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Why don’t vegans accept your choice not to be?

Non-vegans will often wonder why vegans can’t accept their free choice to eat differently. They reason, “I accept their choice to be different. It’s unfair for them not to return the courtesy.” But the two concepts are not comparable.

Imagine that you went to a high security prison and spoke to an inmate, incarcerated for killing multiple people. You ask him how he feels about non-murderers, and he says:

Urgh, I hate non-murderers. I think they should all convert to murdering. It’s the right thing to do.”

You’d be astonished, because that would be insane. In real life, your inmate friend would be highly unlikely to do this, because assuming he is unrepentant about the whole affair, he is an amoral agent in this scenario.

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What’s so toxic about a “daddy date”?

The other day, a friend shared a link to an article deriding “daddy dates”, whereby a father takes his daughter(?) on a “date”. The article and its agreers felt that the concept was poisonously patriarchal, bordering on creepy.

“Spending time with your children is normal,” called one such person. Their point was that we shouldn’t make special terms for it. More broadly, the point was two-fold: one, that we shouldn’t raise girls to think that dates are these things where a man takes you out and treats you like a princess; two, we shouldn’t subscribe to the notion that fathers are absent by default, and therefore have to make special dates to spend time with their children.

I know where this idea comes from. It’s a feminist concept called “toxic masculinity” – concepts of masculinity, usually devised and propagated by men, which are harmful to the male psyche and an individual man’s wellbeing. In some applications, the theory can explain a lot of male issues. I don’t believe this is one.

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Do vegans care about animals more than people?

I saw a video the other day where a man was showed slaughterhouse footage. His response was odd: “I don’t see you all fighting for people, so….” Translation: I’m a victim, so it’s OK for me to victimise others.

I’ve never understood that point. If you notice that a group of people aren’t supporting others as much as they should, why would you emulate them by yourself refusing to help others? The animals had done nothing to offend him. They hadn’t taken pictures of their own slaughter and mistreatment out onto the street to show the world.

If the had, if they could, it would have been grotesque for him to say: “I don’t see you all fighting for people, so…” Here’s what the animal could reply: We don’t have the liberty. We don’t have the liberty to fight for you, and only once we do could we even consider it. And by your logic, we have no reason to consider it, unless you fight for us first. Yours is the first step to take, so take it.

But of course, this man couldn’t think in those terms. He wasn’t thinking “What would the animals say to me, if they could campaign for themselves?” He only saw annoying vegans, telling him what to do. To me, this whole attitude is a classic example of the denial mentality – to be shown cold hard fact, and object to it by getting sniffy about the type of people showing it to you.

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Who’s that suspicious lookin’ person?

The grounds immediately outside my work is a veritable oasis, an enclaved shelter against the chaos of London. It contains a Buddhist-themed yoga hall, so attached to it is a moss garden with Buddha statues and large palms, set underneath a wooden walkway, below ground level for the area. On the same theme, there is a large cast iron cow just behind the offices.

All around are several other kinds of trees and planters, and a large structure made out of old shipping crates, stacked criss-crossed on top of each other; on top is some kind of wire humanoid structure. At least two of the crates can be entered – they appear to be worksheds of some kind.

This is all marred a little by the fact that the whole enclosure appears to be locked down like a fortified bunker. Which is particularly bizarre, when you consider that there’s a yoga hall in there. More than once, some of the people who work in the complex have called out to ask me what I’m doing there, as if the idea that I might work there is too foreign to consider.

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The honey trap of in-app purchases

By now, probably half of people with smartphones have played in-app purchase games. These are the little games that let you play for free – but, for a price, you can add some extra resources to your game.

Building games are the best example of the worst example. Building games are any which allow you to build a settlement or civilisation and expand it slowly, be it mediaeval castle grounds, a dragon breeding den or a city. Their whole scoring system is in-game money (known herein as “funds” to distinguish it from real money). 

Traditional games get harder because the aim is to give you more enjoyment, improving the reputation of the brand, leading to more upfront purchases. In in-app purchase games, the developer no stake in reputation. The game only needs to be interesting enough and long enough to collect as much money from players as possible.

There are two modes, unknown to the player; the free section and the paid section, which segues in seamlessly, without warning. The whole game is designed to quietly push you towards spending real money.

Below are a few of the key tricks of the genre, which play off human psychology to maximise likelihood of real life payment.

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Why contaminating vegan food is a massive own goal

One of those sentiments I often hear is how vegans must learn to accept the decision of others not to become vegan, just like meat-eaters accept veganism.

Such people might be interested to know that there are some meat-eating individuals who have a very interesting way of “accepting” veganism; namely, spiking vegan food with animal products.

Ask most vegans about their views on this, and they’ll likely be totally disgusted, akin to how others would feel if someone uninated in their food*. That is, no doubt, the point in the food-spiking in the first place.

I, on the other hand, am merely bemused.

After all, you can bet these offenders don’t tell their victims what they have done, because such people don’t have the guts to face the consequences of an obviously antisocial action.

We only know about it because they brag about it on social media to other like-minded twits who are labouring under the delusion that the action actually serves some purpose.

You know what they say: what you don’t know can’t hurt you. In other words, secretly spiking a vegan’s food with animal products has absolutely no effect on them whatsoever. It would be like going on a protest without leaving your house, instead just waving banners around while alone in your kitchen.

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Veganism and propaganda: who’s the real sucker?

It suits meat-eaters to say that pro-veganism is propaganda. It’s one of those nasty words, where if you fire it in someone’s direction, maybe they’ll become offended and flounce off, saving you from the need to speak to them.

Like all such words, the true nature of propaganda is not properly understood. Type the word into Google, and the first definition is: “Information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote a political cause or point of view.”

By that simple definition, any information which expresses a particular point of view, with an aim to change minds, is propaganda. That would include all political expression and anything said by activists. It basically divides the whole world into just cold hard fact and propaganda.

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