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

Eoghan
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Re: Meat-eating and the industry

Postby Eoghan » 2008-10-19, 21:32

Zorba wrote: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.


Opera?!

I'm sorry if I somehow made you believe that I'm some sort of upper class stiff upper-lip kind of person - I was raised in a working class family with a drinking, abusive father until the age of seven, when my parents divorced, and after that one could've hoped for the better but that didnae happen... I tell you, my background has nothing to do with "fine art culture"... The only reason I study at university and have the opportunity to work and study at fancy places today is my own bloody determination to get awa' from the shitty background I was presented with when entering this world. My grandparents, sisters,my mother and uncle, as well as my Scottish Gaelic relatives are the only good things about my background...

I can see what you mean by saying that McDonalds is a "cultural" experience for the working-class family, and to some point I do agree, but saying that McDonalds is a five time's cheaper alternative to the French restaurant is using just as many stereotypes as you say I do; being rich doesn't mean you don't cook or don't work hard or only eat out, just as little as being working-class mean that you only enjoy soccer, beer and "other barbaric activites".

Zorba wrote: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.


In a working-class family it's more often cheaper to cook your own damn food, even if you have three jobs and seventy thousand chores to do - eating out will always be expensive, no matter what palce you consider a restaurant, for someone with little money - believe me, my mother would re-use and make food of stuffs you wouldn't imagine one could turn into food before taking us to McDonalds or Burger King as they - to my family - was expensive restaurants as well...

Zorba wrote: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.


I beg you pardon, but somehow you must have misunderstood me - and I think I know why - by using the term Average Joe, I was really referring to everyone on this fricking planet, because human beings are nothing but ego-centrical creatures and will inevitably do what's best for them before doing what's best for the world. This applies to everyone from the corporate manager to the homeless guy in the street, although he in my opinion has a bigger right to be egoistic than eg. Wall Street guys...

Zorba wrote: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."



I agree with you to 100 % per cent.

And, ehem, no, I don't believe I have the answers on how we could best serve this planet, even if it looks like you're trying to make it sound as if this is indeed the case, meaning that I'm nothing but a spoiled, knows-it-all that I really should just shut it.

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Re: Meat-eating and the industry

Postby KingHarvest » 2008-10-19, 21:39

I can't help but agree with Charlie Brooker on the related topic:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PWkWQ-39KLo

But seriously, they're damn animals, it's not like we're promoting the genocide of the Hutus. I think it's much more important that we provide people with food that they can actually afford than we make the lives comfortable of animals who we're going to slaughter, chop up, throw away most of the body, subject to deadly temperatures, masticate, and finally break down into necessary chemicals and dispose of the rest into a toilet. And frankly, preparing yourself food takes a lot of work and energy, not to mention time and money. I've been in the position where I could barely afford food, nor were my parents in a position to help me, and I wasn't able to afford great food. There are times even now when I've been at school and researching all day where I just can't bother to make myself dinner, and I'm not at the disadvantage of having worked in the salt mines for 12 hours a day. Before you judge people who shuttle their kids off to McDonald's for dinner, I would take a walk in their shoes. If you really have the time and money to take up a humanitarian cause, I would worry about saving the <insert your preferred group of humans living in terrible conditions> before worrying about how we treat our food.
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nighean-neonach
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Re: Meat-eating and the industry

Postby nighean-neonach » 2008-10-19, 21:50

@ Zorba: I spent most of my primary school years in a household living on welfare, and we never ever went to McDonalds, and my mother made it quite clear to us children that you don't have to run after everything that's cool or hip :roll: As I said, it's all about education. Being poor does not necessarily mean you consider McDonalds a "cultural experience".
As I tried to explain, cooking healthy food is much cheaper than many people think, it is not complicated at all, and you can even teach it to teenagers.
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Re: Meat-eating and the industry

Postby Eoghan » 2008-10-19, 21:50

KingHarvest wrote:I can't help but agree with Charlie Brooker on the related topic:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PWkWQ-39KLo

But seriously, they're damn animals, it's not like we're promoting the genocide of the Hutus. I think it's much more important that we provide people with food that they can actually afford than we make the lives comfortable of animals who we're going to slaughter, chop up, throw away most of the body, subject to deadly temperatures, masticate, and finally break down into necessary chemicals and dispose of the rest into a toilet. And frankly, preparing yourself food takes a lot of work and energy, not to mention time and money. I've been in the position where I could barely afford food, nor were my parents in a position to help me, and I wasn't able to afford great food. There are times even now when I've been at school and researching all day where I just can't bother to make myself dinner, and I'm not at the disadvantage of having worked in the salt mines for 12 hours a day. Before you judge people who shuttle their kids off to McDonald's for dinner, I would take a walk in their shoes. If you really have the time and money to take up a humanitarian cause, I would worry about saving the <insert your preferred group of humans living in terrible conditions> before worrying about how we treat our food.


Okay, before we all start to accuse each other of being saintly hypocrits; here's a short explanatory note on my opinion:

I don't eat at McDonalds for egoistic reasons, I don't like their food, but I do eat food from eg. Burger King now and then for the exact same reasons as KingHarvest do...

I am a student, and dedicate my free time to teaching languages, translating, campaigning for Human Rights, being the president of the International Student Body at my university... Moreover, I have been branded a terrorist in Botswana for supporting the G//ana's and G/wi's human rights.

I am not a vegetarian, I eat meat - but happen to believe that one can fight for more than one issue, and I don't see how making food available to everyone contradicts the decission of eating meat from ecological farms, or not eating meat at all?

And I neither have the time OR money to do all the stuffs I do, but I still do them...

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Re: Meat-eating and the industry

Postby Varislintu » 2008-10-19, 21:59

I used to make a big batch of food and freeze it in portions. Because I'm lazy too :P. But it was still home made this way, and cheap.

But I have to agree that the biggest hinder for knowledge and "caring" spreading is that people feel so busy with the rest of their life (me included!) that a spontaneous "hey, let's educate ourselves about eating more ethically" just doesn't happen. But this is not a hopeless situation, I think.

I also think public instances like schools and public offices could make a difference. School lunch could be organic and locally produced (just saw on TV that a chef had made a school lunch like that and it was cheaper than the currently used equivalent), and offices could use fair trade coffee and so on. For example, I think our lutheran church has switched to fair trade coffee. I think that was marvellous of them, and it kind of fits the values they are supposed to represent anyway. And at least in Finland the church uses a lot of coffee :lol:.
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Re: Meat-eating and the industry

Postby Eoghan » 2008-10-19, 22:04

nighean-neonach wrote:@ Zorba: I spent most of my primary school years in a household living on welfare, and we never ever went to McDonalds, and my mother made it quite clear to us children that you don't have to run after everything that's cool or hip :roll: As I said, it's all about education. Being poor does not necessarily mean you consider McDonalds a "cultural experience".
As I tried to explain, cooking healthy food is much cheaper than many people think, it is not complicated at all, and you can even teach it to teenagers.


Nighean-Neònach, I am now positive our mothers must have known each other, either spiritually or in person :lol: ; mo mhathair had the exact same opinion regarding the cool / hip things...

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Re: Meat-eating and the industry

Postby darkina » 2008-10-19, 22:12

I am trying to bring myself to eat more healthily especially now that hopefully my budget won't be too low. But time sometimes is annoying. I don't particularly enjoy cooking so coming home at 9pm and having to cook real food is not the dream of my life. But still if I had to get take away I'd rather go to the nearest kebab guy than to Mac & co. (I can't remember when I've last been to Mac but I've had Burger King in some kind of "special" (mostly in a negative way) occasions, kind of "I need the junkiest food I can find, and I don't care what I'm spending". I do find them to be quite expensive, most take aways are much cheaper and tastier and probably a little bit healthier, hoping they use okay ingredients and don't have mice in the kitchen... and well even if they do, I'm still alive ;)).

I guess that as long as there's a choice of cheaper food, a lot of people would go for that option, because they want to keep their money for something else. I love eating out, and I don't mean to expensive restaurants but to affordable places or pubs or such, and sometimes I try to spend less on my home food so that next time I decide to eat out - socially - I can afford a nice and I believe quite healthy meal. The first year I was living alone I bought meat maybe three times, because it's expensive and getting really cheap meat doesn't seem worth it, so I'd only have meat when eating out or getting take away. And I am unfortunately a meat eater, can't imagine doing without it...

Still, after two years on low budget, I am starting to feel the need to get some proper things, no matter what they cost (I have hopes of a little improvement of my budget, too, but I dream of one day going to the supermarket and choosing blindly what I fancy without looking at the price...). But if you're not used to proper food you won't miss it. (I could go on for hours on how much I miss real good bread, as the one I can get is just acceptable, and I don't want to see toast for the next century :lol:)

And I'm not sure that expensive food always means good quality really... I don't know stuff about origin of food etc and maybe I should care more but I don't have such an ethical sense unfortunately...
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Re: Meat-eating and the industry

Postby Zorba » 2008-10-20, 3:37

nighean-neonach wrote:@ Zorba: I spent most of my primary school years in a household living on welfare, and we never ever went to McDonalds, and my mother made it quite clear to us children that you don't have to run after everything that's cool or hip As I said, it's all about education. Being poor does not necessarily mean you consider McDonalds a "cultural experience".


What I mean by appreciating the expectations and experiences of other people involves the ability to step outside our the attitudes and culture determined by our upbringing and consider that other people may not operate according to the same principles as we do; and accept that this does not make them somehow worse or unprincipled.

You say you weren't brought up to think of McDonald's as a cultural experience, but I'm suggesting that other people might. You think that people go to McDonald's because they "run after everything hip and cool", I'm suggesting their motivations for doing so are much more complex.

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Re: Meat-eating and the industry

Postby Sarabi » 2008-10-20, 3:45

Zorba, Imagine that you are a Chinese government official. No matter how much I shake my fist at you, no matter how many times I protest the atrocities of what you are doing, no matter how much I try to negotiate with you, you will simply ignore my spirit and kick me in the face. There is virtually no chance I could ever convert you to my side, no possibility that you will ever agree with me. What I can do is sanction you and boycott you and be civilly disobedient. I can speak out against you, and maybe someone will hear me. Maybe someone will come and rise up with me to crush your cruel dictatorship. For the love of 300 million chickens, there is nothing smug about that. There is nothing morally absolutist about that. There is just this situation of my goddamned suffering, which you just don't want to hear about because you're afraid it will make you feel morally inferior. It will undermine all the hope and despair and the phantasmagoria of your foolish, destructive creation. And let me tell you how desperate and hopeful I am for these 300 million chickens. Every time I watch those videos, I have a sense of trauma from the sheer mindlessness, the mind-wrenching cruelty, of which my life has been a part (and I sure as animal hell am not in denial about that; my affirmation of the horrors of this world is neither a denial of your own struggles nor of your responsibility). Where do you think schizophrenia comes from? If I continued watching these videos, maybe I would go insane just like the squealing pigs I am watching. Maybe my mind will break down like that homeless schizophrenic person I met yesterday. He said, "I'm homeless. I'm not mindless." Despite having schizophrenia, he was the sanest person in the room when I heard him speak. This life is a fucking nightmare, dear Zorba, and I love the whole godforsaken world, and that's all I'm trying to say. I'm done with the McCain-Obama-style finger-pointing that's been going on between you and me, which reek like samsara at large. Good night.
Last edited by Sarabi on 2008-10-20, 4:10, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Meat-eating and the industry

Postby Trapy » 2008-10-20, 4:04

I think Zorba's point about going to a fast food restaurant is VERY effective. I had not thought about it, but it's true. I am a college student, if I eat all my meals at home and prepare them myself, It's wierd and unacceptable. Ethical to animals if I use free range? yes, but culture expects me to go to KFC, Burger King, McDonalds, etc with friends every so often (still, the majority of food eaten at home). Can I help change the culture? yes... but it's not something I feel so strongly about that I would risk loosing in the short term.

I can sympathize with KingHarvest though. We're still raising them to be slaughtered. I don't loose any sleep at night thinking that they're slaughtered in brutal merciless fashions, or raised in those fashions, but I would like to think they aren't that bad. But it's the same as, say, my eye color. I actually prefer my green eyes, but if I wanted blue, I wouldn't really bother to change them by surgery or other drastic means. I'd just say "oh well. I only have green...", just like I say now "oh well, this animal was slaughtered brutally after a life in torture..."

It's like recycling. I don't do it here in the USA. "Nobody"* does. but in the UK when they started enforcing it, I preferred recycling. Why? Everyone else was doing it. I'll join thr wave, I just won't help start it.

* yes I know some people in some places at some times of the year with some materials do it.

@ Sarabi, you know, that chicken is looking more tasty every time I see your avatar ;). Get me some oil, flour and spices... :D
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Re: Meat-eating and the industry

Postby Sarabi » 2008-10-20, 4:15

Sarabi, you know, that chicken is looking more tasty every time I see your avatar ;). Get me some oil, flour and spices...

You know, your face looks delicious to me, too. Why don't you come over here and I can stuff your head into the oven? I'm a terrible cook - so much the merrier! I've never butchered anything before, so it might take me a few hours to finish hacking through your neck. Before that, I'm going to rip out your balls, pig-style. Actually, I should leave your body intact and see how well you fit into the cramped cage of the oven cooking alive for a few days.
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Re: Meat-eating and the industry

Postby Zorba » 2008-10-20, 4:17

1. How is posting an opposing argument on an internet message forum analagous to a cruel Chinese dictator kicking dissidents in the face?

2. I wasn't aware that we were engaged in McCain-Obama style fingerpointing, I thought we were having an amicable debate on an online message board.

Here is my forum etiquette:

I respond to posts that interest me, that includes posts with which I agree and those with which I disagree. Where I disagree, I try to provide substantative arguments and never attack my opponents ad hominem.

I love disagreement and think that Socratic dialogue is the best way to solve problems. My two favorite posters on controversial issues on Unilang are Riki and Boself because they post cogent, logical well-researched arguments. I typically don't agree with either of them. I wish Riki would post more often.

I also have a lot of respect for you, and nighean-neonach and Eoghan, despite the fact that I frequently disagree with them on controversial issues. It is great that you think so much and you love "the godforsaken world" as you put it. In responding to your posts, I'm hoping to refine your thinking, and refine my own thinking through reading interesting responses.

I'm sorry that you think I'm a cruel Chinese dictator. I hope you never meet a real Chinese dictator, because I'm almost sure they're nothing like me. In real life, I'm soft and mild-mannered and cuddly and furry like a big teddy bear. :D

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Re: Meat-eating and the industry

Postby Sarabi » 2008-10-20, 4:30

Zorba wrote:1. How is posting an opposing argument on an internet message forum analagous to a cruel Chinese dictator kicking dissidents in the face?

2. I wasn't aware that we were engaged in McCain-Obama style fingerpointing, I thought we were having an amicable debate on an online message board.


1. It's not really. It's just what I learned from trying to reply to your post: that protesting really is worthwhile if that's what it takes to overcome an oppressor. That I don't have to back down out of the fear of you (consciously or subconsciously) making accusations against me based on false assumptions. That a dictator may be ignorant, but that doesn't mean they're going to wave me or my troubles away by calling me "smug" or radical or what have you.
2. Yes, you called my argument snobbish and smug, while defending what may in this thread be a minority point of view probably just for the sake of defending a minority even though in the world at large he is a majority. I didn't find that particularly amicable in light of the feelings of horror that I am experiencing. I find it uncalled for when voices of dissent are truly so few to begin with. I know that it's not just like a snap for everyone to acquire a profound new moral, and you were making that assumption by calling me smug. That's what I call finger-pointing.
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Re: Meat-eating and the industry

Postby Eoghan » 2008-10-20, 4:42

@Zorba; I love to argue with you becuase your arguments are usually well-founded, but I cannot remember one single issue where we've actually agreed, at least not to 100 %... :lol:

@Sarabi; firstly; do you want us to be able to read your posts? write bigger posts goddammit...

Secondly, Comparing Zorba with a Chinese dictator was uncalled for, childish and only worked against your initial intention to make him understand why you oppose the meat producing market in the first place. And if you can't react to Trapy's childish, yet ironic post without going bananas, then refrain from posting an answer; once again you come of as aggressively impulsive and as someone with no real arguments to support your points with. He said your chicken looked tasty, come on have you never been to school? Kids tell horse riding girls how tasty horses are, they tell Moslems how yummi pig meat is and try to convince them there's pig meat in everything they eat so that these children can't eat the school cafeteria food... Yet, I have never heard any of them responding by suggesting they'd slaughter the bullies, because deep down inside most people agree that humans are to be treated with better respect than animals.

In my opinion, one should not refrain from eating meat, but instead refrain from supporting food stores and restaurants that use non-ethical and non-ecological meat.

While following this thread another question arose in my mind; what's your opinion on the following;

Animals slaughtered according to Dhahiba (halal)?
Indigenous peoples and their hunting / (animal slaughtering) practices? Vegans in Sweden often tell the Saamis that they don't have to herd or slaughter reindeers and this generally pisses me off, why, I could tell in a later post after my upcoming exam...

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Re: Meat-eating and the industry

Postby Trapy » 2008-10-20, 4:48

Sarabi wrote:
Sarabi, you know, that chicken is looking more tasty every time I see your avatar ;). Get me some oil, flour and spices...

You know, your face looks delicious to me, too. Why don't you come over here and I can stuff your head into the oven? I'm a terrible cook - so much the merrier! I've never butchered anything before, so it might take me a few hours to finish hacking through your neck. Before that, I'm going to rip out your balls, pig-style. Actually, I should leave your body intact and see how well you fit into the cramped cage of the oven cooking alive for a few days.


:lol: ooooh, kinky, It wouldn't be the first, second or even third time it has happened in this millennium :).

@ more serious, it was a joke, not an attack ;).
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Re: Meat-eating and the industry

Postby Sarabi » 2008-10-20, 5:00

Anyway, Eoghan, thanks for also buying into the finger-pointing game. It's a fun one, isn't it? You demonize me, I demonize you. Yeah, let me tell you just how much more sensible your post is than mine.

And Trapy has poor taste in jokes. If someone tells you they feel traumatized, you turn the source of their trauma into a sick joke? Like I am supposed to think this is nothing more than childishness after watching videos of adults terrorizing birds and cows and pigs?


And if you want me to post in larger text, then let's get back on topic instead of pointing fingers at each other.
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Re: Meat-eating and the industry

Postby Trapy » 2008-10-20, 5:13

Ok, let's get on topic then

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.


Yes. Period.
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Re: Meat-eating and the industry

Postby KingHarvest » 2008-10-20, 5:38

It's not like these animals would be living in some sort of paradise if we hadn't domesticated them for a food source. They would be constantly looking for enough food, enduring harsh winters, being left behind to die when injured, and violently killed and ripped to shreds by predators when they become sick or old. At the very worst, I can't see us as being any more morally repugnant than any other predator.

It's like recycling. I don't do it here in the USA. "Nobody"* does. but in the UK when they started enforcing it, I preferred recycling. Why? Everyone else was doing it. I'll join thr wave, I just won't help start it.


Well, that depends on where you live. We recycle here in New England, but when I went to visit my ex-girlfriend in her home in Virginia and I finished a can of coke or something, I was astounded to be told to just throw it away because they didn't recycle there.
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Re: Meat-eating and the industry

Postby nighean-neonach » 2008-10-20, 6:07

Zorba wrote:What I mean by appreciating the expectations and experiences of other people involves the ability to step outside our the attitudes and culture determined by our upbringing and consider that other people may not operate according to the same principles as we do; and accept that this does not make them somehow worse or unprincipled.
You say you weren't brought up to think of McDonald's as a cultural experience, but I'm suggesting that other people might. You think that people go to McDonald's because they "run after everything hip and cool", I'm suggesting their motivations for doing so are much more complex.


@ Zorba: So you think we just leave things as they are? To hell with health and everything, just let the kids go to McDonalds every day because they don't know any better? To hell with education, it's their own fault they know nothing about where food comes from, how it is produced, etc.? So we simply ignore that many teenagers are too fat? We simply ignore that many young children go to school malnourished and hungry every day? Yeah, just let them do that, it's their upbringing, and their motivations are complex, what do we know about it. So we simply ignore the spiral of poverty and debts many families live in, why should we bother to teach their children that it can work differently? Brilliant idea.
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Re: Meat-eating and the industry

Postby Car » 2008-10-20, 7:15

nighean-neonach wrote:@ Zorba: So you think we just leave things as they are? To hell with health and everything, just let the kids go to McDonalds every day because they don't know any better? To hell with education, it's their own fault they know nothing about where food comes from, how it is produced, etc.? So we simply ignore that many teenagers are too fat? We simply ignore that many young children go to school malnourished and hungry every day? Yeah, just let them do that, it's their upbringing, and their motivations are complex, what do we know about it. So we simply ignore the spiral of poverty and debts many families live in, why should we bother to teach their children that it can work differently? Brilliant idea.


I fully agree. Statistics show that poor people often are fatter than people with more money and like you said, the problem is that many just don't know about the stuff.

I really can't cook and yet I don't go to a fast food place every day. I don't really like McDonald's, but Burger King and other chains. When I did an internship, the closest place to spend my lunch break was the central station with Burger King at al. Many others walked to a canteen, but the food was actually worse and more expensive. After those 6 months, I was so sick of those places and was happy to have a break.
Even if you can afford it, you don't go to a restaurant every day, so why should this be any different for McDonald's? It's really not hard at all to prepare e.g. a packet soup and again, I can't cook and find it extremely stressful.
I really eat way too much meat, because that's one of the few things I really like, but I know that isn't good. My diet certainly isn't healthy, so at least I try to limit my consumption of sweets. Those also are quite expensive, if you think about it. I also feel the "need" for them from time to time and it's practical, yet I manage to not eat that many.
The important thing is that you know what you're doing and why you do it and don't come up with excuses which don't fit. That's not easy, but possible. That's why I believe that everyone should be educated about what he eats and how it's produced.
I agree with what KingHarvest wrote and wonder how many of these animals would even be alive if they weren't eaten, but you should know about it so that you can make an educated choice.
Please correct my mistakes!


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