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Damburger
2006-May-08, 10:57 PM
...that makes people so hostile and irrational?

People who otherwise seem fairly logical and scientific can become quite dogmatic and stupid when talking about vegetarianism.

What the hell is so offensive about people not eating meat?

Roy Batty
2006-May-08, 11:08 PM
Well I think quite a long while back Veggies were a bit aggressive, being a very small minority. But I don't perceive a problem in the UK now? I was a vegetarian for over 10 years but for the last 2 I havn't been because I now eat seafood again. Perceptions have only got better here (well in London anyway) IMHO.

HenrikOlsen
2006-May-08, 11:10 PM
I have no problem with vegetarians at all, as long as they don't try to tell me what I should eat.
The offensiveness isn't in not eating meat, it's in being excessively superior about it.

Damburger
2006-May-08, 11:11 PM
Well I think quite a long while back Veggies were a bit aggressive, being a very small minority. But I don't perceive a problem in the UK now? I was a Vegetarian for over 10 years but for the last 2 I havn't because I now eat seafood again. Perceptions have only got better here (well in London anyway) IMHO.

I find it hard to believe veggies have ever been aggressive about it. The problem it seems is that meat eaters take the statement 'I'm a vegetarian' to be an attack on their lifestyle.

Damburger
2006-May-08, 11:12 PM
I have no problem with vegetarians at all, as long as they don't try to tell me what I should eat.
The offensiveness isn't in not eating meat, it's in being excessively superior about it.

I think the problem is that you might percieve simply being proud of their lifestyle as being 'excessively superior'.

SolusLupus
2006-May-08, 11:15 PM
...that makes people so hostile and irrational?

People who otherwise seem fairly logical and scientific can become quite dogmatic and stupid when talking about vegetarianism.

What the hell is so offensive about people not eating meat?

I've had very intellectual, respectful conversations with vegetarians.

Saying that all vegetarians are hostile and irrational is a false idea that all vegetarians are the extreme minority.

Damburger
2006-May-08, 11:23 PM
I've had very intellectual, respectful conversations with vegetarians.

Saying that all vegetarians are hostile and irrational is a false idea that all vegetarians are the extreme minority.

I'm not saying vegetarians are irrational... I'm saying meat eaters are irrational around vegetarians.

Roy Batty
2006-May-08, 11:26 PM
I don't see any particular hostile attitudes, at least around London, nowadays
... isn't the national average getting near 10% now?

I must of been lucky :)

DOOMMaster
2006-May-08, 11:58 PM
I'm not saying vegetarians are irrational... I'm saying meat eaters are irrational around vegetarians.

No, you have it the other way around, I'm afraid. I eat almost everything, there are very few foods I will not eat. And I really could care less if someone was a vegetarian, vegan, whatever and they kept their mouth shut. But they never do.

The first thing a vegetarian will do is make some comment about how they stopped eating meat because it's wrong or that you are wrong for eating meat. They can't just order a salad and eat it, they have to try to explain how morally superior their position is and how much they love animals. It's as if they are trying to make me feel bad because I'm eating a dead animal and show me the right way to live.

This is then followed up by how I wouldn't be eating meat if I knew how the animals were treated. Which is funny, because they don't obviously don't know that I'm a hunter and have killed, prepared, and then eaten a number of animals. I usually describe shooting and then preparing a deer just to see the horrified look on their face. Followed up by a very large bite out of my steak.

This has been my own personal experience with vegetarians/vegans in my area. My experience has been the same as if I was talking to a fundamentalist Christian and just told them I'm an atheist (I have lots of experience in this area as well). I have yet to meet one that has any other reason that they stopped eating meat than "I love the animals and we can't be killing animals."

TheBlackCat
2006-May-09, 12:35 AM
This has been my own personal experience with vegetarians/vegans in my area. My experience has been the same as if I was talking to a fundamentalist Christian and just told them I'm an atheist (I have lots of experience in this area as well). I have yet to meet one that has any other reason that they stopped eating meat than "I love the animals and we can't be killing animals."
Don't forget that old "the earliest human cultures were vegetarian" myth. Vegetarians have tried to pull that one on me several times. I do agree that many (although not all) vegetarians I have met seem to love to talk about how bad eating meat is. My mother's best friend and her two daughters (although not her husband) are vegetarians, and they have never once actually brought up the subject in front of me. Which is honestly kind of odd, the mother is pretty vocal about most things. However, she seems to be the exception, most vegetarians I know are vegetarians have talked extensively about why they are a vegetarian and why eating meat is bad and unethical (excluding the many, many Hindus I have known who are only vegetarians for religious reasons, I have never heard them mention any non-religious reasons for their vegetarianism nor has any tried to convince me to stop eating meat).

However, I probably wouldn't know someone was a vegetarian unless they mentioned it, so the sample I am getting is by definition skewed (I am only likely to find out someone is a vegetarian if they bring it up in the first place). However, this would explain why non-vegeterians are offended by vegetarians, the only people they are likely to find out are vegetarians are those who bring it up, and those who bring it up are likely those who are going to talk about it. It gives a skewed sample of the population because only vocal vegetarians are likely to be identified as vegetarians.


I am not a vegetarian because I love animals; I am a vegetarian because I hate plants.
-A. Whitney Brown

Damburger
2006-May-09, 12:42 AM
Don't forget that old "the earliest human cultures were vegetarian" myth

Sure thats a myth? I'd really love to see an avowed meat eater tackle meat without the benefit of fire or knives.

TheBlackCat
2006-May-09, 01:19 AM
Sure thats a myth? I'd really love to see an avowed meat eater tackle meat without the benefit of fire or knives.
Even austrolopithecines ate carrion when it was available. Every one of the great apes eat meat when they can, and among the great apes only gorillas do not seem to routinely eat other mammals. Eating uncooked meat today is not possible because our digestive system has degenerated, that would have happened after fire was harnessed because cooked meat is a lot easier to digest. As it stands we can no longer eat uncooked meat because our digestive system has gotten dependent on fire, and our jaws have gotten dependent on fire and tools for making the meat easier to eat. Our ancestors that lacked such tools would not have had such limitations, since the limitations are a direct result of the use of the tools in the first place. Even the earliest hominids were active hunters.

paulie jay
2006-May-09, 01:25 AM
My girlfriend is vegetarian, and she is not aggressive about it. She doesn't preach, she doesn't lecture or tell people what they should be eating. She doesn't look at me distastefully when I eat, in fact, she still makes drooling sounds at the smell of cooking bacon.

She just happened to make her own decision on the matter. About 10 years ago she decided that she didn't like the way animals were kept in confined spaces and stopped eating meat.

I think that it's important to realise, not every vegetarian is an activist. Also, there are plenty of meat eaters who eat vegetarian meals. Unless the vegetarian makes a point of announcing it (and most, in my experience, don't unless the menu leaves them with no choice) it's never an issue.

jrkeller
2006-May-09, 01:37 AM
I'd really love to see an avowed meat eater tackle meat without the benefit of fire or knives.

It ain't hard. I've caught plenty of edible animals with my bare hands. Insects, crabs, fish, ducks, snakes, lizards, bird eggs, stray cats and dogs. With a weapons, like a club, I could catch a lot more and larger animals.

tofu
2006-May-09, 03:12 AM
I find it hard to believe veggies have ever been aggressive about it.

ha! well then you are either naive or willfully ignorant.

1. peta gives school children a book titled "your mommy kills animals" which features graphic images of animals being slaughtered for food. The children go home terrified and crying and (peta hopes) converted to vegetarianism.

2. peta members stand outside KFC restaurants (known for serving chicken in buckets) holding "buckets of blood" - again, meant to scare people into vegetarianism.

do I need to go on? If you haven't seen "veggies" being aggressive, I just don't know what cave you've been living in.


The problem it seems is that meat eaters take the statement 'I'm a vegetarian' to be an attack on their lifestyle.

oh yeah? prove it. I gave two examples of vegetarians trying to scare meat eaters into vegetarianism. now the ball is in your court. Let's see you find even one example to back your statement that "meat eaters take the statement... to be an attack on their lifestyle."

I'll wait.

Gillianren
2006-May-09, 03:34 AM
At my beloved alma mater, there's a group called the Evergreen Animal Rights Network, which basically puts out a vegetarian cookbook every now and again and pickets McDonald's. Never seen any other organized activity from the group.

In fact, at Evergreen, we refer to "vegan Nazis," which are the kind of vegan that basically implies that you, personally, being a meat eater makes you, personally, responsible for all the ills of mankind and the planet. (These are the types least likely to be amused when you point out that both Hitler and Charles Manson were passionate vegetarians.)

Me, I'm okay with whatever you want to eat, provided that you aren't, you know, eating human flesh or my cat or whatever. I'm even okay with altering my diet for shared meals--I've had roommates who were vegetarians, and neither one of us complained about the other befouling the kitchen with their demon food. I just disapprove of you spreading misinformation to make it seem like my choice is biologically and culturally inappropriate. I'm sure both the planet and I would be healthier if I didn't eat meat, but I know that the fact that we can reason enough to make such a decision is based at least in part on the fact that our ancestors ate meat.

Van Rijn
2006-May-09, 03:44 AM
I'm a meat eater and I don't care if someone is a vegetarian as long as they don't mind if I'm a meat eater. At work, I have a friend who is a vegan. On the other hand, I've known some people that were very aggressive about how horrible eating meat is.

No doubt there are some meat eaters that have an attitude too. I don't think you'll find that many around here - this is California, after all. There's a veggie fast food place a few blocks from my home.

So I think we can safely say there are people with attitude on both sides. And there are reasonable people on both sides. So what else is new?

DOOMMaster
2006-May-09, 03:47 AM
Sure thats a myth? I'd really love to see an avowed meat eater tackle meat without the benefit of fire or knives.

Never heard of stone tools either, have you? There was an entire era called the "Stone Age." Humans used stone tools, such as sharped rocks and spears made with rocks to kill and clean animals such as wooly mammoths, saber-toothed tigers, and other large prey.

The entire myth of humans as vegetarians in the past is the perfect example of cherry-picking evidence. Hunter-gatherer societies were exactly that. While a large amount of the food that humans ate in this type of society was indeed vegetables and fruits that were able to be easily gathered (after all, plants don't fight back very well, making them a very easy way to get nutrients without expending much energy), whenever the hunting parties were successful the meat was more important. But the problem of hunting was two-fold: The hunters were not reliable, therefore meat could not be used as the primary source of food and there was no way to store the meat for later consumption. Without a way to refrigerate and store meat as we can today, a large kill like a wooly mammoth would quickly go to waste.

Fruits and vegetables did not suffer from this problem because they could be left on the plant until needed. They also last much longer than meat does even after they have been picked (weeks compared to days). Today we do not suffer these problems as our ancestors did. We have refrigerators and freezers that will allow us to store meat for weeks or months. TheBlackCat has already made a number of other good points in regard to this about our ancestors, so I believe the point has been made.


oh yeah? prove it. I gave two examples of vegetarians trying to scare meat eaters into vegetarianism. now the ball is in your court. Let's see you find even one example to back your statement that "meat eaters take the statement... to be an attack on their lifestyle."

I'll wait.

Your examples are exactly what I am talking about. While I have never personally experienced these large scale (and BTW, very well documented in the media) incidents, I have had to deal with a vegan who was a member of PETA. She had all sorts of misinformation and moralistic (at least in her view) reasons why I was a evil, bad person because I was eating steak. After I told her about how many deer I've killed, it was as if I was the greatest monster since Hitler.

Now here is the question I have for an moralistic vegetarian/vegan who would even dare to answer. Every year hunters go out and kill deer with firearms and bow&arrow. Which is worse, killing a deer with a bullet or letting hundreds of deer slowly starve to death because if hunters don't kill them then there will not be enough food for all the deer? Don't worry if you can't answer this without a lot of sputtering and appeals to ignorance, I haven't gotten a good answer from any vegetarian/vegan yet.

Celestial Mechanic
2006-May-09, 04:05 AM
Celestial Mechanic's First Law of Biology:

Almost every bit of biomass, no matter how unappetizing or even toxic, is eaten eventually.
Much as we don't like to be reminded of it, each of us will take their turn on some creature's dinner plate some day. So eat what you want and don't let anyone make you feel guilty for your choice. Why deny yourself beef or chicken or fish or venison? Wolves won't.

Damburger
2006-May-09, 06:46 AM
Celestial Mechanic's First Law of Biology:

Much as we don't like to be reminded of it, each of us will take their turn on some creature's dinner plate some day. So eat what you want and don't let anyone make you feel guilty for your choice. Why deny yourself beef or chicken or fish or venison? Wolves won't.

Because we are not wolves. The notion that we can never be morally superior to animals leads to a very dark place which I don't care to go.

If you're refering to aliens turning up with a taste for human flesh (Kang and Kodos?) maybe we'd be able to argue the case for not being served with chips if we ourselves weren't gobbling down less advanced, but nevertheless aware, animals.

Gillianren
2006-May-09, 06:53 AM
Because we are not wolves. The notion that we can never be morally superior to animals leads to a very dark place which I don't care to go.

If you're refering to aliens turning up with a taste for human flesh (Kang and Kodos?) maybe we'd be able to argue the case for not being served with chips if we ourselves weren't gobbling down less advanced, but nevertheless aware, animals.

No. What's being referred to here was mentioned by Shakespeare in Hamlet, not a play noted for its anthropophagic aliens. Don't feel like hauling out my complete works, but the gist is that Polonius is at dinner--not where he eats but where he is eaten. Big concept in folk songs, too. We're all food for worms in the end, and like that.

We may not be wolves, but we are omnivores--we are intended to eat both meat and veggies. I see no higher morality in going against nature on this; no matter what, you must kill to eat.

Maksutov
2006-May-09, 06:54 AM
Celestial Mechanic's First Law of Biology:
Almost every bit of biomass, no matter how unappetizing or even toxic, is eaten eventually.Much as we don't like to be reminded of it, each of us will take their turn on some creature's dinner plate some day. So eat what you want and don't let anyone make you feel guilty for your choice. Why deny yourself beef or chicken or fish or venison? Wolves won't.Good First Law! Some folks will have a hard time digesting it though.

I wonder if the more radical vegans (from Vega?) out there have had their incisors and canines pulled and replaced with more benign, plant-grinding molars?

I think I mentioned in another thread my wife was a conditional/relativistic vegetarian who ate hamburgers. Her rationale was as long as the food didn't look like the animal it came from, it was OK to eat it. :whistle:

Damburger
2006-May-09, 07:03 AM
We may not be wolves, but we are omnivores--we are intended to eat both meat and veggies. I see no higher morality in going against nature on this; no matter what, you must kill to eat.

Intended? Are you implying that theres some intent i.e. some intelligence behind the way our bodies are?

And if we are supposed to eat meat, why can't we?

Tog
2006-May-09, 08:50 AM
I think I mentioned in another thread my wife was a conditional/relativistic vegetarian who ate hamburgers. Her rationale was as long as the food didn't look like the animal it came from, it was OK to eat it. :whistle:

I had a friend who wouldn't eat anythign that frolliced. Lamb, no, sheep okay. Veal no, steaks yes.



Intended? Are you implying that theres some intent i.e. some intelligence behind the way our bodies are?

And if we are supposed to eat meat, why can't we?



Even austrolopithecines ate carrion when it was available. Every one of the great apes eat meat when they can, and among the great apes only gorillas do not seem to routinely eat other mammals. Eating uncooked meat today is not possible because our digestive system has degenerated, that would have happened after fire was harnessed because cooked meat is a lot easier to digest. As it stands we can no longer eat uncooked meat because our digestive system has gotten dependent on fire, and our jaws have gotten dependent on fire and tools for making the meat easier to eat. Our ancestors that lacked such tools would not have had such limitations, since the limitations are a direct result of the use of the tools in the first place. Even the earliest hominids were active hunters.

People have teeth that are designed, at least in part to eat meat. Cannine teeth are the most obvious. Why aren't ours as big as in other carnivores? Several thousand years with fire and tools. Why can't we eat raw meat anymore? Several thousand years with fire and tools. Oh, and let's not ignore things like steak tartar (http://www.dvo.com/recipe_pages/holiday/Steak_Tartar.html) which is basically raw. Sashimi/sushi is raw fish. Compare that to the amount of vegetable matter that we can't digest without making special preparations. Sure, there are fruits we can eat right off the tree, but what about things like rice, corn and wheat? Without fire, they are less like food than a buffalo.

Maybe, and this just hit me as I'm typing, the appendix in humans was part of the digestive tract that helped to break down the raw meat. Evolution has rendered it useless, much as the teeth became smaller.

Glom
2006-May-09, 09:30 AM
Sure, there are fruits we can eat right off the tree, but what about things like rice, corn and wheat? Without fire, they are less like food than a buffalo.

Corn isn't food to me even when properly cooked. It comes out the other end untouched. I canna change the laws of the Physics, Cap'n. My intestine just isn't long enough for a veggie diet.

HenrikOlsen
2006-May-09, 09:47 AM
Because we are not wolves. The notion that we can never be morally superior to animals leads to a very dark place which I don't care to go.
The notion that not eating meat is morally superior is the type of argument that gets meateaters irritated at vegetarians.


And if we are supposed to eat meat, why can't we?
What do you mean "why can't we?"
We can, no problems at all.

The heat modifies the flavour, kills most parasites and helps break down connective tissues but it doesn't modify the actual muscle fibers unless you overcook it.
We have no trouble digesting those, actually you'll probably find that it's very few mammals that can't digest meat.
Even hippoes eat meat, they've been seen chasing croc's away from their kills to eat off the kills themselves.

If you mean that we aren't physiologically equipped to tear a carcass apart now, that's wrong too.
The oldest profession1 has been around for millions of years, easily compensating for smaller teeth we no longer needed.


1 flintknapping

Van Rijn
2006-May-09, 10:15 AM
The notion that not eating meat is morally superior is the type of argument that gets meateaters irritated at vegetarians.

Exactly. I couldn't care less if somebody says "I'm a vegetarian." But if I get a morality lecture, I will get ticked, and fast.

Damburger, are you a vegetarian? I'm getting the hint from your comments that you are and that this is a hot button issue for you.

gwiz
2006-May-09, 10:17 AM
To me, this is what is most irritating about vegetarians:

We have several vegetarian friends, and we naturally make sure when we invite them for a meal that they have something acceptable to them. If it's a large gathering we provide two choices - veg or meat.

However, when they invite us, we always have to eat vegetarian, with no meat choice.

Van Rijn
2006-May-09, 10:30 AM
Well, I can't fault them for that. If I don't want to eat veggie, I either won't go there, or I won't eat much (I'm pretty picky about what I'll eat anyway). It is their choice what they serve. I might pick up a burger or taco on the way home, though . . .

mid
2006-May-09, 10:58 AM
We're vegetarians. You're welcome to have meat if you come round. Just bear in mind that you'll have to cook it yourself in most cases.

I don't regard myself as superior to meat-eaters in any way (unless it's feeling slightly smug when I hear about yet another food scare involving contaminated meat). But then, I recognise that my refusal to eat meat is in no small part to squeamishness in handling the stuff, and that isn't really a character trait I'm especially proud of.

I think this is a factor for most vegetarians, so asking them to handle raw meat is rather unfair on the poor guys. I'm perfectly capable of shoving some pepperoni on your pizza, though.

Tog
2006-May-09, 12:13 PM
My big gripe isn't with vegetarians exactly, it's with vegetarianism. People who don't eat meat don't bother me at all. In fact, I probably have no idea how many people I know that don't. As was mentioned above, it's the ones that feel obligated to lecture others on it that get to me.

There is also the hypocracy involved. People throwing a fit about serving turkey or ham at Chrstmas while wearing a leather jacket. (a high school friend's little sister)

I know a person that is such a vegetarian that even their dog is on meatless food, but they can't give up the leather seats in the lexus.

There are also the cases where someone goes to a hamburger place, like McDonalds, or Burger King, then complains that there is not enough vegetarian food on the menu.

If being a vegetarian is a lifestyle, even for a few months, I appluad your resolve. I doubt I could do it. If being a Vegetarian (capital V) is a cause for you, go away.

Damburger
2006-May-09, 12:30 PM
I'm not actually vegetarian right now, I just dislike seeing stupidity and I see an awful lot of it coming from meat eaters at the slightest hint of a vegetarian who isn't actively ashamed of their diet.

I was veggie for 3 years, and it was for ecological (or possibly economic) reasons - taking food from higher trophic levels requires far more resources. I do eat meat now due to the pressure of my current lifestyle making it hard to cook properly. I do still try to minimise the ammount of meat I eat though.

Nicolas
2006-May-09, 12:56 PM
I have no problem with people being vegetarian, veganistic or whatever. If they feel better not eating meat, by all means let them not eat meat. I know quite some vegetarians and veganists that are just that - people who don't eat meat or animal products for one reason or another (medical, ethical, ecological...). I never have any issues about eating meat with them. If I ever want info or a talk about vegetarism (?) with them, they would be very willing to talk about it. If not asked, they will not talk about it, certainly not at a moment that I am enjoying meat. It's the same as not going on about environmental issues with cars and the pros of public transport when somebody just bought himself a new car, or talking about the superiority of Mac when somebody is very proud of his brand new Windows PC. It's a matter of respect. It's not like somebody is not allowed to express his opinion, but there is a way and time to say things that is not unnecessarily invasive.

If somebody drops the vegetarian subject during a neutral chat, it's OK. But I don't need to hear "my body is not a graveyard" the moment I order meat. It is NOT going to convince me. An interesting talk about the subject at a moment when I am not eating has a far better chance at convincing me.

Also arguments like "by nature, men is vegetarian" will not convince me. If men is vegetarian by nature, what's the problem? That sounds as if the majority of people is vegetarian. If that's not the case, why claim that "by nature" men is vagitarian? Good ethical arguments or examples of a complete, tasteful meals that do not include meat ar far better arguments than straw men.

Third, there are people who shout that they're so good because they are vegetarian, so they're ethical heroes. They don't eat meat. Oh but they do eat fish. And birds. That's not meat. Am I the only one who does not see any difference between killing a chicken to eat it, or killing a rabbit to eat it? (there's some things about fish not having nerves to feel pain, so I'll leave that part out now).

I think that it's these three stereotype examples that give vegetarians a bad image, and make meat eaters hostile towards them. But as said, a large group of vegetarians and veganists is "silent" and pure in their eating habits. I don't think many meat eaters would have problems with them, because you don't notice they're vegetarian anyway.

Of ourse there's also the other side, meat eaters trying to convince anyone to eat "a good steak because you're pale and thin". Which gives rise to the "meat eaters hate vegetarians" image.

The main issue here is that it is those people (both veggies and meat eaters) that have issues are the ones that are visible, while the rest is rather invisible.

rahuldandekar
2006-May-09, 01:05 PM
I am a vegetarian, since I was born into a family of vegetarians. But I don't argue... and eating meat is growing acceptable to me. Vegetarianism is like a religion to some people (indeed, it is part of my religion, being a brahmin by caste), but I see no point in letting religion control your life style.

Unless there is evidence that man was not made, by evolution, to eat meat, there is no problem with that. Why argue about morals? Morality is not an absolute thing. And killing animals is unavoidable... they will be eaten by other animals. I mean, I see no logic in the moralist arguments, and never make them. I am satisfied with being a vegetarian, but, well, I am open to eat meat when I go out with friends.

Argos
2006-May-09, 01:10 PM
I like vegetables, especially brocoli on a juicy filet mignon. Hmm.

SeanF
2006-May-09, 01:43 PM
And I really could care less if someone was a vegetarian, vegan, whatever and they kept their mouth shut.
...
My experience has been the same as if I was talking to a fundamentalist Christian and just told them I'm an atheist (I have lots of experience in this area as well).
I'm sure it wasn't your intention, but do you realize that the way this analogy is worded, it casts the atheist in the role of the vegetarian?

:)

HenrikOlsen
2006-May-09, 01:53 PM
I was veggie for 3 years, and it was for ecological (or possibly economic) reasons - taking food from higher trophic levels requires far more resources. I do eat meat now due to the pressure of my current lifestyle making it hard to cook properly. I do still try to minimise the ammount of meat I eat though.
Well, that wouldn't really be true for beef since cows can digest stuff that humans would be unable to live on, so when chosing between eating the cow or not having a cow and eating its feed, you'd starve to death unless you ate the cow.
Or to say it in another way, the best way to make the stuff that'll grow on marginal ground edible is by processing it a cow.

Moose
2006-May-09, 02:07 PM
Well, in my experience, (and further illustrated by this very thread), it seems that the subject is always brought up by the vegetarian.

I personally have no problem whatsoever with the practice, even though I see no need whatsoever in my sharing it (and in fact, my compromised digestive system requires me to get most of my nutrients from meats, as they are far far easier to digest, and thus far less likely to cause dangerous blockages.)

This thread reminds me of an old roommate and friend of mine. He was a morality vegetarian, but (thankfully) pretty docile about it. He'd only nudged me once about my meat eating. My non-serious not-a-good-idea-to-go-there response was "Well at least the animals can run away or fight back. Plants are totally helpless." He took it like a man. ;)

The funny-odd thing about it was that he'd eat boiled eggs, pick out the yolk, but seemingly not go looking for the embryo. Never did figure out why: the taste, the cholesterol, or a fumbled-on-so-many-levels attempt to stick to his morals. I never did have the heart to bring it up and risk overturning his apple cart, so to speak.

I knew some rather offensive vegan types for whom I'd have been sorely tempted to conduct a very pointed biology lesson about the anatomy of eggs. Then another lesson about the distinctive features of the (primarily carnivorous) human digestive system. (Yeah. It is.) Something I have special reason to know very intimately. (Ever see your own intestine? I have. *evil grin*)

Moose
2006-May-09, 02:15 PM
Or to say it in another way, the best way to make the stuff that'll grow on marginal ground edible is by processing it a cow.

Mmmm. Processed grains on the grill (with just a hint of pink) with montreal steak spice. :D

Gruesome
2006-May-09, 02:15 PM
When I eat meat, at least it's dead. That apple you're eating?...still alive!!-- Red Green

Celestial Mechanic
2006-May-09, 02:41 PM
Celestial Mechanic's First Law of Biology:
Almost every bit of biomass, no matter how unappetizing or even toxic, is eaten eventually.Much as we don't like to be reminded of it, each of us will take their turn on some creature's dinner plate some day. So eat what you want and don't let anyone make you feel guilty for your choice. Why deny yourself beef or chicken or fish or venison? Wolves won't.Because we are not wolves. The notion that we can never be morally superior to animals leads to a very dark place which I don't care to go.
Moral superiority to animals has also been used to justify eating them.

If you're refering to aliens turning up with a taste for human flesh (Kang and Kodos?) maybe we'd be able to argue the case for not being served with chips if we ourselves weren't gobbling down less advanced, but nevertheless aware, animals.
As Gillianren pointed out, I had worms instead of space aliens in mind. But if you find yourself being chased by space aliens carrying a box of Damburger HelperTM, please realize that your argument of moral superiority over the wolf will not matter one whit. :)

Celestial Mechanic
2006-May-09, 02:46 PM
Celestial Mechanic's First Law of Biology:
Almost every bit of biomass, no matter how unappetizing or even toxic, is eaten eventually.
Good First Law! Some folks will have a hard time digesting it though.
I can't believe you wrote that! :lol: :doh:

But it is good food for thought! :dance: :lol:

mid
2006-May-09, 03:40 PM
There are also the cases where someone goes to a hamburger place, like McDonalds, or Burger King, then complains that there is not enough vegetarian food on the menu.

That's a perfectly reasonable complaint if, like me, they're used to McD and BK in the UK, where both of them serve rather delicious veggie options, and are fine places to go if some of your party are meat-eaters who want a burger.

The big problem I've always found with being a vegetarian when in the US is that there is an assumption that you would never even consider being in the same restaurant as a piece of meat, and so my meat-eating friends either have to do without, or we get a token caeser salad that they've left the chicken out of. THE WHOLE POINT of going out for a meal is that we can each choose different things!

Chuck
2006-May-09, 03:45 PM
While not directly consuming meat, vegetarians do finance the slaughter of animals by paying taxes to a government that feeds meat to its military and pays its other employees who use some of that money to buy meat. I realize that they'd go to jail if they refused to pay or live in poverty if they refused to earn enough to pay taxes, but do they really need to earn so much? They don't really need television sets, cars, computers, air conditioning, and large houses. They could ask their employers for pay cuts in order to pay less in taxes. But no, they're intentionally financing the slaughter of helpless animals so that they can have those luxuries. So much for morality.

Moose
2006-May-09, 04:19 PM
While not directly consuming meat, vegetarians do finance the slaughter of animals by paying taxes to a government that feeds meat to its military and pays its other employees who use some of that money to buy meat.

Actually, since taxes are paid to a pooled fund, it's not quite accurate to say that "my taxes paid for something I disapprove of". Actually, a specific taxpayer's taxes pay for the services that taxpayer specifically uses, plus the overhead of offering those services. The government technically runs their extras off of the margin.

That's not to say the taxpayer should have no say on how the margin is handled, they most emphatically have the duty to monitor how the government manages their budget. But the "my taxes" argument is somewhat fallacious, and is one of my pet peeves.

Tog
2006-May-09, 04:36 PM
That's a perfectly reasonable complaint if, like me, they're used to McD and BK in the UK, where both of them serve rather delicious veggie options, and are fine places to go if some of your party are meat-eaters who want a burger.

The big problem I've always found with being a vegetarian when in the US is that there is an assumption that you would never even consider being in the same restaurant as a piece of meat, and so my meat-eating friends either have to do without, or we get a token caeser salad that they've left the chicken out of. THE WHOLE POINT of going out for a meal is that we can each choose different things!

Ahh. I had no idea the menus would be that different. Around here, the only salad type option from either is the McD salad shakers, and I havn't seen an ad for them for years. I personally can't stant McD, so I never go in, so they may not even have them any more. Wendy's has baked potatoes and a number of salads, so they would be an option that caters to both.

Gillianren
2006-May-09, 05:12 PM
Intended? Are you implying that theres some intent i.e. some intelligence behind the way our bodies are?

And if we are supposed to eat meat, why can't we?

I'm implying that, over millions of years, our bodies adapted to become omnivorous. However, over millions of years, we also adapted to becoming reliant on fire, which means we have one of the least hardy digestive systems on the planet. We don't eat much other than most fruits, some vegetables, and milk (leaving out pasteurization) that isn't cooked. Our grains are cooked. I know recipes for cooking pretty much every single food known to humans. (Or at least I have 'em in books; I don't exactly remember recipes for bear or rhubarb.)

The "humans are vegetarians" argument is at best flawed, at worst completely erroneous. Humans are, and have been since long before we were humans, omnivores. Or, as Cecil Adams puts it, both the liver and the onions. (Not that I'll eat liver. But that's not the point.)

Oh, and you do realize that your are, in essence, arguing that we are immoral for eating things we're not hugely superior to when we're too superior to violate your code of morality, right?

DOOMMaster
2006-May-09, 05:25 PM
I'm sure it wasn't your intention, but do you realize that the way this analogy is worded, it casts the atheist in the role of the vegetarian?

:)

I thought I made it so that it was the other way around. I don't know many people who eat meat that go around telling vegetarians that they should eat meat, just veggies that go around telling people they shouldn't eat meat. They need to "save" me, just the same as veggies need to save me because I'm evil for eating meat. Of course, this is kinda getting off topic and into the whole religion topic, so I think I'll leave it as the atheist and the person eating meat are the same. Just for clarification of what I ment.



I think that it's these three stereotype examples that give vegetarians a bad image, and make meat eaters hostile towards them. But as said, a large group of vegetarians and veganists is "silent" and pure in their eating habits. I don't think many meat eaters would have problems with them, because you don't notice they're vegetarian anyway.

This is exactly what I'm talking about. If the vegetarian would just order a salad and eat it, I could care less. I like salad just as much as he or she. I just also happen to like to follow that salad with a nice steak. I don't want to hear about how immoral I am for eating meat. I want to enjoy my meal.

Celestial Mechanic
2006-May-09, 05:31 PM
I forgot who said this:

If God had not intended for Man to eat animals, then why did He make them out of food?
:) ;)

Eta C
2006-May-09, 05:49 PM
is a good one for an entry or two from Bierce's Devil's Dictionary

Carnivorous, adj. Addicted to the cruelty of devouring the timorous vegetarian, his heirs and assigns.

Edible, adj. Good to eat, and wholesome to digest, as a worm to a toad, a toad to a snake, a snake to a pig, a pig to a man, and a man to a worm.

The skeptic
2006-May-09, 06:03 PM
I've enjoyed many a veggie meal - even quorn!:eek: :eek: :eek:

But I do love a good rare steak. But I have nowt against vegetarians...

TheBlackCat
2006-May-09, 06:06 PM
However, when they invite us, we always have to eat vegetarian, with no meat choice.
My Mom's best friend has no problem preparing meat for us. That probably comes from having a omnivore husband, I would guess she probably prepares meat for him as well.

pghnative
2006-May-09, 07:16 PM
(Ever see your own intestine? I have. *evil grin*)
You've seen my intestine???? When?????

Well at least the animals can run away or fight back. Plants are totally helpless
I've often wondered how people draw the line between living things that can be killed for human benefit and living things that should not.

OK, don't kill a cow -- can I kill a sheep?
If I can't kill a sheep -- can I kill a rabbit?
If I can't kill a rabbit, can I kill a mouse?
If I can't kill kill a mouse, can I kill an earthworm?
How about a fly?
How about a jellyfish?
How about the bacteria that's making me sick?
How about the bacteria that's not affecting me at all?
How about a euglena? (single celled "animal" with chlorophyll)
How about fungi?
How about grass?
How about trees?

Moose
2006-May-09, 07:33 PM
To be honest, other than the likely disease implications (which could be pretty serious, come to think of it), I wouldn't really have that much of a problem (once I got over my instinctive revulsion to the idea, anyway) if humans were to practice cannibalism to dispose of our corpses (assuming appropriate sanitary standards, etc.)

David Eddings' [i]Belgarath the Sorcerer[\i] has a scene considering this. The she-wolf Poledra witnesses her first war between alorns with some bafflement, and off-handedly wonders what they planned on doing with all that meat. Belgarath wryly speculates that one way to end wars forever might be to require the victors to eat all of the battlefield dead.

Nicolas
2006-May-09, 07:48 PM
I think that in an extreme situation such as "Alive" cannibalism was perfectly acceptable, but as a matter of respect we should not eat corpses of our own species if we don't HAVE to. I don't really know why, bubt it feels different if it is a creature from your own species.

zebo-the-fat
2006-May-09, 08:00 PM
Veg is something you have WITH a meal, not FOR a meal! :)

How do we know that plants don't feel pain? they live at a slower rate than animals, so maybe pulling a carrot out of the ground is a quick death, no way to know for sure.

(I have never seen "veggie demos" outside restaurants here in the UK, may be it's just a U.S. thing.)

Van Rijn
2006-May-09, 08:12 PM
How do we know that plants don't feel pain? they live at a slower rate than animals, so maybe pulling a carrot out of the ground is a quick death, no way to know for sure.


There are fruitarians (http://www.answers.com/topic/fruitarian?method=22) that only eat fruit, seeds and such, precisely so they don't have to kill the plants . . . unlike those nasty plant killing vegans (http://www.answers.com/vegan&r=67). :)

Doodler
2006-May-09, 08:15 PM
...that makes people so hostile and irrational?

People who otherwise seem fairly logical and scientific can become quite dogmatic and stupid when talking about vegetarianism.

What the hell is so offensive about people not eating meat?


The fact that there's a vocal segment of the vegetarian population that makes an entirely too indelicate a point about getting in the face of meat eaters, refering to them as "butchers", "murderers", and a few other choice nouns.

Frankly, while a large number of vegetarians are quite willing to make their own choices for themselves and go on about life, they are those with whom I have no issue. However, there's a substantial number of vegetarian people, predominantly your more fanatical vegans, whom I think need to be clubbed about the head and shoulders with a freshly removed bovine humerus with a few bloodied chunks still attached.

Van Rijn
2006-May-09, 08:20 PM
By the way, the vitamin B12 (http://www.ivu.org/faq/vitaminb12.html) issue is another bit of good evidence that humans aren't herbivores. You don't get useful B12 from plants.

Sammy
2006-May-09, 08:30 PM
My daughter has not eaten meat/fowl since her college days. She is quite rational about it and not at all doctrinaire. She has put a lot of time into learming about healthy diets (science-based, non-woo woo) and eats fish/shellfish and eggs as well as vegetables and legumes. Perhaps the fact that she works in public health (currently fetal alcohol syndrome) and my influence during her formative years :lol: contribute to her rational outlook.

She never tries to "convert" anyone, and married a Texan who easily matches my red meat consumption.

I have met my share of fanatic vegans, tho, and find them fully as annoying/irrational as IDers, Moon Landing Hoaxers, and PXers!

ToSeek
2006-May-09, 08:39 PM
My wife was at a dinner party a while back and ended up getting grilled by another person at the table about why she was a vegetarian and what she would and wouldn't eat. After this wound down, her best friend leaned over and whispered in her ear, "Now you should feel free to ask her what method of birth control she uses, and why."

Celestial Mechanic
2006-May-09, 09:25 PM
There are fruitarians that only eat fruit, seeds and such, precisely so they don't have to kill the plants . . . unlike those nasty plant killing vegans. :)
Of course those nasty fruitarians are aborting plant fetuses every time they eat a seed or the fruit that would have sustained an unborn plant during germination. :) Let's face it, the only way we are going to avoid killing something when we eat is to engineer ourselves to have chloroplasts so we can stand around in the Sun all day and photosynthesize. A peaceful way to live, but not much time left for civilization building . . .

Reminds me of a sci-fi novel I read a long time ago entitled The Green Rain (I think; can't remember the name of the author either) in which a chlorophyll-charged rain turned everyone on Earth green. This had disastrous effects in South Africa (which was under the apartheid regime at the time the book was written) because suddenly it made no sense to distinguish between a green White and a green Black and a green Coloured person. Interesting book, but it didn't wrap up well.

Edited to add: I did a Google search and found the author's name. The author was Paul Tabori, a pseudonym of Paul Tabor (1908-1974).

Chuck
2006-May-09, 11:33 PM
Actually, since taxes are paid to a pooled fund, it's not quite accurate to say that "my taxes paid for something I disapprove of". Actually, a specific taxpayer's taxes pay for the services that taxpayer specifically uses, plus the overhead of offering those services. The government technically runs their extras off of the margin.

That's not to say the taxpayer should have no say on how the margin is handled, they most emphatically have the duty to monitor how the government manages their budget. But the "my taxes" argument is somewhat fallacious, and is one of my pet peeves.

If it's inaccurate to say that my taxes pay for something I don't support then it also seems inaccurate to say that they support services that I use. Some people pay for more services than they use and a great many pay for fewer. Since the money goes into a common pool then it seems most accurate to say that if the government spends x% of its tax revenue on meat then x% of my taxes were spent on meat. To say that none of my taxes pay for things that I don't like seems like wishful thinking. It might make me feel better about my role in what my government is doing but it doesn't change the small part I play in financing everything else.

Moose
2006-May-10, 12:34 AM
To say that none of my taxes pay for things that I don't like seems like wishful thinking.

But for someone to suggest that their own taxes shouldn't pay for someone else's use of blah-blah, or that such and such service shouldn't be available to anybody because that specific someone doesn't need it, such a stance relies on the same error.

I don't really want this to turn into a big economic debate (especially since I don't actually remember what point I was responding to when I posted that. Long day.) But it makes more sense (at least to me) to think of taxation as paying a sliding rate according to your means for the services you need. I find I begrudge others their varying needs so much less that way, so long as the books balance.

Chuck
2006-May-10, 01:04 AM
I think you were objecting to my claim that vegetarians buy meat for the government by paying taxes and could pay less if they had lower incomes and did without some luxuries but aren't willing to do so which means they're intentionally financing the slaughter of animals to have better lifetyles which is just as bad as eating the animals themselves.

Or something like that.

Gillianren
2006-May-10, 01:06 AM
I think you were objecting to my claim that vegetarians buy meat for the government by paying taxes and could pay less if they had lower incomes and did without some luxuries but aren't willing to do so which means they're intentionally financing the slaughter of animals to have better lifetyles which is just as bad as eating the animals themselves.

Or something like that.

But if you're a vegetarian because you object to the slaughter of animals, shouldn't you be opposed to the military regardless of what it eats?

Chuck
2006-May-10, 02:15 AM
A military that eats meat and shoots people would be worse than a vegetarian military that shoots people.

That's not the point, though. A vegetarian with a big screen TV needed to earn the money with which to buy it while knowing that some of the tax paid on that money would be used to buy meat. How is that any more moral than just buying the meat themselves?

Ilya
2006-May-10, 02:48 AM
Next time someone mentions the "early humans were vegetarians" myth, you may point out that there are ABSOLUTELY NO completely herbivorous mammals. Even ruminants such as sheep and deer consume a lot of insects (that's how they get much of their protein), and will frequently lick carrion.

AFAIK, no the only animals truly adapted to vegetarian diet are herbivorous insects.

TheBlackCat
2006-May-10, 03:34 AM
Next time someone mentions the "early humans were vegetarians" myth, you may point out that there are ABSOLUTELY NO completely herbivorous mammals. Even ruminants such as sheep and deer consume a lot of insects (that's how they get much of their protein), and will frequently lick carrion.

I read somewhere they also eat bones in order to get calcium and phosphorus.

Maksutov
2006-May-10, 05:11 AM
A military that eats meat and shoots people would be worse than a vegetarian military that shoots people.[edit]Better watch out for those wily wombats then. I remember reading this description of them in a book on marsupials:


Eats, shoots, and leaves.

Gillianren
2006-May-10, 05:21 AM
Better watch out for those wily wombats then. I remember reading this description of them in a book on marsupials:

Ahem. I think you'll find that's pandas.

HenrikOlsen
2006-May-10, 05:41 AM
Next time someone mentions the "early humans were vegetarians" myth, you may point out that there are ABSOLUTELY NO completely herbivorous mammals. Even ruminants such as sheep and deer consume a lot of insects (that's how they get much of their protein), and will frequently lick carrion.

AFAIK, no the only animals truly adapted to vegetarian diet are herbivorous insects.
Hippo's, probably one of the most herbivorous mammals you'll find have been known to chase crocs away from their kills to eat them themselves.

Deer in areas of few calcium sources have learned to kill birds and eat their heads for the calcium in the skulls.

And I do agree, our dependency on external sources for vitamins B12 and K point towards long adaptation to eating meat.

Maksutov
2006-May-10, 06:53 AM
Originally Posted by Maksutov
Better watch out for those wily wombats then. I remember reading this description of them in a book on marsupials: Ahem. I think you'll find that's pandas.We're both right. The joke is about wombats in one locale (wonder where?) and pandas in a different area. Lynne Truss decided to go with the latter whereas I've always heard the joke as it originated in the former location (both the "clean Americanized" and pure Aussie versions).

More info here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eats,_Shoots_&_Leaves) and here (http://grumpyoldbookman.blogspot.com/2006/04/shorts_26.html).

Ahem X 2. ;)

SolusLupus
2006-May-10, 10:24 AM
What I don't get:

Some vegetarians are completely against the eating of meat because they don't like the idea of murdering animals, and consider it about as repulsive as the idea of killing humans. Some have even made analogies to concentration camps in good ol' Nazi Germany.

So here's my question:

Why don't they care about the millions-per-year of animals that die when caught in farming machinery? They die very painful deaths.

Some of these types of vegetarians say, "Well, compare a few million to *billions* killed to be eaten..." -- Doesn't fly with me. Nothing is keeping a vegetarian from getting his own garden and feeding himself, except a matter of convenience. So they're willing to embrace a few million animals died over a few billion because of a matter of convenience. Which basically betrays their own moral code.

It's like saying, "We should allow these ten people to die, to save these thousand, even if there's a way -- that's inconvenient -- to not have anyone die at all..."

mid
2006-May-10, 10:28 AM
Ahh. I had no idea the menus would be that different. Around here, the only salad type option from either is the McD salad shakers, and I havn't seen an ad for them for years.

They're very, very different indeed. I stepped into a McD for the first time in ages last weekend. Which worked really well. Burger for our friend's daughter who we were looking after (and the person who was so keen on going), fish fingers for our son, and we both had a rather delicious wholemeal sub stuffed with roasted vegetables, melted cheese and salad.

After getting a right trashing from various "healthy eating" campaign groups, Super Size Me and so on, McDonalds in the UK took rather a punch to the nose in terms of sales. They've now gone for the salads, baguettes, fruit options alongside ice creams etc. thing in a really big way (not just for vegetarians, but with chicken and so on as well), and are more popular than even before.

Roy Batty
2006-May-10, 01:54 PM
I'm partial to the occasional BK Spicy Beanburger here. Just wish they'd add a bit more spice! :)

Damburger
2006-May-10, 05:41 PM
What I don't get:

Some vegetarians are completely against the eating of meat because they don't like the idea of murdering animals, and consider it about as repulsive as the idea of killing humans. Some have even made analogies to concentration camps in good ol' Nazi Germany.

So here's my question:

Why don't they care about the millions-per-year of animals that die when caught in farming machinery? They die very painful deaths.

Some of these types of vegetarians say, "Well, compare a few million to *billions* killed to be eaten..." -- Doesn't fly with me. Nothing is keeping a vegetarian from getting his own garden and feeding himself, except a matter of convenience. So they're willing to embrace a few million animals died over a few billion because of a matter of convenience. Which basically betrays their own moral code.

It's like saying, "We should allow these ten people to die, to save these thousand, even if there's a way -- that's inconvenient -- to not have anyone die at all..."

This is a no middle ground fallacy. Its like saying 'Doctors don't care about sick people, because people die all the time in hopsitals'.

This is exactly the kind of irrational reaction you tend to get from otherwise rational meat eaters, when confronted with the concept of vegetarianism.

Maybe its because vegetarianism represents the possibility that something very fundamental to your life could be morally reprehensible.

Gillianren
2006-May-10, 06:07 PM
This is a no middle ground fallacy. Its like saying 'Doctors don't care about sick people, because people die all the time in hopsitals'.

This is exactly the kind of irrational reaction you tend to get from otherwise rational meat eaters, when confronted with the concept of vegetarianism.

Maybe its because vegetarianism represents the possibility that something very fundamental to your life could be morally reprehensible.

Wow. You just couldn't be more wrong, here.

For one, it's very different than doctors. Doctors are actively trying to save people, whereas no one's trying to save the animals killed by farm machinery. Just the other animals that they won't eat.

It's not an irrational reaction. It's a reaction fueled by frustration, yes, but it's pointing out the (many, I've noticed) logical flaws in the arguments of a certain kind of vegetarian. My vegetarian friends are just as annoyed by this kind of argument as I am, too, so it's not just Demon Carnivores.

Clearly, also, none of us find eating meat to be morally reprehensible; if we did, we wouldn't do it. We know other people may find it to be so, but if their arguments are based on illogic, why should we care? In fact, I don't see any great morality to vegetarianism, given the aforementioned biological reasons (food for worms; bodies showing evolutionary traits of omnivores, etc.), so you can think it's morally superior all you want, and I'm never going to agree with you. Yes, I'd rather the farming process were better, and the I do think the person I knew who only ate meat when she knew its exact source and lack of cruelty was morally better than I on that issue, but vegetarianism across the board is just another choice, generally made for health or religious reasons, and most of us don't worry about people who make the decision for those reasons.

What annoys us--and some of my vegetarian friends as well--are those who question the morality over and over, generally giving incorrect information as their source, and won't leave us alone about it. I'm sure you can imagine how that would be tedious even if you thought they didn't have a valid point. It's no fun being hounded. I had a friend in high school who used to regularly wear a shirt listing reasons we were "meant" to be vegetarians, and even when the biology teacher told him most of what was on the shirt was biologically incorrect, the kid figured we'd been gotten to by the Evil Meat Lobby.

Oh, and I don't think any of us here qualify as carnivores; I know I don't. I'm too fond of potatoes. And chocolate. Yum!

Damburger
2006-May-10, 06:32 PM
Wow. You just couldn't be more wrong, here.

For one, it's very different than doctors. Doctors are actively trying to save people, whereas no one's trying to save the animals killed by farm machinery. Just the other animals that they won't eat.


Wrong on both counts. In hopeless cases, Doctors merely make their patients comfortable. As for the other thing - many vegetarians do fight against farming techniques that harm animals.

The reason its a fallacy is that a vegetarian is not a hypocrite for not saving all animals - saving some animals is worthy in itself.



It's not an irrational reaction. It's a reaction fueled by frustration, yes, but it's pointing out the (many, I've noticed) logical flaws in the arguments of a certain kind of vegetarian. My vegetarian friends are just as annoyed by this kind of argument as I am, too, so it's not just Demon Carnivores.


It is irrational, because it contains logical fallacies. And as I have shown, the flaws he claimed existed aren't flaws at all.



Clearly, also, none of us find eating meat to be morally reprehensible; if we did, we wouldn't do it. We know other people may find it to be so, but if their arguments are based on illogic, why should we care? In fact, I don't see any great morality to vegetarianism, given the aforementioned biological reasons (food for worms; bodies showing evolutionary traits of omnivores, etc.), so you can think it's morally superior all you want, and I'm never going to agree with you. Yes, I'd rather the farming process were better, and the I do think the person I knew who only ate meat when she knew its exact source and lack of cruelty was morally better than I on that issue, but vegetarianism across the board is just another choice, generally made for health or religious reasons, and most of us don't worry about people who make the decision for those reasons.


You can't accuse vegetarians of being irrational and then say 'I'm never going to agree with you'. You've just admitted to being dogmatic on the subject.



What annoys us--and some of my vegetarian friends as well--are those who question the morality over and over, generally giving incorrect information as their source, and won't leave us alone about it. I'm sure you can imagine how that would be tedious even if you thought they didn't have a valid point. It's no fun being hounded. I had a friend in high school who used to regularly wear a shirt listing reasons we were "meant" to be vegetarians, and even when the biology teacher told him most of what was on the shirt was biologically incorrect, the kid figured we'd been gotten to by the Evil Meat Lobby.


Whats wrong with putting your beliefs on a t-shirt? Other people do it with little objection.



Oh, and I don't think any of us here qualify as carnivores; I know I don't. I'm too fond of potatoes. And chocolate. Yum!

I don't think we qualify as meat eaters at all, given the impressive array of technology we need to ensure we can actually consume the stuff (mincing machines, steel cutlery, ovens etc.)

Dave Simpson
2006-May-10, 06:48 PM
When people ask me if I'm a vegetarian, I tell them "No, since if I get hungry enough I will kill an animal and eat it." This usually puts people at ease, for some reason. I personally think that if someone is willing to perform the task of killing the animal, watching it die, and using up all the available products (meat, skin, glands, bones) then I have no argument with them; I would do the same if necessary.

But it IS true that if most people saw the way that the cattle, chicken, and pigs that they eat were treated during their lifetime, they would be repulsed. Gone are the days of the farmer raising animals that could be outside in the sunshine - of cows grazing, chickens feeding outside, and pigs rooting and playing - up until the very last day of their lives. For a good view of what goes on in the modern "industrial farm" (which the food conglomerates would really rather not have you know) one should visit the library and read "Dominion" by Matthew Scully. Far from being a crystal-packing weirdo, he's about as conservative and mainstream as one can be. Be forewarned; the book is so graphic that I had to put it down a few times, and I'm told by some friends that I can have a callused attitude at times.
He also mentions a side effect of depression in pigs - porcine stress syndrome, which the pork producers are spending millions of dollars to try and eliminate - not because they thing gratuitous brutality is wrong, but because it adversely effects the taste of the meat they're selling.
When I host dinner for friends who eat beef/poultry/pork I try to buy from a small-town packer who buys only free-range animal carcasses. While this is inconvenient, to say the least, it's also the only way I can vote for more humane treatment of the animals who give their lives for us.
I have yet to meet someone who likes meat who has a problem with that.

Tog
2006-May-10, 06:49 PM
The argument has been made that meat eaters treat vegetarians unfairly. Is that accurate? (that the argument was made, not that it is or isnt true)

If it is true, how many people have seen an example of a protest where meat eating people gather and convince others to eat meat?

How many have seen a protest where vegetarians try and convince peole against eating meat?

Who is more wrong morally, the person quietly eating a steak, or the person banging on the window holding up a picture of a slaughterhouse?

Personally, I see vegetarians as bing in one of 4 main categories:

1. Religious or spiritual reasons.
2. Heatlh reasons.
3. Personal moral objections.
4. It's the 'in' thing to do.

Of these, only group four bothers me. Like I said before, it's a casue for them, not a lifestyle. Members of that group are the only ones I ever see on the news. They are the only ones I ever see holding up signs outside of restraunts. They are the only ones I ever hear talking loudly about the evils of meat in public.

I've worked with a few vegetarians and none have ever said anything to me about my eating meat. A former boss was a vegetarian and still offered ham at the office Christmas party becasue she knew not everyone would the spinach thing she made.

If I were invited to eat at a person's house whom I knew to be a vegetarian, I wouldn't expect meat of any kind. To me, it would be like a smoker not smoking in a non smoker's house or car. By the same token, If I invited a vegetarian over to my house, I would tell them that there would be an all veg option for them, and ask if they would have any issues if I had somehting like a cob salad. It's really not that hard to get along with other people as long as both are willing to see the other side, even for a minute.

I will never be a vegetarian. Jerky is my computer game snack food. I like hamburgers. I like steak. I like bacon. I accept that some people have objections to that. I see nothing morally wrong with eating an animal. Some peole do. Those differences are just differences. It only becomes a problem if one side pushes their view. The only side I have ever seen pushing is a select portion of the anti meat crowd. The most Pro-meat 'demonstration' I've seen are a few bumper stickers or t-shirts.

Moose
2006-May-10, 07:04 PM
You can't accuse vegetarians of being irrational and then say 'I'm never going to agree with you'. You've just admitted to being dogmatic on the subject.

Is it really dogma to say that I'll never believe Hoagland's conspiracy claims? No, the evidence clearly points that Hoagland is incorrect. Indeed, so incorrect as to not longer qualify as being merely 'wrong'. Hoagland can repeat his fantasies until he's blue in the face without having a snowball's chance of convincing me. And I can be confident that I will never believe him, without being dogmatic.

Is it really dogmatic of Gillian to say she'll never come around to your point of view? Isn't it a fairly large assumption on your part that she hasn't already rationally considered, and rejected, your POV?

Damburger
2006-May-10, 07:05 PM
Is it really dogma to say that I'll never believe Hoagland's conspiracy claims? No, the evidence clearly points that Hoagland is incorrect. Indeed, so incorrect as to not longer qualify as being merely 'wrong'. Hoagland can repeat his fantasies until he's blue in the face without having a snowball's chance of convincing me. And I can be confident that I will never believe him without being dogmatic.

Is it really dogmatic of Gillian to say she'll never come around to your point of view? Isn't it a fairly large assumption on your part that she hasn't already considered, and rejected, your POV?

Yes it is dogmatic, because new evidence can come to light at any time. Saying 'I will never believe X' is by definition saying 'I will automatically discount evidence of X'.

Moose
2006-May-10, 07:11 PM
Yes it is dogmatic, because new evidence can come to light at any time. Saying 'I will never believe X' is by definition saying 'I will automatically discount evidence of X'.

Only if your interpretation is over-literal.

Fram
2006-May-10, 07:49 PM
Yes it is dogmatic, because new evidence can come to light at any time. Saying 'I will never believe X' is by definition saying 'I will automatically discount evidence of X'.

Evidence for the morality of a point of view? That's a new one...

HenrikOlsen
2006-May-10, 07:58 PM
It is irrational, because it contains logical fallacies. And as I have shown, the flaws he claimed existed aren't flaws at all.


Whats wrong with putting your beliefs on a t-shirt? Other people do it with little objection.
Here's where you contradict yourself badly. The t-shirt mentioned contained a list of mostly false information arguing for vegetarianism. From your own earlier statement, that makes wearing it irrational after the mistakes where pointed out.


I don't think we qualify as meat eaters at all, given the impressive array of technology we need to ensure we can actually consume the stuff (mincing machines, steel cutlery, ovens etc.)
All this technology is simple extensions of the club and a sharp rock that's been part of our evolution since before we became homo anything, we've (as a species) been eating meat for a long time.

As for ovens/fire, it is needed more for making grain and some veggies better digestible than meat which is easily digested raw.

Van Rijn
2006-May-10, 08:02 PM
Evidence for the morality of a point of view? That's a new one...

Exactly. Damburger, there are times I don't mind having a philosophical discussion, but if you take this same confrontational attitude at the dinner table, it's no surprise people are getting annoyed.

Dave Simpson
2006-May-10, 08:31 PM
I don't know about anyone else in the forum, but I can't ever recall changing a belief or behavior because somebody told me it was immoral.

The only thing that ever had that effect was a very small, still voice.

snarkophilus
2006-May-10, 08:34 PM
But it IS true that if most people saw the way that the cattle, chicken, and pigs that they eat were treated during their lifetime, they would be repulsed.

I went and visited a huge cattle farm a few years ago... thousands upon thousands of steers, all packed shoulder to shoulder. It was pretty disgusting.

On the other hand, after we finished visiting, I went and had two hamburgers and a chili dog. They were delicious.

The one time someone tried to inform me that humans were meant to be vegetarians because of moral reasons, I opened my mouth and pointed at my maxillary canine, saying with extreme sarcasm, "and what did God intend me to do with this?" I was a mean ten year old.

Perhaps there are economic reasons not to eat meat, but there are economic reasons not to have a television, too. I like my luxuries, and I dismiss all arguments of morality as luxuries themselves. If something is tasty, and eating it won't adversely affect me (that is, if everyone was eating it, it would not displeasure me more than the pleasure I get from eating what I do eat), then eat it. If you have a moral objection to that, then that's your right: indeed, that disagreement is the price I have to pay in order to eat meat. I get my pleasure from delicious bacon, and you can have yours from not eating bacon. We both win.

SolusLupus
2006-May-10, 08:52 PM
This is a no middle ground fallacy. Its like saying 'Doctors don't care about sick people, because people die all the time in hopsitals'.

It's more like saying, "We shouldn't save the sick people because it's inconvenient".

You can easily grow a garden in your back yard to feed yourself and your family, if you're of the upper middle class or even middle class. But would you?

Why not, if you think that it's such a bad thing to kill animals? It's still betraying your personal moral code. It's saying that letting some creatures die is better than letting more creatures die, when there's an option freely available that ensures no animals die.


This is exactly the kind of irrational reaction you tend to get from otherwise rational meat eaters, when confronted with the concept of vegetarianism.

Only one calling it irrational is yourself, it seems. Seems perfectly rational to me.


Maybe its because vegetarianism represents the possibility that something very fundamental to your life could be morally reprehensible.

You're kidding, right? I consider the idea of making soymeat a viable alternative (and even replacement) for meat in the future to be perfectly good. Claiming that the only reason I think the way I am is because I don't like paradigm shifts is rather close-minded and assumptuous.

I'm all for paradigm shifts, and I see a viable future where meat is replaced by better products.

But for the present, when I see hypocrisy, I point it out. Comparing slaughtering animals to killing Jews (which has been done before) is both ludicrous and disgusting, IMO. Especially when you consider is basically what they're saying is that it's okay to kill a few million jews instead of a few billion, as long it's more convenient.

IMO, that's even worse -- it's betraying their own Moral Code.

Gillianren
2006-May-10, 08:52 PM
Wrong on both counts. In hopeless cases, Doctors merely make their patients comfortable. As for the other thing - many vegetarians do fight against farming techniques that harm animals.

The reason its a fallacy is that a vegetarian is not a hypocrite for not saving all animals - saving some animals is worthy in itself.

By your own implication, those animals killed by farming must then be like hopeless cases, so how can you fight against the farming techniques that harm animals?


It is irrational, because it contains logical fallacies. And as I have shown, the flaws he claimed existed aren't flaws at all.

I don't think you're shown that at all. I don't think you're even come close to showing it at all.


You can't accuse vegetarians of being irrational and then say 'I'm never going to agree with you'. You've just admitted to being dogmatic on the subject.

No. It would be "dogmatic" if I believed it because it is my belief. However, I have weighed the evidence, seen that there is no evidence that shows eating meat is immoral, and moved on. Biology is on my side, a point you refuse to acknowledge.


Whats wrong with putting your beliefs on a t-shirt? Other people do it with little objection.

Okay, let me reiterate. Darrel did not consider this to be his beliefs. He considered this to be a statement of scientific fact. He was told it wasn't. He assumed that we were wrong and his t-shirt was right, despite the weight of scientific evidence behind our side and the lack behind his. I would be just as offended, and I suspect you would, too, if it had been "evidence" that the Holocaust wasn't real.

The shirt said that we have the teeth of herbivores. We don't. The shirt said that we have the intestines of herbivores. We don't. The shirt said we can get all of our vitamin requirements from plants. We can't. Those are just the three I can remember, and they were all wrong. There were one or two that were correct, but they didn't have anything to do with biology so much as land use. So, no, it wasn't just his opinion. He was claiming it as fact, and he was wrong. Why wouldn't I object?


I don't think we qualify as meat eaters at all, given the impressive array of technology we need to ensure we can actually consume the stuff (mincing machines, steel cutlery, ovens etc.)

I don't follow your logic, there. Does it fail to be meat because we've cooked it? If so, what does it become? Do wheat and other grains follow the same process? Eating meat is eating meat, no matter what you've done to it. And, no, we don't require mincing machines, steel cutlery, or ovens. It is still possible for a human to kill an animal with a rock or a stick, cut off part of it with flint tools, and dry the meat in the sun and eat the meat. What do you think jerky is? (Hint: not cooked.)

Doodler
2006-May-10, 08:59 PM
I don't think we qualify as meat eaters at all, given the impressive array of technology we need to ensure we can actually consume the stuff (mincing machines, steel cutlery, ovens etc.)

Window dressing. I've read about survival demonstrations at US military SERE schools involving the rather straightforward consumption of small animals in survival situations. In this case, from the autobiography of a sniper of some fame who's name slips my immediate mind, the sergeant performing the demonstration removed the head from a rabbit with a twist, drank its blood, skinned it with his bare hands and made a quick meal of its meat. After which, he demonstrated how to make the intact skin into a moccassin.

That's rather extreme, but there are more cultured examples like steak tartar, sushi and an Arab dish which I've been told is made with raw mutton.

We're well equipped to eat raw meat right from the bone, its not lethal. We're not used to seeing it because we've learned techniques of preparing food in ways which are safer for various health reasons.

Your logic of us not being carnivores because we use tools to prepare meat is as preposterous as someone saying we're not supposed to be vegetarians because we peel, slice, dice, and sometimes cook our vegetables before eating them.

Celestial Mechanic
2006-May-10, 09:11 PM
[Snip!]Your logic of us not being carnivores because we use tools to prepare meat is as preposterous as someone saying we're not supposed to be vegetarians because we peel, slice, dice, and sometimes cook our vegetables before eating them.
Excellent point! :clap:

turbo-1
2006-May-10, 10:52 PM
After enduring some comments from vegetarians over the years about my penchant for hunting and fishing, I have learned to ask some probing questions when they start their preaching. Things like:
1) do you own any products containing leather?
2) do you grow you own food? If not, do you know that most organic fertilizers contain blood meal? Do you know that many of the most coveted organic fertilizers contain fish meal, and ground mollusk shells?
3) are all your candles made of that nice environmentally-friendly paraffin, or might they contain tallow?
4) do you feed the wild birds? Surely you don't put out suet feeders for the over-wintering woodpeckers, chickadees, and nuthatches!?
5) do you buy whole grains and clean them yourself before you mill them for flour? Surely you know that the FDA allows a certain percentage of insect parts in grain products.
6) do you ever buy prepared foods made with commercially-grown and harvested vegetables? Do you know what percentage of insect and animal parts are permissable in those products?
7) do you eat figs? Do you know how many insect larvae are permitted in a single fig?
8) do you drive a car? Do you know how many living creatures you have killed in all the years you have been driving?
9) do you own a cat? If so, do you let it out so it can hunt small animals and birds?
10) if your pet has fleas, will you give the pet a flea bath?

These may seem a bit ridiculous, but once you force a person to define the parameters of their moral basis for vegetarianism, they generally get a little less "full of themselves". It's easier to deal with a moral absolutist after you demonstrate that they are either choosing not to know or are consciously making compromises when the proclaim that all animal life is precious. For most people, "all" animal life is not precious. How many vegetarians would allow their homes to be infested with cockroaches, termites, carpenter ants? If they had a hoe in their hands and saw a venemous snake in their back yard, would they refrain from killing the snake?

We humans are omnivores, and it's pretty easy to demonstrate that. The "moralist" vegetarians who preach that their way of life is "better" need to be reminded of the compromises they make to feel superior. And yes, I hope I am lucky enough to get a moose permit for this fall, and put a white-tail in the freezer, too. My little brother and I will be fishing later this week, and I hope to bring home a nice trout or salmon or two.

Damburger
2006-May-11, 07:04 AM
It's more like saying, "We shouldn't save the sick people because it's inconvenient".

You can easily grow a garden in your back yard to feed yourself and your family, if you're of the upper middle class or even middle class. But would you?

Why not, if you think that it's such a bad thing to kill animals? It's still betraying your personal moral code. It's saying that letting some creatures die is better than letting more creatures die, when there's an option freely available that ensures no animals die.


Still an absurd argument. If you weren't trapped in the false dichotomy you might realise that there is some merit in reducing the number of animals that die because of you

And in case you hadn't noticed most people in the western world don't have huge gardens, and have to work long hours to make ends meet. Not really enough time for farming.



Only one calling it irrational is yourself, it seems. Seems perfectly rational to me.


Then you've got a problem with rationality.



But for the present, when I see hypocrisy, I point it out. Comparing slaughtering animals to killing Jews (which has been done before) is both ludicrous and disgusting, IMO. Especially when you consider is basically what they're saying is that it's okay to kill a few million jews instead of a few billion, as long it's more convenient.

IMO, that's even worse -- it's betraying their own Moral Code.

There is no hypocrisy. Not taking your beliefs to an extreme is not hypocrisy.

Damburger
2006-May-11, 07:07 AM
Window dressing. I've read about survival demonstrations at US military SERE schools involving the rather straightforward consumption of small animals in survival situations. In this case, from the autobiography of a sniper of some fame who's name slips my immediate mind, the sergeant performing the demonstration removed the head from a rabbit with a twist, drank its blood, skinned it with his bare hands and made a quick meal of its meat. After which, he demonstrated how to make the intact skin into a moccassin.


I don't believe you.



That's rather extreme, but there are more cultured examples like steak tartar, sushi and an Arab dish which I've been told is made with raw mutton.


I hate it when people bring up steak tartar because its such an assinine arguement - YOU EAT IT WITH A STEEL KNIFE!

Fish is a whole different kettle of, well, fish.



We're well equipped to eat raw meat right from the bone, its not lethal. We're not used to seeing it because we've learned techniques of preparing food in ways which are safer for various health reasons.

Your logic of us not being carnivores because we use tools to prepare meat is as preposterous as someone saying we're not supposed to be vegetarians because we peel, slice, dice, and sometimes cook our vegetables before eating them.

No. Not at all. My point is we CAN eat vegetables raw not that we ALWAYS eat vegetables raw. Please don't try and misrepresent my argument just to make a rebuttal.

Van Rijn
2006-May-11, 07:32 AM
What is it about vegetarians...
...that makes people so hostile and irrational?




I hate it when people bring up steak tartar because its such an assinine arguement - YOU EAT IT WITH A STEEL KNIFE!


You have definitely answered your own question. Love that "chip on the shoulder" attitude. You have not provided rational counterarguments to many of the points presented here. What does a steel knife have to do with anything?



Fish is a whole different kettle of, well, fish.


Why?



No. Not at all. My point is we CAN eat vegetables raw not that we ALWAYS eat vegetables raw. Please don't try and misrepresent my argument just to make a rebuttal.

We can eat many vegetables raw. We can eat many meats raw. There are often reasons to cook both (easier to chew, safer, easier for the body to digest/greater energy absorption). You keep missing the point that your arguments about meat and processing apply to plants too.



I don't believe you.

Well, ya know, here's what PETA says (http://www.peta.org/feat/wargames/) (not exactly someone on the meat lover's side):

American soldiers are required to kill docile animals during military “survival skills” training courses and are instructed to use their bare hands, rocks, or blunt instruments on chickens, rabbits, goats, and snakes as part of “emergency food procurement exercises.”

Methinks you've lived a sheltered life.

Tog
2006-May-11, 07:39 AM
I don't believe you.

Why not? How is it beyond belief? Is it the gross factor, or is it the mechanics you have an issue with?



I hate it when people bring up steak tartar because its such an assinine arguement - YOU EAT IT WITH A STEEL KNIFE!

But if the arguement is that humans cannot digest raw meat, why does that matter. I know for a fact I cannot digest corn, rice and sesame seeds. I can't eat wheat without a mill.

If the use of tools means an animal is not meant to eat a particular food, then some one needs to get on the apes, otters and ravens, all of which use tools of some sort.

Chimps use sticks to probe anthills and termite mounds to eat the insect that attack the stick they see as an intruder.

Otters will float on their backs and beat mollusks on a rock resting on their stomachs to open the shell.

Birds in England have learned to drop hard shelled nuts onto city streets to let the cars run over them to crack the shells, then, and this is the cool part, they wait for the crossing signal to move out to get the nut.


No. Not at all. My point is we CAN eat vegetables raw not that we ALWAYS eat vegetables raw. Please don't try and misrepresent my argument just to make a rebuttal.

And there is a difference. With something as simple as a bit of flint people can eat raw meat. There are a lot of plants the HAVE to be cooked. or prepared in some way.

01101001
2006-May-11, 08:50 AM
an Arab dish which I've been told is made with raw mutton
Raw Kibbe (http://membres.lycos.fr/syrie/rawkibbe.htm)

Mmm. Inspires such memories that I had to go take a big bite out of tomorrow's T-bone steak.

Gillianren
2006-May-11, 09:03 AM
I hate it when people bring up steak tartar because its such an assinine arguement - YOU EAT IT WITH A STEEL KNIFE!

Oh, yeah. The word is "asinine." If you're going to accuse people of ignorance, it would behoove you to spell it correctly.

But does eating steak tartare (which you also spelled wrong) with your fingers appease your apparent need for people to eat meat the same way animals do? And why do you have this need in order to qualify for eating raw meat, which is, as near as I can tell, the point of your tirade?

Maksutov
2006-May-11, 10:00 AM
Everyone, take it easy, please.

We need to let this subject vegetate for while before it's reanimated, lest the mods take notice.

Just take a deep breath, without doing in any of those airborne life forms, of course... ;)

Moose
2006-May-11, 10:15 AM
[River Tam] I swallowed a bug! [/RT]

Jeff Root
2006-May-11, 11:19 AM
I would never put anything into my mouth that wasn't
struggling to get away! The very idea of eating something
dead-- yecchh!

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

Damburger
2006-May-11, 12:21 PM
I am clearly not being listened to, and that kind of ilustrates the point. People automatically discount any argument, no matter how rational, against their cherished lifestyle.

weatherc
2006-May-11, 12:27 PM
Ah, yes. With logical, rational arguments such as this one, I'm amazed that no one is taking you seriously and dropping their cherished lifestyle:
I hate it when people bring up steak tartar because its such an assinine arguement - YOU EAT IT WITH A STEEL KNIFE! In fact, it's such a great argument, I'm tempted to use it as my new sig.

Celestial Mechanic
2006-May-11, 12:45 PM
Book title I'd like to see: Chicken Soup for the Vegetarian Soul. :D

(Ducks and runs for cover!)

Jeff Root
2006-May-11, 01:22 PM
I am clearly not being listened to, and that kind of ilustrates the point. People automatically discount any argument, no matter how rational, against their cherished lifestyle.
No, you're being listened to. That's why we're laughing.

You started out in the original post complaining about some people
being hostile and irrational, then proceeded to demonstrate what
it means to be hostile and irrational. That was pretty funny.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

Doodler
2006-May-11, 01:23 PM
Oh, yeah. The word is "asinine." If you're going to accuse people of ignorance, it would behoove you to spell it correctly.

But does eating steak tartare (which you also spelled wrong) with your fingers appease your apparent need for people to eat meat the same way animals do? And why do you have this need in order to qualify for eating raw meat, which is, as near as I can tell, the point of your tirade?

Be fair, I screwed that one up too. Not to derail the train here, but this arguement can be won without a sidebar into the spelling skills of individual posters. Lord knows how much shrapnel I'll catch if we go that route.

In any event, the tool use argument is a fallacy, since we're only using them as stand ins for claws. We werent' carnivores when we started eating meat, anyway, we were carrion scavengers.

Tog
2006-May-11, 01:28 PM
Be fair, I screwed that one up too.

Me too, but when I Googled "staek tar tar' it asked if I meant tartar, which was how it was listed on sevreal pages.

Doodler
2006-May-11, 01:31 PM
I am clearly not being listened to, and that kind of ilustrates the point. People automatically discount any argument, no matter how rational, against their cherished lifestyle.

If we were not listening to your arguements, how is it possible we answer them point by point?

mid
2006-May-11, 01:42 PM
Personally, I see vegetarians as bing in one of 4 main categories:

1. Religious or spiritual reasons.
2. Heatlh reasons.
3. Personal moral objections.
4. It's the 'in' thing to do.

5. I don't like the taste of meat.
6. I don't like looking at or handling meat.

Anyway, what we're really seeing here is that

a) A minority (and in the UK at least it seems to be a really small proportion) of vegetarians are highly evangelistic.
b) Some people, although I've only really met this in from Americans online, who in most cases mainly come into contact with vegetarianism through the annoying evangelists, find the subject so annoying that they get their defence in before the (non-existent) attack comes, and hence off goes the argument.

That's my impression, anyway.

Doodler
2006-May-11, 01:58 PM
5. I don't like the taste of meat.
6. I don't like looking at or handling meat.

Anyway, what we're really seeing here is that

a) A minority (and in the UK at least it seems to be a really small proportion) of vegetarians are highly evangelistic.
b) Some people, although I've only really met this in from Americans online, who in most cases mainly come into contact with vegetarianism through the annoying evangelists, find the subject so annoying that they get their defence in before the (non-existent) attack comes, and hence off goes the argument.

That's my impression, anyway.

Anyone using wide open fora like the internet to get their message out to the widest possible audience also tend to be those who are absolutely certain THEY HAVE THE ANSWER WE MUST ALL USE, and tend to evangelize it.

Mix that with the twofold tendency of Americans to be pathologically expressive of their opinions, courtesy of the First Ammendment, along with our rather rambunctious tendency to think we're all that...well...it ain't pretty, sometimes.

SolusLupus
2006-May-11, 02:00 PM
5. I don't like the taste of meat.
6. I don't like looking at or handling meat.

Anyway, what we're really seeing here is that

a) A minority (and in the UK at least it seems to be a really small proportion) of vegetarians are highly evangelistic.
b) Some people, although I've only really met this in from Americans online, who in most cases mainly come into contact with vegetarianism through the annoying evangelists, find the subject so annoying that they get their defence in before the (non-existent) attack comes, and hence off goes the argument.

That's my impression, anyway.

I've only been talking about the evangelical Vegetarians. I've met some intelligent ones, and some "evengelical" types that actually made a good point about animal abuse.

I don't want to give up meat, but I don't believe that animals should be under great pain and abuse while they're alive. That's just what I think.

But comparing killing animals to killing Jews is gross and disgusting, and many of PETA's tactics are similarly propaganda-ish.

When I talk to more moderate vegetarians, they bring up good arguments; and when I give my view, they don't immediately say that I'm ignorant or irrational, like Damburger. And they also listen. ;)

Tog
2006-May-11, 02:02 PM
In the first post, you asked why non vegetarians react so irrationally to vegetarians. A few people said that have never seen this, but have seen it go the other way. You said you had a hard time believing that.

Then you went on to ask if it were possible that being proud of one’s lifestyle could be mistaken for superiority. It probably could, but that would only be the case if Bob (the vegetarian) said he ate no meat and that that made him better in some way, followed by, Jill (meat eater) saying that that was fine for him, but not for everyone, and it ended there. But, if Bob then counters with any of the common arguments, many of which have been stated here, to ‘prove’ she is wrong, then Bob comes off as something other than superior. He comes off as a jerk.

Then the idea that humans are biologically made for eating plants only. Followed by the assertion that the human digestive system cannot digest raw meat. This is shown to be false by a number of people who show examples of raw meat based foods which would seem that meat CAN be eaten raw and it passes through just fine, unlike many plants which do not break down, corn for one.

Now the criteria changes, and food only counts if it can be eaten without the aid of tools of any kind. You don’t need a knife, steel, bronze, plastic or other to eat steak tartar. You do need to be able to chop or grind it though, so let’s expand that to include foods that need tools to process. Like grains. Some veggies can be eaten raw. Fruits, carrots, for those that can tolerate the peel, broccoli, and so on. Others like squash, and potatoes need to be cooked, so they don’t count. Can a human being live a healthy life on only those fruits and veggies that can be eaten raw?

I’ve asked several questions that have gone unheard, or at least unacknowledged. What are your points that you feel we’ve missed here on the other side?

Here are some quotes from various posts through out this thread with certain sections highlighted by me.


I find it hard to believe veggies have ever been aggressive about it. The problem it seems is that meat eaters take the statement 'I'm a vegetarian' to be an attack on their lifestyle.


I think the problem is that you might percieve simply being proud of their lifestyle as being 'excessively superior'.


I'm not saying vegetarians are irrational... I'm saying meat eaters are irrational around vegetarians.
This post by Tofu (http://www.bautforum.com/showpost.php?p=740304&postcount=15).
I didn’t see where these questions were answered.


I was veggie for 3 years, and it was for ecological (or possibly economic) reasons - taking food from higher trophic levels requires far more resources. I do eat meat now due to the pressure of my current lifestyle making it hard to cook properly. I do still try to minimise the ammount of meat I eat though.
Doesn’t this imply that meat is easier to prepare than an all veggie menu?


Maybe its because vegetarianism represents the possibility that something very fundamental to your life could be morally reprehensible.
morally reprehensible to some, but obviously not all. Instead, maybe it’s tenacious attitude of some vegetarians that is being objected to.


You can't accuse vegetarians of being irrational and then say 'I'm never going to agree with you'. You've just admitted to being dogmatic on the subject.
Wait for it…


I don't think we qualify as meat eaters at all, given the impressive array of technology we need to ensure we can actually consume the stuff (mincing machines, steel cutlery, ovens etc.). Like the kind needed to process grains???
In response to the post about how to skin and eat a rabbit without tools.


I don't believe you.
Not exactly “I’m never going to believe you”, but a touch dogmatic, wouldn’t you say?


I am clearly not being listened to, and that kind of ilustrates the point. People automatically discount any argument, no matter how rational, against their cherished lifestyle.
Back at ya.

rahuldandekar
2006-May-11, 02:09 PM
It doesn't matter if human can or cannot digest raw meat (and humans can't really digest all vegetarian food raw too). The thing is, we, as intelligent animals, found a way to make raw meat better: we cooked it! Now that we CAN digest meat, why shouldn't we eat it? Carnivores do it. Only the first two steps of the food pyramid don't. Why can't we? How is it morally inferior?

(BTW, I'm a vegetarian ;) ).

Argos
2006-May-11, 02:12 PM
Not sure about strict vegetarians, but my macrobiotic friends take a fair amount of time preparing [and eating] their meals. I think it´s utterly incompatible with modern urban life demands.

Tog
2006-May-11, 02:12 PM
5. I don't like the taste of meat.
6. I don't like looking at or handling meat.

Anyway, what we're really seeing here is that

a) A minority (and in the UK at least it seems to be a really small proportion) of vegetarians are highly evangelistic.
b) Some people, although I've only really met this in from Americans online, who in most cases mainly come into contact with vegetarianism through the annoying evangelists, find the subject so annoying that they get their defence in before the (non-existent) attack comes, and hence off goes the argument.

That's my impression, anyway.

Actually, I saw your 5 and 6 as being part of my 3, Personal Moral objections. I don't drink becuse I can't tolerate the taste of alcohol. For me it's a personal moral objection. Same thing for why I don't smoke, though that would go under health issues as well.

I want to stress, again, that I don't care if a person eats meat or not. As a non-drinker, I don't care if people around me drink. Smokers should at least stand downwind, and most that I know actually do. It's only when someone insists on telling me that I need to chang my life to fit thier values that I take issue. I've never seen a Pro Meat demonstration at a restaurant, but I've seen several anti meat ones. If they want to demonstrate, that's their right. Just as it's my right to walk past them to get a burger. As long as we agree to disagree it's a non issue. If they hand me a paper sumarrising their views, I'll look at it rather thatn throw it back in their face. If it doesn't interest me, I'll hand it back so they can re-use it. Funny how often that is seen as an insult.

I just don't understand why this is such a big issue.

Doodler
2006-May-11, 02:22 PM
Not sure about strict vegetarians, but my macrobiotic friends take a fair amount of time preparing [and eating] their meals. I think it´s utterly incompatible with modern urban life demands.

That is a whole other can of worms... :wall:

Damburger
2006-May-11, 04:02 PM
In any event, the tool use argument is a fallacy, since we're only using them as stand ins for claws. We werent' carnivores when we started eating meat, anyway, we were carrion scavengers.

WHAT!?

Thats like saying humans can naturally fly because planes are only used as standins for wings.

Doodler
2006-May-11, 04:07 PM
WHAT!?

Thats like saying humans can naturally fly because planes are only used as standins for wings.

As a matter of fact, some people have become rather gifted at flying. ;)

Though, at a less complex scale, gliders are a pretty good tool adaptation for a more natural emulation of flying, using thermals and being subject to wind currents. :)

01101001
2006-May-11, 04:13 PM
How about the fruitarians (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fruitarianism) who might hold the vegans are merciless killers because they eat living leaves and roots, instead of only eating fallen fruit that has "volunteered" to be eaten?

Damburger
2006-May-11, 04:14 PM
In the first post, you asked why non vegetarians react so irrationally to vegetarians. A few people said that have never seen this, but have seen it go the other way. You said you had a hard time believing that.

Then you went on to ask if it were possible that being proud of one’s lifestyle could be mistaken for superiority. It probably could, but that would only be the case if Bob (the vegetarian) said he ate no meat and that that made him better in some way, followed by, Jill (meat eater) saying that that was fine for him, but not for everyone, and it ended there. But, if Bob then counters with any of the common arguments, many of which have been stated here, to ‘prove’ she is wrong, then Bob comes off as something other than superior. He comes off as a jerk.


So you are calling me a jerk for presenting evidence against your position?



Then the idea that humans are biologically made for eating plants only. Followed by the assertion that the human digestive system cannot digest raw meat. This is shown to be false by a number of people who show examples of raw meat based foods which would seem that meat CAN be eaten raw and it passes through just fine, unlike many plants which do not break down, corn for one.


Stop right there, you are misrepresenting my arguments (no big surprise). I didn't say humans are biologically made for eating plants only. I was simply countering the idea that meat eating is 'natural'. There is a difference.



Now the criteria changes, and food only counts if it can be eaten without the aid of tools of any kind. You don’t need a knife, steel, bronze, plastic or other to eat steak tartar. You do need to be able to chop or grind it though, so let’s expand that to include foods that need tools to process. Like grains. Some veggies can be eaten raw. Fruits, carrots, for those that can tolerate the peel, broccoli, and so on. Others like squash, and potatoes need to be cooked, so they don’t count. Can a human being live a healthy life on only those fruits and veggies that can be eaten raw?


I never changed my position, don't lie. Also, the objection youve got about certain vegetables I've already addressed, and I'm not inclined to go over again.



I’ve asked several questions that have gone unheard, or at least unacknowledged. What are your points that you feel we’ve missed here on the other side?


If I've ignored your questions, its likely becausde they were already asked and you didn't see them, or they weren't worth bothering with.



Here are some quotes from various posts through out this thread with certain sections highlighted by me.


I think the attacks on me have proven exactly what I'm saying (even though I do eat meat...)


This post by Tofu (http://www.bautforum.com/showpost.php?p=740304&postcount=15).
I didn’t see where these questions were answered.


They fall into the 'not worth bothering with' category. Silly anecdotes. Unless you want me to start presenting 'bloke-down-the-pub' evidence?



Doesn’t this imply that meat is easier to prepare than an all veggie menu?


Did I ever say otherwise? Again, you seem intent on misrepresenting me.



morally reprehensible to some, but obviously not all. Instead, maybe it’s tenacious attitude of some vegetarians that is being objected to.


I've not been arguing morality, so I don't know what you are talking about.



Wait for it…
Like the kind needed to process grains???
In response to the post about how to skin and eat a rabbit without tools.


ALREADY ADDRESSED



Not exactly “I’m never going to believe you”, but a touch dogmatic, wouldn’t you say?


Demanding evidence isn't being dogmatic



Back at ya.

Except, of course, I'm not a vegetarian. Try reading the thread.

Kristophe
2006-May-11, 05:04 PM
I was going to read through the entire thread to make sure I didn't say exactly what someone else said, but I got to this point and had to stop. I really hope someone else has already pointed this out...

Damburger, you start a thread asking why people seem so opposed to vegetarianism, and you get a boat load of replies saying "I'm not opposed to vegetarianism, just vegetarians who try to impose their own morals on me." Then you pump this out:



Maybe its because vegetarianism represents the possibility that something very fundamental to your life could be morally reprehensible.

Something tells me you're running around with your fingers in your ears.

Kristophe
2006-May-11, 05:14 PM
For a good view of what goes on in the modern "industrial farm" (which the food conglomerates would really rather not have you know) one should visit the library and read "Dominion" by Matthew Scully.

I saw a documentary at the National Film Board of Canada titled Bacon: The Movie. It documents how pig farms in rural Quebec are run, and the numerous problems the large farms cause for local residents. It was a very difficult movie to watch, but what I remember of it was very well done. It's in French, but subtitled, if anyone's ever strolling through Toronto with two hours to kill.

I should mention, it's also free to view, but you have to watch it in two sittings. If they're not busy, those sitting can be back-to-back.

peter eldergill
2006-May-11, 05:19 PM
I knew a vegetarian who wouldn't eat meat because he thought raising livestock to be a waste of resources, humans could just eat the grain which is fed to the livestock.

An interesting thought, IMO. I'm not sure if he's still a vegetarian, people change when they leave the comfort of university life and get to real life....(no offense to any students...it's a great life!)

Pete

turbo-1
2006-May-11, 05:28 PM
But it IS true that if most people saw the way that the cattle, chicken, and pigs that they eat were treated during their lifetime, they would be repulsed. Gone are the days of the farmer raising animals that could be outside in the sunshine - of cows grazing, chickens feeding outside, and pigs rooting and playing - up until the very last day of their lives.Luckily for me, I live a few miles from a farm where the beef and poultry are raised in just that manner. The animals have lush green pasture and fresh water and live quite contentedly. That farm is a model of ethical treatment for animals. The farm is home to three generations of family, and it is where my wife and I go to stock up our freezer for the winter. The meat is far better than anything you can buy in a supermarket, and the prices are lower, as well. The farm is also working toward certification as organic.

I would prefer to shoot a moose (if I get a permit this year) or a deer, and put wild game in the freezer, but failing that, at least we are not going to the supermarket to buy feed-lot beef or meat from chickens that have been confined in tiny pens all their brief lives with the tips of their beaks cut off.

turbo-1
2006-May-11, 05:41 PM
I knew a vegetarian who wouldn't eat meat because he thought raising livestock to be a waste of resources, humans could just eat the grain which is fed to the livestock.The "waste of resources" idea is a pretty common misconception, usually applied by people who are taking an absolutist approach and do not understand the economics or history of food production. The truth is that goats, sheep, horses, cattle, etc are pretty efficient at taking foods that we could not subsist on and turning those foods into fats and animal protein that we can subsist on. Over thousands of years, herders became quite adept at finding forage for their herds. The animals were quite portable, since they were self-propelled, and the herders could travel light. If they were very good at finding forage and water for their animals, they would be building wealth continuously, and stockpiling LIVE animal proteins and fats, while taking advantage of fiber, milk, etc.

DOOMMaster
2006-May-11, 06:35 PM
Actually, I saw your 5 and 6 as being part of my 3, Personal Moral objections. I don't drink becuse I can't tolerate the taste of alcohol. For me it's a personal moral objection. Same thing for why I don't smoke, though that would go under health issues as well.

I wouldn't really say that it's a moral issue in regard to your position on alcohol. You don't like the taste, so you don't drink it. There isn't really anything moral or immoral about it. It's an amoral situation. I don't like the taste of spinach, so I don't eat it. I have a friend who doesn't like the taste of steak, so he doesn't eat it (but he does eat other meat, like hamburgers and chicken). It's just a preference, and I see nothing wrong with preferences.

Dambuger everything Tog_ posted is correct. Your position seems to have devolved into one where you refuse to accept evidence that has been presented. You've done little more than post sematic arguments and then try to twist what the rest of us have presented as incorrect because you don't accept them. There is no difference between using a steak knife and using a potato peeler. A tool does not determine how you are eating. I can eat a steak without the steak knife and I can eat the potato without a peeler. Both just make the job easier (which is exactly why we use tools).

You've already said you can't see veggies being agressive.


I find it hard to believe veggies have ever been aggressive about it. The problem it seems is that meat eaters take the statement 'I'm a vegetarian' to be an attack on their lifestyle.

Yet you've been presented with MOUNTAINS of evidence of such things. PETA, vegetarian/vegan protests outside of meat serving restaurants such as McDonalds and KFC, and moralistic vegetarian/vegan preaching to various posters in this thread such as myself, turbo-1, Tofu, etc. are just a few examples.

Now I'm going to have to ask for some examples of meat eating/omnivores doing these type of actions, not of someone defending him or herself from the attacks of moralistic vegetarians/vegans. When you can show me a meat eating protest outside the local vegetarian salad bar or a meat eater trying to convince you that eating only vegetables/fruits is morally wrong, you may have a point. But I know that you can't do this, so it's really just a pointless waste of time at this point.

Let me state this again and think about it this time. I don't have a problem with someone being a vegetarian AS LONG AS THEY DON'T TRY TO TELL ME I'M AN IMMORAL MONSTER FOR EATING MEAT! Just eat your salad, I'll eat my steak, and keep your mouth shut about it.

Gillianren
2006-May-11, 07:09 PM
I, for one, have also made repeated references to sharing meals with vegetarian friends. So have several others. And, in fact, when I do, I try to make the main dish something the person I've invited into my home will eat, largely because I can't really afford to provide more than one main dish for a meal. I do, however, make very good bread, though a vegan couldn't eat it. (There's milk in my recipe.)

I'd really like to know where you're going with the tool use argument. By your logic, as has been pointed out, otters don't really eat shellfish, because they open the shells with rocks. Chimpanzees don't really eat termites, because they get them out of the mound using sticks. I would like you to explain the process by which the use of tools changes the structure of the food so it's no longer meat, shellfish, or termites. Contrary to what you might think, you haven't explained this; you've claimed to explain it and expected us to agree. Since none of us understand what you're saying, either you didn't explain it at all or you didn't explain it very well. At the very least, can you provide the post wherein you explained it?

Celestial Mechanic
2006-May-11, 07:54 PM
[What is it about vegetarians]...that makes people so hostile and irrational? People who otherwise seem fairly logical and scientific can become quite dogmatic and stupid when talking about vegetarianism. What the hell is so offensive about people not eating meat?
What the hell is so offensive about people eating meat? I've reviewed this thread and I find the principal dogmatic (though not stupid) poster to be you. You claim that your arguments are being distorted (example follows)


Then the idea that humans are biologically made for eating plants only. Followed by the assertion that the human digestive system cannot digest raw meat. This is shown to be false by a number of people who show examples of raw meat based foods which would seem that meat CAN be eaten raw and it passes through just fine, unlike many plants which do not break down, corn for one.Stop right there, you are misrepresenting my arguments (no big surprise). I didn't say humans are biologically made for eating plants only. I was simply countering the idea that meat eating is 'natural'. There is a difference.
Well, here in post #23 we have:


We may not be wolves, but we are omnivores--we are intended to eat both meat and veggies.[Snip!]
[Snip!]And if we are supposed to eat meat, why can't we?
Sounds like a statement that we can't eat meat (at least uncooked) to me. If we can't eat meat, then what does that leave? Just plants and fungi. Oh, and maybe animal secretions like milk. Maybe.

Except, of course, I'm not a vegetarian. Try reading the thread.
So why are your undies all a-twist? ;)

turbo-1
2006-May-11, 07:56 PM
I, for one, have also made repeated references to sharing meals with vegetarian friends. So have several others. And, in fact, when I do, I try to make the main dish something the person I've invited into my home will eat, largely because I can't really afford to provide more than one main dish for a meal. I do, however, make very good bread, though a vegan couldn't eat it. (There's milk in my recipe.)I have shared my table many times with vegetarian friends, and in fact used to make loaves of whole-wheat bread for a vegetarian couple close to me. I have since lost the recipe, but it was very simple, using water, wheat flour, white flour, vegetable oil, and salt. They used to do nice things for me, and I ate with them often, so I was happy to make bread for them, especially when they had to travel back to their parents' home states for visits. It was not easy for vegetarians to find their preferred foods on the road back in the early 70's.

My run-ins have not been with nice people like these, but rather with the moralists who preach at me and look down their noses because I hunt, fish, and eat meat. I am part Native-American and was raised to respect nature and to support sustainable use of natural things, including wild game, fish, berries, wild food that can be gathered, etc. I don't enjoy killing deer. I enjoy stalking through the woods, listening, and looking, making my self as unobtrusive as possible. Pulling the trigger is the least fun part of hunting for me, and I only shoot when I can get a clean quick humane kill. I empathize with the animals that I hunt, and I do not take their lives lightly. I would never hunt for sport or trophies, but there is something in me that would die if I could not hunt for food.

Van Rijn
2006-May-11, 08:01 PM
Stop right there, you are misrepresenting my arguments (no big surprise). I didn't say humans are biologically made for eating plants only. I was simply countering the idea that meat eating is 'natural'. There is a difference.


What's the difference? What is the point you are trying to make? I agree with Gillian. You have been making statements (usually confrontational) but have done little to explain yourself. I'm not psychic, I can only go by your words.



If I've ignored your questions, its likely becausde they were already asked and you didn't see them, or they weren't worth bothering with.


We've taken the trouble of reading your posts and have asked questions. If you can't be bothered to respond to questions, then don't complain that people aren't paying attention to you.



I think the attacks on me have proven exactly what I'm saying (even though I do eat meat...)


You really don't realize how confrontational and dismissive you've been throughout this entire thread, do you? The only thing that has been "proven" is that confrontational behavior tends to result in confrontational responses. Try to be a bit friendlier and see what happens.



Except, of course, I'm not a vegetarian. Try reading the thread.

I have. For someone who isn't a vegetarian, you are playing the role of militant vegan to the hilt.

NEOWatcher
2006-May-11, 08:24 PM
What's the difference? What is the point you are trying to make? I agree with Gillian. You have been making statements (usually confrontational) but have done little to explain yourself. I'm not psychic, I can only go by your words.

We've taken the trouble of reading your posts and have asked questions. If you can't be bothered to respond to questions, then don't complain that people aren't paying attention to you.

I've stayed out of it for now, but I just added I agree with this (and many others)

I equate what is going on with this.

Damburger: Why do people hate even numbers?
Baut member: I'm odd and I don't hate them. I've never known any one that did.
Damburger: But odd numbers can't be divisible by two?
Baut member: How does that matter?
Damburger: Blue
Baut member: What do you mean by "blue"
Damburger: If you can't understand me, then you have a lot to learn, I've already explained how prime numbers relate.
Baut member: :confused:

snabald
2006-May-11, 08:33 PM
I was a veggie for something like 7 years (I'm not anymore) and it's true, people (especially my wife's family) seemed HIGHLY offended by it.

I never even preached about it, they found out one year at thanksgiving when they asked me how come I wasn't eating any turkey!

SolusLupus
2006-May-11, 09:23 PM
I knew a vegetarian who wouldn't eat meat because he thought raising livestock to be a waste of resources, humans could just eat the grain which is fed to the livestock.

Not sure if it's been mentioned before, but that would be impossible as the grains fed to livestock are much different than the grains that humans would eat. They're made specifically for animals, and require entirely different growing conditions than normal grains.

At least, that's what I heard.

But I'm not against just getting rid of all the grains, and planting soy beans; with gengineered soybeans, I think that we could easily provide all the nutrients everyone needs. I've brought this up before.

The main problem, though, has to do with allergies, and traditions. Not to mention economics and lack of interest.

Doodler
2006-May-11, 09:24 PM
I've stayed out of it for now, but I just added I agree with this (and many others)

I equate what is going on with this.

Damburger: Why do people hate even numbers?
Baut member: I'm odd and I don't hate them. I've never known any one that did.
Damburger: But odd numbers can't be divisible by two?
Baut member: How does that matter?
Damburger: Blue
Baut member: What do you mean by "blue"
Damburger: If you can't understand me, then you have a lot to learn, I've already explained how prime numbers relate.
Baut member: :confused:

:lol:

turbo-1
2006-May-11, 09:38 PM
I was a veggie for something like 7 years (I'm not anymore) and it's true, people (especially my wife's family) seemed HIGHLY offended by it.

I never even preached about it, they found out one year at thanksgiving when they asked me how come I wasn't eating any turkey!If you told them in a nice neutral way and they acted offended, your in-laws are seriously sick. Too bad. Everybody has a right to make their own choices, just not to make choices for everybody else or disparage those of others.

Moose
2006-May-11, 09:48 PM
The main problem, though, has to do with allergies, and traditions. Not to mention economics and lack of interest.

Pretty much. I couldn't do a vegetarian (or even a mostly vegetarian) diet without some hefty suppliments and very close monitoring from my doctor, if it were even possible.

Van Rijn
2006-May-11, 09:56 PM
If you told them in a nice neutral way and they acted offended, your in-laws are seriously sick. Too bad. Everybody has a right to make their own choices, just not to make choices for everybody else or disparage those of others.

Agreed, though I would have told them before going to a Thanksgiving meal. There is, of course, a lot of work involved in a Thanksgiving dinner, and it would be easy to get the wrong idea if somebody isn't eating the main course. Not the best timing, at any rate.

turbo-1
2006-May-11, 10:24 PM
Pretty much. I couldn't do a vegetarian (or even a mostly vegetarian) diet without some hefty suppliments and very close monitoring from my doctor, if it were even possible.I can't imagine giving up venison, buttermilk biscuits, omelets, home-smoked salmon, partridge, trout, etc. My wife and I grow most of our own vegetables, pick fiddleheads and berries in season, and pack them into our freezers. We do not eat much in the way of commercially-processed foods. We make all our own soups, casseroles, pasta sauces, pizza sauce, pepper sauces, etc. We buy ketchup, prepared mustard, some canned salmon and crab, and some other staples, but you will never find any Lipton, Campbell, Chef Boy-ar-dee stuff in our pantry. Open the door and you will see dry beans, peas, lentils, spices, molasses, nuts, flours, sugar, etc. My wife is a gourmet cook with a down-home bent, and we eat healthier than anyone I know. Once, I brought home a deer and had forgotten the liver in the woods about a half-mile from the house. She made me go back and retrieve that liver NOW!

Tog
2006-May-11, 11:02 PM
So you are calling me a jerk for presenting evidence against your position? No, I was not calling YOU anything. In my example, I had two people. One had a certain view the other did not share. If the first person Offered to explain their view and the second declined that offer, the first person can either walk away or press the issue. In my opinion, a person who presses an issue in this situation does not come off in a good light,

Stop right there, you are misrepresenting my arguments (no big surprise). I didn't say humans are biologically made for eating plants only. I was simply countering the idea that meat eating is 'natural'. There is a difference.
Perhaps I did misunderstand this one. From post 10:

Don't forget that old "the earliest human cultures were vegetarian" myth. From post 11 which quoted the above line.

Sure thats a myth? I'd really love to see an avowed meat eater tackle meat without the benefit of fire or knives. I took that to be you discounting the ‘myth’ title for that statement and that you supported the idea that early humans did not eat meat. Incidentally, it was always my understanding that early humans were nomadic until agriculture came about. What reason would they have to be nomadic, if not seeking migratory animals for food and clothing? Also, I don’t see how this relates to the original post.

I never changed my position, don't lie. Also, the objection youve got about certain vegetables I've already addressed, and I'm not inclined to go over again. I reading the thread this morning, I didn’t see where you had addressed those points. In rereading it now, I still didn’t see them, in which post were they addressed? Also, I don’t see where anything I wrote here was a lie. Your first post stated that you felt non vegetarians act irrationally toward vegetarians. By post 11 you’ve implied that eating meat is not natural for humans. In fact, post 23:

And if we are supposed to eat meat, why can't we? I wasn’t aware that we couldn’t. I have. Many others have. You’ve even stated that you have. Later you say that steak tartar doesn’t count because is has to be made with a knife. So that would mean that anything that needs a tool to prepare is not a natural food. Again, I see this as a different line than the original post.

If I've ignored your questions, its likely becausde they were already asked and you didn't see them, or they weren't worth bothering with.
They may have been asked, but I did not see them answered. I guess my posts prior to the one you responded to here were not worth bothering with.

I think the attacks on me have proven exactly what I'm saying (even though I do eat meat...)
No. The ‘attacks’ against you were a result of people saying they saw no examples of meat eating people becoming irrational around vegetarians. You immediately dismissed any notion that a vegetarian could be the aggressor in a debate like that. People then felt a need to respond to that denial and things have escalated and changed until we reach this point.



1. peta gives school children a book titled "your mommy kills animals" (http://grimthing.com/archives/2003/12/19/your-mommy-kills-animals/) which features graphic images of animals being slaughtered for food. The children go home terrified and crying and (peta hopes) converted to vegetarianism.

2. peta members stand outside KFC (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1537171/posts) restaurants (known for serving chicken in buckets) holding "buckets of blood" - again, meant to scare people into vegetarianism.

do I need to go on? If you haven't seen "veggies" being aggressive, I just don't know what cave you've been living in.
<snip>I gave two examples of vegetarians trying to scare meat eaters into vegetarianism. now the ball is in your court. Let's see you find even one example to back your statement that "meat eaters take the statement... to be an attack on their lifestyle."
They fall into the 'not worth bothering with' category. Silly anecdotes. Unless you want me to start presenting 'bloke-down-the-pub' evidence?
No need for an anecdote. A link will do nicely. You'll see I added some.

On my statement that cooking meat because of a lack of time to cook properly implies that meat is easier to prepare you said:

Did I ever say otherwise? Again, you seem intent on misrepresenting me. Maybe the point wasn’t clear. If meat is not a natural food for humans because of the difficulty of preparing it, and meat is easier to prepare than a non meat meal, then how is a non meat diet more natural?

I've not been arguing morality, so I don't know what you are talking about. You brought it up here (post 77) in response to another post:

This is a no middle ground fallacy. Its like saying 'Doctors don't care about sick people, because people die all the time in hopsitals'.

This is exactly the kind of irrational reaction you tend to get from otherwise rational meat eaters, when confronted with the concept of vegetarianism.

Maybe its because vegetarianism represents the possibility that something very fundamental to your life could be morally reprehensible.
I was simply saying that morally reprehensible to one person may not be so to all.
Regarding the skinning of the rabbit and eating it without tools, knives or fire, the only response from you I have found is ‘I don’t believe it’. I asked what it was about it that you didn’t believe. I did not see an answer.

ALREADY ADDRESSED Addressed where, I still can’t seem to find it.

Demanding evidence isn't being dogmatic No, but when presented with information that went against something you felt to be true, you responded with a statement of disbelief, twice. Then you said that for a person to state they would never believe something was dogmatic. Demanding evidence is not dogmatic. Discounting it without explanation or cause might be.

Except, of course, I'm not a vegetarian. Try reading the thread. Vegetarian or not, it was your assertion that the subject makes people irrational. Maybe that was the original point. Not to choose a side and just see where the thread goes. But when the first two people responded to it to say that the main source of irrational behavior came from the vegetarians based on their own personal observations, you discounted it and set off upon this road. I have read this thread.

Gillianren
2006-May-12, 01:17 AM
Agreed, though I would have told them before going to a Thanksgiving meal. There is, of course, a lot of work involved in a Thanksgiving dinner, and it would be easy to get the wrong idea if somebody isn't eating the main course. Not the best timing, at any rate.

I tend to establish, well in advance, that I'm a fussy eater and may or may not like whatever's being served, that it's no reflection on the person doing the preparing, and that I don't expect my food tastes to control what everyone else eats. (My grandmother just put the basket of rolls in front of me for Thanksgiving and Christmas and left it at that. I just don't like turkey.) I've had people assume that it's a reflection on their cooking, but generally, if I'm polite, they accept that it's really nothing personal.

While I love cooking, there are a lot of prepared foods in my house, especially since I'm currently living alone--I'm not always physically or emotionally equipped to cook. This has caused me to note how much more expensive "vegetarian" prepared foods are than their omnivorous equivalents.

kylenano
2006-May-12, 01:58 PM
In the second half (about 16 minutes in) of the programme Thinking Allowed - 12 April 2006 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/factual/thinkingallowed/thinkingallowed_20060412.shtml) Laurie Taylor talks to Jamie L. Mullaney, author of Everyone Is Not Doing It: Abstinence and Personal Identity, University of Chicago Press, ISBN: 0226547574, about how people are defined as much by what they don't do as what they do do.

I have a vested interest - I'm a teetotal, non-smoking, non-driving vegan. I don't preach about any of these things so I hate being questioned and having to justify my choices!

clop
2006-May-12, 10:24 PM
Vegetarians impress me. I wish I had the integrity to give up lovely meat for the sake of the poor treatment and slaughter of food animals. At the very least I could stick to eating parts of only large animals and try to reduce the number of animals that have to die for me. But then I suppose the animals I don't eat will end up rotting pointlessly in the dustbins behind the supermarket.

However, one thing about vegetarianism really irritates me.

As soon as someone announces that they are vegetarian (and believe me, vegetarians just can't stop themselves from telling everyone in the kitchen) some simpering git always looks at what they're cooking (usually some bits of carrot and broccoli and sweetcorn simmering in watery chopped tomatoes), slowly shakes their head in astonishment and gasps, "oooh! that looks delicious!" from a state of stupified awe, to which the vegetarian triumphantly responds, "yes! vegetables are really tasty!" like a vegetable missionary on a crusade to spread the hallowed word of vegetables, and everyone present nods in wondrous enlightenment.

Well hallelujah.

What. A. Revelation.

Yes I know vegetables are tasty. Why do you think I eat them every day? For god's sake. Your wonderful delicious watery vegetable slop is my tea with the pieces of chicken taken out. It's not the vegetarians who annoy me - it's the notion that vegetables are somehow transformed from being bland and boring to mouth-watering gourmet miracles because there's no meat on the plate next to them.

clop

Captain Kidd
2006-May-13, 12:45 AM
There's bad eggs on both sides of the fence. The "if you're not like me, you're wrong" attitude knows no boundaries be it dietary or anything else for that matter from politics to music to whatever.

Unfortunately the annoying preachy types are far more vocal than the understanding. I wonder how much of it is due to an inferiority complex. (That goes for all self-rightous people spousing whatever viewpoint.)

I do have to admit that when I think vegetarian, I tend to think of the annoying type. My friends that are vegetarians are unassuming about it to the point that it's easy to forget they are. It's the way they eat nothing more, nothing less.

Lord Jubjub
2006-May-13, 12:50 AM
Reading through this thread, I am quite thankful that political and religious threads are banned on this board. This thread came very close to being both.

HenrikOlsen
2006-May-13, 07:09 AM
I think it's because some are afraid of ending up like this (http://angryflower.com/nomeat.html).:whistle:

Maksutov
2006-May-13, 07:13 AM
Amazing what certain threads will produce in the way of popup ads:

http://img81.imageshack.us/img81/5076/popupadsforvegetarianthread200.jpg

OK, what's a vegetarian ringtone? Is it a recording of the president of PETA stating that, "No animals were killed or harmed during the production of this ringtone."?

Meanwhile, I like vegetarians. Their food choices ensure that there will be more meat for the rest of us.

Mak (lifetime member of PETA)
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PETA = People Eating Tasty Animals.

http://www.cosgan.de/images/midi/nahrung/h018.gif

Van Rijn
2006-May-13, 07:22 AM
Meanwhile, I like vegetarians. Their food choices ensure that there will be more meat for the rest of us.


Now, that's the best argument I've seen yet! Meanwhile I got an ad for plasma surface treatment. Well, I suppose that's one way to prepare broccoli . . .

(Now where did I put my plasma rifle?)

SolusLupus
2006-May-13, 07:57 AM
As Maddox said:

"For every animal you don't eat, I'll eat three!"

(Maddox is not a very PC or nice person. But he's fun.)

worzel
2006-May-13, 08:31 AM
When I was a vegetarian (most of my life) I was constantly grilled by people. They'd start off all nice and polite and ask why I was, what I wouldn't eat (or wear), etc. and gradually gather evidence for their shocking revelation that I am a hypocrite and swiftly move on to a bunch of ridiculous arguments like "we'd be over populated with cows if we didn't eat them", or "it's perfectly natural".

I'd usually take exception to this and point out that it was virtually impossible not to use animal by products in some way without removing ones self from sociecty all together, and that some recycling is better than none (if you believe it to be a good thing) and throwing the odd bottle in the trash doesn't discount all the recycling you've done before. By the time I'd get to "we wouldn't breed as many cows if we didn't eat as many" and "starvation is the natural way to control populaton numbers, but we don't usually look at what is natural for moral inspiration" I'd be labelled as the argumentative vegetarian when all I did was answer the points they made.

Most people didn't behave like this, but like us argumentative (ex)vegetarians, they're the ones who stand out.

Ok, let's get few things straight:

1) It is possible to think that eating meat is imoral without being particularly fond of animals or being squeemish

2) Morals have nothing to do with what is natural, particularly what is natural in the animal kingdom

3) It is perfectly possible to be healthy on a vegetarian diet without suppliments or visits to the doctor

4) The justification for the inference that animals suffer is virtually identical to the justification for the inference that humans suffer - there is no good reason to infer that plants suffer

5) Factory farming methods are very different to going out and shooting yourself a wild animal, how anyone can see it and not think it is cruel is beyond me

6) Comparisons between between things like slavery and animal farming are not usually meant to imply that they are on a parr, but are used to show how the logic of a position may be fallcious by showing that the same logic applied in a different example (presumably) does not hold water with most people.

I am not a vegetarian now, mainly because it is so inconvient, but I still have an uncomfortable feeling about how little consideration we give to animal suffereing. So I'll say up front that I am a hypocrite in case anyone thinks I haven't realized that.

Van Rijn
2006-May-13, 09:10 AM
3) It is perfectly possible to be healthy on a vegetarian diet without suppliments or visits to the doctor


I suppose it depends on what you mean by a "vegetarian diet" but I'm not aware of any vegetable source for vitamin B12. Most other things you can manage, assuming you don't have any difficulties with digestion (which isn't as uncommon as you might think) and you're willing to do a bit of dietary gymnastics (it wouldn't have been so easy for our ancestors).

worzel
2006-May-13, 10:13 AM
I suppose it depends on what you mean by a "vegetarian diet" but I'm not aware of any vegetable source for vitamin B12. Most other things you can manage, assuming you don't have any difficulties with digestion (which isn't as uncommon as you might think) and you're willing to do a bit of dietary gymnastics (it wouldn't have been so easy for our ancestors).
Maybe not for our ancestors, vitamin C was a problem for many of then too. Here in the UK I think vegans have to be careful about iodine as well because our salt is not iodised. But I have known many vegetarians who don't think about their diet at all and are perfectly healthy. What people might forget when they hear about these "problems of nutrition" for vegetarians and vegans is that many meat eaters suffer from all sorts of deficiencies. Whatever our dietary choice, we'd all have to perform dietary gymnastics in order to have the perfect balance of everything we need.

Having said that, I have never given what I eat any more thought than what I feel like eating (and whether or not it is meat, of course). I was vegetarian from birth until about 15 and then again from 22ish until a few years ago. I have had no health problems despite being a heavy smoker and drinker. I'm not saying that vegetarianism is necessarilly healthier, just that it is not quite as unhealthy as some would appear to think.

My mother has been vegetarian since 18 and is in very good health. She is more aware of dietary issues than me, though. My ex has been vegetarian for most of her life (from 10 I think) and completely vegan for decades - and she is incredibly healthy. By the way, I fed myself for many years so it isn't just a case of me not realizing they were slipping pills into my pasta :)

Now here's the curious bit that may undermine everything I've said. I have always suffered from coughs and colds more frequently and severely than others (although nothing chronic). I always assumed it was becauuse I smoked - they occurred whether I was in a vegan or carniverous phase, or somewhere inbetween - but were always less severe and less frequent when I was a vegan. But recently (like the last couple of years) I have hardly suffered at all (although I still have the smokers "agh-mm"). And coincidental with that is moving in with my girlfriend and eating some meat. Of course, if I wanted to maintain that vegetarianism is fine I would dismiss this as being corelated to my new healthy settled down lifestyle, and point to the fact that eating meat previously never made any difference. But it does make me wonder, because previous meat eating phases were corelated to heavier drinking, among other things, and staying up all night quite regularly. This is the first time I've had both a settled down lifestyle with regular exercise and have eaten meat, and I feel healthier now than I ever have since starting to smoke and drink.

Does anyone know if there is a well known deficiency that vegetarians could be more prone to that affects the immune system or respiratory system?

Moose
2006-May-13, 02:50 PM
Does anyone know if there is a well known deficiency that vegetarians could be more prone to that affects the immune system or respiratory system?

Iron. There's nothing better than meat sources for absorbing iron naturally. Vegetarians should have their iron monitored from time to time. Iron plays a critical role in oxygen absorption and apparently has a role in the immune system as well. Iron suppliments can help, but should be taken only on advice from a doctor. Because the "lots-of-vitamins-for-everything" people would routinely overdose on over-the-counter suppliments, iron is now a prescription-only product.

I doubt I have to say this, but nothing I've said in this post should be construed as medical advice. You should consult your doctor for real information.

Gillianren
2006-May-13, 05:32 PM
I have one friend who stopped being vegetarian in part because of iron deficiency and one who concedes that she'd probably be healthier if she did. However, since she's been at least semi-vegetarian all her life (she doesn't eat red meat), she says, and she's probably right, that eating meat makes her feel sick, as her digestive system isn't prepared for it.

turbo-1
2006-May-13, 05:49 PM
Yeah, vegetarian diets have to be more carefully planned than omnivorous ones, or you can end up deficient in iron, calcium, zinc, B12, D (especially if you don't get much sun) and lots of trace elements. I certainly wouldn't try to raise children as strict vegetarians - they are developing bones, muscle, nerves, brain, and the all-imporant endocrine system that regulates everything. A serious deficiency could hurt their development and doom them to a life of sub-par health.

peter eldergill
2006-May-13, 07:40 PM
I thought you could get iron from dark green veggies like broccoli and spinach

Pete

clop
2006-May-13, 07:48 PM
Why don't vegetarians have their canine teeth removed?

clop

Moose
2006-May-13, 07:54 PM
I thought you could get iron from dark green veggies like broccoli and spinach

You can, but with veggie-sourced iron, your digestive tract first has to transform it so it's compatible with your digestive tract. The absorbtion happens very late in the digestive process. So late, that most of the iron will have passed through your tract unabsorbed. This is the main challenge with veggie-based diets. While humans are able to get sufficient nutrition from plant matter, the process is inefficient enough that there really isn't much margin to play with.

If you suffer from any sort of digestive problem, especially colitis, crohn's, or any form of IBD, or have been treated for colon cancer or something similar, then your digestive tract simply isn't long enough to get any significant benefit from veggie-based iron.

Meat-based iron has already been transformed into the proper form by the host animal, and meats are relatively quickly, and relatively efficiently digested, so you're absorbing iron pretty much from the moment it gets past your liver.

peter eldergill
2006-May-13, 07:56 PM
I should print your post and show it my mom, who always force fed us spinach and brussel sprouts! Ha!

Pete

Jeff Root
2006-May-13, 08:10 PM
I was in my thirties before I ever had fresh spinach, and learned
that it tastes as good fresh as it tastes bad canned. Someday
I'll have to try some canned spinach again, though, to find out
if it still tastes as bad to me now as it did as a kid.

What about dietary copper? I've never seen a food label show
more than a trivial per-serving amount of copper.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

turbo-1
2006-May-13, 08:42 PM
I was in my thirties before I ever had fresh spinach, and learned
that it tastes as good fresh as it tastes bad canned. Someday
I'll have to try some canned spinach again, though, to find out
if it still tastes as bad to me now as it did as a kid.

What about dietary copper? I've never seen a food label show
more than a trivial per-serving amount of copper.

-- Jeff, in MinneapolisMy wife and I eat a lot of fresh greens, and last year we bought a log house with a nice garden spot. We got all kinds of excess Swiss Chard, so we blanced and froze a few bags - those were absolutely the best frozen greens that we have ever had. You're right about fresh vs canned - greens are not really low in pH like tomatoes, so they have to be heavily processed during canning to kill germs and eliminate the chance of botulism, and that means that they are overcooked to the "slime" stage before they get to you. Blanche them and freeze them, and you can be eating tasty greens with real texture all winter. This year, we are planting at least 4X as much chard as last year, just to stock the freezer.

Jeff Root
2006-May-13, 08:58 PM
Is there still time this year to plant swiss chard in Minnesota?
My sister and her husband could plant some next weekend.
And if they don't eat it, the bunnies will.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

turbo-1
2006-May-13, 09:16 PM
Oh, certainly! It produces in a very short time, and it will produce all year long until the first hard frost. Just tell them to plant lots of it, and cut the mature leaves, leaving the small ones. The small ones will nurture the plant and continue to grow, bringing along more small leaves. You can cut chard pretty aggressively, and it will keep coming back for more until everything else in the garden has about given up, except the root vegetables (carrots, turnip, etc).

They can take the excess every day or two, wash the leaves, and dump them in boiling water for a few minutes (blanching) then pack them in a zip-lock bag and throw them in the freezer. Fresh chard is heaven - frozen is really close, especially in the winter months when "fresh" might have come from several thousand miles away and have been cut a week before it hits the supermarket! Fresh vegetables start to lose nutrients as soon as they are harvested, so stuff frozen very soon after harvest (your garden) is far better for you than the "fresh" stuff that has been riding around in trucks and sitting in coolers for a week.

Van Rijn
2006-May-13, 10:30 PM
I should print your post and show it my mom, who always force fed us spinach and brussel sprouts! Ha!

Pete


There are other very good reasons to eat spinach (flavonoids and so forth). Having said that, I tend to avoid it because of the flavor (and forget the canned version!).

Moose
2006-May-13, 10:35 PM
There are other very good reasons to eat spinach (flavonoids and so forth). Having said that, I tend to avoid it because of the flavor (and forget the canned version!).

Funny. I love young spinach leaves and use them in tacos, sandwiches, and salads on a regular basis. I find them even nicer than young lettuce.

Tog
2006-May-13, 11:14 PM
Funny. I love young spinach leaves and use them in tacos, sandwiches, and salads on a regular basis. I find them even nicer than young lettuce.

I had an iguana for seval years. One day I gave him some spinach. He actually spit it out, dropped to the floor and ate the carpet. This same lizard ate, and passed a full sized plstic grocery bag. I'm going with his opinion of spincach.:)

When I was about 8 we had a dog that would beg for brussels sprouts. He didn't gat many though, I relly like them.

Moose
2006-May-13, 11:45 PM
I had an iguana for seval years. One day I gave him some spinach. He actually spit it out, dropped to the floor and ate the carpet. This same lizard ate, and passed a full sized plstic grocery bag. I'm going with his opinion of spincach.:)

:lol: If I didn't already have a .sig I'm pretty happy with, I'd sooo want to use that.

worzel
2006-May-14, 12:14 AM
Why don't vegetarians have their canine teeth removed?

clop
Why should they want to do that?

worzel
2006-May-14, 12:19 AM
I feel pretty stupid now not thinking of iron, that's the one that always gets a mention. I was always very healthy until I left my parents home, and we ate a lot of home grown greens. If I go veggie again I'll make sure I chew on a bar of iron occasionally (can't stand spinach) :)

Van Rijn
2006-May-14, 12:37 AM
I had an iguana for seval years. One day I gave him some spinach. He actually spit it out, dropped to the floor and ate the carpet. This same lizard ate, and passed a full sized plstic grocery bag. I'm going with his opinion of spincach.:)


I think I'd like your iguana.



Funny. I love young spinach leaves and use them in tacos, sandwiches, and salads on a regular basis. I find them even nicer than young lettuce.

It's a bit bitter, but if I'm going to eat spinach, young spinach leaves are the only option.

Gillianren
2006-May-14, 01:54 AM
I feel pretty stupid now not thinking of iron, that's the one that always gets a mention. I was always very healthy until I left my parents home, and we ate a lot of home grown greens. If I go veggie again I'll make sure I chew on a bar of iron occasionally (can't stand spinach) :)

My older sister used to work at a children's museum, and they were doing an exhibit on the human body about the same time I was diagnosed with anemia when I was in high school. She sent me a pamphlet they had from the Board of Health or some such called "Our Bodies Need Iron." It had three or four little bits of how to get iron in your diet, and for each one, it had a little picture that went with it. So, red meat? Picture of a steak. Leafy green vegetables? Um . . . I don't remember, but some vegetable or another. Cooking in cast-iron cookware? (Bits of the iron get transferred into your food.) Cast iron skillet. This was very amusing if you just looked at the pictures--need iron? Eat a skillet.

clop
2006-May-14, 02:12 AM
My older sister used to work at a children's museum, and they were doing an exhibit on the human body about the same time I was diagnosed with anemia when I was in high school. She sent me a pamphlet they had from the Board of Health or some such called "Our Bodies Need Iron." It had three or four little bits of how to get iron in your diet, and for each one, it had a little picture that went with it. So, red meat? Picture of a steak. Leafy green vegetables? Um . . . I don't remember, but some vegetable or another. Cooking in cast-iron cookware? (Bits of the iron get transferred into your food.) Cast iron skillet. This was very amusing if you just looked at the pictures--need iron? Eat a skillet.

My father, who was a chemistry teacher, once showed me how to extract the iron which is added to Kelloggs Cornflakes (no doubt you'll have seen the Fortified With Iron claims on the box). He crushed up a whole box of cornflakes and then stirred the remains with a powerful magnet. Sure enough the magnet ended up covered in a layer of a fine metallic-looking residue.

clop

mid
2006-May-15, 10:09 AM
On an episode of Brainiac a while back, they actually had cornflakes "Fortified With Iron" floating in milk, and then proceeded to tug them round the bowl with a powerful magnet, so I can believe that.

Moose
2006-May-15, 10:13 AM
The irony ( ;) ) is that iron capable of being tugged by a magnet is in the wrong form to absorb, IIRC. It's only when bound in one of a few ways that it's useful to us. None of these, IIRC, are magnetic.

The stuff in corn flakes would pass undigested if I understood right.

Jeff Root
2006-May-15, 03:08 PM
When I was a vegetarian (most of my life) I was constantly
grilled by people.
I don't have a grill, but if I did, that's how I'd fix you.

-- Jeff, in barbeque sauce

Celestial Mechanic
2006-May-15, 03:15 PM
I don't have a grill, but if I did, that's how I'd fix you.

-- Jeff, in barbeque sauce
I know you meant it as a joke, and I hope that worzel understands that it's a joke, but perhaps a discreet smilie or two might make this clear. :)

-- Celestial Mechanic, in a white wine sauce with shallots and anchovies. ;)

Moose
2006-May-15, 03:46 PM
Moose liver with fava beans and a nice chianti.

Jeff Root
2006-May-15, 05:17 PM
I know you meant it as a joke,
How do you know that?

I know that you knew it without your having to tell me, but I
don't know how you knew it. How did you know it?



perhaps a discreet smilie or two might make this clear.
Samuel Clemens didn't need smilies. Erma Bombeck didn't need
smilies. Garrison Keilor doesn't need smilies. Not a smilie
to be seen in Gulliver's Travels or The Pickwick Papers or
Through the Looking-Glass.

Okay, so Douglas Adams used a smiley. One smilie. A big one,
but just one.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

Celestial Mechanic
2006-May-15, 05:38 PM
How do you know that? I know that you knew it without your having to tell me, but I don't know how you knew it. How did you know it?
The "Jeff in barbeque sauce" tipped it toward satire.

Samuel Clemens didn't need smilies. Erma Bombeck didn't need smilies. Garrison Keilor doesn't need smilies. Not a smilie to be seen in Gulliver's Travels or The Pickwick Papers or Through the Looking-Glass.

Okay, so Douglas Adams used a smiley. One smilie. A big one, but just one.
Of course anyone reading Clemens, Bombeck, Keillor, Swift, Dickens or Carroll knows that they are probably about to read satire. Neither you nor I are well-known satirists, not even on this board. A :) can sometimes prevent a :cry: or a :mad: .

Gillianren
2006-May-15, 06:37 PM
I have to agree with Jeff, here, and point out that, on the subject of food, there is always at least one person in any class reading Swift's "A Modest Proposal" who doesn't realize he's kidding. People did misinterpret Swift's satire, but that doesn't mean he felt the need to label it.

worzel
2006-May-16, 07:31 PM
Dont' worry CM, I may have been deficient in iron for a while, but I recognize a friendly jab when I see it. Actually, I was almost thinking of putting a smiley after my "grilled" comment but thought better of it. Like wine, humour is always better served dry :D [ where's the emoticon for "that was an ironic smiley" ]

Van Rijn
2006-May-16, 07:47 PM
Of course anyone reading Clemens, Bombeck, Keillor, Swift, Dickens or Carroll knows that they are probably about to read satire. Neither you nor I are well-known satirists, not even on this board. A :) can sometimes prevent a :cry: or a :mad: .

Yep, I long avoided using emoticons and still often feel uncomfortable when I use them, but when we write, most of the emotional contextual information is missing. Using our imagination, we tend to fill in how we think someone is "talking" behind the screen, and we are very often wrong. Flame wars often start that way: You're smiling when you write something you think is a friendly joke only to find someone yelling at you for your horrible insult, which you in turn take badly and . . .

Sure, emoticons are a bit of a cheat, shorthand for better writing, but forum posts are hardly polished writing.

Celestial Mechanic
2006-May-16, 08:00 PM
Dont' worry CM, I may have been deficient in iron for a while, but I recognize a friendly jab when I see it. Actually, I was almost thinking of putting a smiley after my "grilled" comment but thought better of it. Like wine, humour is always better served dry :D [ where's the emoticon for "that was an ironic smiley" ]
Now where's the emoticon for "whew, that's a relief!"?

Yep, I long avoided using emoticons and still often feel uncomfortable when I use them, but when we write, most of the emotional contextual information is missing. Using our imagination, we tend to fill in how we think someone is "talking" behind the screen, and we are very often wrong. Flame wars often start that way: You're smiling when you write something you think is a friendly joke only to find someone yelling at you for your horrible insult, which you in turn take badly and . . .
I know, that happened to me once. I was in no mood to apologize, so I just ignored the post and went on. And this very thread has at times threatened to burst into flame-broiled warfare, which I wanted to prevent from happening.

Sure, emoticons are a bit of a cheat, shorthand for better writing, but forum posts are hardly polished writing.
Especially mine! :lol: :D :dance:

Kristophe
2006-May-16, 08:15 PM
I've always been of the opinion that really good satire should be mistaken for the real McCoy at first glance, especially in this day and age where people are used to the idea that satire == parody.

Then again, I'm one of those people who though Jonathan Swift was serious. It was just a sense of confusion that made me go back to the beginning and start again. So who am I to talk?