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18-07-2012, 11:24   #1
BraziliaNZ
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Do you feel any guilt from eating meat?

I read yesterday that close to a billion chickens are slaughtered every year for the UK alone. I'm not surprised, given every 20 meters or so there's a fried chicken shop in London, selling ridiculously cheap meat.
I'm trying to stop eating it these days, as the whole thing is a bit daunting to me, and goes so far beyond the natural order of things that it gives me a headache. I rarely eat beef these days too, for similar reasons, so I try and get my protein from fish and turkey. I know they're not really any better than eating chicken but I'm not sure if I can phase out meat altogether.

So is the amount of meat we eat these days just another part of the super consumer society we live in? The society where we can and do get whatever we want whenever we want?
Personally I would prefer a world where we ate meat once or twice a week, the way it used to be for the majority 100 years ago.
Marine life is being totally destroyed and the way we're hoovering up animals is scary, dystopian, completely against nature in my opinion.

Do you think we can replace it with synthetic meat some day? Or is this just another symptom of our inevitable spiral towards armageddon fuelled by the modern narcissistic, consumerist way of life?

Would you consider cutting down on meat for ethical reasons?

P.S. I don't think organic meats are the answer, only the rich can afford them. It soothes their conscience alright but if everyone could afford organic meats there wouldn't be enough room and we'd need factories again, so it's not a solution. Reminds me of the rich paying indulgences to the church so they'd get into heaven...
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18-07-2012, 12:29   #2
jonniebgood1
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Would you consider cutting down on meat for ethical reasons?
Are there not ethical reasons for eating meat?

For example if we all decided tomorrow that we would stop eating beef, what would happen to the animals? Would people keep cattle in their fields as pets?

That said I think most people would support the recent drive to promote better conditions for some animals, pigs and chickens from memory. It should be insisted upon that meat from outside the EU is similarly treated.
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18-07-2012, 12:34   #3
BraziliaNZ
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Are there not ethical reasons for eating meat?

For example if we all decided tomorrow that we would stop eating beef, what would happen to the animals? Would people keep cattle in their fields as pets?

That said I think most people would support the recent drive to promote better conditions for some animals, pigs and chickens from memory. It should be insisted upon that meat from outside the EU is similarly treated.
I would imagine we would stop reproducing them to the crazy populations that we breed now, no?
Is it possible for us to all be eating meat a couple of times a day while treating animals in any way fairly?
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18-07-2012, 12:41   #4
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I was a vegetarian from the age of 14 up until a couple of years ago. I started eating meat again on medical advice. I guess as you get older you're less idealistic, so it doesn't really bother me. Animal welfare is still important to me, so I only buy Free range chicken and ethically raised beef. If I could get free range pork products I'd happily buy those too, but I haven't seen them on sale.

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18-07-2012, 12:42   #5
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Absolutely none. The vast, vast majority of the animals we eat have only come into existence for that purpose anyway. Could cows, sheep or chicken survive as wild species in the modern world? I don't think so tbh.

I'd be firmly in support of fishing quotas where they're based on protecting species from being over-fished and have stopped eating Cod for this reason. Were there a comparable situation with meat e.g. if Elephant meat was a "normal" thing to have in supermarkets, I wouldn't eat that either.
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18-07-2012, 12:50   #6
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Not at all! I regularly kill and butcher my own meat which gives great satisfaction to me. I think people are so far away from the process these days which is why people think like this. When my grand parents and even my parents were young it was common to get a chicken and do it all yourself, my father used to buy a sheep for the freezer when he was younger and kill and butcher it himself so iv always known where exactly it comes from
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18-07-2012, 13:29   #7
Eliot Rosewater
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Out of curiosity OP, why did you stop eating beef? Isn't there a kind of guarantee that beef products from Ireland will have been produced in an ethical fashion, in particular with respect to their living conditions?
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18-07-2012, 13:40   #8
BraziliaNZ
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Out of curiosity OP, why did you stop eating beef? Isn't there a kind of guarantee that beef products from Ireland will have been produced in an ethical fashion, in particular with respect to their living conditions?
I don't know, the smell, the blood when you're cooking it, it makes most people's mouth water but turns my stomach. My mother is the same probably got it from her. Plus I used to stay in farm houses when I was a kid out in the country and curious cows used to come over when I was near their fence, found them to be nice friendly, creatures.
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19-07-2012, 08:34   #9
jonniebgood1
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I would imagine we would stop reproducing them to the crazy populations that we breed now, no?
Is it possible for us to all be eating meat a couple of times a day while treating animals in any way fairly?
with reference to comment in my earlier post I would "support the recent drive to promote better conditions for some animals, pigs and chickens"- I mentioned pigs and Chickens in particular.
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19-07-2012, 08:49   #10
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Not really, it's not like I'm a primary contributor to people mistreating animals. If I stop eating meat a cow wont be let free, it'll still be killed. If there was some sort of massive movement to lower the demand for meat I'd probably join it because you need something big to touch the profits of the food industry, that being the only way to get them to take notice.

I also hate the idea of people who are vegetarians just as an affectation. Not entirely related, I know, but true nonetheless. A friend of mine is a vegetarian and I asked him if he would eat meat if it had been grown in a lab (which can be done, it's just insanely expensive) and he said no. I wouldn't mind that if he hated meat but he likes it, he just doesn't like animals being hurt.
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19-07-2012, 10:40   #11
BraziliaNZ
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Not really, it's not like I'm a primary contributor to people mistreating animals. If I stop eating meat a cow wont be let free, it'll still be killed. If there was some sort of massive movement to lower the demand for meat I'd probably join it because you need something big to touch the profits of the food industry, that being the only way to get them to take notice.

I also hate the idea of people who are vegetarians just as an affectation. Not entirely related, I know, but true nonetheless. A friend of mine is a vegetarian and I asked him if he would eat meat if it had been grown in a lab (which can be done, it's just insanely expensive) and he said no. I wouldn't mind that if he hated meat but he likes it, he just doesn't like animals being hurt.
What do you mean by vegetarian by affectation? What's wrong with not eating meat because of not wanting to harm animals?
I think your attitude is very defeatist, just because no one else is doing anything about it, why should I? Unfortunately it's that attitude that causes things to get out of hand in all matters!
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19-07-2012, 13:04   #12
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I was vegetarian for years as well, and I also had to start eating meat for health reasons (though I dont eat beef as I dislike it). Meat is an industry. Animals are bred to provide it. They are not species that we are wiping out in order to sate our appetite for beef, chicken or pork, we create the animals for that purpose. Fish, now thats another matter. We are cleaning out the seas, everyone knows this but it isnt being prevented in any meaningful way.

If I have an objection to the meat industry, its to do with the way productivity is everything. Make it cheap, and get it fast. They pump chicken with all kinds of fillers, and we had that huge scandal over growth hormones in cattle years ago. And still, those in the industry breed and feed for better productivity regardless of whether its best environmental or ethical practice. I think it is another aspect of our consumerist society, having what we want when we want it, and with economic growth being the priority, even when clearly, at some stage, we will reach saturation point.
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19-07-2012, 15:46   #13
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The issue is not solely about the welfare of the animals, but the question of the supply of raw materials and land use required for x pounds of beef. Take water for example:
Quote:
the production of 1 kg wheat costs 1,300 L water
the production of 1 kg eggs costs 3,300 L water
the production of 1 kg broken rice costs 3,400 L water
the production of 1 kg beef costs 15,500 L water
source=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_water

With respect to current trends in reservoir levels and the general supply of water for agriculture, beef costs an awful lot in comparison to other foodstuffs. Industrial farming of beef is unsustainable in many countries - look at the western united states for example, the Hoover Dam reservoir is half-full (or half-empty perhaps ) due to lessened supply from the Colorado river, urging the water boards to look at tapping underground natural reservoirs that the Nevada farmers have been using in order to keep the major tourist resorts habitable. Because of this, beef production (barring any unforseen circumstances) will not be possible in regions such as this within decades. To give up beef farming and focus on grain, for example, would greatly extend the life of these reservoirs.
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19-07-2012, 15:47   #14
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Maybe if it wasn't so damn tasty!
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19-07-2012, 16:30   #15
BraziliaNZ
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Maybe if it wasn't so damn tasty!
I would have posted this in AH if I wanted ridiculous comments like that
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