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being vegan in India

I'm watching "Andrew Zimmer in Delhi" and they're showing how .. much of the milk in India is dervied from local farmers that have maybe 1 cow, and they milk the cow and then sell the milk to various locals.  Traditionally in India, the cow is revered and considered sacred.

So, i have to wonder out loud (not necessarily thinking there's any one "right" answer - just thinking this is an interesting situation to post for others)... if i was ever to travel to India (by the blessing of Kali) and was offered any type of "dairy" based dish - while at the same time knowing the dairy was purchased from a local farmer - would i still be inclined to refuse based on my perceptions/attempts at following a vegan lifestyle.

There's a separate issue worth mentioning,which I'd like to mention and then put aside, if at least for the sake of conversation only. If I was in a different country and culture - it could perhaps be seen as very offensive if i was not to accept whatever was offered.  That is something that would need to be taken into consideration in it's own right but ...i'm going to put that aside for the sake of this thread, because i want to focus more on the content of the dairy source and how it would relate to consuming dairy that was derived in a manner that is compassionate of the animal - and less of the social customs.

I think I would politely refuse the milk... i know it might be weird/ awkward, just like being a "crazy vegan person" is sometimes... but knowing where it comes from I don't think I could stomach it... plus since u haven't drank it in forever u would probably get sick. I realize that the milk comes from a local farmer, who might be treating the cow well, like a pet... but i dunno u don't really "need it"  and our bodies aren't meant to digest milk (except to fatten us up as babies... by our mommies) and since there r so many other wonderful Indian dishes u could consume without animals in them I would just forgo the milk... but that's just me.

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I can't really tell which part of that whole thing you want to discuss, but I have 2 thoughts:

- India is a huuuuuuge country.  They produce more milk per capita than any other country.  There is no way their entire stock comes from 1-cow farms.  I would question the slant of the show you watched and do some research.  I really, really doubt it is "compassionate" on the whole.

- I wouldn't feel bad not drinking milk in India.  What of people who are lactose intolerant?  I think milk production is cruel.  I don't have to respect it just because it's someone else's culture--in fact, I think it's nonsense to respect the cow so deeply then take its baby's milk.  Heck, it's our culture too, and I don't respect it.  I would decline in the least offensive way possible.

eta: I think this belongs in the N&D section.

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Compassionate dairy in India? I call bullshit (no pun intended).
Check out this article:
http://action.petaindia.com/ea-campaign/clientcampaign.do?ea.client.id=111&ea.campaign.id=2856 

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Andrew usually goes to alot of the small villages and tries to get an idea of what they do, so it may not be the India we would be likely to see.  

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I would refuse the milk, offensive or not i wouldnt compromise myself.  When i was in Mali the only thing available for me to eat was rice or spaghetti with no sauce.  I knew the situation going in so i came prepared, both with snacks and with the understanding that i may offend some people.  The Malians i met and ate with all ended up being understanding and very sweet (they kept feeding me bowls of rice upon bowls of rice hehe) , granted thet didnt "get" why I ate the way i ate but none the less they did not get angry at me for it. 

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ok, thanks for the replies.  I appreciate that link also - it wasn't something i was particularly familiar with nor does it surprise me at all either.  I've read articles in the past pertaining to the leather trade in India being pretty brutal as well. 

On the plus side - brownie points to PETA.  In spite of the high level of disdain exhibited towards them on the "What Do We Think About PETA" thread - it's nice to see that at times, PETA is (if even, silently) acknowledged by sheer virtue of being the first point of reference utilized in a conversation - awesome!

Back to the topic at hand though - thing is, I can absolutely see the logic in all of the points posted on this thread - such as: (1) parts of India can be very cruel towards their cows (2) just because i saw something on Andrew Zimmern's show - doesn't mean it's reflective of India as a whole (3) we don't know where the milk truly came from

If i am not sure of where the milk came from, that would exponentially increase the chances that I would politely decline.  My original question was this though:

if i was ever to travel to India (by the blessing of Kali) and was offered any type of "dairy" based dish - while at the same time knowing the dairy was purchased from a local farmer - would i still be inclined to refuse based on my perceptions/attempts at following a vegan lifestyle.

So, while all of the points given had absolute merit and validity - i don't feel those points addressed my specific question posed above. Some responders did allude to the fact that they wouldn't drink it because it would conflict with their vegan principles.  Another post mentioned about "we aren't meant to consume milk" - while i don't agree (or disagree) with that (i mean to me, there's no such as "meant to - or not" - that might be akin to saying we weren't meant to fly because we don't have wings - as a species that's our nature, we adapt) - but that notwithstanding - i can respect that may be someone's stance on the matter.

Ok, i don't want to attempt to lead the witness so instead, i'll provide my take.  If i know the milk came from the cow in the backyard, and let's say i know these people and i trust that they treat this cow like family/pet.  Then in my mind, i would think how the vegan principles i try to live by are (hopefully) not merely blanket principles just for the sake of standing on ceremony - but instead reflective of the notion that i would prefer not to take pleasure of something that was derived from pain.  Given that logic, if i know the cow not only never suffered any pain, but further - derived a source of comfort and love from her adopted human family - it would be difficult for me to equate the act of consuming dairy product (from that cow) as one opposed to vegan principles.

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Given that logic, if i know the cow not only never suffered any pain, but further - derived a source of comfort and love from her adopted human family - it would be difficult for me to equate the act of consuming dairy product (from that cow) as one opposed to vegan principles.

It is not up to us to decide what is ok to take from another being. It's not ours to take, and it's not for us.

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Drinking milk from ANY cow isn't vegan.  You might choose to abstain from milk because large scale milk production is cruel, but if you are OK with taking milk from a cow, period, you are not following vegan principles.  You are blatantly contradicting them.  Sorry, that's not veganism at all.  It might be environmentalism, or (screwy) animal rights activism--not veganism. 

You can't have dairy without taking milk from a calf, forcing impregnation upon a cow, and facing the "what to do with the calves" conundrum.  None of those things are vegan.  I believe the word you are looking for is "vegetarian."

I can't believe we're discussing "is dairy vegan?".  Really?

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It is not up to us to decide what is ok to take from another being. It's not ours to take, and it's not for us.

Right?  It's like asking yourself, "Hmm, is it ok for me to steal this car?  I can't decide......."

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This is the wrong forum to discuss this if you want agreement--personally, I would probably go for it--my reasons for abstaining are largely animal cruelty ones, and if I knew it was humanely raised, it would be fine by me. But not vegan. Besides, peer pressure (see above for why) will keep anyone who feels the same way from stating their views here. Haha, a good system! But I'm not good at lying.

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AC/KMK -

See - here's my confusion.

I really want to discuss this - i really do - because i believe there were some very good points made, some intelligent things said that i previously had not thought of - which is why i opened this up for discussion.  Then i read comments that seem to be condescending which confuses me because i don't believe i have provided just cause for any condescending tones.

Look, i'm not here to "be your friend" so you're welcome to come across in whatever manner you both like - my feelings are not hurt.  I do find it contradicting though when on the PETA forum - everyone talks about how PETA is so bad because of the manner in which they deliver their message yet but yet we have this:

Drinking milk from ANY cow isn't vegan. - this is not a discussion - it's a statement.  I understand it's your statement and i accept that.  But when you project a statement in such a manner - unless looking for an argument - such statements will shut down a conversation quicker then sh*t.

It might be environmentalism, or (screwy) animal rights activism--not veganism. - this is projecting your opinion as "fact".  Unless your opinion is not strong enough not to stand on it's own merits (which I’m not trying to suggest) - why feel the need to slander someone's views? If you say "to me, that seems like a screwy form of animal rights activism" - i can accept that, as your opinion - and would have no problems with that, as your opinion.  But again, the manner in which you project your views - belittles other people's views - and i'm not sure i understand the necessity to trying to raise the value of your thoughts by trying to lower and diminish the value of someone else's.

I can't believe we're discussing "is dairy vegan?".  Really? - This statement makes no sense to me.  I want to have this conversation and
i'm sure i'm not the only person who can appreciate the merits of the topic.  This is why i started this thread.  But what confuses me is how you can contribute and feed to a thread that "you don't believe is taking place again?".  Would not the best way to avoid propagating the thread be to simply, not post on it?  If you're going to post on it - why complain about it's existence?  Further, again - it's a belittling statement.  You're welcome to belittle all you want - it's more a reflection of your persona then anything else so no worries - i guess what i don't understand is simply....why...feel the need to belittle the thread?

It is not up to us to decide what is ok to take from another being. It's not ours to take, and it's not for us.  Again, opinion stated as "fact".  Again, shutting down the conversation.  Is the conversation that intimidating that one feels the need to use "close ended statements" that detract from further conversation - instead of using open-ended, opinions - which would further propagate the discussion - a simple example might be "i do not feel it's up to us to decide....   ".  

Another problem I see with this statement is that “who” is it that makes the “be all – end all” determination of what is ok for us to take from another being.  By that logic, what’s to prevent us from extrapolating further and becoming fruitarians (real term) by not taking any vegetables – because in doing so, we must pull the vegetables – it’s not “given to us” – in that sense.  I’m not trying to be facetious or make fun when I say this – I’m being sincere.  Where does the logic begin/end?

This is behavior i see consistent with both of you time and time and time again, not just after my posts but on many threads.  It's almost an automatic given then when one posts with "Hoo" within minutes, the other will post with "Rah". I find it disappointing/disheartening because what that does is devalue the true gems of what you obviously have to share.  Just as in the same fashion that people complain about PETA, there has to be so much digging to get around the nasty , snide, opinionated comments (and my apologies for, in all honesty - my words are meant as an observation, not a criticism) perpetuated as fact - that the posts tend to be glossed over entirely.

You're both young girls and maybe there's going to be some growth in self-awareness and for real, i'm nobody to say, but - i just feel it's a shame that with such intelligent points that you could bring to a conversation - you choose to belittle people, their comments, their opinions, their threads - and thus contribute to conflict and mask the real essence of what you have to share.  

I could be wrong, but from what I’ve seen of other posters – there are actually quite a few people that completely refrain from giving their opinion at all because instead of having an honest, logical, objective discussion – belittling statements are made that devalue the original poster and any discussion they were trying to bring forth – and it’s a shame and it’s not fair to others who don’t want to engage in debate but simply – want to have conversation – without intentional conflict.

I'd love to share on an objective basis and truly hope that would be the case.  

Namaste

P.S. – I believe Aziz_esroh perfectly exemplifies the point I’m trying to make.  It’s almost as if you want to bully people into your opinion and browbeat them if they don’t agree – in simple words – it’s not a nice thing to do.

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This is the wrong forum to discuss this if you want agreement--personally, I would probably go for it--my reasons for abstaining are largely animal cruelty ones, and if I knew it was humanely raised, it would be fine by me. But not vegan. Besides, peer pressure (see above for why) will keep anyone who feels the same way from stating their views here. Haha, a good system! But I'm not good at lying.

That's the odd thing though - i honestly, don't want agreement - i want nothing more then open, honest discussion without belittlement and alienation.  I'd rather an open honest opinion be put forth because that is most likely to challenge my own thoughts and encourage me to look at a situation from a different angle.  To me, there's no right or wrong, life isn't a coin with defined sides - it's more like a round ball - where different aspects can be seen with different views.  No one aspect/perception any more wrong or right then the other.

To me, "vegan" is a word only - it's like the coin i mentioned above - the coin has definitive sides and it's either "this" or "that".  I'm less concerned with the word "vegan" and instead try to focus more on a rounded concept of "vegan principles".  I believe such a concept harder to define (as it should be) because there's not a set definition - but rather different perceptions.  So for me, for example - it's more important to refrain from engaging in actions that stem from harming animals then to say, simply select one object (for example "milk") and say - all milk is not vegan, period. 

I can appreciate that i might come across as confusing because i tend to think in more existential lines - which due to the nature of it's abstractness - doesn't always lend itself readily to the written word - but be that as it may...

Some interesting points were brought up surrounding the cow, how it exists, what other factors come into play - which i'd love to discuss - if belittlement and devaluing can be refrained from.

thank you for "not being good at lying" while at the same time - simply being ...well, nice. :)

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AC/KMK -

See - here's my confusion.

I really want to discuss this - i really do - because i believe there were some very good points made, some intelligent things said that i previously had not thought of - which is why i opened this up for discussion.  Then i read comments that seem to be condescending which confuses me because i don't believe i have provided just cause for any condescending tones.

Look, i'm not here to "be your friend" so you're welcome to come across in whatever manner you both like - my feelings are not hurt.  I do find it contradicting though when on the PETA forum - everyone talks about how PETA is so bad because of the manner in which they deliver their message yet but yet we have this:

Drinking milk from ANY cow isn't vegan. - this is not a discussion - it's a statement.  I understand it's your statement and i accept that.  But when you project a statement in such a manner - unless looking for an argument - such statements will shut down a conversation quicker then sh*t.

It might be environmentalism, or (screwy) animal rights activism--not veganism. - this is projecting your opinion as "fact".  Unless your opinion is not strong enough not to stand on it's own merits (which I’m not trying to suggest) - why feel the need to slander someone's views? If you say "to me, that seems like a screwy form of animal rights activism" - i can accept that, as your opinion - and would have no problems with that, as your opinion.  But again, the manner in which you project your views - belittles other people's views - and i'm not sure i understand the necessity to trying to raise the value of your thoughts by trying to lower and diminish the value of someone else's.

I can't believe we're discussing "is dairy vegan?".  Really? - This statement makes no sense to me.  I want to have this conversation and
i'm sure i'm not the only person who can appreciate the merits of the topic.  This is why i started this thread.  But what confuses me is how you can contribute and feed to a thread that "you don't believe is taking place again?".  Would not the best way to avoid propagating the thread be to simply, not post on it?  If you're going to post on it - why complain about it's existence?  Further, again - it's a belittling statement.  You're welcome to belittle all you want - it's more a reflection of your persona then anything else so no worries - i guess what i don't understand is simply....why...feel the need to belittle the thread?

It is not up to us to decide what is ok to take from another being. It's not ours to take, and it's not for us.   Again, opinion stated as "fact".  Again, shutting down the conversation.  Is the conversation that intimidating that one feels the need to use "close ended statements" that detract from further conversation - instead of using open-ended, opinions - which would further propagate the discussion - a simple example might be "i do not feel it's up to us to decide....  ". 

Another problem I see with this statement is that “who” is it that makes the “be all – end all” determination of what is ok for us to take from another being.  By that logic, what’s to prevent us from extrapolating further and becoming fruitarians (real term) by not taking any vegetables – because in doing so, we must pull the vegetables – it’s not “given to us” – in that sense.  I’m not trying to be facetious or make fun when I say this – I’m being sincere.  Where does the logic begin/end?

This is behavior i see consistent with both of you time and time and time again, not just after my posts but on many threads.  It's almost an automatic given then when one posts with "Hoo" within minutes, the other will post with "Rah". I find it disappointing/disheartening because what that does is devalue the true gems of what you obviously have to share.  Just as in the same fashion that people complain about PETA, there has to be so much digging to get around the nasty , snide, opinionated comments (and my apologies for, in all honesty - my words are meant as an observation, not a criticism) perpetuated as fact - that the posts tend to be glossed over entirely.

You're both young girls and maybe there's going to be some growth in self-awareness and for real, i'm nobody to say, but - i just feel it's a shame that with such intelligent points that you could bring to a conversation - you choose to belittle people, their comments, their opinions, their threads - and thus contribute to conflict and mask the real essence of what you have to share. 

I could be wrong, but from what I’ve seen of other posters – there are actually quite a few people that completely refrain from giving their opinion at all because instead of having an honest, logical, objective discussion – belittling statements are made that devalue the original poster and any discussion they were trying to bring forth – and it’s a shame and it’s not fair to others who don’t want to engage in debate but simply – want to have conversation – without intentional conflict.

I'd love to share on an objective basis and truly hope that would be the case. 

Namaste

P.S. – I believe Aziz_esroh perfectly exemplifies the point I’m trying to make.  It’s almost as if you want to bully people into your opinion and browbeat them if they don’t agree – in simple words – it’s not a nice thing to do.

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Jeez, are we five years old?  We are all old enough to realize that 95% of the things out of people's mouths are opinions.  Maybe even 100%.  Maybe I should precede every statement with an "IMO" or an "I think?"

You are free to disagree with any of the statements I made.  Instead, you want to argue about syntax and tone.  Which, I suppose, is telling.

This happens time and time again, where you ask people what they think of something, and unless they validate it, you think they're being a bully.  And I'm using "you" generically here.

In regards to your PETA point, I'm not an advocacy group.  Naturally if I were talking to someone new to veganism (tabling, whatever), I wouldn't use that tone, but there's something to be said for speaking with consideration for your audience.  On a vegan forum, I know we all have the same background knowledge and familiarity with what "vegan" means, so I take a different tone.  

It is a huge, huge slap in the face to thousands and thousands of people's personal philosophies when you drink "happy milk" and call yourself vegan.  I think drinking any milk is atrocious, like many, many other vegans.  (I don't feel the need to go into why--I assumed we are all familiar with this.)  It is offensive to me and what I believe when you refer to drinking milk as vegan.  

That being said, it's not as if I give a shit about one person's personal decisions, so whatever, go ahead and drink happy milk and eat some free range eggs and call yourself vegan.  I think it's bizarre, but then again you asked for my opinion.  I thought.

I made this comment in another thread, and I think it bears repeating:  things have names.  They are established for clarity of communication.  We all call a hippo a "hippo."  You can call it an elephant if you really, really, really want to, but you will confuse everyone else.  And it doesn't change the substance of the hippo.  So if we just call a hippo a hippo and an elephant an elephant we can all communicate better.

Again, if you want validation to drink milk, go to a vegetarian forum.  Or any omni forum.

I'll thank you not to refer to me as a "young girl" and condescend to me again.  That was totally uncalled for, and my age and gender have nothing to do with the conversation.  Keep your prejudices about others out of here.  You don't even know me.

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NOTICE FOR ALL CURRENT AND FUTURE DEBATE TOPICS:  If you start, or participate in, a debate-type topic, you are going to get debate.  Not being able to / losing interest in / not wanting to defend your position does not make the proponent of an opposing position a bully.  

Seven people (if I counted right) posted responses to this particular topic.  From reading the posts, singling out kmk and ac isn't justified.  In addition to that, ac responded just once and with only two sentences.  *bangheaddesk*

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You are free to disagree with any of the statements I made.  Instead, you want to argue about syntax and tone.  Which, I suppose, is telling.

Not being able to / losing interest in / not wanting to defend your position does not make the proponent of an opposing position a bully. 

*bangheaddesk*

Pretty much sums it up.

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:( can't we all just be happy and get along? let's all be happy and nice vegans  :)>>>

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i do know this is a debate forum though so i can understand why things can get heated but i really do value everyones opinion and insight... u guys all really make me think about things i never considered

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hmmmm, so I read over this thread after reading sirdiddy's post regarding KMK and AC and I decided that neither one of them contributed to this post in any condescending way.  Whenever I choose to post on any debate thread i go into it knowing that the topic will very likely go into a discussion with varying opinions, some that i may not like and some that I find make complete sense.  

I think the important thing to keep in mind, as KMK did mention, is that anything that is said on this board is obviously an opinion and I dont necessarily think it is that important to add an "I" whenever we are stating our beliefs.  Also, I dont see KMK's comment "Drinking milk from ANY cow isn't vegan" as being a catalyst for shutting down a discussion, that comment indeed is a fact.  in its most simplest form vegan is defined as "someone who eats no animal or dairy products at all" that would include milk from any type of cow, even the ones considered sacred.

Again, this is a discussion and as someone mentioned before we are not discussing our opinions on peoples character we are simply discussing the opinion on the topic stated.   Lets try and keep to a debates original topic and steer clear of any tangents regarding the discussion of the people behind the opinion.  A healthy debate consist of varying opinions, the discussion may get heated but it is important to remember that at the end of the debate there are no personal attacks intended.

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AC/KMK -

See - here's my confusion.

I really want to discuss this - i really do - because i believe there were some very good points made, some intelligent things said that i previously had not thought of - which is why i opened this up for discussion.  Then i read comments that seem to be condescending which confuses me because i don't believe i have provided just cause for any condescending tones.

Look, i'm not here to "be your friend" so you're welcome to come across in whatever manner you both like - my feelings are not hurt.  I do find it contradicting though when on the PETA forum - everyone talks about how PETA is so bad because of the manner in which they deliver their message yet but yet we have this:

Drinking milk from ANY cow isn't vegan. - this is not a discussion - it's a statement.  I understand it's your statement and i accept that.  But when you project a statement in such a manner - unless looking for an argument - such statements will shut down a conversation quicker then sh*t.

It might be environmentalism, or (screwy) animal rights activism--not veganism. - this is projecting your opinion as "fact".  Unless your opinion is not strong enough not to stand on it's own merits (which I’m not trying to suggest) - why feel the need to slander someone's views? If you say "to me, that seems like a screwy form of animal rights activism" - i can accept that, as your opinion - and would have no problems with that, as your opinion.  But again, the manner in which you project your views - belittles other people's views - and i'm not sure i understand the necessity to trying to raise the value of your thoughts by trying to lower and diminish the value of someone else's.

I can't believe we're discussing "is dairy vegan?".  Really? - This statement makes no sense to me.  I want to have this conversation and
i'm sure i'm not the only person who can appreciate the merits of the topic.  This is why i started this thread.  But what confuses me is how you can contribute and feed to a thread that "you don't believe is taking place again?".  Would not the best way to avoid propagating the thread be to simply, not post on it?  If you're going to post on it - why complain about it's existence?  Further, again - it's a belittling statement.  You're welcome to belittle all you want - it's more a reflection of your persona then anything else so no worries - i guess what i don't understand is simply....why...feel the need to belittle the thread?

It is not up to us to decide what is ok to take from another being. It's not ours to take, and it's not for us.  Again, opinion stated as "fact".  Again, shutting down the conversation.  Is the conversation that intimidating that one feels the need to use "close ended statements" that detract from further conversation - instead of using open-ended, opinions - which would further propagate the discussion - a simple example might be "i do not feel it's up to us to decide....   ".  

Another problem I see with this statement is that “who” is it that makes the “be all – end all” determination of what is ok for us to take from another being.  By that logic, what’s to prevent us from extrapolating further and becoming fruitarians (real term) by not taking any vegetables – because in doing so, we must pull the vegetables – it’s not “given to us” – in that sense.  I’m not trying to be facetious or make fun when I say this – I’m being sincere.  Where does the logic begin/end?

This is behavior i see consistent with both of you time and time and time again, not just after my posts but on many threads.  It's almost an automatic given then when one posts with "Hoo" within minutes, the other will post with "Rah". I find it disappointing/disheartening because what that does is devalue the true gems of what you obviously have to share.  Just as in the same fashion that people complain about PETA, there has to be so much digging to get around the nasty , snide, opinionated comments (and my apologies for, in all honesty - my words are meant as an observation, not a criticism) perpetuated as fact - that the posts tend to be glossed over entirely.

You're both young girls and maybe there's going to be some growth in self-awareness and for real, i'm nobody to say, but - i just feel it's a shame that with such intelligent points that you could bring to a conversation - you choose to belittle people, their comments, their opinions, their threads - and thus contribute to conflict and mask the real essence of what you have to share.  

I could be wrong, but from what I’ve seen of other posters – there are actually quite a few people that completely refrain from giving their opinion at all because instead of having an honest, logical, objective discussion – belittling statements are made that devalue the original poster and any discussion they were trying to bring forth – and it’s a shame and it’s not fair to others who don’t want to engage in debate but simply – want to have conversation – without intentional conflict.

I'd love to share on an objective basis and truly hope that would be the case.  

Namaste

P.S. – I believe Aziz_esroh perfectly exemplifies the point I’m trying to make.  It’s almost as if you want to bully people into your opinion and browbeat them if they don’t agree – in simple words – it’s not a nice thing to do.

You actually haven't really tackled any points in this post. All you've done is slate kmk and say you want to talk about it. Furthermore, on an "objective basis"? I can understand that you may want it to be at a level of minimal subjectiveness, and perhaps it's your opinion that it should be objective, but to make the claim that you can be objective, that any human could be objective, seems ridiculous.

Aside from your criticism of tone, and not of her post, you did mention one thing thinking about it.

Why take vegetables but not take dairy from a cow.

My own personal reasoning behind this is:
A cow shows clear signs of an ability to communicate.
A cow has what looks like a a central nervous system.
All evidence to suggest you feel pain can be seen in a cow.

For instance a put a cow in pain it tries to get away, it has similar behaviour to what I show when I'm in pain and if I deny that the cow is in pain then I'd probably have to deny that anyone else feels pain.

Lastly the cow appears to have a form of intelligence. I wouldn't dream of trying to measure how much intelligence, but the fact that it has a form of intelligence, and the fact it feels pain, to me, shows that it can not be private property.

On the other hand, if the vegetables are private property, unless we're to go against social contracts, I'll take it.
If it's not private property then I'd need to see some reasoning for me to not just take it for my body, and I'd question whether my body counts as private property or not.

With regards to the be all and end all, I can't speak at all for anyone else, however I take Kant's view (to a certain extent) at the moment, that we should treat people (and by people I mean any animal that shows some form of intelligence, in fact anything that appears to be intelligent at all) as ends in themselves instead of a means to an end. But perhaps more than that, I think we should try to minimise all suffering. Not to be mistaken for utilitarianism which says we should try to cause the greatest happiness for the greatest number (and directly opposes Kantianism).
That said there's a whole different debate in that, and getting into this more here would no doubt be futile.

To clarify, and correct me if I'm wrong, the vegan principles are mainly to try to minimise animal exploitation. Whilst it can be argued that vegans don't even do this very well for the most part due to fertilisers that are made from animal bits. There's not a whole lot we can do about that. I even tried getting in touch with a supplier of an organic carrot juice the other day, however they couldn't give me any information. I just don't know what's grown with what. What I can see though is that the cow will be exploited if I start taking it's milk.

Either the milk production will increase.
Or the calf might not get enough.
Or past suckling (I think that's the term for the calf having milk) the cow will continue to make milk due to our demand for it.

If you think that any of that's wrong please don't hesitate to correct me.
If you want further reasoning on any of it please specify which bits.

And if I came accross as condescending then so be it, I just felt that that long post you made was utterly useless with the exception of what you said about vegetables and taking things.

edit:

hmmmm, so I read over this thread after reading sirdiddy's post regarding KMK and AC and I decided that neither one of them contributed to this post in any condescending way.  Whenever I choose to post on any debate thread i go into it knowing that the topic will very likely go into a discussion with varying opinions, some that i may not like and some that I find make complete sense. 

I think the important thing to keep in mind, as KMK did mention, is that anything that is said on this board is obviously an opinion and I dont necessarily think it is that important to add an "I" whenever we are stating our beliefs.  Also, I dont see KMK's comment "Drinking milk from ANY cow isn't vegan" as being a catalyst for shutting down a discussion, that comment indeed is a fact.  in its most simplest form vegan is defined as "someone who eats no animal or dairy products at all" that would include milk from any type of cow, even the ones considered sacred.

Again, this is a discussion and as someone mentioned before we are not discussing our opinions on peoples character we are simply discussing the opinion on the topic stated.  Lets try and keep to a debates original topic and steer clear of any tangents regarding the discussion of the people behind the opinion.  A healthy debate consist of varying opinions, the discussion may get heated but it is important to remember that at the end of the debate there are no personal attacks intended.

For the most part this.

Basic critical thinking dictates it's not the author of the opinion you should try to refute but the reasoning behind the opinion. A man may eat meat, and say eating meat is a bad thing and give reasons as to why it is a bad thing, and someone may respond "yes but you eat meat". This does not refute the first persons reasoning, it does instead show that the person doesn't have the convictions to go through with their reasoning or see's an over riding reason for themselves to eat meat.

I can't be bothered to check if this is all correct but I'll trust the untrustworthy wikipedia (after reading a short ammount of the page you may see a certain element of irony in that ;))

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