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Why AREN'T you a vegan/vegetarian? - Page 6

Poll Results: Why AREN'T you a vegan/vegetarian?

 
  • 11% (32)
    I believe animals are here to serve us
  • 25% (71)
    I like the way animal products taste way too much to not eat them
  • 0% (1)
    I have never thought about the cruelties of factory farming
  • 7% (20)
    It's all I know. Eating meat was how I was raised. I never considered anything else
  • 51% (145)
    I believe it is the healthiest way for me to eat
  • 0% (1)
    I'm on a fad diet like atkins that condones eating meat
  • 1% (5)
    I think vegans are weirdos and don't want to grouped in with them
  • 3% (9)
    I have never heard a good argument against eating meat, but would change if I did
284 Total Votes  
post #101 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Calm
It is a fact that we do not have the digestive design for meat. All carnivores eat mostly if not all meat, and their colons are short for this purpose. Herbivores have long colons, designed to get the most out of plants and almost all their diet is plants. Just because we can do something, doesn't mean that is what we should do. Our colon is the colon of a herbivore.
I have a friend who eats a lot of meat and enjoys it but doesn't really think it's healthy. I love his analogy. He says he can eat his shirt too. He says he can shred it into bits and chew it and chew it and then it will probably come out the other end. And, hey, it's got fiber too. But just because he CAN eat it, doesn't mean he NEEDS to eat it or that it's even good for him or that he wouldn't be healthy if he didn't eat it. And so on.
post #102 of 198
My reasons:

1.) I tried to change but I get too sick without meat

2.) I am lazy and hate having to buy fresh food when I need it (instead of it being in the pantry already) and it's a pain cutting things up all the time! Yes I am very lazy eh?

I would like to change because of animal abuses but that's not really the answer IMO.
post #103 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meiri
Thank-you Toraji.<snip>There was a really good article about the traditional diet of the Inuit peoples in Discover Magazine a few months back. It is possible to starve to death on a diet of lean meat alone. That surprised me. The human body can only handle a max of 30% protein. It needs fats, carbs, etc to function properly. What keeps the Inuit high meat diet from killing them is the fat content. It was fascinating read, but not a diet I plan to try.
You're welcome.
There was something called "rabbit starvation" when the early pioneers came to America. Rabbits were plentiful but since they are so low in fat, the people would essentially "starve" to death from lack of fat. There are many reports of native tribes who would take just the fat and organ meats from an animal and either leave the rest or give it to their dogs.

ITA with the poster who says that we generally don't respect our meat animals by not eating it the way it was intended. Every time we butcher one of our chickens for meat, we feel humbled, and make damn sure that we use every bit of it we can, eating the nutritious organ meats and boiling the carcass down multiple times for stock.
post #104 of 198
I tried vegitarianism for a while in college but it was too hard to keep up, especially because I'm married to a die hard meat eater.
post #105 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaydeesac
There's an enormous difference between a wild animal who is accidentally killed and a farmed animal who, from birth to death, is kept in conditions that range from merely unpleasant to horrendous.
Yes that is true but to say that no animals die during farming is a falsehood.

How do you feel about free range, cage free, organic animal husbandry? We do our best to only eat animals that have been treated humanely hence we do not eat veal.
post #106 of 198

/

Quote:
Originally Posted by toraji
Whoah! Back the truck up!

Even when I was a vegan, I understood that humans are evolutionarily omnivorous, not strict herbivores. Yes, we are not carnivores. But we lack the digestive system necessary for optimal extraction of nutrients from cellulose (most plant matter fiber) that strict herbivores have. Herbivores usually have enlarged or multi-chambered stomachs, or voluminous colons or cecums, and special fermentation vats heavily colonized by symbiotic, fiber-fermenting bacteria and protozoa (like a rumen). Humans also have a well-developed gall bladder, as compared to herbivores which have little or no gall bladder (which helps digest fats, found more abundantly in animal foods). And what about our special heme iron receptors? And our need for B12, not found in plant foods? Even our closest relatives, chimpanzees and gorillas, are not strict vegetarians. In the wild, they consume insects which would provide protein as well as EFAs and B12. And what about people who have limited ability to convert ALA into DHA, or beta-carotene into vitamin A? We have too many differences from strict herbivores to consider ourselves the same.

We are omnivores. We are designed to eat lots of plant food, and some animal foods as well.
Some research would show you this is behavioral. This is an opinion, not fact.

Please read about B12 here.
http://www.ecologos.org/omni.htm

http://www.beyondveg.com/billings-t/...-anat-1a.shtml




http://www.killian.com/earl/rfv/Life...yOfVegetarians
Quote:
Originally Posted by toraji
That vegetarians live longer than meat eaters is a myth
Well, here's some 'mythological' studies

http://www.ivu.org/oxveg/Talks/veglongevity.html

http://homepages.wmich.edu/~s9wolter/reasons.html

http://www.nutrio.com/servlet/nutrio...cat=4&rec=1259

http://www.netrition.com/cgi/healthn...tentID=1301007


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sustainer
I think plants are just as alive as animals are.
*sigh*
post #107 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by mountain
Some research would show you this is behavioral. This is an opinion, not fact.

Please read about B12 here.
Oh yes, I am quite familiar with Laurie Forti's defensive rantings on vegetarianism. And if you want to eat your own feces to get your b12 requirements, go right ahead. Her writings are generally ill-researched and quick to jump to conclusions. BeyondVeg, on the other hand, is very well researched and all the articles I've seen on their site point to man being omnivorous, and that some humans are better adapted to conserving/recycling b12 than others, but not all. And about using only human feces for b12, Toby Hemenway, who wrote the permaculture book "Gaia's Garden" states:
Quote:
Humanure can't be the only source of fertilizer, the Second Law of Thermodynamics dictates that you'll run out of of nutrients. Plus having humans as the only animal designed into the system is its own form of monocrop, and overlooks many other ways to process nutrients. Stripping animals out of our designed ecosystems seems unwise and certainly unnatural.
from http://www.ibiblio.org/ecolandtech/p.../msg01849.html

The life expectancy link just repeats the Seventh Day Adventist study that was done on only one population, and made assumptions that vegetarians live longer than meat eaters. The number that they quoted (7 years) is in conflict with the most recent studies that showed lacto-ovo vegetarians do not have any survival advantages over people who consumed meat occasionally, and only 2 years longer than people who consumed meat regularly. Conclusion made from the researchers: No survival advantage.
Quote from Vegan MD site:
Quote:
Yes, the vegetarians in the study lived six years longer than the general population, but so did the meat-eaters! Other than their healthy lifestyles, this group of meat-eaters studied ate more fruits and veggies than your typical meat-eater and less meat. Wondering if that's why they weren't seeing a greater vegetarian advantage, the researchers compared the vegetarians to just those that ate meat regularly. And although there was no survival advantage over those that just ate meat a few times a month, vegetarians did seem to live about two years longer than those who ate meat every week. But just two years longer? We deserve better than that! And the vegans in the study did even worse
These links just repeat the old vegetarian "proof" that vegetarians live longer, based on outdated studies. Did you even look at the links I posted to Vegan Outreach and Vegan MD? The latest studies show no survival advantage. Of course, the vegetarian scientists *think* they know why, and their reasoning is lack of b12 and EFA supplementation (since the veg*ns showed a 50% greater risk of dying from degenerative brain diseases). For me though, I gave up on science taking care of all my veg*n nutritional needs. If they were wrong about veg*n health benefits before, what else could they be wrong about? What other essential nutrient will show up lacking?

Bottom line: if veg*nism is so natural, why aren't any native cultures veg*n? Why take all the time and effort to seek out meat? Why put your life at risk hunting animals when it is much easier to pick leaves and berries? You can't convince me to run after a wild animal and kill it unless it benefits me in some way, not because it just "tastes good". Humans are not that stupid.

Some researchers even believe that meat was essential to the evolution of our species and contributed to our large brain size and highly sophisticated social structure: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...92650?v=glance
And people can also argue that our modern problems with degenerative diseases are not because we are eating meat, but because of the poor quality of our general Western diet. Dr. Loren Cordain, professor at Colorado State University, has been doing extensive, peer-reviewed research on the diet of early hunter/gatherers and shows that meat intake does not contribute to these diseases. You can download his studies here: http://www.thepaleodiet.com/articles.htm

So please don't take that snarky tone with me. I believed all that bull pucky about vegetarianism being healthier and more evolutionarily correct for ALL people and my family's health suffered because of it. I repeat again, we are all different, and have different needs. Some people thrive on veg*n diets, some people don't.

And yes, some people do believe that plants deserve as much respect as animals, and they also have every right to live. It is offensive to say the least to be so condescending towards other's beliefs. *sigh*

My apologies to everyone else reading this thread, but I am really offended by what I feel was an attack towards omnivores on a thread specifically asking for omnivorous opinions (the old bait-n-switch). If a moderator feel my post to be out of hand, I will gladly edit it.
post #108 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by mountain
*sigh*
You've inspired me to state it even more plainly. I don't just *think* that plants are just as alive as animals. I *know* that plants are just as alive as animals. Plants ARE just as alive as animals. It is a FACT. They are just two different forms of life. Neither is more alive than the other, or more deserving of/entitled to life than the other, or better than the other.

LOL @ mythological studies
post #109 of 198
What are people who live in areas where it gets too cold to grow vegetable during certain parts of the year? I find that during the winter we eat lots of gourds, kale, apples, broccoli and *more meat* because everything else (that has to be shipped farther distances) is really expensive and not very tasty. I also crave more meat in the winter. I live in Massachusetts, and I think the climate has something to do with that craving.

I wonder what ethical implications people in Mongolia (which is mostly shamanistic and Buddhist) do, when even their livestock die from the cold.

Sure there's canning, pickling, more fermented stuff, but not much in the way of fresh even in New England.

Climate and local food availability don't have much bearing on human diets now, but it seems to me that many humans had to be omnivores in order to survive. Many people still don't have a yearlong source of vegetarian food to survive, be it for economic reasons or availability

I also feel like this thread is feeling a little bait and swtichy too. Many of us who responded stated that we used to be vegetarians and for various reasons found that it was not a way of life or a diet we could or wanted to maintain. Many of the anti meat eating responses are just preaching to the converted and reverted.
post #110 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhonwyn
How do you feel about free range, cage free, organic animal husbandry? We do our best to only eat animals that have been treated humanely hence we do not eat veal.
Well, those are sweet-sounding labels, but not particularly meaningful when it comes to animal welfare (look up analyses of these labels at the Consumers Union website: www.eco-labels.org). The only way to truly, accurately know how the animals are treated is to a) visit the farm yourself or b) rely on a stringent humane husbandry certification program, such as Certified Humane or Free Farmed (in the U.S.). These programs also have shortcomings, and don’t generally apply to transport or slaughter, but are better than nothing. The less pain and suffering inflicted caused to animals the better. If I felt I needed to eat meat, I’d buy in this way.

One other thing about animal deaths as a consequence of non-animal agriculture: Most of the world’s grain (and many other crops) is grown to feed animals that in turn are fed on by us. So meat production in effect, causes a “double whammy” of animal deaths.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhonwyn
How do you feel about free range, cage free, organic animal husbandry? We do our best to only eat animals that have been treated humanely hence we do not eat veal.
I'm not trying to say this rudely, but your highlighting of veal as an inhumane product that you avoid makes me wonder how much you are familiar with other forms of animal agriculture. Veal calves do fare poorly--but so do many other animals! In fact, I'd rank several other conventionally farmed products (dairy--because of the veal connection; and eggs) up there in terms of cruelty alongside of veal.

IMO, the life of a veal calf is not really much worse than that, say, of pigs or a battery chicken (not to mention the cast-off male chicks born into egg production, who are discarded and then usually crushed or suffocated to death). Veal is an obvious target of outrage, but certainly not the only one.
post #111 of 198
Sorry--posting too fast--messed up.
post #112 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sustainer
So it sounds like there are people who think that even painless killing of animals would be wrong, so what I want to know now is, what is it that makes painless killing of animals (for food) wrong, and why dosn't it apply to plants? Let's assume we're talking about hunting wild animals, so we're not talking about the whole captivity/treatment/factory farming issue.
If you can't see qualitative differences between the lives and of animals and the lives of plants, I can't be of much help! :
post #113 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by sleeping queen
Theoretically, how do you know if the animal even feels any pain if the death is so fast?
I'm confused--to whom is this question addressed?
post #114 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parthenia
Many of the anti meat eating responses are just preaching to the converted and reverted.
Examples? It seems to me like most of the anti-meat posts are in reponse to particular questions about the anti-meat view...
post #115 of 198
Here's one:

Quote:
Originally Posted by kaydeesac
There's an enormous difference between a wild animal who is accidentally killed and a farmed animal who, from birth to death, is kept in conditions that range from merely unpleasant to horrendous.
And many small family farms raise their animals in conditions better than what some humans live in.
Wild animals who are killed by other wild animals are often eaten alive. What a terrible way to go. This arguement could go on and on and on....
I was referring also to links on vegetarianism. I would assume that people who were vegetarians for any length of time would be aware of the arguements health, ethical, and otherwise for either side of the grocery aisle.
post #116 of 198
Here is the statement from Organic Valley:

Organic Valley Farmers Go Further

Our Organic Valley dairy and poultry farmers have many stories about building the barn before the house. Care and concern for animals are always a primary concern for organic farmers. Keeping the organic integrity requires healthy, happy animals since the use of antibiotics and other quick fixes are prohibited.

Many Organic Valley farmers prefer to accept less that 50 pounds of milk per day rather than the usual 70 pounds conventional farmers expect. Farmers observe that this practice reduces stress on the animals and increases longevity.
Where as the average rBGH dairy cow lives only 18 months, Organic Valley farmers have cows as old as fifteen years. Our average cow is over five years old.
All Organic Valley animals have access to outdoors including poultry. Cattle pasture whenever possible. Hogs are not confined and bedded on thick straw. Natural sunlight is required in the hen houses.
Organic Valley animals are raised on some of the smallest farms in America! The smallest farming is about 20 cows and our largest dairy farm has about 400 cows and supports three branches of the same family. Appropriate scale is important to our philosophy of animal welfare.
California Organic Valley farmers also carry the Free Farmed seal. These standards are not as strict as organic and do not mean organic, but the seal is a strong message because it focuses only on humane animal treatment. The Free Farmed seal is assurance to the consumer that the worst factory farm practices are prohibited and that the well being of the animals is of primary concern.
Many Organic Valley farmers will admit, one of the reasons they farm is they love animals. From cows and chickens to horses and barn cats, all are considered part of the harmony of sustainable organic farming.
For more information about Humane Animal treatment, read the livestock section of the Organic rule at www.ams.usda.gov/nop or visit www.freefarmed.org or www.hsus.org.

http://www.organicvalley.coop/who/humane.html


We buy eggs and milk from them. I like them because they treat their employees well and they treat their animals well.
post #117 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parthenia
Here's one:



Wild animals who are killed by other wild animals are often eaten alive. What a terrible way to go. This arguement could go on and on and on....
I was referring also to links on vegetarianism. I would assume that people who were vegetarians for any length of time would be aware of the arguements health, ethical, and otherwise for either side of the grocery aisle.
Parthenia--those quote of mine you used was in direct response to Rhonwyn's statement about animals dying during farming, which, to me, seemed to equate accidental with intentional killing of animals. Why does that seem out of line to you? Sorry, I don't get it...

Quote:
And many small family farms raise their animals in conditions better than what some humans live in.
This is arguably true, (although the vast, vast majority of farmed animals do not experience this sort of treatment). But I don't understand what this comparison has to do with the decision to eat or not eat meat. How is bringing in human suffering and squalor--tragic though it is--- relevant?

I don't know that I'd say its necesarily true that all people who are/were vegetarian are well-versed in all the issues. I know many who are familiar with some aspects (say, animal welfare concerns) but not others (issues with supplementation and good nutrition).
post #118 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhonwyn
Here is the statement from Organic Valley:
...

We buy eggs and milk from them. I like them because they treat their employees well and they treat their animals well.
OV sounds like a decent network of farmers. I don't like to rely solely on a company's PR as evidence of truth, whether for animal products or any other products (formula companies make their product sound pretty great, as well). That's why third-party certification programs (or personal investigation) are my preferred method of sussing out the facts.

It's encouraging that some of OV's producers are Free Farmed certified. It would be ideal if they all were, and I hope OV is moving towards that goal. (It would also be better if Free Farmed addressed transport & slaughter, which I don't believe they do at this point.)

I think it is critical that a third party acts as a watchdog, esp. when organic standards really don't do not go sufficiently far in addressing animal welfare in (See the animal husbandry section of the actual USDA organic standards at: http://www.ams.usda.gov/nop/NOP/stan...odHandReg.html)
post #119 of 198
Quote:
Where as the average rBGH dairy cow lives only 18 months
That's frightening!

I am not a vegetarian or vegan because I believe a little meat is good for me.

But the bigger reason is because it would be very difficult to convert in this highly meat-oriented society. It takes organization and work. And dh would not support a change to vegetarianism.
post #120 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaydeesac
If you can't see qualitative differences between the lives and of animals and the lives of plants, I can't be of much help! :
I never said that there are no differences between plants and animals. I said that they are two different kinds of living things and I asked why it's okay to kill one but not the other.
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