Sunday, April 16, 2017

I am Vegan But Veganism is Arbitrary and Inconsistent






One of my favorite feminists Simone De Beauvoir once said if a certain propaganda makes sense, is rational, and for all other purposes ‘good’ than why not propagate it? In other words, propaganda doesn’t have to have a negative connotation. It’s also been the founding justification I’ve had about being vegan for the past one year.


I’ll cut to the chase right here: You usually read these kind of articles from ex-vegans. I am vegan and have no plans to give it up, but like any philosophy or belief system we owe its integrity to criticism within the system. Truthspeak, I don't see much of that in the vegan community. If you are vegan, thinking about being vegan, non-vegan, vegetarian- whatever you are, I hope you will read through this entire thing I’ve written. At the very least out of sympathy because I’ve spent the better half of my long Easter weekend writing it.


Getting back to what De-Beauvoir said about propaganda. Now, I justified veganism to myself, but the other critical part of being vegan is to acknowledge that it’s a movement. One that expects you to tell others to ‘go vegan’, and to show people the grave injustices they are carrying out by eating dairy and meat. Let’s get to definition of veganism.


"A philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude—as far as is possible and practicable—all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals."






Now if you’ve read this you might have picked up on this phrase : ‘As far as possible’


This means that vegans know that everything they consume and use somehow will hurt an animal. The crops we eat will use pesticides that kill birds, insects, rats, and rabbits. We know that buying snacks from companies that also make non-vegan foods support animal abuse. By this metric using social media  supports animal abuse because of the plethora of non-vegan advertisements on it; from bacon jam to leather and everything in between. This is why the ‘pragmatic’ vegan will tell you to not worry about all that. After all,we can’t live under a rock, so we do the best we can.


But here’s the logical fallacy. The ‘best we can’ is actually not truly the ‘best’ every individual can do in their unique circumstances that accounts for socio-economics, culture, and belief systems. Veganism says do ‘the best you can’ with an arbitrary set of rules. These rules try to be upfront: don’t use animal products. Don’t eat dairy, don’t eat meat, fish or any seafood. And and don’t use byproducts like silk and leather. Fair enough right?


But there are too many inconsistencies here and the problem is that the dogma of veganism has set itself up for these issues to occur. Let’s get into it.


Any Industrialisation will Eventually Exploit


Vegans like me are all about the new ‘vegan products’ in the Indian market. We’re telling everyone to switch to it. But over-industrialisation of any raw materials leads to exploitation. We’re saying: don’t use the milk from a cow, it’s not yours. But we’re also saying: it’s fine to eat crops (and then further ask others to rely on them fully) that use pesticides and kill so many animals.


Let’s take the example of Palm oil- the cheapest refined oil we have.  Palm oil is highly contested topic because of the mass deforestation it causes. Who loses? The orangutans who live there. Some vegans won’t eat it, but it’s still technically vegan, and to be frank you have to have enough privilege and language skills to be aware of the repercussions of palm oil (even though India doesn't mostly use palm oil from these regions). In any case, if we start gauging country-specific ingredient practices, then the rules for veganism should technically change country to country. But we don't because of the standard set of rules. Unless you're a vegan who says ‘I don’t do palm oil either’, palm oil is still technically vegan.





A hunter who hunts for his meat in small village might actually retain the natural ecosystem than relying fully on agriculture and its havoc wreaking on other animals who lose their homes.







What’s the lifeline of the urban vegan? Almonds. I eat a kilo of almonds month. They are the most used vegan substitute for milk. We say, as vegans, we can’t eat honey because bees end up getting killed and we are putting them to work for our own tastebuds. Ah, but did you know that the manufacturing of almonds kill thousands of bees in order to pollinate almond flowers? In fact California ( Hello California Almonds) has to use industrialised bees from bee keepers to keep their almond production going. By this comparison, if we can’t have honey, we should definitely not be able to eat almonds either. I’ve also read an article about the Thailand coconut industry harnessing the ability of overworked monkeys to pick them. Goes to show, if the demand is high enough, we will exploit: human or animal. Goes to show that many of our ‘plant-based’ foods can become increasingly cruel. And there’s the dogma issue again, because vegans will say: but it’s still vegan.


The Health Issue




Some sections of veganism like to concentrate on the health aspect of going plant based. For one that means saying no junk food, because  there is plenty of junk food that’s vegan (french fries, chips, and a bunch of Indian namkeens). The truth is this. We have uncontestedly evolved by eating animal products and it’s fair to say there is a pretty obvious food chain/give and take built in naturally into this world. I really can’t expand on this point because it would make this article far too long, but you only have to watch National Geographic to know this. Many vegans will say they had much better health and ‘energy levels’ when they went vegan. Others will say the exact opposite and will not be able to sustain their nutritive needs because of various reasons, including the fact that their genetics might not be able to extract or support the breakdown of essential nutrients on a vegan diet.

I personally have felt no difference switching to a vegan diet. No health miracles and no ill health either. My body was able to do its thing just fine. The fact is we haven’t been able to study long term effects of veganism (or rather the ability for all humans to do well on this diet) because we are only 3 percent of the population, and most of that population is privileged with access to  healthy alternatives.



The Cult Issue


I am going to bet many vegans will identify with these post-vegan feelings. If that is too large a declaration to make, then I will admit to several from this list. Here is what a lot of people who turn vegan feel in the first few months of turning to the philosophy.


  1. We feel emotional. We look at all the everyday foods we used to eat and wonder why it took us so long to quit
  2. We are quickly very frustrated with everyone else around us, who have not yet seen the ‘light’.
  3. We start checking labels to ensure we aren’t having anything non-vegan. We know (and keep learning) the different dyes and chemicals that come from animals. We’re hawks at spotting ‘milk solid’ on any packaged thing.
  4. We start talking about how hard it is to find a vegan romantic partner
  5. We start asking for ‘permission’ on vegan groups in the guise of questions ‘ I watched my sister go horse riding, should I have walked away?’







Essentially nothing is wrong here. But these are the same symptoms that display itself when anyone moves to a cult or group that sets itself up on one grand idea of being the right way.


I’d question why we are so hell bent on finding a vegan partner when a vegan person can be a jackass all the same? Wouldn’t you rather choose a person who has purpose and feels motivated to do this part for the world at large? Or would you rather choose a person because they are vegan? Heads up, a few weeks ago I had a vegan come on my wall and say anti-islamic crap then called me a bitch for questioning his ridiculous assumptions. Being vegan has nothing to do with having a larger value of equality and justice that applies to the world. This is why when we start looking for other vegans to marry, we become the same as any other cult or caste looking for a similarity based on a belief/practise system. I am all for community and building purpose and being helpful to a community that you align with. But when we fail to question our own community and its rules then the integrity of our intent starts to collapse on all its logical walls.



Why Evangelism Doesn’t Sit Right With Me





This past year, there wasn’t one moment where I felt right about the whole evangelism part of veganism. The pamphleting, the graphic videos of animal abuse, and the whole ‘go vegan’ hashtag. All my blogs on vegan food has never used the words ‘go vegan’. I hadn’t been able to identify why it didn’t make sense to me. But now it does.

It all goes back to the main essential problem of dogma.

When I was in college in Colorado, every few months the anti-abortionists group would come and put up 12-foot long pictures of dead baby fetuses dumped in bio-garbage bins. I kid you not. And they would go ahead and chant on a microphone how we were sinners to support such a monstrosity. Now many vegans are pro-choice and some are even anti-procreation. Is there an essential truth of sadness when we see a dead fetes
in a bio-garbage bin? Perhaps, depends on our perspective. Is it really going to change the circumstances that require abortions in the first place? Nope. Is this an effective way of doing it, even if we were to argue that abortion is wrong? I’d say no, and there are studies and psychological insights to support that graphic images/evangelism don’t work on changing people’s behavior.


So on instinct I thought this gaudy way of doing things was the reason why I didn't think evangelism is the answer. But there’s more.


Veganism when practised with evangelism tells people there is ONE way and only ONE way to to be ‘cruelty-free’. And as I have pointed out, there are contradictions to that. The fact that Vegans bypass it because they have a default set of rules is the failure in logic. And yes, it's still 'the least harm possible' but again one set of rules which can make it problematic especially as we live in increasingly industrialized times.


What’s more is that veganism frown upon vegetarians and call people who eat meat ‘carnists’ which in my opinion only furthers us from seeing that humans are ironic by nature, and that the metric of compassion simply cannot be derived from one set of rules in such a very diverse world.

There are so many people who have the same concerns about the way we are using animals for our own ends. They aren’t vegan but they understand how our need to consume at such a rapid rate is leading to animal testing, environmental damage, and horrific conditions in factory farms. But veganism does not acknowledge this: it simply states, you have to go vegan in order to prove your compassion or intent in creating a world with compassion.


Again, I roll to my point: veganism is one set of rules, and when the hypocrisies/inconsistencies  in veganism are called out, we quickly say :


But it’s still doing the least harm


But in India our foods are not manufactured that way


Doesn’t matter, at least you are supporting a vegan product from a non-vegan space


All the while, knowing that veganism itself is privileged because it requires most of us to be on the top of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. If we are educated consumers and know how the world works and have access to news, articles, and studies we should use it to lower our carbon footprint and most importantly reduce cruelty. But how will this translate to the masses who don’t have access to this information and then very little context to apply it to their socio-cultural reality?

And if vegan alternatives and awareness (relatively speaking) were the solution, then wouldn’t most of America be vegan? But they are the top nation when it comes to factory farming. In fact dairy industries are now producing almond and nut mylks because they see the value in catering to this crowd. See the irony there?








Ok, so the rational vegan will argue that it must have a top bottom approach and it will time, but veganism is the future.


If a farmer in a small town by his own understanding of compassion says to his neighbor farmer : 'hey stop over milking your cow, give some to it calf too’ is that not an act of change? Is that not an act of him doing the best he can in his own capacity and reality? If a urbanite reduces his dairy intake up to 50% consciously, doesn’t that create a change in demand that could in turn work for better welfare? I would strongly argue that it could. And that brings me to my next point.


Animal Welfare and Anti-Cruelty Should be Universal


Instead of arguing whether we were meant to eat plant based or not (or should not just because we have the brains to understand cruelty) we should be finding strings to pull together. The ‘carnist’ and the vegan and the vegetarian. While vegans are evangelizing making sure people adhere to a certain set of rules, there might be others who are trying to make the industries itself more accessible to people to ask them about their methods.




We use the word sentient beings, but vegans won’t eat mussels will they? Or shrimp? You can cite environmental issue, but if you look at the compassion part, is it as cruel as eating something factory farmed? Don’t we have a history of eating local when it comes to the types of vegetation, seafood and meat we ate? Look at the Jain philosophy which actually take into the account of insects and rodents - the one thing that vegans dismiss. But before the dairy industry was as unabashedly as cruel as it was, wasn’t the Jain philosophy have it right in terms of balance- only take what you absolutely need with the least harm.


Yes. But globalisation has screwed that up for us. So as long as my almond strawberry amaranth grain cheesecake is plant-based, vegans will give it the thumbs up. Even though I am using almonds, even though I am taking grains away from the local people who used to rely on it ( and indirectly causing them to depend on a new grain for their own sustenance)- and this is neither good or bad, it’s just the truth. It’s just the irony that comes with one set of rules.


If a person makes it their life work to reform factory farming (but eats meat sometimes) or if a person works with the dairy industry to reform its practices our vegan community will simply call them hypocrites.


This is the precise reason veganism won’t really do squat about change at scale, because we are so heavily reliant on getting people to do the things we say are the way. What’s dangerous is that in order to honour this set of vegan rules, we’re  making up quick excuses as we get into the messiness of processed foods. Our collective knowledge of what goes into our food and what is killed and used to make them are become increasingly lower.


Lower your consumption, that’s one way of looking at things. But it also reminds me of countries like America telling people to save water. The problem is that the good citizens of America will try to save water, but the system and culture of people using massive washing machines and having access to 24-running water kind of stunt actual systemic change.


Vegans are essentially well meaning. I think I am well meaning, but to forget that we are just a set of rules will keep us from making all of us come together and share the same concerns. We need to contemplate together that hypocrisy and dualism exist in all of us, and at the same time most of us want compassion. Most of us want to do something that makes things better.



I am Vegan Even Though I Wrote 3000 Words on Why it's Inconsistent






I don’t believe that animals and humans have no relation to each other, there is a certain life cycle and symbioses with us and them just as there is in the rest of nature.To dispute it doesn’t happen in nature is to be irrational or in denial.


What I believe is this: humans have taken so much, so much that we’ve upset this balance and now use animals as objects. Veganism is accessible to me, I can afford some of the easy substitutes that make my food appealing in a culture where I am taught that it can’t be delicious without dairy and meat. I also have had no problem with my health (nothing super amazing, nothing detrimental).


It’s my way of protesting the gross consumption we partake in. However, as a vegan I can also see how it can quickly become contradictory, how many of my actions consume so much else from our environment (Which also nurtures animals). I also see that some of the substitutes I use might become increasingly cruel as the demand goes up for it. It’s immensely important any group of people with one approach to creating a better world are in a position to see it for what it is : a tool.

When it comes to the dairy industry in particular, veganism shines as a tool. And I hope everyone reading this will look into the dairy industry to see how horrific it really is.
But there are many tools. The question is not “will you be vegan’. The question should be what tool will you use? I think there are hundreds of ways,tools, and actions. The one group that upholds the compassion card might quite well stunt it because of dogma and a lack of self-awareness of its flaws. The truth is that vegans and non-vegans can have compassion and respect life while also doing things that are contradictory.


I have to account for my privileges and my access to knowledge. I'll have to then account for how it all fits in with me, how I see the world, and how I can best act on it.
I am vegan because it’s the best thing I can do in my circumstances. It’s the most doable way for me to process the access to information I have on the world.
 





81 comments:

  1. Thank you for having thought all this out and having the put it down so well. I was saying something similar to a friend just the other day. Tanya Roy

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  2. Thank you for writing this! I am sharing in in my fb group Let's Go Vegan-ish. I haven't been comfortable with the phrase "go vegan" either. What I really mean with "Let's Go Vegan-ish" is something more like "Please consider the plight of the animals and look for places in your life where you might be able to reduce your reliance on animal products and switch to vegan options."

    I strongly believe that the end goal for everyone is not necessarily "going vegan." Personally I choose vegan whenever it makes sense, but I do make exceptions (example: someone offers me a non-vegan cookie; or I might have a bite of my husband's non-vegan food to see what it tastes like). I don't see how my exceptions are causing any additional harm to animals. (And for me personally, as it doesn't gross me out to eat a non-vegan cookie, etc.). BUT! The idea of veganism is that you don't make exceptions. You just don't. As that is the common understanding of veganism, I see no reason to be vegan, then. So I'm vegan-ish.

    Again, thanks for your thoughtful essay. You have explained it all in an easily understandable way. Thank you!

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/letsgoveganish/

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    1. Thank you for reading and for you long lovely comment! I'll for sure check out your group.

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  3. I am going to have to disagree with this article. Veganism is not about following a certain set of rules, it is about reducing animal suffering as much as is possible. Therefore, vegans should also care about crops that are harming animals through pesticides, fertilisers etc. However, as we are currently in a system that exploits so many animals, we are all essentially in a sinking ship with tons of holes in it and trying to patch up the biggest hole first (animal agriculture). Vegans see the other holes, e.g. the pesticides, the fertilisers, individual cases of animal abuse, palm oil, but we choose to focus first on the biggest hole. I would say that vegans are just trying to do their best and to generalise across all vegans (to say that vegans see food as moral so long as it's vegan) is not right. As a vegan, I am a conscious eater and I care about how the food I eat leads to suffering. However, as I live in a massive animal exploitation system, I choose to focus on the biggest factor first - animal agriculture. I agreed with a couple of things - I agree, for instance, that to be vegan we have to be at the top of Maslow's hierarchy of needs. We cannot focus our energies onto veganism when we are starving, for example. There are also cases where it is simply impossible to be vegan and so for them they try to do their best - e.g. eskimos who rely on fish and fur, people who are starving or homeless people who will eat whatever food they can find, people in poverty who rely on animal agriculture to survive. However, there are many people not in that situation who just do not want to be vegan. Their best would be to go vegan, to raise awareness and to improve the world for animals to the best of their ability. Instead, they focus on factory-farmed conditions whilst still eating meat. We have to start as we mean to go on, we cannot fight for the end of animal exploitation and suffering whilst directly and actively contributing to animal exploitation when there are better options out there. Fighting for better conditions on factory farms is not better in the long run for animals, it only extends their suffering as fewer people will go vegan and instead settle for "grass-fed" or "humanely slaughtered". If we truly wish to reduce animal suffering, we do our best to not contribute to it ourselves (through being vegan), we do not increase welfare for animals within these systems as it perpetuates the system and we encourage others to be vegan too. Whilst I definitely agree that graphic images are not always the best form of activism, and that showing people delicious vegan food can be a great way of getting people interested in veganism, some people respond best to cold hard logic and direct, to-the-point vegan activism. Some people just need to be told to "go vegan".

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    1. With all due respect, Sarah Gradidge, some the most widely accepted definitions of veganism focus on a list of things that are proscribed rather than on suffering/cruelty reduction. In fact, many vegans even argue that a focus on suffering reduction is a betrayal of "morality". IMO, the intolerance and exclusiveness of some vegans has made veganism a toxic brand when it comes to animal advocacy. An illustration of this is the fact that many animal rights groups have stopped using the term vegan and switched to vegetarian or "veg". I myself use veg or veganish when I interact with people in public because using the word "vegan" often provokes hostility.

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    2. I would add that I think veganism needs a reformation. Fortunately, I think the development of plant-based and lab-grown meat/dairy will lead to this reformation by making veganism more accessible and popular.

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    3. Soren, I agree with the reformation need too. Accessible and popular are things we have to rely on in order to make things scalable and at the very least truly cut down on suffering. I know that graphic images etc will convert some people, but these will be very few and will be because they have empathy + logic OR the cult appeal to belonging to something larger than them and gives them purpose appeals to them (just psychologically like a religious conversion) -in my opinion these are the vegans that also become the most dogmatic and least self-aware. Thanks so much for your response! <3

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  4. I suggest you do more research and study before writing this as a blog. I also suggest you take up each point individually on a forum like Vegans in India to get your doubts and opinions cleared. It's too long an article to get into a detailed response. Will just make one point for you to understand what I mean. Milking a cow/buffalo involves touching her breasts (udder). You can do that only because she's tied up, especially the first time. That's pure molestation. If that's OK, then so is child labour... And oh, I'll take very good care of the child. Also, let the calf drink as much it needs throughout the day and night and see if you get enough milk from her even for your cup of tea. So Jains taking only as much as they need doesn't make it ethical at all.

    I truly feel you should get these points on Vegans in India on Facebook.

    Thank you for putting your opinion out there so that more new Vegans like you can understand there's more to veganism than meets the eye. And I hope more Vegans who have a deeper understanding of the issues will be able to help you out.

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    1. I am very much a part of Vegans India, Darshana. I am not sure what you disagree with, but I feel you just are mostly offended by the article because it criticise the issues with veganism. I am a vegan myself, but it's important to see where it starts to falter as a system of rules. I think I have made it very clear that the dairy industry is cruel in this article. So I am not sure what points you are talking about ;)

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  5. I see that you have put it up on Vegans in India. I'll respond there as and when I get time...and if I remember. Will take up each point individually.

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  6. While we're at it, I'd like to point at the incessant hairsplitting many vegans indulge in: Putting the choices and statements of celebrities and non-vegans under a microscope and breaking em' down so we can find shortcomings to sulk over. Though they mean well, this habit is dangerously counter-productive because it shifts the emphasis from vegan advocacy to mud-slinging, impoverishing the intent of the higher purpose to petty squabbles. For the sake of efficiency and decorum, the focus should be on the message not individuals.
    I have to say, this is by far the most level-headed and non-judgmental take on the problem of vegan obstinacy. And I feel very hopeful about our quest to overturn institutionalised cruelty if we engage is healthy discourses like this one. My compliments to the writer!

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    1. Delighted to read this there.is.hope! I agree, and celebrity bashing only illustrates the cult-emotional-validation that veganism can bring to the movement. When half the focus of the movement is replying on surveillance and checking for people to make sure they are 'vegan' enough, then the entire intent starts to collapse. Thanks so much for reading and thank you for your compliments, much appreciated.

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    2. I meant- When half the focus of the movement is relying on surveillance...

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    3. You have not done any activism to note, you are a relatively new vegan, and you clearly cherry pick the worst elements of the worst individuals to just project a personal bias by completely unsubstantiated claims like "when half the focus of the movement is relying on surveillance". You have no idea about the vegan community, and it looks you never wanted to sincerely find out anyway.

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    4. Me being a new (one year) vegan has nothing to do with what I can or cannot say. To imply that illustrates dogma and a cultish attitude. I have been a part of the vegan community in India and I have also talked to much of the vegan community in SF and yes, I do very much think that a lot of time is spent on surveillance. The fact that you don't think your 100 posts in attempts to decimate my points is surveillance I don't know what the hell is ;) I have told you a dozen times that we disagree and you are free to hold veganism and animal libration ethics on paper at the highest regard and then negotiate the world from there- go on do your thing. But to come and keep trying here shows you intent to tell me how I am a bad vegan. That's so ironic. You just wrote 'I have no idea about the vegan community' what does that even mean? You mean to say any vegan who has a new approach to what it is will be told by 'senior' vegans that "they have no idea" what utter nonsense on a logical level. Please check your dogma here. Why are you wasting your time with a bad-keyboard-ignorant vegan? Or is it that my piece actually has such solid points you are threatened by it and need to make 'others' know it's so very wrong? If that's what it takes to protect your theory, then thorough sheer common sense you won't be able to make any kind of long-term at scale traction on the ground.

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    5. Now you have stooped to calling rebutting your dangerous flaws "surveillance"! It's you made a public post and posted in on groups. Were you naive enough to not expect that people will tear your "inconsistent" logic apart?

      PS: You are also naive enough to not realize that these comments are for other readers. I have already made these points to you (many more than once).

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    6. When someone says something without any knowledge or experience, it's perfectly relevant to point that out. That's why we listen to scientists for science, you know, and not anyone with a blog.

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    7. Are you a scientist? That logic is quite flawed, and i hope you understand the basic idea of privilege, the very real limitations of peer-reviewed as well. You can call me naive and whatever else you like, but you demonstrate the dogma and cult-like attitude that I talk about with aplomb. How many non-vegans would even began to start to resonate with what you are saying on this thread, being so rigid and unable to understand that there is much truth to what I have said as well. Again, if you were to take your word, then nobody like me gets to talk. We shit up and hear from the 'elders in the community' a a part from that sounding just like, uh scientology, it's beyond condescending. You perceive them to be flaws (super), many others do too, and many others resonate with them. That's how the world works.

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    8. also for someone who admits it's 'just a blog' you take of awful seriously then. You should, on paper, only hope people read what 'scientists' have to say only. Sorry, people learn in many ways. Science is one tool to explore the world and experience, emotion, and opinion are others. Many wonderful things I have learned are through people talking about it openly with a open mind.

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    9. Do you not get what an analogy is? Did I say I am a scientist? The point is that people should reject claims about a community or some form of activism from someone who had little knowledge or experience about it. That's why fake news is a big deal today post the US election. That's why so many people do not believe in climate change. You have to be smart about which sources of information to derive info from. You can't escape it through red herrings.

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    10. "cult" again. That's my cue for disregarding everything that comes afterwards. When you use "cult", I know you have yourself accepted that you have no real counters.

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    11. Actually a lot of this article is based on the cult issue - that's the entire premise and why I wrote this! We need self awareness other wise we just have a bunch of dogma and circle jerking ;) I have made ALL counters to you sir and it's all here to see. The fact that you disregard the word 'cult' itself is the problem, but thank you for illustrating how dogma comes in the way of making a clear argument for new approaches to veganism and showing us exactly WHY we need checks for self-awareness <3

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    12. We need people who make rational arguments (read the comments below) based on sensible and informed impact analysis. And, we need responsible writers who do not leave out the most impactful things one can do just to create a sensationalist piece with click-bait titles :).

      Oh, I know the word "cult" alright. But you are someone who will tomorrow call even rational thinking a cult, because you use the word to downplay other points rooted in factual analyses. So, you have lost all credibility there.

      Sure, we need awareness, but that includes being able to tell a lop-sided piece full of inconsistencies like yours from one that genuinely helps us minimize the suffering of animals. As I have said multiple times, if you had stuck to those aspects, I'd have endorsed this (because veganism has and must continue to evolve - but evolve in the least harm direction, not in a human-appeasing arbitrary direction).

      I guess that's a good note to end this with.

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  7. It's true that relatively few people act upon the sources of animal suffering that veganism has *conventionally* not been associated with. And, that must change. In some cases, the change has happened to some extent. Many vegans (including me) have been striving to avoid palm oil for years. Some of us avoid disposables, and minimize & recycle non-biodegradable stuff, considering the havoc that they wreak on stray and marine animals. A few of us have also changed our monetary investments after recognizing ethical issues. That said, we may not be doing everything feasible, and should be willing to push ourselves more. We absolutely should keep evolving to cut out other sources of suffering as necessitated by future developments. 

    If the post had sincerely focused on these aspects to further minimize a vegan's impact on animals, I would have absolutely welcomed it, because it's important for animals that people take action on those largely ignored fronts as well. Alas, the blog post only uses such crucial issues as props to paint veganism unfavorably without justification. Veganism doesn't say that you should only avoid or do a closed list of holy items. To the contrary, the spirit as well as the definition of veganism encourage people to do everything humanly possible to liberate animals and minimize their suffering. So much for "inconsistency" and being "arbitrary". And, that some vegans don't do all that they should doesn't make tormenting animals for eggs, meat and other non-vegan things any less unethical or cruel. The piece suffers from the "one wrong justifies another"and ad hominem fallacies.
    Total avoidance of harm is unattainable towards humans as well. You are, by virtue of your existence, causing fellow humans suffering (some of which is probably avoidable too). But that does't stop you from criticizing ("policing" in your words) the Trumps of the world. So, it makes no sense to single out vegans. The reason why that happens is that the degree of suffering that an average non-vegan causes to animals (or a Trump causes to humans) is dramatically higher than that of a vegan.

    And, circumstances (like dire poverty) also force some people to take bribes or get in business with unethical entities. But that doesn't make the general case against unethical conduct weak. The same goes for veganism.
    The rational way to deduce the best ways to minimize food related animal suffering is to estimate the number of animal days of suffering caused (multiplied by a pain intensity factor) per calorie. There are works that provide the numerator here per kg of consumption. It can be converted to the metric I mentioned. Vegan choices fare better (far better in most cases) than non-vegan counterparts on such metrics even after factoring in the suffering caused in farming. Note that non-vegans cause more *farming related* suffering because non-vegan foods indirectly involve a lot more grains (that are fed to the bred animals) than vegan foods do directly. Of course, that does not at all mean that we should disregard the suffering that we vegans cause. We must strive to eliminate the harm caused while growing plants, the use of monkeys for fetching coconuts (does it happen in India?), etc. The limited point is that vegan choices cause much less misery than the alternative.

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    1. Yes, nobody is contesting that it's the 'best we can', however the main point of this article was to look at how things will change as demand for more plant-based foods and vegan alternatives go up. You asked about coconuts- as far as I know it doesn't happen in India (for that matter I don't think Indian almonds use bees at the scale California does, but we do import and use a heck of a lot of almonds from there)- but I have even acknowledged that in my article- if that were the case the rules of veganism should change country to country. And ecological damage because of agriculture will have ramifications on the quality of life for animals. My point here has been: one lens of looking at veganism might not be the answer. You have of course said that you believe in a multi-prong approach- fair enough. But from my point of view, I think it's far more impactful to inspire people to make less impact than using the rules of veganism to determine their intent to make change. And again, it's the 10 percent of us that use and consume so much, and it's the same 10% of us who try to make change- there are contradictions in this, along with the matter of privilege. You can also witness many vegans giving emotional attacks or using logical fallacies in their displeasure in reading this - this is because there are many vegans who are attracted to the validity it gives them, the simple proof in this is the amount of time that vegans use to tell other people they are not vegan enough. We have to acknowledge that any set of ethics under one umbrella (including religion) will attract fundamentalist approaches this in my view is heavy in the vegan movement. There are identity politics here as well, this is why it makes it harder to have honest conversations. For many it's not just the act of trying to least harm, it is the ideneity it gives them. This is actually what I was trying to talk about in the post about Jallikuttu you were talking about. To be clear I am not Pro-Jallikuttu, I just see the more nuanced challenges in that issue because of identity politics. You might be right to say that the essential truth and intent of veganism has been lost its contemporary sense, but that should not matter because people are making impact by reducing consumption. This is not an attack on veganism- I believe it's a tool that many of us should and can take. And those of us who do should be aware it has limitations and will have to change and be flexible as the inconsistencies rise because of globalisation.

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    2. The best way to go about make impact has to inferred in a factual, methodical ways through sound metrics (as described in detail in my comment). So, the objective should be to take into account everything - being vegan the in the prevailing sense, reducing and recycling plastic, using least-harm plant food, etc. - at an individual level. We also need to go beyond and strive to change systems and mindsets broadly as well as w.r.t. specific issues (like the animal testing ban on cosmetics). But, what your post just makes non-vegans feel good about the status quo by misleading them through a total half (or quarter) truth. If you don't highlight the magnitude of suffering that the animal industry causes and make an ethical case against it, why would people even reduce? You have just misguided them by implying that the impact of making vegan choices (partially or fully) is comparable to the non-vegan counterpart (absolute falsehood).

      About the 10% part, given the centuries of speciesist conditioning (which you conveniently overlook), getting to higher adoption bound to take time. And, those challenges are not limited to this one cause. Despite all of the progress of feminism, Trump is POTUS. The focus should be on doing things strategically and working harder, not appeasing non-vegans and misleading them about what's measurably by far the biggest source of animal suffering (your"balanced" post had no room for that critical fact). There's a lot of material and discussion on how to make the best impact (including arguments for and against "reductionism"). You clearly are not aware of those. Your post is just not coherent on that issue either.

      And, people reading this are neither poor villagers or tribal hunters. Their are urban people who collectively breed and torture millions of animals every year through the animal industry. But, you only serve to make them feel good about their complicity by bringing in absurd references that are akin to the stranded-on-an-island strawman that non-vegan escapists offer. You don't even point out that hunting can not meet even a tiny % of our demand!

      And, if something has limitations, you improve it. And, you don't mislead about the immense impact that it has despite the limitations, to ensure that people are not turned away from it. Veganism has already evolved from being food-only to the current state. And, it needs to continue to so.

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  8. 2) "Ecological balance" has been hailed as a virtue in itself, which is unjustifiable. A trivial example is that employing human or animal slaves (e.g. bulls used in agriculture) to do something which can be done using fuel-run machines (e.g., tractors) may be more eco-friendly, but is certainly not ethical. The ultimate goal should always be to minimize the suffering of sentient beings. In some cases, focusing on ecology is a means to that end; in some other cases, it's counter productive. Similarly, while globalization may have exasperated some of the problems, the exploitation of animals pre-dates that.
    3) The claims of veganism being a "belief" (implying dogma) are not backed up at all soundly. What some vegans do or don't do has no bearing on what veganism, the ethical principle, stands for, just like one's dislike for some anti-oppression individuals does not diminish the legitimacy of gender equity, anti-racism, etc. It's also very hypocritical that such people never find anti-sexism/racism advocacy "evangelical". It's a clear display of speciesist priorities. "Preaching" veganism is any day better than making non-vegans feel good about their oppression through such apologetic blog posts and consequently harming animals.

    4) Who says vegan options are enough to liberate animals? The author completely misrepresents the vegan position. And, veganism is completely compatible with welfare reforms and other examples of changes she mentions. In fact, many of the people spearheading welfore reforms, lobbying, enforcement, etc. are actually vegan.

    5) Not eating an animal you claim as non-sentient is wildly different from eating (by breeding, torturing and killing) an animal! The latter causes untold suffering, the former doesn't. This is yet another example of the incoherent arguments made to create a biased, unsubstantiated narrative.

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    1. on this : It's a clear display of speciesist priorities. "Preaching" veganism is any day better than making non-vegans feel good about their oppression through such apologetic blog posts and consequently harming animals - first of all what you call priorities others might call the way nature was built, and that is in my understanding to be symbiotic. There is take and give in every life cycle, but you are right humans have the intellect to exploit. And that's the crux of the issue. We can make much more impact if we get people to acknowledge there is a problem (instead of then leaping with the ready answer of veganism) I think this approach inspires people to do much more or plants equal amount of seeds of change as vegan evangelism. And it will allow for more more vegans and non-vegans to have an open line of communication to allow common concerns to overlap. Right now, we overwhelmingly allow for only one way to validate other peoples' actions. This is why our population has always been a very small minority.

      As for a 'beleif system' - well we have theory and then we have reality. And reality is that vegans are motivated by many things : mostly ethics, but to believe that there aren't vegans who don't do it out of their understanding it's healthier, or they believe it's better solely for the environment. We also have vegans who are vegan because it gives them validity and purpose. Now the vegan theory shouldn't care because it all leads to same impact. I am vegan because I think we've wrecked any balance or regard for life in genereal. To that extent I am equally appreciative of a person who makes conscious lifestyle choices that acknowledges our exploitive nature, but I am not concerned whether they fit the rules of contemporary veganism. And that reason is explained in my last comment. Now for all theoretical purposes you may say that I am not vegan because I don't identify 100% with what you say the heart of veganism is. The thing is I am not alone in that population, and frankly I don't care because I'd rather do what I can than have access to the label.

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    2. No, "nature" is not the same as ethics. In nature, there are also plentiful examples of *within-species* violence (cannibalism, brutal killings over territorial rights and even baby killing). And, animal exploitation has more to do with speciesism (which you fail to address) than consumerism (which certainly does harm).

      Being concerned about animals (sometimes only some species) is different from people who do something substantial about it. And, as mentioned in earlier comments, you are uninformed about a lot of material on how to make the best impact (not limited to outreaches). And, it certainly does not involve making people feel okay about their torturous non-vegan choices (like your post does). Because without a sense of ethical duty, why would anyone do anything *substantial* to change?

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    3. And, why should we not "leap to the answer of veganism" (as one of the things one ought to do, not the only thing). If there are two ways to reduce your contribution to the torture of human beings, should you "leap" to the one that minimizes it the most? That's what being vegan is. Your insinuation that all alternatives are somehow equally worthy of adoption is so demonstrably ridiculous and more importantly callous toward the suffering of animals. Now, if you can also further minimize the suffering through other ways, we absolutely must do those as well, like I and some vegans have done for some respects. We need to prod each other to do more rather than telling everyone the falsehood that "whatever you do is as cruel as whatever else possible, so make a trivial change and feel good about yourself". It's false and damaging to animals.

      I don't care if you call yourself vegan. I care about the damage that you do by misleading people about the impact that being vegan makes for animals. That's the sole point here.

      Vegan individuals and veganism are two separate entities, just like anti-racism and folks subscribing to it. Do individuals have flaws? Yes (myself included). Does that say anything about veganism? No. Your article conflates the two at times. And, it also makes sweeping generalizations about them despite the fact that you are clearly not well-informed (as revealed on this very thread) about the community or experienced in vegan/animal activism.

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    4. Pulkit, you haven't been able to actually answer my counter points and you keep at this point spamming with points that stay the same. So I'll address them, again with what I wrote before:

      1. First of all what you call priorities others might call the way nature was built. You say we don't acknowledge speciesm but I think that is human nature itself- which is why some vegans go vegan to reduce impact in attempts to get back balance.and that is in my understanding to be symbiotic. There is take and give in every life cycle, but you are right humans have the intellect to exploit. And that's the crux of the issue. We can make much more impact if we get people to acknowledge there is a problem (instead of then leaping with the ready answer of veganism) I think this approach inspires people to do much more or plants equal amount of seeds of change as vegan evangelism. And it will allow for more more vegans and non-vegans to have an open line of communication to allow common concerns to overlap. Right now, we overwhelmingly allow for only one way to validate other peoples' actions.

      2. Veganism does not prescribe one for of activism, nor should it, otherwise it becomes a cult. I do my part as I feel it works. I have worked and done activism on many other issues, and see the similarities in its limitations. Therefore for me it doesn't sit well. It could for you-great keep going. But don't try to make hard rules and then try to discredit me because I am a one year vegan or randomly say I am not well informed.

      3. Veganism on paper looks good. The world doesn't function that way. We will never have a all-vegan world, to expect it would be silly because even if we go all lab-meat one day, we will start to exploit environmentally and destroy homes of animals again. We need to find a balance and need to be as conscious as possible. My life is filled with non-vegans for the most part in the out side world, and they know about veganism as well. Has that made them change? No. But they are far more willing to look into making smaller changes, and that can add up significantly.

      4. It's great to see irony in our own methods because it doesn't ask the world to reach one height of implied 'best we can'. We set outselves up for what people were discussing on the other thread 'toxic perfection' where non-vegans are then busy trying to find what inconsistencies we have instead of seeing what they can do. That's why talking about it upfront in my opinion is way better, because it invited everyone else into the conversation. Whether they go vegan at some point in their life.


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    5. 5. I could write about the atrocities happening in Syria right now in graphic detail but it will not do anything in theory to stop it. Why? Because there are too many systemic and political paradigms to work through. On paper we can write a utpoian manifesto as to why humans should ethically never allow for war. Great on paper. I can even go around town with graphic videos on war asking people to make sure they commit to no war, they will nod their heads, some of them might even start campaigning to challenge the system- great. But again, for things to actually change or to find out why humans have always gone back to war as a response needs much more introspection into the everyday things we do to indirectly support it. Therefore me writing an article on the a few specific things that the common citizen is doing that actually indirectly supports war will be far more effective then just letting us watch graphic videos of kids being gassed.

      6. You call me callous because of this. You assume that simply advocating for something that is excellent on paper and by telling humans they are participating in this murder will change them- you will, a few, but by and large we won't. This is the reality. This is why I think writing an article like this is far more effective in getting people who are not vegan to slow down and see there is room for change, and indeed veganism is tool to do that.

      7. You will still not agree with me. That's fine. But to try to put me down as a person, call me ignorant, or try to prove your point for the sake of it even though I have been exceptionally patient with all your points (and your points have been increasingly personal now, because you have a lack of other responses) - now that is just the dogma in you that is not letting go. And it only makes me happier that I wrote this piece. Because it's a real problem. And you are only allowing for more people who resonate with this see this in real time.

      8. I will always wish you well. And peace. And will respect your views. Please respect that others can have something to say and that something can have equal validity.



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    6. You keep making claims about wanting what's best in the real world while supporting childish examples about hunting (completely unsustainable at any kind of scale) and what not.

      You also have no specifics or any regard for facts, science or reason. You have no counter to my point that vegan practice even in the prevailing sense is way less cruel than the counterpart. Again, why should it not be focused on? Why is any random way as good as a way that's measurably better?

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    7. And, we will never have a fully feminist world. But that does mean that we should stop the right against marital rape and you know say that another way ("humane rape') as worthy of consideration? If you still can't see the flaws, you lack integrity.

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    8. Finally, given the snobbish mocking that your blog dishes out to vegans and veganism, you have no right to take the moral high ground. You don't post things with fairness or respect, but when others merely point out the flaws, you hide beyond your buzzwords like "dogma".

      As I have said before, I left these comments for the viewer so that the things you have chosen to emit are known to them (because you and I have already discussed these to the hilt).

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    9. cool and I am writing so people all don't think vegans are dogmatic nuts who can't see past their own ideology and therefore create these stereotypes of how we are.
      Already covered the issues of feminism and other forms of oppressions. All goes back to the essential point i make- because of human superiority and regard we will at scale never feel the same urgency to change cruelty the way we do for other oppressions ( and even with our own issues there is no way to get a perfect world) all we can do is share ideas and show ways to reduce harm. Veganism is great, that's why I wrote that animal welfare and anti cruelty should be universal. But reality is very different, therefore approaching it with that one highest regard saying it's the best and only way will stunt growth. I am not sure what 'snobbish mocking' you are referring to- at this point you are just demonising it to try to make your point. There is no 'mocking' whatsoever, the fact that you say that once again illustrates how you see this as a personal attack over your identity of being a vegan- which goes back to the cult idea. There is no 'mocking' here, just plain observations that everybody should be able to read and make their own impressions on. You can keep going, I'll keep answering, but do know that your points are getting by and large personal now, just because you can't agree to disagree.

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    10. also never supported 'childish' things like hunting (how is hunting childish btw?) I bring that example to show that our natural balance long ago (and till today in remote areas ) used to go far more in serving the ecosystem than what we do in an urban setting. Which is why veganism should be looked at through many lenses to see how much we've taken and what got us here in the first place.

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    11. If people think vegans are dogmatic, it's largely because of biased narratives like yours and then your own specieism (which again your piece ignores).

      You conveniently claim about scale at times and at other times talk about hunting which is completely unsustainable. You offer no solutions that are rooted in factual impact analysis of which action causes how much suffering. In fact, you don't even care to do so. You have projected a movement about animals into one about humans (by not making a distinction between the message and messengers). It's another matter than you have no sound knowledge of the latter either.

      Veganism is not "give and take". It's about minimizing the suffering of animals and combating speciesism. You continue to embarrass yourself with those gross misrepresentations.

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    12. And, for the third time, I have made these and more points to you on the Vegans in India and other threads more than once. I am leaving these comments for others who may visit here. So, it's you who "keeps going". I will respond to any new points that are worth responding. I won't repeat already detailed points so as to keep this thread readable.

      PS: The "cult" remarks of yours are now treated by many of us as just humour :).

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    13. glad you think it's funny. Most others know thank it's scary. And you have done a good job showing how personally threatened you are by this one article. Thank you ;) And if you keep writing on my blog comment section with points that are trying to discredit what I am saying for the sake of it I will keep commenting. I have told you over 10 times that you disagree-cool-move on. You've written a thesis- super stuff, I hope a lot of non-vegans read it and convert.

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    14. Oh also for the second time-these comments are to show people reading that all vegans aren't dogmatic ;)

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    15. "Personally threatened" applies you as you keep throwing bizarre accusations like being under "surveillance" and what not.

      And, for someone claiming to be "open" and non-dogmatic, your ultra-defensiveness to rational critique your blog just exposes you more with every reply of yours. So, if you keep the comments coming, I will have fun ripping you apart.

      Also, social media 101: When you post stuff, easily something so replete with flaws and sensationalist for the sake of it, don't crib when people call you out with responses :).

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    16. esp. something so replete with flaws *

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    17. oh dear, I am not cribbing. But if you stoop to personal attacks on my blog I will have to block you. Stick to facts. I have already Cleary told you why I disagree with you and you have written your own thesis. Super- now move on ;)

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  9. Under the pretext of "criticism from the inside" this blog writer seems to not only give fodder for the nom vegan trolls (the 'but peaciticides kill insects type') but it also and more disturbingly seeksnto confuse new vegans like herself even more. This is a classic case of destructive criticism without providing any solutions and very very poor and cherry picked analysis.
    May be she can come up with a more robust definition? Until then, new vegans and all vegans alike, we know this already, but eliminating meat, dairy fish, eggs are the biggest step towards reducing animal cruelty.this is not up for debate (as the blog writer poorly explains buly extolling a hunter!) Of course, once this is done, we can evolve to eliminating palm oil etc. Don't lose hope, do the best you can and let this article not derail you and confuse you. If anything, use this to better your arguments.

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  10. And there is an excellent conversation where people have responded to all her statements on the fb group 'vegans in India' and she has thankfully conceded to a few as well.

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    2. hahaha @josalyn did this blog threaten you so much that you have to link the vegan conversation here? I didn't conceded by the way to anything- I still very much stand by what I wrote. Your remarks are public on that thread- the ones however you have continued to misrepresent what I said for no good reason. Therefore, I'd be very happy for more people to read your thread in particular. I am sorry you seem so bitter about one post, but it did resonate with many others who were vegan as well. We can't agree on everything.

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  11. Yes. You are confusing people who are making a change by just saying "it's not enough". People need to know that are people in the group who called you out on your apologism. And people can see for themselves how many points you have conceded to. Also no clarification on your support for a pro jallikattu supporte eh?

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  12. Yes. You are confusing people who are making a change by just saying "it's not enough". People need to know that are people in the group who called you out on your apologism. And people can see for themselves how many points you have conceded to. Also no clarification on your support for a pro jallikattu supporte eh?

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    1. @josalyn, I am sorry this one article has upset so much that you have had to resort to writing random statements about jallikuttu- which you have no idea of my stance on. Thank you for posting the link, i have shared with others too ;) Your responses, need to bully by telling peopled 'I had to concede' is super juvenile, and besides the point of making any change. You do prove that policing others view (without any rational argument or logical debate) are the problem with why vegan culture will have a very hard time making large scale change with the rest of the population. Thank you for calling out all my perceived apologist remarks, but it' s the way I see things. Also if you write another statement that has no context to what I said- I will call you out and give you one final warning on my blog thread. Resorting to misrepresentation of what I am saying and making your random inferences as fact (as you did on the FB thread, on the link you have provided- thanks) isn't a debate- it's your unquenched need to feel righteous.

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    2. I don't know your stance on jallikattu hence we were seeking a clarification which you still haven't responded to.
      Anyway I am scared now so I'll leave you alone. Lolmax.

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    3. please stop embarrassing yourself on this thread. Your intent to bully and lack of rational thought is kind of the point of this post. Anymore nonsense from you will be deleted on my blog. You have constantly berated, chided, and misrepresented things on both the FB page here and well. Thank you for your time so far, your lack of rational responses have overstayed their welcome. goodbye.

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  13. https://m.facebook.com/groups/430392387003433?view=permalink&id=1574522185923775
    I hadn't actually linked the conversation but thanks for the tip.

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    1. And last I checked you chose to abandon the post. :D

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    2. @joslyn- again misrepresentation. Clearly made a public edit that I have said what I had to say on that particular post and will long longer be posting on it. Your comments are unabashedly with intent to bully and gives a terrible name to the vegan community. Please stop making my post only more ironic ;) P.S- since you can't have a rational argument or debate, you are now banned from ranting and raving here in order for you to feel better about yourself. Good day.

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  15. I forgot to mention the laughable comparison with pro-life stuff. It's pro-choice that's comparable to veganism because both are in line with the least harm consideration!

    And, as substantiated factually and rationally earlier, being non-vegan is *measurably* far more torturous to animals than being vegan. So, why should this "one way" not be stressed? Because they are "just animals" and therefore you don't care it's okay if more of them suffer more? No one would say something like you did for a human cause that reduces suffering.

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    1. I have responded above with 8 points. Pro-choice/pro-life is not a laughable issue. Many vegans feel pro-life makes the most sense while others are the opposite. Again, forget the actual issue, what I highlighted in the article is the method to reach people which is what I find ineffective.

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    2. It's the comparison that's laughable. If someone pushing religious nonsense that actually harms women and children sounds similar to a vegan trying to minimize suffering to you, it is preposterous.

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    3. And, again, you have just *claimed* that your approach of letting people do whatever trivial thing they want to do is better than giving them recommendations on what to do based on sound impact analysis.

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    4. I am not claiming anything- I am saying it is my opinion based on my experience. And impact analysis? We are a tiny population and we can see how the movement is still very tiny in countries where veganism took off in and have been there for decades.

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    5. Impact measurement comes in many flavours. I have already written about the impact of various individual actions. You have been very selective there. Secondly, you keep harping on the numbers of vegans without realizing that many may have reduced their consumption because of the awareness and advocacy. Thirdly, you have to look at the patterns of change in the consumption of non-vegan things and then try to guage how much of that is down to external factors such as economics. Finally, as I have said umpteen times, no one claims that vegans have figured out the best tactic to change people at scale. In fact, there's a lot of diversity even in the tactics currently practices. But, your piece does nothing to contribute to that. It's in fact problematic because of its misleading headline and narrative.

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    6. that's you opinion ;) I stand by it and will write more on the critical issue of dogma in the group. Sorry, you can't establish your self as the authority on veganism. You can only make your points- clearly you have people who agree with you. And you will also have plenty that don't.

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    7. See, this is dishonest digression very typical of you. I have never said anything that remotely implies being an authority on veganism. But, I do make random claims unlike you do and have a deep commitment to analytical reasoning. Like people have suggested to you before, you should think/dig more and write less :).

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    8. How is this a digression of any sort? You haven't been able to respond to my actual point at reality at all, instead you tell me what to do "write less read more'- wow condescending much? Please abstain from telling me what to do and how I should do it. You are free to write you own blog.

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  16. Finally, the question should be "how will you miminize the suffering you cause"? "how will you make the maximum positive impact". The answer to those for everyone who is reading this post (i.e. urban "privileged" people) involves eliminating non-vegan things. That's not a claim. That's what a rational analysis of facts on animal suffering concludes (detailed in an earlier comment), given the tens of billions of animals bred and tormented for life every year for those things. Alas, such facts and analyses are completely missing in your biased piece.

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    1. again, and you keep on this. Goes back to what every urban privileged person should find obligated to do at the very least. Looks great on paper. It's far from reality.

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    2. And, again, you have just conveniently *claimed* that it is far from reality without discussing what specific strategies can be applied etc. And, again, how is your "approach" of letting people do whatever trivial thing they want to do is better than giving them recommendations on what to do based on sound impact analysis? But you are too focused on dissing vegans and pushing lop-sided narratives like this to focus on finding effective ways to actually create change.

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    3. pulkit I am not "dissing' vegans. Simply saying that one approach to it will alienate people and keep us from being self-aware about our own changes we might need to make as we progress. The fact that you had to say I am 'dissing' vegans only attests to the fact that you have just taken this to mean a personal attack ;) Nothing lop-sided about an opinion- you can disagree and move on, or better still write your own article if you think this one article demands so much of your time. I haven't claimed anything that is far-fetched. To say that reality is non-vegan is pretty much on the dot. We live in a freaking non-vegan world ;) How you can ask that question is beyond me. but I think you are pulling at straws now.

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    4. You just don't get it, do you? Noone is sayinf the world is vegan. What is being said is that your "approach" of misleading vegans and claiming that letting people do whatever trivial thing they want to do is better than giving them recommendations on what to do based on sound impact analysis of which actions causes how much suffering is gonna make it worse.

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    5. misleading non-vegans*

      You are the one who cried about being "attacked" and "survailed" and what not. I just pointed out the hypocrisy :).

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    6. Um, I get it- that's what I have been telling you. My approach makes th most sense to me through discussions, writing, and experience i have had in the past. Also makes a lot of sense for many other vegans. Aware many other vegans will disagree- cool, I don't care. Also never 'cried' anything dude, please don't randomly say things- I said you were resorting to personal attacks- very different.

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    7. That's not true at all. I did no name calling. That's not how I debate. Anyway, let the readers see that for themselves :).

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  17. Let me separately debunk another flawed argument you keep making. Yes, the vegan population as % of the population is not great. But, firstly that's a wrong metric, because it doesn't capture people who have reduced using non-vegan things. What we need to look at is the patterns of change in the consumption of non-vegan things or better yet numbers of animal breeding/use, *and* then try to guage how much of that is down to external factors such as economical factors and how much to AR/vegan advocacy, etc.

    Now, as said earlier, we surely need to keep brainstorming and analyzing for ways that make much more impact. But, that does *not* mean that your "approach" (of asking people to make random, trivial changes rather than making recommendations based on each action's estimated impact on animal suffering) is better. 100 people making trivial changes may be worse than 30 people making substantial changes. You are totally oversimplifying and misleading about a complex matter of strategy and tactics with unsubstantiated claims.

    We live in a world where a person who boasts about groping women is POTUS. But, that does not mean that the world would have been better off without feminism. It just means that we need to promote feminist ideas more effectively. The same goes with veganism. But, your "approach" is akin to saying that as long as you are nice to one women, it's okay to misbehave with two, because any random, trivial reduction to the suffering you were causing is good enough. The focus should instead be on telling people that all forms of sexism are wrong, and we must do the best we can to reform ourselves, boycott certain companies, protest, whatever the best we can. Then, different people will naturally do different things, but if you set the bar itself trivially low, your overall impact will be low as well.

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    1. Uh nobody said don't promote veganism. Your argument is becoming increasingly weak. I can't make a deduction on 30 vs 100 - because we have no idea if that's a ratio that can even work in what city. I am not making any unsubstantiated claims at all- you saying that for the sake of it, is just a need to discredit ;) You are not debunking anything- just trying to illustrate what started as your point of views and has resulted in you trying to force a point by trying to discredit me on personal and random claims.

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    2. That you only have wild, unfounded personal allegations to offer to a comment full of logical points just reinforces the point that you are a very feeble footing and only offer rhetoric that you can't back up. Thanks for making my job easier with your comments.

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    3. I had 8 points which you failed to discuss. You have still not been able to make any real point on theory vs reality. And now you keep getting personal with your attacks. So this is the last post you will be posting here.

      You have said enough, anyone with a rational head will be able to make sense of this in their own way- have some faith in other minds as well.

      Your need to satiate your ego is really not going to change things, but I still hope you will be able to see clarity later in life and be tiny bit more open-minded and respectful of other opinions and approaches. We're done now. Thank you. All best.

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