Claim: I am annoyed at a vegan's comparison to X


This is feigned outrage as a means of avoiding the issue. E.g. towards the claim that it's morally inconsistent to have one standard for human slavery (in America) and another for animal suffering, the dodge is "Oh no, you did not just compare black people to animals!"

Problems With This Argument

1. Comparing things isn't equating them

I'll go ahead and let this comic do the explaining:

APPLES TO ORANGES: green-shirt to red-jacket 'wait, did you honestly just compare your breakup to the french revolution?'

Green shirt continues: 'How dare you compare ...' voice from the side: 'HOOOOLD UP'

voice now in view - purple shirt narrator: 'You do realize there are more axes of comparison than just severity, right?'

'Like, do you realize a puddle is similar to a lake in some ways right? Even though one is bigger?' - a venn diagram of small and big overlap at h2o over a puddle and lake - 'Likening a puddle to a lake isn't declaring them comparable is SIZE but in other ways'

If I compare a lava flow to a river, I don't claim they're made of the same thing, or that one isn't objectively better for wading in. I am comparing them, again, in OTHER STRUCTURAL RESPECTS.

Would you bristle at or dismiss a comparison between a comparison between a volcano and a geyser? E.g. 'Are you SERIOUSLY comparing Old Faithful to VESUVIUS?!?! One spits water; one gushes magma and has KILLED people! I can't EVEN with this!' To do this would be to dismis their other similarities - both geological and thermodynamic - and to limit our understanding of both things.

picture of a geyser and a volcano side-by-side showing the similarities

Try trusting that people understand these differences and are referring to other similarities. Or check that they do and then proceed.  Otherwise, be straight about what you're doing - plug your ears and go 'ALALALA I can't hear you'.

Red jacket: 'So anyway I really thing my breakup was a major factor in the downfall of feudalism.' - Narrator: Ok well f**k this guy but you get it. Source: Benkling - tumblr

2. You're missing the point

The point is that you apply one standard of ethics in one area of life where things are already obviously wrong to you, and a different standard in a different area of life where it seems it's not so obvious. Yes, it's a different area, because the two things that are being compared are different things (If they were the same, there wouldn't be any point in comparing them, would there?). But what the argument that brought you to this page is trying to say is "be consistent across these two different areas... that are, again, not the same thing".

People have no problem figuring out the meaning of something like "The Robinson R22 is like the Toyota Corolla of helicopters", even though helicopters are more complex and expensive than a car. No one (and I mean no one) replies "yeah but Corollas don't have large propellers on the outside".

3. This just dodges the issue but gives feigned moral superiority

The point is that carnism hurts animals, the environment, other people, and yourself. Oh, you didn't like the way a vegan said something one time? Ok great, well, carnism still hurts animals, the environment, other people, and yourself. You stating that you were once offended doesn't counter any of those arguments. It's stating an irrelevant fact.


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[Claim: I am annoyed at a vegan's comparison to X](