LETTERS PAGE

Hannah Howarth

Craig Fitzroy's "The Great Fallacies of Vegetarianism."

Hi Craig,

Very interesting site, although I have to say I strongly disagree with you. You say 'humans may be nasty but Nature - red in tooth and claw, as Tennyson so memorably put it - is nastier, and no amount of empathy or sentiment will change that.'- I really think it is better for an animal to be killed in the wild , than for it to be kept in a tiny crate all it's miserable life, specially reared for human consumption. Yes 'life will destroy other life', that is how the world works. But the meat industry is so far from anything natural, it is sickening. Also- "As to the quality of life of farm animals, we might compare the relatively stress-free existence of a dairy or beef herd in the field with, say, that of fellow-ruminants the wildebeest browsing the plains of the Serengeti. The former will be well-fed, watered and sheltered from harsh weather; they will also have access to vetinary treatment." This is just ridiculous! You can't honestly believe that farm animals live a happier life than wildebeest. What about factory farms? and the conditions inside abattoirs? Guess you hadn't thought about that...

Hannah Howarth

November 07







Mike Piker

On Craig Fitzroy's "The Great Fallacies of Vegetarianism."

I'm going to try to refute some of the arguments made in the section entitled "The Argument from Sentiment," in which the writer argues that eating meat is not wrong.

" Every time we buy, cook, carve and eat a dead animal we are commissioning the slaughter of the next live animal. This much is true. We should, however, consider the animal's fate in the wild. Fish, fowl, mammals and insects in their natural state do not die of old age or go peacefully in their sleep with the family around the bedside; they are generally killed and eaten (not necessarily in that order) by other fish, fowl, mammals or insects. We might assume that such deaths are, on average, more frightening and painful than the swift despatch they will experience in the slaughterhouse (I will offer no defence here for the slow ritual killings prescribed by certain religious traditions, which can be cruel in the extreme). For a wild animal, to be killed and eaten is natural; for a farm animal, to be slaughtered by humans might be a privilege."

It's not as though the entire world is going to immediately turn vegetarian overnight; it would likely be a slow, gradual process. Animals will not be sent back into the wild to fend for themselves as you seem to imply, but will simply be gradually bred less and less.

"The choice... is not whether animals should be raised in a factory farm or released into the wild, but whether animals destined to live on a factory farm to be killed should be born at all." - Peter Singer

"Why animals, who are apparently deprived of 'rights', have the right in the wild to survive at the expense of other creatures, when we do not, is a mystery. We are animals too…"

Animals aren't capable of distinguishing right from wrong. We, as intelligent humans, are. Also -- two wrongs don't make a right.

"Vegetarians and vegans, along with the rest must draw the line somewhere when deciding which fellow-creatures are worthy of protection. Most of us would not eat another human being or a chimpanzee unless our own lives depended on it and the ape in question was already dead. (Even then some of us would probably hesitate before munching on Dame Barbara Cartland.) But at which point along the size/intelligence/cuddliness spectrum does the snuffing out of a precious life become the extermination of a bug?"

We must take into account the interests of all beings that have the capacity to suffer. It is, indeed, hard to say when a creature no longer is able to feel pain, but wherever this line is drawn, it is far less arbitrary than the line drawn separating humans from the rest of the animal kingdom.



Mike Piker

October 07







Igweonu Nkechi

Aspiring Writer

It’s easy to hate, but still it’s unhealthy to stay in hate. So many things in this world trigger hate. Everyday we wake and see that nothing, absolutely nothing is been done about the wicked and selfish things that occur in our world. For example: First, look around us, in our families, in our communities, our nation, the world, there is so much hatred. “Where is the love”? Hate impregnates all –racism, segregation, isolation, murder etc. “Love thy neighbor as thy self”, don’t people know that. People hate because you are white and they black, you are prettier than they, you are more brilliant than you should be, you are Christian, they are Muslim and you are western. Secondly, I hate to see that there is so much Muslim extremist, who would love to blow themselves up in pieces for the sake of recognition, religion. Terrorism has eaten deep into the hearts of many Moslem extremist. It’s growing and what troubles me is “what is The future of terrorism”? Would it still be safe to live in this world? What really turns on my hate, is the fact that many still volunteer to be suicide bombers and have no guilt of its implications. Third, I wonder, I really do wonder, if the developed countries are not tired of exploiting the Africa.. During the colonial era, the developed countries had the developing countries in their palms, and then they supposedly granted independence. Did they? There is a huge difference between political independence and economic independence. What is amazing, is that the developed countries did develop from the resources of the developing countries in terms of slavery, natural resources, minerals etc. So many individual from the developing countries have become billionaires in the name of helping poor nations in Africa. Fourth, “Charity”. People should respect it. It is loosing its essence, its purpose and its obligations. Charity organizations have become profit business. Innocent people give their money in the name of helping the poor, the less privileged, but it goes straight to private pockets, and those who need it the most are left to suffer. Celebrities for the sake of popularity and recognition use charity as a means for that. The bible says “when you do a charitable deed, do not sound the trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets that they may have glory from men, but when you do a charitable deed in secret, your father in heaven shall reward you openly”. Fifth, living in the African continent it’s so hard to travel abroad and yet so easy to travel into these African countries. Sixth, I hate to see that in the western countries (not mentioning any), Christians are intimidated and ashamed to mention JESUS in public and still the Muslims’ are proud and shout Mohamed. I am not against any religion but if there is really freedom of speech, why is their expression limited. I also hate to see that churches have lost their faith. Many churches have become business association, an avenue to deliver speeches and sing one or two songs. Seventh, and still counting, everything is cancerous. The doctors advice don’t eat this, don’t eat that, it sums up that civilization has tainted our nutrition. No one can really live up to 120 years, with the way we consume processed food. If we keep eating the junks and rubbish we feed on. Eight, it is sad to see what politics has become. It’s a deadly game, and the elite rule it. Ninth, marriage has lost its flavor. People enter for the wrong reason. A couple gets married today and divorce the next day. Husbands murder their wives and children, because of marital affairs. Marriage has become more complicated than it was. Tenth, there is hardly trust among friends, colleagues, and partners, or couples. Where there is no trust there is no solid and sincere cooperation. This world could be a better place, if only people no how well to treat others, treat them special. It’s not all about competing but cooperation, love and harmony, honesty and happiness.

KA Asmussen

August 07







KA Asmussen

Prince Harry

Just over six weeks ago I became a UK citizen. In order to do this, I had to jump through a number of hurdles to prove that I was worthy of this ‘honour’. These hurdles included maintaining a point-free driver’s licence for two years, passing a citizenship exam and pledging an oath of allegiance to Queen Elizabeth II and her Heirs and Successors. Overcoming the first two challenges was relatively easy. Pledging allegiance to the Queen created a bit of a moral dilemma, however.

As an American, I was raised to pledge my allegiance to a set of principles rather than any one individual. The core US principles are based around the idea that all men are created equal and entitled to a set of unreliable rights that include ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.’ Although I often question how certain people (especially dear old George W) put these principles into practice, they represent ideas that I am fundamentally proud to endorse.

I cannot say that I feel the same about supporting the Queen and her kin. While I thoroughly enjoy the royal family for their entertainment value, I have never thought of them as representing anything that was worthy or moral. In fact, from my perspective, this monarchy appears to have a particular talent for all that is dishonest and distasteful.

For these reasons, I was not surprised by the fact that the royal family would be supporting the war effort in Iraq with one of their own. In fact, this appeared to be the logical next step for a young man who has already distinguished himself as a bit of a tosser. Beginning with his questionable birthright and following on to his stint as a pothead, his fisticuffs with the press and his recent donning of the SS uniform, his willing participation in a war that is immoral and indefensible actually makes perfect sense.

Given these sentiments, I well sympathise with the feelings that underpin Vanguard Online’s recent diatribe regarding Prince Harry’s eminent departure to Iraq. When I first read this news, I wondered what the Prince’s involvement signified in the long and sordid history of this unnecessary war. Like the commentary’s author, I, too, was shocked and dismayed when the US announced plans to invade Iraq with the full support of the UK government. Since that time, the world has witnessed this ‘special relationship’ commit atrocity after atrocity in the pursuit of nonexistent weapons of mass destruction without the support of its citizens and in violation of the UN charter. It is situations like this that make me question my allegiance to the principles and individuals of either nation.

However, despite these feelings, I was a bit taken aback by the vicious nature of the Vanguard commentary – particularly in light of the overall positive ‘be for something, not against it’ nature of the website. Not only did I find the article to be in bad taste, I felt that the violent imagery and the crude references to Lady Diana’s death amounted to little more than a cheap bid for attention. Yes, we all should be outraged by the UK’s continued involvement in the war in Iraq, but to ask for the Prince’s return in a body bag only serves to insight hate rather than promote peace. Is hate a principle that Vanguard Online really wants to endorse?

For this reason, I challenge the webzine to drop its cowardly ‘shock jock’ tactics (why didn’t the author provide his/her name?) and address the UK’s involvement in the Iraqi war with an article that considers the issues with the gravity they deserve and the intelligence that I know the author is capable of. Is this something that the ‘talent of Sheffield’ can rise to? If so, I look forward to reading Vanguard Online’s next instalment on the Iraqi debate and learning the name of its author.

With love and peace,

KA Asmussen

March 07







John

Hi,
Far be it for me to criticize online music reviewers, having written hundreds myself, but wow, could your "critic" of the new Nomeansno embarrass your site any further with a severe misunderstanding of the music and lyrics of the band's new CD. It was painful to see how little of the work seeped into his head. It's really the kind of review that crushes your site's credibility.

Just my two cents.

John

Sept 06




Well, we put this to Simon Middleyard, who penned the piece and here's what he had to say.....


I'd love to know exactly what he thought the lyrics mean. I mean, there are only so many ways you can look at 2 men and a woman indulging in some spit-roasting...

  (Plus, I had the lyrics in the booklet - the guy's not very subtle!)

  Si.




Tami & Scott Brown

articmonkeys whay dont thaey tour in ancorage alaska of at least be on purevolume?? the and u rock thanks blake.

Oct 06







Steph

"As to the quality of life of farm animals, we might compare the relatively stress-free existence of a dairy or beef herd in the field with, say, that of fellow-ruminants the wildebeest browsing the plains of the Serengeti. The former will be well-fed, watered and sheltered from harsh weather; they will also have access to vetinary treatment."

No offense, I'm a vegan and actually found your site entertaining, but this is the most idiotic statement I've ever heard. Have you read any articles about modern factory farms??

-Steph

June 06







Dave

Hi Ross

Vanguard run a piece by Guernica on us a few years ago.
You also have a letter from a Yasushi Yanagidera published a couple of months ago trying to contact us.
Would it be possible for you to add a link to your website or publish our web address to help people get in touch with us.
Thanks for any help.

We're hoping to get some new material out soon.

Cheers Dave

http://www.alltheblindingmenace.com

May 06







Alexander Dickson

Hello,

I am writing in regards to Craig Fitzroy's article 'the Great fallacies of Vegetarianism'.

I agree that many of the 'arguments' cited in favour of vegetarianism are feeble, and do deserve criticism. However the counter 'Argument from Sentiment' is an irrelevant point. Fitzroy says "For a wild animal, to be killed and eaten is natural; for a farm animal, to be slaughtered by humans might be a privilege." This may be the case. It may cause less suffering to be farmed rather than to be in a natural environment. Observance of the majority of conditions that farmed animals undergo would seem to present the contrary view however. But this is irrelevant.

The real issue is that we are taking the rights of non-human animals from them. If we all agree that all humans deserve equal consideration of their rights, irrespective of any physical difference, then we have to extend this argument to the rights of non-human animals. To do otherwise is to discriminate on the basis of a physical attribute. If a white person was to restrict the rights of a black person on the basis of a physical attribute then this would be called racism. Therefore to kill an animal on the basis of a physical attribute is exactly the same as racism, or any other prejudice. So merely by being consistent with morals most people already hold, it is evident that most people should, by their own set of ethics, be vegetarians.

Fitzroy states "There is evidence from psychological research that, having arrived at a decision, we will frequently search for additional arguments to justify that decision; arguments which played no part in forming our opinion." Unfortunately this is the reason many people remain omnivorous; they decide that eating meat is ethical and afterwards then try to justify it.

This is by no means the only argument in favour of animal rights, many others can be found on the internet. Try this site: http://www.mc.maricopa.edu/~yount/text/meatarg.html


Sincerely,

Alex.

May 06






Garry Anderson

Dear John,

I just read your article "Disobeying international laws" and have sent an email to Philip Sapsford QC and Justin Hugheston-Roberts about this.

The court martial centres around the fact that UN 'recognises' the current Iraq government which is asking for US/UK help.

I thought you may be interested in the email - please tell me what you think and where I am wrong.

Dear Sirs:

Re: Flight Lieutenant Dr Malcolm Kendall-Smith

It all seems quite straight-forward - can you please tell me what I am missing?

The UN has been forced to recognise the Iraq government (which was declared under occupation of illegal invaders) - to try and get some peace there. However - in doing so, one has to ask - is invasion for regime change legal - yes or no?

It clearly is not. Therefore, how exactly is the fulfilment of US's declared criminal aim (to change Iraq regime) legal?

Answer - it cannot be.

Obviously, the UN would be unable to legally sanction the fulfilment of the regime change brought about by illegal invaders. They would err in law to do so. So - surely, the UK ordering any forces to join them is illegal?

I would have thought the UN would have to get the illegal invaders out of the equation before other UN forces helped Iraq put in a government. The Iraq invasion was clearly illegal before it began - the reasoning is here.

I thank you both for your time and hope you can tell me where I am wrong.

Regards,

Garry Anderson

Apr 06


You can see the review Garry is writing about here.




Norman McAndrew

Flight Lieutenant Dr Malcolm Kendall-Smith is a hero. I trust and hope that his sentence can be appealed after this kangaroo court trial.

Norman McAndrew

Apr 06


You can see the review Norman is writing about here.




Natalie

Hiya

Recently read your review on the 'Boy Kill Boy Live at Sheffield Leadmill' concert, as much as your reviewing skills are quite far better than mine, I must say was bit disappointed, as a personal Boy Kill Boy fan, you might think I'm just being biased, and well yeah I'll be honest there pretty much is biased opinions here seeing as I wasn't at the gig, HOWEVER, I discovered them by attending their support gig for the Hard-Fi tour in Glasgow, and that’s when i started to love them, now sure they have that’s 80's sound but doesn’t everyone have their own influences?, what about all those heavy metal rock bands that to be honest sound all the same (their sound being pish) as for their hair...well each to their own i say

as for there live performances regarding moving about and the bassist giving off the impression as to “Look at me, I’m in ‘the next big thing’ and I’m cooool” look on his face then being a bassist and a performer myself I'd say isn’t having that look and attitude about you better than standing shoe gazing while you play?....really give the audience something.

An opinions and opinion and i accept you dont think much of them, but really think about it.

Natalie

Jan 06


You can see the review Natalie is writing about here.




Madeleine Goumas

Re 'The Great Fallacies of Vegetarianism'

Hello

Well, at least your arguments are remotely balanced.

1. Vegetarianism is healthier - maybe this hasn't been PROVED but there's pretty good evidence. I'm not vegan because of the health benefits, though I have found it a bonus in that respect. I feel much better than I did before and since giving up dairy I've not suffered even a cold. I don't care if I don't live longer than other people, I'm just glad that my cancer risk is much lower.

2. Meat eating is cruel. Of course it is. Can you imagine the kind of people that would choose to kill animals? Have you not heard about the abuse that goes on inside abbatoirs - torture has been caught on film and what about pigs (which have been shown in tests to be more intelligent than dogs) that spend their entire lives indoors in a concrete crate where they cannot even turn around? How could you possibly say that meat eating is not cruel? Perhaps you don't care, which means the re's no point in arguing this with you. Fair enough, but it shows what kind of person you are.

3. Human beings are not designed to eat meat. Much like the gorilla. Big and strong - a descendant of ours. Doesn't kill things to eat. We couldn't bite through an animal's skin if we tried, unlike proper meat-eating animals.

Lastly, you talk about where people draw the line. The difference between mites and smallpox, and cows and pigs, etc. is that the former are parasites. If you're suffering, you do something about it. You don't suffer from not eating meat - any vegetarian/vegan can tell you that. You just have to have the right balance of food groups - carbs, fat, protein, etc. then it's fine. Meat contains nothing good that you can't get from another source, and it's also full of inessential fats which will only clog up your arteries.

If I've annoyed you, well, you did ask for comments!

Madeleine Goumas

Jan 06






Yasushi Yanagidera

Dear, Vangurd Online.

I'm Yasushi Yanagidera from Japan. I'm sorry suddenly my contact.

I wish to contact with Jel member, Mr.Andy or Nev. I couldn't send e-mail on your web site (Contact the band) Because, I listened their songs called "all the blinding menace"cd album . I'm really fun !! I think great indie-pop music. Your music is my ideal !!

Please help

a devoted fan.
Yasushi Yanagidera

Nov 05






From Dave

Dear Vanguard (or Ross as the email address says),

I came across your site from a bookmark I made however (and whenever - I don't know) long ago. Very good job on the October articles. I enjoyed what I read and wanted to encourage you to keep up the work. The "Unbrand America" picture at the bottom of the page with the billboard stating 'Declare Independence from Corporate Rule' may be how I came across your site (through Adbusters).

Thanks for the good reading,
Dave

Nov 05






A letter about our feature "The Great Fallacies of Vegetarianism"

From Sharon Balloch

I think it is sad that you write such things. The billions of animals slaughtered so you can feel good about eating them do not agree it is fine to kill. You put a curse in your body every time you eat meat. Expect to get cancer, for it is part of your payment that allows you to kill so freely. Look around at those who have such stomach troubles that they must take meds just to digest meat. But they still eat it, so do not worry you will be helping them attain what they are looking for. If you are Christian do you think Christ strangled that lamb in his arm and ate it, many would like you to think so and I am sure you would agree. Many pay the price yours will be more as you lead others to this road.

Nov 05






From Andrew Burrows

hey,

andy B here, i play drums in razorlight....
i was at ur website reading current and old single reviews, and i found the review for 'somewhere else', and totally remember doing an inerview with someone from vanguard online when i was in a previous band called stag. just wanted to say hello. not sure who it was? nice chap.
hope all's cool
cheers.
Andy.

Sept 05






And speaking of ex-drummers from Stag, now with Razorlight.....

I'm hoping beyond all hope that you can help me find a rare disc! I had a bright neon green CD titled "Steal This Record" that included artists such as Sparklehorse performing Spirit Ditch and Radiohead doing Street Spirit; I believe Stag doing Low Watt Glow was on it as well. It was stolen. Irony at it's very finest. Any help you could offer with regard to finding this disc would be so greatly appreciated!!!!!

Sincerely,

Tanya

Sept 05 If you can help Tanya – drop a line to Vanguard.




Fraser wrote to enlighten Vanguard on CKY’s album
CKY: An Answer Can Be Found


Dear Ross,

The reason that they put the note on this record is because in the past they have been accused of using synths to achieve some of their sounds, but, in fact they are very proud of their ability to get the "tweaked" sound they have by instrumental talent.

P.S.
the skater "Emo's" would win cause (“There’s ten thousand reasons to survive, you only needed one to die.”) they aren't afraid of death?

Fraser Mainwaring

Sept 05












Hey!!! Why not give yourself a shot up the arse, disturb the waters of apathy and write us a letter yourself? Email Vanguard Online