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Omnivores or Herbavores?

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Paolo
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Re: Omnivores or Herbavores?

#21 Postby Paolo » October 8th, 2008, 11:22 am

Latest post of the previous page:

erasmusinfinity wrote:
Inuit Greenlanders, who historically have had limited access to fruits and vegetables, have the worst longevity statistics in North America. Research from the past and present shows that they die on the average about 10 years younger and have a higher rate of cancer than the overall Canadian population.1

Similar statistics are available for the high meat-consuming Maasai in Kenya. They eat a diet high in wild hunted meats and have the worst life expectancy in the modern world. Life expectancy is 45 years for women and 42 years for men. African researchers report that, historically, Maasai rarely lived beyond age 60. Adult mortality figures on the Kenyan Maasai show that they have a 50% chance of dying before the age of 59.2

That article provides a wonderful example of how to twist statistics to say what you want!

For starters both the Inuit and Maasai have small populations with low outbreeding, immediately increasing the risk of a host of diseases (including cancer). More importantly perhaps, they both still hunt actively for their dietry needs, which is a high-risk mode of life. Another factor is that both live in marginal environments that have avoided being heavily populated because they are so inhospitable. Don't expect high life expectancy when you live in a place with limited water or intensely cold conditions.

It is interesting that the article gives life expectancy for the Maasai (incorrectly stating that "have the worst life expectancy in the modern world" at an average age of 43.5 years for the population, when Zambia, Zimbabwe, Angola, Sierra Leone and Afghanistan all have life expectancy below 42.2 years), but it just provides a relative value for the Inuit, which is 64.2 years by the way. Here is an article that looks at Inuit life expectancy without a bias against meat: http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/080123/d080123d.htm
It is interesting to note that the main suggested rationale is socio-economic.
Analysis of the 2001 Census data revealed lower levels of education and income and poorer housing conditions for the Inuit-inhabited areas compared with Canada as a whole. Any or all of these, in addition to lifestyle risk factors and environmental conditions, could be at least partly responsible for the lower life expectancy in those areas.


I can play with statistics too. I downloaded the available data for the world consumption of meat per capita per country (figures for 2002, source Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), FAOSTAT on-line statistical service (FAO, Rome, 2004). Available online at: http://apps.fao.org.) and the average life expectancy at birth by country (figures for 2000-2005, source Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat, 2007. World Population Prospects: The 2006 Revision. Dataset on CD-ROM. New York: United Nations. Available on-line at http://www.un.org/esa/population/ordering.htm), which I then plotted on a simple scatterplot through which I plotted a regression line. The correlation coefficient that was generated was y = 0.1978x + 57.962, where y=average life expectancy at birth and x=per capita meat consumption in kg. You notice that this is a positive correlation?

These data allow me to honestly say that there is a positive correlation between the amount of meat eaten and increased life expectancy. These data include 173 countries and I have not added any interpretation of my own - they are considerably more interesting that the two data points and anecdotal evidence used in the article you cited, but when I add my interpretation I would dismiss the correlation because the analysis has not been controlled against other factors such as war, civil unrest and poverty.

I'm all in favour of using data to support an argument, but please make sure the data are a) accurate and b) unbiased, otherwise it's just propaganda and I for one will not let that pass.
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Re: Omnivores or Herbavores?

#22 Postby erasmusinfinity » October 8th, 2008, 12:58 pm

Paolo,

What I said was that...
Individuals have a choice between eating a vegetable based diet with some animal foods and a diet of exclusively plant foods. Eating a meat based diet is not a nutritionally sound option. Eating a meat only diet is simply out of the question.


Obviously, people who stress plant foods in their diets do have much healthier diets than do persons who stress meat over vegetables. The case of the Inuit is entirely unconvincing as evidence to the contrary because they are not picture postcards of good health. It is a simple matter of satisfying nutrient needs whilst not being excessive about unhealthy things like saturated fat and cholesterol.

Regardless, the point of my previous post was not about what one can or cannot eat, but that...
It is entirely misleading to think that just because many people can and do eat animals that we are supposed to, as part of some sort of naturalistic fallacy.


You did not address that point. And at this point you are just playing with words and numbers.

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Re: Omnivores or Herbavores?

#23 Postby Paolo » October 8th, 2008, 2:44 pm

erasmusinfinity wrote:Regardless, the point of my previous post was not about what one can or cannot eat, but that...
It is entirely misleading to think that just because many people can and do eat animals that we are supposed to, as part of some sort of naturalistic fallacy.


You did not address that point. And at this point you are just playing with words and numbers.

Who started with the playing with words and numbers?
Regardless, I was not addressing the main point of your previous post (which I do not disagree with) I am simply pointing out (well within the topic of this thread) that where you said "Eating a meat based diet is not a nutritionally sound option. Eating a meat only diet is simply out of the question" is not accurate and I still maintain that the Inuit are an example of people with a meat based diet (I never said it was exclusively carnivorous) and they survive just fine (as do non-Inuit visitors) on their almost meat only winter diet. This is an observable fact.

Your response to that was to cite and quote a reference that was misleading and propagandist (perhaps you did not realise how much so), followed by a statement that the Inuit "are not picture postcards of good health". This argument is meaningless when the reasons for their apparent "poor health" are considered, not least because life expectancy relates to many extraneous factors unrelated to general health (most importantly socio-economic factors, as identified in the Statistics Canada article I cited). In short there is no evidence presented that meat is in anyway the cause of their shorter life expectancy.

Therefore, the Inuit provide a perfectly good example of humans able to live on a meat based diet - your counter argument was not convincing, any more so than if I chose to argue that eating more meat leads to a longer life based on the data I presented (much less so in fact, since your sources were inaccurate and inherently biased, whereas mine were neutral).

My point is not to counter your original main point (which is perfectly sound), but to challenge the information that was provided by the article you cited. It was propagandist nonsense that deliberately misuse data to support the a priori opinions of the author. Such articles undermine the integrity of an argument, much like the activities in other vegan/vegetarian forums that prompted this thread by Rami. Where an stance is just, but the methods used by some to defend it are underhand, it reflects badly on all those who share that stance (particularly if they unwittingly use 'evidence' derived from unreliable sources).

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Re: Omnivores or Herbavores?

#24 Postby erasmusinfinity » October 8th, 2008, 6:27 pm

Who started with the playing with words and numbers?


Well, I did point out that the Inuit do not have healthy diets. But that was in response to your challenge about the nutritional validity of eating an animal only diet and from there on it's all on you.

The Inuit are well documented to suffer excessively from vitamin C deficiency, vitamin D deficiency, etc. Just type "nutritional deficiency amongst inuits" into google and see what comes up. I get about 64000 hits. They don't live as long, in general, as other Canadians, Greenlanders, etc.

I could give you countless more examples of how a diet that is predominantly plant based affords significantly better nutrition than one that leans toward animal foods, but at this pace I am guessing that you will selectively ignore and offer up your own data to counter. Regardless, I don't believe that anyone could possibly believe (not even you) that a diet of exclusive animal matter illustrates a well balanced and nutritious diet. If you are really serious, then you may as well be arguing that all diets are equal. How about a diet of nothing but candy, or nothing but coffee and cigarettes?

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Re: Omnivores or Herbavores?

#25 Postby Paolo » October 8th, 2008, 7:12 pm

Hey - don't get me wrong - I'm not saying a meat based diet is good, just that it is perfectly possible for humans to live on it (as is relevant to the thread)!

I'd be interested to see how much of modern Inuit vitamin deficiency and health problems are due to an increase in alcohol intake, smoking and modern processed meats taking the place of a more traditional diet. The Inuit I've met certainly don't live the traditional lifestyle and they are far more fussy about things like offal than their parents would have been. This is now anecdotal, so I'm not citing it as solid evidence, but it is clear that the Inuit lifestyle has changed considerably in the last 50 years or so, which may (or may not) have had an impact on longevity and health. It's hard to know, since census data for the Inuit doesn't go back very far (and even now it has been heavily processed with several assumptions in order to get a ball park figure of life expectancy).

By the way, I did not ignore your citation/data by any means! Initially I thought "fair play - good response", but when I read the article itself the huge jumps from the evidence to the conclusions left me skeptical, so I carried out some research of my own and found some good neutral reportage of the statistics. I then thought it would be useful to demonstrate how easy it is to manipulate valid data to show what someone wants to show. The only difference is that I was explicit that the interpretation of my data as support for eating meat would be flawed. The interpretation in the article you cited was also flawed (at several levels) but the author of it was not honest enough to state that fact (or possibly too stupid to realise that the conclusions drawn made huge and unfounded assumptions - I'm not sure which is worse...).

By the way, I googled "vegetarian malnutrition" and got 278,000 hits - it proves nothing...

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Re: Omnivores or Herbavores?

#26 Postby erasmusinfinity » October 8th, 2008, 9:50 pm

By the way, I googled "vegetarian malnutrition" and got 278,000 hits


Very well then. :pointlaugh: I don't disagree that there may be many vegetarians who lack solid nutrition as well.

I also meant no disrespect to the Inuit, who are surely as lovely a people as any.
(Although I would be quite pleased to see them adopt vegetarian diets... for their own good and for the good of the animals. :smile: )

I am contented to agree with you on the gist of these matters, with a focus on the point that humans do not need to consume both animal and plant products in order to fulfill some sort of imperative regarding our natures as an omnivorous species. There are many different diets that can be nutritionally sound. A vegetarian diet is one of them.

Recognizing that point should allow us to get to the real "meat" of the matter... the matter of whether or not one should eat animals.

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Re: Omnivores or Herbavores?

#27 Postby Alan C. » October 8th, 2008, 10:48 pm

erasmusinfinity
I also meant no disrespect to the Inuit, who are surely as lovely a people as any.
(Although I would be quite pleased to see them adopt vegetarian diets... for their own good and for the good of the animals.
And just where do you propose they get the vegetables, cereals, and pulses? Growing their own is surely not an option.
It is (in my opinion) more ethical to consume the food that is on your doorstep, than to have your food transported half way round the world.
If you found yourself washed up on a desert Island, and there was only you, plus a few birds that came to nest, or a few seals that dragged themselves up the beach to sunbathe, I propose, that you would eat the birds/seals, rather than starve to death, no?
I find myself having to type this (or something similar) out so many times lately, I think I'll save it, then I can just "copy paste" it :cross:

Worldwide vegetarianism is a nice concept, but it can never happen, the Earth cannot provide enough food for 6.5 billion people without animal products (and please, don't anybody come back with "take away the animals and grow crops" this has alredy been debated (can't be done) Not where I live anyway.

End of rant :smile:
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Re: Omnivores or Herbavores?

#28 Postby erasmusinfinity » October 9th, 2008, 12:42 am

And just where do you propose they get the vegetables, cereals, and pulses? Growing their own is surely not an option.


They should be able to get them at the store. If they can't, then humanity ought to lend a helping hand.

It is (in my opinion) more ethical to consume the food that is on your doorstep,


Why?

If you found yourself washed up on a desert Island, and there was only you, plus a few birds that came to nest, or a few seals that dragged themselves up the beach to sunbathe, I propose, that you would eat the birds/seals, rather than starve to death, no?


If I were in such a situation then I would eat the birds and/or seals. I would even eat my neighbor if I had to. Fortunately neither of those situations has or is likely to ever occur.

Worldwide vegetarianism is a nice concept, but it can never happen, the Earth cannot provide enough food for 6.5 billion people without animal products (and please, don't anybody come back with "take away the animals and grow crops" this has alredy been debated (can't be done) Not where I live anyway.


I wouldn't say never. Certainly, it is currently impractical for certain peoples in specific locations of the planet and I don't blame such persons for doing what they have to in order to survive. Where do you live Alan?

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Re: Omnivores or Herbavores?

#29 Postby Alan C. » October 9th, 2008, 6:59 pm

erasmusinfinity
Where do you live Alan?
Err, check out "location" under my avatar :smile:
Quote:
It is (in my opinion) more ethical to consume the food that is on your doorstep,


Why?
Because I don't think it's ethical to have your food shipped half way round the world, when there is food available locally, whether it be mostly fish, meat, or vegetables and grains, I think you should eat what's available.
As I've stated many times, the Shetland landscape (mostly) is not conducive to crop growing, but does support sheep, so we eat sheep, the seas around Shetland are teeming with fish, so we eat fish.
There are a limited number of vegetables grown here, but to be vegetarian you would either have to grow your own (I do, though I still eat fish and meat) or you would have to buy stuff that has maybe travelled half way round the world, not good in my opinion, as I like my food to have the lowest possible "food miles"
Make sense?
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Re: Omnivores or Herbavores?

#30 Postby erasmusinfinity » October 10th, 2008, 12:35 am

Alan C. wrote:Err, check out "location" under my avatar :smile:


I'm a bit new to this forum, so I didn't realize that your location was displayed. I was also figuring that you must live somewhere more like where the Inuit or Masai live based on the info in your last post. I did a little searching on the internet and found this link HERE that provides a few fruit and vegetable resources in Shetland. It seems to me that there are options.

What do they feed the animals?

Alan C. wrote:Because I don't think it's ethical to have your food shipped half way round the world, when there is food available locally, whether it be mostly fish, meat, or vegetables and grains, I think you should eat what's available.


Is it that you feel that some sort of ethical consequence of importing some food stuffs is worse than that of the suffering caused to animals via their processing for food?

Or, is it that you don't think that such animals suffer or that their suffering doesn't matter?

Would you consider it to be ethical to eat humans, if no other food sources were available locally, rather than bringing in foods from the outside?

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Re: Omnivores or Herbavores?

#31 Postby MedMae » October 10th, 2008, 10:21 am

erasmusinfinity wrote:
Alan C. wrote:Because I don't think it's ethical to have your food shipped half way round the world, when there is food available locally, whether it be mostly fish, meat, or vegetables and grains, I think you should eat what's available.


Is it that you feel that some sort of ethical consequence of importing some food stuffs is worse than that of the suffering caused to animals via their processing for food?


It's something called pollution. The further something has to travel the more pollution is generated. this is not simply the amount of fossil fuel burnt to get to it's destination but also the packaging which needs to be more robust for transport and therefore will linger in the environment far longer. Is pollution not an ethical issue which needs to be considered?
Complexity is just simplicity multiplied to a point which exceeds a particular level of comprehension. - Theowarner

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Re: Omnivores or Herbavores?

#32 Postby erasmusinfinity » October 10th, 2008, 1:04 pm

MedMae wrote:
erasmusinfinity wrote:
Alan C. wrote:Because I don't think it's ethical to have your food shipped half way round the world, when there is food available locally, whether it be mostly fish, meat, or vegetables and grains, I think you should eat what's available.

Is it that you feel that some sort of ethical consequence of importing some food stuffs is worse than that of the suffering caused to animals via their processing for food?


It's something called pollution.


Yes. Pollution in the transport of foods is an ethical consideration. But the transfer of a few vegetable stuffs into Shetland certainly won't generate such pollution as to outweigh the moral injustice of unnecessary animal suffering.

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Re: Omnivores or Herbavores?

#33 Postby Emma Woolgatherer » October 10th, 2008, 5:21 pm

Alan C. wrote:I don't think it's ethical to have your food shipped half way round the world, when there is food available locally ...
... The further something has to travel the more pollution is generated. this is not simply the amount of fossil fuel burnt to get to it's destination but also the packaging which needs to be more robust for transport and therefore will linger in the environment far longer. Is pollution not an ethical issue which needs to be considered?
Yes, but it's not quite as simple as you suggest, Alan. The amount of fossil fuel used to produce the food in the first place has to be taken into account. Whether the crops are grown using mainly manual labour or high levels of mechanisation; whether they use large amounts of artificial pesticides and fertilisers, which take energy to produce; what kind of irrigation system they use, and so on. See "How the myth of food miles hurts the planet", by Robin McKie, Guardian, March 23, 2008.

As the article says, it's complicated to work out carbon footprints. But I don't think you can assume that locally produced beef, say, has a smaller carbon footprint than dried beans shipped over from China or Brazil. Apart from anything else, even organic beef farmers in Shetland do not rely solely on grass to feed their cattle. They use supplementary feed — which often includes soya, sunflower and rapeseed, and those, as far as I know, don't grow on Shetland. And then you've got to take those methane-laden belches into account. In any case, it seems that the demand for beef in Shetland outstrips the supply ('Where's the Beef?', Shetland Times, September 5, 2008).

There's a much stronger case for eating Shetland mutton than there is for beef, I think. Sheep require far less in the way of supplementary feed than cattle do, and I gather that that feed can consist of locally grown barley and root vegetables. And although sheep do produce quite a lot of methane, apparently someone somewhere is developing a vaccine against that! (Sorry, Lesley.) And as for rabbits — well, they must have a very low carbon footprint. Although I don't get the impression that Shetlanders are taking advantage of it. Apparently only a tiny proportion of the rabbits that are culled are actually eaten. Ah well, I suppose the bonxies benefit!

In an earlier post, Alan wrote:
the Earth cannot provide enough food for 6.5 billion people without animal products (and please, don't anybody come back with "take away the animals and grow crops" this has alredy been debated (can't be done) Not where I live anyway.
So you're extrapolating from Shetland to the entire world? A world where over 4 billion people already live on a largely plant-based diet?

You're wrong, Alan. The earth could provide enough food for 6.5 billion people without animal products. Easily. The problem we face is producing enough food for 6.7 (and growing) people while 2 billion of us (and growing) are eating large quantities of meat. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization ("Livestock a major threat to environment"):
With increased prosperity, people are consuming more meat and dairy products every year. Global meat production is projected to more than double from 229 million tonnes in 1999/2001 to 465 million tonnes in 2050, while milk output is set to climb from 580 to 1043 million tonnes ...
Frankly, it makes little difference to the planet what twenty-odd thousand people living on Shetland do. Over half of the world's population live in cities. They don't have the option of eating locally sourced mutton fed on heather and seaweed. If we want a sustainable diet for the planet, 2 billion of us need to cut down on our consumption of animal products significantly, or, if we can manage it, give them up altogether.

Emma

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Re: Omnivores or Herbavores?

#34 Postby erasmusinfinity » October 10th, 2008, 9:04 pm

Alan wrote:the Earth cannot provide enough food for 6.5 billion people without animal products

Emma Woolgatherer wrote:The earth could provide enough food for 6.5 billion people without animal products. Easily.


Yes. In fact, the world already does produce enough food to feed the world...

The world produces enough food to feed everyone. World agriculture produces 17 percent more calories per person today than it did 30 years ago, despite a 70 percent population increase. This is enough to provide everyone in the world with at least 2,720 kilocalories (kcal) per person per day
(Found HERE)

It is a matter of human beings not working together on the matter that there are people in some parts of the world who are starving.

The matter of not needing animals to feed the global population should be somewhat obvious. For every food animal, a greater amount of plant matter must be spent as animal feed. It is only a matter of basic math to recognize the wasting of food energy.

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Re: Omnivores or Herbavores?

#35 Postby Alan C. » October 10th, 2008, 10:05 pm

erasmusinfinity
I did a little searching on the internet and found this link HERE that provides a few fruit and vegetable resources in Shetland. It seems to me that there are options.
As I said in my previous post (again), I grow most of our fruit and veg myself, when we have used what I grow, then I use the suppliers in your link.
What do they feed the animals?
From April till October they eat grass, heather, and seaweed, from November till April they are fed silage (grass that has been cut, bailed, and wrapped in September)

Is it that you feel that some sort of ethical consequence of importing some food stuffs is worse than that of the suffering caused to animals via their processing for food?
Absolutely there are ethical consequences, as MedMae pointed out, as to the suffering of animals, I've said many times on this forum, I will not tolerate animal suffering (any animal) Again as I said in my last post (I do get tired of repeating myself) I know the provenance of all the meat we eat, and I know there is no "suffering" involved in the production of said meat, all the sheep, cattle, and hens here are free range, only in the harshest weather do they get taken into huge purpose built sheds.
Or, is it that you don't think that such animals suffer or that their suffering doesn't matter?
See above.
In January I had to have my dog (and best friend) euthanized) It was quick and it was painless, the sheep and the cows go the same way.
Would you consider it to be ethical to eat humans, if no other food sources were available locally, rather than bringing in foods from the outside?
Well! You're really scraping the barrel now, such a ridiculous question I wasn't even going to dignify it with an answer.
Sigh......As I've said many times, if we didn't eat sheep, pigs, and cows, there wouldn't be any sheep, pigs, or cows, humans are somewhat different, in a desert Island scenario where there was nothing to eat, and no means of shipping food in, then yes humans would eat humans, survival instinct.
Emma
And then you've got to take those methane-laden belches into account.
I'll say farts Emma, you're too much of a lady. :smile:
Emma
Apparently only a tiny proportion of the rabbits that are culled are actually eaten.
There are so many rabbits here the whole population could live on them, but very few people eat rabbit meat :shrug:
Emma
Frankly, it makes little difference to the planet what twenty-odd thousand people living on Shetland do. Over half of the world's population live in cities. They don't have the option of eating locally sourced mutton fed on heather and seaweed. If we want a sustainable diet for the planet, 2 billion of us need to cut down on our consumption of animal products significantly, or, if we can manage it, give them up altogether.
I feel like I've just been told off at school :redface:
No, seriously Emma I take your point, but what's to be done about China? Not only do they have the largest population of pigs in the world, they also (surprisingly) have the most sheep, more than Australia or New Zealand, I shouldn't think they could live on rice alone.
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Re: Omnivores or Herbavores?

#36 Postby Alan C. » October 10th, 2008, 10:12 pm

erasmusinfinity
For every food animal, a greater amount of plant matter must be spent as animal feed. It is only a matter of basic math to recognize the wasting of food energy.
MY emphasis.
I am getting really tired of having to say this.
The sheep here live on land that is NO GOOD for growing crops, they eat heather and seaweed in summer and silage in winter, take away the 325,000 sheep and replace them with what food source?
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Re: Omnivores or Herbavores?

#37 Postby Alan C. » October 10th, 2008, 11:17 pm

An Addendum to the post above.
We have two supermarkets here, a co-op and a Tesco (how I hate that company :twisted: ) Both of them sell New Zealand lamb, neither of them sells Shetland lamb (the best in the world according to some chefs) Is that ethical? Shipping a product half way round the world, when it is abundantly available right here?
Why is this the case? Because the "buyers" for the big supermarkets can't be arsed dealing with small local producers, and so take the easy route and buy all their stock from the BIG factory farms.
We never ever buy meat or fish from a supermarket.
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Re: Omnivores or Herbavores?

#38 Postby erasmusinfinity » October 11th, 2008, 12:03 am

Alan,

I do appreciate that it is a bit more difficult to get hold of certain items where you live then in certain other places. I also appreciate that you go out of your way to do things like growing your own vegetables and working to see to it that the animals you consume are generally treated and slaughtered by more so humane methods than might ocur elsewhere. Those points are huge as far as I'm concerned. They show a much greater sense of concern than most people exhibit.

I also appreciate your concern over the environmental pollution that goes along with transporting food over large distances. I just can't understand how you recon that it is worse to import plant foods than than to take part in what goes into eating animals, whether imported from New Zealand or obtained locally. Surely they can bring over just a few plant foods from Scotland or England without too much environmental impact. There are also greenhouse and hydroponic techniques that might be employed locally. You're not exactly at the edge of civiliation up there you know.

Another thing that I don't get is the logic that it is OK to slaughter animals on the basis that they would not exist if we had not brought them into the world. Much like my previous analogy with humans, it would obviously not be OK to slaughter a human chlld simply because we created it. Giving a creature life does not entitle us to do as we wish to it. It would not be immoral not to have brought them into the world to begin with, but with our choice to bring animals (or babies) into the world we take on certain moral obligations to them.

My comparisons to humans may seem extreme to you, but I see no reason why there is anything wrong with them. It is only the gravity of moral situations that is more intense with humans.

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Re: Omnivores or Herbavores?

#39 Postby Alan C. » October 11th, 2008, 9:53 pm

I do appreciate that it is a bit more difficult to get hold of certain items where you live then in certain other places.
If I gave that impression I apologize, there is nothing we can't get here that can be got on the mainland.
I also appreciate that you go out of your way to do things like growing your own vegetables
And fruit, peaches, plums, cherries, pears, grapes, and strawberries. :smile:
and working to see to it that the animals you consume are generally treated and slaughtered by more so humane methods than might ocur elsewhere. Those points are huge as far as I'm concerned. They show a much greater sense of concern than most people exhibit.
Well thanks for that :thumbsup:
I also appreciate your concern over the environmental pollution that goes along with transporting food over large distances. I just can't understand how you recon that it is worse to import plant foods than than to take part in what goes into eating animals, whether imported from New Zealand or obtained locally.
Well the key word here is Local, as I've already said, I think it's a more ethical choice to eat a lamb from the field at the back of our house, than to buy potatoes from Egypt, garlic from Spain et al.
Surely they can bring over just a few plant foods from Scotland or England without too much environmental impact.
Absolutely! Yes, but I'm not concerned with food that makes the relitavly short trip from mainland Britain, it's the stuff that comes halfway round the world that troubles me.
There are also greenhouse and hydroponic techniques that might be employed locally.
I work with hydroponics, all my fruit trees are hydroponic, I also have four large polly tunnels (I'm currently clearing out some dead trees to make room for another)
You're not exactly at the edge of civiliation up there you know.
You should spend a winter here :laughter:

Another thing that I don't get is the logic that it is OK to slaughter animals on the basis that they would not exist if we had not brought them into the world. Much like my previous analogy with humans
I think (if you'll excuse the turn of phrase) you've got it arse about face, I don't say it's OK to slaughter animals on the basis that they wouldn't exist if we hadn't brought them into the world, I do say, if they weren't going to be slaughtered, they wouldn't be bred, fed, and cared for, which is quite different.
it would obviously not be OK to slaughter a human chlld simply because we created it.
Thankfully that practice died out a couple of thousand years ago.
Giving a creature life does not entitle us to do as we wish to it.
Well we don't really give creatures life, we selectively breed them to be "fit for purpose" We breed Labradors to be guide dogs for the blind, Spaniels are bred now to sniff out drugs/explosives, big scary dogs are bred as guard dogs, pit ponies were bred to work in the coal mines, sheep and cattle are bred for food.
It would not be immoral not to have brought them into the world to begin with, but with our choice to bring animals (or babies) into the world we take on certain moral obligations to them.
I totally agree, every animal should be treated with respect and looked after to the best of our ability as long as it lives.
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

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erasmusinfinity
Posts: 66
Joined: August 30th, 2008, 3:31 pm

Re: Omnivores or Herbavores?

#40 Postby erasmusinfinity » October 12th, 2008, 12:34 am

Alan C. wrote:
I also appreciate that you go out of your way to do things like growing your own vegetables
And fruit, peaches, plums, cherries, pears, grapes, and strawberries. :smile:

I think that you are actually making me a bit jealous. I would like to do those things.

Alan C. wrote:
There are also greenhouse and hydroponic techniques that might be employed locally.
I work with hydroponics, all my fruit trees are hydroponic, I also have four large polly tunnels (I'm currently clearing out some dead trees to make room for another)

Now I'm really jealous. :notworthy:

Alan C. wrote:
You're not exactly at the edge of civiliation up there you know.
You should spend a winter here :laughter:

Sounds wonderful.

Alan C. wrote:
Giving a creature life does not entitle us to do as we wish to it.
Well we don't really give creatures life, we selectively breed them to be "fit for purpose" We breed Labradors to be guide dogs for the blind, Spaniels are bred now to sniff out drugs/explosives, big scary dogs are bred as guard dogs, pit ponies were bred to work in the coal mines, sheep and cattle are bred for food.

Sure. But does the fact that we take part in the decision to bring animals into the world for various purposes justify those purposes? Particularly when they are unnecessary?

Alan C. wrote:
It would not be immoral not to have brought them into the world to begin with, but with our choice to bring animals (or babies) into the world we take on certain moral obligations to them.
I totally agree, every animal should be treated with respect and looked after to the best of our ability as long as it lives.


You make several good points. I have little doubt that the animals you consume in Shetland (and that you personally consume) are treated more so humanely than those that I have access to in New York. The agriculture industry here is quite a bit more mechanized and cruel than the scene that you are describing. Perhaps it is I, living in New York CIty, who lives at the edge of civilization.

It is still, however, difficult for me to accept the possibility that one can fully treat animals with the utmost of respect and look after them as best as possible whilst raising them for slaughter. And it still strikes me as the surest method of avoiding their mistreatment to not take part whatsoever in meat production.

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Edward Hawkins
Posts: 33
Joined: August 25th, 2007, 5:59 pm

Re: Omnivores or Herbavores?

#41 Postby Edward Hawkins » October 12th, 2008, 10:36 am

I use Asda's own brand yeast extract. It is cheaper than Marmite and I prefer the taste.

Sorry I posted this in the wrong place. I can't find any way to delete it.


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