Dhruv Makwana

219 karmaJoined Jan 2023


What do you think the risk of re-emergence and the psychological argument (linked in the post) by Jeff Sebo? I believe they outweigh the benefits of any potential net-positive high welfare farming (if one is thinks non-existence is comparable and neutral wrt negative/positive existence).

And yes, I mentioned a slightly different take on your last point when I pointed out Tomasik's false dichotomy (either not slaughtering animals, or putting those resources to better use by having happy humans live on the land instead).

Hi Emre, thanks for remembering, waiting, and your details comments! :D

  1. Yes I link to that study and basically agree, more evidence would be great.
  2. I don't think I do, but  I could have acknowledged that a little better in the writing, say by pointing to movement building getting 5-14% of funds based this table. But also...

    In terms of the 8 examples you give, only 3 are still considered standout: I pointed out here that "charities like NHRP or ProVeg which were previously considered are now ignored", and SVB, Vegetarians Hoy, Vegan Outreach are not considered to be standout charities. I think your examples point more to funding for neglected/LMICs (great!) but not to an openness to different approaches: for example, the reasoning for the one-time funding of Veganuary was specifically given for Latin-American staff costs.

    I did not know about/come across Transfarmation, so thanks for that, and I'd be curious to hear about which documentaries and how much they cost.
  3. Agree with direction, though not assessment of current status quo. I think there's more to the current major strands in EAA than just "these are neglected": in posts 3 & 4 I tried to give examples of how other are thought to be ineffective. Also, there might be "many other groups" working on the suggested interventions, but it's not clear any are doing it with an effectiveness mindset, which would be a valuable contribution.
  4. "I know of no industry that has ever disappeared because someone tried to attract its workers with more lucrative careers."
    It's not just money, but stress/wellbeing and changing social & market pressures.

    "Subsidizing farmers' transitions to plant-based farming seems similar to paying people to avoid animal products, and I think both approaches would be prohibitively expensive."
    I strongly disagree with this given what I said above, and the fact they could transition to profitable businesses. I don't think the charities currently helping with this are getting a huge amount of money, but could be averting quite a lot of lives. All this being said, it shouldn't be too difficult to settle this intuition joust with a cost-effectiveness analysis, which I think we both agree on.

    "I wish that people who tried this intervention would collect contact information from the people they reached out to. "
    I wish that people with an effectiveness mindset helped people running such interventions to do such things ;-) 

There's no slam-dunk either way that I'm aware of. The closest example irl I've seen is the issue of cluster headaches - some people who have it question whether life is worth living with the condition.

Given the differing intuitions, I think the approach that HLI has done with its recent charity evaluations is pretty useful: assuming that existence and non-existence are comparable (which is a significant assumption), how would the comparative effectiveness on wellbeing interventions differ based on where on a 0-10 scale would one place the neutral point?

Thanks for the kind words, and I look forward to hearing about any opportunities for collaboration.

My thoughts are that it's sensible (and an important component) but insufficient by itself.

Hi Matt, thanks for commenting. I think it would be helpful if this disagreement was more specific. I list three reasons in the following sentence, go into detail about the first two reason in posts 3 and 2 respectively.

From reading the chapter you pointed to, it seems like you have had some frustrating experiences with the community, who prioritise purity over effectiveness. I relate, and end up avoiding engaging in those cases.

I address some of the points made in that chapter and more in the 3rd post, except for the old liberation pledge, for which the chapter assigns a pretty uncharitable motivation. Afaict the internal logic (based on the end of foot-binding girls in China) was sensible, whether or not it works is different: even they have realised it doesn't and have since changed tactics

Which I think illustrates my overall point: there are advocates out there who are pragmatic, but have an abolitionist-leaning mindset (and sometimes have ideas which are worth considering)

Thanks, the title is probably the main reason I didn't give up on writing all this 😂 I came up with it and Peter approved it.

In the series, I mean the first. For precisely this reason, when discussing the latter, I use the term "animal wellbeing" instead.

Hi Ariel! Thank you for the kind words. May I suggest moving this discussion to the overview piece given its cross-cutting content?

And yes perhaps a sequence might have been better, but I'd already started, had some glitches trying to create a sequence, and got the impression (from other examples) that sequences are "heavier"/longer.

Edit: I'll just answer here while I have the time. I especially appreciate you highlighting the points you thought were good, thank you.

  1. Clearly I disagree with Tomasik with respect to the point about "long-run effects on society's values". What you said seems possible, rather than plausible, but that just suggests to me we should be careful about the message/argument (whenever I ask people why they care about "the environment", it's pretty easy to get most to see it's due to instrumental value to sentient beings). And yes, if ones values "robust net-positive effects" above abolition, then yes the implication you draw out seems correct, but I don't see a good reason to do that valuation in the first place.

  2. I thought I answered these questions in the first post (as yes and abolitionism)? And I don't understand what the relevant similarities with prohibition are to comment meaningfully.

  3. Not more decisive, but worth keeping in mind given the difficulty with cultured meat.

[Transcript has been moved to the body of the post]

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