Lindsay Beyerstein over at bigthink.com wrote a piece criticizing another piece about veganism. You know she’s expecting the “typical militant, self-righteous, vegan tirade.” Allow me.
After a brief introduction to the vegan piece she’s about to criticize, Beyerstein wastes no time in beginning her assault on veganism with the often asserted, misguided assumption that veganism is a disruption to life,
…a way of deliberately disrupting your own life to force yourself to constantly reflect on your values…
Thanks for reminding all of us that change is hard, so we shouldn’t do it, and that it’s a waste of time to reflect upon one’s values. Now we can all get back to doing nothing.
After using ironic, and certainly dubious, terms such as, “ethically and sustainably raised animal products,” comes this little number,
Yes, meat production is environmentally expensive. So is iPod production, yet many vegans own iPods.
To assert that iPod production is as environmentally devastating as livestock production is, frankly, fucking stupid. By this reasoning, all production of goods is environmentally devastating. I suppose we’ll just all say, “fuck it,” and consume unabated, reproduce, and teach our children the same self-destructive behaviour. After all, the planet expands as the human population increases, right? Nothing to worry about except our own tastes and desires.
The author then assumes cows and chickens have no real concept of really living or dying, implying we can pretty much do with them what we please. The hubris of humans when it comes to the understanding of the natural world is painfully evident throughout modern history.
If human farmers allow them to live pleasantly and die painlessly, and other animals take their place, the arrangement seems acceptable.
That’s a big, unlikely “If.” The fact is, the vast majority of the animals being eaten did not live pleasantly or die painlessly. The subsequent animals taking their place live and die the same, in the same destructive system.
And, for more hubris regarding science,
Of course, the animals don’t have a choice in all this. But ideals of choice and consent aren’t applicable to creatures that don’t have rational thought.
You sound like a monster. If a creature (human or otherwise) was deemed to lack rational thought, denying choice and consent would act to protect that creature- not exploit them. Only monsters exploit the weaknesses of others for their own advantage.
There’s seemingly no end to any of this.
There is certainly no moral advantage to swearing off honey. Bees keep vegetable farmers in business. For that matter, why shouldn’t we keep chickens for their eggs, or cows for their milk?
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the author for explaining that honey isn’t vegan. As she correctly points out, it’s the same concept as chicken eggs and cow milk. Now I’d like to take this same opportunity to deride the author for her naivety. Bees do a better job for vegetable farmers when they are wild, natural bees- not weak, diseased domesticated bees.
…if animals are kept humanely, it’s a mutually advantageous relationship.
Another big, fucking “if.” I could disagree and argue your, “mutually advantageous relationship” all day, but back to the big, fucking “if.” If all the livestock animals were kept humanely for human consumption, they could never be produced on the massive scale they are presently. It’s simply not feasible economically. The number of humans on the globe desiring the taste for meat and other animal products would not allow it. Only cheap products can meet the demands of today, and “humane” meat isn’t cheap. Hell, without subsidies, many Americans couldn’t afford it. People in developing countries with expanding economies are demanding more meat. How will this demand be met- with “humanely raised, happy cows?” Your big “if” turns meat into a luxury only the rich will be able to afford. I’m the first to agree that the true cost of meat should be on the price tag, but I’m also one who questions the morality of such things produced solely for the wealthy at the expense of the less fortunate.
When I’ve become dumbfounded beyond belief that so much… shit has been spewed, I read this,
I’m just going to come right out and say it: My delight in a pot of chicken stock, and the delight of all the people I share it with, is worth more than the life of a barely self-aware chicken.
I’m just going to come right out and say it too: First, you’re an asshole. Chickens, like dogs, chimps, and humans are sentient beings and science has confirmed it knows little about non-human animal psychology. Your assumption is arrogant and self righteous, to say the least. Your delights cost more than the chicken you refer to. Perhaps the greatest cost is to the disservice you do to human compassion and intelligence. We all enjoy life’s pleasures, but what makes us moral, ethical beings is how we treat others- people, other animals, our natural environment- when pursuing those pleasures. Lastly, justifying your actions by playing the “intelligent, rational life-form with free-will” card, makes you appear, well, like an arrogant, self righteous asshole. It’s the same line of bullshit perpetuated through the ages that has destroyed civilizations and now brings our planet to the brink of environmental collapse.
Good day, all. I feel better now.