Fun-Sized Advice

On fun-sized advice

How do you ethically defend eating meat? I do too, but I’m conflicted about it all the time.
I don’t defend eating meat with an ethical argument. The argument against eating meat has the ethical high ground. I defend eating meat simply by saying it’s delicious, which it is, and I accept the fact that I am not ethically pure in that regard.

I’m 29, does that mean I’m a millennial? It’s confusing, it seems like these labels are very American-centric but they travel (thank you globalization) and still apply to an extent.
Yes. You are a Millennial. Not that firm borders exist, but typically, anyone born between 1961 and 1979 is considered Generation X, anyone born between 1980 and 2001 is a Millennial, and anyone born between 1977-1983 is a Gen X/Millennial cusper.

I’m scared I’m going to drink myself to death.
Maybe it’s time for rehab. You sound ready. Go get some help.

Honestly, do you think Hillary Clinton would win against Trump if the election were held, as it were, tomorrow??
Of course. Hillary would destroy Trump. It would be a double-digit landslide win.

My mother told me that if I vote for Bernie Sanders she’s “never going speak to [me] again.”
The proper response to that is, “Challenge accepted.”

Why is it that everywhere I look, I only see signs of how much of a failure I am?
Because that’s what you want to see.

I can think of a thousand reasons why but I want to know, why don’t you give parenting advice?
People don’t ask me about their children.

How honest are you about your life here that people know well can find this blog and not know it’s you?
The things I write about my life are honest, but I’m a trickster with the details. It’s necessary to protect my anonymity. Still, as Tony Montana once said, “I always tell the truth, even when I lie.”

So why did you change your style? Lose your brutality? You’re boring now.
The rest of us grew up a little. If you’re bored, feel free to fuck off.

You suddenly stopped writing as much. Does this mean you found someone?
Those of you paying attention to what week it is will understand why I’m busy.

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168 thoughts on “On fun-sized advice

  1. VeryON says:

    โ€œnever going speak to [me] again.โ€

    Consider these:
    “You’re the reason we have secret ballots.”
    “How will you know?”
    “Is that all it takes? I wish he’d run sooner.”
    “I won’t talk to you ever again if you don’t.”

    To be honest, “how will you know?” seems like the most appropriate response. It forces them to live in a state of uncertainty until they tire of it and real life priorities take over.

    I’m only responding actively to this because my parents are horrifying FOX zombies and I can totally relate. I had to set the boundary at “you have your opinion and I have mine.” Otherwise my father would dive straight into denigration and I would defend by clawing at his fragile grasp of reality which only causes him to dig in deeper.

    “Dad, nobody has ever held up a liquor store with a bag of pot!”

    • Perspectivator says:

      It’s not the misery and suffering that’s delicious, it’s the millions of years of evolution that made us enjoy it. No sane person would choose to torture their food if presented with equal taste and value. I hope you can put enough steak sauce on your moral superiority because I know from personal experience it doesn’t grill well.

    • Anna says:

      There is no fucking way one individual person can affect the global amount of suffering and torture and waste; it doesn’t matter how vegan or eco friendly you are, change in your individual actions doesn’t affect change in the world.
      That isn’t to say one shouldn’t live by one’s own personal morals, or that cultural diffusion of ideas isn’t a thing.
      I was a vegetarian for 18 months, and it was unsustainable. I couldn’t find enough veggie foods where I lived and being prone to iron-deficient anemia, I was suffering from the lack of nutrients.
      Now I’ve returned to my usual way of life which is eating small to moderate amounts of meat 2/3 times a week. I mostly cook my own food which is a lot of South Asian fusion cuisine (bc of my mom) and it is mostly vegetarian.
      All that to say that vegan lobbying shouldn’t be a thing, and that generalized health education and economically stable and ethical food production are more important than promoting a largely unsustainable lifestyle.

      • TVcasualty says:

        Not trying to be antagonistic or be a morally superior dick but you can totally get enough iron from plant-based food. I thought I would be a miserable withering waif if I stopped eating most meat(I’m an infrequent pescaterian and am frequently a miserable anemic bitch) but I’ve found it’s easily sustainable if you live anywhere that has vegetables (obviously). As long as I have spinach, potatoes, beans and mushrooms I’m physiologically good. As far as the ethics go for me, I feel that if it is possible to sustain yourself without eating something derived from death, why not do it? Or try to do it most of the time at least. A lot of the time people just use meats as vehicles for sauces/breading anyway. The only thing I will occasionally indulge in now is some sashimi because that is truly tasty on its own. I think a lot of what fuels vegan/vegetarian anger is when meat eaters are just gross about it like insisting on wrapping everything in bacon or eating a fucking live octopus which is just torture. I also am really bugged by the way some restaurants handle lobster (catching them then starving them in a tank overlooking booths of people ripping their ancestors apart). I mean for fuck’s sake I feel like if you have a heart you should at least view meat as a treat and not as this gross celebration of death, gluttony and indigestion. Oh and I only replied because your statement “change in your individual actions doesnโ€™t affect change in the world” I think is kind of the ethical equivalent of “might as well” which just kind of freaks me out.

        • J Lynn says:

          You sound hungry. Try some hard returns (paragraph breaks). That many people need to eat meat for health is in no way a slippery slope to devouring live octopus. What works for you may not work for others.

          • TVcasualty says:

            My return buttons broken ya douche and nowhere did I inject a slippery slope statement. You sound uncomfortably full.

          • J Lynn says:

            Alas I am not uncomfortably full! Time for dessert (no meat in that). Sorry I got on your case about paragraph breaks. It made your comment seem ranty and that’s part of what I was reacting to. For me, the important part is not being wasteful with the meat one does eat. And if you have means to, supporting less cruel and less polluting forms of animal farming and production.

          • TVcasualty says:

            I read your whole post. I was just disagreeing with your claim that a meatless diet is “largely unsustainable.” I was just sharing my experience with anemia and going mostly vegetarian. Also your thought that no individual action affects change is problematic. This is the same sentiment people espousr to defend littering or not voting or against doing small-scale socially responsible acts in any form. That is all. Sorry you were antagonized.

      • Rose says:

        So, I feel like an asshole just for interjecting here, but: while I totally agree that one person doesn’t have an impact, we do all influence people in our lives. A few years after I stopped eating meat my parents started to consider vegetarianism (mostly for health reasons, but they noticed I wasn’t anemic, which helped) and they cut way back on meat. Many of my friends have cut back over the years as well, partly because we all have vegetarian friends, and the conversations just come up. Of course, many people choose, or have to eat meat, but a lot of people cut back a little once they become aware of the ethical and environmental issues.

        I’m not delusional, and I know it would take more than individual boycotting to change the meat industry for the better. I’m not saying every should, or can stop eating meat entirely, but I just wanted to make that point.

        • Anna says:

          You aren’t being an asshole, you just really need to talk about yourself.
          I adressed you’re concern in my original comment, how much did you actually read?

          • Rose says:

            To be completely honest, this popped up on my feed very late at night, and I was very drunk when I responded. However, just I re-read your comment, and I’m still not seeing where we expressed the same thoughts.

          • M says:

            (@Anna)
            You spent your entire comment talking about your opinion and supplementing it with an anecdotal experience. Allow others to do the same.

            For example, in my opinion there’s nothing egotistical about making a personal choice that aligns with your ethical beliefs, provided you do not push it onto others.

            Also yeah, I’m sorry you had issues with it but it’s not difficult (for most people) to get iron without meat. Vegetarian for 6+ years. No issues. Added benefit: I did lose weight though and look far more attractive.

          • Rose says:

            I thought it was a little weird that she was suddenly annoyed by my anecdotal response to her anecdotes.

            I just recently, after about eight years of not eating meat, had issues for the first time. A combination of dieting, exercising, and perhaps it being winter led to what I think was a protein deficiency. But it only took a couple days to figure out what was wrong and to start introducing more protein rich food into my diet. It’s really not that hard. Although, I will acknowledge it’s not for everyone. I have friends who need to eat a ton to stay at a healthy weight, and some friends who just can’t eat that much, so they need small amounts of very protein-rich food.

      • monkeycat says:

        Individual change most certainly can change the world. Perhaps not everyone in the world, but as far as world trends go it’s pretty doable. People used to laugh at me when I first started making my own cleaning products, but even the old farts are now buying green. If the majority moves for the better, I call that world changing. I’ve been a vegetarian for 8-9 years (can’t remember anymore) but I can attest that some people don’t know what to cook outside of some basic things. I found Pinterest to be an excellent source for ideas. I went from eating over the sink something quick, to making amazing food (mostly pretty quick).

          • TVcasualty says:

            Yeah plants are living thanks. The issue wasn’t living vs. unliving or inevitability of death. My whole point is that the current amount of suffering and environmental destruction (caused by raising livestock purely for slaughter) is disproportionate to our needs for survival. It’s really not a necessary evil at this point it’s just gotten gross. I don’t care if you eat meat. I take issue with the argument that the current system is somehow necessary or natural; it’s obviously not.

          • VeryON says:

            It definitely is no longer necessary. It will be a great day when we can grow the meat in vats effectively.

            I would pick at the point “isn’t natural.” And that was my point earlier. Though honestly, “natural” is really difficult to frame.

            A lot of us are reducing our meat consumption and it doesn’t matter why. We just get irritated when vegans say, “I didn’t eat a hamburger.” and it sounds like, “You eat babies raw!”

          • WhoAmI says:

            Yeah, you can actually survive on a diet of milk, blood and honey ; it’s the closest thing to a animal death-free, pain-free diet. Some idiots will tell you milking and harvesting honey are torture but they don’t know better.

          • Rainbowpony says:

            Arg. I have to jump in. :p

            Everything dies. Everything feels pain. You can’t stop it.

            The question is whether something suffers, which is prolonged pain. It’s an important distiction.

          • WhoAmI says:

            Yep. That’s why I said “the closest thing”.
            For a diet to be perfectly free of all of this, other animal species should all go extinct, or suddenly become immortal and unable to feel pain. It’s all about keeping it to the bare minimum.

          • CharChar says:

            Milk directly supports the veal industry. This is fact. And milk derived from cows on factory farms also does include very inhumane conditions and practices. Also fact. Small farms are often very different, of course, and if you do your research you can certainly find farms that treat their cows well, but most folks don’t get their milk that way.

            Do what you will with that info, but calling people idiots does not actually change reality.

          • WhoAmI says:

            As you are pointing out yourself with your ‘facts’, the problem is not with the milking but with the industrial process surrounding it. It’s almost as if modern industry’s way of working is the problem (!)

          • Kait says:

            If you cared about plants, you’d still stop eating meat. Way more plants are bred to feed livestock than goes directly to consumers. This argument is such a fallacy. Hate “plant suffering”? Then stop demanding meat, which is raised on plants.

          • WhoAmI says:

            Said plants are also raised on animal leftovers, smart ass.
            Think twice before you throw the word fallacy like that.

      • CharChar says:

        The issue isn’t just death. It’s suffering. Plants do not have central nervous systems. And even if you do choose to eat meat and believe it is ethical to do so, the way we harvest meat in the modern world is absolutely horrific. Watch a video or two on factory farming practices, then see if you can reasonably compare it to growing vegetables and grains while maintaining a shred of intellectual honesty.

        • Gaybeard says:

          Ethics don’t really mesh well with being the apex species of a planet. The harsh reality is that we’re the only game in town and we bend all life on Earth to our will and our whim. We are an innately brutal species.

          Of course I agree with reducing suffering, curtailing the worst excesses of industrial harvesting, continuing to look for better and better options, etc. However, I don’t think we should lose sight of the fact that we will never succeed in making ourselves pure, that our biological engineering through evolution all but precludes this possibility. There will never be a world in which we are not culpable in the suffering of hundreds of millions. Hopefully we will be able to reverse course on many of the destructive processes we are responsible for and find a way to harvest our planet in equilibrium with nature (without giving up all that we’ve built). But, I think from a philosophical perspective there is something extremely dangerous and arrogant in forgetting who we are and, as a result, attempting to deny our animal nature. If we owe the world our stewardship, it’s not because we’re evolved enough to rule over it, but because we recognize our fundamental kinship to all other animals and take on the responsibility for the sustainable care of all life.

          • WhoAmI says:

            Humans are no apex species, honey. we’re right under first rank carnivores at best. Closest to vultures and crows, to be honest.

          • WhoAmI says:

            Our prime hunting tactic is to follow our prey until it exhausts itself before us (very vulture-y).
            We are very good at digesting gamey meat, raw meat not so much. Pretty scavenger-y.
            We have very resilient bodies overall, again like scavengers or opportunists.
            Our teeth and jaw and skull are now very far from those of carnivorous species (note that we don’t have the digestive track of herbivorous species either)
            We are very good at crafting and using tools, which is typical scavenger behaviour.

            All in all we have nothing of an apex predator. Us developing tools that can kill most life forms on earth doesn’t mean shit in that regard (although it’s certainly how we got where we are now, with a small chunk of the population safe from most fundamental harms).

          • Gaybeard says:

            Oh sweetie, I know how fashionable it is to be cynical about human development, but our status relative to other life on this planet is not in doubt. If all the species we’re driving to extinction could communicate, they would agree.

            The only predators who prey on humans are other humans.

            “An apex predator, also known as an alpha predator, super predator, top predator or top-level predator, is a predator residing at the top of a food chain upon which no other creatures prey.[n 1][1][2] Apex predators are usually defined in terms of trophic dynamics, meaning that apex-predator species occupy the highest trophic level or levels and play a crucial role in maintaining the health of their ecosystems”

          • WhoAmI says:

            Yes, and by trophic levels, we are no apex predator.
            Says the whole field of biology.
            It’s not even debatable at this point, it’s been calculated over and over and over.
            Human society is a safe spot for us, but when you’re deep in the woods and you see bear footprints, you’d better step away carefully.

            I’m not being cynical here (or in life in general really). Maybe a bit morbidly factual, but then again we don’t pay the biology department just for them to give funny names to new tropical species.

  2. J Lynn says:

    Re meat: Lots of menstruating women are prone to anemia. The iron in red meat is much more easily absorbed and used by the body than the iron in supplements or the small amounts found in some plants. That’s an ethical argument in favor of eating red meat in response to your cravings.

    • Kate says:

      Fortunately we live in a time where the vast majority of women don’t need to be menstruating. With an IUD I have 1 day of light spotting a month which isn’t anything like enough to mess with my iron levels (which were low even before I became a vegetarian).

      • J Lynn says:

        It’s true that periods can be optional with some forms of hormonal BC and it’s good to get the word out! It can be very convenient. I assume you are using the new-ish Skyla (hormonal) or similar. Last I looked into it, the traditional non-hormonal copper IUD means the same or heavier periods.

        Still, a lot of people can’t take hormonal BC for various reasons and others don’t want to; sometimes the side effects aren’t worth it, other times it’s unaffordable, and sometimes people want to get pregnant. Your comment sort of reads like women should go on hormonal BC in order to not need to eat meat, and that any woman could or even should be a vegetarian, if only she were willing to alter her hormones for the sake of animals. I trust that’s not what you meant, but it could be read that way.

        • Barefootsie says:

          Another thing to consider is that IUDs may not be affordable for a lot of folks. Even through Planned Parenthood. They’ll usually put you on the pill before they put that on you. I got it 90% covered through my guild insurance and still had to pay a decent amount.

          Different things work for different people. If people are considering cutting back, try more moderate steps, like a Meatless Monday, and see how you fare.

    • Mango says:

      Yeah, gonna have to jump in here and just disagree with this premise entirely. While an IUD may work for you, they are far from a solution, as they fuck with a lot of women’s systems. I have had both copper and hormonal IUDs; copper makes you bleed worse so that’s out (and I’m assuming you’re referring to the hormonal one anyway). The hormonal one causes so many problems for many women, myself included. I had to remove it because I lost hair, gained 15 pounds in 4 weeks (and I am a very healthy athlete), and caused severe bouts of moodiness. Oh and hormonal pills gave me seizures.

      We aren’t advanced in that area yet. It just can’t be applied to this situation at all.

  3. Anna says:

    Gosh, if that’s the NY fashion week that was indeed being mentioned, bon courage ! Unless it’s already over… I must admit I have no idea.
    In regard to the change of style, this is obviously a topic that has come to my attention and probably to those of many long time readers. From my perspective it feels like Coquette has changed and allowed us to witness that change. So many internet personalities go from a person to a brand it’s honestly refreshing to Coquette doing the opposite.
    Also, I think deep down I’ve always had the soul of a 37 yo so I kind of appreciate the change in content and style, although there are older pieces of advice I continue to treasure.

  4. Sel says:

    I’m a biologist, and one thing my education taught me is that ethics applied to fundamental biological processes (like eating) are a waste of goddamn time. Living takes life, both literally and figuratively. Everything that lives does so at the cost of other living things. For each one of us alive, there are an unknowable number of living things that can’t live, or won’t live, or will die as a result of our existence. There is no such thing as zero impact.

    Is industrialized agriculture fucked up? Hell yeah, and I’ll never argue that. It should be changed. But I’m not going to agonize over the fact that the business of life is fundamentally ugly.

  5. erica says:

    “The rest of us grew up a little. If youโ€™re bored, feel free to fuck off.”

    So much this.

    And I’m 32, so while I’m a cusper, I definitely identify as genx. My single parent was a boomer that had me late in life (at that time, I was the oldest) and my older cousins were my biggest influences.

    Fuck millenials. They piss me off. They don’t live in the real world at all. All a bunch of idealists and entitled arrogant fucking brats. Thinking they’re gonna change the world. Well they are, I suppose, since every generation leaves its impact somehow..

    See, I live up to the typical cynical middle-child genxer mentality. We all accept we’re mostly fucked. We’ve seen the economy in the shitter for 15 yrs (the bbc just did a neat article “why are Americans so angry?” I highly recommend and it discusses this) and watched our hardworking parents and grandparents lose their 401ks and more… and now all the focus is on the retiring boomers and the millenials and we, like the latch key kids we were, are once again just ignored, forgotten about and left behind.

    Anyway. Just some real world thoughts from your average cynical genxer.

    • Kate says:

      I’m the same way. I’m 35 and my step-siblings are 9, 12, and 15 years older and I have cousins their age so even though I’m a cusper I feel more like I’m gen x (and some people draw the line at Reagan’s presidency in which case I am). My husband is just 2 years younger than me but because he was the oldest we have some hugely different frames of reference for some things (pop culture for one).

    • unicornsrpeople2 says:

      If it helps, many of us millenials will also be forgotten and left behind. We came of age into a bad economy and many of us will never recover the lost opportunities and potential savings. So we’re all fucked ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Nina says:

      The entitlement and arrogance of the Millenials can’t hold a candle to the entitlement and arrogance of the Baby Boomers. They had to learn it from someone.

      • Barefootsie says:

        And there were tons of column inches devoted to the entitlement of Gen X-ers. Just seems to me like older editors trying to sell papers based on readership aging and wanting kids to get off their lawn. But there are basic attitudes that can apply to any age group.

    • CharChar says:

      I’m a cusper as well (1978) who also identifies more as gen x, but I have to say that I find any and all variations of “these kids today are soft and entitled and don’t live in reality. Why, in MY day…” to be patently ridiculous. People always say shit like that about the generation that follows them. You can find ancient writings that express the exact same sentiment. And also, if you remember, everyone was saying the same thing about gen x 2o years ago.

    • Brynn says:

      “I’ve grown cynical and complacent, and you should, too!”

      Do you lack the perspective to grasp what an entitled little statement you’ve just made? The only way in which progress happens is if enough people get angry and demand change. That isn’t personal entitlement. That is faith in the entitlements of the human race. Everyone is entitled to live without suffering unethically imposed by other human beings. No, that isn’t realistic. The resources are limited, our ethical frameworks are in disagreement, and the means to that end are entirely unclear. But it isn’t personal entitlement.

      Personal entitlement is saying, “this shit annoys me, cut it out,” without any justification but your own complacency. Personal entitlement is the privilege to accept your complacency while others have no choice but to fight. Your brand of selfishness does not deserve respect or solitude.

      Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t think you’re a bad person. But I know better than to stop demanding more from you and your kindred.

  6. Rainbowpony says:

    Industrialized farming my be unethical because it causes suffering and the scale is environmentally destructive, but as for just plain eating meat I can never think of a convincing reason to not do it. The solution is to eat well-treated animals and less of it.

    If you really believe you shouldn’t eat meat, I highly suspect you should also not partake of the system that breeds animals into adorable ridicoulous shapes and co-dependent mental messes (then chops off their balls) so that they can serve as sources of companionship. (During which you have to feed them meat to keep them alive).

    • TVcasualty says:

      I feel like you are reacting to something that wasn’t said. I basically said (in too many words) that meat would ideally be eaten sparingly and shouldn’t be done in a gratuitous inhumane manner. How this relates to my caring for a cat that was already in the world and homeless, I have no idea. And may I mention that Meowlene is a very happy, independent non-mess.

      • Blueb says:

        I guess it depends on your philosophy of animal rights. Those who argue that animals don’t deserve to be eaten often also argue that animals don’t deserve to be kept indoors as tiny slaves. And not for nothin’, but saying your cat was “in the world and homeless” is kind of contradictory because “the world” is, in fact, an animal’s home.

        • Gaybeard says:

          Human beings have changed many species on the genetic level because of our impact on the environment. Home for a dog is not the outside or in the wild. Some cats are still capable of becoming feral and surviving but indoor life is all that many are suited to. At this point it would be more cruel to try to reverse engineer domesticated animals than to just continue to keep the ones we have domesticated as pets and livestock.

      • Rainbowpony says:

        Oh, it wasn’t about you specifically. I was reacting to coquette.

        I really do believe that the right to not be eaten would philosophically be connected to the right to not be bred or have your reproduction controlled. Of course, I eat meat so I also have furbabies.

        I know Peta types are supposed to think along those lines, but I think it’s a small portion of vegetarians. A great deal of vegetarians and vegans are animal lovers that also have pets.

        Whenever vegetarians get into moral superiority mode, it makes me a little crazy how poorly they’ve thought this stuff through.

        And all domesticated animals are potential mental messes. Dude, there are dogs on Prozac. Do you think a wolf would ever need to be on Prozac?

        • Gaybeard says:

          Wolves that need Prozac end up dead or killed. Evolution and survival has a way of dealing with weakness that’s fairly zero-sum.

          • Rainbowpony says:

            Ok sure.

            But the level of mental and emotional well being of pets that is dependent on their owners is also not something found naturally. We bred that into them.

          • Gaybeard says:

            True enough but the “weaker” variants of wolves who would have otherwise been culled naturally because they exhibited traits such as lower aggression, less suspicion of humans, less food aggression, were selected by humans and allowed to live despite their lack of “fitness”. Their entire species only exists because of our intervention so it makes sense that they are psychologically dependent on us for their happiness. The alternative would be not having dog species at all.

          • Rainbowpony says:

            That’s ok. I’m just spend time thinking about how using animals – whether for meat or for pets – might be related. I think a lot of people don’t think about those connections.

  7. Jessica Sen says:

    All of you are wrong. It is not because it’s New York fashion week. It’s because it’s Coquette’s laundry week. I was Coquette’s roommate in college and I know for a fact she only does her laundry once a month. She leaves her dishes till the next morning to clean up, which frustrated me to no end because I’m an OCD freak. Her tweets about having OCD are obviously inspired by living with me. She’s just stolen my character traits for her anonymous internet persona.

    So this is gonna read a bit like a character review for those considering doing business with the Coquette.

    The Coquette is punctual with her deadlines especially when it comes to taking the trash out along with the recycling, at least once a week. She does not like the graffiti on the walls of the apartment, frequently white washing during Sunday’s to prevent encouraging more vandalism, however creative it might be.

    She once made a love potion for a boy, who then developed an addiction to her cunt and had to go to an anonymous help group to cure himself. She smoked pot a great deal in her room, even though time and time again I texted her telling her that no smoking would be allowed in the house. She had no sense of social boundaries and would make strange comments to our neighbors, usually rather blunt observations about their pets.

    Anyway, back to the laundry thing. The Coquette only does laundry once a month, and laundry week becomes the week I incessantly text her to remind her to collect her damp laundry from the machine.

    I would recommend the Coquette as a roommate to anyone looking. But if you are very fussy about roommate chores, I would advise you to do your own chores and not count on her!!

  8. Tillzilla says:

    I feel like Coke answered the meat question at least partially for the entertainment that would come out of the shit fight in the comments. You can almost predict the pattern before it starts, goddamn.

        • WhoAmI says:

          It’s already pretty big tbh.
          Which is a shame, because the phrase “animal rights” is fallacious in and of itself, and the arguments used to justify them are no better.

          • BFR says:

            I’m not the person you replied to, but I’d think one of the reasons it’s fallacious is because the term “animal” covers too much. Do all animals have a right to live? Or to die with dignity? Insects are also animals and we’d starve without pesticides. Or maybe they have a right to a life without suffering? Who will now go and police cats because of how they torture small animals when they hunt?

          • WhoAmI says:

            the concept of rights (and morals by the same occasion) is typically used regarding interactions between humans. Using them for animals as they are used for humans is oblivious anthropomorphism at best and (ironically enough) blind anthropocentrism at worst.
            Ethics, on the other hand, do apply.

    • WhoAmI says:

      Self-righteous vegans are like an upgraded version of Bloody Mary ; you just have to say “eat meat” once and they all flock to your place to curse you and your cow.

  9. ROFFNAR says:

    Fuck labels! What will eventually matter is if you are born before or after the year 2001.

    If you are born before 2001 you know you will be one of those people which will have their children and/or grandchildren say: “MY MOM/GRANDMA IS BORN IN THE XX CENTURY! CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?”.

    Not easy, guys, not easy! ๐Ÿ˜›

  10. Anna says:

    I think the reason people get so confused and angry over the genx/millennial thing is bc it seems to portray society being divided into generations rather than classes.
    The real usefulness of the genx/millennial separation is for pop culture analysis not analysis of societal and economical changes.

        • VeryON says:

          I don’t see how either side of this can be discussed without a clearer definition of what “mattering” means.

          Matter in what way? There is no expressed context in this disagreement.

          What is on the scale here that will tell us all what has the most influence?

          “Where you were born (geographically and economical strata) matters so much more.”

          Born in the 1820’s on a very poor island. Which is more important? Where or when?

          • Anna says:

            OK this is much better than your first comment and I can skip explaining part of what’s wrong about leaving “citation ?” as a response (though I’m still going to say I doubt you’d be willing to read a couple of hours worth of political science on the recommendation of an insignificant stranger on the internet).
            What matters here is the classification of the population that is the most relevant to it’s realities and needs and potential.
            I know my national example the best and I believe that saying that a certain generation is economically or otherwise victimized would be to misrepresent the situation and create a useless separation between generations. A truer version of the story is that the law that regulates conditions of employment has created a number of separate employment contracts that gives these employees sub par rights and remuneration, and this change has affected the lives of many young people, and women and older people reentering the employment market, and has also affected the employment market as a whole. And despite the effects of globalization these national circumstances (which we can modifiy through a national democratic process) remain really important in determining the economical and social conditions of my country.
            Representing these facts as the blight of a generation would not only be misrepresenting the facts but is also useless in any potentially productive social debate.
            Also there’s the obvious fact that most of the world isn’t first world so these cultural generational distinctions might not be relevant.

          • VeryON says:

            I’m not done with my migraine, but here’s a thought.

            This appears to be your thesis. It would be easier to read if you lead with it.

            Representing [conditions] as the blight of a generation would be misrepresenting the facts [and] useless in any social debate.

            But then you don’t seem to have any relevant facts. I’m not saying you’re wrong. I’m totally willing to hear you out if you give an example of a situation in which “geographic and economic strata” is more important than “when.”

            I honestly don’t know how you can do that as the goal posts on the definition of a “generation” tend to be fluid.

          • Anna says:

            Oh I’m willing to give facts and I thought I’d already given facts but email me if you want to pursue the discussion, that would be way cooler than here.

          • VeryON says:

            I’m going to leave this here as I don’t have your email.

            My purpose in doing so is to underscore the lack of defining what “matters” means. Does the framing matter to the labels? It doesn’t appear to matter to the people.

            “What matters here is the classification of the population that is the most relevant to itโ€™s realities and needs and potential.”

            I don’t think this is true. It has no bearing on sociability and familial ties. But neither would “when” unless it was during the civil war.

            “…older people reentering the employment market, and has also affected the employment market as a whole.”

            Sure, that matters to the job market, but does that matter more than the people around them do to the people themselves? I could see how you might put happiness within the “needs.” But then I don’t see how happiness is effected by the label. Sorry if I’m being obtuse.

            To me this entire conversation unravels in the attempt to frame it.

            http://blog.mindvalleyacademy.com/people-skills-and-social-life/harvard-happiness-study?utm_source=cm-blog&utm_medium=facebook-share&utm_campaign=mvablog-share

  11. Quinn says:

    One must always align their ideals with reality. The majority of the world is never going to stop eating meat. Ever. Even if you convince a handful of people to stop or cut back, that has zero impact on the grand scale that is the meat industry.

    If you genuinely care about the suffering of animals and want change, why not work for better laws concerning inhumane practices at factory farms? I’m a meat eater and I could get behind that. A lot of us would, I think. Seems far more effective than yelling at strangers on the Internet.

      • Rainbowpony says:

        Nothing tastes as good as being morally superior feels.

        BTW I totally agree with quinn. I don’t want to stop eating meat and I don’t think I have to. I want more regulation and better animal treatment.

    • Plagarism says:

      Plants can communicate with each other and form “societies”. Forests and trees are ruthlessly destroyed. This entire problems suffers from such a limited sense of scope.

        • Plagarism says:

          I’ve read that book, but haven’t seen the documentary. I was really speaking in reference to the more recent Hidden Life of Trees.

      • Kait says:

        If you’re concerned about the suffering of plants, you should know that exponential volumes of plants are killed to support a meat eaters diet (to feed the livestock, right?), so if you really cared about plants, you’d still be vegan.

          • VeryON says:

            Isn’t it interesting that we eat animals that eat plants and not animals that eat meat? Maybe notable exceptions are alligator and snake. But I haven’t seen that at any fancy restaurants.

          • Em says:

            This has to be the most entertaining thread in this whole section. What can set vegetarians/vegans off faster than saying you eat meat? Telling them to eat meat.

            I guess people don’t like it when they’re told what to eat or what not to eat.

      • Rainbowpony says:

        Plants can’t suffer.

        I feel like you don’t care about plants. I feel like this is an excuse to try and make meat and plant eating equivalent, so that you don’t have to feel bad about eating meat.

        • Gaybeard says:

          We assume plants can’t suffer based on how we measure suffering as mammals. There is some research being done on this and it’s not yet conclusive in either direction.

          I don’t think it’s about plants or meat. The whole point I’m making is that it’s pretty laughable that people build their identities around being “ethical” based on what they choose to put in their mouths, completely ignoring the central issue that sustaining life requires the destruction of life. The great debate is just splitting hairs about suffering quotients and moral superiority dick measuring. People who feel the need to defend their meat eating are also accepting the premise of the people they’re arguing with that what we choose to eat requires some kind of moral justification.

          • Rainbowpony says:

            I’m a former biologist and there is no research on plant suffering. Plants don’t have nervous systems. Or emotions. Your ideas about plants make no sense.

            Sorry to be so blunt, but you’ve really gotta reconsider these views.

          • Em says:

            There is research done on plants that use protective measures to literally fight for their lives, which means they “know” when their lives are in danger. They can cower and pull back when they “feel” fire close by. So how do you measure “suffering”?

          • VeryON says:

            Hameroff would tell you, if I have this correctly, that suffering is measured as the sum of a collapse of quantum potential. I think I read him as saying, [Even a single electron represents intelligence, it’s just the tiniest possible amount of intelligence.]

            So if we were to sum up the energy used to react to the stimulus, we could compare the two.

            http://www.quantumconsciousness.org/

          • Rainbowpony says:

            No. They don’t “know” in the cognitive sense.

            For example, the cells in your body communicate with each other through hormones, and this allows for coordinated body states, whether horny, reproductive, stressed, or emergency. While your brain can understand these changes, your individual cells dont. Your cells are responding and working together, but they don’t “know” the way your brain does. Without a central nervous system there is no top down perspective on what’s going on.

            Response, coordinated action and communication are not signs of “knowing”.

    • Kait says:

      Because the industrial farming method is the only method which will deliver meat and animal products at the rate we demand them. Any inefficiencies made to that system in the efforts of being more humane would make meat and animal product so scarce and expensive that you would have to reduce your consumption, likely to the point of elimination anyway. That’s even before all of the subsidies to the meat industry are made. Reduction is the real answer.

          • Perspectivator says:

            Seriously? Nobody here has stood up and said anything to the effect of “I bet steak would taste better if we tortured it more.” The original post defers to the ethical high ground. Most people here have said one thing or another to side with humane treatment. Nobody is justifying it. Some of us are doing our part in reduction. Some are going batshit vegan. (Not all vegans are batshit crazy.) I really doubt people understand how closely aligned we are on the topic if you’re even vaguely progressive. Future meat isn’t an attempt to justify, it’s an attempt to move forward. There’s no fucking reason we can’t enjoy meat ethically. When I lived in SF every burger I ate was from organic free range beef whose meat was infused with the joy of life.

            If another vegan throws a temper tantrum, not that I’m accusing you of that, I’m going to eat two hamburgers at The Counter tomorrow.

          • VeryON says:

            I agree completely. And it tends to get conflated with capitalism. I wish there was more effort in making items that last for lifetimes. I’m old enough to remember that my dad received some of my grandfathers clothes because they just plain lasted that long.

            Without durability I feel we can never move away from growth based economies.

  12. Kait says:

    I’m a vegan and Coquette has given me the most satisfying answer to this question from a meat eater I’ve ever heard. Just fucking accept you don’t have the ethical high ground. Don’t piss on my leg and tell me it’s raining. Much better than the meat eaters who tell me that they “love” animals and pay for their torture and slaughter.

    • Anna says:

      OK, I think I’ve figured this one out.
      Vegans have the moral highground on the meat eating question.
      But it’s not reasonable to say you have to ethical highground in every situation. That’s against the concept of ethics itself.
      The best ethics can do is offer recommendations for more or less specific situations.
      Is this a reasonable compromise or not at all ?

      • Kait says:

        Who ever said vegans have moral high ground on everything? It just so happens that eating meat is disastrous for human welfare, the environment and individual health, so high ground there, but literally no one has ever said we have it on every issue.

        • Perspectivator says:

          You’re out on a limb here. Suggesting that meat is disastrous for human health is completely disproven by the millions of years we’ve eaten it. We don’t have sharp fangs because we like lettuce.

        • Rainbowpony says:

          An appeal to authority is the worst kind of argument. If you think you are better than other people you should be able to back that up in your own words.

          • Kait says:

            Did you read the column? She literally said, “The argument against eating meat has the ethical high ground.” and I agree with it. If you want to know what that means ask her, or better yet, think critically about your own ethics and investigate why that belief is widely held. “Eating Animals” by Jonathan Safran Foer or “Animal Liberation” by Dr. Peter Singer are good places to start. Don’t be afraid of the notion that your current ethical position might be wrong and be willing to be proved wrong.

  13. Mrs. says:

    Regarding the meat debate:

    How many of you who are so entirely against eating meat know a farmer? A true farmer who is up all hours of the night to tend to and care for the animals they have?

    Farmers, at least the (many) farmers that I personally know take great care to treat their animals with respect.

    Nature is cruel. We are all animals. If you haven’t had the opportunity to witness the savage side of nature yourself you only have to look as far as YouTube to see a wolf eating a new fawn.

    No one should be forced to eat meat if they choose not to. No one should be shamed when they eat meat. Your shit is your shit. If you feel guilty about eating meat but can’t stop for health reasons or because it is delicious and nutritious then find a farmer who treats their animals with kindness. Enormous feed lots are completely disgusting and I will not buy supermarket meat for that reason.

    If you have no real world experience with something maybe get educated beyond Google before you fling your self hatred out onto the masses. Step out of your concrete jungle and really figure shit out for yourself.

      • Gaybeard says:

        Well, they are products aren’t they? Losing sight of their economic value would defeat the whole point of farming them. Other animals are means, not ends.

        • Kait says:

          Okay but you said they treat them with respect. I’m telling you I live on a farm and trained with farmers and that’s not true. They do not take great pains to take care of their animals. They write them off if they die. And those are “humane” organic farms. Are you a farmer? Have you ever lived on a farm? How many animals have you slaughtered personally or rounded up to send for slaughter? How many calves have you separated from their mothers after birth so that you can take her milk to sell to consumers? Have you ever even seen an animal slaughtered for meat? Or are you just using the “nice farmer” fantasy as a cudgel against vegans because you don’t have a better defense and you’d like your just-world fallacy to be true?

          • Gaybeard says:

            Yeah I agree with your point about farmers, though I didn’t make the original comment. I was just jumping on the economic angle of the equation.

          • Mrs. says:

            I know many farmers. I also hunt so yes, I have “slaughtered” an animal myself. I don’t kill for fun and I don’t buy animal products if I don’t know where they come from. I know it isn’t easy for everyone to be involved with their food, it is a choice I make. Maybe our parts of the world are different in their treatment of animals.

            If you feel so strongly that farming is cruel then why do you participate in it?

          • Kait says:

            It’s disingenuous to think that your personal involvement with your meat is an option available to everyone and somehow validates the industrial farming system which you surely must admit is where the vast majority of animal products come from. Be intellectually honest. The vast majority of farmers do not “respect” their animals and you must know to say otherwise is false.

            I don’t participate in that industry. I run a farm animal rescue and I simply trained on those “nice” farms where animals are treated with the same amount of respect as they get on industrial farms.

          • Mrs. says:

            1. I didn’t say that involvement was easily available to everyone.

            2. I didn’t say that “the vast majority” of farmers respect their animals. I said the farmers I know (family and many close friends) do respect their animals.

            3. Be intellectually honest? Ha!

            It sounds like it is your job to seek out abused animals. Which I think is an awesome and necessary job by the way. Don’t assume that your truth is the only truth out there.

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