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On veganism

Discussion in 'Up the People' started by Diagrapher, Jan 10, 2019.

  1. spockandawe

    spockandawe Part of a singular whore, apparently

    I stopped looking like a year and a half back in the site history, but most of the posts containing 'vegan' are about foods people ate or are discussing cooking, and there are only a couple hostile posts total over a period of many months, across the whole site. The claim that 'attitudes haven't changed' is very broad and carries a lot of judgment that the history doesn't really support, both in terms of how many people hold these views and how much hostility toward vegan stuff has actually been posted.

    The average user here (who may never have read that tumblr history), is probably going to try to recall posts on here that would match your representation, and also look back at their own history and try to think about whether they deserve to be caught up in that general accusation. They won't find as much chronic hostility as your post implies (the majority of posts are about food and neutral-to-positive). If they've personally said anything negative, odds are high it was 1) either a one-off or very uncommon, and 2) born from some personal experience they've had, which will still strike them as an unfair criticism.

    Like, I tripped across myself in the vegan results. I was suggesting vegan marshmallow recipes to someone looking for halal marshmallows. I do have openly uncharitable opinions about militant vegans, because I'm in the this-is-physically-impossible-for-me camp. And I'm not sure I'm wordsing this well because it's late and I'm exhausted, but even though those feelings are there and I have no interest in hiding them, it just.... isn't really reflected in the site history.

    The issue of 'vegans' isn't really something that comes up often, for anyone, so making sweeping calls about 'it seems attitudes here haven't changed' is going to ring as unfair even for the people who do hold the opinions you're talking about. The one thread I saw that might fit your criteria was mostly OP worrying that their brother might do the militant thing and other people (including cT) offering many reassurances that the vast majority of vegans aren't like that.

    I'm going to cut myself off there, because I'm already too long-winded. But overall, even though I get that emotional discussions don't really follow cold, logical rules, the note this thread started on was making constructive discussion an upward climb on multiple fronts. It started with sweeping judgment based on a small subset of the population, referencing scattered/old posts, and responding to extreme opinions nobody in the conversation had actually said they held yet. It means that other people enter the conversation suspicious and are primed to respond to later posts with more suspicion.

    Later posts untangled some of the ambiguity and gave context, but for anyone coming into the thread, the damage has already been done by the time they reach that point. And like, I do get why the conversation started like that, but I like enabling reduced tension in future conversation, so social dynamics sperg time *jazzhands*
    • Agree x 12
    • Like x 1
  2. sirsparklepants

    sirsparklepants *cries in sports*

    I seem to have the opposite problem of many people, where the online vegans I've interacted with have mostly been perfectly pleasant people, but a large portion of the irl vegans I've met have been people who pressured me to eat vegan and then didn't listen when I said "I can't do that, medically" and pressured me to give my personal medical information about why, and then told me my doctor was wrong. That kind of thing has soured me on veganism in general and I'm perfectly willing to admit that kind of bitterness may have come out in some unexpected places. But, I mean, I have some similar issues with the practice of Christianity in the US and I still am able to have a couple of friends whose Christian faith is very important to them. On my end, I'm not that fussed about it. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ People get on the internet to complain about petty things that bother them and those complaints are not always or even often an accurate sample of their entire nuanced views. I disagree with the majority of this forum on several far more charged issues than veganism and I end up socializing here pretty well even when those topics do come up.

    I guess what I'm getting at is like, what's your goal here? If you identify that it might make what you're trying to communicate a little clearer because honestly I'm not 100% sure.
    • Agree x 4
    • Like x 1
  3. jacktrash

    jacktrash absentee sperglord

    as for what i posted, i stand by everything i said, but before you assume i think something, please make sure i actually said it. i have a blanket policy of ignoring people who argue at me against things i didn't say.

    i think veganism does not solve the real world problems it purports to solve. i don't know whether it's a net positive or a net negative. i know i have no particular interest in any individual's diet. when i hear someone is vegan, with no other qualification, at the most i expect them to be a little bit gullible for woo peddlers. i certainly don't think they're evil or bad. i might prepare myself to firmly insist that i will not be discussing my diet with them, if they get pushy. but it's less of a bracing-myself reaction than i get from, for instance, nice old ladies making small talk in which they assume my spouse is a woman.

    when someone i already know says they're vegan, i don't even brace. i just make a mental note to use shiitaki dashi instead of bonito dashi in their udon.

    i have heard incoherent, self-contradictory, scientifically impossible, or just plain fake talking points from prostelytizing vegans so often that i tend to expect, whenever anyone wants to argue about it, that before a good faith discussion can be had, a mile of PETA lies will have to be patiently punctured, and i generally don't think it's worth it. especially since the folks who argue with me almost always just throw some completely false information at me and run away. usually when i reply they block me.

    frankly, if you can bring citations, and if you can hear cited facts contrary to your initial position without putting me on ignore or fleeing the forum, i will be delighted. you sound level-headed and generally pleasant.

    assuming everyone on the forum agrees with me and seebs is a rookie mistake, though. we're not a hivemind.
    • Agree x 3
    • Like x 2
  4. TheOwlet

    TheOwlet A feathered pillow filled with salt and science

    Same boat here, my sister is vegan and she's a perfectly pleasant people who doesn't push agenda, but on my blog i've had absolutely stunning interactions with vegans that will first demand citations for everything, then ignore those citations, shift the goalposts and make completely outlandish claims that I gotta bring out more citations against and then the circle repeats ad infinitum.

    So online vegans tend to get a bit of an instinctive squint now but i'm certainly not hating them. I'm just going on mentally braced to rattle off human evolutionary history if necessary.
    • Agree x 5
  5. rats

    rats 21 Bright Forge Shatters The Void

    "humans evolved to not eat meat because look at our teeth!!!1!" /s
    • Witnessed x 3
  6. TheOwlet

    TheOwlet A feathered pillow filled with salt and science

    I've seriously had someone pull a 'compare teeth' graphic where they claimed that human dention was a herbivore one by comparing it to the front teeth of a horse, and only the front teeth and frankly that was pretty brain breaking.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019 at 6:58 AM
    • Witnessed x 2
    • Agree x 1
  7. rats

    rats 21 Bright Forge Shatters The Void

    • Agree x 4
  8. jacktrash

    jacktrash absentee sperglord

    yeah, that's the issue. if someone wants to not eat animal products for their own emotional comfort, that's none of my business. my opinion is that it's scrupulosity, rather than any productive kind of moral action, but my opinion is irrelevant. that's their own decision and it's nothing to do with me. and i will absolutely not offer my irrelevant opinion to them in that case.

    once they start wanting others to share their scrupulosity, that's when i start feeling i have the right to express my opinion. and my opinion is that washing your hands of bad things and going "well at least I'M not morally contaminated" is pretty useless to the world in general, and kind of superstitious, or at least naive. it's emotional reasoning. i guess it's valid emotional reasoning? but it's not connected to real-world events or situations in any solid way.

    it doesn't fix the problems of factory farming and so on. it just makes you feel like you have less responsibility for those problems than the rest of us. if that's something you need, emotionally, then go for it. but it's not a thing you can export, if that makes sense. it doesn't travel.

    edit: i should mention, if you would like to brainstorm about productive ways to fight animal cruelty, i'm pretty sure a whole lot of people would be on board with that. i know i would.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019 at 4:35 PM
    • Agree x 1
  9. Diagrapher

    Diagrapher New Member

    My goal was to defend my friends and my past self against what I felt was unfair hostility. Now that I see that hostility doesn't actually seem to exist (insofar as I've bothered people it seems to be because they don't believe the things I thought they did. Sorry.) I'm satisfied and just following up on the responses.

    Although on a seperate note, I read a Vox article about ag-gag laws this morning and am curious what people here think of them; so far I've only seen the anti-ag-gag perspective plus a troll claiming that opposing them is communist.

    Could you elaborate on that? I'd naively assume fewer people wanting potentially-factory-farmed animal products would eventually mean less factory farming, a drop in grain price, and some conversion of fields from grain to other crops?
    • Like x 3
  10. Xavius

    Xavius Suit Monkey

    The only horse I have in this race is that I couldn't care less about veganism or a lack thereof. As long as people aren't unduly forcing their choices on me in my everyday life or hurting someone by their actions, as a general rule, I don't mind what they're up to or what they think is good for their lives unless they're outright destroying themselves. Veganism isn't one of those things I lump in any of those categories.

    It's been stated again and again, but Kintsugi as a whole definitely does not follow the practices a handful of its members might ascribe. There're thousands of users here. Even if there's a certain number of us somewhere that believe a certain way, it definitely doesn't mean all of us do. I feel like this really would have been something better resolved making a That Could Have Gone Better thread with the people whose stated opinions were really bothering you, given the low number of named participants so far.

    (Edit: It looks like you acknowledged just about the whole of my point about five seconds before making my post, as well as I can tell. Whoops.)
    • Agree x 1
  11. jacktrash

    jacktrash absentee sperglord

    this would be the case if a) vegans were a large enough demographic to apply market leverage, which they are not; b) there were not a lot of other economic factors making current farming models profitable, which have very little to do with the small amounts of market leverage a consumer boycott can apply, and a lot to do with things like international trade and political demagoguery; and c) such market leverage would not disproportionately impact non-factory farms over factory farms.

    it's c that's the main issue, i think. i grew up hunting and fishing and hanging around my cousin's farm. in my fairly extensive experience, the vast majority 0f -- like very nearly ALL -- hunters, fishers, and family and small business farmers have a lot of respect and consideration for the wellbeing of animals and the environment. a naive person might go, "how can you respect them if you're killing them?" but a brief survey of hunter-gatherer and herder cultures will supply lots of examples of ways that depending on animals for your survival makes you VERY respectful of them. even hunters with no spiritual feelings about animals or the earth are careful to take only what's in season, not exceed their quota, not make a mess, not inflict more pain than necessary, etcetera. this is a very personal connection with the natural world, and a very ancient one. it's how humans have been as long as there have been humans. agriculture is more recent, but it's still ten thousand years old, and it's sunk deep in our collective psyche: these animals are Mine, i am Responsible for them, they are part of my Worth as a human being. mistreating your milk cows or your honeybees or your wool sheep is more than animal cruelty, it's self-destructive, it's a blow to your self-concept. i mean this psychologically, not mystically, but i think there's also a spiritual element to the connection between farmer and livestock too. look at how many shepherd and flock metaphors you find in religious scriptures.

    factory farming, on the other hand, is new, it's cold, it's cruel, it's destructive. it's horrible to the animals, it's horrible to the environment, it messes up the farm economy, and it drives small farmers out of business. it is absolutely a Bad Thing.

    now, here's where veganism goes wrong, imo, as a force against factory farming: instead of allying with small farmers, who are also against factory farming, it lumps them in with factory farming. and by pushing a general boycott of animal products, it threatens small farmers much more than factory farms. small farmers live on the edge, financially. they do not have a lot of economic resilience. they're the ones who will go out of business if a significant fraction of people stop eating cheese and eggs. the factory farms will be fine.
    • Agree x 10
    • Informative x 2
  12. idiomie

    idiomie ;&

    i'm going to chime in with: i am largely (and in population studies, technically) vegetarian right now, because for a lot of reasons it is doable and actually more convenient for me.

    my knee jerk response for vegans is disdain, tho, because my general interaction with vegans has been: 1) people feeding their cats a vegan diet and/or telling me to feed my sickly, dying cat a vegan diet. i cannot begin to explain the kind of UNBELIEVABLE RAGE this causes me. like actual table flipping, i almost got into a fist fight with one of these people, and i did call animal services on them because fuck you, rage. if you (general you) are the type of vegan who understands that vegan diets kill obligate carnivores and either keep an obligate carnivore as a pet and don't feed it a vegan diet, or who refrains from keep obligate carnivores as pets, so that you don't have to break being vegan even for them, we are cool. i have never personally met one of those vegans irl, and unfortunately it's the assholes who are usually loudest, so like. when you (general you) say "vegan" this is the very first association i have. 2) honey industry. technically, honey isn't vegan. to which i'll respond, okay, none of your fucking vegan diet is vegan, because everything is reliant on the commercial bee industry. i have lots of Opinions about this, because i plan on being a beekeeper, and was in the process of starting a beekeeping club at my college before i left, and if you don't know basic, actual (read: not PETA's fucking lies) facts about the bee industry, i am going to write you off as stupid and a dick, and honestly consider you not much better than an antivaxxer.

    i generally try to keep that to myself, because i am highly conflict averse, and also i find talking to these people tiring and unproductive, and also also there usually isn't much purpose beyond being a dick. (the cat/obligate carnivores thing tho. fucking fite me.)

    long post to say: hi, not that i was cited, but i am definitely someone who holds highly negative opinions about vegans here. i'm chill with talking about that, although i do think my issues are technically with militant vegans and not necessarily vegans as a whole.

    (unless you advocate for vegan cats. then i'm fucking out.)
    • Agree x 1
  13. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    i know at least one vegan who has been 100% not a jerk to me about cats eating meat.
    • Agree x 2
  14. LadyNighteyes

    LadyNighteyes Wicked Witch of the Radiant Historia Fandom

    I used to live with two vegans, and while I did not leave with remotely positive impressions on many fronts (the honey thing...), they never gave me grief about not being vegan and were completely accepting that the three cats in the apartment had to eat meat.
    • Agree x 3
  15. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    cats are obligate carnivores. they have to eat meat.

    dogs are cognitive obligate omnivores. they think they have to eat everything.
    • Winner x 8
    • Agree x 4
    • Informative x 2
    • Like x 1
  16. ChelG

    ChelG Well-Known Member

    Doesn't crop farming also heavily rely on fertiliser produced from animal farming?
  17. palindromordnilap

    palindromordnilap I'm a raging bird

    That really depends on people, and probably places too. People who hunt more for fun than for sustenance tend to be massive dicks.
  18. Maya

    Maya 人間失格 • she/they

    Organic farmers use manure more often than not, but most conventional crop farming doesn't use manure as a fertilizer anymore, so not really. However, we might see an uptick in manure-as-fertilizer due to the increasing demand for organic crops.
    • Informative x 2
  19. LadyNighteyes

    LadyNighteyes Wicked Witch of the Radiant Historia Fandom

    I can't speak to everywhere, but in the US, commercial crop farming is mostly fertilized with inorganically produced ammonia compounds. Literally, after World War 2, they just switched a bunch of the explosive factories to making fertilizer because the processes are so similar.
    • Agree x 1
    • Informative x 1
  20. ChelG

    ChelG Well-Known Member

    Huh. I remember hearing about the process being similar but didn't remember that was the majority method now. Probably got mentioned in my uni course and I forgot... Eh, I re-learned something today!
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