the great vegetarian debate

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Simon E. » Mon Dec 09, 2013 5:16 pm

Once more.

Johnny Marr to Morrissey. " Come off it mate, you don't love animals, you just hate people ".
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Malcolm » Mon Dec 09, 2013 5:47 pm

michaelb wrote:Does anyone just feed livestock grass and hay? Do pigs and chickens eat grass? I thought, due to lack of space and the weather, even 'organic' cattle are kept inside for at least a few months a year and fed soya, bonemeal and stuff made from chicken feathers. Non-organic livestock are fed GM soya, of course as well as a bunch of other odd stuff (chickens are already cannibals, for example.)


Chicken meat and pork was traditionally was more expensive than beef because these animals require grain in general as part of their diet. Now they are less expensive than beef pound for pound in the US because corn is subsidized by the US Government.

Not only that, but in general, meat of all kinds was traditionally also a seasonal food. In northern climes, animals would not be slaughtered until the autumn. People did not eat steaks year round. It is only with the advent of refrigeration that the modern industrial economy of meat is even possible.

For most of the year, what meat was in people's diets was usually sausage and dried meats in general, added in some portions to meals. Arguably, people were healthier as a result.

From a dietary point of view meat and dairy combined is a very building diet. It is no mistake that individuals in meat/dairy eating societies are larger, heavier and stronger (as well as more aggressive) than those in societies who eat little or no meat.

In the organic "local" beef industry, there are two kinds of programs, grass finished and grain finished. Grain finished beef has more fat. However, maize is a relatively recent crop in human history, and cattle never evolved to properly digest it. It is very harmful for them. The reason so much antibiotic is used in grain-fed feedlot beef, as well as grain-fed dairy cattle, is that corn causes acidosis in cattle which in turn leaves them open to infection, and so on.

Also, there is however another problem (similar to the biofuel craze) -- the craze for grass fed beef has led to clearing rainforest in South America and elsewhere, which is why it is important for an environmentally conscientious omnivore to only eat locally sourced meat.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby michaelb » Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:08 pm

Simon E. wrote:Once more.

Johnny Marr to Morrissey. " Come off it mate, you don't love animals, you just hate people ".
I'm not sure if that quotation was aimed at me, Simon, but I never claimed to love animals, nor do I hate people, I just think some of them look rather tasty. But enough's enough and, let's face it, 7 billion is more than enough.
Last edited by michaelb on Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby michaelb » Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:17 pm

Malcolm, I thought maize had been a staple in S.American diet for a very long time, but the widespread use of modified maize syrup was linked to global rise in obesity.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Malcolm » Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:18 pm

michaelb wrote:Malcolm, I thought maize had been a staple in S.American diet for a very long time, but the widespread use of modified maize syrup was linked to global rise in obesity.


Domestic cattle, pigs and chicken were only introduced to the Americans in the 16th century by the Spanish. The primary domesticated meat animals of the Americas were dogs and turkeys until this time.

Maize is a crop developed by humans in Central Mexico some believe around 4600 years ago, though others assert it is as old as 10,000 -- it is not clear.

Maize is the only crop we grow that is entirely dependent on human intervention for its propagation. Maize never existed in the wild, unlike wheat, rye, oats, barely and so on. Plant geneticists are still not entirely certain exactly which plants were hybridized to crate Maize. The main plant that people think maize comes from is a wild grass called Teosinte.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby seeker242 » Tue Dec 10, 2013 12:31 am

Simon E. wrote:So is modern day vegetable and grain production.


Agreed! My question now is: which diet is more harmful, a meat based diet or a plant based diet? IMO, all the evidence points to a plant based diet being less harmful.

Large parts of it now are a monocultural desert of denatured grains and fields of vegetables


Agreed, mono-cropping is a truly pathetic way to grow food.

Malcolm wrote:
seeker242 wrote:
I think the statement is massively simple but at the same time does accurately reflect and summarize the complex situation. Modern day animal agriculture is extremely destructive to the environment.


Yes that is true. However, it is not true that eating meat necessarily adds to that. That really depends upon the source of the meat that one eats. Eating meat from commercial feed lots is very destructive, as opposed to pasture raised, strictly grass fed beef and dairy which does not depend on grain which is not environmentally destructive at all.


Do you think that the current demand of meat can be met strictly by using only pasture raised, strictly grass fed beef and dairy? Apparently 6% of beef is grass fed right now. In order to meet the current demand, you would have to increase grass fed production by more than 15 times the current level. What would be the effects of that?

Also, I don't believe it's accurate to say that grass fed beef is not environmentally destructive at all. According to Penn State University, College of Agriculture Sciences

"The reality is there is no evidence whatsoever that grass-fed beef has any advantage for safety, human health, or impact on the environment than grain-fed beef."


If grass fed beef really isn't environmentally destructive at all, then why would the agriculture scientists say such a thing? These scientists are the people that actually run the numbers, do the algebra and analyze the empirical data. That what scientists do for a living.

Telling the Grass-Fed Beef Story by Dr. John Comerford, Penn State University, College of Agriculture Sciences

Grass fed beef producers try to tell people that it's better for your health and environment, etc, etc, Penn State University, College of Agriculture Sciences dept responds to that by saying:

"It is very important that we have grass-fed beef as a choice for beef consumers because these are often consumers that do not buy other types of beef. However, the enterprise cannot be sustainable and engage new customers if it is based on false and misleading information."

...

Locally-produced, animals raised in a pasture environment, source verification, and others are very important features of beef that consumers value. Grass-fed beef can capitalize on many of these attributes without some of the deception going on now.


What kind of deception are they talking about?

If we wish to stem environmentally destructive meat, it is simple enough to change from industrially produced meat to locally produced meat. However, that also requires changing our plant consumption from industrial agriculture too.


Personally, I don't think it's all that simple. Especially when you take into account the grass fed information above, the health effects of high meat consumption on one's body and the ethical ramifications of an industry whose sole intention it is to kill sentient beings. The whole entire meat industry, grass fed or not, has one sole intention, to kill sentient beings and sell their body parts. The whole entire industry is ethically tainted by a slaughterhouse.

As i have pointed out many times, industrial level organic farming absolutely requires animal concentrates at levels possible only because of industrial levels of animal husbandry and slaughter.


That is how it's currently done but it doesn't need to be done that way IMO. The waste treatment plants in the USA that are currently and successfully using treated human waste for good fertilizer, I think is evidence that it can be done another way.

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Malcolm » Tue Dec 10, 2013 12:47 am

seeker242 wrote:
Do you think that the current demand of meat can be met strictly by using only pasture raised, strictly grass fed beef and dairy? Apparently 6% of beef is grass fed right now. In order to meet the current demand, you would have to increase grass fed production by more than 15 times the current level. What would be the effects of that?


Massive grassland restoration, for one thing, properly done.

You should look into the farming methods of Joel Salatin.


"The reality is there is no evidence whatsoever that grass-fed beef has any advantage for safety, human health, or impact on the environment than grain-fed beef."


This is just industry sponsored "science". You should read Michael Pollen and so on.



Personally, I don't think it's all that simple. Especially when you take into account the grass fed information above, the health effects of high meat consumption on one's body and the ethical ramifications of an industry whose sole intention it is to kill sentient beings. The whole entire meat industry, grass fed or not, has one sole intention, to kill sentient beings and sell their body parts. The whole entire industry is ethically tainted by a slaughterhouse.


Well, not everyone shares the notion that killing animals, birds, and fish for food is morally wrong. Since they don't and are not likely too (ever), it is probably better for everyone to move people away from truly destructive practices presently found in the food production system.


That is how it's currently done but it doesn't need to be done that way IMO. The waste treatment plants in the USA that are currently and successfully using treated human waste for good fertilizer, I think is evidence that it can be done another way.


Because of all the crap we humans put in our bodies, I would be very skeptical of this at the present time. If human waste can be properly filtered and purified, then no problem.

Bottom line -- as long as animals are going to be killed for food (and they will, forever), it is better to move the industry to healthier standards for ourselves and the environments. You may not believe that organically raised beef, chicken and pork is better for people and the environment, but it is. It is a very simple reality.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby seeker242 » Tue Dec 10, 2013 1:20 am

Malcolm wrote:

"The reality is there is no evidence whatsoever that grass-fed beef has any advantage for safety, human health, or impact on the environment than grain-fed beef."


This is just industry sponsored "science". You should read Michael Pollen and so on.


"Michael Pollen is just grass fed industry marketing manifesting itself."

Now you see, that statement doesn't carry much weight without any actual evidence to back it up. The problem is, with that statement, I have provided just as much evidence as you have. That is really not good enough for an actual debate. You should read Richard Oppenlander, and others, where they debunk the myths perpetuated by Michael Pollan. Just dismissing it as "industry sponsored science" and leaving it at that, is very convenient way to not even address the arguments being made.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Malcolm » Tue Dec 10, 2013 1:26 am

seeker242 wrote:
Malcolm wrote:

"The reality is there is no evidence whatsoever that grass-fed beef has any advantage for safety, human health, or impact on the environment than grain-fed beef."


This is just industry sponsored "science". You should read Michael Pollen and so on.


"Michael Pollen is just grass fed industry marketing manifesting itself."

Now you see, that statement doesn't carry much weight without any actual evidence to back it up. The problem is, with that statement, I have provided just as much evidence as you have. That is really not good enough for an actual debate. You should read Richard Oppenlander, and others, where they debunk the myths perpetuated by Michael Pollan. Just dismissing it as "industry sponsored science" and leaving it at that, is very convenient way to not even address the arguments being made.


Oh Christ — Michael Pollan's point of view is that one's diet should be primarily plant based.

On the other hand, he also supports locally sourced, grass-fed operations of the kind run by Joel Salatin.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby seeker242 » Tue Dec 10, 2013 1:39 am

Malcolm wrote:
Oh Christ — Michael Pollan's point of view is that one's diet should be primarily plant based.

On the other hand, he also supports locally sourced, grass-fed operations of the kind run by Joel Salatin.


I'm aware of both of those things, but that still does not change the fact that just dismissing it as "industry sponsored science" and leaving it at that, is very convenient way to not even address the arguments being made. You can't just say "no, that's wrong" and leave it at that. Or, you can, but that's not really debating. That is just like, offering your opinion, man! :smile: Of course everyone is free to offer their opinion, but when people try to pass it off as fact, there need to be something else to back it up. If you can't actually prove that it's "industry sponsored science", then the statement carries no weight whatsoever.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Malcolm » Tue Dec 10, 2013 1:59 am

seeker242 wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
Oh Christ — Michael Pollan's point of view is that one's diet should be primarily plant based.

On the other hand, he also supports locally sourced, grass-fed operations of the kind run by Joel Salatin.


I'm aware of both of those things, but that still does not change the fact that just dismissing it as "industry sponsored science"


Just look here:

http://animalscience.psu.edu/extension/meat

This is the department and program where Dr. John Comerford works. Still want to tell me this not industry sponsored science?

M
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby seeker242 » Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:10 am

Malcolm wrote:
seeker242 wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
Oh Christ — Michael Pollan's point of view is that one's diet should be primarily plant based.

On the other hand, he also supports locally sourced, grass-fed operations of the kind run by Joel Salatin.


I'm aware of both of those things, but that still does not change the fact that just dismissing it as "industry sponsored science"


Just look here:

http://animalscience.psu.edu/extension/meat

This is the department and program where Dr. John Comerford works. Still want to tell me this not industry sponsored science?

M


Christ! I didn't tell you anything.... All I said was In order for your statement to have weight, you need to prove that it's true. Simply linking to the college website does not provide that proof...
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Malcolm » Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:20 am

seeker242 wrote:
Christ! I didn't tell you anything.... All I said was In order for your statement to have weight, you need to prove that it's true. Simply linking to the college website does not provide that proof...


Smoke --> fire.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby seeker242 » Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:33 am

In the link I posted, the College is telling the meat industry to stop lying to people. You are implying that the meat industry is sponsoring people who tell that same meat industry to stop being liars? That is unheard of! The meat industry would never admit to being liars. But of course, this exchange is going nowhere. So you can dismiss my statements, and I can just as easily dismiss your statements and we can just be friends? That would be nice!

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Malcolm » Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:38 am

seeker242 wrote:In the link I posted, the College is telling the meat industry to stop lying to people. You are implying that the meat industry is sponsoring people who tell that same meat industry to stop being liars? That is unheard of! The meat industry would never admit to being liars. But of course, this exchange is going nowhere. So you can dismiss my statements, and I can just as easily dismiss your statements and we can just be friends? That would be nice!

:namaste:



The meat industry as a whole is opposed to the grassfed meat producers.

It is a fact that cows should not eat corn. The article you posted asserts the opposite, i.e. that cows should be fed corn in order to increase marbling of meat. This is a standard meat industry position.

The health issue for humans is antibiotics used by the standard meat industry and so on. There are many other issues as well.

As yes, we never were not friends.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby seeker242 » Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:59 am

I was addressing the environmental effects of grass fed beef and the statement that it "causes no environmental destruction at all", not marbling of meat etc. I don't believe it's accurate to say that grass fed beef is not environmentally destructive at all. I completely disagree with that idea for a number of reasons. But I really don't care enough about it to go listing all of them. Agree to disagree. :smile:
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Lindama » Tue Dec 10, 2013 6:43 am

Well, the issues do seem to bleed into each other. There are the ethics, the environmental, and the nutritional issues. No easy answers. Let's not even go into the fact that the Pacific Ocean is nearly dead and we should avoid eating fish who every day become more radioactive because of the impossible situation in Japan. Maybe it's not so diff, I remember we had fears about the food supply in college in the 60's... but that now looks like child's play and this is real, or atleast so we say. what is real in the phenomenal world.

The ethics belong to each one of us. The environmental.... that many cows peeing on the landscape has a big impact on our environment and our rivers, thus our water supply. I don't know the diff between factory density and local grass-fed as it impacts the environment and the rain forests. But I bought meat from a farmer in northern CA who was quite proud that his livestock were happy pigs and cattle in a pasture, that is until they wound up in his cooler. I had a friend who was sensitive enough to feel the fear of factory killed animals. This can be felt if you have the sensitivity. Whether we feel it or not, it needs to be dealt with.

I suspect the science mentioned above, is too simplistic. I don't trust it. The fact is that beef who are fed GMO corn are not the same product as beef that are grass-fed. Ofc, then you need to ask.... were they grass-fed but finished with corn before slaughter ... unless you buy local, you can't tell. And unless you know where the beef is ground, you will not know what antiseptics have been added to the diseased meant. My local country grocery store grinds their beef, this is not usually the case. Then there is the fact that beef who are fed corn, are not able to digest corn and the acid/alkaline balance is disrupted ... thus they develop infections and illness... thus they are given large doses of antibiotics to counter act the acidic condition in their body as well as the conditions they are subjected to ... thus we are now witnessing the MRSA infections which are resistant to antibiotics, which by the way are almost at the point of no return. The nutritional impact can't be separated from the environmental issues. And, the debate goes on whether beef is a healthy thing to eat. I know longtime buddhist vegetarians, 25 years, who went back to eating meat and improved their health dramatically... yes, dramatically. As humans, there are a variety of constitutions, some can get along without meat, some can't. I have never had a standard of eating meat every day or even once a week... but there are times when I need it for my strength, or so I say. I have a worse aversion to tofu than beef... tofu is not a health food. GMO tofu is another questionable product. But, that is another unending topic not for this thread. Tofu is a dangerous substitute for protein in my mind, and my body. I can't eat it without adverse effect.

The ethical aspects are personal and variable and the debate is indeed never ending. How do we get past it to realize that our food supply is endangered as much as our animals.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Simon E. » Tue Dec 10, 2013 10:23 am

seeker242 wrote:I was addressing the environmental effects of grass fed beef and the statement that it "causes no environmental destruction at all", not marbling of meat etc. I don't believe it's accurate to say that grass fed beef is not environmentally destructive at all. I completely disagree with that idea for a number of reasons. But I really don't care enough about it to go listing all of them. Agree to disagree. :smile:



" Agree to disagree " ?

Amen.

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby porpoise » Tue Dec 10, 2013 11:26 am

Simon E. wrote:
porpoise wrote:That may well be so. But eating meat means that we add the destructive affects of modern day animal agriculture, not to mention the suffering of the animals involved.
And feeding people grain is much more efficient than feeding grain to animals then eating the animals.

No that is non sequitur. Eating meat produced by traditional farming methods would not add to the destructive effects of modern arable farming. They would be grass and hay fed.
Feeding people grain would be more efficient ? Maybe, IF they want to eat grain as a major part of their diet.


But in practice most animals bred for meat are fed grain, which is an extrememely inefficient method of feeding people - you could feed 8 or 9 times the number of people by feeding them grain directly.
But I do agree it's about supply and demand, so while the demand for meat continues then so will the supply.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Simon E. » Tue Dec 10, 2013 12:20 pm

porpoise wrote:
Simon E. wrote:
porpoise wrote:That may well be so. But eating meat means that we add the destructive affects of modern day animal agriculture, not to mention the suffering of the animals involved.
And feeding people grain is much more efficient than feeding grain to animals then eating the animals.

No that is non sequitur. Eating meat produced by traditional farming methods would not add to the destructive effects of modern arable farming. They would be grass and hay fed.
Feeding people grain would be more efficient ? Maybe, IF they want to eat grain as a major part of their diet.


But in practice most animals bred for meat are fed grain, which is an extrememely inefficient method of feeding people - you could feed 8 or 9 times the number of people by feeding them grain directly.
But I do agree it's about supply and demand, so while the demand for meat continues then so will the supply.

Supply and demand works both ways. Is it your view that the vast majority of the population of the first world is going to adopt a grain based diet in the foreseeable future ?
We can all devise ideal worlds....but as my Granny used to say, that doesn't butter any parsnips.
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