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Becoming vegetarian can harm the environment


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#1    Still Waters

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 10:32 AM

www.telegraph.co.uk said:

Adopting a vegetarian diet based around meat substitutes such as tofu can cause more damage to the environment, according to a new study.

It has often been claimed that avoiding red meat is beneficial to the environment, because it lowers emissions and less land is used to produce alternatives.

But a study by Cranfield University, commissioned by WWF, the environmental group, found a substantial number of meat substitutes such as soy, chickpeas and lentils were more harmful to the environment because they were imported into Britain from overseas.

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#2    Mattshark

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 11:13 AM

HA! I knew it!

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#3    Marby

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 11:25 AM

This has been apparent to just about anyone with an interest in the matter and a keen sense of the obvious, really. While I respect the person that doesn't eat meat for whatever reasons they have, those that preach about it and spread false information (knowingly or not), really chap my hide.

That said, I was a vegetarian for two years because I thought it would be healthier. During that time if anyone within a ten mile radius of me sneezed, I got sick, I blew a disk in my neck that doctors said had everything to do with my diet, and I had to take supplements, which really says a lot for the lack of balance in such a diet. If you notice, too, eating meat is what keeps people in harsh environments from dropping dead from exhaustion. I was not one of those vegetarians that ate junk food to replace meat. I went strictly on healthy foods - and they are healthy, but they are not enough. Once I started eating meat again on a glorious summer's day in 2006, my health improved greatly. Even if eating meat were more harmful than not for the environment, I put my own health ahead of anything else.


#4    chaoszerg

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 11:31 AM

View PostMarby, on 12 February 2010 - 11:25 AM, said:

I put my own health ahead of anything else.


Agreed, its all nice and that trying to take a moral high ground saying its better to eat vegetables instead of meat but in the end its silly for a animal (which we are) to keep putting other animals well being in front of your own health, just because the thought of them being killed makes you go all teary eyed.

I respect vegetarians, if that is what they want to do that's great, but I will stick to eating meat and vegetables as I don't want to keep popping supplement pills and do enjoy both meat and veg.


#5    Marby

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 11:34 AM

View Postchaoszerg, on 12 February 2010 - 11:31 AM, said:

Agreed, its all nice and that trying to take a moral high ground saying its better to eat vegetables instead of meat but in the end its silly for a animal (which we are) to keep putting other animals well being in front of your own health, just because the thought of them being killed makes you go all teary eyed.

I respect vegetarians, if that is what they want to do that's great, but I will stick to eating meat and vegetables as I don't want to keep popping supplement pills and do enjoy both meat and veg.

Amen to that, brother! And really, it's not any more moral to not eat animals. We are animals ourselves. Just because we can think about what we are eating doesn't mean we shouldn't do it. We are a part of the ecosystem as well. We need to have people hunting, and we need to raise livestock.

I refuse to be preached at about one of the most natural things humans do.


#6    chaoszerg

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 11:52 AM

View PostMarby, on 12 February 2010 - 11:34 AM, said:


I refuse to be preached at about one of the most natural things humans do.


That's right, its not normal for a animal to not want to eats its food supply and instead hug it, im all for trying not to wipe out animals and helping them to repopulate but im still going to eat animals as a source of food. It really is silly getting all squeamish and teary eyed over the thought of your food suffering in some way.


we are animals and we consume both veg and meat when your start feeling sorry for your food something is seriously wrong.


#7    Marby

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 11:59 AM

View Postchaoszerg, on 12 February 2010 - 11:52 AM, said:

That's right, its not normal for a animal to not want to eats its food supply and instead hug it, im all for trying not to wipe out animals and helping them to repopulate but im still going to eat animals as a source of food. It really is silly getting all squeamish and teary eyed over the thought of your food suffering in some way.


we are animals and we consume both veg and meat when your start feeling sorry for your food something is seriously wrong.


Well stated! There is a difference between compassion and cutting one's nose off to spite one's face. I am a strong believer in knowing where my food comes from, and protecting that food supply. Animals that we eat deserve to be treated well, as does any animal we do not eat, but we should not lose sight of the fact that as animals who eat animals, we are not obligated to sacrifice our own well being.

I worked with animals for five years, and they were the most rewarding years of my working career. I dare any PETA member to try me.


#8    Mattshark

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 12:02 PM

Also important is how unpleasant most vegetarian food is! Tofu is vile!

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#9    Marby

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 12:17 PM

View PostMattshark, on 12 February 2010 - 12:02 PM, said:

Also important is how unpleasant most vegetarian food is! Tofu is vile!


Don't remind me!!!  :cry:


#10    chaoszerg

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 12:22 PM

It's like a lion deciding one day that it feels sorry for its prey and switching to eating grass, then trying to convince other lions to do the same, not only does it hurt itself in the long run but others it convinces.

Humans can eat meat and veg, just trying to eat the one is silly, especially if its because it makes you cry when you see a steak on your plate, either way we are going to harm the environment no matter which we choose.


#11    Mattshark

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 12:30 PM

View Postchaoszerg, on 12 February 2010 - 12:22 PM, said:

It's like a lion deciding one day that it feels sorry for its prey and switching to eating grass, then trying to convince other lions to do the same, not only does it hurt itself in the long run but others it convinces.

Humans can eat meat and veg, just trying to eat the one is silly, especially if its because it makes you cry when you see a steak on your plate, either way we are going to harm the environment no matter which we choose.
Yep, also, domestic sheep and cows are completely man made species, they simply don't exist as wild animals, they have succeed as species because of farming.
As for deer, well since there is no other predator to control their population (which is extremely important for all animals) in most of its range and the fact that we are a natural predator of deer, it is seems wasteful to not consume the meat if we have to cull them.

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#12    Marby

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 12:43 PM

I agree with you both.

I'm originally from Florida. When I was growing up, alligators were endangered and thus, one was not allowed to hunt them. They finally made a successful comeback that opened them up to limited hunting because not only were they damaging other species with their numbers, they were attacking people and their pets. To say that all hunting should be banned is like shooting oneself in the foot. We are a part of that ecosystem. There is no holding ourselves above it, and there is no ignoring it.I would rather have game on my plate knowing that it's doing something for the balance of the ecosystem, than have them stuck in sanctuaries or sterilized to control their numbers. That is not a natural solution.

Humans need a balance of both meat and veg. That's how we are built no matter how people attempt to refute this. As chaoszerg mentioned, a lion isn't going to stop eating meat the day it feels sorry for its prey and if it did, that would be disastrous. To further expand upon that, when people complain about an animal being killed for our use and call it cruel, then I have to wonder if they've ever seen a lion kill its prey. We have developed ways to do it almost painlessly. Most predators start chowing down before their prey is even dead. I'm not criticizing that predator because I fully realize that this is how nature works, and nature isn't all unicorns and rainbows, but to call humans cruel in this instance is way out of line.

A lot of these radical organizations go on about how veal is raised, using information that was true thirty years ago, but isn't now. The same with the nature of slaughterhouses. Slaughterhoues are more sanitary than most of our bathrooms, and most animals these days are not used for consumption if they are in any way ill (this is another argument people use). Sure, there is still the issue of battery farming, but it has become a necessary evil. While I personally go out of my way to buy free range when I can, I am not going to criticize the family that has to buy cheaper inhumanely raised animals because it's food on the table, and their lives are more meaningful to me than that chicken's. A lot of these radicals forget that they themselves are human, and forget to show compassion for their own species. One cannot be truly compassionate to animals if they ignore the fact that their own species counts as well.


#13    danielost

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 01:16 PM

can i make a point.  if we went vegetarian, how much time would we have before we had used up the land.  growing food uses up the nutriants in the ground.  according to the rules in the bible every 7 years your supposed to let the land rest so it can recover.  we can however speed the process up with cow pies and other animal droppings.

need i remind everyone that humans are omnivours that means we are supposed to eat meat and plant.  we probable eat to much meat but still.

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#14    Mattshark

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 01:20 PM

View Postdanielost, on 12 February 2010 - 01:16 PM, said:

can i make a point.  if we went vegetarian, how much time would we have before we had used up the land.  growing food uses up the nutriants in the ground.  according to the rules in the bible every 7 years your supposed to let the land rest so it can recover.  we can however speed the process up with cow pies and other animal droppings.

need i remind everyone that humans are omnivours that means we are supposed to eat meat and plant.  we probable eat to much meat but still.
If you are going to use the bible as your farming manual you are going to have some severe problems.
The four field crop rotation system is more up to date than that.

Edited by Mattshark, 12 February 2010 - 01:21 PM.

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#15    Br Cornelius

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 02:20 PM

I am a vegetarian and have been for about 25yrs. My wife has been since she was 8yrs. Both my children are and have been from birth.
No adverse effects on myself, my wife or my children. It takes a certain amount of skill to manage a diet like that, but that applies to most things worth doing.
Matt as I am certain you are aware there is only a 10% transfer up each trophic level, so it takes 10x the resources to produce meat as it does vegetable proteins.
The argument put forward is that meat is more environmentally friendly because it has less food miles. Since most meat is now traded across the globe and fed on soy and fish protein the argument in practice is almost totally erroneous.

I personally advocate a return to a more natural diet where meat constitutes less than 10% of the overall diet. This would allow for a balanced form of agriculture and a healthier diet for almost all the population of the developed world.

Quite frankly the article has very little worth as a basis for policy decisions.

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