• VagabondSpectre
    1.2k
    Point by point rebuttal of your article.NKBJ

    It's customary to make some attempt to cite or paraphrase, otherwise we're just hurling links at one another.

    Its main criticism is based on the fact that the study I cited presumed that land used for producing animal feed would be used for legume and grain counterparts of similar nutritional makeup (i.e: human-edible corn). But this main criticism seems to be in part misinterpretation of the original study's assumptions (they even say that the study suggests humans would actually be eating animal feed, which was not a conclusion or assumption it actually made and was not relevant to its total nutritional estimates). It does not cite any evidence showing that a variety of more nutritional foods can in fact be grown on the lower quality land currently used for animal feed production, and it does not address the reasons the original study cites for making the specific assumption under criticism. Very high quality land is generally already being used for fruit and vegetable production which require it; the human-edible foodstuffs we could grow on land currently used for animal feed would likely be of similar nutritional yield for these reasons.

    To assume that an equivalent amount of nutriment could be passed directly to humans as is currently passed to to animals from livestock feed is indeed an assumption that merits further testing and modeling, but it might turn out that most of the pasture/forage and animal feed farmland is simply not suitable for nutritional plant-based production.

    The Good Food Institute is a non-profit lobby group, and while it's amply clear their hearts are in the noblest of places, they outright accuse the authors of showing bias towards animal agriculture and fail to substantiate their reasons. Very clearly the Good Food Institute is biased to begin with. If I've misread or misrepresented either the study I referenced or the document you linked, please point out how.

    Do you still eat meat? If so, then saying something is immoral is irrelevant if you are going to continue contributing to the industry that you claim is immoral. Talk is cheap.chatterbears

    Whether or not I eat meat is irrelevant to the argument at hand, in point of fact

    Your animal utopia scenario would be vastly better by an inconceivable margin. But the treatment of these animals is only one piece of the puzzle. They would still lose the right to life. It's the concept of being killed for exploitation, which is immoral. I'd assume if you had the choice to live in an animal utopia, where you're guaranteed to die at the hand of another, depending on when your owner feels hungry and ready to kill you, or the choice to live how you do now, which would you choose? In your current life, you can make decisions that will allow you to live longer, or maybe live shorter. In the animal utopia farm, there's no decision any animal could make that would allow them to live longer. They would all die whenever they become useless to the person exploiting them for food. Such as, a hen that can not longer lay eggs. That hen becomes useless, so off she goes to get her throat slit.chatterbears

    Farm animals living as I do now is not an option for them. Left un-cared for ("freedom") they would die in agony, and without the return we get from harvesting animals, we cannot afford to have them exist at all. So once again, the dilemma is not between torture and freedom, as it stands the dilemma is between non-existence/painful death and a life worth living that will one day end at the hands of a human, as humanely as possible.
  • NKBJ
    316
    To assume that an equivalent amount of nutriment could be passed directly to humans as is currently passed to to animals from livestock feed is indeed an assumption that merits further testing and modeling, but it might turn out that most of the pasture/forage and animal feed farmland is simply not suitable for nutritional plant-based production.VagabondSpectre

    The burden of proof rests on you--there is nothing to suggest that the arable land used for animal feed is not equally usable for human food.

    The Good Food Institute is a non-profit lobby group, and while it's amply clear their hearts are in the noblest of places, they outright accuse the authors of showing bias towards animal agriculture and fail to substantiate their reasons. Very clearly the Good Food Institute is biased to begin with. If I've misread or misrepresented either the study I referenced or the document you linked, please point out how.VagabondSpectre

    Their whole paper explains how the other authors are wrong, by the way, works for --which substantiates their claim of bias. You, however, merely claim they are biased on the basis of being a non-profit lobbying group....the operative word being "non-profit." To claim they are biased on that basis alone is like accusing MADD of being biased against drunk driving. Having a preference for or against something is not the same as a bias.
    By the bye, the authors of the article you posted work for the VT Department of Animal and Poultry Science and the US Dairy Forage Research Center respectively--which on the basis of your definition of bias would make them biased as well. But I will settle for the fact that their paper is just wrong and poorly researched/written.
  • Uber
    147
    Sustainable methods of animal husbandry might be possible in principle and in practice on a limited basis, but they are not going to happen under capitalism on large scales. The profit margins wouldn't be the same. With this reality in mind, veganism is the best remaining choice, as far as ecological sustainability goes. But I have already acknowledged that Pseudonym and others who do make an effort to be environmentally friendly, even while eating meat, can be part of a constructive solution.

    I get that this doesn't address the ethical argument, and I have little interest in debating that here. Just wanted to drop the Science article because it was new and so ambitious.
  • VagabondSpectre
    1.2k
    The burden of proof rests on you--there is nothing to suggest that the arable land used for animal feed is not equally usable for human food.NKBJ

    Trying to grow crops which require warmer weather or more water or better quality soil runs the risk of crop failure, which is why farmers are very careful about what they choose to plant; they're already somewhat limited. The study did in-fact account for tillable land which could be used for vegetables but it turns out pastureland is obviously unsuitable for growing crops (this should be obvious, and I've previously cited an article explaining this). The rebuttal essay you linked does not acknowledge this whatsoever, it merely assumes that market forces alone would force farmers to come up with adequate variety of plants without stopping to wonder how feasible it might be for them to do so. Furthermore, growing vegetables is more expensive than growing wheat or field corn for flour or animal feed/processing into syrup. If you don't believe me, just go to the grocery store and compare the price of processed foods to whole foods. Healthy diets are more expensive because healthy foods tend to be harder to grow in the same volume and for the same cost. If we even could get our farms to produce the right variety of nutrition at the required societal yield with zero animal husbandry, it would certainly be more expensive than if we continued to grow field corn for syrup and graze animals on otherwise un-farmable pastureland.

    Their whole paper explains how the other authors are wrong, by the way, works for --which substantiates their claim of bias. You, however, merely claim they are biased on the basis of being a non-profit lobbying group....the operative word being "non-profit." To claim they are biased on that basis alone is like accusing MADD of being biased against drunk driving. Having a preference for or against something is not the same as a bias.NKBJ

    No, the operative word being lobby group. The sole purpose for their existence is to argue against the consumption of meat.

    The paper you linked and have failed to cite or paraphrase properly makes unfounded accusations and counter-assumptions of its own which are baseless.

    The opening line of its conclusion states "By keeping crop production static, they neglect market pressures that would transform farmland in the US in the absence of animals", which is very clearly a misrepresentation given that their models did not "keep crop production static". In their models the non-animals agricultural system increased its production of many plants markedly, and examining what might increase, by how much, and why, was in part the object of the study itself. to quote them"The total domestic nutrient supply changes substantially when animal-derived foods are removed from the system; human-edible feeds that were previously used by livestock (25) are routed for human consumption, and tillable land is converted to producing food for people" White & Hall assumed that human-edible plants currently used to feed animals would be routed for human consumption, they didn't say Americans are going to begin consuming feed corn directly and leave everything else static.

    By the bye, the authors of the article you posted work for the VT Department of Animal and Poultry Science and the US Dairy Forage Research Center respectively--which on the basis of your definition of bias would make them biased as well. But I will settle for the fact that their paper is just wrong and poorly researched/written.NKBJ

    A government institute mandated to conduct scientific research isn't the same as a run of the mill lobby group. You will note that in the article I cited, they actually carefully amassed and treated data, constructed models and tested conditions to try and learn about outcomes. The paper you linked comes from a group of people who didn't like their conclusions, and therefore wrote what they could to discredit it.
  • chatterbears
    240
    Nonsense, in the animal utopia farm I could also choose to wait with killing and eating the animal till it reaches old age, and it starts suffering from worn out joints. By killing the animal then I prevent it suffering alot of pain from walking about with worn out joints. You are conflating current practices you've witnessed with the suggested idea.Tomseltje

    Ok, sure. But until you have created that animal utopia, you would be immoral for eating meat as of right now. Because, by eating meat, you are contributing to the current conditions of how factory farms actually operate today. And this is a complete 180 from your utopia farm.

    So. Do you eat meat?
  • chatterbears
    240
    Do you still eat meat? If so, then saying something is immoral is irrelevant if you are going to continue contributing to the industry that you claim is immoral. Talk is cheap.chatterbears
    Whether or not I eat meat is irrelevant to the argument at hand, in point of factVagabondSpectre

    How convenient of an answer for you. Claim that factory farming is immoral, but refuse to answer whether or not you are continually contributing to it. I think you see your own hypocrisy here.
  • yatagarasu
    119


    Following this logic it would also be ok to eat eggs, especially when unfertillized. Most fruits hardly contain any fat or protein apart from the seeds. And we should just let young childred die or what are they supposed to eat? Any idea how much fruit one has to eat in order to get to those 5000 kcal a day? 1 kg of apples has about 540 kcal. So one needs to eat almost 5 kg of apples a day to just get the calories needed. However 1kg of apples only has 4 gram protein, so even when eat 5 kg, you only consumed 20 gram protein, where you need at least 50 gram a day in a 1500 kcal diet.
    Humans need about 2,2 gram protein per kg fatfree bodymass a day. So a 110 kg guy with 10% fat tissue needs about 220 gram protein a day. If only eat apples he needs to consume about 50 kg apples a day. but then one would have 10 times the calory intake needed. So what fruit diet are you suggesting?
    Tomseltje

    You can eat the egg white, which is equivalent to the endosperm in seeds, but not the egg yolk. Not to mention we can synthesis to supplement those proteins/lipids at this point in history. Plus there are several fruits that have fats/proteins in them (avacado, coconut, dates et cetera). 5000 kcal? Really? Last I checked the average human needed about 2000-3000 kcal. Anyone else can supplement the calories by other means or eat more. Plenty of those fruits have enough of those nutrients and most people don't hit those recommended numbers anyways and are fine.

    Sponges and coral are sessile, however they still are multicelled organisms. I was talking about single celled sessile animals like the Vorticellidae.(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vorticella),
    Gametes are living too, they just happen to be the haploid lifephase of a haplo/diplont organism. The 'if it lives, you shouldn't kill it to eat it" applies to eating fruit as well if you don't take out all the seeds and plant them. One can only prevent killing for food when scavenging, wich just means you let someone/something else do the killing for you, quite likely more brutal to the killed individue than had you killed it yourself.
    Tomseltje

    I see. Well, if their destruction is avoidable we should try to avoid them, but if not they fall under the same category as fungi and bacteria. Yes, gametes are living. So you just avoid eating them. That does not mean you have to plant every one. Just some. Gametes do not have the right to always be planted and some will die of old age anyways. They are in a suspended state, not living as the plant, animal was that produced them, so their rights are different in this case.
  • Rhasta1
    2
    well what do u do when a mosquito keeps bothering u or a spider scares the crap outta u, you kill it without a second thought
    hows that different from killing for food
    we are the most powerful species on the planet and in order to survive we need to eat or kill other creatures
  • VagabondSpectre
    1.2k
    How convenient of an answer for you. Claim that factory farming is immoral, but refuse to answer whether or not you are continually contributing to it. I think you see your own hypocrisy here.chatterbears

    This is not exactly relevant to the discussion we're having, is it? Appealing to presumed hypocrisy in my actions doesn't establish your argument about ethics, nor does it address my own ethical justifications for eating meat which I've volunteered and detailed at length.

    I avoid factory farmed meat, though if someone else has bought or prepared it for me I think turning it down is a waste. I eat some meat, chicken and a very occasional steak mostly. In-province farmed eggs too. Here's why I'm not a hypocrite:

    If it made sense from a health perspective, I would be a vegan, but the dietary volume and expense that is required to satisfy my personal nutritional needs is beyond my ability to manage. By not over-consuming meat and by avoiding factory farmed animal products, I am not contributing to unnecessary animal suffering.

    And if we all had the where-with-all to plan vegan diets and the time and money to pursue them, we would still have to face the increased cost as a society, which would be a detriment to the poorest classes and nations.
  • Tomseltje
    148
    You can eat the egg white, which is equivalent to the endosperm in seeds, but not the egg yolk.yatagarasu

    Why can't I eat the yolk? if the egg is unfertillized there is no embryo, but there is still yolk. Perhaps study egg anatomy abit more if you assumed that the yolk was the embryo.

    Plus there are several fruits that have fats/proteins in them (avacado, coconut, dates et cetera)yatagarasu

    Sure, however, humans need to consume about 20 different amino acids their bodies can't make, it's very hard to consume the right quantities of these by merely eating plants. Though technically not entirely impossible. However it would include eating seeds wich means eating plant embryos.

    5000 kcal? Really? Last I checked the average human needed about 2000-3000 kcalyatagarasu

    Na, you are off, its about 1500 kcal for women and 2000 kcal for men a day, however that is on average where most people don't live in extreme cold climates nor do intense physical labor. However, those guys at oil platforms easily burn about 8000 kcal a day some even up to 10000 kcal a day, a man living in the arctic with outdoor activities burns 5000 kcal a day with a body mass of 100 kg.
    However, if you are going to set ethical goals for all humans, you should include them.
    Besides, not many edible plants grow in the arctic, and its quite expensive to import them. So how are those people going to survive if they start following your ethics?

    Well, if their destruction is avoidable we should try to avoid them, but if not they fall under the same category as fungi and bacteria.yatagarasu

    No destruction is avoidable, every living organism dies eventually. You could argue one shouldn't be killing them prematurely, but thats an entirely different discussion.

    Yes, gametes are living. So you just avoid eating them. That does not mean you have to plant every one.yatagarasu

    In many cases it's unavoidable, Pollen are the gametes of plants, you are saying we can't eat them either? Going down that line means we can't eat honey either. Many gametes will die soon anyhow if they don't succeed finding the complementary gamete in time, so why can't we eat them? If a fish jumps on dry ground, with no possibility to get into the water again on its own, it sounds alot like you are arguing it's more moral to let it suffocate rather than killing it and eating it. Contrary to a morality derrived from the idea of minimizing suffering.

    Gametes do not have the right to always be planted and some will die of old age anyways.yatagarasu

    You don't plant gametes, you plant seeds. plant gametes are the male pollen and the female ova (eggcell). once a male gamete fertillized egg cell, a seed will develop.

    They are in a suspended state, not living as the plant, animal was that produced them, so their rights are different in this case.yatagarasu

    What do you mean suspended state? they may not be living as the plant only having half the genotype, but why assume their lives are inferior to their diploid counterparts? In some species the haploid part is the dominant mode of being.
  • Tomseltje
    148
    Ok, sure. But until you have created that animal utopia, you would be immoral for eating meat as of right now. Because, by eating meat, you are contributing to the current conditions of how factory farms actually operate today.chatterbears

    Nonsense, you are assuming about things you can't know. You don't know wether I eat meat, nor where I would get it from if I did.

    So. Do you eat meat?chatterbears

    Fishing for an oppertunity to claim the moral highground again? A very see through and disingenious tactic mr chatterbears. You obviously have great troubles separating a philosophical discussion from a personal attack. Asking irrelevant personal questions while refusing to answer general questions that are directly related to the topic.

    You still haven't given an answer on what you mean when you say 'animals', so I'm still not sure what the topic is about, other than a shallow rant against the horrors in todays bioindustries. Now if that's all you wanted, you had better formulated the starting question as "is it wrong to commercially breed animals for consumption the way it is done now?" rather than "Is it wrong to eat animals?"
  • NKBJ
    316
    The rebuttal essay you linked does not acknowledge this whatsoever, it merely assumes that market forces alone would force farmers to come up with adequate variety of plants without stopping to wonder how feasible it might be for them to do so. Furthermore, growing vegetables is more expensive than growing wheat or field corn for flour or animal feed/processing into syrup. If you don't believe me, just go to the grocery store and compare the price of processed foods to whole foods. Healthy diets are more expensive because healthy foods tend to be harder to grow in the same volume and for the same cost.VagabondSpectre

    So much wrong in so few sentences. Where to begin?

    For one, wheat, corn, meat, and milk products are subsidized by the government and that is why those products are cheap. Most people could not afford meat, and definitely not much of it, if that weren't the case. I thought everyone knew that by now.

    And not only can you grow all sorts of foods on the exact same land used for animal feed, you need a lot less land to do so. It's pretty obvious to anyone who's grown even a single tomato plant before.

    The paper you linked comes from a group of people who didn't like their conclusions, and therefore wrote what they could to discredit it.VagabondSpectre

    That sounds more like you, actually. They used science to counter science. You're claiming, without any proof whatsoever, that they are biased. Just because YOU don't like THEIR conclusions.
  • yatagarasu
    119


    Why can't I eat the yolk? if the egg is unfertillized there is no embryo, but there is still yolk. Perhaps study egg anatomy abit more if you assumed that the yolk was the embryo.Tomseltje

    You are going to tell me to study egg anatomy more even though you don't know why yolk is off limits? It is a gamete that is why. The white is not.

    Sure, however, humans need to consume about 20 different amino acids their bodies can't make, it's very hard to consume the right quantities of these by merely eating plants. Though technically not entirely impossible. However it would include eating seeds wich means eating plant embryos.Tomseltje

    Supplemental/synthesized proteins would solve this. So you mean there is a chance? XD How do you think Jains survive? Many of them are fruitarians and even try and avoid harming bacteria/fungi if they can.

    Na, you are off, its about 1500 kcal for women and 2000 kcal for men a day, however that is on average where most people don't live in extreme cold climates nor do intense physical labor. However, those guys at oil platforms easily burn about 8000 kcal a day some even up to 10000 kcal a day, a man living in the arctic with outdoor activities burns 5000 kcal a day with a body mass of 100 kg.
    However, if you are going to set ethical goals for all humans, you should include them.
    Besides, not many edible plants grow in the arctic, and its quite expensive to import them. So how are those people going to survive if they start following your ethics?
    Tomseltje

    It was a rough estimate going off the daily value recommended. For those people they can follow the high calorie diets or if they can't then we can make an exception for cases like that. They don't constitute a massive part of the population anyways. Moral systems should be flexible but adherable. No system is perfect or should be dogmatic in it's ways. We minimize suffering, not completely eliminate it. But for the average person it should be attainable. : )

    In many cases it's unavoidable, Pollen are the gametes of plants, you are saying we can't eat them either? Going down that line means we can't eat honey either. Many gametes will die soon anyhow if they don't succeed finding the complementary gamete in time, so why can't we eat them? If a fish jumps on dry ground, with no possibility to get into the water again on its own, it sounds alot like you are arguing it's more moral to let it suffocate rather than killing it and eating it. Contrary to a morality derrived from the idea of minimizing suffering.Tomseltje

    I like the thoughts you put here. They are interesting questions but I don't really want to define my moral system as absolute or anything like that. Like I said in my last few sentences. The fish would be the same as the deer (or put it back in the ocean if you're close to it at that time). As long as you're not intentionally pulling fish you can eat it. XD Why can't we kill the gamete in that situation? Do we kill fish or anything knowing it will die eventually too? lol These interesting but narrow scenarios do not disprove or change anything about the core of my argument. In much the same way the "trolley problem" thought experiment doesn't invalidate other ethical codes. Extremely specific scenarios warrant extremely specific retorts. The overall ethic is still there. If it lives, do not kill it.

    You don't plant gametes, you plant seeds. plant gametes are the male pollen and the female ova (eggcell). once a male gamete fertillized egg cell, a seed will develop.Tomseltje

    It was a figure of speech. I meant that gametes do not all have the right to be "planted". In plants, animals, or anything that reproduced. Not specifically in the ground. Planted like "right to become living diploid organisms". Sorry about that.

    What do you mean suspended state? they may not be living as the plant only having half the genotype, but why assume their lives are inferior to their diploid counterparts? In some species the haploid part is the dominant mode of being.Tomseltje

    I assumed it because it makes my argument easier. LOL XD I'm not particularly sure where I would stand on this. They are technically as living as their other forms but giving them the same status makes things a bit more complicated in certain situations. I mainly wanted to get across the point that seeds don't deserve the right to always become their diploid form. So when you cut out the seeds of an apple you aren't expected to plant them all, only some. Thanks for your thoughts on this stuff by the way! : )
  • VagabondSpectre
    1.2k
    For one, wheat, corn, meat, and milk products are subsidized by the government and that is why those products are cheap. Most people could not afford meat, and definitely not much of it, if that weren't the case. I thought everyone knew that by now.NKBJ

    Vegetable produce is inherently more expensive than grains and legumes. We rely on grains so heavily because they are easy to grow, are light weight, high in protein and calories, can be stored at room temperature, and can be dried/processed into long lasting foodstuffs. Vegetables require more care to harvest, yield less per acre, need refrigerated transportation, have shorter shelf lives, and are less easily preserved/processed into long lasting foodstuffs. The US agricultural strategy as a nation is or was geared toward ensuring national food security and affordable food prices, and this is why their subsidies lean towards grains and legumes.

    The agricultural system is massively complex and interconnected in so many ways that making simplistic assessments about why things are the way they are such as "bread is cheap and tomatoes expensive because of subsidies" just doesn't persuasively cut the cake. Nobody knew agriculture could be so complicated...

    Read this article if you have time.

    And not only can you grow all sorts of foods on the exact same land used for animal feed, you need a lot less land to do so. It's pretty obvious to anyone who's grown even a single tomato plant before.NKBJ

    I think you must be confused. Different soil and climate profiles benefit and hinder different sorts of plants (which is why we see the bulk of the field corn in the US being grown in a coherent cluster). To be profitable, farmers choose crops by weighing out the costs/market value of the crops they plant along with the risk of crop failure. Furthermore we get more servings AND calories from an acre of grains than we do tomatoes or any other vegetable.

    That sounds more like you, actually. They used science to counter science. You're claiming, without any proof whatsoever, that they are biased. Just because YOU don't like THEIR conclusions.NKBJ

    Well I quoted both articles directly to show and explain why their main criticism is inaccurate. I've been making specific points that require address. Until you actually step up and do so you won't be able to defend your argument or a rebuke to mine. "They used science to counter science" is not an argument and doesn't address the topic.

    P.S:I only bothered to call them biased (a secondary point) because they had the nerve to do so themselves in their own paper with reference to the authors of the article I cited (which shows their hand completely; such an attack has no place in the peer review process).
  • NKBJ
    316
    Vegetable produce is inherently more expensive than grains and legumes.VagabondSpectre

    And you assume vegans eat only vegetables? Huh? And I'm not sure I follow your reasoning...meat may be the least efficient thing to produce of all the foods, but grains are more efficient than veggies...therefore eat meat? Makes no sense.

    You're failing to examine what an actual plant-based diet would look like.

    I think you must be confused. Different soil and climate profiles benefit and hinder different sorts of plants (which is why we see the bulk of the field corn in the US being grown in a coherent cluster). To be profitable, farmers choose crops by weighing out the costs/market value of the crops they plant along with the risk of crop failure. Furthermore we get more servings AND calories from an acre of grains than we do tomatoes or any other vegetable.VagabondSpectre

    Again...vegans eat grains.

    Just a lot fewer than are needed to make the same amount of calories and nutrition from animal-based products. I shouldn't have to explain that: your own article explains that:
    " Specific to animal agriculture is the inherently energetically inefficient conversion of feed to usable products. Because animals (and humans) obey the laws of thermodynamics, energy that is converted to heat through metabolic processes is lost and not retained in tissues "

    To be profitable, farmers choose crops by weighing out the costs/market value of the crops they plant along with the risk of crop failure.VagabondSpectre

    Yeah, and if the market went vegan, they would plant vegan foods. D'oh.

    I only bothered to call them biased (a secondary point) because they had the nerve to do so themselves in their own paper with reference to the authors of the article I cited (which shows their hand completely; such an attack has no place in the peer review process).VagabondSpectre

    The article states: " Their use of irrelevant economic information in the abstract,1 unrelated to the design of their study or any of their findings, shows evidence of bias in favor of the livestock industry."
    They didn't accuse the others of bias outright. They merely suggested that the way the first article is written has some evidence pointing to bias.
  • NKBJ
    316


    Sorry, just saw your question. No, I only have the pdf link.
  • Tomseltje
    148
    I mainly wanted to get across the point that seeds don't deserve the right to always become their diploid form.yatagarasu

    Nonsense, seeds are diploid already, they are the result of the haploid gametes joining. You are basicly arguing that in case of plants its ok to abort their embryos and eat the placenta. While at the same time arguing its wrong to eat a gamete. Not that there is a contradiction, just summarizing how I understood your position.

    For those people they can follow the high calorie diets or if they can't then we can make an exception for cases like that. They don't constitute a massive part of the population anyways.yatagarasu

    So you are arguing that in those exceptions it's not immoral to eat animals? I'm glad we can agree on this but then we are discussing another topic, not 'is it wrong to eat animals?' but 'under what circumstances is it wrong to eat animals?'. I would estimate that such a topic would provide a more fruitfull discussion.

    So when you cut out the seeds of an apple you aren't expected to plant them all, only some.yatagarasu

    So when eating a strawberry you expect someone to pick of the about 100 seeds on it before putting it into his/her mouth?

    How do you think Jains survive?yatagarasu

    Some jainists even go as far as to sweep the ground in front of them whereever they walk to prevent them accidently stepping on an ant or some other tiny insect. Is this how you move about as well?

    Supplemental/synthesized proteins would solve thisyatagarasu
    I'm not fond of food created in laboratories, I prefer natural sources. Besides the availability of those seems rather restricted to dense populated area's.


    Sorry for messing up the chronology, I appreciate your responses, you adequately answer my questions so far, and it seems our opinions don't differ that much when it comes down to the important parts, since you do seem to recognize the importance of the difference in circumstances when attempting to answer questions about ethics. Wich mainly was my point when objecting to the suggestion that it's immoral to eat animals under any circumstance.
  • chatterbears
    240
    If it made sense from a health perspective, I would be a vegan, but the dietary volume and expense that is required to satisfy my personal nutritional needs is beyond my ability to manageVagabondSpectre

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

    And if we all had the where-with-all to plan vegan diets and the time and money to pursue them, we would still have to face the increased cost as a society, which would be a detriment to the poorest classes and nations.VagabondSpectre

    Nonsense, you are assuming about things you can't know. You don't know wether I eat meat, nor where I would get it from if I did.Tomseltje

    Why is why I asked...

    Fishing for an oppertunity to claim the moral highground again? A very see through and disingenious tactic mr chatterbears. You obviously have great troubles separating a philosophical discussion from a personal attack. Asking irrelevant personal questions while refusing to answer general questions that are directly related to the topic.Tomseltje

    The deflection is real. Philosophical discussions can lead to questions about person's subjective actions. You think it is a personal attack, when I am using logic to display the hypocrisy in your argument. Point me to a general question I have refused to answer, and you better be specific. And ironically, you can't answer whether or not you eat meat because you know it will display your inconsistency.

    You still haven't given an answer on what you mean when you say 'animals', so I'm still not sure what the topic is about, other than a shallow rant against the horrors in todays bioindustries. Now if that's all you wanted, you had better formulated the starting question as "is it wrong to commercially breed animals for consumption the way it is done now?" rather than "Is it wrong to eat animals?"Tomseltje

    Are you trolling, at this point? I have cleared up this idea multiple times throughout this thread. SENTIENT BEINGS, is what I am referring to. This includes humans and non-human animals. Also, both questions apply. Is it wrong to eat sentient beings? Yes. Is it wrong to factory farm them? Yes. Are people immoral for contributing to the industry of factory farming? Yes. This is a fairly simple conversation, that apparently confuses you to the point of not understanding what a sentient being is.

    And just to continue pointing out the inconsistency. Almost everyone on this thread has stated that factory farming is wrong and immoral, yet almost everyone on this thread still eats meat. Cognitive dissonance anyone?
  • Tomseltje
    148
    The deflection is real. Philosophical discussions can lead to questions about person's subjective actions. You think it is a personal attack, when I am using logic to display the hypocrisy in your argument. Point me to a general question I have refused to answer, and you better be specific. And ironically, you can't answer whether or not you eat meat because you know it will display your inconsistency.chatterbears

    Nonsense, wether or not my ideas on morality are coherent with my actions is not what is discussed. The discussion merely is about the ideas on morality. Now even if you were to point out that my actions were inconsistent with my ideas about morality, is by no means evidence that my ideas about morality are incorrect. It's a common logical fallacy, known as a red herring, and more precisely the red herring called 'poisoning the well'. The fact that you choose to ask for my personal actions, while not being able so far to even give a single reply that demonstrates you understood my position correctly, just strengthens my suspicion you are attempting to make such fallacy. You even admitted to that by this reply "you can't answer whether or not you eat meat because you know it will display your inconsistency."
    It definately does not, you don't know what my vieuw on it is even, so you are incapable of determining wether my actions are inconsistent with my vieuw on morality, wether or not I eat meat. Hence the answer to the question wether or not I eat meat is totally irrelevant. The fact that you keep pushing for the answer clearly demonstrates your attempt at making an argument that is obviously fallacious.

    Point me to a general question I have refused to answer, and you better be specificchatterbears

    I asked you several times for your definition on the word 'animals' as used in your opening statement.

    Are you trolling, at this point? I have cleared up this idea multiple times throughout this thread. SENTIENT BEINGS, is what I am referring to. This includes humans and non-human animals. Also, both questions apply. Is it wrong to eat sentient beings? Yes. Is it wrong to factory farm them? Yes. Are people immoral for contributing to the industry of factory farming? Yes. This is a fairly simple conversation, that apparently confuses you to the point of not understanding what a sentient being is.chatterbears

    Nonsense, you gave a very vague definition. It's by no means clear that when I encounter a random animal, in the biological sense of the word, this animal qualifies as sentient or not. Sure, you mentioned humans, pigs, cows and chickens as being sentient, so in those cases it's clear, but what about the other millions species of animals? How do I determine wether they are sentient, and thus according to your morality I'm allowed to eat them.

    And just to continue pointing out the inconsistency. Almost everyone on this thread has stated that factory farming is wrong and immoral, yet almost everyone on this thread still eats meat. Cognitive dissonance anyone?chatterbears

    Even if it were relevant to the discussion, you don't know wether or not I eat meat. And even if I did, you don't know where I would get it from. You are just being presumptuous, only increasing my suspicions that you are not actually interested in the philosophy of the claimed topic, but instead abuse this forum as an oppertunity to unwarrentedly claim the moral highground and spread your dogmatic beliefs on veganism.
  • VagabondSpectre
    1.2k
    And you assume vegans eat only vegetables? Huh? And I'm not sure I follow your reasoning...meat may be the least efficient thing to produce of all the foods, but grains are more efficient than veggies...therefore eat meat? Makes no sense.

    You're failing to examine what an actual plant-based diet would look like.
    NKBJ

    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 distribution.

    One thing I would like you to realize is that different forms and scales of agriculture can have different levels of efficiency. A super cattle farm that relies on a constant supply of grain and water is not efficient compared to a traditional farm which grazes its cattle and bales its own hay. The fact that we can afford to raise so much grain fed livestock reflects the point I'm making: grains are cheap to begin with. In the world where we stop using animals completely, we're left with too much potential for grain and not enough potential for vegetables.

    One benefit of eating some meat is that you get very compact calories and protein, allowing you to supplement your diet with other things for adequate nutrition. If you need to consume twice the amount of corn as meat to replace the calories and protein, then you have less dietary room to round out your nutrition with other things.

    Again...vegans eat grains.
    Just a lot fewer than are needed to make the same amount of calories and nutrition from animal-based products. I shouldn't have to explain that: your own article explains that:
    " Specific to animal agriculture is the inherently energetically inefficient conversion of feed to usable products. Because animals (and humans) obey the laws of thermodynamics, energy that is converted to heat through metabolic processes is lost and not retained in tissues "
    NKBJ

    I'm aware of thermodynamics, but we don't have the 4 stomachs that each cow does to refine the calories and protein of the feed corn we produce for them. Unfortunately we already consume quite enough grain, and we cannot replace all the field corn with fruit and vegetable crops, and if we did their harvest would be seasonal (wreaking havoc on national nutritional planning). There are many factors which can cause the efficiency of animal husbandry to vary. As the article goes on to say following your excerpt:

    "Acceptability of such inefficiencies depends upon the resources used in this conversion and the value of the resulting products. Livestock, particularly ruminants, consume substantial amounts of byproducts from food, biofuel, and fiber production that are not edible by humans, and they make use of untillable pasture and grazing lands that are not suitable to produce crops for human consumption (7, 8). When compared on a human-edible nutrient input to human-edible nutrient output basis, animal and plant foods can have similar efficiencies (9). Animals also provide more than food. A multitude of animal-derived products are used in adhesives, ceramics, cosmetics, fertilizer, germicides, glues, candies, refining sugar, textiles, upholstery, photographic films, ointments, paper, heart valves, and other products (10)."

    Yeah, and if the market went vegan, they would plant vegan foods. D'oh.NKBJ

    They already do plant vegan foods, and vegan foods are already more expensive. Is it just big agro keeping the kale man down? Are vegan foods so expensive because we don't plant enough of them? Or is the production cost proportional to the market value?

    The complexity and economics of agriculture is perhaps beyond even the all-distilling powers of a Simpsons episode...

    The article states: " Their use of irrelevant economic information in the abstract,1 unrelated to the design of their study or any of their findings, shows evidence of bias in favor of the livestock industry."

    They didn't accuse the others of bias outright. They merely suggested that the way the first article is written has some evidence pointing to bias.
    NKBJ

    The supposedly irrelevant piece of information was "The US livestock industry employs 1.6 × 10^6
    people and accounts for $31.8 billion in exports.". They didn't bother explain how it was irrelevant (it seems relevant to exploring the creation of agricultural production models), they just went ahead and declared it evidence of bias.

    The original authors did publish their own rebuttal to your rebuttal if you're interested. It wasn;t easy to find but here's the link.

    They basically summarize all of the criticisms and explanations I have already levied and more. It's a very quick read, I do recommend it.
  • VagabondSpectre
    1.2k
    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
    1.2k
    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
    1.2k
    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
    1.2k
    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
    1.2k
    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.
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