Thursday, April 15, 2010

Dumb And Dumber: Two "Vegans" On Eating Oysters

Hello, i have been inspired to write once more..

You may have come across this piece in Slate, where a supposed vegan rationalizes the eating of oysters.

It's really quite inane, and launches off a false premise. I wrote a note to a friend who messaged me about it, and it went a little something like this:
What do i think?


He makes grand assumptions about what veganism is about, and based on those flawed assessments, stitches together an argument which is little more than rationalization to consume something he wants.

Veganism is not entirely centered around 'pain'. This is an extreme and graphic example, but if you cut a cow's spinal column, she can no longer feel pain. Does that make it okay to eat that cow? Or if you don't like that, how about engineering cows who can't feel pain, is that okay then?

Singer might make an argument that is focused around pain, but he's a Utilitarian, which is a clumsy philosophy, imo. It's all about the most happiness for the most people. So 'pain' and 'suffering' are all-important, and individual rights are abolished. (The needs of the many outweigh those of the few..)

With veganism, it's about respecting other animals (as individuals and communities), and challenging exploitative mentalities and the idea that other animals are 'here to be used'.

Cox's article does not address this fundamental aspect of veganism, and were he to try to inject this, i think the argument would fail.

My two cents. =)

I made a few minor edits for public consumption, but that's what i sent a few friends this morning. Then, just a few minutes ago, another friend posted a link to an even dumber take on the issue, no less from the mush-brained Erik Marcus.

EM insists the Slate piece is 'well-written' and 'well-argued'.

Good grief.

Sure, maybe EM might find it so, but the predictable stupidity ensues... EM doesn't try and make a case not to eat oysters on their own merit. Nah-uh. Instead, he focuses on 'sustainability', questioning if the practice is actually sustainable. No EM - this is not the "only glaring weakness" of the article. There are many, and i've addressed the more significant one that relates to veganism.

So no, this "vegan" won't defend oysters on their own merits. Instead, he raises a topic he probably knows NOTHING about (aquaculture impact of oyster farms). Although to be fair, there seem to be few topics EM has demonstrated any real depth or familiarity in. So he blabs on like Karl Pilkington from the Ricky Gervais show, tapping into a massive depth of ignorance to build mind-numbingly stupid narrations.

But this isn't supposed to be a funny and stupid podcast like Gervais. This is supposed to be a part of the vegan movement. The guy couldn't even speak up for oysters. Reading EM's bit doesn't even come close to making a case that there might be something wrong with eating oysters themselves. (And then the dolt touches on making a case for eating eggs!!!)

Erik Marcus - hand over the "" domain name to the Vegan Society of the UK. You've done enough damage already.