Protesters pose at Pack Square

Members of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals gathered at Pack Square Monday afternoon to mark World Vegetarian Week.

Described another way, the protesters covered one nearly nude young woman in fake blood, wrapped her in cellophane and stuck a big sticker across her chest that read “FLESH.”

“It’s a startling sight to remind people that whether it’s a pig or a chicken or a person, flesh is flesh,” PETA spokeswoman Ashley Byrne said as she and a handful of other protesters stood holding “Meat is Murder” signs while Shawn Herbold lay on a Pack Square corner, wrapped and stamped.

Byrne said the demonstration — meant to mimic a typical meat package — was meant to show that all animals are made of flesh and bone and that eating meat is eating a corpse. Byrne urged people to check out to learn more about a “compassionate diet and recipes that cut cruelty and cholesterol.”

Passersby appeared startled by the sight of the packaged person, with a few pausing to take a pamphlet or snap a digital photo.

— Jason Sandford, multimedia editor


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147 thoughts on “Protesters pose at Pack Square

  1. Most of us reject vegetarianism, but we do so compassionately — despite the fact that so long as proponents of meatless eating so distastefully and shrilly try to gross the rest of us out, they will never win.

    Pass the bacon, please.

  2. William P Miller

    Ralph you are a good ol boy, but you are wrong on this. I agree with the protesters. Anyone with a heart who looks closely at the slaughter business will recoil and become vegetarian. Human beings have the heart of God deep within. Let us lean that way and have compassion for all life that has blood coursing through it’s veins. Besides, vegetarian fare is gooooood, as Andy Griffith may put it. Once you get used to not eating dead animal body parts, you will very satisfied with vegetarian fare. Guys, just marry a good cook. :)

  3. Jimbo

    Meat is murder people!

    Tasty succulent murder.

    Pass the A1. I do have to admit that particular package of rump roast on display did look awfully dry and well past its prime. Probably better to package it as potted meat or hash next time.

  4. brebro

    They should get together with the anit-abortion people for an “In your face Gross Off” competition sanctimony, I mean ceremony.

  5. yeah the grossing you out trick never works. and if it does its always temporary. i understand the message, but im not going to listen when its delivered like this.

  6. Bruno

    Mr. Peck is correct, this is not news. But it should be. It’s shameful that the routine, methodical, systematic torture, murder and dismemberment of our fellow earthlings is not news. It’s easier to look the other way.

    If you think the demo was gross, take a look at what you support every time you eat meat, see

  7. Rob Close

    just cuz you don’t agree with their position, doesn’t mean that it isn’t news. we all want a little media coverage when we’re doing a protest, and these people obviously feel strongly about their issue.

    gross? sure, but to them it’s murder.

  8. Tim’s the one that said it was not news… I just said it was gross. ;-)

    But, to expand on that and as has already been mentioned, it’s REALLY stupid from a PR viewpoint. Shock tactics like that won’t change the minds of the vast majority of we meateaters, just make us think the protesters are a) weird and b) crazy.

    Not an effective strategy at all.

  9. veganmama

    some weird crazy vegan i am i didn’t even know there was a such an event…news to me!

    i admit i have some extreme compassion issues, i grew up in a steak & potato household & always was trying to trade my meat for my sisters vegetables.. i don’t want to eat anything that gave birth or that we take its mammary secretions to make food from, i find it disgusting. i am extremely appreciative of my freedom to eat how i please & that there are so many other foods that exist & are accessible to me.

    many people realize their dinner was once alive & are okay with it but there are also people who also just don’t make the connection. this kind of protest i think does effect that crowd. it can be eye opening in a way that they have a “i never thought of it that way” realization. not everything is for everyone & not everything makes sense to everyone (like a pro-lifer with a meal that consists of multiple dead animals surely doesn’t make sense to me.)

    when you feel this strongly about something & it is “World Vegetarian Week” what better time to show it?

  10. Rob Close

    which is why that comment of mine was directed at Tim, Ralph.

    and shock tactics certainly do turn off a lot of people…but i’m wondering if they don’t work on some others…a lot of people are simply ignorant of the process that brings the meat to their table (tho i’m sure you aren’t ralph)

  11. People have accepted killing animals for food (and vice versa) for a couple or three million years now. A few shock tactics probably won’t change that anytime soon.

  12. travelah

    Now this did it! I didn’t have any idea what I was going to prepare for dinner this evening but now I know. I shall start with sauted shrimp served with stuffed mushrooms followed by a fresh green salad. The entree shall be grilled New York Strip, 12 oz., 1 1/2 inches thick, prepared medium rare served with a 2003 St Francis merlot. … meat is good.

  13. Bruno

    Ralph, people have been killing people from the beginning, too. Men have been abusing women, adults have been abusing children, etc. Just because something has been going on forever doesn’t make it right. I think that advocating for the golden rule and against senselesss violence is a good thing. You seem pretty happy with the status quo. Are you nostalgic for slavery? It was common for so many years, too bad those uppity abolitionists spoke out against it!

  14. Bruno

    “As long as there are slaughterhouses, there will be battlefields. Leo Tolstoy

    “For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seed of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love.” Pythagoras

  15. bobaloo

    Look! A naked woman under some plastic covered in fake blood!

    I’ll never eat meat again.

  16. Actually, she was not entirely naked… vegetarians always give you an ersatz solution… probably all the interesting parts were molded from tofu.

  17. John

    Our stomachs produce enzymes specifically to digest meat. That tells me we are “meant” to eat it. We have teeth “meant” to chew it. If the US and a few other countries weren’t so prosperous, vegetarians couldn’t survive. The 3rd world would completely die off without meat, fish and dairy products. How do you reconcile all of that?

  18. Bruno, we’ve been all through this in discussions of vegetarianism before — analogies to slavery do not work, it has nothing to do with eating meat.

    Give me an original reason WHY I should eat my vegetables and I’ll heed it — but my mother never could and she was one mighty smart woman.

    For decades, vegetarians tried the health reasons. That didn’t work, so the last few years has been the ‘compassion passion’ argument. That’s not working either.

    The simple truth is that the majority of us eat meat because we WANT to eat meat.

    If you want to be a vegetarian, fine — that is your right. But it is my right to eat meat. I do not have the right to tell you what to eat and you SURE do not have the right to make fun of MY food.

    End of argument, if there ever was one. Where’s Stewart when he need him, he was much more fun to debate.

    Pass the bacon, please.

  19. Jimbo

    Just more hypocritical zealots with inferiority complexes trying desperately to enforce any non conformist perspective they come across upon other people for the sake of soothing their egos. If it’s not them riding the coat tails of P.E.T.A.’s radical agenda, it will be something else. They’re not even worthy of argument, just more sideshow nonsense for attentions sake. There will always be people like this, especially in Asheville. Somebody’s mommy didn’t give them enough attention as a child.

    I for one am perfectly happy raising, caring for, then slaughtering, prepping and cooking my own livestock. Like everything else in America, these activities have been centralized by big business and all but prohibited in urban areas by homeowners, so forgive me for buying from my local meat market. This would be a stronger country if more people butched up and had to deal with their own basic needs like food themselves. There sure wouldn’t be pathetic attention seeking activists with nothing better to do than stage their latest protest of the month club selection. How are these weenies doing on that counter culture utopian society? We’re still waiting on that one.

  20. older than dirt

    Maybe we should wrap Ralph in clear plastic, covered with salad dressing and see if people will stop eating vegetables

  21. William P Miller

    People around the world eat different dead body parts, depending on their cultural preference. There are still places in the world where human being dead flesh is consumed. In Asia, people often eat dogs and cats and rats. Snails and grasshoppers and frogs in France. Here many people eat dead cow, pig, and sheep flesh, plus baby sheep (lamb) and baby cow (veal). I wonder if Ralph or the other “meat eaters” would like to eat some of those “exotic” creatures in other parts of the world? Dog or cat anyone? To the man who posted this link: Thank you. Also, folks can take a look at: And Real men eat veggies!

  22. travelah

    John, now don’t get all logical with these folks. Some of them might get offended that they can’t chew cud.

  23. “Maybe we should wrap Ralph in clear plastic, covered with salad dressing and see if people will stop eating vegetables”

    Ralph is too old and ornery to be good to eat.

    We need someone younger like Jen Bowen.

  24. Bruno


    You asked for a good reason to go vegetarian. Here are 10:

    Top Ten Reasons To Go Vegetarian

    By Bruce Friedrich, AlterNet. Posted May 19, 2008

    It’s World Vegetarian Week and here’s a few reasons to kick the meat habit.

    Gone are the days when vegetarians were served up a plate of iceberg lettuce and a dull-as-dishwater baked potato. With the growing variety of vegetarian faux-meats like bacon and sausages and an ever-expanding variety of vegetarian cookbooks and restaurants, vegetarianism has taken the world by storm.

    With World Vegetarian Week here, without further ado, are the Top 10 reasons to give vegetarian eating a try, starting now!

    1. Helping Animals Also Helps the Global Poor While there is ample and justified moral indignation about the diversion of 100 million tons of grain for biofuels, more than seven times as much (760 million tons) is fed to farmed animals so that people can eat meat. Is the diversion of crops to our cars a moral issue? Yes, but it’s about one-eighth the issue that meat-eating is. Care about global poverty? Try vegetarianism.

    2. Eating Meat Supports Cruelty to Animals The green pastures and idyllic barnyard scenes of years past are now distant memories. On today’s factory farms, animals are crammed by the thousands into filthy windowless sheds, wire cages, gestation crates, and other confinement systems. These animals will never raise families, root in the soil, build nests, or do anything else that is natural and important to them. They won’t even get to feel the warmth of the sun on their backs or breathe fresh air until the day they are loaded onto trucks bound for slaughter.

    3. Eating Meat Is Bad for the Environment A recent United Nations report entitled Livestock’s Long Shadow concludes that eating meat is “one of the … most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global.” In just one example, eating meat causes almost 40 percent more greenhouse-gas emissions than all the cars, trucks, and planes in the world combined. The report concludes that the meat industry “should be a major policy focus when dealing with problems of land degradation, climate change and air pollution, water shortage and water pollution, and loss of biodiversity.”

    4. Avoid Bird Flu

    The World Health Organization says that if the avian flu virus mutates, it could be caught simply by eating undercooked chicken flesh or eggs, eating food prepared on the same cutting board as infected meat or eggs, or even touching eggshells contaminated with the disease. Other problems with factory farming — from foot-and-mouth to SARS — can be avoided with a general shift to a vegetarian diet.

    5. If You Wouldn’t Eat a Dog, You Shouldn’t Eat a Chicken Several recent studies have shown that chickens are bright animals who are able to solve complex problems, demonstrate self-control, and worry about the future. Chickens are smarter than cats and dogs and even do some things that have not yet been seen in mammals other than primates. Dr. Chris Evans, who studies animal behavior and communication at Macquarie University in Australia, says, “As a trick at conferences, I sometimes list these attributes, without mentioning chickens and people think I’m talking about monkeys.”

    continued at

  25. Hey, William… yes I have eaten snake and water buffalo and probably dog, the latter two during my service in Vietnam.

    What have you eaten for your country?

    To paraphrase another saying, there are no vegetarians in combat — you eat what you can get, when you can get it.

  26. bobaloo


    I’ve eaten dog and cat in Korea, roasted sesame grasshoppers in San Francisco and snail and frog many places.
    I’d try rat if I knew it was raised in a sanitary manner.

    What’s your point?

  27. and William, as to your comment “Real men eat veggies!”

    No… no, we don’t. That I am sure of.

    Sometimes we raise vegetables and feed them to our pigs, then (hat tip to Hank Williams, Jr.) cook ’em in the ground and invite our rowdy friends over.

    but, no, we don’t eat vegetables.

  28. Cheshire

    To bring up a new argument: food allergies.
    Soy is one of the top ten most common food allergies, along with wheat and peanuts. No member of PETA has (to date) been able to give me a soy-free, meat-free menu varied enough to keep me from going crazy from monotony, or from wasting away from malnutrition.
    Do I think the conditions in which most livestock live are kept inhumane? Yes. I’m working on my accuracy with bow and arrow for that reason.

  29. William P Miller

    “To paraphrase another saying, there are no vegetarians in combat—you eat what you can get, when you can get it.” Well Ralph, the Vietnam war happened a long time ago. Is this your justification for consuming dead animal body parts today? If so, it is pretty “lean”.

    Bobaloo, my point is that meat eating is disgusting and cruel. I brought up examples of meat consumption in other parts of the world to make that point. Most meat eaters I know would recoil at the idea of eating a dog or cat.

    Real men eat veggies. Real men only eat what they are willing to personally harvest. Any of you “meat” eaters willing to kill, bleed, dissect an animal? I’m sure there are a few out there, but my bet is that most folks will not do that and only eat meat because of tradition and the convenience of buying it already killed, bled, and dissected in the supermarket. It’s time people really looked at what they are eating, and look at the entire “food” animal business, especially the slaughterhouse end of it.

  30. Shawn

    “Our stomachs produce enzymes specifically to digest meat. That tells me we are “meant” to eat it. We have teeth “meant” to chew it. If the US and a few other countries weren’t so prosperous, vegetarians couldn’t survive. The 3rd world would completely die off without meat, fish and dairy products. How do you reconcile all of that?”

    First of all, there are 15 traits that characterize carnivores of which we share 0. Our stomach pH is 20 times weaker than carnivores. Carnivores’ saliva is acidic, herbivores’ is alkaline and so is humans’. Carnivores have sharp teeth with no grinding molars. Humans have teeth like herbivores. Carnivores also have claws–humans do not. Like humans, herbivores have an intestinal tract that is 10-12 times their body length, whereas carnivores’ intestinal tract is only 3-6 times their body length. (Hello, colon cancer in humans is epidemic).
    The list goes on… If anyone thinks that we are omnivores, omnivores actually more closely resemble carnivores than herbivores. Furthermore, just because we’ve eaten animals’ flesh for hundreds of thousands of years, doesn’t mean we need it. Remember, evolution doesn’t require a long life–just one long enough to reproduce. In fact, because of our meat-laden diet, the average life-span of Americans is decreasing for the first time since the turn of the 20th century (heart disease, cancer, diabetes, stroke, etc…)
    As far as starvation in 3rd world countries, if the United States didn’t feed 70% of what it grows to livestock for Americans to eat, we could solve world-hunger many times over (provided political problems did not interfere with distribution). Our meat-centered diet is responsible for global warming, water pollution and deforestation. Regardless of what people in 3rd world countries require to survive, we are fortunate to live in a country that enables to live in a socially-responsible way. A vegetarian diet does nothing but improve the well-being of the planet and the health of humans the whole world over.

  31. Lisa G. Leming

    “Our stomachs produce enzymes specifically to digest meat. That tells me we are “meant” to eat it. We have teeth “meant” to chew it. If the US and a few other countries weren’t so prosperous, vegetarians couldn’t survive. The 3rd world would completely die off without meat, fish and dairy products. How do you reconcile all of that?”

    Actually, our closest relatives are monkeys and apes who thrive on a vegan diet (no dairy, eggs or meat) with the occasional insect. We do not have the “intestinal fortitude” (that is long enough intestines to digests meat, that is process the poisons out as do true carnivores and omnivores). That said, I have 3 dogs and a cat who positively thrive on a vegetarian diet and have never been healthier, after years of sickness and astronomical vet bills from commercial pet food (my cat’s food has taurine added, a synthetic version which is added to all cat food, anyway). The oldest living dog btw, is a 27 year old vegan sheltie, as opposed to the 1 to 3 year lifespans of wolves and other wild carnivores.

    The latest and most comprehensive study to date on Nutrition is “The China Study” and it confirms the superiority of diets low in (or minus) animal products. The top three killers in the US are heart disease, cancer and medical mishaps (number three at 250,000 a year, including 106,000 persons a year who die from side effect of dangerous pharmacueticals tested on animals and declared “safe” by the FDA.) The top two are mainly diet related (meat and dairy).

    As far as environment and world hunger, on November 19 of 2006, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) issued a report stating that the livestock business generates more greenhouse gas emissions than all forms of transportation (cars, trucks, ships and planes) in the world combined. (The co-winner of the Nobel Peace prize with Al Gore, pleaded in fact, for a serious reduction in meat consumption). Approximately one third of the earth’s land surface is used to graze or grow feed for livestock and 70% of former Amazon rain forests have been burned or cut down for pasture. In the midst of world starvation and water shortages, 67% of US grain in this country is used to feed livestock, 70% of Africa’s grain is shipped to Europe (to feed livestock) and farm animals consume one half of the earth’s water supply.

    This is to say nothing of the unspeakable horror which take place on factory farms for both people and animals (who often taking their rage out on helpless animals as opposed to a system which treats them like disposable garbage, not unlike the animals they slaughter). Animals being transported from farms to stock yards and slaughter houses may freeze to the walls or the floor or die of heat and suffocation in unventilated trucks. They may legally be deprived of water for up to 36 hours while being transported. Animals too weak to walk on or off a live stock transport are fork lifted or dragged by chains to slaughter. Slaughter house atrocities documented by undercover workers include: shoving and slamming animals against walls and floors who have been stunned and paralyzed from the neck down before slaughter; poking out eyes; sending still conscious animals through the meat processing to be dismembered alive and lowering still conscious animals into boiling in vats to process their hides.

    A publicity stunt like this is not meant to gain converts but to encourage them to think about it, perhaps take a pamphlet or visit a website, read a book (like Fast Food Nation or Dominion, A Call to Mercy by Matthew Sculley). I believe there are alot of people with mixed conservative and liberal values in this world who simply love animals and people and hate to see exploitation of either. I for one am happy some individual took the chance to give me a “shocking” pamphlet years ago at a festival.

  32. lisette

    Also, A Sacred Duty produced by the Jewish Vegetarians of North American, seriously addresses environmental damage, pollution, health problems and factory farming as well as spiritual and moral issues. The film can be watch in it’s entirety on the site or even pasted onto your own web page. Copies of the film are free from
    Though it does contain some shocking and disturbing footage, it is impossible to explore the truth of this subject if you are not even willing to look at 10 or 15 minutes in the lives of these animals. Imagine how it would be to live and work there!

    Vegweb is a good recipe source and there a number of inexpensive cook books (The Big Book of Vegetarian, How Everything Vegan, Garden of Vegan) available on Amazon for under 10 dollars used. My personal fav “staple” is tempeh, slice it and fry it in olive oil, apple vinigar, soy sauce and honey (w/onions and peppers) or your favorite bbq sauce. There are also black bean burgers, mushroom and nut burgers and other substitutes like that. Rice milk or nut milk is a very good substitute for milk or soy milk. Hope this helps.

  33. You guys really need to come up with another argument other than ‘cruelty.’ It’s not working. Most of us are still going to eat animals.

    Over the decades, vegetarians have tried heath, then ‘save the poor animals’ — none of those rationales have struck a cord.

    so, please, instead of continually regurgitating the above ineffective points, come up with some original ones!

    but I do love these ‘vegetarian’ threads, they just go on and on and around and around and we still eat meat.

  34. John

    interesting propaganda to my still valid points. Our stomachs do produce meat digesting enzymes no matter how much you don’t like it. Ask an internal medicine doctor who’s not a meat protester. We have teeth that are designed to eat both meat and veggies. Global Warming has nothing to do with either of those things. It shows me what your real agenda is. Also, monkeys eat meat every chance they get. Chimps eat each other! The point regarding a person’s desire to eat meat and not butcher it is just and indication of our prosperity and allowing others to do our dirty work. It has nothing to do with our digestive track and anatomy. You should embrace being a human in a prosperous civilization and not hate yourself for it.

  35. Jimbo

    An earlier assumption was put out that people would go vegan if they had to prep their own meat. This is completely flawed.

    Let me give you a scenario. Pick any random American out of the suburbs and lock them up on a small farm. On that farm you have corn, cucumbers, carrots, and lettuce growing. You’ve also got a few breeding and milking cows, pigs, and chickens.

    You’re locked on this farm for 3 years with no visitors. Now, how many people do you really expect are going to stick to a vegetarian diet. I’m not saying that someone couldn’t do it. They could take up eating dirt too. I’m just saying that sooner or later somebody’s gettin eaten. Case closed. Deal with it.

  36. tatuaje

    Umm, Ralph? It seems to me that Shawn and Lisa both used that pesky little thing called SCIENCE…..I’m enjoying following this thread, but you need to brush up on your debate skills a bit…

    “The simple truth is that the majority of us eat meat because we WANT to eat meat.”

    And it’s well within your right to drive a hummer, build a McMansion on a ridgetop and destroy your neighbors’ water supply, to buy tennis shoes made by 11 year old factory workers, etc, etc, etc….does that mean you should?

    No one is perfect…a lot of us have a long way to go on being more socially conscious. But the attitude of “I’ll do whatever the hell I want no matter how it affects my neighbors, locally OR globally.” is not a great way to start. Some might even venture as far to say that this particular attitude would be immoral, unethical, and unchristian…

  37. good points, Jimbo…

    I grew up on a farm … we had cows and chickens and pigs and we ATE cows and chickens and pigs and the occasional squirrel or rabbit. … and fish… and, yeah, maters and taters and corn on the cob and greens and greasy beans by the bushel. … we had a balanced diet. That’s more than vegetarians can EVER say.

    Oh yeah, and I tried ‘possum ONCE… that paid enough tribute to mah Southern rural heritage, I don’t got to do it again.

  38. John

    To set the record straight. Humans could be better stewards of their environment no doubt. Hopefully, we will make strides in that direction. However, saying we shouldn’t eat meat and that we aren’t “meant” to are two very different things. One may be valid, but the other is just denying reality.

    No one could answer my 3rd world point. The world going veggie would affect them the most and not in a good way. Are you willing to sacrifice them to resolve your meat issue? A life is a life right?

  39. tatuaje, this is not socially conscious, it’s survival. Our bodies ask most of us to eat meat to survive, so we eat meat.

    vegetarians, in general, are pretty arrogant and humorless.

    but, that’s okay, we meat eaters will welcome you back to humanity anytime you like. It is no longer necessary to consume cheeseburgers in the closet, come out into the light and join us!

    and, dang it!, SMILE occasionally!

  40. lisette


    What “ineffective point” (world hunger, global warming, environmental destruction, mutilation and torture of animals, abuse of agribusiness workers, or the number one and two causes of death in the country) are you referring to? (As if pointless cruelty is not enough of an issue or an incentive for you to take seriously). Of course to me, even without all of the other issues, the unnecessary cruelty and murder of animals is the central moral issue. I find people like you to be somewhat of a paradox though, pretending to be some scrappy little minority standing up for their “rights” at the same time you are pretending to “shocked” by the merest suggestion that big macs don’t just fall off trees are that animals might not just trot happily to slaughter after a few years of blissful grazing (or that it even matters at all.)
    Surely a person wrapped in saran wrap is not enough to upset you (or people who have the affrontery to call attention amidst the millions of fast food and steak advertisements you will see this year). Also, please speak for yourself as in your constant use of “we”. The vast majority of people exposed to images and films of factory farming are deeply effected and upset by it on some level. Most people have made some effort to cut down on meat and animal products. Vegetarianism is a gradual process for most people, as we weren’t raised that way.

  41. Trey

    This debate is like any other pointless debate…… politics, religion, etc…..

    Very few people will change their minds and join the other side of the argument.

    What’s funny to me though, is the one common thing in most of these “socially moral type” debates. Which is the silly notion that things will get better if “people would just be better”.
    If people would stop driving SUVs, we will stop global warming…..
    If people would stop building huge houses on mountaintops, there would be plenty of water for everyone…..
    If people would stop buying Nike’s, children wouldn’t have to work in sweatshops……

    The thing is… people will not change. They will not “be better”. If history has shown us anything it has shown that people WILL NOT CHANGE. For the most part we are selfish, arrogant, thoughtless, wasteful, needy, cruel, ignorant, lazy creatures.

    So what’s the real problem here???? That’s right, people.

    So…. you wanna stop people from eating meat, voting republican, being a wiccan….. it ain’t gonna happen.

    You really want to make a change???? STOP having children…… people are the real problem.

  42. Robert

    I personally believe that those concerned about their food intake concentrate on LOCAL sources for whatever they eat. This is as important as the issues the PETAphiles push, if not more. Most Americans eat far too much, period.
    Personally, I know vegetarians who eat a lot of unhealthy, processed food, and omnivores who have a very balanced diet. Moderation is more important to most people’s body-chemistry than ideology and zealotry, on either ‘side’ of this debate.
    It appears to me that people are more turned-off by the holier-than-though attitude of these Vegetarian-type activists than they are by the idea of a good vegan/vegetarian meal.
    You know, Food Not Bombs has been serving good vegan/veggie meals downtown for free for years in Asheville, and I have never seen them doing any kind of ridiculousness like this particular protest. Maybe try that approach?
    Why do these folks posting on this blog feel the need to push their holier-than-though food-police agenda on others? This bothers me more than the idea of some beans and rice, for sure. Maybe just accept your own choices for yourself instead of trying to force everyone to think and act exactly as you do?
    Also, William P Miller sure sounds a lot like Nam Vet, eh?

  43. well, actually, you have a very excellent point, Trey…

    all the people who want to save the whales, convert us to eating nuts and berries, and ride bicycles instead of cars are all going against human nature.

    give us a solution that SOLVES all these problems instead of asking us to sacrifice — most people won’t. Sacrificing/conservation is only a short-term, stopgap … it does nothing to relieve the long range problems of continued population growth.

  44. lisette


    None of your “points” make any sense to me, including whatever your third point is. Global warming is a fact and the fact is that agribusiness contributes up to 50% more than all modes of transportation combined. I did not make this up. It is from a United Nations Study that came out in late 2006. The other figures are also correct as far as the third world, yes we are depriving them of water and food by eating meat. The same acreage which can support enough meat to feed to people can feed 60 people by growing vegetables. Also, apes and chimps are vegans eating primarily fruit with occasional insects, this is also a fact. However if there is some strange tribe of cannibal chimps out there, perhaps you should contact Jane Goodall and alert her, I am on her mailing list and I don’t think she knows about them.

    As far as your wording of “should” and “meant” what does it matter? Personally I don’t think we should nor do I think we were meant to. Did I always think that? Was I immoral before I became a vegetarian? Was I immoral when I still ate fish and dairy and eggs? It’s really not about labels, it’s about animals and how we are connected to them. Also, I find it strange that people who often critisize activists for having “no sense of humor” are usually the same ones who jump on the bandwagon of derision when they do “fun” things like wrap themselves in cellophane. Then, it is neither serious nor humorless but silly and ineffective and even “shocking”. You know, there are just so many “fun” ways to make a case for massive scale animal torture. If you really do not care, just drop it and stop critisizing. Believe it or not, a lot of people still don’t have the facts they need to make an educated decision about their diet. I would venture to say most people don’t.

  45. John

    Dang Trey .. don’t hold back so much!

    Unfortunately, you are right. Regardless or race, creed or religion, human nature of the masses is the real point. As a group, we don’t play nice and never have. Population is increasing, real estate has run out and narcissism is out of control. Those factors don’t bode well for us as a species.

    Some virus or genetic manipulation run a muck will prob cull our heard long before climate change. The planet is not in peril, we are and there’s prob not much anybody will/can do about it.

  46. Robert

    Here here, trey!!

    I am so glad someone brought up the ‘progress’ concept.

    “The thing is… people will not change. They will not “be better”. If history has shown us anything it has shown that people WILL NOT CHANGE. For the most part we are selfish, arrogant, thoughtless, wasteful, needy, cruel, ignorant, lazy creatures.”

    It is a very modern, Western (mainly Modern American) concept to believe that people can ‘evolve’ on a moral level. There is not a shred of tangible proof of this, obviously. The fact that people even use the term ‘evolve’, as in Darwinian, to describe something as intangible as morals shows their disconnect from reality in this cushy Wetsern society we have.

    There is a fun thread here and here discussing this very same thing.

    It is the holier-than-though, we-must-evolve types who believe in the Disney-fied-American-History version that things like slavery, genocide, spousal abuse, starvation, etc etc etc dont exist anymore because they dont see it in their own backyard. This leads them to believe that they can dictate morality. Sounds a lot like cultural fascism to me.

    With that said, I know plenty of vegetarians who are content to be veggie, FOR THEIR OWN REASONS, whatever they may be, and feel no need whatsoever to espouse moral superiority over people who CHOOSE something different for themselves.

  47. Robert

    lisette, at al.

    Your insistence upon combining ‘Factory Farms’ and ‘Meat’ belies your complete disconnect from the difference between the two. Not eating Factory Farm Meat, and not eating meat are two completely different issues. Go visit a local farm in our area and you will find nothing similar to a factory farm.
    The fact that you could even make the comparison makes me think you are hopelessly urban, and have never actually left the pavement.

    The insistence upon simplifying the issue into black and white belies a simplistic world-view where your limited experiences attempt to dictate to others how they should live. Do you know how many animals died to deliver your “Cruelty-free” vegetarian meal to you? The diesel-fuel and tractor trailers? The roadkill on the highways? The hundreds of thousands of acres of forestland and wildlife habitat destroyed to make room for wheat, corn and soy?

    Please, eat what you want, but dont try to tell me your choices are somehow ‘better’ than someone else.

    There is no escaping the complicity in an entire system that is going to crash. We are all guilty. Car drivers and walkers, Democrats and Republicans, Vegans who buy food at the store, and fat people who drive to Wendy’s. Get over it and enjoy your life while you still have it.

  48. lisette


    Your attitude seems seriously pessimistic bordering on fatalistic. Not only do you not wish to improve yourself or your environment, you are seriously irritated and concerned that others are attempting to (and so dismiss it with a simplistic, “who cares, we’re all going to die anyway”) This is the answer? I hate to see where the human race would be if every one took this attitude. Are you by any chance 14? You remind me of my daughter at that age (world weary). Yes, the human race has improved, anyone who does not think that needs to bone up on history! We no longer hold mass crucifixtions, boil people in oil or hang children for stealing bread. Women can vote, life moves on. Really, for heavens’ sake!

    However, this “simplistic” attitude is far from admirable, sensible or “realistic”. Factory farming is the main issue amongst activists because it is by far the most cruel and by far the most common (over 90 percent). Therefore, when addressing this issue, it simplifies it somewhat to assume that your average person is eating factory farmed meat. However, to assume that we will all be stampeding back to the family farm or that this is anymore sustainable is also unrealistic if not more so. Real estate is expensive, grazing is hard on the land and uses valuable resources. Also, (as I have stated before) 70 percent of the grain in this country is used to feed livestock. As I said in a previous post, 70 percent of the Amazon forests have been cut or burned down for pasture or to grow grain and soy for livestock. I certainly don’t agree that most of our fruit should come from Central America or that most of our lettuce and vegetables should come from the Central Valley, however this is a whole nuther issue. I do buy organic produce.

    It is really not all that complicated though, either we start living in harmony with nature and the earth, or we will pay the price. There is nothing I have stated so far that I haven’t researched or that was not in response to someone else’s post. Also, this is a subject which gets very little air time as compared with the seemingly daunting prospect of doing without cars in a country with no side walks, inefficient public transportation and otherwise unwalkable cities. Yet, I never hear the end of these subjects. Compared to that, cutting down on animal products seems fairy simple and easy.

    Part of enjoying life is wanting that joy and happiness for others, including animals who are suffering. I don’t believe that you’re blithe assumption that because you don’t care, nobody else does or should is correct. It is certainly unkind and counterproductive. Most people do care for animals and don’t want to see them suffer. They are shocked when confronted with the facts. In other words, it’s not all about you.

  49. Robert:

    I think you are on to something about William P Miller being Nam Vet. Pretty soon will have a post stating that the dairy industry does not injure animals, or that socialist Yankees will force us to eat meat.

  50. travelah

    lisette, part of the joy of life is enjoying a wonderfully prepared Porterhouse, grilled to perfection … well, thats joy in my household. Face it, this is not a battle you are going to win. Mankind is not going to kowtow to PETAphiles (thanks Robert!) and the seeders and give up a great helping of medium rare choice steak and the occasional burger …… I got steak, burgers, ham sandwiches and bratwurst on my mind … there should be a song :) Why don’t you focus on what you put in your mouth and stop attempting to vainly dictate and subjugate the desires of others.

  51. Trey

    lisette…. you’re 14 year old had it right.

    Now do your job as a parent and drive the common sense out of her head.

    Fill her full of Horatio Algeristic fairy tale views of the world so she can spend the rest of her life trying to figure out where she went wrong…. why she can’t attain this wonderful, perfect life she has been told she will have…. better yet deserves.

    And it goes on and on……..

  52. lisette


    I am not sure what you are trying to say, but if it is that we should not strive to improve our lives and the world and have compassion for (especially) the helpless and the voiceless, then that to me is giving up. Hope is a very powerful thing. I think it’s hard for young people to understand these days, many have become jaded by “the system”, including the government and most of the mainstream media, which is to me is simply an extension of corporations and whatever they are selling. However slow, noncooperation, peaceful protests, etc are very powerful. One reason why activists may seem to hammer their point a bit is that like I said before, these issues get almost no air time. They are practically underground and it’s just tragic. I guarantee, for every annoying protester who makes the news, there are thousands of politely worded letters to Congressmen, the media and others begging for them to focus on animals, just a bit.

    I am very proud of young people who try to make a difference by helping animals. It’s really not about guilt or labels, it’s about the animals. Unfortunately, they suffer no matter who eats them or how good a citizen they are. For them, the result is the same. Also, once you bond emotionally with the idea that they aren’t any different than your beloved dog, then it’s hard to “accept” that “this is the way it is”.

  53. Daniel

    Tatuaje, Shawn and Lisa aren’t using a pesky little thing called SCIENCE, they’re using an annoying little thing called PSEUDOSCIENCE. Humans aren’t naturally carnivorous, of course; but we’re also not naturally herbivorous. We’ve got molar teeth for plants, sure, but we also have canine teeth for animals. We’re omnivorous, and like many other omnivores (cockroaches, rats, coyotes, crows, raccoons), it makes us extremely adaptable to a variety of habitats.

    This article gives an overview of the *real* science behind our digestive systems: It’s definitely worth a read for everyone.

    And of course real men eat vegetables. Real men eat meat. Real men eat fungus. Men confident in their sexuality eat whatever they want and don’t get frightened of what other people will think if they’re seen eating quiche or tofu or, for that matter, a strip steak. Your testes don’t give a fig what you eat, as long as you don’t OD on the progesterone pills.

    I was vegetarian for 20 years. I stopped about a year ago (coincidentally about a month after I started teaching–this is a hard dang job). I’m a great cook, and my wife is a great cook, and I’m of course much better at cooking vegetarian meals than meaty meals, given my experience; it’s completely untrue for me that a vegetarian diet is more satisfying than a meaty one. I’ve not looked back once since returning meat to my plate: I feel better, more energetic, and more satisfied with a chunk of animal protein in my belly. I try to buy humanely raised meat when I can, but I don’t always do so.

    We all make compromises. That’s the nature of being human.


  54. William P Miller

    Who is “nam vet”? If that person is opposed to the slaughterhouse crueltry that is the elephant in the parlor of “meat” eaters, then he/she is OK with me.

    I am not a moralist. If y’all just think about it, the idea of eating dead animal flesh is cruel, and it is disgusting. Get real. THINK about your actions. How many of you “meat” eaters would actually kill, bleed, then dissect your “kill”? That is where the rubber meets the road.

    Personally, I will not kill a pig or a cow or a sheep. I love animals and just would not do it. That is the primary reason I will not eat them. I do not enjoy pointing this out, as I believe a person should do as they will, in the main. But the point is clear. THINK about what you are eating, whether it is “local” or not makes no difference. The crueltry is the key.

    Real men eat veggies. And real women eat veggies. Be good, as ET once said. Walk the talk y’all.

  55. lisette


    I am so tired of hearing about rich, white victimization. If it’s not Obama and his secret plan to take over the country with his Muslim, black nationalist agenda, then it’s “PETAphiles” who “subjegating your desires” or message board postings which “dictate to you”. You are paranoid. Do you realize that blacks are a minority and PETA is an even tinier minority? Their entire budget for the year wouldn’t even cover the overpriced ($37.00 a pop) freeze dried dinners from Haliburton for Bush’s holy war.

    Please, you don’t qualify for victim status here. That clearly belongs to the “occasional hamburger” and “porterhouse steak” who spends most of her time chained to her stall or up to her knees in mud and excrement in some God forsaken feedlot behind a barbed wire fence. She is perhaps producing 6 gallons of milk per day (thanks to Monsanto, BGH and a number of dead, male calves from her artificial inseminations) so as not to subjugate your other desires. She is force fed several times a day a combination of grain, sawdust, restaurant grease and refuse from slaughterhouses (unfit even for hotdogs). I believe (as she is dragged to slaughter in chains because her bones have broken due to malnutrition and overmilking) she would be rather surprised to know that you are feeling rather put upon and sorry for yourself for having to think about her (or think at all).

  56. Cheshire

    Lisette: Thanks for answering my point (you seem to be the only one who caught it) but unfortunately tempeh IS soy. My argument still stands: take soy out of the equation and you can’t really go vegan and be healthy.

    I agree with you in so far as the need to get away from the cruelty of the way most slaughtered animals are kept, HOWEVER: just because an animal is raised for slaughter doesn’t equal inhumane treatment, nor does it mean that animal had edible crops grown just for it. Free-range, well-treated animals are becoming more and more popular as the organic movement picks up steam. A perfect example is in our own county: Warren Wilson College. They raise cattle (grass-fed) with the intent to slaughter.

    Someone else brought up the point that looking locally is the way to go. Well said!

  57. Cheshire

    I had to add, though…as far as the pack square protest display intent of making people realize the “horror” of meat…

    all it did was make me hungry.

  58. lisette


    Well, I don’t think you get off that easily, with a blanket statement like that. I personally have known one person in my entire life whose had a soy allergy (and she was allergic to just about everything, including dust, car fumes and the computer) and I’ve known hundreds of vegetarians and vegans because I spent 20 years in a vegetarian church. I just don’t think it’s the big bugaboo (soy) that alot of people (Sally Fallon of the Weston Price institute for example). She has an extreme pro-organic meat and raw milk agenda and feels it’s necessary to bash or make up data about soy at every available opportunity. It really flies in the face of every other nutritional study. There are lots of alternatives including other kinds of beans. Most of the fake meat is processed soy, but there are also nut burgers and mushroom burgers. Because I have kids I use meat subs, but I’m leaning more towards tempeh lately and I don’t drink soy milk.

    I understand that organic, grass fed cows are better treated than factory farmed animals. However, that does open up some new problems for “compassionately raised” animals? How do you kill your pet cow or pig? I had chickens once, they followed me around like dogs and sat on my lap every opportunity. I raised them in my kitchen. There is a certain desensitizing that happens, which is why many people or very anxious to “get off the farm” and “have someone else do it”. The system has degraded itself into such a mess of undocumented workers and abuse that these “farms” are more like concentration camps. A recent raid of a pig farm in Iowa found most of the workers to be illegal. A meth lab was being operated within the facility and workers complained about being blind folded and hit with meat hooks. You can imagine how the animals were treated. None of the supervisors or owners of the plant has been charged, although most of the workers are being deported or serving jail time.

    There are many instances of children of farmers who refuse to eat meat (k.d. Lang was raised on a cattle ranch in Canada). My own grandparents raised sheep and cattle and killed a lamb every time we came for a visit.

  59. Robert

    “As far as starvation in 3rd world countries, if the United States didn’t feed 70% of what it grows to livestock for Americans to eat, we could solve world-hunger many times over (provided political problems did not interfere with distribution)”

    Again, this is information taken out of context to serve PETA’s own politcol agenda, just like the WHO study on ‘vegetarianism’. There is already enough food produced in the world to feed all the ‘starving people’ tenfold. First-world governments hoard food stores for their own political ends, often opting to destroy silos of grain rather than give them to people in need because, unfortunately, that’s how global politics operate. We could ‘end’ hunger by merely distributing what we currently have, without anyone having to change their own personal food consumption habits. So the above quoted point is not entirely truthful.
    While it’s true that the factory farming practices outlined in most of the above mentioned websites are outrageous and cruel, this is not the only option for meat eaters. As Chesire states, as more people funnel their resources into sustainable agricultural practices (multiple examples can be found in the surrounding Asheville area) these sustainable options will continue to grow. It is the kind of emotion-based hand-wringing of groups like PETA who sensationalize the issue into simplistic Black and White and do a disservice to level-headed, balanced information, clouding the issue as much as it is McDonald’s and Burger King (burger king by the way, is heartily endorsed by PETA now that they carry a ‘veggie’-burger’ produced with mono-culture soy and corn syrup, both GMO).
    To say that no one should eat any meat is like saying everybody should eat meat.
    Perhaps much of the reaction from the vegetarians on this blog are in response to incitement by trolls like Ralph Roberts, but that does not excuse you from stating half-truths and outright misinformation in trying to give yourself the moral high ground. Please do more research, independent research that doesnt come straight from PETA, and then make an educated decision for yourself.
    This brings me to my next point. I searched all over the web trying to find info about this WHO study endorsing vegetarianism. You know what I found? Nothing. Beyond the pages and pages of references to this study through PETA-like websites, (which distort the truth to suite their own ends) not one actual reference to the benefits of gobal vegetarianism could be found on the WHO website. In fact, the report sited actually states that people in third world countries, in order to improve their over-all health need “to increase the consumption
    of fruits and vegetables, to increase the consumption of fish and to alter the types of fats and oils as well as the amount of sugars.” That’s it. Nowhere does it recommend people not eat meat. In fact, the vague recommendations they do make are to lean red meat, fish, fermented grains and fresh fruits and vegetables. There is reference to diets high in red meat and preserved (canned) intake that may imply certain health issues, but nowhere does it say to completely do away with red meat consumption.(“However, vegetarian diets per se need not be healthful”)
    ( The main point is to cut down on excessive fat and sugar consumption, and to ALTER the types of fats consumed, so that people aren’t living on bread and sugar fried in cotton-seed oil. They are promoting a balanced diet. Imagine that.

    In addition, this point shows the amount of hand-wringing and guilty-conscious, morality-based activism that turns people off. Lots of vegetarians go about their daily life without making the kind of outrageous comparisons some of the above folks employ in trying to get everyone to think like them. If you dont eat meat, or any animal products, good for you, if it makes your body feel better. But dont distort the facts to try and make yourself somehow ‘better’ than the guy eating a burger right next to you. Especially if that burger came from a small farm, with lettuce grown across the street, and a bun prepared by the bakery down the block.

  60. lisette


    Please, you just don’t qualify for victim status here. That clearly belongs to the “occasional hamburger” and “porterhouse steak” who spends most of her time chained to her stall or up to her knees in mud and excrement in some God forsaken feedlot behind a barbed wire fence. She is perhaps producing 6 gallons of milk per day (thanks to Monsanto, BGH and a number of dead, male calves from her artificial inseminations) so as not to subjugate your other desires. She is force fed several times a day a combination of grain, sawdust, restaurant grease and refuse from slaughterhouses (unfit even for hotdogs). I believe (as she is dragged to slaughter in chains because her bones have broken due to malnutrition and overmilking) she would be rather surprised to know that you are feeling rather put upon and sorry for yourself for having to think about her (or think at all).


    That’s a pretty blanket statement. I personally have known one person in my entire life whose had a soy allergy (and she was allergic to just about everything, including dust, car fumes and the computer) and I’ve known hundreds of vegetarians and vegans because I spent 20 years in a vegetarian church. I just don’t think it’s the big bugaboo (soy) that alot of people (Sally Fallon of the Weston Price institute for example). She has an extreme pro-organic meat and raw milk agenda and feels it’s necessary to bash or make up data about soy at every available opportunity. It really flies in the face of every other nutritional study. There are lots of alternatives including other kinds of beans. Most of the fake meat is processed soy, but there are also nutburgers and mushroom burgers. Because I have kids I use meat subs, but I’m leaning more towards tempeh lately and I don’t drink soy milk.

    I understand that organic, grass fed cows are better treated than factory farmed animals. However, that does open up some new problems for “compassionately raised” animals? How do you kill your pet cow or pig? I had chickens once, they followed me around like dogs and sat on my lap every opportunity. I raised them in my kitchen. There is a certain desensitizing that happens, which is why many people or very anxious to “get off the farm” and “have someone else do it”. The system has degraded itself into such a mess of undocumented workers and abuse, these “farms” are more like concentration camps. A recent shut down of a pig farm in Iowa found most of the workers to be illegal, a meth lab being operated within the facility and workers complaining about being blind folded and hit with meat hooks. You can imagine how the animals were treated. None of the supervisors or owners of the plant has been charged, although most of the workers are being deported or serving jail time.

    There are many instances of children of farmers who refuse to eat meat (k.d. Lang was raised on a cattle ranch in Canada). My own grandparents raised sheep and cattle and killed a lamb every time we came for a visit.

  61. robert


    You prove my above point quite well by obsessing over examples of factory farms.

    Yes, factory farm practices are horribly inhumane, in many of the worst examples. Way to focus on the worst possible example instead of achievable solutions.

    The same could be said of Factory Farm raised Corn, Wheat and Soy.

    Have you ever visited the farms where your beans and grains come from? You would be shocked into being a breatharian.

    Not eating meat does not make you a better person. Not one bit.

    Please do what you want, but tone the righteous sanctimony down to zero.

  62. travelah

    Now, lisette, sweety, (got that from Obama, he calls everybody sweety) I am far from a victim. I am the perpetrator of the meat eating crime. I’ve killed it, cut it, broiled it, grilled it and eaten it, even had it with a lime and as for the plate it’s on, well, I’ve licked’m. Me a victim? say it isnt so.

  63. to all my vegetarian friends…

    if you live well, help others, and utilized the talents God gave you for the betterment of us all, I do not care what you eat and you should return the same love to me…

    for here is what I had for lunch (as the first meal on our new stove):,406.0.html

    and, bless you my children, but it WAS quite DELICIOUS.

  64. Daniel

    There’s a rather stunning silence on the issue of whether humans are naturally vegetarians. Hmm.

    Ralph, unfortunately, the argument that you don’t judge their eating habits so they shouldn’t judge yours starts off assuming that you’re right. I’m willing to bet that you DO judge the eating habits of people when you believe they’re eating moral subjects (that is, beings who have intrinsic rights). Or do you think that Jeffrey Dahmer ought to have been left alone?

    The difference between you and Lisette isn’t that she’s judgmental and you’re not: you’re both judgmental. The difference is that you consider different beings worthy of moral consideration.

    You think that babies, for example, deserve moral defense, and therefore people shouldn’t just be left alone to eat babies, but that cows don’t deserve moral defense, and so people should be left alone to eat cows.

    Lisette believes that cows deserve moral defense, and people shouldn’t be left alone to eat cows, but that spinach leaves don’t deserve moral defense, and so people should be left alone to eat cows.

    (Jainists, incidentally, believe that spinach leaves deserve moral defense; I don’t know whether they believe people should be left alone to eat spinach).

    If you can’t resolve the question of whether cows have rights, you can’t just agree to disagree. If cows have rights, what you and I are doing is reprehensible. If they don’t, then it’s no more than a matter of preference.

    At the same time, arguments that meat is cruel and disgusting utterly fail to convince. Those are matters of opinion, unsupported by rational argument. Indeed, there’s an excellent case to be made that eating meat isn’t cruel, if we’re defining cruelty as deliberately-inflicted suffering. In most cases (with notable exceptions), suffering is a side-effect of meat production, not its aim. Meat eaters are often indifferent to suffering, but rarely take pleasure in it.


  65. Daniel, I agree with the Jainists about spinach.

    But, basically, food is food — too many people in this thread don’t understand that.

    You eat to survive. Simple.

  66. So on one side we have the preachers preaching, and on the other we have Ralph flame baiting. Am I right?

    Good to see I don’t need to waste my time with this thread.

  67. Cheshire

    You keep missing several things. First off, Tempeh, by definition, IS soy.
    “tempeh |?temp?| noun
    an Indonesian dish made by deep-frying fermented soybeans.
    ORIGIN from Indonesian tempe.” (apple’s dictionary)

    As to the commonality of soy allergies: It’s one of the top eight food allergies. I don’t know this person you referenced, but since you challenged the validity, here’s some URL’s to check out.
    the food allergy and anaphylaxis network
    I could go on, but I think three is enough for now.
    As the the difficulty of avoiding soy, start checking labels. You will be dumbfounded at how many foods contain soy. (Vegetable oil is soybean oil, fyi.)

    You’ve met one person allergic to soy and know hundreds of vegetarians through your vegetarian church…that’s like looking for penguins at the north pole.
    How do I kill a pet cow/chicken/pig and eat it? With an axe. Some people prefer a gun. After that, fire is involved. I’m not trying to be callous, just bare-bones realistic. Quicker is better.

    I’m not saying any one dietary preference is right or wrong for the individual that chooses it. I do, however, take issue when random strangers try to dictate what I should eat. I’ve had people from PETA try to force me out of a common-use dormitory kitchen (quite a few years ago) because I was cooking meat, using my own cooking utensils, pots, pans, and dinnerware.

    If you are vegetarian, vegan, omnivore, carnivore…whatever: good for you. I won’t screw with your food if don’t screw with mine.

  68. William P Miller

    Thank you Daniel for such a well-spoken post. I can’t add to it because you have said it so well.

    Ralph, I like most of your posts, but on this subject you are way off. THINK about what you eat and how it got on your plate. I feel you have a good heart. EXPAND that heart to all other warm blooded mammals, will you try?

    Meat is murder. Real men and women do eat veggies, fruits, grains, nuts, and so forth. Don;’t reward the cruel “meat” industry by eat dead animal body parts. As ET was fond of saying, “beeeee gooood”.

  69. ShawnMom

    One of the protestors (or is that pack of meat?) is my daughter.

    While I myself am a gigantic hypocrite and eat meat – I’m still proud of the lengths she is willing to go through to stand by her beliefs.

    Yes, sometimes it all gets to be a little graphic – but then again – who or why would people pay attention otherwise? If nothing else – at least they fight for the animals to be slaughtered humanely. Without organizations like PETA – KFC would still be throwing chickens against the walls. Maybe they still do – but I’m sure there’s a lot less of it going on.

    I love animals and hate to see them suffer. But yes – I still believe that people are meant to eat meat. Why else do we have canines (i.e. “eye teeth”)?

    But ya know – we all have to do what we feel is right. This is what they feel passionate about and it sure beats the hell out of people just sitting by and doing nothing.

    And I mean come on – have you ever seen a more beautiful “piece of meat” than Shawn? lol

  70. Bruno


    I didn’t realize that you were also against free speech.

    RE: I won’t screw with your food if you don’t screw with mine:

    If cannibals stronger than you came to Asheville and wanted to eat you, you’d be eager for my protection. Chickens, pigs, cows, turkeys, etc., need protection. All they did was be born into the “wrong” species because people like you prey on them simply to satisfy their selfish desire to eat their flesh.

  71. rob


    So you approve of the objectification of your daughter’s near-naked body for PETA’s own political ends? Only in Asheville, I guess.

    It’s interesting that they only seem to use young women for this role, as I see in the
    Chatanooga protest as well.

    Anyone actually research the PETA claims on the WHO website yet?

    I think the real topic here is that PETA is a corrupt, wealthy lobby group with their own corporate ties and ridged power structure. I think a majority of the people involved in these protests would be very disillusioned to discover they are pawns doing the dirty work for a group of people with their own hidden political agenda. The web is a big place. Do your own research.

  72. travelah

    Shawnmom, she didn’t stand by her beliefs .. she laid down for them.

  73. lisette

    Oh for heaven’s sakes Rob, what is their evil agenda? To take over the world with compassion for animals? I know exactly how much their annual budget is (35 million). That’s not a lot for a world-wide organization. Yes, they get some money from rich entertainers and such, but most of it from small donations from members.

    As for this WHO website you keep harping about, most environmentally websites including will not touch the vegetarian issue, that is run by none other than Al Gore as the chief board member. What do you expect from politicians and organizations that want massive donations from rich patrons? They are giving out pretty much a “feel good” message (use energy efficient light bulbs!, help us save the polar bears (but not the billions of animals living on factory farms and polluting 70% of our inland water). He is a politician for heaven’s sakes.

    As for “corporate ties”, you must be insane. Who do you think runs this country? The fast food, meat, dairy and pharmacuticals (please refer to your tv tonight, no need to visit a website)! There are thousands of f/t lobbyists in Washington (2 f/t for every Congressmen) who do nothing but lobby for meat, dairy and drugs all day! Rick Berman & Co. (Also known as Center for Consumer Freedom!)represents the tobacco industry as well as hotels, beer distributors, taverns and restaurant chains. The group actively opposes smoking bans and lowering the legal blood-alchohol level and of course animal rights groups like PETA. Contributors to this nonprofit include: Armour-Swift, Bestfoods, Max & Erma’s Restaurants, Applebee’s, Custom Cuts, Ruby Tuesday, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Coca Cola, Marie Calendar, Outback Steakhouse, Sugar Foods Corporation, National Steak and Poultry, Tyson Foods, Wendy’s, White Castle and Perdue Farms among many others.

    The medical/industrial/cosmetic testing complex are also at odds with animal activists (vivisection) as well as holistic practitioners, etc. In 2002, the combined profits ($35.9 billion) of the ten largest drug companies in the Fortune 500 were more than the combined profits ($33.7 billion) of the remaining 490 companies together (Angell, 2004, 11).1 The only reason these drug companies did not maintain this shocking financial advantage is that the oil companies’ profits have increased considerably with the Iraq War, thus raising the 490 non-drug companies’ profits slightly higher.

    Ingrid Newkirk, the founder was an animal control officer for 25 years in Washington, DC where I used to live. She is now retired and makes approximately 25K a year, barely enough to live on in Norfolk, VA (where I also used to live, my husband and I were in the Navy). We had to move here due to cost of living issues! I am sure they have some sort of a “power structure”, like most organizations, but I certainly don’t doubt their dedication.

    Also, Ralph, your complete lack of empathy and concern for animals, people and the environment has been duly noted. Thank you for your valuable contribution. I have no doubt that with your “realistic” attitude, you would have no problem bbqing your own grand daughter if it was “necessary” for “survival” (which it isn’t thank god, if three dogs with their canines can thrive and be healthy on a vegetarian diet, then so can you!) However, remember that the same “freedom of speech” which these protesters have apparently been denied, is the same right that allows you to troll these message boards, pretending to comment on issues which you cannot even begin to grasp.

  74. travelah

    lisette, PETA has no significant constituency that matters in any area. They have no clout and can be ignored at will.


    I wonder how many uncover F.B.I. agents were present at this PETA protest?

    The FEDS have labeled PETA as domestic terrorists, along with those who quote the constitution, the right to travel without licenses, those who point out the IRS is a fraud, environmental groups, who incidentally are ironically sponcerd and financed by EXXON and other mulitnationalials oil companies, in a subterfuge of deception, so that the oil companies can maintain the peak oil lie, which moron U.S, citizens buy hook line and sinker.

    As for the consumption of animals, it not a wise idea at this point in time. Estrogens and antibiotics are shot into these creatures, along with genetically modified grain, which they are feed, the results of course are the mutations we are now seeing the Human population, mainly, hyperfeminazation, lowered sperm counts, as all estrogens mutate to hybrid forms of estrogens, which of course are carcinogenic.

    Moderation is the key. Meat, should be eaten only occasionally, as most of the food supply has been contaminated, and compromised by multinational corporations.

    Diabetes for instance was virtually non-existent piour to WW11, when Tran’s fats replaced butter, because it created a longer shelf life for products. Butter was rationed inWW11 and the multinationals took advantage of this, new industries were spawned, like very profitable the heart attack and diabetes industry.

    My advise is lay off the meat least your posts will come out sounding a lot like Ralph, too many animal fats clogging up cerebral arties, cutting off cerebral profusion.

    In short, eat lots of animals and you will end up sounding like a neocon twit, like Rush Limbaugh and his ditto heads Travelah and Ralph. Things will start appearing as left and right, liberal and conservative, this is the first sign your arteries have clogged up with dead animal fats.

  76. robert


    You state “agribusiness contributes up to 50% more than all modes of transportation combined.”

    You do realize that beans, grains and vegetables are included in Agribusiness, right?

    What do you eat? Where does it come from.

    I have a feeling most the folks I know have a better idea where there meat comes from than where your so-called cruelty free food comes from.

    I think Trey and Daniel have said it best, above.

    “Arguments that meat is cruel and disgusting utterly fail to convince. Those are matters of opinion, unsupported by rational argument”

    Can you comprehend this line of thinking? If not, you will never be able to rationaly convey your position to others. You will only be able to hold onto the feelings of alienation that your moral superiority complex contains.

    Google ‘the truth about PETA’

  77. lisette


    When I say “agribusiness”, I am referring not only to factory farming, but all the business which supply it, (including grain, corn and soy production). If you visit any corporate pork farm for example, you will see that they also grow massive amounts of grain and soy on their property. This is true even for the smaller farms. 70% of the grains in this country are used to feed farm animals, 70% of the grains in Africa are shipped to Europe to feed farm animals. Farm animals consume half of the world’s water supply. 70% of Amazon rain forests have been burned or cut down for grazing or to grow soy and grain for cattle.

    This is not PETA information, this was a study done by the United Nations and the information was released on November 19, 2006 called in a report called “Livestocks Long Shadow. For more information please visit:

    There was also a study done by the University of Chicago. As I have stated before (I wish you would bother to read my posts instead of whining about “moralizing” every time you are proven wrong), the co-winner of the Nobel Peace prize made a huge point of asking people to cut down on meat consumption. There is a recent article concerning this in the NY Times at:

    The same land which can supply enough meat to feed two people, can supply enough vegetable to feed 60 people. Therefore, it is a better used of the land, even if it “organic farming” and “humane slaughter” (assuming there is such a thing).

    I don’t think anyone has denied that organic farms are better for animals and people. However, many of these so-called organic and “free range” farms have been raided and found to be not much better off than factory farms. Get a barn full of chickens, cut a hole in the side and suddenly you have “free range!” The cows featured grazing in pastural splendor on the cover of Horizon Milk do in fact live in barbed wire feed lots eating organic grain. Better than most, but hardly the picture you imagine. Most of these cows will end up on the same trucks as their factory farmed cousins when they are dry. There are only 15 slaughterhouses in the entire country.

    Yes, I do know a few things about organic farms, probably a bit more than you and your organic fantasy world. If anyone is being sanctimonious, irrational and moralizing it is you with your organic fantasy world and your high-toned dressing down of somebody’s mother for letting her pose for big, bad PETA with their corporate connections, secret agenda, and fabulous wealth and influence! (which you obviously made up on the spot).

    Also, if you are dumb enough to believe corporate lobbyists groups like, then your the one that needs to do your “research”. As I have said before, the Rick Berman group is a Washington Lobbyist firm that operates five or six websites, all attacking activists groups like PETA. They oppose not only animal rights, but holistic health, health advocates, minimum wage, mothers against drunk driving and anyone who opposes the corporate interests of their clients.

    Their address and contact information is

    Berman & Co.
    1775 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Suite 1200
    Washington, DC 20006
    202 463-7100

    For more information, please visit:

    For more information on Rick Berman (Who runs this firm along with his wife Dixie), please visit:

  78. robert


    Again, you focus on the worst case-scenarios. Yes, Horizon sucks. Organic valley, by comparison, is a great company. Personally, I get ALL of my meat (beef, pork, eggs, and milk) and most dairy (raw) from local sources (within 50 miles of my house.) Seriously. Sorry you think that’s a fantasy world.

    Where does your food come from?

    You ever even grown a soybean?

  79. lisette

    Hey Rob,

    I not here to get in a pissing contest with you.
    To quote your last post:

    “I think Trey and Daniel have said it best, above.

    “Arguments that meat is cruel and disgusting utterly fail to convince. Those are matters of opinion, unsupported by rational argument””

    If this is what you believe than fine. What does it matter if cows are factory farmed, dismembered alive, thrown into boiling water, thrown against walls? Nobody has “proved” that this actually causes suffering! You know, they used to operate on babies without anesthesia because they “didn’t think they could feel pain”. I guess because they couldn’t complain or write strongly worded op-eds about it like you and I can. The fact that the surgeons didn’t mean to be cruel did not stop these babies from feeling pain. Cruelty, ignorance and indifference to it are not that different. One is out and out cruelty as in a sociopath and one is cowardice, a refusal to get involved, etc. The end result is the same and one makes the other possible.

    For a person who has expressed his aversion for factory farming, you seem very willing to take their side (as in the corporate lobbyists who represent them) against Animal Rights Groups. Groups whose main objective is an end to factory farming, just because their “solution” is vegetarianism which for some paranoid reason you feel is “moralizing”. That doesn’t mean they are not fighting to improve conditions of animals already in those farms. PETA has in fact been critisized by other groups for working with factory farms in improving their conditions by other groups, and not just insisting everyone become a vegetarian. They are in fact “middle of the road” as animal advocacy groups go.

    You change your “care values” every other post, depending on whom you are trying to attack, like a true troll.

  80. lisette


    I garden when I can. When I can’t I buy organic and/or work in community gardens and take home some of the produce. Right now I live in a place where I can’t have my own personal garden because we are temporarily renting. However, before we moved here I owned on a city lot with less than a quarter of an acre in Washington State. On that small plot, I grew flowers, vegetables, fruit trees (two varieties of cherry, and three varieties of apple), raspberry and current bushes, grapes and had three hens. They are great gardening helpers as in fertilizers and bug control. Many people in Washington State, Oregon and California keep hens, ducks and geese in their yards as well as small goats, etc. Also, Llamas (they make great herders and watch dogs.) Chickens are particularly suited for city life due to a lack of predators. They are intelligent, curious and fun to watch. I also worked in my local community garden which donated organic produce to the poor. Organic, range fed, free range, local meat, dairy and eggs are better than processed, factory farmed foods. However, vegetarianism is healthy, more earth friendly and of course nicer to the animals. Most vegetarians I know are pretty organic because they are health conscious.

    I am not one-sided about this issue. I didn’t say I believed in every last thing PETA did. I don’t personally care for their use of celebrities (as if the average person really cares what Pam Anderson does.) However, my reasons for not liking them are as a former member. I like Vegan Outreach, Christian Vegetarian Association, Farm Sanctuary and FARM much better. I do a lot of advocacy for them and it’s a lot more challenging and labor intensive than standing on a street corner for an hour and offending as many people as you “reach”. I personally think that the message of real people is a lot of more valuable than movie stars. A good film is “Peaceable Kingdom” at

    This film interviews real farmers and ranchers.

    It is one thing “buying local”, you still do not know the animal or have day to day contact with it. One would have to be made of stone not to have some feelings for animals you have compassionately raised and cared for. I also like and encouraging urban and suburban people to dig up their lawns and grow produce, which can feed their family and save water (lawns waste a huge amount of water). Furthermore, the organic or “humane farming” movement actually has a lot of it’s roots in animal rights, because they were the first to expose the conditions of factory farms. To say it’s not “disgusting” is ridiculous. Corporations go to huge lengths to keep graphic images and news off the air, ban commercials etc. The film “Fast Food Nation” had to be filmed in Chihuahua Mexico under the code name “Coyote” for fear of harassment.

  81. Bruno, what is ‘free speech’ about yapping at me over something I do not believe in and do not want to hear. What is different between that and spammers filling my email?

    Also, what is ‘free speech’ about blocking the sidewalk and impeding lawful citizens (remember, these folks were from PETA and not even residents of Asheville). The Asheville Police should have done their job like the police in Chattanooga did.

  82. tatuaje


    You are the most coherent and well-spoken poster I have ever seen on any mountain x thread….Your statements are well-researched and delivered with restraint and focus. Which is not always easy when trying to debate hateful, unthinking, narrow-minded trolls….

    Thanks for your posts…. i felt fairly informed on the subject but have learned quite a bit from you…

    rock on with your bad self….

  83. travelah

    tatuaje, meat eaters are now hateful, unthinking, narrow-minded trolls? How do you account for the serving of meat in just about every restaurant in town?

  84. tatuaje

    no travelah…just you (Ralph isn’t hateful at least…narrow-minded and awful at debating, but not hateful)

  85. travelah

    Ralph, that is about right. I think our leftist friends are having trouble forming cogent and objective arguments in support of becoming a lover of seedpod and grass cuisine.

  86. Debra

    I’m the meat tray’s mom. She is a 24 year old woman who feels passionate about this topic. She’s a senior in college, majoring in Environmental Education. I have no control over her interests, nor do I want to and only express my opinion when she asks, even on matters such as this. I would rather she be involved with PETA rather than some radical religious cult (and don’t tell me PETA is a cult – the members are involved voluntarily). She has been passionate about animal rights since she was a kid (experimenting with veganism at age 8!).

    I do not agree with everything that PETA does. I am still an omnivore and feel veganism can exist because we live in a prosperous society with an abundance of food choices. I eat mainly fish and chicken and do so for a healthier life.

    Where I agree with Shawn is the treatment of animals in large agribusinesses. I prefer that the animal had a chance to be a cow, pig, chicken, etc. and that it is not injected with nasty chemicals that I potentially end up eating. I totally avoid veal and foie gras, two staples of classical cuisine. I’m prepared to pay a higher price in a local food co-op or from a local organic farm. I’m also a member of Slow Food.

    You can all banter back and forth about the legitimacy of this ‘radical’ form of protest, but it has achieved one goal of where some of you may begin to think about where food comes from. And it’s not from neat little styrofoam packages in the grocery store. Most of us are so removed from our food source.It’s easier not to think about it while eating our hamburgers.I wonder how many of you would become vegetarian if you had to slaughter your own animals.In our society where there is so much waste, perhaps everyone should experience that slaughter so one has more respect for the animal who sacrificed it’s life so we can eat lunch. Some of you see this as a joke, but it really isn’t.

    All in all it’s about choices, and in this country we have them. Is this form of protest counterproductive? Maybe. Does it discredit the movement? Maybe. The one thing it does accomplish is putting the seed in our heads about the consequences of our food choices (such as Mad Cow, SARS). Perhaps it is part of a bigger picture that will lead to more universal humane treatment and respect for the animals we eat.

  87. I hunt

    “I’m also a member of Slow Food.”

    I didnt realize it was a club.

    I, for one, do no understand the tone of the vegetarian-minded folks posting on this blog. So may of the comments have to do with very subjective emotions, and are centered around accusations and assumptions regarding what ‘others’ would do or not do for dinner.

    I do agree that the way animals are treated in a factory setting is horribly inhumane. Disgusting, even. But I have personally hunted and killed my own meat for years now, and if anything, it has made me more appreciative of my body’s ability to eat meat.

    So, with that said, I dont understand the emphasis many of the above posters put on weather or not ‘we’ could kill our own meat. It seems to take the debate away from the ‘Animals as Fatory-Farm Product’ topic and turn it into “I am better than you because I dont eat any kind of meat” These, to me, seem to be two different, often competing topics, that dont necesarily go together. I dont know who ‘those people’ are, but I know I have no moral qualms with my actions. It’s what I do to eat. And I didnt have to go to a store and buy it. To me, that is a blow to the factory-farm system. So why attack people like me and our personal choices?

    I can’t help but feel that many of these vegetarian activists are simplifying an issue in order to make one side good and another bad. I fail to see how this does anything other than allow one side to feel Right. How does that help your group’s purpose, in the end? Unless that is the purpose all along? To make the members feel morally superior?

    Wouldn’t there be better dialogue if the conversation wasnt centered around either group’s feelings of superiority in their own, personal Lifestyle choices?

  88. ShawnMom

    Hi everyone – sorry I have not replied to you all sooner. Yes, this is a touchy subject, and yes I AM proud of my daughter because (and regardless of the symantics “laying down”). I refuse to have my feathers ruffled.

    So it’s not a “sit in” or a “Love in”. Yes, I watched the whole special on the lady that started PETA and yes, I do not agree with a LOT of her causes. She doesn’t even believe people should have pets. That’s going a bit far.

    It may not be the organization that we ourselves might want to fight for – but she does. She’s done her homework – she’s not a hypocrite (i.e. wearing leather, etc.). She’s doing this because she truly believes and hopes that it will, if nothing else, make us all think twice before we have that next hamburger or chicken from KFC.

    I have many friends who’s kids are in and out of jail for selfish and self-destructive things. Kids that are so out of control that their parents have to send them to those camps in Utah – but I…I have a sweet, beautiful, educated (she’s close to graduating with honors). She doesn’t do drugs or hurt others, etc. She’s an incredible young lady, generous, thoughtful, etc.

    So…do I approve? Heck YES! If this is what makes her happy, it doesn’t hurt anyone, you don’t like it? Don’t look. But don’t come on here with your protests and call it disgusting and full of hidden agendas. The whole world is full of hidden agendas – but these young girls are only doing what they think they can to maybe change someone’s mind – if it’s just one person, that’s made it worth while.

    I have to admit – I don’t eat Veal anymore! And after seeing her favorite charity “Pigs for Peace” where they take pigs that people no longer want and let them stay there ALIVE. I’m almost thinking of not eating pork either. All they’re doing, by this packaged protest is trying to humanize it so people will think twice. I think it’s kind of clever. Again – if you don’t like it – don’t look!

    Thanks for letting me rant.

  89. Bruno


    I’m told that The Asheville Police were on hand, and if any law was broken they would have taken appropriate action. You just don’t get free speech. Spamming is different, it’s not in the public domain. If you don’t like free speech, stay at home in your gated community. Free speech isn’t about only listening to what you want to hear. Closed-minded old curmudgeons many not change, but people need to be able to express their opinions and expose others to information so that those with open minds can take a fresh look at things. That’s how we got rid of slavery, how women got the right to vote, how we advanced the rights of minorities, etc. Just because you are against the rights of animals doesn’t mean you should oppose free speech. One day someone will want to silence you, and I’ll stand up for your right to offer your opinion, no matter how ridiculous I might think it is.

  90. Bruno


    Your daughter rockS! If only there were more young people like her!

  91. Bruno, you do not have to explain free speech to me (watch URTV — we LEAD in free speech Asheville).

    I can hardly be called close-minded, I’ve been a force for creativity and change my whole life and continue, especially my professional life (read my published works).

    if you want to debate that, don’t hide behind a pseudonym, I do not respect nor give much reply to those afraid to show their real identies.

    but, let me ask this, how does blocking at least a portion of the sidewalk constitute free speech? … did they have any sort of permit?

    regardless, I agree they do have the right to present their concept … and well over 90% of Americans have the right to think they are totally absurd (google for the percent of Americans that are vegetarians, less than 5% seems to be the consensus with just a quick perusal using ‘percent of americans vegetarians’).

    not exactly overwhelming.

    pass the bacon, please.

  92. and while I am making suggestions, changing this to a ‘real name’ board would be great, too.

    and PLEASE make the vegetarians check their carrots at the door (for ‘why’ watch the movie “Shoot ‘Em Up” … NO one should be allowed to carry concealed carrots! (see the ‘eat your vegetables scene, you can find it on YouTube, I prefer not to link to it).

    in the interest of public safety, thank you.

  93. lisette

    I have to agree with Bruno.

    Ralph in a country where a dim-bulb sociopath can sit in the white house, mindlessly directing world events as if he were playing a video game, anything is possible. As far as real names, go, my name is Lisa G. Leming. However, people are entitled to their privacy especially on message boards.

    I didn’t write this, but it is worth noting:

    In the 1790’s, there was a small, much ridiculed movement afoot in England to extend the concept of rights to women. At that time, as you may know, the social hierachy began with educated white landowning male humans and descended past women and non-Europeans all the way down to the “brutes” or animals. The first really circulated published text on the matter was of course “A Vindication of the Rights of Women,” by Mary Wollstonecraft (reviled for her forward-looking beliefs by all respectable men of the day, she was popularly dubbed “that monster in petticoats”). Anyway, hilarity abounded in response to her outrageous suggestions regarding American women (that they might enjoy rights under the law), and one of the most famous cartoons of the day depicted a woman standing in line at a voting booth (har har!) and right behind her a donkey, preparing to cast his ballot.

    The rhetoric of the anti-animal rights movement EXACTLY mimics that of the anti-abolitionists. Tract after tract during that period refers to the “obvious” argument that white humans are inherently more valuable than blacks, due to their “superior intelligence,” “more highly developed social structures,” “more complex consciousness,” etc. Those who advocated humane laws regarding slavery, or its abolition, were labeled the 18th and 19th c. equivalent of “crackpot” and “psycho” (as, of course, are virtually ALL proponents of a larger circle of compassion, in the early historical stages of each movement, when more narrow-minded and self-interested peers respond in knee-jerk, conditioned ways to ideas that their parents taught them were silly, misguided, or (God forbid) “sentimental”!. The most tired and ridiculous rhetorical refuge of those who stand against the expansion on of our circle of compassion and rights, is the schoolyard logic that, “if he cares MORE about blacks then we do, he must care LESS about whites! he’s not just a slave-lover, he’s a white-hater!” Typical reactions to the daring claim that non-European humans deserved some minimal rights within English and American law were ridicule, contempt, laughter, and the attempt to shame the humane advocate into rejoining the backwards thinking of the majority.

    Consumption of animals is simply bad for you as is animal experimentation, physically, morally and spiritually. The third highest cause of death in the US are medical mishaps (250,000 a year). Number one and two are mainly diet related heart disease and cancer, please google “The China Study”, the most comprehensive diet study ever done by an American-British team of doctors and scientists. It is now a book. The Journal of American Medicine reported in 1998 that 106,000 people a year die from adverse reactions to drugs tested on animals. Researchers from Harvard and Boston Univ concluded that medical measures (drugs and vaccines) accounted for between 1 and 3.5 % of the total decline in mortality rate since 1900. Scores of animals were killed in the quest to find cures for tuberculosis, scarlet fever, small pox and diptheria. Dr. Edward Kass of Harvard Medical School, asserts that the primary credit for the virtual eradication of these diseases must go to improvements in public health, sanitation and general standard of living.

    After 30 years of fighting cancer with animal testing, cancer deaths are up – people with cancer live longer, but more contract it. Many studies published in scientific journals have linked western diets to a host of diseases, including cancer.

    As far as “moralizing” and sentimentality, my favorite quote on that is from CS Lewis:

    “…we sacrifice other species to our own not because our own has any objective metaphysical privilege over others, but simply because it is ours. It may be very natural to have this loyalty to our own species, but let us hear no more from the naturalists about the “sentimentality” of anti-vivisectionists. If loyalty to our own species–preference for man simply because we are men–is not sentiment, then what is?”

    “If we cut up beasts simply because they cannot prevent us and because we are backing our own side in the struggle for existence, it is only logical to cut up imbeciles, criminals, enemies, or capitalist for the same reasons.”

    Shawnsmom, I also think your daughter rocks! Didn’t mean to come off as if I didn’t. It takes a lot of guts to stand up for what you know is right, there’s really no wrong way to help animals. Also, in PETA’s defense, they do advocacy for everything (circus, labs, etc) not just farm, pets, vivisecition. Most groups specialize in one or two areas (usually companion animals).

  94. Hi Lisa:

    I agree totally with you on women’s rights and the end of slavery (albeit neither, alas, are absolute yet and much work remains). Those are obvious moral issues on which the vast majority of humanity were (and in especially Islamic countries) still are very wrong.

    We can, have, and will continue to enhance freedom for all and to give women more rights (more accurately, not oppose them taking their rightful places). This we (humanity) can do and this we SHOULD do as a whole). It is RIGHT.

    Food, however, is totally different. Food is food and is food because that’s the way we (humanity) evolved. Trying to complicate it just gets scoffed at by almost everyone. And with good reason back by simple natural survival instinct. Our bodies know what we need.

    The vegetarian arguments (they keep changing the emphasis from health to green issues to animal rights and back again as each of those fail to make an impact) fail because they go against our natural instincts.

    In short, changing how we act is one thing, changing how we survive is hardwired into our genes.

  95. typo police: should be ‘…with good reason backed by…’

    and to clarify my final sentence, let me restate it:

    In short, changing how we act is one thing; how we survive is hardwired into our genes and trying to change that is futile in the long-run.

    and in general:

    Accept what we ARE and strive for the greatest good possible based that.

  96. lisette


    I understood the basis of your argument to be roughly that because vegetarianism was not popular, it could not be correct. My point was that no compassionate movement is popular at first, the abolishionist movement was start by “crazy” Quaker wives badgering their husband’s to “do something”. It was not popularly supported the North or the South. It was definitely “fringe”.

    Whether “your body needs it” is not really supported by science, and in fact more studies show that it damages the body rather than nourishes it. We are “hard wired” by genes to do many things, but usually the sight of an animal being slaughtered is not appetizing. Also, your view of them as “food” is really not that different from the popular and pervasive view of woman and blacks as “personal property” in earlier times. Individuals who objected to this popular world view were ridiculed. Just as you do now for people who see animals as beings to be loved and cherished or at least respected and left alone.

  97. Bruno

    RE: Food is food. So if we simply reclassify certain sentient beings as food, then I guess it will will be okay to enslave and eat them. How convenient!

    That’s where we disagree, Ralph. I don’t think animals are food. Alice Walker said it best: “the animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for whites or women for men.”

    Regarding sidewalk blockage, I’m sure no one was blocked. Different cities have different rules, and if they were breaking one here, I’m sure they would have been stopped. I don’t think the APD has a soft spot for PETA. Free speech is a good thing, too bad you are so much against it when you don’t like the message.

  98. ummm… no Lisa, my main point was not popularity but that eating meat is part and parcel of our body’s instinct for natural survival.

    don’t blame me, I did not design the human body. ;-)

  99. lisette


    To quote a not too previous post:

    … and well over 90% of Americans have the right to think they are totally absurd (google for the percent of Americans that are vegetarians, less than 5% seems to be the consensus with just a quick perusal using ‘percent of americans vegetarians’).

    not exactly overwhelming.

    pass the bacon, please.

    Yes, that actually was one of your points.

    There is a very small percentage of the population that actually do enjoy hunting. However, the large, overwhelming majority must be shielded constantly from the bare realities of animal slaughter. To the point where a huge portion of the population has never seen a live farm animal.
    Most slaughterhouses, stockyards and factory farms are miles away from the nearest road. The employees, often immigrants; often live in squalor and poverty on the premises. I doubt if they would agree with you that they were following their “natural instinct”. 60 percent of the workers at Smithfield pork processing in NC, quit even before their training period is up, although the money is comparitively good for that area.

    On the other hand, many people garden. There are tons of articles about it in the Mountain Xpress and almost every other magazine. Pictures are not censured, etc. It is a fit and non-controversial topic of conversation that never upsets anyone, unlike animal slaughter. I would say that’s a better indication of what is “natural”.

  100. Bruno, free speech means I am free to speak out against messages (such as vegetarianism) that I consider silly.’

    What part of that do you not understand. It’s free speech.

    And just because you disagree with me and find my stance objectionable does not mean you are right.

    Nor me either.

    But I is. ;-)

  101. Stewart David

    Bruno and Lisette,

    I’m a 20 year vegan animal activist; you may have read my letters in local papers, heard me on radio, tv, etc. I was at the demo, I’m the one in the picture on the left holding the “Meat is Murder” sign.

    I came across your posts and wanted to thank you for your thoughful and articulate comments. As someone who has been speaking up for the voiceless for 2 decades, I’m all too familiar with the ridicule that one receives. People are so threatened by the idea of extending compassion to others that they will go to great lengths to obfuscate the issues. It would be hilarious if it weren’t for all the suffering involved.

    I’ve stopped regularly posting on the Mountain Xpress site for a few reasons. Mostly because I’ve found that you can’t reason with unreasonable people. You can’t open a closed mind. But I commend you for trying. Some folks are just plain lonely and use the forums for attention and have no interest in actual conversation. I find it sad, really, and hope they one day they get out from behind their computers and find some happiness.


    I had the pleasure of meeting your daughter, Shawn, and she is a remarkable person. She gives me hope for the future. No wonder you are proud of her!

    Stewart David

  102. i hunt

    You see, I am turned off by the morality comparisons. I am completely against factory farms. But I DO NOT think these people get to compare themselves to the abolitionists. I’m not sure if many of you making these comparisons understand this point very well.
    If PETA’s mission is to get everyone to think and act like them (it is), then they will always be in conflict.
    There are plenty of productive, proactive ways for individuals to work to dismantle and re-assemble the way food is produced in this country. I applaud people who work to get their voice heard in our society. But telling people they have to behave in a certain, specific way or they are ‘no better than nazi’s and plantation owners’ only comes across as pious, hypocritical, and pompous to me.

    And if your response to this is to call me a neanderthal, murderer, or some such insinuation, please save yourself the time. You merely prove my point by not addressing the issues I am pointing out.

  103. Jimbo

    I always love the obtuse mindbending suggestions of people with weak arguments when they state that anyone not agreeing with their position, whatever that may be, is obviously a close minded individual. I think it’s clear that when a person wants to project their beliefs and rules on others, it’s they themselves who suffer from the deluded and closed mind. In what bizarro land is it the person who defends their right to decide anything for themselves the one who is closed minded. There lies the failure and absurdidty of these people’s arguments if you can even call them that. They seem much more akin to some sort of therapy or acting out of their personal demons.

  104. Debra

    The Shawnmom posting is actually her STEP mom, not biological mom. I’m the one who gave birth to her.

  105. Daniel

    “Thank you Daniel for such a well-spoken post. I can’t add to it because you have said it so well. “–William Miller (vegetarian debater)

    “I think Trey and Daniel have said it best, above. ” –Robert (anti-vegetarian debater)

    So, does that mean I found a nuanced position in the middle, or that I’m so mushmouthed that both sides can agree with me? :)

    If you believe in an objective morality (and not everybody does, of course), then either it is objectively true that certain animals besides humans are worthy of moral protection, or it is not true. That is not a matter of opinion: one side will be right, and one side will be wrong.

    Even if there is an objective morality, however, arguments about whether meat-eating is disgusting are purely subjective, as are arguments about whether meat is delicious.

    If one side believes in objective morality and the other doesn’t, there’s precious little reason in continuing the conversation.

    If both sides believe in objective morality, then the meat-eaters need to stop acting like it’s a matter of personal taste (which assumes that their side is correct), and the vegans need to stop acting like “meat is murder” is an argument (when it really just assumes that their side is correct).

    I’d recommend folks on both sides read Tom Reagan’s excellent book, “The Case for Animal Rights,” if you’re interested in what a cogent argument for animal rights looks like. I believe his book fails inasmuch as it assumes that other animals have as much of a coherent desire to life as an adult human has, but this point is doubly arguable: is it true, and is it relevant?

    For myself, I believe that it is both true and relevant. I admit that I an not an objective thinker in this situation, given how much better I feel when I eat meat, and the deep cultural connotations meat-eating has for me. However, I’m unconvinced that I have ever met a vegan who is any more objective about the matter than I am.

    This thread is a whole lot of people talking past one another. Consider whether your post would be convincing to someone who has not already accepted your central thesis. If it would not be, what is the point of making it? Are you just calling out your magnificent yawp to the world, or do you hope somehow to influence someone’s thinking with it?


  106. Jimbo

    “This thread is a whole lot of people talking past one another. Consider whether your post would be convincing to someone who has not already accepted your central thesis.”

    There again is the fallacy of the vegan only activist approach. I don’t hear those who disagree with the vegan and PETA activists trying to convince anyone of anything except that they have a right to choose for themselves and no on is going to force them to follow one belief system. It’s the imbalanced hypocrite activist who acts out only for the sake of acting out who begins from a premise that they have a monopoly on being correct and therefore anyone who does not agree is wrong.

    When wrapped up in these hysterical activist antics rather than genuine debate, these arguments end up having nothing to do with the issue. They end up simply a quarrel between an oppressing group of people trying to force their view on others who will not abdicate their right to freedom of choice. This ends up being the same old tired off topic fussing that happens as an offshoot of religion, abortion, capital punishment, politics etc. It’s immediately devolved to nothing but childish antics for attention from both sides and is an irrelevant excercise in vanity and narcissism.

  107. Daniel


    Do you extend that same frustration toward people who advocate for keeping murder illegal? Do you believe that criminalizing murder is simply “an oppressing group of people trying to force their view on others who will not abdicate their right to freedom of choice”?

    My guess is that you do not: you are probably perfectly happy to have murder outlawed, because murder victims have rights, too, and it’s not just a matter of personal choice whether you murder someone.

    The difference between animal rights activists and yourself isn’t that they’re busybodies trying to get into everyone else’s bidness. The difference is that they believe animals, like people, deserve protection. You agree with them that people deserve protection and are fine outlawing the harm of humans; you just don’t think animals deserve protection.

    Your post is a fine example of assuming that your central thesis is right. If it is, and if you can convince the vegan activists that you’re right, then of course they won’t interfere with your eating habits.

    The central question isn’t whether we should limit others’ freedom: we’re all happy to do so when other people try to exercise their freedom to cause harm against beings with rights (like, say, human beings). The central question is whether these rights are logically extended to animals.


  108. AshaKasha

    Well, goodness. I can already see a line of hate posts piling up…but…

    I’ve noticed from a few “anti-vegetarianism” posters that they feel that factory farming is inhumane (at the least). Why can’t we begin a conversation based around that? A common ground, so to speak-

    I won’t lie: I’m a relentless idealist and wish everyone would stop eating meat, eggs, dairy, chaining their dogs, owning exotic pets, wearing leather and fur, and most especially- eating veal, lamb, and fois gras….and dogs and monkey brains, elsewhere. But I also recognize that these are complex matters.

    What can we (meateater and vegetarian alike) do to reduce/improve/eliminate factory farming? We can continue to squabble about the more complex issues as we move along, but for now- what can we do about that which we already agree upon?

  109. AshaKasha

    Sadly, not surprised at the total and sudden silence.

    BTW- there are plenty of “faux meats” made from wheat gluten and other non-soy products. Mushrooms are a great source of protein- and micronutrients, and are very versatile- as are other beans and lentils.

    It is sad to me that, in an issue that involves SO MUCH blatant suffering and abuse, folks think only of what tastes good to them rather than considering how they might become a tad more disciplined when making choices about what they will eat.

    Again- not surprised, though. Even if that is how one feels, I am amazed that they would not be embarrassed to say it so openly.

  110. AshaKasha said (I assume with a straight face):

    “folks think only of what tastes good to them rather than considering how they might become a tad more disciplined when making choices about what they will eat. …. ”

    think about what you just said… people TELLING what to eat, Food Nazis making sure we are ‘disciplined’?


    Thank you.

  111. ashakasha

    Ralph- for real, dude! Now simple, personal discipline is some far-fetched idea?

    And, actually, I didn’t say anyone else should TELL you what to eat, but that maybe YOU and OTHERS could demonstrate some self-control and self-discipline when making personal choices that ultimately impact the rest of the world.

    These aren’t exactly radical new concepts, Ralph.

  112. david


    “Again- not surprised, though. Even if that is how one feels, I am amazed that they would not be embarrassed to say it so openly.”

    Wow, you say you want a reasonable debate (over a week into the conversation), but then make vague and generalized statements about anyone who disagrees with you… quite telling.

    Other than Ralph, I dont recall reading one post above that make any kind of ’embarassing’ statements.” And, without getting too personal, I will say that, to me, you sound pompous and simple-minded to make that kind of accusation. Like most of the ‘non-meat eaters’ on this particular thread.

    You want my solutions to sustainable food?

    Source everything from within 300 miles. Everything. It’s not very hard. You may get to not buy rice or beans, though… Some oils, coffee, tea, etc, might not be available, but a well-rounded diet does exist outside your door, away from the factory farms killing cows and chickens and the thousand-acre ‘organic’ farms displacing wildlife and destroying ecosystems.

    I think there are quite a few people on this blog who have stated that their only problem with this topic is the people who make it black and white- Meat or No Meat. At the risk of stating the same thing for the 5th or 6th time, one can choose to eat meat that does not contribute to factory farms or the petroleum industry in any way. In addition, one could choose a ‘meat-free’ diet that is incredibly unsustainable in terms of resource input.

    The false dichotomy proposed by some veggie folks is so ludicrous because it turns a complicated issue into a simplistic, pseudo-morality argument. Yes, factory farms suck. No, that does not mean that anyone who eats meat is a Nazi, a slave-owner, etc.

    Until I read an intelligent, compassionate post from a veggie who doesnt codemn everyone who thinks or acts differently, then I will be uninterested in further comment.

    So let me be clear, please choose to eat what you want.If you feel good about it, then great! But dont compare yourself to freedom fighters and the like. It comes across as quite distasteful to me.

  113. gee, ashakasha, has it ever occurred to you that almost assuredly the majority of us simply do not agree with you perceived morality and overboard concern for animal rights?

    we don’t.

    this is a free country is my point. Most of us can and do eat what we want. That might not be self-discipline nor fit in your worldview… but it is our RIGHT. America is about freedom and individual rights. Too often too many of us forget that.

  114. AshaKasha

    Yes, Ralph- that has definitely occurred to me. I was referring to those who eat meat but have stated that they feel factory farming is cruel. I call that a middle ground- and I’d be willing to explore that, as it could lead to a reduction in the suffering of factory farmed animals.

    I don’t personally feel it is a “right” to do whatever you want to, just because you want to, no matter the consequence for others. Call me crazy. Our society is full of laws that prohibit us from doing things that cause harm to others. There are plenty of times when it would feel great to clobber someone, but my “right” to do so ends where their nose begins.

    David- how many people are living that lifestyle? It is funny to me that my second to last post was suggesting that meateaters and veggies alike try to discuss that which they already agree upon.

    At risk of over-simplifying: if there is more than adequate proof that something is cruel and unnecessary, one can (and in my opinion- SHOULD) choose to reduce, or elminiate entirely, their contribution to it. So, I’m with you, David- if folks like the taste of meat so much that they can’t bear to go without it, perhaps they could at least avoid buying factory farmed meat. Gotta start somewhere.

  115. AshaKasha

    “…But dont compare yourself to freedom fighters and the like…”

    I’d like to ask, if you don’t mind, why those who speak out against the abuse, oppression, exploitation, and cruelty of animals are so much different than those who speak out on behalf of people?

    Abuse is abuse. Suffering is suffering.

  116. Well, for no particular reason, that reminds me of how I ended one of my science fiction stories years ago. The alien natives were suffering a severe food shortage when the busy body Earthies tried to get them to eat the fungus that grew profusely on the ground. The natives considered it only briefly as they found the fungus to be dirty and distasteful. The aliens had learned English from a book by Rudyard Kipling, so I ended the tale with the alien spokesbeing saying:

    Oh yeast is yeast,
    and mess is mess,
    and never the terrain
    shall me eat.

    I believe that may well apply here.

  117. William P Miller

    “MEAT IS MURDER”. Period. How many of you “meat eaters” would be willing to kill, bleed, gut, skin, and disect an animal for canabalist consumption? Not many I would bet. Just visit a “slaughterhouse” once and most people would become vegetarian immediately.

  118. Cheshire

    “Cannibalistic”…is that what you meant? That’s eating your own species, in this case, other humans.

  119. John

    Meat is Murder? Does that mean that the enzymes in our stomachs that are specifically there to digest meat are “accomplices to murder?” How the heck do we prosecute them? They obviously deserve it! I’m at a loss.

  120. William P Miller

    Cannibalistic refers to eating other warm blooded mammals with digestive systems and nervous systems very similar to ours. Would you be willing to shoot a cow in the head, hang it upside down, cut it’s throat, bleed it, then dissect it’s corpse for “food”? I doubt it.

    John, meat is murder because the animals are murdered then bled, then dissected, then their corpses are sold as “meat”. Substitute human body for cow, and you can get the picture. After people die, think about their corpses being cut up and packaged and shown at “meat markets” as meat food? We are VERY close to cows in our body. Very close. Same digestive system actually. 22 feet of a meandering colon that makes us a VEGETARIAN just like cows. Omly we have the free will to eat dead animal corpses if we chose. The cows are smart enough to eat grass and hay. We are stupid enpough to eat other animal corpses and do pay the price by getting colon cancer as a result. Nuf said.

  121. Cheshire

    Would I be willing? Yes.
    Humans and cows aren’t close. Comparing the intestines doesn’t work: the intestine part of the digestive system is pretty close across the board: carnivore, herbivore, omnivore alike. However, cows and other herbivores have multichambered stomachs, have to regurgitate their food, and get into trouble if they don’t eat constantly. Humans don’t have or do that, along with other carni- and omnivores. Unless I’m missing something…how many stomachs do you have? (The cows from the Far Side have teamed up with the alien abductors!! RUN!!)
    Eating meat is not the cause of colon cancer. Come on.

  122. John

    William, Cherry picking facts to make an entire argument is poor debate practice. Professor gives you an F. What about the stomach enzymes? You conveniently ignored that and it happens to be the clencher. Our long intestines allow us to ALSO eat plants. Its unavoidable, we have the ability to eat and digest meat. Humans ate meat as soon as they could kill it. Is it murder when a pride of lion bleeds, dissects and THEN kills a buffalo? Talk about a cruel death. They start eating him way before he’s dead. Why are humans different than the rest of the animals on the planet?

  123. AshaKasha

    “Comparing the intestines doesn’t work: the intestine part of the digestive system is pretty close across the board: carnivore, herbivore, omnivore alike.”

    OK- at least the knowledge level is clear. This is simply untrue- as any biology textbook will illustrate. Just ask, and I will be glad to provide proof. Just out of curiosity, Cheshire- what, do you say, IS a leading cause of colon cancer?

    John- WHY ARE humans different than the rest of the animals on the planet? I bet you could list 100 different ways, without even having to blow up a storm in your head.

    It is just complete ignorance. I realize this. Those who can type out their little smug posts supporting the American meat based diet have NEVER, EVER really looked at where their meat comes from. I believe this to be fact, and challenge any of you to tell me when/where/how you have witnessed first hand the farming and processing of your basic grocery store meat.

    As far as enzymes go- consider that carnivores can eat bones and hair, as well as FRESHLY KILLED
    MEAT. Who among us can do this safely? Here’s a little test: what is needed in the stomach of any animal to break down raw flesh, bones, and hair (along with all the bacteria/other organisms that instantaneously develop on flesh exposed to air)????

    There was a great “30 Days” on last night, which had an avid NC hunter and fisherman live with a vegan family and participate in a variety of animal rights activist activities for a month. I highly recommend it.

    John- how many humans can safely eat meat that hasn’t been cooked?

  124. AshaKasha

    And Cheshire- you would be willing to kill an animal, scald the hair off, skin it, and eat it? When have you EVER had such an experience?

    Would you also be willing to pull it from its mother at a premature stage, drag it about by its tail, slam it about, starve it, inject it with hormones, kick it, punch it, electrocute it, have it live out its miserable life in its own crap and piss, then drag it onto a truck- subjecting it to days of starvation and thirst and exposure to the elements, then drag it to a death (that it is already horrifically aware of) and then brutally kill it (can’t waste time in these facilities)?????????????? Would you? This is reality- there is no way to cover it up. Would you be willing to do these things to a cow, chicken, pig?

    My bet is you would be a crumpled, pathetic sack of crap in a situation like this.

    You tell me when you have EVER seen what happens to these animals- in detail, and I will believe you.

  125. William P Miller

    John, I am not cherry picking facts. Have you ever toured a slaughter house or been to a “hog killing” up in Madison County? I suspect the answer is no. You can rationalize you consumption of dead animal body parts all you want, but the truth always will be that killing and eating warm blooded animal body parts is CRUEL. Period.

  126. Cheshire

    As far as colon cancer, I stand by what I stated. Those studies say RED meat in large quantities over a long period of time (many years) can cause colon cancer. No argument. If red meat is the only thing you consider meat, then there’s no problem killing and eating things that fly or swim, is there? Fish, chicken, turkey…it’s still meat. Those sources don’t attribute to colon cancer at all, as stated by the reports you linked to.

    The intestinal tract of mammals are similar, yes. (Hear me out.) The entire digestive system? No. While the length of the intestines may differ, the function is the same: since the focus is on the colon, it serves (across the board) to retain solid waste. The most striking difference between cows and humans (going with what Miller picked) is the stomach, and the requirements under which consumption must take place. Unlike the parts of the intestine, there’s no comparison between the two stomach systems, nor is there comparison between the ways the two animals eat. Cows (and grazers in general) must eat almost constantly. It’s how their systems work best. Humans (and other omnivores) do best when they eat infrequently: only a few times a day or less.

    I have known in my life a good number of people who eat raw meat. I’ve known at least one person who has eaten freshly killed meat in Africa, (to decline would have been insulting to the host tribe) none of them suffering any adverse reactions. I have not, being the pyro that I am. I prefer “ruined”, as these friends call it.

    AshaKasha: yes, I would be willing to kill an animal, skin it, cook and eat it. This is what hunters do. I have not done so yet because my accuracy still needs work. Would you prefer I wait until I know beyond a doubt that I can kill it instantly, or should I go for it now when I’ll just wound it and make it suffer? Yes, I’m waiting until I can be as accurate as possible with my bow.

    I said in an earlier post that I don’t agree with commercial methods of killing: they ARE cruel. That isn’t something I’m willing to do. I have a chicken in my freezer that I bought from a man at one of the local tailgate markets. He raises them himself, makes sure they’re taken care of, happy. I just finished a pack of sausage that was raised at WWC. (Probably the offspring of the one I joked about and walked past every day for a while on my hikes.) I buy local, organic, and humanely raised every chance I get. Would I do this if I didn’t care what happened to the animals? Nope.

    As far as touring a slaughterhouse, my fourth grade class toured Breeden’s chicken farm in Burke county when I was a kid. Someone forgot to shut a door…about 3 kids puked. I remember it was winter, because one of those three was my friend: ruined her purple wool mittens. I’ve seen what happens. Years later, in high school I had some older friends, one of which worked at the chicken plant. He kept trying to gross me out with stories and pictures of what went on there. I sat on a hill with him when one of their buildings caught fire in 1996. We watched it burn to the ground together.

    “American” diet? You mean the one where every portion is twice the size it needs to be? No, I don’t support that. I do know that I suffer if I try to go too long without eating meat. I’ve tried it before, involuntarily. Can you ever say you’ve experienced starvation (not just really hungry) firsthand? I can.

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