• Benj96
    1.6k
    I think the main issue is protein. I get most of my protein from goat whey and peanut powder. I don't have any interest in the taste of meat.frank

    It does seem to be a key issue yes. Now the following line of thinking is not intended as a personal attack, I admire the fact that you don't contribute to overconsumption of meat, but may I point out a thing:

    You get your whey protein from milk (from female goats right/ the same in the case of cows or whichever animals whey is available) So buying whey increases the demand for female animals. What happens to all the male ones that are inadvertently born in the process of trying to breed females for milk?

    Peanuts though are rich in protein and fat and also improve the soil where they are grown and are seen as very sustainable.

    It seems there is no perfect solution to avoiding animal products and the by-products of those demands while maintaining adequate protein nutrition and vitamin intake. At least not on a global scale. At an individual level its definitely possible to minimise dependence but if everyone adapts a vegan policy the issues become apparent as they compound on themselves. Vegetarianism seems to be the closest thing to satisfying the issues that arise in a world where either of the two extremes predominate - purely carnivores or purely vegans.
  • god must be atheist
    5.1k
    purely carnivores or purely vegans.Benj96
    I'm surely purely both. I eat both meat and vegetables.

    I sympathise with the sentiments of vegans re: killing and torturing animals is very sad and vile. I compensate by noth thinking about that.

    Killing a live thing by a human is hard for that human. For most of us, anyway. We're all different.

    Plus you can get used to killing, if you do it often enough, so that you don't develop guilt or remorse. One way to do it is to be born sadistic to the max or else to be born a psychopath, with no empathy for pathological reasons. But those conditions are rare, although we read about their acts every second day in the papers. The reason we read about them is that we don't readt about the half-billion (or so) other Americas who don't do that. "Mr. John Tavernicky did not kill anyone today" would make a poor headline.

    Prehistoric people have made it a habit to pray or do something spiritual after a successful kill of a large mammal. They were not able to just kill and eat it. The trend continues. We, today's people, can eat it, if we don't have to kill it first.

    But once in a while a vegan rears its ugly head (figure of speech - they are not ugly) and instills in us a sense of guilt.

    This is a strange and difficult world we live in.
  • schopenhauer1
    7.8k
    This is a strange and difficult world we live in.god must be atheist

    We are self aware and so we can’t escape that aspect of our nature. Hence objectifying highly sentient animals is a way we cope with the situation. This goes for any lifestyle- hunting or farming. However, with farming comes factory farming and now you have a whole other level of animal misery that you have to simply try to ignore.
  • frank
    11.9k
    You get your whey protein from milk (from female goats right/ the same in the case of cows or whichever animals whey is available) So buying whey increases the demand for female animals. What happens to all the male ones that are inadvertently born in the process of trying to breed females for milk?Benj96

    Yes, I'm aware of the problem. It's just hard to get enough digestible protein from plants.
  • Vera Mont
    872
    On that note regarding the strict control of genetic diversity of poultry (or any domestic animal for that matter) as you described, this doesn't fare well against transmissible infections (bird flu for example)Benj96

    Hence the routine addition of antibiotics to their feed. Also growth hormone for a faster profit. I'm not going to research it now (got to get back to my own work sometime soon) but I've read that the incidence of hormone-related abnormalities, such as gynecomastia, early onset puberty and of course, the ubiquitous specter of obesity.

    If they are identical clones then they will likely be equally vulnerable to a fatal disease.Benj96

    They're not exactly that, but they are bred for specialty traits: lean ham, more milk, big brisket, tender white breast... They're commodities, not animals. They are commercial items, subject to product-design, product-modification, according to the demands of the market.

    Luckily by downsizing the average distance between potentially infectious animals as well as their general well being /resilience is increased inadvertently which works in our favour to prevent the spread of animal born infections.Benj96

    Small, family-run, free-range farms. Apparently, the UK is moving in the right direction (Be aware, that's a PDF with lots of graphics.) Nothing like that can happen in the Republican-ridden US, where agri-business has serious political clout and zero scruples.

    I think the main issue is protein. I get most of my protein from goat whey and peanut powder. I don't have any interest in the taste of meat.frank
    After a period of abstinence, it becomes repugnant. Our initial decision to do without meat was due to the hypocrisy factor: if we're not willing to kill it, we should not eat it. The transition was easier than we expected; the aesthetics of food preparation are much improved.
  • Benj96
    1.6k
    Yes, I'm aware of the problem. It's just hard to get enough digestible protein from plants.frank

    It is indeed. We can only try our best. But personally I think that's enough. The question that really remains is are we "all" really trying our best? Do we each have the insights/wisdom and right intention available to us to do so? And if not who is to elucidate that for us with a measured and open minded approach to establishing what the facts really are? To lay all the options out for us to choose from.

    In essence who's beliefs ought we to also believe? Who appreciates the true gravity of the situation and who wants to help resolve it not just for themselves but for others too? I think people with those characteristics are worthy of seeking out and hearing their say on such core matters. Afterall that is leadership quality is it not?
  • Benj96
    1.6k
    . The reason we read about them is that we don't readt about the half-billion (or so) other Americas who don't do that. "Mr. John Tavernicky did not kill anyone today" would make a poor headline.god must be atheist

    Yes I agree, what the majority does is not as high impacting news. Because its already expected. News is new. So the takeaway is both good and bad. That a). Most of us do what is appropriate/expected/prudent and good/acceptable to do however b). This leaves us with an obsession/fixation on what we don't understand, the things people do that seem unjust, illogical or bad.

    The trend continues. We, today's people, can eat it, if we don't have to kill it first.

    But once in a while a vegan rears its ugly head (figure of speech - they are not ugly) and instills in us a sense of guilt.

    This is a strange and difficult world we live in.
    god must be atheist

    The trend does continue indeed. You're absolutely right. I suspect that is because it is proving exceedingly difficult to totally alienate ourselves from the behaviour/characteristic of other animals. And we are not sure of ethically we should alienate ourselves in the first place.

    In essence we see ourselves in them. Which is a beautiful thing, we have empathy for them (animals). But it constantly fuels that dilemma that as you said vegans highlight so often, a source of guilt and shame for destroying something we empathise with.

    The world is indeed strange. But it is natural. We must grip onto and really appreciate what it means to be a natural thing - a carnivore, an omnivore, a herbivore. And question what we have the power to do realistically as natural things. We need to eat. And our body has demands of us that influence our cravings for certain food sources. There must be a way to be at peace, to settle the debts we have, with what we came from - nature.
  • Benj96
    1.6k
    Nothing like that can happen in the Republican-ridden US, where agri-business has serious political clout and zero scruples.Vera Mont

    True I think their treatment of agriculture merely reflects the intense capitalism ingrained in US society. The "American dream" has become an exemplar for taking shortcuts to increase a profit margin, at least without fully considering the consequences of such actions, and at most with direct conscious ignorance of known/predicted complications/poor outcomes.

    They're not exactly that, but they are bred for specialty traits: lean ham, more milk, big brisket, tender white breast... They're commodities, not animals. They are commercial items, subject to product-design, product-modification, according to the demands of the market.Vera Mont

    Well it may not be a case of genetic identicality (cloning) but knowing that certain genes or groups of genes promote certain phenotypic expressions (more milk, bigger brisket etc as you pointed out) it seems they are not as genetically diverse as say two chickens where one is small and lean but resilient to certain diseases because of that very reason (because their small size is protective - say to viruses that are "myotropic" - as in they target chickens with large muscle mass and minimal fat reserves) as oppose to one where muscle mass is disproportionate with what their immune system can adequately protect.

    So genetic diversity is directly proportionate with the holistic appearance, the final result, the chicken that is the sum of said genes.

    So I still think that genetic diversity (resilience) at the expense of uniformity (commodification) needs to be implored if we are to move away from hormone injections and antibiotics and better the health of the people that consume them.
  • Vera Mont
    872
    In essence who's beliefs ought we to also believe?Benj96

    You could go with theirs...National Center for Biotechnology Information
    The use of indexing systems, estimating the overall diet quality based on different aspects of healthful dietary models (be it the US Dietary Guidelines for Americans or the compliance to the Mediterranean Diet) indicated consistently the vegan diet as the most healthy one.
  • Benj96
    1.6k
    You could go with theirs...National Center for Biotechnology Information
    The use of indexing systems, estimating the overall diet quality based on different aspects of healthful dietary models (be it the US Dietary Guidelines for Americans or the compliance to the Mediterranean Diet) indicated consistently the vegan diet as the most healthy one.
    Vera Mont

    Thanks Vera I'll have a look into it. My question for you in the meantime would be "Is veganism healthy only when a portion of humanity adopt it or would it also be the healthiest option if everyone adopted it globally? (considering the existence of those with intolerances/food allergies, illnesses, gastrointestinal diseases, muscle wasting disease or in a protein malnourished state, those who cannot monetarily afford vegan alternatives, those that simply don't have vegan products available in abundance in their local supermarkets or those advocating against plant monoculture to maintain plant diversity?)

    Perhaps veganism is not the perfect fit for all currently. Individual needs considered - medical or otherwise.
  • Vera Mont
    872
    Thanks Vera I'll have a look into it. My question for you in the meantime would be "Is veganism healthy only when a portion of humanity adopt it or would it also be the healthiest option if everyone adopted it globally?Benj96

    The study only covered personal physical health, not any social factors. We already know, from earlier studies on agriculture, land and energy use, how much healthier a world we would have without the huge and growing meat industry.

    (considering the existence of those with intolerances/food allergies, illnesses, gastrointestinal diseases, illnesses, gastrointestinal diseases, muscle wasting disease or in a protein malnourished state,Benj96

    All of those conditions can be readily addressed within the limits of a meat-free diet.

    those who cannot monetarily afford vegan alternatives, those that simply don't have vegan products available in abundance in their local supermarketsBenj96

    They can phase out the most expensive meats first and increase their intake of the cheapest vegetables. Meanwhile, the whole system of food-production and distribution can be gradually altered toward efficiency, ease of access and improved nutrition. Nobody needs to go pure vegan to be healthy or to reduce their share of the devastation of Earth. But everybody can do something better than they have been.
    Nothing is carved in stone. Supermarkets are not mandated in the Ten Commandments and all those half-empty shopping malls could easily convert to hydroponic gardens. There are quite a few urban community projects already underway.

    Perhaps veganism is not the perfect fit for all currently. Individual needs considered - medical or otherwise.Benj96

    Of course! Especially the 'otherwise'. In many countries, people already have less meat in their diets, simply because they are poor, or it's not available. But all countries have some growing land, and their capabilities can be improved with irrigation and smart farming practice. For those people, continuing and improving an omnivorous diet would be economically more feasible, and family or village farms with mixed production would be the best solution for their circumstances. However, it's the rich industrial nations that consume - and waste - a very large, overweight lion's share of all the food and other resources of the world. A change in the eating habits of North America could save South America from total destruction.
  • frank
    11.9k
    I think people with those characteristics are worthy of seeking out and hearing their say on such core matters. Afterall that is leadership quality is it not?Benj96

    I don't know. I'm more interested in health than veganism, which doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the health of humans or of the world.

    In the US, we need a government agency to start reorganizing the way we approach food. What we have is the result of industries that have profits on their minds instead of health.
  • javi2541997
    2.8k
    I don't know. I'm more interested in health than veganism, which doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the health of humans or of the world.

    In the US, we need a government agency to start reorganizing the way we approach food. What we have is the result of industries that have profits on their minds instead of health.
    frank

    :up: :sparkle:

    Now that the deficit of supplies is approaching, the government finally will make more reasonable decisions in order to consume food. We have wasted tons of aliments for decades and the water is getting scarce more than ever.
    What makes me mad is that all the governments in the world are taking too late these solutions.
  • Benj96
    1.6k
    I don't know. I'm more interested in health than veganism, which doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the health of humans or of the world.frank

    I get you. You need to focus on your own health it's important. For me I think health is a collective matter because others unhealthy/ unsanitary decisions impact us. That's why public health and food hygiene regulation is such an important department in the health institutions of countries.

    Take washing hands for example. Simple. Trivial. Doesn't seem like it is anyone elses business whether one washes their hands or how they do it or for how long.

    But improper washing of your hands is a surefire way to spread bacterial and viral infections to others even if those don't necessarily make us sick ourselves. The same goes with sneezing and coughing, second hand cigarette smoke, how we dispose of waste, what we consume/ buy and therefore what economic pressures we exert on capitalism and what shortcuts we accept or don't - pollution of the air we breathe, the health and wholesomeness of the food we eat, what synthetic chemicals and preservatives we ingest etc.

    This is about social etiquette and consideration for others health being equivalent/necessary to considering our own personal health and that of our family. We cannot be perfectly healthy in isolation when we live in society. It's as simple as that. It's just the same as a cell in your body. If a cell decides to do whatever it wants and not cooperate or obey healthy regulation like other cells (in other words if it becomes self serving and cancerous) it effects the whole system. Its toxic to the body as a whole.

    If everyone around you is ill or has a weakened immune system that leaves you vulnerable to disease as they no longer offer a protective barrier between the source of the disease and your body.
  • Benj96
    1.6k
    But everybody can do something better than they have been.
    Nothing is carved in stone. Supermarkets are not mandated in the Ten Commandments and all those half-empty shopping malls could easily convert to hydroponic gardens. There are quite a few urban community projects already underway.
    Vera Mont

    Absolutely. You have quite a knack for problem resolution out of curiosity are you/were you in a management position in your career?

    All the things you outlined seem very doable. I also agree that the level of food wastage is bizarre in the first world on a familial level and on a business one. Not only is it a waste of finances for individual families, but it artificially bolsters demand that isnt actually there and so makes the price of food more expensive. I can personally attest to that fact as whenever I am home there's a good deal of gone off/out of date food in our fridge (maybe 15-20%). And having worked in a huge supermarket chain the amount of perishables we dispose of at the end of a working day wasn't great. It wasn't too bad but it could have been better.
  • frank
    11.9k
    What makes me mad is that all the governments in the world are taking too late these solutions.javi2541997

    There's a lot of corruption.
  • Benj96
    1.6k
    There's a lot of corruption.frank

    There is Frank. Indeed. I think we can just as easily substitute the word corruption for "intense self interest/selfishness" but who's exactly?

    I think part of the problem is that at a macroscopic scale (human systems/institutions) it appears impossible to point a finger at any one individual as the source of corruption. Especially when everyone is pointing fingers at everyone else simultaneously based on conflicts of interest.

    It seems then that these systems are supposedly "blameless" and thus beyond anyone's individual attempt to resolve it. That is the culture at least. But it leads to stagnancy. An equal and opposite position cancels one another out and nothing comes of it - all the while the issues compound on one another; climate change, poverty, racism, energy crises, war - a world in division. "us" and "them".

    But what we do know better than anyone else is ourselves. And we can discuss our views and bounce lines of reasoning off one another (as philosophers do). If we can somehow identify our own personal deceptions and misplaced beliefs and improve on them then the corruptions beyond ourselves become increasingly obvious.

    We cannot force anyone to change, to impose on their beliefs as that would be aggressive and hostile in their view. What we can do however is lead by example. And direct people to the rigorous/thorough, well thought out and articulated conclusions we can come to through applying logic and thinking carefully. If it appeals to them and they understand it we will likely not be seen as an enemy or in conflict with them.

    Good quality change never comes from rigid ideation and brute force. It comes from wisdom and patience.
  • Vera Mont
    872
    Absolutely. You have quite a knack for problem resolution out of curiosity are you/were you in a management position in your career?Benj96

    No, but I've done a bit of student counseling in a multicultural city. Anyway, this aspect of the situation has been exercising my mind for many years. I rather like animals, and disapprove of cruelty for any reason. And it's so obviously avoidable! I did a bit more recent research for a novel.
  • god must be atheist
    5.1k
    I wonder if the OP was titled properly. It started with the ethics of eating animals. I think it is more like (on one hand) about the pity we feel for animals. Pity and ethics are not equivalent. The other angle is practicality: healthier, cheaper, more abundant.

    I have yet to see one ethical problem raised (other than what's mistaken for pity and empathy) about eating animals.
  • Benj96
    1.6k
    I have yet to see one ethical problem raised (other than what's mistaken for pity and empathy) about eating animals.god must be atheist

    They've been outlined several times throughout the thread but I'll condense them here for you:

    Pros/considerations FOR eating meat/animal products:

    Good source of high density protein, good source of fats and vitamin B12, complete amino acid profile, creates JOBS (Farmers, vets, abbatoires etc) , tastes good (subjective basis/personal opinion), diversifies cuisine, keeps you satiated for longer - less likely to overeat carbs instead which may lead to obesity and insulin resistance, meets the higher demand for protein in diseases aftering the gastrointestinal tract, in those with intolerances and allergies to alternatives (soy, peanuts etc), is cheap, competitive and widely available. Can be sourced locally almost everywhere. Leather is a biodegradable alternative to plastics. Medicine requires animal transplants - porcine heart valves for example.

    Cons/considerations AGAINST meat/animal products;

    Demands a lot of space - destruction of wilderness, displaces wildlife, high C02 emissions through the raising, processing, packaging (plastic) and transport (fossil fuels/often exported overseas) of meat products. Overeating meat leads to health effects - heart disease, colon cancer, etc and limits the consumption of adequate vegetables and fruit (stomach is only so big), low in vitamin C, high intensity farming leads to vulnerability to more infectious zoonotic diseases (covid, bird flu, swine flu etc), and of course the objectification/ commodification of animals often leads to feelings of guilt and shame if someone feels that other animaks are conscious and able to experience pain and suffering.
  • Vera Mont
    872
    I have yet to see one ethical problem raisedgod must be atheist

    It depends on the moral code you follow, which rests on some founding principle.
    If it's one of those whose founding principle is: "Pain bad; pleasure good", then its first moral tenet would logically be "Avoid causing pain."
    If it's one whose founding principle is that actions rebound on the actor, either by the mechanism of "What you do to others, you do also to your own soul" or of "Whatever you do will determine your next incarnation", then the first rule is likely to be "Do to others as you would be done to".
    Both of those moral positions are consistent with mercy on all feeling entities.
    The sophistry of some philosophies and religions get around that by designating the vast majority of living as things.
    In my code, that's labelling for one's own convenience and is morally unacceptable.
  • god must be atheist
    5.1k
    It depends on the moral code you follow, which rests on some founding principle.
    If it's one of those whose founding principle is: "Pain bad; pleasure good", then its first moral tenet would logically be "Avoid causing pain."
    Vera Mont

    Yes, you are right. Each to his own ethics, that's perfectly true.

    In my value system this topic you discuss belongs under the heading "empathy" and "pity", not under ethics. Ethics in my book, interestingly, is "sacrifice given by the self to promote others who will propagate the dna derivatives of the sacrifice giver."
  • Vera Mont
    872
    Ethics in my book, interestingly, is "sacrifice given by the self to promote others who will propagate the dna derivatives of the sacrifice giver."god must be atheist

    So the founding principle of that system would be "The only good is survival of one's own kind" or "The ultimate good is survival of one's own genetic lineage".
    In the former case, all moral precepts would serve the welfare of the tribe - OT style law. It might be enlarged into nationalism under favourable conditions. A great big aggressive religion may arise from it and attempt to include the whole of the species, but, so far, without success. We're still basically tribal.
    In the latter, the welfare of the tribe or nation would be secondary, and matter only insofar as it supports one's own immediate kinship group or clan.
    From one POV, either system would regard the rest of the world as objects, for use use of the agent and his next of kin, and treatment of them subject only to the agent's emotions, not his obligation.

    But then again, reason might take the agent one step farther and suggest that it's not enough to leave DNA to his descendants; they'll also need a world to live in, which thought might lead him to consider preservation of the world part of his obligation to his genetic legacy. Value systems may begin with a single principle, but that principle can start chains and webs of ethical ideas.
  • god must be atheist
    5.1k
    I am usually very critical of responses to my post, but you hit the nail on the head on all accounts, resounding with my opinion.

    Because, in a way, lions, tigers, tapeworms, and leechens together with firns and ameaobas, are all related to me by dna. The closer thread to my own dna, the more protection and help I am willing to give even by sacrifice. But the distance does not diminish my help to nothing... it's a function that gets closer to the x axis, but never touches it, as the x increases.
  • Vera Mont
    872
    Personally, I find both the world-views and ethical systems of pre-urban peoples more to my taste than the legal edifices of civilized societies. The attitudes expressed in the myth and legend of Native Americans resonate with me as Hammurabi's code does not.
  • god must be atheist
    5.1k
    I found out that the creator of the world in native cultures was not the forbidding giant of a monstrous knower, judge and goodness. Tales about him abound as he was given a laxative of a kind, and he was letting it out, until it came to his chin, and he had to climb the tallest tree, while it was still coming out, and he was on the top of the tree and it finally levelled out at his chin.

    A god and creator like that is absolutely more to my taste, too. And I ain't jokin'. I don't know much about native cultures, but I listened to a chief about seven years ago and it was impressive. He did take you on a wonderous journey.
  • god must be atheist
    5.1k
    The problem with native cultures is that their history has been bastardized. Now it's common knowledge and practice, that men (chiefs) are the leaders of tribes. Whereas historically North of Guatemala all tribes were patriarchal. Females decided on issues, and chiefs were only spokespersons of tribes. Men warred, but females decided when to go to war and against which other tribes.

    It's just the tip of the iceberg, as, like I said, I know very, very, little about native culture.

    I am actually lying. Because I know even less than that.
  • Vera Mont
    872
    I found out that the creator of the world in native cultures was not the forbidding giant of a monstrous knower, judge and goodness.god must be atheist

    I don't know that one! Can you remember which tribe tells that story? One of the things I like about Native folklore is that it's malleable, adaptable - nothing carved in stone. The other is their sense of fun - playfulness, humour, mischief. The Judeo-Christian tradition is based on enmity toward nature. Adam got tossed out of the nice regulated God-ruled garden into the big ugly hostile natural world, and it's all downhill from there. All of the laws arising from that attitude are about conflict, rule-breaking and retribution, not preservation, harmony and reconciliation. Jesus made a feeble effort to bend it toward the Eastern, more accepting philosophies, but it got co-opted by another militaristic regime and bent right back into the same rigid, punitive system - only bigger.
    (May I recommend a book for your consideration? Thomas King is one of my favourite authors)
    All that aside, I'd make a lousy Indian - or so an old Indian once told me - because I don't shoot, trap or fish.
  • Agent Smith
    9.2k
    Hats off to you for yer brief but well-considered post mon ami! Vegans, despite their honorable intentions, aren't really out of the woods, oui?
  • god must be atheist
    5.1k
    Yes, it's the playfulness, irreverence, and malleability, so aptly put by you, that is so endearing about Indian culture.

    The tale I desribed in brief I read in one of Joseph Campbell's collections.

    I would love to read Thomas King, but unfortunately I've learned to abhor reading. It irritates me. I'd rather write, which I do, but reading is really an effort, a strenuous, horrid, awful effort for me.

    I guess we're all different.
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