Animal Rights Zone

Fighting for animal liberation and an end to speciesism

Transcript of 4th ARZone Workshop "Is Being Vegan Easy" ~ Part 2

Transcript of 4th ARZone Workshop

“Is Being Vegan Easy”

7 May 2011 at:

6pm US Eastern Time

11pm UK Time and

8 May 2011 at:

8am Australian Eastern Standard Time

Part 2


(Part 1 may be found here)

 

Trent Engelhart:

If you provide vegan options at your restaurant, but you're serving ribs and fish fillets, there are a huge number of vegans who aren't coming in regardless of your vegan menu the same goes if you're a vegan restaurant with a small menu serving ribs and fish.


Sergio Tarrero:

Most 'vegetarian' restaurants I have found in Madrid do serve meat products as well. Or they'd probably not be able to survive.

 

Michael T Tiedemann:

Sergio,  just watched the video, Very powerful! Going to share it on FB

 

Roger Yates:

I think the idea of "Vegan Buddies" is important. As Cynthia said, mentors are good and useful. I guess the internet works in this way now - vegans can ask each other for advice and (hopefully) support.

 

Sergio Tarrero:

Yes. It came to me from José Valle and Equanimal. I shared it too. Not a single "like". (and quite a few people follow my posts, because I'm a pretty active transhumanist there...) Not a single comment, either.

 

Michael T Tiedemann:

hmmm

 

Barbara DeGrande:

Isn't that sharing and support part of why we are here on ARZone?

 

Michael T Tiedemann:

Let's see what happens. Yes Barbara! :-)


Sadia Rajput:

Indeed Barb :-)

 

Sergio Tarrero:

Yep

 

Trent Engelhart:

This is a great place. I hadn't been on in a while, I came back to rant about restaurants and Pokemon =P

 

Michael T Tiedemann:

That's also why I invite people to FRIEND me on facebook! :-)

 

Mangus O’Shales:

That's why I come here every Saturday, because everyone is so open and I feel like I can say what's really on my mind.

 

Trent Engelhart:

I always come back, there's always good chat

 

Mangus O’Shales:

And no-one attacks anyone

 

Barbara DeGrande:

It feels like a safe place to share ideas, I agree with you

 

Cynthia Stroud Southerland:

Must go, but I thank all of my new vegan family members!  Hope I wasn't too vocal for my first ARZone chat! All the Best to you all and thanks so much!

 

Trent Engelhart:

Yes, no one laughed me out the door over my chicken nugget childhood story either.

 

Michael T Tiedemann:

Have a great night Cynthia!

 

Trent Engelhart:

Bye Cynthia

 

Tim Gier:

Thank you Cynthia!

 

Barbara DeGrande:

Bye Cynthia!

 

Sergio Tarrero:

Best Cynthia!

 

Carolyn Bailey:

Bye, it was great to have you here, Cynthia!

 

Sergio Tarrero:

Anyone... feel free to friend me on FB as well.

 

Carolyn Bailey:

We still have another question to discuss, in regard to veganism being easy.

 

Sergio Tarrero:

Many of my futurist/transhumanist friends are very aware of non-human animal suffering, and many are in fact vegan. It is through them that I came to be aware of this and take it seriously. That, and the superintelligent/supermoral AI metaphor. However, some others sort of despise the animal rights movement because of interference with animal research.

 

Tim Gier:

Thanks Carolyn Let me find the quote from Melanie Joy. It's about what she calls the 3 N's of justification - Normal, Natural and Necessary. She says: "The myths of meat are institutionalized; they’re embraced and maintained by all major social institutions from the family to the state, so they’re transmitted to us through all social channels and they are used to legitimize the system."

 

Sergio, I don't remember, were you here for David Pearce's interview?

 

Sergio Tarrero:

No, I was too tired. I read it later.

 

Tim Gier:

It was very good. He raised important issues

 

Sergio Tarrero:

David is one of the thinkers that made me very aware of this, of course.

 

Tim Gier:

Oscar Horta was here earlier tonight and did an interview a few months ago as well. He is an articulate and intelligent advocate as well.

 

Sergio Tarrero:

Yes, I did attend that one, and asked him a question.

 

Tim Gier:

Aha! Excellente! I was very impressed with Oscar and he was most gracious. A very nice person.

 

Sergio Tarrero:

Yes, I agree. Oscar is awesome.

 

Michael T Tiedemann:

Sorry all, I have to run.  Have a wonderful rest of the weekend,  & HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to all the Mom's celebrating tomorrow! Thanks for the great chat as always everyone!!!

 

Tim Gier:

Bye Michael, thanks for being here!

 

Sergio Tarrero:

Cheers Michael

 

Trent Engelhart:

bye Michael

 

Lisa Viger:

Night Michael

 

Carolyn Bailey:

Bye Michael

 

Barbara DeGrande:

Bye Michael!

 

Sergio Tarrero:

So, it seems like you had some ongoing conversations and I sort of popped in with my concerns. Please feel free to continue. I'd like to discuss animal research, eventually, but it can wait till later, or maybe another Saturday. No problem.

 

Tim Gier:

Sergio, I am fascinated by AI and transhumanist thinking, I am not sure how soon these things might become part of our everyday world or what it would mean to be human in that world.

No worries, it's all part of the same discussion in the end :-)

 

Sergio Tarrero:

Imho, it's going to all sort of blow up in the 30s and 40s.

Meaning - really blow up. I think we will have a so-called 'hard take-off'.

 

Tim Gier:

That would not surprise me. There is going to be some sort of threshold we cross, isn't there?

 

Sergio Tarrero:

The coding of the first AIs will probably decide our fate. Whether we're capable of making them moral/supermoral or not.

I strongly support the Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence, the only group I know of seriously working on AI ethics.

 

Tim Gier:

Isn't there an argument that moral choices result from rational choice theory-- that if we instill some sort of basic "volutionary" traits that morality follows?

I'm out of my element here, but I think I've heard something like this

 

Sergio Tarrero:

Yes, the focus now is rationality, biases and heuristics. But the space of possible minds is immense, so we are not guaranteed to get a 'nice' one, by any means.

Luckily, SIAI people are very aware of our concerns too. Notice how my friend Michael Anissimov (SIAI Media Director and blogger) starts a recent essay: http://www.acceleratingfuture.com/michael/blog/2011/04/security-is-paramount/

 

Sadia Raiput:

Are you talking about categorical imperatives, Tim?

 

Sergio Tarrero:

"A wolf can dine on the entrails of a living doe he has brought down, and no one can stop him."

Our main concern, in that community, is indeed security for all.

 

Tim Gier:

Yes, I think that some sort of categorical imperatives which act as a framework for the rest of the AI would do the job.

I think so, wouldn't some sort of categorical imperatives act as a framework for AI to be built on?

 

Sergio Tarrero:

It will ultimately be up to those superintelligent AIs, who they protect, who they grant freedom, who they allow to enhance themselves or 'upload', etc.

But I don't think you can really think of "imperatives" with an AI, since it can rewrite its own code.

 

Sadia Rajput:

Hmm intresting thought,

 

Tim Gier:

I'll have to do more reading on this subject. What's your FB name?

 

Sergio Tarrero:

Sergio Tarrero

 

Tim Gier:

hahaha!

Very clever!

 

Sergio Tarrero:

For some bios you can google Sergio M.L. Tarrero. Easier to find stuff on me.

 

Tim Gier:

Good stuff!!

 

Sergio Tarrero:

I am founding some organizations, but I can't talk about them publicly yet in any detail. In due time, I will announce them here as well.

 

Tim Gier:

Excellent, I'll look you up and try to get up with the information!

This has been a fascinating discussion, and I appreciate it.

 

Sergio Tarrero:

Yes... I can discuss privately. Feel free to email me, and we can hook up on Skype etc.

Sure!

 

Tim Gier:

Good deal!

 

Sergio Tarrero:

I will be quiet now. I feel like everyone else should speak! :-)

 

Lisa Viger:

Interesting stuff, Sergio!

 

Sergio Tarrero:

Thanks Lisa. I think so too.

 

Tim Gier:

Does anyone have anything they'd like to ask or add to the discussion tonight? I'm sure that there is ground we haven't covered as far as whether being vegan is easy....

 

Trent Engelhart:

I couldn't find you on FB, Sergio, but I added Michael because we had like 6 mutual friends haha

 

Lisa Viger:

I had to leave for a bit. Did we reach a concensus? Is it easy or not? I've always said it was easy, but lately I may have changed my mind on that.

 

Sergio Tarrero:

I'll try to find you.

 

Tim Gier:

Lisa, I think we've got around to saying that it depends!

 

Sadia Rajput:

I agree Tim!

 

Barbara DeGrande:

Me too!

 

Tim Gier:

Lisa, what has caused you to rethink the issue?

 

Lisa Viger:

Yep. That's about it. I went to check on my parents. Had my grandkids with me. Needed to wash their hands & noticed the soap had *yogurt* in it. lol …

 

Sergio Tarrero:

Trent, do you have a pierced nose?

 

Trent Engelhart:

I think the hardest thing for some people being vegan is giving up "favourites", some people think they can't live without bacon or cheese, I'm not sure how that VS something so important is an issue though.

Yes I do, you've found me =D

 

Roger Yates:

Hi Lisa. I think the problem is that people take their own situation and assume what they've experienced will be the same for everyone else. That is clearly false.

 

Sergio Tarrero:

Yep

 

Lisa Viger:

Tim, I think the practical things have been getting to me lately. Just having to be so vigilant.

 

Trent Engelhart:

Soap with yoghurt?

 

Lisa Viger:

I also had a health concern recently, and the Dr insisted I be checked for protein levels because I'm vegan. That was hard.

Yes, that's very true, Roger. Like you mentioned before, someone in a big city without a grocery store is going to have a harder time of it than most.

 

Tim Gier:

When we talk about being vegan, are we talking about the things we do, or the values we hold? Since the tires on my car are made with some kind of animal products in them, and since every time I drive my car I kill some insects, am i being vegan then?

 

Lisa Viger:

Right Tim, I see what you're saying. But the values have to translate into actions, right? I had vegan values before I ever became vegan :-)

 

Trent Engelhart:

When I say I'm vegan I mean I believe the world doesn't need to use animals for any of the things we do or use or own, we could have cars and clothes and movies and food without killing everything.

 

Tim Gier:

I could probably live without a car, couldn't I? I mean, if being vegan really meant something to me.

 

Sergio Tarrero:

I would say the values we hold. It is too hard to live like a Jain in modern times and get anything done.

 

Tim Gier:

We have to live in the world as it is, don't we?

 

Lisa Viger:

That's true. We can't get away from animal products.

 

Sergio Tarrero:

I was having a walk in the countryside with my daughters today and we were trying to miss all the ants. But you need to drive to get places, and get important things done in the world.

 

Lisa Viger:

Yes, we do. But it can - now I have to agree with you - be difficult sometimes to live in the world as a vegan.

 

Trent Engelhart:

When I tell a friend-of-a-friend I'm vegan, I usually explain that I can eat pizza and have toast with butter and make meatloaf and buy a hat, I'm not deprived of things. They're just not dairy butter, or dairy cheese pizza ;o

 

Tim Gier:

That's a great way of looking at it Trent

 

Sergio Tarrero:

I don't think we should allow this to drive us insane. Just do your best, but don't worry excessively about tiny insects you may kill while you drive. That is simply a problem that AIs will have to handle using nanotech, when the time comes. Unless one truly wants to simply retire from the world, live like a Jain. Sweep the ground you're about to step on.

 

Lisa Viger:

No, I don't let it make me too nuts, Sergio. Not at all, really. Every once in a while it just gets tedious.

 

Tim Gier:

Every other animal is the kind of being who values their own lives, but if they are, then it seems that in order to be consistent, we should seek to do the least harm.

 

Lisa Viger:

It's not tedious beign vegan ... just tedious being vegan in a nonvegan world. How long before we can have a vegan world, Tim? Eight years?

 

Sergio Tarrero:

And I do. But within limits.

 

Tim Gier:

There is a plan for a vegan world in 8 years I have seen somewhere, Lisa.

 

Sergio Tarrero:

I'd like to see that... it sounds like sci fi.

 

Tim Gier:

My turn for shameless self-promotion I guess: http://timgier.com/2010/07/28/a-vegan-world-in-8-years/

 

Sergio Tarrero:

I honestly think that one of the important things we must do to get the world to evolve in that direction is to make in-vitro stuff available in the markets as soon as possible. If any of you know anyone or have any pointers toward the most promising research out there, I'm interested.

 

Lisa Viger:

Tim's blog post is excellent ... highly recommended!

 

Sadia Rajput:

:-)

 

Sergio Tarrero:

Thanks Tim!

 

Roger Yates:

That's enough. We have to deal with Mr. Big Head 7 days a week!

 

Trent Engelhart:

I had an issue with a mouse and a moth a while back. I felt like a serious burden on my friends. They had a glue trap, I had to explain that's 100% lethal, then a moth was flying around because they had the door open as if the mouse would run out. That wasn't fun. We made a soda bottle livetrap for the mouse. You cut the bottle top off and invert it, tape that to the bottle, then tape it to the floor and put cereal inside. in theory the mouse goes in and can't climb out the mouth of the bottle. That wasn't hard to do, but that kind of effort seemed crazy to my friends. If it didn't seem "fun" they probably would have glue trapped a mouse.

 

Lisa Viger:

Sounds like a good mouse trap, Trent. I've been able to catch any mice that get in my house by hand ... but I'll keep that in mind.

 

Tim Gier:

My biggest question about in-vitro meat is whether it can happen through any method which doesn't involve the exploitation of other animals in the here and now. Wouldn't we have to use other animals to make it, and then more to test it before it would be deemed safe for human consumption?

 

Lisa Viger:

With all the faux meat products available, I have a hard time understanding why in-vitro meat is even a consideration.

 

Tim Gier:

In-vitro would be a repacement for all those people who don't think they can live without "the real thing"

 

Sergio Tarrero:

Lab tests I read about did use some animal-based serum to feed the stuff... but they pointed out that the goal was to make the process totally vegan/plant based. Taking a few cells from a live animal won't harm them, tho, if that's what you're talking about.

 

Lisa Viger:

It seems so difficult. Why not quest for an even better bean burger?

 

Sergio Tarrero:

That's OK too. But the fact remains, the human is a naturally evolved omnivorous creature, and many many humans will choose to keep eating meat. You need to give them humane options that do involve meat, and the only one I see is in-vitro.

 

Tim Gier:

In-vitro is another subject I need to learn more about in order to talk intelligently about it. I wouldn't dismiss the idea out of hand.

 

Sergio Tarrero:

I think that, if the goal is to protect animals, this is an incredibly important subject.

 

Trent Engelhart:

I wouldn't eat cloned meat because I don't need meat, I don't eat animals and I'm really healthy. I kept a copy of my results from my doctor because everyone is always concerned about veganism

 

Sergio Tarrero:

It's not you I'm worried about Trent. :-) It's the other 6.7 billion. (or whatever)

 

Tim Gier:

I agree Sergio, veganism isn't the end we should seek, respect for all others is the end we should seek and veganism is one means to that end.

 

Sergio Tarrero:

I believe I could raise very serious money if we located a lab or process which can do it industrially, and in a vegan fashion of course.

 

Sergio Tarrero:

Yes... people will become aware when they see big signs in their supermarket isles which read "Humane Meat" and "Victimless Meat" and things like that screaming at them.

 

Trent Engelhart:

Oh, I know. I realise how important providing food is to a lot of nations too but I don't think meat is the solution, cloned or not.

 

Tim Gier:

I don't know enough about it to say i'd support in-vitro meat, but I've been hearing from some smart people who support it and I can't rule out the idea at this point.

 

Trent Engelhart:

Actually someone had a poll on here with a lot of questions involving a hypothetical culture that relied on meat to survive, and I said there's no human who biologically needs meat, and we'd do better to help them agriculturally.

 

Sergio Tarrero:

For instance, in Spain. Most people will simply not give up the rich variety of seafood, the nice hams and cheeses, etc. No matter how much you talk about compassion for animals. Everybody looks at me like I've gone totally insane, and progress by memetic transmission is simply too slow. We need to be able to reproduce those same tastes without victims. (and I'm convinced that eventually we will, even if it takes 30 years and desktop nanofactories to do it).

 

Trent Engelhart:

I understand Sergio, even in England where veganism isn't unheard of and seafood isn't a 100% cultural norm, people can't imagine not eating lamb or bacon or cheese. People don't like to change and are stubborn about "comfort foods"

 

Sergio Tarrero:

Exactly.

 

Trent Engelhart:

I've had friends try soy milk or seitan or even vegetable soup that isn't much different from any vegetable soup, minus beef broth, and they act disgusted and repulsed. One person out of 5 will be disgusted and hostile about it, for no reason

 

Tim Gier:

It's the same everywhere, using other animals is just seen to be "the way it is" and the way it will always be. we've got to move the whole world. that's a tall, tall order.

 

Sergio Tarrero:

Yeap

 

Trent Engelhart:

I'd "support" in-vitro meat if it would allow us to cut down on the trillions and trillions of temporary cows and pigs and chickens in factories dying and polluting the entire planet, because it might be a stepping stone to not using meat at all

 

Sergio Tarrero:

So let's start by providing, at the very least, humane options for fast food places. That is the low-hanging fruit, as far as in-vitro. McNuggets and hamburgers, smoked ham for sandwiches, etc. Because it may take decades to actually build the variety people will demand in order to stop eating steaks and seafood of all sorts. (the textures won't be that easy to emulate without those desktop nanofactories)

 

Tim Gier:

Trent, my son-in-law told me that a person he gave a brownie to was loving it until he told her it was vegan and then she nearly spit it out.

 

Trent Engelhart:

Yeah, that's what some of my friends do, Tim. I'll make a taco pizza or lemon bars, and like I said 1 in 5 people will be disgusted and hostile. Like overly hateful

 

Douglass@UberVegan

That's because those people are eating too much meat.

 

Lisa Viger:

That happens to me all the time, Tim. I think people just don't like to be confronted with their food choices. And giving someone vegan food IS pointing out their food choices.

 

Trent Engelhart:

I try not to bother my friends about their lifestyle choices, because I don't want them to hate veganism, I want them to see that I can eat chips and pizza and milkshakes and meatloaf, and if they ask, yes this is 100% vegan. That's what I want. People tend to become really hostile about veganism. It's hard to tell who will act that way too

 

Sergio Tarrero:

Part of it is the fact that people absolutely love those animal tastes, and don't know how they could live without them and without the rich culinary cultures that often define their nations!

 

Tim Gier:

I wonder. Melanie Joy talks about how most people would react if they found out that the meat in their stew was Golden Retriever and not cow. That's how some people react when they learn the food is vegan. It's a primal thing. Weird that.

 

Douglass:

@ Trent: that's a matter of perception.  "Bothering" them for you may be just informing individuals, or excercising advocacy, from another perspective.

 

Trent Engelhart:

A lot of the taste of dairy is salt. A lot of the taste of processed meat is salt. I think some vegan substitutes try not to be horribly unhealthy, and cut down on salt intentionally, when they're trying to copy unhealthy food filled with salt.

 

Roger Yates:

The sociology of food suggests that people are conservative about food choices. This must go with that and so on. Food is also very important in social rituals. Any talk of the ethics of food is bound to be resisted.

 

Lisa Viger:

Exactly, Roger. We all like whatever food we we've gotten used to, usually what we were brought up on.

 

Roger Yates:

Yes, that's an important point, Lisa. People do get used to what they are given as children. We train our palates - veganism means a period of retraining.

 

Sergio Tarrero:

The question must arise in their minds... "what is Spanish food without serrano ham, without all the varieties of fish, etc etc." They can't conceive it any other way. Indian food... Chinese food... Italian food... etc etc. And they want authentic tastes.

 

Trent Engelhart:

I don't know how you could request that a "health food" company make vegan burgers filled with calories and salt, but then some of my friends might like it. I've made meatloaf filled with salt and soy sauce. It went over well

 

Sergio Tarrero:

So we'll simply have to give them that (humanely.. and more healthful, environmentally correct, etc.), or the slaughter will go on.

 

Lisa Viger:

Trent, I had some SmartDogs yesterday. They're just as greasy and salty as any real hot dog! Seriously. There was very little difference ... as far as I can remember.

 

Trent Engelhart:

The issue I have with making vegan food for my friends is I really do not know or remember what cheese tastes like. I'm not sure I've ever eaten bacon. I know I've never had a hot dog.

 

Sergio Tarrero:

By engineering in-vitro, you can limit the fat in it, you can add other nutrients and vitamins, good oils, etc. There should in fact be a culinary EXPLOSION. What they see on vegetarianism and veganism now is a huge culinary REDUCTION, the opposite.

 

Roger Yates:

"As far as I can remember" is important too. We do "forget" and once favourite foods can disgust us later on.

 

Lisa Viger:

Roger, have you read The World Peace Diet? The part about how we indoctrinate kids by feeding them is very true.

 

Trent Engelhart:

It's hard to show people vegan meals can be great when they're expecting a pile of grease and salt though. I'll try to find SmartDogs, Lisa, that sounds promising. Sounds horrible but promising =D

 

Roger Yates:

I concentrated on that in my Ph.d too.

 

Tim Gier:

Good point, Sergio, people do see veganism almost as depravation.

 

Lisa Viger:

Yeah, sometimes I think maybe I just forget what the "real thing" tastes like. Doesn't matter, though. I enjoy food more as a vegan than I ever did before.

 

Sergio Tarrero:

Yes. This is very, very important.

No more butter. No more milk. No more eggs and cheeses. And the seafood. Everything, they see as totally insane and totally counter to what life is all about.

 

Tim Gier:

And all the family times of celebration those foods are a part of too.

 

Lisa Viger:

Trent, SmartDogs are deliciously horrible! They make a bunch of other products, too.http://www.lightlife.com/index.jsp

 

Roger Yates:

I have never seen veganism as a loss. I emphasise the positives in the sense that it is  great that I kill no-one when I dine. That can make great a bland meal on it’s own.

 

Sergio Tarrero:

Notice that by engineering food, too, those cheesy top chefs that experiment with syringes and stuff will have a field day. They will create all sort of weird new tastes, and get the 4 Michelin stars. (or whatever they're called). So, the cheesy chefs will promote it and make it huge almost overnight. So yes. I am determined to get involved with in-vitro, and do what I can to make it happen commercially on a large scale.

 

Lisa Viger:

Roger, you concentrated on "food indoctrination" in your PhD? Do you have any blog posts on that topic?

 

Roger Yates:

You can look here Lisa: http://roger.rbgi.net/. Probably this chapter:http://roger.rbgi.net/species%20barrier%20maintenance.html

 

Lisa Viger:

Thanks Roger!

 

Roger Yates:

:-)

 

Trent Engelhart:

I try to prove that I'm not exclusive with my diet by being vegan. I'll eat at fast food restaurants with friends, there are options, I've had things ranging from corn, potatoes, biscuits, 3 bean salad, "apple fries". I wouldn't go on my own.

I do ask a lot of questions or use my phone to look things up, but I don't freak out and say I can't eat anywhere

 

Lisa Viger:

Such an important subject. My 4yo granddaughter asked me recently why I didn't eat chicken. I told her. The look on he face changed as she realized where their chicken comes from. She got mad and insisted that wasn't true because her dad would never do that.

 

Barbara DeGrande:

Lisa, I have had my grandson ask me why his parents don't care about the animals because they are not vegan.

 

Trent Engelhart:

That's what happened to me as a kid, it's how I ended up vegan and why I'm never sure if my food will taste like cheese or meat to my friends, I have no idea.

 

Lisa Viger:

It's heartbreaking, Barb. And of course, people who aren't vegan DO care about animals. They just haven't thought it through. Good for you, Trent. How old were you when you became vegan?

 

Trent Engelhart:

About 8

 

Sergio Tarrero:

We make them uncomfortable. Because the social price to pay seems just too huge to them.

 

Trent Engelhart:

I wouldn't say I was 100% vegan because I was 8. I definitely would have eaten whey and other things I didn't know about. I've been 100% vegan since I was 13 unless something like "yoghurt soap" has happened

 

Lisa Viger:

Maybe that's it. Sergio. I always figured that people were afraid they would starve without animals. Yeah, the super sneaky yogurt soap!

 

Sergio Tarrero:

I feel like I'm a non-conformist, always do what I feel is right, and don't have a very strong social circle of friends (except online, plus a handful of good friends who could not care less what I eat, because they're just as non-conformist as I) and EVEN SO it is hard for me. I can only imagine what others think when the thought crosses their head. Impossible!!

 

Trent Engelhart:

I try not to tell non-vegans about the difficulty of veganism. I was anaemic once, I was the only person under age 60-70 getting B12 injections at my clinic

 

Sergio Tarrero:

People don't want to 'rock the boat'. They don't want to be looked at like they're 'weird', when ordering food in restaurants. And if you take the animal products out of the menu there's simply nothing left. At least here.

 

Trent Engelhart:

I posted that when Tim Gier put something on facebook about vitamins not being whole food nutrients, how I was anaemic but being vegan and eating properly now I'm totally healthy.

 

Lisa Viger:

That's true, Sergio. And it can be difficult in social situations. Trent, and you may have gotten anemic whether you were vegan or not.

 

Trent Engelhart:

So I try not to mention difficulties finding foods, or eating out, or struggling with anaemia when I was young, because that was ignorance on my part.

 

Sergio Tarrero:

So.. we must provide those great alternatives. In-vitro is the only way to cross that huge divide.

 

Trent Engelhart:

I've had nutritionists blame veganism for that, but I asked if it's always vegans who have pernicious anaemia, or any other type of megaloblastic anaemia. She said no.

 

Sergio Tarrero:

That's a B12 absorption problem, right?

 

Lisa Viger:

Right, which isn't caused by being vegan, it's an absorption problem.

 

Trent Engelhart:

Yes. I don't absorb B12 properly, but when I was young and was diagnosed with that, I was not substituting ANYTHING for protein. I was 13 years old, with a work permit, buying my own food, with no one caring what I ate.

 

Sergio Tarrero:

My brother-in-law has it too. He eats meats, but doesn't absorb B12. He needs shots.

 

Trent Engelhart:

But a nutritionist blamed veganism on my having pernicious anaemia, which is a lifelong thing, but she had to admit that I am the only vegan with it that she's ever met. Everyone else she's ever dealt with was a meat and dairy and egg and fish eater.

I don't need B12 jabs anymore because I get enough B12 in my diet. I didn't know what B12 was when this happened to me, I wasn't eating enough of anything period.

 

Sergio Tarrero:

How do you do that, Trent, if I may ask? I thought you guys suffering from this could not absorb if from your diet or even pills... that you actually need shots.

 

Trent Engelhart:

You absorb the shots the same way you absorb it from food, the shots are a lot more B12, you pass the rest that you can't absorb or use from your body

 

Lisa Viger:

Roger, you reference Stanley Sapon!  I love him!

 

Roger Yates:

I do - he died recently I believe.

 

Sergio Tarrero:

So what food are you getting enough B12 from to compensate your inability to absorb B12??

 

Trent Engelhart:

I take a daily multivitamin, which is why I posted on Tim Gier's wall about his vitamin post once

 

Sergio Tarrero:

(or difficulty)

 

Trent Engelhart:

There's also tofu with added nutrients and soy milk with added nutrients

 

Sergio Terrero:

Ok. I'll ask you offline not to derail the chat.

 

Lisa Viger:

Oh no, he died? I'm sorry to hear that. I'd traded a few emails with him, we both had a love of The Little Prince.

 

Trent Engelhart:

Oral B12 for People with Malabsorption http://www.veganhealth.org/b12/formula#ORAL

fortified food with a supplement, all of my bloodwork shows up great since I was 15 years old, that's about it, I don't have anything else to say about it haha

 

Lisa Viger:

Glad you're healthy, Trent :-). Nutritional concerns are very valid for anyone, including vegans.

 

Trent Engelhart:

Yeah, I was kind of angry when my diet was being blamed for it, when it was clear my diet wasn't very smart, and everyone else ate meat

 

Lisa Viger:

Aww, he did die. :-( Last December. What a sweet man.

 

Roger Yates:

Yes, shame.

 

Lisa Viger:

You did really well for being so young, Trent. Amazing, really.

 

Trent Engelhart:

I was pretty stupid actually but it's nice of you to say, sorry for derailing with the anaemia talk though, didn't mean for it to go on

 

Lisa Viger:

That's OK. OK. So, vegan ... sometimes it's easy, sometimes it's not. Is that our conclusion? lol :-)

 

Tim Gier:

Trent, I think we've learned something from your discussion of B12, I know I have. B12 is one of those things we all hear so much about, I appreciate getting first hand knowledge.

 

Maynard S. Clark:

Isw Rhoda Sapon still living. Stan did much to keep NAVS on the fully vegan track. Customizzed medicine likely applies to us all, also.

 

Sergio Tarrero:

Thanks Trent.

 

Trent Engelhart:

Sergio, I'll message you on FB with my supplement + how I take it, and a medical study on it VS injections =D

 

Sergio Tarrero:

Guys, it's 4am for me. I need to get some rest. It was great chatting with you all. Thanks a lot man.

 

Trent Engelhart:

see you later

 

Tim Gier:

Sergio, thank you for all your input tonight. This has been a great chat!

 

Sergio Tarrero:

You're welcome Tim. It's great to meet you, and the rest of you. We'll be in touch here and elsewhere. :-)

 

Tim Gier:

excellent! I look forward to it.

 

Douglass:

Vegan = Always easy; it's what you make out of it.

 

Lisa Viger:

Bye Sergio, nice chatting with you!

 

Barbara DeGrande:

Bye Sergio.

 

Sergio Tarrero:

Bye guys!

 

Carolyn Bailey:

Bye Sergio!

 

Maynard S. Clark:

Well, I do NOT think we should present being vegan as extremely difficult, which has at times been the case.

 

Trent Engelhart:

I agree with Maynard, it's difficult in some situations like luxury (you refuse to live without Doritos) and medicine (your doctor is positive veganism caused your common illness), but you CAN eat out, you CAN have snacks, you CAN have medicine

 

Lisa Viger:

I agree, Maynard. It's not terriby difficult ... but not quite as easy as I made it out to be.

 

Tim Gier:

Yes, the simple things are simple, but the complex things are hard. Social interactions, family commitments, etc.

 

Lisa Viger:

Yep, exactly, Tim.

 

Douglass:

I agree that being Vegan should not be presented as difficult, because it is not. Again, it's what you make of it. Which is why I cannot agree with the concept that being Vegan, in any way, is ever difficult. It's extremely easy. Social interactions can be just as easy.  It's a matter of perspective. It's not Vegan's who are weird, for example. What's truly bizarre is everyone around, eating animals. Being Vegan is completely normal.

 

Barbara DeGrande:

But Douglass, did you not hear how difficult it is in family situations for some of us?

 

Carolyn Bailey:

Hey, Douglass! Do you have children?

 

Douglass:

Although I did not get a chance to review all the family stories, I still stand by my thoughts: it's what one makes of it.

I am not a breeder, Stunning Carolyn.  ;-)

 

Lisa Viger:

Douglass, it's easy for me to be vegan. But things can get really complicated when you get into more social situations. Sure, it is what one makes of it, everything is. But what is truly the right thing to do when my 79 yo dad gives my grandkids cheese?

 

Carolyn Bailey:

Let me give you my example, Douglass, if you don't mind.

I went vegan when my son was 13, he had veganism thrust upon him at that age, I also have a foster child who is 8 and lives elsewhere from time to time. Those other households resent his vegan existence in my household. My foster child comes home and tells my child about going fishing, eating at Burger King and McDonalds etc, to tease him.

 

Lisa Viger:

My grandkids aren't vegan.

 

Douglass:

Although I realize this is completely different, I have experience working with youth, young family and so on. I do realize family is a totally unique dynamic in itself. That's why I make a small effort to express the message, and move on.

 

Lisa Viger:

Oh, that must get difficult, Carolyn.

 

Barbara DeGrande:

Indeed.

 

Douglass:

If people/family insist on staying on topic, making an issue of it or what have you, it's critical to keep the message consistent, on point and concise.

 

Carolyn Bailey:

It's not perfect, but it's not that difficult, they're both good kids. It's just not that easy to live a vegan existence for everyone.  Douglass, do you remember being 13?

 

Douglass:

I stopped eating red meat (and considered myself "Vegetarian") when I tured 12.

 

Barbara DeGrande:

Douglass, sorry I misspelled your name. But we do have to make the best of it we can, you are right there.

 

Carolyn Bailey:

Most 13-16 yr olds I know believe they know pretty much everything, to turn their world around is something they don't often appreciate

 

Douglass:

Well, don't get me wrong, I realize each individuals circumstances are unique.  People (parents) have "issues" I cannot ever imagine, especially with sensitive topics such as eating and diet.

 

Carolyn Bailey:

Thanks, Douglass. My point was just to explain that by saying "being vegan is easy" is not always accurate There are always people whose circumstances are different in ways we have never imagined

 

Douglass:

Well, I still stand by what I've stated.  Easy does not necessarily mean unchallenging.

 

Carolyn Bailey:

Easy means easy, and for me personally, being vegan is very easy, but for me to live a vegan existence is not easy.

 

Lisa Viger:

When it's just me, it's not very hard usually. But when I'm with people I feel responsible for (which would be family) I DO feel it's more complicated at the very least. I sure do wish I knew as much now as I did at 16!

 

Barbara DeGrande:

It is not a carefree existence, is it?

 

Lisa Viger:

That's probably the best description, Barb ... not carefree.

 

Carolyn Bailey:

I agree!

 

Trent Engelhart:

I think it's like Tim said, I'm paraphrasing at this point because I don't remember exactly how he said it, but easy things are easy, and it's the harder things that are hard, as with any lifestyle vegan or not. Medicine and social issues are hard a situation where a foster child is going out and doing things another child doesn't get to experience, that would be hard whether it's Mcdonalds and fishing, or going to Disney world or a beach that's a hard situation, not really a uniquely vegan one

 

Carolyn Bailey:

It could get difficult, Trent, but it's something that can be dealt with. It's just less than perfect.

 

Douglass:

It would be absurd of me to suggest being vegan is just as easy in rural parts Texas, cetain areas of Louisiana or where my partner's currently visiting in southern Germany, as easy as it is for me in the San Francisco Bay Area, where I'm based. However, I have my challenging moments, too. Including with family. I'm comfortable being Vegan, however, so I let other peoples "issues" they project on me just roll off my back like water off a ducks back. People are capable of tuning into that perspective, which is why I feel it's critical to keep your cool, perspective, and *always* remain comfortable. Keep some humor, too, especially in the face of adversity. ;-)

 

Carolyn Bailey:

Humour is always helpful!

 

Tim Gier:

Thanks for all you input

Thank you to everyone who participated tonight, this was a very interesting discussion.

 

 

Part 1 of the ARZone Workshop Transcript on "Is Being Vegan Easy" may be read here:

http://arzone.ning.com/profiles/blogs/transcript-of-fourth-arzone

 

***************

 

ARZone exists to promote rational discussion about our relations with other animals and about issues within the animal advocacy movement. Please continue the debate after “chats” by starting a forum discussion or making a point under a transcript.

 



 


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