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How My Primal Instincts Led Me to... Veganism

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  • I always have a major rub with this whole vegetarian ethos of "suffering"....and I say it as someone that was a vegan for years.

    Where does this idea come from that growing crops is a completely benign, zero suffering activity? I find that the only people that promulgate this idea are those that have never actually grown (or raised) anything or any animal in their lives....I grew up on a farm, so even as a vegan I did not harbor this idea. I knew the reality of what it takes to grow things to eat.

    I raise (about 50 now) rabbits, own a dozen chickens, a cow, 2 horses, 2 goats, 6 sheep. I also cultivate about 12 acres for food, both for humans and these animals.....

    -- Growing the vegetables and fruit feels very much like being at war with nature. I am trying to force these plants into doing something costly to them, all so I can steal their work and consume the calories myself. The land had to be ruthlessly cleared, usually to the point that almost nothing but fungi are surviving on it. I then have to keep weeds, bugs, weather all from destroying it. I have to test soil pH, arrange growth trellises, and grow them symbiotically.

    -- The animals are much less complicated. They do what they do, I take their milk and eggs. When the chickens start picking on one of the weak ones, especially a male competitive rooster, I take him and do it for them. Once the hens no longer produce eggs at all, same for them. It is fast and merciful death.

    The corollary to the lie that we are not just animals is an inability to see how ANIMALS die in the wild.....as humans, we have this utterly human idea of death coming of old age. In nature, this would never be allowed to happen. Death is usually either at the claws of a predator ripping the animal into pieces while still alive, or even worse, slow starvation. This is how about 95% of animals in the wild meet the maker. There is no Medicare for animals. There is only swift bloody death or slow misery. That is the reality.

    When I walk the woods here in about 6 weeks of early spring, I will see skeletons of animals littering the forest.....these are the ones that didn't make it through winter. This is how it has always been. After seeing this, I suspect most people would feel a little differently about having some of my venison stew.

    P.S. This is not touching on commodity crops and the animal-raising that is enabled by them....that will take an entirely different rant
    "The soul that does not attempt flight; does not notice its chains."

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    • Originally posted by TheyCallMeLazarus View Post
      When I walk the woods here in about 6 weeks of early spring,
      So, you believe that bastard phil?

      Comment


      • Originally posted by TheyCallMeLazarus View Post
        P.S. This is not touching on commodity crops and the animal-raising that is enabled by them....that will take an entirely different rant
        I'll touch on the crops aspect. As someone whose father has been working in conventional farming since he was ten and as someone who was told at 14 that I am either playing a sport or pulling weeds and digging trenches after school, I know how "ugly" it is. More rabbits and snakes and birds and small rodents die in a single harvest of tomatoes than the number of cows that will die in a year so I can eat steak every day. And their bodies are just left to rot. This doesn't include insects killed directly and the environmental damage done by chemical run-off. The main difference is that cows are cute and insects and snakes aren't, so people don't care.

        In my opinion, anyone who proclaims that meat eaters are immoral and then goes to Safeway to buy conventional lettuce and tomatoes has zero knowledge on the subject and no validity and should be ignored, if not shunned.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by TheyCallMeLazarus View Post
          I always have a major rub with this whole vegetarian ethos of "suffering"....and I say it as someone that was a vegan for years.

          Where does this idea come from that growing crops is a completely benign, zero suffering activity? I find that the only people that promulgate this idea are those that have never actually grown (or raised) anything or any animal in their lives....I grew up on a farm, so even as a vegan I did not harbor this idea. I knew the reality of what it takes to grow things to eat.

          I raise (about 50 now) rabbits, own a dozen chickens, a cow, 2 horses, 2 goats, 6 sheep. I also cultivate about 12 acres for food, both for humans and these animals.....

          -- Growing the vegetables and fruit feels very much like being at war with nature. I am trying to force these plants into doing something costly to them, all so I can steal their work and consume the calories myself. The land had to be ruthlessly cleared, usually to the point that almost nothing but fungi are surviving on it. I then have to keep weeds, bugs, weather all from destroying it. I have to test soil pH, arrange growth trellises, and grow them symbiotically.

          -- The animals are much less complicated. They do what they do, I take their milk and eggs. When the chickens start picking on one of the weak ones, especially a male competitive rooster, I take him and do it for them. Once the hens no longer produce eggs at all, same for them. It is fast and merciful death.

          The corollary to the lie that we are not just animals is an inability to see how ANIMALS die in the wild.....as humans, we have this utterly human idea of death coming of old age. In nature, this would never be allowed to happen. Death is usually either at the claws of a predator ripping the animal into pieces while still alive, or even worse, slow starvation. This is how about 95% of animals in the wild meet the maker. There is no Medicare for animals. There is only swift bloody death or slow misery. That is the reality.

          When I walk the woods here in about 6 weeks of early spring, I will see skeletons of animals littering the forest.....these are the ones that didn't make it through winter. This is how it has always been. After seeing this, I suspect most people would feel a little differently about having some of my venison stew.

          P.S. This is not touching on commodity crops and the animal-raising that is enabled by them....that will take an entirely different rant
          I don't think anyone claimed that veganism eliminated animal suffering. It's always been about limiting it, in sometimes small ways. Animals need food to live well and grow into your burgers and steaks. Many of the cows raised in humane ways contribute to overgrazing, and those fed corn and soy and other things take up about as much cropland as all of the cropland growing food for human consumption. It's commendable when people raise their own animals, and along with hunting (carefully following the legal and ethical standards) is the best way to consume meat. I have a lot of respect for people that are able to kill their animals themselves. Many people seem to never think about where their meat comes from, and the truth is not pretty.

          Anyway, the argument that vegetarianism is null and void as a means of limiting suffering because animals die and ecosystems suffer in the production of vegetables doesn't hold much water, because livestock consume those same crops and if you eat meat it generally means you're contributing more to the suffering brought on by agriculture. Animals eat a lifetime worth of crops to make just the one carcass for consumption. It takes more cropland to enjoy an omnivorous diet than it would a vegetarian diet.

          Small scale operations like yours are a wonderful way to limit suffering too, but not everyone has the means to do what you do.
          Music of the day/week/month/whatever:

          K.A.A.N. - L.T.N. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWocmse1Ef4

          Comment


          • I am not arguing with you, just a general idea put forth by those with less nuance to their position.

            My position is this: I am opposed to the commodification of living things as it pertains to food. Animals as well as the environment are generally seen as resources and beings to be exploited.....but this machine does not cordon itself off to just industrial animals. It has a VERY big commodity crop side as well, mostly of corn and soy and wheat. I believe that this machine that allows for dirt cheap processed food, AND crops to be fed to animals in feeding operations, is a terrible thing for humanity. I think that the industrial food system should be abandoned altogether in all of its forms, whether it is a package of commodity crop soy burgers or CAFO meat.....it is the mindset of the system, not simply its execution in whether it is producing animal or plant products, that is the enemy. The way around it is to de-centralize the food system and allow for a lot more people to do what I do, by producing food.

            This is why the previous poster is correct in saying that there is no superiority to eating commodity crop foods vs eating meat that was fed those same commodities....it is the mindset that ANY of it is simply an object to be taken that is our problem.
            Last edited by TheyCallMeLazarus; 02-06-2014, 01:17 PM.
            "The soul that does not attempt flight; does not notice its chains."

            Comment


            • Originally posted by TheyCallMeLazarus View Post
              My position is this: I am opposed to the commodification of living things as it pertains to food. Animals as well as the environment are generally seen as resources and beings to be exploited.....but this machine does not cordon itself off to just industrial animals. It has a VERY big commodity crop side as well, mostly of corn and soy and wheat. I believe that this machine that allows for dirt cheap processed food, AND crops to be fed to animals in feeding operations, is a terrible thing for humanity. I think that the industrial food system should be abandoned altogether in all of its forms, whether it is a package of commodity crop soy burgers or CAFO meat.....it is the mindset of the system, not simply its execution in whether it is producing animal or plant products, that is the enemy.
              Too true

              Originally posted by TheyCallMeLazarus View Post
              The way around it is to de-centralize the food system and allow for a lot more people to do what I do, by producing food.
              I'd be very interested in seeing just how far this could take us. As meat-centric as our society is, I have doubts that we would be able to keep up with demand without those industrial operations. Every step toward lessening suffering is one worth taking, but the demand for low-quality, mass-produced meat exists and there is profit to be made. We'll probably have to experience some sort of large-scale disaster before anything hugely significant changes.

              Originally posted by TheyCallMeLazarus View Post
              This is why the previous poster is correct in saying that there is no superiority to eating commodity crop foods vs eating meat that was fed those same commodities....it is the mindset that ANY of it is simply an object to be taken that is our problem.
              Superiority is a strange word to use there :P

              It totally is that mindset that is the problem more than anything, but by not eating that industrial meat (even if eating exclusively industrial vegetarian foods) a person generally would be contributing less to the problem of agriculture. A babystep, but one worth taking imo.
              Music of the day/week/month/whatever:

              K.A.A.N. - L.T.N. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWocmse1Ef4

              Comment


              • Has someone from this site been trolling the vegan sites lately? That's the only reason I can see why so many pop in to tell us how screwed up we are.

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                • To your question Pilot....

                  No, I doubt it. I used to post on Veggie Boards, one of their big forums, and it is a really boring place. It's like being in some kind of alternate reality. Everyone just agrees with everyone else, spends a lot of time commending each other on being morally superior to the other 99% of the planet, and otherwise posts random non-sequitur information.

                  Here, we routinely rip each other to pieces and question each other. It is called having an adult mind, so a lot of their crowd is drawn to actual debate.
                  "The soul that does not attempt flight; does not notice its chains."

                  Comment


                  • Sort of a rhetorical question, actually. I do have an issue, though, and that's a 17 year old son that has decided vegetarianism is the way for him to go. So far, looks like he's more of a "junk food vegetarian", though. Seems me trying to get him to pay attention to his diet is me not respecting his decisions. I just don't want him to do it half assed.

                    As most of us old guys realize, the biggest reason a young male goes vegetarian is so he can get in the knickers of a girl that is vegetarian. He fell for it.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Primal Moose View Post
                      I'll touch on the crops aspect. As someone whose father has been working in conventional farming since he was ten and as someone who was told at 14 that I am either playing a sport or pulling weeds and digging trenches after school, I know how "ugly" it is. More rabbits and snakes and birds and small rodents die in a single harvest of tomatoes than the number of cows that will die in a year so I can eat steak every day. And their bodies are just left to rot. This doesn't include insects killed directly and the environmental damage done by chemical run-off. The main difference is that cows are cute and insects and snakes aren't, so people don't care.

                      In my opinion, anyone who proclaims that meat eaters are immoral and then goes to Safeway to buy conventional lettuce and tomatoes has zero knowledge on the subject and no validity and should be ignored, if not shunned.

                      Roaring Clap Worthy, Moose.

                      Loved it.

                      Totally true.

                      Julia

                      Comment


                      • I liked this thread as I believe the OP really wrote a sincere post with his thoughts and experiences.
                        I eat meat, but I don't eat pork. Pigs are just way too intelligent for me to eat.
                        Not to say all cows are dumb.
                        If I totally went vegetarian, I'd starve on just vegetables. I eat a ton of them, every odd one too, but it's not enough to keep me going all day long.
                        If I didn't work, I could graze on food all day long, eat when I am hungry, but like a lot of people, I have to work very long days and I have to eat when I have the chance.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by doublehelix View Post
                          I liked this thread as I believe the OP really wrote a sincere post with his thoughts and experiences.
                          I eat meat, but I don't eat pork. Pigs are just way too intelligent for me to eat.
                          Not to say all cows are dumb.
                          If I totally went vegetarian, I'd starve on just vegetables. I eat a ton of them, every odd one too, but it's not enough to keep me going all day long.
                          If I didn't work, I could graze on food all day long, eat when I am hungry, but like a lot of people, I have to work very long days and I have to eat when I have the chance.
                          Avocados are the vegetarian solution to this :P
                          Music of the day/week/month/whatever:

                          K.A.A.N. - L.T.N. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWocmse1Ef4

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Nellodee View Post
                            Avocados are the vegetarian solution to this :P
                            I bring to work olives, small tomatoes, nuts, kale leaves, berries...and I love avocados. They are magical.

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                            • 2nd Chance, you are a thoughtful individual, and I respect your careful articulation of the journey. I hope you keep us posted as life's road winds along. There is a sadness in your life, I can see. You are resolving it through dietary extremes, or at least trying to. There is no one aspect of existence (food, relationships, religion, work) that can become a counterweight for some other deep problem, you know. If there is no one you can trust with the ache that compels you to extremes, perhaps you need to find that outlet and resolve the underlying source of suffering, the manifestation of which appears to be depression, anxiety and chemical imbalance.
                              Blessings to you.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by doublehelix View Post
                                I liked this thread as I believe the OP really wrote a sincere post with his thoughts and experiences.
                                I eat meat, but I don't eat pork. Pigs are just way too intelligent for me to eat.
                                Not to say all cows are dumb.
                                If I totally went vegetarian, I'd starve on just vegetables. I eat a ton of them, every odd one too, but it's not enough to keep me going all day long.
                                If I didn't work, I could graze on food all day long, eat when I am hungry, but like a lot of people, I have to work very long days and I have to eat when I have the chance.
                                Hey, sewer rat may taste like pumpkin pie, but I'd never know 'cause I wouldn't eat the filthy mofo. Pigs sleep and root in shit. That's a filthy animal. I ain't eat nothin' that ain't got sense enough to disregard its own feces.
                                I got 99 problems but a pancake ain't one...

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