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el_make

Veganism, animal rights & factory farming

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RedDagger

Why does anaemia require eating meat? If you have a health problem like that then a little bit more care in your diet to improve iron intake and it's perfectly feasible. 

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Tchuck
48 minutes ago, RedDagger said:

Why does anaemia require eating meat? If you have a health problem like that then a little bit more care in your diet to improve iron intake and it's perfectly feasible. 

Because iron from animal sources is A LOT more easily absorbed into blood stream than iron from plant sources. Like, a lot more easily. Someone suffering from anemia usually has problems absorbing iron. Hence, using the easy to absorb iron is better than using the not-as-easily absorbed one.

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RedDagger

That's different from needing meat, though; it just requires a different frame of reference for what you should be consuming or introducing it directly and you're basically set - it doesn't necessitate eating meat. 

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Raavi

It becomes more and more possible to cut out animal protein, or any animal product full stop. As in, there are more products and services that allow for this out there. But don't confuse this with 'going vegan' becoming more viable for most, it's still not easy, nor anywhere close to as convenient as a regular diet is still. It takes conscious steps on the part of the consumer, and sometimes, additional hurdles and higher prices to boot. It takes extra "work".  The average consumer simply has no desire whatsoever to sacrifice that convenience, and normalised enjoyment of a regular everyday diet. Sure, they might order a Vegan option on a menu at some point, or even go to a Vegan restaurant - but that is an isolated choice, which can be attributed for a large part to Veganism being 'trendy' right now. It's however not the kind of lifestyle overhaul the vegan philosophy requires. 

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Eutyphro
41 minutes ago, Raavi said:

It becomes more and more possible to cut out animal protein, or any animal product full stop.

Which means supplements or processed foods. Thus effectively switching from natural food to artificial food. I personally don't believe in an artifical diet, and think natural eating is always more optimal. I consider veganism an artificial lifestyle and a sort of controlled malnutrition. Pretending it is a healthy and accessible lifestyle is in my view very delusional, and forcing it on your children akin to child abuse. If anyone has the personal desire to reduce the amount of harm they do as much as possible they can opt for it, and some of the motives are noble. A much more effective way of reducing your environmental harm though is not having children. The most effective one is suicide.

Edited by Eutyphro
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Raavi
2 minutes ago, Eutyphro said:

Which means supplements or processed foods. Thus effectively switching from natural food to artificial food. I personally don't believe in an artifical diet, and think natural eating is always more optimal. I consider veganism an artificial lifestyle and a sort of controlled malnutrition. Pretending it is a healthy and acessible lifestyle is in my view very delusional, and forcing it on your children akin to child abuse. If anyone has the personal desire to reduce the amount of harm they do as much as possible they can opt for it, and some of the motives are noble. A much more effective way at reducing your environmental harm though is not having children. The most effective one is suicide.

I'm in complete in agreement with you. Aside from the child abuse part, as that part is legally speaking dubious. I was just pointing out that there is a larger (and growing) market of Vegan products out there, but that despite this it still is not a viable option for most. I based my arguments on the behaviour of the average consumer, and people's reluctance to change their diet so drastically. But there are valid arguments to be made from my different points of view, and indeed also when it pertains to the supposed 'health' factor of the Vegan philosophy. Let's just say I couldn't do it, and I would be more inclined to advocate for other ways to reduce your carbon food print if that's what you're interested in.

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RedDagger

Veganism isn't synonymous with vegan-tailored products or supplements, though - sure, the ease of carrying the same diet and meal choice via simply replacing animal products with vegan replacement products can make it seem like the only viable option, but it's by no means necessary to use any of that stuff. 

 

Taking a bit of a reset to years of learned recipes and product preferences is definitely not an easy thing you can jump into overnight, but plenty of people manage fine by slowly introducing it into their diet over a period of time. 

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Tchuck
9 hours ago, RedDagger said:

That's different from needing meat, though; it just requires a different frame of reference for what you should be consuming or introducing it directly and you're basically set - it doesn't necessitate eating meat. 

But if they have difficulty absorbing plant-iron, and need meat-iron, it would necessitate eating meat. Or at least ingesting supplements which have an animal origin.

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RedDagger

Sure, if someone found it completely impossible to get iron from a purely vegan diet and weren't able to do anything on the supplement side of things then no one's gonna hold it against them if they eat the meat they need, but that's a pretty small edge case.

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Saggy

I think one thing that's being largely assumed is that we should endeavor to limit animal's suffering.  Yet, risking being called callous or uncaring, I don't see why I should care about a factory-farmed chicken or cow's happiness.  If that animal was born and raised to be food, why should I care about its happiness?

 

There seems to be some kind of idea of merit.  For example, if you cause an animal suffering to test some kind of medication, that is deemed as okay because it means better quality of living for people who that medication can treat.  Not everyone adheres to this, but it seems to be a pretty common logical path to follow as a way to justify an animal's suffering.

 

Okay, but what if I just like the way steak tastes?  Why should I feel that my desire to taste something good, has less merit than a cow living in peace?  Take into consideration that if not for the consumer market for steak in the first place, many cows probably would not even exist at all.  While we talk about these animals experiencing suffering, they would not experience happiness, or anything at all if they had not been born and bred to become meat.

 

 

I think looking at it in that way clearly implies a double-standard that is evidenced in a lot of our other interactions with certain animals.

 

I think one interesting case example are horses.  We seem to have some kind of aversion to using horses for meat, probably the same reason we see using dog as meat as abhorrent. There became a kind of cultural significance placed on horses, people developed bonds with them, etc.  Though as time went on, and our dependence on horses has dwindled, this cultural significance has remained. Their usefulness for utility has diminished, and so horses transitioned from being very necessary for livelihood, to being basically just there for emotional enrichment as pets.

 

In the meantime, we have very different cultural views on horses within our own society at play.  Where I am from, there are wild horses that roam the indian (native) reservation.  They quickly over-populate, and end up starving to death or dying of some type of communal disease.  Every year people drive through this reservation, and see these emaciated horses dying, or dead, and they decry, "Oh why won't the natives take care of their horses?"  But do they go and rescue them as pets?  No.  Do they harvest them as food?  No.  They just let them over-populate year after year.  In the same context, hunters would normally announce, "We have to hunt them to help them!" but because they are horses and have such cultural significance, people don't view them as game animals, and so the same supposedly-virtuous "Kill them to save them" approach isn't taken.

 

Meanwhile, the natives have no desire to hunt them for food either, and do not have the same cultural attachment, so when they do try to take the "humanitarian" approach and euthanize these animals, they're literally called "heartless" by the same people who will kill a deer for the same purpose.  In the meantime, nobody seems to regard them as a food source other than for dog food, so they're just left to overpopulate because they cannot be euthanized without outrage; no one wants to hunt them, and no one wants to eat them.  Horses really reveal a lot of double-standards in terms of how people think animals should be treated

 

 

It makes me think of a VICE documentary I recently saw in India.  There were vigilantes who were tracking cow smugglers and practically lynching them on camera.  The leader of this group very vehemently denounced anyone who ate beef, and proclaimed he would commit violence upon them if he caught them.  This is kind of wild to hear as a Westerner, but in many ways I think it would be similar to the response of Westerners if they learned these wild horses were being round up for food.  I think the cultural significance is far more tremendous in regards to how cows are viewed in Hinduism, but nevertheless there is still a similar fervor in horse-lovers when they learn that the natives have began euthanizing the wild horses here.

 

My reaction to basically having my life threatened for eating a steak was basically just to question how religious fervor could drive people so insane.  However, it's really not that much different here depending on which animal you're talking about.  As misguided as religious zealots resorting to vigilantism is, they probably feel it's just as misguided to not feel that way.  Plus horse-lovers respond with the same types of threats in response to euthanizing efforts, just to a lesser degree.

 

If we recognize that we are influenced by our cultures and traditions to form these double-standards, then how do we know that any decision made on how to treat an animal is truly ethical, and not simply an influence of our culture?

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RedDagger

If a human was born and raised to be a slave, why should you care about its happiness? Someone put the time and effort into creating and raising the human, so it's their prerogative as to what kind of life it leads. Except we recognise that living beings aren't property and we care about their treatment in a completely different way to property; if someone creates a piece of art, a meal, a table, we know that the creator's intent is most important, since it's, well, theirs. But a living being has its own wants and desires, and there's no reason why those should be completely overridden because of another living being's wants and desires to treat the other like an inanimate object. Just because a cow was born through artificial insemination for the purpose of beef, doesn't mean we should just shrug our shoulders and ignore that the cow is rather fond of being alive and not suffering.

 

This is the same for liking the taste of meat. It's an ephemeral feeling, one that doesn't rank terribly high in the scheme of things, such that the worth of bringing a cow into existence, having them live a questionable life and being slaughtered far too early doesn't seem terribly comparable for what little benefit you get out of it, especially since there's far more foods out there that also taste nice. We generally recognise that personal pleasure ranks a fair bit lower than a being's desire to live in most instances, it's just that when it comes to food the two are fairly abstracted away from each other so the ethics are easier to ignore.

 

As for natalism, you don't get morality points by creating a life, making it happy for a bit and then killing it to get a net positive morality score. They're still genetically questionable, their standard of living is questionable most of the time, and they're still killed prematurely. Stuffing thousands of hens into a shed isn't a gift, even though we've created beings experiencing life; and when we end the life, something that's always seen as a big negative, we're not doing it out of compassion or wellbeing. They just don't need to exist in the first place, and we're not being ethical gods by creating billions of lives and sticking them in fields and sheds.

 

As for culture vs ethics, those two and mutually exclusive. They both influence each other, and no decision we ever make will be "100% ethics" because when it disallows influences from things like culture that doesn't make sense in the first place. However, I know personally that my decision is largely based on ethics because my upbringing and the society I grew up in didn't put veganism or animal rights on a pedestal, they were mostly seen as a joke or pointlessly extremist. In a culture where the decision to not consume animal products has a much larger cultural influence that doesn't stop it from being an inherently ethical decision.  

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Saggy

"If a human was born and raised to be a slave, why should you care about its happiness?"

 

Because it's a human being.  You're leading with another unstated assumption: That we should treat animals as if they were human beings.  I'm not really one of the opinion that animals are unthinking and ruled only by their instinct, but on the other hand I do not know that a cow's capacity for suffering is actually the same as mine, or if it is merely a biological function.  Given that I do not know, it's hard for me to insist that treating cows in a way other than we would treat humans is decidedly unethical.  As much as I love animals, I do feel that people tend to anthropomorphize them to an extent that we forget we're comparing apples and oranges.

 

Whether it's a "gift" or a "curse", the existence of millions of chickens is only due to the fact they're destined to become food.  I'm not trying to extrapolate a justification out of this, or to say we're bestowing them with life, what I mean to say is that if not for their intention as food, most animals would never come into existence in the first place.  When you weigh that against questions about their happiness, or whether they're truly even capable of happiness, I have to wonder what the ethical alternative really is.  Is it free-range farming?  Is it not keeping live-stock at all?  How should we be treating animals that, for all ethical intents and purposes, should not exist.

 

My girlfriend's family has a farm, a small farm with a few dozen chickens.  They've got to the point where they don't want to slaughter them, and they don't take their eggs, so basically they just keep the chickens around to fertilize the yard.  You could view this as an ethical decision, but the truth from what I've found, is that they're just too squeamish to kill them.  I'm not faulting that by any means, but they still go and buy factory-farmed chicken.  In that context, which is the more ethical or unethical action?  Shouldn't they overcome their squeamishness and kill their own chickens rather than perpetuate the horrible conditions of the poultry industry?  Or in a way, is that even more unethical, because these are animals to which they've developed a bond to? I know they certainly feel the latter is more true.

 

Another thing that happened with these chickens one year was a terrible cold snap.  Many of them had frost bite so bad, they lost their feet, and were hobbling around on stubs.  They felt that was no way for them to live, but again, they don't like killing chickens.  So they decided to give the chickens some drugs to euthanize them in a less gruesome fashion.

 

Well, not allowing them to suffer could be seen as ethical...  But what about having chickens in a cold and temperate climate in the first place? Chickens were never adapted to cold weather, and so they basically brought a problem the chickens would have normally never encountered on to them.  So while the choice to euthanize them may seem ethical, it seems that it is to answer a choice which may have been unethical in the first place.  Even when we're talking about small free-range farms, there's plenty of reason to question the ethics of it.

 

In a large way it seems that the entire question of how is it ethical to treat an animal deals in absolutes like this.  I don't see how a person could domesticate a chicken to live in an environment it was never supposed to exist in, and then euthanize it due to the circumstance of that environment, and call it "ethical".  There's a lot of grey area there, and I think the only way you're going to have absolutely ethical treatment of an animal is not to farm them at all.  At that point, it seems like it's more a question of mitigation. Trying to treat them as ethically as we can, while insisting it's still some kind of necessary evil that we must treat them unethically at all.

 

But going back to the apples and oranges... They're not human beings, and so how much should we extend our ethics regarding the treatment of human beings, to the treatment of animals? If we were to assume they had exactly the same capacity for sentience and suffering as a human being, then of course the entirety of the way we treat animals is completely abhorrent and unethical.  However, what if the truth is more nuanced? What if cows and chickens merely avoid pain as a instinctual and biological response as any organism interested in self-preservation would?  Basically, what if the only "suffering" an animal ever experienced was just superficial in appearance?  It seems like it's hard to determine what is an ethical way to treat animals, when we really do not even fully comprehend their level of consciousness.

 

In some ways I think this goes beyond just how we treat animals and to how we treat ourselves.  Capital punishment for example...  We still administer "lethal injections" under the guise that they're a painless death, but the science shows they're often botched and tantamount to cruelty.  Yet, the people in the witness box seldom see any outward signs of this suffering, so for them they can rest with the false-comfort that we didn't cause the person any pain when we executed them.  Conversely, a high-speed projectile destroying the cerebellum (i.e. a gunshot) would immediately cease any neurological activity ( including pain ), but it would be gruesome and ghastly to the observers.  That creates a situation where people see systematically stopping a person's heart and breathing with drugs which may not work, as less "cruel" than simply disintegrating their brain matter by mechanical force.  Even just saying the latter sounds worse, but in actuality it can be closer to "painless" than most of the other methods.

 

It seems to me most of the ideas of what constitutes ethical treatment of an animal are more to sooth the person acting upon the animal, than to actually insure any benefit for the animal itself.  It's really not about their suffering, but entirely about how we perceive their suffering.  In other words, how do we really know that a cow being mistreated and abused suffers in the same way we do, and that it is not just our own sensibilities being offended by witnessing it?  In the same vein, how do we know that any proposed way to treat a cow is really being ethical to it, and not  just soothing those same sensibilities?

 

I'll put it a lot more bluntly...  If I smack a cow in the head with a 2x4, does that affect the cow the same as it affects someone who witnessed that?  The witness will sit and think about how it made the cow feel, how the cow will trust the person later, if the cow is ruminating about the squalid conditions of its life.  But is it really, or are those just projections about how we think we'd feel in the cow's position?  I don't think we can answer that question scientifically, but I think most people take a "better safe than sorry" approach and assume the cow does.  In the end though, are they really more upset about the treatment of the cow, or that they had to see it themselves?

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RedDagger

"Because it's a human being.  You're leading with another unstated assumption: That we should treat animals as if they were human beings."

The point of the comparison was that the intentions leading up to the creation of the animal don't dictate whether it deserves happiness/well-being or not - it's the fact that it's a life that matters, not what the life was created for, hence the comparison to humans.

 

"I have to wonder what the ethical alternative really is.  Is it free-range farming?  Is it not keeping live-stock at all?"

The latter, don't breed them for pleasure in the first place, don't force them into existence just to treat them like crap then pretend we have the right to kill them early just because we bred them.

 

 "However, what if the truth is more nuanced? What if cows and chickens merely avoid pain as a instinctual and biological response as any organism interested in self-preservation would?  Basically, what if the only "suffering" an animal ever experienced was just superficial in appearance?"

This applies to humans as well, though. What creates suffering is instinctual responses; the human part of it is how we process the suffering, not the experience of it. When we see someone suffering, the only non-instinctual way of knowing they're suffering is if they tell us, through the human construct of language, that they are suffering. Other things like yelping, crying, or general expressions of emotional suffering aren't human constructs, and animals do the same thing. There's absolutely zero reason to think that when animals do the things we do in response to suffering that they're doing it for a different reason; we have no reason to think that humans are unique in that regard. We infer intention and thought processes via things far more basic and animalistic than language and human-constructed communication when it comes to interpreting humans, and there's zero reason to think that much of the same intuitions don't apply to many animals as well. 

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Eutyphro
46 minutes ago, RedDagger said:

"I have to wonder what the ethical alternative really is.  Is it free-range farming?  Is it not keeping live-stock at all?"

The latter, don't breed them for pleasure in the first place, don't force them into existence just to treat them like crap then pretend we have the right to kill them early just because we bred them.

I've been thinking about exactly this recently. I have concluded that I want to start eating less meat, want to improve my diet by consuming more legumes, and want to start generally eating only organic meat. But I still do not fully agree with the argument you are making. Is it better for an animal to not have lived at all, than to be bred as a part of organic farming, and live a short healthy life to then be consumed by a human being? I can agree that the suffering of animals is highly morally relevant, thus we should stop causing unnecessary suffering to animals. But I don't agree that it is better for an animal to not have lived at all as opposed to the animal being part of ethical farming practices. As I have pointed out, animals in the wild possibly live much harsher lives than those brought up in ethical farming circumstances. Is it better for most wild animals to not have lived? Consistent appliction of this thinking leads to a life opposing attitude.

Furthermore, the premise "don't breed them for pleasure" is false, because the nutrition from animal food is not merely 'pleasure', but essential to human health, considering human beings are natural omnivores. Veganism is a controlled malnutrition.

As for the idea of a 'right to life' for evey living being. There is no such thing in nature. The right to life of humans is a social construct. A good social construct, but still a social construct. Animals don't have an intrinsic right to life, and animals kill each other all the time.

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RedDagger

Most people generally agree that killing someone is one of, if not the, worst things you can to someone. This extends to animals, and I personally don't believe that breeding an animal into a short life offsets the fact that you're killing the animal at your whim. Creating a life with the specific intention of killing it isn't a benefit; we aren't doing more good the more farm animals we create. This isn't arguing as a "right to life", but that we don't have the right to kill them just because we were the reason they exist. 

 

And with nutrition, animal products are unnecessary for human health. Any proper organisation or professional will tell you that a vegan diet is perfectly capable of meeting all your nutritional requirements, with the only thing you have to possibly look to for supplementation being B12. 

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Eutyphro
On 2/4/2019 at 6:50 PM, RedDagger said:

Most people generally agree that killing someone is one of, if not the, worst things you can [do] to someone. 

Which is an ad populum fallacy, and one that implies a not self evident moral equivalency between humans and animals.

 

On 2/4/2019 at 6:50 PM, RedDagger said:

And with nutrition, animal products are unnecessary for human health. Any proper organisation or professional will tell you that a vegan diet is perfectly capable of meeting all your nutritional requirements, with the only thing you have to possibly look to for supplementation being B12. 

Adopting veganism in a not well thought through manner can lead to many dietary problems. Iron was mentioned in this topic. Protein deficiency is another obvious one, considering there are very few complete plant based protein sources. And I feel like vegans but also vegatarians often eat way too much processed foods and quick carbohydrates. I'm not an expert on the topic of diet, but I firmly believe natural food is always better than processed food or supplement. I agree someone adopting veganism in a nutrition conscious manner can still be relatively healthy, and way healthier than someone with a standard American diet of loads of trans fats and sugar, but I don't think it is an optimal diet. I personally thrive on a low carb high protein high fat diet, which would make a completely plant based diet very difficult if not nearly impossible. A high protein high fat plant based diet would definitely be mainly processed foods and supplements.

For awareness of your own diet, I can highly recommend https://cronometer.com/

Anyway, I respect veganism as a choice, but I won't ever choose it myself.

Edited by Eutyphro
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RedDagger
35 minutes ago, Eutyphro said:

Which is an ad populum fallacy, and one that implies a not self evident moral equivalency between humans and animals.

Apologies, my wording was very weasel-y there. In a more direct manner, killing something is morally very bad; maybe killing a cow isn't as bad as killing a human, but in the realm of morality concerning cows, it's still one of the worst things you can do. Moreover, it's not something that's justified through creating the cow in the first place - giving the cow a short happy life doesn't mean it's more okay to end the cow's life at your whim. 

 

39 minutes ago, Eutyphro said:

Adopting veganism in a not well thought through manner can lead to many dietary problems.

This goes for an omni diet as well, though. While it's certainly easier, in a sense, to face dietary problems on a vegan diet, that's no strike against it. Someone not following an omni diet correctly doesn't make people think ill of omni diets much like someone not following a vegan diet correctly shouldn't be a point against veganism. 

And I'd like to repeat the point that a vegan diet is perfectly capable of meeting nutritional needs: it's not something that can be "relatively healthy" or "healthier than a standard american diet", it's something that can be optimally healthy, full stop. There's nothing unique in animal products that makes them necessary for such a thing. 

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Eutyphro
On 2/4/2019 at 7:58 PM, RedDagger said:

And I'd like to repeat the point that a vegan diet is perfectly capable of meeting nutritional needs: it's not something that can be "relatively healthy" or "healthier than a standard american diet", it's something that can be optimally healthy, full stop. There's nothing unique in animal products that makes them necessary for such a thing. 

I really fundamentally disagree. Animal cells and plant cells are fundamentally different. Human beings are natural omnivores and it is pretty difficult to even find a complete protein from a plant source. Fact of the matter is many vegans and vegatarians end up malnourished, and bioavailability of plant and animal nutrition is also different. Furthermore, some plant based proteins like soy are estrogenic and therefore men should think twice about eating too much soy. Veganism in a form that is nutritionally adequate is a diet of processed foods and supplements. A diet that immitates an omnivorous natural diet. But it's not equivalent to it at all. For anyone such as me that wants a high protein natural diet veganism is a disaster.

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DareYokel
2 hours ago, Eutyphro said:

veganism is a disaster

QFT (I'm aware that I butchered the context)

 

I don't know what those people are thinking. I'm OK with vegetarians, but I seriously doubt that veganism is in anyone's best interest.

Edited by DareYokel

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RedDagger

You can disagree all you want but any health organisation will tell you that a vegan diet is as adequate as an omni diet, and that there's nothing necessary in animal products. Malnourishment isn't an inherent part of veganism or vegetarianism, it's from poor planning - exactly the same thing that makes people malnourished on an omni diet. Many omnis also end up malnourished for that reason. 

 

The estrogen point is a stupid talking point that was made up by people looking to disparage soy, not from people who had legitimate concerns - the type of estrogen matters, the amount of estrogen matters, and most importantly, said people conveniently didn't bother mentioning any of the other foods that are high in estrogen (because it was used as a scientific-sounding attack on soy, and nothing to do with estrogen itself).

 

"Veganism in a form that is nutritionally adequate is a diet of processed foods and supplements. A diet that immitates an omnivorous natural diet"

I'm not sure if you're mistaken on what a vegan diet looks like, but no imitation meat or imitation products are necessary, nor are they the most common due to their current price. Processed food isn't necessary, supplements aren't necessary. 

 

"For anyone such as me that wants a high protein natural diet veganism is a disaster."

The many vegan bodybuilders and athletes would disagree with you. 

 

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Eutyphro

I challenge you to show me what an adequate day of eating for an average male consuming merely plant food, and no highly processed foods or supplements, looks like. It's a monstrosity.

Then show me what a day of eating for a bodybuilder consuming merely plant food, and no highly processed foods or supplements, looks like. Not just a monstrosity, but practically impossible.

And now we're just accepting you have unlimited time and resources to plan this and pay for it. But clearly eating like this is more expensive, far more time consuming and inflexible than an omni diet or vegatarianism. Try maintaining it on holiday. You'll fail or eat an incredibly malnourished diet. The idea that a healthy veganism is an easily accessible and cheap diet is just utterly ridiculous.
 

1 hour ago, RedDagger said:

The many vegan bodybuilders and athletes would disagree with you. 

Almost all bodybuilders in general, and this will be more strongly the case for vegan bodybuilders, eat large amounts of supplements. Most bodybuilders supplement with whey protein. A vegan would supplement with a plant based protein supplement. As it turns out bodybuilding actually isn't a very natural or healthy lifestyle.

As for the longt term health of vegans https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26707634

I consistently find the research and organizations are unsure about it because it is such a rare diet.

Edited by Eutyphro
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RedDagger

https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/the-vegan-diet/

 

This should give you a general overview of what's necessary for a vegan diet. The main obstacle is rejigging the decades of experience building up one's intuition of what to eat in a day and the mental store of recipes and foods to buy when shopping; once that's mostly done, a vegan diet is pretty accessible. 

 

And the point about bodybuilders/athletes was that a high protein diet is perfectly achievable, not requiring supplements or anything finicky. 

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Eutyphro

"have some dairy alternatives, such as soya drinks and yoghurts (choose lower fat and lower sugar options)"

Confirming my point a vegan diet immitates a diet that includes animal source nutrition with highly processed plant based alternatives.

"base meals on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates (choose wholegrain where possible)"

Confirming my point that plant based diets are generally too carbohydrate centered.

Furthermore, I don't think it is wise to instruct people to base their diet around a high sugar food such as dried fruit or highly processed carbohydrate bombs like breakfast cereals. Much of the dietary consensus is increasingly moving away from high carbohydrate diets, and sugar is increasingly seen as the main culprit of the diseases that plague the Western lifestyle. The views on fats and cholesterol have been significantly changing. But as the page you posted admits:

Evidence suggests that plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids may not have the same benefits in reducing the risk of heart disease as those in oily fish.

Access to good fats is more difficult for plant based diets. And I'm aware that industrially produced animal source nutrition generally contain bad fats. Getting a balance of healthy fats is kind of tricky for all diets.

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RedDagger

That's just a general recommendation for a vegan diet, if you don't want to eat as much carbs then don't eat as much carbs. If you don't want to eat high sugar food then don't eat high sugar food. If you don't want to eat dairy or dairy alternatives, that's fine too - dairy isn't necessary for an omni diet so alternatives are not necessary for a vegan diet. I'll also add that plant milks aren't "highly processed", they're just plants that have been ground and soaked in water at their most basic. 

 

The point is that it doesn't require anything finicky over an omni diet, and you can get everything you need from a vegan diet. As with an omni diet, you can tailor it how you wish as long as you're getting everything you need. 

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The Coconut Kid
On 2/10/2019 at 1:59 AM, Eutyphro said:

I challenge you to show me what an adequate day of eating for an average male consuming merely plant food, and no highly processed foods or supplements, looks like.

I will have a crack at this. I have followed a plant based diet since January 2018. Reasons for pursuing it since then are purely performance related rather than ethical so I would like to offer some insight towards your bodybuilder/supplements point as well. For reference I'm 170cm and 65kg, boxing is my sport, work is physical (bricky labourer) six days a week. I typically train with weights three times a week.

 

Breakfast is 150 grams of oats, 50 grams of hemp seeds, a banana and a spoon of cacao powder blended together in a George Foreman. I do this out of convenience. Anyone else could simply cook the oats and mix in the rest.

 

About tennish when we have our first break I'll unpack a "bean burger" -- this is typically a can of kidney beans mixed together with an assortment of other plant-based ingredients: red onion, beetroot, etc, some spices (paprika, cumin, cayenne) and ground oats to make it all stick together. Tomato goes on top, lettuce goes underneath. Tahini is my condiment of choice. The buns are wholemeal or whatever -- I am clueless when it comes to bread, but I'm chatty with the bakers and they see me right.

 

At lunch, I'll retrieve 65 grams of pasta (the wholewheat kind), served with diced potatoes and cannellini beans. Taste comes from a batch of sauce I prepare beforehand consisting of spinach (80g), rocket (80g), half a green pepper and cashews (30g), with a tablespoon or two of olive oil for consistency. Basil and Parsley are in there for palatability and it's as good chilled as it is warmed in a microwave (if available).

 

When I arrive home (the previous meals having seen me through the day), I've got chili stewing in the crockpot and fill my plate by serving it over half a packet of instant brown rice. It's quick and to be honest, for an amateur cook, it's the tits. Beef mince is swapped out for walnuts which, when stewed down, fall apart like ground meat. The kidney beans that didn't make it into the burger get used up in this meal. I use sweetcorn in there, red peppers, onion. Time permitting, there will be an avocado-based sauce (with coriander and oregano) to dollop on top.

 

My final meal of the day will be a bowl of soup (tomatoes and vegetable stock for the base) with a serve of five vegetables: 80g each of broccoli, cauliflower, peas, green beans and carrots. Takes about ten minutes to prepare and cook and I can easily double up the portion size if the missus hasn't eaten. It's not too heavy to go to bed on and sets me up nicely for the next day.

 

Energy wise, this way of eating provides me with pretty much dead-on 2,500 calories a day -- roughly 300 grams of these from carbohydrates (1200), 100 gram from fat (900) and 85-100 grams from protein (340-400). In the year I've adhered to this way of eating, I can't account for any change in weight and I know for certain that I haven't dropped beneath 63kg or exceeded 68kg. I am capable of lugging/shovelling/pushing around several tonnes of bricks and other materials at work without any shortage of energy, and I am still able to consistently add weight onto the bar in the gym despite no significant change in bodyweight. My preferred measure of performance is to look for any regression in what I do, but there hasn't been any -- in fact, I've thrived. I'm certainly not wasting away -- and this is on the recommended Australian average of 2,500 calories a day with a high activity level.

 

Quick note on supplements: when I started out, I was pounding down two shakes a day using Hemp Powder (an extra 30g of protein) -- the Bulk Nutrents brand. It was f*cking horrible! I lasted about three days on it and chucked it out -- got the seeds instead. Haven't touched any supplements since -- no creatine, BCAAs, multi vitamin etc. They're not needed and I suspect they are the major vacuum in terms of costs for most. In this case, the role of advertising, and the conditioning of people (especially aspiring athletes of impressionable age) towards consuming unnecessary amounts of protein needs to be addressed.

 

To end on, the meals above are highly interchangeable (think curries, etc) and investigating a plant based diet has been the catalyst for introducing me to a broad array of dishes that I otherwise wouldn't have tried. Much more appetizing than the standard bodybuilding fare of chicken breast/brown rice/broccoli and skulling egg whites -- or raw eggs and steaks as used to be my case! The diet is affordable to maintain (many of the foods are basics, with the exception of niche goods like cacao and hemp seeds, and are staples of the so-called third world) with the major cost, I would argue, the time it takes to prepare on a Sunday and weigh individual portions -- but I'd expect anyone involved in bodybuilding to be attuned to this anyway.

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Eutyphro

Whenever I have the time I'll check out the nutritional balance of your proposed day of eating in https://cronometer.com/

I appreciate the creativity, and the effort of making delicious food without animal source nutrition. I'm pretty skeptical it will come out completely nutritionally balanced though.

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RedDagger

Nutritional balance issues would be an issue with their specific choice of food and nothing to do with the fact it was vegan, though. 

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.-.

I'm fine with veganism. My problem frequently seems to be with vegans who feel free to criticize me or my diet or the choices I make without knowing me or without having their input solicited. Anyone who chooses to adopt a vegan diet is, of course, free to do so and should not be criticized for that but it often seems that people who adopt a non-mainstream diet like veganism can't be content with their own choice, they have  to proselytize and try to convert others and that is where it starts to be a problem for me.

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RedDagger
27 minutes ago, sivispacem said:

It's not a "shelter" if it's explicit aim is to euthanise animals (which given that they kill over 90% of pets they receive is hard to dispute). But both ideologically and practically it goes far further than even that.

Yes, because as before, it's not a traditional shelter - the entire point isn't to be another place where they house as many animals as they can.

 



Ingrid Newkirk has been one of the most vocal supporters of banned breed legislation and a public advocate of killing animals believed to be pit bulls based solely on physical appearance (rather than genetic makeup or behaviour).

PETA supports breed-specific legislation because they're in favour of not breeding any dogs, breed-specific legislation is just getting closer to that. It's just an extension on the fairly standard advice of adopt, don't shop. 

 

PETA employees have been known to deliberately coax or even steal animals from residencies in order to claim they're escaped strays. They've violated laws in states such as Virginia by destroying dogs within hours of capturing them instead of the 5 days mandated by the state legislature. They have also consistently refused to notify municipal animal control of the details of dogs they seize (as required by law), effectively denying the owners the right to ever identify where their animals may have disappeared to.

I'm pretty sure you're referring to the singular case of Maya, which was a clear accident on PETA's part - stealing people's pets is in no way a "thing", no matter how much lobbying groups want to push the idea. 

 

PETA's organisational policy is to routinely terminate healthy animals mere hours after seizing them, often illegally or through deception, whilst making no effort to even make them available for rehoming. This includes arbitrary destruction of extremely young (under 8 week) puppies and kittens alongside their parents, despite such younger animals being amongst the easiest to re-home. Owners are coerced into believing they're failing to provide proper care, then told their pets will be rehomed only for PETA to either destroy them or hand them over to municipal authorities for destruction hours later.

Pets are surrendered to PETA for the purpose of euthanasia, since again, that's the main purpose of that facility. I'm not really able to find anything about PETA lying to pet owners to kill their pets. 

 

One of PETA's core mottos has always been "killing animals is immoral and unjust, no matter how its done". Anyone who genuinely believes that their huge euthanasia programme is in the best interests of the affected animals is either delusional or sadistic.

It's simply impossible to provide a meaningful life for the huge amount of stray animals out there and provide sufficient care for those that need care. It would be wonderful if it was possible, but it just ain't. And calling it "huge" is a tad misleading considering the number animals put down at their facility is a speck on the national total. 

 

Yep, 40 thousand plus animals seized and destroyed since 1998 is certainly something for them to be proud of.

That's a great zinger, but again, it hyperfocuses on one comparably small thing PETA does (its Norfolk shelter euthanisation) and ignores everything that PETA actually does. 

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sivispacem
On 2/27/2019 at 1:47 AM, RedDagger said:

Yes, because as before, it's not a traditional shelter

Even using the word "shelter" is a misnomer; they only do so to falsely suggest that they have a purpose other than destroying animals.

If PETA were actually honest and upfront about the services they provide in this space they wouldn't refer to them in this manner.

 

In fact, they exploited a loophole in Virginia law to advertise their shelter as such, which was closed in 2015 when the Virginia state legislature explicitly defined shelters as "operated for the purpose of finding permanent adoptive homes for animals"

The shelter's director, Colleen O'Brien, subsequently claimed the shelter did in fact run adoption services, which was a blatant lie given the 93% destruction rate and the absence of any advertising of animals for adoption or staff for fulfilling that purpose. You can't have it both ways...

 

On 2/27/2019 at 1:47 AM, RedDagger said:

PETA supports breed-specific legislation because they're in favour of not breeding any dogs

This is an obvious non sequitur. The assertion that "PETA is in favour of not breeding any dogs" doesn't explain why they support the arbitrary destruction of a "single breed" based entirely on visual appearance.

in fact, PETA's own justification for this policy is their belief that because of the physical appearance of these animals, the sorts of owners that attracts and the conditions which some are kept in, all of them deserve to be destroyed. 

 

On 2/27/2019 at 1:47 AM, RedDagger said:

I'm pretty sure you're referring to the singular case of Maya, which was a clear accident on PETA's part 

Except this goes again statements of ex-PETA employees such as Heather Harper-Troje, who have been very vocal about the deceptive lengths PETA field workers are encouraged to go to to seize and destroy healthy animals.

Of course, in response to these allegations PETA ran their own public character assassination of her, much like they attempted with the family of Maya before relenting when subpoenaed about internal communications regarding their animal destruction policies.

PETA constantly asks its audience to believe that the worst excesses of the meat industry are the norm rather than exceptional; yet it expects its critics to view cases such of that of Maya are tragic accidents rather than malevolent policy.

 

If Maya was an "accident", then why did PETA not accept responsibility? Why did they first attempt to have the family investigated by ICE in order to try and discourage them from their civil suit, then argue in court that they owed the family nothing because Maya was "worthless"? If they were innocent, why did they pay the family off rather than gol through the subpoena process?

On 2/27/2019 at 1:47 AM, RedDagger said:

Pets are surrendered to PETA for the purpose of euthanasia

Again, this explicitly contradicts the testimony of numerous PETA field workers.

 

On 2/27/2019 at 1:47 AM, RedDagger said:

It's simply impossible to provide a meaningful life for the huge amount of stray animals out there and provide sufficient care for those that need care.

This is an obvious straw man. I'm not suggesting PETA should provide permanent care for every animal that they receive, I'm suggesting they should at least go through the process of evaluating whether or not they can be rehomed rather than arbitrarily destroying them. Y'know, like every other "shelter" does.

 

On 2/27/2019 at 1:47 AM, RedDagger said:

And calling it "huge" is a tad misleading considering the number animals put down at their facility is a speck on the national total. 

In pure volume terms, perhaps, but in terms of proportion it's orders of magnitude above the norm. That 40,000+ animal owners have voluntarily given their pets up to PETA in the full knowledge that they will be destroyed is so implausible as to be absurd, which probably goes some way to explain why PETA fails to keep written documentary records of most of their surrenders and seizures. Both you and PETA have consistently claimed that their Norfolk shelter is exceptional in the gravity and severity of cases it deals with, but there's not one speck of empirical evidence to suggest this is actually the case. 

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