Paul Shapiro

“Let’s end humanity’s war on the rest of the planet” – Better Meat CEO & Animal Rights Hall of Famer Paul Shapiro – New Sentientist Conversation

Paul is the author of the national bestseller “Clean Meat“. He’s also the CEO of The Better Meat Co., a four-time TEDx speaker, host of the Business for Good Podcast & inductee in the Animal Rights Hall of Fame.

In these Sentientist Conversations, we talk about the two most important questions: “what’s real?” & “what matters?”. Sentientism is “evidence, commitment and compassion for all sentient beings”.

The audio is also out on our Podcast – subscribe so you don’t miss it (also on most other platforms).

We discuss:

  • Being fellow “sents” (thanks AJ Jacobs!)
  • Advocating Sentientism long before hearing the term
  • Vegetarian then vegan at 13 in 1993 (despite originally thinking it would eventually lead to death 🙂 )
  • Carl Lewis the sprinter as an inspirational vegan
  • Volunteering in animal protection as a teenager
  • “Trying to end humanity’s war on the rest of the planet”
  • Founding Compassion over Killing at high-school and taking it national
  • The Humane Society
  • Paul’s “Clean Meat” book – how food tech might do the most good for non-human animals
  • Easier to act our way into a new way of thinking than to think our way into a new way of acting. Making unethical practices obselete
  • Ending slavery as a lesson in social change (it was considered normal and natural through most human history)
  • Founding The Better Meat Company
  • Jewish upbringing and identity – “Even if you question the existence of the supernatural they don’t kick you out”
  • An animal conscious family. Rescue dogs as family members (follow Eddie on Instagram)
  • Switching to take the perspective of non-human animals + standing up to “frog baseball”
  • Compassion for the suffering of others as a moral foundation
  • Being kicked out of a Hebrew lesson for asking why god would ask for animal sacrifices
  • The rich tradition of animal compassion/veg*nism within Judaism
  • Israel as the #2 most vegan country
  • Utilitarianism and Peter Singer – “anti suffering & pro happiness”
  • Loving kindness meditation
  • Aspiring to The Paradoxical Commandments
  • Evolution isn’t perfectly driven towards truth or rationality
  • How groups can socially reward individual faith in fictions
  • Sometimes delusions can be useful
  • Humility at the heart of naturalism and science. Being comfortable not knowing
  • The confidence that sometimes comes with ignorance
  • Leaving the world a better place (less suffering / more flourishing)
  • Not letting the perfect be the enemy of the good
  • The ethical inertia of social norms and traditions
  • The Honour Code
  • Animal farming will be condemned by future generations
  • Consistent US voting against poor farming practices. Need that codified into law & corporate policy
  • Cost reduction pressure worsens farming conditions
  • Tech can render exploitative practices obselete (like cars re: horses, kerosene re: whales, pens vs. quills)
  • Fast, cheap, easy alternatives likely to reduce more suffering than better ethics
  • It’s hard to condemn a system you’re still part of
  • The moral argument has already been won re: ending animal farming
  • People buy food mainly because of price, taste, convenience (not ethics or env.)
  • Business for Good vs. ending capitalism? Purpose and/or profit?

You can follow Paul at @PaulHShapiro and visit his web-site here. Better Meat Co. is here.

Sentientism is “Evidence, reason & compassion for all sentient beings.” You can find out more at Sentientism.info. Why not join our “wall” using our simple “I’m a Sentientist” form?

Everyone interested, Sentientist or not, is welcome to join our community groups. Our main group is here on FaceBook.

Thanks to Graham for his post-prod work on this video. Follow him at @cgbessellieu.

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