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: 28

Comment by Allen Sneed on April 6, 2010 at 5:36pm
Not sure if the saint comment was directed at me or not. If it was, you are really missing my point and arguing against things I never said. I was advocating for accuracy, consistency and logic, not personal moral purity. I have nothing against selfish motivations. It's a great survival tactic. What I am arguing against is causing others to suffer even when your own survival doesn't depend on it. Go ahead and drive your car to get to work, just don't run over a group of school children on your way.
Comment by sukhdeep on April 6, 2010 at 5:50pm
u guys need to read "eating animals" by jonathan foer......most of ur questions will be answered....he is pretty direct with facts and does not sugar-coat like polan does....and u won't be eating the meat (if u want to call it that) that is being served in almost all restaurants and people, u all sound intelligible but why the veil when it comes to change and accepting the is just like religion with omnivores or carnivores.....just can't accept facts with regard to environment, health, suffering, future of the planet our offspring, our anatomy etc....
Comment by Shine on April 6, 2010 at 7:27pm
Yes, humans may have a more developed ability to suffer "intellectually" than some other animals. But that is no reason to discount the physical suffering of other animals.

There are plenty of thoughtful and intelligent reasons to adopt a vegan lifestyle from minimizing needless suffering, to improving human health, to helping conserve natural resources.

Allen, I think that you are still lumping all suffering under one label. My main objective was to distinguish between the capacity for physical, emotional, and intellectual suffering across different species. By recognizing that livestock cannot suffer intellectually as humans can, I am in no way discounting the fact that they can suffer both physically and emotionally. But this lack of intellectual suffering does allow for the consumption of meat from humanely-raised livestock without promoting suffering; remove the physical and emotional abuse, and there is no abuse left that a cow or pig can suffer. Also, a vegan diet does not necessarily guarantee minimizing suffering; commercial agriculture is still responsible for the pain, suffering, and deaths of countless animals.

Meat eaters who argue for more humane methods of killing are like the moderates in Islam and other desert religions who claim they are fine with gays and wouldn't kill them even though their book clearly wants to.

Chetan, I disagree with your analogy. I advocate the consumption of meat procured from humanely-raised livestock, but I still vehemently oppose CAFOs.

I find there to be a circular nature to vegetarian/vegan logic. Initially, many vegans may say that veganism is better because it reduces suffering inflicted upon animals who are consumed. But if we remove the physical/emotional abuse of commercial agriculture and only eat pastured livestock or wild game, many vegans will still say that eating meat promotes unnecessary killing. But what about consuming plants? Plants must also die so that you can eat them. (Side note: I know that there is a sect somewhere who only eats plants which can regenerate so as to avoid killing the plant. Is it a form of Jainism? I can't remember.) If it is not the suffering of the animal that is the bad part but the actual death of the organism, then what separates the death of the animal from the death of the plant? Why is the former so much more reprehensible than the latter? At this point, I have then heard vegans say that the animal's death is worse because it is a sentient creature with complex neurology which the plant lacks. But this just circulates right back to the suffering argument as the presence of neurological complexity really only pertains to the capacity for suffering.
Comment by Prazzie on April 6, 2010 at 8:17pm
Think about it. How many of you actually eat raw beef?

I had raw springbok for dinner. Does that count?
Comment by B. on April 7, 2010 at 10:02am
Wow, I missed out.

I still regard the "pain & suffering" argument as not very strong.. just because animals are capable of feeling physical pain or experiencing fear does not automatically equalize them to human standing. I still think human beings are far superior to animals, and that is what earns them the right to deference. The idea that we all can hurt equally only promotes vegetarianism amongst those that value animals equal (or often greater) to human beings -- but what about those of us that don't subscribe to that thought? I acknowledge that it hurts a cow to be slaughtered, but I don't actually think that that is reason for me to go without steak and burgers for my entire life. Like I said, I don't believe in torturing any living thing for the hell of it, but I think physical pain of pain is merely a necessary evil in obtaining meat, and no reason to be deterred.

As for Neal's point of view, he's mostly right. While we're omnivores, our body's evolved to eat a much greater vegetable-based diet rather than the meat-based diet we subscribe to, so reducing your meat intake is expectedly healthier. Nevertheless, there's no reason to cut it out entirely. It's so enjoyable! I'm never giving up meat!
Comment by B. on April 7, 2010 at 10:03am
*bodies, sorry

that entire post is riddled with errors. It's early and I'm only having my first coffee now =(
Comment by B. on April 7, 2010 at 10:56am
I don't know, scientists have tried nutrition from a reductionist approach and it never works out well. Even when you provide someone with all the nutrients/vitamins/minerals that are found in a certain food, it still doesn't generate the same benefit as eating the whole food itself (they're not sure why this is but the assumption is that the nutrients confer an added benefit when consumed together due to synergistic interactions). I think the main point to take away from that is that you can't get away with simply checking off your daily-required-intake of one substance or another from a list.
Our bodies are far more dynamic than we give them credit for, and the nutritionists haven't cracked the whole code yet.

How will learning about the composition of your food be so boring and take up so much time, you'll miss out on enjoyment of your life..? I don't really understand that sentiment. It doesn't actually take that long to catch up to the new information being uncovered today. I don't think people are "not ready", they're just apathetic or lazy and flat out not smart enough to get it (not you, you're obviously intelligent -- the average person is an idiot)
Comment by Shine on April 7, 2010 at 12:54pm
Sometimes it seems like there is a false dichotomy between meat eating and full veganism. I advocate the consumption of meat, but I do not advocate the consumption of processed, factory-farmed, hormone- and chemical-laden meat for the promotion of good health. Also, advocating meat consumption does not mean that I am advocating steak for dinner every night or pounds of meat on a daily basis. We eat too large of portions of everything in this country, period; exorbitant portions of meat exist alongside exorbitant portions of french fries, beverages, and many other non-meat foods. Have you seen a dinner salad at a restaurant recently? Even our portions of vegetables are ridiculous.

There is a happy medium of moderate, healthy meat consumption. But sometimes I feel like the arguments for veganism are tailored specifically towards the heavy meat, fast food, and processed products of the SAD (Standard American Diet). Of course SAD is ridiculously unhealthy. But it does not require completely abstaining from meat in order to remedy its problems.
Comment by Chetan D on April 7, 2010 at 1:13pm
I'm all for living longer. I know quite a few people who require meat because they have protein deficiency and the doctors strongly recommend it.

Shine is bang on with her large portions comment. I was in Houston a year ago for just one month and when I came back home which is Canada's Houston- Calgary, I had gained 20 pounds because although the food was good- I'd eaten too much. Lucky I'm healthy and in decent shape so it hasn't taken that much of a toll but this "bad fat" is hard to get rid of.

Apart from moral reasons, I do feel awesome after eating my greens. Also, rice is my favourite because when you're hungry and wanna eat THOUSANDS of something, nothing better. :D

You know whats awesome about this website? Despite all our differences and all this debate, no name calling, no cherry picking B.S. Sure, I've probably made some silly comments and others may have also, but there seems to be a strong correlation between thinking atheist and being sane and polite. Atheism is sexy!

Good stuff!
Comment by Shine on April 7, 2010 at 2:20pm
Neal, I think you and I have reached a consensus of sorts (in this and other threads) in that we both definitely agree that whole, minimally-processed foods are the ideal for good health. Regarding the paleo diet, I've become less enamored with the entire subculture spawning around it. Initially, I was attracted to the underlying science of the diet concerning sugar and high-carb diets as the actual culprits for many health problems (the "diseases of society," if you will) which are blamed on dietary cholesterol and saturated fat. I never intended to be anti-plant entirely, but I did find myself caught up in the group-think mentality of the very-low-carb, zero-carb, and carnivorous group that suddenly lauded gratuitous consumption of slabs of meat while shunning any sort of plant material. (I never went that far, but I admit that I gave zero-carbing a brief shot; I'll try almost anything once. Honestly, I have never craved lettuce so badly in my life, lol!)

I've since amended my diet back to primarily vegetables and fruit. Although I was not eating a phenomenal amount of meat before, I transitioned my protein sources to more eggs, yogurt, and fish (mostly due to cost constraints of not being able to feasibly obtain pastured-meat at the moment.) Still, I stick to the anti-sugar/anti-grain tenets of the paleo diet as I have found that keeping carbs between 50g and 100g has produced the best results for my health.

Also, and I don't meant to harp on it, but I really consider 4 oz. - 8 oz. to be a generous serving of meat, and a serving that size every couple days is more than sufficient for any nutirtional requirements. I don't necessarily disagree with "eat less meat," I just protest when it becomes entirely anti-meat.


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