Vegetables will kill you!


A new study, as reported by the Independent, finds that vegetarians are less healthy than meat-eaters.

Vegetarians are less healthy than meat-eaters, a controversial study has concluded, despite drinking less, smoking less and being more physically active than their carnivorous counterparts.

A study conducted by the Medical University of Graz in Austria found that the vegetarian diet, as characterised by a low consumption of saturated fat and cholesterol, due to a higher intake of fruits, vegetables and whole-grain products, appeared to carry elevated risks of cancer, allergies and mental health problems such as depression and anxiety.

It’s a classic example of confusing cause and effect. In other news, people who are sick with chemotherapy treatments are more likely to have cancer — therefore, chemotherapy causes cancer. The statistics can’t lie!

Alternatively, it could be a situation like mine. I was diagnosed with heart disease, so then I reduced consumption of saturated fat and cholesterol, and went with a vegetarian diet to help reduce the damage of a lifetime of indulgence and maybe squeeze out a few more healthy years. I also took up an exercise program. I’m going to have to inform my wife this morning that we’re skipping the gym today because it’s going to shorten my life.

Except — and this is an odd thing — the end of the article that happily mongers fear about vegetarian diets includes a disclaimer from the investigators.

Study coordinator and epidemiologist Nathalie Burkert told The Austrian Times: “We have already distanced ourselves from this claim as it is an incorrect interpretation of our data.

“We did find that vegetarians suffer more from certain conditions like asthma, cancer and mental illnesses than people that eat meat as well, but we cannot say what is the cause and what is the effect.

“There needs to be further study done before this question can be answered.”

Why would you publish a bullshit article that includes a clear statement from the researchers that your interpretation of the work is bullshit? Are readers of this newspaper so reliably stupid that the publishers can trust that they’ll only read the bullshit headline and never get to the disclaimer, which is buried at the very end of the article? As an experiment, I wonder how many people will read only the title of this article, and not get to the substance, which says the exact opposite? If you actually read the whole thing, and decide to comment, be sure to include the word “taradiddle” in your reply. This is a test.

Comments

  1. What a Maroon, living up to the 'nym says

    I knew it! Veggies are killers–time to switch to an all meat diet! For dinner tonight I think I’ll make a juicy steak taradiddle.

  2. vole says

    in UK law, a standard test is whether “a moron in a hurry” would have been confused by something. Many journalists apparently see it as their calling to confuse as many morons as possible. Or perhaps the journalists are themselves confused morons (which is the explanation I usually favour). So much that is published is pure taradiddle.

  3. consciousness razor says

    Diddle flam paradiddle flam paradiddle-diddle paradiddle.

    …. uh, sorry, didn’t read it, just practicing.

  4. Pierre Le Fou says

    I’m sure there are a great many vegetarians who don’t eat a properly balanced diet even while they consume a lot of fruits and vegetables. And if you point it out to them, they put their fingers in their ears and go ‘taradiddle taradiddle!’. Eating a diversified diet requires some thinking, no matter what you chose as your base lifestyle. And when we’re lazy, we just stuff ourselves with what’s easy to buy )or whatever’s left in the fridge). I’m guilty of that myself quite a bit.

  5. blf says

    The mildly deranged penguin suggests an all-cheese diet, washed done by similar quantities of vin, beer, taradiddle, and cheese.

  6. chigau (違う) says

    I’ve never heard the word taradiddle. It’s a good one.
    And it completely stumps gooogletranslate.

  7. Rob Bos says

    My girlfriend is vegetarian and she’s always harping on the need for balanced diet. Vegetarianism is hard.

  8. says

    Maybe the higher rate of depression and anxiety is because of these articles saying vegetarianism will kill you and also make you sad and nervous and taradiddle!

  9. Dunc says

    Why would you publish a bullshit article that includes a clear statement from the researchers that your interpretation of the work is bullshit?

    To boost your ad impressions. It’s called “click-bait” – perhaps you’ve heard of it?

    Are readers of this newspaper so reliably stupid that the publishers can trust that they’ll only read the bullshit headline and never get to the disclaimer, which is buried at the very end of the article?

    Yes. And it’s not just readers of that newspaper – it’s people in general. It’s very well established (although I’m having trouble finding refs, since any search I can think of right now is swamped by stuff about how to make people read your web content) that many (most?) readers don’t read an article all the way to the end. It’s actually incredibly common to find something in the last 2 paragraphs that completely contradicts the headline.

    In other news, water is wet.

    taradiddle

  10. Mark Dowd says

    As an experiment, I wonder how many people will read only the title of this article, and not get to the substance, which says the exact opposite?

    It’s actually pretty common for the taradiddles you post here to have sarcastic titles. Someone familiar with your style would only need to read the title to know that the post is about some scientific study that was poorly designed or is being horribly misinterpreted by popular press (in this case #2).

  11. Azkyroth, B*Cos[F(u)]==Y says

    On the plus side, vegetarian diets don’t seem to cause whatever brain damage makes flrsh-eaters constantly sneer about “VEJUHTARIUNS R WIMPS LOL RABBIT FOOD” and then claim that vegetarians are obnoxious and preachy, so there’s that.

  12. Zeppelin says

    Even if that article’s narrative turns out to be true, and vegetarianism really is a health risk (be it because getting some meat is just healthier in itself, or because it’s harder to balance a diet without it)…isn’t the implication — that vegetarianism is therefore a bad idea — kind of missing the point?

    To me, the main argument for vegetarianism/veganism has always been that they’re ethical. Something that you do because it’s your moral duty, not because it gains you something.

    (I didn’t read the whole thing, only your excerpts, because I can’t be arsed).

  13. says

    Why would you publish a bullshit article that includes a clear statement from the researchers that your interpretation of the work is bullshit?

    Probably because they’d already wasted so much time and energy on this article, and couldn’t bear to just tell their editor “Sorry, it turns out all we have is bullshit, you’ll just need to fill our space with something else.”

  14. says

    Why would you publish a bullshit article that includes a clear statement from the researchers that your interpretation of the work is bullshit?

    Well, if I was Devin Nunes, I probably would…

  15. pipefighter says

    Technically chips and pop are vegetarian. It just depends how people want to skew the results. I imagine a healthy veg diet takes some effort. There are worse things. Taradiddle.

  16. ethicsgradient says

    The study isn’t “new”; the Independent article is from April 2014. It refers to the “Austrian Times” as the source for the quotes from the researcher, but when you try and follow that link (after tidying up the URL reference) you find they are no longer active (it’s now a placeholder advert page). With more work, you can find a web archive version: https://web.archive.org/web/20150302130108/http://austriantimes.at:80/news/General_News/2014-03-03/50548/Veggies_suffer_more_health_problems_say_Graz_researchers

    Wikipedia says the site folded, and refers to a Buzzfeed article which accused its writers “Central European News”/”CEN” of being a (British-based) source of often misleading clickbait articles picked up by other media: https://www.buzzfeed.com/alanwhite/central-european-news . CEN has sued, in the USA, and it looks like it hasn’t come to trial yet: http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/news-agency-cen-loses-summary-judgment-bid-in-11m-buzzfeed-libel-fight-plans-to-take-case-to-trial/

  17. says

    Thank goodness, I can keep eating meat.
    And it’s healthy for me!
    Really glad you posted this.
    Although I’m wondering what PeTA will think.
    Do you think they’ll change their stance on meat?
    I hope so.
    Dancing at work, thinking how sad they must be.
    Doughnuts with hotdogs for everyone!
    Laughing all the way to the butcher shop!
    Everyone, eat up!

  18. answersingenitals says

    I have yet to read a scientific report that didn’t conclude that the results were merely suggestive, not definitive, and that further study (i.e., more funding) was needed.

    Also, we shouldn’t rush to blame the writer for the headline. Headlines are usually written by editors, who rarely read the full article and whose success is based on sales.

  19. militantagnostic says

    TLDR
    Given how we treat them, I am not surprised that vegetables will kill us if given the chance.

  20. says

    On the plus side, vegetarian diets don’t seem to cause whatever brain damage makes flrsh-eaters constantly sneer about “VEJUHTARIUNS R WIMPS LOL RABBIT FOOD” and then claim that vegetarians are obnoxious and preachy, so there’s that.

    I didn’t know you were Ian Miles Cheong, eternal Lord of self owns.

  21. Azkyroth, B*Cos[F(u)]==Y says

    I didn’t know you were Ian Miles Cheong, eternal Lord of self owns.

    Hi Giliel.

    Unless you’re simply being ableist about a typo resulting from me posting with this tiny phone keyboard and my fine motor disabilities, I have no idea what you’re on about.

    Bye Giliel

  22. says

    LMFAO
    You call all people who eat meat “brain damaged” and call me ableist.
    No, cupcake, I wasn’t taking a shot at a typo, I was taking a shot at you complaining about “brain damaged” people accusing others of being obnoxious. The fact that you now accuse me of being ableist is all the more funny.
    BTW, it’s Giliell, two Ls

  23. Porivil Sorrens says

    @31
    How can you possibly accuse someone of being ableist when your original post accused people who criticize vegetarians of being brain damaged?

    I mean, its possible, but not without a substantial amount of hypocrisy.

  24. says

    If someone wants to eat vegan or vegetarian diet, it is their choice. It is harder to balance such diet, but it is not impossible, especially not for W.E.I.R.D. people, so to each their own. Unfortunately what some people pratice is wooganism, and that is bad on many, many levels. Like raw-food diets, various detox diets, claims that humans are naturaly herbivores etc.

    If a vegan or vegetarian diet is recommended by a qualified physician on science-based medicine, then it would be unwise to not follow such advice.

    As far as ethical/moral arguments for veganism go, I have been so underwhelmed by them that I consider them to be pure taradiddle relying very often on antropomorphism or questionable premises.

  25. vucodlak says

    Vegetables will kill you!

    Sure will! I know a guy who was caught between a couple of rampaging trees in the woods. Didn’t kill him right away, but people aren’t really supposed to go *crunch* and he didn’t last too long after that.

    Cows, on the other hand, have never hurt anybody. That’s why when you hear somebody shout “stampede!” you’re supposed to lay down flat in front of them and enjoy the free massage.

    Pigs, though, are stone cold taradiddle. They’ll taradiddle ya soon as look at ya. Even your bones. Kinda like a tree, really.

  26. chrislawson says

    “Why would you publish a bullshit article that includes a clear statement from the researchers that your interpretation of the work is bullshit?”

    What the newspapers usually do is not include any statements from the researchers at all. The fact that this article included a brief caveat makes it better than standard science reporting.

  27. DanDare says

    I was going to write something with taradiddle as the fnord first letter of words but I see its been done at least fnord twice.

  28. blf says

    Didn’t Dr Who run into some dangerous veggies once.

    Maybe you are thinking of the Krynoid in The Seeds of Doom, which might, in turn, be loosely based on the earlier The Avengers story Man-Eater of Surrey Green.

    And this, children, is why you should never, ever, crawl out from behind the sofa and wear a stalk of celery.

  29. melonpie says

    Charly @35:

    wooganism

    Word of the day! That nicely describes a lot of faddy opinions about nutrition going around.

    As far as ethical/moral arguments for veganism go, I have been so underwhelmed by them that I consider them to be pure taradiddle relying very often on antropomorphism or questionable premises.

    It’s not anthropomorphism to deduce animals have a capacity to suffer by looking at the evidence, unless you want to be a Cartesian taradiddle about it.

  30. kupo says

    Ooh, are we making fun of brain damaged people again? Take aim at me, my friend! My damaged brain maskes me such an awful example of humanity that I must be mocked at all times. I’m so terrible, it’s really a service that you’re providing the world by holding me up as the prime example of the worst in humans. Keep it up, my friend!

    Oh, and taradiddle. Dur.

  31. Porivil Sorrens says

    @48
    Animals ability to suffer isn’t sufficient reason to completely forgo animal meat. An animal that is raised well and killed in an instant, humane way doesn’t “suffer” by any reasonable defintion, for example. A chicken can’t tell if you’re keeping it as a pet or if you’re keeping it to eat, as long as it gets food and a nice pen.

    Also, roadkill. The animal is already dead and was killed by accident (very common around these parts, mooses aren’t very smart when it comes to roads), so the suffering the animal experienced has nothing to do with eating it in this case.

  32. chigau (違う) says

    kupo #49
    Suck it up, buttercup.
    You don’t get to declare your personal experience to be the mostestworstest.
    There are alot of us here.

  33. chigau (違う) says

    Porivil Sorrens #50
    Did you know that it is possible to refer to a comment by the ‘nym of the commenter rather than just the number of the comment?

  34. says

    Chigau, I think you’re off here. Going for “brain damaged” as the expletive of choice for describing behaviour you find horrible is ableist and has a lot of splash damaged. It’s saying the **tard slur with bigger words.
    No matter how me or Azkyroth behave, kupo should carry the burden of being the bad thing we’re compared to.

  35. kupo says

    You don’t get to declare your personal experience to be the mostestworstest.

    Show me where I’ve done any such thing?

  36. melonpie says

    Porivil Sorrens@48:

    An animal that is raised well and killed in an instant, humane way doesn’t “suffer” by any reasonable defintion, for example.

    That’s not true. If you made the argument that humanely killed animals suffer less than animals slaughtered in a factory farm, I’d agree with you. There is still some amount suffering experienced by animals slaughtered humanely. As long as you can avoid that suffering, and it doesn’t come at the cost of greater suffering, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t. Also, at the scale of current meat consumption, it’s unlikely that the most humane methods of slaughter are practicable. So veganism is a good alternative.

    Also, roadkill.

    If roadkill can meet current meat consumption, sure. I don’t think any rational, ethical vegans would have problems with eating roadkill, or any other form of opportunistic meat consumption in which there’s little to be done regards suffering. But since that option doesn’t scale, veganism is definitely a more feasible alternative. The point is to reduce suffering as much as you can, since it’s impossible to eliminate it.

  37. consciousness razor says

    Porivil Sorrens, #48:

    Animals ability to suffer isn’t sufficient reason to completely forgo animal meat. An animal that is raised well and killed in an instant, humane way doesn’t “suffer” by any reasonable defintion, for example.

    Is this supposed to be relevant for all animals, including of course people? (Or is it not even true?)
    If you raise a human for meat and kill them in “an instant, humane way,” it’s thus not suffering according to what you consider any reasonable definition. I don’t think it’s terribly obvious that people don’t “suffer” death, that they may have lost something valuable that they could’ve had if they’d lived longer … isn’t that a proper use of the word?

    But maybe that’s not the real deal with suffering, according to something reasonable that you may or may not actually conjure up for us at some point. In any case, why exactly is this supposed matter? Are you just nitpicking about one word that somebody happened to use (“suffer”)? Or is it supposed to be helpful somehow? It is it somehow supposed to change anyone’s mind in an important way about the ethics of killing and eating animals? Or not?

    Up above, somebody blathered about anthropomorphizing non-human animals, which is fair enough for a complaint, if it’s something a lot of people do fairly often. But the same goes for having a double-standard where humans are considered so very special, so very different from all other animals. That’s definitely not kosher either. (Different in what way, and are they different in relevant ways like the capacity to suffer for instance?) Our being special somehow is certainly taken for granted by most people, as if it’s the most obvious thing in the world and need not even be described explicitly or intelligibly, since we’re all presumed to know it already. But that’s all very far from reasonable or based on any established facts (or definitions, if we’re really going to play that game).

    So it looks to me like you ought to put forward a positive argument in defense of (non-obligatory) meat-eating – that’s the kind of position you’re in here — not assume like a god-botherer that there’s no problem unless the proverbial atheist provides a single, concise argument that destroys your entire worldview all at once. You have to do some work of your own, or somebody with your position had better do some for you, if you’re going to suggest that you (plural) got there using some set of reasonable methods. That’s not going to happen by waiting around for your opponents to satisfy you with a perfect, killer argument that covers every single edge case and contingency and random thought that ever occurs to anybody, which is just silly and pointless. That’s not how it works, and I don’t think your position is quite as comfortable as you may think. But if you’re actually going to take this conversation seriously, which of course isn’t standard procedure for people who try to defend meat-eating, then you would probably already know that.

  38. consciousness razor says

    Sorry, that was #50. Obviously I should’ve looked again, instead of copying the number given by #55.

  39. Derek Vandivere says

    #55 / melonpie:

    If roadkill can meet current meat consumption, sure. I don’t think any rational, ethical vegans would have problems with eating roadkill, or any other form of opportunistic meat consumption in which there’s little to be done regards suffering.

    I don’t really have a problem with it, but as a vegetarian I’d skip a meal rather than eating roadkill. I think most vegans and vegetarians feel the same way – we have no interest in eating meat (and I feel the same way about lab-grown meat). The last time I ordered chicken (maybe five years after turning vegetarian), it felt like I was chewing on yarn.

    By the way, suffering is not my primary reason to stay vegetarian. It started as ‘well, it’s probably healthier’ and it’s stayed due to force of habit and the lower carbon footprint.

  40. Derek Vandivere says

    #50 / Porivil:

    Animals ability to suffer isn’t sufficient reason to completely forgo animal meat.

    Of course it is – for some people. Just not for you.

  41. Derek Vandivere says

    #35 / Charly:

    If someone wants to eat vegan or vegetarian diet, it is their choice. It is harder to balance such diet

    In my experience, it’s not any more difficult to maintain a well balanced vegetarian diet than it is a meat-based diet. That may be because I like cooking and make most of our meals from ingredients and not packages.

    You mentioned hearing no convincing arguments – what do you think of the ecological argument that a plant-based diet uses about an order of magnitude less resources than a meat-based?

  42. Dunc says

    In my experience, it’s not any more difficult to maintain a well balanced vegetarian diet than it is a meat-based diet. That may be because I like cooking and make most of our meals from ingredients and not packages.

    It varies a lot. Everybody has different nutritional requirements and varying abilities to absorb nutrients from different sources. Some people find vegetarianism or veganism easy, others find it very difficult.

  43. Derek Vandivere says

    I guess what I’m wondering is whether it’s more accurate to say “some people find eating a decent diet easy, others find it very difficult” – that is, that a lot of people aren’t good at eating well vs. it’s easier to eat well with a meat-based diet than a plant-based one.

  44. Dunc says

    There’s elements of both. I’m a pretty good cook, and back when I was a vegetarian I had an excellent diet on paper, but I was still always severely depressed with an unhealthily low BMI. Nowadays, my diet is in some ways “worse”, but I’m a healthy weight and I feel good. Some people just don’t manage as well on a meat-free diet as others, even if they eat the same stuff. People vary a lot.

  45. Derek Vandivere says

    Heh. An unhealthily low BMI is nothing I’ve ever had to worry about, even back when I was running marathons…

    I guess what I was getting at is a suspicion that the characteristics of someone with a bad diet – too many processed foods, too many deep fried things, too many empty calories, not enough fresh fruit and veg – can happen in both diets.

  46. Dunc says

    Oh, no question about it… But that doesn’t change the fact that some people find it more difficult to be vegan or vegetarian than others.

  47. Porivil Sorrens says

    @52
    I am aware that I could do so. I choose not to.

    @55
    I don’t believe dead thimgs are capable of suffeeing, insofar as suffering is a product of a brain reacting to intense pain stimulus. By definition, if something is rendered braindead, it is incapable of suffering.

    @56
    I have no intent of ever engaging with you in any non-trivial degree. Ask someone else.

    @59
    Suffering can’t provide sufficient ethical justificatopn to completely avoid meat – eating roadkill or artificially grown meat, for example.

  48. Derek Vandivere says

    #66 / Porivil: In the real, practical world, most vegetarians and vegans have chosen their diet for a few reasons, and minimising suffering isn’t the primary reason most veg*ans I know have chosen their diet. Your assertion may be true in its limited scope, but it’s essentially meaningless in a practical sense. Not to mention that artificially grown meat doesn’t yet commercially exist.

  49. Porivil Sorrens says

    @67
    Indeed. My point is just that, even if one was 100% committed to never causing an animal to suffer unnecessarily, it wouldn’t preclude all forms of meat-eating.

  50. Derek Vandivere says

    You’re missing “and if that were their only justification for not eating meat” before the comma. That’s why I’m saying your comment is true but essentially meaningless.

  51. Porivil Sorrens says

    @69
    The “and if that were their only justification for not eating meat” is implied. A commitment to avoiding animal suffering by itself is not sufficient to preclude all forms.

    Sure, you might have personal reasons to avoid eating roadkill or artificial meat, but that wouldn’t be because of the commitment to avoid animal suffering.

    Also, a statement being “true” and “essentially meaningless” is contradictory. True statements describe reality, even tautologies. They might not be useful, but that’s different from being meaningless.

  52. Porivil Sorrens says

    For the record, I’m not actually making a case for or against meat eating, I’m just being a pedant. I don’t really care whether a person eats meat or not.

  53. says

    @consciousnes razor, I am not engaging you on this topic again. I already wrote my answers to your nonsense to you personaly in the past and I am not going to repeat myself for you. Just to let you know.

    @Derek Vandivere

    You mentioned hearing no convincing arguments – what do you think of the ecological argument that a plant-based diet uses about an order of magnitude less resources than a meat-based?

    That I find underwhelming too, because it is not true. I do not dispute that curtent meat production is highly ineffectual, cruel and overdimensated, especially in USA and, to slightly lesser degree, in EU. And if somebody chooses to become a vegan as a form of personal boycot/protest against such practices, I have no qualms about that whatsoever and as long as they are not damaging their health, I will not attempt to dissuade them. I have no problem with strict legislations being put in place (and enforced) that limit animal suffering to the lowest possible degree.

    However it is not true that vegan diet is less demanding on environment in principle. The least demanding diet is indeed much more plant-oriented than current typical (western) diet, but not all the way to vegan spectrum. The reasons for this are multiple, here are three that first pop to mind:

    1) Herbivores are capable of digesting cellulose and converting it into human-edible materials. Cellulose in form of grass can be grown on pastures (which, btw, have much richer biodiversity than fields) on land that is unsuitable for growing crops fit for direct human consumption. I live in such area.
    2) There are whole ecosystems that depend on grazing. Even if we completely abandon grazing by domesticated animals, wast wild populations of herbivores will become a necessity. Where are herbivores, there must be predation. In such a case moderate hunting for food does not put any additional stress on the environment and to the wild animals it is arguably less cruel and painful to be shot than to be ripped to pieces by wolves or lions. In a situation where the choice is between shooting X animals per year and eat them and letting X animals being eaten by wolves, I consider the former one more moral while both are environmentaly relatively neutral. However completely eliminate predation and replace it by hunting is not desirable too, for ecological reasons. I do not claim to know where exactly the balance lies, but I do not think it is on either extreme of the spectrum.
    3) Some animals (pigs, newly some insects) were originally grown to consume waste that was not fit for human consumption, like offals, spoiled foods etc. We should limit our waste as much as possible, but we will never be able to eliminate it altogether. And feeding such waste to animals to convert it into edible protein can be arguably more effective than composting it and reintroducing it in the soil directly. BTW, wasting food, not consuming too much meat, is our current biggest problem in western world. From the top of my head 30-50% of grown vegetables and fruits are thrown away before reaching customers, partly because the customers are overtly picky and refuse to buy food with superficial, nutrition and taste neutral defects.

    In my experience, it’s not any more difficult to maintain a well balanced vegetarian diet than it is a meat-based diet. That may be because I like cooking and make most of our meals from ingredients and not packages.

    You have answered your own counterargument. Yes, for someone who is knowledgeable, intersete in such issues and lives in an area where the right ingredients are readily available, it is quite easy to balance vegetarian diet. For someone who is not, it might be difficult go get enough B12, Fe, Ca and essential amino acids to name a few which can be found when perusing pubmed for a while. Whilst with even moderate meat consumption it is very extremely unlikely to be lacking any of those, I would argue you would have to be actively trying.

    As far as health goes, it varies wildly and there is no one-size-fits all. I was advised against vegan diet by my physician, as even with fat and protein rich diet I have problems keeping my weight at the upper end of the “underweight” spectrum. Eating (especially uncooked) only vegetables and fruits and nuts is for me a sure way to get hypoglycaemia and a load of problems. The caloric content of such foods is not high enough to susttain me, even now I have to eat every two hours during the day to keep going.

  54. paxoll says

    Pretty much every vegan argument I’ve seen fails. The typical argument goes like this,
    V: Animals suffer,
    Me: Animals raised humanely suffer less then wild animals, animals killed humanely suffer less, growing vegetables increases animal deaths of pest species.
    V: Its better then what we are doing now, and animal farming requires more agriculture
    Me: No, it doesn’t because animals eat parts of the plant we cannot, we feed animals our waste agriculture and what we do grow for them has lower environmental impact then the food we grow for ourselves. https://www.elementascience.org/articles/10.12952/journal.elementa.000116/
    V: well its better then what we are doing now,
    Me: no its not, because that is now how industry works. Eating less meat will drive the prices down, this will cause the industry to cut expenses usually by making LESS ethical treatment of animals. Veganism has increased from 1% of the population to almost 6% https://www.riseofthevegan.com/blog/veganism-has-increased-500-since-2014-in-the-us and it has not lowered the amount of animals raised at all http://beef2live.com/story-meat-production-year-0-133329 and that is not because we are exporting it around the world https://www.fas.usda.gov/data/review-us-tariff-rate-quotas-beef-imports although we totally would if the lowered prices made that economical.

    So my conclusions from my experience with vegans is this, 1) there is no ethical constraint to eating meat, 2) there is a lot of things we can be doing “better” but vegetarianism is not the best option, 3) me eating vegetarian will do nothing to change the system for the better.

  55. Azkyroth, B*Cos[F(u)]==Y says

    How can you possibly accuse someone of being ableist when your original post accused people who criticize vegetarians of being brain damaged?

    Because I reasonably inferred that Giliell was attempting to gaslight me about my own lived experience of having been shown contempt in a specific fashion again, as she memorably did a few years ago, and was giving her an out.

    Ooh, are we making fun of brain damaged people again?

    1. For the record, I was not intending to use “brain damaged” as a generic term of abuse, or mock brain-damaged people generally, as noted above.

    2. I’m not going to respond with something like”Oh, he I didn’t mean ALL people who don’t have enough privilege to be able to throw endless trial-and-error meals away and thus use recipes with brain damage, just those who follow them “slavishly” compulsively bully non-flesh-eaters! Why would you interpret hismy comment at face value rather than bending over backward to be charitable?! Don’t be so SENSITIVE!” Because that bullshit rationalization is utterly execrable, as it was several years ago when the struck out portions were the relevant one, therefore:

    3. I apologize for my choice of words being inadvertently hurtful and will think about how to make my point better in the future. :/

  56. Azkyroth, B*Cos[F(u)]==Y says

    (Errata: after deleting a digression, it is no longer “noted above.” Sorry.)

  57. says

    Because I reasonably inferred that Giliell was attempting to gaslight me about my own lived experience of having been shown contempt in a specific fashion again, as she memorably did a few years ago, and was giving her an out.

    Azkyroth, nothing in your inference was reasonable.
    And nothing you ever said could make me have as much contempt for you as this bullshit.
    Nowhere on earth is accusing somebody of being ableist offering them an out.
    You are not the wronged party here, so don’t fucking try to blame me for your fuck up, because that is gaslighting and abusive as fuck.

  58. melonpie says

    Charly@72:
    What you’re making isn’t really an ethical argument for meat-eating. It’s mostly an argument for one efficient way to utilize pasture land and perhaps sustainability, but even that isn’t clear.

    There are whole ecosystems that depend on grazing. Even if we completely abandon grazing by domesticated animals, wast wild populations of herbivores will become a necessity. Where are herbivores, there must be predation. In such a case moderate hunting for food does not put any additional stress on the environment and to the wild animals it is arguably less cruel and painful to be shot than to be ripped to pieces by wolves or lions. In a situation where the choice is between shooting X animals per year and eat them and letting X animals being eaten by wolves, I consider the former one more moral while both are environmentaly relatively neutral.

    This is not a sound argument. Do you think the wolves and lions are going to not predate because you have shot their quota of wild herbivores? Whatever herbivores you hunt will be in addition to the ones killed by top predators, not instead of, so no, it is not more “moral” to shoot the poor herbivores to save them from lions and wolves.

    And feeding such waste to animals to convert it into edible protein can be arguably more effective than composting it and reintroducing it in the soil directly.

    I don’t know how you’d argue that on ethical grounds. Most of your argument seems to focus on sustainability and ignores ethics. Lots of things can be “sustainable” while not being the most ethical. You need both.

  59. melonpie says

    Derek Vandivere@58:

    I think most vegans and vegetarians feel the same way – we have no interest in eating meat (and I feel the same way about lab-grown meat).

    Of course that’s your choice. I should have said rational vegans wouldn’t have a problem with other people eating roadkill, even if they didn’t prefer to themselves.

  60. says

    @melonpie

    What you’re making isn’t really an ethical argument for meat-eating. It’s mostly an argument for one efficient way to utilize pasture land and perhaps sustainability,

    Which is exactly what it was supposed to be, given what I was responding to. The inclarity is perhaps because I forgot a half of a sentence in this:
    I have no problem with strict legislations being put in place (and enforced) that limit animal suffering to the lowest possible degree as well as to protect the environment.

    Do you think the wolves and lions are going to not predate because you have shot their quota of wild herbivores? Whatever herbivores you hunt will be in addition to the ones killed by top predators, not instead of, so no, it is not more “moral” to shoot the poor herbivores to save them from lions and wolves.

    Not so, keeping the population of prey at a certain level will indirectly keep population of predators at a certain level too. There is a ratio between the amount of available prey and amount of predators that any given ecosystem can sustain. Further it is possible to also hunt the predators and thus keep them att a level at which their populations are self-sustaining but not too big to compete with humans. It is again more ethical than to leave the surplus predators the environment cannot support to starve to death.

    However I was not trying to go into depth about moral arguments, because I was responding to argument that claimed that vegan diet is more environment-friendly than a mixed one. Which I consider to not be true for above mentioned reasons.

  61. consciousness razor says

    Charly:

    I already wrote my answers to your nonsense to you personaly in the past and I am not going to repeat myself for you. Just to let you know.

    Okay. I guess your nonsense wasn’t very memorable for me, just so you know, but my previous comment wasn’t addressed to you anyway.

    1) Herbivores are capable of digesting cellulose and converting it into human-edible materials. Cellulose in form of grass can be grown on pastures (which, btw, have much richer biodiversity than fields) on land that is unsuitable for growing crops fit for direct human consumption. I live in such area.

    So? When did anybody agree on the premise that people should attempt to control every square inch of the planet and put it to use as our food production? You don’t apparently mean “good for the environment” here, but something more like “maximizing the amount of stuff we take from the environment (at least until something goes wrong and the whole thing falls apart).” Those are two different things to me. If some land is not suitable for growing crops fit for us, then we might consider doing something else there, if necessary and if it won’t do too much harm of one form or another, but that’s simply not a reason why we ought to raise livestock on it. If it’s not the case that we should try to extract as much possible from the world and exploit everything we can in it, then I don’t see how you’re going to get from A to B.

  62. paxoll says

    @consciousness razor, I think the idea is that if vegans propose an ethical/moral argument a foundational proposition is that this only applies to humans. A pack of lions savaging a baby buffalo causing physical suffering of the prey and the mental suffering on the mother is not a moral issue. Morality is limited to human activities thus the smallest ecologic impact of farming is an unavoidable conclusion of the argument. This is where Dilahuntys’ distinction between moral obligations and morally virtuous action is very applicable. The most morally virtuous act for a human would be to off themselves so they don’t cause any harm, which is a patently ridiculous thing to expect anyone to do.

  63. says

    Meat has been the warrior’s diet, since PZ Myers is a wimpy gamma soyboy, he can’t stomach the idea that meat can be an ideal source of fat and protein for men.

  64. says

    And heart disease, early death etc.. Meat heads can be short lived, educators need to hang around to keep us from repeating dumb mistakes every generation.

  65. melonpie says

    Charly@80:

    Not so, keeping the population of prey at a certain level will indirectly keep population of predators at a certain level too. There is a ratio between the amount of available prey and amount of predators that any given ecosystem can sustain. Further it is possible to also hunt the predators and thus keep them att a level at which their populations are self-sustaining but not too big to compete with humans. It is again more ethical than to leave the surplus predators the environment cannot support to starve to death.

    Well if you’re going to intervene in the natural world at this scale and precision, i.e calculate the optimal prey and predator populations for sustainability and manage them pro-actively, I’m sure death isn’t the only solution. You could for instance, neuter a certain proportion of both prey and predators such that the populations are entirely self-sustaining and sustaining of the ecological balance of the grasslands, without you having to save them from their misery by shooting them.

  66. Derek Vandivere says

    #71 / Porivil : Fair enough – you clearly get what I meant, and useless would have been a better word.

  67. Derek Vandivere says

    #72 / Charly: The ‘pasturing’ argument is a pretty standard anti-veg one; the standard response is that only about 5% of beef in the US is purely grass fed. The vast majority is fed corn and soy.

    But you can easily google either way and find the standard way the argument progresses (water, fuel, carbon footprint, Hitler), so no point repeating it. (:

  68. says

    @melonpie
    Who was talking about “precision calccullating”? You could have a predator free zones – aka pastures – and no intervention zones – aka preservation parks. You see, we already have such system de facto in use, only we are not using is as effectively as we should be.
    The argument was not mainly about whether we should be keepers of nature, but whether it is possible make mixed diet sustainable. My point is that it is possible without being immoral. You are trying to make the debate purely about moralistic issues, thus moving the goalpost.
    @Derek Vandivere
    You are not telling be anything new. Please be so kind and what I wrote and argue against that:

    I do not dispute that curtent meat production is highly ineffectual, cruel and overdimensated, especially in USA and, to slightly lesser degree, in EU.

    But you do agree then that it is possible to cut beef consumption in US to at least 5% of current amount and be sustainable? If yes, then we agree.

    I note you both dodged the elephant in the room, which is food waste. There lies the biggest part of our carbon footprint, not what we eat, but how much we throw away.

  69. melonpie says

    Charly@91:
    The argument I was having with you started when you said this @35:

    As far as ethical/moral arguments for veganism go, I have been so underwhelmed by them that I consider them to be pure taradiddle relying very often on antropomorphism or questionable premises.

    I have been responding to the above. And like I said just because something is sustainable, doesn’t make it the most moral choice, while a moral choice would have to be sustainable, otherwise it wouldn’t be moral.

    The argument was not mainly about whether we should be keepers of nature, but whether it is possible make mixed diet sustainable. My point is that it is possible without being immoral.

    And thus far I have suggested alternatives to your propositions that are more ethical, thus I’m not sure what you mean by saying “without being immoral”.
    If a choice is available to you that is more ethical, and given you can make it all else being equal, then I’m not sure not choosing it counts as “without being immoral”.

    You are trying to make the debate purely about moralistic issues, thus moving the goalpost.

    I have not moved the goalposts at all since all I have been arguing with is your dismissal of vegan ethics.

    I note you both dodged the elephant in the room, which is food waste. There lies the biggest part of our carbon footprint, not what we eat, but how much we throw away.

    Maybe it is true that food waste is a big part of our climate change problem. But this is besides the point and has little bearing on the question of vegan ethics. I don’t buy your argument that the only way to reduce food wastage is to feed it to pigs and then kill them for their meat. I don’t see why you can’t pursue a sustainable reduction in food wastage that does not include more slaughter and killing. Anyway, from your arguments, I’m getting the impression that all you care about, or at least all you care about passionately, is sustainability. If you don’t want to argue about the ethics of animal welfare, say so and don’t dismiss it as “relying very often on antropomorphism or questionable premises.”

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