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Old 10-07-2019, 08:19 AM
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Consuming meat despite being exposed to certain sad facts


I am not a vegetarian or vegan. I am not proud about this. I am not ashamed either. This isn't a question of being proud or ashamed, I believe.

From time to time, the images of how animals are being mistreated and killed in slaughterhouse cross my mind. A few hours ago, I watched this video in the link.(The video is extremely disturbing) So, I decided to go ahead and create a thread about it. [Moderator Note - Link spoilered due to graphic and therefore NSFW content]

Relatively often, before consuming a meat, I ask myself if I am doing something wrong by consuming meat. I dismiss the thought quickly. I am not aware of how I dismiss it (the thought process and how neurons communicate etc. , but I do dismiss it. I like the taste of the meat. On the other hand, I also feel bad about consuming it. Maybe not bad enough to stop myself from eating it.

My question is, especially to those who consume meat: do you experience such thoughts? How do you cope with them? Would you be able to kill an animal to eat her? How can I (or we) feel better about consuming meat? Should I (or we) feel better about consuming meat?

Last edited by engineer_comp_geek; 10-07-2019 at 11:48 AM. Reason: spoilered link
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Old 10-07-2019, 08:29 AM
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I've killed animals to eat them: pigs, rabbits and chickens. The pigs were more of a problem (I didn't do the actual killing or butchering on that one, I was on the sausages team), there is simply no way to kill them quickly and painlessly. For the chickens and rabbits, I was taught to do it as humanely as the person teaching me knew how.

Whether consuming meat or byproducts, I'm on the "I prefer happy hens" camp, but I still eat eggs. And chickens. And rabbits. And I'd be perfectly willing to kill any suchlike again.
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Old 10-07-2019, 08:37 AM
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I am probably not the first person who should be responding to this thread but I have never had any concerns about the way my food is treated. I mean in general, I'd prefer the animal not to be tortured before its shot in the head or has its throat slit but honestly that's more about taste I find a free range grass fed animals to be tastier. I don't really care about lab rats or bunnies having cosmetics tested on them either they are suffering to make life better for humanity just like that bull in the slaughterhouse.

I do kill animals to eat them and I have no problem with it and I'm trying to get my wife to let me raise some farm animals so I can kill and eat them. I would have not problem raising and caring for a bull for years to kill him myself and eat him.

As far as how to feel better most people seem to think as long as the animal was happy everyday before you cut its throat then it makes the killing ethical. So I guess focus on how much better the cow's life if with antibiotics and a full belly every day and even its death in the slaughterhouse is better then that of being eaten by a predator so the life of a beef cow is better then its alternative life running around in nature.
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Old 10-07-2019, 08:39 AM
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My question is, especially to those who consume meat: do you experience such thoughts? How do you cope with them? Would you be able to kill an animal to eat her? How can I (or we) feel better about consuming meat? Should I (or we) feel better about consuming meat?
I look at it this way... being slaughtered and eaten is the tradeoff that the meat species made (in a sense), as part of domestication. They get eaten, but at the same time, humans maintain their species in generally greater numbers, health, etc... than they'd otherwise be in the wild. I mean, we have almost 1.5 billion cattle in the world. How many cattle do you think there would be if they were just wild? A few million I'd wager.

Same thing with chickens, goats, sheep, wheat, corn, barley, etc...

And yes, I've killed several sorts of animals and eaten them, mostly fish and birds, but that's more of a situation of happenstance, rather than any kind of problem eating animals like deer, etc...
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Old 10-07-2019, 08:39 AM
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Since eating meat is not necessary for our survival, and the only reason people do it is because, as mentioned in the OP, they "like the taste", I think it's unethical and immoral to eat animals (certainly the more intelligent ones anyway).
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Old 10-07-2019, 09:07 AM
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This is hardly a new question. The Bible finds it necessary to justify why people have an ethical right to eat animals (because Noah saved them from flooding).

I guess I'm in the "I don't mind that animals are killed so I can eat them, but I do mind if they are tortured" camp. I mostly buy meat and eggs and milk from animals that lived a relatively normal live for their species.

Pastured eggs are a lot more expensive than standard eggs, but are still REALLY cheap for what they are. And they taste better -- eggier -- than the standard ones. Pastured meat is tougher but has a richer flavor than feedlot/enclosure meat.

I have mostly stopped eating pork. Pigs are intelligent social animals and they are raised in pretty awful conditions. The typical beef cow actually did start its life in a somewhat normal environment, living on grassland in a herd with its mother, before it was fattened in a feedlot for the final few weeks. The typical lamb sheep lived a mostly normal life, too. And chickens are too dumb and nasty for me to care, much. But pigs are often confined like chickens for much or all of their lives.
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Old 10-07-2019, 09:23 AM
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After doing some reading about factory farms, I became a vegetarian for a few years. At the time, I didn't know any other vegetarians and really didn't know what to eat anymore. I felt guilty about not going full vegan. I was also getting a lot of flak from my family, who didn't appreciate being dragged along on my experiment. I lost more weight than I could afford to. Finally I broke down and returned to eating meat, which greatly simplified my life. I always thought that one day I would return to vegetarianism, but that day hasn't come. It's true that I am an unethical and immoral person. For my convenience, I ignore that.
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Old 10-07-2019, 09:33 AM
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There is a difference between animals and humans.
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Old 10-07-2019, 09:44 AM
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Life in the wild is hard. Farmed critters' lives are cushy, or at least should be. I am against tiny cages, however. I'd gladly let myself be killed and eaten if I was allowed to live a life of luxury.
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Old 10-07-2019, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Omar Little View Post
There is a difference between animals and humans.
In the year 2029, a spaceship from a distant galaxy lands on our planet.

Alien: "Greetings, Earth people!"

Human: "Hey, they're different from us. Let's eat them!"
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Old 10-07-2019, 09:51 AM
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The vegans I know are so obnoxious about it that I find it easy to compartmentalize and ignore. Not saying ALL vegans are like that but the ones I know do a bang-up job.
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Old 10-07-2019, 10:39 AM
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I'm not a vegan, but the anti-vegans that I know are all obnoxious people.
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Old 10-07-2019, 10:40 AM
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While I could easily compartmentalize killing, butchering and killing an animal (have grown up seeing it done from a very young age), I'd much rather not and often wish I could switch to being a vegan without missing the taste and texture of meat. That said, vat grown meat can't come soon enough. I'll switch to it as soon as it's commercially available for human consumption.
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Old 10-07-2019, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Walken After Midnight View Post
In the year 2029, a spaceship from a distant galaxy lands on our planet.

Alien: "Greetings, Earth people!"

Human: "Hey, they're different from us. Let's eat them!"
When cows and pigs invent practical intergalactic space travel, I'll stop eating them.
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Old 10-07-2019, 10:50 AM
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In the year 2029, a spaceship from a distant galaxy lands on our planet.

Alien: "Greetings, Earth people!"

Human: "Hey, they're different from us. Let's eat them!"
Isn't it the other way around?

"IT'S A COOKBOOK!"
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Old 10-07-2019, 10:58 AM
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When cows and pigs invent practical intergalactic space travel, I'll stop eating them.
Okay, so the bar currently appears to be set at:

1) Must be different from us.
2) Must not have invented practical intergalactic space travel.

For everything else, it's buffet time!
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Old 10-07-2019, 11:00 AM
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I'm not a vegan, but the anti-vegans that I know are all obnoxious people.
I'm not sure what an "anti-vegan" is, unless you mean the people who are all "Oh, you're a vegan? Mmmmm.. this MEAT sure is GOOD!!!" in which case I heartily agree.
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Old 10-07-2019, 11:10 AM
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Okay, so the bar currently appears to be set at:

1) Must be different from us.
2) Must not have invented practical intergalactic space travel.

For everything else, it's buffet time!
3) Must not make a cute common household pet. (Although that is entirely subjective too).
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Old 10-07-2019, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by MaverocK View Post
I am not a vegetarian or vegan. I am not proud about this. I am not ashamed either. This isn't a question of being proud or ashamed, I believe...

...My question is, especially to those who consume meat: do you experience such thoughts? How do you cope with them? Would you be able to kill an animal to eat her? How can I (or we) feel better about consuming meat? Should I (or we) feel better about consuming meat?
Do what you feel is right. If you don't feel it is moral to consume meat produced by factory farming, then don't do it. Factory farming has brought unbelievable amounts of calories and nutrition to an ever growing population. It is cruel.

I will suggest there are other, more expensive and humane options available. You could hunt your own meat. With proper technique, the animal suffers very little until death. Personally, I have seen deer that have lost consciousness within 5-10 seconds after being shot.

You could choose to purchase meat from a farmer or shop that emphasizes animal care during their life, and a quick slaughter to end it.

Or you could choose to abstain entirely. It's great to have choices.
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Old 10-07-2019, 11:24 AM
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Okay, so the bar currently appears to be set at:

1) Must be different from us.
2) Must not have invented practical intergalactic space travel.

For everything else, it's buffet time!
and so the proselytizing begins.
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Old 10-07-2019, 11:28 AM
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My question is, especially to those who consume meat: do you experience such thoughts? How do you cope with them? Would you be able to kill an animal to eat her? How can I (or we) feel better about consuming meat? Should I (or we) feel better about consuming meat?
1) Once in awhile I experience such thoughts because I am aware that animal cruelty exists in the world. I prefer to purchase meats and other animal products produced in a humane manner, and doing so helps relieve any guilt pangs I might be feeling.

2) Would I be able to kill and animal for dinner? Yes absolutely - I have done it. I don't enjoy it, I try to be as quick and humane as possible, but it's not a pleasant job. Butchering is also a nasty, bloody, tedious chore that I do not enjoy. Those two facts have a lot to do with why I'm happy to purchase meat and other animal products already processed as needed and packaged, but it's a convenience, not a necessity.

3) Due to my food allergies, including to some common legumes as well as several vegetables, eating an adequate diet even as a loosely defined vegetarian would be difficult, I'm not sure it's possible for me to be vegan AND healthy on a long-term basis. I'm not going to kill myself over making an ethical point with my diet. That doesn't mean I eat meat every day - I don't - but getting sufficient protein on a plant-based diet with most legumes off limits would be pretty hard to do. So I continue to consume moderate (meaning, less frequently than daily) amounts of meat. I might be able to go ovo-lacto vegetarian long term, but that still leaves me dependent on animal-derived foods.
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Old 10-07-2019, 11:36 AM
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and so the proselytizing begins.
He's not wrong. And you should think about why you find his comments upsetting. You can be an omnivore at the top of the food chain and still experience some internal conflict in killing (or contributing to industrialized slaughter) of animals.
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Old 10-07-2019, 11:39 AM
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Okay, so the bar currently appears to be set at:

1) Must be different from us.
2) Must not have invented practical intergalactic space travel.

For everything else, it's buffet time!
Well, no, not for this omnivore.

For example, I can't support eating endangered species, or species that could easily become endangered if they're frequent menu items. That's the reason I stopped eating shark. I can't support eating turtles, either, given how long it takes for them to mature to eating size. I certainly support limits on bluefin tuna consumption. So on and so forth.

I don't have an issue with eating species that have become overpopulated to the point of being a pest. If locusts are eating your crops then as far as I'm concerned eating locusts in turn is acceptable. If there are too many deer (usually due to past elimination of their predators) in an area I support culling them, as it's more kind than a slow death from starvation or overcrowding disease, and in that case we might as well eat them, too.

If we are going to raise animals for food they need to be raised, housed, and slaughtered with as little cruelty, pain, fear, and distress as possible. This will, of course, raise the cost of such food items but that's not all bad - on average the world's omnivores eat more meat than they probably should be eating. Meat consumption should be moderate (that is, less than once a day) and the human diet mostly plant-based. If meat became more of an infrequent, special-occasion food item the average human might be healthier in the long run.
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Old 10-07-2019, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by MaverocK
I am not a vegetarian or vegan. I am not proud about this. I am not ashamed either. This isn't a question of being proud or ashamed, I believe...

...My question is, especially to those who consume meat: do you experience such thoughts? How do you cope with them? Would you be able to kill an animal to eat her? How can I (or we) feel better about consuming meat? Should I (or we) feel better about consuming meat?
I don't think the way animals are raised and slaughtered is all that cruel. Certainly there are occasional abuses/mistakes/people who should know better, but it isn't at all common AFAICT.

Harold the Clever Sheep isn't a real thing. Yes, their life consists of standing around for a couple of months, and then bein' et. In the wild, their life would consist of running away from predators, probably not for much longer overall, and then starving/dying of disease/bein' et by predators anyway. It's a quick death, and I doubt that a cow or a chicken or a pig or a turkey spends its life yearning for higher things.

The "point" of evolution, to the extent there is one, is to reproduce the species. Cows and chickens and pigs and so forth are, by that measure, highly successful. Not by choice - they have been domesticated, which means they have been bred/forced into a semi-symbiotic, semi-parasitical relationship with another highly successful species. It's not to their benefit, but that is besides the point of evolution.

Should we be better than the animals? We already are, for the most part. We eat what we kill, and we are generally careful not to cause un-necessary suffering.

Guy buys a parrot, because it can speak eleven languages. He takes the parrot home and puts it in a cage, and goes off to work.

When he gets back home, he finds his wife has killed, plucked, and roasted the parrot.

"What the heck did you do? That parrot could speak eleven languages!"

"Well", says his wife, "why didn't it say something?"

Same thing. If they don't want me to eat them, speak now or forever hold your peace.

Regards,
Shodan
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Old 10-07-2019, 11:41 AM
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I think that, if food animals are being treated inhumanely, the proper response isn't for me to personally boycott the animal-abusers. I can't track everything I eat through every stage of production, and I certainly can't expect everyone to. The proper response is to tighten up the animal cruelty laws.

And I expect that I probably could kill animals myself to eat them, but I choose not to. There are a lot of things that I could choose to do myself but don't. I have no more qualms about paying someone else to do my butchery for me than I do about paying someone else to do vehicle maintenance for me.
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Old 10-07-2019, 11:45 AM
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And I expect that I probably could kill animals myself to eat them, but I choose not to. There are a lot of things that I could choose to do myself but don't. I have no more qualms about paying someone else to do my butchery for me than I do about paying someone else to do vehicle maintenance for me.
Not the same thing at all. Nothing dies when you pay someone to change your oil.
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Old 10-07-2019, 11:56 AM
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Oh, god. I have butchered every manner of wild edible (not to me) beastie in the forest and waters around here. Mr.Wrekker is a successful hunter.
I have raised beasties to be a food source on this farm.
And I have killed many for my dinner.
Do I feel bad about it? Nope.
I'd still rather my protein come from the grocery store with a nice USDA purple stamp on it.
I, as a human, am on the top of the food chain. I have no guilt about that fact.

Last edited by Beckdawrek; 10-07-2019 at 11:57 AM.
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Old 10-07-2019, 12:02 PM
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He's not wrong. And you should think about why you find his comments upsetting. You can be an omnivore at the top of the food chain and still experience some internal conflict in killing (or contributing to industrialized slaughter) of animals.
curious what led you to assume I found the comments "upsetting."
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Old 10-07-2019, 12:02 PM
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Quoth Quicksilver:

Not the same thing at all. Nothing dies when you pay someone to change your oil.
If the question were me eating meat vs. me not eating meat, that would be relevant. But that's not the question I was addressing there. The question I was addressing there was me killing my own meat vs. eating meat that someone else had killed. In either of those two scenarios, the number of animals dying is the same.
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Old 10-07-2019, 12:28 PM
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curious what led you to assume I found the comments "upsetting."
"Proselytizing", is rarely a complementary way to describe someone's opinion. But if you did not mean it in a negative way, I apologize for the mis-characterization.
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Old 10-07-2019, 12:35 PM
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If the question were me eating meat vs. me not eating meat, that would be relevant. But that's not the question I was addressing there. The question I was addressing there was me killing my own meat vs. eating meat that someone else had killed. In either of those two scenarios, the number of animals dying is the same.
I'm guessing that if people had to kill and process animals themselves, the overall consumption of meat would be dramatically reduced. Having someone else do it for us makes us much less aware of the real impact. But I digress and stand corrected on your overall point.
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Old 10-07-2019, 12:47 PM
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Characterizing vegans as objectionable or annoying is a common way of dealing with one's cognitive dissonance.
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Old 10-07-2019, 12:48 PM
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I don't think it's ethically wrong, per se, to kill another living being for food. Every animal exists in an environment where there are things that can, and eventually will, kill it; none, not even a human, is guaranteed to only die from ripe old age. From an animal's point of view, we're part of the dangers of its environment, and that's not inherently bad or good.

Furthermore, any diet you're on is going to reduce resources for other living beings, and hence, lead to some manner of suffering. Arable land resources are probably close to maxed out, at least the easily accessible ones; going further would require either conversion of land resources, risking displacement and loss of habitat to species inhabiting that land, or exploiting existing resources more efficiently, through utilization of genetic engineering and modern farming practices. Mice are killed by farm equipment, and the nitrogen needed to fertilize soil comes, for organic farming, often from manure---i. e., is an animal byproduct.

On the other hand, grass-fed beef essentially extracts nutrients from land that might not be usable for farming, thus increasing the sustainable population; you can get perhaps 200 kg of usable meat from a well-fed cow, and even the average US carnivore only eats about 125 kg, so you'd hardly need to kill a single animal per year to support your meat habit, while on the rough half acre of farmland needed to feed a single person, somewhere between three and 20 rodents are killed.

To a Jain, a vegan eating a potato is willingly risking harm to all kinds of small organisms living in the soil, and hence, committing an atrocity. Me, I'm much more troubled by the fact that the cobalt in the battery of my cell phone was mined under essentially slavery-like conditions, often by children.

These hastily-googled numbers and factoids don't finally establish anything. But that's the point: there's no simple right or wrong answer to whether eating meat is right or wrong. We each draw a line between what we think is OK to eat and what's not, to the best of our ability; but there isn't really any hard-and-fast objective criterion to decide where that line ought to be, and anybody who claims there is is either kidding themselves or simply mistaken.

Living an ethical life is a complex optimization problem, and which of your (limited) resources to expend where a question that's not answered by some simple, slogan-like principle. Me, I've recently severely cut back on meat---albeit mostly for climate-related reasons. Am I doing the right thing with that? I can't pretend to know; I arrived at this decision by collating the available information on the topic to the best of my abilities, but any full and exhaustive review far exceeds my time and capabilities. I know that this won't win me any moral high ground, but if there is a golden path leading to a moral standing such that I can preach the right life to my fellow humans, I haven't found it yet.
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Old 10-07-2019, 12:57 PM
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I'm guessing that if people had to kill and process animals themselves, the overall consumption of meat would be dramatically reduced. Having someone else do it for us makes us much less aware of the real impact.
I don't know it would make all that much difference. It does not seem to me that farmers and packing house workers are more likely to be vegetarians than anyone else. I suspect one would just get used to it. I assisted my father the veterinarian in euthanizing animals, and it didn't bother me after a rather short while. Granted we didn't eat the dead dog.

Of course, specialization is efficient. I would rather pay $5 a pound for meat and leave the slaughter and processing to somebody else, instead of spending twenty minutes a day on average doing it myself. Not because I am squeamish - it's just easier. And more efficient, due to comparative advantage. It's more efficient for me to spend my time working in IT and outsource the slaughter to someone else. Because then society in general gets the benefit of my IT work, even if I could my own butchering. Because I am more productive doing IT, overall.

Regards,
Shodan

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Old 10-07-2019, 01:05 PM
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Characterizing vegans as objectionable or annoying is a common way of dealing with one's cognitive dissonance.
Could be. Or, you know, sometimes people are actually just annoying, be it about dietary habits or politics or religion or workout routines or their great new MLM opportunity or whatever. Can't all be "cognitive dissonance".
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Old 10-07-2019, 01:09 PM
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Characterizing vegans as objectionable or annoying is a common way of dealing with one's cognitive dissonance.
Meh. There certainly are some vegans who obsessively talk about their diet, and use it as a way to place themselves above those around them. But that's a vanishingly small number of vegans IME. Most vegans maintain their diet quietly.

For myself, I definitely acknowledge that my meat-eating is unethical. But I lack the willpower to return to vegetarianism, and the times I've gone vegan--including one time where I really tried to watch my diet--did not turn out well at all.

I can live with being a sinner.
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Old 10-07-2019, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Half Man Half Wit View Post
...
Living an ethical life is a complex optimization problem, and which of your (limited) resources to expend where a question that's not answered by some simple, slogan-like principle. Me, I've recently severely cut back on meat---albeit mostly for climate-related reasons. Am I doing the right thing with that? I can't pretend to know; I arrived at this decision by collating the available information on the topic to the best of my abilities, but any full and exhaustive review far exceeds my time and capabilities. I know that this won't win me any moral high ground, but if there is a golden path leading to a moral standing such that I can preach the right life to my fellow humans, I haven't found it yet.
Well said, this is exactly my take on it also. I count myself lucky to live in an area and era where informed choice becomes easier. In many cases, I can now weigh my own resources (time, money, ethics) against the impacts of my choices. I am personally able to steer myself away from imported mass-factory ethically dubious production into locally sourced and ethically raised meat and dairy. Otherwise, I'm not going to spend hours of my time researching which distribution stream, farm, and conditions each separate object in my shopping cart may have come from prior to purchasing.
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Old 10-07-2019, 01:37 PM
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The "point" of evolution, to the extent there is one, is to reproduce the species. Cows and chickens and pigs and so forth are, by that measure, highly successful. Not by choice - they have been domesticated, which means they have been bred/forced into a semi-symbiotic, semi-parasitical relationship with another highly successful species. It's not to their benefit, but that is besides the point of evolution.
That's really dependent on the definition of 'their benefit'. In terms of surviving and propagating the species, domestication is a GREAT benefit- look at dogs, for example. Millions more dogs than there would be otherwise, with humans ensuring their survival and continuance. Same for cattle, with the exception that we deliberately kill a large percentage of them for food. But the fact remains that there are more cattle and that we're actively sustaining and propagating the species. The same goes for plant species too- how much wild barley would there be vs. the domesticated kind?
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Old 10-07-2019, 01:53 PM
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I'm guessing that if people had to kill and process animals themselves, the overall consumption of meat would be dramatically reduced. Having someone else do it for us makes us much less aware of the real impact. But I digress and stand corrected on your overall point.
I doubt it, except for the increase inefficiency. I've never killed anything to eat it. Well, I take that back, I've killed fish and insects to eat them, but not mammals. But I had a job where I had to kill mice and rats, and I've dissected whole animals (rabbits, that sort of thing) and while killing is extremely unpleasant, so are lots of things that I have much less moral qualms about. For instance, getting my kids vaccinated, and having their blood tested for lead were extremely unpleasant. And I sort of enjoy butchering and dissecting animals, I have no problem with that end of it.
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Old 10-07-2019, 02:28 PM
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If we had to chop down our own trees and make our own chairs, a lot more of us would be sitting on the floor -- but not out of compassion for the trees.
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Old 10-07-2019, 03:11 PM
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Of course, specialization is efficient. I would rather pay $5 a pound for meat and leave the slaughter and processing to somebody else, instead of spending twenty minutes a day on average doing it myself. Not because I am squeamish - it's just easier. And more efficient, due to comparative advantage. It's more efficient for me to spend my time working in IT and outsource the slaughter to someone else. Because then society in general gets the benefit of my IT work, even if I could my own butchering. Because I am more productive doing IT, overall.

Regards,
Shodan
It would take me much more time and effort (on average per bird) to raise, care, catch, kill, feather, gut, clean and part up a chicken. Perhaps I'm a better IT guy than you.
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  #42  
Old 10-07-2019, 10:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Walken After Midnight View Post
Since eating meat is not necessary for our survival, and the only reason people do it is because, as mentioned in the OP, they "like the taste", I think it's unethical and immoral to eat animals (certainly the more intelligent ones anyway).
It's not necessary for most people (it would be awfully hard for Alaska Natives and Inuits to be vegetarian in their native lands) but the human body is designed for eating and digesting meat.

I won't eat things that I know were produced by harming an animal while it's alive, but I have no qualms about eating meat and in fact just finished a tasty pork chop.
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Old 10-07-2019, 10:53 PM
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I'm guessing that if people had to kill and process animals themselves, the overall consumption of meat would be dramatically reduced. Having someone else do it for us makes us much less aware of the real impact. But I digress and stand corrected on your overall point.
I absolutely 100% agree with this. However, the same thing can be said about every damn thing.
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  #44  
Old 10-07-2019, 11:01 PM
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I have to feed my cats meat, or they'll sicken and die.

So what's the point of me not eating it? I still will be buying from slaughterhouses regardless.

And no, I don't feel guilty. Humans are omnivorous. Like bears.
  #45  
Old 10-08-2019, 06:55 AM
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"Proselytizing", is rarely a complementary way to describe someone's opinion. But if you did not mean it in a negative way, I apologize for the mis-characterization.
I simply meant “preaching” and said so due to his/her indignant tone throughout this thread. If you think that means what the poster I replied to made me “upset” then that’s just a case of you assuming I feel the way you hope I feel.
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Old 10-08-2019, 08:28 AM
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I've been on various points of the no-meat spectrum, so I'm chiming in :)


I spent half of my high school and college years as a vegetarian before reintroducing meat into my life. About a year ago, I went vegan for one month as a sort of challenge. I know it's not proof of causation, but I got sick with multiple colds/flu viruses back to back during that month. I have NEVER spent that many weeks being ill, with only a few days' reprieve in between being ill; it started during the challenge, and stretched on for another month and a half. I'm not sure if it's all a coincidence, or if my body was rebelling against the sudden removal of all animal products, but it was a nightmare.

Since that experiment with veganism, I've begun eating meat again - but not nearly as often as before, and not in such large amounts at any given time. My years as a vegetarian were filled with junk food (cheese, potatoes every way but raw, carbs carbs carbs) rather than, you know, *vegetables.* I'm amazed at how many junk foods are vegetarian or even vegan!

I don't believe in causing any creature to suffer without a good reason. Animal research for medical reasons (actual diseases) is ok; animal research for trivial reasons (ANOTHER b.s cellulite cream that won't work, or another shade of lipstick) is not ok with me.

I don't believe factory farming is good for anyone in the food chain, human or 'animal.' It's bad for the environment, to boot. I agree with those saying that happy animals taste better, by the way. I've been known to remark "This burger tastes sad," or similar, depending on the animal I'm eating.

I believe meat is a valid component of the human diet, recognizing that each body is different and requires different input. For me, it's tasty, it's filling, it provides protein and B vitamins, and it flavors other, less palatable foods. Ironically, I eat more fruits, veggies and other plant-based foods now that I did during my vegetarian years.

I believe the intent behind eating omnivorously - to survive and be nourished - is morally neutral, or even 'good.' If you don't enjoy animals' suffering, and if you (when possible) seek out more ethically-sourced animal products, I'd say, eat up and enjoy. It's the circle of life.

As for those who claim that consumption of animal products causes (insert disease/catastrophe here) - many indigenous tribes such as the Inuits eat almost nothing BUT animals, and they have low rates of chronic illnesses, diabetes, cancer, etc. PETA has never answered me when I've asked for them to explain that to me. My belief is that it's not so much what we eat, but how that food is processed. Highly processed junk (bread, crackers, cookies, cereal, pasta, canned foods, tv dinners, fast food) is, I believe, the culprit behind obesity and other diet-related illnesses, NOT animal products per se. I eat minimally processed meats, cooked at home, with no added salt, sugar, oil, butter, breading etc. I have a healthy weight, and my blood pressure tends to the low side, even when I eat more meat than I should sometimes. I also have a job which keeps me active, and I walk as my main method of transportation.

Eat with gratitude for what you have. Eat with awareness of the true cost of what you're eating. Eat whatever's right for your body and lifestyle, and for goodness' sake, enjoy every bite!

Last edited by AMoore2891; 10-08-2019 at 08:29 AM. Reason: forgot something
  #47  
Old 10-08-2019, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by AMoore2891 View Post

Since that experiment with veganism, I've begun eating meat again - but not nearly as often as before, and not in such large amounts at any given time. My years as a vegetarian were filled with junk food (cheese, potatoes every way but raw, carbs carbs carbs) rather than, you know, *vegetables.* I'm amazed at how many junk foods are vegetarian or even vegan!
...
As for those who claim that consumption of animal products causes (insert disease/catastrophe here) - many indigenous tribes such as the Inuits eat almost nothing BUT animals, and they have low rates of chronic illnesses, diabetes, cancer, etc. PETA has never answered me when I've asked for them to explain that to me. My belief is that it's not so much what we eat, but how that food is processed. Highly processed junk (bread, crackers, cookies, cereal, pasta, canned foods, tv dinners, fast food) is, I believe, the culprit behind obesity and other diet-related illnesses, NOT animal products per se.
I agree, meat eating is pretty obviously not the principle reason for rampant eating related disorders like obesity and diabetes. The recent famous/infamous meta study even called into question a significant link between red/processed meat and health problems.* But without debating that, there are so many high calorie non meat foods, so many people whose gorging on them is obviously a big part of their weight problem, it defies everyday observation and common sense to to pretend that obesity health issue centers around meat eating.

There's more solid objective basis to say that raising animals for food has a bigger environmental foot print per calorie than growing plants for food, because you must first grow plants anyway to feed the animals, sometime like 6 times as much in case of beef cattle, though that 'Feed Conversion Ratio' is much lower for chickens.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feed_conversion_ratio
The issue there of course is like a lot of environmental stuff. If the price of meat isn't very high compared to non-meat, there will still be a lot of meat eating. The market under current constraints is saying it's quite affordable to grow all those extra plants. There are cases where the body politic should step in and artificially raise the prices of things to get people to chose the 'right' alternatives, but that process is so open to stupidity and abuse it needs to be a last resort IMO, not the first thing we wake up every day thinking, 'how can I vote to force other people to do stuff they don't find economical?'

I see no problem though with consumer action/preference for more expensive more humanely raised/slaughtered animals if that's what consumers want. Same goes for trying to convince other consumers of that. Even if it's on an emotional sort of basis (you wouldn't kill the animal personally...so what?). If people want more expensive products that fulfill intangible needs the market will as a rule give it to them.

I don't much go along with categorical 'ethical' arguments against meat eating though. Ethics according to whom? It's all well and good to reject the idea of an external source of morality communicated to humans (god(s) via scriptures etc), if you want to that is, freedom of/from religion, fine. But then come to me with just made up human notions, eating animals is categorically 'wrong'...cause we say so: sorry, completely unconvincing.

*
https://www.webmd.com/diet/news/2019...o-eat-red-meat
One among innumerable links for anyone who somehow missed this. And various media outlets are also click baiting a bit to say 'ok to eat red meat', meta study called into the question the strength of the causal link between red and/or processed meat and health problems. It did not say there was no such link, nor say in so many words red/processed meat is 'ok'.

Last edited by Corry El; 10-08-2019 at 09:46 AM.
  #48  
Old 10-08-2019, 10:22 AM
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Characterizing vegans as objectionable or annoying is a common way of dealing with one's cognitive dissonance.
Speaking of cognitive dissonance, there's an increasing body of evidence that plants are intelligent and even "sentient".

"A recent spate of studies...is proving that plants have volition, show altruism and understand kinship much like many animal species. Could this dramatically change how we view plants and, in turn, make us care about what happens to them in the way we’re concerned about threatened, charismatic wildlife?"

So how do plants "feel" when cut down, cooked and served to vegans (and omnivores)? Is that a "sad fact" that should cause us to reconsider eating plants? Are only humane ways of raising plants for food acceptable? Or should we give up and embrace breatharianism?

Cruelty to animals is unacceptable. Eating meat is not immoral in my view, nor do vegans exist on a higher moral plane.

As for plants, "bloom or die" has long been my injunction to garden inhabitants, and I have no problems with eating vegetables, sentient or not.
  #49  
Old 10-08-2019, 10:32 AM
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I assisted my father the veterinarian in euthanizing animals, and it didn't bother me after a rather short while. Granted we didn't eat the dead dog.
My mother used to serve us a tomato sauce-hamburg mixture wrapped in biscuit dough. Inexpensive and tasty. My dad christened the dish "dead dog" based on its appearance, and we called it that all through my childhood.
  #50  
Old 10-08-2019, 11:11 AM
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Speaking of cognitive dissonance, there's an increasing body of evidence that plants are intelligent and even "sentient".
There's not a growing body of evidence. There are the same sort of shoddy, non-replicable studies there have been since the 1970s. (My third graders tried to replicate the drop-a-mimosa-plant study. That poor plant never stopped shriveling on the drop.)

And nobody claiming that plants are intelligent has ever proposed a clear mechanism for this intelligence. Plants lack both a nervous system and any sort of nervous system analog.

Instead, people love to bring these shoddy experiments up to pwn the vegans, in much the same way that some Republicans bring up clickbait Breitbart articles in order to pwn the libs.

Don't do that.
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