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Debate On The Ethics Of Direct Action w/ Walt Anderson

Season 1, Ep. 6

TL;DW I advocate reasons for viewing far-left direct action positively, while my liberal opponent argues for a narrower set of justifications. Hopefully people find the dialogue around ethical foundations and campaign case studies useful.


I had this good debate a few days ago in the Arthuria server on the proposition; It has been and will likely continue to be for some time, in some cases both ethically justified and good political advocacy to use direct action tactics ranging from civil disobedience up to economic sabotage and fighting evil actors today.


Meaning in terms of campaigning against state, corporate and social harms, I think people should have available to them tactics ranging from purposeful; civil disobedience, to graffiti & culture jamming, to hacking, to sabotage & fighting. But, stopping short of political killing today under representative systems.


An example of fighting evil actors would be sometimes fighting people who are displaying character vices and making them feel afraid as being the best solution, like repeat offending rapists and paedophiles. And an example of economic sabotage would be both making a statement and making it more costly for a system or person to continue doing that action, like sabotaging a draft office, disrupting the governments ability to send people to Vietnam.


Here’s my longer essay on the subject: On The Far-Left, Effective Activism & Violence


And finally, in preperation for the debate I started cataloging the history of revolutionairy groups and campaigns to look for interesting case studies which you can find here: Left-Libertarian History Case Studies

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5/7/2021

Debate On The Definition of Veganism - Ishkah vs. Shadow Starshine

Season 1, Ep. 5
Debate Proposition: We should define veganism as “an animal products boycott” which is primarily against animal agriculture, and not “veganism is a way of life that seeks to place the value of animal life, health and liberty above the value of substitutable classes of goods, services and uses derived from animals.”At the 32:30 mins mark in the video, I gave a rebuttal to Shadow’s definition, on why I think myself and other vegans don’t and shouldn’t have to fit under his definition, but either he didn’t understand it and/or I didn’t explain myself clearly enough.He views anyone who would ‘substitute meat in their shopping trolley for vegetables’ as what qualifies them as a vegan (fitting under his definition), but I disagree that it has to be because you’re strictly valuing a hypothetical animal that got a chance to live, higher than the one that died to make the animal product which you’re substituting for vegetable products.I desire to grant guardianship laws to animals to collectively be able to seek refuge in a specific area of wildlife habitat because I can recognize they desire to express their capabilities, having land they can call their territory helps them fulfil this need, and I can recognize if I was born into the world as an animal or severely disabled human I would want access to resources to fulfil my needs.Another way of saying this could be I place the value of getting to see wildlife in dense wildlife habitat above the value of strip malls, business parks and open cast coal mines.I don’t think I ought place the value of animal life, health and liberty above the value of substitutable classes of goods, services and uses derived from animals.So two exceptions to the rule could be:I don’t think I’m viewing the value for the animal to live in the wild as being higher than the value a sheep would find on a semi-wild farm protected from predators and then turned into a substitutable class of meat towards the end of it’s life. (Even thought I think a fully wild habitat would offer more life for more animals and not slaughtering would offer a more virtuous life for the human).And I even think that I value the class of goods of carrots above the substitutable class of goods of apples which puts the value of animals life lower in some circumstances, like turning over soil to let seagulls feast on the worms.My argument is simply that we ought engineer a set of circumstances in which a much higher number of animals are getting to express their capabilities in wildlife habitat. But I don’t think that necessarily has to be hashed out to ‘doing it for the animals’ or ‘because I’m viewing their life in the wild as universally of higher value to ways you could individually treat them as means to an end substitutable classes of goods or services.’ Because I wouldn’t necessarily.–Shadow Starshine’s response to the exceptions to the rule (after the debate had ended) was:Right, let me respond to the second point first. It’s where I’ve admitted that my definition has the highest weakness is that what a “class” is, is vague. I obviously don’t mean specific fruits and meats and whatever to constitute legitimate classes, and I want “food” to be a class of product. or “medicine”, things of that level. I agree that one can sort of twist the wording of class to mean things like you’re implying which is beyond my intention.The first point is interesting, I may or may not agree with it. I’ll think on it.
5/7/2021

Re; Veganism vs. Animal Liberation (Ishkah vs. Eisel & DxE)

Season 1, Ep. 4
Full Transcript:Alright, this is going to be a response to Eisel’s video on ‘Veganism vs. Animal Liberation’ with a critique at the end about common arguments he uses in his videos.So, as far as I know Eisel has never tried to come up with precise wording for what his preferred definition of veganism would be, so at a guess from watching his videos, I can imagine it would be something along the lines of:“A personal duty to respect the dignity of animals & a desire to build a social movement to, among other things, lobby government for a higher percentage territory of managed wildlife habitat.”And we can guess his argument for this philosophy being contained in the word vegan is that… its the best descriptive adjective for a human-centred movement. And, that the goal is to win over enough passionate people who are dedicated enough to take on the personal principle of avoiding animal products, as a basis for finding each other and organizing to making changes to our communities and institutions.The person he’s critiquing would like to abandon the word vegan in favour of advocating the ideology of anti-speciesism, as an element of total liberation. So more like a social justice movement where anti-speciesism is one axis of oppression among other struggles like anti-racism & anti-sexism. Therefore an animal-centred movement alongside other oppressed-centred movements.So, positives to Eisel’s critique are, by solely advocating for animals through a social justice approach, you just are going to get meat eaters being turned away from caring about animals because vegans look like deluded people who view animals as citizens.As well as vegans feeling more justified in taking violent action for animals, who they start to view as members of our society. When in reality, like I said in my earlier video, animals can’t conceptualize a tactical war to achieve rights, so they can’t desire it.We aren’t even able to alleviate their suffering like we could human prisoners with the optimistic notion that direct actions done in other places now, may one day lead to an end to their suffering.Negatives are, he never acknowledges any better arguments for putting more focus on words like animal liberation.I think we need to be fighting for incremental legal animal rights laws which make it less profitable to breed animals for food. And one philosophical and legal approach which is gaining more prominence is Martha Nussbaum’s capabilities approach, which we can say is about liberating animals to be able to express their capabilities in the wild. Links below in the description.As well, I think he’s wrong to claim Animal Liberation is primarily tied to Singer’s views on utilitarianism. The most common association people will draw it to is the Animal Liberation Front, which people already understand that if you have activists willing to liberate animals from cages, they obviously won’t also be buying animal foods.I have nothing against veganism as a marketable word for a boycott identity, but in terms of explaining where the principle comes from, I think legal animal rights movement, says it really clearly in the name itself about how it’s a political movement, rather than veganism with it’s history and etymology in vegetarianism, which was simply a lifestyle society.So in conclusion, I think as well as and even better than a vegan identity, we need to start thinking of ourselves as legal animal rights advocates also, which can encompass arguments for animal rights, liberation and/or welfare..Part 2Alright this is the point in the video where I’m going to go into critiquing Eisel’s most commonly used arguments, if you never feel tempted to watch an Eisel video and couldn’t care less the effect he and people like him have, that’s okay, you can just click off the video now.So, I watched Eisel’s videos for a long time because he talked about a lot of topics I care about like a rewilding habitat approach to advocating for veganism, nihilism and encouraging a pragmatic, social science approach to many questions.But, even though I was grateful to be introduced to lots of little conflicts between different world-views that I wasn’t previously aware of, I felt his views on issues were somewhat simplistic.Firstly, let’s talk about his habit of arguing against the worst arguments for a world-view in order to appear superior..2a. Arguing against straw-menSo, Eisel likes to make the argument that you can draw an association between the top academics making arguments for a particular issue and the ineloquent layman who got their talking points from twitter, then dismiss both their reasoning as equally baseless.[Video Clip – Veganism vs. Anti-Capitalism (vs. The Vegan Anarchist] [3]Many of the problems we have within the intellectual ghetto of 21st century vegan politics are basically the same as the problems you have with the rest of planet earth or western academia or what have you.And doubtless this is true in many cases, but often he never proves conclusively the association and in my view simply enjoys teeing off against bad arguments which make him look good.So to demonstrate, imagine two rooms of people, where in both rooms one person is advocating veganism and the other is raising concerns about how it may create problems for preserving and increasing the number of people who can speak indigenous languages and play an active role in the culture.In the first room of laymen twitter users, we’re asked to imagine that the person raising concerns about veganism’s impact on indigenous culture would view the threat as being so detrimental, that they would rather stick rigidly to one conception of what indigenous culture entails and not accept any idea of the culture evolving over time.So, the meat eater asks the vegan; “do you see nothing positive in these indigenous cultures? Do you see nothing worth saving in native tradition?” And so, having laid the premise of someone putting forth a bad argument that we the listener would also be frustrated to have to answer, Eisel can jump in to save the day and answer with an apparent sense of superiority:[Video Clip – Answering “White Privilege” (VS. Joey Carbstrong!)] [4]My answer to that is two-fold, one, when you think of culture, do you of it as a weakness or a strength? I’m dead serious, really think about it, is your culture holding you back? Is it dead weight? Is it a burden you’re going to place on the shoulders of the next generation?Cool, so for Eisel that’s video over, that’s the advice to remember to take away with you. But how would this actually go over, if you were in a room with a well read, articulate person offering reasonable concerns about the impact of veganism on indigenous people. Well we can imagine the meat eater asking “What about indigenous people on the bones of their asses, hunting as a cheap way of acquiring food and having a culture of sharing with elders in their community who can’t do it themselves, do you see nothing about that worth preserving? And now Eisel’s answer;[Video Clip – Answering “White Privilege” (VS. Joey Carbstrong!)] [4]When you think of culture, do you of it as a weakness or a strength?Clearly this is inadequate, and everything about taking those actions in that circumstance and that culture is commendable. Did it sound like that argument could be put into practice just as easily on a more nuanced critique of veganism and it be just as easily refuted, as Eisel would have you believe?:[Video Clip – Veganism vs. Anti-Capitalism (vs. The Vegan Anarchist] [5]Every so often, London School of Economics has people with PhDs, who are on the far-left, making these same sorts of arguments, and they’re just as easily refuted.So, the correct answer for me there is to say, of course I wouldn’t condemn them for killing animals in that hyper specific circumstance, and I would campaign for free & better education, community gardening projects, etc. To improve their lot in life. But, if you’re living in the city and your only access to hunting grounds is driving an hour out your way, then a healthier and more ethical use of your money would simply be picking up tofu from the supermarket instead of meat.As a side note, this is also where I view my definition of veganism as an animal products boycott behaviour as having advantages over other ones like the vegan society which defines veganism as a philosophy:Firstly, because when simply explained as a behaviour, it’s less easily misunderstood as a belief-ism one needs to buy into which could negatively change everything about how one currently views the word. And rather can be related to as a tool for achieving goals one has through ones own philosophy and culture already. Like the Mi’kmaq legend of how a demi-god used magic to obtain unlimited amounts of beaver meat from a single bone, reflecting a wish for abundance disconnected from the need to hunt.Secondly, The strong commitment is clear through it being a boycott protest, which we can really easy conceptually tie to other boycotts, where someone boycotting South African products during apartheid wouldn’t feel comfortable flying over their and joining the police force themselves. More so than in other definitions where you’re just saying you’re abstaining from using the end animal products.And finally, I am actually fine with my definition being softer on for example subsistence hunters. I’ve got a video on my channel of Penan tribes people in Indonesia explaining how it would be repulsive to them to keep animals in captivity to farm, and I think this is great animal rights advocacy, so again a positive distinction.2b. Faulty comparisonsSo, a faulty comparison is when you compare one thing to another that is really not related, in order to make one thing look more or less desirable than it really is.For example, the comparison; broccoli has significantly less fat than the leading candy bar!While both broccoli and candy bars can be considered snacks, comparing the two in terms of fat content and ignoring the significant difference in taste, leads to the faulty comparison.Now in Eisel’s case, here’s an example from his video called Against Anarchism:[Video Clip – Against Anarchism (In Principle and in Practice, esp. “Left Anarchism”)] [4]So someone could challenge me, I’m steal-manning Theo’s position here to say well look even if you don’t subscribe to this long term more utopian idea of where this is going to, and even if you don’t agree with this in principle, in this sense, can’t you see some short-term benefit in anarchism here and now, in the same way that I can see a benefit in charity. . .And if I argued back pointing out the relative historical triviality of libertarianism, look this isn’t really a major influential political philosophy, but if on a scale of one to ten, if we rate libertarianism like a three out of ten, then left-wing anarchism is a zero, it has no significance at all.Now, the obvious mistake he made here is the pragmatic goals of right or left-wing anarchists would simply be to win people over to transitionery policy steps through left or right-wing libertarianism. So the logical comparison to make would be comparing support between right wing anarchism and left wing anarchism, or right wing libertarianism against left wing libertarianism. Not comparing the more public friendly image of right wing libertarians against the more radical side from the left wing anarchists.Next, an example from his video on China’s policies in Xinjiang towards the Uiyghur Muslims:(Video Clip – China is Right About Xinjiang. By Eisel) [5]Is it fair to say that this is cultural genocide? My answer to that question is yes, this is cultural genocide, but we should say in the same breath without any hypocrisy that what the government of the United States of America attempted to do in Afghanistan also was cultural genocide.So even if we examine the cultural project that the United States embarked on and compare it to the cultural project that the government of China is embarked on, we have to say the body count for what China is doing and how it is doing it is much much lower, the negative impacts are much more limited.Now, in reality the cultural heritage that was attempted to be destroyed in Afghanistan, if we can even call it genocide really was only aimed at disarming the movement of rural Pashtun’s who chose to take up arms only 10 years earlier, naive though that aim was. Rules of engagement listed mosques as protected buildings and a conservative Islamic government was put in place.China on the other hand is locking up millions, bulldozing it’s towns and mosques, subsidizing settlers to move in on mass and take coordinator positions. All in an effort to brainwash the people into thinking of themselves as more like Han Chinese who should praise the state for their glorious history. So the level of cultural destruction is played up in the Afghan case to appear more equal and suffering as a result is played down in the Chinese case to appear better.And finally a video he did on civil disobedience:(Video Clip – Civil Disobedience is the Opposite of Democracy. By Eisel) [6]Do you think Israel should be ruled by the sober judgment of a hundred percent of the population participating in a democracy where they have to stand up and make rational arguments where they believe in and consider the law of the Constitution and people get to vote and all this stuff [In short…] do you think it should be a procedural rational democracy involving everyone OR do you think that a small minority of religious fanatics should just be able to go and engage in civil disobedience?. . . Civil disobedience is; rule of your society by the most militant minority.So, this is both a bad comparison and a faulty dilemma, there are obvious degrees of punishment a government can bring down on people breaking the law, any direction the society goes in for either not controlling or bowing to protesters demands is still the moral culpability of the government and those who participated in the party political process. There is an obvious legal and moral difference between victimless civil disobedience aimed at all people being treated equally in society like collecting salt from the sea or staying seated on the bus, to that of stealing another country’s resources against international law..2c. Jumping to conclusionsSo, in the video I’m responding to he claims Singer has said he himself eats meat:[Sanity vs. Insanity: Veganism vs. Animal Liberation] [7]Peter Singer very casually talks about eating meat in his own life when he’s in a particular situation at a restaurant other people order meat and he’ll eat meat too for no reasonBut try as I might googling, I can’t find any quote anywhere to back up his claim, so more than likely this is just part of a long running pattern of Eisel jumping to conclusions that fit his narrative.The reality is not much better, but the fact is Singer acts vegan when at home and vegetarian when travelling and there are no vegan options in the restaurant he wants to visit.When I’m shopping for myself, it will be vegan. But when I’m travelling and it’s hard to get vegan food in some places or whatever, I’ll be vegetarian. I won’t eat eggs if they’re not free-range, but if they’re free-range, I will. I won’t order a dish that is full of cheese, but I won’t worry about, say, whether an Indian vegetable curry was cooked with ghee.Singer’s book ‘Animal Liberation’ promoted a preference consequentialist view which makes veganism an obligation, it was only later he started to slide towards hedonistic utilitarianism.I also found a particularly hilarious example of Eisel not watching the video he’s responding to to the end and making a response video critiquing the guy for burning a poster of Mao Zedong, which he in fact doesn’t do and Serpentza gives the same reasons for not doing it that Eisel is supposedly critiquing him for doing.So, Serpentza makes a video saying how he couldn’t understand at first why Chinese people don’t reject putting up posters of Mao Zedong in the same way German people reject putting up posters of Hitler today, but he learnt to sympathise with the fact it’s part of the culture to see him simply as a symbol who kept the country strong and independent.Eisel’s response; ‘why would you burn a poster of Mao Zedong, you don’t have any sympathy for the Chinese people or their culture, you ignorant, unresearched, lazy fuck.’ Hahaha(Chairman Mao – Why do people worship this MURDERER? By Serpentza) [8]04:40 – [The communist party are] very good at engineering what people think from a very young age through education and through various different social programs. People still believe that if it wasn’t for him, China wouldn’t be the way it is, people still believe that he’s a great man who maybe made a few small mistakes and if you want to call a few small mistakes murdering millions of people, so be it.11:10 – So at the end of the day, am I going to burn this portrait of Mao Zedong? No I’m not going to burn it and you all know why because I respect my Chinese friends, I respect my Chinese family and I respect Chinese people and their opinions, at least to a certain degree. And while I do not agree with everything that this man stands for – and why honestly if I could have met him in real life, just like most people say about you know taking out Hitler, if they met him in real life that’s something I would have done – at the end of the day though because I do respect my Chinese friends, family and Chinese people, I will not burn this because it’s distasteful, because it shows a massive lack of respect towards the Chinese people.(Against Serpentza, re: Chairman Mao’s Portrait on the Wall. By Eisel) [9]03:25 – So he had a video recently in which he featured himself burning a portrait of Mao Zedong. I guess I’ll give the link below this video and currently that video has over 200,000 views, so I certainly can’t hope to challenge that by reaching an audience of equal size and you know he’s reaching that audience because he’s telling people something they already want to hear. . .04:55 – I am not in a position to say to people who put his poster on the wall this is all that Mao Zedong represents this is the only thing it represents and this is what it must mean to you. . .I think it comes down to a trend of Eisel’s to jump to conclusions about a persons position so that he can believe he has superior positions to the person and mock them. It’s part of a conspiracy mindset. Like believing with confidence the assassination of both Kennedy brothers was done by the CIA and that people like Abby Martin are government agents for Russia.I’ll link to another funny example where he did this to me in the description box down below.But yeah, that’s the end of the video, all the best, peace..References1. Beyond Compassion and Humanity; Justice for Non-human Animals by Martha Nussbaum – https://activistjourneys.wordpress.com/2020/07/25/beyond-compassion-and-humanity-justice-for-non-human-animals-martha-c-nussbaum/2. The Capability Approach – https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/capability-approach/3. Veganism vs. Anti-Capitalism (vs. The Vegan Anarchist) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFqvoTLd5_k4. Against Anarchism (In Principle and in Practice, esp. “Left Anarchism” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FaTvML9ATaY5. China is Right About Xinjiang – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqgPw5Z-Guw6. Civil Disobedience is the Opposite of Democracy. – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gs9HO4BjwrY7. Sanity vs. Insanity: Veganism vs. Animal Liberation – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXghrCRoz5s8. Chairman Mao – Why do people worship this MURDERER? By Serpentza – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_ZCf1dZv6g9. Against Serpentza, re: Chairman Mao’s Portrait on the Wall – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_AFVx0SOZk10. Eisel’s use of faulty comparisons to oversimplify problems. – https://philosophicalvegan.com/viewtopic.php?p=48462–
5/7/2021

How to simply explain what veganism is and argue for it - Part One

Season 1, Ep. 3
Table of Contents1. The Vegan Definition1a. Intro1b. How to explain what veganism is1c. Why not other definitions?1d. What specifically is wrong with other definitions?1e. Good definitions1f. Outro2. Arguments for Veganism2a. Intro2b. General Purpose – Name The Trait2c. Consequentialist – Marginal cases2d. Virtue Ethics – Respect for Animal Capabilities2e. Deontology – The Golden Rule2f. Nihilist Ethics – Property Rights for Animals2g. Outro3. Formal Syllogisms3a. General Purpose – Name The Trait3b. Consequentialist – Marginal Cases3c. Virtue Ethics – Respect for Animal Capabilities3d. Deontology – The Golden Rule3e. Nihilist Ethics – Property Rights for Animals4. References.1. The Vegan Definition1a. IntroHello, okay this is going to be the first of two videos, where in this first video I introduce my preferred definition of veganism, explain why I think it’s the best one for advocacy, then in the second video run you through 5 a-mazing arguments for veganism and how best to argue for it. This is mainly for vegans to become better skilled at advocating, but any feedback is more than welcome..1b. How to explain what veganism isI define veganism as simply “an animal products boycott.”I make the point of saying it’s one campaign tactic among many, aimed primarily at achieving the end of animal agriculture.And that personally I see the principle behind the action as being grounded in the animal rights movement, seeking collective legal rights for animals to have a refuge in dense wildlife habitat where they aren’t subject to human cruelty. In a similar way to how the act of boycotting South African products or the act of boycotting the Montgomery bus company was grounded in a larger civil rights movement.Other boycotts didn’t have a specific name for the identity one took on when boycotting, the principle for why they boycotted was contained in what it meant to be part of a larger movement e.g. being a civil rights advocate. So I would just encourage people to think of themselves as animal rights advocates first, fighting for the legal protection of animals. Though you could also call yourself an animal liberation advocate fighting to free non-human animals to be able to express their capabilities in managed wildlife habitat or a sanctuary.As for why someone would arrive at the ethical conclusion to boycott, it could be a million ways, but the three main ethical schools of thought you can draw from are consequentialism, virtue ethics and deontology. I would just be prepared to tailor your arguments to the person you’re standing in front of, as we’ll discuss in the second video. It’s not important for you to know the school you’re arguing from, but I’ll give you them anyway as an introduction to each ethical argument for an animal products boycott.So, five ways to explain the principle that got you into veganism and what branch of philosophy it may be related to:Hedonistic Utilitarianism: The principle of not breeding sentient life into the world where you know you will cause more suffering on a global calculus than happiness. Examples: climate change, stress and pain in slaughterhouse than longer happy life in wild with low rates of predation, stress to slaughterhouse workers who are more likely to abuse their family).Preference Consequentialism: The principle of not breeding sentient life into the world to kill when you know they will have interests to go on living longer than would be profitable. Examples: They have habits for things they’d like to do each day and they show you by their desire not to be loaded onto scary trucks and to a slaughterhouse with screams and smells of death.Virtue Ethics: The principle of not breeding a sentient life into captivity when you know you could leave room for other animals to enjoy happy flourishing being able to express all their capabilities in wild habitat. Not wanting to parasitically take away life with meaning for low-order pleasure in our hierarchy of needs which we can find elsewhere.Deontology: The principle of everyone should only act in such a way that it would still be acceptable to them if it were to become universal law. So not breeding sentient life into existence, only to keep them confined, tear families apart and kill them later, as you wouldn’t want it to happen to you.Nihlist Ethics: The principle that you should be wary of in-authentically acting in a way you don’t believe due to outside social pressures, like that acting un-caringly is necessary to what it means to be a man. So testing out values you were brought up with against new ones as you go and coming to the conclusion that you prefer a society where most have the value of seeing animals flourishing in nature and not in captivity/pain..1c. Why not use other definitions?The reason I would encourage people to use the definition “an animal products boycott” and not other definitions is it gets at the root motivation people have for being vegan without being divisive about which ethical system is best.In 1944 those members of the vegetarian society who were avoiding all use of animal products, created their own vegan society and came up with the word vegan. They did this after a series of debates in which they voiced their concern that we should also be advocating the boycott of the dairy and egg industries.Now I acknowledge that one problem with defining veganism as an “animal products boycott” is people saying “well would you be okay with hunting wild animals yourself then?” But to that I would answer “implicit in the word boycott is an ethical judgement on the activity that creates the product.”So, for 99% of people protesting animal farming, it’s going to be hypocritical to go hunting, because you’re desiring to prevent the incentives for the killing from ever happening so you couldn’t then go out and do it yourself. It’s a positive that we get to really easy conceptually tie this to other boycotts where someone boycotting South African products during apartheid wouldn’t feel comfortable with flying over their and joining the police force themselves, more so than in other definitions where you’re just saying you’re abstaining from using the end animal products.But I am actually fine with my definition being softer on for example subsistence hunters. I’ve got a video on my channel of Penan tribes people in Indonesia explaining how it would be repulsive to them to keep animals in captivity to farm, and I think this is great animal rights advocacy, so again a positive distinction.So the idea that some tiny 0.001% of people who might boycott animal products, may also feel fine with going out hunting themselves would just be one of a number of fringe groups you already have under many definitions, like neo-nazis desiring to boycott animal products and wanting to commit harms against humans. Which we simply have to denounce or distance ourselves from in our animal rights advocacy anyway.Another concern people may have is that boycotting sounds like you’re primarily negatively opposed to a thing and trying to reduce your reliance on that thing. But I would argue you have that with every definition and that by creating a distance between the behaviour (veganism) and the principle (animal rights) you allow people to see the action as part of a big tent animal rights movement, where you’re hoping through boycotting, lobbying, starting vegan cafes, food not bombs stalls and foraging groups to create the breathing room necessary for legislation and rewilding where you can get to enjoy a more compassionate local community and see more animals flourishing in wildlife habitat.To draw attention away from veganism as a political act is to make veganism look simply like an identity one takes on to look cool or be part of a subculture. Whereas people can relate boycott’s to other real world events as great positive coming together moments under a liberation politics. For example car-sharing during the Montgomery bus boycott, students leading the call to stop subsidising Israel and before that South Africa, the widespread boycotting of a reactionary tabloid newspaper in the UK that ran stories saying mass suffocation at a football stadium due to overcrowding and fences were the fans fault. So boycotting to show your real felt ties to the land you stand on. The first boycott was people simply withdrawing their labour from an imperialist landlord in Ireland in a desire to build something greater once he’d left, so I think it is very flexible to positive intention [1]Now, does this definition leave room for any exceptions to the rule? Well yes in a way, but I would say a positive one, in that it allows for waste animal products to be used if no profit finds its way back to the person who caused the harm. If you can get a supermarket to redirect its 1000 loaves of bread containing whey from going in the dumpster to a food bank, that can only be a benefit to the world.Also, it doesn’t attempt to include animal entertainment boycotts in what it means to be vegan, and simply leaves that to be included in what it means to be an animal rights advocate. Although it’s so similar one could raise an eyebrow about why someone would boycott animal agriculture and not animal cruelty as entertainment. People already view veganism as simply abstaining from the use of animal products, so we just do have to contend with why awful people like some eco-fascists desire to be vegans and denounce them. To try and pretend that someone boycotting animal products can’t also be an awful person in other ways is wilfully ignorant. In the same way, claiming that ex-vegans could never have been vegan for not having understood the ethical arguments is fallacious and off-putting..1d. What specifically is wrong with other definitions?Why not define veganism as reducing suffering which is the consequentialist reason for being vegan? Because ‘reducing suffering’ is too big, too abstract, too idealistic, beyond the capacity of one person to ever achieve, laudable but doomed to failure. Whereas ‘boycotting animal products’ is not. ‘Reducing suffering’ creates the impression of the martyr, the need to live a ridiculously puritan lifestyle, like Jain monks sweeping the floor everywhere they walk. And excludes all other ethical systems.Why not define veganism as the rule that ‘man should not exploit animal’ which is the deontological reason for being vegan? Because it immediately brings to mind the plenty of ways we can pragmatically rescue animals and improve their circumstances while still less obviously exploitative-ly keeping them captive, e.g. rescuing dogs, chickens or horses. And excludes all other ethical systems.The debates that lead up to the creation of the vegan society were about the dairy industry. They were raised equally from a concern about well-being and about rights:Dr. Anna Bonus Kingsford, a member of the Vegetarian Society in 1944 argued for a total boycott of animal products, saying “[the dairy industry] must involve some slaughter I think and some suffering to the cows and calves.”Why not define veganism as a hodge-podge of the two main ethical systems, consequentialism and deontology, as the modern vegan society tries to do? Because it’s far too convoluted and open to misinterpretation. You get into debates about what does “as far as is possible and practicable” mean, when you could just say veganism is a boycott. If you aren’t capable of participating for being eating disordered for example, that’s ok, you can be ethically on par with or more ethical than a vegan in your own way, but you just aren’t able to participate in the boycott..1e. Good DefinitionsSo, In summary, I’ll go over what I think are the best definitions:What is veganism?An animal products boycott.(This is a minimal behavioural commitment, with very little confusion about what it entails. The idea that it’s a protest allows for other priorities to override the idea like the need to take vaccines with egg product, but either way it’s still a strong commitment to a commercial boycott. It’s both the reason the vegan society was created and simply the colloquial understanding of a vegan as ‘a person who does not eat or use animal products’, but leaves room for freeganism.)And/or…A way of living which seeks to exclude all use of animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.(This includes other boycott behaviours like avoiding animals in entertainment, but is vague about whether it entails a weaker or stronger commitment to the act of boycotting itself. Potentially we could move to solely this one definition when we can afford to give more or less equal focus to campaigning against other industries).What is Animal Rights?The philosophy which says animals should be granted collective legal rights to have a refuge in dense wildlife habitat where they aren’t subject to human cruelty. With the few exceptions where the law is overridden by right to self-defence or special dispensation from the government for example to practice some scientific testing to cure diseases, as well as breed and keep guide dogs for the blind.(If a fox kills a rabbit because it’s the only way it can stay strong and pass on it’s genes, it’s part of a wonderfully delicate ecosystem. I have the choice to pick an apple off a tree and enjoy watching the rabbit. So, not wanting to parasitically take away life with instinctual desires to express their high order capabilities for low-order pleasure in our hierarchy of needs which we can find elsewhere.)What is the Animal Rights Movement?(Same again, just swapping philosophy for social movement, so…)A social movement which seeks to gain collective legal rights for animals to have a refuge in dense wildlife habitat where they aren’t subject to human cruelty, etc. Etc..1f. OutroLet me know what you think in a comment down below, all the best, peace..2. Arguments for Veganism2a. IntroHello, okay this is going to be a long video, so time-codes in the description if you just want to flick around. This is the second video in a two part series, where in the first video I introduced my preferred definition of veganism, why I think it’s the best one. And now in this video I I will run you through 5 a-mazing arguments for veganism. This is mainly for vegans to become better skilled at advocating, but any feedback is more than welcome.So, what are the best arguments for advocating veganism?Well that really depends on your audience, but I’ll run through a few and give my thoughts on the pros and cons of each.First off let’s start with an argument that is designed to work on any ethical system, called name the trait..2a. General Purpose – Name The TraitBasically it asks what would be the ethical implications for humans if we used the same justifications that meat eaters use for how we treat animals.Would you prefer not to kill a human for food if you could easily access and eat plant food?Would you prefer not to kill a non-human animal for food if you could easily access and eat plant food?If you answered that you’re not ok with killing humans for food and you are ok with killing non-human animals for food, what trait is true of the animal that would let you feel justified in killing animals. And, if that became true of humans, would you then feel justified in killing humans if you could easily eat and had access to plant food in either scenario?So lack of intelligence, no social contract, etc.So one positive feature of this argument is it directly makes real for people the severity of their actions.The negatives are it doesn’t directly deal with any of the pragmatics of day to day living. It’s this abstract hypothetical in which if the other persons position is shown to be absurd, nothing they said was of any value. You may win your point but still alienate the person. People like to have the feeling that they have imparted some knowledge about the world in a two way conversation, not that they are just being shown up for their mistakes.One way to alleviate this problem could be to ask beforehand, how confident are you on a scale of 1 to 10 that eating animal products is ethically justifiable in your current situation in life? Engage them in the idea that we all have assumptions we were raised with which we have to work hard to see through sometimes, as a precursor to asking your questions. Having had the conversation, ask if their confidence was increased or decreased.But even this tact again runs the issue of people just saying a high number and then feeling obligated to argue strongly to justify their conviction. Or even coming away with a lower number, but now believing it’s even more of a complex topic than they previously thought – so feeling vindicated in continuing to consume animal products because “there are no easy answers”, even though the agnostic position should be to ‘do no harm’..2b. Consequentialist – Marginal casesVery similar to name the trait.When meat eaters try to justify the killing of non-human animals they often reach for the idea that humans have some superior ability which entitles them to control the lives of those without that ability. How this intuition plays out in society has led to disabled people working below minimum wage or the putting off of using tax payers’ money towards accessible public amenities like bus stops with the right pavement height for wheelchair users.Quoting from Wikipedia:The argument from marginal cases takes the form of a proof by contradiction. It attempts to show that you cannot coherently believe both that all humans have moral status, and that all non-humans lack moral status.Consider a cow. We ask why it is acceptable to kill this cow for food – we might claim, for example, that the cow has no concept of self and therefore it cannot be wrong to kill it. However, many young children may also lack this same concept of “self”. So if we accept the self-concept criterion, then we must also accept that killing children is acceptable in addition to killing cows, which is considered a reductio ad absurdum. So the concept of self cannot be our criterion.Then we can say for any criterion or set of criteria (either capacities, e.g. language, consciousness, the ability to have moral responsibilities towards others; or relations, e.g. sympathy or power relations), there exists some “marginal” human who is mentally handicapped in some way that would also meet the criteria for having no moral status.Positives are it works well on consequentialists.Negatives are: because of its focus on how similar humans are to animals it could unintentionally leave you with a warped picture of only the cost and complexities of helping disabled people to engage in as many of the aspects of society that they are capable of and would like to. So coming to the end of a discussion solely focused on connecting two negative facts about some disabled people and non-human animals.Therefore it’s important that there should be time spent acknowledging both the unique perspectives of neuro-divergent people who have improved our society dramatically like Albert Einstein. As well as the unique capabilities of non-human animals to pursue what they have reasons to value, that is a great source of wonder to us, which inspires the arts and which we can study through behavioural science.Which leads us well onto….2c. Virtue Ethics – Respect for Animal CapabilitiesIf the wonder that we experience in viewing wild animals is not ‘how similar to us they are’, but their ‘real opportunities to do and be what they have reason to value’ and one sufficient reason we grant this freedom at least to a basic extent to humans is they have a desire to achieve what they find valuable then; the fact non-human animals experience this desire too means we ought extend these freedoms to animals.So, a holistic world-view of not wanting to reduce both the quality and quantity of positive experiences humans can have with animals, as well as animals with other animals for low-order pleasures such as taste/texture.From the philosophical vegan wiki:Veganism is at its core about peace and compassion. By not buying animal products, you may even feel more at peace and start to get other ideas about how to become a more compassionate person in other areas of your life. Feeding your virtue in one way can help you become a happier person, while doing harm to animals can lead to cruelty or caprice in other ways e.g. the link between slaughterhouse workers and rates of domestic violence.Of course be prepared to acknowledge that there are fringe cases of people going vegan as a method to feed a concept of superiority and use it as a tool to bash others over the head with.Positives are it’s hard to argue against without making yourself look bad aha.Negative are: we’re used to treating virtue as an extra something special we’re not required to do, but makes you an even better person if you do voluntarily. So the idea that we ought do something just because we find wonder in it doesn’t appear to hold a lot of weight on it’s own. Therefore probably best used in tandem with an argument like name the trait. Still the argument offers an avenue to talk about what goals and ambitions people have and how breaking with addictions to unhealthy foods could make them happier because of the compassion they would also be showing animals and the better world with more wildlife in it that they could help to bring about..2d. Deontology – The Golden RuleThe golden rule isn’t strictly deontological and can be used on anyone, but it is also very close to how deontologists you may encounter view philosophy, like Kant’s categorical imperative for example: The principle that everyone should only act in such a way that it would still be acceptable to them if it were to become universal law. So when applied to animals; not breeding sentient life into existence, only to keep them confined, tear families apart and kill them later, as you wouldn’t want it to happen to you.From the philosohical vegan wiki:Ask people if they accept the golden ruleAsk if they were in an animals’ hooves if they would like being born into this world as property, only to be killed at a young age for another’s taste pleasure.The response should typically be “no”, but…There are three common objections:The objection that we could eat nothing, because “If I were a plant I wouldn’t want to be eaten either”This is easily answered, but may lead into more discussion: If you were a plant you would not care about being eaten, because plants are not sentient and have no brain or ability to think. The only likely response is plant-sentience, which is an argument rife with pseudoscience and misunderstanding of physiology and the nature of sentience and intelligence, as well as often supernatural claims.The arbitrary objection that the golden rule only applies to humans.Which begs the question of “why?”, and “why not only to your own family and not to strangers?” Or “why not only to your own ‘race’?”The rejection of application of the golden rule to those who in theory would not or could not apply it back to you.This is a misunderstanding of the golden rule, which operates independently of how others might treat you.Positives are it’s simplicity.Negatives are by comparing ‘how similar to us they are’ in their desire to avoid simple things like pain, it again, like the first two arguments, unintentionally draws people’s attention away from animals desire to ‘do and be what they have reason to value’. E.g. conjures up imaginings of having to share a busy high street with masses of sheep and cows because they want to enjoy the same right to free movement as you. However, you can easily argue that as humans there are some ways that we can intelligently gather that fences separating human habitat from animals would be a plus because it’s in cows own interest not to get lost inside a concrete jungle..2f. Nihilist Ethics – Property Rights for AnimalsIf you desire the ability to live a full life on your property because it satisfies a desire you have to meet your basic needs and you’re in favour of guardianship laws to protect this ability for severely mentally disabled people in court because they can’t defend themselves then; you should really desire non-human animals who also have these needs have a legal right to their wild habitat as property and should enjoy guardianship laws which protects their legal rights in court through appointment of a guardian to represent the case of one or a group of animals unless another reason is specified on pain of living in bad faith.This centres the discussion on how you may be excluding other groups because it’s the social norm. If there’s one norm that unites nihilists in their rejection of universalist ethics, it’s that of the desire to live authentically, so not acting in a way you don’t believe due to outside social pressures, like that acting without compassion is necessary to what it means to be a man.Everyone has some values they were brought up with that inform their meta-ethical system. It’s up to us to test out those values as we go along against new ones we discover and decide what kind of world we want to live in. We are meaning-seeking creatures innately, we can if we chose seek the happy flourishing of ourselves and others in the process, instead of living a life predicated on taking from others happy flourishing unnecessarily.Getting to a stage in human civilization where we are able to derive meaning from compassionately caring for the basic needs of every person could be a great thing, just like we could find meaning in getting to see more land freed up for wildlife, where animals are able to express all their capabilities.Positives are it gets you to appreciate what core basic necessities you take for granted as a means of encouraging the other person to show compassion for animals.Negatives are it is primarily made to work on nihilists highly concerned with authenticity. Again could be used in tandem with name the trait, to first show a basic commonality for how we all come into this world with certain needs and then ask what trait justifies excluding one group from moral consideration over another.Secondly people may question the logistics of granting rights to animals today which leads to a procedural tangent about how to incrementally introduce the law in parts. Complications like, the time to grant habitat rights in planning disputes. Then when to introduce rights for some of the few farm animals left to live a full life seeking refuge in semi-wild habitat, pigs being al. Or where and when pigs are allowed to go feral, with the proviso that we can re-introduce predator species to keep the population in check. But misunderstandings like these are crucial intuitive blocks as to why the general population may find it difficult to accept an argument without a clear understanding of the pragmatics of how vegans envision progressing to this more ideal society. So, even if tiresome for the vegan who’s gone over it a million times, it’s always useful to being open to going over it again..2g. OutroBut yeah, that’s the end of the video, remember to tailor the argument you use to the person you’re talking to. I’ll put a link to the full script in the description, so you can read back the arguments, plus formal syllogisms if you’re curious. Let me know what you think in a comment down below, all the best, peace..3. Formal Syllogisms3a. General Purpose – Name The TraitP1) Humans have moral value.P2) If your view affirms a given human is trait-equalizable to a given nonhuman animal while retaining moral value, then your view can only deny the given nonhuman animal has moral value on pain of P∧~P.P3) Your view affirms a given human is trait-equalizable to a given nonhuman animal while retaining moral value.C1) Therefore, your view can only deny the given nonhuman animal has moral value on pain of P∧~PP4) Animals have moral value.P5) If a being has moral value, we ought not support the use of that being for animal products.C2) Therefore we ought not support the use of animal products.3b. Consequentialist – Marginal casesP1) Some humans (infants, young children, profoundly intellectually disabled) are intellectually comparable to non-human animals.P2) If the well-being of non-human animals (e.g. their avoiding a given amount of suffering, their benefiting from a given quality of life) is morally less important than ours (in virtue of these lesser intellectual abilities), then the well-being of these humans is equally less important (in virtue of their lesser intellectual abilities).P3) But the well-being of these humans isn’t morally less important than ours.C1) Therefore, The well-being of non-human animals is not morally less important than ours.This entails (if you like in conjunction with P4. Our well-being is morally important) the Principle of Equal Consideration: human and non-human animal well-being is of equal intrinsic moral importance (i..e moral importance in itself and apart from its further effects) – e.g. all else held equal, the fact that an act would inflict a given amount of harm (e.g. a given amount of suffering) on a human or a non-human animal is an equally strong moral reason against it.Defense of P3: It is deeply implausible that intellectual ability affects the intrinsic importance of one’s well-being once we distinguish (i) its role in making one a moral agent who owes duties vs. a moral patient who is owed duties, (ii) its role in affecting the instrumental importance of one’s well-being for others, and (iii) its role in determining how beneficial or harmful certain things are for you (including how much typical human adults benefit from living vs. how much non-human animals and profoundly intellectually disabled humans benefit from living).Defense of P2: The only relevant thing that distinguishes non-human animals from intellectually comparable humans is bare biological species membership, but it’s deeply implausible that bare biological species membership is relevant to the intrinsic moral importance of someone’s well-being once one we focus on what it really is: something like potential to interbreed to produce fertile offspring, psychology-independent morphology, phenotype-independent genotype, history of phylogenetic descent. It’s no more plausible that these matter to the intrinsic moral importance of someone’s well-being than someone’s ethnicity / continent of ancestry and consequent facial features, hair texture, and skin colour (race), or her chromosomes and relative gamete size (sex).The weakening: Even if somehow intellectual ability or biological species memebership per se mattered to the moral importance of someone’s well-being they couldn’t matter very much. Since they seem utterly devoid of moral importance; surely it is safe to at least conclude:C2) Principle of Minimal Consideration: We should / are morally required to avoid inflicting enormous harm on non-human animals for what is at most relatively trivial benefits for ourselves.Empirical considerations about factory farming, human health, environmental effects, and, if you like, further philosophical considerations about what makes death a harm, the potential relevance of the fact that future farmed animals won’t exist unless we buy animal products, and the probabilities that one’s purchasing decisions will make a difference of various kinds and to what extent this matters, we get:P5) To avoid inflicting enormous harm on non-human animals for what is at most relatively trivial benefits for ourselves, we must be vegan.Finally, C2 and P5 entail:C3) We should / are morally required to be vegan..3c. Virtue Ethics – Respect for Animal CapabilitiesP1) If the wonder that we experience in viewing wild animals is not ‘how similar to us they are’, but their ‘real opportunities to do and be what they have reason to value’ and one sufficient reason we grant this freedom at least to a basic extent to humans is they have a desire to achieve what they find valuable THEN the fact non-human animals experience this desire too means we ought extend these freedoms to animals.P2) The wonder that we experience in viewing wild animals is not ‘how similar to us they are’, but their ‘real opportunities to do and be what they have reason to value’ and one sufficient reason we grant this freedom at least to a basic extent to humans is they have a desire to achieve what they find valuable.C) Therefore the wonder that we experience in viewing wild animals is not ‘how similar to us they are’, but their ‘real opportunities to do and be what they have reason to value’ and one sufficient reason we grant this freedom at least to a basic extent to humans is they have a desire to achieve what they find valuable AND the fact non-human animals experience this desire too means we ought extend these freedoms to animals..3d. Deontology – The Golden RuleP1) If I would like to be treated well then I should treat others wellP2) I would like to be treated wellC1) Therefore I should treat others wellP3) I would not like to be treated badly then I should not treat others badlyP4) I would not like to be treated badlyC2) Therefore I should not treat others badlyC3) Therefore I should treat others well and not treat others badlyP5) Non human animals count as “others”P6) Veganism is entailed by treating others well and not treating others badlyC3) Therefore I should be veganism.3e. Nihilist Ethics – Property Rights for AnimalsP1) If I desire the ability to live a full life on my property because it satisfies a desire I have to meet my basic needs and I’m in favour of guardianship laws to protect this ability for severely mentally disabled people in court because they can’t defend themselves THEN I should desire non-human animals who also have these needs have a legal right to their wild habitat as property and should enjoy guardianship laws which protects their legal rights in court through appointment of a guardian to represent the case of one or a group of animals unless another reason is specified on pain of living in bad faith.P2) I desire the ability to live a full life on my property because it satisfies a desire I have to meet my basic needs and I’m in favour of guardianship laws to protect this ability for severely mentally disabled people in court because they can’t defend themselves.C) Therefore I desire the ability to live a full life on my property because it satisfies a desire I have to meet my basic needs and I’m in favour of guardianship laws to protect this ability for severely mentally disabled people in court because they can’t defend themselves AND I should desire non-human animals who also have these needs have a legal right to their wild habitat as property and should enjoy guardianship laws which protects their legal rights in court through appointment of a guardian to represent the case of one or a group of animals unless another reason is specified on pain of living in bad faith.Defence of P1: The different identity relations between humans and animals would be the other specified reason, if you desire to do something simply because of reason x, and reason x applies to this other group, then unless another reason is specified you’re likely simply excluding the other group because it’s the social norm. So you haven’t thought it through, hence living in bad faith. You can still easily get out of it by saying you don’t care about speciesism, but that would be adding another reason..Referenceshttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Boycott–