Happy Cows???

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brimstoneSalad
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Re: Happy Cows???

Post by brimstoneSalad » Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:37 pm

VGnizm wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 10:15 am
It seems more and more to me that Veganism will remain limited to a few ideological followers who see the food habit as only one of the expressions of sentient concern but the rest of the world will become more plant based!
Well said, and I think that's probably true (at least in this generation). Still a good direction to move in. :)

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Post by carnap » Sat Oct 20, 2018 3:45 pm

brimstoneSalad wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 11:47 pm
Ultimately it shouldn't be any more difficult to argue against using animals against their interests without them experiencing harm than it is to argue against slavery of humans (or even harvesting humans raised for food) without them experiencing harm (e.g. being in ignorance and living lives without inordinate suffering). If one is permissible, the other should be too, and not very many people will bite that bullet.
You'd need to actually argue why the two situations are morally similar, that is precisely the issue people will disagree about and merely stating your opinion won't do anything to convince people.

But since you believe its not difficult, why don't you create a thread outlining an argument as to why its wrong to use an animal "against their interest". But be sure clearly define "interests" in a way that connects with the cognitive abilities of farm animals, vegans seem prone to giving arguments that equivocate the term "interests". That is to say, they invoke the human notion of the word and then try to fallaciously apply it to non-human animals.

And I know many vegans....and not just ones from one specific sect of veganism. Many vegans (I'd suggest most...) are influenced by more rights-based ethical ideas and for these people #2 is central.

brimstoneSalad wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 11:47 pm
No it doesn't. That's Allan Savory pseudoscience. Pasturing is only "beneficial" to a certain aesthetic, a psychopathic aesthetic that comes at the cost of harmful effects to sentient beings. The only way it's beneficial to the "environment" is if you load the question circular logic style by defining environment by that pastoral aesthetic.
I'm not familiar with Allan Savory, but I was speaking comparatively. Pasturing has environment benefits compared to intensive operations, for example, waste management happens automatically. The point being that despite higher green-house emissions, pasturing has better overall environmental impact. Also its possible that the emissions differences are entirely offset by reduced numbers of wild ruminants since they compete with cattle for food and pasturing would reduce their numbers.

brimstoneSalad wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 11:47 pm
Complete bullshit. We're already far beyond the amount of greenhouse gases we can sustainably output. No, we can not scale up agricultural greenhouse gas output even more by converting the current number of cattle to pasture-- at least if you care at all about any of the human beings in less privileged countries who will suffer the consequences of our actions. Although I'm sure if you're a white nationalist or something you have no problem with suffering of poor non-whites in other countries for your own gluttony.
Firstly your last comment here is just an ad hominem, white nationalism has nothing to do with the discussion and your suggestion that I'm such is done to attack me. Can you please argue your point without fallacies?

Secondly its not clear that pasturing would result in more green-house gases for the reason I cited above, pasturing reduces the number of wild ruminants which also emit green-house gases. But even if we assume that isn't the case, at least in the US this issue isn't significant. Animal agriculture only contributes around 5% of the green-house gases in the United States so even if you it increased 20~30% it would have little impact on overall green-house gas emissions.

brimstoneSalad wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 11:47 pm
However, they still consume food that could be used for human beings and increase the amount of crops we have to produce. It's an inefficient use of resources.
It is inefficient but so is the vast majority of things people do in developed nations. The mock chicken products many vegans eat are also inefficient, in fact, they may even be more wasteful as they are made from isolates (which result in food loss, and energy loss), heavily packaged and are frozen for long periods. Even if everyone replaced chicken with something minimally processed, for example, tofu or tempeh....the shift in green-house gases would be hardly measurable. Developed nations just pollute so much in so many ways.

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brimstoneSalad
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Post by brimstoneSalad » Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:17 pm

carnap wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 3:45 pm
That is to say, they invoke the human notion of the word and then try to fallaciously apply it to non-human animals.
Anti-vegans tend to make a fallacious distinction between human and non-human interests based on some magical power humans presumably have. Arguing against such an unfalsifiable notion is like arguing a with a theist and trying to explain why humans don't have magical souls that do the same thing you claim.

You're just unreasonable and wrong to hold to such an assumption. Just as wrong as theists who do the same, or racists of the past who believed in a similar distinction between races that made it justifiable to exploit those who were not like them.

The moral burden of proof is on those asserting there ARE differences that justify such treatment, not to make unreasonable demands that we essentially disprove hard solipsism before you will consider the possibility that others outside yourself (and those you happen to care about) have any value at all.

Of course that's not most non-vegans... most people are sensible enough to understand that animals have some measure of moral value/consideration.

If you want to take a stab at disproving hard solipsism with regard to other human beings so that you can embed an anchor at the point of said humans in that actual slippery slope you're trying to push morality off of, go for it. Make a new thread and start with that.

You can't expect anybody to take you seriously when you make these irrational demands for impossible evidence which just as well apply to other humans and negates any function for morality at all... but that's what you believe, isn't it? That all morality is meaningless? And you just do whatever you want based on your personal aesthetic and emotional whims. Nobody wants to hear you preach on that bullshit. We're all well aware of the limits of empiricism and the unfalsifiability of solipsism. Again, see the forum rules. This is not the place for it, so stop bringing it up unless you have an actual argument or some evidence.

You seem to think you're so clever, and that you understand something that the vegans just don't understand (that 90%+ of people period don't understand since most people agree with animal ethics to some extent).
Well you aren't clever, and you don't understand anything special (we're well aware of the limitations of epistemology)... you're just a bad person doing everything in your power to shit on and shut down anybody who wants to make the world a better place.
carnap wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 3:45 pm
The point being that despite higher green-house emissions, pasturing has better overall environmental impact.
There is no "despite green-house emissions"; that IS the metric. You can argue about the local aesthetics all you want, but that doesn't affect other people in the world who are suffering due to climate change, and it's that human suffering that's the meaningful aspect of any environmental issue.

It's very rare that people live near and are directly affected by intensive farming operations, and when they do the effect is typically just complaints about smell. Climate change is literally killing people.
carnap wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 3:45 pm
Also its possible that the emissions differences are entirely offset by reduced numbers of wild ruminants since they compete with cattle for food and pasturing would reduce their numbers.
No, the populations of wild vs. farmed ruminants are drastically different. There are probably five times as many cows now than there were bison in North America, and the number would have to grow substantially if cattle were exclusively pastured. Cattle also spend most of their lives in rapid growth, not as fully grown adults, which metabolically magnifies the differences.

Pasturing more animals also means clearing and deforesting more land to make room to graze, environments which are carbon sinks.

In terms of forests, yes deer exist, but their numbers are artificially inflated by forest management and clearing to give them space to graze. The density is around three times higher than it should be due to human intervention. Without management, the available land for grazing is much less.

We absolutely need to manage wild ruminant populations, both to reduce emissions and ensure trees can grow properly, but the way to manage wild ruminants is NOT to displace them with EVEN MORE domesticated ones. That's an asinine claim.
carnap wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 3:45 pm
brimstoneSalad wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 11:47 pm
Complete bullshit. We're already far beyond the amount of greenhouse gases we can sustainably output. No, we can not scale up agricultural greenhouse gas output even more by converting the current number of cattle to pasture-- at least if you care at all about any of the human beings in less privileged countries who will suffer the consequences of our actions. Although I'm sure if you're a white nationalist or something you have no problem with suffering of poor non-whites in other countries for your own gluttony.
Firstly your last comment here is just an ad hominem, white nationalism has nothing to do with the discussion and your suggestion that I'm such is done to attack me. Can you please argue your point without fallacies?
You don't understand what a fallacy is. Ad hominem is using an insult instead of an argument, I presented an argument. I don't know if you're a white nationalist or not, but your arguments seem to indicate that you don't care about non-whites or people outside your immediate vicinity in general.
carnap wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 3:45 pm
But even if we assume that isn't the case, at least in the US this issue isn't significant. Animal agriculture only contributes around 5% of the green-house gases in the United States
That's a distortion of the actual effect, it's significantly higher than that even in the US where other emissions are high too. But even if that figure weren't dishonestly low, 5% is very significant, and more importantly it's very avoidable compared to many other emissions.
When we ask whether it's more essential to eat meat or drive to work, the answer is pretty obviously the latter to any sane person who doesn't appeal to pro-meat pseudoscience to fear monger about veganism.
carnap wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 3:45 pm
It is inefficient but so is the vast majority of things people do in developed nations.
There are more things we need to change too, but this is one that's relatively easy to do with a big impact. Going nuclear would be huge too.
carnap wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 3:45 pm
The mock chicken products many vegans eat are also inefficient, in fact, they may even be more wasteful as they are made from isolates (which result in food loss, and energy loss), heavily packaged and are frozen for long periods.
No, they are not more wasteful. :roll:
Full assessments of environmental impact have been done on a few mock meats, they're not that bad. Are they as good as beans? Probably not. But they're still an order of magnitude better than beef, and based on the relative differences should be a little better than chicken still as well.
carnap wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 3:45 pm
Even if everyone replaced chicken with something minimally processed, for example, tofu or tempeh....the shift in green-house gases would be hardly measurable. Developed nations just pollute so much in so many ways.
Of course cherry pick chicken; the least wasteful of the land meats. And yet we've been arguing about pasturing and beef.

No, replacing chicken with mock meats wouldn't make as big of a difference environmentally due to chicken being monogastric and having higher FCRs. The environmental argument still exists, but isn't as pressing. The antibiotic issue is still very pressing, though, and they still require land.

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Post by Mick Peslo » Thu Oct 25, 2018 9:17 am

Those b@stards banned me :(

carnap
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Post by carnap » Fri Oct 26, 2018 10:56 pm

brimstoneSalad wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:17 pm
Anti-vegans tend to make a fallacious distinction between human and non-human interests based on some magical power humans presumably have.
What fallacious distinction? What I was discussing is equivocation. Many vegan arguments are based on applying to some specific human concept and then trying to project it onto animals with vastly different cognitive abilities. This is a clear case of equivocation.

In any case, you claimed:

"Ultimately it shouldn't be any more difficult to argue against using animals against their interests without them experiencing harm than it is to argue against slavery of humans "

I asked you to provide an argument and instead you just attack me personally and just make one assertion after another without any support.

brimstoneSalad wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:17 pm
There is no "despite green-house emissions"; that IS the metric. You can argue about the local aesthetics all you want....
Huh? Are you under the impression the green-house emissions are the only environmental issue? My comment had absolutely nothing to do with aesthetics but rather that you have to look at the complete picture and not just one environmental factor.
brimstoneSalad wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:17 pm
It's very rare that people live near and are directly affected by intensive farming operations....
Environmental damage is rarely "direct", even green-house gases don't "directly affect" people. The gases themselves aren't harming people its the consequences the gases have on the climate that can harm people. Intensive farming operations pollute in various ways and the impact of that pollution is often far-reaching.

brimstoneSalad wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:17 pm
No, the populations of wild vs. farmed ruminants are drastically different. There are probably five times as many cows now than there were bison in North America, and the number would have to grow substantially if cattle were exclusively pastured.
Bison is just one ruminant living in North America and there is no reason why you'd have to raise more cattle if you pasture them. The weight of a pasture cow is a bit lower than a grain-finished cow but the difference is mirror.
brimstoneSalad wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:17 pm
Pasturing more animals also means clearing and deforesting more land to make room to graze, environments which are carbon sinks.
There are plenty of lands to pasture cattle on in the US, you don't need to clear anything.

brimstoneSalad wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:17 pm
You don't understand what a fallacy is. Ad hominem is using an insult instead of an argument, I presented an argument. I don't know if you're a white nationalist or not, but your arguments seem to indicate that you don't care about non-whites or people outside your immediate vicinity in general.
Funny because, no, that isn't what is meant by "ad hominem". An ad hominem is an argument where the person is being attacked in some sense as part of the argument.

And which comments indicate I don't care about "non-whites"? My comments have had nothing to do with race.

brimstoneSalad wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:17 pm
That's a distortion of the actual effect, it's significantly higher than that even in the US where other emissions are high too. But even if that figure weren't dishonestly low, 5% is very significant, and more importantly it's very avoidable compared to many other emissions.
The 5% figure is from the EPA. Would you like a citation? And I'm not sure why you're claiming 5% is "significant". It is, after all, just 5%....and even if we eliminated that 5% we'd still have significant problems.

In any case, all the sources of emissions can be reduced so the idea that people should worry an industry that contributes 5% makes little sense. Also because its rooted in people's culture, dietary behavior is actually difficult to change which makes focusing on diet even less effective than other factors. Claiming that its "relatively easy" for people to change diets is not rooted in reality, the existing research on vegetarian/vegans clearly shows people have difficulty making the change long-term.

brimstoneSalad wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:17 pm
Full assessments of environmental impact have been done on a few mock meats, they're not that bad. Are they as good as beans? Probably not.
I haven't seen such an assessment, do you have a citation? In particular one that has compared them to similar meat products.
brimstoneSalad wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:17 pm
Of course cherry pick chicken; the least wasteful of the land meats. And yet we've been arguing about pasturing and beef.
Cherry pick? C'mon....I'm sure you realize that chicken is the most widely consumed meat in the US. The reduction would be greater if everyone ate tofu instead of beef but still only a few percent.....but the reduction would be similar if they replaced beef with chicken. Probably 3~4% reduction vs 2.5~3.5% reduction.

In any case, these are small numbers and shouldn't be the focus of any effective environmental policy.

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Post by brimstoneSalad » Sat Oct 27, 2018 12:46 pm

Mick Peslo wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 9:17 am
Those b@stards banned me :(
This isn't about the Happy Cows forum.

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Post by brimstoneSalad » Sat Oct 27, 2018 3:57 pm

carnap wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 10:56 pm
brimstoneSalad wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:17 pm
Anti-vegans tend to make a fallacious distinction between human and non-human interests based on some magical power humans presumably have.
What fallacious distinction? What I was discussing is equivocation. Many vegan arguments are based on applying to some specific human concept and then trying to project it onto animals with vastly different cognitive abilities. This is a clear case of equivocation.
The vast majority of vegans aren't equivocating on matters of cognitive abilities. We're not saying they're just as capable of learning mathematics, voting, etc. That's a common straw-man and you should know better.

Most vegans also aren't equating human and non-human moral value. To the contrary, they understand humans are worth more than insects.

You're the one committing a similar fallacy you accuse vegans of, and drawing fundamental distinctions on moral value where the only evidence there is of degree.
carnap wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 10:56 pm
I asked you to provide an argument and instead you just attack me personally and just make one assertion after another without any support.
I made an argument. Anybody who actually read my post can see that. If you're unwilling to address it or support your assertions, then stop posting here.
carnap wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 10:56 pm
Huh? Are you under the impression the green-house emissions are the only environmental issue?
I mentioned antibiotic resistance, and that's a serious issue too.

But environmental issues that affect humans are really the only ones that clearly matter, and outside of undeveloped regions where drinking water contamination is a real risk global warming is the only serious systemic effect on humanity. The EPA and equivalent organizations do a good job of protecting humans locally from environmental problems. They even do a pretty good job of protecting local wildlife if you arbitrarily care about them and not the farmed animals.

Regardless of the effects on habitat, nature will find a way. Where one species is hindered another is helped. It's insane to argue that a species in itself has inherent value. Species go extinct all of the time and there's no valid argument to be made in support of their permanence based on some bizarre status quo morality, a species does not feel or suffer... only its individuals do.

Are you saying you're just so worried about occasional algal blooms in bodies of water that kill fish?
Because that's the least of the arguments against meat. If you care about animals, you should already care about the far more sentient ones being confined and slaughtered.

carnap wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 10:56 pm
My comment had absolutely nothing to do with aesthetics but rather that you have to look at the complete picture and not just one environmental factor.
And a man shot in the chest may have also skinned his knees when he fell to the ground, so we should just give him knee pads and support people continuing to shoot others in the chest now that they have knee pads?

carnap wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 10:56 pm
Intensive farming operations pollute in various ways and the impact of that pollution is often far-reaching.
Sounds like fukushima fear mongering/Erin Brockovich nonsense. No notion of the effects of dilution, or respect for evidence of harm.
Climate change is global and has real, substantial, and measurable effects on human beings. Agricultural runoff is already managed and by the time it reaches humans in any modern country it's a non-issue. Aside, arguably, for antibiotic resistant bacteria which don't dilute in the same way.

carnap wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 10:56 pm
there is no reason why you'd have to raise more cattle if you pasture them. The weight of a pasture cow is a bit lower than a grain-finished cow but the difference is mirror.
The weight is less, AND the time to reach that weight is longer. You'd need more cows. And a lot more space than we currently have to raise them to feed current demand.
carnap wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 10:56 pm
The 5% figure is from the EPA.
It's a low-ball, it leaves out many important considerations. And yes, even that's significant, but particularly in terms of how it influences the rest of the world.

I already addressed this in the other thread:
brimstoneSalad wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 8:55 pm
The fact of a lower percentage of total emissions coming from meat in developed countries is not because they're emitting any less per capita from meat (if that were true, then you might have a point).
While developed nations may release less per kg of meat produced due to higher efficiency of factory farming, those people also tend to eat a lot more meat (and waste more) and the emissions from meat are comparable or sometimes worse per capita than in less developed countries. The only thing that makes them seem lower as a ratio relative to developing countries is higher emissions elsewhere.

It's like a rapist/mass-murder saying mere rapists have to stop raping, but he's good to keep raping no problem because he murders too so rape is only a small percentage of the harm he does whereas for mere rapists it's a larger percentage.
Doing other things worse is not an excuse to continue whatever bad things you're doing, and since the West is ultimately the cultural and economic leader of the world it also poses a VERY bad example.

Developed countries are SO much worse in other areas, but that doesn't excuse animal agriculture, and it only makes fake environmentalists in developed countries hypocrites when they won't quit eating meat despite the obvious fact that humanity as a whole needs to. It remains the largest avoidable contribution to global warming.
And the rest of the world is still on a trend to increase emissions from animal agriculture, which is something we need to be proactive about, not hypocritical about.

We need to model behavior that uses our carbon emissions efficiently to increase human well being (as cement does) not waste them on gluttony for no good reason when there are perfectly delicious mock meats.

carnap wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 10:56 pm
Also because its rooted in people's culture, dietary behavior is actually difficult to change which makes focusing on diet even less effective than other factors.
That might be true of switching people to beans, but mock meats require little to no cultural change; just a change in production. Nuclear is immensely important too, but unfortunately faces more obstacles in terms of fear mongering. A conversion to mock meats is going to see far less resistance, since most people are already positive about animal welfare and there's a lot of interest in meat replacements. We could see really quick change as the industry innovates.
carnap wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 10:56 pm
Claiming that its "relatively easy" for people to change diets is not rooted in reality, the existing research on vegetarian/vegans clearly shows people have difficulty making the change long-term.
In the context of previous generations' fast food availability and limited vegan options, but there's no reason to believe that will continue being the case.
While strict veganism is not a realistic goal right now, data from places like the UK is very promising in terms of public acceptance of mock meats and the potential for radical reducetarianism.
carnap wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 10:56 pm
I haven't seen such an assessment, do you have a citation? In particular one that has compared them to similar meat products.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/katrinafox ... 03ecfb475a
The report, which was released today, found that the Beyond Burger generates 90% fewer greenhouse gas emissions, requires 46% less non-renewable energy, has more than 99% less impact on water scarcity and 93% less impact on land use than a quarter pound of US beef.
Replacing chicken with mock meats wouldn't be as dramatic in environmental terms based on factory farm production, but it's not an option when it comes to antibiotic use and less intensive and more free range operations have worse FCRs.

There are still good environmental arguments to promote mock meats over chicken, and given economy of scale those arguments will likely only get better. The industry is in its infancy.

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