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