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Joined: 9/23/2007
Msg: 31
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Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...Page 2 of 43    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41)
The OP's question is whether vegetarians are willing to let themselves go extinct to allow for fish and seals to survive.

If every vegetarian were to be faced with this dillema, and they were the type of vegetarian that became that way for moral reasons, (not just health reasons) then this philosophy--or rather--constraint, would succeed in doing what you want to be done to PETA. Vegetarians would go extinct. It is a non-survival based strategy. That only a human can or would do.

A scientist would say that any strategy that does not have survival as its most basic tenet is an un-truth. The mere existence of even one human who would give up their life for an animal is antithetical to that. And yet, in our city, someone just died last month going back into their burning home to rescue their cat.
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 33
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Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Posted: 1/18/2009 9:25:35 AM
*Sigh* Oh many words to wade through ;).

You've made another mischaricterization, implying that we are saying you have some obligation. Au contraire, all we're demonstrating are the consequences of your actions or lack thereof.

"If vegans and vegartarians don't want to be represented by these organsations, they must organize . Otherwise, people will accept that these organizations represent them, and their goals are to deny people the simple freedom to eat meat or own a pet."

That was the comment that started it all, it had a whole lot of other stuff with it, but obligation was never part of it. The point is that people will associate vegans/vegetarians with PETA because it is the largest organization in the world that represents this culture, for the lack of a better word.

If you don't like that, you can either do something or do nothing. If you do nothing, then nothing will change (i.e. the Vegan-PETA association will continue).

If you do something, that might change (i.e. the Vegan-PETA association will not continue).

It should be noted that you doesn't mean specifically you unless you are classified as a vegan/vegetarian, however if you COULD be classified that way then the association will still likely be made.

As for your next point, I'm sure you DO think that I would run out of articles, and you might be right. There are a lot of pseudoscientific crack-pots out there who write scientific sounding literature masquerading as actual science. Let's move the parameters from articles to peer-reviewed evidence and once again the advantage falls to my side.

As for the evolution stuff, the song -"You're so vain comes to mind"

I actually wrote that part referencing Ideoform's comment about evolution and the likelihood that animals could cause the extinction of other had nothing to do with our discussion on the Vegan-PETA association. So again, you mischaracterized my argument. I was merely demonstrating why it's a slippery slope to imply that humans are all that's wrong with the world because we do things that other species don't do, when in actuality its not that they don't do them, but they don't do them as efficiently.

Going back to what was germane to our conversation, I never claimed that eating meat was necessary, and neither did the article I give you. Likewise though, eating vegetables isn't necessary either...behold the miracles of modern medicine. Just as it is quite possible to eat a vegan diet and get everything you need to survive, you can eat a carnivorous diet and do the same thing - except that broccoli isn't fluffy and cute and it doesn't have organizations backing it up.

And *sigh* not to belabor the point, in reference to your claim of argument from ignorance, you mischaricterized his argument and failed to address the specific claim. What is the loudest and largest organization that claims to represent vegans and vegetarians? That is the point. That's great that those other organizations exist...really. Still...I've never heard of them, but I HAVE heard of PETA, and that's what we're trying to point out. If dissent does exist between these organizations, it is not expressed, so other views (like yours) are not heard. It's not unreasonable to infer that these organizations are aligned with PETA, not at odds with it. As a result, PETA appears to get more support and vegans/vegetarians will get lumped into those associations as well.
Joined: 9/23/2007
Msg: 34
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Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Posted: 1/19/2009 6:02:04 PM
Ok. I think that the OP's question was a good one for people to get started on the ethics of what people eat. But it seems as if many subsequent posters are really interested in debating with/refuting claims of PETA members. No one posting has so far admitted to being a PETA member, so I decided to represent their case, just for fun. I have to say though, that I am currently not a vegetarian or a member of PETA. But I suppose I could join and infiltrate their camp and get some inside information...then again, no.

I think the reason so many vegetarians don't organize to try to get PETA to be more mainstream-friendly, is that it is already accomplishing something for vegetarians. It is getting them publicity, perhaps some recognition, and even some information about what they are doing. It makes it a little easier to be a vegetarian when you aren't always having to explain what a vegetarian is to everyone.

There is a reason you have only heard of PETA and not much about the many other vegetarian organizations. They seem to be organized specifically to get media attention to their concerns. They take a reasonable issue, which admittedly is rather bland--i.e, not eating something--and push the edges out until it looks a little extreme, and then take some outrageous action or make some outrageous claim or create some way-out advertisement to get attention. This works.

In the dating scene, this is called "drama." And if drama didn't work for people, then no one would do it. In the newsroom they have a saying; "If it doesn't bleed, it doesn't lead."

When I first became a vegetarian 25 years ago, I was worried about looking too weird so I didn't talk about it to other people much, unless they asked me. And people did react funny to me at times, (remember PETA didn't exist yet, there was this "Anti-Vivisection Society" at my University), but the main reactions were religious in nature. Which is funny to me, because a lot of vegetarians are so because of ethical reasons.

I will share with you an interesting story from 25 years ago about what it was like back then to be a vegetarian. I was hired to work for our local utility company to be their "Executive Waitress" which included planning menus and cooking and creating a big buffet for the top exec.'s every week, as well as personally serving them in a special dining room on Wegewood china every lunchtime.

This worked out fine for a while, until when I was eating, the woman who hired me made a comment that she had noticed I never ate any meat when I was eating my own lunch. She wanted to know why (I guess perhaps she thought I didn't think the meat was good enough or something like that) and she sort of challenged me to tell me why in a confrontational kind of way--like I was making some kind of passive-aggressive statement or something. Maybe since I had very long hair she thought I was a hippie or something (I wasn't.)

And I told her I was a vegetarian. She then got very preachy with me and even got a little angry about it, even though I was trying to minimise my personal investment and interest in vegetarianism (I wanted to stay working there!) She acted like I had given her a personal affront. She said God had put meat on the planet for us to consume and it was a slap in the face to God that I was throwing His food back in His face by rejecting it!

I had no idea people felt that strongly about what I chose to eat or did not choose to eat. I had never mentioned it to anyone at work. I had no idea people were actually interested enough to WATCH what I was eating or not eating during my own personal lunch time and break time. And also to take so much interest as to even lecture me about it....I thought that it was none of her business.

So, I guess, I kind of like PETA for throwing it back in their faces a bit. That intolerance. That meddlesomness in people's private lives. That "I know best what is good for you" kind of attitude.

If you do anything against the norm, you are asking for people to push you back to the middle again. Perhaps if all of you non-vegetarians were to become vegetarian for a while (come on, it won't kill you) then you would see what we are talking about. You would get what we get from people and you would know why we aren't stopping PETA, even though we would individually never go that far or be that outrageous.

Now, if I were organizing a vegetarian group, I would run it differently myself. And this is not a frivolous statement coming from me because I already am a trained political grassroots organizer, and have done organizing for many years. I just haven't organized around the issue of what I eat. I feel there are many other more important issues to organize around than that.

My favorite methods of organizing people are those promoted by Martin Luther King, who advocated a policy of non-violent political action. This is what inspired me to post this today, on his birthday. Dr. King was a student of the political action style of Ghandi, Leo Tolstoy, and in America Henry David Thoreau's essay on Civil Disobedience (Thoreau was mainly a vegetarian.)

Boycotting is one of the non-violent methods of changing things. So perhaps some people think of vegetarians as people who are boycotting meat. I used to work for an Economist at my University. He told me that people in capitalist countries "vote with their dollars." In other words, whatever you pay for you get more of, and whatever you don't spend money on goes away--or there is less of it produced. Its "the invisible hand" of economics.

If you don't like Coke, you buy Pepsi. It isn't passive-aggressive, it isn't a boycott of Coke. Its the American Way.

If you don't like Coke because they get all their high fructose corn syrup from a communist country, then that's a political statement (if you TELL someone.) If you don't buy Coke because you like the taste of Pepsi better, then that is a personal preference. But the economy doesn't know WHY you aren't buying Coke unless you tell someone, or organize/influence others around your choice. If you personally want to vote with your dollars for whatever you like or don't like and never tell a soul, then the economy still works just as well as before. They just sell a little less of one thing and a little more of something else.

So I guess there will be a lot fewer cows around if a lot of vegetarians organized to try to influence other people to stop eating meat. This would be sad for the cows, if you think that living to only be one year old is living much. Is this better for the cow? If he/she/it is never born because it isn't being bred, then I guess there just will be fewer cows, but those that are still around won't have much of a change, unless people who EAT MEAT organize to make their year-long stay here more pleasant, or longer. It is people who pay for meat that will have the say in that.

This is what I currently do. I buy meat from farms that raise cattle differently. I like that my food is treated well before I eat it. (Is it too silly to say I like to eat only happy food?)

Well, actually, the energy I get is from the sun. This energy gets captured by very industrious plants and converted into chemical energy. Then a hard-working farmer feeds it to the hopefully happy cow, or buffalo, that kindly processes my plant food for me, by digesting it really well through two stomachs, creating muscles that I can get really good concentrated protein from. Hopefully, its death is quick and relatively painless, so I don't injest tons of andrenaline from the terrified dying animal.

I hear that if you buy Kosher products, there is some religious person who periodically inspects slaughter houses to make sure the animals are killed relatively humanely.

I have no reason to stop eating to save the earth. To live here on Earth, something must die, be it a plant or an animal. The only question is if we have the luxury of deciding how the food is produced, cared for and dispatched. I don't even get to decide when I will die.

Have you noticed that carnivores don't make good eating? That is because you are eating too high on the food chain. The solar energy degrades too much, the contaminants get more concentrated after being condenced by an animal. So almost no carnivores are eaten on a regular basis. I know people say crocodile and bear taste good, though. So, this means that I will make a bad food choice for a predator. Vegetarians, on the other hand, are what every carnivore usually eats.

Food is a good topic for a discussion of ethics and economics because A. Everybody eats, and B. A large part of most people's spending is on food. So your food budget influences people around the world.
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 35
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Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Posted: 1/19/2009 6:33:47 PM
Now that was a mouthful Ideoform!

To be fair, I only attacked the claims I felt were fallacious or illogical, unless its personally effecting me I couldn't care less what you put in your mouth.


Ummmm, anyhoo, I can understand your position to a certain extent, but there is a moral factor involved. For example, as an agnostic/atheist I get my share of people trying to "convert me for my own good". Even when I was unsure of my beliefs I would have the beliefs of others crammed down my throat, which is why I'm so outspoken now. Like you, I just got tired of it, and to top things off I see political and social decisions being made because of those belief systems, and those are decisions that ALSO effect about frustrating!

However, if there was an organization that was basically the PETA equivalent to atheism (HA! Finally an example of what a REAL militant atheist would look like!) I would feel compelled to speak loud and long about how that group was in now way representative of my personal attitudes.


Because even though they may be doing a good job of "sticking it to the man" it in no way absolves them of the fact that they fund terrorists, advocate violence against people, and try to subvert the rule of law so that it aids them when it should not...under the guise of freedom of expression.

Incidentally, if you DO infiltrate PETA, see if you can steal me a few sea kitten tshirts and stuffed animals...those things are a riot!
Joined: 8/30/2006
Msg: 36
Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Posted: 1/19/2009 10:36:52 PM
>>>You'd prefer to see people kicking their dogs? Or the slaughterhouse slowly bleeding animals to death rather than killing them outright? How about shampoo do you think it would be better to test them on rabbits or cell cultures? Puppy mill?

And what, exactly, is PeTA doing to stop those?

They're press whores who send whats left of their budget to terrorists and arsonists. They don't hit the trail and save animals- they protest, and promote violence towards people who do not accept their worldveiw. The Humane Society saves far, far more animals from cruelity than PeTA ever will.

>>>Animal rights is neccessary in a world that makes use of animals.

Protecting animals from cruelity is neccessary, yes- giving animals rights? Thats bull.

In order for animals to have rights, they have to have consquences- I can only have rights so long as I do not infringe the rights of others. But animals? They would be instantly arrested for trespassing, stealing, killing, and walking around nude while nailing other animals infront of school children. The concept of giving animals rights falls apart the very instant its institutionalized.


>>>So, I guess, I kind of like PETA for throwing it back in their faces a bit. That intolerance.

Wait wait wait

So an organsation fights what they preceive as intolerence.....with intolerence.....and they have the gall to name their organsation ethical?

Its an unfortuant story that you had, but then again, people all over the world are being confronted by they psychos with death threats, and arsons. Lets be perfectly clear- people are going to die because of organsations who think that its perfectly ethical to fight non-conformity with violence.

You stories unfortuant- but what about the people who were given PeTA pamplets with a picture of mommy chopping a cat to death on the front page? What did these children do? What about PeTA comparing Meat-eaters to Nazi's. You cannot simply scoft at these horrible acts and say they are justice because one time you met someone who didn't accept you for who you are.

>>>Perhaps if all of you non-vegetarians were to become vegetarian for a while (come on, it won't kill you) then you would see what we are talking about.

What purpose would that serve? I don't hold your morals- I find slaughter to be perfectly natural, and I choice I both choose and live with every day.

Thats like telling an athist that they should just 'pretend' to pray, and they might feel better- its completely ignoring the philosophical reasons to make a decsion solely because you think it'd be cool if we did.
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 37
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Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Posted: 1/20/2009 10:06:59 AM
Personally I don't see the point in discussion without passion, and debate is discussion WITH passion.

Ideas in themselves do not have a moral value, either there is supporting evidence or there isn't. As morality is a fairly subjective decision it is immune from rational criticism until it makes specific claims, predictions, or tries to inflict itself upon reality, which other people have to deal with.

I don't really care if you bless a fish before you eat it, or if you believe in Santa Claus, or if you think that an animals life is just as important as a human beings. You could just as easily say that you believe Elvis is alive or that slime creatures from outer space live inside your brain and I wouldn't care. Except....

Belief influences behavior. That behavior can have an effect on my life, so if you believe in fantasy, then it is possible that your belief will cause you to take actions which will effect my life.

Let's be clear here, I'm a radical when it comes to rationalism. Why? Because there is no problem that has ever been caused by an over-abundance of rational discourse. The worst thing I am ever going to do is talk you to death based off of my belief - this is how my belief directs your behavior.

Your beliefs also direct your behavior, for example lending support to PETA because you like part of their message. While I can accept that you wouldn't want to throw the baby out with the bathwater, let us consider the fact that you are lending support to PETA (an organization which endorses and has funded murderers/soldiers) because you like part of their message.

I am not hearing anyone say that PETA is a good organization, only that they like some of the things they say. However, what is the net-effect of PETA's existence as an organization - is it pro-humanity or anti-humanity?

If the answer is anti-humanity, then as human beings we should be concerned about this organization - after all, they are anti-us. It is irrelevant that they say a few nice things or that they have done some good, that doesn't make their actions any less reprehensible. To defend them in part is to support the whole, because evidently those beliefs you share can be held by non-anti-humans (I am presuming that you don't hate humanity).

Its not a question of animal rights, which as has already been said ridiculous because then by necessity they would also have responsibilities. Compassion for all creatures existed before animal rights and before PETA, and if PETA were to be gone tomorrow this compassion which fuels the ideas of animal rights would still exist.

The point is that PETA is the radical organization in your camp and you not only defend them, but they claim to represent you and your views. The silence your argument takes in this regard is deafening.

This is my humble opinion based off of the evidence available.

Oh, and actually there were less Vegetarians around when people HAD to kill their own meat. It is only through manufacturing and industrialization that people have the ability to be picky and "spiritual" about their food.
Joined: 8/30/2006
Msg: 38
Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Posted: 1/20/2009 7:50:37 PM
>>>I really see no comparisons here that reflect the nature of what I was discussing.

Its not a misdirection at all- if we are to take what you say as a moral standard, that if you are not willing to do something yourself then you should not have it done, then yes, the question of plumbing is certainly on topic. If I were to live by that standard, me and a great deal of other people who don't want to have to be exposed to plumbing and the waste that comes with it, the only way to keep up that moral standard is to have our plumbing removed, and set up an outhouse.

You want to to dictate a moral standard as "if you're not willing to do it yourself, then you should not have it done"- but the fact that you have, as far as I can tell, not removed your plumbing shows a glaring flaw in your logic.

Why is it that this moral standard only applies to one and only one situation?

>>>why are you attacking me for agreeing with part of their message?

Because organsations like PeTA condone and support terrorism. If someone were to come into this forum and announce that Al Quedia, despite its flaws, still has a good message, would you be equally shocked and appalled at the outrage that would flow in response to such a message?

>>> You sling statements around that are not even necessarily true

Care to present some examples?

>>>Are you going to blame that on PETA too?..... I guarantee I can find a radical, crazy, outspoken group that discredits your associations...

Well, I'm also blaming ALF and ELF for that too, but yea, I'm blaming PeTA. They are the largest and loudest organsation representing Vegans. And thats exactly the problem- normally, a radicals message would be drowned out by the message of moderates. In this situation, the opposite is true- the radicals are both the largest, loudest, and most violent representations of Vegans.

I'm not denying that you hold different ideals than PeTA and these groups. But at the same time, it is entirely reasonable for people to be threatened by Vegans when the largest advocacy groups for Vegans are phsyically threatening those who disagree. If you find this is unfair, by all means- create your own Vegan advocacy group, and hopefully reason will rule minds. But don't **** at me because I look to a group claiming to represent you as a group thats representing you There is no action I can take to rectifiy that situation- only you can help change.

>>>Discussion is far more productive than Debate.

Care to explain the differences between the two? Because its my understanding that they are synonyms

>>> People never "HAD" to kill their own meat in an agriculturally aware society.

Which, we should point out if not for no other reason as to stay honest to the facts, farming occured long, LONG after mankind killed other animals for sustainance.

>>>Native Americans prayed over every kill they made well before industrialization, and that is just one culture.

I love how you paint an vastly diverse people as a singular culture. Kinda like saying that Europe is a singular culture.

>>>From what I see of the PETA Organization, what they do isn't all good, and what they do isn't all bad.

And I disagree- they are *evil*- they support arsonists and terrorists, prey on children, maniplulate their supporters, associate people not wanting to harm animals to death threats and violence, and fight to violently enforce their morality onto society. Most ironically of all, for all your preaching for individual representation, PeTA's actions are opposed to that- the world most definately is Black and White to them and their supporters.

Can you honestly name any good that they do?


>>> they get people to talk about the issues through their media interactions (sometimes outrageous).

But do they actually help animals, as opposed to, say, the Humane Society? And aren't PeTA thereby taking the money that people normally give money to organsations who actually create a positive change in their community, like the Humane Society? Imagine how many animals would be saved if PeTA wasn't cashing these peoples checks to buy a billboard claiming that the New York mayors cancer is caused by drinking milk

>>> You have to admit that they are somewhat successful, everyone knows who they are and what they stand for.

No, they don't. For every hardcore PeTA member that I see who knows what the organsations goals are, you see people who have dozens of pets supporting the organsation(Pet condones the owning of any and all animals), or actually believe that PeTA helps saves animals(in 1999, PeTA conducted euthenasia to 2/3 of the animals it "saved")

People join PeTA not because they understand what they mean, but because a horrible mixture of self-rightiousness, compassion, and passion.


>>>But humans are not omnivores.

Yes, we are. Our dental records proves this. Don't whitewash the facts because it doesn't help your agenda

>>>Because long ago, man discovered that he could eat meat, but he didn't know it was bad for him.

Natch. I get it. Yer a cultist.

I suppose nutritionists who claim meat is part of a balanced diet are "in on it"

>>>While vegetarians and especially people living on a raw food diet, typically remain healthy, active--even athletic, and free from disease well in into their 70's, 80's, 90's, and some, even over the age of 100.

And the oldest person ever to live smoked for over 100 years of her 122 year life- is that proof that smoking will extend your life?
Joined: 3/1/2008
Msg: 39
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Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Posted: 1/20/2009 9:01:13 PM
if it's slow enough or dumb enough... it's dinner

So ... does that apply to a retarded person??

If you were stranded on a desert island, that had nothing but water supply, inedible trees and nothing to to eat but fish and seals, would you eat the animals or strave to death

I suspect the PETA zealot would cave ... and eat the animal rather than starve to death. After all ... isn't PETA ... "People Eating Tasty Animals"??

Eating another human being (starvation or not) is quite another matter. Same species just doesn't sound very appetizing.
Joined: 8/30/2006
Msg: 40
Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Posted: 1/20/2009 9:46:51 PM
>>I suspect the PETA zealot would cave ... and eat the animal rather than starve to death.

PeTA's already caved. As mentioned earlier, the senior vice president, Mary Beth Sweetland, is a type-A diabetic, and as of such, takes medication daily that was tested on dogs, and has some animal products in it.

Clearly that is the definative response to the question of whether or not a PeTA member would kill an animal if it meant staying alive- they already do.

The organsation that protects and supports arsonists who firebomb places where animal testing is conducted, while using the very benefits of animal testing to continue living to say such things as this;

"Even if animal research resulted in a cure for AIDS, we'd be against it."
— Ingrid Newkirk, President and Co-Founder of PETA , Vogue Magazine

They're insane. Its the only possible answer. Scientology is tame by comparison.
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 41
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Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Posted: 1/21/2009 1:08:50 PM
Note: I've accidentally deleted this post twice now...its starting to piss me off!

People never "HAD" to kill their own meat in an agriculturally aware society. (Non-Hunter Gatherer) There are cultures that have eaten little to no meat for centuries because their diet contained foods that would provide them with what their bodies needed. The idea that Industrialization gave us the opportunity to be picky would only make sense to me in that we can eat a more diverse food supply and have made available to us more species of plants. But the spiritual part, really? :-) Native Americans prayed over every kill they made well before industrialization, and that is just one culture. Perhaps you meant that Western culture never bothered to care about the spiritual aspect of an animal until enough food types were made available to supplement the non-meat diet and therefore allow for contemplation of the spirit of an animal? Other than that, you lost me...

Your claim is false because you have not taken into account certain points:

1. Storage capabilities of agrarian societies
2. Nutritional requirements for a more active people
3. The diversity of the food supply available to various cultures (i.e. supplements for meat such as nuts and legumes)
4. The availability for nutritional and vitamin supplements that vegans and vegetarians include in their diet today
5. Availability of food during those times even though there were farms, etc. Even in industrial times and today there are food shortages, let alone during the birth of agriculture

I think that's enough for now.

As for your claims of Native American spirituality, let's not forget the joys of cannibalism, or does that not count?

Also, they never restricted their diet for spiritual reasons. This is an important point, food restriction is rarely pragmatic, and that is the point.

Tomosama, you said: "Your beliefs also direct your behavior, for example lending support to PETA because you like part of their message."
You never specifically answer this claim.

[quopte]1. The idea of: Vegetarianism is Positive did not originate from PETA!!!!!!!!
Seriously, when is this going to end? Why is it people must be thrown into categories? Is that so we can bash them for being associated? So we have something to mudsling about? If I say that I do not support PETA, but I am Vegetarian or Vegan, does that mean it doesn't matter what I said, I'm still for them? If I was a certain color of skin, does that mean you automatically profile for certain behaviors?

How about judging based upon individual action. Why do so many minds need camps and groups to put people in rather than attempt to grasp the complexity of interwoven perspectives that is the human race.

This is a mischaricterization of my claim. Here is my ACTUAL claim:

-PETA is the largest vegan organization on the planet.
-When people make associations of vegans to a representative organization, are they going to associate them with the largest or the most moderate? I posit that they will go for the biggest and most active organization.

Bottom line: The voice that represents you to many is PETA, if you don't agree with their views and you don't think they are representative of "vegan culture" AND you want your version of vegan culture represented then you should speak out against the views that you don't agree with from PETA. You don't have to of course, but if you don't than PETA will continue to be the defacto voice for your version of veganism to the non-vegan world.

Your argument questioning the necessity of it is irrelevant. This is about reality and the way things are, not about who you would like them to be. This is the way it is, and if you don't like it you have the option to try and change it. If you don't like it and do nothing then you can hardly complain with any hope of being taken seriously.

From what I see of the PETA Organization, what they do isn't all good, and what they do isn't all bad.

Guess What, Life isn't Black or White!!!!!!!!

We don't all belong to one side of the fence or the other.
Why do you think there are tens of thousands of different sects of Christianity?
Because from every perspective, there is another element that can be argued by

Pigeonholing is there so people can continue to mudsling.

No other reason than to line someone up to fire at them.

Again, largely irrelevant to my point. Wish in one hand and crap in the other - watch which one fills up first. I agree that everything isn't black and white, and personally I choose to try and judge someone by their actions.

Your actions are apologetic to PETA, invoking the need for tolerance of their organization. Of the three positions available to you in regards to PETA and the sum total of their effect as an organization you have support, disapproval, or apathy.

Your claim is that you sort of support PETA and you sort of don't...but you never explained your position on your reaction to PETA's efforts as a net product. I like animals, I don't wear fur, but if I see a PETA supporter asking for donations I'll tell them exactly why their organization disgusts me.

I guess I can add a fourth position, you could be unsure, agnostic if you will. Still, if that is your position then why would you try and defend PETA's actions? Why not simply say you don't know enough about them to comment? Is honesty not a requirement of your spirituality?

Pigeonholing is bad to an extent, but it has a useful function. By organizing things by category it allows us to have a frame of reference for when we interact with people. While lumping all vegetarians together with PETA might seem unfair, its natural.

For example, the tone of your comments to me and others who are critical of your points has been the same, even though our content has been slightly different. You have, in effect, pigeonholed your opponents into a category of people with whom you address in a specific tone.

The style of your arguments to me implies that I was "pigeonholing" you, that I was making personal value-judgments of you, etc. However, I was pretty clear that I could care less about what you believe and that I was only addressing the claims I felt were erroneous or illogical.

Of course, I am not offended in the slightest, I am merely making a point that pattern seeking is a human behavior and thus an unfair argument to use. Unfair, and unreasonable.
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 42
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Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Posted: 1/21/2009 2:06:33 PM

Posted By: crazylilting on 1/21/2009 431 PM
Subject: Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Message: I'm curious why people think that speaking out about PETA is my responsibility just because i'm vegan? Of course i don't condone the actions they take!!! What did that do? Nothing. There are laws and if they break them and are caught then they will be tried by their peers in the court of law.

The fact there there are extremists is because there is apathy. Proof of this is the amount of suffering that animals go through to make it to the dinner plate. It's not an easy topic to debate and the population of the world isn't getting any smaller nor is the appetite for meat. Who will speak up for the rights of animals? and why don't people consider that they should have rights? If we are going to mass farm our diet then we should at least make sure the animals at least have a reasonable life and that the process isn't cruel and doesn't damage the environment. I don't see that as asking to much.

All of these points were already addressed.

1. Speaking out against PETA is up to you, however by virtue of their organization you as a vegan are associated with them. You are free to do what you want, but the reality is that people can and will categorize vegans with PETA because PETA claims to represent vegans.

2. Animal rights has existed not only before PETA, but for as long as people have had compassion. While some people do not share this compassion, this is not a reason to advocate animal rights. Animals do not have rights because animals do not have responsibilities. However, raising awareness of animal cruelty is a noble pursuit, because humans as a compassionate species would not want to knowingly cause an animal to suffer. However, there is a limit, and that limit comes when you take into account human life. There is no animal's life that is more important than a human's. If you think animals are more important than humans, then remember that this includes you too. If it costs me 100 drowned puppies to save one small child, I'd drown the puppies myself...humans are more important, not just because I'm human but because humans care enough to form protest organizations against animal cruelty. When the squirrels start holding signs protesting other squirrels that chew power lines, then we'll talk about animal rights.

3. Extremism is almost ALWAYS a terrible thing, and apathy is not an excuse for extremism. PETA is so pro animal that they are ANTI-HUMAN....this is just patently ridiculous and I am amazed at the number of people who defend them.

4. People also associate vegans with PETA because of posts like this....when you apologize for their extremism taking the responsibility of their actions away from them you are in effect advocating them.
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 43
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Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Posted: 1/21/2009 4:20:26 PM
LOL, glad you liked the squirrel-bit. I wish I could claim authorship for the inspiration though, I forget who it was that pointed out that rights imply responsibility but kudos to them!
Joined: 9/23/2007
Msg: 44
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Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Posted: 1/21/2009 4:34:18 PM
If PETA is so bad, yet vegetarians tolerate it, then why don't meat-eaters organize to change PETA's practices? Are you thinking they won't listen to you because you are a meat-eater?

Meat eaters have the MOST say in how food animals live and die. Your money directs their lives and deaths.
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 45
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Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Posted: 1/21/2009 5:56:27 PM

Posted By: Ideoform on 1/21/2009 718 PM
Subject: Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Message: If PETA is so bad, yet vegetarians tolerate it, then why don't meat-eaters organize to change PETA's practices? Are you thinking they won't listen to you because you are a meat-eater?

Meat eaters have the MOST say in how food animals live and die. Your money directs their lives and deaths.

Meat eaters like myself are the reason that vegetarianism is still a "fringe" idea. As someone who is not represented by PETA, (an omnivore, pet owning, free rights activist, agnostic atheist) I do fight back against PETA. I inform people of their actions, confront supporters with scary facts, and above all I call my congressman if they try to pass a bit of shady legislature.

As for the animals...I don't have their rights as my top priority. I believe that over legislation is a bad thing, and that especially extends to giving animals rights. I'm all for animal testing for science for medical and safety purposes for human beings. I do not eat veal because that's just unnecessary (all the cruelty adds FLAVOR!!! ). I keep a dog as a pet, he's adorable and I take care of him as best I can making sure he's well fed, groomed, and trained (poor training can lead to a dog dieing if they run out into a road or run away).
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 46
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Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Posted: 1/21/2009 6:42:31 PM
You say I haven't had much success, I wonder what your basis for comparison is? That PETA's legislative efforts have been largely marginalized?

Even more importantly, what's your point? You asked what I did, and I told you. Then you made the illogical assumption that my efforts were ineffective, and then concluded that those same efforts if done by a larger group of people would ALSO be ineffective.

It seems silly to criticize what I DO when you complain about being associated and do nothing. Its also ignorant to believe that a large body of people can't effect change - after all, this is what makes PETA a threat in the first place.

I actually don't find doing what I do easy, its exhausting to actually act on your passions, but at least I don't complain about what I don't try to change.

However, it is your right to support a human-hating organization who demand that rights be taken away from you so that fish don't have to worry about being eaten. A hypocritical group which believes that the life of a pet is undignified, so they actively support the genocide of multiple species.
Joined: 8/30/2006
Msg: 47
Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Posted: 1/21/2009 7:39:36 PM
If you think you're going to leave a snarky post and not have me respond to it, you're sorely mistaken(not to mention you littered it with questions)

>>>You cannot even accept factual information when it doesn't support your viewpoint or side.

Speaking of which, you never did address my challenge to find anything factually wrong with what I've said.

>>>". It is one of mutual benefit where all parties discuss the pros and cons of whatever the subject is, without attacking and defending.

I believe that is what we are doing.

If you feel I am somehow breaking the intended purpose of this topic, then I suggest you take your objections to a moderator. I'm not here to pat you on the back for having morals that justifies violence against other people- If I disagree, I will express it. If I find your arguments have flaws, I will bring them up. And if you are offended by these simple facts, then please remember that this is a voluntary forum and a voluntary discussion- I cannot force you to discuss anything with me, and if you feel I have been unfair in my practises, then I would suggest you no longer respond to my posts. I will not change my style because it makes you feel like I've invalidated the reasons for your beliefs.

>>>But you just sound like an absolutist.

I believe I very well may be- I personally believe there are better ways to live ones life above others, yes, and I do most certainly believe there are certian things that are an absolute fact, and everyone depends on these facts to be absolute to live their lives.

Whats the alterative? That I allow my beliefs to be wishy-washy, and have them change on any whim of any stranger who objects to me having that oh so vulgar belief of being certain of something?

>>>Bet you loved the Patriot Act!

Of course that makes sense- because I disagree with you, I'm a Republican.

>>>And I love how you use language in your posts that attack like 'we' and 'you'. Nice Touch... Makes people think they belong to your camp when reading it.

I use that method to better relate to those around me, and to gain greater insight by attempting to understand it through my eyes.

Of course, one wonders what my writing methods has to do with PeTA, Vegans, and what they would do on a deserted island, but I'm sure I'm simply mistaken, and it has a greater relivance than you ranting about a user rather than the topic.

>>>My moral standards are my own.

Thats a contradiction in terms. A Moral Standard implies it is a morality that everyone either does hold or should hold- its a collective, not a singular.

>>>Not a Philosophy to be applied to pipe fittings or surgeries ... I am talking about food, and how things might be approached differently by Americans if they had to kill their own meat.

Exactly- you were not expressing your morals to get them down and organized- you were presenting them to be accepted by others. I found flaws in your logic- that you claim something is wrong because of ____, but only and solely in that situation and no others. Because I found your morals to be lacking since you only apply it to one situation and no others, I am to be rediculed by you.

>>>Why is that statement threatening to you?

Because you are stating a moral, but equally stating that it can only exist in the void you allow it to. If one were to apply the same morals to anything else, it becomes a farce- but because its applied to livestock, it is noble. I find that to be a horribly short-sighted ethic to live by.

>>>Why not share situations where people might actually eat more meat because of an increased connection to where our food comes from and having to kill it ourselves.
I'm at least willing to hear your point.

Because I choose not to discuss or challenge the spirituality that may or may not come from eating meat. Its really that simple

>>>Got anything to say worth saying other than slander?

Again, if you have an issue with my writing style, take it up with the moderators. I find nothing slanderous with anything I've said.

>>>In looking at your posts Jiperly, it seems you are a parasitic poster. You feed off of attacking other people's posts.You toss out exceptions and misdirections, while rarely really addressing the subject at hand.

I "feed" off them? I wish to discuss issues, and challenge peoples beliefs. I don't see anything parasitic about that- although I should remind you, once again, that my methods have nothing to do with this topic. Its funny- you attack my writing style in a thread dedicated to questioning the conviction of vegans, then immeadiately say that I am not addressing the topic.

>>>You use a ONE PERSON Example with a completely different premise to refute a study of an entire people/culture and their eating habits compared to our own statistics on our people/culture.

No, I presented a direct example against a vague one- a user claims that eating vegatables leads to a longer life, making claims without any actual evidence, and I brought up an actual fact bringing doubt into the simple belief that living a healthy life will always breed a long life. Its simply not true.

Although I've got to ask.....what culture? Senior Citizens?

>>>1. PETA is EVIL and beware Vegans and Vegetarians because they are all the same.

Speaking of slander- did I ever say that Vegans and Vegetarians are all the same?

>>>3. Anyone that doesn't agree with Jipley is subject to deconstruction.

Oh come on- its not that hard

Jip-er-ly. Its pronounced the way it sounds; Jip-er-lee. Not like Ripley, but Jiperly.

But yes, that is fairly accurate. If I disagree with someone, and find multiple objectional things said by a person, I will attempt to address their claims, yes. I find nothing wrong with this method, and if you have an issue with it, please either bring it up with the moderating crew, or stop talking to me.

>>>Really, what kind of man wants anything to do with civil discussion when he says things like....

When someone says that eating meat is unhealthy and unnatural, then yes- I believe they are a cultist. Cults thrive on telling people reality is the opposite of what it is- and eating meat is completely natural to humanity.

>>>And another for the record on Native American beliefs, don't pretend you are some expert either.

I never claimed I was- but it certainly is a broad assumption to assume that the 25-75 million Native Americans that lived in North America all shared the same spirituality.

>>>But as a whole, they had respect for the earth and it's inhabitants that is far greater than this current civilization has expressed since their demise.

That has to be one of the funniest posts you've made yet- aren't you doing exactly the same thing you condemned me for doing- assuming individual beliefs based on association?

>>>Are you stating Native Americans did NOT bless the spirit of the animal that they killed for food?

No, I'm saying you're acting like a hypocrite. You're condemning me for accepting that the organsation that claims to represent you represents you, while at the same time find nothing wrong in accepting that the organsations that claimed to represent Native Americans represented them. There are plenty of examples of natives not respecting mother nature- hell, some tribes were damn near wiped off the face of the Earth because they destoryed forests to build farmland before understanding that they need to regularly till the soil. But I suppose those examples don't count, and its just easier to piegonhole all natives beliefs into a singular system.

>>>Jiperly is not about solutions and living together in harmony or acceptance.
His posts are about being right, while everyone else is wrong.

Which I suppose would explain why I entered this topic to begin with- to encourage people who were outraged by people assuming that a violent organsation represented them to create a counter organsation that promotes peace, tolerance, and acceptence of all people reguardless if they eat meat or not.

Sure sounds like I'm against harmony and acceptance....

>>>but I've never been a fan of arguing with no real valuable exchange of ideas.

Thats odd- the post I'm responding to here is exactly that.
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 48
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Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Posted: 1/21/2009 8:10:28 PM

Posted By: cheshirecatalyst on 1/21/2009 10:01:13 PM
Subject: Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
That PETA's legislative efforts have been largely marginalized?

What have you done to marginalize all the bad things happening on the blue planet Tomo?

And yes, my comments are based on the fact that PETA is still around, and with an ever-increasing membership. I made my point, and you understood it, although you pretend otherwise. You want me to waste my time duplicating your unsuccessful efforts. Where is the logic behind jumping on the bandwagon of the losing team? Do I get immunity? When you come up with an effective model for combating radicalism, you can alert the media......

If you are exhausted merely by exerting whatever action you take against PETA, try actually being a vegetarian - that is a real, bona-fide grassroots protest - YOU COULD NOT DO IT EVEN IF YOU WANTED TO. Uh-Huh.......

Seems like you should quit now before you entice any other moderates to join the PETA vision......muahhahaha!


Hope doesn't come from calculating whether the good news is winning out over the bad. It's simply a choice to take action. We find no real satisfaction or happiness in life without obstacles to conquer and goals to achieve.
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 49
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Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Posted: 1/21/2009 9:10:04 PM
That's everybody, not just vegans, and not just me. The only difference is that while I have a metric for calculating the chance I might be wrong, PETA can only consider that they are right. Dogmatism is extremely dangerous which is why passion should always be tempered by reason.

Thank you for the compliment incidentally, although the words aren't mine - It's 2 quotes from two people - can't remember their names, but they seemed germane to the spirit of our debate.
Joined: 9/23/2007
Msg: 50
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Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Posted: 1/21/2009 10:46:27 PM
So it seems that you are only worried about PETA's affect on humans, not on animals, and PETA is only worried about meat-eater's effects on animals, not how it's actions effect humans. It sounds like both are doing the same thing--trying to draw an ethical line where certain things matter and certain things don't.

If it is the terrorism aspect of activism that bothers people about PETA, then why not organize around the issue of terrorism in all its forms, as it manifests in all the different organizations that people place their passions into?

If you could figure out the root causes of terrorism, how it gets triggered, and how to stop it or transform it into something less hazardous, then your information will be in high demand in several governments...

Hmmm, but then you would have to limit your own organizing activities to strictly non-violent, non-terrorist methods yourself, to show how its done. (And to avoid being labeled a hypocrite.)

"It might do many well to take a survival class.
When energy levels plummet in a ice cold, barren, winter wonderland, devoid of many edibles some roasted critter on a stick fuels that internal furnace and stops the shivering. Mental sharpness fades quickly without refueling, hindering your chances to survive. I would challenge people to put their money where their mouth is ..."

I took a Wilderness Survival course in college. It included camping in the winter. Also a course in Orienteering, and one on how to forage for edible wild plants (Ethnobotany.) And I took Botany. (I know my food REALLY well, inside and out. Gross, huh?) I think I could survive in most situations, but probably it would be easier to eat the vegetation than to try to hunt something, even though I know how to shoot a gun, do archery and fencing (in a survival situation I probably won't have a gun or bow and arrow with me anyway.) As for insects, I do like snails, if you can call that an insect. Its kind of an aquired taste.

"I keep a dog as a pet, he's adorable and I take care of him as best I can making sure he's well fed, groomed, and trained (poor training can lead to a dog dieing if they run out into a road or run away)."

I have a pet, too. He's a house rabbit. He's litterbox trained and has the run of the house like a cat--except he doesn't jump up on the kitchen counters. I also have two African Clawed frogs and some pet fish. I have trained the fish to do some things. Fish are smarter than people expect. I never thought about calling them kittens. I think PETA is pulling people's legs a lot. Cats and water are like oil and water--just don't go together. Its a strong, weird image. Very compelling, I think.

Vegetarianism, Veganism, aren't really survivalist subjects, and they aren't really political groups. They are a lifestyle, mostly. Its a lifestyle that is good if you are extremely poor, or it is good if you are well-off enough to care about food more than how it tastes. Like where did it come from, how was it made, and was it aware before becoming food?

PETA is taking the individual philosophical arguments from the ethics books and making them point by point, by a time-honored argumentative method of taking the traditional idea and turning it upside down, or backwards, or using exaggeration to the point of absurdity...we see our own unconscious conformities in a new way by making them seem "strange" for a moment. Its a very spirited method and mostly fun, but the weirdos can't be kept out of any big organization enough to keep them from causing some damage (and using the organization as a framework or as a scapegoat for their own destructive impulses.)

For instance, nobody eats cats. I don't really know why (I mentioned the carnivore thing earlier.) Even in China where they eat dogs, I don't think anybody really eats cats. So PETA chose kittens (cuter, baby cats) to compare to fish...they could have picked hamsters, or snakes, or turtles, or frogs, birds, or chameleons (all are sometimes pets.) Yuck, who would eat a cat?

But I ate sea turtle once when we were in Nicaragua. Tasted like veal. (I was a kid, we were tricked, they said it was chicken.) It was the first time I had met my food face to face before it was eaten. I had seen it roped upside-down in the back of a pick-up truck by the ocean earlier that day (it was HUGE and filled the entire truck) and we were eye-to-eye for a moment. Its head was larger than mine, with huge eyes.

In Nicaragua, the family we were staying with had a pet Paka. It was a huge rodent the size of a dog with red eyes and stripes. It slept in the bathtub to stay cool. They had rescued it as some Mosquito Indians were chasing it down for food, and it ran across their property. It was smaller then, and must have looked looked cuter. I forget its name, but we treated it like a dog. The Indians laughed at us because we were treating food as a pet. My Dad worked in the hospital nearby, which was on stilts because of termites. They kept pigs underneath the hospital. For some reason, nobody thought the pigs were as cute...even though they were probably smarter than the Paka.

I always felt bad that the Indians, who had worked so hard to hunt down their evening meal had to forgoe their dinner because some forgeiners decided to keep it for a pet. The reason was, we also were there to help a village whose entire population was dying of starvation because of a company cutting down the rainforest they depended on the year before. Seeing the starvation, and then seeing the Doctors acting that way about things (they lived like kings compared to the natives) made me think twice about it. When I got back to America, I never complained about caffeteria food again.

I really like the food ethics of the Fair Trade movement. I haven't seen Fair Trade meats yet. But any product can be Fair Trade, its just that we import so much of certain types of food that it greatly affects the local economies of the countries our food is imported from.
Joined: 9/23/2007
Msg: 51
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Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Posted: 1/22/2009 6:55:33 AM
Hmmm, so people eat cats? I will have to go call PETA now to tell them to change their ad campaign.

I always say to people, that if it comes down to me or my rabbit, the rabbit will go. I tell my kids that even though we have gotten to know this individual rabbit and have chosen to make it a family member, that it is a food animal. Kinda like keeping a chicken as a pet. If we had to move, or someone living in our home became allergic to the rabbit, we would be sending him back to the Humane Society (where they give them away for free right after Easter when people tend to abandon them. You have to sign something to the effect that you won't eat them.)

Basically, I am kind of a Foodie. I have watched Marc Bittman's show over the years. He's this chef who has his own show, who travels around the world looking for the best food there is and then he challenges the chef to cook with him, and modifies the recipes but uses the same theme or technique the forgein chef employs. So he was on the radio just now. He has a new book out, called "Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating with More Than 75 Recipes." There is also a movie by the same name, produced by different people.

You can hear a clip of the radio interview at NPR:

This guy is a major Foodie. This means he's mainly about cooking, and the taste of food, and eating really, really well, and he's been like that for many years. If he's "converted" or changed his diet--enough to have written a book about it, then this is a big thing. It means you can eat really well (he lives in New York,) and even be a top chef, and have very good reasons to eat with a conscience.

Here's a little more about him:
His book "How to Cook Everything"––won the IACP/Julia Child award, the James Beard Award, and three international cookbook awards––is the bible of basic cooking for millions of Americans, and is in its fifteenth printing; the 10th anniversary, revised edition was published in October, 2008.

The TV show; "Bittman Takes on America's Chefs," first aired in spring 2005, later won the James Beard Award for the best cooking series of that year, and continues to run regularly. The second season, "The Best Recipes in the World," aired a year later. In 2008 he appeared with Gwyneth Paltrow and Mario Batali, in a show called "Spain: On the Road Again." He also appears twice a month on NBC's Today Show, usually on Wednesdays.

In the 90s, Bittman created a best-selling collaboration with the internationally celebrated chef, Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Their classic, "Jean-Georges: Cooking at Home with a Four-Star Chef," is widely considered to be among the most accessible chef's cookbooks available. Mr. Bittman's first book, "Fish—The Complete Guide to Buying and Cooking" is the best-selling contemporary book on the subject. "The Best Recipes in the World" is a companion to his television series.

Anyway, I was a vegetarian before he was, but I did enjoy watching his show. Now I eat some fish, eggs and a little of organic meats. This is essentially what he advocates, now, too.

I think it's about being conscious about how what you are eating affects you, your health, and the well-being of the rest of the world. Its not about "banning" the sale of anything. Isn't it better to promote better lifestyle choices, than to try to legislate some kind of law about it?

If we can ban trans fats, and smoking, we can ban anything. But I think that it doesn't have to come to that if everyone has open discussions about the issues and becomes informed, and makes their own voluntary choices. Then you don't have to waste money "enforcing" a ban, or over-regulating and inspecting things. People will vote with their dollars, and people have already set up their own types of monitoring and regulations with things like Kosher inspections, and different independent evaluations being paid for by the food industry and other food-related businesses like restaurants themselves.

However, sometimes a ban or a law becomes necessary to get people's attention. We banned alcohol once, but removed it later because it didn't work and created a black market. A ban doesn't have to be permanent...but if we think the ban would actually work, then it might level the playing field for businesses so that they can all compete with the same set of rules. We have learned that banning something addicting doesn't work. Witness the failed war on drugs. Bans don't cure people's addictions.

You can try to ban things in creative ways. Like with cigarettes, you can ban where people smoke. But you can't force them to quit. The addiction is too strong--even when people WANT to quit, and everyone agrees that smoking is bad for people.

Note: I am not saying meat eating is an addiction, nor is it morally wrong. I am saying that there are ways in which we could change the meat eating in the country that would greatly improve things for a lot of people, and not just in this country.
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 52
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Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Posted: 1/22/2009 10:47:01 AM
Hehe...yeah, PETA combined the 2 favorite dishes of China into one delicious animal, the sea kitten!

I largely agree with you Ideoform, except that legislation will not be beneficial because of the reasons you mentioned. When you make a law, people try to figure out how to bend or break it. When you promote or inform against something however you can reduce the effect of a behavior.

As they say, you can't legislate morality.
Joined: 9/23/2007
Msg: 53
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Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Posted: 1/22/2009 12:27:20 PM

"Moderation is the key--too much of anything can kill you--"

Its about way more than just being moderate. If moderation were really a key to American well-being, then we wouldn't have a skyrocketing obesity rate, heart disease rate, colon cancer and diabetes. We all think we are eating moderately already.

In most ethnic cuisines meat is used more as a flavoring to a dish than the main thing on the plate.

Moderation in meat eating can help some; we consume over 10 Billion animals in America each year. If we cut back 10% on meat consumption, we would consume one billion fewer animals. Raising animals for food production is a very inefficient use of our resources, and this level of consumption, about 10 lbs. of meat a week per person, doesn't enhance our lives much if you take into consideration the health care costs of obesity, high cholesterol drugs, and colon cancer treatments.

We pay for our meat over-consumption three times: once when we purchase the meat, again when we have to go to the gym to work it off, and again in high-priced cholesterol-lowering drugs and other expensive treatments like heart surgery.

But moderation doesn't take into account the quality of the food you do eat, or its origin. Food isn't generic. Our food is produced around the world in varying conditions and by varying ways of treating the workers.

For instance, buying organic foods has a triple-benefit: First, you get fewer pesticides (which usually affect neural cells.) Second, you protect the farmer and his family. There is a large increased rate of cancer among farmers and their families who need to use pesticides to produce crops at the level of production we are requiring of them. Third, you protect the people who manufacture and transport the chemicals themselves.

There are safer products to manufacture. Why use something so toxic if we are already producing more than we need to feed ourselves and much of the world? We are an overweight country. Why do we need such a concentrated food protein in such abundance that we are harming our health anyway? We lead sedentary lives. Our livelihoods do not depend on how much energy we burn each day doing our work anymore, like we used to when America was mainly an agrarian society (mostly farmers.)

(Besides which, chemical fertilizer is a bomb ingredient--if we had less of it laying around, terrorists might have a harder time finding the ingredients for their chemical disasters.) Let's reduce the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. I like that better than trying to dictate exactly someone's menu.

The price you pay for organic foods is the true cost of the food, without the artificial incentives and requirements (and regulations) we have placed on our food producers. If your food budget seems tighter eating organic, you might naturally spend less on meat and more on other things, and eat a little less and be healthier. This is how the economy should work. All the other things we are doing to enhance our production only enhances someone else's bottom line who lobbied for some crazy legislation, at the expense of our health by selling us stuff we don't need.

I think that food's cost should reflect it's total lifespan effect on America. Like from when it comes out of the ground to when it goes back into the ground. With all its effects on people's health, the situation and health of those who produce it calculated in between.

The economy can do this if you think about it carefully. Its not totally about banning. Its more about accountability. Its more about having the true costs reflected in the price. If it has a cancer-causing effect, or an obesity effect (think the appetite enhancers like MSG, high-fructose corn syrup, and aspartame) then that is part of the cost of how we are producing food in our country. If you added these not so "hidden" costs to the price of non-organic foods, I believe the prices would end up being the same as organic foods.

If you knew that you could eat all you want, except that there would be a tiny bit of Arsenic or Cyanide in all the food, would you still eat it?
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 54
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Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Posted: 1/22/2009 12:33:05 PM
You 100% guarantee that I would lose all excess body fat with raw foods, huh?

I guess you are missing out on the tons of peer-reviewed research which demonstrate that the biggest determination for body fat and weight is "calories in - calories out". Granted its likely that raw foods would decrease calorie intake, but you can get plenty fat from a raw food diet.

For example, in my own case I actually gained weight on a raw food diet (my mom had gotten into the kick when I was in high school). However, the amount of calories I was taking in compared to the amount that I was burning caused me to gain weight. *shrugs* That was the net effect after eating raw foods for a year. Granted, this isn't a Q.E.D., but these results have been replicated in many studies. Other factors beyond calorie intake v.s. calories burned do have an effect but are marginal compared to the major effect that calorie consumption has.
Joined: 9/23/2007
Msg: 55
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Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Posted: 1/22/2009 8:08:04 PM
Hello fellow rabbit person. I know the feeling.

It was the time when I first looked into the eyes of my food.... the saucer-plate sized eyes of that huge sea turtle...he really seemed to actually LOOK back at me....and then finding out that we were tricked into eating him the next evening...that's I think what really primed me for acting on the ideas in that ethics book on food animals. Because ANYTHING that is alive can be food for humans. That's the consequence of being an omnivore. (Well, don't eat armadillos or monkeys, OK?)

OK. Just to be clear, I didn't mean to say that I tell people I'd eat my pet in a starvation situation.

I meant that he would go back to the Humane Society where he came from if we had to move to a place that didn't allow pets or some other problem like that. I say he's a food animal to people to remind them that he's really, after all, just a rabbit. My yard has several rabbits that have a route around my house they follow, trying to figure out why they smell a rabbit in there...I don't feed them or bring them in the house. We think they are funny, looking for our rabbit. And our rabbit sits on top of the couch, looking out the window at the yard a lot. I am keeping him away from his tribe. I feel bad about that. I give him lots of his favorite vegetable, cilantro, as compensation. He's really quite spoiled.

But I also allow my teenage son to go hunting with his father. Even though I don't own a gun myself and I am for gun control, I think it is a good male bonding kind of thing. Plus, I think its always a good idea if a guy in a wheelchair knows how to shoot a gun...

If I eat hamburger chili for dinner, I am being a real hypocrite if I say that my rabbit's life and well-being is more important than a cow. For one thing the cow is way bigger.

(Its about the same kind of logic that a lot of PETA people are trying to point out...)
Joined: 8/30/2006
Msg: 56
Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Posted: 1/22/2009 8:16:44 PM
>>>If moderation were really a key to American well-being, then we wouldn't have a skyrocketing obesity rate, heart disease rate, colon cancer and diabetes.

You're assuming that Americans and meat eaters already live a life of moderation- and it simply is not true. The cause of skyrocketing obesity, heart disease, colon cancer and diabetes isn't because living in moderation is a flawed system. Its because people are not living in moderation- they are not watching their diet, not being careful to eat healthy foods, and not eating junk foods in moderation.

>>> Raising animals for food production is a very inefficient use of our resources

The use of the word "our resources" kinda irks me, to be honest. It makes the assumption that if a farmer raises a cow, then all of society loses money. And thats not true- the farmer invests his own money, not "our" money, in their livestock, and he does so because of the his increased earnings- not "ours"

To be perfectly frank, the only way it could be argued that raising cows wastes "our resources" is in a communist society. Otherwise, it should always be up to the farmer to make his own risks and his own profits. He doesn't ask you for your permission to invest his own resources, nor should he ever need to.

>>>and this level of consumption, about 10 lbs. of meat a week per person, doesn't enhance our lives much if you take into consideration the health care costs of obesity, high cholesterol drugs, and colon cancer treatments.

Again, you're assuming that eating meat causes unhealthiness and disease- and that is simply not true. Its eating in excess that causes the diseases you mentioned.

>>>Second, you protect the farmer and his family.

By making it so they have a less productive crop? How is the farmer making less and producing less going to help anyone, let alone the farmer? And again, isn't that more a decision to be made by the farmer?

>>>Third, you protect the people who manufacture and transport the chemicals themselves.

Are you actually saying by decreasing the demand for these chemicals, you help the people who manufacture and transport it? Wouldn't that put their jobs at risk? And again- aren't these people grown adults, who can decide to take their own risks?

Can you present any examples of people who have been endangered in the manufacturing and transportation of these chemicals? Is it a greater risk than the number of accidents in, say, the paper industry or any other manufacturing jobs?

>>> I like that better than trying to dictate exactly someone's menu.

It seems like you're dictating what farmers should or should not do instead.

>>>If your food budget seems tighter eating organic, you might naturally spend less on meat and more on other things, and eat a little less and be healthier.

Are you actually saying that if food was more expensive, it'd be better? What about people who can barely afford food as it is, or not at all? What kind of comfort would it bring to people who NEED food to be cheap because its mass produced, that you're helping them by limiting their options further?

>>> at the expense of our health by selling us stuff we don't need.

Shouldn't it be up the individual to decide what they need? If someone choose to live unhealthy, isn't that their choice?

Like you said, vote with your dollar.

>>>Its more about accountability.

and where does personal responsiblity come in?

>>>Its more about having the true costs reflected in the price.

Are you saying we should make cheap food more expensive solely for the purpose of enforcing healthy standard on a society that is apathetic on the issue of health? Its all fine if you wish to pay more for food- but not everyone has that choice.

>>>If it has a cancer-causing effect

Care to present an example?

>>>If you added these not so "hidden" costs to the price of non-organic foods, I believe the prices would end up being the same as organic foods.

I suppose you won't also be adding the "hidden costs" that comes from the increased risk of disease from organic foods that things like some herbicides are supposed to combat?
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