Vegetarian's guide to talking to carnivores

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by James R, Aug 29, 2011.

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  1. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

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    thats not what i was talking about james, s\he made the comment
    Thats not suggesting that there are indervidual interpriations, thats accusing CSIRO of out and out bias in there results and i doubt YOU would agree with that. I would be highly surpised if any employee who did this wouldn't earn themselves instant dismissal. BTW this is the same argument you argued against (As far as i can rember) with regard to there climate change arm. The oposing argument was that they were making up the results to surport there own employment.
     
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  3. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    I can't comment on whether the authors of the CSIRO diet book were biased as a result of their funding from the meat industry. I haven't looked into the matter. It's rather far off topic for this thread.
     
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  5. Bells Staff Member

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    I had to return for this..

    Cute.

    Considering some of the most deadliest outbreaks of food poisoning, e coli outbreaks, salmonella poisoning was linked directly to raw vegetables in the last decade, one has to wonder if the author of the article is not poking fun at vegetarians.. Also, there is absolutely no proof that vegetarian diets prevent cancer, obesity and heart disease.

    As for cancer.. and causes..

    Eating vegetables could cause cancer. Researchers have linked increased use of nitrate fertilisers to an alarming rise in gullet cancer in Britain.

    The disease - which affects three times more men than women - kills more than 3,000 people in the UK every year, a threefold increase over the past 20 years. It is more common than stomach cancer.

    The increase has puzzled researchers. But Glasgow University researchers, led by Professor Kenneth McColl, have discovered a link between nitrates in fruit and vegetables and gullet cancer.

    ----------------------------------------------

    His research has so far revealed that green and root vegetables contain the highest levels of nitrate.

    Gullet cancer also affects people in Scotland more than any other part of the United Kingdom, he revealed. In the last 20 years Scottish cases have risen from 450 to more than 1,100.


    (source)


    Salad anyone?

    Articles such as the one linked in the OP does nothing more than cause mild amusement and fear mongering without actually dealing with facts or even science.

    Should we ignore land clearing, pesticides and fertilisers (all natural) which go on to destroy waterways, the soil and the environment? Yes? No?

    In the United States, pesticides were found to pollute every stream and over 90% of wells sampled in a study by the US Geological Survey.[12] Pesticide residues have also been found in rain and groundwater.[3] Studies by the UK government showed that pesticide concentrations exceeded those allowable for drinking water in some samples of river water and groundwater.[13]

    Pesticide impacts on aquatic systems are often studied using a hydrology transport model to study movement and fate of chemicals in rivers and streams. As early as the 1970s quantitative analysis of pesticide runoff was conducted in order to predict amounts of pesticide that would reach surface waters.[14]

    ------------------------------------------

    Many of the chemicals used in pesticides are persistent soil contaminants, whose impact may endure for decades and adversely affect soil conservation.[19]

    The use of pesticides decreases the general biodiversity in the soil.


    (source)


    Fertilisers don't do that much better.. We see that with coral reefs..

    Farming has specific negative effects with this type of pollution because of the nutrient runoff from the fertilizers used. These fertilizers add nitrogen and phosphorous into the oceanic ecosystem. These nutrients cause massive algae growth that leads to depletion in oxygen available for other creatures and decreasing the biodiversity in those affected areas. (Bell RPF, 1992) It also leads to algae blooms that take over sections of coral, blocking the sunlight and hurting its ability to survive.

    ------------------------------------------------

    Certain model estimates indicate that 22% of the world’s coral reefs are threatened by land-based pollution. (Puglise 2007) Main-land based pollution stressing the coral reef ecosystems are chemical and nutrient based. This type of pollution includes fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, human derived sewage, and large amounts of sedimentation from costal land development. These pollutants have many serious direct impacts on our coral reef’s ecosystem such as altering the species composition by fauna shifting from phototrophic to heterotrophic. Largely impart to the corals inability to obtain necessary energy from light because of the increased turbidity of the water due to the pollution process. There is very high nutrient enrichment effecting the Great Barrier Reefs such as nitrogen and phosphorous. Other pollutants also have a great effect on the coral such as heavy metals.

    It is noted that 80% of the land adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef is farmland that supports agricultural production, intensive cropping of sugar cane, and major beef cattle grazing. (GBR, 2007) These types of agriculture and cattle production pose large threats to the Great Barrier Reef close by. Fertilizers are highly used with agriculture and contain high amounts of phosphorous and nitrates. Farmers use nitrogen fertilizers frequently because it is an essential nutrient for crop and animal production, both found on the area near the coral reefs. If the farmers over feed or fertilize with the N fertilizers, it can be lost to ground water and surface water.


    (source)


    To claim that meat eaters, or "carnivores" are damaging the environment with our meat eating is, frankly, intellectually dishonest. People who make such claims seem to forget that agriculture is just as, if not, more damaging to the environment and will have longer lasting negative affect on the soil itself for generations to come.

    Or maybe we can just say we eat meat.

    There have been studies into whether plants can feel pain...

    Researchers from Michigan State University discovered that plants have a rudimentary nerve structure which allows them to feel pain.

    David Blackford who heads the research team explained, "The nervous system is undeveloped, but it is there. This could be the evolutionary breakthrough that we've been looking for."


    (source)

    So I eat meat and vegetarians eat only plant products and some dairy (except if you are vegan).

    To claim moral superiority over one or the other is insane.

    People make a choice on what they eat. Carrying on and on as if either is morally superior makes no sense. Both sides can be detrimentally affected by the foods they eat, both sides eat produce and products that have adverse affects on the environment and both results in the death of the animal or plant product.

    To vegetarians, I say can the moral outrage. It grows old..

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    *Retreats back into exile*..
     
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  7. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Bells:

    Since agriculture is used to feed both humans and our meat animals, cutting out meat farming would also reduce environmental damage caused by the agriculture associated with growing meat.

    I summarised at least one element of the moral argument in post #73 above. I can't see anything obviously insane there, but maybe you can point it out for me.

    Yes, people make a choice as to what they eat. Yes, different foods can have different detrimental effects, both on health and on the environment.

    Plants are not morally equivalent to animals. Or, at least, you've made no argument as to why they are. I do not consider the death of a bean to be morally equivalent to the death of a cow. Maybe you do.

    You mean you'd rather not have to deal with the moral arguments raised.
     
  8. Anti-Flag Pun intended Registered Senior Member

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    That's a good point. We already produce enough to feed the world, we just don't because there's no profit in it.
    http://www.worldhunger.org/articles/Learn/world hunger facts 2002.htm

    Vegetarianism from the argument of feeding more people isn't necessary, and it isn't compatible with capitalism. Always thought James was capitalist though. :shrug:
     
  9. Bells Staff Member

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    I bet you're wishing I had kept away!

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    Which would dramatically increase the amount of fertilisers and pesticides used as the demand for vegetables would grow dramatically. It would also put greater strain on an already strained water demand for crops to meet the demand.

    Not to mention the environmental impact of more pesticides and fertilisers being used as the demand for more vegetables grow. It would also mean more land clearing to cope with demand. More dams to fulfill the water needs.. etc.. I am sure you are getting the general drift here?

    And you completely disregarded the very simple fact that for us to eat vegetables, we also kill plants and in the process, kill water ways and cause immense damage to the reefs of the world and to the creatures inhabiting said waterways and oceans. Either way, animals are going to die or suffer greatly, no matter what we do. Now imagine what the requirement to meet the demand of 6.5(?) billion people eating only vegetables is going to do to the environment.

    Consider what land clearing, the water demand for such mass agriculture, the sheer volume of fertiliser that will need to be used, not to mention pesticides. Now this is supposed to be the more humane and moral approach?

    What you disregard is that we will cause pain to animals either way. One will result in a possible increase in deformed and malformed wildlife due to the increase in fertilisers and pesticides, and in some instances, the damage could be severe enough to wipe out entire species.. And this is more moral than killing a cow and eating it?

    There is no morality in death.. There is no morality in killing a plant to eat it, nor is there morality in killing an animal in eating it. There is definitely no morality in poisoning the environment and killing and choking water systems and endangering and causing harm to wildlife for generations to come to grow more plants to so we don't kill animals to eat them.

    So which is more moral to you? Killing a cow and feeding a village? Or stripping the land to plant crops, killing off river systems and waterways, killing and poisoning wildlife in the process to grow enough crops to feed said village?

    Do you consider the damage done to wildlife, the environment and the death to wildlife so you can eat that bean to be less morally equivalent to the death of a cow?

    Are cows more 'human' than a frog or alligator or fish?

    I think you discount the morality of the actualities of eating vegetables... The damage done to the environment and wildlife does not seem to factor into your moral arguments.

    You are so concerned about killing the cow that you fail to notice what agriculture does to masses of wildlife.. Here is the reality of the vegetables we eat:

    It uses huge amounts of water, energy, and chemicals, often with little regard to long-term adverse effects. But the environmental costs of agriculture are mounting. Irrigation systems are pumping water from reservoirs faster than they are being recharged. Toxic herbicides and insecticides are accumulating in ground and surface waters. Chemical fertilizers are running off the fields into water systems where they generate damaging blooms of oxygen-depleting microorganisms that disrupt ecosystems and kill fish. Unmanageable and polluting mountains of waste and noxious odor are the hallmarks of industrial-style CAFOs (confined animal feeding operations) for poultry and livestock.

    Many of the negative effects of industrial agriculture extend far from fields and farms. Nitrogen compounds from Midwestern farms, for example, travel down the Mississippi to degrade coastal fisheries and create a large "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico where aquatic life cannot survive. But other adverse effects are showing up within agricultural production systems themselves -- for example, overuse of herbicides and insecticides has led to rapidly developing resistance among pests that is rendering these chemicals increasingly ineffective.


    Now imagine the impact if everyone turned vegetarian.. How many deadzones would there be in our oceans? How many water ways are we going to deplete and kill to feed the ever growing demand for our sole source of food? What about when droughts hit? How much land is going to have to be used to grow the crops needed to feed everyone?

    So which is more moral to you James?
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2011
  10. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

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    there is another thing he is delibratly ignoring, in Australia we dont tend to feed our sheep and cattle grain, we feed them GRASS.

    when was the last time you ate grass james? Yes it needs water (but less of it than crops) but NO it doesnt require fertilisation, infact the animals themselves fertilise the grass more than it needs.

    This makes a meat production WAY less energy intensive than crop production and WELL less water intensive.

    Bells he actually advocated slaughtering all wild bird and animals to prevent sellmonalla poisioning from (for instance) bird droppings on crops
     
  11. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

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    can you link me to this post, Cuz that's just crazy talk (and I can't find it)
     
  12. scheherazade Northern Horse Whisperer Valued Senior Member

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    Perhaps the Polar bear, which will actually stalk and hunt humans when other prey is scarce, is the predator at the top of the food chain, yet there is no doubt that being an omnivore has bestowed a great survival advantage upon our species.

    All life depends upon other life to continue, and even plants are fed meat, in the form of blood meal, bone meal and fish fertilizer. Some of the most fertile growth is found on the banks of those rivers where the bears and eagles hunt and eat the spawning salmon and the offal from their harvest enriches the soil.

    Plants are also alive, though because they are not ambulatory, we place them in a different category when we make the judgement calls that define 'ethics'.

    These conflicts are going to persist, as we are becoming too many people and our practices overall are not sustainable, regardless or whether you choose one side or the the other of this discussion, or one chooses to walk the middle path.

    The cattle industry is a huge piece of the global economy according to this selection from Wiki:

    To demonstrate the variability of law and ethics surrounding the cow, another paragraph from the same source:

    Observant Hindus, even though they might eat meat of other animals, almost always abstain from beef, and the slaughter of cows is considered a heinous sin in mainstream Orthodox Hinduism. Slaughter of cows (including oxen, bulls and calves) is forbidden by law in several states of the Indian Union. McDonalds outlets in India do not serve any beef burgers. At one time the death sentence was imposed for killing a cow in India, and as late as 1960, an individual could serve three months in jail for killing a pedestrian, but one year for injuring a cow, and life imprisonment for killing a cow.
     
  13. scheherazade Northern Horse Whisperer Valued Senior Member

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  14. scheherazade Northern Horse Whisperer Valued Senior Member

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    Precisely THE POINT, Anti-Flag. We could feed everyone, and we don't, and probably won't, no matter the politics and rhetoric being used.

    When the day comes that the world demonstrates unity in sharing resources and living toward a better quality of life for all people, ALL of our present practices will fall under review and big changes will be required of many, especially in the so-called 'developed nations.'

    The proper management of animals for meat, beef raised on grass and chickens in free-range yards is a far more sustainable practice, with a lower yield, though of better quality in the opinion of many.

    I would suggest that it may be time to ration the amount of eggs, dairy, meat, leather and other products derived from animals, as we go about educating ourselves as to what may be the most sustainable practices for the planet, hence by extension, human population.

    I would also suggest that we ration the amount of land used in the production of grain and vegetables.

    Thereafter, we might want to give some thought as to how our own numbers play into the equation.....:bugeye:

    Some cultures have, by necessity, implemented 'people rationing', in the number of offspring allowed by license. (This has led to skewed population dynamics with a preference for male offspring, and we won't delve into how this determination has been arrived at, this not being the thread for it.)
     
  15. chimpkin C'mon, get happy! Registered Senior Member

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    A lot of the problems with agriculture would disappear if we started using no-till agriculture...which as far as I know is comparable in yield and turns the soil into a carbon sink.

    Some farmers switch to heavier use of weedkillers to make up for the weed control benefits of tilling...this should not be done, rather a cover crop ought to be used...although the really old-school way of dealing with this was to occasionally pasture goats on the land...

    Anyway:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No-till_farming
     
  16. Gustav Banned Banned

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    all of agriculture and livestock would disappear if we switch to Ambrosia Plus for our nutritional needs
     
  17. chimpkin C'mon, get happy! Registered Senior Member

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    to the above I would add:

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    Soylent Green is... tasty!
    I think I'll have mine with some

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    On top.

    (Thanks for taking my post seriously, Gustav...

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    Because no-till agriculture is just very unimportant...)
     
  18. scheherazade Northern Horse Whisperer Valued Senior Member

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    Thought I would add that nature has been practicing no-till agriculture all along...with a bit of help from the elements and the animals.

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  19. Bells Staff Member

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    And imagine the no-till agriculture to feed over 6 billion people..

    And as much as you may advocate not using herbicide, it can still end up with a higher ratio of herbicide use.

    It also takes several years before crop yields are sufficient.. You also need to factor in that in some countries, over the winter where the ground freezes over, how exactly are those people to be fed solely on a vegetarian diet? In many of these countries, they also rely on meat more heavily during those winter months and many of the animals they kill to eat also provide them with fuel to see them through the winter months. Then factor in the fuel costs needed to ship the vegetables in to them to cover the meat and fuel during those winter months.

    Not to mention the simple fact that their diet would have to be sufficient to cover the amounts of vitamins and proteins their bodies would need to survive.
     
  20. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

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    orleander i retract that, i had 2 posts backwards in my mind. Thought the "not a big source of contention" came AFTER the post where i said "if you want to stop sellmonalla contamination you would have to slaughter all the wild birds". I had them backwards and i publiclly apologise to james and retract that
     
  21. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Bellls:

    Fertilisers and pesticides are already used in growing food for meat animals.

    No, since a lot of agricultural land is currently used for growing food for meat animals.

    Animals such as cattle drink huge amounts of water.

    All of these things already happen with meat farming - even moreso than if we abolished meat.

    No. In particular, we will not be bringing millions of animals into the world to live in ghastly conditions only to be killed and eaten.

    You've provided no references that compare agriculture for meat production with agriculture for vegetable-only production. So, basically, I think you're making a whole lot of unsupported assumptions.

    Is there any morality in killing a human being and eating it?

    If you think there is, what is the moral difference between killing a human, as compared to a cow or a banana?

    You're being silly. You don't really expect me to believe that you put all living things on an equal footing. You do not.

    Nothing you have said convinces me that stripping the land, killing off river systems etc. is more likely or widespread with vegetable farming than with meat farming. In fact, you have posted no such comparisons.

    When did "human" become the standard of comparison? Who cares? You're the one who puts humans on a pedestal, not me. Although you pretend that you don't.


    Asguard:

    Animals require huge amounts of water. Moreover, we don't only feed grass to cattle and sheep etc. And, we also use fertilisers to grow the grass that they eat - in addition to their "natural" fertiliser.

    That's just a guess on your part, isn't it? You're guessing and hoping - just like Bells. And you're not really interested in actually investigating the matter.
     
  22. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

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    this whole thread is "just a guess" on your part, you have backed figures which wernt referenced in the origional article, which isnt your fault but when this is pointed out to you insted of re referencing a primary source or at least a secondary which lists its primaries you continue to hold the figures up as fact.

    And on "huge amounts of water", what animals? compared to what plants?

    If we look at rice (which is the stable for most of the world) it requires HUGE amounts of water, to the point there have been calls for its production to be BANNED in Australia. Compare that to animals like goats, kangroos, camels.

    Furthermore it actually HELPS the enviroment to eat kangroo, goat and camels. The last 2 are introduced species which have run rampent across the country and increasing there consumption is a very good way to control there numbers while feeding the population. Otherwise we have to slaughter them anyway and leave them to rot where they fall (which is what is happerning with camels currently i might add). What about the ethics of that james?

    On kangroos the same applies except they arnt introduced, they are still in plague proportions.

    Oh and on the "Ethics" of eating vegitables and thinking it means that no animals have been harmed, why do you think crop farmers kill kangroos and other native fauna which eat there crops? Your suporting the slaughter of animals just as much as the rest of us, the only difference is that we dont keep our heads in the sand.

    My parents owned a farm james, they raised cattle to go to market and sheep for there own consumption. Trust me they never fertilised there land, now yes they used poor water managment but that would have been the same wether there crops were animals or plants.
     
  23. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

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    james do you know what crop farmers do to wambats? fruit farmers do to flying foxes and birds?

    Rabits, mice and other species, all slaughtered and WASTED in order to prevent the loss of crops

    Look at what is happerning to the organitans so that palm oil can be produced, not slaughtered for food but about to go extint for vegitable production
     
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