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Vegantiarian - sufficiently vegan?

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by Vesta, Oct 28, 2018.

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  1. Vesta
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    Vesta Member

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    Hi All,

    With this recent media scare about avocados not being vegan I read a really interesting blog on the Conversation which uncovered different ethical positions about where one should draw the line - to eat avocados or not.

    What's your stance? Does this information prompted you to avoid/consume less avocados and almonds?

    I felt really inspired to research further and composed a short blog entry on Medium but instead of boasting about it - I'm really curious what everyone thinks about this interesting concept of being "sufficiently vegan" or "good enough vegan"?

    Look forward to reading your replies :)
     
  2. Forest Nymph
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    Forest Nymph Active Member

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    HAHAHAHAHA.

    Oh my gosh. *cries with laughter* You do know bees have to pollinate all veggies? So do bats. It's what they do. That BBC host is an *******. I can't believe this is even a thing. It's not "exploitation" to live on Earth, where pollinators pollinate trees, flowers and plant-food.

    This is why we need science in schools. As a science major, I'm appalled people don't understand how the world works. It's close to not knowing where babies come from. Yes, your vegetables come from bees and bats, oh my god.

    Stealing the honey from bees is one thing, eating the fruits of the land they naturally pollinate is entirely another.

    The human race would die without bees. No really. When the bees go, we go. It's not just avocados and almonds.

    Almonds in fact use less water than dairy, and even less than soy, they're just water intensive compared to say, oranges.

    All of this stuff is propaganda, it's to try to get people to not be vegan, it's to bully people out of vegan ethics, these are Trolly McTrollerson Troll arguments from meat eaters. It's garbage.
     
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  3. Forest Nymph
    Wishful

    Forest Nymph Active Member

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    My roommate who is also vegan who has a keen interest in botany just looked at me with really wide eyes when I told her this was a thing, and she's like...how can people even ...what? She told me not to waste any energy on it. I pass on her advice to you as well.
     
  4. Lou
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    Lou Active Member

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    the key terms is the word "naturally".

    Commercial beekeeping is not "natural"
    Califonia almonds and California avocados are not pollinated naturally, but almost exclusively by commercial bees.

    Something like 3/4 of the worlds almond trees are now in California, about 130 million almond trees. About 1.3 million acres

    The time period for pollination is only about 3 weeks. And each flower has to be pollinated by a bee. and it might take several bee visits to make sure the flower is fertilized. California produces a million tons of almonds each year.

    "In 2006, a million beehives were loaded onto trucks and brought to California to work for the almond growers. That is around 40 billion honey bees. Half of all the honey bees in the USA, trucked from all across the nation to perform slave-labor in California's almond orchards."
    http://almondsarenotvegan.com

    (I think as of now its more like 75% of all the US's honey bees are trucked to Califonia in February. )

    I'm not going to go into the living and working conditions of commercial bees. but I think no matter how you cut it - it meets the criteria of exploitation.

    And its neither here nor there to this argument but it takes almost a gallon of water to produce an almond. And almost 1000 gallons to produce a gallon of almond milk. But only about 200 gallons to make a gallon of soy milk. (2000 gallons to make a gallon of cow's milk).

    Almond groves are now the #2 consumer of water in California. Dairy is still number one.

    https://shamelesshousewife.wordpress.com/tag/how-much-water-does-it-take-to-make-a-gallon-of-milk/
    https://www.greenoptimistic.com/milk-problem-environment-20140908/#.W9YL36fMzOQ
     
  5. Lou
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    Lou Active Member

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  6. Lou
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    Lou Active Member

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    Up until now, I have refrained from stating my opinion on this. But I have been thinking about it for quite a while.

    When i first started becoming vegan I hated this kind of discussion. I felt it was a distraction from more important issues and problems. Back then most of my attention was focused on questions like
    Is soy healthy or not?
    How much protein do I really need?
    How can I make tofu taste good?
    What supplements do I really need?
    Are grains good or bad? Nuts?
    How much fat do i need?
    What is the correct amount of carbs? Fats? protein?
    Raw veggies or Cooked veggies? which is healthier?
    What is the name of that red dye that is made from beetle wings?
    Which beers and wines are vegan?
    I could go on.....and on.... and on....

    So I saw discussions or arguments about honey, insects, bivalves, etc as just distractions. Unimportant. I needed to focus on the important stuff.

    For the most part, I have answered all those questions. and now maybe with some attention to spare, I find the more existential questions, like "what is sufficiently vegan" interesting and worth thinking about.

    So first off, and I may get myself in trouble here but I think "sufficiently vegan" is a personal choice. I get to decide what it is for me. You get to decide what it is for you. My only condition is that YOU should put some thought into it. I have.

    The definition of veganism includes the words "practical and possible". But what are those? what I think is practical you might think is not. Until someone creates some kind of algorithm that calculates the costs and benefits - who can say? I say that it is up to each vegan to decide. So sufficiently vegan is different for each person.

    Next thing is how I feel about avocados and almonds. Years ago I decided that I could eat honey if it came from a local beekeeper. I bought a 2 oz jar a few years ago - so I think I maybe have a couple of teaspoons a year. I find it pretty effective when my throat is sore. Also since I live in Califonia I was at least peripherally aware of the commercial bee industry. When I drive out to the Sierras I pass hundreds of new acres of almond trees.

    But until I read some of those "Are almonds Vegan?" articles, I hadn't really thought about it. And now that I am thinking about it, I have decided to not buy almonds and avocados for a while. Actually, I hardly bought almonds before. And avocados had become so expensive around here that I had really cut down. So the "cost" to me isn't that great anyway. Giving up almonds and avocados is not a very big sacrifice for me. Other crops - it might be another story.

    Other vegans might not agree with me on those things. and that's cool. just as long as they stop and think about it. And don't call me "not vegan enough".
     
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  7. Forest Nymph
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    Forest Nymph Active Member

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    Lou, without commercial beekeeping there might not be any bees eventually. I'm sure you know that. That's not the fault of vegans, it's the fault of Monsanto, of people using RoundUp, and illnesses that have spread through corporate conditions.

    So, Lou, this poses the question of whether you'd like humane local beekeeping or the death of most life on earth, literally.

    Furthermore, if you focus so much on this you stop calling yourself vegan, you are indeed falling for propaganda. The "if you can't be perfect you should just have a steak" argument is a logical fallacy, and it is an argument meat eaters use for their pitiful defenses of their mindless selfish actions.

    Finally I'm pretty sure the city of Los Angeles is the biggest waste of water in California, or the oil drilling going on in CA. Tons of water is wasted on LA and oil.

    Almonds are partly the second biggest use of water in California because California is known for its almonds. It's really not that hard to think this through but it might be advisable to use actual scientific articles instead of some housewife blog.
     
  8. Forest Nymph
    Wishful

    Forest Nymph Active Member

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    FWIW, I don't even drink almond milk regularly because I prefer soy and hemp, though I like almonds occasionally.

    This isn't personal for me. I don't buy honey either but my academic background demands I face reality, not the most recent lame, personal purity vegan guilt trip.

    A 2018 cost benefit analysis in terms of both economy and nutrition was done, and almonds came out innocent. It's a pseudo-science argument to scapegoat almonds for the CA drought. Yes dairy is bigger but it's not just that...read Cadillac Desert LA shouldn't even exist and oil uses so much water it's heartbreaking.

    This study explained almonds.
    Read it: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1470160X17308592
     
  9. Jamie in Chile

    Jamie in Chile Active Member

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    I don't think this argument holds across the whole spectrum. Presumably you wouldn't accept someone saying meatless Mondays is the best they can do?

    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. Is that OK?

    I do think though that when it comes to things like avocados and almonds, and even stuff like cake at a birthday party and choc chip cookies, and non-vegan pasta and bread, that all of those things should fall into the group of things we shouldn't be criticizing (especially not in an emotional or aggressive way), and just leaving up to the individual to decide.

    Also, Forest Nymph, I don't think anyone is saying that naturally pollinated foods are not vegan. We are talking about things like keeping insects, shipping them around the country, treating them badly, and even killing them in huge numbers when it's economic to do so at the end of the season.
     
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  10. Nekodaiden

    Nekodaiden Active Member Banned

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    Ok for what? If a person willingly and knowingly eats animals or their by-products they aren't practicing Veganism, and should not call themselves one - that is - until they make the conscious choice to avoid them. Maybe that means telling grandma meat isn't "ok" for them, and if that's all that there is, they won't be sharing it with her. It also might mean that one really lacks in imagination if eggs are the only thing you can think of to stave of food "boredom".

    I regularly eat with meat eaters. I do not apologize for the way I eat, and if they really want to get into it with me, I'll let em know what I think. Most are too chicken-sh.it to have that conversation, because they sense I'll destroy them with the science, and they'd rather live in ignorance. So I don't criticize until the topic is opened. But if the topic is what it means to be a Vegan - damn right it's worth criticism. Vegan products do not contain animals or their by-products - to compromise on this means to compromise the very definition of Vegan.

    When it comes to the question of "is it Vegan or not", it is simply a question of whether it is an animal, or an animal by-product. Meat, eggs, milk and honey are all either animals or animal by products. Avocados and almonds are not by products in the sense that honey is, as bees are necessary for a very wide variety of plant foods. Even if the bees are misused by certain agricultural interests to produce greater amounts of these products. They are still (unlike meat, eggs, milk and honey) of the plant kingdom are are therefore acceptable as Vegan foods. If you think it is unethical to eat them, that's fine. It has nothing to do with them still being Vegan foods. Just practice those ethics without tying it to the word Vegan.


    What gets me about this conversation (although I'm really not surprised), is that it seems there are some persons here that are all too willing to decry the horror of avocados and almonds because they MAY have been produced using bee manipulation or outright misuse - but it's just fine and dandy to eat meat at Grandmas or egg's because you're bored or non Vegan pastas and other products because it's just too hard.

    And in saying that, I'm not actually criticizing you, Jamie. I see you list as a vegetarian. Rather, the person who approves of your post, who lists as a vegan. But maybe I'm being too militant again? I'm about ready to leave this forum for a real vegan forum that doesn't allow trolls who flatter their way into positions of influence.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2018
  11. rogerjolly
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    Unfortunately when the general population think “bee” they equate it with “honey bee”. And, even worse, many of them equate “honey bee” with “captive honey bee”. In fact only about five percent of bee species make honey. And many of them do not even live communally. But if you google “bee” it is rare to find honey not emphasised.

    A humble bumble does far more good as a pollinator than any “honey bee” but the honey bee gets all the press.

    Furthermore when most people think “pollination” they think only “bees” and completely disregard the millions of other insects who do a wonderful job not to mention birds and mammals.

    Because of humankind pollinators are in big trouble. Part of the problem is caused by huge scale monoculture. The pollinators and pollinated start off prospering in perfect harmony. Then the huge acreages of almonds arrive to replace the plant diversity. They blossom for only a few weeks so the pollinators have a hard time finding food for the rest of the season and they suffer a decline. So commercial bees have to be brought in for the almond to crop. These “get in - get out quick” visitors arrival in huge numbers and scoop up the vast majority of the short term bonanza pollen. The local pollinators suffer even more.

    We are making a right mess of the world are we not? :(

    Please also see my thread about pollinators in the Environment section.

    Roger.
     
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  12. Jamie in Chile

    Jamie in Chile Active Member

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    In response to the question "OK for what" I meant would it be OK to do the things described (e.g. occasional egg and cheese usage) and for a person to describe themselves as "sufficiently vegan". Or is Lou's "sufficiently vegan" concept just something to be applied to other questions like avocados and almonds.

    The occasional meat at grandma's and cheese and eggs was part of a hypothetical "what if" situation, I wasn't describing what I do.
     
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  13. Lou
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    Lou Active Member

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    The "sufficiently vegan" term and the"Vegantarian" term, I believe comes from the author on Should Vegans Avoid Avocados and Almonds?"
    I posted the link at the bottom.
    I also will post the thread I started on this topic at the bottom.

    To quote myself, " IMHO we don't need a new word and I'm pretty sure what he describes as a Vegantarian is just an average vegan (one who eats avocados and almonds). I did like his conclusion - that in allowing vegans to find their own " personal ethical balance" may allow for more people to choose to be vegan.

    And from the author's last paragraph.
    "Taking a similar "sufficientarian" approach to the ethics of avoiding animal products, the aim is not to be absolutely vegan, or maximally vegan, but to be sufficiently vegan – to make as much effort as feasible to reduce harm to animals for the sake of our diet – we could call this a "vegantarian" diet. For some people this may mean choosing to avoid Californian avocados, but others may find their personal ethical balance at a different point. What is more, accepting and embracing all these variations may provide room for more people to adopt or sustain a vegan lifestyle."

    This reminds me of an Inspirational Quote I saw in someone's office a while back

    "Perfection is the enemy of good enough"

    For more on this concept check out this article.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perfect_is_the_enemy_of_good



    https://phys.org/news/2018-10-vegans-avocados-almonds.html
    https://veganforum.org/threads/should-vegans-avoid-avocados-and-almonds.3166/#post-16655
     
  14. Nekodaiden

    Nekodaiden Active Member Banned

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    And maybe that “personal ethical balance” means eating meat at Grandma’s once a month, cheese a few times a week (simply because it’s liked), and eggs on some mornings.



    “Are you Vegan”

    “Why yes”

    “I see you’re eating an egg”

    “And?”
    “Well that’s not vegan”

    “It fits within my personal ethical balance. For me, it’s Vegan”

    The quickest way for a word to become meaningless is to attack it’s definition and make it personally relative.


    In other words, to hold a label that means nothing because it’s all up the individual and their “personal ethical balance”. Within this context, anyone can call themselves a Vegan even if they are purposely and routinely eating animal products. They’re “good enough” or “sufficient” enough to identify as Vegan, because their “aim” isn’t to actually completely avoid animal products in their diet – just hold a label that describes them as ethical and making some kind of effort. An effort that can quickly collapse in the presence of cheese, eggs and grandma’s roast, which was the hypothetical Jamie made and you agreed with in the other thread.

    Gotcha, Lou.

    Between the routine butt kissing of active members, the quoting of good vegan literature (such as from the likes of Dr Gregor) and then the mixing in of stuff like this I think it is safe to say I am witnessing a Masterful Troll at work.
     
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  15. Veganite
    Meh

    Veganite Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm not sure what you're talking about, but this is a bit troll like in itself. We may not agree on everything here on the forum, but resorting to accusations and name calling is totally uncalled for.
     
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  16. Nekodaiden

    Nekodaiden Active Member Banned

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    I'm sorry. Nobody's trolling. Avocados are questionable and meat, eggs and cheese are definitely "sufficiently Vegan" if a person wants them to be. If it was Consistency, he'd be banned already. Consistency was pushing the envelope with misinformation and boarderline pushing meat, but he didn't flatter people from what I remember. But he was definitely a troll. I'm not going to change my opinion just because Lou is more likeable than Consistency. I notice he's also in your age range and I assume that's the reason you and Roger jumped on me in my thread - it's another insecurity he's playing on.
     
  17. Veganite
    Meh

    Veganite Super Moderator Staff Member

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    @Nekodaiden

    This has nothing to do with liking anyone or being in a similar age group. Calling people a troll or butt kisser is inappropriate...that simple. My job is simply to moderate the forum. If you haven't noticed, I am very careful about censoring threads. I give everyone an equal opportunity to post with a little couth. You can get all the same points across without calling someone a butt kisser or troll. It just makes you look like the troll.

    I honestly take no pleasure in closing threads, but since this has gone off the rails, there's no point in continuing this sort discussion. Any further comments of this nature can surely be taken to PM.
     
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