Originally published via Armageddon Prose:
Have you engaged with an individual so steeped in whatever given ideology and/or a subculture that, no more than ninety seconds into a conversation, it becomes clear that you won’t be able to have a rational conversation because they’ve gone so deep down the rabbit hole that there’s no longer any common grounding in reality to build a foundation off of?
One of the key giveaways in this regard is the overuse of insular, in-group jargon that the person casually uses as if under the assumption that everyone should automatically understand it — and, if their partner in dialogue doesn’t, they’re deemed irredeemably ignorant.
There’s a gentleman of this variety living a Gollum-like existence in the dark recesses of Twitter/X, whom I remained blissfully unaware existed just two days ago, lost in the obscurity of extreme ideology. In this case, his secular religious dogma is veganism.
He goes by the handle TheNutrivore and is the purest possible microcosm of veganism and its deleterious effects on the human form.
By all appearances, The Nutrivore’s skin hasn’t seen sunlight in many a fortnight. He has the Lenin-esque facial hair configuration that all leftist authoritarians seem to gravitate toward. His background is a grocery aisle full of vegetable oils — literally the most dangerous of all processed food products that a person could consume. In other words, it’s the ideal dinner for a smugnorant vegan on his high horse.
His evident idiocy notwithstanding, The Nutrivore, as you will see if you treat yourself to his discourse, is a wizard in his own mind in the art of sophistry.
The Lenin vegan’s opposition is a prominent carnivore named Shawn Baker whom, while I may not subscribe wholesale to his ideology — I tried the carnivore diet and stuck to it for three months before giving up because I didn’t really see any effects aside from a vastly increased grocery bill — I respect nonetheless.
Among other claims, the Lenin vegan posits that the natural world is “morally problematic” and that he would like to see it replaced with something called “human infrastructure.” He also claims that he would like most animals to no longer exist because they’re — you guessed it — morally problematic while simultaneously claiming that a lion killing a zebra is committing a “rights violation.”
Try to square that circle.
At one point, Baker makes the argument that, because he eats only beef, he eats the equivalent of only two animals per year (cows weighing in excess of 1,000 pounds as they do), with the implication that he is minimizing animal suffering in the process, which had previously been agreed to by both parties as a noble goal. By contrast, Baker explains, if someone at only chicken, for example, he might be killing hundreds or even thousands per year.
Pretending not to understand the point, the Lenin vegan then demands that Baker provide “empirics” that he is eating only two animals’ worth of flesh per year, to which Baker replies with the obvious: there’s hundreds of pounds of meat taken from a single cow.
The conversation devolves from there into a dizzying blitzkrieg of sophistry.
The only way to win is to give up!
Online heroes lambasted the Lenin vegan for his sophistry, and a histrionic meltdown ensued. He totally spazzes out:
“Holy fuck, you carnivore people are utterly retarded. Stop telling me I asked for a study to demonstrate that cows were bigger than chickens. That’s not what I was asking for, and you’re just demonstrating to me how fucking stupid you are for thinking that’s what was happening,…”
(He has since set this post to private, presumably because he is a coward.)
A bit of amateur psychology: to this Lenin vegan guy, his sophistry is his entire identity. He has made his life’s work to be the very best at debating veganism on the internet. Never mind that his arguments are tedious and, more importantly for the cause he professes to believe in, do not sway anyone’s opinion, which is the ostensible purpose of his entire sophistry exercises.
All he wants is the credit for being the best at sophistry, which means that whenever he gets cornered on his bullshit on the internet, his entire identity, and all of his ego wrapped up in it, is threatened.
Which is why he lashes out like a child when he has nowhere else to go.
None of this is about the causes these people claim to advocate; the causes themselves are just vehicles through which they can demonstrate their brilliance. They are playing a game of ego-feeding; that’s all. They’re exhibitionists masturbating themselves.
The same goes for the kind of activist who embraces “climate justice,” the “BLM” grift, etc. They’re all getting something out of it aside from the stated goals, whether it’s internal satisfaction at their own moral superiority or outside affirmation of their rhetorical flair.
Ben Bartee, author of Broken English Teacher: Notes From Exile, is an independent Bangkok-based American journalist with opposable thumbs.
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