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Pikasyuu
I apologize for not having a better opening post and will probably make a better one when I see which direction this thread takes, but, basically, what the title says - are you a vegetarian? Why? Vegan? Why? Do you consume red meat? Why?

I, personally, am a pescetarian. To simplify it, because I like animals and the meat industry is horrifying, full of hormones and other additives, and generally..mean. It's also more healthy, and I get protein from alternative sources such as fishes.
Moosh
I eat meat. Because I quite like the taste, and I don't really care about animals.

Possibly this post should have been better, but I've been in the library for the last eight hours.
gothictheysay
I'm not a vegetarian, but I don't have much of a good reason for it, other than the fact that I like the taste of some meats too much to give it up. I would probably have to work harder to find sources of protein/iron too, (eggs are great though!) and I'm lazy. I do like animals - when I was younger, I decided I loved pigs so much that I wouldn't eat pig meat, and just from doing that for years I rarely eat bacon/ham/pork - but I guess not enough to not eat some of them? :X I could, however, work harder and try to purchase meats from places that guarantee not to abuse their animals with hormones and such. I'm all for that. I could also probably go without beef in the future, but chicken is so good! ._. I know lots of vegetarians and have often eaten the fake meat stuff, which isn't all bad.
Phyllis
I'm an ovo-lacto vegetarian. I actually do like the flavour and texture of meat. I admit that sometimes I miss it -- especially seafood. But I don't eat it for several reasons:

1. It's generally better for the environment. Growing one calorie of meat protein takes something like ten times the amount of fossil fuel as growing one calorie of plant protein. I'm a total arsebucket to the environment in other ways (my family live halfway across the world = some unavoidable long-haul flights), but I do like to do my part when I can.
2. I dislike factory farms. If I'm going to eat an animal, I'd prefer that it was treated humanely and not injected with all sorts of wacky hormones prior to being slaughtered. Organic, free range stuff is available, of course, but that brings us to my next reason...
3. I'm married to a guy who was raised as a vegetarian (and is not going to change his mind), and to be completely honest I am just too lazy to cook myself separate meals. tongue.gif I love to cook, but I hate cooking for one.
4. I've been a vegetarian so long that eating meat at this point would probably make me feel ill. It happened the first time I went from being a veggie to eating meat again, and I don't care to repeat it!
5. I'm cheap. Vegetarian food is generally a lot cheaper, assuming you don't live off of the pre-packaged veggie burgers (which I did for a long time, I have to admit, because I didn't really know how to cook non-meaty meals).

I don't have a problem with other people eating meat. As long as they don't try to pressure me into eating it, then we're cool. I only get kind of twitchy when people who eat fish and/or chicken say that they're a vegetarian. Trout is not a vegetable, kids.
Yannick
Meat eater, but I do limit myself. Mainly because I don't want to take in too much stuff I don't need. Basically, pure hedonist, and I enjoy meat. I'm indifferent about animals. While I couldn't actually kill and cook something myself, I have no problem eating stuff. I think animals have the right not to be slaughtered mercilessly, but really don't care that much. They were going to die anyway. There are more chickens than people, chickens not being the brightest species, so what good are they to have around just reproducing? Survival of the fittest, so, *noms*

I do buy (well, my mom does, but I made her..) organic though, mostly because this video freaked me out a few years ago.

I've done the vegan/vegetarian thing before (admittedly, for stupid reasons), but found it gets boring after a while. "Look vegetables! Again.."

Smoked salmon, cooked salmon, and sushi (specifically salmon sushi tongue.gif) are too awesome to give up.

QUOTE (candice @ May 15 2009, 07:45 PM) *
4. I've been a vegetarian so long that eating meat at this point would probably make me feel ill. It happened the first time I went from being a veggie to eating meat again, and I don't care to repeat it!

I was like that with milk for a while. When I was a toddler, I would cry for chocolate milk until I got it, wake up in the middle of the night and demand for it, and throw the hugest fit if my parents wouldn't let me have any. My first word was 'kaba' (chocolate milk), and first sentence 'Mama, kaba!'. This behavior continued until I was about 8, still drinking from my (kick-ass) dinosaur sippy cup, when my mom decided it should stop. She didn't just make me stop drinking kaba (hated plain milk, always), but dramatically reduced how much I got. And made me stop drinking from the sippy cup. sad.gif
Then when I was 12ish, I decided to go vegan. It lasted *maybe* a month and a half? But yeah, my body started craving milk like crazy. So I had some, and felt really sick. Got over it though, and yeah, definitely not something I want to do again.

Has anyone else noticed that humans are, as far as I know anyway, the only mammals to drink milk after we're not infants anymore? Maybe lactose intolerance is normal?
I_am_the_best
I'm a semi-vegetarian. I just haven't got the effort to actually carry it through. Not much of a fan of the meat taste thing, and I don't eat pigs anyway, what with being Jewish and all that. I don't like hurting animals. I used to, in the summer months at least, take great pleasure in running about the house barbarically with a rolled up newspaper and killing all the flies. That was completely unnecessary of me. It's not because I care about the animals in anyway, the vast majority of them aren't self-aware or rational (are dolphins? I'm never sure of that one), but because I think that to an extent it reflects who you are a little bit, how you treat animals I mean. A bit like the Kantian 'don't be rude to animals, you might learn bad habits for when you're around humans' thing. That said, that becomes a bit tenuous when it comes to eating meat. I'm not going to discriminate against meat eaters. I eat meat too sometimes because the whole 'I'm vegetarian' thing is too much effort if you're round other people's houses and they've already prepared a meal, but if given a choice, then it's vegetarian always.
snooodlysnoosnoosnoodle
I've been a vegetarian my whole life, well if you don't count the times my Grandpa persuaded me to eat meat and the chicken nugget phase when I was about 8 (if they even count as meat), which makes my situation a bit weird.

Until I was about 16 I would occasionally eat fish because my parents do but I found myself sitting staring at it wondering if it had a good life, how long ago it was caught and how long ago it died. Pictures of trawlers covered in fish effectively "drowning" make me feel sick and the issues with dolphins and tuna are huge - even the "dolphin friendly" nets are often ineffective.

With regards to eating mammals and birds, the few times that I have eaten meat (probably not since I was about 10 tbh) I do not remember enjoying the experience. The whole intensive farming thing is horrific and more than anything it bugs me that the majority of people don't seem to care about anything except how much they pay for it. I understand that these animals are bred to be killed and eaten and that part doesn't bother me - it's the way that they spend their short lives, often not seeing daylight until they are transported to the abattoir.

My boyfriend is a big fan of eating meat and I'm not going to stop him from eating it, I try to buy organic/free range for him and persuade him to eat the same as me occasionally but he always finds it bland. The problem there is not that it is veggie, it's that I don't like spicy food, I don't like tomato sauce and I don't like seasoning (herbs, pepper etc) so the food I make myself is bland so even if I wasn't veggie we would probably still have the same problem.

I'm not really sure if I've answered the question though :S
Daria
QUOTE (candice @ May 16 2009, 12:45 AM) *
I'm an ovo-lacto vegetarian.
1. It's generally better for the environment. Growing one calorie of meat protein takes something like ten times the amount of fossil fuel as growing one calorie of plant protein.
2. I dislike factory farms. If I'm going to eat an animal, I'd prefer that it was treated humanely and not injected with all sorts of wacky hormones prior to being slaughtered. Organic, free range stuff is available, of course, but that brings us to my next reason...
...
4. I've been a vegetarian so long that eating meat at this point would probably make me feel ill. It happened the first time I went from being a veggie to eating meat again, and I don't care to repeat it!
5. I'm cheap. Vegetarian food is generally a lot cheaper

Ditto!

QUOTE (Yannick @ May 16 2009, 04:19 AM) *
Has anyone else noticed that humans are, as far as I know anyway, the only mammals to drink milk after we're not infants anymore? Maybe lactose intolerance is normal?

It is- it's actually kind of hilarious that humans farm cows/yaks/goats/sheep for milk and consider breastmilk disgusting. The amount of dairy that humans eat is HUGE and many vegans have the same arguement that Cand pointed out about meat production- you're feeding, heating, caring for these animals which uses up a lot of energy and resources. Also, cows -> methane -> global warming. Although many vegans will still eat rice (which is another massive producer of methane).

I'm vegetarian for a number of reasons, and they seem to change over the years. I started out as an angry 9 year-old (maybe I was 8? Can't remember. It was before my younger brother was born) who didn't want animals to die for her food. I gave up all meat bar prawns- and then after a while I gave those up too. I used to love eating meat- I was the child who would always ask for a drumstick from the roast, love spare ribs, shell-on prawns (so I could peel off the shells), mussles, shark, haggis, sausages, black pudding, bacon- especially the fat- and ham: essentially, the more I got to rip it apart with my teeth or hands, the better. I've even had frog's legs. When I gave up the prawns, I started having stomach problems and after a while it was deduced that the pesticides and insecticides that were sprayed on food were causing the upset- apparently something in meat or fish allowed me to tolerate them. So I went on an organic diet. Back in the mid-to-late 90s, the only people eating organic food were hippies who grew their own and rich people who bought it from Waitrose. Because of financial problems, I had to give up being vegetarian because the family just couldn't afford to buy organic food for me.
So! Cue me being 11, trying out vegetarianism again. For some reason this time, my body didn't react badly to the chemicals put on food and I could survive without needing to eat meat. Hurrah! I think my reasoning was about same as last time- I didn't want the animals to suffer for my food.
About a decade later and I still abhor the idea of battery farming- but there's also the environmental issue that plays a large part in my eating habits. I try to buy locally produced (and if it's organic then yay!) food, free-range eggs, less rice and less soya products (because the amount of processing needed to get them to look like something else). Being a marine biologist, I don't have a problem with people eating fish: I have a problem with overfishing, pollution, and the people who think that eating live octopus* makes you cool. Being a vegetarian, I don't have a problem with people eating meat: I have a problem with the source. Even when people half heartedly go for "good" meat- such as the better bacon made in the UK, or free-range chicken- they still don't pay enough attention to what they are buying. Just because it has a Union Jack flag on the packet, doesn't mean the pigs were reared in the UK- the bacon was just packaged there. The lack of butchers in towns and villages now mean that people go to the supermarket for their meat- you can ask a spotty teenager in a Morrisons uniform where the bacon was reared, but he can't tell you the farm.
The idea that meat is cheap is something else that bugs me. Meat is not cheap. It costs hundreds of pounds per pig to get it to slaughter, and because people feel that everything these days should have money off, be Buy One Get One Free or cheap then they are outraged at spending what would give the farmer a fair amount for his produce. This means that farms run at a loss and because they would then go bust, the government gives them subsidies to keep them in business- just. It either encourages them to start growing something else, or to sell up to a larger farm which then absorbs them like an amoeba and slowly monopolises the market. ARGH!
*breathes*

I have always felt that there are some people who need to eat meat- and that theory has been proven to me by friends and aquaintences who get severely anaemic if they don't eat meat. That isn't for lack of trying to take iron supplements. Personally, I can go give blood when I'm on my period and be told that my iron levels are "fantastic".
As I see it, humans evolved (ho ho ho) as hunter gatherers. We were meant to eat small amounts often, not eat dairy and only eat meat or fish when we went out and caught it. Because of modern society, old royal societal eating habits and the constant greed for money, the way we eat is totally screwed up. It isn't going to change any time soon, either.

No apologies for the length of this post- be happy that I left out my rant about fast food chains! tongue.gif

*Octopus. The creatures that have so many neurones and nerve endings in each arm that they are considered to have nine brains. I just can't understand why people eat them live. If they had a voicebox, they would scream at the pain inflicted on them.
Phyllis
QUOTE (Yannick @ May 16 2009, 04:19 AM) *
Has anyone else noticed that humans are, as far as I know anyway, the only mammals to drink milk after we're not infants anymore? Maybe lactose intolerance is normal?

Yup! Like Daria said, it is normal to be lactose intolerant after infancy. Even among humans. From Wikipedia: "It is estimated that 75% of adults worldwide show some decrease in lactase activity during adulthood. The frequency of decreased lactase activity ranges from as little as 5% in northern Europe, up to 71% for Southern Europe, to more than 90% in some African and Asian countries."
QUOTE (Yannick @ May 16 2009, 04:19 AM) *
I've done the vegan/vegetarian thing before (admittedly, for stupid reasons), but found it gets boring after a while. "Look vegetables! Again.."

It can easily get boring unless you familiarise yourself with a variety of veggie recipies. Cooking interesting and varied vegetarian food is harder (for me, at least) than cooking interesting and varied meat dishes. I had to actually get cookbooks and join an online vegetarian recipe community before I stopped just cooking processed meat substitutes (which are fine occasionally, but I'd rather not base most meals on them).

snoo: I can't say I blame him! I think I would need to keep a supply of salsa or chili sauce handy if I was eating with you on a regular basis. tongue.gif
voices_in_my_head
I'm not vegetarian in any way at all.

Two reasons:
1)I'm anemic. Even eating meat as reguarly as I do, my iron levels are still extremely low. So, to quit eating meat would probably give a blow to my system that I couldn't quite handle.
2) My dad works in the meat producing industry. Because of this, we tend to get really good deals on all sorts of meat. Since I'm 16 and don't have any way of going out and buying my own food, I'm pretty much stuck eating what we're given to eat.
gothictheysay
QUOTE
There are more chickens than people, chickens not being the brightest species, so what good are they to have around just reproducing?


I would argue that because chickens have been domesticated and raised for our consumption, and we now raise chickens to eat them, that's why there are more chickens than people... I don't think the main reason we eat chickens is because "there are lots of these, why not eat them"?

There are a lot more humans than other species, can we eat them too? (which actually doesn't particularly bother me much, but, what right do we have to go around just reproducing? Not saying you're wrong for eating meat, obviously, but I think that particular line doesn't make the best argument. smile.gif )
Yannick
QUOTE (gothictheysay @ May 17 2009, 08:56 PM) *
There are a lot more humans than other species, can we eat them too? (which actually doesn't particularly bother me much, but, what right do we have to go around just reproducing? Not saying you're wrong for eating meat, obviously, but I think that particular line doesn't make the best argument. smile.gif )

Well, seeing as we're the species that pretty much dominates this planet, I think we have the right to do whatever we want. Does that justify us being assholes about it? No, we should still be conscious of the environment. But in the end, what we decide goes, and I think human reproduction is really more of something that's completely essential than a right. Chickens die out? Meh. Humans die out? Still meh, but I'd rather it happen by big pretty universal explosions than our own stupidity to decide to discontinue reproduction.

Meh.
leopold
QUOTE (candice @ May 16 2009, 01:05 PM) *
QUOTE (Yannick @ May 16 2009, 04:19 AM) *
Has anyone else noticed that humans are, as far as I know anyway, the only mammals to drink milk after we're not infants anymore? Maybe lactose intolerance is normal?

Yup! Like Daria said, it is normal to be lactose intolerant after infancy. Even among humans. From Wikipedia: "It is estimated that 75% of adults worldwide show some decrease in lactase activity during adulthood. The frequency of decreased lactase activity ranges from as little as 5% in northern Europe, up to 71% for Southern Europe, to more than 90% in some African and Asian countries."

Which makes it all the more bizarre that we keep doing it. I know I've got a degree of intolerance to lactose myself, I can feel the IBS-like symptoms creep up on me after drinking a large quantity of milk or overdoing the ice-cream. I shan't tell you what happens afterwards blink.gif

But on the original question: I'm an omnivore. I make no apologies for it. The human physical makeup is designed so we can eat pretty much anything; incisors for biting vegetables, canines for tearing meat, a digestive system sophisticated enough to handle both and the needs for all manners of proteins, vitamins and what-not that such a varied diet provides. But I don't eat meat for that reason. I enjoy the taste of it. Always have. I probably eat more than is healthy for me, if I'm honest, but for me, no vegetable can top a good steak. Unless it's mushrooms, sautéed and coated in blue cheese. Mmmmmm... Sorry, I went a bit Homer there! I do eat vegetables and fruit as well, I do try to balance the diet, but I can't have a pile of boiled new potatoes (skin on) and a side of steamed broccoli without a slab of gammon or chicken or some such to go with it. I do eat the occasional veggie dish and I do find them quite enjoyable, but I couldn't eat them all the time.
Daria
Leo: one word. EXPLOSIVE!
leopold
What, the result of lactose intolerance? Yeah, tell me about it. The metaphors alone are enough to put you off!
Phyllis
It might be worth trying goat or sheep milk products in place of cow sometimes, Leo. I have the same problem (oh, Lordy, I considered resurrecting the TMI thread for what transpired after I had a cream scone when my in-laws were visiting), and I read somewhere or other that the proteins in goat's and sheep's milk doesn't usually create the same tummy rumblings. I don't like soymilk, so I figured it was worth a shot. I've found it to be true so far!

I still sometimes say "Pft, that's Future Candice's problem!" and pick up the cheddar, though. unsure.gif
Daria
There's also Lactofree which has added lactase. It is mroe expensive, though, but they also do a yoghurt and cheese range now.
leopold
All very interesting ideas, I shall have to investigate these. Thanks, ladies smile.gif

I can usually handle dairy in small doses, but when I do stupid stuff like eating half a carton of Ben & Jerrys (like I did last night) or have a vat of cappuccino (as I did about five minutes ago) then I end up paying for it. Urk... 'scuse me, I need to go do something in private...
Daria
ALSO! Case studies (i.e watching how my boyfriend's body reacts now and again) drinking the lactofree allows you to eat more normal dairy because it's giving you the enzymes that you're lacking. Hurrah!

(However case studies have also shown that 1/2 tub of B&J + copious amounts of alcohol = projectile vomiting that a one Emily Rose would be impressed by)
leopold
Oooh, sounds like a call to use the word w00t!

I've not had projectile vomit from B&J, but then I don't drink with it. Or without it, come to think of it. I tend to find the projectiles are from a more, erm, southerly direction blink.gif
gothictheysay
Yeah, my boyfriend is lactose intolerant, but he can usually handle dairy as long as it's not straight milk. For that, he has Lactaid milk, which sounds similar to Lactofree that Daria mentions. It doesn't taste much different, either.
froggle-rock
I was a veggie for a few years in my teens. I've been thinking about it a fair bit recently and I think having come back from Jamaica where my diet was fairly differant and reading this thread I'm going to cut down on the amount of mean I eat. But not cut it out. I enjoy eating some meats, just as I enjoy some veg- (esp blanched broccoli *quivers*). It does play on my mind the amount of food that animals fed for us to eat, eat and their living conditions. I tried to grosse myself out by watching slaughter videos a while back. Maybe I've just become nonchalant about it all. I've never been a person though, that feels that a meal isn't a 'propa' meal if it doesn't have a body part of an animal in it, though.

You can get iron and protein from other sources, I love cooking with nuts and all that to be honest- I like the texture. In my mash tatoes, noodles, rice all that jazz.

Reason I became a veggie when I was a teen was because I had lots of pets and was all in love with animals and against cruelty to them. I stopped because one day I gave into the temptation posed by my nan's fried chicken.

QUOTE (candice @ May 18 2009, 09:39 PM) *
It might be worth trying goat or sheep milk products in place of cow sometimes, Leo. I have the same problem (oh, Lordy, I considered resurrecting the TMI thread for what transpired after I had a cream scone when my in-laws were visiting), and I read somewhere or other that the proteins in goat's and sheep's milk doesn't usually create the same tummy rumblings. I don't like soymilk, so I figured it was worth a shot. I've found it to be true so far!

I still sometimes say "Pft, that's Future Candice's problem!" and pick up the cheddar, though. unsure.gif


I don't get IBS when I consume cow's milk it just brings out eczema patches. But I've not trouble with goats milk- not that I drink large, or even medium quantities of either. Just don't have a taste for dairy milk. Alternatively there is oat milk if you're not gluten intolerant, or rice milk, or the yummiest of al: almond milk. Or, you could just pour juice on your cereal. wink.gif

QUOTE (Yannick @ May 16 2009, 04:19 AM) *
They [chickens] were going to die anyway. There are more chickens than people, chickens not being the brightest species, so what good are they to have around just reproducing? Survival of the fittest, so, *noms*


Well, you are going to die anyway too, Yannick, but it's no advocation for you getting offed any sooner. Anyways, most of them are bred to make eggs and for eating.


Syuu, what made you ask?
Pikasyuu
QUOTE
Syuu, what made you ask?


curiosity, and the fact that i enjoy reading a good discussion. tongue.gif
Felander
I am a meat-eater, mostly because I enjoy the whole experience of cooking and eating meat too much to give it up. Whenever I'm buying meat I will try and source organic free-range cuts, since I'm a firm believer that the quality of meat is directly related the the quality of life experienced by the animal. I do feel better knowing that the creature had a healthy, active, and 'happy' life, and if this can be somehow tasted in the meat, so much the better. I'm a strong advocate of eating or using every part of an animal; a philosophy I feel allows me to pay the most respect to the animal's life by ensuring it goes on to contribute to the cycle of life in whatever way.
believe
I would -like- to be a vegetarian. However, I am far too finicky to adequately meet my nutritional needs without (and sometimes with) meat. I also looooove chicken. Someday, when and if I make a living wage, I will consider going pescetarian or however it is spelled as I know the meat industry is truly horrific.
leopold
The fish industry isn't a whole lot better, really. Some freshwater fish farms keep their fishes in conditions as cramped as any chicken battery, they're fed pellets with additives to "improve" the colour and texture and aren't really cared for. As for sea fishing, some of the methods used for catching aren't particularly friendly to other species and others indiscriminately sweep up whatever comes along, regardless of whether it's fit for either sale or consumption. Factoring in the overfishing element as well (cod is now considered to be close to an endangered species) and it doesn't look good for our piscine pals.

Personally, I'd like to see more guidance on our meat products. We get clear enough labelling for vegetables which are grown organically and eggs from free-range and corn fed hens, so I think we need to see more to identify more ethically reared/farmed/caught meat and fish.

Actually, isn't it terrible that we refer to these as industries? Or is it just me? unsure.gif
believe
QUOTE (leopold @ May 20 2009, 01:25 AM) *
The fish industry isn't a whole lot better, really. Some freshwater fish farms keep their fishes in conditions as cramped as any chicken battery, they're fed pellets with additives to "improve" the colour and texture and aren't really cared for. As for sea fishing, some of the methods used for catching aren't particularly friendly to other species and others indiscriminately sweep up whatever comes along, regardless of whether it's fit for either sale or consumption. Factoring in the overfishing element as well (cod is now considered to be close to an endangered species) and it doesn't look good for our piscine pals.

Personally, I'd like to see more guidance on our meat products. We get clear enough labelling for vegetables which are grown organically and eggs from free-range and corn fed hens, so I think we need to see more to identify more ethically reared/farmed/caught meat and fish.

Actually, isn't it terrible that we refer to these as industries? Or is it just me? unsure.gif


I don't care nearly as much as the condition about which fish are kept in, because I don't think of them in the way I do cats, dogs, etc. Not that I randomly torture fish, but yeah. The ocean fishing methods I do care about, especially as it effects dolphins, sharks and all.
leopold
That's a bit harsh, isn't it? Doesn't a trout or a salmon deserve the same level of basic reasonable treatment as a chicken? The salmon is an amazing example of piscine tenacity. The fact they survive as a species is nothing short of remarkable and I'd say that this alone should have earned it a bit more respect than to rear it in a metal tank full of murky water and feeding it pellets to make it's flesh more pink.

If that doesn't bother you, does that make you a fishist? laugh.gif

To be fair, though, if I stopped to consider all the harsh treatment of animals in food production, I'd stop eating it altogether. The reason I haven't is not because I don't care, I just choose to tune it all out. I'd still want to eat chicken and bacon, but I doubt I'd be able to kill them myself. Mainly because I'm not quick enough to catch a chicken and pigs are vicious little buggers...
believe
It's not necessarily about respect, as much as I don't like anything to suffer more than necessary. Well, okay, I would rather not kill animals at all and magically learn to love all vegetables. Until that happens, I accept that I will eat meat, but I do not want them tortured, abused or otherwise harmed. Killing a cow after a comfortable farm life is very different from being shut up in a cramped pen, shocked, then killed, etc. I have far less faith in the fish's higher brain functions and ability to process pain on the level of a cow. It doesn't mean I want them abused or hurt for run, just I don't think they have the functioning levels of mammals. The type of fish we eat, anyway.

And sure. >.> I am bigoted against fish!

If I could stop, I so would. Instead, I focus on the things I can like buying organic once I pay off school fees.
leopold
Hmmm... I could be wrong on this, but doesn't physical pain fit within the subconscious brain functions? I thought pain was the body's way of letting the brain know something is wrong, which would be more akin to a survival instinct. An animal may not know what pain is, but it sure as hell knows there's something amiss back there and it's a sitting duck for any predator unless it goes and hides sharpish.

Unless you're referring to emotional pain, which would then grant the cow with some sort of sentience. Which would then lead to the conclusion that cows are basically weak-willed doormats; how else could we explain a creature weighing in excess of two tonnes allowing us reedy, feeble humans to boss them about? They could kill us far more easily than we could them.
Daria
Yay for Leo! Thank you for being an omnivore who cares about fishing!

Believe: it isn't necessarily the pain the fish go through (although that is important)- freshwater farms are also in lochs, lakes and big bodies of water. The build up of nutrients, drugs, chemicals (including those to kill lice which salmon are plagued with) kills off other aquatic life. It can also causeseutrophication, affect local soils and makes the body of water all manky and unuseable. I know in Scotland, where a lot of fish farming goes on, there are piles and piles of laws, legislation and paperwork you have to go through before starting up (and even when you're running) a farm but the effects are still felt. I have no idea what the procedure is in America, or even in mainland Europe, though.
Fish are also pretty bad if you consider the amount of energy it takes to catch them, process them, keep them cold, move them about the country and get them to shops- and then from the shop to your house, cook it and put it on your plate. Not to mention chemical spills and leakages into the sea, diesel and oil slicks, and trash just thrown over the side of boats.

I'd be happy if everyone went back to having a smallholding. COMMUNIST MEDIEVAL COMMUNITIES HERE I COME!
leopold
You're very welcome, Daria. In fact, everything you said about the Scottish fish farming is what got me to reconsider my own view of farmed fish in the first place.

It does bother me that it seems more acceptable to mistreat fish than it does chickens. I wonder if it's because we're basically land animals and don't really understand what it's like to live in the wet stuff?
Daria
That, and the detatchment that arises from never seeing a fish in its natural habitat- we all may have seen it on tv, but it's much more likely that at some point you would have seen a chicken bobbing about in a field. Maybe. I don't know, I was brought up with them in my back garden so I have no idea what it's like to be entirely urban!

Also, chickens are a tad more intelligent than fish, but only by a little bit. I once taught one of my hens to play football with me happy.gif
believe
leopold:
QUOTE
An animal may not know what pain is, but it sure as hell knows there's something amiss back there and it's a sitting duck for any predator unless it goes and hides sharpish.


I had read somewhere about there being doubts as to the sophistication of a ...lobsters? (I think) nervous system and it's ability to feel pain. Some sort of sea creature. I acknowledge survival instincts and tolerate that, as that's reflexive and instinct to some extent. In any case, I was comparing the awareness of a cow to a fish in processing pain, fear, etc.

QUOTE
Unless you're referring to emotional pain, which would then grant the cow with some sort of sentience. Which would then lead to the conclusion that cows are basically weak-willed doormats; how else could we explain a creature weighing in excess of two tonnes allowing us reedy, feeble humans to boss them about? They could kill us far more easily than we could them.


More or less, yes. And I don't know about being doormats, as much as being the creatures they -are-. Relaxed, often more docile, etc. In any case, I don't use superiority as a reason to just hurt something, even a doormat. And some cows -do- kill people.

Daria:
QUOTE
The build up of nutrients, drugs, chemicals (including those to kill lice which salmon are plagued with) kills off other aquatic life. It can also causeseutrophication, affect local soils and makes the body of water all manky and unuseable. I know in Scotland, where a lot of fish farming goes on, there are piles and piles of laws, legislation and paperwork you have to go through before starting up (and even when you're running) a farm but the effects are still felt.


Ergh. That's depressing and I didn't mean to sound like I was endorsing it. I don't think causing harm to the enviroment is a good thing and it seems like there -has- to be a better way. Not overfishing populations would be a start. I don't want oil spills and the like, I just feel less guilty about pain that they might not never feel compared to a warm blooded creature that definitely does.
leopold
QUOTE (believe @ May 23 2009, 06:22 PM) *
QUOTE
Unless you're referring to emotional pain, which would then grant the cow with some sort of sentience. Which would then lead to the conclusion that cows are basically weak-willed doormats; how else could we explain a creature weighing in excess of two tonnes allowing us reedy, feeble humans to boss them about? They could kill us far more easily than we could them.

More or less, yes. And I don't know about being doormats, as much as being the creatures they -are-. Relaxed, often more docile, etc. In any case, I don't use superiority as a reason to just hurt something, even a doormat. And some cows -do- kill people.

That's not really what I meant. I'm a fairly docile sort of chap myself, but if someone came at me with a cattle prod, I'd be very inclined to do them a mischief first, in order to protect myself. Having a couple of tonnes of weight to play with would just make it a bit easier.

As for cows killing, I suspect the majority of deaths are wrong-place-at-wrong-time incidents of people being caught in a stampede or their car rounding a corner to find a bovine wall in the way. I don't think we can call these cows killers. Cows who've just given birth may be more stroppy and protective, and we all know how aggressive and terrirorial bulls can be, but even then I think the death of the human is more to do with the sheer size of the beefs overwhelming the human victim, more than any actual desire to kill.

What do you call a cow that kills? A moo-derer laugh.gif

Sorry, poor jokes are a speciality...
Greeneyes
At a whim (and after a poorly timed shopping trip involving BOGOF chicken), earlier this year I declared myself vegetarian for a month. Purely for reasons of expanding my mind, and also because I enjoy cultivating my friends' opinions of me as being a bit weird. Ten exciting thoughts on this (of varying relevance):

1) Quorn is pretty good.
2) Butter beans are pretty mank.
3) Tofu was originally pretty mank, but was later upgraded to being pretty good.
4) Except the silken stuff. That's still mank.
5) You have to eat a lot more food in order to get a full serving of protein.
6) Counting protein made me count other things. Never before had I actually cared about the nutritional content of things. I am now a healthier eater, and have turned into one of those people who read labels in the supermarket, who at one point I thought had a screw a little loose.
7) Nothing tastes as good as meat, but once you're on a roll, its pretty easy to stay on one.
8) Except for sushi compulsions. When I wasnt sushi, I really want sushi. (sushi = pretty good). I sustained myself with principles instead of sushi. It didn't taste as good.
9) People behave strangely to such a decision. I was genuinely surprised. It is as if they are unable to take it seriously, like it doesn't matter if you eat meat. To be perfectly honest, I always inwardly considered people who voiced things like this to be a little on the sensitive side, but it really is bizarre how people react. Needless to say, that perception of things is altered.
10) Perhaps the strangest thing I found from the whole experience is that at the end of my month, I found myself avoiding eating the meat in my freezer. I am still unable to place my finger on exactly why. It was not disgust at meat, or the idea of failing, I just thought of eating it and felt compelled not to. That continued for several weeks until I decided I didn't want to waste the meat, so I'd better eat it. I have continued to eat meat again since.

Other malformed thoughts:

I drink moo milk, although, something about it bothers me. I do not like the idea of where it comes from. That said, the taste of soya milk is a little too prominent. I think one day, I will commit myself to switching, and wait for my sense of taste to adjust, until my tea and my cereal tastes the same. Then I'm through with moo juice.

Eating eggs is also weird, when I think about it. I only really use eggs in cake though - I am not sure I would eat egg regularly now.

Neither of the above apply to advocaat though, which I could drink by the bottle.

I think one day I will turn properly vegetarian. I think I would be unable to eat something that I had personally killed, and for that matter, i think I would be unable to kill something personally. In my mind, it seems sensible that humanity as a whole will eventually become vegetarian, although, I find myself unable to articulate exactly why I think that.

This post lost coherency once it was outside of my head.
Smiler
T'is a fun argument and I'm not going to chip in too much cos I'm firmly a meat eater and think that eating ethically bred meat is fine provided it's not over bred nor wasted. However, i'm also not in a financial position to be too picky and must admit that haven't to this point dug too far into checking sources, which is perhaps wrong.

That being said I sat down today to watch the new That Mitchell and Webb Look on BBC 2 and found the best veg vs. Meat clip! It's the first sketch after the credits and can (for a limited time presumably) be found on the iplayer here. It's the first episode of Season 3's third episode but seeing as no-ones clipped it and stuck it on somewhere else I can link it to the iplyer link will have to do for the mo.
TenaciousC
I eat chicken, turkey, fish, and eggs. Rarely I eat some pork (my mom cooks the best country ribs and kabobs), and once or twice a year I eat beef. I rarely eat pork because my roommate is Muslim and since the cookware is hers, we can't really cook pork in it. Well, we can, but she wouldn't use it anymore. tongue.gif In my 2nd year of college, I ate a semi-raw hamburger at a bbq; I puked so hard, the meat came out of my nose. So then I said to myself that I would not eat beef much anymore. I don't really like the taste or texture of steak anyways.

My iron is low, but other than that, I personally feel better about what I'm eating than when I ate red meat regularly.
Radaga
Red, raw and/or very rare, dripping blood meat eater.

But I am also a big fan of the "Steak and Salad" setting: low carb yet sustaining meal

Fish, birds, game, pork, eggs, dairy, molluscs and crustaceans, fruits, greens, vegetables in general - basically anything that is considered or have ever been considered a delicacy for people, I would make a point in trying at least once, at the very least.

p.s. and yes, if it were something that resembled human meat (HUFU anyone?), that would not involve ethical and legal problems, it would be included in the above list.
Hobbes
QUOTE (Greeneyes @ Jun 15 2009, 10:21 PM) *
At a whim (and after a poorly timed shopping trip involving BOGOF chicken), earlier this year I declared myself vegetarian for a month. Purely for reasons of expanding my mind, and also because I enjoy cultivating my friends' opinions of me as being a bit weird. Ten exciting thoughts on this (of varying relevance):

1) Quorn is pretty good.


It is, isn't it? smile.gif

I was semi-vegetarian for a couple of months when I was with my ex (a veggie), and although she had no problem eating meat, I wanted to 'experience' being vegetarian for a while. As Greeneyes said, Quorn is actually pretty good. I can't get enough of the Quorn equivalent of Scotch Eggs and, equally, the prepacked sliced Quorn sandwich meats are rather tasty. I don't think much of it tastes anything like meat; indeed, the Quorn Chicken-style pieces don't taste anything like chicken, but it is a fair substitute.

Currently I am back to being a carnivorous beast, but I still buy some Quorn products as meat alternatives with lower fat and calorie content.

I must reiterate though:

Quorn Scotch Eggs = yummy yummy yummy, I got love in my tummy
Daria
QUOTE (Hobbes @ Jul 15 2009, 12:00 AM) *
I must reiterate though:

Quorn Scotch Eggs = yummy yummy yummy, I got love in my tummy


Ohhhh yes. Only thing I can actually say that I love from Quorn are their scotch eggs. It's funny the things you miss when being veggie for a long time- we recently tried Asda's veggie sausages and beans from a tin. Also delicious biggrin.gif
craziness
i'm an omnivore but i am against animal cruelty. i feel that it's natural for us to eat other species, like the animals we have domesticated, but not to hunt endangered and wild species of course. i never feel guilty eating chicken or cow because both of those animals are pretty stupid in my experience. I feel kind of bad eating lamb but it sure is delicious.... i try to eat organic or free range meat without hormones and antibiotics because all of that stuff is scary and bad. i have heard the argument about vegetarianism being more environmentally friendly before, and being that i am a huge environmentalist, i have considered it, but by the same token i feel like once the meat has gotten to the market its already dead and if i don't eat it, it might just get thrown out. i try to stay a relatively functioning person in society, so i am not going to quit being a student to create my own farm to live off of, although it would be much better for the environment and my theoretical animals and me.


oh and i think i might actually feel more guilty eating fish than cows/chickens/pigs/etc because of overfishing and all.
Daria
Demand causes production. If the meat doesn't get sold, they cut down production.

/end spasm
Faerieryn
I am a meat eater. I try to eat as free range as much as I possibly can as I think you do more for animal wellfare if you eat free range than if you stop eating meat altogether- think about it, we're not the kindest creatures in the world- if the whole world went vegetarien tomorrow we'd mass slaughter all the food animals to make way for mass farming- if everyone bought free range, the battery farmers would have to let all the little batteries run free!!! smile.gif
Joking aside.

I try to avoid eating baby animals- lamb etc as it doesn't make sense to me to kill something to be eaten when it is smaller than it would be as an adult. I think killing and eating small birds is wrong- why should five creatures die to feed a family of five when for much the same sort of taste you could eat a chicken! In all honesty I don't eat as morally as I would like to, simply because I don't have the money. Perhaps one day, in the future, I'll be able to afford to eat my morals!
gothictheysay
Yeah, I don't know if I get any points for not eating baby animals... I don't know exactly how the reasoning works out there, whether it's actually better or worse to partake of the younger ones. I have had lamb before and it is tasty, but after interacting with several lambs, generally lamb makes me go "OMG BABY SHEEPY NO I CAN'T EAT THAT!" I've never really had veal, so that's easy for me to avoid. But in the same way I don't feel a lot of guilt eating chickens as I find them annoying most of the time... yes, I do realize that this is a horrible method of determining guilt from eating animals, but since I do like meat and don't really plan on cutting it out completely it is sort of what I end up following. Beef is great, but I think if we all ate less cow and bred less cow for eating the environment would be better off.

note: I can't remember if I said any of this in my first post and I am kind of too lazy to go back and check if I did.
Hobbes
QUOTE (Daria @ Jul 24 2009, 09:27 PM) *
Demand causes production. If the meat doesn't get sold, they cut down production.

/end spasm


And/Or... the suddenly unrequired livestock, with no place to go in this instance, goes instead to a slightly more unnecessary slaughter?
Daria
*shrug* through that reasoning, people should eat roadkill.


(No seriously, they should do. Apart from mixi rabbits)
gothictheysay
QUOTE
And/Or... the suddenly unrequired livestock, with no place to go in this instance, goes instead to a slightly more unnecessary slaughter?


I feel that would only happen if meat consumption reduced drastically. If it's done gradually, i.e. more and more people become vegetarians over time, instead of a bunch of people doing it all at once, that wouldn't happen. I think the former situation is more likely than the latter.
Hobbes
QUOTE (gothictheysay @ Aug 1 2009, 03:25 AM) *
QUOTE
And/Or... the suddenly unrequired livestock, with no place to go in this instance, goes instead to a slightly more unnecessary slaughter?


I feel that would only happen if meat consumption reduced drastically. If it's done gradually, i.e. more and more people become vegetarians over time, instead of a bunch of people doing it all at once, that wouldn't happen. I think the former situation is more likely than the latter.


To be fair, I was being fairly flippant anyway. tongue.gif

Having said that, just look at the awful slaughter that would occur if the promotion of vegetarianism became TOO good!
Daria
We'd have to start using vegans as fodder for the triffids.
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