Forum > Touchy Subjects > Vegetarianism/Veganism
Have you ever wondered what causes people not to eat meat? After five years if being a vegetarian, I know many things about the ethics and nutrition behind vegetarianism, so I thought I could create a discussion about it. Any question, insults, or comments?
  
It doesn't matter to me how others live their life, so long as they hurt no one and don't perpetuate lies.
  
I'm vegetarian so represent I guess
  
It's not a big issue for me. I'm quite happy for others to eat whatever they think works for them.

I have problems when any group refuses to cater for other common diets.
  
I like eating animals. Plants are good too. Fungi too. Pretty much anything. Don't really have anything else to say about it.

Sure I'll bite, why'd you stop eating meat?
  
Le'Saac said:
Any question, insults, or comments?
Yes, your post has a disgusting yellow dot on it.

I'm not vegetarian, but I acknowledge the environmental and health benefits. I've started to cut back somewhat on red meat for those reasons. But I'm also weak, and cows are delicious.
  
Yea I have serious problems with the scale and practices of industrial farming, and go out of my way to buy ethically sourced meat. That said, I won't be going vegetarian any time soon.
  
Ethically and environmentally, industrial farming is one of the worst things in the planet.

If you want to know more about industrial farming, check out the video Earthlings, which finally convinced me to go vegetarian in 2012.
  
Not to be conflated with the ethics of farming, or even animal husbandry.
  
I'm not gonna bother myself with feelings other than hunger when I'm buying meat. Whenever I do buy meat (which isn't often), I buy ethically sourced meats. The animals live healthier lives and leave tastier, more sanitary carcasses.

Fried chicken places though; not like I have to worry about the taste there. Cooked all the way through, perfectly sanitary. I know people in every fast food place I go to in the town I live in. I go to the ones that clean well and don't ever reuse anything. Again, I'm not gonna bother myself with feelings other than hunger (or germophobia, I guess) when buying food.
  
I would have no issue with eating meat if animals were raised like animals that have been for thousands of years (small scale farms that raise a few animals to be sold at a local market) instead of in concentrated small areas. Even cage free chickens still live in the dark in a chicken house and have their beaks and talons (Do the chickens have large talons?- catch the reference :D) trimmed to keep them from injuring each other in such close quarters. Just the way things are now it is hard for me to eat meat.

Anyone care to address the health issues of the American meat diet? A great documentary that addresses some of this is What the Health?, a recent documentary. Another one would be Forks Over Knives. The health benefits of going vegetarian/vegan are incontestable, and at least cutting down the portion of meat that is eaten per day has tremendous results.
  
What the Health used a shitload of dubious at best studies, as did Forks over Knives. The American (and most Anglospheric) diet(s) are horrible, not just because of the overconsumption of meat.
  
I love my horrible American diet and damn near starved to death when I toured Europe tho :(
  
When I was a vegetarian, one of the arguments I heard on a near-weekly basis was "but animals eat animals". Great observation, you've really cornered me there. When humans start taking our moral and behavioral cues from animals, let me know. You can start by shitting on the lawn. Oh, you don't do that? Because you're a human who doesn't mimic animals? Amazing.
  
I'm not a vegetarian for much the same reason as I'm not a teatotaller. Both alcohol and meat are probably not good for you, but after thousands of years of being a cultural and dietary necessity, it's not something we should be expected to just give up overnight. They're tasty and I enjoy them, but I'm conscious of the risks of eating too much meat/drinking too much alcohol.

So long as meat isn't your staple food and you don't eat unethical/environmentally damaging quantities I don't see the problem.
  
Millpond said:
When I was a vegetarian, one of the arguments I heard on a near-weekly basis was "but animals eat animals". Great observation, you've really cornered me there. When humans start taking our moral and behavioral cues from animals, let me know. You can start by shitting on the lawn. Oh, you don't do that? Because you're a human who doesn't mimic animals? Amazing.
Tell me one way you don't mimick an animal that doesn't have anything to do with your sentience.
  
What's your point? Humans use our sentience to decide what's right and wrong. We don't use "animals do it" to justify anything else.
  
You're right, humans can choose to do frivolous things. I seriously don't believe anyone who says they're vegetarian and vegan only because they think it's wrong for animals to be killed. Hearing one too many things about factory farming I get, having medical reasons I get. Your conscience about all animals? Absolutely not. Especially since that concscience seems to extend only to animals that are eaten for food.
  
I'd be interested to explore this more with you Marc. My reasons for being veg are
1) Belief that killing when it is not necessary to my survival is immoral
2) Belief that factory farming is a travesty and that animal welfare is not considered in farming practices
3) I can get along just fine without meat

As you can see, belief that killing unnecessarily is wrong is my number one reason. Even if farming practices improved 20 fold, I would still not eat meat. In my case, that conscience extends to any activity that results in harm to living beings that is not necessary for my survival. So I don't wear leather or buy cosmetics or cleaning products tested on animals. Conversely, when I was in hospital after my baby and I was very sick, I was prescribed anti-hypertensives that were likely at some point tested on animals. I took these because without them, I likely would have had seizures which could easily have been life threatening. It is not a perfect system, but it is the best I can do.
Minimise harm wherever possible is the motto.
  
Do you consider the same motto with similar things such as how many people were likely underpaid to work in poor conditions and handle hazardous material to make the phone and computer you use and what conditions those who harvested the raw materials were working under? Or do you think about what companies made the paper you use and what their practes on harvesting timber are like? Any plastic products you use? Any metal products you use? Harvesting the raw materials for all of those can be and usually are very dangerous process to humans and non humans alike. Mining, oil extraction and refining, and cutting down swathes of trees.

Also that's interesting you should say that because I would never take a drug that people haven't killed hundreds of mice with yet. Do you want LD50 to be established with people when new drugs hit the market or do you want estimates made first? The estimates have to come from somewhere. Not just for that but for many other reasons, I say; Larana, please don't take drugs that haven't been tested on animals.

How can you be fine with all of those but not a non human animal being killed for food or skin?

So allow me to correct yourself - it is your conscience making you do these things. But it seems to me an attempt to put that motto into practice into an area you can when there are so many that you can't. I would argue that there are so many that you can't that the attempt is useless. Let me ask one more thing, how many bugs have you killed simply out of annoyance? I couldn't begin to count.
  
Whenever I kill a bug, I try to do it as quickly as possible, so it doesn't spend much time in pain. If you're going to raise an animal to kill it to feed people, at least be humane about it. I think there should be some sort of equivalent term for animal abuse for livestock- yeah we're going to kill them but at least let them keep some dignity and live happy lives. Don't pack them up against each other in a dark shed.

This is what I think about the animals.

Implementing this would probably make meat more expensive, though...
I don't care enough about this to do something about it in real life, but I'm happy to debate it!
  
I would argue that there are so many that you can't that the attempt is useless.
I don't buy this argument. Just because one can't be perfect doesn't mean one shouldn't aspire to be better. If meat-eating causes harm, then avoiding eating meat clearly isn't useless because it avoids harm.
  
If meat-eating causes harm, then avoiding eating meat clearly isn't useless because it avoids harm.

I'm not sure this is the case. If you don't eat meat, there is potential for someone else to eat meat that didn't have the opportunity before. In smaller stores, meat could be "sold out" with some people who didn't get as much meat as they like. Not eating meat in these situations would just give the meat to someone else.

Avoiding eating meat only prevents meat from being eaten if no one else wants to eat that meat.
  
I would argue that there are so many that you can't that the attempt is useless.
I don't buy this argument. Just because one can't be perfect doesn't mean one shouldn't aspire to be better. If meat-eating causes harm, then avoiding eating meat clearly isn't useless because it avoids harm.
At the expense of consuming protein through other means I.e. plants which require mined (or sometimes in the case of nitrogen rich fertilizers - derived from petroleum) minerals for fertilizers (do you really believe the farm that makes your foods uses compost just) and then as well pesticide spraying (which tend to come from petroleum like most synthetic organic compounds) - neither of which are a big concern to us but are to non human animals and again other humans who have to extract the raw materials and put them through further production - likely harming non humans in the process because do you have any way of figuring out what companies all the materials come from (miracle grow doesn't have their own mine somewhere) and what they do with their waste and does that even cross your mind?

And even if the farm uses just compost then what goes into their compost and what happens to their run off water? Does their farm allow for water containing non human animal excretions to enter streams or other bodies of water that may be used for irrigation (for one example) elsewhere? Microbes can be just as harmful as chemicals.

Be vegetarian if you want. It's better for you than eating primarily meat, that's a given. I just think you're fooling yourself if you think that somehow you're affecting the world less by doing so.
  
I'm often told that meat eating is the result of childhood indoctrination, and that if children were exposed to culling we would stop eating meat en masse. Ironically I think the opposite is true.

People get squeamish about killing rats and mice -- among history's biggest killers -- And if anything the people most divorced from animal husbandry and farming (maybe not vets and pet enthusiasts) are more likely to be vegetarian than people with experience in the field.
  
Forum > Touchy Subjects > Vegetarianism/Veganism