I watched an interesting documentary recently called "Vegucated"...Has anyone else seen it?
It raised many ethical questions I am currently studying in school anyway. For example, we know the hazards that modern agricultural practices are instilling in the contamination of ground water (ie drinking water), and we know the methane produced by animal waste is affecting in part the rise in global temperature, which ultimately is causing a shift in energy distribution world wide. While small incremental changes in temperature may not seem like a lot...it is. And while agricultural concerns may not seem as horrible towards our environmental sustainability, it is. It turns out that eating a pound of beef costs the planet more than driving your hummer to work. So should we all just become vegans and continue to drive our gas guzzlers? No of course not. That is a stupid proposition. But all of the decisions we make collectively DO matter, and will start to become more of the mainstream debate more and more as we are forced to address the very real impacts of climate change.
I am personally considering becoming a vegan after becoming educated on the issue. The treatment of animals IS completely uncalled for, inhumane, and should be illegal. The health benefits are many from living a vegan lifestyle. At this point I think the environmental concerns around sustainable agriculture and water supply has my attention enough to be willing to go to drastic measures to change personally. I am making arrangements to go car-less as soon as my son is just a little older - probably this fall if possible. How am I going to try to tell people about the changes that need to be made if I am not willing to make these same changes myself?
So I look at the very real statistic that says that if the entire Earth lived the way we do in the United States, we would need 5 Earths to sustain us. What makes the United States so fucking special and entitled that we think we can continue to consume endlessly while people across the globe are running out of water and starving to death? Who the fuck do we think we are people?
So yes. I am wanting to become a vegan. I am wondering about the debate in regards to nutrition. I am raising a son and want him to be healthy. Is it true that you can make up for vitamins from other sources? I'm very very very confused by the research and looking for others who have already become aware and informed on the issue.
Anyway, I just want to discuss the vegan lifestyle and become even more informed. I hope to learn from you all and it will inform my decision to either proceed....or not.
I have been a near vegetarian for over thirty years. I will occasionally (twice a month maybe) have some pepperoni pizza, turkey sub or fish and chips. Plenty of protein in nuts, seeds, lentils and beans, and oats. I use rice milk with cereal and coffee. It's amazing how a portabella mushroom or eggplant can give you that satisfaction and how olive oil can replace butter. I also vary my veggies, starches and grains a lot.
I don't understand the culture of extremes. Veganism is a admirable goal, but I really don't want my life to be all about what I eat or what my shoes or belts are made from. It was easy eliminating 95% of animal products from my diet, but that last 5%....not for me.
I have a relative who is head dietician for a major hospital. In her view she would not be able to successfully create a vegan diet that would be nutritionally adequate for a child. She has doubts about whether she could really do it with a vegetarian diet, just because kids' palates are so finicky it's difficult to get complete proteins and other nutrients in adequate quantities.
In the modern world it's very difficult to make fully rational choices as an end-consumer. Going vegan typically means requiring a lot of fruits and vegetables and spices which are not locally grown. These in turn require transport at high fossil fuel cost from overseas, and sometimes involve us in the mistreatment of farm workers in those lands. Going organic/grass-fed/free range is nice if you have the money, but isn't a practical option for the majority of humans. Insisting on GMO-free and fully organic means that you condemn a third of the world's population to starvation, and you increase the risk of bacterial infection from "natural" fertilizers.
Want to live more healthy- grow a freakin' garden people! Get your hands in the soil and enjoy communing with your mother planet. We have become dangerously dependent on fast foods and supermarkets. Urban gardening is increasing across America. There is no better satisfaction than growing your own sustenance.
I really don't think the fecal pellets from the meat rabbits I am starting to raise will have a significant impact on methane production globally. Personally I am more interested in developing wholesome local food sources whether it be vegetables or meat. If we start sourcing local food supplies there will be a huge payoff in reduced energy demands. I could be a vegan but I simply enjoy eating meat too much to want to give it up. A balanced diet is a healthy one.
Oh yeah, stop buying shite that is transported from the other side of the world that requires constant refrigeration/freezing. It makes no energy sense to participate in that form of consumerism.
@Robert and Strega,
I am not suggesting extreme measures for anyone, and I am not advocating it either. I am not really even talking to those people who have already made these kind of choices that promote both a healthier lifestyle and a healthier planet.
I'm hoping to address and raise awareness to those people who might be reading my discussions around climate change and start to think about the topic for perhaps the first time. i say I'm interested in becoming a vegan, but I don't think I would ever go to extremes either. I would probably become vegan-ish. But then we do only live once! I don't think I could ever swear off the delicious salmon we have up here forever!!! NO WAY!!!
So no, I'm not talking about anything extreme in raising this discussion. I am however interested to understand further the science behind what it does to out bodies if we DO become vegan, vegetarian, etc etc....
I asked specifically about the documentary called "Vegucated" because in it they talk about "The China Study" and they raised some food for thought, (no pun intended)...but now that I am a skeptic, I am not sure if it's woo, legit, or somewhere in between. So maybe that's my real question.
Anyway....no I am not advocating extremism in any way shape or form, lol
Isn't it kind of a moot point? People are about as likely to become vegan in great numbers as they are to stick their hand into a blender and hit "Puree."
Give up barbecue ribs? roasted chicken? rib steak? cod and lobster?
Sorry...I don't think so.
I think this is an interesting viewpoint. (But no, broccoli and tomatoes?!)
The argument that a vegetarian diet is more planet-friendly than a carnivorous one is straightforward: If we feed plants to animals, and then eat the animals, we use more resources and produce more greenhouse gases than if we simply eat the plants. As with most arguments about our food supply, though, it’s not that simple. Although beef is always climatically costly, pork or chicken can be a better choice than broccoli, calorie for calorie.
Much of the focus on the climate impact of meat has been on cattle, and with good reason. Any way you slice it, beef has the highest environmental cost of just about any food going, and the cow’s digestive system is to blame. Ruminants — cows, sheep, goats and also yaks and giraffes — have a four-chambered stomach that digests plants by fermentation. A byproduct of that fermentation is methane, a greenhouse gas with some 20 times the heat-trapping ability of carbon. One cow’s annual output of methane — about 100 kilograms — is equivalent to the emissions generated by a car burning 235 gallons ....
Methane isn’t the only strike against ruminants. There’s also fertility. Cows can have one calf per year, which means the carbon cost of every cow destined for beef includes the cost of maintaining an adult for a year. Pigs, by contrast, can have two litters a year, with 10 or more pigs per litter.
This is not how people decide what's for dinner.
There's no denying that the industrialization of our meat production, especially chickens, pigs, turkeys, & cows, has some very unsavory practices. Keeping animals super-confined, with little to no mobility, and stuffing them with cocktails of steroids and growth hormone is an abuse. An unacceptable abuse that may have consequences for those of us ingesting them.
Ah, that explains why I can bench press a Volkswagen Golf.