May 13th, 2021

Everyone can become a vegan

By Letter to the Editor on May 1, 2021.

Editor: The Oscar for best documentary went to Netflix’s trailblazing documentary “My Octopus Teacher. “The documentary chronicles a complex relationship between a man and the world’s most bizarre animal – an octopus. It further testifies to our highly conflicted relationship with non-human animals and the natural world.
Most of us treasure our “pets” – dogs, cats, horses. Our allegiance to them transcends that to our own species. If our dog and a Congolese child were competing for scarce funds for life-saving surgery, we know who would live.
Yet, we torment, kill, and consume other animals that are similar in appearance, intelligence, and ability to suffer. Then, we condemn Asians who do the same to animals we consider pets.
We pride ourselves on being intelligent, rational beings.
We have gone to the moon, unraveled and modified genetic codes and found cures for deadly diseases. Yet we still have not figured out our relationship with non-human animals and the natural world.
Some of us have. Vegans profess compassion and respect for all sentient beings.
Veganism requires no special courses or certifications. Every one of us can become one on our next trip to our supermarket.
Loren Hadden

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The Arrogant Worms said it best:


while there is a general laugh to be had, it comes off as dismissive of our sick behaviour toward sentient creatures. i am unable to see the point of this song in the light of the issue of human cruelty…unless we have discovered that organisms with roots feel pain.


biff, you may find the following to be of interest.

Human cruelty. A vast topic. Industrial agriculture does come to mind. Dependence on chemicals = cruelty to the living organism that soil is.

Change is happening:

Balance with and respect for the natural world of which humans are a part. Very important.


i was aware of some studies that suggest plants might be more intelligent than we are aware…that would not be surprising, as we are dunderheads and hubris en mass when it comes to recognising intelligence in other species.
however, if it comes to be proven that plants experience pain like people and the animals, it is time for me to embrace jainism.
i am in full agreement with your points around cruelty, balance and respect.
once again i ask, how is this so overlooked in schools, when we instead fill time with so much trivia and junk info.


we can indeed all become vegan; it is however not likely to happen quickly, unless there is some mass calamity that forces it upon us. meantime, we can certainly create a far more humane approach to meat (hard to imagine we could make it any worse…we have to be close to rock bottom). numerous more smaller producers that serve much closer communities; the break up of big corp monopolies to zilch; the end of mass transit of live creatures great distances and stinky, nasty, fetid, cruel and cramped feedlots; the end of mass slaughter; the end of cages (not just chickens, but even creatures as smart and sensitive as pigs)…we can be better, much, much better.
and then there are the ever sicker pursuits, including idiots that hack off a shark’s fin, throw it back to sea for dead, simply to make an idiot soup. there are other idiots that eat creatures alive, including octopi, whereby the tentacles are hacked off and served wriggling and writhing on the plate. even lobster and crab is sicko food: their parts are torn off whist alive for the legs and claws. or, they are packed together on ice and/or in packed tanks (i do not shop in stores that offer living creatures), where they remain for extended periods until they meet a form of death that will ultimately be cruel.
there are other specific sick practices with regard to our menus; and sadly, there are numerous sick practices with regard to sadism. we have had some conversation around what should be taught in schools. might we be missing some very obvious lack in need of attention?

Seth Anthony

Biff said: there are other specific sick practices with regard to our menus; and sadly, there are numerous sick practices with regard to sadism. we have had some conversation around what should be taught in schools. might we be missing some very obvious lack in need of attention?

That’s getting into the realm of teaching kids ideology (the lowest from of human thought as it’s based in self righteousness and narrow mindedness), as opposed to objectivity (of course the highest form of human thought). Note that our political parties and educational system are based in ideology. Ideology is the most prevalent form of thought due to its ease, simplicity, and highly addictive nature.

Kids aren’t born cruel, or evil, hateful, or shameful for that matter. They have to be taught those negative and destructive characteristics via poor parenting. For example, serial killers often mention the hate towards their abusive mother. We are products of our childhood.

In general, kids just need to be taught objectivity, then they’re free to pursue the knowledge and skills that their heart desires. Anything more, is ideology.

Last edited 11 days ago by Seth Anthony

is love ideology? are things that emanate from love – compassion, kindness, service to others, sharing, cooperation, gentleness…- ideologies?
teaching how to care for and about self and other living beings, empathy, kindness, respect, compassion…if one sees this as ideology and, therefore, something not to be embraced in our society – and where do we learn the values of our society, outside the homes we inherit, moreso than in school? – then good luck to us. in fact, welcome to the sh!tshow that we are.
you note that kids are taught negative aspects of behaviour and outlook; it is inevitable given that numerous homes are dysfunctional. so, why not teach to higher orders of humanity in school? not talking brainwashing…talking about things in terms of pros and cons is well enough.
i do not agree that kids are not born with significant negative predispositions. one’s home life/nurture and lack of etc has significant effect. however, some are affected ahead of all that. there is the fact of genetics. psycopathy/sociopathy, narcissism, schizophrenia, autism, fasd…just some of the things that are inherited and not learnt. best environments might mitigate issues to varying degrees, but that would still be after the fact. as well, consider how children raised together in the same home can each be quite different. one may be kind, the other quite wicked.
i am no expert, but i have had many years of experience with heavily issue-laden youth. not every kid that is “bad” was brought up in a “bad” home or was ravaged by bad circumstances.
no worries, we can agree to disagree…again 🙂

Seth Anthony

Your examples generally refer to brain anomalies, but anomalies aren’t what my point is about.

Unless a child is born with a brain disorder, the brain’s default, natural state is, for lack of a better term, “contentment”. I won’t use the term “love”, as that term is too subjective and too ambiguous. Plus, that term has instigated a lot of really, really, cheesy songs 🙂 Also, love is subjective and it’s the opposite of objective. Keep in mind that some of the worst crimes in history were done in the name of someone’s personal idea of “love and compassion” (their ideology). Most people think that their version of love and compassion is the correct version, and therefore their version of love and compassion must be taught in school. But, there is no such thing as a correct version. The closest thing to a correct version would be to apply objectivity and logic to any circumstance, and the correct “love and compassion” for that particular situation will manifest naturally.

In general, a child isn’t born with hate and anger, they have to be taught it. So then you ask, “Why not teach to higher orders and values of humanity in school?”. Note that you used the terms “higher orders” and “values”. Both those terms are subjective, and both those terms are frequently used by Ideologists from all walks of life including the political left, the political right, theists, atheists, etc. Each feel that they’re ideological values and higher orders are the correct ones. In truth, they’re all incorrect because ideology is fundamentally an incorrect form of thought. More specifically, it’s closed, narrowminded, self righteous thought. The epitome of this type of thought is religious extremists. The opposite of ideological thought would be similar to a Vulcan or Buddhist monk’s thought process.

We’ve had a similar discussion previously, to which you listed numerous things that a child should be forced to learn in school. In one way or another, those examples are based on your own flavor of ideology. An objective child inherently has the compassion that is right for them, but you seem to want to force your personal opinion of compassion onto them. Personal opinion should be left out of the education system. Teach objectivity and let the child determine the “correct” compassion based on each circumstance.
The best teachers are those that show you where to look, but don’t tell you what to see“.
Alexandra Trenfor

…and you Biff, just like almost everyone else, want to tell the kids what to see. No offence intended, but quite simply, that is self righteous ego, which is the basis of ideology.

Last edited 9 days ago by Seth Anthony

haha! here we are on another tangent :)the quote you reference is one of so very many that echo roughly the same thing, but of course, are not underscored in curriculum. perhaps foremost, this is because curriculum is specific outcomes based, and the system wants those outcomes valued via a numerical measurement. objective tests are one example, but so are subjective evaluations that are measured via a percent. the greater concern, of course, is the content we are choosing, in addition to the approach that the quote would speak to.
your last remark is well off base – i figure you have leapt to an assumption, as it is without basis. no where have i stated or implied that people need to be told what to see; as well, no where have i stated or implied that any pursuits in schools must all be presented and received as unequivocal facts – we both detest that about our indoctrination system. (perhaps the use of the word “teach” is a concern for you? i use teach only in terms of what will be examined)
if you find the time, i have copied a piece from another entry that pretty well outlines my approach to education. the intentions behind the wide spectrum approach i value are noted. there is nothing i can see among the pursuits that is a force feed of information. however, keep in mind that instruction for most things is a necessity. how to read: you cannot just place books, or even how to books, in front of people and expect much learning to read to take place (might be the rare little genius, of course); you cannot do as little with math, either. science labs require rules get rolled out and are followed. there is order to a lot of things, and where that is necessary, understanding needs to be mentored. it would not be a good idea to learn to drive without instruction. would one send the kids into a wood shop without instruction; moreover, would one set out to build something without “seeing” what the end product is to be?
the quote you reference is an important aspect of real learning; however, one that i see as a guiding principle to education, if only because it applies well to most pursuits in life, is one by f.covey: “begin with the end in mind.” while there is no end to education (although we do seem to see many walking examples of the contrary), acknowledging a plan/purpose/expected outcome etc is, typically, essential.
as for ideologies. i see them as absolutely necessary to consider/study/be aware of…however, they are not to be underscored as “correct” or being incontestable or free from reproach. societies, wars…all sorts of issues stem from ideology. again, i do not see where my take on education is ideological to a fault. one’s end in mind is most likely to have reasons behind it, but, there are worse things than those which are reasonable.
also, i firmly believe that real learning is not simply memorisation, although there is of course a lot in life that depends on that. real learning is about application; about being able to recognise how one’s perspective and experiences interact and how that might bias one’s understanding or position; it is about examining process and re-examining beliefs or finished products (self assessment); it is about being able to share well what one believes they know. it is also about questioning – not in the irrational manner of simply being defiant, but so as to know more about how and why.
anyway, if you are still awake and with me on this…missing in education: how things we use in every day life work, and how they can be fixed – trades related and just plain, useful common knowledge and tactile skills development. such approaches would also vary up a day, making it more interesting. more attention needs to be given to creativity, artistically (dance, drama, writing, art, music). problem solving should be prioritised, from social issues to machines to trades related/handy household projects.
lifeskills development in education are presently woeful: teaching how to fall into line does not cut it; we need to develop reason, fairness and good intention. we need to teach empathy, cooking/nutrition, how to care for pets (you know, so there is less casting them away to the streets because one got tired of the long term commitment, and, to hopefully eliminate or greatly reduce the incidence of sadistic acts).
we would be well served by skills workshops around interactions with others, particularly around rights and limits and sharing; how to budget; how to file tax returns; how to conserve and be responsible; how greed affects others…limitless, really, but makes for an interesting day and for more functional and resilient and caring people.
the biggest issue with education today is that it remains much like it was a 100 years ago, 200 years ago…it is elitist, and too much about formal book laden information. it is about math to the extent of math that almost nobody uses once we get much past grade 8. it is about information and theory and “facts”. classical/formal/book related learning is necessary, but to an extent, and moreover, for those that have an interest; for others, their interests and skills are with doing, fixing, making…and, it is easy to teach problem solving through these endeavours. people with tactile skills need to be as valued as the memory machine, and, they in fact comprise the majority of people; only about 20% actually go on to complete a university degree. yet schools are set up as mini universities, just like a 100 years ago.
can we learn problem solving, thinking outside the box, creativity and so forth working with our hands and bodies along with our brains? could youth thrive knowing their proclivity for real life skills was as valued as the bookie with a great ability to memorise? would more youth be happy to attend school, feel that school was meaningful, and feel that they were meaningful and had a future to look forward to?
you note the buddhist monk approach – and it is a best approach to all understanding. interesting that the buddhist sees only two pure emotions: love and fear. neither has a basis in ideology, unless we succumb to the orwellian spinners of all things, sophistry and the like. ego, which you note several times in entries, is a hallmark of fear. greed is fear. violence and insecurity are each fear. kindness, empathy, honesty, compassion, service to others…each unequivocally love based. one can indeed question, and one should, for that will lead to one’s deeper understanding.
i did try opera, and i can now perform the edit aria once again 🙂

Last edited 9 days ago by biff
Seth Anthony

Of course they must be taught the basics such as reading, very basic math, health needs, and those sort of things. I’ve always said that as well. What I’m saying is after those fundamental basics, the child should be allowed to pursue the knowledge and skills that they desire, not what other people desire.

All those skills and activities you mentioned are great for those that wish to pursue those things. They should be made available, but not mandatory.

Do you agree with the above? If not, name 3 specific things that you think a child should be forced to learn that I didn’t mention in this post.

EDIT- I’m glad that Opera worked 🙂 Also, I totally agree with all your examples of why the current education system is archaic, dysfunctional, and even destructive (destructive even to the point of teen suicide). I believe the only thing we disagree on, is what the child should be forced to learn after the basics are taught. Is that correct?

Last edited 9 days ago by Seth Anthony

i agree with the above…we agree fully or are very close on this topic, i believe, seth. as much self directed learning as possible; as much pursuit of interest as possible (each at least most of the day would be the ideal). nutshell: the end in mind that i see are people that feel fully valued, that know how to find and interact with information, that will have developed skills that will enable them to learn, think, question and function independently, and cooperatively. as a bonus, each would be curious and interested in discovery, and would be likely to interact harmoniously with the joys and challenges of life.
we seem to be going deep a lot lately 🙂 thank you for taking the time to read and for sharing your understanding on things.

Last edited 9 days ago by biff
Seth Anthony

Thank you as well, and I completely agree with what you just said. In hindsight, I think we always did agree on the matter, but there was some sort of misunderstanding in communicating it to each other. That’s understandable as in many cases, passing notes across the internet isn’t nearly as productive and efficient as a verbal discussion.

As it stands the NDP, UCP, and the so called “expert educators” are stamping their feet and generally losing their minds over the curriculum. This is what happens when you lack objectivity, and are in it for your own self centered gain.

To summarize the curriculums brought forward by all those people I just mentioned:

Their curriculums are one of agendas, ideology, opinion, and dogma.

Their curriculums are completely void of objectivity, which is the most important human characteristic.

Their curriculums are to satisfy their self righteousness.

Their curriculums teach useless and/or unwanted information.

Their curriculums don’t allow the child to pursue their natural and personal abilities, thus shunning individuality and self expression.

Their system teaches little of what a human should know.

Their curriculum consists of archaic and judgmental test scores that easily leads to divisiveness, learning disinterest, apathy, depression, drug addiction, and even suicide.

Well imagine that Biff. With a quick objective discussion, two lowly peasants like us can come up with a system that isn’t destructive, and is also far superior to what those people offer.

Last edited 8 days ago by Seth Anthony

spot on, seth! thank you for getting into and behind your thinking on this.
what we have been able to demonstrate is that if we stay open, if we can stamp down our own ego, we can then listen, evaluate, exchange, and re-evaluate, and thus, most importantly, truly share. it cannot be about setting out to change a mind, but about sharing information and the basis upon which the perspective rests. this most recent process really seemed to get us to line up the whys and hows around support for our thinking. 🙂
as you note, it is not the easiest trying to communicate ideas and the information and support around often complex concerns via online posts 🙂 for me the process is compounded because i never learned to keyboard very well…. and yet, what we pulled out of our hats here seems a more effective working model for education than anything to date. still, i hate to say, we seem to have overlooked where we can fit in the enormously important studies of lord of the flies, factoring polynomials, and shogun japan…and surely we will also agree (not! haha!) that charlemagne not only requires much study, but we had best get on that topic asap in the elementary grades 🙂
much work remains for us still, seth, as there remain so many other issues for us to sort 🙂 🙂 stay keen!

Seth Anthony

Excellent examples with shogun, lord of the flies, charlemagne, and high level mathematics. Like WTF?

I’m normally a passive person, but honestly, I feel like slapping these people upside the head.


haha! understandable sentiment indeed. i suppose, however, it would not prove worth the pain on your slapping hand 🙂

John Seed

God wants it this way. After all, didn’t God create humans with the requirement to kill in order to live?


it is not the way of all creatures, as very many are herbivores. however, 2nd density lifeforms do not really seem to have a choice as to their diets. 3rd density life forms, we humans, do have a choice…and that is the point of the letter. there are a great many prime athletes that are vegan, as well as are some of the most productive, intelligent and creative people. and the even better news is their numbers keep growing.

John Seed

You’re being both pedantic and obtuse.Something still had to die.


are you equating the death of plants to the death of sentient creatures? thus far, we have no evidence that supports plants are able to feel pain; we do know animals feel pain. thus, the point of the letter is that we can be healthy, and not cruel (industrial animal farming, and the kill process, are entirely and unnecessarily cruel), with a vegan diet.
as for death, that is indeed the physical destiny of all life on the planet.

John Seed

How banal. You continue to attempt to educate me on subject matter I’m already conversant with . . . and throw in some ideological nonsense just for argument’s sake — the captive bolt gun and exsanguination are both effective and humane.
Also, a ketogenic diet sustained Inuit and, to a lesser extent, other aboriginal cultures for millennia. So what? What does any of this have to do with my original statement?

Seth Anthony

John said, “God wants it this way. After all, didn’t God create humans with the requirement to kill in order to live?”.

We should all just kill ourselves to avoid killing anything. Heh Heh Heh

Hmmm. We could survive on grains, nuts, fruits and vegetables. Would those be considered killing?

Last edited 4 days ago by Seth Anthony
John Seed

At least you addressed my statement. And, yes, that would be killing a plant’s seed. It’s quite a conundrum. Why would a deity create the biological mechanism that has lead to modern support systems? Surely He could have made it so humans existed on sunlight? Inscrutable indeed. Or perhaps it is evidence the Christian god doesn’t exist.

Modern agricultural supply chains exist because it’s the most efficient way to feed billions of people.There is evidence in archeological remains that pinpoints when humans adopted agriculture over hunting and gathering — with detrimental affects to both the human organism and the biome. However, that primitive adaptation allowed increased populations to arise, with all of the accompanying benefits. The serious situation we find ourselves in today didn’t arise until there was a sufficient accumulation of knowledge to allow for the Anthropocene era. Modern science shows those detrimental affects are now all through our population and environment. Rational animals would no doubt follow the best scientific evidence and practices for production and consumption. But, as Robert Heinlein said: “Man in not a rational animal; he is a rationalizing animal.”

Seth Anthony

Well John, I’m truly curious as to why you introduced an invisible, supernatural entity into the conversation. Although I have often wondered myself why an omni-everything couldn’t, or wouldn’t create humans with the biological mechanism to extract energy from air molecules. Maybe the big guy just likes to see us toil and suffer to get our energy?

With that said, the statement of, “We must kill in order to live” is logically sound provided that it’s concluded that even grains, nuts, fruits, and vegetables are “alive”. However, I doubt that the concern is one of growth ability, but rather one of sentience.Then again, foliage reacts to external stimuli. A dilly of a pickle indeed 🙂

John Seed

My original statement was bait, Seth. And now you’re splitting hairs.
The conundrum is explained by the principle of equal opposites. But not in the Jungian sense.To understand you must dig much deeper.

Seth Anthony

What exactly is your point John?

John Seed

Your time allotment has expired. To continue you must purchase more.

Seth Anthony

I didn’t purchase anything in the first place.


…but no one has to become vegan if they don’t want to. We’re all free to eat meat or not to eat meat. Animals eat other animals as well as plants; why can’t humans also eat animals as well as plants. Meat is a great source of protein. Please let us eat as we see fit. Thank you.

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