Jeff_Kaufman comments on Why EA events should be (at least) vegetarian - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: Jeff_Kaufman 13 November 2015 06:06:07PM *  5 points [-]

There’s not an analogous situation to help other people understand this from an animal advocate’s perspective, but to put it mildly, when other people eat animals at EA events, it feels as if some people at that event gathered in a circle and began writing hate articles against the Centre for Effective Altruism or cutting up malaria nets that the Against Malaria Foundation was planning to distribute. It feels like a slap in the face to our work, and worse, like a dismissal of the plight of the billions of suffering farmed animals.

I think a better analogy here is holding events that are more expensive than they need to be because they're more luxurious than they need to be. Some EAs try to keep their consumption down so they can use their remaining resources to help others as much as possible, and expensive events really cut against this.

Comment author: zdgroff 13 November 2015 08:33:57PM 6 points [-]

This is better in the sense that it's more realistic (and happens) but worse in that it doesn't capture the directness and visibility of the harm. Obviously most of us don't think that matters on its own, but it does for the setting of norms and the general camaraderie among EAs. I know I'm only one of many who feel alienated from and lukewarm about the EA community in light of how much resistance there is to what should really be a fairly easy policy.

Comment author: Jeff_Kaufman 15 November 2015 08:07:13PM *  3 points [-]

It seems like you think there should be a norm that people don't eat animals or animal products, and I think there should be a norm that people minimize their consumption and donate the rest to help others. We're both trying to build norms here. When I see lots of being spent on things that are just "nice to have" I think of the people who needed that additional money so much more.

Comment author: casebash 15 December 2015 06:05:30AM 1 point [-]

I would argue that increasing the size of the movement is more important than trying to enforce individual morality. If Effective Altruists are truly effective then each additional EA is worth more than having a large number of EAs stopping eating meat at EA events.