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  #51  
Old 10-08-2019, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by jz78817 View Post
and so the proselytizing begins.
Perhaps don't click on threads that are explicitly about the ethics of eating meat?

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Originally Posted by Jophiel View Post
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.
This post is more obnoxious than any vegan I've ever met has been about veganism.
  #52  
Old 10-08-2019, 11:38 AM
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But think about a vegetarian diet. What are you going to eat, vegetables? The slaughter of small animals in the process of monoculture is staggering. The deaths of hundreds, if not thousands of small animals per acre is virtually guaranteed. When they plow, do you think they run through the fields shouting "Run away little field mouse!"? Plowing and harvesting causes the deaths of billions of rabbits, woodchucks, moles, voles, mice, birds of all kinds, you name it. If you knew how much blood was on that cabbage you'd shudder.

Of course, most animals raised for food are on a grain based diet, so that only increases the death toll, but not by much. Probably on a death per calorie basis your best outcome would be shooting a deer in the wild. No animals were killed to provide food for that deer, so you've got that going for you. Even grass fed beef graze on cleared land that likely involves the death of small (or not so small) animals as a by-product.
  #53  
Old 10-08-2019, 12:10 PM
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My wife and I are not vegans, but we have definitely reduced the amount of animal protein we eat. For a number of reasons.

First, our opinion/experience, is that a more plant-based diet is more healthy for us. We are happy to have made the change, but don't attempt to persuade anyone to do likewise (unless they ask.) One thing many people find, once they decrease their meat intake, is that their tastes and bodies change, such that they find meat less appetizing than they used to, and may even find it causes some gastrointestinal discomfort. We are pretty close to completely eliminating beef, for that reason.

Second, many aspects of commercial meat production are really unhealthy for the planet. Growing all that corn, and then feeding it to animals, is a pretty inefficient way to get nutrition into people. The deleterious effect of farming monocultures of beans and corn are indisputable. Deplete the soil, excessive erosion and fertilizer run-off, methane and shit... Excessive use of antibiotics. No, we aren't going to go completely "green" with everyone eating locally from small producers. Nor should we. But there might be a middle ground.

Third, if I am going to eat meat, I'd just as soon the animals were not tortured. Pigs are really intelligent, yet are kept in cages so small that they cannot turn around. Chickens who are so overcrowded that they cannot even stand, and will peck each other to death. All for the sake of saving a few pennies per pound. Sure, we are a higher form of life. But does that mean we ought to mistreat those below us? Do you beat/starve your dog?

Fourth, I've read several things which suggest reducing animal protein can have health benefits. But I don't get too deep into the nutrition science weeds. Wait a week, and the consensus will change.

Of course, I'm a hypocrite. I do not consistently pay the premium for cage-free meat. We eat mostly fish, but there are concerns related to fishing and fish/farming. In general, tho, I do feel there IS a moral component to one's dietary choices.

Hunting and eating what you kill? So long as the species is not endangered, I've got ZERO issue with that.
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  #54  
Old 10-08-2019, 12:11 PM
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Nope. I sometimes get grossed out at the thought of hotdogs but that's only because of how they're made, not what's in them.

I don't feel guilty about it, although I get incensed when people waste meat.

Granted, I'm not going to eat dogs or cats, so there are limits.
  #55  
Old 10-08-2019, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill Door View Post
But think about a vegetarian diet. What are you going to eat, vegetables? The slaughter of small animals in the process of monoculture is staggering. The deaths of hundreds, if not thousands of small animals per acre is virtually guaranteed. When they plow, do you think they run through the fields shouting "Run away little field mouse!"? Plowing and harvesting causes the deaths of billions of rabbits, woodchucks, moles, voles, mice, birds of all kinds, you name it. If you knew how much blood was on that cabbage you'd shudder.
So then, tell me. Give me stats.
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Of course, most animals raised for food are on a grain based diet, so that only increases the death toll, but not by much. Probably on a death per calorie basis your best outcome would be shooting a deer in the wild. No animals were killed to provide food for that deer, so you've got that going for you. Even grass fed beef graze on cleared land that likely involves the death of small (or not so small) animals as a by-product.
The other thing to think about re: animal welfare is not just the death, but also the life. I'm not one of those "animals in nature live an idyllic existence" people; red in tooth and claw, and all. However, were I given the choice between living the life, say, of a wild quail, or a battery hen, no question I'd choose the former.
  #56  
Old 10-08-2019, 12:17 PM
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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.
I really don't think this is accurate. We've gained a much greater appreciation of the complexities of plant behavior in recent years, and mechanisms have been proposed to explain the apparent intelligence---from chemical self-signalling to the networks formed by root apices.

I can't accurately assess the status of this research, and claims to the effect of plant intelligence, much less sentience, obviously have a ways to go, and whether that has any effect on the debate surrounding meat eating is questionable, but still---it seems that there's legitimate research being done in this area.
  #57  
Old 10-08-2019, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness
]There are the same sort of shoddy, non-replicable studies there have been since the 1970s.
Perhaps you could explain just why you believe all these studies are "shoddy" instead of dismissing them out of hand - and then establish (by scientific means) that killing and eating plants is "moral" while killing and eating animals (or at least certain mammals) is "immoral".

"Fast forward to 2019. There are now dozens of research papers, hundreds of articles, and hours of video prepared and published by plant biologists and neurobiologists discussing the many facets of plant intelligence. Through rigorous research and experimentation, the following behavioral characteristics have now been established and can be attributed to plants:

Communication
Learning
Problem Solving
Memory & Memory Recall"


http://ambius.com/blog/are-plants-intelligent/

Last edited by Jackmannii; 10-08-2019 at 01:16 PM.
  #58  
Old 10-08-2019, 01:46 PM
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Characterizing vegans as objectionable or annoying is a common way of dealing with one's cognitive dissonance.
Wrong. I find people who eat meat but only if it's organic, grass-fed, free-range, non-CAFO meat to be equally annoying.
  #59  
Old 10-08-2019, 02:06 PM
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...
Granted, I'm not going to eat dogs or cats, so there are limits.
I find this approach amusing. Enjoyed reading a book once titled Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat.. I think the most extreme example I recall was a lab rat. While used for an experiment, it can be very expensive and is cared for carefully. But should it fall off the lab bench onto the floor, it becomes vermin to be exterminated!
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  #60  
Old 10-08-2019, 02:51 PM
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Perhaps you could explain just why you believe all these studies are "shoddy" instead of dismissing them out of hand - and then establish (by scientific means) that killing and eating plants is "moral" while killing and eating animals (or at least certain mammals) is "immoral".
First, I should be clearer. Not all the research is shoddy. However, much of it is not replicated, and no conclusions should be drawn from it. Other research is really interesting, but the conclusions about intelligence are completely unsupported. Something's going on, but calling it "intelligence" is a real stretch.

Then you want me to establish (by scientific means) something about morality? Get out of here with that silliness.

Last edited by Left Hand of Dorkness; 10-08-2019 at 02:51 PM.
  #61  
Old 10-08-2019, 03:00 PM
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Monica Gagliano, one of the researchers, may be a little bit biased in her research:
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYTimes
Monica Gagliano says that she has received Yoda-like advice from trees and shrubbery. She recalls being rocked like a baby by the spirit of a fern. She has ridden on the back of an invisible bear conjured by an osha root. She once accidentally bent space and time while playing the ocarina, an ancient wind instrument, in a redwood forest. “Oryngham,” she says, means “thank you” in plant language. These interactions have taken place in dreams, visions, songs and telekinetic interactions, sometimes with the help of shamans or ayahuasca.
Here's the abstract of an article by botanists, saying, basically, "Slow your freakin roll, folks.
  #62  
Old 10-08-2019, 03:05 PM
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I find this approach amusing. Enjoyed reading a book once titled Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat.. I think the most extreme example I recall was a lab rat. While used for an experiment, it can be very expensive and is cared for carefully. But should it fall off the lab bench onto the floor, it becomes vermin to be exterminated!
I used to work with lab mice. One got away. When we finally caught it, I pointed out that it was no longer a source of unbiased data, since if it's results were different we'd probably throw the data away. One of the other ladies in the lap adopted it and named it "Lucky". It lived out its life as a pet.
  #63  
Old 10-08-2019, 05:39 PM
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Yeah I regularly feel guilty for eating meat and have toyed with veganism. Every scrap of evidence I've ever encountered has told me the Western diet is a pretty big burden on the planet and torturously cruel to animals. So why wouldnt I feel shame?

Its hard for me working in a kitchen. I also think it's hard in general because so much of our relationships are mediated by food. Like when you're spending time with adult relatives who you dont live with, isn't it usually at a meal?

I think veganism should be more of a collective intention than just an individual consumer choice because we've built food into such a social thing. It will never take otherwise. If most of the people I know were vegan at most of their meals, veganism would be a trivially easy adjustment to make.
  #64  
Old 10-09-2019, 01:12 PM
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Sorry I don't have a subscription to the Times to see what the entire article says or doesn't say about Gagliano or all the other researchers who've published on the subject of plant intelligence, but here's an accessible article (including an interview with Gagliano) by Forbes, which tends to be rather hard-headed and skeptical about claims that it views as pseudoscience:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/andream.../#3e25c0f76dc4

Also, a suggestion: unless you've suddenly taken on Mod plumage unannounced, kindly dispense with comments like "Don't do that'' and "Get out of here". You don't get to dictate what other posters may say in this forum.
  #65  
Old 10-09-2019, 01:19 PM
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Also note: there are plenty of other published papers by additional researchers in this area as well.

It's not that I buy into the idea that consuming plants is problematic or ''immoral'' due to supposed plant sentience. But it does make some vegans' claims of moral superiority appear rather shaky.
  #66  
Old 10-09-2019, 05:01 PM
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I struggle with this myself, OP. I'm not in the mood to argue, but here's where I've landed, for whatever it's worth. I eat a mostly vegetarian/vegan diet, but I make some exceptions for flavor, social reasons, and convenience. I love cheese; I eat far less than my heart's desire and buy the torture-lite kinds when I do, but if I were a better person I'd give it up entirely. I'll sometimes eat what's available at a party or a rest stop instead of fasting or bringing granola bars everywhere. I limit my use of leather and other non-food animal products too. There are other considerations; leather tends to be much more durable than the alternatives, which means less waste; a particular leather product might have been made under less sweatshop-like conditions than a particular alternative product. Similarly, free-range organic meat might, under some circumstances, be produced with less environmental damage than some foods that happen to be vegan. A particular recipe might require either an animal product or a vegan alternative, the latter of which might not be available at your local market, which means burning a lot of gas making a special trip for it, or possibly buying from a less ethical company that rhymes with shamazon and treats their workers like shit. It's hard to account for and quantify all the suffering you're contributing to with your choices.

But you don't have to constantly deprive yourself, hate yourself, or just close your eyes. You can make what you feel is the most ethical choice most of the time, and give yourself a break once in a while and eat your grandma's meatballs.
  #67  
Old 10-10-2019, 05:17 PM
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Nope, I do not feel guilty. I try as much as possible to be informed about the choices I make and live with them. I will buy meat from the local butcher over a supermarket because the amount of overall expenditure in resources is lower even if the price is higher. I visited the Burns processing plant in the 80s as part of a field trip and was off eating red meat for a few months. However, eventually I decided that steak and burgers are tasty and I can live with what I saw. I've helped hunters clean deer and plucked and gutted chickens as well. I dislike intensely the fact the whole concept of the factory farm where animals are penned or put in cages for their entire (usually short and miserable) lives. I conscientiously try and avoid eating anything as a product of them. Sometimes I fail.

I'll re-iterate: Give respect for the life that gave it up to make yours possible.
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  #68  
Old 10-10-2019, 06:30 PM
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...I think veganism should be more of a collective intention than just an individual consumer choice because we've built food into such a social thing. It will never take otherwise. If most of the people I know were vegan at most of their meals, veganism would be a trivially easy adjustment to make.
Huh. It would not be an easy adjustment for me. While there are a handful of vegan meals I make that I really like, there's a lot I don't like. And all my favorite foods are animal-based. Well, except chocolate, I suppose.

I went to a dinner-and-movie night at a vegetarian friend's house recently, and I brought all my own food. What I brought was all vegetarian, and was all food I could share with everyone there. (And I did.) But I brought it because I knew that otherwise I would go hungry.

I long for meat when I haven't had it in a while.

I try to eat meat raised with less cruelty. But no, it wouldn't be an easy adjustment for me at all.
  #69  
Old 10-10-2019, 06:33 PM
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Sorry I don't have a subscription to the Times to see what the entire article says or doesn't say about Gagliano or all the other researchers who've published on the subject of plant intelligence
If only I'd quoted the relevant section, so you didn't have to use up one of your free articles.
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Also, a suggestion: unless you've suddenly taken on Mod plumage unannounced, kindly dispense with comments like "Don't do that'' and "Get out of here". You don't get to dictate what other posters may say in this forum.
Watch out with that irony meter!
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Originally Posted by Jackmannii View Post
It's not that I buy into the idea that consuming plants is problematic or ''immoral'' due to supposed plant sentience. But it does make some vegans' claims of moral superiority appear rather shaky.
It really doesn't.
  #70  
Old 10-11-2019, 10:17 AM
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I think the "obnoxious vegans" thing might be due to a selection effect. If there are obnoxious vegans, and non-obnoxious ones, which ones are you going to know about? If your co-worker the next cubicle over never talks about their diet, and the one time you went to lunch with them, they ordered the pasta primavera, would you even know they were vegan?
  #71  
Old 10-11-2019, 11:40 AM
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When climate change destroys civilization, and humanity reverts to primitive barbarism, those who restrict their dietary options will have a lower probability of survival than those who seek nutrients from a wide variety of sources.
  #72  
Old 10-11-2019, 02:05 PM
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Some of us are hoping it doesn't get to the point of looking up long pork recipes...
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