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    #160955 - 06/25/13 02:00 PM the age of vegetarianism
    doubtfulguest Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/15/13
    Posts: 429
    DD5 has decided she can no longer eat "things with faces" - not a major thing since as a family we barely eat any meat, and i was a vegetarian for most of my life, starting when i had a similar epiphany around the age of 7.

    the critical moment came when she got really upset about a new lobster restaurant in the neighbourhood, imploring me to never support a place that would boil lobsters alive. she then had to be talked out of also quitting plants ("but they are ALSO BOILED ALIVE! or STEAMED! it's a HORRIBLE DEATH!")

    which got me thinking about when any of your kids quit meat? what was the scenario? did it really take? (and if not, what broke them? was it bacon? :))


    Edited by doubtfulguest (06/25/13 02:00 PM)
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    #160956 - 06/25/13 03:03 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    KJP Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/29/12
    Posts: 756
    DS5 has thought about this A LOT!
    First, wouldn't eat any animals.

    Then he would come up with a tale about the life of the animal that somehow justified it being made into food. ("Mom, these nuggets came from a super horrible chicken. She attacked a baby!")


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    #160957 - 06/25/13 03:04 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    Percy Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/11/10
    Posts: 170
    No vegetarians in my house, but I have a friend who calls bacon the gateway meat. smile

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    #160961 - 06/25/13 03:48 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    JonLaw Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/29/11
    Posts: 2007
    Loc: The Sub-Tropics
    My wife did this when she was younger and stayed a vegetarian.

    My children, on the other hand, are only slightly bothered by the source of meat (and my wife will cook meat, just not eat it). They have also shown no qualms about tasting crabs that they personally caught out of the water.

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    #160962 - 06/25/13 03:56 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    aquinas Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/02/12
    Posts: 2497
    I did this around 5-6 when I saw my Mum preparing a Thanksgivimg turkey, then spent most of my childhood eating little meat. I'm now closer to car ignore (priceless iphone autocorrect for "carnivore") on the omnivore scale.


    Edited by aquinas (06/25/13 03:57 PM)
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    #160967 - 06/25/13 04:28 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: aquinas]
    Val Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3294
    Loc: California
    One of my kids doesn't like the taste of meat and won't eat much of it. I'm the same.

    I also had the same reaction to lobsters as a kid. I also don't eat veal on principle and will occasionally preach about the cruelty involved to people I know well. Ditto for foie gras, which has happily been banned in my state.

    We also eat eggs from pasture-raised chickens and do our best to avoid what could be called cruelty meats. I will take this opportunity to note that there is evidence that grass-fed beef is much better for you than grain-fed beef and that the grains are bad for bovine digestion (see The Omnivore's Dilemma, which also has a way cool edition for young readers). The book seems to support its claims reasonably.

    Heck, DD8 is even in cricket rescue. We go to the pet store now and then to rescue a bag of them raised as lizard food. We have some very happy crickets living in a large-ish habitat in her room. They make a lovely relaxing chirping noise, too. smile

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    #160973 - 06/25/13 05:05 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    Ametrine Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/27/11
    Posts: 741
    I recall a documentary I watched in the late 1980's (or was it the '90's??) that depicted the response of live plants when another plant is put through a blender. They had electrodes (?) hooked up to the live plant and then fed the blender full of another plant.

    They actually got a measurable response from the live plant. Interpretation: Plants know when plants are being tortured/die.

    Seriously. I really did see this on tv years ago. Now where the research was conducted or what the outcome was, I couldn't tell you.

    Anyway, I understand why someone wouldn't want to eat a formerly living being. If my son decides he will no longer, I'll make him a terrific veggie lasagna to celebrate!

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    #160974 - 06/25/13 05:08 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: Val]
    Ametrine Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/27/11
    Posts: 741
    Originally Posted By: Val

    We also eat eggs from pasture-raised chickens and do our best to avoid what could be called cruelty meats. I will take this opportunity to note that there is evidence that grass-fed beef is much better for you than grain-fed beef and that the grains are bad for bovine digestion (see The Omnivore's Dilemma, which also has a way cool edition for young readers). The book seems to support its claims reasonably.

    Heck, DD8 is even in cricket rescue. We go to the pet store now and then to rescue a bag of them raised as lizard food. We have some very happy crickets living in a large-ish habitat in her room. They make a lovely relaxing chirping noise, too. smile


    We live on some acreage and raise our own grass-fed beef and our own free-range chickens. I like to know that their lives are happy and sun-filled before they become part of us through nutrition.

    The cricket thing is really why I responded. DS loves to search the local pet supply store for "rogue" crickets and buy them to take home to freedom. smile

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    #160976 - 06/25/13 05:19 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    I just never liked the taste of meat-- I'd have liked to keep to pesco-lacto vegetarianism, myself, though. Alas, it was not to be.

    We're fortunate that DD has been a hardened carnivore her entire life, I suppose. She and her dad have little choice, given their food allergies. They truly lack a lot of means of getting adequate protein intake otherwise, because entire food groups are off-limits to both of them, and some things can't even be in the house at all.

    I eat only grass-fed/humanely raised 'red meat' (pork, beef, and rabbit) and poultry as my non-vegetarian protein sources. I might not be a vegetarian, but anything I'm eating needs to be. LOL.

    Oh-- and fish as long as it was caught by someone known to me and I can count on it being uncontaminated by shellfish. I really like fish.

    I probably eat four to six servings a week of various animal protein sources.

    My advice isn't likely to be very useful re: strict vegetarianism, since mine isn't based in philosophical objections per se and I have no trouble preparing my meat (such as it is), I suppose. My other feeling is that if I couldn't bring myself to dress it out, I wouldn't eat it. If you have to fool yourself about where it comes from... well, you know what I'm saying, I suppose. There's no meat fairy.

    However, along the same lines as Val's recommendation, I encourage others to read not only The Omnivore's Dilemma, but also Pollan's other book In Defense of Food, and Just Food, which is far more nuanced in many ways, and does a better job of the environmental side of food choices. It discusses the ethical considerations of food choice very intelligently.

    My DD read that book when she was about 9 or 10, I think. We had some great family discussions about several of those books. smile


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    #160983 - 06/25/13 07:31 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    MumOfThree Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/07/11
    Posts: 1694
    Loc: Australia
    My eldest started having conversations about pork/bacon/ham = pig, beef = cow, etc between 2-3yrs old. She was somewhat tickled that chicken = chicken... What exactly she was eating came up at most meals and certainly it gave her some pause. There was a moment I thought she was going to declare vegetarianism. However, she was also an avid wildlife documentary watcher, "Walking with Lions" being a particular favorite. She seemed to conclude carnivores eat meat, herbivores eat plants, humans are omnivores and eat both. Certainly we encourage this view, but it was no more than casual discussion on our part...

    Her younger sisters have also gone through stages of identifying the connections between food and farmyard, but with less interest (and less interest in animal docos too). My youngest is only just three though, she could yet have an epiphany, which would be unfortunate given her extremely limited food options. The only reason she's growing is her intake of ghee and chicken/meat.

    They're certainly concerned with the ethical treatment of animals.

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    #160985 - 06/25/13 07:33 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    Cricket2 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/11/09
    Posts: 2172
    Loc: Colorado
    I can speak for myself. I became vegetarian at 13 after probably six or more years of arguing with my parents about it. I just had, like the OP's kiddo, a visceral reaction to killing animals for food. I wasn't able to differentiate btwn my dogs and cows in terms of why I'd feel okay eating one and not the other. My parents tried to force me to eat meat up until I was 13 which led to huge battles at the dinner table with me crying and being told that I couldn't leave the table until I ate the meat. I'd sit at the table literally for hours crying until they gave in. I'd also slip hamburger patties out of the bun and feed them to the dog and just eat the bun pretending that there was still a hamburger in there. At 13, my mom told me to just cook my own food.

    At 16 I went vegan and have been vegan since. Both of my kids are also vegan. They ate a strict o/l vegetarian diet for part of their childhoods as a compromise with my omni dh and we let them decide when they started asking questions. They both went vegan in the past two years. Dd14 was vegan for the first two years as well b/c dad was living and working out of state during that time and I wasn't going to feed her things I wasn't eating. I am also Buddhist, although I wasn't raised Buddhist, and, for me, my dietary choices are an aspect of that belief system.
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    #160987 - 06/25/13 07:37 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    madeinuk Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/18/13
    Posts: 1453
    Loc: NJ
    So far, God willing, long may it last, DD has no problem with being higher up the food chain than her food. She devours fish with relish and even likes sashimi.
    She likes all meat that she has had - I think that living in the country helps she sees hawks taking out other birds etc on a regular basis.

    I bow hunt and her reaction upon seeing a deer that I had harvested for the first time was chortlingly chanting 'venison for dinner' and dancing about. I think it is important for children to understand that there is a food chain and it is a natural part of Life from the 'get go' and it seems to have worked with DD (so far).

    I respect Jainism etc but I could never do it - I like root vegetables too much smile
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    #160988 - 06/25/13 07:37 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    MumOfThree Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/07/11
    Posts: 1694
    Loc: Australia
    I really do think DDs David Attenborough obsession was key to her choosing not to be distressed by eating meat. Avid fascination with animal development and the natural world was very useful in her being quite matter of fact about death as well as food actually. She learned very young that people and animals die, those left behind are devastated and life goes on...

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    #160992 - 06/25/13 09:26 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    I think that some of this may be an innate distress reaction among particularly sensitive children, as well. Some kids are so emotionally OE about this.


    As startlingly empathetic as my DD is (and she is), she has no problem watching me... erm... prepare rabbits for consumption, and has no problem with eating animals. She DOES, however, have a problem with the maltreatment of animals, or factory farming, as it were. She asks a LOT of questions about euthanasia methods, and they are tough questions, frankly.

    But for other kids, death is just plain horrifying, and if the purpose of that death is to serve some human purpose, it's just wrong in their hearts and minds. DD really isn't that way-- and never has been. She knows why animals are used in research, agrees with their use as food and as pets/tools. She seems to have adopted the attitude that animals should be treated very well while they are living, they should be VERY humanely killed (when that is necessary) and that those deaths should not be meaningless.

    I can't really argue with any of that, though I tend to go a bit further than she does there, in spite of my many years of animal research.


    Philosophically, she isn't wired to think of animals as having souls, I think. She also LOVES meat, so I don't think that there has ever been any real chance that she'd wake up some morning and realize that she is eating furry creatures. She's always known and it doesn't bother her. (Weirdly.) Bugs me a lot more than her, honestly.


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    #160994 - 06/25/13 10:31 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    KJP Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/29/12
    Posts: 756
    Another belief DS5 has toyed with about animals and food is that he would only eat predators capable of eating him. Sort of a reciprocity arrangement among species. This was short lived since I wouldn't give into his requests for bear and shark.


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    #160995 - 06/25/13 11:13 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    Austin Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/25/08
    Posts: 1840
    Loc: North Texas
    Mr W toyed with this last year and he is very empathic. Then he got to see a hawk take down a duck and eat it. The duck was maimed and fought for its life before the hawk won and commenced a messy meal.

    "It is only natural," was his conclusion.

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    #160999 - 06/26/13 03:17 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    squishys
    Unregistered


    I couldn't eat fish or poultry from age four (probably because I have always loved fish and birds), and have been an on again off again vego since 12. I have been a full time vego since I was 25. I have never been able to eat meat on a bone, or eggs or milk.

    DS6 only likes white meat, and DS16m only likes fish. I haven't had the talk about where meat comes from, but I assume my eldest has put two and two together. I'm not going to force my views upon them, I do hope they decide to go vegetarian when they are older. I do a lot of animal activism and charity work fo animal charities and my eldest has asked to join me the next time (he is scared of most animals, but cares about their well-being very much). I think with them growing up with me talking about animals being equal, they will choose to not eat a fellow being on this Earth.

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    #161002 - 06/26/13 06:16 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    DAD22 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/19/11
    Posts: 312
    My daughter used to like a story from an iPad app about Tuffy the pony. At one point, my wife and I cooked some pork and it came out a bit tough. When we stated that the pork was "tough" my daughter misunderstood. She thought we were eating Tuffy the pony. She paused for a bit... and continued eating.

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    #161004 - 06/26/13 06:26 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: HowlerKarma]
    doubtfulguest Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/15/13
    Posts: 429
    Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
    She seems to have adopted the attitude that animals should be treated very well while they are living, they should be VERY humanely killed (when that is necessary) and that those deaths should not be meaningless.


    this, exactly, is DD's position - and it reminds me so strongly of why i quit meat way back in the day. she's very big on treading lightly on the earth and i think she really doesn't want to eat animals when she could be eating something else. LOVE the Michael Pollan suggestion - i've got several of his books on my shelf. she'd be totally ok with those comprehension-wise, and it would really help her extend her thinking on the subject.

    and this is a bit of an aside, but it relates to the sensitivity issue... DD is fine with death in general - she asked about it very early, and really seemed to really process the idea that a living thing will eventually expire. she can calmly project herself into a future where her parents are dead - it's a little weird, but not morbid or ghoulish. i wonder if this is why she places such a high premium on being good to each other while we're all still alive... at any rate, she is also fine with animal research, as long as the animals are treated humanely (and she is TOTALLY aware of these issues, due to her long-standing fascination with surgery/cancer research.)

    and sorry if this is OT, but it's one of my favourite stories about DD, so bear with me for a bit - y'all always understand and i'm so relieved for that. when DD was about 2, she asked me for a small album of photos of my father "so that she could remember him, too." she continues to ask me about him often, and routinely includes him in lists of her family - it's very interesting that in spite of his death, she has managed to build a relationship with him anyway - and that feels like such a gift.

    and thanks all, for your stories and suggestions! they're all amazing and great.


    Edited by doubtfulguest (06/26/13 06:27 AM)
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    #161005 - 06/26/13 06:29 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: KJP]
    doubtfulguest Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/15/13
    Posts: 429
    Originally Posted By: KJP
    Another belief DS5 has toyed with about animals and food is that he would only eat predators capable of eating him. Sort of a reciprocity arrangement among species. This was short lived since I wouldn't give into his requests for bear and shark.


    that is fantastic.
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    #161008 - 06/26/13 06:47 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    KnittingMama Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/04/12
    Posts: 267
    Loc: California
    DD sometimes claims to be a vegetarian, but in reality she eats most meat except ground beef, which she generally avoids. I do my best to respect this, so I'll have Gardenburgers available if we're having hamburgers for dinner, for example.

    The struggle that I see for her is that she really does enjoy eating meat, but feels bad for the animal. I suspect that as she gets older, she will reject meat more frequently.

    It has made for some good conversations about food waste. While I am not the kind of parent who insists her kids eat everything on their plate, I do point out if one of them has taken a second serving of meat and then doesn't eat most of it. They know that the chicken we eat for dinner used to be a living creature, and that we need to respect that by not wasting it.

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    #161009 - 06/26/13 06:56 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    GinaW Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/09/12
    Posts: 90
    I do agree with HK that it's not a universal attribute of giftedness or even empathy to suddenly feel unwilling to eat meat. My nephew, probably HG+ and *very* empathetic in most instances, is a perfect example. B and SIL got a shipment of live lobsters when DN was 5 or so. He spent the whole day watching them, naming them and calling them his pets. B and SIL were pretty worried about their dinner plans. But when it was time to prepare them they told DN what their plans were and his only response was "oooh- I love lobster tail!"

    I do think, however, that it's not an unusual predicament for the highly sensitive. Personally, if either of my kids wanted to be vegetarian or vegan that'd be fine by me. I'm a big fan of the nutritarian diet- consisting mostly of vegetables, fruits, beans and seeds. Given their lack of allergies I know I could feed them balanced meals without any animal product.

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    #161010 - 06/26/13 07:24 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    Cricket2 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/11/09
    Posts: 2172
    Loc: Colorado
    This is a very interesting conversation to me b/c dd14 and I are embarking on some research in this very area. We recently joined a local meetup group of vegans and, in speaking with someone we met at one of their get togethers, she expressed the opinion that she didn't understand how I could be married to someone who lacked empathy (dh is not vegetarian). I talked with dds about it later and said that I do believe that early vegans/vegetarians tend to be more black and white and judgmental (this lady was a fairly recent "convert"), but that I really reject the notion that people who understand the atrocities in factory farming (dh has certainly been exposed to that through watching videos like Food, Inc.) yet are willing to continue to eat meat obtained from such sources (dh is) are insensitive, evil, amoral, or innately cruel.

    Despite whatever problems we have, I can honestly say that dh is not insensitive or uncaring about suffering of others including animals. Perhaps some of it is my belief system (Buddhism is big on many path to enlightenment), but I also don't necessarily think that others need to follow my same path.

    What dd and I are undertaking to figure out, though, is what it is that makes one person be exposed to documentaries, books, or other knowledge about animal suffering, factory farming, or simply animals being killed for human consumption and decide to stop eating them and others to make a different decision. We're wondering about social and cultural factors as well as innate differences. The only studies that I have found about potential innate factors, though, are related to IQ and found that higher IQ kids were more likely to become vegetarian. As you all point out, though, some of these kids take the info and make choices more in line with Michael Pollan's arguments for farming differently, but not ceasing to consume other living beings and I do think that is a valid choice as well.

    If anyone has any other ideas other than intelligence as to innate differences in an individual that might impact his/her choice to become veg*n (vegan or vegetarian), let me know. I may be bugging you all at some point to take an online survey too as dd wants to put one together and statistically analyze the data wink. She's taking AP Stats next year.
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    #161011 - 06/26/13 07:53 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: Cricket2]
    doubtfulguest Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/15/13
    Posts: 429
    Cricket2, i love it that you're launching an investigation into these things with your DD. i don't know of any global attributes that might sway one person more than another, but in our family it seems to depend on exposure.

    i grew up in a single-parent, latch-key home and was largely responsible for making my own food choices from the age of 5. (i know that'd be considered neglect these days, but i loved it!) there was only healthy stuff in the fridge, and i learned to combine natural foods into easy, flavourful meals. since i was thinking about food choices so often, i rejected meat very early, but it was no big deal since the change really only affected me.

    my husband, on the other hand, grew up in a traditional suburban home. it was wall-to-wall hot dogs and Wonderbread. we're still in the process of re-training his taste buds - but for him to give up meat would be a total paradigm shift.

    DD is growing up in a home packed with healthy, local food and we talk about this stuff all the time. she feels genuinely bad for her dad's limited palate, and really wants him to eat more whole foods. this step into vegetarianism is kind of a logical extension of her growing knowledge of the world - i'm interested to see where it goes!
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    #161012 - 06/26/13 08:25 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Cricket, I think that the major difference in conclusions is dependent (at least for high IQ people) on whether or not they adopt beliefs as follows:

    a) all creatures which are sentient possess something which could be termed a "soul"

    b) creatures with souls (see a) should be granted more-or-less equivalent rights

    c) all creatures which are sentient are "animals"

    d) human beings are/are not somehow different from animals



    I think that it is the combination of these factors and parsing their meaning that leads to such radically different decisions in whether or not to consume meat or other animal products, and to what degree.


    For example, if you believe that human beings are essentially just super-bright omnivorous animals, then that leads to a rationale in which the consumption of meat is a fairly acceptable decision, environmental considerations aside.

    If you believe that all sentient creatures have souls and are equally endowed with rights as a result, then that path leads most clearly to veganism.

    KWIM? Like you, as a Taoist, I have no real 'need'--nevermind desire-- to proselytize or convert others to my way of thinking... ergo, I live with a pair of meat-loving omnivores, and I myself am more-or-less not a mammal-eating person. I do think that some of this boils down to maturity and black-and-white thinking, though, and perhaps not so much to raw intellect-- older vegetarians and vegans tend to not be so judgmental about "meat is murder" and more accepting of others' very different conclusions. On the other hand, I do think that there is a risk of feeling "more enlightened" than those who are meat-eating, and that strikes me as incorrect/immature as well. Just because a person arrives a different conclusion, it doesn't follow that they lacked the same data that you used, or that they were "less able" to process it a particular way. I've known meat-eaters that feel that way, too, though-- it's not just vegans.

    It's a matter of individual beliefs, really.






    Edited by HowlerKarma (06/26/13 08:32 AM)
    Edit Reason: clarity
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    #161013 - 06/26/13 08:33 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: HowlerKarma]
    JonLaw Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/29/11
    Posts: 2007
    Loc: The Sub-Tropics
    Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
    Cricket, I think that the major difference in conclusions is dependent (at least for high IQ people) on whether or not they adopt beliefs as follows:

    a) all creatures which are sentient possess something which could be termed a "soul"

    b) creatures with souls (see a) should be granted more-or-less equivalent rights

    c) all creatures which are sentient are "animals"

    d) human beings are/are not somehow different from animals.


    What about arresting lions, cats, and other mean animals?

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    #161014 - 06/26/13 08:36 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: Cricket2]
    Zen Scanner Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/13/12
    Posts: 1478
    Loc: NC
    Originally Posted By: Cricket2
    If anyone has any other ideas other than intelligence as to innate differences in an individual that might impact his/her choice to become veg*n (vegan or vegetarian), let me know.


    Here's some influences I brainstormed:
    Character Trait Factors
    Pragmatism
    Empathy
    Self-Deception
    Single-mindedness (overlaps with pragmatism)
    Intrinsically/Extrinsically motivated
    Integration/psychological risk
    All or nothing thinking
    Conscientiousness

    Philosophic/Idealogical
    Species centrism
    Darwinian perspective
    Religious Beliefs re: sentientism
    Religious Beliefs re: "purpose" of animals

    Notes
    Intrinsic/extrinsic may be a wash because fads vs. personal beliefs may play out in either direction.

    Integration/psychological risk is likely easily overlooked but can be a big contributor. If a person views themselves as a new person each day, then to reinvent under a given philosophy is simple. But if the view is as a compounding of your past, then to accept the premise of cruelty is to face self-loathing head on as your entire past is rewritten.

    I'm thinking single-mindedness in that if you are eating, you are eating and not contemplating the meaning of life.

    All-or-nothing thinking might be a variant of integration except it is a bit of avoidance to see the slippery slope of where do you stop in deciding.

    I actually wouldn't factor intelligence into the question. As it too is a bit of wash playing into some of the above factors.

    Darwinian... Tasting great is a species survival trait that does wonders for the world-wide population of chickens.

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    #161015 - 06/26/13 08:44 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    knute974 Offline
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    I have to admit that I have never been much of a carnivore and have had periods of vegitarianism. As a kid, I had a real problem with eggs and veal. It was philosophical problem with eating babies (I didn't understand that most grocery store eggs are not fertilized). Funny, I don't recall having an issue with eating "adults."

    Due to food allergy issues in two of my three children, I eat more meat now than I have since growing up in a "meat and potatoes" household. Like HK, one of my children could not get sufficient protein without meat. When you have a sibling who could not survive without meat, it tempers some of the "animal empathy" issues.

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    #161016 - 06/26/13 08:58 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: JonLaw]
    MsFriz Offline
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    A clueless teacher put Food Inc on at DS's school in place of recess one rainy afternoon. He was in 3rd grade at the time. Within a few minutes, enough kids were in tears that the teacher turned the movie off, but there was no reversing its effect on DS8. He came home RANTING breathlessly about factory farms and corporate greed that day and hasn't had a bite of meat since, even though many of his favorite foods had involved chicken or pork. He won't even eat meat that has been humanely raised, because the animal "still dies." He was the only kid in his class who was instantly converted, and he hasn't waffled since.

    It has been kind of sad for me to see him write off foods he had loved so much, and it's been a pain to adjust my shopping and cooking, but we've always encouraged him to be a free thinker, so I have respected his wishes. One day, not long after he stopped eating meat, during a conversation about whether children should automatically accept the religious and political beliefs of their parents, he used the example of himself being a vegetarian child of meat-eaters. I thought that was super cool.

    I admire his conviction and think he's probably doing the right thing even though I'm not ready to do it myself. Maybe he can be a role model for me!

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    #161017 - 06/26/13 09:02 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    HowlerKarma Offline
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    One question-- is it fundamentally cruelty?

    I think that familiarity probably plays an integral role there-- kids who have not ever seen animals from farm-to-plate probably feel that such an existence is inevitably cruelty.

    Kids who have seen it know that isn't inherently the case-- at least not from the animal's perspective. That, I think, is some mash-up of cognitive ability, empathy, and maturity-- the ability to take a non-human perspective like that. Which then means that we as humans have to decide whether or not we SHOULD feel guilty for eating animals, assuming that the animal probably doesn't much care either way, given a reasonably happy and humane existence otherwise.

    Not all kids are (emotionally) capable of withstanding the acquisition of the data here, however. Some are, and some aren't. My DD doesn't like watching rabbits being butchered, but she's seen it and it hasn't had much impact on her relative enthusiasm for bunny enchiladas. Me, on the other hand, I was seriously traumatized by my 7-8 yo experience of raising market pigs. Pigs are intelligent and affectionate-- very dog-like once you get to know them, and they have a level of cognitive awareness that makes eating factory-farmed ones impossible for me personally, having had that personal experience.

    There is a component which is down to possible anthropomorphism versus pragmatism, as well. Few people truly see trout and border collies as being completely interchangeable on the sentience and cognition scale if they are familiar with both animals in a non-theoretical sense.

    Quote:

    All-or-nothing thinking might be a variant of integration except it is a bit of avoidance to see the slippery slope of where do you stop in deciding.


    Yes, though... if you look at my above example, that's exactly what my personal assessment has been based upon; the level of cognition in a particular species. I won't eat some kinds of animals at all, and others only if I know that they've been humanely treated and killed in such a way as to NOT suffer in the process. Which, in my mind, is more than most non-food animals get, when you get right down to it.

    So my personal feeling is that a lot (not all, though) radical vegans tend to romanticize the "natural living" that animals do in the wild. They do suffer as part of living. Now, from a philosophical angle, I understand the argument that all sentient beings should have autonomy... but I don't overestimate the ability of a goldfish, nor underestimate the ability of a horse or goat. Rabbits are just not as intelligent as pigs, nor are they as thoughtful; ergo, while rabbits are just as deserving of respectful husbandry (and maybe MORE in need of parental care, in some ways, given their inability to care for themselves), I can eat them far more readily than a pig.

    Familiarity goes a LONG way there, I think.

    I believe, for that reason, that children should be familiar with farmed animals and get to know them. smile Some kids only know sheep from books and movies, and that's a shame.

    I think that the important thing for any particular decision-making is to remain flexible and make sure that you aren't making decisions on bad data... for example, Hollywood anthropomorphic portrayals like Finding Nemo. Dig into the neuroscience research about animals and their level of self-awareness, in other words.

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    #161018 - 06/26/13 09:13 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    JonLaw Offline
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    "Me, on the other hand, I was seriously traumatized by my 7-8 yo experience of raising market pigs. Pigs are intelligent and affectionate-- very dog-like once you get to know them, and they have a level of cognitive awareness that makes eating factory-farmed ones impossible for me personally, having had that personal experience."

    Pet pigs are pretty cute.

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    #161020 - 06/26/13 09:19 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    HowlerKarma Offline
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    Remember that most books and documentaries on this subject are propagandized, too.

    That doesn't meant that what films like Food, Inc. portray is untrue (it's not)... just that it has been carefully selected to support a particular viewpoint.

    My DD has always found propaganda fascinating-- she is a HUGE fan of Micheal Moore's work, and finds it fascinating to examine critically.

    I think that kind of approach-- lots of questions about the "why" of beliefs and statements-- and even questions about assumptions ("is that factually correct? Is it always true? Sometimes true? Unknown?") works especially well with HG people.


    Then again, I'm a parent and person who finds that the little logical fallacies-- even those that make some things easier emotionally-- tend to grate on me over time. I'd rather face the unvarnished truth and make some sense of it than retain my blissful ignorance, and the rest of my family is built upon similar lines.

    I'm not sure that it is a common feature of gifted people in general, but perhaps it is. I have to have a reason WHY I believe something.


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    #161023 - 06/26/13 09:22 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: MsFriz]
    Cricket2 Offline
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    Originally Posted By: MsFriz
    A clueless teacher put Food Inc on at DS's school in place of recess one rainy afternoon. He was in 3rd grade at the time. Within a few minutes, enough kids were in tears that the teacher turned the movie off, but there was no reversing its effect on DS8. He came home RANTING breathlessly about factory farms and corporate greed that day and hasn't had a bite of meat since, even though many of his favorite foods had involved chicken or pork. He won't even eat meat that has been humanely raised, because the animal "still dies." He was the only kid in his class who was instantly converted, and he hasn't waffled since.

    Wow, I would imagine some serious complaints! I recall having to sign permission slips for my kids to watch anything other than G rated movies up through probably middle school.

    However, that's exactly the difference that dd is interested in getting at: your ds vs the other kids who, presumably also came from omni families. Something is presumably different in the kiddos who make massive lifestyle changes from exposure to things like Food Inc. vs those who see the same movie and who are possibly upset but who don't make lifestyle changes as a result. I really don't mean "better" and I think that is why this is so interesting to dd and me. We really don't agree with other veg*ns who think that there is something wrong with people who respond differently.
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    #161024 - 06/26/13 09:27 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: HowlerKarma]
    JonLaw Offline
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    Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
    Then again, I'm a parent and person who finds that the little logical fallacies-- even those that make some things easier emotionally-- tend to grate on me over time. I'd rather face the unvarnished truth and make some sense of it than retain my blissful ignorance, and the rest of my family is built upon similar lines.

    I'm not sure that it is a common feature of gifted people in general, but perhaps it is. I have to have a reason WHY I believe something.


    I generally try to put *something* in the belief void, based on what I feel or intuitively expect.

    I adjust it later based on objective evidence/subjective experience, but I don't like starting with a null.

    I can also *unknow* what I put there and make it a null if that will get me to where I want to go.

    I think that the unknowing works better because you are expressly opening up a space, so there is conscious effort.

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    #161025 - 06/26/13 09:28 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: HowlerKarma]
    Val Offline
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    Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
    I'm not sure that it is a common feature of gifted people in general, but perhaps it is. I have to have a reason WHY I believe something.



    Me too.

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    #161027 - 06/26/13 09:39 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: Cricket2]
    GinaW Offline
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    Originally Posted By: Cricket2


    If anyone has any other ideas other than intelligence as to innate differences in an individual that might impact his/her choice to become veg*n (vegan or vegetarian), let me know. I may be bugging you all at some point to take an online survey too as dd wants to put one together and statistically analyze the data wink. She's taking AP Stats next year.


    What about examining Myers-Briggs types? I'd imagine that an SJ- who is concerned with societal rules would react differently from NFs or NTs who are much more likely to be concerned with their personally created moral compass.

    Oddly enough, each and every member of my family who has been identified as gifted has also been identified as either an NT or an NF. Given the rarity of both N types, I often wonder if their is a correlation between giftedness and Myers-Briggs types. And for the record, the NFs in my family seem to grapple more with meat issues than the NTs (my nephew in the early story being a definite NT).

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    #161029 - 06/26/13 09:41 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    HowlerKarma Offline
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    ... and this is where I ask whether Myers-Briggs typing has validity in the first place.

    wink

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    #161030 - 06/26/13 09:53 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: HowlerKarma]
    Cricket2 Offline
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    Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
    One question-- is it fundamentally cruelty?

    I think that familiarity probably plays an integral role there-- kids who have not ever seen animals from farm-to-plate probably feel that such an existence is inevitably cruelty.

    Kids who have seen it know that isn't inherently the case-- at least not from the animal's perspective. That, I think, is some mash-up of cognitive ability, empathy, and maturity-- the ability to take a non-human perspective like that. Which then means that we as humans have to decide whether or not we SHOULD feel guilty for eating animals, assuming that the animal probably doesn't much care either way, given a reasonably happy and humane existence otherwise.

    I think that this ultimately comes back to your earlier post. My phililosophical outlook is that all sentient creatures have something equivalent to what Christians would consider a soul and that, regardless of intellect, they have the desire to live and, as such, it is not my right to end their lives regardless of how humanely. In other words, the animal does care whether it lives or dies.

    For instance, I take a lot of my direction from quotes in the Dhammapada such as, "every living being fears death. Therefore, knowing this, feeling for others as for yourself, do not kill others or cause others to kill. Every living being fears being struck by a rod. Life being dear to all. Therefore, knowing this, feeling for others as for yourself, do not kill or cause others to kill.

    I do think that it is such a personal interpretation, though. For instance, one of George Bush's speech writers, who is devoutly Christian, wrote a book called Dominion in which he interprets the bible to instruct Christians to be vegetarian, whereas other Christians, I'm sure do not interpret the dominion over animals in the bible to mean that.

    It also is not a romantizication of the natural world and the way animals die there either in our instance. I live in a semi-rural area with a lot of foxes, raptors, and other preditors. I know that life and death in the natural world isn't pretty and easy. It is more that my path leads me toward minimizing my personal contribution to that suffering where I can.

    Quote:
    Not all kids are (emotionally) capable of withstanding the acquisition of the data here, however. Some are, and some aren't. My DD doesn't like watching rabbits being butchered, but she's seen it and it hasn't had much impact on her relative enthusiasm for bunny enchiladas.


    My dh as well. His father was a butcher and he went to slaughter houses with him as a child and saw the live cows going in one end and the meat coming out the other. He saw his grandfather raise and kill rabbits. I wonder, actually, if exposure to things of that sort at an early age might have one of two effects on someone: becoming vegetarian or just seeing it as natural and not awful.

    Quote:

    There is a component which is down to possible anthropomorphism versus pragmatism, as well. Few people truly see trout and border collies as being completely interchangeable on the sentience and cognition scale if they are familiar with both animals in a non-theoretical sense...

    Now, from a philosophical angle, I understand the argument that all sentient beings should have autonomy... but I don't overestimate the ability of a goldfish, nor underestimate the ability of a horse or goat. Rabbits are just not as intelligent as pigs, nor are they as thoughtful; ergo, while rabbits are just as deserving of respectful husbandry (and maybe MORE in need of parental care, in some ways, given their inability to care for themselves), I can eat them far more readily than a pig.

    I am quite familiar with the levels of intelligence of various animals. As I mentioned, I live in a semi-rural area. I've been around pigs, cows, sheep, and other farm animals a good bit. I volunteer at our local humane society where we have everything from pet type of animals to wildlife that are being rehabbed. For me, the level of intelligence of the animal makes no difference in its being, right to life, or desire to live. Heck, I even catch [SPAM] in the house and put them outside! I know that they are not the same as my super smart herding dogs, but I would not kill them any more than I would view a developmentally disabled human as being less desiring of life than a genius.

    I'm truly not judging your different perspective, just trying to explain mine.
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    #161031 - 06/26/13 09:59 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: Val]
    Cricket2 Offline
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    Originally Posted By: Val
    Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
    I'm not sure that it is a common feature of gifted people in general, but perhaps it is. I have to have a reason WHY I believe something.



    Me too.

    I do think that is a common trait in many gifted individuals. I believe that I've also seen studies that indicate that highly intelligent people are more likely to be atheist. I suspect that a similar premise is underlying: it is hard for us to simply accept something on faith without a reason why or some proof.
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    #161032 - 06/26/13 10:01 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: HowlerKarma]
    doubtfulguest Offline
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    Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
    questions about assumptions ("is that factually correct? Is it always true? Sometimes true? Unknown?") works especially well with HG people.

    [...]I'd rather face the unvarnished truth and make some sense of it than retain my blissful ignorance...


    SO with you on this... i have a total horror of being blinded by assumptions and therefore question EVERYTHING. i'm sure it's massively annoying to everyone around me - i know it drives my husband nuts, but it feels like the only way to truly live honourably.
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    #161033 - 06/26/13 10:02 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    HowlerKarma Offline
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    I completely understand, Cricket. You very definitely are not basing your philosophical choices on having read Charlotte's Web one too many times. wink

    I have met some vegans who have based their beliefs on that, however.

    Quote:

    It is more that my path leads me toward minimizing my personal contribution to that suffering where I can.


    Completely rational. smile

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    #161034 - 06/26/13 10:21 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: Cricket2]
    Zen Scanner Offline
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    Originally Posted By: Cricket2
    Originally Posted By: Val
    Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
    I'm not sure that it is a common feature of gifted people in general, but perhaps it is. I have to have a reason WHY I believe something.



    Me too.

    I do think that is a common trait in many gifted individuals. I believe that I've also seen studies that indicate that highly intelligent people are more likely to be atheist. I suspect that a similar premise is underlying: it is hard for us to simply accept something on faith without a reason why or some proof.


    I'd even flip the causality around and say that a need to understand WHY is frequently a key precursor to intelligence. Even to the point where I think for me experience sans epiphany is detritus.

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    #161035 - 06/26/13 10:30 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    HowlerKarma Offline
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    That need to interpret and establish meaning may not explain the fact that relatively few children in the classroom (reported earlier, up-thread) responded with long-term lifestyle changes, but still explains why that one did.

    Experience which is understood and incorporated can't help but promote change, or at least serious contemplation of it.

    Mindfulness is a good thing.
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    #161036 - 06/26/13 10:41 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    Val Offline
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    Originally Posted By: doubtfulguest
    SO with you on this... i have a total horror of being blinded by assumptions and therefore question EVERYTHING. i'm sure it's massively annoying to everyone around me - i know it drives my husband nuts, but it feels like the only way to truly live honourably.


    Oh, do I identify with this statement. People here may have noticed my tendency to question stuff.


    Edited by Val (06/26/13 10:54 AM)

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    #161037 - 06/26/13 10:43 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: HowlerKarma]
    DAD22 Offline
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    Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
    Cricket, I think that the major difference in conclusions is dependent (at least for high IQ people) on whether or not they adopt beliefs as follows:

    a) all creatures which are sentient possess something which could be termed a "soul"

    b) creatures with souls (see a) should be granted more-or-less equivalent rights

    c) all creatures which are sentient are "animals"

    d) human beings are/are not somehow different from animals



    There's also the issue of animals killed during the farming process.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethics_of_eating_meat#Debate_over_animals_killed_in_crop_harvesting

    If you don't value human life over the lives of field mice, I'm afraid it's going to be very difficult to continue your existence. Vegetarians and vegans still have animal blood on their hands.

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    #161039 - 06/26/13 10:55 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    HowlerKarma Offline
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    It's also true that.... well, where DO you draw the line?

    Antibiotics kill living organisms as well, after all.

    Are mosquitoes an exception? What about lice or ticks?

    Are helminths not as "alive" as insects?

    What makes vertebrates special?

    Cephalopods would argue that point... and more to the point, probably could argue it successfully. LOL.

    Once you stop and really think about this, you realize that there are probably no options which are entirely, 100% ethical or internally consistent and completely black and white. Even Jains cause death in order to live, and as far as I know, they don't advocate limiting one's oxygen intake in order to minimize impact.

    It makes far more sense (to me, from my occasionally Vulcan-like philosophical outlook) to work through it as an individual and decide where you are going to stand on that spectrum-- and why.



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    #161040 - 06/26/13 11:09 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: Val]
    doubtfulguest Offline
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    Originally Posted By: Val
    Originally Posted By: doubtfulguest
    SO with you on this... i have a total horror of being blinded by assumptions and therefore question EVERYTHING. i'm sure it's massively annoying to everyone around me - i know it drives my husband nuts, but it feels like the only way to truly live honourably.


    Oh, do I identify with this statement. People here may have noticed my tendency to question stuff.


    hee - glad i'm not alone in that. my husband probably also wishes that my Identification Of A Problem wasn't always just the thinly-veiled step one in The Speedy Course of Action.
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    #161041 - 06/26/13 11:12 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: HowlerKarma]
    JonLaw Offline
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    Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
    It makes far more sense (to me, from my occasionally Vulcan-like philosophical outlook) to work through it as an individual and decide where you are going to stand on that spectrum-- and why.


    I try to only eat things that I want to eat.

    It's very important to me to have the self-actualization and autonomy to actually make this choice for myself.

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    #161042 - 06/26/13 11:13 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: DAD22]
    Cricket2 Offline
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    Originally Posted By: DAD22

    There's also the issue of animals killed during the farming process.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethics_of_eating_meat#Debate_over_animals_killed_in_crop_harvesting

    If you don't value human life over the lives of field mice, I'm afraid it's going to be very difficult to continue your existence. Vegetarians and vegans still have animal blood on their hands.

    That, honestly, comes across as a bit of baiting to me. I don't believe that, if you cannot do something perfectly, that you shouldn't try to do it at all. Thus, you notice my statement above about minimizing my contribution to suffering and death as much as possible.

    I wouldn't, for instance, say that if I couldn't stop all suffering and pain in patients (I work in healthcare), that it is not worth doing what I can to make those people who I can effect more comfortable. I, like all, may have "blood on my hands," as you say, but I try my hardest to have the least blood I can on my conscience. Where I can affect it, I do, which is better than nothing IMHO.
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    #161044 - 06/26/13 11:22 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: JonLaw]
    Val Offline
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    Originally Posted By: JonLaw
    I try to only eat things that I want to eat.

    It's very important to me to have the self-actualization and autonomy to actually make this choice for myself.


    I use this approach with my kids. Our rule in the house is that everyone has to try a new food. If someone doesn't like it, he doesn't have to eat more of it. End of story.

    We aren't dealing with allergies or other related medical conditions and we are economically not in a position where our choices are severely limited. So we can do this. Our kids like a lot of healthy foods, too: fresh veggies, sushi, salad, etc. Overall, this approach works for us and mealtimes here are rarely times of stress due to fighting about having to eat hated foods.

    Instead, there is plenty of time for kids to create other kinds of mealtime stress, such as fighting with each other, acting hyper, and so on. Ahh, family dinner! Such fun.

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    #161045 - 06/26/13 11:24 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    HowlerKarma Offline
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    It isn't any better to have two of you who question everything and are hyper-aware/critically questioning, trust me.

    We read all of the fine print. On everything.

    We are a real treat to take to a meeting with a financial planner, bank, or insurance agent. blush

    It took four hours for us to go through our mortgage documents the first time we bought a house, and nearly that long the last time we did a "thorough policy review" with an insurance agent.
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    #161047 - 06/26/13 11:27 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: HowlerKarma]
    Val Offline
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    Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
    It isn't any better to have two of you who question everything and are hyper-aware/critically questioning, trust me.


    Oh, I suspect it is. I doubt you have, err, debates, in which one person is saying, "Fact, second fact, third fact...danger, Will Robinson!" and the other person is being dismissive.


    Edited by Val (06/26/13 11:28 AM)
    Edit Reason: Clarity

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    #161052 - 06/26/13 11:39 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    squishys
    Unregistered


    There seems to be almost a hatred of veg*ns here. I don't get how people who choose to not eat meat are such terrible human beings. I have people look at me in disgust because I won't feast on flesh. I am an atheist, and I don't have to believe in souls to know that it just isn't right to kill- anyone or anything. Any creature that feels pain shouldn't killed, IMO.
    "I have from an early age abjured the use of meat, and the time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look upon the murder of men." -Leonardo da Vinci

    I don't think that an animal's "low intelligence" (according to a human's scale) is a good enough reason to kill them.
    "What is it that should trace the insuperable line? ...The question is not, can they reason nor can they talk but, can they suffer?" -Jeremy Bentham

    All animals have nerves, blood, flesh, eyelashes- how can anyone deem them good enough to die? I like to bring my children up with love for everyone, no matter their looks or intelligence. It shouldn't factor in our minds which animal is deserving enough to live. Why do we get to be the ones who decides who lives or dies?
    "Teaching a child not to step on a caterpillar is as valuable to the child as it is to the caterpillar." ~Bradley Millar

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    #161053 - 06/26/13 11:52 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    rkw99 Offline
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    My two DDs are opposites. DD8 (the identified gifted one) loves meat. She devours hamburgers, hot dogs, and especially loves bacon. When we visited our friends in the country who were raising pigs for 4H I explained where bacon comes from. She had previously met the alive pigs and then had the bacon on the plate. She paused ever so briefly and then requested more bacon. Younger DD does not like meat at all. It makes mealtime difficult. I also have a hard time finding protein sources that younger DD will eat. She will like something like edamame or garbanzos for a while then hates it. I do try to change it up but don't want to rely on dairy strictly for her protein.

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    #161054 - 06/26/13 11:59 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Quote:

    There seems to be almost a hatred of veg*ns here.


    Really??

    I actually think that the discourse has been quite respectful... but in the experience of many omnivores, like many atheists, discussions like this one seem to inevitably turn to who holds the moral high ground and why such positions are "right" or at least superior or more enlightened.

    Inherently, this IS a matter of opinion, rather than facts... because if one tries to parse it factually, there are some very odd conclusions to be drawn, and no clean black-and-white lines. Even a discussion of "pain" and pain-perception becomes far more complicated than it might appear from a philosophical perspective. Again, anthropomorphism says one thing, and what science exists says (in some instances) quite another.


    Ergo, people who see it in black-and-white terms are seeing it through a lens of belief, just by definition. That may be fine, but attempting to impose that set of beliefs as a larger truth probably isn't. That's proselytizing.

    I respect that some people really DO feel that there is only one 'right' way to view some things... but it complicates things when you don't have an authentic choice but to do "wrong" anyway. Is it still morally reprehensible to eat your pet if your only legitimate alternative is starvation? How close to starvation? What about malnutrition?

    If not, then is it truly morally reprehensible to begin with? Why?

    I'm truly not being snarky in asking. I'm serious.





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    #161055 - 06/26/13 12:01 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: Val]
    HowlerKarma Offline
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    Originally Posted By: Val
    Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
    It isn't any better to have two of you who question everything and are hyper-aware/critically questioning, trust me.


    Oh, I suspect it is. I doubt you have, err, debates, in which one person is saying, "Fact, second fact, third fact...danger, Will Robinson!" and the other person is being dismissive.


    Oh, sure you can!

    We like to say that between the two of us, we're of at least three minds about anything in particular. LOL.

    Please note that we have quite different value systems, my spouse and myself. He is a neat freak... I am.. er... not. blush He's about some risks (fire, liability) and I'm all about others (personal injury, health).
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    #161056 - 06/26/13 12:07 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: HowlerKarma]
    doubtfulguest Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/15/13
    Posts: 429
    Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
    Originally Posted By: Val
    Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
    It isn't any better to have two of you who question everything and are hyper-aware/critically questioning, trust me.


    Oh, I suspect it is. I doubt you have, err, debates, in which one person is saying, "Fact, second fact, third fact...danger, Will Robinson!" and the other person is being dismissive.


    Oh, sure you can!

    We like to say that between the two of us, we're of at least three minds about anything in particular. LOL.

    Please note that we have quite different value systems, my spouse and myself. He is a neat freak... I am.. er... not. blush He's about some risks (fire, liability) and I'm all about others (personal injury, health).


    it'd be awesome to do a thread about gifted spouses and how they balance each other with complementary/competing skills. i'd read that one all day. (because i need more encouragement?!)


    Edited by doubtfulguest (06/26/13 12:07 PM)
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    #161058 - 06/26/13 12:13 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    HowlerKarma Offline
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    As opposed to my DH, who needs no encouragement from anyone. LOL! grin
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    #161059 - 06/26/13 12:14 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: HowlerKarma]
    Val Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3294
    Loc: California
    Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
    Quote:

    There seems to be almost a hatred of veg*ns here.


    Really??

    I actually think that the discourse has been quite respectful...


    I had to think about that too...I believe "here" means "in Australia."

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    #161061 - 06/26/13 12:28 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: HowlerKarma]
    JonLaw Offline
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    Registered: 07/29/11
    Posts: 2007
    Loc: The Sub-Tropics
    Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
    Is it still morally reprehensible to eat your pet if your only legitimate alternative is starvation? How close to starvation? What about malnutrition?

    If not, then is it truly morally reprehensible to begin with? Why?

    I'm truly not being snarky in asking. I'm serious.


    *PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT*

    Since this discussion has veered off into the realm of whether it is morally acceptable to eat small furry pets, I wanted to take this opportunity to remind everyone here about *Rabbit starvation*.

    Remember, if you are lost out in the woods, you can only eat so much rabbit before bad things happen to you.

    From wikipedia:

    "Rabbit starvation, also referred to as protein poisoning or mal de caribou, is a form of acute malnutrition caused by excess consumption of any lean meat (e.g., rabbit) coupled with a lack of other sources of nutrients usually in combination with other stressors, such as severe cold or dry environment. Symptoms include diarrhea, headache, fatigue, low blood pressure and heart rate, and a vague discomfort and hunger that can only be satisfied by consumption of fat or carbohydrates."

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rabbit_starvation

    *PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT END*

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    #161063 - 06/26/13 12:38 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: JonLaw]
    doubtfulguest Offline
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    Originally Posted By: JonLaw
    a vague discomfort and hunger that can only be satisfied by consumption of fat or carbohydrates.


    uh-oh. i might have Rabbit Starvation RIGHT NOW.
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    #161065 - 06/26/13 12:43 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    Val Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3294
    Loc: California
    Originally Posted By: doubtfulguest
    Originally Posted By: JonLaw
    a vague discomfort and hunger that can only be satisfied by consumption of fat or carbohydrates.


    uh-oh. i might have Rabbit Starvation RIGHT NOW.


    QUICK!!! Get out of the woods and find a 7-11 before you pass out!

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    #161066 - 06/26/13 12:48 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: Val]
    doubtfulguest Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/15/13
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    Originally Posted By: Val
    Originally Posted By: doubtfulguest
    Originally Posted By: JonLaw
    a vague discomfort and hunger that can only be satisfied by consumption of fat or carbohydrates.


    uh-oh. i might have Rabbit Starvation RIGHT NOW.


    QUICK!!! Get out of the woods and find a 7-11 before you pass out!


    i am taking this as my cue to go downstairs and get a freezie. i really don't want to eat the cat just now - i have options! wink
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    #161068 - 06/26/13 12:57 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    Val Offline
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    Registered: 09/01/07
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    Originally Posted By: doubtfulguest
    i am taking this as my cue to go downstairs and get a freezie. i really don't want to eat the cat just now - i have options! wink


    Not to mention that cat meat is presumably rather lean.

    Unless your cat is a tubba tuba like one of mine.


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    #161069 - 06/26/13 01:08 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: Val]
    doubtfulguest Offline
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    Registered: 03/15/13
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    Originally Posted By: Val
    Originally Posted By: doubtfulguest
    i am taking this as my cue to go downstairs and get a freezie. i really don't want to eat the cat just now - i have options! wink


    Not to mention that cat meat is presumably rather lean.

    Unless your cat is a tubba tuba like one of mine.



    she really, really is... she's a rescue - but a rescue of mysteriously ample proportions!
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    #161076 - 06/26/13 01:58 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: Val]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
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    Originally Posted By: Val
    Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
    Quote:

    There seems to be almost a hatred of veg*ns here.


    Really??

    I actually think that the discourse has been quite respectful...


    I had to think about that too...I believe "here" means "in Australia."


    Ahhh!!

    Yes, that makes much more sense. Well, the statement does. Not so much the behavior it refers to. Who would loathe a vegan on the basis of their dietary preferences??

    How peculiar.
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    #161077 - 06/26/13 01:59 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: Val]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
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    Originally Posted By: Val
    Originally Posted By: doubtfulguest
    i am taking this as my cue to go downstairs and get a freezie. i really don't want to eat the cat just now - i have options! wink


    Not to mention that cat meat is presumably rather lean.

    Unless your cat is a tubba tuba like one of mine.



    I have to think that cat must taste just dreadful, too, given how seldom it appears in traditional world cuisines. sick

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    #161079 - 06/26/13 02:03 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    SiaSL Offline
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    I have actually read/heard so many stories of cat meat being passed as rabbit in times of war in my home country (France) that I suspect cat tastes pretty much like rabbit.

    When butchered (and the head and paws cut off) they are supposedly fairly hard to tell apart.

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    #161082 - 06/26/13 02:20 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    HowlerKarma Offline
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    I dunno-- predators taste way different than omnivores or herbivores do. I can believe horse-rabbit because of the similarities. Goat-dog-pig, also could be somewhat interchangeable, I'd think. I think that frog and pheasant taste similar.

    Cat-rabbit? Hmm. Seems like trying to pass off bear as cow, and I've sampled both of them... and there's no way that bear tastes like cow. I believe that the hindquarters might be similar enough-- but rabbits are pretty skimpy in the torso and cats are not. (And no, I'm not someone with a lot of cat butchering experience, for the record... just a fair amount of veterinary surgical experience.)

    I suppose if you're hungry enough, pretty much anything that won't kill you outright starts to look appealing, however, and you probably don't ask a lot of questions. I have heard similar stories about cats from Japanese and Japanese-American family.

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    #161087 - 06/26/13 02:45 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: HowlerKarma]
    Cricket2 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/11/09
    Posts: 2172
    Loc: Colorado
    Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
    Originally Posted By: Val
    Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
    Quote:

    There seems to be almost a hatred of veg*ns here.


    Really??

    I actually think that the discourse has been quite respectful...


    I had to think about that too...I believe "here" means "in Australia."


    Ahhh!!

    Yes, that makes much more sense. Well, the statement does. Not so much the behavior it refers to. Who would loathe a vegan on the basis of their dietary preferences??

    How peculiar.

    I've generally found that negativity toward veg*ns comes a lot from people think that the veg*ans are judging them so they are being preemptively nasty.
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    #161089 - 06/26/13 03:02 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    MumOfThree Offline
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    Registered: 04/07/11
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    Loc: Australia
    As far as eating one's pets, I regularly stayed with a college friend who's parents ran a hobby farm in their retirement. They lovingly raised 20-30 cows and happily ate them, discussing over dinner whether Fred was perhaps tougher than Max had been. The meat went into the freezer labelled by the cow's name and the cut of the meat, so they always knew who they were eating. I never did feel comfortable joining those conversations. Or talking to their living cows by name either, after the first dinner coversation.

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    #161090 - 06/26/13 03:03 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    SiaSL Offline
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    Registered: 09/11/10
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    I have never butchered or eaten a cat either wink so all second hand (or worse) anecdotes. But those stories are old and lively.

    Yeah, I have wondered about the issue of taste too (obligate carnivore vs. herbivore seem unlikely to be that close). But frogs taste a lot like chicken (and chicken are not exclusive herbivore) and... if nobody can 'fess up to cat, what about alligator?

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    #161092 - 06/26/13 03:07 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    SiaSL Offline
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    I think I would have issues with the naming, too.

    Anybody has read Temple Grandin's biography? They came out with a kids' version last year (http://www.amazon.com/Temple-Grandin-Embraced-Autism-Changed/dp/0547443153) which should be appropriate for gifted kids K and up. They talk at length of her work making cattle raising more humane, and there are lots of facts about the meat industry.

    She explains that she tried to go vegetarian when she was a teen (she *identifies* with cows), but got sick without meat in her diet.

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    #161093 - 06/26/13 03:16 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: SiaSL]
    ElizabethN Offline
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    Registered: 02/17/12
    Posts: 1390
    Loc: Seattle area
    Originally Posted By: SiaSL
    But frogs taste a lot like chicken (and chicken are not exclusive herbivore) and... if nobody can 'fess up to cat, what about alligator?


    I've had alligator fritters. Tastes like chicken, but the texture is closer to beef.

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    #161094 - 06/26/13 03:18 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: SiaSL]
    Val Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3294
    Loc: California
    Originally Posted By: SiaSL
    She explains that she tried to go vegetarian when she was a teen (she *identifies* with cows), but got sick without meat in her diet.


    Same here. I will spare the details except to say that the problem disappeared immediately after I forced myself to eat some chili con carne. And it never came back after I started eating some (but not a lot of) meat again.


    Edited by Val (06/26/13 03:22 PM)

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    #161095 - 06/26/13 03:21 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    Val Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3294
    Loc: California
    Originally Posted By: doubtfulguest
    Originally Posted By: Val
    Originally Posted By: doubtfulguest
    i am taking this as my cue to go downstairs and get a freezie. i really don't want to eat the cat just now - i have options! wink


    Not to mention that cat meat is presumably rather lean.

    Unless your cat is a tubba tuba like one of mine.



    she really, really is... she's a rescue - but a rescue of mysteriously ample proportions!


    Perhaps the foster parents were being very generous with her crunchies.

    Ours just eats almost anything. He even steals donuts and knocks my cup of milk over if he can get to it. We have to hide everything.

    Kitties are love, though.

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    #161098 - 06/26/13 04:38 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: Val]
    JonLaw Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/29/11
    Posts: 2007
    Loc: The Sub-Tropics
    Originally Posted By: Val
    Kitties are love, though.


    A quite edible form of love, apparently.

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    #161125 - 06/27/13 06:24 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: Cricket2]
    DAD22 Offline
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    Registered: 07/19/11
    Posts: 312
    Originally Posted By: Cricket2

    I've generally found that negativity toward veg*ns comes a lot from people think that the veg*ans are judging them so they are being preemptively nasty.


    Most likely any negative reactions are born out of prior experiences with outspoken, self righteous, judgmental, proselytizing veg*ns.

    Edit: Which is not meant to imply that they are particularly common. It only takes a few bad apples though.


    Edited by DAD22 (06/27/13 06:35 AM)

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    #161127 - 06/27/13 07:00 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    Dude Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/04/11
    Posts: 2856
    Originally Posted By: doubtfulguest
    Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
    questions about assumptions ("is that factually correct? Is it always true? Sometimes true? Unknown?") works especially well with HG people.

    [...]I'd rather face the unvarnished truth and make some sense of it than retain my blissful ignorance...


    SO with you on this... i have a total horror of being blinded by assumptions and therefore question EVERYTHING. i'm sure it's massively annoying to everyone around me - i know it drives my husband nuts, but it feels like the only way to truly live honourably.


    I'm like this too, and it used to drive my DW batty. If she declared something, I'd naturally start probing for the information that led her there, because that's how I approach the world. She'd immediately respond emotionally, because to her that meant a lack of trust in her and her abilities. "Why do you have to question everything I say??" Because I have to question everything.

    If, through the course of reexamining, we both discovered her initial statement was wrong, that didn't help. It made things worse, actually.

    Raising our DD to think this way has, I think, changed her perspective on this sort of thing.

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    #161129 - 06/27/13 07:11 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: Dude]
    doubtfulguest Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/15/13
    Posts: 429
    Originally Posted By: Dude
    Originally Posted By: doubtfulguest
    Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
    questions about assumptions ("is that factually correct? Is it always true? Sometimes true? Unknown?") works especially well with HG people.

    [...]I'd rather face the unvarnished truth and make some sense of it than retain my blissful ignorance...


    SO with you on this... i have a total horror of being blinded by assumptions and therefore question EVERYTHING. i'm sure it's massively annoying to everyone around me - i know it drives my husband nuts, but it feels like the only way to truly live honourably.


    I'm like this too, and it used to drive my DW batty. If she declared something, I'd naturally start probing for the information that led her there, because that's how I approach the world. She'd immediately respond emotionally, because to her that meant a lack of trust in her and her abilities. "Why do you have to question everything I say??" Because I have to question everything.

    If, through the course of reexamining, we both discovered her initial statement was wrong, that didn't help. It made things worse, actually.

    Raising our DD to think this way has, I think, changed her perspective on this sort of thing.


    that is so cool that having your kid has changed the dynamic - it has definitely done so around here, too - although i think DH is a bit freaked out that DD is shaping up so uh, Socratic, this early in her life. mercifully, the kid is a great deal more amusing than i am - but i guess you can get away with a LOT when you're five and have an impish little face to go along with your logic bombs! smile
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    #161131 - 06/27/13 08:03 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    squishys
    Unregistered


    No, DAD22, I think it comes from being a sociopath who can not comprehend why someone does not like the idea of killing another being so one can eat flesh. I think some people don't like to be made to feel like an animal who has no choice but to consume meat, when others are showing that it is possible.

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    #161132 - 06/27/13 08:23 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    HowlerKarma Offline
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    Registered: 02/05/11
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    Yeah... but... actually?

    Not possible for everyone. Is my family "bad" because we cannot be vegan? And really, I do mean cannot, due to a confluence of medical reasons. If you cannot eat (or have in your house) nuts, most legumes, or a majority of readily available seeds... and you MUST eat a diet moderate-to-high in fats and protein, that is limiting to the point of making veganism a non-viable option. Remove eggs and milk from the equation and vegetarianism also begins to look impossible from a practical standpoint.

    So non-vegans are "sociopaths?" frown

    Wow. It is that kind of moral absolutism that DAD22 was referring to, incidentally.

    Not everyone shares that belief system (that all living creatures are of equal "worth" in human terms). I also refuse to accept that there is a "right/wrong" here that applies equally to all human beings. If that makes me evil, I guess-- so be it. But my daughter is one of the most empathetic and kind people I've ever known... and she would suffer tremendous health consequences if she could not eat meat and other animal products.

    Biologically, we are animals. I'm not sure why anyone finds that an objectionable stance. The better question, IMO, is why it is unacceptable to eat other people, but IS apparently okay to eat... well, other mammals. Biology is a bit ambivalent about that, and so are (some) cultural norms. But most humans are clear that the one thing is wrong, and the other is mostly not completely "wrong" in a moral sense.

    As I said-- it's not black and white, as much as anyone would like for it to be.

    We're all animals. Viewing human beings as more "special" than any other animals is also fraught with troubling questions once one examines what we mean by that statement. Some animals clearly possess many of the things that we regard as "human" when one looks at the evidence. There is evidence of tool-making, empathy, culture, and language. I think, honestly, that this is probably a better argument for vegetarianism than "how can you kill another living thing??"

    But it is a biologically-based argument, not a moral one.



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    #161133 - 06/27/13 08:25 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: HowlerKarma]
    JonLaw Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/29/11
    Posts: 2007
    Loc: The Sub-Tropics
    Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
    Biologically, we are animals. I'm not sure why anyone finds that an objectionable stance. The better question, IMO, is why it is unacceptable to eat other people, but IS apparently okay to eat... well, other mammals.


    We do eat other people, it's just generally not done outside of starvation/war conditions.

    There's a reason that there is a term "long pig".

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    #161135 - 06/27/13 08:37 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    squishys
    Unregistered


    Did I write that all non-vegans are sociopaths? Please don't put words in my mouth.

    I agree as to why people can't eat people, but they can other animals (and, please, I know humans are animals, too). If an animal could scream and beg to not be murdered, then we might feel differently; but people to tend to treat those who can't speak up for themselves cruelly, sometimes.

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    #161140 - 06/27/13 08:56 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: Dude]
    madeinuk Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/18/13
    Posts: 1453
    Loc: NJ
    Originally Posted By: Dude
    Originally Posted By: doubtfulguest
    Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
    questions about assumptions ("is that factually correct? Is it always true? Sometimes true? Unknown?") works especially well with HG people.

    [...]I'd rather face the unvarnished truth and make some sense of it than retain my blissful ignorance...


    SO with you on this... i have a total horror of being blinded by assumptions and therefore question EVERYTHING. i'm sure it's massively annoying to everyone around me - i know it drives my husband nuts, but it feels like the only way to truly live honourably.


    I'm like this too, and it used to drive my DW batty. If she declared something, I'd naturally start probing for the information that led her there, because that's how I approach the world. She'd immediately respond emotionally, because to her that meant a lack of trust in her and her abilities. "Why do you have to question everything I say??" Because I have to question everything.

    If, through the course of reexamining, we both discovered her initial statement was wrong, that didn't help. It made things worse, actually.

    Raising our DD to think this way has, I think, changed her perspective on this sort of thing.



    I am the same way - I think of myself as a natural born heretic - I question everything and everyone - including myself LOL all of the time.

    I have always refused to be bullied and cajoled into blindly adopting the current orthodoxy and have always been inspired by the reply to the Inquisition allegedly given by Galileo along the lines of:-

    'I refuse to believe that the very God who endowed me with a mind did not expect me to use it'

    For this reason, while I am 100% liberal in terms of equality of opportunity I am adamantly opposed to the enforced equality of outcomes that the current liberal orthodoxy demands.

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    #161145 - 06/27/13 09:21 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: ]
    DAD22 Offline
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    Registered: 07/19/11
    Posts: 312
    Originally Posted By: squishys
    No, DAD22, I think it comes from being a sociopath who can not comprehend why someone does not like the idea of killing another being so one can eat flesh. I think some people don't like to be made to feel like an animal who has no choice but to consume meat, when others are showing that it is possible.


    As I posted earlier, veg*ns kill animals so they can eat plants. Small mammals are killed when harvesting combines run across a field. Insects (a type of animal) are killed by pesticides. You can attempt to minimize the massive amounts of animal deaths required to sustain you, but unless you're farming your own land with special animal-safe techniques, you're responsible for a lot of death. To imply that there is a difference of kind rather than a difference of degree between most veg*ans and most meat eaters is either disingenuous or ignorant.


    Edited by DAD22 (06/27/13 09:21 AM)

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    #161147 - 06/27/13 09:33 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    squishys
    Unregistered


    Honestly, how ridiculous.

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    #161154 - 06/27/13 11:39 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    madeinuk Offline
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    Registered: 03/18/13
    Posts: 1453
    Loc: NJ
    While I respect everyone's right to partake of whatever food sources they choose, on purely logical grounds, I am with DAD22.

    That doesn't even mention the Amazonian clearings for soybeans or the environmentally catastrophic effects of large scale monocultural arable factory farming.

    I think that everyone has a right to weigh up all the facts and make their own choices but I utterly reject the notion that vegans are somehow morally superior or being vegan means that one is automatically more intelligent than everyone else.


    Edited by madeinuk (06/27/13 12:18 PM)
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    #161157 - 06/27/13 12:30 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: madeinuk]
    Dude Offline
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    Originally Posted By: madeinuk
    I utterly reject the notion that vegans are somehow morally superior or being vegan means that one is automatically more intelligent than everyone else.


    I think it would be necessary for someone to have first proposed that notion in order for your rejection to be relevant to the discussion. It seems to me that the opposite has been stated and agreed to, by people on different ends of the omnivore/herbivore continuum.

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    #161158 - 06/27/13 12:30 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    Cricket2 Offline
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    Registered: 05/11/09
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    I'm on my phone so please forgive any typos or shortness. I am so sad to see this thread going in this direction, though, and have never claimed moral superiority nor greater intelligence because I am vegan. I did note studies which linked higher IQ with greater likelihood of becoming vegetarian or atheist, one of which I am and one of which I am not. I suspect that link is there b/c, as others have noted, gifties are more likely to question everything and not simply accept on faith. However, diet or religion not being the thing that you choose to change drastically in one specific direction in no way indicates less intellect.

    I will say that DAD22's posts, albeit better after the last one that was edited, are somewhat offensive to veg*ns as they imply not only that we are proselytizing and arrogant but also that our logic and morals are in error and foolish. As I've said over again here, I know that there is no way to be a perfect vegan. I am also not judging those who are not vegan. I love and respect greatly the morality of my dh who is not veg*n. He is one of the most ethical people I know. He is also atheist so I reject the idea that morals must stem from religion as much as I reject the notion that omnivores are amoral.

    In regard to mice and insect and rainforests and all of that which is being raised, it is merely a way to say that veg*ns are stupid and not living by the morals we claim IMHO. It is rude and baiting. I'm sorry to be so strong there but after nearly 25 yrs as a vegan, I am tired of having to defend my beliefs as much as I imagine a Christian would be offended if this thread had taken the turn of attacking his/her beliefs as foolish and him/her of not living by the beliefs proclaimed. I do the absolute best I can to minimize the death and suffering brought about on my behalf. I buy locally grown and organic food as much as I can (minimizing my impact on the rainforests, which are incidentally clear cut to graze cattle and 70% of the soybeans grown in the former rainforests are used for animal feed). I grow and can veggies.

    This really can't and shouldn't be about who has the moral high ground here. We could argue all day about how you are destroying the rainforest by eating animals that were fed soymeal from the rainforest and I am a hypocrite for eating grains that led to the deaths of field mice during harvest. Is that what anyone wants - to cut other people down to defend their own choices?

    I've been on the side of being preached to. We live in an area where our religious beliefs are hugely in the minority. I so clearly recall being approached by a little girl when dd14 was in kindergarten who walked up to me after school and said, "Mrs. ___, do you know that [dd] is going to hell because she doesn't have Jesus in her heart?" I recall kids telling dd that God wanted her to eat meat and she was going to get sick and die because she didn't. I recall her school responding that tolerance was not part of their character education because kids shouldn't be taught to tolerate things that they believed were morally wrong (I.e. my dd's differing religious beliefs). We have people from two specific Christian denominations coming to our door regularly to save us and tell us about bible studies, services, etc.

    I may find some of these specific people challenging, but I do not choose to repond in anger to all Christians as a result or assume that they are all arrogant or holier than thou. I would respectfully request that I be given the same treatment here. Please don't bait the vegans and assume that we are all militant or foolish.


    Edited by Cricket2 (06/27/13 12:45 PM)
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    #161159 - 06/27/13 12:37 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    squishys
    Unregistered


    Thank you, Dude. That's what I face all the time: people get so defensive and infer whatever they want from one person choosing to be veg*n.

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    #161160 - 06/27/13 12:40 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    squishys
    Unregistered


    Perfectly put, Cricket2.

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    #161161 - 06/27/13 12:53 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: HowlerKarma]
    Dude Offline
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    Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
    I have to think that cat must taste just dreadful, too, given how seldom it appears in traditional world cuisines. sick


    I wouldn't be too quick to that conclusion. Our dietary practices often have more to do with emotion than with taste or nutrition.

    Cats were revered in ancient Egypt, and that culture was spread through the Romans.

    We also have a tendency to avoid eating things that are cute. This is a major reason why rabbit isn't more commonly consumed.

    Finally... purring.

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    #161163 - 06/27/13 01:00 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: SiaSL]
    Dude Offline
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    Originally Posted By: SiaSL
    I have never butchered or eaten a cat either wink so all second hand (or worse) anecdotes. But those stories are old and lively.

    Yeah, I have wondered about the issue of taste too (obligate carnivore vs. herbivore seem unlikely to be that close). But frogs taste a lot like chicken (and chicken are not exclusive herbivore) and... if nobody can 'fess up to cat, what about alligator?


    Gator is a delight. It's a white meat, but it doesn't taste like chicken, though since I've only had it in sausage form, other results may vary.

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    #161164 - 06/27/13 01:04 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: Cricket2]
    JonLaw Offline
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    Originally Posted By: Cricket2
    This really can't and shouldn't be about who has the moral high ground here.


    I'm going to go ahead and claim the moral high ground anyway.

    Through this discussion, I have been able to conclude that I am, in fact, morally superior.

    I had to use black and white reasoning to reach this conclusion, but that was only after I concluded that the only way to reach the conclusion I deeply desired was through black and white reasoning.

    So, nothing against non-black and white thinking, but sometimes it just can't get the job done.

    Winning!

    Ha!

    Take that you moral reprobates!

    Oh, yeah!

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    #161166 - 06/27/13 01:38 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    squishys
    Unregistered


    You know, the OP was about vegetarianism. Now all the meateaters have jumped aboard to give their two cents on why meat is good. Yes, we get it. No one is better than you.

    And I don't find the jokes about killing or eating animals or mocking veg*ns respectful at all.

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    #161170 - 06/27/13 01:57 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: ]
    JonLaw Offline
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    Originally Posted By: squishys
    And I don't find the jokes about killing or eating animals or mocking veg*ns respectful at all.


    What's about milk cows?

    Milk cows seem perfectly content to *be* milk cows.

    At least, the milk cows I've encountered.

    They're well fed and cared for.


    Edited by JonLaw (06/27/13 01:57 PM)

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    #161174 - 06/27/13 02:13 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: Dude]
    madeinuk Offline
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    Originally Posted By: Dude
    Originally Posted By: madeinuk
    I utterly reject the notion that vegans are somehow morally superior or being vegan means that one is automatically more intelligent than everyone else.


    I think it would be necessary for someone to have first proposed that notion in order for your rejection to be relevant to the discussion. It seems to me that the opposite has been stated and agreed to, by people on different ends of the omnivore/herbivore continuum.


    The 'opposite' you are referring to being that vegans are morally reprehensible and stupid?

    I didn't see that either being stated or universally agreed to on this thread myself nor do I think it. Do you?


    Edited by madeinuk (06/27/13 02:15 PM)
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    #161175 - 06/27/13 02:15 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: madeinuk]
    Dude Offline
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    Originally Posted By: madeinuk
    The 'opposite' you are referring to being that vegans are morally reprehensible and stupid?


    No.

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    #161176 - 06/27/13 02:16 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    JonLaw Offline
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    In all seriousness, isn't a major question here the actual human carrying capacity of the earth in terms of (sustainable) agriculture/animal husbandry?

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    #161177 - 06/27/13 02:43 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: JonLaw]
    Val Offline
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    I tend to agree with JonLaw on his last point.

    I think this thread is highlighting how people can feel slighted or attacked or whatever when they're different. In this case, vegans/vegetarians are indicating that they feel negativity directed at them.

    Similarly, gifties can feel hostility from NT types (especially in schools, but in many other settings, too). NT types can feel as though the gifties think they're superior to them.

    And on and on, depending on which particular group of thousands you happen to fit into, depending on the setting.

    So maybe a lot of people's reactions can come from feeling discomfort. Dunno. Just an idea. Obviously, there are times when one group really is trying to slight or attack the other one. But personally, I don't think that's the case here. I do think there's been some misinterpretation, though.

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    #161180 - 06/27/13 02:57 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: madeinuk]
    Cricket2 Offline
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    Originally Posted By: madeinuk
    Originally Posted By: Dude
    Originally Posted By: madeinuk
    I utterly reject the notion that vegans are somehow morally superior or being vegan means that one is automatically more intelligent than everyone else.


    I think it would be necessary for someone to have first proposed that notion in order for your rejection to be relevant to the discussion. It seems to me that the opposite has been stated and agreed to, by people on different ends of the omnivore/herbivore continuum.


    The 'opposite' you are referring to being that vegans are morally reprehensible and stupid?

    I didn't see that either being stated or universally agreed to on this thread myself nor do I think it. Do you?

    FWIW, I took Dude's post as defense of the veg*ns and not as a means of calling us morally reprehensible nor stupid. I believe that he was stating the none of the veg*ns has claimed moral superiority nor greater intellect.

    Originally Posted By: JohnLaw
    What's about milk cows?

    Milk cows seem perfectly content to *be* milk cows.

    At least, the milk cows I've encountered.

    They're well fed and cared for.

    At the risk of being preachy here wink , my ethical motivation for not eating dairy is as follows:

    Cows, like all mammals, lactate only when they have given birth. As such, they need to be impregnated to give milk and the baby cows are generally removed from their mothers so the milk can be utilized for human consumption. We have a dairy farm about a mile from my house or less. It has, on the perimeter, a large field of dog igloos that are used to house the male calves as they cannot be turned back into the dairy herd to be milk cows themselves. These male calves never leave the igloos in which they live and are slaughtered as veal fairly early in their lives. I believe that they are kept in small confined areas so that they do not develop significant muscle tissue and their flesh remains soft.

    Actually, I tend to think that the cows who are destined to be meat have better lives from what I see of them locally. They have a good amount of pasture space and fairly good lives and the calves are not taken from the moms. They live among the herd. Until they head to the feed lots, which are about 40 mins from my house, their lives look pretty decent and certainly better than that of the local dairy cows.
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    #161181 - 06/27/13 03:04 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: Val]
    Cricket2 Offline
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    Originally Posted By: Val
    I think this thread is highlighting how people can feel slighted or attacked or whatever when they're different. In this case, vegans/vegetarians are indicating that they feel negativity directed at them.

    Similarly, gifties can feel hostility from NT types (especially in schools, but in many other settings, too). NT types can feel as though the gifties think they're superior to them.

    And on and on, depending on which particular group of thousands you happen to fit into, depending on the setting.

    So maybe a lot of people's reactions can come from feeling discomfort. Dunno. Just an idea. Obviously, there are times when one group really is trying to slight or attack the other one. But personally, I don't think that's the case here. I do think there's been some misinterpretation, though.

    For the most part, I'd agree with you here. I have not felt attacked by the majority of the posters and do think that the majority of the rankling at the others of different beliefs has probably been due to misunderstanding. The only person whose posts I have found to be truly attacking have been DAD22's.

    If I am wrong here, I am open to reinterpreting my reactions, though. For those of you who are not veg*n, please do tell me how I should interpret these posts in a manner that is not meant to insult or bait the veg*ns or imply moral inconsistency:
    Originally Posted By: DAD22
    As I posted earlier, veg*ns kill animals so they can eat plants. Small mammals are killed when harvesting combines run across a field. Insects (a type of animal) are killed by pesticides. You can attempt to minimize the massive amounts of animal deaths required to sustain you, but unless you're farming your own land with special animal-safe techniques, you're responsible for a lot of death. To imply that there is a difference of kind rather than a difference of degree between most veg*ans and most meat eaters is either disingenuous or ignorant.

    Originally Posted By: DAD22
    Most likely any negative reactions are born out of prior experiences with outspoken, self righteous, judgmental, proselytizing veg*ns.

    Quote:
    There's also the issue of animals killed during the farming process.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethics_of_eating_meat#Debate_over_animals_killed_in_crop_harvesting

    If you don't value human life over the lives of field mice, I'm afraid it's going to be very difficult to continue your existence. Vegetarians and vegans still have animal blood on their hands.
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    #161182 - 06/27/13 03:06 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: Dude]
    HowlerKarma Offline
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    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Originally Posted By: Dude
    Originally Posted By: madeinuk
    I utterly reject the notion that vegans are somehow morally superior or being vegan means that one is automatically more intelligent than everyone else.


    I think it would be necessary for someone to have first proposed that notion in order for your rejection to be relevant to the discussion. It seems to me that the opposite has been stated and agreed to, by people on different ends of the omnivore/herbivore continuum.


    It has?

    Truly just confused as to where-- in this thread, I mean-- that opposing viewpoint has been espoused. I have seen that initial notion proposed, and repeated-- but with caveats that I think may make it at least somewhat valid. No, not moral high ground or anything, but that higher intelligence correlates with veganism/vegetarianism. Atheism also correlates highly, as has been noted repeatedly as well. I do not see anyone of faith objecting vehemently to that assertion, however, but a few have remarked that this doesn't fit their profile personally, ergo "smart =/= atheist" any more than "vegan = smart" seems entirely relevant.

    I do think, for whatever this is worth, that some are feeling a touch more defensive than is warranted by anything being said here.

    I sincerely do not mean that to offend. Just that I see no judgment here for being veg*n meaning anything in particular.


    Naturally, I object to a morally-based veg*n point of view being imposed upon me. I object to this in much the same way that I object to being told that I need "educating" in order to become a person of faith. I don't. I'm not ignorant because we disagree in our conclusions.

    Regardless of my personal feelings about eating other creatures, I mean. Not everyone has the physiological means, the financial means, nor the TIME required to find work-arounds for the limitations in their own families. I know a great many people who would prefer to be veg*n but cannot due to their circumstances, and instead they choose to minimize their animal protein consumption, or eat what they, personally, can live with. I think that several of us posting in this thread have embraced that kind of life and been fairly open about our logic or rationale, and our reasons why we do as we do. In addition, I do NOT think that it is my place to tell anyone else right from wrong within their own dietary rules-- this includes choices about eating/not eating meat or anything else in particular.


    I should also point out that I've had acquaintances inform me in no uncertain terms that I'm morally bankrupt because I have participated in animal research, and that they hoped that some animal rights group would destroy my lab, etc. etc. That strikes me as distinctly sociopathic, too. Pretty sure that most diabetics using human insulin are kind of thrilled that animal research over a period of 100 years has resulted in a life expectancy which is rapidly approaching normalcy. A lot of modern allopathic medical interventions wouldn't exist without animal models.

    So some of us are pretty familiar with the militant variety of radical veganism. I consider those people to be nearly as scary/unbalanced as religious zealots. But I realize full well that those are a VERY few bad apples, and that most veg*n people are just like anyone else.


    Here is a philosophical puzzler for vegans:

    If vegans ran the world, so to speak, meat would no longer exist. Animal 'husbandry' would give way to... what, exactly? So no more dairy farming. No more backyard chickens. No beehives, right? What then? What will happen if all of those things go away? Farming brings animals into being. Those animals live simply because of that industry and husbandry. If there is no purpose for them, they would never be born at all. Is that not exercising human dominion, as well? Or are domesticated animals "mistakes" that need correction?

    I'm genuinely curious about that. I've never understood the purpose of "freeing" animals that have few innate instinctive survival skills. It seems more cruel than captivity, honestly. If life is sacred-- and I can concede that this is a valid outlook-- then eliminating animal husbandry completely means that many animals will never have the chance to live a life to begin with.

    Of course, eliminating honeybees is also extremely problematic for a host of reasons, and that one means that if even 20% of the world population attempted to be vegan, we might all be in real trouble. Everyone thinks that honeybees are "natural" but they most certainly are NOT-- no more than domesticated turkeys are natural.

    Maybe Jonathon Swift was on to something. wink
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    #161183 - 06/27/13 03:09 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: JonLaw]
    HowlerKarma Offline
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    Originally Posted By: JonLaw
    In all seriousness, isn't a major question here the actual human carrying capacity of the earth in terms of (sustainable) agriculture/animal husbandry?


    Well-stated.

    And it's THE elephant in the room, honestly. Well, IMO, it is.



    ETA: interestingly, I crossed posts with Val and Cricket. Interesting both how similar and how different our observations about the conversation were! Many similarities. smile


    Edited by HowlerKarma (06/27/13 03:10 PM)
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    #161186 - 06/27/13 03:15 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: ]
    HowlerKarma Offline
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    Originally Posted By: squishys
    You know, the OP was about vegetarianism. Now all the meateaters have jumped aboard to give their two cents on why meat is good. Yes, we get it. No one is better than you.

    And I don't find the jokes about killing or eating animals or mocking veg*ns respectful at all.


    We have?? confused

    Again, not seeing this, if it has taken place. I have seen NO posts trashing being veg*n.

    I thought that the point of this not being a matter of being BETTER was sort of the point of it all to start with. I also think, for better or worse, that for a HG child, even if s/he is thinking that s/he holds moral superiority, learning to keep those kinds of thoughts to one's self and be reasonably gracious is a social skill of no small merit. It's a discussion we've had in our home re: Atheism/Christian Fundamentalism, frankly.



    As for the joking, well, that is sort of what we do around here. There isn't anything too sacred for some of us. Sorry about that if it offends occasionally, but in my defense, I'm an equal opportunity offender there. The only real joke that I can think of was my cat one, and that was to make a point that most omnivores have some pretty strange logic going on (and to point out that I'm not someone rounding up neighborhood strays to remake Re-Animator in my basement or anything).

    I have three cats and I love them dearly, even when it is far from convenient. Oddly, there IS no sharp dividing line in my head between companion and food animals. I'm unusual in that regard, I'm aware.





    Edited by HowlerKarma (06/27/13 03:24 PM)
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    #161188 - 06/27/13 03:28 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: HowlerKarma]
    Dude Offline
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    Registered: 10/04/11
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    Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
    Originally Posted By: Dude
    Originally Posted By: madeinuk
    I utterly reject the notion that vegans are somehow morally superior or being vegan means that one is automatically more intelligent than everyone else.


    I think it would be necessary for someone to have first proposed that notion in order for your rejection to be relevant to the discussion. It seems to me that the opposite has been stated and agreed to, by people on different ends of the omnivore/herbivore continuum.


    It has?

    Truly just confused as to where-- in this thread, I mean-- that opposing viewpoint has been espoused. I have seen that initial notion proposed, and repeated-- but with caveats that I think may make it at least somewhat valid. No, not moral high ground or anything, but that higher intelligence correlates with veganism/vegetarianism. Atheism also correlates highly, as has been noted repeatedly as well. I do not see anyone of faith objecting vehemently to that assertion, however, but a few have remarked that this doesn't fit their profile personally, ergo "smart =/= atheist" any more than "vegan = smart" seems entirely relevant.


    Because you asked nicely, here is a sampling of some of the previous statements in this thread which, in my reading, disconnect the notion of intelligence or morality from the choice of diet:

    Originally Posted By: earlier in the thread

    Originally Posted By: Cricket2
    We recently joined a local meetup group of vegans [...] I really reject the notion that people who understand the atrocities in factory farming (dh has certainly been exposed to that through watching videos like Food, Inc.) yet are willing to continue to eat meat obtained from such sources (dh is) are insensitive, evil, amoral, or innately cruel.


    Originally Posted By: doubtfulgues
    i don't know of any global attributes that might sway one person more than another, but in our family it seems to depend on exposure.


    Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
    I think that the major difference in conclusions is dependent (at least for high IQ people) on whether or not they adopt beliefs as follows:

    a) all creatures which are sentient possess something which could be termed a "soul"

    b) creatures with souls (see a) should be granted more-or-less equivalent rights

    c) all creatures which are sentient are "animals"

    d) human beings are/are not somehow different from animals



    I think that it is the combination of these factors and parsing their meaning that leads to such radically different decisions in whether or not to consume meat or other animal products, and to what degree.



    Originally Posted By: Zen Scanner
    I actually wouldn't factor intelligence into the question. As it too is a bit of wash playing into some of the above factors.


    Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
    One question-- is it fundamentally cruelty?


    Originally Posted By: Cricket2
    Something is presumably different in the kiddos who make massive lifestyle changes from exposure to things like Food Inc. vs those who see the same movie and who are possibly upset but who don't make lifestyle changes as a result. I really don't mean "better" and I think that is why this is so interesting to dd and me. We really don't agree with other veg*ns who think that there is something wrong with people who respond differently.


    Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
    I do think, for whatever this is worth, that some are feeling a touch more defensive than is warranted by anything being said here.

    I sincerely do not mean that to offend. Just that I see no judgment here for being veg*n meaning anything in particular.


    Agreed in its entirety.

    I have no response to the bit that followed on a veg*an militancy, on account of I don't think bringing extremists into the conversation is particularly helpful. Hopefully, militant vegans don't represent the beliefs/behaviors of any participants in this thread any more than Ted Nugent represents mine.

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    #161192 - 06/27/13 03:41 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    HowlerKarma Offline
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    I'd hope not! Much as I like Ted in some respects, he kinda scares me in others. wink Also, as noted, I know many veg*ns who are lovely, nonjudgmental people.

    I guess I thought it wasn't entirely irrelevant since it was (obliquely) referred to in the original post that veg*nism might be related to IQ. It may be that I was puzzled over "opposite" and the intended meaning there, as well. smile

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    #161198 - 06/27/13 04:26 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    madeinuk Offline
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    From what I could see - Dad22 and HK were being seen as 'slighting/attacking' by vegans when all I saw them doing was asking intelligent questions and trying to talk through some obvious inconsistencies (from their perspective) in the vegan approach to diet.

    That is ultimately why I chimed in - I do agree that this did go off on a bit of a tangent and apologise to all that I may have inadvertently offended.
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    #161200 - 06/27/13 04:38 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: madeinuk]
    JonLaw Offline
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    Registered: 07/29/11
    Posts: 2007
    Loc: The Sub-Tropics
    Originally Posted By: madeinuk
    That is ultimately why I chimed in - I do agree that this did go off on a bit of a tangent and apologise to all that I may have inadvertently offended.


    I started a new post on the awesomness of Harvard so that we can inadvertently offend each other in an entirely new way.

    (I was looking for decline of the legal profession stuff and found this article by accident. I don't know whether it is accurate. But it is funny.)

    "Brown and Cornell are Second Tier"

    http://giftedissues.davidsongifted.org/B...html#Post161199

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    #161218 - 06/27/13 08:14 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: Cricket2]
    DAD22 Offline
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    Registered: 07/19/11
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    Originally Posted By: Cricket2

    The only person whose posts I have found to be truly attacking have been DAD22's.

    If I am wrong here, I am open to reinterpreting my reactions, though. For those of you who are not veg*n, please do tell me how I should interpret these posts in a manner that is not meant to insult or bait the veg*ns or imply moral inconsistency:
    Originally Posted By: DAD22
    As I posted earlier, veg*ns kill animals so they can eat plants. Small mammals are killed when harvesting combines run across a field. Insects (a type of animal) are killed by pesticides. You can attempt to minimize the massive amounts of animal deaths required to sustain you, but unless you're farming your own land with special animal-safe techniques, you're responsible for a lot of death. To imply that there is a difference of kind rather than a difference of degree between most veg*ans and most meat eaters is either disingenuous or ignorant.

    Originally Posted By: DAD22
    Most likely any negative reactions are born out of prior experiences with outspoken, self righteous, judgmental, proselytizing veg*ns.

    Quote:
    There's also the issue of animals killed during the farming process.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethics_of_eating_meat#Debate_over_animals_killed_in_crop_harvesting

    If you don't value human life over the lives of field mice, I'm afraid it's going to be very difficult to continue your existence. Vegetarians and vegans still have animal blood on their hands.


    Cricket2, do you disagree that the consumption of food in a diet typical of most veg*ns results in animal deaths? Am I not supposed to point that out for some reason? HK was discussing the lines of reasoning that may or may not lead to a vegetarian diet, and I commented on the complexities associated with them. I did that specifically in this thread, as it seemed to be relevant information for any non-veg*ns who may have children contemplating a meat free diet. It's not a black and white issue.

    The only snarky remark I made was in response to what you posted here:

    Originally Posted By: Cricket2

    I've generally found that negativity toward veg*ns comes a lot from people think that the veg*ans are judging them so they are being preemptively nasty.


    The point of my post was to question the implications of your post:
    1) Negativity towards veg*ns is generally preemptive rather than reactionary.
    2) Negativity towards veg*ns is generally a result of a misunderstanding on the part of non-veg*ns.
    3) That you are privy to the thoughts of people you accuse of being preemptively nasty.

    The first 2 implications seem biased to me, and the last seems unlikely. My response was written to be equally biased and presumptive in order to balance your statements and highlight the issues with your post so that you might confront them. Now I am curious if anyone was able to recognize my intent.


    Edited by DAD22 (06/27/13 08:40 PM)
    Edit Reason: address zen scanner's comment below

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    #161219 - 06/27/13 08:19 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: DAD22]
    Zen Scanner Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/13/12
    Posts: 1478
    Loc: NC
    Originally Posted By: DAD22
    do you disagree that the consumption of most veg*ns results in animal deaths?


    Snarfle?

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    #161220 - 06/27/13 08:31 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: Zen Scanner]
    DAD22 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/19/11
    Posts: 312
    Originally Posted By: Zen Scanner
    Originally Posted By: DAD22
    do you disagree that the consumption of most veg*ns results in animal deaths?


    Snarfle?


    I'm afraid if I laugh I will offend someone. I mean to address the consumption of food in a diet typical of veg*ns: the things veg*ns usually consume.

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    #161222 - 06/27/13 08:42 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    Cricket2 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/11/09
    Posts: 2172
    Loc: Colorado
    Vegetarian Times actually had an article about 20 yrs ago about exactly that: it is impossible to be a perfect vegan (I.e. live in such a way as to avoid all items that might cause animal suffering or death). That doesn't mean that I shouldn't try. No, I don't deny that vegans eat bread that came from grains that may have caused the death of mice in its harvest.

    However, your posts have been analogous to me to something like this: it is ridiculous to bike to work and drive a hybrid because you care about the environment because hippies like you are still responsible for global warming. You are a hypocrite because you still have oil on your hands. To imply that what you are doing is any better on the environment than someone who drives an SUV is disingenuous or ignorant.

    For the record, I am not making statements on the types of vehicles people drive nor any of their other habits related to global warming. I am just making an analogy here. I don't take terrible kindly to being called a hypocrite which is essentially what at least two of your posts have done. I do see a difference in kind not just degree because there is a difference in approach and intent. It is the same as the difference between the person who kills and eats the stray cats in the neighborhood, to use HK's earlier comments, and the person who accidentally runs over a cat with his car. To claim that they are in essence doing the same thing with one simply killing to a lesser degree is false IMHO. Intent and accident are not the same.

    I do apologize that my earlier comment about my assumption as to the reason for nastiness toward vegans came across as judgemental and apparently prompted your post that I found quite offensive. I said that for two reasons: 1) I truly do not preach to people and people only know I am vegan if there is some reason for them to know such as a joint meal. I live with and am married to an omnivore without judging him. I have, none the less, come across people who, once they find out that I am vegan, make all kinds of unfounded and judgemental assumptions about me. They have come across as defensive more than anything to me and I've very much gotten the impression in those instances that they are judging me b/c they think that I am going to judge them. And 2) I am trying to assume the best. I'd rather think that someone is being nasty due to defensiveness than innate jerkiness.

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    #161225 - 06/27/13 09:07 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: DAD22]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Originally Posted By: DAD22
    Originally Posted By: Zen Scanner
    Originally Posted By: DAD22
    do you disagree that the consumption of most veg*ns results in animal deaths?


    Snarfle?


    I'm afraid if I laugh I will offend someone. I mean to address the consumption of food in a diet typical of veg*ns: the things veg*ns usually consume.


    As opposed to riffing further along Swiftian lines? wink

    (Sorry-- I did laugh. But only a little.)

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    #161226 - 06/27/13 09:07 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: Cricket2]
    DAD22 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/19/11
    Posts: 312
    Originally Posted By: Cricket2
    I don't take terrible kindly to being called a hypocrite which is essentially what at least two of your posts have done.


    I don't think you're a hypocrite. I never meant to imply that veg*ns are necessarily hypocrites (and reading my posts, I don't think I implied any such thing). I meant only to address black and white reasoning on the issue, which isn't suitable for the reasons mentioned. I feel I have always acknowledged that there is a very real difference of degree of animal deaths that result from different diets. I applaud you for you consistency, determination, and non-judgemental attitude.

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    #161230 - 06/27/13 09:49 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    KJP Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/29/12
    Posts: 756
    When my son was three I remember him crying on our deck and asking me how he could love a spider and a fly. There was a fly trapped in a web and he didn't know if he should release it or let it be. I didn't have an answer and I remember hugging my little boy with a big heart while he cried sobbing "It isn't fair. It just isn't fair"

    Two years later, his school had a visit from an entomologist. Part of the presentation included letting the kids feed a scorpion. My son at five is still the type to get upset if another kid crushes a snail on the sidewalk. I thought holding an insect and then tossing it in with a predator and watching it die would bother him. Apparently he thought it was fascinating and was happy to participate.

    I don't know if he has really become less humane or more realistic in the past two years but it is interesting to watch his beliefs on these issues develop.

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    #161234 - 06/28/13 04:53 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    Zen Scanner Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/13/12
    Posts: 1478
    Loc: NC
    A note on the interpretation of judgementalism...
    In logic, the argument form modus tollens goes:
    If P then Q
    Not Q
    Therefore not P

    If someone presents something as:
    I am a clean person, therefore I wash my hands 37 times a day.
    Then the inference is someone who does not wash their hands at least 37 times a day is not a clean person.

    Typically, that isn't the intent of the statement (though sometimes it is.) Whereas the intent may more often be to say:
    I try to be a clean person, amongst the things I do is wash my hands frequently, probably 37 times a da.

    Beware the accidental inference, I imagine more arguments have been had, wars fought, and episodes of Friends written based on such.

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    #162217 - 07/15/13 09:42 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    Madison189 Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 07/15/13
    Posts: 6
    At 2.5 my daughter said she wouldn't eat Thanksgiving turkey because "the mommy turkey would be sad". We can barely get any animal products into her. Chicken? No way! Beef? nope. Fish? An occasional piece of battered cod, which she says is not fish because it's bread and brown; nothing else. Sometimes pieces of turkey meatball because she doesn't really know what it is, but now at 3y4m I think she's starting to because it's getting harder and harder to get her to eat it.

    And yesterday she cried that I killed a fly, even though she was terrified of it and screaming about it being in the house.

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    #162223 - 07/15/13 11:59 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: Madison189]
    doubtfulguest Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/15/13
    Posts: 429
    ha - well, as an update, the vegetarianism is totally sticking - we really eat very little meat to begin with, but... DD5 totally rejected Butter Chicken last night, which is probably the biggest temptation she'd ever have. Aloo Gobi is officially the new favourite, it seems!

    also, as of today, she's wanting to give up riding in the car because of the potential for Unintentional Bug Squish... so Madison189... i can totally relate!
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    #162227 - 07/15/13 01:39 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    Wren Offline
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    Registered: 01/14/08
    Posts: 1682
    I only started this thread on page 12. Is this ridiculous for this forum? I was veg for 22 years, not because I wanted to save animals but it was healthier. I was also 90% raw.

    How does that help me raise my gifted kid?

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    #162228 - 07/15/13 01:52 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    doubtfulguest Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/15/13
    Posts: 429
    sorry Wren. i really am the dumbest person ever, obviously. it was originally intended because i was legitimately interested in hearing others' stories about when/if their gifted kids started thinking about the ethics of eating meat.

    deepest apologies to everyone - again.
    _________________________
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    #162234 - 07/15/13 04:08 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    Polly Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/29/09
    Posts: 330
    Wren, I gotta call you on that... you're posting on page 13 of the responses. Seems like other parents are interested in how others handle interest in vegetarianism with their kids. Way more popular a topic than anything I ever started smile



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    #162235 - 07/15/13 04:36 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: Polly]
    Val Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3294
    Loc: California
    Can we just kill this thread instead of getting back into heated arguments discussions?

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    #167771 - 09/15/13 04:34 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    Ametrine Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/27/11
    Posts: 741
    So, I came back to this thread because we have "processed" our first grass-fed steer and received the various meat yesterday.

    During conversation with my DH in front of DS, our son has expressed the feeling that he's okay with eating meat from an animal he hasn't met, but is NOT happy (he was crying at the table) with eating an animal that he has seen on our property.

    frown

    So, when I make tacos with the hamburger from "Snip the Steer", how do I evade the possible question that will come up? We've told him that we believe God has given us animals as food and we are responsible for raising them properly with care, but he is so very sensitive to the thought of eating something that he used to feed.

    I don't want to "feed" into any notion that he should be a vegetarian. I want him to make that decision (if it comes) later when he's older and can see all sides.

    How do I know when (if) our son wants to be a full-on vegan or vegetarian? I'm hoping to hear from others who are meat-eaters who have had children take a different path!

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    #167777 - 09/15/13 06:02 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Ametrine, I don't know if you followed the other thread in which I confessed my horror at eating... {gulp}

    Wilbur... as breakfast sausage...

    I was about 7yo. I had truly loved Wilbur. I was DEEPLY suspicious of meat for a VERY long time after that, and really-- honestly-- it's never been the same since. I'd have been less inclined to be a vegetarian without that experience, in all probability. (Ironic, no?)

    I wish that my parents had been up-front with me-- and respected my wishes without fanfare. I would NOT have voluntarily eaten my pig. But you know what? In the grand scheme of things, that would have been okay.

    So when you make tacos with hamburger from Snip, set aside some black beans and let your DS know that whatever he decides is fine. That you and other members of the family will be eating Snip-- and remembering his happy life with you-- but that he doesn't NEED to feel obligated either way. That way the entire thing doesn't loom larger for him feeling that you tried to "trick" him-- which will potentially traumatize him-- and at the same time, you aren't treating the matter with more gravitas than your family believes is warranted.

    smile

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    #167790 - 09/15/13 08:15 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    ultramarina Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/24/10
    Posts: 3428
    I have a complex and interesting perspective here, I think. I wanted to be a vegetarian as a child but my parents would not let me. I immediately went veg as soon as I went to college. As the years passed, this becmae much more about being anti-factory farm and pro-environment and much less about animal rights. I still very occasionally ate some seafood--only if it was considered eco-OK. I never ate anything I thought I couldn't kill myself.

    Meat has come a long way and I now very occasionally eat chicken and some fish--only free-range, and I prefer local, truly free-range. We also own chickens, who we love and cherish and could not imagine eating, yet at the same time, I am okay with the general idea of eating well-treated chickens.

    My daughter is very very vegetarian. Now, we really never talk any animal rights anything. I guess it's just a product of being raised veg and coming to her own conclusions. She does get offered meat (she is allowed to eat whatever she wants) and she very, very rarely takes it.

    She would never, ever, eat an animal she knew. This would really, really upset her to the point of hysteria, I am very sure. I can't imagine making her eat meat in this situation. I do not believe in "making" kids eat anything, though, per se, though I realize that a child switching to veg is no small thing (and I don't really blame my parents for saying no to me when I asked).

    And yet she does catch and eat fish.

    Um, yeah, our family is complicated.

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    #167812 - 09/16/13 06:47 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    Dude Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/04/11
    Posts: 2856
    Ametrine: Your DS's position is a pretty sound one. It's pretty much the reason why our society has outsourced the production of meat to other people, and why we don't eat things we'd otherwise keep for pets, like horse, rabbit, or dog.

    There are a great many benefits to having raised the meat yourself, as I'm sure you're aware, which are why you're doing it in the first place. Have you shared those benefits with your DS?

    Another thought... are there other people doing this in your area with whom you could exchange products? If that were a possibility, you could ensure that your DS isn't eating Snip the Steer, he's eating one of Farmer Brown's cows from down the road.

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    #167828 - 09/16/13 07:54 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    doubtfulguest Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/15/13
    Posts: 429
    a small update on the original post. it is clear that DD5 is now officially a vegetarian. i think i knew it was "for real" when she gave up marshmallows - they were her favourite sweet, but they are made with gelatine.

    DD5 becoming a vegetarian is not that a big jump - we never did eat that much meat in the first place. i will continue to eat a little here and there, and so will her father - we are comfortable with our personal priorities about where our meat comes from and which farming practices we personally want to support (so basically, yours, Ametrine!)

    though i am fiercely proud of DD5's convictions, i cannot allow them to globally dictate our individual choices - our world will not shape itself around her. it is her business to handle interpersonal differences gracefully, and so far she's doing a lovely job.
    _________________________
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    #188741 - 04/18/14 02:08 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: Ametrine]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4854
    Originally Posted By: Ametrine
    I recall a documentary I watched in the late 1980's (or was it the '90's??) that depicted the response of live plants when another plant is put through a blender. They had electrodes (?) hooked up to the live plant and then fed the blender full of another plant.

    They actually got a measurable response from the live plant. Interpretation: Plants know when plants are being tortured/die.

    Seriously. I really did see this on tv years ago. Now where the research was conducted or what the outcome was, I couldn't tell you.
    The documentary may have been based on the 1970's book, The Secret Life of Plants, a part of which describes experiments in plant sentience. The 1970's also brought the first "Earth Day", recognized annually in the US on April 22.

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    #188745 - 04/18/14 04:32 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    madeinuk Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/18/13
    Posts: 1453
    Loc: NJ
    Originally Posted By: doubtfulguest
    ha - well, as an update, the vegetarianism is totally sticking - we really eat very little meat to begin with, but... DD5 totally rejected Butter Chicken last night, which is probably the biggest temptation she'd ever have. Aloo Gobi is officially the new favourite, it

    If it weren't for the cholesterol content of the ghee I could probably live very happily as an almost vegetarian on delights like sag aloo, dal Bukhara , bhindi masala, potato shaak and Chana masala.
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    #188748 - 04/18/14 05:18 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    Bostonian Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 2634
    Loc: MA
    Vegetarians in Austria are less healthy according to a recent study

    http://www.plosone.org/article/fetchObject.action?uri=info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0088278&representation=PDF
    Nutrition and Health – The Association between Eating
    Behavior and Various Health Parameters: A Matched
    Sample Study
    by Nathalie T. Burkert et al.

    discussed at

    http://atlanta.cbslocal.com/2014/04/01/s...an-meat-eaters/
    Study: Vegetarians Less Healthy, Lower Quality Of Life Than Meat-Eaters
    CBS
    April 1, 2014 3:23 PM

    Quote:
    ATLANTA (CBS ATLANTA) – Vegetarians may have a lower BMI and drink alcohol sparingly, but vegetarian diets are tied to generally poorer health, poorer quality of life and a higher need for health care than their meat-eating counterparts.

    A new study from the Medical University of Graz in Austria finds that vegetarians are more physically active, drink less alcohol and smoke less tobacco than those who consume meat in their diets. Vegetarians also have a higher socioeconomic status and a lower body mass index. But the vegetarian diet — characterized by a low consumption of saturated fats and cholesterol that includes increased intake of fruits, vegetables and whole-grain products — carries elevated risks of cancer, allergies and mental health disorders.

    Vegetarians were twice as likely to have allergies, a 50 percent increase in heart attacks and a 50 percent increase in incidences of cancer.


    Consistent with this,

    http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/03/17/study-questions-fat-and-heart-disease-link/
    Study Questions Fat and Heart Disease Link
    By ANAHAD O'CONNOR
    New York Times
    MARCH 17, 2014, 5:00 PM

    Quote:
    Many of us have long been told that saturated fat, the type found in meat, butter and cheese, causes heart disease. But a large and exhaustive new analysis by a team of international scientists found no evidence that eating saturated fat increased heart attacks and other cardiac events.

    The new findings are part of a growing body of research that has challenged the accepted wisdom that saturated fat is inherently bad for you and will continue the debate about what foods are best to eat.

    For decades, health officials have urged the public to avoid saturated fat as much as possible, saying it should be replaced with the unsaturated fats in foods like nuts, fish, seeds and vegetable oils.

    But the new research, published on Monday in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, did not find that people who ate higher levels of saturated fat had more heart disease than those who ate less. Nor did it find less disease in those eating higher amounts of unsaturated fat, including monounsaturated fat like olive oil or polyunsaturated fat like corn oil.


    Also consistent with the first paper, so-called overweight people according to the Body Mass Index do not have lower life expectancy:

    http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/04/14/a-number-that-may-not-add-up/
    A Number That May Not Add Up
    By JANE E. BRODY
    New York Times
    APRIL 14, 2014, 12:01 AM

    Quote:
    In July 1998, the National Institutes of Health changed what it means to be overweight, defining it as a body mass index of 25 or greater for adults. The cutoff had been 28 for men and 27 for women, so suddenly about 29 million Americans who had been considered normal became overweight even though they hadn’t gained an ounce.

    The change, based on a review of hundreds of studies that matched B.M.I. levels with health risks in large groups of people, brought the country in line with definitions used by the World Health Organization and other health agencies. But it also prompted many to question the real meaning of B.M.I. and to note its potential drawbacks: labeling some healthy people as overweight or obese who are not overly fat, and failing to distinguish between dangerous and innocuous distributions of body fat.

    More recent studies have indicated that many people with B.M.I. levels at the low end of normal are less healthy than those now considered overweight. And some people who are overly fat according to their B.M.I. are just as healthy as those considered to be of normal weight, as discussed in a new book, “The Obesity Paradox,” by Dr. Carl J. Lavie, a cardiologist in New Orleans, and Kristin Loberg.


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    #188751 - 04/18/14 05:34 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    ultramarina Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/24/10
    Posts: 3428
    The thng about sat fat is that we are definitely still figuring that out. I see research every day contradicting itself. Also, nutrition self-reports are notoriously unreliable and noisy. Understandably so. (What did you eat for lunch last Tuesday?)

    Re the vegetarains are unhealthy study, you do have to keep in mind that it's sort of a maverick finding going against years of large studies showing the opposite...always a good idea to maintain skepticism about such findings. Also, important to keep in mind that some people become vegetarian BECAUSE they have health issues---and, I'd wager, vegetarians are more prone to thinking they have allergies ( a fuzzy diagnosis) than the general public.


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    #188767 - 04/18/14 07:34 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: ultramarina]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4854
    Originally Posted By: ultramarina
    ... study...

    Interesting thought... causal or correlational?

    It was mentioned that vegetarians in the study drank less. This stood out as red wine (often paired with red meat) is said to contain the health benefits of anti-oxidants.

    Dr. Oz recently covered recent findings on sat fat http://www.doctoroz.com/slideshow/saturated-fat-guide, which seem to support madeinuk's thoughts about cholesterol.

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    #188773 - 04/18/14 09:08 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    ultramarina Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/24/10
    Posts: 3428
    Except women who drink alcohol have higher risk of xyz, including stroke and breast cancer....

    You can drive yourself pretty crazy trying to parse nutrition studies.

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    #241152 - 02/03/18 06:34 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    LazyMum Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/09/15
    Posts: 120
    Today! Today DD4 (almost 5) decided she wasn't eating animals anymore. She's cool with eggs and dairy, but meat and fish are off the table (boom-tish). Why are there not more specific guidelines about this stuff? All the advice is very broad.

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    #241155 - 02/03/18 10:07 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    madeinuk Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/18/13
    Posts: 1453
    Loc: NJ
    Let's just say that two friends of mine (a married couple who are both physicians) are vegetarian (almost vegan) but refused to impose their lifestyle choices on their growing children because they strongly believed that a growing child needs meat/fish in their diet in addition to pulses, vegetables, dairy and fruit.

    Also, young kids are fussy eaters in general so it could just be rationalization...


    Edited by madeinuk (02/03/18 10:08 AM)
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    #241159 - 02/03/18 12:57 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    puffin Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/11/12
    Posts: 2035
    Ds10 doesn't like most meats. I tell him he can stop eating them as soon as he starts eating beans, nuts, cheese and eggs. He is a very fussy eater. He did eat eggs until at 4 I finally got him to eat meat in the form of a sausage - he likes sausages now but not eggs.

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    #241166 - 02/04/18 09:18 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    LazyMum Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/09/15
    Posts: 120
    DD isn't fussy (though getting her to actually sit still, stop talking, and put food in her mouth is a challenge) so I'm not worried about that side of things. But I'll need to do a lot more research about what I'm supposed to feed her now.

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    #241179 - 02/05/18 10:19 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    Can2K Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/25/14
    Posts: 226
    We are a vegetarian family (both parents and kids) - we do include some dairy (cheese, yogurt), mainly for the reason that my kids are very picky eaters. So I don't have the experience of suddenly having to cook different food for a child, but I will list some resources I found helpful when my kids were younger (and we had relatives questioning feeding choices).
    The good news, is that there are so many more meat-free options available now than there were when I became veg (after university). So you can probably find relatively close meat-free analogs to your child's favorite foods. Vegetarian burgers, veg. hot dogs, sliced 'meats', and so on - they get better all the time. And if your DD is not fussy - great! You have even more options! You might try going slowly and replacing meat one meal at a time, see what works, or doesn't...

    I found this book helpful: Raising Vegetarian Children by Joanne Stepaniak
    And if you pack lunches, some good ideas in here:
    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2220485.Vegan_Lunch_Box

    Some links:
    https://www.vegetariantimes.com/health-and-nutrition/raising-veg-kids
    https://www.eatrightontario.ca/en/Articl...-Vegetaria.aspx

    HTH!

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    #241224 - 02/07/18 05:32 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    LazyMum Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/09/15
    Posts: 120
    Thanks very much Can2K. The first link especially (How to Raise a Healthy Veg Kid) helped put my mind at ease. Maybe it's not as complex as I was expecting! smile

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    #248355 - 03/19/21 08:32 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4854
    Looking strictly at health benefits of eating a whole-foods plant-based diet across the life span, these websites may be of interest:

    1) Whole Foods, Plant-Based diet,
    as described by Center for Nutrition Studies

    2) Forks Over Knives.
    The website contains both free and paid resources.
    Main page - https://www.forksoverknives.com/
    Beginner's Guide - https://www.forksoverknives.com/how-tos/...ant-based-diet/
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