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Re: Veganism

Negate This wrote:

If anyone has any good-faith criticisms, feel free to email me and I’ll be sure to read them. I am still in the process of learning about the world at large, so I know some of the things I say may be inadequately thought through, and I urge people to point it out so that I may learn and reassess my thoughts.(Please remember that I concede some people can’t become vegan before you email me a response.)

Before reading my response to this, please bear in mind that I do try to eat only vegan food. So it’s not like it’s some complete rabid carnist that’s knee-jerk–reacting here.

I started eating vegan food when I was 19 (and I’m 40 now so more than half my life) but I’m not perfect. I had dairy—because my grocery delivery got messed up a month ago, and they had put a little 33cl (that’s like 11 floz approx) can of milk in my bags and I ended up drinking it. (Had there not been isolation times, I would’ve given it a way.) The last time before that that I had dairy was 2017.

I’ve had fish a few times, most recent time was in summer of 2018 2021.

So, pretty much all vegan food all the time. (I emphasize the “food” part because I’ve had some wool mittens etc. I’m not the hugest fan of using fossil plastic.)

I urge the reader to reconsider the relationship they and people in general have with animals, and consider them as more than just a resource. Think of them as fellow beings worthy of respect, commodified in the same way as we are, and go vegan if you are able to.

My main reaction to this is the good old slippery slope argument (or slippery slope “fallacy” as people who don’t like this argument like to call it). Does bugs count? Does bacteria? Does plants?

In veganism, there is this thing called “meat goggles”. The idea is that people who love to eat can easily rationalize away the cruelty to animals, but once they stop eating meat they are able to open their eyes to the horrors of carnism.

I had the opposite problem to meat goggles. I went with a vegan WOE because of the climate—of the three vegan pillars, there’s animals, planet and health, and I certainly can’t validate or vouch for any health claims, my health is awful. Planet on the other hand, that’s my jam—and when confronted with animal rights rhetoric, I… I was already vegan. So I didn’t feel any guilt and I didn’t have that 180° seismic perspective shift.

Which means that I’m not really into animal rights.
Which means I’m an outsider to the vegan community in many ways.

On the emotional level, I definitively do get the animal rights thing: When I see a cute bunny or a beautiful horse I go “awww♥︎♥︎”. I definitely have the opposite instincts of a predator or a carnivore.

It’s just on the more philosophical, rational level I can’t really argue for the anti-speciesist variety of animal rights. I do think horses are worth more than flies and humans are worth more than fish.

That’s not to say that fish are worthless or that beautiful blades of grass swaying in the wind are not holy.

I love life as a whole.
I love the circle of life.
Death and new growth.

Our planet as a sustainable, coherent system, a network of loops.

To me, when I see animal rights veganism I see kind of a denial of that perspective, an unwillingness to be a part of that.

I’ve even seen things like “we need to go out and save all the gazelles from lions, all the flies from spiders” kind of Poe’s Law–defying rhetoric.

Don’t get me wrong.

The amount of animal ag that humanity has is not sustainable. The cute little farms we see through the train windows are not where 98% of meet comes from. And “grass-fed, organic” meat is at least as much of a climate disaster. Fishing is super unsustainable too. This needs to change and we need to get on the plant train.

I don’t want to overstate my criticism of animal rights.
I’m just not onboard with going all the way. That’s all.