Vegan (alt.food.vegan) This newsgroup exists to share ideas and issues of concern among vegans. We are always happy to share our recipes- perhaps especially with omnivores who are simply curious- or even better, accomodating a vegan guest for a meal!

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  #31 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 06-03-2012, 06:31 PM posted to alt.animals.ethics.vegetarian,alt.food.vegan,misc.rural
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Default What to eat



"Rupert" wrote in message
...
On Mar 5, 8:58 pm, "Dutch" wrote:
"Rupert" wrote in message

...









On 4 Mrz., 20:31, "Dutch" wrote:
"Rupert" wrote in message


...


On 3 Mrz., 21:37, "Dutch" wrote:
"Rupert" wrote in message


...


On Mar 3, 10:05 am, "Dutch" wrote:
"Rupert" wrote in message


...


On Mar 2, 10:34 pm, "Dutch" wrote:
"Rupert" wrote


I wouldn't want to rule out the possibility that there
might
be
some
dietary choices she might make which are not vegetarian and
yet
are
nevertheless just as good as a vegetarian diet


Or better, with respect to health AND negative impact on
animals.


but you haven't given
her practical guidance about any specific such choice.


Buy local, buy organic. A free range organic chicken from a
local
farmer
arguably supplies more nutrition per calorie at a lower
environmental
cost
than an equivalent amount of imported and/or processed
plant-based
product,
vegetables or fruit.


You think a local free range organic chicken involves less
harm
than
plant foods?


Which plant foods?


Well, I ate potato gnocchi with tofu and lentils and carrots the
other
night, are you suggesting that I would have been better off with
a
local free-range organic chicken, from the point of view of
animal
suffering?


I am suggesting that it is completely plausible that substituting
some
of
the calories in your meal with some free range organic chicken
presents a
meal that falls within a range of environmental impacts that any
reasonable
person would call acceptable.


So, presumably, the answer to my question is no.


The answer is that it is unknown, but entirely plausible, depending on
a
number of factors, that by replacing some of the food in a vegetarian
meal
with an equivalent number of calories of free range organic chicken
that
you
would not only reduce the total amount of animal suffering but also
make
the
meal more healthy and enjoyable.


And what's the evidence for that proposition?


Logic. Propositions are built on logic.


No, empirical propositions don't come from logic alone, they are
grounded in factual evidence.


You have already conceded the basic premise that modern mechanized
agriculture kills animals. Based on that premise it is not unreasonable to
conclude that some vegan food costs more animal lives than some non-vegan
food. Further, it is not unreasonable to conclude that a fairly wide
selection of both types fall within a range that would be considered
acceptable to most people. I would add that the practice of some vegans to
examine content labels and reject with disgust any food that might have the
slightest trace of animal DNA is absurd given that most outdoor grown food
likely has some trace of animal DNA.



In the absence
of specific practical advice going vegetarian is a good
strategy
for
her to reduce her contribution to animal suffering.


Its one strategy, however it carries the risk of nutritional
deficiencies
in
some people, and it tends to lead to the dreaded "holier than
thou"
syndrome. If those pitfalls can be avoided then it has
advantages.


It's also better
for her health to be vegetarian than not.


Clearly categorically false.


Wrong. Two doctors have told me that being a vegetarian is an
excellent choice for my health.


That's not what you said.


The distinction is lost on me, I'm sorry.


You said that is is better for her health to be a vegetarian. That
is
not
the same as saying that a vegetarian diet as selected by your
doctor
is
an
excellent choice for your health.


My doctor doesn't give me any dietary advice. She just says "It is
good for your health that you are vegan." All she knows is that I am
vegan.


The second second statement is, with some conditions, supportable,
the
first
is not, it is too categorical, broad and poorly defined to be
correct.


I don't agree.


So if you eat nothing but potato chips and donuts that is better for
your
health than a balanced diet including some meat? Being a vegan simply
means
you AVOID certain products, it doesn't dictate what you DO eat.


That's a silly interpretation of my claim.


No it's not, it is a literal interpretation. We don't all share your
assumptions. All you said was that you were a vegan, period. That does
NOT
necessarily mean you are eating a healthy diet.


But it makes it quite likely, if the diet is reasonably sensible.


Perhaps, but I would suggest that in the name of truth in advertising let's
be precise in our wording.

Obviously my claim was that
if you eat a reasonably sensible vegetarian diet then it's likely to
be healthier than a typical meat-based diet


If that's what you are claiming then that's what you should say. I have
no
way of knowing that your vegan diet is "reasonably sensible" nor that you
are comparing it with a "typical" meat based diet, whatever that is. Why
don't you compare a crappy vegan diet with a sensible balanced diet that
includes some low fat meat?

and that's obviously what
my doctor believes too.


That may be obvious to you, but you said that all your doctor knows is
that
your diet is vegan. Based on that she should not be telling you that your
diet is healthy, you may have a severe B-12 deficiency for example.


I have regular blood tests to check for side-effects of my meds, and
we check my iron and B-12 levels when we do those.


That's not the point. You're comparing a presumed sensible vegan diet with a
"typical" western diet (You still haven't defined that), but if you mean one
that includes quite a bit of fast food and fatty meat and over-eating then
of course your diet wins any competition easily, nobody would deny that. The
relevant comparisons for the purpose of showing that many of these
categorical claims are wrong are the less than sensible vegan diets such as
ones heavy on refined pasta which are not that healthy and ones that depend
on imported and/or heavily processed meat substitutes which are not
necessarily better than free range meat with respect to animal impact.

I would never argue that a well planned vegan or vegetarian diet is bad, my
point is that a well planned non-vegan diet can be just as good, based on
all the same criteria, except one, that is the issue of animal
*exploitation*.




  #32 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 07-03-2012, 07:23 AM posted to alt.animals.ethics.vegetarian,alt.food.vegan,misc.rural
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,380
Default What to eat

On Mar 6, 7:31*pm, "Dutch" wrote:
"Rupert" wrote in message

...









On Mar 5, 8:58 pm, "Dutch" wrote:
"Rupert" wrote in message


....


On 4 Mrz., 20:31, "Dutch" wrote:
"Rupert" wrote in message


...


On 3 Mrz., 21:37, "Dutch" wrote:
"Rupert" wrote in message


...


On Mar 3, 10:05 am, "Dutch" wrote:
"Rupert" wrote in message


...


On Mar 2, 10:34 pm, "Dutch" wrote:
"Rupert" wrote


I wouldn't want to rule out the possibility that there
might
be
some
dietary choices she might make which are not vegetarian and
yet
are
nevertheless just as good as a vegetarian diet


Or better, with respect to health AND negative impact on
animals.


but you haven't given
her practical guidance about any specific such choice.


Buy local, buy organic. A free range organic chicken from a
local
farmer
arguably supplies more nutrition per calorie at a lower
environmental
cost
than an equivalent amount of imported and/or processed
plant-based
product,
vegetables or fruit.


You think a local free range organic chicken involves less
harm
than
plant foods?


Which plant foods?


Well, I ate potato gnocchi with tofu and lentils and carrots the
other
night, are you suggesting that I would have been better off with
a
local free-range organic chicken, from the point of view of
animal
suffering?


I am suggesting that it is completely plausible that substituting
some
of
the calories in your meal with some free range organic chicken
presents a
meal that falls within a range of environmental impacts that any
reasonable
person would call acceptable.


So, presumably, the answer to my question is no.


The answer is that it is unknown, but entirely plausible, depending on
a
number of factors, that by replacing some of the food in a vegetarian
meal
with an equivalent number of calories of free range organic chicken
that
you
would not only reduce the total amount of animal suffering but also
make
the
meal more healthy and enjoyable.


And what's the evidence for that proposition?


Logic. Propositions are built on logic.


No, empirical propositions don't come from logic alone, they are
grounded in factual evidence.


You have already conceded the basic premise that modern mechanized
agriculture kills animals. Based on that premise it is not unreasonable to
conclude that some vegan food costs more animal lives than some non-vegan
food. Further, it is not unreasonable to conclude that a fairly wide
selection of both types fall within a range that would be considered
acceptable to most people. I would add that the practice of some vegans to
examine content labels and reject with disgust any food that might have the
slightest trace of animal DNA is absurd given that most outdoor grown food
likely has some trace of animal DNA.


Yes, all right, fine, but I am not especially convinced that free-
range organic chicken is likely to involve less animal suffering than
a calorically equivalent serving of vegan food, because chickens need
to be fed by grains that involve animal CDs, and it's a less efficient
use of grains to nourish humans than is the case with directly buying
the plant-based food.

I gave a specific example of a meal I ate and asked you if I would
have been better off with free-range organic chicken. It looks as
though the answer to that is no, or at least you are not confidently
answering yes.









In the absence
of specific practical advice going vegetarian is a good
strategy
for
her to reduce her contribution to animal suffering.


Its one strategy, however it carries the risk of nutritional
deficiencies
in
some people, and it tends to lead to the dreaded "holier than
thou"
syndrome. If those pitfalls can be avoided then it has
advantages.


It's also better
for her health to be vegetarian than not.


Clearly categorically false.


Wrong. Two doctors have told me that being a vegetarian is an
excellent choice for my health.


That's not what you said.


The distinction is lost on me, I'm sorry.


You said that is is better for her health to be a vegetarian. That
is
not
the same as saying that a vegetarian diet as selected by your
doctor
is
an
excellent choice for your health.


My doctor doesn't give me any dietary advice. She just says "It is
good for your health that you are vegan." All she knows is that I am
vegan.


The second second statement is, with some conditions, supportable,
the
first
is not, it is too categorical, broad and poorly defined to be
correct.


I don't agree.


So if you eat nothing but potato chips and donuts that is better for
your
health than a balanced diet including some meat? Being a vegan simply
means
you AVOID certain products, it doesn't dictate what you DO eat.


That's a silly interpretation of my claim.


No it's not, it is a literal interpretation. We don't all share your
assumptions. All you said was that you were a vegan, period. That does
NOT
necessarily mean you are eating a healthy diet.


But it makes it quite likely, if the diet is reasonably sensible.


Perhaps, but I would suggest that in the name of truth in advertising let's
be precise in our wording.


I will do my best to be more precise in my wording in the future.









Obviously my claim was that
if you eat a reasonably sensible vegetarian diet then it's likely to
be healthier than a typical meat-based diet


If that's what you are claiming then that's what you should say. *I have
no
way of knowing that your vegan diet is "reasonably sensible" nor that you
are comparing it with a "typical" meat based diet, whatever that is. Why
don't you compare a crappy vegan diet with a sensible balanced diet that
includes some low fat meat?


and that's obviously what
my doctor believes too.


That may be obvious to you, but you said that all your doctor knows is
that
your diet is vegan. Based on that she should not be telling you that your
diet is healthy, you may have a severe B-12 deficiency for example.


I have regular blood tests to check for side-effects of my meds, and
we check my iron and B-12 levels when we do those.


That's not the point. You're comparing a presumed sensible vegan diet with a
"typical" western diet (You still haven't defined that), but if you mean one
that includes quite a bit of fast food and fatty meat and over-eating then
of course your diet wins any competition easily, nobody would deny that. The
relevant comparisons for the purpose of showing that many of these
categorical claims are wrong are the less than sensible vegan diets such as
ones heavy on refined pasta which are not that healthy and ones that depend
on imported and/or heavily processed meat substitutes which are not
necessarily better than free range meat with respect to animal impact.

I would never argue that a well planned vegan or vegetarian diet is bad, my
point is that a well planned non-vegan diet can be just as good, based on
all the same criteria, except one, that is the issue of animal
*exploitation*.


I am skeptical that it is likely to be just as good on the issue of
animal suffering if grains need to be grown to feed the animals.
  #33 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 07-03-2012, 09:54 PM posted to alt.animals.ethics.vegetarian,alt.food.vegan,misc.rural
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Posts: 1,027
Default What to eat


"Rupert" wrote
On Mar 6, 7:31 pm, "Dutch" wrote:


[..]

You have already conceded the basic premise that modern mechanized
agriculture kills animals. Based on that premise it is not unreasonable
to
conclude that some vegan food costs more animal lives than some non-vegan
food. Further, it is not unreasonable to conclude that a fairly wide
selection of both types fall within a range that would be considered
acceptable to most people. I would add that the practice of some vegans
to
examine content labels and reject with disgust any food that might have
the
slightest trace of animal DNA is absurd given that most outdoor grown
food
likely has some trace of animal DNA.


Yes, all right, fine, but I am not especially convinced that free-
range organic chicken is likely to involve less animal suffering than
a calorically equivalent serving of vegan food, because chickens need
to be fed by grains that involve animal CDs, and it's a less efficient
use of grains to nourish humans than is the case with directly buying
the plant-based food.


Food is not chosen on a strict efficiency basis, not even by vegans, if that
were the case many vegan foods would be eliminated. You can't say that
efficiency is an argument when comparing chicken vs corn then ignore it when
comparing rice and potatoes.

My fundamental point is that if we were comparing foods that required the
death of animals against foods that did not, as many vegans believe, then
the vegan moral position would be much more compelling. The fact is that is
not the case, we are comparing foods which all cause some amount of animal
death and suffering. Then it comes down to how much we are prepared to
accept and to what degree we can honestly quantify it.

I gave a specific example of a meal I ate and asked you if I would
have been better off with free-range organic chicken. It looks as
though the answer to that is no, or at least you are not confidently
answering yes.


You probably caused some amount less animal suffering by eating whatever you
ate in place of chicken, that's fine if that's what you want to do, but my
point is that you did not go from one moral realm into another based on
compassion by doing that, as many vegans believe, because the difference is
merely one of degree.

[..]

I would never argue that a well planned vegan or vegetarian diet is bad,
my
point is that a well planned non-vegan diet can be just as good, based on
all the same criteria, except one, that is the issue of animal
*exploitation*.


I am skeptical that it is likely to be just as good on the issue of
animal suffering if grains need to be grown to feed the animals.


As I said earlier, efficiency is not an absolute criterion for choosing how
we live our lives, much less our choice of foods. If it were we would never
take vacations or drive cars.

It is a precipitous fall from the sanctimonious claims of people like Glen
to attempting to measure food efficiency.



  #34 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 08-03-2012, 08:32 AM posted to alt.animals.ethics.vegetarian,alt.food.vegan,misc.rural
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Posts: 1,380
Default What to eat

On Mar 7, 10:54*pm, "Dutch" wrote:
"Rupert" wrote

On Mar 6, 7:31 pm, "Dutch" wrote:


[..]









You have already conceded the basic premise that modern mechanized
agriculture kills animals. Based on that premise it is not unreasonable
to
conclude that some vegan food costs more animal lives than some non-vegan
food. Further, it is not unreasonable to conclude that a fairly wide
selection of both types fall within a range that would be considered
acceptable to most people. I would add that the practice of some vegans
to
examine content labels and reject with disgust any food that might have
the
slightest trace of animal DNA is absurd given that most outdoor grown
food
likely has some trace of animal DNA.


Yes, all right, fine, but I am not especially convinced that free-
range organic chicken is likely to involve less animal suffering than
a calorically equivalent serving of vegan food, because chickens need
to be fed by grains that involve animal CDs, and it's a less efficient
use of grains to nourish humans than is the case with directly buying
the plant-based food.


Food is not chosen on a strict efficiency basis, not even by vegans, if that
were the case many vegan foods would be eliminated. You can't say that
efficiency is an argument when comparing chicken vs corn then ignore it when
comparing rice and potatoes.


I'm talking about the total amount of suffering and premature death
required to produce the food. I think I put a reasonable amount of
effort into eating a diet which causes as little suffering and
premature death as possible, given the difficulties there are with
obtaining reliable information about how much harm the different foods
cause and the constraints on my time, and I think avoiding chicken is
a reasonable rule of thumb for that. If there is a significant
difference between rice and potatoes then that is relevant too. I
don't eat rice especially often. It is true that I eat it occasionally
when I don't have to and I don't really know how much additional
suffering that is causing. Perhaps avoiding rice would be a reasonable
rule of thumb to adopt as well, as well as avoiding chicken, but I
would prefer to see more detailed evidence about how much harm rice
causes before coming to that conclusion.

As I say I am always happy to listen to constructive suggestions for
how I could further reduce the harm caused by my diet, and I'm open to
the idea that maybe I should give up rice. But you seemed to be
claiming that I could do it by including some free-range organic
chicken in my diet, as opposed to potato gnocchi, tofu, lentils, and
carrots which is what I've been eating a fair bit of lately, and the
challenge was for you to demonstrate this. It looks as though you
can't.

My fundamental point is that if we were comparing foods that required the
death of animals against foods that did not, as many vegans believe, then
the vegan moral position would be much more compelling. The fact is that is
not the case, we are comparing foods which all cause some amount of animal
death and suffering. Then it comes down to how much we are prepared to
accept and to what degree we can honestly quantify it.


Well, that's quite correct.

I gave a specific example of a meal I ate and asked you if I would
have been better off with free-range organic chicken. It looks as
though the answer to that is no, or at least you are not confidently
answering yes.


You probably caused some amount less animal suffering by eating whatever you
ate in place of chicken, that's fine if that's what you want to do, but my
point is that you did not go from one moral realm into another based on
compassion by doing that, as many vegans believe, because the difference is
merely one of degree.


Sounds like we agree, then.

[..]

I would never argue that a well planned vegan or vegetarian diet is bad,
my
point is that a well planned non-vegan diet can be just as good, based on
all the same criteria, except one, that is the issue of animal
*exploitation*.


I am skeptical that it is likely to be just as good on the issue of
animal suffering if grains need to be grown to feed the animals.


As I said earlier, efficiency is not an absolute criterion for choosing how
we live our lives, much less our choice of foods. If it were we would never
take vacations or drive cars.

It is a precipitous fall from the sanctimonious claims of people like Glen
to attempting to measure food efficiency.


I never made any claims similar to the ones Glen is making. I have
always taken the position that I am just trying to do the best I
reasonably can to reduce the amount of suffering and premature death
required to produce my diet. I've made various remarks about what I
believe about "rights" over the years, and my position on that might
have changed a bit over the years. I've just been re-reading Sec. 9.1
of "The Case for Animal Rights", "Why Vegetarianism is Obligatory",
and I believe that everything Tom Regan says there is consistent with
my views, so I could adopt a view like Tom Regan's if I felt like it,
but I don't necessarily want to do that. I believe in nonhuman animals
having some rights in the sense of there being enforceable constraints
on how we may treat them even over and above what comes from their
being someone's property.
  #35 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 08-03-2012, 07:19 PM posted to alt.animals.ethics.vegetarian,alt.food.vegan,misc.rural
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Posts: 1,027
Default What to eat

"Rupert" wrote in message
...
On Mar 7, 10:54 pm, "Dutch" wrote:
"Rupert" wrote

On Mar 6, 7:31 pm, "Dutch" wrote:


[..]









You have already conceded the basic premise that modern mechanized
agriculture kills animals. Based on that premise it is not
unreasonable
to
conclude that some vegan food costs more animal lives than some
non-vegan
food. Further, it is not unreasonable to conclude that a fairly wide
selection of both types fall within a range that would be considered
acceptable to most people. I would add that the practice of some
vegans
to
examine content labels and reject with disgust any food that might
have
the
slightest trace of animal DNA is absurd given that most outdoor grown
food
likely has some trace of animal DNA.


Yes, all right, fine, but I am not especially convinced that free-
range organic chicken is likely to involve less animal suffering than
a calorically equivalent serving of vegan food, because chickens need
to be fed by grains that involve animal CDs, and it's a less efficient
use of grains to nourish humans than is the case with directly buying
the plant-based food.


Food is not chosen on a strict efficiency basis, not even by vegans, if
that
were the case many vegan foods would be eliminated. You can't say that
efficiency is an argument when comparing chicken vs corn then ignore it
when
comparing rice and potatoes.


I'm talking about the total amount of suffering and premature death
required to produce the food. I think I put a reasonable amount of
effort into eating a diet which causes as little suffering and
premature death as possible, given the difficulties there are with
obtaining reliable information about how much harm the different foods
cause and the constraints on my time, and I think avoiding chicken is
a reasonable rule of thumb for that. If there is a significant
difference between rice and potatoes then that is relevant too. I
don't eat rice especially often. It is true that I eat it occasionally
when I don't have to and I don't really know how much additional
suffering that is causing. Perhaps avoiding rice would be a reasonable
rule of thumb to adopt as well, as well as avoiding chicken, but I
would prefer to see more detailed evidence about how much harm rice
causes before coming to that conclusion.

As I say I am always happy to listen to constructive suggestions for
how I could further reduce the harm caused by my diet, and I'm open to
the idea that maybe I should give up rice. But you seemed to be
claiming that I could do it by including some free-range organic
chicken in my diet, as opposed to potato gnocchi, tofu, lentils, and
carrots which is what I've been eating a fair bit of lately, and the
challenge was for you to demonstrate this. It looks as though you
can't.


My claim is that you have no reliable way of measuring whether or not
substituting some free range chicken in a diet such as the one you describe
would substantially increase or decrease the amount of animal suffering, so
it's left for you to guess, or better yet, don't worry about it quite so
much.


My fundamental point is that if we were comparing foods that required the
death of animals against foods that did not, as many vegans believe, then
the vegan moral position would be much more compelling. The fact is that
is
not the case, we are comparing foods which all cause some amount of
animal
death and suffering. Then it comes down to how much we are prepared to
accept and to what degree we can honestly quantify it.


Well, that's quite correct.

I gave a specific example of a meal I ate and asked you if I would
have been better off with free-range organic chicken. It looks as
though the answer to that is no, or at least you are not confidently
answering yes.


You probably caused some amount less animal suffering by eating whatever
you
ate in place of chicken, that's fine if that's what you want to do, but
my
point is that you did not go from one moral realm into another based on
compassion by doing that, as many vegans believe, because the difference
is
merely one of degree.


Sounds like we agree, then.

[..]

I would never argue that a well planned vegan or vegetarian diet is
bad,
my
point is that a well planned non-vegan diet can be just as good, based
on
all the same criteria, except one, that is the issue of animal
*exploitation*.


I am skeptical that it is likely to be just as good on the issue of
animal suffering if grains need to be grown to feed the animals.


As I said earlier, efficiency is not an absolute criterion for choosing
how
we live our lives, much less our choice of foods. If it were we would
never
take vacations or drive cars.

It is a precipitous fall from the sanctimonious claims of people like
Glen
to attempting to measure food efficiency.


I never made any claims similar to the ones Glen is making. I have
always taken the position that I am just trying to do the best I
reasonably can to reduce the amount of suffering and premature death
required to produce my diet. I've made various remarks about what I
believe about "rights" over the years, and my position on that might
have changed a bit over the years. I've just been re-reading Sec. 9.1
of "The Case for Animal Rights", "Why Vegetarianism is Obligatory",
and I believe that everything Tom Regan says there is consistent with
my views, so I could adopt a view like Tom Regan's if I felt like it,
but I don't necessarily want to do that. I believe in nonhuman animals
having some rights in the sense of there being enforceable constraints
on how we may treat them even over and above what comes from their
being someone's property.


I would suggest that if you are looking to increase the level of objectivity
in your point of view then read something that challenges your existing
biases, not something that reinforces them.





  #36 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 08-03-2012, 07:58 PM posted to alt.animals.ethics.vegetarian,alt.food.vegan,misc.rural
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Posts: 1,258
Default What to eat

On 3/8/2012 12:32 AM, Rupert, in his lazy passivity, wrote:


As I say I am always happy to listen to constructive suggestions for
how I could further reduce the harm caused by my diet,


But you're not willing to spend one minute doing the research yourself.
As with all "animal rights passivists", you expect someone else to try
to salvage your bankrupt belief system for you.


And:


I never made any claims similar to the ones Glen is making. I have
always taken the position that I am just trying to do the best I
reasonably can to reduce the amount of suffering and premature death
required to produce my diet.


But you don't. "Doing the best you can" implies *doing* something, but
the only thing you have blabbered about is what you're *not* doing:
putting animal bits in your mouth.

What you /could/ do is spend a little time trying to research the
numbers of animals killed per unit of yield for various types of
vegetable produce. But you just throw up your hands and shriek,
"There's no data", and that's the end of it.

In science, those credited with spectacular breakthroughs often talk
about standing on the shoulders of giants who did earlier, often unsung
work. If some "vegan" ever does come up with an extensive set of
numbers, it will be no thanks to the efforts of any midgets like you.
  #37 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 09-03-2012, 07:09 AM posted to alt.animals.ethics.vegetarian,alt.food.vegan,misc.rural
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,380
Default What to eat

On Mar 8, 8:58*pm, George Plimpton wrote:
On 3/8/2012 12:32 AM, Rupert, in his lazy passivity, wrote:



As I say I am always happy to listen to constructive suggestions for
how I could further reduce the harm caused by my diet,


But you're not willing to spend one minute doing the research yourself.


Yes. I have spent more than one minute trying to do research on the
matter. The outcome of my search was the reliable information on the
amount of harm caused by different plant foods is hard to come by.

I have spent time doing research into how cost-effective the different
blindness-curing charities are, as well, on a volunteer basis for the
philanthropy organisation I am involved with called "Giving What We
Can". That was probably a wiser investment of time and energy from the
point of view of reducing suffering.

I put some time and effort into doing research into how I can reduce
suffering, because it's a topic that I'm interested in. Obviously
there is a limit to what I can do, because I have a job doing research
in pure maths. I also spend time doing other things that interest me.

I don't believe that anyone who knew the facts about what I do could
plausibly claim that I'm not interested in trying to find out how I
can reduce suffering. You may wish to make that claim. If you want to
make the claim it's no skin off my nose. The claim doesn't strike me
as especially plausible, and I don't think most people who knew the
facts about me would find it especially plausible, but more to the
point I don't think most people would care very much one way or the
another. That raises the question of why it is so important to you to
keep making this claim. Why is it so important to you to try to prove
that vegans "don't really care about suffering"? Is it perhaps because
you feel a little bit threatened by them in some way?

* As with all "animal rights passivists", you expect someone else to try
to salvage your bankrupt belief system for you.


I don't expect anyone else to do anything.

I'm happy with the amount of effort I'm putting in to trying to reduce
suffering. I'm not answerable to anyone else on how much effort I put
in, and I'm not interested in trying to compare myself with others.
There doesn't seem to be much point in trying to belittle the amount
of effort I put in unless you are actually able to offer constructive
suggestions for how I can improve. Of course, it may do something for
you to try to make yourself believe you've made a case that I don't
care about suffering, but maybe you should stop and think about that
for a while, ask yourself why you want to spend so much time trying to
make that case and whether it really is a worthwhile activity, and
what it says about you that you get something out of trying to do it.

And:



I never made any claims similar to the ones Glen is making. I have
always taken the position that I am just trying to do the best I
reasonably can to reduce the amount of suffering and premature death
required to produce my diet.


But you don't. *"Doing the best you can" implies *doing* something, but
the only thing you have blabbered about is what you're *not* doing:
putting animal bits in your mouth.


Reading information about how animals are treated on modern farms and
responding by making a change in your diet is doing something.

Donating 10% of your income towards charities that alleviate suffering
in the Third World is doing something.

Doing research on the internet about suffering reduction, and
discussing the matter with like-minded people on the internet, is
doing something.

You obviously don't have any way of knowing what I do, and in any case
I'm not answerable to you as to how much effort I'm putting into
trying to reduce suffering. I don't have any reason for trying to do
it other than that I want to. There is no rational reason why I would
care about your opinion about the efforts I make.

Which raises the question of why would *you* care? Why do you suppose
that it is of interest to make public comment about the matter?

What you /could/ do is spend a little time trying to research the
numbers of animals killed per unit of yield for various types of
vegetable produce. *But you just throw up your hands and shriek,
"There's no data", and that's the end of it.


Well, there *are* no data and that's a bit of a problem, isn't it? Are
you suggesting I should fund some kind of study?

I *do* spend time trying to get reliable information about this stuff,
and also discuss these matters with other like-minded people on the
Internet who are trying to figure out the best way of reducing
suffering. You don't have any way of knowing what I do. But as I say,
there is no good reason why I have to justify myself to you. I don't
think you have any reasonable way of evaluating how much effort I put
into suffering reduction and I don't see why I should find your
opinion about the matter of any interest.

In science, those credited with spectacular breakthroughs often talk
about standing on the shoulders of giants who did earlier, often unsung
work. *If some "vegan" ever does come up with an extensive set of
numbers, it will be no thanks to the efforts of any midgets like you.


You're saying I should do my own research project about the topic,
Ball? Is that it? Do a study on wildlife populations before and after
harvest?
  #38 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 09-03-2012, 07:12 AM posted to alt.animals.ethics.vegetarian,alt.food.vegan,misc.rural
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On Mar 8, 8:19*pm, "Dutch" wrote:
"Rupert" wrote in message

...









On Mar 7, 10:54 pm, "Dutch" wrote:
"Rupert" wrote


On Mar 6, 7:31 pm, "Dutch" wrote:


[..]


You have already conceded the basic premise that modern mechanized
agriculture kills animals. Based on that premise it is not
unreasonable
to
conclude that some vegan food costs more animal lives than some
non-vegan
food. Further, it is not unreasonable to conclude that a fairly wide
selection of both types fall within a range that would be considered
acceptable to most people. I would add that the practice of some
vegans
to
examine content labels and reject with disgust any food that might
have
the
slightest trace of animal DNA is absurd given that most outdoor grown
food
likely has some trace of animal DNA.


Yes, all right, fine, but I am not especially convinced that free-
range organic chicken is likely to involve less animal suffering than
a calorically equivalent serving of vegan food, because chickens need
to be fed by grains that involve animal CDs, and it's a less efficient
use of grains to nourish humans than is the case with directly buying
the plant-based food.


Food is not chosen on a strict efficiency basis, not even by vegans, if
that
were the case many vegan foods would be eliminated. You can't say that
efficiency is an argument when comparing chicken vs corn then ignore it
when
comparing rice and potatoes.


I'm talking about the total amount of suffering and premature death
required to produce the food. I think I put a reasonable amount of
effort into eating a diet which causes as little suffering and
premature death as possible, given the difficulties there are with
obtaining reliable information about how much harm the different foods
cause and the constraints on my time, and I think avoiding chicken is
a reasonable rule of thumb for that. If there is a significant
difference between rice and potatoes then that is relevant too. I
don't eat rice especially often. It is true that I eat it occasionally
when I don't have to and I don't really know how much additional
suffering that is causing. Perhaps avoiding rice would be a reasonable
rule of thumb to adopt as well, as well as avoiding chicken, but I
would prefer to see more detailed evidence about how much harm rice
causes before coming to that conclusion.


As I say I am always happy to listen to constructive suggestions for
how I could further reduce the harm caused by my diet, and I'm open to
the idea that maybe I should give up rice. But you seemed to be
claiming that I could do it by including some free-range organic
chicken in my diet, as opposed to potato gnocchi, tofu, lentils, and
carrots which is what I've been eating a fair bit of lately, and the
challenge was for you to demonstrate this. It looks as though you
can't.


My claim is that you have no reliable way of measuring whether or not
substituting some free range chicken in a diet such as the one you describe
would substantially increase or decrease the amount of animal suffering, so
it's left for you to guess, or better yet, don't worry about it quite so
much.


You are right that the best I can do is make a (somewhat) educated
guess, and I have stated what my thoughts are about that topic. I
never suggested the topic did worry me all that much. I thought you
were trying to argue that there was some way I could make an
improvement in the amount of suffering caused by my diet, and if so I
was interested to hear what that was and what the evidence was. I
guess I was mistaken.











My fundamental point is that if we were comparing foods that required the
death of animals against foods that did not, as many vegans believe, then
the vegan moral position would be much more compelling. The fact is that
is
not the case, we are comparing foods which all cause some amount of
animal
death and suffering. Then it comes down to how much we are prepared to
accept and to what degree we can honestly quantify it.


Well, that's quite correct.


I gave a specific example of a meal I ate and asked you if I would
have been better off with free-range organic chicken. It looks as
though the answer to that is no, or at least you are not confidently
answering yes.


You probably caused some amount less animal suffering by eating whatever
you
ate in place of chicken, that's fine if that's what you want to do, but
my
point is that you did not go from one moral realm into another based on
compassion by doing that, as many vegans believe, because the difference
is
merely one of degree.


Sounds like we agree, then.


[..]


I would never argue that a well planned vegan or vegetarian diet is
bad,
my
point is that a well planned non-vegan diet can be just as good, based
on
all the same criteria, except one, that is the issue of animal
*exploitation*.


I am skeptical that it is likely to be just as good on the issue of
animal suffering if grains need to be grown to feed the animals.


As I said earlier, efficiency is not an absolute criterion for choosing
how
we live our lives, much less our choice of foods. If it were we would
never
take vacations or drive cars.


It is a precipitous fall from the sanctimonious claims of people like
Glen
to attempting to measure food efficiency.


I never made any claims similar to the ones Glen is making. I have
always taken the position that I am just trying to do the best I
reasonably can to reduce the amount of suffering and premature death
required to produce my diet. I've made various remarks about what I
believe about "rights" over the years, and my position on that might
have changed a bit over the years. I've just been re-reading Sec. 9.1
of "The Case for Animal Rights", "Why Vegetarianism is Obligatory",
and I believe that everything Tom Regan says there is consistent with
my views, so I could adopt a view like Tom Regan's if I felt like it,
but I don't necessarily want to do that. I believe in nonhuman animals
having some rights in the sense of there being enforceable constraints
on how we may treat them even over and above what comes from their
being someone's property.


I would suggest that if you are looking to increase the level of objectivity
in your point of view then read something that challenges your existing
biases, not something that reinforces them.


Well, I've been reading Ball's links as well. If you have any
suggestions for books that should be on my reading list I will happily
consider them.
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Old 09-03-2012, 07:15 AM posted to alt.animals.ethics.vegetarian,alt.food.vegan,misc.rural
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On 3/8/2012 11:09 PM, Rupert wrote:
On Mar 8, 8:58 pm, George wrote:
On 3/8/2012 12:32 AM, Rupert, in his lazy passivity, wrote:



As I say I am always happy to listen to constructive suggestions for
how I could further reduce the harm caused by my diet,


But you're not willing to spend one minute doing the research yourself.


Yes. I have spent more than one minute trying to do research


No, you haven't. Cut the shit, Woopert.


As with all "animal rights passivists", you expect someone else to try
to salvage your bankrupt belief system for you.


I don't expect anyone else to do anything.


That's a lie. You expect "constructive suggestions".


And:



I never made any claims similar to the ones Glen is making. I have
always taken the position that I am just trying to do the best I
reasonably can to reduce the amount of suffering and premature death
required to produce my diet.


But you don't. "Doing the best you can" implies *doing* something, but
the only thing you have blabbered about is what you're *not* doing:
putting animal bits in your mouth.


Reading information about how animals are treated on modern farms


does nothing to reduce the death toll *you* cause with what you eat.
  #40 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 09-03-2012, 07:37 AM posted to alt.animals.ethics.vegetarian,alt.food.vegan,misc.rural
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On Mar 9, 8:15*am, George Plimpton wrote:
On 3/8/2012 11:09 PM, Rupert wrote:

On Mar 8, 8:58 pm, George *wrote:
On 3/8/2012 12:32 AM, Rupert, in his lazy passivity, wrote:


As I say I am always happy to listen to constructive suggestions for
how I could further reduce the harm caused by my diet,


But you're not willing to spend one minute doing the research yourself..


Yes. I have spent more than one minute trying to do research


No, you haven't. *Cut the shit, Woopert.


As usual, Ball thinks he is in a position to know something which he
obviously isn't.

* *As with all "animal rights passivists", you expect someone else to try
to salvage your bankrupt belief system for you.


I don't expect anyone else to do anything.


That's a lie. *You expect "constructive suggestions".


No, I don't expect anything. I have indicated that if anyone has any
constructive suggestions I would be interested to hear about them.

I have done something directed towards the goal of trying to reduce
the amount of suffering required to produce my diet. I have read
information about how animals are treated on modern farms and changed
my diet, and I have sought out further information about the negative
impact of farming on animals, and discussed the matter with other
people on the Internet. That is something. You are entitled to think
it's not very much if you wish, but it's a bit weird why you would put
so much effort into trying to make the case when you yourself have
presumably done nothing at all. There is no reason why I should take
an interest in your opinion about the matter unless you have some
specific constructive suggestion for what more I can do.

And:


I never made any claims similar to the ones Glen is making. I have
always taken the position that I am just trying to do the best I
reasonably can to reduce the amount of suffering and premature death
required to produce my diet.


But you don't. *"Doing the best you can" implies *doing* something, but
the only thing you have blabbered about is what you're *not* doing:
putting animal bits in your mouth.


Reading information about how animals are treated on modern farms


does nothing to reduce the death toll *you* cause with what you eat.


At the time I originally read the information I was not yet vegan.
After reading the information I went vegan. It is reasonable to
suppose that that reduced the suffering and death associated with the
production of the food that I eat. I would gladly take further steps
to reduce the suffering and death associated with the production of
the food that I eat if I was aware of something specific I could
usefully do.


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