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"Meat eaters should be treated like smokers"  RSS feed

 
Michael Cox
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Another politician in the UK pushing her own extreme agenda.

Vegan Shadow Environment Minister says Meat Eaters should be treated like smokers

How can someone responsible for the "environment" really be so short sighted?

EDIT - On reflection I want to start by steering this discussion a bit. She is entitled to her personal opinions, but here we clearly have someone who's personal beliefs are colouring their professional responsibilities. I would suggest that her initial appointment to the role is inappropriate, in the same way that any other individual who used a position of authority to force their beliefs on others would be inappropriate.

Clearly there are BIG issues specific to this case - the UK landscape is largely characterised by grazing lands and our landscape has been shaped and formed by agricultural pressures. Around here the grazers are building soils, while the big ag crop growers are causing wide spread flooding through inappropriate ploughing of uplands bare soil. Could grazing be done better? Probably. Is removing livestock from the environment going to be a net benefit? Almost certainly not.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Is it unethical/immoral for a vegan mother to breast-feed her baby?

 
Nicole Alderman
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Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
Is it unethical/immoral for a vegan mother to breast-feed her baby?



From my understanding, the necessary nutrients will be given to the baby, regardless of the mother's diet. The mother's body will simply strip them from her bones, etc. to feed her baby. Breastmilk in third world countries, where the mother is starving, is still better than formula. Sure, it won't be as good as a healthy, well-nourished mother's milk, but it will still have all the necessary nutrients. The mother is mostly only hurting herself.

Now, feeding an infant or toddler a vegan diet, that's another story. I personally think that's a very unhealthy and wrong thing to do. But, if it's unethical to malnourished a kid via a vegan diet, it's unethical to malnourished them by feeding them an all junk-food diet...and now we're in that moral grey area of whether or not we can proscribe diets and parenting philosophies...
 
r ranson
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Wow, and she's the new representative for the farming industry?!? Wow. I know the UK is a bit... um... assertive about animal rights. I remember at one time, the RSPCA was one of the wealthiest organizations in the world - citing the Guardian circa 2001ish, or at least my memory of the article - not to mention there are some pretty strict regulations about home processing animals for personal consumption... but I feel this individual is going a bit far. I haven't been in the UK for a while now, but I can't imagine the culture has changed so much to allow this sort of guff from a public official.

This being the ulcer factory, I'm going to write my opinion (after refreshing my memory in the Be Nice thread). I feel very strongly about this and I'll probably come across that way. My apologies. With luck, this will come across as focusing on the idea of absolute veganism, not as an attack on the individuals who follow the vegan philosophy.

My general approach to meat eating: I eat meat. I don't eat a lot, but I love it as a side dish to enhance a delicious meal. Also, there's bacon. I love bacon. Because I care a lot about animal welfare, I feel bad about eating animals that have had a stressful life. I see a 'good' life for an animal that allows it to feel secure and behaviour according to its specific nature. Sheep are given an environment that allows them to express their sheep-ness. Because I feel this way, I raise my own animals for my own consumption, or work with fellow farmers who can provide the high standards of care I demand. I also feel that the stress of sending an animal to the slaughter house, which can mean up to 4 days of travel and stress prior to slaughter and upto 60% waste (aka, 100lb live lamb gives 40 pounds meat for the freezer in some abattoirs) is against my idea of a 'good life' for the animal. So that's where I'm coming from. I home process my meat and cry buckets every time. I also use 100% of the animal. About 90% is edible for us humans, the rest get used for other things like the hide and horns.

Quoting the article linked to in the OP:

...ultimately people needed to give up meat or dairy if they really wanted to protect animals.


Okay. I like protecting the animals... putting aside the hubris assuming that we are the species to do so... but I wonder, what would that look like?

We know we can't protect any living thing from death - death happens. However, it's a pretty safe bet that protecting them from the vague and subjective idea of suffering is what we mean. Okay. I can get behind that.

Then again, plants also express suffering and intelligence... what's next, a save the carrot campaign? read this and an article in the Newyorker


Veganism (in its pure state) means no use of animal products whatsoever.

For example: my sweater does not follow the teachings of veganism. It is made of wool. Wool is the fluffy stuff that comes from the sheep. It is amazingly insulating. It breaths, feels warm when wet, feels cool in the summer. The wool for this sweater came from my sheep, who lives about 10 yards away from where I write this. I cleaned, prepared, spun, and knit the wool into this lovely sweater 3 years ago. I have enough yarn left over that I can mend the sweater and it should last me about 20 years of heavy use. Wool also repels dirt, so it needs less washing, and therefore less water than other textiles like cotton. The sheep is shorn once or twice a year. If it is not shorn then the animal will suffer, become prone to parasites, overheat in summer, in an extreme case the sheep can start rotting while alive. Not to mention, it is going to be darn itchy. To prevent my sheep from suffering, it needs to be shorn.

However, from a vegan point of view, this wool needs to be tossed out. It can't be used for improving the soil of the garden because that would be using animal product to the benefit of humans. The manure also cannot be used to grow my food. I've done some experiments in my own garden, just little ones. I grew one crop on purely vegetative input and one with manure input. Each time the crop with the manure outperformed the vegi-compost every time. In my purely personal experience, vegi only compost requires a great deal more energy input to be as productive as manure (which is a happy byproduct of my clothing source).

To make my sweater vegan friendly we must first waste the natural resource that already exists by either not shearing the sheep and leaving them to suffer, or by shearing them and tossing the wool in the bin. Next we must seek a non-animal source of cloth. Cotton is lovely, if no where near as warm or as durable as wool, so I would need two or three sweaters to make up for the one I have, and each cotton sweater will probably last 2 to 4 years. Of course, cotton does not grow 10 meters from my front door, so there is loads of transport. Transport (not necessarily in this order) from field to gin, to spinning mill, to weaving mill, to dying place, to sweatshop, to warehouse, to smaller warehouse, to shop, to my home. But that's okay, because that doesn't damage animals directly - except of all the emissions from the transport. It is also one of the heaviest users of petro chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, Genetic Modification, and other things that harm animals directly or indirectly.

Okay, maybe cotton might harm animals. Let's look somewhere else.

Linen, hemp and other bast fibres can be used to make clothing. Only to do so on a scale large enough to cloth the 7 odd billion people on this planet would be difficult. For starters, these are 'cool' fabrics which do not insulate. Processing them on a large enough scale involves damaging watersheds during the retting process. Since we aren't allowed to use manure on the fields, we will require about three times as much land to produce the clothing than we would need using traditional methods.

That's okay, we can create clothing all sorts of other ways using petroleum or by extracting proteins from plants (Rayon - includes 'eco fabrics' like bamboo and soy). Of course, this pollutes waterways and kills fish and leaves other animals to suffer. But hey, it ain't wool. These fabrics are also linked to health concerns because they do not allow the skin to breath like natural fibres do. There is also the problem of allergies - most allergies are to specific proteins, the rayon is made from plant protein like soy. Quite often the alteration of the protein structure is insufficient to prevent an allergic reaction.

Okay, so I see it, if veganism is correct about not harming animals, then we must go naked most of the time. Or accept that directly or indirectly our vegan clothing causes harm to animals.

This may be a bit chilly but that's okay, because we will all starve first.

There are ways, in certain climates, and certain circumstances to grow large amounts of food without the input of animals. However, I don't know how we can feed the world with this method unless we resort to modern, industrial style farming and mass transport.

We can use petro chemicals and GM crops to feed the world, but this still causes suffering to animals. hmmm...

So we need to enhance the land without the aid of animals.

Of course worm bin composting is out because worms are animals too. I wonder if bees are allowed to pollinate under strict vegan rules? Perhaps only if they are wild bees? If not, we can send the farmer around with a paintbrush to each flower if necessary.

This means that we need to grow cover crops and other ways of building the soil, which means we need a lot more land than we use now to produce food.

A pity because a waste product like manure or worm poo is lovely for making things grow.

To eat vegan, with minimal harm to animals, we need a local, sustainable agriculture (I like that bit). However, in some parts of the world they have this thing called winter. Some places even have winter that causes things to stop growing. Importing food can harm animals. It would take massive reeducation to show people how to eat preserved foods without risking nutritional deficiency. Animals provide a huge amount of nutrition in these hunger months with milk, eggs, meat. Each region would require finding a staple crop that grows well there that will substitute for the nutrition otherwise gotten from meat.

Locally, fava beans and barley fill this gap nicely, especially when fermented into miso paste; however, this would take land away from wild animals, and risk introducing a new plant to an already fragile ecosystem which is suffering from other well meant introduced species.


I see a vegan world as being hungry and naked with a plague of sheep bleating to be shorn.


I would rather see a middle ground. One where people respect the animals they eat, and maybe eat less of them. Where the animals can be raised in a way that allows them to express their specific nature. The 'waste' from one aspect of farming, used to enhance the others. Local and sustainable agriculture is one of my biggest dreams, but maybe veganism could be used as a stepping stone towards this instead of pressed on us with the missionary vigour of an extreme religion.

This is just my opinion. I won't force you to live life the way I do.
 
Tyler Ludens
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I'm very very far away from the UK, so this doesn't affect me, but, in my region it is rather difficult to produce calories by growing plants for humans. Plants for herbivores grow much more readily, and we currently have an oversupply of delicious herbivores (Whitetail deer and exotic - and even more delicious - Axis deer) due to lack of predators.

This craptonnage of herbivores is damaging the native vegetation by overbrowsing, so, if we like the place not to be a desert, we should either manage for native predators (cougar) and/or import non-native predators (tiger) or eat a lot of the herbivores ourselves. Personally I am totally against the tiger idea.

If you can't tell, I think deer, especially Axis deer, are delicious.
 
John Wolfram
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Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
Is it unethical/immoral for a vegan mother to breast-feed her baby?

That's a good question. Taking it a step further, I've often wondered if there would be a market for vegan approved cheeses made from human breastmilk. That idea, of course, is second in line to the concept of creating Kosher bacon by making a GMO pig with a non-cloven hoof.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Off-topic: So, kosher folks can only eat horse meat? (non-cloven hoof) Pardon my ignorance!
 
Nicole Alderman
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Tyler Ludens wrote:Off-topic: So, kosher folks can only eat horse meat? (non-cloven hoof) Pardon my ignorance!
For mammals, they have to have split hooves and chew the cud. So, sheep, goats, deer and cows are okay. Rabbits, bear, horse, monkeys, camel, pigs are not koshur, for example. They can eat fish as long as they have scales (no catfish or crustaceans), as well poultry such as ducks and chicken (and other birds that are not predatory or scavengers). Reptiles and amphibians and all insects--except locusts--are off limits.

 
Tyler Ludens
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Chickens are pretty darn predatory.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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John Wolfram wrote:I've often wondered if there would be a market for vegan approved cheeses made from human breastmilk.


I wonder where that would lead? PETHuMP: People for the Ethical Treatment of Human Milk Producers...

I've often thought about the contract that people make with plants and animals... A grass growing near what eventually became Oaxaca Mexico agreed to give up it's ability to reproduce naturally in exchange for producing huge seeds that are readily eaten by humans and protected by husks from animal and insect predation. People agreed to nurture the corn, to plant it in the right time and place, and protect it from weeds, and droughts, and large mammals, and to give it every opportunity to reproduce indefinitely. It's been a great contract for the corn and for humanity. The corn went from a minor grass growing in a small area to growing over most of a planet. People got a reliable source of food that is easily stored and processed.

Chickens are the same way... A minor species in some remote jungle made a contract with humanity and it is now thriving across an entire planet.

When I think of the contract in these terms, I don't feel bound to preserve each individual corn plant, and each individual chicken, but I do desire to do what I can to preserve the species, and honor it for being clever enough to make a contract with my species.

 
Nicole Alderman
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Tyler Ludens wrote:Chickens are pretty darn predatory.


Yeah, that one confused me quite a bit, too. It's especially confusing because the scripture (Leviticus 11:13-19) doesn't actually say which birds are safe to eat and why, but rather say which ones aren't safe to eat (24 species, including owls, eagles, herons, and vultures). So, people had to extrapolate from the list of birds not to eat and try to figure out which ones were safe. The prohibited birds are all predators &/or scavengers....but, chickens do seem to be rather predatory, as well as scavengers... So, I did a little research. https://www.ou.org/torah/mitzvot/taryag/mitzvah157/. I guess it comes down to the fact that:

kosher birds have a crop (part of the digestive system), a gizzard with a thin layer that can be peeled, and an extra toe. A kosher bird on a wire will have three toes in front and one in back. The eggs of kosher birds are identifiable in that one end is narrower than the other. (All of this information was useful in establishing the turkey as a kosher bird despite lack of a received tradition to that effect.)


I'm going to have to assume that their digestive system--like cows and other clean mammals--allows them to process food better, and thus are less likely to have parasites and other food-born illnesses if not cooked properly.... Or maybe they shouldn't have been considered kosher after all?
 
Steve Farmer
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I respect people who make a personal choice not to consume animal products. I consume animal products, and while I wouldn't eat caviar, foie gras or veal due to the conditions the animals are reared under, I can't say whether my chicken or bacon sandwich caused suffering or not - so I don't have the moral high ground here. But surely this women advocating policy (and fortunately she is in the opposition and not actually dictating policy) would be doing much more good for animals if she was promoting better abattoir and animal upbringing policies, rather than just seeking a doomed policy of imposing veganism that will only get her and the rest of the animal rights movement laughed at.
 
Burra Maluca
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Steve Farmer wrote:But surely this women advocating policy (and fortunately she is in the opposition and not actually dictating policy) would be doing much more good for animals if she was promoting better abattoir and animal upbringing policies, rather than just seeking a doomed policy of imposing veganism that will only get her and the rest of the animal rights movement laughed at.


I'm wondering if she's doing it just to get everyone talking about it. If, for instance, people come back with information such as how grass-fed animal products are better for you, and can be better for the environment than not raising animals on grassland, and avoid so many of the welfare concerns of more industrial animal raising techniques, then maybe some kind of half-way compromise might be reached which is much further along than the one that would be reached if she hadn't been so outspoken.

She's a self-declared 'militant vegan', and I do find it hard to discuss stuff logically with militant vegans as they seem to me to work from a near religious belief system about killing being wrong in any circumstances and that a vegan diet is somehow miraculously superior despite any scientific evidence to the contrary. I do, however, think that an honest look at the subject might open the door to much better ways of animal husbandry becoming the norm in the UK. The problem is the solution, and all that. But how to make it so?
 
duane hennon
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John Wolfram wrote:
I've often wondered if there would be a market for vegan approved cheeses made from human breastmilk.


I bet there would be an increase in the number of applicants for "dairy inspectors"
 
Deb Rebel
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duane hennon wrote:

John Wolfram wrote:
I've often wondered if there would be a market for vegan approved cheeses made from human breastmilk. I bet there would be an increase in the number of applicants for "dairy inspectors"


This was tried. The EWWWWW factor outweighed the novelty and it was a short run. They also tried yogurt. Same general reaction.

There was even a pass at 'vegan chicken wings' where the wings were amputated from laying hens, and the hens continued after to live free range and produce eggs, so the animal didn't die to give the food product. They were very expensive and they didn't make it in the market either.

I grew up farmgirl and raised what I ate, we joked about the only thing we didn't eat off the pig was the squeal. Later years I did follow judiasm for about three decades. Their dietary laws, the basics, read as a health and sanitation code to keep people from killing themselves (at least my take on it). Split hooves (pigs) had trichinosis for one. Some time back a solid hoof pig came out and it raged for a long time if it was okay to consume that pork because they didn't have a cloven hoof...

Last few years I have to eat a strict vegan diet because of health (medical vegan, not moral vegan). I respect the rights of people to choose what they wish to eat. Food animals, can exact a heavy toll on environment (and I won't even start there on rain forest destruction or the Chinese steppes grasslands destruction to produce beef).

I live with a spouse that can eat anything and I don't begrudge him eating meat, I often prepare his meals. Just the cards as dealt. He can eat it, even luscious yummy bacon, and I can't. I don't rail about how unfair it is because it won't do a bit of good. Leather from animals that went to the table, or hair/fur (wool) that goes to use, is using the resources that are available. Rabbit skins (fur)? A lot came off food animals. (some don't but). I have no problem with that, or keeping your home flock for eggs, taking the milk from your dairy animals, etc. Their job is to produce for you, you care for them, they repay you with some renewable resources (milk, wool, eggs) and some by gracing the table and you use what you can from that. (feather down for pillows and comforters, etc). Most reading this are of the sort that you are keeping a few animals, not running a big factory-food production type setup (hens in battery cages to lay and calves in chute/pens, etc). You interact with your animals daily, you give them a good quality life (protection from other predators, food supply, water, shelter, medical care) and they give you various useable things as well.

I was raised that we butchered and put up our own food; I hunted, fished, and trapped (one year, never again, but I did run a trapline). I could enjoy the 'sport' but by the same token I was taught to be responsible about it, what I took I ate, I took it to eat it, and I should be as humane as I could when I did so. My father left me with a legacy that I have the skills to feed myself if I need to and can find something to eat, whether it grows or lives. My paternal family was very big on growing their food as well, from a young age I also learned to grow and process food for my table.

That all said, the politician mentioned stepped over, her personal and professional lives should not be mingling thus. It reflects poorly on herself, her position, and her country. Whoever appointed her, it also reflects on them. Surely there should be some way to recall (do a redo on the whole situation).
 
Mick Fisch
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If you claim to love the animals, why are you eating their food? (lame joke)

There is an argument (this is used in the drug debate) that my meat eating habit is costing society too much. When the argument convinces enough people, then meat eaters will be treated like smokers or maybe like druggies or even worse (cannibals). I don't look for that to happen anytime soon because eating animal products is so ingrained into our society. It will be hard to really convince that many people, partly because most people simply don't care enough and partly because meat (especially bacon) tastes awesome. Everyone agrees that consuming fewer animal products is better for you. Yet we don't stop. We vote with our wallets. When we quit buying, the stores will quit selling.

If we don't eat animals, we really aren't saving their lives. They simply won't have any life at all. Unless we have a need for chickens, pigs, etc. we won't make a place for them and they will never be born, if they are born, we will kill them quickly because they will be consuming resources we can use elsewhere. They will be as welcome as rats and mice, but larger and easier to exterminate. That is the simple truth. We may allow a token number to survive, but that is all. A few may survive in zoos or in the wild, but only until we decide they are too much trouble. (I realize there is a current problem with wild pigs, but that's only because they haven't become a big enough irritant to society as a whole. Why didn't their numbers go up years ago? Because people were actively hunting them.)

It might be argued that no life is better than a short, nasty, brutish one. The response is that most people seem to try real hard to hold onto their lives even if they are short, nasty and brutish. It's a little presumptuous to assume you have the right to kill someone or something else because of your estimation of their quality of life. (I've heard many of the same arguments used by abortion advocates).

People generally go vegan for two reasons, practical (health, my body can't handle that food) or philosophical/ religious.

Addressing the practical, my wife gets a sinus infection if she eats even a tiny bit of chicken contaminated food. She responds especially badly to eggs, even from homegrown, bug eating chickens. It only took us almost 30 years of constant sinus infections to discover and verify this truth. Repeated experiments have proved that she can eat duck eggs with only a very slight reaction though. Weird! Don't fight what IS. Accept the truth and move on. My wife avoids chicken and eggs like the plague now. The rest of the family has no such handicap. We don't eat a lot of chicken anymore because of the bother of cooking two parallel dishes, but my wife doesn't try to tell us it's bad for us. She can see that chicken and egss don't bother us.

Everyone's body is a little different. Listen to your body. Women seem to be better at this than guys (sexist generalization, I know, but generally true)

If you want to be vegan for philosophical reasons, I applaud you. I will assume you have the maturity and intelligence to make a personal choice. I could also add, more meat for me. As long as we respect each others right to choose, there isn't any conflict.

It seems to me that we are facing radicals on every front. Way more in number, way more in variations and way more aggressive than I ever remember before. The way I define a radical is when someone else demands special privileges and/or demands that I conform to their rules (beyond common sense requirements for the general well being of society), then I would say they are radical. If they are willing to live and let live I don't see them as radical. I realize that sounds vague, but then people move back and forth over that line easily. I feel like the judge who, when asked to define pornography said something like, "It's hard to define it but when I see it, I recognize it". I think most people, if they stop to think about it can recognize the pushy demands of radicals (except, often, their own particular form of radicalism).

It seems like the world is full of people who think they have a god given right to tell other people how to live. Often the bossy ones are as screwed up as a football bat and it seems they can't stand to see others getting along fine.

When something doesn't sound quite right, examine the unspoken assumptions. That is usually where the problem is. They sell the lie as an assumption.

This pushy, demanding, holy-than-thou stuff really irritates me. The shouting down and shaming of others on public forums and in the news is really getting out of hand. People stereotypically assign such behavior to religion, but I have rarely if ever seen a deeply religious person act as self righteous and judgmental as some vegans or whatever other politically correct flavor of the month you might name. I will avoid making a list of politically correct subjects people get all self righteous about because if I include their favorite flavor it would probably anger folks. Who says I can't be diplomatic? I only single out vegan because of the title of this thread.

If the truth you are trying to teach can't stand reasoned discussion and requires such shameful tactics to become dominant, maybe your truth sucks. Maybe it isn't even truth.

Let us be kind to each other. Let us treat each other gently whenever we can. Let us not accept rudeness, lies or domination by the loud, demanding voices that seem to be everywhere now.
 
Deb Rebel
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I agree with Mike.

There is a natural food store I visit to get some supplies I need for my diet. I got so tired of 'militant vegans' coming up to me after I filled the cart with the foods I need (look in cart and go YES ONE OF US), then stopping at the frozen meat case to pick some things for my better half who can eat anything and getting reamed a new one by the totally indignant. Doesn't matter that that's for me and this (holding frozen buffalo meat) is for spouse-the whole universe MUST be like they think it should and how dare I even dare to think of meat? Um, what goes in my cart and my face is my choice. I actually made an iron on for a teeshirt that says "The only one that can get on my case about what I eat or my weight is my doctor and you aren't him." and I wear it there. I put one on the front and back of the shirt. It did stop the tirades.

Provide the information, and leave it be.

The end line, we can reduce how much hard protein we eat and still live well, which would be good for environment, and yes we do drive things with the almighty wallet. Less meat produced, the higher the price will go, also. Developing countries, eating meat a lot is a status symbol, you are rich enough to eat it (especially beef). We came out of that, as well. Putting meat on your table, especially the beef, is a sign you're doing well. (even growing our own, you can't have steak every night). That is a bigger concern, other second and third world countries are emerging and trying to catch up, and the demand is soaring. It is said that for everyone on earth to live at the same level as (middle income) US, would consume three times the entire world's output (energy, water, resources). A lot of our farm animals were there for a reason, they provided food, fiber, and fertilizer in return for care, food, water, shelter. If they weren't there in that situation they weren't there at all. The reason they existed was this trade.

A lot of countries, the cost of the food is higher in proportion to income than we (especially in the US) are used to. We had the wakeup when gas soared a while back, what if food did the same thing?

In the 1970's on a talkshow, a woman was on to push a diet/lifestyle book. She and spouse had degrees, one was medical, one was nutrition and they had 'over 30 years education and experience' behind this book. The main controversy was she claimed things like if a pregnant woman needed calcium she should eat a nice leafy salad. Not cow milk-that was intended for calves. Yeah. Us farmer types know if you offered an adult cow a pail of milk, she'd drink it. The cow concentrates pounds and pounds of leafy green into the calcium rich milk (and yes not everyone can handle the lactose either, it's genetic) People from the audience tried to contradict her at the microphone and her answer was to shout them down with that 'over 30 years education and experience' repeatedly. When the facts were wrong and even a teenager like me could look it up in a 1965 print encyclopedia. Just an example of the 'shout down mentality' that is showing up more and more. She seemed so outraged that someone DARED to contradict her and her 'gospel', especially the doctor that was in the audience and stood up to the microphone and told her she was full of it (in so many words).

Yes you have a right to be outraged, but. You also should be open to finding out the other side. It should not be 'you're entitled my opinion only' that seems to be on the rise. The talkshow visit pretty much buried their book as I remember.

Being nice. Yes. We need more of that!

Vegan isn't always perfect either but it does provide for a fairly healthy lifestyle if done properly. It's still your choice what you choose to eat though. Choice. Nice. Remember both. I more and more believe Permie is being nice to the world back. We need more nice.
 
David Livingston
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If you think this is nuts the UK has a Health Secretery who wants to scrap the NHS .
Firstly this is politics so every statement needs to be taken with a pinch of salt and it must be clear who said this and when .
Secondly I think she has a point about diet and health for far to long doctors have been side lined while powerful lobbies promote the joys of Turkey twizzelers, sausages with less than 50% meat , recovered meat protein , and other frankly junk food in the UK . It should stop . During WWII the UK has rationing people ate less meat and where healthier and the children aged ten average height increased over half an inch!
I visited the USA once and was shocked how on average folks seemed over weight I put this down to diet and junk food in particular .
Three I laughted out loud to read the Countryside Alliance commments Labour will loose the farmers as though Farmers as rich landowners normally vote Labour
Fourth having a Agriculture minister who actually cared anything about animal welfare rather than pandering to the Farming Lobby might be a welcome change frankly .
David
 
Mick Fisch
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During WWII the UK has rationing people ate less meat and where healthier and the children aged ten average height increased over half an inch!


I understand it wasn't just less meat. I heard someone say in one locale in southern England (I think) there was a big drawing for a large onion and the winner was thrilled. Must have been a place without many gardens.

While alcohol wasn't rationed, the amount of grain available to brewers and distillers was limited so I imagine the price for a pint went up quite a bit, which would have reduced the amount of drinking.

I went out west to Colorado, Utah and Alaska last summer and I can testify that there are definitely regional differences. The midwest is quite a bit fatter.

I was looking at my old yearbook the other day and noticed there were almost no fat people in the group pictures. Although none of my kids have weight issues (if I could just figure out how to claim some part of responsibility for that I would, but other than being poor enough and knowing how to cook so that most food is made from scratch I don't see anything we can claim). When I look at the students at my kids high schools, there is a high percentage of overweight teenagers. Why is that?

I don't really think we are eating more meat than in the 70's. We are eating a lot more prepackaged food and junk food as well as more corn syrup and the unknown chemistry that they lace our foods with. I know there is a lot of hidden sugar, salt and fat in prepackaged foods. In addition to any dietary changes, I think it is partly just more inactivity due to a shift in culture. I can't help but notice that my younger kids are way more indoor oriented than my older ones (we had 9 kids spanning 19 years, so I have been the unwitting parrticipant in a long term study). I know my older kids were more indoor oriented than my siblings and I were. I think there are several reasons for this.

1. More to do indoors. When I was a teenager we had 3 channels on the tv. Not much of it was aimed at kids until around sunset. Unless you felt like reading a book, playing cards or a board game, there wasn't anything else to do indoors. The action was all outside. Nowadays my kids have a couple of hundred DVDs or VHS tapes to watch, the whole internet (although we have limited that to about 1/2 - 3/4 hour), video games as well as the more traditional entertainments. I won't even mention texting, skyping, etc.

2. Larger houses, smaller families, and a shift in the level of oversight kids required. When I was a teenager I had about 10 minutes after school to drop off my stuff, grab a snack and get out the door or else my mom would start handing out work. I've asked her since then if that was my imagination or was she trying to get us out of the house. She said she was definitely trying to get us outside. She said that the houses were small and she and her friends felt like kids underfoot made their jobs harder. She said everyone back then knew kids belonged outside until dusk. From the time I was about 6 I doubt my folks knew where I was most of the time I wasn't in school. They knew the neighbors, warned me about places to stay away from and let me run. If I did something wrong, they usually knew before I came in the door. I read the other day about a Child Services investigating a family because they allowed their 12 year old to walk home from a park a mile away. I don't know if there were fewer crazies back then, or if we just didn't know about them.

The cure, I think, is to get the kids out more, cook from scratch more and cut the junk food. A problem with chasing the kids out is that the other kids aren't on the same program, so there aren't as many kids out there to play with. (smaller families has a role in this also).

Less obvious to me is the fact that my wife and I are a lot heavier than my parents were. I think I'm at least as active as my dad was, but I am quite a bit heavier, (different body builds may be part of it, but not all). Maybe I need to learn to push away from the table a little quicker.
 
Deb Rebel
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What we eat and how we eat has changed since the 1950's. We eat less of a variety of food (there are a few basic strains of wheat for example, excessively bred for certain characteristics and even gmo which we didn't possibly have before the carrot cloning of the mid 70's) and there are so many more additives, plus a more sedentary lifestyle, has caused weight to soar. The big industrial farm, the assembly line production from grain to tomato to animal, and we eat so much more chemicals and preservatives. Morticians noted that from the 1950's to turn of last century, that even our bodies 'last longer' from all the preservatives we've eaten. (an additional 4-5 days). Junky prepackaged food, huge portions, addicting additives, and empty calories. We wonder why we're getting heavier.

Having gotten off 'the ride' because of health and eating a lot more like a generation or two ago, is making a world of difference in my life and health. It is said in areas like Greece and Italy, the overpackaged empty calorie easy and fast western diet has shown up; the weight of kids soared and things like juvenile diabetes has soared too. In just a decade or so.

If we could just change the way we eat, it would help so much... but. We as people are inherently lazy, and with big industry methods to bring us the cheap fast nasty way to eat, it will be hard to dislodge.

Meat eaters are not pariah, thuey're people, but. We need desperately to overhaul how we do our food, from where it is grown, to our stomachs, fast.

 
John Wolfram
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Mick Fisch wrote:I went out west to Colorado, Utah and Alaska last summer and I can testify that there are definitely regional differences. The midwest is quite a bit fatter.

The cure, I think, is to get the kids out more, cook from scratch more and cut the junk food. A problem with chasing the kids out is that the other kids aren't on the same program, so there aren't as many kids out there to play with. (smaller families has a role in this also).


I went to school in Colorado and then to school in Indiana, and the Midwest is certainly heavier. In my opinion, a lot of that has to do with the activities available. December through April in Colorado, I spent just about every weekend skiing and then there was hiking in the summer. In the Midwest, weekend activities basically seem to consist of which pub you will be visiting Saturday evening.
 
alex Keenan
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Veganism (in its pure state) means no use of animal products whatsoever.
So what about the Inuit, Yupik, and Aleut?
 
Jason Silberschneider
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David Livingston wrote:During WWII the UK has rationing people ate less meat and where healthier and the children aged ten average height increased over half an inch!


This wasn't due to less meat, this was due to less food, full-stop. Caloric restriction has been showing to improve health immensely.

People who lived through the Great Depression were found to have a longer than average lifespan.

Until somebody can prove that secondary exposure to meat-eating causes health issues, there is absolutely no comparison between smoking and eating meat.
 
Deb Rebel
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Jason Silberschneider wrote:
David Livingston wrote:During WWII the UK has rationing people ate less meat and where healthier and the children aged ten average height increased over half an inch!


This wasn't due to less meat, this was due to less food, full-stop. Caloric restriction has been showing to improve health immensely.

People who lived through the Great Depression were found to have a longer than average lifespan.

Until somebody can prove that secondary exposure to meat-eating causes health issues, there is absolutely no comparison between smoking and eating meat.


I had to go on restricted calories to control some health issues and I certainly do feel better. Plus what I put in my face is better quality and better sourced calories. It seems to help in some situations.
 
David Livingston
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Since I moved to France I have lost 14kg in weight eat much less meat and the meat I eat is not in processed junk food Make my own bread and eat more veg . I can only go on my own personel experiance .
I think eating more veg and less meat and less food with added sugar would be better for all of us . I also think having a minister for Ag who is not in the pockets of the conventional farming lobby nor the supermarkets and who might put animal welfare and human welfare higher up the agenda could be a good thing .
 
Kyrt Ryder
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Congrats on the weight loss and health improvements David.

IMO just the step of using fresh baked bread [as opposed to purchasing the processed crap available in the stores] is a big step up in health, even if one were buying straight from the baker [an option that might be more available in France than the US?]

For me personally, meat [and saturated fat and organ meats in particular] seem to be an invaluable facet of good health in conjunction with plenty of vegetables and fresh fibrous fruit.

It's the processed food and concentrated sugar that does me in. These days I try not to use honey or maple syrup either, though maple sap [aka maple water] is an amazing treat now and then.
 
David Livingston
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Hi Kurt
Just to give you some UK context it is thought that 8 to 12 % of the UK population is veggie .It's rare to visit a restraunt that does not offer a veggie option .
But I agree personally it's the processed food that should be avoided.

David
 
Deb Rebel
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Cutting the sugar by cutting out processed foods (they sneak corn syrup in everything) and salts and fats (again added) has really changed my life. Congrats David, I did similar but I had to lose it, on the order of 29 kg.

Without gluten and without sugar, I have no cravings. I get hungry and want to eat, but wanting to eat something specific and have it nag at me is gone. I agree with another comment, that until secondary exposure to meat causes the same issues as secondary exposure to nicotine ingestion, then it's not the same thing.

I once had a discussion in the mid 80's with three others at a club meeting. We were outside, two were smoking and one smoker and the other two had various forms of caffeine in hand. The creation of smoke free areas was just beginning. The clincher of the argument was when I held up my soda can and said that 'the issue is not what is more addicting, it's how it's ingested. Nicotine is usually airborne and doesn't stay with the person consuming it. My caffeine, is. Unless I burp in your face, throw up on you, or spill this on you; it's between me and me. Your smoke, doesn't stay with you, it comes my way too. If you took your nicotine in a more personal manner then it wouldn't be an issue as the only one affected would be you."

Food is the same way. It's personal and a one on one situation. I am not offended if someone else has a bacon double cheeseburger on wheat, and eats it near me. I just can't have it and I can't begrudge anyone else that can eat what I can't. It's not even evil. It's just how it is. It would be better if we all re-evaluated our diets though and ate healthier and more responsibly. On my way to the diet I eat now I did go through restrictions and reductions and you can be perfectly happy eating less meat and less red meat.

When working very hard on the farm and being in the field, I ate red meat three times a day plus a lot of other calories but by the same token I was fluctuating in weight per day at close to 10% of my entire bodyweight (the fluids and solids ). I could eat and did eat a lot but I also burned it off. In that case it made less of a difference than the more sedentary lifestyle I lead today. Eat appropriately to what you need. Hard protein is not in the same category as nicotine, and never will be, even if we are talking the totally cholesterol laden red meat coming off industry farming and feedlots.
 
David Livingston
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I think the cultural role is important too
Here in France I eat meat about 4 times a week on average , fish two or three times . Most of our shopping is at the local market where I target buying direct from local producers usually Organic lucky it's easy to do in France there are 6 markets of different sizes in a range of about 10 miles every week I get the local bus/taxi to the little town of Segre it's less than 4€ return every Wednesday it's one of the good things about France . Every market is in effect a farmers market
 
John Elliott
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How should smoked meat eaters be treated?
 
Deb Rebel
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John Elliott wrote:How should smoked meat eaters be treated?


As DELICIOUS??



I would much rather have someone eating meat near me than someone smoking (nicotine). if they are tending a batch of meat being slow smoked, just where the smell can be savored and not get all the smoke from the wood. (applewood and mesquite, great stuff, or hickory)
 
Jason Silberschneider
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Remember that smoke is smoke. No matter if it's from a cigarette, a fine cuban cigar, a smoking shed, or a forest fire, smoke is fine particulates suspended in air that irritates and damages the lungs. There is no "good" or "bad" smoke.
 
Deb Rebel
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Jason Silberschneider wrote:Remember that smoke is smoke. No matter if it's from a cigarette, a fine cuban cigar, a smoking shed, or a forest fire, smoke is fine particulates suspended in air that irritates and damages the lungs. There is no "good" or "bad" smoke.


But you usually don't get addicted to wood smoke. Any other smoke (such as from a cigarette, cigar, pipe) will be laced with nicotine which is a drug. And is addicting. I've never needed to go out and have a regular inhale of wood smoke. The particulate matter isn't good for you, true, no matter what smoke it is, but. Tobacco smoke has that additional, nicotine.
 
Jason Silberschneider
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I think we're agreed, then.

Meat - good.
Smoked meat - good.
Tobacco - bad.
 
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