5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.
Whether it's kicking your soda habit or resolving to open that bottle of wine you've been saving just because, the beginning of a new year means reflecting on what we'd like to change. Seeing that we're a food-based Web site, any impending alterations tend to be of the edible variety.
Gene Baur is the co-founder and president of Farm Sanctuary, a farm animal protection organization with a mission "to end cruelty to farm animals and promote compassionate living," and he has his own notion of a food resolution - and hopes you'll chew it over during the upcoming year.
Five Ways to Eat More Compassionately in the New Year: Gene Baur
1. Eat less chicken (and fewer eggs)
"When you reduce or eliminate chicken and egg consumption, you are helping some of the most abused animals on the planet. Chickens raised for meat are often crammed by the thousands into filthy warehouses and denied access to the outdoors, fresh air and sunlight for their entire lives.
Specifically excluded from the Federal Humane Slaughter Act, chickens are carried through the slaughter process so rapidly that many are injured but not killed, and are instead boiled alive when it comes time to remove their feathers. Gardein and Quorn, two brands widely available in supermarkets, make chicken alternatives that - wait for it - taste just like chicken! Minus the fear and suffering, of course.
Chickens raised for eggs don’t have it much better. They can be packed so tightly in fetid cages that they never engage in basic natural behaviors or even stretch their wings. Millions are starved for a few weeks each year to shock their bodies into another egg-laying cycle. Think about it: is your momentary enjoyment of an omelet really worth making an already depressed and miserable animal go hungry for weeks? If that doesn’t sit right with you, opt for the high-protein, cruelty-free tofu scramble instead."
2. Replace cow’s milk with a healthy, animal-friendly, non-dairy, calcium-fortified milk made from almonds, rice, oats, coconut, soy or hemp
"It’s complete hooey that people need cow’s milk for calcium. Cow’s milk is for baby calves, and there are plenty of delicious, more healthful and calcium-rich plant-based alternatives we can consume.
The only way for people to consume cow’s milk is to routinely tear newborn calves from their mothers as dairy cows are trapped in an endless cycle of pregnancy and lactation. Pushed beyond their biological limits, they are worn out and sent to slaughter after just a few years 'in production.' Have you had an almond milk or soy milk mocha latte? They are fantastic and truly guilt-free!"
3. Avoid foie gras like the plague
"Foie gras, or fatty duck liver, is only produced by the systematic and abusive practice of over feeding ducks via a metal tube that is forced down their throats. Foie gras is in a class with veal in terms of the cruelty inflicted on animals and we should shun it every bit as much."
4. Resolve to eat vegetarian ONE DAY each week
"If that seems like too big of a challenge to start, eat vegetarian at ONE MEAL a week. Before long you’ll realize how easy and delicious it is to eat vegetarian, and it will feel effortless to increase how often you eat vegetarian meals.
Using this incremental approach, you may decide to eliminate animal products from your diet all together. Simply decreasing your consumption of factory farmed meat will prevent countless animals from living a life of pure misery."
5. Eat more plants!
"From salads and pasta dishes to vegetarian meats and cheeses, there’s a new world of flavorful alternatives to enjoy as part of a kinder, healthier eating plan. If you want cheese, try the Daiya non-dairy varieties; for sausage reach for the Field Roast chipotle or apple sage links; instead of a hamburger, try a veggie burger with pickles, tomato, onion and other fresh toppings; when the kids want chicken nuggets, they won’t even realize that Quorn brand nuggets are missing the meat.
It’s 2012 — isn’t it time we stop eating foods produced by industries that treat animals like unfeeling commodities and start eating in a way that reflects the healthy, evolved, compassionate society we aspire to be? Let this be the year you opt out of eating cruelly. You’ll be amazed at how great it feels (and tastes) to eat compassionately."
Is there someone you'd like to see in the hot seat? Let us know in the comments below and if we agree, we'll do our best to chase 'em down.
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Just as important, if not more important, is to eat in an ecologically sustainable manner. That means eating local foods and using the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Guide when picking seafood. Know where your food comes from, how it's raised, and the ecological impact, and vote with your dollar. This includes supporting food containers that are biodegradable.
Watch the movie Forks Over Knives. I eat an entirely plant-based diet because 1) I want to be as healthy as I can be and avoid many of the toxic chemicals, antibiotics, etc. we are exposed to every day in food and the environment, 2) I want to stop supporting factory farming, which is the leading cause of greenhouse gases (not cars, as some believe), 3) I want to support local farmers and 4) I want to improve the treatment of animals. I can't think of four good reasons to eat meat. As Spock would say, "It's logical." By the way, I was a naval officer's wife for 20 years thus you could consider me somewhat of a conservative (in case you were thinking I might be of a more "crunchy" ilk). I grew up eating lots of meat, drinking lots of milk, and loving cheese. I haven't looked back. I buy organic and local produce when I can. Oh, and I can think of two more good reason to eat plant-based food... 5) it's good for your budget. You can buy bulk grains, nuts, and other stuff at pennies a day, not to mention the long term benefits to your health and the planet. 6) I believe in preventative medicine. Most of the current chronic illnesses in our society such as the high incidence of diabetes and heart disease are preventable, if we can educate ourselves about how a plant-based diet is doable, tasty, and the right thing to do. Unless, of course, you're fine with supporting the big drug companies who are lurking around every corner peddling their goods for every little symptom. Come on... do we need to listen to all the drug ads on TV during every commercial break? I'm not saying every drug is bad (I wouldn't have my two wonderful children if that were true), I'm just saying that we take too many drugs that treat symptoms and not the cause. We need to be forward thinking. The planet will not survive at the rate we're using up its resources trying to feed billions of its inhabitants. Oh, and one other good reason (that makes seven!) I've thought of... eating a plant-based diet is great for looking great and keeping the weight off!
Addendum to my post: I work a full time job to which I commute to and from 60 miles a day and live in a rural area where getting to the supermarket has to be planned to save gas. I still make the plant-based diet work; It just takes a bit of planning ahead. There are so many wonderful recipes in books and online. And an 8th reason to eat a plant-based diet: no greasy dishes to wash!
Awesome, informative post! Thank you!!
Forks Over Knives is excellent! The past 6 months I've been changing my food drastically. I just can't continue to participate in the torture. And "free range" can be an empty distinction, according to USDA rules. Anyone who thinks mainstream meat and dairy production is not a big deal should watch Earthlings. Google it, you can watch it for free.
I am also really tired of losing friends to cancer. According to The China Study, even a small amount of meat in the diet significantly increases the incidence of cancers.
I look forward to keeping chickens one day for eggs!
Lots of good vegetarian meals here! You won't miss your meat...
I'd like to be a vegetarian, but I don't want to get sick again. I experimented with a raw foods and little or no meat diet and I got very sick, chronic fatigue symptoms, for about three years. A nutritionist told me that my body was nutritional depleted and I needed to start eating meat everyday. I did that and a number of other things to try and recover. After about two more years of very slow progress, I recovered my strength. I don't know that it the meat was the cure, but I don't want to take a chance again. I find the whole issue of killing animals to eat troubling and totally confusing. There are so many factors that go into health or illness; I don't think science could separate out all the physical, emotional, genetic, nutritional factors. Science in this country is hard to trust because it operates at the service of economic interests. I'd love to find a source of honest inquiry into the subject of diet and health, I'd like to find honest science, I'd like to find people who aren't so dead-sure that their own experience (as they understand it) is the final word and applies to everyone. Yes, I'd like to be part of a more humane solution to the abuse of animals.
I have a number of friends who were vegetarian and found eventually their energy depleted. All of them found their energy picking back up when they put meat back into their diets. They were all shiny eyed evangelists for vegetarianism when they began and for some time after. The experience people share here as to how well they are doing as vegetarians is good information, but maybe the good health they attribute to vegetarianism is not something that will last.
I hear what you're saying, but there are many successful vegans and vegetarians, who don't feel and appear to feel depleted. There are even some successful athletes who are vegan. But I applaud you for trying and also, being aware of the issues surrounding meat production/slaughter. I get a lot of nutrients from farm-fresh eggs and I have to say, I would find it challenging to be a vegan. But I've been healthy by avoiding red meat and poultry, and using eggs as my protein source, along with fish. One could probably successfully do the egg thing and skip the fish, and that'll be another step in my evolution.
It's all right, but one thing this reporter forgot to include was the mentioning of free-range organic chickens, milk nd eggs. People don't have to be vegetarian to advocate for animals' rights; they can get high-quality protein from consuming those organic products.
Samanthie, I so agree with you. You can be humane and still eat meat/eggs/dairy. You just have to be very selective. And the best part of doing so is that you are helping a farmer earn a living!
I agree with the idea of eating more compassionately but I know I will probably never become a full fledged vegetarian, much less a vegan. I wish the author, or at least some other contributing editor to Eatocracy would discuss the virtues of helping those farmers/ranchers who have chosen to raise and slaughter animals humanely. Heritage Foods is leading the forefront in this movement and I have been supporting them for about 5 years now. They work with small, independent farms that raise heritage breeds of poultry, beef and pigs. Their most recent initiative is called "No Goat Left Behind". Apparently, farmers who raise goats for milk have to get rid of male goats so they are either killed at birth or sold into commodity markets. Heritage Foods is working with farmers to allow them to be raised in hilltop pastures before offering them to its' customers as meat. I buy my chickens and heritage turkey from a man named Frank Reese who has led the way in humanely raising poultry. His turkeys fly and live normal lives before being slaughtered. My beef comes from White Oak Pastures where the slaughtering facility is onsite and the cattle live out their lives as they should, eating grass, roaming free. My pork is also purchased through Heritage Foods. I wish I could embrace vegetarianism. I certainly have reduced the amount of meat and poultry I consume, especially since I now buy most of it in bulk through this website. But I am also a "Foodie" and love eating real, wholesome meat and poultry. If you guys would let your readers know about these other options it might get more people like me to think in terms of leaving the commodity markets in the dust. Another wonderful thing it will do is help to keep small, independent farms alive. By opting to buy less meat/poultry and to buy it from small farmers who raise their animals humanely, we might be able to change the way America eats. We might be able to bring back a country where farmers can make a good living and we will no longer have to consume meat and poultry that have lead horrible, tragic lives. There may come a day when our meat and poultry is clean, untainted with chemicals that can only poison us rather than nourish us. Please consider looking into this way of eating. I have been doing so for years now and it has made a huge difference. I can't even look at meat or poultry from a fast food restaurant and in fact, on the extremely rare occasion when I tried to eat it, I nearly gagged because of the taste of the chemicals in it. I had to throw the stuff away. Isn't that what we should begin to work toward? Maybe someday I will turn the corner and give up meat and poultry altogether but I am not there yet and neither is my family. However, we are to the point where we make conscious decisions as to what kind of meat and poultry we will consume and that's a start. For those not ready to make the leap, this is a very manageable step.
Thank you for your post. I am not ready to make a complete switch to vegan either, but would like more information on where to look for more humane options rather than purchasing products for consumption that are the result of factory farming. I will definitely check into Heritage Foods. Appreciate all of your thoughts – thanks again!
I'm so glad to see this article. Such simple things we can do to help those who cannot speak for themselves. The reduction in suffering and in carbon footprint we could make if everyone in the US had just one non-meat meal a week is massive. A non refinded, plant-based diet might help with our obesity epidemic too. Take one day off meat a week by all and the world really starts to become a better place. A trend to non factory farming where animals have a nice life before slaughter is preferable to what is happening now. Asking everyone to become vegans overnight often creates the angry backlash we see in the blogs. Start with moderation and education and we might turn the dial in the direction that helps everyone.
Thanks for your sensible and thoughtful response.
I smack my lips when I eat.
I think you should profile Liz White, of Animal Alliance of Canada. An amazing woman who has dedicated her life to helping animals. Actually, to be fair there are thousands - no, millions - of people who never get the spotlight, who are rescuing animals, raising awareness and fighting for animals and the environment every day... they deserve credit too. But Liz is also an incredible spokesperson who would be worthy of your attention. http://animalalliance.ca/
Recently I became aware of farm animal cruelty and I am doing my best to become a vegetarian, resulting in meat twice a weak so far. It's an eye opener! There are SO many delicious non-meat dishes and I feel more energetic and happier! This is a great article that just gave me more inspiration! I hope more people accept the fact that we do not necessarily need meat in our diets and instead protect these poor, defenseless animals.
It's so refreshing to see vegetarians standing up for a change. Animals feel pain and fear just as much as humans do. Why then, should we put them through misery, just so we can eat them? There are many healthy vegetarian sources of protein especially legumes that can more than suffice our needs. I am especially opposed to eating competitions, where people will stuff themselves silly with 100 chicken wings or hot dogs...it makes no sense to me.
I would like to ask the vegans why so many of you spend so much time trying to make vegetable matter taste like meat, but no one tries to make meat taste like vegetables? Ît seems to me that eating veggies that taste like meat would be like giving children toy guns to play with. BTW, before one of you launches the inevitable hominum attack, my cholesterol is just fine. Sorry to disappoint you.
how does any of that make sense? when I quit smoking, I sucked on menthol cough drops to transition away from my menthol cigarettes. many people who are transitioning to a veg diet have grown up with certain tastes and try to duplicate those to make the transition easier. most veg's that have been that way for an extended period of time have come to appreciate the taste of whatever food they're eating without turning it into something else. For me, I typically stick with the latter, but occasionally, I want comfort food that mimics the meat dishes I grew up with. the difference being that nothing died for what is sitting on my plate – and that's the lifestyle I've chosen for myself.
@Pam, thank you for the great tip! I am looking to quit and I am going to give the cough drops a shot!
You do have a point about mock meat products. Vegetables are so delicious and not processed. But when we eat hotdogs, or anything cured, smoked or heavily seasoned, that seems like a prime example of trying to have meat tast like, well, something else (hello bbq sacue)! The word 'meat' can be applied to a lot of foods (nut meats, grain meats, etc.) It doesn't just have to mean flesh and I think, back in the day, it didn't mean just flesh.
As a vegan I don't eat any of the products that are meant to taste like meat. I eat amazing grains, veggies, legumes and fruit. I used to eat meat/chicken and have been able to modify most recipes to just vegan – and they taste awesome. At dinner parties people who don't know I'm vegan eat the food I've made and love it. When they find out its vegan they are happily surprised and often ask for the recipe. Eating vegan or vegetarian (even one day a week) can help a person's health and the health of the planet in so many ways! We cannot continue to consume animal products at the rate we are. Now that developing nations are developing a taste for "western food" forests are being torn down to graze cattle and raise wildlife that consumes 80% of the grain we grow – grain that could feed hungry people.
I believe it's unrealistic to expect most people to go meatless – but small changes can make a huge difference for us and future generations. Just a note about that steak you may enjoy – it takes 5000 gallons of fresh water to produce it – and yet it takes only 40 gallons of fresh water to produce 1 lb of fresh apples. With clean water in short supply this is worth knowing. It's not just about going meatless – it's about thinking about everything that goes into producing our food (the water that could be used for humans to drink, the chemicals and pesticides that are ingested and then run off into drinking water, animal waste that runs off into drinking water and contaminates nearby vegetable crops).
Thank you Wendy, you are the first vegan who has ever said that expecting the entire world to go vegan was unrealistic.
People don't become vegan because they dislike the taste of meat, dairy, and eggs. They become vegan for ethical reasons. Thus, mock animal products. It really isn't hard to understand.
Beef, I meant to reply to you earlier. For me, it's easier at times to "sneaker-consume" fake meat products because I avoid scrutiny (and sometimes hostility) if I'm eating with a bunch of other people. A veg dog looks like a regular hot dog (okay, if you don't look too close), and I can quietly eat in my own way, without freaking out other people. I've found if I don't eat meat at gatherings, I get many questions ... which is fine, but I also get many challenges and sometimes bad feelings, when all I want to do is enjoy my meal, LOL! The very idea that I don't partake of meat seems to upset people, even if I'm doing it as quietly as possible. And, the veg stuff is also something different to eat - another taste sensation. I don't really think of it as a meat replacement, exactly, but it's certainly promoted and packaged that way. I could also see those products as something you might transition with if you're interested in going off meat, like someone else had mentioned in a posting.
I suggest all the meat-eaters amongst you watch the movie 'Food Inc' and give a little thought to how greedy cost-cutting meat producers produce the food you're putting in your mouths. I know you would all like to think that USDA is the final word in healthy food production. Erm.... think again!
An Omnivore's Dilemma is a great read for the cause as well!
Torture and eat not of others, lest ye be tortured and eaten by aliens who think you are of low IQ and created for their use. Universal Law – Do not take what is not freely given.
Act of killing is a sin. That action that is a cause for distress of others is a sin. Karma comes back, it is a subtle law and force of nature. You eat and I shall eat you.
I would be much more inclined to listen to the babble of vegetarians, vegans, animal activists and the "environmentally conscious" foks out there if I saw their lifestyles more often echoing their supposed beliefs.Ride a bicycle to work and plant your OWN vegetable garden. Preserve your own food in reuseable glass jars instead of adding to the landfills. Go ahead & PUT a couple chickens in your back yard and harvest abuse-free eggs. And if you live in an area where this is totally not do-able (and many places it would possible but folks are too lazy), then support a local farmer who treats his livestock well. With so many people unemployed, we would do well to have more small farms and create jobs. Is it "less efficient" than a factory farm? Absolutely, but if these people need the jobs, what's the shame in that? Of course, that would mean that you'd have to pay a better price for your meat & vegetables, with human labor involved instead of massive machines & chemicals. I can hear the whining now...
Rosemarita, your message is a good one with lots of great ideas and would have been much more powerful if you had stated your own beliefs without starting the post with an attack and some major assumptions. I am a vegan who raises a garden AND bikes to work! Who would have thought?!
I agree with Pam. It's amazing how much more likely someone is to listen to your beliefs if they are stated in a positive way. There are plenty of eco-conscious people out there who do the very things you just suggested. I am a proud omnivore, but I get my eggs from my pet chickens, and only buy meat that was ethically and humanely raised.
Pam and Jess, I disagree with you two. I have been attacked, even once physically, just because I eat meat. Every single veghead I've ever met (Many hundreds) immediately attacked me for eating meat. I've raised the animals, looked them in the eys when I killed them, and tanned their hides into leather with my own two hands. Vegans are usually self-righteous jerks who think their farts don't stink. And interestingly enough, those who 'chose' later in life to be vegan are almost always white middle or upper 'privliged' class. (Not talking about Buddists here)
I'm sorry that you've felt attacked by vegans/vegetarians. I find it a shame that you're against an entire group of people, many of which you don't know or haven't met. But I do understand people can be self-righteous. I have met people who eat meat, who, like some on this forum, go out of their way to insult me, even though I haven't said a word to them! However, I try not to lump people into groups and say all meat-eaters are like that. That's not true at all. And if you were physically attacked by a vegan, I would say that person was just plain crazy, period. Mental illness has nothing to do with food preference. But along the lines of feeling verbally attacked, I'm a vegetarian and try never to verbally accost anyone about their eating beliefs. If someone who eats meat asks me why I don't, sure, I'll tell them why ... and that point, I have to be very sensitive, because it can come across like I'm accusing them of something terrible. Anyway, guess my point was, please try not to stereotype people. You can find good people on both sides of the fence. If you get around a vegan or vegetarian, they are obligated to be sensitive to your feelings, just as you are obligated to be sensitive to theirs. Unfortunately, not everyone plays by those rules!
Eat more compassionately in 2012. Not for thins 1 percenter.
If anyone here is considering trying the meat alternatives in the article but is wary about taste, I can share that the quorn chicken substitutes have fooled many guests at my house. My son still has no idea the Quorn nuggets are not actual chicken and he's been eating them for four years. The Field Roast sausages are pretty good, but some of the varieties are a bit salty for my taste and they do tend to be fairly expensive. Most are quite tasty, though, and they have a whopping 25 grams of protein per sausage. Morning Star breakfast sausages have also fooled many guests to my home, including my meat-loving father, who remarked on how good they are after I told him they were vegetarian. The patties are better than the links. Hope that's helpful to someone.
Liz, have you tried the Gimme Lean sausage. I'm a vegan, so I can't do the Morningstar sausage (although my boys love it!), but I've figured out how to make a great "sausage" gravy with biscuits using the Gimme Lean. Luckily, living in Seattle, there are a lot of choices at the grocery stores as well as local restaurants.
Why do men have nipples if we can't breastfeed or really produce milk compared to females?
I have many more important things to worry about than how people mistreat chickens. Get a real life!
...thus speaks the voice of compassion. And if you watched the documentary Food Inc. you'd probably get a good laugh from it too.
Thank you, Gray Fox – well put.
I can only imagine the "more important" things you have to worry about. Which "reality" TV show to watch this evening? How you can catch a ride to next week's gun show? Maybe what you should be thinking about is your cholesterol.
You actually expended energy to write THAT!? Wow.....
How we treat the helpless is a mark of how compassionate a society is. Guess America on the whole isn't very compassionate...look at the way the elderly are treated. And we are so very cruel to animals of all kinds. What we give we get back...7 fold.
Right on, RH! Words to live by.
Exactly! Chickens are raised for my dinner plate, and that's ALL that they are good for ... yummy!
I will not cut meat out of my diet completly, for one thing...it's not healthy. For another, I already include several veggitarian meals in my diet as it is. Now I do prefer to get my red meat from someone I do know, and have in the past (as have my family), I also know in my area, hunting season is almost over and many families are set with deer to suppliment the meat they already have. I like soy milk to drink once in a while, but I prefer real milk. Try to buy eggs from a near by farmer if you can, they taste better then the ones you get in the store. Just as growing your own garden if you have the chance to is better then the store, again taste better.
Attacking each other is not going to get anyone any where, and I do agree there are major farms out there that really need to improve how they treat the animals...but there are just as many smaller farms that do just fine on raising the animals.
Agree with your point about attacking each other. However, the idea that cutting meat out of your diet is unhealthy is a myth. Check out the film "Forks Over Knives" or better yet , the book "China Study". Arguments for a vegan diet that have nothing to do with compassion toward animals.
i am sorry but according to my doctor, and my granddaughter's doctor women do need some red meat in our diet otherwise our natural progression of childbirth will be interrupted. our bodies need some natural fat to survive.
Josie, It sounds like you try to make conscious decisions when it comes your food choices. That's great, but please don't make comments like cutting meat out of your diet is unhealthy. That is completely false. A vegetarian has no problem getting alll the protein and nutrients needed and as a vegan, which I am, I pay attention to what I eat to make sure I'm getting what I need to stay as active as I am, but my diet is in no way unhealthy due to lack of flesh in it.
@ white blaze – I appreciate that you take your doctor's advice, but I have to disagree with it. I have been a vegetarian for 26 years, a vegan for 9, have had two children with no issues and am a VERY active 46 year old. People on a variety of diets neglect their nutritional needs, but the fact one chooses not to eat flesh does not mean they are in any way unhealthy.
Not healthy? Then why does the ADA say it is? I love the Internet, but FFS it is full of misinformation by people who have no idea what they are talking about. Look up the FACTS, people.
Mmm.. nothing like a good Hemp shake...
Manitoba Harvest is my favorite brand of Hemp protein
hemp, banana, coconut milk and a shot of espresso! mmmmm....
But what about the suffering of the vegetables? Just because they dont speak doesnt mean they arent alive and have feelings too!
While I am sure you will not be confused by facts I'll try anyway. It takes about 100 pounds of vegetable mater to make one pound of meat so by eating less meat you are reducing the number of vegetables that might "suffer".
WOW that was amazing. I now understand how wrong it was of me to be a vegan. You have completely changed my mind with your logical, factual and rational argument against vegan-ism. It was thought provoking and well reasoned. How many years did you spend crafting that masterpiece?
How about let Mr. Bauer eat whatever he wants to eat and he shut up and leave me to eat what I please?
I know I am but what are you?
Best post so far.
Unless he loves the sausage. Then he's going to burn in hell because God loves us so
thank you.. I don't and won't push my beliefs on anyone else. eat or drink what you want or need or want
I saw that, too. Still eats the meat. And beat it, too. While the documentary is indisputable in itself, I think it was a little dramatic in trying to portray that's how ALL companies work. Just my opinion, though.
Nice article, but are you aware that Quorn is made from egg whites? Eating Quorn in lieu of chicken is indeed healthier, but not less cruel.
Good call Paul. Also, several of the veggie burgers on the market have dairy in them, which is a shame because it's not necessary. Boca vegan burgers are the best tasting commercial veggie burgers I've had.
They drew first blood. Adam was bitten by a camel, like a true warrior, he slew that camel and fed his family. Then they got rid of the fig leaf and wore camel robes and headbands.
After watching Food Inc. a year and a half ago I stopped eating meat. After learning the truth about the disgusting facilities and the horrors the poor animals go through I couldn't bring myself to eat meat, especially chicken. If someone is going to eat meat I would urge you to by from small, local farmers.
Thank you for bringing up the fact that not ALL animals need to be treated this way. I was a vegetarian for 13 years. I now enjoy meat as well as a balanced and varied diet.
BUT, the only meat I eat is wild game; which has been hunted and harvested ethically and responsibly by myself or my spouse. On the rare occasion we are eating meat that has been purchased, we ensure that it comes from a local, responsible, and humane producer that provides the best care possible and most humane processing and distribution of their animals.
I am 100% against the treatment of the vast majority of animals in this country, but switching to a vegan or vegetarian diet is NOT the only solution.
GOD hates vegitarians, otherwise why would Jesus himself have feed people meat?
When I'm elected president, I will force vegans to eat the corpses of other vegans that I send to the electric chair. In the name of his most HOLY LORD, AMEN!
It was actually fish, not meat.
What is fish made of? Soylent Green?
Apparently that moron thinks they are made from rainbows and good feelings.
I don't understand why meat-eaters get so worked up over an article like this. Many people are interested in trying a vegetarian diet and may not be aware of what is out there to replace what they are used to. For example, most people have never heard of Gardein. But it is a wonderful substitute for chicken–healthier and better tasting. No one is trying to take away anybody's right to eat meat
And for those of you who think you're hurting a vegetarian by vowing to eat more meat–go for it. Your doctor, future or present heart surgeon, and oncologist will all love you!
It has nothing to do with whether one is a meat-eater or not. It is being preached at and told what to do by some self-appointed 'arbiter'.
Keerist on a Cross you sound like my mother. Someone is offering their views on a topic. Just because it differs wildly from your views, you think you're being lectured to. Get a grip, some group therapy and up the dosage.
It's just an article with some suggestions. No one's being forced to read it. Many might find it helpful.
I didn't catch the part where he's preaching. Would you care to enlighten us on that one?
coriolana: he wasn't "telling" anyone what to do. lose your paranoia
I don't understand why meat eaters get so freaked out about these articles either. There are many alternatives out there it just means you have to learn something new. That is very difficult for some people apparently.
Thank you, Gene, for this thoughtful article, which outlines choices people can make. For those people posting insults about vegans and vegetarians, this article is just providing suggestions, while giving you information about some of the cruelty we inflict on animals in industrial farming situations. That's all. Nothing to freak out about. Just information to keep you informed. If you eat meat, just please try to be aware of where it comes. Be an informed consumer and make compassionate choices as best you can.
Amen to that!
I eat a vegan diet during the week and meat on the weekends. Almost all the meat we eat is raised grass fed, free range on our little homestead. We treat all our animals with respect and kindness. Probably as well as most well kept dogs and cats are treated. Then we butcher them in quickest and most humane way possible. I abhor the mistreatment of animals in farm factories.
More delicious meat for me. Had venison last night that was shot in Wisconsin, have a turkey thawing in the fridge for this NFL playoff weekend (came from Butterball), and had a pheasant last week that I bought at a Hmong market. Oh, yeah – and salmon patties on Monday.
God put meat on Earth in the form of animals. If this were 1400 A.D. vegans would be sickly people. I'd like to see you survive, or at least stay healthy, without all the alternatives and vitamins offered in this day and age. I don't see anything against the choice of Vegan-ism, but we're meant to eat meat. It's why we have incisors, morons. Go bash on something else (I'm talking to you, crazy over-zealous vegans. not the normal ones)
Oh, yes, we have HUGE incisors: not! Our incisors are pathetic compared to the incisors of true meat-eaters. Plus, we have to cook our meat to be able to rend it and not be repulsed by it. And please, skip the insults. It doesn't make your case to call people "morons." If you want to eat meat, go for it, but don't spread inaccuracies and insults.
Which is why God gave us the brains to discover fire.
Then I stole it and gave it to all, but now I am second guessing giving it to the extreme vegans.
No, clueless one. Our *canine* teeth are smaller in comparison to carnivores. The incisors are the ones up front. Look at a dog's or cat's teeth then reevaluate your statement. And as far as cooking meat to be able to "rend it and not be repulsed by it" is also wrong. The repulsion factor is learned; your dental makeup has nothing to do with it, and your teeth will cut raw meat just fine, just like the other primates of the world. For someone complaining about spreading inaccuracies...
I suggest you take a look at the upper canines of a musk deer then. Wise up smart guy. Having incisors does not mean you must eat meat. Vegetarian and proud.
No, no, no. Pay closer attention before going off your rants. I was replying to Yikes' post, in which s/he claimed our incisors were smaller than carnivores', which is incorrect. At no time did I say that having incisors mandated eating meat. Go reread the post slower this time and *after* you take your meds. Your musk deer reference is irrelevant, but thank you for playing. How many years did you spend in English class struggling with reading comprehension? You need to go back for another one, in any case. And change your signature to "vegetarian and stupid."
Good lands, Gozer. You seem like such an angry individual. All that gnashing of your canine AND your incisors? Really, do your research. There are plenty of studies that show our dental makeup doesn't mean we MUST eat meat. Our teeth are very, very different from that of the carnivores'. While you're carefully studying up on teeth, I suggest you also research behaviors like how to be polite in a forum and how to play well with others. Try it! You might make some friends!!
*sigh* And it appears you, too, have failed basic reading comprehension. Once again there was nothing in my reply stating that we had to eat meat. Go reread my post–and you might want to check your meds, as well–and point out where I said our dentition required a meat-based diet. Point out anywhere that I specified we had to eat meat. Hint: you won't find anything.
I was correcting your false assertion about the sizes of our incisors vs. those of carnivores. You were wrong in your first post, and you're wrong again in your reply to me. Learn to cope with it. It looks like you should learn to read the posts before you reply to them, wouldn't you think? And thank you from the bottom of my heart for tips on how to make new friends on message boards. You have correctly and instantly pinpointed the one thing in life I missed having.
You're doing as poorly as Disgusting at reading comprehension. I corrected your mistaken statement about the size of our incisors vs. those of carnivores. You were wrong. Cope with it. (And there's no tooth-gnashing here. Just a low tolerance for people who don't know what they're talking about and don't comprehend what they're told the first two times they hear it.) You might also want to look at my previous posts and point out where I said that our dentition mandated a meat-based diet. Hint: I never said anything of the sort. Thanks for your hints on gaining friends on online forums. You successfully managed to identify the one thing in my life that was so sorely lacking.
It's not possible to get an essential vitamin, B12, on a strict vegan diet. After 1 or more years of smugness, after which B12 stores in the body are depleted, vegans get knocked on their keisters. If I had to guess whether human bodies were "meant" to either eat meat or pills, I'd put my money on the meat.
Historically, B12 defiency was not an issue. In today's world, it has become an issue because we're far cleaner. Everything gets washed and any bugs, feces, dirt, etc., on our plants that would contain B-12 gets washed away. That's not a bad thing, but it does inidcate that not all human beings throughout history became B-12 deficient by not eating meat. On the positive side, it's very easy to make sure you have enough B-12 by drinking a glass of fortified soy milk. (sort of like people getting their Vitamin D by drinking a glass of fortified cows milk) The B-12 argument is not a rational defense for eating meat. If you eat it, it's because you like the taste of it – not because you need it to survive.
Sorry, but B12 is always a necessary part of the body. It's used for many basic chemical reactions. Vegans didn't die from B12 deficiency in the olden days because they're weren't vegans in the olden days.
Maybe you should research that before you start spouting nonsense simply to prove a point. Regardless, even if there have been NO vegans among people throughout all of history until the twenty first century, B-12 is a pretty easy vitamin to get more than adequate amounts of with very little work.
Don't flatter yourself re brains – you were missing that day. What a stupid comment – how old are you – 10?
Yes, but in 1400 AD, we did not have factory farming. Which is my main "beef" (pun intended) with the eating of meat. It is a cruel industry. At least the deer you consumed had the right to a decent life before hand. I think that this article is just asking people to tone down their consumption and send the industry a message. Try to be mindful of where the food you are consuming came from. It is not extreme and I thought very well-written.
But, I am guessing you really don't care...
You are correct. This will happen whether or not a handful of people decide to avoid meat. It's not fun to think about, but unless the whole planet follows this guideline, it is a futile effort. I am not the one that has to answer for the inhumane treatment of animals by others. I will still eat meat, I am just aware of where it comes from – for the most part.
Why are people afraid of mice and rats, rather than see them as food? Many snakes can be eaten, including rattle snakes. Over the years I've known people in my neighborhood to kill snakes in their yard, but they never eat them. Many bugs are edible too. Maggots and crickets are high in protein.
One can argue that it's natural to eat meat, but I never see anyone chase down a rat or snake to eat it, or find maggots naturally delectable. I've never taken a bite out of a cow right out in the field. Never felt the urge, despite my menacing incisors.
But an apple, an orange are delicious right off the tree. I love collecting pecans in the fall underneath my pecan tree. And though I find gardening enjoyable, half the 'weeds' in my yard are edible and quite nutritious (Sow thistle, wild lettuce, garden sorrel, dandelion, Florida betony, etc.)
And as far as what God intended us to use as food: Genesis 1:29- And God said, Behold, I have given you every plant bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, which has seed in its fruit; to you it shall be for food.
Maggots and other larvae I will never touch. But I agree with the rest of your statement.
BTW, you should at least try and take a bite of the cow in the field. Or, for that matter, the bull. Quite tasty and makes for a lunch full of exercise.
Genesis 1:28 "And God blessed them, Gen. 5.1, 2 and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth."
We can have them, too.
Our intestines are longer than carniverous animals and therefore will putrify in our bodies before digesting. This results in stomach issues, weight gain, etc.
Balderdash & Pooh on you!
My interpretation of Genesis is that we started out in a garden filled with everything man needed to survive. It wasn't until AFTER Man feel from grace that he was kicked out of the garden and had to resort to killing the animals he had once dwelt in peace with. Wouldn't a Christian strive to return to the place of paradise rather than eating one of the Frankenchickens you get from KFC?
So much trite garbage in the comments. Humans eat animal flesh and have since the beginning, as well animal milk and eggs. We also use their hides to make clothing. Get over this maudlin, puritan, crap, mouthed to make you feel superior and oh-so-spiritual. Yes, aboslutely, we need to treat raised animals better. They give us nutrition and warmth and we should honor that. Their conditions are apalling – attack that, not the practice that has shown itself healthful in every healthy population since humans started noticing – meat eating. I eat meat, fish, eggs, and dairy and am gloriously healthy from it, despite the BS pandered by our agribusiness overlords and the self-serving vegetarian air-heads. Go look at any indigenous group of people and you find the healthy ones eat all these things. They have perfect skin, perfect teeth. Read the work of Dr. Weston Price and you will understand. Don't like leather? Poor Bambi? Poor moo-cow? Take a gander at what creating plastics to use instead does to the environment (the waste is ruining what's left of the oceans. None of it is biodegradable and toxins are pervasive.) Animals deserve respect and humane treatment, but they aren't people. Get over it.
Suzie, do you need to eat the decomposing flesh of a fellow earthling in order to survive and thrive? NO! You don't. If you choose to eat meat, go for it! But don't attack those of us who choose to abstain. (and if you follow the Bible, human started out eating fruits and veggies – it was falling from grace that made them have to rely on eating flesh to survive – and even if you don't follow the Bible, there have been many people in regions of the world who survive quite well without meat)
seriously your the one attacking everyone's own point of view trying to desperately cling to your own stubborn ideals. quit making up bullshit facts about the bible. your trying to separate verses of Genesis like they are separate books of the bible. your taking evidence out of context and your the one who really is pushing your views on everyone else. please just shut your mouth have fun starving yourself everyone here is right you would be dead if this was 1000 years ago, name a society you are saying was "fine" abstaining from meat. and fish is meat i would like somebody to tell me different.
Technically, we eat it before it decomposes.
Whoa! Suzy! Angry, are we? Geez woman, lighten up! Obviously all that decomposing flesh you're consuming is causing a bit of agression.....And what part of the Bible did I misinterpret? Tell me EXACTLY how I misinterpreted that small section of Genesis. I never said that later man was not given free range to eat flesh, I simply pointed out that initially, he didn't need to. I am very open to people eating whatever they choose. Your inital comment was very agressive and attacked those who aren't of the same opinion as you. That's what I was speaking out against. Relax and learn how to debate instead of going on the attack. (and maybe eat some veggies)
Eat more compassionately. Ic an't decide whether tol augh or cry at the ridiculus nature of this article. This reminds me of an incident years ago. A mother of two small babies was killed by a mountain lion in the California hills. The mountain lion was killed and left cubs. Donations for the cubs were more than ten times the donantions for the babies. So we know exactly where the compassion of the animal rights wackos are.
Now, my new years resolution is to eat more eggs, chicken, pork, beef, and thanks for reminding me Gene, lamb. As a matter of fact, after reading this article and all the responses from the animal crybabies, I had some eggs for breakfast, plan on chicken for lunch, and will send my daughter out for some tortured baby calf meat for dinner.
I will make an extra effort to increase my consumptioni of animal products this year. I did pretty good in meeting my 2011 resolution of increasing my personal carbon footprint significantly by using a coal burning stove. I even saved significantly on my heat (very important in the great white north). I'm going to have to focus on eggs and chicken to save money,but Iwill still have to include those lamb chops and yummy veal.
There's nothing about loving and caring about animals that means NOT loving and caring about people. This is about being compassionate and having empathy for other living creatures that feel pain. No one is saying that the needs of people should be ignored...why is it one or the other?
Also, there is a direct link between humanitarianism and supporting the rights of animals. It's no coincidence that the man that founded the first ever Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was also the leader of the abolitionist movement in England. It's also no coincidence that the founder of the American SPCA was also a champion of children's rights and worked to pass laws that protected children from abuse. Those men are William Wilberforce and Henry Berg, respectively.
Thank you both for your thoughtful responses to spiritrider. Although we're not ignoring her/his rather ignorant post, sometimes it's best to ignore people like that, LOL. They seem to enjoy provoking others and insulting them to boot. Doesn't make you exactly see their viewpoint when they begin insulting others and calling them "wacko." Please, spiritrider, try to be courteous. I know it's hard ... but try ... growing up is sooo hard to do!
Assuming the children had family who could take care of them, as well as our increasingly socialist government, I'm certain they will do just fine in the "basic needs" category. Surely you must know that the cubs don't have any such sort of liberal socialist protection.
People are best judged by how they treat those creatures (including people) over which they have power, dominion, and authority. Eat what you want, but at least be appreciative and respectful of the life you've consumed. There is no reason to be deliberately callous and crude about it. And, thinking you're some how special or novel in your idea about consuming more dead animals is hilarious...humans have been consuming meat FOREVER. Congratulations on being entirely unremarkable.
Are you going to eat more meat as a part of revenge for the woman killed by the mountain lion? Dumb and dubmer.
No because meat from carnivores like mountain lions is just to tough and not very tasty. On the other hand herbivores and omnivores (who eat mainly plant based products) like chickens are mighty tasty.
You can't disrespect someone you have no respect for in the beginning. Cry babies are the product of a society that coddles anyone whoes feelings might be hurt by something someone said or wrote. Weakness is a virtue and it has survival of the most unfit.
I am of the first people and learned our ways from my grandfather. We have great respect and admiration for all of the earth's creatures. They come from and return to mother earth. However, we are all part of nature and the animals are there to sustain us.
This 'incident' was made up. It never happened. It's a silly story someone came up with to try to make some point. If not, prove it by sharing the article.
My father died at the age of 51 of a heart attack, and he was by no means overweight. His sister, my aunt, died at the age of 63. My grandfather on that side of the family died before I was born, and my grandmother died when I was two.
Both grandparents didn't even make it into their mid 60's. I have no living relatives on my father's side except for cousins.
They all ate like you suggest. My father always jogged, but he refused to change his diet. My aunt was quite active too until she eventually succombed to complete organ failure. It started with the kidneys and liver.
Eat that way. Go for it. Eat out of spite and anger. No one will stop you.
Nobody is trying to hurt you by making healthy personal choices for themselves.
I feel sorry for your daughter if this is how you teach her compassion. Hopefully her mother is a better roll model.
If the corporate farms would raise chickens more humanely, there wouldn't be a problem. But it might cut into their enormous profits. Chicken is a staple of my diet. Until I can raise (and kill) my own food, I'm stuck with what is available.
You do not have to devour chicken. No one is "forcing" you to eat it. You are making excuses and blaming the ever-so-easy-to-blame "corporations" for something that you tell yourself is out of your control. Take a step back and see how absurd your thinking is.
Fiona, right on girl!!!!
Actually you are "forcing" your ethics onto disconctd5 who may or may not be able to afford an alternative to chicken nor may not choose to. Corporations DO have a huge hand in this overall large problem of sustainable food for an ever-growing world population. Its not just limited to just big companies making profits, there is a demand for economical food for consumers. Especially when the economy is in the state WE ALL are responsible for, not just a single party.
I buy my eggs from my neighbor who has 2 chickens. I don't know where you live, but maybe you could look into doing this?
Milk comes from a teet NOT a plant and lets be honest people, how many times in the past year did you eat foie gras? Supply and demand folks, supply and demand. How about doing everything in moderatrion, including moderation at times.
It's beyond ridiculous to assume that everyone has consumed foie gras. It's a luxury food (if disgusting and representative of crass cruelty). This isn't about "moderation.". It's about ethics.
But calcium can be found in plant-based foods. I'm missing your point.
Moderation is over-rated.
Foie gras on veal shank! Delish! My daily after school snack. Couldn't live without it!
Foie gras on veal shank! Yum! My daily after school snack. Couldn't live without it.
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