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Old 13th December 2018, 05:38 AM   #1
Olmstead
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Climate change denial and dismissal of veganism: the striking parallels

Summary for those who don't want to read my wall of text :

Thereís evidence that a vegan diet could potentially help reduce the effects of climate change to a significant degree, but this is often outright dismissed, even by people who feel strongly about the necessity to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Are the reasons for this dismissal similar to the reasons people have to deny climate change, i.e. a refusal to give up something they consider indispensable, both in their personal lives and to the world as a whole (e.g. the economy)?

Full post for those that are okay with reading my wall of text (pretty please?):

A disclaimer first Ė Iím vegan, and I originally became vegan because I'm of the opinion that the consumption of meat and dairy in first world countries creates completely unnecessary suffering. My opinion on this matter hasnít changed, and Iím always willing to argue this point with anyone who wants to discuss it. But ethics is a complex and difficult subject, and I donít try to force this opinion on people. Also, I really hate philosophy.

What Iím much more interested in is the environmental impact of the meat and dairy industry, and how veganism could help prevent climate change. This is a much more tangible concept. Most importantly, itís falsifiable, and studies have already been done that show the significantly lower impact of vegetables compared to animal products (see the study "Reducing foodís environmental impacts through producers and consumers") Of course, many people question these conclusions, and I definitely agree that there isnít nearly as much consensus on this matter as there is on climate change. The number of available studies is simply too sparse. My question is: Why?

You see, Iíve noticed an odd parallel when discussing climate change and veganism with people that feel strongly about dismissing one or the other. Many of them immediately reject the idea without even bothering to consider any of the facts. Others, after being presented with facts that might give them pause, scramble to find anything that might disprove them, even if itís only tangentially related or if the source is extremely unreliable. Again others, accepting that there might be something to it, still completely reject the idea of doing anything about it, i.e. limiting the use of fossil fuels or cutting down on meat, because it'd be too inconvenient.

When it comes to climate change denial, Iíve very rarely encountered this in people who are educated and who I consider to be critical thinkers, probably because of the overwhelming scientific consensus. But when it comes to the environmental impact of animal products, such behaviour is all over the place, and many people who scorn climate change deniers will resort to derision and fallacies with regards to veganism.

I donít want to discuss whether veganism would be a great way to reduce our impact on the environment. There are many complex factors to consider, and they need to be considered by people that have the requisite background. What I do want to discuss is whether the consumption of animal products is so ingrained in modern society that it hampers our ability to even approach this issue. Cutting down on meat could be the biggest and simplest way for individuals to help the planet, so why is the idea met with such hatred by many? Are people so opposed to the idea of giving up meat that only a unanimous consensus would convince them? Are animal products such an important part of the economy that a serious effort to cut down on them would encounter widespread opposition from powerful groups? Is one reason for the lack of research on the subject that many climate scientists arenít willing to consider it?

Anyway, umm Ö discuss.
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Old 13th December 2018, 06:03 AM   #2
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We evolved as omnivores. That seems to me to be the most sensible way of staying well. Do you take many supplements? Do you consider the effects on resources, etc when buying and consuming them?
What a bout babies - do you ... ... no, I will not go on. As someone on another forum pointed out, veganism is only possible for those who can afford it.
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Old 13th December 2018, 06:09 AM   #3
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I agree. There is evidence that suggests a vegan diet would be beneficial for combating climate change.

The problem, as I see it, is that telling people what to eat, or more specifically, what they can't eat isn't going to work. I'm not a vegan, although I've tried living as one. I simply didn't have the discipline to do it. As long as there are non-vegan products available, I will chose them, not out of principle, but out of instinct and desire.

I don't know what percentage of green house gas emissions come from the manufacturing of non-vegan foods, but I believe that appealing to people to switch to veganism is neither enough nor feasible. In order to combat climate change, more drastic measures are required and the burden will fall to government regulation.

In brief, I will not chose to go vegan, but I can be forced to do so.
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Old 13th December 2018, 06:11 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by SusanB-M1 View Post
We evolved as omnivores. That seems to me to be the most sensible way of staying well. Do you take many supplements? Do you consider the effects on resources, etc when buying and consuming them?
What a bout babies - do you ... ... no, I will not go on. As someone on another forum pointed out, veganism is only possible for those who can afford it.
I'm not a vegan, but "We evolved as omnivores" always strikes me as a naturalistic fallacy. We do many many things that benefit our health greatly which are very different than the way we behaved evolutionarily. Modern medicine comes to mind. And if we're concentrating on food, no modern diet looks much like what we ate before civilization.
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Old 13th December 2018, 06:12 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by SusanB-M1 View Post
As someone on another forum pointed out, veganism is only possible for those who can afford it.
Personally I think that whatever arguments in favour of veganism may be valid, they will also favour a shift in the direction of veganism, even if that shift isn't toward complete veganism.

And, if you look at vegetarians for instance, there are enough vegetarian Indians living on very little to show that at least a shift of that degree doesn't require a high income.

I'd also say that your post doesn't really address the OP which seems to be about the impact of diet on climate change, not health. If you want to argue that the health concerns are dire enough that they warrant the contribution to climate change that the OP discusses, that may be valid, but please do so explicitly.

PS I'm neither vegan nor even vegetarian and sometimes have even counselled vegetarians and vegans to eat meat.
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Old 13th December 2018, 06:14 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by uke2se View Post

In brief, I will not chose to go vegan, but I can be forced to do so.
A meat tax? That would probably work to at least limit consumption.
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Old 13th December 2018, 06:17 AM   #7
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Veganism is a hard sell for a lot of people. However, reducing the consumption of meat, while not being totally abstinent, is much easier.

Meat in every meal is a fairly modern phenomenon. In the past, and in many parts of the world today, vegetarianism is practiced because meat is an expensive luxury out of reach for many.

If the goal is climate harm reduction, perfect veganism is not required. Introducing vegetarian meals into the normal rotation could go a long way and be much easier than a radical diet shift. This doesn't really jive with the moral aspects of the vegan movement, but from a climate standpoint, less meat is less meat.
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Old 13th December 2018, 06:34 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by SusanB-M1 View Post
We evolved as omnivores. That seems to me to be the most sensible way of staying well. Do you take many supplements? Do you consider the effects on resources, etc when buying and consuming them?
What a bout babies - do you ... ... no, I will not go on. As someone on another forum pointed out, veganism is only possible for those who can afford it.
I never considered evolution a valid point. Evolution doesn't have a special will that will automatically turn an organism into the perfect receptacle for a certain diet. How an organism evolves is dependent on conditions that keep changing, and every organism will only ever move towards a better state to pass on its genes in a certain environment but never reach the ideal state to pass on its genes. In other words, just because we evolved into an organism that does fine as an omnivore (in an environment that is long gone, mind you), doesn't mean that this is the only acceptable diet, or even the best diet. There are many examples in the animal kingdom of terrible inefficiency.

That being said, yes, I do take B12, though this is really the only nutrient you cannot get reliably from a vegan diet. And I agree that at the moment, full veganism is only suitable for people in first-world countries. But this would change as the world moved closer to a plant-based diet (I'm not arguing for an immediate shift). There's a reason milk is dirt cheap while vegan alternatives are twice as expensive, and it's not because it's that much cheaper to produce.

Also, look around you. There's an obesity epidemic and many people are ridiculously unhealthy, while all the vegans I know look 10 years younger than they are (anecdotal, I know). My point is, health really isn't much of an argument when too much meat is literally killing people.
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Old 13th December 2018, 06:41 AM   #9
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Sure you can cherry pick one thing and go "This will reduce CO2 emissions so if you don't do it you're functionally equivalent to a climate change denier."

Problem is people who do this want to look at one thing in a vacuum.

Look at it this way. I don't have kids. I haven't added another entire human or humans to the mix. I could drive around in a Hummer that runs on spotted owl tears eating Ribeye everyday for the rest of my life and not have the ecological impact of the Duggers or John & Kate.
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Old 13th December 2018, 06:41 AM   #10
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Like with fossil fuels, we won't abandon meat without a cost-competitive alternative.
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Old 13th December 2018, 06:47 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
Like with fossil fuels, we won't abandon meat without a cost-competitive alternative.
Lab grown or cultured meats will kill traditional animal raised meats long before any social or ecological reason.
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Old 13th December 2018, 06:54 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
Veganism is a hard sell for a lot of people. However, reducing the consumption of meat, while not being totally abstinent, is much easier.

Meat in every meal is a fairly modern phenomenon. In the past, and in many parts of the world today, vegetarianism is practiced because meat is an expensive luxury out of reach for many.

If the goal is climate harm reduction, perfect veganism is not required. Introducing vegetarian meals into the normal rotation could go a long way and be much easier than a radical diet shift. This doesn't really jive with the moral aspects of the vegan movement, but from a climate standpoint, less meat is less meat.
Exactly! This is mainly what I wanted to get across. Reducing the consumption of animal products could help the environment immensely, but people seem unwilling to consider even a moderate reduction. It could be an important step, just as important as sustainable energy, but one is considered an imposition and the other a necessity. I don't have any illusions that the world could turn vegan overnight, or ever for that matter, but progress could definitely be made.

And in my opinion, this actually does jive with the moral aspects of my veganism. Less bad stuff is always better than more bad stuff, and while I would encourage people who care about animal cruelty to do as much as possible (if they care to hear it), I'd never think of making someone feel that what they are already doing is worthless.
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Old 13th December 2018, 06:56 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
Like with fossil fuels, we won't abandon meat without a cost-competitive alternative.
Is it actually more costly to ditch meat? I mean, sure, lots of vegan stuff is exotic produce and super expensive organic stuff. Veganism and crunchy hippyism often go hand in hand, but it need not be that way. If were really trying to be cost efficient, vegetarian meals would be cheaper than meat meals, calorie per dollar.

Calorically dense vegetables like grains, starches, and beans are much cheaper than meat.

Meat isn't popular because it is cheaper than non-meat. It's popular because people like it and it's cheap enough (in developed countries) that most people can easily afford it.
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Old 13th December 2018, 06:58 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Olmstead View Post
Exactly! This is mainly what I wanted to get across. Reducing the consumption of animal products could help the environment immensely, but people seem unwilling to consider even a moderate reduction. It could be an important step, just as important as sustainable energy, but one is considered an imposition and the other a necessity. I don't have any illusions that the world could turn vegan overnight, or ever for that matter, but progress could definitely be made.

And in my opinion, this actually does jive with the moral aspects of my veganism. Less bad stuff is always better than more bad stuff, and while I would encourage people who care about animal cruelty to do as much as possible (if they care to hear it), I'd never think of making someone feel that what they are already doing is worthless.
I think it's psychological resistance combined with the notion of "why should I if nobody else?".

As I explained above, I have struggled with this myself. I will strive to eat less meat, but it's going to take much more than that to have a real effect on climate change. I don't think humanity as a whole is capable of solving this issue through voluntary means.
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Old 13th December 2018, 06:59 AM   #15
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Not in my belly....yo
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Old 13th December 2018, 06:59 AM   #16
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Soy isn't a meat alternative, no matter what some say.
Mushrooms might, but I see the future in Insects to replace mammalian meat.
Vat- growing will probably not scale well.
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Old 13th December 2018, 07:04 AM   #17
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We also don't "do meat" the right way.

On a basic level for a pre-industrial society meat is amazingly efficient from a certain point of view because most large, vegetarian animals that make good meat animals for domestication eat something we can't eat or easily turn into something we eat, grasses, and turn them into something we can eat, meat. A cow is a magical creature that turns grass into ribeye.

Back in yea ole' hunter gatherer days a giant grassland area was practically a food desert for anything that didn't have the 248 stomachs necessary to break down grass into usable food and even they had to graze pretty much non-stop to do it. Grazing herd animals were a way for humans to eat all that grass, just with a middle man in there.

It's why we never domesticated any meat eating animals to eat for meat, you know other than the whole "Their day job is murder" thing, it just doesn't make any sense, might as well eat the meat they are eating. Any meat eating animal we domesticated had to be super-useful for other tasks (the dog) or in reality domesticated itself (the cat.)

It's also why none of the primary meat animals we raised historically eat mostly fruits, nuts, berries, or things we could eat. Again mights as well just eat the thing they are eating if that's already available. Omnivores like the pig got a pass just by being super not picky about what they eat.

Problem is modern large scale meat production requires us to feed meat animals food we could be eating (or waste farmland that could be used to grow food for us food for them which is the same thing functionally).
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Old 13th December 2018, 07:10 AM   #18
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If we could just crossbreed cows with eastern emerald elysia, we wouldn't need so much fodder.
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Old 13th December 2018, 07:17 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
A meat tax? That would probably work to at least limit consumption.
What about when the meat you want to buy has a lower carbon footprint than the fruit/veg you want to buy?
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Old 13th December 2018, 07:18 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Olmstead View Post
Summary for those who don't want to read my wall of text :

Thereís evidence that a vegan diet could potentially help reduce the effects of climate change to a significant degree, but this is often outright dismissed, even by people who feel strongly about the necessity to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Are the reasons for this dismissal similar to the reasons people have to deny climate change, i.e. a refusal to give up something they consider indispensable, both in their personal lives and to the world as a whole (e.g. the economy)?
How about a middle ground? Most of us should reduce our intake of meat and increase our intake of veggies. No need to be vegan or even vegetarian. Just eat a more balanced diet, myself included.
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Old 13th December 2018, 07:22 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Cavemonster View Post
I'm not a vegan, but "We evolved as omnivores" always strikes me as a naturalistic fallacy.
It's only a fallacy if it's a non sequitur. It follows that our bodies are optimised for an omnivorous diet, so it's not a fallacy. The Naturalistic Fallacy is essentially "it's X in nature, so X is good", but that isn't what Susan was saying. There's evidence to support the claim beyond the statement.
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Old 13th December 2018, 07:25 AM   #22
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At best the entire planet immediately shifting to veganism would make a minuscule practically non-measurable benefit to slowing climate change. Therefore I consider it a silly distraction from the real problem which is not being addressed, digging/pumping up huge amounts of sequestered carbon and dumping it into the environment.

It's like a morbidly obese person not improving their calorie intake/burn ratio but instead shifting the fats/proteins/carbs ratio in their diet and thinking that is helpful.
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Old 13th December 2018, 07:30 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
We also don't "do meat" the right way.

On a basic level for a pre-industrial society meat is amazingly efficient from a certain point of view because most large, vegetarian animals that make good meat animals for domestication eat something we can't eat or easily turn into something we eat, grasses, and turn them into something we can eat, meat. A cow is a magical creature that turns grass into ribeye.

Back in yea ole' hunter gatherer days a giant grassland area was practically a food desert for anything that didn't have the 248 stomachs necessary to break down grass into usable food and even they had to graze pretty much non-stop to do it. Grazing herd animals were a way for humans to eat all that grass, just with a middle man in there.

It's why we never domesticated any meat eating animals to eat for meat, you know other than the whole "Their day job is murder" thing, it just doesn't make any sense, might as well eat the meat they are eating. Any meat eating animal we domesticated had to be super-useful for other tasks (the dog) or in reality domesticated itself (the cat.)

It's also why none of the primary meat animals we raised historically eat mostly fruits, nuts, berries, or things we could eat. Again mights as well just eat the thing they are eating if that's already available. Omnivores like the pig got a pass just by being super not picky about what they eat.

Problem is modern large scale meat production requires us to feed meat animals food we could be eating (or waste farmland that could be used to grow food for us food for them which is the same thing functionally).
Thank you Joe, that's a good summary.
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Old 13th December 2018, 07:32 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by paulhutch View Post
At best the entire planet immediately shifting to veganism would make a minuscule practically non-measurable benefit to slowing climate change. Therefore I consider it a silly distraction from the real problem which is not being addressed, digging/pumping up huge amounts of sequestered carbon and dumping it into the environment.

It's like a morbidly obese person not improving their calorie intake/burn ratio but instead shifting the fats/proteins/carbs ratio in their diet and thinking that is helpful.

That and the whole "Oh but meat is so much more ecologically damaging" always comes from people who were already vegetarian for other reasons. The OP fully admits this is the case for them. So it's not about ecology, it's about finding another reason for something you're already onboard with.

It's like when stoners go on about the industrial value of hemp fiber. Yeah dreadlocks and Bob Marley shirt guy I'm sure the textile industry is really what you are concerned with.
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Old 13th December 2018, 07:32 AM   #25
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My main arguments against veganism are that the food sucks, and the people who argue for it are moralizing jerks.

My main arguments against climate change denial are that climate change is clearly happening, and the people who argue against it are partisan hacks.

So no, not that striking of a parallel. Just the normal kind you get when you hitch your personal bugbear onto the globally important issue du jour.

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Old 13th December 2018, 07:36 AM   #26
uke2se
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
That and the whole "Oh but meat is so much more ecologically damaging" always comes from people who were already vegetarian for other reasons. The OP fully admits this is the case for them. So it's not about ecology, it's about finding another reason for something you're already onboard with.

It's like when stoners go on about the industrial value of hemp fiber. Yeah dreadlocks and Bob Marley shirt guy I'm sure the textile industry is really what you are concerned with.
Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
My main arguments against veganism are that the food sucks, and the people who argue for it are moralizing jerks.

My main arguments against climate change denial are that climate change is clearly happening, and the people who argue against it are partisan hacks.

So no, not that striking of a parallel. Just the normal kind you get when you hitch your personal bugbear onto the globally important issue du jour.
While both of these posts are true, imo, I don't think it's fair to dismiss veganism or its potential for fighting climate change because of those sentiments. Its a potential tool in what needs to be a vast tool-box if we are going to fix this problem.
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Old 13th December 2018, 07:37 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by SusanB-M1 View Post
We evolved as omnivores. That seems to me to be the most sensible way of staying well. Do you take many supplements? Do you consider the effects on resources, etc when buying and consuming them?
What a bout babies - do you ... ... no, I will not go on. As someone on another forum pointed out, veganism is only possible for those who can afford it.
That's a new one on me.

My wife is vegan. As a matter of convenience, my diet is frequently vegan. I'm not aware this costs more than non vegan. I assumed it cost less actually. I could be wrong.
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Old 13th December 2018, 07:38 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by uke2se View Post
While both of these posts are true, imo, I don't think it's fair to dismiss veganism or its potential for fighting climate change because of those sentiments.
I'm not dismissing it, but the context reality forces us to put it in is... low.
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Last edited by JoeMorgue; 13th December 2018 at 07:38 AM. Reason: ETA: Added quote I was responding to for clarity, thread moved faster than I figured.
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Old 13th December 2018, 07:39 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by SusanB-M1 View Post
We evolved as omnivores. That seems to me to be the most sensible way of staying well. Do you take many supplements? Do you consider the effects on resources, etc when buying and consuming them?
What a bout babies - do you ... ... no, I will not go on. As someone on another forum pointed out, veganism is only possible for those who can afford it.
Originally Posted by Cavemonster View Post
I'm not a vegan, but "We evolved as omnivores" always strikes me as a naturalistic fallacy. We do many many things that benefit our health greatly which are very different than the way we behaved evolutionarily. Modern medicine comes to mind. And if we're concentrating on food, no modern diet looks much like what we ate before civilization.
Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
It's only a fallacy if it's a non sequitur. It follows that our bodies are optimised for an omnivorous diet, so it's not a fallacy. The Naturalistic Fallacy is essentially "it's X in nature, so X is good", but that isn't what Susan was saying. There's evidence to support the claim beyond the statement.
The appeal to nature is a fallacy if we are arguing that we ought to do something purely based on the fact that we evolved to do something.

There are plenty of things that we likely evolved to do, such as binge on all perishable food available or spread our seed as widely as possible (for men), and be choosier (if women), and (possibly, perhaps, controversially argued for) overpower unwilling choosy partners if circumstances allow. We may have evolved to do these things but the way we have been optimized to live on the Savanah may not apply to our daily lives in the 21st Century.

Similarly, even if our bodies functioned best by eating a mixture of meat and plant life this may simply be an optimization that doesn't apply anymore. If technology allowed us to synthesize any nutrients which we get from meat or dairy, just as it allows us to clothe ourselves without fur and leather then the fact we evolved to be omnivores would be irrelevant.
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Old 13th December 2018, 07:41 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
That and the whole "Oh but meat is so much more ecologically damaging" always comes from people who were already vegetarian for other reasons. The OP fully admits this is the case for them. So it's not about ecology, it's about finding another reason for something you're already onboard with.

It's like when stoners go on about the industrial value of hemp fiber. Yeah dreadlocks and Bob Marley shirt guy I'm sure the textile industry is really what you are concerned with.
You're poisoning the well. If those other reasons don't have merit, challenge them. If they have merit, the motives of the person should be immaterial.
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Old 13th December 2018, 07:42 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
The appeal to nature is a fallacy if we are arguing that we ought to do something purely based on the fact that we evolved to do something.
Yeah, that's what I said. But pointing out that our biology is optimised for something is not a fallacy. For instance, I could say that we're biologically evolved to reject ammonia from our bodies due to it harmful effects, and as such we should avoid putting in there. Is that a fallacy?

Quote:
There are plenty of things that we likely evolved to do, such as binge on all perishable food available or spread our seed as widely as possible (for men), and be choosier (if women), and (possibly, perhaps, controversially argued for) overpower unwilling choosy partners if circumstances allow. We may have evolved to do these things but the way we have been optimized to live on the Savanah may not apply to our daily lives in the 21st Century.
Yes, and?

Quote:
Similarly, even if our bodies functioned best by eating a mixture of meat and plant life this may simply be an optimization that doesn't apply anymore. If technology allowed us to synthesize any nutrients which we get from meat or dairy, just as it allows us to clothe ourselves without fur and leather then the fact we evolved to be omnivores would be irrelevant.
The first sentence is true, but only if the second one is.
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Old 13th December 2018, 07:44 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by varwoche View Post
You're poisoning the well. If those other reasons don't have merit, challenge them. If they have merit, the motives of the person should be immaterial.
Should be, but they're not. If the motive is self-serving it puts question marks on the argument even if it otherwise stands on its own, especially if, unlike here, the 'serving' part if harmful.
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Old 13th December 2018, 07:45 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by uke2se View Post
While both of these posts are true, imo, I don't think it's fair to dismiss veganism or its potential for fighting climate change because of those sentiments. Its a potential tool in what needs to be a vast tool-box if we are going to fix this problem.
I think it needs to be dismissed, actually, until the rest of the tools are assessed and the correct one is being used. In any situation where Something Must Be Done, there is a tendency to latch onto the nearest Something and insist it Be Done, whether or not it makes sense. Veganism has been proposed as the solution to all of humanity's ills in turn, from overpopulation to cancer. In this case it may be a useful hammer, but what we need to be swinging is a shut-down-the-god-damned-coal-plants-already wrench.
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Old 13th December 2018, 07:46 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by varwoche View Post
You're poisoning the well. If those other reasons don't have merit, challenge them. If they have merit, the motives of the person should be immaterial.
No it's not. If you cherry pick one thing you're already a fan of and go on about some quality it has divorced from the context of things which have the quality in greater amounts, that's bad. I'm sorry I don't have a cutesy-poo fallacy name for it, so on the internet it doesn't count, but it's bad argumentatives.

Food production is less than 9% of total CO2 production in the US. Even if meat production was the full 9% and vegetarian foods was 0, that's nothing compared to the choices we make in transportation, energy production, Residential factors, and industry.
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Old 13th December 2018, 07:49 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by Olmstead View Post
A disclaimer first Ė Iím vegan, and I originally became vegan because I'm of the opinion that the consumption of meat and dairy in first world countries creates completely unnecessary suffering. My opinion on this matter hasnít changed, and Iím always willing to argue this point with anyone who wants to discuss it.
I would say the opposite. Assuming you accept that the majority of people will never be vegan, all veganism does is reduce the market for meat and make farming and production more competitive, and the first thing to be neglected in such a competitive environment is animal rights.

I say the best thing people can do is buy responsibly. Research where your meat comes from, buy locally, boycott producers with poor animal rights history, never buy mystery meat (i.e. fast food) unless there's evidence of responsible sourcing, etc.

However, you're right that there is an insane amount of suffering in this area, especially in the US, and laws need to be strengthened and stringently enforced.
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Old 13th December 2018, 07:50 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Yeah, that's what I said. But pointing out that our biology is optimised for something is not a fallacy. For instance, I could say that we're biologically evolved to reject ammonia from our bodies due to it harmful effects, and as such we should avoid putting in there. Is that a fallacy?
Read again what I said:

Quote:
The appeal to nature is a fallacy if we are arguing that we ought to do something purely based on the fact that we evolved to do something.
In your example, the reason why we should avoid putting amonia in our bodies is because it is harmful. Not because we evolved to reject it.

In the case of meat eating, the fact that we evolved to eat it does not mean that in every case we will need to eat it.



Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Yes, and?
So it doesn't follow that just because we evolved to do it that we should do it.

Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
The first sentence is true, but only if the second one is.
The first sentence being true exposes the appeal to nature fallacy that we should eat meat purely because we evolved to do it.
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Old 13th December 2018, 07:53 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Should be, but they're not. If the motive is self-serving it puts question marks on the argument even if it otherwise stands on its own, especially if, unlike here, the 'serving' part if harmful.
In which case, still, challenge the argument. Challenging motives serves no positive purpose (except for extreme circumstances which would be a massive derail if I expanded). We all complain about vapid threads that consist mostly of neenering. Challenging someone's motives tends to lead to that.
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Old 13th December 2018, 07:54 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by varwoche View Post
In which case, still, challenge the argument. Challenging motives serves no positive purpose (except for extreme circumstances which would be a massive derail if I expanded). We all complain about vapid threads that consist mostly of neenering. Challenging someone's motives tends to lead to that.
We are. Both me and Belz have multiple posts in this thread explaining, with some nuance, our stances both pro and con.

You're taking one post out of the context of many and treating them as our entire argument.
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Old 13th December 2018, 07:57 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
We also don't "do meat" the right way.

(snip)

Problem is modern large scale meat production requires us to feed meat animals food we could be eating (or waste farmland that could be used to grow food for us food for them which is the same thing functionally).
When I lived in the Peace Corps, they did meat more efficiently. Most rural families had a few goats, a cow and maybe a water buffalo. Plus some chickens and dogs. The goats at food scraps that were mostly inedible for people - banana peels, apple cores, onion peel, moldy food, that sort of thing. Every now and then they would murder a goat and have a party - nobody had refrigerators, so they had to pretty much eat the whole goat in a day or two, a good excuse to have a party.

The water buffalo and the cows ate leaves, rice straw and rice husks. They pulled the plow and provided milk (milk cows were often used also as beasts of burden). They would sometimes eat water buff meat, but usually by selling the buff to a butcher who had the resources to process such a large animal and sell the meat before it spoiled.

Chickens actually got fed some wheat or bread crumbs, but chickens are efficient and don't need much food to make eggs or meat. Pound for pound, they do this much better than red meat animals.

And overall, people just didn't eat nearly as much meat, probably less than 1/10 what the average American eats.

The way we do it here is wasteful. Vast acres of fields doing nothing but growing grain to give to cows in feedlots. Cows given antibiotics to push growth but also creating antibiotic resistance. Then one reads about meat recalls where literally millions of pounds of meat get recalled and destroyed - thousands of animals living and dying only to have the meat destroyed anyway.

I am not a vegan, but I wish I had the discipline to be at least a vegetarian. I try to go at least a few days a week with no meat, but I'm not very strict about it. Giving up cheese would be even harder. Meat and dairy consumption in America sure as hell has a huge impact on the environment, one does not need to be vegan or vegetarian to see that.
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Old 13th December 2018, 08:01 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Read again what I said:
I read it.

Quote:
In your example, the reason why we should avoid putting amonia in our bodies is because it is harmful. Not because we evolved to reject it.
But the fact is that we evolved to reject it because it's harmful. You can usually infer that we evolved various abilities or functions for a 'reason'. It's not the end-all of the argument, but it can be a useful indicator, which is why I dislike the over-use of saying 'naturalistic fallacy!'.

Quote:
In the case of meat eating, the fact that we evolved to eat it does not mean that in every case we will need to eat it.
It means that we don't have the system to digest everything we need from plant matter so we use, as Joe said, the middle man to get it.

Quote:
So it doesn't follow that just because we evolved to do it that we should do it.
Nobody said "just".
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