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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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2:11PM PDT on Aug 20, 2014


Further, drugs like Ractopamine are shot into animals shortly before slaughter; that drug is strictly prohibited from use in humans, yet traces remain in the flesh people eat.

Also alarming: 80% of all antibiotics sold in the U.S. are used on "livestock," creating antibiotic-resistant super bacteria. According to the Environmental Working Group, 87% of tested meat samples (turkey, pork, beef, and chicken) were contaminated by at least one species of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The dangers are real and serious.

Then there are the humongous, reeking slurry (animal waste) lagoons. Talk about serious ongoing pollution. No more needs to be said on that here.

I have no quarrel with non-vegans who respect my lifestyle and are open to it. Those who preach fear or make snide remarks in attempts to embarrass are being lowdown and inflammatory.
Our hearts are broken every day, nearly every moment, for each animal put through that system; so to happily (and chronically) pour salt on those wounds is vile, and sadistic. Then to go a step lower, such people self-righteously grumble about being judged or disrespected by vegans, in attempts to foment mob mentality against us for being "self-righteous."
Well, that should be enough said.

2:10PM PDT on Aug 20, 2014

Thank-you C2 admin., duly noted; I try never to name anyone or be threatening, vulgar, etc., nor to aggressively quote people out of context (ahem), since I mostly don't read the opposition's stuff anyways. Will be even more general and civil if I continue in here after today.

To the article topic:
If people who claim to suffer if they omit animals' flesh & fluids from their diet really want "organic pastured 'healthy' meats, etc.," it is vital for most of our 7+ billion population to go and stay vegan. Like I said days ago, to condemn and scare people away from vegan lifestyles is the height of counterproductive thoughtlessness.
^ Right there is the flash point.

The slaughterhouses need to be shut down. On top of the moral issues, there are very real health issues, such as the serious hormones regularly used in animal products for the masses: estradiol, progesterone, testosterone, and the synthetic hormones trenbolone acetate, progestin melengestrol acetate, and zeranol, all of which make animals grow faster and/or produce leaner meat. Dairy cows are often treated with recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) to increase milk production. And thanks to animal ag's anti-soy campaign, people are instead worried about weak, relatively harmless (possibly beneficial) phytoestrogens in soy.

Further, drugs like Ractopamine are shot into animals shortly before slaughter; that drug is strictly prohibited from use in humans, yet traces remain in the flesh people eat.

11:45AM PDT on Aug 20, 2014

Ignoring ones individual nutritional needs is just as dangerous and irresponsible as ignoring ones individual medical needs, understanding that, surely it isn't something one would ask of another. This is a complex issue and one that clearly builds steam, since so many here feel they have been unfairly judged and disparaged and we all agree that such behavior has no place in civil discourse let's hope the conversation can go forward. On that note, here is a thought provoking article on the subject.

10:51AM PDT on Aug 20, 2014

Re-posting my comment, having removed anything that could be construed "offensive":

The position I want vegans on this thread to defend is NOT your choice of diet or lifestyle, but your blatantly false claims that "We vegans are NOT killers while all non-vegans are"; and "we vegans help animals while non-vegans are cruel to animals".

You should be prepared to defend any and all allegations you make in public. I have repeatedly pointed out how these particular claims cannot be true. So far I see no rebuttal. Does that mean you agree with what I said?

9:09AM PDT on Aug 20, 2014

Thank you for your intervention CTS.

8:53AM PDT on Aug 20, 2014

Good morning,

Any further off topic personal insults, confrontational posts or aggressive language will result in the removal of your account without further discussion. Civil debate without the insults or do not take part.

I say this because I am now receiving flags from participants on this thread, calling for the removal of others, while carrying on the exact same conduct themselves.

Everyone is entitled to state their opinions without fear of ridicule, bullying and/or personal insults. Everyone, including you. And Him. And Her. Everyone.


7:54AM PDT on Aug 20, 2014

Chazz, you've just made an interesting point "They also presume themselves to be important enough that we should have to defend our position to them." Isn't that exactly what the thrust of this article is, a group demanding another defend their position?

7:45AM PDT on Aug 20, 2014

Considering that this article is about FORMER vegans and why they stopped eating what was, for them.....a deficient is rather moronic to see the most militant veg zealots here trying to dismiss our true and honest experiences.

It's quite well known that people who have medical issues of their own usually have more true and genuine empathy for others who have medical issues...and would not mock them or laugh at them ...which is very childishly cruel behaviour.

The fact that we see some of the more militant vegavores here mocking those who did not thrive on their diet, simply indicates that :
a) they have no empathy because they are morally bankrupt
b) they have no medical issues and have been making up stories to gain sympathy and attention because they are needy individuals with psychological problems caused by an unnatural need for approval...usually brought on by being raised by, and around, uncaring people.
c) they are deficient in nutrients that feed their brain
d) they're hateful narcissists who are nasty to anyone who dares to have a different opinion than theirs

A person with genuine empathy would never mock someone for having a health problem because they can empathize and know how it would feel to be mocked for their own health problems...if they truly had any.

7:12AM PDT on Aug 20, 2014

That is quite wonderfully true Sam. More and more are growing healthier and more awake in every way. It really is exciting.

6:41AM PDT on Aug 20, 2014

Well that is nice of you Sam .... as a person "caring for animals", I thank you and return your greeting........

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