Issues with Veganism

permabulk

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There are all kinds of non-vegan people, so all kinds of activist approaches can work. Anger shows that something is important. Some people respond well to gory images of animal abuse. And shame definitely does positively alter some people's behavior.

Honestly, if someone is going to "write off" a message about suffering and exploitation simply because the message isn't delivered in one's ideal fashion, the problem is not the messenger. One could be the nastiest, most judgmental, insulting, and shocking activist on Earth, but if the messages is "don't murder children," most people would still agree with the message. The problem is that people don't take the message seriously enough, whether they don't care at all or they care about their hurt egos or retaining their animal-consuming habits more.

Now if you are talking about people who aren't really trying to do vegan activism and are simply using veganism as a pretext to disrespect and psychologically manipulate others...well that's too bad, but it's also not a legitimate reason for people to ignore or reject the idea of veganism; in fact it doesn't reflect on veganism at all because it ultimately doesn't have anything to do with veganism. Vegans can be people who do something positive but still have shitty personality traits or ineffective approaches, just like anyone else can. We do not have to be paragons of humanity just for veganism to be taken seriously.

Discussion of optimal (and sub-optimal) methods of activism is fine, but I think that legitimizing such excuses for people's rejection of veganism is generally unproductive. What I mean is that non-vegans don't reject veganism because vegans are assholes; non-vegans reject veganism because they themselves ultimately decide to not become vegans. Nobody is responsible for that decision except the person who makes it. So I see no benefit to implying that vegans are turning people off of veganism because we literally do not have the power to make that decision for independent individuals; we can only present the idea better or worse.
 
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Tom L.

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.......Honestly, if someone is going to "write off" a message about suffering and exploitation simply because the message isn't delivered in one's ideal fashion, the problem is not the messenger. One could be the nastiest, most judgmental, insulting, and shocking activist on Earth, but if the messages is "don't murder children," most people would still agree with the message. The problem is that people don't take the message seriously enough, whether they don't care at all or they care about their hurt egos or retaining their animal-consuming habits more.
Well, yes and no. I vaguely remember that this is referred to as an "ad hominem" argument: someone rejects an argument because they don't like the person making it- and this is not considered to be valid in logical, philosophical discourse. But let's face it: it IS sometimes asking a lot of someone to seriously consider an argument when the person making it makes them want to run outside and bite a car tire. On a more personal note, I distinctly remember some folks trying to tell me someone (such as a hunter or rancher) could genuinely care about the animals they killed. Not only did I NOT buy this- I developed an almost irresistible tendency to blow off whatever they said about ANYTHING.

EDITED TO ADD: In fact, this was a major factor pushing me toward first pescatarianism, then veg*nism.

Now if you are talking about people who aren't really trying to do vegan activism and are simply using veganism as a pretext to disrespect and psychologically manipulate others...well that's too bad, but it's also not a legitimate reason for people to ignore or reject the idea of veganism; .....

Whoa! I've met quite a few pescatarians, vegetarians, and vegans, and a few of them appeared to have bad attitudes IMHO- but I've never come across that. And with good reason: it wouldn't work. The non-veg folks I mentioned just above would not have been impressed AT ALL by someone's veganism- because they didn't consider it worth doing, and probably thought I was just depriving myself of foods I would have enjoyed for no good reason (although they did not say so, therefore I can't be sure what they thought).

The fundamental driver for veg*ism (and sometimes pescatarianism * ) is a concern for animals- and someone either has it or they don't.

* - from the age of 16 to 20, I was a pescatarian, although that term did not exist yet!!! Maybe it was because fish and other "simpler" animals are cold-blooded and have simpler nervous systems, or because my family fished but did not hunt- but for whatever reason, it took me some time to learn to care more.
 
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Lou

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The fundamental driver for veg*ism (and sometimes pescatarianism * ) is a concern for animals- and someone either has it or they don't.

Um... but it can be developed. or develop.
I think it was Dr. Joy who said the all children are born with loads of compassion but over time they are "taught" or conditioned to repress it.

I think few of us here were born vegan or even became vegan as youngsters. However over time thru education and experience we adopted the philosophy.
 
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Lou

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@Lou Maybe I'm being too pessimistic, and I should expect or hope for more. On second thought: there's no "maybe" about it! After all, the worst that can happen would be that people DON'T improve their attitude toward animals, and I'm disappointed (like I already am).

I don't know about Dr Joy's comment. She's a psychologist (I think?) and I'm not. But I have observed that most people have a tendency to conform. As I mentioned, I've been fortunate that I haven't gotten shade for my veg*nism, but it's definitely not the norm for someone to have as much concern for animals as those of us here do.
Dr. Joy is a psychologist

I do remember her comments on compassion and youth. I'm not sure if she was involved with any studies that proved it but I have no reason to doubt it.
Just visit a 3rd grade classroom after they finish Charlotte's web and ask the kids who wants bacon.
Also after kids come back from a demonstration farm they are more interested in adopting a lamb than eating one.

I still thing children have a lot of empathy but I think they are taught at a very young age to disconnect empathy for animals and meals.
(sorry, I could have said that better)
 
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Lou

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I saw this article this morning and I think this is the right thread to post it. It pretty much reinforces and validates some of my opinions.
The study is a pretty small one but the author of the article uses a lot of examples and anecdotes.

 

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Dr. Joy is a psychologist

I do remember her comments on compassion and youth. I'm not sure if she was involved with any studies that proved it but I have no reason to doubt it.
Just visit a 3rd grade classroom after they finish Charlotte's web and ask the kids who wants bacon.
Also after kids come back from a demonstration farm they are more interested in adopting a lamb than eating one.

I still thing children have a lot of empathy but I think they are taught at a very young age to disconnect empathy for animals and meals.
(sorry, I could have said that better)

The Fate of Children in an Inhumane Society

Dr. Michael W. Fox
April 2022

In the recently published article The Development of Speciesism: Age-Related Differences in the Moral View of Animals by British reaearchers Luke McGuire, Sally Palmer and and Nadira S. Faber in Social Psychological and Personality Science, April 11th 2022, the authors summarized their findings as follows:
“Humans care for the well-being of some animals (e.g., dogs) yet tacitly endorse the maltreatment of others (e.g., pigs). What treatment is deemed morally appropriate for an animal can depend on whether the animal is characterized as “food.” When such categorization of animals emerges and when a moral hierarchy of beings depending on their species membership (speciesism) develops is poorly understood. We investigate this development across samples of children (9–11 years old), young adults (18–21 years old), and adults (29–59 years old; total N = 479). Compared with young adults and adults, children (a) show less speciesism, (b) are less likely to categorize farm animals as food than pets, (c) think farm animals ought to be treated better, and (d) deem eating meat and animal products to be less morally acceptable. These findings imply that there are key age-related differences in our moral view of an animal worth that point to socially constructed development over the lifespan.”

Evidently the missing link between the fully human and other animals has been discovered. It is the most carnivorous, invasive, cruel and murderous of all the primate species. It is us. The chimeric, bipolar nature of this modern protohuman psyche, from rescuer to rapist, healer to harmer and artist to autocrat is a product of familial and cultural epigenetics, for better and for worse.

The best of human nature can be nurtured and inspired by humane education and example, striving to live in accord with the Golden Rule and the virtues extended to embrace respect for all life.

Planting the seeds of compassion and empathy in childhood, facilitated by living with an animal companion like a loyal and loving dog, can do much to help us evolve into a more civilized species. Cruelty toward animals in childhood has been linked to sociopathic and psychopathic violence in adulthood. Children need help in growing up in a culture of violence toward Nature and other species and learning how they can make a difference and not become desensitized and accepting of cultural “norms” of inhumanity, speciesism and racism. Several universities are now offering courses in humane education, with one – Antioch University in partnership with the Institute for Humane Education – offering online M.Ed., M.A., Ed.D., and Graduate Certificate programs specializing in humane education. The creator of these programs, Zoe Weil, is also author of the #1 Amazon Best Seller The World Becomes What We Teach.

To realize that we are all part of the cosmic miracle of life and consciousness puts the significance of our individual existence in the broader dimension of awakening our sense of kinship with all life necessary to transcend self-centeredness and anthropocentrism. Empathic sensitivity and ethical sensibility may then arise spontaneously, reducing the need for moral instruction and law enforcement.
 
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VeganRachel

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I saw this article this morning and I think this is the right thread to post it. It pretty much reinforces and validates some of my opinions.
The study is a pretty small one but the author of the article uses a lot of examples and anecdotes.

Thank you for posting this article.
I wanted to go into advertising years ago, but began understanding how marketers easily manipulate humans into
believing the marketing hype. I decided I did not want a career that promoted products that were not healthy or good for the
environment, just to sell them. Children are subject to watching thousands of violent episodes by the time they are
teenagers. It is not surprising that animal agriculture manipulates their minds into believing that farm animals are
happy creatures and that we are not harming them. Kids coloring books show serene images of farm animals happy,
outside in the grass with the sun shining on them. But there is a reason we take kids to apple and pumpkin farms. not
on a field trip to industrial dairy farms or to slaughterhouses.
I also believe children are numbed by drugs, vaccines, fluoride in their water, toothpaste, fluoride pills, and malnourished by their diets.
Their brains do not think as well as they should, including toward compassion and empathy. To them, chicken and burgers are food.
Also its' one scary time for kids when they are told to be afraid of 'viruses" and to wear a diaper on their faces for 'protection'. Many
kids today are on anti-depressant drugs and need more playtime outside and having fun as kids.
 

VeganRachel

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The Fate of Children in an Inhumane Society

Dr. Michael W. Fox
April 2022

In the recently published article The Development of Speciesism: Age-Related Differences in the Moral View of Animals by British reaearchers Luke McGuire, Sally Palmer and and Nadira S. Faber in Social Psychological and Personality Science, April 11th 2022, the authors summarized their findings as follows:
“Humans care for the well-being of some animals (e.g., dogs) yet tacitly endorse the maltreatment of others (e.g., pigs). What treatment is deemed morally appropriate for an animal can depend on whether the animal is characterized as “food.” When such categorization of animals emerges and when a moral hierarchy of beings depending on their species membership (speciesism) develops is poorly understood. We investigate this development across samples of children (9–11 years old), young adults (18–21 years old), and adults (29–59 years old; total N = 479). Compared with young adults and adults, children (a) show less speciesism, (b) are less likely to categorize farm animals as food than pets, (c) think farm animals ought to be treated better, and (d) deem eating meat and animal products to be less morally acceptable. These findings imply that there are key age-related differences in our moral view of an animal worth that point to socially constructed development over the lifespan.”

Evidently the missing link between the fully human and other animals has been discovered. It is the most carnivorous, invasive, cruel and murderous of all the primate species. It is us. The chimeric, bipolar nature of this modern protohuman psyche, from rescuer to rapist, healer to harmer and artist to autocrat is a product of familial and cultural epigenetics, for better and for worse.

The best of human nature can be nurtured and inspired by humane education and example, striving to live in accord with the Golden Rule and the virtues extended to embrace respect for all life.

Planting the seeds of compassion and empathy in childhood, facilitated by living with an animal companion like a loyal and loving dog, can do much to help us evolve into a more civilized species. Cruelty toward animals in childhood has been linked to sociopathic and psychopathic violence in adulthood. Children need help in growing up in a culture of violence toward Nature and other species and learning how they can make a difference and not become desensitized and accepting of cultural “norms” of inhumanity, speciesism and racism. Several universities are now offering courses in humane education, with one – Antioch University in partnership with the Institute for Humane Education – offering online M.Ed., M.A., Ed.D., and Graduate Certificate programs specializing in humane education. The creator of these programs, Zoe Weil, is also author of the #1 Amazon Best Seller The World Becomes What We Teach.

To realize that we are all part of the cosmic miracle of life and consciousness puts the significance of our individual existence in the broader dimension of awakening our sense of kinship with all life necessary to transcend self-centeredness and anthropocentrism. Empathic sensitivity and ethical sensibility may then arise spontaneously, reducing the need for moral instruction and law enforcement.
Thank you for sharing. I agree, kids are conditioned to not think about the humanity of their food choices, including by parents
who want them to eat what they are feeding them. My omnivore family did they best they could, but taught me that it was
normal to eat animals, eggs, and dairy. I never once heard about the life of those animals by my parents, who accepted the
eating of animals as perfectly normal and okay. They are "food", not living breathing farm animals.
You will notice that animal agriculture brainwashes humans with "humane" labels of animal products. This distracts the
consumer from thinking about the sentience of animals, to feeling better about eating animals because it was instead
"humanely raised", natural, antibiotic free, cage-free, grass-fed, or free-range. The human brain reads the friendly words and
therefore okays purchasing the products. Its' manipulative psychology, because animal agriculture knows the industry is
unkind, cruel, selfish and murderous. They do not want to lose customers to these truths. This is similar to the Bush wars, where we
were told the war used "friendly-fire" and "patriot missles". Or, similar to manipulative tactics of big tobacco who wanted to keep
customers smoking their cancer-ettes. Those terms okay the inhumanity of what we were really doing, and sanitizes it. Cheers.
 
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Hog

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"generating a toxic amount of shame" - Sprout Skies

I might be very out of touch with reality. I am not seeing vegans attempting to create a toxic amount of shame.
 

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Huh??!!
on my screen her text starts a new line in the middle of sentences.
I just tried something. I if zoom out a few notches it becomes normal looking.
There are always extremists, but extremists can create a false impression of the majority. Not all vegan/plant based people are motivated for the same reasons, for some people it is about the animal creulty, some people are motivated by the environmental impact, others are motivated by their health. All of these reasons are good reasons.
 
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