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Vegetarianism/Veganism? With or against?

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Wed Oct 26, 2011 7:52 pm
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Seraph says...



Hey guys, just letting you know, I'm a vegetarian and I was just thinking... What do you guys think? Do you preffer a lifestyle with or without meat? With or without milk/dairy? I am one day going to be vegan... But until then, I wish to hear what you all have to say about these things. :mrgreen:
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Wed Oct 26, 2011 8:16 pm
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tr3x says...



Carnivore here. I eat any meat that doesn't make me gag and enjoy smoothies and yogurt immensely. If I may ask, why do you wish to be vegan? Is it a cultural thing (I know many Hindus - Bhramins in particular forgo meat) or an ethical issue? Or do you have medical dietary restrictions?
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Wed Oct 26, 2011 8:24 pm
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Seraph says...



tr3x wrote:Carnivore here. I eat any meat that doesn't make me gag and enjoy smoothies and yogurt immensely. If I may ask, why do you wish to be vegan? Is it a cultural thing (I know many Hindus - Bhramins in particular forgo meat) or an ethical issue? Or do you have medical dietary restrictions?

I am not of those backgrounds. I am a white, Catholic male. However, I have not only lost my taste in meat, but it goes deeper than that. Going back to me being Catholic-Christian, my view reflects the original man and woman. Adam and Eve did not eat from animals. The original human design was herbivory, (in my opinion), before they sinned and eventually afterwards, found appeal in meat. Another reason would be that I have done extensive research and have found that many medical benefits may be achieved if you eat correctly with this lifestyle. =)
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Wed Oct 26, 2011 8:42 pm
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tr3x says...



It is true that vegetarianism has health benefits, but like any diet it's subject to context. You could be a very unhealthy vegetarian, or meat eater who lives to be a hundred and twenty. A wide rang of other factors - exercise, lifestyle, even genetics - determine your health and longevity. Thus vegetarianism might not really be any more healthy than eating meat.
As for humans being designed for the herbivorous diet, that's quite an interesting discussion! We share a lot of similarities with other herbivores. Our gastro-intestinal systems are long and convoluted, much like a cow's, yet we lack many of the organs necessary for the digestion of plant matter (we find cellulose completely indigestible). Our relatively small mouth to head ratio once again reflect herbivorous characteristics, but the fact that we use hydrochloric acid in our stomachs reflects the need to digest meat. The best conclusion we can draw from this is that we are omnivorous. We were designed to be able to eat a lot of different thing - not to say we have to!
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Wed Oct 26, 2011 8:49 pm
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Seraph says...



tr3x wrote:It is true that vegetarianism has health benefits, but like any diet it's subject to context. You could be a very unhealthy vegetarian, or meat eater who lives to be a hundred and twenty. A wide rang of other factors - exercise, lifestyle, even genetics - determine your health and longevity. Thus vegetarianism might not really be any more healthy than eating meat.
As for humans being designed for the herbivorous diet, that's quite an interesting discussion! We share a lot of similarities with other herbivores. Our gastro-intestinal systems are long and convoluted, much like a cow's, yet we lack many of the organs necessary for the digestion of plant matter (we find cellulose completely indigestible). Our relatively small mouth to head ratio once again reflect herbivorous characteristics, but the fact that we use hydrochloric acid in our stomachs reflects the need to digest meat. The best conclusion we can draw from this is that we are omnivorous. We were designed to be able to eat a lot of different thing - not to say we have to!

This is quite true... Although I do think that having just one stomach is enough for me, herbivore or not. It all depends though, you're right. Choices, choices, eh?
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Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:24 pm
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Kyllorac says...



I've got nothing against vegans and vegetarians, and for a while I attempted to go vegetarian, but that wound up ending rather horribly. I happen to be one of those people who physically need to consume meat in rather substantial quantities, otherwise I get very, very ill. There's also the matter of how vegetables, especially leafy greens, are my gastrointestinal enemies. The spectacular horror stories I could tell you about the times I ate too many veggies...

And the sad thing is, I actually like most vegetables. Especially Brussels sprouts.
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Thu Oct 27, 2011 6:44 am
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Fizz says...



I'm what I like to call a Vague-en. As in, a vague vegan. I don't eat meat, I haven't for a long time, and I limit my intake of dairy and eggs as much as I can. In other words, I'm in love with this discussion.

The herbivore thing is very interesting, and yes, we were originally not made to eat meat. However, we evolved to eat meat, which is why our brains got bigger and we got all smart and stuff. It's also why we have canine teeth.

I'm a vegetarian for ethical reasons. I love the taste of meat, I really do, but I choose not to eat it. Largely, this is because I can't help but empathise with animals, and I swear I can feel how scared they must be before they die, and I hate the idea of consuming (in the physical and economical sense) something which is being kept in inhumane circumstances. The ethics of the meat and dairy industry are awful. Some people argue that we have a right to eat other animals because they're not as smart as us, but no living being deserves to be subjected to the kind of cruelty that animals experience before we gobble them up.

Moreover, we don't actually need to eat meat. There are plenty of ways to have a healthy diet, to get enough iron and protein, without eating meat and my view is that if you can live without another animal having to die, then do it. That said, I would never try to force my views on to somebody who eats meat and I don't believe that vegetarians are better (well...maybe I do). There are also more ethical ways to eat meat, like to buy organic meat from independent farmers or just hunt for your own meat.

OOH! And also, the meat industry as it is now is a massive strain on the environment. It's unsustainable. I think we should at least stop producing as much meat as we do and eat vegetarian occasionally. Because vego food is delicious and you know it.




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Thu Oct 27, 2011 1:54 pm
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Seraph says...



Fizz wrote:I'm what I like to call a Vague-en. As in, a vague vegan. I don't eat meat, I haven't for a long time, and I limit my intake of dairy and eggs as much as I can. In other words, I'm in love with this discussion.

The herbivore thing is very interesting, and yes, we were originally not made to eat meat. However, we evolved to eat meat, which is why our brains got bigger and we got all smart and stuff. It's also why we have canine teeth.

I'm a vegetarian for ethical reasons. I love the taste of meat, I really do, but I choose not to eat it. Largely, this is because I can't help but empathise with animals, and I swear I can feel how scared they must be before they die, and I hate the idea of consuming (in the physical and economical sense) something which is being kept in inhumane circumstances. The ethics of the meat and dairy industry are awful. Some people argue that we have a right to eat other animals because they're not as smart as us, but no living being deserves to be subjected to the kind of cruelty that animals experience before we gobble them up.


Moreover, we don't actually need to eat meat. There are plenty of ways to have a healthy diet, to get enough iron and protein, without eating meat and my view is that if you can live without another animal having to die, then do it. That said, I would never try to force my views on to somebody who eats meat and I don't believe that vegetarians are better (well...maybe I do). There are also more ethical ways to eat meat, like to buy organic meat from independent farmers or just hunt for your own meat.

OOH! And also, the meat industry as it is now is a massive strain on the environment. It's unsustainable. I think we should at least stop producing as much meat as we do and eat vegetarian occasionally. Because vego food is delicious and you know it.


I couldn't have said it better myself. I USED TO love meat though... But the concept just doesn't make sense to me now. I don't exactly view meat as food anymore. O_o
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Thu Oct 27, 2011 4:23 pm
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Lava says...



I'm a vegetarian; have been since birth, due to my family being one of those Hindus who don't eat meat. And after a while, although I was given an option of eating meat, I haven't. Although it wasn't entirely for ethical reasons; it was mixed with why not just continue? I have lived like this for 15 odd years.
I think humans are evolved to be omnivores, and it depends on what you chose to do.

I think to each, his own, anyway. It's never been a cause for concern here, probably because of the prevalence of both. Only vegan is a new-ish concept, and I can't become one. I depend a lot on milk and eggs.

Kyll>> How come? Do you know why you need meat?
Last edited by Lava on Fri Oct 28, 2011 12:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Thu Oct 27, 2011 5:41 pm
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Attolia says...



I completely understand vegetarianism, but can someone explain to me why they would want to be vegan? I don't get how the use of milk and eggs, for instance, harms animals or how not eating them is healthier? I'm not against it or anything, I just don't understand the reasons for it.
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Thu Oct 27, 2011 7:36 pm
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Kyllorac says...



Kyll>> How come? Do you know why you need meat?

Nope. I know for certain it wasn't the aggregate protein or iron requirements as I was eating plenty of legumes, but there's something in red meat specifically that I need in rather large quantities that I can't get anywhere else. And I'd rather never go through being that sick ever again.
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Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:50 pm
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Kit says...



I've been vegetarian from birth, me mum's vego. I don't see meat as food, because it never has been to me. I do believe that it is in our best interests to treat animals well, mostly because if we don't it tends to bite us in the ass (I.e. feeding cows to other cows caused the spread of mad cow disease, the effects of deforestation on climate change, fishing depleting the oceans to the point that it wiping out whole ecosystems making the industry unsustainable.) I think the best attitude with vego/vegan things is pragmatic. You can drive yourself crazy thinking about all the moral implications of everything you do, eat, wear, and have, in an environmental and human context, if we can even make that distinction. I think being vego can make you more aware that whatever you do, there is a cost for your existence, you repay it by living a life worthy of that cost, enjoy it, make a difference to someone somewhere. You can never be a perfect, but you can create something new. Jonathan Safran Foer has an interesting perspective, he thinks looking at vegetarism as a religion or a war is pointless and self defeating. He said that it would be unrealistic to think 50% of Americans will be vego in 10 years, but it wouldn't be unrealistic to think 50% of the meals in America would be, and that would not only have the same affect but help with the whole balanced diet/stopping obeisity and heart disease thing.
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Thu Oct 27, 2011 11:57 pm
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Seraph says...



Kit wrote:I've been vegetarian from birth, me mum's vego. I don't see meat as food, because it never has been to me. I do believe that it is in our best interests to treat animals well, mostly because if we don't it tends to bite us in the ass (I.e. feeding cows to other cows caused the spread of mad cow disease, the effects of deforestation on climate change, fishing depleting the oceans to the point that it wiping out whole ecosystems making the industry unsustainable.) I think the best attitude with vego/vegan things is pragmatic. You can drive yourself crazy thinking about all the moral implications of everything you do, eat, wear, and have, in an environmental and human context, if we can even make that distinction. I think being vego can make you more aware that whatever you do, there is a cost for your existence, you repay it by living a life worthy of that cost, enjoy it, make a difference to someone somewhere. You can never be a perfect, but you can create something new. Jonathan Safran Foer has an interesting perspective, he thinks looking at vegetarism as a religion or a war is pointless and self defeating. He said that it would be unrealistic to think 50% of Americans will be vego in 10 years, but it wouldn't be unrealistic to think 50% of the meals in America would be, and that would not only have the same affect but help with the whole balanced diet/stopping obeisity and heart disease thing.

It's a pleasure to meet you! I see... :)
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Sat Oct 29, 2011 2:25 am
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Fizz says...



I completely understand vegetarianism, but can someone explain to me why they would want to be vegan? I don't get how the use of milk and eggs, for instance, harms animals or how not eating them is healthier? I'm not against it or anything, I just don't understand the reasons for it.


Well, Attolia, the reason I was a vegan (so I'm only speaking for myself here) was because I don't agree with the practices of the Dairy industry, or the Egg industry. The standards for how animals are treated in egg farms and dairy farms vary worldwide, but for the most part, a lot of cruelty goes on in these industries. As I'm sure you're aware, some chickens are kept in spaces too small for them to even spread their wings completely, and they develop horrible sores all over their body because of the fumes of the droppings that are never cleaned off the floor. There are a number of different labels eggs can get to tell consumers that their product is more animal friendly such as 'Free-Range' or 'Organic'. If eggs are certified free range it means that they are given a certain amount of space to roam around in, and organic refers to the foods that they are given and so on. I do eat eggs, but only organic and free-range eggs. The point is, that even in most organic and free-range farms the conditions aren't ideal.

For dairy, the situation is much worse, particularly here in Australia. The image of cows wondering around in pastures isn't necessarily what goes on in most dairy farms. Whilst it is true that after having a calf, cows will continue to produce milk, but did you know that to get dairy cows to give enough milk for it to be financially awesome, they make them have a number of calves. When the calf is born, it is taken away from its mother much too soon, and it causes the cow great distress (they also usually kill the calves).

Anyway, the point is, a lot of practices border on cruelty, and I can't in good conscience buy in to those kinds of practices. Not all Vegans are Vegan for those reasons, but it's fairly common.

I hope that clears things up!




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Sat Oct 29, 2011 2:55 am
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confetti says...



I could never do it, but I respect vegetarians. I'm not a fan of vegans, I don't completely understand that, but what business is it of mine, right?
**Read some of the comments. What about the cruel way we treat humans? Sweat shops and things of that sort? Are you going to stop wearing shoes and clothes as well? That's probably the biggest reason that I'm not the biggest fan of a vegan lifestyle. I believe we should not only focus on treating animals better, but people, too.
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