Veganarchism

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Re: Veganarchism

Postby Stingray Sam » Thu Sep 25, 2014 8:51 pm

Since we've also been discussing the environment in this thread, is harm mitigation a legitimate means to reducing or offsetting your environmental impact? I sometimes feel that we should instead try to not harm our environment in the first place because it doesn't seem like our environment and ecosystems are as simple as taking away x here and then adding equivalent amounts of x over here
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Re: Veganarchism

Postby vgtbls » Thu Sep 25, 2014 10:11 pm

There's no way to prevent environmental harm and maintain our standard of living. The only way to ensure a process net-zero output is to kill every living organism on the planet. Mitigation is a legitimate means. It's also very necessary given the amount of environmental harm past generations have done. Did you know that every single gas station in the USA built before 1980 is a contamination site? That's hundreds of thousands in one country alone. Any sufficiently large project these days needs an environmental impact report. Things like the Endangered Species Act can halt a billion-dollar industry in its tracks. Environmental laws are often too subject to lobbying, but they protect people and the environment more than they ever have before.
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Re: Veganarchism

Postby raags » Thu Sep 25, 2014 10:17 pm

Going vegan is a significant contributor to reducing environmental impacts of your consumption - and this is a thing most vegans are extremely mindful of and interested in. It was a huge factor in me going vegetarian and the main factor in why I don't eat fish.
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Re: Veganarchism

Postby Stingray Sam » Fri Sep 26, 2014 12:45 am

@vgtbls I was referring more to newer construction, seeing as although there are incentives to use greener and more energy efficient materials and greener building designs, yet there are a variety of harmful and inefficient products/methods that you can use to build any sort of development. Not to mention the harmful impacts of doing new developments on formerly undeveloped land. I really don't have any problem with mitigation being in place, I am just concerned that it really isn't effective as it seems to be. I mean in some states you can fulfill you mitigation requirements by planting a lot of trees on your development, but that doesn't replace the ecosystem that was once there. Granted it might different for urban sprawl type projects since our family refuses to do any sort of development that might contribute to sprawl so I know less about it. I completely agree with you that all of this is important, but it doesn't seem like enough to repair the environment or even maintain it. I'm also concerned about how effective mitigation is. You can plant more trees, you can give money to the EPA, you can start land trusts, however you will never be able to get back the ecosystem that was destroyed by new construction. My family is also well aware of the environmental disaster that gas stations are. They are not only a threat to our environment, but a massive money pit that prevents people from developing them and cleaning them up.
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Re: Veganarchism

Postby vgtbls » Fri Sep 26, 2014 1:06 am

On the short term, it seems like mitigation isn't effective. You chop down some big oak trees and replace them with saplings, right? On a longer time scale, the trees are fully grown again and indistinguishable from the originals. It might not be the same ecosystem, but any well-designed system will have several stable points. Life is aggressive at filling in any perceived niches. I'm not much of a studied ecologist though. In any case, conscious and ethical land use is our friend.

What does your family do? It sounds interesting.
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Re: Veganarchism

Postby Stingray Sam » Fri Sep 26, 2014 4:08 am

My dad owns a development firm with his partner who does property management. It's incredibly interesting and he's moved on to doing some real estate consulting for fred meyers and some local-ish banks. There's always been a strong focus on ethical and sustainable projects that are not only cost effective, but good for the tenant, the community and the environment. We don't do any develop and sell stuff, instead we focusing on creating long term income producing properties. It's super interesting and I personally would love to do it in different markets. Though I'd also like to get out in the world and try my hand at other things, right now I'm actually working on an e-commerce start up with my dad so hopefully that will bear fruit. The biggest problem with the business is that it really requires you to stay in one place unless you're willing to significantly increase your over head and hire property managers and all that jazz. Plus you still have to have at least some familiarity with the markets you're developing in. You can't just come in to any city, make a development and expect it to succeed. My dad is also a massive outdoors man and really concerned about conservation of our natural resources so he's been buying up some awesome property that will hopefully remain in the family and undeveloped for a very long time. There's so much potential for having a positive impact on the world through this business, yet so many developers squander it on greed. Which usually results in them having poor reputations, terrible developments and unsustainable business models.

The gas station problem happened when my dad did a development on an old gas station and the previous owner had failed to mention that their underground tanks were installed by his unqualified brother or something like that and had been leeching gas into the ground for something like 40 years. It ended up taking a year or so of just removing all of the contaminated soil from the site, disposing of it and replacing the soil to get the site to something that was barely usable. They ended up suing the guy for fraud or something, but i'm not sure if they ever got enough money to offset the cost of clean up. Fortunately we were the ones who bought the building and did it right instead of some sleaze ball who would try to cheap out on the clean up or try to cover it up. I think it might have been or was very close to leeching into the water table. The development is profitable though.
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Re: Veganarchism

Postby smiles » Fri Sep 26, 2014 4:27 am

My mom is big on sustainable/environmental design for her buildings but she says she tends to focus on the upkeep and energy impact of the building rather than the construction. Of course you can build sustainably but there's still big trucks moving stuff around. Using more advanced systems to keep costs down and emissions low pays dividends in the long run. She's also developed a monitoring program that can be used to track all the systems in a building and then provide feedback when something is outside of a threshold. It's saved her (and the environment) tens of thousands of dollars a year. and just by making sure that the equipment is working as it should be. for example there was a heating system that keep turning on every 20 minutes instead of twice a day because one part of the machine was set to Celsius and one to Fahrenheit and it kept on getting confused. Only with the monitoring system did they know something was wrong and to check it out.
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Re: Veganarchism

Postby Bobbin.Threadbare » Fri Sep 26, 2014 5:02 am

This is all really interesting. The design process is the greatest opportunity to make positive change and it's our responsibility as decision makers (at the design stage AND buying stage) to choose the better option. In reality you need to actually design something that looks/acts better than the worse alternative (even if it's more expensive) because costs will always fall with adoption rates.

In regards to housing, and even cars - as I understand it it's far better to keep driving your second hand car until it claps out, and live in built accommodation than it would ever be buying or building an eco new version. That isn't to say living in an uninsulated 1800s ruin and blasting the heating is better obviously.

Regarding wearing old leather and wool. Man, I don't know. On one hand I want to bury it all and on the other I feel like it's a an even greater waste to throw them away. I've given almost all of my leather products away now and I've gone from 'what do I wear instead of leather boots' to actually not wanting to put leather in an outfit and ruin it. Same as my eating habits really.

Rearing cows for meat and leather is terrible for the environment. It's the absolute worst.
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Re: Veganarchism

Postby vgtbls » Fri Sep 26, 2014 9:58 am

It's so cool to hear from different perspectives in ethical design work. The Care-Tags commune is going to be SO sustainable. Bobbin, it's probably better for you to give away leather and wool products, because in that case you're eliminating someone's demand to create a similar product. Hopefully that doesn't send them on a leather-wool-buying-frenzy, but I doubt that would happen.

Cows can and have been raised in harmony with the environment, but the scale is so much smaller than the current industry. Joel Salatin does really impressive things with Polyface Farms and sets the bar for what I think can be a holistic food system.

I hope that when meat is accurately priced with regards to the resources it consumes, it will be easier for people to do away with it. We pay so little for food!
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Re: Veganarchism

Postby Stingray Sam » Fri Sep 26, 2014 3:33 pm

Bobbin.Threadbare wrote: In reality you need to actually design something that looks/acts better than the worse alternative (even if it's more expensive) because costs will always fall with adoption rates.


From what we've seen it's actually been cheaper in the long term to use more environmentally friendly designs, technologies and materials. It lowers upkeep costs, gives you tax breaks and makes it easier to get approval for your new construction from city governments. Your tenants are also happier and you get a better reputation. Also the end product usually looks a lot better. In commercial development there's unfortunately not too much of an incentive to be environmentally friendly other than tax breaks and conforming with EPA standards. Your tenants sign (usually) a triple net lease which makes it so that they have to pay for all of the heating, water electricity, and maintenance plus rent so it doesn't matter to the developer if your building can't retain any heat, has terrible airflow or windows from 1940 unless they're planning on having the space sit vacant for a long time. However, there are massive intangible benefits from treating your tenants right and keeping their costs lower. For one it ensures that they are more likely to stay in business, thus continue paying you rent. It makes them more likely to re-sign on their leases and we've gotten a bunch of business just from our tenants recommending us to other business owners. Unfortunately there's a culture of unethical practices in the industry and most landlords and developers do everything they can do to squeeze as much money as they can out of the tenants and build their developments as cheaply as possible. If people would just look at the long term benefits of environmentally friendly design and the intangible benefits I think there would be a much larger adoption of these practices and technologies.


Also does anyone know how easy it is to trade land with the Department of Natural Resources? Our property is surrounded by DNR land and I'd like to at some point in the future obtain some of it to ensure that it isn't ever sold off to other parties that might harm or develop it and to make sure that the forests are logged and maintained in an environmentally friendly way. If the land ever went up to auction it would probably be bought by a local paper company which does a good job of sustainable logging, however you never know how much that might change in the future.
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Re: Veganarchism

Postby lee3jm » Fri Sep 26, 2014 4:16 pm

Regarding mitigation I think it's very necessary. Not only because of the reasons vgtbls mentioned but also because of the current trajectory we're on towards breaking the 2 degrees Celsius change figure. I don't doubt that the trajectory will change as time passes but I worry it will be too late. I don't think we should leave it on the politicians and corporations to change their ways fast enough. Nor do I think we should leave it on the general population to become educated and mobile in time. I would be surprised if stuff like carbon capturing do not become very necessary.

Also, I emphasized the environmental impact of animal agriculture because it is not oft brought up in the climate justice world.
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Re: Veganarchism

Postby maj » Sun Sep 28, 2014 1:38 pm

i couldn't find a blog i was happy with so i started my own veggie/vegan blog focused on being cheap and easy (by my definition), by no means anything revolutionary but it saves me from posting to snapchat all the time.

http://thecheapveggiestudent.blogspot.co.uk/
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Re: Veganarchism

Postby Bobbin.Threadbare » Sun Sep 28, 2014 2:26 pm

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Re: Veganarchism

Postby ab167 » Mon Sep 29, 2014 11:20 am

@parastexis My students were super interested in Soylent, and a lot of them are writing papers about it. I ended up giving them one of Rob Rhinehart's blog posts about it. Most of them are writing about why they think it is not a good idea, but still, it has been a great conversation starter.
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Re: Veganarchism

Postby maj » Thu Oct 02, 2014 6:09 am

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Re: Veganarchism

Postby sknss » Wed Oct 08, 2014 7:10 am

Is pleather actually a good alternative to leather? Isnt it just plastic, ie bad for the environment?
Need an expert here.

So what do veganarchists wear in the cold? @katy katazome declared she just "doesnt do jumpers" but i'm not that radical. Layers are too complicated for me. What are some warm veg fabrics?
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Re: Veganarchism

Postby raags » Wed Oct 08, 2014 8:10 am

What are you veg*ns stances on second hand leather/animal product clothing?
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Re: Veganarchism

Postby mc-lunar » Wed Oct 08, 2014 8:32 am

raags wrote:veg*n


why is the "a" missing? Is it a slur??
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Re: Veganarchism

Postby sknss » Wed Oct 08, 2014 1:22 pm

I don't really understand the point of view of people who prefer to buy second hand leather. Is it ok because the cow died a long time ago?
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Re: Veganarchism

Postby raags » Wed Oct 08, 2014 7:47 pm

I don't believe in "not using animal products" solely of a principle basis - I don't eat meat (or buy new leather/etc) because this contributes to animal suffering and is (generally) an environmentally inefficient option.

I would have no issue with eating roadkill or an animal carcass I found in the wild (assuming it was healthy/safe to eat) - in fact I would argue this as the more ethical option than abstaining from doing so. There are costs associated with every consumption decision - costs of labour, life, resources that take a toll on humans, animals, and the environment. I on occasion buy second hand leather (and wool, etc) for a mix of reasons - a large one is that quality leathergoods tend to last a lot longer than synthetic fabrics when cared for properly and thus less environmental costs will be incurred from re-buying garments to fill the same purpose, another large one is I simply like leather shoes.

The only valid argument I can see against buying second hand leather is that by purchasing second hand leather goods, you are purchasing an item that another human may have bought in lieu of a new leather piece. I think while there is some truth to this, it is not as big a factor ad there is a large market of users who will only by used leathergoods, and the amount of second hand leather products in the market exceeds the demand for them - so I feel this is generally not the case.

It's easy to point the finger on a first principle basis of "don't consume animal things" but a more nuanced holistic consideration of costs of one's own consumption is a lot more accurate. I feel it is definitely a more ethical choice to buy second hand leathergoods than buy new products from companies like Nike, VF Corp (Vans), and Adidas who have very poor track records when it comes to treating their workers well.
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Re: Veganarchism

Postby sknss » Thu Oct 09, 2014 7:37 pm

What I meant is that when you're buying second hand leather, you're still getting something that came from animal suffering. Doesn't matter if you created the demand or not.

Second hand garms are always more ethical than new ones so yeah I agree with you.

I'm not trying to judge you btw. I'm still wearing leather and wool, I'm just asking myself questions. Will I buy animal products in the future? I don't know.
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Re: Veganarchism

Postby sknss » Sun Oct 12, 2014 10:56 am

"your skin looks better now that you've gone tutti-frutti"
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Re: Veganarchism

Postby sknss » Wed Oct 22, 2014 1:58 am

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Re: Veganarchism

Postby vgtbls » Wed Oct 22, 2014 10:50 am

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Keef hittin his dog with that loud loud
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Re: Veganarchism

Postby UnwashedMolasses » Wed Nov 12, 2014 1:22 pm

I've been learning massive amounts this semester and one of the things that's most fascinating is the upcoming agricultural crisis. Quick summary:

Industrialized agriculture (global scale, high turnover, wide distribution) is only possible due to the advent of fertilizer. Agricultural fertilizers take the form of N-P-K, meaning that they're comprised of Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium, in the form of ammonium nitrate, triple superphosphate, and potash. These are the three most defficient nutrients in any soil and the ones that need to be manually replaced to grow crops in greater volumes and faster rotations than the soil can naturally sustain.

Fertilizers have to be created. Potassium isn't much of a concern as it's widely available. The bigger issues come from nitrogen and phosphorous, which are hugely defficient in agricultural soils as plants uptake massive amounts of them. Nitrogen is one of the biggest contributors to the energy crisis, as the process currently used to fix nitrogen in an inorganic state that plants can uptake involves massive energy inputs. This is one of the biggest concerns regarding fossil fuels. However, this isn't the biggest concern for agriculture.

Potassium is only available on the scale it is needed from sedimentary rocks, specifically apatite. It has to be mined to be used. Potassium supplies are Incredibly limited. Specifically, we are projected to run out of mineable apatite stores in the next thirty years.

Sorry for the body of text, this is the main point. Barring some new technological process for creating phosphorous fertilizer, in the next thirty years we're going to run out of potassium. At that point we will see fertilizer prices skyrocket, followed by an accompanying rise in crop prices and the price of all agriculturally based goods. Industrial agriculture as we know it will likely cease to exist.

Not just trying to be depressing here, I do have an actual question for y'all, which is also why this post is in this thread. For those of you with experience with or knowledge about smaller-scale sustainable local farming, do you think the infrastructure is in place for a massive shift in focus onto more localized farming? And if not, what changes do you think need to be made?
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Re: Veganarchism

Postby bels » Wed Nov 12, 2014 1:43 pm

you made a typo about potassium being widely available in yr third para see me after class
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Re: Veganarchism

Postby UnwashedMolasses » Wed Nov 12, 2014 2:39 pm

shiiiiiiiiit on phone didn't notice, too late to edit. Should be phosphorous from apatite.
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Re: Veganarchism

Postby maj » Sun Nov 23, 2014 1:09 pm

Quite underweight at the moment due to not realising I had intolerances to gluten and lactose for half a year, I wasn't huge before but right now I look like a marathon runner even though I sit watching how I met your mother all day. Would really like to gain some weight but most off the shelf products I can't eat and generally stumped for high fat or proton foods short of eating a bag of nuts and 4 tubs of peanut butter which isn't very cost effective.

Right now I live of silly amounts of veg pasta, bean bakes and potato bakes and vegetable potato pie as far as meals go, snacking is usually crisps or peanut butter and jam topped rice cakes. Don't really want to go back to eating meat for ease/ cost, there has to be a vegan route surely.
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Re: Veganarchism

Postby bels » Sun Nov 23, 2014 4:27 pm

Mad loads of nuts might help. Buy them by the tub from cosco.

Add in extra meals.

Hummus.
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Re: Veganarchism

Postby Ques » Mon Nov 24, 2014 2:18 pm

my roommate no longer lets me eat hummus because it stinks up the room apparently

:'(
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