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Vegetarianism debate! (Page 1)

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I would like to start a debate on the topic of vegetarianism! I want to hear other people’s views on the matter.

I am a vegetarian. I am not, however, a vegetarian because I think eating meat is wrong. If you look all around nature animals are killing and eating one another; you would not say a lion was wrong for eating a gazelle! I think humans are part of nature, life and death is a cycle, and eating meat is natural. What I am mostly opposed to are the conditions in which animals are often kept, and the ways in which they are killed. If you raise your own chickens for example, and you raise them well, and kill them in the most humane way possible, then I don’t really have a problem with this. But almost any other times you buy meat I think it is safe to say you have no idea where that meat has come from, how the animals were kept and how ethically they were killed. In this instance, I do not think it is right to buy that meat. I do not think people should support animal cruelty. The excuse “it is dead anyway” is nonsense because it does not work that way!!!! Meat is only put on shelves because there is consumer demand for it. if people did not buy that meat, then people would not sell it. Full stop.

I’ve said that I think people are a part of nature, but being part of nature doesn’t necessarily mean one has to eat meat. Lots of animals exist in nature and eat only plants. The way I see it, it is no longer necessary in most parts of the world (and certainly in the western world) to eat meat in order to survive. I have never eaten meat in my life, so I am a living testament to this!

Furthermore, I think the majority of people if confronted with a cow, a chicken or a pig and told to slit its throat, bleed it, skin it, remove its entrails and cut it up etc etc etc would be really upset and would be unable to do it. But these same people are perfectly happy to walk into a supermarket and buy ready cut/prepared meat in nice packets wrapped in cellophane, where they never have to confront the fact that they are in fact eating something that was once alive and most likely had to suffer for them. I think this is hypocritical. Which is another reason why I don’t eat meat. I wouldn’t have the guts to kill an animal myself so I am not prepared to eat meat just cos someone else has had to do the ‘dirty work’ so to speak!

I suppose even moving away from the topic of meat eating and speaking more generally, the supermarket culture we have now has meant people are getting more and more detached from the reality of where their food comes from. I watched a documentary recently where a group of schoolchildren were asked where their food came from, and they didn’t know that pork came from pigs or even more strangely, they didn’t know that chicken came from chickens!!! When asked where beef came from they said “tesco”! Anyway, moving on!

Are you vegetarian? What are your reasons? Meat eaters join in too, what are your thoughts?
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replied January 30th, 2008
Especially eHealthy
I am not vegetarian. I have considered it may times, but because I too do not consider eating meat to be wrong, so I always have to come up with some other reason for being vegetarian. There are plenty of reasons, for sure... but in the end, I like to eat meat and I'm going to continue doing so.

However, I am conscientious about it. I hate factory farming. If there was a way to not eat factory farmed meat in a dorm dining hall, I'd do it!! There's not, so I am unfortunately still supporting it for now by default. I have to eat you know.

As for the "killing your own", yeah I could do it. No problem. It's the circle of life. Bessie sure was cute, and tastes great on the BBQ! I've killed a fish (oooo) with my bare hands and a knife. I went out, fished for it, caught it, killed it, cooked it and ate it. One of the most delicious things I have ever tasted, and really satisfying in a visceral way!
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replied January 30th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
Eating meat is terribly unhealthy. That and I am personally horrified by it.
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replied January 30th, 2008
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Birch wrote:
Eating meat is terribly unhealthy.

Then why am I not an obese pig like the rest of Americans?
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replied January 30th, 2008
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That whole 'ignoring Birch' phase didn't last very long. yes

Unhealthy does not immediately and exclusively mean "obese".
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replied January 30th, 2008
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i don't think all meat is unhealthy... poultry and fish are healthy. i think the reason lots of meat is considered unhealthy is because it comes in horrible processed forms like chicken gougons or bugers or sausages! i guess red meat is ok as long as it isn't too fatty, is cooked healthyily and is eaten, like everything else, in moderation.


but yeah, whilst being fat is unhealthy, being skinny does not always equal healthy!

what do you mean dorm room, Eiri, are you in boarding or something? and is there no veggie stuff there?
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replied January 30th, 2008
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You're right, fiona, I should have been more specific and stated that meat to me does not include fish.

Do you know about the fairly recent discoveries on what exactly is in beef (including many hormones)? It is interesting to note that rates of cancer, heart disease, etc have risen since the rise of fast food restaurants in America and the concurrent increase in cattle production/products.

I think that cattle produced from certain socioenvironmentally conscience facilities in extreme moderation is fine. Expensive as hell, though.

Oh, don't anyone get me wrong; I know a good medium rare steak is a fabulous treat. I used to eat it when I was younger and not so well read on American health statisitics.

No one dies from "elderly disease". Very Happy
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replied January 30th, 2008
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Birch wrote:
You're right, fiona, I should have been more specific and stated that meat to me does not include fish.

Do you know about the fairly recent discoveries on what exactly is in beef (including many hormones)? It is interesting to note that rates of cancer, heart disease, etc have risen since the rise of fast food restaurants in America and the concurrent increase in cattle production/products.

I think that cattle produced from certain socioenvironmentally conscience facilities in extreme moderation is fine. Expensive as hell, though.

Oh, don't anyone get me wrong; I know a good medium rare steak is a fabulous treat. I used to eat it when I was younger and not so well read on American health statisitics.

No one dies from "elderly disease". Very Happy


it's all about how you choose your food i suppose. people automatically assume vegetarians must be really healthy, but i know vegetarians who have really awful diets. ready meals, pasta and cheese every day, never a vegetable in sight! my boyfriend has converted to vegetarianism in the last year or so and all he ever eats is cheese on toast. i really need to give him a kick up the arse, or he'll be dead before he's 30.

how long have you been veggie for, birch and what are your reasons?
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replied January 30th, 2008
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Health and ethics are my reasons. I've been fluxuating from complete veganism to no red meat to just fish to just fish and poultry only at holidays (and therefore cooked by someone else) and I have kind of settled there for the moment. This has been occurring throughout my adult life when I finally got control over my diet! (versus parents doing it). I dunno, what's that, 11 years?

I also do not consume dairy en masse. Some ice cream occasionally and goodness I love cheese, but I've read too much about dairy cattle and what dairy does to your system to eat alot of it. I'm not perfect, though; I do slip and I think that's okay. I wouldn't want to live with a chocolate ban. Very Happy

Yeah, I know some vegetarians who really are 'sedentarians' and eat like flies (garbage). Doesn't your bf's diet really tell on his health? Is he sick alot or anything?
I'm pretty healthy and happy. Got all kinds of blood work done this summer and everything is in better than good shape!

Sorry if that's TMI, just thought I'd share.
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replied January 30th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
I have heard the argument that we were meant to eat meat because of the teeth we have and that cave men ate meat, thus it's only natural for us to do so. Here is my response to that. Cave Men did not have to worry too much about dying from heart disease, clogged arteries, stroke, and the like. Cave Man was usually eaten by something. I believe the average life expectance of our paleolithic brothers and sisters was 35 years or something like that. If we want to live a healthy and ative life into olld age, meat should be avoided. That is not to say that your birthday steak dinner will kill you. But it is something best eaten in modest amounts, if at all. Everywhere you look you can see elderly folks with all sorts of complications from high cholesterol, heart disease, etc because most of the elderly were brought up on meat and potatoes. Also, in the depression, you are what you had.

Flash forward to now-we have the privilege in our society to be able to obtain complete nutrition without mass murdering mammals to get there. What lucky folks we are! As for my personal diet-I do eat fish one or two times per week. I am able to justify this by knowing that I would be able to personally fish and kill and gur and fillet a fish-something I don't think I could stomach with a cow, deer, etc. Maybe a chicken-If I raised it myself, but I am not sure how I would feel about myself afterward. Also, the factory farm thing and the grisly manner in which animals are slaughtered is disdainful and I cannot eat something that was treated in such a manner.

I cook everything my family eats from scratch including breads, pastas, etc. I fish from the river in the summer. I can't stand pre packaged food. It scares me what they have to do to preserve it long enough for me to eat it and the carbon footprint most of our food makes just contributes to greater problems. So I eat locally when I can and I have a huge garden in the summer.

By the way Birch-It's just about the most beautiful place in the world-out here in the summer. I think you should schedule yourself a vacation. Amtrack from CHI to DEN is about 200 bucks. And its a lovely scenic venture.
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replied January 30th, 2008
Especially eHealthy
fiona05 wrote:
i don't think all meat is unhealthy... poultry and fish are healthy. i think the reason lots of meat is considered unhealthy is because it comes in horrible processed forms like chicken gougons or bugers or sausages! i guess red meat is ok as long as it isn't too fatty, is cooked healthyily and is eaten, like everything else, in moderation.


but yeah, whilst being fat is unhealthy, being skinny does not always equal healthy!

what do you mean dorm room, Eiri, are you in boarding or something? and is there no veggie stuff there?

I'm at college. Yes, there are vegetarian options, but as I am not vegetarian I can't see a point in not eating meat when I want to. I just had a delicious tofu mushroom gravy thing the other day... and with it I had some coconut breaded shrimp. I want the source of the meat to be humane.

It IS all about proportion and that's what I was going to get to. Aside from the occasional rare steak, I don't eat very much meat in a setting. I am often around the deck-of-cards size. I like other food first. I sometimes go a whole day without eating meat. Americans eat too much of it, and that's their main problem.
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replied January 31st, 2008
Active User, very eHealthy
The only problem I've found with trying to be a vegitarian is that I'm always the minority and therefore it's hard to get the nutrition I need when dining with others. People try to push me into eating meat and at family dinners I rarely walk away satisfied because the veggie side dish is all there is for me to eat (unless I do the cooking and make a separate meal for myself).

The biggest problem on all ends of the spectrum is the lack of acceptance. People want others to make the same diet choices as they do and it leads to insults and pressure. I've met people who are equally bad about it whether they eat meat or not. The hardcore vegetarians harass meat eaters and the meat eaters insult vegetarians.

There are moral issues involved for vegetarians/vegans/fruitarians/etc. but the truth is they aren't going to get people to stop eating meat any more than prolifers are going to get women to stop aborting unwanted pregnancies.
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replied January 31st, 2008
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My hapiness does not hinge on whether or not people eat meat. All I want to do is educate people so they can make an informed decisioin about what they do.
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replied January 31st, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
sillyakchick wrote:
I have heard the argument that we were meant to eat meat because of the teeth we have and that cave men ate meat, thus it's only natural for us to do so. Here is my response to that. Cave Men did not have to worry too much about dying from heart disease, clogged arteries, stroke, and the like. Cave Man was usually eaten by something. I believe the average life expectance of our paleolithic brothers and sisters was 35 years or something like that. If we want to live a healthy and ative life into olld age, meat should be avoided. That is not to say that your birthday steak dinner will kill you. But it is something best eaten in modest amounts, if at all. Everywhere you look you can see elderly folks with all sorts of complications from high cholesterol, heart disease, etc because most of the elderly were brought up on meat and potatoes. Also, in the depression, you are what you had.

Flash forward to now-we have the privilege in our society to be able to obtain complete nutrition without mass murdering mammals to get there. What lucky folks we are! As for my personal diet-I do eat fish one or two times per week. I am able to justify this by knowing that I would be able to personally fish and kill and gur and fillet a fish-something I don't think I could stomach with a cow, deer, etc. Maybe a chicken-If I raised it myself, but I am not sure how I would feel about myself afterward. Also, the factory farm thing and the grisly manner in which animals are slaughtered is disdainful and I cannot eat something that was treated in such a manner.

I cook everything my family eats from scratch including breads, pastas, etc. I fish from the river in the summer. I can't stand pre packaged food. It scares me what they have to do to preserve it long enough for me to eat it and the carbon footprint most of our food makes just contributes to greater problems. So I eat locally when I can and I have a huge garden in the summer.

Sillyakchick.. I admire you that takes a lot of work.. I think you are a wonderful caring person to take the time to do that for your family and yourself..

By the way Birch-It's just about the most beautiful place in the world-out here in the summer. I think you should schedule yourself a vacation. Amtrack from CHI to DEN is about 200 bucks. And its a lovely scenic venture.
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replied January 31st, 2008
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Do any of you that don’t eat meat and eat healthy avoid other things that are a risk or danger to your health? Like reheating plastic bowls in the micro-wave? Bottle water? Or do you even us micro waves? I’m not saying it is wrong. I just wonder to what degree you go with the healthy living.. Birch? Sillakchick? Anyone?
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replied January 31st, 2008
Community Volunteer
I wanted to be a vegetarian and my doctor told me I needed to keep eating meat for various health reasons....weird I know...plus I like burgers and chicken....sorry...and I love fish....and I microwave all the time and use plastics,etc....God, I suck! Crying or Very sad
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replied January 31st, 2008
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meblonde01 wrote:
Do any of you that don’t eat meat and eat healthy avoid other things that are a risk or danger to your health? Like reheating plastic bowls in the micro-wave? Bottle water? Or do you even us micro waves? I’m not saying it is wrong. I just wonder to what degree you go with the healthy living.. Birch? Sillakchick? Anyone?


It's funny you say that about the microwave; I just read an article on heating up the plastic wrap material etc. in there. Yee.

I use a microwave rarely. Because I suck as a cook and sometimes don't get things cooked all the way through I'll have to zap it.

I'll drink bottled water only if I know the source, and reuse the bottles. Never city tap water! If you can, look up in your city what is in the water supply. I have been drinking only distilled water from a reputable source for some time. We have special arrangements for showers, too.

Pesticide Contamination by state:

http://www.ewg.org/node/20430

I do alot; too much to really list here. We even use environmentally friendly cat litter: chicken feed. Try it; it clumps, is waaaaay cheaper, and is odor reducing. Breaks down much faster, too.

Oh, and I don't shop at Wal-Fart Very Happy
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replied January 31st, 2008
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Birchie,,I think there are Contamination in reusing the bottles for bottle water..?? not sure but I think so.. Plastic.

What shower together?? LOL I"m thinking so.. Smile
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replied January 31st, 2008
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sillyakchick wrote:
I have heard the argument that we were meant to eat meat because of the teeth we have and that cave men ate meat, thus it's only natural for us to do so. Here is my response to that. Cave Men did not have to worry too much about dying from heart disease, clogged arteries, stroke, and the like. Cave Man was usually eaten by something. I believe the average life expectance of our paleolithic brothers and sisters was 35 years or something like that. If we want to live a healthy and ative life into olld age, meat should be avoided. That is not to say that your birthday steak dinner will kill you. But it is something best eaten in modest amounts, if at all. Everywhere you look you can see elderly folks with all sorts of complications from high cholesterol, heart disease, etc because most of the elderly were brought up on meat and potatoes. Also, in the depression, you are what you had.

Flash forward to now-we have the privilege in our society to be able to obtain complete nutrition without mass murdering mammals to get there. What lucky folks we are! As for my personal diet-I do eat fish one or two times per week. I am able to justify this by knowing that I would be able to personally fish and kill and gur and fillet a fish-something I don't think I could stomach with a cow, deer, etc. Maybe a chicken-If I raised it myself, but I am not sure how I would feel about myself afterward. Also, the factory farm thing and the grisly manner in which animals are slaughtered is disdainful and I cannot eat something that was treated in such a manner.

I cook everything my family eats from scratch including breads, pastas, etc. I fish from the river in the summer. I can't stand pre packaged food. It scares me what they have to do to preserve it long enough for me to eat it and the carbon footprint most of our food makes just contributes to greater problems. So I eat locally when I can and I have a huge garden in the summer.

By the way Birch-It's just about the most beautiful place in the world-out here in the summer. I think you should schedule yourself a vacation. Amtrack from CHI to DEN is about 200 bucks. And its a lovely scenic venture.



I have to admire you. That takes a lot of work to eat and cook like you do!. What a woman. yes
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replied February 1st, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
meblonde01 wrote:
Birchie,,I think there are Contamination in reusing the bottles for bottle water..?? not sure but I think so.. Plastic.



Only if you don't wash them in between uses, lol!
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