Category: Repost

Eggs, period

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A conversational strategy used by many vegans is to attempt to disgust the person who is eating animal products by describing what it actually is. It is a fair point that one should be aware of what one eats. I honestly think it’s quite scary how oblivious people generally seem to be about their food. This ignorance is usually exposed when discussing »

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The Hidden Cost of Donating to your Local Animal Sanctuary

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When making a donation to a charity or other non-profit, most people want to do good. It then likely follows that if we could just do some good, or do a *lot* of good, that we would prefer to do the most good possible given our limited resources. Many vegans are aware of the inefficiency of donations towards pet-focused charities. »

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Celebrities, Weight Loss and Penn Jillette’s New Vegan Diet

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*Ginny wrote this article when prominent skeptic Penn Jillette[*]( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penn_Jillette “Penn Jillette is most famous for his work with fellow majician Teller as ‘Penn and Teller’. He is an outspoken spokesman for atheism and skepticism, often appearing at conferences and publishing books on both subjects. Penn and Teller hosted ‘Bullshit!’ - a long running television show that aimed to debunk irrational ideas”) announced his dramatic weight loss[*](http://pennsundayschool.com/episodes/ “The most indepth discussion about Penn’s diet is featured on epidode 179 of his podcast. In shortm he has adopted Joel Furhman’s ‘Eat to Live’ diet which is predominantly plant-based”). Now, as he prepares to release a book about his diet experiences, her points are worth revisiting.* The vegan internet was abuzz over Penn Jillette’s recent weight loss and his current plant-based diet. But when it comes to celebrities, weight »

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Until Every Animal is Free: a Conversation with Saryta Rodriguez (Part Two)

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I was excited to get to talk to author Saryta Rodriguez about her new book [Until Every Animal is Free](http://www.amazon.com/Until-Every-Animal-Saryta-Rodriguez-ebook/dp/B01551MJ5C), recently published by [Vegan Publishers](http://veganpublishers.com/). Our conversation ranged from revolutions in medical testing to de-extinction with a few detours into ‘welfarism’ and other interesting areas. Because we had so much to talk about, this interview is split into two sections. »

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Until Every Animal is Free: a Conversation with Saryta Rodriguez (Part One)

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I was excited to get to talk to author Saryta Rodriguez about her new book [Until Every Animal is Free](http://www.amazon.com/Until-Every-Animal-Saryta-Rodriguez-ebook/dp/B01551MJ5C) recently published by [Vegan Publishers](http://veganpublishers.com/). Saryta is a compelling writer, and after reading her book I was left with a lot to think about and some questions which I took the opportunity to ask her in this interview. Our conversation ranged from »

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Voin: In Search of a Truly Ethical Currency

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If you’re alive and read things, you’ve probably heard of cryptocurrency, or at least bitcoin. Opinions vary on the efficacy, future and utility of cryptocurrency[*](http://www.techradar.com/news/software/business-software/understanding-bitcoin-and-crypto-currency-1239504/1 “Techradar has a pretty good roundup of bitcoin’s history and possible future”), but few can deny it has the potential to change the financial world. Several prominent venture capitalists[*](http://www.coindesk.com/marc-andreessen-balaji-srinivasan-discuss-bitcoin/ “The venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz has invested tens of millions of dollars in bitcoin. At the CoinSummit ‘fireside chat’, co-founder Marc Andreessen said ‘I think the relevant comparison point for bitcoin is 1993 or 1994 for the consumer internet’ (near the beginning of the video)”)[*](http://www.cnbc.com/2014/01/28/bitcoin-transformative-as-the-web-venture-capitalist-says.html “Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures said bitcoin could be ‘as big as the internet [in the early 90s]’, according CNBC”) and institutions[*](http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/currency/11434904/bitcoin-revolution-could-be-the-next-internet-says-Bank-of-England.html “The Bank of England has said ‘creating [a digital currency] would entail creating a protocol for value transfer over the internet, akin to what [Tim] Berners-Lee did for information’”) are calling cryptocurrency the ‘next internet’ »

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How to Veganize Sam Harris

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For those who don’t know him, Sam Harris[*](http://www.samharris.org/ “Sam Harris’ website has links to all his projects”) is an author on philosophy, religion & atheism, rationality and a lot of other topics, and has quite a large following. In his latest podcast, Sam Harris talks with psychologist Paul Bloom about “the dark side” of human nature. One of the topics under scrutiny this time is vegetarianism/veganism »

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Why Vegans Should Care About Wild Animal Suffering

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It’s often assumed that animal rights and environmentalism go hand in hand. However, one major rift between the philosophies arises from the problem of animal suffering in nature. While environmentalists typically wish to leave wilderness alone, animal advocates should support research into whether there are ways to reduce »

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The Ethical Dilemma of Frans De Waal

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The other day I was in a discussion panel after a talk by world renowned primatologist Frans De Waal[*](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frans_de_Waal “Frans De Waal is is a Dutch primatologist and ethologist. Author of many popular books exploring primate social behaviour and how it relates to us human primates. For an overview of his life and work check out his Wikipedia page”) in Brussels. I have great respect for De Waal and his work. He has a positive view on humanity, and refuses to be overly afraid of anthropomorphizing when analyzing animal behavior. Moreover, he actively promotes his »

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How the Health Argument Fails Veganism

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When President Clinton went (almost) vegan some years ago, my reaction to the news wasn’t quite as enthusiastic as it might have been. Seeing high-profile people (or anyone for that matter) go vegan for health reasons makes me nervous. First, President Clinton referred to his diet as “strict,” which is not an especially enticing word when »

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Religion and Vegan Advocacy

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Should animal advocates use religion to promote veganism? The majority of religious belief depends on the idea of hierarchy, chiefly the belief that we humans are given value by and should humble ourselves before someone or something that is ostensibly “greater than us” — be that a deity, deities »

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On Meat Eating and Rationality: Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris

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A late professor of mine once said: “if you want to quickly anger even the most reasonable person and make sure that he or she is no longer thinking rationally, start a conversation about eating meat.” I have found that this - the part about not thinking rationally about meat eating - applies even to the most rationally thinking people. Even the people »

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Organic Isn’t Vegan

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You can hardly swing a bunch of kale *without* hitting a vegan product that is certified organic[*](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organic_certification “An overview of the organic certification process is available on Wikipedia”) these days. Why is this, I wonder? I mean, we should all know by now that organic farming is just like regular agriculture except it uses what is “natural” as its measure. What is naturally derived, without humans, isn’t a guarantee of safeness »

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Tryptophan, milk and depression

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People who abandon plant-based diets often say that they suffered from depression as vegans. One common belief is that vegans can’t get adequate tryptophan, an essential amino acid. Tryptophan is needed to make the neurotransmitter serotonin and low levels of serotonin are linked to depression. In the book The Vegetarian Myth »

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If a Tree Were to Fall

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If a tree were to fall on an island where there were no human beings would there be any sound? The question is probably so familiar to some that it has become trite. To cut to the chase, the answer was meant to lie in the definition of “sound”. Sound is defined as a perception[*](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/If_a_tree_falls_in_a_forest “In June 1883, in the magazine The Chautauquan, the question was put, ‘If a tree were to fall on an isla nd where there were no human beings would there be any sound?’ They then went on to answer the query with, ‘No. Sound is the sensation excited in the ear when the air or other medium is set in motion.”). The tree falling creates vibrations in the air, but no ‘sound’ because no »

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Plant Feels and Straw Vegans

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Every vegetarian or vegan has probably heard someone lament the feelings of plants. Coming from meat-eaters, it’s hard to understand the point of this claim. It is a classic *tu quoque*[*](http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Tu_quoque “A logical fallacy (literally, ‘You too!’ — pronounced ‘too kwoh-kway’) that occurs when it is assumed that an argument is wrong if the source making the claim has itself spoken or acted in a way inconsistent with it”) fallacy. Vegans, generally, maintain that “Animals are capable of suffering”, to which an omnivore might respond, “Well plants have feelings too!” It’s the »

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