Pause for thought. You wouldn’t eat another human being, so …

With the looming overblown, gluttonous Christmas Feast on the horizon think on this before you consider serving Christmas Turkey, Roast Chicken, Roast Lamb, Pork & Glazed Ham – and I sincerely hope you have a change of heart.

Once you take the time to understand and acknowledge the horror and the unimaginable suffering animals go through just so we can eat a steak or a pork chop, for example, one quickly realizes the indoctrination we have all succumbed to that allows us to eat another sentient being without throwing up all over the table.

You wouldn’t eat your pet dog or cat on the 25th – so why would you eat a pig, turkey or a chicken?

 

54 comments

  1. Even if not committed to being a vegetarian Christmas dinner doesn’t have to be like a feeding scene from district 9. 22million turkeys are killed in the US alone, just for Christmas. About 45million worldwide. Easy does it would even help tremendously.

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  2. There’s virtually no chance of the world becoming vegetarian despite such passionate speeches; however, there IS a possibility of it reducing its consumption of meat products massively, so the message ought to be one of moderation rather than total abstinence.

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    • He does mention moderation when he gives the example of what would happen with a reduction of a mere 10%.

      And why should it be only one of moderation?
      Do you truly believe the animals you don’t eat are going to be oh so grateful that you ate their neighbour and not them?

      Every journey begins with the first step.

      I guess the real question is not what others may do but what will you do?

      Well …?

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      • Animals bred for food are not exactly aware of their destiny are they, so some of the emotional rhetoric in the speech is empty in my view. My argument has always been that if we didn’t eat such animals they wouldn’t have had a life in the first place, so which is better for them, a short and on-the-whole happy time of existence on this earth followed by a quick, humane death; or no life at all? The environmental impacts of meat production are therefore the strongest factors as far as I’m concerned.

        The other problem is that of substitute sources of protein, but that’s another branch of the topic.

        Am I vegetarian? I would say my wife and I eat meat in moderation, we rarely eat beef, and probably have at least two meals a week which are meat-free. However we tend to resort to dairy and poultry products rather than plant-based protein.

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        • Animals bred for food are not exactly aware of their destiny are they, so some of the emotional rhetoric in the speech is empty in my view.

          What an asinine remark!
          Would you necessarily be aware you were destined for the electric chair simply from being locked up if you were never made aware of your impending death sentence?
          Would this in any way reduce your trauma?
          A short happy life? A quick humane death?

          Have you any idea what a whale goes through when it is harpooned?
          Have you seen the conditions factory farmed pigs are raised under?

          Are you aware of what happens to certain bears kept in captivity in China with a cathatar inserted solely to extract their bile?
          Have you ever seen how calfs are raised for veal?
          How about the Chinese dog festival?

          A short happy life? A quick humane death?
          Are you a complete ignorant moron?

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          • Three aspects of meat eating are addressed in the video. One is to do with eating animals, the second is to do with animal cruelty and the third is with respect to environmental issues. Eating animals is not evil, and only during the last century or so has it been considered evil by an increasing minority. So what changed during that time to make vegetarianism so popular?

            Animal cruelty, however, has always been wrong, so if an animal is treated well during its life and, when its time comes, is killed quickly and humanely, I have no problem with that. You mention several extreme versions of animal cruelty, and they of course are wrong, but I would hope we’re not trying to address that problem here, we’re talking about run-of-the-mill cattle, sheep, pigs and poultry farming for the masses.

            I guess what’s at the bottom of this issue – in addition to the environmental side – is how aware of their own existence our animals are. We simply don’t know, but we can’t and shouldn’t assume they have the same mental capacity to assess and anticipate their environments as we do. We know they have memories and reactions, plus the ability to calculate and plan in order to get food or a mate, along with the instinct to avoid pain or injury, but are animals philosophers? Do cows consider their origins or their lot in life while they chew the cud? I doubt it somehow.

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          • As animals are sentient , how would you determine what is humane?
            And what gives you the right to decide?
            Have you ever witnessed a cow being slaughtered or a pig?

            All you are doing is justifying something that is ethically and morally without justification.
            What makes vegetarianism increasingly popular? Primarily, I would suggest awareness, honesty and empathy.

            You are unlikely to eat a roast dog – and they are as much an engineered species as a pig – for xmas lunch so why would you relish the though of tucking into a roast gammon?

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          • How do we know if animals really are sentient? We can’t possibly know without being one. We can gauge reactions and intelligence, but none of those values can determine if animals really are as self-aware as we humans are. In fact I have no idea whether you see the colour red in the same way as I do or you perceive time at that same speed as I do. Even vegetables react to changes in their environments, so why shouldn’t they be considered sentient too, and therefore banned as foods? Some people think trees have feelings! So where do we draw the line?

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          • We draw the line with what we can reasonably judge to be true.

            I challenge you to ask your local butcher to kill and prepare a two month old puppy for your xmas lunch.

            Even if he was prepared to do this and escape prosecution, would you indulge and eat it?

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          • Regardless of your elevated moral attitude, society is and will increasingly become a dog-eat-dog one while there’s no objective moral influence; and humanity will become more animal-like than the other way around. History has proved that time and time again. Anyway, for much of the world, eating meat is not a matter of choice, it’s one of survival. I’m also interested to know why evolution caused animals to eat each other alive without being all that sentient about it.

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          • As secular humanism is slowly but surely becoming the norm rather than the exception. and stats support this to the core, there is no reason not to believe that our general awareness and empathy toward animals will follow suit.

            Most actions are all about social conditioning.
            Be it not hunting whales to running electric cars, to removing plastic from society.
            Vegan restaurants would have been ridiculed ten years ago. They are now popping up all over the place.

            Likewise, animal slaughter for religious purposes is still part and parcel for several religions, and social conditioning will eventually remove this aspect of animal abuse too.

            What you are not interested in now, your great grandkids might well find horrifying in your callousness.

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          • but are animals philosophers?

            Most humans aren’t philosophers, but that doesn’t make it OK to torment and kill them.

            No one outside of a lunatic fringe is claiming that animals have as much self-awareness as humans or that animal suffering matters as much as human suffering. But they do have self-awareness, and their suffering does matter.

            You mention several extreme versions of animal cruelty, and they of course are wrong, but I would hope we’re not trying to address that problem here, we’re talking about run-of-the-mill cattle, sheep, pigs and poultry farming for the masses.

            Run-of-the-mill factory farming does involve extreme cruelty by any rational standard. There are reasons why those places go to extreme measures to stop outsiders from getting in and taking pictures.

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          • Given the ideal scenario of a field of cows in a field in the sunshine, some eating grass and some lying down digesting, with a few sheep along the hedges, and their lambs running about playing, it seems odd that people see that as wrong or unjust. Factory farming is borderline though, but since an animal that’s born and bred into a factory environment is unable to know that there’s a nicer world outside it would be unlikely to complain about its lot. I think we’re in danger of attributing far more knowledge and understanding to animals than they actually have or are capable of acquiring.

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          • This scene is something humans have created as idyll.
            The cows will be inseminated and milked to death , the lambs will be wrenched from their mothers and butchered.
            That an animal is born and bread in a factory environment does not mean it is unaware.
            I think we’re in danger of attributing far more knowledge and understanding to animals than they actually have or are capable of acquiring.
            We?
            I think you mean You.

            And this is simply because you are once again, trying to justify your predilection for eating meat when there is no moral or ethical reason for doing so.

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          • I’m being a devil’s advocate. If I take everything that’s said about eating meat to heart I too am repulsed, but the problem is that I simply don’t enjoy most of the vegetable-based protein foods, and I’m a part of the majority of the world’s population in that regard, so we’ll take a lot of persuading.

            Sausages, bacon, lamb cutlets, chicken piri-piri, spaghetti bolognese – they’re all part of life’s pleasures, and since we’re now told emphatically that there’s nothing beyond this life I feel I can claim my right to enjoy them while I can. I also wonder why evolution has created in us an instinct to eat meat if it’s so bad for us.

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          • We also have a predilection for war, it seems.
            Should we consider this is good for us too?

            Playing Devil’s Advocate when one is a meat eater merely demonstrates the level of cruelty you are prepared to stoop to, in your rather lame attempt to try and justify eating them.
            What next —- little ‘‘Yummy’’ emojis?

            It isn’t clever.

            We all used to live in caves, wear animal skins, screw anything human on two legs.
            and throw babies into volcanoes to appease gods.
            I imagine most of us have evolved beyond this, don’t you?
            So perhaps you can stretch your evolved intellect and apply it to why acceptance of slaughtering and eating other animals is as much a part of continual societal conditioning – the same as god belief in fact – and is neither ethically acceptable nor good for you?

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        • The other problem is that of substitute sources of protein, but that’s another branch of the topic.

          There are abundant vegetarian sources of protein that don’t come dripping with unhealthy animal fat. The only thing we absolutely can’t get from a meat-free diet is B-12, and that’s easily handled with supplements nowadays.

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  3. A question came to mind as I was pondering your post …

    If ALL who currently eat meat were to cease this “horrible” habit, what do you think would happen to the population of the animals currently used for food?

    Further, could enough rice, wheat, peas, carrots, potatoes, etc. be grown to provide adequate sustenance for the millions of vegetarians?

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    • As the animals bred for food are, by and large, engineered, if allowed to return to their natural state then you would have to ask someone more clued up in biology than me.

      Yes, of course there would be enough vegetables.
      If it takes approx 50,000 litres of water to produce 1 kilo beef, not to mention the grazing land required. I’m sure it isn’t that difficult to do the math.

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      • The statistics still seem to me to be a bit mind-boggling. Consider that ALL animals currently used for food would be allowed to graze unfettered. They would most obviously take up “ground space.”

        Then consider all the vegetables that would need to be grown … which would also require “ground space.”

        Also, many say the methane produced by livestock is contributing to global warming. What if there were an even greater population of these animals?

        Oh, and what happens if the rivers and lakes dry up due to climate change … how do we keep the plants alive?

        I won’t say it couldn’t be done … I’m certainly not a statistician, but it does seem like there would be a considerable number of obstacles that would need to be overcome. Things might not be as ideal as one might think.

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        • Again, a natural state for animals would ensure nature balanced.

          Given the time and opportunity it usually does.
          More water is used to raise livestock than to ensure a disproportionate number of humans are able to eat steak than is required to water crops.

          Did you watch the video?
          Several poorer countries regularly export millions of tons of grain to western countries for feeding livestock

          Millions of hectares of forest are cleared to either grow crops for livestock or for grazing.

          Here we are just discussing logistics.
          The Chinese commercial fishing fleet, granted rights to fish off the coast of Mozambique, have devastated fishing stock.
          How about the pet trade in so called exotic animals?

          It upsets me somewhat that not once have the ethics of slaughtering hundreds and hundreds of millions of animals every year been raised.

          And not just the ones slaughtered in the West. What about the enormous number of dogs slaughtered and eaten in China?

          If you can see how vile and unnecessary it is to slaughter a Rhino for its horn just to appease some Vietnamese with erectile dysfunction ( and of course it doesn’t work, as you know) why would one not show an equal amount of concern for pigs raised solely for a bacon sandwich?

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          • No, I didn’t watch the video. As I’ve mentioned here and/or elsewhere, it’s difficult for me to watch videos online. About the only ones I can manage are those that last only about 1-2 minutes.

            I’m not arguing the point that inhumanely slaughtering animals for food is wrong … and disgusting … and maybe even evil (!). But there are scores of people who live on farms and ranches who kill their livestock to feed their family (and possibly neighbors). Is this also bad?

            One other thing … primitive humans are the ones who got us started eating meat so it’s most likely in our genes. It’s modern humans in their quest for more-more-more $$$$ that has made the meat industry what it is today

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          • But there are scores of people who live on farms and ranches who kill their livestock to feed their family (and possibly neighbors). Is this also bad?

            Would you consider it bad if they were raising horses, dogs and cats for slaughter?
            If one recognizes the social indoctrination involved regarding certain species,then this should answer the question.

            We are an evolving species. We don’t have to eat meat because out ancestors did.

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          • Your use of the term “slaughter” definitely puts an evil slant on it. 👿

            Look, Ark, I don’t begrudge you your “enthusiasm” for vegetarianism. And yes, it’s probably better for people AND animals. But so is non-religion … 😉

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          • Touchy subjects are always touchy. I appreciate this ,Nan.
            But do you not think it odd that we can get up in arms about kids being threatened with a make believe hell, yet simply cannot (refuse ti?) join the dots from seeing a ”nice” thick juicy steak on the TV or in an advert and the living breathing feeling animal that was slaughtered to obtain it?

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    • Meat production is an enormously inefficient form of agriculture. It’s using a piece of land to grow 10,000 calories of vegetation to produce 100 calories of meat for human consumption, when the same land could just grow 10,000 calories of vegetation for human consumption. If the human species did shift to a vegetarian diet, the planet could support far more people with the same ecological impact, or vastly reduce the ecological impact of agriculture, or some combination of those.

      If meat-eating stopped, the animals that are now grown for food would cease to exist. There’s no way around that. They’re utterly dependent for survival on systems that humans would no longer have an incentive to maintain if the animals were no longer of any use to us. But, that would be the end of the ghastly suffering of billions of animals that would otherwise go on for generation upon generation, inflicted by humans, endlessly.

      In practice, of course, this wouldn’t happen as a sudden event. Meat consumption would decrease over time until it gradually fell to zero, and in parallel, animal farming would gradually decrease and the populations of farmed animals along with it, until it disappeared.

      Meat-eating is considered moral and acceptable today, just as slavery was considered moral and acceptable in every complex society on Earth until a couple of centuries ago. It is possible for moral standards to change as people become more aware of the horrors entailed by what they unthinkingly accept as “normal”.

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      • First off, let me clarify. I’m not anti-vegetarian. Many years ago, I was one, but life circumstances changed and as a result, my diet did as well. Today, I live with an individual who is an avid meat-eater and probably the only reason he would change is for health reasons (per a physician). And no, I’m not prepared to go “veggie” while living in the same household — for several reasons — although this does not mean I’m against the idea.

        The point of my comments was that it’s easy to talk about individuals going veggie, but when we consider an entire population … I find it difficult to visualize the “grand scale” impact. Perhaps your scenario is correct, but then again, maybe not.

        I do know that nothing is going to change in my lifetime. I think all we can do is beat the drum — not only for this cause but scores of others as well (including religion) — and hope that enough people will eventually open their hearts and minds so that change can happen.

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  4. I stopped eating meat years ago, partly because of the issue of cruelty to self-aware beings, and over time more out of simple revulsion. It’s eating parts of corpses. It’s a disgusting thought.

    I don’t think any vegetarian is so naïve as to imagine that an end to meat-eating would mean that all the hundreds of millions of farm animals alive at the present moment would wander off into the wild to live carefree full lives there. There isn’t enough “wild”, and most farm animals are domesticated and probably couldn’t survive on their own anyway. But it would end the ongoing horror of generation upon generation of animals being produced only to suffer and die.

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    • You are correct that most would go extinct -they are engineered, but many would not and would live on as pets or maybe after a few generations introduced into the wild.
      But as you say, the horror would end, and that alone would be worth it,

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  5. Pause for another thought. You wouldn’t kill another human being, so why do we kill millions of unborn babies every year? And we don’t even justify that practice by eating them!

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    • We don’t kill millions of unborn babies every year.
      However, millions of children die of preventable diseases, many of which are directly attributable to malnutrition.

      Furthermore, as we don’t eat other human beings, why do you consider it just fine to eat other animals?

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      • Have you looked at the abortion figures for your nation and the world? Most of them are ‘convenience’ abortions, made in the name of ‘a woman’s choice’. No thought for the human in her who would never see a day of life.

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          • … but don’t you think the predilection for easy abortion puts the meat eating topic into perspective? Do you not see the connection?

            I don’t have the time to start a blog, sorry.

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          • You don’t have time to start a blog, yet you have time to read and comment on mine and presumably others as well?

            As you are concerned about abortion why are you so flippant regarding eating animals?

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          • I tried running a local forum once, and it took up too much of my time, so a blog would be no different. Today I have no jobs to do (I’m a handyman) so here I am.

            I’m not flippant about eating animals and hope my comments haven’t conveyed that attitude. I consider them God-given, so they deserve proper treatment without cruelty or abuse.

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          • I consider them God-given, so they deserve proper treatment without cruelty or abuse.

            What you consider and what is are two widely different things.
            God given is based solely on your interpretation of man-made text that has no basis in reality.

            And if you believe factory farming is without cruelty then you are willfully ignorant.

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          • “God given is based solely on your interpretation of man-made text that has no basis in reality.”

            Exactly, as you say, what you consider has no basis in reality and what does are two widely different things.

            Is factory farming cruel? Ask the animals! What might appear cruel to you isn’t necessarily cruel to them unless it involves pain and/or discomfort, and not all factory farming does, because there’s a wide range of methods. It’s too wide a gamut to condemn the whole concept.

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          • There is nothing ”real” about biblical texts. They are primarily historical fiction.
            Again, here you are trying to justify your habits solely because of social conditioning – your considered ”right” to slaughter and eat other animals, and now you are invoking a man-made deity.

            No matter the conditions, in the end you still kill and eat them, which is completely unnecessary.
            That is what you have to deal with.

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          • How do you know all of these things? Eating meat is very necessary for animals, so what can be done about that problem? Does it mean your unfortunate pet dog will have to become vegetarian too? And if humans are, as most believe now, animals too, who are you to stop them eating meat?
            (Don’t forget, I continue to sit on the fence, so am still being devil’s advocate).

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          • “How do I know what things?”

            The claims you make – such as that Biblical texts are fiction and have no basis in reality; and that I’m trying to justify my claims because of ‘social conditioning’. How do you know you’re right? I have to assume you’re simply expressing your beliefs, which is fair enough.

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          • Archaeology for one has demonstrated through things such as the Internal Settlement Pattern that Captivity, Exodus and Conquest are all fiction.
            Geology, paleontology, and Plate tectonics have shown the Noachim Flood is fiction.

            The HGP has shown that the Adam and Eve story is palpable nonsense.

            Social conditioning affects us all. Your religious beliefs are primarily influenced by your culture.
            This is a fact and a simple question of demographics.
            The Catholics got to South America first. (for example)

            Social conditioning has influenced the way we react to cigarette smoking,
            the way society regards women voting, and a myriad of other issues.

            When social conditioning changes regarding the eating of meat – and there is enough momentum – then it will supersede the current culture that celebrates the eating of dead animals.

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          • When animals stop eating animals, maybe then humans will also stop eating animals, but while humans think they are animals, who are you to dictate to them what they should and shouldn’t do? You’re just another animal after all. ‘Social conditioning’ evaporates when society collapses and we’re then back to dog-eat-dog conditions. I dare you to try to tell a poverty-stricken family in one of the poorest areas of China that they shouldn’t breed chickens for their eggs and then eat them later, or milk their skinny cows before killing those too for their hides and meat. This is basic life, it has nothing to do with cigarettes or women’s rights.

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          • Fail 1. Not all animals eat other animals – and we are an evolving species .
            Bear this in mind …
            Fail 2: Give poor people the opportunity to change their current status and they will change. Give them a reason NOT to eat chickens, make it a viable alternative coupled with a financial incentive, and they will almost always change.

            So you try to dismiss the argument with two weak examples without thinking them through or even tackling the evidence.
            Cigarettes and women’s rights are excellent examples of how people change because of social conditioning.

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