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Vegetarians and Vegans

Discussion in 'The Vapor Lounge' started by TiSteamo, Feb 7, 2019.

  1. TiSteamo

    TiSteamo VAPEnsiero... sull'ali dorate...

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    How many of you are vegetarian or vegan?
    Your thoughts about it?

    I am a vegetarian (almost vegan) for about six years and I must say that I am very happy to have made this choice.
    I only regret not having done it before.

    My reasons are above all ethical, after I have seen some videos about intensive breeding.

    I do not want to be an accomplice of all this suffering.

    Then there are also health reasons, I think we are not made to eat meat: for example we do not have a short gut of carnivores.


    Lastly, reasons of environmental impact, intensive farms pollute, waste resources, fatten the pharmaceutical companies that stuff the animals with hormones and antibiotics to inflate them more and more. And to make us sick.

    I believe that the consumption of meat is an obstacle to the spiritual evolution of the human being.

    And you? What do you think?

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    Last edited: Feb 7, 2019
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  2. John Coaltrain

    John Coaltrain Well-Known Member

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    I've got just over 30 years as a lacto-ovo vegetarian. There is a Buddhist text called "Dhammapada" which captures my thoughts on the matter:

    All beings tremble at violence; all beings fear death. Putting oneself in the place of another, one should not kill nor cause another to kill (verse 129).
     
  3. GetLeft

    GetLeft Well-Known Member

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  4. VaporWare

    VaporWare Well-Known Member

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    I’ve been a vegetarian for almost 25 years for the same reasons, leaning toward vegan for a long time now. I don’t necessarily have a problem with eggs for example, but even if it doesn’t *require* abuse and horror, just about everyone producing any animal products on a commercial scale in the US does many unconscionable things to keep costs down and profits up.

    Even then, since they often work under contract with huge companies who want all the profits and have most of the leverage, the “farmers” barely scrape by. We need to give them all incentives to do better, but that requires a lot more people caring about these issues.

    For now, if you’re going to buy any animal products, supporting the few companies who do a little better despite the higher prices at least does some good.
     
  5. Summer

    Summer Well-Known Member

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    So, as an unashamed carnivour, this is how I handle my meat consumption. Mostly for health, while being cognizant of slaughterhouses, & $ factors in, too. I buy certified free-range, organic eggs. I eat meat once a week to get those nutrients meat readily provides. Mostly it's chopped meat that's 100% organic (haven't seen free-range though in the big box stores & our organic supermarket chain is too pricey for me.) & then a poultry night which isn't organic ($) & 2 nights of currently sustainable (:cry:), wild-caught fish that's low on the lead index; once is usually sardines because they have plentiful omega 3s.

    Don't know why I'm telling you all this :hmm: :lol:, probably because I'm feeling no pain right now. Already had my wake 'n bake. [​IMG] So, my apologies to all for rambling & my apologies to the OP for probably being off-thread. :)
     
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  6. StormyPinkness

    StormyPinkness Rhymenocerous ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ

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    I've been vegetarian for about half my life (thanks to my amazing wife), 100% no meat. I'm mostly vegan but I struggle with it, cheeses and deserts always get me. I have a powerful sweet tooth.

    I do it for the animals, I don't like unnecessary violence and killing.
     
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  7. Accept

    Accept Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    923
    Vegetarian: 40 years
    Vegan: 33 years

    Also work in advocacy - great to see so many vegans and vegetarians!

    At this point, eat nothing but raw vegetables and tofu, supplemented with MCT oil (in addition to its use in vaping, an ideal energy source). This diet is mainly for gout, but probably couldn't do it without long veg experience. It also may have helped delay onset for 16 years compared to Dad (who enjoyed eating every part of anything on four legs).

    Along those lines - be careful with yeast. It's as bad for gout as animal organs. Like many vegans, supplemented with yeast for many years. It's also used in most fake meat and cheese. Might not have had to endure gout at all otherwise.

    GO VEG!:rockon:
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2019
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  8. TiSteamo

    TiSteamo VAPEnsiero... sull'ali dorate...

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    I have found that it is a problem of habits rooted in the mind and culture of people, when you accept things out of laziness, "it is right because others do it", "it is tradition", etc.
    For example, we are horrified when we hear of Chinese who eat dogs or cats. Yet for them it is normal. It is tradition.
    Tradition can be equated with an addiction. You do not even ask yourself why you do it anymore.
    But when you start asking yourself questions, that's when freedom begins.
     
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  9. stickstones

    stickstones Vapor concierge

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    I've been vegan-ish for the last 5 years and have no desire to go back. Every now and then I'll try something I've given up, and it always disappoints (except for Chick-fil-a...those fucking things must be made of crack!). Since I quit most processed sugar, it all tastes too sweet!
     
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  10. TiSteamo

    TiSteamo VAPEnsiero... sull'ali dorate...

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  11. seaofgreens

    seaofgreens My Mind Is Free

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    While I don't find anything wrong with people choosing to eat how they please, some Vegans tend to get annoying imo if they are acting judgmental of my own carnivorous choices.

    For instance, many vegans complain about animal abuse yet have no issue with eating fruits and vegetables that were grown thousands of miles away, and with little concern for if the produce was grown in an ecologically sustainable manner or didn't abuse human labor to keep costs low. Seems like misplaced reasoning for why one would choose veganism. (Again, just my opinion.)

    Some folks perhaps practice both veganism and try to only eat local, responsibly cultivated produce as well. More power to those folks if so.

    I personally think it's much more valuable that no matter which diet you choose, if you know where your animals/vegetables etc. come from (try for local producers only,) you are doing ok in my books.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2019
  12. TiSteamo

    TiSteamo VAPEnsiero... sull'ali dorate...

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    It is clear that those who do not want the suffering of beings do not want that of humans either.
    Therefore we try to intelligently buy products grown according to the fair trade and eco-sustainable model.
    I think that saying "I can not do anything, I'm not Worth anything, I'm just a drop in the sea" is exactly the reason why things go wrong: the sea is in fact composed of drops.
    In addition, today, the real choice is no longer the electoral vote but how you use your money, who and what you are financing.
     
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  13. seaofgreens

    seaofgreens My Mind Is Free

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    806
    Where per-say is the suffering of the animal assuming they were well cared for? Genuinely curious.

    I would have perhaps thought the same way, before raising/slaughtering animals of my own. Well cared for animals live a life filled with grass and sunshine, they have no fear of predation or dying to the elements. When their time comes, it is as quick a death as possible. The animals were happy and without fear right until their last breath. What makes their suffering any more valuable than a plants? When you slaughter a herd on your own, you do it right in front of the other animals. It isn't their herd-mates deaths that scares the animals, but being separated from each other. They arguably have no true concept of their existence. Just that the moments they experience are/were pleasant. Not a whole lot different than a plant. You are transposing your own notions of existence and a fear of mortality upon the animal, and saying they are suffering or are abused because of that.

    Also, the above being said, I agree that there are many facilities that treat animals horribly, and would be nice if they didn't exist. I just don't feel that ALL animals are treated as such.

    P.S. - I'm glad you belong to the latter group that has consideration for the environment and other tertiary concerns. That being said, I've known more than a couple vegans that gorge themselves on tropical fruit and avocados, (I live in the mountains,) while harping on me about my decisions in life... Just saying.
     
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  14. TiSteamo

    TiSteamo VAPEnsiero... sull'ali dorate...

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    It's simple. Would you like to be bred, to be killed, torn apart, sold and eaten?
    You can graze on the green grass as much as you want and be treated well (of course, because what I said earlier means "treat well") but you are not a free animal. Someone else is deciding for you.
    One moment, it is exactly the (metaphorical) condition of the human being too! :D
    The difference between a human and an animal is that the human has free will, he can choose (theoretically) and self-determine himself. The animal no. The animal is obliged to follow instinct.
    According to Eastern philosophies there is no difference between human beings and animals. Both feel joy, pain, have feelings, fear, etc. Better still, animals are not animals. They are humans in animal form (let's talk about karma) who are serving some guilt.
    But here I do not want to dwell. It was to say that there are not too many differences between us and them.
    You would never treat your child as you treat one of your cows for slaughter. Yet there is not so much difference. Because wisdom sees us all as one. "Do not do to others what you do not want done to you".
    So I believe that if we are really the most evolved and advanced species on the planet, we should begin to prove it by taking care of the weaker beings. They are like children.
    This should not sound like a judgment, an imposition: many say that vegans are unpleasant because they talk about "corpses" and not "meat".
    It's just a different way of seeing things, but it can not be said that it's not a truth. For many people there is therefore a problem in dealing with reality. Certainly the chickens are not born on the shelves of supermarkets, already packed.
     
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  15. StormyPinkness

    StormyPinkness Rhymenocerous ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ

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    When they get murdered.

    I don't really understand how this is misplaced reasoning. So someone shouldn't care about animals if they don't also care about how the vegetables are being grown? You either care about both or neither?

    Animals aren't plants, couldn't disagree with that more.

    Or are you transposing your own notions that they are your unfeeling, uncaring property you can do whatever you want with?

    Meat eaters can be just as annoying as vegans. Talking about kinds of beef and where it comes from and hormones and organic and marbling and blah blah blah. Like when you get stuck talking to a bbq/grill person. Every group big enough has people that suck.
     
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  16. TiSteamo

    TiSteamo VAPEnsiero... sull'ali dorate...

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    I forgot to say one thing. Plants are certainly living beings, we must nourish ourselves with living things. But they do not have a central nervous system, they are not "sentient beings".

    A fruit that falls from the tree releases its seeds that will grow other plants. An animal that dies, dies and that's it. Does not it seem that someone has wanted to give us a clue about what to eat? :D
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2019
  17. Accept

    Accept Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    923
    But don't forget, it's not just the animals you eat, it's the feed they were fattened on. Vegans who shop at supermarkets are still eating lower on the food chain.

    Vegans aren't perfect, but some don't equate these other harms, though genuinely troubling, with killing other animals directly, or paying for the service. While few people avoid harming other humans indirectly, most avoid killing other humans in these ways.

    Recommend vegans keep in mind that they (probably) weren't always vegans. Are they so judgemental of their younger selves? It's also much easier to make big behavioral changes early in life. Read that few make such changes after their mid-twenties. So it's probably more difficult for an older carnivore to change.

    So many posts!

    Don't know how to quote in edits, but @seaofgreens points out the flaw in the utilitarian argument based on fairness and suffering. @TiSteamo counters with the rights argument. (Nice one-two @TiSteamo ;))

    Growing less certain about animals and agency. We're learning that one "human" trait after another - language, culture, altruism, hedonism, laughter - is shared by animals to a degree, why not agency? For that matter, to what extent do most of us exercise our wills more or differently than other animals? We are deliberately destroying a climate on which we depend, after all.

    Oh - and plants probably have more going on than we give them credit for. That's why it's better to eat fewer of them ourselves rather than feed them to animals who we then eat.
     
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  18. seaofgreens

    seaofgreens My Mind Is Free

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    I definitely agree that my sentiments are not popular and even likely not correct. But I am just attempting to discuss the idea in a sense. Please be open to that. If you feel I am criticizing/obtuse, let me know and I will refrain from further comment. Last thing I wish to do is offend.

    In any case, I feel that being self aware is not universal... and the notion of self awareness in itself creates meaning to our existence. So where do I draw the line? Technically a plant is alive. When I pull it from the ground, am I not ending it's existence? Is that not murder in every sense? What makes it not? What about insects? Surely you've accidentally stepped upon one? Even smashed one because it was inconvenient or scary? That is also murder, and you didn't even use the bug for sustenance.

    I personally believe that some animals have the same notion of life and death we do, the same notions of existence and non existence. To end their life would indeed be murder, and therefore cruel. Other animals do not possess this same notion. And in that sense, I do propose that these animals are perhaps not a whole lot different than plants aside from physiology. What makes you assert that ALL animals feel scared and are aware they are being raised for food/have any feeling whatsoever about it or really anything for that matter? I would argue that they are alive, and they can feel happy or sad about their conditions, but do not ponder upon the future or dwell on past incidents, they simply exist. So I ask again... where do I draw the line and say.... this is food, and this is murder?

    Few things I missed, probably missing more. When you are raising things responsibly, you shouldn't be giving your animals feed. The goal is to move the herd around for pasture management, and then you hay a portion of your pasture for winter. You don't keep more animals than your land can handle and when rotated properly become an essential part of keeping a pasture healthy. This is not to say that this is typical. But when a proper pasture rotation is done, the net impact is tons of carbon captured in the grass, it isn't trampled to oblivion, and your herd is happy and gets to roam around somewhere new all the time.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2019
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  19. Accept

    Accept Well-Known Member

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    923
    Loved these debates in grad school. If you really want to follow this down the rabbit hole (so to speak), the most successful arguments against animal rights are against rights or ethics, generally.

    So, some animals have rights, but not others. You don't know where to draw the line, so you draw it conservatively. Are you thinking just other apes have rights? What about whales? Octopi? Dogs? Horses? Vegans don't know where to draw the line either, but we're inclined to give most animals used for food, fur, experiments, and entertainment the benefit of the doubt. Popular answers to "who has rights" include anyone with a face, and anyone with a mother.

    It's a legitimate problem, though, even among advocates. Many times we settle for protecting vertebrates. Zebrafish embryos are tiny vertebrates and a popular "alternative test system". Do they count? If so, what about octopi, invertebrates capable of learning and reasoning? We protest testing pesticides on rats, mice, dogs, and monkeys without a thought for the insects they're intended to kill by the millions.

    "Do not ponder upon the future or dwell on past incidents, they simply exist"... sounds like a Buddha. Surely Buddhas have rights?
     
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  20. seaofgreens

    seaofgreens My Mind Is Free

    Messages:
    806
    Heh, I suppose you are right, Buddha's should have rights. But I would assert that the Buddha also would have no issue whether he did or didn't have them, and perhaps in not having rights we all might become enlightened in return.

    I agree though, the line between an animal I would utilize for food vs. consider self aware is rather arbitrary without truly knowing what's going on. This is why I definitely admit I could be wrong about this or anything, and need to be willing to adjust my line in the sand as information/evidence moves it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2019
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  21. Accept

    Accept Well-Known Member

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    Exactly. The most successful, and honest, arguments are the ones that reject ethics generally.

    At this age, it's become fascinating that we have absolutely no idea whether our well-intentioned acts will ultimately cause net benefit or harm.

    Of course in that case, we should do as little as possible, which also means going vegan. :spliff:
     
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  22. Ramahs

    Ramahs Fucking Combustion (mostly) Since February 2017

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    I've listened to people trying to convey it on many occasions, but I just haven't been convinced by the ethical argument.
    I'm admittedly a speciesist, and am fine with that. I value human life more than I value the lives of other species.
    For example...I love my pets, but if I saw either my dog or cat along side a human child (who I didn't know) both drowning in a lake, I'd be compelled to go after the human child first, even though the dog has a significantly higher emotional importance to me and I'll be crushed to lose them.

    I don't want to insult vegetarians/vegans, as I still see it as an admirable goal to do it because you don't want to kill things. Nothing wrong with that.
    But I haven't been convinced to feel that I have a moral/ethical duty to do the same.

    Hopefully, in the distant but not too distant future, we'll improve our lab-grown meat technology so that we can grow the same basic kinds of meat without a brain/mind attached to it at a reasonable or possibly lower price. Then this whole thing will be a non issue because we won't have to kill animals anymore for meat.
     
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  23. Mr. Gweilo 420

    Mr. Gweilo 420 Dude

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    I've been vegetarian for 25 years or so. I don't like the way it is being politicized these days. I consider it a very personal choice. My personal reasons mostly relate to how I feel about animals.
     
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  24. treeman

    treeman Well-Known Member

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    277
    I only eat meat if I'm eating out (very rare) or if someone else cooks it (most of my friends are vegetarian.
    I think the animal welfare argument is a fair point as factory farming is fucking horrible but I actually think energy movement is a much bigger argument to go pro vegetarian.
    Most of the animals we eat are warm blooded, energy can be neither created nor destroyed, as we cannot eat the warmth of a cows body if we feed a cow grain or soya, the energy it turns into heat is forever lost. During an animals lifetime approximately 90% of its energy goes into things we cannot eat, particularly heat and movement, similarly energy we put in goes into bones which we don't eat.

    After all that , say we have a million calories of soya and we feed it to cows we get back 100,000 calories of beef. Meaning we've lost 900,000 calories. Thats food for one person for over a year gone because we choose to eat animals instead of plants.

    Also most of the plants we grow cannot use atmospheric nitrogen, only legumes (beans, pulses etc) have symbiotic root microbes which allow them to use gaseous N2. Meaning wheat, rice, corn, vegetables, fruit etc all need to be supplemented with nitrates, yes these can be had from compost but the predominant source of nitrates globally is synthetic fertilisers. These are produced using the Haber-Bosch process which is energetically very expensive. If you use coal power to produce electricity (I believe globally coal is still the primary source of electricity (could be wrong though)) then you are squandering coal reserves to gain very little back if you choose to eat meat over plants.

    That being said, I'm aware that its not as simple as that, some land isn't well suited to grow crops but can be used to rear animals. I definitely think farming animals is fucked up and probably unethical, but I eat meat as well sometimes. Exploiting stuff to fuck is what humans do, I also think now is the best time to be alive (thinking along the lines of medicine, education, knowledge that can be attained, I also come from a rich country so worldwide its likely not the case). I think the ecological disaster going on around the world is shameful, but what are you gonna' do. I do think a human life has more value than any other animal. Eating plants reducese your impact on the planet in a world where 7.5 billion people need to eat. More and more I'm debating getting into hunting (deer are a major pest round here) and I just go get 1/2 a year and freeze the meat.
     
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  25. TiSteamo

    TiSteamo VAPEnsiero... sull'ali dorate...

    Messages:
    325
    "How do you understand that an animal knows that it is killed?"
    Have you ever heard the screams of pigs in the slaughterhouses?
    It's something that penetrates your spine!


    One of the most used arguments to counter veganism is this:
    "A tomato is a living being just like a lamb.
    So if I kill a lamb it's the same thing as picking up a tomato."
    Ok. Conscience is safe, prepare the barbecue!:D
    They forget that animals unlike plants are sentient beings, with a central nervous system, they are able to feel emotions: in short, they are like us!
    So, no, it's not the same thing.



    Here is a very pertinent comment I read long ago:

    "I really enjoy looking for historical parallels. The violence and the zeal with which the omnivores hurl themselves and offend the vegans is very reminiscent of the way in which the first feminists were treated. It is as if, not eating anything that derives from animals, it touches an identity issue that, moved, generates unprecedented violence and a reaction of total closure, as if their identity itself is hardly built on the oppression and exploitation of someone which, socially and politically, is weaker."
     
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