Day 54: Marketing ploys & vegans

It’s been a rainy day. Personally, i’ve enjoyed it. I love the cooler weather, during such a harsh season. Not a big fan of summer when it persists with its heat and what not. It is just not enjoyable. It’s been another boring day. Not much going on in real life. Thought a little more about school. Not a day goes by without me doing that it seems. Pretty excited for an answer!

I think i might have listened a little too much on the maplestory soundtrack lately. I donno.. I just enjoy thinking back on the old days, i guess. But i also think about Vanna when i do it, and about the closure i need to do with this. Keep in mind that i’ve been going home, being out of work since that time.. I know i keep what little readership in the dark on this, but it will be clear in due time. I have some ideas on how i’m going to close this chapter of my life, and finally move on. Might take more than a year or even two years until that time comes, but it will. I just know it.

There was an ad on TV today about “Fruit drink”, and it’s one of the more atrocious things i’ve seen in terms of weaseling, in quite some time. Maybe it is of little concern, but this one is just too obvious! In a nutshell, they’re basically equating juice with “Fruit drink”, which is a new definition of something they claim is just as healthy.. Now.. I seem to remember reading somewhere that, to be called “juice”, you must follow some rigid standards. In Sweden, a juice is basically something with 100% fruit. I think it is impossible for them to call it juice unless it meets those standards. And i know that the US has some rules like that too. Although it seems to be less rigid. Maybe i’m wrong about all that though, but i’m quite sure about it.
So yea.. They’re going to make people think that “saft” (No good translation of that word in English, sorry) is the same as juice. Basically, that synthetic and less nutrition is the same as natural and very nutritious. I swear.. It’s the same as this whole garbage where colored salt is somehow better than white salt. But… In the end, i think the consumer needs to be smart about it. Not saying they can’t buy this “Fruit drink” thing (My mom actually did), but as long as they’re not fooling themselves.

There.. I wanted to get that out of my system. It’s a minor thing, but still. Some thoughts i had about it.
This other thing i want to write about, i was considering writing on my tumblr. Which is another thing i should mention. I just don’t know what to use that account for anymore. I feel that having three blogs with different subjects is a little too much. I should just make froyojojo about things like.. Lists of things i use on my computers and all that. I’ve been wanting to write that to keep track of useful programs and stuff. So mostly for myself, but also for those searching for good programs and things like that. Maybe i should do it tomorrow. I need some things to do, and i love writing.. So.. Yes!

Anyway.. Vegans.. I don’t want to write too much about it, because there’s just so much i don’t get. All i can do is to point out how i see it, and how i understand it. A twitterer i’ve been friendly with (Boyfriend material, ttly.. Just kidding. Just a pretty cool guy) for quite some time now, linked an article today.
http://drstevebest.wordpress.com/2012/06/11/un-urges-global-move-to-vegan-diet/ It’s kind of a mess, in my opinion. I’m just going to point out some things that stood out for me, and then summarize how i feel towards it all.

You know.. I’m going to just assume that all the reports are accurate for this one. Some of the sources seem a bit iffy, but overall, i think i can get behind the numbers. I could read up on it, i suppose, but since it’s not the studies themselves that i have an issue with, i’m just going to leave the sources alone on this. I’ll assume they’re true. It is the dissemination of the information i take issue with. For instance. It says that the meat and dairy products account for 70% of the global freshwater consumption. Let’s ignore the 38% landmass and 19% greenhouse emissions. I don’t find it relevant, because i have no clue if the alternative would result in more or less of any of those. Too many factors to count in. But i want to ask.. How is the 70% number relevant? Are they saying that, if we didn’t have the dairy and meat products, more people wouldn’t have to go thirsty?

Then another thing that caught my eye was at the very beginning of the article. I have no idea how not eating meat will save the world from hunger. I have no idea how it will solve the energy crisis (Which i guess the fuel poverty refers to). I might be able to grant that the cows with the methane does a lot to global warming, but again.. I am not sure exactly how big that impact is. The article says one number, but i have to be skeptical (It says 19% in the article).

There is more in it that i took issue with. But these were some of my thoughts on some of the more egregious — if you will — points in it. I remain very skeptical towards veganism.

One more thing i want to point out is two comments from that friendly vegan (You know, like i stated earlier.. Relationship. Hur hur!) and some other vegan that i’ve come in contact with on twitter

I got two comments on twitter. One from that friendly vegan (Boyfriend, ya know!1one #Joke) and another from some other vegan i’ve chatted with before. They’re both pretty cool people, from what i can tell. But i for one wave my yellow flag when i see someone talk about their ideology, as if it’s flawless and perfect in almost every way. I don’t think you’ve thought about the issue for long enough if you think that way. It could also be that their bias towards the issue is very big.
The two comments in question was a response to me wanting to see a study done about the negative impacts of veganism. One comment from the friendly one (I’ll just call him that), where he said that the only negative would be that some farmers would have to re-adjust (That, to me, sounds like you think it’s an almost perfect solution). And the second comment from the other one (Sorry for not naming you by handle, but i just don’t like doing that), saying that the immediate ‘impact’ would be both environmentally and ethically beneficial. Sure, when millions of cows die out because they’re not longer needed, and they can’t live in nature anymore, and there’s no money anyone would wants to spend to take care of them; i can see how it would be better for the environment. Ethically.. If we do it immediately, no. Simply no. But i’m sure you didn’t mean it that way.

Where does the line go? I eat some animals, and animal products. I think it’s ok to kill them in a humane way, if we eat the meat. You’ve decided to put down your foot, and say that it’s bad to do, because, well, they’re life too. They have rights. And exactly how far does that threshold go? How small does a life form have to be, to no longer have those rights, where it would be ok to kill/destroy/end them? Is there a gradient? Some scale, where this group has less and the other, more? Does it depend on cognition? Exactly who decides that? And why should humans have that responsibility? I don’t see how i’m less ethical than someone who’s decided to not eat things that came from animals.

But now i’ve rambled enough! It’s getting kind of late. I feel that i didn’t get enough said. But at least i got it out there. Maybe i’ll write some more about it later. I’m really more of a debater rather than someone who writes shit up. Because there’s always so much going on in my mind, and so much that needs to be written down in one place. Debates, you can chunk it up.. So yea… Also, keep in mindI don’t claim to know more than anyone. I’m just a dumb, ignorant ape, trying to make some sense of things. Just like most of us.

Leaving that topic.. Tomorrow, i might be with my brother for the later part of the day. Not sure. He has work, so.. But i keep my hopes up.
Weekend’s coming up too. I have some thoughts about stress that i wish to share later tomorrow. But not now. I’m up to almost 1500 words. Which is more than enough.

Saw this video yesterday:

I just love jontron. One of the few “Clown” type comedy people on the web that i actually enjoy. Most of the time, i don’t like things like that, but him.. I enjoy.

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About Get a Grip

Code monkey. Opinionated.

One response to “Day 54: Marketing ploys & vegans”

  1. Michael Sizer-Watt says :

    Regarding the water consumption & land use – not necessarily that people won’t go thirsty, but it’s estimated that to produce the same amount of nutrition using veg instead of meat requires between 1/12 and 1/17 the amount of water. Land use i think is extimated to be about the same fraction.

    Regarding the hunger issue – it is estimated that (roughly) 12-17 times as much nutrition can be produced using plants only instead of meat. Now of course plants do make up a large portion of the food production today, so the increase in potential food stocks would not be 17 fold, and I don’t have the numbers at hand, but given the billions of animals killed / year for food, we are talking potentially billions more meals per year. Now of course there’s also the political and logistical challenges of getting that food to people who need it, but that’s a separate issue.

    Regarding your concern with the “how do you draw the line” for ethical termination of life, yes it’s complicated, but it can be simplified to some guidelines that address most practical situations. If it is conscious (sense of self) then it is a moral patient because it can be harmed. Therefore, if it is conscious, we should seek to avoid causing it harm (we know we don’t like harm so it’s perfectly reasonable to assume they don’t either.) Of course that doesn’t mean we can avoid killing all conscious creatures. Nature has put the needs of some creatures in conflict with the needs of others. For example, the fields plowed to grow my vegetables mean many insects and even some rodents are accidentally killed every year. I don’t know of any way to prevent that unless I allow myself to starve. I don’t see why my life isn’t also valuable. If I have respect for the lives of field mice, it wouldn’t be consistent for me to devaluate my own life. Can I figure out a utilitarian solution to measure 1 human outweighs 100 mice? 1000 mice? No, I can’t, and I struggle to figure one out. In the mean time, I’m doing my best.

    I don’t need any animal products to stay healthy, therefore it’s my opinion that it is my duty refrain from eating them.

    That’s a high level overall view. I was of course being very general with my figures, but I’m confident they’re in the correct ballpark.

    M.

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