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PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2006 4:14 am 
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@Will: Sorry if I "stepped on your feet"! I obviously interpreted this uncorrectly:
willpeavy wrote:
people like me until the end of time for consuming small amounts of honey

It sounded to me as if you actually eat animal derived food not only by mistake.
I just think that there are hardly any situations in our normal lifes where it is impossible to avoid animal derived food.
For me being vegan is not about following hardcore rules and I really do not want to fingerpoint on others. I just really like to understand how "being vegan" can be turned around into: "if it is cruelty free (who wants to decide that?), it is okay. And if eating meat or whatever (pizza etc.) serves AL it is okay." The second argument would justify any unethical behaviour if it serves a good purpose. I do not agree to that.
I think being vegan serves AL. Period.
But to say it once again: I really would like to understand. I do not want to fingerpoint.

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Last edited by flanders77 on Fri Mar 03, 2006 2:40 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2006 2:29 pm 
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Hey Flanders thanks for commenting, no offense was taken, so no worries about stepping on my feet. One of the reasons I like this message board so much is because people on here tend to be more open minded and positive about things. Whereas some other vegan boards I've been on people just want to call you names if you don't adhere to the exact extreme of the animal rights philosophy that they specify. ... Anyway, you were saying you don't understand my perspective. Basically I feel this way: "Who cares if you're vegan? "Vegan" is just a word. You could go around telling people you are Papa Smurf and that wouldn't really make a difference to me either. What matters if people are conscious about how their decisions affect the world and then do something about it." In an applied instance, my attitude could be conveyed like this --- say I have a friend who eats meat 3 times a day, but after I give the friend some information he says, "Okay, I want to cut back on meat. I'm going to start eating one entirely vegetarian meal a day." I could respond with something like, "Yes but you are still oppressing the hens, chickens, cows, etc with your other 2 meals..." Or I could say, "Awesome. I'll show you some good stuff to eat for your vegetarian meal." If someone told me, "I'm going to only eat eggs from hens that live in a cage free yard at my friend's farm." I could go into some lecture about how the person is contributing to the social construct of treating hen's eggs as food products and yadda, yadda, yadda... Or I could say, "Cool, good idea." You know, why bother worrying about people who eat eggs from free range hens? When people do that I think they miss the bigger picture. There are billions of hens crammed into factory farms, so why waste energy worrying about some hippies who eat free range eggs?

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2006 3:57 pm 
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Will:
I agree with you completely!
First rule is to stay positive towards other people. If you can make 5 people eat 1/5th less meat then you have in fact created 1 vegan and 5 people that are going to feel healthier. This approach is usually more effective than banging your head against the wall trying to get your ordinary meat eating American to cut out animal products all together. Since he will feel healthier on this new diet he will go further himself when he is ready. Babysteps.
It's also better for your own ego. If you try to solve unsolvable problems all you will get out of it is frustration. If you instead take babysteps, planting seeds as you walk, you will succeed with the small goals and the big picture will be brighter.

Again, it doesn't matter what's on ones dinner plate at the end of the day if one were an a-hole all day long.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 2:38 am 
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@Will: Concerning that promoting veganism (or first just eating less animal derived food) I agree to you. But I also think it is important not to forget the long term goal. A friend of mine for example stopped eating meat (still ate fish, eggs and dairy). I encouraged him and after one year he also stopped eating fish. Maybe someday... I do not overload him with information but if he asks or if it seems to me it is the right moment I tell him that he is on the right way and should go one step further.

But when you ask:
Quote:
There are billions of hens crammed into factory farms, so why waste energy worrying about some hippies who eat free range eggs?

I think every action (no matter how small) is important not only for bigger picture but also for the developement of each individual (even it he/she is an a*hole :wink: ).

I also enjoy this forum because of the different opinions presented without offending each other (in most of the cases...)

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 2:51 am 
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willpeavy wrote:
Hey Flanders thanks for commenting, no offense was taken, so no worries about stepping on my feet. One of the reasons I like this message board so much is because people on here tend to be more open minded and positive about things. Whereas some other vegan boards I've been on people just want to call you names if you don't adhere to the exact extreme of the animal rights philosophy that they specify. ... Anyway, you were saying you don't understand my perspective. Basically I feel this way: "Who cares if you're vegan? "Vegan" is just a word. You could go around telling people you are Papa Smurf and that wouldn't really make a difference to me either. What matters if people are conscious about how their decisions affect the world and then do something about it." In an applied instance, my attitude could be conveyed like this --- say I have a friend who eats meat 3 times a day, but after I give the friend some information he says, "Okay, I want to cut back on meat. I'm going to start eating one entirely vegetarian meal a day." I could respond with something like, "Yes but you are still oppressing the hens, chickens, cows, etc with your other 2 meals..." Or I could say, "Awesome. I'll show you some good stuff to eat for your vegetarian meal." If someone told me, "I'm going to only eat eggs from hens that live in a cage free yard at my friend's farm." I could go into some lecture about how the person is contributing to the social construct of treating hen's eggs as food products and yadda, yadda, yadda... Or I could say, "Cool, good idea." You know, why bother worrying about people who eat eggs from free range hens? When people do that I think they miss the bigger picture. There are billions of hens crammed into factory farms, so why waste energy worrying about some hippies who eat free range eggs?



Will,

I tend to keep this pretty quiet, but over the 11 months this new version of our forum has been up, I feel like you might be the person I have the most in common with. We have very similar approaches to things, opinions on things, and we also appreciate a lot of the same things. The only main difference we have is you do greater range of motion on pull-ups and probably push-ups too. ;)

Sometimes I have a hard time keeping up with all the threads, but I have to say that we are on the same page nearly all the time, and you gave the same response I would give to this situation.

Of course, as most people know since I often talk about it, I do focus on the Big Picture too. So thanks Flanders for reminding us not to forget about it.

I haven't read all the posts on the egg topic, I'm kinda jumping in, but of course I am against eating eggs for any reason, but like some have said, in the grand sceme of things we have more important things to worry about, protest, speak up about, than eggs from free-range hens.

It is a very interesting subject though. It is probably one of the toughest topics for me and probably for others in animal rights/vegan debates with non-vegans.

Cheers to the open minds, thanks for the multiple comments about the friendliness and open-minded attitude and integrity the forum keeps. That was one of my main goals for the beginning, and I'm glad to see nearly a year later, we're still staying true to that desire and I think we are making a positive impact on our audience.

....back to more push-ups now....with Will Peavy-style range of motion. I just hope I don't hit my back on the ceiling :)

-Rob

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:37 am 
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willpeavy wrote:
Hey Flanders thanks for commenting, no offense was taken, so no worries about stepping on my feet. One of the reasons I like this message board so much is because people on here tend to be more open minded and positive about things. Whereas some other vegan boards I've been on people just want to call you names if you don't adhere to the exact extreme of the animal rights philosophy that they specify. ... Anyway, you were saying you don't understand my perspective. Basically I feel this way: "Who cares if you're vegan? "Vegan" is just a word. You could go around telling people you are Papa Smurf and that wouldn't really make a difference to me either. What matters if people are conscious about how their decisions affect the world and then do something about it." In an applied instance, my attitude could be conveyed like this --- say I have a friend who eats meat 3 times a day, but after I give the friend some information he says, "Okay, I want to cut back on meat. I'm going to start eating one entirely vegetarian meal a day." I could respond with something like, "Yes but you are still oppressing the hens, chickens, cows, etc with your other 2 meals..." Or I could say, "Awesome. I'll show you some good stuff to eat for your vegetarian meal." If someone told me, "I'm going to only eat eggs from hens that live in a cage free yard at my friend's farm." I could go into some lecture about how the person is contributing to the social construct of treating hen's eggs as food products and yadda, yadda, yadda... Or I could say, "Cool, good idea." You know, why bother worrying about people who eat eggs from free range hens? When people do that I think they miss the bigger picture. There are billions of hens crammed into factory farms, so why waste energy worrying about some hippies who eat free range eggs?


I have a small problem at the moment where I find it hard to be supportive of anything at all. I generally stay silent unless someone is actually contributing positively if you see what I mean. Veganism in itself isn't a contribution. It is a stark contrast to the majority of lifestyles, given that most lifestyles involve far more killing for no reason. However, just 'not killing' isn't actually a contribution. An analogy i often use is, if i walk down the street and don't kill anyone, I haven't helped anyone. Therefore, I find it hard to praise anything :s unless it's like actual help, like if someone is volunteering some place, or has chosen a career to help a cause etc. But even if someone says they've gone vegan, I don't have much to say. But I feel I should try to be more supportive because obviously I do wish that people would go vegan. I generally just say like '...oh cool' or something. Because to me, it is literally the same as someone saying 'Hey I walked down the street today, I managed to avoid killing anyone for absolutely no reason!'. Again my response would be '...oh cool' because I don't know how to take it.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:46 am 
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But Richard, if 99.5% of all people did kill someone while walking down the street each day, and most people thought it was totally normal and acceptable to do so, then you'd probably see the person who did not kill others as more different and "special."

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:48 am 
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FormicaLinoleum wrote:
But Richard, if 99.5% of all people did kill someone while walking down the street each day, and most people thought it was totally normal and acceptable to do so, then you'd probably see the person who did not kill others as more different and "special."


I see vegans as different and special, in their rarity, and by contrast to the norm their morals are generally acceptable, but it's not a 'good' thing to not kill things, it's a neutral thing.

EDIT: for instance, it's a bad thing to steal money, it's a good thing to give money. It's a neutral thing to neither take nor give money. And that's what veganism is to me.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 8:18 am 
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Philosophically you are right, Richard. But not doing something is also an action. And by eating more vegetables and fruits etc. and no animal derived food vegans make farmers produce more vegan food and less animals are killed and tortured. And the earth does not get poluted so much. So no action causes actions... (has that become clear? Sometimes my English really sucks!)

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 8:40 am 
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flanders77 wrote:
Philosophically you are right, Richard. But not doing something is also an action. And by eating more vegetables and fruits etc. and no animal derived food vegans make farmers produce more vegan food and less animals are killed and tortured. And the earth does not get poluted so much. So no action causes actions... (has that become clear? Sometimes my English really sucks!)


It isn't that I am saving anything, it's just that I am not contributing :s There is no reason that those animals would die unless I choose to kill them. It's not like there is an animal in the road about to be hit by a car and I jump out and save it. That would be saving an animal. But just by choosing not to kill an animal myself, it's not saving anything. If that means saving, then everytime I walk down the street, I 'save' everyone because I chose not to kill them, which is a pretty psychopathic way to look at it in my opinion :)

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 9:34 am 
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As I said I agree (philosophically). But not doing something bad is good if you see it in relation to the context (which in this case is the world or peoples "normal" behaviour). If you put the whole "not-killing" out of the context you are right: It is just neutral.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 9:36 am 
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flanders77 wrote:
As I said I agree (philosophically). But not doing something bad is good if you see it in relation to the context (which in this case is the world or peoples "normal" behaviour). If you put the whole "not-killing" out of the context you are right: It is just neutral.


Nah I don't think it is good even if it is in context. If 500 people lined up and 499 of them punched me in the face, the one person who didn't punch me isn't 'good', they are neutral. I don't have good or bad feelings towards them. Of course I am relieved, because after 499, I was expecting to get hit, and I might even say 'thanks' to that person. But really, they haven't done anything to deserve thanking.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 9:47 am 
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I see it more technically: If something is better than something bad, it is not good (maybe neutral), but it is good in comparison to the bad.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 10:35 am 
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flanders77 wrote:
I see it more technically: If something is better than something bad, it is not good (maybe neutral), but it is good in comparison to the bad.


Yeah it is comparatively good to not kill something than kill it

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 1:11 pm 
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I think context matters.

Take the 500 people, 499 of whom punch you. Let's say the situation is such that all 500 are expected to punch you. None of them see it as a bad thing. They enjoy it and bond over it and they don't think about how it affects you at all. Then that 1 person questions it and decides not to hit you because he has the insight that it hurts you and he doesn't want to hurt you. His refraining from hitting you in that situation is not exactly the same as someone refraining from hitting you in a situation in which there is no norm that says hitting you is good, and in which the norm actually says that hitting you is bad.

In other words, if a person has to question the norm, see things differently, decide to be different, and sacrifice some personal enjoyment just to do something neutral, I see that as being different from doing something neutral when it's already the norm to act that way.

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