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Vegetarianism

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Vegetarianism

Postby GlottalGreekGeek » Wed Aug 31, 2005 3:10 am

I do not eat any meat from land animals. I do eat dairy products, but I do not drink milk since I do not like how it tastes. I eat egg products too, but I do not eat eggs by themselves because I do not like how they taste. I eat certain kinds of seafood (must be wild-caught, come from clean water, and caught by a good fishery), but they are a treat rather than a regular part of my diet.

When I reveal this information, people usually ask why. This is difficult to answer since I became vegetarian mostly on impulse.

As the above suggests, I have a dislike for the taste of many animal products. When I see strips of meat on a skewer at a BBQ, or ads for cheeseburgers, or read menus lavishly describing meat entrees, I do not think "yum". I do not know if this dislike is biological, based on certain childhood experiences, or both. There are some meat dishes which I used to like, but when I finally said to myself a few years ago "I'm now a vegetarian", I was neither giving up much nor drastically changing my diet.

As to why becoming an official vegetarian? I think the main reason was health. First of all spoiled meat is much more dangerous than spoiled fruit. I eat out of home quite a bit, and since I can't always see how they handle food, I feel much safer sticking to vegetarian foods. I also do not like the idea of antibiotics and hormones invading my food. And thirdly, meat products are generally high in saturated fat. I get enough saturated fat from chocolate and coconuts.

While I do not believe every horror story from the animal industry, I have heard enough that I do not wish to support it. I do not believe there is an intrinsic wrong in killing for food, but I believe that the animal must have a good life to justify the act.

Being a vegetarian has made my relationship to a few people slightly easier. It was far from worth becoming vegetarian for, and we would be on good terms if I ate red meat every day, but it is a fringe benefit.

For this combination of reasons (and I know that there are ways to solve some of these problems, such as eating organic/free-range meat, but it's just not worth it) I am vegetarian.

I am curious to hear what others here think of vegetarianism, but I will not defend it strongly. If you love meat and want to fully enjoy the culinary side of life, go ahead.
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Re: Vegetarianism

Postby Kasper » Wed Aug 31, 2005 4:06 am

GlottalGreekGeek wrote:I became vegetarian mostly on impulse.


Same here, just decided it one day, some 7 years ago, and that was it. I used to eat all kinds of meat, but just stopped. I can't even give a good reasoning for it like you, it just felt like the right thing to do (and still does). I don't have any problems with people eating meat, although I agree with your comments on the meat industry.

I do eat (free range) eggs and dairy, because you don't have to kill the animal for it.

Just like you meat on the bbq or a burger or whatever no longer arouses my appetite. You might as well show me a rock, sure it's there, but the thought of eating it doesn't appear to me at all.
“Cum ego verbo utar,” Humpty Dumpty dixit voce contempta, “indicat illud quod optem – nec plus nec minus.”
“Est tamen rogatio” dixit Alice, “an efficere verba tot res indicare possis.”
“Rogatio est, “Humpty Dumpty responsit, “quae fiat magister – id cunctum est.”
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Re: Vegetarianism

Postby edonnelly » Wed Aug 31, 2005 11:38 am

Kasper wrote:I can't even give a good reasoning for it like you, it just felt like the right thing to do (and still does).

Is it the "right thing to do" morally or health wise?

Kasper wrote:I do eat (free range) eggs and dairy, because you don't have to kill the animal for it.

Is it wrong to kill animals but not wrong to kill plants? What is the foundation for that moral argument, and is it fundamentally any different from those who simply draw the same line only at a different place (it is ok to kill some animals, for food, but not ok to kill for other reasons and never ok to kill humans)?
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Postby Eureka » Wed Aug 31, 2005 11:42 am

Someone once posted on here one of Plato's dialogues, in which Socrates predicts that democracy will lead to some people treating animals as equal to humans, but I haven't been able to find it again.


Any idea which one it was?
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Re: Vegetarianism

Postby Misopogon » Wed Aug 31, 2005 12:50 pm

Kasper wrote:


I do eat (free range) eggs and dairy, because you don't have to kill the animal for it.

[/quote]
Not totally true, to be honest.
A hen can produce eggs only for few years and after her retirement she doesn't get any pension: for economically reasons she will be killed; it is even worse for a cow, since she needs to have calves regularly (every two years more or less) in order to produces milk. What to do with calves? And with the old cow? You cannot feed them since it is ecomically unaffordable, so indirectly also you contribute to keep alive a system in which the farmers need to kill animals: the fact that you don't see it doesn't mean you are innocent :wink:

I used to be vegetarian some years ago, for health reasons. Now I try not to eat too much meat and fish, say no more than 3 times per week. On a ethical ground I don't consider killing animal worse than killing a plant. It is true that you can feed much more people from plants than from animals, so reduce your meat consume is good for your health and for the world, but Ibelieve that it's better to eat the chicken you reared in your backyard than the beans imported from Etiopia or other poor countries (and it happens very often).

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Re: Vegetarianism

Postby Kasper » Wed Aug 31, 2005 10:49 pm

edonnelly wrote:
Kasper wrote:I can't even give a good reasoning for it like you, it just felt like the right thing to do (and still does).

Is it the "right thing to do" morally or health wise?

Kasper wrote:I do eat (free range) eggs and dairy, because you don't have to kill the animal for it.

Is it wrong to kill animals but not wrong to kill plants? What is the foundation for that moral argument, and is it fundamentally any different from those who simply draw the same line only at a different place (it is ok to kill some animals, for food, but not ok to kill for other reasons and never ok to kill humans)?


1. Morally.
2. Yes, I feel it is more wrong to kill animals than plants. However, I cannot rationalize the argument, as I said my consideration is moral. I cannot tell you what I think is morally right and wrong, it is but a sentiment, completely irrational. I don't believe in trying to rationally explain irrational sentiments. We all have a sense of what is wrong, but to define it and/or put in writing is a problem all societies still struggle with. (eg. it is wrong to kill but what if it is in self-defence? how about provocation? etc.)
“Cum ego verbo utar,” Humpty Dumpty dixit voce contempta, “indicat illud quod optem – nec plus nec minus.”
“Est tamen rogatio” dixit Alice, “an efficere verba tot res indicare possis.”
“Rogatio est, “Humpty Dumpty responsit, “quae fiat magister – id cunctum est.”
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Postby sisyphus » Wed Aug 31, 2005 11:47 pm

GGG,

i have been a "vegetarian" for a quarter of a century. Which means i eat ... and i don't eat ... (what does it matter to anyone but me?).

My initial reasons were manifold, from health through ethics and philanthropy to pragmatism. i'm even quite smug in having predicted CJD/vCJD, the Salmonella crisis, and the recent Foot and Mouth outbreak in England, all for quite different and quite obvious reasons.

The only thing i've really learned from my experience in all that time is that just about no one who asks is really interested. If someone asks they already have an opinion and an (aggressive) agenda. (i have, however, to say this is based on Britain and USA - in Europe most people don't seem to be bothered, although in some countries they don't think poultry is "meat", which can make discussion interesting.) Like you, it seems, i'm not in the slightest bit interested in defending "vegetarianism". Why should i? i have no more duty to defend it than non-vegetarians have to defend *their* choice, which leaves a lot of people trying to p*** on a fire that hasn't been lit :lol:. Amusing.

What makes me laugh the hardest is people who eat fluffy bunnies but wave their arms spasmically and flee the room at the suggestion they have no right to eat said bunny if they can't kill and skin it themselves (and, for the record, i can and i have).

omigod, am i turning into Episcopus?

Yours, with (absolutely no) apologies to Fluffy Bunny Eaters,

sis.

Edit: Sorry, what was the point of your post? i seem to have lost track.
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Postby Bert » Thu Sep 01, 2005 1:33 am

I also do not like the idea of antibiotics and hormones invading my food.

This sounds as if vegies are free from chemical impurities.
I am curious to hear what others here think of vegetarianism,
vegetarianism?
but Ibelieve that it's better to eat the chicken you reared in your backyard than the beans imported from Etiopia or other poor countries

Why don't you want to give poor countries the benefit of some export and trade?
i'm even quite smug in having predicted CJD/vCJD, the Salmonella crisis, and the recent Foot and Mouth outbreak in England

You predicted those?
The thing that upsets me about the Foot and Mouth outbreak in Europe is not the outbreak itself but the senseless way it was handled.
Killing thousands and thousands of farm animals and pets just to maintain a certain marketing status with other countries while the disease can be controlled through vaccination.
If it were life threatening there would be some justification. (Sorry for going off-topic.)
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Postby Eureka » Thu Sep 01, 2005 2:11 am

Bert wrote:
I also do not like the idea of antibiotics and hormones invading my food.

This sounds as if vegies are free from chemical impurities.

That's quite true, Bert.

If people are going to chose vegetarianism for moral reasons, then that's fine; but if they chose it because they think it's a healthier choice, then I'm afraid they're being led down the garden path (as it were).
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Postby GlottalGreekGeek » Thu Sep 01, 2005 6:16 am

Bert wrote:This sounds as if vegies are free from chemical impurities.


I do not like those either, but about half of what I eat is organic (at least according to the California Organic Foods Act of 1990 or whatever it's called), which is an improvement. However, antibitiocs and hormones scare me more than poisons and carcinogens, for emotional more than health reasons.

I really don't have an airtight reason for being vegetarian. The largest motivation was that I am not inclined to eat meat in the first place, and I figured I might as well make a clean job of it (a few years ago, it was so much simpler to explain that I would not eat any of the dishes at a school fundraiser because I was vegetarian rather than explaining that I dislike bbq pork, cheeseburgers, bacon, omlettes, turkey, and chicken nuggets.) Even those few meat dishes I used to enjoy no longer tempt me, except for salami, and never eating salami again does not merit tragedy.
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Postby Eureka » Thu Sep 01, 2005 6:39 am

GlottalGreekGeek wrote:
Bert wrote:This sounds as if vegies are free from chemical impurities.


I do not like those either, but about half of what I eat is organic (at least according to the California Organic Foods Act of 1990 or whatever it's called), which is an improvement. However, antibitiocs and hormones scare me more than poisons and carcinogens, for emotional more than health reasons.

Many plant foods contain toxins, carcinogens, etc. even before any human has touched them, or interfered with them in any way, whereas animal-based foods (with the exception, possibly of frog and toad skin) rarely contain anything harmful in their natural states.
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Postby GlottalGreekGeek » Fri Sep 02, 2005 1:23 am

Eureka wrote:Many plant foods contain toxins, carcinogens, etc. even before any human has touched them, or interfered with them in any way, whereas animal-based foods (with the exception, possibly of frog and toad skin) rarely contain anything harmful in their natural states.


I know starchy foods cooked at high temperatures produce a carcinogen, but I was not aware of other major plant foods which has this issue. Could you give some examples and sources? And I don't think you can exclude the numerous fruits and vegetables which have antioxidants either.

EDIT : I have heard mentions of some studies (though they're from about five years back and more recent studies have refuted it) that soybeans have a chemical which disrupt hormones. When I heard this I did reduce my consumption of soybeans. However, for all I know, some animals could pose the same problem.
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Postby sisyphus » Fri Sep 02, 2005 1:26 am

Bert wrote:
i'm even quite smug in having predicted CJD/vCJD, the Salmonella crisis, and the recent Foot and Mouth outbreak in England

You predicted those?


CJD - not in name, but you can't feed an herbivorous vertebrate with the ground up remains of its its own species and expect no health risk. i believe CJD is recorded (perhaps even discovered) in cannibal peoples.

Foot and Mouth: It's endemic. It's present in natural/wild populations. The national herd is not protected from it. Periodic outbreaks, even when well handled in timely manner, have been severe. Guess what ...

Salmonella: Just plain bleedin' obvious. Enzootic. Exacerbated by the most apalling husbandry.

Bert wrote:The thing that upsets me about the Foot and Mouth outbreak in Europe is not the outbreak itself but the senseless way it was handled.
Killing thousands and thousands of farm animals and pets just to maintain a certain marketing status with other countries while the disease can be controlled through vaccination.
If it were life threatening there would be some justification. (Sorry for going off-topic.)


Finger-on-nose time, spot-on. Economic only. As you allude, it's not a health risk to humans and usually not fatal to infected cattle. Wild populations develop immunity and normal, low levels of infection.
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Postby sisyphus » Fri Sep 02, 2005 1:43 am

Eureka wrote:Many plant foods contain toxins, carcinogens, etc. even before any human has touched them, or interfered with them in any way


Yes, but we don't eat them.

Eureka wrote:whereas animal-based foods (with the exception, possibly of frog and toad skin) rarely contain anything harmful in their natural states.


So why do carnivores have such short digestive tracts?

Man is an omnivore. An omnivore has evolved with very low levels of meat in its diet. An omnivore is also a creature that has problems ("compromises") with *all* parts of its diet, since it is not specialised in any single part.
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Postby Bert » Fri Sep 02, 2005 3:02 am

sisyphus wrote: CJD - not in name, but you can't feed an herbivorous vertebrate with the ground up remains of its its own species and expect no health risk. i believe CJD is recorded (perhaps even discovered) in cannibal peoples.
I had not heard of that but that is interesting.
sisyphus wrote:
Salmonella: Just plain bleedin' obvious. Enzootic. Exacerbated by the most apalling husbandry.

By apalling husbandry do you mean the manure handeling aspect of husbandry?
sisyphus wrote:
Bert wrote:The thing that upsets me about the Foot and Mouth outbreak in Europe is not the outbreak itself but the senseless way it was handled.
Killing thousands and thousands of farm animals and pets just to maintain a certain marketing status with other countries while the disease can be controlled through vaccination.
If it were life threatening there would be some justification. (Sorry for going off-topic.)


Finger-on-nose time, spot-on. Economic only. As you allude, it's not a health risk to humans and usually not fatal to infected cattle. Wild populations develop immunity and normal, low levels of infection.

(Humans can get the disease but it is not a threat to life.)
I am only aware of one problem with vaccination, and that is that you cannot determine with a bloodtest if an animal has the disease because it will show up as positive due to the anti-bodies present.
Some countries (I think Japan is one of them) require such tests.
sisyphus wrote:So why do carnivores have such short digestive tracts?

My quess is that meat is easier to digest.
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Postby Eureka » Sat Sep 03, 2005 9:57 am

GlottalGreekGeek wrote:
Eureka wrote:Many plant foods contain toxins, carcinogens, etc. even before any human has touched them, or interfered with them in any way, whereas animal-based foods (with the exception, possibly of frog and toad skin) rarely contain anything harmful in their natural states.


I know starchy foods cooked at high temperatures produce a carcinogen, but I was not aware of other major plant foods which has this issue

Come on, 3G, :shock: don't give me an assignment. It could take me hours to find some good reports on the internet.

But consider this; the physiology of all animals are very similar (especially between vertebrates), the physiology of plants can be quite different from ours, and plants can therefore contain substances that are potentially harmful to us over the short or long term (whereas animal tissue generally cannot).
GlottalGreekGeek wrote:Could you give some examples and sources?

I'm afraid I don't know many specifics. I can tell you, though, that if your potatoes start sprouting roots, throw them out, don't just break the roots off and eat them anyway.

You should also be equally concerned about what you're not eating; iron, certain vitamins, sufficient proteins (including certain amino acids), but again, I don't know the specifics.
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Postby Eureka » Sat Sep 03, 2005 9:57 am

sisyphus wrote:
Eureka wrote:Many plant foods contain toxins, carcinogens, etc. even before any human has touched them, or interfered with them in any way


Yes, but we don't eat them.

If only 'twere true.
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Postby Eureka » Sat Sep 03, 2005 10:02 am

Bert wrote:
sisyphus wrote: CJD - not in name, but you can't feed an herbivorous vertebrate with the ground up remains of its its own species and expect no health risk. i believe CJD is recorded (perhaps even discovered) in cannibal peoples.
I had not heard of that but that is interesting.

In Papua New Guinea:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuru_%28disease%29
It's not CJD, but it is a prion disease.
Bert wrote:
sisyphus wrote:So why do carnivores have such short digestive tracts?

My quess is that meat is easier to digest.

Yes, plant cell-walls are not easy to digest.
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Postby edonnelly » Sat Sep 03, 2005 12:24 pm

Eureka wrote:You should also be equally concerned about what you're not eating; iron, certain vitamins, sufficient proteins (including certain amino acids), but again, I don't know the specifics.

Perhaps one of the most difficult of these for vegetarians to argue away is vitamin B12, for which there is no legitimate non-animal source. The fact that we cannot do without it, and cannot produce it ourselves, is strong evidence that we are not herbivores.

(It is also something vegetarians should make sure they are getting in their diet, because a lack of it, though it can take years or decades to manifest, can be quite tragic).
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Postby Eureka » Sat Sep 03, 2005 12:26 pm

edonnelly wrote:
Eureka wrote:You should also be equally concerned about what you're not eating; iron, certain vitamins, sufficient proteins (including certain amino acids), but again, I don't know the specifics.

Perhaps one of the most difficult of these for vegetarians to argue away is vitamin B12, for which there is no legitimate non-animal source. The fact that we cannot do without it, and cannot produce it ourselves, is strong evidence that we are not herbivores.

(It is also something vegetarians should make sure they are getting in their diet, because a lack of it, though it can take years or decades to manifest, can be quite tragic).

I thought mushrooms had some B12?
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Postby Bert » Sat Sep 03, 2005 12:38 pm

Eureka wrote: I can tell you, though, that if your potatoes start sprouting roots, throw them out, don't just break the roots off and eat them anyway.

(I'm drifting off-topic here.)
Before the days of refrigirated warehouses (and imported produce from other countries,) people kept their potatoes in root cellars.
The potatoes would regularly sprout toward the end of the season.
The sprouts were simply cut out just like the the "eyes" get cut out of potatoes.
Sprouts do not change the make-up of the potatoe (except for taking away nutrients) just don't eat the sprouts or green potatoes.
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Postby edonnelly » Sat Sep 03, 2005 1:35 pm

Eureka wrote:
edonnelly wrote:
Eureka wrote:You should also be equally concerned about what you're not eating; iron, certain vitamins, sufficient proteins (including certain amino acids), but again, I don't know the specifics.

Perhaps one of the most difficult of these for vegetarians to argue away is vitamin B12, for which there is no legitimate non-animal source. The fact that we cannot do without it, and cannot produce it ourselves, is strong evidence that we are not herbivores.

(It is also something vegetarians should make sure they are getting in their diet, because a lack of it, though it can take years or decades to manifest, can be quite tragic).

I thought mushrooms had some B12?

It is my understanding that it is quite the opposite. These are often sold as "excellent sources of vitamin B12" but they actually do not contain B12 in the active form needed by the body. Ironically, the compounds that these mushrooms do contain may actually inhibit (through competition) the absorption of what small amounts of B12 may have otherwise been available. Most legitimate vegetarian organizations/websites will recommend vitamin supplements, especially for very strict, vegan-type, vegetarians.

EDIT: Let me add that I'm not suggesting that B12 deficiency is a significant problem for most vegetarians. It can can easily be overcome with proper supplements. The big problem it really causes is to the argument for vegetarianism. It would seem very difficult to take the position that the "proper" human diet does not include animal products when, in fact, outside of manufactured supplements or some extreme combinations of obscure bacteria, a non-animal diet does not provide all essential nutrients.
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Postby sisyphus » Sat Sep 03, 2005 10:48 pm

edonnelly wrote:Perhaps one of the most difficult of these for vegetarians to argue away is vitamin B12, for which there is no legitimate non-animal source.


Whoever told you that "vegetarians" exclude all food of animal origin? You don't have to eat meat to consume milk or eggs. Many "vegetarians" eat fish and seafood too. As i've already mentioned, some European cultures don't even consider poultry to be "meat".

The assumption that a "vegetarian" doesn't eat any animal derived food reveals a deeper assumption; that of moral objection as the root of their "vegetarianism". Such stereotyping can easily cause offense.

The term "vegetarian" is often used to describe a diet acceptable to the user. It can be shorthand for "don't like burgers, bacon, pork pie, foie gras ...". It can be shorthand for "i used to work in an abattoir", "i have arthritis", "i'm poor", "i'm diabetic", ad nauseum. Do not dare to presume someone's motivation.
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Postby Bert » Sat Sep 03, 2005 11:16 pm

sisyphus wrote:

Whoever told you that "vegetarians" exclude all food of animal origin?

A vegetarian who excludes all food of animal origin is called a vegan.
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Postby edonnelly » Sat Sep 03, 2005 11:22 pm

sisyphus wrote:
edonnelly wrote:Perhaps one of the most difficult of these for vegetarians to argue away is vitamin B12, for which there is no legitimate non-animal source.


Whoever told you that "vegetarians" exclude all food of animal origin? You don't have to eat meat to consume milk or eggs. Many "vegetarians" eat fish and seafood too. As i've already mentioned, some European cultures don't even consider poultry to be "meat".

The assumption that a "vegetarian" doesn't eat any animal derived food reveals a deeper assumption; that of moral objection as the root of their "vegetarianism". Such stereotyping can easily cause offense.

The term "vegetarian" is often used to describe a diet acceptable to the user. It can be shorthand for "don't like burgers, bacon, pork pie, foie gras ...". It can be shorthand for "i used to work in an abattoir", "i have arthritis", "i'm poor", "i'm diabetic", ad nauseum. Do not dare to presume someone's motivation.

Sounds like a nerve was hit. Clearly from my post (the part conspicuously absent from your quote) I was referring to the argument that man is an "herbivore," the exact term I used. I'm surprised you failed to grasp this concept as you were the one who began the talk about carnivores and omnivores.

About the extreme "offense" that you have taken from my post, it makes me wonder who it is that really has the aggressive agenda.
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Postby edonnelly » Sat Sep 03, 2005 11:33 pm

sisyphus wrote:The assumption that a "vegetarian" doesn't eat any animal derived food reveals a deeper assumption; that of moral objection as the root of their "vegetarianism".

Please explain this nonsequitor. Why can someone's choice not to eat any animal derived food have as its root a belief that it is healthier? Or better for their arthritis? Or less expensive? You seem to be the one making the assumption.
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Postby sisyphus » Sun Sep 04, 2005 12:59 am

Perhaps we are confusing each other by using the phrase "any animal derived food" interchangeably with "all animal derived food". i am trying to point out that "vegetarian" does not necessarily mean someone who excludes *all* animal produce.

i gave you a number of *examples* of why someone may say they are vegetarian, not assumptions.

"less expensive": In England, over twenty years ago i was too poor to be able to buy meat. Well, i could afford poor quality livers, brains, tripe (which is cow's stomach linings) but my background was such that i wasn't familiar with, or even aware of, them.

"better for their arthritis?": if you read my post you'll see that i wrote that the term "vegetarian" can be used as SHORTHAND(not JUSTIFICATION) for a variety of reasons, including arthritis. It's precisely because i can't be arsed to have the conversation we're having now that i tell people i'm "vegetarian". How much simpler is that? One word versus an unnecessary and time consuming defense against prejudice and incomprehension.

As it happens i am arthritic. i have been since i was 13. There have been many reports that red meat can exacerbate the pain. My decision to exclude red meat was only partly based on this. It's not possible for me to run a controlled experiment with a sample of just one, but red meat does seem to contribute to my own attacks of Ankylosing Spondylitis symptoms.

edonelly wrote:I was referring to the argument that man is an "herbivore," the exact term I used. I'm surprised you failed to grasp this concept as you were the one who began the talk about carnivores and omnivores.


Yes, interestingly it was you who introduced the word "herbivore", implicitly associating it with the term "vegetarian" without justification. Just another reflection of your assumptions. i have not argued that "man" is an herbivore. The word never passed my keyboard. In fact i entirely agree with you that such an argument is untenable. As you correctly observed, i used the term "omnivore".

"About the extreme "offense" that you have taken from my post": If you read it you will see that i did not say i had taken offense. Nor have i. i merely pointed out that the assumptions you made could easily cause offense. i could quite easily quote you examples of assumptions that were commonly held up until a few years ago that are now so likely to cause offense that they can't even be uttered, let alone posted. It's so easy to fall behind in the political correctness fashions if you don't pay attention.

"who it is that really has the aggressive agenda.": i infer you mean me. Did you actually read my post? Let me remind you:

sisyphus wrote:i'm not in the slightest bit interested in defending "vegetarianism". Why should i? i have no more duty to defend it than non-vegetarians have to defend *their* choice


Have i tried to "convert" you? Change your choice? Since your deductive, observational and debating skills seem to be woefully lacking i'll answer that for you. No.

You may eat whatever you wish, as long as it's not me. :lol:
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Postby edonnelly » Sun Sep 04, 2005 2:41 am

sisyphus wrote:Perhaps we are confusing each other by using the phrase "any animal derived food" interchangeably with "all animal derived food".

Actually, you are the only one who is confused. I understand the terminology very well. Alas, it is your poor grasp ot the language of this forum or your need to divert attention away from the substance of the post that leads you conclude that the word "vegetarian" can only be used when all vegetarians are included. Yes, many vegetarians claim that humans are herbivores. I never said all do. Get over it. (If I said "people shop at Walmart" would you be upset because some people do not?)

sisyphus wrote:i gave you ... [boring and irrelevant life story omitted]...


sisyphus wrote:i have not argued that "man" is an herbivore. The word never passed my keyboard.

And why do I care if it did pass your keyboatd? Is it in any way relevant to any of this discussion. Did anything I write suggest that it did? Or is it just your fantastic debate skills that allow you to perseverate on the irrelevant?

sisyphus wrote:"who it is that really has the aggressive agenda.": i infer you mean me. Did you actually read my post? Let me remind you

Indeed, your post is a perfect reminder.
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Postby GlottalGreekGeek » Sun Sep 04, 2005 6:31 am

I can't help imagining you two as knights in a duel of wits from some Commedia Dell'Arte play.

Knight 1 : Sounds like a nerve was hit. CLEARLY FROM MY POST (the part conspicuously absent from your quote) I was referring to the argument that man is an "herbivore," the exact term I used. I'm surprised you failed to grasp this concept as you were the one who began the talk about carnivores and omnivores ... You seem to be the one making the assumption.

Knight 2 : Yes, interestingly it was you who introduced the word "herbivore", implicitly associating it with the term "vegetarian" without justification. Just another reflection of your assumptions. "About the extreme "offense" that you have taken from my post": If you read it you will see that I DID NOT SAY i had taken Offence! NOR HAVE I. i merely pointed out that the assumptions you made could easily cause offense. i could quite easily quote you examples of assumptions that were commonly held up until a few years ago that are now so likely to cause offense that they can't even be uttered, let alone posted. It's SO EASY TO FALL BEHIND in the political correctness fashions if YOU don't pay attention.

Knight 1 : Actually, you are the only one who is confused. I UNDERSTAND the terminology very well. Alas, it is your poor grasp ot the language of this forum or your need to divert attention away from the substance of the post that leads you conclude that the word "vegetarian" can only be used when all vegetarians are included.

I know you did not mean the things you said the way I have marked up here, but I still can't stop giggling at the idea of two honour-bound knights using ridiculous gestures and flourishes going through this script.

***

For those who are concerned about my health, I have discussed the issue of B12 with my (good) doctor. Generally many more cases of B12 deficiency arise from alchohol abuse than vegetarian diets (of course there are more alchoholics than strict vegans in this nation, so go figure ).

I have heard the theory that, since B12 is present in many kinds of soil, an herbivore!human got B12 just from the dirt which got in food. I emphasize that this is theory, not fact. I have other reasons for believing that the human race would have gone extinct without our omnivorous trait.
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Re: Vegetarianism

Postby Emma_85 » Mon Sep 12, 2005 8:39 am

GlottalGreekGeek wrote:I do not eat any meat from land animals. I do eat dairy products, but I do not drink milk since I do not like how it tastes. I eat egg products too, but I do not eat eggs by themselves because I do not like how they taste. I eat certain kinds of seafood (must be wild-caught, come from clean water, and caught by a good fishery), but they are a treat rather than a regular part of my diet.

When I reveal this information, people usually ask why. This is difficult to answer since I became vegetarian mostly on impulse.

As the above suggests, I have a dislike for the taste of many animal products. When I see strips of meat on a skewer at a BBQ, or ads for cheeseburgers, or read menus lavishly describing meat entrees, I do not think "yum". I do not know if this dislike is biological, based on certain childhood experiences, or both. There are some meat dishes which I used to like, but when I finally said to myself a few years ago "I'm now a vegetarian", I was neither giving up much nor drastically changing my diet.

As to why becoming an official vegetarian? I think the main reason was health. First of all spoiled meat is much more dangerous than spoiled fruit. I eat out of home quite a bit, and since I can't always see how they handle food, I feel much safer sticking to vegetarian foods. I also do not like the idea of antibiotics and hormones invading my food. And thirdly, meat products are generally high in saturated fat. I get enough saturated fat from chocolate and coconuts.

While I do not believe every horror story from the animal industry, I have heard enough that I do not wish to support it. I do not believe there is an intrinsic wrong in killing for food, but I believe that the animal must have a good life to justify the act.

Being a vegetarian has made my relationship to a few people slightly easier. It was far from worth becoming vegetarian for, and we would be on good terms if I ate red meat every day, but it is a fringe benefit.

For this combination of reasons (and I know that there are ways to solve some of these problems, such as eating organic/free-range meat, but it's just not worth it) I am vegetarian.

I am curious to hear what others here think of vegetarianism, but I will not defend it strongly. If you love meat and want to fully enjoy the culinary side of life, go ahead.


I'm a vegetarian too, so I know what you are talking about. I became one when I was 8 or 9 - my parents thought it would just be phase... hehehe, this 'phase' has lasted 10 years now :lol: . Basically I became a vegetarian when I first found out that vegetarians exist. I didn't know before that you could live without meat, but as soon as I found out you could, I knew that was the right thing to do. That is still the main reason for me not to the eat meat - I can or cannnot eat meat and live a healthy life etc - so why eat meat when I don't have to?
Of course we evolved to eat both plants and meat - a restricted diet would not very good in times of need and humans did not evolve with agriculture. Early man did not have the food we have today, so he needed meat to survive, because he simply did not have all the vegetables and grain that we have today so he would have starved otherwise. I won't starve however, as we are perfectly capable of surviving without meat today (unless someone has some strange allergies, digestive problems etc, there are always some exceptions). If we just did what 'mother nature intended', then we should best get rid of civilisation and agriculture and go and live in the woods...
I know a lot of people who say they only eat meat where they are sure it's not from some mass production, or where the animals where not carted around Europe, lived a lovely life etc... and then go to MacDonalds, eat a pizza somewhere (how are they to know the meat on the pizza is not some cheap stuff?), get ready meals in the supermarket, buy half a chicken at a stall, a sausage at the fair and so on...
All I can do is roll my eyes, I'm sorry to say, although I don't try and convince people that what I do is right. If they ask me, I will explain myself, but otherwise all I do is to be a vegetarian and if that makes them think, then fine, if not, then all my trying to convert them would do nothing. So no meat-eaters here don't have to worry that I'll try and convince them of anything :wink: .
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Postby Bardo de Saldo » Mon Sep 12, 2005 2:20 pm

The problem with vegetarians ( :wink: ) is that you can't take them anywhere.

(Unless you live in a place with lesbian-owned bistros.) ( :wink: )
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Postby GlottalGreekGeek » Tue Sep 13, 2005 5:03 am

Bardo de Saldo wrote:The problem with vegetarians ( :wink: ) is that you can't take them anywhere.

(Unless you live in a place with lesbian-owned bistros.) ( :wink: )


I am too tired to decipher your cleverness.

When I was travelling in Northern Italy, there were days that I lived on water, gelato, some produce, and nothing else.
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Postby Emma_85 » Wed Sep 14, 2005 12:28 pm

GlottalGreekGeek wrote:
Bardo de Saldo wrote:The problem with vegetarians ( :wink: ) is that you can't take them anywhere.

(Unless you live in a place with lesbian-owned bistros.) ( :wink: )


I am too tired to decipher your cleverness.

When I was travelling in Northern Italy, there were days that I lived on water, gelato, some produce, and nothing else.


Why? They have such wonderful food in Northern Italy... :cry:
Oh well, food is not too bad here as long as you just go to the Italian restaurants and ignore the German ones... :lol:
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Postby Carola » Wed Sep 14, 2005 10:59 pm

I have read some of the comments about meat production in Europe etc with interest - when I lived there (quite a few years ago) I found I could not eat European meat, I just couldn't handle the fattiness and strange taste. At the time I didn't know a great deal about meat production (still don't - I'm a city person) but it seems that it is very intensive compared to Australia where most of the beef cattle are free range (to the point of being almost feral). I'm not a bit meat eater but find my already very pale skin looks even paler if I don't eat a bit (I'm the original Goth!).
As for vegetables - if it's at all possible, grow your own. We do (but we have a garden) and I know in our climate it is a lot easier to grow tomatoes and salad vegetables than in northern Europe. At least I know that nothing I put on them is going to hurt me. Living so close to the city I can't answer for the air pollution, but the garden certainly looks healthy!
If you are really worried about vitamin B12 - well they do have these things called vitamin pills.....
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Postby GlottalGreekGeek » Thu Sep 15, 2005 2:30 am

Emma_85 wrote:Why? They have such wonderful food in Northern Italy... :cry:


I for one include gelato in "wonderful food". In Firenze and anywhere south of Tuscany, I could find delicious vegetarian food. But north of Firenze I could not find any outstanding vegetarian food (besides gelato of course). There were only a few days when I had a gelato-only diet, but the other food I ate was ordinary pasta and occasionally polenta. I frequently ate at a chain restaurant called "Brek" where the customer chooses the ingredients and gets to watch the cook prepare it. Not bad food, but not better than what I can get around here.
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Postby chad » Thu Sep 15, 2005 2:44 am

in firenze in june i had one of the best roast beefs ever, in the renowned 'il latini', man that was good. the vegetables were also v nice. :)
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Postby Kopio » Thu Sep 15, 2005 5:49 am

Bardo de Saldo wrote:The problem with vegetarians ( :wink: ) is that you can't take them anywhere.

(Unless you live in a place with lesbian-owned bistros.) ( :wink: )


I think he's referring to his home town....just a guess.

As for my take on things......

I like beef.....sear the hell out of it, and serve it up still mooing.....I like mine medium rare with the emphasis on the rare...yum!

If you want to eat tofu, or veggies, or lawn clippings for that matter, be my guest. One of my best friends has a friend who is a vegitarian. She comes over for BBQ's and I cook here portabello burger in a special spot on the grill, with it's own seperate utensils. She likes it, I like her, we're all happy and eat bugers! BTW, I can chow on sushi all day too, but only if it's really fresh, and served with some wasabi!

All this talk about food is making me hungry (just got off work) time for a steak! :P :P :P
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Postby Bardo de Saldo » Thu Sep 15, 2005 7:26 am

"When I was travelling in Northern Italy ..." ~Glott

See? In Northern Italy there's plenty of lesbian-owned bistros, where the owner-operators spend more time thinking of franco-hollistic-sounding ways of naming a leaf of lettuce on a bun than in learning how to cook, and where it takes them a half hour to serve a salad when you're the only customer. (Okay, I might be venting about my experience at the Caffé Destino the other day for lunch.)

I was thinking more of places where unless you're a misantropic hunter-gatherer, you depend on the hospitality of the locals for your meals. Try explaining vegetarianism to a Primitive who has just offered you the best she had without insulting her hospitality. Vegetarian is just another word for picky eater. One has to eat whatever there is to eat!

.

My wife is a vegetarian. The day I married her the World got reduced to Whitey-Land and tourist traps. The things one does for love! (I draw the line at having tofurky for Thanksgiving.)

Hey, I have a heart, too. I pay extra for free range and organic eggs and milk, and I plant a garden. Anybody want some zucchini?
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Postby Kasper » Thu Sep 15, 2005 10:41 pm

We clearly need to compile a list of all good (lesbian-owned) vegetarian in northern Italy. Personally, I've never had a problem in any part of Italy, pizza suits all day long, and is always available in vegetarian varieties.
“Cum ego verbo utar,” Humpty Dumpty dixit voce contempta, “indicat illud quod optem – nec plus nec minus.”
“Est tamen rogatio” dixit Alice, “an efficere verba tot res indicare possis.”
“Rogatio est, “Humpty Dumpty responsit, “quae fiat magister – id cunctum est.”
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Postby Emma_85 » Fri Sep 16, 2005 9:57 am

Bardo de Saldo wrote:I was thinking more of places where unless you're a misantropic hunter-gatherer, you depend on the hospitality of the locals for your meals. Try explaining vegetarianism to a Primitive who has just offered you the best she had without insulting her hospitality. Vegetarian is just another word for picky eater. One has to eat whatever there is to eat!

.


I don't tend to go to such places... eh, I've never left Europe really, the most east I've been was Greece and the most west Cornwall :lol:
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