Vegetarianism is not a Leftist cause it’s a dietary choice.

 

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I should start off by saying that I have no radical malice towards those within the vegan and vegetarian community. I should also state that I am not “Pro -meat”, in fact, I’d argue we all should eat less of it. It should go without saying that we should have some level of animal rights and should all condemn acts of cruelty & unnecessary harm to animals. This is simply a criticism of using this lifestyle for political motive or to argue superior morality.

The main thinking of the Vegetarian movement is rooted in Speciesism, a term popularised by the philosopher Peter Singer. The basis of these philosophical ideas lies within animal rights movement. The argument put forward is that there is no moral justification for human superiority over any other species, and it opposes the rearing of animals for meat, labelling it as unethical. In his book Animal Liberation (1975), Peter Singer describes it as “a prejudice or bias in favour of the interests of members of one’s own species and against those of members of other species.” It claims that all animals deserve the same moral rights as our own.

This concept removes us from the food chain and ignores the anthropological connection between other primate species. The term “unnatural” is thrown around a lot when talking about eating meat. This trend within the Vegetarian community has zero basis and is more an emotive response than based in any logic. Of course, thanks to evolution and the miracle of human biology, we can eat and survive off a meat free diet; but that does not make us natural Vegetarians, far from it. In a 2003 article in ‘The new Scientist’, researchers discovered that “Humans evolved beyond their vegetarian roots and became meat-eaters at the dawn of the genus Homo, around 2.5 million years ago…” It is also proven that through our evolution a meat diet helped shape our species evolution to where it is today. Eating meat and cooking food made us human, the studies suggest, enabling the brains of our pre-human ancestors to grow dramatically over a period of a few million years. In the article ‘Eating Meat Made Us Human, Suggests New Skull Fossil’ by Charles Q. Choi, Live Science Contributor (October 3, 2012), it explains that it would have been biologically implausible for humans to evolve such a large brain on a raw, vegan diet, and that meat-eating was an essential element of human evolution at least 1 million years before the dawn of humankind. To claim eating meat is unnatural seems more anti-science than anti-meat, especially when you look to our common evolutionary ancestors such as chimps, who still have meat in their diets too. Biology and evolution cannot be categorised as unnatural on the basis of moral purity; it is neither progressive or helpful to any cause.

Purely moralist arguments such as this are noble, but all too often equally irrational. Morals and lines of ethics are not always universal. Singer’s writings are clearly influenced by European minds and would be impossible to translate to the Native American tribes, who once practised animal sacrifices. The Yanomami tribe in south Brazil hunt tapir for meat and yet they are far better environmentalists than most vegetarian’s in the western world. It seems odd to claim moral superiority over these people because you avoid dairy products, especially when you most likely contribute to the destruction of the Yanomami’s homes. How many vegetarians/Vegans drive cars that pollute our air or pay their taxes that contribute to landfills and the destruction of rain-forests, yet simultaneously claim that due to the lack of meat in their diet that they are now environmentalists? For many around the world there is not the option of vegetarianism. A market of choice is a first world privilege, and this ideal is smug rather than morally conscious. Rarely does it seem that vegetarians have issue with the ethics of meat itself. One surely cannot argue with its process in human evolution, or its inherent need to some communities. The most common argument (and most legitimate) is ‘Cruelty’. To this I argue with the linguistics of this statement. ‘Cruelty’ is a human conception, one need only watch the work of David Attenbourgh, to see that Nature and the Animal Kingdom can appear barbaric. Yet, we must remember that such concepts are alien to the chicken & the cow. Not because they the lack consciousness per se but, because animals eat each other within an ecosystem and the human ideas of morality and ethics do not apply to other species. The mouse does not hold the cat accountable. From here the argument can only go to the ethics of caging and rearing animals, but at this point the argument is no longer about eating meat but how animal husbandry is formatted. Such things as intensive farming, chemical growth and hormone manipulation in which Vegans/Vegetarians point out as inhumane, have very little to do with eating meat, and are to do with modes of production. Farming and agricultural surplus are a result of capitalism and the industry of farming.

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11 thoughts on “Vegetarianism is not a Leftist cause it’s a dietary choice.

  1. What is your opinion on factory style animal farming?
    You contrast veganism with hunters; but hunting animals in the wild for one’s sustenance (on that note: instant death to all trophy hunters) is radically different than farming animals – irrelevant of the grading of farming. Farming is animal slavery – period. If you want meat, hunt it in the wild like the rest of the animals do. And try do it with a weapon of your own design. We’ll see how much meat people will be dishing up on the dinner table per month and how compatible it is with the capitalist system’s work schedule.

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    1. Well then you are reinforcing the point this post is making. That your issue does not lie in the ethics of consuming another animal but within the modes of production of agricultural farming and animal husbandry. My comparison towards Hunter gather societies is to point out this hypocritical moral stance the vegetarian/Vegan community have made, when claiming eating meat is unnatural or unethical. People should not be using their dietary choices as politics or as moral Philosophy, as it undermines the actual systemic problems with animal cruelty and the meat industry that lie in our Capitalist system, i.e Surplus farming and the mass slaughter for meat products.

      This has everything to do with Production not the act. You will save a lot more animals if you are Anti-capitalist than a vegetarian .

      FYI: Comparing it to slavery is a purely reactionary claim, based of an emotive response rather than any valid point. Not only by definition does it not fit the parameters of other species but, it also contradicts the anthropological evolution of our species. We shouldn’t be punished or seen as anymore “inpure” because we have evolved with opposable & foreshortened thumbs that have allowed us to make fences.

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      1. You’re mixing things up, cheaply co-opting my stance to further your propaganda and making extremely selective interpretations. It is an ethical matter, if you set the point of departure of ethics to be suffering. The vegetarian and the vegan communities are with respect to each other different and with themselves different and very varied – you can not classify them as homogenous groups e.g. with regards to the motivations to label oneself as such (actual behavior is far more interesting classifier). It is ridiculous to classify eating meat as ‘un-natural’ if one looks at the biosphere on this planet as a whole (where else should the adjective natural derive its meaning from?). Setting anti-capitalism up against vegetarianism and/or veganism is completely baseless and only furthers the ruling classes’ agenda of dividing and conquering the ‘mob’. Factory farming IS animal slavery. Husbandy IS animal slavery – you’re keeping animals in bondage within fences and/or cages for their meat or other natural products. Labeling this claim as ‘reactionary’ is pure ‘leftist’ mud-slinging and really makes me loose respect for continuing any argumentation on this blog.

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  2. Slavery does not fit that definition at all you are warping a very real and brutal act to justify a moralist argument. You disservice victims of real slavery by making such arbitrary comparisons. You yet again judge our species when claiming are ability to trap (fence) our prey is an unethical act. Many species trap or pen their prey yet no doubt you are not holding spiders and their webs morally accountable? Speciesism is a flawed out look and I disagree with its premise. I also completely defend my comparisons to capitalism seeing a majority of the arguments used by Vegetarians lie within our modes of production.

    FYI: If you are so easily offended by rhetoric, then I wouldn’t bother engaging in debates in the first place. I’m free to rigourously disagree with your argument.

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    1. Are you seriously comparing factory farming with a spider web and/or trapping?
      Didn’t you get it from my previous comment, that I make a clear separation between hunting wild (as in: _in_ the wild) for one’s own consumption vs. slavery and butchery?
      Entertain me: how do you define ‘slavery’.

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      1. Re-read the Blog You have missed the point drastically. Yet again you are arguing about the modes of production rather than the consumption of meat. My argument is that there is no real moral dilemma with eating meat but, rather in the modes we produce this meat (which you are consistently reinforcing with your own statements)

        *So we are clear*

        vegetarian
        noun
        plural noun: vegetarians

        a person who does not eat meat or fish, and sometimes other animal products, especially for moral, religious, or health reasons.

        I disagree with the concept that their are any real unethical practice when someone sits down to eat a chicken dinner, rather the ethics lies on how that chicken got on the plate in first place i.e Intensive farming under capitalism.

        No I’m not comparing the two, I’m pointing out the hypocrisy of your previous statement when emotionally comparing fences on a farm to real slavery. Clearly plenty of species trap their prey, so why is it, when the human species does it is now an act of evil? I should also point out not all farms are factory farms, nor is intensive farming practiced globally. Clearly this post is not a justification of factory farming it is a critique of a lifestyle that pretends to hold moral superiority.

        If your question from reading this post is “what do I think about factory farming?”

        Answer: I think its awful yet I argue it has far more to do with the economic structuring of capital and surplus under capitalism than it does with anyone who eats or buys meat products.

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    1. Well first it seems you are clearly avoiding the points that dismiss your claims here. Yet to see a retort from you? But hey I’ll humour you and invalidate the point you are trying to make all at the same time.

      Save me time typing here’s your definition:

      https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/slave

      Note the linguistics used. It defines it consistently as people or person within the definition of the word. Slavery is a purely human term and is not only alien to the animal kingdom but does not stretch outside the parameters of the Human species. You can have captive animal, but you can not have a slave animal.

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  3. waow, Oxford online dic. – such class consciousness.
    I think we just hit a dead end street – certainly not because I’ve exhausted my argumentative power, but because you’re looping in in-coherence.
    But hey, maybe many farm animal that could _choose_ to live on a farm, where they’re raised to be exploited and/or butchered, rather than life in the wild – I mean, look at our own pathetic species.

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  4. Which dictionary would you like? This is a petty straw man you have erected for a defeatist argument. Not sure what a link to a digital dictionaries has to do with how class consciousness contextualises? What you can not reference academia from outside your class? What a ridiculous claim that this link is somehow illegitimate why because it disproves your argument? Clearly you do not have a valid critique and are simply relying on a moralist facade. If you have a point state it. But do not leave this assuming you have proven anything other than the point this post has stated.

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