1338 changed my life! (veganism)

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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby PolakoVoador » Fri May 02, 2014 6:14 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:The OP doesn't eat honey, so evidently they do count.


My remark wasn't directed only to the OP, but to the general feeling that seems to exist. But I forgot the honey detail, so my bad anyway.

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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby Xilmi » Mon May 05, 2014 1:48 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Xilmi, how old are you? You're being awfully pedantic in a way that sort of makes me think you're a middle schooler who just stumbled on some of this literature.

Is there any particular reason for asking this particular question and mentioning this particular observation? Would this information help you with pigeonholing?

Izawwlgood wrote:That picture of a cow and a girl cuddling is the sort of stuff you find in PETA pamphlets.

It is one of the pictures that were used during Melanie Joys lecture: "The psychology of eating meat" which I mentioned above. So your guess actually ain't that far off. Why do you mention it? Is something is wrong with it?

Izawwlgood wrote:Yes; they're animals. I feel empathy and compassion for them, but that doesn't mean I feel they are anything other than animals. I find cows to be adorable and kind of weird and sometimes very personable and silly. I also find steak delicious. To me, animals have uses, they're tools, and treating your tools well is important, but you shouldn't feel bad that you used a hammer to sink a nail.

That's a neat example for cognitive dissonance. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonance )
There's different strategies for resolving that dissonance.

Here's a nice example right from Wikipedia, which I of course altered to better fit my propagandistic needs.
Wikipedia wrote:Reducing cognitive dissonance

Cognitive dissonance theory is founded on the assumption that individuals seek consistency between their expectations and their reality. Because of this, people engage in a process called dissonance reduction to bring their cognitions and actions in line with one another. This creation of uniformity allows for a lessening of psychological tension and distress. According to Festinger, dissonance reduction can be achieved in four ways:

Attitude: "I feel empathy and compassion for animals and acknoledge them as personable."
Behavior: Eating animals

1. Change behavior/cognition

(Ex: Stop eating animals)

2. Justify behavior/cognition by changing the conflicting cognition

(Ex: "It is normal, natural and necessary to kill and eat them.")

3. Justify behavior/cognition by adding new cognitions

(Ex: "If I don't kill them myself/am always kind to them/pick organic I do not have to feel responsible for any suffering.")

4. Ignore/Deny any information that conflicts with existing beliefs

(Ex: "No, I do not want to watch a documentary about meat-production or disease caused by meat consumption.")

So whenever you start a conversation with a vegan about this issue, he will try and give you a hard time sticking to your current strategy. Actually our mere presence already causes some trouble in that regard.
This can lead to an unpleasant feeling of "mental distress and discomfort".
Usually that is not directly connected with the gap between behavior and cognition but with the one who made you (re)realize this (formerly closed) gap.

So I am well aware, that I am indirectly causing said distress and discomfort. That's why I am trying to learn to not make people realize that I caused it by using more subtle ways to making them realize the gap instead of directly objecting their strategies by bluntly calling out the discrepancies.

That's pretty much why I am here. I want to practice doing this with strangers before applying it to my friends and family because I obviously don't want them to connect their bad feelings with me.
I still want them to go through them, though, always hoping they end up changing their strategy to "1." because I feel it's well worth it.

Anyhow, what I think about the "tools despite personable"-issue:

Every feeling beeing has needs. Those needs reside on a scale of varying vitality to their bearer.

Of course I value a humans most vital needs higher than that of a non-human.

But when I get to the situation where I have to weight the vital needs of a non-human, like "I want to keep living" against needs of a human that are not vital at all, like "I want to eat something that has a specific taste", I feel that the vital non-humans outweights the non-vital humans.

I hope this makes some sense to you.

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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby Spambot5546 » Mon May 05, 2014 2:46 pm UTC

Am I the only one failing to find cognitive dissonance in "animals are cute, but I still eat them"? I mean, baby corn is cute too, no one is going to call me internally inconsistent for eating that.
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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby Whizbang » Mon May 05, 2014 2:53 pm UTC

Meh. We're all just sacks of star dust that pretend life has some sort of meaning or purpose. If your sack of star dust doesn't want to eat certain types of sacks of star dust, then so be it.

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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby Angua » Mon May 05, 2014 2:54 pm UTC

*coos* Oh, aren't you just the cutest thing? I could eat you all up! *coos*
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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon May 05, 2014 3:06 pm UTC

Xilmi wrote:
Izawwlgood wrote:Xilmi, how old are you? You're being awfully pedantic in a way that sort of makes me think you're a middle schooler who just stumbled on some of this literature.
Is there any particular reason for asking this particular question and mentioning this particular observation? Would this information help you with pigeonholing?
Included in the line you quoted is the reason I asked the question. I've bolded it for you.
Xilmi wrote:It is one of the pictures that were used during Melanie Joys lecture: "The psychology of eating meat" which I mentioned above. So your guess actually ain't that far off. Why do you mention it? Is something is wrong with it?
Appeals to emotion are silly, and this picture to me has about as much argumentative weight as showing you a picture of a juicy steak would and saying "I mean, look how delicious that is!".
Xilmi wrote:That's a neat example for cognitive dissonance. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonance )
There's different strategies for resolving that dissonance.

Here's a nice example right from Wikipedia, which I of course altered to better fit my propagandistic needs.
I would suggest it isn't actually an example of cognitive dissonance, and your altered example is a poor fit. I clearly explained why understanding that animals experience sensations and feelings does not raise them to the level of humans; if anything, I think the cognitive dissonance to be pointed to here is that you (and vegans maybe?) simultaneously recognize animals as animals, but also afford them in the same regard as humans. Your 'vitality' argument is somewhat baffling insofar as it fits into this framework; humans have a higher 'vital force', and are thus to be favored in silly ethical calculus thought experiments, but this is not to be factored when we examine the evolutionary history of Homo omnivory?

Xilmi wrote:That's pretty much why I am here. I want to practice doing this with strangers before applying it to my friends and family because I obviously don't want them to connect their bad feelings with me.
Practice doing what? This is an important question. If you want to figure out how to best convince people to be vegan, I think that's about as asinine as learning how to best evangelize your faith. If you want to figure out where you stand with your veganism, then I think you need to recognize that people disagreeing with you isn't 'wrong'. I already told you a number of reasons why I wasn't going to stop eating meat; out of curiosity, are you going to start exercising 4-5 times a week?

Xilmi wrote:Anyhow, what I think about the "tools despite personable"-issue:

Every feeling beeing has needs. Those needs reside on a scale of varying vitality to their bearer.

Of course I value a humans most vital needs higher than that of a non-human.

But when I get to the situation where I have to weight the vital needs of a non-human, like "I want to keep living" against needs of a human that are not vital at all, like "I want to eat something that has a specific taste", I feel that the vital non-humans outweights the non-vital humans.
I just want to start by saying 'varying vitality' is one of the most handwavy terms I've heard in the ethical veganism argument, and I'm going to make you define it if you want to put that forward.

Out of curiosity, are all plants and fungi in possession of 'equal vitality'? Why?
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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby PolakoVoador » Mon May 05, 2014 8:36 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
Xilmi wrote:Anyhow, what I think about the "tools despite personable"-issue:

Every feeling beeing has needs. Those needs reside on a scale of varying vitality to their bearer.

Of course I value a humans most vital needs higher than that of a non-human.

But when I get to the situation where I have to weight the vital needs of a non-human, like "I want to keep living" against needs of a human that are not vital at all, like "I want to eat something that has a specific taste", I feel that the vital non-humans outweights the non-vital humans.
I just want to start by saying 'varying vitality' is one of the most handwavy terms I've heard in the ethical veganism argument, and I'm going to make you define it if you want to put that forward.

Out of curiosity, are all plants and fungi in possession of 'equal vitality'? Why?

And arthropods, which are squashed and poisoned by the millions every year, regardless of being a threat to humans or not.

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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon May 05, 2014 8:51 pm UTC

PolakoVoador wrote:
Izawwlgood wrote:
Xilmi wrote:Anyhow, what I think about the "tools despite personable"-issue:

Every feeling beeing has needs. Those needs reside on a scale of varying vitality to their bearer.

Of course I value a humans most vital needs higher than that of a non-human.

But when I get to the situation where I have to weight the vital needs of a non-human, like "I want to keep living" against needs of a human that are not vital at all, like "I want to eat something that has a specific taste", I feel that the vital non-humans outweights the non-vital humans.
I just want to start by saying 'varying vitality' is one of the most handwavy terms I've heard in the ethical veganism argument, and I'm going to make you define it if you want to put that forward.

Out of curiosity, are all plants and fungi in possession of 'equal vitality'? Why?

And arthropods, which are squashed and poisoned by the millions every year, regardless of being a threat to humans or not.
Vegans are such invertebraentrists. Invertebrists? Invertebraeists?
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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby Xilmi » Tue May 06, 2014 1:42 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Included in the line you quoted is the reason I asked the question. I've bolded it for you.

I saw and read that before. I also took mention of if it my counterquestion which you avoided to answer just as much as I avoided answering your question.
I really don't see how answering a question that looks like it's meant for nothing but pigeonholing would be beneficial for that discussion afterall.

Izawwlgood wrote:Appeals to emotion are silly, and this picture to me has about as much argumentative weight as showing you a picture of a juicy steak would and saying "I mean, look how delicious that is!".

Veganism is mostly about emotions! Not just our own, though. So I don't see why emotions have no argumentative weight in a discussion about an emotion-driven-ideology.
If we were ignoring that animals have emotions, then what would make us opposed to treating them as tools in the first place?

About the picture of a steak... Going directly to that shows exactly the disconnect, that Melanie Joy spoke about.

Seeing the animal on the one hand and the steak on the other. Mostly regarding them as rather unrelated entities.
But there's an inbetween step.

We are not disgusted about the steak, that does not remember us about the inbetween step.

To raise some awareness about that inbetween-step I'm once again posting emotional images. At least for me they are emotional. Probably not so much for others.

Spoiler:
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

Spoilered because not everyone needs to see gruesome pictures of the slaughter process. - gmalivuk

What I see here is curelty and gore inside of an extermination-site. Not "making tasty food".

Izawwlgood wrote:I clearly explained why understanding that animals experience sensations and feelings does not raise them to the level of humans; if anything, I think the cognitive dissonance to be pointed to here is that you (and vegans maybe?) simultaneously recognize animals as animals, but also afford them in the same regard as humans.

We do not raise them to the level of humans.
I'm not asking for human-rights for non-human-beeings. They don't fit them and thus they do not need them.
All I'm asking for them is being left alone and not treated as mere tools.

Izawwlgood wrote:Your 'vitality' argument is somewhat baffling insofar as it fits into this framework; humans have a higher 'vital force', and are thus to be favored in silly ethical calculus thought experiments

I just want to start by saying 'varying vitality' is one of the most handwavy terms I've heard in the ethical veganism argument, and I'm going to make you define it if you want to put that forward.

I see that I did not properly make clear what I meant with "vital" in that regard.
I'm going to elaborate this in an xkcd-esque manner.

With "vital" I mean how important for the life of a being something is.

We can assign arbitraty values to those things.

I'll give some examples coupled with some arbitrary values.

Condition/Vitality-Value:
staying alive=1
avoiding permanent pain=0.5
being able to move around freely=0.2
not beeing affected by life-shortening disease=amout of time that life is shortened/life expectancy*staying alive
avoiding temporary pain=duration of pain/life expectancy*avoiding permanent pain
avoiding temporary movement-restriction=duration of restriction/life expectancy*being able to move around freely
.
.
.
being able to taste meat=duration of taste sensation/life expectancy*(taste sensation factor of meat-taste sensation factor of non-meat)

Now let's assign values to creatures by some arbitrary smart-sounding algorithm where we are the best because we clearly want us to be the best, don't we?
Since you can bet that someone has tried and done that before, we can take the "encephalization quotient" for that.
It is basically a brain-size to body-mass-ratio with some added scaling-factors and some more math-voodoo.

human=7.44
dolphin=5.31
chimpanzee=2.49
elephant=1.87
dog=1.69
cow=0.85 (assumed to be somewhere between horse and sheep since cows are not in the chart I found)

So with those two we can now put different things into relationship.

For example a humans will to being able to taste meat and a cows will to stay alive.

7.44*duration of taste sensation/life expectancy*(taste sensation factor of meat-taste sensation factor of non-meat)
I'm doing some more assumptions.

Duration of taste-sensation probably is roundabout 30 minutes a day. So:
1/48
Let's be really pessimistic and assume somone really doesn't like to eat plants at all and thus "taste sensation factor of meat-taste sensation factor of non-meat"=1.

So we get:
7.44*1/48=0.155

Now to the cow:
For veil we can assume that the remaining life-expectancy is about 100%.
For a grown up-cow that has been milked for 4 years before the diminishing returns made her unprofitable it is only about 75%.
So depending on which is prefered it is:
0.85*1 or 0.85*0.75.

Let's say the later:
0.6375

However, this assumes that one would need only one cow for the entire life. So we have to multiply that with the amount of cows expected to eat.
Average meat-consuption per year for the US is 110 kilogramms.
Let's assume 80 years and we get 8.8 tons.

But then again, we earlier assumed our person to really hate eating veggies and eat only wanting meat. So let's reevaluate this...
100 grams of cow-flesh have 313 calories. Daily calory-consuption should be 2000.
So we need 640 grams a day.
Despite it being quite unrealistic to become 80 with this kind of diet, we'd get to:
18.7 tons now.

Average cow weights 360 kilograms. But only about 2/3 of that is usable for meat-production.
So: 18.700/240=78 cows

So if we put that into relation, assuming that hate towards plant-food and don't want to eat them at all, assuming an animals value is measured by its "encephalization quotient" and assuming spending half an our a day eating nothing but meat we get:

cows consumed*value of a cows life/value of a humans will to eat meat=estimation of a humans own value compared to that of a cow including the encephalization quotient

In this case:

78*0.6375/0.155=320

If we saw animals just as valuable as humans we'd remove the encephalization quotient and would have to multiply this value with:
human EQ/cows EQ
320*7.44/0.85=2800

2800 is the amount that the human meat-consumer considers himself more valueable than the cow.

I will try to get some better values for the difference of "taste sensation factor of meat-taste sensation factor of non-meat" by asking some people how they'd evaluate that and then do the calculation again with more realistic values.

Because: The more someone likes other food compared to meat, the higher this discrepancy would get.

Of course everyone is invited to show his own arbitrary value-system and make his own calculations showing how eating meat is still justifyable.

Izawwlgood wrote:Out of curiosity, are all plants and fungi in possession of 'equal vitality'? Why?

Admittedly, they'd do pretty bad with the encephalization quotient since they don't have brains.
But I'm opposed to thinking that this means their life has no value.
Also note, if you understood me as having said "all animals are equal", that is not what I meant. Infact that would be quite unscientific.
I admit their inequality. But as I have shown, there's also an inequality in the importance of the things that living-beeings seek to do. And when factored against each other, a life, even that of a "lesser" animal, is just so much more meaningfull to it than some unneccessary luxury for a higher one.

Izawwlgood wrote:Practice doing what? This is an important question. If you want to figure out how to best convince people to be vegan, I think that's about as asinine as learning how to best evangelize your faith.

You got this exactly right. There's no reason for me to deny that it indeed is my faith and I'm trying to spread it.

Izawwlgood wrote:out of curiosity, are you going to start exercising 4-5 times a week?

Well, last week I told you that I intended to make my way to work by bike every day instead of the car. And so far it looks like I have done so.
I also started doing pushups in addition to the sit-ups I've been doing before already.
Last week my resting heart rate was 74 and I was expecting you to give me yours aswell, so I have a comparison.
Just measured it again. It is still exactly 74. I guess it'll take more time and excercise to see some results.

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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby speising » Tue May 06, 2014 1:49 pm UTC

to be fair, animals aren't usually dying peacefully in their sleep. herbivores get eaten, if not by us, then by lions or other carnivores. and a lion isn't exactly humane in its killing methods.

your pictures do not necessarily show cruelty to me. i don't know if the cows are still alive (they surely aren't in the last one) or conscious.
but, fwiw, i don't condone kosher or halal slaughter for that reason, because the animals have to bleed out alive. freedom of religion my ass.

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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby JudeMorrigan » Tue May 06, 2014 2:37 pm UTC

Xilmi wrote:You got this exactly right. There's no reason for me to deny that it indeed is my faith and I'm trying to spread it.

To be blunt, at this point I'm wondering why you chose the Science forum to make this thread in.

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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby Spambot5546 » Tue May 06, 2014 2:53 pm UTC

xilmi wrote:[pictures of cows being slaughtered]

*drool*
"It is bitter – bitter", he answered,
"But I like it
Because it is bitter,
And because it is my heart."

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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby Xilmi » Tue May 06, 2014 3:25 pm UTC

JudeMorrigan wrote:
Xilmi wrote:You got this exactly right. There's no reason for me to deny that it indeed is my faith and I'm trying to spread it.

To be blunt, at this point I'm wondering why you chose the Science forum to make this thread in.

Because I don't think that science, psychology, ethics and believes should be regarded individually.

It all blends into one another.

Why would a scientist do research if he does not believe into something that he wants to prove or disprove?
How would a scientist be able to communicate his findings if he had no clue about what way is best suited tell others?
What would a stop a scientist from doing unethical things if he wouldn't care about ethics?

But if the moderators think my motivation would cause this threat to be better suited for another sub-forum, I would not object their decision either.

@speising:
The images weren't meant to show animals suffering while still being alive. There's much "better" for that. They were meant to remind that there is an unavoidable inbetween-step from happy grassing cow to steak on the plate. But saying they are not cruel does indeed sound somewhat brutalized to me.
How is being hung upside down and getting your throat slit in order to bleed out not cruel? In my book killing sentient beings, regardless of method, always is cruel. Unless I could agree to being treated in the same way, it simply contradicts the guiding principle I use.

Almost 100% of our livestock is eventually going to be killed.
No chance for fleeing, no chance for being ignored.

The percentage of wildlife-animals falling prey to non-human predators is much lower. And when going by absolute numbers, according to the 1338-chart the amount of non-livestock-animals and non-human-predators aren't playing all that big of a role anyways when it comes to "animals killed by others for food".

Also the attitude of: "The lion does it, so we can do it too!" is none that I find particularly compelling.

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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue May 06, 2014 3:34 pm UTC

Apologize for the wall of text; feel free to pare down any response.
Xilmi wrote:I saw and read that before. I also took mention of if it my counterquestion which you avoided to answer just as much as I avoided answering your question.
I really don't see how answering a question that looks like it's meant for nothing but pigeonholing would be beneficial for that discussion afterall.
You dodged the question again, so I'll just repeat myself; you're laying out very juvenile sounding arguments, in a manner that is in and of itself very juvenile. If you're just coming to this stuff, I don't want to dissuade you from continuing to learn, but please understand that you are not blowing any minds with these pictures of cows being butchered or 'vitality quotient' stuff.
Xilmi wrote:Veganism is mostly about emotions! Not just our own, though. So I don't see why emotions have no argumentative weight in a discussion about an emotion-driven-ideology.
If we were ignoring that animals have emotions, then what would make us opposed to treating them as tools in the first place?
And I think this is why your arguments are falling so flat. I also find it to be an example of cognitive dissonance that you hold that animals are separate from humans but have emotions you can claim to understand.

Animals are tools; as I said, it's important to respect your tools. The place for emotions in an argument about veganism is that you should hold that you want to minimize the suffering of animals, and as such, choose not to eat meat. That's it. Others will hold that eating local, and minimizing the amount of meat they eat is supporting humane treatment of animals. But like it or not, a number of animals, as pointed out in the comic linked, ARE tools, and will not exist outside of our use of them.
Xilmi wrote:But there's an inbetween step.
And a lot of people recognize it, and just aren't moved to hysteria by it. That's a dead cow. From that dead cow will come delicious meat. I don't have any compunctions about the pictures you showed us, and don't think most people will.
Xilmi wrote:Now let's assign values to creatures by some arbitrary smart-sounding algorithm where we are the best because we clearly want us to be the best, don't we?
I appreciate the application of a rigorous approach as much as the next person here, and applaud you for stepping up to the challenge. However, you are making enormous eggregious errors here. Firstly, you are presuming to understand the minds of animals, which is... odd. Secondly, you are presuming that all animals exist in isolation and treat one another ethically. Thirdly, you are forgetting that all our farmed animals owe their existence to our desire to eat them. Fourthly, you are proposing a system wherein stupider creatures are effectively more 'allowable' for consumption. To this end, I suggest that cows and chickens are pretty fucking stupid, and what's more, we made them that way as our tools.

I also find it curious that you're alright with plants being used as tools, but not animals. If it's only about brains, have you considered where insects fit? Do you consume honey?
Xilmi wrote:You got this exactly right. There's no reason for me to deny that it indeed is my faith and I'm trying to spread it.
Thank you for admitting it. Respectfully, you're not doing a very good job, as you haven't considered a number of things. You do seem to be presenting this as a matter of faith instead of a matter of science.
Xilmi wrote:Well, last week I told you that I intended to make my way to work by bike every day instead of the car. And so far it looks like I have done so.
I also started doing pushups in addition to the sit-ups I've been doing before already.
Last week my resting heart rate was 74 and I was expecting you to give me yours aswell, so I have a comparison.
Just measured it again. It is still exactly 74. I guess it'll take more time and excercise to see some results.

Yeah, you've made it clear you're more interested in veganism for the ethical reasons, over the health reasons. This is fine, but I think if you aren't going to simultaneously advocate for a change in exercise lifestyle, you need to abandon this as an argumentative line.

My resting heartrate is about 62.

Look, I understand you find animals important and are appalled that others don't. I get that, I really do. But you're not making a strong argument for abandoning consumption of meat in total, you're making a strong argument for humanely killing animals. Since you feel 'humanely killing animals' is an example of cognitive dissonance, I think you need to understand that people think differently than you, and figure out a better way of convincing people of the importance of animal feelings.

As for your new thing;
Xilmi wrote:Because I don't think that science, psychology, ethics and believes should be regarded individually.
They should be. They are affected by one another, but they are very much separate things.
Xilmi wrote:Why would a scientist do research if he does not believe into something that he wants to prove or disprove?
Because they are curious. It is exceedingly important that a scientist admits when their hypothesis was wrong.
Xilmi wrote:How would a scientist be able to communicate his findings if he had no clue about what way is best suited tell others?
By presenting the data as devoid of emotion as possible.
Xilmi wrote:What would a stop a scientist from doing unethical things if he wouldn't care about ethics?
The fact that science is conducted by people, and people have ethics. Why do you think a scientist wouldn't care about ethics?
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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby mathmannix » Tue May 06, 2014 4:24 pm UTC

Xilmi wrote:human=7.44
dolphin=5.31
chimpanzee=2.49
elephant=1.87
dog=1.69


I wandered a bit around the interwebs trying to find various charts, including this one and of course Wikipedia's. The numbers vary widely (One source had hummingbirds as 1.59, another had them at a whopping 9, higher than humans!) That first link, by the way, included these numbers:

Dolphin = 5.9
Chimpanzee = 4.2
Elephant = 3.95
Giraffe = 1.57
Cat = 1.45 (which is 1.00 consistently in other sources...)
Dog = 1.42
Horse = 1.15
Pig = 1.10
Cattle = 0.74
Rabbit = 0.66

Basically I got the idea that we are all free to set our ethical-food limits based on these numbers. Me, I would eat anything below a 2, including dogs (not that I have ... yet. Of course, these would be dogs that were raised for food, not pets, but that applies to cattle, pigs, etc. as well.)
I hear velociraptor tastes like chicken.

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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue May 06, 2014 4:32 pm UTC

Is this adult potential? What about really stupid humans? By this paradigm, are severely autistic humans consumable? Infants? Old people with dementia?
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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby Angua » Tue May 06, 2014 5:04 pm UTC

Granted, cows are a bit big, but in the covered market here it's not unusual to be able to buy dead animals in the pre-butchered state.
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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby mathmannix » Tue May 06, 2014 6:55 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Is this adult potential? What about really stupid humans? By this paradigm, are severely autistic humans consumable? Infants? Old people with dementia?


If you're talking about the EQ, it's based on brain size relative to body size, but made more complicated with formulas that differ from source to source. Anyway, adult humans presumably all have brains about the same size, even if they are autistic or have dementia. Infants probably have LARGER brains relative to body size. (Severely morbidly obese adults, on the other hand... delicious?)

EDIT: This reminds me of that robot that tasted things, and decided humans were a type of bacon. Delicious, delicious bacon.
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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue May 06, 2014 6:57 pm UTC

I presume you both looked at the wiki, and are aware that some extremely stupid organisms place fairly high on this. Some fairly intelligent organisms place fairly low. EDIT: This being brain to body size, not EQ, but still. EQ is also putting up nothing particularly shocking nor helpful.

This is a really stupid metric by which to determine what you can and cannot eat. And my point still stands; if we're basing this on cognition, how do you fit in severely cognitively impaired humans?
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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby mathmannix » Tue May 06, 2014 6:59 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:I presume you both looked at the wiki, and are aware that some extremely stupid organisms place fairly high on this. Some fairly intelligent organisms place fairly low.

This is a really stupid metric by which to determine what you can and cannot eat.


Well, the EQ is a different wiki link. This one. (It seems to be standardized at "cat = 1".)
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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue May 06, 2014 7:02 pm UTC

Yeah, sorry; heavy edits to the post.
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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby Xilmi » Wed May 07, 2014 1:55 pm UTC

Being told to stick to one kind of argument instead of using all you have feels constraining.
Being told that a correlation between assumed age and assumed understanding suggests inferiority of ones opinion feels discouraging.
Being told to restrain from using emotions in a discussion about an emotional topic feels like being taken away the whole point and reason.

The law of the jungle prevails once again.
Why would someone, who learned that violence against those who won't fight back gives himself benefits, agree to cutting back on what provides him the flesh he desires so much?
Believing that words could convince someone like that is naive!

It probably is enough to be happy about oneself not being part of this anymore.
The feeling of having reached a level beyond mere desires and closer to harmony is quite elevating afterall.

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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed May 07, 2014 2:06 pm UTC

Xilmi wrote:Being told to stick to one kind of argument instead of using all you have feels constraining.
Being told that a correlation between assumed age and assumed understanding suggests inferiority of ones opinion feels discouraging.
Being told to restrain from using emotions in a discussion about an emotional topic feels like being taken away the whole point and reason.
I'm telling you to elevate your argument. I'm trying to help you present your case more succinctly, effectively, and convincingly.

Xilmi wrote:The law of the jungle prevails once again.
Why would someone, who learned that violence against those who won't fight back gives himself benefits, agree to cutting back on what provides him the flesh he desires so much?
Believing that words could convince someone like that is naive!
This isn't the law of the jungle, this is the law of reason. You've presented a number of flawed arguments, and people have poked holes in them.

Xilmi wrote:It probably is enough to be happy about oneself not being part of this anymore.
The feeling of having reached a level beyond mere desires and closer to harmony is quite elevating afterall.
You haven't separated yourself from desire. You've merely followed one of your desires, and gotten upset that others aren't following it too.
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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby Spambot5546 » Wed May 07, 2014 2:15 pm UTC

Man, that last part approaches "hybrid car episode of South Park" levels of smug.
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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby stoppedcaring » Wed May 07, 2014 2:59 pm UTC

I just noticed one line from way earlier in this thread:
Xilmi wrote:...they did not seem to have any financial interest...

Bullocks. The super-fit octogenarians up on stage talking about their diet books didn't have any financial interest? Right.

It's really hard to make a quantitative moral-ethical argument for vegetarianism or veganism. A qualitative one is simple: "I don't want to eat any dead animals." That's fine. But a quantitative one -- "I don't want to contribute to the suffering of animals" -- is a little trickier. Abstaining from animal products takes you out of the supply and demand system. Not only are you now incapable of influencing the system, but you've decreased the size of the demand, meaning that the supply chain must cut costs in order to remain economically viable. Either you will have no influence (removing one meat consumer out of a nation of 300 million isn't going to save the life of a single animal) or your decision will actively lead to more suffering.

If, rather than abstaining, you opt to purchase cage-free eggs (about 1-2 bucks more per carton at most grocery stores), buy grass-fed beef and free-range chickens (about a 20-30% premium), try to pick only in-season produce (which requires only a little research, since it's not any more expensive), and shop at farmer's markets whenever you have a free Saturday or Sunday morning (usually not that expensive), then you remain in the supply-and-demand system and actually change it. Supporting ethical animal husbandry forces competition, which will ultimately drive down costs even further. The local grocery store used to only carry a single brand of rather expensive cage-free organic eggs...now they have a cage-free option even in the generic store brand for 80 cents more per carton. Walmart now sells only hormone-free milk due to customer demand. These are real, actual, positive changes...there's really no way to have a quantitatively positive impact if you're taking yourself out of the system.

Big stores like Walmart could really have a positive impact (while making some extra money to boot) if they took advantage of the in-season produce cycle. They wouldn't have to make any changes to their current inventory; they would only need to circulate a schedule from corporate noting which fruits and vegetables are in-season every month. Local stores would push those products to a central location in produce with some nice "in-season vegetables and fruits" banners and a nice placard talking about the benefits of choosing in-season produce. Walmart could mark those items up 1-2% while they were in season. Simply by highlighting those products, demand would increase and so local farmers would have a better chance of selling their food, while people generally ate healtheir diets as a result.

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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby Spambot5546 » Wed May 07, 2014 3:13 pm UTC

I get the thing about free range animals and whatnot, but I'm not sure why in-season produce is important.
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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed May 07, 2014 3:20 pm UTC

Spambot5546 wrote:I get the thing about free range animals and whatnot, but I'm not sure why in-season produce is important.
From a resource perspective, in season means you're not supporting industries that ship produce from all over the world, and instead support local growers.
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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby stoppedcaring » Wed May 07, 2014 3:29 pm UTC

Spambot5546 wrote:I get the thing about free range animals and whatnot, but I'm not sure why in-season produce is important.

Out-of-season foods cannot be purchased locally; they have to be shipped in from far away. That's a problem, because things have to be picked earlier (lower overall nutrient profile) and tend to lose flavor in shipping. Plus, there's the shipping itself. Huge waste.

If there's a higher demand for in-season produce, then local sustainable farming becomes more economical. Eating with the harvest rather than against it means food is fresher, riper, and generally better for you...and better for the environment as well. Plus, having a circulation that changes from month to month means a larger variety of fruits and vegetables over the course of the year, which is also generally a good thing.

Obviously, merely buying in-season doesn't necessarily mean that you're always buying locally-grown produce. The big stores can ship in in-season produce as easily as out-of-season produce. But it's a step in the right direction, and it can make local produce a more economical option in the long run. Part of this is a sociological thing; the average person isn't going to take the time to educate himself about this sort of stuff, so having those products on a rotation helps him make the decision, which then has a substantial effect on the overall supply-and-demand system.

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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed May 07, 2014 3:46 pm UTC

Whizbang wrote:At least they have a purpose, though. You and I serve no purpose other than to twiddle our thumbs while we wait for death. We have almost completely removed ourselves from the natural food chain, almost completely removed ourselves from nature. The only connection we have with the natural order of things is that we impact and limit said order, but almost nothing comes the other way. Refusing to eat animals bred as food merely removes their purpose in life.
Ha, don't lump me in with your existential angst. My purpose is clear and brightly shining.

This notion of humanity being 'removed from nature' is also a funny buzz phrase that's effectively meaningless.

But to everything else, yes.
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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby Whizbang » Wed May 07, 2014 3:47 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
Whizbang wrote:At least they have a purpose, though. You and I serve no purpose other than to twiddle our thumbs while we wait for death. We have almost completely removed ourselves from the natural food chain, almost completely removed ourselves from nature. The only connection we have with the natural order of things is that we impact and limit said order, but almost nothing comes the other way. Refusing to eat animals bred as food merely removes their purpose in life.
Ha, don't lump me in with your existential angst. My purpose is clear and brightly shining.

This notion of humanity being 'removed from nature' is also a funny buzz phrase that's effectively meaningless.

But to everything else, yes.


Sorry. I deleted my post because I felt it was too angsty and off topic.

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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby Spambot5546 » Wed May 07, 2014 3:57 pm UTC

stoppedcaring wrote:
Spambot5546 wrote:I get the thing about free range animals and whatnot, but I'm not sure why in-season produce is important.

Out-of-season foods cannot be purchased locally; they have to be shipped in from far away. That's a problem, because things have to be picked earlier (lower overall nutrient profile) and tend to lose flavor in shipping. Plus, there's the shipping itself. Huge waste.

I knew there were resource benefits in terms of carbon footprints and whatnot to getting local produce, I guess I just expected it to have something to do with veganism. That being the topic of discussion and all.
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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby stoppedcaring » Wed May 07, 2014 4:01 pm UTC

Spambot5546 wrote:
stoppedcaring wrote:
Spambot5546 wrote:I get the thing about free range animals and whatnot, but I'm not sure why in-season produce is important.

Out-of-season foods cannot be purchased locally; they have to be shipped in from far away. That's a problem, because things have to be picked earlier (lower overall nutrient profile) and tend to lose flavor in shipping. Plus, there's the shipping itself. Huge waste.

I knew there were resource benefits in terms of carbon footprints and whatnot to getting local produce, I guess I just expected it to have something to do with veganism. That being the topic of discussion and all.

Ah, yes, well. The point was to compare veganism/vegetarianism's rather inconsequential-to-negative ethical impacts with actual steps you can take that make an actual difference. Actively seeking out cage-free eggs, grass-fed beef, free-range chickens, and local in-season produce are all better ethical and environmental options than strict veganism or vegetarianism.

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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby gmalivuk » Wed May 07, 2014 4:33 pm UTC

Xilmi wrote:Being told to stick to one kind of argument instead of using all you have feels constraining.
Being told that a correlation between assumed age and assumed understanding suggests inferiority of ones opinion feels discouraging.
Being told to restrain from using emotions in a discussion about an emotional topic feels like being taken away the whole point and reason.

The law of the jungle prevails once again.
Why would someone, who learned that violence against those who won't fight back gives himself benefits, agree to cutting back on what provides him the flesh he desires so much?
Believing that words could convince someone like that is naive!

It probably is enough to be happy about oneself not being part of this anymore.
The feeling of having reached a level beyond mere desires and closer to harmony is quite elevating afterall.
It is constraining. We are trying to constrain you, because you chose in the first place to make this thread in the science forum. Your ethical reasons for veganism are thus not entirely relevant, and your emotional appeals to try to convince us to agree with you are completely out of place.

The reason Izawwlgood perceives you as immature is the fact that you apparently can't separate the two aspects of your own decision. The reason that's a problem in this subforum is because it seems you've let your emotional and ethical reasoning get in the way of the empirical, scientific side of the issue. You believe the people you want to because they fit your emotions, not because they're doing good science.
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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby PolakoVoador » Wed May 07, 2014 5:44 pm UTC

I find mathmannix signature rather amusing given the topic at hand :P

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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby Magnanimous » Wed May 07, 2014 7:41 pm UTC

Spambot5546 wrote:David Wong actually wrote an article not long ago about, among other things, how the inefficiencies of producing meat may lead to it no longer being a major part of our diet. It was stuff I'd heard before, but it still made me sad. Red meat is freaking delicious, and even though I don't eat a lot of it (the fat to protein ratio is just so much better in chicken) I would still be sad to live in a world without it.

This is actually a really important point. Growing meat in a lab is way more resource-efficient than raising animals, especially with fresh water which is scarce in some regions. I'd bet that most meat will be culture-grown by the end of the century, meaning the ethical questions of factory farming would become irrelevant.

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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed May 07, 2014 7:53 pm UTC

Magnanimous wrote:
Spambot5546 wrote:David Wong actually wrote an article not long ago about, among other things, how the inefficiencies of producing meat may lead to it no longer being a major part of our diet. It was stuff I'd heard before, but it still made me sad. Red meat is freaking delicious, and even though I don't eat a lot of it (the fat to protein ratio is just so much better in chicken) I would still be sad to live in a world without it.

This is actually a really important point. Growing meat in a lab is way more resource-efficient than raising animals, especially with fresh water which is scarce in some regions. I'd bet that most meat will be culture-grown by the end of the century, meaning the ethical questions of factory farming would become irrelevant.
While I agree with this in principal, you need to remember that culturing lab grown meat is presently a pipe dream.

That article is basically saying 'If we master fusion energy, we'll have a cheap clean source of energy!'
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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby gmalivuk » Wed May 07, 2014 10:28 pm UTC

Doing it at all isn't a pipe dream, as it's already been done. The thing that's still a long way off is doing it in a remotely affordable way.
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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed May 07, 2014 10:39 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:Doing it at all isn't a pipe dream, as it's already been done. The thing that's still a long way off is doing it in a remotely affordable way.
Pipe dream was too strong a way of putting it, but hence the fusion analogy. The limitation is in making it feasible, not in proof of concept

Also, AFAIK, we haven't produced fit for consumption, equal quality to harvested from an animal, cultured meat, have we? I mean, if you want a sheet of cultured myocytes and adipocytes, I can get you some right now, but it's not gonna taste good.

EDIT: Ah, nope.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_vitro_meat

So, yeah, like fusion!
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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby Xilmi » Wed May 14, 2014 9:26 am UTC

I'm sorry for having tried to use unscientific emotional approaches here.

A couple of days ago, I heared a very interesting lecture about protein.

"How do you get your protein?" is one of the things that many vegans supposedly have heared before.
I personally haven't. Maybe because of the following science has become more prominent before I became one.

I've heared before that proteins can make your blood acidic in the likes of the "Forks over Knifes"-Movie. But it basically was just claimed without further explanation.

Now the lecture I listened to explained it very well and some googling quickly turned up other sources for the same.

I will try to give a short summary:

Protein is an important building material for our cells. However, our body is extremely efficient in preserving and recycling it. So even though we consist of it by a huge margin, our actual requirement is not that high.

The method of finding out the requirement is measuring the Nitrate-Balance while gradually reducing intake.
By this method it was found that 0.35 g/kilogramm of bodymass per day should be enough.

Conservatively one has increased it to 40g/day. (or roughly 0.55 g per kilogramm bodymass for an averag-weight-person)
Bodybuilders gain benefits from adding up to an additional 20g/day.
After that, the effects of adding more completely diminish.

What happens with excess protein?
It is used as an energy-source, just like carbohdyrates and fats.

The difference, however, is that it contains other elements, that stay as leftovers after "burning" the proteins as fuel.
Mostly Nitrate but also Phosphor and Sulfur.
Most of that gets out of the body in the form of N2 and the likes. (which is also used to measure the nitrate-balance)

But some of it reacts to Nitric-, Sulfuric- and Phosphoric acid.

Inflamation is caused directly by acidic blood.

Cancer grows better in an acidic environment.

The acids are neutralized by reacting with minerals. If there are not enough available the bodies reserves, the bones, are used for that. Result is Osteoporosis.

The daily protein-intake that is suggested in most countries ranges from 0.9 to 2 gramms per kilogramm in bodymass.

Much more than what has been found to be a good balance with the Nitrate-Balance-Test.

Actual consumption is even higher than these suggestions for most countries.
In the US it's an average of 200 gramms a day.

Even as a vegan with no emphasis on protein-foods, it's really hard to drop below 50 gramms/day. Which, depending on your weight, is still almost twice as much as is actually needed.
It should also be kept in mind that a lower amount of excess-protein means a reduction in required minerals. That explains how vegans, who have a much lower intake of calcium still have a lower hip-fracture-rate than people who consume a lot of dairy.

So the lecturer suggested that the next time when being asked: "How do you get your protein?" a good answer could be: "How do you prevent getting too much?"

Here's a link with more in-depth-information about this subject:
http://realhealthtalk.com/Correcting_th ... lance.html

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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby Angua » Wed May 14, 2014 9:37 am UTC

Show me a study that shows a significant difference in the blood pH levels of vegans and maybe I'll buy it.

The body is extremely good at regulating pH. Also, most of the 'acids' aren't neutralised by minerals - they are done so by bicarb, and (wait for it.....) proteins (albumin, haemoglobin).

edit - I should add that the bulk of buffering is done by proteins, but I said bicarb first as it's the one that is often changed when the buffering requirements change significantly. It's also how the kidneys regulate pH.
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