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carnist vs vegan

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Samantha Jo Wilson

on 15 April 2014

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Transcript of carnist vs vegan

Carnist vs. Vegan

So it’s just more than that it’s wrong for us to eat a pet, but it’s not really considering the animal. Just more about a human who would be able to eat a pet? Not that whether we make them a pet or not changes the suffering they are capable of?

Right, it’s just the interaction we have with them that makes them different. Also, the way people relate to things they know personally makes the difference.
I.e. clothing... most don’t consider those humans that may have suffered when we buy a shirt. The conditions for those who made it...BC we don’t know them. If it was a good deal and I need a new shirt, you might buy the shirt anyway, and it’s still happening whether I buy the shirt or not. Since I don’t know them personally I’m not as worried about what I might be contributing to.
My point is, if I don’t think about it or I am not intimately involved in the consequences it is easier to ignore. This is why it is easier for us to eat meat, but love our pets who we identify with.
How did you become involved in the PETA?

I went vegan about eight years ago because I recognized that my habits were directly related to the way animals were treated in the industry
. At first, I was a more independent vegan, not relating myself to PETA principles because they seemed extreme, plus the rumors about how they treated their own animals that they saved from shelters. After exploring a few of their videos, I came to realize both PETA and I promoted the same principles. PETA holds undercover investigations that are published consistently, inform the public via courageous
protests and dedicates itself to improving the lives of billions of animals who are shoved to the sidelines for petty reasons, most often times being a simple lack of human communication
. I volunteered for one of their events, boycotting the dairy industry, and I was happily sucked into the animal rights vortex.
Amanda has a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Boulder, Colorado. She is currently an assistant contractor for PETA. She has been vegan for seven years.

Rachel has a master’s in diplomacy from Norwich University in Vermont and Strategic Asian Studies from Naval Post-Graduate School in Monterey, California. She is currently a major in the US Air Force serving as a Southeast Asia Regional Affairs Strategist. Rachel is a carnist*, but has been vegetarian for a year of her life and is a self -described "foodie" and aspiring chef.

*Throughout this Prezi, we use the term “carnist” referring to those who eat meat. This differs with Carnivores because they require meat in their diet for survival, but carnists choose to eat meat based on their beliefs. As coined by author Melanie Joy in 2001, "We assume that it is not necessary to assign a term to ourselves when we adhere to the mainstream way of thinking, as though its prevalence makes it an intrinsic part of life rather than a widely held opinion. Meat eating, though culturally dominant, reflects a choice that is not espoused by everybody"

How aware are you of the processes involved in agribusiness and the environmental implications of it? What about the living condition of a chicken, for example?
• I don’t know specific numbers,
a lot of times I don't think about it
because it’s pretty sad. I think chickens are one of the worse ones- average living condition are little crates, they don’t get to wander around and are fed to get fat.
Where have you received the knowledge you have on where the food in our country comes from?
• I haven’t watched documentaries because
I don’t really want to see that
. I have seen some stuff in the news.

What would need to happen or what would need to be the argument for you to change your mind? What would you need to experience or see that you haven’t already? Or maybe there’s nothing?
• Short of shock therapy; you showing me everything I’m eating causes really horrible effects, I don’t think there is anything. Along Singers line of trying to cause the least amount of suffering, people should try to live responsibly but you’re not going to recycle every can or always buy something that is ethically made. It isn’t possible. Plus you probably need to save the extra 5 dollars for something else. But you could try to be better, including eating less meat or eating better products.
But I don’t think unless you shock people and make them feel bad about it, I don’t think rational knowledge alone without any bias, like if you just gave someone all the facts, I don’t think most people would choose to become vegan or vegetarian and neither would I. I don’t think if I ever became a vegan or vegetarian it would be solely because I do not want to harm animals.
Would talking about the environment as a whole be more effective for you than just talking about animals?

Firstly, I am selfish. And I think most people are. Most people put the things that we want above any other concern. So, environmental impact
-- I try to do things that are better for the environment, but I don’t not drive my car because I could walk or ride my bike because it’s not worth it on the scale of convenience/common sense/time. There’d have to be lots of factors involved to push me towards vegan/vegetarian.
I wouldn’t because it’s really hard/it’s a lot of work and again the foodie thing: you cannot be a good chef if you are a vegan- it’s impossible.
• Health would be the reason that pushed me
. If someone could prove to me that being vegan I could get the same amount of nutrition that I get right now (at some point you’re giving up something) - you either have to take a lot of supplements. You can’t get the same level of nutrition with the same level of convenience thus quality of life.

Hypothetically, if you agreed with singer, do you think there would be any justifiable way for people in the US to continue eating the way that we do?

If you judge suffering its subjective... who can really say how much an animal suffers. No objective way to judge
. If this family does not eat hamburger because this many cows suffered to produce that hamburger- the family could eat something else and they should. But, everything people eat creates an impact (e.g. soybeans) and if we all stop supporting meat producers- what happens to that industry and the peoples whose livelihood depends on it. They can’t just go from being cow farmers to soybean farmers. What are the impacts of meat alternatives?
I do not think his argument by itself is enough to make people become vegan or vegetarian. I Do not think it would make me change my mind. I am obsessed with food; I plan to open restaurant, if I realized I couldn’t ethically support certain products that would be a major problem. And its only one side—you’d have to read the other side, the opposing view before you could make a sound judgment
What do you think or feel about what you know regarding agribusiness?
• Like what do I think about that fact that animals have to suffer so that we can eat them? (Hopefully this doesn’t sound too horrible when you write it up)...suffering is subjective... one cannot really judge a cow's suffering vs my hunger for example... for example that my hunger is worth less vs the cows suffering—depends on the perspective.

For example, if someone punches both of us in the face with the same force, the actual sensation of the pain cannot be measured or compared. Depends on the person. It sounds like they are putting people and animals on the same level.
A lot of people believe animals are lower on the chain because of human’s cognitive ability, etc., so if they happen to suffer because humans eat them, then that’s the price
. If I thought about it more I would probably eat less chicken for example and do research into which brands cause less suffering, but unless you go to someone you know, you can’t really trust where you get your food. Big conglomerations control our food, even “organic”, etc.

What about all of this makes it so easy to turn a blind eye?

People shy away from things that are unpleasant. Most people don’t embrace getting information about bad things or the fact that they are contributing to it.

You talked about being a vegetarian in the past... Bottom line, what stopped you from doing that?
• I just felt like eating meat again. I Drove into Sonic one day after not having meat for a year, and it just oddly sounded good. The heart wants what the heart wants.

Someone like you who, outside of the food that you eat, you appear to be somewhat of an animal lover… Especially your dog. What is it in your mind that makes Zuni (her dog) different from a cow or a chicken?
• Well, no one is going to eat their pet. I don’t have a problem with people that eat dogs in Asian countries because they are not people’s pets. It’s a certain kind of dog and they’re treated the way that food animals are treated not treated the way pets are treated.
The difference is the way we treat the animals. We don’t make an attachment with them.

Are you aware of the environmental implications of agribusiness?
• Cows create a lot of methane that effects the ozone layer; also that animals eat corn- and it’s in high numbers because it competes with corn grown for ethanol

Singer’s theory of sentience and the lessening of overall suffering: what are your initial thoughts or questions? Do you agree with it?
• There is no way for there to be no suffering... If you wanted to apply it to a realistic not an idealistic setting the 1st thing would be to support the agribusinesses that don’t make animals suffer (not to say that there are any) but, for example, if you could find a farmer down the road that has eggs from chickens that lead good lives then you should buy eggs from them, although most people don’t have this access.
If I could show you through other people’s research and findings in concrete details the actual impact meat has on the environment, the actual suffering animals go through, and the ease in which u could have a vegan diet (leaving your health outside of it) and those things became part of the framework in which you viewed things- would that still fall short of changing how you eat?
• Probably, because I’m addicted to foodie stuff. Like, I was joking with someone that I started eating meat again for the cheese, salami and bacon-wrapped dates.
How do you stay motivated?

I stay motivated by knowing that the work I do is helping animals everywhere. 10 billion animals are killed each day for food in the United States alone; knowing I’m not a part of the process gives me hope
. By eating organic foods and making a choice to skip dairy and meat products, I’m supporting an industry that is making the world a better place for all its inhabitants.

What is the most important thing you have learned as an animal rights activist?
• I
’ve learned that there is no problem too little to be capable of being solved. Just a few decades ago, Peter Singer published Animal Liberation, a book now available for purchase on the PETA website, and he was viewed as a lunatic. That book birthed an idea that has motivated millions. I am dedicated to nursing PETA’s philosophy, because it, too, was a small, trivial viewpoint once upon a time

What would you like the general public to know regarding to animals and/or animal rights?

There is no argument that justifies the living horror that animals are forced to live each day
. These animals are born to die and are treated like commodities when they are each intelligent, sweet, loving creatures that would describe every burn, kick, and electric shock exactly as a human would. These animals have their own intentions and their own families.

Do you have any companion animals? If so, how do they affect your activism?
• I have two dogs at my house, both adopted from a shelter. In a way, it supports my activism because I’m not purchasing them from a puppy mill, where animals are, once again, treated like commodities in the most inhumane fashions, as well as being able to embrace my companions every time I open my door. It’s important for me to have them both in my life because of the unconditional love they provide,
just like every other animal would be willing to give if they weren’t in the circumstances that the meat and dairy industry force them into.

How do you handle individuals who are ignorant, “don’t want to talk about” or in direct opposition to the issues presented within the realm of animal welfare?

Ignorance is NOT bliss.
These animals need people like us to give them a voice because right now they’re in the shadows. They’re the off product of a horrible industry and the public continues to justify their exploitation. People can have their own opinions, but
at the end of the day, when you are presented with the information that your lifestyle supports and you continue to carry on without even attempting to change your ways, you are the problem. The world will end with the populations that are comfortable with the way the world is run.

How would you describe your vision for our environment and nature?

I strive for a sustainable future. at the moment, our ecosphere is being exploited for its resources, which includes exploiting its inhabitants. This is horribly unethical
, which is another reason why I work with PETA.
The disgusting off products of factory farming is harmful, not only for the animals, but for the environment and our own bodies. It's hurting more aspects of our lives than we can imagine
How does the work you do support your views on environmentalism?

By boycotting the industry and encouraging other to do so, we continue to make a positive stride towards our vision. Boycotting decreases the demand
, which will put companies out of business that are producing carcinogens for the environment. This, in time, will have a significant impact. It’s hard to be a vegan activist for PETA without sharing the ideas of the positive impacts it makes, because that’s a large part of the information we want to share.
What do you wish to accomplish with your activism?
• I want not only for people to fully understand the lifestyle and it’s benefits, but spread the message to others. I use a trickle-down type theory, where one person can tell a dozen, those individuals each tell a dozen and so on.

How do you see the world in five years? Why? Does this vision change with your activism? To what degree?

In five years, I see the world slowly evolving into sustainably, along with an overall decrease in meat and dairy consumption because of the price
(this isn’t exactly the reason why I want people to go vegan, but it might just be the most effective). The amount of money and space needed to continue the process will be too extreme, thus resulting in a population of vegetarians and vegans eating that stems from lack of money to provide the products in their daily diet.)
I feel as though this sustainable future won't become a reality until a life-changing event ensues
. I originally predicted this event would be hitting peak oil, but we can see how that effected the populations (not at all).
We have a huge issue on our hands, along with the solution. All that is necessary is for us to pull our heads out of our butts in order to get this show on the road
. This vision motivates me to work harder: holding more events, expanding information in leaflets and protesting in places where reform is most necessary.

Comments &
So that changes what it’s like for the animal?
• It changes what it’s like for us... but I also think there is a difference between a dog and a chicken as far as reasoning. I’m sure chickens can reason a little bit but I’m not sure they are the same as a dog
Is that an assumption?
• Yes I would assume that fish are on one level, chickens on another, other mammals then and so forth.

Do you think that’s true for you?
• Yes but I shy away from knowing less that there are animals suffering and more that there might be unsanitary, unsafe things in my food when you look at the way it is produced. That would be a bigger incentive for me to want to buy a chicken from the guy down the road.

What if you found out differently, like cognitively the same?
• I would still think that as long as they are not treated like pets, like it’s understood that they are food, then that’s the difference between them
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