frevaljee
frevaljee avatar

frevaljee

@frevaljee@kbin.social
frevaljee,
frevaljee avatar

How can it be ethical to take a sentient being's life against its will? If it lived a good life it is even worse to end it.

frevaljee,
frevaljee avatar

It is true that all food production causes harm, death, and suffering.

The way I see it suffering and death of sentient beings should be minimised as much as practicable and possible.

More plants are needed to produce meat (as feed) than to produce plant based food directly. So even if crop production kills mice etc it is more ethical to eat plants than to eat produced meat.

Hunting is definitely better than factory farming in that regard. However, it is still taking a sentient life against its will. And it is not necessary.

Moreover, the purpose of producing plant based food is not to willfully breed animals into a life of suffering and death. Deaths as a result of crop production is not the goal of crop production. It is a side effect that we can minimise.

frevaljee,
frevaljee avatar

I first have to say that I really appreciate your tone and your thought out arguments. Most of these types of discussions tend to devolve into non-constructive obstinacy.

And this particular area is a very grey and complex one, so I admit it is not completely black or white for me. And these are big issues that we humans honestly will most likely not solve in any way that either of us would be happy with.

I agree with you on many points, like you have pointed out. You seem to be compassionate, empathetic, and rational.

As a non-vegan, this is one place I get kinda confused trying to see things from your point of view. Like I told the other guy, if I hunt 1 deer, I know I only hurt a single organism. I dont get any thrill out of it, I basically see it as part of Mother Nature’s grocery store. It’s a chore I don’t hate, but I see it more like a job than a hobby.

I think this comes into where I believe our disagreement is. We mostly align in the utlitiarian aspects (I'm not really utilitarian, but I'll get to that), but we differ in the aspect of commodification. I.e. I do not think we should see sentient beings as commodities. For example, I would not eat an animal who died in an accident. I assume, for instance, that you would not eat your dog if it died in a car crash, and I extend that reasoning to other animals as well.

Again, I feel we’re both in agreement modern mass farming is our real opponent, not each other. If we all had personal garden plots that fed our families, I feel that would solve a lot of these issues for both sides of these vegan vs omnivore discussions.

Completely agree. The optimal approach in my opinion would be to reduce the impact of farming in general, but at the same time not see animals as commodities. Also, even if I would view hunting as a viable way of reducing suffering (which one can argue from a utilitarian standpoint, but I personally don't for other reasons), we cannot sustain our population on hunting alone. Similarly I think we can't have a functioning society like we do today with only small scale food production. We would need to either make bigger changes in the societal structure (not very likely), or we need to optimise farming with regards to environmental impact and "collateral damage" (more likely, but still difficult).

What does the world do with domesticated animals if there is no longer a need for them?

This is a hypothetical non-issue in my honest opinion. There is no likely scenario where the entire planet would turn vegan over night. Also, it is not an argument for continuing breeding animals into suffering and death. If anything it is an argument for stopping all of it after this generation of farm animals.

Also, my personal view (even if perhaps not all vegans agree) is to be non-interventionistic. I.e. I don't think we are gods (like some other commenter said here before) who have a responsibility of maintaining nature at some arbitrary point that we think is the desired status quo. I simply think we should not unnecessarily cause harm, suffering, and death in our daily lives. As far as practicable and possible of course.

Raising livestock isn’t cheap or easy, but if it’s not a viable commercial product, who will invest that time and energy into them?

Two things. First, virtually all animal food industry today is heavily subsidised and it would not exist without those subsidies. Second, I don't think we should breed animals into existence just so that they can exist. This is also another opinion that is perhaps not too common amongst all vegans, and it is a bit of a tangent. But I am somewhat of an anti-natalist, both with human and non-human animals. No one can suffer if they haven't lived. And there is no reason to making beings exist just for the sake of existing. And if that existence is prolonged suffering ending with execution, it does not make sense to say that it is justified.

That owl article was interesting! But I think it is quite absurd in a way that we have fucked up nature so much that we think we should kill a bunch of animals as an attempt to unfuck it.

I hope you felt I’ve been respectful and genuine with you.

You have been very respectful, it is very rare to meet someone online with such a respectful and understanding tone when you are discussing differing opinions! I hope I haven't been too preachy, I also just want you to understand my view.

I can highly recommend this video by Ed Winters. I agree with a lot of his opinions, and he is much more well-spoken and good at explaining arguments than I am.

https://youtu.be/Z3u7hXpOm58

frevaljee, (edited )
frevaljee avatar

Oh yes the voluntary dietary habit of taking a sentient being's life against its will because it's tasty and I can't be bothered to learn how to cook properly using plants.

What does the ML in Lemmy ML stand for?

I asked this as a comment on my previous post, but I still have some questions. 1: If ML stands for Mali and they’re not from Mali, then why would they represent a foreign country? 2: Since it’s not Mali, what does the ML stand for? If it’s a pair of letters, it represents a country or stands for two words. Machine...

frevaljee,
frevaljee avatar

What do you call taking someone's money without their consent, using force/threat of violence?

frevaljee,
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Sure, but that wasn't my point. My point is that you have no say, and therefore it isn't voluntary, making it theft technically.

frevaljee,
frevaljee avatar
frevaljee,
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I would argue that voting doesn't make it voluntary. Even if I don't vote for a particular taxation, it might go through anyway if the majority wants it. Majority rule goes against the will of the minority.

frevaljee,
frevaljee avatar

How are they very distinct? If I am forced to pay someone money against my will, with threat of violence if I don't, how is that not theft? Just because a state does it, does that make it different somehow?

If I didn't vote for it, it is by definition against my will.

frevaljee,
frevaljee avatar

You are committing what is called a fallacy fallacy, and do not address how they are different — you simply say that it is an oversimplification and call it a day. But arguing about definitions aside, taxation is not voluntary, at least not by default. And my opinion is that transactions should be voluntary.

I take it you refer to online piracy? It is in some ways a grey area. On one hand you are not taking anything away, you are just copying. But on the other hand, to cite yourself, that is of course an oversimplification. As you are stealing potential income. But it is virtually impossible to measure that "theft" in currency, since you don't know if you would buy the good if you didn't pirate it. A tax slip, on the other hand, is defined in dollars and cents.

frevaljee,
frevaljee avatar

Ok so you believe that your work input is not worth anything then? I.e. it is ok for a government to make you work a number of hours equivalent to the taxed part of your income? My work is a contract between me and my employer. If I wish to use a part of that work to build roads (muh roads), pay for schools etc, that should be by my own will. Not because I am part of a social contract by default. That is not voluntary. And like I said earlier, yes I can vote, but the minority is ruled by the majority in a democracy.

Private property, and by extension currency, does not need to be a social contract tied to a state to get value. There are other types of money than fiat (and no I am not saying we should all become crypto bros). It is quite bizarre to claim that we need a massive bulky and expensive state with a monopoly on violence to be able to exchange goods and services.

So is it theft for me to install a lock on someone’s door because I’m stealing another thief’s potential income?

Now you are just being silly. I guess your point with that statement is that private property does not exist, otherwise it makes no sense. My point about piracy was that it is difficult to define intellectual property. And therefore theft is a difficult concept to apply to piracy. But you do you.

“words don’t have definitions, they have usages”.

Indeed. And the way I use the word theft applies to taxation for the reasons stated above. But it apparently doesn't for you, which is fine.

frevaljee,
frevaljee avatar

Sure, whatever works for you.

My issue is still with the fact that my work is used against my will, to pay for things I have not chosen.

If I wish to pay for protection, healthcare, food for the poor etc, that should still be my own choice.

But I think it is at this point where the core of our disagreement lies: you think it is a fair compromise to give up freedom and have a government solve these issues however it sees fit (as a part of a "social contract"), whereas I see it as a basic human right to be able to choose. I don't think we will move past it tbh, so we should perhaps leave it at that.

frevaljee,
frevaljee avatar

Damn you just won't let it go. I will still not agree with you however more you ramble on. You have not and will not convince me that a government will ever be more competent and efficient at solving these issues than alternatives. And, I repeat, it is not voluntary. If private property is not a right, what gives the government right to dictate my life because I happened to be born on this particular plot of land? And that is rhetorical, I would like to repeat:

I don't think we will move past it tbh, so we should perhaps leave it at that.

frevaljee,
frevaljee avatar

It is called exchange of goods and services. Damn you guys really put the "ML" in lemmy.ml

frevaljee, (edited )
frevaljee avatar

It is not legal where I live, and I assure you that the tax agency where I live will hunt me to the edge of the world if I refuse to pay exactly what they demand.

We are just looping around the same arguments here, and do not move anywhere.

Let's try not talking about the binary situation of refusing a government or taxes altogether. I can agree that certain things can be handled by a state (although not in the most efficient way imo). There are still a shit ton of things that governements spend money on that I might not want. For example, where I live a significant portion of my obligatory tax goes to state run "public service", i.e. state run entertainment. And our process for public procurement is a mess, where things cost insane amounts of money, and most of the time don't even lead to any actual executed projects.
How are such things defensible with an obligatory tax design?

What I'm trying to say is that yes in a perfect world taxes are fine and dandy, and we get nice roads and healthcare, but in the reality that at least I live in it is just an expensive mess of things that I mostly don't want, but am forced to pay for.

Edit: a word

frevaljee,
frevaljee avatar

Oh yes, an ideology defined by private ownership and small government intervention is also somehow responsible for the basis of government intervention - taxes.

frevaljee, (edited )
frevaljee avatar

A government which only enforces private property rights is still significantly smaller than most alternatives.

Enforcement of private property rights is a part of virtually all governments, and then you pile all other stuff on top of that hence making the government bigger.

And ofc the taxes will be below the profits, no sane person would make any investments in anything if it was above the profits.

Edit: and to add, many hardcore capitalists, like minarchists, libertarians, or anarcho capitalists, propose that you don't even need a government to enforce private property rights. They'd rather solve that issue privately.

frevaljee,
frevaljee avatar

I don't think I follow your reasoning tbh. What exactly are you comparing? You said that capitalists favour intervening governments, which is simply not true. Not in any general sense anyway.

Anarcho capitalism is probably as far into anarchy you can go. They want to completely abolish the state and enforce property rights privately.

Or are you saying that such a society will fall into some kind of feudalism? At the core of anarcho capitalism is the NAP which is not really compatible with feudalism. In feudalism you have a hierarchy not based on voluntarism, and that would therefore not be anarcho capitalist.

Do you imply that we need a strong state with a monopoly on violence to keep us in check, otherwise we would descend into chaos? Thats a pretty bleak and pessimistic view of mankind.

frevaljee,
frevaljee avatar

I do agree to an extent. Anarcho capitalism is perhaps more of a theoretical idea rather than a practical social structure. And it is not possible to uphold the NAP in an absolute sense – it is inevitable to cause aggression in some ways, through e.g. pollution or whatever. And private ownership of natural resources is, let's say tricky.

I am not an anarcho capitalist myself, but I believe society and interactions should be voluntary. But it is difficult to find a practical social structure where that is possible. I am actually rather pessimistic about people tbh, and our track record shows how bad we are at getting along and leaving people be.

frevaljee,
frevaljee avatar

That sounds like an interesting idea. So this is a blockchain based idea?

How is it implemented? Is there a payout depending on how the predictions turned out to incentivise positive change?

frevaljee, (edited )
frevaljee avatar

Ah, I see. That is quite clever. And I like the idea of implementing it in non-centralised market. This could be an actual use case for those, instead of all those pictures of cats and monkeys.

This would have to scale quite significantly for those betting against climate change to be able to affect it. Like you say, corporations could cooperate and also gain some goodwill. And venture capitalists, or just any investor, could chip in.

I really like the idea of creating direct economic incentives for positive development, at the same time as you insure those that are harmed if it doesn't go so well. And this would also be global and have direct effects, and not sensitive to populist politicians and temporary government investments like climate politics tend to be today.

Edit: spelling

frevaljee,
frevaljee avatar

About the second point, it would be neat if "subs" could federate somehow.

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