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wasoxygen  ·  3323 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The 4 Ways People Rationalize Eating Meat  ·  x 2

    the products of cheap human labor that I wear and consume, as you point out.

You refer to my mention of sweatshops. That could make for an interesting conversation, if you don't mind departing from the topic of meat.

I don't oppose sweatshops. I don't prefer clothing manufactured in facilities that guarantee comfortable conditions for workers.

Suppose you are scandalized by this information. Suppose that you determine to raise my awareness of the considerable human suffering that occurs in sweatshops.

Perhaps you watch documentaries to learn more about what happens in sweatshops. You discover alarming details. You feel certain that I can only act so casually toward sweatshops because I am ignorant of the truth.

You post shocking photos of sweating, weary children bent over sewing machines, of corpses burned in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory. You recount stories of female workers who agreed to have sex with managers in order to get better working conditions, and you use the word "rape" when describing this scenario.

Your strong feelings on the topic lead you to use strong language in discussing the matter, to the point of being verbally abusive toward me.

What would you think if I focused on the shocking nature of your images, and your not-strictly-precise use of the word "rape," and your abusive language, in my response? Wouldn't it seem a little convenient, a little self-serving, that I deliberately miss your point by focusing on the manner and details of your presentation? I can dismiss your entire message because you do not present it in a calm, emotionless, and unoffending manner. (For your part, you feel that it will be all too easy to ignore the message if you do not raise your voice and display arresting images. You feel your only choices are to be ignored or reviled.)

What if I found exceedingly rare examples of sweatshops that were exceptions to the patterns you are concerned about? What if I asked you ridiculous questions that were obviously not honest attempts at gaining understanding, but carefully-crafted "gotchas" designed to trip up your argument? ("What about factory robots? Aren't they abused too?")

Perhaps no one would blame me if I ignore you when you become abusive and incendiary. But I feel like I am doing myself a disservice by not getting to the bottom of the question "What is this person so worked up about?", even if I have to make an effort to overlook the excesses of your presentation.