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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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Brz
Brz
7 years ago

I’ve just discovered that there’s a French Manboobz… Well, it’s not exactly like Manboobz, there’s still some reflection, there’s still a little bit of culture, but that’s the first time I see a French blogger going on an anti-sexism crusade against 4chan, youtube comments and all kind of anonymous forums where men make rape jokes. Fucking shit, they even attacked the “15-18” which is, as the name suggests, the kind of gaming-related den where teenagers go to insult each other as the rest of the world. No one before them has never been stupid enough to think that the comments of this stupid forum are attention worthy enough to make an indignant post about the sexism/racism on the Internet because, hey, there are more important and threatening targets than a bunch of awkward teenagers saying shit on the Internet, but that’s more difficult, that requires to be a little more intellectually equipped : after all, it’s better to not punch above your weight, isn’t it?
Half of the post is a sum-up of stuff which had happened on the English-speaking side of the Internet, everything they say is a translation of what English-speaking feminists have said about the sexism of the geek community; these shit-eaters aren’t intellectually autonomous enough to at least produce their own meaningless shit, no, they have to imitate American feminists, they have to be American feminists who happen to speak in French.
Shit, this stuff sounds even more stupid in French, blind aggressive sheep who will attack randomly the little mouses they fear like they were dragons… I mean, we still have old school leftists in our country, guys with a Marxist education, who still have in the head tools that permit them to have a coherent vision of the society, I feel bad for them, they were the kind of guys who used to think that learning the theory was half of the job, that the second part was to fight against the bourgeoisie with the workers during the strikes, they were the kind of guys who used concepts as symbolic capital to describe the more subtle ways the bourgeoisie finds to affirm its power, its class consciousness not to write posts about bourgeois “biases” but to give tools to the proletariat to affirm itself as the oppressed class, to defend itself, in order to FIGHT the bourgeoisie and this fight involved for them both physical and intellectual courage. What’s left of their ideas, of their struggle nowadays? A bunch of leftists who think they’re doing something useful, who think that they’re fighting injustice by exposing the racism/sexism of anonymous trolls.
I’ve meet a true communist once, a true Stalinist, coming directly from the French communist party, a guy who’s old enough for having witnessed May 68, a communist old enough for being the kind of guy who calls “gauchistes” these people who pretended making the revolution by entering in women’s dorms of the university, the freudo-marxists who pretended making the revolution by the “sexual liberation”. This guy told me: “I’ve failed, everything I’ve done, all the things we fought for, all of this went to shit. That’s the only thing that I’ll be able to say for the next generation: I’ve failed and I’ll leave you with a society more unequal where there will be less opportunities for poor people than when I came”. The guy had a personal hate, a truly communist hate, for these leftists, these Trotskyists, these Maoïsts who pretended making the revolution by the sexual revolution in the 60’s-70’s for finally becoming in the 80’s what Clouscard called the “Libéral-libertaires”, the alliance of the hedonist consumerism and the apology of the market and who hid their denial by becoming the strongest zealots of the new cause : the struggle against racism/sexism, against the “biases” which this new elite has decided perversely that it should be directed against the poor, the bigoted, ignorant, racist ex-proletariat which they had to educate, that they had to lead to the light of progressivism, the acceptation of the “difference” and the refusal of traditional norms. They managed to transform something which was supposed to help the poor fighting their oppressors into a symbolic war against the poor and this communist guy will hate them for this for the rest of this life.
And these “libéral-libertaires” will also have their moment of blues at the end. We can say whatever we want about these guys, about their arrogance, about their profound despise for the populace, they’re cultured, they have a little bit of education, and they always have been at least honest about their anti-authoritarian, hedonist beliefs. How can they not be genuinely disgusted by this new generation of half-witted leftists who think like cops, who haven’t enough culture to construct a coherent meaningful discourse, who’re only able to shout “racist!”, “mysoginist!”. For sure the day will come when they’ll realize that they had not called for that, that it wasn’t the plan and with a little help, the brain-dead mob will manage to make reactionaries out of them.

The only good thing I see is that this new elite of hipsteric ironic brain-dead censors will maybe manage to upset the populace enough to convince them of the need to cut some bourgeois heads. The populace knew that the precedent elite despised her deeply, but this elite, they were at least still a real elite, people who’ve read books, who know how to talk, who know how to behave, they were still people that can be respected but this new elite who’re Stalinist without having enough conceptual tools to justify their anti-democratic impulses, who’re arrogant like aristocrats without having enough education to inspire respect. The populace doesn’t hate something more than an elite who doesn’t look like an elite but still permits itself to despite here.
Maybe that’s how the cycle will end and I hope that it will end because I don’t want to imagine what worse than that can come after.

katz
7 years ago

hipsteric ironic brain-dead censors

Aw man, you’re taking all the good band names!

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
7 years ago

Sigh. I was just waiting for the exact way of presenting veganism that puts most people off to arrive, and right on schedule, there it is.

Look, here’s the thing. Food is about more than just getting enough calories to live, unless you’re living at a subsistence level and have no choice about what you eat. Food is also about pleasure, social bonding, memory, culture, creativity. Some people may be willing to push all that other stuff aside because of ethical convictions, but most people are not willing to do that. And presenting the choice to go vegan in a way that’s as joyless and hectoring as is being done here does nothing but get most people’s backs up. If there is prejudice against vegans, then Bob just demonstrated why it exists.

Even in cultures that don’t eat very much meat in terms of overall proportion it still tends to hold an important place in terms of being associated with big holidays, weddings, and other events that say “family” and “happiness” to people on a very deep level. I grew up in one. In most parts of the Middle East people don’t eat nearly as much meat as people in America do, but for special occasions? Big platter of meat. The rest of the time? Meat used almost like a condiment, to add flavor (and the mouthfeel of animal fat, which many people really love). The protein source that subs in for the meat that people can’t afford most of the time? Dairy. I ate dairy foods every single day in both Libya and Saudi, and so did everyone else I knew. And some of those foods are culturally very important – people don’t want to give them up because, again, they’re associated with childhood, family, good feelings.

In many part of Asia people again eat less meat than in America, but in terms of food that’s 100% vegan? Hard to find, unless it’s being prepared that way for religious reasons. In Thailand you can order a meal where all the main ingredients are vegetables, and it will still not be vegetarian, because it will contain fish sauce, for which there is no vegan substitute that tastes anything like the real thing. And again, for special events there will always be meat, and much like the Thanksgiving = turkey association in the US, there are mental and emotional associations that people have with specific foods that are hard to break.

I think that persuading people to consume less meat for ethical and environmental reasons is a worthy goal, and an achievable one. But getting the whole world to go vegan? Not going to happen. Especially when it’s presented in a way that makes being vegan sound about as joyful as a trip to the dentist.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
7 years ago

BTW, meat consumption in my case? About 4 ounces a day. More on some days when I go out to eat.

pecunium
7 years ago

Bob: In the anecdata category. When I was in EPA, the nearest grocery was about 1.5 miles away. The “mom and pop” shop carried frozen meals. They also had “produce”. Onions and tomatoes cost a dollar. Each.

Cabbage was 2.50 a head.

Canned beans were 1.29 a 12 oz can. Fish sticks and forzen tacos cost about the same.

Canned meat (spam, corned beef, etc.) About 1.59 for a 10 oz can.

Bulk beans… not to be had. Chips, salsa, beer, soda, pork rinds, sure. And sugared cereal, etc.

So, when I was living there, had I not had a housemate who drove, groceries would have been a problem. Taking a bus to the grocery wasn’t really feasible; it ran every 40 minutes, and the nearest stop it made to the grocery was… the stop at the end of my block.

So a 30 minute walk there, and a 40 minute walk back (because, weight of groceries). No perishables. And I was on the end of town closest to that grocery.

When the local “small” chain gorcery wanted to move in, that “mom and pop” and all the other such in an area 2.5 miles by 5 miles) were putting up flyers about how it would be bad for the local economy; being a “poor candidate for an Anchor Store, in the shopping plaza, etc.).

A community of 30,000 people had zero grocery stores. Zero. And if you didn’t have access to a car, you weren’t going to be able to get to one.

hellkell
hellkell
7 years ago

Bob:

I don’t know if you’ll see this, but you asked me to explain what was condescending in your comments. Please read Katz and Cassandra’s comments, they’ve articulated it far better than I can. However…

Basically, I take umbrage at you thinking you can dictate my morality and tell me I’m doing life wrong if I’m not vegan. Fuck that. Where do you get balls that big? You have zero knowledge about my life and what I may or may not think.

The effrontery is kind of staggering.

Bob Goblin
Bob Goblin
7 years ago

OK, I took a step back to evaluate my behavior here, and I can see some valid points against it. I want to apologize for the tone of some of my statements here. It wasn’t my intention to be mansplainy, offensive or condescending. I’ll collect all my responses in this one post, which might make it TL;DR for some. If you don’t want to read the whole thing, please feel free to just scroll down til you see your name.

@katz:

If you just mean “people should think about the ethical implications of their actions,” then sure, I don’t think too many people will disagree with that. But it’s noticeable that you’re only saying that about veganism, as if that were the only action with moral implications. You don’t seem to be concerned at all about the conditions of workers that produce food, for instance (that I’ve seen).

OK, I can see why you’d think that. Of course, I understand that other questions of food politics bear on this issue, and they are worth addressing. But, veganism was the topic under discussion, and I was specifically interested in talking about the animal rights and environmental aspects (though, admittedly, I didn’t, much). This is because I think these two aspects are important barometers by which people should evaluate the ethical consequences of their everyday actions, and that these aspects aren’t given the attention they deserve in most discussions of food politics. Often — though not here, from what I can see so far — bringing up the conditions of workers, for instance, or some other issue that’s tied to veganism, happens as a rhetorical distraction tactic, and not as a genuine move to advocate for social justice in other arenas. So, that’s the experience I’m coming from: I normally don’t begin discussions of veganism with non-vegans, but I do often have to defend my food choices from pushy or snarky meat-eaters who can’t seem to mind their own business when they find out I am one. Usually, these are macho gym rats or entitled foodies at parties. This thread is a very different situation from those situations, and it was wrong of me to let that experience color the way I responded here.

That said, I’m curious about your saying you see no special moral problem with meat-eating, then following that with a qualifying comment about animal treatment, the environment, and so forth. To me, that looks like you do think the treatment of animals is a moral problem worth considering in the context of your everyday food choices. I’m not sure what you mean by “special” in this context.

@thebionicmommy

Another thing about being vegan is that it’s not an option for a lot of kids. The school breakfast and lunch menu usually have animal based food, like sausage, grilled cheese, cheese pizza, hot dogs, chicken nuggets, and chocolate milk. So for me and a lot of other parents, switching our kids to a vegan diet would mean losing two free meals a day, which puts an undue strain on family budgets.

My food-stamp vegan neighbor lets her kids eat the lunches at school. She exercises agency over the aspects of their diet that she can. I don’t see anything wrong with this.

My agenda was to demonstrate to those who might be interested in doing it, or who feel like it’s the right thing, but have always told themselves (or been told by others) that they couldn’t because of economic issues, don’t necessarily have to consign themselves to always eating animals. People do what they can, where they can. I just want them and others to see that there are viable options for them.

Also, I reject the implication that vegan food isn’t tasty or enjoyable. Speaking for myself, I think my taste buds became way more excitable when I went vegan. I’d wasted years eating chicken and cheese at almost every meal, and missed out on hundreds of nuanced flavors.

@Aaliyah:

Yes, but it seems that you’re making a false dichotomy here. Technically people can survive without meat, but some people need meat to be healthy even if they won’t starve to death by eating meat. Look at hellkell’s example. I hope you can see the nuance here.

Of course. People who cannot meet their needs without it shouldn’t be condemned, and I know a lot of vegans condemn them anyway. That’s wrong.

But I do hope that you see the nuance in the other direction: the fact that some humans can’t thrive without some intake of animal flesh doesn’t mean all humans need to eat it to do so, and certainly not in the quantities it’s consumed in modern Western society.

At the level of biology, healthy humans have no nutritional requirements that cannot, other things being equal, be met from plants alone, with the possible exception of vitamin B-12. Of course, all the trouble lies in that “other things being equal” bit. And people with specific health issues have to be accounted for, as well.

Science marches on, though, and I think we’ll soon have the technological capacity to address most human health problems without needing to exploit animals. Vat-grown meat, for instance. After that, it will be a question of politics.

No disagreement here. I just think that you may be underestimating the force of culture here as it definitely can make being vegetarian much more difficult if not impossible.

I know culture is a powerful thing. I think people can still learn to prioritize animal rights and vegetarianism/veganism within that context if they want to; maybe not all the time, but enough that it satisfies their morality.

For instance, I have a (non-practicing) Muslim friend who is vegan throughout the year, except on holidays when his family hosts or visits his maternal grandmother. The meat-laced food she makes for him and his family is such an emotionally-important thing to him, tied up with generations of tradition, that he makes exceptions for this special occasion. I don’t have a problem with this, really. But I do think it’s noteworthy that he doesn’t use these special occasions as a reason to eat animals at other times. “What’s so special about eating KFC?” he asks. “Nothing. So why have someone kill all those poor chickens just so I can get some salty snack I’ll forget about in 10 minutes and that I’m not really even thinking about before or after I eat it?”

For myself, I make vegan treats to bring to parties I’m invited to, but I don’t ask the host/hostess whether their cake was made with eggs. I just eat the cake, especially if it’s for a birthday, wedding anniversary, or some other event that’s emotionally resonant to them. I draw my line in a different place than my Muslim friend, but we’re both operating on the same principle: animal life matters, but sometimes our human ties matter more than trying to win an argument.

Also, every culture I’m aware of has at least a minority vegetarian tradition within it. Obviously, small tribal societies leading subsistence lifestyles might be exceptions to this (I don’t know for sure), but the big civilizations all have them. So in principle, there’s no legitimate cultural objection for people who want to make it a moral priority, because there are already culturally-legitimate expressions they can call on.

I mean, in addition your example, there’s also the fact that a lot of essential medicine probably uses animal products. And getting rid of it just because of animal products would be disastrous.

This one is @katz, too.

I acknowledge this. I’m studying evo-bio; how could I not? But again, I don’t take this to mean that we’re stuck with the situation, or that it’s illegitimate on its face to engage in activism against it. The research community has actually taken huge strides in making their practices more humane (which few vegans I know acknowledge), and most scientists I’ve worked with or discussed it with express moral qualms about it. I think they’d all like to see a day arrive where it becomes unnecessary, and would welcome practical proposals for helping that day arrive sooner rather than later.

That said, there is a HUGE amount of lab testing in the cosmetics industry that’s both unnecessary and cruel. I think activism against this kind of stuff is totally justified, and it’s invalid to equate it with legitimate medical research from either end of the issue.

@reginaldgriswold:

I hope that doesn’t make you go away, because it’s pretty cool to have another paleobiologist around.

Don’t worry, I’m not leaving.

And I’m still just in-training.

@Fade:

The thing is, it’s not like veggies or w/e are cruelty free, either.

I’m pretty sure I acknowledged this. And like I said, the case (or, at least, my case) for ethical veganism isn’t based on a claim to the contrary.

@CassandraSays:

Look, here’s the thing. Food is about more than just getting enough calories to live, unless you’re living at a subsistence level and have no choice about what you eat. Food is also about pleasure, social bonding, memory, culture, creativity. Some people may be willing to push all that other stuff aside because of ethical convictions, but most people are not willing to do that.

Even in cultures that don’t eat very much meat in terms of overall proportion it still tends to hold an important place in terms of being associated with big holidays, weddings, and other events that say “family” and “happiness” to people on a very deep level. …

Please see my response to Aaliyah, above.

I just don’t think, assuming we acknowledge that nonhuman animal life has moral value, that it’s illegitimate to question whether the special occasions are sufficient justification for the everyday, second-thought stuff. And while I don’t think we’ll ever have a world where everyone is vegan, I do think we’ll end up with a world where most meals are, most of the time.

@hellkell:

Basically, I take umbrage at you thinking you can dictate my morality and tell me I’m doing life wrong if I’m not vegan. Fuck that. Where do you get balls that big? You have zero knowledge about my life and what I may or may not think.

The effrontery is kind of staggering.

I don’t think this and that’s not what I was doing, though I can see why you had this reaction. It was wrong of me to state my position in such a cocksure manner.

I take it as moral philosophical baseline that actions which directly or indirectly cause unnecessary destruction or harm require an overriding justification. But this is not the same thing as trying to dictate your morality to you. It’s just a commonly accepted position with which many ethical discussions begin but few truly question. The ensuing questions become, how great is harm X? Does action Y have greater moral weight for other reasons? Do current realities constrain our choices in any case? Etc.

pecunium
7 years ago

Bob: I take it as moral philosophical baseline that actions which directly or indirectly cause unnecessary destruction or harm require an overriding justification. But this is not the same thing as trying to dictate your morality to you. It’s just a commonly accepted position with which many ethical discussions begin but few truly question. The ensuing questions become, how great is harm X? Does action Y have greater moral weight for other reasons? Do current realities constrain our choices in any case? Etc.

There is an a priori in that.

And it’s the thing hellkell (among others) took (justifiable, IMO) umbrage at.

You are saying other people need to evaluate what they do; based on your moral baseline.

hellkell
hellkell
7 years ago

People gotta eat, and only a very privileged person can afford to philosophize the way you do. Life is not a college bull session. Hell, we have teenagers here who understand that.

Fade
7 years ago

I’m pretty sure I acknowledged this. And like I said, the case (or, at least, my case) for ethical veganism isn’t based on a claim to the contrary.

Okay, my eyes must’ve just skimmed over that or missed it. D’oh DX

Bob Goblin
Bob Goblin
7 years ago
Reply to  pecunium

You are saying other people need to evaluate what they do; based on your moral baseline.

No, I’m not. I’m saying that I think there are basic moral principles to which most of us agree in principle, if not the details. And sure, I assume that most people will begin a discussion from that place.

That is not the same thing as insisting that everyone abide by my standards, or trying to make myself the arbiter of someone else’s morality.

Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

“A community of 30,000 people had zero grocery stores. Zero. And if you didn’t have access to a car, you weren’t going to be able to get to one.”

Fucking, that!

When I moved to Pittsburgh that Indian market wasn’t there, them moving in to a long empty building both made cheap, good, food feasible, and did wonders for that bit of “off campus” in general. I mean, yes, the Mediterranean guy makes a mean spinach pie, but that was about all I’d eat there (I don’t do grape leaves, the texture is…unappealing)

Even that Indian place though, run by a nice Indian couple, almost certainly Hindu by the religious stuff they sold, no meat that I recall, but So Much Panner. Dairy in other words. Most of the MRE things were imported form India though, so it’s a fair assumption the cows weren’t crammed together and fed shit and antibiotics. But dairy all the same.

And idk how well this would work in general, but I’ve at least gotten people to stop eating fish around me by pointing out that they’re basically saying my pets are a food source.

And as pecunium said better than I did, grocery shopping by bus really isn’t as feasible as it can sound — and I lug around gallon water jugs for the fish tanks, I can carry that kind of weight, but damn it is unpleasant and impossible when the weather is either downpour, or heat stroke risk, or covered in snow, or basically anything besides pleasant. Carrying that kind of weight is an honest to goodness work out, one that requires a certain level of physical health. Ten pounds of rice or beans gets real heavy when carried in a grocery bag!

Bob Goblin
Bob Goblin
7 years ago

People gotta eat, and only a very privileged person can afford to philosophize the way you do.

Some of the most philosophical people I’ve ever met are underprivileged.

To help you see what’s confusing me about it, I’ll change the wording a bit.:

“People gotta fuck, and only a very privileged alpha male can afford to philosophize the way you do.”

hellkell
hellkell
7 years ago

Nuh-uh. No, Bob.

Fade
7 years ago

I mean, yes, the Mediterranean guy makes a mean spinach pie, but that was about all I’d eat there (I don’t do grape leaves, the texture is…unappealing)

… mmm… you’re descriptions are making me hungry.

Dolmatas (the things with grape leaves) spinach pie….

hellkell
hellkell
7 years ago

You really need to just check yourself. Your not getting it is comically obtuse.

Bob Goblin
Bob Goblin
7 years ago

“A community of 30,000 people had zero grocery stores. Zero. And if you didn’t have access to a car, you weren’t going to be able to get to one.”

But this isn’t really an argument against veganism, per se. A person in this situation wouldn’t be able to buy quality meat or dairy, either.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
7 years ago

@Bob:

Being unable to eat a type of food is not the same not being able to eat good quality food.

pecunium
7 years ago

Bob: No, I’m not. I’m saying that I think there are basic moral principles to which most of us agree in principle,

I’m saying that the “moral principles” you see as so obvious “most of us agree on in principal” aren’t.

I’m saying the idea that, “we start with them, and then judge how x and y” relate” is you putting those principles as the baseline.

And I’m saying our baselines; for all we may come to similar end points, aren’t the same.

I’d guess some of our (where I am limiting our to just you and me) are radically different. So different that, were they laid out you might think we couldn’t get along.

And that your “rules of moral evaluation” are offensive.

For one thing, we don’t share them. Which makes it hard to use them as the basis from which the conversation begins; on any moral question.

And this: To help you see what’s confusing me about it, I’ll change the wording a bit.:

“People gotta fuck, and only a very privileged alpha male can afford to philosophize the way you do.”

isn’t helping.

Because people don’t have to fuck. They do have to eat.

Bob Goblin
Bob Goblin
7 years ago

hellkell,

Honestly, I’m not trying to be obtuse. Honestly.

Where’s the disconnect? Honestly, I thought delineating the difference between judging you, as a person, and stating a general moral principle for discussion’s sake, would clear this up.

hellkell
hellkell
7 years ago

Yeah, I’m not sure what’s confusing about the very basic and true fact that people have to eat. They can’t all do it to Bob’s liking for a variety of reasons, which to Bob are excuses. Which is 100% organic bullshit on Bob’s part.

But hey, some of his very best philosophy BFs are underprivileged.

Bob Goblin
Bob Goblin
7 years ago

pecunium,

That’s fair enough, I guess. I think I’ll just shut up and listen some more. I really didn’t think anyone would find the general moral principle objectionable, in itself. I’m admittedly handling this clumsily.

Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

Odds of a McDonalds in reasonable distance? Shittastically high.

Quality, oh fuck no, but cheap and available? Yes.

And seriously Bob, please the reconsider the idea that everyone has the time and energy to philosophize over every choice. Working parents for example, students with a full course load and little money (extra stupid if there’s a part time job involved, I ate so much shit food in those days…)

Yeah, underprivileged people sometimes philosophize, but when I was getting home after 8am to 9pm in either class or work, I was not debating the ethics of my dinner, I was nuking something from a package, or stopping for pizza on my way home.

Also, yeah, you are making the assumption that people evaluate “everything” from your baseline about animal rights. Everything would imply, you know, everything. Does the dentist I went to today offer employee benefits or employee part time workers they can get away not offering those to? Does my psych compensate their interns fairly? Things I have neither the energy nor inclination, nor ability to worry about — there are no other psych clinics I can use, cuz shitty state insurance, no other local dentist is taking new patients. Doesn’t matter how ethical either office is, I have no other choices.

Fuck, I’m typing this on an iPad, shall we start into apple ethics? (Hint, they’re probably crueler than eating meat occasionally) But I needed a new device as my old Mac is slowly dying and I can’t afford a proper laptop, absolutely refuse to put up with teh suck that is windows, and have a safelink phone so a smart phone was out. Seeing how I didn’t intend to use it for reading, kindle et al were out…getting the picture here?

Welcome to life, where people tend to look at a series of annoying or questionable options and pick the least bad one.

pecunium
7 years ago

Bob: But this isn’t really an argument against veganism, per se. A person in this situation wouldn’t be able to buy quality meat or dairy, either.

But you said you didn’t believe there were places where getting vegetarian food, at affordable rates, really existed.

That even in, “food deserts” (which you think to be more urban related than they are; If you doubt me, try to live as a vegan in Pioneer Point, Calif.) an affordable vegetarian lifestyle was possible.

I think it’s easier than most people assume. I live in a neigborhood that’s been classified as a “food desert,” and I have no problem at all doing so….

the markets and grocery stores are still there, and even the convenience stores have started offering healthier options like fresh fruit.

I’ve lived in “food deserts” all my life. All that changed is that I adopted a new perspective, made different choices, and re-arranged by food budgeting priorities. I think it can be empowering to people living in these areas to show them how to make healthier choices even within the constraints imposed on them.

I won’t pretend that my experience can be universalized, but I will admit that I have grown more skeptical of the food deserts narrative.

So telling me that I was making an “argument against veganism” is a bit rich. I was making an argument that your, “food deserts aren’t a thing I really accept” is demonstrably lacking in perspective.

My housemate, in that food desert, is a vegetarian. I know all about how hard it was to get produce. I also lived in farm areas in Calif. My ex’s sister’s ex is a farm labor rep for the US Dep. of Labor. I know more about the horrific conditions of farm workers than I ever wanted to. And that’s farm laborers in the US. Not in Chile, or Guatemala.

So I have some problems with the conclusions you draw from your baselines too. I know where my meat comes from. I have no idea about lots of that produce.

Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

“And that’s farm laborers in the US.”

Oh gods, this, so much this. I keep ending up behind by typing too much, so I won’t, but if you really want to hate humanity, google it (like, more than the MRM makes you hate humanity, as, remember, their bark is worse than their bite)

Kittehserf
7 years ago

Parenthetical: I’m waiting to see a vegetarian eatery anywhere in this city that doesn’t assume everyone is able to eat hot, spicy food. And if I wanted to go vegetarian only in my food for home(my suburb isn’t a food desert but could be described as semi-arid) it would be the most basic vegetables only. Nothing exotic (hell, I’ve never seen most of the vegetable varieties that get talked about here) because that’s all that’s on sale in either supermarket. Plenty of frozen vegetarian meals if you really want to eat a shitload of salt and goodness knows what else (plus the whole hot-food issue), but that’s it.

There’s also the little issue of more than one person in a household. I’m not the cook at home, and even if I were, I’d have no right to impose my diet on my mother, who has her own health issues. I’m not coming home after an eleven hour day to cook for one, either; I’m getting less than the minimum wage despite effectively working full time, Mum’s on the pension, and food prices in Oz are always high. It’s not only the extreme food desert Pecunium describes that affects the issue, even if one accepts the premise that everyone should ideally be vegetarian or vegan.

So Bob – back off this one, please?

pecunium
7 years ago

Bob: I’m not making this comment to pike on. I’m trying to show you what I see as the rhetorical, and logical, errors you made in presenting your case.

Where’s the disconnect? Honestly, I thought delineating the difference between judging you, as a person, and stating a general moral principle for discussion’s sake, would clear this up.

It’s that you chose to make your moral baseline the baseline for everyone.

The problem is… from your baseline, you came to moral conclusions. Then you presented them as if they were the best, perhaps the only, right end state.

That means those who didn’t agree are either too dense to come to the logical conclsions, or heartless; and somewhat immoral.

You may not have meant to do that, but by using that a priori, and assuming we all shared the idea of using such an a priori you invalidated, not merely, other people’s opinions, but called into question their right to have them.

You also insulted them. You knew that many of us aren’t vegetarians, yet you laid out your case as, “This is what a consistent moral philosophy must conclude, when intelligent people ponder it”.

So either they didn’t ponder it, or they weren’t intelligent about it, or they are immoral.

I don’t think you meant to say that. I think the clarity of your sense of things blinded you to the idea others might, having reasoned it out, come to a different conclusion.

From a tactical standpoint; you need to assses the audience. That they seem sympatico on A, b, and 3, doesn’t mean the B, d, and 5, are anything like the same.

Until you know what their baselines are, you can’t afford (if you want to have a meaningful dialogue) to assume they work from the same starting principles, because alienating them will prevent you from being able to persuade them later.

Kittehserf
7 years ago

“who has her own health issues”

Should have added in case it wasn’t obvious, “her own tastes and right to choose what she wants to eat, not least since she’s cooking it”.

hellkell
hellkell
7 years ago

So, Bob, am I totally immoral for needing to eat meat for my health, or should I just stuff myself silly with veggies and pray I get enough iron between them and the supplements? Am I evil for hating beans? I really want to know.

Kittehserf
7 years ago

No, hellkell, you’re in good company!

http://fc09.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2011/005/5/3/beans_are_evil_by_xana_1-d36goot.jpg

Totally OT I posted the Salamanderesss dress pic before, didja see it?

hellkell
hellkell
7 years ago

HAHAHAHA! Evil beans.

Yes, I saw it, it looks fabulous.

Bob Goblin
Bob Goblin
7 years ago
Reply to  hellkell

So, Bob, am I totally immoral for needing to eat meat for my health, or should I just stuff myself silly with veggies and pray I get enough iron between them and the supplements? Am I evil for hating beans? I really want to know.

No, you’re not. I kind of touched on this in the part of my response to Aaliyah’s comment. If you have a health issue that makes vegetarianism impossible for you, then a person who’s a vegetarian or vegan for moral reasons cannot hold that against you. It’s wrong and unjust of them to do so.

I’m going back to listening and watching mode now; I only posted this one because you asked me directly.

Kittehserf
7 years ago

hellkell, thanks! I’m really pleased with it, not least cos Medium fits better’n Large!

I’m sure I’ve seen Evil Beans as a name somewhere.

I should call Fribby that. It describes her more relaxed moments on my lap. ::choke:: ::gag::

pecunium
7 years ago

Bob: No, you’re not. I kind of touched on this in the part of my response to Aaliyah’s comment. If you have a health issue that makes vegetarianism impossible for you, then a person who’s a vegetarian or vegan for moral reasons cannot hold that against you. It’s wrong and unjust of them to do so.

You are still doing it.

If you have a health issue that makes vegetarianism impossible for you, then a person who’s a vegetarian or vegan for moral reasons cannot hold that against you.

Who decides the question of, “makes vegetarianism impossible for you”, and where do you get off saying vegetarians, as a class, have a right to make moral judgements about people’s diets?

And, how are the vegetarians supposed to determine if someone’s meat eating is legitimate?

You have made all of those things true, because you have cast the moral valuation of vegetarians as a thing one ought to be concerned about.

Which it isn’t.

Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

Bad bad beans!

My favorite from that is:

Get out, and stay out!

…at a piece of buttered toast.

hellkell
hellkell
7 years ago

Bob, pretty much what Pecunium said. You still are trying to dictate people’s morality. Doing that is destined to fail, no matter your intent.

pecunium
7 years ago

And now I am taking my ancient, and creaking self to bed.

Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

Shorter pecunium (gods that sounds weird, and risky): you don’t get to police other people’s food choices, period.

There’s a tactful way to suggest that maybe they make other choices but:
1) that requires far more knowledge of your audience than you have of us (or, likely, any group)
2) you not make it about them

Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

Damnit creaky one, I was finally getting around to emailing you!

Bob Goblin
Bob Goblin
7 years ago

OK, then.

I would like to discuss veganism and animal rights, from the perspective of advocacy. If stating my baseline assumption and then replying to comments from that perspective is not the proper way to begin, how and where would you all like to begin?

Kittehserf
7 years ago

Eh, Bob, I’ll opt out, I think. The whole thread’s been pretty emotionally draining, one way and another.

I will say I hope you and ArchaeoHolmes (hi, if you’re reading!) don’t stop commenting in general on the site because of how this one went. I like you both.

Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

I really am not up for going into this in depth, but you should, in any ethical discussion, assume that everyone thinks the opposite of you, and for reasons that either are valid, or seem so to them.

That is, assume that if you do not first gauge their views, and carefully, they’ll go on the defensive and all hope of meaningful discussion will be lost.

And never Godwin, nor make comparisons to genocide (that’s more a comment about a very long, tiring, frustrating, email conversation with a non-boobzer).

If you so much as think about thinking that death from natural causes is worse than genocide because natural causes kill more people, go sit in the corner of shame until you think staring at a wall could be a form of torture (I’d say to go stand on a box over an electrified floor, but I’m not actually advocating torture here)

Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

Actually, torture is a good example of what I mean. You’d think “we can all agree that torture is morally wrong” would be fine right? But then, inevitably, someone pulls the ticking time bomb scenario. And it all goes to shit if you don’t actually know about torture and are arguing just from the assumed to be shared moral groundwork.

Torture’s pecunium’s specialty in a way, he lectures on why it’s never justified, so either of us can devils advocate the ticking time bomb if you want. (I have read way too much of his writings on the topic.)

serrana
serrana
7 years ago

I will discuss vegan food with you anytime, anywhere, but I’m not much interested in discussing the ethics portion much because that’s half my Facebook wall sometimes. I would like to ask you though, Bob, are you an abolitionist or a welfarist? How important is the distinction to you?

FWIW, I’ve been a vegetarian for over 10 years. I believe veganism is an admirable way to live, but it’s not for me. Everyone is always welcome at my dinner table though, and you can bring whatever you like. Except if you’re a cannibal. I have to draw the line somewhere.

Bob Goblin
Bob Goblin
7 years ago
Reply to  serrana

@serrana — The distinction doesn’t matter much to me in general. It would depend on the specific issue.

@ Argenti — I see your point there, but I always hope to start from a place of common ground, which is why I brought up that bit about common moral principles of inflicting the least harm. But yeah, note to self.

Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

” I see your point there, but I always hope to start from a place of common ground…”

But to do that you need to figure out what ground you have in common. Also, we’ve been done the utilitianism rabbit hole So. Many. Times. around here. Tread carefully with those arguments in general. Yeah, least harm is good in principle, but assuming that your view of what is least harmful is correct is never going to come off well. Also, dear gods do I not want to have another conversation that involved the utilitianism monster or wtf-ever that’s called.

Generally speaking though, go with general questions first and then discuss the common ground in a non-judgmental manner. Assuming there is any that isn’t absolutely abhorant (it is impossible to have a reasonable discussion with Eurosabra, if you hadn’t noticed) — a relevant example would be, say, people who enjoy torturing animals for the fun of it (you know, budding serial killer types)…which people who enjoy the taste of meat are not. Even if you see eating meat as torturing animals, full stop, there is still the difference between torture as the end goal, versus the means to the end. And yes, the ends never justify the means, but the solution here isn’t to go all in “that’s torture” which will always result in people getting defensive, but a *chuckle* appeal to emotion.

Spot! That! Fallacy!

But at least that goes over better if done tactfully. “But fish are my pets!” goes over better than “you wouldn’t eat dog now would you?” (Lol, I actually know someone who has, study abroad in um, Mongolia?)

Or on the topic of torture, you don’t go straight for calling the subtle examples torture, particularly not those that, well, resemble my corner of shame point. Yeah, solitary confinement and psychological torture are torture, but if you word if vaguely enough that it sounds like a kid getting pissed about having to sit alone in the corner is being tortured, well, you can imagine how that’d go over, right?

(Um, I have an extra special piece of hatred for the APA’s involvement at gitmo, I can explain about psychology torture if need be, but I am going to bed soon, getting my face teeth drilled in t-7~)

katz
7 years ago

If you have a health issue that makes vegetarianism impossible for you, then a person who’s a vegetarian or vegan for moral reasons cannot hold that against you. It’s wrong and unjust of them to do so.

So, just as a general principle, telling people “what you’re doing is morally repugnant but it’s a special circumstance so I’ll make an exception” is never going to go over well. You’re either going to make them feel ashamed anyway or you’re going to convince them that you’re full of shit.

This reminds me of conservative evangelicals who I’ve heard saying that all stay-at-home husbands are worthless failures, unless they’re injured or something and unable to work, in which case it’s OK. Do you think men at those churches who can’t work go away thinking “they said it was OK in my case, so that’s fine then?” Or do you think they went away feeling like worthless losers?

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
7 years ago

On the analogy about food choices versus sexual choices…Bob, do you really not see how wrong that was? Not only because, as people have said, eating is essential to survival and sex is not. Also because it’s an attempt to play on women’s fear of rape in order to force them to support your position on food ethics. That’s a shitty thing to do. It’s sneaky and manipulative and really not cool at all.

I think you’re generally a decent person, from what I’ve seen so far, so I’m not telling you to get lost. But please don’t ever attempt to use women’s fear of sexual violence to manipulate them into agreeing with you again.

Aaliyah
7 years ago

I apologize if I also came across as condescending and self-righteous in the last few pages.

I really am not up for going into this in depth, but you should, in any ethical discussion, assume that everyone thinks the opposite of you, and for reasons that either are valid, or seem so to them.

That is, assume that if you do not first gauge their views, and carefully, they’ll go on the defensive and all hope of meaningful discussion will be lost.

And never Godwin, nor make comparisons to genocide (that’s more a comment about a very long, tiring, frustrating, email conversation with a non-boobzer).

I completely agree.

Bob Goblin
Bob Goblin
7 years ago
Reply to  CassandraSays

@CassandraSays,

This is an explanation, not an attempt at making an excuse: I wasn’t trying to manipulate anyone into agreeing with me. I was trying to demonstrate what hellkell’s responses sounded like to me at the time.

But if I could take that back, I would. It was immensely stupid and offensive of me, and I apologize to everyone for doing it.