So if you're a vegan parent living in Belgium, I guess it's time to get out :(

Lou

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Wasn't there something like that in Italy a few years back?
 

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My first instinct was to laugh this off...it seems so absurd and desperate.

But now I'm wondering if I've underestimated the potential for backlash.

I live and work just a few blocks from the Missouri state capitol where a near total ban on abortion was just sent to the governor's desk. Seems like you can look all over the world and see backsliding towards ignorance and oppression.

The increasing corporate buy-in and social awareness of veganism is encouraging but maybe we shouldn't get cocky.
 
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Lou

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I thought maybe I would take a few minutes and drill down a bit.

Except for the headline the Telegraph appears to do a good job reporting. The headline is at least misleading. But if you read all the way to the bottom you get a clearer picture.


It appears that at least 2 babies have died. It is not clear that their parents were vegan. But even if they were, there was more than just a diet to be blamed. And it might be different in Belgium but here in America, it is not constitutional to legislate common sense.

The most alarming thing (to me) was the ignorant statements made by The Royal Academy of Medicine of Belgium. The one quoted by the paper was "The opinion said it was unethical to subject children to the diet because it didn’t include animal proteins and vital amino acids which can help growth and prevent health problems."

"Animal proteins"? Which ones are those? "Vital amino acids"?

It seems to me that if you wanted new legislature it should be simply that if a child's life is endangered by the parents they should lose custody and be prosecuted. But I bet that one is already on the books.

Here in Califonia, there is no law for driving your car with your baby and baby seat on the top of your car. But idiots do it all the time. To the best of my knowledge, no one is proposing a law to prevent that. But if your kid gets hurt as a result you do go to jail (which seems a little harsh - even to me). We DO have a law that states it's illegal to lock your dog in your car. Hmm. I wonder if we have one for babies?

The best thing in the Telegraph's article is that towards the bottom they asked PETA for a comment.

Dawn Carr, of PETA, said, "What a load of ignorant codswallop!"

There is more. and some more pro-vegan stuff from other sources. But all at the bottom. And most people don't read all the way down. In fact, some people just read the headline and maybe a few more lines. And in this case, that was where the most damaging statements were.

But I think the Telegraph did a pretty good job with their reporting.

I also found a news article on the baby that died in Italy.

 
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Lou

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@Sax

Your state legislators are making your state look bad. They are evil idiots. But the good people of the Great State of Missouri elected them.

YOU need to vote them out of office.

990

 

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The root of the problem isn't the legislators...it's the lack of economic opportunity and cultural irrelevancy of rural communities. Bitter people seek out hateful leaders.

Veganism seems inherently more liberal than conservative to me. As it continues to grow I wouldn't be surprised if it becomes part of the culture war. Honestly I would like to see that - it should be a focus of cultural debate - but we should expect some very real backlash. This Belgian opinion may be the tip of the iceberg.
 

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@Sax

I think its more circular. The government helps to create a " lack of economic opportunity". And the bitter people couldn't vote for hateful leaders if they weren't on the ballot. And lets not even get started on Voter Equality.

One of the political pundits I listen to the thought that maybe these Abortion bans would backfire on the Republicans. The lack of exceptions is going to be a tough pill to swallow.

How the heck are we ever going to get Animal Rights when People Rights are being eroded.

As far as the culture wars go. Many of my political/economic objectives seem to be talking points among the 2020 presidential hopefuls. The Green New Deal could help reduce livestock production. and the Progressives are talking about breaking up the agriculture monopolies.
 
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I'm very skeptical that the lack of exceptions is gonna be an issue with the base. For one it's actually more philosophically consistent. But the fact that it's so extreme, something that would have been unthinkable ten years ago, is a clear demonstration of the power and ascendancy of the far-right and is thus a feature not a bug. Even those who disagree on a policy level still feel some emotional validation. And now they're not the ones trying to take rights away...they actually want to give some rights back to women! Look how moderate they are! I can't believe they'll punish the people who put them in that position.

Some of these laws are actually designed to be rejected by the lower courts so that they'll be taken up by the orange man's supreme court. Again, a feature not a bug.
 

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[QUOTE="Sax, post: 23958, member: 2694".
Some of these laws are actually designed to be rejected by the lower courts so that they'll be taken up by the orange man's supreme court. Again, a feature not a bug.
[/QUOTE]
Yes. I'm pretty sure that is their strategy. And the state lawmakers are hoping that it is their law that goes to the Supreme Court and defeats Roe. I'm not sure that is a good strategy but I'm pretty sure that is what this is about.
But the lack of exceptions might just be the flaw. I think reasonable people think there has to be exceptions.
 

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I read the linked article (linked in the OP's link): https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/05/16/parents-raise-children-vegans-should-prosecuted-say-belgian/

and found this:
"The pediatrician said, “When we are children, the body manufactures brain cells. This implies higher requirements for protein and essential fatty acids. The body does not produce them, it must be brought in via animal proteins.
One must wonder at times how these people can continue to spout ignorance, especially in such a role as a pediatrician, when such information on protein and essential fatty acids is available to everyone with an internet connection. Doing a quick (and by no means exhaustive) search on self nutrition.com I found the following values for omega 3 essential fatty acids:


Essential fatty acids- omega 3 (per 100g):

Flaxseed: 22813mg
Chia: 17552mg
Walnuts: 9079mg
Butternuts: 8719mg
Sweet red peppers: 775mg
Sweet green peppers: 770mg
Crude Wheat germ: 723mg
Sauteed yellow onions: 660mg
Scalloped potatoes: 470mg
Cos Lettuce: 113mg
Oats: 111mg
Hulled barley: 110mg

Compared to:

Beef brain: 1238mg - because beef brain is a child's ideal food...
Beef rib: 500mg

The pediatrician is probably just as clueless as to where protein can be obtained without subjecting the child to excess cholesterol, heme iron, TMAO, neu5gc, possible bacterial infections, saturated fat, heavy metals from fish etc...
 
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The root of the problem isn't the legislators...it's the lack of economic opportunity and cultural irrelevancy of rural communities. Bitter people seek out hateful leaders.

Veganism seems inherently more liberal than conservative to me. As it continues to grow I wouldn't be surprised if it becomes part of the culture war. Honestly I would like to see that - it should be a focus of cultural debate - but we should expect some very real backlash. This Belgian opinion may be the tip of the iceberg.

Hmmmmm.....gonna have to disagree with your conclusion about veganism seeming inherently more liberal than conservative to you. By orders of magnitude, the largest vegan population on the planet consists of religiously and politically conservative people in the northern parts of India. Speaking of Western civilizations, the largest cohesive group of vegans consists of the Seventh-Day Adventists and, while perhaps not as religiously and politically conservative as evangelicals, they are far more so than progressives/liberals.

The fact is that this is NOT part of the culture war, and given that both sides are searching constantly for new areas to disagree about, I think that says something. And why on earth would you WANT it to be so? You want a polarized world on this topic? How many animals is THAT going to save? How about reaching out to people you disagree with politically to try to find areas of agreement rather than trying to find areas of disagreement? Unless you believe that everyone you disagree with politically is evil, then you shouldn't assume they have every characteristic we might want to ascribe to an evil person. To wit:

"The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either, but right through every human heart." Solzhenitsyn

A good example of the precise opposite of what you are proposing is the abortion issue. If we're honest, pro-choice people have some soul searching to do regarding the abortion issue raised by many other people in this thread. I assume we'd all be against harvesting unborn but alive cats, dogs, cows, pigs, or birds for use as resources (e.g., scientific research), because we think it will improve our health, or just because it is convenient, but we have no problem supporting the same for humans (for scientific research--think stem cells--for concerns about the health of the mother, or for convenience). Or, really for ANY reason, right? Why is an unborn cluster of dog cells untouchable but an unborn cluster of human cells is fair game? Or, I guess we can admit that it is ok to harvest unborn animals for scientific research because that cluster of cells is not really a dog yet, is not really a cat yet, is not really a cow yet, that seems to be the only escape hatch available. Ouch.

Also, referring to rural America as culturally irrelevant is just....so unbelievably condescending...not to mention untrue. Coastal elites are no better than the rural Americans they mock. Frankly, if the coastal elites weren't constantly acting as if they were superior, we wouldn't have the backlash that led to Trump.

Sorry for the tone of this message and I don't mean anything personal. You definitely hit a few of my touchy points as I am sure I have hit some of yours. I hope this little exchange can get a few people to think a little bit, nothing more.
 

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@John Carusohn car

I like your post and the intention of it, but I have a few semantic quibbles.

I would hesitate to label religious groups as vegans. They certainly are vegetarians. They may even be strict vegetarians. But the accepted definition of the word vegan pretty much revolves around the idea of trying NOT to exploit animals.

I also don't like some of your assumptions about pro-choice.

Also, harvesting stem cells from humans is not done without their consent. The same can not be said about medical animal research.
 

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Thanks for your perspective.

Hmmmmm.....gonna have to disagree with your conclusion about veganism seeming inherently more liberal than conservative to you. By orders of magnitude, the largest vegan population on the planet consists of religiously and politically conservative people in the northern parts of India. Speaking of Western civilizations, the largest cohesive group of vegans consists of the Seventh-Day Adventists and, while perhaps not as religiously and politically conservative as evangelicals, they are far more so than progressives/liberals.
I was referring to veganism as an ideology, not a diet. An ideology that sees all animal products and all animal exploitation as unacceptable. Strict vegetarianism and ahimsa are consistent with this ideology but aren't equivalent. No doubt many feel they are practicing ahimsa while they wear leather, wool and silk and stir milk and honey into their tea.

And I used the terms liberal and conservative in the context of modern US politics.

In that context conservatism is very much interested in entrenching existing power structures and protecting them from social changes. Conservative constituents and politicians are disproportionately from rural areas where animal agriculture holds outsized political clout and that has a real impact on the conservative intellectual sphere.

The liberal side is hardly a bastion of vegan friendliness, of course. Veganism seems to trigger a tribalistic response very similar to partisanship IME.

I see liberals as more open to veganism for several reasons. Mainly every vegan I've ever known IRL has been on the political left and you're one of the very few conservative vegans I've met online. Openness to social change is another. I hesitate to claim things like tolerance of minorities and compassion for the oppressed as liberal turf, but unfortunately I haven't seen enough of that from conservatives in the time I've been politically aware.

What aspects of conservatism do you see as being most vegan-friendly? Like, if I were talking to a conservative about veganism, what lines of reasoning would be most effective to help them understand my viewpoint?

The fact is that this is NOT part of the culture war, and given that both sides are searching constantly for new areas to disagree about, I think that says something. And why on earth would you WANT it to be so? You want a polarized world on this topic? How many animals is THAT going to save? How about reaching out to people you disagree with politically to try to find areas of agreement rather than trying to find areas of disagreement?
I just want animal liberation to be a topic of national discussion. I want it to be something everyone has a strong opinion on. Because right now they don't. Right now most people never even think about it. It doesn't have to be a partisan debate but I predict that it will be, and I would be happy to see that come about because it would mean we were finally dragging out an ancient, horrific abuse into the light and grappling with whether that belongs in the kind of society we want to live in. If it alienates some conservatives so be it.

On a personal level I do try to focus on areas of agreement. But I suspect the tactics that succeed in one-on-one discussions are pretty different from the tactics that succeed at instigating a national debate.

Also, referring to rural America as culturally irrelevant is just....so unbelievably condescending...not to mention untrue. Coastal elites are no better than the rural Americans they mock. Frankly, if the coastal elites weren't constantly acting as if they were superior, we wouldn't have the backlash that led to Trump.
Cultural clout is vastly imbalanced towards coastal metropolitan areas. That is so obvious it isn't worthy of debate. I didn't mean anything negative by it, certainly not that people on the coast are superior...it's just an outcome of the many changes in the country in the past 70 years or so. Those last two sentences of yours demonstrate my original point....bitter people seek hateful leaders.
 
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Forest Nymph

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Hmmmmm.....gonna have to disagree with your conclusion about veganism seeming inherently more liberal than conservative to you. By orders of magnitude, the largest vegan population on the planet consists of religiously and politically conservative people in the northern parts of India. Speaking of Western civilizations, the largest cohesive group of vegans consists of the Seventh-Day Adventists and, while perhaps not as religiously and politically conservative as evangelicals, they are far more so than progressives/liberals.

The fact is that this is NOT part of the culture war, and given that both sides are searching constantly for new areas to disagree about, I think that says something. And why on earth would you WANT it to be so? You want a polarized world on this topic? How many animals is THAT going to save? How about reaching out to people you disagree with politically to try to find areas of agreement rather than trying to find areas of disagreement? Unless you believe that everyone you disagree with politically is evil, then you shouldn't assume they have every characteristic we might want to ascribe to an evil person. To wit:

"The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either, but right through every human heart." Solzhenitsyn

A good example of the precise opposite of what you are proposing is the abortion issue. If we're honest, pro-choice people have some soul searching to do regarding the abortion issue raised by many other people in this thread. I assume we'd all be against harvesting unborn but alive cats, dogs, cows, pigs, or birds for use as resources (e.g., scientific research), because we think it will improve our health, or just because it is convenient, but we have no problem supporting the same for humans (for scientific research--think stem cells--for concerns about the health of the mother, or for convenience). Or, really for ANY reason, right? Why is an unborn cluster of dog cells untouchable but an unborn cluster of human cells is fair game? Or, I guess we can admit that it is ok to harvest unborn animals for scientific research because that cluster of cells is not really a dog yet, is not really a cat yet, is not really a cow yet, that seems to be the only escape hatch available. Ouch.

Also, referring to rural America as culturally irrelevant is just....so unbelievably condescending...not to mention untrue. Coastal elites are no better than the rural Americans they mock. Frankly, if the coastal elites weren't constantly acting as if they were superior, we wouldn't have the backlash that led to Trump.

Sorry for the tone of this message and I don't mean anything personal. You definitely hit a few of my touchy points as I am sure I have hit some of yours. I hope this little exchange can get a few people to think a little bit, nothing more.

Only 2 percent of conservatives are vegan or even vegetarian, the number was so miniscule it has to be lumped together.... while 5 percent of liberals are vegan and 11 percent of liberals are vegetarian.

The agricultural monopolies are driven by the mainstream right wing, and are largely rural.

Your outrage is borderline comical. That being said, Dominion by Matthew Scully is a great conservative animal rights book.
 
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