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Comments

Jim Flynn

If it were up to the United Nations, we would all curl up and quit living. The "green" movement is responsible for driving food prices up by turning corn into fuel. Mind you that ethanol is far from green as it wastes valuable water and creates it's own pollution.

Nothing wrong at all with trying to live a good life for the planet. Sadly the "green" movement is getting their science wrong and at times causing more harm than good. In this case, you ignore that the ethanol movement is causing increased deforestation and world hunger and pick on cows instead.

The other interesting fact ignored by the United Nations is that organic cattle require more land due to different feeding requirements. That is another rather green movement that is causing more problems.

My point isn't that helping the planet is a bad thing. Rather it's to make sure the solutions are better than the problems.

Dad

Your mom told me to relax with your post this morning--that you were only being provacative, so feeling better now about the fried bacon breakfast, seems to me that the best thing to do (knowing your lusts) is to confiscate all grains now used for beer and booze to gift to the hungry.

MOM

Well, I opened your blog just as I was putting that first piece of bacon in my mouth.

ahh

where's mnspeak?!?!?!

Happy Vegan

Not eating dairy and eggs has a greater positive impact than just being a vegetarian. I find it slightly hypocritical to have this posting after a recipe with milk and eggs. I am not usually a vigilant vegan, I just had to say something. I do love your blog!!

Paul

Big up. Sad that suggesting people think about how their diet effects the world brings such harsh criticism from all angles! Questioning that defensiveness towards vegetarians around me was key in my decision to stop eating meat.

dv

"but if mankind simply ceased slaughtering animals for food, world hunger would cease to exist." Please...

Jim

Cub has BO/GO Abbyland brats. We're gonna eat like 24 of em tonight! Mmmm... brats...

Alexis

Thanks Paul. Yeah, people see what they want to see. The data is out there, in page after page on the internet and book upon book on the shelf, you just have to be willing to read it. And unfortunately, eating meat has been so inherent with American culture for so long. My friends and family will attest that I've never been pushy with my vegetarian beliefs, but I figured I could wag my finger for just one day as long as I was dropping some knowledge.

Also, I'll kindly ask my parents to PLEASE REFRAIN FROM USING WORDS LIKE "PROVOCATIVE" AND "LUST" IN THE SAME SENTENCE FROM NOW ON.

Dad

Great post today Lex. Keep waving your finger on that one. I agree that meat consumption is unsustainable from a nutrients perspective (feedlot foods) and demographics. The "human-induced" emissions is a new perspective for me. The UN study link you provided doesn't give the toxicity differeces between feedlot and natural foods waste. Any source you can recommend?

Mykel

Here's a good (quick) article on the subject from a non-vegetarian chef/writer:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/27/weekinreview/27bittman.html

Jim: Ethanol production has little to do with the green movement, and more to do with bad policy. Research on the subject is good, funding a non-efficient means to make ethanol is not so great.

Second, organic cattle is not really the issue, is it? Cattle should be grazed, they are grass eaters. We use cattle as a science experiment by feeding them corn. The results in rather unhealthy cows. To keep them healthy we pump them full of antibiotics creating increasingly dangerous strains of bacteria... That also end up in our food. The resulting corn fed beef is actually not a good food product for humans (albeit high in calories).

Like gas, the price for meat should be higher than it currently is. Meat consumption takes a health toll, and the external costs (that Alexis brings up) are not properly contained in the price of meat.

I'm not a vegetarian, but I do try to decrease my overall meat consumption. The meat I do eat mostly comes from local farms (near the twin cities) that use sustainable practices.


I also love how bacon is used for vegetarians like a cross is used for vampires or something... :)

foxmarks

Seems kind of arrogant to assume that I have not reviewed the evidence and made an informed decision about my dietary habits.

Let's say one gives up the auto in favor of human-powered transport, replaces all decent bulbs with fluorescents, uses no air conditioning, volunteers regularly for several nature and community causes, shares living quarters with several other humans while harboring no wasteful prisoner animals (pets) in the household...

Would you allow such a person the occasional hunk of salmon? Would you list the levels of sacrifice required for various forms of fleshy indulgence? Your readers are eating bacon and feeling terrible about it. Please assign some penance!

No, we don't just “see what we want to see”. We see a sound idea and valid lifestyle smothered by a cloak of righteousness. Draw the lines where you want, but try not to pretend your choices make you superior to those who decide differently.

Marchelle

While these are all valid points, let's not ignore the fact that a large part of the reason hunger exists is because the warring factions in these Third World countries are preventing available food from reaching the people that need it. Giving up the Sunday roast is a noble thought, but isn't going to do a thing to address this.

Alexis

My primary reason for not eating animals is an ethical one and that does make me superior. At least according to Gene Roddenberry.

Mykel

I think that (north)Americans, as a whole, eat too much meat. I think that's ultimately what the data points out. In our quest for the boundless meat supply we've created a relatively inefficient system (inefficient not necessarily in terms of cost.. at this point).

It's not that everyone needs to give up all meat consumption.

Rand

Prisoner animals (pets) WTF
OMG when people start to think like this could the end of world be that far off.

Mykel

I can't seem to find it quickly enough... What was Gene Roddenberry's take on vegetarianism(veganism?)?

Even without knowing the reference, that's a great name drop for the discussion. Any discussion really.

Alexis

Higher evolved species--humans in the 24th century and Vulcans cneturies before that--do not eat kill and eat other living creatures. References are made throughout all the series.

"We no longer enslave animals for food."
- Commander Will Riker to an Antican delegate, "Lonely Among Us" (November 2, 1987).

Bexley

Unless, of course, you're part of an officer exchange program with the Klingons, in which case you totally show off your manliness old-school-style by eating live animals.

Max "Bunny" Sparber

This is why, when I feel sick, I turn to Plomeek, rather than chicken, soup.

Jim Flynn

Alexis you are way too smart to go with the "The data is out there, in page after page on the internet and book upon book on the shelf, you just have to be willing to read it." If you really believe that, you may want to spend a little more time google searching.

World hunger is a very complex problem as noted by another poster here. You have some populations that are out of control (they don't know what condoms are). The Chinese are gobbling up resources like crazy. And as I noted before, Ethanol is largely to blame right now for food shortages. Check out corn future prices and you will see the problem.

We also do not have as much food to give to countries as usual. Thanks to our lousy dollar, our farmers are selling more crops outside of the US as they are very cheap right now.

I have no problem with your basic problem with cattle farming. But -- stopping people from eating meat will not solve a very complex problem.

Nothing wrong with throwing the idea out there, the debate is interesting.

johnjohn

so...the answer lies in a food replicator??

"steak. rib eye. wagyu. grass-fed. 30% marble. medium. oh, and toss in a glass of 86 lafite while you're at it."

Bexley

I wonder how many restaurants, grocery stores, and other small businesses would go under if replicator technology was introduced. I suppose that most chains and large companies would keep proprietary rights on their products, preventing you from replicating a Big Mac or a Hot Pocket without paying a fee. But I'd bet that most smaller places would quickly disappear. Certainly, the small family farm would be dead and buried for good then, as would most large non-specialty food producers. It'd probably be a good thing that the technology would make food affordable, as a large percentage of the population would lose their income and be unable to afford to feed themselves otherwise. The devastation would probably make its way through all sorts of other supporting businesses as well.

Gene Roddenberry - Enemy of the economy. Who knew?

Tara

16 Pounds of grain to produce 1 pound of animal flesh. I have two problems with that statement.

1. I would much rather have a pound of steak with my potatoes than 16 pounds of grain.

2. No, it takes 16 pounds of grain to feed one pound of cow over its lifetime. Are you suggesting we starve the cow to death in order to save grain? This is a species which has lives a symbiotic relationship with humanity for over 12,000 years. It can't survive in the wild in any part of the world. It needs us.

As long as you're going to worship the science, you have to look at all of it. Meat is good for you. Vegetarians, in every peer-reviewed study ever performed, are shown to have shorter life-spans, on average, than omnivores. Period. Abstaining from meat is shortening your life. You're welcome to make that sacrifice for whatever emotional or environmentalist reason you choose, it's a free country, but don't kid yourself into thinking you're making the most healthy choice possible.

Tara

Bexley, you sound like the people who lamented about the collapse of the horse-carriage industry when the automobile arrived.

Any innovation which makes our lives better is going to displace the need somebody doing something. Doesn't matter what economic system you're talking about, it's just how it is.

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