Wondering if it’s worth your time to hang around? Wondering if there’s enough things for me to talk about what haven’t already been explored to death?
Here, I list the issues that I’m interested in exploring!
A Critical Assessment of Vegetarianism
– Why do some vegetarians resist veganism so much?
– Is vegetarianism outdated, outgrown, and no longer beneficial to the Animal Rights movement?
– Why thinkingvegetarian.com, not thinkingvegan.com?
Animals and the Social Contract
– What freedoms are we allowed to take from animals in exchange for offering them our protection?
– How do we know what animals want if they cannot articulate their needs like we do?
Animal Rights and Intolerance
– If veg*ns are such compassionate people, why does PETA have such a horrible track record of respecting women’s rights?
– How can we promote the veg*n cause without becoming intolerant of other races/religions/cultures?
The Animal Liberation Front
– Can an line be drawn between physically harming humans and merely harming them through corporate damages? Does it make objective sense for the line to be drawn there?
– How much suffering are we allowed to inflict on humans to justify the animals we save?
– Is it veg*n to take medicine that was achieved off the suffering of animals? What if we’re very sick, and no other alternatives exist?
– Can the benefits of medicine ever justify the suffering inflicted on animals?
What if plants suffer?
– What does it mean to know that a living entity is incapable of suffering? Can we ever know something like that?
– If a living entity cannot suffer, does this mean that we can do whatever we want with it?
– What is going to happen to us if we discover scientific proof that plants suffer?
Animal Rights and Humour
– How do we best deal with the tendency of non-vegetarians to employ humour as a defense mechanism?
– Should we allow them to joke about animal rights, or even joke alongside them, in the same way a free and tolerant culture approaches racism and sexism?
The Power of Words
– What are some of the most ideologically-laden words in the non-vegetarian’s dictionary that we should avoid using?
– Is it possible to invent a non-discriminatory term that refers to nonhuman animals?
– Is the existence of mock meats beneficial to the veg*n cause?
– Are we in danger of assigning human qualities to animals that they don’t actually have?
– Is the anthropomorphism of animals in popular culture – giving them human intelligence and having them speak human language – detrimental to the Animal Rights movement?
– How should we go about putting ourselves in the shoes of animals?
The Problem of Evil
– If God exists, does he care about animals?
– Would a good God ever allow a world where so many animals suffer needlessly?
– Is vegansexuality beneficial to the image of the Animal Rights movement?
– Is vegansexuality still about compassion to animals, 0r is it about human elitism?
Purity vs Pragmatism
– Is it alright to accept food from friends if we can’t be 100% sure that it is veg*n, especially if it’s already been prepared?
– Does personal purity actually affect the amount of suffering that is inflicted on animals in any way?
– Is purity about a principled belief in animal non-violence, or is it an assertion of human elitism?
You’ll find that most of these issues are still very, very controversial, and they are not exactly topics that we’re comfortable discussing. I wouldn’t be surprised if you told me that many of these prompts sound like kind of things non-vegetarians say to JUST make life difficult for us.
However, many of them are legitimate concerns. They are worth taking seriously. When we involve non-vegetarians, these people often refuse to admit that they are not genuinely interested in exploring the matter, but just want yet another way in which they can be at peace with themselves. Their arguments often become very illogical and absurd (I’ve met my fair share of people who always, without fail, resort to trite jokes and meaningless witticisms), and we don’t actually learn anything new because we’re stuck at such a juvenile level of argumentation.
At the same time, many of us are equally reluctant to admit our faults in front of non-vegetarians. Animal rights is not a simple issue. But it is very loaded. Just like in politics, we are afraid that when we become the less extreme party (even if it means we’re less absolute, narrow-minded, and more intelligent about it overall), non-vegetarians will try to interpret it as a concession of our values – that we’re losing the battle. It’s impossible to do it properly when our fundamental goals are to prove that we are right and they are wrong, as opposed to honest intellectual curiosity.
That’s where I feel that I have a role to play. I am not afraid to criticise our lifestyle where I feel it is lacking, but I only do it with the intention of making us better, more intelligent and more open-minded. I am not objective, and I don’t think anyone can ever be about something as personal and loaded as this, but my primary purpose of writing about these issues is not to convince you that my viewpoint is correct, but to tell you all the various considerations so that you’re in a more informed position to make a decision for yourself. I am completely ok if, at the end of the day, we can only agree to disagree about some of these issues. As veg*ns, we still agree on many things and live in very similar ways, and the things we do agree on are the ones with the most significant impacts on the lives of animals.