Skip to comments.The Myth of the ‘Ethical Vegan’
Posted on 10/23/2011 6:42:18 AM PDT by IbJensen
Veganism dates back to 1944, when British Vegan Society co-founder Donald Watson coined the term to mean non-dairy vegetarian. The Society expanded the definition in 1951 to state that man should live without exploiting animals. Vegans eschew animal products in food, clothing, household products, or for any other reason.
There are a variety of reasons why people go vegan. Some simply dont like the taste of meat. Some claim veganism is green, and that a vegan lifestyle minimizes impact on the environment.
In 1997, a survey revealed three percent of the people in the U.S. claimed that they had not used animals for any purpose in the previous two years. Rutgers School of Law professor Gary Francione argued in 2010 that all sentient beings should have at least one right the right not to be treated as property.
Do ethical vegans live up to this stated standard? Do their actions live up to their own stated ethical principle, that animals have the right not to be treated as property? Do their actions really result in zero animal use? The parallel in human terms would be slavery, which no rational person thinks is ethically acceptable. Slaves are the property of masters; they live and die at their owners sufferance.
Unfortunately for the ethical vegan, the production of their food alone reduces their claim to impossibility. Animals are killed in untold millions, in the course of plant agriculture. Some are killed accidentally in the course of mechanized farming; some are killed deliberately in the course of pest control. Animals are killed, every day. Every potato, every stick of celery, every cup of rice, and every carrot has a blood trail leading from field to plate.
In 1999, while researching and writing Misplaced Compassion, I ran into a rice farmer who posted the following first-hand account on a Usenet forum:
[A] conservative annualized estimate of vertebrate deaths in organic rice farming is ~20 pound. [T]his works out a bit less than two vertebrate deaths per square foot, and, again, is conservative. For conventionally grown rice, the gross body-count is at least several times that figure. [W]hen cutting the rice, there is a (visual) green waterfall of frogs and anoles moving in front of the combine. Sometimes the waterfall is just a gentle trickle (± 10,000 frogs per acre) crossing the header, total for both cuttings, other times it is a deluge (+50,000 acre).
My own family was involved in corn and soybean farming; our numbers were not that high, but they were not inconsiderable. Pheasants and rabbits are routinely killed in planting and harvesting, and rodents are killed by the thousands using traps and pesticides at every step: production, storage, and transportation.
Rational people know this and dont worry about it. Its an inevitable consequence of modern, high-production agriculture. The ethical vegan, when confronted with these undeniable facts, collapses. Their reaction, in almost every case, is to do a rhetorical lateral arabesque into a new claim, that their vegan diet somehow causes less death and suffering than a non-vegan diet, a ridiculous and unsupportable argument. A pound of wild venison (net cost in animal death: about 1/120th of one animal) almost certainly causes less death and suffering than a pound of rice (net cost in animal death: including rodents, insect, reptiles and amphibians, number of deaths may range into the hundreds). Continued on Next Page -> Page 1 of 2 Next -> View as Single Page Email Print Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size
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Correct me if Im wrong, but didnt the Bohemean fellow who became Chancelor of Germany in the 30s adhere to a Vegetarian Diet? October 23, 2011 - 2:44 am Link to this Comment | Reply eon
Yes, and he had a serious problem with the Fat Guy Who Used To Be A Flying Ace who ran his Luftwaffe. (He was very fond of suckling pig.)
Other ethical vegans whose behavior toward humanity wasnt so ethical included Mao Tse-Tung, Pol Pot, Himmler, Trotsky, Lavrenti Beria, Feliks Dzerzhinsky (yes, old Iron Feliks himself), and the recently-deceased Man Of Many Spellings Of His Name, Moammar al-Qadafi. (This is by no means an exhaustive list, either.)
To return to the main subject, ome of the ethical vegan crew hold that only organic farming is truly ethical, and demand that not only do we all become vegans, but that we must only eat foods raised organically.
To which I say, fine. Considering the low proportional yield of an acre farmed organically compared to an acre farmed by modern methods (been there, done that), that would mean that you would be expecting humanity to get by on (at best) about one-fourth the yield it does now. Meaning, everybody would be farming, and eating, as they do today in Sub-Saharan Africa. That is, inadequately.
Facts are stubborn things, as somebody-or-other said. And they tend to hit the assumed ethical superiority of vegans right in the mush.
I’ve generally found that people who can’t enjoy a steak once in a while tend to be high-maintenance drama queens who think they’re better than everyone else.
Not all, but most.
Sounds a lot like Prius drivers.
I’m Vegan By Proxy - the cow eats the grass and I eat the cow.
me too....I eschew and eschew till the meat is tender enough to eswallow....
And most of the Vegans/Macrobiotic people I’ve known are hard core pro-death-abortion-at-any-cost type people as well.
but ‘pro life’ for dirt bag murderers.
I forgot that part; but it’s true, death to babies but not for murderers.
Actually, veganism goes back much further. Read the Book Genesis. God seems to know what’s best for us. The Edenic diet.
Too much evidence to prove it’s the healthiest of all diets (Properly balanced). Seventh day Adventists live longer than most and a good percentage follow diet based on Biblical guidelines and yes laws given in scripture. And a weekly Sabbath don’t hurt. Dr. Lorraine Day, a Seventh day Adventist trauma surgeon got cancer. Tried everything was told she would die.
Went back to scripture, claimed God’s promise and a diet of pure veganism (Nothing that came from anything with a face). Long story short......cancer free, and world recognized and respected for her counsel on health, nutrition.
Yep, can’t improve on God. Meat came after the flood of Noah. All the vegetation was dead so God give Noah permission only “clean” meats. (So much for the argument unclean was for Jews only since Noah was several hundred years before any Jew was around).
National Geographic names Loma Linda one of the healthiest communities in the entire world based on their studies of health and living. A small community of mostly Seventh day Adventists and also a world renown Medical school and center.
A few months ago, in a article about healthy living, Newsweek magazine says, if you want to live healtheist....”Live like a Seventh day Adventist.” (You can google the article it’s there)
And then there’s this. If you watch it, imagine, a surgeon in Loma Linda, life long vegetarian, and he “retired” at around age 90.
Adventist don’t shout about their faith, following scripture, still believing in all ten commandments, (Not just 9) nor do they belive in them as a method of salvation, but instead as a standard to live by. (Grace alone through faith alone, protestants through and through).......and they make great doctors, have the world 2nd largest private education system, and are looking for the soon return of Christ. Nothing wrong with lookin for your savior.
Here’s CNN story about Seventh day Adventist and Loma Linda.....enjoy:
P.S. I had my eyes done by Dr. Thomas Tooma in Newport Beach, he did Tiger Woods eyes. Graduate of Loma Linda University, and I could find no better eye surgeon:
Good points. There is an element of narcissism to it. Most extremely health-conscious vegan I knew, obsessed for 20 years. Then was diagnosed with MS. You would think she’d keep obsessing, but like a mugged lib, she reversed course and started eating liver.
Don’t know how it turned out for her, we lost touch. But in retrospect, she was a world class narcissist in those days. Except about nicotine!
Scientists Prove Plants Feel Pain, Vegans Face Starvation:
The vegans I know are very fond of the most fashionable LEATHER shoes and handbags. The more the better.
The Vegetarian Myth : food, justice and sustainability
But one post marked a turning point. A vegan flushed out his idea to keep animals from being killednot by humans, but by other animals. Someone should build a fence down the middle of the Serengeti, and divide the predators from the prey. Killing is wrong and no animals should ever have to die, so the big cats and wild canines would go on one side, while the wildebeests and zebras would live on the other. He knew the carnivores would be okay because they didnt need to be carnivores. That was a lie the meat industry told. Hed seen his dog eat grass: therefore, dogs could live on grass.
No one objected. In fact, others chimed in. My cat eats grass, too, one woman added, all enthusiasm. So does mine! someone else posted. Everyone agreed that fencing was the solution to animal death.
Note well that the site for this liberatory project was Africa. No one mentioned the North American prairie, where carnivores and ruminants alike have been extirpated for the annual grains that vegetarians embrace. But Ill return to that in Chapter 3.
I knew enough to know that this was insane. But no one else on the message board could see anything wrong with the scheme. So, on the theory that many readers lack the knowledge to judge this plan, Im going to walk you through this.
Carnivores cannot survive on cellulose. They may on occasion eat grass, but they use it medicinally, usually as a purgative to clear their digestive tracts of parasites. Ruminants, on the other hand, have evolved to eat grass. They have a rumen (hence, ruminant), the first in a series of multiple stomachs that acts as a fermentative vat. Whats actually happening inside a cow or a zebra is that bacteria eat the grass, and the animals eat the bacteria.
Lions and hyenas and humans dont have a ruminants digestive system. Literally from our teeth to our rectums we are designed for meat. We have no mechanism to digest cellulose.
So on the carnivore side of the fence, starvation will take every animal. Some will last longer than others, and those some will end their days as cannibals. The scavengers will have a Fat Tuesday party, but when the bones are picked clean, theyll starve as well. The graveyard wont end there. Without grazers to eat the grass, the land will eventually turn to desert.
Why? Because without grazers to literally level the playing field, the perennial plants mature, and shade out the basal growth point at the plants base. In a brittle environment like the Serengeti, decay is mostly physical (weathering) and chemical (oxidative), not bacterial and biological as in a moist environment. In fact, the ruminants take over most of the biological functions of soil by digesting the cellulose and returning the nutrients, once again available, in the form of urine and feces.
But without ruminants, the plant matter will pile up, reducing growth, and begin killing the plants. The bare earth is now exposed to wind, sun, and rain, the minerals leech away, and the soil structure is destroyed. In our attempt to save animals, weve killed everything.
On the ruminant side of the fence, the wildebeests and friends will reproduce as effectively as ever. But without the check of predators, there will quickly be more grazers than grass. The animals will outstrip their food source, eat the plants down to the ground, and then starve to death, leaving behind a seriously degraded landscape.
The lesson here is obvious, though it is profound enough to inspire a religion: we need to be eaten as much as we need to eat. The grazers need their daily cellulose, but the grass also needs the animals. It needs the manure, with its nitrogen, minerals, and bacteria; it needs the mechanical check of grazing activity; and it needs the resources stored in animal bodies and freed up by degraders when animals die.
The grass and the grazers need each other as much as predators and prey. These are not one-way relationships, not arrangements of dominance and subordination. We arent exploiting each other by eating. We are only taking turns.
That was my last visit to the vegan message boards. I realized then that people so deeply ignorant of the nature of life, with its mineral cycle and carbon trade, its balance points around an ancient circle of producers, consumers, and degraders, werent going to be able to guide me or, indeed, make any useful decisions about sustainable human culture. By turning from adult knowledge, the knowledge that death is embedded in every creatures sustenance, from bacteria to grizzly bears, they would never be able to feed the emotional and spiritual hunger that ached in me from accepting that knowledge. Maybe in the end this book is an attempt to soothe that ache myself.
See tag line.
Most vegan women can be found with leather shoes or purse. Once you note this, bring it to their attention and watch them stammer. If you’re wearing beef, why not eat it?
the article left out the biggest killer of animals in any non meat diet: habitat loss from farming. that is many times bigger than anything else, and no way around it.
also there is this: if you understand the human body, there are whole armies of cells inside us roaming around hunting and eating other cells. the idea that its “natural” not to have one organism eat another is just ignorant BS.
There are other aspects of grazing in brittle environments of which almost no one is aware. One is that a particular class of rumen microflora, Pseudomonas syringae, is an important sheath bacterium; it coats the plant to protect its sugars from pathogens. That bacterium is both ultraviolet resistant and has an exudate adhesive that is enormously attractive to water molecules. When that bacteria is blown into the atmosphere as dust, it plays an important role in the nucleation of raindrops and ice crystals. Grazing animals alone both multiply and spread that bacterium.
Even more fascinating is that said same bacterium is also capable of precluding the introduction of mold spores on drying fruit. In the ancient world, if mold struck the crop, there was no crop.
Exodus 23:11 mandates the introduction of animals into crop lands during the Sabbath year. The Sabbath for the Land is further described in Lev. 25. What is the promise if you keep it? Lev. 26 promises that if you keep it, "you will have rain in its season and your land will yield forth its fruit."
It's just a coincidence. You heard it here first.
You can learn more here. I am the author.
***Newsweek magazine says, if you want to live healtheist....Live like a Seventh day Adventist.***
I live in a heavy SDA area and they die just like everyone else. Some of them are the most UNhealthy and self righteous people I have ever known.
My favorite story is the one who worked at a local hospital and made a scene every time the cafeteria served pork.
One day someone opened a door to a bedding closet and there, hidden, was the SDA observer, chowing down on a pork chop.
Then how did the dove Noah released from the window bring back an olive leaf in her beak? (Gen. 8:11)
***still believing in all ten commandments, (Not just 9) nor do they belive in them as a method of salvation, but instead as a standard to live by.****
I still remember the bald headed SDA preacher on AMAZING FACTS stating, “You are saved by grace, IF you keep the sabbath!”
That makes sabbath keeping more important than the Blood of Christ for salvation by GRACE.
These attitudes are cultural too. A lot of Indian programmers I come across are vegans or vegetarians because that is their upbringing and they do not have the attitude you mention. They stick to it for themselves and are never found pontificating about it to others. They are happy as long as lunches or dinners have something for them. The other interesting thing I find about them is that almost all of them oppose socialism from an ideological viewpoint.
It is the liberals who have a problem. In their case, I always associate vegans with 45-year old naked women in PETA advertisements.
The great problem with Seventh Day Adventism is that it is a false, man-made religion. It dates back only to the 19th century, puts the ridiculous ramblings of Ellen G. White on a par with scripture and practice deceptive tactics: http://millennium.fortunecity.com/lincoln/666/clearwordbible/clear-word.htm
How long they live is irrelevant.
My daughter is a vegetarian, not a vegan, and she eats fish which makes her something else that I can’t remember right now.
She never mentions it to anybody, just quietly does her own thing.
I think the thing that annoys us about vegetarians and vegans is their self-righteousness.
Thanks for the post. I know now whenever I see anything posted by you, I can safely ignore it. No meat before Noah’s flood...hmmm? Ridiculous ramblings.
Just think of the billions of microorganisms vegans kill daily in eating their still organic food, when they brush their teeth, or by washing their faces and hands.... It´s disgusting, and they should commit suicide as penance.
It seems that the road to the West’s destruction always leads back to the UK.
Time to nuke them from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.
Genesis 9:3 can certainly be understood as permitting that which was previously not permitted: “Every moving thing that lives shall be yours to eat; like the green vegetation, I have given you everything.”
Save the vegetables!!!!
A few years ago I read about a group in Switzerland that is trying to champion the rights of vegetables because supposedly they feel pain.
Earl Pitts says it best. “Save the vegetables, stop these juice thirsty health nuts before they kill again” I’m a vegetable rights activist!....
My great great great grandson Methuselah, keeps telling me I should become a vegan so I can live longer.
I keep telling him your time is short anyway so why not enjoy it.
“In my personal experiences with vegans I have gotten the impression that they are mostly self-righteous, self-obsessed hypocrites. Veganism seems to be a fake morality that allows narcissists the ability to buy meaningless moral credits that they can spend elsewhere in the form of lying, selfishness, or plain meanness...”
When did you meet my husband? He isn’t a liberal but he is a greenie who is so demented he actually believes hunting animals is on par with abortion. That man needs to eat an angus burger stat!
The hardest part about eating vegetables is swallowing the wheelchair. /s
Maybe they are better than me. I’ll take a quality steak over that quality morals anyday.
Where do vegans get their B vitamins?
I do believe cancer is fairly new. But I believe it comes from additives in foods and other chemicals introduced into our lives. For example, consuming milk from cows treated with a synthetic, genetically engineered growth hormone called rBGH - banned in Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and in the 27 countries of the European Union because of its dangers to human health - unfortunately is in about one third of the dairy cows in America. Eating grass fed, no hormone or chemically processed meats is far healthier than a vegan diet.
Vegans eat bugs, which are life forms, which are animals in their own right. Small bugs are on everything, so this idea that they feel morally superior to those that do not eat large animals like chickens and cows is pure ignorant hogwash.
By definition then, the vegans you know are not vegans. If you wear or use leather, you aren't a vegan. I think perhaps the vegetarians you know like their leather. Vegan and vegetarian are not interchangeable.
Those aren’t vegan women. They’re vegetarians. FReepers seem to be having trouble with is one today.
Pescatarian is the word you're looking for. She's a pescatarian, not a vegetarian.
Add in Jello too. This one catches a lot of them by surprise too.
Why would you believe that? We've found melanoma in mummified remains dating back 4,000 years, and tell tale signs in bone in very early fossils of a variety of animals.
LOL! Booo!!! Bad joke!!! Booo!!! LOL! Booo!!! LOL!
How can celebrating the Sabbath on the seventh day of the week (aka Saturday) be false? Might check back in with the Ten Commandments.
I believe the science is not conclusive.
"A study of ancient bodies has determined that cancer is a man-made disease, one fueled by the excesses. Tumors turn out to be extremely rare until very recent times, when pollution and poor diet became issues.
Researchers analyzed potential references to the disease in classical literature, and also searched for signs in the fossil record and in mummified bodies. But despite examining tissue from hundreds of Egyptian mummies, they confirmed only one case of cancer
According to the Daily Mail:
"Dismissing the argument that the ancient Egyptians didn't live long enough to develop cancer, the researchers pointed out that other age-related disease such as hardening of the arteries and brittle bones did occur ...
Fossil evidence of cancer is also sparse, with scientific literature providing a few dozen, mostly disputed, examples in animal fossil".
Right, she told me that the other day but I couldn’t remember it. I must write it down. thanks.
Gee. I thought only Andrew Zimmern ate bugs.
Oh I can buy more common, absolutely. However, anyone with a basic knowledge of biology should rightly scoff at the idea that cancer did not exist in antiquity. All mammals, reptiles, avian etc will eventually develop cancer if they live long enough. All it takes is one aged gene to fail in but one of the bodies cells, and voila neoplastic growth, aka cancer.
In order for cancer to not exist. The gene that regulates cell growth would have to be perfect in every cell in every body of every creature on the planet at every point in time. In other words, impossible.
Most vegan women are lesbians.