Meat-eating and the industry

You are...

All-around meat-eater
28
53%
Minimal meat-eater
14
26%
Pescetarian
1
2%
Lacto-ovo vegetarian
5
9%
Lacto vegetarian
0
No votes
Vegan
3
6%
Other
2
4%
 
Total votes: 53

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Sarabi
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Meat-eating and the industry

Postby Sarabi » 2008-10-19, 5:54

[Note: This is a sensitive topic, so I dunno if it should be in the politics/religion forum.]
This is a great video:
http://www.chooseveg.com/animal-cruelty ... PAod_TN0AQ
Image
Image

Most chickens in the egg industry (who are also part of the poultry industry) live in cramped cages with less than the dimensions of a sheet of paper to stand on all day for their entire lives.

Chickens, turkeys, pigs, and probably other creatures are equally mistreated. They are slaughtered by having their throats slit, after which many of them writhe in pain for some agonizing minutes that are surely worth an eternity. Pigs may be burned alive in order to remove their hair. Cows are herded through cramped cells with electric rods. All of these creatures are given so little space to roam that many of them can't even walk due to lameness. Many of them catch diseases and have huge lesions that have 0% chance of getting treated even as they continue to serve the industry. Chickens live in cages along with the bug-infested corpses of their cage-mates. The chickens you see above have severe feather loss, and many of their bones are broken, because they don't even get enough space to spread their wings. If they are diseased, they may be trampled on by their fellow species. Many get their necks torn off by cage hooks, and others become cannibals. Sometimes they are starved for up to 12 days in order to stress them into producing eggs more quickly.

Many workers abuse the animals for no reason as all, slamming them onto the ground in attempt to kill them. One worker was filmed using turkeys as punching bags while they hung upside down from a conveyor belt. In the U.S., there are virtually no laws against animal cruelty. It is a crime for a human to walk around naked in public, but it is completely legal for millions of chickens to be stripped bone-naked due to abuse. Why are there no laws against animal cruelty? Because it would destroy the meat and dairy industries. Except that there actually are cases of humane animal farms in the industry.

Do you support the industry knowing this?
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Re: Meat-eating and the industry

Postby BezierCurve » 2008-10-19, 8:56

That's sad.

I never tagged myself as a "vegetarian", "vegan" or whatever, since I honestly admit that if I had no other choice then I'd probably fight for my life: hunt down the animal and eat it. After all we're all animals too (which we love to deny).

However, since I'm in this comfortable situation where I can choose what to eat and can even replace the real chicken with a soya one if I feel like its taste - then why should I insist on killing other creatures?

Let them enjoy their lives too :bounce:
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Re: Meat-eating and the industry

Postby Boes » 2008-10-19, 9:04

Well I know humans aren't fully suited for a vegetarian, let alone vegan, diet. As, after all, humans are omnivores who owe their greatest evolutionary steps to the increased consumption of meat ...

That said; I would naturally like the "meat industry" to become more humane.

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Re: Meat-eating and the industry

Postby loqu » 2008-10-19, 9:12

How is this news? I thought everybody knew about the way eggs are produced.

Of course I won't stop eating eggs.

In the EU we have a way to label eggs in which you can tell if they are produced in cages or by free hens. You have to look at the first number printed on the egg (0 = ecological, 1 = rural, 2 = not rural but on the ground, 3 = in cages). Most eggs are labelled 3 but of course you can also buy more expensive eggs with other labels.
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Re: Meat-eating and the industry

Postby Varislintu » 2008-10-19, 9:31

loqu wrote:In the EU we have a way to label eggs in which you can tell if they are produced in cages or by free hens. You have to look at the first number printed on the egg (0 = ecological, 1 = rural, 2 = not rural but on the ground, 3 = in cages).


I decided a few years ago never again to buy number 3 eggs, and to try to mostly buy number 0 eggs. I've kept to that decision, too. I only buy number 2 eggs if I need a lot of them for something, like baking a big batch of something. There's no need to stop eating eggs. Even a poor student can afford "ethical" eggs.

Next step for me would be buying only organic ground beef. Switching to organic or free-range poultry would be difficult, as I don't think it's commonly available here in Finland. Not in "every supermarket", at least.
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Re: Meat-eating and the industry

Postby Monsieur-Kiwi » 2008-10-19, 9:47

I am an all round meat eater. It's just a typical part of the New Zealand culture to eat meat and I'm not going to stop now. What the original poster posted is very sad indeed but not all poultry farms are like that. In fact, I live right next door to a poultry farm. It's one of those "free-range" ones so you can see the chooks running around outside in the grass, thousands and thousands of them. They appear to be clean, healthy and we see people there seven days a week cleaning out the yards and picking up the eggs etc.

Every carton of eggs here is labeled as being from either free-range chickens or caged chickens but supermarkets tend to stock free-range eggs these days and caged chicken farms are going out of business.

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Re: Meat-eating and the industry

Postby Hoogstwaarschijnlijk » 2008-10-19, 9:59

I have no idea what all the options exactly mean, but I think I should chose the second option. I do eat meat, but I don't eat tuna fish and stuff, because tuna fish are going to disappear because of the overfishing. I also don't eat most beef, simply because I hate the taste. I also don't eat lamb and geese because that is too sad. I do eat chicken and pork, but not too much and not each day.

I didn't know about the eggs, I'm going to pay attention on it! :)
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Re: Meat-eating and the industry

Postby Javier » 2008-10-19, 10:02

The problem are the methods developed to process a lot animals to satisfy the demand, but it has been shown that the animals taste better if they have not suffered too much in the killing process. Stressed animals by living in closed spaces, hours of transportation, stupid employees (as the guy punching turkeys) just are not that good. This is nothing new as well, when I was a kid living in Ecuador the tastiest animals are the ones who grow in rural areas, in small farms, the thing that now they call it here "bio" :)

Then please, treat animals better, they are tastier that way :yum:
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Re: Meat-eating and the industry

Postby Sarabi » 2008-10-19, 14:40

I am surprised by the range of answers. Interesting.

By the way, when I talked about the industry, I meant in the U.S., which I often forget is not the world since it seems everyone in the world is always talking about the U.S. I'm glad the rest of the first world is a little more humane. Gandhi said that the morality of a society can be judged by the way it treats its animals. In the U.S., there are as many chickens in the food industry as there are humans: 300 million. And 95% of them are caged. Most of those which are not caged are still mistreated.

it has been shown that the animals taste better if they have not suffered too much in the killing process.

Really? The University of Notre-Dame (in the U.S.) investigated whether or not it should give up serving caged eggs and determined not to based on humaneness, taste, ecology, health risks (to the humans) and a few other reasons. It's pretty ridiculous.

You know, in the U.S. people always prefer cheap stuff, and they're not going to buy the unmarked, expensive eggs.

How is this news? I thought everybody knew about the way eggs are produced.

Hardly. Actually, I just learned about it a few days ago from a vegan friend.

"Well I know humans aren't fully suited for a vegetarian, let alone vegan, diet."
Most vegetarians I know, and especially vegans, would contest this classic claim. I would have to ask in what sense humans aren't "fully suited", considering I have never noticed any difference in my functioning without meat. The only restrictive diet of this sort that I know humans are unarguably unsuited for is the fruitarian diet - only eating fruit that has fallen from a tree.

Anyway, my question here is not so much whether or not you eat meat as whether or not you support the industry of animal concentration camps. Boycotting it is one way to call for change.
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Re: Meat-eating and the industry

Postby nighean-neonach » 2008-10-19, 14:53

I buy eggs, milk, and sometimes meat from local farmers where I know the living conditions of the animals. As meat is rather expensive (if you want tasty meat, that is) and not very necessary for a healthy diet, I don't eat it very often.
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Re: Meat-eating and the industry

Postby DelBoy » 2008-10-19, 15:41

Sarabi wrote: Boycotting it is one way to call for change.


It's one way, but I believe being an 'ethical meat eater' has a greater impact on the industry.
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Re: Meat-eating and the industry

Postby Sarabi » 2008-10-19, 16:00

DelBoy wrote:
Sarabi wrote: Boycotting it is one way to call for change.


It's one way, but I believe being an 'ethical meat eater' has a greater impact on the industry.

That's a valid argument, but I won't exactly agree. I once heard an argument that boycotting the industry would just cause meat-eaters to eat more, and the counter-argument was that this could only be the initial result and that if more people stopped eating meat, the industry itself would decline. In response, perhaps the industry would be forced to become less cruel, and then more meat-eaters would insist on the more 'ethical' meat, creating a spiral effect. So I won't minimize the importance of either boycotting or insisting upon ethical meat. Both are steps in the right direction, as far as I'm concerned.
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Re: Meat-eating and the industry

Postby Trapy » 2008-10-19, 16:58

I saw this thread and got hungry:

ImageImage

On a more serious note, while I do find the conditions appalling, it's cheaper this way. Here in the USA, Free range meat is about 2-3x more expensive than corporate-caged and abused meat (example, 1lb of beef is either $3.85 (what I paid last night) for corporate meat, or ~$6.50 (it was over 6, but not 7) for free range. I want meat, and while that KFC is a "treat", realistically I can't pay 2x the money for the same thing. Free range is better tasting, but unless I'm trying to impress a date, I'll settle for corporate.
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Re: Meat-eating and the industry

Postby nighean-neonach » 2008-10-19, 17:08

Trapy wrote:On a more serious note, while I do find the conditions appalling, it's cheaper this way.


Yes of course, decently produced goods are always more expensive than things made under (economically / ecologically) exploitive conditions :roll: People in the richest countries of the world are often amazingly unwilling to pay fair prices for food - they prefer to spend their money on all sorts of technical equipment, leisure activities, luxury goods, etc. On a larger scale we are all going to pay the price for it sooner or later... through rising prices of health insurance, ecological problems, world economy problems, etc.
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Re: Meat-eating and the industry

Postby Sarabi » 2008-10-19, 17:21

Trapy wrote:On a more serious note, while I do find the conditions appalling, it's cheaper this way. Here in the USA, Free range meat is about 2-3x more expensive than corporate-caged and abused meat (example, 1lb of beef is either $3.85 (what I paid last night) for corporate meat, or ~$6.50 (it was over 6, but not 7) for free range. I WANT MEAT, and while that KFC is a trick or"treat", realistically I can't pay 2x the money for the same thing. Free range is better tasting, but unless I'm trying to impress a date, I'll settle for corporate.


I'm sorry, lol. Couldn't resist. I could so make a song out of that. It's this kind of attitude that I find most appalling of all because this is the attitude that creates and perpetuates these appalling conditions in the first place.

nighean-neonach, well-said.
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Re: Meat-eating and the industry

Postby Zorba » 2008-10-19, 19:25

Trapy is right. The problem is that it's easy for well-off people to blow their own trumpet about how they always choose organic or farmer's market meat, and condemn the masses for being appalingly unenlightened in going to McDonalds or buying Walmart Megaburgers. There is a real element of class snobbery invovled in the environmentalist movement.

I nearly always buy my meat from Whole Foods, because I think ethically-produced food is healthier for me and for the environment, and because it tastes plain better. Right now I am enjoying a toasted WholeFoods-OrganicRoastBeef-and-Cheese-sandwich :P mmm.) But I realize that I am very lucky that I can afford to shop there rather than at the Mexican-owned grocery store down in Rogers Park which stocks mass-produced, heavily discounted food. I don't have any dependants, my health insurance comes with my job, and my parents are able and willing to help me out financially when I need it.

If I weren't so lucky as to have that support and, say, was a single parent scraping together pennies to pay for my children's health insurance, I would be buying frozen Walmart Megaburgers all the time and my idea of a meal out - important family time together - might be the local KFC. I would do this because I would put the concrete needs of my family before the vaguely-defined needs of the planet, and I would be unapologetic about doing so. If my daughter were to ask me why all her friends went to KFC with their parents after school on a Friday afternoon and she couldn't, I wouldn't be willing to tell her that I was sacrificing her social needs for the good of the world's hens. Because of this, I am reluctant to judge the African-American mothers with two kids in tow trailing down to Rogers Park rather than going to Whole Foods.

"Living ethically" and the smug sense of satisfaction that comes from doing so have a price.

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Re: Meat-eating and the industry

Postby nighean-neonach » 2008-10-19, 20:04

Zorba wrote:The problem is that it's easy for well-off people to blow their own trumpet about how they always choose organic or farmer's market meat, and condemn the masses for being appalingly unenlightened in going to McDonalds or buying Walmart Megaburgers. There is a real element of class snobbery invovled in the environmentalist movement.


Sorry, I don't accept that argument. I lived on a low budget for a few years as well ("low" meaning less than what you get if you live on government welfare), and I was still able to buy healthy food. I was willing to do without a lot of things - but I was not willing to do without good food.
In my current job I have a lot to do with so-called "lower class" families. In many homes I come across those huge flat TV screens, video game equipment for every child, more cell phones than family members, loads of other technical equipment, Nike and Adidas shoes, etc. - and at the same time the mothers go and stuff their carts full of convenience food at Lidl or Aldi, or the children are sent to McDonalds for lunch.
McDonalds is not cheap at all, by the way. For the price of a family lunch there, you could as well go and buy the ingredients for a healthy meal at home. It's just that many of those people are too lazy to cook, too lazy to bother about these things at all. This is all about education, it has nothing to do with money. You can live healthily on a very low budget. Buy a loaf of bread for 1 €, you have to eat half of it and you'll still be hungry again after an hour. Buy a loaf of wholemeal bread for 5 €, you'll eat one or two slices and you'll be fine for half a day, and it won't get mouldy after two days in the cupboard either.
Yes, I've also heard those single parents moaning and complaining about how they can't afford good food - at the same time holding a cigarette in one hand and a cell phone in the other one. Of course this is overgeneralised, but I've seen those things more often than not.
In my town some schools have started running compulsory cooking/nutrition classes, and this seems to have a very good effect. As I said, it is all about education. A friend of mine teaches in one of those projects, and she says there are 14-year-olds who didn't know that chips come from potatoes, and things like that. According to her, among teenage girls from lower-class families about one third is fat, one third is malnourished, and one third is on some obscure kind of "diet" on the verge of eating disorders. After a few months in this class, some children walk home and re-organise the whole family diet.
Doing something just because everyone does it is not a very good argument, especially not if you are raising children. If more people start acting differently, it's suddenly only half of their school friends who celebrate their birthday at McDonalds, the other half baking a wholefood pizza at home or something. Of course there is a lot of peer pressure, but it's not very difficult to sell sensible ideas to children or teenagers if you don't moralise too much, just do it in a fun and creative way.
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Re: Meat-eating and the industry

Postby Car » 2008-10-19, 20:40

nighean-neonach wrote:In my current job I have a lot to do with so-called "lower class" families. In many homes I come across those huge flat TV screens, video game equipment for every child, more cell phones than family members, loads of other technical equipment, Nike and Adidas shoes, etc. - and at the same time the mothers go and stuff their carts full of convenience food at Lidl or Aldi, or the children are sent to McDonalds for lunch.


If I'm not mistaken, that's really common and not new either. When my mother was on a city exchange in England in the 60s, she could see that the family didn't have much money, but the newest technical equipment. When I take public transport, I see lots of children or teenagers from the lower class with the newest mobiles, shoes by important brands and so on. The same goes for the video games section of stores.
But most people spend very little on food, probably because you can't easily show off with what you eat at home, but you can with mobiles or shoes.

McDonalds is not cheap at all, by the way. For the price of a family lunch there, you could as well go and buy the ingredients for a healthy meal at home. It's just that many of those people are too lazy to cook, too lazy to bother about these things at all.


McDonald's is only cheap if you compare it to other places where you can eat out, especially your average restaurant. But you don't eat out all the time, do you?
I really can't cook at all (apart from soups, noodles and the like), yet I only eat at McDonald's when I quickly want to eat something before taking my train. It's supposed to be fast food for me, not more than that.
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Re: Meat-eating and the industry

Postby Eoghan » 2008-10-19, 20:42

'S ceart a tha e - còrd mise riut, a Nighean-Neònach.

I live on a strict budget (being a student in Sweden means living on less money than what's consider the least money you need to exist, and I still find it easy to buy healthy food and stuff - compare eating at Mc-f***ing-Donalds every day for lunch or cooking your own food and it's obvious to me that it's not only healthier, tastier and better, but also cheaper to cook your own food.

I am not a vegetarian, but have been, and I try to buy food (as well as clothes) produced in an environment-friendly, as well as an ethical way. It may cost me some money, but I don't have to smoke, drink or buy take-away food seven days a week!

The problem with this world is explained with a simple word: greed.

The eco-guys moan about people not doing what they should, the money-guys moan that everythings too expensive and the average Joe moans about the eco-guys and the money-guys, but in the long end nothing ever happens... People want money - it costs to produce food, and ecological and ethical food is more expensive than bad food, ergo, people buy cheap food. Doing this, Mr Average Joe doesn't realise that he is inevitably harming his planet, but hey, he's just one guy - if he doesn't help, well that can't really do any harm, can it?

[Sarcasm mode on]

"Why should I have protested against the OG in China? It's just me, I cannot do anything...
Why should I buy Fair Trade products? It's just me, one more or less won't help...
Why shouldn't I buy diamonds from Africa, specifically Botswana and Sierra Leone? Me not buying a conflict diamond won't do anything...
Why should I support human rights? I have human rights, so I don't have to bother, do I?"

[/sarcasm mode off]
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Re: Meat-eating and the industry

Postby Zorba » 2008-10-19, 21:03

The point about going to McDonald's that you're all missing is that it's a cultural experience, not just greasy food. This is difficult to understand if you normally consider a cultural experience to be the opera house, or an independent film festival, or the locally-managed fairtrade-coffee house. However, it's very important not to presume that the values and assumptions of one's own class and culture automatically apply across the board, and try to impose those values on others who have a different set of experiences and expectations.

If you are working twelve-hour shifts in a dead-end minimum-wage or below minimum-wage job - as many people in this country do - and come home and have to provide for a family, it's expensive and time-consuming and requires knowledge to buy natural ingredients and prepare food from them. It's much easier to go to the nearby McDonald's, which provides fast, quick service at a relatively low cost. This also gives you a chance to interact with the community and it gives your kids a sense that they are seeing the world beyond the four walls of their house that they see every day, at a price five times cheaper than the French restaurant up the road.

Eoghan purports to understand the psychology of "Mr Average Joe". He presumes that the psychology is a very simple one and mocks it. He presumes that everyone who does not think like him thinks the same way.

In reality, there is no Mr Average Joe, but rather a wide range of individuals with different sets of experiences and expectations. They cannot be simplified into any catch-all model, and certainly not the simple "Why should I bother?" model listed here. Individuals have got all sorts of concerns, worries, needs and desires to manage, and one has to make a number of trade-offs everyday.

One person might want to spend time learning Latin, and another might think that all those hours spent learning Latin would be better spent fighting for a material cause, like helping feed the homeless. Another person might feel that feeding the homeless is only pallative therapy, and that larger structural change of society is necessary. Still another might feel like larger structural change is impossible and likely to be counter-productive anyway, and the most important thing is spiritual detachment which can be achieved through reading mystical poetry. Another might think that reading mystical poetry is mindless self-absorption which takes away from spending valuable time bringing up one's kids.

To try and suppose that we know all the right answers, and those who differ from us have a simple, "greedy" psychology is egoism. If we are really interested in doing good in the world, we have to start at the level of the individual experiences and expectations of individuals, not the authoritarian top-down "I know what is best for you because you can't think for yourself."


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