Greedy Goblin

Monday, September 26, 2016

Vegans, the conspirators for the worst animal genocide

Vegans are refusing to eat or use animal products since they believe animals have moral values and must not be used as commodity, just like humans are not used. They want a society where animal ownership is abolished like slavery was. They wish for a society where "animal companions" can live in peace and safety.

The question is what will happen to the whole specieses of farm animals. If no one would eat pork, voluntarily or because it's forbidden, there would be no pig farms. In muslim countries where eating pork is forbidden there are only a handful of pigs living in zoos. Assuming zoos wouldn't be banned by vegans as form of animal slavery, there would be a couple dozen or hundred pigs, chicken, sheep, goats, cattle, gooses in a country. What would happen to the rest of them?

If you just "liberate" the farm animals from their "captivity" and let them roam free, they'll die in weeks or at best in the next winter. Nature can't support bred farm animals, domestic pigs don't stand a chance against wild boars, not to mention that the natural habitat of the boars decreased badly in the past centuries. Would they force people to care for them, effectively turning the animals into welfare leeches? That would help the currently "enslaved" animals, but what about their offspring? Animals breed very fast (hen lay a fertile egg a day), meaning it would be impossible to support their exponentially growing population. Castrating them would be "obviously immoral", just like it is for human welfare leeches.

My point is that farm animals exist only because we created a niche for them. Sure, it serves our interest, but it also serve theirs. If humans were always vegans, the large land animal population would be much smaller, practically limited to the fauna of the few forests and plains. Remember, humans must have agriculture to exist (even vegans eat plant products) and farmlands were all taken from forests and plains. Getting rid of "exploitative farming" would mean a genocide against animals, several, currently huge species would go near-extinct.

In a broader sense: "exploitation" is a socialist codeword for cooperation where one party is less fortunate than other. They just forget that the "exploited" is still better off this way than without cooperation. The child workers making shoes aren't making shoes because someone captured and enslaved them, but because their families are starving and have to send them to work. If you close the dangerous and unhealthy shoe factories to save them, they will starve and die like cattle "liberated" from a farm.


Anonymous said...

I group Vegans/Vegetarians into three groups:
1. "Animals are people too" the group you describe.
2. "It's better for my health"
3. "It's better for the earth" because raising meat is very resource intensive.

I've had exactly the conversation you outline above many times. It's usually met by incredulous stares.

Hanura H'arasch said...

"Vegans are refusing to eat or use animal products since they believe animals have moral values and must not be used as commodity"

You're confusing vegans with animal rights advocates. There are other reasons why people are vegans, most notably because of health reasons and environment.

I'm also going to play devil's advocate and ask the following questions: Is genocide really worse than generations over generations of suffering and torture? Would it not be kinder to give them a quick death?

Smokeman said...

Normally, I'm fairly sure where you're going with a post... then I make a comment that sidesteps that. In extreme cases, you ask "Did you even read the post?" And yes, I did. I simply rejected your reality and replaced it with my own. (Fistbump to Mythbuster's Adam Savage.)

But here, I'm not really sure where you're going. So...

Aside for brutal environmental events like the Ice Age, the "Carry Capacity" of the earth has changed little for millennia. There were billions of animals 100,000 years ago, and there are billions of animals now. Mother Nature is mercilessly and brutally efficient in the allocation of "slots" for animals to fill. You do well or you're replaced by a slightly better adapted animal!

What's different now is we humans are able to modify the environment, throwing natural selection on it's ear. We wanna domesticate livestock? We build an environment that makes our replacement of nature have the advantage. As such, we're replacing nature with our monocultural livestock, and forcing out nature's natural genetic diversity in the process.

At the same time, we're also reaching into the future and robbing it, by consuming resources that can't be replaced in real time, like oil and many aquifers. As such, by artificially accelerating the environment to favor our domestic livestock, we ARE increasing the net number of animals on the planet beyond it's nominal carry capacity, but this cannot be sustained.

So... the Animal Rights nuts that think animals are precious and need protection are crazy. Animals live and die and there is little reason to care... they're animals. But people concerned about sustainable agriculture and biodiversity maintenance are spot on, this is a huge issue and we are killing our future.

Anonymous said...

" Is genocide really worse than generations over generations of suffering and torture? "

luobote kong said...

3D printers or their descendents will probably make this sort of debate a historical footnote. The discussions will then move on to the sludge you put into the machines and what happens to the stuff after you printed it.

Anonymous said...

My grandfather and my father both were beekeepers as a hobby, my favorite conversation with a vegan goes like this:

-Oh, so you dont eat meat because of animal cruelty.
-So you dont eat any animal product? No milk, cheese, eggs etc. ?
-I don't.
-Do you eat honey?
-No. (Although some does, and then I proceed to explain them, how beekeeping could also be considered animal cruelty; hint: you are stealing their work over and over.)
-So you also don't eat 70% of the vegetables and fruits which are pollinated by domestical bees right?
-... (comes the silence, they don't even know which plants are pollinated by bees)

ALL of the vegans I ever met, fail at this step. Sometimes they argue, that they could pollinate the plants without people stealing their honey, which is true, only then they would pollinate only a fracture what they do if you steal from them. (farmers with fruit trees pay beekeepers to settle bees on their fields, so they get a better yield)

99smite said...

So, in other words, it is ok for you to not fight against young girls getting taken into sex slavery? According to your logic, preventing them from getting sexually abused will starve their family... Sorry, nope!
We get exploitation everywhere where there is no equilibrium or balance of power. The stronger party, if not harrassed by lay will always negotiate a deal that is asymmetrically unfavourable for the weaker party.

If the sweatshops in Bangladesh or India had no customers who tolerate them paying a shitty salary for the seamstresses, they would change. They, in fact have already begun to change. Buying agents for international fashion labels have begun controlling the work conditions and the salary model of their suppliers.

Even in Germany a low-salary-branch has evolved in the last decade. Bread Companies pay such a low salary that skilled bakers cannot live from such a low salary, becoming "welfare leeches" living on social subsidies...

Only recently has the government started to rethink this policy. Why should a big company be able to pay such low salaries and have a business model that depends on the government to make up for the shitty payments? That is a fraudulent business model that exploits not only the employees, but also society as they finance the greedy boss's business plan...

A T-shirt in Europe should not be priced at 4 Euros, decent prices shold be a no-brainer...

Ritter chocolate has shown the way. They pay fair prices to the cocoa bean farmers in South america and they are still in business...

Samus said...

If you truly believe that your own life is not more important than other lives, the single most "morally effective" thing you can do is sign your organ donor card and kill yourself. No matter how hard you try, the best you can do alive is to "minimize" your negative impact on other life.

Naice Rucima said...

So maybe there is a middle ground between "animal agriculture is okay even if we're doing it in inhumane ways" and "liberate all the animals and we all become vegan" ? You only take into account extremist POV opposite to each other, but never consider a moderate idea.
Plus, using all that flawed rhetoric to justify children labor is of pretty bad taste, not to mention wrong.

Gevlon said...

@Hanura: of course there are people with healthy diet, but that doesn't exclude animal products.

Which would you prefer in your country: oppression or genocide?

@Smokeman: environment-friendly actions doesn't need animal-free diet. I know that some animals (especially methane-farters) are environmentally wrong, but most are not.

@Anon: that bee question is great.

99smite: if you refer to actual slavery (what the IS does, capturing women with guns and selling them), I'm obviously against it. If you use the feminist meaning (women doing something feminists disapprove must be slaves of men), yes, I would allow brothels.

Also, while there is "fair trade" market niche (buyers ready to pay premium if they know that they did something good), it's a niche for a few manufacturers and not mainstream.

@Naice: of course there is a middle ground. But I was arguing against the extremist vegans.

Kerlon said...

Yes, you're right, that would be horrible (not as horrible as current situation though). It is also very unrealistic. Best we can hope for is slow decline of demand for animal derived products. In which case less and less animals would be bred for next years. Can it be an excuse for not to do decrease or stop animal consumption? Of course. If one needs an excuse, this one will be as good as any. But will it actually be good? May be not.

There is a little better argument though, in case one needs to feel better about oneself. There are a lot of small animals and insects killed in the process of plant cultivation too. So either you're vegan or not, you'll most probably be participating in killing of animals. Again, is it a good excuse not to do anything about it? Not really.

“About 85 percent of the world’s soybean crop is processed into meal and vegetable oil, and virtually all of that meal is used in animal feed. Some two percent of the soybean meal is further processed into soy flours and proteins for food use… Approximately six percent of soybeans are used directly as human food, mostly in Asia.”

So if one actually cares about those small animals, he/she would spare a lot of them by not increasing demand for animals, which consume animal feed.

maxim said...

The social people who use "exploitation" just to mean that someone is using someone else's labour for personal benefit are missing the important point on why exploitation is bad. Because if we were all the same as animals, then exploitation wouldn't be all that bad, just as Gevlon says.

Exploitation is not bad in itself. Gevlon himself have made a pretty decent argument that exploitation can be pretty good for farm animals. Humans, however, are not farm animals. In case of exploitation of human beings, is i nearly always accompanied by what Marx defined as "alienation". That is, the process which destroys the creative potential of a human being, reducing said human being to just what is required for exploitation.

The tragedy of kids working on shoe farms is not in the fact that their work conditions are unsafe or their pay is low. The tragedy is that they don't grow up to realise their potential (which we know is there, based on simple fact that they are human beings) and are instead reduced to the state of treadmill farm animals.

The only difference is that human beings get treated worse than farm animals, because the exploiter can get away with giving less treatment towards a human being than most farm animals require. This, however, is not the root of the problem, but something purely incidental. In fact, i'd go so far as to say that the quanitity of treatment does not matter. Plenty of examples of people who received excellent quantities of treatment only to become little different from pigs.

Gevlon said...

@maxim: it's indeed the tragedy that the shoe factory kids won't grow up to realize their potential. But it's NOT the fault of the shoe factory. If it wasn't there the kids would still have no school and now they wouldn't have salary (=food) either.

Anonymous said...

> it's indeed the tragedy that the shoe factory kids won't grow up to realize their potential. But it's NOT the fault of the shoe factory.

It depends. If the factory owner simply pays each kid the prevailing wage for the local area, then he's morally neutral. The long hours and strenuous work will probably harm their long-term health, but unemployment and starvation are worse.

If he sets up a policy whereby any kid who learns to read will be fired (because a literate child is more likely to seek a better job, attempt labor organization, or report him for safety violations) then he's *absolutely* guilty of limiting their potential.

Naice Rucima said...

While it's true it isn't the fault of the shoe factory that the families are poor and access to education isn't available to kids, doesn't mean that exploiting them is a good thing. You see someone trying and barely holding his head above water, you may not be responsible for it but if you hold his head underwater while claiming you're helping him because he will learn how to breathe underwater, you're a scumbag.

Theodora Dunkelmauer said...

Sadly, I think it's maybe part of the human nature to want to destroy something that don't fit our moral bounds, with the added hypocrisy of pretending to defend it, as it usually give you the moral high ground.

One example that come to my mind : childs.

In France, there was a hard debate on gay marriage and surrogate motherhood. One of the big point of focus was :

"A child should be raised by a man and a woman, not 2 men or 2 womens." Yes, sure, but if you deny 2 homosexuals the right to have a child together, they don't suddenly turn heterosexual and get a child in what you consider the correct way. So rather than having Jane and her two Moms, in the end, you don't have any Jane at all, you effectively denied her the right to exist.

* Another smaller debate currently in France : Birth under X.

In short, a woman that is pregnant while in bad shape or in a bad situation, can deliver anonymously, her child would be raised by the state, or given to a willing family. Peoples are arguing that it create great pain and distress to those childs as they don't know where they come from. I won't deny the fact it can create pain and distress but for me the real question is :

If a woman is in so bad shape that she is willing to give away her child, after the ordeals of pregnancy and labor, while her instinct is in full mother mode, don't you think she would consider abortion if you deny her the possibility to give away the child ? After all, the only difference between both solution from the mother point of view, in in one case, through her suffering, she gave someone a chance to live a good life, in the other, much less suffering for her.

And yes, I agree that both situation can be hard on the child, but I'm pretty sure if you ask any child in those situation what he would prefer between life and none existence,they would choose life.

Ps: Never underestimate peoples capacity to present them-self as defenders while on the offensive. Even the nazis pretended to protect something. Yes, self awarded point Godwin, this way, it's already done.

maxim said...

I'd say that, all things being equal, it is better in general to have any kind of job than no job at all. Because having a job usually provides you with means to drag yourself out of the dirt.

The devil, though, is in the details. Exploitative shoe factories often tend to be complicit in the situation which prevents people from becoming better off, by sharing a chunk of their profits with the local government institutions that, in turn, prevent the exploited from building up any sort of wealth or power required to break out of their predicament.

As a result, as you are doing your job at the shoe factory, you are effectively earning your daily bread by working against the imporevement of your own life (and for improvement of life of factory owner and government official/enforcer).

maxim said...

@Theodora Dunkelmauer
There is a very thin and important line between not opposing surrogate motherhood and officially endorsing it on the government level, having the entire population pay for it.

I don't really see a reason to deny the mothers who don't feel they can keep their children the right to give them away to a willing family or an institution. But i wouldn't lift a finger to make it into a social norm (and would actively oppose anyone claiming that this is a normal or desirable state of affairs). I would also never say that making it easier to give away children is any sort of a goal, worth spending resources on. I would instead put aim towards making it so that more mothers are able to keep their children (preferrably, in a state of happy marriage with a father figure).

If people WANT to create institutions that provide surrogate motherhood services to gay couples, then in my country they are free to do so, but they will have to do it on their own resources, without the support of me, my social reference group or any government we will ever elect.

Theodora Dunkelmauer said...


Here, I'm not talking about government endorsement, I'm talking about plain legality.

Surrogate motherhood is currently totally banned for homosexual in France, even using their really own money. And the few homosexual I know that still wanted a child after that just went to others country where surrogate motherhood is legal rather than turn heterosexual.

About mothers willing to give away their children, I never talked about making it a norm. Actually, after checking some numbers, it look like it's about 450 babies a year on a 50 million habitant population. It's a very rare occurrence, for desperate situations.

Yet, here again, because it don't fit their vision of how a child should be raised, some peoples want to make it illegal, with most likely consequence of having the baby aborted.

Also, I'm not trying to make a political statement, or to tell you how you should run your country and such, I'm just pointing the fact that some peoples that pretend to defend the right of childs, are actually denying those childs the very right to exist if they don't fit their mental standard of how a child should be raised according to them.

Phelps said...

My wife is an avid knitter, so she is sort of plugged into the sheep community. There are some people that keep sheep as pets, and refuse to harvest them for mutton.

There is nothing more pitiful than an old sheep. These are sheep with constant arthritic pain, who can't even stand up anymore, and have to toddle around on their sheep knees.

That is a state that never existed in nature. Why? Because sheep are a herd prey species. Sheep don't get old in nature. Sheep get eaten in nature. A sheep so old that it can't get up can't run from the wolves. Say what you will, but being humanely killed at the end of your natural state lifespan is better than living with debilitating conditions natural sheep never endured, or just as bad, being eaten alive by a predator.

Hanura H'arasch said...

"@Hanura: of course there are people with healthy diet, but that doesn't exclude animal products."

Maybe it should? I'm no expert on the matter, but the studies cited by vegans don't seem entirely baseless either: link. Of course, the implicit bias in those sort of studies is that vegans care more about their health in the first place, than the average american.

"Which would you prefer in your country: oppression or genocide?"

Oppression with no hope of ever defeating the oppressors? Genocide.

brindle fox said...

it is how the domesticated farm animals ensure the survival of their species. it is a classic utilitarian system where the whole thrives (at the expense of individuals). I often laugh at my vegan friends who want to 'save the animals', as if there would be massive herds of 'wild' cows roaming around eating farmer's crops.

vv said...

Child worker has an opportunity cost. He can't learn anything that would help him get decent education. So in the future he's going to become useless adult who barely can read.