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Flag IreneAdler June 28, 2011 6:44 PM EDT

Interesting little story about folks going from vegetarianism to consuming meat: 
 
today.msnbc.msn.com/id/43549229/ns/today...

Difference in  many minds is how the animal is treated .


Irene.   
 
 
Flag Ur2 June 28, 2011 7:15 PM EDT

As much as I love a good pork chop, a chicken leg or a steak... Raising animals for food, especially beef, is the most wasteful form of food production on the planet.


Whether it's humane or whatever the cause may be, the vegan way is the only way to be resouceful. And since now everything is focused on resouces and destruction to the planet, I wish I could agree with the person's choices that they've made.


Beef is the largest emitter of Methane gas in the US. The figures for the beef herds of South America are astronomical.


Interesting article, but I wish they'd change their minds back.


Thanx,


Ur2


 

Flag solfeggio June 28, 2011 8:36 PM EDT

Ur2 makes very good points, because animal agriculture has to be one of the most destructive forces on the planet today. 


The article cited in the OP is a pile of crap.  Vegetarians who whimp our because they just 'have' to have that pork chop or fried chicken are beneath contempt.  There is no 'humane' way to either raise animals or kill them.  There is nothing 'humane' about how food animals are treated, and nothing kind or friendly about a slaughterhouse.


What always amazes me about humans is this moral schizophrenia that is so prevalent in our culture.  We love and cherish our cats and dogs and hamsters and wouldn't even dream of letting them come to any harm, and at the same time we have no problem at all with forcing pigs, chickens, calves and other animals to exsist in tiny enclosures for the few months of their miserable lives and then putting them through the horrors of the slaughter house.


And none of our pets are any different from the animals that are used for food.  They all have the same interest in staying alive and being free from pain.


The whole basis of moral schzophrenia is that people grant a higher value to a pet in being kept alive rather than being killed, as opposed to other animals whose value is considered to be in being made into food.  This is speciesism. 


The bottom line here is that anybody who says s/he truly loves and respects our fellow animals and cares about their feelings does not eat them.


 


 

Flag DotNotInOz June 29, 2011 2:33 AM EDT
Thanks for that thoughtful article, Irene, which expresses well many of my concerns as a former vegetarian. 

However, both my husband and I have medical problems that render our digestions incapable of handling a vegetarian diet. Hence my saying that vegetarianism is not for everyone despite ethical issues which make it preferable. 

It would be pleasant to get some compassion from vegans and vegetarians, but it is sadly all too typical for them to grant it only to non-human animals. That they do so makes it easy to disbelieve that a moral diet makes a more moral person. 
Flag mytmouse57 June 29, 2011 9:07 AM EDT

I asked the animals.


They don't care.

Flag Erey June 29, 2011 10:34 AM EDT

I think it is natural to change your eating habits over time. To have vegetarian, omnivorious and even vegan periods.  I think our body changes as we go through life and our dietary needs change along with it. 


I think it is important to consider what you eat and seek dietary changes that might improve your health and wellbeing. 


I think unless people are eating off the endangered species list or eating things that cause them obvious harm I believe we should not make such a big deal about what others eat. 

Flag solfeggio June 29, 2011 6:40 PM EDT

It IS important to make 'a big deal' about what others eat, because what others eat impacts our planet and its inhabitants in many ways!  As stated in the OP, animal agriculture is destructive.  And, as everybody knows but won't own up to, animal agriculture is cruel and inhumane in the extreme.


Those two factors alone should make any thoughtful person sit up and take notice of what is going on around us every minute of every day.


If giving up the friggin' meat would help not just the planet but the sentient nonhuman animals that live here, too, then I would say that 'other people' should at least think about giving up the fu*king meat.


Geeze.  Is that so hard to grasp?

Flag arielg June 29, 2011 7:41 PM EDT

Studies on human nutrition consider only the material aspects. 


 But humans are more than just animals.  Studies never take into account the mental and emotional aspects, that somethimes are even more important than what is eaten.  Studies just count numbers. They never consider empathy, hate anger, love. But these states of mind  influence what we eat and how we digest the food.


 Someone with a  strong sense of empathy for animals, would not consider meat, even if science says it has  a lot of protein.
Their emotional side would reject it and make it into poison, no matter what science says. Just try to get some dog lover to eat dog meat  and one would get the point.  That particular empathy some have for dogs, others  have for all animals.

Flag Ur2 June 29, 2011 8:09 PM EDT

I suspect the people in the article became vegans maybe because of the BS that is fed to the animals raised as food. Antibiotics, hormones and the whatnot are passed along and even enter the water supply. I swear the little girls nowadays are developing faster nowadays... and I am not a DOM.


If you google this: hormones in food make girls develop faster, a plethora of info on this subject comes up to support my notion.


Thanx,


Ur2


 

Flag MMarcoe June 29, 2011 10:04 PM EDT

Jun 29, 2011 -- 9:07AM, mytmouse57 wrote:


I asked the animals.


They don't care.





I asked the animals. They DO care. A lot.


 

Flag solfeggio June 29, 2011 10:23 PM EDT

OK, so what is the bottom line here, anyway?


The way I see it, at least where diet is concerned, the average human being puts the importance of the five- or ten-minute taste experience of meat above everything else.  Instant gratification is what it's all about, right?


You can educate people until you're blue in the face, show them study after study about the amount of methane the cattle farms put into the atmosphere, or give links to the many, many articles detailing the horrors of the factory farms system.  You can point out that, really, no human needs to eat animal flesh in order to be happy and healthy.  And you can show all sorts of statistics proving that vegetarians/vegans really are, in general, healthier than meat-eaters.


But none of that counts!  All that matters is that brief taste experience.


And when you try to point this out to people, what do you get back?  They tell you you're ranting.  Or you get the equivalent of a shrug and a blank look.  Or, you get attitude.


Why is it that the average human does not seem to be capable of even considering a different paradigm, let alone actually (perish the thought) adopting it?  Why is it that this 'we've-always-done-it-so-it must-be-all-right' attitude is so pervasive in human society?


Sure, humans can eat flesh and not fall over dead.  But, since when does can equate with should or even must?


Why can't people at least just come clean and admit that they don't give a sh*t about the animals' pain, or the effect of farming on the environment, or even what a bad diet could do to their health?


Why not just say: Hell, I couldn't care less if pigs suffer, as long as I get my morning bacon.


 

Flag Erey June 29, 2011 10:29 PM EDT

You are ranting a bit.  i believe we do best with a moderate meat intake.  I really believe that.  Now you might be better suited to veganism than the average person and others might wither without larger more frequent servings of meat but I do believe for most people meat is an important albeit over used part of the diet. 


Ideally meat raised without antibiotics, hormones and are free of dangerous parasites.


Now you disagree, I am sure.  Back to the chimpanzees you referenced in a different post.  Even a chimpanzee, in a forest full of fruits and bugs will on occasion actually hunt and eat another mammal.  They don't do it everyday but since I tend to find large primates facinating pretty much all of the natures shows featuring them describe this behaviour. 


I like tofu, I like those meatless protien crumbles which tend to taste alot like meat.  yes I like the taste of meat but I can live without it taste wise. 

Flag Paravani June 29, 2011 11:17 PM EDT

Hi, All!


I spent a year or two when I was younger as a modified "lacto-ovo vegetarian".  I ate milk products, eggs, fish, and chicken, but wouldn't touch anything that had a "mama".  So no pork, beef, or other mammals.


I eat everything now because I accept that I'm an omnivore by biology, and I don't accept that animals are somehow more valuable and less edible than plants.  I empathize deeply with animals, but also with plants; should I give up eating everything then?


The zero-karma diet involves eating nothing in such a way as to kill it.  It's possible, but not easy...


Allowed foods:  leaves and stems are okay, but not roots.  Fruits are okay, but not their seeds, and no nuts or grains (which are potential life).  Un-fertilized eggs are okay -- birds often lay eggs on a regular schedule whether they've been fertilized or not, so there's no harm in exploiting this natural source of important protein.  And of course all dairy products are fine.


Nah, I don't eat that way.  But I could.


Honestly, I'm getting older now, beef doesn't digest as easily and beef hormones make me fat, so I only eat organic beef on a now-n-then basis.  Sometimes I just crave the iron, that's all.  Vegetables and vegetable protein -- soy and hummus -- are easier to digest, with occasional servings of chicken and fish.  Thank heavens I haven't become lactose-intolerant, because I do love my milk and yogurt!


Americans DO eat way too much meat per capita, and since the FDA approved hormones to fatten cattle before slaughter in 1995, we've also become much fatter.  I think it would be a good idea for both our health and the global environment if we ate less meat.


But sorry, solfeggio, suffering is life for people, animals, and plants alike.  I'm not going to feel guilty about my occasional chicken, fish, steak, nuts, or carrots.


Love,


-- Claudia


 


 


 

Flag Abner1 June 30, 2011 12:08 AM EDT

Solfeggio wrote:


> OK, so what is the bottom line here, anyway?


IMO, the bottom line is that you're proceeding about your attempts at conversion of others by an ineffective path, and as a result you're getting frustrated and beginning to lash out at people - which doesn't do anything to make them think you're right, and may well be more likely to drive potential converts away.


There are two basic ways to attempt to convert someone to your views using logic:


1. Start from your own premises, follow to your conclusions, and then get upset when other people who are starting from different premises don't accept your conclusions because they don't logically follow from *their* premises.  Proceed to browbeat them about how they should use your premises instead.


2. Learn what premises the other people are starting from, and try to find a logical argument from their premises to your desired conclusion.


Most people do the first approach, which is entirely ineffective - even counterproductive.  That seems to be a lot of your approach here.  The second approach is far more effort, takes a lot longer, requires dealing with the targets one on one to find their respective premises, and only works if you find their premises also lead to the desired conclusion ... which often isn't the case.  Very often if their premises also led to your desired conclusion, they'd already be there.  I don't think I've ever seen you take the second approach.


There is a third way that isn't really all that logical ...


3.  Try to convince them that your premises are better than their premises.


The third approach is usually an emotional approach rather than a logical one, and is also inefficient because it usually relies on making someone feel better about your premises than their own.  More often what happens is that you make them feel worse about you, not about their premises.


You also do a lot of the third approach.  For example:


> The way I see it, at least where diet is concerned, the average human being puts the


> importance of the five- or ten-minute taste experience of meat above everything else. 


> Instant gratification is what it's all about, right?


That's an attempt to abuse people into replacing their premises with your own.  Since the targets stated other things and can see that this is just deliberate misrepresentation of their stated reasons for the sake of abusing them, they're far more likely to reject Solfeggio than to reject their stated reasons.


> And when you try to point this out to people, what do you get back?  They tell you


> you're ranting.  Or you get the equivalent of a shrug and a blank look.  Or, you get attitude.


Maybe they feel that you don't care about their premises, you don't listen to their arguments based on those premises, and your education attempts basically can be summed up as "I'm right, you're wrong, so stop being evil idiots and do what I say" ... more or less.


> Why is it that the average human does not seem to be capable of even considering


> a different paradigm, let alone actually (perish the thought) adopting it?


It's a basic human trait to see everything through the lens of your own paradigm.  Some people can manage to step outside that and see things through the views of others, some can't.  The people who can do that are the most effective teachers.  Those who can't are generally ineffective.


You are being ineffective in promoting your views.  I think your inability to understand the views of those of other paradigms is why ...


> Why can't people at least just come clean and admit that they don't give a sh*t about


> the animals' pain, or the effect of farming on the environment, or even what a bad diet


> could do to their health?  Why not just say: Hell, I couldn't care less if pigs suffer, as


> long as I get my morning bacon.


And unfortunately your translate everything said by everyone who disagrees with you into the above statement, entirely ignoring what they actually said ... which means that you don't really ever address what they actually said.  Basically, all your attempts at 'education' are aimed at the idea that everyone who disagrees with you is a selfish, evil, cruel waste of oxygen.  *shrugs*  Ah well, if you want to waste your time proceeding in a completely ineffectual way that actually makes people feel worse about your cause, that's your right, but I think that if you *really* want to make progress - rather than just feeling better about yourself at the expense of abusing others - then you really need to adjust your approach to approach #2 - it's slow, it's difficult, but it's the only way that's likely to actually work.

Flag jane2 June 30, 2011 1:30 AM EDT

Jun 29, 2011 -- 10:23PM, solfeggio wrote:


OK, so what is the bottom line here, anyway?


The way I see it, at least where diet is concerned, the average human being puts the importance of the five- or ten-minute taste experience of meat above everything else.  Instant gratification is what it's all about, right?


You can educate people until you're blue in the face, show them study after study about the amount of methane the cattle farms put into the atmosphere, or give links to the many, many articles detailing the horrors of the factory farms system.  You can point out that, really, no human needs to eat animal flesh in order to be happy and healthy.  And you can show all sorts of statistics proving that vegetarians/vegans really are, in general, healthier than meat-eaters.


But none of that counts!  All that matters is that brief taste experience.


And when you try to point this out to people, what do you get back?  They tell you you're ranting.  Or you get the equivalent of a shrug and a blank look.  Or, you get attitude.


Why is it that the average human does not seem to be capable of even considering a different paradigm, let alone actually (perish the thought) adopting it?  Why is it that this 'we've-always-done-it-so-it must-be-all-right' attitude is so pervasive in human society?


Sure, humans can eat flesh and not fall over dead.  But, since when does can equate with should or even must?


Why can't people at least just come clean and admit that they don't give a sh*t about the animals' pain, or the effect of farming on the environment, or even what a bad diet could do to their health?


Why not just say: Hell, I couldn't care less if pigs suffer, as long as I get my morning bacon.


 





I don't know many who eat bacon on a regular basis. Most are too busy to cook breakfast. We eat cold cereal or drink a nutrional supplement. My parents and even grandparents thought bacon or sausage fairly unhealthy.


Eggs and bacon were reserved for special brunches.


A bit of beef, pork, lamb or chicken at dinner is more common. And that is not a ten-second taste choice, even though that is what you think. It is a nutritional choice, too. My sister-in-law had very pasty-faced kids because they didn't get enough protein--her husband had to have bacon for breakfast but wouldn't buy protein for their kids.


Our rosy-cheeked kids, who all became supreb athletes*, ate balanced meals and drank fruit juice and milk not soda. As a teen superb athlete our son ate cereal and milk for his evening snack.


State your case, if you must, but try not to denigrate those who disagree. We just don't buy the message.


*Our son was the State Champion in all categories in the mile and two mile races as a hs senior. He received an appointment, one of about 130 to the Coast Guard Academy, where he served for two years, leaving because he did not want his persona over-ridden by the military attitude--quite a decision for a 20 yr-old.They were not happy to see him leave. He was then granted a full athletic xc and track scholarship by GA TECH, his alma mater. And he was raised on moderate meat, potatoes and veggies. His  kids eat much as he did and his son just aced his freshman year on very substantial scholarship at MIT.


This is my case.

Flag costrel June 30, 2011 7:40 AM EDT

Jun 29, 2011 -- 11:17PM, Paravani wrote:

Hi, All!The zero-karma diet involves eating nothing in such a way as to kill it.  It's possible, but not easy...


Allowed foods:  leaves and stems are okay, but not roots.  Fruits are okay, but not their seeds, and no nuts or grains (which are potential life).  Un-fertilized eggs are okay -- birds often lay eggs on a regular schedule whether they've been fertilized or not, so there's no harm in exploiting this natural source of important protein.  And of course all dairy products are fine.


Nah, I don't eat that way.  But I could.


As you probably are aware, according to the vegan karma diet prescribed in the great Zen Buddhist monastic code Chanyuan quinggui, "[e]ven in times of sickness, a monk should sacrifice his body even to the end of his life, rather than consume wine or meat" (Fascicle 1.16; Yifa translation). I think there is a certain irony here -- that is, that in order to eat ethically, one must be willing to sacrifice one's own body and even commit ethical suicide rather than eat any meat or animal products such as milk or cheese (which violates the first precept) or drink any wine (which violates the fifth precept).


And as the Dalai Lama notes, eating eggs is fine, so long as those eggs do not come from chickens that are cruelly imprisoned in battery cages.

Flag DotNotInOz June 30, 2011 8:21 AM EDT
Abner, for obvious reasons, I'm not quoting your analysis of Solfeggio's approach. I simply want to compliment your acuity.

You've summarized precisely why I no longer attend to most of what she says because she appears incapable of acknowledging that I gave up vegetarianism because my digestion couldn't deal with that much fiber.

I don't suffer gladly fools or fanatics devoid of compassion and consideration for others, plain and simple.
Flag Abner1 June 30, 2011 9:09 AM EDT

DotNotInOz wrote:


> Abner, for obvious reasons, I'm not quoting your analysis of Solfeggio's approach.


Understood - if nothing else, the sheer length of it is a flaw.  I've never gotten the gift of brevity.


> You've summarized precisely why I no longer attend to most of what she says


> because she appears incapable of acknowledging that I gave up vegetarianism


> because my digestion couldn't deal with that much fiber.


I think the best definition of fanaticism is when ideology starts becoming more important than people ... or perhaps when hypothetical people become more important than actual ones.  Ah well, I doubt Solfeggio and I will ever succeed in convincing the other of anything, but bridging the divide is worth trying once in a while.

Flag piecesofthewhole June 30, 2011 9:25 AM EDT

Jun 30, 2011 -- 9:09AM, Abner1 wrote:


but bridging the divide is worth trying once in a while.





Yes, always!  and good attempt on your part!

Flag IreneAdler June 30, 2011 11:00 AM EDT

Jun 30, 2011 -- 9:25AM, piecesofthewhole wrote:


Jun 30, 2011 -- 9:09AM, Abner1 wrote:


but bridging the divide is worth trying once in a while.





Yes, always!  and good attempt on your part!





Abner- yes, really nice post. Dot pretty much sums up my take as well.


 In fact, I have decided to drop any and all plans to follow vegetarian/vegan eating plans solely because of Solf's dismissive attitude towards other posters. It's hard to buy the vegan/vegetarian eating plan because of the lack of scholarship displayed. If even I can see the inaccuracies, then surely there is a problem.


 


Irene.

Flag Abner1 June 30, 2011 11:04 AM EDT

The problem with a flawed or offensive argument in favor of something is that it makes that thing seem less plausible, not more.  That may not be fair ...  just because an argument is flawed doesn't really make the conclusion less likely to be true ... but it's the way people's minds work.  Same with "you catch more flies with honey" - it's a truism for good reason.

Flag Erey June 30, 2011 11:11 AM EDT

Jun 30, 2011 -- 9:09AM, Abner1 wrote:


 


I think the best definition of fanaticism is when ideology starts becoming more important than people ... or perhaps when hypothetical people become more important than actual ones.  Ah well, I doubt Solfeggio and I will ever succeed in convincing the other of anything, but bridging the divide is worth trying once in a while.




For me that is it, live your life to your ideals.  You can even evangalize a bit about your lifestyle, why not if you are convinced your way is superior and will create an improvement for others.  At the end of the day you have to care more about people than the ideology.


I appreciate passion and I can understand passion sometimes leads to missteps or wrong decisions.  But if you  truly think the human race is evil and you can't put people first then you are a misanthrope - I can't respect misanthropy. 

Flag DotNotInOz June 30, 2011 11:49 AM EDT
Heartily agreed, Erey!
Flag rabello June 30, 2011 12:32 PM EDT

I think something else besides anti-vegetarianism vs pro-vegetarianism is going on, here, and on every pro-vegetarianism thread solfeggio starts.  So she has made people mad....ok.....whatever.    The one thing she DOES do is provide references to scientific studies and current news reports to back up what she says, references that it seems her opponents don't read and don't address.   Nonetheless, it shouldn't be a surprise that someone who finds killing and eating animals to be an immoral act would NOT say "I'm ok/you're ok" when faced with those who are dismissive of that philosophy.   I recognize the ongoing fight over pro and anti, here, has become personalized, but is anybody's life going to be changed because a committed vegan name solfeggio on an impersonal website has a stance in life that is inconsistent with "do your own thing"?   The word "activism" has a definition for a reason, and being an "activist" doens't make one a "fanatic."

Flag Erey June 30, 2011 1:54 PM EDT

I think we do need to be tolerant of passions and activism.  However I think what makes people unhappy is the feel that judgement is being levied against them.  That the only thing they are making decisions with is their lower level taste buds.  This is not flattering, and in fact might be considered insulting.


I think we should be tolerant of vegan activists, and pro-life activists and nonsmoking activists and even evangelicals or other religious activists.  After all these people believe they are advocating a better way of life, or at least preventing an evil.  However just as when a evangelical says your way of thinking about God is sending you to hell, nobody really wants to hear that they are just heartless gluttons only eating meat for the primal satisfaction and don't care about animals.

Flag arielg June 30, 2011 2:54 PM EDT

Jun 30, 2011 -- 12:32PM, rabello wrote:


I think something else besides anti-vegetarianism vs pro-vegetarianism is going on, here, and on every pro-vegetarianism thread solfeggio starts.  So she has made people mad....ok.....whatever.    The one thing she DOES do is provide references to scientific studies and current news reports to back up what she says, references that it seems her opponents don't read and don't address.   Nonetheless, it shouldn't be a surprise that someone who finds killing and eating animals to be an immoral act would NOT say "I'm ok/you're ok" when faced with those who are dismissive of that philosophy.   I recognize the ongoing fight over pro and anti, here, has become personalized, but is anybody's life going to be changed because a committed vegan name solfeggio on an impersonal website has a stance in life that is inconsistent with "do your own thing"?   The word "activism" has a definition for a reason, and being an "activist" doens't make one a "fanatic."





Good post.  All this nonsense that Solfeggio is a fanatic or trying to proselytize, or impose her views  seem to be a defensive position some people take who feel threatened by what she says.


She obviously touches a lot of nerves, otherwise it would be easy to just ignore what she says. Those who are trying to find their ways about the issue can find value in other people's  experiences. The ones who don't want to be bothered, find fault with  the messenger instead.
,

Flag Abner1 June 30, 2011 3:06 PM EDT

Arielg wrote:


> She obviously touches a lot of nerves, otherwise it would be easy to just ignore what


> she says.


She definitely does - but touching a lot of nerves doesn't mean you're right, it just means you're being offensive.  For example, if you go around telling every Japanese person you can find that Japan deserved getting hit with the earthquake and tsunami because it was God punishing the Japanese for not being Christians, you'll probably touch a lot of nerves too.  It probably won't incline those Japanese people to think "Oh, you're right, I should immediately switch to Christianity so my home country doesn't get hit with more earthquakes and tsunamis" ...


Even a sound conclusion can be damaged by using unsound or offensive arguments.  But if she wants to use an approach that damages her own cause, that's her right ... just as it is my right to point out that the approach is flawed in one or more ways.

Flag Girlchristian June 30, 2011 3:43 PM EDT

Jun 30, 2011 -- 2:54PM, arielg wrote:


Jun 30, 2011 -- 12:32PM, rabello wrote:


I think something else besides anti-vegetarianism vs pro-vegetarianism is going on, here, and on every pro-vegetarianism thread solfeggio starts.  So she has made people mad....ok.....whatever.    The one thing she DOES do is provide references to scientific studies and current news reports to back up what she says, references that it seems her opponents don't read and don't address.   Nonetheless, it shouldn't be a surprise that someone who finds killing and eating animals to be an immoral act would NOT say "I'm ok/you're ok" when faced with those who are dismissive of that philosophy.   I recognize the ongoing fight over pro and anti, here, has become personalized, but is anybody's life going to be changed because a committed vegan name solfeggio on an impersonal website has a stance in life that is inconsistent with "do your own thing"?   The word "activism" has a definition for a reason, and being an "activist" doens't make one a "fanatic."





Good post.  All this nonsense that Solfeggio is a fanatic or trying to proselytize, or impose her views  seem to be a defensive position some people take who feel threatened by what she says.


She obviously touches a lot of nerves, otherwise it would be easy to just ignore what she says. Those who are trying to find their ways about the issue can find value in other people's  experiences. The ones who don't want to be bothered, find fault with  the messenger instead.
,





As with all things, how one says thing matters. IMO, some of Solf's nasty statements about those of us who eat meat are the same as some of the nasty statements some pro-lifers make outside abortion clinics. Yes, they're both passionate and yes, when one hates killing of another being (whether animal or human) so vehemently, it's easy to be offensive when trying to "convince" others that they're wrong and you're right. However, sometimes if an activist changes how they say something, they'll get more people to listen.

Flag solfeggio June 30, 2011 6:29 PM EDT

rabello and arielg -


Thank you for your posts which I think hit on the heart of what's going on here. 


My stance is a simple one:  I have always believed that causing pain and suffering to innocent creatures - both human and nonhuman - who have not done you any harm, is morally wrong.


Yes, I have deep empathy for all living creatures, and I have always deplored the way humans treat our fellow animals.  Because I feel their pain.  When I see somebody in the mall food court eating a steak dinner, all I can think of is how the cow must have felt, being dragged into the slaughterhouse, slipping on the blood of those that had gone before her, hearing their terrified calls as they are hoisted up and having their throats cut, knowing that, in a few minutes she, too, will suffer that fate.


It literally makes me nauseous.  And the same goes for people eating bacon, or reading here in these posts of people talking about how they 'love' their pork chops or bacon.  My only thought is of the mother pig, kept in close confinement with her piglets for a few months, never seeing the outdoors or knowing what it would be like to live a natural life.  Then, having her babies taken away from her before she could raise them.  And, finally, with other pigs forced into a truck and hauled off to the slaughterhouse to experience the same terrors as the cows.


When I see these posts about how people just have to have their meat, or they love it, or whatever, I become so angry that I can hardly think. 


Nobody can ever deny that the factory farm system is cruel and inhumane.  And nobody can ever deny that animals like pigs, chickens, calves, cows, and other animals are cruelly exploited and forced to endure torturous conditions that no kind person would ever allow his/her adored pets to endure.


www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-an...


www.all-creatures.org/articles/ar-aninsi...


www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-foo...


video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-513747...#


www.meat.org/


www.veganoutreach.org/whyvegan/slaughter...


www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhlhSQ5z4V4


yaleglobal.yale.edu/content/exposed-long...


And yeah, you know what?  If being empathetic makes me the aberrant one or the deviate, then I'm glad.  And I'm really sorry that the rest of the human race went the other way, into being the spoilt, selfish, self-centred beings that evidently most of us are.  Because if everybody could truly experience the pain and suffering of not just our fellow animals, but our fellow humans as well, maybe this poor, tired old world wouldn't be so friggin' fu*ked up.


 

Flag mainecaptain June 30, 2011 6:41 PM EDT

Jun 30, 2011 -- 6:29PM, solfeggio wrote:


rabello and arielg -


Thank you for your posts which I think hit on the heart of what's going on here. 


My stance is a simple one:  I have always believed that causing pain and suffering to innocent creatures - both human and nonhuman - who have not done you any harm, is morally wrong.


Yes, I have deep empathy for all living creatures, and I have always deplored the way humans treat our fellow animals.  Because I feel their pain.  When I see somebody in the mall food court eating a steak dinner, all I can think of is how the cow must have felt, being dragged into the slaughterhouse, slipping on the blood of those that had gone before her, hearing their terrified calls as they are hoisted up and having their throats cut, knowing that, in a few minutes she, too, will suffer that fate.


It literally makes me nauseous.  And the same goes for people eating bacon, or reading here in these posts of people talking about how they 'love' their pork chops or bacon.  My only thought is of the mother pig, kept in close confinement with her piglets for a few months, never seeing the outdoors or knowing what it would be like to live a natural life.  Then, having her babies taken away from her before she could raise them.  And, finally, with other pigs forced into a truck and hauled off to the slaughterhouse to experience the same terrors as the cows.


When I see these posts about how people just have to have their meat, or they love it, or whatever, I become so angry that I can hardly think. 


Nobody can ever deny that the factory farm system is cruel and inhumane.  And nobody can ever deny that animals like pigs, chickens, calves, cows, and other animals are cruelly exploited and forced to endure torturous conditions that no kind person would ever allow his/her adored pets to endure.


www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-an...


www.all-creatures.org/articles/ar-aninsi...


www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-foo...


video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-513747...#


www.meat.org/


www.veganoutreach.org/whyvegan/slaughter...


www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhlhSQ5z4V4


yaleglobal.yale.edu/content/exposed-long...


And yeah, you know what?  If being empathetic makes me the aberrant one or the deviate, then I'm glad.  And I'm really sorry that the rest of the human race went the other way, into being the spoilt, selfish, self-centred beings that evidently most of us are.  Because if everybody could truly experience the pain and suffering of not just our fellow animals, but our fellow humans as well, maybe this poor, tired old world wouldn't be so friggin' fu*ked up.


 




Solf, you described my feelings exactly.

Flag Ur2 June 30, 2011 7:57 PM EDT

If God didn't want us to eat animals, He wouldn't have made them out of meat.


Humans have been eating meat since we were proto-humans in Africa. Chimpanzees today eat meat from their own kills. Baboons eat meat from their own kills. If we came from a branch of these very same animals that still exist today that surely existed back then... Then eating meat is not something altogether human.


Humans have eaten each other and still do today in some outlandish outposts of our human brotherhood.


The subject of eating meat is a misnomer and any jury would find one innocent of such a practice on any grounds.


Raising meat for food is deletrious to our Planet. The food input toards the food output is alarming. The amount of methane produced by just cattle production alone is irregretable and is often shelved towards what we want versus what is good for the Planet.


Paleontologists support the notion that early humans lived along seashores and ate fish whether it was caught or washed up on the shoreline. The Aleuts today thrive mainly upon meat as they have for ten thousand years.


There is no argument against the OP, there are just many with differing points of view. Does a cow suffer more than a whale when it dies if it is for food and human sustenance?


Thanx,


Ur2   

Flag costrel June 30, 2011 8:01 PM EDT

Jun 30, 2011 -- 6:29PM, solfeggio wrote:

My only thought is of the mother pig, kept in close confinement with her piglets for a few months, never seeing the outdoors or knowing what it would be like to live a natural life. [...]


And yeah, you know what?  If being empathetic makes me the aberrant one or the deviate, then I'm glad.  And I'm really sorry that the rest of the human race went the other way, into being the spoilt, selfish, self-centred beings that evidently most of us are.  Because if everybody could truly experience the pain and suffering of not just our fellow animals, but our fellow humans as well, maybe this poor, tired old world wouldn't be so friggin' fu*ked up.


Ok, Solfeggio, let's look at the issue you raise in the first passage that I have cited above from a rational perspective (rather than from an emotional perspective). I do think this is a very important issue. If the whole world, or at least the major industrialized nations in North America, South America, Europe, and East Asia were to suddenly stop eating meat (and presumbly, stop using other animal products like milk, eggs, and wool), what would become of these domesticated animals? First of all, we all know that there is very little wilderness left even for the wild animals. Human beings have carved so much of the available land up for cities and non-animal agriculture (the growing of rice, wheat, corn, soybeans, etc.) that animals such as bears, deer, etc. have started to invade human space in order to survive. And with the lack of major predators such as wolves, deer populations, for instance, have increased to the point where it is almost (or indeed) necessary for humans to hunt them because, again, they just don't have enough wild land to live on. So if there is not enough wilderness left for wild animals to live the natural lives that they have been living since at least the Pleistocene (and for many animals, much earlier than that), where is the available space for domesticated animals going to come from?


According to an article in the July 2011 issue of National Geographic, the Pineywoods breed of cattle can "live and breed without human assistance." Domesticated animals have reached such a level of domestication that many of them apparently require human assistance to even live and breed, as if they, like so many humans, would not be able to survive successfully if they were suddenly plopped down in the wilderness and had to fend for themselves. Perhaps this would a beneficial thing in the long run -- certain domesticated breeds that could not survive without human assistance would die out, while those that either do not need human assistance, or that could learn to adapt to the point where they are in a semi-wild or even fully-wild state again (much like wild horses and feral cats) would be able to successfully survive and live automonous lives.


I think it is good that people want to stop eating animals and/or stop using animal products out of compassion for animals, just as I think it is good for meat-eating humans (like the Dalai Lama) to be against factory farming and battery cages and better lives for domesticated animals, but two of the biggest problems I see with dispensing with eating meat is human urbanization and human population growth. If these domesticated animals are going to know what it is like to live a natural life, they are going to need land to live on. And that means that we somehow have to curb not only humanity's obsessive growth of cities, suburbs, and plowed land for crops to feed human beings, but also humanity's obsessive birth rates and population growth. In Japan, nearly every piece of land that does not have a building or that is not dedicated to a shrine or a temple is used for rice fields; and here in South Dakota, we may have very small towns, but the land that separates these small towns consists of cropland. To an extensive degree, this world is (to use your phrase) "so friggin' fucked up" because of urbanization and explosive human population growth.


So again, I applaud those who, like Thoreau, can envision a society and a world where humans do not eat animals or use animal products such as milk, eggs, and wool, but without somehow finding solutions to our ever-growing urbanization and our ever-growing human population, I don't see where these domesticated animals are going to live besides perhaps in zoos, which would mean their caged zoo lives would be little different than their current factory-farm lives. (If, as philosopher Martha Nussbaum suggests in her book Frontiers of Justice, we were to sterilize animals for the purposes of "preventing overpopulation and consequent shortage and neglect" [page 396], we could keep their populations down to the point where we could sufficiently house a few of them in zoos.) But until we can solve this problem of living space for domesticated animals, I am not so sure that refusing to eat them is the most practical or even the most ethical and moral action to take at this current time.

Flag DotNotInOz June 30, 2011 9:04 PM EDT

To get back to the OP, I believe life to be a compromise on many fronts. Some people have the opportunities and resources to eat a varied diet, perhaps even to grow most of their own food. Others live at poverty level or below in cities where they have limited access to good, healthy food options. The homeless who often eat at McDonald's, mentioned previously, would be a good example of people doing what they can or must simply to survive.


Thus, I think that the people in this article who choose to eat meat and endeavor to eat only organic, free-range meats and poultry are making a reasonable compromise. As I see it, they're doing better than many people despite not eating as virtuously as Solfeggio prefers.


Myself, since my digestion can't tolerate a vegetarian diet, I buy organic, free-range meats and wild-caught seafood as often as possible. When I eat meat, poultry or seafood, I follow the Native American custom of expressing gratitude to the animal that gave its life for my nourishment.


That's my compromise.

Flag arielg June 30, 2011 9:07 PM EDT

So again, I applaud those who, like Thoreau, can envision a society and a world where humans do not eat animals or use animal products such as milk, eggs, and wool, but without somehow finding solutions to our ever-growing urbanization and our ever-growing human population, I don't see where these domesticated animals are going to live besides perhaps in zoos, which would mean their caged zoo lives would be little different than their current factory-farm lives. (If, as philosopher Martha Nussbaum suggests in her book Frontiers of Justice, we were to sterilize animals for the purposes of "preventing overpopulation and consequent shortage and neglect" [page 396], we could keep their populations down to the point where we could sufficiently house a few of them in zoos.) But until we can solve this problem of living space for domesticated animals, I am not so sure that refusing to eat them is the most practical or even the most ethical and moral action to take at this current time.


In your aimless ranting  only one thing  becomes clear: "the world is the way it is and there is nothing anybody can do about it until it changes and then we'll  do all kinds of things differently. 


 But the problem is not so complicated.  It is just this: what do I  do and why?  That is all one needs to be clear about. The world will take care of itself.

Flag arielg June 30, 2011 9:10 PM EDT

If God didn't want us to eat animals, He wouldn't have made them out of meat.


Great insight. I guess it is OK to eat each other.  We are all made out of meat and hyenas would eat us.

Flag costrel June 30, 2011 9:25 PM EDT

Jun 30, 2011 -- 9:07PM, arielg wrote:

In your aimless ranting  only one thing  becomes clear: "the world is the way it is and there is nothing anybody can do about it until it changes and then we'll  do all kinds of things differently. 


 But the problem is not so complicated.  It is just this: what do I  do and why?  That is all one needs to be clear about. The world will take care of itself.


First of all, I was not ranting, nor was it aimless. What I was trying to offer was a point of direction for philosophical discussion and real-world solutions that I hope are more rationally-constructed than emotionally-driven (and therefore in a little different direction than the typical emotionally-driven responses concerning suffering and compassion that appear to dominate threads such as these). Second of all, I believe in collective action -- society, and not lone-wolf individuals,  must decide to change before effective change can occur. The individual can accomplish little without being part of a mass of men and women who together try to answer questions, who together try to offer solutions and solve problems, and who work together, in concert, for the betterment of all. (Yes, in some ways, my ideas are similar to the ideas of Eco-Socialists and Eco-Marxists, but in other ways they are different.)


Finally, I did list what I consider two of the major issues that I see that we must collectively change -- lower birth rates and a decrease of urbanization. I know I wasn't very clear about the implications of finding ways to decrease these two issues -- i.e., that solutions to decreasing both of these issues can lead to a reclamation of wild land for the benefit of wild animals and domestic animals. Even if we set aside preserves and refuges dedicated for the use of domesticated animals as we have done with birds, mammals and other wild animals (which I think would be better for the animals than forced sterilization and zoo living), this can only effectively happen if we first reclaim land from human use. And this is something that takes collective action, not individual action.

Flag DotNotInOz June 30, 2011 9:34 PM EDT

I think you've presented a very thoughtful and well-stated analysis, Costrel.


Dismissing it as "aimless ranting" does nothing to demonstrate why your ideas do not represent a reasonable course of action nor why Arielg apparently considers them unworthy of a thoughtful response.


If "What do I do and why?" were the only significant question governing human behavior, many of us would still be slaveowners.


Costrel makes an excellent point, IMO, that collective action is necessary before widespread social change can come about. We have ample evidence of that in the gradually increasing acceptance of gay marriage.


 

Flag arielg June 30, 2011 10:03 PM EDT

The world didn't come to be what is because someone planned it this way.  And it is not going to change because some people have some plans, which are nothing but intellectual musings.  We influence the world according to what we are. A confused person will bring confusion, no matter what their plans.  That is why I say the only real  changes  happen to  individuals.


Most of the time, people who want to change the world are unable to change themselves. What we eat and why is a good example.

Flag mytmouse57 June 30, 2011 10:58 PM EDT

Empathy is one thing. Projection of human attributes, and importance, is another.


I have enough empathy for animals to know they don't care a sh*t about human projections. For them, eating, or being killed and eaten by something else, is just mere fact.

Flag solfeggio June 30, 2011 11:44 PM EDT

Mainecaptain -


I so appreciated your post.  ((((((((Thank you very much for your support!))))))

Flag Erey June 30, 2011 11:48 PM EDT

Jun 30, 2011 -- 10:58PM, mytmouse57 wrote:


Empathy is one thing. Projection of human attributes, and importance, is another.


I have enough empathy for animals to know they don't care a sh*t about human projections. For them, eating, or being killed and eaten by something else, is just mere fact.





Pretty much, although I do think a few animals like dogs and dolphins seem to care about human projections.  With my own observations I feel dogs do, I don't have alot of personal experience with dolphins and I am basing my thoughts on people that do. 

Flag solfeggio July 1, 2011 12:02 AM EDT

Costrel -


I know where you're coming from in your post, and you bring up many of the same issues I have thought about over the years.  Perhaps where we differ is in how we look at how human cultural behaviour systems can or should be changed. 


I tend to be a pessimist where that is concerned.  For myself, the glass is always half empty.


It would be a blessing if people in overpopulated countries really did some serious thinking about birth control, or if the powers that be in the industrialised West decided to stop the spread of urbanisation.  But, humans being what they are, I just don't think that's ever going to happen.


To put it more prosaically, we on this planet been taken to the cleaners and we don't even know that our pants are off. And, as long as we can have our little pleasures and instant gratifications, we're OK with that


We can talk for hours about how much humans are responsible for the cruelties of factory farming, or animal cruelty in all its forms, but if humans are entrenched in their ancient (probably religious) convictions about why nonhuman animals occupy this planet, and how to treat them, I just can't see where that can be changed.


Over the years, I've aired my views about animal cruelty over and over and over in different forums, and I've always met with the same resistance from people who are loathe to give up their ingrained eating habits - no matter what.  And I've long since realised that only those who already understand where I'm coming from wil 'get' the message.


But, as long as this is an open forum in which people can air their views, I'll keep on posting when the opportunity presents itself. 


 


 


 

Flag piecesofthewhole July 1, 2011 10:34 AM EDT

Jun 30, 2011 -- 9:04PM, DotNotInOz wrote:

Myself, since my digestion can't tolerate a vegetarian diet, I buy organic, free-range meats and wild-caught seafood as often as possible. When I eat meat, poultry or seafood, I follow the Native American custom of expressing gratitude to the animal that gave its life for my nourishment.




 


I think this is really nice.  I've been trying to be more mindful about everything really and taking a moment to reflect on where your food came from and to give thanks for it is a really beautiful idea.  thank you for that.

Flag Erey July 1, 2011 12:22 PM EDT

Jul 1, 2011 -- 12:02AM, solfeggio wrote:


Costrel -


I know where you're coming from in your post, and you bring up many of the same issues I have thought about over the years.  Perhaps where we differ is in how we look at how human cultural behaviour systems can or should be changed. 


I tend to be a pessimist where that is concerned.  For myself, the glass is always half empty.


It would be a blessing if people in overpopulated countries really did some serious thinking about birth control, or if the powers that be in the industrialised West decided to stop the spread of urbanisation.  But, humans being what they are, I just don't think that's ever going to happen.


 


 





How can you say this when the birth rate has been going down, down and down?  How????  Go back just 50 years and the birthrate was double. 


Honestly I think your misanthropy is just a  knee jerk reaction vs. any real thinking.


And as far as my appetite, I like many other posters am a bit more than our appetites.  And we according to OUR RESEARCH believe that a diet that includes a moderate amount of meat is more healthfull than vegetarianism.  We really believe this based on our research.  however it seems at least most of us can respect that you disagree. 


Your prattling on about us being a slave to our heartless attitudes is sort of the equivalenet that claiming you are pushing veganism out of your sour misanthropy vs. any real concern for animals. 

Flag arielg July 1, 2011 3:46 PM EDT

Jun 30, 2011 -- 10:58PM, mytmouse57 wrote:


Empathy is one thing. Projection of human attributes, and importance, is another.


I have enough empathy for animals to know they don't care a sh*t about human projections. For them, eating, or being killed and eaten by something else, is just mere fact.




So, what are you saying? Are you taking your clues from animals?

Flag Heretic_for_Christ July 1, 2011 8:22 PM EDT

Coming late to this thread, it looks like it started with an item about someone who had been vegetarian and then went (or went back) to eating meat.


So? People are at different places at different times in their lives. Vegetarianism, like anything else we do or refrain from doing, is not a place to have arrived at but a path to follow. Sometimes we stumble from the path we are on or simply decide to take a different path. What is surprising about that?


As for the usual bickering over vegetarianism, I'll say what I usually say -- straight facts:


1. It is a healthier diet than a meat-based diet. A small amount of meat will not cause harm, just as smoking a few cigarettes a day will not cause harm. That does not mean that eating a little meat and smoking a few cigarettes are beneficial to health. It just means that within the limits of our current ability to measure physiologic harm, a small amount of meat and a few cigarettes are not known to be harmful. This applies to populations, not individuals; obviously certain individuals can be harmed even by slight exposure to harmful substances, but for whole populations we can say that meat and cigarettes are not healthy at all, but that limited exposure to them has not been clearly linked to illness.


2. Large-scale breeding of animals to be slaughtered for meat is environmentally damaging and wasteful of resources.


3. It does not matter one iota what gorillas eat, what kind of teeth we have, what the Bible says, or what is "natural" (even if we could agree on a definition of naturalness). The dietary choices we make are based on many factors, but those four -- perennial favorites in the Veggie Wars -- are totally irrelevant. People eat what they eat based on how they were raised as children, what they find tasty, what they find practical and affordable, how they relate emotionally to food, and what they understand intellectually about food production and nutrition. The only thing we can discuss is the last item.


4. Non-crusaders find crusaders annoying. What else is new? The question for non-crusaders is whether their annoyance at crusaders invalidates what the crusaders are saying.

Flag Ur2 July 1, 2011 8:36 PM EDT

arielg,


Post #35 was stupendoulsly myopic and what you asked in return only shows how far myopia can progress when it comes to the thinking process.


If you can't elaborate just a tad more, then why bother posting at all?


If you refuse to believe that humans, proto-humans, modern simians, cats, dogs, birds, fish, insects and the whatnot of our diverse biological machine on the planet eat meat... other than your marvelously pedestrian offering of witticism, what else do you have?


Thanks for showing just how mundane one can get in a serious discussion.


Do you deny that animals eat people? Do you deny that people eat people... or was your post merely for entertainment's sake and meant as a put-down rather than something of any value towards the OP?


Thanx,


Ur2

Flag arielg July 1, 2011 11:07 PM EDT

Jul 1, 2011 -- 8:36PM, Ur2 wrote:


arielg,


Post #35 was stupendoulsly myopic and what you asked in return only shows how far myopia can progress when it comes to the thinking process.


If you can't elaborate just a tad more, then why bother posting at all?


If you refuse to believe that humans, proto-humans, modern simians, cats, dogs, birds, fish, insects and the whatnot of our diverse biological machine on the planet eat meat... other than your marvelously pedestrian offering of witticism, what else do you have?


Thanks for showing just how mundane one can get in a serious discussion.


Do you deny that animals eat people? Do you deny that people eat people... or was your post merely for entertainment's sake and meant as a put-down rather than something of any value towards the OP?


Thanx,


Ur2





My answer was in the same level as your statement. You said:


"If God didn't want us to eat animals, He wouldn't have made them out of meat"


 Well, he made us out of meat too. So, by your logic, it must be because he want us to eat people too. Primitives do.  That should give you a hint what direction  civilization goes.


The argument that because they are made out of meat means that we  should eat them is a false argument. He made corn, beans and apples too.  Maybe he meant that we should eat that.  


 Would you eat your dog or cat?  They are made out of meat.  The reason you probably wouldn't is because that is not the main consideration for eating meat or not. We have a consciousness and we decide by our consciousness . And our consciousness includes empathy, love, respect, etc. We decide based on that, not just what animals are made of.




Flag rangerken July 10, 2011 3:30 PM EDT

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