Pass the fruit, soy—and beer

The inherent wastefulness of eating meat is making its way into the public consciousness. It’s hard to ignore the overwhelming scientific evidence, including the 2006, 390-page United Nations report, Livestock’s Long Shadow. This landmark study noted that raising animals for food generates more greenhouse gases than all forms of transportation combined.

Less cited, however, is the tremendous amount of water used for both meat and dairy production. With drought conditions in the Southeast reaching critical proportions, it’s time we take a look at how dietary choices affect the water supply. Cornell University scientist David Pimentel has shown that “producing a pound of animal protein requires, on average, about 100 times more water than producing a pound of vegetable protein.” Even more remarkable is the amount of water required to produce milk. The same UN report mentioned above notes that, “On average 990 litres of water are required to produce one litre of milk.” I knew that cycling tremendous amounts of food and water through animals was incredibly inefficient and that mostly we get back feces and urine in return, but I was truly shocked to learn just how much water is wasted by dairy production.

The official handbook for Live Earth, the global-warming concerts that Al Gore co-organized, says that “refusing meat” is the “single most effective thing you can do to reduce your carbon footprint” (emphasis in original). Not consuming animal products is also a powerful way to conserve water. Pass the fruits, veggies, soy milk, juice and beer!

— Stewart David
Asheville

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181 thoughts on “Pass the fruit, soy—and beer

  1. I reject this entire vegan argument… mankind has been eating meat for hundreds of thousands of years, why change now?

    And Al Gore certainly does not refuse meat or (judging by recent pics) much of any kind of food.

  2. xvelouria

    1) Al Gore’s a big (censored) hypocrite, I don’t care what he won; he consciously chooses to ignore the overwhelming arguments that meat and dairy consumption is the one of the leading contributors (maybe it’s THE leading contributor? I am not sure) to his all-time favorite topic of conversation.

    2) Man has murdered other men, raped (people and the earth!), started wars in the name of religion, and exploited other human beings for thousands of years. Man has continuously cut down forests, filled lakes, paved over grasslands, all in the name of progress and development, at an exponential rate since we started doing so. Just because something has been going on forever doesn’t make it RIGHT. Especially when we’re now armed with the knowledge of its destructive effects on our health and on the environment… not to mention the billions and billions of animals bred to die merely for our pleasure.

    ::steps off soapbox::

  3. Stewart David

    Ralph,

    People kept slaves for a long time, too. Should we not have changed that, too?

  4. And to preempt the argument that animals are slaves, they are not. I was raised on a farm. Animals were our masters. We treated them better than ourselves because they were our survival.

    Mighty tasty, too. We used to kill and butcher a hog every year. NOTHING in the world like fresh hawg meat!

    Seriously, it there is incredible arrogance coming from a few proponents of the vegan lifestyle without adequate scientific backup. Vegans, if I recall the last article I read on the subject, are some on the order of 2% of Americans? I may be slightly off on that figure but you are not exactly the mainstream.

    I asked my doctor about this recently. He said that most people and me in specific need a certain amount of meat in our diets. In my case, I have a lifelong iron deficiency so he encourages me to eat red meat in moderation.

  5. travelah

    Stewart,
    Do you realize how absurd that fallacy is? What does the red herring of slavery have to do with eating turkey?

  6. Stewart David

    Ralph,

    If you doctor tells you to eat meat, you should get a new doctor. The scientific evidence showing that a vegetarian diet is healthy is overwhelming.

    T. Colin Campbell, a world-renowned scientist, is the director of the China Project. The New York Times called the China Project “the most comprehensive study ever undertaken of the relationship between diet and the risk of developing disease.” When Campbell — a former animal-protein researcher — saw his studies indicate that animal foods are unhealthy, he took a giant step in redirecting his career. But this is what good scientists do, he said, noting, “I was just paying attention to what the scientific evidence was showing me.” He concluded, “Quite simply, the more you substitute plant foods for animal foods, the healthier you are likely to be.” He is now a vegan.

    You should read the China Study, visit http://www.thechinastudy.com

  7. Stewart David

    travelah,

    Africans captured and forced into slavery were often compared to animals in an effort to justify their treatment. They were called “brutes” and “beasts”. Their lives were considered expendable, and many died at the hands of their oppressors. The same oppressive mentality behind those actions leads to the slaughter of animals today. Animals suffer and die in factory farms and slaughterhouses because they are considered “different” and “inferior” and are powerless to defend themselves. We torture and kill them because we can. But I don’t believe that might makes right.

    Most of us now realize that all humans deserve protection from exploitation and abuse. Compassionate people understand that animals – with their abilities to think and feel – also deserve this consideration.

  8. Johnny

    You’ve got the world divided into compassionate and non-compassionate based on whether we eat meat or not? Wow.

    Get off the high horse.

  9. Rob Close

    “Do you realize how absurd that fallacy is? What does the red herring of slavery have to do with eating turkey?”

    As a UNCA Philosophy Graduate, whose best subject was Logic 101, I can say with confidence that there’s only one logical fallacy here, and that’s Ralph’s original argument -> argumentum ad antiquitatem, i.e. Appeal to Tradition. Simply because we’ve always done something does not justify it, nor does not count as a logical argument.

    Since Stewart’s response was simply trying to dialectically expose to Ralph his original fallacy, the content of the example does not have to have direct relevance to this original issue – even though Stewart seems to have done a satisfactory job of explaining how it’s both a valid argument AND a direct metaphor. Sorry Travelah, but one can not justify ANY action by saying “well, other people do it, and always have”. And for more irony – being that Stewart had a valid point, wasn’t your post attempting to discredit it merely due to it’s form in effect the real red herring here?

  10. travelah

    robclose,
    as one who is a graduate of the UNCA Philosophy program, you are not presenting your alma mater in a favorable light. To state that there was only one logical fallacy and it was not the red herring presented regarding slavery is to demonstrate your inadequate grasp of rhetorical fallacy altogether. While “Logic 101” may have been your best subject in your estimation, I would recommend a second try at Introduction to Logic (101).

    My intent was to point out the irrelevant nature of his rhetorical fallacy and it’s obvious failure to relate in any substantial manner to the topic.

  11. travelah

    Stewart, now you are equivocating the enslavement of Africans to the commercial raising of turkeys. Are you able to make a rational case against eating turkey? Perhaps you are opposed to how turkeys are raised rather than opposed to eating them. Which is your position in this matter?

  12. Rob … I think my original argument was not only logical but correct. It’s a little thing we call ‘reality.’ Most people eat meat ergo most people eat meat.

    People do not eat rocks or vegetables because there is not enough meat on them.

  13. Rob Close

    *sigh*…you guys…

    Nothing personal, but Ralph, your argument was NOT logical. It was personal, and fine, but not a LOGICAL argument. It was in fact a clear example of a fallacy of logic, as explained above.

    “Most people eat meat” is also not a logical argument. That is “argumentum ad populum” – if many believe so, it is so. It certainly is reality though, but nobody argued otherwise.

    travelah, uh, try reading everything again with an open mind. And I dare you to get a UNCA philosophy professor to examine this page. $100 says any one of them will generally agree with me, consider yourself challenged.

  14. Rob Close

    here, i’ll make it clearer:

    if the prof agrees that ralph’s argument was definitely not fallacious, and that stewart was attempting a red herring, i’ll pay you $100.

    if the prof agrees that ralph’s argument was definitely fallacious, and that stewart’s reply was not a red herring, you have to…well, i don’t want money. this is too easy for that. how about you can’t eat meat for a week.

    will you back up your words?

  15. travelah

    Hold on Mr Logic 101, I have no comment regarding the fallacy or lack of fallacy regarding Ralph’s post. The issue is the red herring of the post to which I replied and you indicated as not being a fallacy at all. Any “professor” who does not see the red herring of Stewart’s response is ill qualified to conduct an introductory class on logic or rhetoric. However, you are also engaging in another fallacy, that of an appeal to authority. Having taken Introduction to Logic 101, I am assuming you discussed that one as well.

  16. xvelouria

    Ahem. If I may…

    “Do you realize how absurd that fallacy is? What does the red herring of slavery have to do with eating turkey? ”

    travelah,
    Stewart was responding to Ralph’s comment that “mankind has been eating meat for hundreds of thousands of years, why change now? ” when he said that “People kept slaves for a long time, too. Should we not have changed that, too?”

    Similarly, see my statement in the second post under #2 (“Man has murdered other men,…”)

    Do you see now, or do we need to break it down further for you? Sorry if I’m being rude, but I’m getting so sick and exhausted of the absurdity of defensive meat-eaters’ arguments. Are you even paying attention?

  17. Rob Close

    And I believe that any professor who doesn’t realize that Stewart’s words were merely an attempt to expose Ralph to his own Fallacy is ill-qualified.

    And I didn’t say “This Prof says I’m right; thus I am” – that would be a fallacious appeal to authority. I offered you a challenge with an appropriate authority as judge. If you had studied this fallacy in detail like I did, you would know it’s a highly debated one with very particular grey areas.

    I didn’t see you accept my challenge though. And since you have “no comment” regarding Ralph’s post, I’ll assume you agree with me that he is indeed invoking a fallacy?

  18. Rob Close

    it’s occurred to me that you might not know what the dialectic method is. here’s how it logically works out.

    ralph: eating meat is right because we’ve done it for thousands of years.

    stewart: slavery was done for thousands of years, was that right?

    ralph: [wise-cracks aside] no, of course slavery was wrong. but what does slavery have to do with meat?

    stewart: slavery & meat aren’t related directly, [tho nice try], but THAT’S NOT THE FREAKIN’ POINT. the point is that you can’t justify eating meat simply because so many people did it for so long – slavery was something many people did for so long, and was being presented as an example of why that argument just doesn’t fly. logically.

    ralph: oh, so i’m NOT WRONG, i’m just a traditionalist.

    stewart: basically. just remember, when someone presents you with a letter saying “this is why we should change”, replying “but we’ve always done it this way!” doesn’t add anything. Fine, thing X is popular. Doesn’t mean it is NECESSARILY right, and arguing that it is right just because we already do it en masse is ludicrous. Nothing is right simply because we do it – and logic requires REASON. “this is right because we do it, and things we do are right” boils down to a tautology, and that’s one ugly fallacy.

  19. from Merriam-Webster:

    1 a: obsolete : guile, trickery b: deceptive appearance : deception

    2 a: a false or mistaken idea b: erroneous character : erroneousness

    3: an often plausible argument using false or invalid inference

    Taking these in order:

    1. I am not trying to deceive you, most people DO eat meat. To prove this, approach any number of people and ask them if they eat meat. Over 90% will affirm.

    2. It is not erroneous to believe that the majority of people prefer eating meat over the vegan life style. Again, ask any few thousand people you know and you’ll find that most of them, by far, do.

    3. Yes, that people eat meat is certainly plausible and me saying that most people both eat and prefer meat is NOT an invalid inference because it is so easily proved to be true by so many easily accessible methods.

    As to UNCA philosophy professors, here are some views from great thinkers:

    When I study philosophical works I feel I am swallowing something which I don’t have in my mouth. ~Albert Einstein

    Get married, in any case. If you happen to get a good mate, you will be happy; if a bad one, you will become philosophical, which is a fine thing in itself. ~Socrates, in Diogenes Laertius, Lives

    he point of philosophy is to start with something so simple as not to seem worth stating, and to end with something so paradoxical that no one will believe it. ~Bertrand Russell

    Philosophy is just a hobby. You can’t open a philosophy factory. ~Dewey Selmon

    To that latter let me add: and you can’t eat philosophy either.

  20. Rob Close

    Ah, well then Ralph, here’s Wikipedia’s definition of Fallacy. First Line:

    A fallacy is a component of an argument that is demonstrably flawed in its logic or form, thus rendering the argument invalid in whole.

    or from dictionary.com

    4. Logic. any of various types of erroneous reasoning that render arguments logically unsound. [yup. this is the definition we’re looking for. from logic!]

    (interestingly enough, definitions 1-3 & 5 there were roughly the same as you provided, and yes, you were not committing any of those. but you were committing #4, and if you wanna go against me for $100 ralph, I do back-up my mouth.)

    You see, Travelah claims to have a point. That “My intent was to point out the irrelevant nature of his (stewart) rhetorical fallacy and it’s obvious failure to relate in any substantial manner to the topic.” But Stewart’s commment was RELEVANT, because Ralph’s original comment was indeed a fallacy. That is what I’m trying to explain best I can. If you aren’t even willing to look at Ralph’s original statement that he’s commenting on, then you have no place dissing the reply without understanding it’s context. Which I see that you don’t, either of you.

    But seriously, I am representing my Alma Mater poorly in one way. Philosophers aren’t supposed to TELL someone, we’re supposed to SHOW them through examples, so that they make the connections themselves. That’s the dialectic method (vs didactic), that’s exactly what Stewart was trying to do, which I truly appreciate and thus am enjoying defending. And having been taught this rhetorical method by EVERY teacher at UNCA, I know that they’ll agree with me: Stewart’s comment was Relevant. Not because of the issue it raised, but on it’s form as a dialectic reply.

    But c’mon, take me up on my bet Travelah. Simplify or redefine it if you must. But if you pass me up on this, or try to weasel your way out, expect me to no longer consider myself your ally on these boards. Because I’ll no longer respect you. Seriously. Anyone who trash-talks me when I’m just trying to expose logical form better be willing to back up their mouth, cuz I sure am. If they aren’t, they’re a PATHETIC COWARD. Though I do accept honest, humble apologies. Don’t expect one.

    So ralph, YES OR NO (explain your answer if you want, but yes or no)
    a) do you see how your original statement is an Appeal to Tradition?
    b) do you understand then why this has to count as a logical fallacy, right or wrong, good or bad?
    c) do you see how stewart’s original response is thus RELEVANT?

    I’ll take this bet up with any meat-eater who reads this. I’m easy to find, and don’t hide behind any pseudonyms.

  21. Johnny

    Clearly, Einstein’s quote is the most relevant to your discussion, no?

    “When I eat tofu….”

  22. Rob Close

    “Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.”
    –Albert Einstein

  23. Stewart David

    Ralph,

    Since you quoted Einstein and Russell, here are a couple of quotes I think you’ll find of interest:

    “Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.”
    Albert Einstein

    The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence that it is not utterly absurd; indeed, in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more often likely to be foolish than sensible.

    Bertrand Russell, in “Marriage and Morals,” 1929

  24. Rob, my original comment was actually a question. I said eating meat was traditional and asked why we should change now.

    Stewart replied with an essential non sequitur about slavery.

    non sequitur: a statement (as a response) that does not follow logically from or is not clearly related to anything previously said

    I realize it is the proclivity of philosophers to take a simple precept and parse it into reams of floundering fluff but gee whiz, guy. We’re way off topic now.

    Besides, I used the wrong term to begin with anyway… eating meat, yes, is traditional but it is more behavioral and instinctual. Our bodies crave meat so we find it delectable and savory. It’s natural, get over it.

    So I still reject the vegan argument and I am simply baffled by your attempt to attribute logic to it where no logic exists. Vegan thought is based more on passion than science.

    Please pass the bacon.

  25. Stewart David

    Ralph,

    If you would read the book, The China Study, you’d see that the vegan diet is thoroughly researched and based on science.

    http://www.thechinastudy.com

    You are correct. We are way off topic. My letter was about how eating animal products destroys the environment. Also based on science. See http://www.GoVeg.com/eco

  26. Rob Close

    Ralph,

    Great job answering yes or no. Just because you made your statement in question form doesn’t excuse it from logical scrutiny. Once again “mankind has been eating meat for hundreds of thousands of years, why change now?” What term did you use that was wrong there, Mr. Publisher? None, it’s neither right NOR wrong, simply an appeal to tradition. NOT a non sequitur, since it was clearly a relevant response to the letter. And since stewart’s response was relevant to yours, DUE TO FORM (NOT CONTENT), his was also NOT a non sequitur.

    As for passion vs. science, whatever. We just quoted freakin’ Einstein backing up vegetarianism.
    Way off topic? I’m having fun, and enjoying being right. Keep trying guys.

    And seriously. Keya Maitra ought be the current Logic Professor at UNCA, let’s go to her class and analyze this all, and I’ve got $100 that says the teacher & class will vote that I’m right. It’ll be a fun exercise for the students, and I’ll get to publicly humiliate whomever dares show up.

    Consider yourselves challenged. If you aren’t willing to accept it, then I don’t want to hear anything more trying to defend or attack any else’s logic.

  27. Stewart David

    Hi Ralph,

    Yeah, I’ve seen that before. I’ve read much of what the anti-vegetarians have to say, and I find it all pretty amusing. It’s amazing the lengths people will go to so that they can justify something that tastes good to them.

    Anyhow, no sense arguing. If you are truly interested in knowing more about the other side of the issue, check out the “Vegetarianism’s Benefits” section or the “Honoring God’s Creations(FAQ)” section on the website of the Christian Vegetarian Society, http://www.ChristianVeg.com

    Or, for a secular approach, see the FAQ’s at http://www.animal-rights.com

  28. does this mean you guys are NOT going to pass the bacon?

    vegan-thought is a belief system… it is your right to believe that it will save the world.

    eating meat is not a belief system, it’s just naturally satisfying.

    philosophy is many belief systems and belief systems about belief systems and endless arguments about how many philosophy professors can dance on the head of a pin while writing learned essays on a grain of rice.

    could I AT LEAST get some biscuits and sorghum molasses? even veggies-lovers should like that?

  29. xvelouria

    “Our bodies crave meat so we find it delectable and savory. It’s natural, get over it. ”

    Your body doesn’t crave meat. It craves nutrients, vitamins and minerals. It craves fat, iron, protein, and so on… all things which you can acquire from sources that don’t involve the torture and slaughter of animals. You think you’re craving meat because that’s how you’re used to getting all those nutrients from it instead of from respective veggies, grains, nuts, etc.

    Okay, you say eating meat is satisfying. I’m pretty sure that enslaving blacks was pretty satisfying to those who did so. I’m pretty sure that rapists find what they do pretty satisfying… same thing with child pornographers. So if these things are satisfying to certain individuals, how can they be wrong?

    Or do you not see the connection?

    Oh, one more thing. Veganism and meat-eating are both belief systems… although one necessarily requires a little more critical thinking than the other. :)

  30. Xvelouria, why do you guys keep bringing up slavery? Slavery was an evil and abhorrent practice that has absolutely nothing in the universe to do with eating habits.

    Rapists? Child pornographers? Come on!

    You want to know the REAL problem with vegetarians? They have no sense of humor. None at all. If this is what you get from begin vegan then I can only say… pass the bacon, please.

  31. xvelouria

    Oh, by the way, thanks for the big laughs from that link you posted. Especially this gem:

    “As to the quality of life of farm animals, we might compare the relatively stress-free existence of a dairy or beef herd in the field with, say, that of fellow-ruminants the wildebeest browsing the plains of the Serengeti. The former will be well-fed, watered and sheltered from harsh weather; they will also have access to vetinary treatment. The latter will live under constant threat of attack from predators and suffer the hardships of pestilence or drought. The natural death of a wildebeest is invariably savage. ”

    Way to be misinformed. Jeez.

  32. Oh? Are you an expert on raising cattle? I’ve lived on a cattle farm all my life (and still do)… be glad to answer your questions. Cows definitely are pampered compared to wildebeests.

    And thus they taste better, eh?

  33. And have you ever considered why men domesticated animals in the first place?

    So they would be close at hand come dinnertime. A lot more efficient than hunting.

  34. xvelouria

    I’m sorry you’re so defensive about your meat-eating that you’ll choose to ignore completely rational arguments and evade simple questions.

    I’m even more sorry I can’t find any humor in animal slaughter. I guess I should work on that. :(

  35. xvelouria

    Oh yes. I’m sure they are pampered. Like these cows: http://www.biblestudysite.com/kosherslaughter.htm

    Or these: http://www.goveg.com/factoryFarming_cows_flesh.asp

    Or this one: http://humanefood.ca/news_20.html

    Need I continue? The majority of animals killed for their meat in this country are indeed raised in these enormous factories. Cows, pigs, poultry, etc. are all exempt from anti-cruelty laws, so pretty much anything can happen.

    As for your second comment, we all know that efficency is so much more important than, say, moral concerns. Or health concerns. /end sarcasm

  36. Johnny

    Xvelouria, how about the yogurt and how you love it and how all the baby male calves die and their moms are enslaved? Is there anything funny about that?

  37. I am not defensive about eating meat, I don’t have to be. Vegans are defensive about NOT eating meat.

    If your lifestyle has such great merit such intense (and generally offensive) evangelism on the part of the vegan lifestye would not be necessary.

    Were the benefits of the vegetarian lifestyle so obvious, than more than just a handful of people embrace it.

    As I said in my very first post, I reject the argument yet you guys have expended many words trying to change my mind. And if you think I’m a hard sell, what about ole Joe Sixpack out there?

    So just pass the bacon and allow us to have our individual freedom to eat what we like without some moralistic busybody telling us what nutritional heathens we be.

    Thank you.

    Got an red-eye ham gravy to go with that bacon?

  38. travelah

    robclose,
    This is the portion of the discussion that you need to defend or find support for:

    Ralph:
    I reject this entire vegan argument… mankind has been eating meat for hundreds of thousands of years, why change now?

    And Al Gore certainly does not refuse meat or (judging by recent pics) much of any kind of food.

    Stewart:
    Ralph,

    People kept slaves for a long time, too. Should we not have changed that, too?

    Travelah:
    Stewart,
    Do you realize how absurd that fallacy is? What does the red herring of slavery have to do with eating turkey?

    I view slavery as a red herring. Ralph reasonably identified it as a non sequitur. Both are fallacies and regardless of what Stewart’s intent was, he used an inferred socially unacceptable practice to associate with eating turkey. If you cannot see the fallacy of his argument, then that is a difficulty in your understanding. I’ll use another example to stress this point.

    I: Men and women have been marrying for 6,000 years

    YOU: So what? Does that mean we should still be drawing and quartering heretics?

    I: er ….. huh?

    It is a fairly easy concept to understand and I would enjoy seeing the response you receive from “academia” regarding the portion of the discussion I provided in my opening. You can post it with the appropriate contact information for whoever addresses your inquiry. As for your $100, you can keep it and I will continue to eat my well prepared meat regardless of your challenge.

  39. Stewart David

    My letter is about the scienctific evidence showing that eating animal products has a detrimental effect on the environment. Here is some more information on the subject:

    The United Nations report mentioned in my letter determined that raising animals for food emits 18 percent of all greenhouse gasses (which cause global warming), which is about 40 percent more than all the world’s transportation systems—that’s all the cars, trucks, SUVs, Hummers, ships, and planes combined! While animal agriculture dwarfs transportation (which accounts for about 13 percent of emissions), it also dwarfs all the other leading industrial contributors of global warming, including all residential buildings (10 percent), all commercial buildings (5 percent), and the entire chemical industry (5 percent).

    Raising animals for their flesh, eggs, and milk is one of the world’s leading emitters of carbon dioxide (CO2). But global warming is caused by more than just CO2. Animal agriculture is the leading cause of methane and nitrous oxide emissions, which combined with carbon dioxide, cause the vast majority of global warming.

    Methane: The billions of farmed animals who are crammed into factory farms each year produce enormous amounts of methane, both during digestion and from the acres of cesspools filled with feces that they excrete. Methane is more than 20 times as powerful as carbon dioxide at trapping heat in our atmosphere. Statistics from the Environmental Protection Agency show that animal agriculture is the largest source of methane emissions in the U.S.

    Nitrous Oxide: Nitrous oxide is about 300 times more potent as a global warming gas than carbon dioxide. According to the U.N., the meat, egg, and dairy industries account for a staggering 65 percent of worldwide nitrous oxide emissions.

    When measured by CO2 alone, power plants appear to emit more global warming emissions than animal agriculture does. But this comparison is misleading, as power plants don’t generate energy for their own sake, but rather to provide power for industrial and consumer purposes—like animal agriculture. In fact, animal agriculture uses enormous amounts of electricity from power plants to process feed crops (the vast majority of staple crops raised in the U.S. are fed to farmed animals); to provide ventilation, lighting, and heat for factory farms; to operate slaughterhouses and processing plants; and to refrigerate animals’ flesh, eggs, and milk for transportation around the country. Overall, it takes 11 times as much fossil fuel to produce a gram of animal protein as it does to produce a gram of plant protein.

    All this power used (and CO2 emitted) by the animal agriculture industry is in addition to the fact that (as mentioned above) the industry is the number one emitter of both methane and nitrous oxide.

    Researchers at the University of Chicago determined that switching to a vegan diet is approximately 50 percent more effective in countering global warming than switching from a standard American car to a Toyota Prius.

    The U.N. report also points out that animal agriculture is “one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global” and “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.”

  40. travelah

    Stewart. Is it now your position that the reason mankind needs to stop eating meat is because of global warming? Just in honor of this post, I’m buying the biggest slab of baby back ribs I can find at Ingles and I’m going to fire up my charcoal smoker to handle the task.

  41. Stewart, we live in a democratic society based on the rule of the majority. Something well over 95% of people have voted, with their mouths, to eat meat. You lose.

    You may, of course, demand a recount but I think you will find folks hereabouts more interested in hanging hams than hanging chads.

  42. xvelouria

    Johnny: If you’re referring to my comment under the recycling article about how I eat yogurt all the time… it’s true. Soy yogurt. I choose not to consume animals or their secretions. But… nice try.

    Ralph: “As I said in my very first post, I reject the argument yet you guys have expended many words trying to change my mind. And if you think I’m a hard sell, what about ole Joe Sixpack out there? ”
    I enjoy the discussion. Clearly, so do you, otherwise you wouldn’t be partaking… this is the Internet, after all, no one’s forcing you to respond. Or maybe you’re like me and can’t stand someone else having the last word. :)

    travelah: “I view slavery as a red herring. Ralph reasonably identified it as a non sequitur. Both are fallacies and regardless of what Stewart’s intent was, he used an inferred socially unacceptable practice to associate with eating turkey. If you cannot see the fallacy of his argument, then that is a difficulty in your understanding. I’ll use another example to stress this point. ”

    Okay. ::deep breath:: Follow closely, travelah. First I’ll refer to my post above. “Man has murdered other men, raped (people and the earth!), started wars in the name of religion, and exploited other human beings for thousands of years. Man has continuously cut down forests, filled lakes, paved over grasslands, all in the name of progress and development, at an exponential rate since we started doing so. Just because something has been going on forever doesn’t make it RIGHT. Especially when we’re now armed with the knowledge of its destructive effects on our health and on the environment… not to mention the billions and billions of animals bred to die merely for our pleasure. ”

    And as robclose so concisely put it in one of his posts (seriously, did you even read everything before sticking your foot in your mouth here??):
    “slavery & meat aren’t related directly, [tho nice try], but THAT’S NOT THE FREAKIN’ POINT. the point is that you can’t justify eating meat simply because so many people did it for so long – slavery was something many people did for so long, and was being presented as an example of why that argument just doesn’t fly. logically. ”

    THEREFORE, clearly NOT a red herring. Item A (slavery) occured for a long time, but was eventually determined to be immoral and was stopped (at least in our part of the world…). Item B (killing animals for food) has occurred for a long time, and we’re arguing that it should be considered immoral (not to mention harmful to the environment, and harmful to your health) and stopped.

    Once more… Just because something has been going on forever doesn’t make it RIGHT.

    Sorry to completely coopt your letter’s comments section, Stewart. :X

  43. xvelouria

    “Stewart, we live in a democratic society based on the rule of the majority. Something well over 95% of people have voted, with their mouths, to eat meat. You lose. ”

    Social change always begins with a minority who are proponents of an unpopular idea.

    I used to vote “with my mouth” to eat meat, but I came around eventually. So did every vegan and vegetarian I know (I know there’s some out there whose parents raised them so but I haven’t met any). There’s always hope.

  44. xvelouria

    “Stewart. Is it now your position that the reason mankind needs to stop eating meat is because of global warming? ”

    I think he’s conceding to the fact that some people don’t give a hoot about morality, therefore he’s using other valid arguments. Morality, health, and environment are three MAJOR reasons why a veg*n diet is ideal.

  45. Johnny

    Can losers like us who eat meat have compassion? There’s always this veiled reference to us not being compassionate. Is it true that because I eat meat I am not a compassionate person?

  46. Stewart David

    travelah,

    I can no more stop you from buying a big slab of meat as I can from buying a quart of oil and pouring it into a creek. Both pollute the earth, which was the point made in my letter. You can look at the science and do what is best for the plantet and in turn your fellow citizens and future generations, or you can ingore it all and think only of your immediate gratification.

  47. xvelouria

    Johnny,
    “Compassionate person” is kind of broad. People can be compassionate in some areas of their lives but not others. Maybe you give homeless people your spare change. That makes you compassionate to them. Maybe you always listen to your friends’ problems and give them advice. So you’re compassionate to your friends.

    If you want to be compassionate to animals, don’t eat them. Help out at a farm sanctuary. Adopt animals (if your time and finances allow you to do so) from a shelter. Don’t wear fur or leather. Plain and simple.

  48. Stewart David

    Ralph, you can go with majority rule if you want. Slavery was once popular, too, as previously mentioned. But why not look at the science?

  49. Steward, slavery was never ‘popular’ — it is the province of a rich few… slavery still exists in the world and has for thousands of years but it has ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with vegans.

    the plight of animals really has nothing to do with vegans… animals would still have a tough life or run or be eaten even if humans did not eat them. … they always have … it’s not good to be an animal.

    global warming, if indeed it exists, has many more factors than whether or not we eat meat as its cause.

    so… there is no really strong moral basis to be vegan, it’s a matter of preference.

    so you very few who do not like to eat meat may follow that dream, just do not set yourself up as superior to us meat eaters; you are not.

    pass the bacon, please

  50. I meant ‘Stewart’, I really did. ;-) durn typos.

    and for supper tonight we had a quite nice casserole:

    potatoes, cheese, ground beef, some other tasty stuff. as I ate it I tried to be fair and imagine how it would be without meat… I even pushed some of the meat aside and ate just potatoes for a moment…

    … nope… not as good, the ground beef made it a very satisfying meal.

  51. Stewart David

    Ralph,

    Is that really your picture? Your comments are so immature, I’m guessing that I’m really communicating with an 11 year old.

    It just dawned on me that you or the other critics never asked for any source data regarding my letter. That shows that you never came to this blog to discuss anything, only to go into your anti-science, anti-vegetarian rants.

    For readers who have integrity and intellectual curiosity, here are the sources:

    Pimentel’s comment “Producing a pound of animal protein requires, on average, about 100 times more water than producing a pound of vegetable protein” is in paragraph 7 at http://www.news.cornell.edu/releases/Jan97/water.hrs.html

    “On average 990 litres of water are required to produce one litre of milk.” can be found in the last paragraph on page 167 of the UN report “Livestock’s Long Shadow.” (that’s page 191 of the download at the link below).

    http://www.virtualcentre.org/en/library/key_pub/longshad/A0701E00.pdf

    Here’s a link to the official handbook for Live Earth:
    http://www.amazon.com/Earth-Global-Warming-Survival-Handbook/dp/159486781X/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/102-8716267-0216115?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1189803582&sr=8-1

    The book isn’t online. The part I quoted, “refusing meat” is the “single most effective thing you can do to reduce your carbon footprint” (emphasis in original) can be found on pages 66-67. You’ll have to trust me on this or check your nearest bookstore.

  52. travelah

    stewart, do you still beat your wife or girlfriend? I can no more force you to eat meat than I can make you stop being a pedephile …..see how silly this gets. You are using horrible arguments to make an invalid point.

    xv, what is immoral, unhealthy or bad for the environment about eating meat? What moral standard do you use with regard to meat and where does it come from? What health effects am I suffering from by not being a vegen? The environmental concerns do not exist.

  53. Johnny

    You’re acting like the water just “disappears” or something.

    It’s part of a cycle. It doesn’t go away. (no, no, that doesn’t make wasting water ok).

    Pimental’s work has been refuted over and over. He’s a super guy, very well-read, but the research most cited of his by the anti-meat crowd was not thoroughly done. Much of his later stuff was better. I know.

    Care to compare the water and energy used to grow and transport your soy products cross country vs. hunting a deer locally? Don’t forget the sink that’s running in the truck stop bathroom in Kansas —-ooooh, it’s a stinky one—- that’s wasting water too.

  54. xvelouria

    “xv, what is immoral, unhealthy or bad for the environment about eating meat? What moral standard do you use with regard to meat and where does it come from? What health effects am I suffering from by not being a vegen? The environmental concerns do not exist. ”

    Sigh. Simply put, I believe animals are not ours to use. For food, or clothing, or entertainment, or experimentation, or anything.

    As for the health and environmental concerns… if we get into that here we’ll surely put this comment section into the triple digits. Do some research. But don’t count on Al Gore for any of it. If you want some recommendations, let me know, otherwise I’m not going to waste my time because I suspect you could care less either way.

    Unless you want some books and websites, I’m bowing out of this. I think I’ve said all I can say.

  55. Stewart, Xv… the problem you guys have is that you’re way too uptight about this vegetarian stuff. Most of us will never be convinced your ideals have merit, we’re eating the status cow (or is that ‘quo’) and enjoying it a lot. No amount of books or websites is going to convince us otherwise.

    I personally believe it is your right to be a vegan but that this should fall under the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ category. You guys can see what kind of result you get every time you start bugging us honest folk about veggies.

    NOW, pass the bacon dadgumit. And some scramble eggs. And a tall, cold glass of milk to wash it down. Thank you.

  56. And here’s my final thought on this thread:

    The vegan way is far more religious belief than science. ANY religion — be it vegan, Islamic, Jewish, Buddhism, or certain of the more zealous Christian sects; all of which forbid pork — that stops their adherents from enjoying the succulent GLORY of Southern pit-cooked, pulled pig simply misses the true goodness and great bounty that our beloved and loving God has provided us.

    Pass the bacon.

  57. And finally, finally…

    for those of you who crave a religious experience, visit the mother churches of Beloved Southern Barbecue in Asheville … they are (in order) 12 Bones, Louella’s, and the venerable but inspiringly tasty Little Pigs.

    that is the Truth you’ve been looking for, the light and the way of the gustatory world.

    may you ever burp mightily in peace and satisfaction.

    so mote it be.

    Pass the bacon.

  58. Liz

    Wow! Very interesting stuff here.
    I’d just like to put my 2 cents in:
    a primarily LOCAL diet is bound to be more sustainable than a diet relying on food shipped and processed from hundreds or thousands of miles away.
    That means: local produce, local animal products (if justified by your personal ethic). A vegan diet relying on fresh foods from Chile, California, China, etc, is not sustainable. And try buying dried, bulk goods when purchasing goods that have been shipped…and bring your own bags!

  59. Liz

    I also find it interesting that the responses here largely ignore the original point: the ENVIRONMENTAL impact of raising animals for food. Let’s stay focused everyone.
    Even limiting the amount of meat we each buy/consume can help decrease the environmental impacts noted in the original letter. And as I mentioned above, a primarily LOCAL diet is, for obvious and some not-obvious reasons, more sustainable!
    I used to not eat meat, and I ate very few other animal products. But I was getting soy junk from who knows where (probably raised on a mono-culture farm). My omnivorous diet now seems to me more ethical than my previous “California organic” vegetarian diet. I now consume local meat no more than once per week.
    So how about thinking, doing research, and staying on topic in these responses! And eat local food. It’s thousands of miles fresher, and healthier for our world.

  60. Yes, local bacon is better.

    But, Liz, you’re doing exactly the same religious preaching Stewart is. Let us eat what we eat, it is our personal freedom to do so. We’re not telling you guys what to eat.

    Thank you.

  61. travelah

    xv, of course it is your belief that eating animals is immoral however you do not seem willing to offer any basis for that. For immorality to exist, there must be a moral standard to measure it against. You offer none other than your belief (your faith in vegan diets).

    You are right in that I would have little interest in whatever various biased resources you would offer regarding health and the environment with regard to reasonable and balanced diets including various meats. I grew up on a sustaining small organic farm that was a model for healthy living and concern for it’s environment. We ate meat, made our own butter and cheese and even culled an occasional small doe off our woodlot when desired as opposed to having it among the numbers that perish in the winter. The evidence simply is not in the vegan camp. Face it. A vegan diet is nothing more than your personal choice. It is in a sense your religion. It is not mine.

  62. Stewart David

    Hey Liz,

    Great post. I agree that locally grown and sustainably raised foods are very important issues. But eating locally produced animal products is not a solution for the masses. It’s impossible for more than a miniscule percentage of Americans to eat only locally produced meat, dairy products, and eggs without consumption being drastically curtailed.

    We now have over 300 million people living in America, and in excess of 6.5 billion on the planet. The amount of land we use for agriculture is staggering, and increasing exponentially. Most of it is used to grow food to feed animals. We cut down countless acres of trees in America and rainforests in far away lands to produce cheap burgers and grow chicken feed. Livestock production now uses a full third of the earth’s land surface. We need to reverse this trend, and raising animals on small farms would do the opposite. In the US, moving the 9 billion chickens raised for food annually out of factory farms into outdoor sustainable environments would require tens of millions of acres. Much more land would be needed for pigs, veal calves, ducks, turkeys, egg-laying hens, and other animals now raised in intensive confinement. The amount of land required to pasture feed cattle now fattened in feedlots would be astronomical. The massive deforestation and the wildlife destruction that would accompany such changes is clearly not an acceptable, eco-friendly alternative to factory farming. Nor is it economically feasible, land prices what they are. Calls for a return to the perceived quaintness of the family farm of days gone by are unrealistic. Twenty-first century solutions require that we look forward, not backward. Nostalgia won’t stop global warming. If we stopped eating animal products, we could greatly reduce the amount of land used for agricultural purposes and, instead, grow alternative fuels, reforest, etc.

    According to research done at Cornell University, it requires 2.11 acres of land in New York State to produce food for a person eating a high-fat meat diet. If a family of 5 on such a diet lived on 10 ½ acres and produced all of their own food, many would consider such a situation to be the very definition of sustainability. However, the same research revealed that a person following a low-fat vegetarian diet requires only .44 acres. When we consider that this same amount of land could feed 5 times as many people eating plant-based diets, in this case 5 families of 5, we see that raising animals for food is anything but sustainable. We don’t have 2.11 fertile acres to support everyone’s diet, and thus meat-eaters take food out of the mouths of hungry people.

    Another issue seldom raised is that few people can afford or have access to locally raised animal products. What is everyone else supposed to eat? Should the masses continue to eat factory-farmed foods that destroy the planet? Or perhaps only the poor need become vegetarians? Rather than this becoming a class issue, society should, instead, recognize and encourage the necessity of a shift towards plant-based diets. “Elite meat” is not the answer.

  63. Liz

    Ralph et al,
    It’s not about religious preaching. The original letter was pointing out the environmental implications of meat-eating. I was simply trying to go back to the original letter by pointing out that vegetarian or vegan diets are not necessarily more sustainable.
    If you don’t give a toot about environmental implications, then the original letter should mean nothing to you! Furthermore, you’ve contributed nothing to the argument. If, however, you could find research pointing to animal products with a lower environmental impact, you could contribute to the discussion of the environmental impact of meat!
    Ralph, you eat meat, you like meat, you don’t want to be told not to eat meat. We hear you. The ORIGINAL argument asked us to consider environmental implications of our food.
    A plea to all of us, as quoted by MountainX: “Please keep your comments relevant to blog entry.”

  64. Liz

    Thank you Stewart for your focused response. These are great points that trigger good “food for thought” as I continue to evaluate the ethical/environmental implications of my lifestyle choices.
    Yes! I do agree! I think plant-based diets are essential to the health of individuals and the planet, for the reasons you mentioned above. I see many sides of the issue here, but I don’t foresee everyone completely giving up meat (I’d be happy with it, but my partner loves to have some meat here and there). A plant-based diet, I believe, can incorporate limited amounts of meat, but it is up to the individual’s ethics to justify this.
    My point was that a local diet incorporating meat has less impact than globalized diet without. You are right in questioning the overall global sustainability of this, considering the sad state the world’s food industry is currently in.
    For those interested in really understanding their environmental impact, try taking an “eco-footprint quiz” online: http://www.earthday.net/footprint/index.asp

  65. Johnny

    Environment-shmironment.

    The folks here pushing for not eating meat have been grasping more and more in the past couple years on the environmental angle. The REAL angle of theirs is to try to impose their own view on what’s proper to eat on other people.

    Study up on Sally Fallon and the Weston Price Foundation. There’s some good stuff there. People are natural meat eaters. I know I am, at least, and this holier than thou attitude that we don’t have a place in the food chain is tiresome.

    The world is going to hell in a handbasket, and a few rabid vegans preaching about buying soy products from all over creation and how that’s gonna save the planet are mind-bogglingly out of their league. Not to mention being a bit disingenuous regarding their true motives.

    First world vegans who use one to two orders of magnitude more resources than those in developing countries come on and spout from the comfort of nice homes and high speed internet access stations about how to save the planet with their plastic tubs of bean curd are really trying to get you into their faith, their belief system, and their minds are closed to anything else.

    They’ll spout a bunch of (well-refuted) research saying this-that-or-the-other, but they usually didn’t bother to read the report in the original and question the assumptions.

    No one is hassling you is you’re a vegan. Go for it. Live, Love, Eat. It can be a fine diet.

    But if it’s environmentally more benign to eat a deer killed locally than buying soy protein from far away (and it would be hard to argue otherwise), well, then, vegan activist won’t tell you that’s ok. It’s still not ok for them, and so their environmental concerns take a back seat at that point.

    Engaging the community in discussion about the perils to the resource base created by our industrialized food system is a fine thing. Getting on your own high horse about your own little angle on it turns people away from the larger discussion you are pretending to have.

    Everyone would gain from increased humility towards our planet. No doubt.

    Lots of ways to do it, one being to have an acceptance of those around you and the diets they have selected.

  66. Liz, Liz… you guys ARE preaching and searching vainly for a hook to hang your religion on. I am on topic when I simply say — in response to all the arguments for the vegan lifestyle so wordily presented on these and similar topic threads — pass the bacon.

    Please.

    And leave those of us in the vast meat-masticating majority alone to enjoy eating the nature way.

  67. But let me be the first to admit that not all meat is good for you — here’s what a famous philosopher has to say on that:

    “Red meat is not bad for you. Now blue-green meat, that’s bad for you!” –Tommy Smothers

  68. xvelouria

    so I lied. I couldn’t help myself.

    travelah,

    “xv, of course it is your belief that eating animals is immoral however you do not seem willing to offer any basis for that. For immorality to exist, there must be a moral standard to measure it against. You offer none other than your belief (your faith in vegan diets). ”
    The answers to the question you ask are far too complex to answer here, and admittedly I do not have the time (nor am I sure that I trust you have enough interest to warrant my efforts) to type them out in my own words. However, I will ask that if you truly wish to know the moral arguments for veganism and have the patience to do a bit of open-minded reading, check the following resources (some of the most concise that I’ve found):
    Here: http://www.veganoutreach.org/advocacy/beyond.html
    Here: http://www.abolitionistapproach.com/?p=27
    And Here:
    http://www.abolitionistapproach.com/?p=28

    “You are right in that I would have little interest in whatever various biased resources you would offer regarding health and the environment with regard to reasonable and balanced diets including various meats. ” Because obviously any sources that seem to suggest that a vegan diet is healthier than an omnivorous one must of course be biased. I love your way of thinking.

  69. xvelouria

    “Study up on Sally Fallon and the Weston Price Foundation. There’s some good stuff there. ”
    I could knock down Sally Fallon’s entire philosophy with no more than my pinky finger. Eat more lard? Asians don’t really eat soy? Heart attacks are not caused by diet? If you don’t eat milk/meat you’ll get osteoporosis?? Feed your baby raw cow or goat milk??? HA. Give me a break.

    “The world is going to hell in a handbasket, and a few rabid vegans preaching about buying soy products from all over creation and how that’s gonna save the planet are mind-bogglingly out of their league.” You don’t have to eat soy to be vegan. I do… I buy tofu distributed from California and originating from god knows where, and I’ll admit that I don’t really need to. I buy as many local fruits and veggies as possible. I buy as much organic as I can afford, and I’ll always choose produce from NC over something from Chile or Canada, even if it’s a little more expensive. Just wondering… do you only eat local meat, only eat local produce, never buy any packaged food or anything from outside NC? Anyway, I would love to learn how to garden most of my own food to reduce my impact. Maybe I’ll make that my Resolution this year.

  70. Xv, I raised a garden for a very good part of my life. Blow some carbon credits on a gasoline tiller and use insecticides are you won’t get anything worth eating.

    Gardening and self-sustainability is not for most city folk. It’s HARD, back-breaking, constant work. Believe me, the stuff at Ingle’s starts looking pretty good after a day of gardening in the hard sun.

  71. also, I just looked at some vegetarian recipes:

    # Mock Meatloaf
    # Veggie Sausage Gumbo
    # Lots of Layers Lasagna
    # Artichoke Pesto Pasta
    # Spaghetti With Hearty Mushroom Sauce
    # Black Bean Burgers
    # Eggplant Manicotti
    # Tofu Tacos
    # Quick Quesadillas
    # Citrus Barbeque Tofu
    # “Chicken” Nuggets
    # Black Bean Burritos

    Gee whiz, guys, it you’re gonna PRETEND to eat meat all the time why not just EAT meat. How dishonest and self-deluding are recipes like this?

    And you misspelled ‘barbecue’

  72. Stewart David

    Ralph,

    Fake meats are good transition foods for people who are accustomed to eating meat but have decided to no longer senselessly slaughter their fellow beings simply to satisfy their taste buds. Or for people who have decided they’d like to have less of an environmental impact. Or people who want to have a much lower chance of getting cancer (www.thecancerproject.org) or heart disease (www.heartattackproof.com). Or people who choose a plant-based diet to help fight world hunger (http://goveg.com/worldhunger.asp).

    Or all of the above!

    “Compassion, in which all ethics must take root, can only attain its full breadth and depth if it embraces all living creatures and does not limit itself to humankind.”
    —Albert Schweitzer

  73. xvelouria

    It’s true, Stewart. The vast majority prefers to keep their heads buried in the sand.

  74. Rob Close

    Ralph,

    why would you list:
    # Lots of Layers Lasagna
    # Artichoke Pesto Pasta
    # Spaghetti With Hearty Mushroom Sauce
    # Eggplant Manicotti
    # Tofu Tacos
    # Quick Quesadillas
    # Black Bean Burritos

    When I make any of these dishes, there certainly isn’t any attempted fake-meat in them. The other 5 you listed make sense with your claim though, but 5/12 kinda betrays the point you’re trying to make.

  75. My wife is a vegan. I am not. I eat meat in front of her constantly. Ultimately, the choice to go veggie or vegan relies solely upon the individual, and the Stewart Davids of this world have nothing to do with it. If people want to do it, then do it. It’s not something I want to do, so I don’t do it. End of story. Call me a bad person all you want, and I’ll just laugh and eat the brisket.

    As far as Ralph’s comments go on the whole “vegetarians have no sense of humor” front goes, I’ll say this: the other night my wife and I watched 2 Girls 1 Cup together, and neither one of us could stop laughing. Imagine that: a vegan and a meat eating savage watching two women do things to themselves and each other that would have gotten them stoned to death in other countries. If that isn’t love, if that isn’t America, I don’t know what is.

  76. Rob, because I was in a hurry and just cut and paste the whole list… my point still stands, tho, and is not betrayed. People, way down on the instinctive level WANT meat. Vegetarians try to fool their bodies into thinking it’s getting meat when all it’s getting is soy.

    Now soy is not all bad, I’m on a diet right now where I have it twice a day … sipping on a soy shake as I write this. But I get meat for the evening meal, otherwise I would not survive.

    You veggie peoples have got to:

    a) develop a sense of humor

    b) quit bugging us meat eaters to enter into something our bodies tell us is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG (and your body is, too–only you not listening!).

    c) find another religion even if it’s only the Flying Spaghetti Monster (hey, is He a Veggie icon?).

    d) all of the above with bacon.

  77. Rob Close

    otherwise i would not survive…

    no, i think otherwise, you’d have to put a lot of effort into having a balanced diet, and maybe take some supplements (for iron, eh?). but survive?

    that’s a whole other debate, eh?

  78. Jason, what I meant is that vegans have no sense of humor about eating meat or diets other than their own perceived holy-anointed bowl of sprouts and nuts.

    To be fair, some of those bowls of spouts and nuts are not bad. Simply ladle a thick beef broth over them and they are delish!

  79. Rob, I’ve had to take iron supplements for years already. So I would have a hard time of it indeed without meat.

    Besides, there is much more to life than just survival. We should enjoy it and I cannot imagine enjoying life on nuts and berries. That’s a starvation diet.

    I see it this way. Some 500,000 years ago or more, two of our remote ancestors are huddled in a cave munching on nuts and berries laboriously gathered. Finally one of their throws these bits of sparse fare on the floor of the cave in disgust. “The heck with this,” he says. “I’m going out and invent the hamburger!” And the eyes of his lady fair lights up and replies, “while you’re at it, invent cheese and lay some bacon on mine.”

    Until now, we have not looked back.

    We are human, hear us roar and burp in great satisfaction and DO NOT tell us what to eat!

  80. Stewart David

    Jason,

    RE: “Ultimately, the choice to go veggie or vegan relies solely upon the individual, and the Stewart Davids of this world have nothing to do with it. If people want to do it, then do it.”

    I’ve been a vegan for almost 20 years, which means I ate meat for almost 40. I wish I had learned all of the compelling reasons to stop eating animal products earlier in life. To that end, I try to let others know about them. It’s up to everyone to decide for themselves, but it’s good for people to have information available to make informed decisions. So much of human behavior is based upon habit or misinformation supplied by those who make a buck off of selling products. I can’t count how many people have thanked me for exposing them to new information. Some have told me that the information I have provided has led them to become vegans or vegetarians. Others have said they now eat less meat or only choose to consume animals that have not been raised on factory farms. (They call it “humanely-raised meat,” I call it “slightly less tortured meat,” but that’s a topic for another day. :-)

  81. Stewart David

    Regarding vegans not having a sense of humor, that’s funny. I pride myself on my sense of humor, and if you knew me, you’d know that I am a very funny person. As a youth I aspired to be a stand-up comic.

    But there are things I don’t find funny. As a Jew who lost family in the concentration camps, I never could get a chuckle out of Holocaust jokes. And I don’t find anything funny about rape or animal abuse, either. Every time I watch the video at http://www.meat.org that shows how animals are raised and slaughtered for food, I just can’t find the funny parts.

    And now, for some veggie humor,

    How many vegans does it take to change a lightbulb?
    Two, one to change it and one to check for animal ingredients.

    How many meat eaters dose it take to change a lightbulb?
    None, they would rather stay in the dark about things.

    Okay, now you can see why I didn’ make it as a comic. Check out vegan humorist Dan Piraro’s animal rights cartoons at http://www.bizarro.com/vegan/index.htm

  82. jokes?

    okay…

    A drunk vegan and a cow are sitting in a bar. The drunk has been explaining, reasonably elegantly, the benefits to the cow of her being a vegan.

    “Okay, that’s fine,” the cow says, “but you ain’t getting any of MY carbon credits.”

    “That’s not what I want,” replies the drunk, putting his arm around the cow.

    ———————–

    A drunk vegan and a chicken are sitting in a bar. The drunk has been explaining, reasonably elegantly, the benefits to the chicken of her being a vegan.

    “Okay, okay,” the chicken finally says, pecking at some corn on the bar, “all that’s fine, just don’t lay an egg over it.”

    ————————————-

    A drunk vegan and a lady meat cutter from a nearby supermarket are sitting in a bar. The drunk has been explaining, reasonably elegantly, the benefits to the lady meat cutter of her becoming a vegan.

    “Are you sure about this?” asks the lady meat cutter. “There’s a lot at steak for me.”

    ———————————-

    A drunk vegan and a horse are sitting in a bar. The drunk has been explaining, reasonably elegantly, the benefits to the horse of him being a vegan.

    “I know, I know,” the horse says in exasperation, “but it ain’t all grass and apples being a vegetarian you know. I just don’t have a choice! Don’t blow yours just because someone wants you to eat sugar cubes out of his hand.”

  83. Nam Vet

    Yes these reasons for not eating our animal friends all have merit. But most of all, it is sympathy for the animals that I think is foremost. Check it out. Go out to Fairview, or Leicester, stop at a cow pasture, and exchange glances with some of the cows. You will see the gleam of life in their eyes, the same as ours. Go our further and see the pigs running free enjoying themselves. See the lambs and calves. Can you eat veal again? Or hamburger? You know, in many Asian countries, dogs and cats are killed, dissected, and eaten as “delicacies”.

    Bottom line is you do not have to eat meat to be healthy and get all the nutrition you need. Let us give the animals the same right to life we afford our pets, and each other.

  84. Stewart David

    Nam Vet,

    Well said! I wanted to share the following quote with you:

    “A man can live and be healthy without killing animals for food; therefore, if he eats meat, he participates in taking animal life merely for the sake of his appetite.” Leo Tolstoy

  85. “Dear Lord, I’ve been asked, nay commanded, to thank Thee for the Christmas turkey before us… a turkey which was no doubt a lively, intelligent bird… a social being… capable of actual affection… nuzzling its young with almost human-like compassion. Anyway, it’s dead and we’re gonna eat it. Please give our respects to its family.” ~Berke Breathed, Bloom County Babylon

  86. Nam Vet

    Thanks for the quote Stewart. I have been an admirer of Tolstoy for years. He is a man who had a mid-life crisis at 50. Re-examined his life, and came up with a new interpretation of the Gospels of the Bible. He got rid of his wealth, lived and worked with his peasants, strived to live a simple life of hard work, humility, and love for his fellow man. He wrote “The Kingdom of Heaven Is Within”,a great book. Yes, he is so right. We do not need to kill and eat animals to sustain our bodies. We just kill and eat animals because we like the taste. Let’s rise above and start the new year with a more encompassing respect for life.

  87. lurkymclurkstien

    hey ralph ,

    dont you think your being ‘the same’ as you claim they are?

    or are you immune to your own criticism?

  88. lurkymclurstien, the same as who? I’m the same as nobody, nobody is the same as anyone else, we are all bozos on this bus (to quote Firesign Theater).

    and I am not criticizing anyone here, merely assisting them to point out their own fallacies and I do not hide behind a pseudonym while doing it.

  89. Hopefully

    Ralph, do you work at the kentucky fried chicken restaurant? My mother said she saw you there!

  90. Your mother is seeing visions… enlightenment does not come in fast food places. Whatever these establishments serve, it is neither meat nor vegetable, nor mineral nor any matter in the known universe.

  91. Now, a serious question to you vegetarians. Is it just the way animals are treated you object to? If pork chops grew on bushes, would you then eat them? If there were steak vines and drumsticks grew in the ground like sweet potatoes, would meat be part of your diet?

    Just curious.

  92. Nam Vet

    The cruel killing and slaughter process is a major reason, Ralph. But also the thought of eating dead animal body parts is just as unappealing. And which animals are coveted as “tasting good” depends on the culture you’re in. In Asia, a lot of the people like to eat dogs and cats. Now if a dog’s severed head was hanging from a bush, would you want to “pick it” and take it home and eat it? Too extreme? The French like to eat frog’s legs. A lot of primative tribes eat snakes, bugs, and anything crawling they can catch. So it’s all relative. Personally, I like a pure, healthy diet. I do not want to eat dead animal body parts no matter if they are nicely “packaged” in a grocery store, or hanging on a bush. But that’s just me. :)

  93. travelah

    Ha! Pork Chop Trees ….
    Another serious question …. Do vegetarians understand the concept of mothers milk relative to cows and how we keep a ready supply of that mothers milk for a plentiful supply of cheese and other wonderful mothers milk based products? I would be interested in understanding the vegetarian concept of divorcing cow mothers milk from meat.

  94. Nam Vet, you and have both been to a place where dog is a delicacy, especially if dribbled with that sauce made with ferment fish heads. Nope, there are many things not appetizing to me. But some are. For example, we had barbecued water buffalo several times, it was not bad.

    While I do respect vegetarians, 99% of the world’s people are never going to give up eating meat. There is nutritional value in it that our bodies naturally craves. This has been so for hundreds of thousands of years. No amount of feeling sorry for animals will change this. So there is no reason to feel guilt.

  95. Nam Vet

    Ralph, millions of people in the world are vegetarian, by culture and custom. Hindus and buddhists, for example, are vegetarian. So if you were including them in the 99%, your numbers are off. :)

    Travelah, I’ll spell it out one more time for you. “Meat” is derived from killing the cow, something the cow will never recover from. Milk is derived from “milking” a cow, a harmless procedure. The cow LIVES, get it?

    Some vegetarians are vegan or macrobiotic and do not eat dairy products. I am lacto-vegetarian and do. The Hindus in India have been eating dairy for 1000s of years. They respect cows and do not kill and eat them. They are allowed to roam the streets of towns and cities just like the humans do. I agree with their take. I am opposed to killing, dissecting, then eating the flesh of killed animals. Especially the cow, who is kind enough to give us ice cream.

  96. travelah

    Nam, I like you so I’ll help you out here regarding my mothers milk comment. Mothers milk was the clue here. Having spent my formative years on a rather sufficient farm, I do know a little bit about this. In order for a cow to produce milk consistently, she has to be “freshened” meaning she has to give birth periodically otherwise her milk production is inconsistent and of poorer quality. Thats why we have bulls and artificial inseminators :). Now, my point in this is that a dairy herd produces more calves than needed to replenish the herd, many more in fact. So, those vegetarians who enjoy cheese and other dairy products need to keep in mind that in order to supply a large population with these goods, we produce cattle for market. Let me ask you this. What would you do with a male calf if you are a dairy farmer? You have three options. 1. Keep it for breeding. 2. Castrate it and raise an Ox or 3. Take it to market. At market, there are two options: sell it to another farmer for breeding or it is sold for meat.

    The point in all this is that cattle for consumption are a by-product of cattle farming lest the herd become too large and it requires thinning out. So, vegetarians, the next time you have a piece of cheese with your wine, thank me for being the meat eater I am.

  97. Stewart David

    Travelah,

    Wow, we finally agree on something. Female cows are like female humans; they only produce milk after pregnancy. I became a vegetarian because I didn’t want animals to die for my food. I continued to eat dairy products until I realized that veal calves are a byproduct of the dairy industry. They are taken away from their moms, usually within a day of birth, so that the milk can be sold to humans. I like to say that there’s a little bit of veal in every ice cream cone, glass of milk, or piece of cheese.

  98. travelah

    Stewart, start enjoying your vegan life and save your energy. Mankind is never going to adopt your lifestyle nor should we.

  99. No, it hasn’t, Stewart… but let’s cut to the chase on this. Most of us meat eaters are live and let live folk, we’re not trying to force anyone else to eat as we do, if we think about it at all. You vegetarians however are trying to CONVERT us. It’s a matter of individual freedoms. I do not have the right to tell you what to eat and you sure as heck do not have that privilege with me. Stop evangelizing, Stewart, we are not of your faith.

    And that’ okay.

    Kindly pass the bacon.

  100. travelah

    Stewart, also to add ….
    A calf is not taken from it’s mother at a day of age in any sufficient farm run by any farmer connected to his land and husbandry. We never sold baby veal to market and without exception waited until every head was at least one year old before considering market. They were not raised on a feed lot or taken from the herd until marketed.

  101. light&hope;let thee not belie thy name by being catty, eh?

    I also grew up on a diary farm and I can confirm all that travelah said. Cows have a good life until, of course, they go to be hamburger.

    While I love cows — I really do, they are much underrated animals — I did not design nature and who eats whom. Like most people, I do not worry about it. This is the way things are and vegans will never change it. And should NOT, it is not your place to change it as I said to Stewart earlier. Please do not tread on our freedom to eat what our bodies ask us to and we will not send missionaries crying the glory and saving power of meat out into the vegetarian villages.

    Wait… there are no vegetarian villages around here. Mostly people eat the succulent flesh of the beast and don’t (to quote that great philosopher, Bart Simpson) have a cow about it.

    Yum.

    Pass the bacon.

  102. Hopefully

    My dear Mr. Ralph, there is nothing better than the taste of a two inch thick new york strip seared on a hot grill until it’s black on the outside and red on the inside topped with a large piece of herb butter!!! Or a trip to Lexington Barbecue! I’ll pass on the bacon.

  103. Nam Vet

    Ralph, someone posted here not long ago that “meat” choices are just a provencial thing anyway. In some parts of the world,people still eat human flesh. So shouldn’t they be able to have the rght to satisfy the cravings their bodies have for “meat”? Just wondering… :)

  104. Nam Vet

    Travelah, my heart is warmed that you like me. Aww… But your logic is skewed my friend. The idea that cow herds need to be “thinned” by faux-hunting cow flesh eaters, is as ridiculaous as the argument used by deer-ambushers for their blood sport. In India, with a population much larger than ours, dairy has been a staple in their vegetarian diet for thousands of years. They do not kill their baby cows for ‘veal’, and they manage. Now you may have a point for large corporate farms who warehouse their cows in pins when they are not being milked, and their entire operation uses “modern scientific animal husbandry” techniques. Arrrgggh. These are the same people who grow chickens in a little cage and force feed them and shoot them up with hormones. This entire process is cruel.

    I buy and support local small farms who do their thing organically and humanely, like it used to be done all over this country. This is NOT a cruel way to raise and harvest milk from cows. In this kind of operation, there is no such thing as “too many cows”…wink wink. Your logic doesn’t make it. I grew up on a small dairy farm and we had none of the problems you suggest are a byproduct of the “dairy industry”. If you like to eat murdered dead animal body parts because you like the taste, just say so. Your justification for it is not up to your usual standards. :)

  105. Well, light&hope;, there is indeed light and hope!

    Thank you.

    I’ve been to the Lexington Barbecue several times, it is indeed one of the mother churches of barbeque in the South, as is the Georgia Pig in Brunswick, Georgia and Sprayberry’s in Noonan GA — the latter being the restaurant the late Lewis Grizzard wrote of as being the best in the world — not the best barbecue but the BEST restaurant in the world. And it is quite good.

    And vegetarians ask us to give up such savory eating as this? Get real, masticating lovers of turnips, please to get real. ;-) Vegetables are a SIDE dish.

    Pass the bacon, it enhances the taste of any veggie.

  106. xvelouria

    Nam Vet,

    “I buy and support local small farms who do their thing organically and humanely, like it used to be done all over this country. This is NOT a cruel way to raise and harvest milk from cows.”

    This is not a practical way to supply the nation’s demand for dairy products. If we switched from factory farms to local, small farms “doing their thing” organically and humanely, allowing their cattle to graze freely or whatever, while keeping up with current demand, would quickly eradicate what remaining forests we have.

    Not to mention, what happens to the cows when they’re too old or worn out to provide milk?

    And what did the dairy farm you grew up on do with all the male calves? Keep them there? I would just like a clarification, thanks.

    And in response to your earlier comment, “Especially the cow, who is kind enough to give us ice cream. “… the cow isn’t giving you crap. You’re taking it from her. Don’t kid yourself into thinking that any animal is so kindhearted and thoughtful that she’s willing to give up her baby’s food to another species, especially one that DOESN’T EVEN NEED IT.

  107. mockeyjew

    I like chicken I like pork stick your mama with a fork if you dont like it go back to new york

  108. Nam Vet

    xvelouria, I disagree with you. I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree. Like I’ve said, I’ll go with the Hindus who have been using dairy for thousands of years. They are vegetarian and respect cows so much, they are allowed to roam free as people do. There are more Hindus in India than we have in the USA. Yet they find a way to have the cows and the milk products and do it the organic, small farm way. Besides, I will light a candle where ever I can. I use only dairy products from small organic farms, and I encourage others to do the same. As the demand rises, more people will go into this type of farming, just as many former chemical-use farmers in California have gone organic there. I’m not going to stop using dairy because you think it isn’t feasable nationwide.

    Also, just how pure is your lifestyle? Do you own any leather items? Purses, shoes, belts, wallet, or? I imagine you do not. But you may just want to check yourself out in this regard. :) Again, milking cows is NOT painful or cruel. The cows I’ve milked all liked the attention and willingly gave me the milk. When was the last time you were on a dairy farm…or have you ever been? You can read websites all day long. But unless you’ve actually gone out in real life and investigated for yourself, you just don’t know.

  109. Love cows and eat them with reverence … blessed be the hamburger, the stew beef, the thick and juicy New York strips. Mother Nature gives to you of her bounty… receive you with joy the roast beef, ribeyes, ground chuck, prime rib, and tender-to-the-fork pot roasts. Partake in true tummy goodness of the chuck from whence comes the savory and satisfying hamburger, the rib, the short loin and the porterhouse it provides, the flavorful sirloin and the filet mignon of the tenderloin, the top sirloin, the round, the breast and flank with short ribs and brisket. Give thanks and dig in — some nights are just not vegetable nights.

    So mote it be, now and forever and ever.

  110. Johnny

    Nam Vet, it’s impressive how little you understand about dairy compared to how much you’re willing to act like an expert. Impressive still that you say “I grew up on a small dairy farm…”, but don’t quite get it.

    There is more death in dairy than there is in beef production. Dairy cows on average don’t live as long as beef cows, and both dairy and beef cows are bred to calf once per year. Half the dairy calves are males and are killed as either day-olds or go for veal 8-12 weeks later. Some of the heifer calves go for veal too, if they’re not going to be good replacement cows. Occasionally a calf of either sex will be raised for beef. The main source of utility hamburger meat is from cull dairy cows.

    The way it’s done on a mass scale has no appeal to you, nor do many people.

    You don’t have a problem with dairy raised right. Most people don’t.

    But it’s folly to suggest your hands are clean from any killing if you eat dairy. They’re not. That’s the point people have been trying to make to you.

  111. xvelouria

    Nam Vet,

    Once again,

    What happens to the cows when they’re too old or worn out to provide milk?

    And what did the dairy farm you grew up on do with all the male calves? Keep them there? I would just like a clarification, thanks.

    And no, I no longer own any leather. I’ve at long last replaced all my shoes and belts. But good try, redirecting the blame and everything.

    As for Hindus… well, sure, I guess you could say they respect a dairy cow. Until it dies of “natural causes”, when they ship off its carcass to be skinned for leather. Yes, they skin the sacred cow and turn its hide into fashionable clothing. Now that’s what I call respect. All in the name of profit, eh? See http://www.chai-online.org/en/compassion/clothes_leather.htm

    Oh, and humans are the only species who consume milk past infancy. And the only ones who consume the milk of another species.

    Chew on that.

  112. travelah

    xv, if you are going to rank mankind as just another species among many, then you might have to explain why many species are carnivorous. If eating meat is not natural among species then why do they do so. Secondly, what kind of teeth do you think you have? I do not know about you but my teeth are those of an omnivore. Did “nature” make a mistake?

  113. Nam Vet

    Travelah, we have the teeth of “omnivores”, not carnivores. If you check out a true carnivore’s teeth, you’ll see they are sharper and more pointed than ours,with longer “eye” teeth. Human beings have the “free will” to do what they want. And that is both our salvation, and our downfall. We cab follow our baser desires and be participants in the killing and eating of animals, or we can choose to eat food that didn’t need to be processed in a “killing fields” slaughter house.

    By the way, human beings have the intestines of a vegetarian, about 22 feet long if I remember correctly. Same as a cow, a strict vegetarian. And that is the primary reason it is unhealthy for humans to eat very much “meat”. It stays in the colon too long, often leaving a rotten muck behind that stays in the colon. Ever had a colonic? You’d be surprised at what comes out of there that is impacted from years of poor digestion and over-eating. Over consumption of “meat” products has made colon cancer a common killer here in the USA.

    Go veg and be healthy. Go veg and be more relaxed. Love animals, don’t kill and eat them!

  114. Nam Vet

    xv, death is a natural occurrance for all living things. The fact that the cows die of natural causes in India is a good thing in my book. If they use the cow’s skin for leather AFTER it has died naturally, what is the harm there? It is the killing of LIVE animals to be used for “meat” consumption that is the great sin here. That part we both agree on. And you still haven’t answered by question: have you personally visited a small dairy farm and seen first hand for yourself? Reading websites from organizations with an axe to grind does not give you all the information you need to be informed here. You know xv, when I was in my early 20s I was idealistic and wanted the world to be perfect in all respects…like you. But the world just isn’t that way and probably will never be “fair”, as we perceive it. All we can do is try our best to live a life as close to our ideals as possible and try to stay out of constant measurement of a world that does not conform to those ideals. This is how attempt to live day to day.

    I’m glad you finally got rid of your leather items. I only put that it as a little joke-aside because you mentioned before you still had an old leather item. :)

    Let’s celebrate what we have in common,which is a lot more than we disagree on. Have a nice Christmas holiday season.

  115. travelah

    Nam, My words concerning myself were “I do not know about you but my teeth are those of an omnivore. Did “nature” make a mistake?”. An omnivore is one who eats both meat and vegetable by natural design. The point in that is we are created specifically to eat both and we do. Now, if an omnivore wishes to eat nothing but vegetables, so be it. At the same time it is entirely natural and expected that the rest of us eat both. It is not unhealthy, unnatural or unexpected for us to be meat eaters. I am assuming you are a Christian based on your earlier comments. Do you realize that Jesus Christ was NOT a vegetarian? Did you realize that Abraham fed veal to the LORD on the plains of Mamre? Now that is not going to mean much to most radical vegans, but it does clearly indicate that eating meat is not an immoral issue. The priests of Israel were to keep and consume the choice portions of each sacrifice. The Passover sacrifice itself was required to be eaten, entirely. I hope you will reconsider your position.

  116. xvelouria

    travelah, are you trying to use what characters in the Bible said and did as a basis for what is moral?

    I guess it would follow that offering up your daughters to be raped by a mob of men is moral, huh? (Gen. 19:8)

    I could offer more examples but I’d rather not spend too much time arguing over Christianity. See why lots of Christians are going vegetarian at http://www.all-creatures.org/cva/honoring.htm.

    And Nam Vet… no, I haven’t visited a dairy farm but I really don’t think it’s necessary. I don’t care if the dairy cows are fanned by beautiful women or fed out of golden troughs or if they dine alongside kings. They’re still being exploited for their secretions. Their calves are still taken away and sold for breeding or killed for veal. When the mama cows have done their lives’ share of milking, they are killed for their meat. Or do you bury them in some cow cemetary when they’re spent and not use their bodies for anything?

    Also, so you’re okay with leather, as long as the cows die “naturally”? Do you think that once the cows can’t give milk anymore, there’s some kind of retirement home for cows where they wait until they die to ship them off to the tanners? Maybe they just milk them until they fall over from exhaustion. I don’t know. This necessitates some more research. Would you wear this so-called happy leather? Maybe I’ll skin my mom after she dies and make her into a nice lampshade.

    Not really, that’s gross.

    Anyway, happy holidays to you, too. :)

  117. travelah

    xv, Christianity is my moral compass and I am more than certain you are not up to an exegetical examination of the passage you mention nor would you understand the teaching and purpose of the passage and Lot’s viewpoint. Suffice to state that neither daughter was harmed.

    In any event, I noted that radical vegans would raise objections but my commentary was not intended to sway you to a Christian sense of morality but to point out to Nam that his position was not well reconciled to that of the Hebrew and Christian experience.

  118. Hopefully

    So now you are a theologian? Professing to be a christian is akin to bragging about having a mental disorder! A religion is simply a cult with a bit of history behind it, a cult too old to thoroughly disprove and ridicule by simple investigative journalism. Currently we can see Scientology going through the process of metamorphosis, changing from a cult into a new and distrusted religion. Mormonism has a bit over one hundred year head start on Scientology. Christianity had to pass through another couple of centuries before it gained a significant amount of legitimacy, becoming the luckiest cult in history by being taken up by the Roman Empire, the religious equivalent of getting a contract to supply McDonald’s.What kind of an ineffectual god needs a madman with a bomb or a sword or a smart bomb to carry out his will? Or indeed a prophet?
    A real god would have no need for a prophet. Ever. If a god can talk to a man why can’t he talk to all men? If a god needs a single interpreter working in secret what kind of a god is he, weak or secretive? Would a good father give a message to his children via one favourite child?

  119. travelah

    Pr 21:9 It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house.

  120. mockeyjew

    Girl I know you didnt just drop the atheeist bomb on travelerts head!!!!and all he can come back with is a women hating quot that he got from playboy magazeen. since I ahve been reading this forrum I notice travelert allways think he know everything well I think he met his match but i still like meat. My granny ate meat til she was 101 and smoked to

  121. Hopefully

    Traveler , you are so predictable. I knew it was about time for another sexist comment and there you go! Is that the best you can do? Are you really a woman hater?
    What these folks are trying to tell you about vegeterianism is true. Although I eat meat, my girlfriend doesn’t. She says she can taste the meat flavour on me(I think thats why she likes me) Try to keep it real trvelah.

  122. dickyfauge

    Whoaaa girl!!! We are talking about vegetarianism here, not your lesbian lifestyle. Please, children may be reading this and I would not want them to get the wrong idea and think its alright to be a lesbian. A lesbian atheist? What a combination, or should I say abomination?

  123. david

    Everyone knows that if you eat meat, even in a local, healthy moderation, then you are destroying Rainforests in Ecuador. Hickory Nut Gap Meats, for example, sponsors the killing of 12 acres of pure rainforest in Costa Rica for every 10 pounds of locally produce, grass-raised, organic beef they sell, just so that they can have a similar impact as an Arby’s burger.
    I, personally have advanced far beyond the vegetable killing vegan lifestyle, and now only meditate and process energy directly from sunlight and mantras.
    If you dont stop writing letters in to the editor and meditating constantly on the oneness of all things, then you are as bad as the Nazi’s.

  124. ah, Christmas… Merry Christmas and let us not forget why we celebrate this glorious day.

    and may I suggest, for your Christmas repast, a traditional English Yuletide meal… and may I further suggest you invite me over to help you consume it in all good fellowship, peace on Earth, and joy to humankind.

    (from the Wikipedia):

    In the United Kingdom, what is now regarded as the traditional meal consists of roast turkey, served with roast potatoes and parsnips and other vegetables, followed by Christmas pudding, a heavy steamed pudding made with dried fruit, suet, and very little flour. Other roast meats may be served, and in the nineteenth century the traditional roast was goose. The same carries over to Ireland with some variations.

    * Brandy butter
    * Brussel sprouts[12]
    * Pigs in a blanket – Chipolata sausages wrapped in bacon
    * Chocolate yule log
    * Christmas cake
    * Christmas pudding[13]
    * Trifle
    * Dundee cake
    * Mince pies[14]
    * Roast turkey[14]
    * Stuffing
    * Gravy
    * Roast beef
    * Roast duck
    * Roast goose
    * Nut Roast (a popular vegetarian alternative)

    what time should I be at your house?

  125. Stewart David

    Merry Christmas!

    “Isn’t a man an amazing animal? He kills wildlife by the millions in order to protect his domestic animal and their feed. Then he kills domestic animals by the billions and eats them. This in turn kills man by the millions, because eating all those animals leads to degenerative – and fatal – health conditions like heart disease, kidney disease, and cancer. So then man tortures and kills millions more animals to look for cures for these diseases. Elsewhere, millions of other human beings are being killed by hunger and malnutrition because food they could eat is being used to fatten domestic animals.

    Meanwhile, some people are dying of sad laughter at the absurdity of man, who kills so easily and so violently, and once a year sends out cards praying for Peace on Earth.”

    -Preface from Old MacDonalds Factory Farm, by C. David Coates

  126. Nam Vet

    Good one Stewart! And L&H;, saying Merry Christmas is not politically correct. You will be in trouble with you fellow unAmerican socialists!

    Merry Christmas everyone!

  127. travelah

    Now Stewart, did you not know that the Prince of Peace was a meat eater? … young veal at that!

  128. Hopefully

    carefull namvet, those wingnuts might take you off the dole…we know you have been sucking the government teat for some time! Didn’t they reduce your benefits recently? Dont worry, your democrat friends will help you!

  129. Hopefully

    Wait a minute, someone named dicky fauge is hatin’ on the lesbos?!

  130. Hopefully

    Oh traveler, I get the feeling you might like to meet a meateating prince!!!

  131. Nam Vet

    Travelah, when the Bible mentions “meat” it is referring to the main dish being served, not necessarily dead animal body parts. I believe Jesus ate what was served to him, but didn’t go out of his way to make dead animals his meal of choice.

  132. Stewart David

    Travelah,

    A better question is “What Would Jesus Eat Today?”
    From the Christian Vegetarian Society:
    “As Christians, we hold that the ethical principles Jesus taught, such as love, compassion, humility, and charity, are eternal. We believe that, if Jesus were among us today and witnessed the wastefulness, environmental destructiveness, human health hazards, and animal mistreatment inherent in modern animal agriculture’s methods, as well as its contribution to world hunger, he would choose to abstain.”

    Does the Bible support vegetarianism?

    The Bible depicts vegetarianism as God’s ideal, and the diet conforms to the central biblical principle of steward-ship. In Eden, all creatures lived peacefully, and God told both humans and animals to consume only plant foods (Gen. 1:29–31). Several prophecies, such as Isaiah 11:6–9, foresee a return to this vegetarian world, where the wolf, lamb, lion, cow, bear, snake, and little child all coexist peacefully. Christian vegetarians, while acknowledging human sinfulness, believe we should strive toward the harmonious world Isaiah envisioned—to try to live in accordance with the prayer that Jesus taught us, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10).

    See http://www.all-creatures.org/cva/honoring.htm

  133. travelah

    Stewart, the Society you are quoting is not well versed in the scriptures and they are making speculative assertions based not on scriptural evidence but on their own presumptions and worldly biases. The killing of animals was required of the LORD for four thousand years of history, a killing of millions. The passover itself continues to be observed by millions of observant Jews requiring the consumption of meat. Christians acknowledge that Abraham fed the LORD a meal of veal calf on the plains of Mamre. Jesus prepared fish for His disciples and fed thousands.
    A better question to ask is not what would Jesus do today but what He will do with regard to the vast majority of activist vegans who hold nothing but hatred for Him while toying with assumptions concerning what they would like Him to do.

  134. travelah

    Nam, please consider the passover meal and reconcile that with what you assume “meat” to mean. Why did Jesus prepare fish for His disciples? Why did the LORD overfill Peter’s nets?

  135. Hopefully

    Jesus was a Jewish mamas boy who was probably gay! If he existed at all. Travaler, you superstitious self righteous christian wannabe. Is there any limit to how low you will stoop to win an argument? Stop quoting the bible. Its sickening to see you spout that nonsense.

  136. Nam Vet

    Its not just my assumption Travelah. “Meat” did mean “the main dish”. I don’t pay too much attention to the historic details in the Bible anyway. It started out as an oral recounting and wasn’t written down til later. I think the parts to really examine are the words of Christ, which somehow have survived despise the language differences, etc. They do ring true.

  137. Nam Vet

    Travelah, if I don’t chat with you in the meantime, have a great New Year 2008.

  138. dickyfauge

    Hey there namvet and travelah. why do you ignore that girl.It seems like she has a point. do you believe in the easter bunny? I stopped believing when I saw my good friend die at ben hoa afb. he was a good christan and a friend to all.

  139. Hopefully

    They think I’m attacking them with ad-homonins. But really, I’ve tried to reason with them, but they don’t respond to well to any new ideas. Sorry about your friend.

  140. travelah

    dicky, she is the wrong shade of green for my taste and her house under the bridge? Phew … it’s a wreck.

  141. Hopefully

    Traveler, the sportsmanship is getting really bad around here. Perhaps the hormones in all that meat you have been eating has caused a hormonal imbalance. Your commentary has deteriorated into the realm of childishness. Have you entered your dotage recently?

  142. travelah

    light, you are simply not taken serious in any manner. It isn’t any more complex than that. Have a nice chew.

  143. ingarageland

    Eating meat is immoral and grotesque. None of you guys can really justifie it.
    Hey light and hope, looks like travahler is going to take his bat and ball and go home. Apparently you have hammered him down too many times. For the record, I agree with most of what you have said, but you are insufferably rude. Just because you are right does not give you the go ahead to be a smart aleck. You are all intellect, no brains. No one wants to have their noses rubbed in their own stupidity.

  144. dickyfauge

    Light you should lighten up on travelah I dont think he likes you very much.

  145. Hopefully

    Yes and I will send one to you too travelah to fill those lonely nights!

  146. Traveleh

    Mmmmmmmmmmmmm Mmmmmmmmmmmm as much as I’d like to, I better pass.

  147. quotequeen

    If fifty million people believe a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.
    ~ Anatole France

  148. Nam Vet

    “Believe those who have found the Truth. You’ll know it when a deep swelling of ‘yes’ arises from within. Doubt those who are seeking the Truth, for they stop along the way to bray their half-truths and just add to the confusion.”
    ~NM

  149. “There are no whole truths: all truths are half-truths. It is trying to treat them as whole truths that plays the devil.”

    –Alfred North Whitehead

    “No matter what you say some fool will think you’re ignorant, proving instead that he is.”

    –Ralph Roberts

  150. and finally in my series of wisdom for this morning:

    “It is hard to intelligibly espouse the truth when your mouth is full of vegetables.”

    –me again

  151. Nam Vet

    “There is an absolute Truth but it exists outside the understanding of the human mind. Therefore, Truth does exist. But those who think they know what it is can only spout half-truths no matter how much they wish they could say the whole thing.”
    ~Nam Vet

  152. Nam Vet

    Me again.

    “It is hard to have empathy for other creatures when one has a mouth full of dead animal flesh.” :)

    ~Nam Vet

  153. Traveleh

    For a veggie head, you sure seem unempathetic. Your hate filled ad-hominimellic rants indicate a feeble grasp of the subject matter.

  154. Traveleh (I am assuming this is the false Traveleh nor the real one), the correct term is “Ad hominem” which is Latin for something like “argument to the man” — i.e. insulting the person instead of addressing the substance of the argument.

    Nam Vet did not do that, he simply replied in kind, elaborating on the topic at hand. To Nam Vet, I reply simply, “medium rare, please.”

    To you I say, find your own moniker and quit ursurping those of others. It shows, at best, a paucity of imagination on your part.

    And for all vegans, I say simply I had a GREAT hamburger for supper at the 51 Grill (right next to that beautiful towering wall of Staples on Merrimon.

  155. Hopefully

    Ralph, I think the fake traveler was trying to be ironic or possibly employing parody in their portrayal of traveler. (Traveler frequently employs the term “Ad hominem”;) Perhaps they are misspelling the word to call attention to it’s frequent usage by the “T”
    Well, got to go make myself a delicious ham sandwich. Later

  156. ah! I see. ;-)

    put a bit of mustard, some mayonaise and slice some fresh onion (as a sop the the vegans) on your ham with all between toasted slices of sourdough bread and you will have a real sandwich. Add some Monterey Jack cheese.

    oh my!

    good stuff … perhaps the ultimate argument on why NOT to be Vegan.

    By the way, having grown up reading science fiction pulp magazines, I know that Vegans are from the star Vega … nothing in this thread disabuses me of that opinion.

    Vega, by the way is the fifth brightest star in the sky and along with Deneb and Altair form the well-known Summer Triangle.

    Inhabitants of the planets circling Vega, even if they eat meat, are all Vegans and to the very end of their smallest green and slimy tentacle resent that tiny subgroup of humans which so ignorantly upsurpt their honored designation.

  157. quotequeen

    Never pick a fight with an ugly person, they’ve got nothing to lose.
    Robin Williams

  158. Alan Ditmore

    I oppose vegetarianism because it is not contraception and therefore not environmental. Neither is zoning.

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