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Please don't debate, I don't want my thread to get locked. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/loveeyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Loveeyes">:<br><br>
Right now I am for the most part TF. My DH hunts and we have a freezer full of deer, elk, and grouse. I will admit that I have chicken bought from the grocery store because my kids like chicken and I can't afford organic. From a very very young age I would tell my mom that I wanted to be a vegetarian. My dad was an avid hunter so they would not allow me to not eat meat. I would sit at the table until I ate my meat. I have seen plenty of hunting shows on TV and I have seen the animal after DH brings it home to cut it up, and my heart just hurts. I don't like the killing. I stopped eating meat a few years back but I consumed LOTS of dairy and my body does not like dairy so now I eat meat, but no dairy. I have suggested that I may become a vegetarian to DH and he gets very upset and angry about it because of the whole "if people didn't kill the deer, they would starve to death in the winter because of the overpopulation of deer and not enough food". I do like that my we eat natural meat (no antibiotics, etc) but I just hate the whole idea behind harvesting the meat.<br><br>
Sorry if this is mumbled, but I just don't know what to do. I know nobody in my family (dh, parents, in laws) would be supportive of a vegetarian diet.<br><br>
Does anyone else eat meat but feel horrible about it?
 

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I know what you mean. It's easy to go down that path of feeling guilty. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
The thing that solved it for me is giving thanks and treating food with respect. Making sure that the animal was treated with respect all its life is a big part of it.
 

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I'm sure this will sound as garbled as you feel like your post is, but, yes, I struggle tremendously with ethical and emotional issues around eating meat. I was a vegetarian for a decade before I became pregnant with dd and my health was--and still is--a mess becauase of it. That, for me, is the deal breaker for my vegetarianism: my body isn't healthy when I don't eat meat. That tells me something important, about what I should do and what is right. It's not good to me or my kids or anyone else around me if my physical and mental health is poor. In a way, I feel sort of like it's a responsibility to eat meat.<br><br>
However, I take that responsibility pretty seriously, and I appreciate that TF helps me do that. Things like chosing ethically raised animals. Being grateful for their sacrifice. Making bone broths and eating organ meats means that I am using as much of the animal as possible and not wasting. When I'm not pregnant, I used TF principles to include vegetarian meals in our weekly menu; I find that if I'm eating only whole foods, soaking beans and grains, eating plenty of fat, and combining raw and cooked foods I get alot more mileage out of vegetarian eating than the SAD veggie diet I used to eat. That way it's more possible for me to eat the meat I need and get enough nutrients from vegetarian foods that I don't have to eat meat every day.
 

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I felt like this at one time. I was a vegetarian turned NT just recently. I too felt really bad about an animal dying to feed me. BUT, while being veg my body was just not getting what it needed, no matter what I was doing. I dont do anything half-way, I jump in full gusto and do it 100%. There was just something missing for MY body that vegetarianism wasnt giving me. After feeling like I was getting worse and worse, I decided to give eating meat a try again. I did feel guilty, I did feel sad. But, I noticed that my body started feeling better. I was lacking something I wasnt able to get while eating veg. I had to put my mind at ease and do what I have to to be healthy not only for myself, but for my family too.<br><br>
In the end you have to do what is right for YOU. Dont let anyone make you feel bad for your choice. If being veg makes you feel better-then do that. If eating NT makes your body healthy, then do that.<br><br>
Hang in there mama!
 

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ITA with other posters. I was veg*n for 17 years, although many staunch veg*ns would disagree with me on that because I struggled at times and gave in to eating meat once in a while. It was really hard for me, doing something that felt wrong to me, but sometimes I just couldn't turn down the meat - my body needed it.<br><br>
Last winter I was six months into eating vegan, and my body was majorly jacked up because of it - my immune system was depleted, I was getting weird rashes and cold after cold after flu after cold, and my PMS symptoms were completely out of whack. I started to introduce eggs and dairy, but felt terrible about it. After reading <a href="http://chetday.com/vegandietdangers.htm" target="_blank">this article</a> and Nourishing Traditions, I felt differently and started adding in some meat. Then I read The Omnivore's Dilemma and Full Moon Feast, and I was converted. FMF did a beautiful job (IMO) of addressing the ethical and emotional issues of vegetarianism from her own experience.<br><br>
For myself, I'm really coming face-to-face with the fact that death is a natural and inevitable part of life, and that death of animals sustains and nourishes other animals. A death that occurs with consciousness and respect, on a family farm after the animal has had some quality of life, is very different in my view from a CAFO death.<br><br>
All that said, some people do seem to do just fine on a vegetarian diet, others don't. Like SparkleMama said, figure out what works best for you and do it. I can imagine it would be hard without family support, but not impossible. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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I was raised the same as you, but I have always eaten meat and felt pretty good about it. I feel comfortable with my place in the cycle of life and I feel more connected to the earth when I'm eating meat that I took responsibility for.<br><br>
Personally, I think our culture really tries to downplay and hide death a lot - it's like the elephant in the room in a sense, we know it's there but nobody wants to talk about it or acknowledge it. But death is one of those inevitable things, for us as well as animals. Seeing animal death and taking responsibility for it isn't pleasant, but it can make you more appreciative of the life you have. Also, death is not the worst thing that can happen. As your DH points out, starving (for a wild animal) is arguably less pleasant than death. A skilled human hunter with a gun is a much, much better way for an animal's life to end, from a pain-minimizing perspective, than any other way. Hit by a car, hunted by a wolf pack, a slow death by starvation, a lingering injury from a fight... I've actually seen animals attacked by wolves and it is *horrible*.<br><br>
Death is ALWAYS necessary for life. Plants need the rotted remains of other plants and animals to grow. All animals need the proceeds of some death - either plant or animal - to live. It's ok to feel sad about it, and there's nothing wrong with feeling sorry for the deer your DH brings home, but it's a bit delusory to think that by being vegetarian you won't be causing or profiting from any more death. Countless rodents, insects and birds are killed with every crop harvest, countless more insects by insecticides (yes, even organic ones - think of the billions and billions of hapless aphids, munched to death unfeelingly by the hordes of ladybugs loosed on the land by organic farmers), countless more birds by starvation from lack of insects or inability to forage thanks to chemical or physical deterrents on farms, countless mice and rabbits hunted by dogs and cats or shot by farmers. You could live on plankton and you would still be guilty of condemning some whale who needed that plankton to malnutrition, if not outright death.<br><br>
Someone else suggested reading Full Moon Feast and I wholeheartedly concur. It is a wonderful, peaceful, nourishing book, and it may help you feel better.<br><br>
I hope you can find some peace in yourself. It is a difficult path, this being human, and the balance between empathy and necessity is a hard one at times. Only you can know where you belong in that balance. Good luck.
 

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I have been vegetarian when ethically raised and slaughtered meat was unavailable. Somewhere along the way I came to realize the only way I could truly feel good about eating meat is if I had raised and killed it myself, or knew the person who did. Somehow I feel if I am unable to look an animal in the eyes and do what needs to be done to sustain myself I don't deserve to eat meat. It does bring up the discussion of how our society views death (in as sorry shape as the way it views birth) and pain and responsibility. It was truly challenging for me and is not an option for everyone but I feel like I gained an understanding of my place in the food chain and what is involved/goes into my plate that enables me to eat meat with a clean conscience (as long as it was raised and killed cleanly/ethically-and what is more ethical than a free wild animal with a fighting chance?). For me the key was appreciation of the individual I was consuming.
 

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why eat it? there are a few threads around here about vegetarian TFers. DH and i are looking into TF but my family will not be eating meat.
 

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I eat mostly vegetarian, with eggs and some dairy, but I try to really listen to my body. When my body craves meat, I might get some locally caught fish or shrimp. My brother-in-law occasionally gifts us with some ground deer meat from the one deer he shoots each year (with a bow and arrow), and I keep that in the freezer for when I feel like I need it, too, though sometimes half a year will go by before that time comes.<br><br>
I think it's natural for us to kind of play a loop of sad or disturbing images in our mind: what an animal is thinking or feeling at the time of death, what this animal meant to other animals, who this animal was as a spirit, etc.<br>
When I can come to terms with those images and ideas, I can eat meat, and when I can't, I don't. But I think it's good to wrestle with those questions, and I think it keeps us really part of the circle of life and death and survival and struggle that kind of underlies Pollan's and Kingsolver's and others' work on being an omnivore.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>HoneyTree</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9845744"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
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I think it's natural for us to kind of play a loop of sad or disturbing images in our mind: what an animal is thinking or feeling at the time of death</div>
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I was once knocked unconscious in an accident. I didn't know anything about it when it happened or anything while I was out of it. The first I became aware of the accident was waking on the ground and wondering why this strange and panicked man was shouting "how many fingers, how many fingers?" in my face. I think a humane animal death is the same - the animal isn't thinking or feeling anything about death - it doesn't even know it's been hit. Thinking about it that way helps me stop those kinds of images that can make you a bit crazy.
 

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I became a vegetarian at 14, so I didn't fully research the idea. However when my daughter was little, I wanted to make the best decision for our family. I didn't want to raise her a vegetarian out of this "ooooh, those poor baby animalz!" and end up with a child who has health problem. So I read mercola and Weston Price AND Dr. Fuhrman and the China study. There is some interesting information in the NT standpoint, but I ended up deciding to go vegan and now DH is a lacto-ovo vegetarian. I don't think either side has flawless research or arguments, but some of the arguments I saw on mercola seemed a bit off and unfounded.<br><br>
I think the death for the animal is probably the most humane part of the whole thing. I especially feel for dairy cattle. At least beef cows get time with their offspring, time to be in the fields. Dairy is easy to refute. We lose lactase enzymes when we wean. I actually think eating meat and not dairy makes more sense than being a lacto vegetarian<br><br>
I think that eating meat was something that historically got us to the level we are at now, but I think we no longer need it. We used to get B12 from eating foods that weren't fully clean and that's the only nutrient you don't get in a vegan diet. And being vegan doesn't mean you have to only eat soy. I don't use soy too often, though I'm still back and forth on whether soy is good or bad (or more likely somewhere in the middle).<br><br>
If you want to research plant-based diets more, check out the physician's committee for responsible medicine (pcrm).
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Deir</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9879162"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Wow- I think if we were actually hunting our food, I'd feel so much less guilt.</div>
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DH became a vegetarian after visiting a slaughter facility just because he hates the way it is done. However, he sometimes says that he would eat meat if he hunted it himself. At least when animals are hunted, they get to live a free natural life. I think many people feel the opposite because they hate to see what they are doing and want to be separated from their food, ie buy frozen chicken nuggets that don't in the least bit resemble a chicken. I just skimmed it, but I know <span style="text-decoration:underline;">The Omnivore's Dilemma</span> brings up this issue, that people generally can't look an animal in the eyes and kill it. They either don't look or become a vegetarian.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>haleyelianasmom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9879534"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">DH became a vegetarian after visiting a slaughter facility just because he hates the way it is done. However, he sometimes says that he would eat meat if he hunted it himself. At least when animals are hunted, they get to live a free natural life. I think many people feel the opposite because they hate to see what they are doing and want to be separated from their food, ie buy frozen chicken nuggets that don't in the least bit resemble a chicken. I just skimmed it, but I know <span style="text-decoration:underline;">The Omnivore's Dilemma</span> brings up this issue, that people generally can't look an animal in the eyes and kill it. They either don't look or become a vegetarian.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">: i was discussing this very thing with my little sister as she was eating a whole fried tilapia. she kept getting looks and comments from people "i'm a fisherman and i can't even eat a fish whole like that! i always cut off the head" everyone was so shocked because my sister is this tiny 14 year old. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> so i said to her "Martha i think it's funny that you can eat a whole dead animal and not freak" and she goes "fish aren't animals, they're sea vegetables" <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/biglaugh.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="laugh">: ok, sorry but it cracked me up. she wasn't entirely serious but i know she doesn't view fish as animals the way a cow is an animal. she went on to say "there is no way i could eat a cow or chicken or pig whole. i couldn't look at it dead or watch it dieing" interesting... i couldn't either which was why we went veg in the first place. then we got sick (junk food vegetarians <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> and decided to actually do more health research. that made us even more committed to being vegetarian. however we agree with a lot of the TF philosophy and would like to get more involved with it. but i won't eat meat. you really can have your cake and eat it too, OP. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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Haileyelianasmom, I totally agree that Mercola is off his rocker a lot. Plus, the whole point of the site is to sell you stuff, so he usually inflates the importance of actual studies and twists them to show that you "NEED" some supplement. I'm not a fan. That having been said, he does get some stuff right now and then. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug"> I don't think you can discount the information there completely, but there are definitely better sources.<br><br>
I think the whole factory farming industry is a complete tragedy. Not just for the animals, although when I think about the billions of lives lived in pain and ended coldly and mechanically, it makes me feel kind of ill - but also because it's made pretty much the whole of western civilization equate rearing animals for food with suffering and death. Part of the whole point of traditional foods, for me, is that rearing animals for food does not need to be a source of suffering in the world, and that factory farming isn't the only way or even the best way to do it. Factory farming as a concept is just not a valid argument for avoidance of meat, unless the only meat available IS factory farmed.<br><br>
In the past, on more traditional farms, death was the smallest part of it, the natural end of a partnership, a symbiotic relationship. Farmers provide protection, food, and frankly EXISTENCE for their animals; their lives were essentially courtesy of the farmer, they lived for the most part comfortably, were treated with respect and lived their lives without much stress and suffering and were generally killed quickly and without fuss. Moreover, children were not raised to be "sheltered" from the realities of eating as they are today, nor were they inundated with the anthropomorphic view of animals as portrayed by Disney et. al., and as such were not traumatized in the least by the idea that an animal died for their roast chicken or mutton chops.<br><br>
The thing is, when most of your exposure to animals is through childrens' entertainment, OF COURSE you are going to identify with them far too much to enjoy eating them, because that's your reality - talking, cute animals that have very human emotions. It's hard for a person to conceive of a cow that really just wants to eat grass, have babies, wander around and moo when the only cow you've really experienced is Ferdinand. Likewise, when the only deer you have personal experience with is Bambi and his poor illegally poached mommy, venison doesn't sound so good either.<br><br>
I'm rambling a bit. But my point is that a lot of vegetarianism is a product of our culture - both the part that hides animals away in feedlots and tortures them until they're almost ready to be sick, then lines them up and lets them watch one another be killed, and the part that turns animals into furry humans and puts them on TV for our children to soak in. Neither of these treatments does animals any justice, and our increasing urbanization means that generally, we have a major lack of familiarity with actual real animals.<br><br>
I don't know if this is making sense, exactly... but I think, given the lack of higher reasoning and intellectual pursuits in most domesticated animals, their needs are simply to exist, to procreate, and to live comfortably. They can do none of these, really, without human involvement and stewardship, and by eating the animals, we can afford to host more of them, increasing their numbers and their success as a species - a drive we all, as mothers, understand!<br><br>
Suffering should NEVER have been a part of what we know as animal husbandry. Factory farming is so far removed from what farming should be, I just don't think it should be part of a discussion on the ethics of meat eating. It's a large, nasty red herring and frankly I get really angry when people bring it up as a reason not to eat meat. It's like giving the MIC toy recalls for lead as a reason for not letting your children play with toys.<br><br>
I hope this makes sense - I'm trying to write it while I'm being pestered by my toddler and asked to find the babies in all my breastfeeding books. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: So I apologize if any of this is too garbled or inadvertently offensive. If it is, I probably didn't mean it.<br><br>
ETA: I forgot what I was actually responding to. My brain is SO not firing on all cylinders today.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I just skimmed it, but I know <span style="text-decoration:underline;">The Omnivore's Dilemma</span> brings up this issue, that people generally can't look an animal in the eyes and kill it. They either don't look or become a vegetarian.</td>
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I'm sorry, but this just isn't true. I was raised in a hunting-fishing-gathering-gardening family, and I've always known where food comes from, and I have no problem looking an animal in the eye and then killing it, nor, I think, do most ethical farmers. It is not the most pleasant part of a day, to be sure, but it is not the soul-destroying act that people who were NOT raised in close proximity to the reality of their meat like to think. I am, by most accounts, a reasonably concientious, compassionate, caring individual with no psychopathic tendencies (you'll just have to believe me on that one) and I have been called upon to dispatch friends' chickens and have done so with no moral quibbles and no more trauma than a mild disturbance at the lingering burnt-feather smell from singeing off the pinfeathers. I have looked rabbits in the eye and shot them, admired moose and yet rejoiced when my father's gun felled them, and met pigs and felt little remorse eating their bacon later. Am I some sort of monster? I don't think so. I abhor cruelty to animals, I cringe - and intervene, if I don't have DD with me - when I see someone doing something like beating their dog for a lack of obedience. I can't stand to hear babies cry, or see puppies left alone, or even see the sad little betta fish in those nasty tiny tanks at the pet store. Cruelty IS a very different thing than ending a life - I have seen both, and the quick end to an animal's life is NOT traumatic. The two concepts are not inextricably linked, death is not the same as suffering.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I'm sorry, but this just isn't true.</td>
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it is for a lot of people.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>spughy</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9887749"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">The thing is, when most of your exposure to animals is through childrens' entertainment, OF COURSE you are going to identify with them far too much to enjoy eating them, because that's your reality - talking, cute animals that have very human emotions. It's hard for a person to conceive of a cow that really just wants to eat grass, have babies, wander around and moo when the only cow you've really experienced is Ferdinand. Likewise, when the only deer you have personal experience with is Bambi and his poor illegally poached mommy, venison doesn't sound so good either.</div>
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Sarah, you make some excellent points; great food for thought (no pun intended). What you said about children's entertainment got me thinking... maybe the reason my kids don't want to eat their vegetables is because of VEGGIE TALES! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
Seriously though, I grew up on a farm surrounded by other farms and lots of relatives who were lots of different types of farmers. I loved animals, but I just don't understand or relate to people who are veg*n for ethical reasons (i.e., because eating meat is cruel to animals). I don't say that to be argumentative or to offend anyone...I'm saying I honestly just don't get it, just can't relate to the mindset. And I'm sure it's because of growing up surrounded by the farming lifestyle. I just don't think it's much different, from an ethical standpoint, to eat a chicken or cow versus eating a carrot or a potato. Why do veg*n's draw the line at animals? Why is it okay to eat veggies but not animals? Who's not to say that a carrot doesn't have feelings, too?<br><br>
Sorry, I'm up too late and I'm saying things I'll probably regret in the morning. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">: Not intended at all to start an argument but just feeling silly. I got started thinking about the animated vegetables in Veggie Tales and went off on a tangent. Sarah, it's all your fault!<br><br>
Iris
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>magstphil</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9887923"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">it is for a lot of people.</div>
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Maybe it depends on the person's level of attachment to the animal? I know the farmers where we get our raw milk were saying they have to butcher a cow soon, and they usually butcher their own animals themselves but this time they're having someone else do it, because they (and their kids) all got more attached to this particular cow for some reason. So it would be too hard emotionally this time.<br><br>
Iris
 

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Just want to weigh in here . . .<br>
I am struggling with this myself. I have been eating in a more TF way . . . And I just got a great source for local meat, so my freezer is full. But I am struggling with not eating it 3x a day! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
I think Beans and Rice are still totally hot! A lot of what I've learned from TF and NT are compatible with a beans & rice diet . . . To me, fermentation, etc have been really good and I can do that and still have some vegetarian meals. Plus fruits & veggies are so important.<br><br>
In today's polluted world, meat contains dioxin. We can't ignore that either. So IMO, integrating more vegetarian meals into your diet is never too harmful. The only soy product I eat is Tempeh though, I have given up soy . . .
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>WildIris</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9887968"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Maybe it depends on the person's level of attachment to the animal? I know the farmers where we get our raw milk were saying they have to butcher a cow soon, and they usually butcher their own animals themselves but this time they're having someone else do it, because they (and their kids) all got more attached to this particular cow for some reason. So it would be too hard emotionally this time.<br><br>
Iris</div>
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i agree with you here. but also that are living breathing intelligent beings. like pigs having the IQ of a small human child. there could be a lot of factors. i do know people who could kill a cow and eat it no problem but then i know those who can't even stand do see a dog leashed. depends on the person.
 
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