Talking to an Anarchist, Vegan

Walking around on a thirty thousand plus campus will more than likely result in some strange encounters with few idealist, outcasts, and rebels. The other day I had a conversation with an Anarchist promoter and a Vegan activist- on the same day. Both were interesting and idealists.

The Anarchist

They say first impression is crucial and if this Anarchist is a representative of the larger Anarchist movement, which I doubt it is, then no wonder why the movement is near extinction. The young man must have forgotten to shower, brush his teeth, put on deodorant, and wear clean clothe before representing his Anarchist club/movement/ideas. The whole time I was speaking to him I could not breathe properly because I’m one of those people who almost exclusively breathe through their nose and when I’m cornered, the discomfort is evident on my face. Despite these turnoffs, I had a productive discourse with the young Anarchist.

As a product of anarchy, my first question undoubtedly dealt with Anarchy as a theory and anarchy in practice i.e. Somalia. The young Anarchist distinguished “Anarchy” and “anarchy” – the difference, as he explained, is that Anarchy with capital “A” is not the same as the lower-cased anarchy. Somalia, he said, is in a state of anarchy not Anarchy. But I pressed him to differentiate between Somalia and the Anarchism theories imagined by Russian Anarchist – no comprehendible answer, at least in laymen’s term because, as he believed, true Anarchy does not result in a situation like that of Somalia.

I pressed again to make him understand that once Anarchy is enacted, there is no mechanism to keep it organized or peaceful – especially in a capitalistic society that believes the only thing one needs is more and more of material and acquire such material by any means possible. To him though, Anarchy is like Utopian but without the hassle of organized government or state protocols. So I wanted to find out what crime and punishment looks like in Anarchistic society. Again, it was incomprehensible because his answer was that when someone commits a crime – I mean a crime like murder or rape – then the person should be brought before a group of people, including the victim and their family, who listen and decide what to do with the perpetuator. So I asked, then “what”? No response.

The problem with Anarchism, like any other theory, is that it is just an idealist theory that cannot be practiced in its purest sense just as socialism and capitalism cannot be practiced in their purest form, at least in our modern world. Imagine Adam Smith’s capitalism put into practice in its purest form.

The Vegan

Although I have long been aware of this concept, I never really understood why people think enslaving dogs and cats are ok, but eating any animal meat is a crime against nature. Waiting for my bus, a young man who happens to be in my International Development class approaches me with a brochure showing terrible pictures of animals being abused at livestock factories. I declined to take the brochure at first but then I thought what the hell, it doesn’t hurt to learn more. Yet what I saw, albeit terrible, did not change my believe that animals and humans depend on each other not for emotional reasons but for resources and a balance to nature. Let me explain this. My understanding is that the world’s resources are not enough for both humans and animals to share because there is less than 30% land and billions of people and animals of all kinds compete to survive in that tiny space of productive resources.

So instead of enslaving (I use this term purposefully to make the connection that animals do not choose to be pets, people force them) animals for our entertainment and service (like hunting dogs), we ought to leave them alone and let them be the wild animals that they are. Why should dogs, cats, fish, etc. be forced to live in an environment that is not natural to them? Why should a middle-aged woman fulfill her emotional vacuum through the domestication of a dog when she could get that from a human being only if she tried? 

It is strange how pet owners never think about how animals do not choose to become a pet but are only forced to; yet when I eat a goat or a chicken meat, I’m being cruel to animals? Imagine in a world where chickens, camels, cows, goats, and sheep out number humans 100 times more? I don’t think vegetarians ever think about that. I really believe vegetarians do not think critically about their choice based on practicality but only as an emotional reaction.

When I saw those pictures in the brochure, I was disgusted and appalled but when my emotions came down and I thought critically, I realized that pet owners are forgetting how too many of them pay to go to a zoo in order to watch poor animals caged and humiliated for their entertainment but instead too often focus how very bad people treat animals awfully, which I categorically condemn in the strongest terms. Indeed I came to the conclusion that many people who claim to be animal lovers are more often than not are being cruel to animals because they are forcing animals to unnatural behaviors and environments. 

Still, I maintain that for one to be a true animal lover, one has to leave animals alone – don’t keep them as pets, don’t pay to watch them race for their lives on TV (dog and horse racing), don’t pay to keep them caged and humiliated in zoos, and don’t support animals being paraded about on pageants but simply leave them alone. If you really love animals and want to help them, focus your effort on fighting to save their habitat instead of solely focusing on industrial abuse. As for me, I do eat them for food and food alone. Does that make me a cruel person to animals? I think not. 

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24 thoughts on “Talking to an Anarchist, Vegan

  1. katesaltfleet

    Interesting post – but there are many other reasons for vegetarianism/veganism than the emotional response towards cute animals. Most people who follow this way of life do so for one or more of the following reasons:

    1. Health – a vegan diet is lower in saturated fat, plus the use of anti-biotics in livestock farming is one of the contributing factors to resistant diseases

    2. Animal welfare – some of the conditions animals are kept in are abominable

    3. Environment – methane gas produced by livestock is one of the main culprits for global warming

    4. People – People starve in poor countries while the land is used to grow grain to export to feed animals for food.

    5. A moral choice – ie killing is wrong, period.

    I could go on, but you might be interested in the Viva website which outlines some reasons for people making the choice to go vegan for ethical reasons at http://www.viva.org.uk

    PS – I also feel uncomfortable with people breeding animals for pets – the only pets I would keep are animals which have been rescued from cruel owners.

    • Ideally animals should be left in the wild following their animal instincts. I agree about the cruelty of pet ownership. Very rarely do these animals live happy fulfiled lives. Instead of eating and enslaving animals we should awaken to how they can teach us about our instinctual connection to the messages of the electo magnetic messages of the earth.They are our teachers not our slaves.

  2. Great post! I agree with you on anarchism, but not on veganism. I am not a vegan, because I believe in the circle of life, surival of the fittest, balance in the nature etc. However, I do understand why people choose to exclude meat and diary products from their lives. The poster above outlined the reasons quite good.

    You say that we should let animals live in the wild, but then again, there is not much wild left to live in. Humans keep expanding their territories and threatening the ecosystems. We’re cutting down forests to support our expensive and egoistic lifestyles, and it’s a proven fact that many wild animals are forced to live an urban life.

    Then, if one chooses to take in animals to compensate for the fact that we’ve destroyed their homes, hell that person’s a good samaritan.

    Anyway, dogs and cats were tamed in the iron age. Aint no modern phenomena.

  3. Om

    katesaltfleet, allow me to respond:

    I agree #1 is a perfect reason for choosing vegetarian diet. In fact my mom is a lactose-intolerant hence she can’t consume diary.

    I completely disagree with you on numbers 2 & 5 because (2) also means your being hypocritical by keeping animals in unnatural environment and forcing them to behave them the way you want and also animals in zoos are in no better condition than those in industrial livestocks, which are appalling. Since killing is immoral, then I take that you also don’t support euthanizing animals as well as capital punishment because all killings go together.

    For number 3, I proposed animal lovers should focus on saving wildlife habitat more than industrial abuse, which again I don’t accept it. Indeed methane is produced by livestocks but if you want to reduce methane then put your fight on saving wildlife habitat, deforestation and tribal lifestyle. As for #4, how do you sleep at night knowing that you spent an average of $100 to $200 on your cat’s or dog’s food but that much money could’ve saved a whole family for the same period of time by sponsoring them. Or just micro-loaned a family that can change for the rest of their lives through Kiva .

    But at the end of the day, your choice is your choice so I will not judge whatever that choice is.

  4. Om

    Good to hear from you, Nomad!

    Remember I said that we should fight to save the animal’s habitat so they don’t have to be come to urban areas – and yes, I believe humans are the ones who are invading and destroying their habitat. I’m very disappointed in how animal rights activists have neglected habitat destruction and deforestation.

    People don’t just take animals off the street – there is a thriving industry that reproduces pets for the sake of selling them. Why isn’t there a fight against animal reproduction? Just because someone takes in animal in, it doesn’t make them a good samaritan because animals by nature are wild and as such belong to the wild, not in a human home or a zoo.

    I watch nature documentaries all the time and I often see little adorable antelopes or deers that sometimes become a prey for lions or wolves – I always want the antelope or the deer to make it and not be eaten by the lion or wolf but then afterward I see the lioness or the wolf mother has a little cub she’s trying to feed so my point is, when we let nature do its work, everything balances out and we don’t need to interfere in that. Until modern times, dogs were not tamed as pets, their cousins in the wild will survive in its own but the ones humans have domesticated as pets cannot survive without that $3.79 canned food. So are we doing them a favor by making them dependent upon us?

    • A quick reply- cos i’m on a loaned computer. very thoughful and insightful comments. I feel encouraged – there are more savvy people around than i realised

      • Om

        Yes I totally agree with you. Thanks for taking the time to post your thoughts!

  5. Madeline Phipps

    The Facts About Eating Animal Products…
    by John Robbins, author of “Diet for a New America” and founder of Earthsave International.

    The Hunger Argument:
    Number of People worldwide who will die of starvation this year: 60 million
    Number of people who could be adequately fed with the grain saved if Americans reduced meat intake by 10%: 60 million
    Human beings in America: 296 million
    Number of people who could be fed with grain and soybeans now eaten by US livestock: 1.3 billion
    Percentage of corn grown in US eaten by people: 20%
    Percentage of corn grown in US eaten by livestock: 80%
    Percentage of protein wasted by cycling grain through livestock: 90%
    Percentage of oats grown in US eaten by livestock: 95%
    How frequently a child starves to death: every 2 seconds
    Pounds of potatoes that can be grown on an acre: 20,000 lbs
    Pounds of beef produced on an acre: 165 lbs
    Percentage of US farmland devoted to beef production: 56%
    Pounds of grain and soybeans needed to produce 1 pound of feedlot beef: 16 lbs.

    The Environmental Argument:
    Cause of global warming: greenhouse effect
    Primary cause of greenhouse effect: Carbon Dioxide from fossil fuels
    More beneficial for global warming–Switching to a Prius vs. Switching to a Vegetarian Diet: Vegetarian Diet
    Fossil fuels needed to produce a meat-centered diet vs. a meat-free diet: 50 times more
    Percentage of US topsoil lost to date: 75%
    Percentage of US topsoil loss directly related to livestock raising: 85%
    Number of acres of US forest cleared for cropland to produce meat-centered diet: 260 million acres
    Amount of meat US imports annually from Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Panama: 200,000,000 pounds
    Average per capita meat consumption in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Panama: Less than eaten by average US house cat
    Area of tropical rainforest consumed in every quarter-pounder hamburger: 55 sq. ft.
    Current rate of species extinction due to destruction of tropical rainforests for meat grazing and other uses: 1,000 species extinct per year

    The Cancer Argument:
    Increased risk of breast cancer for women who eat meat four times a week vs. less than once a week: 4 times
    Increased risk of breast cancer for women who eat eggs daily vs less than once a week: 3 times
    Increased risk of breast cancer for women who eat cheese and butter 3 or more times a week vs less than once a week: 3 times
    Increased risk of ovarian cancer for women who eat eggs 3 or more times a week vs less than once a week: 3 times
    Increased risk of fatal prostate cancer for men who consume meat, cheese, eggs and milk daily vs sparingly or not at all: 3.6 times

    The Natural Resources Argument:
    User of more than half of all water used for all purposes in the US: Livestock production
    Amount of water to produce a pound of wheat: 25 gallons
    Amount of water to produce a pound of meat: 2,500 gallons
    Cost of common hamburger if water used by meat industry was not subsidized by US taxpayer: $35/pound
    Current cost of pound of protein from beefsteak, if water was no longer subsidized: $89
    Years the world’s known oil reserves will last if every human ate a meat-centered diet: 13 years
    Years the world’s known oil reserves will last if human beings no longer ate meat: 260 years
    Barrels of oil imported into US daily: 6.8 million
    Percentage of fossil fuel energy returned as food energy by most efficient factory farming of meat: 34.5 percent
    Percentage returned as food energy from least efficient plant food: 328%
    Percentage of raw materials consumed by US to produce present meat-centered diet: 33%

    The Cholesterol Argument:
    Number of US Medical Schools: 125
    Number requiring a course in nutrition: 30
    Nutrition training received by average US physician during four years in medical school: 2.5 hours
    Most common cause of death in the US: Heart attack
    How frequently a heart attack kills in the US: Every 45 seconds
    Average US man’s risk of death from heart attack: 50%
    Risk for average US man who avoids the meat-centered diet: 15%
    Risk for average US vegan man: 4%
    Amount you reduce risk of heart attack if you reduce consumption of animal products by 10 percent: 9%
    Amount you reduce risk of heart attack if you reduce consumption of animal products by 50 percent: 45%
    Amount you reduce risk by changing to a vegan diet: 90 percent
    Meat, dairy, and egg industries claim you should not be concerned about your blood cholesterol if it is: “normal”
    Your risk of dying of a disease caused by clogged arteries if your blood cholesterol is “normal”: >50%

    The Antibiotic Argument:
    Percentage of US antibiotics fed to livestock: 55%
    Percentage of staph infections resistant to penicillin in 1960: 13%
    Percentage of staph infections resistant to penicillin in 1988: 91%
    Response of European Economic Community to routine feeding of antibiotics to livestock: Ban
    Response of US meat and pharmaceutical industries to routine feeding of antibiotics to livestock: Full and complete support

    The Pesticide Argument:
    Percentage of pesticide residues in the US diet supplied by grains: 1%
    Percentage of pesticide residues in the US diet supplied by fruits: 4%
    Percentage of pesticide residues in the US diet supplied by vegetables: 6%
    Percentage of pesticide residues in the US diet supplied by dairy products: 23%
    Percentage of pesticide residues in the US diet supplied by meat: 55%
    Pesticide contamination of breast milk from meat eating mothers vs non-meat eating: 35 times higher
    What USDA tells us: Meat is inspected
    Percentage of slaughtered animals inspected for residues of toxic chemicals such as dioxin and DDT: <0.00004%

    The Ethical Argument:
    Number of animals killed for meat per hour in US: 500,000
    Occupation with highest turnover rate in US: Slaughterhouse Worker
    Occupation with the highest rate of on-the-job injury in US: Slaughterhouse Worker
    Cost to render animal unconscious with “captive bolt pistol”: 1 cent
    Reason given by meat industry for not using “captive bolt pistol”: Too expensive

  6. Om

    It would take me 30 years to research and respond to each of your claims so I guess you win by default! I definitely agree our meat intake needs a serious reduction if we’re to stop global warming, prevent food shortages, and make clean energy our primary sources. I would consider not eating meat because of these reasons, not ‘moral’ because eating meat is not immoral just like not eating immoral.

    ……I’m still eating meat, though~

  7. Paul

    First off anarchists are idiots and impossible to have a rational conversation with. It’s a lovely fantasy they can’t escape. Thats all.

    Vegans:
    Um, aren’t food shortages a great way to deal with global warming? If we could knock 2 or 3 billion people out of the way the rest of us would be better off and less green house gases would be produced.. And think of all that wild habitat freed up. Yes, I understand it’s heartless.

    Btw, I grew up on a farm and all our domesticated animals were free to come and go as they pleased (except for that worthless donkey that did nothing constructive). Most chose to stick around, some didn’t (male cats mostly). The chickens and ducks all had a far easier life than wild birds. So maybe vegans would be better off saying “eating meat is bad, but you aren’t bad for eating it, maybe try something free range” to ease the enormous backlash they normally encounter.

  8. Om

    Actually Paul, you make a lot of sense to me (except that bit of eliminating 2 or 3 billion people).

    As you mentioned it, Vegans are not getting their message across properly. I certainly reject their ‘morality’ argument as so many people do. They have a chance now to convince people that not eating meat would do a great deal of reduction in carbon emissions, more food output, and less environmental degradation.

    But no, it has to be all about morality and their superiority. To them, those of us who eat meat are either ignorant bastards or immoral beings.

  9. Jeff

    free range animals are just as bad as normal farm animals.

    and you can’t use your hometown farm as an example, because it’s not the small farms that are the problems.
    factory farming is the big problem.

  10. Guy

    About Pets:

    The human race, for thousands of years, had domesticated cats and dogs, among other species.
    The modern version of cats and dogs cant live freely, not in todays urban areas, and not in natural areas where there species used to live before the process of domestication began – in the urban places they get ran over, have a hard time getting food, and lots of other problems – and they cant survive in the natural environment aswell – since they are dependant on humans as a result of the domestication.
    And thats why the human race has responsibility towards these animals – and thats why it is immoral to let them be ran over in the streets, and to “liberate” them into natural environments – that will result in their death.
    So in this case, plainly “leaving them alone” is irresponsible and immoral.

    About Veganism and Animal Rights:

    No one at the Animal Rights community claims that it is a “crime against nature” to eat animals. In fact, the exploitation of the weak, wars, the rape of a child, the murder of child, are very “natural” phenomena – we see them practised widely among certain animals. The reason you can’t prove that it is moral to rape your daughter because “the lion rapes his daughter! so why isn’t it okay for me to do so?” is the same reason why you can’t prove it’s moral to eat animals because “the lion kills and eats animals! so why cant I?”.
    It is also worth noting that consuming dairy products is very unnatural – it is unnatural for any animal to consume the milk of another animal, especially after that animal had passed infancy.

    You have claimed that humans and non-human animals are dependant on each other for resources. FACT:
    Amount of water to produce a pound of wheat: 25 gallons
    Amount of water to produce a pound of meat: 2,500 gallons
    You can feed many more people growing wheat than you would using the same amount of water and same amount of land to grow animals for meat (and that is without considering that the animals are being grossly overfed wheat and other crops).

    You say that you think the moral argument is the least important, but I think it is the most important one.

    How can you justify the industrial torture and murder of millions of animals, just for your enjoyment?
    How can you justify lives (if you can even call them so) full of misery, pain, suffering, which end in a very brutal death – just for you to chew some steak or schnitzl?

    Animal products are not vital for your health, so you eat them plainly for the pleasure in it.

    Your thinking is flawed – you assume that because certain vegetarians are hypocrites than you can dismiss the issue of Animal Rights.

    These animals go through hell just so you could have a bit of enjoyment – can you really say that it is not cruel behaviour?

    To finish this late-night post, I’d like to quote Isaac Bashevis Singer, a Holocaust survivor and a Nobel prize winning author-
    “For the animals, everyday is Treblinka and all people are Nazis.”

    ~Guy

  11. Om

    Well, because you assume that once domesticated animals are returned to the wild they will perish, therefore you have an obligation to “keep” them as your pets. Since you’re accusing me of eating meat just “for the enjoyment and pleasure,” why don’t you let go your pets and let nature take its course? You know why you won’t do that? It’s because you find enjoyment and pleasure in locking them up in order to enjoy their companionship and treat them like a baby. Damn it, they’re wild animals, so why not just let them go free and return to the wild? Those who are fit to survive will survive – when we humans domesticated them, some of them survived while others didn’t so nature will do what it has to do so it doesn’t need your “oh, we have to take care of them, they’re so cute, blah blah.”

    Since your going to provide me with “facts,” why not bother to include your scholarly sources to back them up? Everyone has an opinion so whatever sources you will use to backup your claims it better be scholarly or your wonderful, humanitarianism/animal rights b.s. is just a front to cover your need to dominate pets who are just as powerless and abused with you than the greedy corporates whose end goal to provide maximum profits to its shareholders at the cost of being cruel and inhumane to animals. I find people like you to be the worst kind of hypocrite because you use “animal rights” b.s. to hide your guilt and shame in keeping pets for your selfish, and often, immoral ideals of ‘animal treatment’. If you don’t want to leave them and let them be in the wild, well, you’re quite an immoral person. At the least, we’re equal because I eat meat because it provides me with nutrition, and you keep pets because it provides you with emotional and companionship that you apparently can’t get from human relationship.

  12. Guy

    For cats and dogs, there is no wild anymore. They are not wild animals anymore. They are guaranteed to DIE if we “free” them to a natural environment, and that’s why it it irresponsible and immoral. Your comment about keeping them simply because they are cute does not apply, since we have responsibility to all of them, however cute they may be. I am not an advocate of enslaving them, I am an advocate of creating a proper reality for them, in which they are not dependant on humans. Releasing them to the “wild” after we have took their wildly instincts from them and made us dependant on us is irresponsible.

    “Diet for a New America” by John Robbins, among other sources whose names I do not recall right now.
    You have made absolutely no argument to justify the morality in meat-eating. You continue to dismiss the issue of animal rights based solely on your opinion that some animal rights activists are hypocrites and that some of them use the concept of animal rights as an ethical cover for their shame in keeping pets. You can believe in Animal Rights and be against keeping pets.
    You don’t eat meat just because it provides you with nutrition, you eat it because it pleasures you, because a diet without any animal products is more than sufficient for good health. So, how do you ethically justify meat eating?

  13. Om

    I never claimed I ethically justify meat eating. It’s just an instinct that evolution has encoded into my dna, whereas you deny yourself eating meat based on “ethics,” and “morality.” You view animals as if they’re human beings, whereas I don’t; although that doesn’t mean I accept or allow their mistreatment in anyway. Granted, with your view of animals based on human morality and ethics vis-a-vis, I understand how that can be contradictory to your sense of right and wrong when I eat meat but advocate for the freeing of all animals that have been domesticated or kept in zoo cages by us. Indeed, the difference between you and me is that I don’t have an ideology or manifesto that I have to adhere to when it comes to animals, whether it’s group-oriented or not. I simply adhere to my own sense of right and wrong, whether it is contrary to PETA’s platform or not. I’m not guided by ideology or religious edict. But I deplore the conditions livestocks are put through in profit-driven corporation’s feeding houses before the slaughterhouse just as I deplore seeing elephants and lions locked up in zoo cages for our “entertainment” (although the idea of breeding certain species in zoos to prevent extinction is noble, nonetheless I find it close to ill-treatment despise its noble purpose).

    I’m not against animal rights, in fact, I think I’m a progressive animal rights advocate because I don’t believe keeping pets in order to perpetuate the cycle of dependency. You’re right, many of these “pets” will not make it in the wild because some of them have become too dependent on humans, but many more will survive because it’s in their dna to survive. Nature is cruel, my friend. Many species have become extinct (some of them on the direct result of human activity) before, while others continue to thrive. Your approach to animals is contrary to nature; have you seen a wildlife film where a mother antelope is eaten by a lion? Should we get involved in that? Should we try to protect that mother because her cub will not be able to survive without her, which is the case? Of course not. If we let our pets go free, sure half or more of them will perish, but that’s just about the same thing as raising livestock for meat purpose where millions are killed. But only nature can balance the severe pet overpopulation the developed world faces. Instead of keeping pets for nothing more than we need to take of them because we made them ‘dependent’ on us, then we are once again intervening in nature as we did when we first domesticated cats, dogs, birds, etc etc.

  14. Guy

    If you cannot ethically justify meat-eating then the moral choice would be to stop eating meat. The fact that you are physically capable of doing something does not make that think moral or ethical – for example, you are physically able to rape (you also have an instinct to reproduce), murder, exploit those who are weaker than you, and many other actions, which you would probably call unethical. So why do you apply ethics on certain actions yet on others you do not? Why is it okay for you to eat meat, simply because it is natural for you – overriding ethics, yet it is not okay for someone else to rape another (reproduction is an instinct, and just like meat eating rape is practised widely in nature)? Most likely, because you are used to meat-eating, you like it, and it is inconvenient for you to stop.
    I definitely do not view animals as if they are human beings – they are different – but their difference doesn’t make it okay for humans to torture and kill them. The rights I believe animals have are not the same as the rights I believe humans have (for example – the right to be able to vote), but are rights specific to the animals. Animals have the right not to be killed, tortured and enslaved by humans – and meat-eating is a gross violation of these rights.

    I, too, adhere first and foremost to my own sense of right and wrong. So did Hitler, but that fact says absolutely nothing about the morality of my views, your views, or Hitler’s views.

    How can you deplore the conditions of livestock and zoo-animals, yet believe that the murder of millions of animals to be used as “food” is fine?
    You claim that “deplore seeing elephants and lions locked up in zoo cages for our “entertainment” ”
    Yet you eat meat solely for your entertainment. Allow me to quote Tolstoy –

    “A man can live and be healthy without killing animals for food; therefore, if he eats meat, he participates in taking animal life merely for the sake of his appetite. And to act so is immoral.” [On Civil Disobedience]
    You can live completely healthily without eating meat – therefore you eat meat simply because its ‘tasty’ – it provides you with entertainment, just like zoos and circuses provide entertainment.

    Nature is indeed cruel, but it is also unethical. It is natural for men to dominate women, for the stronger to dominate the weaker, and so on, but I doubt you would be at peace with such behaviour. Our whole system of ethics is therefore, unnatural. Lots of things nowadays are unnatural – but that is to say nothing about the morality in them (by the way, consuming the milk of another species, especially when past infancy, is very unnatural).

    Sorry for the delay, something unexpected had happened.
    ~Guy

  15. Om

    Guy,

    It is not fair to compare eating meat with murders and rapes. Secondly, if even though you acknowledge that you don’t see animals as humans, but you’re comparing my eating of animal meat to that of human murder, rape, etc. etc., at least that’s what you seem to imply.

    I also take issue with your suggestion that I eat meat for “entertainment” as if I’m going to a zoo to watch locked up lions – something that has no intrinsic value other than to enjoy seeing them live, while eating meat allows me to reblenish my body with nutrient. Yes, I can live “without” eating meat, which I do all the time (it’s not like I eat meat everyday to survive), but just because I eat meat whenever I can does not mean as if I’m raping someone or killing a child.

    To you it is unnatural for humans to eat/drink animal product, even though every mankind who have existed before us have survived on the domination of animals to the point where for me it is NATURAL to eat animal meat without moral or ethical ambiguity. Indeed, you have eaten/drank animal products before, it’s only until someone else convinced you that it’s unnatural/cruel/unethical for you to do so to animals.

    It is not fair to judge people based on your ethnocentric view of the world. Just because I find Hindus worshiping cows strange does not mean their beliefs is immoral or unethical based solely on my understanding of the world. More importantly, these morality and ethical standards you invoke are not universal, so your morality regarding vegetarianism is quite very limited, which means consuming animal products is universal just like killing or raping human beings is universally immoral (of course there are people who continue to kill, rob, rape…just like there are people who on the opposite end of the spectrum like you do not consume animal products because you have chosen to be ethical/moral about how you view animals). In the same sense, I don’t view eating meat as a moral or ethical question. It’s like walking down the street; there is no morality involved for me. In the same vein, I wouldn’t call you an immoralist for not eating meat because it’s your decision that which doesn’t affect me or anyone else.

  16. I’m going to go ahead and chime in, I’ll TRY to keep it short…

    I really am not that militant, I have all sorts of meat eating friends (I’m one of the only vegetarians I know in my area, so I have to be tolerant) but it may sound that way. I have a thing for honesty

    1. I am not 100% vegetarian (if it’s me vs a cow for survival the cow is getting eaten). Problem is (as Guy mentioned) that most Americans aren’t eating meat because it is necessary for survival. They’re eating it because they love the taste hamburgers. Kinda like a vampire enjoying the taste of blood…

    2. I love how meat lovers are so quick to defend their RIDICULOUS torture of animals. Its like a crack addict defending crack. As soon as I mention that I like vegetarianism people always start freaking out. I don’t freak out when people mention meat- and I really should. Why do you freak out for me NOT eating meat? You’re the one committing genocide, not me. Don’t you spit back in my face because I choose NOT to engage in bloodshed.

    3. Have you ever seen factory farms? You would vomit I don’t give a fuck who you are. That shit is DISGUSTING. http://www.all-creatures.org/articles/ar-avoid.html

    4. I’m not against meat eating…
    but hey, a Lion at least HUNTS down its prey and fights it and all that. There’s a big difference between that and growing animals in repulsive prison camp-esque conditions… Fat Americans for the most part aren’t out there hunting and fishing, they’re buying shit from big disgusting corporate farms.

    Think of the way the Native Americans (I’m part Iroquois) ate meat. They hunted from the wild herds. They never attempted to fence in or domesticate they simply hunted in a basic natural way. I have no problem with that. The thing I have a problem with is how a bunch of fat white cowboys came here 300 years ago, killed off all the natural herds, threw up fences that are basically SCARS across the land, cut down forests, and imported animals not even natural to the area then overbred them because the fat whities love the taste of hamburgers…

    As per the arguement that we need meat for nutrition: What does a bull eat? Grass. You think the biggest meathead linebacker in the world can take a bull down in a fair, unnarmed fight. Bullshit. What do Elephants eat? Leaves, thats what.

    Cows are majestic animals meant to wander across large areas of countryside leading their proud herds. They’re not supposed to be penned up in tiny corals living their lives out as if in the most horrible prison camps the world has ever seen just so that fatty mcwhiteguy can eat a big mac. It is a great dishonor and atrocity to commit against a noble creature.

    And thats not even getting into the issues with pollution and starvation caused by excess meat farming… Not to mention that many of the world’s worst diseases and plagues are spread by the practice of husbandry (keeping animals).

    And no, I dont like when people keep pets so don’t even try to pull that punch. I had a dog once who was an adopted stray- but I never kept her on a leash and when she finally left me I let her go because she was a free animal when I found her, and was a free animal when she left me.

    And FYI, my dog LOVED veggies. Beans were her favorite- just like me. People think its not possible for animals to eat veggies but thats not true at all. The body chemistry of a dog is almost identical to that of a human and all the same nutritional stuff applies. Yes, a vegeatian diet requires extra attention to detail but its worth it for your health alone. And no, I didnt force my dog to be a vegetarian, I always offered her both and she always enjoyed both just as much.

    Save a bull, eat a cowboy! Better yet, throw a cowboy in a tiny cage and force feed him for 5 years making him live in his own shit and hosing him down with cold water every day. When they get fat enough, we’ll slaughter em and eat em. With all the angry, racist, misogynistic, violent, warlike, gun toting, tree cutting, obnoxious, fat, abusive, polluting, egotystical American we could feed the starving children of the world for years. A modest proposal, I know- but it just might work. It would probably fix the global warming crisis and significantly improve world peace too…

    Well, its not very short winded, but its a serious subject. Husbandry is a scientifically STUPID practice. It may be one of the things that damns the human race in the long term. Sucks for us vegetarians that when this world’s environment spirals we will die with the fat white guys for their sins…

    Do you know that if the icecaps melt it will not only cause the water to rise, but it will release large amounts of sulfur from biotic collapse in the oceans and we’ll all be dissolved by sulfuric acid in the air. It will melt out lungs slowly but surely from the inside. A long, slow, excruciatingly painful death.

    Sweet dreams kiddies!

  17. oh, by the way anarchists arent gone, they just gave up on changing everyone else’s opinions (since that doesnt jive very well with anarchism). I’m NOT an anarchist, but I know lots of em they just dont really interact with society much anymore… Got sick of throwing themselves up against a brick wall.

    And as far as how justice is achieved in Anarchy? Its Wild Wild West style. You’d think the cowboys would be into that. What this does it prevents horrible people from hiding behind protection of the law.

    The thing I don’t like about Anarchy is that if enough evil people banded together (ie some of the African conflicts) they can easily overpower the good people. We need organization amongst the good people of the world to prevent this kind of thing. I definitely understand that. Its one of the main reasons I put up with meat head cowboys. At least those meat heads would get my back if someone were trying to hurt me.

    I just object to the FARMING PRACTICES that ignore any semblance of anything good and holy.

  18. Om

    You make a lot of sense to me, Skye.

  19. K.D.

    Hi….I’m both Vegan and Anarchist.

    Even though I know it is NOT on purpose, it upsets me when everyone hears that I am vegan and assumes just the same things that YOU too have assumed (I guess I shouldn’t be surprised).

    Similarly, vegetarian and vegan comrades give me flack when I say that I support TRADITIONAL free-range farming.

    I am vegan, but I support(not eat…yet!) and promote the free-range farms that have been heavily cut down in percentage since the 60’s, all due to factory farming. I promote these alternatives to meat-eaters, and if I am one day able to raise my own livestock then I will too eat meat.

    It’s funny you bring up pets, because a vegetarian was trying to tell me that I shouldn’t support free-range farming…that I should “treat them like my pets and not eat them when they die”.

    My response was similar to yours: OUR PETS ARE NOT FREE. If they run away, do we not put up flyers and waste shitloads of time trying to find them and drag them back to us? We do. They come to us for affection and for food, but in reality they wish to be free; without collars and emotional constraints.

    I also support acts such as hunting [though I do not participate in it]; my opinion is that it lived its life in freedom and without cruelty; it got to see the sun or have a family, and I will use every part of it’s body that I can. I respect animals for their individual sacrifices, which is what many seem to have a lack of today.

    I am Vegan because I do not support the factory farming methods: I believe that if we are gonig to slaughter and animal for use, then IT AT LEAST DESERVES PROPER TREATMENT while it is alive; it deserves our mecry at the least, and our respect at the greatest.

    Also, a reason I support taditional farming methods is 1. because of the ANIMAL ABUSE that occurs in factory farms in most cases (if you want to tell yourself that its isolated, then go ahead, but you are dreaming) and 2. because if we let animals roam free and reproduce without our control (farms, preservations, etc) then this simply wouldn’t work. If you compare the act of havig unregulated animal growth with that of the rate at which humans are depleteing forests and expanding industrialization, then it will never be possible for animals to truly be free in out world. We must control them somehow (at least, if you support a capitalist society of sorts). Then, pair the latter with the growing human population. You’d have 10x as many deer, cows, getting hit by cars or having their homes destroyed, and roaming downtown. They would die out anyways, and most likely return to the state they were in before such a radical transition, or they would worsen.

    Also….anarchy is not near extinction haha. I know many, many young people (as in under the age of 20…and I’m one) who are all about the realities of thise movement. Similar to my Vegan ways, I do not usually promote my anarchist ways on anyone. I respect that people can do whatever they wish, as long as it not does not infringe phsyical, emotional, etc. harm on others. I hope to one day live in a small, self-sustaining community or confine. Plus, I really like nature and I don’t like to worry about money….or the human rights abuses and animal rigths abuses that come with capitalism…but that’s just me.

    The key is that I realize (like you said…and you hit the nail right on the head) there will never be a pure anarchist society, just as there has never been a pure ANYTHING. So, why not just live my life how I want to, and let others do the same? Humans are meant to be individual and confrontational in nature; thus there will never be peace or total conformity without some discourse.

    I also realize that having a “pure” vegan or vegetarian world is a ridiculous concept as well, which is why I believe free-range farming is a great thing to promote. I think that any progress in the name of animal rights is progress nonetheless.

    Let’s have our meat and have our capitalism, but let’s try to make it humane for all species. That’s what I’m about!

    Anyways…this was a really interesting post!

  20. Emma Holland

    Animals CHOSE to be domesticated. You say it’s cruel – but dogs – who are genetically 100% wolves – chose to hang around humans. Free food and a safe, easy life – who wouldn’t?! Mistreatment is something that yes, should be stamped out. But the middle-age woman “fulfilling her emotional vacuum through the domestication of a dog” is NOT mistreating her animal. Not unless she feeds it properly, anyway. Canned pet food is basically mistreatment in my view.

    Veganism is ridiculous. Sorry, but it is. Simply put, it’s arrogance – you can’t get out of that circle. Agriculture – buying into agriculture is basically what veganism IS – has destroyed more habitats than organic, free-range farming ever could. And it’s not healthy. It’s not.

    Locavore paleo. Look it up.

  21. yanech

    Om,

    Writing the word “natural” in capitals doesn’t mean anything. I’d like to say that nature is versatile. All the things that happened in earth has its own causes and consequences. There are no rules that helps it to work, or saves it from dying. “Rule” is a term that is created by men.

    There are very few vegan who have been vegan since birth. So, you have to acknowlegde that, probably, the vegan/vegetarian you’re arguing with had eaten meat for some (probably not only some) time in his/her life. So, I, as a person who had eaten meat for 16 years, and hadn’t eaten meat for 3 years, declare that there’s no such thing as natural or unnatural. Many vegetarians might claim that eating meat is unnatural, altough I don’t approve it. Even if there’s a concrete factor of natural/unnatural, I don’t think looking back into history, and saying “Hey, my ancestors have done it, so it’s natural for me to do it!” is ethically right 🙂 Yep, I made a joke about ethical point of view. Because I think you miss a great thing that has been created by men. Which is also as versatile as nature. It’s ethics. It’s ethical point of view that fight with patriarchy, rapes’n murders, abusing of child or disabled people who can’t fight for their own rights. You can’t just pick one of these and throw it out of your ethically concerned list. In conclusion, justifying eat meating in natural basis is no different from raping. It doesn’t matter whether the subject is human or not.

    Also, choosing not to perceive something morally, which is killing, enslaving and torturing animals in great scales for food, is not an excuse. There’s nothing wrong with comparing eating meat and murders, rapes etc. You say that it is unfair to say that, but you don’t clearly explain it. Also, it’s not just the rapes and murders (which are obviously unethical) but also mentally disabled rights, child rights. Think of a mentally disabled human who has no relatives nor friends. S/he can’t defend his/her own rights and has no benefit to society at all. It’s the ethics that save his/her life. It’s the ethics that make government pay him/her some money.

    All I want to say is using such an abstract factor (the naturality) to justify your choose of not to see meat eating as an ethical problem is no good.

    P.S. I don’t think of myself as a superior human being or something like that. I’m just trying to life my humble life, free from feeling of guilt. It’s not easy to live a vegan life in current societes on world. I don’t have dozens of vegan friends like me. A lot of people make fun of me when they hear that I am vegan. For this reason, even though I don’t approve the way the other vegetarians think, I find this criticize of vegetarianism disturbing. At least, they’re trying to do something.

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