I was glad to an Icelander win back the title for the 2018 World's Strongest Man Competition in the Philippines. You might have seen the winner in Game of Thrones: Hafthor 'The Mountain' Julius Bjornsson . First time they got back on top since I remember watching Magnus Magnusson win 4x back in the 1990's (a favorite of mine).
"Those who claim to care about the well-being of human beings and the preservation of our environment should become vegetarians for that reason alone. They would thereby increase the amount of grain available to feed people elsewhere, reduce pollution, save water and energy, and cease contributing to the clearing of forests; moreover, since a vegetarian diet is cheaper than one based on meat dishes, they would have more money available to devote to famine relief, population control, or whatever social or political cause they thought most urgent. … when non-vegetarians say that “human problems come first” I cannot help wondering what exactly it is that they are doing for human beings that compels them to continue to support the wasteful, ruthless exploitation of farm animals." -Peter Singer
If everyone switched to a vegetarian diet, wouldn't that just mean we would continue clearing forests, jsut for different reasons? We would need the space for fields, especially since pound for pound, vegetarian diets hold less nutrition. We would need ot produce more, uh, produce to keep up with dietary needs. I feel the claims here need some backup evidence.
This was just a quote that I liked that shows there is more to consider regarding what vegetarianism is about.
Just on the basis of cost and the ecological side of things though, the business of food animal production is pretty inefficient, resource wise. I think things have gotten worse over the years as developing countries have an increased demand for animal products that seems to go along with consumer's buying/spending capabilities.
This is a pretty old article so the numbers are off a bit considering population and number of animals and such, but still a good (and short) read.
*U.S. could feed 800 million people with grain that livestock eat, Cornell ecologist advises animal scientists*
"If everyone switched to a vegetarian diet, wouldn't that just mean we would continue clearing forests, jsut for different reasons? We would need the space for fields, especially since pound for pound, vegetarian diets hold less nutrition. We would need ot produce more, uh, produce to keep up with dietary needs. I feel the claims here need some backup evidence."
Well no. Vegetarian food takes a lot less fields since you eat the what you grow instead of giving it to cows and then eating them. Vegetarian food doesn't have less nutrition. though depending on what you eat you could do well adding some minerals and perhaps a few vitamins. But if you eat a varied cost, that's unnecessary. I know, because I do.
There's plenty of reports talking about the impact of the meat industry on the climate etc. I haven't seen it, but have heard many speak about the "cowspiracy" as a good documentary.
Personally, I'm not a vegetarian for ethical reasons, but that's still something I get for free by eating veggie. Nothing have to die so that I can live. I can eat meat, and rarely do, but I just don't find it very appealing. To me, eating dead things have become.. weird. It's an odd feeling after a few years of vegitarian food to chew on flesh, it kinda feels strange somehow, and unappealing. So what I am trying to say, though some rambling text, is that the ethical part kinda grew on my even if it wasn't my primary reason for switching to an organic, vegitarian diet. Hells, I don't even want to have leather clothes or shoes anymore! That was an unexpected sideeffect.
No matter what, something has to die for us to eat. I can see why people get more attached to living things that are more "obviously" alive (animals move, most vocalize etc.) but plants aren't any less alive than animals.
TBell: That's true. It's getting harder for me to put a narrative to things but I find it hard to watch the misuse of some plants as well, particularly the cutting of big trees. I guess I just dislike conflict, and killing and the causing/witnessing of pain are tougher conflicts for me to process now due to changes in my brain/mind ten years ago. Sometimes not, but that's probably more detail than I should provide at the moment. :) Somehow that evolved into veg. from the ethics standpoint. On another note, a side effect of veg. also led me to feel abortion wrong as well, but as with veg. and how some animals are used/treated, it is a choice people pretty much have to make for themselves in order to believe or follow it. I don't think it hurts to provide more info to make a choice. I reckon that's like alot of things though, similar to religion, politics, and many other choices.
Skatan: Heh. Yup, sometimes side effects do develop, I went through that myself. Thanks, I had not seen Cowspiracy yet. 'Earthings' is an interesting documentary as well, although it can be disturbing to watch.
"No matter what, something has to die for us to eat. I can see why people get more attached to living things that are more "obviously" alive (animals move, most vocalize etc.) but plants aren't any less alive than animals."
I guess that relies on your definition of living. A plant is 'alive' as a fungi is alive, but it doesn't think coherent thoughts, it doesn't feel pain or fear, it doesn't love its parents. So no, plants are not alive the way I consider life. What's your definition of life and being alive?
There isn't a universally accepted scientific definition of life, as new things are discovered all the time that challenge a set in stone definition. For example: animals, plants, and fungi, all grow and reproduce and can be killed. They are considered alive. Viruses also do the same, but according to certain definiitons of life, they aren't consiered alive. We more easily relate to animals, as they live much the same way we do. Just because sometihng lives differently than we do, it doesn't mean it is any less "alive".
The problem of what life is makes many wonder if we'd even be able to recognize life on another planet... Do a little research on prions if you'd like to see something that is not alive and reproduces :)
This is kinda why I shy away from the life part of veg. nowadays. It bogs itself down into a philosophical debate. We should probably rename the whole 'Sanctity of Life' view to the 'Sanctity of Human Life' view if we are being honest.
I like to think of the planet itself as alive (just go with it, don't try overthinking it, :) as opposed to a dead planet), so it makes sense to protect the environment itself. It is not just one thing that has an effect, especially land use changes sue to a more affluent society in general. When a system of food production is so blatantly inefficient, wasteful, and damaging in more than one aspect, I just think it makes sense to change that. I know it's easy to say well lets cut down on air pollution, trash, or gas (whatever the poison). I reckon that is probably in part due to it being less personal than changing one's diet for the planet.
Suffering is suffering, whether it be animal, human, or the planet itself, and to see less of that does not seem like a bad thing, and helps all involved on that share this tiny little rock in space that 'Earthlings' (all Earthlings, animal or human) call home. It's all intertwined.
If we get into life and suffering, perhaps our young children would be better equipped to answer that question. Let's get them more in touch of where there food comes from. I'll bet that if we take them to a slaughterhouse and then to a pumpkin patch, or a field of wheat, they would come away less disturbed and happier from the garden as opposed to the 'killing fields' of factory farming. But, as I said, let's focus on the environment and not loose site of that first and foremost.
Capitalism's problems led to millions of death. Going veggy was a commercial hype, nothing more. And nature didn't make us herbivores either. When I read how many pills it needs to compensate all the deficiencies in vegetarian nutrition I wondered, if it is more a suicide cult than a lifestyle.
No, it was not a commercial hype, and has been going on long before we had as many plant based alternatives as we do now. Since I started in the late 80's I'd say that if anything there is more push back from animal food producers( esp. the animal milk producers) as it cuts into 'their' bottom line a little. Really though, it is still on more on the fringes. One only has to see the amt of McD's around everywhere to see that. Still though, even some restaurants have tried to accommodate vegetarians more than they use to in order to keep them visiting a little more. The science is there, animal food production is inefficient on the cost to nutrient production vs plant based. Even Norway is working on a cow tax to reduce the methane. They figured cows produces 4.5 tons ea. per year compared to a car at 2.7 tons. Most of the grain in the US goes to support the animal industry. As far as nutrients one only needs a small does of B12 added to balance whole foods based vegan diet. Most cereals are already fortified with everything else.
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