Saturday, October 30, 2010

Who does not eat animals because of intelligence?

I think that the truth is that no one does.  People eat certain animals out of custom.  Intelligence really seems to play no factor in the actual logic of the ethics that these people claim to be supporting. 

Anyway, I added an interesting new argument to the common arguments section.  I get a bit saucy, but it really is a dumb argument.  Anyway, go have a look and see what you think.  This particular argument is on eating or not eating certain animals based on intelligence as a meaningful criterion for making that decision.

Have a great day.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Vegan Food

Soon I will be adding a new page on vegan cooking and vegan food for beginners.  This page will provide plant based alternatives to some of the core components of a vegetarian diet, making it easier for vegetarians to become vegan.

I hope to share some of the health benefits of a diet that does not consist of animal products.  I cannot promise that I will cover everything from pumkin pie to peanut butter to sandwich cookies, but I will add some of the basic and most fundamental types of vegan food. 

The bottom line is that eating is important to all of us, and delicious food can serve as a bridge to those who understand the logic and understand the ethics, but are still unwilling to change.  Anyway, I just wanted to get word out that I will be talking about vegan cooking to help out the newbies in a matter of days.

Keep your eyes peeled for some basic recipes, like egg replacers and ways to replace dairy products with homemade milks.  I look forward to sharing.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


I don't what it is, but I woke this morning with an itch in my brain.  So, I wrote about anthropomorphism on the terms page.  It was an idea that attacked my brain while I awoke.

I have tried to indicate that solipsism and the retreat to anthropomorphism are not only bedfellows or cousins, they are incestuous erotic playmates.  They have parallel absurd and unliveable (non-pragmatic) logic.  Nobody actually believes this stuff (to the point they would live it); they just like to feel mentally tough and earnest for holding true to their dogmas.

The flea to anthropomorphism is bull shit ...

Saturday, October 23, 2010

New Terms Defined: holocaust and CAFO

I recently editted the Terms page and added a few new terms:




Tomorrow, I will write on using the word holocaust in this context (or at least I plan on it).

Friday, October 22, 2010

Conservative Vegans

 Earlier today I posted these thoughts on conservatives being vegan on another blog.  Here is everything that I wanted to say in reply to an interesting and intelligent post here:

"Hmmm, I commend you for recognizing the illogic in labelling all vegans as liberals, which seems a form of confusing cause and effect (a logical fallacy).  Vegans often get labelled as liberals, however, not just because there are a lot of vegan liberals, or stereotypes and such.  Veganism is a dramatic change from the norm.  The norm in North America, especially Canada and the US (I'm from Canada) is resoundingly one of factory farming and more fundamentally animal commodification and objectification.   That is not to mention that the latter is our tradition, our heritage.

It seems then that this is not a conservative position, in that it is not attempting to conserve anything; rather it is moving towards change (whether that is in the individual or a matter of governance).  And, hey anyone who thinks on this issue clearly may recognize that something has been lost, and we need to conserve that which has been lost.  That just seems like trying to fit everything into these strange political labels, however.  Even if we want to return to the way things were, as a conservative mandate, that would not necessitate or even suggest veganism.  We did not evolve vegan, nor has it ever been widely practical without the mechanisms of the modern world to become vegan.  Veganism involves social and even political change, not conservation.  Perhaps I am being too literal with the word "conservative", but it really doesn't mean anything to me as a political self-label on a person anyway; rather it seems more comprehensive to apply it, at most, to someone’s view on a particular issue.  

Furthermore, animal rights is about changing laws and government regulation, not keeping things the way they are or returning to the way things were.  As you’re aware, self-regulation is allowed in animal industries and that has been a resounding failure.  Let us be honest too, it is only getting worse.  I would not be surprised if someday, within my lifetime, 1 billion pigs are slaughtered in a year, if our planet can handle that anyway.
Yes, in America, “Conservative” is more than just a position to conserve; it is a label.  Perhaps in this post/issue there is some confusion between political self-labelling and the issue itself.  Is conservatism simply what conservatives (someone who calls themselves conservative) believe?  In that case it is entirely subjective and essentially meaningless.

Also, for the other commenters out there, let us all remember that veganism is not just about diet.  It is important to be careful with that.  Ambiguity is great for creating different layers of meaning in literature and poetry; the same advantages do not apply when we are attempting to describe ourselves, however.  We don't want people asking us if we wear leather, eat fish (or honey), or if we are going to participate in the good ol’ fashioned American past time of fishing (*hihyuck*-that’s a hillbilly chuckle) or teach it to our kids. 

In the end, I am not saying that I am liberal, and I disagree ... I really don't care about those political labels.  I guess in America (or Britain) that would make me liberal, or anarchist, or antichrist, or something like that, lmao!  I'm just trying to create some clarity on this.  The fact that some conservatives are vegan does not mean that veganism and animal rights are conservative (and liberal, neither, or both).  To say so is to employ faulty logic, which is beyond liberal or conservative.  The fact that there are “conservative” vegans does not mean that it is consistent or that it can be labelled as a conservative position, or labelled as bipartisan or nonpartisan.  It is important that you raise the issue of whether or not conservatives can be vegan; however, it seems that that brings us to the point where the political labels seem kind of silly.  If we take that political label seriously, which creates partisanship, veganism does not seem consistent with the labelling, of conservatism at least.

This is the apparent argument of why conservatives can be consistently vegan, reduced to a syllogism:
A (Brian) is B (conservative)
A (Brian) is C (Vegan)
Therefore, conservatives can be consistently vegan. 
Nothing has been said about the consistency of Brian’s being vegan.  It is the undistributed middle term in this argument (speaking logically here, not “argument” in the colloquial).  Nothing has been said about what actually matters.

Anyway, I respect you and what you are saying.  I just disagree.  I mean absolutely no offence whatsoever.  These are just ideas my friends."

When an Omnivore Makes Hasty Generalizations

I recently added to the common arguments section on my site.

There are tonnnnnns! of 'hasty generalizations' (the name of the fallacy) made about vegans, the most prevalent being that our food tastes awful (because someone had a sloppy, soggy piece of tofu one time) or that we are all unhealthy, because someone knows someone who knows someone who claims they know a pale non-energetic vegan, or they've talked to one of the ex-vegans who now know everything about nutrition and have become paleo or something like that.

The point is that one must collect ample data before making a generalization.  And, I am afraid that a sample of 2 or 5 or a dozen does not create an even slightly meaningful sample in this case, especially if there are not the restrictions and controls in place, that one might find in a scientific or in this case social scientific study.

Go check it out!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Note on Using Statistics Logically

Statistics can be deceptively persuasive.  You see, when we understand a statistic and just about any bit of a social science for that matter, we feel like we have some authority to make decisions based on that understanding.  Hey that is perfectly natural.  When it comes to statistics, however, this can be dangerous. Alright so it is not necessarily physically dangerous all the time, although it may be.  Let me explain.

When we come to attempt to understand criminals and their behaviour many people will cite information from demographical studies. These studies have an explanatory power to tell us what to expect from people of a demographic; this should not be mistaken for having knowledge of any individual of that demographic.  By the nature of justice and by the working definition we have of each other (fully mentally aware, adult, human beings) agency is a necessity.  We take this agency away when statistics are used to explain an individual.  Basically, it dehumanizes that person; in other words, rather than providing understanding it detracts it, supplanting understanding with empathy and sympathy, two important forces, but not to be confused with understanding.

Statistics can help us understand groups, but often not individuals. 

How does this apply to veganism?  Well, that is a good question.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Living Vegan

Living as a vegan means seeing an animal for what it is.  It means understanding the reality of this world and accepting it.  Being vegan means looking at an animal of another species and not seeing something that I can use, exploit, or hurt simply because I can, because I am more powerful.  It means crediting the interests, joys, experiences, and suffering of beings of other species, and not merely excluding them because they are not homo sapiens sapiens, or 'my' dog.  Being vegan means not supporting people who will use animals as things.  It means actively working against animal use, in any way that one knows how. 

Interestingly, I have heard the phrase: 'practical veganism', as if to label it superior.  This seems like a misnomer to me.  'Practical veganism' cuts out the obvious things (so basically eggs, dairy, meat) but does not attempt to go too far beyond that.  This strikes me as terribly odd.  It is not a problem for someone to stop buying brands of soap that are made from pig fat or cow fat or products made by companies that do animal testing (when there is an alternative to buy).  It is not difficult, nor unfathomable.  'Practical veganism' would be better labelled half-assed veganism or the easiest possible way veganism. 

The point here is not purity.  It is intent!  The 'practical vegan' does not intend to eliminate animal use from their lives past a certain point; whereas other vegans knock things off as they go.  Again, the point is not purity but intent.  Anyone who tells you that intent is not important probably does not like to look in the mirror.  They will cite an anecdote that points to the cliche that "the road to hell is paved by good intentions", as if that could possibly make intent irrelevant.  Acknowledging that cliche tells us that intentions can go awry in a certain way.  It is important to remember that intentions can be not good enough as well and that this is not only a reflection of who we are but how we want the world to be.  The soundness of one's intent needs to be matched by their actions indeed, and that is precisely the point.

I do not want to turn my back on animal's suffering, or pain, or unecessary death.  That is not a challenge.  It is an imperative, a goal.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Updates From Yesterday - I Added a New Page!


I know that none of you can contain your excitement at this fact.  The new page addresses interesting and challenging questions for vegans.  Obviously, I feel that there is both a strong inductive and deductive case for veganism, the best case even; however, this does not mean that there are no important matters to consider, whether that be for consistency in terms of logic, ethics, or compassion. 

Sweet, now there is another area for me to muck around with ideas!

Here is a link to the challenging questions page.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Vegan Living - What Does It Mean to Take Animal Sentience Seriously?

The truth of the matter is that if we ascribe any value to animals at all we should not be harming them at all.  Whether or not you consider death to be a harm is not the issue here.  I deal with that elsewhere.

It is belief in the sentience of other animals, all other beings for that matter, including humans, that makes cruelty and morality (and immorality) possible in the first place.  In this sense if someone can be a decent person and smack an animal (in that action I mean), then someone else can torture it for weeks and be a decent person (in that action).  The point is not that these crimes, sins, or wrongs, or whatever we wish to call them are equal, but that if one is wrong then they both are.  Harm requires sentience to exist, as a matter of necessity.  Morally speaking, any frivilous harm is bad, given that there are agents that experience it. 

Most of us do not question human sentience, and the fact of the matter is that are brains are soft wired, if not partially hard wired, to recognize sentience in not only humans but also nonhuman animals on this planet.  I imagine we could intuitively recognize sentience in an alien species, but who knows.  Either way, separation from this intuition occurs basically as a result of inconsistent and laughable abstracted arm chair philosophy, if we can call it that (philosophy). The bottom line is that no one actually lives based on these precepts except when they are being inconsistent and/or psychopathic.  

It is a pretty simple idea, but it separates what a vegan is trying to achieve from just about everyone else.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Vegan Soap

Well I'll be damned! 

I shouldn't be surprised but it seems that most bar soaps are neither vegan, nor vegetarian, nor fucking 21st.  Bar soap contains ANIMAL FAT!  Hey, I knew that this was common in like the 18th century and shit, but SERIOUSLY!  Companies, and especially the big ones, are still putting pig and cow fat into soap.  WTF!  On top of that a lot of do not care about animal testing at all, despite the fact that for cosmetics, soap, etc. it is not in the least bit necessary.

That is disgusting and disappointing.  It seems that basically getting vegan soap means going to the health food store to buy a $2 bar.  MOTHER FUCKER!  This sucks!  Alright, you can use body wash if you are into that, but you still have to double check, and you HAVE TO BE INTO THAT.  I don't like body wash thank you very much.  Call me old fashioned about the bar of soap, but apparently some companies and people make me look like I'm what they thought the 21st century would be in 1940.

I guess it is high time for me to make some homemade vegan soap.  I should have been doing that already ... Here is some motivation to get on it.

Or hey, if you want to rub animal fat on your body that has been tested on animals, just keep buying the regular soap.  But hey, us vegans are crazy because we don't want to have any part in this.  Man, what a stupid industry.

Excuse me while I go make some of my own vegan soap.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Relativist Fallacy

If you are interested in logic at ALL than this fallacy is likely one that frustrates you often.  For that reason it is hugely exciting.  The relativist fallacy occurs whenever someone says: "well that is true for you but not true for me" and the topic is not actually relative.  Of course that is total bullocks.  Go to the fallacy section for more info; I have included some explanation in both the Vegan and Omnivore sections, because I have seen people on both sides employ this faulty logic. Those poor souls.

The next time you hear someone say this above falsity, please give them an intellectual slap for me (not a real one of course).  This is a fallacy that pops its head up sooooo much that, one cannot help but loathe it utterly.

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Naturalistic Fallacy

For those of you who have not heard of the naturalistic fallacy already you have likely witnessed or expressed this faulty logic yourself.  It is quite common for people to become naturalists and experts on animal behaviour when veganism comes up.  Fortunately too their expertise allows us to make important judgements about how humans ought to act (pleeeaase tell me you caught the sarcasm there). 

The simple fact of the matter is that we do not learn about how we ought to act (morally speaking) by understanding what is natural for our ancestors (most people mean our species here - and they are magically willing to ignore the changes we have made in terms of memetic and temetic evolution).  Anyway, go to the fallacies section to see the updates I have made to the naturalistic fallacy section.  It is an extremely important fallacy to be aware of.  The ignorance of this particular illogical line of reasoning actually acts as a huge roadblock to changing how humans, in general, come to treat nonhuman animals.

All the best.  Be sure to keep yourself sharp and educated.  It has very important consequences.

Animal Writes

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Interesting Quotes and Today's Updates

I just found a quote in Matthew Scully's book Dominion.  This is a good book.  It is well written, compelling, and goes into some fringe areas of animal use as well as some mainstream.  I have to say that I was hugely surprised at how good it was when I first started reading it, and even as I continue reading it.  There are many quotes from non-vegan perspectives in the book, including those of 'hunters' and dolphin trappers of Japan.

Here's a quote from a hunter, James Swan, from In Defense of Hunting: "Psychologically speaking, freedom of choice to be who you are and to follow the guidance of your conscience is the most humane ethical position for conservation of the human soul."

This is the type of bull shit you get when people are trying to justify what they do to animals without being logical about it.  This book has numerous diatribes crafted by hunters and others about the place of animals and hunting in the world.  The major problem, however, with their frankly bull shit ramblings, is that they are abstracted from reality and science.  Check out the common arguments page for an explanation of how this is bull shit. 

By the way, I apologize for the swearing.  It is just infuriating that someone thinks that just because they can say something that makes it true or meaningful, and that hundreds of billions of animals pay the price for this idiocy is deeply ... gougingly saddening.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Added to the Appeal to Tradition

No one can escape the simple fact that despite what our ancestors did that does not make it right.

I was reading Matthew Scully's Dominion and was inspired to add to the "appeal to tradition" section on the Fallacies page.  Have yourself a gander.  :P

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Remember that I Update the Pages

I just wanted to give a pleasant reminder that the main content of this web page is contained within the pages.  I update them almost daily, going through to edit them and add content to them.  In the future it will be one of my goals to update on the blogroll, or whatever this main page is called, what and where I have added content.  This page is meant to serve as a resource for those who have questions about the logic of veganism, whether they are vegan or not.

Today I have editted and added to the Terms section.

P.S. Does anyone know what is the ethical position of vegetarianism?  Or at least what is a coherent and consistent ethical position for a vegetarian?  Hey don't get me wrong I see where their hearts are, but I don't see consistency.  I was vegetarian for about five minutes (alright, truthfully a few weeks) before 'going vegan'.