Friday, June 21, 2013

A Sensation Not Unlike Slapping Yourself in the Face

One must eat the other
Who runs free before him
Put them right into his mouth
While fantasizing the beauty of his movements
A sensation not unlike slapping yourself in the face...

Jane's Addiction

Rhys Southan:

So this logical debate over veganism becomes either an eternal loop, or a stalemate in which everyone’s logical justifications slap against a stone wall and dissolve into a mist. Does this exercise seem as pointless to you as it now seems to me? The main value in it, I think, is that it affirms my earlier intuition that logic and rationality alone cannot tell us what to eat. Emotions have a big role in most of our decisions, and if someone doesn’t have the sort of emotional response to animal agriculture that compels them to give up meat, berating them with logic probably won’t do much.

I was hoping this essay would be the prelude to a closer look at the question of why we, with all our vaunted cleverness, can't find a workable way to rationalize feasting on our fellow shaved apes, but it appears our society still lacks the "stomach", ah ha ha, for such "meaty", oh ho ho, dilemmas. I mean, can't we at least scavenge our own? All that protein, buried deep underground or turned into ash? What a waste. Let me know when you're ready to get serious about this. Until then, good luck with continuing to avoid directly reckoning with the true, sanity-obliterating extent of pointless suffering woven into the very fabric of existence.


  1. We do have an ethical obligation to attempt to be consistent, right, and good. The claim that veganism is an arbitrary cut-off for moral behavior, and therefore, not an obligation, would seem to apply to all moral judgements. It's a burden of proof argument, used to obfuscate and rationalize and avoid the real issue: is it the right thing to do? (I don't claim to know the answer to that question.)
    The argument that a vegan diet is bad for you is a better argument, pitting one's own suffering against that of animals, but one which involves a factual claim for which I have seen no evidence. Even my conservative sister, the doctor, says a vegan diet can be good for you, provided you get enough protein, etc. Maybe Southan just needed more beans.
    I'm not a vegan, but I hate bad reasoning. And I just had a delicious lunch of homemade hummus, minestrone soup, crackers, and cherries. I have no idea why I would be depressed about that.

  2. Brian M8:32 PM

    At a very minimum, it makes good sense to cut qay back on meat. My lunch (Ramen) was based on pork broth, but the meat was basically one small piece of pork. Meat should be expensive and relatively rare...because it does involve suffering.