Quote of the day—Kyle Smith

As is often the case with virtue-signaling lifestyles, number-crunching doesn’t quite justify the supposed benefits of granola-crunching. “When applied to an entire global population, the vegan diet wastes available land that could otherwise feed more people,” concluded news site Quartz in a review of a scientific study published in the journal Elementa that compares the sustainability of various eating patterns.

Just as global-warming hysteria leads to draconian restrictions and taxes that devastate the poor in order to provide conscience relief to progressives, totalitarian eating habits aren’t as sustainable as more moderate ones. For instance, trying to grow crops on land best suited for use as grazing land for cattle means wasting resources.

Kyle Smith
August 4, 2016
Selfish vegans are ruining the environment
[“As is often the case with virtue-signaling…”. I think a good case could be made that it goes beyond problems with simple number-crunching. Data and logical thinking in general is not something they are really all that familiar with.—Joe]

30 thoughts on “Quote of the day—Kyle Smith

  1. Another example of this is the GMO delusion. That too is all about pretending to be good while in fact interfering with poor countries attempting to work their way up out of poverty and famine.
    The warmist cult, as you say, is another. I like to ask the question what warmists expect the world to look like when what’s now the Third World reaches the level of economic comfort (and thus energy use) of, say, the average western European. I suspect the unstated reality is that warmists don’t want that to happen, which is another way of saying that they are happy with their own comforts so long as the majority of the world remains poor.

  2. Joe, it’s really ironic that you would write “Data and logical thinking in general is not something they are really all that familiar with” in reference to vegans in general as opposed to the author of the article.

    This New York Post (!) article is based upon another article about a lengthy and detailed research article, and would require many pages of detailed discussion to point out the specific and numerous possible considerations that would contradict the suppositions of Kyle Smith’s snarky article in the New York Post, hardly a bastion of scientific research analysis (note the name-calling).

    1. This research completely avoids the question of ethics, which is the basis for (most?) people to adopt a vegan diet. Analogies would be to “crunch the numbers” and discover that a certain amount of slavery or abortions is more “efficient”. Would that be sufficient justification to adopt said “preference”?

    2. The research avoids factoring in the long term health cost savings of adopting the various diets, which tend to be lowest with the vegan diet.

    3. This research is based upon “models”, and much like the “anthropogenic global warming” models, are subject to possible significant errors. Just read the researchers own caveats throughout the paper.

    4. Why would Smith argue that adopting anything other than the “best” number-crunching results would be proper or advisable? The lacto-ovo and lacto vegetarian diets clearly are the best options according to this research, based solely upon the factors they are analyzing (see number 1 and 2 above for just two examples of what they don’t consider), yet he is willing to merely reduce his animal protein intake by 13% and settle for less than optimum “sustainability”. I wonder if firearms rights advocates would be willing to accept the third best option of “commonsense gun safety regulations” on a scale of one (“no restrictions”) to eight (“no guns for anyone”) as agreed upon by both the Brady Campaign and Gun Owners of America? Why does Smith allow himself to ignore the “number crunching” in making his choice, yet uses that criteria as the basis for criticizing vegans? Hypocrisy much?

    5. Finally, since when do firearms rights advocates look to the New York Post for accurate information about anything at all?

    • Correction:

      2. The research avoids factoring in the long term health care costs associated with adopting the various diets, which tend to be lowest with the vegan diet.

    • Re your point 1: I know some vegans who do it for what they perceive as health benefits. I know a lot more (Indians, mostly) who do it for religious reasons. I’ve never met one who mentioned ethical reasons.
      On the notion of ethical reasons: on what ethical basis is killing plants for food better than killing animals? 🙂

      • @Paul Koning

        Are you suggesting that there is no ethical consideration distinction between plants and animals? “All killing is killing.” If so, what would be the basis for an ethical distinction between nonhuman animals and human animals (I mean besides speciesism, of course)? You’d be fine with cannibalism, including those who come to have your children for dinner? You left out minerals: busting rocks and digging holes in the earth is killing (“deep ecology”). Therefore, I can treat anything any way I want (including “killing” it) because it’s all the same. You brake when you see a weed growing in a crack in the road, right? Sure you do. Or do you just without hesitation run over any dogs or cats or any other animals you see in the path of the car you are driving?

        Seriously, the logical fallacies of conflating ethical duties to plants and animals have been explored in detail by many philosophers, not the least of whom is Peter Singer. These explorations are hundreds of pages in length. There is no shortage of material. Check it out. Assuming you even care to educate yourself rather than just troll.

        The person who invented the word “vegan” (Donald Watson in 1944) was solely concerned about the ethical treatment of animals. When I was publicly advocating the benefits of veganism in the 1970s I would mention the health, environmental, and economic benefits of veganism only as subsidiary to the ethical issues because even if there were no health, environmental or economic benefits, it would still be the ethical choice to make (see analogies of slavery and abortion in my original post re “efficiency” versus “ethics”). No one I ever spoke to “on the street” at that time had ever heard the word “vegan”, much less knew what it meant. And I was informed by many people (just as Donald Watson was in 1944) that I could not survive on such a diet. Watson remained in good health until shortly before his death at the age of 95. Most of his critics had died years earlier.

        I sure hope that smiley face meant you were being facetious. Otherwise we have a serious critical thinking skills issue.

        • Health benefits of a vegan diet? So, why have .gov tossed parents into jail for raising a child on that diet?

          • @Will

            Please cite the statutes and cases where people have been prosecuted and convicted for “raising a child on [a vegan] diet”.

            There are many cases of parents being prosecuted and convicted for child neglect, negligent homicide, etc. for failing to provide sufficient nutrition to babies or very young children who succumb to malnutrition. Very few of those cases involve parents providing a vegan diet. Why did you single out vegan parents to make a (false?) accusation?

            In fact, in at least one such case, both the prosecution and and judge/jury refused to accept or give any credibility to the “vegan defense” (“the vegan diet caused the death”) claiming that the death of the child had nothing at all to do with the vegan diet (as many babies and children are raised with the vegan diet and thrive) but was solely due to parental neglect.

            As for health claims of any dietary regimen, conclusions must be qualified by the fact that no true control group study is possible, except with nonhuman animals, which may or may not correlate well with human results. What happens is that large population groups having generalized dietary patterns are compared (e.g. Japan vs. USA), the average content of those diets compared to health outcomes, and then compared to groups of people with one general genetic heritage moving to and adopting the other country’s general diet (e.g. Japanese who move to USA and eat the Standard American Diet) to account for possible genetic influence. The results of such generalized studies are that the fewer animal products consumed, the overall better long term health outcomes. There will never be a controlled experiment, so there will never be any “indisputable” scientific evidence, but there is what there is, and it clearly points in a certain direction.

            And, again, no matter what the “optimum” diet may be, the ethical questions are independent of any such determination. E.g. if it turned out that eating 10 grams of human baby liver weekly optimized longevity and health, that would not make it an ethical thing to do, even if it was “efficient” in creating a specific desired outcome.

        • The argument against cannibalism is easy: the test is “sapience”. Killing a sapient (without good cause) is murder; killing a non-sapient is an exercise in property rights.
          As for the word “vegan”, I didn’t know who coined it and I can’t see how that is particularly interesting. The practice is centuries if not millennia old, in India anyway. Consider the Jains, for example.

          • Seriously? That’s your answer to the questions posed in my comment? You’re seriously contending that “sapience” isn’t even a slightly clever euphemism for “speciesism” (which I already had pointed out was an invalid argument)? It’s literally an exact definition of human-centric speciesism. So you support speciesism. What makes speciesism a more valid ethical position that racism, sexism, etc.? That is, you are claiming that a particular distinction (belonging to the human race) merits a completely different standard of ethical consideration and treatment. Or do you believe that certain races “deserve” to be slaves or “second-class citizens” merely because of their race? Or that a particular sex does not deserve the legal option to vote or own property merely because of their sex? Or that members of one particular religion have the ethical right to destroy or enslave people who do not believe as they do? You have no answer that will withstand critical scrutiny except to repeat some versions of “humans are different in a special way that makes them lords and masters over all nonhumans” (and that “special way” is merely to circularly repeat “humans are special because they’re humans”), in other words a completely irrational position based upon a false assumption: that a “difference” of form or appearance in and of itself warrants a completely different standard of ethical treatment. If you can say that for one form of bigotry, others can use the same argument with the same level of validity for other perceived “differences”.
            I once wrote a moderately lengthy essay entitled “The Alien Invasion Analogy” which contained quite a bit of detail, but the essence of it is, that if one believes “speciesism” (your name “sapienism”) is valid and that that ethical position grants the speciesist all privileges and “rights” associated with their superior position (to treat everything else as “property”), then humans who believe that would have to philosophically assent to an alien race invading our planet (who had the power to enforce their own speciesism, as humans do over nonhuman animals) doing whatever they chose to do with humans, including hunt them, make clothing and other items out them, use them in entertainment (circuses, rodeos, zoos, etc.), keep them as “pets”, raise them for “dairy products”, with the consequent “veal”, etc. etc. etc. (the list is long.. very long), and of course industrially raise and slaughter them for food. Perhaps they even have a “holy book” in which their “god” has revealed that they are masters of, and may do as they like, with all life forms “below” them. You’d thus, being a rational, logical and consistent speciesist/”sapienist”, willingly and enthusiastically grant them their speiciesist privilege when they came to eat your children, as you’re likely to old and not very tender yourself. Perhaps they’d use you in some “sapien” lab experiments. Or does your “sapienism” speciesism apply (by what reasoning?) only to “sapiens” and not any other vastly superior race to whom “sapiens” appear as ants do to us?
            I brought up the fact that the creator of the word “vegan” was solely concerned about the ethical treatment (not health, environment, economics, etc.) of nonhuman animals because you seemed bewildered that I mentioned that (most?) people adopt veganism for ethical reasons, you having claimed that you’d never heard a vegan state any such thing. I didn’t bring it up because I thought it was “particularly interesting”, I brought it up because you seem to be ignorant about veganism.

          • “sapience” a euphemism for “speciesism” [sic] ? Um, not even close. In particular, “sapience” is most definitely NOT synonymous with “member of the human race”. And as a result, the rest of your comment has no connection to reality.

      • @Paul Koning

        I had to post a response to your “sapience” not being functionally equivalent to “speciesism” claim outside this nested thread. I hope you’ll read it and respond. Thanks.

  3. Corn, as far as the eye can see, from the front range of the Rockies to the Appalachians. Why, 10 percent ethanol. Imagine all the food that could be farmed. And, it turns out that burning freshly killed plants is much worse for the atmosphere than burning long ago dead plants. But, and this is a big one, every famine in the history of mankind has been caused by us, a government, a fixed market, refusal to trade, etc. Name the time when people were allowed to freely prosper themselves and they starved. Never happened.

    Then again, and this is the most important one of all, everything we will ever need is already here or easily within reach when the time comes. All you have to do is, believe. There is a God, he is real and control freaks suck.

  4. Vegans aren’t farmers. When vegans talk about how much grain has to go into producing a pound of meat and how many more people that grain could feed overlooks the fact that for most of their lives, animals raised for meat are largely fed on pasture, which, as Kyle Smith says, is not good for growing crops. The calculation in favor of growing crops over meat is wrong, as without meat producing animals the pasture would either be unused, or produce smaller crops, or exhaust the marginal soil quicker. It goes back to Adam Smith’s theory of relative advantage.

    • @Windy Wilson

      First, let’s clarify and correct your first claim. Some vegans are farmers. Some farmers are vegans. Not all vegans are farmers. Not all farmers are vegans. It is not necessary for one to be either a vegan or a farmer to read the study and consider the validity of its methodology and conclusions.

      Did you read the study? I suspect that Kyle Smith did not, otherwise he likely would have linked to the original study rather than another article that also cherry-picked which data to report. The original study accounted for 1. unused grazing land, 2. grazing land, 3. unused cropland, 4. perennial cropland, and 5. cultivated cropland. Thus I believe that your claims about what was “overlooked” are completely false, as the simulation models accounted for exactly those factors, which would obviously need to be accounted for in any such “carrying capacity” (“how many people could be fed”) study based precisely on land use and total calories produced from such various land uses (based upon dietary choices).

      I’ll let the study speak for itself (regarding the issue you raise). Here is one of the many caveats the authors themselves include in the paper, all of which, of course, are ignored by Smith and the author of the article he bases his column upon.

      “A sensitivity analysis was run to demonstrate how the restriction on the area of cultivated cropland influences estimated carrying capacity (Fig. 5). Carrying capacity was shown to be highly sensitive to the starting assumptions about the proportion of land available for cultivated cropping. The differences in carrying capacity observed across the eight diets were smaller when less of the cropland is available for cultivation and larger when more land is available for cultivation. Each diet, except the vegan diet, eventually reached a plateau, indicating the point at which the proportion of land available for cultivated cropping exceeds the level needed for cultivated crops. Over the range observed, the vegan diet eventually surpasses all but the lacto-vegetarian diet. These two diets are approximately equal when 92% of cropland is considered available for cultivation.”

      Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene • 4: 000116 • doi: 10.12952/journal.elementa.000116, page 10.

  5. Joe, zuckerfucker is blocking your blog. I tried to link it on my FB page three times, no go. I did manage to link the operative article you cite.

  6. George Pace:

    Thought I might have bookmarked the item, but it didn’t turn up. It was a news report last year(?) about both parents being sentenced to prison for the permanent damage suffered by their child being raised from birth on the vegan diet the parents followed themselves. There was a list of disabilities due to the lack of various nutrients a growing child requires for proper development. Child was about age 10, IIRC. I suspect part of the reason for the prison time was to ensure that they had no say in how the child would be raised until it was an adult, since they had so monumentally screwed up the kid already.

    The point is that this was not the first time I have encountered situations that show that you may be able to survive as an adult on an improper diet, but children are a different story. This is not some third world hellhole, with all the attendant problems they normally have with food supplies. No reason to emulate them just so you can make brownie points with the SJW’s that infest Western Civilization.

    • @Will
      1. So you can’t provide any citation that anyone was prosecuted because they were feeding a vegan diet to a child. That’s what I thought. (You fail to respond to the case I mentioned where the “vegan defense” (“the vegan diet was the CAUSE of the neglect-malnourishment) was rejected by the prosecutor and judge/jury, precisely BECAUSE almost all children on such a diet thrive). You provide an anecdotal account of parents being prosecuted for neglect resulting in a malnourished child. I’ll ask again, how many similar cases are there of parental neglect resulting in malnourishment of a child on a non-vegan diet? Anecdotally I’ll report the 99.9%+ of children on vegan diets are healthy and thriving. I concur that any parent that neglects or abuses a child physically or psychologically ought to be prosecuted for the harm caused. Relatively few of those cases involve vegans. Do you want me to start listing all the cases of neglect-malnourishment of children by meat-eating parents with the assertion that the meat-eating diet is the CAUSE of the neglect-malnourishment? The vegan neglect-malnourishment cases make the “news” because, well, 1. “vegan” is still considered by most (ignorant and/or prejudiced) people as “weird” or “crazy”, etc. and 2. let’s just say there are “vested interests” (who have many billions of dollars at stake) that want to minimize the number of people who adopt such a diet, and any “bad publicity”, even if it is totally misleading and/or wrong about the vegan diet, suits their purposes (keep buying as much flesh, eggs and dairy as possible!).

      2. Your “point” that veganism is an “improper” diet is wrong. Not only do adults do well, but babies and children also do well. The American Dietetic Association (ADA) and other nutritionist and dietician organizations have stated that such diets are healthy for young children as well as adults, not that they are “improper”. In other words, you are also wrong when you state the “children are a different story”. Of course, as with any other diet for young humans who are eating anything other than human milk, the diet needs to have all necessary nutrients, often in the form of “supplements” added to products such as “baby formula” (e.g. unsupplemented cow milk alone is not sufficient). This applies to all diets, not just vegan diets. Or are you claiming that the ADA, et. al. are ignorant of dietary requirements and you know better? If so, provide us with links to the data.

      3.Please provide evidence leading to your (obviously erroneous?) conclusion that vegans are vegans so they “can make brownie points with SJWs that infest Western Civilization”. Or, since you use the word “you” in your assertion, are you claiming that is the case specifically for me? If so, you are not only ignorantly wrong (again), you are full of bovine (they’re vegans) excrement (non-vegan).

    • What’s your point? That humans should eat only as a specifically cherry-picked group of humans ate in the distant past? Are you contending that the only factor in making such decisions about diet are rooted in past historical and pre-historical practices? That those practices can be the only “healthy” practices? (Thus arguing perhaps that a vegan from early adulthood (vegetarian at 14) like Paul Watson who was totally healthy until just before his death at 95 was really harming his health by a vegan diet and would have lived to 120 had he been eating the flesh-based “paleo” diet?) What if someone cherry-picked that (pre)historical group of cannibals? What if some people believe ethics is a consideration? If “historical precedent” is to rule without ethical consideration then today there’d be way more slaves than there are and women in even more countries wouldn’t be able to own property, or vote, or drive. If you’re using any form of the “argument from historical precedent” you’ve got problems, even if it’s supposedly rooted in “science”.

      Concerning the evidence you cite, you use that as a basis for your personal dietary choices (e.g. some particular version of a “paleo” diet?). And you follow it 100% because that’s what the data shows? And if the archeological/scientific data changes in the future you change your diet to match, right?

  7. @Paul Koning

    I see. I didn’t believe that you were using the word “sapience” [sic] by one of it’s literal definitions because that would make your argument about cannibalism, which you argued against by using the concept “the test is “sapience”” [sic], blatantly false. As cannibals could choose to eat only those humans who they deemed, according their own definition (as you apparently you have), lacking in “sapience” [sic]. Which would be the cannibals, according to you, merely “exercis[ing] property rights”. Or so it would appear according to the dictionaries. But apparently you have your own definition.

    Will you please provide your exact definition of the words “sapience” and “sapient”? Thank you. After you provide the definition please tell us if that definition applies, or not, generally to any particular species or other groups or whether such a trait (“sapience”[sic]) can only be determined to be held by individuals, independent of species. If you meant it when you wrote “”sapience” [sic] is most definitely NOT synonymous with “member of the human race” would it mean that 1. some humans are not sapient (and thus may be treated as “property”), and/or 2. some non-humans are sapient (and thus may not be treated as property)? If so, which ones are which? Please also define specifically what the test is for “sapience”, how administered, and how evaluated by whom and what their credentials would be. Also please define what factors determine who has “property rights”, and what sort, over any particular “non-sapient” being.

    I still believe all the concepts of the Alien Invasion Analogy are valid, because you are merely sidestepping (by substituting one irrelevant concept (“speciesism”) with another concept (“sapience” [sic]) that is also irrelevant as to whether one is entitled to ethical consideration. Even if “sapience” [sic] is “definitely NOT synonymous with “member of the human race”” it is, like the concept “human” (in speciesism), merely an arbitrary distinction that has no relevance as to whether or why which members inside or outside a particular group deserve what kind of ethical consideration. Obviously a concept similar to “sapient” [sic] could exist in some form in the Alien language and humans would not qualify to be deemed their analogous concept of “sapient” [sic] (or any other arbitrary distinguishing characteristic/concept that in and of itself has no bearing whether that group of beings deserve ethical consideration) and therefore would be subject to being treated merely as “property”.

    • You are looking at it wrong. It’s OK for us to eat less intelligent critters. That is what predators do. (Look at human physiology: it’s clear we are predators.) It’s also OK for prey to fight back – self-defense is every living thing’s right, not just humans. If aliens try to kill us off, and hunt us to extinction for food, recreation, or simply to take “delouse” the planet and take it, they can certainly try, and we are justified in fighting back. It would suck, because we’d likely lose, but that’s what competition is all about.

      And, if vegetarianism is so great, why don’t the nomadic herders of the world castrate all their sheep/goats/horses/reindeer, and become raisers of fruit/vegetable/grain crops and live on that? Why don’t the Eskimo, Aleut, Tlingit, Lapps, and other far north hunter/fisher tribes quit their barbaric lifestyle? Oh, right – they are subsisting on very marginal land that is nearly un-farmable outside tiny niches, and they are adapted to a high fat/protein diet.

      The fact is, humans are omnivores, and generally do best on a varied diet. With a variety of foods, including meat, grains, fruits, vegetables, fish, some raw things and some cooked things, etc, it’s easy to get enough of the micro and macro nutrients a body needs to be healthy. Too much of any one thing is a problem (as is too many calories for your activity level), and strictly eliminating an entire category of foods means a person has to be much more careful about the choices and mixes eaten from the suddenly limited menu. (as always, there are exceptions: see crone’s disease, allergies, etc)

      Back to the original point of the article – doing things or supporting things primarily to “virtue signal” WRT some supposed ideal, as opposed to doing it for its intrinsic value and benefits, leads people (individually and as groups) down all sorts of stupid paths. If you wish to be a vegan, great – knock yourself out. If you wish to promote it because you have found that it benefits YOU, PERSONALLY, great. Fine. Wonderful. Type away. If you wish to brag about it to indicate how great you are, and how uncouth the rest of us carnists are, and wish to shut down the lifestyle choices (eating meat) of others because of your particular bigotry, well, that’s an entirely different kettle of fish.

      Oh, yeah: the likely story referred to above (or one of several similar like it, I’m sure your google-fu is up to the task if you choose to exercise it) is https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/07/11/italian-baby-fed-vegan-diet-hospitalized-for-malnutrition/

      • @Rolf
        [My comments are preceded by **.]
        You are looking at it wrong.
        **You’re “thinking” is flawed.

        It’s OK for us to eat less intelligent critters.
        ** Who is “us” (Homo sapiens? The “sapient”? “Predators”? Whoever is most powerful and can enforce their will?) What group or particular individuals having what particular form of “less intelligen[ce]” are you referring to? Please define. Is a human baby born with severe brain damage to the point of having no cognitive nor sensory capability at all a “less intelligent critter”? Why or why not? What is it about “intellligence”, per se, that makes that characteristic the one that determines whether or not individuals/groups deserve ethical consideration?

        That is what predators do. (Look at human physiology: it’s clear we are predators.)
        **Your claim about physiology is at best highly debatable, but more accurately outrightly false. Here is a link to a paper by Dr. Milton Mills that compares the physiology of carnivores, herbivores, omnivores, and humans. He includes Facial muscles, Jaw type, Jaw joint location, Jaw motion, Major jaw muscles, Mouth opening vs. head size, Teeth: Incisors, Teeth: Canines, Teeth: Molars, Chewing, Saliva, Stomach type, Stomach acidity with food in stomach, Length of small intestine (compared to body length), Colon, Liver, Kidney, and Nails. In virtually every physiological comparison humans match herbivores, especially compared to carnivores, but even compared to “omnivores”. The one exception being that all four categories have “simple” stomachs, while SOME herbivores have “multiple chambers”. https://www.scribd.com/doc/94656/The-Comparative-Anatomy-of-Eating

        ** So it appears, but any objective measure, that your physiology assertion is erroneous. But even if humans had identical physiological characteristics to carnivores, that physiological similarity would have no bearing whatsoever on the ethical question of what individuals/groups deserve what degree of ethical consideration. Or you have to make a clear and convincing logically-valid argument for how and why a particular set of physiological characteristics are the appropriate criteria for establishing a demarcation of ethical consideration.

        It’s also OK for prey to fight back – self-defense is every living thing’s right, not just humans. If aliens try to kill us off, and hunt us to extinction for food, recreation, or simply to take “delouse” the planet and take it, they can certainly try, and we are justified in fighting back. It would suck, because we’d likely lose, but that’s what competition is all about.

        ** I never made any assertion that any animal, humans included, do not have the “right” to fight back when being attacked or exploited. You completely missed the point of my brief “Alien Invasion Analogy” summary. The point, as stated, was that a human who agreed that one group (humans in this case), for whatever justification they used (speciesism, “sapientism”, (false) “predator physiologism”, “intelligenceism”, etc. etc.) has the “right” to treat any other group any way they choose, would have to agree that a much superior (alien) race to humans would have the same RIGHT to treat humans in the ways most humans treat non-human animals, the aliens using the same logic and reasoning that most humans claim over non-human animals. That is, such would be the case if those humans believe in logic and reasoning and being consistent in their logic and reasoning. They might defend themselves against being eaten or made into clothing or fertilizer or being in a “zoo” or being a “pet”, or having their adolelscent females impregnated and “milked” while their babies are taken and turned into anemic “white meat” (aka “veal”), etc., etc., but they would have no rational objection to the alien actions since those actions would be based upon the same standards used by most humans to justify their actions toward most non-human animals. (The original Rod Serling Twilight Zone series explored a number of these themes, showing that once the tables were turned on humans by superior aliens, the humans suddenly developed a different ethical standard (and judged their treatment to be unethical!). Go figure!)
        And, if vegetarianism is so great, why don’t the nomadic herders of the world castrate all their sheep/goats/horses/reindeer, and become raisers of fruit/vegetable/grain crops and live on that? Why don’t the Eskimo, Aleut, Tlingit, Lapps, and other far north hunter/fisher tribes quit their barbaric lifestyle? Oh, right – they are subsisting on very marginal land that is nearly un-farmable outside tiny niches, and they are adapted to a high fat/protein diet.

        ** It’s difficult to even see what the point of this muddle is. First, I am not arguing that vegan/vegetarianism is “great” at all, much less that it is so because of any health, environmental or economic benefits (though those are all true to different degrees). My argument is that such a choice is the result of a logical and rational ethical proscription. Is your argument if, and only if, unless every single person on the planet has the ability and inclination to adopt a particular value then that value is therefore false? If that is your argument, and honestly I can’t really fathom what else you could mean, as irrational and preposterous as it is, then you are essentially claiming that any value held by anyone anywhere must be false, because, obviously, not every single person on the planet agrees an any single value. Are you arguing that because one person (or more) somewhere is, for whatever reason, incapable of adopting a particular value (ethics of veganism or vegetarianism in this case) that no one anywhere who does have the capability of living according to certain values has no duty to examine those values? And, as an aside, are you claiming that those “hunter/fisher tribes” that do their hunting and fishing using gasoline/diesel-powered snowmobiles don’t have access to sufficient vegetarian food should they choose to allocate their resources for that purpose?
        The fact is, humans are omnivores, and generally do best on a varied diet.
        * I believe that is false. I linked to an article above to disprove your claim about the physiological characteristics, demonstrating that humans clearly physiologically align with herbivores rather than omnivores. And of course there are many other articles exploring the same question. You can make any claim you want about “generally do best on a varied diet”, but you have no data to substantiate that. There is much data from cross-cultural studies showing that, among other things, the more animal flesh and animal products a society consumes the greater the prevalence of a long list of degenerative diseases (not the least of which is colon cancer. See: colon length (“transit time” factor) comparison between humans and omnivores). Does that mean that every single vegan/vegetarian will be “healthier” than every single consumer of animal products? Of course not, and no one could claim that with any validity about any diet or regimen of any kind, but the sum of the data is clear as a general overall trend (similar to smoking or chewing tobacco, etc.: a few people seem to avoid most of the negative consequences, but not most people).

        With a variety of foods, including meat, grains, fruits, vegetables, fish, some raw things and some cooked things, etc, it’s easy to get enough of the micro and macro nutrients a body needs to be healthy. Too much of any one thing is a problem (as is too many calories for your activity level), and strictly eliminating an entire category of foods means a person has to be much more careful about the choices and mixes eaten from the suddenly limited menu. (as always, there are exceptions: see crone’s disease, allergies, etc)
        ** If by “eliminating and entire category of foods” you mean “animal products”, I believe you are once again wrong in claiming that “a person has to be much more careful about the choices and mixes eaten from the suddenly limited menu.“ Hardly. One only has to consume more of the foods that one was already consuming to compensate for whatever calorie loss is due to the animal product removal. If one is already eating a “balanced diet” which includes a wide variety of grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruit, there would be no problem at all, with the possible exception of adding a monthly supplement of vitamin B-12. If you consider that the typical supermarket food space is vastly more filled with non-animal products compared to animal products… most of what’s out there is vegetable-grain-legume-fruit based. My local farmers market has over one hundred vendors, and with the exception of two who sell “prepared food”, none of the rest of them sell a single animal product. There’s way more than enough choices and enough to eat. Can you “force” people to be educated about nutrition and thus make the right choices for themselves? Of course, and obviously, not. And only the individual is responsible to their own choices and how that effects them and their families who may depend on them to make the dietary choices. Obesity is “epidemic”, but that’s not the food’s fault. People can choose, or not, to get educated about diet, just like they can choose to get educated about “assault weapons”, “universal background checks”, and “a few commonsense gun safety regulations”, etc. There’s nothing anyone else can do to force anyone to become informed.
        Back to the original point of the article – doing things or supporting things primarily to “virtue signal” WRT some supposed ideal, as opposed to doing it for its intrinsic value and benefits, leads people (individually and as groups) down all sorts of stupid paths.
        ** The term “virtue-signaling (lifestyle)” is nothing but a fabricated thinly-veiled pejorative term that is really name-calling (just like the terms “prissy” and “sanctimonious”, among others in the original article by Kyle Smith). Rather like “assault weapon”. Who is it that gets to decide if a person adopting certain values does so for what particular reasons? And so what if they do adopt it for the “wrong reasons” and flaunt it? That is no argument against the value at all. Might as well call the “Oathkeepers” and “Three Percenters” and “NRA/SAF/GOA members” sanctimonious virtue-signaling lifestylers. They can talk and write incessantly about their passion and how they personally are doing “the right thing” and something that is very important that most people are too selfish, self-absorbed, or stupid to realize is of great importance… does that mean that they are “wrong”? How is that any different from making the same charge against vegans? What’s the “stupid path” that vegans are being led down?

        If you wish to be a vegan, great – knock yourself out. If you wish to promote it because you have found that it benefits YOU, PERSONALLY, great. Fine. Wonderful. Type away.
        ** That’s very kind of you to grant me permission to exercise my First Amendment guaranteed rights. Also, a person could argue for a value without holding that value themselves, and they could make valid argument. They might be subject to charges of “inconsistency” or “hypocrisy” in their personal choices, but that wouldn’t invalidate their argument. For example, some slave owners argued against slavery while continuing to own slaves and choosing not to free them at the time.
        If you wish to brag about it to indicate how great you are, and how uncouth the rest of us carnists are, and wish to shut down the lifestyle choices (eating meat) of others because of your particular bigotry, well, that’s an entirely different kettle of fish.
        ** Are you arguing that people you disagree with are not entitled to express their views, including to petition government to enact legislation? How does that work? Who gets to shut down the rights of those they disagree with? You mean like Clinton wants to shut down Alex Jones and Breitbart because they publish material she finds “offensive”? You’re the one heading down a path none of us really wants to go down. If you’ve read all my post in this thread I’ve never “brag[ged]” about “how great” I am. I’ve never used any judgmental language at all about “carnists”, and I’ve never advocated to “shut down the lifestyle choices (eating meat)” of anyone. You and other posters are the ones who resort to name-calling (“bigotry”, etc.), use false premises in barely coherent “arguments”, present false or questionable “data” as if it were fact, and then imply that while you have the right to write whatever you want, those of differing views are not so entitled. Yes, that is, indeed, a “different kettle of fish”. Just like we have the right to advocate for laws for permitless carry, ending the 1934 NFA restrictions, abolishing the BATFE, etc., those opposing us have the right to advocate for laws instituting civilian disarmament. I don’t think most on our side, as much as we might despise the deceitful tactics of the other side, want to prevent anyone opposing us from speaking at all. What makes vegans who might want to legislate their ethical beliefs (like anti-slavery and woman-suffrage advocates sought legislation to support their ethical values) different? Please do not answer with the speciesist, etc. “because: human”. Many “animal welfare” and “animal abuse” laws have already been legislated. Of course they mostly selectively apply to particular species of animals that humans deemed “worthy” of protection from abuse, aka “my pet”. If “predators” eat the “less intelligent”, and dogs and cats and horses are “less intelligent”, then that’s what you do (prey on them), right? And all such non-human animal protection legislation is an affront to you because it violates your prime principle, and no one has the right to interfere (legislatively or otherwise) with your right to eat dogs and cats (prey upon the less intelligent)?

        Oh, yeah: the likely story referred to above (or one of several similar like it, I’m sure your google-fu is up to the task if you choose to exercise it) is https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/07/11/italian-baby-fed-vegan-diet-hospitalized-for-malnutrition/

        ** I’m familiar with the Italian case you reference. I’m sure you noted that the consulting physician (Director of Pediatrics Luca Bernardo) in that case clearly stated that the congenital cardiac malformation of the child played a role in the malnourishment, but was not solely responsible (the parents were). He also stated “It is not a problem to choose different or unusual kinds of nutrition and we certainly do not want to enter into a discussion of the merits of the decision.” I.e. The parents are responsible, not the diet. There are over 550,000 cases of child neglect in the United States per year (300,000 more of “neglect AND abuse”), and most of those cases are “physical neglect”, the main attribute of which is “malnourishment”. In examining some research on this matter I was unable to find a single reference in any academic or popular article that referenced the rate of vegan malnourishment. I admit that I could be wrong, but I suspect that lack of mention means that the rate of vegan malnourishment/neglect is so small as to be too insignificant to even mention, and irrelevant, let alone be a concern. Some parental contributory factors mentioned include alcohol and drug use, mental health issues, and physical health issues. Thus I conclude that your, and others, referencing the relatively rare cases of vegan malnourishment as an indictment of veganism, compared to the vast preponderance of cases of meat-eating and meat-feeding parental malnourishment neglect is nothing but a disingenuous, false, slanderous cherry-picking of popular news media headlines to attempt to support a false view. Which is clearly false, because if a vegan infant diet were deficient, 99.999% of infants receiving vegan diets would not be healthy and thriving, like they are. You know, just like how we have to ban “assault weapons” because they kill so many people. I see that in some headline somewhere virtually every day. And it’s a lie, too.

        • I think you are reading WAY too much into what I said.

          You do realize that the original article was about various the problems highlighted in a study about diets *with respect to planetary sustainability and energy use,* not WRT to dietary benefits, digestion, or ethics, and the sanctimony that comes with extreme positions, right??

  8. I’ve never once met a vegan who didn’t exhibit the following:
    -sallow looking skin
    -easily exhausted from moderate physical activity
    -unable to back squat decent weight
    -constantly making cockamamie and offensive moral comparisons (eg comparing pig farms to Nazi concentration camps.)
    -completely insufferable personality due to being so far up their own ass.

    • What’s your sample size (all the vegans you ever met, that you knew were vegans)?
      Have you ever met people exhibiting those characteristics who are not vegans?
      Are you sure you’ve never met a vegan who did not exhibit those characteristics but you were unaware that they were vegan? How would you know from looking at someone, if they don’t exhibit your listed characteristics that they are or are not vegan?
      What is your response when you may have heard or read someone claim that all/most gun owners (they’ve met or not) are some version of “uneducated fat redneck white guys”?

      Hey Joe, is the post by “Donny” an example of “data and logical thinking in general ” you say vegans lack?

      • My comment was intended to address those “with virtue-signaling lifestyles” not vegans in particular. And it was “as often is the case”, not all. And that doesn’t mean that non “virtue-signaling” people don’t sometimes have issues of that type as well. Just that it seems to be more common with them.

        But, carry on, you seem to be defending your position relatively well.

        Also note, I am pleased that both sides are keeping it reasonably civil.

    • Some vegans consume alcoholic beverages. There are many alcoholic beverages that are vegan, that is, they use no animal-based products in the production process. Many (but not all) beers and wines use various animal-based substances in various stages of production, especially in fining and clarification.
      Why do you ask?

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