the great vegetarian debate

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Thrasymachus » Mon May 21, 2012 10:35 pm

That study has nothing to do with vegans. It has to do with organic vs non-organic and even then the study is very bad. It is based on personal evaluation:
Diane Mapes wrote:...

As it turns out, new research has determined that a judgmental attitude may just go hand in hand with exposure to organic foods. ...

In another phase of the study, the three groups were asked to volunteer for a (fictitious) study, with each person writing down the amount of time -- from zero to 30 minutes -- that they would be willing to volunteer.

...

When it came to helping out a needy stranger, the organic people also proved to be more selfish, volunteering only 13 minutes as compared to 19 minutes (for controls) and 24 minutes (for comfort food folks).


If it based on anything, it is based on income, since to purchase 100% organic you have to be fairly economically privileged. To become economically privileged you have to do what is necessary to suck up in school and then to a corporation, that is to make a compact for yourself against the rest of society. Also if you ask people how they behave, they will give a more positive picture compared to the reality. Someone who thinks more about their food choices is likely to be more contemplative in other areas and thus less likely to create a false positive portrayal. If you are fat by eating comfort foods, it does not stop at you. This TED talk does a good explanation of how the obese people affect the social networks around them and make it more acceptable to be heavier: http://www.ted.com/talks/nicholas_chris ... works.html It radiates out and negatively influences those around you.

The fact that you would flat up lie about what that news article you linked to contained, or think such flawed methodology says something about vegans or vegetarians, actually says much more about you.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Nemo » Tue May 22, 2012 1:29 am

Sorry. I kind of lump all people who are neurotic about food purity into the same boat. I still find it hilarious that a scientist would actually devote his time to proving eating special food made people act like douchebags. Who would take the time to prove such a thing, bwahahahaha

The study used control groups so there was no economic privilege in respondents. Obviously you didn't pay much attention to the article either.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Challenge23 » Fri May 25, 2012 2:44 pm

I've always thought of eating, like most thing in life, as a continuum.

On one end you have people like Jains who aren't only vegetarian but wear something to cover their mouths so they don't suck in bugs, etc. On the other hand you have people like Anthony Bourdain who eat veal, foie gras, and Ortolan Bunting.

The thing is that everyone in the whole continuum cause suffering in their food choices. One side causes very, very little suffering while the other side causes a great deal of suffering. Of course, there are consequences no matter where you sit on the continuum. So the question becomes not "if" someone wants to causes suffering with their food choices as much as "how much".

And since the consequences for someone's dietary choices are their own, other than explaining how I personally view the continuum, it really isn't my business where they sit. Unless I am eating with them and they make noises while eating that make me wonder if they are eating meat or having sex with it. That's a personal thing, though.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby justsit » Fri May 25, 2012 3:03 pm

:good:
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Malcolm » Fri May 25, 2012 3:09 pm

Thrasymachus wrote:
If it based on anything, it is based on income, since to purchase 100% organic you have to be fairly economically privileged.


Nonsense, you just have to be willing to cook.

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Fri May 25, 2012 3:44 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Thrasymachus wrote:
If it based on anything, it is based on income, since to purchase 100% organic you have to be fairly economically privileged.


Nonsense, you just have to be willing to cook.

M


I do all the cooking and food buying for our family. Organic costs more. But pre-packaged foods also cost more than buying ingredients and making it yourself.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Thrasymachus » Sun May 27, 2012 8:39 am

@Challenge23:
Dietary choices are not just a selfish or personal consumer option that should be exempt from judgment or morality. No animal in the history of carnism ever volunteered to be slaughtered for human taste preferences far as I know. Those choices effect the slaughter of several billion animals per year just in the USA. The best description of their slaughtered livesL is imagine Africans on European galley ships making Oceanic transit, and imagine them never leaving those horrible conditions for most of their short life and imagine them being considered even more inferior by humans and imagine the treatment of those slaves being 10 times worse. In the developed nations, there is an inverse food pyramid, the whole structure of food subsidies, regulations and weak environmental safeguards are based on the false assumption that meat needs to be made artificially cheaper so it can be consumed more. The negative effects of meat consumption are also further subsidized in public health expenditures.

My experience is that no practicer of carnism in my social circle will even watch the documentary Earthlings or even PETA's short Meet your Meat. How can we actually respect people who just want to throw money for shrink wrapped suffering and ignore totally the causes and conditions behind it? They seem on the other hand very capable to follow celebrities, what consumer product they lust over, and other stupid trivialities. Everything you do has consequences and one of those is that when you take the moral low ground and want to ignore suffering, you should be judged accordingly.

@PadmaVonSamba:
Before you brought up about carnivores, "is it ok for them to eat meat"? The dharmic supporters of carnism like you tried to guilt vegetarians that they did not do the impossible by not killing bugs or micro-organisms. Now create hypothetical scenarios about obligate carnivores, and about them doing the impossible, not killing prey for food, since they don't have the physiology to metabolize plant foods.

That you use so much hypothetical pondering over the impossible to ignore the real and possible, shows that you feel the need to erode ethical positions by means of a stratified moral relativism. Milton Mills of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine(PCRM) in a Youtube video points out that real carnivores who kill for food, show behavior diametrically opposite to humans in their hunting strategy. When a carnivore hunts they tend to given a choice, always prey on the weak, the diseased the dumb in a herd or population, since they are easier to catch and kill. Humans are in no way carnivores or even omnivores. When humans hunts they use tools, even the simpler ones like spears and bow and arrow allow distance. When humans hunt, unlike carnivores, they target the largest specimens, the most viral and healthy. Mills observes that we transfix a herbivore mentality of selecting the best fruit or plant in our carnistic ideology, since as hunters we seek the best. Thus when humans hunt they degrade a species genetically, while real carnivores actually improve the health of a herd.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sun May 27, 2012 3:08 pm

Thrasymachus wrote:@PadmaVonSamba:
Before you brought up about carnivores, "is it ok for them to eat meat"? The dharmic supporters of carnism like you tried to guilt vegetarians that they did not do the impossible by not killing bugs or micro-organisms.

First of all, I am not guilt-tripping vegetarians. I was a very strict vegetarian for 16 years. I do not eat meat 98% of the time. Vegetarian is great.

You totally miss the point, which is that just because you choose not to eat meat does not mean you aren't willingly contributing to the suffering and death of billions of creatures through your own life choices. You are. Deal with it.

Thrasymachus wrote:
...you feel the need to erode ethical positions by means of a stratified moral relativism.

The whole discussion, from a vegetarian activist viewpoint is about moral relativism.

Thrasymachus wrote: ...real carnivores who kill for food, show behavior diametrically opposite to humans in their hunting strategy. When a carnivore hunts they tend to given a choice, always prey on the weak, the diseased the dumb in a herd or population, since they are easier to catch and kill.


That is simply not true. That's some kind of fantasy. Cats catch very healthy mice. Carnivores eat and catch whatever they can and that is often due to the ability to outrun their prey, or to spot prey that is not well camouflaged. By the way, primates tend to be smarter than chickens, pigs and cows.

Thrasymachus wrote: When humans hunts they use tools, even the simpler ones like spears and bow and arrow allow distance. When humans hunt, unlike carnivores, they target the largest specimens, the most viral and healthy.


Yeah, so what? We also waer clothes and use eating utensils and draw pictures. We do a lot of things differently than other animals. And that is something you seem to forget. We are humans, and while Buddhism separates humans and animals into different realms (for a particular purpose), the fact is we are also animals. And animals catch food in a variety of ways. You can't blame a tiger because he doesn't spin a web like a spider.


I have responded to your statements.
I am still waiting for your response to my questions:

Since you believe that it is somehow morally wrong for a human to kill and eat meat or eat meat that has already been killed,

Is it somehow morally wrong for lions, wolves, owls, crocodiles, sharks, spiders and other carnivores to kill and eat meat?
Is it somehow morally wrong for vultures and jackals and hyenas, to eat meat that other animals have already killed?

The foundation of your argument is that since humans have the capacity to choose not to kill animals and eat meat,
then since killing animals causes suffering, and eating meat encourages killing animals, therefore humans who claim to be compassionate are obliged to make that choice and not kill or eat meat, otherwise they are being hypocritical.


My suggestion is that it isn't really about the suffering of living creatures at all, but it's just your own guilt trip that you have imposed on yourself. We are humans and we are also animals, and like it or not, that means we get to pick and choose. For decades Peta has sent out millions of mailings with literature full of pictures of animal cruelty. But what about all the gelatin (from hooves) used to take those films and photos? What about all the glue from animal bones that sealed all those envelopes? What about the uncountable billions of creatures who died when the trees were cut down to make that paper? You see, even self-righteous vegetarians willingly judge who will suffer and be killed and for what purpose!

But you don't think about all those tiny bugs and things becase it just isn't as emotionally gripping as the sad eyes of a penned up veal calf, snatched from it's mother's udder at infancy, waiting in a filthy dark box until it's short life is ended by the steel blade which swings like an executioner's axe over the killing pit. Boo hoo hoo. This smug, all-superior attitude is just a big ego trip. But in fact, you are just as guilty as the rest of us. The only difference is that your guilt isn't served up to you on a bun with onions and ketchup.

I admit my guilt. I know I am not perfect. And I also know I have my own head trips I need to cut through, which is why try to I practice the teachings of the Buddha. He didn't say to cop some big attitude. He said don't kill. I don't kill anything if I can help it. If meat is served I will eat it. If that impacts the broader economic picture and somehow contributes to the next animal getting killed, then that is the level at which you and I share responsibility, because you contribute to that picture as well. You just don't admit it.

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Stewart » Sun May 27, 2012 3:22 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Thrasymachus wrote:@PadmaVonSamba:
Before you brought up about carnivores, "is it ok for them to eat meat"? The dharmic supporters of carnism like you tried to guilt vegetarians that they did not do the impossible by not killing bugs or micro-organisms.

First of all, I am not guilt-tripping vegetarians. I was a very strict vegetarian for 16 years. I do not eat meat 98% of the time. Vegetarian is great.

You totally miss the point, which is that just because you choose not to eat meat does not mean you aren't willingly contributing to the suffering and death of billions of creatures through your own life choices. You are. Deal with it.

Thrasymachus wrote:
...you feel the need to erode ethical positions by means of a stratified moral relativism.

The whole discussion, from a vegetarian activist viewpoint is about moral relativism.

Thrasymachus wrote: ...real carnivores who kill for food, show behavior diametrically opposite to humans in their hunting strategy. When a carnivore hunts they tend to given a choice, always prey on the weak, the diseased the dumb in a herd or population, since they are easier to catch and kill.


That is simply not true. That's some kind of fantasy. Cats catch very healthy mice. Carnivores eat and catch whatever they can and that is often due to the ability to outrun their prey, or to spot prey that is not well camouflaged. By the way, primates tend to be smarter than chickens, pigs and cows.

Thrasymachus wrote: When humans hunts they use tools, even the simpler ones like spears and bow and arrow allow distance. When humans hunt, unlike carnivores, they target the largest specimens, the most viral and healthy.


Yeah, so what? We also waer clothes and use eating utensils and draw pictures. We do a lot of things differently than other animals. And that is something you seem to forget. We are humans, and while Buddhism separates humans and animals into different realms (for a particular purpose), the fact is we are also animals. And animals catch food in a variety of ways. You can't blame a tiger because he doesn't spin a web like a spider.


I have responded to your statements.
I am still waiting for your response to my questions:

Since you believe that it is somehow morally wrong for a human to kill and eat meat or eat meat that has already been killed,

Is it somehow morally wrong for lions, wolves, owls, crocodiles, sharks, spiders and other carnivores to kill and eat meat?
Is it somehow morally wrong for vultures and jackals and hyenas, to eat meat that other animals have already killed?

The foundation of your argument is that since humans have the capacity to choose not to kill animals and eat meat,
then since killing animals causes suffering, and eating meat encourages killing animals, therefore humans who claim to be compassionate are obliged to make that choice and not kill or eat meat, otherwise they are being hypocritical.


My suggestion is that it isn't really about the suffering of living creatures at all, but it's just your own guilt trip that you have imposed on yourself. We are humans and we are also animals, and like it or not, that means we get to pick and choose. For decades Peta has sent out millions of mailings with literature full of pictures of animal cruelty. But what about all the gelatin (from hooves) used to take those films and photos? What about all the glue from animal bones that sealed all those envelopes? What about the uncountable billions of creatures who died when the trees were cut down to make that paper? You see, even self-righteous vegetarians willingly judge who will suffer and be killed and for what purpose!

But you don't think about all those tiny bugs and things becase it just isn't as emotionally gripping as the sad eyes of a penned up veal calf, snatched from it's mother's udder at infancy, waiting in a filthy dark box until it's short life is ended by the steel blade which swings like an executioner's axe over the killing pit. Boo hoo hoo. This smug, all-superior attitude is just a big ego trip. But in fact, you are just as guilty as the rest of us. The only difference is that your guilt isn't served up to you on a bun with onions and ketchup.

I admit my guilt. I know I am not perfect. And I also know I have my own head trips I need to cut through, which is why try to I practice the teachings of the Buddha. He didn't say to cop some big attitude. He said don't kill. I don't kill anything if I can help it. If meat is served I will eat it. If that impacts the broader economic picture and somehow contributes to the next animal getting killed, then that is the level at which you and I share responsibility, because you contribute to that picture as well. You just don't admit it.

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sun May 27, 2012 10:27 pm

Thrasymachus wrote: When a carnivore hunts they tend to given a choice, always prey on the weak, the diseased the dumb in a herd or population, since they are easier to catch and kill.


Just want to clarify a point here (I like the "given a choice' part). As part of the process of natural selection, the weaker, slower or sicker animals do tend to be the ones most often caught. But this is only because the stronger, faster ones are able to get away sooner. This in turn improves the overall gene pool of the species being hunted (herd animal or otherwise). To suggest that this is a conscious choice on the part of the predator is really a misunderstanding, and a projection (and very funny, in a Disney sort of way). If such were the case, the predatory species as a whole would, over time, likewise be weakened from catching and eating only the weakest, sickest animals.

As I posted before, it is precisely because of the need to escape predators that homo sapiens evolved.
If you can make a conscious choice about what you eat, thank a saber-toothed tiger.
Too bad they are extinct.

By the way, what is to happen to cows and pigs if nobody eats them or uses their skins?
Will they be adopted as house pets, or be put on the endangered species list?
Kept in zoos?

I mean really...what will they do???
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby David N. Snyder » Sun May 27, 2012 10:42 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:As I posted before, it is precisely because of the need to escape predators that homo sapiens evolved.
If you can make a conscious choice about what you eat, thank a saber-toothed tiger.


Lots of species get chased by predators and they don't become more intelligent simply because they have been chased.

PadmaVonSamba wrote:By the way, what is to happen to cows and pigs if nobody eats them or uses their skins?
Will they be adopted as house pets, or be put on the endangered species list?
Kept in zoos?

I mean really...what will they do???


The world will not become completely vegetarian overnight. It would be a gradual process (if it even happened, of course this is just hypothetically speaking). Even if 10,000 new people stopped eating meat everyday, the agri-businesses would simply stop breeding the livestock so much. The breeding would slow down, even stop if necessary until everyone became vegetarian or vegan. And then you have less slaughtering going on and eventually close the slaughter houses.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Mon May 28, 2012 1:00 am

David N. Snyder wrote:
Lots of species get chased by predators and they don't become more intelligent simply because they have been chased.


Intelligent? Perhaps not. Adaptive? Yes, because the ones who get eaten aren't reproducing anymore.
Having two free hands, the humanoid primate developed "intelligence" as part of their "upwardly mobile" (two-legged) adaptive process.

Again, the point is missed. Many species evolve in a large part the way they do in order to eat or to avoid being eaten. Humans are simply a type of primate whose ancestors escaped being eaten.
Do you want to know which species didn't escape? Too bad! None of them exist!

If there hadn't been carnivorous predators chasing our early family members up into trees,
we wouldn't be having this goofy conversation.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Mon May 28, 2012 1:03 am

David N. Snyder wrote:
The world will not become completely vegetarian overnight. It would be a gradual process (if it even happened, of course this is just hypothetically speaking). Even if 10,000 new people stopped eating meat everyday, the agri-businesses would simply stop breeding the livestock so much. The breeding would slow down, even stop if necessary until everyone became vegetarian or vegan. And then you have less slaughtering going on and eventually close the slaughter houses.


Yeah, but what where will the Angus cow live? It has no natural habitat.
Where will our cat food and dog food come from?
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby David N. Snyder » Mon May 28, 2012 4:38 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:Yeah, but what where will the Angus cow live? It has no natural habitat.


I am not familiar with Angus cows and their natural habitat. Couldn't they survive just being out to pasture, roaming freely in a meadow? If there is no natural habitat, I suppose they could all be phased-out as people stopped eating meat, with just some kept for zoos if people or scientists wanted to keep some around. I don't think the environment would need to have that specific breed around if it did go extinct. And [to anticipate the follow-up question] no, that is not killing. If a being is not born, it does not get killed.

As mentioned previously, it is not as if millions of cows would be let loose. If everyone turned vegetarian it would most definitely not be overnight and rather a gradual process. The final 100 or less could be let loose or placed in zoos, if needed.

PadmaVonSamba wrote:Where will our cat food and dog food come from?


That is perhaps another issue, but there are many animal rights activists who don't like pet ownership. Pet ownership could be phased out too or alternatively there are vegetarian dog foods that can be made with all the nutrition and protein a dog needs. Cats on the other hand are pretty strict carnivores. As the food science advances I imagine they may come up with a vegetarian alternative for cats too.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Malcolm » Mon May 28, 2012 4:50 am

David N. Snyder wrote:
The world will not become completely vegetarian overnight. It would be a gradual process (if it even happened, of course this is just hypothetically speaking). Even if 10,000 new people stopped eating meat everyday, the agri-businesses would simply stop breeding the livestock so much. The breeding would slow down, even stop if necessary until everyone became vegetarian or vegan. And then you have less slaughtering going on and eventually close the slaughter houses.


Such sentiments display a complete lack of understanding of sustainable agriculture. It is not about agro-business. It is about environmental sanity. Environmental sanity requires animal husbandry since it is the primary way soil fertility is ensured.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Malcolm » Mon May 28, 2012 4:51 am

David N. Snyder wrote:That is perhaps another issue, but there are many animal rights activists who don't like pet ownership. Pet ownership could be phased out too or alternatively there are vegetarian dog foods that can be made with all the nutrition and protein a dog needs. Cats on the other hand are pretty strict carnivores. As the food science advances I imagine they may come up with a vegetarian alternative for cats too.


Nonsense. This is just a fantasy.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Virgo » Mon May 28, 2012 5:14 am

David N. Snyder wrote:
PadmaVonSamba wrote:Yeah, but what where will the Angus cow live? It has no natural habitat.


I am not familiar with Angus cows and their natural habitat. Couldn't they survive just being out to pasture, roaming freely in a meadow? If there is no natural habitat, I suppose they could all be phased-out as people stopped eating meat, with just some kept for zoos if people or scientists wanted to keep some around.

This goes against the nature of man. So who would enforce it, a government with lots of guns?

I have a lot of respect for you David, but on this one particular subject you seem to be a bit over the top.

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby David N. Snyder » Mon May 28, 2012 6:07 am

Virgo wrote:This goes against the nature of man. So who would enforce it, a government with lots of guns?


No one said anything about forced vegetarianism. I don't know where that came in? Guns? What do guns have to do with this? I thought the hypothetical was about what would happen to the cows if everyone (voluntarily) became vegetarian. No one is forcing anything on anyone in this hypothetical situation.

It was an answer to a hypothetical situation that will probably never happen and then I am accused of being "over the top"? Calling a hypothetical answer to a hypothetical question nonsense? These are just logical fallacies of straw men, red herrings, etc. Better to address the issue rather than name calling.

And what I answered is correct. A vegetarian world is not going to happen overnight and in the unlikely event everyone did eventually become vegetarian, it would be gradual and thus, you can gradually reduce the numbers of livestock. Sustainable fertilized agriculture could still come from existing livestock and dairy farms if it were a lacto or lacto-ovo vegetarian world. Again, these are all hypothetical situations.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Virgo » Mon May 28, 2012 6:15 am

David N. Snyder wrote:It was an answer to a hypothetical situation that will probably never happen and then I am accused of being "over the top"? Calling a hypothetical answer to a hypothetical question nonsense? These are just logical fallacies of straw men, red herrings, etc. Better to address the issue rather than name calling.

And what I answered is correct. A vegetarian world is not going to happen overnight and in the unlikely event everyone did eventually become vegetarian, it would be gradual and thus, you can gradually reduce the numbers of livestock. Sustainable fertilized agriculture could still come from existing livestock and dairy farms if it were a lacto or lacto-ovo vegetarian world. Again, these are all hypothetical situations.

Yes, I agree, this would be an ideal and is hypothetical. As far as addressing the issue is concerned, as I said I believe such a hypothetical proposition goes against the nature of man. However, with time, the nature of man could change. This would take a substantial amount of time, though, in terms of human generations. Perhaps one day it will happen. But, truthfully, I don't even think that will happen. However, my opinion on this is pure speculation.

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Thrasymachus » Thu May 31, 2012 1:21 am

Virgo wrote:This goes against the nature of man. So who would enforce it, a government with lots of guns?


You are ignorant as to the underpinnings of the actually society you live in that make things like rampant meat consumption possible. Our whole social order is built on force and regulations, laws which are of course backed with force. In the movie End:Civ, the following example of how the threat of violence is always at the end of a small chain of consequences if we don't obey:
Derrick Jensen wrote:Second I said, “Ok well do you pay rent?”

And he’s like, “Yeah.”

And I said, “Why?”

And he said, “Because I don’t own.”

And I said, “No, no, no, what would happen if you didn’t pay rent?”

And he said, “Well the sheriff would come and evict me.”

I said, “I don’t know what that means. What would happen?”

He said, “So the sheriff would come and he’d knock on my door.”

I said, “Ok great, what happens if you open the door? And you say, ‘Hey, I’m just finishing up making dinner, would you want some?’ And so the sheriff sits down and you feed him. You don’t poison him, and then, uh, after dinner you say, ‘Well, You know, you’ve been somewhat pleasant company, but not all that pleasant, so I would like for you to leave my home now.’ What would happen?”

He said, “Well the sheriff would pull out his gun and say, ‘I’m here to evict you because you didn’t pay rent.’”

I said, “Ah, so the reason you pay rent is because if you don’t some guy with a gun is going to come and take you away.”


He said, “I think I get it.”


Now that is for people, for animals, especially livestock, they live with much more restrictions, with almost no choice possible and much more violence used against them to suit taste preferences which demand cheap meat. What people like you don't want to realize is that your way of life is predicated on a huge amount of violence, coercion, techniques of manipulation. For the developed world to live their relatively lavish lifestyle, they victimize most the rest of the globe. It is not a way of life you have a right to live, it is maintained by force, by the American military, its allies, by coercive institutions like the IMF, the World bank, etc.

So people are ok with force, what they are not ok is having to do with less than they are accustomed to, that is the root of the issue. If you are an adult and you don't already realize such things it is because you don't want to know.
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Thrasymachus
 
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