VEGAN using VIOLENCE? – Silly VEGAN comments #1

Welcome to Stupid Vegan comments. This video
series presents some of the amazingly stupid comments by vegans on the internet. In an
effort to be fair, I turn my critical eye to my vegan community and critique comments
that are less than rational. Here are this week’s top 5 picks 1) Jon Hunter is up first with this comment… While vegans represent a small proportion
of society, there is a lot of ingroup disagreements and differing motivations, end goals, and
solutions. I by no means represent the entire vegan community, and my views expressed here
are my own. I object to anyone eating the flesh of another
animal unless they have a serious need to do so. Nearly all flesh consumed by the human
race is procured from animals that were force bred, held in captivity, and dispatched in
a manner that would be deemed inhuman if done to our fellow man. The large majority of people
consuming animals and their bodily secretions do so out of convience, tradition, and pallate
entertainment, and not for any bodily requirment for nutrients that could not be otherwise
obtained. Within this comment from Jon Hunter, i find
to primary objections that I would like to address.
Firstly, while killing and inflicting of pain are both serious issues relating to animal
husbandry, so to is animal use. Irrespective of how the animals we eat are killed or treated,
the moral justification of use should be the primary objection. Non-vegans often hate the
comparison to human slavery brought forth by vegans, however the comparison is helpful
to illustrate issues of morality that once were hotly debated and now are widely accepted.
Using human slavery in this way is not an attempt to equate human suffering with non-human
suffering, but rather to draw in similar strains of irrational justifications that might not
otherwise be apparant. Slavery was and is an abhorent blight on human history. Across
centuries and continentants some humans were treated as property to be sold, traded, or
disgarded by their slave owners. We all recognize today that while the beatings and killing
of slaves was bad, the primariy objection to slavery has less to do with treatment,
and more to do with the keeping of humans as property. Slave owners who treated their
slaves well were tpreferable over slave owners who beat their property, but neither types
of ownership is morally acceptable. While farmers who treat their animal property well
are preferred over farmers who don’t treat their property well, neither is morally justifiable.
My second objection in the comment is in regards to purchasing animal products for your guests
or friends. What kind of message are you giving to the people in your life if, on one hand,
you refuse to support animal based foods due to the inherent suffering and death involved,
and on the hand have no reservation for purchasing and and feeding others the very thing that
you would not purchase for yourself. Going back to the human slave example, it would
be like being a slavery abolitionist who purchases a slave for his non-abolitionist guests. Does
that make any sense in the human context? Why would it make any more sense in the vegan
movement? Hypocrisy is one of my biggest pet peeves. 2) Next up we have a comment from Zach2wheelz
who had this to say… While not inherently a stupid comment, it
is an ignorant one in which i wish to clear up.
I am against all forms of animal ownership including pet ownership, excluding animal
rescue. I object to the breeding and purchasing of pet animals, but am all in favour of people
rescuing animals from shelters. In regards to animal testing in medical science,
this is the only use of animals that is not transparently frivolous. I am by no means
a scientist or clinical researcher and so I can not speak from a position of authority
or knowledge. What I do know regarding animal experimentation is that animals are not great
predictive models for humans, and so these painful inhumane testing is often counterproductive
and detrimental to human health and medical progress. Frequently, diseases contracted
by test animals have not been contracted by humans, and diseases contracted by humans
have frequently not been contracted by other animals. This leads one to question whether
the paradigm of using animals to predict human response to drugs and disease is valid and
necessary. The second use of animals in experimentation is known as basic research, which is research
conducted to find out how things work, with no goal of developing drugs, medical procedures
or benefit human medicine whatsoever. Scientific inquiry which produces immense suffering and
death of sentient beings, without any practical application is wholly immoral. I am all for
discovery and expanding our knowledge database, however not at the ultimate and final expense
of others. While animal experimentation may seem like a necessary evil in order to find
cures for human diseases, and the debate is often captioned as “your child or a rat”,
reality is rarely so clear cut. For a fully educated and articulated explanation
of the issues inherent in animal testing, please google “Exposing the Bad Science Behind
Animal Testing: An Interview with AFMA’s Dr. Ray Greek” (link is in the description).
I will end my response to this comment addressing Zach2wheelz need for animal derived protective
clothing for his chosen profession. We live in a non-vegan world full of products and
industries that use animal based materials often hidden from the consumer. Im not a welder,
and so i can not give you specific suggestions on alternative vegan clothing, if they exist
for your line of work, but if they don’t then you need to do what you need to do in order
to survive financially. If and when vegan alternatives are made available, then at that
time it would be important to support the new product line by changing over. Veganism
isn’t about living a perfect life devoid of any animal suffering, it is about making an
effort to do one’s best given the available options to reduce and minimize suffering wherever
possible. As long as veganism represents a small proportion of the human population,
there will be situations that require us to make do with what options we have currently
available. Wherever and whenever possible, we ought to insighte change and progress,
and encourage industries and manufacturers to provide vegan alternatives. 3) Next we have a comment from Peter Singer,
the supposed father of the animal liberation movement, and he said… Peter Singer, for those who may not know,
is considered to be the father of the animal rights movement. He is an Australian moral
philosopher teaching out of Princeton University and specializes in applied ethics through
a secular utilitarian perspective. His famous 1975 book Animal Liberation is one of the
earliest and foundational books of the animal liberation movement. While I do appreciate
a lot of the hard work that Peter Singer has done for the animal liberation movement, we
disagree strongly on key issues, which I would like to address.
The above excerpt comes from an article entitled “Chew the Right Thing” found in the Mother
Jones Journalism website from 2006. The first issue I have with Mr. Singer’s above
comment is in regards to his outward support for vegans who “allow themselves the luxury
of not being vegan” when going out to a fancy restaurant. If we take seriously moral issues
such as animal rights, economic inequality, racial inequality, and gender inequality,
we cannot be allowing for hypocrisy and room for exceptions so large that the the very
social justice issue comes into question. Would it be rational and acceptable to be
on hand a supporter of the LGBT community and defender of their rights, and on the other
hand, allow yourself the luxury of one evening a month to go out in public and stand at the
street corner and spew out homophobic slurs? I believe that if we conclude something to
be morally wrong, we have a personal obligation to live in accordance with our values. If
I say that raping children is wrong, then it is always wrong, and there is no room for
exceptions. My second issue with Peter Singer’s comments
is in regards to his own representation and hypocrisy, especially in light of his father
status within the animal liberation movement. He plainly states that he is happy to consume
dairy and eggs (eat vegetarian) when traveling or when going over to someone for dinner.
This hypocrisy is breathtaking and damaging to the animal rights movement. If a well regarded
founding figure cannot advocate for moral consistency what chance of success do we have?
People of position have more responsibility to exude confidence, consistency and a clear
message as they are figures that represent more than just their own personal set of beliefs.
Mixed and conflicting messages are not only unhelpful, they are counter productive and
damaging. 4) Next is a comment from animal rights activist
and lecturer Gary Yourofsky who had this to say… Here again I have set my critical attention
to another prominent and public figure of the animal rights movement, Gary Yourofsky.
While I agree with a lot of he has to say, and I even have one of his lectures up on
my channel, I have some serious concerns with some of his positions. Gary Yourofsky is a
vegan activist and lecturer who has had in the past many run ins with the law for his
direct action brand of activism. Now onto the points of disagreement and concern
found within his above comment. Gary Yourofsky is openly supportive of the principle “eye
for an eye” and “by any means necessary” and radical tactics, which I fundamentally oppose.
Veganism ought to be concerned with the elimination of violence, not associated with it. Violence
against animals is not helped when we advocate for violence against industry or animal exploiters.
Violence is the problem, not the solution. The large majority of people who engage in
cruel acts of violence and suffering, deemed acceptable due to social conventions, are
not bad people deserving of punishment. Your mother, father, brother, sister, neighbours
and friends who may not be vegan are not deserving of punishment. I absolutely abhor the use
and common treatment of animals on farms, slaughterhouses, fur farms, zoos, aquariums
and research labs, but the solution to these is education not violence. Without a doubt
there are people within animal industries that are sick sadistic individuals who enjoy
their acts of torture, however these people should be identified, removed from their positions,
and dealt within the law. People have become desensitized to the abuses and suffering of
animals because society has conditioned us to accept it as normal. This does not make
institutional exploiters and the average meat eater into sadistic monsters, but rather products
of societal pressure and indoctrination. I think its awful to think that rapists, murders
and child molesters deserve to be vivisected, executed and dissected. I think its disgusting
to suggest that furriers and people who wear fur deserve to be anally electrocuted for
their actions. This violent extremism is not representative of the vegan and animal rights
community, and does more to dissuade good, caring, compassionate meat eaters from contemplating
a change. Veganism is about non-violence. Veganism is about education. Veganism is about
compassion for all animals, human and non-human. 5) And Edd Colbert, a vegan and contributing
writer on The Sustainable Food Trust website is the author of this week’s last stupid vegan
comment. He had this to say… I am all for incremental change if the end goal
is the abolition of animal use, however Mr. Colbert and I have very different ideas on
how to proceed. Edd believes that while vegans don’t need to start eating meat again to support
animal farmers, we should be advocating for and encouraging people to consume animal products
produced by supposedly more humane and ethical farmers. He believes that vegans and vegetarians
should unit and fight for higher animal welfare standards and encourage meat eaters to reduce,
but not necessarily eliminate their animal consumption. Here are my thoughts on these
points. 1) The central issue that ought to be the
focus of veganism and the animal rights movement is USE, and not treatment. Irrespective of
how well or poorly farmers may treat their animal property, the question of whether we
collectively have the moral right to use animals for our needs needs to be front and centre.
2) I believe that due to the property status of livestock, and the financial imperative
of farmers to reduce costs to maximize profits, their will never be a economically viable
method of breeding, raising and slaughtering animals that could be considered “good” or
“humane”. The rights and interests of the property owner will always trump any need
of the property. As long as cows, pigs, chickens and all other domesticated animals are considered
chattel property, the level of care will be less than the animals deserve.
3) Our lives are short and precious, and we do not have a moment to waste advocating for
changes we ourselves would not accept. If you as a vegan would not consume supposedly
more humane forms of animal body parts and secretions, why would you encourage others?
This leads me to believe that some vegans hold arrogant views in which they feel that
only the strong willed and highly compassionate are capable of being vegans, while everyone
else who doesn’t have what it takes should half measures. Everyone is capable of being
vegan, and while some people may never choose to go vegan, we shouldn’t encourage practices
that we ultimately do not believe in. 4) Vegans and vegetarians, while often grouped
together under the umbrella of Animal rights, are not fully compatible and hold different
goals. While vegetarians typically abstain from animal flesh, they do support the consumption
and use of dairy, eggs, honey, wool, leather, fur, and silk. Many vegetarians work towards
improving the lives of animals, but have no aspiration to end using animals. Vegans on
the other hand try and avoid all animal derived ingredients and materials, and typically strive
to abolish human use of animals. These two movements differ in their application and
motivations and are not compatible. As vegans, we ought to live and teach by example,
and not encourage half measures that we ourselves are not willing to undertake. The world will
not change overnight, and Im not suggesting that we abandon measures that will incrementally
lead to a vegan world, but encourage people to consume happy meat is counter productive
and in direct opposition to what veganism is all about. People will take whatever half
measure they feel they need, and we should not suggest that supposedly humane flesh and
secretions are sufficient to alleviate our moral responsibilities. POLL:
There you have it. 5 stupid comments from 5 different vegans. Which comment would you
vote to win the Dumbass Comment of the week award? Would it be: 1) Jon Hunter who has no issue with buying
animal products for his non-vegan friends, even though he does not support the killing
and infliction of pain associated with those products.
2) Zach2wheelz who is concerned that without animal testing, human health and well-being
would suffer 3) Peter Singer who thinks its okay for vegans
to allow themselves the luxury of not being vegan when going out to fancy restaurants.
4) Gary Yourofsky believes that we should follow a philosophy of an “eye for an eye”,
“by any means necessary”, in our animal rights advocacy
or 5) Edd Colbert who believes that vegans should
encourage supposedly humanely procured flesh and animal secretions. To vote, leave your choice in the comment
section below. Choose only 1 winner. Results will be available on my Facebook page and
google + page One week from today on Friday March 14th. Check back to see who won! If
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