Austin avatar
closes 
May 24, 2023
No Group
What will my diet look like over the next year?
I'm currently eating a pescatarian diet, but could be persuaded to go down to vegan or up to "beefatarian". I'd say I'm primarily interested in productivity, followed by animal suffering, followed by longevity, with climate a distant 4th. (of course, taste and cost are factors too!) May 16, 10:12am: Inspired by https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/ddLLBJWo88sW2sL9R/what-share-of-people-are-vegetarian-vegan-or-flexitarian May 16, 10:12am: I'll resolve this proportional to the number of days I identify with a particular diet, from now til market close.
Austin avatar
Austin answered
Pescatarian
51%
Austin avatar
Austin answered
Vegetarian
18%
Austin avatar
Austin answered
Flexitarian
6%
agrippa avatar
agrippa answered
Something similar to Agrippa (outlined in comment)
6%
Yev avatar
Yev answered
Potatoes
6%
Austin avatar
Austin answered
Beefatarian
4%
Austin avatar
Austin answered
Vegan
1.9%
Austin avatar
Austin answered
Meat eater
0.3%
Add your answer
Austin avatar
Pescatarian
Austin avatar
Austin bought M$205 months ago
My current diet!
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Austin avatar
I was originally convinced that fish don't feel pain when I started this diet; I'm now less convinced of this position, but have kept to it out of inertia and the desire to have tasty food options.
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agrippa avatar
@Austin Seems like a bizarre hypothesis. https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/ibxetbhQzvpKER7R7/sharks-probably-do-feel-pain-a-reply-to-michael-tye-and I am personally a lot more willing to eat wild-caught fish than farmed fish, though I haven't had either in months. Even when I lived in Mississippi it turned out that my local restaurant sourced shrimp from farms in Asia.
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agrippa avatar
That is, I think the best argument for pescatarianism is that the wild-caught industry doesn't involve the creation of hellscapes (though it is still no fun to be a caught fish). Specifically in the case of wild-caught salmon, it's even plausible that being caught is a nicer end than their natural one, wherein they rot alive after mating.
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hongalex avatar
Alex bought M$304 months ago
@Austin Betting for interia.
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Austin avatar
@hongalex pretty safe bet tbh
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Austin avatar
Vegetarian
Austin avatar
Plausible; many of my meals are already de-facto ovo-lacto vegetariano
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DevanshPandey avatar
@Austin Vegetarianism is pretty underrated
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agrippa avatar
@DevanshPandey It seems overrated to me given the relative moral importance of reducing egg consumption over reducing meat consumption.
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agrippa avatar
I guess its just a question of overrated among who. Underrated by most.
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Austin avatar
Flexitarian
Austin avatar
Most likely incarnation is to have a cheat day a month, or "Meaty Mondays" or something
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agrippa avatar
@Austin To me the pitch of Flexitarianism is that you get diminishing returns on strictness. You start by changing your habits and finding vegan options, and then go from there. For example when I am travelling and stressed, I will usually just eat dairy, because this is such a small % of my diet yet the cost of being strict is really high. For this reason, I think cheat days defeat the practical benefit and are a weird concept.
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agrippa avatar
Something similar to Agrippa (outlined in comment)
agrippa avatar
1) I decided to do my best at building vegan supermarket habits for at least a month, with no long term commitment, just to get past inertia effects. Starting out, I ignored trace amounts of egg and dairy, though at this point even the things with trace amounts have been replaced. Upon doing so, I quickly found that I was able to settle into habits that I find perfectly sustainable. The only thing I really miss is cow's milk, but I find lightly / unsweetened Oat milk (and mostly only oat milk) to be perfectly acceptable and likely healthier anyway. I have not messed with supplementing milks with maltodextrin as a sweetener but it seems worth trying. There is just so many possible foods that with even a little bit of effort you will find new good combinations, under any set of constraints. Months after going vegan I just now discovered that I really like getting vinegar-y veggie sandwiches at subway. 2) I don't worry about honey. Usually honey appears is consumed in small amounts, yet bees are extremely productive, one colony can produce 30 to 200 pounds of honey a year (ranges aggregated from google). So "a lifetime of honey consumption required the enslavement of like 2-3? bee colonies" does not weigh heavily on my conscience. Bees are the only livestock that basically live in factory farm conditions by default. The differences in their agricultural environment seem not that bad / not enough to make their lives worth living if they were worth living in the wild. Furthermore, the main difference -- frequent travel and increased disease -- is actually downstream of the usage of bees as agricultural pollinators. Though honey subsidizes this practice, I don't think that travel is at all necessary to maximize honey production. I think it would be meaningfully true to say that almond production in the US is less vegan than honey production, since I would attribute most of the agricultural harm to bees to travel. 3) If it feels at all emotionally important to me, I just eat dairy. Cows are very productive (10gal a day) (and treated a lot better than chickens). I'm very diet restricted, so if I'm eating from a restaurant dairy can very often be the difference between "had a really great meal" and "wasted my money and am still hungry". When not travelling don't order food often but when I do it's usually pizza. I probably consume .25? of cheese per month and virtually no other animal products aside from honey.
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agrippa avatar
I think the most likely way for you to diverge from this, and in fact the most likely way for me to do so, would be less dairy restriction. Though as I said I think that oat milk is probably just healthier anyway. Unmentioned but if not for the company of Sapphire I would have probably consumed wild-caught fish in the Bahamas. That said I do not really seek the opportunity to eat wild fish, or really care that much for eating fish, nor is the opportunity very frequent to begin wtih. So even if not for Sapphire I think in all practical terms I would just not eat seafood I also am not very concerned morally about eating molluscs, though I am concerned about the fact that they are disgusting snot creatures, and do not eat them. But this bet is just a bet on the constraints you will apply, not constraints on your willingness to consume snot creatures, which by the way is very gross.
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Yev avatar
Potatoes
Yev avatar
Yev bought M$84 months ago
You will participate in Slime Mold Time Mold study.
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Austin avatar
@Yev oh God I hope not
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Sinclair avatar
@Austin doooooo it
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Austin avatar
Beefatarian
Austin avatar
Austin bought M$105 months ago
One I'm most intrigued by, inspired by https://slatestarcodex.com/2019/12/11/acc-is-eating-meat-a-net-harm/ and the diet of EA Bahamas
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Austin avatar
Fwiw I would consider "eating fish + beef" as Beefatarian too.
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ian avatar
Ian bought M$104 months ago
@Austin meat is good for you! Help build muscle, make you strong! Iron, vitamins, and minerals all in tasty form! Make you manly man, girlfriend market number go up!
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Austin avatar
Vegan
Austin avatar
I'd have a really, really hard time giving up milk and eggs though...
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agrippa avatar
@Austin Eggs involve many many times more harm per calorie to produce. One cow produces 10 gallons of milk a day.
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agrippa avatar
Additionally, laying hens have as far as I understand the worst welfare of any livestock and it's not really close. People I know who have been in "cage free" aviaries say that the amount of pneumonia in the air, from piss, makes you choke and your eyes burn. They are very literal hellscapes.
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Austin avatar
@agrippa Yup, but I'm talking about from a personal taste perspective (if you asked me to either give up eggs completely or all other meat, I'd pick "all other meat") I do try to buy free range eggs when I can, also excited about https://www.alignmentforum.org/posts/qJxzBpubLB7Fr3oM8/demand-offsetting
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agrippa avatar
@Austin I think that eggs are per calorie a lot more worthwhile to reduce than beef. I'm not much of a knower about free range eggs and other allegedly humane options. But I would be very skeptical of any marketing terms. It's certainly the case that despite the fact that "cage free" is a regulated marketing term to make consumers feel better, there can be no doubt that "cage-free" hens simply live EVEN WORSE lives and more are needed per egg due to higher mortality. So the amount of goodharting, and the FDA's lack of giving a shit about preventing goodharting, is just staggering and I wouldn't feel more confident about any other feel-good marketing term. First google result of "free range eggs" seems to validate this heuristic. https://www.eater.com/2019/7/17/20696498/whats-the-difference-cage-free-free-range-pasture-raised-eggs
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agrippa avatar
USDA* not fda
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agrippa avatar
I would not assume that any set of supermarket-egg-producing hens lived lives at all recognizable as humane (or even particularly imaginable at all) , unless I saw their conditions for myself / from a trusted non-industry auditor (aka. some activist with a camera). All of my further research into the topic seems to validate the heuristic, eg https://www.quora.com/How-are-free-range-chickens-farmed/answer/Jas-Osborne As this author points out, enforcement even of these rather misleading standards cannot even be counted upon AT ALL. I only know one person who has worked in chicken farming and at one point she personally killed around some insane number, like a hundred thousand chickens, with a bat, due to an infectious disease in the farm. So even sampling in the most random way I can, I am 1 for 1 on "conditions are much worse than even whats legal".
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Austin avatar
Meat eater
Austin avatar
If I just become convinced that the attention cost of thinking about this is not worth the ROI
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agrippa avatar
@Austin I am extremely picky and diet restricted, particularly in a vegetable-hostile way. Nonetheless I find veganism to be of pretty small practical impact in my day to day life. It mostly affects me when I am travelling and have a more limited selection. It would be a lot more of an issue during international travel, and was difficult in the Bahamas. SBF is also vegan. You can probably find people who will enthusiastically support efforts to find foods that you would like to eat regularly. I'm sure Sapphire would.
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1 avatar
@Austin beef. salt. water. a la jordan peterson (for the sake of my conscience I will clarify that I do not actually recommend this)
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Austin avatar
Haha "meat-only" is extremely unlikely; I actually just prefer the taste of veggies and carbs to the taste of meat. But this option also represents "Austin's diet from age 0 to 25", so you might say the base rates are pretty good.
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General Comments
hongalex avatar
@Austin Kinda curious about this too. How would you measure productivity though? It is sustained energy or maybe something more mental?
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agrippa avatar
If you think that being a dairy cow is a worthwhile life (but not laying hens, since that would be insane to think imo), then the ratio is arguably infinite
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agrippa avatar
On eggs vs dairy: sock — Today at 3:04 PM what would you say the harm ratio of eggs vs milk is per calory i know we have chatted this before sapphire — Today at 3:22 PM 1000x Off top of head wizzy — Today at 3:22 PM 1000x which being worse eggs? sapphire — Today at 3:25 PM Eggs sapphire — Today at 3:34 PM This gives like 600x https://reducing-suffering.org/how-much-direct-suffering-is-caused-by-various-animal-foods/ 1000 was off top of head Obviously its not science You can plig in numbers here. I disahree with default weights. https://foodimpacts.org/
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agrippa avatar
You would think this is a much harder question than "which foods lead to cancer", which is a question that generally has very low quality evidence and as far as I can tell the body of research does not really give any useful signals.
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Austin avatar
I'd especially love any analysis people have of "which kinds of food lead to the highest productivity boosts"; I feel like climate/suffering/longevity has been covered fairly extensively, but not productivity.
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