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06:24 PM on 10/28/2009
Woody Allen says he's a vegitarian not because he loves animals, but because he hates vegitables.
06:06 PM on 10/28/2009
I accept my biological limitations. As homo sapiens, we have canine incisors and digestive systems that secrete proteases that target animal proteins. Personally, I cannot maintain my body mass with insufficient animal protein. I am hungry too often when I subsist on vegetables. Fish, from many sources, has too much mercury. Our systems were designed to survive on a varied diet, drawing from many different sources. We are the classic omnivores. Meat need not be ingested every day, but to focus on farming as an unethical source of meat is foolish. It is ethically no different to eat animals that were hunted than it is to eat those that were farmed. One could just as easily argue that it is more painful to take away the freedom of an animal or fish who has known freedom.
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leftcoastindy
Where did I put my MOJO
06:56 PM on 10/28/2009
I cannot maintain my body mass with insufficient animal protein."

I would be happy to bet you a months salary that a diet of raw nuts (especially almonds) and /or other legumes will more than keep up your body mass. And thats without knowing anything about your mass.
Also, yours and many other posts here seem to suggest that having a digestive system designed to digest animal proteins is evidence that animal proteins are 'good' for us. Thats not true at all. Would you suggest that because we can recover from most illness, that we should get sick often? Because we can process alcoholic beverages that we should drink them every day? Because we can climb trees that we should live in them? Would you live in the desert without AC because you can handle hot weather?
Sorry to mess up your little narrative.
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helenwheels
SEDAGIVE?!?
07:42 PM on 10/28/2009
Well said.
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OceanSize
Lost my mood ring. Not sure how I feel about that.
03:32 PM on 10/29/2009
You're twisting his argument. He never said that animal proteins are good for us, just that we've adapted enough to metabolize them. Evolution would suggest that this was done out of necessity...those of us homo sapiens who remained herbivorous have long been eliminated from the gene pool.
07:00 PM on 10/28/2009
No one is saying that all animal farming is bad...
There is an industry level to farming that places profits above animal and human safety. The animals in these types of "farms" almost NEVER see the light of day. They are many times force fed through tubes with feed that is full of hormones and un-neccisary antibiotics that are further hurting not only the animals but us as the consumer also..

kids go through puberty at a much younger age.. Hormone related cancers like breast and prostate are on the rise and have been linked to these foods laden with growth hormones.

I eat meat! But I do it responsibly and safely. I eat free range organic beef and chicken and my husband and I catch salmon, steelhead and hailbut
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edva
Capitalism vs Humanity
07:58 PM on 10/28/2009
All true, not to mention the pollution and environmental costs.
06:00 PM on 10/28/2009
This all sounds well intentioned, but what the good Doctor and others neglect is the economics of it all, particularly regarding the poor. Simply put not everyone has the luxury of making such a choice in their diets. Again the issue is the balance of wealth in our society or access. If we can make such foods a) readily available and b) affordable, we can curb the issues beset by factory farms.
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leftcoastindy
Where did I put my MOJO
06:59 PM on 10/28/2009
Simply put, you are wrong. Earlier posts noted that rice and beans are much cheaper than a McDonalds burger. Thats why people in poor countries eat a lot of rice and other grains. I grew up on beans and we had a pot roast or a chicken on Sundays.
07:04 PM on 10/28/2009
You are sooo right...

Here is another little tid bit... Our government for years has subsidized corn farmers.. originally because they could not sell all of their crop... now, they put corn in some form or other in almost every food we eat as a filler.. simple starch .. which makes you fat!!!

If our government took this sudsidy away from corn farmers and gave it to farmers of fresh fruits and veggies and organic farmers of meats then this could help solve the issue of not only the horrible meat farms, but also our countries obesity!!
01:03 AM on 10/29/2009
he's talking about protein sources.

non meat ones like legumes and grains are cheaper than meat, even with subsidies.
05:45 PM on 10/28/2009
I was raised by my grandparents, on a small farm. I remember how strict my grandfather was when it came to the treatment of animals. It made no difference what the animal's station was - pets, livestock, working-animals, or wild - you did not disrespect animals. It was a serious responsibility to be in care of an animal - whether that animal was a beloved family pet or cattle headed for the sale barn. The same strictness and expectations applied when hunting and fishing. No meat was consumed at my grandparent's table until my grandfather had thanked his lord for the animal that provided that nourishment.

As a kid I didn't understand or appreciate what was going on, but I knew it was something to do with who my grandfather was, and how he lived his life.
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edva
Capitalism vs Humanity
07:52 PM on 10/28/2009
The good old days. Thanks for posting that.
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OceanSize
Lost my mood ring. Not sure how I feel about that.
05:40 PM on 10/28/2009
I can agree that the meat INDUSTRY is reprehensible, and I support any legislation that aims to reform.

Nevertheless I still eat meat and I REALLY resent the holier-than-thou attitude coming from many of you. For those of you who at one time ate meat but now consider yourself reformed, I ask you: why is it that the time YOU chose to "see the light" was the "right" time and that anyone who may come to the same conclusion at a later time is currently a compassion-less jerk? Before YOU became a convert, there were lots of Veggies who thought YOU were a cruel bastard and I bet you thought that was a bit unfair. Why didn't you convert any earlier than you did, you sadistic jerk?

My point is that going meatless is a very difficult change for many of us. Change takes time. So reserve your judgement lest you be seen as the worst kind of hypocrite.
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Raintree
06:20 PM on 10/28/2009
Holier than thou? Most of what I see is excuse after excuse for why we need cheap, chemically stuffed meat in our everyday diet.
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leftcoastindy
Where did I put my MOJO
07:05 PM on 10/28/2009
I REALLY resent the holier-than-thou attitude coming from many of you"

Feeling a little guilty are we? I haven't read all the posts, but I'm sure most of us would be happy if you and everyone else would get a clue and stop trying to justify eating meat.
I, for one, would be happy if you would just realize its not a good idea and try to cut back a little. Even better - eat more vegies. They're good for you and you'll be surprised at how good they taste once you get used to less salt. It might help if you try eating meat with NO seasoning. Then come back and tell us how much you like it.
07:24 PM on 10/28/2009
I actually prefer my steaks without anything on them..

Eating meat is not what is "bad" It is the reprehensible farming practices that have been allowed to continue for so long in this country that now we are seeing the ugliest parts...

Again I will say that I LOVE MEAT! But I eat responsibly.. I eat only Organic Free range beef and chicken... My husband and I catch all of our own Salmon, Steelhead and Halibut as well as clams and Crab..

We are fortunate to live in an area that we can catch, hunt for and grow much of our food. I know many people are not as lucky and do not have the financial means to eat better.. This is where our government needs to stop subsidizing the corn and wheat industry and give it to fresh fruit and veggie farmers and Organic meat and Dairy farmers.. If it was cheap to eat healthy then everyone would!!

So.. please focus your energy to your congress about charging the subsidies and farm practices and not on those of us who eat meat in a responsible fashion...
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sonshine
Truth over ideology.
05:37 PM on 10/28/2009
I don't eat meat for personal health reasons but I think when you tell people not to eat meat for any reason, you have to be a more sympathetic to how difficult it can be to switch away from eating factory raised animals and from eating meat altogether. Its not easy. Even as I read your article I was thinking of whether to have chicken with my dinner for the first time in almost a year. Its not easy. Have more empathy.
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edva
Capitalism vs Humanity
08:00 PM on 10/28/2009
It's not easy, but it's not too hard either, and the inhumane way the meat industry treats animals currently must be boycotted.
01:08 AM on 10/29/2009
I wish you luck on your journey. Check out http://www.veggieboards.com for support in changing over dietary habits.
05:25 PM on 10/28/2009
Most people in this country today have no idea where their food comes from, even the Prius driving snobs who shop at the organic farmers market.

I prefer to grow as much of my families food as possible and I prefer to eat protein that I have slaughtered myself.

My children KNOW where their food comes from and they have a much greater appreciation for it because they do.
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helenwheels
SEDAGIVE?!?
07:44 PM on 10/28/2009
Wow, stereotype much?
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kernel85
11:31 AM on 10/29/2009
I'm a Prius-driving, meat-eater. Love 'em both.
05:18 PM on 10/28/2009
I haven't read the book, but I am very aware of the dynamics of the situation, and would like to make some points:

First of all, there's no denying that factory farming is terrible for the Earth, the consumers, and of course the animals, who very much do feel pain and when they hear/see/smell what is happening to the ones just ahead of them, fear as well.

What to do? One thing that mght help tremendously would be if those who are in a financial position to help would consider subsidizing alternatives by providing.direct assistance to the "good" farmers so consumers don't have to make a choice between feeding their families and contributing to the carnage of factory farming.

To those who think we should eschew meat altogether, I say this: To hold up human beings as somehow being morally superior to other carnivores is just as anthrocentric and self-serving as saying "God told us we have dominion over the Earth."

A deer does not care whether it is killed by a bullet or a wolf. A fox probably causes more pain to a chicken than a shochet (look that up if you don't know what it is). And being swallowed whole by a bigger fish probably isn't a whole lot of fun, either! So the sanctimony over eating meat per se is absurd, in my opinion. Maybe we just need to extend the Kosher laws to pigs, etc. and make them mandatory for everyone!
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edva
Capitalism vs Humanity
05:41 PM on 10/28/2009
A simple, stringent humane policy would go a long way toward solving the cruelty issue.
The environmental issue should be addressed in a similar way, i.e. stringent regulation.
05:42 PM on 10/28/2009
Why should I subsidize an animal farmer so some selfish person can enjoy the taste preference of flesh?

People can survive and thrive on veg diets, and they're cheaper than meat diets.

Learn about "obligate carnivores" and "moral agents," and you'll realize that a tiger is not morally responsible for killing an animal and has no choice in order to survive, but we are and do. Similarly human babies and mentally handicapped folks are not morally responsible for their actions. But they also don't need to eat meat. There's no excuse for it.

The book was wasted on you.
07:29 PM on 10/28/2009
We already susidized farmers for corn and wheat that makes us obese!!

All that is needed is to move it away from the that and put it toward better use..

And PS.. not everyone is able to eat strictly veggie for allergy reasons..
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kernel85
11:36 AM on 10/29/2009
What about the idea of eating local, which is environmentally helpful because if reduces the amount of fuel burned moving food from one part of the world to another? If you live in a northern climate where veggies don't grow in the winter, a locavore might be forced to resort to meat now and then just to survive 'til spring when she can keep herself alive by grazing off the first green shoots.
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HealthHabits
05:09 PM on 10/28/2009
I am just finishing The Compassionate Carnivore (or how to keep animals happy, save old Macdonald's farm, reduce your hoofprint, and still eat meat) by Catherine Friend.

As the subtitle says, this book shows us that there is a viable middle ground between gorging on unhealthy McMeat and going completely vegan.

It's a great read.

Once I am finished, I plan to blog a complete review - healthhabits.wordpress.com
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BetteB
06:00 PM on 10/28/2009
Hopefully I'll remember to read your review, if you want to let me know exactly when I am at live.com and also frequently found at www.mybigtoe.com where awareness of the evolution of consciousness is discussed as modeled by Thomas Campbell. The evolution of consciousness goes on whether or not we are aware of how it works, but having an idea of how it works really makes much of life better understood like why we are here and what we are doing; it is something that has value or profit (not the icky profit based on using people with bad intent for money) for the system we are all parts of. The concept of being nice to our food shouldn't be all that earth shattering, that it is is telling. Thanks in advance HealthHabits.
Love
BetteB
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Raintree
06:21 PM on 10/28/2009
This is a good book- I second the recommendation.
04:59 PM on 10/28/2009
Great article and I understand your points and wish there was a better way. Unfortunately, commerce is what dictates the system and methods. And when commerce conspires with governmental institutions, they pretty much are allowed to create their own monopoly.

Case in point, my city. When I was born it was still a small farm town and those that were not farmers were employees at the nearby air force base. As a kid, I can remember good, honest farms being everywhere all around the city. You could even own farm animals inside the city. But then the city did something I think was irresponsible. Outlawed farm animals within city limits. That meant, we coudn't keep a cow and chickens on our acre of land with which to supplement our food sources. My dad still maintained a pretty big garden for our vegetable needs at least.

Anyways, I think other things should be considered before passing sweeping condemnation. 2 things like Laws and Economics. Many of us have no choice but to purchase meats that most probably comes from factory farms because it's against the law to raise our own. Then there is the economic aspect. How much does it cost for responsibly farmed cattle as opposed to other sources? Doesn't matter how much people will want to do the right thing, the laws of economics will force their decision and people will do and eat whatever they must in order to keep on living.
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HLL
The way of truth & love has always won ~ Gandhi
04:58 PM on 10/28/2009
Thank you, Dr. Weil.

The time is now for global awareness raising on this heart braking subject: Then, hopefully soon, there will come about a dramatic shift in our diets toward compassionate, which will be good for the animals, as well as the Earth, as well as our own health. I've been a vegetarian-now-vegan for over 20 years and am one of the millions of Americans who don't have Health insurance, but fortunately, I haven't needed it and, fingers crossed, won't ever need it.

"Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet. "
~Albert Einstein
04:53 PM on 10/28/2009
A hundred years ago, people knew where their food came from; now it's neatly processed and appears pleasantly packaged in your grocer's freezer. The suffering your food goes through before it comes to you is the stuff of horror films. I guess it's OK because bacon and fried chicken just taste so damn good.
05:07 PM on 10/28/2009
People KNOW where their food comes from, they just don't care that animals had to suffer terrible for it. Read the comments here.

The misperception that Weil has is that if people only knew, they would be decent and make a different choice. Most comments here - and the behavior of 99% of humans - shows otherwise.
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OceanSize
Lost my mood ring. Not sure how I feel about that.
06:40 PM on 10/28/2009
I will agree that the meat industry is cruel, but it is a fallacy to believe that the only reason people still eat meat is because they're removed from that cruelty. Meat was a mainstay of our diets well before the emergence of the meat industry and we all still had to kill our own meat. We had more respect for the act of taking a life for sustenance, but the bleating of the cattle, the squealing of the pigs and the squawk of the chickens did not stay our hands.
04:53 PM on 10/28/2009
If you want to gain deep insight into this issue, read any book by Joel Salatin. Develop a relationship with a real farmer/land caretaker (if you can't get personally involved with the land) at this time.
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JohninFL
There Is No god.
04:49 PM on 10/28/2009
Please pass me a cheeseburger. After reading this post I think i will have McDonalds for dinner!
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JohninFL
There Is No god.
07:46 PM on 10/28/2009
To all the folks that have replied I just wanted to say it was YUMMIE!
04:46 PM on 10/28/2009
You could also read "The Jungle" by Upton Sinclair. Still a classic.