eating meat

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are you vegetarian?

yes
187
18%
no
868
82%
 
Total votes: 1055

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evilbeanfiend
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eating meat

Postby evilbeanfiend » Wed Mar 21, 2007 10:55 am UTC

my girlfriend is veggie
i'm not

but what about the average xkcder?

note: eating otters is not an option, they are a protected species.

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Postby hermaj » Wed Mar 21, 2007 11:29 am UTC

I love me some meat.

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Postby Gelsamel » Wed Mar 21, 2007 11:38 am UTC

I like to eat a koala or two on the weekend.



On a serious note, is your GF vegetarian because of a health thing, or a diet, or because she doesn't like the taste of meat in general.


OR is it because she thinks it's morally wrong to eat animals?

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Postby evilbeanfiend » Wed Mar 21, 2007 11:49 am UTC

Gelsamel wrote:I like to eat a koala or two on the weekend.



On a serious note, is your GF vegetarian because of a health thing, or a diet, or because she doesn't like the taste of meat in general.


OR is it because she thinks it's morally wrong to eat animals?


mostly diet with a hint of moral superiority.

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Postby aldimond » Wed Mar 21, 2007 11:49 am UTC

I'm a vegetarian by any meaningful definition of the word but I ate chicken today, as a result of a misunderstood order in my office's cafeteria (to throw the food out would not do anything for my reasons for being vegetarian).

And there's leather in my shoes and whatnot... which AFAIK is not something I have much of a choice about as a serious runner.

For the record, I am vegetarian for two reasons:

1. It helps me distance myself from people.
2. It reduces the possible number of things I have to choose from when cooking or ordering food.
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Postby Gelsamel » Wed Mar 21, 2007 12:03 pm UTC

Don't know if this is the place to get into it or not, but the moral argument of vegetarianism is total bs :-).

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Postby aldimond » Wed Mar 21, 2007 1:08 pm UTC

@Gel: Depends on how you mean. If people believe that killing/exploiting animals is undesirable then working to minimize the animals killed or the brutality of their exploitation would be an aim consistent with their beliefs. But I think there are lots of vegetarians that don't view the thing as a moral absolute.

I actually think that vegetarianism taken literally is not quite the correct ideal for me. It's not the eating of animals that I'm concerned with, it's inhumane factory-farming conditions. Which means that I'd be more OK with true free-range chicken, for example, than factory-farmed eggs. When I shop for anything I might keep in mind various ideals (buying local is a big one, for example), but at the end of the day, that has to be balanced with the notion that we can't be defined by what we consume, we must define ourselves by what we create. I can't spend all my time worrying about the nuances of keeping a diet responsible for the least badness, I have to at some point trust the producers of food and get on to producing the most goodness. Vegetarianism is a rough and sometimes inaccurate shorthand for this, and I'm not entirely satisfied with it intellectually, but it has the advantage of being well-understood and usually doesn't require you to spend too much time staring down ingredient lists. Veganism is more difficult, and as I see it strict veganism takes more effort in our current society than I'd like a diet choice to take.

I know people that have turned away from vegetarianism after finding they were better able to cook simple, understandable dishes (that is, they understand all the ingredients and processes involved) with food from local farmers that satisfied their health requirements if they included meat. It's a view that makes sense to me and one that I take some interest in because it addresses concerns I have with the amount of processed food in many vegetarian diets today including my own. In my own case, I don't cook enough that the situation would be much different if I used meat. But as with everything about my beliefs, it's a work in progress, and could change at any moment.
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Postby Tractor » Wed Mar 21, 2007 1:09 pm UTC

I don't think I could ever be a vegetarian. I like steak too much, and I haven't seen a really good argument to convert anyhow.

In a related note, bacon cheeseburgers are awesome - double murder in a bun...with cheese!
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Postby Roffle » Wed Mar 21, 2007 1:12 pm UTC

I need m'proteines, and chicken, turkey and pork is considered health food where I'm from, so... *munch, munch*

Besides, soy and whey proteines are great, but compared to a decent steak? Nuh uh. I will take them on the side, though.
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Postby evilbeanfiend » Wed Mar 21, 2007 1:20 pm UTC

i quite like the 'you can eat any creature that you are happy killing yourself' argument. primates and whales are certainly off my menu.

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Postby Belial » Wed Mar 21, 2007 1:41 pm UTC

I eat meat. I barely eat anything else, honestly.

I have no problem with the idea of eating most livestock animals, for the simple reason that, if *someone* didn't eat them, they'd be extinct.

If we all stopped eating cows and cow products today, for example, vast, VAST numbers of cows would no longer be profitable. The goodhearted farm corporations of the heartland, regrettably, aren't going to just let the cows live out their happy bovine lives on their land with no product, so one of two things would happen:

A) They slaughter *all* cows, right now, and make dog food out of them.

B)They turn the cows loose. There is a brief surge in predator populations as they suddenly find themselves in a glut of brutally stupid food creatures. The predators starve off a year later, when all the cows have been eaten.

Meanwhile, mass-farming soy and wheat kills *hundreds and hundreds* of animals for each field that gets plowed over. And those are small burrowing animals that *didn't* owe their existence to us, and didn't get a comfortable farm existence beforehand. So eating vegetarian food isn't a lot more moral.

But I suppose since we're not *eating* those animals, and they're just rotting dead in a field somewhere, it's all okay.

That said, I do try to avoid south american beef, not because I'm trying to spare the cows, but because I'm trying to spare the rainforest. They slash and burn a *lot* of forest to raise those things.

Which kills a lot of animals I *do* care about.

I also try not to eat anything too terribly intelligent. Primates, Cetaceans, Cephalopods, and Corvids are out of the question. Even if Octopi *are* delicious.
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Postby space_raptor » Wed Mar 21, 2007 2:31 pm UTC

I think the most persuasive argument one can make on this issue is this:


Bacon bacon bacon bacon bacon.

Mmm.

I know a place which serves a burger with THREE animals on it. A beef patty, chicken breast, and bacon. Good stuff.

Kidding aside, I totally respect vegetarians who are against eating meat for health reasons(imagined or real) or for humane reasons. However, I have met a few people who think vegetarianism is a more "enlightened" way of living. Personally, I think that is a little unreasonable. I don't think a person is more spiritually in tune with the universe just because they don't eat meat.

I'm a pretty practical guy though, so I might not be aware of all the spiritual ramifications.
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Postby Belial » Wed Mar 21, 2007 2:36 pm UTC

I'm edging towards being unwilling to eat pork, for reasons of pigs being scary smart....

But.....

Bacon...
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Postby evilbeanfiend » Wed Mar 21, 2007 2:46 pm UTC

my housemate was veggie for quite a while and claimed that he really didnt miss bacon. doner kebabs were the only meat craving he got.

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Postby gmalivuk » Wed Mar 21, 2007 3:18 pm UTC

evilbeanfiend wrote:my housemate was veggie for quite a while and claimed that he really didnt miss bacon. doner kebabs were the only meat craving he got.


I definitely read that as "donner kebabs" at first. Which is a whole different issue. (For the record, I have no moral problem specifically with the idea of eating human flesh. But the manner/reason in which the person was killed would be key in my decision.)

I'm not a vegetarian, but in some ways I'm thereby a hypocrite. For I understand the point of most of the arguments based on the terrible conditions of modern industrial farming operations. Interestingly, while the average almost-vegetarian cuts out beef before chicken, for these moral reasons I'd have to give up pork and poultry (and possibly farm-raised fish), as well as milk, before I'd give up beef. In most of the US, Australia, and many other places, the living conditions of (adult) cattle raised for food (rather than ones kept hormonally pregnant in a dairy farm) are typically much better than those for pigs and birds.

Of course, with larger animals there is also an ecological argument that can be made, considering the amount of land and resources needed to support each cow compared to how much utility we actually get out of the thing once it's had its skull bashed in...
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Postby Puellus Peregrinus » Wed Mar 21, 2007 3:50 pm UTC

Belial wrote:If we all stopped eating cows and cow products today, for example, vast, VAST numbers of cows would no longer be profitable. The goodhearted farm corporations of the heartland, regrettably, aren't going to just let the cows live out their happy bovine lives on their land with no product, so one of two things would happen:

A) They slaughter *all* cows, right now, and make dog food out of them.

B)They turn the cows loose. There is a brief surge in predator populations as they suddenly find themselves in a glut of brutally stupid food creatures. The predators starve off a year later, when all the cows have been eaten.

You are the first one I have heard to make that argument. I have used it a lot but never head anyone else. I guess I'm just saying QFT.


I think eating plants could be considered unethical, because they haven't done anything to any- err-thing. Animals on the other hand have all slaughtered masses of these innocent organisms. Meat eating is the only form of death penalty I can accept.
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Postby Yakk » Wed Mar 21, 2007 4:06 pm UTC

Mmmmmeat.

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Postby jordan » Wed Mar 21, 2007 4:18 pm UTC

The euphemistic word for my dietary practises is "pescetarian," which means "mostly vegetarian but eats fish." If someone were enquiring about dining arrangements I'd class myself as vegetarian, but if a strict vegetarian asked me for the purposes of argument, I'd say that I wasn't—moral indignation just isn't worth the hassle!

Really I just see it as a matter of drawing a line. Most people wouldn't eat human beings; a lot of people also wouldn't eat primates or dolphins. I stop where I feel comfortable: frankly, I don't really give a damn about most fish or insects, but I wouldn't feel comfortable killing a pig, a cow or even a chicken, and I don't want someone else doing it for me just so that I can eat its flesh. Now I find the sight of cooked animal slightly creepy, although pure Pavlovian conditioning means that the smell still makes my mouth water.

I do wear leather shoes. This is because of a combination of:
  • utter hypocrisy; and
  • putting my comfort and convenience above an animal's life.

If cheap, durable alternatives to leather become widely available I will buy them in a heartbeat, but for now I've found no substitute for high-quality leather shoes.

Some of the arguments I've heard against me being a veggie are hilarious. For example, people who try to make me feel guilty about eating fish, or even (believe it or not) "defenceless plants". Do you care about fish or plants? No? So why should I? Give me a break. I once ate a whole fish, in the skin and complete with head, in front of my boyfriend, and he was totally disgusted. I explained to him that his steak used to have a head too; he said that was OK, because at least he didn't need to look at it or eat it!

As for the leather shoes thing: like I said, I accept that there's some level of moral inconsistency there. But I'm not impressed when people try to guilt me with it: I'm not going to be made to feel like a monster by people who will happily wear or eat a cow themselves, just so that they can validate their own moral position! :lol:

I'd have no problems with people like Belial who actually bother to construct a coherent argument instead of appealing to emotion.

Belial wrote:I have no problem with the idea of eating most livestock animals, for the simple reason that, if *someone* didn't eat them, they'd be extinct.


To be honest, since they're artificial varieties which are bred to die anyway, I don't really mind if they go extinct; varieties (and species) are wiped out all the time, it's part of natural selection. Though I would prefer that people actually eat them than that they are left to depredation.

Belial wrote:Meanwhile, mass-farming soy and wheat kills *hundreds and hundreds* of animals for each field that gets plowed over. And those are small burrowing animals that *didn't* owe their existence to us, and didn't get a comfortable farm existence beforehand. So eating vegetarian food isn't a lot more moral.


In an industrial society at our level of technological sophistication, casualties are almost inevitable. I agree that vegetarianism isn't intrinsically more moral than being an omnivore; it's just a matter of choosing what manner of decimation you are comfortable with.

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Postby Akula » Wed Mar 21, 2007 4:36 pm UTC

I like meals with more animals in them.

Turducken, for the win.

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Postby Aoeniac » Wed Mar 21, 2007 4:42 pm UTC

Roffle wrote:I need m'proteines, and chicken, turkey and pork is considered health food where I'm from, so... *munch, munch*

Besides, whey proteins are great, but compared to a decent steak? Nuh uh. I will take them on the side, though.


Corrected. Fuck soy proteins, less efficient absorption without fermentation to denature the natural inhibitors in soy.

Whey and meat are where it's at, for sure. But it's not like I'm against getting protein from corn/rice/beans or anything.

I have no moral issues with eating innocent animals, and I have few ethical problems with the crazy stuff the meat/livestock industries do these days.
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Postby Owijad » Wed Mar 21, 2007 4:45 pm UTC

Just for the record, that's not Pavlovian. Upon he stimulus of seeing meat, salivation is an unconditioned response. It would be Pavlovian if you salivated, say, upon the mention of the meat.
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Postby Aoeniac » Wed Mar 21, 2007 4:50 pm UTC

Or the sound of the person who initiates the tests involving meat approaching.
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Postby Belial » Wed Mar 21, 2007 4:51 pm UTC

jordan wrote:In an industrial society at our level of technological sophistication, casualties are almost inevitable. I agree that vegetarianism isn't intrinsically more moral than being an omnivore; it's just a matter of choosing what manner of decimation you are comfortable with.


I choose the one where I actually get to eat it, once it's dead.

And for the record, I am totally at peace with what I'm eating. If they brought the whole cow out and sat it in front of me while they hacked the steak off and grilled it.....

....that would actually be kindof badass
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Postby Akula » Wed Mar 21, 2007 4:52 pm UTC

Aoeniac wrote:
Roffle wrote:I need m'proteines, and chicken, turkey and pork is considered health food where I'm from, so... *munch, munch*

Besides, whey proteins are great, but compared to a decent steak? Nuh uh. I will take them on the side, though.


Corrected. Fuck soy proteins, less efficient absorption without fermentation to denature the natural inhibitors in soy.

Whey and meat are where it's at, for sure. But it's not like I'm against getting protein from corn/rice/beans or anything.

I have no moral issues with eating innocent animals, and I have few ethical problems with the crazy stuff the meat/livestock industries do these days.


Indeed. I have no problem with killing scores of animals born specifically for the purpose of being food, with factory efficiency. I'm not sure why the likes of PETA think animals are any more special organisms than plants, fungus, or bacteria. We eat those too, and no one gets all pissed off about killing innocent life forms.

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Postby Aoeniac » Wed Mar 21, 2007 4:54 pm UTC

I was talking more about overgrazing and sanitation and crap like that, but yeah totally.
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Postby Peshmerga » Wed Mar 21, 2007 5:58 pm UTC

I haven't met an animal that I hadn't wished it was on my plate.

Except that cute little baby polar bear, Knut, who lives in Berlin Zoo. Awwww....!! He would be delicious, though.
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Postby Torn Apart By Dingos » Wed Mar 21, 2007 6:08 pm UTC

Belial wrote:If we all stopped eating cows and cow products today, for example, vast, VAST numbers of cows would no longer be profitable.
That's not going to happen. Even if, say, all children born from today would be raised to be vegetarians, the change would only be gradual. I don't think any sane person would think it's a good idea to make meat illegal overnight, and the whole scenario is out of the question, so discussing it is pointless.

Meanwhile, mass-farming soy and wheat kills *hundreds and hundreds* of animals for each field that gets plowed over.
Certainly it's less than one animal per meal? And you're glossing over that animals need to be fed too; a lot more food is required to breed an animal than is won from it. This will generate a lot more deaths.

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Postby Belial » Wed Mar 21, 2007 6:15 pm UTC

That's not going to happen. Even if, say, all children born from today would be raised to be vegetarians, the change would only be gradual. I don't think any sane person would think it's a good idea to make meat illegal overnight, and the whole scenario is out of the question, so discussing it is pointless.


Point is, someone needs to be eating the cows. We cannot all stop. I *like* cowflesh, so the person eating them may as well be me.

Certainly it's less than one animal per meal?


So is most meat, unless you're eating nothing but cornish game hens. You didn't think they tossed out the rest of the cow when you had a prime rib, did you?

And you're glossing over that animals need to be fed too; a lot more food is required to breed an animal than is won from it. This will generate a lot more deaths.


Most animals are fed corn (which isn't nearly as destructive, last I checked, and a lot of it comes from ethanol processing byproducts anyway, so it's corn that was going to be harvested regardless) or they're pastured, which doesn't really kill anything.

Point is, anything you're eating is killing animals. Life feeds on life. Get used to it.
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Postby wisnij » Wed Mar 21, 2007 6:28 pm UTC

Bacon. It's the food that makes other food worth eating.
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Postby Gelsamel » Wed Mar 21, 2007 6:39 pm UTC

I'll have a side of dolphin fin with that gorilla leg. Yum.

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Postby jordan » Wed Mar 21, 2007 8:12 pm UTC

Owijad wrote:Just for the record, that's not Pavlovian. Upon he stimulus of seeing meat, salivation is an unconditioned response. It would be Pavlovian if you salivated, say, upon the mention of the meat.


Wow, I didn't know that. I always assumed it was conditioned from years of eating and enjoying meat.

How did they work it out? Did they wave some babies over some steaks, and compare the volume of drool to a control group being waved over some beetroots? :)

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Postby jordan » Wed Mar 21, 2007 8:27 pm UTC

Belial wrote:I choose the one where I actually get to eat it, once it's dead.


Fair enough, but I suspect that plenty of animals die and don't get eaten in producing feed material or to make room for livestock. I know that protecting livestock is one of the justifications for fox hunting. (Although foxes are nasty buggers—they'll kill ten or twenty chickens and only eat one.) No matter what you choose there's going to be collateral damage.

And for the record, I am totally at peace with what I'm eating. If they brought the whole cow out and sat it in front of me while they hacked the steak off and grilled it.....

....that would actually be kindof badass


Remind me never to come to lunch. :shock:

Well, good for you, I suppose. I don't subscribe to the fallacy that one should only eat what one is comfortable killing and slaughtering personally, but one should at least be willing to understand the process before passing judgement.

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Postby wisnij » Wed Mar 21, 2007 9:28 pm UTC

jordan wrote:
Belial wrote:And for the record, I am totally at peace with what I'm eating. If they brought the whole cow out and sat it in front of me while they hacked the steak off and grilled it.....

....that would actually be kindof badass

Remind me never to come to lunch. :shock:

Well, good for you, I suppose. I don't subscribe to the fallacy that one should only eat what one is comfortable killing and slaughtering personally, but one should at least be willing to understand the process before passing judgement.

In that case, have a steak. (Personally, I wouldn't have any problem eating a steak or hamburger or something while reading that page, but that's just me.)
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Postby jordan » Wed Mar 21, 2007 9:46 pm UTC

wisnij wrote:In that case, have a steak. (Personally, I wouldn't have any problem eating a steak or hamburger or something while reading that page, but that's just me.)


Understood the process, didn't like it, stopped eating meat. Seeing a documentary about slaughterhouses was my last straw.

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Postby Toad008 » Wed Mar 21, 2007 9:55 pm UTC

I have a reasonably large family (last year attendance was around 150 I think), and at gatherings we usually just put a whole cow on a spit, and spin it over a huge rented BBQ, or sometimes just a huge fire pit, if someone cut down a bunch of trees lately.

That is tasty.

Although it's a little different here, we usually do that with one of the animals raised on my uncles farm, and they don't go through any sort of slaughterhouse.

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Postby rhys » Wed Mar 21, 2007 10:07 pm UTC

I consider myself a moral vegetarian. Vegetarianism is a great idea (who doesn't love cute little piggies?), but I can't stand most vegetables, and I love bacon, so really vegetarianism just isn't practical for me. I gave up meat for lent (I'm not Christian, but do enjoy using the time to challenge myself) last year and ate barely anything but margherita pizza for 40 days. As good as pizza is, it's not really how I'd want to live permanently.

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Postby Belial » Wed Mar 21, 2007 10:17 pm UTC

In that case, have a steak. (Personally, I wouldn't have any problem eating a steak or hamburger or something while reading that page, but that's just me.)


....god I'm hungry.
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Postby space_raptor » Wed Mar 21, 2007 10:20 pm UTC

Belial wrote:
In that case, have a steak. (Personally, I wouldn't have any problem eating a steak or hamburger or something while reading that page, but that's just me.)


....god I'm hungry.


Yeah, me too. Fortunately I put out some steaks to defrost last night, so they'll be ready for grilling when I get home. Gonna put some Bullseye on them, mmm mm mmmmmm. Maybe I'll get some bacon, and wrap it around the steaks.

Maybe I'll have some mashed potatoes. Maybe not.
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Postby Belial » Wed Mar 21, 2007 10:21 pm UTC

I think I'm'a go have a burger
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Postby Yakk » Wed Mar 21, 2007 11:24 pm UTC

Peshmerga wrote:I haven't met an animal that I hadn't wished it was on my plate.


I'm glad I haven't met you.


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