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Tara C

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Location: Liverpool
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Middle-of-the-Night Thoughts on Meat-Eating and non-Meat-Eating.

2012-03-23
By: Tara C
Posted in:

I was just thinking today about the whole meat-eating, vegetarian, vegan thing, and I had this quite interesting thought come to mind. First of all, I'm not bashing anyone's lifestyle choice or beliefs. I think it's worthy of huge respect to make a transition into something different from how you usually live. I have Coeliac disease, and even with my own well-being as motivation, the transition to a gluten-free diet has been very difficult. So...no-one reading this be offended, it's really just something I was thinking of. This doesn't really apply to people who don't eat meat for other reasons, like how we aren't really designed for meat-eating.

Well, I'm not a vegetarian, I eat meat. But I do love animals, hate animal cruelty, the idea of animals suffering, etc. That's a huge reason for people to not eat meat, but the problem is...to survive, you have to eat living things, be it animals, vegetables/fruit, etc. You have to. If the reason for not eating meat is solely because of the pain caused to the animals, then doesn't that mean if you could completely eliminate pain from the equation and kill the animal with 0 pain, it'd be OK to eat? Hypothetically, what if it could be proven that plants do feel pain? Would they be cut from the diet of people with those beliefs too? You'd have to starve just to ensure you don't eat anything that feels pain.

Even that has its own flaw though. If life is bad to take simply because of the suffering caused, then you could kill a human who has that condition where they never experience pain, and that would be morally acceptable. So obviously it's not just the pain factor, it's respect for life itself. But then, plant life is still life. Is it OK to take lives that are so different to our own (plants), but not lives that belong to animals, who are adorable, who have eyes like we do, who we anthropomorphise and see as happy and sad, who feel like we do? We can connect to animals more than with plants, so maybe the conscience won't allow you to eat food from an existence similar to our own, but plants are...different. Easier to consume.

I don't know, but life is still life. Even killing bacteria is killing a living thing, so where do you draw the line on what's acceptable and what isn't? That's why I don't see the point in people arguing often about these things. Humans have awareness, and as such, we have a responsibility to minimise all suffering and do such things in a humane way. Not this stupid thing of keeping animals confined to tiny spaces, pumped full of God-knows-what and then killed without ever having truly lived. But it doesn't mean it's wrong to actually take an animal's life for use as food, as long as you respect that life for what it's given you. The same as with every other living thing that we may eat.

Supa Dread
11/08/14 11:50:57AM @supa-dread:

Great thought provoking discussion. Here's my 2 cents, as i've come from a meat eater to a vegetarian. SE is right, we weren't really designed to be able to eat meat, we dont have claws or fangs, and we certainly cant eat meat raw, we would die. Animals that are carnivores can, and they are equipped with the tools to do so. My main point is as humans, specially in this day and age, we have so many options on what to eat (tofu, vegan options and substitutes, gluten free foods that are just as good as their grain counterparts). At the end of the day, my goal is to get thru this life contributing to minimal death and destruction, and not eating meat in my opinion helps me reach that goal. Also, the killing of animals isnt the only issue per se. The animals that are farmed to be slaughtered and provide food, eat a ridiculous amount of grains, grains that are enough to end world hunger, just to be killed, eaten, and then the vicious cycle begins again. A vegetable may feel pain, or maybe not, but when i go to a garden, i can grab a few leafs of lettuce from the lettuce head, and a new one will grow in its place. If a mama Cow had 2 calfs, and you killed and ate one of them, she aint coming back. In other words, plant life can be regenerated and multiplied. If i rip brocolli from the earth but plant two more, then in a season i'll have two heads of brocolli. Once i kill that cow, its gone, forever, and no other would take its place. I agree with you Tara, that this is easier to comprehend because us and animals arent too far apart. Man i went off on all kinds of tangents lol


☮ soaring eagle ॐ
08/23/14 10:23:38AM @soaring-eagle:

they dont feel pain they might communicate danger thats it and u dont have to kill a plantto eat

anbd besides all of thats besides the point

the point is humans are geneticaly vegatarians by nature its whatwe are designed for and thereforewwhats the most healthy for us


Sarahface
08/23/14 10:01:11AM @sarah16:

Oh, and eating nuts and seeds of plants is practically like eating plant embryos, right? Even if you found a way around killing the plant, your nutrition would be so severely limited that you wouldn't be able to get the essential nutrients you need to be healthy.


Sarahface
08/23/14 09:57:29AM @sarah16:

There are recent studies that show plants may feel pain. "They don't have nerve cells like humans, but they do have a system for sending electrical signals and even produce neurotransmitters, like dopamine, serotonin and other chemicals the human brain uses to send signals." "You can put a plant out with a human anesthetic. ... And not only that, plants produce their own compounds that are anesthetic to us." But scientists are reluctant to go as far as to say they are responding to pain." "the line between plants and animals might be a little softer than we traditionally think of it as."

http://www.pri.org/stories/2014-01-09/new-research-plant-intelligence-may-forever-change-how-you-think-about-plants

Just to give people something to think about. What IF they discover plants can feel pain? To say it's unnatural to kill things to survive as human beings is unrealistic. Even if plants feel no pain, we are still killing them, they are living things just like you or me.


Baba Fats
06/21/12 02:33:15PM @baba-fats:

I just think that they put out their videos too often and just as spam. Not that I don't think they should be there. But they spam the world like trolls spam the internet.

The only thing I like about them is a bumper sticker I got once with a little cartoon picture of a baby chick that is saying "Jesus love me too"


Tara C
06/21/12 01:58:06PM @tara-c:

It's cool to hear other people's points of view :)

I know it sounds hypocritical of me to eat meat but to believe in animal rights, but that's just how the world works, in my opinion. We dont have to use animals for anything, but there's no reason not to if you want to, because killing for food (or in humans' case, warmth and everything else) is a part of life. Whether or not we were meant to eat meat, it became a part of our diet for whatever reason. I just think the only difference between us killing animal and other animals killing them is that we have the ability to minimise suffering, both psychological and physical. So yeah, I eat meat, but I also completely disagree with anything that involves unnecessary pain or not giving the animals any quality of life. That's why I like the idea of hunting in that sense, they're not bred to be killed, they live their whole lives free and then are killed suddenly, like it is in nature with other predators. I've noticed that people in tribes, people who live remotely and live off the land, have a much greater respect for any living thing that they use to benefit their own life.

As for PETA, they go overboard, definitely, but I can't say I disagree with their videos. They're ridiculously disturbing, but better that than everyone living ignorantly in bliss to the suffering that animals are put through.


Baba Fats
06/18/12 10:20:02PM @baba-fats:

lol. I hear you about it being like telling people about wax.

If I were to eat meat again, I would only hunt deer and other wold game. Deer in my area are so over populated that it is actually a kindness to them to hunt them. Around here they get so populated that the actually end up starving to death during the winter because too many of them are around when it's warm and eat all of the food. And I agree with the laws about what/how many/and when you can hunt different animals.


Kuguru
06/18/12 10:14:41PM @kuguru:

The PETA ads suck, but to have moderation, there have to be two extremes to meet in the middle of. I agree with their message, I might have issues with their methods, but we are all insulated in our ways of thinking and need a jolt to reality. Most people don't remember that say cows have to be preggers to lactate and make you milk, or that we are hunting furry animals extinct with our fashion tastes. That is why some people are anti animal use, most human beings are not responsible or don't think in sustainable, future terms, but only seek to please the flesh and the now. I am vegan, I am working on being completely animal free (clothes, products, etc), its a journey like dreads or weight loss or anything.

My only point of contention is that we know scientifically that animals feel pain because of a brain and a nervous system, while plants have none of those; they have capillary veins to transport water and food thru. Like most of you said, it's what we choose to believe in. The Jains refuse to walk on grass as they practice ahimsa to the highest extent; I'm still working on not killing flies or ants in my home. Other animals kill for their food, death and life is a part of being on this earth. The collateral damage done to the Earth (with agribusiness being the biggest pollutant, even worse than industrial or automobile pollution) and to the lives of billions of chickens and cows and horses and circus animals in the name of food and clothing is ridiculous. I hate talking about veganism andomnivorousness; it always comes off preachy adn self-righteous, but its like telling someone to not use dreadwax or crotcheting on their locks.


Baba Fats
06/18/12 09:52:10PM @baba-fats:

My girlfriend eats meat, and would laugh if I asked her not to. She doesn't eat it all the time, and does add a lot of veggies in her diet. And since she was a kid hated candy, but loved fruit,

And I was a cook for 5 years, so I know how to and don't mind handling meat for her. I won't let her cook. She's not even allowed to boil water. lol. Really. I refuse to let her near my stove


Baba Fats
06/18/12 09:01:50PM @baba-fats:

That is the reason I have issues with PETA. They are way to extreme and not willing to show the slightest respect. I equate them to conservative christian extremists who bomb abortion clinics to promote life


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