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Vegan elitism


Sknydpr
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I applaud all of you, especially all of you in your early 20's and your passion and drive for the vegan cause. Most people your age are wandering around with a beer in one hand, a stupid look on their faces, and still trying to figure out "What I'm going to do with my life?"

 

But, may I interject here, most respectfully, and suggest that comparing slavery- in all of it's forms- to saving animals, is a poor and disrespectful comparison. Throught history slavery, bigotry, genocide, subjectation of a race, a wilfull attempt at destroying a religion, or religious beliefs, has been the dominant theme of history. Trying to compare a Wisconsin dairy with the African slave trade to Brazil in the 1600's just doesn't work.

 

If some of you feel guilt for being a human, and being alive, I'm sorry. But try not to lessen the plight of so many people of the past and present by placing the indignity of once again comparing them to animals...

 

The mass slaughter of animals certainly is wrong, but it pales in comparison to what the human race has done to itself over the last 7000 years of civilization.

 

Just a thought, and maybe an unpopular one...

 

Jon

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That's a good point, and I did have that similar problem in the back of my mind drawing parallels between slavery and eating eggs. But I was just going with the comparison for the sake of argument.

 

What you said reminds me of PETA's "Holocaust on Your Plate" campaign a few years ago. Not only are the differences between humans and animals drastic enough to raise an objection, it was also, in my opinion, a public-relations disaster. My friend, whose grandmother is a survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp, was particularly offended. "They're likening my grandmother to a chicken?"

 

Although the suffering is universal, we should probably avoid making comparisons between animals and humans when trying to convey our point. It's a diversion from an otherwise legitimate argument and only adds fuel to the fire by giving anti-animal rights folks something to use against us.

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I think the holocaust on your plate campaign was a very insightful one. Many people are not aware that the concentration camps of Hitler were actually DESIGNED on slaughetrhouse arhcitecture. Furtehrmore, the number of animals killed in history and the number of people killed I think are quite comparable, since every year BILLIONS of animals are brutally murdered. So the quantity - the numbers, that is - I am sure are comparable. However, some of you may think that one human life may be the same quantitavely as one animal life, but you "cannot compare human lives to animal lives because humans are more precious." Well, I reject that. That's speciecism and what largely perpetuates the animal killing edifices. In my opinion, the life of a lamb is no less precious and valuable than the life of a human.

 

Furthermore, as an Armenian whose relatives were slaughtered in the Armenian Genocide of 1915 in Turkey, I have some more thoughts about genocide and institutionalized animal abuse that I would like to share. Over 1.5 million of my people were slaughtered in 1915 by the Turks, including women, pregnant women and children. This genocide was made possible and fueled, as are most genocides, by that "us versus them", "they are not like us, they are different from us, and therefore they are inferior" attitude. The Turks in Turkey at that time looked down upon Armenians as inferior beings and justified the mass atrocities committed against the Armenians based on that "inferiority" bull shit. And, it is that same "They are not like us, they are inferior" attitude that continues to justify the institutionalized mass abuse of animals in factory farms and laboratories. As an Armenian who lost family in the 1915 genocide, I can tell you that I am not offended by campaigns that compare the slaughter of human beings to the slaughter of animals. Rather, what offends me and appalls me is violence perpetrated against any innocent and sentient being. I think that many people misinterpret these campaigns, and I do not blame them because the subject is highly emotive. But, people should just really calm down and get past that initial impulse / reflex to be appauled and offended by the dreaded comparison of animls to people, and really analyze the message. That message, the way I interpret it, is not that the life of an animal is worth more, or is equal to, the life of a human animal.

 

So PETA's holocaust on your plate campaign is not likening my murdered grandad to chicken, and this interpretation misses the point. Rather, the message of the Holocaust campign is this: both humans and animals do have an EQUAL capacity for feeling physical pain and suffering. So it is not that a chicken life is equal in worth to a human life - it is that a chicken has an EQUAL capacity to suffer as does a human.

This statement of fact is hardly incorrect, controversial, or offensive.

 

But, of course, meat eaters will look for any excuse to knock organizations like PETA and ar people, and thus had a field day with PETA's holocaust campaign. But that is not indicative of the fallacy of that campaign - rather, it is sadly indicative of people's speciesist attitudes and refusal to attach any significance to non - human suffering.

 

Again, as an Armenian whose people were slaughtered, I recognize the dangers and fallacy of the "they are different and therefore inferior" mentality, and I call upon all human beings to reject that notion and its concomitant dangerous implications. It is a mentality that has been used and is still used to justify genocides, slavery, terrorist attacks, etc. and it is an evil which is like cancer in the world. I therefore get extra frustrated and enraged when I see Armenians or indeed any formerly or currently oppressed and disempowerd groups wearing fur or eating meat because animals are by far the most oppressed and disempowered class of beings out there!!! So, as a disadvantaged and formerly slaughtered people, never mind sympathy, where is our empathy? That is why that article from that "feminist " bitch that I posted on the board really pissed me off. She should be ashamed herself, as a "leader" in social justice and progressive causes, to have that kind of ignorrant attitude towards animals and to prmote hatred towards vegans, as she tries to do in that article. Its ing and inexcusable.

 

The fact of the matter is, when you eat meat, there is a holocaust on your plate. The word holocaust is not reserved for only human life, so meat eaters should get over your speciecism just for one second- long enough to understand what that message is really trying to convey: animals in factory farms and in slaugherhouses suffer as much as my grandfather did back in 1915 ON A DAILY BASIS for all their lives. They have just as much capacity to do so as my grandpa did. This is hardly controversial newsflash.

 

Few people realize that that the holocaust slogan was actually borrowed from Isaac Bashevis Singer, a jewish person who was also impacted by the Holocaust. SInger is the one that first said, something like "When I see people eating meat, I see a Holocaust on their plate."

 

In short, what should offend us is not the comparison, but violence perpetrated against innocent and undeserving and defenseless and sentient beings, both human and non. period. Cruelty to a chicken should be no less acceptable than cruelty to a human. if you accept that, then I dont see how or why the "dreaded comparison" is so offensive to you.

 

My own people in the ARmenian genocide and the Jweish people in the Jewish genocide were herded into boxcars like "cattle", and, like the animals, who are transported to their deaths, the people also thirsted and had no water. They hungered,, and had no food. And they had no room to move; no way to rest. And they had no way of avoiding living in the midst of their own waste. Yet, there has been no hint of compassion for these other sentient beings, who continue to be treated as widgets in a widget factory. With very few exceptions, there has been no attempt to undertstand the moral/ethical relationship between a claim that animals can be tormented and slaughtered in the best interests of the human race and the Nazi claim that prinsoners were brutalized and murdered because that served the best interests of an emerging "super race."

 

Like I said above, one of those who did understand this relationship was Nobel prize winner Isaac Bashevis Singer, the person from whom PETA borrowed the holocaust comparison. Singer wrote: "As long as human beings go on shedding the blood of animals, there will never be any peace. There is only one little step from killing animals to creating gas chambers a la Hitler and concentration camps a la Stalin. There will be no justice as long as man will stand with a knife or gun and destroy those who are weaker than he is."

 

I wholeheartedly and emphatically agree. I wish people would get over themselves long enough to see the wisdom and insight in that sentiment.

 

having said all that, I go back to a point that College B or Will had raised - the animals dont need us to be right, they need us to be effective. So no matter how truthful or insightful a campaign slogan is, if its gonna alienate people from the cause of animals rights even more, then it hasnt served its purpose and has actually hurt the animals' cause. That is not what we want to do obviously.

Edited by compassionategirl
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that is an excellent and moving piece of writing compassionategirl. i am sorry that your family has suffered so much.

 

i entirely agree with your view on drawing parallels with the holocaust and animal slaughter.

just to put things into perspective, has anyone seen the book published where every person who died in the holocaust is represented by a dot? its A4 size, the dots are tiny and there are about 500 pages. 6million is a truely inconceivable number to most people (certainly to me).

 

in a single year, over 30,000,000,000 farm animals are slaughtered. thats 30billion. in 6years 180,000,000,000 farm animals are murdered. that is 30,000 times more that the holocaust.

 

i would argue that a human has one capacity more than most farm animals in terms of suffering - the concept of future ambition, and dread. that is not to say that farm animals do not have the capacity for such emotions, but it is unlikely. they still feel pain, they still feel fear, they suffer more than we could possibly know.

 

so it suprises me that vegans/veggies object to the comparison to the holocoust. by denying the parallel, you deny the fact that the animals suffer, you take a speciesist stance, by saying 'how can they compare me to a chicken, its only a chicken

 

suffering is still suffering, whether it a chicken or a human, and in my view, animals have suffered far more under the hand of man than all the humans who have died in wars/persecution.

 

jonathan[/i]

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suffering is still suffering, whether it a chicken or a human, and in my view, animals have suffered far more under the hand of man than all the humans who have died in wars/persecution.

 

jonathan[/i]

 

Exactly!!! And any pyshcological or mental resistance to that sentiment is, in my opinion, socially constructed and a residue of the brainwashing that society has done to us. Thank goodness I was able to "de-brainwash myself" and critically challenge and question what society tells us is a self-evident "Truth."

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And just to add to Jonathan's numbers which really put things into perspective: In one year alone, WAY more animals are repeatedly raped and murdered than the number of the entire human population.

 

Jon, while I repsect your views, I think to say that we are giving persecuted people's of the past and present the "indignity" of comparing them to "animals" is an insult to animals. It suggests that animal suffering is somehow more acceptable or justified.

 

If we really want to call a spade a spade, then I would go so far as to argue that GENERALLY, humans arent entirely morally innocent (obviously this excludes children and certain other groups) and animals ARE. Thus, arguably, animal suffering, because animals are so innocent and voiceless, is even more appalling. This is of couse going to outrage any speciest that is reading this. But frankly, the truth hurts.

 

 

Jonathan: I disagree with your view that animals cannot experience "dread". Just look at abused animals - they cower from fear when approached by humans and they "dread" humans. YOu can see the dread in their eyes and we should be careful before we make statements about what animals can and cannot feel, because quite frankly, i dont think humans have even scratched that surface. For the longest time, it was believed to be a self-evident truth that fish feel no pain. WE now know that this "truth" has been called into question at the very least.

 

AS far as the ability to think in terms of the future, or the concept of future, you suggest that animals cannot do this only people can BUT I actually read an article recently that showed the capacity to in fact do so among chickens. I wish I could locate this article - if I do, i will post it here.

 

peace

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i agree that animals feel dread in the context that you used. i meant it in terms of this:

 

if in a certain park, a person is murdered on two consecutive friday nights then all people walking in that park would fear being there on a friday night. animals dont have that capacity, so far as we know. not that it makes any difference.

 

also, if someone were to kill me now, had i the moment of realisation that i was indeed going to die, i would feel sad and disapointed that i had fulfilled many of my ambitions and future hopes, for instance, to travel, to have children, grow old with my girlfriend, have grandchildren. i am not saying that an animal would not feel such emotions, only that it is very unlikely.

 

the above two points in no way negate the case against animal exploitation. they merely serve to display differences that are actually quite academic. they should be covered though in case they should ever come up in debate.

 

id also just like to say that i am enjoying this debate too nice to have lots of intelligent people exchanging views on important topics.

 

jonathan

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Why should we draw a line between Holocaust, Slavery, etc.? For one, those were down to our own race. And two, those are lesser in comparison to factory farming. Someone already gave the statistics of how many animals are killed each year, and thats not even counting the dairy animals! So if we are not going to compare it at all, it is because the animals suffering is far more than our own.

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id also just like to say that i am enjoying this debate too nice to have lots of intelligent people exchanging views on important topics.

 

Totally. I think it's really cool that we can all exchange views in a noncombative way. It's very admirable and a sign of intellectual honesty for all on board.

 

I agree with everyone that suffering is universal, as I stated before, and I think the speciesist argument is a valid one. My point was - as I believe this thread was originally created to address - that as vegans we are tackling a huge societal intolerance for animal rights and must be cautious with how we present our cause to meateaters and the like. It is my belief that a hardline stance in advocacy - not personal belief - does far more to alienate prospective vegetarians and therefore, in the aggregate, does far more harm for the animals and everything else involved. Using the PETA 'Holocaust' campaign as an example, I was drawn in by it initially and thought a decent point was being made. It was only after talking with non-vegetarians that I realized an otherwise legitimate argument was being thrown off-course with the hazy distraction of paralleling animal suffering to human suffering. We, as vegans, can recognize a similarity. But those who are not already on board with us get caught on trying to equate the two rather than seeing the undeniable kernel of truth that underlies any sort of public campaign - that animals can suffer and that there is no excuse to kill them needlessly at our own whims. Similarly, coming off as elitist can be yet another distraction from this very simple point.

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id also just like to say that i am enjoying this debate too nice to have lots of intelligent people exchanging views on important topics.

 

Totally. I think it's really cool that we can all exchange views in a noncombative way. It's very admirable and a sign of intellectual honesty for all on board.

 

.

 

Agreed!!!!

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It was only after talking with non-vegetarians that I realized an otherwise legitimate argument was being thrown off-course with the hazy distraction of paralleling animal suffering to human suffering. We, as vegans, can recognize a similarity. But those who are not already on board with us get caught on trying to equate the two rather than seeing the undeniable kernel of truth that underlies any sort of public campaign - that animals can suffer and that there is no excuse to kill them needlessly at our own whims.

 

Another example here. So what about racists that think only their race (ie. whites) are the only ones that matter? Should we take a different course of action then just to appease them?

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Koll,

 

I dont really think it is about "appeasing" the oppressors. I think it is chosing an approach that allows them to see the error of their ways, or invokes a change of heart in them. IT is about winning them over, not appeasing them.

 

Again, the animals dont need us to be right, as much as they need us to be effective. Whatever gets people to stop and listen instead of running away from us and our message.

 

peace

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It was only after talking with non-vegetarians that I realized an otherwise legitimate argument was being thrown off-course with the hazy distraction of paralleling animal suffering to human suffering. We, as vegans, can recognize a similarity. But those who are not already on board with us get caught on trying to equate the two rather than seeing the undeniable kernel of truth that underlies any sort of public campaign - that animals can suffer and that there is no excuse to kill them needlessly at our own whims.

 

Another example here. So what about racists that think only their race (ie. whites) are the only ones that matter? Should we take a different course of action then just to appease them?

 

Is there any way to rename this "The Never-ending Thread"? Cause that looks to be the way things are going.

 

If an alternative form of outreach touched the heart of a racist and made her or him see the overarching point more poignantly, I would be in support of it, I suppose. I'm not exactly sure what you mean here, but all I'm saying is we should be gentle with our approach to vegan advocacy. I did like what jonathan said about not coddling anyone and always focusing on the imperativeness of going vegan. But I maintain there is an important difference between the two circumstances you're presenting, and I think we have to recognize, given the huge indifference and intolerance for animal rights, that vegan outreach must be enacted in a much more nuanced manner.

 

As an aside, we shouldn't assume only whites are racists. I realize you probably didn't intend it that way.

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Is there any way to rename this "The Never-ending Thread"? Cause that looks to be the way things are going. Wink

 

Hrmm ok I see yo uare being smart here.

 

As an aside, we shouldn't assume only whites are racists. Wink I realize you probably didn't intend it that way.

 

Thats why I didnt say whites, I said "example: whites".

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I dont really think it is about "appeasing" the oppressors. I think it is chosing an approach that allows them to see the error of their ways, or invokes a change of heart in them. IT is about winning them over, not appeasing them.

 

Again, the animals dont need us to be right, as much as they need us to be effective. Whatever gets people to stop and listen instead of running away from us and our message. [/quotes]

 

Now that makes a lot of sense Nat.

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hey guys!!

 

Just want to say that it is kind of hard to get your intended tone across in a typed message. I know that lots of times i have thought that somebody was being hostile or defensive, or even insulting/mocking but later learned that this was not how the message was intended. Internet message boards can be so cold!!!

 

anyway, also, i notice that many threads are just that kind of thread where they will produce lots of discussion back and forth - this thread is definitely one of them.

 

but its all good, cuz we are all friends here, we speak candidly, and sincerely, and most importantly, we are on the same team - the animals!!!

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i agree that animals feel dread in the context that you used. i meant it in terms of this:

 

if in a certain park, a person is murdered on two consecutive friday nights then all people walking in that park would fear being there on a friday night. animals dont have that capacity, so far as we know. not that it makes any difference.

 

 

hey jonathan,

 

okay yup the example that you gave is obviously correct, but I can give another similar example of the same kind of "dread" that animals CAN feel. If an animal is constantly beaten in a particular place, or experiences anguish or trauma at a particular place/location, then when and if that animal is brought near or to that location again, then the animal fights it - he or she doesnt want to go and you have to drag him or her there, and so the animal is experiencing "dread" in a similar, though not exactly, the same way as in the human example that you give.

 

BUt, like you point out, this is really academic anyway. The point is that animals, LIKE HUMANS, feel pain, fear, loneliness, boredom and happiness - emotions that are not exclusively reserved for humans.

And you are also right in suggesting that that is all that should matter.

 

 

editted cuz i suck at typing and make lost of typos!!!

Edited by compassionategirl
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i agree that animals feel dread in the context that you used. i meant it in terms of this:

 

if in a certain park, a person is murdered on two consecutive friday nights then all people walking in that park would fear being there on a friday night. animals dont have that capacity, so far as we know. not that it makes any difference.

 

also, if someone were to kill me now, had i the moment of realisation that i was indeed going to die, i would feel sad and disapointed that i had fulfilled many of my ambitions and future hopes, for instance, to travel, to have children, grow old with my girlfriend, have grandchildren. i am not saying that an animal would not feel such emotions, only that it is very unlikely.

 

the above two points in no way negate the case against animal exploitation. they merely serve to display differences that are actually quite academic. they should be covered though in case they should ever come up in debate.

 

id also just like to say that i am enjoying this debate too nice to have lots of intelligent people exchanging views on important topics.

 

jonathan

 

Animals to my knowledge are pretty keen on things. Even if you didnt know something happen here and such, they would most likely know. They know a lot of things and are more aware then we are.

 

But ya, it all boils down to their emotions and feelings, they are just like us.

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hey guys!!

 

Just want to say that it is kind of hard to get your intended tone across in a typed message. I know that lots of times i have thought that somebody was being hostile or defensive, or even insulting/mocking but later learned that this was not how the message was intended. Internet message boards can be so cold!!!

 

anyway, also, i notice that many threads are just that kind of thread where they will produce lots of discussion back and forth - this thread is definitely one of them.

 

but its all good, cuz we are all friends here, we speak candidly, and sincerely, and most importantly, we are on the same team - the animals!!!

 

I agree, it is pretty hard to understand what people are saying on these type of things.

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I applaud all of you, especially all of you in your early 20's and your passion and drive for the vegan cause. Most people your age are wandering around with a beer in one hand, a stupid look on their faces, and still trying to figure out "What I'm going to do with my life?"

 

 

Jon

 

Jon you are so right about that!! I too am impressed with the younger members of our team here who at an early age have taken on important causes and have made their existences more than just about themselves! That is rare to see because as you point out, many young people are thinking about what clubs to hit, what malls to hit, what cellphones to get, etc. etc.

 

But stop referring to people as if you are the "old guy" on this site!! Cuz u are still young too damn it - just a littel older, that's all.

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I applaud all of you, especially all of you in your early 20's and your passion and drive for the vegan cause. Most people your age are wandering around with a beer in one hand, a stupid look on their faces, and still trying to figure out "What I'm going to do with my life?"

 

 

Jon

 

Jon you are so right about that!! I too am impressed with the younger members of our team here who at an early age have taken on important causes and have made their existences more than just about themselves! That is rare to see because as you point out, many young people are thinking about what clubs to hit, what malls to hit, what cellphones to get, etc. etc.

 

But stop referring to people as if you are the "old guy" on this site!! Cuz u are still young too damn it - just a littel older, that's all.

 

Nat, stop trying to make Mr. Jon sound young just to make yourself feel like a kid Hahha I am just kidding, but ya 40 is a pretty young age. However, Im visioning my life to be no higher than 40, thats just me and what Id like.

 

Im 19 and I dont even like going to clubs!

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I applaud all of you, especially all of you in your early 20's and your passion and drive for the vegan cause. Most people your age are wandering around with a beer in one hand, a stupid look on their faces, and still trying to figure out "What I'm going to do with my life?"

 

 

Jon

 

Jon you are so right about that!! I too am impressed with the younger members of our team here who at an early age have taken on important causes and have made their existences more than just about themselves! That is rare to see because as you point out, many young people are thinking about what clubs to hit, what malls to hit, what cellphones to get, etc. etc.

 

But stop referring to people as if you are the "old guy" on this site!! Cuz u are still young too damn it - just a littel older, that's all.

 

Nat, stop trying to make Mr. Jon sound young just to make yourself feel like a kid

 

 

 

lol

 

i know you joking - no need to mention it koll that was very funny what you said

 

i remember how much you made me laugh in my birthday post!! you a funny guy too (just like skinny dipper!)

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