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Old 03-23-2010, 06:05 AM
 
Location: North Texas
23,980 posts, read 32,725,867 times
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I do not like to think too much about where my meat comes from, but I still eat it. I do not think that vegetarianism is absurd; I think it is overall a healthier way to eat if done properly, and I also agree with vegetarians that westerners eat too much meat and that our meat consumption habits have a negative effect on the environment and our health. I tend to follow more of a "flexitarian" diet; I will cook meatless entrees a few days a week for lunch or dinner and my breakfasts almost never have meat in them. I also eat fish more than meat; I rarely eat red meat and try to keep my meat servings small. But I still do eat meat and I see nothing overall ethically wrong with it. That does not mean I am crazy about our farming practices either.

It's a tough one.

 
Old 03-23-2010, 06:18 AM
 
9,856 posts, read 13,403,111 times
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I personally see vegetarians who don't eat meat because they dislike killing animals as hypocritical. Do vegetarians not use other animal products (NO leather, glue, gelatin, capsules used in medicinal pills). Also - modern farming kills tens of thousands of small animals per year (rabbits, groundhogs, etc.), so a vegetarian who eats anything produced using modern farming techniques is still contributing to the death of animals.

Biologically, we are also not designed to solely be herbavores. For example, our stomach's production of hydrochloric acid is something not found in herbivores...
 
Old 03-23-2010, 07:54 AM
 
2,143 posts, read 7,188,763 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hnsq View Post
I personally see vegetarians who don't eat meat because they dislike killing animals as hypocritical. Do vegetarians not use other animal products (NO leather, glue, gelatin, capsules used in medicinal pills). .
I try not to use animal products. I try to avoid leather, I avoid gelatin.

It's not just the killing of animals. It's the way they are kept alive and then killed. It's the cruelty of feedlots and factory farming.

I don't like animals dieing at my hand, but I do think if you want to eat meat, hunting is a much more humane way of getting it.

We all make our own ethical decisions.
 
Old 03-23-2010, 08:23 AM
 
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from what i've read over 20 years of vegetarianism, the absolute least harm food production method would involve raising animals for meat. however, it would be on small farms, using a method sometimes referred to as "grass farming", where each animal and plant has a role in some other facet of the farm's existence. this method is discussed at great length in michael pollan's "the omnivore's dilemma".

personally, i don't think i'll ever eat meat again (or wear leather, or consume anything with gelatin in it, etc). but if we could get to a point where meat and dairy come from small, local, sustainable farms, i'd be ok with that. the thing is, that mode of production would not support the current demand for those products in the u.s. not only would people in this country have to greatly change their expectations of what meat and dairy should cost, they'd also have to consume less of those things (therefore end up spending the same amount of money on food - good old invisibile hand of the free market!). i think that would be a good thing too.

my issue, and i think the issue of many vegetarians and vegans, is with factory farms and their devastating effect on the environment and human rights as well as animal welfare more than anything.

as for the damage and animal deaths caused by produce farming - i try to buy as much local, organic produce as possible. in the summer, my husband and i are getting closer and closer to growing all the vegetables we eat. there are factory farms for produce too, and i do my best to avoid them.

as for what we're "designed" to be - i don't think it matters. there was a thread on this board not long ago claiming people were "designed" to be herbivores, and i argued the same thing there. you can find just as many arguments out there that we are naturally herbivores because of our tooth shape, the length of our digestive tract, etc. and if you're going to argue about what's natural, drinking milk after infancy and drinking the milk of another species is about as unnatural as you can get.

i don't care how we're classified (and i do believe that we are omnivores) - it's a fact (supported by the ada) that human beings can thrive on a vegetarian or vegan diet and that's all that matters. i think a diet incorporating meat and dairy in moderation can be healthy too, but health is not my main concern.
 
Old 03-23-2010, 08:30 AM
 
Location: Texas
43,475 posts, read 52,497,423 times
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I think people's dietary preferences are their business. Making fun of them is pointless.

However, I don't see why a puma has any more right to eat an antelope than I do.

Torturing animals by stuffing them together in crowded places and forcefeeding them, etc, is inhumane.

But as to the fear and pain, I assume some gazelle on the plains of Africa is just as terrified when that pack of lionesses stalks him and then brings him down, sometimes starting to eat him while he's still alive.

I will continue to eat animals not because I think I am better than them and deserve control over their fate; rather, it is because I feel we are all the same. Right now, I just have better tools. Out on the frozen tundra of the north pole, I assume a polar bear would have the upper hand.
 
Old 03-23-2010, 08:32 AM
 
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so you think there's no ethical difference between yourself and a lion or a polar bear?

lions and polar bears are carnivores (unlike humans who are, as i mentioned earlier, omnivores), and they also don't have the ability to make ethical decisions. humans do. so comparing their meat eating to ours doesn't really make much sense.
 
Old 03-23-2010, 08:32 AM
 
5,019 posts, read 12,726,490 times
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Just a reminder folks:

Members -- Please Read!

Quote:
Everyone is welcome to post here, but if you are a non-vegan/vegetarian please do not post merely to criticize or mock the food choices of the posters who are.
If you want to debate vegetarianism, please start a thread in the Great Debates forum.
 
Old 03-23-2010, 08:36 AM
 
Location: Texas
43,475 posts, read 52,497,423 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by groar View Post
so you think there's no ethical difference between yourself and a lion or a polar bear?

lions and polar bears are carnivores (unlike humans who are, as i mentioned earlier, omnivores), and they also don't have the ability to make ethical decisions. humans do. so comparing their meat eating to ours doesn't really make much sense.
Bears in general are omnivores.

And no...when it comes to food choices, I am not sure where ethics even comes in. It's about nature. Since the beginning of time, animals have eaten each other. Humans have eaten animals. Animals have eaten humans.
 
Old 03-23-2010, 08:41 AM
 
7,422 posts, read 13,689,032 times
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oh, you're right about bears, sorry about that.

sex is about nature too. so i assume you think it's ok to pick out a woman who seems like a good genetic match, grab her and mate with her? that's what a lion would do.

is it also ok to abandon smaller, weaker children? or eat them? that's nature too. animals do that.

why does ethics enter into those things, but not into what we eat? in fact it does enter into what we eat, even among meat eaters, because we don't generally eat our pets or our offspring.

one of the major things that distinguishes humans from animals is our ability to make moral choices (along with our use of tools, although there are some animals who do that). yours might be different than mine, and that's fine, but they're still choices.
 
Old 03-23-2010, 08:46 AM
 
7,422 posts, read 13,689,032 times
Reputation: 4944
oh and on top of all that, NO animal besides humans builds giant buildings to warehouse other animals for their consumption. and as i mentioned earlier no other animals drinks milk after infancy, let alone the milk of another species.

arguments about nature just don't cut it for people who live a normal life in modern society. if you're out there hunting animals with your bare hands as your sole source of meat, maybe then you can talk about nature overriding ethics.
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