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Thread: Vegan authorities that cause harm to the vegan movement?

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    Quote beforewisdom
    All of these links are vegsource sites, which might lead some people to think that all of these links only express one side of the story.
    They're pretty biased, as the site is hosted by one of the persons involved in the conflict.

    I didn't know that Robert Cohen accused Stephen Walsh and Jack Norris for being "infiltrators" until I heard about their conflict recently, and I am not connected with the notmilk-site or Cohen at all, but it has struck me several times that these two persons (Walsh/Norris) in particular cause a lot of harm to the vegan movement.
    The most dangerous of all falsehoods is a slightly distorted truth." G. C. Lichtenberg

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    In what particular way do Mr. Walsh and Mr. Norris cause harm to the vegan movement?

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    In many ways. Most of the animal rights stuff on their sites are based on the ways animals are treated in todays society - factory farming and all that. It's the way animals currently are treated that gets the main focus, not that humans have no right to harm or kill others, animals or not. This can indirectly lead to quasi-vegan ideas about "humane" slaughtering and hunting and so on.

    They focus so much on nutrition and facts, and so little on ethics.

    I know you agree with the Jack Norris approach to B12, but I'm totally against it. It looks convincing at first, but if you read what he writes a few times, you'll see that he (and Stepen Walsh) has almost no interest at all in telling people that the problem with B12 for vegans isn't the plants, but they way we live.

    The Vegan Society could have done a lot to distribute and generate information about the vegan diet being a natural choice. They could have funded in depth reseach. But they don't seem to care. Many people leave their sites and think that it's weird to recommend a certain diet and then spend so much energy on warning people how unhealthy they'll end up living on it (unless they take sublingual B12 daily for the rest of their life). (OK, I'm exaggerating a little........)

    Why don't they inform about all the risks involved with an unnatural life style?

    It's like the vegan movement has got a right wing and a left wing, and they both belong to the right wing. They support each other, refer to each other, ignore a lot of really interesting facts, and want everybody else to get the impression that they represent true veganism. The way I see it, they are far from it.

    I went vegan overnight more than 3O years ago after having read a few pages explaining in a very convincing way how we are meant to eat plants, and that nature has so much more to offer than most people believe. The Norris/Walsh approach to veganism, which could be described as a "mathematical" approach to veganism often just makes me yawn.

    They are both very good at giving the impression of being unbiased - but they're not. They represent a very specific type of veganism, and unfortunately, many newcomers now think that veganism is only about nutrients and factory farming.
    The most dangerous of all falsehoods is a slightly distorted truth." G. C. Lichtenberg

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    Thank you for taking time to write down your comments and thoughts.

    In many ways. Most of the animal rights stuff on their sites are based on the ways animals are treated in todays society - factory farming and all that. It's the way animals currently are treated that gets the main focus, not that humans have no right to harm or kill others, animals or not. This can indirectly lead to quasi-vegan ideas about "humane" slaughtering and hunting and so on.
    This comment applies more to Vegan Outreach, than Vegan Society. Here's why. As you might have noticed VO's approach is based, to a large extent, on Singer's utilitarian philosophy. In short, reduce suffering and increase happiness. According to this philosophy factory farming deserves to be a priorioty for animal advocates because it generates the majority of animal suffering.

    Speaking of "quasi-vegan ideas", Singer in "Animal liberation" writes that he would not object eating animals reared in a human way and killed painlessly, if we would bring another animals into existence. He admits though that it would be very difficult in practice (price of meat would skyrocket etc.) and humans would be logcally obliged to procreate as much as possible.

    They focus so much on nutrition and facts, and so little on ethics.
    That is only partially true. No wonder they Norris and Walsh focus on nutrition and facts, I mean, Norris is a dietician and Walsh has a PhD in Process Systems Engineering. They write about things they were taught to write, it's their job to focus on nutrition and facts.

    Anyway, VO website is PRIMARILY focused on ethics. They have many essays which do talk on ethics. I know it because I translated them into Polish.

    I know you agree with the Jack Norris approach to B12, but I'm totally against it. It looks convincing at first, but if you read what he writes a few times, you'll see that he (and Stepen Walsh) has almost no interest at all in telling people that the problem with B12 for vegans isn't the plants, but they way we live.
    Neither Norris nor Walsh talk only about B12, but yes, they give a great deal of attention to it. It's nothing wrong since vegans are notorious for their high rate of B12 deficiencies.

    Stephen Walsh and Vegan Society are currently conducting clinical studies on possible B12 source in chlorella so I'd say they do have an interest in telling people that the problem with B12. What I like about Walsh/Norris is that when it turns out that chlorella is not a reliable source of B12, he will admit it. They are not interested in telling fairy tales about poor little vegans living in a hostile unnatural world which deprived them of B12.

    The Vegan Society could have done a lot to distribute and generate information about the vegan diet being a natural choice. They could have funded in depth reseach. But they don't seem to care. Many people leave their sites and think that it's weird to recommend a certain diet and then spend so much energy on warning people how unhealthy they'll end up living on it (unless they take sublingual B12 daily for the rest of their life). (OK, I'm exaggerating a little.).
    I don't know exactly what you mean by saying that VS "could have distribute and generate information about the vegan diet being a natural choice". Does it mean they should contradict and deny the fact that we are omnivores? They recommend vegan diet because they believe that ethical aspect of veganism is more important than "being natural" and I have no problem with it. Even if it takes taking sublingual B12 daily which I'm gladly practicing.

    Why don't they inform about all the risks involved with an unnatural life style? Lack of time? No, because they have got lots of time to attack other parts of the vegan movement that disagree with their non-visionary "veganism".
    Because everybody knows that already, I guess. People won't quite their jobs and stressful lifestyle just to go vegan. It's the veganism that has to be adjusted to their lifestyle.

    I don't see VO/VS spending particularly much time on attacking anyone. When they disagree with someone, they'll just tell it. I don't think there's anything wrong with that.

    It's like the vegan movement has got a right wing and a left wing, and they both belong to the right wing. They support each other, refer to each other, ignore a lot of really interesting facts, and want everybody else to get the impression that they represent true veganism. The way I see it, they are far from it.
    It's normal for people with similar beliefs to get together and support each other. I don't think that they think of themselves as representatives of "true veganism", they just have their own ideas on how to spread it.

    I went vegan overnight more than 3O years ago after having read a few pages explaining in a very convincing way how we are meant to eat plants, and that nature has so much more to offer than most people believe. The Norris/Walsh approach to veganism, which has been described as a "mathematical approach to veganism" often just makes me yawn.
    Different strokes for different folks. See, that's the beauty of it, for me ""mathematical approach to veganism" is convincing and fascinating and the whole talk about nature, for me, is null and void.

    They are both very good at giving the impression of being unbiased - but they're not. They represent a very specific type of veganism, and unfortunately, many newcomers now think that veganism is only about nutrients and factory farming.
    Yes, I agree with you that veganism is not only about factory farmed animals, but nutrition is probably the single most important part of the story here. If vegans can't be healthy, then the case fo veganism does not exist. Norris/Walsh try to do what they can to make people as healthy vegans as possible. When it comes to nutrition I think they are painfully objective (presenting strong sides and weak sides of vegan nutrition and how to deal with the latter).

    We need people like Norris/Walsh percisely because of their "mathematical" approach (to nutrition). They have been doing a fabulous job at debunking many anti-vegan myths in the mainstream media/institutions. If we don't have our own experts in the field of nutrition and science, then we're gonna lose it.

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    After The Rain, you know what's sad? Cohen said many of the things you did (and I find them to be true). There are definitely lobbyists posing as vegans, much more than people realize. You know, corporations are not above astroturfing and posing to create, destroy, and subvert grass roots movements and counter cultures. It's been a common practice in the US since day one, but oddly people pretend it can't be so. I think it's worth looking in to.

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    Do you think that less suffering and more happiness go well along with losing your life because someone wants to eat you? Are dead animals happy?

    He sounds like a true egotarian.
    Just for the record, I'm merely stating Singer's opinion, by no means I'm expressing my views here. He thinks that if animal had a pleasurable life and was killed painlessly (another condition is that animal in question is not capable of having plans for future) it is OK to eat it, if we bring another animal into existence which will lead the same pleasurable life. Please see latest edition of "Animal liberation" for Singer's explanation.

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    Quote veganmike
    He thinks that if animal had a pleasurable life and was killed painlessly (another condition is that animal in question is not capable of having plans for future) it is OK to eat it, if we bring another animal into existence which will lead the same pleasurable life.
    What does "if we bring other animals into existence" actually mean? Animals are brought into existence all the time - not by humans, but by animals.

    And, does he explain why he is fine with eating animals (under given circumstances), but not humans, if "bringing others into existence" is his criterion? Is it OK to kill two people if you have two babies? Of course not. Yo me, it sounds like he is saying, is, "I don't respect an animals right to live". In other words: the opposite of veganism.

    If eating animals are OK given that the animals had a good life, maybe eating pets would be a perfect choice for him?

    And, what about all the well documented side effects of eating animals (cancer etc) - are they 'OK' too? He doesn't sound like a vegetarian or vegan at all.
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

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    Why do you make me explain things that I don't agree with? I mentioned before, these are not my views so I don't really feel obliged to defend them. If anyone wants to know what Singer thinks, pick up "Animal liberation" (1995 edition) or at least check an article "Animal Rights Theory and Utilitarianism: Relative Normative Guidance" by prof. Gary Francione.

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    I forgot, it's funny we brought up Singer in this thread as I know loads of vegans who think that Peter Singer and those who follow his philosophy (i.e. PeTA and Vegan Outreach) are doing a great deal of harm to the movement.

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    Norris runs a site which to a large extent is based on Peter Singer's philosophy. Peter Singer is not even against eating meat as such, he's only against the way our society currently treats and kills animals. If someone who represents a vegetarian or vegan foundation (Walsh) has "similar beliefs" as someone who has no trouble with eating meat per se, something is wrong somewhere. I'm not surprised that this looks like infiltration to someone. Personally I don't think it is infiltration, but someone is in bed with the wrong people here.
    Now you got it all wrong.

    When I wrote what Peter just quoted I meant knowledge of nutrition, not philosophy. I don't know what Stephen Walsh's philosophy is, you can always e-mail him and ask about it.

    I do not agree with Singer's philosophy, but I know one thing - he is explicity pro-vegan. He is a vegan himself. Norris and Vegan Outreach promote veganism. So I don't think the word "infiltration" fits here, unless someone here is into conspiracy theories which I'm far from.

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    I do not agree with Singer's philosophy, but I know one thing - he is explicity pro-vegan. He is a vegan himself.
    How can he be a vegan if he thinks it's OK to kill an animal an eat it?
    Ok, if you insist on not calling him vegan, let's say that he is vegan in dietary terms.

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    Quote veganmike
    Ok, if you insist on not calling him vegan, let's say that he is vegan in dietary terms.
    He wouldn't even be a 'dietary vegan' (a self-contradiction) if he ate a 'happy' animal that was killed in a 'painless' way - which he might do anytime if he is not against it. Is there's actually a reason to think that he doesn't do it on a regular basis if he has no problem with it?
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

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    BBC World has this talk-show, HardTalk, where the host asks all sorts of confrontational questions to his guests. Singer appeared there 4 or 6 weeks ago. They talked mostly about animal issues and Singer's latest book on Bush. At the end of the show the host asked him: "So you are vegan, yes?". Singer replied: "Yes, that's correct". That's how I know he doesn't eat meat.

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    1) Peter Singer calls himself a vegan. 2) Peter Singer has no problems with killing an animal and eating it under what he considers the 'right' circumstances. 1+2=3) According to Peter Singer, you can be a vegan and still be OK with killing animals and eating them, as he is an example of that himself. 4) Peter Singer says on TV that he is a vegan.

    Doesn't that only tell us that Peter Singer is a vegan according to how he defines vegan, which in his very special case obviously means that you can be a vegan even if you are OK with killing animals and eating them, since he is an example of this himself? In other words, based on Peter Singers definitions, he could eat meat and still call himself a vegan. I don't know much about Peter Singer, but based on what you write, it could be like a perfect example of how to save the meat industry and fight against veganism, couldn't it?
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

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    Everybody can read "Animal liberation" and decide for themselves. I disagree with Singer and subscribe to the philosophy of animal rights, not that of (anti-speciest) utilitarianism.

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    Quote veganmike
    Everybody can read "Animal liberation" and decide for themselves.
    I don't think that there are many vegans that would be interested in wasting time on reading a book by a guy who thinks it's OK to kill and eat animals.

    I don't understand you, veganmike. You have posted many links to Jack Norris' site, links that mainly attacks another 'vegan authority', Robert Cohen, because,
    he [Robert Cohen] is not the vegan advocate I'd like to support
    You also write that you disagree with Singer. But over the last year you (and now also Steve/beforewisdom) have been very active in advocating Jack Norris' sites, which, to a large extent, are based on the philosophy of a guy that's not even against eating meat. You say that Robert Cohen is not the vegan advocate you want to support, but you and Steve are supporting a site that promotes the philosophy of a guy who are OK with KILLING animals?

    Is such a 'vegan advocate' someone you really want to support?

    No second thoughts? As you admit, you know 'loads of vegans' who think that Jack Norris of Vegan Outreach is doing a great deal of harm to the movement!

    If you support someone who is harming the vegan movement, you are harming the movement yourself, and thereby, indirectly, harming animals.
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

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    I don't think that there are many vegans that would be interested in wasting time on reading a book by a guy who thinks it's OK to kill and eat animals.
    The book itself is still worth reading. It's very well written and has some good points, although I disagree with author's overall conclusions and some of his argumentation. I don't think one can discuss Singer's philosophy without reading his books.


    I don't understand you, veganmike. You have posted many links to Jack Norris' site, links that mainly attacks another 'vegan authority', Robert Cohen, because,

    You also write that you disagree with Singer. But over the last year you (and now also Steve/beforewisdom) have been very active in advocating Jack Norris' sites, which, to a large extent, are based on the philosophy of a guy that's not even against eating meat. You say that Robert Cohen is not the vegan advocate you want to support, but you and Steve are supporting a site that promotes the philosophy of a guy who are OK with KILLING animals?
    While I was VERY enthusiastic about Vegan Outreach approach to veganism, this has changed recently. I still think it's good they are around. They are doing a great job at introducing people to veganism.

    When talking about Norris we have to distinguish two things - his philosophy and his work as a dietician. The latter I support in 100% and I have no problem with him as far as nutrition is concerned. So I don't think I'm being incosistent here.

    Is such a 'vegan advocate' someone you really want to support?
    As a dietician and vegan health advocate, yes, absolutely.

    No second thoughts? As you admit, you know 'loads of vegans' who think that Jack Norris of Vegan Outreach is doing a great deal of harm to the movement!
    The people I know and object to VO approach to veganism do it because VO, whose final goal is animal liberation, supports welfarist regulations as well.

    If you support someone who is harming the vegan movement, you are harming the movement yourself, and thereby, indirectly, harming animals.
    Like I said, I support them mainly because of their nutritional information which, in my opinion, can only benefit the movement.

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    Quote Korn
    You also write that you disagree with Singer. But over the last year you (and now also Steve/beforewisdom) have been very active in advocating Jack Norris' sites, which, to a large extent, are based on the philosophy of a guy that's not even against eating meat.
    No second thoughts? As you admit, you know 'loads of vegans' who think that Jack Norris of Vegan Outreach is doing a great deal of harm to the movement!
    I quoted the site veganhealth.org, which is part of vegan outreach, which has papers on vegan nutrition, by Jack Norris. I quoted that site because it highlights the essentials of a healthy vegan diet. My opinion is that getting information across is essential to expanding the movement.

    If people don't feel well when they try veg*n diets they will not stay veg*n. If all the veg*ns someone meets look obviously unhealthy that person will be less likely to give veg*sm a try. No one wants poor health for him/herself.

    I've been a vegan for 14 years and a vegetarian for 26, but I am not well acquainted with the AR community.

    Why do you think Jack Norris and Vegan Outreach are harming the AR or the veg*n movement?

    Steve

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    Default Anyone know if Peter Singer actually eats meat?

    I see him quoted all over the place in veggie literature.

    I am surprised he has no problem with killing animals provided that it is done in a humane way.

    Does anyone know if actually does eat meat?

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    Default PETA - but not for the usual reasons

    PETA, but I am not referring to the usual reasons people quote.

    This new site of theirs really bothers me:
    http://www.peta.org/accidentallyVegan/default.asp

    It encourages eating all of the foods that I have heard many vegan health authorities ( degreed health professionals who are themselves vegan ) blame for the rising poor health of the vegetarian community.

    IMHO it is counterproductive to PETA's goals.

    Vegan, but junkatarian diets don't make people feel well. If people do not feel healthy on a vegan, but junkatarian diet and they don't know that a vegan diet can make them feel well, they will go back to being omnivores.

    I have seen this happen a lot.

    I have perused PETA's site, their "nutrition" section and their starter kit.
    Nowhere do they encourage healthy eating or tell people to seek it out.

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    Quote beforewisdom
    I see him quoted all over the place in veggie literature.

    I am surprised he has no problem with killing animals provided that it is done in a humane way.

    Does anyone know if actually does eat meat?
    As I stated earlier, Singer eats vegan, but if he is on the road and if something contains small ammounts of dairy and there's no alternative, he will eat it. In "Animal liberation" Singer promotes vegan or near-vegan diet.

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    Quote veganmike
    I don't think one can discuss Singer's philosophy without reading his books.
    I agree. And since I'm not interested in Singer's philosophy, I'm not going to read his books.

    When talking about Norris we have to distinguish two things - his philosophy and his work as a dietician.
    In real life, if you keep recommending his sites (and I have noticed that people who recommend Norris' sites tend to do it continously), you actually support not only part of what he represents, but 'the whole thing'.


    The people I know and object to VO approach to veganism do it because VO, whose final goal is animal liberation, supports welfarist regulations as well.
    Please tell more...
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

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    Quote beforewisdom
    If all the veg*ns someone meets look obviously unhealthy that person will be less likely to give veg*sm a try.
    Of course. But if people don't even want to give it a try because it seems unnatural and requires a lot of supplements... then what?

    Why do you think Jack Norris and Vegan Outreach are harming the AR or the veg*n movement?
    I prefer to talk about how to improve things, and try to avoid personal attacks on people I disagree with. If we shall discuss this further, I'd like to know if you agree that veganism is based on respect for life, and as such represents the total opposite viewpoint than the philosophy of one who is OK with killing animals? We are against killing, aren't we? If you look at sites that promote the quasi/anti-vegan 'humane slaughtering'-ideas, do we agree that they harm the vegan movement? If you are a vegan and sends people to a site that recommends (and makes money on) selling books by people who defends killing animals and 'humane' slaughtering, do you agree that you partially, indirectly promote the opposite of veganism, pr at least a 'watered out' veganism?

    From http://www.campusprogram.com/referen...ve/vegan.html:
    "Vegan philosophy has close connections with the concept of Ahimsa. Ahimsa is a Sanskrit word for non-killing and non-harming. It was taught by Mahatma Gandhi to his followers. The American vegan society website says: "It is not mere passiveness, but a positive method of meeting the dilemmas and decisions of daily life. In the western world, we call it Dynamic Harmlessness." Ahimsa is also an acronym: Abstinence from animal products, Harmlessness with reverence for life, Integrity of thought, word, and deed, Mastery over oneself, Service to humanity, nature, and creation, and Advancement of understanding and truth."

    If Singer defends 'humane' killing, why would he have any problems against using animal products (in shoes, household products etc) that vegans are known to avoid?

    Isn't anyone who is basing his ideas on the opposite of what veganism represents, harming veganism if he writes books about his philosophy - compared to one who promotes why he is against harming animals (and that we don't even need it)? Killing is harming, right?
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

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    Quote beforewisdom
    PETA, but I am not referring to the usual reasons people quote.

    This new site of theirs really bothers me:
    http://www.peta.org/accidentallyVegan/default.asp
    Poor PETA .

    I don't really want to discuss PETA, but MANY vegan authorities are known for not focusing on the bad side effects of cooking, freezing, canning, amalgam, microwave owens. lack of organic food, soil depleted for nutrients or water with chlorine. But when PETA makes a 'I can't believe it's vegan'-page, they get pepper. We should have such a thread here too, because there are people approaching veganism from all walks of life, and I think it would help many if they understood that a lot of what they eat already are made of plants. But I do agree - junk food is junk.

    Maybe some will continue longer, but I don't think people will start eating junk because of PETA's site. Once they know more about veganism, they'll hopefully switch to a more natural lifestyle (unless they just continue an unnatural lifestyle accompanied by supplements and therefore 'feel safe'.)

    I agree that it would be a good idea if PETA would focus more on the (internal and external) environment. On nature. Unfortunately, if you look around, vert few 'vegan experts' focus on this. Many seem to have given up (or are not interested themselves), and have a more or less hidden 'just-keep-eating-your-junk-but-take-some-pills-with-it' attitude. That is dangerous.
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

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    Of course. But if people don't even want to give it a try because it seems unnatural and requires a lot of supplements... then what?
    But what if veganism IS unnatural? You're going to deny it and hide this fact from would-be vegans?

    I prefer to talk about how to improve things, and try to avoid personal attacks on people I disagree with. If we shall discuss this further, I'd like to know if you agree that veganism is based on respect for life, and as such represents the total opposite viewpoint than the philosophy of one who is OK with killing animals? We are against killing, aren't we? If you look at sites that promote the quasi/anti-vegan 'humane slaughtering'-ideas, do we agree that they harm the vegan movement? If you are a vegan and sends people to a site that recommends (and makes money on) selling books by people who defends killing animals and 'humane' slaughtering, do you agree that you actually, indirectly, promote a site that represents the opposite of veganism.

    If Singer defends 'humane' killing, why would he have any problems against using animal products (in shoes, household products etc) that vegans are known to avoid?
    You ackowledge the fact that if you don't know someone's books you can discuss this person's ideas, yet you still insist on discussing them. Why would he have any problems against using animal products that vegans are known to avoid? Becuase for the most part they are a product of suffering. He's an utilitarian, that means he believes that suffering is bad, and happiness is good.

    Isn't it quote clear that anyone who is basing his philosophy (or internet site) on the opposite of what veganism represents, is harming, or as someone else called it in another thread, 'watering out' veganism?
    Please visit www.veganoutreach.com and tell us where they are opposed to what veganism represents. But yes, they do "water down" veganism to make it more accessible for mainstream. They believe it will reduce suffering of animals.

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    In real life, if you keep recommending his sites (and I have noticed that people who recommend Norris' sites tend to do it continously), you actually support not only part of what he represents, but 'the whole thing'.
    Not necessarily.

    Please tell more...
    See works by prof. Gary Francione to find out why people object to Singer's philosophy of reducing suffering and his vision of animal protection movement.

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    Quote veganmike
    But what if veganism IS unnatural? You're going to deny it and hide this fact from would-be vegans?
    Of course not. I know you have criticized me earlier for trying to hard to making veganism look natural, and I know you mean that humans are 'natural omnivores', but that's at least material for two other threads.

    You ackowledge the fact that if you don't know someone's books you can discuss this person's ideas, yet you still insist on discussing them.
    .

    Not at all. I don't discuss Singer's ideas, I discuss the fact that some people water out and harm the vegan movement by including killing an eating animals as an option for 'vegans'.

    Why would he have any problems against using animal products that vegans are known to avoid?
    Because for the most part they are a product of suffering. He's an utilitarian, that means he believes that suffering is bad, and happiness is good.
    Do you think he would be OK with using a leather jacket from a happy animal that was slaughtered in a 'humane' way? Veganism is NOT about only using leather or meat or milk from animals that was killed or who lived a certain way.

    Please visit www.veganoutreach.com and tell us where they are opposed to what veganism represents.
    You just can't help linking to them yet another time, can you?

    But yes, they do "water down" veganism to make it more accessible for mainstream.
    I just heard about a bar who was accused for watering out their beer with water. I don't drink beer, but if I liked Heineken, I wanted Heineken, and not Heineken with water. If someone waters out anything, to make it more accessible, they don't make 'the real thing' more accessible, they make the watered out version more accessible. If Heineken tastes good, and beer drinkers only gets a watered out version, maybe in the long run Heineken will lose popularity, and maybe lots of people will never get to know it's taste.

    If someone wants to make a lifestyle (or anything else) more accessible by changing it, they should call it something else than the original.
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

  30. #30
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    In real life, if you keep recommending his sites (and I have noticed that people who recommend Norris' sites tend to do it continously), you actually support not only part of what he represents, but 'the whole thing'.
    Not necessarily.
    Oh yes. I know you are on an overdose of B12 , but try to concentrate now, OK?

    Let's say that you have (at least) two choices.

    1) You can create or refer to sites/articles that's got what you consider important health information for vegans, but which also waters out veganism and/or makes it look like you can be a vegan and still be OK with eating meat or killing animals, for example by promoting or selling books by people who state this.

    2) You can create or refer to sites/articles that's got the same health information for vegans, but that does NOT water out veganism and/or makes it look like you can be a vegan and still be OK with eating meat or killing animals, for example by promoting or selling books bt people who state this.

    If you recommend A, don't you also risk that newbies will be exposed to (and follow) even more anti-vegan ideas than if you recommend B? Not only that, but they will be exposed to anti-vegan propaganda in the name of veganism? If they follow your recommendations, they probably trust you, and if they trust you, they think you agree in what you present to them.
    Last edited by Korn; Aug 19th, 2004 at 04:21 PM. Reason: Poor writing!
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

  31. #31
    beforewisdom
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    Quote Korn
    Of course. But if people don't even want to give it a try because it seems unnatural and requires a lot of supplements... then what?
    It doesn't. Vitamin b-12 and D are two supplements. I wouldn't call two "a lot of supplements". Other things veg*ns are told to watch are things omni's also have to watch. Many people are ignorant of nutrtion and do not know this.

    I think what you have to say brings up an excellent hidden point in that Norris needs to refine his writing style to be positive and simple while getting his point across. It is too easy for people to get the wrong impression.


    I prefer to talk about how to improve things, and try to avoid personal attacks on people I disagree with.
    Great. I agree.

    There is a lot of lousy vegan health out there. That needs to change both for the sake of the movement and for compassion for vegans.

    The way to improve that is to actually tell people what they need to know.

    I am helping a co-worker convert to vegetarianism. I have been reviewing the various "starter kits" out there for her sake and I've only found vegan outreach even coming close to advising people on how to do a vegan diet right.

    Other vegan's are addressing this issue by writing books and speaking at lectures, but I think Norris/vegan outreach is alone in disseminating this information in a brief, free, easy to access venue........which I think is needed. It is very hard to get someone to go to a lecture, buy a video, or read an entire book.

    Again, I think Norris needs to refine his writing style

    If we shall discuss this further, I'd like to know if you agree that veganism is based on respect for life, and as such represents the total opposite viewpoint than the philosophy of one who is OK with killing animals?
    I don't mean any offense, but I think you are cutting yourself off from options and ideas by framing your views in this way.

    I don't believe in killing unless it is necessary, and I think 99.9% of the time it is not necessary.


    404

  32. #32
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    Quote beforewisdom
    It doesn't. Vitamin b-12 and D are two supplements. I wouldn't call two "a lot of supplements".
    I consider recommending 10 mcg daily (which is approx. 4 times as much as most countries in the world recommended for pregnant or lactating women) alone a lot of supplements. Stephen Walsh recommend vegans to take 6 nutrients on a regular basis. (For the records, in Norway, where I'm from, you can't even buy a 10 mcg B12 pill without a doctors prescription.)


    Other things veg*ns are told to watch are things omni's also have to watch. Many people are ignorant of nutrtion and do not know this.
    True, and many sites focus too little on this.

    The way to improve that is to actually tell people what they need to know.
    Sure, but how many 'vegan experts' focus on all the B12 reducing elements in our lives, compared with how much they focus on recommending supplements?

    I have been reviewing the various "starter kits" out there for her sake and I've only found vegan outreach even coming close to advising people on how to do a vegan diet right.
    Well, Steve, it might be time to create you own then .

    The good thing about Norris' site, is that it's clear, lots of tables etc. This looks convincing at first, but the tables are unfortunately filled with a rather biased 'version of the truth'. Please look again, and compare with other sources that cover the whole spectrum of what you have to take into consideration regarding ie. the B12 issue.

    When most people wake up in the morning they brush their teeth (fluor in toothpaste is reducing B12), drink coffee (in itself reducing B12) or water (chlorine in water is reducing B12). The heat from the coffee makes the amalgam (which in itself is reducing B12) more easy absorbable by their bodies. They might eat something with sugar in (B12 is reducing B12). Some people take a cigarette (reducing B12), some women take oral contraceptives, many people use deodorants (of which some contain chemicals that reducing B12). All the water used for making coffee is brought to the house in copper tubes (they reduce B12). And that's just breakfast!

    Look at some of the main vegan sites out there again. Most of them don't challenge the way you live. They might know that our lifestyles kill natural bacteria and B12, but they often prefer the 'symptom-treating'-way of looking at things, not to remove causes. The easy way out, but maybe not so easy in the long run? If we continue to allow ourselves to live 'anti-vegetus'-lives, what will happen to ourselves and our environment after some years? Simply consuming more B12 is not a good solution!
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

  33. #33
    beforewisdom
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    Quote Korn
    I consider recommending 10 mcg daily (which is approx. 4 times as much as most countries in the world recommended for pregnant or lactating women) alone a lot of supplements.
    I am going to have to disagree with you. I have read from a variety of authorities, not just Norris, that absorption of vitamin b-12 can vary a lot.
    Given the severity of deficiency, the cheapness of the supplements, and that it cannot be overdosed on I am with the "safe rather then sorry" mindset in recommending a dose that covers everyone in a large general group.

    Stephen Walsh recommend vegans to take 6 nutrients on a regular basis. (For the records, in Norway, where I'm from, you can't even buy a 10 mcg B12 pill without a doctors prescription.)
    I am going to pass on commenting upon this as I have only read the Jack Norris articles on veganhealth.org. For what it is worth, the doctors at Summerfest highly emphasized getting nutrtion from food, rather then supplements with b-12 being the lone exception.


    Sure, but how many 'vegan experts' focus on all the B12 reducing elements in our lives, compared with how much they focus on recommending supplements?
    I think that is the result of being practical.

    Reliable natural vegan food sources of vitamin b-12 just don't exist right now.
    ( I don't believe the sources listed in the other thread are true sources....but that is another argument).

    When I became a vegetarian 26 years ago I could still buy tempeh with live cultures and b-12. I live in a very veg friendly metropolitan area and I can't do that anymore.

    An emphasis on sanitation in food production has eliminated natural vegan food sources of b-12. This may be a good thing as those sanitation practices prevent harmful pathogens like E Coli. However, lets say this is not the case. How practical would it be to get the big food producers to change their methods?

    That would require a certain amount of activism.....time, money, and energy.....and the existing AR groups aren't even giving people a "good nutrition heads up" on their sites.

    In the meantime a need for b-12 exists. Supplements and fortiefied foods are the practical options in the right now.



    Well, Steve, it might be time to create you own then .
    I am going to augment my personal web stie to this end, but I do not believe in reinventing the wheel. I think COK and VeganOutreach have a good start.
    I am going to contact them in a diplomatic way and try to get them to polish their writing.

    The good thing about Norris' site, is that it's clear, lots of tables etc. This looks convincing at first, but the tables are unfortunately filled with a rather biased 'version of the truth'. Please look again, and compare with other sources that cover the whole spectrum of what you have to take into consideration regarding ie. the B12 issue.
    I have. At least a 1/2 dozen other trustworthy sources I have consulted ( before I ever heard of Norris) all believe that b-12 supplements and fortified foods are the only reliable sources. I am just going to have to disagree with you on this point.

    When most people wake up in the morning they brush their teeth (fluor in toothpaste is reducing B12), drink coffee (in itself reducing B12) or water (chlorine in water is reducing B12). The heat from the coffee makes the amalgam (which in itself is reducing B12) more easy absorbable by their bodies. They might eat something with sugar in (B12 is reducing B12). Some people take a cigarette (reducing B12), some women take oral contraceptives, many people use deodorants (of which some contain chemicals that reducing B12). All the water used for making coffee is brought to the house in copper tubes (they reduce B12). And that's just breakfast!
    Very interesting!

    I will have to disagree with you on toothpaste. Like food sanitation I think it does more good then harm to have fluoride in toothpaste. Ditto for water purification.

    You can get some people to reduce coffe use, sugar, cigarrettes, contraceptives, and deodorant but I don't think you will get many.

    I do think what you quoted above is valuable information that should be put on AR and veg*n nutrition sites. Even if such things are not acceptable to people who want to be vegans people should know.

  34. #34
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    Quote beforewisdom
    Given the severity of deficiency, the cheapness of the supplements, and that it cannot be overdosed on I am with the "safe rather then sorry" mindset
    .

    So you think you are safe if you eat 10 mcg daily? Depending on a lot of things, that might not be safe at all.
    By the way, I don't think the price of B12, that you have mentioned often here an on other sites, really is an issue here. Regarding the severity of B12 deficiency and problems associated with high levels of B12, let's discuss that in other threads, OK?

    Reliable natural vegan food sources of vitamin b-12 just don't exist right now.
    A little comment on the word 'reliable': with the condition the vegan movement, or, the sad part of it, is in today, and because many of the people who are in the position to initiate studies on B12 in water, food and plants spend most of their time convincing their fellow vegans that they need pills, we won't know much more about reliable or not until someone else, outside the vegan movements, studies this.

    ( I don't believe the sources listed in the other thread are true sources....but that is another argument).
    Which thread?

    When I became a vegetarian 26 years ago I could still buy tempeh with live cultures and b-12. I live in a very veg friendly metropolitan area and I can't do that anymore.
    The problem with tempeh is that the trueB12 levels in tempeh is dependent on a lot of things. The macrobiotic community discussed this a lot around 1970, but most of them blindly trusted that tempeh, miso and tamari contained B12, without really knowing.

    An emphasis on sanitation in food production has eliminated natural vegan food sources of b-12. This may be a good thing as those sanitation practices prevent harmful pathogens like E Coli. However, lets say this is not the case. How practical would it be to get the big food producers to change their methods?
    We might misunderstand each other a little here, as we talk about many topics simultanously now... Practical or not, my main point is that there are many potential vegans out there (lacto-vegetarians, for example) that have got resistance against veganism because they feel that it can't be natural to eat vegan food since vegans are so obsessed with supplements (without really explainging why). So right now, since we talk about harming the vegan movement, it's important to distinguish between a) should i take B'12 or not and b) why do (some/many/few) vegans recommend B12?

    Supplements and fortiefied foods are the practical options in the right now.
    Have you noticed how many vegans who believe that multivitaminsns that contain B12 are 'safe'? Have you noticed how many vegans that don't know that fortified food also contain 'passive' B12 analogues? How many vegans are aware that an intake of a mix of true B12 and B12 analogues are 'normal'? Some sites (many of them rely on a few/the same sources) present really biased or one-dimensional B12 'facts', like 'if something contains B12 analogs (and plants do), it is useless'. I believed the same myself a while ago.

    I am going to contact them in a diplomatic way and try to get them to polish their writing.
    With all due respect, I don't think this is a question of polishing.

    At least a 1/2 dozen other trustworthy sources I have consulted (before I ever heard of Norris) all believe that b-12 supplements and fortified foods are the only reliable sources.
    There are much more than half a dozen, and for simplicity (and thanks to some guys who constantly post links to Jack Norris B12 article, no names mentioned ) there will many more. But I hope you understand that that's not what (at least I) consider the main point here/now.

    I will have to disagree with you on toothpaste. Like food sanitation I think it does more good then harm to have fluoride in toothpaste.
    Dear beforewisdom, you can't disagree with me on toothpaste, because I haven't even said what I mean about it in public (yet). I'm just saying that putting toothpaste in your mouth after (or even worse, before) breakfast, might kill B12 that is produced in your mouth while you were sleeping. I used toothpaste as an example, in a comment to our B12 killing lifestyle, with the earlier mentioned breakfast as an example (which by the way, probably wasn't organic (= less B12). I'm not even saying that you or someone else shouldn't eat B12. If you want to use toothpaste that might kill B12 and chew B12 to compensate for this, that's up to you. What I'm saying are basically two things:

    1) There are so many B12 reducing elements in our lives, and based on how much they reduce the B12 levels in humans and plants, it's mor ethan likely that we would have great B12 levels if we were to live a more natural life (which might or might not be possible in today's society, but that's another thread).
    2) Some major sites gives special attention to B12 (which is fine, and important), but they do it in a way that harms the vegan movement, by making it look like it is the vegan lifestyle there is something wrong with, and not ho we live, constantly killing B12, micro-organisms and bacteria everywhere.

    I even say that by promoting these sites, you indirectly harm the vegan movement, because you potentially strengthen the already strong tendency amongst potential vegans that believe that going vegan is either difficult or seems like an unnatural choice.

    What we need are sites that inform about all the reasons you could become B12 deficient, and most of all, encourage readers to improve their life quality instead of eating B12 in the morning and kill it before noon.This does not mean that people (vegans or not) that are low in B12 shouldn't do anything with it, vegans or not.


    You can get some people to reduce coffe use, sugar, cigarrettes, contraceptives, and deodorant but I don't think you will get many.
    I can't do much personally. But luckily, there are more and more people that are interested in alternative health and medicine & and more a natural life style. Wouldn't it be sad if the vegan movement should put itself on the sideline and ignores this, and just continue recommending chewing pills? As an example, nowadays it's much easier to find organic food, more 'natural' deodorants, coffeine-free coffee or stuff with other sweeteners than sugar than it was when I changed my diet. Why doesn't (the parts of) the vegan movement (that I'm talking about now) want to participate more actively in this back-to-nature process?

    As we eat plants, and not animals, it should be of particular importance to us!
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

  35. #35

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    Quote veganmike
    Stephen Walsh and Vegan Society are currently conducting clinical studies on possible B12 source in chlorella so I'd say they do have an interest in telling people that the problem with B12. What I like about Walsh/Norris is that when it turns out that chlorella is not a reliable source of B12, he will admit it.
    Are you aware that you wrote "when" and not "if"? They are not conducting studies on chlorella, but on chlorella pills, and I suspect that they will find that the B12 in the pills is not active anymore. Maybe they even conduct these studies to prove that they are right?

    They are not interested in telling fairy tales about poor little vegans living in a hostile unnatural world which deprived them of B12.
    Do you really think that telling people that we live in an unnatural word, or pointing at all the documentation about B12 being reduced in various ways is "telling fairytales"?

    Does it mean they should contradict and deny the fact that we are omnivores?
    When someone claims that something which there is huge disagreement about is just "a fact", it's just got the opposite effect on me. In this case it just reminds me that there is no agreement among scientists or others that the idea that humans are meant to eat meat is more than just an idea. Thanks!

    the whole talk about nature, for me, is null and void.
    Wow. I refuse to believe that you really mean this!

  36. #36
    Auschwitz begins wherever someone looks at a slaughterhouse and thinks: they're only animals.
    -Theodor Adorno (1903-1969), German Jewish philosopher forced into exile by the Nazis

  37. #37

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    I don't know it it's true but it is disappointing when people I've admired for their values turn out to be not so great.

  38. #38
    PinkFluffyCloud
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    I remember reading this before in 'CIVIS' literature, hmm, sounds very fishy, there seems to be quite a lot of doubt about Peter Singer's ethics.

  39. #39
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    Feel I have to balance out my previous statement, because nobody is beyond fault, nearly everyone has some sort of murk in their past - I know I certainly have, and Singer did encourage the growth of a whole movement, whatever his driving force was.

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    Wow, that was an eye-opener for me, I had not heard this yet about Singer .

  41. #41
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    As I've mentioned on other threads, Singer has definitely stated that it is ok to kill a chicken if there's another one to take its place. I don't like that because I'm a vegan - he's not. However, this doesn't mean that I'd vilify him in the way that the website above quoted by animalsvoice does. I don't see that the Rockefeller Foundation is responsible in the way suggested. The Rockefeller Foundation gives funds to all sorts of organisations, and those mentioned in the article are no different from many others, and certainly don't include the meat and dairy industries. As to Hans Reusch and Civis, I recall when Reusch tried to slander the vegan Dr Vernon Coleman, whose website is one of my favourites!
    Eve

  42. #42
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    Quote eve
    Singer has definitely stated that it is ok to kill a chicken if there's another one to take its place. I don't like that because I'm a vegan - he's not.
    I'm still not interested in Singer's philosophy, based on the little I know of him - but, out of sheer curiosity, what does he mean by 'if there's another one to take its place'? I've heard this several times, and still don't get it.
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

  43. #43
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    Well on one occasion at the end of a book, he records a conversation with his daughter, who asks about the killing of a chicken. His response was that it was ok as long as there was another to take its place. Presumably his daughter understood what he meant, even though you don't! I guess the point is that he does not value the individual chook as being entitled to live out her/his life - to him one is the same as another!
    Eve

  44. #44
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    Well, I guess the reason I don't 'get it' is that I can't see how this way of looking at the life of an animal is even remotely associated with vegan/animal rights ethics.

    Anyway, which book is it?
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

  45. #45

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    I don't have time to read this 5 page thread and it seems that every thread I have something relevant is about 5 pages long. Anyway vegsource is not trustworthy. They delete noncommercial links off of their crappy ez board. When asked why, they don't have the decency to answer. When a thread at another vegan board is started that complains about them, they try to get that board shut down. If you try to tell the people involved with them (Like John Robbins or Jo Stefaniak(sp)) about this, they intercept the messages and make sure these people never find out what they are helping support.

    I should say Jeff Nelson does this, for as far as I can tell he is vegsource.

  46. #46
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    Despite not understanding the full story of Peter Singer's apparent sponsorship by the Rockerfeller Foundation I have to say that I still have natural support for him and have faith in his decisions simply because I know that he does not make big decisions on issues such as these without a great deal of consideration.

    We are not to know every angle of the situation without standing in his shoes and it is a bit rich for any of us to wipe him based upon what will be very biased media - public and private.

    Considering the immense impact his work has had in raising the profile of animal welfare over several decades; I would suggest that it is inappropriate for any of us to try and judge him based upon limited single sentence statements. Don't read one line quoted, don't just read the page or chapter but read the whole book or his body of work and then decide whether his actions are reprehensible.

    Singer's work is ethics where there is no black and white; at least he has the courage to address the difficult questions that often you will find most vegans cannot.
    "if compassion is extreme, then call me an extremist"

  47. #47
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    Quite a didactic posting. I've read a great deal of his ethics, even on the ethics of sex with animals, where he stated that it is ok if it is ok with the animal. Hmmmm
    Eve

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    That article can be found here butwith a warning that it frankly discusses bestiality and may offend or disturb some readers.

    A single sentence summary would be purely misleading.

    For further reading.
    "if compassion is extreme, then call me an extremist"

  49. #49
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    Just want to point out, after reading that article on Bestiality, that Horse riding, which was my life for many (pre-Vegan) years, has NOTHING to do with sexuality - that is crap!
    Anyway, I think it is good that Singer is prepared to tackle all issues, and I regret having slated him in the past, but I am still unhappy with his 'replacement theory' - if I may call it that.

  50. #50
    Geoff
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    '...the chicken lying in the supermarket freezer today would have died even if I had never existed; but the fact that I take the chicken from the freezer, and ignore the tofu on a nearby shelf, has something to do with the number of chickens, or blocks of tofu, the supermarket will order next week and thus contributes, in a small way, to the future growth or decline of the chicken and tofu industries.'
    Peter Singer A Vegetarian Philosophy, Consuming Passions. Manchester, 1998, pp. 66-72

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