mailing list For webmasters
Welcome Guest
Vegtarianism the case for and against Options
Alias
Posted: Sunday, February 20, 2011 5:30:49 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/12/2010
Posts: 676
Neurons: 1,993
Location: Australia
Due to the interest generated by HWNN1961s post about the cruel treatment of a cat that was "marinated" in a tub in the boot of a car and the subsequent aquittal of the driver from cruelty charges, I decided to start this thread to explore the ideas.

Please have a look at HWNN1961s post "Inscrutable Judicial decisons" before posting in order to advance the debate and not just go over the same ground, thanks.

I have been a vegetarian for large tracts of my life. I was born as the son of a Butcher. I have lived as pure Vegan for several years in the 1980s. I have examined the arguments from many perspectives, dietary, philosophical, ethical, religious and ecoligical. I dont insist anybody agree with me or behave as I do. I am interested in having a discussion, sharing views, information and raising awareness. I would love to read other peoples views here.
ludic
Posted: Sunday, February 20, 2011 6:03:18 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 12/7/2010
Posts: 1,153
Neurons: 3,544
Location: New Delhi, NCT, India
Quoting from my post on HWNN's thread, for reference:

Quote:
non-vegetarianism has a much larger carbon-footprint.

an acre of land can grow X amount of meat or 8-21X times more plant based food. So if you are worried about people starving, and/or the environment there is sound fundamental biological (and physics) reasoning why eating more plant based food uses up less land and energy. Each jump up the food chain there is a huge loss of efficiency (e.g. 21 lbs of plant based protein has to be fed to cattle to produce 1 lb of meat protein, other animals typically consumed are more efficient than beef and settle around 8 to 1 ratio). Can we in the modern world of a serious energy problem afford this 10:1 loss.

To substantiate the argument, some data from the internet:


Ratio of Energy Input to Food-Energy OutputThink

Lamb 57:1
Beef cattle 40:1
Eggs 39:1
Swine 14:1
Dairy (milk) 14:1
Turkey 10:1
Chicken 4:1
d'oh! Speak to the hand

Corn 1:4
Dancing


Land Requirements (square meters per 1,000 calories) Think

Beef, lean cuts - 54.6
Beef, all cuts - 31.2
Chicken, lean cuts - 14.3
Chicken, all cuts - 9.0
Eggs - 6.0
Pork, lean cuts - 17.9
Pork, all cuts - 7.3
d'oh! Speak to the hand




Fruits - 2.3
Grains - 1.1
Oils - 3.2
Pulses - 2.2
Sugar - 0.6
Vegetables - 1.7
Dancing
Ray41
Posted: Sunday, February 20, 2011 6:47:04 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/9/2010
Posts: 1,937
Neurons: 45,980
Location: Orange, New South Wales, Australia
As a farmer I made my living by producing meat and grains for human consumption.
Contrary to popular belief,the majority of farm animals lead a far better life than the wild animals, which are subject to untreated disease, worm infestation, parasites such as lice, ticks, tsetse fly, screw worm fly,etc, not to mention skin complaints such as eczema, dermatitis, scrapie, plus the threat of being torn to pieces by natural predators.
Domesticated animals are watched closely at times of birth and given assistance if needed.
Blowflies which cause so much distress, not only to sheep, but also to the farmer who has to strategically crutch or chemically spray to alleviate suffering and profit loss, are, actually beneficial.
The primary blowfly strike is done by the green variety which came to OZ from Africa. The others were already here, and are an essential part of the environment, as they break down the carcases of dead animals and incorporate the remains into the soil.
To continually crop the land for cereal/grain crops would end up depleting the soil of essential nutrients so farmers use a rotational system of 3 to 4 years of pasture/grazing to 2 years of cropping. Cropping and grazing are complimentary to each other.
Stock sent to abattoirs are done so in the least stressful manner as stress releases natural chemicals in the animal which causes 'tough' meat. Stock are humanly killed,again to prevent stress, and this is strictly regulated.
Wild animals don't have that luxury, they get torn to pieces while still alive. and as they age, they suffer the same problems that we do with teeth, and often starve to death.
I do not agree with some livestock production conditions, particularly intensive housing, over crowding,etc. but a lot of these methods are self defeating as only animals that are well looked after are efficient producers.
As in life we must always strike a balance, and meat provides the 'B group of vitamins' that are often lacking in grain and vegetables. I am not a big meat eater but I do enjoy a nice steak off the BBQ [and a beer of course].
Just thought I would post this for you to chew on ,or ruminate, depending on your diet Whistle
intelfam
Posted: Sunday, February 20, 2011 6:57:47 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 1/18/2010
Posts: 1,190
Neurons: 3,284
Location: United Kingdom
ludic's comment in the other thread giving stats, seems to summarise most of the arguments on a scientific basis.
I am not a vegetarian, but I can't defend myself, because I do feel guilty at times (when I read this sort of thread).
OK I grew up in a home in which we kept chickens and rabbits for food and in which granddad would turn up with a brace of pheasants or a duck for us. I seem to recall that I (as a 0-9 year old) saw his actions as less questionable than the keeping of furry animals and killing them, but never really questioned the eating of meat.
1. May I ask? At one time UK doctors used to say one needed to take a vitamin supplement, one of the Bs I think, if one were vegetarian, is that still the case?
2. Looking at myself, and extrapolating, it seems that one has to have a strong motivation (e.g. disgust or environmental) to switch to 100% vegetarian. I say this because, when my daughter stopped eating meat, we tried to all go with her but found the food to be unsatisfying or strange tasting. With her, she carried on; and I wondered if it were the experience of others, that one needs a driver to get through the initial training of one's taste, digestion and so on? Or have others managed the transition easier than we?
3. Is the myth correct that preparing a tasty vegetarian meal takes more time/money - assuming I am preparing it for a meat eater with meat eater's taste buds?
Epiphileon
Posted: Sunday, February 20, 2011 7:57:16 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/22/2009
Posts: 4,287
Neurons: 166,581
[The following only applies to the position that everyone should be vegans, and that those who choose to not eat meat occupy some sort of moral high ground]

All one needs to do to answer the question of whether people should be omnivores, is go to a mirror and open your mouth. Those are the teeth of an omnivore. Vegetarianism is not natural, and most likely never will be the natural diet of humans. There is of course a vast variance of individual differences in metabolisms, and taste preferences, and there are no doubt people who can live well on nothing but vegetables but, I'll lay you dollars to donut holes that if the entire race became vegetarian overnight that there'd be real trouble in less than two generations. The human body is an incredibly complex machine, probably more complex than we know. Attempting to change a species' diet established over millions of years of evolutionary development, is in my opinion, either ignorant or arrogant.
The whole ecological argument is, in my opinion guilty of some sort of logical fallacy, in that the first cause of all the ecological problems facing the human race is breeding like rabbits, rather than like conscious entities, get that one under control, all other problems immediately fade in significance.
An individuals choice is entirely up to them, if someone is happier eating nothing but plants, wonderful I have no problem with that at all. I will; however, take immediate issue with any kind of moral high ground attitude.
Isaac Samuel
Posted: Sunday, February 20, 2011 8:46:08 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 4/2/2009
Posts: 674
Neurons: 1,222
Location: United States

Epiphileon wrote:

"An individuals choice is entirely up to them, if someone is happier eating nothing but plants, wonderful I have no problem with that at all. I will; however, take immediate issue with any kind of moral high ground attitude."

I wholeheartedly agree and concur with Epi on this.I had witnessed many vegetarians—both natives and converts—keep their noses up in the air and think of themselves as holy cows.

boneyfriend
Posted: Sunday, February 20, 2011 8:51:21 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/3/2009
Posts: 2,625
Neurons: 10,546
Location: Columbia, South Carolina, United States
I am not a vegetarian. I just don't eat a lot of meat. It is expensive and more trouble to prepare than vegetables or fruit. And I am also anemic. I have been anemic since I remember. They wont take my blood at the blood bank. Just recently I have been put on iron pills. I have always thought that the reason I have this anemia is that I don't eat much meat or legumes. I assume you vegetarians eat mucho legumes.
At my primary job in the past, there were two vegetarians. Both would get terribly sick with colds and flu at least once a year and miss as much as two weeks of work. I always attributed that to being a vegetarian. I am one of those lucky people who never gets a cold or if I do, it doesn't bother me. I just never get sick. Am I correct in assuming that vegetarians get sick a lot?
HWNN1961
Posted: Sunday, February 20, 2011 9:12:24 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/13/2010
Posts: 3,494
Neurons: 9,763
As you might imagine, as someone that professes to be an animal lover, the fact that I eat meat leaves me a bit uncomfortable:

Ludic makes a compelling case against meat based on the extravagant use of energy and land to produce it. Also, for the unethical way the food animals are treated.

Ray41 points out the brutal and disease ridden lot in life that wild animals face. I recently watched a documentary and it showed hyenas taking down a zebra. I kept waiting for them to kill it, but they didn't bother. As long as it couldn't get away, they just happily munched away, the (now prostrate) animal in obvious agony. You could actually hear them crunching bone, and the zebra was still alive! Unlike lions, hyenas don't bother to strangle their prey before ringing the dinner bell. brrr....that was just nasty!

I don't point that out to excuse the living conditions of animals on farms, especially those in factory farms. But mainly to put an exclaimation point on what Ray wrote.

It isn't immoral or otherwise wrong for human beings to consume meat. There is growing evidence that we are who and what we are as a species today owing to the fact that in the distant past, our ancestors switched from a diet of vegetation to meat. Our vegetarian distant cousins spent most of their time searching for food, and eating, since their food wasn't nearly as dense in nutrition as meat. It didn't require a great deal of intellect to forage for fruit in the trees. Meat is nutrient rich. It promoted the growth of the human brain. Hunting requires cooperation, planning, and the use of tools. A postive feedback loop took hold: we ate meat, and got smarter, and we used those smarts to become ever more clever. The roots of technology and of society were established. It's no coincidence that the use of hand-axes (used to butcher carcasses) arose around the same time our diet began to change.


Now we have a choice: agriculture and our sophisticated means of logistics makes it possilbe to easily acquire and consume enough of a variety of non-meat food items to be healthy and happy. If you choose to be vegan, I definately respect your choice.

Anyone eating primarily meat will have a cardiologist or oncologist in their future. It's not healthy.

Conclusion to this ramble:

1. Cut back: even if one doesn't want to be a vegetarian, the current average American could stand a drastic reduction in their consumption of meat products. That will help with the land and energy issues. Choosing chicken over beef, will also help.

2. Since one has cut back on the sheer quantity of meat they eat, take advantage of the so-called "green" farming movement. Since you are eating less meat anyway, the higher cost of these products, from animals given free range and using more traditional (and more expensive, farming methods) won't be an issue.

3. Rules on the books for the ethical treatment of animals must be enforced, and any necessary new regulations need to be deveolped.

I guess my goal is to encourage eating drastically less meat, and demand the humane treatment of livestock that are used for meat.




Cat
Posted: Sunday, February 20, 2011 9:15:33 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 4/10/2010
Posts: 967
Neurons: 194,017
Location: Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
I shared this discussion yesterday in the lunch room where I work. The consensus is that everyone should be allowed to eat as they feel fit. I personally believe there is enough dysfunction surrounding food and eating so let's not add more morality to it.

It is true we have teeth to be omnivores. To change our teeth and our body chemistry to survive without meat will take millions of years. In the meantime, it will also affect the balance on our earth. We would be in complete competition with other herbivores for food. Life has and needs balance. If we change that balance there will be consequences, some of which we can't anticipate.

Since animals are in balance with each other as herbivores and carnivores I sense a need for both. Therefore, I conclude being carnivorous is not sinful or wrong.

What seems out of balance, or going out of balance, is human population. So it is good that people are concerned about our ability to feed everyone and looking for options.
abcxyz
Posted: Sunday, February 20, 2011 9:25:50 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 11/13/2009
Posts: 1,056
Neurons: 3,200
Location: India
My being a non-vegetarian is not a noble endeavour to maintain some ecological balance. I eat meat because it tastes good. It's a very selfish reason and I'm ashamed, but I can't help it, fried chicken tastes so good Drool
ellana
Posted: Sunday, February 20, 2011 10:52:40 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 12/19/2010
Posts: 673
Neurons: 127,363
Location: Roquefort, Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur, France
Moderation/balance is the bottom line on eating, vegetarian or omnivore. Perhaps a modest dose of discipline as well to tackle obesity that is a huge health hazard and healthcare guzzler. Population control is at the forefront of the food crisis which is a frightening thought for the not so distant future. Biofuels have to become part of the land use equation as well with increasing tracts of land being used to fill our tanks. There will always be two sides of the philosophy, morality, ethics, etc debate when it comes to feeding ourselves.

Interesting thread. For those of you who read French, have a look at the Courrier International, current edition on all aspects of food production
http://www.courrierinternational.com/magazine/2011/1059-numero-special-100-agricole-un-tour-du-monde-paysan

Courrier International is a Paris-based French weekly newspaper which translates and publishes excerpts of articles from over 900 international newspapers.
B355E
Posted: Sunday, February 20, 2011 11:46:10 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/21/2010
Posts: 355
Neurons: 1,064
Location: Serbia
I am a vegetarian and I feel as if it is something that's grown naturally in me, it wasn't a New Year's resolution or a decision of any kind. I have never eaten mutton, lamb, rabbit, many years ago I stopped eating pork, so it left me with chicken and fish and then a few years ago I stopped eating chicken, as well. While living in Japan, I had an opportunity to visit a restaurant where at entrance you get to choose sea animals they are going to prepare for you - they're alive in a big glass water tank, so at a single moment I stopped eating fish.
When I think about it now becoming a vegetarian came as a result of many unconscious impressions I came by in life. I am an animal lover, active about it, so not eating meat comes naturally. And I get less sick since I don't eat meat, at high school I remember coming down with flu for weeks, now I can't remember having high fever for years.
Anyway, this is how things work for me. I totally respect everyone who's true to themselves - even if duck's their favourite salad, like my Dad... Dancing
Also, I watched "Food Inc" recently, it's a documentary about food production, it is really disturbing, I recommend it.
jcbarros
Posted: Sunday, February 20, 2011 12:30:33 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 5/14/2010
Posts: 2,363
Neurons: 9,377
I´m for veg, but it´s a matter of do or die. For you to live, other (s) must die, animal or vegetal. Such is the curse of our existence and it applies not only to eating.
HWNN1961
Posted: Sunday, February 20, 2011 12:42:49 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/13/2010
Posts: 3,494
Neurons: 9,763
Congratulations to those that posted above regarding the central role of overpopulation. I don't know what the carrying capacity of the planet is, but we've passed it. We are already on borrowed time based on current overpopulation (fishery stocks crashing, desertification from over farming or farming on marginal land). We'd be able to eliminate the land-use worries, and energy worries, if there were just fewer of us. Instead, population continues to grow.
mindmaze
Posted: Sunday, February 20, 2011 2:27:59 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/11/2010
Posts: 100
Neurons: 300
Location: Earth
Yes it is a question of whether or not we humans are over populating this planets ecological balance. Yet who in their community wishes to address the presumed right to breed indiscriminately?

on the other hand, it is not a question of vegetarianism verses omnivorous. It's a question of each person's self-realization what works best for their body and peace of mind. But who can take the time to actually "experience" (let alone appreciate)the food they consume? The world ruled by the dictates of making and spending money as some sort of fast pace race, who has the time to self-examine?

My grandparents were farmers and use to express to use grandchildren, "If a person is cruel to an animal they will not hesitate to be cruel to another person." I do not know if this is an absolute but it does lend insight into a person.

As to whether or not this is an "environmental" issue, well, we have 6 billion plus individuals and we have yet to take an "environmental resource inventory" ----why is this? ----are we living life to fast and haphazardly?

One thing is for sure though, like all other species before us that have gone extinct, so shall we, its just a matter of when and how!
ludic
Posted: Sunday, February 20, 2011 2:39:35 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 12/7/2010
Posts: 1,153
Neurons: 3,544
Location: New Delhi, NCT, India
Isaac Samuel wrote:
I had witnessed many vegetarians—both natives and converts—keep their noses up in the air and think of themselves as holy cows


I was born a vegetarian, but I've had non-vegetarian friends that I've shared the dining table with, without any disgust for their food, or feeling of superiority over them. Those who act supercilious because they are vegetarians need to be disillusioned.

Although, I do like to think to some extent that the simpler your food, the simpler your lifestyle, the more you are closer to being an ascetic, the more closer you come to realisation. This, I know, is a very controversial viewpoint.

But I certainly don't feel any superior to non-vegetarians. I champion the cause of vegetarianism only owing to intense environmental concern, we have to try and adopt any way that can help us use our resources judiciously and help save energy.


boneyfriend wrote:
Am I correct in assuming that vegetarians get sick a lot?


And similar concerns have been raised by intelfam and Ray
If that assumption were true, India would have been a very non-functional country with a majority of vegetarian people. My grandmother lived to the age of 98 (she eschwed onions and garlic too) only suffering in her last days with a fracture in her spine that she got from slipping and falling, until when she used to caper (seriously!) around the country doing tirth-yatra with her friends; and my other granny is fit as a fiddle at 67 now, travelling around alone visiting her children in different parts of the world.


HWNN1961 wrote:
I recently watched a documentary and it showed hyenas taking down a zebra. I kept waiting for them to kill it, but they didn't bother. As long as it couldn't get away, they just happily munched away, the (now prostrate) animal in obvious agony. You could actually hear them crunching bone, and the zebra was still alive! Unlike lions, hyenas don't bother to strangle their prey before ringing the dinner bell. brrr....that was just nasty!


It's all in a day's work in the wild, HWNN. Indeed those animals that fall prey to the predator called humans are luckier, from what I make out from Ray's post.
But it's imperative that we don't go overboard in this rescue mission (if I may call capturing animals in hordes and killing them stresslessly to satiate our meat-hunger) of animals from the wild, because that would be us coming in the nature's way of natural selection of the fittest animals.

[You do believe in Karma, HWNN, right? Such fate was pre-written for the zebra after very meticulous calculations on the ancient rolls listing his deeds].


Cat wrote:
To change our teeth and our body chemistry to survive without meat will take millions of years. In the meantime, it will also affect the balance on our earth. We would be in complete competition with other herbivores for food. Life has and needs balance. If we change that balance there will be consequences, some of which we can't anticipate.


Similar sentiments/ concerns have been raised by some other people here.

It won't take millions of years for humans to adjust to plant-food. Vegetarians do exist, don't they?

I quote Alias from the other thread:

Quote:
Animal protein is completely unnecessary for human consumption. Plant proteins and fermented vegetable products produce higher quality and more digestible protein and vitamins than meat. Biologically Humans are evolved to eat about 10-20% protein in the form of meat...Dental construction and gastro-intestinal design in humans is very similar to Chimps who subsist on a diet of limited animal protein, mostly small animals like reptiles, insects etc. Nuts, seeds, fruit and plants provide most of their dietary needs.


I don't think we need to worry about ecological imbalance. There are many carnivores out there who would be more than happy to step into the shoes of human predators. And it's not like humans are going to give-up meat absolutely.

More concerned we should be about the indiscreet wastage of resources that production of meat entails. The data I posted on my first post is appaling!

The key to a more secure future for our ever growing posterity is moderation.

As HWNN said, there's a dire need of cutting down on meat consumption. I think this ecological balance concern is more of an alibi that non-vegetarians have all agreed upon tacitly to allay any qualms on eating meat.


Ray41 wrote:
To continually crop the land for cereal/grain crops would end up depleting the soil of essential nutrients.


Actually there are many eco-friendly measures that are implemented to prevent this scenario, such as use of biofertilizers, crop-rotation, strip-cropping etc.

Overpopulation is indeed a humungous problem. Now imagine every single new person on this earth using up resources on the scale that a non-vegetarian does!

Overpopulation needs to be controlled, certainly. But till then we can't just sit idle waiting for that miraculous event to happen and keep using available resources brashly.

No-one is being forced, neither can be forced to adopt a different diet from what they've been having ever since they remember. All of us here realise that this decision has to be one's own, motivated strongly by an awareness that will dawn on one like in B355E's case


Everyone, please read this.

HWNN1961
Posted: Sunday, February 20, 2011 7:37:34 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/13/2010
Posts: 3,494
Neurons: 9,763
Perfect timing:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20110220/ts_afp/scienceuspopulationfood


The most telling statement in the article:

"To feed all those mouths, the world will need to produce as much food in the next 40 years as it has in the previous 8,000".
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Sunday, February 20, 2011 7:52:46 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/21/2009
Posts: 43,131
Neurons: 595,654
Location: Helsinki, Southern Finland Province, Finland
Fine article, HW. I was left wondering the picture of Earth's city lights. One can see a ͡-like arc of supposed lights in Northern Scandinavia from Kola Peninsula to the coasts of Norway. There are hardly 100 000 people living in that huge area, no big cities and not all the reindeer over there are Red Nosed Rudolphs. And don't stir the Northern Lights here neither.
d'oh! Think Whistle
ludic
Posted: Sunday, February 20, 2011 10:41:22 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 12/7/2010
Posts: 1,153
Neurons: 3,544
Location: New Delhi, NCT, India
Really hurt me, articles like that... :'(
wercozy
Posted: Monday, February 21, 2011 12:48:21 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/1/2009
Posts: 1,470
Neurons: 3,480
Location: United States
I like the way the Europeans think. Beef just once a month or not at all. Very hard to digest.

I like the way the Japanese think. Eat everything in the ocean, that means sea weed, kelp, fish, eel, octopus, squid... whatever!

I like the way I think. Lamb once a week, chicken once a week, fish once a week. 4 days of the week I nurse my guilt with basically fruit and vegetables with eggs and milk that do not result in the death of an animal.

Here's my thinking: humans have been omnivores for millions of years. We evolved a magnificent brain based on what we ate millions of years ago. We cannot change our diet and bodily requirements without grave consequences. Strict vegetarians (cradle to grave) DO NOT LIVE to be 70. Every centenarian I have met eats meat! Sorry folks!
ludic
Posted: Monday, February 21, 2011 12:59:39 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 12/7/2010
Posts: 1,153
Neurons: 3,544
Location: New Delhi, NCT, India
wercozy wrote:
Strict vegetarians (cradle to grave) DO NOT LIVE to be 70. Every centenarian I have met eats meat! Sorry folks!


It really annoys me when people post their replies without going through previous posts. Not talking

d'oh! Such a forward claim, wercozy! Here I feel the need to reiterate:

My grandmother lived to the age of 98 (she eschwed onions and garlic too) only suffering in her last days with a fracture in her spine that she got from slipping and falling, until when she used to caper (seriously!) around the country doing tirth-yatra with her friends; and my other granny is fit as a fiddle at 67 now, travelling around alone visiting her children in different parts of the world. Whistle

How many vegetarian centenarians could you have possibly met in the predominantly non-vegetarian world, wercozy? Eh?

From the link I provided:

Quote:
Vegetarians live about seven years longer, and vegans (who eat no animal products) about 15 years longer than meat eaters, according to a study from Loma Linda University. These findings are backed up by the China Health Project (the largest population study on diet and health to date), which found that Chinese people who eat the least amount of fat and animal products have the lowest risks of cancer, heart attack and other chronic degenerative diseases. And a British study that tracked 6,000 vegetarians and 5,000 meat eaters for 12 years found that vegetarians were 40 percent less likely to die from cancer during that time and 20 percent less likely to die from other diseases.
wercozy
Posted: Monday, February 21, 2011 1:45:45 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/1/2009
Posts: 1,470
Neurons: 3,480
Location: United States
I don't believe it!
ludic
Posted: Monday, February 21, 2011 4:10:57 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 12/7/2010
Posts: 1,153
Neurons: 3,544
Location: New Delhi, NCT, India
You're funny, wercozy! What do you want me to do? Upload my granny's birth and death certificates? Eh? I would, but I really am not so desperate to do something so unethical for a misguided literalist Brick wall
As for the study by Loma Linda University, you could take up the issue with them. Pray

By the way, did I mention my 88 year old step aunt (my father's step-sister) visited her great-grand-daughter in London last year to see her new born great-great-grandson? She has been a 'cradle to grave' vegetarian too, and has no severe ailments (heart problems and all), she uses false teeth, though. Whistle
pedro
Posted: Monday, February 21, 2011 4:40:47 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 5/21/2009
Posts: 13,057
Neurons: 63,022
Vegtarianism the case for and against

If you live in a relatively prosperous nation you ought to try the Vegan option for a period. You can learn a lot about the food you consume. You have no excuse regarding meeting dietary needs as these are well known (vitamins A,D,K,B12 iodine). You can take supplements (which put me off my trial) and you can embrace new foods (try out various Eastern seaweeds for your soups and casseroles and embrace soya food products such as tofu and fermented products like miso)which can help bridge this gap. I kept up my trial for around a month and learned a lot about food and nutrition, not to mention ethics and global food resources and en route. I eat meat and fish, but a good deal less than I used to and I have broadened my cooking palette (and my eating palate). One thing that Vegans don't always boast about,en passant, is the amount of extra time they spend at each end of the metabolic process.
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Monday, February 21, 2011 5:43:34 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/21/2009
Posts: 43,131
Neurons: 595,654
Location: Helsinki, Southern Finland Province, Finland
I wonder if anyone knows what was Jeanne Calment's diet during her long lifespan.

"Calment's remarkable health presaged her later record. At age 85, she took up fencing, and at 100, she was still riding a bicycle. She was reportedly neither athletic, nor fanatical about her health. Calment lived on her own until shortly before her 110th birthday, when it was decided that she needed to be moved to a nursing home after a cooking accident (she was having complications with sight) started a small fire in her flat. However, Calment was still in good shape, and was able to walk until she fractured her femur during a fall at age 114 years and 11 months, which required surgery. After her operation, Calment needed to use a wheelchair. She weighed 45 kilograms (99 lb) in 1994. Calment became ill with influenza shortly before her 116th birthday. She smoked until the age of 117, only five years before her death. Calment smoked from the age of 21 (1896), though according to an unspecified source, she smoked no more than two cigarettes per day.

She ascribed her longevity and relatively youthful appearance for her age to olive oil, which she said she poured on all her food and rubbed onto her skin, as well as a diet of port wine, and ate nearly one kilo of chocolate every week."


Adriaticus
Posted: Monday, February 21, 2011 5:55:43 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 5/25/2010
Posts: 240
Neurons: 726
Location: Atlantis
I'm not a veg but due to the unlucky fact that all of a sudden I became intolerant to milk,dairy products,eggs and hay, I am now on a diet which is close to that. I still eat meat,although mainly chicken and pork.
I found quite complicate to replace common and cheap foods with decent similar products. In many cases they were tasteless compared to what I have eaten before and anyway most of the times more expensive.
Once you get used, you actually detox from strong and artificial flavors and now I prefered natural foods.
But the road to eliminate meat and milk on a large scale it's hard,imo. There are too many interests and people living on that to do it.
Not counting all the leather products and not directly linked products which actually contain meat animal derived ingredients or components.
In a nutshell, I'm not vegan but I admire those who truly follow this style of life for a lifetime.
intelfam
Posted: Monday, February 21, 2011 6:14:28 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 1/18/2010
Posts: 1,190
Neurons: 3,284
Location: United Kingdom
I was surprised by wercozy's "I don't believe it", that just didn't sound like the normal response. Has there been ID theft?

I am interested by the fact that folk are actually posting articles, research and other verifiable info, to support their view, whatever it is. This is a good discussion. Any more articles etc. please? I can't see me becoming veggie as yet, but I am depressed by the population issue - and I have a young granddaughter who is likely to see 2050 and whatever that may bring.
Ray41
Posted: Monday, February 21, 2011 7:37:52 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/9/2010
Posts: 1,937
Neurons: 45,980
Location: Orange, New South Wales, Australia
We could argue or debate this issue until the cows come home.
Some time ago, in a post, I wrote that the world was like an overstocked farm,but, where as the farmer could purchase more land, we cannot purchase another earth.
Let us go back in time when mankind was still nomadic. The game that was killed had the edible portions consumed,the rest was returned to the soil. Man voided his bodily waste and it returned to the soil.He died, and his remains also returned to the soil. All that was removed was the energy used by man to grow and to hunt. It was a very slow depletion of the earth's resources. It was still a depletion as the energy removed was like petrol consumed by a car, irreplaceable.
Animals made the same impact, even though nothing was wasted, from the calcium derived from decaying bones, to the dung efficiently incorporated into the soil by dung beetles, and then further refined by earthworms.
Fast forward to this period in time and we have an over populated earth which has accelerated this depletion process to an alarming rate. We have exhausted the majority of our phosphate reserves,nitrogenous fertilizers are petroleum based,so are the chemicals we use to repel crop destroying insects such as earth mites,cut worms,locusts,etc.etc.
Scientists are continually breeding higher yielding crops [more fertilizer],disease resistant crops,[the denser the crop the more disease you get,stem rust etc.]
The soil needs to be kept balanced by applications of lime as if the neutral ph level of 7 gets too high, or low, the soil locks up essential trace elements and nothing grows.
There is no such thing as 'sustainable farming' as every crop taken off removes elements that need replacing and these elements are 'finite'.
Yes, we can inoculate legume seeds so that when they germinate, and the plant grows, it has nitrogen producing nodules on it's roots, but legumes require a high ph soil and that requires lime. See where we are going?
If you visit an abattoir you will see no waste. It would astound you to know how much of our every day items are a by product of animals,[medicines, makeup, leather,the list is immense]
We now have a society that takes produce from the farms, eats it, and returns nothing, as our modern sewage systems very effectively treat this rich source of nutrients and then pumps the effluent into the nearest river, or sea. The depletion of our resources is exacerbated by the concentration of huge populations in the cities.
If we use a chicken farm as an example,and try and make it self sufficient,we would be growing our own grain, fertilized by chicken manure and all the processing waste, with the only item leaving the farm being a plucked and dressed chicken. Ah! but every one of these chickens takes with it calcium, phosphates and other elements which need will ultimately need replacing from an outside source. It will not be, as explained at the start of this post, because, man no longer spreads his waste and it is now lost forever.
So whether you choose to be vegetarian or not, it will make no difference to food production, as it is not how much land area it takes to produce meat or grain,but how much the produce depletes the soil.
Just out of curiosity,what do vegetarians feed to their pet dogs or cats??? Our pet dogs are the descendants of those which were domesticated by man, to assist in the hunting of animals.
The world population is going to double over the next 35 years and is heading for a food supply crisis. I don't think changing our eating habits will make a scrap of difference.
My apologies for this has been written way past my bedtime so errors and omissions are highly likely Anxious
mindmaze
Posted: Monday, February 21, 2011 10:19:49 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/11/2010
Posts: 100
Neurons: 300
Location: Earth
You all think food is a deal breaker here on Earth, let us talk about the misuse of water!
ludic
Posted: Tuesday, February 22, 2011 11:50:26 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 12/7/2010
Posts: 1,153
Neurons: 3,544
Location: New Delhi, NCT, India
Pace Ray, your post seems very casuist to me, so much that I can't decide where the points are that are to be replied to.

So now it's qualitative degradation of land resource against quantitative rapacious usage of land?

There's not just leguminous plants that return fertility to soil. As another example, there are also many combinations of micro-organisms with mainstream crops that in symbiosis help in sustainable agriculture . The use of chemical fertilizers and insecticides is fast being replaced. Do read up about it, there's quite a lot to it than is generally known.

When you say the only thing leaving the farm is a hen, well, what is it leaving behind to the farm? Now it will be eaten by humans, and then the process you so well described takes place. All in all, there has been an emigration of resources from the farm in the form of the 'plucked and dressed chicken'.

Therefore, crops and farm animals are on equal standing when it comes to amount of resources used up from a given piece of land. Qualitatively-resource-depleting-equals, because, as you said, what has been consumed by humans will never be returned to the piece of land under consideration. Or, I might go on to say animals deplete more resources, because the grains they consumed to grow to their eatable size could have directly fed many more humans than the final product, the animal, can.

crop = animal + animal waste

you say that animal-waste returns to soil the fertility it was depleted of by the crop. So, animal farming is more judicious.

I say, by sustainable farming, the depletion of fertility can be brought to a minimum, and the produce can all go to hungry stomachs, instead of a small fraction of it in the form of farm animal.

Animals can be bred on a smaller scale to meet the requirements for the animal by-products as well as dairy.

Scientists are not developing higher yielding crops that require more fertilizers and insecticides. On the very contrary, they are using genetic engineering to develop pest-resistant and less fertilizer dependent, yet high-yeilding crops.

Just for your curiosity: I am a vegetarian and I don't have any pet cat or dog. Neither do any of my vegetarian relatives. They're all averse to the idea. In Indian villages, people keep cows or goats at home. But I guess cats and dogs can survive on milk and chapatis or some other alternatives to meat that I am unaware of, then there's dog food etc. available in the markets.

@mindmaze: sure, start a thread!
mindmaze
Posted: Tuesday, February 22, 2011 3:13:54 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/11/2010
Posts: 100
Neurons: 300
Location: Earth
ludic ---Everyone can split-hairs on which is more ecological sound vegan vs omnivore ---- but without potable water their is not going to be very much raising of farm animals and growing consumable plants!

OK, I will start a new thread for this continued discussion! Dancing
Ray41
Posted: Wednesday, February 23, 2011 4:57:27 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/9/2010
Posts: 1,937
Neurons: 45,980
Location: Orange, New South Wales, Australia
Angel ludic,if you knew me then you would never use the word 'casuist'.
To quote you; Do read up about it, there's quite a lot to it than is generally known.

I have been farming from age 17 to when the physical demands forced me to retire at the age of 60, and for the last 10 years I have been playing an active role in farm management. I have seen the whole spectrum of scientific development, and still receive the latest journals on farming and scientific techniques, both the theory and the practical.
I have actually 'done' the practical and the 'theory', not just read about what it might be possible to do.
The soil is not an inert medium, it is a living, breathing microcosm and will not support growth of any kind if continuously worked. It will suffer from structural breakdown and compaction [poor, or nil water penetration, resulting in fast run off and flooding].We can 'tram-line' farm to help alleviate this. We can also use minimum till methods, but, ultimately we kill the natural builders of soil [earthworms],destroy the structure, and the list,from a practical situation, goes on. We need to 'spell' the land, but, we cannot afford to take it out of production as 'the amount of arable land in this world is only a small portion of the land mass'. Therefore, we need to utilise it by grazing which allows the soil to recover it's organic structure, and for the worms,etc. to build up to viable quantities [we can plough the stubble,etc. back in, but this uses up available nitrogen]. There are also greater areas of land which can only be used for grazing[rocky,too steep,climate]
My apologies for making my ironic comparison so subtle. The chicken farm is a comparison as to what humans are doing,except we do not return our 'manure and offal' to fertilize the soil, we either bury our mortal remains too deep or cremate them and we have already determined where our 'manure' goes.
In all the years that I have been farming I have seen many droughts and subsequent crop failures. Also there is no such thing as a 'free lunch', higher yields, by what ever means, require higher inputs.
William Farrer, was the first scientist to breed rust resistant wheat[1901] and Australia has been in the forefront of agricultural research ever since.
The time taken to develop new varieties of seeds to a commercial quantity for distribution is often longer than the disease/pest resistance cycleThink
Chemicals are being used on an increasing scale as weeds and pests build up resistance.
DDT, which was banned decades ago, is still being used in Third World countries as they cannot afford modern [and less harmful/toxic] chemicals.
I am not decrying anybodies right to eat how and what they choose, I am just saying that one form of farming compliments the other, and sustainable cropping is not feasible on a 'stand alone' basis.
I was not being personal re; pets, as that was an open question, I know several Vegetarians who feed their dogs and cats canned meat,or,God forbid,quality meat cuts from the butchers.
Dogs and cats cannot live on milk after they mature, their stomach undergoes changes in the digestive system and most will scour horrifically if forced to,[that comes under Veterinary Science which good farmers also have to be familiar with].
The world contains omnivores, carnivores and herbivores and it functions at it's best with each fulfilling their role in keeping the environment healthy and in balance.
I think we will have to agree to disagree,Angel
blueberry
Posted: Wednesday, February 23, 2011 6:15:03 AM
Rank: Member

Joined: 10/1/2009
Posts: 31
Neurons: 93
Anyone spare a thought about the farmed plants? They are stressed too, not just the animals. Happy vine does not give good grapes. The plants are over-fed, hybridized, genetically improved. They don't taste like the ones when I was little (a while ago). They are not as nutritious as they used to be. The refrigeration kills the last trace of taste and we have to compensate with spices. We eat more, and the throats are more too...
Same about the meat.
Main reason - because we make our decisions based on numbers only. Calories, acres, kilowatts, what you can measure you can control.

Eating is one of the ties with the world. It is meant to be part of a cycle. We broke this cycle.
ludic
Posted: Wednesday, February 23, 2011 7:49:31 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 12/7/2010
Posts: 1,153
Neurons: 3,544
Location: New Delhi, NCT, India
Sorry Ray, maybe because my knowledge on agriculture and farming are limited to senior school level (and a little extra-reading) and you tried to explain the concepts too simplistically, I found them casuistical.

I have not been supporting 100% vegetarianism or veganism, from the start. My contention was omnivorism, with meat kept at a minimum. i know there are quite a lot of Australians and Americans who retch at the mere idea of eating veggies. That is the scene I would want to see changing.

I think many vegetarians could follow sites such as http://www.vegepet.com/ to avoid going against their ethics, and giving their pets meat.
I gave example from personal life to make the point that vegetarian people usually have vegetarian pets. Angel

I completely agree that carnivores, omnivores and herbivores complement each other; only many human omnivores have become strict carnivores. That is what is needed to be changed.
Angel
Users browsing this topic
Guest


Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.