Claim: Veganism sounds like fundamentalist Christianity
The idea here is that the claim veganism is a cult is supported by new atheists because veganism sounds to them like Fundamentalist Christianity.
Problems With This Argument
1. This doesn't actually address the argument
"Hey, you sound like [group I also disagree with]"... Ok. That doesn't actually counter anything about the ethics of it; you just don't like my argument.
2. The strong fundamentalist energy is more accurately described as what's coming from carnists.
Theism is an "is" statement: it's a belief about how the world actually is. Carnism is an "ought" statement: it's about moral permissibility. They compare favorably because feeble fundamentalist (cf. carnist) justification where they give some epistemology (cf. morality) that would lead them to some conclusion about the way the world is (cf. about what is morally permissible) they manifestly would contradict what they declare to be true (cf. moral) in any other context. Shall I list out the ways? Why not!
With the following categorization, Carnism and Christian fundamentalism both:
- in general,
- are the positive statement, with veganism and atheism representing "non-" things. Atheists don't engage in a specific set of beliefs. Vegans don't engage in a specific set of actions and reject the special pleading of eating animals as moral.
- are a rejection of the default hypothesis. Now, ethical positions have no null hypothesis they are neither falsifiable nor unfalsifiable. But I think it's reasonable to argue it's the moral default, wherein we end up with convoluted explanations, not unlike those of theism, and we end up with special pleading, not unlike that of theism. In that sense, both veganism and atheism have arguments that are brute and nominal, and the theists and carnists are both left to reconciliation. In theism, it's an "is", a statement about how the world actually exists, i.e. that God exists needs to be reconciled with the fact that living in a world that is indistinguishable from one in which he doesn't... and in carnism, it's an "ought", a statement about morality, that we have these moral principles that we all accept and we're reconciling that with eating animals.
- as a result, will Gish Gallop you with feeble argument after feeble argument to the point where compendia show up like talkorigins or my site to disprove this argument whack-a-mole. (incidentally: I probably would not have made this site if talkorigins didn't exist as a mental template).
- both are sets of massive institutions that rake in ridiculous amounts of money (e.g. churches and animal product distributors) while the other side, with no central institution and no cash flow, is claimed to be a "cult" by those patronizing those institutions.
- as far as believers go,
- are the majority position
- are appealing to their respective believers because it "feels good" and they are in the psychologically easy position. "Eating meat tastes good to you" feels good; "God has a plan for you" feels good. Both appeal to the selfishness of their respective people.
- Both elevate the believer in status and moral importance, either because God has a plan for you, or because humans are more important than animals, and therefore the adherent is privileged to moral worth which is granted to them merely by birthright and belief.
- Both hide behind the third world that they supposedly care so much about, all the while actively harming it and attempting to ensure that poverty is dominant
- They both start to get people that axiomatically either define god into existence as an "is" or define eating animals ok as an "ought".
- get defensive in a guilty way when challenged, whether you're walking around with a "Stop eating animals" hoodie or a "God is Santa Claus for adults" shirt, people are immediately guarded. Vague humor attempts are made from the other side, like "Darwin is dead" Jesus fish or "Meat is murder. Tasty, tasty murder" shirts, which are both a massive eye roll.
- are typically defended by the right (at least in America) - divine command is often cited as a reason for carnism
- criticize the other side for being privileges of modernity, because they both lessen in popularity as sociological conditions improve
- related to the arguments,
- are defended by some sort of ancestry argument.
- both involve special pleading for why morality towards other humans (c.f. causality towards god; evidence towards historical claims) isn't generally applicable.
- point to "look at nature" as justification, whether directly just a "when I look at nature..." or a belief that evolution is prescriptive - whether because they are arguing against it as creationists and therefore claim it leads to evils or whether it then justifies the abuse of animals as evolutionarily supported.
- have appealed to normalization across cultures as being justification.
- are abundant and endless in supply of deepities - see entire (ES) section
- as far as bad-faith arguments go
- attempt to minimize: "Evolution is only a theory" "Now's not the time to soapbox about your fad diet".
- are met with incredulity: "There are no atheists; everyone worships something" "I bet you vegans buy some burger king when no one's looking".
- both are told that in times of duress, one will revert: "There are no atheists in foxholes" "If you were on a desert island and all you could eat was a pig...".
- both are obsessed with people who have supposedly been "saved" by "recanting" their vegan/atheist ways.
- both use "that's offensive" as a form of argument, either that their religion is offended or that "militant vegans are forcing their beliefs on others"
- as far as their relationship with scientific inquiry goes:
- have people come out of the woodwork for bad arguments against veganism, including pseudo-scientific ideas like b17, just like laughable ideas like craters on the moon are caused by the waters during the flood
- have a strong contingency of science denialism in the antivegan copypasta including all the cholesterol denialism that fights mainstream scientific knowledge and positions by respected institutions like the American Heart Association. Religious fundamentalists have tried undermining science to push their agenda just like carnists by injecting money into the scientific process in order to push their agenda against major scientific institutions that disagree as well.
- and to top it off:
- Both are subsidized by the US government and US taxpayers.
Shall I go on? I can do this all day, baby. Vegan is the new New Atheist.
[Claim: Veganism sounds like fundamentalist Christianity](http://www.carnist.cc/atheist)