Askville

Stewart David knows how to stir the pot. The longtime Asheville resident has been a persistent presence in the Mountain Xpress Letters section since the early '90s. He's also contributed several commentaries (most recently "Greenwashed," July 1 Xpress).

Spreading the word: Animal-rights activist Stewart David has been speaking up ad speaking out in Asheville since 1990. Photo by Jonathan Welch

But two weeks ago, David coordinated a letter-writing campaign pressing us to acknowledge that while our Nov. 18 "Living Green" special issue covered a lot of ground about making sustainable choices — such as switching to energy-efficient light bulbs, insulating our homes and hanging our clothes out to dry — we failed to note the effects of animal agriculture on greenhouse-gas levels or how switching to a vegetarian diet could help fight climate change.

He wrote, "It's time the overwhelming body of scientific evidence linking animal agriculture to ecosystem destruction migrates from the opinion section into the articles that address sustainability" (Letters, Nov. 2).

After thinking about it, we could see his point, and we invited David to expand on it. The Chicago native, a retired CPA, has lived here since 1990. Sometime before that, he'd embraced a vegan diet.

Mountain Xpress: Why did you make that decision?
Stewart David: In my mid-30s, I started reading a lot about how animals were treated and how slaughterhouses were run. An egg-laying chicken has just this — a space the size of a sheet of paper — to move around in for its whole life. I would never do something like that to an animal myself, so why was I paying someone else to do it? I became a vegan for ethical and environmental reasons, and for the health benefits too.

I just turned 60 — that was hard to take! When I was 30, my cholesterol was over 200, and now it's only about 130. I doubled my years on the planet, but I've cut my cholesterol in half.

You've joked that if someone had told you when you were 30 that you'd become a vegan and such an advocate …
I would have suggested they seek psychiatric treatment.

One of the publications you've brought for me today is The Live Earth Global Warming Survival Handbook: 77 Essential Skills to Stop Climate Change — Or Live Through It. Tip number No. 31 calls "refusing meat the single most effective thing you can do to reduce your carbon footprint."
That's the most underreported story of the decade on the environment: how what you eat is arguably the No. 1 thing that you can do to reduce climate change.

The handbook suggests eating kale, which I like, but not everyone does.
Good for you! There's this perception that if you're a vegetarian or vegan you're eating [nothing but] grains and bean sprouts when, in fact, there's a tremendous variety of foods available.

There are many local options for vegetarians these days, from restaurants to natural-food stores to farms, but in a recent podcast of Our Southern Community, Ned Doyle's WNCW radio show, you maintained that while local, sustainably raised meat is an admirable effort, it's not enough to effect worldwide change.
More than 90 percent of our meat supply still comes from factory farms. That's really not going to change. The small-farm model may have worked in the 1940s or the 1950s, when we had less than half the people on the planet that we do now.

You also noted, in your July commentary, that "supporting a meat-based diet requires five times as much land as a plant-based diet."
The idea of putting food through animals and then eating the animals is just a terribly inefficient process. We keep hearing about turning the water off when we wash our teeth, when the amount of water that goes into animal agriculture is truly astounding. A statistic I saw calculated that by giving up a pound of meat, you can shower all year. We keep hearing about the convenient, feel-good things we need to do to conserve energy and save the environment, but we need to also think about the things that are out of sight and out of mind, like animal agriculture.

Here's something many of us don't realize: North Carolina is one of the top meat producers in the country.
We have more pigs living in this state than we do people.

Most of the hog farms are down east, though. Perhaps because of our mountainous terrain, we don't have large-scale animal-agriculture operations here.
No, but in the 1990s, one [hog farm] spill dumped more fecal material into the New River than the quantity of [oil in] the Exxon Valdez disaster, and 10 million fish died. Animal agriculture produces 130 times as much excrement as the human population in America does. It just piles up.

You're also very concerned about how the animals are treated.
They're really just tortured. Chickens being raised for meat are genetically modified to grow and grow. Sometimes their hearts stop and their legs can't take it, and they start dying at about five-and-a-half weeks, but the industry gives them lots of antibiotics to keep them alive.

In my mid-30s, I just started reading about that kind of stuff, and I thought, why am I paying someone to do this? I don't buy sweatshop goods. I try to be a conscious consumer on other things, so I started looking at what I was doing with my food dollar. And I didn't want to support this.

You mention Meatless Monday, a program sponsored by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
It dates back to World War I and conserving resources for the war effort. It's about human health and health for the environment.

The Baltimore school system recently signed on to adopt the program, and you've written our local legislators and school officials about making a similar move.
If the Baltimore school system can do it, so can we. The Environmental Defense Fund says if every American had one meat-free meal a week, the savings in carbon dioxide emissions would be the equivalent of taking 5 million cars off the road. Multiply that by how many meals we can change, and we could see some huge differences.

So how would you suggest we meat eaters start?
Don't come at it as a way of deprivation. A lot of people already eat vegetarian or vegan, and Asheville's a great place for it. And don't beat yourself up. Don't set the expectation that this is too hard. Just get in there and start changing your diet and see what you think. You might just be pleasantly surprised: You might shed a few pounds and feel better too.

You'll also help reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.
In 2006, a United Nations report, "Livestock's Long Shadow," said that animal agriculture, worldwide, produces more annual greenhouse-gas emissions than all the cars, trucks, airplanes, trains, etc. combined.

Yet officials are downplaying what commitments may come out of the Copenhagen climate-treaty talks, and the negotiations don't seem to be focused on the animal-agriculture side of the equation.

They should be dealing with all sources. Former Vice President Al Gore missed the inconvenient truth about animal agriculture, but now he's acknowledging the implications of meat-based diets too. I grew up eating the standard American diet of meat, meat and more meat. If I can change, anyone can.

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About Margaret Williams
Editor Margaret Williams first wrote for Xpress in 1994. An Alabama native, she has lived in Western North Carolina since 1987 and completed her Masters of Liberal Arts & Sciences from UNC-Asheville in 2016. Follow me @mvwilliams

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102 thoughts on “Askville

  1. mtndow

    Looks like Stewart’s PETA-pals have control of a local weekly newspaper formerly known as the “Mountain Express”.

  2. Whit Rylee

    If someone choses not to eat meat for their own personally held morale beliefs that’s fine with me. But lets not confuse that with being environmentally friendly.

    There are many ways to raise beef, chicken, fish and pork in an earth friendly manner, especially when you leave corn out of the equation.

    I have fish living in a rain barrel as has been done for hundreds of years. Their nutrient rich waste water goes into my garden and my sons can’t wait until the fish fry’s this summer. How much green house gasses does that make? Do you know where your mung beans come from?

  3. tatuaje

    Now can we see the other side of the debate.

    I propose you do an interview with the poster we know as Piffy.

    Maybe get joeinmadco in on it, too.

    I think that their responses to Stewart in the comments section under many of his letters and articles are well researched and well written.

    Stewart gets plenty of space in the MX to espouse is agenda.

    Why not give other people the same chance?

  4. Piffy!

    [b]Chickens being raised for meat are genetically modified to grow and grow. Sometimes their hearts stop and their legs can’t take it, and they start dying at about five-and-a-half weeks, but the industry gives them lots of antibiotics to keep them alive.[/b]

    This just isn’t true, and should not be reported as such. “Many” of the chickens raised for meat or eggs here in WNC, for example, are not “Genetically Modified” and do not live in battery cages.

    I applaud Stewart for being passionate in his quest to educate people about the horrible, destructive conditions in Factory Farms, but it would appear he allows his emotions to overtake what could possibly be a reasoned, rational debate.

    Too much of the debate about “vegetarianism” is, in my opinion, ruled by these emotional arguments that speak in broad generalizations and therefor ignore the subtle complexities of the issue of large, commercialized food production models vs small, localized food choices.

    This is about Industrial Agriculture, not a moral argument ‘eating meat’. There is NOTHING about raising or consuming animal products that is inherently bad for the environment. Conversely, a strictly ‘animal-free’ diet can still easily contribute to the aspects of food production that are incredibly environmentally destructive, unjust, and even ‘inhumane’.

    Keep the ‘vegetarian’ argument where it belongs–in a debate concerning morality. When discussing food in terms of ‘the environment’, we have need to have a reasoned, realistic, practical conversation about what suits ALL the people of our region, and what will provide the best, long-term solutions for ‘food security’ for generations to come.

    [b]More than 90 percent of our meat supply still comes from factory farms. That’s really not going to change.[/b]

    Why isn’t it going to change? It obviously could. And re-directing money and resources that might be currently feeding that “90%”to help bolster the “10%” would certainly be a very realistic, immediate option.

    [b]The small-farm model may have worked in the 1940s or the 1950s, when we had less than half the people on the planet that we do now.[/b]

    I hope readers can recognize this statement for what it is. This is a statement of support of large, monoculture food “farms” that have well-documented negative effects on ecosystems.

    I might argue that local farms are indeed the ONLY solution to feeding the population that will ensure local control and long-term success. The Industrial Agriculture model of the past 50 years has been proven to be incredibly destructive and environmentally unsustainable. We can’t ‘feed the world’. We have to allow the world to feed itself.

    [b]The idea of putting food through animals and then eating the animals is just a terribly inefficient process.[/b]

    Actually, no it isn’t. For one, many animals eat plant matter that humans can’t digest. Cows eating grass is but one of numerous examples.

    Many local farms do indeed feed cows hay or chickens grain, but in small amounts, this can still be shown to be far more efficient than any possible alternatives.

    [b]We keep hearing about turning the water off when we wash our teeth, when the amount of water that goes into animal agriculture is truly astounding.[/b]

    Again with the generalizations. You are speaking about any kind of large agricultural model, not just animal agriculture. Conversely, a handful of animals on a reasonable-sized acreage with access to ground water may consume FAR less water than a conventional vegetable farm.

    [b]A statistic I saw calculated that by giving up a pound of meat, you can shower all year. We keep hearing about the convenient, feel-good things we need to do to conserve energy and save the environment, but we need to also think about the things that are out of sight and out of mind, like animal agriculture.[/b]

    Oh boy, statistics. Absolutely. We need to stop pretending that we can simply ‘cut meat out of our diet’ and pretend that is an end-all in terms of ‘environmental footprint’. We have to meet our farmers, look at where all our food comes from, and be willing to contribute to functional solutions that work for us and our region.

    [b]In 2006, a United Nations report, “Livestock’s Long Shadow,” said that animal agriculture, worldwide, produces more annual greenhouse-gas emissions than all the cars, trucks, airplanes, trains, etc. combined[/b]

    This is another generalization based on world-wide numbers dominated by massive factory farms and in no way can be construed as an indictment against animal husbandry as a whole. It is an indictment of the Industrialized model as a whole, and speaks to the need for more resources to be put into small, localized models, many of which have been practiced and perfected for thousands of years across many different cultures.

  5. Piffy!

    [b]More than 90 percent of our meat supply still comes from factory farms. That’s really not going to change.[b]

    [i]Why isn’t it going to change? It obviously could.* And re-directing money and resources that might be currently feeding that “90%“to help bolster the “10%” would certainly be a very realistic, immediate option. [/i]

    *I would like to add it certainly IS changing, too. Just look at the options available at local markets now for meat, eggs, and even some dairy, compared to even five years ago. Many even buy regionally-produced raw milk, and would be willing to buy this over the counter if it weren’t for large, top-down legislation preventing this from occurring. Legislation, by thew way, that ends up benefiting the big players Stewart is speaking about.

    As we continue to see more education put into the importance of local, then we can only expect our local solutions and opportunities and choices to multiply. WNC could easily supply a very large portion of their own food within the next, say, 10 years if we shifted our resources away from the big companies and into the hands of the folks in our communities.

  6. Peacewarrior

    Thank you for a reasoned, well presented view on life lived from a moral position. Not being involved with the killing, disection, and consumption of said dead animal body parts is a strong POLITICAL statement. Why? Because a society can be judged on how the least powerful are treated. If we kill innocent animals to slake a perverted sense of taste, we are an unjust society. You know warm blooded mammals, like cows, are not far from us humans on the evolutionary scale. And in other parts of the world, other beings are eaten, beings most of us would find disgusting and uncivilized to consume. Like dogs and cats in Asia. Like other humans in some of the more remote netherlands of the planet. Like snakes, alligators, grasshoppers. Heck, the supposed civilized French love to eat frogs and snails.

    I salute Stewart for walking his talk. And continuing to make meat eaters uncomfortable about their “choice” to eat dead animal body parts. Many of us here in Asheville, around the country, and around the world, want social justice for all. That includes our fur covered bretheran.

    The further point that the decadent taste for dead animal body parts adds greatly to global warming, should cause pause to any thinking, caring individual. Please try the vegetarian lifestyle. There are so many tasty, healthy ways to eat without “meat”. Start slow, like Stewart advised, and progress, hopefully, to an all vegetarian diet. You can choose vegan or lacto vegetarian. With a lacto-vegetarian lifestyle, cheese, yogurt and ice cream are on the menu! But try to get organic local produced dairy products where the cows are well treated, not “used” like they are on large factory farms. A cow deserves pasture time and a kind pat on the head from the farmer. That’s the least reward we can give the cows for all the good stuff they freely give us!

  7. tatuaje

    Hey Margaret.

    First I want to say how much I enjoy your writing in the MX. I consider you one of the leading voices for environmentalism in WNC.

    Second, I would love to see a moderated debate between Stewart and Piffy. I think the Poster Formerly Known as Piff makes some compelling counter arguments above and should be given an equal opportunity in a place other than the comments sections.

    Just a thought.

    And thanks again for all you do.

  8. Peacewarrior

    tatuaje: “…I would love to see a moderated debate between Stewart and Piffy. I think the Poster Formerly Known as Piff makes some compelling counter arguments above and should be given an equal opportunity in a place other than the comments sections. Just a thought.”

    Good luck on getting “piffy” to break her anonymity, tatuaje. Never happen. But if pigs do start flying, I’d love to be there for this “debate”.

  9. tatuaje

    Good luck on getting “piffy” to break her anonymity, tatuaje. Never happen. But if pigs do start flying, I’d love to be there for this “debate”.

    That’s interesting coming from someone who is using a pseudonym themselves.

    And how, exactly, would knowing Piffy’s real name alter the intellectual integrity of a debate on this topic, Cullen?

  10. Peacewarrior

    Eating dead animal body parts is flatout wrong. I’ll debate this anywhere.

    tatuaje:”That’s interesting coming from someone who is using a pseudonym themselves.”

    And what’s your name “tatuaje”…coming from someone using a pseudonym themselves?

    -Carl Dennison

  11. tatuaje

    Well, Carl (if that is your real name…see what a farce this is?), most people in this area, and in fact all over the country, know me as, and call me, Tattoo. So I am, in effect, using my name. Anybody I know reading these comments would immediately know who I am.

    And of course, remember, I didn’t state that I had a problem with someone using a pseudonym here. You did.

    But as far as using a pseudonym goes, unfortunately there have been incidents in the recent past were certain local sociopaths have gone after online forum posters both virtually and in real life. So some of us prefer to keep a little distance between ourselves and the whackos.

    Also, some of us, including The Poster Formerly Known As PFKAP, have quite a long history posting on the MX blogs as well as the MX Forums and so have something of a virtual identity that is easily recognizable by the MX staff and other posters. In many ways this “virtual reputation” is a lot easier to verify than any ‘real’ name you may give, such as ‘Carl Dennison’. You can view our past posts and see for yourself what we have said in the past and see if we are trolls or consistent, productive guests of the MX.

    But how, exactly, does someone using their ‘real’ (unverified but supposedly real, of course) name make a debate about the supposed environmental benefits of vegetarianism more valid? Does knowing someone’s “real” name somehow make facts more factual?

  12. James E.

    Kudos to Stewart and his efforts. If you’re interested in trying more vegetarian foods get a free veg starter pack at vegstarterpack.com!

  13. Someone needs to research how often threads, such as the one started here, actually stay on topic. Better yet, how often threads move away from topic and into personal attacks.

  14. Piffy!

    Excellent links. haily! Thanks!

    [b]Eating dead animal body parts is flatout (Sic) wrong. I’ll debate this anywhere.[/b]

    No one is arguing that here, as has already been clearly stated by more than one responder.

    The point is that merely removing animals products from your diet is not ‘environmental’ by any reasonable measure.

  15. Piffy!

    Also, i wonder which is worse, posting under the same screen name for over a year, or constantly changing accounts and posting a fake name like “Carl Dennison”? Such a joke.

    Tats— thanks for the kind words. I would certainly be open to seeing this issue covered in print at the xpress.

    I know I would be willing to do an article or engage in a ‘debate’, as would many other local farmers in the region who groan at the thought of having to read another propaganda-filled, anti-small-farm diatribe from the well meaning but severely misguided Stewart David.

  16. Piffy!

    From the awesome article linked above by haily:

    “McCartney and others, such as the promoters of “meatless Mondays,” seem to be well-intentioned but not well-schooled in the complex relationships among human activities, animal digestion, food production and atmospheric chemistry, says Mitloehner.

    “Smarter animal farming, not less farming, will equal less heat,” Mitloehner said. “Producing less meat and milk will only mean more hunger in poor countries.”

    Mitloehner traces much of the public confusion over meat and milk’s role in climate change to two sentences in a 2006 United Nations report, titled “Livestock’s Long Shadow.” Printed only in the report’s executive summary and nowhere in the body of the report, the sentences read: “The livestock sector is a major player, responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions measured in CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalents). This is a higher share than transport.”

    These statements are not accurate, yet their wide distribution through news media have put us on the wrong path toward solutions, Mitloehner says.

    “We certainly can reduce our greenhouse-gas production, but not by consuming less meat and milk.

    “Rather, in developed countries, we should focus on cutting our use of oil and coal for electricity, heating and vehicle fuels.”

    …[b]Mitloehner particularly objects to the U.N.’s statement that livestock account for more greenhouse gases than transportation, when there is no generally accepted global breakdown of gas production by industrial sector.”[/b]

  17. Piffy!

    tat said: [b]But how, exactly, does someone using their ‘real’ (unverified but supposedly real, of course) name make a debate about the supposed environmental benefits of vegetarianism more valid? Does knowing someone’s “real” name somehow make facts more factual? [/b]

    I think one could actually argue that being so-called ‘anonymous’ might actually better the ‘debate’ since it means i am not attempting to establish myself and my name with a particular ‘movement’ and the potential cult of personality that comes with that.

    Stewart David seems well-intentioned, but as has been shown here numerous times at the Xpress, he continues to stretch the facts to suit his own pre-conceived ideas. I believe he may have come to developed a sense of identity behind his “vegetarian activist” persona that prevents him from admitting when and where he is wrong.

    This issue needs to be about recognized fact, not just opinion, and removing the names from the debate might actually increase this need to rely on facts, instead of the cult of personality. In other words, I am not a professional food activist. I just like to know about my food, and to work with local farmers. i stand by what i write, but i don’t stand to profit off of it anytime soon. I am just tired of seeing obvious and easily-refuted lies being perpetuated against small, local farms in the local WNC paper.

    I suspect if local farmer had more time to sit around and write letters like Stewart, you might see more of their side represented in the debate. But, as it is, they have to actually work for a living dawn to dusk, 365 days a year supplying food for the region.

  18. Randy Bolton

    Right off this here global warmin is a theary, not a fact. So y’all tranceplants are sayin we got to quit eatin barbaque and fried chicken cause you think this makin the summer to hot? Where y’all get such a idea? Y’all been hittin tha corn sqeesins to hard?

    Meat is American like apple pie. And we take are tradisions serously here abouts. Y’all want ta eat rabbit food? Move ta Sin Francisco. We keep killin hogs and y’all keep reepin yer carrots.

  19. JC

    A Holiday Thought…

    Aren’t humans amazing Animals? They kill wildlife – birds, deer, all kinds of cats, coyotes, beavers, groundhogs, mice and foxes by the million in order to protect their domestic animals and their feed.

    Then they kill domestic animals by the billion and eat them. This in turn kills people by the million, because eating all those animals leads to degenerative – and fatal – – health conditions like heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and cancer.

    So then humans spend billions of dollars torturing and killing millions of more animals to look for cures for these diseases.

    Elsewhere, millions of other human beings are being killed by hunger and malnutrition because food they could eat is being used to fatten domestic animals.

    Meanwhile, few people recognize the absurdity of humans, who kill so easily and violently, and once a year send out cards praying for “Peace on Earth.”

    ~Revised Preface to Old MacDonald’s Factory Farm by C. David Coates~

    Check out this informative and inspiring video on why people choose vegan: http://veganvideo.org/

    Also see Gary Yourofsky: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bagt5L9wXGo

  20. Johnny

    After giving Stewart David the most amazing and un-ending access to the Letters section of the Mtn. Xpress month-after-month for years, the editors have now seen fit for even more with this interview? Hilarious.

    All softball questions too, making for outright lies, misquotes, things out of context, and absurd generalizations with zero follow-up.

    This was a terrible little example of progressive journalism. If I was an editor or staff-person at the Xpress, I would feel a small tinge of embarrassment about how the issue has been handled.

    The bottom line is that Stewart and others of his ilk think they are morally superior to people who eat meat (regardless of how it is raised). But after a few years of the moral argument not working out so well here in these pages (with one PETA reference after the next, month-after-month), we are now somewhere in the middle of what will be a multi-year “environmental argument”.

    A compliant Mtn. Xpress will publish all the letters of course, filled with statements so completely absurd and wrong as to be laughable.

  21. Peacewarrior

    Wow. This deserves re-posting:

    “A Holiday Thought…
    Aren’t humans amazing Animals? They kill wildlife – birds, deer, all kinds of cats, coyotes, beavers, groundhogs, mice and foxes by the million in order to protect their domestic animals and their feed.
    Then they kill domestic animals by the billion and eat them. This in turn kills people by the million, because eating all those animals leads to degenerative – and fatal – – health conditions like heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and cancer.
    So then humans spend billions of dollars torturing and killing millions of more animals to look for cures for these diseases.
    Elsewhere, millions of other human beings are being killed by hunger and malnutrition because food they could eat is being used to fatten domestic animals.
    Meanwhile, few people recognize the absurdity of humans, who kill so easily and violently, and once a year send out cards praying for “Peace on Earth.”

    ~Revised Preface to Old MacDonald’s Factory Farm by C. David Coates~”

    Well said JC! Thank you for an astute observation on the idiotic inconsistency of us humans. Let’s all finish waking up from our dream of hypocrisy and at the least stop killing all animals, then eating those dead animal body parts.

    PEACE ON EARTH! GOODWILL TOWARDS ALL CREATURES, HUMAN AND ANIMAL AND BIRD AND REPTILE AND FISH!

  22. boatrocker

    Last I checked, the circle of life idea is one that dictates that all living things must consume other living things to survive. Has that changed or does plankton, carrots and other non-meat items not count as living things because they don’t have a face? Is this anthropomorphism or am I reading some of these arguments wrong?

    Don’t plants nourish themelves from
    organic matter in the soil as well as sunlight?

    I’d be curious to talk with a panel of anthropologists, scientists and archeologists about the change that occurred within human development when most humans gave up the hunter/gatherer life to pursue genetic modification of plants, private ownership of land and oh yea wars to fight over land to grow food using non-sustainable models.

    And what are we supposed to do with those pesky cultures on Earth that still hunt? Any plans for a Greenlife up in the Arctic circle for the Inuit?

    Are we really better off than we were 10,000 years ago before the agricultural revolution? Just curious-

  23. entopticon

    For an alternative perspective, I think this link by the environmental journalist Richard Manning is worth reposting:
    http://www.motherearthnews.com/Sustainable-Farming/Grass-Fed-Meat-Benefits.aspx

    Manning and others make a strong argument that grass-fed meat may actually be our planet’s best hope for protecting us from the ravages of industrial agriculture.

    All of our row crops are shallow-rooted, which has lead to catastrophic leaching of a thin layer of topsoil for much of this century. Conversely, deep-rooted grasses dig down to fresh minerals which become available to everything up the food chain, creating a healthier ecosystem.

    When cows graze on grasses, there is not enough energy left to support all of the roots, so the plant reacts by sloughing roots, and then builds back deeper roots as the plant regrows, creating a deep root system. Those deep roots are extremely beneficial, as are the sloughed off roots. The sloughed off roots become decaying organic material that feeds microorganisms, restores subsoil health, and steadily increases the organic matter and carbon content of the soil, making it fertile.

    Over the years, industrial agriculture has leached the vital organic matter from our soil, releasing huge stores of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. If we switch from grain-fed to grass-fed meat, the pastured land, if managed well, can pump huge amounts of organic matter back into the soil, pulling significant amounts of carbon dioxide back out of the atmosphere and conserving massive amounts of water, while significantly increasing biodiversity.

    From the article, on carbon emissions:
    “Production of high-input annual crops such as corn and soybeans release carbon at a rate of about 1,000 pounds per acre while perennial grasslands can store carbon at roughly the same rates. This suggests that if we converted half the U.S. corn and soy acres to pasture, we might cut carbon emissions by roughly 144 trillion pounds, and that’s not even counting the reduced use of fossil fuels that would also result. That’s not a bad side benefit to a transformation that makes sense on so many other levels as well.”

    Also from the article:
    “Over the years, organic farmers have told me they relearned this important point: Many found out the hard way that they could not make their operations balance out — both biologically and economically (they’re the same in the end) — without bringing animals back into the equation. Handled right, animals control weeds and insects, cycle nutrients, and provide a use for waste and failed crops. Healthy ecosystems — wild and domestic — must include animals. Now there’s a chance we may realize how very important this idea is to the life of the planet.”

  24. Peacewarrior

    Enepticon, yes organic farms SHOULD include animals. Cows that are allowed to graze in the pasture. Then are lovingly milked for their life-affirming dairy products. A good loving head-pat from the farmer, a contented cow.

    BUT, you don’t have to murder the poor cow and make “hamburger” of it. That is cruel, and very neanderthal. Raise cows for dairy purposes, raise chickens for eggs. Don’t raise them to be murdered, hung upside down and bleed, cutup, then their body parts served up on a plate, partially cremated. Love animals, don’t kill and eat them!

    PEACE ON EARTH GOOD WILL TOWARDS ALL GOD’S CREATURES: HUMAN & ANIMAL & BIRD & FISH & REPTILE.

    AMEN!

  25. Piffy!

    Notice how the pro-veggie types don’t actually address any of the ‘environmental’ issue raised in these comments? This isn’t about vague ‘morals’, it is about keeping the issue in the correct category. “Vegetarianism” is not inherently “Green” by any reasonable measure, and the Above softball interview with stewart contains numerous mis-truths and outright lies when speaking about “all” animal husbandry.

    Instead of attacking local farms, Stewart should work WITH them to strengthen the ‘humane’ and ‘environmentally friendly’ alternatives they continue to offer.

    As it stands, it sounds like he would prefer we buy veggies and grains from China and California than locally raised free range meat. That’s absurd.

  26. Ken Hanke

    Wow. This deserves re-posting

    Not really, no — especially not a couple of posts later.

  27. entopticon

    Cullen/Peacewarrior to see the same person who endlessly spews bile about the North being a disgusting cesspool and the horribleness of “yankees” as well as pining for the theocratic pre-civil rights era of the 1950’s South, it is impossible to take your mumbo jumbo about peace on Earth and good will to men seriously. Too bad your obsessive xenophobia prevents you from having the same sort of compassion for other cultures.

    Dairy cows are great, as are eggs. My own chickens are kept for eggs. Of course, Stewart would take great exception with your claim. Many of the inhumane practices of factory farming are indeed horrible. That said, the notion that dairy pasturing alone is the answer to rescuing our grasslands is misguided.

  28. joeinmadco

    Thanks for the words tats. Would love to contribute a different perspective to the official one-sided debate about animal husbandry going on in the MX. Sure, we get to comment, but you gotta wonder how many people read only the hard copy or don’t even make it to the comments section online.

    People need to hear that most of our small, locally focused, family farms don’t treat their animals cruelly (and that they, in fact, have a real, close relationship with them), don’t often feed their animals food that is meant for human consumption (e.g., human beings literally cannot chow on grass, and would not pay to eat crop culls, insects or weeds) do work with their animals as a way to rehabilitate and/or sustain the land, and do need animals in one way or another in order to produce the fruits and veggies we all eat every day. Our dear vegan activists ignore the huge changes we’ve seen in local farming over the past couple decades, and, by doing so, they promote a message that is outdated, misinformed, annoyingly evangelical, and kind of zombie-like.

  29. Margaret V. Williams

    An interview, reduced to a Q&A format that fits onto a prescribed number of pages (and a long column online), doesn’t do justice to either the topic or the subject, though we try our best. Sometimes the full context of a remark can’t be completely laid out. Stated “facts” are checked, but Askville is an interview, not an investigative news story.

    I try to capture the dialogue, and in this case, the fact that this was the first time I’d ever interviewed Stewart David in person — though I’ve known about him for years (I started at Xpress about a few weeks after it’s creation in 1994, and David has been on our radar for a long time). I wish I had interviewed him much sooner, for his concerns and ideas make you think — and spark dialogue, which is apparent in the thread of these comments.

    Of course, the irony was this: Some hours after interviewing David and talking about vegetarians and climate change, I arrived home and found that my mother had fixed a traditional pot roast. Though she’s been buying more organic, local and sustainably raised meat, the beefy dish was none of those. But I ate it anyway, being hungry and tired and glad to have a meal waiting for me.

    Just the same, David’s points — and those of the other letter writers who went to the trouble to put in their two cents — give you something to think about.

  30. Johnny

    Peacewarrior also somehow neglects the fact there is more death (or at least a faster cycling towards death) in dairy operations than there is in beef operations!

    Thus, his idea that dairy is somehow “humane”, while raising cattle for meat is “bad” underscores a near total ignorance of the subject matter.

    Dairy cows don’t live beyond 4-5 years old on average, and then the best use for them is hamburger. Cull dairy cows are a major source of hamburger in the United States. Smaller sustainable dairies average much longer lifespans for their cows (because there are less issues getting the cows to breed back, largely), but the cows still have an end. And it’s a useful end.

    Dairy cows are normally milked for about 10 months out of a year, then rested, then they calve again. Most dairy cows have a calf every 12-14 months, and half of those calves are bull calves. Bull calves are the seedstock to the veal industry, or they are killed as day-olds if prices are too low.

    I don’t mean to be too patronizing or basic here, but it’s the cow’s yearly calving that once again starts the lactation cycle.

    Consumers of dairy products may or may not know this and other basic and simple facts from the farm — and they may or may not care.

    But before someone opens up their pie-hole about dairy being somehow immune from the death angle, it would behoove them to brush up on some basic knowledge just even a wee bit beyond the “happy brown cow being petted by the farmer” line of thinking.

  31. Stewart David

    Sorry to chime in so late.

    The reason most animal products will continue to come from factory farms is because of land use, population growth and consumption levels. I did my part and chose not to breed, and I am sure that will elate many of the people on this thread who express such hatred for me because I speak my mind. :-)

    Sure, you can raise a few animal products on pastures, but doing so is very land-intensive. So, unless people radically reduce consumption, switching to pasture raised animals would require massive deforestation. That’s not my idea of environmentalism. Do the math. Ironically, the small farmers should be the ones shouting about the need to eat less meat, dairy, and eggs. That’s the only scenario that could possibly give credibility to their claims that they offer a sustainable solution. But they are too interested in selling products. I don’t attack local farms; I just don’t give them a pass or ignore facts and figures. More at http://www.mountainx.com/opinion/2009/070109greenwashed

    Anyone who cares about the planet shouldn’t be looking for a loophole. They should recognize that “elite meat” is in demand by people who have no interest in environmentalism and buy it for the (real or perceived) health benefits. Environmentalists should let those folks eat it and recognize the need to eat an efficient, plant-based diet.

    And, yes, I also believe it is unethical to kill animals for food when someone has other options. This is especially true when those options are healthier and more environmentally-friendly, which is the case for most people in America today.

    Sadly, forums don’t lend themselves to meaningful discussions. They are too often a place where people level personal attacks from the safety and anonymity offered by a fake name and computer keyboard. I’d rather spend my time on activism than sitting behind a computer. I’m easy to find if someone wants to have a real conversation using a real name. I’m more open-minded and well-read than some on this forum give me credit for. I’d be happy to engage in a real debate if someone wants to arrange one.

    Several people, vegetarians and non-vegetarians, have gotten in touch to tell me found the interview and previous letters/commentaries thought-provoking and respectful. Mission accomplished. Since we all seem to oppose factory farming, I would think everyone would be happy about this, too. The more people know think about where their food comes from, the better.

  32. entopticon

    Sure, you can raise a few animal products on pastures, but doing so is very land-intensive. So, unless people radically reduce consumption, switching to pasture raised animals would require massive deforestation.”

    That is patently false, Stewart. Please, take the time to read the article that I posted. Industrial agriculture is actually a major cause of deforestation and a far greater threat to biodiversity than grass pasturing. The answer is not to cut down forests for row crops or pasture land. The answer is to practice sustainable grass fed pasturing, replacing some of the row crops of industrial agriculture that have been ravaging our environment, saving our dying grasslands, which are environmentally essential. We don’t have vast herds of buffalo anymore, so grazing animals are essential to maintaining the land.

    Pasture land promotes deep rooted grasses that create fertile soil that traps carbon dioxide and taps into minerals that work their way up the food chain creating healthier ecosystems. Conversely all of the row crops of industrial agriculture are shallow rooted and leach nutrients from the top soil, destroying ecosystems and biodiversity while creating huge carbon emissions and wasting enormous amounts of water.

    Major industrial row crops such as soy and corn leave the land devastated. It is you that needs to “do the math.” Again, consider the facts:
    “Production of high-input annual crops such as corn and soybeans release carbon at a rate of about 1,000 pounds per acre while perennial grasslands can store carbon at roughly the same rates. This suggests that if we converted half the U.S. corn and soy acres to pasture, we might cut carbon emissions by roughly 144 trillion pounds, and that’s not even counting the reduced use of fossil fuels that would also result.”

    Anyone who cares about the planet shouldn’t be looking for a loophole. They should recognize that “elite meat” is in demand by people who have no interest in environmentalism and buy it for the (real or perceived) health benefits.

    That is just offensive Stewart. You have no business telling me and others that we “have no interest in environmentalism” just because we don’t see things the same way that you do. Our reasoning is sound and our concern for the environment is genuine. Your sanctimonious self-righteousness really is unconscionable at times. You won’t see me boycotting vegetarian cookbooks at Malaprops.

  33. Gene Baur

    It’s very good to see this topic being addressed. People can profoundly improve their own health and the well being of animals and the planet by choosing to eat plants instead of animals.

  34. Johnny

    Gene, people can also profoundly harm their own health and the well-being of animals and the planet by choosing to eat plants instead of animals. So what’s your point again?

  35. Whit

    Yes Stewart we do all seem to agree that factory farming is bad, it’s good to be able to put something in the agreed upon column.

    The meat eaters among us have responded to the charges that they are destroying the planet, even if they eat meat raised using sustainable farming practices and I feel that the information is credible that it is not a harmful practice, if done properly.

    The fact that some of us (not me) have a moral issue against eating meat plays no role in whether it is more harmful to the planet then an non-meat diet. We are talking an issue of sustainability, not morality.

    When I asked “do you know where your mung bean comes from? “What I really want to know is it your position that modern agricultural practices are the answer to food sustainability? If so what about all the petro-chemicals going into that system and the wars it has taken to keep that beast of a system supplied?

    Or, are you advocating industrial organic? As found at EearthFare /GreenLife/WholeFoods? If so, I would suggest anyone who believes in that corporate fraud read the Omnivore’s Dilemma. It is no more than an expensive way to wrap Industrial farming and mono-cultural agricultural practices in the same “elite organic” label you are putting on “elite meat”.

    With those two food systems off the tale as sustainable produce farming what is left? Nothing easy, that’s for sure and from my experience dogmatic approaches aren’t the answer. You can’t grow true organic produce without animals, and if you think it is expensive to buy your tomatoes when the farmer is fertilizing them with manure from animals he is slaughtering for profit, wait until you see the price on it when the animals are just there to provide manure… Frankly, I am left with the belief that Vegetarianism is an expensive luxury that the planet can not afford.

  36. Piffy!

    [b]Sorry to chime in so late.

    The reason most animal products will continue to come from factory farms is because of land use, population growth and consumption levels. [/b]

    Ahh, so you admit that if people consume LESS, that eating meat isn’t necessarily ‘unsustainable’, then, right? And you also admit that you think that small, family farms wont be able to feed this growing population? That we should be fed by major agribusiness giants like Cargil or Monsanto?

    [b]I did my part and chose not to breed, and I am sure that will elate many of the people on this thread who express such hatred for me because I speak my mind. :-)[/b]

    Well, to be clear, i don’t think anyone in this thread has expressed ‘hatred’ towards you. In fact, we have merely addressed the numerous fallacies in your assertions.

    [b]Sure, you can raise a few animal products on pastures, but doing so is very land-intensive. So, unless people radically reduce consumption, switching to pasture raised animals would require massive deforestation. [/b]

    You obviously really have no idea what you are talking about. As had been stated repeatedly, certainly we should cut consumption, of basically everything in this country. But the point is, you repeatedly claim that raising animals is unsustainable, period. You jump from this idea that ‘people should consume less’, to ‘people shouldnt even eat meat or dairy’ It’s nonsense.

    There is no rule that you have to ‘clear forests’ to raise animals (although you do to build big housing developments) and to imply so is nonsense.

    [b]That’s not my idea of environmentalism. Do the math. Ironically, the small farmers should be the ones shouting about the need to eat less meat, dairy, and eggs. That’s the only scenario that could possibly give credibility to their claims that they offer a sustainable solution.[/b]

    Well, considering most small farms only produce enough for their small communities, one might be able to infer that they are implying this in practice. But, you’re right, local chicken-farmers should spend all their time petitioning KFC to carry ‘vegan’ chicken options. That’s truly sustainable. How dare they just tend their farms, offering tangible solutions to the problems you have made a career our of championing?

    [b]But they are too interested in selling products. [/b]

    Yes, those greedy local farmer rolling aroudn town in their fancy cars, money spilling from the silken pockets.

    How about all those ‘vegetarian/faux meat’ companies owned by major multinational corporations? Are they trying to make money? Are you just a witless pawn of theor industry? Or are you actively protesting them?

    [b] I don’t attack local farms; I just don’t give them a pass or ignore facts and figures. More at http://www.mountainx.com/opinion/2009/070109greenwashed
    [/b]

    Indeed, you just did. And in the article you link to, you make numerous false claims, as outlined in the blog comments below it

    [b]Anyone who cares about the planet shouldn’t be looking for a loophole. They should recognize that “elite meat” is in demand by people who have no interest in environmentalism and buy it for the (real or perceived) health benefits. Environmentalists should let those folks eat it and recognize the need to eat an efficient, plant-based diet.[b]

    Wow, that’s your opinion your trying to pass off as fact. How ’bout that.

    [b]And, yes, I also believe it is unethical to kill animals for food when someone has other options. This is especially true when those options are healthier and more environmentally-friendly, which is the case for most people in America today. [/b]

    Ah, see, that’s fine. Thinks it’s immoral. I don’t care. Just stop pretending your privileged little dietary choice is ‘environmental’, because that is a total lie.

    [b]I’d be happy to engage in a real debate if someone wants to arrange one.[/b]

    Awesome. Bring it.

    [b]Since we all seem to oppose factory farming, I would think everyone would be happy about this, too. The more people know think about where their food comes from, the better. [/b]

    Then you should stop speaking in such broad strokes and look at the reality of our local food supply, and help us figure out ways to make it more ‘sustainable’ instead of preaching about how we shold all eat like you.

  37. Piffy!

    [b]Sorry to chime in so late.

    The reason most animal products will continue to come from factory farms is because of land use, population growth and consumption levels. [/b]

    Ahh, so you admit that if people consume LESS, that eating meat isn’t necessarily ‘unsustainable’, then, right?

    And you also admit that you think that small, family farms wont be able to feed this growing population? That we should be fed by major agribusiness giants like Cargil or Monsanto? I disagree completely.

    [b]I did my part and chose not to breed, and I am sure that will elate many of the people on this thread who express such hatred for me because I speak my mind. :-)[/b]

    Well, to be clear, i don’t think anyone in this thread has expressed ‘hatred’ towards you. In fact, we have merely addressed the numerous fallacies in your assertions. Perhaps you should look past your ego to the points previously laid out.

    [b]Sure, you can raise a few animal products on pastures, but doing so is very land-intensive. So, unless people radically reduce consumption, switching to pasture raised animals would require massive deforestation. [/b]

    You obviously really have no idea what you are talking about. As had been stated repeatedly, certainly we should cut consumption, of basically everything in this country. But the point is, you repeatedly claim that raising animals is unsustainable, period. You jump from this idea that ‘people should consume less’, to ‘people shouldnt even eat meat or dairy’ It’s nonsense.

    There is no rule that you have to ‘clear forests’ to raise animals (although you do to build big housing developments) and to imply so is nonsense. You really should try growing your own food some time instead of handing out leaflets.

    [b]That’s not my idea of environmentalism. Do the math. Ironically, the small farmers should be the ones shouting about the need to eat less meat, dairy, and eggs. That’s the only scenario that could possibly give credibility to their claims that they offer a sustainable solution.[/b]

    Well, considering most small farms only produce enough for their immediate communities, one might be able to infer that they are implying this in practice. But, you’re right, local chicken-farmers should spend all their time petitioning KFC to carry ‘vegan’ chicken options. That’s truly sustainable. How dare they just tend their farms, offering tangible solutions to the problems you have made a career out of championing?

    [b]But they are too interested in selling products. [/b]

    Yes, those greedy local farmer rolling around town in their fancy cars, money spilling from the silken pockets.

    How about all those ‘vegetarian/faux meat’ companies owned by major multinational corporations? Are they trying to make money? Are you just a witless pawn of their (highly profitable) industry? Or are you actively protesting them?

    [b] I don’t attack local farms; I just don’t give them a pass or ignore facts and figures. More at http://www.mountainx.com/opinion/2009/070109greenwashed
    [/b]

    Indeed, you just did. And in the article you link to, you make numerous false claims, as outlined in the blog comments below it

    [b]Anyone who cares about the planet shouldn’t be looking for a loophole. They should recognize that “elite meat” is in demand by people who have no interest in environmentalism and buy it for the (real or perceived) health benefits. Environmentalists should let those folks eat it and recognize the need to eat an efficient, plant-based diet.[b]

    Wow, that’s your opinion you’re trying to pass off as fact. How ’bout that.

    [b]And, yes, I also believe it is unethical to kill animals for food when someone has other options. This is especially true when those options are healthier and more environmentally-friendly, which is the case for most people in America today. [/b]

    Ah, see, that’s fine. Thinks it’s immoral. I don’t care. Just stop pretending your privileged little dietary choice is ‘environmental’, because that is a delusional lie.

    [b]I’d be happy to engage in a real debate if someone wants to arrange one.[/b]

    Awesome. Bring it.

    [b]Since we all seem to oppose factory farming, I would think everyone would be happy about this, too. The more people know think about where their food comes from, the better. [/b]

    Then you should stop speaking in such broad strokes and look at the reality of our local food supply, and help us figure out ways to make it more ‘sustainable’ instead of preaching about how we should all eat like you.

  38. Piffy!

    [b]Sorry to chime in so late.

    The reason most animal products will continue to come from factory farms is because of land use, population growth and consumption levels. [/b]

    Ahh, so you admit that if people consume LESS, that eating meat isn’t necessarily ‘unsustainable’, then, right?

    And you also admit that you think that small, family farms wont be able to feed this growing population? That we should be fed by major agribusiness giants like Cargil or Monsanto? I disagree completely.

    [b]I did my part and chose not to breed, and I am sure that will elate many of the people on this thread who express such hatred for me because I speak my mind. :-)[/b]

    Well, to be clear, i don’t think anyone in this thread has expressed ‘hatred’ towards you. In fact, we have merely addressed the numerous fallacies in your assertions. Perhaps you should look past your ego to the points previously laid out.

    [b]Sure, you can raise a few animal products on pastures, but doing so is very land-intensive. So, unless people radically reduce consumption, switching to pasture raised animals would require massive deforestation. [/b]

    You obviously really have no idea what you are talking about. As had been stated repeatedly, certainly we should cut consumption, of basically everything in this country. But the point is, you repeatedly claim that raising animals is unsustainable, period. You jump from this idea that ‘people should consume less’, to ‘people shouldnt even eat meat or dairy’ It’s nonsense.

    There is no rule that you have to ‘clear forests’ to raise animals (although you do to build big housing developments) and to imply so is nonsense. You really should try growing your own food some time instead of handing out leaflets.

    [b]That’s not my idea of environmentalism. Do the math. Ironically, the small farmers should be the ones shouting about the need to eat less meat, dairy, and eggs. That’s the only scenario that could possibly give credibility to their claims that they offer a sustainable solution.[/b]

    Well, considering most small farms only produce enough for their immediate communities, one might be able to infer that they are implying this in practice. But, you’re right, local chicken-farmers should spend all their time petitioning KFC to carry ‘vegan’ chicken options. That’s truly sustainable. How dare they just tend their farms, offering tangible solutions to the problems you have made a career out of championing?

    [b]But they are too interested in selling products. [/b]

    Yes, those greedy local farmer rolling around town in their fancy cars, money spilling from the silken pockets.

    How about all those ‘vegetarian/faux meat’ companies owned by major multinational corporations? Are they trying to make money? Are you just a witless pawn of their (highly profitable) industry? Or are you actively protesting them?

    [b] I don’t attack local farms; I just don’t give them a pass or ignore facts and figures. More at http://www.mountainx.com/opinion/2009/070109greenwashed
    [/b]

    Indeed, you just did. And in the article you link to, you make numerous false claims, as outlined in the blog comments below it

    [b]Anyone who cares about the planet shouldn’t be looking for a loophole. They should recognize that “elite meat” is in demand by people who have no interest in environmentalism and buy it for the (real or perceived) health benefits. Environmentalists should let those folks eat it and recognize the need to eat an efficient, plant-based diet.[b]

    Wow, that’s your opinion you’re trying to pass off as fact. How ’bout that.

    [b]And, yes, I also believe it is unethical to kill animals for food when someone has other options. This is especially true when those options are healthier and more environmentally-friendly, which is the case for most people in America today. [/b]

    Ah, see, that’s fine. Thinks it’s immoral. I don’t care. Just stop pretending your privileged little dietary choice is ‘environmental’, because that is a delusional lie.

    [b]I’d be happy to engage in a real debate if someone wants to arrange one.[/b]

    Awesome. Bring it.

    [b]Since we all seem to oppose factory farming, I would think everyone would be happy about this, too. The more people know think about where their food comes from, the better. [/b]

    Then you should stop speaking in such broad strokes and look at the reality of our local food supply, and help us figure out ways to make it more ‘sustainable’ instead of preaching about how we should all eat like you.

  39. Piffy!

    [b]Sorry to chime in so late.

    The reason most animal products will continue to come from factory farms is because of land use, population growth and consumption levels.[/b]

    Ahh, so you admit that if people consume LESS, that eating meat isn’t necessarily ‘unsustainable’, then, right?

    And you also admit that you think that small, family farms wont be able to feed this growing population? That we should be fed by major agribusiness giants like Cargil or Monsanto? I disagree completely.

    [b]I did my part and chose not to breed, and I am sure that will elate many of the people on this thread who express such hatred for me because I speak my mind. :-)[/b]

    Well, to be clear, i don’t think anyone in this thread has expressed ‘hatred’ towards you. In fact, we have merely addressed the numerous fallacies in your assertions. Perhaps you should look past your ego to the points previously laid out.

    [b]Sure, you can raise a few animal products on pastures, but doing so is very land-intensive. So, unless people radically reduce consumption, switching to pasture raised animals would require massive deforestation.[/b]

    You obviously really have no idea what you are talking about. [i]Prove these statements or stop saying them.[/i] As had been stated repeatedly, certainly we should cut consumption, of basically everything in this country. But the point is, you repeatedly claim that raising animals is unsustainable, period. You jump from this idea that ‘people should consume less’, to ‘people shouldnt even eat meat or dairy’ It’s nonsense.

    There is no rule that you have to ‘clear forests’ to raise animals (although you do to build big housing developments) and to imply so is nonsense. You really should try growing your own food some time instead of handing out leaflets.

    [b]That’s not my idea of environmentalism. Do the math. Ironically, the small farmers should be the ones shouting about the need to eat less meat, dairy, and eggs. That’s the only scenario that could possibly give credibility to their claims that they offer a sustainable solution.[/b]

    Well, considering most small farms only produce enough for their immediate communities, one might be able to infer that they are implying this in practice. But, you’re right, local chicken-farmers should spend all their time petitioning KFC to carry ‘vegan’ chicken options. That’s truly sustainable. How dare they just tend their farms, offering tangible solutions to the problems you have made a career out of championing?

    [b]But they are too interested in selling products.[/b]

    Yes, those greedy local farmer rolling around town in their fancy cars, money spilling from the silken pockets.

    How about all those ‘vegetarian/faux meat’ companies owned by major multinational corporations? Are they trying to make money? Are you just a witless pawn of their (highly profitable) industry? Or are you actively protesting them?

    [b]I don’t attack local farms; I just don’t give them a pass or ignore facts and figures. More at http://www.mountainx.com/opinion/2009/070109greenwashed%5B/b%5D

    Indeed, you just did. And in the article you link to, you make numerous false claims, as outlined in the blog comments below it

    [b]Anyone who cares about the planet shouldn’t be looking for a loophole. They should recognize that “elite meat” is in demand by people who have no interest in environmentalism and buy it for the (real or perceived) health benefits. Environmentalists should let those folks eat it and recognize the need to eat an efficient, plant-based diet.[/b]

    Wow, that’s your opinion you’re trying to pass off as fact. How ‘bout that.

    [b]And, yes, I also believe it is unethical to kill animals for food when someone has other options. This is especially true when those options are healthier and more environmentally-friendly, which is the case for most people in America today.[/b]

    Ah, see, that’s fine. Thinks it’s immoral. I don’t care. Just stop pretending your privileged little dietary choice is ‘environmental’, because that is a delusional lie.

    [b]I’d be happy to engage in a real debate if someone wants to arrange one.[/b]

    Awesome. Bring it.

    [b]Since we all seem to oppose factory farming, I would think everyone would be happy about this, too. The more people know think about where their food comes from, the better.[/b]

    Then you should stop speaking in such broad strokes and look at the reality of our local food supply, and help us figure out ways to make it more ‘sustainable’ instead of preaching about how we should all eat like you.

  40. Piffy!

    Maragret:

    [b]Stated “facts” are checked, but Askville is an interview, not an investigative news story.[/b]

    No, they don’t. As has been shown by numerous posters in this thread. He has no figures to back up his statements in regard to local farms, and repeatedly quotes out-of-context figures to justify his own opinions.

  41. Peacewarrior

    It’s amazing the lengths dead-animal-body-part eaters will go to try to justify their perverse sense of taste. But the funniest one I’ve ever heard is the post a bit above that says there is more killing in dairy operations than the “beef” industry (aside, I wonder what cannibals call human meat? perhaps something like “peef”?). Enepticon must be posting simultaneously as another anonymous name. Because that argument is just as ridiculous as his assertion that NYC is a safer place than Asheville. Where did you attend high school enepticon? Newark New Jersey?

    Of course, an oldie but a goody is the flesh eater’s claim that field mice are killed in the harvesting of wheat and other grains. LOL, how anyone can draw a moral equivilency between mice being accidently killed, and cows being purposely shot in the head…is beyond logic, for sure.

    It is legal to eat the animals who have been culturally designated as “food animals”. It is also legal to eat animal waste. But that doesn’t mean a civilized person chooses to do so.

  42. Stewart David

    The sign next to me in the article says http://www.factoryfarming.com. Factory farming is the enemy. Margaret asked what I thought of local farms that raise animals, so I gave my opinion. But it’s a waste of time to argue about it, and it’s telling that this is all anyone seems to want to talk about. Someone said I’m painting with a broad brush. The fact is that the amount of animal products that come from small farms in America is statistically insignificant. It would be unscientific to discuss them in the big context of animal agriculture because of their miniscule impact. Some of you folks think you can change that, and I wish you well. But given the reality that small farms, in many ways, use more land and resources than the efficiencies of scale offered by factory farms, I just don’t think it will happen. We live in a country with 300 million people and there are almost 7 billion humans on the planet, and population grown continues at an alarming rate. I wish that weren’t the case, but it’s a fact that can’t be ignored. I detest most current industrial agriculture, and think it needs to be changed. But we need some big farms to feed this many people. We’d need less if we stopped growing most of our food to feed animals and, instead, fed it to people directly. Raising animals for food is wasteful: we need a new paradigm. Eating meat is obsolete.

    I support local non-animal agriculture, I know where my mung beans come from, have grown my own food, buy mostly organic, etc. It’s so funny the assumptions people can make when they want to dismiss what you have to say. It’s easier to attack the messenger than the message. Those who say I am anti-local are being ridiculous, I’m pro local. Of course I don’t support local animal agriculture, I’m a vegan.

    I noted in the interview the positive impact of people eating fewer animal products. Please reread the article and you’ll see the following:
    “The Environmental Defense Fund says if every American had one meat-free meal a week, the savings in carbon dioxide emissions would be the equivalent of taking 5 million cars off the road.” See http://www.edf.org/article.cfm?contentid=6604 to read more.

    I mentioned and support the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health’s “Meatless Monday” program, see http://www.meatlessmonday.com. I’ve encouraged our local schools to adopt this program.

    If the folks on this forum are as disgusted by factory farming as they say, why spend so much time on a forum? Why not write a letter to the editor exposing factory farming? Or go out and do some leafleting, speaking, whatever? Have you all pledged never to eat factory farmed products? Why not spend your time stepping up to the plate and doing some environmental activism rather than sitting behind a computer screen? Mother earth needs your help! If you truly consider yourselves to be environmentalists, you should be commending me for all the people who are eating less meat or are vegetarians or vegans because of my activism. Can’t we agree that’s a good thing? You’re welcome! :-)

    I am happy to back up anything I said with facts and figures. But it’s useless to keep saying the same things over and over on this forum when many seem disinterested in discussing data that goes against their deep-seated belief that raising and killing animals is both moral sound and ecologically friendly. That’s why I encouraged anyone truly interested to get it touch so we could have meaningful dialogue.

    To paraphrase the Clinton administration, it’s factory farming, stupid. I hope compassionate people will join me in the fight to stop this egregious environmental nightmare that also treats (tortures) animals who are seen as food units, not sentient beings. http://www.factoryfarming.com

  43. Hank Kennesaw

    Aaron, Asheville is a diverse town. That means gays, lesbians, hippies, potheads, panhandlers, rabbir food eaters, and, yes, meat eaters live in harmony and do their own thing. I mean if you can’t go out for a late nite burger after a night of smoking and alternative coupling, how diverse would we be? Keep Asheville weird! Keep Asheville a place where sidewalk sitting hipsters can panhandle for part of your burger and part of your boyfriend’s sprout & tofu sandwich on gluten free bread!

  44. Johnny

    Peacewarrior, your knowledge of dairy cattle and the amount of death in dairy appears to be non-existent.

    Beef cows live longer on average than dairy cows because in part they are selected for reproduction instead of milk production.

    Dairy cows are often difficult to get “bred back” because the selection pressure has created high producing cows that have limited fat reserves and are literally milking the fat off their back at the same time as they should be cycling properly and one is trying to get them bred.

    Beef cattle offspring are raised for both meat and replacement cows. The cows live longer than dairy cows. The ones that do go for meat go at around 18 months to 2 years.

    Dairy calves are killed as day-olds occasionally (depending on pricing and breed, as described earlier), as veal a few months later, or within a shorter number of years if they are replacement cows.

    Not sure what part of this is hard to comprehend.

  45. entopticon

    Peacewarrior/Cullen… I don’t know whether or not you are a mentally ill homeless person with no education whatsoever, that is using a computer at the library, but that appears to be the case, and I honestly hope that you get the help that you need. Stay warm this xmas season.

    That said, your arguments are poppycock. Anyone with even a remote understanding of the issues at hand knows about the problems with industrial dairy farming that you are apparently oblivious of in your Polyannaish naivete.

    And here is another dose of reality, with the actual incontrovertible facts… Asheville’s murder rate is in fact significantly higher than NYC’s. Asheville’s murder rate is actually 1.5 times the national average, and NYC’s is only .96 the national average. The murder rate per capita is nearly twice as high as NYC’s:
    http://www.cityrating.com/crimestatistics.asp

    Your obsessive xenophobia is rooted in bigotry and ignorance, not facts.

  46. entopticon

    Stewart, frankly your hypocrisy is astounding. You are guilty of virtually everything that you accuse your critics of. Try some introspection for once in your life, because your sanctimonious nonsense really is appalling.

    Among other things, I studied environmentalism at the graduate level and worked for an environmental graduate program. I don’t really need you lecturing me that I am not doing enough or telling me that I am not really concerned about environmentalism, just because I have different opinions than you do.

    Industrial agriculture is ravaging the planet, and grazing animals are far and away the best way to foster the grasslands necessary for revitalizing the soil with life and sequestering the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that is rapidly being lost because of shallow rooted row crops.

  47. Whit

    Stewart, again most of us meat eaters here have no buy in to your morality concerns regarding eating meat. Most of us here do seem committed to pursuing true honest sustainable living. I push walkable sustainable urban redevelopment. I have over the past two years even lent my land to urban gardening.

    We have also moved to raising our own meat. It is a process that we are happy to have undertaken. Still buy some factory meat as well as factory produce, like many any the world I can’t afford “elite meat” all the time nor “elite produce”.

    From experience I can tell you without animal husbandry there is no sustainable organic farming. None. Where would you get the fertilizers for the crops? How far would you ship that? Really.

    You talk about a new be against “factory farms” but that we will need “big farms” to grow food… What?

    The only thing that is equivalent to removing five million cars from the highways it to remove five million cars from the highway. That is one reason why my family parked its car last year (4,999,999 to go…). I continue to push walkable development and have put my money and my time where my mouth is. I do not think that everyone needs to follow my path to environmentalism for the world to be improved though.

    If we are going to save the planet it is going to be by working together and not pushing our dogma down others throats while claiming a moral high ground. Take your blinders off, there is no such thing as vegans, animals are an integral part of the process. So no I don’t commend you for getting people to stop eating meat for environmental purposes, that is a false choice.

  48. Jason

    After perusing the United Nations Report, “Livestock’s Long Shadow” ( http://www.fao.org/docrep/010/a0701e/a0701e00.HTM ) that Stewart references in his interview, I can find no mention of eliminating meat or switching to a vegetarian lifestyle in either the mitigation options of each section or in the conclusion. In fact they advocate reducing (but not eliminating) consumption, improving diets of livestock, and improving ways of dealing with waste.

  49. Roger D.

    There is absolutely nothing natural about raising domesticated animals. Nothing. It should stop. That goes for dogs and cats as well as cows, chickens, pigs, etc. The hunter-gatherer lifestyle isn’t a possibility for almost 7 billion people crowded onto one planet (projected to be 9 billion in 2045). Those in urban areas should consider vegan diets, and should buy local vegan food if available. Factory farms stink. So does big non-animal agriculture, but it’s not as devastating to the earth as are factory farms. Anyone who thinks we are going to feed the world with small hobby farms is not looking at the big picture. We need to share the food and lower our impact on the planet, and the best way to do it is to stop feeding food to animals. Check out http://www.goveg.com/eco for more information.

  50. entopticon

    There is absolutely nothing natural about raising domesticated animals. Nothing.

    And eating soybeans in North America is natural? Now that’s rich.

    Those in urban areas should consider vegan diets, and should buy local vegan food if available.

    It’s hard to think of anything more unnatural than a vegan diet.

    Anyone who thinks we are going to feed the world with small hobby farms is not looking at the big picture.

    Anyone who thinks we are going to feed the world without them is not looking at the big picture.

  51. Andrew

    Everyone on here seems to agree that factory farms are bad. The vegans do not ever eat meat from factory farms. But, do the meat eaters? It’s pretty hard to eat *only* local meat/eggs/dairy *all* the time. That means no restaurants (except for a select few), no meat at family holiday meals (grandma’s turkey), no meat at friends’ houses or at a party, etc. So I guess the people who say they “only eat local meat” eat vegan the rest of the time?
    This “elite meat” can be pretty pricey and it’s certainly not found in most restaurants or supermarkets. Or do these people actually say they’re all for local meat but really eat a lot of factory farmed meat/dairy/eggs? Isn’t that a bit hypocritical? At least vegans are consistent in their stance against factory farms. And it makes more sense than to make this “I’m gonna eat *only* local meat” proclamation and then go out with friends for a burger afterwards.

  52. Stewart David

    World-renowned Stanford University biochemist Patrick O. Brown –he’s a member of the National Academy of Sciences and an investigator for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute–wants to change the way people eat. Growing crops to feed animals requires a lot more land, energy and fertilizer than growing them to feed people, he says: 70% of the land that was once Amazon rain forest is dedicated to grazing. “There’s absolutely no possibility that 50 years from now this system will be operating as it does now,” says Dr. Brown. “One approach is to just wait, and either we’ll deal with it or we’ll be toast. I want to approach this as a solvable problem.” Solution: “Eliminate animal farming on planet Earth.”

    See this article in Forbes Magazine if you want to learn more:

    http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2009/1130/thought-leaders-mcdonalds-global-warming-drop-that-burger.html

  53. Stewart David

    Entopticon,

    RE: Industrial agriculture is ravaging the planet, and grazing animals are far and away the best way to foster the grasslands necessary for revitalizing the soil with life and sequestering the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that is rapidly being lost because of shallow rooted row crops.

    We agree on the first part, that industial agriculutre is ravaging the planet. But why not reforestation rather than grazing animals?

  54. Whit

    Andrew,

    Have you read the posts? If you want to look for hypocrisy you will find plenty of it to go around. How many vegans eat organic all the time? The “elite produce” is out of reach of most Asheville hippies that I know. Soybeans and corn and rice have their own factory farm environmental impacts.

    How many vegans drive cars and live out in the countryside? That is loving nature to death.

    Did you know that removing 5,000,000 cars from the road would have the equivalent impact on reducing carbon dioxide gasses as every American giving up meat for a day?

  55. Whit

    Stewart,

    Entopticon clearly answered your question before you asked it, see his December 14 at 10:16 comment.

    Also, there are the place in wilderness know as grasslands that were not naturally covered with forests and are not appropriate for “reforestation”. What is appropriate for them is native grasses and herds of large grass eating animals. That is what Ento-p is talking about.

  56. entopticon

    This “elite meat” can be pretty pricey and it’s certainly not found in most restaurants or supermarkets. Or do these people actually say they’re all for local meat but really eat a lot of factory farmed meat/dairy/eggs? Isn’t that a bit hypocritical? At least vegans are consistent in their stance against factory farms.

    Speaking of hypocrisy…. that is one of the worst arguments that I have ever seen. Vegans are more consistent in their stance against factory farms?!? You really think most vegans only eat vegetables and grains from small local farms?!? That is completely ridiculous.

    I don’t eat a lot of meat, and when I do, the vast majority is from sustainable sources. I don’t know many vegans who live without soy, yet factory farmed soy crops, organic or not, are ravaging the planet.

  57. entopticon

    We agree on the first part, that industial agriculutre is ravaging the planet. But why not reforestation rather than grazing animals?

    If you are still asking that question, I am guessing that you still haven’t read the link that I provided. There are numerous reasons. Reforestation can be a great thing, but it is not always the best solution. It is usually not economically viable for farmers, and in some cases it actually sequesters significantly less carbon dioxide than pastured grasslands, and it is not always a good way to revitalize the soil. With the massive loss of grazing animals and the ravages of row crop agriculture, we have depleted our soil to an extremely dangerous extent. Grass pasturing is an extremely effective way to combat that. And then of course, there’s the fact that organic agriculture would collapse without the byproducts of animal farming.

  58. Roger D.

    First, the discussion of soybeans in relation to veganism is nonsensical. Many vegans eat little or no soy. We get our protein and nutrients from plant foods, just like horses, camels, cows, elephants, etc. We simply leave out the middleman. And the deadly cholesterol and saturated fat.

    I think you have it backwards, it’s eating meat that is not natural. According to biologists and anthropologists who study our anatomy and our evolutionary history, humans are herbivores who are not well suited to eating meat. Unlike natural carnivores, we are physically and psychologically unable to rip animals limb from limb and eat and digest their raw flesh. Even cooked meat often causes us food poisoning, heart disease, cancer, and other ailments.

    People who pride themselves on being part of the human hunter tradition should take a second look at the story of human evolution. Prehistoric evidence indicates that humans developed hunting skills relatively recently and that most of our short, meat-eating past was spent scavenging and eating almost anything in order to survive; even then, meat was a tiny part of our caloric intake.

    Humans lack both the physical characteristics of carnivores and the instinct that drives them to kill animals and devour their raw carcasses. Ask yourself: When you see dead animals on the side of the road, are you tempted to stop for a snack? Does the sight of a dead bird make you salivate? Do you daydream about killing cows with your bare hands and eating them raw? If you answered “no” to all of these questions, congratulations—you’re a normal human herbivore—like it or not. Humans were simply not designed to eat meat.

    Check out “The Comparative Anatomy of Eating” by Dr. Milton Mills at http://www.earthsave.ca/articles/health/comparative.html

    If you won’t take the time to read the article, I hope you will at least check out the chart at the bottom.

  59. Stewart David

    I did read the Mother Earth News article, I just don’t buy into the “science.” I think, for the most part, the people who support raising animals on pastures are well-intentioned. In some ways what they do is certainly a more environmentally-friendly approach than factory farming. And, by and large, they are much less cruel to the animals they raise. But, as stated before, I don’t think the numbers add up. I don’t think it’s a solution for the masses. I think they come at it from the point of view of assuming we need to raise animals, and then look for a better way to do so. I believe we need to think outside the box.

    You said earlier “Industrial agriculture is actually a major cause of deforestation.” I’ve stated this over and over again. The forest land is now used to grow grain to feed cows, chickens, pigs, etc. You act like I am in favor of row crops, that’s silly. We’re cutting down the Amazon rainforest at an alarming rate to grow soybeans, much of which is now shipped to China to feed chickens. It’s madness, and we both know that.

    Rather than look for better ways to raise animals, I, instead, agree with Dr. Brown. The solution is to eliminate animal farming on Earth. As noted above, he’s at Stanford University. I don’t know him and can’t put words into his mouth, but I’m pretty sure he’s seen a farmers market or two in Palo Alto and knows all about so-called “sustainably-raised” animal products. I’d guess he’s done the math and has concluded that they are not a viable alternative to factory farming, given current population levels.

    I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

  60. entopticon

    According to biologists and anthropologists who study our anatomy and our evolutionary history, humans are herbivores who are not well suited to eating meat.

    That is absolute nonsense. What’s the point in trying to have a rational conversation if you are going to spread that ridiculous poppycock. There is debate about how much meat humans have eaten throughout human history, but no rational biologist or anthropologist would ever make the ludicrous claim that humans are herbivores. Evidence of animal hunting goes back as far as the history of tools. Many of the earliest cave paintings depict hunting.

    Prehistoric evidence indicates that humans developed hunting skills relatively recently and that most of our short, meat-eating past was spent scavenging and eating almost anything in order to survive; even then, meat was a tiny part of our caloric intake.

    This is exactly the sort of nonsensical, quasiscientific nonsense that makes it so hard to take vegan extremists seriously. It has little to no basis in reality.

  61. entopticon

    We’re cutting down the Amazon rainforest at an alarming rate to grow soybeans, much of which is now shipped to China to feed chickens. It’s madness, and we both know that.

    I definitely agree with you that that is a huge problem. Those soybeans aren’t only for animal feed or Chinese chickens though.

    You act like I am in favor of row crops, that’s silly.

    Virtually all of our agricultural crops are shallow rooted row crops. You have repeatedly said that there is a place for it, and I would agree with that. I also believe that many of them that are being used to grow grain for animal feed and filler foods would serve far better as pasture land to recapture carbon and revitalize the soil. You cannot revitalize the soil effectively without deep-rooted plants that regularly slough off those roots, and that means that whatever grain or vegetable that you grow will continue to ravage the soil, because they are all shallow-rooted.

    The solution is to eliminate animal farming on Earth.

    Which would mean the elimination of organic vegetable farming, which relies on animals. I don’t see that as a healthy or desirable choice.

  62. Piffy!

    [b]I did read the Mother Earth News article, I just don’t buy into the “science.” I think, for the most part, the people who support raising animals on pastures are well-intentioned. In some ways what they do is certainly a more environmentally-friendly approach than factory farming. And, by and large, they are much less cruel to the animals they raise. But, as stated before, I don’t think the numbers add up. I don’t think it’s a solution for the masses. I think they come at it from the point of view of assuming we need to raise animals, and then look for a better way to do so. I believe we need to think outside the box.[/b]

    So that puts you in the same company as climate science “deniers”. You pick and choose which “science” you agree with, depending on if it can be used to prop up your own hobby horse.

    entop has done a very good job of pointing out the numerous inaccuracies and outright lies in your bizarre, inconsistent philosophy. Good job, entop. Go get ’em.

  63. Piffy!

    It seems quite clear to most of us who are post-vegan/vegetarians and/or those of us with a real agricultural background that Stewart David represents the old-guard “Diet For A New Planet” vegetarians who refuse to acknowledge their ideology is based on outdated information and statistics that favor massive, monoculture industrial agriculture. Eating and raising animals is NOT inherently unhealthy or unsustainable, and there is a huge body of evidence out there to affirm that doenst need to be taken out of context to apply to the situation (unlike the statistics Stewart employs to prop up his on beliefs).

    Again, I am fine with them arguing the moral angle, but when they try and connect it with the environmental cause-du-jour (“GLobal Warming”), they really fall flat.

    If stewart really wants to combat Industrial Agriculture in ALL it’s forms, he should acknowledge that local farms are the best alternative for the VAST MAJORITY of the population that doesnt choose to follow his dietary fad.

  64. Jason

    Roger D.,

    Your ideas on human biology and evolution are delusional. What biologists and anthropologists are you getting your facts from? I see no references. The one person you do mention, Milton R. Mills, M.D., from what I can glean from Google, is not an evolutionary biologist or anthropologist, he appears to be dietary physician. I would doubt he is an expert on human evolution. The only published article I could find by him appeared in the OPINION section of the Monday, March 27, 2000, edition of the San Jose Mercury News. http://www.ecotopia.com/webpress/milk/

    When the good doctor Mills, has some of his “research” published in more credible journals like Science, or Nature or, hell, even the New York Times, maybe then I’ll even consider his tofu bologna to be anywhere close to scientific.

  65. Stewart David

    It’s downright funny how you folks won’t even talk about the need to eat less meat, no matter what the science says. As stated before, the small farmers should be the ones shouting about the need to eat less meat, dairy, and eggs. That’s the only scenario that could possibly give credibility to their claims that they offer a sustainable solution. Otherwise the amount of animal products they produce will remain statistically insignificant. Not only is eating less necessary for the health of the planet, it’s necessary for human health. Here’s what the ADA has to say: “It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life-cycle including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood and adolescence and for athletes.”

    You prefer to live in your fantasy world that says we can raise animals on pastures, failing to do the math. We’d need several new planets to have enough acreage. Not to mention that the saturated fat and cholesterol is killing people. It’s such an unnatural diet. Dr. Mills’ piece that Roger posted is good science, but you call it nonsense. We are not carnivores, which is clear if you read the piece. Dr. Brown is an esteemed scientist, but you dismiss him. I suppose you are in the business of selling animal products. Do you think your pocketbooks might be influencing your thought processes? As Upton Sinclair said, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

    As I said in the letter referenced in the interview, “Progressives” think the climate-change deniers are the problem. I think what’s worse are the people who understand the need to reduce our carbon footprints yet refuse to discuss, let alone consider, lifestyle changes they don’t want to make.”

    And with that, I’ll again urge you to get away from your computers and go out and fight factory farming or engage is some other form of activism rather than spend your time calling me names and promoting junk science.

  66. Roger D.

    Pet rocks were a fad. Veganism is a compassionate, healthy, environmentally-friendly lifestyle. Evolve!

  67. Johnny

    No one here is getting on you activist vegetarians and vegans for making the choices you’ve made, even though your basic knowledge of science, farming systems, organic matter cycling, and human diet are often rudimentary.

    Rather, it’s the incessant, preachy tone that never seems to stop which boggles our minds.

    You go on-and-on-and-on as if you have magically cornered the market on what is morally appropriate for the rest of us.

    Vegetarians who just do their own thing, many of them friends of mine, find all this chatter to be both embarrassing and laughable.

  68. Stewart David

    RE: “If stewart really wants to combat Industrial Agriculture in ALL it’s forms, he should acknowledge that local farms are the best alternative for the VAST MAJORITY of the population that doesnt choose to follow his dietary fad.”

    I guess you aren’t reading my posts. I encourage people to buy from local farms, it’s a great way to support local businesses. Keeping dollars in our community is important. Local farms can and will continue to thrive, as they should. Again, I support them. But the vast majority of people can’t possibly buy from them, because they produce a statistically insignificant amount of food.

    As Dr. James McWilliams, author of “Just Food: Where Locavores Get It Wrong and How We Can Truly Eat Responsibly” said, “If you want to make a statement, ride your bike to the farmer’s market. If you want to reduce greenhouse gases, become a vegetarian.” There is an article by him in Forbes, it’s called ” The Locavore Myth, Why buying from nearby farmers won’t save the planet.” You can read it at http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2009/0803/opinions-energy-locavores-on-my-mind.html

  69. Stewart David

    Johnny,

    Just curious. Do you refer to people who suggest we replace light bulbs, caulk leaky homes, use cleaner energy, drive hybrids, use bicylces, etc., as “preachy?” I’ll bet you don’t. Then why do so when someone suggests an energy-efficient diet?

  70. Johnny

    No Stewart, I don’t suggest those folks are preachy if they’re just out there doing it and not telling others how morally inferior they are (either directly or by implication).

    Energy efficiency is your latest axe to grind with the vegetarianism-is-better angle, but in reality you find it more repugnant for a person to hunt and eat local game animals than for someone to purchase an industrial vegetarian or vegan diet from 1000’s of miles away. The bottom line for you is the killing of animals for meat, which many of us find pretty natural.

    All of us living some version of a first world well-to-do lifestyle can be called out for our part in the environmental fiasco ahead of us as world population grows exponentially and our resources dwindle. Myself? Guilty as charged.

    There’s a whole lotta “blame someone else”…. Blame Exxon. Blame the power plants. Blame the Republicans. Blame the people who have kids. Blame the liberal democrats who buy new crap all the time. In your case blame the meat eaters.

  71. entopticon

    It’s downright funny how you folks won’t even talk about the need to eat less meat, no matter what the science says.

    Yes, what makes it so funny is that it is a flat out lie on your part. I have repeatedly said that I don’t eat much meat and that I encourage other people not too eat too much either, and pfff has expressed that numerous times as well. Your tendency to fabricate straw man arguments is pretty sad.

    Many physicians now consider soy infant formula a form of child abuse. It has far more hormones than birth control pills, it blocks the body’s ability to absorb essential nutrients, and it has been associated with several types of cancer. The Soy industry is extremely powerful, and does everything that they can to cover those facts up. Like it or not, the vast majority of vegans get most of their protein from processed soy. Several vegans that I know have had serious health problems until they reintroduced animal products back into their diets. The statistics for the intelligence decrease in babies of women that don’t have fish in their diets are staggering.

    If vegetarianism works for you, more power to you. I have tried it extensively, and it doesn’t work well for me. Frankly, you are surreally closed-minded in how you insist that what’s right for you has to be right for the rest of us.

    You prefer to live in your fantasy world that says we can raise animals on pastures, failing to do the math.

    I cited a perfectly reasonable source with compelling facts, as did others here. Your assertion is just obnoxious.

    We’d need several new planets to have enough acreage.

    In order to pasture some cows? Talk about failing to do the math. Your claim is hogwash.

    Not to mention that the saturated fat and cholesterol is killing people.

    In a well known study comparing the bad cholesterol levels of people eating a diet high in saturated fat verses people eating a low fat vegetarian diet, the cholesterol levels were dramatically lower for the group with the diet high in saturated fats. There is no way that your claims gel with that fact. To date, numerous studies have pointed out that the claims linking saturated fat to heart disease are junk science.

    We are not carnivores, which is clear if you read the piece.

    Yes, we are certainly not carnivores. And we are certainly not herbivores. We are omnivores, and any claim to the contrary is complete nonsense.

    “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

    Mine does not. Does yours? Like John Robbins and too many others, you are so blinded by your agenda that you conveniently ignore the facts whenever they don’t fit.

    As I said in the letter referenced in the interview, “Progressives” think the climate-change deniers are the problem. I think what’s worse are the people who understand the need to reduce our carbon footprints yet refuse to discuss, let alone consider, lifestyle changes they don’t want to make.

    Again with the straw man arguments. It really is pretty shameful. Most of your critics here are doing a lot, and arguably a lot more than you, to combat the problem. You are such a hypocrite. We just don’t believe what you believe.

    And with that, I’ll again urge you to get away from your computers and go out and fight factory farming or engage is some other form of activism rather than spend your time calling me names and promoting junk science.

    Your sanctimonious hypocrisy is absolutely mind-boggling. You aren’t the only person on the planet the cares about the environment. We don’t believe what you believe. Get over yourself.

    I wonder how many plants that you eat were farmed without the use of animal products? Probably next to none.

  72. Stewart David

    Hey Johnny,

    Why aren’t you telling the folks who suggest that you buy local, “sustaniably-raised” meat to quit preaching? Heck, if you want to support factory farms, that’s your business, right?

  73. Stewart David

    entopticon,

    Again with the silly assumption equating veganism with soy consumption. Some vegans eat less soy than corpse munchers.

    RE: “Many physicians now consider soy infant formula a form of child abuse,” That’s the funniest thing you’ve said yet. And do you really think that there is a soy lobby trying to convince people to eat soy? Almost all of the soy grown is fed to animals, why would the industry spend their time and money encouraging human consumption? They’d rather stick with the status quo, it makes for more sales. If people eat soy directly the industry loses customers, since consumption is much greater when it is cycled through animals.

    The junk science and lies put out against soy are over the top, but the pro-meat, anti-soy folks keep at it. Here’s the latest research on soy in regard to breast cancer:

    “Soy doesn’t harm, and may even help, breast cancer survivors, study finds
    Earlier research in animals had raised fears that soy foods might cause a recurrence of the cancer because soy can act like estrogen. A new study of women finds just the opposite. The study, published in today’s issue of the Journal of the American Medical Assn., should reassure breast cancer survivors that they need not scrupulously avoid soy foods, which have become increasingly popular in the United States in recent years. Research in animals has indicated that soy might increase the chances of breast cancer recurrence because it can act like the hormone estrogen, which promotes tumor growth.”

    The article I quoted can be found at
    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-sci-soy9-2009dec09,0,6546847.story

    Note that the animal studies were flawed, and it took real science (analyzing data of breast cancer survivors)to get to the truth.

    “Here’s what the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine says about soy:
    Soy has many attributes that make it useful for those transitioning to healthful diets, although it is quite easy to follow a healthy, low-fat, vegan diet without using soy. For those who prefer to add soy products to their diets, it is prudent to emphasize the least processed sources of soy, such as edamame, tempeh, tofu, and soymilk, as part of a diet that includes other legumes, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Other soy products, including vegetarian meat and dairy substitutes, may be helpful for people who are making healthful changes from meat- and dairy-based diets.” Check out their fact sheet at

    http://www.pcrm.org/health/prevmed/soy_health.html

  74. Jason

    The ADA says that a VEGETARIAN diet is an okay choice. I don’t argue with that. However nowhere did it say that it was the only choice, or that everyone must choose it, or that eating meat is inherently bad. That is what YOU and your false logic are trying to say. Again, as said before, stop trying to impose your moral beliefs upon our dietary choices.

  75. Piffy!

    [b]It’s downright funny how you folks won’t even talk about the need to eat less meat, no matter what the science says.[/b]

    Actually, it’s been stated repeatedly by many people who have come into this thread to point out the massive holes in your logic. Just another in your long, documented list of lies, Stew.

    The point, though, is that you keep intentionally lumping together ‘factory farms’ and “meat” into one category, despite mountains of evidence to show that the two are not always the same.

    You have a moral aversion to eating meat. Great. Stop grasping at straws trying to make this into an ‘environmental’ argument. That is all anyone here is saying. Although I have little doubt you will continue to back-peddle, lie, manipulate statistics, and try your darndest to shift the debate into the cliches you rely upon.

    -pffff

    entop, keep it up, i’m loving every second of it.

  76. Piffy!

    So, as has been shown in this thread as well as others, Stewart David lies repeatedly while trying to prop-up his own dogmatic dietary choice with carefully selected “science”, while ignoring mountains of evidence that contradicts his points.

    His ‘interview’ is full of more lies and statistical manipulation. So WHY does the Xpress give him the time of day?

    Stewart David hates small farms. Stewart David lies.

  77. Piffy!

    i thought this bared repeating since David has completely avoided responding to ANY of my points:

    [b]That’s not my idea of environmentalism. Do the math. Ironically, the small farmers should be the ones shouting about the need to eat less meat, dairy, and eggs. That’s the only scenario that could possibly give credibility to their claims that they offer a sustainable solution.[/b]

    Well, considering most small farms only produce enough for their immediate communities, one might be able to infer that they are implying this in practice. But, you’re right, local chicken-farmers should spend all their time petitioning KFC to carry ‘vegan’ chicken options. That’s truly sustainable. How dare they just tend their farms, offering tangible solutions to the problems you have made a career out of championing?

    [b]But they are too interested in selling products.[/b]

    Yes, those greedy local farmer rolling around town in their fancy cars, money spilling from the silken pockets.

    How about all those ‘vegetarian/faux meat’ companies owned by major multinational corporations? Are they trying to make money? Are you just a witless pawn of their (highly profitable) industry? Or are you actively protesting them?

    Stewart David hates local farmers, and wants the ENTIRE WORLD to abide by the diet HE lives by. He wants us to do this by getting our food from large, monoculture farms who just so happened to be controlled by two or three worldwide corporations like Cargil and Monsanto, that he says are the “only” choice we have. And he thinks he’s an [i]”Environmentalist”[/i]? really?

    Is the Mountain Xpress really not interested in providing a counterpoint from the perspective of local farmers? Are they really only interested in PETA’s perspective that Stewart repeats ad nausea?
    I thought “Local Matters”?

  78. Stewart David

    Regarding veganism being a belief system, that’s true to the extent that “Thou shall not kill” or practicing the “Golden Rule” are belief systems. Peter Tatchell, cofounder of ACT-UP London and OutRage, put it well when he said: “The denial of rights to other animals by humans (speciesism) is analogous to the denial of rights to lesbians and gay men by heterosexuals (heterosexism). Both these forms of oppression derive from a prejudiced and chauvinistic mentality which devalues ‘difference’ and ‘otherness.’ Likewise, animals deserve rights for much the same reason that lesbians and gay men deserve rights. All human and non-human animals have a shared capacity for feelings. This recognition gives society the moral obligation to confer the right to be spared physical and psychological suffering on all animals, irrespective of their species, race, sex, class, disability or sexual orientation.”

    Quite simply, might does not make right. You may call it preachy. I view it as a moral obligation to speak out for those who are discriminated against simply because they are different. In the words of Harriet Beecher Stowe, “It’s a matter of taking the side of the weak against the strong, something the best people have always done.”

    But, when it comes to the environment, a vegan diet isn’t a belief system. Cycling massive amounts of food through animals rather than eating the food directly is extremely wasteful. It’s common sense, but has been quantified by numerous scientific studies. Society should recognize this and share the food with starving people. Instead, most ignore the science so that they can satisfy an acquired taste for flesh. And a few look for loopholes.
    I would probably be dead if I had continued on the Standard American Diet (SAD). If I am being preachy when I want people to know that they can likely avoid heart attacks, cancers, diabetes, etc., by changing their diets, so be it. I don’t intent to preach, but I do want to inform people of the science linking the consumption of animal products to degenerative diseases and death. Children need their parents; it’s such a shame when people die from preventable illnesses. I wish I had learned about this earlier in life, and I want others to be exposed to the information. I grew up believing the incredible marketing machine of the meat, dairy, and egg industries. I don’t know how these people sleep at night.

    I’m sorry that people on this forum see the exchange of information as preaching and resort to name-calling when they don’t like what someone else has to say. Saying that I hate local farmers, or anyone, for that matter, is just ridiculous. What an angry group you are. I’ll date myself by signing off with the words of Carole King, “You can’t talk to a man,
    When he don’t want to understand. No, no, no, no, no, no.”

    Best wishes to all.

  79. Hank Kennesaw

    Stew, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy vegan New Year! And while we are at it, Happy Hannukah and Happy Kuwannza. The turkeys, chickens, geese, pigs, little fishys, cows, sheep, baby cows, baby sheep all thank you for convincing many folks that killing and eating them is not a nice thing to do.

    Stew, you are wasting your time arguing with this anonymous writer “teh piff”. She obviously has a problem with “turnabout is fair play”. You see, if you have been a reader of MX for some period, teh piff, formerly known as the PFK among other sock puppet accounts, is big on railing against the “machine” as long as it is perceived to be white conservatives southern locals running Buncombe County and environs. But she doesn’t like someone else to point out her obvious failings, as in being a meat eater.

  80. entopticon

    Stewart, I can’t say that I’m too surprised that you focussed on the aside about soy, and ignored everything else. I’ve known a few vegans who don’t eat much soy. Most that I have known eat quite a bit.

    RE: “Many physicians now consider soy infant formula a form of child abuse,” That’s the funniest thing you’ve said yet.

    I’m glad you think it’s so funny. Since you were so nice to share, here is a little science for you as well:

    “Phytoestrogens that disrupt endocrine function and are potent antithyroid agents are present in vast quantities in soy, including the potentially devastating isoflavone Genistein. Infants exclusively fed soy-based formula have 13,000 to 22,000 times more estrogen compounds in their blood than babies fed milk-based formula, the estrogenic equivalent of at least five birth control pills per day. Premature development of girls has been linked to the use of soy formula, as has the underdevelopment of males. Infant soy formula has been linked to autoimmune thyroid disease.”

    And do you really think that there is a soy lobby trying to convince people to eat soy?

    I wish you were joking. That is so profoundly naive, that I am not sure how to respond. Do you really think the global megacorporations behind agribusiness have no interest in selling you their product?

    As usual, you seemed to have missed the point. I can certainly give you a horror story about the dangers of eating soy for every horror story about meat that you can come up with.

    “Here’s what the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine says about soy

    Wow, you could find a quote from a vegan activist group, 95% of which aren’t actually doctors, who have good things to say about soy. Golly, what a surprise. How convincing. Talk about a cherry picked opinion.

    I understand that you have an agenda that you feel passionate about. What I don’t understand is your astonishing lack of ability to introspect enough to see that over and over again you have been guilty of everything that you have accused others here of doing.

    Your posts have been filled with offensive insults about anyone who doesn’t agree with you, but for some reason you keep whining about how everyone is picking on you. It’s truly odd.

    You’ve gone on about how closed-minded all of your critics are, yet you have been demonstrably far more closed-minded. Again and again you have been told that if a vegan diet works for you, more power to you. Conversely, you keep repeating that everyone who doesn’t feel the same way as you do is not only wrong for feeling differently than you, they are morally bankrupt anti-environmentalists.

    I have considered both sides of the arguments, and I feel differently than you do. Get over it. I am completely open to the fact that factory farmed meat causes a lot of serious problems, and I am also open to the the idea that eating less meat might help because of that. You have not shown the slightest sign of being open-minded to opposing views whatsoever. The fact that you have the audacity to turn around and call us closed-minded, completely oblivious to your own hypocrisy, is absolutely mind-boggling.

  81. entopticon

    entop, keep it up, i’m loving every second of it.

    Thank you pffff, I have appreciated your comments as well. Your arguments have been thoughtful and cogent. It’s too bad that Stewart still fails to see that not everyone who disagrees with him is closed-minded.

    Is the Mountain Xpress really not interested in providing a counterpoint from the perspective of local farmers? Are they really only interested in PETA’s perspective that Stewart repeats ad nausea?
    I thought “Local Matters”?

    I second that concern. The Xpress seems to be content to be Stewart’s unofficial vegan activist newsletter, because they publish his propaganda constantly, but have made little effort to balance his perspective with those of the many people with strong, informed arguments to the contrary.

  82. Stewart David

    Thanks, Hank. I appreciate the kind words and the background. I find it fascinating when someone pulls the “moral superiority” card attacking a vegetarian. It’s rich they do so in their defense of needlessly killing animals. It sounds like something may be going on in the subconscious. Or maybe they truly suffer from Empathy Deficit Disorder? (more on EDD at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/story/2007/12/24/ST2007122401220.html)

    Oh, well, enough dime store psychology. I wonder what Mohandas K. Gandhi would think? He said “I hold that, the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man.” I guess they’d just write him off as “preachy.” :-)

    I’ve never seen anyone twist someone’s words as much as these hate-mongers. As but one example, they continue to say that I hate small, family farms. That’s hilarious, I very much support small farmers. My grandfather was one. Have you seen the short video, “All Things Connected?” It’s at the bottom of the page at http://plantpeacedaily.org/, and shows the vegan community’s support of small farms.

    Karl Rove would be proud of how they use hate speech to deflect actual dialogue. If these two didn’t work for the Bush administration, they missed their calling.

    You’re right, it’s pointless to try to have a dialogue with such closed minds. I knew better when I jumped in, but felt I should make some comments in case others were reading and someone might actually believe their propaganda and junk science. But I’ll stop now. Thanks again, and have a happy holiday.

  83. entopticon

    I find it fascinating when someone pulls the “moral superiority” card attacking a vegetarian.

    Your sanctimonious assumption of moral superiority fascinates us as well.

    Or maybe they truly suffer from Empathy Deficit Disorder?

    Here’s a thought… maybe your bizarre lack of ability to consider any other perspective other than your own is a reflection of your own lack of empathic capacity, not ours. By any objective measure, you are drastically more closed-minded than we are. We have said all along that if it works for you, more power to you. It is you that lacks the same level of open-mindedness. My empathy is just fine. I just disagree with you Stewart, but you are too vain and myopic to understand that someone can disagree with you without being morally inferior and broken.

    Since you like Ghandi quotes so much, I have one for you as well. Mahatma Ghandi, near the end of his life, after several failed attempts at veganism:

    “The crores of India today get neither milk nor ghee nor butter, nor even buttermilk. No wonder that mortality figures are on the increase and there is a lack of energy in the people. It would appear as if man is really unable to sustain life without either meat or milk and milk products. Anyone who deceives people in this regard or countenances the fraud is an enemy of India.”

    I’ve never seen anyone twist someone’s words as much as these hate-mongers.

    I’ve incontrovertibly proven over and over again that you have been the one twisting words. And now you are calling us “hate-mongers”? That’s rich.

    Karl Rove would be proud of how they use hate speech to deflect actual dialogue. If these two didn’t work for the Bush administration, they missed their calling.

    Seriously, your hypocrisy is mind-boggling. You spew hate constantly. You have repeatedly spewed heinous insults throughout this thread. Your complete lack of self-awareness is astounding. You just keep lashing out because you can’t stand the fact that you are losing the argument.

    You’re right, it’s pointless to try to have a dialogue with such closed minds.

    It is closed minded to say that if it works for you, more power to you?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? It is not closed-minded of you to say that we have to do things YOUR way?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? Your hypocrisy is absolutely ludicrous.

  84. Piffy!

    [b]You see, if you have been a reader of MX for some period, teh piff, formerly known as the PFK among other sock puppet accounts, is big on railing against the “machine” as long as it is perceived to be white conservatives southern locals running Buncombe County and environs. But she doesn’t like someone else to point out her obvious failings, as in being a meat eater. [/b]

    And how exactly is defending family farms as a sustainable alternative to globalized food production “railing against… white conservatives southern locals”?

    Are all the local farms now run by Chinese Yankee carpetbaggers now?

    Also, aren’t you only a vegetarian? I think that makes you quite lowly in Stewart’s eyes.

    You should totally do an interview with askville some time, mr sockpuppetofperpetuallychangingnames. I would eagerly devour every word of your down home philosophy! I know it’s hard for you to understand, but those of us who moved here to soak up this glorious southern culture of yours really do secretly desire to emulate you and your ways. Please, spread the good word, brother!

    Yours truly,

    –the gal who has gone by pfkap for over a year

  85. Piffy!

    [b]I’m sorry that people on this forum see the exchange of information as preaching and resort to name-calling when they don’t like what someone else has to say.[/b]

    Actually, we have merely challenged you to support many of your assertions that being “vegan” is inherently more “green” than other dietary choices, which you have demonstrably failed to do.

    You keep trying to change the direction and term of the ‘debate’, but those remain the only challenges being made. You have presented ZERO credible information to maintain that your own personal dietary choice is ‘better’ for the planet than any other, as you continue to claim. Step up or admit defeat.

  86. Piffy!

    [b]I’ve never seen anyone twist someone’s words as much as these hate-mongers. As but one example, they continue to say that I hate small, family farms. That’s hilarious, I very much support small farmers. My grandfather was one. Have you seen the short video, “All Things Connected?” It’s at the bottom of the page at http://plantpeacedaily.org/, and shows the vegan community’s support of small farms.[/b]

    And yet, right in this thread, you compare local farms to large factory farms that are responsible fo the clear-cutting in the Amazon, without noticing one ounce of hyperbole. And you imply they will deceive their clients, because they are ‘in it for the money’, as if farmers make anything being a modest living.

    I get that you don’t see how your own philosophy is very anti-small farm, but it clearly is to anyone even remotely connected to the WNC farming community. Go have some conversations with local meat, dairy, and egg producers at the local farmers market some time, and see how they respond to your ‘solutions’.

  87. Stewart David

    Entopricon,

    The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has over 5,000 physician members. The fact that over 100,000 other people, from nurses to nutritionists to those of us not in the medical field support them, seems like a positive thing to me. But, of course, you twist it to make it a bad thing. Talk about having a closed mind! I take it your “nutritionist” wife is not a member.

    All of you people hiding behind fake names and pretending that you actually want to have a dialogue is pretty funny. You just want to shout down the people who don’t agree with you. Why won’t you use your real names?

    Again, I suggest that you get away from your computer and do some actual activism.

  88. Stewart David

    Entop, PenKap, and all of the others out there who refuse to reveal their identities:

    You win, I’ll sign off now. You keep twisting things so much it’s futile to carry on. I very much support local farms, but as a vegan, don’t support those that use/abuse animals.

    As noted before, forums often don’t lend themselves to meaningful discussions. They are too often a place where people level personal attacks from the safety and anonymity offered by a fake name and computer keyboard. I’d rather spend my time on activism than sitting behind a computer. I’m easy to find if someone wants to have a real conversation using a real name. I’m more open-minded and well-read than some on this forum give me credit for. I’d be happy to engage in a real debate if someone wants to arrange one. You keep saying I have ignored your questions. I have answered them; you just don’t like the answers. I’ll try again, one to one, if you want to get in touch and engage in actual dialogue. Talking at each other on the forum has become a waste of time. If you want to talk to each other, let me know.

    Several people, vegetarians and non-vegetarians, have gotten in touch to tell me they found the interview and previous letters/commentaries thought-provoking and respectful. Mission accomplished. Since we all seem to oppose factory farming, I would think everyone would be happy about this, too. The more people know think about where their food comes from, the better.

  89. entopticon

    The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has over 5,000 physician members. The fact that over 100,000 other people, from nurses to nutritionists to those of us not in the medical field support them, seems like a positive thing to me. But, of course, you twist it to make it a bad thing.

    No Stewart, I was pointing out that The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a vegan activist organization, so citing them as a source for the safety of soy is like citing the beef council on the merits of hamburgers.

    I take it your “nutritionist” wife is not a member.

    No, she is not a vegan.

    Talk about having a closed mind!

    Gladly. It is astonishing that you of all people, would have the audacity to accuse anyone else of closed-mindedness. Your hypocrisy is absolutely mind-boggling. You really are a person of very little integrity.

    Over and over again, I have said that if it works for you, great. Over and over again, you have said that your way is the only way!!!!! Exactly what part of that don’t you understand??? That means that like it or not, YOU are the closed-minded one.

    I spent years as a vegetarian. My health suffered for it. I’ve read countless books on vegetarianism. Have you read countless books on the importance of animals in farming? By virtually any metric, I have been VASTLY more open-minded than you have been. You have been a quintessential model of closed-mindedness.

    I have considered both sides of the argument in great detail. You on the other hand, have never shown the slightest sign of actually considering both sides of the argument. I believe that small farms, that include animals, are the best thing for

    Do you really think you are open-minded to our side of the argument???

    I could definitely be swayed with new evidence. Can you say the same??? You are one of the most outlandishly hypocritical people that I have ever encountered. There is nothing open about your mind.

    All of you people hiding behind fake names and pretending that you actually want to have a dialogue is pretty funny. You just want to shout down the people who don’t agree with you. Why won’t you use your real names?

    I prefer to use a moniker, which is a standard practice on discussion boards. There are literally people on here that are connected to registered white supremacist hate groups, that I have angered on numerous occasions, and I have little interest in publicizing my name here. I have made it available here before here, but I don’t see it as necessary. It has absolutely no bearing on the verity of my arguments; that is just another desperate attempt to prop yet another straw-man argument. I do not use “fake names.”

    For you to pretend to be interested in actual dialogue is what’s funny. You have no interest in dialogue. You have your opinion, and you have absolutely no interest in considering any other views. None at all. You have proven that over and over again. Unlike you, you will not see me hanging out in front of Malaprops boycotting their sale of a vegetarian cookbook.

    Again, I suggest that you get away from your computer and do some actual activism.

    Again, you a sanctimonious hypocrite. Seriously, who the hell do you think you are? You are not the only person in the world actively trying to make the world a better place. Get out from behind your own computer.

    You win, I’ll sign off now.

    I have lost count of how many times you have said that now.

    I’m more open-minded and well-read than some on this forum give me credit for.

    No Stewart, you are vastly LESS open-minded than you give yourself credit for.

    You keep saying I have ignored your questions. I have answered them; you just don’t like the answers.

    You are so completely full of crap. You blatantly ignored nearly every question posed to you. For example, I asked about how much of the food you eat doesn’t involve animal products. Unless you get all your food from foraging, and you don’t eat organic vegetables at local restaurants, the answer is very little.

    And over and over again you have been asked to explain the outlandish hypocrisy of calling us closed-minded, even though we are the ones saying that if it works for you, good for you, and you are the one saying that we all have to do things your way.

    Since we all seem to oppose factory farming, I would think everyone would be happy about this, too.

    Yes, I am happy that we all oppose the methods of factory farming. What I am not so happy about are your ridiculous contentions that anyone who is not a vegan is not an environmentalist, and if they aren’t an activist for your issues they aren’t even active at all. Your self-righteous blather is unconscionable. And I am certainly not happy about the ludicrous hypocrisy of you of all people, calling anyone else closed-minded.

  90. Piffy!

    i like how he takes his toys home and stomps off instead of debating the specific points brought up in the first few posts. This entire thread could have been far, far different if Stewart just addressed some of the basic inacurasies and generalizations.

    Instead, he switched subjects, and insulted those with specific questions. Quite telling.

    i’m glad for this public record of Stewart David’s complete inability to debate very simple points.

    And thanks entop for the numerous links you have provided lately on this issue, in the thread and others. i have found them incredibly useful and informative. You should write one of them letters to the editor about how incredibly false many of Stewart David’s assertions are.

  91. Piffy!

    [b]All of you people hiding behind fake names and pretending that you actually want to have a dialogue is pretty funny. You just want to shout down the people who don’t agree with you. Why won’t you use your real names?[/b]

    Ahh, the old fall-back. After you have refused to answer simple questions, or back up your assertions you attack those who ask the questions. As if my online name makes a lick of difference when i ask you to defend your assertion that locally raised meat is the same as factory farmed meat in terms of ‘carbon footprint.”

    steve shanafelt, who posts under his real name, has taken you to task to a wonderful degree in this thread. you should debate him if your only real issue is “Real Names”.

    http://www.mountainx.com/forums/viewthread/2707/P30/

  92. Piffy!

    [i]Is the Mountain Xpress really not interested in providing a counterpoint from the perspective of local farmers? Are they really only interested in PETA’s perspective that Stewart repeats ad nausea?
    I thought “Local Matters”?[/i]

    [b]I second that concern. The Xpress seems to be content to be Stewart’s unofficial vegan activist newsletter, because they publish his propaganda constantly, but have made little effort to balance his perspective with those of the many people with strong, informed arguments to the contrary. [/b]

    My issue isn’ t that they dont print more letters from non-vegans and the like. My issue is that they allow Stewie to post easily disproved nonsense in his letters, and in this interview. It’s pitiful, to be honest. Like his statement that Small family farms are not sustainable sources of food. For Margarette Williams to let that go is absurd. It’s liek interviewing Chad Nesbitt and letting him say Obama is a mulsum terrorist. It is so obviously, patently false, and yet there it is, in black and white, completely unchallenged by the Agricultural Editor.

  93. entopticon

    I just finished Lierre Keith’s powerful book, The Vegetarian Myth. I strongly recommend it to anyone interested in environmental and food sustainability issues.

    If you are a vegan, this book just might save your life. Lierre is a feminist, environmentalist that was a vegan for two decades, before waking up to the fact that any sustainable food system includes animals. Her book is written with humility, and great compassion for the admirable, but misguided goals of veganism.

    Stewart, if you are really as open-minded as you claim to be, this book would be a great place for you to start.

    Pffy, I think you would really enjoy this book. I differ with Lierre in some ways politically, but her book is amazingly informative, compassionate, and powerful.

  94. Piffy!

    thanks for the tip, entop.

    I haven’t read the whole thing, but have read large sections of it, and many articles referencing it. It’s a great resource that people like stewart will dismiss out-of-hand as ‘propaganda from the meat industry’ because, like much of the information out there (including the UN study he and other PETAphiles misrepresent), it contradicts their dogma which they desperately and irrationally cling to as a strange form of identity politics.

    Too bad, too, since the rational stance is to say that, on average, American should eat far LESS meat, which would be better for them, and better for the land.

    But expecting a PETAphile to use facts and logic is like expecting a Christian Fundamentalist to admit the earth is more than 3000 years old. No matter what facts you place in front of them, they will merely say ‘the devil did it’.

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