It seems like I may have given the wrong impression with my views on vegetarianism.

I haven't seen anyone eat meat in my life. Think about it. How many of you actually eat raw beef? Sushi may come close to it but that's still processed. Once something is processed it is not meat any more. It's a commodity- much like potato chips.

Animals don't go around killing each other just because one has more spots or stripes than the other. Carnivores don't kill more than what is needed. Animals in my opinion are far superior in every sense of the word than humans. They're stronger, have been around far longer than we have and have never complained us butchering them. (If it sounds too poetic, so be it.)

Humans living in harsh climates have every right to kill for survival. Survival is key. But my argument is for minimizing our impact. One of the biggest consumers of oil is the meat processing industry. It would only make sense to minimize our intake of meat.

Animals feel as much pain as we do (anybody who has been to a Cargill meat processing facility will surely be scarred for a week or so...). I grew up in a culture of animal sacrifice. I can safely say those who chop animals' heads and act as if northing's happened are some of the most cruel people on the planet. I'd suggest all of you to witness an animal slaughter and eat that meat later. If you don't cringe, something is wrong.

We're not the most important species around- just a failed mutation that has a huge probability of wiping itself out. It would only heighten our morality if we extended our respect to sentient beings other than us. If we don't need to kill them (there are vegan bodybuilders) I think we shouldn't. I fail to grasp the concept of having a pet if you eat meat. You can't think of eating your kitten, can you?

But that's what I think. I don't judge anyone but I do like to share my views. Almost everyone I know eats meat. But what bothers me is vegetarian options in restaurants being more expensive than regular meat ones. It's fu#!ing annoying especially since there's way more vegetables out there than meat!

Just my 2 cents on vegetarianism.

Views: 18

Comment by Gaytor on April 6, 2010 at 1:41am
I'm gonna nit-pick. The French have a meal called Steak Tartare which is ground beef with egg. There are Arabic raw meat meals. I read a great blog once about a guy eating Steak Tartare and getting a tape worm from doing so. So while it's not something you'll regularly find in the US, it's common in other places. Some scientist point to cooking as being the real difference between animals and humans. We cook out the disease and end up living longer. It's something that we have done for hundreds of thousands of years.
Carnivores commonly kill more than they can eat. This is why Buzzards and Hyena's do well in areas following behind Carnivores.
For argument's sake, what happens to cows if we all stop eating beef tomorrow? Who will pay for their feed? Water? Where will we put them where carnivores won't grow in numbers and turn on us and our pets when they mow through the cattle? Same for Chickens. My point is that it has to be a planned, long term reduction. The cruelty of kicking them off the farm is worse then ending their life early. Plus, If I'm given the choice of being eaten by a pack of wolves or taking a steel rod in the brain, I'm calling the guy from No Country for Old Men. But yeah, whole cow grinders are quite something to behold.
I'm all for healthy eating. I have three types of veggie burgers in the freezer. Keep blogging about it. Give options for meals that sound interesting. Got a favorite Vegetarian Cookbook? There is a group for this as well if you haven't found it. Just don't expect 100's of 1000's of years to change tomorrow.
Comment by AJComix on April 6, 2010 at 2:27am
Biology fail, not all animals feel pain.
Comment by Radu Andreiu on April 6, 2010 at 6:20am
I like meat and I also have these four awesome canines which are going to get a little bored if they don't get in touch with their meat friends. I feel for the animals that are getting killed so we could eat them, but this is how nature works. If you watch Animal Planet or National Geographic (+Wild), you'll see that some animals are really cruel with their pray. I once saw a pack of lions witch were quite pleasantly surprised by a buffalo, or something, which was stuck in mud. Being unable to move, the poor thing got eaten alive, probably because the lions wanted to keep the meat as fresh as they could. I'm really sorry for the suffering of these animals, but I'm going to stick with meat for a while. After all, plants are living creatures as well and some of them actually do feel touch, even if not in the form of pain.
Comment by Jānis Ķimsis on April 6, 2010 at 6:34am
I've considered eating my cats. The old one looks too stringy, but the younger one is nice and plump.
Comment by Radu Andreiu on April 6, 2010 at 8:42am
Yummy! Now let's see if we can find some babies to eat.

Comment by Shine on April 6, 2010 at 9:26am
Like Neal M mentioned, the quality and source of the meat is incredibly important. Besides engaging in cruel practices which inflict needless suffering upon sentient creatures and polluting the surrounding environment, CAFO (concentrated animal feeding operation) produce meat which nothing like what our paleolithic ancestors evolved eating. The natural diet of aurochs (ancestors of modern cattle) was wild plains grasses, not the soup of antibiotics, hormones, and corn/soy which they receive in a modern factory farm.

However, simply avoiding meat does entirely solve the problem. Commercial plant agriculture is incredibly detrimental as well; soy and corn consumption is far from "cruelty-free." Corn and soy are also far from the healthy "superfoods" which they often portrayed to be. Large-scale commercial agriculture--whether animal or plant--is the root of the problem. Food, Inc. is great documentary which covers the issue of commercial agriculture. I also second Neal's recommendation of Michael Pollan's books.

In my own experience, I have found that eating small to moderate amounts of meat obtained from non-CAFO sources has worked for me. I rely upon cage-free eggs for the bulk of my animal protein, as they are comparatively cheap and nearly ubiquitous to every grocery store. It is possible to eat a healthy diet which incorporates moderate amounts of quality meat and is not overly detrimental to the surrounding environment.
Comment by B. on April 6, 2010 at 10:20am
Animals are NOT "superior" to humans.. that's just plain wrong. Being around longer is mere luck of evolution, not any testament to their "strength". Humans are far more ingenious than their animal counterparts. Smarter, stronger. Better. Can a cow building a skyscraper? Make vaccines? Fly to the moon? No. Human beings have conquered every climate on the planet. Our lifespan (in developed countries) approaches a century. We can cure disease, we can manipulate our food sources, we can think. An animal's life is purposeless. They have don't have the capacity for joy that humans do, because they don't have the ability to attain it. All they can do is satiate innate desires -- and successfully yielding to instinct is hardly an achievement by any measure.

Whether animals feel as much "pain" as we do is debatable. Sure they have neurons for the sensation pain, but how much they're capable of feeling is debatable and at the end of the day, a total non-issue. The actual status of "crime" is difficult to apply to pain of death for a creature who's purpose is to die for food anyway.
I don't think we should go about torturing animals because we can, but I think we can accept that death is painful and let that be the end of it. We can't seek a more "humane" solution like lethal injection lest we ruin the meat.

I've witnessed a slaughter & eaten the meat later. It's not cringe-worthy, it's just food. So it was alive before -- plants are alive also by biological definition, so they're not quite as "smart" as animals: animals are not quite as "smart" as humans!

We ARE the most important species around. Every other yields to us. There's no "failed mutation" -- what does that even mean?? And we may be destined to orchestrate our own destruction, but we wouldn't be the first.

As for good eating, I'm with the poster's above. I'm a huge fan of sustainable practices, and I love Michael Pollan's works. But I will not give up meat, for no other reason than I enjoy it so much. It's good for me, and I won't take a substitute. I had to write a lengthly review paper in my second year about how phytoestrogens in plants (namely soy) are linked to breast cancer. After reading the research, there's no way in hell I'm adopting a soy-based diet (I realize a heavily red-meat based diet is also linked to cancer, but I'm not actually on the "heavy red meat" diet so I don't worry about falling into that group).

Vegetarians are grossly mislead, either about their food or their morality. Few things can exemplify such a gross self-loathing as equalizing oneself with livestock. If you think your life is no more important than a pig or cow's, why not live in the barn? Geez. There's no reason to waste a perfectly good mind & perfectly good life fantasizing about the end of your own species, and thinking we deserve it. Get a grip.
Comment by Radu Andreiu on April 6, 2010 at 11:18am
Important for whom? Certainly not for most of the living creatures that live on Earth. If bees, for example, were to disappear, nature, as we know it, would cease to exist, but if humans were to disappear, nature, as we know it, would once again flourish. Objectively speaking, the human species is the greatest biological disaster that life has ever encountered. We are responsible for the greatest extinction caused by a single species in all of the natural history.

Of course, we are the dominant species and clearly the most intelligent one, but that doesn't make us important for anyone but ourselves.

Oh, and you can't know how much joy or pain animals feel, but they clearly feel them, there's no question about it. Whether that makes it immoral to eat them, it depends on how we define morality, because it's a little more complicated than "this is moral and this isn't".
Comment by Dave G on April 6, 2010 at 12:46pm
Once something is processed it isn't meat? They what is it, cardboard? Plastic? Yeast?

Processed meat is still meat, processed corn is still corn, processed milk is still milk.

Sure, the meat in (most) hot dogs is barely recognizable, particularly with all the additives and the like, but a steak is still a steak. It has bone and sinew and muscle tissue and fat. It is not miraculously transformed into some other substance.

And since you're talking about raw meat versus cooked meat, it is true that cooking meat causes chemical changes in the proteins. So does cooking vegetables or grains, but I doubt that you're claiming that a carrot is no longer a carrot if it has been cooked.

I'm sorry, but your argument here makes no sense.

And incidentally, no species on the planet is more or less evolved than any other species. We've all had the same amount of time to evolve.
Comment by Shine on April 6, 2010 at 1:44pm
I feel as though the issue of pain being inflicted upon animals requires a bit more definition. While animals are certainly capable of feeling physical pain and suffering, this point becomes moot if one attains their meat from sources that do not engage in factory-farming. Also, the hunting of wild animals for meat--aside from the actual brief act of killing--is difficult to paint as torturous and cruel.

However, I feel like this physical suffering is conflated with the human capacity for intellectual suffering. Like B. mentioned, our brains inarguably far more advanced and our consciousness capable of far more abstract thought than any other species on the planet. We have an unparalleled capacity for temporal perspective that imbues us with the desire for a sense of purpose.

My point is that while we may see a cow being raised on a farm for eventual slaughter as a deplorable existence, we are projecting our own perspective on that experience. Certainly, if a human was confined to a pasture with the knowledge that their existence only served to be another creature's eventual dinner, that would produce immense mental anguish. But can a cow adequately conceive of their fate to really experience this intellectual anguish?

I am by far no expert in animal neurology, but I think that there is a valid biological rationale to this. Look at the evolution of complex neurological systems in the animal kingdom. First, we have the reptilian brain, with really no frontal lobe and or the structures which process emotions. Can you really hurt a snake's feelings? No; reptiles run purely on instinct. Next, mammals evolved with the corresponding neurological structures for both emotions and homeostatic regulation. Unlike a snake, a dog can become sad if you scream at it. However, most mammals still lack the massive frontal lobe which developed in later primates, specifically humans. It is this unique aspect of our neurology which allows for the processing of abstract thought, temporal perspective, reason, and logic.

Other mammals' lack of a developed frontal lobe is what prevents them from experiencing intellectual suffering like humans. Therefore, all other physical cruelties removed, I do not see raising animals for eventual consumption as unethical or promoting suffering.

(Huge disclaimer: I'm not a science major, so I sincerely apologize if I just bastardized evolutionary biology. Please correct any inaccuracies if you see them.)

B., I am glad that you mentioned the negative effects of phytoestrogens which researchers are now becoming more aware of. I would be love to read your report if you are interested in sharing it.


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