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Former Vegans Explain Why They Eat Meat: Are You Convinced?

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Niman writes:

Every living thing, from mammals, birds, and fish to plants, fungi, and bacteria, eats other living things. Humans are part of the food web; but for the artifices of cremation and tightly sealed caskets, all of us would eventually be recycled into other life forms. It is natural for people, like other omnivores, to participate in this web by eating animals. And it is ethically defensible — provided we refrain from causing gratuitous suffering.

Noting that “only about three percent of Americans are vegetarian and 0.5 percent are vegan” and that about three-quarters of those who try vegetarianism or veganism return to eating meat, Niman suggests that, rather than exhorting people only to eat plants, ”doesn’t it make more sense to encourage them to eat an omnivorous diet that is healthy, ethical, and ecologically sound?”‘

Eating Isn’t Always Based on Rational Arguments

I can see how these arguments make sense. We are all part of a food web, an ecosystem, fellow denizens on this planet.

But we don’t make our choices about food and eating entirely based on reason; eating is a topic that is highly emotional. Our reasons for choosing what foods we prefer to eat are very much (whether we know it or not) based on ineffables like habit, preference for taste and texture, memories and associations. We may conclude that our decision not to eat meat is based on ethical, philosophical principles and, just as much, on a squeamish feeling in our stomach in knowing that the lamb chop on our plate was once an actual lamb’s leg. Eating meat may simply neither taste nor feel right. If more than three percent of the population was vegetarian and demand for chicken and pork and such dramatically decreased, could industrial-scale animal raising be made obsolete? Is it possible that so much of the population is eating meat because it is readily available?

What do you think of Niman’s, Cerulli’s and Applestone’s arguments?

For myself, I’m looking forward to a meal that’s heavy on the vegetables and grains.

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7360 comments

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11:32PM PDT on Sep 16, 2014

Tell me Sandra, can you honestly actually read even the beginning of this discussion and still say I wasn't trying seriously hard to not be in the negativity thing? Seriously? I simply took up for myself and refused to be forced out of yet another discussion by certain people who thought it cute or funny to pounce on me from day one. Like I said, anyone who wants to know if I am being completely honest about it can choose to view the whole thing and see it for themselves. Those who do so will see that I sincerely did come in here being nice and refusing to be negative at all. Those who choose not to will simply go on thinking wrongfully that I am lying, or will be some one who decides not to check because they realize I am telling the truth without having to check. The proof is there Sandra. How about it? Are you willing to see the truth? It would be incredibly dense for me to state a lie when the proof is gong to get me caught. But since the proof is there which shows I am being honest, I can happily point out how to see it first hand.

11:18PM PDT on Sep 16, 2014

I said I was for animal rights and against mistreating animals. I have stated their deaths, even farm animal deaths bothers me. I stated that because it does. But I never said I was against having pets. I am against those who wont take care of their pets having them. I am against those who harm the animals being allowed to keep having them. When I was in the hospital and dying, one thing made me fight hard to survive and come home. That was my cal. His name is Allester. Since then two more joined my family. So I never would state I was against having pets. I just feel they should be treated like kings and queens. That is my meaning when I state they deserve to have humane rights and strong laws protecting them. If we take good care of them we can give them the wonderful lives they deserve, and I am totally for that.

10:46PM PDT on Sep 16, 2014

Chazz, you have announced many times on Care2 that you stand for animal rights, for the end of animal agriculture. That necessitates the removal of cats and dogs in our lives. Please look it up for yourself. Read the Animal Bill of Rights: try to prove me wrong.

As for your being attacked on the thread when you first entered, I will check it out but it might take an hour for the whole thread to load - lol! And I have to race out now to help a sick friend, so I hope to continue later. Bye for now...

10:44PM PDT on Sep 16, 2014

Oh dear, you are so still in it, but please let me know when you are out. See this can be about being right or about being accurate and maybe, oh just maybe, meaningful.

10:31PM PDT on Sep 16, 2014

I don't follow any such agenda. I don't support it and never will. It gets hard to continually try to have worthwhile civil discussion when That kind of stuff is said because it isn't my agenda at all, Never will be either. As for the rest. Look to the earlier part of this discussion. The part where I came in and tried to hold intelligent civil, and even cordial discussion. You will see that I started with even refusing to be nasty even though some of them refused to do anything other than be on the attack against me instead of discussing things in a cordial adult way. They started accusing me of trying to pretend to be a saint even. I still refused to be rude, and they only continued to hammer at me. They did so until I returned the attitude and started defending myself. If you doubt the validity of what I am telling you click the view all comments link and scroll down. You will see it for yourself. You will even see the dates and times of the progressions. I came in here being very passive, and received nothing but continual aggression. You can read that for yourself.

10:20PM PDT on Sep 16, 2014

I'm being totally honest. I'm engaging in conversation. I don't hate or willfully misinform, in fact accuracy is the crux for me. As Lynda said, if you really don't like the tone of discussion going on then just stop participating in it or move it forward.

9:51PM PDT on Sep 16, 2014

Mother nature can be a cruel task master, last year there was a record breaking grain harvest. in the Canadian prairies, now this fall
Wintry blast a 'disaster' for southern Alberta farmers - Calgary Herald
www.calgaryherald.com/Wintry+blast+disaster...Alberta.../story.html
6 days ago ... ... where the moisture fell as heavy rain instead of snow, said grain prices this ... “ Just from going to a Grade 1 wheat to a feed grade wheat, we're going ... Alberta Agriculture crops specialist Mark Cutts said much depends on ...

Thankfully there is a market for animal feed, because adverse spring weather took its toll;

Flooding in Sask. damaged 2-3 million acres of farmland - Leader Post
www.leaderpost.com/news/Flooding+Sask...million...farmland/.../story.html
11 Jul 2014 ... The first official estimate of the amount of Saskatchewan farmland ... of his home on July 10, 2014, near Aberdeen which is completely flooded.

With the advent of major crop failures, meat protein may be the saving grace for many. There is food security and safety in mixed farming. Soya beans, flax seed, oats, lentils, barley are also grown in these areas.

9:45PM PDT on Sep 16, 2014

Thanks

9:41PM PDT on Sep 16, 2014

Try being a little more positive, Chazz, and treat others as you would like to be treated. That's really all people need to do to get along with each other.

I made a valid point that was swept under the rug, and if you are truly interested in honest discussion this is a good start, albeit a difficult one.

As a cat owner, you yourself know their value and how much they teach us. Yet you are vocally in support of a campaign who has an agenda of banning cats and dogs. How can you support a cause that would deprive all future generations of this precious bond?

8:12PM PDT on Sep 16, 2014

Thank you, Lynda. You summed it up perfectly.

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Kristina Chew Kristina Chew teaches and writes about ancient Greek and Latin and is Online Advocacy and Marketing... more
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