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rf dude
02:03 AM on 03/19/2010
Don't forget that seminar on shooting fish in a barrel...
Sistagirl Laughin' Thingy Award Winner!
01:36 PM on 03/19/2010
You want it to be "a fair fight"? That's comedy. What is your point?
01:29 AM on 03/19/2010
I'll never understand why people would choose to kill animals when don't need to. If you have "respect" for sheep, let them be. I would much rather people get their meat from small, sustainable farms where animals are treated humanely, but I don't understand why is so damn hard to just not eat meat at all. Plenty of people manage to live fulfilling lives without it. And as for the arguments that vegetable farming would destroy the earth without the accompanying animal farming, what about crop rotation and composting? Or maybe just keep a few grazing animals on your small, sustainable farm for the pleasure of their company. Of course the current system provides all the manure you could ever dream of, but there are environmental costs to paid for that too. I am not an expert on agriculture, but the idea that we "need" to raise animals for meat consumption sounds like a whiny justification on the part of carnivores who can't stand the thought of being denied something that tastes good to them.
02:01 AM on 03/19/2010
I'm sorry jencer86, but that is just profoundly ignorant of the realities of sustainable food production. Crop rotation and composting are great things, but if you are under the impression that that is all we need to create sustainable food systems, you are radically wrong.

I've seen more people who were once vegans, change their outlook after learning about sustainable farming firsthand, than I can count. I have never seen a single case of a meat eater becoming a vegan as a result of learning about sustainable farming.

Without managed animals keeping the balance, farming is an environmental nightmare, turning our topsoil into desert, and wiping out entire ecosystems. If you think you are killing less animals by supporting veganism, you are wrong.

If you want to learn more about these issues, I strongly recommend Lierre Keith's thoughtful, insightful, and informative book, The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice, and Sustainability. She was a vegan for two decades, so she is extremely compassionate for the goals of vegans. But as she learned about the realities of sustainable farming, she had an awakening, and shares her knowledge with great humility and wisdom.

This link to an article from Audubon Magazine might help you understand the issue a little better as well:
03:34 AM on 03/19/2010
The Audubon article does not answer the question I feel must be answered before these sustainability issues can be fully understood. Lisa Hamilton explains the interactions between plants and animals much the way you do here at the Post, using general principals of science and logic, but non-quantitatively. Neither of you give us any numbers. I would like to know the number of acres currently used to grow plants versus the number used to pasture animals, and the BIGGIE, the number of acres that would be required to provide free range on grass for the millions of animals currently crammed into the factory farms. And finally, how these numbers compare with the acres of arable and pasturable land available for use. If you believe strongly that humans should NOT reduce the amount of meat they consume AND that factory farms should be abolished, then please show us how this could be accomplished.
10:22 AM on 03/19/2010
Lierre Kieth got a lot of things wrong, but her book is very popular because it gives meat eaters the excuses they want, however poorly reasoned, to continue eating animals. There are more sustainable ways to farm animals, just like there are probably sustainable ways to keep slaves. But that doesn't make it the ideal or most ethical situation. There are also sustainable ways to grow crops. For centuries people have used stock free agriculture methods, now called veganic farming, to build topsoil and improve the environment, without using domesticated animals. In natural ecosystems, there are plenty of wild animals to do the part of livestock. Humans can be a part of the natural cycle as herbivores. We don't need to be omnivores or carnivores. Leave that to the wolves.
08:03 AM on 03/19/2010
That is a great sentiment for a greeting card but everything has to die some day.
10:34 AM on 03/19/2010
Wow! Can you imagine giving a card that said "everything has to die someday" to someone who just lost a loved one? How heartless can you be? Sure, everyone dies. But that doesn't make murder okay, does it?
12:48 AM on 03/19/2010
I have been butchering my own meat since 1983. The first time I killed an animal, what surprised me the most was that it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. There was no fear or writhing in pain as reported in the animal rights propaganda of the day. I simply put a bowl of grain on the ground, then waited for the goat to bend his head and start eating before I shot him between the ears. The death was very anti-climatic.
03:42 PM on 03/21/2010
Few of us will ever die that easily or quickly. Even fewer wild animals.
07:03 PM on 03/18/2010
After reading all those sweet animal tales to my young son, I could never eat a sheep or lamb. Sadly, I can't seem to keep chicken out of my mouth. But I have a grudging respect for folks who want to see where their food actually comes from and how it's processed. Many chefs take butchering courses. In any case, this scenario will be a million times more humane than a slaughterhouse.
06:54 PM on 03/18/2010
sort of an oxymorn to give someone 'dignity' before k1lling them.
I for one don't buy into this. Either you respect life enough to treat it as sacred or you devalue life by ending it. The time is coming when humans will look on this period of eating animals and shake their heads in disgust at the barbaric treatment humans engaged in.
04:15 AM on 03/19/2010
Wow. Kinda "for us or against us" sounding, isn't it? How sacred is the life of the millions of bacteria you murder when you brush your teeth and spit them unceremoniously into the sink every morning? Those lives are ended by the millions without even an apology. I think the closer a living thing's life more resembles our own, the more "barbaric" its ending it seems to us. And that, plain and simple, is more than a little hypocritical. Do you think a potato is perfectly fine with us yanking it out of the ground and ending its life? Maybe because it can't scream or look at you with pleading eyes before you end its life that means that you think it doesn't have the ability to care or feel pain.
I'm not saying it does, but an argument like that sounds a lot like others I've heard from people who think mass slaughter of animals doesn't matter because they're only here for our consumption.
I say let's be honest: most of the time we end some form of life in order to eat and survive so let's dispense with this "sanctity of life" bs. I hate the way we do things now, the way we industrialize food, mistreat animals, etc. Surely there must be some fair, rational discussion we can have to make the sustinence we take in less harmful to us, the life we destroy, and the ecosystem itself...
10:25 AM on 03/19/2010
It isn't about the killing, it is about the needless suffering. Do you really believe that a tomato or a bacterium can experience pain, fear and suffering the way a vertebrate animal like a lamb, a dog or a human being can?
10:26 PM on 03/19/2010
So your answer is kill as many beings as possible? Genius.
05:38 PM on 03/18/2010
I applaud you, madam. I wish that I had known of this event sooner, as I would have attended myself. I am grateful that there are people like you who are giving voice to the things we small, sustainable farmers know. Too much of our population is ignorant of what it takes to raise the food that they eat, and that is a big reason our farming was able to take the turn towards big agribusiness and factory farms.

Through education and realization, may we bring about change in the eating habits of our nation. I vote with my fork... Local sustainable foods!
05:18 PM on 03/18/2010
Whatever your opinion is on eating meat, you have to admit that those who eat it would stand to benefit from having more physical contact with the complete animal and the slaughtering and butchering process. It's really easy to throw away bologna, forget about and throw out those frozen breakfast sausages, and throw that half eaten burger in the trash.. when you forget that it really was a living breathing thing that died so that you can live. It's just a matter or respect.
05:42 PM on 03/18/2010
I honestly believe that if people were to actually see - even in a video - an animal being killed, most would stop eating meat.

The fact that there are some people who are actually seeking out a "how-to-kill" class -- not only that, but boasting about looking forward to killing an animal, is very disturbing, indeed.
05:57 PM on 03/18/2010
How is it disturbing that people want to learn the most humane and safe way to dispatch an animal? There are those of us that wish to be responsible for the meat we eat instead of relying on factory farms that perpetuate cruelty. I have been butchering my own poultry for years, and yes, I looked forward to learning *how to do it*, not the killing itself. It is one more step towards being self-reliant and not accepting the processed crap that our nation considers "food" these days. If I were able to attend this event with Jenna, I would certainly go.
07:38 PM on 03/18/2010
Were your proposal true, humans would have become vegetarians long before recorded history. Modern society has made food for most of us plentiful and readily available, which gives us the luxury of considering meat processing “icky” and “disturbing" (use whiny tone for emphasis). But before all that life was tough and people had to do what they could to survive, including the dirty work of killing and butchering animals for consumption. And I don't think anyone had the time, resources, or know-how to replace meat with those nut and bean trail mixes vegetarians rely on these days to avoid protein deficiency. I would be shocked (SHOCKED!) if willing vegetarians before industrialization were anything other than virtually nonexistent. Simply put, the miracles of modern technology have turned us into a bunch of squeamish pansies, and our ancestors would be embarrassed.
04:28 PM on 03/18/2010
I have the deepest respect for Jenna's admirable quest to approach this issue with honesty and integrity. I remember a while back, when Jenna mentioned this issue on her blog, a remarkable number of people who had been vegans for years, and even decades, commented that as they came to truly understand issues in sustainability by practicing farming themselves, they came to understand the importance of animals in sustainable food production and changed their diet.

I have seen that again and again. Though well-intentioned, most vegans are so completely divorced from the foods that they eat, that they have little understanding of the basic tenets of sustainable farming. Many don't even know that most of the organic foods that they eat depend on animal products such as manure, bone, and bloodmeal. Ignorance is bliss. And even worse, many don't even know that the alternative for fixing nitotrogen is polluting, and completely unsustainable fossil fuel derivatives.

Ecosystems are a complex web of interrelationships between the vitality of the soil, plants, animals, and climate. Nature operates by systems, not overly simplified binary polemics like "meat bad, vegetables good." Any truly sustainable system of food production includes animals.

Agriculture without farm animals obliterates the topsoil over time, and wipes out entire ecosystems, killing animals across the board. Sustainably raised, pastured animals actually sequester massive amounts of greenhouse gasses, and drastically increase the vitality of the soil, to the order of billions of organisms in a single tablespoon.
10:27 AM on 03/19/2010
Look up stock free agriculture or veganic farming. Just because you are ignorant of these things doesn't mean that vegans are.
10:47 AM on 03/19/2010
I'm sorry, but veganic farming is not a serious solution. Just because you are ignorant of that fact, doesn't mean that virtually everyone with any understanding of sustainability is. Trying to make up for the lack of animals with humanure and human urine might work for a home garden to grow some extra vegetables, but it is not a serious solution for food production.
I have a headache.
04:11 PM on 03/18/2010
yes ,odd and revolting is a good phrase.
We should be nice to things before we kill them.
03:50 PM on 03/18/2010
"I'm a vegetarian that will return to local carnivory only when I am assured the animals on my plate lived the best life possible"

Really? This animal has lived the best life possible? It hasn't even had its first birthday. Please explain.
05:12 PM on 03/18/2010
I have to second this. I'm not a vegetarian, but seriously... "lived the best life possible"?

It's quality of live might have been high, but "lived" doesn't sound like the appropriate word.
05:24 PM on 03/18/2010
She's not a vegetarian. She never was. She probably played vegetarian when it was the hip thing to do. Now, it's Excusitarianism, so she can drop the pretense of having ever been a "vegetarian" and get down to the business of not only eating the animals, but enjoy the killing of them.

Sadistic and so-green, so-trendy, so-hip.

Blood Red is the New Green.
05:48 PM on 03/18/2010
You are a liar MyVesta. You don't even know her, and your pretend to know that she was never a vegetarian? Shame on you. Tell it to the trillions of animals that are killed by the the row crop agriculture that forms the basis of most vegan diets.
02:29 PM on 03/18/2010
The idea of having "the utmost respect" for an animal and looking her in the eye before you slit her throat seems rather sick to me. It's like someone saying it is okay to rape someone as long as you say you respect her and take her out for a nice dinner first.

I commend you stance against factory farming, but if you don't need to harm or kill an animal to live a healthy happy life, then why would you?
05:35 PM on 03/18/2010
Can you imagine the kind of people who are clamoring to "experience" killing an animal?

Anything goes, these days, apparently. The more depraved, the better.
05:42 PM on 03/18/2010
It is not gruesome, as you make it out to be. There are those of us that wish to be responsible for our own food, and if that means killing the animals that put meat on the table instead of relying on factory farms, that is what we do. It is only right that a person "experiences" killing an animal so that, when they do it, they are able to perform the action as safely and humanely as possible. How is that depraved? It is taking responsibility for proper technique and procedures.
04:45 AM on 03/19/2010
The reason humans kill and eat animals is natural. To keep the natural cycle of life, and the ecosystem going. When all humans become vegetarians, the balance is upset, causing complete chaos and more death than is happening now. We can stick to this, or:

Since we don't have enough land now to grow the crops needed to feed the whole human race we could clear all forests, depriving animals of their natural habitats and causing them to die. Then, the carnivores, the ones who preyed on these animals, will die. Death, death, and more death.

In short: GO MEAT!
10:31 AM on 03/19/2010
The meat that eat came from animals who ate more plants than you could possibly eat yourself. The meat came from plants that were grown in forests that were cleared to make room for grazing or to grow crops to feed farm animals. Most of those once vibrant ecosystems became animal feces. Only a small portion became meat for you to eat.

With more than 6 billion people on the planet, we would do better with more people taking the herbivorous role in the ecosystem rather than the carnivorous role. Too many carnivores means not enough food to go around.
Chris DiAlfredi
Commercial artist, creative thinker, father.
01:49 PM on 03/18/2010
"It takes all kinds to make this world turn on a slightly kinder rotation, some of us just have sharper teeth."

What an admirable quote. I applaud your stance and only wish that I had your drive and conviction when I was your age to know more about my food. I'm not able to become a grass-fed farmer (yet), but the lifestyle you've chosen is inspiring and motivational to me.