Does Going Vegan Save Lives?

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Zane
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Re: Does Going Vegan Save Lives?

Post by Zane » Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:34 pm

Jebus wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:35 am
@Zane You would probably agree that if there were 10 people on the planet, one of them going vegan would make a difference in the demand chain. You would also probably agree that it would make a difference if the world population were 20 or 30. In your opinion, what is the magic number where the probability becomes zero?
If there are hundreds of billions of people on a planet, and they all hunt, then one person not hunting will make difference. We're talking about markets that are not finely calibrated enough to respond to a single person ordering a single meal. I don't know of any magic number.

I also want to reiterate that eating animals is wrong, and people should not do it. If I deposit a tiny drop of poison in a well, there's zero chance it will harm anyone. Zero. If my conspirators each deposit a tiny drop of their own, they're also -- individually -- not going to harm anyone. Given enough drops of poison, we can harm people. Collectively our actions will have an effect.

I'm not sure why this is so difficult for people to comprehend.

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Jebus
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Post by Jebus » Sat Mar 16, 2019 4:25 am

Zane wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:34 pm
I don't know of any magic number.
Just try giving an estimate.
Zane wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:34 pm
I'm not sure why this is so difficult for people to comprehend.
I find it difficult to comprehend that someone equates tiny impact with no impact despite having so many people give so many good arguments why this is not so.
How to become vegan in 4.5 hours:
1.Watch Forks over Knives (Health)
2.Watch Cowspiracy (Environment)
3. Watch Earthlings (Ethics)
Congratulations, unless you are a complete idiot you are now a vegan.

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Post by Zane » Sat Mar 16, 2019 3:54 pm

Jebus wrote:
Sat Mar 16, 2019 4:25 am
Zane wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:34 pm
I don't know of any magic number.
Just try giving an estimate.
Eight million six-hundred and seventy-five thousand three-hundred and nine.
Zane wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:34 pm
I'm not sure why this is so difficult for people to comprehend.
I find it difficult to comprehend that someone equates tiny impact with no impact despite having so many people give so many good arguments why this is not so.[/quote]

Right now I'm playing a tiny violin so softly the human ear cannot detect it. How can this tiny impact have no impact?

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brimstoneSalad
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Post by brimstoneSalad » Sun Mar 17, 2019 6:32 am

Zane wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:27 pm
We've gone from vegan calculators, which could be very compelling if true, to lotto veganism, which only appeals to people who suck at math.
To the contrary, "lotto veganism" likely only appeals to people who are very good at math and statistics, or at least good enough to understand it.
Somehow you do not or can not, and that's very odd.

You need to answer my simulation question in the other thread. If you can read code and you're honest enough to admit your mistake when you see it playing out, that might be a way to explain it to you that you'll get.
Zane wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:27 pm
I think this argument is also essentially made in bad faith. As militant meat-eaters gleefully observe, a vegan diet also kills animals. Do you restrict your calories to the bare minimum in order to decrease the "statistical chance" of animals suffering?
Actually, we aught to not eat in excess, that is wasteful and it's harmful in many ways.
This, however, like many is an issue beyond veganism.

Veganism isn't the end all be all answer to ethics, it one part of the equation dealing with certain explicit animal foods.
Minimalism, zero-waste, and generally saving resources are all important things to strive for.

That said, veganism is among the lowest hanging fruits; an easy change with a much larger impact than we'd expect for many other changes. More bang for the buck.
Zane wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:27 pm
Hell, as an individual, you should aspire to grow your own food. Now, it's true that if everyone were to grow their own food the result would be grossly inefficient, but you, individually/statistically can make a difference.
You answered your own question, but didn't comprehend it as an answer. There are major issues of opportunity cost there. Spending inordinate amounts of time on subsistence farming would make far less difference because we'd do nothing else. It's not a top recommendation.

If you have space is it worth growing veggies? Totally, they're expensive and have high waste. But not staples like grains and legumes.

You seemed to acknowledge in the other thread the soundness of the excuse for eating meat of being in a high impact charity. How does that escape your comprehension here?

We SHOULD try to do better all of the time, and there are effective ways to do that, but there are also nonsense claims of the anti-vegans that you seem intent on supporting like "you should go live in the forest because the modern world kills animals".
Zane wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:27 pm
Even if it did, there's slack in these markets. Remaining animals are converted into pet food. This is the cost of doing business. As I pointed out ages ago, restaurants throw away food. An awful lot of it.
At a cost, Kramer. As I explained in the other thread, "writing it off" isn't magic.

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brimstoneSalad
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Post by brimstoneSalad » Sun Mar 17, 2019 6:45 am

Zane wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:34 pm
If there are hundreds of billions of people on a planet, and they all hunt, then one person not hunting will make difference.
Not necessarily, no. The available supply of hunted animals doesn't necessarily grow with hunting, but rather shrinks.
With so many hunters, it's likely that all of the available animals for each season would be killed period. That's particularly true if there's a permitting system (which there always is in any sustainable managed hunting context). By hunting, all you likely do is kill the animal instead of somebody else.

The argument against hunting today comes from *not* all of those available animals being killed, or from the economic pressure of sales of hunting permits causing these bureaus to manage the land (clearing trees) to increase the populations of hunted animals so they can sell more permits. All, of course, based on probability of one hunter making a difference due to thresholds.
Zane wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:34 pm
We're talking about markets that are not finely calibrated enough to respond to a single person ordering a single meal.
More straw-man. That's not what anybody is saying is literally happening here. The response is not conscious based on some careful measurement, but probabilistic.
Zane wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:34 pm
If I deposit a tiny drop of poison in a well, there's zero chance it will harm anyone. Zero.
False. You just don't seem capable of admitting how reality works.

If you deposit a single atom of radioactive iodine in a well, it does not have no chance of killing somebody. IF somebody drinks it, and it's absorbed into the thyroid, and it decays there, and it causes a mutation that leads to cancer, it can kill that person.

Is it unlikely? Sure. And because of that if there's any real benefit to putting that radioactive iodine in the water, then there's a good argument to be made for it. But if there's no benefit, all you're doing is creating risk (no matter how small) and that's wrong. Very wrong? No. But a little bit wrong.
Zane wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:34 pm
If my conspirators each deposit a tiny drop of their own, they're also -- individually -- not going to harm anyone. Given enough drops of poison, we can harm people. Collectively our actions will have an effect.
Any amount of poison only has a probabilistic effect of harm.
Every heard of an LD50? Well it's possible that a certain amount kills many or none depending on any number of impossible to predict variables.
Zane wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:34 pm
I'm not sure why this is so difficult for people to comprehend.
It's not, just like it isn't hard for us to understand Flat-Earthism. Like yours, it's just a false belief. We do not misunderstand, but rather we rightly reject your false beliefs -- your cosmically narcissistic beliefs -- about how the universe works (or about how you think it FAILS to work when you can't personally comprehend the small probability of something).
Zane wrote:
Sat Mar 16, 2019 3:54 pm
Right now I'm playing a tiny violin so softly the human ear cannot detect it. How can this tiny impact have no impact?
Again, you have a perfect track record of misunderstanding physics and physiology.

Hearing works on a threshold too, and even a very small sound can constructively interfere with other otherwise inaudible ambient sounds to collectively break through that threshold.

You will find no valid analogy in reality, because the universe simply does not work the way you believe it does.

We may be dealing with small chances of effects, but these probabilities are not no chance.
Small enough to discount? Well, that depends; what's the size of the effect?

Gambling 101: If somebody credibly offers you a one in a trillion chance of winning a trillion and one dollars if you wager one dollar, you take it. It doesn't matter how small the odds are as long as the prize is favorably proportioned.
We play this kind of gambit in morality too; we must play it in fact, because certain knowledge of consequence is unobtainable. Being a good person means playing the odds of good outcome, no matter how large or small as long as the outcome itself is worth it.
If we were talking about a one in a trillion chance of saving one animal that would be different. What makes it worth it despite the small probabilities is that the outcome grows as the probability shrinks.

Zane, let me be clear, and I think I can probably speak for everybody here:
We are not attempting to invalidate the way you choose to think about and argue for veganism. If YOU PERSONALLY prefer and are inspired by the "Collectively our actions will have an effect." argument, and you like to use that, awesome.
We use that argument too sometimes.

Zane, YOU and you alone are the one trying to invalidate an argument that we here find both intuitive and convincing. And if you care at all about outreach and effective arguments, it's also an argument that I have SHOWN to have been effective when your argument has failed to convince somebody.

If I were you, I'd really reflect. Multiple people are telling you you're wrong here. You're completely missing the plot.

If you personally really want to subscribe to the cosmic narcissism of believing that probabilities too small for you to comprehend literally CAN NOT have an effect (some kind of Quantum Mysticism that holds our awareness of things shapes reality), or if you personally choose to subscribe to some bizarre moral framework that discounts those possibilities without reason because they fall below some arbitrary threshold of big enough for you to care about them, then perhaps these arguments are not convincing for YOU.
But those personal eccentricities don't apply to most people. Given an accurate understanding of how reality works and a moral system that doesn't arbitrarily ignore small probabilities, this argument is sound and convincing.

If you're dead-set on fighting against it because you just don't like it despite the evidence, then I don't know what to say to convince you. I would say you're clearly not fighting for veganism, but against it. It's entirely reasonable to have multiple ways to approach vegan activism. We don't all have to follow your play book. As an atheist I can even appreciate a theistic approach.
The trouble is only when there are actual holes in logical arguments (and we have pointed those out in the past), not when an argument just doesn't apply to people who hold bizarre views on reality and ethics. If you don't agree with the premises then your mileage will of course vary.

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Jebus
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Post by Jebus » Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:59 pm

Zane wrote:
Sat Mar 16, 2019 3:54 pm
Eight million six-hundred and seventy-five thousand three-hundred and nine.
In other words, you have no clue.
Zane wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:34 pm
Right now I'm playing a tiny violin so softly the human ear cannot detect it. How can this tiny impact have no impact?
Do you seriously not understand the outcome difference between this example and the consumption of an animal?
How to become vegan in 4.5 hours:
1.Watch Forks over Knives (Health)
2.Watch Cowspiracy (Environment)
3. Watch Earthlings (Ethics)
Congratulations, unless you are a complete idiot you are now a vegan.

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Post by Zane » Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:05 pm

I'm not sure what I did to deserve two more sprawling, unfocused posts littered with straw men. One of the problems with your posts in particular is that I often anticipate responses in advance precisely to avoid getting bogged down in unnecessary side issues. A few examples, chosen almost at random:

Hunting on an Unnamed Planet with Hundreds of Billions of People

It's true that when it comes to hunting, demand could easily exceed the supply of prey, so regulations are imposed to allow stocks to replenish. I'm not sure how or why anyone would interpret the example in this way to misconstrue its purpose, assuming a rivalrous rather than non-rivalrous common "resource." I deliberately posited "hundreds of billions of people" on an unnamed "planet" to remove it from that context entirely in order to illustrate that, yes, I do believe there are circumstances where one person's veganism can unambiguously make a difference.

Depositing a Drop of Poison

Again, I've provided a hypothetical scenario, and again it's gone through your transmogrifier. A drop of an unnamed poison has turned into a single atom(!) of radioactive iodine. The main purpose of a thought experiment is to control for the messiness of the real world to focus on a particular aspect of the question at hand. More on this in a moment.

Growing One's Own Food
You answered your own question, but didn't comprehend it as an answer. There are major issues of opportunity cost there. Spending inordinate amounts of time on subsistence farming would make far less difference because we'd do nothing else. It's not a top recommendation.
This is yet another failure to read for comprehension. I did not answer my question: I anticipated the obvious reply to note precisely why it does not apply.
You seemed to acknowledge in the other thread the soundness of the excuse for eating meat of being in a high impact charity. How does that escape your comprehension here?
Simple: I was being sarcastic. That was a terrible argument. It wasn't even an argument as much as a rationalization.

On Small Chances...
Any amount of poison only has a probabilistic effect of harm.
...
We may be dealing with small chances of effects, but these probabilities are not no chance.
Small enough to discount? Well, that depends; what's the size of the effect?
As I said earlier, I accept the probabilistic model of navigating reality and informing moral responsibility. If a person smokes one time, is it possible she can get lung cancer? Yes (but extremely unlikely). Can we say a specific person died of lung cancer because he had a life-long smoking habit? No, not necessarily. Can a relatively low probability action be immoral if it led to devastating consequences? Sure. This is elementary.

The problem is the tendency not to evaluate based on sheer probability; an outside sanctimoniousness creeps into the assessment (and I should say that this is not specific to you; it's common). I can drive to the store to buy groceries in the early morning hours or late at night, but, let's say, night-time is slightly more dangerous. My mere presence on the road, even if I am law-abiding, could trigger an accident that otherwise would not occur. Is it therefore immoral to drive at night? No; the consequences of my choice are so unlikely as to be morally negligible. Moreover, it's lunacy for people to get bogged down in analyzing these micro-transactions since it blinds us to more important issues (and leading a happy, healthy life).

Now, investing 101: We have two stocks, P and Q. We bought 100 shares of P for $5/share. We bought 100 shares of Q for $100/share. Box P and Q are now worth $50. We need $5,000, so what should we sell?

The answer, of course, is the one that we expect to have a lower value in the future. Maybe P has topped out. Or maybe Q will continue to plunge. We have to think about this point forward. At the margin.

When it comes to eating animals, some people here believe we can expect to save approximately however many we otherwise consume. (Skipping a meal is not a straw man, as posters here really do seem to believe there's a credible chance it's costing a life.) In the first reply, Jebus said someone with a chicken-per-day habit could save zero animals by going vegan or double the normal death count, but it should average out. If we believe markets really are this responsive, then we should scavenge for food (and grow it). Yes, not everyone could scavenge, and it would be inefficient if everyone grew their own food, but not everyone does. We're thinking at the margin of our contribution. Our individual actions really would matter. In fact, they matter a great deal given the alleged sensitivity of markets (although it is a small wonder we could scavenge at all given the efficiency of markets). Yes, the time lost will be significant, but are you otherwise saving lives? It might mean spending less time posting on Philosophical Vegan, or watching fewer shitty superhero movies, but you'd have to be kind of jerk not to do it.

In the real world, people suddenly die every day. Someone moves. Immigrants enter the country. Floods can drown millions of animals and destroy crops. Good weather could lead to a bumper harvest. An individual consumer is not taken into account.

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Post by Zane » Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:10 pm

Jebus wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:59 pm
In other words, you have no clue.
I'm not sure why this should be a problem. The probabilities most people are assigning are sheer guesswork. Where precision has been introduced, I think more than one person agrees they're nonsense (see the stats on rainbows)
Do you seriously not understand the outcome difference between this example and the consumption of an animal?
You're missing the point. I'm not sure if it's worth explaining the point as there are opportunity costs...

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Post by Lay Vegan » Mon Mar 18, 2019 6:14 pm

Zane wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:05 pm
The problem is the tendency not to evaluate based on sheer probability; an outside sanctimoniousness creeps into the assessment (and I should say that this is not specific to you; it's common). I can drive to the store to buy groceries in the early morning hours or late at night, but, let's say, night-time is slightly more dangerous.
This is an obvious straw-man, and perhaps at the root of your misunderstandings.

The ethics of our actions are not based on sheer probability but also the size and scale of the outcome. Having an extremely small chance at making a neutral or moderate effect could be arguably discounted, especially if there are risks/benefits that offset the potential outcome.

Using your example, you are indeed wagering a risk of accident, but the potential benefits of having dinner would morally justify the very small risk of driving at night to obtain groceries.
In regard to veganism, the chance that our individual purchase will make a difference down the production line is as small as the effect is massive (making this a good wager). I explained this in my hypothetical restaurant supply-system.

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Post by brimstoneSalad » Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:44 am

Zane wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:05 pm
I deliberately posited "hundreds of billions of people" on an unnamed "planet" to remove it from that context entirely in order to illustrate that, yes, I do believe there are circumstances where one person's veganism can unambiguously make a difference.
That was obvious, my point is that those circumstances aren't very realistic and don't apply to our reality. Everything in reality ultimately comes down to probability.
I'm demonstrating how your unreasoned rejection of the probabilistic argument has significant costs.

For somebody who doesn't accept the share of group responsibility argument (and it's an easy argument for many to reject as I've shown), your arguments lead to not only acceptance of animal agriculture but also hunting.

The consequence is likely fewer people being vegan because it relies on absolute acceptance of a controversial position, and denies any reasoning for veganism outside that.

It's as if a Scientologist* vegan came to argue that veganism follows ONLY from Scientology, and if you aren't a Scientologist your reasoning for being a vegan is bad so you need to become a Scientologist or you're just going to end up eating meat.
That seems like a pretty anti-vegan message to me. It could easily be mistaken as a concern troll who doesn't even accept his or her own argument, but just wants to harm veganism.
*(no shade to Scientologists, just a random example of a niche belief)

I fully realize and appreciate that this may be how some of the #NameTheTrait advocates see us, given our opposition to that argument ( wiki/index.php/NameTheTrait ), but the distinction is that #NTT was based on demonstrably flawed logic -- something we demonstrated.

Here the issue has to do with two premises, one empirical about the probabilistic nature of consequence, and one philosophical about the nature of moral culpability being based on available information and probability. The conclusion follows from those.
If you disagree with the former empirical premise, you need to take that up with physics (even to the extent that a "statue can wave its arms around") and economics which biases the probabilistic effect (rather than two opposites canceling each other out).
If you disagree with the latter philosophical premise you need to explain why, and up until now you've failed to do so.
Zane wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:05 pm
Depositing a Drop of Poison

Again, I've provided a hypothetical scenario,
A hypothetical scenario that has nothing to do with our reality, and that IN our reality is completely false and downright deceptive.
Young Earth Creationists make the same kinds of ignorant and dishonest misrepresentations about evolution; removing the nature of probability obviously makes evolution an easy straw-man to tear apart.

You can't make analogies to a fictitious universe that's nothing like our own and pretend those hold or explain anything in ours.
OUR universe is probabilistic, and that's what matters. Thought experiments that presume to remove that probabilistic effect, particularly when that's the whole matter of contention we're discussing, have no bearing on this conversation.
Zane wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:05 pm
A drop of an unnamed poison has turned into a single atom(!) of radioactive iodine. The main purpose of a thought experiment is to control for the messiness of the real world to focus on a particular aspect of the question at hand.
To control for messiness, sure, but not to act as deception and remove an essential property of the universe that's being discussed by ignoring all physics, biology, etc.

A simplification that removes the effect of probability could be honest IF probability weren't the very thing under contention, but you wanted to explore some other aspect of moral decision making.
Obviously this is not such a case. You can't just "simplify" a thought experiment and remove the very variable under contention and then declare victory. That's moronic. It's like you stood up in the middle of a chess game declaring victory because you simplified the rules such that whoever has more pieces on the board wins.

Your attempt at a thought experiment is downright dishonest about reality, and you're trying to rig the game here. I don't think anybody is buying it.

With regard to the type of poison: It can be *any* poison, they all work in a probabilistic way.
A drop of any poison can kill. Carcinogenic, hepatotoxic, whatever. These all have probabilistic effects. They all have the potential to be "the straw that breaks the camel's back" of some vital function and lead to an early death.
Zane wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:05 pm
Growing One's Own Food

This is yet another failure to read for comprehension. I did not answer my question: I anticipated the obvious reply to note precisely why it does not apply.
Obviously your attempt was to mention it in order to dismiss it, but your effort was incompetent and you failed to provide a credible argument or account for the issues that would be obviously broached by any meaningful consideration of the issue.
Zane wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:05 pm
You seemed to acknowledge in the other thread the soundness of the excuse for eating meat of being in a high impact charity. How does that escape your comprehension here?
Simple: I was being sarcastic. That was a terrible argument. It wasn't even an argument as much as a rationalization.
Wow, my mistake for giving you the benefit of the doubt in assuming you weren't a completely insane dogmatist.

You might have thought it was obvious that you were just making fun of those silly Round-Earthers by pretending to agree with them despite being a Flat-Earther yourself. It was not.

What you don't understand is that to any SANE or remotely competent person it's overwhelmingly obvious that there are cases where veganism isn't the only way to be a good person, and that's a canonical example common among EA vegans.
I made the mistake of giving you the benefit of the doubt there, assuming you were reasonable enough to agree with just that.

Don't worry, I won't make that mistake again. I will assume you're a complete moron from here on out, and if you ever say something that sounds sensible I'll assume you're being sarcastic.
Zane wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:05 pm
Can we say a specific person died of lung cancer because he had a life-long smoking habit? No, not necessarily. Can a relatively low probability action be immoral if it led to devastating consequences? Sure. This is elementary.
This seems to be the root of your confusion: it doesn't matter what actually ended up happening. The action in itself is immoral because of the probability. You don't get off by being lucky and not having bad outcomes.

A drunk driver who got unlucky and did kill somebody is no more immoral than one who got a little lucky and din't. They're both equally guilty, both equal of character.

In one case the consequences are bad, and in the other they aren't, but in terms of personal moral culpability for taking that risk it's down to the action.

The morality of an action is not based on the unknowable actual consequences, but based on a spectrum of probable outcomes compared against each other.

Zane wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:05 pm
The problem is the tendency not to evaluate based on sheer probability; an outside sanctimoniousness creeps into the assessment (and I should say that this is not specific to you; it's common). I can drive to the store to buy groceries in the early morning hours or late at night, but, let's say, night-time is slightly more dangerous. My mere presence on the road, even if I am law-abiding, could trigger an accident that otherwise would not occur. Is it therefore immoral to drive at night?
@Lay Vegan already covered this.

In short: Yes, it would be immoral to choose to drive at night rather than day if there were no advantages to the night driving that outweighed the increased chance of doing harm.
What makes it potentially not immoral is that there could be certain advantages that outweigh that risk.
Zane wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:05 pm
No; the consequences of my choice are so unlikely as to be morally negligible.
See, you're just wrong about everything.

No, they are not negligible. All other things being equal, we should try to do things that have a lower probability of causing harm. Driving in inclement conditions is actually a major source of loss of life (like animal agriculture). Not quite as big, but a big deal.

There are things that are negligible, but that's only because there are much larger issues to worry about, and even the time to consider very very small issues is a cost that outweighs the issue itself. For example: insect deaths in crop production. They're barely sentient, we don't have a lot of data on it, and it'd be very hard to figure out which crops cause more deaths. It's just not something that's worth the time to worry about right now given the mass suffering and slaughter of very sentient animals in known numbers for meat.

Small issues can act as red herrings and distract from more important ones, and that's an important cost to consider.
But nothing about animal agriculture is a small issue.
Zane wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:05 pm
Moreover, it's lunacy for people to get bogged down in analyzing these micro-transactions since it blinds us to more important issues (and leading a happy, healthy life).
The opportunity cost of distracting from other issues is worth discussing, and it's an argument some meat eaters make against veganism (that there are humans suffering so we don't have time to care about diet decisions). That's an interesting empirical discussion, but it doesn't change the facts of those issues carrying some weight to consider.
Zane wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:05 pm
If we believe markets really are this responsive, then we should scavenge for food (and grow it). Yes, not everyone could scavenge, and it would be inefficient if everyone grew their own food, but not everyone does.
No, it's time inefficient when even one person does for that person, as well as for those who rely on that person or his or her contributions to society. There's opportunity cost.

You keep ignoring the cost:benefit analysis here. That's what defines what we should do.
Zane wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:05 pm
Yes, the time lost will be significant, but are you otherwise saving lives?
Do you think that's the only metric of good? Every aspect of useful economic and political participation can improve human well being. We are most of us every day and in very regular ways doing good for each other and the world just by being productive members of society who try to be just a little less shitty than yesterday. There are poor choices of careers that are parasitic or harmful (spammer, some lawyers, some fast food entrepreneurs), but the vast majority of human endeavors are at least somewhat involved in doing good for our world in some little way.

This has been discussed at some length in antinatalism threads and others (in keeping with the theme of assuming you're a moron, of course you're an antinatalist too).
@Jebus and I have argued at some length about whether most people are good or bad, he may remember the threads.

The only bad outcome in the world is not death, and the only good is not preventing it.

But yes, if you're talking about members of this forum, we likely are saving lives. We're saving lives by serving as sensible examples of vegans who normalize veganism and can inspire people to change rather than being dogmatists who think vegan is the only way to be a decent person and thus put people off with bad philosophy.

It's hard to imagine a view more off-putting or harmful to veganism than your saying it's a bad call for somebody to compromise and eat animal products sometimes because it makes it possible to participate efficiently in a highly effective charity in an undeveloped country -- a charity that saves humans suffering and death. You're giving the literal Vegan Nazis a run for their money in undermining the moral integrity of veganism by mere association.
Zane wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:05 pm
watching fewer shitty superhero movies, but you'd have to be kind of jerk not to do it.
There are legitimate questions of psychological fatigue. If watching a superhero movie "recharges" you so you can be more effective while working in your main profession and benefiting the world, and spending hours foraging for food tires you out and does *very* little to reduce harm (even in a statistical sense), then the latter might not make sense.

If, however, you can find your way to *enjoy* foraging as leisure and lose your interest in super hero movies, that could be a change worth pursuing. It might not be the first change worth pursuing, though... probably way down there on the list after more effective things like leafleting.

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