But I like meat…

most people don’t become vegetarian or vegan because they don’t like meat. Luckily there are some amazing meat alternatives these days, where you can enjoy the texture without contributing to the brutality of the industry. Gardein is an excellent brand with many choices, tofurkey, or make your own from jackfruit, portobellos, eggplant, coconut, tofu, seitan, tempeh, beans, nuts, seeds or some combination


But why do you want to change me and my values…

I never said that. If clean water, clean air, full forests, healthy bodies, enough food for everyone are not part of your value system, that’s fine, you are the only person who can define your value system. There is nothing really more to talk about. I share about our food choices and their effect on our surroundings because yes, it matters to me. What we eat collectively creates the world we live in. People will make their choices, as long as people are aware of the consequences, that’s really my aim in having these discussions. My goal isn’t to change your value systems, my goal is share just how destructive some of our habits actually are. That’s it. I’m all for people having homes and employment despite what they eat. Absolutely. Everyone deserves a fair shot. I just also think that information should be spread about how our choices affect others.

Lactose intolerance isn’t common, milking cows is good for them, and veggies are bad

“Only 2% of the western population is lactose intolerant. Milking the cows actually helps the cow to stay healthy. The majority of GMO products actually are the vegetables, replacing the source of calcium with vegetables won’t make it GMO free.”
The above passage was a comment made on fb, I responded what is found below…
Actually, “Approximately 65 percent of the human population has a reduced ability to digest lactose after infancy. Lactose intolerance in adulthood is most prevalent in people of East Asian descent, affecting more than 90 percent of adults in some of these communities.
” — http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/lactose-intolerance Milking the cows can only help the cow ‘stay healthy’ if the cow has been bred in a way to have unnaturally large utters and/ or is injected with hormones to have larger utters, and or must also have the following conditions met, the cow has been, 1)impregnated 2) and baby has been taken away. Under all of these circumstances the cow could be in distress with large utters, and no calf to relieve her. In this situation it may make sense to help ‘relieve’ the cow of her milk. However, this is an entirely man made situation. You would never make the same argument for a human, claiming that humans needed to be milked by anyone other than their baby because it ‘kept them healthy’ this is not factual. The majority of GMO’s are actually cotton, corn and soybeans. These are the items we need in the largest quantity hence make sense for companies to gain profit off of making GMO’s, there are some GMOS also among vegetables and fruits, but that can all be avoided if buying organic. Ultimately those who eat the most corn and soy often happen to be animals that we consume or consume their byproducts. So herbicides and pesticides that are within these plants, actually become that much more concentrated in the animal itself. For example it takes about 20 lbs of plant food to produce 1lb of cow flesh. https://alumni.stanford.edu/get/page/magazine/article/?article_id=29892 That means that whatever pesticides are in that 20lbs of plant food, is now concentrated in that 1lb of animal flesh. So to say that having milk is better than vegetables is not accurate in terms of reducing your toxin intake. Especially in places for example in India where there is little to no regulation on what goes into milk to preserve it. It is often trucked for hours in the hot sun, and in order for it not to go bad, it’s a common for farmers to pour bleach in the milk. There have been plenty of articles to come out explaining all of the contaminants found in milk. In addition, vegetables contain many micronutrients, and antioxidants that help protect the body’s immune system against bacteria and other contaminants. Milk is largely devoid of these beneficial qualities. It also has too much protein to be considered a good source of calcium since, it takes large quantities of calcium to digest protein. http://saveourbones.com/osteoporosis-milk-myth/ your best source of calcium actually is dark leafy greens.

But isn’t there some way to raise animals sustainably for consumption?

Not really. The level humans have already messed with ecosystems through animal breeding and care taking is far beyond any other activity that we’ve done so far.

As long as we are depending on animal products, the situation becomes more complicated because we are self managing a system that is largely unnatural– reproducing them more than they likely would otherwise, growth of numbers without natural predation, confined spaces that radically transform contained plant species and soil structure.
If we were to tear down our fences, and boundaries between homes, it might be a better way to raise animals… going with someone who herds them from place to place.. however in India that’s been done and it’s not been working for them, soils are degraded, plant species are few and many places are barren, so they end up feeding goats and cows trash.  It’s also unnatural because we use species outside of their natural habitat.  To me it boils down to, the unnaturalness of managing, breeding and living off of arbitrary species outside of their natural habitats  in confined spaces– especially at the expense of our health, ecosystem health and unnecessary suffering to the animals. No matter how you slice it, over the long term, with our human population it doesn’t fit that well.
Animal sanctuaries are something that I do like to support, because these animal industries do leave behind many sentient victims. In these situations, the animals are not being bred, but allowed to live out their lives free from abuse.  The number of animals in sanctuaries pales compares to animals on farms being bred.  But these living situations are still largely unnatural, they compact the soil, eliminate plant species.. it’s the nature of the game. If you have a large enough plot of land, this can be minimized with something like rotational grazing that allows soils a rest from the constant packing. It’s a common feature that in animal fields, from the weight and movement of these large herbivores they often create hardpans under the soil.  Trees are always a plus, but they also take away from ground space for easily accessible plants, which economically, may not give the same returns for the space in terms of food for the animals. Unless it’s a type of tree that animals are happy to eat, and managers are able to harvest leaves in unreachable places for the animals.  The more space an animal has, the better off the system will be, however large tracts of land, can promote the issue of deforestation, which happens regularly in the US, because of ‘grass-fed’ cattlehttp://www.worldwatch.org/node/549, http://www.pnas.org/content/111/33/11996 . Some large herbivores instinctually won’t enter forests, since it’s harder for them to see and escape threat. Maybe if the animals have no where else to go, they could become accustomed to it. I think pigs are pretty good in forest settings however, they are notorious for digging up roots and overturning soil. Which can be a good thing if you are getting ready for planting, but again, the most natural thing is for them to have access to large tracts of land, enough land that the forest floor can rejuvenate, while they wander around.  For 1 cow you need about 2.5 acres of land.  It comes with the rest of the problems however, water supply– 2,000 gallons of water goes into a gallon of milk. Animals are taxing on the environment, they are because we are breeding them in exceedingly unnatural supply, which they wouldn’t have gotten to that point in the wild.
Of course the smaller the animal, the less impact they will have on vegetation and soil, per amount of space given.
Otherwise to most sustainably consume animal products, if humans could learn how to hunt the weak and the sick from abundant populations of local animals that would probably be the least taxing on the environment– or already dead like roadkill.
But why cause unnecessary suffering when you don’t need to? Or damage your health by consuming animal products when you don’t need to.  There’s just no reason…. experiment more with vegan foods, arbitrary texture is not a good enough reason to  sacrificing our health, the planet and other animals… and those textures can be found in plants!! It’s really only about texture because, meat is typically always prepared with plants for taste.. and minerals, like salt and pepper.

But humans are at the center of the universe

It’s unfortunate but I see this all of the time. People claiming that human beings are the apex of all of creation.

So ultimately we humans believe that animals are resources, how is it then, that most find animal factory farming monstrous then?

Some claim humans have been using animals since the beginning of time, and why should we ever think about changing?

Do you really believe that if we have always used animals for, food, shelter, clothing, that that justifies it as sane or good? In the face currently of ecological collapse on multiple fronts –oceanic and all lands?

Humans have always been at war with one another since as long as we are aware of, does that make war good or sane?

Humans have traditionally had much lower life spans, about half of what we have today, does that make shorter life spans sane or good?

Today, our extent to animal manipulation is much more than it ever has been, are you then against this? Animal testing for pharmaceuticals, make-up, house hold products, random experimental designs for ‘science’.

To what extent do you believe animals more resemble plants or rocks than they do humans? To what extent do you believe that animals have no capacity to care for themselves or others or their life? To what extent are Humans more aware, more conscious, more able than animals?

We just happen to be really good with tools, apart from that, I only actually see animals being often times, much more intelligent than us. We are the only species, who has managed to shift the ecosystem so much, that not only are we annihilating our own species, but we are bringing just about every other species down with us. If that isn’t a huge failure of intelligence, I’m not sure what is.

Just because something is weaker than us, I’m not sure how that justifies us, making full use of it. It’s the patriarchal mindset, use what can be used for your own means. Use other races for slaves, because you can, use woman and children for sex and labor without their permission because you can. Use animals for all of your needs, because you can. Use the world and its resources for your needs in excess because you can, Take from the poor, the sick, the helpless and the weak, because they are vulnerable, and it will keep you in power.

This is the mindset of many of the dominant cultures of the world today, They have hidden the messages so cleverly, yet they are still so bold and vibrant since, these are the actions unfortunately much more common among humans than the choice of compassion on this earth.

Our societies have successfully taught humans that this is the normal way, the only way, to gain strength, to gain fortune.

However, what is true compassion, what does living in an ecosphere mean. What is true connection. We live in a world that hardly anyone dare enter, or attempt to understand. We are trapped in the mundane everyday existence of cleaning, working, driving, using our gadgets, absorbing ourselves in made up stories projected onto screens. We are numb. Yet the mystery of the universe, the divine in all creation is here, waiting to be discovered in the minute occurrences that we too often ignore on a daily basis.

Yet, if we choose to listen, if we choose to be present, we can find this unshakable propensity of wisdom, in nature, we are not limited to the spoken words of humans throughout the ages, of course they would be telling the story with the creature of their choice (their race, gender and religion of human) in the center, but that hardly is anything but a boastful lie, to imagine the world as only full to the extent of that one component. Humans can’t exist without the functions of the ecosystem on planet earth, we are hardly important.

We in fact, are so weak, so fragile, so small in the grand scheme of things. To believe humans are at the center of the stage above and beyond all other life. It’s the same mindset as the belief that the Sun rotated around the Earth, claiming everything is only about us. So arrogant, so boastful, so untrue. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TfP-XBUbMvs

But they taste so good tho

I can’t tell you the number of times, I’ve gotten this one, so i know I have other responses to this question floating around this website.

Yesterday, this was the response I gave for this.

well at least you are honest about it. It seems impossible, but the reality is, there are actually some pretty amazing meat free products that many people can’t even tell the difference. I have vegan friends who secretly use faux meat in food, that they make for their family, and their family raves about how good it was– they couldn’t even tell that it wasn’t meat! All it takes is a little effort to find an alternative. And the benefits are well worth it, lbs drop off easily, cholesterol falls to healthy levels, medicines like allergy medicines you thought you needed, suddenly are not needed any more this is only to name a small fraction of the health benefits — to reducing taking out animal products.”

Their response:

To each there own. It’s sad how some animals are tortured yes. I understand why you are vegan. I just like meat. So I don’t think about it!

My Response:

I guess, but ultimately we are all affected by the choices we make collectively. Our taxes go to subsidize meat, which otherwise would be way too expensive for regular use. And the environmental impacts of these choices, also effect our drinking water, soil quality and air quality. This has implications on our health, and even more implications for our childrens health, as they have to grow up in the world we leave behind. I see for you it’s about taste. I’m just expressing, why this is so important for me to talk about. Especially as meat and dairy are the reasons why we have such issues with heart disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity today. It’s hard to see the suffering, when there is a pretty easy way out.”

But what if we all went vegan… what happens to all of the animals??

Oh the classic question!!

Not sure why I haven’t gotten this one yet!!

and my response:

the truth is although, it’s a vegan’s dream for everyone to become vegan overnight, it wouldn’t happen. Things happen gradually on planet earth (well for the most part). And even if everyone went vegan overnight, we’d find a compassionate way to deal with the animals. Obviously there isn’t enough land for all of them to thrive on, so we would do the best we could at rescuing the few that we can, onto sanctuaries, and the rest we would most likely need to euthanize. But that would likely never happen, because as things happen slowly, so does everything else. So as ppl begin to eat less and less meat, human beings breed less and less animals. Until no breeding is required anymore. Whatever animals are left, would certainly be able to live out their days at that point, because likely there will be so few left. The only reason we have millions is the crazy rate that we breed them. Because we are also killing hundreds of thousands a day… which means we are breeding hundreds of thousands a day. http://thethinkingvegan.com/…/veganism-and-spirituality/ — you can see the rate we kill them here.