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"don't make vegans look bad"

Discussion in 'Animals' started by Sax, Oct 22, 2018.

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  1. Sax
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    Sax Active Member

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    This is a speech by Lauren Gazzola at an animal rights conference advocating for provocative animals rights protests as a means of stimulating public debate. She emphasizes that such protests are intended to act directly on society itself, rather than attempting to convert individuals in an unchanged society.



    "I think we need to recognize that whether we look good or bad is determined by social norms. And those are really useful guides when what we want to do is conform to those norms. But they are really crummy guides when what we want to do is change those norms. I want to argue that we should look bad. When we soften our message, tamp down our protest, speak up less strongly for animals in order to [not] look bad, we sacrifice our efficacy."

    "I think on the contrary we should do more of the things that make us look bad. I think that the only way out of looking bad is through it. If these actions don't make sense our job is not to stop doing them, it is to make them make sense. The way to successfully challenge social norms is to normalize the challenge to them."

    "I think we want to look bad in a very particular way. We want to look bad because we are speaking up strongly for animals. We want to look bad because people are telling us to 'relax, this is not important', and we are responding by saying that it is. If we are told that what we are doing is inconvenient, impolite, inappropriate, laughable, ridiculous, because this issue is not important, because it not an emergency, that is the kind of looking bad we should not shy away from."

    "Even condemnation of what we're doing is helpful. Every time we compel someone to say that animal rights is not important, that is an opportunity for us to say that it is. We need mobilization, and we need people to take sides. Right now you don't need to have a position on animal rights. Compare that to an issue like marriage equality. Do you know anybody who doesn't have a position on that? We need to force people to take sides."
     
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  2. Forest Nymph
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    Forest Nymph Active Member

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    Sing it sister. She's totally right. Similar arguments are now being made mainstream about the environmental movement and climate change as well. There was a recent article in the L.A. Times called "Desperate Environmentalism Doesn't Work" or something like that...and it had the same message, if you want to change social norms but compromise with the other side so much that you basically get a seat at their table but don't create an entirely new table, you're not really winning. We want to change society on a real level, we don't want to just be "accepted" as though we're in the LGBTQ movement and simply seek our own personal dignity (although it's nice to have dignity as a vegan that's not really our main target).

    Apologetic vegans drive me nutso.
     
  3. Lou
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    Lou Active Member

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    When does compromise and tolerance become enabling and appeasement?
     
  4. Forest Nymph
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    Forest Nymph Active Member

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    Tolerance: I won't scream at you or refuse to be your friend just because you eat meat.
    Compromise: I'm glad you're a vegetarian, at least.
    Enabling: Oh you know, to each their own, we all eat different things.
    Appeasement: I'm not one of those crazy vegans, I just want you to like me and think vegans are ok people.
     
  5. Lou
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    Lou Active Member

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    Wow. great job with using the words in a relevant sentence.

    Can you illustrate the difference between sarcasm and irony?
     
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  6. Jamie in Chile

    Jamie in Chile Active Member

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    Great answer!

    Thanks for sharing the speech, very interesting.

    I'll give my thoughts on the speech, but first I want to say I am conscious that she probably has a lot more experience and has thought about all of this more than I have. I have not been in the movement.

    By the way, it seems that she went to jail for campaigning against people working on animal testing in science including targeting individuals in an aggressive way. I couldn't find out the exact details in a google search. Might be worth learning more about exactly what she did before forming too certain of a positive opinion of her.

    I'd say that this speech gives an opinion about which approach is best, but doesn't provide any evidence, and therefore there is a limit to its value. I think there is a need for some real evidence.

    I do think her comment at 7.17 in the video, where she says don't default to the comfortable easy position is a good point. I think she's a good public speaker.

    I do agree with making it a wider debate. Recently (after the latest climate change report), a BBC journalist asked a UK politician if they should advise the public to eat less meat. Of course, she would not do so, but it's a start. There should also come a time when left wing politicians are increasingly openly vegetarian themselves.
     
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  7. Sax
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    Sax Active Member

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    She's arguing for effectiveness - not in converting individuals, but in raising awareness and forcing a debate.

    As she alludes to towards the end, for a long time people didn't have an opinion on marriage equality. Marriage was between a man and a woman - it was so obvious it didn't need saying. That changed when the LGBTQ community began fighting for marriage equality - and the result was that people went from having no opinion to being overwhelmingly against gay marriage. But then those people against gay marriage had children, and those children grew up in a world where marriage equality was debated, and those children are overwhelmingly in favor of it.

    There's probably a point where forcing a debate causes long-term harm to the movement, but I think it would have to be really, really extreme and seen as something embraced by the entire movement.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2018
  8. Lou
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    Lou Active Member

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    That's not the interpretation that I subscribe to. I think up until the Marriage Equality Act, people didn't think they knew any gays. They kept in the closet. they kept their lives secret. After the MEA, they came out of the closet and got married. We went from a society who when asked it you know any gays it was just the couple of wierd guys who live down the street to... let's see, there is Ellen in accounting, and my dentist, and my cousin Shelia, oh and don't forget Barry and Dave from down the street.

    I'm not sure if I want to draw any parallels. but I used to be reluctant to tell people that I was vegan. I kept my head down when people discussed animal rights. (I still do - but not all the time). And the media still mostly portray vegans (on TV and in movies) as a little kooky if harmless (if they even get portrayed at all). And Animal Rights activists ARE considered dangerous by the talking heads and politicians. IMHO, things ARE changing. Thought I think the increasing health consciousness of society and increasing popularity of the WFPB diet and the climate change scientists might get most of the credit.[/QUOTE]
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2018
  9. Nekodaiden

    Nekodaiden Active Member Banned

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    But you think that meat once a month at Grandma's, cheese a couple times a week (because it's really liked), some eggs occasionally for breakfast are all ok, in the sense of being "practicable and possible" when deciding how to label yourself vegan.


    A post you agreed with and the context is clear.

    Got more respect for people who correctly self identify, even if I don't agree with their views, at least it matches their self identity in this area and is honest. So I can say I respect Jamie's correct labeling of his vegetarianism, or semi vegetarianism if his hypothetical is anywhere near his personal reality - even while disagreeing with it.

    But a vegan saying their veganism and it's practicality and being possible means eating meat once a month with grandma, cheese a couple times a week (because they really like it), and eggs on some mornings...

    Isn't a vegan at all. So you should be reluctant, because if this is your attitude, it probably reflects to some extent the reality that you're living - and I do feel it's necessary to point that out to people who may be reading your posts here curious about veganism.
     
  10. Jamie in Chile

    Jamie in Chile Active Member

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    As I said on the other thread, that was just a hypothetical, it's not my personal reality.

    Lou said "agree" to the post where I proposed the what if scenario as a question. It's not clear whether or not Lou's approving that What If scenario by agreeing to that post, which also contained numerous other statements.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2018
  11. Jamie in Chile

    Jamie in Chile Active Member

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    It's not clear to me to what extent marriage equality or women's rights improvements were advanced by aggressive protests that forced people to take a stance. Perhaps it was really achieved by natural societal change, or the more peaceful protestors. Hard to say. And therefore hard to take a lesson from that about how best to promote veganism. Perhaps others that know the history of the LGBT and women's movement better than me might have more of an opinion.

    Some people when they are criticized by a vegan directly for their meat eating will say that because of the aggressive nature of the person and their sucky attitude that they won't consider veganism as a result, or even will eat more meat. However, I think the reality may often be different.

    While the direct protests do cause some risk of negative blow back many people are forced to confront the issue more so than if someone is non-confrontational. If someone says "I eat vegan because of ethical concerns, but it's a personal choice" others at the table have forgotten that the next day or even 5 minutes later. But if someone criticizes you more directly, it is on your mind the next day.

    To be clear, I don't have a preference either way as to which approach is more effective.
     
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  12. rogerjolly
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    rogerjolly Active Member

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    In threads along the lines of “How vegan are you?” a frequently used starting point is to list sins starting at the most outrageous number 1 and working down to the most venial number 10. Great fun can be had with this because of varying levels of absurdity.

    Elsewhere Jamie posted a shortened version of this with just three elements. One was about just having Mondays meatless which I would rank as even worse than a level 1 sin. One was about visiting Gran which I would rank at number 2. And one was about avocados and almonds which I might rank at number 6.

    Above, Nekodaiden quotes sin 2. "What if someone decides the best they can do is meat once a month when they visit their Gran since it's hard to say no to her, cheese a couple of times a week because they really like cheese, and occasionally some eggs for breakfast since they get bored of other stuff from time to time."

    Nekodaiden appears to have interpreted sin 2 as a serious suggestion rather than being just one step down in in a list of unacceptability.

    Lou had given Jamie’s original post in its entirety a thumbs up. Here, Nekodaiden has seized upon sin 2 as if it alone were the entirety and then accuses Lou of blasphemy:

    He then seems to “exonerate” Jamie for sin 2 because of his “honesty” in identifying as vegetarian. By any definition I would guess that Jamie is vegan. In the past he has posted about how easy it is to become 95% vegan but the difficulties lie in attaining the 99% and then the 99.9%. His thesis was that nobody can be completely vegan. Perhaps this is why he identifies himself as vegetarian but that is for him to say. Lou is found guilty because he claims to be vegan but allegedly advocates sin number 2.

    Many of Nekodaiden’s contributions on these forums have been very positive and helpful. Some have been excellent. He has so much to offer but the sourness created by his long running vendetta against Lou creates a very poor atmosphere. It is not at all helpful for the cause we all hold so dear.

    “I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible that you may be mistaken.” Oliver Cromwell.

    Roger.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2018
  13. Nekodaiden

    Nekodaiden Active Member Banned

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    In terms of the question of "what is vegan", I do believe this post doesn't stand alone, but should be taken with some of his others as well. I think he has made it clear that to him it's a relative term that can be applied as a person sees fit. That's dangerous of course, because when doing that, the word loses all meaning. Sure, a person chowing down 3 meat meals a day to 1 is an improvement, but it doesn't describe a person eating a Vegan diet. Maybe it's "good enough", for them. But it's still not Vegan. Lou's attack on the word is high level trolling, in my view. I'm not trying to be mean or just name calling for the sake of it, that's how I see it.

    If you need an example of it, simply check out this post: https://veganforum.org/threads/vegantiarian-sufficiently-vegan.3230/#post-17124

    Full and unedited:
    Where he clearly says the aim isn't really to be Vegan, or as he calls it "maximally Vegan" or "absolutely Vegan". Perfection is the enemy of "good enough" - all his words. And of course "good enough" can still mean knowingly eating animal products (whatever is "feasible"), up to whatever level a person wants to (their "personal ethical balance") (and the kicker) - and still call this diet "Vegan".


    I don't have the power or authority to exonerate anyone, but I meant what I said. I respect honesty, not false labels. Of course I respect the Vegan lifestyle over the Vegetarian one, but I have much more respect for the person who accurately describes their lifestyle than the person who lies about it. So the "Vegan" who identifies as such but still eats animal products knowingly and willingly gets 0 respect for their pronouncement - where as the honest omnivore gets 100% respect for being honest, even if I don't agree with their choices.


    Thank you. But I don't have a "vendetta" against anyone here, including Lou. I am not resentful or trying to get to anyone for personal reasons. But this is a Vegan forum people come to for help and support, and if people come here as newbies and see a seemingly popular person who self identifies as one but advocates a position that allows for willing and knowing animal product eating, then this to me is a pretty open invitation for people to get the wrong idea, hurts the purpose of the forum and Veganism insofar as this forum is concerned.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2018
  14. rogerjolly
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    rogerjolly Active Member

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    J'accuse

    Nekodaiden is dead wrong on all of this.

    Nekodaiden does not admit to his errors in (a) misinterpreting sin 2 as a serious proposition or in (b) accusing Lou of supporting sin 2.

    The “I do believe this post doesn't stand alone” suggests that his sin 2 accusation still stands.

    The “but should be taken with some of his others as well” also suggests that his accusation still stands. Come on, Nikolaiden, be brave. Admit to your total misreading of the situation. Admit that accusing Lou of actually believing that a person committing sin 2 could call themselves vegan was a big mistake.

    Ok. Let’s look at “some of his others as well”. Let’s look at Nekodaiden’s example in the thread Vegantarian in the philosophy section.

    “Where he clearly says the aim isn't really to be Vegan”. This is a gross distortion and total misrepresentation of what was said. Lou said no such thing.

    “or as he calls it "maximally Vegan" or "absolutely Vegan.” These were not “all his words”. They were the words of the author of “Should Vegans Avoid Avocados and Almonds?" and Lou gave the link to that piece.

    “Perfection is the enemy of good enough.” It is reasonable to attribute these words to Lou though pedantically they came from an inspirational quote. In all of this Lou was obviously referring to vegans eating avocadoes and almonds. This was what the post was about and, indeed, it was what the entire thread was about.

    Nikodaiden has effectively twisted a discussion about sin 6 into accusing Lou of thinking that sin 2 is fine for a vegan if that is how they want to define veganism. I am 100% convinced that Lou, and everybody else except Nikodaiden, were discussing sins 6 through to 10. This is where the grey areas lurk. It is here where it can be "good enough". It is here where the “personal ethical balance” can be made. The “really important” bits of veganism are higher up the scale.

    It is only Nikodaiden who can possibly believe that Lou is as described. It is surely time that he leaves behind this obsession of his and concentrates on the many positive contributions he can make.

    “Vegetable rights and peace, man.” Neil in the BBC series The Young Ones.

    My current candidate for sin 10 is not supporting hippy Neil in his vegetable rights campaign. :)

    Roger.
     
  15. Sax
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    Sax Active Member

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    I'd prefer if @Veganite deleted off-topic posts instead of locking whole threads. Maybe next time people won't spend time breathing life into unrelated drama.

    There is a philosophy forum for talking about what is and isn't vegan. Let's not pollute anymore threads with this nonsense.
     
  16. Nekodaiden

    Nekodaiden Active Member Banned

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    You've applied a context that is assumed rather than present. Jamie put forth a hypothetical (which he has already called as such in this thread) of eating cheese because it's really liked, eggs some mornings and meat at grandmas once a month.

    What was that context?

    It's post #9 in that thread: https://veganforum.org/threads/vegantiarian-sufficiently-vegan.3230/#post-16999 where Jamie is responding to a direct quote.

    NOT the context you are falsely applying to it.

    Insofar as intent in communication, if I quote an author I agree with, then I am adopting their words, so that they become mine as well. Their actual origin does not matter. This difference, however, isn't something I'd feel the need to explain to someone engaging in honest dialogue, though.
     
  17. Jamie in Chile

    Jamie in Chile Active Member

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    I think it's unfair to call Lou a troll.

    Other than that, I'm going to avoid chiming in any more for now. I think this thread is going more the way of an argument than a productive discussion.
     
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  18. Sax
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    Sax Active Member

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    You're all trolling yourselves.

    Take this **** elsewhere.
     
  19. Veganite
    Meh

    Veganite Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I can appreciate what you're saying, and trust me, I'm no stranger to forums, but in these situations I feel a thread edit would not be sufficient. Like this thread, for example - it's gone off the rails much like the other one. The discussion is no longer relevant or interesting to anyone. Furthermore, name calling and finger pointing is not going to fly here. Until it stops I will continue closing threads. Take this poo somewhere else, like PM.
     
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