• VagabondSpectre
    1.1k
    I don't believe that, as meat isn't some magical pill you can just take and fix everything with.chatterbears

    But this is what you seem to think plants are: a silver-bullet to solve problems while creating none.

    Alas, a lack... The world isn's so easily managed or surmised...
  • NKBJ
    316
    I know that a well planned plant-based diet does not include too much grain, which is what we would have on our hands given the aforementioned difficulties in vegetable and fruit produce agriculture and distributionVagabondSpectre

    I guess that explains your inability to thrive on a plant-based diet. A well-balanced any kind of diet has about the same composition: 45-65% of calories from grains, 5 servings veggies or fruit, some source of protein, some healthy fats. Vegans simply choose plant-based proteins and choose veggies high in calcium and iron (like kale or spinach or collards).

    All your article really says is that if all people ate the amount of veggies and fruits that they ought to, it would have an impact on agriculture. Which we should look into, and perhaps it means we need to change food production methods here and there, but that does not equal telling people to give up healthful foods. Aside from that, the cost of protein production is simply much lower with legumes and other plant-basef alternatives.

    Your second article also talks about B12 and the cost of making it and the unavailability in plants alone... Conveniently neglecting to mention that 90% of b12 supplements in the US are given to farm animals so that either way your daily b12 comes from a supplement, directly or indirectly.

    They already do plant vegan foods, and vegan foods are already more expensiveVagabondSpectre

    It's called supply and demand. It's a simple concept really, but also the authors of your article don't seem to get it. Vegan foods are currently more expensive due to low supply due to relatively low demand. They have been becoming more affordable due to higher demand creating greater supply. But even when avoiding fancy tofus or vegan cheese, anyone can afford a bag of beans. Like any diet, being vegan can be as expensive, cheap, healthy, unhealthy, bad or good for the environment as you want to make it. But on average, it wins against an omnivorous one.

    That is why all this talk about agriculture and the environment is just so much icing on top of the real issue: do we have a right to harm sentient, intelligent, emotional beings like farm animals? And if the answer is no (which I obviously think it is) then everything else is secondary. Even if it were more costly to do the right thing (thankfully it's not, but if it were) you still should do the right thing: don't hurt others.
  • VagabondSpectre
    1.1k
    I guess that explains your inability to thrive on a plant-based diet. A well-balanced any kind of diet has about the same composition: 45-65% of calories from grains, 5 servings veggies or fruit, some source of protein, some healthy fats. Vegans simply choose plant-based proteins and choose veggies high in calcium and iron (like kale or spinach or collards).

    All your article really says is that if all people ate the amount of veggies and fruits that they ought to, it would have an impact on agriculture. Which we should look into, and perhaps it means we need to change food production methods here and there, but that does not equal telling people to give up healthful foods. Aside from that, the cost of protein production is simply much lower with legumes and other plant-based alternatives.

    Your second article also talks about B12 and the cost of making it and the unavailability in plants alone... Conveniently neglecting to mention that 90% of b12 supplements in the US are given to farm animals so that either way your daily b12 comes from a supplement, directly or indirectly.
    NKBJ

    The article is not telling people to give up healthy foods. It takes a look at the feasibility of America switching to a national vegan through the nutritional/GHG ramifications of doing so.

    I do understand that this article seems as a pessimistic delay to your vegan goals, but you must acknowledge the real world hurtles we must clear before we can reach them. Our current agricultural systems aren't so easily modified, or so presently stupid as to be missing out on more nutritional crops that would also be more profitable.

    Remember when Trump said "who knew health care could be so complicated?"?

    It's called supply and demand. It's a simple concept really, but also the authors of your article don't seem to get it. Vegan foods are currently more expensive due to low supply due to relatively low demand. They have been becoming more affordable due to higher demand creating greater supply. But even when avoiding fancy tofus or vegan cheese, anyone can afford a bag of beans. Like any diet, being vegan can be as expensive, cheap, healthy, unhealthy, bad or good for the environment as you want to make it. But on average, it wins against an omnivorous one.NKBJ

    I wish you vegans could actually put forward a tangible action plan or feasibility assessment. It would be great if we could improve our health and save money, truly it would.

    So why does the U.S import more than twice the fruit and veg that it exports? If growing it domestically could be cheaper, and there's a demand, why don't they take the risk by planting fruits and vegetables on land better suited to grains? Because grains are easier to grow on soil where vegetables might not thrive, they are easier to harvest, store, and transport; a less risky crop. Suggesting that demand alone determines what farmers can and choose to plant is a vastly narrow view of the complexity involved in large scale agriculture and the many layers of decision making that are involved.

    Furthermore, if indeed farmers simply operated on market value, we would have to endure regular ups and downs in pursuit of nutritional stability where one year certain nutriments are at a deficit, and thus more expensive, and then next others are at a surplus, leading to possibly just as much waste as exists presently. We would need massive central planning to tell farmers what to plant, where, and how much, otherwise the total nutritional value of the food we produce will continue to reflect more factors than nutritional demands by proxy of market demands (we're going to continue getting excesses of the cheap reliable stuff: corn and corn syrup)

    Where it does make economic sense for farms to move into vegetable and fruit produce and away from field grains, they're already tending to do so. Specific farms may benefit from such a switch but other farms might not. It can depend on region, market availability, market fluctuations, infrastructure, climate, crop risk, soil quality, and more. As people realize that eating too much meat is needlessly expensive and unhealthy, where possible farms will diversify, but your baseless assertion that their ability to arbitrarily alter crop production has no limits invokes the same unrealistic view of economics and agriculture that rendered Emery et al. unable to grasp the assumptions and objectives of the study they criticized.

    That is why all this talk about agriculture and the environment is just so much icing on top of the real issue: do we have a right to harm sentient, intelligent, emotional beings like farm animals? And if the answer is no (which I obviously think it is) then everything else is secondary. Even if it were more costly to do the right thing (thankfully it's not, but if it were) you still should do the right thing: don't hurt others.NKBJ

    I believe it is more important to exist at all than to not be hurt. I don't wish suffering on animals, but I also do not wish non-existence on them as you are inexorably doing. I maintain that there is room on this earth for ethical farms which enable our extended phenotype farm animals to continue existing happily, with lives worth living, which are also thermodynamically and economically efficient on our end compared to a plant-based alternative.

    Unless a farm harvests the animals it rears, it cannot continue supporting itself. If and when we can afford the aforementioned animal sanctuaries and actually tackle present infeasibility of nationally going vegan (economically, thermodynamically, nutritionally), then we will share the same views for the same reasons. Until then, I maintain you're wrong that we can so radically alter our current agricultural strategies without great risk, cost, and societal detriment. We need fish, we need ruminants (we may even need their feces). We need poultry for sure... Without these things we're on the train down to too much grain town, where some will afford adequate variety and some will not.

    If tis better to have lived happily and been harvested than to have never lived at all, and or if fellow humans are worthy of more moral consideration than non-human animals, then eating meat can be ethical/not immoral.
  • NKBJ
    316
    The article is not telling people to give up healthy foods. It takes a look at the feasibility of America switching to a national vegan through the nutritional/GHG ramifications of doing so.

    I do understand that this article seems as a pessimistic delay to your vegan goals, but you must acknowledge the real world hurtles we must clear before we can reach them. Our current agricultural systems aren't so easily modified, or so presently stupid as to be missing out on more nutritional crops that would also be more profitable.

    Remember when Trump said "who knew health care could be so complicated?"?

    It's called supply and demand. It's a simple concept really, but also the authors of your article don't seem to get it. Vegan foods are currently more expensive due to low supply due to relatively low demand. They have been becoming more affordable due to higher demand creating greater supply. But even when avoiding fancy tofus or vegan cheese, anyone can afford a bag of beans. Like any diet, being vegan can be as expensive, cheap, healthy, unhealthy, bad or good for the environment as you want to make it. But on average, it wins against an omnivorous one.
    — NKBJ

    I wish you vegans could actually put forward a tangible action plan or feasibility assessment. It would be great if we could improve our health and save money, truly it would.

    So why does the U.S import more than twice the fruit and veg that it exports? If growing it domestically could be cheaper, and there's a demand, why don't they take the risk by planting fruits and vegetables on land better suited to grains? Because grains are easier to grow on soil where vegetables might not thrive, they are easier to harvest, store, and transport; a less risky crop. Suggesting that demand alone determines what farmers can and choose to plant is a vastly narrow view of the complexity involved in large scale agriculture and the many layers of decision making that are involved.

    Furthermore, if indeed farmers simply operated on market value, we would have to endure regular ups and downs in pursuit of nutritional stability where one year certain nutriments are at a deficit, and thus more expensive, and then next others are at a surplus, leading to possibly just as much waste as exists presently. We would need massive central planning to tell farmers what to plant, where, and how much, otherwise the total nutritional value of the food we produce will continue to reflect more factors than nutritional demands by proxy of market demands (we're going to continue getting excesses of the cheap reliable stuff: corn and corn syrup)

    Where it does make economic sense for farms to move into vegetable and fruit produce and away from field grains, they're already tending to do so. Specific farms may benefit from such a switch but other farms might not. It can depend on region, market availability, market fluctuations, infrastructure, climate, crop risk, soil quality, and more. As people realize that eating too much meat is needlessly expensive and unhealthy, where possible farms will diversify, but your baseless assertion that their ability to arbitrarily alter crop production has no limits invokes the same unrealistic view of economics and agriculture that rendered Emery et al. unable to grasp the assumptions and objectives of the study they criticized.
    VagabondSpectre

    Again, all of this is based on some totally weird idea about what a plant-based diet even looks like. It's like you have a block and can't process this simple fact: vegans eat grains. Half of the vegan diet consists of grains. And attacking a vegan diet on the basis of how many veg/fruit are in it, is just attacking a well-balanced diet period. It would amount to about the same with a well-balanced omnivorous diet.

    I believe it is more important to exist at all than to not be hurt. I don't wish suffering on animals, but I also do not wish non-existence on them as you are inexorably doing. I maintain that there is room on this earth for ethical farms which enable our extended phenotype farm animals to continue existing happily, with lives worth living, which are also thermodynamically and economically efficient on our end compared to a plant-based alternative.

    Unless a farm harvests the animals it rears, it cannot continue supporting itself. If and when we can afford the aforementioned animal sanctuaries and actually tackle present infeasibility of nationally going vegan (economically, thermodynamically, nutritionally), then we will share the same views for the same reasons. Until then, I maintain you're wrong that we can so radically alter our current agricultural strategies without great risk, cost, and societal detriment. We need fish, we need ruminants (we may even need their feces). We need poultry for sure... Without these things we're on the train down to too much grain town, where some will afford adequate variety and some will not.

    If tis better to have lived happily and been harvested than to have never lived at all, and or if fellow humans are worthy of more moral consideration than non-human animals, then eating meat can be ethical/not immoral.
    VagabondSpectre

    It can't be immoral not to bring people or animals into the world or else you'd have to argue that birth control is immoral. Or immoral for women not to try to be perpetually pregnant throughout their fertile years. Or that even child molesters/beaters/traffickers should procreate and raise children, because living in hell is better than not living... absurd.

    A human life is worth more than a non-human animal life sure, but that does not mean every single, however trivial human interest is worth more than an animal life.

    Remember when Trump said "who knew health care could be so complicated?"?VagabondSpectre

    The Twitter in Chief can go jump in a lake as far as I'm concerned. I have no reason to give any credence to anything that ever comes out of his mouth.
  • VagabondSpectre
    1.1k
    Again, all of this is based on some totally weird idea about what a plant-based diet even looks like. It's like you have a block and can't process this simple fact: vegans eat grains. Half of the vegan diet consists of grains. And attacking a vegan diet on the basis of how many veg/fruit are in it, is just attacking a well-balanced diet period. It would amount to about the same with a well-balanced omnivorous dietNKBJ

    I'm well aware that Vegans eat grains, and you're well aware that eating too many grains and not enough variety of other plants will result in nutritional deficits. The conclusion of the study I cited found that the non-animals plant based agricultural system would over-produce grains which give rise to calorie surpluses, higher volume diets, and certain nutritional deficiencies.

    There's a reason vegan diets are hard to plan; you can't just eat grains and call it a nutritional day: there's a such thing as too much grain.

    It can't be immoral not to bring people or animals into the world or else you'd have to argue that birth control is immoral. Or immoral for women not to try to be perpetually pregnant throughout their fertile years. Or that even child molesters/beaters/traffickers should procreate and raise children, because living in hell is better than not living... absurd.NKBJ

    Your constant misinterpretation and hyperbolization of everything I say is genuinely absurd :)

    I never said it was immoral to not bring animals or people into the world, I said it was NOT immoral to BRING animals or people into the world despite knowing it will necessarily contain some suffering for them.

    Negative moral obligations are much easier to justify than positive ones; identifying things we should abstain from as immoral is much easier than identifying things we must carry out as morally obligatory. I'm not saying we're morally obligated to reproduce or continue breed farm animals, I'm saying it's not immoral to continue to do so.

    A human life is worth more than a non-human animal life sure, but that does not mean every single, however trivial human interest is worth more than an animal life.NKBJ

    Adequate nutrition for children is a non-trivial consideration we must make in undertaking a national vegan diet. If I recall correctly, something like 10-15% of households in the U.S experience food insecurity as it is with varying levels of severity. If we do something that increases the end consumer cost of adequate nutrition in anyway whatsoever, then we exacerbate the harm.

    The Twitter in Chief can go jump in a lake as far as I'm concerned. I have no reason to give any credence to anything that ever comes out of his mouth.NKBJ

    Generally the things he says are foolish beyond measure. He campaigned in part on repealing Obamacare,one piece of a massively complex industry - medicine and medical insurance - but it turned out that the complexities of the task were well beyond his ability to fathom. Agriculture and societal nutrition are one such field of human activity with hard to fathom complexities.
  • NKBJ
    316
    you're well aware that eating too many grains and not enough variety of other plants will result in nutritional deficitsVagabondSpectre

    Adequate nutrition for children is a non-trivial consideration we must make in undertaking a national vegan dietVagabondSpectre

    You need to decide whether you're arguing for a well-balanced diet or not. A well-balanced omnivorous or vegan diet will both require more fruits and vegs than are currently consumed by the average American. The meat-heavy diet as is followed by most people today is dangerous to the health of children and adults alike. Heart disease is, after all, the leading cause of death in the US. An unbalanced vegan or omnivorous diet is going to be grain heavy. In either case, the omnivorous diet uses animal products which are less efficient than plant proteins.

    Just like the study you mentioned compared a standard American diet (which is meat and grain heavy) to a vegetable heavy vegan one, which doesn't really make sense. You can't then counter a grain heavy vegan diet by claiming it's unhealthy but advocate for the grain heavy omnivorous one which is even less healthy.

    Children thrive on well-balanced vegan diets. Children who are in food deserts and suffer from food insecurity do not thrive on meat-based diets. All your argument means is that we should make food sources more available to underprivileged people and that government assistance does not reach enough people. But a bag of beans is simply not expensive. Nor are peas. Nor is oatmeal. Nor are plenty of good, wholesome plant-based foods.

    But there are people in this world who can't afford to be picky about their food--like people in Somalia. And for them I would argue that ought implies can. Since they can't be picky, they are not obligated in the same way people in the US or Europe or richer Asian countries are.

    Your constant misinterpretation and hyperbolization of everything I say is genuinely absurd :)VagabondSpectre

    I'm glad you think the conclusion is undesirable. But it is the logical conclusion of saying we have some sort of obligation to bring anyone into the world.

    But let's assume you said that it's not immoral to cause existence even if it entails suffering. Okay, sure. But that does not give us the right to cause said suffering. Go ahead, raise pigs for all I care. You just shouldn't hurt them, and that includes murdering them.

    He campaigned in part on repealing Obamacare,one piece of a massively complex industry - medicine and medical insurance - but it turned out that the complexities of the task were well beyond his ability to fathom. Agriculture and societal nutrition are one such field of human activity with hard to fathom complexities.VagabondSpectre

    I don't wish to get off track here, so I'll try to be brief: Healthcare is in fact super simple--allow all people to choose a government-run health plan regardless of income level. It's amazingly easy. Other countries do it; I've lived it. It's a great thing.

    But even if it were complicated, it's the right thing to do, because letting people die for the want of funds to pay a bill is just barbaric.
  • VagabondSpectre
    1.1k
    You need to decide whether you're arguing for a well-balanced diet or not. A well-balanced omnivorous or vegan diet will both require more fruits and vegs than are currently consumed by the average American. The meat-heavy diet as is followed by most people today is dangerous to the health of children and adults alike. Heart disease is, after all, the leading cause of death in the US. An unbalanced vegan or omnivorous diet is going to be grain heavy. In either case, the omnivorous diet uses animal products which are less efficient than plant proteins.

    Just like the study you mentioned compared a standard American diet (which is meat and grain heavy) to a vegetable heavy vegan one, which doesn't really make sense. You can't then counter a grain heavy vegan diet by claiming it's unhealthy but advocate for the grain heavy omnivorous one which is even less healthy.
    NKBJ

    The study found that a non-animals agriculture would increase the amount of grain available in our societal food stores, resulting in a more grain heavy diet for those who cannot afford well planned variety. The finding was that certain nutritional deficits are increased under completely non-animals agriculture.

    I'm not advocating for a grain heavy omnivorous diet, we should all have well-planned diets. It's just that the actual cost of producing enough volume and variety for everyone is less when we continue using traditional farming styles, such as raising cattle on pastureland. I'm not advocating for over-consuming grains, or for factory farming, or for over-consuming meat.

    You vegans say eating no animal products whatsoever is the best bet, some people argue for more subsidies for factory farms. My position is that the current regime of over-producing meat is unhealthy and inefficient, while eliminating all animal husbandry is also unhealthy and inefficient: both are unfeasible, the optimal solution is somewhere in the complex middle.

    I'm glad you think the conclusion is undesirable. But it is the logical conclusion of saying we have some sort of obligation to bring anyone into the world.

    But let's assume you said that it's not immoral to cause existence even if it entails suffering. Okay, sure. But that does not give us the right to cause said suffering. Go ahead, raise pigs for all I care. You just shouldn't hurt them, and that includes murdering them.
    NKBJ

    Why would we need to assume what Ive argued when my arguments are there for all to read?

    Unless I murder the farm animals at some point I could never have afforded them to begin with, that's the dilemma. When you give me the go ahead to raise pigs, you're implicitly giving me the go ahead to harvest them. Would you like to recant?

    I don't wish to get off track here, so I'll try to be brief: Healthcare is in fact super simple--allow all people to choose a government-run health plan regardless of income level. It's amazingly easy. Other countries do it; I've lived it. It's a great thing.

    But even if it were complicated, it's the right thing to do, because letting people die for the want of funds to pay a bill is just barbaric.
    NKBJ

    I see that I was not wrong to characterize your position as Trump-esque naivete. Healthcare insurance and healthcare infrastructure in America is anything but "super-simple", and likewise societal agriculture is deceivingly complex.
  • NKBJ
    316
    My position is that the current regime of over-producing meat is unhealthy and inefficient, while eliminating all animal husbandry is also unhealthy and inefficient: both are unfeasible, the optimal solution is somewhere in the complex middle.VagabondSpectre

    Since we're just repeating our contrary positions at this point, I'm pretty sure it's time to move on from that part of the issue.

    I do recognize and appreciate, however, your position that we should lower our meat consumption on the basis of it's adverse environmental and economic effects.

    Unless I murder the farm animals at some point I could never have afforded them to begin with, that's the dilemma. When you give me the go ahead to raise pigs, you're implicitly giving me the go ahead to harvest them. Would you like to recant?VagabondSpectre

    It's not a dilemma. If you can't afford them without harming them, don't create them. Just like you shouldn't have a kid you can't afford. Don't adopt puppies you can't afford.

    The argument that you should raise the pig even if you can't afford it and have to harm it sounds a lot like what I refuted earlier, which you yourself admitted is absurd.

    But if by "harvest" you mean "let it live its complete natural lifespan without causing it harm and then eating it once it's died of old age or other natural causes", okay, I guess if that makes you happy. Ew, gross. But at that point, it's just aesthetics and not ethics.
  • NKBJ
    316
    see that I was not wrong to characterize your position as Trump-esque naivete. Healthcare insurance and healthcare infrastructure in America is anything but "super-simple", and likewise societal agriculture is deceivingly complexVagabondSpectre

    Oh boy! I guess somebody better call Switzerland, Germany, Australia, Sweden, Japan, Luxembourg, etc, etc and let them all know their superior, more cost efficient, public health care which directly results in people who live longer and more healthily is naive. *sarcasm alert*
  • VagabondSpectre
    1.1k
    It's not a dilemma. If you can't afford them without harming them, don't create them. Just like you shouldn't have a kid you can't afford. Don't adopt puppies you can't afford.NKBJ

    But I can afford the pig if I harvest it at some point, and I'm confident that the pig would rather have lived and been harvested than to have never lived at all, so actually what I'm doing might be considered morally praiseworthy, although not morally obligatory.

    We're back to non-existence Vs life + suffering.

    The argument that you should raise the pig even if you can't afford it and have to harm it sounds a lot like what I refuted earlier, which you yourself admitted is absurd.NKBJ

    You're again forgetting the difference between not immoral (fair game) and morally obligatory courses of action. I've never said we're obligated to raise farm animals or even to procreate. It is not necessarily immoral to do so just because life will contain some suffering and eventual death for our farm animals and our children.

    This is why the economic, nutritional, and other logistic realities of societal agriculture are relevant to my position. There is yet no possible utopia where we can all live completely harm free; to radically and rapidly alter existing agricultural systems would create short term nutritional deficits or create great expense elsewhere, which is the ethical basis for my reticence to immediately do so as a society. We can definitely make improvements though, and a reduction of meat consumption looks to be beneficial in many ways while eliminating it entirely does not. Regarding my personal consumption of meat: I do mainly consume what I believe to be somewhat humanely produced animal products, and when I am in in a state of health where eating no meat does not pose a health risk to me, I will do so.

    But if by "harvest" you mean "let it live its complete natural lifespan without causing it harm and then eating it once it's died of old age or other natural causes", okay, I guess if that makes you happy. Ew, gross. But at that point, it's just aesthetics and not ethics.NKBJ

    By harvest I mean humanely slaughter for sale and consumption at a point when it is financially beneficial to do so. This does mean slaughtering the animal before it dies of old age or disease, but it doesn't necessitate ruthless pursuit of profit either (which leads to factory farming). I think the way veal is produced is immoral (it's a specialty meat that we don't need to consume, and which involves inflicting suffering which is unnecessary AFAIK), but I don't think the way we produce free-range beef and poultry is immoral, nor do I think hunting is immoral. Yes harm is a bad thing, but some harm can be justified, namely when human survival and well-being are on the table.

    We're still a part of nature, and unless we continue to play its game we won't ever have the means to ever escape it.

    Oh boy! I guess somebody better call Switzerland, Germany, Australia, Sweden, Japan, Luxembourg, etc, etc and let them all know their superior, more cost efficient, public health care which directly results in people who live longer and more healthily is naive. *sarcasm alert*NKBJ

    Believe it or not, but public health involves more factors than the existence or absence of public health care (food and exercise culture is a big one). America spends more than any other nation on its healthcare system and on average it is not the best. Yes, a single payer system would be more efficient for America. BUT, and this is the crucial bit, America's health-care needs and existing physical and financial health-care infrastructure are somewhat unique (massive) when compared with other nations; we cannot just copy-paste their systems. Changing it's healthcare institutions into a universally state operated system would be a logistic and political nightmare. I'm not a free market absolutist, but it is important to understand that market forces in a system as large as American healthcare can be hard to replace with top-down management.

    To be clear, yes America should move into a single payer health-care system, but the difficulty of pulling it off given the complexity of American healthcare and all its interconnected systems/institutions, is extreme, and not to be understated or underestimated. It would require nothing short of creating new governmental departments to investigate and plan transition requirements along with a hefty loan or tax hike to pay for it all. And if we screw anything up during the process, then people might die.

    Agriculture is similar in the sense that we need to have uninterrupted success within the industry as a whole for our security, and there are many autonomous and complex interconnected components in agricultural networks where impacting one sector can have ramifications across all agricultural sectors. Comprehensive modeling of these systems is barely achievable by teams of experts, if at all, which makes specific predictions somewhat unreliable.

    Medicine nor Agriculture are simple human endeavors, and while state funded single payer health-care systems are something we know is achievable, a national and nutritionally adequate vegan agricultural system has no precedent that could be applicable to America. Someday soon we may have the dietary and technological science required to achieve this, and when that day arrives we should do so. Until then, some animals and some animal products are too financially, nutritionally, and thermodynamically useful.
  • NKBJ
    316
    But I can afford the pig if I harvest it at some point, and I'm confident that the pig would rather have lived and been harvested than to have never lived at all, so actually what I'm doing might be considered morally praiseworthy, although not morally obligatory.VagabondSpectre

    Nope.
    A) A non-existent entity has no interest in being born. Therefore there are no non-existent pigs who wish for you to create them. Your hypothetical pig would not be unhappy about not being born, because not being born prohibits anyone from having interests positive or negative.
    B) You cannot justify causing harm that way. Try: "I can afford to have children only if I sell them to traffickers/cannibals/pornographers once they are a certain age".... should those children be happy their lives were afforded by your pemeditating to harm them? I think not.

    Life has suffering is a quality that none of us can (100%) control. Actively causing suffering is not justified on that basis.

    because life will contain some suffering and eventual death for our farm animals and our children.VagabondSpectre

    No duh. But you'd still be wrong to beat and eat your kids.

    Regarding my personal consumption of meat: I do mainly consume what I believe to be somewhat humanely produced animal products, and when I am in in a state of health where eating no meat does not pose a health risk to me, I will do so.VagabondSpectre

    I thought we had moved on from talking about you? You can't think clearly about something that you so intensely personalize. You'll notice I also do not expound upon my personal experience, because it's simply too subjective and I realize it's too prone to the regular trappings of psychology.

    By harvest I mean humanely slaughter for sale and consumption at a point when it is financially beneficial to do so.VagabondSpectre

    Can one humanely slaughter unwilling humans? If not, I find the term silly.

    We're still a part of natureVagabondSpectre

    Farms, refrigerators, heating, medications, clothes, etc are all not things which are "part of nature." We can clearly deviate from nature when we choose to.

    Believe it or not, but public health involves more factors than the existence or absence of public health careVagabondSpectre

    Some interesting points, most of which I don't agree with, but really, if you want to talk about this completely separate issue, you should make a new thread. But of course I also understand if you're kinda sick of talking to me by now :joke:
  • VagabondSpectre
    1.1k
    Nope.
    A) A non-existent entity has no interest in being born. Therefore there are no non-existent pigs who wish for you to create them. Your hypothetical pig would not be unhappy about not being born, because not being born prohibits anyone from having interests positive or negative.
    B) You cannot justify causing harm that way. Try: "I can afford to have children only if I sell them to traffickers/cannibals/pornographers once they are a certain age".... should those children be happy their lives were afforded by your pemeditating to harm them? I think not.
    NKBJ

    A) Once a creature is born it can begin exhibiting preferences and interests. Therefore, once a pig is born it can be indirectly pleased that you created it. Your argument here is that the whole concept of a life worth living cannot be considered or applied with respect to as yet non existent creatures, but given the similarity between past and future members of given species, it's more than reasonable to assume that once born, animals who are treated well would prefer life over non-existence, despite the nature of its end.

    B) Your comparison is blown far out of proportion. Ethically slaughtered animals are not sentenced to a life of such abuses. If a pig's existence necessarily entails its slaughter, and I was that pig, I might be upset at the brevity of my existence but I would still be thankful for the life I do have.

    No duh. But you'd still be wrong to beat and eat your kids.NKBJ

    Beating farm animals isn't good practice...

    I thought we had moved on from talking about you? You can't think clearly about something that you so intensely personalize. You'll notice I also do not expound upon my personal experience, because it's simply too subjective and I realize it's too prone to the regular trappings of psychology.NKBJ

    When discussing my individual justification for eating meat, I have to bring up myself. Yes this is anecdotal, but such is the nature of personal circumstances. I don't know why you're concerned about psychology and subjective experience though, you could just address the things I've said directly.

    Can one humanely slaughter unwilling humans? If not, I find the term silly.NKBJ

    Well, lethal injection protocols were developed precisely to achieve this. Hanging seems painful, and while the guillotine is fast and probably more ethical it's also an instrument of terror.

    I won't say there's a perfectly humane way to slaughter unwilling humans, but there are more and less humane ways, just as there are more and less humane ways to raise and slaughter farm animals. Relatively speaking, yes, animals and humans can be humanely slaughtered.

    Farms, refrigerators, heating, medications, clothes, etc are all not things which are "part of nature." We can clearly deviate from nature when we choose to.NKBJ

    We don't deviate from nature really, it's our nature to deviate. Refrigeration is a wonderful product of the wondrous natural adaptive capabilities of the human brain, and it allows us to transport and store quantities of vegetables which would otherwise rot, but we're still beholden to material, energy, and thermodynamic limitations which prevent us from just doing whatever we want to do. We cannot refrigerate everything because it's too expensive.

    Some interesting points, most of which I don't agree with, but really, if you want to talk about this completely separate issue, you should make a new thread. But of course I also understand if you're kinda sick of talking to me by nowNKBJ

    I'm not interested in making a companion thread for this other subject. I was more so trying to broaden your perspective of the interconnected and complex nature of societal agricultural systems. Contrary to popular belief farmers aren't stupid, especially when it comes to farming. If eliminating animal husbandry entirely was more nutritious, cheaper, and more environmentally friendly in every way, they would already be doing so en-masse. Many farms are indeed switching towards more human edible plant-based crops, but the feasibility of such a switch is farm dependent and is not suitable for traditional pastureland in the least.
  • NKBJ
    316
    A) Once a creature is born it can begin exhibiting preferences and interests. Therefore, once a pig is born it can be indirectly pleased that you created it. Your argument here is that the whole concept of a life worth living cannot be considered or applied with respect to as yet non existent creatures, but given the similarity between past and future members of given species, it's more than reasonable to assume that once born, animals who are treated well would prefer life over non-existence, despite the nature of its end.VagabondSpectre

    The key being once it is born. Arguing that we ought to bring people into life, because they will then enjoy it is just an argument against birth control.

    And even a well-treated pig doesn't want you to hurt it or kill it. You're pretending like this is a bargain that the pigs made with you: "some time living for my right to eat you." Well, you never asked the pig permission, it hasn't agreed to those terms.

    I might be upset at the brevity of my existence but I would still be thankful for the life I do have.VagabondSpectre

    Baloney. If you knew what was coming, you'd try everything in your power to get the heck out of there. You wouldn't just happily say "oh, gee thanks for letting me live at all. I guess it's okay for you to kill me now for the sake of eating my flesh." You would obviously try to escape and you wouldn't be all that grateful. Just like I don't think African American slaves were so grateful to be alive that they thought their situation was just a-okay.
    And the comparison to child traffickers is spot on. But we can change it to "black-market organ sellers" or "cannibals" or "snuff film makers" if you want to err on the side of the animal/child simply dying. Cattle are killed at 22 months of age on average, but they have a natural lifespan of 20 years. So killing them at that age is like killing a human whose only 10 years old.

    . I don't know why you're concerned about psychology and subjective experience though, you could just address the things I've said directlyVagabondSpectre

    Ummm, but you keep on inserting your personal stories like they matter.

    won't say there's a perfectly humane way to slaughter unwilling humans, but there are more and less humane ways, just as there are more and less humane ways to raise and slaughter farm animals. Relatively speaking, yes, animals and humans can be humanely slaughteredVagabondSpectre

    The death penalty is for people who have murdered others (and I still think it's wrong). It's not right to compare the killing of a criminal human to that of an innocent animal. But even if some ways are less awful than others, that doesn't make any of them "good" or "humane". Compassionate murder of someone who wants to live is just contradictory in terms. Like I said, you wouldn't be so convinced of your aggressors compassion if it was your neck on the line.

    we're still beholden to material, energy, and thermodynamic limitations which prevent us from just doing whatever we want to do.VagabondSpectre

    And yet all the medical evidence points to the fact that meat is something we can actually live very well without. Better yet, it points to the fact that meat consumption is linked to various diseases and shorter lifespans.

    I was more so trying to broaden your perspective of the interconnected and complex nature of societal agricultural systemsVagabondSpectre

    How sweetly condescending. I don't buy it though. You've obviously just bought into American corporate propaganda.

    I know plenty of farmers-some just vegetable farmers, some raise cattle. They don't dispute that raising cattle is a lot more work, money, and resource intensive than beans and kale.
  • VagabondSpectre
    1.1k
    The key being once it is born. Arguing that we ought to bring people into life, because they will then enjoy it is just an argument against birth control.NKBJ

    You know very well that I'm not arguing that we ought to reproduce or raise farm animals for their own sake. I've explained this multiple times, you keep repeating the same misinterpretation. I'm arguing that it's not immoral to breed farm animals, just as its not immoral to produce children. The reason you keep making this mistake can only be because you hold the position that reproducing or breeding animals is immoral, and you're confusing the negation of this with inversion into moral obligation. You're clearly an anti-natalist.

    And even a well-treated pig doesn't want you to hurt it or kill it. You're pretending like this is a bargain that the pigs made with you: "some time living for my right to eat you." Well, you never asked the pig permission, it hasn't agreed to those terms.NKBJ

    If pigs could make such bargains then they probably would. If their life is a net positive, worth living, then they would probably rather have the lives they have than never have lived at all.

    You never asked your child's permission to thrust them into the world, and it will inevitably involve suffering and death for them. this is exactly what anti-natalists say to argue that reproduction is immoral.

    Baloney. If you knew what was coming, you'd try everything in your power to get the heck out of there. You wouldn't just happily say "oh, gee thanks for letting me live at all. I guess it's okay for you to kill me now for the sake of eating my flesh." You would obviously try to escape and you wouldn't be all that grateful. Just like I don't think African American slaves were so grateful to be alive that they thought their situation was just a-okay.NKBJ
    Wanting to escape the farm before my execution (even though it's certain death) isn't the same as not wanting to have ever lived at all.


    And the comparison to child traffickers is spot on. But we can change it to "black-market organ sellers" or "cannibals" or "snuff film makers" if you want to err on the side of the animal/child simply dying. Cattle are killed at 22 months of age on average, but they have a natural lifespan of 20 years. So killing them at that age is like killing a human whose only 10 years old.NKBJ

    You're very good at not addressing the meat of the argument. How would you like it if I used the Christian potential life argument and endlessly compared your moral beliefs to that of Hitler, Stalin and Mao? You would probably want me to address the actual subject matter at hand and get tired of the emotion laden false equivocations and irrelevant appeals.

    Let's see if we can actually agree on a comparison: Your hypothetical wife is pregnant and prenatal genetic testing reveals a congenital terminal disease which will definitely cause the death of the child around age 10. If your hypothetical pregnant wife chooses to have the baby knowing it must die young but will otherwise live happily until then, has she done something immoral?

    Your intuition will rightly tell you that it is not immoral, and you will assume that it's not a fair comparison because the killing of the farm animal is optional, and this is where you're wrong.

    Just like your hypothetical pregnant wife, the farmer must make a decision prior to the birth of their animals which functions in the exact same manner as the decision she faces: if the animal is to be afforded life, it must include an early demise. One is a genetic cause, the other is a thermodynamic/economic one. Even if you hold to the idea that we can afford animals without harvesting, we cannot afford all of them without harvesting some.

    Ummm, but you keep on inserting your personal stories like they matter.NKBJ

    If I'm making a point about my own circumstances, then I needs must reference myself. This is very straightforward and easy to understand. Obfuscatory hand-waving is bad rhetoric.

    And yet all the medical evidence points to the fact that meat is something we can actually live very well without. Better yet, it points to the fact that meat consumption is linked to various diseases and shorter lifespansNKBJ

    Medical evidence pointsd toward consuming less meat as a healthier alternative, not consuming no meat. And unfortunately there are yet extant economic and logistic hurtles toward a nutritionally adequate national diet.

    How sweetly condescending. I don't buy it though. You've obviously just bought into American corporate propaganda.NKBJ

    Or you've obviously bought into vegan propaganda? You don't buy that either agriculture or health-care are complex systems which are difficult to model, predict, control, and plan?

    Of course you don't...

    But why?

    I know plenty of farmers-some just vegetable farmers, some raise cattle. They don't dispute that raising cattle is a lot more work, money, and resource intensive than beans and kale.NKBJ

    And depending on the resources available to the farm, cattle might be more profitable than vegetable.

    Why are you inserting your personal stories like they matter? :D
  • NKBJ
    316
    You know very well that I'm not arguing that we ought to reproduce or raise farm animals for their own sake. I've explained this multiple times, you keep repeating the same misinterpretation. I'm arguing that it's not immoral to breed farm animals, just as its not immoral to produce children. The reason you keep making this mistake can only be because you hold the position that reproducing or breeding animals is immoral, and you're confusing the negation of this with inversion into moral obligation. You're clearly an anti-natalist.VagabondSpectre

    This is clearly a case of projection on your part: you tell me I'm insisting on a misinterpretation and then you call me an anti-natalist without any suggestion of that on my part.
    I have repeatedly said that putting animals on this planet is not immoral. Therefore putting humans on it is neither. The problem arises when you seek to cause them harm, and death counts as harm.

    Your analogy with the pregnant wife is flawed in part because there is (obviously) a huge difference between someone's natural death that you can't stop, or causing someone's death. To equate the two just means you think that since all children we have will eventually die of natural causes, it's just as okay to kill them when we please.

    Wanting to escape the farm before my execution (even though it's certain death) isn't the same as not wanting to have ever lived at all.VagabondSpectre

    But it shows that you don't want to die, and neither does the pig, and that you would see something wrong in being killed...that's because it is wrong to kill someone for your own profit.

    If I'm making a point about my own circumstances, then I needs must reference myself. This is very straightforward and easy to understand. Obfuscatory hand-waving is bad rhetoric.VagabondSpectre

    Your own circumstances matter not in the least here. Whine to your doctor about it. Until you show me some scientific evidence about how this happens to people and not just you your personal "experience" cannot be used in this discussion. Not sure why that's so hard to wrap your head around? If I told you that being vegan cured my cancer, I should hope you wouldn't just take my word for it either. It's just hearsay.

    Medical evidence pointsd toward consuming less meat as a healthier alternative, not consuming no meat. And unfortunately there are yet extant economic and logistic hurtles toward a nutritionally adequate national diet.VagabondSpectre

    Medical evidence shows that eating less meat or no meat is great for your health.

    And I've already explained that being vegan does not have to cost more than being omnivorous... the price of either diet depends on your abilities to shop and cook and perhaps your location.

    You don't buy that either agriculture or health-care are complex systems which are difficult to model, predict, control, and plan?VagabondSpectre

    Of course I know they are complex, but I know for a fact that in comparison to what we currently have, both plant-based agriculture and universal health care would be much much simpler, affordable, better for humans, animals, and the planet.

    And depending on the resources available to the farm, cattle might be more profitable than vegetable.

    Why are you inserting your personal stories like they matter? :D
    VagabondSpectre

    So you admit then that meat is more expensive since it is more profitable?
    Just, FYI, citing relevant sources or experts does not count as personal anecdote. At most you could argue that I should be providing some way to verify these sources, but I guess that you really have a hard time telling what is and what isn't anecdotal.

    In any case, no new arguments are being made here. We've clearly reached an impasse, so unless you have something new to add, I will consider this conversation over now.
  • FreeEmotion
    122
    I am not sure if these ideas have been raised before:

    1. Eating anything, plant, animal, for example means that they have to be killed first, or destroyed. For those who believe in God's creation, this means destroying God's creation, in part at least. The scriptures which talk about the Lion laying down with the Lamb envision a peaceful Kingdom where there is no death or killing.

    2. You can still eat animals without killing them: wait for them to die. Call these "Carrion Farms" where animals that die of natural causes can be safely processed and consumed.
  • VagabondSpectre
    1.1k
    This is clearly a case of projection on your part: you tell me I'm insisting on a misinterpretation and then you call me an anti-natalist without any suggestion of that on my parNKBJ

    Actually I pointed out your well repeated misinterpretation, and then explained why your continued misinterpretation suggests you're an anti-natalist.

    More than once you presented my position as stating that we're morally obligated to breed farm animals and to reproduce, even going so far as to say I've argued against abortion, which is not a reasonable interpretation of anything I've said. I'm now characterizing your position as anti-natalist because as I've explained, unless many farm animals are harvested at some point we could never afford them to begin with, so to not harvest farm animals is to not breed them.

    The thermodynamic necessity of harvesting our farm animals is why we're justified to eventually do so. Just because we need to harvest some or many of them doesn't make their lives not worth living.

    And when you compare farmers to child-traffickers/rapists, you're pretty much confirming your anti-natalist position towards farm animals in strong emotional terms.

    I have repeatedly said that putting animals on this planet is not immoral. Therefore putting humans on it is neither. The problem arises when you seek to cause them harm, and death counts as harm.NKBJ

    We seek to continue life, not to cause harm. If we invest our energy to produce nourishment with plants only, then we cannot waste any on breeding animals.

    But it shows that you don't want to die, and neither does the pig, and that you would see something wrong in being killed...that's because it is wrong to kill someone for your own profit.NKBJ

    I see neither right nor wrong in the situation. The farmer does what nature permits them, and so does the pig. It's an evolutionary contrived exchange made necessary by thermodynamic limitations; prey and predator, just with much more sophisticated predators. The pig wants to live and the farmer wants to continue being a farmer and get a return on their investment (less they risk bankruptcy), so the pig tries to escape and the farmer tries to harvest the pig. If the pig can clear obstacles before it, then it can possibly live free (unlikely unless it is a robust enough breed) and maybe even find intergenerational purchase and become the grandparent of a new invasive species of boar, if the farmer clears their own hurtles, then they play a part in the continuation of human civilization, which inexorably demands suffering as payment.

    Your own circumstances matter not in the least here. Whine to your doctor about it. Until you show me some scientific evidence about how this happens to people and not just you your personal "experience" cannot be used in this discussion. Not sure why that's so hard to wrap your head around? If I told you that being vegan cured my cancer, I should hope you wouldn't just take my word for it either. It's just hearsay.NKBJ

    Your compatriot Chatter-bears kept asking if I ate meat myself, which is why I brought it up originally, but it has relevance to my central argument:

    Planning and purchasing a nutritionally adequate vegan diet might be possible for me to do, but it is presently too difficult. Different people do have different nutritional requirements (do you want scientific evidence for that?). different people also have different means and access with which to purchase nutritionally adequate vegan diets (do you want scientific evidence for that?). As a society, at present, we are not yet able to pull off the logistical miracle of delivering a nutritionally adequate plant-based diet to everyone for the host of reasons I've previously went in to and more.

    Medical evidence shows that eating less meat or no meat is great for your health.

    And I've already explained that being vegan does not have to cost more than being omnivorous... the price of either diet depends on your abilities to shop and cook and perhaps your location.
    NKBJ

    Medical evidence shows Americans in particular eat too much meat, and medical evidence shows that well planned diets result in improved health.

    Show me the study that demonstrates consuming zero meat or animal products is nutritionally superior to eating some meat...

    Of course I know they are complex, but I know for a fact that in comparison to what we currently have, both plant-based agriculture and universal health care would be much much simpler, affordable, better for humans, animals, and the planeNKBJ

    How are you going to fertilize all the existing and extra crops without manure and as the price of oil based synthetic fertilizer goes up? How will you manage the logistics of ensuring nationally adequate planting per total nutritional requirements? alter our harvesting and processing infrastructure? ensure proper refrigerated distribution? manage year round nutritional consistency against possible bottlenecks of certain nutrients? Re-educate everyone to understand how to plan and prepare adequate vegan diets? Develop and redevelop the extra land required to grow varieties suitable for replacing animal products in our diet?

    Where will all this money come from?

    If it was simpler and more affordable we would already be doing it.

    So you admit then that meat is more expensive since it is more profitable?NKBJ

    This doesn't make sense at all.

    Just, FYI, citing relevant sources or experts does not count as personal anecdote. At most you could argue that I should be providing some way to verify these sources, but I guess that you really have a hard time telling what is and what isn't anecdotal.NKBJ

    "This one farmer told me one time that I'm right"...

    Honestly, you've got to be joking. You squeal when I suggest that I'm not equipped to undertake a plant-based diet, demanding scientific evidence and screaming anecdote, but when you unambiguously put forward anecdotal evidence of your own you put on blinders

    This one farmer you met one time isn't "citing" nor "expert, it's an unambiguous and stereotypical fallacious use of anecdote, and you say I'm the one who has a hard time telling what is and is not anecdotal?

    In any case, no new arguments are being made here. We've clearly reached an impasse, so unless you have something new to add, I will consider this conversation over nowNKBJ

    Why would I need to make new arguments when you haven't yet rebuked them or put forward a substantial argument of your own?
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