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off topic open thread shut up shut up shut up TROOOLLLL!!

Thread for Hostile Visitors to Endlessly Rehash the Issues They Have With Feminist Research or Whatever

Hey, hostile visitors! Do you have an opinion about, for example, Mary Koss’ rape research? Do you want to discuss it even though the topic has not actually come up by itself in any of the threads and none of my recent posts really have much to do with the specifics of anyone’s rape research? Well, from now on you can discuss it here with anyone who wishes to follow you to this thread.

Added bonus: If you continue to try to discuss it in other threads you’ll be banned!

This also applies to future derailers riding hobbyhorses of their own having nothing to do with Koss.

Happy discussing!

Note: If you wish to discuss the topics at hand, you know, topics directly related to my posts and/or to what other people are discussing and that aren’t, you know, personal hobbyhorses of yours that involve long screeds and various things that you’ve probably already cut and pasted into the comments sections of various other websites until you were banned from them for endless derailing and general asswipery, feel free to remain in the original threads.

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CassandraSays
CassandraSays
7 years ago

Goats…sigh. I like goats. I grew up around goats. But setting all the goats that now exist under the stewardship of humans free would be an environmental disaster, especially in areas where vegetation is sparse already.

katz
7 years ago

katz – wouldn’t it be more like us having more responsibilities to animals precisely because we do have our particular form of thinking, power and so on? I’m thinking it’s sort of like children in that way; they don’t have the right or expectation to vote, drive and so on. But because a small child does something like hits its sibling, does that make it acceptable in adults?

I am wary of the “they’re just animals” line because of what it can lead to; I hate the dismissivenes that too often comes with it, or the ridiculous idea that you can’t care about animal rights AND human rights that some people seem to think is the case, or the notion that cruelty to animals is just a bit of fun. (No, I am not reading that into anything anyone here said!)

Absolutely; I wasn’t at all trying to argue “they’re just animals” or that they’re less important, merely that they’re different and the ways we interact with them ought to be different.

And indeed, in many ways, the fact that they’re different gives us more responsibility towards them because we can understand and control things that they can’t. So, for instance, we have the responsibility to care for our animals’ medical needs because they can’t take care of themselves; we have the responsibility to protect ecologically vulnerable species from invasive predators because the predators don’t have the capacity to understand that there’s a problem; etc etc. (People from my background call this “stewardship of creation.”)

Kittehserf
7 years ago

There’s a movement against it here too, but it’s a struggle – I don’t know what the progress is like, compared to the US. Too many differences in population, culture, etc to make a fair comparison, prolly.

Pecunium – when I’m talking about the planet I’m talking about the life on it. I don’t want humans to wipe ourselves out, though I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if we did. But it really burns me that we’ll take so many others with us, so many innocent bystanders, as it were. When we fuck up it’s not just our species’ future at stake.

pecunium
7 years ago

Kittehs: I care about them, but I care about them in context. Some of it is that all species are going to die out. A lot (not all, and a whole lot of not all in the past 200 years) of that is just that our animal nature is to do what we did.

We aren’t the only ones. There are ants which wipe out all the ants near by. There are fungus which kill any tree that doesn’t grow where the fungus likes to live (if the tree lives where the fungus does like to live, the fungus protects it; life is weird).

The live on the planet won’t end when we do. In “the big picture” what we do doesn’t matter. The only reason it does matter is that we care; because “nature” doesn’t.

Example. When N. America hit S. America, there was a massive die off of local fauna. Giant birds, marsupials, etc. It’s what happens.

Our sapience makes us aware of what we do. Coming to grips with our animal nature is the pressing question of our existence. We can keep that sort of massive extinction from happening. If we get it wrong, we are toast. If we get it right, we have the possibility of lasting until the sun blows up.

pecunium
7 years ago

Kittehs: Um, what, so do they want domestic cats and dogs and cattle and sheep and horses and goats and whatever other animals humans interact with to become extinct?

Yes. They have said so. In some ways (not so veiled) they seem to think mankind should kill itself off.

pecunium
7 years ago

Shit, I think I posted that already. Tired, and this is a lot of thread.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
7 years ago

Another reason I don’t quite buy the extreme non-interference arguments – we’ve already fucked some things up. You break it, you fix it, right? So for example in areas where our incursion has led to near extinction of some species, we’re responsible for trying to fix that problem. Which we can’t do without actively interfering with the species in question in a way that doesn’t really fit with the ideas that were being proposed earlier about “equality”. Basically, in some cases we have to interfere because we’re the only ones who can, and if we don’t valuable things will be lost.

Example – tigers! The fact that they’re almost extinct is our fault. At the same time, if we were to step back and stop trying to interfere now, they’d be totally extinct very soon. So either we act in a way that does in an absolute sense violate the idea that we have no dominion over other creatures, or they all die.

I personally am going to go with the “let’s try to make sure they don’t all die” option.

katz
7 years ago

Kitteh, I tend to think that it’s not very meaningful to try to judge the morality of people vs animals because it’s questionable whether any animals have the abstract moral reasoning capacity to understand the concepts of right and wrong at an adult human level.

pecunium
7 years ago

interesting thing, re tigers. I know a place they are thriving, and it’s because people suck.

The DMZ in Korea. It’s a 6 mile wide belt of land no one has lived in for… 60 years. It’s as close as we get to a “pristine wilderness.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
7 years ago

Well at least something non-horrible is happening there? It’s about the only positive news to come out of North Korea in my lifetime.

Kittehserf
7 years ago

katz – I know, it’s the “better than animals” line (which Marie has since said was badly worded) that had me on the “oh really?” track.

If we’re the ones sapient enough to say “hey this is wrong, or cruel, or fucked up” then we’ve the responisbility to get it right.

Pecunium – yes, and the planet itself will cease to exist eventually. But the sapience that gives us the freedom to make choices and see consequences makes our actions different from those of animals or plants; we’re not doing what we must, or following “animal natures” in the sense of instinct, if we’re going to claim our intelligence at the same time. I’m not keen on talking about context if it means an “everything’s going to die off anyway” attitude. I’m not saying it’s yours, but neither am I unaware of mass extinctions not caused by humans. That context doesn’t lessen our responsibility for what we’ve done and what we do.

Shiraz
Shiraz
7 years ago

Oh dear god, GNL or whatever his name is isn’t really real, you see — he’s a fucking dude doing an impression of a hemorrhoid.

“I think it’s rather clear at this point what the real difference is. You all think that men are the one and only category that it’s impossible to ever disadvantage in any way.”

No one here said that, and he knows it, but see, what’s the point if of him being here if he doesn’t make our asses itch while he pretends to misunderstand us?

“That the label “male” is always a good thing. A man can be disadvantaged as a black or gay or disabled.”

We know this, because feminism has always made this distinction. Also, whenever someone says MRA, we take it for granted that one is talking about cis, white dudes. Especially since the MRA often dabbles in racism. You know that too, it’s just that you have to keep pretending to misunderstand us — because that’s the only gimmick you have. But see, we all know you’re doing it. You’re an online hemorrhoid, and nothing more.

And this accusation coated in sarcasm:

“It is functionally impossible to ever do anything bad to someone because they are male.
It’s got to be some other reason. It is not even possible for anything bad to happen to someone based on gender, if that gender is male. Note, this isn’t a strawman. This really is what the lot of you sound like to me.”

No, no, no, stop shaming us…pleeeease. You’re such a liar, no one here suggested men are disposable. But it’s easier to act indignant if you pretend we did.

And finally, he caps everything off with an image from “Planet of the Apes.”

“With the traditionalism and male disposablity cranked up to 11, I really do wonder if you would still be talking about “The Patriarchy” and “Male privilege” if every man was chained naked in a cage.”

Wow. That was so fucking stupid. Do you really wake up in the middle of the night fearful that the Female Overloads are gonna make you wear a loin cloth and live in a cage? Are you absolutely positive that you want us to believe that of you?

Do you?

Anyway, you’re a hemorrhoid. You are very fortunate that some of the distinguished commentors here engaged with you, but really, they should stop. You’re not very original, we get trolls like you all the time. I know you want to feel like you’re the one who finally confounded the Man Boobz crew, but you haven’t…you just made us itch. The fact that you’ve been spending so much time here proves that you want to be special in our eyes — The Guy Who Told Us Off. Pffft. We’re not here to stroke your ego, or help you wank. You have been boring, truly.

marinerachel
marinerachel
7 years ago

Having had hemmorhoids, this character is much worse.

Kittehserf
7 years ago

“Wow. That was so fucking stupid. Do you really wake up in the middle of the night fearful that the Female Overloads are gonna make you wear a loin cloth and live in a cage? Are you absolutely positive that you want us to believe that of you?”

Gad, he’s a Charlton Heston fanboy!

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
7 years ago

I find loincloths unflattering. Can’t they wear boxer briefs instead?

(You know, the slaves, that all feminists want to have, because we live on that planet with the giant rapist Amazons from Futurama.)

Kittehserf
7 years ago

Tell you what, your slaves can have the boxer shorts and mine’ll have the loincloths. (If they’re short leather ones, that is.)

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
7 years ago

No, not boxer shorts! Those are too baggy. They must have boxer briefs.

Shiraz
Shiraz
7 years ago

Believe it or not, one can buy loincloths online:

http://www.debbieleather.com/leatherloincloths.html

Kittehserf
7 years ago

Sorry, I thought that was the same thing. The image did surprise me a bit. 😛

::does quick google::

Oh, that makes much more sense!

Kittehserf
7 years ago

Shiraz, I looked at those loincloths and thought, geez, you could just buy a bit of leather or faux-leather and cut it really badly. Be a lot cheaper.

Shiraz
Shiraz
7 years ago

Absolutely, kitteh. I agree.

Kittehserf
7 years ago

Okay, I’m off – later, y’all.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
7 years ago

(Points up at earlier conversation about the ancestry of my cat.)

Check it out – I found a giant version of her! And yes, he’s a Maine Coon.

Kittehserf
7 years ago

Coffee table ornament – he’s almost big enough to be a coffee table! What a gorgeous boy.

Radical Parrot
Radical Parrot
7 years ago

Regarding the environment issue: I have seriously considered becoming a vegan. That is because of my newly found conviction that as it stands, we use up way too much of our natural resources and waste too much energy with all the cattle farming and whatnot. But that will still be my choice, and I’m aware of how very privileged I am to even be able to consider that choice. The day we have the means to secure sustainable, affordable and nourishing veggie food to everyone on the planet is the day I’ll say that yes, going green will ultimately be a better choice for all. That’s all I can say on the subject on a personal level.

@LBT and kirbywarp: Dammit, stop making this thread hot!

@Cassandra, Fade and Marie: Thanks! I hesitated to take on the challenge at first, since Troll is considered by most linguists* to be one of the most difficult languages in the world. The varying degrees of emotion** conveyed with a simple change of tone, the staggeringly high number of false friends (words and phrases that look and sound exactly the same as words and phrases in the target language, but hold very different meanings), not to mention all the stylistic problems (since troll culture differs so much from our own) don’t make translating an easy task. I think the superficial similarities with other languages, combined with the species’ tendency to, well, troll people, stems from the time they lived under bridges and harassed talking goats.

*Citation needed.

**Fun fact: Trolls are actually very emotional creatures. All the nastiness, sarcasm and frequent use of caps lock that oozes from their writing in times of breakdown must be the jötunn-hormones acting up, making them all hysterical and stuff, amiright?

Kittehserf
7 years ago

“Troll is considered by most linguists* to be one of the most difficult languages in the world.”

Is it sort of like Cat, where one word can mean In, Out, Food, Cuddles, and Get Out Of My Chair?

Radical Parrot
Radical Parrot
7 years ago

@Kittehserf: Cat really warrants an analysis of its own. So far, most linguists* agree that Cat, just like Troll, uses miniscule changes in tone of voice to change the meaning completely. However, whereas trolls often rely on redundant vocabulary to establish dominance within a discourse, cats usually just sort of take their dominance as assumed, so they don’t bother to elaborate on their demands with what they see are “unnecessary words”. In a way, the two take a completely different approach to the problem of language barrier. It’s a fascinating subject, to be sure, but since my major is translation studies, not discourse analysis, I’m afraid I’m unfit to give a more thorough answer.

By the way, I am now kitty. Two-Face Kitty. Two-Face Kitty has seen things. Terrible things. Things that cannot be unseen. I would love to cuddle kitty, but allergies at home. No can has kitty. Oh well.

*Citation still needed.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
7 years ago

Cat is a far more elegant language, being possessed of a beautiful simplicity that Troll lacks. Also some people find the sound of Cat pleasing to the ear, whereas the sound of Troll makes everyone in earshot wish they had a mute button.

sonichu
sonichu
7 years ago

how2sarcasm:

Wow, you sure showed that troll. All those unfunny, desperate sounding personal insults and links to feminist blogs are probably something he’s never seen before, and will definitely make him reconsider his views. You angry cat ladies are some real intellectual titans.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
7 years ago

BTW since all the pet lovers seem to be in this thread – Mr C met one of these today.

http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/caucasianowtcharka.htm

He said it wasn’t fully grown yet but already enormous.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
7 years ago

They’re supposed to be super aggressive but oddly enough he said the dog was pretty calm, willing to be petted.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
7 years ago

Now I feel bad for potentially scaring people with that “sensationalism sells!” National Geographic video.

The dog Mr C met was more like this.

Caution! Ironic Title!

BigMomma
7 years ago

@CassandraSays, I know this is ancient history but I’ve been at work and busy doing lots of other shit after work and it’s taken me an hour to even catch up but you posted:

the place where I was petting the cute little sharks as a child? When I did an image search guess what came up? This picture was taken just outside the grotto. Look under the boat.

http://www.sharkmans-world.eu/images/malta/gozo-shark2.jpg

My poor parents.

I fucking called it, I fucking called it:

@CassandraSays…

As a parent, I’d be:

a) terrified about you falling out the boat and being sucked underneath and chopped up by the propellers
b)terrified about the giant shark hiding unseen under the boat lunging out and pulling you off the boat
c)terrified by any other (unrealistic) danger that would take you from me and I should have foreseen and stopped.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
7 years ago

It’s ParentDar. Apparently it works even with people who are not your children, and for events that are more than 30 years in the past.

I can tell when my cat is up to no good too, but luckily she has no access to sharks.

Radical Parrot
Radical Parrot
7 years ago

@Cassandra: As a linguist, I disagree. Languages differ in more ways than just aesthetics. Cat may sound much, much, much more pleasing to a human’s ear, true. However, while the actual words are usually disjointed gibberish with no rhyme or reason, the way Troll conveys truckloads of information about the speaker’s character (often without the speaker’s intention to boot) makes me find it very useful and informative to the listener.

As a normal fucking person who thinks this joke of imagining trolls as a foreign and fascinating species evolved from creatures of folklore instead of pathetic human individuals picking fights on the internet is starting to get old, I couldn’t agree more.

Oh, and cute doggies!

pecunium
7 years ago

Troll is a difficult language, because it allows for words to have multiple, contradictory meanings. This is not unique to Troll; but in most languages which allow for antonymic homonyms the context makes it clear. Moreover those languages don’t allow for the dichotomic usage to be performed in the same thought.

If we look at recent examples, in the wild (see GNL’s use of Troll [sub-dialect, Illogical Contrarian], “equality” means “men and women can never be equal”, as well as, “men and women should be treated the same”) this usage and is has no marker symbols to make clear what the meaning is at the time of usage.

Only by active engagement, and using interlocutory interrogatives which are absent any trace of nuance, can the internal understanding of the individual speakers heuristic map be ascertained. These heuristic models, of course, are fluid, and no speaker of troll (esp. in the Contrarian Sub-dialects) is ever certain to claim the same beliefs from one conversation to the next (though the speakers of both, the Common Sense and Superior Understanding dialects are more likely to present a consistent belief structure over time).

In most cases the inherent instability of definitional meaning is the cause of ultimate breakdown in higher linguistic function. Because the mutability of usage definitions creates, to the less than fluent speaker of troll, the sense that a consistent worldview is being used, (when in fact the only consistent object is an onotological understanding that the thing they oppose must be wrong in some way) eventually causes the person trying to use Troll to express a complex argument over time to become mired in defense of past statements which are at odds with the apparent present position being held.

This leads to a functional break in the ability to reason, even in a language as flexible with meaning as Troll. This is commonly called a “meltdown”. Experienced speakers of Troll can be identified by the regular use of hiatus in their participation in areas where they will be engaged by more than one or two people who are competent at recognising the equivocational aspects of Troll usage, and challenge the speaker to pick just one.

Fade
7 years ago

@CassandraSays

I have nothing to add to this conversation, but those were super beautiful dogs

Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

Well this thread is effectively dead, but I went to bed and want to mention a few things.

“If, on the other hand, you posit that animals have fundamentally different relationships with each other, including predatory ones, and that such relationships are not only not morally wrong but in fact necessary and obligatory for the health of the ecosystem, then it follows that humans may also have a different relationship with animals than with other humans, and said relationships might include predation.”

Mentioned a few times already, but I, by and large, don’t eat meat (I have a soft spot for poultry, but eat it rarely, so yep, not the environmental impact of frequent meat eaters)…and my new boots are my first leather anything ever. Because I fell in love at first sight. Point here? I squick at the animal channel and get all “well predators need to eat, but I don’t have to watch”. Because yes, all species have different relations with other species than their own (ok, mostly, yet again, fish are weird)

Pecunium — you forgot elephants on your list of sapient species.

Fade and Marie — I was hyperbolizing burning fossil fuels and the extremely unlikely possibility of creating enough greenhouse gases to turn earth into a planet like venus. Thanks for playing along (and saying that dinosaurs shouldn’t be burned, you agree with me accidentally, see, I knew it!)

Lol, I was trying to bait GNL, but really just ended up wanting to explain 🙂

Linguistics — NWO was the most complex dialect of troll as one needed a base understanding of sovereign citizen, MRA, paranoia, and veiled perv.

Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

Oh and of course male/female isn’t the only grouping where one is privledged, learn to fucking read. Cis people // trans* people, whites // everybody, non-disabled // disabled, and a bunch more.

But if GNL continues to ignore all other factors while misusing intersectionality then I guess that sure, only his hobbyhorse applies here. When back in reality land, intersectionality, in a nut shell, means that it’s complex.

Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

Also, the largest shark that isn’t a filter feeder is the great white, topping out at 23′

So that’d have to be one tiny ass boat. I’m guessing it’s a fin and the shark itself is slightly tinted by the color of the water.

howardbann1ster
7 years ago

@Argenti: given the size and shape of the shark, compared to this basking shark here, I was kind of thinking that shark right there is, in fact, a filter feeder.

Even so, there’s something about the perspective of that picture that makes me think something is somehow off. (I don’t want to say photoshopped, because it’s not really a high enough quality picture for me to tell, but something about the way the light seems different around the shark is throwing me off)

thebionicmommy
thebionicmommy
7 years ago

I think it’s rather clear at this point what the real difference is. You all think that men are the one and only category that it’s impossible to ever disadvantage in any way. That the label “male” is always a good thing. A man can be disadvantaged as a black or gay or disabled. It is functionally impossible to ever do anything bad to someone because they are male. It’s got to be some other reason. It is not even possible for anything bad to happen to someone based on gender, if that gender is male. Note, this isn’t a strawman. This really is what the lot of you sound like to me.

It is possible for a society to oppress men for being men, but it hasn’t happened and isn’t happening. Like Argenti said, though, men aren’t the only category of privileged people. There aren’t any societies that disadvantage people for being white, cis, able, heterosexual, or wealthy either.

Wow. That was so fucking stupid. Do you really wake up in the middle of the night fearful that the Female Overloads are gonna make you wear a loin cloth and live in a cage? Are you absolutely positive that you want us to believe that of you?

Zie’s not the only MRA I’ve seen talk about feminist overlords putting them in cages. It’s like hey, most of us feminists are sex positive, but we still don’t need to know all the details of their fantasies. There are other parts of the Internet where they can talk all about their kinks.

And again I wonder how much of this is regional, or based on age. Where I live the idea that factory farming is cruel and more humane alternatives should be sought is pretty common, which is part of why the whole “but you’ve obviously never thought about how cruel factory farming is!” thing had me going “huh?”.

I think you’re right that it’s regional. Missouri is going to enact a right to farm bill, which was basically written as a backlash against animal rights groups making undercover videos at factory farms. Some of our legislators in Jefferson City also said they need to protect Missouri farmers from animals rights people after the whole puppy mill bill. Some group from California also protested in front of a Joplin supermarket recently, which has made people scared that animal rights groups want to take food away or make food more expensive.

That is because of my newly found conviction that as it stands, we use up way too much of our natural resources and waste too much energy with all the cattle farming and whatnot.

I believe that as the population rises, the cost of food will rise so much that very few people, even in wealthy countries, will be able to buy beef anymore. I am hopeful, though, that other types of meat and protein will become more common. Already, much of the world eats insects. Now if people took up insect farming in a big way, that would make it possible to feed a world of 10 billion with enough protein, because insects breed very quickly and they don’t share the same diseases with people. They also don’t use much water, which is in short supply unless we figure out cheap ways to do desalinization.

Other meat sources of the future could be rabbit farms, guinea pigs, squirrels, and other small mammals. They don’t take up nearly the space as cows or pigs, they breed quickly, and they grow to adult size faster. There is less risk of drought ruining their pasture like what happens with cattle, too.

The biggest risk to our food supply in the next few decades is probably colony collapse disorder. One third of the world’s food comes from pollination by bees, so we are going to have to figure out how to save the bees or find ways to replace them and pollinate fruit plants, soy beans, and vegetables without them. It’s scary, but I’m hopeful that people are smart enough to adapt to such risks, and that’s why people have been so successful so far.

Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

Howard — I think the weird lighting is just an artifact of the water being so clear and the general issues of photographing underwater things. Only decent looking underwater photos I’ve ever taken were with my lens against the tank’s glass and no flash.

But I was thinking basking shark myself, either the size and shape are off because of perspective, or it isn’t a great white. And if not, then it’s smaller than it looks.

Really hard to judge size without a reference point.

Bob Goblin
Bob Goblin
7 years ago

I realize I’m a bit late to this party, so I apologize for that. But as an ethical vegan who is also getting a degree in paleobiology (sort of a double major in geology and evolutionary biology), I feel like I should offer my perspective on the animal rights discussion that’s been going on.

First, for consideration, here is a link to The Cambridge Declaration of Consciousness, issued in 2012 at the end of the Francis Crick Memorial Conference on Consciousness in Human and Non-human Animals:

http://fcmconference.org/img/CambridgeDeclarationOnConsciousness.pdf

Link to the conference website — http://fcmconference.org/

I became a vegan slowly, over many years, and finally crossed the Rubicon 8 years ago after learning “too much” about how nature and animals really work. The contrast between my inherited pop culture/Animal Planet/Discovery Channel understanding of “nature,” and the reality of nature, just became too stark, and I could no longer convince myself that nonhuman animals were so radically different from humans that my preference for the taste of pork chops really outweighed the any pig’s right to not be killed unjustly.

And for me, that’s really what it’s about: don’t kill others unjustly, even by proxy. It is not necessary for me to eat other animals, or wear their skins, so I don’t. I also don’t think anyone else should, either.

Finally, on the point that’s been raised that eating vegan is an expression of “privilege”: not true. Eating animal products at every meal, every day, along with processed foods from boxes and bags, is the privileged way of eating. The vast majority of the world’s poorest people live on diets composed mostly of whole, unprocessed plant foods, mostly grains. Sure, they’re not vegans — they’ll eat meat when they can get it — but the notion that the world’s poor are eating lots of meat out of necessity while it’s only the privileged who eat vegan or vegetarian is simply backwards. Meat is a status food.

I have a lot to say on this, and I don’t want to post something TL;DR, so I’ll stop here. But thanks for considering.

greendaywantsavatars
greendaywantsavatars
7 years ago

@Bob

Okay, so some poor people get mostly unprocessed foods and some get more processed meat. I think that which one’s cheaper varies by location.

And I don’t think that not eating meat is necesarily cruelty free, as the messed up agricultural system that underpays lots of the workers exists. I don’t know if there’s a way to get cruelty free food in teh first world, which you know, first world problems.

bahumbugi
bahumbugi
7 years ago

Bob – I’m not going to yield on being veganism being a privilege. The idea that it isn’t drives me nuts, even as a vegetarian and animal lover. Often, animal products are calorie dense, and when you’re trying to feed a kid on, say, food stamps in the US, getting enough calories without animal products just isn’t feasible. I don’t think eating processed animal products from boxes is representative of privilege. If anything, their ubiquity just demonstrates how much global power organizations like Kraft have accumulated. Plus, I’m on board with people who hunt in an ethical, sustainable way — i.e., kill a couple deer a year and freeze to eat all year. Eating locally seems like it is the best bet from an environmental perspective, but that does not necessarily mean be a vegan. Vegans in NYC have so many products shipped from overseas (coconuts, tropical fruits, soy, brazil nuts, etc., etc.) that I imagine the carbon footprints might be massive. I’ve got no citations, though!

Bob Goblin
Bob Goblin
7 years ago

WARNING: This post may be TL:DR

@bahumbugi
Bob – I’m not going to yield on being veganism being a privilege. The idea that it isn’t drives me nuts, even as a vegetarian and animal lover.

That doesn’t make it true, though. 🙂

Often, animal products are calorie dense, and when you’re trying to feed a kid on, say, food stamps in the US, getting enough calories without animal products just isn’t feasible.

I sincerely doubt this is true. Beans are calorie-dense, too, and (especially dry) cost a hell of a lot less per pound than meat. A lot of this comes down not to lack of resources, but lack of education. People eat what they’re familiar with, what they’ve been taught to eat, what’s been effectively marketed to them. Nutrition awareness isn’t exactly a priority in education given to low-income families (or really anyone else), other than the USDA food pyramid, which has its own problems.

I am poor. I live in a low-income neighborhood in a major U.S. city, where most residents don’t have a car. Within walking distance of my home, there are two grocery stores plus a mom & pop market, that all sell fresh fresh produce and dried beans and grains by the pound. All of them take food stamps. But, they are outnumbered by fast food joints and junk-food convenience stores. I did the math for my own experience, and saved $2000/year by going vegan and spending my food budget on whole, unprocessed foods bought from my local grocery stores and prepared at home. The family next door to me (a single mom + 2 children, with support from her brothers and sisters), after talking to me about it for many months, decided to try it out for a month, and they saved so much money that they decided to make the switch permanently. I doubt the kids are vegan when away from home and with friends, but their mom runs a vegan home on food stamps, and saves money doing it.

Of course, I’m aware of the danger of universalizing this one anecdote, but there are lots of resources available to people interested in trying it out.

I don’t think eating processed animal products from boxes is representative of privilege. If anything, their ubiquity just demonstrates how much global power organizations like Kraft have accumulated.,/i>

I agree that food corporations have a lot of global power. But they still largely market their pre-packaged foods where the globally richest people live. As another anecdotal example, check out this social media project where families from around the world submitted pictures of their week’s worth of groceries — http://imgur.com/a/mN8Zs I see a lot of whole, unprocessed, plant-based foods in the pics with families from developing nations, and a lot of boxed, bagged and otherwise pre-packaged foods in the pics from families in the developed world. There are cultural differences reflected, obviously — the Mongolians have more meat than the Malians, for instance — but I think the pattern is pretty clear. Processed animal products from boxes is representative of privilege, from a global perspective.

Plus, I’m on board with people who hunt in an ethical, sustainable way — i.e., kill a couple deer a year and freeze to eat all year.

Well, the problem with that is that, in aggregate, their activities aren’t sustainable, and arguably never have been. Hunting by humans — not just poaching — is either the 2nd or 3rd leading cause of global biodiversity loss and species extinction, depending on which set of statistics you consider more reliable. http://www.snre.umich.edu/~dallan/nre220/outline5.htm And there’s pretty strong evidence in the fossil record that traditional hunter-gatherer style hunting drove the mass extinction of large mammals at the Pleistocene-Holocene transition. http://darwin.bio.uci.edu/~sustain/bio65/lec04/b65lec04.htm So, “ethical, sustainable hunting” ain’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Eating locally seems like it is the best bet from an environmental perspective, but that does not necessarily mean be a vegan. Vegans in NYC have so many products shipped from overseas (coconuts, tropical fruits, soy, brazil nuts, etc., etc.) that I imagine the carbon footprints might be massive. I’ve got no citations, though!

Eating locally is over-rated, if one’s concern is carbon footprints. Check out this study, one of the few done on the subject. http://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/es702969f

Among its findings are that food miles are not an accurate way to measure a food’s ecological footprint, because transportation of food accounts for only about 15 percent of its ecological footprint; production, storage, whether a food is animal or plant, non-carbon greenhouse gas emissions, scale, and other factors account for about 83 percent of a food’s carbon footpritnt; for the average U.S. household, eating vegan food one day a week achieves a greater reduction in environmental degradation than eating local animal products every day.

greendaywantsavatars
greendaywantsavatars
7 years ago

and saved $2000/year by going vegan and spending my food budget on whole, unprocessed foods bought from my local grocery stores and prepared at home.

Okay, this isn’t me snarking just for the record. What kind of stuff do you normally eat and how much do you spend on groceries a week? I’m asking b/c I’m probably going to move out of my parents house soon, and it would be a good idea to know some healthy cheap foods.

If you don’t want to give advice, feel free to ignore this comment.

Bob Goblin
Bob Goblin
7 years ago

And oops, sorry if that typo-induced formatting error is confusing.

Bob Goblin
Bob Goblin
7 years ago

@greendaywantsavatars,

I agree that there’s no 100 percent cruelty-free way of obtaining food. But, the ethical argument for veganism is not based on a claim otherwise.

As for what I eat: I live with housemates, and we each contribute ~$20/week to the grocery jar. Our staples are dried beans, seeds and grains in bulk, which is the best way to buy them because they’ll store for a really long time, and are more versatile (they can be ground, sprouted, or cooked). We also stay stocked up on fresh fruit and veggies, many of which we chop in advance then store for quick prep access for times when we’re on the go.

Each us has our own tastes, and so buy things just for ourselves when we can. But on average, a little less than $80/week feeds four adult humans a healthy vegan diet every day. If you’re looking for specific advice, I recommend books like Eat Vegan On $4 A Day — http://www.amazon.com/Eat-Vegan-4-00-Day-Conscious/dp/1570672571 and Vegan On The Cheap — http://www.amazon.com/Vegan-Cheap-Robin-Robertson/dp/0470472243/ref=pd_bxgy_b_text_y