distortion of reality (a distortion of reality on my part, I mean) to claim that it has nothing to do with big-brown-eyes. It's just that the environment-based argument seems like the most intellectually coherent one. Now, in the highly improbable case of someone actually managing to persuade me that meat-eating is the solution to the environmental mess that we got ourselves in, then yes, I would say, okay, fine. I would okay it, but not without distress. So in a sense, the environmental argument is my intellectual alibi for the emotional need to spare the big-brown-eyes, if that makes any sense... :o (But again, if killing a pair of big-brown-eyes now were a prerequisite for there being any big-brown-eyes at all tomorrow, I would say, okay, fine.)

What all of this is really about is the individual vs. group/community issue. What happens when there is no room for everyone? What happens if you're faced with either sacrificing certain members of a given group, even though they did nothing in particular to deserve it, or refusing to hurt anyone and thereby letting the group, with all or almost all of its members die? The rational thing to do, in my opinion, is to sacrifice some in order to save the group. But that doesn't mean that there is nothing deeply disturbing about doing such a thing, even so disturbing that one would rather just decide to, even find it impossible not to decide to, sacrifice nobody, even if it means that everyone will thereby die...

eve
Mar 14th, 2005, 05:42 AM
(snip) Now, in the highly improbable case of someone actually managing to persuade me that meat-eating is the solution to the environmental mess that we got ourselves in, then yes, I would say, okay, fine. I would okay it, but not without distress. (snip) The rational thing to do, in my opinion, is to sacrifice some in order to save the group. But that doesn't mean that there is nothing deeply disturbing about doing such a thing, even so disturbing that one would rather just decide to, even find it impossible not to decide to, sacrifice nobody, even if it means that everyone will thereby die...
Wow, Hasha. Speaking just for myself, I'm afraid that if meat-eating really were the solution to our environmental mess, then sorry, I can't help the environmental mess, because eating animals is out of the question.

As for rationalising sacrifice, sorry, once again, that's not my scene, though there's nothing stopping you from sacrificing yourself. (just being ironic)

Hasha
Mar 14th, 2005, 06:28 AM
As for rationalising sacrifice, sorry, once again, that's not my scene, though there's nothing stopping you from sacrificing yourself. (just being ironic)

Ironic? No, you're absolutely right. That's the thing. Sacrificing members of a certain group in order to save the group. Sure, it's rational. And if I were God, I would, with tears brought to my eyes by the suffering of my creation, kill so that the creation as a whole would go on existing. But, given that I'm not God, how can I decide to sacrifice anyone else? First of all, I don't have the power to do so, and if I did, would I really be trying to save the group or trying to save myself? Surely, the only honest thing I can do is to sacrifice myself and hope that enough others will follow my example...

Except, it doesn't really work that way, does it?

I guess what happens in reality is that, neither is there a God/man-playing-God who can calculate how many individuals need to be eliminated and then eliminating them according to a rational plan for the altruistic benefit of the group, nor are enough individuals willing to just sacrifice themselves. What happens is that you have too many individuals who simply cannot be eliminated in any 'rational' way, and then an even greater number ends up dying from starvation/disease/etc. brought about by the size of the population.

Hasha
Mar 14th, 2005, 07:00 AM
Though, I might add, humans have in relation to members of other species indeed played God. Except that we are of course not God, and we can't just pull off anything that we might like to be able to pull off. Hence the mess that we are in right now. :rolleyes:

PinkFluffyCloud
Mar 14th, 2005, 07:34 AM
Well, if we're being 'rational' about it, I would say - 'get rid of the members of the community who cause the pollution' - i.e humans. Not that I am suggesting killing off the human race, but why on Earth should animals suffer for our folly?

Hasha
Mar 14th, 2005, 07:57 AM
Well, if we're being 'rational' about it, I would say - 'get rid of the members of the community who cause the pollution' - i.e humans. Not that I am suggesting killing off the human race, but why on Earth should animals suffer for our folly?

Again, if I were God...

At any rate, I think that we (humans) will face some serious (i.e. massive & violent) dying in the near future, due to the fact that we will soon have used up some resources (in particular: oil) vital for the survival of the staggeringly high number of humans currently inhabiting this all-too-finite planet. Not something that I'm looking forward to, I might add, especially given that I see absolutely no reason to assume that I will be among the lucky survivors. Plus, I don't for a minute think that the 'innocent' (i.e. non-humans) will be spared. :rolleyes:

PinkFluffyCloud
Mar 14th, 2005, 08:02 AM
Agreed, again! This is why we need to embrace Veganism on a large scale, NOW!

foxytina_69
Mar 14th, 2005, 09:40 AM
i consider animals to be part of the natural environment...


What happens if you're faced with either sacrificing certain members of a given group, even though they did nothing in particular to deserve it, or refusing to hurt anyone and thereby letting the group, with all or almost all of its members die? The rational thing to do, in my opinion, is to sacrifice some in order to save the group. But that doesn't mean that there is nothing deeply disturbing about doing such a thing, even so disturbing that one would rather just decide to, even find it impossible not to decide to, sacrifice nobody, even if it means that everyone will thereby die...

i would refuse to hurt anyone and let the whole group die. i wouldnt beable to look into an animals eyes and say im sorry and then slaughter it.

kokopelli
Mar 14th, 2005, 10:49 AM
To get back to the 'veganism in cold climates' issue, I believe that if a tiny fraction of the resources put into animal farming, their housing, medicines, feedstuffs, the machinery, transportation, slaughterhouse and refrigeration technology required, etc. etc., was diverted to plant raising technologies, then a wide range vegan foodstuffs could actually be produced locally in colder climates. After all, the Victorians had heated greenhouses producing pineapples etc. in the UK in the 19th century, before the development of plastics. And, Astrocat, I recently read an article about a man in Scotland, I think it was the Orkneys, producing strawberries in polytunnels, so Scottish local produce would definitely not have to be limited to root crops!

With artificial lighting and modern materials, theoretically it should be possible to grow most plants anywhere. Greenhouses could be heated and lit using renewable energy sources, geothermal power, biomass, hydropower or wind turbines.

And when it comes to transportation, our present dependance on state-subsidised aeroplanes is chronically unsustainable. But environmentally friendly air transport is also possible. Hopefully, the current research into lighter-than-air transport will lead to the development of cargo airships, which would be far more fuel-efficient than planes. After all, in the 1930s, the Graf Zeppelin was making regular trans-atlantic trips, carrying passengers and mail to Lakehurst and Rio de Janiero from Germany.

Airships got a bad name after the Hindenburg disaster, but that was caused by hydrogen being used as lifting gas instead of the safe, inert gas, helium, which the Hindenburg was designed for. But helium was only available from the US, and ultimately, they wouldn't allow it to be sold to the Zeppelin corporation, because of the pre-war situation. So this is another example of a potentially environmentally-friendly technology which will benefit enormously from the recent huge advances that have been made in materials and design technologies, such as computer-control, photovoltaics, fuel cells, biodiesel, etc.

As the environmental imperative inevitably becomes increasingly acute, the technologies which could potentially support veganism globally will emerge, to satisfy the growing demand for healthy, sustainable and peaceful lifestyles. :)

kokopelli
Mar 14th, 2005, 11:06 AM
And think what fun it would be to glide silently around the world, just above the oceans, watching whales and dolphins migrating, while transporting some of those tasty, hard-to-grow tropical fruit treats, brazil nuts or whatever! :)

The Hindenburg had viewing balconies on either side and a restaurant, which of course, in my future fantasy, would serve an appetising selection of vegan delicacies throughout the awesome voyage! :cool:

kokopelli
Mar 14th, 2005, 11:53 AM
Oh, and I forgot to mention plant breeding, which means that more and more varieties of plants can now be grown in climates which were once considered 'unsuitable' for them. For example, the Agroforestry Research Trust has varieties of nut trees adapted to the British climate, and soya beans are now being grown here organically, when 20 years ago that wasn't possible.

veganblue
Mar 14th, 2005, 12:06 PM
I must admit, I like your dreams kokopelli! :)
On the great airs ships; Helium is a non-renewable resource and may oneday soon be so scarce that it will be so valuable we will look back on our floating balloon days and funny voices with amazed wonder.

kokopelli
Mar 14th, 2005, 04:59 PM
Actually helium is continually being produced by radioactive decay in the earth's crust, and can be recovered from the air and gas fields.

And airships would be an excellent way of conserving helium, now that virtually non-permeable plastics are available...simultaneously conserving fuel by providing lift energy...the ultimate technology of levity.

The old airships definitely weren't vegan because in some of them the gas bags were made from 'goldbeaters' skin', layers of cow intestine. Although Zeppelins were made from lightweight double-layer Egyptian cotton with an impermeable rubber layer sandwiched between.

It's not so much a dream, more a creative practical solution to our present transportation problems. It's minimalist and peaceful, like veganism. And there are currently several different companies producing airships, including a resurrected Zeppelin company in Germany.

People need to IMAGINE a peaceful future, before they can begin to realise it.

eve
Mar 15th, 2005, 08:33 AM
At any rate, I think that we (humans) will face some serious (i.e. massive & violent) dying in the near future, due to the fact that we will soon have used up some resources (in particular: oil) vital for the survival of the staggeringly high number of humans currently inhabiting this all-too-finite planet. Not something that I'm looking forward to, I might add, especially given that I see absolutely no reason to assume that I will be among the lucky survivors. Plus, I don't for a minute think that the 'innocent' (i.e. non-humans) will be spared. :rolleyes:
I'm sure you are right, Hasha, despite those who are visualising floating around in helium balloons! Human beings just love looking on the bright side and assuming that 'scientists' will solve the planet's problems. Well, I don't think so. However, when oil reserves run out etc, I won't be here to see what happens.

kokopelli
Mar 15th, 2005, 09:16 AM
Well, if everyone assumed the world is doomed, there would absolutely be NO CHANCE of any positive changes being made. So get down in your bunkers and hope to be among the 'lucky' (???) survivors.

I'm a vegan because I believe peaceful co-existence is possible. To me, being a vegan and bringing up my children as vegans is a continuous demonstration of this possibility, one which I know affects other people around me, because it proves that no-one needs to kill to live, at any stage of their lives. I have seen people become veg*ns and reduce their consumption of animal products, and then go on to influence more people to change. That's why I believe change can be EXPONENTIAL, in other words, the rate of change will increase over time.

We are developing vegan agricultural and technical solutions, and I'm glad that there ARE some scientists and technologists who are engineering solutions to the energy crisis. For example, we have found a 100% biodiesel supplier near us, and will now be able to run our tractor on recycled cooking oil. We have planted coppice woodland to run our cooking stove, which also heats our water, which we collect from our roof. These are all technical solutions which can be put to use wherever they're appropriate. Our next project will be to install a micro-hydropower plant.

I know you've travelled, Eve, so you must realise that aeroplanes are the fastest-growing threat to the atmosphere. Airships could allow people the luxury of air travel, with a fraction of the harmful emissions caused by planes. I think it's a hopeful sign that they are being redeveloped, for a multitude of uses, such as coastal patrol, forestry and delivering goods to isolated communities as well as passenger transport.

I'm grateful to all the people out there who are working for change, however gloomy the outlook appears. Discouragement and resignation certainly won't transform the world.

veganblue
Mar 15th, 2005, 12:29 PM
Who would've picked lighter than air balloons for the "Oh no, it's not vegan" thread! There is so much to look out for when there are so many alternatives. I didn't know, thankyou.

I was under the impression that helium is currently sourced from natural gas and pockets but also felt that there was not much remaining on Earth due to it's low atomic weight. A bit of web digging found the following.

Here is a brief summary of the isolation of helium (http://www.webelements.com/webelements/elements/text/He/key.html)
There is very little helium on earth as nearly all present during and immediately after the earth's formation has long since been lost as it is so light. Just about all the helium remaining on the planet is the result of radioactive decay. While there is some helium in the atmosphere, currently its isolation from that source by liquefaction and separation of air is not normally economic. This is bacause it is easier, and cheaper, to isolate the gas from certain natural gases. Concentrations of helium in natural gas in the USA are as high as 7% and other good sources include natural gas from some sources in Poland. It is isolable from these gases by liquefaction and separation of from the natural gas. This would not normally be carried out in the laboratory and helium is available commercially in cylinders under pressure.

I figured that it would be very hard to take from the atmosphere since less than 0.005% is made up of helium and would take a lot of air to get a substantial amount - even if you could extract all of the available helium.

There *are* so many people, as you say kokopelli, that are working for a change and not always where you expect them. My genetics lecturer gave a public lecture on the looming global fuel crisis quoting 2004-5 as the peak in the availability of global fossil fuel reserves - now when the world is consuming so much more, the oil is so much harder to extract and there are no new major finds to be had. The balance of how much energy going into collecting the oil and gas, and how much energy can be gained from that oil and gas - the gap is getting smaller. It will require a major shift in how we all operate in the short term future and not simply the next generation.

If people learned in the sciences don't seek the answers - who will?

Sorry about going off thread.

kokopelli
Mar 15th, 2005, 02:41 PM
I was under the impression that helium is currently sourced from natural gas and pockets but also felt that there was not much remaining on Earth due to it's low atomic weight.

If people learned in the sciences don't seek the answers - who will?

Sorry about going off thread.

An excellent way to store the remaining helium, until you possibly needed it for something else, would be to use it to fill airships to take supplies to people living in the far north. Which is in fact what learned scientists are working on in Canada, and it will help to alleviate the fuel crisis, so you're not off thread at all. It all fits together perfectly! :)

veganblue
Mar 15th, 2005, 02:50 PM
:) I had not thought of the vast expanse of the sky as a store room!

Hasha
Mar 15th, 2005, 03:41 PM
As for fuel, I'm sure you could recycle my shoes to get fuel, but that's not the issue. The issue is, how are you going to get a lot (and I mean, a lot) of efficient, readily-available, cheap fuel. There are plenty of alternatives to oil, but none of them could replace what oil does now (I was convinced by this (http://www.lifeaftertheoilcrash.net) article). So, working for the future is great, but no matter how hard you, or anyone else for that matter, work, at this point, I can't imagine that it's going to be pretty; in fact, no matter what anyone does, I think it's going to be very ugly.

kokopelli
Mar 15th, 2005, 06:30 PM
Hasha, have you ever seen the Robert Crumb cartoon called 'The Desperate Character'? (You remind me a bit of him) :)

I admit the situation we're in seems dire.
But I still believe change can be exponential, and the environmental stimulus will be a spur to adaptive ingenuity and increased efficiency. Since burning fossil fuels is what got us into this mess, the fact they're running out should really be welcomed. This is the best chance we'll ever have to find less damaging ways to fuel ourselves.

Hasha
Mar 15th, 2005, 06:51 PM
Hasha, have you ever seen the Robert Crumb cartoon called 'The Desperate Character'? (You remind me a bit of him) :)

No, I must say that I haven't. :p


I admit the situation we're in seems dire.
But I still believe change can be exponential, and the environmental stimulus will be a spur to adaptive ingenuity and increased efficiency. Since burning fossil fuels is what got us into this mess, the fact they're running out should really be welcomed. This is the best chance we'll ever have to find less damaging ways to fuel ourselves.

Fair enough. But, I think that no matter what we do at this point, the industrial civilization will not be able to survive the oil/natural gas crash. Not that I'm terribly fond of the industrial civilization, it's just that I can't imagine that this planet will be able to sustain 6 (or more!) billion people without the industry. So, I imagine that no matter what we do, a lot of people will die. I'm not saying that it doesn't matter what we (humans) do now. What we do now might make the difference between extinction (for example, if two or more countries decide to wage a full-blown nuclear war in order to get the last drops of oil) and a more peaceful, intimate, and nature-connected society (if we don't completely destroy the environment while we are starving/freezing/etc.) for those who survive. But I just can't imagine that the number of survivors will be anywhere close to 6 billion, no matter what we do.

Basically, I think it has to get (a lot) worse before it gets (any) better.