Ethical Consumption (Under Capitalism)

Did I misunderstand your response? I read it as you defending Naoza’s claim that everyone switching to veganism would do “Literally Nothing to help”, by pointing out methods of animal agriculture that are (ecologically) better than veganism. It’s undeniable that everyone going vegan would massively decrease US agricultural GHG production. My example was an approximation of a very specific case, but I still think it’s a decent example of how inefficient most of our animal agriculture is. There are plenty of studies giving industry-wide numbers, and they’re not great.

If the argument is that veganism alone doesn’t solve climate change, then yeah,of course. No one thing, socialism included, will fix it.

@Churba do you have a source on veganism driving palm oil production? I took a quick look and found a couple articles tying it to reductions in trans fat consumption, but nothing tying it to veganism. Either way the vegan community has frequent discussions about it (5 posts on r/vegan in the past week) and many people consider it non-vegan. As for South America, the largest contributors are pastures and soy, with the soy primarily being for animal feed.

In this case, it is absolutely the product, not just the system, because there is no system that can sustainably produce animal products at the rate that people are consuming them. Your (I’m talking generally; I don’t know what you personally eat) diet will need to change at some point, so you might as well start now. Otherwise capitalism is an excuse.

As discussed earlier, economic factors make it difficult or impossible for a number of people to go vegan. Outside of food deserts, I argue that number is much smaller than people think (queue Naoza and “Purity Politics”).

Long-term, absolutely banning (my preference) or massively reducing and regulating animal agriculture is the only way to go.

Really? Fascinating! Now explain how communities around the world for thousands of years farmed livestock sustainably, even en masse and feeding large communities, and it was only once big agrobusiness and agricultural centralisation came along that it truly started fucking the planet and leading to things like clear-cutting and burning forests to pasture land on an industrial scale became common.

My mistake for not consulting your preferred communities. Though I must admit, people making up a new definition as it suits them and then suggesting people aren’t true vegans for not meeting it, that really does sound very reddit.

Look harder. It’s commonly used in the processing of food, particularly vegan food, as everything from cooking oil to an emulsifier in ice-cream. It’s in everything from Biscuits to cheese to vegan ready-meals, to bath products and makeup. It’s common in non-vegan food too, but less so - there are cheaper emulsifiers that aren’t as vegan friendly, but if you’re making vegan products at scale, Palm oil is pretty much the cheapest you’ll get, especially if you’re making a “Natural” product. On top of that, it’s not always listed as Palm Oil, it can be listed as anything from Vegetable oil, to Stearic Acid, Glyceryl, Sodium Lauryl Lactylate, and more.

Of course, it’s not solely vegan products, vegan products are merely an extremely large contributor(since, taken together, it’s an extremely large if not the largest market for it) but I also never said it was solely that, and I’m afraid if you want citations for things I never said, you’ll have to find someone that isn’t me.


It’s easy to blame agribusiness, but the main reason pre-industrial societies didn’t fuck the planet the way we do now is that they really didn’t have the ability to.

Cheap energy, mostly from fossil fuels, is the core reason modern agriculture works the way it does.

It is. And big Agribusiness is only a symptom, not a cause.

Me: *buys tomato *
Also me: *goes to the bad place *


Since this has circled back to veganism and the food system, I wanted to throw someone I’ve found as a good resource to listen to:

Both her twitter feed/rants and the podcast she runs talk about the food system, and the myth of “small family farms.” She’s not advocating for or against veganism, not really, but she’s making a number of arguments from a place of expertise that I hope have widened my own viewpoint. There’s a lot of things American/Western agriculture does that are stupid and self-destructive, and some of it is myths we’ve been told intentionally.

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And what definition are you working with, exactly? You’re aware that it doesn’t mean “plant-based diet” and hasn’t since 1951, right? The Vegan Society, founded by the guy who invented the term, currently defines it as “… a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.” Deforestation for the production of palm oil is cruel to the animals that live that, bringing it under the purview of veganism. Whether it is or isn’t vegan is a complicated issue that requires comparing palm oil to alternatives, which require more land to produce, and the determining availability for products that don’t use it.

That said, I’ve literally never seen palm oil brought up as an attack by another vegan, only by disingenuous non-vegans. The reason it’s discussed so much (and discussed everywhere, seriously have you ever typed “palm oil vegan” into Google?) is because it’s a community that gives a shit and is actually trying.

I’m still finding literally nothing even asserting that vegans use more palm oil than non-vegans. Literally nothing. What I am finding is page after page of various vegan groups discussing whether or not vegans should use it. Still weird that you never saw those. If you have a source, post it and we can talk but until then I’m going to assume you’re talking directly out of your ass.

Fuck off with that, I’m asking for citations for things you clearly said. “And vegan food, thanks to the common use of Palm oil, has contributed to a huge amount of deforestation across Asia and south America, particularly in Thailand, Columbia, Indonesia, and Malaysia”. Show that vegans consume more palm oil than non-vegans.

What worked for a couple hundred million people doesn’t work for 7 billion, especially with huge increases in per capita meat consumption in places like rural China.

For the most part, vegan means something like “not using or containing animal products”, because that’s the broadly accepted usage. It doesn’t matter what the guy who invented the word says it means now, because that’s not how words work.

You could still reasonably say that using palm oil goes against vegan philosophy, though, so I guess it’s not unreasonable to say it falls under the purview of “veganism” qua the philosophy.


The definition I posted fits the way large parts the vegan community uses the word. Google “palm oil vegan” and you’ll find page after page of vegan groups and publications discussing whether palm oil is vegan, because to them “vegan” doesn’t mean plant-based. Another example is the impossible burger, which doesn’t contain animal products but was developed using animal testing, prompting a debate about whether its vegan.

I don’t care what people’s pop culture conception of veganism is, especially when (as Churba was) they’re critiquing the use of the word within the community.

Avoiding meat and dairy products is the single biggest way to reduce your environmental impact on the planet, according to the scientists behind the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet.

The new research shows that without meat and dairy consumption, global farmland use could be reduced by more than 75% – an area equivalent to the US, China, European Union and Australia combined – and still feed the world. Loss of wild areas to agriculture is the leading cause of the current mass extinction of wildlife.

The new analysis shows that while meat and dairy provide just 18% of calories and 37% of protein, it uses the vast majority – 83% – of farmland and produces 60% of agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions. Other recent research shows 86% of all land mammals are now livestock or humans. The scientists also found that even the very lowest impact meat and dairy products still cause much more environmental harm than the least sustainable vegetable and cereal growing.

When comparing different methods of raising livestock:

The analysis also revealed a huge variability between different ways of producing the same food. For example, beef cattle raised on deforested land result in 12 times more greenhouse gases and use 50 times more land than those grazing rich natural pasture. But the comparison of beef with plant protein such as peas is stark, with even the lowest impact beef responsible for six times more greenhouse gases and 36 times more land.

Full article here

Regarding maintaining current meat consumption use more ecologically-sound production: bear in mind that consumption varies wildly around the world. The only reason people in countries like the US and Australia (in some data the top two for per capita consumption) are able to eat so much beef and chicken is that people in other countries can’t. Just look at meat consumption vs GDP per capita:

Using the same FAO 2013 numbers, global meat consumption was 43.22 kg/capita/year, while the US was 115.13 and Australia was 116.23. If people in the US maintain their current consumption, and everyone else increases consumption to meet it, global meat consumption would rise by 166%. If we equalize consumption globally while maintaining the same total amount, US consumption would drop by 62%.

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Yep. Whenever I watch Korean TV people are always VERY excited to be able to eat meat. It’s apparently expensive and a special treat. Seems like they still have plenty of it, and eat it a lot, but still treat it as if it is a rare treat worth getting excited over. Kind of like how we treat something like cake.

In a just world all that insulation money is getting taken away

Baby steps

The bug war continues in SE PA.

I must say there have been a lot of choice Starship Trooper gif memes going down in r/philadelphia over all as a silver lining.

This is a really cool project in north Sweden. We may be able to learn a lot from it.

Gimmie dat science meat

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Just give me essential proteins in tasty form. Umami flavour isn’t necessary for me.

I’m in favour of lab grown meat if it replaces slaughtered meat.