First post, w00t, etc.
This first caught my attention in the Sunday Times of 1 June 2008, but was evidently sourced from here.
Well, let me declare that I do agree with some of the content of the article, I also believe that large sections of it are based on FUD. I have also added some of the 20 Common Logical Fallacies to my comments.
Let’s go over each of the topics:
1. Helping animals also helps the global poor
Confusing association with causation – This has little to do with vegetarianism. It’s a call to reduce our dependency on oil.
2. Eating meat supports cruelty to animals
Fair enough. Humans are cruel, and we try not to think about where our tasty steak came from.
3. Eating meat is bad for the environment
Inconsistency – Please quote the source of this information, or was this just a thumb-suck?
If we are to agree that this figure is incorrect, let’s look at how many people on this earth eat meat and how many people have vehicles?
Animals, volcanoes, mother nature have been around longer than cars for a start. Additionally, how many people consume fossil fuels directly vs those that eat meat? Can you imagine the CO2 emissions if all people [including vegetarians] drove vehicles?
4. Avoid bird flu
Fear – wow, three different diseases are mentioned in two sentences. Let’s break this up a little:
a. Bird flu: comes from…birds, alto ugh the greatest chance of contagion comes from migratory birds, although primary transmission to humans is via domestic poultry. Solution: Kill all birds!
b. Foot & mouth: this affects all animals and humans. Solution: Kill all animals and humans [with the added bonus of reducing CO2 emissions!]
c. SARS: are the authors clutching at straws here? Why not add AIDS while you’re at it? Solution: kill all humans!
The second and third diseases have absolutely nothing to do with eating animals and unless you are rearing the domestic poultry, proper cooking ensure that nasty avian flu gets toasted in the super-hot oil of your KFC deep fryer.
5. If you wouldn’t eat a dog, you shouldn’t eat a chicken
False Continuum – you’re coparing a chicken with a PET. I probably have eaten something which did not match the ingredients listed on the packaging. I guess I can argue ignorance: that which we do know, won’t hurt us. Vegetarians have probably eaten a worm, does this mean they might eat Fido?
6. Heart disease and cancer are big killers
False Dichotomy – they quote a single source, whose OPINION states that he believes that animal protein causes cancer. No doubt, heart disease is primarily cased by poor diet, however, very little definitive proof exists on the causes of cancer. There are just too many variables, however, I’ll leave it to the scientists to try and locate the primary causes of cancer. A decent diet will reduce your chances of both of these diseases, and hereditary traits are beyond your control, vegetarian or not.
PS: falling coconuts kill more people than flying chickens do.
7. Fitting into that tiny bikini
Non-Sequitur – thanks for just ignoring 51% of the world population. I certainly have no aspirations to fit into a tiny bikini.
It’s a matter of diet, silly.
8. Global peace
Argument from final Consequences – How about we remove greed, race and religion while we’re at it? The authors are arguing from a hypothetical point of view. If you really removed meat from our diet, would we live peacefully? Unlikely.
9. The joy of veggies
Argument from Personal Incredulity – I agree, I find much joy in eating veggies, but I find the same amount of joy in cooking and eating meat.
10. Sir Paul McCartney says so…
Argument from authority – I don’t care what Paul, Paris or Precious tell me to do. I will consider your arguments and make my own personal choices based on my experience, scientific evidence and an element of personal risk taking.