2785 karmaJoined May 2015


The only thing I have strong evidence for, for investigations in particular, is "leaving aggressive, time-consuming comments".

And I think that’s about all they can do to non-EAAs for asking questions, because vegan advocacy isn’t that powerful outside its sphere. It wouldn’t surprise me if my recent posts cost me e.g. the ability to get grants from Animal Welfare Fund[1], but this is the only project of mine that would affect[2]. It's possible people within EAA would be treated more harshly, but also possible they'd be treated more kindly since they'd be able to signal in-group-ness in various ways.

The worst instance of use of symmetric weapons by EAAs I've heard of is DxE  threatening to disrupt EAG 2015 if meat was served, and that this was a major reason meat hasn't been served at EAG since.[3]


  1. ^

    Several years ago AWF reached out to ask if I wanted to apply for funding for a research question, and gave several suggestions for things I could investigate. So I think getting funding from AWF was a live option for me at one point.


  2. ^

    When my first grant ran out and I was looking for both more funding and a VA co-founder to study the question in more detail, I reached out to two members of VA. One didn't respond, and I only just realized the other email bounced. I used the email they'd reached out to me with, but I guess it was tied to a specific project that has since closed. One missed email 

  3. ^

    Source: Oliver Habryka, an organizer at EAG 2015 and 2016

I don't want to take your word for it, but if this is true I think it would reflect well on EAAs. I'd love to hear more about the internal reaction. 

EDIT: I misread this as "catalyzed by the thread [Elizabeth] linked", and realize now you probably meant "catalyzed by the thread [in the comment you were directly replying to]"

On one hand, you did go out of your way to describe AHS-2 as "not a longitudinal RCT". That's a pretty good argument you didn't represent it as an RCT.

On the other hand, you comment consists mostly of quotes from a comment that only makes sense if diet was an independent variable in the study. The post that comment cites does the same, more explicitly. I think "cited as a pseudo-RCT" is a fair way to describe those comments quickly.

But ultimately my point depends less on the word choice 'pseudo-RCT' than on how you used AHS-2 in the discussion. I asked you about concerns I had with the study twice, and wrote a full post you could have responded to. You also expressed an intention to provide more information on the RCTs you linked to, and haven’t. 

If you have alternate phrasings you think capture all the information in the same space more accurately, I'm open to that. But I suspect we won't be able to come to agreement on phrasing without diving into the real disagreements on content.

First, I want to apologize. I didn't realize you were the same commenter I'd been talking to and had asked to bow out. I'm not sure what the right way to handle this was, but I should have at least acknowledged it.

I have some disagreements with some of your claims here, but mostly they feel irrelevant to my claims. This feels like an argument against a heavily meat-based diet, not against small amounts of meat in an otherwise plant-based one.

I'm really confused that you'd invoke a paper to tell people their experience of their own hunger is wrong. 

the counterargument is decisively strong—the health costs of veganism are scarcely worth discussing.


this sounds like you believe the health costs of veganism are unfixable without animal products. Is that the case?

Talking about about a partner's existence or day to day life with them is not widely considered private or rude (source: an American). Getting specific about feelings or sex is private, but serious partners come up in a lot of casual ways (what'd you do this weekend? Went roller skating with my girlfriend).

to use a harder one: I agree co-workers dating has a lot of potential complications, and power differentials make it worse. But the counterfactual isn't necessarily "everyone gets jobs as good or better, with no negative consequences.". It's things like 

I have a friend who has provided hundreds of hours of labor towards EA causes, unpaid. The lack of payment isn't due to lack of value- worse projects in her subfield get funded all the time. But her partner works at a major grantmaker, and she's not very assertive, and so it never happens. 

You can blame this on her being unassertive, but protecting unassertive people is a major point of these rules. 

I think the best thing here would have been for much of the information to be shared casually, without needing to justify itself as important. People gossip about relationships and their terrible bosses all the time I suspect that if that had happened, people would have gathered more clues earlier, enough to make a difference on the margin.

Thank you, I really appreciate everything you said here. I respect your desire to bow out and hope it is okay for me to say a few things. 

I think "meat seems dose-dependently bad, and it would be weird if that reversed at low levels" is one of the strongest arguments I've heard. I have a bunch of specifics I'd want to follow up on, but I think the argument is both well-formed and has considerable evidence behind it. 

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