Quantcast

«

»

May 31 2013

OK, OK, I won’t eat the octopus no more

That guilt-trippin’ radical vegan Jamie Kilstein is deploying the heavy artillery now: he posted about this little kid making an argument from moral clarity.

Dammit, OK already, I’ll give up the octopus and the calamari now. I denied bacon two years ago, is that not enough sacrifice? I’ve got my vegetarian wife leaning on me, my vegetarian daughter giving me haughty looks, and now Jamie Kilstein and strange little Italian Portuguese children are giving me grief.

Speaking of my daughter, the radical vegan godless comp-sci/philosophy person who lives in Madison, she’s also going to the Mad City Vegan Fest next week, and has actually bought tickets to Kilstein’s show there. It’s a conspiracy, I tell you.

206 comments

Skip to comment form

  1. 1
    PZ Myers

    But oh, man, octopus with gnochhi…why do they have to make it so tempting to eat?

  2. 2
    =8)-DX

    Don’t mention vegetarianism.. isn’t it more a case of cannibalism for PZ to eat an octopus?

  3. 3
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Pssst. That’s probably not a strange Italian kid. They’re speaking Portuguese.

  4. 4
    iiandyiiii

    Nope, still don’t feel guilty enough… it’s hard to imagine the amount of guilt I’d have to feel, though, to actually give up eating stuff that gives me such incredible pleasure. It wouldn’t take much guilt for me to eliminate gummy worms, on the other hand. Do gummy worms feel pain?

  5. 5
    dianne

    octopus with gnochhi…why do they have to make it so tempting to eat?

    Because you’re not an herbivore. You’re an omnivore pretending.

  6. 6
    qwerty

    Giving up bacon! How you gonna make quiche?

    When the Big Dumb Chimp gives it up, then I’ll think about doing the same.

  7. 7
    unbound

    To all the vegetarians, I wish you all the best. However, I still don’t feel a need to deny who we are. We are omnivores.

  8. 8
    Jackie, all dressed in black

    That kid is great. My eldest didn’t like meat as a kid for the same reason.
    Not every kid feels that way.
    My biofamily had been vegan for about a year and a half when we got our three new additions. They wanted meat. I asked if the understood that animals are killed for meat. They did and they made it clear that was fine by them. So, we adapted. Moving into a new home is traumatic enough and home cooked meals with lots new foods (some of which were green!*gasp*) was hard enough for them to accept. Now I just plan several vegetarian or vegan meals each week and make meaty meals too. They’re happy. They’re healthy. I’m happy with the compromise. The kids love tofu tacos and turn down dairy for soy and almond milk.They had veggie burgers last night. They’re big fans of fresh fruit and veg. It isn’t perfect, but it’s something. If you can’t stop consuming something you have qualms about altogether, consuming less is still a step you can choose to take.

    One of the kids wants to know when he can go hunting with our family friends. It is part of the culture here and he wants to be a part of it. I’m like, “How about never? Is never good for you?” But, I’ve told him to wait and talk to me about it when he’s older. I don’t know what I’ll decide then.

  9. 9
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    Compassion and empathy at such a young age, amazing.

  10. 10
    cactusren

    To all the vegetarians, I wish you all the best. However, I still don’t feel a need to deny who we are. We are omnivores.

    But that’s just the thing–omnivores are flexible eaters. We can choose what to eat.

  11. 11
    Jackie, all dressed in black

    unbound & dianna,
    We are sentient beings who are not obligate carnivores. I am far more my ability to make ethical choices than I am my ability to digest meat. You’re using the naturalistic fallacy. Just because we can, does not mean we should. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. But telling other people that they are in denial or “pretending” is rude and judgmental. It’s also not true.

  12. 12
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    But that’s just the thing–omnivores are flexible eaters. We can choose what to eat.

    +1, QFMFT, ^ this times a thousand.

    Do I need any more ways to show that you’re absolutely right?

  13. 13
    consciousness razor

    To all the vegetarians, I wish you all the best. However, I still don’t feel a need to deny who we are. We are omnivores.

    I don’t feel that need either, but I feel a very strong urge to point and laugh at a fallacy.

  14. 14
    dianne

    Jackie: I agree for the most part. Actually, I’m a vegetarian. But meat looks like food to people because we’re omnivores and meat is a high value food. Therefore, octopus is going to tempt PZ. Not that he shouldn’t be a vegetarian or vegan, but that he shouldn’t expect to be able to deny ever being tempted by animal products.

  15. 15
    PZ Myers

    That’s the thing…I get to choose what I eat, and often, the non-meat parts of a meal are really good. Tonight we’re having a little bruschetta — bread, cheese, tomatoes, olives — and that stuff is lovely, rich, complex with very simple ingredients. Too often meat is just a lump of fat and protein, and we’re content with that, but you can make good food without any at all.

    (This is not to say a good cook can’t do amazing things with meat, too — but most places think that making good meat simply means jacking up the fat content.)

  16. 16
    brucegee1962

    Actually, the argument from compassion is only the second best argument to become a vegetarian or vegan. The best argument is that, if you actually believe global warming is real, then giving up meat is probably the single most effective method you have to reduce your carbon footprint. Sources:

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-greenhouse-hamburger

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/28/AR2009072800390.html

  17. 17
    Jackie, all dressed in black

    I don’t know why meat eaters seem so defensive. No one has ever knocked a bacon cheese burger out of my hand or wept on my cheesy pizza. I don’t know why people seem to think that might happen to them.

    A convo between my my friend’s dad and I at a Bar-B-Q that happened upon him noticing we were grilling mushrooms instead of eating burgers:
    Him: So you’re vegan now?
    Me: Yep.
    Him: Are you gonna cry if I eat meat in front of you?
    Me: Not unless you want me to salt it with my tears.
    Him: *brightening* Would you?

  18. 18
    francelinoazevedo

    The kid’s Brazilian, not Portuguese.

  19. 19
    John Caplinger

    I determined forty years ago that I would never eat anything from the sea.
    (Sewers)

    Octopus is out. Fishing is out.

    On land, I never shoot at anything that doesn’t shoot first.
    I don’t eat anything that tastes like chicken, because I don’t like chicken.
    Rodent meat makes me choke.

    But bacon? It’s what’s for dinner.

  20. 20
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @Jackie:

    I know, that’s a constant thing that bothers me. I mention my vegetarianism and people get all angry at me, as if my being a vegetarian somehow is miserably offensive to them. I know there are militant vegans out there, but I’ve never so much as even sneered at anyone who eats meat.

    People enjoy meat, fine, whatever, go ahead. I like to eat veggies, cheese, eggs, and rarely fish.

  21. 21
    Jackie, all dressed in black

    dianna,
    I agree about not feeling guilty. I just don’t think not eating meat necessarily means you have to pretend it doesn’t taste good to you, if it does.

    I will point out that meat and dairy did not look as appealing to me after a while. I wasn’t really tempted much. I’m assuming it was psychosomatic, but the smell of fry grease, eggs cooking or cow milk just wasn’t appealing. Hickory smoke still smelled good. That made it easy not to be tempted. I love food. It all looks good to me, so I didn’t feel deprived. I just re-learned everything I thought I knew about cooking and was fine. My family made a deal that we’d re-evaluate our commitment every month and if anybody was done, they were done. No muss, no fuss. No guilt. No thinking you could never have something again. I also made a deal with myself that if I was going to be tempted, it would be by nothing short of a fat steak with blue cheese. Here’s the weird part, I had not wanted that particular meal before I was vegan and when I stopped, I only had it once. Why was that what I desired most in the way of tasty carcass when I gave up animal products? I still don’t know.

  22. 22
    iiandyiiii

    In all honesty, I’m one of those meat-eaters who feels an irrational and knee-jerk defensiveness when vegetarianism and veganism is brought up. I know it’s silly, and hopefully in the future I’ll recognize the silliness before acting or speaking defensively.

    I do value animals and want to minimize their suffering, but it just doesn’t seem important enough to me to cut out meat and fish. For health reasons my wife and I are cutting back on meat- the two of us are down to about 4 to 5 lbs of meat/fish per week for both of us. I don’t know if this is a lot or a little, but we used to eat close to 10 lbs of meat and fish per week between the two of us. We also have two nights of meatless meals, though “meatless” often seems to include shrimp for us.

  23. 23
    hillaryrettig

    poor PZ. the irony is that while you’re giving up meat many vegans are feeding their cats (who are OBLIGATE carnivores) meat.

    cats win again.

  24. 24
    eveningchaos

    @16.

    I agree with brucegee1962. I became vegan about 5 years ago and did so out of concern for climate change. It is also undeniable the suffering that factory style farming brings to both non-human and human animals. I do agree that we are omnivores, but I also hear the Naturalistic Fallacy being presented here. I do notice in the skeptic’s community an aversion to accepting some clear scientific facts about animal husbandry and the effect if has on the environment. I do know that it is not helpful to be sanctimonious about veganism or vegetarianism. I am a hypocrite in many ways concerning the environment. I just want to try as best I can to reduce the harm that I will invariably inflict on this planet Earth.

  25. 25
    Jackie, all dressed in black

    hillaryretting,

    LOL!

    This is all a plot by cats to save more meat for them! Jamie and Allison are doing the bidding of Desi and Penny.

    It’s all so clear to me now. I must alert Glenn Beck to this conspiracy.

  26. 26
    steve oberski

    And you don’t have to give up meat cold turkey.

    Just by going meatless 1 or 2 days a week, if enough people do this and also start buying their meat from non factory farming sources is enough to send a strong signal to agri business and effect a change.

  27. 27
    PZ Myers

    We’re already down to not cooking any meat at home, ever. I’m not stringent about it, though, so when I travel I don’t hesitate to have a bit of chicken or seafood.

    We’ve been steadily reducing meat altogether, so that will probably be the next to go.

    If only every time I got the vegetarian entree it didn’t contain a big pile of spinach. I detest spinach. Gimme a big helping of peas instead.

  28. 28
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Steve:
    What would be an example of a non factory farming source? I still eat meat and dairy, but knowing the impact such consumption has on the environment (something I did not know until recently) and remembering that my compassion is not limited to humans has me thinking it is time to make some changes.

  29. 29
    Lyra

    @27 PZ Myers

    I agree that spinach=nasty. Funny enough, I’m vegan but hate greens. That shit needs to be food processed into an unrecognisable state and buried deeply in some other substance with enough garlic or other seasoning that I can even sense it’s presence.

  30. 30
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    PZ:
    I dislike it cooked myself too, but what about raw spinach or even slightly wilted?

  31. 31
    otrame

    Whenever the subject comes up, I remember my sister–the one who’s a nutjob–telling me earnestly that we are naturally vegetarians because we have too much intestines to be carnivores (yeah, I know, just roll with it, we haven’t gotten to the punchline yet) and that when Teh Menz wanted to take over from our natural matriarchy they started insisting we should eat meat, because only men could go hunt for meat and that would give them power and thus they destroyed the Natural Order of Things, those bastards.

    The punchline? She told me that while eating a ham sandwich.

  32. 32
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    raw spinach

    With feta cheese

  33. 33
    hillaryrettig

    For those interested in going more veg, Erik Marcus’s Ultimate Vegan Guide is a smart, concise guide: http://www.amazon.com/Ultimate-Vegan-Guide-Compassionate-Sacrifice/dp/1461088011/

    Also, here is my article on nonperfectionist veganism: http://www.vegsource.com/news/2012/06/the-rise-of-nonperfectionist-veganism.html

    Any little bit you do is a win for the animals, the environment, labor (who are hugely abused by the meat industries)…and you.

  34. 34
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    raw spinach

    With feta cheese

    If we’re talking vegetarian, not vegan.

  35. 35
    Jackie, all dressed in black

    Tony,
    There’s this.
    http://www.localharvest.org/csa/

    You can get your eggs on the black market, or as I call it, bootegging.
    For us, that means going out to a friend’s farm, bringing our own container and paying a dollar a dozen. She’ll also occasionally trade pork, veggies, venison and home canned items in exchange for fresh baked bread and babysitting.

  36. 36
    ChasCPeterson

    She told me that while eating a ham sandwich.

    an omnivore-on-omnivore crime

  37. 37
    consciousness razor

    If only every time I got the vegetarian entree it didn’t contain a big pile of spinach. I detest spinach. Gimme a big helping of peas instead.

    I prefer spinach to peas.

    If only it wasn’t “the vegetarian entree” but “the vegetarian section of the menu.”

  38. 38
    Jackie, all dressed in black

    otrame,
    There is some woo-woo- bullshit to be found within the vegan community. I’ve even met some fundies who eat vegan because “That’s the way God wanted us to eat in the Garden of Eden”. The “Skinny Bitch” diet and cookbooks are rife with bullshit, body shaming and of course, gendered slurs. I would keep a skeptical eye out when reading up on the subject. (Or any subject, really.) Still, there are still plenty of reasons for a skeptic to decide to live vegan or at least do Meatless Mondays or something like it. .

    Vegan with a Vengeance, Post Punk Kitchen and The Vegan Black Metal Chef are some good sources for vegan recipes.

  39. 39
    ChasCPeterson

    wait, better:
    omnivore-on-omnivore om-nom.

  40. 40
    carlie

    If only every time I got the vegetarian entree it didn’t contain a big pile of spinach. I detest spinach.

    Perhaps it is the preparation. Please allow me to link to how one can be tempted to eat a big fucking pile of spinach. *

    I would love to eat vegetarian more often, but I simply don’t have a good set of quick easy comfy memorized meals to draw on yet, esp. ones that make everyone in the family happy. We’re trying to build up the list, but it’s a slow go.

    *that is one of my favorite essays ever, by the wonderful Kate Harding, on eating good food, and I link to it whenever it is remotely appropriate, such as any mention of the word “spinach”. But yes, I understand spinach is not to everyone’s taste.

  41. 41
    Parrowing

    Jackie, you have a cat named Desi too?! My Desi is the one on the right (of my avatar).

    Back on topic: I saw this video earlier today when Jamie retweeted it. I think this did the trick, actually. Not specifically the octopus part though, because I stopped eating seafood 12 years ago for completely silly reasons and have managed to stick to it.

  42. 42
    Moggie

    Katherine Lorraine:

    I know, that’s a constant thing that bothers me. I mention my vegetarianism and people get all angry at me, as if my being a vegetarian somehow is miserably offensive to them.

    Yeah, I don’t understand that. Well, perhaps if they make a living from meat – I got some hostility at the wedding of a friend whose new father-in-law owned a chain of butchers, even though I hadn’t expressed disapproval – but ordinary meat eaters? And, while we’re at it, what’s with that weird competitive thing they have going about how rare they like their steak? Am I supposed to be impressed?

  43. 43
    ButchKitties

    Spinach is delicious. I will frequently park myself in front of the TV and chomp on a bowl of baby spinach leaves as if they were potato chips. Spinach salad with feta, chopped strawberries macerated in balsamic vinegar, and freshly toasted almond slices is the food of the nonexistent gods.

    ***

    I think my favorite thing about that video is that the mother actually had a dialogue with her kid instead of just telling him to shut up eat his gnocchi.

  44. 44
    David Marjanović

    omnivore-on-omnivore om-nom.

    :-D

    Yeah, I don’t understand that.

    Well, for some, it’s their bad conscience speaking. Others probably believe you’ll try to give them a bad conscience and react preemptively.

    what’s with that weird competitive thing they have going about how rare they like their steak? Am I supposed to be impressed?

    Yes. In the US, steaks are man food. Dripping blood suggests violence, and violence suggests manhood. Eating lots of steak is hard work, suggesting power, if not violence, and again manhood. A steak knife is a weapon, suggesting violence again; more specifically, it is a saw

    In fact, Chuck Norris once ate 20 pounds of steak in 1 hour, and in the first 3/4 of that hour he had sex with the waitress.

  45. 45
    PZ Myers

    Carlie, I simply detest the taste of spinach — it’s just too bitter, and when overcooked (as it always is) has the texture of slime. It ruins everything it’s added to.

    That essay scorns the taste of carrots, which I find weird. I was too lazy to cook yesterday, so for lunch I just ate 3 big whole carrots, and they were so good I had more carrots for dinner. I love carrots! I hate spinach! I love peas! Tastes differ!

  46. 46
  47. 47
    steve oberski

    @Tony! The Virtual Queer Shoop

    Up here in Canada you can buy what is called “free range” chicken and pork where the animals are raised with access to the outside.

    “Free range” still has no legal standing in Canada so the amount of access to the outside can vary from farm to farm.

    And of course if you are lucky enough to have a local butcher they can be a valuable resource.

    We decided to decrease our animal protein consumption after watching “Forks Over Knives” (nothing like healthy self interest as a motivation) and I have to agree with other commenters that one of the more difficult aspects of going vegan is building up a repertoire of recipes so that there is enough variety.

  48. 48
    hillaryrettig

    Also, here is an amazing series of short nutrition podcasts. Dr. Greger always quotes from and links to the relevant peer-reviewed journals:

    http://nutritionfacts.org/

  49. 49
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    David:
    On balance you really should provide a link for “women’s food”.

    Hmmm…I meant snarkily, because the idea of any food being designated for consumption by a specific gender is both stupid and sexist. Now that I think of it, are there any dishes considered women’s food? Specifically in the way that meat n potatoes is “man’s food”. I can’t think of any, which makes me wonder if this is like double layered sexism.
    ****
    Jackie, Hillaryrettig:
    Thank you both for the recommendations.
    ****
    Chas made a funny :)

  50. 50
    Marcus Ranum

    Potatoes are the nearly perfect food, unless you rely on them for everything and starve when there’s a blight. I recall reading somewheremthat you could survive exclusively on potatoes with a vitamin supplement. I call that “olive oil”…

    Epicurus once wrote that all we need is the company of friends, bread, wine, olives and a bit of cheese. He’s still right.

    I’ve reduced my meat consumption to very little, which just makes the occasional steak or ham or sushi just that much more appreciated when I do have it. Scarcity is the finest condiment.

  51. 51
    zekehoskin

    It seems that everybody but me is looking at only one or two facets of a complicated situation. As I see it – and I’m sure someone will kindly point out what I have missed:
    Ethically: pigs and octopi are too intelligent to eat and most other critters are raised and slaughtered with unnecessary cruelty.
    Environmentally: Turning ten pounds of perfectly good food into one pound of meat or two pounds of milk makes our impact on the planet much worse, though there are things that humans can’t live on that some other animals can and, within limits of sustainability, we can eat those animals.
    Nutritionally: We aren’t all the same, folks. Some people thrive on veggies, some don’t. It is certainly the case that Americans eat more red meat than is good for them, but some may be better than none.
    Gastronomically: Meat is the easiest thing to make taste good, though tastes are at least partly acquired and subject to change.
    Economically/politically: Compare the pyramid of what we should eat to the pyramid of what’s subsidized most. The second is almost identical to the first, only upside down.

  52. 52
    Marcus Ranum

    why do they have to make it so tempting to eat?

    By “they” I assume you don’t mean The Octopi. They’re smarter than that.

  53. 53
    otrame

    Jackie @38

    There is woo in every community.

    Vegan doesn’t interest me much, frankly. If that floats your boat, go for it. Honestly. But that doesn’t mean that I eat meat at every meal. In fact, I am about 50% vegetarian. However, my favorite meal is a pile of fresh veggies (which, in the summer, come mostly out of my garden) and a few ounces of grilled beef or pork. To me, they balance each other.

    ChasCPeterson @39

    Here, I wasn’t using this internet anyway.

  54. 54
    Marcus Ranum

    Btw: seaweed!

    You can buy packs of dried kombu, wakame, and dulse on amazon for next to nothing, and a small pack reconstitutes into a ginormous amount when wet. Add a bit of rice vinegar, some sesame oil, toasted sesame seeds and teeny bits of dried red pepper, allow to sit in your fridge overnight and – magic!

    I lived a month once on $25 worth of seaweed and rice and tea.

  55. 55
    JohnM

    I think, there are a couple of reasons why meat eaters tend to get defensive around vegetarians. First off, there used to be a non-negligible percentage of vegetarians that were more than just a tad judgmental and let everyone know it. This encouraged a stereotype of the smugly superior vegetarian. I didn’t say they were a majority and I think it’s a much smaller percentage now. But they did (and do) exist.

    Second, the over-whelming percentage of vegetarians give up meat for ethical/philosophical reasons and everyone knows that. When you tell someone that you are a vegetarian, the impression is that you are at least implicitly telling them that you think they are unethical if they aren’t one also.

  56. 56
    Shplane, Spess Alium

    I’d probably go vegetarian if like 90% of food that I actually enjoy wasn’t meat-based. As it stands, I’m miserable enough without giving up steak fajitas and pulled-pork BBQ.

  57. 57
    eveningchaos

    I have to say that it is such a nice change to see a rational discussion unfolding on this often contentious subject. I have lurked and posted on other forums on the issue of food politics, compassion, and climate change and have been only met with vitriol and ridicule. Making changes for the better doesn’t have to be a completely binary decision. It’s probably impossible. One could argue that eating a cow raised and slaughtered in your county is better environmentally than eating mangoes flown in from the Philippines. At least in terms of carbon footprint. The cow may have a different opinion too.

  58. 58
    kevinalexander

    it’s just too bitter, and when overcooked (as it always is) has the texture of slime. It ruins everything it’s added to.

    How to eat spinach.
    Get a couple of pork tenderloins and smack those as flat as you can with the flat side of that tenderizer hammer thingy. Mix up some wilted spinach with feta cheese, fresh basil, olive oil, sambal and some pine nuts if you got. Also salt and pepper.
    Smear that all over the pork and roll it up and tie it with string.
    Bake it, slice it, eat it, yum.
    The bitterness of the spinach perfectly balances the fat bit and the fat bit gives the meat perfect texture.

  59. 59
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Tony,

    On balance you really should provide a link for “women’s food”.

    Yogurt.
    Duh.
    It’s the food our whole lives revolve around. We gather with our friends in front of the tv on a Sunday afternoon and drink Activia, while discussing the wonderful bowel movements our breakfast yogurts gave us.

  60. 60
    Skatje Myers

    Carlie, I simply detest the taste of spinach — it’s just too bitter

    Spinach? Bitter? Can you taste propylthiouracil?

  61. 61
    eveningchaos

    @38 Jackie, Ms. Paper if ya nasty,

    I really like the vegan black metal chef too. I especially like his recipe for seitan. It’s Satan’s favorite and really flies in the face of the whole Garden of Eden woo-woo theory.

  62. 62
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @consciousness razor:

    Ugh, I wish it were more like that.

    The only time I eat fish is when I’m at home and my parents make salmon or whatnot (whatever, I can eat fish) or when I go out to eat and my choices are an unappealing salad or a delicious fish dish.

    Why is it so hard to have a vegetarian section of the menu?

  63. 63
    footface

    I saw Jamie Kilstein perform in a vegan bar. In Seattle.

    Take that, non-vegans. (?)

  64. 64
    footface

    @57: Actually, transport to market is a small percentage of the carbon toll involved in food production and delivery (about 1% for beef). In other words, local meat might not be “greener” than plants shipped halfway around the world.

    See http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn13741-food-miles-dont-feed-climate-change–meat-does.html

  65. 65
    PDX_Greg

    The bane of modern human existence is clearly broccoli, the unquestioned hero of the health food world, which I have been coerced into pretending to like ever since my oldest child started eating solid food. Want to really, really develop a psychotic aversion to something? Pretend to like it for 17 years. My wife includes it in our daily dinners. Daily. Every. Day. Even on the (admittedly very infrequent) days when I prepare dinner, she still finds time to serve up some broccoli. In another 5 years, after my youngest leaves the roost, I am going to make it my personal mission to firebomb the world broccoli supply out of existence, along with its chromatically challenged and equally despicable cousin, cauliflower. George H. W., in the highly unlikely event you are reading this, I’m counting on your secret operatives to help me out with this.

  66. 66
    Lyra

    As a vegan I have always found the “veganism and/or vegetarianism is healthier” argument frustrating. If all the animals died out I’m pretty sure the big-business oligarchy fast-food eating world would still produce and consume just as much shitty food without the meat.

  67. 67
    Amphiox

    If all the animals died out I’m pretty sure the big-business oligarchy fast-food eating world would still produce and consume just as much shitty food without the meat.

    If you fried them in vegetable oil, french fries and potato chips would be wholly vegan, I think….

  68. 68
    Amphiox

    The bane of modern human existence is clearly broccoli, the unquestioned hero of the health food world

    But… but….

    Properly prepared, broccoli is delicious!

    (Unless you have the super-taster hyper-bitterness gene and you foolishly attempt to eat it raw, of course)

  69. 69
    eveningchaos

    @64: Thanks for the article, footface. I have heard this argument from omnivores about carbon footprint and local meat vs. transported veggies. I guess the evidence is pretty glaring on the unsustainable nature of animal consumption.

  70. 70
    bartmitchell

    Must be time to quote some Dennis Leary

    “Not eating animals is a choice. Eating animals is an instinct. For every animal you don’t eat, I’m going to eat two.”

  71. 71
    Amphiox

    Carlie, I simply detest the taste of spinach — it’s just too bitter, and when overcooked (as it always is) has the texture of slime.

    Expose raw spinach to boiling water for anything more than 1 second, and it is overcooked….

  72. 72
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    You’re an omnivore pretending.

    PZed eats Dodge Omnis? Who knew?

    Giving up bacon! How you gonna make quiche?

    With peas?

    I like bacon with peas in creme sauce over linguini. Does that count?

    Except for an unusual meal, I tend to use very small amounts of meat with lots of veggies. And when Girl eats with us, I cook vegan. It works.

    I simply detest the taste of spinach — it’s just too bitter, and when overcooked (as it always is) has the texture of slime. It ruins everything it’s added to

    Allow me to toss in a special Wednesday rendition of the “No True Spinach Fallacy.”

    I saute the spinach, just until al dente, with garlic and onions. The spinach and ionions start to carmelize and get very sweet. Someday, PZed, I’ll cook some for you.

    Second, the over-whelming percentage of vegetarians give up meat for ethical/philosophical reasons and everyone knows that. When you tell someone that you are a vegetarian, the impression is that you are at least implicitly telling them that you think they are unethical if they aren’t one also.

    Girl has never liked meat. Ever. She went vegan because she doesn’t like the taste of meat and she is lactose intolerant. With those two traits, veganism was, for her, a sensible step. In college, she has run across some asshole vegans and quite a few who are relaxed around those who make different choices. For her, it works and I have no problem cooking that way when she’ll be at home.

    The bane of modern human existence is clearly broccoli, the unquestioned hero of the health food world, which I have been coerced into pretending to like ever since my oldest child started eating solid food.

    And now for a Wednesday two-fer: the “No True Broccoli Fallacy!”

    Blanch the broccoli in some boiling water. Cook some pasta in the same water. Saute some garlic in olive oil. Lots of garlic. No, more than that. At the last minute, toss in some pignoli, some fresh parsley, and some smoked salt. Add the broccoli and then toss with the cooked pasta.

    Damn.

    Now I’m hungry and it is way the hell too hot to cook.

  73. 73
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    bartmitchell,

    You could choose not to be an asshole, you know.

  74. 74
    eveningchaos

    If you want a truly bitter plant to eat, try mustard greens. I had a mustard greens and cucumber salad with green onions, tofu and miso dressing for lunch. Wow! The greens taste like wasabi infused lettuce. Not for everyone, but I encourage people to try them. They give you all your daily vitamin A and half of your vitamin C intake in one serving of veggies. As long as you can stand the horseradishy burps for a few hours. Since I’ve gone vegan I have really expanded my tastes in terms of the veggies I eat.

  75. 75
    Amphiox

    Cook some pasta in the same water. Saute some garlic in olive oil. Lots of garlic.

    In other words, hide the broccoli taste with garlic taste… :-)

  76. 76
    bartmitchell

    Beatrice, if I just said that, then it would have been dickish. I quoted Denis Leary, because it was supposed to be funny.

  77. 77
    Lyra

    @73 Beatrice

    I was just about to say the same thing.

  78. 78
    Lyra

    @76 bartmitchell

    Oops, sorry, I screwed up that last comment. I’ll just quote some Beatrice:

    “bartmitchell,

    You could choose not to be an asshole, you know.”

    There…now my hands are clean.

  79. 79
    PZ Myers

    Spinach? Bitter? Can you taste propylthiouracil?

    I don’t know!

    I do know that spinach tastes awful & bitter. And your mother doesn’t believe me and tried for the longest time to pass it off to me.

  80. 80
    Skatje Myers

    Both my copies for the gene for tasting propylthiouracil are the recessive non-tasting version. Maybe mom’s the same, and you’re a carrier.

    It’s two against one here, eat your spinach. How else will you grow big and strong?

  81. 81
    Pteryxx

    Anyone for double-blind taste testing? <_<

  82. 82
    bartmitchell

    “@76 bartmitchell

    Oops, sorry, I screwed up that last comment. I’ll just quote some Beatrice:

    “bartmitchell,

    You could choose not to be an asshole, you know.”

    There…now my hands are clean.”

    ROFL, ok that IS funny.

  83. 83
    Nick Gotts

    I quoted Denis Leary, because it was supposed to be funny. -bartmitchell

    “Supposed to be”. Quite. But I admit, it’s an excellent example of the self-righteous meat-eater, far more common in my experience than the self-righteous vegetarian/vegan.

  84. 84
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    PZed:

    I also like to eat steamed spinach with a little red wine or cider vinegar. Delicious.

    (Damn. I just told someone who doesn’t like spinach because it is bitter to douse it with something sour.)

  85. 85
    oolon

    Spinach bitter? I raise you my Palak Paneer, veggie curry extraordinaire.

  86. 86
    frog

    For those who don’t like bitter greens (which would be…most greens, afaict), the solution is salt. This is why spinach goes so well with feta. (Google “salt and bitterness” for many links on the topic.)

    Obviously that’s not a good solution for those who must avoid sodium for other reasons. But I always thought I hated salads until the first time I had one where the chef had sprinkled a little salt on the leaves. Wow, what a difference that made!

    Also, brussells sprouts, cut in half and roasted with salt and olive oil. I do the same with baby bok choi, too. Asparagus became a whole new experience (other than “eeew!”) when I had it pan-sauteed with a bit of cream sauce.

    I’ve been trying to work more veggies into my diet simply because they are generally good for humans, and better for humans who sit at a desk all day instead of roaming the grasslands. Along with “salt your greens a little” my other big discovery has been “don’t by fresh veggies at the grocery store,” because those are often picked early and force-ripened (tomatoes), or are bred for transport durability rather than taste (tomatoes again. Pretty much never buy tomatoes at the grocery store except the canned sort for making sauce).

  87. 87
    consciousness razor

    I do know that spinach tastes awful & bitter.

    Mmm, yes. Bitter like coffee or dark chocolate or a nice refreshing beer with lots of hops.

  88. 88
    Moggie

    Beatrice:

    You could choose not to be an asshole, you know.

    Actually, I’m not sure that’s possible for someone who likes Dennis Leary.

  89. 89
    PZ Myers

    I quoted Denis Leary, because it was supposed to be funny.

    Operative part of that sentence is “supposed to be”.

  90. 90
    consciousness razor

    How about cilantro, PZ? It’s not much of a staple in the US as a salad green or whatever, but is it unpleasantly bitter/soapy to you?

  91. 91
    vaiyt

    Sorry. All arguments for vegetarianism end at the part where I stop eating seafood. No way.

    Why did Cthulhu make their brethren so tasty?

  92. 92
    carlie

    I love carrots! I hate spinach! I love peas! Tastes differ!

    What? People are not all exactly the same? Heresy!

    I will gladly eat all the spinach to save you from it if I can get someone to rid the world of any brussels sprouts or celery that come within a square mile of me.

  93. 93
    yazikus

    Ogvorbis,
    Those recipes sound amazing! I just had lunch and I’m hungry again, except, also guilty, because I had a pork schnitzel & sour kraut sandwich with spicy mustard for said lunch.
    -
    I think lentils are much underrated. I never seem to think to make them, but when I do, they are so delicious!

  94. 94
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    I must be queer. I love raw broccoli. With some ranch dressing. Nom Nom. Even omni Nom Nom.

  95. 95
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Carlie @91: can we share that difficult job ?

  96. 96
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    and drink Activia, while discussing the wonderful bowel movements our breakfast yogurts gave us

    I LOLed. Here in the slightly more prudish about toilet stuff UK, it’s touted as a good thing for “slow digestive transit”. *ooh sciencey!*

    I love raw broccoli

    Be careful! Twice, I’ve steamed broccoli only to find it’s accompanied by steamed caterpillar.

  97. 97
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    @95:
    Noted.
    Although I break my broccoli unto small portions for easy dipping. And give the stalks to my dogs because broccoli stalks iz teh YUCK.

  98. 98
    mikeyb

    The main thing is the kid thinks for himself and reasons, something sorely lacking in many adults in the USA.

  99. 99
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Tony,

    You could cook broccoli stalks separately, then smash and mix them with lots of spices and a couple of florets into a creamy soup.
    Er… I don’t like throwing things away and broccoli stalks really are YUCK without good disguise.

  100. 100
    bartmitchell

    PZ Myers
    “31 May 2013 at 3:58 pm (UTC -5) Link to this comment
    I quoted Denis Leary, because it was supposed to be funny.

    Operative part of that sentence is “supposed to be”.”

    Correct, as opposed to really saying that I was going to eat two animals for every one you don’t. Thanks for realizing that it was intended as humor, not as an actual statement of a desire to eat more meat.

  101. 101
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Now that I think of it, are there any dishes considered women’s food? Specifically in the way that meat n potatoes is “man’s food”. I can’t think of any, which makes me wonder if this is like double layered sexism.

    A small salad with a diet water. And/or chocolate. *sigh*

  102. 102
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    The only time I eat fish is when I’m at home and my parents make salmon or whatnot (whatever, I can eat fish) or when I go out to eat and my choices are an unappealing salad or a delicious fish dish.

    Why is it so hard to have a vegetarian section of the menu?

    Don’t forget “gardenburgers”. The taste and mouthfeel are uninspiring, they look like the padding that goes down under commercial carpet, and I usually encounter them as an almost smugly, spitefully “token” vegetarian option on a menu of things that some actual effort has otherwise gone into.

  103. 103
    dianne

    And give the stalks to my dogs because broccoli stalks iz teh YUCK.

    Don’t be silly, the stems are the best part. Especially in lentils.

    As a vegan I have always found the “veganism and/or vegetarianism is healthier” argument frustrating

    I’ve been trying to actively subvert this meme by collecting recipes that are vegan but at the same time extraordinarily bad for you. It’s amazing how bad for you and yummy deep fried tofu, veggie pakoras, and dark chocolate concoctions can be.

    Eggs prevent me from obtaining veganism. I’m lactose intolerant so don’t do that much with milk anyway, but I can’t figure out how to make a cake without eggs.

  104. 104
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    “Not eating animals is a choice. Eating animals is an instinct. For every animal you don’t eat, I’m going to eat two.”

    Well, guess I’m giving up my daily dozen raw oak processionary caterpillars, then.

  105. 105
    dianne

    @101: I agree in general, but occasionally I’ve lucked into a veggie burger that I would have chosen on taste alone all else being equal. Don’t ask me how it’s done or even where–I don’t know the one and I don’t remember the other. But it can be done. In principle.

  106. 106
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    I’ve actually never met a vegetable I didn’t like. Although bad cooking methods can ruin them.

    @Katherine Lorraine, if by chance you ever make it to Canberra I will take you to a fine dining restaurant that has a solid vegetarian menu. I’m an omnivore (I usually eat free range pastured local meat) but I have been known to eat vegetarian there because it is SO GOOD.

    Here, read it and drool:
    Zucchini flowers, fetta macadamia stuffing, celeriac rémoulade, pinot noir glaze
    Szechwan braised eggplant, crisp nori wrapped silken tofu, sesame caramel, watercress salad
    Golden beetroot, sautéed wild mushrooms, millet and parmesan cake, sauce Bois Boudran
    Roasted chive and potato gnocchi (flourless), confit tomato, basil, tallegio

  107. 107
    Skatje Myers

    I can’t figure out how to make a cake without eggs.

    Vinegar and baking soda, like they did in the Depression. My boyfriend’s mother makes the best chocolate cake ever, but I’m sure the recipe can be adapted for other things. This is what she told me:

    8 bars semi sweet chocolate
    3 cups flour
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    2 teaspoons baking soda
    1 teaspoon salt
    2 cups water
    2/3 cup veg. oil
    2 Tablespoons White Vinegar
    2 teaspoons Vanilla

    Heat Oven 350 F. Melt chocolate 1 1/2 to 2 minutes in microwave on high. Cool slightly in Large bowl stir flour, sugar, soda, salt, add chocolate, water, oil, vinegar, and vanilla beat until throughly blended. Use 2 9-inch pans. Bake 30-35 minutes.

  108. 108
    carlie

    Tony – deal. :)

    And give the stalks to my dogs because broccoli stalks iz teh YUCK.

    Oh noooooo. If you peel them and then julienne, they are nice crunchy salad additions, or cubed in tiny cubes are great in soups.

    However, although cauliflower is almost exactly the same, it can only be eaten raw. Cooked cauliflower is an abomination.

    Also: sugar/snap peas yes, snow peas no.

  109. 109
    consciousness razor
    I can’t figure out how to make a cake without eggs.

    Vinegar and baking soda, like they did in the Depression. My boyfriend’s mother makes the best chocolate cake ever, but I’m sure the recipe can be adapted for other things.

    There are lots of other options too, of course. It depends on what function(s) the eggs have in the recipe. If they’re just meant to be sticky or add moisture, you can often use different substitutes than you would if they’re doing the job of introducing air pockets so a cake will lift or a meringue will have a light/fluffy texture or whatever. If it’s supposed to taste like an egg, then you’re looking for a substitute with a similar flavor.

  110. 110
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    broccoli stalks iz teh YUCK

    Le what?

    OK, you have to take off most of the outside, but if you can get 1/8″ slices out of the middle and steam them, they’re delicious. Also, guaranteed not to have caterpillars unless you introduce them during preparation. ;-)

  111. 111
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    @101: I agree in general, but occasionally I’ve lucked into a veggie burger that I would have chosen on taste alone all else being equal. Don’t ask me how it’s done or even where–I don’t know the one and I don’t remember the other. But it can be done. In principle.

    I suspect the brand was Morningstar Farms in that case. The description is specific to those sold as “gardenburgers”; Boca burgers, by contrast, resemble salmon patties.

  112. 112
    carlie

    On egg substitutes – applesauce is good if you don’t mind a touch of apple flavor.

    They say that ground flaxseed mixed with water can be an egg substitute, but they also say that ground flaxseed can be a partial flour substitute, and I don’t know how it can substitute for either a binding agent or the fluffy stuff, so I look askance at that.

  113. 113
    Dhorvath, OM

    Flour also binds. Just sayin.

  114. 114
    Dhorvath, OM

    As for veggie burgers, we have done quite well with lentil, mushroom, onion, and such as ingredients. I don’t soy.

  115. 115
    mildlymagnificent

    OK. Bitterness, nastiness, smelliness in green vegetables. Being a proud owner of the whole 1100 pages of one of Australia’s cooking bibles, The Cook’s Companion by Stephanie Alexander, I “know” something about this.

    According to her, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli and all the rest just can’t help it, that’s their chemical composition. How does a chef prepare these things so you can have full flavour without that flavour? Apparently the solution is literally – solution.

    You don’t use a saucepan, a steamer or, the heav’ns forfend, a microwave, you use the largest possible stockpot of boiling water for even a modest amount of veg. With this disproportionate amount of water the nasty smelly chemicals will be taken up and out of the veg never to return, and you cook very, very briefly to retain flavour and texture. It doesn’t worry us so we don’t bother, but I picture it as a form of ever-so-slightly-prolonged blanching.

    And she is violently opposed to the rinse-with-cold-water approach to “stop” the cooking process in veg. She says you want to taste the vegetables, not cold water. I do believe she’s right.

    As for spinach? It’s one of the very few foods I can get a real craving for. And I’m one of those coriander haters – along with caraway, fennel, dill, fenugreek, cumin – basically anything with that ghastly caraway-type smell/flavour to it. My poor husband isn’t allowed to cook curry – the smell could make me physically ill when I was younger, now it’s just vile.

  116. 116
    carlie

    Dhorvath – good point. Flour paste is a good thing.

  117. 117
    Marcus Ranum

    Why did this o-so moral god come up with the idea that his creatures should have to eat eachother in order to survive? That’s the kind of psychotically zero-sum Dr Mengele would greet with slack-jawed admiration.

  118. 118
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    I don’t care what you people say. I have to be dogmatic about something. Down with broccoli stalks.

  119. 119
    frog

    bartmitchell: Eat anything you want so long as you don’t drive really slow in the ultra-fast lane, while people behind you are going insane.

  120. 120
    Amphiox

    Why did this o-so moral god come up with the idea that his creatures should have to eat eachother in order to survive? That’s the kind of psychotically zero-sum Dr Mengele would greet with slack-jawed admiration.

    Because Eve at the apple, god condemned cows, pigs, sheep, goats, and chickens to six thousand years of factory farming.

    It’d make more sense if our primary domesticated food animal was the snake….

  121. 121
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Also cauliflower is tres gross.
    ****
    At 118 comments, shouldn’t we have someone causing a ruckus by now?

  122. 122
    MissEla

    I spent 2 years as a vegetarian a few years back, and I’ve been thinking about migrating my food consumption in that direction again lately. I really liked the Morningstar Farms stuff (except the fake bacon–nasty!), but I never got into the Gardenburger products. I *love* a black bean burger, tho! I’m trying to grow my own black beans this year (along with scarlet runners and calypsos) so I can make my own from scratch. (I have some scarlet runner beans left over from last year’s crop that I want to make chili with. mmmmmm)

  123. 123
    MissEla

    Oh, and broccoli is disgusting. As are peas. That is all.

  124. 124
    WhiteHatLurker

    I get that the leaves and twigs eaters are alien, but how do we know they come from Alpha Lyrae?

  125. 125
    mildlymagnificent

    I don’t care what you people say. I have to be dogmatic about something. Down with broccoli stalks.

    I used to be the same until someone pointed out that you should treat the heads and stalks as two different things. When the stalks are peeled and cut smallish they cook more easily and taste fine. Even if you only peel them, they’re fine for broccoli soup – it all comes out the same when put through the blender. I also used to think you shouldn’t eat the stalks of silverbeet or those multi-coloured versions. If you treat them as a separate item in their own right, they also can be quite good.

  126. 126
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Mildlymagnificent:
    You’re magnificent and all, but nope. Stalks go to my dogs. Hey, at least they don’t go in the trash :)

  127. 127
  128. 128
    dongiovanni (Now onto Wagner)

    As far as my two cents go, I think there is a place in our diets for some forms of meat. Thing is, grazing animals can get us useful protein from land which would otherwise not be arable. As long as they’re eating natural cellulose, the environmental impact is not huge and they’re adding to the nett food supply rather than subtracting from it. Also, New Zealand has an abundance of delicious, delicious mammalian pests… it may be unpleasant to cause them suffering but it’s simply untenable to let them roam around destroying forested land, and if you can stop the protein from going to waste…

  129. 129
    gjpetch

    I had exactly the same reaction to meat eating at that age, I’d imagine that a large proportion of kids do? I was lucky enough to have parents who weren’t dismissive of that reaction, and allowed me to go completely vegetarian a few years later; I doubt that many parents would allow those kinds of choices to children at a young age, I think most probably just browbeat the compassion out of their kids instead.

    Over 26 or so years of vegetarianism, I’ve experienced a LOT of aggression from meat eaters. I expected to see the usual antagonism in this discussion, and I didn’t, in fact I’ve never seen a thread about vegetarianism with so little antagonism. So, I just wanted to say thank you to the everyone here for surprising me!! I’m genuinely cheered.

  130. 130
    carlie

    I expected to see the usual antagonism in this discussion, and I didn’t, in fact I’ve never seen a thread about vegetarianism with so little antagonism.

    gjpetch – you’re seeing the result of years of assertive activism by a few dedicated vegans/vegetarians in this community, some of whom have since left, possibly in part due to fatigue about this very kind of fight. So I’m glad to know that we’ve gotten better for it.

  131. 131
    lostintime

    gjpetch
    Well said! The way we eat is such a sensitive subject, but no one on the thread has been a troll said that they want to eat vegetarians or that plants suffer too, amirite? I’m happily surprised.

    As for grass fed livestock, I think that even in countries with plenty of marginal land their diets are often supplemented with crops involving wastage of nutrients as they are transformed from vegetable to animal proteins, so the environmental case for cattle and sheep is far from straightforward.

  132. 132
    Mario

    Who’s cutting onions?

  133. 133
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Who’s cutting onions?

    er, that was me. Sorry. ‘Tweren’t onions, ’twas cheese. ‘Scuse me.

  134. 134
    randay

    There may be environmental reasons to not eat animals now, but our brain only developed because of the better protein from animals that our ancestors ate. It is sad that vegetarians and vegans are so self-righteous. Plants may have feelings too and may be sentient and feel pain too. See the video interview with Natalie Angier, science writer for the NYT, and her article which caused controversy.

  135. 135
    consciousness razor

    There may be environmental reasons to not eat animals now, but our brain only developed because of the better protein from animals that our ancestors ate.

    If that’s so….. So what?

    It is sad that vegetarians and vegans are so self-righteous.

    It is? They are? Is thinking that you are right somehow a bad thing?

    Plants may have feelings too and may be sentient and feel pain too.

    Poe’s law strikes again.

  136. 136
    Azuma Hazuki

    Is anyone else looking forward to in-vitro meat? I don’t eat as much meat as the average American, but am definitely not a vegetarian (partly because I don’t have the time or money), and this looks like an ideal solution: meat for all humans, suffering for no animals!

    That said, tonight I’m going to be making mushrooms and lentils in tomato curry with light cream. Really good (pseudo-)Indian food makes it so you don’t miss the meat :) Just need to figure out where to get supplied to make my own panir…

  137. 137
    Eristae

    This is a while back, but I’m going to poke at it anyway . . .

    Skatje Myers

    Spinach? Bitter? Can you taste propylthiouracil?

    I actually can taste propylthiouracil, and let me tell you, I wish I couldn’t. Being able to taste propylthiouracil in no way helps in my quest to eat more vegetables. Yuck, yuck, yuck.

  138. 138
    David Marjanović

    Now that I think of it, are there any dishes considered women’s food? Specifically in the way that meat n potatoes is “man’s food”. I can’t think of any, which makes me wonder if this is like double layered sexism.

    See, it’s not called woman food, it’s called chick food. It’s discussed at the link, too, or at another part in the series: veggies, salads, and…

    Yogurt.
    Duh.
    It’s the food our whole lives revolve around. We gather with our friends in front of the tv on a Sunday afternoon and drink Activia, while discussing the wonderful bowel movements our breakfast yogurts gave us.

    I can’t stop laughing, because that’s really how the TV ads present it.

    broccoli, the unquestioned hero of the health food world

    WHAT???

    Properly prepared, broccoli is delicious!

    Yeah. Properly preparing it involves boiling it in a pressure cooker till it’s done, and then blending this soup with salt and pepper. Without the blending, the two textures of broccoli (at any amount of cooking) are two very bad jokes.

    A similar treatment makes spinach largely edible, though I’m still not a fan of oxalic acid or any of its salts.

    Cauliflower, to my considerable surprise, can be eaten like broccoli with enough spice (its taste isn’t good, but it doesn’t have much in the first place) or mashed while it’s being caramelized.

    I think lentils are much underrated. I never seem to think to make them, but when I do, they are so delicious!

    Yep, red lentils that have fallen apart are pretty good.

  139. 139
    David Marjanović

    I meant to say I’ve never heard of broccoli being any healthier than the average vegetable.

  140. 140
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    I meant to say I’ve never heard of broccoli being any healthier than the average vegetable.

    This is what we here on this side of the pond.
    Once the Redhead trained me using cheese sauce to eat broccoli, I can eat it raw or cooked, with or without sauce.

  141. 141
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Gack, Tpyos offering in #139, homophone error.

  142. 142
    Amphiox

    Cauliflower, to my considerable surprise, can be eaten like broccoli with enough spice (its taste isn’t good, but it doesn’t have much in the first place) or mashed while it’s being caramelized.

    Cauliflower is the grand culmination of a genetic and social experiment to see if it is possible to make large numbers of human beings confuse the concepts of texture and taste by producing a product that is all one and none of the other….

  143. 143
    carlie

    randay, have you ever commented here before? Why start now?

    Plants may have feelings too and may be sentient and feel pain too.

    Carrot juice is murder.

  144. 144
    M Palumbo

    Wow, this is what FreeThoughts has to offer: a lot of ethically bankrupt carnists? To everyone being so proud of using other sentient beings as commodity, stripping the Earth of resources, contributing to massive environmental destruction and the global imbalance of food distribution, please watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ce4DJh-L7Ys And know in your hearts that this little kid figured out what you couldn’t.

  145. 145
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    I never watch videos presented by unknown posters. Either peer reviewed scientific literature, or nothing. Videos usually are nothing but opinion which could be written down, and since they are opinion, they can be dismissed as such.

  146. 146
    Amphiox

    Palumbo, when you post excresence like #143 on a thread wherein 80% of the posts are about how to cook vegetables for optimal taste, what it reveals is that you were either too intellectually lazy to read the whole thing, or you seem to regard reading comprehension as some sort of mystic arcana not fit for mortal minds.

  147. 147
    Eristae

    Wow, this is what FreeThoughts has to offer: a lot of ethically bankrupt carnists? To everyone being so proud of using other sentient beings as commodity, stripping the Earth of resources, contributing to massive environmental destruction and the global imbalance of food distribution, please watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ce4DJh-L7Ys And know in your hearts that this little kid figured out what you couldn’t.

    The only thing I have to say about this is, “Carnists? Sounds like the dominatrix of carnivals.”

    Don’t forget “gardenburgers”. The taste and mouthfeel are uninspiring, they look like the padding that goes down under commercial carpet, and I usually encounter them as an almost smugly, spitefully “token” vegetarian option on a menu of things that some actual effort has otherwise gone into.

    I truly believe that one of the biggest stumbling blocks to acceptance of vegetarianism in the USA the assertion by some that a given vegetable/soy/nut/grain based food tastes “just like meat.” Unless it’s meat, it doesn’t taste just like meat. It simply doesn’t. So you get some person who is at least mildly curious about vegetarianism picking up a gardenburger, taking it home, cooking it up, and realizing that it tastes nothing like meat and, because they are setting meat up as the standard which the meat-substitute will be measured, being thoroughly disgusted and tossing the thing.

    It makes me sad because I’ve had some truly spectacular vegetarian/vegan food (mostly at ethnic restaurants). However, all of the truly great vegetarian/vegan food that I’ve had knows* that it isn’t meat and doesn’t even try to be meat. Instead, it stands on its own feet and plays to its own distinct flavors. And let me tell you, I crave some of the vegetarian food that I can find at Indian restaurants far, far more than I’ve ever wanted a burger or a steak. If we as a culture could just start looking at what other cultures do that makes their food tasty but also healthier/meatless/whatever we’re shooting for, I think we would do better.

    *Anthropomorphizing for the win!

  148. 148
    randay

    Carlie #142. I have been commenting here for quite a while. I am surprised you haven’t noticed if you are a regular. This is the first time I have noticed your name. Apparently you didn’t watch the video interview of a respected science writer. Your comment is odd. Apparently for you if one hasn’t posted before, they should not post at all. In that case no one could post. Or is there a cut off date? That means that anyone new who just discovers this site should not post. Why don’t you stop now before you dig yourself in deeper?
    ________

    Consciousness Razor #134. The same goes for you as to watching the video. You obviously don’t know what Poe’s law is. Neither Angier nor I expressed extremist views. Angier, whose viewpoint I mostly summarized, talks about science, but you seem to be too narrow minded to consider others’ views based on fact. Thinking you are right is one thing, being self-righteous is another. The latter means “feeling or behaving as if what you say or do is always morally right, and other people are wrong.” A synonym is “sanctimonious” meaning “giving the impression that you feel you are better and more moral than other people.”

    Those accurately describe most vegans and vegetarians, and you. As for me, I just presented some evidence that could, and should, be considered.

  149. 149
    consciousness razor

    The same goes for you as to watching the video. You obviously don’t know what Poe’s law is. Neither Angier nor I expressed extremist views.

    I couldn’t tell if you were serious or not. It’s got nothing to do with being “extremist.”

    Angier, whose viewpoint I mostly summarized, talks about science, but you seem to be too narrow minded to consider others’ views based on fact.

    What facts do you think I haven’t taken into account?

    Plants have no mechanism like a nervous system to represent phenomena to themselves, so they aren’t sentient, able to experience pleasure, pain, emotions, etc. They do interact with their environments in very amazing and complex ways. I’m even inclined to call some of what they do “communication,” but that does not imply they feel anything or have any other kind of experience. They’re not just passive parts of background, sitting there doing nothing especially interesting, so it certainly is good to point that out so people will understand and appreciate plants as important and complex organisms in their own right.

    However, it’s difficult enough to avoid anthropomorphizing non-human animals while recognizing their experiences for what they are: a valid point on the same spectrum of conscious experiences that we have, due to having the same basic neural machinery that we have. Because it’s the same kind of thing, we can appropriately use the same term for other animals while making sure to note whatever the differences may be. Plants are nowhere on that spectrum, so muddying the waters like you’re doing with this nonsensical crap does no one any good. At best, she’s using analogies which might help people understand some things about plants which they tend not to appreciate. That’s fine, but it doesn’t mean the science shows that they are in fact conscious.

    It’s not even clear what you think the ethical implications of it would be, if plants were sentient. What if they are? Then cannibalism is okay? Eating primates is okay? Eating whatever we want is okay, since “fuck it, everything feels pain”? Well maybe not everything — what about fungi or bacteria? Do you actually give a shit about this argument enough to think about it a little and put some ideas forward, or are you just here to drop a youtube link, then sneer at vegetarians for being “self-righteous”?

  150. 150
    randay

    “It’s not even clear what you think the ethical implications of it would be” That’s almost right. Actually I don’t take a position. As to Poe’s law, you seem to be ignorant of it, “Poe’s law, named after its author Nathan Poe, is an Internet adage reflecting the idea that without a clear indication of the author’s intent, it is difficult or impossible to tell the difference between an expression of sincere extremism and a parody of extremism”.

  151. 151
    carlie

    randay – I asked because there is a “three post rule” in place here that asks commenters to hold back from tearing into inane comments so that anyone who is new and unaware of the kind of reception those kinds of comments receive gets appropriate notice. Since you are declaring that you’re not a new commenter, let’s carry on, then.

    It is sad that vegetarians and vegans are so self-righteous.

    It is sad that you apparently didn’t read any of this thread, in which several vegetarians and vegans were demonstrably not self-righteous. It is also sad that you came into a thread in which a few vegetarians explicitly expressed happiness that the thread had not degenerated into people taking potshots at them, and promptly shat upon the entire enterprise by making sanctimonious insults at them in your first comment on this thread.

    Plants may have feelings too and may be sentient and feel pain too.

    Wow. Do you know anything at all about biology? Because no, they don’t.

  152. 152
    consciousness razor

    randay, are you going to address the point that plants aren’t sentient and don’t feel pain? Does it seem like I’m narrow-minded for not considering your views based on the facts, or does it seem like you haven’t presented any facts to back your views up?

  153. 153
    lostintime

    “It is also sad that you came into a thread in which a few vegetarians explicitly expressed happiness that the thread had not degenerated into people taking potshots at them, and promptly shat upon the entire enterprise by making sanctimonious insults at them in your first comment on this thread.”
    Not only that, but went straight into the boring and irrelevant canard about plant consciousness. This is often characteristic of anti-vegetarian trolling, the kind where anyone holding a contrary position is condemned as sanctimonious, but they feel free to drop this kind of facile bullshit. It probably doesn’t matter to him or her that Natalie Angier is herself a vegetarian.

  154. 154
    ChasCPeterson

    I watched the Angier vid. She’s pretty reasonable, but the interviewer…not so much. Using the phrase “right to life”?
    “If we want to eat ethically, do we now have to give up on plants?”
    “If some plants have evolved so far as to become carnivorous, does that make veganism unnatural?”
    wtf?

    But no. She says plants can react to changes in their environment, therefore they can ‘sense’ aspects of their environment. Therefore they can, in some sense (heh) of the word, be called ‘sentient’ (a stretch, imo). She also emphasizes (at about 13:00) that some plants react strongly and quickly to herbivory and that she’s “not sure that’s not a form of pain” (a real stretch, imo). This gets translated to the graphic tagline “Plants have feelings too?” and randay in turn mutates that to “Plants may have feelings too and may be sentient and feel pain too.”

    yeah. Or they may not.
    She’s speaking as a vegetarian as much or more than as a science writer. And she herself is no scientist. The interviewer is just plain dumb.

  155. 155
    randay

    Carlie #150, oh my you are arrogant. “Since you are declaring that you’re not a new commenter” Not only am I declaring it, it is demonstrably true, with dozens of comments. As far as I know you just popped up out of nowhere and can return there. All I did was report on an interview with a science writer, Natalie Angier. So you disagree with her, “Wow. Do you know anything at all about biology? Because no, they don’t.” Apparently you still haven’t looked at the interview. You should have noticed that I, like she, used many qualifiers like the verb “may”. You are as close-minded as consciousness razor.
    _____

    Razor says, “Does it seem like I’m narrow-minded for not considering your views based on the facts, or does it seem like you haven’t presented any facts to back your views up?” If you have an argument, take it up with Angier. My post was based on her interview in which she presents many facts, if you can understand what the word means.
    _____

    Lostintime, “It probably doesn’t matter to him or her that Natalie Angier is herself a vegetarian.” I watched the video more than once so I know that. But she doesn’t take an “holier than thou” attitude. I even mentioned in my first post that there may be environmental reasons for being vegetarian. But the lost like you just cherry-pick the things you don’t like. If you disagree with the science, you can write to her. ” a few vegetarians explicitly expressed happiness that the thread had not degenerated into people taking potshots at them” I’m not taking potshots. I’m just trying to show that things are not so cut and dried as some seem to think. Yet several take misaimed potshots at me. Vegetarians are at least tolerable and I could consider that for myself, but vegans are insupportable ignorant nutcases.

  156. 156
    Dhorvath, OM

    but vegans are insupportable ignorant nutcases.

    That you have supported how? If you don’t want people to push against you, don’t say shit you can’t back up. There are people in this thread who have shared their decision to abandon animal products because of the environmental cost of raising animals for food. This is not insupportable, ignorant action, but considered based on actual evidence as the best personal way to offset a growing global issue. Hate away, but you have so far added little useful to this conversation.

  157. 157
    consciousness razor

    If you have an argument, take it up with Angier.

    So you’ve got nothing then. That’s why I didn’t waste my time with your first comment, and why it was a mistake to bother after that. But it’s your argument to lose, so that’s fine with me.

    I’m just trying to show that things are not so cut and dried as some seem to think.

    You haven’t tried to show a fucking thing. You’re not engaged with the facts at all. You’re trolling.

  158. 158
    lostintime

    randay,

    “If you disagree with the science, you can write to her.”

    Uh no, I don’t disagree with Natalie Angier, I disagree with your ignorant trolling comments. All you’ve done repeatedly is to say: behold! A video that discusses plant physiology, therefore plants “may have feelings”. You obviously don’t understand biology, and you haven’t done anything to elucidate an ethical argument. In fact, if you thought that plants felt pain and this was morally significant, then the first thing you might do is to stop eating animals because there’s a roughly 10:1 ratio of the plants that they had to consume before they became your dinner. It’s something vegetarians have heard a thousand times before, and it’s so, so stupid.

  159. 159
    ChasCPeterson

    We’re not even talking about the science; we’re talking about Angier’s woo-woo gloss on the science. If the interviewer was to speak to actual scientists that actualy study the defensive responses of plants to herbivory, I would bet money that they would unanimously agree that plants are not ‘sentient’ (whatever that means), because more specifically they have no pain, no feelings, no awareness–none of it.

  160. 160
    Jackie, all dressed in black

    I love spinach, turnip and mustard greens etc., but cilantro is like eating dish soap. I can’t handle it. If it’s in salsa, it doesn’t seem as bad. I’m guessing it has something to do with the acid in the tomatoes. But otherwise, just.. ew.

    Parrowing,
    Nope. I was referring to Jamie and Allison’s cats.

    JohnM,

    …and everyone knows that.

    Well, then it MUST be true. Seriously? Do you know where you are?

    Randay,
    Fuck off. You’re being absurd.

    M Palumbo,
    Yes that’s all there is here and don’t you let all the evidence to the contrary convince you otherwise.

    Eristae,
    Carnival dominatrix, you say? I think I just found my what I want to be when I grow up. (I’m assuming that job requires a top hat. I’ve always wanted to wear a top hat.)

  161. 161
    randay

    #155-159 Thank for proving me right on my comment about vegetarians and vegans being self-righteous and as I added sanctimonious. “Hate away, but you have so far added little useful to this conversation.” and “You haven’t tried to show a fucking thing.” and “it’s so, so stupid.” and “Fuck off. You’re being absurd.” If I have added little or nothing to the conversation, why am I getting so many reasonable, measured, on the topic responses?

    Special mention goes to ChasCPeterson, “If the interviewer was to speak to actual scientists that actualy study the defensive responses of plants to herbivory, I would bet money that they would unanimously agree that plants are not ‘sentient’ (whatever that means).” So a non-scientist is criticizing me and Angier for not being scientists. There are so many things that Chas doesn’t know the meaning of.

    Being a vegetarian or vegan doesn’t automatically make you a better person. Maybe you use products that include palm oil, whose cultivation is destroying millions of acres of forests. If you are vegetarian, but especially vegan, your children may need vitamin B-12, vitamin D, iron, zinc, calcium, and more supplements. In addition, the kids may have a very low calorie intake, stunting growth. It’s a bit like Xians who don’t take their children to a doctor, except upstream.

  162. 162
    carlie

    Carlie #150, oh my you are arrogant. “Since you are declaring that you’re not a new commenter” Not only am I declaring it, it is demonstrably true, with dozens of comments.

    Wait, what? That wasn’t the part where I was being insulting. I wasn’t trying to insinuate that I didn’t believe you. I was trying to simply make it very clear that you were the one opening yourself up to not being subject to the three post be nice rule.

    If you have an argument, take it up with Angier. My post was based on her interview in which she presents many facts, if you can understand what the word means.

    Didn’t any of your teachers ever tell you that when you directly quote or copy-paste, you aren’t displaying any understanding of the source material? If you can’t explain your point without using someone else’s words, you don’t get it.

  163. 163
    carlie

    I’m not taking potshots. I’m just trying to show that things are not so cut and dried as some seem to think.

    Come again? This is what you said:

    It is sad that vegetarians and vegans are so self-righteous.

  164. 164
    randay

    “I wasn’t trying to insinuate that I didn’t believe you.” Yes you were.

    In an effort/time paradigm, it is often more useful to cite someone who has studied the subject than try to re-invent the wheel. I am not sitting for the SAT.

    The comment on vegetarians and vegans was not a potshot, it was direct criticism based on overwhelming personal experience.

  165. 165
    carlie

    it was direct criticism based on overwhelming personal experience.

    But not based on anything any of the ones here said here, therefore irrelevant to this conversation in the way you phrased it.

    Yes you were.

    I wasn’t, actually. Trust me, I do a lot of insulting, and I freely own it. That comment was not meant to be insulting.

    In an effort/time paradigm, it is often more useful to cite someone who has studied the subject than try to re-invent the wheel. I am not sitting for the SAT.

    No, but you are trying to convince people of something you feel strongly about, yes? If you don’t want to put any effort into understanding it yourself, you certainly shouldn’t expect anyone else to spend their time on it either. Plus, you’ve provided a video rather than an article, which assumes an awful lot about your audience: that they can hear, that they have adequate broadband to watch videos, and that they care to spend their time watching some random video you’ve posted but don’t even want to take the time to adequately summarize. You’re also assuming that nobody else here knows any more about botany than you do, which is a pretty risky thing to do on a site run by a biologist.

  166. 166
    carlie

    And holy shit, it’s a 16 minute video? You want me to spend a quarter of an hour on it rather than reading a few sentences you could provide? Dude, I have a life. But I’ll do a little.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. I just watched the first 5 minutes. It’s exactly what I thought it was, and absolutely not what you think it is.

    Yes, plants react to their environment. This is something that plant physiologists have known since plant physiology fucking started. The fact that a journalist is surprised at something scientific doesn’t mean it’s something that has been entirely unknown until said journalist found out about it. Yes, scientists are finding out new awesome things about physiology all the time. But there are no emotions. There are no feelings. There are no thoughts.

    She’s anthropomorphizing. That’s a bit aggravating, but is often a way to help people understand better. As a science journalist, I would expect her to do that. But it’s shorthand. “The plant wants to protect itself” is shorthand for “plants that had such chemicals were better able to protect themselves and propagated more than plants that didn’t, which is why the ones we see today do that”. She went a little too far on the anthropomorphizing, and that’s what you’re seeing.

    “And none of the plant biologists, well, the ones I spoke with at least, are going to say ‘Oh yes, plants are definitely sentient’, but they do say that they are aware, so I’m not quite sure what the difference is except for, perhaps, fine points of debating.”

    Oh, honey. Tie that one up and put a bow on it. She doesn’t understand the difference between sentience and “aware” in the way a particular botanist described chemical signaling to her using that term. That…doesn’t mean that plants are sentient. At best, it means that Natalie Angier is not getting her point across well. At worst, it means she doesn’t understand it at all in the first place. What she’s saying is no more scientifically accurate than a 7th grade science fair project where one plant is close to a window and gets classical music and grows better than the one behind the bookcase that gets death metal so plants like calming music.

    Seriously randay, I advise you not to go marching into any more places brandishing that garbled mess of a point.

  167. 167
    carlie

    Know what else does chemical signaling to other individuals based on nteractions with their environment? Bacteria.

  168. 168
    Dhorvath, OM

    randay,
    While I may well be sanctimonious, it ain’t ’cause I am a veg*n. I have my own dietary decisions and reasons behind them that I find comforting, although, likely not compelling. As it happens, I find the broad scope of environmental arguments the most convincing of those offered by vegans and those arguments shape how I approach the foods that I can eat, whether grain or grain fed. When someone says in categorical fashion that vegans are

    insupportable ignorant nutcases

    with no qualifications or support, it is basically impossible for me to take them seriously. That some vegans fit that description is beyond dispute, but so do some omnivores, so I fail to see what point you are making.

    Passionate people are passionate. Some of them are so for misguided reasons and when I am found to be so, I expect people to challenge me on my lack of understanding. Is it your position that environmental causes aren’t sufficiently compelling to consider lowering animal product comsumption? If so, can you explain why? If not, why would you tar vegans who feel that the extension of the environmental impact of animal consumption is to not consume animal products with the same brush you hold for those who by your judgment do fit into your

    insupportable, ignorant nutcases.

  169. 169
    randay

    Carlie #165 “No, but you are trying to convince people of something you feel strongly about, yes?” Well, actually no. I don’t feel strongly about it, except for maybe vegans, and I even indicated that I had leanings towards vegetarianism. You didn’t seem to notice my criticism of the deficiencies of a vegan diet nor that being a veggie eater is not necessarily environmentally friendly. I merely wished to show that there is other sides to this issue. I don’t see it as a dualistic: to eat meat or not to eat it.

    #166 16 min. is too long for you? “Dude, I have a life. But I’ll do a little.” So you settled for 5 min. It has taken you longer than 5 or even 16 min. to write all these comments to me. The comments against me here are far more than I have received on any other post I’ve made. I must have upset the applecart of certitudes of a few people.
    _____

    Dhorvath #168 “with no qualifications or support, it is basically impossible for me to take them seriously” As I noted just above, I supported my argument by showing the deficiencies of the vegan diet and environmental problems. “Is it your position that environmental causes aren’t sufficiently compelling to consider lowering animal product comsumption?” In my first post, I mentioned environmental concerns. I think there is more than one good reason to lower animal product consumption, but lowering is not eliminating.

    Veganism is not religion, but it seems that most vegans seem to treat it as such, those that I know and those that have sites. Some vegans are anti-vaccination because animal products are involved. They have arcane discussions of this on vegan sites. A California court threw out a case were a vegan claimed he was discriminated against and denied a job because he refused a mumps vaccine. Refusing vaccination is not only a danger to them, but to their children and to others who for one reason or another aren’t vaccinated.

  170. 170
    carlie

    I must have upset the applecart of certitudes of a few people.

    Oh, the “I must have touched a nerve” defense. No. Westboro Baptist Church doesn’t get vehement responses because they “touched a nerve”, but because they are so screamingly wrong. Same here. I especially hate it when people act smug and knowing about a topic yet refuse to do even the most basic groundwork trying to understand it. “I saw this one thing by this one person and it sounded good to me” is the basis of religion and mysticism, not rational thought. It is antithetical to critical thinking and learning, and has no place anywhere. You want to believe something, you want to push it on other people, you’d better do your fucking homework first. And yeah, I spent some time going ahead and dealing with you, because these threads get a lot of readers and I’m not about to let such pseudoscience stand uncontested here.

  171. 171
    Nick Gotts

    The comment on vegetarians and vegans was not a potshot, it was direct criticism based on overwhelming personal experience. – randay

    Why exactly should anyone here be interested in your claims about your personal experience of unnamed vegetarians and vegans, when we have absolutely no means of verifying those claims, and when they bear no resemblance to the behaviour of those commenting here?

    Oh and the “plants are sentient so eating them is morally equivalent to eating cows” tosh? That’s really the best you can do?

    vegans are insupportable ignorant nutcases.

    Indeed, some are. But you’ve provided ample evidence that the same is true of omnivores.

  172. 172
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @Randay:

    I take issue with your claim to be a regular if you’re unable to recognize CARLIE.

  173. 173
    carlie

    Katherine – he is; he’s been commenting for a year or so and even put in a “why I’m an atheist” essay. There are a lot of threads I don’t comment on, and I’m (obviously) not good at remembering names either, so I can easily see being missed. Thank you, though. :) And I still find it odd that he picked that to get mad about, when I was trying so hard to make him mad about other things and didn’t even mean anything by the newbie statement.

  174. 174
    lostintime

    vegans are insupportable ignorant nutcases

    It’s funny how people like Randay storm into discussions about vegetarianism with declarations like this, and then, without any apparent irony, complain that they are being harassed. As far as I can tell you’re still maintaining the idiotic suggestion that plants feel pain. If so then please provide some evidence beyond a trashy interview you found online, and then perhaps you can explain the moral consequences of this discovery.

    Being a vegetarian or vegan doesn’t automatically make you a better person. Maybe you use products that include palm oil, whose cultivation is destroying millions of acres of forests

    No one has said that it does and food ethics can be very complicated, but this doesn’t mean that the heuristic that vegetarians follow is contemptible. There are many other things to consider when we think about the way we eat, and oil palm cultivation is one of them. Unfortunately it’s used in hundreds of household products where it’s innocuously described as vegetable oil. The best way to avoid palm oil is to cut back on highly processed foods and I commend anyone who tries to adapt their lifestyle to reduce their environmental footprint.

  175. 175
    randay

    That is nice of you. Really. I am not good at remembering names either and I post on other blogs too so I can even get things mixed up about where and whom I wrote to. I did do homework as I described in my #169. I do consult sites whose ideas I don’t agree with. I’m not just looking for reinforcement from compatible blogs.I don’t think it is necessary to say things like “you’d better do your fucking homework first.”
    _____

    Nick Gotts #171. The same for you, read my #169 post. Though all experience is personal, I gave reasons that didn’t have just to do with personal acquaintances. But no one has addressed my concerns there nor mentioned my nuanced position on vegetarians and agreeing that meat consumption should be reduced. Most come back at me with are a couple of sound bites, or should I say written bites?

  176. 176
    randay

    Lostintime #174 You change my wording from “vegans” to “vegetarians”, whom I have expressed sympathy for. So you are attacking a straw man, a common debating error. Also, I do not complain about being harassed. I have seen bloggers, mostly women, who are harassed–often mentioned at this blog– and I would not compare criticisms of my comments or my person to be anywhere near such harassment.

    Finally, I eat a minimum of processed foods, mostly canned vegetables; I do know how to cook and have done so in restaurants. I don’t eat any processed food that has meat in it because it is likely Advanced Meat Recovery(AMR)i.e.junk.. I did a post on that where I even gave a list of what was found in a typical case, whether it was here or not, I don’t remember and now I can’t find the page. Many people here ask me for more proof or references, but I don’t see anyone giving me their resources or references.

  177. 177
    daniellavine

    @randay:

    I know a fair number of vegans. Some of them are self-righteous fools but most of the vegans I know are not.

    Perhaps your problem is with self-righteous people and not with vegans. Veganism itself is a personal choice. Most of the folks I’ve known who are vegan do not object in any way to people around them choosing to eat meat.

    Could you consider the possibility that you don’t even know some wonderful, fair, tolerant people are vegans because they didn’t make a big deal out of it? That perhaps your impression of vegans has been colored by interactions with only the loudest, most obnoxious, and most self-righteous ones?

  178. 178
    daniellavine

    @randay:

    Many people here ask me for more proof or references, but I don’t see anyone giving me their resources or references.

    Perhaps because you are the one making claims that require evidence? What would you like to see references for? What unlikely claims are other commenters here making that you refuse to believe without citations?

  179. 179
    Dhorvath, OM

    As I noted just above, I supported my argument by showing the deficiencies of the vegan diet and environmental problems.

    Your mention of palm oil was a tu quoque scrabbling for purchase. That there are vegetable sources of food with impacts to the environment that are not acceptable is not something anyone would have disputed, the point is that one of the easiest ways for any person to reduce their carbon footprint is by eating less meat, as noted by brucegee1962 at comment 16 in this thread . For it to be unsupportable to choose vegan over omni I would need to see it being more environmentally damaging to be a vegan than an omni; is it your position that it is more damaging to the environment to eat solely plant based diets than ones using animal products? If not, I am not seeing your point.
    And yes, there are some things that are difficult to obtain on a vegan diet, B12 specifically, this doesn’t prevent people from pursuing such diets and being successful at them, although it does preclude a fair number of people from considering the notion of abandoning animal products. Choosing vegan is, at least in most cases, a luxury afforded to people with a degree of affluence much of the world does not offer to people.

    I think there is more than one good reason to lower animal product consumption, but lowering is not eliminating.

    However, eliminating is lowering. You agree with the principle but disagree with the degree? Again, I do not follow you.

    Veganism is not religion, but it seems that most vegans seem to treat it as such, those that I know and those that have sites. Some vegans are anti-vaccination because animal products are involved. They have arcane discussions of this on vegan sites. A California court threw out a case were a vegan claimed he was discriminated against and denied a job because he refused a mumps vaccine. Refusing vaccination is not only a danger to them, but to their children and to others who for one reason or another aren’t vaccinated.

    And those people are a problem, but using your experience elsewhere with vegans to denounce those in this thread with well reasoned backgrounds for why they have abandoned animal products is carrying your prejudice where it doesn’t belong. Look at the words you have retreated to:

    it seems that most vegans

    I responded to you, and continue to do so because I think that this:

    but vegans are insupportable, ignorant nutcases.

    is unacceptable.

  180. 180
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    On the spinach front, curried spinach is fucking delicious. I would quite happily live on chicken saag, probably my favourite curry, but I also love saag paneer (spinach and cheese). I’m sure you could whip up some incredibly tasty vegan curries with spinach.

  181. 181
    Dhorvath, OM

    Thumper,
    Thanks, my fave is a potato and spinach curry we make. It’s awesome! For the record though, I have never cooked spinach I didn’t enjoy.

  182. 182
    YOB - Ye Olde Blacksmith is a Spocktopus cuddler

    Can anyone point me to any reputable sources for info regarding the impact of small scale, grass fed, beef ranching?

    Everything I’m finding seems to be more applicable to the Monsanto style of production, which I hate soooo much. I want to find out more about the impact that my father’s ranch* may be having. In terms of overall impact, his operation would be at the very bottom of “beef production” scale, I think, but I know that there IS some impact. My google-fu is apparently too weak at this scale. Any help?

    * 60 head of longhorn grazed on 100 acres of grassland + 50 acres of woodland, some supplemental feed provided in the winter but mostly hay from the summer cutting. Fields aren’t watered. No manure ponds, no feedlots, etc.

    —————————————————–

    The comment on vegetarians and vegans was not a potshot, it was direct criticism based on overwhelming personal experience. – randay

    My overwhelming personal experience has been very positive regarding vegans and vegetarians. There are the occasional judgy-meany folks out there (most often On-line, but so far not in this thread) but there are in every group. Therefor, my anecdata offsets your anecdata. :-P

  183. 183
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @randay

    Seriously, fuck off. I’m a meat eater and you’re fucking embarrassing me.

    I have many vegetarian friends and I have vegan friends too. I love food and personally I like what is known as a “balanced meal”; it has to have meat, veg and carbs otherwise it just doesn’t feel like a proper meal to me, but you know what? That’s their choice. It doesn’t have any negative effect on me or anyone else, so you don’t get to run around declaring they’re all ignorant, throwing ableist slurs around and attempting to support it with pseudo-scientific ridiculousness. Not to mention that your comments appear to suggest you are the interviewer, which hardly makes me think it is an unbiased and objective piece of work considering your stated hostility to veganism.

  184. 184
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @Dhorvath

    Aw, saag aloo! I love saag aloo! I love food just generally, and am a fan of spinach, but you just cannot go wrong with curried spinach. Well, curry in general really, except for lentils which I find I simply cannot enjoy. It’s the only food I don’t really like, but I’d still eat them under duress. I taught myself to cook curry from scratch and basically lived off the stuff at university. What I particularly like about cooking curry is that once you know the basic theory you can invent them on the spot. My favourite invention revolves around copious amounts of chile, garlic, turmeric and mustard seed :)

    From what I know of Hindu dietary restrictions I imagine Hindu curries (as opposed to those more popular amongst other religious groups in India) would lend itself very well to vegetarian diets, and to vegan ones too with a few small alterations. Use olive oil rather than ghee for example. From what I understand Hindus eat very little meat and stricter adherents are vegetarian.

    Also, I find vegetable curries to be one of the few meat-free dishes I can eat and be truly satisfied with, despite my usual insistance on having something from every food group on the plate.

  185. 185
    randay

    Thumper #183 I don’t see how something I say can embarrass you, a person I don’t even know. But I receive a lot of responses off topic like yours: “Seriously, fuck off. I’m a meat eater and you’re fucking embarrassing me.” Why do some people who respond to me tell me to shut up? That shows fear of contrary ideas. I think that the vegan diet is deficient, especially for children. Just google something like “vegan diet and children”. I am hostile towards vegans for reasons, some of which I have already mentioned. “throwing ableist slurs around” I admit that I didn’t know the word “ableist” until now, but you don’t seem to know what it means either. It appears to be a new PC word. But ignorance is not in the definition. If being “biased” means forming an opinion after studying a subject, then I am biased against vegans.
    _____

    Ye Olde Blacksmith #182 It’s “anecdota” and “therefore”.:)
    _____

    Dhorvath #179 ” is it your position that it is more damaging to the environment to eat solely plant based diets than ones using animal products?” No, it is just more damaging to our health.

    I am still targeted for tidbits and no one responds to my main content.

  186. 186
    randay

    Daniellavine #178 “Perhaps because you are the one making claims that require evidence?” What claims am I making that you object to? Something like about those vegans who are anti-vaxxers? They are dangerous. Or those who deprive their children of a necessary balanced diet? They are dangerous. Not all, but many I associate with a terrorist group like PETA which “defends” so-called “animal rights”. Take Daniel Andreas San Diego for example.

  187. 187
    daniellavine

    randay@186:

    1. I did not object to any of your claims explicitly, but I did implicitly reject to your claim that: “The comment on vegetarians and vegans was not a potshot, it was direct criticism based on overwhelming personal experience.” in my post @177 to which you have not responded.

    2. How are vegan anti-vaxxers any more “dangerous” than anti-vaxxers who are not vegan?

    3. Do you not see the fallacy involved in implying that vegans in general are dangerous because some vegans are involved in the animal liberation movements? Do you ever argue that black people in general are dangerous because some black people are involved in criminal gangs?

    Please respond to my 177 as well.

  188. 188
    YOB - Ye Olde Blacksmith is a Spocktopus cuddler

    Incorrect! It’s anecdata and “I don’t care”. (_*_)

  189. 189
    randay

    Daniellavine #187 Your post #177 was just about rhetorical questions of no interest. Your current post is ridiculous:
    “2. How are vegan anti-vaxxers any more “dangerous” than anti-vaxxers who are not vegan?” That is also rhetorical and in addition the argument that vegans are not worse than other idiots. What a wonderful defense.

    Rhetorical question 3 is just plain stupid. I said “Not all…” which you willfully ignore. You also don’t respond to my argument that the vegan diet is dangerous to health. Next time wait until you have some intelligent to say.

  190. 190
    David Marjanović

    This is what we here on this side of the pond.

    Lots of unquantified waffling, and vitamin D (“epidemic”? WTF?) is in milk… but broccoli is anti-inflammatory? That’s interesting.

    or you seem to regard reading comprehension as some sort of mystic arcana not fit for mortal minds

    :-D :-D :-D

    Carlie #142. I have been commenting here for quite a while. I am surprised you haven’t noticed if you are a regular. This is the first time I have noticed your name.

    …erm.

    Are you sure you’re on the same blog where you think you are??? carlie has been commenting here daily for years, as have I. I didn’t remember your name immediately, and can’t remember anything you’ve written.

    From what I understand Hindus eat very little meat and stricter adherents are vegetarian.

    It depends on the caste. Brahmins are vegetarian, in southern India they don’t even eat plant parts that grow below the surface ( = in filth). The other castes do generally eat meat when they can afford it.

  191. 191
    carlie

    Many people here ask me for more proof or references, but I don’t see anyone giving me their resources or references.

    Here’s one.

    This one is a little easier to read.

    Also easier to read, but less comprehensive.

    This one might be a little more targeted to what you’re interested in.

  192. 192
    randay

    Ye Olde Blacksmith #188 Oh, yes the “urbandictionary”. Be serious, Merriam-Webster gives “anecdota”. Well so do other serious dictionaries I consulted as a result of you ignorance. It is from the Greek “anekdota” plural of “anekdotos”. I don’t care that you don’t care.

  193. 193
    daniellavine

    @randay:

    You’re not really in a position to accuse me of being stupid at this point. Let me break it down for you.

    Your post #177 was just about rhetorical questions of no interest.

    Incorrect. Those questions were sincere questions, not rhetorical. The fact that you refuse to answer them tells me a lot about you.

    That is also rhetorical and in addition the argument that vegans are not worse than other idiots.

    Incorrect. Again, not a rhetorical question. I was sincerely asking you a question and expecting a response. And either you have misinterpreted the question or are so incredibly stupid that you can’t see the significance of the question: you articulate a problem with “vegan anti-vaxxers” that has nothing to do with veganism. Why, then, do you include the modifier “vegan” at all? “Guilt by association” is the only reason I can come up with — I was giving you a chance to make yourself look less ridiculous by articulating a better reason than that.

    I was not arguing that vegans are “not worse the other idiots” — in fact, you would have to be rather stupid to come to that conclusion. I was pointing out that factually whether one is vegan has relatively little to do with whether one is anti-vaccination (most of the vegans I know are not anti-vaccination).

    Rhetorical question 3 is just plain stupid. I said “Not all…” which you willfully ignore.

    Of course, you’ve willfully ignored just about every rebuttal made to your arguments so you’re hardly in a position to complain. Nonetheless the reason I ignored the “not all” bit is because it’s not clear how that statement was relevant in the first place unless — again — you’re simply trying to smear vegans through guilt by association. Once again I was providing you with an opportunity to articulate in a position that would make you look less stupid. Once again you’ve failed to do so.

    You also don’t respond to my argument that the vegan diet is dangerous to health.

    I didn’t see this point as it was hidden among irrelevant attempts at smearing vegans through guilt by association. You are, of course, incorrect about this. It is completely possible to have a perfectly healthy vegan diet. Some of the best food I’ve ever eaten was vegan food prepared by vegans who take their diets very seriously. The only nutritional requirement that is not easily satisfied by a vegan diet is vitamin B12 which is easily obtained in (vegan) nutritional yeast flakes.

    Many resources exist to provide information on how to eat a well-balanced and healthy diet while remaining vegan. Here are some examples:

    http://www.vegansociety.com/lifestyle/nutrition/

    http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/

    General information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vegan_nutrition

    Particularly relevant to your argument: http://www.vrg.org/nutshell/kids.php

    Now I’ve provided references. I expect you to do the same if you’d like to continue to argue that vegan diets are necessarily unhealthy.

    Finally if you’d like to shit-talk about vegans I’ll expect you to make valid arguments. Not implying all vegans are bad because some vegans are anti-vaccination. Not implying all vegans are bad because some are militant animal rights protesters. Valid arguments. Not that I expect someone as stupid as you to know what that even means.

  194. 194
    daniellavine

    @randay:

    Might I add that I was perfectly civil to you prior to your comment at 189. Not sure why you felt it was necessary to start with the “ridiculous” and “stupid” rhetoric but since you have I have followed suit.

    I just wish you were smart enough to understand the smackdown you’re about to get if you want to keep up your “veganism is unhealthy and all vegans are terrible people” bullshit.

  195. 195
    David Marjanović

    Ye Olde Blacksmith #188 Oh, yes the “urbandictionary”. Be serious, Merriam-Webster gives “anecdota”

    It’s a different word! It’s a deliberately created portmanteau of “anecdote” and “data”, a deliberate pun on the saying “the plural of ‘anecdote’ isn’t ‘data’”.

  196. 196
    YOB - Ye Olde Blacksmith is a Spocktopus cuddler

    Anecdota != anecdata

    You really are piss poor at reading comprehension.

  197. 197
    YOB - Ye Olde Blacksmith is a Spocktopus cuddler

    David,
    I’m just poking randay with a stick. Kinda like my daughter does to gross things she finds in the forest.

    :-)

  198. 198
    lostintime

    randay,

    You also don’t respond to my argument that the vegan diet is dangerous to health

    Well not really an argument as such, just a tediously repeated assertion. Is a vegan diet necessarily detrimental to health? The wikipedia article on vegan nutrition starts with this preamble, and has 41 references:
    “…The American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada regard the vegan diet as appropriate for all stages of the life-cycle and as offering protection against cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other diseases. They caution that poorly planned vegan diets can be deficient in vitamin B12, vitamin D, calcium, iodine, iron and omega-3 fatty acids. Just as with omnivorous and vegetarian diets, ensuring a balanced diet is key.”
    Google away.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vegan_nutrition#Further_reading

  199. 199
    ChasCPeterson

    randay, you’re a trolling troll who’s trolling. That or dumb as a post. Maybe both.

    #155-159 Thank for proving me right on my comment about vegetarians and vegans being self-righteous and as I added sanctimonious. Special mention goes to ChasCPeterson,

    yeah, I’m neither a vegan nor a vegetarian. i just think you’re full of shit.

    “If the interviewer was to speak to actual scientists that actualy study the defensive responses of plants to herbivory, I would bet money that they would unanimously agree that plants are not ‘sentient’ (whatever that means).” So a non-scientist is criticizing me and Angier for not being scientists.

    First, I am, in fact, a scientist, just not one that studies the defensive responses of plants to herbivory. And I’m not criticizing Angier for not being a scientist, but rather for saying some specific stupid stuff. And I’m not criticizing yoyu for not being a scientist, but rather for being a trolling troll and/or dumb as a post.
    hth

  200. 200
    YOB - Ye Olde Blacksmith is a Spocktopus cuddler

    Bwahahaha!

    #155-159 Thank for proving me right on my comment about vegetarians and vegans being self-righteous and as I added sanctimonious. Special mention goes to ChasCPeterson,

    Bees always attack me! Watch, as I poke this hive with a stick, and it will prove me right!

  201. 201
    Dhorvath, OM

    randay,
    I am still uninterested in any other points you may be making. I think you were out of line when you said

    vegans are insupportable, ignorant nutcases.

    This is why I keep picking away at specific things that you say, because you are holding an opinion of vegans as a whole that is unjustified. Do vegans die younger than omnivores? Do they spend more time in hospitals while alive? Do they cost society more in terms of healthcare outside of hospitals? If you can show that they do, I might accept your unsupported statement

    No, it is just more damaging to our health.

  202. 202
    randay

    ChasCPeterson #199 You seem to think that one who disagrees with the general opinion is a troll, and I am a minority of one who has a different opinion here. It is not easy to keep up with all the comments addressed to me from so many people. If I were trolling, I would have stopped long ago. I never expected so many responses to my original post which was just to suggest another way of looking at things. All my previous posts received at most 2 or 3 responses, usually supportive. So this case is new to me.
    _____

    As for Daniellavine and Carlie, that is a lot of reading you have given me, so it will take a bit of time for me to dig through it. Then I will respond and that will be the end of this thread for me. It just takes too much time to continue.

  203. 203
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @randay

    Thumper #183 I don’t see how something I say can embarrass you, a person I don’t even know.

    Honestly, I’m not sure either, but I suppose it’s a combination of the fact that being an omnivore myself makes me worried people will paint all meat eaters with your ridiculous opinions, and being embarrassed for you.

    But I receive a lot of responses off topic like yours: “Seriously, fuck off. I’m a meat eater and you’re fucking embarrassing me.” Why do some people who respond to me tell me to shut up?

    Because you’re annoying and wrong and we want you to shut up.

    That shows fear of contrary ideas.

    No, it doesn’t. See above for what it really means.

    I think that the vegan diet is deficient, especially for children.

    I used to think that too, until I got some education. It is entirely possible to get all the protein and essential amino acids humans need from none-animal sources. Beans, for example, are very high in protein.

    I am hostile towards vegans for reasons, some of which I have already mentioned.

    Since when did vague philosophical musings about whether or not plants can feel pain count as “reasons”?

    “throwing ableist slurs around” I admit that I didn’t know the word “ableist” until now, but you don’t seem to know what it means either. [I can assure you I do] It appears to be a new PC word. [Nope] But ignorance is not in the definition. [No, and I never said or implied that it was]

    Ableism is discrimination or prejudice against disabled people, whether their disability be mental or physical. So if using the N-word would be racist, then your use of the word “nutcases” to describe vegans would be…?

    If being “biased” means forming an opinion after studying a subject, then I am biased against vegans.

    “Studying”!? You’ve interviewed one “scientist” with whom you engaged in some quasi-philosophical pseudo-scientific musings about how plants might have feelings too, declared that without meat we wouldn’t have big brains, described all veggies and vegans as “self-righteous”, and then indulged in some ableism. As far as I can tell everything else you’ve said is just whining about how no-one’s being as nice to you as you’d like. I see little evidence of any studying.

    Now that little back and forth is out of the way, I can tell you that my main issue is not your aspiration to intellectualism, but your condescension towards veggies and vegans. It’s merely made more annoying by the fact it’s baseless.

  204. 204
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @David Marjanovic

    From what I understand Hindus eat very little meat and stricter adherents are vegetarian.

    It depends on the caste. Brahmins are vegetarian, in southern India they don’t even eat plant parts that grow below the surface ( = in filth). The other castes do generally eat meat when they can afford it.

    Thanks, that’s filled in a few gaps :) Brahmins are the priest caste, aren’t they? Or did I make that up? My knowledge of the caste system is basic at best.

    Re. your final sentence; so would you say that the generally lower levels of meat in the diets of Indian Hindu families is less to do with religion and more to do with poverty?

    @Daniellavine

    Having just read #189, I don’t think randay knows what rhetorical means…

  205. 205
    throwaway

    I never expected so many responses to my original post which was just to suggest another way of looking at things.

    Bullshit you didn’t expect as much, especially when you say:

    It is sad that vegetarians and vegans are so self-righteous.

    The regular* that you are ought to know that such black and white statements, especially such off the cuff remarks such as this where there are plenty of targets for such statements in the vicinity, will be met with snark and taunts and insults. You started that vibe. Your original post was not “just to suggest another way of looking at things,” it was to bloviate as if you had all the answers and all your characterizations of vegans and vegetarians were true. Lying fucking troll.

    And for the record, I’d take carlie’s worst comments on her worst day over your best comments on your best day. Who the fuck are you again that you don’t recognize carlie’s nym?

  206. 206
    daniellavine

    Thumper@204:

    My admittedly limited understanding is that beef is eschewed by essentially all Hindus regardless of caste largely due to the fact that cows are considered sacred in Hinduism.

Comments have been disabled.