Author: has written 5288 posts for this blog.

Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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450 Responses

  1. Raja
    Raja July 6, 2011 at 4:52 pm |

    this is why vegans annoy me

  2. Natalia
    Natalia July 6, 2011 at 4:55 pm |

    BAHAHA.

  3. scan1
    scan1 July 6, 2011 at 4:57 pm |

    We’re not all like that, alright? I do wish posts calling out vegans would kindly make the clarification that yes, some vegans are jerks, just like some omnivores are jerks. Trust me, there are those of us who are putting the pressure on others in the vegan community to quit it with the “all vegans are skinny” BS. I really love this blog post on the subject: http://fatgirlposing.blogspot.com/2011/05/vegans-i-need-to-talk-to-you.html?zx=89716414aae8ddbb
    But saying you hate vegans in general? Not nice. We’re people trying to reduce suffering. We’re still imperfect, but we’re trying. Unfortunately, some of us forget that humans should be included in this ideal.

  4. Nicole
    Nicole July 6, 2011 at 4:58 pm |

    I think the worst part is the comparison between omnivores and child abusers. Really!?

  5. groggette
    groggette July 6, 2011 at 4:59 pm |

    I personally liked the whole “I refused to talk to you outright about this because that would make me uncomfortable. But now since you refused to read my mind, I’m totes mad at you and your food is BANNED. NO DISCUSSION!!” Awesome.

  6. groggette
    groggette July 6, 2011 at 5:01 pm |

    scan1: But saying you hate vegans in general?

    FFS Read the fucking title and first line of this post.

  7. groggette
    groggette July 6, 2011 at 5:02 pm |

    Ha, just saw the update. Well played, Jill.

  8. William
    William July 6, 2011 at 5:02 pm |

    “Look, I get that you feel strongly about this. From here on out I’ll make you this one concession: I’ll buy what I want to eat and you can buy what you want to eat. If this is not acceptable, I’ll help you move. Maybe.

    Also, I’ve decided to eat pot roast for the rest of the week but, in order to avoid being passive aggressive, I want to you know that I’m doing it to annoy you in retaliation for this letter.”

  9. MacaroniGalaxy
    MacaroniGalaxy July 6, 2011 at 5:05 pm |

    I sure hope there isn’t any drywall in that apartment, the note-writer might implode.

  10. scan1
    scan1 July 6, 2011 at 5:11 pm |

    groggette: FFS Read the fucking title and first line of this post.

    I was talking to the first commenter. Who technically said “annoyed”. Sorry I didn’t clarify!

  11. scan1
    scan1 July 6, 2011 at 5:16 pm |

    Jill:
    Ok I updated to clarify that not all vegans are sanctimonious pricks.

    Sorry, I didn’t mean to direct it at you! I saw the first comment and was responding to that. But hey, maybe the disclaimer will help further commenters think a second before saying “ugh, vegans”. Prolly not.

  12. Brandy
    Brandy July 6, 2011 at 5:19 pm |

    I’ve never had a roommate (other than my boyfriend). Is it normal to leave notes instead of, you know, actually talking?

  13. melissa
    melissa July 6, 2011 at 5:22 pm |

    This note is annoying and thanks for clarifying that not all vegans are like that. However, I would bet that more vegans/vegetarians are pushed to eat meat than meat eaters are pushed to stop.

    Vegans can be assholes, pretty much everyone who has ever helped PETA come up with an ad would be great examples. Meat eaters can be assholes too, like my family, friends, and strangers who have all suggested I should ‘miss’ meat.

  14. Azkyroth
    Azkyroth July 6, 2011 at 5:24 pm |

    Is it normal to leave notes instead of, you know, actually talking?

    If you work polar-opposite hours or they’re one of those people who starts tuning you out a few seconds into a conversation that isn’t going their way, I suppose.

  15. alynn
    alynn July 6, 2011 at 5:30 pm |

    Aw hell no.

    If this crazyface was my roommate, I’d write her an equally unnecessarily long note saying over and over again in different ways one singular point: You pay for AND prepare all of my in apartment meals, and I will TOTALLY not eat meat. Unless and until that happens, she can deal.

    Seriously, if the person who purchases and cooks my food was a vegan, I’d totally eat all their vegan meals. But when it’s my time and my dime, to quote Cartman, I do what I want.

  16. Azeylea M.
    Azeylea M. July 6, 2011 at 5:30 pm |

    Brandy:
    I’ve never had a roommate (other than my boyfriend). Is it normal to leave notes instead of, you know, actually talking?

    Sometimes it’s not possible to talk, since people can have conflicting schedules. Even so, I personally try to avoid the note approach, since it can so easily devolve into passive-aggressive douchebaggery.

    As someone who is very self-conscious about my eating habits, I found this letter extra-infuriating. I don’t cook as much as I feel I should and I eat too many “trashy snacks” (not Slim Jims, but definitely not anything that would pass this letter-writer’s approval). I would never want to find a letter from one of my roommates informing me of how upsetting she finds my food choices.

    A big reason I never buy bologna (for some delicious nostalgia sandwiches) is due to my fear of what my (perfectly nice) roommates might think of me.

  17. Mona
    Mona July 6, 2011 at 5:35 pm |

    While I would never turn vegan — for health reasons even more than taste — I find this post supremely disingenuous: you’re damn right that sanctimonious people are an annoyance, but is the entirely negligible number of true vegans out there (even more the number who in fact act like asses) really a reason to use this widely-read, opinion-forming forum to drum up support for a stereotype and further the sneering masses of people who discount them and all world-savin’ arguments as crazy?

  18. Rebecca Rogers
    Rebecca Rogers July 6, 2011 at 5:35 pm |

    Your mom is a trashy snack.

  19. Natalia
    Natalia July 6, 2011 at 5:43 pm |

    If this was MY roommate I’d probably invite 30 people over and order in a roast pig. One should always end roommate relationships on a high note.

  20. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub July 6, 2011 at 5:52 pm |

    Sanctimonious people are annoying, but easy to piss off.

    I lived with a bunch of vegetarians and vegans when I was in the UK. They were lovely. I did get them all hooked on popcorn with butter and salt (NOT SUGAR PEOPLE). ;)

  21. Yonmei
    Yonmei July 6, 2011 at 6:03 pm |

    Is it normal to leave notes instead of, you know, actually talking?

    Totally normal for all the passive-aggressive room-mates I ever had.

    Just to spoil Jill’s fun, though, all of them were omnivores. I think the worst one of all was a Christian drip who ate the most boring food I ever saw anyone consume – scrambled eggs cooked in margarine (the cheapest sort, ie not vegetarian): tinned peas: the cheapest blocks of cheese: tins of tuna. White bread. Sometimes she ate processed meat of some description, you’ll excuse me if I didn’t look too closely: I know about the tuna because my cats are very indiscriminate about tuna.

    Pretty much everything she ate was more or less grey. Except for the vitamin pills. She complained that her doctor had told her she had a diet deficiency, and asked me how could that be when she ate very balanced meals.

    I suggested she eat more green vegetables or at least some fresh fruit, and she said that was too expensive: I agreed that fruit was expensive (we were both in our first jobs after graduation, pretty broke) but pointed out that the grocer’s round the corner would sell bags of slightly battered apples and pears ultra-cheap (that were perfectly good to eat if you cut out the bruised bits, and could always be stewed with a little honey) and often had a special deal on in-season fruit. Oh no, she said, I don’t want to do that and I prefer to shop at the supermarket, it’s so much cheaper and more convenient. (After that, needless to say, I left her diet alone: need I say she brought up the doctor’s comments about her vitamin deficiency, not me? She used to comment sometimes on how boring it must be to eat so many lentils and nuts…)

    Anyway, she used to leave me passive-aggressive little notes about the right way to put toilet roll in the holder or how my friends had been a bit noisy when they came round to dinner with me. (Talking-noisy, not shouting-noisy or playing-music-loud-noisy, and they always left before 11.) The best one was when we had a plague of fleas and had to have the council in to do pest control, and I’d taken the morning off work to let Flea Spray Man in: she left me a lengthy note explaining exactly where I was supposed to tell him to spray.

  22. Macha
    Macha July 6, 2011 at 6:08 pm |

    “Husband, I can no longer tolerate the presence of video games, video game consoles, or any other video game paraphernalia in the common areas of our apartment … which … is everywhere. I know I’m supposed to be “tolerant” but I just can’t stand it anymore. THIS HAS TO STOP!”

    Yeah, that wouldn’t go over well either. Who thinks they can tell people what they’re not allowed to eat in another person’s presence, in their own home??

  23. igglanova
    igglanova July 6, 2011 at 6:09 pm |

    This is just a reblog of a funny note. It’s not a commentary on veganism or vegans.

    And that note is seriously off the chain. I dig William’s proposed response. Or the submitter can just write ‘NO’ on the bottom and be done with it, if s/he’s feelin’ lazy.

  24. William
    William July 6, 2011 at 6:29 pm |

    Or the submitter can just write ‘NO’ on the bottom and be done with it, if s/he’s feelin’ lazy.

    In sausage grease.

  25. Karen
    Karen July 6, 2011 at 6:47 pm |

    I’m completely in favor of your diet Jill, and will happily grill scallops for you. You bring the wine, I’ll make the shellfish.

  26. Betty Fokker
    Betty Fokker July 6, 2011 at 7:18 pm |

    But that poor vegan was forced to endure HONEY! Bee slavery products in her home! Dear God, the horror!

  27. Camilla
    Camilla July 6, 2011 at 7:20 pm |

    Ah, the passive aggressive room mate note. Which has nothing to do with being vegan, but rather a passive aggressive personality. Every belief system has it’s members who go around banging on about their way of life though – Christians, athiests, meat-eaters etc. I guess it’s a case of don’t hate the game, hate the playa???

  28. Meg
    Meg July 6, 2011 at 7:31 pm |

    Bwahahahaha. As someone who genuinely likes to cook, and whose diet consists of anything that doesn’t run away fast enough, this would not fly. I’m happy to accommodate guest’s dietary preferences (a friend who keeps Kosher recently made me an *amazing* meal in my own kitchen, for which I was extremely grateful), but housemates? You buy what you want, I’ll buy what I want, we can share common items like canned goods and, if negotiated, milk and bread. Otherwise you’re on your own and I’m on my own and big flying FU if you think you can dictate my dietary preferences.

  29. Azeylea M.
    Azeylea M. July 6, 2011 at 7:43 pm |

    I can understand vegetarian or vegan not feeling comfortable living with an omnivore on ethical grounds. If you believe slaughtering animals is morally indefensible, of course having animal products in your home is going to be very upsetting. And that’s why it’s important to work out such issues before you move in with someone. Can’t stand meat/milk/eggs/honey in your home, don’t share it with someone who nourishes themselves with those things. In the letter, the roommate seems to be saying her beliefs had intensified recently. Fine. I’m sure the letter’s recipient would be happy to help you find a suitable subletter.

  30. ACG
    ACG July 6, 2011 at 7:47 pm |

    What I don’t get is how Vegan!Roomie calls those trashy snacks “a waste” and says Omni!Roomie won’t eat half of them. A waste? Spam, Slim Jims, beef jerky, and tinned sardines last forever. As they’re made from pig nipples and chemicals not found in nature, they’ll never go bad. There’s no such thing as “not eating” an immortal food–there’s only “haven’t eaten it yet.”

  31. smmo
    smmo July 6, 2011 at 7:50 pm |

    Jill:
    Ok I updated to clarify that not all vegans are sanctimonious pricks.

    Lovely!

    This will still be a forum for many, many (many) comments along the lines of “vegans/vegetarians, what a bunch of assholes!” and the word sanctimonious will be used many, many (many) times.

    Have you considered an alternative outlet for your Vegan Issues? Cause this is getting old.

  32. Tori
    Tori July 6, 2011 at 7:51 pm |

    alynn:
    Aw hell no.

    If this crazyface was my roommate, I’d write her an equally unnecessarily long note saying over and over again in different ways one singular point: You pay for AND prepare all of my in apartment meals, and I will TOTALLY not eat meat. Unless and until that happens, she can deal.

    Seriously, if the person who purchases and cooks my food was a vegan, I’d totally eat all their vegan meals. But when it’s my time and my dime, to quote Cartman, I do what I want.

    While I agree that the note was self-centered and passive-aggressive, I’m not sure that the roommate being a “crazyface” or not has anything to do with it. There are plenty of folks who deal with mental illness who are capable of both understanding appropriate boundaries and making polite, assertive requests.

    It’s a little alienating to see versions of “crazy” basically used as a stand-in for “rude.”

  33. EG
    EG July 6, 2011 at 7:57 pm |

    Have you considered an alternative outlet for your Vegan Issues? Cause this is getting old.

    If you find it old, feel free not to read the post or its comments; then you don’t have to care about how many times the word “sanctimonious” comes up, because you won’t know.

    Telling Jill not to post what she likes on her own blog because you dislike it is like, well, telling someone not to eat meat in her own home because it offends you. Actually, you have less of a leg to stand on: the notewriter is a roommate, and thus we can assume has equal title to the apartment, whereas you are, basically, a guest on Jill’s blog.

    This particular vegan has behaved like a total asshole (unless we make the pointless assumption that the submitter of the note fabricated the whole thing). Why shouldn’t Jill mock her/him?

  34. shfree
    shfree July 6, 2011 at 7:59 pm |

    You know, if vegetarian who turned into a vegan roommate had such qualms about animal products being consumed in her presence then maybe she shouldn’t have moved in with an omnivore in the first place. Hell, I was a vegetarian who lived with a dude who would literally eat an entire chicken for dinner and I didn’t say boo about it. Why? Because I knew going in that I was moving in with someone who ate meat, and I had no right to restrict someone’s diet in their own home.

    I have, however, kept a meat-free apartment, and I have a meat-free house now, but those were both clearly agreed upon by all people living there at the outset, and not just a rule I, or anyone else, imposed unilaterally later. That shit just doesn’t fly, ever.

  35. shfree
    shfree July 6, 2011 at 8:05 pm |

    shfree:
    You know, if vegetarian who turned into a vegan roommate had such qualms about animal products being consumed in her presence then maybe she shouldn’t have moved in with an omnivore in the first place.Hell, I was a vegetarian who lived with a dude who would literally eat an entire chicken for dinner and I didn’t say boo about it.Why?Because I knew going in that I was moving in with someone who ate meat, and I had no right to restrict someone’s diet in their own home.

    I have, however, kept a meat-free apartment, and I have a meat-free house now, but those were both clearly agreed upon by all people living there at the outset, and not just a rule I, or anyone else, imposed unilaterally later.That shit just doesn’t fly, ever.

    Oh, that whole “restrict the diet” thing came out totally wrong, no one has any right to restrict another person’s diet, really. But more that I had no place to disallow the consumption of meat within the place I was living.

  36. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. July 6, 2011 at 8:09 pm |

    Spam is the greatest food of all time. It is a key ingredient of many local dishes. I love spam. I adore spam. I may never eat it again because of the whole processing and pork thing…but never speak ill of the spam!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spam_musubi
    http://www.hawaiiforvisitors.com/recipes/spam-fried-rice.htm
    http://www.bizjournals.com/pacific/stories/2002/06/10/daily22.html

  37. alynn
    alynn July 6, 2011 at 8:43 pm |

    @Tori I always feel when I post here, someone is going to overlook my message in favor of being overly sensitive about a term, and it’s happened. When I say, “crazyface” I do not use it to mean mental illness in anyway, shape, or form…in fact I didn’t even think someone would make the jump to insanity. I honestly forget people use the term in that manner. For the record, I was going for definition #1 http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/crazy and the synonym being “absurd” which I usually say and will revert back to.

  38. ks
    ks July 6, 2011 at 8:54 pm |

    Natalia @ 21:

    If this was MY roommate I’d probably invite 30 people over and order in a roast pig. One should always end roommate relationships on a high note.

    I think I am kind of in love with you now.

  39. Tori
    Tori July 6, 2011 at 8:57 pm |

    alynn:
    @Tori I always feel when I post here, someone is going to overlook my message in favor of being overly sensitive about a term, and it’s happened. When I say, “crazyface” I do not use it to mean mental illness in anyway, shape, or form…in fact I didn’t even think someone would make the jump to insanity. I honestly forget people use the term in that manner. For the record, I was going for definition #1 http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/crazy and the synonym being “absurd” which I usually say and will revert back to.

    When I say, “It’s a little alienating,” — as in, that is how I feel personally — to have “crazy” used in a negative context, and someone says I’m “being overly sensitive about a term” that I have to negotiate every fucking day, that is shitty and derailing.

  40. cat
    cat July 6, 2011 at 8:58 pm |

    Ah, the joys of livine alone.

    “Trashy” is a word that is used as a classism based insult. Trashy things are poor people things. They invoke the specter of the bad poor person.

    There are some sanctimonious vegans. I suppose there must be some that aren’t (though I have yet to encounter one). One of the things that ticks me off, in addition to the common ablism, fat hatred, classism (including scapegoating poor workers) is that so many of them know little to nothing about actual farming. For example, I have heard that bit of nonsense about chickens being raped for their eggs more than once. No, people who have apparantly never dealt with chickens, chickens do not need fertilization to lay eggs (with the exception of certain asian breeds). So, factory farmed eggs are not fertilized, because, you know, it would be a useless hassle to do so. Also, I do not want to hear opinions on beef cattle from a person who does not know what the word “steer” means. It frustrates me to no end to see people who claim to be advocating against factory farming supporting policies that hurt small farms and help factory farms out of sheer stubborn minded ignorance.

    I do admit that I have one dietary restriction in my house that I fight tooth and nail over, but that is an allergy issue. I have a very sensitive (but luckily not too severe) shellfish allergy. I can’t touch it, eat it, eat things cooked with it, or use dishes not thouroughly scrubbed after being used to cook it or I get dizzy, hot, and nauceous.

  41. Henri Bemis
    Henri Bemis July 6, 2011 at 9:01 pm |

    What the crap? I was vegan for several years, and I never wanted to support the use of animal products, by consuming them physically, or paying for them, or participating in their use. And as long as my four omnivore roommates’ ground beef didn’t leak on my tempeh, I didn’t give a fuck what they ate or where they put it because it had nothing to do with me, and we’d all agreed upon that arrangement.

    Note-writing roomie either needs to get a mini-fridge, or GTFO.

  42. Athenia
    Athenia July 6, 2011 at 9:05 pm |

    Sounds like the vegan wants to convert hir roommate. If so, you’re doing it wrong.

  43. alynn
    alynn July 6, 2011 at 9:06 pm |

    @Tori I’m genuinely sorry, I definitely came out way too defensive from your comment. I honestly forget that I am lucky that my own and my family’s mental illnesses are stealth enough that “crazy” is not used against us hatefully often (in fact just 1 time in my recent memory.) That’s my privilege and I should own that. I hope you will understand though that my original comment was, however, not intended to bring mental state into it at all…rather over-zealousness.

  44. Henri Bemis
    Henri Bemis July 6, 2011 at 9:08 pm |

    Dietary restrictions based on allergies are totally different, though, definitely. I would do whatever I could to make sure my roommates didn’t have a reaction. But I also wouldn’t expect a note from one of them saying “OMG, I HAVE BEEN HAVING ANAPHYLACTIC SHOCK EVERY DAY FOR A MONTH BECAUSE YOU LIKE TRASHY PEANUTS!”

  45. smmo
    smmo July 6, 2011 at 9:19 pm |

    qEG: If you find it old, feel free not to read the post or its comments; then you don’t have to care about how many times the word “sanctimonious” comes up, because you won’t know.

    Telling Jill not to post what she likes on her own blog because you dislike it is like, well, telling someone not to eat meat in her own home because it offends you.Actually, you have less of a leg to stand on: the notewriter is a roommate, and thus we can assume has equal title to the apartment, whereas you are, basically, a guest on Jill’s blog.

    This particular vegan has behaved like a total asshole (unless we make the pointless assumption that the submitter of the note fabricated the whole thing).Why shouldn’t Jill mock her/him?

    Expressing an opinion about a post is is now verboten? I thought it was the vegans who were bossy. (Also sanctimonious. Let’s never fail to use the word sanctimonious.)

  46. Tori
    Tori July 6, 2011 at 9:19 pm |

    alynn:
    @Tori I’m genuinely sorry, I definitely came out way too defensive from your comment. I honestly forget that I am lucky that my own and my family’s mental illnesses are stealth enough that “crazy” is not used against us hatefully often (in fact just 1 time in my recent memory.) That’s my privilege and I should own that. I hope you will understand though that my original comment was, however, not intended to bring mental state into it at all…rather over-zealousness.

    alynn, thanks for this. :)

  47. Sei Shonagon
    Sei Shonagon July 6, 2011 at 9:23 pm |

    I used to work for the widow of the man who invented the chicken nugget, Bob Baker of Cornell University. I never got to meet him when he was alive, but by all accounts he was a really sweet guy who was very dedicated to food science. He worked on perfecting mechanical separation to help use meat that would otherwise have gone to waste. True story!

    I also had a chocolate fondue party crashed once by a sanctimonious vegan who told me my store bought strawberries weren’t “real,” and who then left to buy some “real” fruit at the local co-op. I was like, “Bish, shut up and eat the damn food I offered you.” If I ever see that guy again I’ma brain him with an organic aubergine.

  48. EG
    EG July 6, 2011 at 9:40 pm |

    I also had a chocolate fondue party crashed once by a sanctimonious vegan who told me my store bought strawberries weren’t “real”

    Were you trying to serve those poor people imaginary strawberries? Shame on you!

  49. EG
    EG July 6, 2011 at 9:44 pm |

    Expressing an opinion about a post is is now verboten?

    Who’s stopping you from expressing your opinion? I’m mocking your opinion. Totally different thing.

  50. DouglasG
    DouglasG July 6, 2011 at 9:50 pm |

    There should be a Not All Like That tabulation, encyclopaedia and hierarchy. I’ve been coming across so many lately – Christians, bisexuals, vegans… it might be an impressive list fully compiled.

  51. smmo
    smmo July 6, 2011 at 9:56 pm |

    EG: Who’s stopping you from expressing your opinion?I’m mocking your opinion.Totally different thing.

    Oh! You were being mean, thanks for the explanation. I bet Jill will totally invite you to her sleepover party now.

  52. Nahida
    Nahida July 6, 2011 at 10:05 pm |

    Okay, why is it that when a vegetarian/vegan does something like this it’s always representative? I don’t even talk about how I’m a vegetarian unless the subject comes up first, but when I first became a vegetarian, people who do eat meat when out of their way to eat it in front me, make jokes about animal rights (lets give cows the vote hahaahaha!), and were able to do this with great convenience because they have the privilege every fucking restaurant catering to their demands.

    But I was never all like, “OMG YOU MEAT EATERS ARE FUCKING DOUCHEBAGS! And I know this because this one time, I met one who was a douchebag.”

  53. EG
    EG July 6, 2011 at 10:10 pm |

    Oh! You were being mean, thanks for the explanation. I bet Jill will totally invite you to her sleepover party now.

    Well, of course I was being mean! Did you not get that before my explanation? But don’t worry about my party invites–mockery is its own reward.

  54. Nahida
    Nahida July 6, 2011 at 10:13 pm |

    The most epic of times happened when a guy showed me a video of what appeared to be a male duck holding onto the feathers of a female duck with his beak and forcing her to stay there while he had sex with her, and the ass was like, “Arrest him for rape, Nahida!”

    Mocking the animal rights movement and rape victims at the same time. Is there an award for that?

  55. smmo
    smmo July 6, 2011 at 10:25 pm |

    EG: Well, of course I was being mean!Did you not get that before my explanation?But don’t worry about my party invites–mockery is its own reward.

    As is obtuseness.

  56. evil fizz
    evil fizz July 6, 2011 at 11:23 pm | *

    Duh, EG is at all of my sleepover parties. We make slam books about vegans. When Zuzu comes we spend all night harshing on pilots.

    BHWAHAHAHA!

    Okay, I feel better now. When Lauren comes, does she bring a toy doll with a real gun? I’d have to hope so.

  57. zuzu
    zuzu July 6, 2011 at 11:27 pm |

    Sei Shonagon: I also had a chocolate fondue party crashed once by a sanctimonious vegan who told me my store bought strawberries weren’t “real,” and who then left to buy some “real” fruit at the local co-op. I was like, “Bish, shut up and eat the damn food I offered you.” If I ever see that guy again I’ma brain him with an organic aubergine.

    I hope you locked the door after he left.

  58. JetGirl
    JetGirl July 6, 2011 at 11:34 pm |

    Harshing on pilots? Whyyyyyyyyyy? *Runs back to airport, crying*

  59. prairielily
    prairielily July 6, 2011 at 11:54 pm |

    JetGirl, it’s a joke from like… YEARS ago. The gist was that zuzu hates pilots. Let me see if I can find the original post: http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2006/10/11/holy-shit/

    I snorted. CLASSIC.

  60. zuzu
    zuzu July 7, 2011 at 12:25 am |

    Fucking pilots.

  61. draconismoi
    draconismoi July 7, 2011 at 12:27 am |

    As someone who has lived with some seriously passive-agressive sanctimonious vegans in my time, I can relate to this note. In fact I’ve gotten some.

    Granted the I WILL NOT ALLOW meat products in my house discussion generally ended pretty quickly when I thanked them for their offer to pay my rent from now on.

    Note: I’ve also lived with some perfectly lovely vegans who discussed food boundaries in advance of living together. Hilariously, they ALL requested no bacon in the house. Apparently bacon is the gateway drug to meat-eating. :)

  62. Jadey
    Jadey July 7, 2011 at 12:50 am |

    prairielily: JetGirl, it’s a joke from like… YEARS ago. The gist was that zuzu hates pilots. Let me see if I can find the original post: http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2006/10/11/holy-shit/

    I snorted. CLASSIC.

    For some reason until I read that link I assumed that the target of the proposed vitriol was television pilots, not airplane pilots. It seemed oddly specific.

    draconismoi: Apparently bacon is the gateway drug to meat-eating. :)

    Oh yes.

  63. chava
    chava July 7, 2011 at 3:51 am |

    Hah. I can TOP the passive agressive business:
    I had a roommate once who had been vegetarian for 10 years. I cooked for her in exchange for the rent–lots of veg, cooked and fresh, fruit, tofu, etc.

    She thinks I am trying to poison her and calls the cops while she’s out for the weekend (having thanked me for and taken the packed lunch I made her that morning!). They show up with their guns out for a supposed murder threat and make me pack while they watch.

    I found out later that the erm, “roughage” from all that veg had given her diarrhea after years of eating tinned soup, candy and white bread. VEGETABLES ARE VEGETARIAN POISON! Ahem. Clearly.

  64. Blacky
    Blacky July 7, 2011 at 4:45 am |

    I just hope this note writer never has kids or pets to force her ethics unto.

  65. Gillian Love
    Gillian Love July 7, 2011 at 4:48 am |

    OK…So for some reason on this feminist blogging website, we have yet again a comment on vegans (another recent one was a speculative ‘Ooooh could I live with a vegan?!’). WHY? When did it become your concern to write about how annoying it is to live with people who choose a certain lifestyle? It doesn’t matter how many caveats you’ve tacked onto the beginning of this piece (‘not all vegans are pricks, most of my friends are vegans!’), it’s still started a comment thread full of people who are ONCE AGAIN discussing how annoying vegans can be.

    Yes, this one person was an asshole. But even if they weren’t vegan, they would be. What place does this have on a feminist blogging site? For me, it’s putting me off reading. You read enough stuff about how annoying feminists are right? I’m sure they piss you off as much as they do me. I feel the same about pieces like this.

  66. Lynnsey
    Lynnsey July 7, 2011 at 6:21 am |

    Wow, Jill…you managed to get up over 70 comments before the obligatory “I’m so offended I think I’ll stop reading” post. I guess you should have qualified this post by saying not all vegans are assholes…oh, wait…

  67. Amanda Marcotte
    Amanda Marcotte July 7, 2011 at 7:04 am |

    I’m guessing this thread is 100% free of butthurt from vegans whose investment in sanctimony is causing them to side with the note writer. Also, I’m guessing monkeys can fly out of my ass.

  68. Ellie
    Ellie July 7, 2011 at 7:41 am |

    Nahida:
    when I first became a vegetarian, people who do eat meat when out of their way to eat it in front me, make jokes about animal rights (lets give cows the vote hahaahaha!)

    If I had a penny for every time I heard “I support PETA… People Eating Tasty Animals!” I’d go buy myself a tempeh reuben sandwich right the eff now.

    It’s no wonder [some] vegans are known to get a bit cranky from time to time. You can only hear that shit for so long before you go projecting your anger about it on the wrong person.

  69. Ellie
    Ellie July 7, 2011 at 7:47 am |

    draconismoi:
    Note: I’ve also lived with some perfectly lovely vegans who discussed food boundaries in advance of living together. Hilariously, they ALL requested no bacon in the house. Apparently bacon is the gateway drug to meat-eating. :)

    Bacon as a gateway drug? NPR says so.

    Bacon chocolate cupcakes are also the thing that ended my five year vegetarian streak.

  70. Florence
    Florence July 7, 2011 at 7:55 am |

    Ellie: It’s no wonder [some] vegans are known to get a bit cranky from time to time. You can only hear that shit for so long before you go projecting your anger about it on the wrong person.

    Meh. As an ex-vegetarian, I get it, right? But when you choose a non-normative diet and brandish your food consumption as a political identity or life philosophy, other people are going to have comments about it. Especially if you or the group generally is defensive or self-conscious about how it’s perceived by the wider public. As part of the food scene in my area, I see it with the organic food vs. local food people. It’s not on such a visible scale, but these factions would fight to the death, I tell you.

  71. Florence
    Florence July 7, 2011 at 7:57 am |

    Ellie: Bacon chocolate cupcakes are also the thing that ended my five year vegetarian streak.

    Bacon ice cream, here. With local maple syrup.

    Since then its been a meat frenzy.

  72. norbizness
    norbizness July 7, 2011 at 7:59 am |

    Oh, no! Not honey! Well, it wasn’t like I was on the precipice of veganism anyway.

  73. Yonmei
    Yonmei July 7, 2011 at 8:38 am |

    Florence: But when you choose a non-normative diet and brandish your food consumption as a political identity or life philosophy, other people are going to have comments about it.

    In one or other comment in this thread that’s still in moderation, I note that the reason Jill feels free to mock vegans (and others feel free to join in) is just that: privilege. If you’re not eating what “everyone else” is eating, that’s a lifestyle choice for which you can be mocked. Further, just stating what you eat is “brandishing your food consumption” – it’s a political statement, which eating what “normal” people eat is not. (Never mind the politics of production and consumption of meat: those are normative politics, and so don’t count as political.)

    When you have privilege, you get to make comments about people who don’t have your privilege, and they don’t get to make comments back atcha. That’s the basic rule.

  74. Arkady
    Arkady July 7, 2011 at 8:45 am |

    Heh, reminds me slightly of the time two vegetarians I lived with in halls (dorms in US-speak?) requested that I not use MY knife and chopping board with meat, as they were using them too… at least they had the courtesy to ask in person though! Then there was the house I moved out of a year ago, where the others would TYPE their passive aggressive notes. Was so tempted to photograph one and send it to that website!

    Living with awesome flatmate now though, no notes (if the other person isn’t around we generally just text each other) and no worries about clutter. Only thing that bothers me (tho concern is probably a better word) is the lack of food he has in the kitchen at any one time, due to lack of money he lives on fruit, tinned soup/beans, curry sauce, rice and white bread. He does eats anything I put in front of him tho, so whenever I make a vat of food (yellow split pea soup, bean chilli etc) I give him a bowl and get all maternal watching him eat something that contains vegetables and fibre…

  75. FashionablyEvil
    FashionablyEvil July 7, 2011 at 8:48 am |

    JetGirl, it’s a joke from like… YEARS ago. The gist was that zuzu hates pilots. Let me see if I can find the original post: http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2006/10/11/holy-shit/

    Wow, that thread almost reads like a spoof. Good to know things at Feministe haven’t changed much in the last 5 years. :)

  76. gretel
    gretel July 7, 2011 at 8:51 am |

    This person needs to move out. If she suddenly doesn’t want any animal products in her living space, then she needs to find a new living space! You can’t do a bait-and-switch (does she use non-vegan idioms?) like that just because you become vegan. That’s Roommate 101.

  77. Alex
    Alex July 7, 2011 at 9:07 am |

    My favourite parts of these supposed vegan vs. omnivore threads here are the vegans who come on and say “but not all vegans are sanctimonious jerk-wads! I’m a vegan and I don’t preach at people about how I can’t morally condone killing innocent animals!” It’s like, dudes, you just did! By dropping in the whole moral issue and by propping yourself up as the moral superior you are being a sanctimonious jerk-wad. It’s a pretty slick non-preachy preach really.

    And, shit yo, letter writer needs to find a bachelor apartment immediately. I kinda feel like no roommate will ever be good enough for that one.

  78. Niki
    Niki July 7, 2011 at 9:08 am |

    Can we all agree not to do the “UGH VEGANS ARE ALL SO ANNOYING” thing anymore please? Saying all vegans are like the writer of this note is like saying all Christians are Westboro Baptist Church fanatics. Come on, as feminists, aren’t we well aware of the frustrations with activist stereotyping? Why can’t we all just agree that the chick who wrote that note is a self-righteous asshole, and happens to be a vegan? Just like the many omnivores I know who are self-righteous assholes?

  79. Yonmei
    Yonmei July 7, 2011 at 9:13 am |

    Alex: My favourite parts of these supposed vegan vs. omnivore threads here are the vegans who come on and say “but not all vegans are sanctimonious jerk-wads! I’m a vegan and I don’t preach at people about how I can’t morally condone killing innocent animals!” It’s like, dudes, you just did!

    Yeah, because the appropriate response when being criticised by someone with privilege is to shut up and take it. You should never try to defend yourself, because you can’t win.

  80. EG
    EG July 7, 2011 at 9:13 am |

    My mind is a little blown by that pilot thread. Yes, saying that anyone anywhere might be shitty at his job/hobby is totally saying that all practitioners of that job/hobby everywhere are shitty. That makes total sense. Just like noting that this particular vegan is an asshole is like saying that all vegans everywhere are assholes, even if that’s been specifically denied. Apparently it’s not OK to criticize any vegan at all because then other people will use the word “sanctimonious”? I didn’t realize that vegans have such fragile sensibilities.

    Oh, wait, not all of them do, just like not all of them are assholes. It’s a good thing the post is about this specific vegan, who is definitely an asshole.

  81. groggette
    groggette July 7, 2011 at 9:19 am |

    RE: Bacon as a gateway food. This cracks me up as an omnivore who can’t fucking stand bacon.

  82. Andie
    Andie July 7, 2011 at 9:25 am |

    Ellie: If I had a penny for every time I heard “I support PETA… People Eating Tasty Animals!” I’d go buy myself a tempeh reuben sandwich right the eff now.

    Gah. I’ve done this, sadly. I feel like such an asshole right now. (in fairness, the roommate I used to give the gears to for his vegetarianism would give it right back to me for my feminism)

  83. Yonmei
    Yonmei July 7, 2011 at 9:34 am |

    EG Apparently it’s not OK to criticize any vegan at all because then other people will use the word “sanctimonious”? I didn’t realize that vegans have such fragile sensibilities..

    In a comment that’s still in moderation, I noted (to Amanda Marcotte) that if she had posted a link to this letter, it would have read as just her making fun of a passive-aggressive individual, because that’s her blogging history – complete with delicious vegan recipes and political analysis of compulsive meat-eating: because Jill did it, it reads as Jill mocking/attacking vegans, because that’s her blogging history, complete with nasty inquiries about whether she could ever *shudder* date a vegan, or whether it’s OK to ask a vegan to your BBQ and then refuse to feed her.

  84. EG
    EG July 7, 2011 at 9:50 am |

    nasty inquiries about whether she could ever *shudder* date a vegan

    I realize that it’s upsetting to realize that one has no chance with Jill, but it’s not actually “nasty” for her to mention her dating preferences, nor is it “attacking” those whom she does not wish to date. That’s a pretty low bar to set for taking offense. I gotta stand by the assessment of “fragile sensibilities.”

  85. Yonmei
    Yonmei July 7, 2011 at 9:50 am |

    as someone who apparently reads this site only to get TOTES PISSED

    Oh well, I guess you get to be nitpicky revisionist about the history of my comments on this site, Jill, but for heaven’s sake: I’m really not the only vegetarian/vegan getting annoyed with your consistent pattern of attacking people with, as Florence puts it “a non-normative diet”.

  86. William
    William July 7, 2011 at 9:50 am |

    Yeah, because the appropriate response when being criticised by someone with privilege is to shut up and take it. You should never try to defend yourself, because you can’t win.

    An ethical vegan in the west has roughly the same right to call others out on privilege as seitan has to call itself meat. Sure, maybe it kinda looks that way, and maybe its used in a similar manner, but at the end of the day its a manufactured substitute. Western vegans bitching about omnivore privilege degrades the word and minimizes the very real oppression (to the point of violence) that people who face devaluation because of who and what they are. Cis folk have privilege. Rich folk, white folk, men, TAB persons, all are privileged. Omnivores? Show me a fucking vegan in the west who has been murdered because they wouldn’t eat a steak. Show me one who has been beaten. Show me a practically universal impression that they cannot be raped.

    Vegans calling omnivores out for privilege is the very definition of appropriation. You’re using language developed to challenge severe oppression in order to try to shut people up who hurt your fee fees by saying mildly obnoxious things. I listen to a lot of heavy metal, a lot of people think thats crap and there are a lot of class comments involved in the ways they tell me its crap. That isn’t oppression, thats peoples being douches. On the other hand, I had to hire a fucking lawyer to fight for my right to an education. Thats oppression. When someone tells me that I should have just done what I was told and avoided the whole thing, even though I have multiple disabilities which were the fundamental reason my school system was trying to expel me, thats privilege. “People eating tasty animals”? Thats being a dick. Confusing the two is either reflective of shocking ignorance, intellectual dishonesty, or incredible privilege.

  87. groggette
    groggette July 7, 2011 at 9:52 am |

    Jill: Maybe go out to dinner and REFUSE to tell all of us why.

    *snerk*

  88. chava
    chava July 7, 2011 at 9:53 am |

    How long is that line of internet crushes on William, again? *cough*

    William: An ethical vegan in the west has roughly the same right to call others out on privilege as seitan has to call itself meat. Sure, maybe it kinda looks that way, and maybe its used in a similar manner, but at the end of the day its a manufactured substitute. Western vegans bitching about omnivore privilege degrades the word and minimizes the very real oppression (to the point of violence) that people who face devaluation because of who and what they are. Cis folk have privilege. Rich folk, white folk, men, TAB persons, all are privileged. Omnivores? Show me a fucking vegan in the west who has been murdered because they wouldn’t eat a steak. Show me one who has been beaten. Show me a practically universal impression that they cannot be raped.

    Vegans calling omnivores out for privilege is the very definition of appropriation. You’re using language developed to challenge severe oppression in order to try to shut people up who hurt your fee fees by saying mildly obnoxious things. I listen to a lot of heavy metal, a lot of people think thats crap and there are a lot of class comments involved in the ways they tell me its crap. That isn’t oppression, thats peoples being douches. On the other hand, I had to hire a fucking lawyer to fight for my right to an education. Thats oppression. When someone tells me that I should have just done what I was told and avoided the whole thing, even though I have multiple disabilities which were the fundamental reason my school system was trying to expel me, thats privilege. “People eating tasty animals”? Thats being a dick. Confusing the two is either reflective of shocking ignorance, intellectual dishonesty, or incredible privilege.

  89. Florence
    Florence July 7, 2011 at 10:04 am |

    chava: How long is that line of internet crushes on William, again? *cough*

    +1

  90. Alex
    Alex July 7, 2011 at 10:07 am |

    William: An ethical vegan in the west has roughly the same right to call others out on privilege as seitan has to call itself meat. Sure, maybe it kinda looks that way, and maybe its used in a similar manner, but at the end of the day its a manufactured substitute. Western vegans bitching about omnivore privilege degrades the word and minimizes the very real oppression (to the point of violence) that people who face devaluation because of who and what they are. Cis folk have privilege. Rich folk, white folk, men, TAB persons, all are privileged. Omnivores? Show me a fucking vegan in the west who has been murdered because they wouldn’t eat a steak. Show me one who has been beaten. Show me a practically universal impression that they cannot be raped.

    Vegans calling omnivores out for privilege is the very definition of appropriation. You’re using language developed to challenge severe oppression in order to try to shut people up who hurt your fee fees by saying mildly obnoxious things. I listen to a lot of heavy metal, a lot of people think thats crap and there are a lot of class comments involved in the ways they tell me its crap. That isn’t oppression, thats peoples being douches. On the other hand, I had to hire a fucking lawyer to fight for my right to an education. Thats oppression. When someone tells me that I should have just done what I was told and avoided the whole thing, even though I have multiple disabilities which were the fundamental reason my school system was trying to expel me, thats privilege. “People eating tasty animals”? Thats being a dick. Confusing the two is either reflective of shocking ignorance, intellectual dishonesty, or incredible privilege.

    This. A hundred kajillion times.

  91. Alex
    Alex July 7, 2011 at 10:10 am |

    Haha, just saw that @chava beat me to it! Oh well, bears repeating over and over and over.

  92. Niki
    Niki July 7, 2011 at 10:18 am |

    Florence: +1

    +2

  93. Alyssa
    Alyssa July 7, 2011 at 10:28 am |

    So imagine that this note was written not by a vegan, but by an observant Jew who flew off the handle that her roommate brought non-Kosher food into the house. It would be every bit as jerkish and passive-aggresive. But I bet you that a lot of the commenters here wouldn’t be like “ugh, Jews” and “this is why Jews annoy me” and I bet you Jill wouldn’t have put a disclaimer at the top of the piece that said “Yay Jews, eat what you want, you’re not all insufferable sanctimonious pricks.” I can tell you, keeping strict Kosher is a very big decision! And it sure can be inconvenient if you try to live and eat with other people who don’t share your diet! It can be a great big pain in the ass. Just like most veganism, it’s a moral and ethical decision. Yet somehow I can’t imagine it attracting the same kind of vitriol that veganism does in this space.

  94. chava
    chava July 7, 2011 at 10:30 am |

    http://catalyticreactions.blogspot.com/2011/05/please-stop-comparing-your-oppression.html

    Kthxbye.

    Alyssa:
    So imagine that this note was written not by a vegan, but by an observant Jew who flew off the handle that her roommate brought non-Kosher food into the house. It would be every bit as jerkish and passive-aggresive. But I bet you that a lot of the commenters here wouldn’t be like “ugh, Jews” and “this is why Jews annoy me” and I bet you Jill wouldn’t have put a disclaimer at the top of the piece that said “Yay Jews, eat what you want, you’re not all insufferable sanctimonious pricks.” I can tell you, keeping strict Kosher is a very big decision! And it sure can be inconvenient if you try to live and eat with other people who don’t share your diet! It can be a great big pain in the ass. Just like most veganism, it’s a moral and ethical decision. Yet somehow I can’t imagine it attracting the same kind of vitriol that veganism does in this space.

  95. Yonmei
    Yonmei July 7, 2011 at 10:38 am |

    William: Omnivores? Show me a fucking vegan in the west who has been murdered because they wouldn’t eat a steak.

    Thanks for going Richard Dawkins at me, William.

    I’m a lesbian: I’ve never been murdered because I wouldn’t have sex with men (hell, I’ve never been seriously hurt because of it, just yelled at in the street, been scared by my bosses, probably didn’t get a few jobs because an openly-queer job was on my resume, told that I’m being “political” and “brandishing my love life” if I want to talk about who I went out with last weekend), So I have no right to talk about heterosexual privilege, huh, William? Because I haven’t been really hurt for my sexual orientation, so I should just shut up because things are so much worse elsewhere!

    You’re using language developed to challenge severe oppression in order to try to shut people up who hurt your fee fees by saying mildly obnoxious things.

    Actually, Jill persistently carping about people who annoy her by not eating meat doesn’t “hurt my feelings”. I just think Jill’s being a jerk.

    What has hurt my feelings, in the past, are situations where:
    – I stay with a family and discover that as far as they’re concerned, I can eat what they’re eating (mostly meat) or go hungry – they’re not going to indulge my “faddishness” by cooking “special” food for the vegetarian kid
    – I get invited to a birthday party and while everyone else is tucking into a lavish (and meat-laden) birthday tea, birthday kid’s mum opens a tin of cheese pasta for me,
    – I’m working in an office where there are a lot of compulsory team lunches where we’re expected to “just split the bill equally” – at restaurants where the only vegetarian option is half the price of the meat-rich meals my colleagues can buy: I’m expected to pay for their meals and not be a killjoy by complaining about it. (More here.

    William, you may never have noticed this, but if you’re a vegan or a vegetarian in a culture where “normal” meals include meat, the meat-eaters get to make carping or critical comments about your choice of food, but if you say anything in defense of what you eat, you’re being sanctimonious and lecturing them and omg political. Their comments are just good fun and fair comment. And yes: that’s privilege.

    Even though it doesn’t involve death threats.

  96. FashionablyEvil
    FashionablyEvil July 7, 2011 at 10:46 am |

    So imagine that this note was written not by a vegan, but by an observant Jew who flew off the handle that her roommate brought non-Kosher food into the house.

    But that’s not what happened. The roommate decided that the best approach to his/her veganism was to become a sanctimonious jerk who leaves passive-aggressive notes around the house without ANY discussion of the issue.

  97. zuzu
    zuzu July 7, 2011 at 10:52 am |

    Alyssa: So imagine that this note was written not by a vegan, but by an observant Jew who flew off the handle that her roommate brought non-Kosher food into the house.

    I would be wondering why an observant Jew wasn’t using their own set of dishes and cookware.

    I’d also be wondering why, if it was a sudden conversion or sudden observation issue, as with the vegan, it’s the roommate’s problem.

  98. Natalie
    Natalie July 7, 2011 at 10:55 am |

    scan1:
    We’re still imperfect, but we’re trying.

    See, I feel like simply admitting that you’re not perfect is the big difference between a “sanctimonious prick” and a person who’s just trying to live by their own morals.

    In my experience, the moral superiority argument also shuts down the conversation between vegans/vegetarians and omnivores. For example, I worked with a woman who is a vegetarian, and she always made snide insinuations about how much better and more moral she is than omnivores. She said that she “just can’t see how people can justify harming an animal for food.” Because of her attitude, I never missed an opportunity to point out the number of animals that are killed in machines that harvest plants for human consumption, the fact that baby male goats are systematically slaughtered in the dairy goat industry, the abuse of dairy cows, etc. If she had simply said something like what scan1 said, my arguments would pretty much be shot down because she never claimed to be perfect. Instead, she responded by claiming to have no idea about how the plant harvesting, dairy goat and dairy cow industries are harmful to animals, and that I was just trying to make her feel bad.

    That she’d done so little research into where her food comes from before making a decision about her diet amazed me, and every time she started getting high-and-mighty about her diet I just mentioned an example of a vegetarian product that harms animals and that shut her right up. But the conversation should not have ended there! We should have rambled on about the moral and philosophical implications of food choices for hours, and ended up learning something from each other! Instead, I came away thinking she was an uniformed idiot and she came away thinking I’m a big fat meanie. No meaningful conversation ever happened because she never admitted imperfection, thus never allowing us to meet on common ground.

    Unfortunately, the minuscule “sanctimonious prick” sectors of veganism and vegetarianism do themselves, their diets and ultimately the animals they’re trying to protect a disservice by acting this way. It’s a shame because, in my experience, 99.99999% of vegetarians and vegans have well thought-out, interesting reasoning behind their food choices. The .000001% gives the rest a bad name.

  99. zuzu
    zuzu July 7, 2011 at 10:56 am |

    I will add that I have noticed that the vegan-tweaking posts are kind of thick on the ground here lately.

    Did a seitan-wielding vegan harangue your mother while she was pregnant with you, Jill?

  100. Alcharisi
    Alcharisi July 7, 2011 at 11:01 am |

    Alyssa:

    Just like most veganism, it’s a moral and ethical decision. Yet somehow I can’t imagine it attracting the same kind of vitriol that veganism does in this space.

    Yeah, the difference is that Kashrut is a moral and ethical decision that applies only to other Jews. Even the most observant Jews don’t, as a rule, believe it’s ethically wrong to eat pork in the same way an ethical vegan might. They believe it’s morally wrong for Jews to eat pork because they believe Jews were commanded not to. Thus, assuming roommate is not Jewish (or frankly, even if they are!), I cannot imagine a shomer kashrut person comparing their roommate’s diet to CHILD ABUSE.

    Also, what chava (and William!) said.

  101. Gillian Love
    Gillian Love July 7, 2011 at 11:19 am |

    @ William:
    “Western vegans bitching about omnivore privilege degrades the word and minimizes the very real oppression (to the point of violence) that people who face devaluation because of who and what they are.”

    The privilege here, I think, is that omnivores participate more in what a vegan would see as oppression of certain groups. For example, farm animals (you may say this still devalues the word ‘privilege’ as humans are our primary concern, but that is a matter of personal ethics), as well as other groups. Because, as many non-meat eaters will tell you, environmental impact of meat eating is huge, so huge that last year the UN published this report: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jun/02/un-report-meat-free-diet. (Link to actual report there; background to report is in the article). We can’t feed the people who need fed right now, because meat consumption at the current rate is unsustainable, according to the report.

    So some vegans would argue that in an affluent society, meat-eating when you have adequate resources to stop your meat consumption is privilege: you just don’t feel you need to consider the potential suffering (both human and animal) you inflict by your consumption decisions. Humans are starving in some parts of the world, and meat-eating is an entirely effective way of reducing your part in that.

  102. Yonmei
    Yonmei July 7, 2011 at 11:29 am |

    Gillian: The privilege here, I think, is that omnivores participate more in what a vegan would see as oppression of certain groups.

    Nope. I already explained to William why I see privilege in action, but the longer comment is *sigh* still in moderation.

  103. EG
    EG July 7, 2011 at 11:38 am |

    But I bet you that a lot of the commenters here wouldn’t be like “ugh, Jews” and “this is why Jews annoy me”

    Yeah, well, if we lived in a world steeped in centuries and centuries of violent hatred toward vegans that had culminated 65 years ago in an attempt at systematic extermination that had succeeded in murdering millions upon millions, then you’d have a point. But vegans are not like Jews.

    So some vegans would argue that in an affluent society, meat-eating when you have adequate resources to stop your meat consumption is privilege: you just don’t feel you need to consider the potential suffering (both human and animal) you inflict by your consumption decisions.

    First of all, not coming to the same conclusion about my consumption decisions that a vegan does is not the same thing as not considering my consumption decisions. Second, I am uncertain as to why veganism in an affluent country such as the US is such an ethical stance given the immense amount of oppression and harm done by the conditions of migrant laborers that allow mass and cheap production and distribution of vegetables.

    Railing against individuals for being implicated in a system of oppression is unproductive and ignores issues of structure. It’s not unlike railing against people who buy clothing at H&M or Old Navy for supporting exploitative factory conditions. The impact of the individual consumer is negligible.

  104. Gillian Love
    Gillian Love July 7, 2011 at 11:47 am |

    The impact of the consumer is negligible. So…what’s the alternative? Do you know how hard it is to change things (if you want to) from the top down?

    That argument is like saying ‘don’t recycle! Your contribution is negligible!’ It’s the collective effort that you’re contributing to.

    Being a vegan in itself is not ‘railing’ against anyone else. I was addressing the question of how, if possible, omnivores could be described as ‘privileged’, which is not how most people really think of the dynamic, vegan or not.

    I agree you may consider the impact of what you consume and not come to the same conclusions as a vegan. But there is strong evidence (like the UN report, linked above) to suggest that we need to start thinking about our impact because it’s literally depriving others of ANY type of food.

    As you point out, veganism isn’t perfect. But it’s not about perfection! It’s about slowly and surely trying your best to make ethical decisions and reduce the suffering you as an individual create. Sometimes change does happen through a slow shift in individual decisions, rather than top-down changes.

  105. Ellie
    Ellie July 7, 2011 at 11:48 am |

    Alyssa:
    So imagine that this note was written not by a vegan, but by an observant Jew who flew off the handle that her roommate brought non-Kosher food into the house.

    Anyone can make any decisions they want about their diet for any reason. I can decide to be vegan. I can decide to become an observant Jew. I can decide that goddamnit, not another kidney bean will ever cross the threshold of this house, so help me God. But in any of those cases, I can’t expect everyone around me to go along with it. If it’s that important to me, that such and such a food cannot even enter my house, then I need to choose the people in my house more carefully.

    and ugh, comparing oppressions just makes me sick.

  106. L
    L July 7, 2011 at 11:50 am |

    EG: Second, I am uncertain as to why veganism in an affluent country such as the US is such an ethical stance given the immense amount of oppression and harm done by the conditions of migrant laborers that allow mass and cheap production and distribution of vegetables.

    Vegetables that also feed millions of farm animals, that we then eat. So by that logic, individuals who consume animal products regularly are contributing to that oppression on a larger scale.

  107. Lis
    Lis July 7, 2011 at 11:52 am |

    Gillian Love
    The privilege here, I think, is that omnivores participate more in what a vegan would see as oppression of certain groups.

    So instead a vegan can be implicated in the oppression of different groups, like migrant farm workers! Seriously, nobody’s hands are clean here. I think it might be really tempting to think that by doing something that actually doesn’t change your standard of living you can save the world, but world-saving doesn’t work that way. Eating food in the Western world implicates you in a complex system of oppressions; being vegan only lets you wiggle out of a few. I eat an omnivore diet because it keeps me physically and mentally healthy while I can do social justice work at my day job. That’s my own wiggle. I’m not about to say anyone who doesn’t drop everything and go work with the homeless is just refusing to make a moral choice.

    And I for one never had a bad opinion of vegans until I started reading comments written by them on Feministe.

  108. zuzu
    zuzu July 7, 2011 at 12:02 pm |

    Jill: Yeah, it’s because the vegan-tweaking posts inevitably bring out the sanctimony, and then the flouncing, and it’s one of my personal goals to get this blog rid of people who come looking to Fight On The Internet. So far I think it’s working pretty well.

    You could have just posted pictures of hats from the latest royal wedding. That one could have gotten fights and sanctimony for DAYS.

  109. Ellie
    Ellie July 7, 2011 at 12:03 pm |

    L: Vegetables that also feed millions of farm animals, that we then eat. So by that logic, individuals who consume animal products regularly are contributing to that oppression on a larger scale.

    Oh, if only those factory-farmed animals were eating my fresh avocados…

    /stirring the pot

  110. Gillian Love
    Gillian Love July 7, 2011 at 12:04 pm |

    Lis: So instead a vegan can be implicated in the oppression of different groups, like migrant farm workers!Seriously, nobody’s hands are clean here.I think it might be really tempting to think that by doing something that actually doesn’t change your standard of living you can save the world, but world-saving doesn’t work that way.Eating food in the Western world implicates you in a complex system of oppressions; being vegan only lets you wiggle out of a few.I eat an omnivore diet because it keeps me physically and mentally healthy while I can do social justice work at my day job.That’s my own wiggle.I’m not about to say anyone who doesn’t drop everything and go work with the homeless is just refusing to make a moral choice.

    And I for one never had a bad opinion of vegans until I started reading comments written by them on Feministe.

    As I said before, veganism isn’t about perfection but doing what you can. I won’t got into it now, but there is a strong argument to say that cutting out meat can be the biggest first step. Check out, as I’ve emphasized, the UN report!

    Also, I have no time for you opinion about *ALL* vegans based on the words of a few. That sort of generalisation is annoying no matter who is doing it to who. As far as I can see, there’s a range of opinions on this thread, from a range of people, vegan, vegetarian and omnivore.

  111. Gillian Love
    Gillian Love July 7, 2011 at 12:08 pm |

    L: Vegetables that also feed millions of farm animals, that we then eat. So by that logic, individuals who consume animal products regularly are contributing to that oppression on a larger scale.

    Especially since by rearing a farm animal, you typically need 10 times the amount of water and crop than if you just ate the crop, or derivatives of it (Source: again, the UN report…I keep coming back to it, but it’s fascinating). Obviously it matters where you get the stuff from (air miles?) but even then, the carbon footprint of industrial farming is enormous. there’s no way of saying ‘this is absolutely the right track to go down to be an ethical consumer,’ but vegetarianism could be a good place to start.

  112. Lis
    Lis July 7, 2011 at 12:12 pm |

    @Gillian: So my first step has to be the same as yours? I have to do something doctors have specifically told me would threaten my health to be a moral person? Uh, no.

    My bad opinion of vegans is “Wow, some of them are real judgmental asswipes.” And I stand by that, cheerfully.

  113. Gillian Love
    Gillian Love July 7, 2011 at 12:20 pm |

    Lis:
    @Gillian:So my first step has to be the same as yours?I have to do something doctors have specifically told me would threaten my health to be a moral person?Uh, no.

    My bad opinion of vegans is “Wow, some of them are real judgmental asswipes.”And I stand by that, cheerfully.

    Um, no.

    Did I say I was a vegan? Or a vegetarian? Defensive much?!

    I don’t know how many times I’ve typed this, but if you’re concerned with being an ethical consumer, it’s about doing whatever you can. If, for you, a vegan diet is not advisable, cool. And you don’t even have to be an ethical consumer if you don’t choose to be! At no point did I say anyone *should* do anything, except consider their impact and change IF THEY CAN.

  114. Florence
    Florence July 7, 2011 at 12:21 pm |

    zuzu: You could have just posted pictures of hats from the latest royal wedding. That one could have gotten fights and sanctimony for DAYS.

    Only British people wear hats, so unfortunately that affects a narrow pool of offenders. (Or offendees?)

  115. L
    L July 7, 2011 at 12:25 pm |

    Lis: @Gillian: So my first step has to be the same as yours? I have to do something doctors have specifically told me would threaten my health to be a moral person? Uh, no.

    Did she say that?!?!?

    Do what you can! And by the sounds of it, you are doing what you can! So congrats!

  116. zuzu
    zuzu July 7, 2011 at 12:26 pm |

    Florence: Only British people wear hats, so unfortunately that affects a narrow pool of offenders. (Or offendees?)

    There were Brits at that wedding! And they confiscated the bride’s passport because she tried to flee after a third love child of the groom’s popped up. Albert, darling, CONDOMS.

  117. zuzu
    zuzu July 7, 2011 at 12:27 pm |

    Oh, fuck, blockquote FAIL. I thought I’d mastered that by now.

  118. Alcharisi
    Alcharisi July 7, 2011 at 12:38 pm |

    Gillian, let’s assume, for argument’s sake, that (a simplified version of) your proposition is correct– the basic equation that (consumption of animal products)=oppression (hereinafter “c” and “o”, respectively), whatever the mechanism by which that occurs may be (animal rights, resources, etc, take your pick)– and that therefore there is a direct relationship between reducing “c” and reducing “o”. Let us further assume that the duty of a concerned and moral individual is to take some concrete steps toward reducing “o”– hereinafter, “D”.

    It does not necessarily follow from these two assertions that a moral person must eliminate “c”. The assertion that “c”=”o” doesn’t mean that there are no other things that equal “o”– thus, one could achieve “D” in a completely different arena, as Lis pointed out. Nor does it mean that, even if you chose to focus on this issue, in order to accomplish “D” a complete elimination of “c” is necessary– by reducing, say, one’s meat consumption from 5x a week to 2x, one still achieves a significant reduction in the level of “o” for which one is responsible. And quite honestly, you are going to be much more successful convincing people to eat less meat than to go vegan.

    This is all a longwinded and unneccesarily philosophical way of saying that 1.) practically speaking, ethical standards don’t mean squat in terms of net good accomplished (which, if I am reading you correctly, is what you’re aiming at) unless you can get a critical mass of people to adhere to them, and 2.) there are different ways to work for justice. Not everyone can do all of them at once.

    Finally (as Lis again noted), it is absolutely justifiable in everyday circumstances to take care of yourself (and I mean that in terms of mental/emotional as well as physical health) in order to actually be useful and effective at the work you do.

  119. smmo
    smmo July 7, 2011 at 12:52 pm |

    Niki:
    Can we all agree not to do the “UGH VEGANS ARE ALL SO ANNOYING” thing anymore please? Saying all vegans are like the writer of this note is like saying all Christians are Westboro Baptist Church fanatics. Come on, as feminists, aren’t we well aware of the frustrations with activist stereotyping? Why can’t we all just agree that the chick who wrote that note is a self-righteous asshole, and happens to be a vegan? Just like the many omnivores I know who are self-righteous assholes?

    Where’s the pageviews fun in that?

  120. William
    William July 7, 2011 at 12:53 pm |

    I’m a lesbian: I’ve never been murdered because I wouldn’t have sex with men (hell, I’ve never been seriously hurt because of it, just yelled at in the street, been scared by my bosses, probably didn’t get a few jobs because an openly-queer job was on my resume, told that I’m being “political” and “brandishing my love life” if I want to talk about who I went out with last weekend), So I have no right to talk about heterosexual privilege, huh, William?

    Interested pivot, but you and I both know its bullshit. Why? Because one doesn’t have to look too far to find queer folk who have been killed for being queer. Or for doing any of the things you mention. Heterosexual privilege exists even if not everyone has felt the full extent of heterosexual oppression because we know that the potential is there. Maybe you’ve got enough other intersecting privileges that you’ve avoided the worst of it. A lot of people haven’t. You know people who haven’t. If you were going to be honest I’d bet you’d admit that some of the queer folk you know who have been beaten, raped, murdered, fired, marginalized, or disowned really aren’t just like vegans who someone has been mean to. Shame on you for suggesting otherwise. Shame on you for erasing real oppression. Shame on you for using it as a fucking totem in a vile attempt to protect your trivial privileged bullshit from someone else’s trivial privileged bullshit.

    Because I haven’t been really hurt for my sexual orientation, so I should just shut up because things are so much worse elsewhere!

    Show me the suicide rates. Show me the homelessness. Show me the horrific damage that vegans in the US face that somehow warrants a comparison to forced sterilizations, lynchings, or Matthew Shepard. That kind of violence affects communities and entire classes of people. It isn’t about being worse. Its about one person making mild fun of you for what you eat and another person being stoned and left for dead in a field. If you cannot see why one is not of even vaguely the same magnitude as the other you can go right ahead and fuck yourself. Flounce and shout Dawkins all you want, you’re not much better than a lefty version of the Evangelical Christian who whines about how oppressed they are because they can’t take away prescriptions for birth control that they’ve refused to fill or shoot clinic doctors.

    I stay with a family and discover that as far as they’re concerned, I can eat what they’re eating (mostly meat) or go hungry – they’re not going to indulge my “faddishness” by cooking “special” food for the vegetarian kid

    Which is totes like that thing you remember reading one time by that Russian guy in jail who has to eat gross stuff with fish eyes and yucky bread in the snow!

    I get invited to a birthday party and while everyone else is tucking into a lavish (and meat-laden) birthday tea, birthday kid’s mum opens a tin of cheese pasta for me,

    Almost identical to “separate but equal” schools. Vegans ought to be protected by Brown v. Board of Ed! Or maybe Title IX…

    I’m working in an office where there are a lot of compulsory team lunches where we’re expected to “just split the bill equally” – at restaurants where the only vegetarian option is half the price of the meat-rich meals my colleagues can buy: I’m expected to pay for their meals and not be a killjoy by complaining about it.

    I seem to remember hearing a similar (but, like vegans, totally legitimate and not at all privileged or asinine) argument about tax dollars and abortion coming from the GOP. Not that you’re a Republican. You’re too enlightened for that white trash shit, I’m sure…

    William, you may never have noticed this, but if you’re a vegan or a vegetarian in a culture where “normal” meals include meat, the meat-eaters get to make carping or critical comments about your choice of food, but if you say anything in defense of what you eat, you’re being sanctimonious and lecturing them and omg political. Their comments are just good fun and fair comment. And yes: that’s privilege.

    Giving someone the finger and then giving them the finger again when they speak up is not quite the same thing as claiming trans panic after murdering someone because you disapproved of their gender presentation. Do they bear some vague resemblance? Sure. Is the comparison of the latter to the former almost purely rooted in the target of the former trying to wrap themselves in the real victimization of the latter? You bet your ass.

    Even though it doesn’t involve death threats.

    Threats? I hate to break it to you, but a lot of people have faced a lot worse than threats. Western Vegans haven’t even faced threats. It isn’t the same.

    tl;dr – Fuck you and the horse you road in on.

  121. Natalie
    Natalie July 7, 2011 at 12:55 pm |

    Gillian Love: Um, no.

    Did I say I was a vegan? Or a vegetarian? Defensive much?!

    I don’t know how many times I’ve typed this, but if you’re concerned with being an ethical consumer, it’s about doing whatever you can. If, for you, a vegan diet is not advisable, cool. And you don’t even have to be an ethical consumer if you don’t choose to be! At no point did I say anyone *should* do anything, except consider their impact and change IF THEY CAN.

    I agree, Gillian, but I admit I often I see the “I’m doing what I can” argument used to justify getting all holier-than-thou about practices that are largely symbolic or even fashionable. I.e. people adopt certain diets, lifestyles and other life choices because they care more about looking moral than actually being moral. (I worked in the Darfur movement for years, and that was a major tactic of how we raised money: It didn’t matter if donors and activists actually cared about Darfur, we just had to make it cool to care about Darfur.) Do you think it’s important to parse apart true-believer vegans and fad-chasing vegans, or do you think it doesn’t matter as long as the result (i.e. contributing less to the meat industrial complex) is the same?

  122. William
    William July 7, 2011 at 12:55 pm |

    Nope. I already explained to William why I see privilege in action, but the longer comment is *sigh* still in moderation.

    Which, to be fair, is just like a book burning…

  123. EG
    EG July 7, 2011 at 12:56 pm |

    Vegetables that also feed millions of farm animals, that we then eat. So by that logic, individuals who consume animal products regularly are contributing to that oppression on a larger scale.

    Indeed. And if I were running around holding up an omnivoric (omivorian?) diet as an example of moral superiority, that would be a good point. Since I’m not, I’m not sure what your point actually is.

    The impact of the consumer is negligible. So…what’s the alternative? Do you know how hard it is to change things (if you want to) from the top down?

    Yes, yes I do. But I also don’t feel the need to take meaningless action in order to make myself feel like I’m doing something. I see no reason to believe that changing my personal eating habits would have any effect on the world food crisis whatsoever.

    That argument is like saying ‘don’t recycle! Your contribution is negligible!’ It’s the collective effort that you’re contributing to.

    Actually, I had thought you were going to go with voting, but recycling is fine, too. My individual contribution to recycling is negligible, which is why, when I find myself out and about with an empty can of seltzer, I’m far more likely to throw it in a public trash can than I am to schlep the thing home and put it in the recycling without much, if any, guilt. The difference is the cost/benefit analysis–recycling takes very little effort, while veganism would, for me, take a whole lot. I’m willing to expend very little effort for negligible impact. I’m not willing to expend a whole lot of effort for negligible impact.

    And again, none of this would matter if vegans would refrain from considering irritating comments to be on a par with anti-semitism with respect to oppression. Vegans are not oppressed. Period. Inconvenienced? Yes. The target of ridicule? Sometimes. Oppressed by a post making fun of a particularly jerky member of their group? No. Not at all.

    Being a vegan in itself is not ‘railing’ against anyone else.

    Nope, it’s not. Coming onto a blog post about a vegan who has acted like a major asshole and claiming that mocking that particular vegan is tantamount to participating in the “oppression” of all vegans? I’d categorize that as railing.

  124. William
    William July 7, 2011 at 12:58 pm |

    Check out, as I’ve emphasized, the UN report!

    I would, but by reading a UN report I’d be granting legitimacy to an agency with a terrible history of corruption and an almost endemic culture of rape amongst it’s peace keepers.

    /sarcasm

  125. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. July 7, 2011 at 1:04 pm |

    zuzu: You could have just posted pictures of hats from the latest royal wedding.That one could have gotten fights and sanctimony for DAYS.

    To be fair, I think we should include stories of assholish omnivores. Like my friend who INSISTS on sprinkling my salad with bacon bits (at salad bars) even though I’ve said no thank you. I love her but ASSHOLE!! Also M who makes tonkatsu for himself and chicken katsu (or katsu curry) for me. He KNOWS tonkatsu is my favorite food in the world and that I’ve given up pork. Yet he tempts me by eating it right there just to torture me. Asshole!!

  126. Gillian Love
    Gillian Love July 7, 2011 at 1:06 pm |

    Hmm I find it depressing that a few people here think individual action=meaningless, therefore let’s not be concerned with changing anything we do.

    Doesn’t bode well for feminism, that attitude. Or any movement, in fact.

  127. EG
    EG July 7, 2011 at 1:10 pm |

    Yonmei, being on the receiving end of rudeness does not constitute oppression. All kinds of people are rude about all kinds of things–dietary differences, clothing styles, size of one’s home, dandruff, athletic ability, doing or refraining from doing drugs/drinking. I, for instance, was repeatedly mocked when younger for my lack of athletic ability (it doesn’t come up much these days). That wasn’t some kind of oppression of weak, slow people by the privileged strong and fast. It was just rudeness. Not everything that hurts your or my feelings is an instance of oppression. For it to be oppression, there has to be some kind of systematic disadvantaging of the person on the receiving end of the rudeness based on their group membership. And being forced to pay more than your fair share on a restaurant bill just doesn’t cut it, unless exemptions are being made for other people whose choices result in lower tabs, like, for instance, the person who has one beer not being pressured to share the cost of the meal of the guy who orders three margaritas with top shelf tequila.

  128. EG
    EG July 7, 2011 at 1:14 pm |

    I find it depressing that a few people here think individual action=meaningless, therefore let’s not be concerned with changing anything we do.

    Good thing that’s not what I said, then. I said I saw no reason to make a massively unpleasant overhaul to my eating habits for negligible returns. The way you equate vegetarianism/veganism in particular with individual political action in general is exactly the sort of thing that omnivores find sanctimonious. As you yourself have pointed out, it’s not the only way to do something decent.

    But the idea that consumerism can save us is one of the most irritating myths of the past few decades on the left, in my opinion. I like consumerism as much as the next person, but I’m not going to delude myself about its efficacies.

  129. XtinaS
    XtinaS July 7, 2011 at 1:15 pm |

    Jill:

    You should post a picture of a vegan person wearing a hat.  If you could put one more enraging-type thing in there, you’d have a hat trick!

    (In my defense, re that horrible pun, I have a headache.)

  130. Andie
    Andie July 7, 2011 at 1:23 pm |

    XtinaS:
    Jill:

    You should post a picture of a vegan person wearing a hat. If you could put one more enraging-type thing in there, you’d have a hat trick!

    (In my defense, re that horrible pun, I have a headache.)

    A Vegan PILOT wearing a hat.

  131. zuzu
    zuzu July 7, 2011 at 1:26 pm |

    EG: I see no reason to believe that changing my personal eating habits would have any effect on the world food crisis whatsoever…. My individual contribution to recycling is negligible, which is why, when I find myself out and about with an empty can of seltzer, I’m far more likely to throw it in a public trash can than I am to schlep the thing home and put it in the recycling without much, if any, guilt.

    Tragedy of the Commons in action!

    Really, why change any individual behavior? I mean, what’s the point in anyone’s individual decision to do anything, since it’s all pointless? What’s the point of being individually anti-racist, or individually feminist, or individually anti-homophobic?

    Collective action is made up of individual actions. It may not feel like you’re doing much by throwing out that can, but when you look at a whole bunch of cans together, then you see that, yes, your actions have consequences (also, if you’re putting cans with a deposit on them in the trash, you’re just making a street person who collects them for cash have to work harder to get at them. Put them on the rim of the garbage can).

    Like it or not, our individual decisions wrt what we eat have huge environmental impacts. How much grain a steer must eat prior to being slaughtered is quantifiable, as is the energy it takes to produce that grain, the number of acres it takes to grow it, and the amount of pesticides, etc., that go into raising it. What’s also quantifiable is the number of calories that go into raising that steer vs. the number of calories the steer produces. It’s simply much, much less efficient, from a land-use and other resource-use perspective, to raise beef cattle than it is to grow plants for human consumption.

    And this isn’t getting any better with the increasing numbers of middle-class people in China, India and elsewhere who want to eat more meat because eating meat is something that rich people do. As is having a car.

    Food production is hugely complicated, and hugely exploitative and hugely important and hugely environmentally destructive as currently practiced on huge corporate farms. And all of that is also largely hidden from those who consume food, at least in the US.

    That some people who call your attention to this are sanctimonious pricks, or don’t know what a steer is, or are smug, or make you uncomfortable by pointing out stuff you’d rather not think about, doesn’t actually change any of these facts. Kinda like how Al Gore being fat or sighing during a debate doesn’t change any of the facts about climate change.

    As always, you’re free to make whatever choices you want. But don’t pretend that what you do as an individual is without consequence. Everything we choose to do has consequences, because there are billions of other people doing things as well.

  132. zuzu
    zuzu July 7, 2011 at 1:26 pm |

    And now bring on the fucking hats.

  133. groggette
    groggette July 7, 2011 at 1:35 pm |

    zuzu: And now bring on the fucking hats.

    OK

  134. XtinaS
    XtinaS July 7, 2011 at 1:41 pm |

    Andie: A Vegan PILOT wearing a hat.

    YES.

    Today’s hasty Paint job:

    http://i34.photobucket.com/albums/d117/XShaolin/HAT_TRICK.png

  135. Gillian Love
    Gillian Love July 7, 2011 at 1:43 pm |

    Very well put, zuzu!

    The hats, too.

  136. zuzu
    zuzu July 7, 2011 at 1:44 pm |

    XtinaS: YES.

    Today’s hasty Paint job:

    http://i34.photobucket.com/albums/d117/XShaolin/HAT_TRICK.png

    HAHAHA.

    I hope that’s a faux leather jacket she’s wearing, though, missy!

  137. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. July 7, 2011 at 1:46 pm |

    A vegan’s kitten wearing a meat hat on its way to a royal wedding via an airplane that hits a building because kittens are shitty pilots.

  138. zuzu
    zuzu July 7, 2011 at 1:46 pm |

    groggette: OK

    That is, truly, An Awesome Hat.

    And I wants it.

  139. Florence
    Florence July 7, 2011 at 1:51 pm |

    MOAR.

  140. Florence
    Florence July 7, 2011 at 1:52 pm |

    Comments 144-147 FTW.

  141. zuzu
    zuzu July 7, 2011 at 2:00 pm |

    Kristen J.:
    A vegan’s kitten wearing a meat hat on its way to a royal wedding via an airplane that hits a building because kittens are shitty pilots.

    ANIMAL OWNERSHIP IS SLAVERY.

  142. XtinaS
    XtinaS July 7, 2011 at 2:00 pm |

    Kristen J.:
    A vegan’s kitten wearing a meat hat on its way to a royal wedding via an airplane that hits a building because kittens are shitty pilots.

    DOT COM.

    Moar:

    http://i34.photobucket.com/albums/d117/XShaolin/KITTEN_HAT.png

    I couldn’t find a meat hat that wasn’t completely revolting, which is I suppose the point.

  143. Yonmei
    Yonmei July 7, 2011 at 2:26 pm |

    William: . Shame on you for using it as a fucking totem in a vile attempt to protect your trivial privileged bullshit from someone else’s trivial privileged bullshit.

    Well, William, it seems no man is immune from the temptation of doing a Richard Dawkin of outrage at anyone who presumes to discuss something he considers to be “trivial”.

    Privilege is a mechanism. It can operate in all sorts of areas. Your rage at the idea that people who eat “normatively” have privilege over those who do not eat “normatively”, is the classic rage of a person with privilege who objects to having that privilege pointed out. It’s over-the-top, and it’s absurd.

    Now let’s move on to taping bacon on cats.

  144. groggette
    groggette July 7, 2011 at 2:58 pm |

    I bring you… BACON HATS!! And a few non bacon varieties.

  145. Florence
    Florence July 7, 2011 at 3:18 pm |

    Seriously, “privilege” analysis is about to go the way of trigger warning requests.

  146. Natalia
    Natalia July 7, 2011 at 3:56 pm |

    Yeah, what William said.

    Also

    …because Jill did it, it reads as Jill mocking/attacking vegans, because that’s her blogging history

    I hate to get all Regina George on anyone, Yonmei, but I will have to make an exception in this case: you seem to be obsessed with Jill and it’s weird. If you genuinely don’t like someone, there’s really no point in hanging around their blog all the time, trying to “spoil their fun” or whatever. Unless the lady really doth protest too much. It’s trollish behaviour, but it’s also just unpleasant and unnecessary.

  147. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh July 7, 2011 at 4:09 pm |

    To the person who compared rudeness towards vegans to anti-Semitism, no. Just no.

  148. Sarah
    Sarah July 7, 2011 at 4:21 pm |

    Also seriously, the website that the note is from is an entire website about passive-aggressive notes.

    And yet you didn’t post any of the others, just this one. I understand that you have every right to post whatever you want (especially since this is more or less your blog), but still I feel like there could be better targets for making fun about.

    And I just feel that lately I’ve somehow been less welcome here because of my veganism. I know that’s not your aim, but still. And now I sound like a flouncer, but I don’t think I can be one since I mostly lurk and rarely comment.

  149. FashionablyEvil
    FashionablyEvil July 7, 2011 at 5:15 pm |

    I’m beginning to think Yonmei is a performance artist who is hoping that Jill will name the award for Feministe’s Next Top Troll the Yonmei.

  150. Alyssa
    Alyssa July 7, 2011 at 5:27 pm |

    chava:
    http://catalyticreactions.blogspot.com/2011/05/please-stop-comparing-your-oppression.html

    Kthxbye.

    Thanks for letting me know which aspects of my own identity I’m permitted to compare. I really appreciate that.

  151. EG
    EG July 7, 2011 at 5:36 pm |

    But don’t pretend that what you do as an individual is without consequence. Everything we choose to do has consequences, because there are billions of other people doing things as well.

    And my choosing to haul that can home has absolutely no effect on what those billions are doing. None. Indeed, I do not believe in the efficacy of individual action. I believe in the efficacy of organized, targeted, collective action. But if you have any historical examples of random individuals’ personal consumer decisions effecting significant change on the scale that would be needed to stop the mass environmental damage caused by waste and/or the food industry, I’d love to hear them.

  152. Azeylea M.
    Azeylea M. July 7, 2011 at 5:38 pm |

    Alyssa: Thanks for letting me know which aspects of my own identity I’m permitted to compare. I really appreciate that.

    I’m Jewish and an English major. Because I’m an English major I have poor job prospects and sometimes people make fun of me.

    Obviously, being rude to me and and not hiring me is just like calling for the mass extermination of an entire group of people. Because… I’m both?

    False equivalency is still false, no matter how true it feels.

  153. EG
    EG July 7, 2011 at 5:53 pm |

    What’s the point of being individually anti-racist, or individually feminist, or individually anti-homophobic?

    And, by the way, those aren’t individual behaviors, which is the issue under discussion. Being feminist isn’t a behavior, it’s a philosophical/political stance. Nonetheless, unless it is coupled with organized collective action, a given individual adopting a philosophical/political stance is pretty useless. I suppose I can see long-term political gains to, oh, being a feminist and deciding to go into gynecology so you can become an abortion provider in an area bereft of them, but even that takes collective organization and work–you need someone to teach you how to do abortions, you need staff who are willing to risk injury or worse for coming to work, you need legal consultants to help you set up your practice. Making a personal decision about what you’re going to buy really isn’t the same thing at all.

    I mean, I like to go to independent bookstores rather than order books from Amazon, and I think that is a significant ethical issue, but I’m under no illusions that my widow’s mite is actually going to effectively undermine Amazon, or, for that matter, keep afloat my preferred independent bookstore. It’s just something I prefer to do because a) I always enjoy it b) it soothes my conscience and c) it couldn’t possibly hurt. I do manage, however, not to take it personally every time a blog whose politics I generally admire discusses or recommends a book and links to Amazon rather than to Booksense.

  154. shfree
    shfree July 7, 2011 at 5:53 pm |

    Speaking as a vegetarian who keeps a meat-free household, it is extremely insulting to compare the level of crap we get for our dietary choices to the level of intolerance any other oppressed group suffers at the hands of any other privileged group. It really boggles my mind.

    The fact of the matter is, oppressed groups are oppressed not because they are given crap around the dinner table or for being different, but because they have been denied legal rights for centuries, have suffered violence because they’ve been seen as less than the white male heteronormal. Show me ONE LAW where vegans or vegetarians have been denied rights because of their diets, then I will consider the idea that omnivore oppression exists.

  155. William
    William July 7, 2011 at 7:23 pm |

    Well, William, it seems no man is immune from the temptation of doing a Richard Dawkin of outrage at anyone who presumes to discuss something he considers to be “trivial”.

    Keep riding that horse, maybe at some point someone here will agree with you that being mean to vegetarians is the same as unwanted sexual advances. Maybe they’ll even buy the argument that vegans are as historically oppressed as women. I’ll mock them too.

    I enjoy calling people out, I enjoy mocking the willfully stupid. Thanks for helping me slake both thirsts.

    Privilege is a mechanism. It can operate in all sorts of areas.

    Privilege is not a mechanism. This is an important distinction. Privilege is the product of relatively less powerful people observing the ways in which relatively more powerful people are relatively more powerful. There is no mechanism, its an observation. A white, cis, heterosexual, non-institutionalized man walking through a dark alley at night doesn’t worry about getting raped. That is privilege. There is no mechanism that comes into play to protect him from rape, nor does he brandish his privilege to protect himself, instead it is a simple reality of the systems of power which surround him. Privilege doesn’t operate. Power operates.

    The systems of power/knowledge, the social rules, the expectations, the formal and informal norms which lead to coercion, discipline, and oppression surround and bind our privileged man just as they do anyone else. Because of his place in the systems of power/knowledge he is protected from certain negative outcomes not because he has some special privilege but because he fulfills those norms in such a way as to avoid the mechanisms of discipline and coercion that would be used to force him into fulfilling those norms. He is protected from rape while a woman would be targeted not because he is privileged but because she is oppressed. Thats the way power works. Some people aren’t targeted for overt oppression because they already follow the rules which support the values which inform the power which metes out discipline. Privilege is a state of conforming to norms, not a mechanism.

    This is important to this discussion because different kinds of deviation from norms and ideals lead to very different potential outcomes. Historically, the absolute worst outcome a vegan is going to face in the west for being vegan is mild ridicule. You won’t lose your kids, you won’t be put in prison, you won’t be fair game for rape, you won’t be murderable, you won’t be subjected to the casual brutality of police who feel that they do not serve you because you do not eat meat. That immunity from significant consequence is a privilege. It is one that comes from the fact that to be vegan, in the vast majority of cases, means to be relatively wealthy enough to choose one’s food based on idiosyncratic ethics.

    Is the casual mockery an example of power/knowledge being used for coercion? Sure. Does that make the mild mockery vegans face at all similar to the kinds of severe bodily oppression faced by the kinds of groups who developed and popularized terms like “privilege?” Fuck no.

    Your rage at the idea that people who eat “normatively” have privilege over those who do not eat “normatively”, is the classic rage of a person with privilege who objects to having that privilege pointed out.

    Just because a coercive norm is in play does not mean the mechanisms of coercion are at all equal. More to the point: I’d argue that the privilege on display here is yours, given that you’re the one equating white people problems to histories of violent oppression in order to protect your middle class feelings from Jill on the internet.

    But hey, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe Jill not saying all vegans are assholes is the same as releasing dogs on civil rights protesters or putting a transwoman in a bullpen with men cause shes got a dick.

    It’s over-the-top, and it’s absurd.

    You know whats almost as delicious as bacon?

    Projection.

  156. Diz
    Diz July 7, 2011 at 7:35 pm |

    So how long did it take before Yonmei came along and made it all about her? Less than 24 hours? Can someone pass me the popcorn?

  157. smmo
    smmo July 7, 2011 at 7:45 pm |

    William:
    I enjoy calling people out, I enjoy mocking the willfully stupid. Thanks for helping me slake both thirsts.

    I think what we have here is sanctimony on steroids. With a generous helping of condescension.

  158. Azeylea M.
    Azeylea M. July 7, 2011 at 7:54 pm |

    smmo: I think what we have here is sanctimony on steroids.With a generous helping of condescension.

    William’s sanctimony doesn’t need steroids: it’s quite strong enough on its own (by which I mean that he’s right).

  159. zuzu
    zuzu July 7, 2011 at 8:11 pm |

    EG: And my choosing to haul that can home has absolutely no effect on what those billions are doing. None. Indeed, I do not believe in the efficacy of individual action.

    But your actions *do* have effect, because billions of people do things in the aggregate. If you live in a city of one million people who each throw out a can because they don’t think it matters if one person throws out a can, you have one million cans.

    To use another example,

    If every American home replaced just one light with a light that’s earned the ENERGY STAR, we would save enough energy to light 3 million homes for a year, save about $600 million in annual energy costs, and prevent 9 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions per year, equivalent to those from about 800,000 cars.

    EG: And, by the way, those aren’t individual behaviors, which is the issue under discussion. Being feminist isn’t a behavior, it’s a philosophical/political stance. Nonetheless, unless it is coupled with organized collective action, a given individual adopting a philosophical/political stance is pretty useless.

    Well, don’t you think that getting from a philosophical stance (ethical feelings about meat eating) to action (not eating meat) to organized collective action (convincing others not to eat meat, or to eat less meat, or to eat only ethically-raised meat, or even trying to change food policy or farming practices) is kind of similar to what you’re describing as feminism?

    Again, no one’s trying to take away your bacon. No one’s forcing you to make dietary changes you find uncomfortable or unduly unpleasant, I think was the word you used.

    But you’re dreaming if you don’t think your individual food choices, combined with the food choices of hundreds of millions of meat-eating Westerners, don’t have consequences. Even if you don’t have the imagination to see them.

  160. smmo
    smmo July 7, 2011 at 8:12 pm |

    Azeylea M.: William’s sanctimony doesn’t need steroids: it’s quite strong enough on its own (by which I mean that he’s right).

    Yes, I’ve often noticed that people that loudly proclaim their enjoyment of mocking those they’ve decided are stupid are really excellent folks. In fact, this whole thread is chock full of folks patting themselves on the back for mocking and deriding vegetarians(???) for shits and giggles. No, it’s not oppression, and suggesting it is is of course offensive. But it’s fucking rude.

  161. Iris
    Iris July 7, 2011 at 8:19 pm |

    smmo: I think what we have here is sanctimony on steroids.With a generous helping of condescension.

    I think what we have here is someone resorting to insults because they have no cogent rebuttal for the arguments presented. By all means, prove me wrong.

  162. Azeylea M.
    Azeylea M. July 7, 2011 at 8:37 pm |

    smmo: In fact, this whole thread is chock full of folks patting themselves on the back for mocking and deriding vegetarians(???) for shits and giggles.

    In fact, this whole thread is chock full of folks patting themselves on the back for mocking and deriding certain vegetarians who behave like assholes and appropriate the suffering of oppressed peoples for shits and giggles.

    There. Fixed it for you.

  163. William
    William July 7, 2011 at 8:38 pm |

    I think what we have here is sanctimony on steroids. With a generous helping of condescension.

    In for a penny…

  164. Florence
    Florence July 7, 2011 at 8:40 pm |

    Critiques of “consumption activism” I think are better aimed at, say, the GAP (r)ed campaign, or the Komen pink ribbons, where the goal is to make the consumer feel like a champ for spending dollars without actually making lifestyle changes or contributing to an issue in any meaningful way. Encouraging people to make easy, sustainable choices that make sense in their lives that also help contribute to green(er) initiatives is a net gain for all, so I don’t begrudge anyone’s commitment to vegan eating or recycling or w/e. What annoys me, and apparently Jill and a lot of other folks, is when it crosses the line from “this is what I do and how” to “this is what you ought to do” with the coda being “or you are a poor activist/immoral person/bad feminist/etc”. Not to mention that in my social group, people will clamor to get the most crunchy points between their local vegan craft beer consumption to local screen-printed t-shirts only consumption to natural at-home childbirthing only to urban chicken farming only, etc., all of which is great and fun, but DAMN, it’s not a competition.

  165. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. July 7, 2011 at 8:41 pm |

    XtinaS: DOT COM.Moar:http://i34.photobucket.com/albums/d117/XShaolin/KITTEN_HAT.pngI couldn’t find a meat hat that wasn’t completely revolting, which is I suppose the point.

    I laughed so hard I almost lost a lung.

  166. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. July 7, 2011 at 8:47 pm |

    Florence: Komen pink ribbons, where the goal is to make the consumer feel like a champ for spending dollars without actually making lifestyle changes or contributing to an issue in any meaningful way.

    OMIGOD you mean M’s pink knife and my pink kitchenaid are not ending cancer? Next you’ll say that Abbie’s pink dog collar and leash are merely adorable and not a key part of the cure. *dies*

  167. EG
    EG July 7, 2011 at 8:48 pm |

    Encouraging people to make easy, sustainable choices that make sense in their lives that also help contribute to green(er) initiatives is a net gain for all, so I don’t begrudge anyone’s commitment to vegan eating or recycling or w/e.

    I completely agree. But the attitude that vegan eating is easy and makes sense for everybody is, as you say, beyond irritating. I don’t begrudge any individual’s commitment to his/her choices; but I don’t see any need to pretend that I think that said commitment is going to have a measurable impact on the ongoing destruction of the environment.

  168. Florence
    Florence July 7, 2011 at 9:04 pm |

    Kristen J.: OMIGOD you mean M’s pink knife and my pink kitchenaid are not ending cancer?Next you’ll say that Abbie’s pink dog collar and leash are merely adorable and not a key part of the cure.*dies*

    I am not sure. I would have to see a photo of Abbie to tell.

    Are pork buns sustainable? *prays*

  169. EG
    EG July 7, 2011 at 9:08 pm |

    But your actions *do* have effect, because billions of people do things in the aggregate. If you live in a city of one million people who each throw out a can because they don’t think it matters if one person throws out a can, you have one million cans.

    Indeed. And if I take my can home and recycle it, then you have 999,999 cans. I do understand the idea that lots of people together have an effect; that’s why I specified that I support targeted, organized, collective action. So, for instance, if I wanted to help raise the rate of recycling cans by people on the go in NYC, taking my can home and recycling it would be pretty ineffective. It might make me feel good about my own virtue, but not much else. If recycling was an issue that I really wanted to have an effect on, I would organize some kind of movement to get recycling bins placed in accessible places around the city.

    I was in an airport some weeks ago. I duly put my plastic bottle in the available recycling bin. Then, while I was waiting for my plane, I watched a member of the janitorial staff take the trash bag out of the trash can, put it in the bag from the recycling bin, tie them up, and throw them in the cart together. I confirmed with a friend of mine who’s done janitorial work that this is a fairly common practice. My individual, ecologically-minded action–and the individual actions of other like-minded people–were rendered completely useless by a systemic issue.

    I do not believe that institutional problems are amenable to being solved by minor decisions made by persons of conscience. And you haven’t said anything to convince me otherwise.

    Well, don’t you think that getting from a philosophical stance (ethical feelings about meat eating) to action (not eating meat) to organized collective action (convincing others not to eat meat, or to eat less meat, or to eat only ethically-raised meat, or even trying to change food policy or farming practices) is kind of similar to what you’re describing as feminism?

    Not really. One more abortion provider in a locale starved for them is going to have a direct effect on the lives of the women in that locale. One less meat-eater, given the scale on which the food industry operates, is not going to have a direct effect on the numbers of animals slaughtered or, of more concern to me, the conditions in which they’re kept. One woman walking off a job due to its conditions achieves nothing; the entire room walking off at the same time does. I don’t see the individual action as being a necessary, or even particularly useful intermediary step between philosophical stance and collective action.

  170. Florence
    Florence July 7, 2011 at 9:09 pm |

    EG: but I don’t see any need to pretend that I think that said commitment is going to have a measurable impact on the ongoing destruction of the environment.

    I think this is arguable (esp in regards to diet; zuzu articulates it better upthread)? But I think, too, that people feel better knowing that they are trying to contribute to the problem in some way. With massive change being under control of governments, corporations, and major power brokers, it’s hard not to get discouraged and throw our hands up in the air and get apathetic about making change. I do think that, as socially conscious people who would *like* to affect change if we can, management of our own spheres is a small, but goal-oriented, solution to apathy.

  171. Florence
    Florence July 7, 2011 at 9:11 pm |

    In my comment at 9:09 I’m talking generally about social activism, not necessarily about veganism.

  172. zuzu
    zuzu July 7, 2011 at 9:24 pm |

    But even unorganized actions have effect, if they’re taken by enough people.

    For example: when the economy tanked, people spontaneously stopped spending money. There was no organized effort to get them to do so, but it happened because they took a look at the evidence (shitty economy, uncertain job situation, potential loss of income) and voluntarily cut back on their consumption.

    Which has led to all kinds of problems in the wider economy, since it’s all based on consumerism. If people don’t feel secure, they don’t spend money. If they don’t spend money, more people lose their jobs and spending goes down further, leading to a vicious cycle. The only way to get out of that is basic Keynesian action, but because that involves ZOMG DEFICIT SPENDING AND TAXES! it won’t be done.

    Also, I don’t know where you live, but in my world, aluminum cans have value as scrap metal.

  173. Shaun
    Shaun July 7, 2011 at 9:44 pm |

    OK, absolutely no one is going to believe this, but sometimes I have really strange dreams when I lay down with a migraine. Today, I came home from work, skimmed the comments here, and laid down.

    …And dreamed about a place called LOLcats Island, populated by sanctimonious vegans. o.O

  174. Florence
    Florence July 7, 2011 at 10:06 pm |

    Shaun: …And dreamed about a place called LOLcats Island, populated by sanctimonious vegans. o.O

    THAT DREAM IS THE WORST.

  175. EG
    EG July 7, 2011 at 10:08 pm |

    Right, understood about the economy. But again, that’s a widespread trend reacting to larger forces. If I wanted to counter that problem, deciding that I, personally, would go out and run up my credit cards would probably be the least effective thing I could do, even if I got some friends and people on the internet to do it too, which is why we need governmental action to remedy the situation.

    I don’t know about scrap metal or what I would do with it. I know I could redeem an aluminum can for five cents–or, I used to be able to–if I could find one of those machines. I’m not sure if they’ll do that over the counter at stores, though.

  176. XtinaS
    XtinaS July 7, 2011 at 10:36 pm |

    Kristen J.: I laughed so hard I almost lost a lung.

    Then that could be the hat!!

  177. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. July 8, 2011 at 12:44 am |

    Florence: I am not sure. I would have to see a photo of Abbie to tell. Are pork buns sustainable? *prays*

    THAT’S IT. I’ll give up pork next week. I’m thawing a manapua right now.

    Abbie is rocking her SBK collar in the last photo.

  178. WestEndGirl
    WestEndGirl July 8, 2011 at 7:14 am |

    Ok, late to the thread here.
    But a story.

    I had a friend, who I’ll call Louise.
    Louise was an ovo-lacto (occasionally)-vegetarian, as are many of my friends. No problem, food choices and food requirements, just not a problem. I once catered for a gluten free, kosher, vegetarian, not keen on fish, dinner party(!) to give you an idea that food requirements are just not an issue.

    Louise has always been searching for something, some meaning. After a trip to India and then meeting a Tory vegan (entirely true UK readers!), she became a vegan.

    But not just someone who no longer eats or consumes animal products.

    Louise no longer eats sugar (“it’s just toxic poison that kills your cells and anyone that eats it is either ignorant or stupid”);
    Or caffeine (“It’s a drug which distracts from consciousness”); Or wheat (“It’s just not a natural form of cereal and is only good for agro-business”);

    Believes that everything including cancer (!) can be cured/prevented by a holistic lifestyle with strict vegan, no sugar, diet and that pharmaceuticals are just a con by government industry (yeah, those Ayurvedic vegetarian Indian poor are just imagining the benefits of polio vaccination, pah);

    Put on her Facebook that meat eating is just immoral and that anyone who does eat it is either immoral, lazy or ignorant and couldn’t understand why people took offense;

    Thought that her itchy eyes (at the start of the hayfever season and during her massive diet shift), must have been caused by chemtrails(!);

    And; my favourite, when presented with a Troofer argument re: 9:11 said: “Well there is no one truth, it’s all subjective”.

    I no longer want to be Louise’s friend as a result. Not because of her eating choice, but because all of the political, dogmatic, extremist nonsense that she has imbibed in the specific UK vegan movement she is part of. She has become judgemental to the extreme and evangelical (in the worst sense).

    And of course she’s middle class White. Doesn’t realise the class/race implications of her diet AT ALL.

    My Jain friend who has been vegan from birth. No issues at all. She’s just vegan.

    White middle class vegans – there is an issue.

  179. William
    William July 8, 2011 at 7:43 am |

    My Jain friend who has been vegan from birth. No issues at all. She’s just vegan.

    White middle class vegans – there is an issue.

    That, to my mind, tends to be the core of the problem. I’ve yet to run into an obnoxious, evangelical, confrontational, identity-driven Jain or Buddhist vegan. I’m sure there are some out there, but every single one I’ve actually encountered (not an insignificant number given where I live) tends to have the attitude that its their thing, makes their choices accordingly, and doesn’t do all of the subtle things designed to turn their personal beliefs into overt political statements.

    Western vegans, though? Its rare that I don’t talk to one who has an underlying sense of superiority for which the personal choice seems secondary. Its the same thing that you get from the hardcore locavores, the people who eat only organic, or the hipster foodies who just don’t understand how you can stomach that. I think thats where a lot of the open confrontation comes from, its a response to the evangelical baggage that so many western vegans bring with them.

    If I’m in a conversation with a devout Eastern Orthodox Christian I’m probably going to go out of my way not to take pot shots at Christianity. If, on the other hand, I know that someone’s an Evangelical there is a very good chance I’ll somehow end up calling Paul a conman. My wife isn’t a big fan of meat and doesn’t like beans or mushrooms, so we tend to work around that in the house. The low-meat diet organic locavore with their quinoa, skinny jeans, and pricey condo paid for by daddy where I worked last year? Slightly different story.

  180. chava
    chava July 8, 2011 at 7:56 am |

    Yeah, I have a few relatives and many passing acquaintences like that (fam in LA, Scientologists). It’s why I appreciate any analysis of the intersection between women, eating disorders, and the kind of dietary restrictions that are less about ethics and more about restriction for its own sake.

    Unfortunantly for many women I’ve known “vegan” “low carb” or “gluten free” is just a substitute in for a particular kind of diet/asceticism/self-denial. It leads into cutting out sugar, coffee, chocolate, meat…and spirals into things like the “master cleanse.” It seems to be a kind of bizarre cross between purification rituals and cloacked dieting.

    (It should go without saying that there are MANY veg’ns who aren’t doing this. But I think it is a problem/subset worth exploring)

    WestEndGirl:
    Ok, late to the thread here.
    But a story.

    I had a friend, who I’ll call Louise.
    Louise was an ovo-lacto (occasionally)-vegetarian, as are many of my friends. No problem, food choices and food requirements, just not a problem. I once catered for a gluten free, kosher, vegetarian, not keen on fish, dinner party(!) to give you an idea that food requirements are just not an issue.

    Louise has always been searching for something, some meaning. After a trip to India and then meeting a Tory vegan (entirely true UK readers!), she became a vegan.

    But not just someone who no longer eats or consumes animal products.

    Louise no longer eats sugar (“it’s just toxic poison that kills your cells and anyone that eats it is either ignorant or stupid”);
    Or caffeine (“It’s a drug which distracts from consciousness”); Or wheat (“It’s just not a natural form of cereal and is only good for agro-business”);

    Believes that everything including cancer (!) can be cured/prevented by a holistic lifestyle with strict vegan, no sugar, diet and that pharmaceuticals are just a con by government industry (yeah, those Ayurvedic vegetarian Indian poor are just imagining the benefits of polio vaccination, pah);

    Put on her Facebook that meat eating is just immoral and that anyone who does eat it is either immoral, lazy or ignorant and couldn’t understand why people took offense;

    Thought that her itchy eyes (at the start of the hayfever season and during her massive diet shift), must have been caused by chemtrails(!);

    And; my favourite, when presented with a Troofer argument re: 9:11 said: “Well there is no one truth, it’s all subjective”.

    I no longer want to be Louise’s friend as a result. Not because of her eating choice, but because all of the political, dogmatic, extremist nonsense that she has imbibed in the specific UK vegan movement she is part of. She has become judgemental to the extreme and evangelical (in the worst sense).

    And of course she’s middle class White. Doesn’t realise the class/race implications of her diet AT ALL.

    My Jain friend who has been vegan from birth. No issues at all. She’s just vegan.

    White middle class vegans – there is an issue.

  181. chava
    chava July 8, 2011 at 7:58 am |

    PORK BUNS!!!!!

    (I’ll see your pork buns and raise you a tuna steak, rare. I’ve given up non-sustainable fish–it’s my only real dietary “thing.”)

    Kristen J.: THAT’S IT.I’ll give up pork next week.I’m thawing a manapua right now.

    Abbie is rocking her SBK collar in the last photo.

  182. Florence
    Florence July 8, 2011 at 8:08 am |

    Kristen J.: Abbie is rocking her SBK collar in the last photo.

    Abbie’s pink dog collar and leash are both adorable AND a key part of the cure. *dies*

  183. WestEndGirl
    WestEndGirl July 8, 2011 at 8:28 am |

    Chava, I do agree you with the intersection of ED/asceticism/quasi-religousness in some aspects of vegan culture.

    Louise does comment how “light” she feels, not bogged down by sugar, meat, how she’s attaining high levels of consciousness and how she’s found her natural weight…. there is certainly a lot more going on than a choice to not do harm to animals!

    I’m not sure how the political/conspiracy theory aspect (Big Pharma etc) fits into all this. But it’s another facet.

    I’m just very very sad that one of my friends has chosen that particular route. I personally find it very hard to deal with. It’s like I stopped seeing a friend who became very Christian who wanted to tell me the Good News and thought I was doomed to Hell. Even when they stopped actually saying it, I knew they were thinking it. Which gave me the sadness. :-(

  184. Gillian Love
    Gillian Love July 8, 2011 at 8:31 am |

    WestEndGirl: White middle class vegans – there is an issue.

    I assume good faith, therefore assume you’re not tarring all white, middle-class vegans with the same brush? No-one likes political ideas being shoved down their throats. No-one likes privileged people saying things in ignorance of their privilege. But, and it seems stupid to be even saying it…white people aren’t all the same…middle-class people certainly aren’t all the same (class identity is incredibly fluid in the UK, I would argue).

    I’m straying into ‘wat about teh whitez’ territory here, but I just didn’t like that last line of yours!

    Plus, dismissing all of your friends beliefs about things like sugar, caffeine etc. is a little over the top; dismiss ridiculous statements and moral superiority, by all means, but there are some good reasons to oppose some of the items you listed, if you are interested in ethical consumerism.

  185. chava
    chava July 8, 2011 at 8:40 am |

    Yeah. Cause all my women friends who “don’t eat sugar” TOTALLY are doing it ’cause of the sugar lobby.

    I have problems with coffee farming. So I buy shade-grown fair trade. I don’t go around claiming that coffee makes you toxic and is evil–and I also recognize that “fair trade” is a difficult concept to pin down, and may or may not be doing long term good.

    Gillian Love:

    Plus, dismissing all of your friends beliefs about things like sugar, caffeine etc. is a little over the top; dismiss ridiculous statements and moral superiority, by all means, but there are some good reasons to oppose some of the items you listed, if you are interested in ethical consumerism.

  186. Gillian Love
    Gillian Love July 8, 2011 at 8:45 am |

    Ok. I agree. I just wasn’t sure if WestEndGirl was dismissing the ethical considerations behind her friend’s decisions entirely, or just the sanctimonious (there it is again!) nature of those decisions.

  187. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. July 8, 2011 at 9:35 am |

    Kristen J.: THAT’S IT.I’ll give up pork next week.I’m thawing a manapua right now.

    MWAHAHAHAHA!!! My dastardly plan has succeeded. There were only 4 manapua left. And Kristen would never have made more while abstaining from pork. I devised a plot to make all of her favorite foods, katsu, katsu curry, fried rice, prosciutto wrapped asparagus, even musubi. But still, she resisted. Until fate stepped in with this thread. First insulting spam and then discussing both bacon and manapua. She finally cracked under the delicious pressure! Now the manapua will be mine, ALL MINE!!!!!

    Unless someone else wants some. *goes to make char sui*

  188. William
    William July 8, 2011 at 9:42 am |

    I assume good faith, therefore assume you’re not tarring all white, middle-class vegans with the same brush? No-one likes political ideas being shoved down their throats. No-one likes privileged people saying things in ignorance of their privilege. But, and it seems stupid to be even saying it…white people aren’t all the same…middle-class people certainly aren’t all the same (class identity is incredibly fluid in the UK, I would argue).

    I think that whiteness and white culture is an important part of this discussion. Decisions about what to eat are not made in a vacuum, they are made in the context of a culture. A Jain or Buddhist not eating meat is making that choice with very different attributions than a rich white person on the North Side of Chicago. Even with fluid class identity there are still some basic difference between someone who chooses to be vegan in a culture where veganism is common and historical and a person who chooses to be vegan in a culture where veganism is unusual and often political. Being a communist in mainland China doesn’t mean quite the same thing or have quite the same motives as being a communist in Seattle.

    The “not all X people are the same!” comment can only take one so far. Group have norms, they have common elements which make them recognizable as group. Even people who do not fit into those norms are inscribed, informed, and judged by those norms. In the context of (generally) white, western, middle-class culture the vegan movement tends towards the evangelical and confrontational because it is informed by the political ideals, the privilege, and the transgression of the folks who make it up. Might there be some members who manage to transcend this? Sure, but they aren’t the norm in my experience.

    I’ve known people who were vegan for religious reasons, there are large communities of Jains and Buddhists in my immediate neighborhood, but I don’t have the same contentious relationship with them because they don’t tend to be evangelical. Its the underlying evangelism and confrontational judgement of the western vegan movement that provokes me. Put another way: if I’m having a conversation with a devout Eastern Orthodox person I’m likely going to go out of my way not to offend them. If I’m having a conversation with an American evangelical, though, theres a good chance I’ll make a snarky comment about Paul being a conman or bring up Mithras at some point.

    I think that, for all the whinging about how oppressed their middle class western white selves are, vegans in the west need to ask themselves why they raise so much ire compared to diabetics, or people with coeliac, people who keep kosher (or halal), or even people with virtually the same dietary restrictions but a different cultural context. I know that screaming privilege is attractive because it feels like an ultimate defense, but for me the bottom line is that when you do something for partly political reasons you have to be open to the reality that people who don’t share your political views, values, or tactics might be mean to you.

    If I’m at a party with someone and they tell me they’re gay I’m not going to laugh at them because who they like to fuck has nothing to do with me. If they tell me they can’t wait to vote for Michelle Bachmann in the primaries I’m going to mock them because that identity, even if its rooted in a deeply held belief, is implicitly aimed at me. Veganism, for westerners, is rarely a choice made without a political or ethical bent. That moves it from the world of identity to the world of politics.

  189. Heather
    Heather July 8, 2011 at 9:54 am |

    Florence: Abbie’s pink dog collar and leash are both adorable AND a key part of the cure. *dies*

    The pictures definitely cured me of my why-am-I-awake-I-hate-everything-itis.

  190. Gillian Love
    Gillian Love July 8, 2011 at 10:14 am |

    William: I think that, for all the whinging about how oppressed their middle class western white selves are, vegans in the west need to ask themselves why they raise so much ire compared to diabetics, or people with coeliac, people who keep kosher (or halal), or even people with virtually the same dietary restrictions but a different cultural context.

    There is a major difference between being allergic to a food/following a religious law about food, and deciding to abstain from a food for political/ethical/environmental reasons. Your own argument seems to accept this. So…why the ire? I don’t know if ‘ire’ is the best word, but I think it’s the same feeling of frustration feminists sometimes get. It’s ‘OK, I’m sick of justifying my position again and again! Why won’t people learnnnnnnn!’ And there are similar issues of privilege here, too.

    I would also like to say (I’ve been avoiding it as I might just be told I’m the exception, not the rule) that I do not bring up my veganism unless it is directly relevant, eg. having to refuse food, or someone directly asking. People 9 times out of 10 then ask questions, and sometimes my answers, well, they don’t like them. I know I am in a privileged position: I can afford food every day, and have all the trappings of the affluent west. That is WHY I am a vegan – I am in the position to forego that privilege. But that’s a complex discussion, so generally people feel judged by the fact that I believe exploiting animals is morally wrong. So what do I do about that? I cannot have a full, informed discussion every time, unfortunately. So how do I avoid appearing like a typical privileged white middle-class vegan? Maybe I can’t. But I don’t deny the fact I am privileged in certain arenas.

  191. EG
    EG July 8, 2011 at 10:14 am |

    “It’s a drug which distracts from consciousness”

    Well, of course it is! That’s why I drink it!

  192. Yonmei
    Yonmei July 8, 2011 at 10:36 am |

    William Bloviated: “vegans in the west need to ask themselves why they raise so much ire compared to diabetics, or people with coeliac, people who keep kosher (or halal), or even people with virtually the same dietary restrictions but a different cultural context. ”

    Well, on this very blog, not so long ago, Jill posted one of her “Let me snark at the people who eat differently from me” posts about… yes, people who avoid eating gluten. So actually I think coeliacs get it in the neck just like the rest of us who don’t eat what “everyone” eats – I’ve certainly dealt with complaints from people who felt they shouldn’t have to think about catering for people eating gluten-free.

    While you may never have registered it, William, given that I gather you’re a normative eater, I’ve read snarls of rage at people eating kosher, halal, vegans of every persuasion, vegetarians… even diabetics. (Just a few days ago in the UK, a woman wrote a stringent email to her (diabetic) future daughter-in-law complaining about what a picky eater she was, always going “I can’t eat that”… and got any number of columnists and bloggers nodding placid approval at public criticism of the f-d-i-l’s rudeness.)

    Indeed, one of my reasons for identifying “normative” eating as a situation in which privilege applies is that eating differently from “everyone else” is something that rouses ire in those who eat “normally” no matter what the difference is.

    What we eat, why we eat it, how we eat, these decisions are not made in a vacuum. People who have privilege don’t need to self-examine the politics behind their choice of food: people who don’t, are constantly being challenged just because of what they decide to eat.

  193. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. July 8, 2011 at 10:39 am |

    Mr. Kristen J.: MWAHAHAHAHA!!!My dastardly plan has succeeded.There were only 4 manapua left.And Kristen would never have made more while abstaining from pork.I devised a plot to make all of her favorite foods, katsu, katsu curry, fried rice, prosciutto wrapped asparagus, even musubi.But still, she resisted.Until fate stepped in with this thread.First insulting spam and then discussing both bacon and manapua.She finally cracked under the delicious pressure!Now the manapua will be mine, ALL MINE!!!!!

    Unless someone else wants some.*goes to make char sui*

    lol. When simply asking is to much trouble.

    (That was M, in case it wasn’t obvious.)

  194. Yonmei
    Yonmei July 8, 2011 at 11:01 am |

    given that you’re the one equating white people problems to histories of violent oppression in order to protect your middle class feelings from Jill on the internet.

    Oh, William. Please try not to get confused about the things you made up about me, and what I actually said.

    I said (or what I meant to say): normative eating v. non-normative eating, this is a situation where privilege exists: people who eat “what everyone eats” have privilege: people who eat “differently”, don’t.

    You came up with the idea, which I promise you is not true, that it’s impossible to identify privilege unless the group lacking privilege is subject to violence from the group with privilege. This is really not true: but it was your assertion in the first place that I was equating the situation where people who “eat normally” get to make fun of your food, with getting queerbashed or racially beaten up. I didn’t make that assertion.

    I do say that having people around who think it’s legitimate to make fun of what you’re eating sucks, even if it doesn’t involve physical violence. This links into a lot of other areas of oppression, as you might expect – everybody eats. Where I’m most familiar with it is the situation at school where “everyone else” is eating the code packed lunch, normal food, and you’re the outlier kid with the weird food that it’s OK to jeer at and ask rude questions about. But it happens other places, other times, too.

    Even if you just meant to say that it’s not worth discussing privilege/disprivilege in situations where the disprivileged class is not subject to violence, well, I disagree there too. That’s why I said you were doing a Richard Dawkins, declaring what was and was not worthwhile.

    I apologise for using the word “Bloviated” in previous comment. That was rude.

    Natalia: If you genuinely don’t like someone, there’s really no point in hanging around their blog all the time, trying to “spoil their fun” or whatever.

    Nope. I just don’t agree with Jill that it’s cool to make fun of people because they don’t eat meat. I’m sure there are many things I do agree with Jill about, but she does seem to have been posting a lot on anti-vegan issues recently.

  195. chava
    chava July 8, 2011 at 11:31 am |

    You know, I got picked on/my ass kicked for having wierd school lunches too.

    It doesn’t mean the other children had “normative eating privilege.” It DID intersect with some class and poverty issues that might be worth discussing (food as a TOOL used by those with privilege to oppress those w/out–witness the issues around immigrant diets, or “poor” diets).

  196. EG
    EG July 8, 2011 at 11:35 am |

    I think that where I disagree (and where I suspect William does, too) is with your equation of other kids being rude to and jeering at you with “oppression.” Rudeness is not oppression. Is there anybody here who wasn’t mocked at school for something? When I was in junior high, somebody stole my pants out of the girls’ locker room; that wasn’t oppression, either. It was just somebody being a dick. I was not being oppressed in the subway the other day when another woman shouldered past me without saying “excuse me.”

  197. trees
    trees July 8, 2011 at 11:40 am |

    @Gillian Love

    “I know I am in a privileged position: I can afford food every day, and have all the trappings of the affluent west. That is WHY I am a vegan – I am in the position to forego that privilege.”

    Being able to eat a nutritionally sound vegan diet can be a privilege in and of itself. Many, many people are not able to maintain this diet for themselves and their families because of lack of access and finances, and health concerns, not to mention cultural affinities.

  198. jamayla
    jamayla July 8, 2011 at 12:02 pm |

    I think that, for all the whinging about how oppressed their middle class western white selves are, vegans in the west need to ask themselves…

    I’m not vegan (anymore), but I’m a low-income black person who happens to care about animal liberation and environmental issues more generally; and I’ve always been seriously irritated by the widespread idea that these issues are the sole or primary concern of moneyed white people, especially because that idea is usually accompanied by the assumption that poor &/or brown people are too ‘unenlightened’ to care about those issues.

    Perhaps that wasn’t your intention, but that’s how it comes across; and the stereotype of vegans & greens as well-off white folks contributes to the corresponding stereotype of poor &/or brown people as ‘ignorant’.

    To an extent, I feel hypocritical saying “I care”, knowing that I’m not living my ideals the way I’d prefer. I wish that I could grow most of my own food, only occasionally buying from sustainable, animal friendly, worker-owned outlets. Like most people, though, I often end up buying food that harms animals, workers, and the earth. Because I’m often lazy/fallible and end up doing what’s convenient instead of what’s ideal.

    I think veganism is more than a dietary choice, though, which is why certain aspects of it really aren’t doable for me, anymore. What are low-income people supposed to do when the only job they’re being offered is from an outlet that routinely tortures animals, for instance?

    That’s my only real gripe with some of the white vegans I come across – too many of them aren’t tuned into the fact that some people aren’t them. Some people have to work at McDonalds and KFC. Some people live in a food desert where public transportation sucks, and where fast food restaurants are more abundant than well-stocked grocers.

    To be fair, though, omnivores do the same thing (i.e. assuming their form of activism is accessible to everyone), arguably more often.

    ..why they raise so much ire compared to diabetics, or people with coeliac, people who keep kosher (or halal), or even people with virtually the same dietary restrictions but a different cultural context.

    Most people are deeply invested in the idea that non-human animals are somehow a distinct underclass of beings to which their moral compass doesn’t apply, so they can justify using them for food, research, & entertainment in brutal ways that they’d never inflict on any human being. None of the other groups you mention challenge that idea with their lifestyle.

    Basically, there’s a difference between an honest, substantive political critique and simply getting bent out of shape because someone’s ruining your fun. Most hostility toward vegans stems from the latter sentiment – “What do you mean, there’s something wrong with circuses/my lipstick/leather dominatrix outfits/veal cutlets in cream sauce?! I LIKE THOSE THINGS, dammit!”

    The reason I get pissed at middle-class white vegans who turn up their noses at low-income moms buying canned tuna with their food stamps isn’t the same as the reason why some right-wing chucklehead who thinks “People Eating Tasty Animals” is clever gets pissed about it.

    That said, I don’t buy Yonmei’s argument that vegans are oppressed, either – unless I missed something, the animals are the oppressed ones, not their allies.

    I tend to see vegans as similar to allies – as a cis person, for instance, I’m not being personally oppressed by transphobia. Some people who’re invested in cis privilege might make fun of/be mildly rude to me if I challenge them, but their behavior towards me isn’t the same as actual oppression.

    Even then, it isn’t quite the same, as some people actually are attacked/oppressed for being allies; but afaik, the same doesn’t apply to vegans.

  199. William
    William July 8, 2011 at 12:08 pm |

    Oh, William. Please try not to get confused about the things you made up about me, and what I actually said.

    Given that you’re tossing words like privilege around, words developed to describe the kinds of severe oppression that certain in-groups do not experience, I think its more your inflation of vegan oppression than fictions on my part.

    The bottom line, for me, is that a vegan using the word privilege is asserting oppression. Given that vegans haven’t faced much in the way of oppression outside of relatively mild taunts, I find that offensive. You can pivot and parry all you would like but my fundamental position isn’t going to change. By using, defending, and desperately justifying a word like privilege in relation to vegans (because thats whats at play here, Jill’s gluten post wasn’t directed at celiac patients) I believe that you’re trying to marshall the very real and serious oppression of marginalized groups in order to stop people from mocking you for a choice.

    You came up with the idea, which I promise you is not true, that it’s impossible to identify privilege unless the group lacking privilege is subject to violence from the group with privilege.

    No, I said that in a world where gay folk, trans folk, women, the disabled, brown folk, mad folk, poor folk, non-Christians (and on and on) are still routinely and pervasively subjected to oppressions the very least of which are often worse than what vegans face its offensive to compare one to the other. You can keep pounding on why you think you’re technically right, but at the end of the day there isn’t such a thing as vegan bashing, a pervasive culture of violence against vegans, or institutional oppression of vegans by the police.

    Drawing an equivalency serves to exaggerate the mild discomfort that a predominantly white, western, wealthy subculture goes through by devaluing and trivializing the fatal oppression of people who don’t have the privilege to steal someone else’s suffering.

    Also, for the record, a kid with a kosher lunch getting picked on is facing a very different kind of oppression than a kid with a vegan lunch. Because history fucking matters. Vegan diets are not in the same “non-normative dietary habits” class as kosher meals because no one has tried to exterminate vegans for the better part of 15 centuries.

  200. Florence
    Florence July 8, 2011 at 12:12 pm |

    William, don’t poke the trolls.

  201. shfree
    shfree July 8, 2011 at 12:48 pm |

    jamayla: I’m not vegan (anymore), but I’m a low-income black person who happens to care about animal liberation and environmental issues more generally; and I’ve always been seriously irritated by the widespread idea that these issues are the sole or primary concern of moneyed white people, especially because that idea is usually accompanied by the assumption that poor &/or brown people are too ‘unenlightened’ to care about those issues.

    Perhaps that wasn’t your intention, but that’s how it comes across; and the stereotype of vegans & greens as well-off white folks contributes to the corresponding stereotype of poor &/or brown people as ‘ignorant’.

    To an extent, I feel hypocritical saying “I care”, knowing that I’m not living my ideals the way I’d prefer. I wish that I could grow most of my own food, only occasionally buying from sustainable, animal friendly, worker-owned outlets. Like most people, though, I often end up buying food that harms animals, workers, and the earth. Because I’m often lazy/fallible and end up doing what’s convenient instead of what’s ideal.

    I think veganism is more than a dietary choice, though, which is why certain aspects of it really aren’t doable for me, anymore. What are low-income people supposed to do when the only job they’re being offered is from an outlet that routinely tortures animals, for instance?

    That’s my only real gripe with some of the white vegans I come across – too many of them aren’t tuned into the fact that some people aren’t them. Some people have to work at McDonalds and KFC. Some people live in a food desert where public transportation sucks, and where fast food restaurants are more abundant than well-stocked grocers.

    To be fair, though, omnivores do the same thing (i.e. assuming their form of activism is accessible to everyone), arguably more often.

    Most people are deeply invested in the idea that non-human animals are somehow a distinct underclass of beings to which their moral compass doesn’t apply, so they can justify using them for food, research, & entertainment in brutal ways that they’d never inflict on any human being. None of the other groups you mention challenge that idea with their lifestyle.

    Basically, there’s a difference between an honest, substantive political critique and simply getting bent out of shape because someone’s ruining your fun. Most hostility toward vegans stems from the latter sentiment – “What do you mean, there’s something wrong with circuses/my lipstick/leather dominatrix outfits/veal cutlets in cream sauce?! I LIKE THOSE THINGS, dammit!”

    The reason I get pissed at middle-class white vegans who turn up their noses at low-income moms buying canned tuna with their food stamps isn’t the same as the reason why some right-wing chucklehead who thinks “People Eating Tasty Animals” is clever gets pissed about it.

    That said, I don’t buy Yonmei’s argument that vegans are oppressed, either – unless I missed something, the animals are the oppressed ones, not their allies.

    I tend to see vegans as similar to allies – as a cis person, for instance, I’m not being personally oppressed by transphobia. Some people who’re invested in cis privilege might make fun of/be mildly rude to me if I challenge them, but their behavior towards me isn’t the same as actual oppression.

    Even then, it isn’t quite the same, as some people actually are attacked/oppressed for being allies; but afaik, the same doesn’t apply to vegans.

    This is an awesome post. And the bit about vegans being allies to animals is an excellent point.

  202. chava
    chava July 8, 2011 at 4:37 pm |

    OK, but since when is it OK for allies to claim oppression for supporting those w/o privilege?
    If you want to see animals as part of an opressed non-human class, that at least as some coherence–although I object to the history of Holocaust=factory farming images, etc.

    shfree: This is an awesome post.And the bit about vegans being allies to animals is an excellent point.

  203. chava
    chava July 8, 2011 at 4:43 pm |

    Ah, I see where jamalya responded to that now. Sorry!

    chava:
    OK, but since when is it OK for allies to claim oppression for supporting those w/o privilege?
    If you want to see animals as part of an opressed non-human class, that at least as some coherence–although I object to the history of Holocaust=factory farming images, etc.

  204. Aaron
    Aaron July 8, 2011 at 5:45 pm |

    As a vegan, let me just say:
    That’s so rude! What a terrible roommate.

  205. William
    William July 8, 2011 at 6:39 pm |

    William, don’t poke the trolls.

    Much as I dislike Yonmei I think its important to recognize that they probably aren’t a troll. Sure, they’re obnoxious. I think they’re wrong about a lot. I even think that at times they’re worthy of dismissal or mockery. But…I’m fairly sure Yonmei argues in reasonably good faith, believes the things they say, and doesn’t do it primarily to piss us off.

  206. Jon
    Jon July 9, 2011 at 7:35 am |

    I think the insinuations here that animal rights people aren’t really concerned or aren’t really aware of race or class issues is totally off base.

    Coming from a small town, I think I have some work to do to really have a full awareness of racial issues. But I think I have a respectable handle on class issues, having written for the Industrial Worker, Z Magazine, interviewing Noam Chomsky, Bernardine Dohrn and many others.

    Also, I’d just add, that if people as uninformed about feminism as many of you folks seem to be about animal rights were making broad straw-man arguments about the former, you’d be justifiably frustrated. So if you’re going to be critical of animals rights, at least read some of the basic literature. It will make you sound less foolish. Read “Animal Liberation” by Peter Singer. Read “The Case for Animal Rights” by Tom Regan. Read “Introduction to Animal Rights” by Gary Francione. Read “The Sexual Politics of Meat” by Carol Adams.

    Finally, I’d point you in the direction of one, of many, race and class consciousness vegan blogs: http://sistahvegan.wordpress.com/

  207. Jon
    Jon July 9, 2011 at 8:13 am |

    In general, I think all of the accusations having to do with the supposed sanctimoniousness of vegans, has less to do with the vegans involved, and more to do with the accusers attempts to deny animal suffering. It’s a psychological defense mechanism. No one would ever accuse someone earnestly trying to stop other types of suffering of sanctimony so casually.

  208. EG
    EG July 9, 2011 at 11:52 am |

    Who here is criticizing animal rights? (I’m not saying that I wouldn’t, mind you, just that that’s not what’s going on here.) I believe that what most people in this thread are criticizing is a) the obnoxious vegan who wrote the note linked to in the OP and b) the equation of vegans with Jews and other historically oppressed groups.

  209. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh July 9, 2011 at 1:32 pm |

    My eyes are rolling in the back of my head because in the process of trying to deny that vegans ever behave badly, Jon is demonstrating some of that bad behavior.

    Vegans are never ever condescending jerks, even when they are ‘splaining to the rest of us that if we are ever annoyed by a vegan’s behavior, it’s because we’re a bunch of ignorant animal haters. It’s never because an individual vegan or the vegans someone has encountered has been rude as fuck.

    Yup, sure.

  210. Jon
    Jon July 9, 2011 at 2:32 pm |

    I don’t think I said vegans never behave badly, and if I did, I didn’t mean to. I’m a pretty terrible person if I do say so myself. (I’m not joking, and I’m not proud of it.)

    But I do think that people who cling to traditional views of how animals are fit to be treated, quite often interpret someone saying, “Hey, maybe we shouldn’t kill that creature with greater self-awareness than a human infant,” as sanctimony. That often has more to do with the interpreter’s unreconstructed views than anything else.

  211. EG
    EG July 10, 2011 at 1:34 am |

    But I do think that people who cling to traditional views of how animals are fit to be treated, quite often interpret someone saying, “Hey, maybe we shouldn’t kill that creature with greater self-awareness than a human infant,” as sanctimony.

    First of all, in my experience as somebody who has spent a lot of time around human infants, people tend to vastly underestimate the amount of awareness, self- and otherwise, that they have. Second, since that’s not what’s been going on in this thread, I’m not sure what your point is.

  212. Jon
    Jon July 10, 2011 at 8:02 am |

    I could be totally wrong, and I haven’t read every single post on this thread, but I think it is relevant. A number of people expressed disgust/outrage at a comparison between animal abuse and child abuse. If one says an adult pig’s self-awareness is greater than or equal to that of a human infant, I think it follows that the gentlest animal agriculture is worse than or not significantly different to child abuse, as horrific as the latter is.

  213. Florence
    Florence July 10, 2011 at 9:48 am |

    William: Much as I dislike Yonmei I think its important to recognize that they probably aren’t a troll. Sure, they’re obnoxious. I think they’re wrong about a lot. I even think that at times they’re worthy of dismissal or mockery. But…I’m fairly sure Yonmei argues in reasonably good faith, believes the things they say, and doesn’t do it primarily to piss us off.

    Ha. Okay. Sometimes I’m convinced it’s performance art.

  214. William
    William July 10, 2011 at 10:19 am |

    In general, I think all of the accusations having to do with the supposed sanctimoniousness of vegans, has less to do with the vegans involved, and more to do with the accusers attempts to deny animal suffering. It’s a psychological defense mechanism.

    Warning: total nitpick approaching.No, thats not a defense mechanism. “Defense mechanism” is a technical term referring to a specific set of well-known, often observed unconscious processes which serve to keep unacceptable wishes out of conscious awareness when simple repression fails.

    No one would ever accuse someone earnestly trying to stop other types of suffering of sanctimony so casually.

    Really, no one? You cannot imagine a situation in which someone’s values or lived experience would differ so greatly from yours that they might honestly disagree with you and thus find you sanctimonious? No, they must be crazy because you’re so clearly and obviously right. Objectively.

    So, lets talk about sanctimony for a minute. Sanctimony has two connotations. The first is an excessive public display of moral superiority. I think that grounds been pretty well covered not only by the note which started this but also by the desperate attempt to equate the oppression of people who have been murdered for who they are to the mild mockery of a choice some privileged middle class (mostly white) folks make.

    The other connotation is a hypocritical display of faith or moral superiority. EG way back at #111 pointed this out. To be an ethical vegan is to eat vegetables because you believe meat is immoral. Bottom line there is that you’re treating cows and chickens with great concern while the migrant workers who pick your organic swiss chard and work to grow all the damned soy you consume are treated to the kinds of conditions that made Upton Sinclair’s career.

    Finally, just as a suggestion, since Yonmei has already used bloviate you might want to call me pedantic.

  215. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable July 10, 2011 at 10:22 am |

    Jon: If one says an adult pig’s self-awareness is greater than or equal to that of a human infant,

    Don’t otherize your comment. “One” did not say an adult pig’s self-awareness is greater than or equal to that of a human infant. YOU did. I, for one, think it’s bullshit that demonstrates an utter lack of understanding of human developmental psychology. And since I reject your premise, the rest of your argument is rendered [sanctimonious and] irrelevant.

  216. William
    William July 10, 2011 at 10:26 am |

    I could be totally wrong, and I haven’t read every single post on this thread, but I think it is relevant.

    I’m late to the discussion, and I haven’t really been paying attention, but heres why you folks are wrong!

    A number of people expressed disgust/outrage at a comparison between animal abuse and child abuse.

    That number appears to be two in this thread. Out of 226. Fewer than 1%. The real meat of the discussion here seems to have been about vegans comparing the treatment they get as vegans with the treatment historically oppressed people face for being there. Its telling that you missed that.

  217. William
    William July 10, 2011 at 10:30 am |

    I, for one, think it’s bullshit that demonstrates an utter lack of understanding of human developmental psychology.

    Seconded.

  218. EG
    EG July 10, 2011 at 12:17 pm |

    I, for one, think it’s bullshit that demonstrates an utter lack of understanding of human developmental psychology.

    Thirded.

    I could be totally wrong, and I haven’t read every single post on this thread, but I think it is relevant.

    It is amazing how, when you come late to a conversation and don’t bother to inform yourself about what people are actually discussing, you do indeed end up being totally wrong, isn’t it?

  219. Jon
    Jon July 10, 2011 at 12:29 pm |

    William: To be an ethical vegan is to eat vegetables because you believe meat is immoral. Bottom line there is that you’re treating cows and chickens with great concern while the migrant workers who pick your organic swiss chard and work to grow all the damned soy you consume are treated to the kinds of conditions that made Upton Sinclair’s career.

    This is such a false dichotomy. The choice is not: care about workers or care about migrant farm workers. Ease up on the demagoguery, please. I’m a member of Socialist Party USA; I write for the Industrial Worker, Z Magazine and others. As I’ve said, I’m not boasting. I’m a pretty bad person. But I try to be sensitive to class issues.

    William
    Really, no one? You cannot imagine a situation in which someone’s values or lived experience would differ so greatly from yours that they might honestly disagree with you and thus find you sanctimonious? No, they must be crazy because you’re so clearly and obviously right. Objectively.

    Sure, someone could earnestly disagree with me. I think you’re missing my larger point about sanctimony though. I’d think, given the subhead of this blog, readers might be more understanding. No doubt, feminists who take issue with the lyrics of, say, some rap songs are at times labelled sanctimonious. No doubt this often has to do with the labeler not wanting to critically examine their own worldview, and so resort to “shooting the messenger.”

    William
    That number appears to be two in this thread. Out of 226. Fewer than 1%. The real meat of the discussion here seems to have been about vegans comparing the treatment they get as vegans with the treatment historically oppressed people face for being there. Its telling that you missed that.

    I don’t think vegans are oppressed. I was responding to the overall tone I picked up in the comment section which seemed to be that the only people who could possibly care about animal issues are those who are somehow not aware there are starving people in Africa. The implication that animal issues are not serious. That they’re some bourgeois, white fashion statement.

    On the contrary, I’d argue that given the number of domesticated animals involved in food production, tens of BILLIONS a year worldwide, given their absolutely horrific treatment in factory farms, which even the most head-in-the-sand Cartesian would have to concede, their aggregated suffering is significantly greater than all contemporary human suffering combined.

    I, for one, think it’s bullshit that demonstrates an utter lack of understanding of human developmental psychology.

    This is pretty cryptic. I’m unsure how my comment “demonstrates an utter lack of human developmental psychology.” But I’d rather not get bogged down in superfluous details.

    Give a quick read to the argument from marginal cases: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_marginal_cases

    If I were to slaughter, for their organs, profoundly retarded humans, who had the cognitive abilities of a pig, who couldn’t employ language, and didn’t have strong concept of the future, how would it be significantly different than the most idyllic animal agriculture. I’m not a brainiac, but I don’t see a difference , without delving into religion’s bag of “THE SANCTITY OF HUMAN LIFE!!!1″ tricks. I think the rational basis of all that mumbo-jumbo, including its secular humanist variety, went out with Darwin. (And obviously I don’t want profoundly retarded humans killed, just like I don’t want

    Anyway, more than anything else, I was hoping that people might actually read some animal rights texts before they go making judgements about it.

    I’m off to enjoy the beautiful sun outside. I hope everyone has a great day!

  220. Jon
    Jon July 10, 2011 at 12:32 pm |

    That was supposed to read: “(And obviously I don’t want profoundly retarded humans killed, just like I don’t want animals killed.)

    Also, I’m not sure why it didn’t encircle my quotation from William in a text block.

    I apologize for the errors, and any others that snuck in!

  221. EG
    EG July 10, 2011 at 12:40 pm |

    I will also point out that even if one concedes the analogy to child abuse, which I do not, but for the sake of argument, the appropriate comparison would not be between abusing a child and eating meat, but between supporting an industry that abuses children and eating meat.

    Say, for instance, purchasing clothing manufactured in countries that allow child labor (this link’s a bit out of date, but here you are: http://www.dol.gov/ilab/media/reports/iclp/apparel/1c.htm; here’s an article from 2007: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2007/oct/28/ethicalbusiness.india, and here’s a report on current conditions: http://somo.nl/publications-en/Publication_3673/view).

    So unless you also abjure all such clothing and demand that your roommate(s) does/do the same, it’s not an analogy I would bring up in support of this note-writer, if I were you. Or did you think that cheap t-shirts were created by cunning elves?

  222. smmo
    smmo July 10, 2011 at 12:56 pm |

    Valiant effort Jon, but it’s probably a waste of your time to try to have a discussion with rude assholes who don’t argue in good faith. Because it’s not really a discussion. For them it’s “bait the vegan” – sport.

  223. shfree
    shfree July 10, 2011 at 1:03 pm |

    And animal abuse is off topic. The topic of discussion in the initial post is a note left by a newly vegan roommate.

  224. smmo
    smmo July 10, 2011 at 1:06 pm |

    William

    To be an ethical vegan is to eat vegetables because you believe meat is immoral. Bottom line there is that you’re treating cows and chickens with great concern while the migrant workers who pick your organic swiss chard and work to grow all the damned soy you consume are treated to the kinds of conditions that made Upton Sinclair’s career.

    I’m sure the vast amounts of feed needed (including soy) to sustain the animals you eat are raised in idyllic conditions. Or you wouldn’t say such ridiculous things.

  225. Jon
    Jon July 10, 2011 at 1:08 pm |

    Yes, E.G., I believed t-shirts were created by cunning elves. (Sarcasm) I’m not sure why you appear to be angry with me.

    My response seems to be stuck in moderation hell. But long story short, I wasn’t writing in favor of the note writer.

    I don’t veganism, in itself, does much. Just like I don’t think buying fair trade clothes, in itself, does much. For one thing, I think animals are just absolutely foul. They absolutely disgust me. But as I mentioned in my longer note in moderation, I take animal issues really, really seriously. And I think eating meat effects the way one thinks about animals. No matter how well intentioned, when one begins eating the corpses of animals, one subconsciously, one subconsciously begins to deny animals’ feeling and worth.

    In a similar way, the action of an individual abjuring from violent pornography might not have a noticeable effect on women’s lives, but it will likely have a noticeable effect on the individual’s thinking. He will no longer so easily objectify women.

    So I guess I see veganism as a first step to clear thinking on the issue. Plus, as I said, I find animal products raunchy as hell. Yak.

    Anyway, like I said in my comment in moderation, I just wish people would take animal issues more seriously. Be vegan, don’t be vegan. But when people insinuate that an issue I care deeply about is a bourgeois fashion statement, it’s pretty frustrating.

    Have a great day everybody!

  226. EG
    EG July 10, 2011 at 1:09 pm |

    I’ve addressed that point, smmo. But I’ll say it again for your benefit. Since William is not claiming that an omnivorous diet is in any way a morally superior one, it’s not relevant whether or not the food the animals he eats is raised in idyllic conditions.

  227. Jon
    Jon July 10, 2011 at 1:10 pm |

    Wow, so many errors crept in there! For instance, meant to say: “For one thing, I think animal products are just absolutely foul.”

    I love animals! Oops.

  228. William
    William July 10, 2011 at 1:14 pm |

    I’m sure the vast amounts of feed needed (including soy) to sustain the animals you eat are raised in idyllic conditions. Or you wouldn’t say such ridiculous things.

    I’m not the one making any ethical claims about my dietary habits, though.

  229. Jon
    Jon July 10, 2011 at 1:20 pm |

    Any idea why my longer response is stuck in moderation? It’s kind of frustrating. I tried to break it up into smaller sections and then those were put into moderation too. :(

  230. William
    William July 10, 2011 at 1:28 pm |

    No matter how well intentioned, when one begins eating the corpses of animals, one subconsciously, one subconsciously begins to deny animals’ feeling and worth.

    You keep talking about defense mechanisms this and subconscious that. Problem is, you don’t really know what you’re talking about. You’re using meaningless pop psych to attack behaviors you dislike in order to paint those who disagree with you as really actually agreeing with you but too crazy to know it. Not only is it an incorrect use of the psychodynamic principles you’re (poorly) invoking, but its a pretty underhanded rhetorical device.

    People who disagree with you aren’t crazy, or repressed, or unconsciously degrading the true objective worth of animals. They just disagree with you. That I do not feel animals are on the same level or deserving of the same rights as people, or that I sometimes eat them because I enjoy it, does not mean that I’ve been psychologically damaged by eating meat. All it means is that my values are different from yours. Your constant presumption of the objective validity of your values is obnoxious.

    In a similar way, the action of an individual abjuring from violent pornography might not have a noticeable effect on women’s lives, but it will likely have a noticeable effect on the individual’s thinking. He will no longer so easily objectify women.

    Except…thats not exactly true in any direction. Some feminists watch porn, some make it, some are even into BDSM. I doubt that those kinds of interests make them objectify women. There are certainly some people who objectify women, and some of them buy violent porn, but I doubt the porn made them misogynists. Rather, I’d argue that misogyny lead them to seek out porn which is more consistent with the gross internal world. You’re mixing up cause and effect.

  231. EG
    EG July 10, 2011 at 1:28 pm |

    I’m not sure why you appear to be angry with me.

    Sarcasm does not necessarily indicate anger where I come from, Jon. It’s a pretty standard speech pattern.

    In this case, it indicates relatively mild irritation with somebody who comes into a conversation late, admits he hasn’t caught up with what’s been going on in it, ignores what the major topic in it is, and insults infants by denigrating their mental capacities.

    As to whether or not eating meat leads to a lesser appreciation of animals’ feelings, that may well be, but I’m not convinced. It is, after all, only recently that eating meat has been separated from caring for the animal in question before killing it.

  232. Jon
    Jon July 10, 2011 at 1:32 pm |

    https://www.kent.ac.uk/news/stories/meat-eaters-study/2010

    “Kthxbye” as one poster put it earlier in the thread. :)

  233. StillJon
    StillJon July 10, 2011 at 1:37 pm |

    William: “That number appears to be two in this thread. Out of 226. Fewer than 1%. The real meat of the discussion here seems to have been about vegans comparing the treatment they get as vegans with the treatment historically oppressed people face for being there. Its telling that you missed that.”

    I don’t think vegans are oppressed. I was responding to the overall tone I picked up in the comment section which seemed to be that the only people who could possibly care about animal issues are those who are somehow not aware there are starving people in Africa. The implication that animal issues are not serious. That they’re some bourgeois, white fashion statement.

    On the contrary, I’d argue that given the number of domesticated animals involved in food production, tens of BILLIONS a year worldwide, given their absolutely horrific treatment in factory farms, which even the most head-in-the-sand Cartesian would have to concede, their aggregated suffering is significantly greater than all contemporary human suffering combined.

  234. Jon
    Jon July 10, 2011 at 1:38 pm |

    WILLIAM: “That number appears to be two in this thread. Out of 226. Fewer than 1%. The real meat of the discussion here seems to have been about vegans comparing the treatment they get as vegans with the treatment historically oppressed people face for being there. Its telling that you missed that.”

    I don’t think vegans are oppressed. I was responding to the overall tone I picked up in the comment section which seemed to be that the only people who could possibly care about animal issues are those who are somehow not aware there are starving people in Africa. The implication that animal issues are not serious. That they’re some bourgeois, white fashion statement.

    On the contrary, I’d argue that given the number of domesticated animals involved in food production, tens of BILLIONS a year worldwide, given their absolutely horrific treatment in factory farms, which even the most head-in-the-sand Cartesian would have to concede, their aggregated suffering is significantly greater than all contemporary human suffering combined.

  235. Jon
    Jon July 10, 2011 at 1:40 pm |

    “I, for one, think it’s bullshit that demonstrates an utter lack of understanding of human developmental psychology.”

    This is pretty cryptic. I’m unsure how my comment “demonstrates an utter lack of human developmental psychology.” But I’d rather not get bogged down in superfluous details.

    Give a quick read to the argument from marginal cases: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_marginal_cases

    If I were to slaughter, for their organs, profoundly retarded humans, who had the cognitive abilities of a pig, who couldn’t employ language, and didn’t have strong concept of the future, how would it be significantly different than the most idyllic animal agriculture. I’m not a brainiac, but I don’t see a difference , without delving into religion’s bag of “THE SANCTITY OF HUMAN LIFE!!!1″ tricks. I think the rational basis of all that mumbo-jumbo, including its secular humanist variety, went out with Darwin.

  236. Jon
    Jon July 10, 2011 at 1:42 pm |

    WILLIAM: “Really, no one? You cannot imagine a situation in which someone’s values or lived experience would differ so greatly from yours that they might honestly disagree with you and thus find you sanctimonious? No, they must be crazy because you’re so clearly and obviously right. Objectively.”

    Sure, someone could earnestly disagree with me. I think you’re missing my larger point about sanctimony though. I’d think, given the subhead of this blog, readers might be more understanding. No doubt, feminists who take issue with the lyrics of, say, some rap songs are at times labelled sanctimonious. No doubt this often has to do with the labeler not wanting to critically examine their own worldview, and so resort to “shooting the messenger.”

  237. Jon
    Jon July 10, 2011 at 1:46 pm |

    OK, I’ve gotten pretty much all of my post stuck in moderation through by breaking it into bits. But it keeps on catching on this. So I’ll just rewrite it.

    In response to William’s soy farm workers inanity:

    This is such a false choice. It’s not about caring for animals or migrant farm workers. It’s not necessarily a zero sum game. Ease up on the demagoguery, please. I’m a member of SP USA; I write for the Industrial Worker, Z Magazine and others. As I’ve said, I’m not boasting. I’m a pretty bad person. But I try to be sensitive to class issues.

  238. Jon
    Jon July 10, 2011 at 1:49 pm |

    You know what was holding it up in moderation? Apparently it was the word “S.O.C.I.A.L.I.S.T.” I abbreviated the party name to SP USA and it went through fine. Odd.

    Anyway, more than anything else, I was hoping that people might actually read some animal rights texts before they go making judgements about it.

    I’m off to enjoy the beautiful sun outside. I hope everyone has a great day! I enjoyed the debate. But I end up getting too heated and clicking send before I spell and grammar check everything, haha.

  239. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh July 10, 2011 at 2:07 pm |

    Jon: But I do think that people who cling to traditional views of how animals are fit to be treated, quite often interpret someone saying, “Hey, maybe we shouldn’t kill that creature with greater self-awareness than a human infant,” as sanctimony

    Yes, because people who are irritated by passive-aggressive notes like the one in the original post, people who are inconvenienced by roommates who declare the communal fridge or oven off limits to omnivores, or who have had their meals ruined by a smug jerk who decided to describe disgusting practices while they are trying to eat are just ignorant people in denial. The vegans who do these things are righteous wonderful people saving omnivores from their own ignorance.

    Please.

  240. Jon
    Jon July 10, 2011 at 2:13 pm |

    Annaleigh: Yes, because people who are irritated by passive-aggressive notes like the one in the original post, people who are inconvenienced by roommates who declare the communal fridge or oven off limits to omnivores, or who have had their meals ruined by a smug jerk who decided to describe disgusting practices while they are trying to eat are just ignorant people in denial. The vegans who do these things are righteous wonderful people saving omnivores from their own ignorance.

    Please.

    Straw-person. I already said that I was responding to some of the commenters, not the original post. Thanks for playing though! :)

  241. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh July 10, 2011 at 2:31 pm |

    Jon: Straw-person. I already said that I was responding to some of the commenters, not the original post. Thanks for playing though! :)

    And the commenters are responding to the note, and to the vegans who have responded to the comments declaring themselves just like victims of anti-Semitism. I’m sure vegans make such outrageous self-righteous comparisons because they are just trying to wake up the unwashed meat-eating masses though.

  242. EG
    EG July 10, 2011 at 2:34 pm |

    It’s not an issue of arguing from marginal cases; it’s an issue of your ignorance about the self-awareness of infants, Jon. You made an argument based on a premise that neither I nor William nor PrettyAmiable buy. You have advanced no evidence in support of that argument–not even the anecdotal kind, which, quite frankly, I could easily counter with anecdotes of my own.

    Now, as to your study–check out the wording of the article you cite. It says some conflicted meat-eaters respond that way. It does not say all meat-eaters, or meat-eaters in general do. For instance, I feel no conflict about meat-eating because I do not exempt myself from the category of “animal,” and I have no problems with animals eating other animals (I do, of course, object to conditions in factory farms, but, as I said above, I do not believe that abstaining from eating meat from factory farms is an at all effective way of remedying those conditions). Yes, animals can suffer. And that’s sad. That’s also the animal condition–something dies or is killed, something else–usually but not always the killer–eats.

    As to human exceptionalism–I happen to think that the idea that we, as humans, have some particular duty above and beyond that which other animals have to take care of other animals’ needs without satisfying our own is just another form of dominionism/exceptionalism. Other animals are not below us in order that we may exploit them; neither are they below us in order that we may protect them.

    Of course, I am a secular humanist. Because I do not believe in any gods, that is the moral stance I have chosen. You have chosen a different one. That’s fine. But yours is no more rational; it’s simply more rigid. Everybody draws distinctions about which forms of life are more deserving of preservation than others–I take penicillin to kill hostile bacteria. Bedbugs are not acceptable to me, and I would do my best to kill them all should they, God forbid, show up in my home. Cockroaches, though they do not subsist off my blood, get the same treatment. I have never met a vegetarian or vegan who objects to my killing cockroaches. It’s not that they equally respect and cherish all living things; it’s that they put the line in a different place than I do.

  243. Jon
    Jon July 10, 2011 at 3:19 pm |

    Annaleigh: And the commenters are responding to the note, and to the vegans who have responded to the comments declaring themselves just like victims of anti-Semitism. I’m sure vegans make such outrageous self-righteous comparisons because they are just trying to wake up the unwashed meat-eating masses though.

    Ugh, doesn’t relentlessly misrepresenting my opinion wear you out? And honestly, I’m not sure what I’ve done to deserve the hostility. Obviously I’m biased, but I think I’ve made a pretty good effort at being civil.

  244. Jon
    Jon July 10, 2011 at 3:23 pm |

    EG:
    It’s not an issue of arguing from marginal cases; it’s an issue of your ignorance about the self-awareness of infants, Jon.You made an argument based on a premise that neither I nor William nor PrettyAmiable buy.You have advanced no evidence in support of that argument–not even the anecdotal kind, which, quite frankly, I could easily counter with anecdotes of my own.

    Now, as to your study–check out the wording of the article you cite.It says some conflicted meat-eaters respond that way.It does not say all meat-eaters, or meat-eaters in general do.For instance, I feel no conflict about meat-eating because I do not exempt myself from the category of “animal,” and I have no problems with animals eating other animals (I do, of course, object to conditions in factory farms, but, as I said above, I do not believe that abstaining from eating meat from factory farms is an at all effective way of remedying those conditions).Yes, animals can suffer.And that’s sad.That’s also the animal condition–something dies or is killed, something else–usually but not always the killer–eats.

    As to human exceptionalism–I happen to think that the idea that we, as humans, have some particular duty above and beyond that which other animals have to take care of other animals’ needs without satisfying our own is just another form of dominionism/exceptionalism.Other animals are not below us in order that we may exploit them; neither are they below us in order that we may protect them.

    Of course, I am a secular humanist.Because I do not believe in any gods, that is the moral stance I have chosen.You have chosen a different one.That’s fine.But yours is no more rational; it’s simply more rigid.Everybody draws distinctions about which forms of life are more deserving of preservation than others–I take penicillin to kill hostile bacteria.Bedbugs are not acceptable to me, and I would do my best to kill them all should they, God forbid, show up in my home.Cockroaches, though they do not subsist off my blood, get the same treatment.I have never met a vegetarian or vegan who objects to my killing cockroaches.It’s not that they equally respect and cherish all living things; it’s that they put the line in a different place than I do.

    All this is fine. People think different things. I happen to think history will bear my viewpoint out. Hahaha, unfortunately I won’t be alive by the time it comes around for me to lord it over you. :)

  245. William
    William July 10, 2011 at 3:23 pm |

    “Kthxbye” as one poster put it earlier in the thread. :)

    One vague write up of a study filled with “mays” which deeply oversimplifies people’s relationships towards food and assumes a “meat paradox” does not a compelling argument make.

    The implication that animal issues are not serious. That they’re some bourgeois, white fashion statement.

    This is why its generally a good idea to read a thread before responding. That entire discussion was brought up by a vegan talking about privilege and non-normative consumption. A lot of people called them out for that because it was bullshit.

    which even the most head-in-the-sand Cartesian would have to concede,

    Why bother with a discussion when you already know what is True?

    But I’d rather not get bogged down in superfluous details.

    So it appears…

    Give a quick read to the argument from marginal cases:

    I was wondering when someone was going to get around to comparing the disabled to animals in this discussion.

    I’d think, given the subhead of this blog, readers might be more understanding.

    Ah, so we’ve moved from “you have to agree with me” to “I thought you were cool enough to agree with me.” Way to argue like a beer commercial.

    This is such a false choice. It’s not about caring for animals or migrant farm workers.

    But its an inescapable problem. The food you eat, unless you’ve grown it yourself or carefully sourced it at every level, is going to involve someone getting hurt. You’re choosing to focus on animals while human beings work in startlingly bad conditions. You can shout inane till you’re blue in the face, but its part of why your argument reeks of sanctimony and trendy white middle class horse shit.

    Ease up on the demagoguery, please

    Wheres the fun in that? Also, good luck making me do anything with an order.

    I’m a member of SP USA; I write for the Industrial Worker, Z Magazine and others. As I’ve said, I’m not boasting.

    I’m sure you’ve got a nice Che shirt in your closet, too. Your point?

    You know what was holding it up in moderation? Apparently it was the word “S.O.C.I.A.L.I.S.T.” I abbreviated the party name to SP USA and it went through fine. Odd.

    Ahh, yes, Feministe’s old bias against socialism. Thats the danger of playing in the right wing blogosphere.

    Straw-person. I already said that I was responding to some of the commenters, not the original post. Thanks for playing though! :)

    Bullshit, you were injecting your pet issue into a thread without having read it.

    Thanks for playing, maybe you’ll get the dogmatic acceptance you’re looking for at the next RCP meeting.

  246. Lyndsay
    Lyndsay July 10, 2011 at 3:31 pm |

    I found myself deeply disturbed by the comments on that note over at the original website. People were completely okay with disrespecting what is clearly a deeply held belief for this person. Their note was incredibly rude, but the comments suggesting the OP sneak meat into their food, bedding, clothing, etc were really bothering me. They were see deeply disrespectful and hostile. I’m not a vegan, but I’m a human. And I was very uncomfortable with the way these people were joking about this person and how they’d treat them.

  247. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable July 10, 2011 at 3:34 pm |

    Hey Jon, I’m having the best brie of my life RIGHT NOW. I bought it for Bastille Day, but ate a few slices now in your honor. I was going to eat some toast instead, but I make a point of eating something an animal made every time some vegan dickwad makes the effort to irritate the shit out of me.

    Hey, maybe you shouldn’t be such an asshole. Animals suffer because you’re a douche.

    nomnomnomnom

  248. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh July 10, 2011 at 4:08 pm |

    Jon: All this is fine. People think different things. I happen to think history will bear my viewpoint out. Hahaha, unfortunately I won’t be alive by the time it comes around for me to lord it over you. :)

    *eyeroll*

    And you wonder why the “hostility.”

  249. Nahida
    Nahida July 10, 2011 at 4:31 pm |

    Hi everyone. I’m back. *announces*

    I don’t have a problem with anyone making fun of vegans or vegetarians (I’m the latter) but I do take issue when they try to make fun of vegans and end up making a joke of animal cruelty. Duck rape and voting cows above. I’ve never heard a vegan say they want to give cows the vote or that owning pets is slavery (thread above) or something equally absurd. (Maybe PETA?) What this does is distort the real objective and argument when putting an end to animal cruelty is so urgent. I have no problem with “Vegans are so sanctimonious!” but “LMFAO animal cruelty” is triggering. And it’s bad faith.

    EG: I take penicillin to kill hostile bacteria. Bedbugs are not acceptable to me, and I would do my best to kill them all should they, God forbid, show up in my home. Cockroaches, though they do not subsist off my blood, get the same treatment. I have never met a vegetarian or vegan who objects to my killing cockroaches. It’s not that they equally respect and cherish all living things; it’s that they put the line in a different place than I do.

    You probably wouldn’t torture the cockroach before you killed it. My primary concern is the mutilation and torture of animals before they are slaughtered. In other words, I don’t have a problem with other people actually killing animals to eat them. (I personally wouldn’t do it because for me it’s avoidable.) I have a problem with how its done. Similarly, I don’t care if you kill a cockroach or termites as long as it died fast and you had a reason to kill it (health precautions, destroying your home, etc.) I just view that as you defending yourself. You need to defend yourself against parasites like bed bugs like you would against (living) bacterial infection on your body.

    It’s already been mentioned upthread that the problem with vegans is that they have a sense of moral superiority that they shouldn’t have, because sense of moral superiority is teh suck for everyone, and also because vegetables and workers and such. It’s also been mentioned the same is used to feed animals, and then someone said omnivores aren’t claiming moral superiority. I don’t think I’m doing something awesomer than you, or more helpful, but that it just makes the tiniest bit of difference. And I’ve been a little like /wtf this whole time because I don’t know why that’s something anyone would want to discourage, and also because animal cruelty jokes have shown up in this thread (though it seems not any more) and that… is not funny.

  250. Nahida
    Nahida July 10, 2011 at 4:37 pm |

    PrettyAmiable, I agree that Jon is being a total douche… but I have had people follow me around eating meat while we’re at a restaurant and I have just announced that I’m a vegetarian (people usually don’t find out until we eat together) talking about how “tasty these tortured dead animals are!” because it gives them a kick when I try not to cry.

  251. Brandy
    Brandy July 10, 2011 at 4:43 pm |

    PrettyAmiable:
    Hey Jon, I’m having the best brie of my life RIGHT NOW. I bought it for Bastille Day, but ate a few slices now in your honor. I was going to eat some toast instead, but I make a point of eating something an animal made every time some vegan dickwad makes the effort to irritate the shit out of me.

    Hey, maybe you shouldn’t be such an asshole. Animals suffer because you’re a douche.

    nomnomnomnom

    For every burger you don’t eat, I’m going to eat three! People Eating Tasty Animals! Canine teeth!

  252. Jon
    Jon July 10, 2011 at 4:47 pm |

    Honestly, how have I been a “douche?” I feel like I’ve done my best to keep it civil in the face of people doing their best to troll-bait me.

  253. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh July 10, 2011 at 5:02 pm |

    Jon:
    Honestly, how have I been a “douche?” I feel like I’ve done my best to keep it civil in the face of people doing their best to troll-bait me.

    You might be “civil,” but from the second you started posting in this thread, it’s as if you’ve been hellbent on demonstrating an example of the stereotype of the arrogant, condescending, smug, sanctimonious vegan, and then act shocked when people are understandably irritated by you.

    Frankly I feel sorry for the vegans in this thread who both disavowed the rudeness of the note writer AND refused to engage in vegansplaining as you did or declare themselves oppressed as others have. People like you help to make their lives harder. I hope they know my sympathies are with them.

  254. shfree
    shfree July 10, 2011 at 5:05 pm |

    Nahida:
    PrettyAmiable, I agree that Jon is being a total douche… but I have had people follow me around eating meat while we’re at a restaurant and I have just announced that I’m a vegetarian (people usually don’t find out until we eat together) talking about how “tasty these tortured dead animals are!” because it gives them a kick when I try not to cry.

    Cosigned. This sort of baiting makes me feel very uncomfortable.

  255. Jon
    Jon July 10, 2011 at 5:11 pm |

    Annaleigh: You might be “civil,” but from the second you started posting in this thread, it’s as if you’ve been hellbent on demonstrating an example of the stereotype of the arrogant, condescending, smug, sanctimonious vegan, and then act shocked when people are understandably irritated by you.

    Frankly I feel sorry for the vegans in this thread who both disavowed the rudeness of the note writer AND refused to engage in vegansplaining as you did or declare themselves oppressed as others have. People like you help to make their lives harder. I hope they know my sympathies are with them.

    No doubt your idea of a vegan who isn’t “smug” is one constantly apologizing for their views: “No really, it’s cool you eat hamburgers. Eat up. Here, why don’t I pay for your Big Mac. It’s just, personally, you know, for me, it’s not my thing.”

    If someone was arguing forcefully on behalf of a different position, say who should be in the White House, with the same degree of certainty in her own correctness, my guess is that you wouldn’t have a problem with it. I think a lot of the smugness that you read into my argument comes from your disagreement with my perspective. Violence against animals is normalized that those who are concerned with it are considered to be acting pious. But what do I know? I’m just some self-righteous jerk-off on the internet.

  256. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh July 10, 2011 at 5:16 pm |

    Jon: I think a lot of the smugness that you read into my argument comes from your disagreement with my perspective. Violence against animals is normalized that those who are concerned with it are considered to be acting pious. But what do I know? I’m just some self-righteous jerk-off on the internet

    See? There you go again.

  257. Jon
    Jon July 10, 2011 at 5:18 pm |

    So basically, I have to agree with you or keep my mouth shut so as not to be considered smug?

  258. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh July 10, 2011 at 5:20 pm |

    Jon:
    So basically, I have to agree with you or keep my mouth shut so as not to be considered smug?

    *eyeroll*

    You’ll notice that I haven’t posted fuck all in this thread about my personal opinions about animal rights or veganism itself.

    But go ahead with your assumptions and being the typing vegan stereotype in this thread.

  259. Jon
    Jon July 10, 2011 at 5:22 pm |

    I think killing animals is really messed up. What can I say?

    I’m really intrigued as to what your idea of a non-smug vegan is at this point. The impression I’m getting is its one who never mentions their views at all and is constantly apologetic about not eating corpses. If you’d be so kind, I’d love if you could clarify this ideal for me. 

    Thanks.

  260. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh July 10, 2011 at 5:28 pm |

    Jon:
    I think killing animals is really messed up. What can I say?

    I’m really intrigued as to what your idea of a non-smug vegan is at this point. The impression I’m getting is its one who never mentions their views at all and is constantly apologetic about not eating corpses. If you’d be so kind, I’d love if you could clarify this ideal for me.

    Thanks.

    The people in this thread who denounced the note-writer (the note being the topic of the thread, not whether veganism is morally correct or not), and who have not vegansplained to the ignorant omnivores (as you have been doing over and over and over again) or who have not appropriated oppression for themselves. They are awesome people who deserve a pat on the back.

    You, not so much.

  261. Jon
    Jon July 10, 2011 at 5:36 pm |

    Annaleigh and who have not vegansplained to the ignorant omnivores

    So, by “vegansplained” you mean defend the animal rights position? How is that in bad taste? Some people were expressing disgust at the comparison between animal abuse and child abuse. I was arguing that it was fair. Now my argument might be right or wrong, but surely making an argument is acceptable? When it comes to brass tacks, I think it has less to with my arguing (since a lot of this seems to go on at this blog), then what I was arguing for. I wish you’d just own that and be like: “You know, I think what you’re saying is wack,” rather than rationalize your enmity with my faulty personality. But there I go being smug again.

  262. Jon
    Jon July 10, 2011 at 5:40 pm |

    I love how you keep on mentioning that the validity of animal rights wasn’t the topic of the post. It’s so disingenuous. It definitely was the topic of many of the comments.

  263. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh July 10, 2011 at 5:50 pm |

    Jon: So, by “vegansplained” you mean defend the animal rights position?

    No, I mean your carefully explaining to the stupid omnivores that if they are upset by rude vegans, it’s because they are stupid.

    That is incredibly insulting and just reinforces the negative beliefs some people have about vegans.

  264. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh July 10, 2011 at 5:55 pm |

    Jon, you have repeatedly insulted the intelligence of every omnivore in this thread, waved your moral superiority under everyone’s noses, and not surprisingly, you have the distinction of being the only vegan in the thread to be called a douche.

    Think about how that happened, hmm? And no it’s not because people are desperate to keep having hamburgers.

  265. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable July 10, 2011 at 6:09 pm |

    inb4 someone points out that adult pigs have more self-awareness than Jon who somehow doesn’t see how he’s being a dick.

    Nahida:
    PrettyAmiable, I agree that Jon is being a total douche… but I have had people follow me around eating meat while we’re at a restaurant and I have just announced that I’m a vegetarian (people usually don’t find out until we eat together) talking about how “tasty these tortured dead animals are!” because it gives them a kick when I try not to cry.

    shfree:
    Cosigned… [sorry, blockquote failed and my ctrl key for ctrl+c-ing is failing me right now

    Fair. I do not want to make anyone here in good faith ever feel uncomfortable. I’m definitely sorry for hurting both of you (and anyone else who didn’t speak up about my cattiness unless it’s Jon, because of aforementioned douchebaggery). And for what it’s worth, while I’m not a vegan, I frequently make a point of eating vegan meals. I just hate it when people like Jon imply that I’m somehow ignorant because of my life choices, ironically displaying profound ignorance themselves. It’s not something either of you did, and I’m sorry my method of telling him to fuck off hurt you.

  266. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable July 10, 2011 at 6:12 pm |

    PrettyAmiable: I’m sorry my method of telling him to fuck off hurt you.

    Let me rephrase this as, “I’m sorry I didn’t choose a better method of telling him to fuck off.” The way I originally phrased it sounds like it’s on you for being offended, rather than on me for causing offense.

  267. William
    William July 10, 2011 at 6:38 pm |

    I wish you’d just own that and be like: “You know, I think what you’re saying is wack,” rather than rationalize your enmity with my faulty personality. But there I go being smug again.

    Theres another personality. Some of us think you’re wrong AND that your personality is faulty. For my part, I’m not terribly interested in engaging you because I know where I am regarding animal rights and you’ve yet to display that you have anything new or interesting to bring to the table.

  268. Nahida
    Nahida July 10, 2011 at 7:24 pm |

    Thanks PrettyAmiable *hugs*

  269. zuzu
    zuzu July 10, 2011 at 8:03 pm |

    PrettyAmiable: Let me rephrase this as, “I’m sorry I didn’t choose a better method of telling him to fuck off.” The way I originally phrased it sounds like it’s on you for being offended, rather than on me for causing offense.

    “Fuck off, Jon, you festering gankhole” ought to cover it.

  270. shfree
    shfree July 10, 2011 at 8:37 pm |

    Yeah, thanks PrettyAmiable. :)

  271. Jon
    Jon July 10, 2011 at 8:47 pm |

    Well, it’s unanimous then. I’m an asshole. I’ll go jump off a bridge or something.

  272. EG
    EG July 10, 2011 at 9:46 pm |

    Well, Nahida, I cosign almost everything you wrote in response to my post, so I don’t think we’re actually disagreeing about much. I wouldn’t torture cockroaches, because yuck, I don’t have a problem with killing animals in order to eat them, and, as I said above, I also think the torture and unnecessary pain inflicted on animals is immoral, and that jokes about animal cruelty, well, I don’t think they’re triggering, because I set the bar pretty high for that, but I do think they’re unproductive and in bad taste. I think the only thing we disagree about is whether individual veganism makes a difference. So, you know, except for that last thing, roger all that.

    I have heard the “Owning pets is equivalent to slavery” argument from hard-core animal rights people, and I do think it’s a PETA position, just fyi.

  273. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh July 10, 2011 at 9:46 pm |

    Jon:
    Well, it’s unanimous then. I’m an asshole. I’ll go jump off a bridge or something.

    Woohoo! Sounds like the Clue Fairy visited a certain Typing Vegan Stereotype!

  274. igglanova
    igglanova July 10, 2011 at 10:01 pm |

    Gotta love the petulant suicide-threat-flounce. I don’t see this nearly as often as I used to. (I give it a 7.6)

  275. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable July 10, 2011 at 10:20 pm |

    :) x 20, Nahida and shfree. Thank you for your patience with me. I’d probs be less forgiving if I were in your shoes, so I really appreciate it.

    Also, zuzu, I officially owe you shots for use of “gankhole.” I giggled, haha.

  276. Jon
    Jon July 10, 2011 at 10:29 pm |

    It’s pretty amazing how some people take the anonymity of the internet as permission to really be awful, malicious people.

    Did you get bullied in middle school? Do you have WiFi and a keyboard? Well here’s your chance to get all that misanthropy out of your system. Nothing like a nice old internet pile on aimed at faceless stranger, surely without feelings, to make you feel better about yourself.

  277. William
    William July 10, 2011 at 10:35 pm |

    It’s pretty amazing how some people take the anonymity of the internet as permission to really be awful, malicious people.

    Unfortunate? Perhaps. Amazing? Only if you haven’t been paying attention.

    Did you get bullied in middle school?

    Ahh, yes, it certainly isn’t about you. There must be some flaw in us. Keep licking that narcissistic injury, Jon.

    Well here’s your chance to get all that misanthropy out of your system. Nothing like a nice old internet pile on aimed at faceless stranger, surely without feelings, to make you feel better about yourself.

    And yet you keep coming back after your increasingly desperate and comical flounces.

  278. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh July 10, 2011 at 10:45 pm |

    *sniffle* We’re all a bunch of misanthropic meanies y’all!

    Whatever will we do?!

  279. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh July 10, 2011 at 11:00 pm |

    By the way Jon, there’s no need for suicide or for suicide threats, people will be happy if you would just go away and let everyone argue in peace, but no, you deprive us of such small mercies, so we will have to content ourselves with mockery instead until you do.

  280. Jon
    Jon July 10, 2011 at 11:19 pm |

    Ahahaha. We hurt his feelings. That’s hilarious! Look how comical and desperate he is. The flouncer. He keeps on coming back for more, so really, there’s no onus on us to be decent people. There’s really no one, or no one that matters, on the other end of this screen who’s hurt by my words. It’s all so funny. Yippeeeeeeee.

  281. Mr. Kristen J.
    Mr. Kristen J. July 10, 2011 at 11:30 pm |

    Dude, you compared *retarded* children to pigs. You don’t get to play the poor me card after that.

  282. EG
    EG July 10, 2011 at 11:51 pm |

    There’s really no one, or no one that matters, on the other end of this screen who’s hurt by my words.

    Dude, word to the wise. Don’t depend on strangers on the internet whom you’ve been arguing with for only a couple days to bolster your feelings. It’s a mug’s game. If you’ve honestly been hurt by this argument, then my dead serious suggestion is for you to stay away from the internet for a while, until/unless you can find other, more stable sources of emotional support.

  283. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh July 11, 2011 at 12:14 am |

    Jon:
    Ahahaha. We hurt his feelings. That’s hilarious! Look how comical and desperate he is. The flouncer. He keeps on coming back for more, so really, there’s no onus on us to be decent people. There’s really no one, or no one that matters, on the other end of this screen who’s hurt by my words. It’s all so funny. Yippeeeeeeee.

    Oh God, the whining…

  284. Yonmei
    Yonmei July 11, 2011 at 4:53 am |

    and not surprisingly, you have the distinction of being the only vegan in the thread to be called a douche.

    True, but I got called a troll, I got invited to go elsewhere, and Florence dismissed my attempt to argue my views as “performance art”.

    Other vegans who popped up one comment at a time to say that actually, they found Jill’s and other anti-vegan comments pretty offensive, mostly had the sense just to keep their involvement in the thread to one single comment (and even so, got told off for presuming to think they were allowed to mention their offense).

    “I want it to offend the vegans!”

    – “Fiddlesticks! Offend the vegans and what have you got? Offensive vegans!”

  285. Alex
    Alex July 11, 2011 at 8:30 am |

    Mr. Kristen J.:
    Dude, you compared *retarded* children to pigs.You don’t get to play the poor me card after that.

    x1000

  286. Brandy
    Brandy July 11, 2011 at 9:56 am |

    Mr. Kristen J.:
    Dude, you compared *retarded* children to pigs.You don’t get to play the poor me card after that.

    Note to Jon: ableism is not acceptable around here (see conversation re:”crazyface” above). At least make the effort to update your language when you’re pulling from a book that was written in 1975. Although honestly, the argument itself is ableist enough that maybe it would be better to just, you know, not use it.

  287. zuzu
    zuzu July 11, 2011 at 12:22 pm |

    Jon:
    Well, it’s unanimous then. I’m an asshole. I’ll go jump off a bridge or something.

    Make sure it’s a high one!

  288. William
    William July 11, 2011 at 12:30 pm |

    Ahahaha. We hurt his feelings. That’s hilarious! Look how comical and desperate he is. The flouncer. He keeps on coming back for more, so really, there’s no onus on us to be decent people. There’s really no one, or no one that matters, on the other end of this screen who’s hurt by my words. It’s all so funny. Yippeeeeeeee.

    Jon, really, its the internet. You’re here arguing without having paid attention to what was said before you showed up late, riding topics that haven’t really been a meaningful part of the discussion, pushing your viewpoint when its irrelevant to what other people have been discussing for days. You’re making this about you when, frankly, it isn’t. Then, on top of that, you’ve played armchair psychologist, demanded that other people be nice to you, and tossed around the kinds of ableism that tend to get people considerably rougher treatment around here than you’ve gotten.

    Now you’re whining, and flouncing, trying to laugh it off, trying to guilt us, and making suicide cracks. That shit doesn’t fly here. The community tends to police itself with education followed by snark. I get that you’d like this discussion to be about what you want it to be about. I get that you’d like us to agree with you. I get that you expect respect and deference. But, to put it bluntly, thats gonna be a long wait for a train don’t come.

    Its become clear that you’re now stomping your foot for attention. I can’t speak for anyone else but I won’t be engaging with you anymore. Toots.

  289. igglanova
    igglanova July 11, 2011 at 2:58 pm |

    WHINERRRRRRRRR

    Petulant guilt trips are not hostile at all, duh.

    You have a choice to leave this thread, Jon. You lost. You did your best to make everyone hate you with your dickish sanctimony and superior attitude. Nobody’s forcing you to come back. And nothing obliges us to like you.

  290. smmo
    smmo July 11, 2011 at 7:21 pm |

    So the post about badly mannered vegans has devolved into some very bad manners. Good show everyone!

  291. Sara
    Sara July 11, 2011 at 7:24 pm |

    Wow. I have a “profoundly retarded” younger brother, and all I’ve got to say is this: it takes a real piece of shit to equate the death of an animal with the death of a disable human.

    If you want to ONLY look at the creatures involved (say a pig and an “equally stupid” human), then yeah, I guess you’d have a point in your pathetic argument.

    But vegans, being the privileged, sheltered motherfuckers they undoubtedly are, often don’t realized how profound human tragedies are. How could they? Anyone who dares to compare a dog’s death to a person’s death has obviously never lost anymore.

    If my profoundly “retarded” brother was killed, I can guarantee you that my family’s pain would be incomparable to that of the fucking pig’s family.

    There really is no use arguing with dumbasses who actually need these basic things explained to them.

    I think Peter Singer’s “Animal Liberation” should be required reading for everyone. If a person thinks it’s “enlightening” and “amazing” this will be your warning to stay the hell away. If a person thinks it’s the stupidest thing they’ve ever read, congratulations, you’ve just met someone with common sense.

  292. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh July 11, 2011 at 7:35 pm |

    smmo:
    So the post about badly mannered vegans has devolved into some very bad manners.Good show everyone!

    Right, because Jon deserves hugs, lollipops, and rainbows after how he conducted himself in this thread.

  293. igglanova
    igglanova July 11, 2011 at 9:49 pm |

    Oh smmo, the post is about vegans who initiate douchery, not about ‘bad manners’ in general. There’s a difference. Hostility in response to insufferable douchery is warranted; unprovoked assholery is not.

  294. vanessa
    vanessa July 11, 2011 at 10:03 pm |

    I love, love, LOVE how every.single.time there is a thread that so much as MENTIONS vegans it turns into a vegan piling on thread. A “white Western vegans are all annoying assholes!” thread. At the very least, find another fucking narrative!

    (and I’m not even a goddamned vegan! I’m just a plain old vegetarian. And you bet your ass it’s a moral choice. So what?)

  295. EG
    EG July 11, 2011 at 10:10 pm |

    “Fiddlesticks! Offend the vegans and what have you got? Offensive vegans!”

    OK, Yonmei, I don’t agree with a single thing you’ve said about veganism etc., but I am very gratified to meet somebody else who recognizes the excellence of this line!

    And Jon, seriously. It’s an internet slapfight. It’s really not worth having hurt feelings about.

  296. Yonmei
    Yonmei July 12, 2011 at 4:23 am |

    Sara: But vegans, being the privileged, sheltered motherfuckers they undoubtedly are, often don’t realized how profound human tragedies are. How could they? Anyone who dares to compare a dog’s death to a person’s death has obviously never lost anymore.

    When I was 25, one of my closest friends died of AIDS: he was only four years older than me. A couple of years ago, another very close friend died of congestive heart failure. Ten years ago my great-aunt, who I loved and who loved me, died of heart failure after ten years of osteoparosis, mini-strokes, and one heart attack, had gradually taken away all her previous joy and energy in life and left only the settled will to live. And the cat I chose out of a litter when she was only a few hours old, who lived with me for fifteen years until she developed cancer and I had to ask the vet to put her to sleep: that was nearly six years ago and I still think of her, and wish I could believe in an afterlife where, once again, I could pick her up and she would rub her head against mine to claim me as her territory. I’ve lost other cats, before and since, but yeah, the plain fact is that that one cat I loved beyond reason, and still miss as I do the other people who died.

    I don’t think her loss was a “profound human tragedy”: she was an old cat and she had a good life. But I can’t tell myself not to grieve because she was just a cat, because grief and the feeling of loss don’t go away just because you tell them to, just because other people tell you it was an irrational attachment to a pet. Perhaps human beings shouldn’t love animals that much, but the plain fact is, we often do.

    It has nothing to do with being a “privileged, sheltered motherfucker”. Human beings have the impulse to love. You don’t have to be privileged or sheltered or a motherfucker for that to happen.

    (I couldn’t find the news story about it in a brief search, but I remember thinking it was a damn fine idea: a prison block for violent male criminals which had managed to calm down many of the inmates by allowing them to have pets. Given a pet to love and care for, and aware that violent behaviour could mean that their pet would be taken away, a lot of the inmates responded well and achieved a level of peace and peaceful interaction. Not just because this was something they valued that they didn’t want to lose, but because they had something to love and care for that responded to their affection.)

    Getting mad at vegans or vegetarians because of what we eat? What kind of unproductive acting out is that?

    The person who wrote the passive-aggressive letter in the OP is annoying not because s/he’s a vegan, but because of how s/he chooses to handle room-mate interactions. Jon is annoying not because he’s a vegan but because, well *stares at thread* … words fail me.

    I’m annoying not because I’m a vegetarian but because I’m articulate, angry, self-righteous, aggressively political, challenge authority, and write far too well. What I eat is probably the least annoying thing about me. Why waste your time getting mad at me for being vegetarian, when you could get mad at me for posting comments and information about Royal Wedding politics in a thread that’s supposed to be all girly squee over the silly hats? Oh wait…

  297. Alex
    Alex July 12, 2011 at 9:19 am |

    Yonmei, did you read Jon’s comments? Did you read this one:

    Jon: If I were to slaughter, for their organs, profoundly retarded humans, who had the cognitive abilities of a pig, who couldn’t employ language, and didn’t have strong concept of the future, how would it be significantly different than the most idyllic animal agriculture. I’m not a brainiac, but I don’t see a difference , without delving into religion’s bag of “THE SANCTITY OF HUMAN LIFE!!!1″ tricks. I think the rational basis of all that mumbo-jumbo, including its secular humanist variety, went out with Darwin. (And obviously I don’t want profoundly retarded humans killed

    (emphasis mine)

    Pretty sure that @Sara is responding to the ableism, not the veganism.

    I’m really confused that anyone, vegan or not, would be defending Jon here especially since no one is attacking him for being a vegan, he’s being called out for being an ableist asshole who waltzed in without reading the thread to lecture everyone on Singer’s eugenics.

  298. EG
    EG July 12, 2011 at 11:49 am |

    Getting mad at vegans or vegetarians because of what we eat? What kind of unproductive acting out is that?

    But people aren’t doing that. Omnivores are getting mad at vegans for behaving like assholes by leaving unacceptable notes, comparing their “oppression,” which seems largely to consist of getting made fun of sometimes, to that experienced by Jews, jumping into a thread without reading all the comments, and comparing retarded children to pigs.

  299. Yonmei
    Yonmei July 12, 2011 at 11:49 am |

    Yonmei, did you read Jon’s comments?

    Yes, I did. I’m afraid – flip though it may be – I had two reactions to those comments.

    One was OMGWTF??? which I didn’t express because all my comments are modded, and going OMGWTF??? to a comment doesn’t work too well in a blog thread where no one will read it until it gets unmodded.

    The other was expressed by the misquote from Mary Poppins.

  300. Yonmei
    Yonmei July 12, 2011 at 11:54 am |

    But people aren’t doing that.

    Well, if you want to redefine those doing that, on this thread and elsewhere, as “not-people”, you can do that, on the understanding that I won’t agree with you.

    But you can’t redefine the behaviour of getting mad at vegans or vegetarians because of what we eat, because we can see it happening: Jill begins the original post by reminding us that she thinks of vegans as “sanctimonious assholes” because they don’t eat dairy, fish, meat, or other animal products. Sweet. You can say that “People aren’t doing that” only by saying that Jill, for example, isn’t a people. Of course she is.

  301. groggette
    groggette July 12, 2011 at 2:14 pm |

    Yonmei: Jill begins the original post by reminding us that she thinks of vegans as “sanctimonious assholes”

    That reminder was only inserted after someone complained that the post was calling out vegans. Which it wasn’t. Also if you want to put something in quotes you should bother quoting the actual thing said.

  302. Gillian Love
    Gillian Love July 12, 2011 at 6:05 pm |

    …And all of this is why I find it uncomfortable that for the second time in a fairly short period, there’s been a post about vegans on Feministe (the first was the ‘dating dilemma’ – can omnivores date vegans?)

    The OP was far from vegan-baiting, -hating, or anything close. But both posts have attracted the same sorts of comments. This isn’t a vegan space, in the way that it is a feminist space. So although the OP expressly defends anyone;s right to decide how they eat, you can’t expect commenters to do the same. It is quite surprising/annoying/uncomfortable to come onto this site and see some people going over issues like ‘are all vegans assholes?’, ‘does being a vegan matter on an individual level?’, ‘do animals deserve respect?’, ‘aren’t vegans just oppressing other humans instead of animals?’ etc.

    These threads were NOT just about how obviously messed up that housemate’s note was (we’re basically all agreed on that). It was about a whole lot more, and there were some very offensive jokes, comparisons and ignorance from all sides.

    I guess, Jill, you decide what you write on your blog. But…with such a large following, there is kinda a responsibility too. I think this thread should have been closed a while ago. It’s unproductive and isn’t contributing to the exciting discourse that I love this website for.

    I wonder if anyone else agrees. *awaits timidly*

  303. vanessa
    vanessa July 12, 2011 at 8:22 pm |

    @Gillian yea I do. Actually, I find the general vegan stuff on this site really, really depressing. It’s quite obvious Jill and many commentators find vegans as a rule to be assholes, and it’s also obvious many commentators (on both sides, but definitely including vegans) ARE being assholes. For me, the two movements (animal rights and women’s rights) are intrinsically linked (as Nellie McKay said, it’s all the same fight) which makes it even more depressing. That said, not as purely saddening as the spanking thread, so there’s that!

  304. Lu
    Lu July 13, 2011 at 10:28 am |

    Yes, thirded, Vanessa and Gillian. I stayed away from Feministe for a few weeks after that other vegan eruption because I was so upset at the impunity with which people were piling on vegans and really taunting and mocking them in really immature ways. Present comment excepted, I’ve decided not to open my vegan yap to complain about it because it appears to be a hopeless cause here.

  305. L
    L July 13, 2011 at 10:49 am |

    @ Gillian I do too. And I second vanessa in saying that feminism and animal rights to me are linked, through the way animals are treated, and the way the meat and animal products industry affects the environment, public health, as well as class inequality (things this blog and feminism in general deals with frequently). And I’m aware that veganism as a movement can sometimes be full of BS like fat shaming or classism, but I really feel most vegans and vegetarians (like the ones that visit this site) don’t advocate for animal rights at the expense of human rights.

  306. Bridget
    Bridget July 13, 2011 at 12:29 pm |

    Gillian, Vanessa, Lu & L, I agree.

  307. igglanova
    igglanova July 13, 2011 at 7:34 pm |

    ‘It’s quite obvious Jill and many commentators find vegans as a rule to be assholes’

    I don’t get this impression at all, and I’ve been reading Feministe for years. If you’re the kind of person who defends the assholery in the OP, then yeah, you’re going to get shot down because that note was inexcusable. If you’re as irritating and clueless as Jon, you’ll get the mockery that’s coming to you. But if you’re just a vegan and occasionally mention that fact when it’s relevant (which is much less often than you might think), nobody is going to ostracize you, because we really, *really* couldn’t care less.

    The fact that animal rights is a contentious issue at this point in history does not mean that Feministe is somehow anti-vegan.

  308. Lara Emily Foley
    Lara Emily Foley July 13, 2011 at 11:39 pm |

    I have to say that I have a huge I have a huge contention with saying the women’s rights movement and the animal rights movement are on in the same, especially when talking about the Vegan/Vegetarian element.

  309. Lara Emily Foley
    Lara Emily Foley July 14, 2011 at 2:15 am |

    O.o that looked a whole lot less coherent then when I was typing it.

    Rephrase: I have a huge contention with saying Women’s Rights and Animal Rights are the same fight, especially when talking about the Vegan/Vegetarian aspect of the Animal Rights movement.

  310. Politicalguineapig
    Politicalguineapig July 14, 2011 at 9:45 am |

    Lara Emily Foley: Yeah, I have a problem with that idea too. Women’s rights and animal rights are not the same, and a lot of dudes involved in veganism are pretty sexist and couldn’t care less about women. For example, look at the PETA ad campaigns.
    I have no problem with vegans, as a rule, but the first vegan I met was a guy who didn’t shower all that often, for environmental reasons. He also drove an SUV, so I wondered where his priorities where. Kinda colors my impression of vegans, but I try to keep an open mind.
    (For the record, I think not showering is very very rude.)

  311. L
    L July 14, 2011 at 10:30 am |

    I never said that animal rights and women’s rights are the same thing, I said that to me, they are linked. I am in no way saying that everyone has to feel the same.

    I can’t get behind PETA either, it’s unfortunate that they cloud the good work they do with sexist douchebaggery and a message that is really really alienating. They kind of remind me of the anti-choice movement.

  312. Lu
    Lu July 14, 2011 at 10:35 am |

    And here we go again, off to the races! Please do feel free, as always, to share your stories of odious vegans you’ve known. Just remember that there are a ton of feminist vegans, people who do see the connection between women’s oppression and animal exploitation. Do you really think those people equate women and animals? Do you really think a feminist would believe that? Saying “It’s the same fight” is not the same as equating women and animals. I realize the upside to imputing that belief to vegans and vegetarians is that you can get angry and dismiss the whole thing, but there are connections, and if people would put aside these assumptions of bad faith—even though it feels so good!—we might find common ground.

  313. EG
    EG July 14, 2011 at 10:55 am |

    Yes, Lu, and your response to other feminists’ very real concerns about the ways animal-rights activists handle issues of gender is just completely in good faith and helping to find common ground. It seems that the only thing you define as “common ground” is omnivores agreeing with you about connections between feminism and animal rights.

  314. L
    L July 14, 2011 at 10:58 am |

    Did I not JUST address feminists’ (as in my feminist) concerns about the way animal-rights activists handle issues of gender?

  315. EG
    EG July 14, 2011 at 11:09 am |

    Was my comment addressed to you? Check that first sentence again.

  316. Lu
    Lu July 14, 2011 at 11:14 am |

    My comment was a reaction to the fact that, in this formerly nearly dormant thread, a few vegans formed a little bond over the fact that it’s always open season on us here, and sure enough, no one can let it stand. Right away with the “but I knew a vegan who was horrible” and “here are some really objectionable things that some vegans say and do.” I’m really sorry I said anything, and no, that’s not a flounce. I’m dropping it now.

  317. Gillian Love
    Gillian Love July 14, 2011 at 1:09 pm |

    Dudes, read “The Sexual politics of Meat” by Carol Adams. And some other interesting texts that link veganism and feminism.

    Then come back, share ideas.

    Like folks who get on.

    Or not. Whatever. this is getting boring now.

  318. EG
    EG July 14, 2011 at 1:43 pm |

    My comment was a reaction to the fact that, in this formerly nearly dormant thread, a few vegans formed a little bond over the fact that it’s always open season on us here, and sure enough, no one can let it stand. Right away with the “but I knew a vegan who was horrible” and “here are some really objectionable things that some vegans say and do.”

    Gee, you mean in this non-vegan-only, non-private thread, people who didn’t agree with you had the gall to post and dispute what you were saying? Yeah, I can see how that would be really upsetting.

  319. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan July 14, 2011 at 2:35 pm |

    I know I’m a million years too late, but here’s my artist contribution:

  320. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan July 14, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
  321. Natalia
    Natalia July 14, 2011 at 2:39 pm |

    My comment was a reaction to the fact that, in this formerly nearly dormant thread, a few vegans formed a little bond over the fact that it’s always open season on us here, and sure enough, no one can let it stand.

    I think that the bond is a good thing, but this is also a discussion, y’know. Not a hobbit cuddlefest, to paraphrase Cassandra Claire.

    Personally, I am sympathetic to vegans and vegetarians. I think that both veganism and vegetarianism were borne out of kindness, and that is important to me. I’m an omnivore who takes the lives of animals, and I understand that there is violence involved in that, even if I am not the one directly perpetuating the violence. We live in a world that’s altogether violent, and I see no point in glossing over that.

    I don’t think that animals are the same as humans, I’m speciest to the bone and always will be – but I also value animals, on my own terms. They have both sustained my body and protected me from harm. That’s important. It’s why I support innovation in farming and agriculture in particular – and am grateful to live in Russia, where you can still give a lot of money directly to small-scale farmers. Corruption is a big impediment to revolutionizing these industries, both in the U.S. (lobbying is just another form of corruption, imho) and here. It’s one of the main reasons for me to expose corruption.

    At the same time – yeah, I make fun of people who push their eating habits on me, like the passive-aggressive letter writer did here. I make fun of my mother when she shrieks about my dinner-making habits, and insists I augment everything with beets (I do not like beets). People who get self-righteous and huffy about food are, in general, funny – regardless of what their strategies and beliefs are.

  322. Lara Emily Foley
    Lara Emily Foley July 14, 2011 at 4:00 pm |

    Lu:
    And here we go again, off to the races! Please do feel free, as always, to share your stories of odious vegans you’ve known. Just remember that there are a ton of feminist vegans, people who do see the connection between women’s oppression and animal exploitation. Do you really think those people equate women and animals? Do you really think a feminist would believe that? Saying “It’s the same fight” is not the same as equating women and animals. I realize the upside to imputing that belief to vegans and vegetarians is that you can get angry and dismiss the whole thing, but there are connections, and if people would put aside these assumptions of bad faith—even though it feels so good!—we might find common ground.

    I’m sorry but like I said it’s not the same fight, and saying so is equating women with animals, you can’t use the word same and then say they are different.

  323. Politicalguineapig
    Politicalguineapig July 14, 2011 at 8:49 pm |

    I should have clarified my comment: Not showering when you have access to clean water is rude- it’s on the same level as spraying on too much perfume. I have no real problem with vegans, as long as they don’t try to convert me. And in some cases, I’m more than willing to try some tasty vegan food. (Mock duck- yum!)
    Lu: It’s kind of like saying that abolition, prohibition and suffrage were all the same thing. There may be overlap, but yeah, they’re still not the same thing. (And in the above examples there was a lot more overlap than the animal rights movement has with the women’s rights movement.)

  324. Nahida
    Nahida July 14, 2011 at 9:08 pm |

    Natalia: I don’t think that animals are the same as humans, I’m speciest to the bone and always will be

    That’s not speciest. You know what’s speciest? To believe that animals are the same as humans. It is speciest to expect a rabbit to perform the tasks of a human being, just as it is speciest to believe a rabbit does not have the right to not be tortured. Specism is like all other -isms in that there is a whole “you think you’re being considerate but you’re being an ass” aspect, like arbitrarily assigning a characteristic to something simply because it has another completely unrelated characteristic. Animal rights are based on the level of awareness the animal has and on experiences of pain. This is not about allowing every creature to do everything: only to respect the rights that creatures have according to their own individual capabilities and awareness.

  325. antiprincess
    antiprincess July 14, 2011 at 9:10 pm |
  326. igglanova
    igglanova July 14, 2011 at 11:04 pm |

    Isn’t this spamming of animal rights ‘reading suggestions,’ unsolicited, exactly what we’re talking about when we’re talking about smug sanctimony? Don’t assume that omnivores are only omnivores because they’re uneducated in the clearly superior vegan ways.

  327. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh July 14, 2011 at 11:36 pm |

    igglanova:
    Isn’t this spamming of animal rights ‘reading suggestions,’ unsolicited, exactly what we’re talking about when we’re talking about smug sanctimony?Don’t assume that omnivores are only omnivores because they’re uneducated in the clearly superior vegan ways.

    It’s kind of like how Jon kept insisting that the only reason that I complained about his obnoxiousness was because I disagreed with veganism or knew nothing about it. My Vegetarian Times subscription and couple of vegan cookbooks would disagree with him. (I’m an omnivore, and can’t see myself ever completely omitting meat from my diet, but adding much more vegan and vegetarian foods to mine and my household’s diet is a goal of mine for various reasons; I make sure to buy personal care/beauty products that haven’t been tested on animals, etc.) I just don’t like Typing Vegan Stereotypes who make everyone around them miserable.

  328. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh July 14, 2011 at 11:42 pm |

    Yonmei, I was just going to let you know that I did see your response to me the other day, I’m sorry I didn’t get to respond. I caregive for a sick parent, and the day you responded I had to concentrate on helping her with her fluctuating blood sugar.

    I looked for the response just now, and I can’t find it unfortunately and sort of needed it in order to respond. Sorry about that, but I did hear you. I don’t agree with you on a lot of things re: this topic, but I can empathize with your frustration.

  329. Natalia
    Natalia July 15, 2011 at 1:54 am |

    Animal rights are based on the level of awareness the animal has and on experiences of pain.

    Not all animal rights activists believe this… otherwise we wouldn’t have some nice folks comparing “profoundly retarded children” to pigs right here.

  330. Gillian Love
    Gillian Love July 15, 2011 at 1:55 am |

    igglanova:
    Isn’t this spamming of animal rights ‘reading suggestions,’ unsolicited, exactly what we’re talking about when we’re talking about smug sanctimony?Don’t assume that omnivores are only omnivores because they’re uneducated in the clearly superior vegan ways.

    It’s more that people are getting into discussions about areas which have been written about quite well and quite extensively. Sharing the link or text is not pushing anything on anyone. Merely saying, look, if you’re interested/wanna have that discussion, here’s someone who’s put it into words better than I can in a
    small comment.

    If people don’t have time or aren’t that interested, that’s cool, but it’s hard to get into these complicated discussions about animal awareness/links between veganism and feminism/’myths’ of vegetarianism without a bit of background.

  331. Yonmei
    Yonmei July 15, 2011 at 3:11 am |

    groggette: That reminder was only inserted after someone complained that the post was calling out vegans. Which it wasn’t.

    Not being a vegan, Jill doesn’t get to decide that. Vegans do. You don’t get to go “Oh, NO OFFENSE” when you’ve actually, you know, been offensive. In fact, “no offense” is generally a fair indication that the author or speaker does, in fact, know they’re being offensive.

    Also if you want to put something in quotes you should bother quoting the actual thing said.

    You’re right. Jill made a point of letting us know she thinks vegans are “insufferable sanctimonious pricks”. Sweet.

  332. antiprincess
    antiprincess July 15, 2011 at 5:56 am |

    the thesis of Lierre Keith’s book is that the veg*n diet is just as destructive to the planet as an omnivorous diet, and not significantly more moral or healthy. she claims that agriculture itself, not just raising animals for meat, is the real culprit. it’s a fascinating book, written by a woman was vegan for over 20 years.

  333. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable July 15, 2011 at 6:42 am |

    Gillian Love: If people don’t have time or aren’t that interested, that’s cool, but it’s hard to get into these complicated discussions about animal awareness/links between veganism and feminism/’myths’ of vegetarianism without a bit of background

    … Your entire comment implies that omnivores are ignorant and need educating. This is exactly what igglanova said was irritating. I don’t understand how you replied to a comment saying that “assuming omnivores are ignorant is ridiculous and wrong” by … assuming omnivores are ignorant. This is why conversations shut down. We know. We read the books and came to a different conclusion. Your conclusion isn’t objectively better. We didn’t miss something. FFS.

  334. jessi
    jessi July 15, 2011 at 7:46 am |

    And antiprincess implies that veg*ns are ignorant and don’t know about Lierre Keith’s book… which, by the way, is one of the worst books I’ve ever read. Not because of the antivegan message (I’m not vegan), but because she writes/makes up stuff without any research and contradicts herself all the time. I don’t think a writer who doesn’t know the difference between soy protein and soy and thinks the fat intake in America has dropped in the past 15 years by 25% (or, a couple of pages later, by 10% – both numbers are wrong) is a good authority on anything concerning food and nutrition.

  335. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable July 15, 2011 at 7:53 am |

    Cool! Take it up with antiprincess! In the meantime, I promise to continue not being like, “Well, we can’t have this conversation because I’m better educated than you since I read this book this one time that clearly perpetuates my eating dogma.” It’s worked fabulously for me in the past, and I bet it’ll continue being awesome in the future.

  336. antiprincess
    antiprincess July 15, 2011 at 8:12 am |

    @ jessi – I don’t know, I was convinced. I’ll double-check her sources. I don’t really have a horse in this race, it’s just that I happened to read this book the other day and it appeared to be pertinent, at least tangentially, to the discussion. I meant no offense.

  337. Yonmei
    Yonmei July 15, 2011 at 10:59 am |

    Yes, that’s exactly what “not all vegans are insufferable sanctimonious pricks” means.

    Being Christian. Yay Christians, worship what you want, live ethically, you are not all child-raping misogynists, etc etc.

    Being gay. Yay gays, have sex how you want, live with who you you want, you are not all promiscuous and HIV-infected, etc etc.

    Being lesbian. Yay lesbians, have sex how you want, live with who you you want, you are not all man-hating temptresses, etc etc.

    Being feminist. Yay feminists, live how you want, live without men, you are not all insufferable sanctimonious pricks, etc etc.

    Yeah, Jill. If you really didn’t know what you were saying, then take a writing class.

  338. EG
    EG July 15, 2011 at 11:18 am |

    OK, Yonmei, so are you claiming that if Jill hadn’t put a disclaimer on the post, you wouldn’t have misinterpreted it as an attack on All Vegans Everywhere, because apparently, when it comes to vegans, An Injury to One is an Injury to All?

    And here’s something important to remember: just as vegans are not like Jews, they are also not like gay men, lesbians, or feminists. As for Christians–I mean, if you wish to compare yourself with one of the most dominant groups, historically and contemporarily, a group that has, by and large, when it comes to its use of organized power, not used that power for the benefit of the disenfranchised, be my guest, I guess. I don’t think it’s an accurate comparison, unless vegans wield far more power than I think they do, but I guess I don’t actively find it offensive.

  339. Gillian Love
    Gillian Love July 15, 2011 at 11:30 am |

    PrettyAmiable: … Your entire comment implies that omnivores are ignorant and need educating. This is exactly what igglanova said was irritating. I don’t understand how you replied to a comment saying that “assuming omnivores are ignorant is ridiculous and wrong” by … assuming omnivores are ignorant. This is why conversations shut down. We know. We read the books and came to a different conclusion. Your conclusion isn’t objectively better. We didn’t miss something. FFS.

    Pfft no, mate. I’m not assuming anyone, regardless of diet, has or hasn’t read these. Or that you’re totally ignorant if you haven’t, OR if you have but came to a different conclusion to me. I’m asking that if we ARE going to have these discussions, let’s use sources, use facts, talk about other written opinions, compare notes. This is obviously not the place to do this! This is a feminist blogging site and we’ve all been trading comment after comment like we’re actually going to get anywhere. Which I’m doing even now because I want to know WHEN THIS POINTLESS THREAD WILL BE CLOSED FFS! The less I have to be tempted every time I log onto Feministe to look at what new morsel has been offered on this piece, the better. Cos I can’t keep these typing fingers still…

  340. Gillian Love
    Gillian Love July 15, 2011 at 11:31 am |

    And for the record, I have to agree that the first sentence of the OP can very easily act as a red flag. Ironic that it was added when someone complained…or was it ironically added? We’ll never know.

  341. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable July 15, 2011 at 2:11 pm |

    Gillian Love: I’m not assuming anyone, regardless of diet, has or hasn’t read these.

    You should consider reflecting on what you’re implying with your words if you really aren’t running around pretending every omnivore-is-more-ignorant-than-thou. Saying

    Gillian Love: Dudes, read “The Sexual politics of Meat” by Carol Adams. And some other interesting texts that link veganism and feminism.

    Then come back, share ideas.

    Makes you sound like a pretentious jerk. FYI. And if you don’t see it, that sucks. Incidentally, if you haven’t made the connection, it’s probably why people are running around calling you sanctimonious.

  342. Gillian Love
    Gillian Love July 16, 2011 at 4:00 am |

    I’ve never been called sanctimonious. We’ve moved on from that little moan.

    Oh, and FYI…you are far too defensive.

  343. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable July 16, 2011 at 6:40 am |

    Never? After reading all of your comments on this thread, I’ve personally called you sanctimonious a few times, with a few pretentiouses to boot. Maybe people you know IRL just think it’s not worth sharing criticism of your actions since you seem completely incapable of reflecting on how you come off.

  344. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh July 16, 2011 at 12:14 pm |

    Gillian Love:
    I’ve never been called sanctimonious. We’ve moved on from that little moan.

    Oh, and FYI…you are far too defensive.

    Seriously, you can’t figure why someone might feel you were being sanctimonious? The post that PrettyAmiable quoted is a good start. There you made it sound like no one has a legitimate opinion on whether feminism and veganism can be considered “the same fight” until they’ve read the texts that you approve of.

  345. J
    J July 17, 2011 at 1:00 am |

    William: Bottom line there is that you’re treating cows and chickens with great concern while the migrant workers who pick your organic swiss chard and work to grow all the damned soy you consume are treated to the kinds of conditions that made Upton Sinclair’s career.

    a) slaughterhouse and factory farm workers are also often immigrants working in terrible conditions, and
    b) farmers who grow crops for animals that omnivores eat are also often immigrants working in terrible conditions

    So how does it follow that “because the people who often (but not necessarily!) produce the food that vegans eat are immigrants working in terrible conditions, vegans care less about immigrants working in terrible conditions than omnivores”? And if that is not your claim, then what is? It’s difficult to quantify the impact that one’s diet has on (e.g.) the quality of life of immigrant workers anyway, and you shouldn’t pretend that it isn’t.

  346. J
    J July 17, 2011 at 1:23 am |

    Also, while I lament the ableist language, it’s not at all obvious (unless you are, say, a fundamentalist Christian) why a child born without a brain has “less of a right to be killed” than a pig. Singer’s point is that it would be speciesist to claim that a certain living creature has more of a right to live than some other living creature *solely* by virtue of its membership of such-and-such a species. Nobody is actually advocating the slaughter of intellectually disabled people; the point is that the horror of such a suggestion reveals something about the prejudices we have toward certain so-called “inferior” species.

  347. Nahida
    Nahida July 17, 2011 at 10:18 am |

    Peter Singer has been ableist in more than one piece, and frequently enough to discredit him entirely. There are people out there who have great points about animal rights and aren’t complete dicks about it.

  348. J
    J July 17, 2011 at 11:28 am |

    I’m not aware of Singer’s being abelist in general. Maybe he is, but I didn’t see anything ableist in “Animal Liberation” or “The Ethics of What We Eat”, which books really form the foundation of his ethical stance on veg*nism. Also, the article that Brandy linked to approaches Glenn Beck levels of intellectual dishonesty: it quotes Singer as saying that “according to the replaceability argument, it would be ok to perform scientific experiments on severely intellectually disabled people”, and it is implied that this is evidence that Singer advocates performing experiments on people with intellectual disabilities. What it doesn’t mention is that Singer is using this as an example of why he *disagrees* with the replaceability argument! So he is making precisely the opposite point of what is implied by the out-of-context quote. This particular flavour of (deliberate or otherwise) misrepresentation of Singer’s views is not rare, either.

    Perhaps you don’t wish to get into a discussion about Peter Singer’s views. Neither do I, to be honest. I just wanted to clear something up. Also, I notice that one of my posts appears to still be “awaiting moderation”. I think this might be because it was a response to a fairly old comment which had already been addressed. But I want to emphasise that I think William’s (and EG’s) implication that vegans somehow care less about migrant workers than non-vegans totally outrageous and indefensible.

  349. J
    J July 17, 2011 at 11:37 am |

    *ableist

  350. J
    J July 17, 2011 at 11:46 am |

    J:
    . . . it’s not at all obvious (unless you are, say, a fundamentalist Christian) why a child born without a brain has “less of a right to be killed” than a pig. Singer’s point is that it would be speciesist to claim that a certain living creature has more of a right to live than some other living creature *solely* by virtue of its membership of such-and-such a species. Nobody is actually advocating the slaughter of intellectually disabled people; the point is that the horror of such a suggestion reveals something about the prejudices we have toward certain so-called “inferior” species.

    Actually, Singer does not speak in terms of “rights” — strictly speaking he doesn’t believe in them — but in terms of what is ethically justifiable. I wasn’t thinking carefully enough when I wrote that comment, but my point remains unchanged, essentially.

  351. EG
    EG July 17, 2011 at 12:24 pm |

    it’s not at all obvious (unless you are, say, a fundamentalist Christian) why a child born without a brain has “less of a right to be killed” than a pig.

    Well, that would be a straw man, as well as moot, because a child born without a brain has absolutely no chance of survival whatsoever. Zero. In some cases, women who find that this will be the case with their babies choose to carry to term anyway, and to donate the baby’s organs, and I consider this to be an act of no small heroism. But a baby born without a brain does not live.

    But I want to emphasise that I think William’s (and EG’s) implication that vegans somehow care less about migrant workers than non-vegans totally outrageous and indefensible.

    The issue is not the magnitude of individual vegans’ feelings about migrant workers; the issue is that, like omnivores, they are making judgment calls about the level of cruelty they are willing to accept in order to sustain themselves in the manner to which they are, or would like to be, accustomed. Given that, I find the pretense that vegans are somehow making a “moral” choice while omnivores are making an “immoral” one to be hypocritical and fundamentally false.

  352. J
    J July 17, 2011 at 1:54 pm |

    EG: Well, that would be a straw man

    How? It was only supposed to be an example of the fact that the distinction between the “worth” of a human’s life and the “worth” of a non-human animal’s life is not always obvious. I don’t think it’s moot, either, because a) anencephalic babies can survive birth (they obviously will not live for very long, but they can live for up to 2 years at least, and their lifespan isn’t relevant to the question of whether it could be acceptable to kill them), and b) one can arguably find similarly severe examples of impairment in a living human.

    EG: The issue is not the magnitude of individual vegans’ feelings about migrant workers; the issue is that, like omnivores, they are making judgment calls about the level of cruelty they are willing to accept in order to sustain themselves in the manner to which they are, or would like to be, accustomed. Given that, I find the pretense that vegans are somehow making a “moral” choice while omnivores are making an “immoral” one to be hypocritical and fundamentally false.

    Just because something isn’t completely ethical doesn’t mean it can’t be more ethical than something else. And the only case I have ever heard vegans argue, really, is that veganism is a more ethical option than non-veganism, all else being equal. This seems pretty obvious to me, but maybe I’m missing something. (By the way, with respect to the impact on migrant workers, I mentioned in a previous post [which is still awaiting moderation] that an omnivore’s diet is potentially worse than, and certainly not *necessarily* better than, a veg*n’s diet. Given that that is the case, I don’t see how the impact on migrant workers is necessarily relevant to the question of the relative ethicality of the two types of diets, unless you don’t believe the first sentence of this paragraph).

  353. Natalia
    Natalia July 17, 2011 at 2:04 pm |

    Just because something isn’t completely ethical doesn’t mean it can’t be more ethical than something else.

    I have to say, this thread keeps bringing the lulz.

  354. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh July 17, 2011 at 2:08 pm |

    J: Also, while I lament the ableist language, it’s not at all obvious (unless you are, say, a fundamentalist Christian) why a child born without a brain has “less of a right to be killed” than a pig. Singer’s point is that it would be speciesist to claim that a certain living creature has more of a right to live than some other living creature *solely* by virtue of its membership of such-and-such a species. Nobody is actually advocating the slaughter of intellectually disabled people; the point is that the horror of such a suggestion reveals something about the prejudices we have toward certain so-called “inferior” species.

    Yeah, it’s not like that type of dehumanizing thought process has ever led to the systematic murders of people with intellectual and/or psychatric disabilities…oh wait.

    I’ll stop there before I go full on Godwin.

  355. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh July 17, 2011 at 2:12 pm |

    Natalia: I have to say, this thread keeps bringing the lulz.

    Yep, lol. We’re now literally down to vegans playing the more-ethical-than-thou card if they can’t get away with playing the only-ethical-eaters-on-the-planet card.

    Choosing not to consume animal products is *not* more (or less) ethical than say, choosing not to consume fruits or vegetables that the United Farm Workers have marked for boycott, no matter how much the vegans try to tell themselves that.

  356. J
    J July 17, 2011 at 2:29 pm |

    Annaleigh: Yeah, it’s not like that type of dehumanizing thought process has ever led to the systematic murders of people with intellectual and/or psychatric disabilities…oh wait.

    I’ll stop there before I go full on Godwin.

    If it led to systematic murders, then that would be because of a misinterpretation of my/Singer’s argument, because the entire point of the argument is that one *cannot* evaluate the “worth” of an animal’s life based on the animal’s “abilities”. In other words, it’s on the opposite end of the spectrum to Nazi philosophy. For the record, people have accused Singer of being essentially a Nazi many times; it’s never a helpful thing to do, and it’s never accurate.

  357. EG
    EG July 17, 2011 at 2:35 pm |

    Just because something isn’t completely ethical doesn’t mean it can’t be more ethical than something else. And the only case I have ever heard vegans argue, really, is that veganism is a more ethical option than non-veganism, all else being equal. This seems pretty obvious to me, but maybe I’m missing something.

    It may indeed seem obvious to you. But that’s what makes horse races, isn’t it? Not everyone in the world agrees with you. It’s a hard reality for everyone. But there it is.

    (By the way, with respect to the impact on migrant workers, I mentioned in a previous post [which is still awaiting moderation] that an omnivore’s diet is potentially worse than, and certainly not *necessarily* better than, a veg*n’s diet. Given that that is the case, I don’t see how the impact on migrant workers is necessarily relevant to the question of the relative ethicality of the two types of diets, unless you don’t believe the first sentence of this paragraph).

    OH MY GOD HAVE YOU EVEN READ THIS THREAD? That issue has been addressed, not once, but twice. I’m not going to answer it a third time. You can simply scroll up and read.

    I don’t think it’s moot, either, because a) anencephalic babies can survive birth (they obviously will not live for very long, but they can live for up to 2 years at least

    That’s simply not true. From the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: “The prognosis for babies born with anencephaly is extremely poor. If the infant is not stillborn, then he or she will usually die within a few hours or days after birth.” From the Children’s Hospital of Boston: “Due to the lack of development of babies’ brains, about 75 percent of infants are stillborn and the remaining 25 percent of babies die within a few hours, days or weeks after delivery.” I don’t know where you’re getting that two years thing from, but it is not supported by any reliable information that I can find.

    and their lifespan isn’t relevant to the question of whether it could be acceptable to kill them)

    And again, that’s not true, or it would be impossible to donate their organs. Look up the concept of “brain death.”

    b) one can arguably find similarly severe examples of impairment in a living human.

    You think you can find a living human whose condition can be likened to that of an anencephalic baby, who lacks a cerebrum, the area of the brain that is responsible for thinking, vision, hearing, touch, and movement? Well, go right ahead. I’m not stopping you. When you produce an actual situation, as opposed to a hypothetical one that you don’t seem to have the facts on, I might take you a bit more seriously.

    Yeah, I can’t imagine why anybody might find your attitude to be in the slightest bit disparaging of and dangerous to disabled people.

    And what Annaleigh said.

  358. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh July 17, 2011 at 2:37 pm |

    J: because the entire point of the argument is that one *cannot* evaluate the “worth” of an animal’s life based on the animal’s “abilities”

    Maybe so, but it sure does seem to put value of worth on people with intellectual disabilites, i.e. not much.

  359. J
    J July 17, 2011 at 3:02 pm |

    Annaleigh: Yep, lol. We’re now literally down to vegans playing the more-ethical-than-thou card if they can’t get away with playing the only-ethical-eaters-on-the-planet card.

    I don’t know why you would mischaracterise my position like that. I certainly do not believe that vegans are necessarily more ethical than non-vegans, or that non-vegans are bad/unethical people in the first place. Maybe if you read my comments more carefully you would not be under that impression. I can’t think of anything else to say to this.

    EG:

    OH MY GOD HAVE YOU EVEN READ THIS THREAD?That issue has been addressed, not once, but twice.I’m not going to answer it a third time.You can simply scroll up and read.

    Yeah, I mentioned that that had already been addressed. My point was the responses did not address the essential issue (namely, the necessary relevance of the impact on migrant workers to the relative ethicality of the two types of diets), which is why I repeated the objections with an emphasis on that point. And it seems to me that that point remains unanswered.

    EG:That’s simply not true.

    The passage you quote seems to point to the fact that it is true, i.e. that anencephalic babies can indeed survive birth. I did say that they would not live for very long. And yes, there are examples of anencephalic babies living for months and up to two years. Obviously this is extremely uncommon, but anencephalic babies are not “hypothetical”, and neither are humans with very severe disabilities.

    I’m sorry if I come off as disrepectful. I don’t have anything against anybody in this thread (with the possible exception of William), and I certainly don’t believe that non-vegans are (necessarily) morally inferior to vegans or anything like that. I only wanted to clear up some misconceptions about Peter Singer’s ideas.

  360. Nahida
    Nahida July 17, 2011 at 3:06 pm |

    I believe that in a comment above, addressing Natalia, I managed to make a point that animal rights are based on awareness and experiences of pain, and not abilities intellectual or otherwise, without even once mentioning human babies.

    Somehow, J, you are still talking about babies. And you still don’t see how PROFOUNDLY WRONG this rhetoric is. And I am appalled that you are continuing to defend it.

  361. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh July 17, 2011 at 3:07 pm |

    “I don’t know why you would mischaracterise my position like that. I certainly do not believe that vegans are necessarily more ethical than non-vegans, or that non-vegans are bad/unethical people in the first place.”

    *cough*

    J: Just because something isn’t completely ethical doesn’t mean it can’t be more ethical than something else. And the only case I have ever heard vegans argue, really, is that veganism is a more ethical option than non-veganism, all else being equal.

  362. J
    J July 17, 2011 at 3:26 pm |

    Nahida:
    I believe that in a comment above, addressing Natalia, I managed to make a point that animal rights are based on awareness and experiences of pain

    It is impossible to talk about things like this without (implicitly or otherwise) making a point about the relative (biological) sophistication of a living creature. That is, (the notions of) awareness and ability to experience pain of an animal are intimately tied to certain of its “properties”, whether you explicitly address that or not. So we probably aren’t even necessarily making a different point.

    Annaleigh: *cough*

    Exactly: the point is that some people believe veganism to be more ethical than non-veganism, *all else being equal*. That definitely does not mean that vegans are more ethical than non-vegans no matter what.

  363. EG
    EG July 17, 2011 at 3:30 pm |

    And yes, there are examples of anencephalic babies living for months and up to two years.

    Citation? Again, I looked into this before I posted. I found no such information, even on the Wikipedia page, which has no citations to its “prognosis” section. That is why I am saying “hypothetical.” Your argument about months or “up to two years at least” (emphasis added) is hypothetical.

    If you are referring to personal experience, then I am deeply sorry for your loss, because I can think of few things more painful, and I completely retract any accusation of “hypothetical” and apologize for making it. However, if you are not, you are co-opting the extraordinary suffering of others in order to try (unsuccessfully, I might add, given that you did nothing to address the issue of organ donation) to score a rhetorical point, and I consider that to…be not even worthy of contempt.

    Dude, even someone who is speaking up for animal rights finds this rhetoric offensive. Do you really think you’re actually going to convince anybody who isn’t that you have a point?

    My point was the responses did not address the essential issue (namely, the necessary relevance of the impact on migrant workers to the relative ethicality of the two types of diets), which is why I repeated the objections with an emphasis on that point. And it seems to me that that point remains unanswered.

    Then I will try to spell it out for you. Despite what you allege above (“an omnivore’s diet is potentially worse than, and certainly not *necessarily* better than, a veg*n’s diet.”), nobody has made the claim that an omnivore’s diet is “necessarily better” (I assume you mean morally) than a vegan’s. Therefore, nobody, neither William nor I, is obliged to provide support for that claim. The point is that vegans, just like omnivores, are making an executive decision about what kind of suffering they are willing to inflict on which others in order to get the diet they want. To then claim that omnivores being willing to inflict suffering on others to get the diet they want is immoral/less ethical is a purposeful elision of the fact that they are doing exactly the same thing.

    In other words, welcome to the first world. You are profiting by the suffering of others, and we are all complicit in these systemic injustices.

  364. EG
    EG July 17, 2011 at 3:31 pm |

    So we probably aren’t even necessarily making a different point.

    And yet, people find you obnoxious, and not Nahida. Go figure.

  365. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh July 17, 2011 at 3:37 pm |

    You know, I’ve known for quite sometime now that veganism had a sexism problem, but I honestly hadn’t realized that veganism also has such a detestable problem with ableism. This thread has been eye-opening for me, and not in a good way.

  366. EG
    EG July 17, 2011 at 3:39 pm |

    Right. Found the case of Baby K, anencephalic, lived 2 years because the courts ordered ventilator use against medical judgment, practice, and advice. That has nothing to do with whether or not it’s acceptable to “kill” an anencephalic infant. Killing the infant would mean smothering her with a pillow. It has to do with whether or not it’s mandatory to provide non-palliative care in futile cases–i.e. must she be hooked up to a ventilator when she goes into respiratory distress because she has no brain. It’s not even just not typical when it comes to anencephaly; it’s practically singular. I fail to see any connection to omnivorousness.

  367. Nahida
    Nahida July 17, 2011 at 4:24 pm |

    J: (the notions of) awareness and ability to experience pain of an animal are intimately tied to certain of its “properties”

    No. The ability to experience pain is not tied to an intellectual property in any way that matters in respecting rights. Animals of two different species (especially if they are both, say, mammals) experience the same amounts of pain regardless of which is more intellectually capable. It is absurd then, that you would compare a *profoundly retarded baby* (are you Jon? I think you’re Jon. you sound like Jon) to a pig. Not just any baby–a “profoundly retarded” one. You are tying rights and bodily autonomy to intellectual capabilities. That is so indescribably ableist and not okay that it has moved to Ableist and Not Okay, become a naturalized citizen, and raised two kids there.

    Props to EG and Annaleigh for entertaining your not only absurd but entirely random and disconnected arguments. I am done with you.

  368. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh July 17, 2011 at 4:27 pm |

    Nahida: (are you Jon? I think you’re Jon. you sound like Jon)

    You read my mind, Nahida. I found it quite suspicious that “J” picked up where Jon left off with the ableism against babies with intellectual disabilities. J may very well be Jon.

  369. J
    J July 17, 2011 at 5:33 pm |

    EG:
    Right.Found the case of Baby K, anencephalic, lived 2 years because the courts ordered ventilator use against medical judgment, practice, and advice.

    This is what I was referring to, yes. I never implied that two years was a typical lifespan (indeed I admitted initially that these babies would probably not live for very long). I’m not saying that the lifespan has anything to do with whether it would be ok to kill such a baby. My point was that an ancephalic baby can live, even if for a very short period of time, contary to your claim.

    EG: The point is that vegans, just like omnivores, are making an executive decision about what kind of suffering they are willing to inflict on which others in order to get the diet they want. To then claim that omnivores being willing to inflict suffering on others to get the diet they want is immoral/less ethical is a purposeful elision of the fact that they are doing exactly the same thing.

    In other words, welcome to the first world. You are profiting by the suffering of others, and we are all complicit in these systemic injustices.

    Ok, but I’m pretty sure what I have already said accounts for this. I know that, in one way or another, vegans are also profiting by the suffering of others. I have been quite willing to admit this. The point is that a vegan diet almost surely necessitates *less* suffering than a non-vegan diet, all else being equal. The fact that they may both be the result of immigrants working in terrible conditions is problematic, obviously. But the fact that an omnivore’s diet is probably the result of immigrants working in terrible conditions as well as terrible suffering on the part of non-human animals makes it pretty clearly the less ethical choice in general (although I acknowledge the difficulty/impossibility of totally quantifying the level of suffering one’s diet causes).

    Again, to emphasise, I am not really one to lecture other people about being “morally inferior” or anything. I don’t even think I’m that great of a person, so I would feel stupid doing that. I don’t believe that non-vegans are necessarily less ethical than vegans either. If I believed that, your point might be appropriate.

    Nahida: No. The ability to experience pain is not tied to an intellectual property in any way that matters in respecting rights. Animals of two different species (especially if they are both, say, mammals) experience the same amounts of pain regardless of which is more intellectually capable.

    I never said that the ability to experience pain was necessarily tied to an “intellectual property”. It also not generally believed that animals of different species experience the same amounts of pain; that (probably) depends on the sophistication of their nervous systems. I never “compared a *profoundly retarded baby* to a pig”! I can’t really respond to your charge of my being ableist since I didn’t do what you are saying I did.

    I am also not “tying rights to intellectual capabilities”. I am saying the opposite of that, i.e. that a “right to life” should be granted *regardless* of intellectual capabilities. It would appear that you think I am saying the opposite of what I am actually saying. Both an anencephalic baby and a pig should not be killed. An able-bodied human should not be killed either. I have indeed said that a pig’s life may be worth as much as a human’s, insofar as they are both worth preserving/not killing for food. If that does not sit well with you, then I can only assume you have a prejudice against non-human animals rooted in speciesism.

    I am not Jon, by the way. (Perhaps an admin can check the IP addresses to confirm that, if that’s possible/necessary). My name also starts with J, and I am also a vegan, but I don’t necessarily agree with everything he said either.

  370. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh July 17, 2011 at 5:54 pm |

    J: I don’t even think I’m that great of a person, so I would feel stupid doing that.

    Where have I heard this before in this discussion? Oh yes, Jon.

    If you’re not Jon, then the two of you sure are two peas in a pod.

  371. lauredhel
    lauredhel July 17, 2011 at 7:04 pm |

    People are seriously defending Peter Singer and saying that he’s not made ableist statements? You might want to read this Andrew Denton interview, which aired on Enough Rope. Right after talking about euthanasia for infants with disabilities, they move on to this:

    Andrew Denton: You’ve also said that if you’d had a Down syndrome child and there was another couple that wanted to raise that child that you would adopt it out. Now, you’re a man who has resources. You could raise that child. It seems almost, on the surface, like a lifestyle choice, a selfish lifestyle choice. Why no sense of responsibility or caring towards that child?

    Professor Peter Singer: Well, I think what I said there was in comment on, you know, how would I have dealt with such a child, right? And I think that I would have had a lot of difficulty in giving that child the love and care and attention that every child should have.

    Andrew Denton: What does that say about you?

    Professor Peter Singer: Well, perhaps it says that I’m the kind of person who would want my children to be children that I could expect to grow up to be ones that I could have the kind of conversation with that I’m having with you now. So maybe it is because, if you like, I live a life where conversations and ideas and that sort of thing are important, that I would have felt, I think, an enormous sadness the idea that my child will never grow up to be someone that I could have that kind of conversation with.

    Andrew Denton: It does seem like a selfish view.

    Professor Peter Singer: Well, you know, if you like. If you like. But as I say…

    Andrew Denton: But isn’t the whole point of your philosophy and your life’s work…? In fact the driving force is that you’re trying to decrease human suffering, and yet what you’re saying seems to be a cold thing.

    Professor Peter Singer: Well, no, I think that I’m not the sort of person who’s well suited for that kind of child rearing and I would rather not do it. I mean, I think there’s many other things that I could do with my time that would be more beneficial for the world as a whole than trying to be the father of a child like that, and I would… You know, as I said, I think there’s a limited number of children that my wife and I were planning to have and had one of them been a child with Down’s, then I think that we would have felt that we would have missed something which we’ve fortunately been able to have from our other children.

    Andrew Denton: There are critics who would suggest that this underlines that you actually have a problem with the concept of disability – that you’re confronted by it – and therefore it makes your ethical judgments on disability ones to be discounted.

    Professor Peter Singer: Well, I don’t have any problem with the idea and, I mean, I know people with disabilities and I don’t have any problem in terms of relating to them. I guess I just think that, you know, disability is exactly what the word says.

  372. J
    J July 17, 2011 at 7:07 pm |

    Annaleigh: Where have I heard this before in this discussion? Oh yes, Jon.

    I don’t remember him saying that, but I’m pretty sure he was criticising other people’s beliefs and basically implying that non-vegans are (morally/intellectually?) inferior, so I don’t think that’s a very fair comparison. I have been pretty clear that I don’t buy into any of that rhetoric about vegans being inherently more ethical than non-vegans, and so on. So I don’t think that’s a very fair comparison.

  373. J
    J July 17, 2011 at 7:11 pm |

    Oops, repeated myself there for some reason.

  374. EG
    EG July 17, 2011 at 7:21 pm |

    I never implied that two years was a typical lifespan

    Actually, you did. That is why I italicized your use of “at least” when you suggest an anencephalic baby could live “two years.” “At least” is not only inaccurate and misleading, it is actually the opposite of what the proper expression would have been. The proper expression would have been “at most.”

    I’m not saying that the lifespan has anything to do with whether it would be ok to kill such a baby.

    That’s nice. You still haven’t addressed the issue of brain death or the issue of organ donation from anencephalic babies. Nor, I might add, the morality of using somebody else’s immense suffering for a rhetorical example.

    The point is that a vegan diet almost surely necessitates *less* suffering than a non-vegan diet, all else being equal. The fact that they may both be the result of immigrants working in terrible conditions is problematic, obviously. But the fact that an omnivore’s diet is probably the result of immigrants working in terrible conditions as well as terrible suffering on the part of non-human animals makes it pretty clearly the less ethical choice in general (although I acknowledge the difficulty/impossibility of totally quantifying the level of suffering one’s diet causes).

    Obviously this would depend on the particular vegan and omnivorous diets being compared. But once again, you seem to have difficulty with wrapping your mind around people having different values and priorities from you. To another person, such as, for example, me, a vegan subsisting on a diet that is the result of nonunionized migrant labor is profoundly less moral than an omnivore subsisting on a diet of properly sourced, locally grown food grown/slaughtered by unionized labor in good working conditions. You are making circular arguments, claiming that your diet is more moral when it is measured by the moral standards that you find important, and therefore your moral standards are superior. And again, I, and others, disagree.

    Again, to emphasise, I am not really one to lecture other people about being “morally inferior” or anything

    Could’ve fooled me.

    I don’t believe that non-vegans are necessarily less ethical than vegans either.

    And, again, that’s very nice. Clearly, you do not speak for all vegans, as you can tell by clicking on the link in the OP.

    I can only assume you have a prejudice against non-human animals rooted in speciesism.

    I have many prejudices against non-human animals, actually. No doubt some are more accurate than others. The issue is not prejudice, however. The issue is whether or not one thinks it is morally acceptable to kill animals in order to eat them. I do. You don’t. There we go.

  375. EG
    EG July 17, 2011 at 7:49 pm |

    I was going to make a comment here responding to J about my being “incorrect” about anencephaly always leading to death (I put “incorrect” in quotation marks because I don’t believe I am). And then I realized while the comment itself detailed the prognosis for an infant with anencephaly, the tone was snarky and point-scoring, and I became disgusted with myself, so then I deleted it.

    It’s nice to be able to confirm to myself that I do have certain limits. And J, you may now be able to see why I do not trust you to set standards of acceptable, ethical, or moral behavior regarding anything.

  376. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh July 17, 2011 at 8:39 pm |

    J: I don’t remember him saying that, but I’m pretty sure he was criticising other people’s beliefs and basically implying that non-vegans are (morally/intellectually?) inferior, so I don’t think that’s a very fair comparison. I have been pretty clear that I don’t buy into any of that rhetoric about vegans being inherently more ethical than non-vegans, and so on. So I don’t think that’s a very fair comparison.

    Oh it’s plenty fair. He said it, you said it. He compared children with disabilities to pigs, you did too. You’ll just have to excuse the sense of deja vu that is now permeating this thread.

  377. J
    J July 17, 2011 at 8:39 pm |

    EG: Actually, you did.That is why I italicized your use of “at least” when you suggest an anencephalic baby could live “two years.”“At least” is not only inaccurate and misleading, it is actually the opposite of what the proper expression would have been.The proper expression would have been “at most.”

    Well, what I said was “up to . . . at least”, by which I meant that the *least possible maximum* value of a lifespan was two years. I didn’t say “at most” because of the possibility of a longer lifespan. It was fairly awkward phraseology, I admit, but I’m pretty sure I said what I meant.

    EG: That’s nice. You still haven’t addressed the issue of brain death or the issue of organ donation from anencephalic babies. Nor, I might add, the morality of using somebody else’s immense suffering for a rhetorical example.

    I thought I did say something about that, but I must be imagining that (I’m pretty tired). Anyway, I’m not sure what the relevance of organ donation is, to be honest. Yes, I am familiar with the concept of brain death. If the baby were to be killed, its organs could still be used. Are you saying that doctors would have to wait for it to die naturally in order to use its organs? I’m a bit confused here. I am not “using” anybody’s suffering. Perhaps my language/tone has been a bit insensitive (and if so, I apologise), but I don’t agree that one shouldn’t be allowed to talk about disabled people in order to illustrate a (fairly benign) point.

    EG: Obviously this would depend on the particular vegan and omnivorous diets being compared. But once again, you seem to have difficulty with wrapping your mind around people having different values and priorities from you. To another person, such as, for example, me, a vegan subsisting on a diet that is the result of nonunionized migrant labor is profoundly less moral than an omnivore subsisting on a diet of properly sourced, locally grown food grown/slaughtered by unionized labor in good working conditions. You are making circular arguments, claiming that your diet is more moral when it is measured by the moral standards that you find important, and therefore your moral standards are superior. And again, I, and others, disagree.

    So, this is precisely why I added the caveat “all else being equal”. I did not say that for no reason. We don’t even disagree about anything here (well, unless you think that [all else being equal] a vegan whose food is produced locally by unionised labour in good working conditions isn’t making the more ethical choice *with respect to diet* than an omnivore whose food is produced under similar/equivalent circumstances. Do you think that?)

    EG:Could’ve fooled me.

    Well, that’s not really my problem. I have consistently rejected the notion that vegans are “superior” to non-vegans, because I know it isn’t true. I’ve only commented on the ethicality of (essentially) a single choice.

    EG: I have many prejudices against non-human animals, actually. No doubt some are more accurate than others. The issue is not prejudice, however. The issue is whether or not one thinks it is morally acceptable to kill animals in order to eat them. I do. You don’t. There we go.

    The point is that once we accept that there may not be qualitative differences between humans and non-humans (in terms of your favourite criteria for determining why it’s not ok to kill a living creature), it becomes an issue of prejudice, and this is fairly inescapable.

  378. J
    J July 17, 2011 at 8:49 pm |

    Annaleigh: Oh it’s plenty fair. He said it, you said it. He compared children with disabilities to pigs, you did too. You’ll just have to excuse the sense of deja vu that is now permeating this thread.

    Well, this is the second time that somebody has said this, so let me repeat that I did not “compare people to pigs” (at least, not in any meaningful sense of the word “compare”). Regardless, there’s nothing very outlandish about comparing a human to a pig. A comparison between humans and non-human animals does not imply necessarily that humans are being compared unfavourably — that would be the speciesist assumption.

  379. J
    J July 17, 2011 at 9:03 pm |

    Grr, I typed up a fairly length response to EG that has not been “approved” or whatever. Because I’m fairly particular about language, let me just say that what I wrote was “up to . . . at least”, by which I meant that the *least possible maximum* value of a lifespan was two years. I didn’t say “at most” because of the possibility of a longer lifespan. It was fairly awkward phraseology, I admit, but I’m pretty sure I said what I meant. I guess I will make this my last post here (for now) unless my post is suddenly approved and somebody decides to reply to it.

  380. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh July 17, 2011 at 9:04 pm |

    J: Regardless, there’s nothing very outlandish about comparing a human to a pig.

    Let me ask you something: Have you ever had someone try to get your attention they way they would an animal?

    I have. More than once. Friday was the last time, in fact, some creep who decided to harass me began by saying “chhhhh” to me to get my attention, the way we get a dog’s attention around here. I think they do it out of misogyny. I never seen a man try to get another man’s attention that way.

    Not very outlandish my fat ass.

    Only someone who has no fucking idea what it is like to be from a marginalized class and compared to an animal would say that it is not an outlandish comparison.

    Like Sara further up, I too have an intellectually disabled loved one, and I find it detestable that someone would compare his life to that of a pig’s. I agree with Sara that it takes an incredibly privileged asshole to do such a thing.

  381. EG
    EG July 17, 2011 at 9:56 pm |

    Regardless, there’s nothing very outlandish about comparing a human to a pig. A comparison between humans and non-human animals does not imply necessarily that humans are being compared unfavourably — that would be the speciesist assumption.

    Or the assumption of somebody who has even the most glancing familiarity with history. Stop and think for a moment. Has such a comparison ever been anything but incredibly destructive for the human being involved?

    No. It has not. You seem to have no understanding whatsoever of what analogizing human beings to animals has meant for those human beings, and you seem not to care very much, either. The fact is that there is a long and potent history of that kind of rhetoric. You don’t get to handwave it away with cries of “speciesism.”

    And that is why people are pissed at you.

  382. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh July 17, 2011 at 9:59 pm |

    EG: And that is why people are pissed at you.

    *applause* Thank you EG.

  383. Bunny
    Bunny July 17, 2011 at 10:30 pm |

    May I comment? I realise I am coming in extremely late to the party but, after having read the rather epic comments I would like to throw my own hat in, too.

    I am going to speak as an omnivore. Firstly, what other people choose to eat is none of my business. If you’re coming to my house for dinner and make me aware in advance that you have a dietary restriction, I will do copious amounts of research and endeavour to provide food that you can eat and enjoy. I make no judgement call on what you eat.

    But I really do get sick of assumptions equating omnivores with people who either lack a belief in animal rights or as privileged oppressors of those who choose to be vegan. Because you know what? I would love to improve the ethical nature of my meals. In fact, I strive to do so.

    I have a total of 5 square feet of outdoor (concrete) space shared with neighbours in which I grow as many vegetables as I can. If I could, I would raise my own livestock for dairy and meat, giving them a healthy and happy life, a much quicker and more painless death than the death by predator, sickness or injury that life in the wild would give them and, having consumed their flesh, return their remains to my soil to nourish it and provide more health to the plants themselves. Because without fossil fuel based fertilisers, blood, ash and bone is what we give our plants to make them thrive.

    If I could afford to, I would eat much less meat than I do, would eat a lot more nuts to supplement my protein, and what protein and dairy I consumed would be, if not made by me, sourced from local, ethical smallholdings.

    Unfortunately for me, I am (relatively) poor. I lost my job this year due to an inability to make the work environment compatible with my mental health needs and in the current economic climate have been utterly unable to secure new employment. I am privileged that in my country I am entitled to a small government supplement sufficient to keep me in some form of housing, with an internet connection to help me look for work and enough money to buy some food. Not good food, not the ethical food I dream of, but food. In fact, in my previously always having worked life I have NEVER been able to afford that ethical diet. Nuts, by weight, are vastly more expensive than cheap cuts of meat, and in my country are almost exclusively imported, thereby having a huge carbon footprint and often being produced by underpaid workers. Locally grown ethically reared meat costs more than gourmet meat.

    So anyone with sufficient income to choose that diet claiming that the omnivores are privileged really rubs me the wrong way. Because it speaks of an unimaginable measure of privilege that anyone can say “being financially secure enough to choose this expensive, restricted diet makes me oppressed, since people tease me for it.”

    I am well aware of the ethical problems with factory produced meat, and indeed intensively farmed supermarket vegetables. I am PRIVILEGED to live on a small island country where there is always a large variety of food shops within walking distance, and where even unemployed I am given enough to survive, and I have never been privileged enough to be able to choose a more ethical diet. My biggest compromise is insisting on cooking from scratch, and that is only a compromise I can make by buying the absolute CHEAPEST of what is available. So fuck your imagined oppression.

  384. igglanova
    igglanova July 17, 2011 at 11:39 pm |

    Eh, I get what people are saying about comparing people to animals and I usually agree, but I think it can be done unoffensively in the right context. Granted, this whole thread was so poisoned already that insisting on the whole ‘retarded people and pigs’ thing was a guaranteed failure, but still. It’s not inconceivable that a pig could have a life experience that is every bit as rich and detailed as any of ours, save for the fact that it’s not going to be that smart in comparison to the majority of humans. I mean let’s face it, I eat meat but I can’t fool myself into thinking those animals don’t experience life with as much clarity as I do.

    That being said, I can still easily grasp the degree of insult when your group has been consistently disparaged by the animal comparison. I.e. I can hold in my head the reasonable notion that I am an animal with lots in common with other animals, but when someone does that whole treating-women-like-animals thing I am still angry as hell, because I understand all the cultural baggage of notions of superiority that comes with it.

    I have really not been in a position of great coherence today, so I hope that makes sense to people.

  385. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh July 18, 2011 at 12:16 am |

    igglanova:
    Eh, I get what people are saying about comparing people to animals and I usually agree, but I think it can be done unoffensively in the right context.Granted, this whole thread was so poisoned already that insisting on the whole ‘retarded people and pigs’ thing was a guaranteed failure, but still.It’s not inconceivable that a pig could have a life experience that is every bit as rich and detailed as any of ours, save for the fact that it’s not going to be that smart in comparison to the majority of humans.I mean let’s face it, I eat meat but I can’t fool myself into thinking those animals don’t experience life with as much clarity as I do.

    That being said, I can still easily grasp the degree of insult when your group has been consistently disparaged by the animal comparison.I.e. I can hold in my head the reasonable notion that I am an animal with lots in common with other animals, but when someone does that whole treating-women-like-animals thing I am still angry as hell, because I understand all the cultural baggage of notions of superiority that comes with it.

    I have really not been in a position of great coherence today, so I hope that makes sense to people.

    I can see what you mean. I’m more comfortable with pointing out ways in which animals are like humans. In my local community, a lot of people have horrible views of dogs, are abusive towards dogs, and have no awareness of how humanlike dogs can be sometimes. I was just reminding my mother the other day of something that happened a few months ago with one her ignorant and foolish tenants. I was outdoors with the tenant answering her questions. My pooch Jeremy was outside, wanted to leave the yard for a little bit, and there in front of the tenant, I forbade Jeremy to do, but he made the conscious, intelligent decision to disobey me with the knowledge he was disobeying me and that I might be mad at him. This was like a revelation to the tenant. She said, “he understands you????”

    So I see the value of making people realize that animals have intelligence and emotions.

    Of course, the other side of the card being the awfulness when marginalized people are compared to animals. When you really understand how people in my community consider dogs to be dirty, stupid, worthless creatures that don’t feel pain, you can understand how humiliating and hurtful it was for me to be called like a dog on a crowded bus Friday morning.

    I am totally behind making people aware that, say, elephants possess a wonderful memory and actually grieve their loved ones; I detest the idea that an intellectually disabled child (or adult) has about as much worth as a pig.

    I don’t know how we’ll I’ve articulated myself, but I hope I haven’t done too bad of a job.

  386. EG
    EG July 18, 2011 at 12:32 am |

    Well, speaking only for myself, Annaleigh, I think you’ve done a great job. I have no problem at all with somebody promoting an awareness of the intelligence and emotional life of various animals. It’s a very different thing and does not play into the history of the rhetoric of dehumanization.

    Random interesting elephant story: I was watching some kind of nature show about different animals’ understandings of death, and one of the bits I remember was the part about elephants. There were some elephants on…a nature preserve? in an elephant sanctuary? in a zoo? (obviously I don’t remember it that well), and the researchers had been studying their sounds, and therefore recording them. At one point, they found that if they played back the recording of the trumpet of an elephant that was known to the other elephants to have died when a mother elephant and her baby were around, not only did the mother get freaked out, but she would deliberately step between the baby and the source of the sound! Which seems to suggest a lot, right? That not only can elephants recognize each other by voice (no big shock, we know they’re incredibly intelligent), and not only do they understand what death means to the extent that it’s weird to hear the voice of a dead associate (we know they have good memories and see previous remark on intelligence), and not only do they deliberately take steps to protect their calves (many, many animals protect their young in most cases), but also they find the idea of a peer returning from the dead threatening and frightening, like we do!

    I’m not sure why I find that so fascinating, but I do.

  387. J
    J July 18, 2011 at 1:18 am |

    What I meant was that it is not outandish from a biological point of view. Whether or not there is a negative history of humans being compared to animals isn’t really relevant to that. Certainly there was nothing negative about my so-called “comparison” (which was not actually a comparison in the first place, to repeat myself for the second or third time).

    Pointing out that a non-human animal could have greater abilities than a human, without any kind of associated judgment about what that means for the human being compared, seems to be a fairly neutral thing to do (after all, it is a fact) — if you think that’s inherently degrading then you obviously have an inordinately high opinion of humans (in the sense that you think they are “special” just because they are called “human”, hence speciesist).

  388. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh July 18, 2011 at 1:47 am |

    J:
    What I meant was that it is not outandish from a biological point of view. Whether or not there is a negative history of humans being compared to animals isn’t really relevant to that. Certainly there was nothing negative about my so-called “comparison” (which was not actually a comparison in the first place, to repeat myself for the second or third time).

    Pointing out that a non-human animal could have greater abilities than a human, without any kind of associated judgment about what that means for the human being compared, seems to be a fairly neutral thing to do (after all, it is a fact) — if you think that’s inherently degrading then you obviously have an inordinately high opinion of humans (in the sense that you think they are “special” just because they are called “human”, hence speciesist).

    OMFG. You are incredibly ignorant of history. You’ve probably never heard of 19th century scientific racism which tried to “prove” that Black people were inferior and like animals with so-called biological arguements, have you?

    All of it is relevant, and you just…ugh.

    And if your response to my humiliation over being treated and interacted with like a dog during public harassment is to accuse me of fucking “specieism” then fuck you.

  389. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh July 18, 2011 at 1:49 am |

    EG: I’m not sure why I find that so fascinating, but I do

    Thank you EG, and yes, I find it so fascinating too. I got very emotional once watching an elephant lovingly pick up the skull of an elephant from their herd who had died. It blew me away.

  390. EG
    EG July 18, 2011 at 2:03 am |

    Whether or not there is a negative history of humans being compared to animals isn’t really relevant to that.

    Thank goodness you’ve informed us of that! Here I was under the impression that it was important to be aware of the history of various ideas and discourses, especially when employing them oneself in an attempt to convince others. I also had the mistaken notion that I–and Nahida, and Annaleigh–were capable of making our own judgments about the relevance of those histories.

    Thank heavens that J has shown me the error of my ways. I shall now defer to him on all subjects.

  391. EG
    EG July 18, 2011 at 2:17 am |

    Damn, J. How about this: are you white? If you are, I suggest you go out and find a mother and father descended from people who had been forced to endure slavery and abuse justified by the claim that there was no meaningful difference between them and animals. You tell them, in great and loving detail, all about how there’s no meaningful difference between their children and pigs or cows or whatever you like. Make sure to inform them that the historical use of this comparison is not at all relevant to the issue you are discussing.

    Then, when you get out of the hospital, come on back here and let me know how it went.

    Christ.

    I really, deeply enjoy the company of babies and young children, and the feeling is often returned by them. As a result, I spend a fair amount of time admiring babies and chatting with their parents. And I’ve always thought to myself how much infants–newborns especially–remind me of little monkeys, with their little screwed up faces, and grasping reflexes, and the way they clutch their little limbs in. So cute.

    Where was I?

    Oh, right. I was discussing not being a douche.

    I’m white. When I spend time with little white babies, and I hold them and talk to them, I have been known to say things like “Who’s a tiny monkey? Are you a monkey? Look at your little monkey face!” and so on.

    But you know what I make sure I never do? When admiring and talking to and cuddling a non-white baby, especially a baby of African descent, I never, ever compare that baby to a monkey. Because there is a long history of white people calling black people monkeys, and it is not a good one. And the fact that my particular use of that comparison would have nothing whatsoever to do with racism, and everything to do with all tiny babies looking like monkeys to me, is of no importance whatsoever. So I watch my mouth, because not being a douche in that particular way is important to me.

    Obviously the same cannot be said for J.

  392. J
    J July 18, 2011 at 2:29 am |

    Annaleigh: OMFG. You are incredibly ignorant of history. You’ve probably never heard of 19th century scientific racism which tried to “prove” that Black people were inferior and like animals with so-called biological arguements, have you?

    Yes, I’m very well aware of efforts of this nature. In the first place, the arguments you talk about were clearly scientifically unsound — so they don’t really have any relationship to comparisons that are scientifically accurate and factually correct, which are the ones that I am talking about. Secondly, I will repeat that the fact that such comparisons have been made (with a clear agenda of portraying the humans involved in the comparison as “inferior”) does not make it inherently bad to make any kind of analogy between humans and non-human animals.

    Annaleigh:And if your response to my humiliation over being treated and interacted with like a dog during public harassment is to accuse me of fucking “specieism” then fuck you.

    That is not my response to your experience. I am sorry that you had to go through that.

  393. J
    J July 18, 2011 at 2:39 am |

    EG, yes, I am white. I understand your point about talking about white babies and black babies. I would obviously also never make a comparison between a black baby and a monkey. I think you might be taking what I said the wrong way: I certainly never said that the history of comparing humans and non-human animals is not relevant in general. Of course I don’t believe that. I just said, and I stand by this, that it is not relevant to the question of whether it could be possible to make a legitimate analogy between humans and non-human animals. In other words, the fact that such a practice does have a negative history has no bearing on whether or not it could ever possibly be “legitimate”. To reiterate, I am not saying that the history is irrelevant in general.

  394. Bunny
    Bunny July 18, 2011 at 11:27 am |

    J:
    EG, yes, I am white. I understand your point about talking about white babies and black babies. I would obviously also never make a comparison between a black baby and a monkey. I think you might be taking what I said the wrong way: I certainly never said that the history of comparing humans and non-human animals is not relevant in general. Of course I don’t believe that. I just said, and I stand by this, that it is not relevant to the question of whether it could be possible to make a legitimate analogy between humans and non-human animals. In other words, the fact that such a practice does have a negative history has no bearing on whether or not it could ever possibly be “legitimate”. To reiterate, I am not saying that the history is irrelevant in general.

    It does not effect whether or not it is POSSIBLE to make a legitimate analogy. What it does effect is when it is APPROPRIATE to make such an anaology. You are making the analogy ON THIS SITE, and are continuing to push the anaology after a previous commenter did so in an incredibly offensive fashion.

    I would not go to a POC who had just been called a monkey by some racist fuckwit and take the opportunity to say to them that “you know, what he said was wrong, but actually we are all animals and you and I are related to monkeys so there IS a fair comparison to be made…”. That would not just be inappropriate. It would make me a raging cockhole.

    On this comment thread, it has been made clear that the circumstances are NOT APPROPRIATE for people to come and push this particular agenda. And yet you keep doing it.

  395. EG
    EG July 18, 2011 at 11:41 am |

    I just said, and I stand by this, that it is not relevant to the question of whether it could be possible to make a legitimate analogy between humans and non-human animals. In other words, the fact that such a practice does have a negative history has no bearing on whether or not it could ever possibly be “legitimate”.

    Yes, I understand what you are saying. And I disagree. Invoking such a comparison is of necessity invoking its history. If you don’t want that history coloring the way people respond to your arguments, don’t invoke it. Because the decision about whether or not it’s relevant in a given situation is not yours to make. Your intentions fundamentally don’t matter.

  396. J
    J July 18, 2011 at 12:28 pm |

    Bunny: It does not effect whether or not it is POSSIBLE to make a legitimate analogy. What it does effect is when it is APPROPRIATE to make such an anaology. You are making the analogy ON THIS SITE, and are continuing to push the anaology after a previous commenter did so in an incredibly offensive fashion

    What analogy? I thought I made it clear that I wasn’t making any kind of analogy or comparison. Several people by now have complained about my “comparing people with intellectual disabilities to pigs” (?!), but I have not done that. There are (rare) circumstances in which a non-human animal could be argued to have a higher moral status than a human. That statement — which is not an “analogy” — is essentially all I have said about the relationship between humans and non-human animals.

    EG: Invoking such a comparison is of necessity invoking its history.

    Hold on – I’m not talking about a invoking *particular comparison*, I’m talking about the practice of comparing humans to non-humans in general. So the racist historical comparison of black people to apes, for example, isn’t necessarily relevant to every kind of comparison between humans and non-human animals. I’m sure you can think of a way to *objectively* compare humans (or their biological properties) with some non-human species in a way that doesn’t invoke any of the negative comparisons you are thinking of. This discussion is academic, anyway, since I have already said (I think this post marks the fourth time) that I was not actually making a comparison in the first place.

  397. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh July 18, 2011 at 1:20 pm |

    J: I’m sure you can think of a way to *objectively* compare humans (or their biological properties) with some non-human species in a way that doesn’t invoke any of the negative comparisons you are thinking of.

    Well, someone else will have to try it then, because *you* have not managed to do that. You continue to push the incredibly offensive analogies between people with intellectual disabilities, and pigs. No matter how much you try to deny that, you have.

  398. EG
    EG July 18, 2011 at 1:25 pm |

    I’m sure you can think of a way to *objectively* compare humans (or their biological properties) with some non-human species in a way that doesn’t invoke any of the negative comparisons you are thinking of.

    Maybe I could. But why would I want to? It’s not something I’m particularly interested in. The issue isn’t whether or not I can. The issue is whether or not you did.

    This discussion is academic, anyway, since I have already said (I think this post marks the fourth time) that I was not actually making a comparison in the first place.

    And you can keep on saying it, if you like. The fact that everybody else who has commented disagrees suggests otherwise, however.

  399. J
    J July 18, 2011 at 2:20 pm |

    Well, if everyone else who has posted since I started posting (which I suppose is about 4 people) interpreted any of my comments as a “comparison between people with intellectual disabilities and pigs”, then, uh, that sucks, but that is not my problem. I never made such a comparison. Merely saying “yes you did” is not convincing. It might be more helpful if you could point out precisely where I did what you are claiming. Otherwise, there’s no point in continuing this discussion.

  400. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh July 18, 2011 at 2:32 pm |

    I don’t know how many times we have to keep reminding of your own fucking quotes, but here it is again:
    “it’s not at all obvious (unless you are, say, a fundamentalist Christian) why a child born without a brain has “less of a right to be killed” than a pig.”

    You preface this bullshit by saying that you regret Jon’s ableist language, of course only to spew some yourself.

  401. Bunny
    Bunny July 18, 2011 at 2:47 pm |

    J.

    it’s not at all obvious (unless you are, say, a fundamentalist Christian) why a child born without a brain has “less of a right to be killed” than a pig.

    It was only supposed to be an example of the fact that the distinction between the “worth” of a human’s life and the “worth” of a non-human animal’s life is not always obvious.

    If it led to systematic murders, then that would be because of a misinterpretation of my/Singer’s argument,

    Well, this is the second time that somebody has said this, so let me repeat that I did not “compare people to pigs” (at least, not in any meaningful sense of the word “compare”). Regardless, there’s nothing very outlandish about comparing a human to a pig.

    Several people by now have complained about my “comparing people with intellectual disabilities to pigs” (?!), but I have not done that. There are (rare) circumstances in which a non-human animal could be argued to have a higher moral status than a human.

    I’m not talking about a invoking *particular comparison*, I’m talking about the practice of comparing humans to non-humans in general. So the racist historical comparison of black people to apes, for example, isn’t necessarily relevant to every kind of comparison between humans and non-human animals.

    What I meant was that it is not outandish from a biological point of view. Whether or not there is a negative history of humans being compared to animals isn’t really relevant to that.

    Pointing out that a non-human animal could have greater abilities than a human, without any kind of associated judgment about what that means for the human being compared, seems to be a fairly neutral thing to do

    The above are ALL things that you have stated in this discussion. And again, as I have already stated. What people are getting angry with you about is not that you feel the argument could theoretically be made at all, but that you CONTINUE TO TRY AND FORCE A DISCUSSION OF THE ARGUMENT long after people have pointed out that it is not cool and not appropriate IN THIS CONTEXT.

    For the record, the context is that you have turned up to start stating all this shortly after Jon came along and said these things…

    A number of people expressed disgust/outrage at a comparison between animal abuse and child abuse. If one says an adult pig’s self-awareness is greater than or equal to that of a human infant, I think it follows that the gentlest animal agriculture is worse than or not significantly different to child abuse, as horrific as the latter is.

    If I were to slaughter, for their organs, profoundly retarded humans, who had the cognitive abilities of a pig, who couldn’t employ language, and didn’t have strong concept of the future, how would it be significantly different than the most idyllic animal agriculture

    No matter how well intentioned, when one begins eating the corpses of animals, one subconsciously, one subconsciously begins to deny animals’ feeling and worth.

    In a similar way, the action of an individual abjuring from violent pornography might not have a noticeable effect on women’s lives, but it will likely have a noticeable effect on the individual’s thinking.

  402. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh July 18, 2011 at 2:52 pm |

    Thank you Bunny, I didn’t have the patience to go through all of those posts again. And I also really appreciate your initial and subsequent comments too.

  403. EG
    EG July 18, 2011 at 3:08 pm |

    I echo Annaleigh, Bunny.

    J, now that you’ve retreated to the “everybody else is wrong and I’m right” stance, you really lose what little credibility you had. If multiple articulate people are “misunderstanding” your writing in precisely the same way, it’s unlikely that the problem is with their reading skills.

  404. J
    J July 19, 2011 at 4:27 am |

    None of the quotes due to me is a “comparison between people with intellectual disabilities and pigs”. I didn’t even mention intellectual disabilities, and I made no “comparisons”. Sometimes it isn’t obvious that a non-human animal has a lower moral status than a human, so species shouldn’t necessarily be the determining factor in our ethical decisions. That is all I’ve said. The last three quotes are my talking about the possibility of comparing humans to animals in general: I wasn’t talking about some comparison that I had made, since I didn’t make any comparison. It’s not my problem if you (Bunny) don’t understand that.

    EG, I haven’t “retreated” to such a position. I have been saying all along that those claims were wrong.

  405. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable July 19, 2011 at 5:47 am |

    J: Sometimes it isn’t obvious that a non-human animal has a lower moral status than a human, so species shouldn’t necessarily be the determining factor in our ethical decisions.

    Cool! Give an example.

  406. J
    J July 19, 2011 at 8:02 am |

    I gave an example in my first post: a child born without a brain. I acknowledged that this is a very rare example, but it illustrates the point. Apparently some people are hostile to the suggestion that a non-human animal’s interests could count for more than a human’s. Perhaps this is because they can’t give up the notion of the sanctity of life. I know many (even non-religious) people who have trouble doing this. My point is it’s irrational/speciesist.

  407. Bunny
    Bunny July 19, 2011 at 8:52 am |

    Wait wait wait.

    None of the quotes due to me is a “comparison between people with intellectual disabilities and pigs”. I didn’t even mention intellectual disabilities, and I made no “comparisons”.

    And THEN

    I gave an example in my first post: a child born without a brain. I acknowledged that this is a very rare example, but it illustrates the point.

    Referring to

    it’s not at all obvious (unless you are, say, a fundamentalist Christian) why a child born without a brain has “less of a right to be killed” than a pig.

    Now shut the fuck up. You’re either being incredibly disingenuous, or you’re a troll. At this point, I vote troll.

  408. igglanova
    igglanova July 19, 2011 at 9:29 am |

    ‘it’s not at all obvious (unless you are, say, a fundamentalist Christian) why a child born without a brain has “less of a right to be killed” than a pig.’

    Whoa, this is actually not so bad. I don’t think J is a troll. The ‘child with anencephaly’ thing is a pretty classic example to get people to consider why they value human life. The kid with no brain does not have the ability to suffer or even the ability to be aware that it is alive. Any anencephalic baby that is even born alive will die shortly afterward anyway. So if people still think that kid has more of a right to live than an animal (yeah, even a pig), then it reveals that they believe humans possess something special that gives them inherent worth above all other creatures, and that something is not intelligence, consciousness, or even the potential to experience a decent lifespan.

    That is the core of ‘speciesism.’

  409. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable July 19, 2011 at 9:30 am |

    J: I gave an example in my first post: a child born without a brain. I acknowledged that this is a very rare example, but it illustrates the point

    Ohhh. A disabled child. So you weren’t being racist, just ableist.

  410. EG
    EG July 19, 2011 at 9:46 am |

    Any anencephalic baby that is even born alive will die shortly afterward anyway.

    Yep, I made this point. Then J decided to claim that this one incredibly rare case in which the courts strongarmed a hospital into keep an anencephalic baby on a ventilator against all medical advice and practice meant that it was reasonable to make the generalization that anencephalic babies could totes live up to two years at least (again, I think he doesn’t actually understand what “at least” means).

    So I think you are giving him the benefit of the doubt in thinking that he’s making a good-faith argument here, and that he really doesn’t deserve it.

    I have been saying all along that those claims were wrong.

    Yeah, J, just a coincidence that a bunch of meanies disagree with you and for some specious reason, keep saying that you have made that comparison, and quoting this one sentence (“it’s not at all obvious…why a child born without a brain has “less of a right to be killed” than a pig”) in support of that fact, when obviously that sentence was written by aliens who wrested control of the keyboard from you. I can’t imagine why we all just can’t see that. It’s probably because we’re reluctant to give up the notion of “the sanctity of life” or something. That’s totally it.

  411. J
    J July 19, 2011 at 1:21 pm |

    I’m not sure what that series of quotes is supposed to prove, Bunny.

    PrettyAmiable, how am I being ableist? Is it ableist to mention people with disabilities or something?

    EG, I have already explained what I meant when I said “up to . . . at least”. By pretending that I haven’t, it seems like you’re the one arguing in bad faith, here. Also, its lifespan has nothing to do with its moral status while it’s alive, anyway. I’ve already said this. The sentence that you quote (which seems to be the main sentence everybody has a problem with, for some reason) is not a “comparison”, and it doesn’t mention people with intellectual disabilities in general. For the record, I don’t know why people have a problem with that statement: it’s true.

    Thanks for elaborating on my point, igglanova.

  412. Gillian Love
    Gillian Love July 19, 2011 at 1:26 pm |

    Annaleigh: You know, I’ve known for quite sometime now that veganism had a sexism problem, but I honestly hadn’t realized that veganism also has such a detestable problem with ableism. This thread has been eye-opening for me, and not in a good way.

    I would say PETA and some organisations have a sexism problem; vegans? As individuals? As a group? I’d need some pretty good evidence for that. Especially as someone who is a vegan and a feminist.

  413. J
    J July 19, 2011 at 1:28 pm |

    Also, yes, I would say that the fact that you are so indignant about the fact that I mentioned that it’s not always obvious that a human has a higher moral status than a non-human *does* suggest to me that you’re reluctant to give up the notion of the sanctity of life. You are upset over a statement which illustrates that the notion of the sanctity of life is a bogus one, so.

  414. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh July 19, 2011 at 3:47 pm |

    Gillian Love: I would say PETA and some organisations have a sexism problem; vegans? As individuals? As a group? I’d need some pretty good evidence for that. Especially as someone who is a vegan and a feminist.

    The fact that PETA and “some organisation” have a problem is evidence enough. In fact, I was mainly thinking of PETA, but you have helpfully pointed out this is not just a PETA problem.

    And of course, just because you are both vegan and feminist yourself doesn’t mean that veganism doesn’t have a problem with sexism.

  415. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh July 19, 2011 at 3:49 pm |

    J:
    Also, yes, I would say that the fact that you are so indignant about the fact that I mentioned that it’s not always obvious that a human has a higher moral status than a non-human *does* suggest to me that you’re reluctant to give up the notion of the sanctity of life. You are upset over a statement which illustrates that the notion of the sanctity of life is a bogus one, so.

    And I maintain it takes an incredibly privileged and ignorant asshole NOT to recognize that certain groups of people have systematically denied their humanity, and are NOT served well by your assertions that they are no better than animals.

  416. J
    J July 19, 2011 at 4:30 pm |

    Whose humanity? Children with anencephaly? My assertion is not that they are “no better than animals”. I would never speak in such vulgar terms. Whether you think they would be served well by my assertion or not is irrelevant. My assertion is true. It’s not the kind of assertion that should permit any of the humanity-denying behaviours you’re thinking of. Even if a human did have a lower moral status than a non-human animal, that’s no reason to treat the human poorly. The kinds of things you’re talking about don’t follow from what I’m saying.

  417. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh July 19, 2011 at 4:41 pm |

    J:
    Whose humanity? Children with anencephaly? My assertion is not that they are “no better than animals”. I would never speak in such vulgar terms. Whether you think they would be served well by my assertion or not is irrelevant. My assertion is true. It’s not the kind of assertion that should permit any of the humanity-denying behaviours you’re thinking of. Even if a human did have a lower moral status than a non-human animal, that’s no reason to treat the human poorly. The kinds of things you’re talking about don’t follow from what I’m saying.

    Wow. You really are never going to get it. I’m done engaging with you. I’ll leave you to your sheltered little universe where nothing bad has ever happened to be people who have been compared to animals.

  418. J
    J July 19, 2011 at 5:16 pm |

    Again, whether or not anything bad has happened to people who have been compared to animals isn’t relevant. It would be literally impossible to justify the practices you are hinting at with my beliefs, since my beliefs encompass the following: “Even if a human did have a lower moral status than a non-human animal, that’s no reason to treat the human poorly”. That statement means “bad things shouldn’t happen to people”. It doesn’t mean “bad things should happen to people”. So if bad things have happened to people, then that’s unfortunate, but it has nothing to do with my beliefs, demonstrably.

  419. J
    J July 19, 2011 at 5:26 pm |

    I am glad you’re done, by the way. Nothing in my beliefs or in what I have said could be used to justify systematic murder. The comparisons to Nazi Germany are shameful, and I won’t bother to respond to them anymore.

  420. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh July 19, 2011 at 5:51 pm |

    J: The comparisons to Nazi Germany are shameful, and I won’t bother to respond to them anymore.

    Ok, I can’t help myself. You are being an absolute dick. And a dick with no self-awareness at that. Hint: the Nazi references were a reminder of the consequences of beliefs like yours and wouldn’t have been made at all but for your spectacular assholery. But you are too goddamned clueless to get through your head, plus you’ve stated that it does not matter that people have died because of beliefs similar to yours anyway, so whatever, I am wasting my breath.

  421. J
    J July 19, 2011 at 5:59 pm |

    You are repeating claims that I have refuted, so I’m guess I’m not sure what to say to your comment.

  422. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable July 19, 2011 at 9:12 pm |

    J: PrettyAmiable, how am I being ableist? Is it ableist to mention people with disabilities or something?

    No, peach. It’s ableist to imply that a disabled person has lower “moral status” than an animal.

  423. J
    J July 20, 2011 at 1:55 am |

    I didn’t say anything about disabled people per se. The idea that a non-human animal’s interests could potentially count for more than a human’s is pretty uncontroversial. To repeat myself, it’s hard to say that an anencephalic baby has any interests or preferences one way or another. I’m not sure how it’s ableist to point that out. The idea that all human life is sacrosanct and must be preserved at all costs is an outdated one.

  424. Gillian Love
    Gillian Love July 20, 2011 at 4:08 am |

    Annaleigh: The fact that PETA and “some organisation” have a problem is evidence enough. In fact, I was mainly thinking of PETA, but you have helpfully pointed out this is not just a PETA problem.And of course, just because you are both vegan and feminist yourself doesn’t mean that veganism doesn’t have a problem with sexism.

    Um, you are aware that veganism is not the only facet of PETA? They focus on ethical treatment of animals, which is a range of issues. They also don’t focus on other aspects of veganism, like the environment, or ethical clothing. To conflate PETA or similar organisations with veganism is ill-informed.

    Veganism has a sexism problem? Nope, advertising has a sexism problem, a problem PETA has unfortunately not taken it upon themselves to avoid. How ridiculous to make such a sweeping statement on that basis.

  425. J
    J July 20, 2011 at 5:10 am |

    (I forgot to address this earlier)

    lauredhel, what Peter Singer said in that Enough Rope interview seemed very reasonable to me. He made it clear that he didn’t have any problem with disabled people, just that he would rather not raise a Down syndrome child, if given the choice. That’s not controversial, by the way: in Europe, over 90% of women who find out that they are pregnant with a Down syndrome child choose to terminate that pregnancy. That doesn’t mean that 90% of women are terrible ableists who think that Down syndrome people shouldn’t be treated with respect or don’t deserve rights. It just means that, given the choice, the vast majority of people would rather have a child who didn’t have Down syndrome. So, the fact that Peter Singer is a member of such a huge majority doesn’t seem to say anything particularly meaningful about him.

  426. J
    J July 20, 2011 at 5:14 am |

    Also, I back Gillian Love on this one: PETA is far from representative of all vegans. Yes, there are sexist vegans out there, but there are sexist omnivores as well. Are you sure that the proportion of sexist vegans is higher than the proportion of sexist omnivores? I’m not. It may be the case, but it doesn’t seem clear to me at all.

  427. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable July 20, 2011 at 5:58 am |

    J: The idea that all human life is sacrosanct and must be preserved at all costs is an outdated one.

    “Let’s kill disabled children. Not ALL disabled children, just the ones I choose.”

    Listen, you’re an asshole. The idea that any animal’s life is more important than any human’s life is pretty ridiculous. Saying this is NOT the same as saying human life sacrosanct, but I’m really glad you got to use your SAT word, even if you failed in usage, kiddo.

  428. J
    J July 20, 2011 at 6:32 am |

    PrettyAmiableThe idea that any animal’s life is more important than any human’s life is pretty ridiculous.

    Can you explain why you think the idea is ridiculous? The point is one can’t really justify this claim without recourse to the notion that human life is sacrosanct. Also, you’ll note that I never talked about lives being more or less “important” in the first place. I’m careful not to use language as vague as that.

  429. igglanova
    igglanova July 20, 2011 at 9:02 am |

    I think this ableist accusation is getting out of control, personally. It’s dishonest and melodramatic to describe a literally brainless baby in such vague terms as ‘a disabled child’ solely for the purposes of lobbing that allegation. We can parse things in more specific terms than abled / disabled. If a person literally does not have a functioning brain then for all practical purposes it’s absurd to even treat it with the same moral standing as anything that is more meaningfully alive. That includes animals. Hell, even trees. At least a tree has a chance of living.

    Who suffers more: a fully functioning pig that is killed in a slaughterhouse, or a kid with anencephaly, who was never conscious in the first place, who is simply denied life support? Why the fuck should it be so acceptable to do the former but so ghastly to do the latter? I’m not even vegetarian and this conversation is pissing me off.

  430. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh July 20, 2011 at 3:47 pm |

    igglanova: I think this ableist accusation is getting out of control, personally

    Igglanova, you have to remember that talk of ableism entered this thread when Jon started the analogy. His was not between a baby with anencephaly, but a child that is “profoundly retarded.” Jon ignored each and every attempt to get him to understand that he was being deeply offensive.

    Then J comes into the thread, and ignores all of the pushback that Jon experienced and begins to push the analogy himself, albeit his being a poor analogy because kids with anencephaly can’t survive anyway. Nonetheless, like Jon, J has completely ignored every effort to get him to understand how offensive this was.

    The fact that both commenters keep referring to children with disabilities (versus people in general) and comparing their value to animals, as well as being hellbent on ignoring the real life consequences to people with disabilities such rhetoric brings, is quite telling. Both Jon and J seem to think of people with disabilities as having less value than animals.

  431. J
    J July 21, 2011 at 1:04 am |

    Annaleigh: The fact that both commenters keep referring to children with disabilities (versus people in general)

    What? I thought that I had said enough times by now that I am not talking about people with disabilities in general. That’s what *other people* have been saying about my posts, and I have been denying it all along. Also, I have said numerous times that the lifespan of anencephalic baby is irrelevant. So it’s not a poor example. I don’t know why you deliberately repeat things that I have refuted.

    Also, nobody has been able to explain why my posts have been offensive. If you (Annaleigh) weren’t offended by igglanova’s post, I don’t see why you’re offended by mine. I’m making the same point.

    Annaleigh: Both Jon and J seem to think of people with disabilities as having less value than animals.

    Well, I’ve already explained pretty clearly that in some cases a human may be said to have a lower moral status than a non-human animal. I’m not saying anything about “people with disabilities” in general, and I’ve never talked about “value”.

  432. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh July 21, 2011 at 1:25 am |

    J: I don’t know why you deliberately repeat things that I have refuted.

    I don’t think you know what the word “refuted” means. Refutation does not involve pretending people in this thread are seeing things that aren’t there when they remind you of what you have said. You have refuted nothing. Zip. Nada.

    Quite frankly, the anti-psychotic I take works quite well, so I know what I have read, as do the people who have quoted your own words back you. You have repeatedly made offensive ableist arguements, and that’s all there is to it.

  433. J
    J July 21, 2011 at 1:44 am |

    Annaleigh: I don’t think you know what the word “refuted” means. Refutation does not involve pretending people in this thread are seeing things that aren’t there when they remind you of what you have said.

    I was talking in this case about two things: 1. the fact that I wasn’t talking about people with disabilities in general, and 2. the fact that the lifespan of an anencephalic baby is irrelevant. I was under the impression that those things were established (and hence that the claims to the contrary had been refuted). Telling me that I was talking about people with disabilities in general is not a “reminder” of what I have said, it’s a lie.

    So you ignored a request to explain why my argument was offensive/ableist and just repeated the accusation that it’s offensive/ableist. That isn’t helpful. For the record, I really only have one argument, and igglanova summarised it quite well.

  434. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh July 21, 2011 at 1:59 am |

    I give up, J, you’re an ableist arse, and nothing I say will drill that through your head.

    You have views that are detestable to me, as a person with psychiatric disabilities and a very slight physical disability. Your detestable views are compounded by the fact that you don’t care what people with disabilities and their allies have to say to you.

    What else can anyone say?

  435. J
    J July 21, 2011 at 2:29 am |

    My views have absolutely nothing to say about people with psychiatric disabilities or people with (slight) physical disabilities, so I don’t see how those facts are grounds for finding my views detestable. Since you have clearly made up your mind on the matter, I guess there is nothing else to say.

  436. igglanova
    igglanova July 21, 2011 at 9:27 am |

    Sooo the thread is basically dead at this point, but I should respond to this.

    ‘Igglanova, you have to remember that talk of ableism entered this thread when Jon started the analogy. His was not between a baby with anencephaly, but a child that is “profoundly retarded.” Jon ignored each and every attempt to get him to understand that he was being deeply offensive.’

    Yeah, I’m not defending Jon. I even said earlier that J’s comments came at a time when the thread was already poisoned by Jon’s shittiness and so a blowup was inevitable – however, that doesn’t justify the rabid pile-on and frankly stupid accusations of ableism against J. Not only is it dickish, but it makes our entire community look completely, frothingly unreasonable.

    The only ‘children with disabilities’ that J even mentioned were kids who literally do not have functioning brains. If people want to obfuscate the issue by refusing to be specific and only talking in the most emotional terms possible, then that shows a total lack of regard for the honest truth; indeed it basically amounts to admitting that your outrage is baseless if you have to lie to make your points.

  437. Cara
    Cara July 21, 2011 at 2:13 pm |

    Whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa WHOA. This thread and the rampant abelism in it has just been brought to my attention. The ban hammer has been used, and I’m closing the comments.

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