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Old 08-04-2012, 08:23 PM posted to alt.animals.ethics.vegetarian,,,talk.politics.animals
George Plimpton George Plimpton is offline
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Default Squaring the Irrational Search for Micrograms with "vegan" do-nothingism

On 4/6/2012 8:25 AM, Rupert wrote:
On Apr 6, 5:03 pm, George wrote:
Woopert blabbers a lot about how "vegans" are entitled to their smug
satisfaction that they've made a meaningful contribution to the
reduction of animal suffering merely by not putting identifiable animal
bits in their mouths. I point out that "vegans" never attempt to make
any comparison of the amounts of harm caused by those things they *do*
eat, and Woopert moans that "there's no data", and so he justifies doing
nothing further.

But "vegans" - all of them - spend an inordinate amount of time looking
for and trying to eliminate the last possible bit of animal
"contamination" from their diet. In my time in these groups since 1999,
I have seen the following belabored here by "vegans":

* brined black olives in tins or jars - the brining liquid is made
black by the addition of squid ink

* Worcestershire sauce - the classic Lea& Perrins recipe, and
probably most other brands, contain a tiny amount of anchovy

* refined sugar - the most common method of refining sugar to create
white crystalline sugar uses bone char

* lanolin in lotions and body creams - lanolin is a by-product of
wool production

"vegans" spend huge amounts of time and effort trying to identify these
last remaining bits of animal "contamination" in their shopping baskets
and eliminating them. When they find one of them and report on it here
or in other "vegan" forums, there is a palpable sense of smugness in the
announcement of the discovery and removal; something like "Well! That's
the last time *I* will buy a bottle of Lea& Perrins!!!"

I refer to this effort as the Irrational Search for Micrograms (of
Animal Parts). If a "vegan" made a comparable effort to determine which
vegetable and fruit produce causes the most harm, and eliminate those
from her diet, it would undoubtedly have a much greater effect in
reducing harm to animals; but announcing that one is *consuming* a few
micrograms less of animal bits is much more satisfying to the "vegan"
sense of unwarranted moral superiority.

This irrational search - and it is undeniable that it occurs -
completely queers the "vegan" claim to being motivated by a wish to
reduce harm to animals. No, the motivation is *purely* trying to occupy
an imaginary moral pedestal, and basking in the fake sense of
superiority that comes from imagining themselves upon it. The fact
they'll expend enormous time and effort in the irrational search, but
*no* time or effort trying to get harm-causing vegetable produce out of
their diets, is the proof.

What do you suppose would motivate the search if they didn't believe
(falsely) that it was the best way of trying to reduce harm to

The search is motivated by the belief that not consuming animal bits is
in and of itself virtuous. They're like Jews and Muslims not consuming
pork: there is no concern for the animals, only concern that they be