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Why are you a vegan or vegetarian?

vegan vegetarian

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#1 notadoctor

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 05:45 PM

I personally am a meat eater, and eat a lot of it. I just read a chapter from "The Omnivore's Dilemma" by Michael Pollan that talks about veganism and vegetarianism. He explains the Vegan and Vegetarian sides in depth, then shows how their arguments do not work out in the real world.

I will quote one paragraph that was particularly interesting, but there was much more to his opposition to it than this.

"The farmer would point out to the vegan that even she has a "serious clash of interests" with other animals. The grain that the vegan eats is harvested with a combine that shreds field mice, while the farmer's tractor wheel crushes woodchucks in their burrows and his pesticides drop songbirds from the sky; after harvest whatever animals that would eat our crops we exterminate. Killing animals is probably unavoidable no matter what we choose to eat. If America was suddenly to adopt a strictly vegetarian diet, it isn't all clear that the total number of animals killed each year would necessarily decline, since to feed everyone animal pasture and rangeland would have to give way to more intensely cultivated row crops. If our goal is to kill as few animals as possible people should probably try to eat the largest possible animal that can live on the least cultivated land: grass-finished steaks for everyone."

Like I said before that is a lot more against veganism, but how can you truly believe that you are doing animals justice by avoiding meat? I can see how you think that factory farms are cruel, then just don't get your meat from them. Even animals in the wild kill other animals in a cruel fashion, it is how our world works. Prey animals need predators to keep their population in check. That is also why humans need to hunt. If humans did not hunt, the deer population would get out of control, as it already is in many places, and the deer use up their resources and destroy the ecosystem.

So seriously, how can you be a vegan or vegetarian for animal rights? I am not saying this to be a smartass, I really want to know why you eat the way you do.

#2 liveyourlife

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 06:31 PM

The way animals are tortured and killed is really not something that appeals to me. Sure, animals are killed no matter what, but not born and bred to suffer and eventually die, usually a painful death. As I read somewhere (in someone's signature) 30% of all animals killed for food are still up and making noises...or something like that tongue.gif

#3 Cyph31

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 06:31 PM

i see eating animals as survival of the fittest

we are the superior species so we get to eat what we wish such as some cultures eating cats/dogs

in some alternate existence where the roles were reversed the animals wouldn't care about eating us because they would be the superior ones to us

i may sound like a heartless bastard but i believe that's how it works

i have seen the videos of animal treatment in large industrial-like farms and the treatment before and during slaughter and i suppose it could be labelled as "cruel"

but guess what ? how are you going to feed the ravenous masses of billions ? by giving each animal its own proper feed and room to run around ? we have filled this planet to the point of bursting so we have to be more "efficient" at delivering basic food groups, even if those practices are questionable they seem necessary now

it is a pity that the bleeding heart animal rights activists can't show the same support to the atrocious human rights violations going on in many nations around the world, thousands of human beings slaughtered and starved daily

#4 Kodi

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 06:41 PM

I used to be vegetarian because the taste of meat/fish never appealed to me, but I learned to tolerate the food because I found that it benefited me more when I am eating meat than when I was not eating meat. Some may view this as another holistic diet fad, but it is said that only people with type A blood can really rake in advantages from being a vegetarian.

#5 AutonomousOne1980

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 06:54 PM

most of those animals are raised in horrid conditions people are meat eaters so its ok but what is not ok is that these animals live unhealthy lives being caged up and never see the light of day or run around freely.

#6 Guest_vegmom02_*

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 08:42 PM

I am vegan, but I do eat fresh fish 1x every other week, so what does that make me? eusa_eh.gif Anyway, I don't eat meat, dairy or eggs because they upset my stomach eusa_sick.gif and cause my Irritable Bowel Syndrome to flair up. Also, I had a severe dairy allergy as a kid and am now lactose intollerant. On the rare ocassions that I prepare meat in my home for a holiday and guests, I always buy Kosher because I like the way it tastes (I will eat one teeny tiny piece, just to taste it, but not enough to make me sick) and it is supposed to be the best. While I know that animals are killed in cruel ways, my reason for not eating animal products is strictly medical/physical.

#7 notadoctor

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 08:53 PM

That is why I said, that factory farms are terrible, but you don't have to get your meat there. You can get your meat from people that raise their animals as humanely as possible, and kill them fast and clean. I know, because I usually do at farmer's markets or family friends that are farmers. Even Whole Foods has decent standards for its meat.

BTW, animals are born and bred to be killed. The only reason that cows and chickens exist, is because they adapted to being raised by humans. It is symbiotic, they get to pass on their genes, and we get to eat their meat and eggs, and milk. Their wild counterparts don't exist. They EVOLVED as a species to be born to be killed by humans. Even some humans evolved to fit this symbiosis (evolving lactose tolerance) Even in the wild, all animals get eaten by some other organism in the end.

I am against animal cruelty, and factory farms and their cruel practices, but not eating meat is worse for animals in general, than being a vegetarian.

If anyone is interested in how Americans get their food, and many other things about the American food system, I highly recommend the book "The Omnivore's Dilemma" by Michael Pollan. It is not at all boring, and very educational.

If you for some reason or another, cannot digest meat, or it causes you problems, that makes sense to me, but I can not understand the rational behind avoiding meat for animal rights.

#8 blackbirdbeatle

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 11:26 PM

my dad was a vegetarian because his doctor told him to do it. It didn't go well and he added fish. It still didn't go that well and he added poultry. Now he is healthy. He doesn't eat red meat but i'm damn sure that the red meat he buys for the rest of us would not do him any harm in moderation. We get grass fed free range cattle from my aunt. We know exactly how they are raised. We also get farm fresh eggs that are actually farm fresh because my parents live in a rural area. If you go to the farms the chickens are actually running around the farmyards. We used to chase them around when we were little, but not the roosters.

My best friend is also a vegetarian. Well, he doesn't eat red meat or poultry but he does eat fish. Mainly fish we catch.

I tried going vegetarian but I started to lose my hair and couldn't put on weight as easily. And I got all the vitamins from meat from other sources at the time as well. Good sources too, not multi's.

I know there are alternatives to eating meat but it's really hard and expensive for someone like me that uses so many calories and needs to keep up thier muscle mass for thier hobbies and work. I get my meat from ethical sources and there is no evidence that a moderate, grass fed, free range meat fed diet is worse than a veg one. Plus the meat I get is from the source so it's cheaper than the worst quality walmart meat.

#9 Apple_Blossem

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Posted 02 May 2007 - 02:00 PM

I'm almost a vegan. We cannnot stop the world from being what it is - we kill trillions of bacteria every time we take a shower and wash ourselves.

However, although we cant prevent the suffering and death of living things in the world, there are many of us (vegetarians and vegans) who choose not to take part in it.

I'm sure there are many meat-eaters who -for personal reasons- choose not to eat a cat, dog or live baby monkey which is served in many restaurants when visiting Asia. Some meat eaters are repulsed at the African practice of "Cat-In-A-Bag" - putting the cat in a bag and beating it until it doesnt struggle and then putting it in your pot with salt and pepper. Or hanging a half-tame dog by its neck by a rope on your porch and beating it senseless for dinner (My African roommates told me that this is a common practice).

Although you cant stop all suffering, some of us choose not be active participants.

#10 blackbirdbeatle

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Posted 02 May 2007 - 05:34 PM

You can humanely raise and kill animals for food. If you don't believe this then you don't know what suffering means.

#11 SoCold

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Posted 02 May 2007 - 05:42 PM

QUOTE(blackbirdbeatle @ May 2 2007, 06:34 PM) View Post
You can humanely raise and kill animals for food. If you don't believe this then you don't know what suffering means.


Completeley irrelivant, because animals ARE being raised unhumanely.

click me

(by the way, thats just ONE site, out of literally hundreds i have come across doing research on this topic)

oh, and im a meat eater, but im prepared to argue both ways fyi

#12 jenn221

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Posted 02 May 2007 - 05:45 PM

QUOTE(vegmom02 @ May 1 2007, 09:42 PM) View Post
I am vegan, but I do eat fresh fish 1x every other week, so what does that make me? eusa_eh.gif Anyway, I don't eat meat, dairy or eggs because they upset my stomach eusa_sick.gif and cause my Irritable Bowel Syndrome to flair up. Also, I had a severe dairy allergy as a kid and am now lactose intollerant. On the rare ocassions that I prepare meat in my home for a holiday and guests, I always buy Kosher because I like the way it tastes (I will eat one teeny tiny piece, just to taste it, but not enough to make me sick) and it is supposed to be the best. While I know that animals are killed in cruel ways, my reason for not eating animal products is strictly medical/physical.



"Pescatarian" is the correct term, I believe, for someone who doesn't eat any meat except for fish.

#13 BigBeauty

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Posted 02 May 2007 - 06:21 PM

Yes, I understand that there are animals that are raised inhumanely. However, if you truly are concerned for their well-being and suffering I think there are probably more effective means than just avoiding meat. The reality is that there always are going to be a majority of people who are going to eat meat regardless if you don't. Hence, doesn't it make more sense to focus on putting an end to factory farming and inhumane practices through political action, etc.?

If you would otherwise like to eat meat, you probably would send just as a strong if not stronger market message by consuming grass-fed and organic meat certified by the American Humane Society for example. Also there are probably a lot of meat eaters ignorant of the degree of animal cruelty who probably would gladly switch to these humane meats than switch to all out veganism.

I just think that avoiding meat is sort of a half-assed solution, it has great intentions, but there are probably more significant actions that you could take if your motives are out of concern for the animals.

#14 notadoctor

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Posted 02 May 2007 - 07:02 PM

QUOTE(BigBeauty @ May 2 2007, 07:21 PM) View Post
Yes, I understand that there are animals that are raised inhumanely. However, if you truly are concerned for their well-being and suffering I think there are probably more effective means than just avoiding meat. The reality is that there always are going to be a majority of people who are going to eat meat regardless if you don't. Hence, doesn't it make more sense to focus on putting an end to factory farming and inhumane practices through political action, etc.?

If you would otherwise like to eat meat, you probably would send just as a strong if not stronger market message by consuming grass-fed and organic meat certified by the American Humane Society for example. Also there are probably a lot of meat eaters ignorant of the degree of animal cruelty who probably would gladly switch to these humane meats than switch to all out veganism.

I just think that avoiding meat is sort of a half-assed solution, it has great intentions, but there are probably more significant actions that you could take if your motives are out of concern for the animals.


I completely agree. Strange that no real vegans are posting on this thread.

#15 blackbirdbeatle

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Posted 02 May 2007 - 08:16 PM

QUOTE(SoCold @ May 2 2007, 05:42 PM) View Post
QUOTE(blackbirdbeatle @ May 2 2007, 06:34 PM) View Post
You can humanely raise and kill animals for food. If you don't believe this then you don't know what suffering means.


Completeley irrelivant, because animals ARE being raised unhumanely.

click me

(by the way, thats just ONE site, out of literally hundreds i have come across doing research on this topic)

oh, and im a meat eater, but im prepared to argue both ways fyi


Great logic. Kind of like not having kids because some parent abuse them. So please tell me how is this irrelevant?



#16 David A

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Posted 02 May 2007 - 08:43 PM

I don't eat meat because I choose not to.

Just like you eat meat because you choose to

#17 notadoctor

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 07:17 AM

QUOTE(David A @ May 2 2007, 09:43 PM) View Post
I don't eat meat because I choose not to.

Just like you eat meat because you choose to


I think everybody understood this. Why would you post this?

The question is WHY!?

#18 Lucky Charms

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 07:29 AM

QUOTE(notadoctor @ May 3 2007, 09:17 AM) View Post
QUOTE(David A @ May 2 2007, 09:43 PM) View Post
I don't eat meat because I choose not to.

Just like you eat meat because you choose to


I think everybody understood this. Why would you post this?

The question is WHY!?



We eat plenty of meat and fish in our house for lots of reasons but mostly for health issues. I have Type 1 Diabetes and meat does not raise my blood sugar and provides my aging body with the protein, iron, and calories that it needs. My daughter has celiac disease and has such a limited diet anyways that I can't imagine taking her much loved meat away.

#19 Necromancer

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 08:06 AM

Vegetarians are the most misinformed group when it comes to acne. They think they are doing good by not eating meat and eating basically bread, fruits, and vegetables all day. They are in fact only making their skin worse. You can usually tell who is vegetarian and who isn't in the general population. They usually consist of:

-Thin, slender body types
-Pale, unhealthy looking skin (not acne related)
-Thin hair
-Look sick
-Weak since they have a hard time building any muscle mass
-Weak nails

Overall, I think vegetarians (unless it is health required) are insane and really need to do some research. If it is based on religion, then that is a whole different topic. Case closed.

ninja.gif

#20 Apple_Blossem

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 08:49 AM

The majority of omnivores are easily identified in American society. They tend to consist of:


- Pudgy, overweight, fat, or obese body types (after the age of 25)
- Base their diet on fries, donuts, white bread & pastas, candy, junk food and, of course, meat as the other half of their meal.
- "Aged" skin: enlarged pores, dehydrated skin from a diet of alcohol on weekends, breathing second-hand smoke at bars and picking up McDonalds and Burger King meals several times a week (they wont set any health boundary for themselves).
- Might have muscle mass, but it is hidden underneat their fat.
- Have some of the worst cases of cystic acne (they really dont care what they're eating) (the opposite of being too picky).
- After 50, 60% have some form of colon cancer from overeating processed meat
- 80% tend to die from preventable diseases such as heart disease or Type II diabetes
- Claim they've never had a salad OR only eat salad or veggies on special occasions.
- Best of all: Stereotype themselves by their own ignorance: Insist that without meat, they will die of malnutrition within a few months or live sickly lives.

Overall, I think meat-eaters are lazy and really need to do some research. Case closed. smile.gif