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  • #31
    Just like what was mentioned before, every time you take a bath it's the genocide of millions of micro-organisms, every time you drive your car, walk, talk, move, your killing something .. . .
    Starting Weight : 338lbs 6/11/2010
    Current Weight: 266lbs
    High-school Weight: 235lbs
    Goal: ????

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    • #32
      I think that it is reasonable to differentiate between the different levels of consciousness and sentience. An organism that is aware of its own existence is more disenfranchised by its demise than one that is not. If one is not conscious, then there is no contemplative mind to care either way. Just like murdering an innocent person who wants to live is not the same as euthanasia, killing that which is not aware of its existence is not the same as killing that which is and has the ability to care, and so I don't see any sense in comparing cows to bacteria.

      What the microorganism argument does do is highlight that whether it is humans, animals, plants, archaea, etc the final decision boils down to an arbitrary value-judgment and so I see no reason for me to fault a person either way, it doesn't matter at all to me, but some of these arguments are simply not going to fly with those of a certain predisposition and all that happens is that they demonize meat eaters further.
      Stabbing conventional wisdom in its face.

      Anyone who wants to talk nutrition should PM me!

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      • #33
        Off-topic a bit, but I was listening to something about Sikh nuns a few weeks ago... they don't step in puddles because they may unwittingly kill a creature hiding within... anyway. The woman the piece followed had just lost her only friend in the entire world, and she was grieving. But because she missed her friend, she felt that she had failed spiritually--one of the goals of her way of life was to be unattached to worldly things, including other people. Her loneliness and grief were testament to her failure--if she had not been attached, she would not have suffered these feelings.

        Anyway--life is complicated. We make choices. They aren't always simple. Some choices are more simple for some than for others.

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        • #34
          Your posts are so lucid Stabby; I appreciate the thought that must have gone into them greatly.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by Stabby View Post
            ...
            Yeah well I subscribe to the line of thought that one cannot really hope to convince the other side in any ethical debate. The best one can do is to properly defend one's own position. The circle of life arguments do this quite well for the position that it is ethical to eat meat.

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            • #36
              So does "shut up vegan scum".

              I've used that one.

              But you're right basically all of this vegan/meat eater stuff is non sequitur no matter which way you look at it. And even if I make some amazing appeal to their own value system to prove that their beliefs aren't tenable according to themselves, that still usually doesn't mean anything. People will do whatever they feel like and opinions can't usually be changed unless they secretly want to change them already.
              Stabbing conventional wisdom in its face.

              Anyone who wants to talk nutrition should PM me!

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              • #37
                I do think that the vegan moral position is worthy of respect, as are any other deeply held moral positions. A lot of my friends are vegan. If I'm having them over for dinner, I cook vegan food and do not talk about dietary morality. Their diet is, quite frankly, none of my business. My diet is none of theirs. None of them have ever tried to convert me, and I extend the same courtesy to them.

                But I disagree with their moral position. To me, veganism is rather similar to the kind of environmentalism that wants to protect cute cuddly creatures and ignores the un-cute and un-cuddly. Compare how much effort and fundraising goes to protect endangered species that are cute, cuddly animals versus the endangered species that are, say, fungi or algae. People can't identify with algae - algae are not cute and they don't have faces.

                Do we only want to protect the life-forms that are like us and that react to stimuli the way we do? Or do we want to protect all life and have respect for all life? Surely a plant is worthy of respect. I belong to an environmental organization devoted to saving redwood trees. I think redwoods are worthy of respect. I think lettuce plants are worthy of respect. When I eat, I think about the plants that nourished me just as I think about the animals that nourished me. I think about their leaves growing in the sunshine. I think about their roots drinking in sustenance from the soil. And I thank the plant for keeping me alive, just as I would thank the animal for keeping me alive.

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                • #38
                  interesting position, meepster, and sounds like you have it sorted at least in your own mind.

                  I still feel that I'd have trouble expressing my feelings on this adequately. I'm not going to challenge veggies about it (a friend has just gone veggie and it's KILLING me to keep my mouth shut) but as an ex-veggie and animal lover myself, it's something I struggle with. Vegetarian Myth is on my wishlist but I'm broke again this month so it has to wait.....
                  If we’re not supposed to eat animals, how come they’re made out of meat? Tom Snyder

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                  • #39
                    geekgrrl - I think challenging anyone on diet is a waste of effort. We all have our own moral journeys to make, and the only reason we accept a moral position is by arriving at it on our own. The only reason I'm mouthing off in this discussion is because I'm not converting anyone - I'm preaching to the choir. Your veggie friends will make their own journeys, and arrive at their own conclusions.

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                    • #40
                      yes meepster, I think most of us agree there - we're all getting pretty good at biting our tongues! I agree that we can only arrive at positions on our own, but it does trouble me that there's so much misinformation out there that it's sensationally easy to arrive in a place where you really shouldn't be.

                      Hearing other's views on respect for life, compassion and our place in the food chain is very helpful to me personally.
                      If we’re not supposed to eat animals, how come they’re made out of meat? Tom Snyder

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                      • #41
                        First off, Stabby - your posts are wonderful.

                        I am an ex-vegan who still maintains an active interest in that lifestyle. This is for a number of reasons. I have read compelling arguments from both sides with regards to what is an 'optimal' diet. That's just one part of the issue though. For me, veganism is linked with the culture I was immersed in when I was growing up - the music, ideas and creative thinking that I encountered both at college and when I moved to the city. I notice a lot of people here bashing vegans for supposedly thinking that they are morally 'higher' than meat eaters because of their choice in diet. Yes, there are vegans like that. It's also important to point out that a lot of people here are writing posts that come accross in that same way - implying that we are somehow 'better' than vegans because we eat meat and have 'done our research' on the matter, that we are 'in the know' somehow and they are not.

                        I can't tell you how often I am conflicted when it comes to diet. So many great primal / paleo articles. So many great vegan / plant-based diet articles. Brendan Brazier is an inspiration to me, but so is Mark here at MDA. Who do I 'choose'?

                        I guess my point is that ultimately, we human beings have the scope and knowledge available to us to decide what we want to do, who we want to be, what we want to eat and how we want to live our lives. I know so many wonderful, talented, kind and creative vegans who do not preach, do not try to 'convert' anyone. They simply live their lives, safe in the knowledge that they are living the way that fits their ideals. Just as we are.

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by dfast View Post

                          I can't tell you how often I am conflicted when it comes to diet. So many great primal / paleo articles. So many great vegan / plant-based diet articles. Brendan Brazier is an inspiration to me, but so is Mark here at MDA. Who do I 'choose'?

                          I guess my point is that ultimately, we human beings have the scope and knowledge available to us to decide what we want to do, who we want to be, what we want to eat and how we want to live our lives. I know so many wonderful, talented, kind and creative vegans who do not preach, do not try to 'convert' anyone. They simply live their lives, safe in the knowledge that they are living the way that fits their ideals. Just as we are.
                          Both! as you are by being paleo or following the PB.

                          How healthy are your vegan friends? I have a friend who's a vegetarian and he appears to be pretty healthy, albeit a skinny mess that can't put on any muscle hard as he may try. I ask because I'm reading The Vegetarian Myth and Lierre paints a pretty horrid picture of what life for a vegan is like, getting all those carbs and not an ounze of fat or quality protein...
                          I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by iniQuity View Post
                            Both! as you are by being paleo or following the PB.

                            How healthy are your vegan friends? I have a friend who's a vegetarian and he appears to be pretty healthy, albeit a skinny mess that can't put on any muscle hard as he may try. I ask because I'm reading The Vegetarian Myth and Lierre paints a pretty horrid picture of what life for a vegan is like, getting all those carbs and not an ounze of fat or quality protein...
                            A few of the people I know I would consider 'unhealthy'. The majority are not though - they are in good health, very active, very lean but with a decent amount of muscle mass. It was actually a vegan friend who pointed me towards coconut oil. I've not read that book but the sensible vegans I know base their diets on whole foods (NOT grains and sugar - a couple of people I know completely avoid gluten and refined sugars / sweeteners) and eat a lot of fresh vegetables (which make up the majority of their diet), soaked nuts, legumes etc. and seem in very good health. I currently get a lot of my fat from coconut oil, avocados and ghee...so aside from the ghee, not that different from some of my friends. It's all quite convincing really!

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                            • #44
                              While many people can thrive on a vegan or vegetarian diet, it would be an immense challenge to have the muscle mass that one can have by eating grass fed meat, fish and fowl. You must have protein to gain muscle and animal foods are by far the best sources, by far.

                              Also, it is impossible to get enough EPA and DHA omega 3's from plant sources. We need fish. If one is a vegetarian or vegan then I would hope that he or she is taking a fish oil.
                              Find me at aToadontheRoad.com. Cheers!

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                              • #45
                                There is a site dedicated to vegan bodybuilding...I won't link to it (Google will find it easily) but some of the physiques over there are pretty impressive.

                                Also, there are vegan O3 products available which are produced from algae (that's why fish provide us with EPA/DHA - because they eat algae). I'm not trying to argue with you by the way, if it's coming accross like that .

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