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    I’m a committed vegan, and have been for over 20 years now. I’m also an atheist, and have been for even longer. Over the years, I’ve often had to defend my position on veganism, so I’ve got quite good at arguing my case. However, I have previously often used “belief” as an argument. I’ve often been told that veganism is akin to a religion, which I generally haven’t tried to refute, mainly due to the advantage of the “false reverence” that religions get favoured with. However, I’m re-thinking this position, after recently reading TGD. I want to discard the belief argument and replace it with some better, more scientific reasoning.
    I’m specifically NOT looking for arguments against veganism – so please don’t clog up the discussion with arguments in that direction.
    My reasoning so far:
    1. The human body is not well equipped to deal with eating or digesting meat – our teeth are the wrong type, our gut is too long and our metabolism is too alkaline. I’m not denying that we have survived the ice-ages, and at least to an extent been shaped by our habit of eating meat, and that in particular, it is possible that our brains might not have developed to their current size and capacity without a meat-based diet, but I also hold the view that this has been relatively speaking so recent in our line of descent that in evolutionary terms, we have not yet made most of the required adaptations to be considered proper omnivores, let alone carnivores. Furthermore, we lack the natural tools for killing and eating prey – we lack the requisite speed, agility, claws and teeth for taking down any prey of sufficient size to be useful – Ozzy Osbourne’s famous Hamster eating habit doesn’t really qualify.
    2. Even disregarding all the physiological evidence, we evidently DO NOT NEED meat or animal products in our diets to be healthy. Although I’m only one example (there are many more however) I’m still here today after 20+ years of veganism, and I am healthy, apart from some excess fat! (I’m working on that). I’ve recently had my “health test for old geezers”, and my blood glucose, cholesterol and blood pressure all came out fine. I’m sure there are many counter-points where vegans who have not paid the right amount of attention to their diets have suffered as a result, but that’s different from a vegan diet per se being deficient. In fact there is mounting empirical medical evidence that a plant-based diet is far more healthy than anything containing animal products.
    3. Even disregarding the first two points, a vegan diet is more sustainable and less demanding on the environment than a meat-and/or-dairy based diet, with a vegan diet taking about a 10th of the resources – land, water, fuel etc. – to maintain. So from an ecological stand-point, veganism is the best option for the future – our world resources can sustain a much larger population as vegans than omnivores. People often point out that this or that “essential vegan foodstuff” is environmentally unfriendly – for example deforestation of the rainforests to grow soya beans – but they ignore the fact that the majority of soya produced is used for animal feed.
    4. Capacity for suffering – any creature with a nervous system is capable of perceiving pain, and thus suffering; it is also evident (and science is now proving) that many animals also share the capacity for conciousness and sentience, even if they don’t share the SAME levels as humans do, so where should you draw the line? If animals are not biological automata; if they feel complex emotions such as pleasure, anger, fear, sadness, anxiety; if they show complex social behaviours such as altruism, co-operation, self-sacrifice, leadership and following, friendship, pairing, loyalty and even “morals”, as we do; if they exhibit responses to pleasure and pain – aren’t they entitled to respect on that basis?
    5. Because of our huge and capricious brains, and our “refined sense of morality”, we can CHOOSE not to knowlingly and intentionally exploit other species, just because their flesh tastes good or they produce secretions that we like.
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    “I’m specifically NOT looking for arguments against veganism – so please don’t clog up the discussion with arguments in that direction.”

    So why the confrontational thread title? It definitely looks like you’re looking for an argument.
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    (Original post by gfdhdfghdfgh)
    I’m a committed vegan, and have been for over 20 years now. I’m also an atheist, and have been for even longer. Over the years, I’ve often had to defend my position on veganism, so I’ve got quite good at arguing my case.
    Your choice - I don't understand why you'd have to defend your position. As a meat eater, I'd have thought that I have a harder to justify position.

    1. The human body is not well equipped to deal with eating or digesting meat – our teeth are the wrong type
    I disagree.

    2. Even disregarding all the physiological evidence, we evidently DO NOT NEED meat or animal products in our diets to be healthy.
    A healthy vegan diet is not trivial, but is possible. Again, I really don't see why you feel that you need to justify your choice to anyone.

    4. Capacity for suffering – any creature with a nervous system is capable of perceiving pain, and thus suffering; it is also evident (and science is now proving) that many animals also share the capacity for conciousness and sentience, even if they don’t share the SAME levels as humans do, so where should you draw the line? If animals are not biological automata; if they feel complex emotions such as pleasure, anger, fear, sadness, anxiety; if they show complex social behaviours such as altruism, co-operation, self-sacrifice, leadership and following, friendship, pairing, loyalty and even “morals”, as we do; if they exhibit responses to pleasure and pain – aren’t they entitled to respect on that basis?
    I find this one increasingly difficult to ignore.
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    Seeking to promote something it is best to use the one or two strongest points rather than as many as possible. The later promotes people chipping at the points perceived as dubious rather than focussing on your argument. For me the strongest points are the environmental and the animal suffering - nothing to do with religion I might add. You can always counter other arguments if they are made. Of course given that meat eating is a cultural norm and that a vegan diet needs some adaption when eating out you will never be on an easy course to convert others, if indeed this is what you hope to do.
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    Do we grow more plants to feed animals (that we then eat) than to feed ourselves?
    Not all land is suitable for arable crop farming, and to turn everyone vegan would put many out of business
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    You need to be more concise and put gaps between your paragraphs.
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    There's no denying that the meat and dairy industry causes significant harm to both animals and the environment, but if you actually want to change that in the next several decades, trying to get people to become vegan or vegetarian really isn't the way to go. You may well be able to argue that a vegan or vegetarian diet is better - and if you have the money to sustain it and are physically healthy enough that you can start making significant changes to your diet without issue, then it may well be - but right now only around 3% of the UK population agrees, and the resistance you've no doubt received to your position demonstrates that that number is not going to change quickly enough to have more than a negligible impact on the issues you've raised. The only way to make the changes we need to make is through carefully planned legislation.
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    All very good points - well said!
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    (Original post by PQ)
    So why the confrontational thread title? It definitely looks like you’re looking for an argument.


    OP is a troll

    https://www.richarddawkins.net/2013/...rom-beliefs-6/


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    Show

    I should really work for the CIA or something......... my troll detection skills are simply unrivaled..
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    We are each free to make our own choices
    I eat meat
    You don’t
    I’m religious
    You’re not
    Life’s good!
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    "Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything. But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it." ~Genesis 9:3-4

    Looks like someone is trying to argue with God
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    I am a vegetarian and I would love to go vegan, so first well done for being vegan for that long! In my opinion , you shouldn't need to justify it constantly - but even as a veggie I am always faced with hostile questions of "why" every time the subject comes up. So my advice is to sound as mellow as possible - people get very aggressive over meat eating and as soon as you start to sound vicious, they get annoyed at you for being an angry vegan. If you want to justify your veganism , just state that it is your choice
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    Humans are literally built to be omnivores https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omnivore https://biology.stackexchange.com/qu...not-herbivores so the argument about whether they can is moot. They can. End of question.

    Whether they should is where the legitimate debate lies. Humans are animals like everything else and even with their high intellectual capacity I don't see a reason not to eat humanely treated animals - when you look at it comparatively at least those animals don't have to spend all day looking over their shoulder, running away every time a leaf rustles until they fall into a trench, damage their ankle, get singled out as weak and ripped apart whilst still alive. Killing them as quickly and painlessly as possible after they've lived a good life (battery farms notwithstanding) is actually a far better quality of life on the relative scale, and humans are still omnivorous animals.

    As for 'not exploiting creatures' what do you think smashing down their homes and concreting over it is? To be consistent you'd have to live in the wild like a literal caveman, and then you'd find it necessary to kill animals because some would be trying to rip your throat out. This whole morality angle is faux because you still live in a house, drive a car, and do all these things that necessitated the damaging of the environment and destruction of animals and their homes but it's fine because you don't buy a turkey from sainsbury's every now and again?
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    (Original post by GonvilleBromhead)
    Humans are literally built to be omnivores https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omnivore https://biology.stackexchange.com/qu...not-herbivores so the argument about whether they can is moot. They can. End of question.

    Whether they should is where the legitimate debate lies. Humans are animals like everything else and even with their high intellectual capacity I don't see a reason not to eat humanely treated animals - when you look at it comparatively at least those animals don't have to spend all day looking over their shoulder, running away every time a leaf rustles until they fall into a trench, damage their ankle, get singled out as weak and ripped apart whilst still alive. Killing them as quickly and painlessly as possible after they've lived a good life (battery farms notwithstanding) is actually a far better quality of life on the relative scale, and humans are still omnivorous animals.

    As for 'not exploiting creatures' what do you think smashing down their homes and concreting over it is? To be consistent you'd have to live in the wild like a literal caveman, and then you'd find it necessary to kill animals because some would be trying to rip your throat out. This whole morality angle is faux because you still live in a house, drive a car, and do all these things that necessitated the damaging of the environment and destruction of animals and their homes but it's fine because you don't buy a turkey from sainsbury's every now and again?
    So one thing is clear,you value your taste pleasure over the life of an innocent animal
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    (Original post by gfdhdfghdfgh)
    Capacity for suffering – any creature with a nervous system is capable of perceiving pain, and thus suffering; it is also evident (and science is now proving) that many animals also share the capacity for conciousness and sentience, even if they don’t share the SAME levels as humans do, so where should you draw the line? If animals are not biological automata; if they feel complex emotions such as pleasure, anger, fear, sadness, anxiety; if they show complex social behaviours such as altruism, co-operation, self-sacrifice, leadership and following, friendship, pairing, loyalty and even “morals”, as we do; if they exhibit responses to pleasure and pain – aren’t they entitled to respect on that basis?
    Since you like to use science so much. SCIENCE has now found that Plants know when they are being eaten and can feel pain. What will you do now? eat air?
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    (Original post by gfdhdfghdfgh)
    So one thing is clear,you value your taste pleasure over the life of an innocent animal
    Why bother create a thread if your response to any reasoned argument is 'hurr durr strawmans'? Just go through life in your own little echo chamber - if you wanted a debate you'd have engaged with my points. You didn't. You went with this drivel which shows you had no interest in looking at it objectively and just wanted to morally grandstand which is entirely why people get fed up of vegans.
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    (Original post by GonvilleBromhead)
    Why bother create a thread if your response to any reasoned argument is 'hurr durr strawmans'? Just go through life in your own little echo chamber - if you wanted a debate you'd have engaged with my points. You didn't. You went with this drivel which shows you had no interest in looking at it objectively and just wanted to morally grandstand which is entirely why people get fed up of vegans.
    ]##

    Well looks like this one is abit slow,its ok you were probably to stupid to grasp any of my points anyway,
    All I can say is enjoy wilfully contributing to the suffering of animals and the increase chance of acquiring various cancers and other health problems.
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    (Original post by joyoustele)
    Since you like to use science so much. SCIENCE has now found that Plants know when they are being eaten and can feel pain. What will you do now? eat air?
    No no its has not. Plants of not conscious beings you fool
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    (Original post by gfdhdfghdfgh)
    I’m a committed vegan, and have been for over 20 years now. I’m also an atheist, and have been for even longer. Over the years, I’ve often had to defend my position on veganism, so I’ve got quite good at arguing my case. However, I have previously often used “belief” as an argument. I’ve often been told that veganism is akin to a religion, which I generally haven’t tried to refute, mainly due to the advantage of the “false reverence” that religions get favoured with. However, I’m re-thinking this position, after recently reading TGD. I want to discard the belief argument and replace it with some better, more scientific reasoning.
    I’m specifically NOT looking for arguments against veganism – so please don’t clog up the discussion with arguments in that direction.
    My reasoning so far:
    1. The human body is not well equipped to deal with eating or digesting meat – our teeth are the wrong type, our gut is too long and our metabolism is too alkaline. I’m not denying that we have survived the ice-ages, and at least to an extent been shaped by our habit of eating meat, and that in particular, it is possible that our brains might not have developed to their current size and capacity without a meat-based diet, but I also hold the view that this has been relatively speaking so recent in our line of descent that in evolutionary terms, we have not yet made most of the required adaptations to be considered proper omnivores, let alone carnivores. Furthermore, we lack the natural tools for killing and eating prey – we lack the requisite speed, agility, claws and teeth for taking down any prey of sufficient size to be useful – Ozzy Osbourne’s famous Hamster eating habit doesn’t really qualify.
    2. Even disregarding all the physiological evidence, we evidently DO NOT NEED meat or animal products in our diets to be healthy. Although I’m only one example (there are many more however) I’m still here today after 20+ years of veganism, and I am healthy, apart from some excess fat! (I’m working on that). I’ve recently had my “health test for old geezers”, and my blood glucose, cholesterol and blood pressure all came out fine. I’m sure there are many counter-points where vegans who have not paid the right amount of attention to their diets have suffered as a result, but that’s different from a vegan diet per se being deficient. In fact there is mounting empirical medical evidence that a plant-based diet is far more healthy than anything containing animal products.
    3. Even disregarding the first two points, a vegan diet is more sustainable and less demanding on the environment than a meat-and/or-dairy based diet, with a vegan diet taking about a 10th of the resources – land, water, fuel etc. – to maintain. So from an ecological stand-point, veganism is the best option for the future – our world resources can sustain a much larger population as vegans than omnivores. People often point out that this or that “essential vegan foodstuff” is environmentally unfriendly – for example deforestation of the rainforests to grow soya beans – but they ignore the fact that the majority of soya produced is used for animal feed.
    4. Capacity for suffering – any creature with a nervous system is capable of perceiving pain, and thus suffering; it is also evident (and science is now proving) that many animals also share the capacity for conciousness and sentience, even if they don’t share the SAME levels as humans do, so where should you draw the line? If animals are not biological automata; if they feel complex emotions such as pleasure, anger, fear, sadness, anxiety; if they show complex social behaviours such as altruism, co-operation, self-sacrifice, leadership and following, friendship, pairing, loyalty and even “morals”, as we do; if they exhibit responses to pleasure and pain – aren’t they entitled to respect on that basis?
    5. Because of our huge and capricious brains, and our “refined sense of morality”, we can CHOOSE not to knowlingly and intentionally exploit other species, just because their flesh tastes good or they produce secretions that we like.
    Would veganism have been possible before 1948?
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    (Original post by avenue321)
    Would veganism have been possible before 1948?
    What is the relevance of the question?
 
 
 
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