Ideology And The Vegan Kitten

yikes

Regular readers of Ethics Alarms may have surmised that I detest rigid ideologies. Like moral codes, they are short-cuts for the intellectually and ethically lazy, “how-To” manuals for policy-making and problem-solving that eliminate the need for analysis and critical thought, and that therefore cause untold misery. Ideologies, whether they involve small government, caring for the poor or always bring in your closer in the ninth inning, are among the primary reasons that the country and the world are in the mess that they are.

An awful story from Melbourne, Australia is the best metaphor for this that I have encountered in a while. A vegan couple decided that their virtuous lifestyle dictated that they make a vegan out of their kitten—cats, unlike dogs, must eat meat to survive—so they force-fed the little fluffy animal a vegan diet of potatoes, rice milk and pasta. Naturally, the kitten became deathly ill and was barely saved by an animal hospital after three days of intensive care.

Human babies have also been made sick and sometimes killed by similar misapplied ideologies. These people are, of course, idiots, but are they that much more irresponsible than elected leaders who are incapable of setting aside their ideological biases to care for cities, states, and nations, and deal with the non-conforming, non-ideologically neat crises they find themselves in?

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Spark and Pointer: Instapundit

Facts: The Herald Sun

75 thoughts on “Ideology And The Vegan Kitten

  1. Nature is red of tooth and nail, right? Animals can’t be shamed into being something else because those idiots think animals can make a choice. If they cared about nature or the pet, they have to accept them for what they are: not cows.

  2. Oooh, Jack, too many issues to deal with at one time (or at least that people will read all the way through), so let’s start with the vegan kitty.

    I know we’re not a fascist state (yet), so we can’t totally control who owns pets and how they treat them. But I have always thought that PEOPLE should get pet licenses, not the other way around. All animals, I believe, are sentient, and pets are especially vulnerable to the insane (inane, idiotic) beliefs of their owners…sadists like Michael Vick not included here.

    Basic tenet: if you want to “own” an animal as a “pet,” admit and admire that they are in fact animals, and it is insufferable and cruel to try to make them conform to your personal human behaviors and beliefs. Shame, shame. The beauty of having pets is the conjunction of the differing animal and human psyches, and how well they can work together– if it is respected.

    To me, making a dog become a vegan is tantamount to creating “fighting dogs” for one’s own amusement, ideology, financial gain, and/or fame. This couple should be on some “list” of those who can’t adopt/buy/breed a dog, much like the sex-abuser lists are published.

    More later.

    PS It took my husband and I exactly 10 months to adopt a child from Russia — investigations from local Child Services to the FBI and even Interpol (with some in between), though every Harry and Freezie can reproduce at will and raise 10 kids in a trailer. Good system. But that’s for the second part of my response…

    • Hi Elizabeth I and all.

      An extension to this is that, from the outset, all pets *already are* made to conform to our “personal human behaviours and beliefs,” The institution of animal domestication is in fact just using sentient beings to satisfy our own whims. This of course doesn’t at all justify what that vegan couple did to their cat but to pretend that they are the only ones here exercising ideologies is not quite right.

      Considering that over a couple hundred thousand pets are killed in this country every year because they are unwanted makes this vegan couple a blip on the spectrum. Considering that over 20 million indiscriminate eaters are complicit in the death (and torturous life) of between 50 to 100 sentient beings per year might put the vegan couple’s stupidity into perspective.

      • “The institution of animal domestication is in fact just using sentient beings to satisfy our own whims. ”

        You seem to ignore that we didn’t really domesticate cats to satisfy our whims. Unlike dogs, cats pretty much domesticated themselves. Humans had grain, grain attracted mice, mice attracted small wildcats and humans liked that cats killed mice and they got used to each other. An indoor-only pet cat is a relatively new phenomenon – probably less than 100 years old. Before that cats were mostly left to their own devices – as mousers.

        Also, the nature isn’t kind either. A close relative of our cat – European wildcat – lives maybe 7-8 years in the wild. Most wild kittens don’t survive either.

        Yes, there are too many domestic cats because being closer to us allowed them to live longer and reproduce more often. For comparison, an European wildcat queens only have kittens once a year. No wonder their toms don’t mind interbreeding with domestics.

        As a species, domestic cats are surviving and thriving compared to their wild counterparts, some of whom are endangered.

        • 1. Respectfully, I’m not ignoring anything. Even if felines and humans were drawn together synergistically in the past we are way beyond that now. Cats are now generally simple and fungible commodities, bought and sold, created and destroyed like any other property.

          2. What nature offers cats (or anyone else for that matter) is irrelevant to how we mistreat them. Nature is morally benign, we are not. Cat’s born in the wild have no more need for human superintendency than any other species. In any event, I suggest that if you look at the rates of intentional killing of unwanted domesticated cats that the average mortality of domesticated cats is probably less than 7 years. (That’s an admitted guess for lack of available data but I’d bet on it.)

          3. Cats are not reproducing more often of their own volition. *We* are breeding cats faster to satisfy market demands by creating artificial environments making them become prolific reproducers to their own and others’ detriment.

          4.If you consider sheer population as “thriving” then I suggest you consider the plight of the African countries who have the highest human fertility rates in the world. An unsophisticated survey of numbers tells us very little except about the numbers. I certainly would rather not “thrive” the way cats and the world’s starving people do.

    • Cats are what is called “obligatory carnivores”. That is to say, if they do not eat meat, they will literally starve to death. Anyone who does not know this simple fact should NOT be allowed to be owned by one.

  3. My brother and sister-in-law did this, because they insisted that their cat’s needs could be met with his “vegetarian” cat food that was supplied by their holistic vet. Their cat didn’t die, but he was super-aggressive when breakfast, lunch or dinner was put out. I felt so bad for him. Finally, some sort of epiphany struck them, and they began supplementing his diet with organic ground meat, in turn supplemented by holistic medications. It makes me mad just thinking about it.

    • My brother and sister-in-law did this, because they insisted that their cat’s needs could be met with his “vegetarian” cat food that was supplied by their holistic vet.
      ***************
      That idiot should have his license revoked.
      It makes me mad, too, thinking about it.

  4. I see this as connecting to a frustration I encounter regularly – the deification and idealization of nature. These are the same folks that will be mauled by a mother bear for cuddling her cubs, who freeze to death from being woefully unprepared for the elements, and are frequently shocked and surprised that nature doesn’t actually love them back. The vegan lifestyle is one that may have a fine moral imperative, but you can’t pretend for a moment that it’s a natural choice. The natural world demands respect, not idealization.

    • Well said. The current belief that controlling “global warming” is one way in which humans can control nature is just one example of the hubris of human beings on this earth. The Earth has its own (if inexplicable) agenda, has changed drastically over millions of years, and the unbelievable arrogance of those who believe that not only can we control climate (though never weather, interestingly) and/.or the behavior of other mammals, reptiles, and even bacteria is constantly amazing to me.

      Nature is cruel. It does not “feel” for its impact. We are (sorry) just one small group of beings on a planet whose other living beings outnumber humans by about 10 billion-to-one. It’s survival of the fittest: and the only reason human beings exist today is that our particular species developed frontal lobes which enabled us to keep alive a large percentage of its population despite disabilties which, in the natural world would have meant certain death. It is another conversation about the value of this ability, and/or its impact on the genetic strength of the species in general. My husband, for example, would have been dead meat (literally) if he had not been fitted with eyeglasses early in life. In other eras, he wouldn’t have had that option, and probably have been eaten by a wolf or sent off to a home for the bewildered because he couldn’t see.

      Yeah, “nature” is beautiful; we should love it and try to preserve it. But we should NOT, and CANNOT try to control it, form it based on our moronic ideals, or change it. The industrialization of mankind’s culture is part of the equation, but to equate responsible energy and manufacturing with some idealized view of an ever-changing earth is truly idiotic. The concept that Earth is “great right now and we should preserve it” is truly ridiculous. We will never ‘control” Earth, guys,
      Can we control the active volcanoes that still exist all over the world? Can we “predict” tornadoes? Can we do one single thing about hurricanes, typhoons, etc.? Who can explain why scientists find about 10 completely new species every year?

      Nope. The best we can do is live WITH the natural world, not try to control it.

      And all this started with pets….

      • The current belief that controlling “global warming” is one way in which humans can control nature is just one example of the hubris of human beings on this earth.

        I don’t see the hubris in thinking that we can affect the earth on a geologically short timespan that can screw us over. I don’t see the hubris in trying to limit the damage we do.

        The Earth has its own (if inexplicable) agenda, has changed drastically over millions of years, and the unbelievable arrogance of those who believe that not only can we control climate (though never weather, interestingly) and/.or the behavior of other mammals, reptiles, and even bacteria is constantly amazing to me.

        The earth has no agenda. The earth is not a sentient thing.

        Weather is an extremely complex and constantly variable system. Climate is extremely complex as well, but does not have the constant variability of weather. Being able to affect climate, but not control weather? Not odd.

        Yeah, “nature” is beautiful; we should love it and try to preserve it. But we should NOT, and CANNOT try to control it, form it based on our moronic ideals, or change it

        We do change it nature. We change it all the time. That our main desire is often something other than “changing nature” (fuel, new homes, food, etc), doesn’t mean it doesn’t occur. You’re advocating for us to not care about the side effects of our actions. That’s completely irresponsible.

        The concept that Earth is “great right now and we should preserve it” is truly ridiculous. We will never ‘control” Earth, guys,

        There’s a major difference between having full control over the earth (impossible with our current knowledge and technology, likely impossible for the entire run of our species), and having some ability to affect the earth.

        Can we control the active volcanoes that still exist all over the world?

        No, but we can manage them to some degree and often predict their behavior. Also, so what?

        Can we “predict” tornadoes?

        Yes.

        Can we do one single thing about hurricanes, typhoons, etc.?

        At this point, not really, though there are some ideas about how to dissipate them and strengthen them. We likely have some of the necessary knowledge, just not the capability.

        Who can explain why scientists find about 10 completely new species every year?

        It’s actually more on the order of thousands of new species every year. Explanation? There are millions of different species, and we’ve only been able to even differentiate between many of them in the last half century. We’ve also been exploring areas that either hadn’t been explored (more of the oceans) or had not been explored for species (much of the rainforest). More importantly, What does this have to do with anything you’re saying?

        Nope. The best we can do is live WITH the natural world, not try to control it.

        Living with the world does involve affecting the world. As noted above, pretending we have no affect on the world, or not caring about our affect on the world is irresponsible.

        • Elizabeth: “Yeah, “nature” is beautiful; we should love it and try to preserve it. But we should NOT, and CANNOT try to control it, form it based on our moronic ideals, or change it”

          TGT: “We do change it nature. We change it all the time. That our main desire is often something other than “changing nature” (fuel, new homes, food, etc), doesn’t mean it doesn’t occur. You’re advocating for us to not care about the side effects of our actions. That’s completely irresponsible.”

          How you got that she advocates for us “not to care about the side effects of our actions” after her “we should love it and try to preserve it” phrase is devoid of logic.

            • Elizabeth explicitly talked about changing the earth in the comment you quoted. I didn’t change terms.

              I also took on her use of the term “control” in multiple other sections. No, we can’t “control” the earth, but that’s a strawman argument. We can affect the earth in various ways, and those things matter, even if we don’t have full control.

              • But there is no reason to believe that any nation or reliable conglomerate of nations can control climate change, nor is it certain or clear how that would be done. Humans change some things about the Earth, yes—but this issue is exponentially larger and more complex than any other, and the contention that it is hubris to argue that man has the ability to “stop climate change” is eminently reasonable—not only that, available knowledge supports that argument.

                All the rest of the objections to E1’s comment amount to simply exaggerating a point in order to debunk it.

                • Nobody is suggesting that we can control climate change. That’s a red herring. We can affect it. Heck, the U.S. on it’s own could affect climate change. Stop it? No, but slow it down or speed it up? Yes.

                  All the rest of the objections to E1′s comment amount to simply exaggerating a point in order to debunk it.

                  Name one thing I exaggerated.

            • Her comments on global warming explicitly say we cannot control global warming. That doesn’t mean to disregard our effect on nature (without you attributing unstated premises to her).

              It simply means global warming is something we cannot control – I can only assume that you made this mistake because you think global warming is man-made. If that is the case you treading into question begging territory.

              Taken in light that she does explicitly state we should love and try to preserve nature I think you could have seen that your attributed meaning wasn’t her actual meaning.

              • She claims the earth has an agenda and that we cannot affect it, nor should we even try. That’s, well, insane. She repeatedly says we shouldn’t try to change things and that we don’t have the power to change things, but we absolutely do change things.

                She does at one point say “Yeah, “nature” is beautiful; we should love it and try to preserve it”, but that’s a one off. She also says “The concept that Earth is ‘great right now and we should preserve it’ is truly ridiculous.”

                Your one counter example to my interpretation of her comments is a direct contradiction of something else she said. The general gist of her comment is that it’s hubris to attempt to change the earth. It’s a denial of scientific reality.

                • Actually, she never says we can’t affect anything. She says we can’t control it. She says that on EVERY ASSERTION save the ONE time she said the word change with humans as the subject. You are the one who has overgeneralized a one off comment and went off on it.

                  That’s a denial of literate reality.

                  I read her statement of “…great right now and we should preserve it…” not as a contradiction of her earlier preservation comment. That the earlier preservation comment clearly indicates that we shouldn’t arbitrarily and wantonly damage something, whereas modified by the “Earth is great right now” phrase, the other instance of preserve it has the connotation that keeping the Earth exactly as it is would be impossible given that we cannot control the changes the Earth undergoes anyway.

                  • Actually, she never says we can’t affect anything. She says we can’t control it. She says that on EVERY ASSERTION save the ONE time she said the word change with humans as the subject. You are the one who has overgeneralized a one off comment and went off on it.

                    Her comments about control suggest that we aren’t causing any effects on the world. They suggest we shouldn’t do anything to change our effects. She does only once explicitly say human’s cannot change nature generally. So what? She does actually say that, doesn’t she?

                    My larger point in response was that control is a misnomer. We can affect the earth; saying we can’t control it is stupid and pointless.

                    I read her statement of “…great right now and we should preserve it…” not as a contradiction of her earlier preservation comment. That the earlier preservation comment clearly indicates that we shouldn’t arbitrarily and wantonly damage something, whereas modified by the “Earth is great right now” phrase, the other instance of preserve it has the connotation that keeping the Earth exactly as it is would be impossible given that we cannot control the changes the Earth undergoes anyway.

                    On their own, I could see that, but I can’t square it with the comments about hubris and the earth having an agenda.

                    • “My larger point in response was that control is a misnomer.”

                      Odd then that your rebuttals don’t address that.

                      Her commentary on control is simply that. We can’t control, you’ve added all the additional commentary to address something she hasn’t discussed.

                      “earth having an agenda” to me sounds quite simply like poetic license and metaphor. I don’t think she expect Ethic’s Alarms resident situational-literalist to use that as point to exaggerate in order to deflate her whole discussion.

                    • “My larger point in response was that control is a misnomer.”

                      Odd then that your rebuttals don’t address that.

                      Really?

                      “There’s a major difference between having full control over the earth (impossible with our current knowledge and technology, likely impossible for the entire run of our species), and having some ability to affect the earth.”

                      “No [we can’t control volcanoes], but we can manage them to some degree and often predict their behavior. Also, so what?”

                      Nope. The best we can do is live WITH the natural world, not try to control it.

                      Living with the world does involve affecting the world. As noted above, pretending we have no affect on the world, or not caring about our affect on the world is irresponsible.”

                      Her commentary on control is simply that. We can’t control, you’ve added all the additional commentary to address something she hasn’t discussed.

                      I think her comments about control suggest we shouldn’t do anything. If not, then her comments have pretty much no meaning. Nobody claims we can control the earth. I assumed she didn’t write so many paragraphs about such a nonexistent topic. If you’re right, then her post was one big deepity. Technically true that we can’t control the earth, but there’s no lesson we can learn out of that.

                      “earth having an agenda” to me sounds quite simply like poetic license and metaphor. I don’t think she expect Ethic’s Alarms resident situational-literalist to use that as point to exaggerate in order to deflate her whole discussion.

                      Claiming that earth or evolution has a purpose or agenda is a common mistake people make. That’s something that informed people should avoid. With her other mistakes about reality (not being able to do anything about volcanoes, being 2 orders of magnitude off on species discovery, thinking that it’s unexplained how we can find new species, not understanding how climate can be changed more easily than weather), I don’t see any reason to give her the benefit of the doubt on the agenda. I did give Poetic license for “Nature is cruel.”

                    • Yes really. You didn’t once take issue with her use of the word control. You picked her one instance of the use “change”, then over generalized it and applied your preferred meaning to everywhere she used “control” and began attacking her from the angle that (according to you) she meant “change” instead of “control”.

                      Once called on it, you have weaseled your way out of it now by saying her argument is 100% meaningless and pretending like that is what you’ve been saying this whole time.

                      Again, bringing up the “earth agenda” thing is an error, as I’ve demonstrated, her most likely meaning is that “earth agenda” is poetic license. I know you won’t accept that since about 85% of your counterargument relies on assuming she was literal when she said “earth agenda”.

                    • Jeez, tgt and tex! Don’t you have anything better to do than parse every term I used in a short piece about my views on humans and their relationship to the natural world? This was not my doctoral dissertation, and you two are not the ones to make me defend it. It was a short note enlarging the original issue.

                      For the record, and to give you more to attack or support me on…:

                      1. I do believe that we can control (if allowed by governments) carbon emissions into the atmosphere — but I have read at least part of the research and its critiques, and know that a fair amount of data has been faked in this regard — no one has definitively (and honestly) shown the long term effect and the cost involved. We had our industrial revolution, burned soft coal, and ruined rivers and great lakes; we have since taken very effective measures to begin correcting these negatives. Now, snotty as we are, we are telling under-developed countries that they can’t have their own industrial revolutions, because it would further damage the atmosphere and they can’t improve their lives and their economies because of what we did in the late 19th and 20th centuries.. THAT is another kind of hubris.

                      2. I love the global warming issue because it it now political, not scientific. It’s such a hot issue that we have to listen to people (those “expert” TV reporters?) use the fact that it’s ACTUALLY 92 DEGREES IN WASHINGTON IN JULY as evidence of global warming? IT’S JULY FOR GOD’S SAKE, IT’S SUMMER!

                      3. I also knew that using global warming as an example would perhaps set off a firestorm, because the data is unclear and the Gore folks (how many millions has he made off this issue?) are absolute ideologues on this issue. Facts don’t matter; only concepts do.

                      4. Having talked to global warming alarmists, it is clear to me that what they want is for the earth to (a) stay just as it is; (b) we can make that happen; and (c) we have the power (intellectual, technological and otherwise) to do it.. Anyone who has studied geology knows that that is an idiotic concept. Yes, the advancement of humans has changed — only parts — of the way Earth functions, and (shame on us?) for domesticating animals, learning to harness electricity, sending men into space, etc. Let’s go full-bore on an unproven method of controlling Earth’s climate, let’s “treasure” the Earth, and let’s also plant our little marigolds in pots and kill all the insects that eat them. Anyone see a dichotomy here?

                      4. When I said that “Earth has its own agenda” it was in fact a metaphor… (doesn’t anyone get that anymore? Similes, metaphors… if you can’t see them then you don’t know the English language) hence the short list of the natural Earth changes over which we can never have control — at all.

                      5. Another concept for your unbelievable interest in parsing my words: NASA as a space exploration organization is basically dead. Right? Too expensive. But with the asteroid near-miss recently, and the smaller comets that hit Russia, couldn’t NASA be turned into an international Earth-defense agency? Listen to the astronomers: there’s so much flying around in space that could kill us off (a la the dinosaurs) that we should have real concern, but apparently there are NO plans in place to defend against them (with the exception of thriller movies…Where will Bruce Willis be when we need him?). If we agree that there are parts of Earth’s natural evolution that we cannot control, but that there are in fact ways in which we can control our impact on it, can we not also agree that we can use existing and future technology to protect it (at least somewhat) from threats from our universe and others?

                      6. And finally, you guys just kill me…

                    • tex,

                      I was going to come to this thread and say: “I may have misinterpreted Elizabeth. It’s not important for me to be right about my interpretation of her comments.”

                      That was until I just read her response.

                      Elizabeth
                      1. I do believe that we can control (if allowed by governments) carbon emissions into the atmosphere — but I have read at least part of the research and its critiques, and know that a fair amount of data has been faked in this regard — no one has definitively (and honestly) shown the long term effect and the cost involved.

                      What faked data? Do you mean the Heartland’s lies?

                      As for definitively showing the long term effects and costs involved? That’s an impossible and silly standard.

                      2. I love the global warming issue because it it now political, not scientific. It’s such a hot issue that we have to listen to people (those “expert” TV reporters?) use the fact that it’s ACTUALLY 92 DEGREES IN WASHINGTON IN JULY as evidence of global warming? IT’S JULY FOR GOD’S SAKE, IT’S SUMMER!

                      I don’t remember the last time I saw a reporter or pundit call out a specific high temperature as evidence of global warming. I do pretty frequently see reporters and pundits call out low temperatures as reasons to laugh at global warming. I also see reporters and pundits talk about record breaking years for repeated record highs. Maybe you’re getting confused.

                      3. I also knew that using global warming as an example would perhaps set off a firestorm, because the data is unclear and the Gore folks (how many millions has he made off this issue?) are absolute ideologues on this issue. Facts don’t matter; only concepts do.

                      Sadly true. Of course, you’re the one that spouted off the stupidity here.

                      4. Having talked to global warming alarmists, it is clear to me that what they want is for the earth to (a) stay just as it is; (b) we can make that happen; and (c) we have the power (intellectual, technological and otherwise) to do it..

                      Citation needed.

                      Anyone who has studied geology knows that that is an idiotic concept. Yes, the advancement of humans has changed — only parts — of the way Earth functions, and (shame on us?) for domesticating animals, learning to harness electricity, sending men into space, etc. Let’s go full-bore on an unproven method of controlling Earth’s climate, let’s “treasure” the Earth, and let’s also plant our little marigolds in pots and kill all the insects that eat them. Anyone see a dichotomy here?

                      Most of the people I’ve seen that are nature freaks are against killing the insects as well. The people I see that are pro-insecticide seem to fall in the “we can do anything we want to the earth” camp.

                      5. Another concept for your unbelievable interest in parsing my words: NASA as a space exploration organization is basically dead. Right? Too expensive. But with the asteroid near-miss recently, and the smaller comets that hit Russia, couldn’t NASA be turned into an international Earth-defense agency? Listen to the astronomers: there’s so much flying around in space that could kill us off (a la the dinosaurs) that we should have real concern, but apparently there are NO plans in place to defend against them (with the exception of thriller movies…Where will Bruce Willis be when we need him?). If we agree that there are parts of Earth’s natural evolution that we cannot control, but that there are in fact ways in which we can control our impact on it, can we not also agree that we can use existing and future technology to protect it (at least somewhat) from threats from our universe and others?

                      We should have real concern that a devastating asteroid might hurt the earth in the next couple million years? That’s something that we don’t have the technology to change. You put that on pat with something that is likely to have serious affects in the next century and that we do have the technology to affect?

                    • “I don’t remember the last time I saw a reporter or pundit call out a specific high temperature as evidence of global warming. I do pretty frequently see reporters and pundits call out low temperatures as reasons to laugh at global warming. I also see reporters and pundits talk about record breaking years for repeated record highs.”

                      Talk about selective perception. Not just high temperatures either (the DC area media has been hammering this) but also hurricanes, tornados, floods, earthquakes and any other notable geological or meteorological event—a meteor shower, for god’s sake! You really don’t notice any of that?

                    • It is exactly the reverse, you know. We can certainly develop the technology to blow up an asteroid, we need no international consensus or enforcement to do so, and the time frame could be a million years or ten, making it a sensible thing to do. We have no idea–just theories, models, and fallible projections— whether we have the technology to stop global warming, if that includes, as it must, a sufficiently universal deployment of it to ensure any substantive impact.

                    • Talk about selective perception.

                      I’ll take your word for it. I suspect that this is more likely selection bias on my part than a perception bias. I don’t frequently listen to the newsmedia, and I read many more “liberal” sites and science sites than conservative sites.

                      Saying something like “the global warming is finally here” for a heat wave is just about as stupid as saying “what global warming?” for a snowstorm.

                    • It’s exactly as stupid, except that, I think, it is fair to ask, when climate change experts say “we can expect to see an increase in deadly hurricanes as a result of climate change already underway” and the next hurricane season, as the one after Katrina was, turns out historically mild, “How can you guys be so certain what’s going to happen over the next hundred years when your predictions about the next year are so completely wrong??”

                      This is the problem I have with the hype. No matter how many short-term projections show flawed assumptions and models, the media, politicians and scientific establishment always say, “Yes, but that doesn’t matter—trust our models to demand that you spend trillions of dollars on speculative long-term predictions.”

                    • It is exactly the reverse, you know. We can certainly develop the technology to blow up an asteroid, we need no international consensus or enforcement to do so, and the time frame could be a million years or ten, making it a sensible thing to do. We have no idea–just theories, models, and fallible projections— whether we have the technology to stop global warming, if that includes, as it must, a sufficiently universal deployment of it to ensure any substantive impact.

                      We don’t know how to stop an asteroid coming for earth. Heck, we don’t even know about most objects until after they pass the earth. Sure, it’s possible we could develop technologies to deal with them, but suggesting it’s a simple matter is incorrect.

                      Similarly, we actually believe we have the technology to deal with global warming. Your comment about “theories, models, and fallible predictions” is ridiculous. The U.S. does have the ability to make a significant impact, and it’s also irrelevant to this discussion whether getting the world to come together is feasible. The people arguing against doing anything for global warming are also arguing against any need to do anything. They’re arguing against even trying to get other countries to do things

                    • Similarly, we actually believe we have the technology to deal with global warming. Your comment about “theories, models, and fallible predictions” is ridiculous. The U.S. does have the ability to make a significant impact, and it’s also irrelevant to this discussion whether getting the world to come together is feasible. The people arguing against doing anything for global warming are also arguing against any need to do anything. They’re arguing against even trying to get other countries to do things

                      This is just demonstrably, obviously, objectively untrue, and the only question is the fascinating one of why someone who knows his logical fallacies as well as you do adopts such an obvious one, assuming the truth of an assumption on order to “prove” it correct.

                    • Jack,

                      It’s exactly as stupid, except that, I think, it is fair to ask, when climate change experts say “we can expect to see an increase in deadly hurricanes as a result of climate change already underway” and the next hurricane season, as the one after Katrina was, turns out historically mild, “How can you guys be so certain what’s going to happen over the next hundred years when your predictions about the next year are so completely wrong??”

                      That you think that’s fair to ask shows the problem. Your question fails for the same reason a cold spell isn’t an argument against global warming. Variation, variation, variation.

                      This is the problem I have with the hype. No matter how many short-term projections show flawed assumptions and models, the media, politicians and scientific establishment always say, “Yes, but that doesn’t matter—trust our models to demand that you spend trillions of dollars on speculative long-term predictions.”

                      I don’t see a flawed assumption or model in your example… I see a laymen not understanding what a scientific statement means.

                    • To the contrary, all the false policy assertions by elected politicians-hostages to environmental constituencies betray utter lack of understanding of climate change models, and the scientists, disgracefully, allow them to continue it while dumbing down and over-simplifying their findings for a nakedly political agenda–which ethical scientists are not supposed to have.

                      There is NO consensus on whether man can sufficiently enact policies that will slow or significantly affect climate change, nor the extent of what climate change is going to be, nor how long such changees will take, nor whether unpredictable factors will counter the effects, nor even why the models haven’t explained the temperatures of the past 15 years. Yet people who either should know better or do, like you, continue to claim certainty that doesn’t exist, and to use that to justify speculative, expensive, economy crippling policies…and worse, to be insulting about it.

                      That’s what this layman can’t understand.

  5. At least these zealots only abused a kitten. My daughter had her kids, our grandchildren, on a vegetarian diet until her pediatrician (Praise Allah) told her our grandson needed some protein in his diet. He was under-nourished. She now feeds the kids hamburger regularly. And even hot dogs.

    And then there was the whole nursing Nazi thing. Our grand daughter cried all the time. Our daughter had been told infants were incapable of digesting solids until they were six months old and she should only be given breast milk. I was screamed at once when I tried to feed her cereal. I had the nerve to even put some Gerber peaches on the cereal to make it more tasty. Sugar! You gave her SUGAR?

    So, like I said, at least this was only a kitten at risk. But I have no idea why people of all sorts put their faith in whacky theories over common sense. Trendy’s cool, I guess. Hamburgers are so last year.

  6. Many people feel their beliefs trump facts.

    “More harm is done by someone in a lab coat with facts than a preacher quoting the Bible. Your facts are your religion. I prefer, as you say, to believe the Bible rather than a study done by any human with a PET machine or a MRI machine. …. You would be much better educated if you read the Bible (KJV). “

    This wouldn’t be such a big deal if they didn’t help pass laws enforcing their views.

    • Thank you for that. I really think everyone may have completely forgotten that the overwhelmingly favorite target of people annoyed by ideological rigidity are religious zealots.

      Gosh, it’s like Jack shouldn’t have even pointed out that zealotry exists elsewhere.

      So refreshing.

      • Thank you for that. I really think everyone may have completely forgotten that the overwhelmingly favorite target of people annoyed by ideological rigidity are religious zealots.

        It’s not that they’re a favorite target, it’s that they’re the most commonly dangerous of these people.

        I don’t see the problem in pointing out that this is the same problem as backing religious belief over facts. These people that push their beliefs over reality are just as dangerous as religious people who do the same.

            • Certainly pointing out that religious zealotry exists is valid.

              The subtle commentary buried in the sarcasm is one of “someone mentioned zealotry from a non-religious source: oh DAMN I better mention that zealotry does exist from religious sources as though no one knows” a reaction of which I suspect is almost automatic and predictable, not from any serious motivation of providing any edifying point.

              Almost like when Jack mentions some wrong or error that Obama says or does and you or the other Leftists almost predictably can be counted on to make some “well Bush did it too” response.

              • The subtle commentary buried in the sarcasm is one of “someone mentioned zealotry from a non-religious source: oh DAMN I better mention that zealotry does exist from religious sources as though no one knows” a reaction of which I suspect is almost automatic and predictable, not from any serious motivation of providing any edifying point.

                I don’t think the point of Zoe’s comment was to bash religion. I think Zoe’s point was to say just how bad this type of belief is. Despite some people’s sensitivity to religion, comparing this to religious belief does that pretty well.

                Almost like when Jack mentions some wrong or error that Obama says or does and you or the other Leftists almost predictably can be counted on to make some “well Bush did it too” response.

                I think you’re misrepresenting what occurs.

                My comments of “Bush did it too” are when Jack says that the action says something about Obama that doesn’t apply to president’s more generally. It’s not to excuse Obama’s action, it’s to point out that Jack’s conclusions based on the action are invalid.

                • I never said it was explicitly to bash religion. Just commenting on the extremely predictable nature of the response and therefore doubting its motivation.

                  It’s not a misrepresentation, you’ll see the analogy still holds even with your explanation.

                  • It’s not a misrepresentation, you’ll see the analogy still holds even with your explanation.

                    What? Should we not be pointing out flaws in reasoning now because they’re predictable. I don’t get it.

                    • tex,

                      I pointed out that my comments about Obama are dealing with flaws in the argument. You said the analogy of those comments still applies. You also were attacking Zoe for making her comment, suggesting that it was tiresome and unnecessary.

                      If your analogy still applies, then pointing out flaws is tiresome and unnecessary.

                      Do you doubt my motivations when I point out actual flaws? I point out flaws in attacks on both democrats and republicans. Hell, on more than one occasion, I’ve ping ponged between pointing out flaws in Jack’s argument and his main detractors arguments.

                    • Ok then. I’ll replace this statement:

                      “Almost like when Jack mentions some wrong or error that Obama says or does and you or the other Leftists almost predictably can be counted on to make some “well Bush did it too” response.”

                      With this:

                      “Almost like when Jack mentions some wrong or error that Obama says or does and the Leftists almost predictably can be counted on to make some “well Bush did it too” response, except for you, whose “well Bush did it too” comments are reasonable and never generated by some automated defensive reaction.”

                    • Further correction, since you abhor universal positives and universal negatives:

                      I’ll replace this statement:

                      “Almost like when Jack mentions some wrong or error that Obama says or does and you or the other Leftists almost predictably can be counted on to make some “well Bush did it too” response.”

                      With this:

                      “Almost like when Jack mentions some wrong or error that Obama says or does and the Leftists almost predictably can be counted on to make some “well Bush did it too” response, except for you, whose “well Bush did it too” comments are often reasonable and rarely generated by some automated defensive reaction.

  7. That comment would probably fit into the subcategory of “not engaging the issue presented in the post itself”. You know, the subcategory you apparently abhor.

    Welcome to the blog. Sidebars are frequent and edifying.

    The main topic of the post: Hardnosed, Unbending Ideology is counterproductive to an Ethical Worldview. The particular vehicle for that lesson this time is the Vegans trying to make their cat a vegan…..

    Now, onto your sidebar:

    “Why not address the ideology of pets as consumables?”

    I don’t know…. Why not? I can only assume that you aren’t providing your opinion on this because you are upset that Jack didn’t anticipate your demands.

    If you are annoyed at Jack’s preferred topics, please read this also, any one of his other 3000+ posts. It’s pretty varied.

    • Thanks for the welcome.

      You are right – I have distilled this post the way I wanted to receive it, probably even as a post mostly about “rubbish.”

      While I do apologise for misappropriating the main topic I still suggest that this particular event used as a metaphor for “primary reasons that the country and the world are in the mess that they are” is ill-fitting in light of the reasons I mentioned before. (Essentially that’s what I tried to drive at in the first place but apparently I failed.)

      I understand that pointing that out might itself be considered rubbish but the only way I’ll know that is based on the (lack of?) responses and I’ll happily use them as my cue for how to tread next time.

  8. This is called “missing the point.”

    The post had little to do about cats, and the complaint that this is only one cat and lots of other cats die too is an example of my least favorite rationalization of all—“It’s not the worst thing,” or “How can you get indignant about one little lie when millions of children starve yearly?” Two of the most tragic famines in world history, killing millions, occurred because Stalin and Mao relentlessly imposed collectivist theories on a population not ready to embrace them, and yet the ideology won out over common sense and reality, with horrible results. People can’t comprehend millions of deaths, but they will get upset about a sick kitty—and maybe the foolishness of living by rigid ideologies will sink. It’s only fractals—the issue is the same, on a different scale.

    It you think the post was about cats, this blog will frustrate you….and me, because I don’t like having to explain a post twice.

          • Yes, I wondered that too, but being new here I was not sure if overwriting/over-ruling was an accepted protocol here so thought no more about it.

            Texagg04, if you please, are you interested in the subject matter or just the anomaly of the missing post?

            • I’m interested in both, myself. I searched for it—the only posts of yours on the site are the ones you see. If I banned you for some reason, which would have involved my spamming the post, then you would be able to post this comment. I don’t delete comments; I do spam them if I’m banning the commenter. I’m very sorry–it’s a mystery to me.

              • I was uninvolved here for the last couple of days since I thought your post was pretty definitive regarding your scope of interest, and that thought was bolstered by my misconstruing the missing post as a censoring. But Jack, if you are still interested:

                I appreciate that what I wrote can be seen as an appeal to worse problems but that’s not my intent. As I see it, to look at the danger of two sticks while the house is burning down is misdirected attention, not (just) because it’s better to treat the immediate and worse problem but more so because two sticks generally do not start fires unless treated very specifically or carelessly. The fact of the matter is that *any* ideology misapplied and taken to absurd ends is potentially harmful – and we all have them. Apart from some random stupidities by the misinformed I suggest that (non-violent, ethical) veganism is benign as a force for harm – like two sticks.

                If it sounds like I’m here to defend veganism it’s because I am – but only within the context of your post. Veganism is *exactly* about analysis and critical thought – and a commensurate behavioural shift. Your concern with strict ideology is duly noted and shared by me but a commitment to respect the basic interests of all others (regardless of species) should not be a concern to anybody except possibly as a loss of income to those that profit from the exploitation of others and, only as an extremely rare exception, to the health of dependents that have ill-informed caretakers.

                • Thanks—I don’t know it that was the missing post or not. Again, I’m sorry that it vanished. I swear I didn’t delete it, at least not intentionally.

                  The post wasn’t about veganism, so it doesn’t need defending, though this was not the first time a fanatic Vegan misadventure made this site. Any ideology is subject to abuse and misapplication, and true ideologues tend to become more rigid the longer they hold on to one. When an ideology is so applied that it kills someone or something for no other reason but to be true to the ideology, that’s a real problem. See: Christian Scientists and children.

                  • I’ll admit that I might be perceived by others as a vegan ideologue and very rigid (even though I’m quite jocular). But there’s nothing flexible about not harming others to me; everything else – whatever.

                    I do think we’re speaking the same language, just that the example you provided aroused a personal sensitivity. So here’s my last vegan’s perspective on the Melbourne couple that I think separates them from the characterisation of ideologues you invoke. I don’t think that they that almost killed their cat necessarily by exercising any short-cuts or rigidity. The fact of the matter is that extant domesticated carnivores provide a moral quandary for those that attempt to apply equal consideration to the basic interests of all animals. It unfortunately becomes an exercise of harm minimisation rather than harmlessness and that’s sometimes the only option for vegans in a non-vegan world – and a very delicately balanced one at that. As a caretaker for a number of rescued felines myself I fully appreciate the moral dilemma here. If they are anything like other vegans I know then rather than simply being lazy or following general prescriptions I’d guess that the Melbourne couple did actually long contemplate their decision, albeit improperly and with insufficient data. That they sought expert attention when things went pear-shaped and then decided to take the cat back and feed her meat is indicative that they learned a lesson and are hardly rigid in (the application of) their ideology.

                    Thanks for a very interesting blog. I tried to find the Christian Scientists and children post but to no avail.

                • You can defend veganism outside of the context of the post if you want. The sidebars are just as edifying as the main post.

                  The reaction you elicited from me was because you were annoyed that Jack didn’t post what *you* wanted him to post on *his* blog. But we’re past that now.

                  • Thanks texagg04. Then with your invite I will defend veganism with a little stray outside the post.

                    I’d say that non-veganism – as an inherited ideology, which it most certainly is – is massively guilty of “short-cuts for the intellectually and ethically lazy, “how-To” manuals for policy-making and problem-solving that eliminate the need for analysis and critical thought, and that therefore cause untold misery.” Even putting aside a large number of people affected by social injustices and miseries fostered by non-veganism, sixty billion warm blooded and trillions of aquatic animals per year would testify with me if they could.

                    That ethics alarms are raised regarding animal use is incontestable. That’s why there are laws in place to (supposedly) regulate the amount of suffering we inflict on nonhumans, why campaigns for more (supposedly) ethically produced animal products are rife and why, given a no-cost option, 99% will take the free-range egg over the battery egg. But unfortunately, since non-vegan ideology is so deeply ingrained it’s socially agreed that these particular alarms must be largely ignored or traded off for minuscule reforms. Veganism hardly gets a hearing in public platforms even though it is the ultimate solution to these alarms. That’s telling. This “incapabl[ity] of setting aside their ideological biases” is the antithesis of “the right thing, or at least to use good ethical reasoning to decide what to do.” We don’t use animals because we’ve thought about it and reasoned our actions, we just use animals because we do. This ideology of non-veganism, or human supremacy and our presumed prerogative to have mastery over other species, is nothing but a relic of religion.

                    I think Jack is quite right that people can’t comprehend millions of deaths. I further suggest that it’s often a self/socially inflicted incapacity rather than limited cognitive ability.

                    • I don’t think it’s a relic of religion. It may have been incorporated into religious views, but I don’t think our caveman ancestors were thinking about religion when they made the estimation and discovery that eating an animal provided a lot more calories/protein per volume than plants and nuts and berries did. Which by the way, there was a thought process involved in that. And it certainly wasn’t because of ease of acquiring those calories either.

                    • Sure about the cavemen. Though I’d qualify that with the idea that they would have given a much more rational defense of their behavioural patterns: “Feel good, so I do.” What some might call animal logic – and all by happenstance rather than critical thought for sure.

                      What (some/much?) religion/ideology was developed for was to facilitate and legitimise our desires. So rather than a rational albeit ethically mordant response, religion taught us to appeal to fantasies to justify our actions. Not many people today will admit to “Feel good, so I do” even though that’s exactly what we often do. I’d say that religion, or it’s relics, are currently our default modus operandi *generally* (for good and bad) and often terribly difficult to escape.

            • Both, but it’s annoying that the original post is missing as a starting point for conversation.

              I wonder if a behind the scenes filter tried to delete my duplicate post but nailed yours instead?

  9. I was just Googling, since I saw the story posted on Facebook.

    No self-respecting vegan, who cares about animals and/or health, would think it’s OK to feed a kitten a white, starchy low protein diet of potatoes, pasta and rice milk. I suspect there’s more to the story.

    Just passing through on a search.

    • This made me laugh…thanks. Like WHAT? What more would explain this? Like, she’s nuts? Or is this a “No True Scotsman” argument? I think Occam’s Razor probably applies: she’s a vegan, she cares about animals and health, but she’s an idiot. What else could explain it?

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