the debate of the century - Should Meat Be Off The Menu?

Discussion in 'General chat' started by kimbo.parker, Jun 9, 2014.

  1. kimbo.parker

    kimbo.parker Junior Member

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    this is the equivelant of a World Title event.

    the teams are Heavy Weights in the debate - impeccable cred from both sides - this is Brain Sports of the highest calibre - Infotainment -

    it deserved its own thread.

    get the family and friends together and watch the likes of Peter Singer and Philip Wollen up against some passionate heavy hitters,,,,see the audiance get involved...and join in with the vote....wonder at the score.

    [video=youtube;mNED7GJLY7I]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNED7GJLY7I[/video]



    so should meat be off the menu?
    for the ethics, for the environment, for the implications of speciesism when we so desperately want to be contacted from off planet species,

    one of those little survey thingy's that we used to see more of around here would be nice - mods?

    enjoy
    K
     
  2. Grasshopper

    Grasshopper Senior Member

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    My parents and my ancestors before them were all subsistence farmer before they came to Australia.
    There wasn't one middle class vegetarian philosopher amongst them.
    Meat was part of their diet,it was a small part compared to their new middle class Australian lifestyle, but a significant part.
    They ate roosters,boilers, billy goats and rams to maintain their flocks.
    They set aside one field in summer to grow corn, to raise a one pig a year, which was portioned and stored in salt in a wooden barrel.
    Every meal was grown in the garden and may have been supplemented with some treat that was traded for.
    They grew excess lentils, beans and made excess cheese.
    The hills were full of wild plums, berries, mushrooms and chestnuts
    It also contained a few wild rabbits and birds and some fish and turtles in the rivers.
    If they didn't kill there predominantly surplus male animals they would have starved to death trying to feed them on their very limited land.
    If they didnt have a pig in brine to see them through the cold winter, they also would of died.
     
  3. mouseinthehouse

    mouseinthehouse Junior Member

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    Answer: YES

    All I try and do for myself personally at this juncture in time, is think and act on the words of Edgar's Mission: 'If we could live happy and healthy lives without harming others, why wouldn't we?'
     
  4. helenlee

    helenlee Junior Member

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    If the question were:
    "Should Commercially Produced Meat Be Off The Menu"
    my answer would be YES.
    That yes would extend to all commercially produced animal products & by-products, which may include diverse & surprising items such as car tyres, musical instruments, sugar, plastic bags, fabric softener, biofuels & of course personal care products.

    As the question stands now, my answer, after a life time of thinking very deeply about this question, after being vegetarian for a few years & a vegan for one year, for me, is no.
     
  5. mouseinthehouse

    mouseinthehouse Junior Member

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    I take your point. Of course today it is VERY difficult to eliminate ALL animal products from our lives should one wish to do so. As in a Buddhist philosophy, I TRY and I try to take the middle path. That is I just try to do the best I can to minimise my use/consumption of animal products. I actually didn't know about tyres - that's a new one for me! I don't try and turn myself inside out attempting to eliminate every single thing animal because I would be highly unlikely to be successful and I might become pathetic and give up entirely. The easiest and most logical way to reduce consumption of animals/animal products for me is to stop eating them. I don't need to so I can't justify it. I don't want an animal killed for me or want to kill an animal purely for taste pleasure when I am so fortunate to be in a position to have a choice NOT to.
     
  6. kimbo.parker

    kimbo.parker Junior Member

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    i agree with grass and helen and mouse...

    yet this issue of 'speciesism' reams me.

    all our arguments are so human centric - isn't the question bigger than us.

    we are isolated in a universe that it appears is teaming with life
    a universe old enough to have civilisations way way way smarter than ours....smart enough to make contact, smart enough to use worm holes, smart enough to go faster and have no probs with doing intersteller....

    and we humans, primitive, violent , brutal speciesist rock apes can't get our primate brains passed what is good for us.

    _______________

    if you take this big argument, and compress it down to just a speciesist perspective,,,then;

    commercial meat production is what should be 'off the menu'.

    slow food, produced with ethics and reverence for the sanctity of life and due appreciation of the life slaughtered for meat, removed from the corrupting influence of profit,,,,
    might be as good as we primates are capable of, at this stage of our evolution.

    _____________

    when conscious raising occurs with our mob - it can happen real fast.

    when smarter than us bovines with higher tech point their weapons at earth and say - cut the crap carnivores or else -
    i reason we'd turn on a penny.

    k
     
  7. helenlee

    helenlee Junior Member

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    I didn't mean to imply that one was not doing enough if one did not remove every last trace of substances from animal origins : ) I just figured most of us would know commercially produced dairy & eggs cause suffering, but thought not everyone would be aware of the obscure ones I listed. I had no idea anyone had found a way to turn critters into tyres either : (
    Not eating meat is certainly the most important step in reducing the suffering of intensively raised livestock. If they can't sell 'em, they're going to stop producing them. Simple & effective : )
     
  8. helenlee

    helenlee Junior Member

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    I dunno if I'm looking at this critter from the wrong end (I do that a lot) but this is one of the reasons I see for eating meat. Isn't this how we got ourselves into the big mess we're in now - by deciding that we were not a part of the natural world, that we enjoyed some elevated, privileged & separate position instead?
    The fact is, we're animals. Just animals. OK we're pretty smart animals. But when we got so excited about getting our epiglottis separated from our tonsils & gaining the ability to speak, & we added that to our delight about our extremely handy opposing thumbs, we sort of got a bit ahead of ourselves. We were so excited we jumped right in & made up the ridiculous god myth to justify removing ourselves from the natural order & assigning ourselves the right to fuck up the planet so badly that none of the other plants & animals would be able to live on it anymore. Now that, to me, reeks of speciesism.
     
  9. mouseinthehouse

    mouseinthehouse Junior Member

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    We haven't been a part of natural ecosystems since we left a nomadic lifestyle and took up farming. Once you can successfully remove yourself from the food chain you cease to be a part of the whole web. I just read an incredible account of the San Bushmen's history up to today. They are one of few cultures remaining who just about still have enough traditional knowledge to survive as they did tens of thousands of years ago. They were truly an integral part of the ecosystem they inhabited and although their human brain gave them some advantages over the animals they hunted, they nevertheless were always at risk of (and indeed did often fall victim to) being a lion or leopard's prey or being fatally gored by a gemsbok for example or succumbing to thirst, snakebite etc. Every animal including homo sapiens which was born at that time in that place did so as a wild animal with a much, much better than even chance of living a full natural life but also a chance of being directly a part of the food chain. Now when WE bring other sentient beings into existence purely for the purpose of killing them at some arbitrary time at our leisure then as much as we might want to dress it up with free range, organic, grass and such terms (where that applies) it has nothing to do with being a part of nature or a more holistic natural existence or something. It certainly reduces a lot of suffering compared to commercial or intensive farming and has a much smaller environmental impact and that is positive. But unless I go and live in the Kalahari in a reed hut with no modern support systems then I cannot see any connection or reason or moral argument to eat meat either intensively raised or free range hand raised. I don't have that right. Also, 7 billion people cannot be fed meat on free range grass fed cattle, pigs, sheep and chickens. I do not believe we have the land available to do so. So if we believe we all have the right to eat meat then who gets to eat the humane raised, grass fed, organic, free range stuff? Is it not more logical and equitable and ethical to aspire to evolve our cultural paradigm to full plant based eating? :)
     
  10. helenlee

    helenlee Junior Member

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    I'll try & compose an intelligent response later ... I'm just dealing with some (more? endless??? ) life stuff right now.
    But on a quick first read this bit jumps out at me: "Once you can successfully remove yourself from the food chain you cease to be a part of the whole web."
    Isn't this the illusion that caused us to stumble, trip & fall flat on our faces in the first place? We're not removed from the food chain. We are essentially, inextricably, one tiny strand woven into the web of life. We cannot be separated out, nothing can be separated out. We are all related. Organic & inorganic. Animal, mineral, physical, spiritual. No! wait! ... I'm starting to channel Joan Armatrading! Where was I? ; )

    The answers to the questions you pose are complex. My brain is still not firing on all cylinders, & even at the best of times (hell - I can't even remember back that far!) I dunno if I could have formulated an elegant response to this. I have grappled with this stuff for 50 years, & I still struggle to be sure I've come to the right conclusions (& even then, only right for me, because I can't know anyone else's path). I think some of this is beyond knowledge that is able to be articulated. On some level this killing & eating other sentient life is a spiritual & ritualistic act.
    I'll try later to express something more intelligent, but will finish by saying, relating to my last statement & to some of your questions, that I don't believe we were ever meant to breed & raise animals intensively for the express purpose of obtaining meat. I don't believe the traditional consumption of meat by Indigenous people bore any resemblance to the gross & vile practice it has become. But then again, I don't believe any aspect of our lives bears much resemblance to what we were. We have become obscene charactertures, animals in exile from the natural world.
     
  11. Curramore1

    Curramore1 Junior Member

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    Do you think that Homo sapiens just bred faster and their offspring survived better than Homo erectis or other early hominids possibly around at the same time or did we starve them out or compete better for the same or a similar niche or did we just use them for food?
    I suppose some folk may think that a traditional hunter-gatherer Australian indigenous hunter spearing an animal after chasing it with dingos until exhaustion or stalking it, spearing it and then clubbing it to death after, or burning it to death with a bushfire for takeaway is more humane than modern healthy production of grass eaters? They only survived that way for possibly 40000 years or more as a max population of maybe 1000000 as a sustainable population. Ooooh! I forgot, most practiced cannibalism of excess babies and fat folk dying naturally ( whatever that is?) or not. Only 25 million or more Australian mouths to feed now, lets all go back to nomadic hunter gatherer. I wonder what Melbournian tastes like? Different to Sydney folk but with a dash of Rosemary who can tell the difference?
    People who eat meat or other animal products that they have reared themselves feel a deep and incredible reverence for the animals which provide the meat that sustains them and go through a real process of attachment, sentimentality, shock and grief, especially if they have known that animal from infancy. Winter has arrived here and if I kept all the animals which I have ever bred in the last ten years I would have 5000 or so. Instead those that were excess males were castrated and sold, the non pregnant females sold, the old past breeding age females sold, the old past it bulls sold, those more susceptible to parasites sold, those that were too feral and didn't conform sold. This would be no different if I had 10 or 10000 breeders.
    When humans became the Apex predator and developed advanced thought processes and communication methods including speech and writing, and aggregated in large groups we could no longer sustain a nomadic hunter gatherer society, to have large populations which could defend themselves from other large populations and compete over territory, then permanent, defensive settlements were inevitable. Domestication of plants, then animals had to follow.
    The haughtiness and detachment of our socialised brains from our natural animal-ness and the modern distance between paddock and plate has led us to an untenable situation where food and being sustained by Earth have become two disassociated entities. I only grow what I like to eat or barter, sell or trade for other things I choose to sustain me. No different from 1 million Germanians of 16 or so tribal groups descending on Roman controlled Italy or Spain in 100 B.C. because their land was ruined by salt from being inundated by the rising sea levels from a natural catastrophe, or early Australians crossing over a land bridge to a new, old unpeopled continent. Our biggest problem is the size and nature of our population and the fact that we urbanised, centralised and specialized because growth is God and bigger is more powerful and more dominant. Organisation of societies into farmers, fighters, factory workers, family raisers, foo fighters and the rest has been necessary to maintain a large, dominant societal group. The little guys always lose and always will, equity is only a higher civilisation thing and only exists in our minds as a dream really because we are the minority of fools that really could believe that a level playing field could ever exist.
    In the end, the most successful members of any population in a biological sense are those with adequate genetic diversity, who have the most children who survive and raise the most children who survive and breed successfully. The genes are passed on and increase in frequency compared to other gene groups.
    We will always have lost our way while we divorce ourselves from the fact that we are a type of animal and not a higher non animal being, whether we choose to eat other animals or living, "passively screaming" plants or both.
    Australian natural grass only fed livestock exports alone help sustain in excess 100 million other earth dwellers, over 100 times what Australia could sustain in a nomadic, hunter gatherer mode.
    Why do chimpanzees in the wild kill and eat other animals? Why do pigs prefer meat to vegetables and grain? Do chickens eat meat? Yes, they love it. Do cows chew bones and eat other dead animals? Yes, if they have a calcium or phosphorous deficiency.
    Why are there carnivores, omnivores, herbivores and decomposers or coprophagous organisms?
    The argument whether meat should be off the menu is a classic case of our separation of humans as a supposed higher, lofty, shit doesn't stink non-animal being. Who cares whether the individual chooses to eat only plant matter or a mix of plants and animals. Like judging and governing the religious or spiritual choices of another person or their choice of elected politician, nobodies business but their own.
     
  12. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    It is a bit of a first world question isn't it? If you are Inuit - how the heck do you get enough greens to eat? If you live on a subsistence diet and can catch a few crickets and frogs to get some protein in your diet, is there a problem?
     
  13. kimbo.parker

    kimbo.parker Junior Member

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    i take curramore's point, and note ecos valid point - this whole consideration is the product of a first world comfort.

    yet

    i feel that in no way disqualifies its validity - tech trips to mars are also a first world comfort - they exemplify our progress as a technologically evolved species.

    so we are here, we are now, and we are us - and we can engage in 'what ifs',,,it is testimony to our credibility that some of these 'what ifs' are lovely idealisms for a better, kinder world.

    i note curras references keep looking to the past.
    how are we to navigate our future if all we do is look backwards.

    we use idealism to formulate and articulate what could be, and the pros and cons associated with what could be.

    the time for dialogue on speciesism is now - the subject is ripe - we occupy the time of another great wave of extinctions - we push into space - we 'see' other planets - we reason the existence of other life, other species, and we look inwards,,,

    and in doing so we recognise ourselves as we were, and as we are still - and we ask " is this right " ,,,should the way we were then, be the way we remain.?

    and we confront our own resistance to the evolution of us. it is an unknown, new ground and we fear it.

    we confront the paradox of our animality.

    but it is less than we are capable of to say " we are animal " therefore we shall kill as other animals.

    we can do better.
    we have leadership very keen to take us there.
    why should we resist?

    our appendix is redundant, our little toe's a remnant, we use a mere 2/3 of our powerful super minds - why should we seek merely to wallow in mud or kill.

    why compare ourselves to animals when it suits our comfort in the status quo, and deny the possibility of stretching our minds to a greater humanity - homo compassionate,
    homo solaris, homo vegetus?

    k
     
  14. Curramore1

    Curramore1 Junior Member

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    The past is what has made us what we are we are-the dismal or wonderful result of all history. I revel in the attainment and seeking to attain higher and more justifiable levels of consciousness which although inspiring does not alter the basic, unchanging, monotonous essential needs of every human. If we were truly to aspire to homo compassionate we would kill off or disallow to reproduce 90% or so of today's fertile humans if we were to be compassionate about the needs of future humans and the Earth in general. Smacks of some nasty dictatorial soilent green type AKA Charlton Heston movie type civilisation. What really is a "kinder or better world"? One in which there is no personal wealth, property or intellectual ownership? Nil desperandum , want, greed or envy.
    We are human animals and we still kill other humans in the name of religion, patriotism, greed and sometimes even for survival and in" self-defence". Get over this cacat first and then we can consider ourselves worthy of approaching a higher plane of consciousness.
    The problem really still is that we do not consider ourselves as an animal and that overpopulation, pollution and a build up of waste products will inevitably only lead to a catastrophic population crash from disease, starvation, poisoning or other natural disaster or a combination of all of the above. The solution is bleeding obvious, reduce consumption and pollution, possibly by population regeneration reduction without the risk of being blotted out by by a larger, more wealthy, better connected, better breeding or better armed dominating super populating race or creed . The solution is not in some imagined Higher state be it Nirvana, Heaven, Valhalla, Reincarnation as a post apocalyptical cockroach, Mars colony escape artist, Vegetarian non-alcoholic cocktail dream or other.
     
  15. helenlee

    helenlee Junior Member

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    Excellent post kp. Much of it speaks to me. Why be less than I am capable of? Good question. Lots to run through in my dreams tonight.
    Thank you : )
     
  16. helenlee

    helenlee Junior Member

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    Some interesting & though provoking angles in your posts on this thread Curramore1. Thanks for giving me more to ponder.
     
  17. Curramore1

    Curramore1 Junior Member

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    Sorry Helen. I am not usually motivated to stir and strain the cerebral portion of my brain, I avoid it with mind numbing physical exertion, tooling about and totally impulsive and frivolous displays of enjoying life in general. cheers, Steve.
     
  18. helenlee

    helenlee Junior Member

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    I think I missed something?
    Why are you sorry?
    (Forgive me if it's obvious ... I don't get out much.)
     
  19. Curramore1

    Curramore1 Junior Member

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    Helen, only sorry for giving you more to ponder. Nothing serious. Just a little lighter hearted than my earlier post. Unlike me to post esoterical or anything even approaching meaningful stuff. I am far too rusticated, bucolic, stuffy, self-centred and monotonous. I too am an earth bound creature, self-constrained by looking after all sorts of botanicals and beasties in the boondocks. This thang is a major contributor to my questionable sanity.
     
  20. helenlee

    helenlee Junior Member

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    No need to apologise for giving me more to think about. I like thinking : ) And you can do it while you milk, feed, shear, shovel, dig, hammer, split, hoe, throw, wrestle, run, haul, drive & sleep, so it's not like it's taking up time I should be doing something else : ) ; )
     

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