frandroid: YPG logo, Syrian Kurdish defense forces (Default)
[personal profile] frandroid
As a culturally sensitive vegan, I would approve of Michaëlle Jean's seal eating and hunting, if only she wasn't conflating inuit seal hunting with east coast seal hunting... So not the same thing.

Date: 2009-05-28 09:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] compasspoints.livejournal.com
totally. agreed.

Date: 2009-05-28 09:27 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
vegan? does that mean you don't go down on other girls? no worries. as long as ur fit and liek doggy!

Date: 2009-05-29 01:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] frandroid.livejournal.com
I'll go down on you, whoever you are, boy or woman, if you come out of your anonymity!

(surely you can't be a man, if you don't have the balls to show your real name on this tired old joke!)

Date: 2009-05-29 01:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] everynewmorning.livejournal.com
Semen, and to a slightly lesser extent - vaginal secretions - are a source of cruelty-free, bioavailable vitamin B12 for vegans.

Date: 2009-05-29 01:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] frandroid.livejournal.com
Truly, a woman after my heart. But I'll go for male donors as I doubt the validity of your vaginal secretions claim.

Date: 2009-06-01 04:12 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
it could be a mix, kind of like how a martini has vermouth. i have it in my girls poon then in your mouth. ha.

Date: 2009-05-31 05:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] batmanonfire.livejournal.com
"Semen, and to a slightly lesser extent - vaginal secretions - are a source of cruelty-free, bioavailable vitamin B12 for vegans."
Nowhere near enough though.

Date: 2009-05-31 05:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] everynewmorning.livejournal.com
INEVER SAID THEY DID!@!! STOP TWISTING MY WORDS! YOU"RE WORSE THAN THE FDA.

go spread your anti-vegan propaganda elsewhere!!

Date: 2009-05-31 05:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] batmanonfire.livejournal.com
DON'T BE VEGAN OR YOU'LL GO REFORMIST

Date: 2009-05-28 09:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] culpster.livejournal.com
Gotta love those anonymous comments!

Also, now she can talk about how down-with-the-common-Inuit she is cause she ate a seal heart. Unconvincing. It's like Harper (or worse, Ignatieff) wearing a hockey sweater. A trophy hunter with an entourage.

That said, and speaking of cultural sensitivity, I think 'neanderthal' might have been a bit, er, ill-considered as an outraged epithet in this context. (I think it was PETA but I forget)

Date: 2009-05-29 01:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] everynewmorning.livejournal.com
The "neanderthal" comment from PETA flagged me as well. It makes me wonder if anyone in their press office, at any point, figured it might be a bad idea to compare Inuits to neanderthals.

Then again, they did just protest the AKC dressed up as fucking Klansmen. Yeah, no chance of PR blowback there.

Date: 2009-05-29 12:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theoria.livejournal.com
As a vegan, I'm not sure how you can separate the two. Why is Inuit ("traditional") hunting acceptable, but not commercial hunting? This is the most repulsive sort of liberal, culturalist, relativism: something cannot be question because it is part of a culture? Fuck that. Rape is part of Afghani culture (and now legal!), should we withhold criticism? On what grounds do we criticize Afghans for their cultural practices but give Inuit a free ride?

They are very much the same thing: animals being slaughtered to satisfy human wants that could be satisfied in other ways. Capitalist, socialist or subsistence, it is still wrong and it should still be opposed.

Date: 2009-05-29 01:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] frandroid.livejournal.com
YOU try to be vegan in Iqualuit, buddy.

I'm not fundamentally against subsistence animal consumption.

My (quasi-(!!))veganism is repulsively relativistic, I'll give you that.

Date: 2009-05-29 02:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theoria.livejournal.com
There's no reason to live there.

Date: 2009-05-29 02:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tovegirl.livejournal.com
just what the inuit want. More white people telling them (or forcing them) to move elsewhere.

Date: 2009-05-29 02:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theoria.livejournal.com
Who is forcing anyone? Who is telling anyone? Avoid imputing your ignorance into what I said.

Animal slaughter was just defended on the basis of subsistence: there is no other option. Of course there are other options; e.g., don't live somewhere where the only option is slaughtering animals. Either you take the lives and interests of animals seriously, or you don't. Slaughtering is slaughtering whether it is done by an Inuit hunter, a family farmer in rural Ontario, or at the Smithfield Packing Plant. Humans have options available to them that seals, whales, and wolves do not and we have no reason not to avail ourselves of them - except, of course, anemic appeals to "tradition" and "culture" and "ways of life." Again: a defense of Inuit culture on these grounds is at once a defense of Afghani culture that gives husbands the legal right to rape their wives. Or, again, African female genital mutilation. Or, close to home, African-American slavery or German anti-Semitism.

Date: 2009-05-29 02:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] frandroid.livejournal.com
Dude, I think what we're remarking on is that you're implying that if Inuit can't be vegan in the Arctic, they should move south. Rape is quite as not necessary for Afghan bodies to function in the Central Asian climate.

Now granted, people could truck in produce at great cost from South, and they kind of do. But I refuse to equate seal clubbing to Afghan rape. Are seals equal to women? I don't believe humans are equal to animals, and my conception of animal rights is pretty limited.

Date: 2009-05-29 02:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theoria.livejournal.com
Seals and women do not need to be equal for the argument to hold. The question is whether or not intentional (or even unintentional!) suffering should be inflicted upon sentient creatures. There are no physiological or neurological grounds upon which to distinguish between the pain and suffering a human feels from that of an vertebrate in a comparable situation. Likewise, there are no grounds upon which the life of a seal is less important to that seal than the life of a human is to that human. This has nothing to do with equality at all. The life of someone with Down's is important to that person - we still don't let them drive; i.e., we legitimately treat them as less equal in many respects.

And, by the way, as soon as you start saying that the suffering of the seal is justified in order to allow the survival of a human, you've opened yourself to all sorts of absurdities.

Date: 2009-05-29 03:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] frandroid.livejournal.com
Advocating animal rights at all costs also has its lot of absurdities. Isn't computer use unintentionally part of an industrial complex which obliterates animal life and creates untold suffering? You have to weigh relative outcomes at some point. I can live with inuit clubbing seals while contesting Afghan rape.

Date: 2009-05-29 03:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theoria.livejournal.com
I don't understand your point. As you've written it, your point seems silly at best. Could you rephrase?

Date: 2009-05-29 03:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] frandroid.livejournal.com
I read that you blithely answered my question on your colonialism with an assertion that you can't make any concessions on animal rights at any cost. So I responded by saying that animal rights purity is impossible, and that concessions are made every day in every action we take.

Or am I getting too convoluted?

Date: 2009-05-29 03:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theoria.livejournal.com
Well, for one, I don't advocate an animal rights - or any other "rights" - position. What I do advocate, however, is that suffering should not be inflicted on a sentient being (note: only sentient beings can suffer and contemporary science agrees that all vertebrates are sentient). It doesn't matter if that sentient being is a human, a pig or a smallmouth bass. The pain and suffering is as real to the pig or the bass as it is to the human. As a human (thus having direct access to the reality of human suffering) and as a thinking being (and thus knowing that my suffering is neither quantitatively nor qualitatively different than that of any other being), I do not want any other being to suffer as I suffer, especially for absolutely trivial reasons: i.e., food, entertainment, fashion, research, etc. I object to prison experiments on humans as much as I object to laboratory experiments on rats (who are, by the way, not legally animals under the US Animal Welfare Act).

Date: 2009-05-29 07:16 am (UTC)
ext_65558: The one true path (Darkside cookies)
From: [identity profile] dubaiwalla.livejournal.com
absolutely trivial reasons: i.e. ... research
Okay, you have totally lost me here. I can see why it might be worthwhile to get people out of Nunavut (you can also make such an argument on economic or environmental grounds), but research? Seriously? It's one thing to call for strict regulation to make sure animals aren't harmed unnecessarily, or that the research is for worthwhile ends (e.g. medical treatment rather than shampoo testing). But on what grounds could you claim research is 'absolutely trivial,' when it has the potential to avert far greater suffering than it causes?

Date: 2009-05-29 10:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theoria.livejournal.com
Had you read anything I've written, you'd notice that I've already rejected a calculus of suffering. I don't accept any argument that justifies the suffering of one on the basis of the benefit of another. And, further, I've argued - which no one has disputed - that vertebrates experience pain in more or less the same way, hence, there are no grounds upon which to dismiss animal suffering. A calculus of suffering is a deficient moral position because it opens the door to huge problems that you've clearly ignored. From the perspective of cognition, a human with retrograde amnesia is identical to a what the most severe critiques of animal consciousness will claim: they have no sense of identity, they have have no sense of past and future, and they have no memory. It would seem that a human with retrograde amnesia is an excellent candidate for research - afterall, with the exception of not having an identity, which isn't essential to research as it is, the amnesiac is a perfect model of the human. Compare that to the standard lab rat: the metabolism and basic organic function works far more quickly on rats than it does on humans, consequently, cancer research continually runs into a problem: the protocol works perfectly on rats, but does absolutely nothing on humans. But, like I said, I'm not interested in economic arguments - apparently you are.

Date: 2009-05-29 11:11 pm (UTC)
ext_65558: The one true path (Children circus)
From: [identity profile] dubaiwalla.livejournal.com
I'm certainly not dismissing the pain of animals; I'm a vegan because I don't want to cause gratuitous suffering. But the idea that no suffering is ever justified strikes me as not being grounded in reality. The only way humans as a species would have a hope of completely ceasing to cause suffering to other sentient beings would be if we ceased to exist. Heck, just by breathing, each of us is increasing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and probably contributing in a minuscule way to global warming, and the destruction of various species. The best we can really do is to minimize suffering, and that means working with the calculus you so abhor.

You are free to claim research cannot be justified. But I am baffled that someone who professes concern about suffering would claim research that could alleviate this is of trivial importance.

Date: 2009-05-30 02:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theoria.livejournal.com
(I accidentally closed my tab with a much better comment - my apologies, but I don't feel like re-writing it.)

(1) Any and all measures to reduce, as you call it, "gratuitous suffering" have had the complete opposite effects: animals are objectively and subjectively in far worse positions now than they were before the invention of animal welfare. Only people have benefited from "animal welfare" and only insofar as they can trust that the animal they are consuming was treated "humanely."
(2) There is a significant difference between having cancer or traumatic brain injury and inflicting traumatic brain injury or cancer on animal. Yes, humans suffer greatly through disease and injuries, but that doesn't justify super-suffering on the part of others. Further, you likely don't actually understand what animal based research actually accomplishes. The simple answer is very little. The vast majority of animal use in research is for (1) product development and (2) confirming existing research. Many - if not most - animals used in research (other than in product development) are being used to confirm the obvious: smoking causes cancer, excess alcohol consumption ruins livers, and the like. But, setting aside useless research, and turning to useful research, can you cite a single example where the use of animals in research immediately led to a life-saving cure for humans? Hint: there are none. But let's set that aside: it isn't in the nature - television and movies notwithstanding - of scientific research to develop miracle cures. Fine. We come up against other problems. The vast majority of animals used in cancer, for instance, research are rats. It turns out that we have all sorts of ways to cure cancer in rats and, yet, we have no way to cure cancer in humans. Why is that? The rat is actually a poor model of human biological processes. For one, the metabolism and heart rates of rats are significantly higher than in humans. Given that cancer treatments, such as chemotherapies, target rapidly dividing cells, it is not especially useful to try out treatments on animals that work on a far faster scale than humans. See, for instance, the recent essay in "Science" with R.M. Roberts as the led author of the inadequacy of the rat as a model for humans. Besides, there are plenty of desperate people suffering from horrible diseases that would be happy to put their own bodies forward for research.

Date: 2009-06-01 07:06 pm (UTC)
ext_65558: The one true path (The war is a lie)
From: [identity profile] dubaiwalla.livejournal.com
animals are objectively and subjectively in far worse positions now than they were before the invention of animal welfare.
This may well be true.

Any and all measures to reduce, as you call it, "gratuitous suffering" have had the complete opposite effects
But here, I disagree. You are conflating cause and reaction. Also just because the overall trends are probably negative doesn't mean we should give up on steps to improve animal welfare. I would love it if everyone gave up animal products and cared more about animal welfare, but this is unlikely to happen in the short term, no matter how convincingly we scream from the rooftops that this is a good idea. So what interim strategy is best in order to minimize harm to animals? Pursuing animal welfare. Sure 'free range' chickens are treated poorly, and the very term 'free range' is a misnomer, but that doesn't mean the poultry in question are as badly off as chickens in battery farms.

can you cite a single example where the use of animals in research immediately led to a life-saving cure for humans?
Wikipedia tells me the vaccine against the influenza virus was developed through a study of chicken eggs. Cure isn't the same as prevention, but that is still life-saving. It also says the polio vaccine was developed using tissue cultures from monkey kidneys, which surely must have came from monkeys killed for that purpose.

But really, what you are saying is that no animal suffering is ever justified, and that's what I find remarkable. I'm certainly not arguing we should cause, or even tolerate wanton suffering. But it is very easy to think of scenarios in which animal testing could be useful. Rats, for instance, breed much faster than people, and if we needed to know if a disease could mutate over multiple generations before designing a cure, rats may come in handy. Thing is, we cannot know for certain beforehand if such a scenario might play out. I may hope we won't have to make hundreds of rats suffer mild physical discomfort in order to prevent millions of people from dying, but I would think the issue should at the very least be open to debate, should it come to pass. I recognize that this is a very unlikely potential situation with distorted costs and benefits that does not correspond to the real and terrible way animals are treated today. But I am throwing it out there because I refuse to see things in black and white.

Date: 2009-06-01 07:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theoria.livejournal.com
I'll keep it short:

ou are conflating cause and reaction. Also just because the overall trends are probably negative doesn't mean we should give up on steps to improve animal welfare.

Any superficial analysis of animal welfare legislation policy clearly indicates that animal welfare has not increased in any measurable way nor has it improved the life of any animal in any appreciable way. By its own standards, animal welfare is a failure. Rather than making the lives of animals more pleasant, animal welfare has created the most elaborate and pervasive system of misery and death ever created. Consider the following analogy: sure it is better to just be raped and murdered instead of tortured, raped and murdered - but even under the "rape welfare," you're still being raped and murdered. This is unacceptable.

So what interim strategy is best in order to minimize harm to animals?

This makes no argument on the face of it. Let's again, look at an analogy. Say everyone agrees that rape is wrong. However, a lot of men really like raping women. So, what we all agree to do is ban raping in ten years. In the meantime, vaginal rape and molestation will be acceptable, but anal rape will be prohibited. This makes absolutely no sense and no reasonable person would agree to it. Either you haven't considered your position or you are irrational.

Wikipedia tells me the vaccine against the influenza virus was developed through a study of chicken eggs.

Well aware of that. Your original position however was that of the miracle cure: one experiment could save a bunch of people, but that one experiment would be horrible to the animal. You haven't provided any evidence to support your assertion and only given evidence to support mine.

But really, what you are saying is that no animal suffering is ever justified, and that's what I find remarkable.

No, I'm saying that the intentional and unintentional infliction of direct or indirect suffering upon an non-consenting party, whether that party be a worm, falcon, hippo, or human is unacceptable. As a corollary to this, I am saying that instrumental use of one being for the benefit of another being, regardless of how much suffering will be alleviated for the many on the basis of the few, cannot be justified.

That is, I am rejecting any and all arguments that take an economic form - the very sort of argument you are prone to; viz., "animal testing could be useful," "to make hundreds of rats suffer mild physical discomfort in order to prevent millions of people from dying"

But it is very easy to think of scenarios in which animal testing could be useful.

I certainly cannot.

But I am throwing it out there because I refuse to see things in black and white.

Good for you! And now you are a stooge for evil, death, and misery. Congratulations. (By the way, you must admit then, that in some cases, rape must be justified, that torture must be justified, that genocide must be justified - or, at the very least, its justification must be "open to debate.")

Date: 2009-06-01 08:02 pm (UTC)
ext_65558: The one true path (Don't panic)
From: [identity profile] dubaiwalla.livejournal.com
I see a lot of shrillness here, and very little by way of a realistic path towards a future where animals are treated better. This might at least make sense if it were a successful strategy, but this is manifestly not the case.

This is unacceptable.
Very well, let's extend your metaphor. The overwhelming majority of people are okay with daily rape and eventual murder, and it is encouraged socially and legally. You have a choice. You can stand on a street corner and scream till your face is blue at people who could care less, in the hopes that they will one day see the light and completely change their lifestyle. Or you could try to get something done in terms of reducing the incidence of rape so that it takes place only once, rather than daily. Sure, the victims will still die violent deaths, but at least they will not have suffered suffer every single day of their lives beforehand. Is this still terrible? Yes. Is it also less overall suffering? Yes.

Incidentally, none of this would 'justify' rape, torture, or genocide; it would mean that less [horrible crime] beats than more [horrible crime], if those are the only two options available.

Your original position however was that of the miracle cure: one experiment could save a bunch of people, but that one experiment would be horrible to the animal.
My statement was that 'research ... has the potential to avert far greater suffering than it causes.' I have given you two examples.

Date: 2009-06-01 08:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theoria.livejournal.com
Incidentally, none of this would 'justify' rape, torture, or genocide; it would mean that less [horrible crime] beats than more [horrible crime]; if those are *the only two options available*.

So much for your claim to see beyond 'black and white.' The question is not animal welfare or no welfare at all. The question is not one of how 'well' do we treat animals when we use them, but whether we should us them at all. You're asking a policy question; I'm asking a moral question.

And by "shrillness" you mean something to the effect of, "Someone disagrees with me. Why can't he respect my opinion? Why can't he see how hard I am trying? Why can't he see how much I care? (But not too much, of course, not enough to lead to any measurable change in the lives of animals. I'll accept that 'animal welfare' really does take the interests of animals into account even if there is no evidence to support that at all.)"

I'll be clear, it is great that you are a vegan, but I think you might benefit from reflecting on why you are a vegan (health? genuine concern? something else?) and what that might mean for the rest of your life (use of animals in research, teaching, entertainment, fashion) and how your life relates to the lives of others. I've engaged in this process of reflection and do so on a daily basis. Consequently, I am quite confident in the veracity of my position. I don't make truth claims lightly and, in this case, I am certain I speak with the force of truth.

Date: 2009-06-01 08:58 pm (UTC)
ext_65558: The one true path (Devil fanboy)
From: [identity profile] dubaiwalla.livejournal.com
You're convinced of the morality of your ideas. Fair enough. You say you support the welfare of animals? I believe you. So then it should matter that you get to put your ideas into practice, shouldn't it? Otherwise, like the people you fret are being mollified by minimal animal welfare provisions, your moralizing does little more than make you feel good. (There are also the limited consequences you can bring about by your own personal actions, but in the case of your veganism, I already match you.)

You have so far failed to convince me that my economic arguments are wrong. Let's chalk that up to first principles. But if you can show me my belief system is inferior to yours in terms of securing animal welfare, then I would love to hear how you can do better. We both believe animal welfare has been insufficient, so in theory, the threshold is low. And yes, I absolutely believe that policy enters into this because I see no point in paying lip service to morals and losing sight of the big picture regarding the poor way in which animals are treated. I will do what I consider to be my part because of my set of morals, but I care about consequences. So I would much rather the general population become vegan for health reasons than have it acknowledge a lack morality but continue to eat meat regardless.

Consequences are also why tone is important. No matter how convinced you are of something, self-righteousness beyond a certain point is counterproductive in terms of winning people over to your point of view and getting them to change their thinking and/or behavior. If you could somehow convince someone reading this to go vegan, you will potentially have saved many animals from a miserable existence. If you only end up making the other people here tune out, what purpose has that served?

Date: 2009-06-01 09:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theoria.livejournal.com
You say you support the welfare of animals?

No, I don't. I reject it as an acceptable position. Welfare addresses "treatment" and not "use." I don't accept that one being can legitimately and justifiably be used as means for another.

It is remarkable that you have such a tap on my both my feelings and my actions. For my part, I sit on the board of governors and actively volunteer for a number of organizations, I teach animal law, animal welfare and animal rights in a university, and my research is in the area of 'animal studies.' From what I can tell, my life is completely organized around the betterment of animals. Is yours?

You have so far failed to convince me that my economic arguments are wrong.

That's fine - you are clearly comfortable with the absurd consequences of your position. A position that allows you justify the suffering of one group for the benefit of another! Once that structure is accepted, you've opened the door to all sorts of insanity.

Put another way, I don't accept the basis of the argument; viz., that beings can be legitimately and justifiable used in instrumental purposes by others for the benefit of the others. If you accept that position, then your argument is fine. I don't. It isn't compatible with improving the lives of either humans or animals.

Date: 2009-05-29 03:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theoria.livejournal.com
Oh, yes, and truth is necessarily imperialist. Truth does not tolerate un-truth.

Date: 2009-05-29 03:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] frandroid.livejournal.com
So just to confirm here... Are you advocating that:

1) Inuit should eat a vegan diet, no ifs or buts, and thus;
2) if that's too onerous or somehow undoable in the Artic, that Inuit should leave the Arctic and move south in order to live a vegan lifestyle?

Date: 2009-05-29 03:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theoria.livejournal.com
No, everyone should be a vegan. Talking about the Inuit in particular is a diversion.

Date: 2009-05-29 06:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] frandroid.livejournal.com
They're not a distraction when the whole point of this subthread is your assertion that no one needs to live there, which you still haven't accounted for in a clear way. You really lost me there, but I'm still giving you the benefit of the doubt.

Date: 2009-05-29 10:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theoria.livejournal.com
No one needs to live anywhere. There is no necessary, organic connection between any individual human and its environment. The only way you can maintain such a claim is it you are racist: "Primitive people, like the Inuit, are naturally in tune with their environment..." And, again, the particular case of people living in the Arctic - or anywhere else - is a distraction from the real issue: people should not use animals instrumentally just as they should not use one another instrumentally.

Date: 2009-05-29 03:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] frandroid.livejournal.com
Regarding tolerance, I haven't read Wendy Brown, so I'm caught a little short here.
Edited Date: 2009-05-29 03:30 am (UTC)

Date: 2009-05-29 03:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theoria.livejournal.com
I haven't read her either.

Date: 2009-05-29 02:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theoria.livejournal.com
I'll point you to my comment to tovegirl.

Date: 2009-05-29 01:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] everynewmorning.livejournal.com
cultural sensitivity is for fags and hippies. i eat raw seal hearts for the yums.

Date: 2009-05-29 01:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] frandroid.livejournal.com
Beeyotch, if you're going to procrastinate and be all un-PC on me, at least show your ass on Messenger!

too busy

Date: 2009-05-29 01:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] everynewmorning.livejournal.com
these seals won't kill themselves, bro. i'm lj'ing from my blackberry. i'll bring you back some pelts. tradesies for maple syrup.

Re: too busy

Date: 2009-05-29 01:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] frandroid.livejournal.com
Do you club the seals with the BB, too?

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