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I got a message from someone on youtube suggesting that those among us who identify with  anti-theism and veganism should also be pro life. 

Below is the question he posed, and my response. 

I'd like to get some opinions on this subject. Do you agree with his perspective or mine? why?



Mind if I ask you a question? I saw your comment on VeganAtheist's channel. I am a Vegan atheist but I was taken a back by your being pro-choice however.

I am a pro life vegan atheist. I became vegan BECAUSE I was a secular pro life atheist! I ACTUALLY see more parallels from veganism to PROLIFE as opposed to pro choice, contrary to most vegan atheist's.

There are only a handful of us vegan pro life atheists unfortunately. I feel as if though vegan atheist's haven't heard the SECULAR and scientific argument for pro life. I am passionate about all three equally because we have the capability to be a non-violent world and those are requisite. 

I am curious to the reasoning behind being prochoice for vegan atheists, would you explain it for me(?) because as I understand it we cannot be a non-violent world when the weakest among us are being harmed for the wants of the strongest.

Care to elaborate?   -SJ

My response:

Hey SJ,

This is a tough one. for me it comes down to suffering. I take the stance that i believe will lead to the least suffering. 
I think it's important to not get caught up in absolutes like abortion is always bad. 
If i look at the torturous lives being led by some beings, and i ask myself would i want to live if i had to live like that, the answer is no. 
Likewise, in a world of 7 billion people, if the setting isn't conducive to raising a child properly (poverty, oppressive or violent govt, food scarcity, disease, etc) then I'm for a woman's (and man's) right to exercise judgement for what would be best for a potential child, a life of guaranteed suffering or no life at all. 
Humans are the only animal involved in a moral tug of war over this topic. Infanticide is common in nature and is a strategy for ensuring the success and reducing the suffering of all members of a group, given limited resources. 
Honestly, i think it's time to think like that in a world of 7 billion people and a dying ocean, melting icecaps, deforestation, etc. 

Furthermore, the religious paradigm of popping out babies to populate the world with "our" people is obviously futile. And in the secular west people have babies because they "want" them. Babies have become a fashion accessory.
I say there is no shame in being conscious of the question WHY? before bringing a child into this world. And I believe that question remains relevant post-inception as most pregnancies are unplanned. 

If you believe that abortion is always bad, you also likely believe in the sanctity of life. As an atheist i have a very hard time labeling life as sacred. Sanctity denotes religiosity and is therefore a meaningless human construct. 
If you believe, rather, that an embryonic or fetal human has the same experience of pain and suffering as its postnatal counterpart, I suppose I can see why you would be pro life. 
However, I think it's important to return to the concept of avoiding absolutes. Life is full of tough choices for which no one is exempt. The choice here is a quick death for a being that is arguably not fully conscious, or a high likelihood for a life of pain for a being that is fully conscious, fully emotionally and physically developed, etc. 

Being vegan to me is about a concern for the well being and rights of living breathing beings. There is an ENDLESS amount of work to be done in that area alone. Children who need to be adopted and cared for. Animals that need sanctuary. If we really care about reducing suffering for all, the last thing we would do is focus on the unborn and condone their absolute right to life regardless of the circumstances. 

I hope that clears up my position -Ben

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Replies to This Discussion

thanks for the thoughful reply. just curious if you identify with a particular religion? also what is your view on contraception

I think that a lot of the choosing a religion part is hypocritical. If we believe that we sin and that man messes up everything that how are we suppose to trust a denominations interpretations? What are your thoughts on this?

I agree that if you think all life is equal it would be unnatural to have sex just because. Where in nature do animals have sex besides when they are trying to create offspring? Also even if we don't have enough food isn't it nature to try to populate and just hope that some survive? 

thanks fen. I definitely think they would. 

we know animals are more intelligent than we have historically given them credit for, and are capable of acts of compassion and dare i say behaviour that implies moral judgment taking place. for anyone skeptical of that assertion, i suggest reading jonathon balcombe. 

Decent read. I'm Agnostic I guess previously catholic and definitely pro-life.

I am also for pro-choice. I believe that mothers/fathers should be able to decide whether they are ready to have a child, especially because humans are horribly overpopulated right now. If we have more children, the quality of life will undoubtedly decline as resources become more scarce. Even WITHOUT any population growth, from this point on, we're still screwed unless we change for the better, and SOON. 

Of course, having a sterilization is the better, more humane option to me, and I think that people should start utilizing that, and just adopt. But I understand that most people are not willing to do that or can't afford it.

the reality is legally or not we all have the choice. You can shoot your kids when there 10 years old if you damn well please and find that there competeing for resources in your household and you can no longer afford to feed them or you can suck em out of you at 1 months gestation regardless of what the law says. 

Hitler commited gennocide for simlier reasons. we kill animals in shelters for simlier reasons. Bombs kill people in wars etc.. 

None of it makes it right. 

I agree there probably is too many people on this rock populations rise and populations fall in all aspects of life disease comes or other acts of nature to keep the numbers in check or famine etc.. But to take the decsion into our own hands and pick and choose who of us gets to live and who gets to die  well thats when Its a problem and immorrow none of us are equiped to make that decsion.

I agree on most points but the problem is not yet too many people is is a bad distribution. We have abundance here while others are starving elsewhere. I addition we could grow much more food if we had to. How many people in your neighborhood have a fruit tree in their yard?

what about if there is not a heart beat? is the baby not still growing? can't you only grow if you are alive?

would it offend you if someone suggested that since your opinion differs from theres that you should probably get steralized and not breed so no more like you fill this planet? Advocating abortion is much the same your picking and chooseing. its no more ok for you to advocate prochoice as it would be for me to suggest some should get sterlized and some should not. 

If we can force babys to be slaughtered why not force people to get sterlized in order to keep the head count how we want it?

abortion is just as much genocide as slaugthering innocent animals for our consumption is. It almost sounds as is if you believe there are too many people ont his rock and see abortion as a good way to help knock those numbers down. I guess therse a lot of cows and chickens but no vegan would advocate slaughtering them? 

Vegans can show horrible images of animals being slaughtered in the worst ways but show them bags of dead aborted babies and well thats ok? 

Debating this topic is like debating religion it seems to go no where and get heated fast. But seriously look at a bag of dead aborted babies tell me how this makes you feel then look at at some images of dogs skinned alive in china and tell me how it makes you feel. 

Which is more wrong or more right? 

Jim thank u !! re aligning ourselves with life, taking distance from slaughter may seem an "elite practice', religion (let's check the true meaning of the word not "labeling or linking it 2 churches/ buildings where like minded people re unite). If you also  know which ways "abortions" are performed u may feel that the word "ethic" is on the run...(pun intended). 

worthy points jim. thanks. well the numbers need to go down somehow unless you know where a few more planets are stashed. 

controlled breeding (limits on # of children), education about contrception, and the right to choose abortion would all help. ultimately someone is making the choice. should it be the govt or the individual?  i say leave it up to the individual and encourage every preventative measure possible so that it's only a last resort. 



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