Mofo Rising wrote:
One of the envorinmental reasons sometimes given for vegetarianism is that it’s more efficient than carnivory.
For every pound of beef you get out of a dead cow, the cow had to have consumed roughly 12 pounds of grain over its lifetime. Therefore, it takes about 12 times as much food to be carnivorous as it does to be vegetarian. Although the U.S. alone produces so much grain that it could theoretically feed every human being and every cow on Earth, there’s always the chance that we’ll be hit with another Dust Bowl or other natural disaster that threatens us with famine. Plus, many of the fields used for grazing cattle are created by applying slash-and-burn tactics to rainforests, and as soon as anyone utters the word “rainforest” you know the tree-huggers are going to get involved.
IANAV and I make damn sure that the animals I eat are dead.
Although not a vegitarian at this time, I have been one in the past and do limit my intake on meat now.
Reason–religious, although vegitarianism is not mandatory, it is recommended for health reasons.
I was going to stay out of this and let the vegetarians answer as per the OP, but every time I see someone quote the environmental reason tracser just did I feel compelled to leap in and point out the fallacies.
The actual figures are near enough correct. The problem is that it is a serious oversimplification that ignores the facts that:
Most of the world’s protein comes not from domestic ruminants but from seafood, small animals like rabbits, chickens and cavies, game and undesireables like frogs, dogs, insects and snails. Even pigs are fed to varying degrees on waste food, so it’s hard to get an accurate figure their actual human-utiliseable food consumption. Even in the US I don’t know if grain-fed meat would constitute the majority of meat consumed.
Most of the worlds grazing animals are not grain fed, but in fact range fed and as such consume no grain. Most of the worlds rangelands can not be used for cropping. If animal production was ruled out then about 80% of the worlds rangelands would become unproductive.
The figures are invariably quoted either gram for gram or calorie for calorie. Of course beef is a major source of protein and vitamin b12. If take into account that grain contains around 8% useable protein, and beef around 30% then the ratio of grain to beef drops to about 3 to one. If we then take into account that grain is not an entire protein source until fed to ruminants then we need to account for the additional energy cost of growing and transporting legumes to supplement the human diet. Then we need to account for the energy cost of microbial b12 production and very rapidly the actual energy cost becomes 1:1 or even favours grain-fed beef. Basically growing grain-fed beef for calories is bad economics and bad environmentally. Growing grain-fed beef as a dietery requirement however is about break-even.
Which accounts for about 95% of veggies, IMHO.
Ukulele Ike and I got into a discussion concerning the animal you are talking about.[list][list][list][list][list]The Schmoo[list]
Someone that can’t hear a carrot SCREEM[list][list][list]
Another advantage not so far mentioned is that hand-washing your dishes is much easier without all those greasy meats. I switched for health reasons personally, but that is another small advantage.
There was an LA Times survey a few months ago that found that health is the most common reason. I think that 44% chose health as the number one reason.
Good Lord Scylla - I didn’t expect to see that when I opened this thread.
Since the OP was looking for a GQ, I thought that your post was a damn good answer.
milroyj - you don’t come into GD, make a deeply offensive and unfounded one-liner and then try to excuse yourself by typing “d&r”. It doesn’t wash. Either back it up, withdraw it or stick to MPSIMS.
I became a vegetarian (or close to it- I still ate see food on occasion) when I was doing yoga daily (also taking Karate, but that has little to do with becoming vegetarian) I thought I would try it out. A friend of mine was a vegetarian and an amazing cook, convincing me it was possible to eat well and be a vegetarian. I had always had stomach problems, and found that after giving up meat, they seemed much less severe. After being a vegetarian for a month, I ate a piece of ham.
I was sick for three days. Although I do not have any research to back this up it seems from my personal experience, and that of other vegetarians I have known, that once meat is removed form the diet it one becomes sensitized to it. (For some reason I could still eat most seafood- don't know why this would be.) Eventually though, it got to be too much. I became ill at work after ordering food from a restaurant that was supposed to be vegetarian, but made me sick (Atlanta Bread Company hot and sour soup- in a bread bowl) This was not the first time, but I just had enough. All of my vegetarian friends had started eating meat again. - So I thought I would take the plunge. I had a hamburger (after double dosing myself with Pepto- and more afterwards) at a wonderful steakhouse. I have never tasted anything so grand. I think I made the friend who was with me uncomfortable - I was moaning. Since then I have had more stomach problems than when I was a vegetarian, but haven't been blindsided by any intense stomach problems caused by meat tainted food either. I have thought about going back to (near) vegetarianism- but meat is SO good
[QUOTEyou don’t come into GD, make a deeply offensive and unfounded one-liner and then try to excuse yourself by typing “d&r”. It doesn’t wash.[/QUOTE]
Oh, yes it does!
I’ve managed to stick strictly to invisible food. It’s not easy though.
Ok, seriously, there are certain enzymes needed to digest animal protein, and your body stops making them if you completly avoid meat for long enough. That’s why some people get stomach pain when they spontaneously add meat to their diet.
My problems with veggies:
People who call themselves vegetarian who also eat fish and/or dairy, or wear leather or wool. Fish ain’t vegetables, folks.
People who eat at McDonald’s and are shocked that animal products are used in their food preparation, so much so, that they feel the need to sue.
People who think animals are equal to, or better than, humans. The guy who tossed the dog on the highway got 3 years in jail, but the so-called person who LOCKED HER KIDS IN THE TRUNK EVERYDAY WHILE SHE WAS AT WORK got three months! Nice priorities our society is setting.
So I stand by my original statement.
True, fish aren’t vegetables, but why would wearing leather or wool disqualify one from being a vegetarian? The term “vegetarian” refers to what you eat, not what you wear. Not all vegetarians eat the way they do out of concern for animal rights (see Scylla’s first post).
Do you have a site for this? It certainly fits with my experience and that of other vegetarians (and near vegetarians) I have known, but I would like to read more about this. I am particularly interested in knowing if some people do not make as much of these enzymes even when eating meat regularly. If this is true it would explain the stomach problems I have always had that seem to get better when I am eating vegetarian.
You seem to have vegetarianism mixed up with being a vegan.
[sub]from http://www.dictionary.com [/sub]
Most vegans I have known will not eat honey either.
You are certainly correct in stating that
It is sometimes easier to use a word that is close to the meaning one intends as a shorthand rather that giving a long explanation. For example, (when it was true) I could have said " I subsist primarily on a vegetarian diet, but occasionally I stray from this diet. When I do so I invariably eat seafood as it does not cause the stomach problems for me that other forms of meat do." But saying “I am a vegetarian” and then explaining when neccesary, is just so much more damn easy. Granted, though, someone who ate seafood all the time (or even chicken- I have known people who thought vegetarians could eat chicken, and were frankly amazed when I said I could not) and would not recognize that this made them no longer a vegetarian would not be seeing reality.
I am all with you there. It’s one thing if you go to a restaurant and eat food that is specifically marked and marketed as being vegetarian and it is not(as has happened to me on numerous occasions- not that I would ever consider this grounds for a law suite either), but McDonald? That is just (IMHO) plain stupid.
He would not have received any jail time if the dog had not belonged to somebody who did not want the dog killed. He was jailed for willful destruction of private property, not any “animal rights” crime.
Of course, when McDonald’s markets their french fries as being “now prepared in 100% vegetable oil!”, one might say that that is a clear implication to the consumer that there are no animal products present in their fried potatoes. And the fact that they market them that way to people who might have a religious objection to eating meat – say, Hindus living in America – could easily be considered misleading at best and intentionally deceptive at worst.
And vegetarians aren’t the only ones affected by it, either. If, for some medical reason, someone has a problem digesting red meat, but likes to get the McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish, they’d probably appreciate knowing that their fries contain beef fat.
But, hey, let’s not let any thought or ignorance-fighting in the way of making fun of vegetarians some more. Have at it.
Understood. But in what RL situation do people get sentenced to 3 years in jail for “willful destruction of property”? The “taggers” who spraypaint bridges, subway stops, busses? Kids who knock over mailboxes with a baseball bat? Taking your 4-Wheel to rip up a golf course? Willful destruction of property, to be sure, but do they get 3 years? So why was the situation with the dog treated any differently?