06
Jun
08

On air: Is vegetarianism the answer to the global food crisis?

Hi it’s Priya, Ros will be back later today.

This is what we are going to talk about today. We’ve had a great response to Bruce’s original post below. Get in touch and leave a phone number if you want to take part.

THE CASE FOR VEGETARIANISM

by Bruce Friedrich,  People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)

Last month, The UN called the diversion of crops to biofuels “a crime against humanity”. Indeed, 100m tonnes of corn and other crops that could feed people instead feed our cars.

But what if I told you that 7 times as much crops (750m tonnes) are taken from the mouths of the global poor to feed chickens, pigs, and other farmed animals? Surely this is a crime against humanity of even greater impact.

I adopted a vegetarian diet more than 20 years ago, after I read Diet for a Small Planet, by Frances Moore Lappe. It changed my life.

In the book, Lappe makes the argument that using land to grow crops for animals is inefficient, polluting, and that it steals food from the mouths of the global poor.

The fact is, it’s not only her that has noticed. It seems so obvious, and slowly people are picking up on the point. Going veggie is a simple yet effective way to make sure everyone on the earth can eat.

The point is echoed by the respected environmental think tank, The WorldWatch Institute, which published a report a few years back that declares:

“[M]eat consumption is an inefficient use of grain—the grain is used more efficiently when consumed by humans. Continued growth in meat output is dependent on feeding grain to animals, creating competition for grain between affluent meat-eaters and the world’s poor.”

More and more, that message is getting a hearing, so that this week the UN’s climate chief Yvo de Boer said

“The best solution would be for us all to become vegetarians.”

Indeed.

A UN report recently found that eating meat is the number one human cause of global warming. Of course, poor communities are always the first to suffer the potentially grave consequences of climate change.

The official handbook for the Live Earth concerts says

“refusing meat” is “the single most effective thing you can do to reduce your carbon footprint”

The UN report also noted the meat industry’s contribution to:

*problems of land degradation
*climate change
*air pollution
*water shortage
*water pollution
*loss of biodiversity”.

Clearly, there is problem, and something needs to be done.

Isn’t adopting a vegetarian diet the least that each of us can do?


330 Responses to “On air: Is vegetarianism the answer to the global food crisis?”


  1. 1 Justin in Iowa
    June 4, 2008 at 17:42

    you can take my fork and steak knife away from me when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers.

    More rationally, HOW you raise animals and WHERE you raise them are as important questions as whether you do or don’t. Millions of farmed acres in the USA should NOT be farmed… look at the depleting acquifers in the western-midwest. This is land that should not be intensively farmed for food stock. But, for thousands of years it has supported a wide variety of animals. The husbandry of well adapted species to this environment for food consumption would be a much more efficient and GREEN usage of that area (Open range Bison, for example).

    This is just one example. We are omnivores for a reason. Life is about finding balance in everything. You’ll never completely remove meat from the food chain, but you can guide the production and consumption of that meat in a positive direction.

  2. 2 Brett
    June 4, 2008 at 17:48

    Why must you post this on my busiest day of the week?!

    I will hurry through my work here at the office to start writing!

    I can however, leave you with two of my blogs regarding this subject:

    Questioning the call for reductions in meat consumption and production.

    America and other western countries need to reduce their meat consumption.

  3. 3 steve
    June 4, 2008 at 17:54

    I’d have less of a problem with people eating meat if people didn’t go insane when a shark attacks a person. how many tens of millions of sharks do we kill per shark that kills a person? Why don’t we apply the golden rule to other animals? If we hunt them, they should be able to hunt us. At least we have a better chance of surviving than they have surviving us.

  4. June 4, 2008 at 18:31

    Education is the key and it needs national compaigns and constant advertising to change the eating habits of the world. A difficult task when food is so convenient from the likes of McDonalds and the like. Not hitting out at them but worldwide, can you imaging how much beef alone is required to fund their business. The amounts are astranomical and this is just a convenience food that everyone takes advantage of when they’re on the run or pop into when they’re doing shopping.

    During the world war, food was rationed and people had to make do and whilst I think this will never happen again, we’re heading to something similar where some form of rationing will have to be put in place for the short term anyway.

    We will always have meat in our food chain but we need to limit the amount of consumption through people wanting to. There’s an ever increasing population of obesity because the basics of good eating and a balanced diet have been forgotten about. The way to stop this in years to come is to have food and dietary programs that are taught in schools from an early age and the governments should impose this form of education as part of a school’s cirriculum. Only then will things start to change.

  5. 5 Roberto
    June 4, 2008 at 19:07

    Bruce Friedrich of PETA
    —————————————————————————————-

    ——– Say no more.

    That pretty much sums it up. Might as well have created a topic with a Raelian spokesman making a case to sign up to be a host for the impending visit by our alien fathers.

    Already the price of vegetables, fruits and grains have shot through the roof. Vegetables in particular used to be found fairly cheaply, but now that they are officially “healthy,” the top down corporate structure that controls food production can charge more and create “designer brands.” Pork and chicken can be found very cheaply.

    I don’t mind eating vegetarian meals, so when you can find me a group of vegetarians who can break bread and a wishbone and chew the fat with me, maybe there can be a dialogue.

  6. 6 Scott Millar
    June 4, 2008 at 19:17

    I am a vegetarian—but I cannot stand the need of many other vegetarians, to advocate vegetarianism, as if it were a religion. It seems so lopsided and anti-modern.

  7. 7 viola anderson
    June 4, 2008 at 19:30

    How about the people in countries with a small land base going veggie and leave alone the ones with a large land base where grazing is the only practical way to make money in the food production business?

    Here in Northern B.C., the few farms are first generation farms which require that the farmer have a considerable source of outside income just to be able to clear the land of virgin forest. Cattle are the interim crop on land that will never to the best of my knowledge be competitive with vegetable crops grown further south.

  8. 8 steve
    June 4, 2008 at 19:33

    @ Scott

    Would you object to being slaughtered? So why not hold animals up to the same standard? Are they really here to do people’s bidding?

  9. 9 Brett
    June 4, 2008 at 19:34

    Bruce Friedrich of PETA
    —————————————————————————————-

    ——– Say no more.

    I actually had similar feelings when I read that. Unfortunately PETA and their followers have done so much to promote extremist-protests and actions that I do not wish to be lumped together in an argument with their organization.

    The organization stands for good, but the decentralized and thus rouge actions of the group and their members are often counterproductive in changing the minds of the general public, this has deterred me for quite sometime.

  10. 10 viola anderson
    June 4, 2008 at 19:39

    If I were to adopt a meat-free diet, it would be because I could no longer bear the thought of all those critters being slaughtered, not because the critters eat grain.

    There’s also the issue of wholesale destruction of wild animal populations due to habitat destruction caused by expanding farming areas and cities.

    The question is: What kind of world do we want? One inhabited only by humans and their (meat-eating) pets? Or even just humans?

  11. 11 Tino
    June 4, 2008 at 19:40

    “I am a vegetarian—but I cannot stand the need of many other vegetarians, to advocate vegetarianism, as if it were a religion. It seems so lopsided and anti-modern.”

    Thank you, so much for saying this. You do not see anyone who eats meat trying to push their way on anyone else.

    “Would you object to being slaughtered? So why not hold animals up to the same standard? Are they really here to do people’s bidding?”

    Yes, I would. Animals should not be held to the same standard because they are not people. I do not really believe in animal rights so to speak. I do, however, have respect for anything that dies to feed me and I will never leave any scrap of meat on my plate/throw it out. Plants, by the way, are just as alive as animals. I am sorry you cannot see them move – generally, though venus fly traps do as does whatever plant that folds its leaves upon touch. Do not try to take the moral high ground, everyone who eats kills something. You just happen to put more importance on animals over plants. I put more over humans than animals. I tentatively assume you kill bugs as well, though feel free to correct me if I am wrong. You kill millions of bacteria constantly, with no second thought (even ‘good’ ones). The difference between an omnivore, vegetarian, and a dead person lies only in where they draw their line…

  12. 12 steve
    June 4, 2008 at 19:44

    I’m curious why the objection to PETA? If people want their drugs tested, why not test drugs on humans? After all, that’s great they can cure cancer in a rat from lab testing, but I’m not a rat. Why not do testing on humans? Why not force people to have experiments on them? At least they stand a chance of escaping, unlike the animals in labs. Why not test on ourselves?

  13. 13 Scott Millar
    June 4, 2008 at 19:46

    @ Steve,

    No—Steve I suppose if I was a non-human animal I would not object to being slaughtered, at least not verbally. I do hold animals to the same standard—I don’t eat them. I’m not sure what to do about other animals that eat other animals though, perhaps we should kill them to stop the slaughter?!

  14. 14 Tino
    June 4, 2008 at 19:49

    Steve:

    I do not believe animal testing is wrong – for medical and not cosmetic – purposes. Perhaps if you are against it, you should volunteer for said testing? If not, but you still want to crusade against animal testing, feel free to refuse any and all scientific advances related to the testing. I mean are you seriously going to be dying of cancer and say: “I am sure glad research stopped because they could not test on animals…”? People come first.

  15. 15 steve
    June 4, 2008 at 19:49

    @ Scott

    They day I see obese tigers is the day you’ll have a point. We kill even when we don’t need to. So long as we have landwhales, animals are dying unecessarily even if you could justify killing animals for food. Some animals are carnivores. Humans are not. We technically are omnivores, and can survive without meat. Why don’t you watch some slaughter house videos and get back to me on what you saw.

  16. 16 steve
    June 4, 2008 at 19:55

    @ Tino. No, how about the people who use and want these products volunteer for testing? The 55 year old woman who wears makeup to make herself looks younger should volunteer in place of the rabbit given she wants the product. Again, I’m no t arat. What good is testing drugs on rats if I’m human? What cures cancer in a rat isn’t necessarily going to work in a human. Or are you saying we are rats? I know I’m not. So get people to volunteer. Why not stop forcing animals, and killing animals for our selfish needs? If you want these cures, volunteer yourself. You’re going to die one day, why torture animals to delay the inevitable anyways? I have no problem with human experiments. In fact, I think we should force humans to be experimented on, especially those who have the diseases that they want cures for.

    Would you if drafted into a war pay somoene to fight and get killed in your place? So why get animals to do the same? At least there are no hitlers in the animal world, I think they deserve more protection than people do. They aren’t evil like we are.

  17. 17 Tino
    June 4, 2008 at 20:01

    “What good is testing drugs on rats if I’m human? What cures cancer in a rat isn’t necessarily going to work in a human. Or are you saying we are rats?”

    The genetics are similar enough to draw great insights. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1200/is_14_165/ai_n6109999

    “Almost every known human-disease gene has a rat counterpart, Gibbs and his colleagues report. Other researchers, using a preliminary version of the rat genome, have already identified previously unrecognized human-disease genes. Last year, for instance, investigators found a rat gene that causes a kidney disorder in the animals and subsequently confirmed that mutations in the human version of the gene produce a similar disease in people.”

    “They aren’t evil like we are.”

    They certainly kill little animal children, which would be regarded as evil…

    “The 55 year old woman who wears makeup to make herself looks younger should volunteer in place of the rabbit given she wants the product.”

    I already said I am against testing for cosmetics.

    “If you want these cures, volunteer yourself. You’re going to die one day, why torture animals to delay the inevitable anyways?”

    I just want to be clear on this – you use no modern medicine whatsoever and plan to never have lifesaving surgeries or take drugs. Otherwise your position is laughable, “Ill use the benefits but be against the process!”.

    “In fact, I think we should force humans to be experimented on”

    This is why everyone hates PETA. “Protection for animals, at the expense of humans!” (Ignoring that humans are also animals).

    I notice you avoided the fact that plants are also alive, how do you reconcile that when you eat them.

  18. 18 Scott Millar
    June 4, 2008 at 20:09

    @ Steve,

    Thanks for following a fairly reasonable argument with a completely unreasonable argument. I don’t understand what takes your reasoning randomly off-kilter—sometimes you seem so in-the-know, only to ruin it with slapdash arguments. Or are you just trying to get one’s goat?

    Gee thanks, I’ve seen the videos. I am a vegetarian after-all!

    Even so, the videos have nothing to do with anything I have said or quite frankly—you have said.

  19. 19 steve
    June 4, 2008 at 20:12

    @ Scott

    I believe in the goldenrule. Others isn’t limited to humans. If you want animals to be tested on then you better agree to be tested on. I’ve got a great idea. Instead of allowing abortion, we could have mothers give birth and conduct medical experiments. Maybe it will live, maybe it won’t, but the mortality rate from abortion is 100%. Why not just test on these instead of animals? I’m kind of pulling your leg here, but I don’t see any reason why people would object to this if you support abortion and animal testing.

  20. 20 Tino
    June 4, 2008 at 20:14

    “but I don’t see any reason why people would object to this if you support abortion and animal testing.”

    We differentiate between animals and humans, as you do between animals and plants. Like I said – it is all about where you draw the line.

  21. 21 steve
    June 4, 2008 at 20:21

    @ Tino, the line you draw is always arbitrary, you can no more justify the “line” between humans and “animals” as you can the “line” between different races. The line exists because someone says it exists. Doesn’t mean it’s right or that we should accept or tolerate it. That would be hilarious if there were a heaven/hell and the animals we kill are there, waiting to get revenge.

  22. 22 Scott Millar
    June 4, 2008 at 20:28

    @ Steve,

    I can’t remember a mention of animal testing or abortion by me. I’ll assume you didn’t know who you were writing to—or you are just not making sense.

  23. 23 Tino
    June 4, 2008 at 20:45

    @ Steve

    That is exactly my point. You have no right to take the moral high ground with animal testing or being vegetarian since the line is arbitrary. It should be left to personal choice. Inform everyone – by watching slaughter videos as you said – and let them choose.

  24. 24 Jens
    June 4, 2008 at 21:06

    this is a hypothetical discussion. i personaly have no problems eating meat since humans are omnivores and have always been so. in fact meat has been one of the major food sources for ever for humans. i personally have no problems with vegans and vegeterians, as long as they do not try to force their opinion down my throat. I have no problems going out and hunt for food or fish, since that is what we have done for millenia. Unlike many meat-eaters, I know where the meat comes from and it is not a celophane packed commodity. i think we as a society are becoming less and less fit to survive, beause we are becoming weak and disgusted by nature. everything has to be steril, whenever possible wrapped in ten layers of cling-film or even better prepacked in a TV dinner.

    oh well there is plenty of room on my plate for all of god’s creatures, right next to the broccoli and carrots.

  25. 25 steve
    June 4, 2008 at 21:21

    @ Tino
    When other lives are in jeopardy, I don’t care about “personal choice”. If you can ban smoking, and do whatever, then they should also be able to ban consumption of animals and testing on animals. Animals are being killed for our “benefit” on a daily basis. That’s wrong. If there’s a rabid animal, “humane society” people come by and kill every single animal that it even resembles, cuts off it’s head and sends the head to north carolina to be tested. We commit atrocities on a daily basis. That one can just say “oh, they’re just animals” is the same logic that made slavery okay, to commit genocide, etc..

  26. 26 Scott Millar
    June 4, 2008 at 22:02

    @Steve,

    Should the killer of an un-human animal be tried as a murderer? If not, then there is a huge distinction to be made and that is exactly the point. It is also the point of why the arguments of slavery have nothing to do with the logic of meat. Slaves were indeed equal humans—in that case there was no distinction to be made.

  27. 27 steve
    June 4, 2008 at 22:05

    @ Scott
    Slaves were NOT considered human beings, hence why the courts said they were not “people” according to the Constitution. Society did not consider them equal human beings, like today how we don’t consider cows or whatever to be deemed to have any rights. Because we say so.

  28. 28 Jens
    June 4, 2008 at 22:13

    steve,

    what is the next step, the bill of rights for plants. they did this in switzerland. i am swiss, but i think the swiss have too much time on their hands to come up with crap like that. let’s face it we are nothing but animals ourselves. why do we get into so much uproar about humans eating animals, when even domesticated cats go out and eat mice. yes we have managed to cultivate animals for food and we did so because meat is a substantial part of our diet. if nature intended us to be sole veggie eaters we would have multiple stomachs. we are ominvores and everthing else is just denying our background. i am all for vegetarians to be vegetarians, henec more meat for meat eaters. 😉

    of course a diet based on meat alone is not good either, since we are nor carnivores….

  29. 29 Scott Millar
    June 4, 2008 at 22:21

    @ Steve

    I got it—-b e f o r e you said it, except there was little to get—-unless you propose: That non-human animals are equal to humans? And, their killing should be punished in the same way we punish murderers?

    Please, answer the questions directly.

  30. 30 steve
    June 4, 2008 at 22:25

    @ Scott. Sure. I think non human animals are more worthy of rights than we are becuase they aren’t evil. We seem to think children are in special need of protection because they are “innocent” so why not with animals too? Because they taste good? maybe children taste good too. after all, we’re just animals, maybe we should be able to freely kill each other, oh that’s right, it’s better to have double standards. oh no a shark killed somoene because it confused a person for a seal, let’s kill 10,000,000 sharks. And we’re a “higher” form of life?

  31. 31 steve
    June 4, 2008 at 22:34

    Every defense of eating meat is the same “I don’t care, I want to do what I do, don’t care about anything else except what I want”. It’s the same drive that SUV drivers have. People are disgustingly selfish, so much so they’ll take lives for their selfishness. Absolutely disgusting.

  32. 32 Jens
    June 4, 2008 at 22:49

    what is selfish about eating meat? or why should eating fruit and veggies be less selfish:? i mean half of this stuff is air carried around half of the world as well? that is at least as selfish, i want starwberries 24/7/365. steve we have been hunters since conception of humanity. i try to get organic and locally produced meat whenever i can, which is probaly 95% of the time. plus i do eat the offal (stomach, liver, heart, kidneys, sweetbreads, etc), as well. i buy seasonal fruits and vegetables, which is actually much harder than buying local meat. i have no problems killing my own animal to eat it, because one has to be absolutly clear about it where the meat comes from and that taking a life is part of the process of getting meat. there is no doubt that this process requires respect for the animal and i therefore refuse to buy industrially produced meat and meat products. although i am an athisist, i believe that there is some spirtual aspects to the interaction of humans with animals. meat produced in meat factories with high dose antibiotics etc etc, is unethical to me. plus i do have a problem with people who say, ohh yes i eat meat but only if it comes wrapped in celophane.

  33. 33 Tino
    June 4, 2008 at 23:02

    “When other lives are in jeopardy”

    They are animals, not people. You do not see me jumping on you for killing plants. If you equate human life to animal life why not animal life to plant life and plant life to unicellular life. Why is your rating scale better than mine?

    “And we’re a “higher” form of life?”

    Yes, as evidenced by: superior forms of communication, advanced technology, development of these rights you like to apply to animals – who did nothing to earn them.

    “I think non human animals are more worthy of rights than we are becuase they aren’t evil.”

    Then why do you not sacrifice yourself and feed a lion – or a shark?

    Scott brings up the excellent point: Why do you not get angry with the other animals for eating meat and killing each other? Why are you on a crusade against Humans? You also still have not addressed how your position of killing plants is any better.

  34. 34 viola anderson
    June 4, 2008 at 23:05

    @Steve: Just a little correction here. I’m a woman over 55 who doesn’t use cosmetics. If I did, it would be to look better, not younger. There is a difference, darlin’.

  35. 35 Tino
    June 4, 2008 at 23:32

    @ Jens

    Full agreement. Also an atheist here and while I feel nothing spiritual so to speak, I do have respect for the fact that I am taking a life. I also think it is important to know how the animal gets on your plate. For example, I read an article where this guy decided to give up lobster after he had to kill it himself, but still ate beef and such which to me is ridiculous.

  36. 36 steve
    June 4, 2008 at 23:39

    @ jens

    we’ve also killed people since the inception of humanity. I’m sure the first sex was rape according to today’s standards, so should that be okay?

  37. 37 steve
    June 4, 2008 at 23:41

    @ Tino

    Plants don’t have a nervous symptom. They aren’t conscious. You know this. “They are animals, not people” That’s EXACTLY what they said about slaves as well. If you can just decided whatever you like, you can justify anything. I could eat your children if I wanted to and make up some reason, and just say “it’s fine because I say it’s fine”.

  38. 38 Scott Millar
    June 4, 2008 at 23:53

    @ Steve,

    So if non-human animals are “more worthy” then the rights of humans. Then you must advocate for more extreme punishment for a killer of non-human animals then for a killer of humans? Can we get it in writing?

    Yes—humans often kill animals recklessly? But stating this means you are putting a meter on degrees of killing. Are you not willing to put a meter on degrees of animal and/or human life?

  39. 39 Tino
    June 5, 2008 at 00:12

    Steve:

    http://ds9.botanik.uni-bonn.de/zellbio/AG-Baluska-Volkmann/plantneuro/neuroview.php
    http://www.plantneurobiology.org/

    “With a fuller understanding of signaling and communication within and among plants, it becomes clear that these sensitive biological organisms actively and competitively forage for limited resources, both above and below ground. In addition, plants accurately compute their circumstances, use sophisticated cost benefit analysis, and they take tightly controlled actions to mitigate and control diverse environmental stressors. Plants also emerge as capable of discriminating positive and negative experiences, and ‘learning’ from their past experiences. Plants use this cognitively acquired information to update their behavior in order to survive present and future challenges of their environment. Moreover, plants are also capable of refined recognition of self and non-self, and are territorial in behavior.”

    No animal has anything near-human in terms of a nervous system. Primates are an exception but are generally not eaten, and even they are behind in comparison. I would not personally eat one for a variety of reasons. Since plants clearly have a rudimentary nervous system my point still stand. At the very least, you should grant us the right to eat mollusks and other low-level animals in peace, no? Or should I start a PETP group?

  40. 40 Tino
    June 5, 2008 at 00:16

    PS Steve, you have still dodged the question of what you plan to do about the other animals that kill animals – shall we exterminate the carnivores and other omnivores?

  41. 41 steve
    June 5, 2008 at 00:26

    @ Tino

    Animals that kill other animals kill for survival purposes in most cases. you think it’s okay for people to set up traps to kill squirrels and rabbits because they eat tomatoes in gardens? What kind of value does that say we put on the life of conscious beings?

  42. 42 steve
    June 5, 2008 at 00:28

    @ Tino

    I’m just saying I believe in the golden rule. Given we kill so many bears, people shouldn’t go insane whena bear kills a person when that happens once in a blue moon.

  43. 43 Tino
    June 5, 2008 at 00:38

    Steve:

    On animals killing humans I agree with you. Getting bent out of shape over it is ridiculous, especially since it usually ends up being something like they were extremely hungry, had babies nearby, etc. Even if it was for no reason we possess enough tools that we should be able to survive if necessary.

    On trapping animals in the garden – if they actually ate them I have no problem with it. Though even if they do not, most animals will protect their territory so I see no reason why we should be any different – I may not like it but I also do not see a specific reason they should stop. I mean once again, where do you draw the consciousness line? I personally think based on what I know so far that anything but: primates, dolphins (the mammal, not fish), and maybe African Grey parrots. and dogs (though this may be personal bias, I love em) are fair game for food. I do not necessarily like sport hunting and such but again, how is it much different from killing a plant which has a rudimentary nervous system. Clams and other shellfish at least seem roughly on the same playing field, no?

  44. 44 Scott Millar
    June 5, 2008 at 00:48

    @ Steve,

    If you view animal life as superior to human life, it follows that suicide is the most sensible option for all humans. Suicide would allow the superior animals to live in a peaceful sanctuary.

  45. 45 Brett
    June 5, 2008 at 01:08

    Heres an interesting question. Would those who eat meat, still do so if you had to pay a ‘carbon tax’ based on which food you ate and its ‘carbon footprint’?
    Taxes could also be included on out of season produce, and not just the manufacturing of the food taken into account, but the transportation as well.

  46. 46 Venessa
    June 5, 2008 at 01:14

    Brett, I think that’s a good idea. It might actually promote the awareness necessary to make a change. As much as I like beef I wouldn’t mind seeing the industry tank a bit. It’s destructive and an extremely poor use of land.

    Jens & Tino, I’m with you. I too try to buy local and organically produced foods.

    Steve, I do agree with your position that if say a bear or shark attacks someone that doesn’t mean we go out and kill it. Generally we are hanging out in their “backyards” when it happens.

  47. 47 Will Rhodes
    June 5, 2008 at 01:16

    @ Brett

    You could also say the same to the veggies – the amount of fossil fuel used to bring in the crops, seed, harvest and all in-between means that veggies don’t get off lightly.

    What about the transportation? You can ship a few cows over seas – generally they have to be refrigerated but also dead – if you want to transport wheat to Europe from North America – is will add to the pollution that ships kick out – who would then pay most for their carbon foot-print?

  48. 48 Shirley
    June 5, 2008 at 01:58

    Brett,
    Carbon taxes on meat sounds interesting. What if carbon taxes were imposed on fuel? Clothing? Energy usage? Should carbon taxes be levied on all items, even on the ordinary level? Or should there be a graded system in which luxury or non-necessary items with heavy carbon footprints are taxed or, if all is taxed, then taxed more heavily? What would the monies from the taxes go for?

    I used to agree with the moral stance of vegans. The bees finished that for me. Many vegans refuse to consume honey because they feel that the bees who live in hives are made slaves of the humans who harvest honey from them. I don’t think that the process is entirely innocent. However, I never did quite see it their way. From there, I began to re-think the immorality of meat consumption. I do think that the slaughtering process should be much more local and much more personal. It is very likely that restricting ourselves to locally produced food, as well as switching to organic methods, would naturally reduce how much meat we consume. Personally, I am a minimalist. For reasons of taste, environmental concern, and a touch of moral higher ground, I prefer not to consume very much animal products – meat, dairy, or otherwise. I have come to see this, though, as my own personal preference.

    By the way, I do know a few people who are evangelically carnivorous. They are very, very, few, though. Evangelical vegitarians have many more opportunities to annoy, because there are more of them.

  49. 49 Tino
    June 5, 2008 at 02:19

    “Heres an interesting question. Would those who eat meat, still do so if you had to pay a ‘carbon tax’ based on which food you ate and its ‘carbon footprint’?”

    While I do not like the idea I would do whatever is required to eat meat, even killing and cleaning it myself.

  50. 50 Zak
    June 5, 2008 at 02:52

    Guess what meat eaters, you just ate a clone! And you didn’t even know it did you, it looks like a chicken, but it didn’t walk like one!

    Anyway that’s the guaranteed solution to the whole methane gas problem. But it really isn’t that simple is it. We’re talking about people’s livelihood, I know from living amongst a lot of cattle ranchers on the CA Pacific coast. But a lot of them are starting to realize that local marketing is the only way to survive.

    By majority this is how it will be for small farmers; soon they won’t be able to afford moving their livestock that far. The government could step in to reward farmers for selling locally and taxing more on exports, I do believe that is the framework now, but it should increase in that direction. The local cattle ranch is moving to organic raised beef and selling it at the local store. All that is almost enough to make me want to return to eating beef but not quite. The only way I’d return is if the production was justified to support the community, my concern is the overproduction. It lowers the quality of the meat tremendously and it will never be sustainable, not to mention a huge pollution hazard. And let me be clear, although I truly regret it now, my upbringing involved more than a few trips to BK under fairly desperate circumstances.

  51. 51 Zak
    June 5, 2008 at 03:06

    I have to follow my previous post up to explain ‘desperate circumstances’ and what they can do to you or your family. In my case it was hours on end in the car driving to see my brother who was dying of cancer.

    So the meal becomes a seriously dependent addiction. Think about how many people eat at MCD’s and ask yourself how easy it would be to get them out of that diet routine; think about how easy it would be to take all the workers out of those fast food joints. Impossible right?

    Right, you cannot destroy the industry, Europe has proven this. So what else can you do because it’s fast food that surpasses all the others for meat meals. The only answer is education of a better way, and a better life. We have to force fast food to rise beyond not using trans fats, that’s just covering up the real issue.

    Imagine if all those MCD’s workers went into work and said ‘I deserve more than the quarter pounder’. Once they start demanding steak it will change, it’s always been this raising of the masses from underneath. Because there won’t be steak, but there will be vegetables that appeal to that higher congenial sense. It’s then and only then when people see the higher culture of vegetables that we shall overcome.

  52. 52 Pangolin
    June 5, 2008 at 03:13

    Oh please, can we all grow up and quit pretending the population problem would be solved if we were just all vegetarians? Chickens, cows, sheep and goats eat things that we, as humans, absolutely can not and produce food that is not only fit for humans but is healthful. My only qualifier for this is that the animal in question should get the overwhelming majority of it’s dietary intake from the sources for which it has evolved.

    Chickens are forest edge animals. Cows are grazers of grasses and greens as sheep and goats are brushland grazers. I’m just not aware of any way that humans can turn dry grass into food other than with the help of a cow or sheep.

  53. 53 Zak
    June 5, 2008 at 06:51

    Chickens are forest edge animals. Cows are grazers of grasses and greens…

    Knowing you’re a Californian, Pangolin, is the only reason I won’t rebuke that argument. You’ve got to realize, counting on that is a luxury only we can enjoy in this great place we live, a best case scenario. It certainly wasn’t the case in Chino recently, and for the schools they supplied. Around the country more cows are still corn silage fed; there simply isn’t enough pasture land to graze cattle on. Chickens as well are still by majority cooped up in the thousands and shot full of hormones to keep them sanitary. Furthermore there are many families having no access or income to buy these premium grade meats. So the dominant meat market is nowhere near that kind of quality and the ranchers I know who are trying to do it right this way have nothing but competition forcing them to raise prices even higher.

  54. 54 Zak
    June 5, 2008 at 07:15

    Talking about videos and it made me remember the Chino debacle here’s some youtube for your morning sausage:

    NBC Today
    CNN

    Add that and a / to my last post.

  55. 55 Rick
    June 5, 2008 at 08:28

    I have been a vegeterian for over 30 years, ever since I read a book back in the 70s called Diet For a Small Planet. Its message was that eating meat is destroying the amazon and consuming grain fit for humans etc etc. So the arguement is not a new one.
    I,ve never pushed my views on anyone but have often been asked to justify my decision, therby having listen to some some ridiculous arguements for. When I have meet eaters over, I chuck some road kill on the barbie and its no big deal. One of my sons has chosen to eat meat and the other hasn’t and I love them both the same.
    Homer is right, “you cant make friends with salad”
    However overconsumption is something which needs consideration.

  56. 56 Rick
    June 5, 2008 at 08:40

    Pangolin, you are right and often the answer in the third world is providing families with a goat or two and a few chickens (for milk and eggs)

  57. 57 Des Currie
    June 5, 2008 at 09:18

    Black history? I thought his mother was white? Does white history not come into this?
    Des Currie

  58. 58 Mohammed Ali
    June 5, 2008 at 09:48

    When did the UN and all those other organizations and vegetarians know that raising and eating animals is one of the causes of hunger and also contribute to the damaging of the environment?
    Look the world needs to get serious about fighting hunger and should stop scapegoating around here.

  59. 59 pendkar
    June 5, 2008 at 10:51

    The debate about planet friendly diet and the ethics of killing animals for eating meat should be kept strictly separate, for either one of them to be meaningful.

    It is not vegetarianism that can save the planet, but a diet with only necessary amount of meat. Meat is a rich source of protein and other nutrients. A small amount of meat in diet optimises the total food eaten. Vegetarians, who do not eat meat (but who may consume milk products) need to eat a large amount (and variety of) legumes and milk products – constantly.

    India has a large vegetarian population, which eats legumes and milk products. But that pushes up the prices of both. One needs to be quite prosperous to maintain a good vegetarian diet. The really poor ,who do manual work and earn daily wages cannot afford a good vegetarian diet. They live mostly on a plain carbohydrate diet of rice or wheat, supplementing it with the occasional small quantity of meat. Good legumes cost anywhere between a third to half of what meat costs. so it is cheaper to eat a little meat once in a week than to eat legumes every day. So, please dont lecture these people about vegetarianism.

    Meat has been a valued food item throughout history and people would have only eaten it in reasonable amounts (except people like the Eskimos, who had no choice but to live on meat). It is the recent unreasonable prosperity of the western civilization that has created a wholly meat based diet. Instead of over reacting and rooting for vegetarianism, these people should recall how their forefathers ate a couple of hundred years ago, and reduce the proportion of meat in their daily diet. That is a practical and healthy option.

    .

  60. June 5, 2008 at 11:34

    A Kenyan refugee explained to me a vital aspect of their (farmer`s) experience of G.M. seeds that nobody seems to take into account in the discussions on G.M. foods. They were given free G.M. seeds for a few years, that was great. They were then told that they now had to buy the seeds which they could not afford and when they tried to plant seeds from the previous crop they of course would not grow . They then desperately tried to find some of their old seeds but but after all the years there was of course none to be found so they simply did not plant any crops and now have no food.

  61. 61 Brett
    June 5, 2008 at 12:24

    @ Will:
    You could also say the same to the veggies – the amount of fossil fuel used to bring in the crops, seed, harvest and all in-between means that veggies don’t get off lightly.

    Exactly my point, hence the out of season veggies and the like which have to be shipped across the world. I wouldn’t mind paying a carbon tax on all of the food I consume.

  62. 62 Brett
    June 5, 2008 at 12:31

    Carbon taxes on meat sounds interesting. What if carbon taxes were imposed on fuel? Clothing? Energy usage? Should carbon taxes be levied on all items, even on the ordinary level? Or should there be a graded system in which luxury or non-necessary items with heavy carbon footprints are taxed or, if all is taxed, then taxed more heavily? What would the monies from the taxes go for?

    I would LOVE it if carbon taxes were imposed on consumer fuel and energy, clothing and other items. The problem is the implementation of a system which weighs and taxes adequately and to ensure the money goes into environmentally beneficial projects, not greedy contractors or public spending budgets.
    There are plenty of flaws in the carbon tax system. Theoretically its a good idea, though the implementation is lacking. I think the BBC is working on a documentary on this now, if its not already out.

    Regards,
    Brett ~ Richmond, Va.

  63. 63 Shirley
    June 5, 2008 at 13:15

    Pangolin,
    Meat animals might not naturally eat the same kinds of food that we do, but that’s what we feed them. We feed them processed corn sruffs that, left unprocessed, we could have eaten. We feed them soybeans, alfalfa, etc. I have even seen food corporations donate or sell cheaply human food products that didn’t meet their quality control standards. I used to dip in and grab myself some breakfast on those huge boxes of cereal while the cows happily munched on them, too. I don’t doubt for an instant that food-deprived people whould happily eat such “rejected” food. Corn is people food. Soybeans are people food. I even eat clover, which is basically the same thing as alfalfa.

    We also use arable land to grow those crops when we could be using land to be raising our own food. And I am not suggesting that we starve far animals. As it stands, our inordinate demand for meat and animal products while maintaining a certain lifestyle of our own has resulted in the unhappy incidence of factory farms and other operations that are simply unhealthy and miserable for the animals raised in them.

    I don’t object to eating meat and animal products. I sure as heck object to using such absurd methods to obtain the meat, eggs, dairy, etc. that is eaten. We need to stop sacrificing the lives of other humans who could have eaten that food or some food grown on that land so that our taste buds could get tickled by that much more animal product.

  64. 64 Tino
    June 5, 2008 at 13:20

    I think implementing a carbon tax for everyone, when the evidence of global warming is still not concrete, is ridiculous (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oregon_petition). 31,000 scientists still disagree, until a general consensus is reached the system should be voluntary only.

    Personally, I feel that the possible ‘problem’ of global warming will be solved via technology not BS taxes. We always overcome our problems by advancement not stepping back, I fail to see why this time is any different.

  65. 65 Brett
    June 5, 2008 at 13:50

    Personally, I feel that the possible ‘problem’ of global warming will be solved via technology not BS taxes. We always overcome our problems by advancement not stepping back, I fail to see why this time is any different.

    But how do you facilitate such change from people unwilling to change their ways for the for the greater good of humanity and the environment. You have had plenty of people on here say they will eat meat regardless of the impacts. You have plenty of people driving their own personal tanks and busses down the road 50 miles or more to work everyday, in vehicles which seat 8 but they are the only one in the car, despite the impacts of their choices.
    You have people living in what should be desert, wasting water to transform their landscapes into lush lawns with pools.

    You can’t sit back and expect to live life the way you are now or the way you want and think technology alone will bail you out of this situation.

    We always overcome our problems by advancement
    Exactly!!! Advancement in technology and advancement in the way we live our lives.

  66. 66 steve
    June 5, 2008 at 14:10

    Suggesting things like “carbon taxes” is the kind of stuff that makes democratic candidates unelectable. That would fly as well as mandating gay tolerance classes for kindergarteners in rural kentucky. It’s a way of alienating the voters.

  67. 67 Tino
    June 5, 2008 at 14:22

    I mean conservation is economically intelligent: IE do not leave lights on, buy energy efficient products, etc because that energy comes out of your pocket. It should be no problem to get people on board there, with such arguments. Until global warming is proven completely, I feel it is irresponsible to put a carbon tax on everyone, however. It is more important I think to do things like mandate CFL tech in all govt buildings – it is simply superior technology the incandescent lamp is way beyond its time now. There are things like cold cathode and LED tech that are even ahead of normal CFL tech (http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/11/cold_cathode_compact_fluorescents.php) In addition, replacing such bulbs reduces the load on your AC system because they give off a LOT less heat. I most definitely believe the answer lies in better technology.

    I do, however, like the fact that many people are environmentally conscious nowadays. While I think most are way overboard and sometimes rather annoying (see south park hybrid episode for what I mean) the fact is that the technology is only developed when there is a market for it. Thus, it is those people who will cause companies to develop cleaner technology and then implement it as well (just saw Sun Chip commercial, apparently they use solar power at least partially to make the chips now). All of this stuff, I feel, is only the tip of the iceberg. The environmental movement, in its current state, is relatively young and I am willing to bet we will see a ton of continued movement in that direction. To me, I think that in and of itself will solve the problem – no need to burden everyone with taxes when the tech is still in its relative infancy. Let the newer, more environmentally conscious generation get into R&D and see what they manage to come up with. This is also why I fully back Bush’s stance on Kyoto and such. IT puts unnecessary strain on us when there is NOT an overwhelming consensus among scientists on the issue of global warming (this is from the NAS): “even given the considerable uncertainties in our knowledge of the relevant phenomena , greenhouse warming poses a potential threat sufficient to merit prompt responses. Investment in mitigation measures acts as insurance protection against the great uncertainties and the possibility of dramatic surprises.”

    I agree investment in technology should be pursued – and that is it – but at the same time since when has science advocated doing something before understanding relevant phenomena. Their stance confuses me.

  68. 68 Shayhar
    June 5, 2008 at 14:53

    Eating meat is one of the perks of sitting at the top tier of the food chain. Having said that, I think all (human) meat eaters must be informed about where their next steak comes from and ensure that no cruelty is involved. I don’t believe animals have rights, but I am convinced that human beings as a known superior species have a responsibility to respect other living things on Earth, even as we eat them. Arguing that animals should be held to similar moral accountability as people is absurd and imperialist. Them, us.

    Although it is possible that the ongoing struggle of the world’s poor may be attributed to meat eaters, let’s not forget that no matter how many people decide to convert to vegetarianism, the problem will never be solved unless good governance and rule of law finds a place in such countries.

  69. 69 Yogesh Pareek ,India
    June 5, 2008 at 15:20

    I don’t think vegetarianism is going to save the planet,but the real cause of the current crisis is not paying enough attention to agricultural issues.
    Biofuels are responsible upto some extent but they are not really major contributors in this food crisis.
    Blaming India and China for the current food crisis is stupid,India produces enough food grains for its population.But we have to increase investment in agriculture in future
    Drought In Australia and some other major food grain parts of the world has contributed to the currrent food crisis.The situation will definately improve in the coming years

  70. 70 Zak
    June 5, 2008 at 17:15

    Merriel makes an excellent point about the sterility of GM seeds. Here’s more on that note. Farmers in the central US are reporting that cross pollination of GM crops can take other, even organic, crops threatening the line of seed stock. If the overall crop is altered too significantly it will become impossible to get true lines of seed. That can threaten the entire food chain, beyond not having seed, the plants wouldn’t harvest the same crop.

  71. 71 eric
    June 5, 2008 at 17:41

    And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. Genesis 1:29

    i have been a vegetarian for over 40 years, but would never impose my personal choice on others. obviously the world would be better off if people did not eat animals.

  72. 72 Jens
    June 5, 2008 at 18:30

    “I’m just saying I believe in the golden rule. Given we kill so many bears, people shouldn’t go insane whena bear kills a person when that happens once in a blue moon.”

    i do not get bent out of shape when a bear, shark etc kills a human. usually it is the humans fault anyway. i actually get bent out of shape when we humans go and life in bear country and start killing bears, or when bears get preventativly killed (for no reason) to protect sheep, as it happend in switzerland. i live in bear country and i feverishly defend their right of life. i support the return of the mexican wolf and enjoy the rare moments when i see a mountain lion. i am proud of living in a part of the country where wild life is protected. nevertheless, i do reserve the right to eat meat obtained by hunting, as well as meat from sustainable organic free range farms. all my eggs come from local organic free range places. i am prpared to pay the extra, since i do respect life. with that rspect one gets actually better produce, since a cared for animal is stress free compared to crated cows and battery chickens.

  73. 73 Sulayman Dauda
    June 5, 2008 at 18:36

    The issue of Biofuel is never the major factor behind global food crises. The global food crises can strongly be attributed to bad Leadership.
    our leaders are now busy on how to win elections, they’r also preoccupied with discuss on oil, wars and terrorism forgeting the fact that the biggest terrorism confronting the world is the global food crises, which is the life blood of global existence.
    Narrowing ourselves to Africa for example the Land reform propaganda in Zimbabwe which has not serve right to the country. This reforms has virtually destroy the already existing structures laid down by the white farmers who have for centuries contributed more than average to the economy of Zimbabwe.
    The reform was and is purely political obviously the Zimbabweans black lack the know how and why to handle the farming system and that lead to the collapsed of the Agricultural sector which inturn contributed to the global food crises. does that serves us right?

  74. 74 Pangolin
    June 5, 2008 at 18:47

    The argument that vegetarianism can feed the world’s population while there is still any population growth rests upon a foundation of innumeracy. The obvious fact that arable land resources are fixed and declining while population climbs is totally lost on them.

    If every person in the world becomes a vegan population growth will still overwhelm the ability of ecosystems to provide support. The only variable is the date at which that will happen. Hand waving arguments that declare that some future solution will happen if first we quit eating meat are simply in defiance of observed facts.

    Malthus is still right; control your population or watch people starve. Vegetarianism just moves the date of the big show back a few years. It does not eliminate the rather ruthless validity of the maths involved. Reality does NOT have a moral argument; just a physical one.

  75. 75 Shirley
    June 5, 2008 at 19:20

    Zak and Merriel raise excellent points about the sterility of GM seeds, as well as the dangers of cross-pollination. When I refer to the slavery that is imposed on farmers by GMO corporations, I am referring to the sterility of the seeds. Perhaps we in the U.S. have forgot, but farmers have traditional through the eons saved seeds from their crops to plant new crops the following years. Monsanto wasn’t there in 4000 BCE to sell seeds to the farmers of the Agricultural Revolution. When the GM plants infect normal crops, “dud” seeds result. We are effectively reducing the natural fertility of the world’s food-bearing plants.

    I am curious about Pendkar’s comments that vegitarianism “pushes up the prices of both and that One needs to be quite prosperous to maintain a good vegetarian diet. Do vegetarians push up the price of legumes more than meat eaters do? It takes seven pounds of plant material to make one pound of beef. I cannot imagine trying to shovel seven pounds of cloverleaf, corn, and soybeans down my throat in one day, which is about how long it would take me to go through a pound of meat. I normally go through 1.5 cups of bean or legume product laced with vegitables and accompany it with a cup of vegetables and a half a cup of grains, then swallow it all down with one medium-sized fruit and a litre of water. Double that and add two cups of grains and a medium-sized fruit for breakfast, and it all still should not add up to seven pounds of plant material. And that is to maintain an overweight body. Where, then, does the claim that vegetarians push up the price of food come from?

  76. 76 Shirley
    June 5, 2008 at 19:25

    Pangolin,
    If what you say is true, then do you honestly think that a population control legislation must be imposed worldwide? Don’t you think that if people had access to birth control that they would use it? Most people that I know do not want more than three children.

  77. 77 Justin in Iowa
    June 5, 2008 at 20:31

    So implementation is what is required then, not legislation then, shirley? China has been relatively successful with its 1 child policy… should we all be adopting a chinese outlook on children and birthrates? How can you implement this in some of the most deperate countries, when the government cannot organize the country to deliver basic necessities like food, shelter, and medicine, let alone birth control and enforcement.

  78. 78 steve
    June 5, 2008 at 20:36

    @ Justin

    Unfortunately the Supreme Court has held that having children is a fundamental right, so any idiot is free to have offspring and pass on their bad, selfish habits onto. So we could not have a one child policy here in the US. You’d think in poor countries, the inability to feed one’s self would be enough incentive to not bring into the world kids you cannot feed, but apparently it’s not.

    It may not be nice to say it, but that’s what Darwinism is about. Stupid people will die off, whether it’s from 8 year olds eating marbles, or starving unecessarily because you made it impossible to feed yourself or your family.

    I wish having kids required a license, of being in good physical and mental health, but alas that isn’t allowed here.

  79. 79 Jens
    June 5, 2008 at 20:55

    I wish having kids required a license, of being in good physical and mental health, but alas that isn’t allowed here.

    Steve,

    who would et the guidliness?

    where do you draw the line of good physical health?

    100 mtere in 14 sec, mile under 10 min, proficient swimmer since we do not want th selected few to drown, can ride bicycle for ecological reasons?

    how about mental health?

    has no major traumatic childhood experiances, mother was not too dominant, father was present and supportive……

    I think we should include intelligence then as well?

    must have university degree, proffessors get two children…

    sounds a little orwellian to me

  80. 80 steve
    June 5, 2008 at 21:01

    Maybe it’s Orwellian, but too often innocent people get killed by the stupidity of other people.

  81. 81 Shirley
    June 5, 2008 at 21:05

    Justin,
    You’ve misunderstood me. I’ve posted elsewhere my vehement opinion against population control. What I was saying in my post is that if birth control were made more accessible to mroe people that we the people would of our own accord reduce the sizes of our families. Under no circumstances do I think that population control should be legislated.

  82. 82 steve
    June 5, 2008 at 21:07

    @ Shirley, then if the human population is only going to get larger, and assume away mass killoffs like pandemics, we’re going to need to explore space. We simply don’t have the resources on the planet to sustain a growing population. And what about the greenhouse gases these people will produce? If you think food is expensive now, what will it be like when there are 12 billion people on earth? 20 billion? Heaven forbid energy costs……..

    What do you propose? The more people there are, the more difficult life becomes for all of those people.

  83. 83 Jens
    June 5, 2008 at 21:14

    Maybe it’s Orwellian, but too often innocent people get killed by the stupidity of other people.

    Steve,

    OK now we select only for the physically and mentally fit. what comes next after this selection, since we even the intelligent etc ones will bread.

    next critaria height, strenght, beauty, cup size????

    i know that many get killed by stupid people and trust me I do not like stupid. in fact i suffer stupid very poorly…..but we cannot go and start impossing such rules. this happend 70 plus years ago and we all know where that lead to.

  84. 84 Shirley
    June 5, 2008 at 21:14

    Why assume away pandemics, wars, and natural disasters? I don’t think that they would stop just because we’re overpopulating the earth. They could, though, get worse. Aren’t we humans good enough at killing ourselves off with our silly wars, our diseases, and for building residences over faultlines and in flood zones?

  85. 85 steve
    June 5, 2008 at 21:17

    @ Shirley

    Due to scientific progress, fewer people will perish from pandemics, and the proportion will be tiny. Say if 30,000,000 people die from the birdflu in the future when the population is 8 billion. That’s a tiny percentage, whereas in 1918, some 14 million people died from the flue pandemic when the world population was probably only 2 billion. A much higher percentage..

  86. 86 Jens
    June 5, 2008 at 21:20

    shirly,

    our disease? are you implying we make tthese diseases?

    i think evoltionary processes have something to do with this. even Bush had admitted that the bird flue “may mutate due to evolution” into a strain dangerouse to humans. I am still sceptical about H5N1 mutating into a starin that is human-human transmissable. too may point mutations would have to occure..

  87. 87 Shirley
    June 5, 2008 at 21:22

    But it’s not just the bird flu. We also have cancers, auto-immune disorders, STDs, etc. And we all know what happens when two or more armed peoples look at the same resources.

    Do you really think that people want to have 16 kids? Do we really need to legislate family size? Do you honestly think that if birth control were made available, people would trash it and procede to have families so huge that they couldn’t feed them? Are we masochistic that way? Or stupid?

  88. 88 Jens
    June 5, 2008 at 21:31

    shirly,

    these are not OUR diseases, since we do not make them. cancer is due to exposure to enviromental factors (OK some man made), genetics or spontaneouse mutations, HIV is most likely derived from a primate virus and STD’s is just one way of transmitting diseases that has existed for almost ever.

    large families are traditional in africa, since a large part dies before reaching adulthood. plus for many this is a means of being able to generate food. no not masochistic, but since humans have settle families became biggger and bigger. nomadic tribes have smaller families, since travelling becomes more complex, as well as feeding extra mouths while being on the road.

  89. 89 Tino
    June 5, 2008 at 21:33

    Shirley, there is a large contradiction in your arguments:

    “Zak and Merriel raise excellent points about the sterility of GM seeds, as well as the dangers of cross-pollination.”

    Those two are exclusive, either they can reproduce or they cant. If they can, then claim cross-pollination but you cannot have both. Every single GM crop is not engineered to be sterile. You simply have a lack of understanding of genetics. Indeed, the example I like is the flood-resistant rice. One gene from another rice plant is spliced in, ONE GENE. This plant is not sterile. Please explain to me why you would be against it.

    “Merriel makes an excellent point about the sterility of GM seeds. Here’s more on that note. Farmers in the central US are reporting that cross pollination of GM crops can take other, even organic, crops threatening the line of seed stock.”

    Zak, same to you. The often brought up sterility is due to the ‘terminator’ gene they splice in (which as far as I can tell IS STILL BANNED). This means you are both completely misinformed, unless I missed them allowing said GM crops which I do not think I have. This means all of the arguments about farmers being dependent on Monsanto et al is complete nonsense.

    Also, if you guys are so against cross-pollination, why do you not back the terminator strain? I personally think it should stay banned, and I am very pro-GM. Why do you not care about natural cross-pollination, which obviously also alters genetics (keep in mind the rice strain with this question…what would be so bad if it cross-pollinated)?

    I beg of you guys please read up on genetics or at least trust experts when they say GM crops are safe. At least pick your battles based on individual crops.

  90. 90 Shakhoor Rehman
    June 5, 2008 at 23:14

    The world should live on vitamin pills of the kind consumed by astronauts.

  91. 91 Tino
    June 6, 2008 at 03:36

    So while we are supposed to go vegetarian, and let our pets starve, does the rest of the world need to say, control its population? It is rather ridiculous that we are expected to fully shoulder the burden of feeding them when they wont use birth control and live within their means.

  92. 92 Scott Millar
    June 6, 2008 at 03:40

    I apologize in advance if someone mentioned this aspect of population control: Why not enforce population control so people can actually still eat meat. Less people less meat needed. We could also require always pulling the plug. Why keep those machines puffing away our resources?

  93. 93 Abdi in Mandera Kenya
    June 6, 2008 at 13:02

    Africa is population is expanding very large yet the continent produces very little food for human conceptions.I think we should go the veteriarian way!
    Even though Maize is propoduced in large quantity it can’t feed everyone.

  94. June 6, 2008 at 13:35

    Feeding the whole world adequately is impeded by political obstacles and the notions of national sovereignty. Sudan, for example has a very fertile land. It can be used to produce food for dry countries in the sub-Saharan region. But this country has the Darfur crisis. Countries on the coast can desalinate sea water for irrigation.

    Also as long as there are business interests, it’s unlikely that many producers will accept to offer the quantity of food that can plunge the prices. Currently there are many food producers and dealers who are enriching themselves through the food crisis and “shortage” by selling at high prices.

    What remains is that each country should have vigorous methods to secure its food. Those who are helpless because of their climatic and geographical conditions should be helped by the rest of the world.

  95. 95 Justin in Iowa
    June 6, 2008 at 14:14

    Abdelilah, I suggest you research desalination before you casually claim that countries can just “desalinate for irrigation”

    Desalination of water is a very expensive and difficult process. Desalination for drinking water is probably justifiable… desalination for irrigation would NEVER work.

  96. 96 Ben te Molder
    June 6, 2008 at 14:24

    Hello,
    By going vegatarian we might buy some extra time for going on the usual way. That is: increasing our numbers, distributing the offerings of the earth in an unfair way and worshipping growth and consumption.
    But enevitably the moment comes that the extra bought time is used up as well and what then. In other words: going vegetarian is not the solution, it just gives extra time or excuse for not going after real solutions.
    Ben
    The Netherlands
    .

  97. June 6, 2008 at 14:38

    @Justin,
    I agree that currently it is very expensive , but with more scientific researches and experiments it can be less expensive.

    There is also the solution of recycling used waters. A lot of it is thrown in rivers and sea in many countries, which adds to their pollution.

    There is also the option of building more dams to offset the effect of drought. Morocco has some success in this as it tries to build a major dam each year. This year alone it has to import more than 60% of its need of grains. But thank to irrigation from wells and dams, it has at least secured its need of fruits and vegetables.

    Energy is a great worry today because of the lack of the political will and the absence of peace. The Congo River can generate electricity for 500 million people in Africa. . Also this electricity can be used in food processing. But DR Congo first needs peace and stability for the realisation of this project. There are other sources of energy like wind and solar powers, not to forget the other controversial alternative which is nuclear energy.

    On another note, the problem of food problem in the world is its distribution and agriculture methods. There is also the problem of food waste, especially in rich countries. In UK, it is estimated 25% of food is wasted, which means it can feed 15 million hungry people or the population of a country having the same number.

    There is also the problem of obese people. It is estimated that they eat at least 10% more than people with an average weight.

    On a light note, but not very light , There are demands for people to go vegetarians. But can their pets also go vegetarians as in the USA alone there are more than 162 million dogs and cats, for which their owners have to buy adequate food, including meat? Here are some figures about their number in million:
    Cat 88.3
    Dog 74.8
    Equine 13.8
    Reptile 13.4

    From the same source the cost of keeping these pets is staggering. Just for 2008, it is estimated that it will be $43.4 billion when the hungry in the world according to UN chief Ban Ki-moon need US$15 billion to US$20 billion each year to boost food production to combat hunger.

    The same figures can proportionately be given about other rich countries in which pets are a must in the household. In poor countries, the majority of people are vegetarians not out of choice but by necessity as meat there is still very expensive and sometimes it is consumed there in adequate quantity just as a luxury or when there is a special occasion.

  98. June 6, 2008 at 14:40

    So, we are all comfortable mandating who can have children and how many. But, no one thinks about how much food that we actually consume and how much is actually thrown away. It sounds like we like to tell others what to do instead of regulate ourselves. America throws away tons of food daily. And, yes, I know this for certain. I would rather support legislation in food distribution than legislation in family planning.

  99. 99 Dennis
    June 6, 2008 at 14:47

    i think that being a vegetatriarian may be the answer for the global food crisis.

    dennis
    onondaga community college
    syracuse, new york
    united states of america

  100. 100 Justin in Iowa
    June 6, 2008 at 15:02

    Well, what annoys me when I hear “americans throw tons of food away daily” is I was raised to take what you can eat and clean your plate. No food is wasted in our home. leftovers are next day’s supper or are used to make something else… I know this is the way in many American homes… despite what everyone must think, not every american household is rich and can afford to throw food away.

  101. 101 Ben te Molder
    June 6, 2008 at 15:14

    To Jan
    I don’t want any legislation. I want decent responsible people, who care for each other and creation and who don’t worship silly things like everlasting life, personal wealth, consumption and economic growth.
    Greetings,
    Ben

  102. June 6, 2008 at 15:14

    Among the causes of food shortage in the world is its distribution and agriculture methods. There is also the problem of food waste, especially in rich countries. In UK, it is estimated 25% of food is wasted, which means it can feed 15 million hungry people or the population of a country having the same number of people.

    There is also the problem of obese people. It is estimated that they eat at least 10% more than people with an average weight.

    So it seems that people shouldn’t just go vegetarian, which is just a part of the solution. We can’t ask people who eat an average of 50 grams of meat a day to go vegetarian as they are almost vegetarian. But there should be a change in eating habits in countries where food is widely available but not used economically, One of the food problem in the world is when people buy more food than they need or eat more than they should.

  103. 103 Bob in Queensland
    June 6, 2008 at 15:26

    I’m sceptical of any proposals or statistics coming from an organisation as biased as PETA. Let’s remember: they’re the group which thinks it’s acceptable to attack scientists’ families with bombs, steal the body of a scientist’s mother from a graveyard and, at one point, release hundreds of farmed mink Hampshire–destroying the populations of many native species in the name of “animal rights”.

    Yes, some grain goes to feed animals but, on the other side of the coin, much land totally unsuitable for farming can be used for ranching and provide food where none would exist otherwise.

    It’s an unpalatable truth but I have to agree with those who say that tinkering with food supplies will never solve the problems of poverty and hunger. This earth is not designed to support 6 billion people. Unless population growth can be controlled, the situation can only get worse whether people are vegetarians or meat eaters.

  104. 104 steve
    June 6, 2008 at 15:29

    @ Bob

    When PETA has killed billions and billions of people like humans have done with non humans, you might have a better point. To compare PETA to what we’ve done with other life, well it’s really uncomparable.

    In all honesty, would you want me to skin your children and wear the skin as a jacket? But it’s okay with cows? When PETA gets to .000001% of the fatalities that humans have caused non humans, I’ll get really worried about PETA. Until then, they’re working on making people realize that animals are NOT here for our purposes.

  105. 105 Jan
    June 6, 2008 at 15:41

    The amount of waste is horrendous. I have seen restaurants through out loads of food: despite the “Good samaritan act,” which is suppose to give companies assurance that they will not be sued, if they follow food regulations. I have seen many who waste food. I don’t care how people worship, Ben. But, I would like them to be more responsible. Yet, there are no real incentives. unfortunately, it appears that people need an incentive to act differently. It seems that selfishness, personal convenience and discomfort with change are the most important in their life.

  106. 106 Justin in Iowa
    June 6, 2008 at 15:49

    Steve, I think you missed his point. PETA tends to be very shortsighted in their activities. “Freeing the animals!” sounds good, until you realize that opening all those cages and just letting things loose has a horrible impact on the local ecosystem, not to mention the fact that farm-raised animals are indoctrinated to being farm raised, so releasing them all was damning most of them to a long death of starvation, predator death…

  107. 107 Bob in Queensland
    June 6, 2008 at 16:18

    @Steve

    We’re not going to agree on this one.

    While I’m against causing needless cruelty to animals, I do NOT equate an animal life to a human one. I consider the consumption of meat by humans to be as normal a part of life as it is for any other animal. I haven’t seen many vegetarian lions–by PETA logic it would be reasonable to bomb big cats for cruelty to impalas. Indeed, I’d rather be killed in a modern slaughterhouse than clawed to death by a lion. Our weapons may be stun guns and knives rather than teeth and claws but the principle is the same.

    The law says it is legal to raise and slaughter animals; it is not legal to murder scientists. I agree with the law and am not going to take advice from an organisation like PETA.

  108. 108 Will Rhodes
    June 6, 2008 at 16:23

    Coming back to the question

    Is vegetariansim the answer to the global food crisis?

    and not an advertisement for Animal rights, the answer is no.

    I pointed out before – waste is the problem not shortage! We have to cut down on it – and this isn’t just an American phenomenon it is the whole of the west and industrialised countries. No one is without blame.

  109. 109 Brett
    June 6, 2008 at 16:25

    So while we are supposed to go vegetarian, and let our pets starve, does the rest of the world need to say, control its population? It is rather ridiculous that we are expected to fully shoulder the burden of feeding them when they wont use birth control and live within their means.

    Great point, lets advocate multiple positions to solve this problem we find ourselves in. That is afterall how it is going to be solved. Theres no one single solution to this crisis.

  110. 110 Will Rhodes
    June 6, 2008 at 16:33

    How about we fuel our cars with truly “Green” fuel?

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/science/04/01/algae.oil/index.html?iref=newssearch

    Texas may be best known for “Big Oil.” But the oil that could some day make a dent in the country’s use of fossil fuels is small. Microscopic, in fact: algae. Literally and figuratively, this is green fuel.

    “We are a giant solar collecting system. We get the bulk of our energy from the sunshine,” said Kertz.

    Algae are among the fastest growing plants in the world, and about 50 percent of their weight is oil. That lipid oil can be used to make biodiesel for cars, trucks, and airplanes.

  111. 111 Ogola Benard
    June 6, 2008 at 16:34

    Just a hint- how would one adjust in the summer season?
    In some countries for example, you are not allowed to
    eat cow meat as its considered a god. i would’nt spare
    that meal.
    Food security has been a world concern, a family, a clan and a survival. A vegetarian and a non vege all
    mean health and survival.Its a family.

  112. 112 Scott Millar
    June 6, 2008 at 16:59

    ARTHUR SCHOPENHAUER:

    A quick test of the assertion that enjoyment outweighs pain in this world, or that they are at any rate balanced, would be to compare the feelings of an animal engaged in eating another with those of the animal being eaten.

  113. 113 John in Salem
    June 6, 2008 at 17:04

    An interesting academic question but pointless.
    All of the climate changes we see now are the result of a ONE degree rise in world temperature over the last century. Recent projections have global temperatures climbing as much as 8 to 10 degrees Farenheit by the end of this century when there will be an estimated 12 billion people on the planet and stopping all use of fossil fuels today will not change that significantly,
    So what planet are we going to use to grow all this food on?

    I’m afraid this discussion is another example of “Arranging the Deck Chairs on the Titanic”.

  114. 114 Alison
    June 6, 2008 at 17:12

    Since this was last discussed on WHYS, I’ve been trying to cut more and more meat from my diet because I understand the point and hear where you’re coming from.

    However, times are tight. I have to put food on the table one way or another. These days I can get 5 pounds of ground beef for the same price as 2 orange or red peppers…(seriously, orange and red peppers were priced at 2 for $8.50 the other day at the grocery store. Maybe you can afford $4.25 for one vegetable, but that doesn’t fit my budget) And what is my replacement for the beef…tofu? even more expensive. So I can feed my family for a week….or have a salad.

    I’ve decided the best I can do is buy local and try to avoid all the food that is shipped in long distances, sticking with farmer’s markets and such (it is the season), but the fact is people have to survive, just like they have to drive, heat their homes, ect.

  115. June 6, 2008 at 17:17

    In Morocco bread is a staple food. it makes at least a third of the meal. Traditional meals can’t be had without it. it’s a taboo to throw away bread left from a meal. It is later eaten by being soaked with a sauce made of spices, tomatoes onions and fat. But this is disappearing. The other option is to give/sell it to farmers who feed their sheep with.

    In some countries, they use cooking oil to drive cars.
    It will be ridiculous to ask the poor to go veggie as their major food is bread, maize, rice and other vegetables.
    What is needed is successful agricultural policies, by training farmers in countries suffering from hunger to make the most of their land.

    People in rich countries aren’t suffering the pinch of food price as it is the case in other poor countries. Ironically, there are countries suffering from food shortage that export some of their agricultural products to them. In rich countries, food takes just around 10% of the income. In poor countries, it’s above 70% . In Morocco, it is estimated that food costs 40% of the income. Although essential foods, like cooking oil, wheat and sugar are subsidized by the government, 20% of the rich in the country benefit from 60% of this subsidy.

    Recently in Morocco, the price of vegetables have gone up because of exporting a portion of them to the EU, drought and the cost of fuel. It can be the same for other countries. The question is that if even people abandon meat, does this mean nutritive vegetables and fruits will be at everybody’s pocket. Food problem will continue to be a vicious circle unless measures are taken at all levels by governments and through international cooperation. At heart the problem has to do with the economic policies. The earth has the resources to feed the current population generously. Only the mean methods, intentionally or unintentionally, are the cause of the current crisis.

  116. 116 CarlosK
    June 6, 2008 at 17:19

    Hi All

    Another religion- vegetarianism- is not the answer to the global food crisis. The answer is simple. Let us all become our brothers keeper. Let us all become so aware of our neighbours’ (on both sides of the track) situation that if they fall in a rut we will be there to give them a helping hand. Also let us remember that this world is comprised of one human family dispersed in different parts of the world and therefore with different shades.

    Let us get something straight. MEAT EATING IS NOT WRONG OR A SIN OR WICKED OR UNCONSCIENABLE. Jesus eat fish for sure while on earth and he may have also eaten other clean meats. What we should not eat is unclean meats such as pig/swine flesh, whale, shark, etc. If you want to know what meats are clean and what are unclean go to the bible.org and type in Leviticus chapter 11. All the clean and unclean meats are listed there.

    Veggie is better than meat because it is healthier. Some meats are cancerous and have other unhealthy side effects such as making us more aggressive because we incorporate the animal nature/propensity from eating meat.

    It is not recommended nor is it easy to stop eating meat overnight. Becoming a vegetarian takes time because some people need a little more time to come off meat and/or get use to eating vegetables, starchy foods, fruits nuts and grains only.

    I hope one of the positive spin-off from the world food crises is more people becoming vegetarians. The medical bills worldwide will drastically reduce because vegetarians are more healthy than meat eaters.

    But remember this. You can be a vegetarian and still be less healthy than a meat eater because as bad as meat eating is, excessive sugar is worst. The reason why there are so many obese and/or sick people in the world is not because they eat clean meat but because too much sugar- progressed/refine carbohydrate (cakes, biscuits, ice-cream etc.) is consumed. I hope this post was helpful.

    Carlos, Kingston-Jamaica.

  117. June 6, 2008 at 17:26

    Couple of points here to keep in mind. Many argue corn prices have gone through the roof already as debated a month or so ago here when we were arguing weather or not to use it for fuel. If everybody shifted to vegetarianism the price of food would skyrocket. I can eat and probably do at least 2 acres of vegetables alone. Heck I probably eat a half acres in corn via tortilla chips. Every year I buy a cow and a pig. It last the whole year substituted by quite a few chickens, regular dose of lunch meat in the form of turkey, and a small amount of seafood. If I had to substitute vegetables for my meat consumption, that would easily double to 4 acres.

    I am well renowned in my family for my cooking. If world peace is ever going to be achieved, it will be around a table. One where the dishes are exotic and part of the conversation and the ale flows like water to loosen the lips f the diplomats involved. This is a pointless argument. When you say o somebody, “tell me about your culture” they will often start with describing the dishes they eat and ate as a kid. I just had a Chicken paprikash at my dads house last night. It is a recipe that has been passed down for at least 100 years. Eating it always brings forth stories of my great grandmother who my father grew up with.

    We are the inheritors of the top of the food chain, When those Cute polar Bears stop breaking through the ice and savagely ripping the live baby seals apart just to they can feed their young, then I will stop eating meat. There are so many traits of our animalistic past that are so much more damaging. IF we get id of greed and the need to breed with out concern of the community at large, then I will sign up for veganism. I am not going to stop my meat orders anytime soon I recon.

    One last thing. I do not know where you guys get your meat, but no animals are hurt to get mine. It comes in packages at the grocery store. there are no animals involved.

  118. 118 Scott Millar
    June 6, 2008 at 17:27

    DAIRY PRODUCTS

    Does anyone know the impact of diary products?
    Are they also part of this mix? Or is feeding dairy animals a more efficient use of grains?

  119. June 6, 2008 at 17:32

    There are increasing calls by vegetarians to change our established diet based on meat and to go veggie. They’re citing the different benefits for human beings as well as for the environment.

    Meat consumption is only a problem in rich countries whose members have the highest rate of consumption per person. Consuming meat is considered as a sign of well being as in the past its consumption was associated with a sign of wealth. The poor had no choice but to go vegetarian.

    Still being vegetarian can be more costly than eating meat. Many fruits and vegetables are beyond the means of those with a medium or poor income. So they fall on cheap meals based on meat.

    There is also the economic factor. Many farmers as well as industries depend on meat-based food processing. As there is an increase in population, it will be hard to see that vegetables and fruits alone will suffice. There will be a need for more land to grow more vegetables and fruits and an increase in the use of chemical fertilizers, with the dire consequences on the environment.

    In terms of health and nutrition, there will be still disparities. Poor people will still find it difficult to buy fruits and vegetables rich in calories and vitamins. There should be a balance in how food of all sorts is distributed fairly across the world within each country. People should make a balance of what they eat. Discarding meat altogether of one’s diet will remain unconvincing for many. It amounts to a total reshuffle of collective and personal traditions and customs.

    Discarding meat altogether of one’s diet will remain unconvincing for many. It amounts to a total reshuffle of collective and personal traditions and customs.
    To compensate for abstaining from meat, should we go fish eating? Even going vegan can be a stretch on earth resources if we don’t eat moderately. Moderation is the key to healthy eating.

  120. 120 Tino
    June 6, 2008 at 17:44

    Since we have established that plants have a rudimentary nervous system, could one of you please address exactly how it is ok to kill plants but not animals?

  121. 121 Colleen D
    June 6, 2008 at 17:54

    @ Abdelilah

    I totally agree. These are very complex problems that need to be analyzed from all possible angles: economic, political, social, traditional, etc. A blanket solution of “everyone go veggie” just won’t work. Cooperation among nations (ie. free and fair trade) and moderation of diets (especially in the west) is necessary. The first way to encourage moderation is to educate the public about the consequences of their food choices — most US citizens probably have no idea of the proportion of grain used to feed cattle and the other far-reaching environmental effects of the meat industry. Non-profit and activist orgs should run campaigns to educate the average western consumer.

  122. June 6, 2008 at 17:55

    Vegetarianism is the best way to go. I am from south India and a large percentage of people from here are vegetarian and it is a part of the culture. Most of the restaurants are also vegetarian by default. I do not find any disadvantage in being a vegetarian at all.

    Vegetarian diet is also extremely environmentally friendly. To produce 100 calories from meat you need to feed the animals 1000 calories. If many of us turned vegetarian, a lot of those 900 calories could go to people rather than animals (that are bred to be killed and eaten by a few).

  123. June 6, 2008 at 17:58

    Vegetarianism may be the EFFICIENT CAUSE of kidney, liver, heart, immune system failure and death, if the vegetables, fruits, nuts, and tubers are genetically engineered (altered and poisoned). The only solution to food crisis is REMOVE THE CAUSE By ACCEPTING THE GIVEN — the natural; not manage it or adopt genetic engineering as Mr. Kofi Anan recommended for Africans.

    Prince Pieray Odor
    Lagos, Nigeria

  124. 124 Thea Winter - Indianapolis IN, USA
    June 6, 2008 at 17:58

    I have switched to a vegetarian diet for the most part. Not because I feel eating meat is un-kind to animals but because it is healthier. There are a lot of drugs in meat production and I am not sure it is good for people to ingest.

    But to the question: I agree with some of the posting above. The grains, fruits, and veggies will increase in price if the world changes to vegetarianism. There are several factors causing the food prices and shortages:
    1. Increase in farm production cost
    2. Increase in consumption in meat in China
    3. Bad harvest in Australia
    4. Increase production in Alternative fuel sources
    All put together it is easy to jump on a vegetarianism bandwagon. It is not the answer. Everything in moderation and lets keep our prospective on the issues. If feeding the world is the main issues lets try to eat less! I can say most people eat too much anyway (me included).

  125. 125 Andrew - Australia
    June 6, 2008 at 18:01

    A great deal of the world’s poor have little else to eat but plant material, so it hardly seems that vegetarianism is a realistic solution. Meat is strong source of protein and a concentrated one at that along with other essential nutrients required by the body. Inevitably without a diet that contains meat there are deficiencies in the health of an individual unless they are suitably able to obtain those elements to compensate for a lack of meat. However, in poorer countries these substitutes are not always available and health problems inevitably will occur. I don’t see how removing meat from the diet will solve the worlds food problems as there are pros and cons with both aspects of food consumption. Meat requires heavy inputs for production, but the intensive farming that would be required to make up for the shortfall in nutrition in land area and water usage will also be a problem to overcome, to name just a few.

  126. June 6, 2008 at 18:03

    The answer isn’t necessarily vegetarianism, but a reduction in the amount of meat that people eat. Here in the US it is common for a majority of people to have meat as the main portion of every meal. Not only is this unhealthy, but it is also not sustainable. If we could have people start having say 2 dinners with meat as the main dish a week that would go a long way and wouldn’t scare so many people that are opposed to thinking of themselves as ‘vegetarian’ which to many is a dirty word.

  127. 127 devadas.v
    June 6, 2008 at 18:04

    hello,
    its not an ultimate remedy .only way is to increase food production and do away with this bio fuel forward moving in this moment of crisis ..then also food shortage due to cattle numbers will also be there in countries like china ,india,brazil,australia etc ..

    the permanent solution is agricultural land must be preserved by strict law and the distance between the production of agriculture and the consumer must of the shortest distance in short produce locally or the place this aspect is difficult to do the policy makers regional ,national or international wise must find solutions and help them out ..thats only way this food crisis can be solved ..

  128. 128 Prince Pieray Odor - Lagos, Nigeria
    June 6, 2008 at 18:06

    Vegetarianism may be the EFFICIENT CAUSE of kidney, liver, heart, immune system failure and death, if the vegetables, fruits, nuts, and tubers are genetically engineered (altered and poisoned). The only solution to food crisis is REMOVE THE CAUSE By ACCEPTING THE GIVEN — the natural; not manage it or adopt genetic engineering as Mr. Kofi Anan recommended for Africans.

  129. 129 Abbie Tingstad
    June 6, 2008 at 18:08

    I think if people in so-called ‘First World’ countries ate the amount of meat that health scientists have suggested is healthy, there would be much more grain for those who cannot afford meat. Given that global temperatures are rising, and that this will likely cause changes in precipitation patterns worldwide, it would be smart for all countries to reconsider their national diets in order to ensure food security for all.

  130. 130 Syed Hasan Turab
    June 6, 2008 at 18:11

    Since Industrial revolution need support of Agro base energy obiously we have to face challanges of food crises, vegetarian & non vegetrian’s are fully dependant on agricultural sector.
    According to Holy Quran after formation of Adam God prohibit father Adam not to go close to WHEAT tree & not to eat the fruit of Wheat tree otherwise you will cause trouble for your self & future generation’s.
    I am quite sure other religious books address this issue thousands & thousands years ago, this is not new.

  131. 131 Dan
    June 6, 2008 at 18:11

    The seminal cause of a shortage of food supplies worldwide seems to be the hysteria caused initially with the fairy tale of Global Warming promulgated by Al Gore and the hysterical American Democrats followed by any group looking to destroy Western Civilization.
    Of course Global Warming is a MYTH. That is settled.
    The ripple effect is that food stuffs were diverted to make fuels.
    I know this is not politically correct but it is nevertheless the truth and the opposition’s intelligent answer would simply be “Oh, that’s not true” but give no facts to support their answer.
    The PETA people must find something to do with their time on Earth I suppose but it would help the planet if they actually saved people.

  132. 132 archibald in oregon
    June 6, 2008 at 18:12

    My wife is a vegetarian, I am not, but was. She was raised on a farm and never quite got the taste for meat oddly enough. I was raised in a typical bad diet house, processed foods etc.. Vegetarianism used to be likened to healthier eating, more than the strict mastication of plant material. Many people have no choice as to what they eat for simple economic and/or survival reasons. It is quite luxurious to debate food eating amongst many who can choose what diet is best. Lets make food available to those who need it, then talk about what would be the most sustainable diet……….You cannot think on an empty stomach…

  133. 134 Serina Tang
    June 6, 2008 at 18:12

    Simple solution to the world food crisis and here it is… Too simple maybe?

    Reduce the population and you not only reduce food consumption and hunger across the world, but resource consumption, pollution, environmental degradation, habitat loss, overdevelopment, poverty and many many more problems facing us.

    But of course no one dares mention this they are either dismissed ort made out to be a lunatic. But let’s face it, one day we will have to not only consider this option, but actually implement it as we cannot continue this unfettered expansion of our species.

    Serina Tang

    Singapore

  134. 135 Fiona
    June 6, 2008 at 18:13

    maybe if we fed them grass, which is what they are supposed to be eating, we wouldn’t be discussing this.

  135. June 6, 2008 at 18:13

    Why be so extreme! Why do us Americans need to eat meat three times a day. It’s not of problem of not eating meat completely, but a reduction would be good for everyone.

  136. 137 Jonathan Rasmussen
    June 6, 2008 at 18:14

    Goodness, this cauldron of conversation has risen to a vigorous boil while I slept. I see my pal Steve is careening down the slippery slopes that seem always to spring up in his path, and is modestly proposing to skin children for some rhetorical purpose. Good luck that I’ve arrived in time to inject a note of sweet reason into the brew.

    Had our hosts just asked, “Is vegetarianism more efficient, less polluting, and more ecologically sound than eating meat?” we could all have simply said “Of courrse,” and been done with it. The facts and figures on the point seem both abundant and convincing.

    But “the answer to the global food crisis?” Wow! That would be, um, WHAT “global food crisis?” For the last 60 years or so, the world has produced an abundance of food, a consistent and enormous surplus. The EU built up a vast “butter mountain.” The US fills caverns with megatons of cheese. Capitalism, technology, and a stupefying system of subsidies have kept the Western world swimming in food, even after exporting tons to countries unable to feed themselves, usually as a consequence of socialism.

    In the last year or two, a couple of billion newly enriched Chinese began to consume more fuel and food (and building materials, etc.), driving up their prices. But a “Global food crisis?” I don’t think so. Just a spike in demand, causing a spike in prices until production grows to meet it.. Bad for consumers, but great for farmers, who will promptly set about to produce more food, since it’s profitable to do so. Prices will then fall as supply rises.

    So who gets hurt and who gets helped? The poor countries of the world are substantially agricultural; they stand to benefit. Perhaps this qualifies as a “crisis” only because it inconveniences the wealthy Western chattering classes? And it gives PETA a chance to muddy the waters with their noble but irrelevant agenda.

    Moral and ethical considerations for humane treatment of animals are perfectly valid reasons to be vegetarian. Concern about pollution is another compelling cause for some. But they have nothing to do with a “global food crisis.” PETA has a case, it just isn’t relevant to this question; it’s a red herring. We need to keep our eye on the ball.

    Finally, for those grim, attenuated souls to whom food is a mere matter of maximizing “efficiency,” rather than a sensual delight, I can only feel profound pity.

    Jonathan
    San Francisco

  137. 138 Tino
    June 6, 2008 at 18:14

    “if the vegetables, fruits, nuts, and tubers are genetically engineered (altered and poisoned).”

    Genetic modification does not make a plant poisonous nor does it contribute to disease. You simply misunderstand how the process works and what the product is. Please see these posts:

    https://worldhaveyoursay.wordpress.com/2008/06/06/taking-the-food-crisis-personally-the-case-for-vegetarianism/#comment-29380
    https://worldhaveyoursay.wordpress.com/2008/06/03/talking-points-3-june/#comment-28430

    And then tell me what is wrong with that GM strain.

  138. 139 Vikram
    June 6, 2008 at 18:15

    I ate meat for most of my life, as I approached mid 30’s I was struggling with managing my weight. For the last 2 years I gave up meat and saw my health improve dramatically. My weight is down to what it was in high school and I have not felt this good for a very long time. I think the meat we eat in the west is full of hormones and antibiotics that it really can not be very good for you in the long run. Also meat uses lots of resources to raise and distribute. Meat prices are bound to rise and people will be forced to eat less meat.

  139. 140 steve
    June 6, 2008 at 18:16

    I have a feeling that given we live in the ME ME ME!!!!!!!!!!! generation that people will only reduce or eliminate their meat consumption when they can no longer afford meat. It’s like driving SUVs. The only reason why they are now passe, and people cannot get rid of them, is becuase they cannot afford to fill them up with fuel. I still chuckle when I see massive SUVs filling up at the station, spending $100+ for a tank of gas that will last them 2 days at most..

  140. June 6, 2008 at 18:17

    . If all of the worlds hungry would stop having children when they don’t know where they are going to get their own net meal, world hunger would be minimalized. It will never stop. on the fringes if people can afford to eat they will then breed. they will do this until they can’t anymore.

    The surest way to end world hunger is to stop giving it to starving people. Let “survival of the fittest” take it’s course.

    And oh yeah, The cheapest thing to eat in the country is a cheese burger off of the value menu.

  141. 142 Justin in Iowa
    June 6, 2008 at 18:18

    Meat does not have to be grain fed. Free range, mixing free range and grain, you can reduce meat in our diets while changing to less wasteful meat production methods.

  142. 143 Anthony
    June 6, 2008 at 18:19

    When ever I dont eat meat, I end up eating more or whatever I eat in its replacment. Meat makes me full :)I would stop if it were proven to help though.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  143. 144 Brian Patrick Kelly
    June 6, 2008 at 18:19

    Most people in the first world no longer need meat for nutritional sustenance. But alas most people lack the knowledge that a vegetarian diet can fulfill one’s nutritional needs. The first world citizens are also a lazy bunch, and don’t take the time necessary to prepare different foods. They prefer to order from restaurants where they eat and waste excessively. The option to eat steak is not a luxury. But the vast array of food at our fingertips is.

  144. 145 Jon Reinschreiber
    June 6, 2008 at 18:19

    We don’t have to go vegetarian.

    If we just cut our meat consumption by 10 – 15%, we can feed the world.

    The bigger problem is water, there isn’t enough and it takes approx. 5200 gals of clean water to produce 1 pound of beef. (Univ. of Californina at Davis, Dept. of Agriculture).

  145. 146 steve
    June 6, 2008 at 18:20

    Wasn’t the whole Mad Cow thing due to farmers feeding cows other cows? The dead cows would get ground up, and made into a kind of mash, and they would feel it to other cows. Perhaps if we go back to that, perhaps even feeding farm animals dead people, we could avoid feeding them grains? Or easier, we could just stop eating meat. But it seems people are too selfish to do that.

  146. 147 Carrie
    June 6, 2008 at 18:22

    If people are determined to eat meat, would they be willing to eat meat that was created in lab?

  147. 148 Larry McGrath
    June 6, 2008 at 18:25

    I have reduced my consumption of animal food within the last 8 years. I do not eat beef or pork, I eat lots of fish, a little chicken. I feel healthier, I have reduced my weight, and my grocery bill has been reduced as well. The “Western diet” which focuses on meat and refined grains has been shown to be very unhealthy.

  148. 149 Jon Reinschreiber
    June 6, 2008 at 18:26

    Biofuels can be made from other biomass besides gain.

    Industrial hemp is a great solution that is easy to grow and requires no fertilizers. We need to get over the worry that someone is going to smoke too much industrial hemp and then go out and drive too slowly.

  149. 150 Tino
    June 6, 2008 at 18:28

    @ Steve

    Why do you not volunteer to feed the animals with yourself then? You protest against animal testing, but I highly doubt you have refused drugs/medical treatment in the past. You then claim skinning a child is the equivalent of skinning a cow. Do you peel corn husks off or eat oranges? I cannot believe you advocate skinning plants…

    Once again, they have a nervous system why are they not regarded with the same level of respect you accord animals?

  150. June 6, 2008 at 18:29

    Giving up meat isn’t easy when you’ve grown up and been surrounded by meat and potatoes culture. When you’re feeding a family, with limited time and money, meat is an easy answer. Veg’n food takes more thought, new recipes, unfamiliar ingredients – when you have small kids, especially, it feels like the smart choice is to serve meat.

    There are easy alternatives, but they take research, a sense of adventure and a willingness to eat your mistakes. For us it has less to do with the world food shortages and our concerns over what people in poor countries will eat, and more to do with our own financial situation and needs. We generally eat local and organic foods – meat is expensive, beans are cheap, tofu is really cheap. That it feels socially responsible not to eat meat is simply a perk.

    Meat is a treat, not a right.

  151. 152 steve
    June 6, 2008 at 18:29

    @ Tino

    My point, as I’ve stated many times, is the golden rule.

  152. 153 Tino
    June 6, 2008 at 18:30

    So you skin plants does that mean you wish to be skinned? Your answer does not begin to address anything I just posted.

  153. 154 Bill in Texas
    June 6, 2008 at 18:30

    We are hearing all of the arguments and reasons to STOP eating meat. So what are the counter-arguments? Why should we CONTINUE to eat meat? I understand the increased difficulty in ingesting sufficient amino acids and proteins, but that has been handled by Vegans. So why any pro-meat stance?

  154. 155 Krissi
    June 6, 2008 at 18:30

    While I went vegan a year ago, I have to agree that the idea that everyone will possibly go vegetarian is far fetched and I wonder if encouraging people to simply consume less meat would be a better way to start. For a lot of people, going vegetarian is not even really comprehensible. I think a subtler approach would be more successful. After all, if we educated people on what happens with the animals they eat, such as how they’re treated, some just might change. We also need to educate on how being vegetarian doesn’t have to mean you miss out. The guy that said, “We don’t want to just eat peanuts,” shows the ignorance that many have about this kind of lifestyle.

  155. 156 Jonathan Rasmussen
    June 6, 2008 at 18:30

    My post of a couple of minutes ago is much better if you ignore the first four paragraphs.

    Also, it’s difficult to get a complete, nutritious human diet entirely from vegetables.

  156. 157 Luz María Guzmán from Monterrey, Mexico
    June 6, 2008 at 18:31

    I don’t think vegetarianism is the answer for the food crisis. The problem is the unequal distribution of the food. We have people in the world that are starving while others are overweight. It is not only a North-South problem (developed vs. developing countries). Even in poor countries there are wealthy people that have access to food and luxuries while the rest of the population starves to death.

    Do you really think that if the western world gives up meat, the crops are going to be given to the starved people? I don’t think so… probably they will be used to make biofuels.

  157. June 6, 2008 at 18:31

    A lot of people seem to have the wrong notion that vegetarian people live on salads and greens only. Also people who eat vegetarian food are seen to be some kind of a “hippie” in western world. I can understand why they would have such a wrong opnion.

    I am a vegetarian and when I came to US a few years back I was shocked to see that vegetarians did not have many options for food. The only option I had was to either eat a vegetarian sandwich or graze on spinach and other greens. Having come from India where most of the food is vegetarian I found this extremely difficult to eat in restaurants in US. The main reason is people have now started solely dependent on meat for their food and not many people even have choices for pure vegetarian food. Vegetarian diet consists of a lot of proteins from legumes, calories from cereals (rice/wheat/corn), vitamins and minerals from vegetables and fruits. The western world it so dependent on eating only meat that anything else seems out of the world for them.

  158. 159 Nancy
    June 6, 2008 at 18:32

    I believe in omnivorism. Healthwise, eating more whole grains, fruits and vegetables is better.

    But, what will happen to wild animals if humans eat all the vegetables?

    The deer population in northeastern Ohio has no natural predators and is decimating the ecology of the area due to animal lovers stopping the necessary culling to keep the herds healthy.

    Are all the steers, chickens, pigs to just be allowed to run wild? Creating new havoc with all the eco-systems? And still needing to eat

  159. 160 steve
    June 6, 2008 at 18:34

    @ Tino

    Let’s be civilized here. You know, as well as I do, that plants don’t have “skin”. Animals have skin, plants don’t. Certain things, such as fruits, were meant to be eaten, it was the plant’s “intent” as it needs to be consumed for the seeds to be planted into the ground, so the plant can reproduce. That’s why apples are sweet, and have seeds inside, so that animals will eat it and put the seeds in the ground, one way or another. Other things, such as potatoes, were not meant to be eaten, at least by humans, because the plant has to die in the process, and uncooked, potatoes will make a human sick.

  160. 161 Justin in Iowa
    June 6, 2008 at 18:35

    I would rather see Adaptive Agriculture than vegetarianism or meat centric diets specifically. There are large tracts of the US where grain based agriculture is not sustainable – the Western Midwest for example, where irrigated farmland is not sustainable (The acquifers are being unsustainably drained, no irrigation means less than marginal farmland) – areas like this are made for responsible farming of livestock. Not using these to produce meat is a waste of resources, and would more lead to a loss of a food resource than help.

  161. 162 Colleen D
    June 6, 2008 at 18:35

    I’m still not convinced that this is the solution. What if the US did agree to only produce free-range-fed meat? Even if that happened, what is the gaurantee that the newly available grains will make their way to a poor starving village in Africa? The issue is larger (economic/ political/ etc.) than simply imposing a dietary change in Western cultures.

  162. 163 kalypso-vienna,austria
    June 6, 2008 at 18:36

    this is not realistic!
    no. the solution is not vegeterianism. the solution is the fair distribution of food.
    THERE IS ENOUGH FOOD FOR ALL OF US IN THE WORLD!!!!

  163. 164 steve
    June 6, 2008 at 18:36

    @ Jonathan

    “Also, it’s difficult to get a complete, nutritious human diet entirely from vegetables.”

    You really haven’t obviously looked at the nutriotion contents of vegetables then, have you? You cnanot get a nutritious human diet entirely from meat, but you can from vegetables. Vegetables have vitamins, fiber, and depending on the type, lots of protein. Have you ever had beans, chick peas, etc? They are full of protein.. Again, I have a feeling you are presuming being a vegetarian means eating lettuce for every meal.

  164. 165 Elliott
    June 6, 2008 at 18:36

    The discussion on air would be more interesting if it weren’t for PETA. These well known psychotic lunatics make bad spokespeople for this cause.

    As I listen from the USA I cannot help but dismiss this discussion because of PETA’s involvement. I think many others are thinking the same thing. If PETA gets its way the squirrel you accidently hit on the road will require an ambulance and a coroners inquest. Simply stupid.

    Lastly I object to your legitimizing this lunatic fringe group with air time. Leave the PETA members to folk music festivals and throwing red paint on women.

    MA, USA.

  165. 166 Ian from Arizona
    June 6, 2008 at 18:36

    Is vegetariansim the answer to the global food crisis?

    No; vegetariansim is not the answer. Cutting back on the amount of meat that we eat is a good step.

    I wonder, as the UN suggests, why don’t we step up production of food? Why don’t we use GM crops? Why don’t we work hard to developing farms in Africa , using GM crops, and help them feed themselves?

  166. 167 Rebecca
    June 6, 2008 at 18:36

    1) The grain that is fed to animals (in the United States) is not able to be consumed by people. It is industry grade, not food grade. I am not sure what the situation is around the world, however I can not believe that it is much different.
    2) This argument seems to focus on grain fed. Grass fed animals are the best way to transfer the energy from grass to energy that can be consumed by humans
    3) How would organic crops that all of the vegetarians eat be fertilized? Natural, organic fertilizer in many cases consists of animal waste or bone meal.

  167. 168 Tino
    June 6, 2008 at 18:37

    So then we should only eat fruits? Beans could not be eaten in that case, which would make up a large portion of good proteins in a vegetarian diet. I believe corn would fit in there too and eating both legumes and corn is a good way to get all essential amino acids. My point still stands. Your diet of only fruits would quickly get you killed.

  168. 169 Alison
    June 6, 2008 at 18:39

    I’m afraid you’re right on this one Steve. It is about me. Feeding my family will always be a priority for me over feeding an unknown family across an ocean. I admit that is selfish, but it’s how I survive.

    Wouldn’t turning your computer off for a day and depriving yourself of that luxury to save energy be the unselfish thing to do? Or are you admitting you also fall into the me, me, me category.

  169. 170 steve
    June 6, 2008 at 18:40

    @ Nancy

    How are deer decimating the ecology? Does that mean eating someone’s backyard garden tomatoes? You really want to cull deer becuase they are eating someone’s tomatoes? A little selfish, isn’t it? And deers have natural predators. Even seen roadkill? It’s quite common.

  170. 171 David
    June 6, 2008 at 18:40

    On the point of Americans eating less meat to aid in fuel reduction.
    Good luck with that. This country was founded on beef. Besies, you can’t barbeque tofu.

  171. 172 Kel via Kalw
    June 6, 2008 at 18:42

    Meat eating wastes not just grain and soybeans but also water.
    It also contributes to deforestation in the Amazon, fights over grazing land, and the extinction of wildlife.
    I have been vegan for over 20 years and have never been healthier.

  172. 173 Jonathan Rasmussen
    June 6, 2008 at 18:42

    You just had a guy say that 99% of beef is corn-fed. No, no, no! That’s in the midwestern US. In the West, we use grass mostly. Bad enough to have specious arguments and muddled logic, but let’s at least get the facts right.

  173. 174 Scott Millar
    June 6, 2008 at 18:43

    TO: JONATHAN RASMUSSEN

    —I thought your post was great in its entirety.

    —Unfortunately, I think most people don’t like accurately trimmed arguments. They prefer the mysteries of chaotic dissonance. Please, stop making sense!

  174. 175 steve
    June 6, 2008 at 18:44

    @ Alison

    Are you saying there are not enough vegetables to feed your family, or they just want want want right now the meat they like? The energy that produces electricity that computers uses isn’t from food sources. So instead of having vegetarian chili for dinner, you insist on having ground beef in it, while people in the third world are starving, when you easily could have left out the beef, or used vegetarian crumble when it’s not a survival matter for your family, but a matter of preference. Yes, as you admit, that is quite selfish. It’s not like your family will starve if you give up meat, will they? Nope. You’ll just have to think of different foods while poor people elsewhere are starving to death.

  175. 176 Eric - Florida
    June 6, 2008 at 18:45

    And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. Genesis 1:29

    i have been a vegetarian for over 40 years, but would never impose my personal choice on others. obviously the world would be better off if people did not eat animals.

  176. 177 Rachael M.
    June 6, 2008 at 18:45

    We can solve the world food crisis, climate change, and have postive effects on numerous other social issues by haveing less people on this planet. What if every person and /or couple considered having not more than one child? This would solve many of the issues within a few decades. Overpopulation is the ultimate issue we are talking about, let’s address that on a global level.

  177. 178 Ayo
    June 6, 2008 at 18:45

    yes it is, just as drinking wine is the answer to third worlds water crisis.

  178. 179 Anon via email
    June 6, 2008 at 18:46

    The whole world going vegetarian: Great Idea but it will NEVER happen! So, why even talk about it?

  179. 180 Nancy
    June 6, 2008 at 18:47

    Culling deer. . . . . .

    I have no sympathy for folks whining about deer eating their prize peonies. However, deer have no natural predators in northeast Ohio. They are decimating the forests and natural areas and are starving. This weakens their species. There are just too many of them. They are changing the ecosystem in which they live.

  180. 181 Jules
    June 6, 2008 at 18:47

    I am frustrated to hear one of the guests saying all meat in restaurants and markets are grain fed…NOT TRUE! There are many small restaurants that are proud to offer and promote grass-fed/finished meats and local purveyors who are concerned about the carbon footprint and global issues. Eat local, grow your own food and be supportive of organics! The guest said he’s extremely healthy being vegan; being vegan almost destroyed me! I am allergic to soy, which is not healthy to consume as a protein alternative everyday (MODERATION, like everything else!). Personally, my body needs meat a few times per week. In practice, I eat most vegetarian, though, with meat in my diet a few times a week…It’s silly to expect everyone to stop eating meat. Educate about local foods, grass fed meats and sustainability and I am sure the carbon footprint would be reduced and more people will be fed! RUMINENTS DONT NEED GRAINS! Yes, I agree meat consumption needs to be reduced, but pontificating a specific type of diet isn’t going to solve the issue; education will.

  181. 182 Jay Hoge, Riga, Layvia
    June 6, 2008 at 18:48

    Listening to your guests recount the horrors of an overpopulated planet where food supplies won’t support the population has motivated me to re-read my copy of Jonathan Swift’s, “A Modest Proposal”. Are Irish children still available?

  182. 183 Cat
    June 6, 2008 at 18:48

    I was a vegiterian for 2 years and was told that the protien repalcement I was trying was not working. I dropped down to 80 lbs @ 17. I was told by a dr. to start eating meat again. also if humans did not start eating meat their brains would not have evolved.

  183. 184 Jules
    June 6, 2008 at 18:49

    And I do agree with other posts…overpopulation is a HUGE issue, compounding the issue

  184. 185 steve
    June 6, 2008 at 18:49

    @ Nancy re: culling deer

    We are changing our ecosystems, we are decimating our forests, should we cull humans as well? Again, let’s use the golden rule here. If we can cull deer for what we are doing ourselves, why not cull humans, since there obviously too many of us on earth?

  185. 186 Justin in Iowa
    June 6, 2008 at 18:50

    Steve, do more research on deer. Here in Iowa lack of natural predation means that Deer and Turkey populations are actually having a noticeable impact on ecology and agriculture. In my country, repeated efforts to regrow tree species which are fading from our forests have met with repeated failure. When the local DNR completely fenced off a 10 acre area of land and attempted to grow those trees, they were very successful. The deer population is rabidly attacking the local ecosystems because of no checks.

  186. 187 Andre
    June 6, 2008 at 18:51

    Bruce Friedrich has a serious point. It would be possible to feed many more people if we were all vegetarian. However, I believe it will require a generational effort in the west to begin the switch to a more sustainable food supply. Vegetarians and vegans will have to convince the carnivore proportion of the population of the health benefits of this policy. Will everyone who eats meat today and is healthy, remain healthy if they become vegetarian or vegan?

  187. 188 Anthony
    June 6, 2008 at 18:51

    Unfortunately, in the states, vegetarian and Vegan men are seen as wussies. We have the “Clint Eastwood” mentalities that meat is manly.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  188. 189 Justin in Iowa
    June 6, 2008 at 18:52

    Carbohydrate rich, I think, rather than protien rich? Speaking on maize.

  189. 190 Alison
    June 6, 2008 at 18:53

    Are you saying you have no contribution to the climate change problem? Just asking you to get off your high horse for a minute. I buy beef because it streches a long way on a short budget. As mentioned before, I just can’t pay $4 for a pepper, when I can pay twice that for days of food. However, I appreciate your chilli suggestion.

  190. 191 Tino
    June 6, 2008 at 18:54

    Steve you still have not explained how you plan to live on a diet of fruits only (the only thing plants made ‘to be eaten’). Also, the golden rule did not apply to anything but humans so you operate on something more like “PETAs golden rule”. Make the argument for vegetarianism based on the environment/starving people but please animals are not equal to humans just like you do not seem to think plants are equal to animals (for no apparent reason). Eating a bean should be the equivalent of eating a fetus to you but it somehow isn’t despite the fact that the bean could easily make another plant.

  191. 192 Tom Kychun
    June 6, 2008 at 18:55

    I’ve been a vegetarian for over 5 years, and I’ve been a triathlete for the past two years. I take no dietary supplements, and I have had no problems with my diet at all. It is impossible to deny that a balanced vegetarian diet is very healthy.

    Besides, it makes no sense to argue FOR eating meat. The only reason people insist on eating meat is because they WANT to eat it–not because anyone NEEDS to eat it. Cutting meat out of your diet is healthy, humane, and an ecologically beneficial idea.

    I don’t expect everyone to become a vegetarian, but certainly we in the United States can all cut down on how much meat we eat each day.

  192. 193 Carson
    June 6, 2008 at 18:57

    Is it possible for people to survive off of just the grain that would otherwise be fed to cattle? As well, does using less grain for animals make it more likely for people world wide to afford food? It seems as though the world hunger issue is not that there is simply too little food but that people have become unable to afford whatever food might be available. People starve because there are limited local resources to support either growing and raising their own food, and/or raising money for imported goods. This is an important factor.

  193. 194 Justin in Iowa
    June 6, 2008 at 18:57

    Irresponsible agriculture destroys land, whether its grain or livestock.

    Cattle are actually very bad, both their hoof structure and eating habitats, you have to manually keep them moving otherwise they graze an area bare.

    American Bison are actually very GOOD for areas, because their grazing habits are not similar to cattle, they move more and are more manageable for positive grazing.

  194. 195 Jules
    June 6, 2008 at 18:58

    I must say, however, that I speak sitting in the NW U.S. where rain is plentiful, and soil is rich. I am not sure how to deal with those in countries with parched lands and no grass to graze animals on…perhaps crop rotation to replenish soil? Let land lay fallow? Maybe it is all about local eating…deal within the communities? I, in no way, want to say my way is the only way…my way works for me and my family, where we live. But I don’t think eradicating meat from this planet is going to solve global hungar. Maybe teaching sustainable farming, and learning which crops can grow plentiful in which regions? Certain areas are much more in need of answers than others….

  195. 196 Rick - wisconsin usa
    June 6, 2008 at 18:58

    I would give up meat to save a life. I happen to be born in the us and have the luxury of food. We dont choose where we come from and to take a life for a steak. Well wheres the humanity in that.

  196. June 6, 2008 at 18:58

    Whatever happened to eating in moderation? I see numerous people eating more then they should and as a result, production levels have to increase while others starve. If people stopped easting excessively, we might reduce the vast obese levels in America. Meat is ok but not at the levels many consume. We need to solve this issue on an individual basis.

  197. 198 Scott Millar
    June 6, 2008 at 18:58

    TO STEVE:

    Your application of the “GOLDEN RULE” is invalid. It doesn’t work when you are comparing apples with Chia Pets. I think they are outside the scope of the “others” considered central to the Golden Rule.

  198. 199 Aaron
    June 6, 2008 at 18:58

    I wouldn’t go without meat, but I would tone it down.

    How does this factor into fish/crabs/etc though? They don’t really take up any grain…?

  199. 200 Nancy
    June 6, 2008 at 18:59

    Steve,

    Humans are as much a natural part of the earth as anything else. Where is the balance in letting the deer, or humans, take more the is ecologically sound for the earth to survive in balance? Since this topic is about vegetarianism, yes, vegetarianism may be a way to go. But what imbalance would that create. But balance, whether it is too many deer or humans or rutabagas will change the earth.

    Apparently, you believe any animal, which is not a carnivore, should be allowed to ravage the land it inhabits.

    There wouldn’t be so much roadkill if there were natural predators. But they were killed or driven west.

  200. 201 Siri
    June 6, 2008 at 18:59

    Trying to convince people to become vegetarian by dropping meat from their diet will produce a lot of unsatisfied people. A big issue is that they simply drop meat and don’t replace it with wholesome nutritious plant based protein sources. Being a life long vegetarian, I meet a lot of people who have tried it for a couple years and then go running back voraciously to meat. Probably even less willing to try reducing meat consumption in the future.

  201. 202 Juan
    June 6, 2008 at 18:59

    Dear World Have Your Say,

    As an American, I would be willing to become a vegetarian and have been considering a switch for quite so time. However, I disagree that most Americans would be willing to make such a change, similarly as Americans usually have a tendency to feel attached to supposed “American” things, such as guns perhaps.

  202. 203 Virginia - Portland, Oregon
    June 6, 2008 at 19:00

    I have just found a nearby farm where they raise beef. I am able to buy local organic grass-fed beef and because it is more expensive than “standard” beef, I will use less. This is a great solution for me, because less red meat is healthier and I’m also reducing the amount of oil that goes into delivering my food.

    This local beef is a lot more flavorful than the other stuff, so it goes farther, and I tend to savor every bite instead of just “stuffing it in.”

  203. 204 Joe
    June 6, 2008 at 19:01

    Ever since the BSE scandal came to light in the 90s I lost all trust in the meat industry and found it very easy to give up eating meat regularly. I try to think of meat as an accompaniment to a meal and as a treat that I am prepared to pay more for with the knowledge that it was raised healthfully (which generally means organically and not in large masses and hopefully more humanely). Clean up the meat industry’s practices and charge more money for better quality and maybe the masses will be able to cut back without it having to be so all or nothing.

  204. 205 Justin - Portland, Oregon
    June 6, 2008 at 19:01

    I am listening to the show and would reduce my meat consumption and probably will now I have listened to the show.

    I agree that preaching will not reduce my meat consumption.

  205. 206 Serina - Singapore
    June 6, 2008 at 19:02

    Simple solution to the world food crisis and here it is… Too simple maybe?

    Reduce the population and you not only reduce food consumption and hunger across the world, but resource consumption, pollution, environmental degradation, habitat loss, overdevelopment, poverty and many many more problems facing us.

    But of course no one dares mention this they are either dismissed ort made out to be a lunatic. But let’s face it, one day we will have to not only consider this option, but actually implement it as we cannot continue this unfettered expansion of our species.

  206. 207 Scott
    June 6, 2008 at 19:03

    I agree….I think that presenting options is a good way to make a difference.

    I plan to reduce my meat consumption so that we as a family of 4 will have meatless meals 3 days a week..!!!

  207. 208 steve
    June 6, 2008 at 19:05

    @ Scott

    I don’t see how it’s outside of the goldenrule. Becuase they aren’t exactly the same as us, the golden rule doesn’t apply? Should I then be able to steal the stereo equipment and CDs of deaf people given they can’t even hear music anyways?? If I don’t want to be killed and have a jacket made of me, I won’t do it to something else. That’s the golden rule. Sorry if you don’t believe in it.

  208. 209 Shelley
    June 6, 2008 at 19:06

    I don’t think that the whole world needs to go completely vegetarian and stop eating meat altogether. I do think that if people around the world stopped overconsuming meat and ate more plant-based foods, there would be more food for everyone. However, this is only part of the solution. Other aspects of the food crisis were mentioned at the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation summit, such as the use of food plants for biofuels.

    I do have my doubts about some of the issues that were raised https://worldhaveyoursay.wordpress.com/2008/06/06/talking-points-for-6-june#comment-29634

    or how they were discussed, especially opening
    up trade markets.
    https://worldhaveyoursay.wordpress.com/2008/06/06/talking-points-for-6-june#comment-29638

    It is a good start, though. If the UNFAO were to respond to some of the criticisms that were made of the summit, it could actually produce the sort of dialogue that would lead to sustainable solutions.

    <a href=https://worldhaveyoursay.wordpress.com/2008/06/06/talking-points-for-6-june/#comment-29690

  209. 210 steve
    June 6, 2008 at 19:06

    @ Nancy

    “Apparently, you believe any animal, which is not a carnivore, should be allowed to ravage the land it inhabits. ”

    Then clearly you must agree that humans need to be culled given how much damage they do to the planet and how there are simply too many of them. If not, why the double standard? We do FAR FAR worse than the deer will ever do. So why not cull humans?

  210. 211 Nick McGregor
    June 6, 2008 at 19:06

    Diversity of diet is an aspiration for many millions of people. It creates pressure on the economic system of food production and distribution and can create pricing pressures as we are seeing now. Diversity of diet away from an over reliance on a particular nation or region’s staple crops can, however, help to avoid some of the horrors of history where failure of a particular crop has led to mass starvation.

    Like most things in life the key is balance and planning – unfortunately it is notoriously hard to plan where food production is concerned due to its dependence on nature and it is this uncertainty that has made food such an area of interest for invetors and speculators recently.

    My own feeling is that the issue isn’t really about vegetarianism feeding the world but about economies having a balance between their domestic production and their reliance on imported foodstuffs – it is the imbalance in this equation that is causing so many financial problems for governments the world over at the moment.

  211. 212 Julie from Portland Oregon
    June 6, 2008 at 19:07

    I have been a vegetarian for 20 years for many reasons. However, I don’t think that eating meat is really at the bottom of the issue of feeding the world. It is world population. Why are people so hesitant to see that we are reaching a critical mass and that in time there won’t be enough grain to feed everyone even if we are all vegetarians. There seems to be a Taboo against discussing reproductive rights in terms of population control, however, 20 years ago people wouldn’t have been interested in discussing their right to drive an SUV that got 9 miles to the gallon either. We had to reach a point of desperation in global warming and gas prices – depending on whether you are motivated to save the world or just your own purse. Population needs to be addressed one way or another.

  212. 213 Peter Gizzi
    June 6, 2008 at 19:07

    I have about 3 meat free days a week partly for health reasons and partly for economy. I do not have a car so do not need bio-fuel. I would prefer to feed people than cars!

  213. 214 Hope - Portland, USA
    June 6, 2008 at 19:08

    Great show! This is not the answer to the so called global warning. The answer is nature taking its course just as humans toils on earth and die at one point. We can only make the best of what we have and at the same time i do not believe any of us is capable of changing the course of nature just as we can not afford to add an inch to our lifetime.

  214. 215 Mark - Columbus, Indiana
    June 6, 2008 at 19:08

    I live in the midwest, (Indiana), in a small town and I can tell you that you will have a very hard job convincing people to eat less meat because it will help other people in the world. People love their rib-eyes and double cheeseburgers. If we had a better health policy here that would encourage people to have their health checked periodically. I believe more people would become more concerned about their cholesterol levels and such and take advice from their doctors to cut down on the red meat before they get blocked arteries and have a heart attack.

    Thanks for a great topic.

  215. 216 Anna, Texas
    June 6, 2008 at 19:09

    Sure, I’d reduce my meat consumption, say eat meat 3 times instead of 5. But I think its pretty radical to ask me to be a vegetarian. How am I supposed to believe that this isn’t a Vegan agenda? Is it just meat you’re asking me to give up, or dairy products too? Bottom line:
    You’d have to show me that the hungry of the world would directly benefit.

  216. 217 steve
    June 6, 2008 at 19:10

    re: deer

    I’m curious, who causes more tree loss, deer or humans? Who seems to be building roads in the middle of pristine nature areas? Those darn deer! They need to be killed off!

  217. 218 Ezzie
    June 6, 2008 at 19:10

    I live in Pennsylvania, USA. My husband and I are going through a change in our diet due to health issues. We all need to reduce our dependency on all meat products. Yes, we will reduce our intake, but until this show I had no idea how it would help others around the world.

    thank you for your great show!

  218. 219 Phyllis - Leonardtown, MD
    June 6, 2008 at 19:11

    How much of the malnurishment in many developing countries is caused by war and inefficient farming methods? Perhaps that should be addressed before we start telling the rest of the world what eat or not.

  219. 220 Sunny, Canada
    June 6, 2008 at 19:12

    I have given up meat, fish and have decided to grow my own vegetables. If it helps the people in the other parts of the world who do not have food to have more food I do not think so, but wish it would. I think North America is one of the most wasteful countries I have lived in, and it is changing shopping habits, eating habits and and attitudes to food overall, then there may be a change for the better. When I lived in China all parts of the vegetables and animals are eaten, inevitably less food is wasted… I think less food shuld be exported to the western countires and they shoudl start to be more self reliant in terms of growing food.

    The diets in China and India are changing because the younger generations are being sold the image of fast food being a great western cultural food, it is interesting to also see a rise in weight issues amongst alot of the younger generation of Chinese children due to more fast food and junk foods.

    I stayed on a Chinese farm and it was all self sufficient, they grew their own veg, and raised their own animals and fed the animals the scraps were still probably better quality than the crap the poor animals are fed wating to become hamburgers…

    the whole attitude needs to change here in the west. India same thing, alot of self sufficient families.

  220. 221 Adrian from the US.
    June 6, 2008 at 19:14

    Let’s assume we do stop eating meat and the world goes vegan. How long is it going to be before we are back on the same situation?

    The problem is not the amount of food in the world, the problem is the amount of children the world, mostly the 3rd world is having.

    I know its not pc to say this, but this is the true problem we are having. Until we fix this nothing with change.

  221. 222 Simone -Olympia, WA, USA
    June 6, 2008 at 19:15

    Great topic

    Yes, as an American I would reduce my meat consumption. I eat less meat than I have in the past and would reduce it further if I had more time to cook or had more imagination.

    Eating less meat is less expensive, and I feel better when I do. I understand it’s better for the globe and I support that.

    I don’t think it’s realistic to think the planet would embrace a vegetarian diet. Humans by and large are selfish and self centered and what comes easiest to them is what they will do. The key is to present the numbers and make the solutions sexy.

    We can’t change habits everywhere but we can lessen the impact in various ways.

  222. 223 Bob G USA
    June 6, 2008 at 19:16

    Hunger is caused by poverty not low capacity. Technically, the world could double its food production with enough incentive .If we close the Kansas feed lots, no one could afford to hire Kansas farmers to produce that corn for Bangladesh. Closing feed lots will only add to unemployment. The solution to hunger is to provide every population a sustainable economy.

  223. 224 Scott - Vegetarian that gave up his love of meat 15 years ago - Alameda, California
    June 6, 2008 at 19:17

    Agricultural technology cannot keep pace with population growth, and if we reach a point where we cannot feed everyone, no matter how generous we are, the have’s will have to wall-out the have nots to protect themselves. But cutting down on meat consumption, howeer it buys us time to solve the problem.

    Sustainabilty has two sides, supply and demand. Supply is made greater by vegitarianism and technology. Demand is reduced by slowing the population rate, and the most effective tool in that regard is high standard of living brought about through public education of the masses.

  224. 225 Tino
    June 6, 2008 at 19:18

    “I don’t see how it’s outside of the goldenrule. Becuase they aren’t exactly the same as us, the golden rule doesn’t apply? Should I then be able to steal the stereo equipment and CDs of deaf people given they can’t even hear music anyways?? If I don’t want to be killed and have a jacket made of me, I won’t do it to something else. That’s the golden rule. Sorry if you don’t believe in it.”

    Once again, you eat beans but I am sure you would find it reprehensible to eat the fetus of an animal. Why do plants get the special treatment, as only fruits were meant to be eaten?

  225. 226 Maureen - Wilsonville, Oregon
    June 6, 2008 at 19:18

    My 16 year old son became a vegetarian over two years ago for many of the reasons you discuss today. Our support has meant that we, as a family, eat much less meat while he eats none, but in considering your question whether or not to give up meat to conserve our grain resources, my answer would be yes, gladly. It is not as difficult as it might seem.

  226. 227 Luz - Monterrey, México
    June 6, 2008 at 19:20

    I don?t think vegetarianism is the answer for the food crisis. The problem is the unequal distribution of the food. We have people in the world that are starving while others are overweight. It is not only a North-South problem (developed vs. developing countries). Even in poor countries there are wealthy people that have access to food and luxuries while the rest of the population starves to death.

    Do you really think that if the western world gives up meat, the crops are going to be given to the starved people? I don?t think so? probably they will be used to make biofuel.

  227. 228 Colleen D
    June 6, 2008 at 19:21

    So I think it is conclusive that reducing meat consumption is healthy for individuals and beneficial to many (not all) local agricultural eco-systems.

    But the question was: is vegetarianism the answer to the global food crisis.

    I dont think there was much evidence that it is.

    The issues of re-distribution, subsidation, trade barriers and production were barely addressed.

    Still a very interesting show. I dont eat much meat anyway, but now i’ll feel better about it!

  228. 229 steve
    June 6, 2008 at 19:22

    @ Tino

    A bean isn’t an animal. A deer is an animal. You should compare similiar things. Such as animals vs. animals (human vs. deer) rather than human vs rocks or humans vs. beans.

  229. 230 Scott Millar
    June 6, 2008 at 19:27

    TO: STEVE

    No, sorry Steve, I don’t agree with your application of the Golden Rule because it is incorrect. Deaf people are indeed, without a doubt, safely within “others.” Chickens and mangosteens are not within the reasonable scope of “others.” I would not put myself or my fellow humans in a cage or field to lay eggs. I would not put a bridle on and encourage my friends to ride me through the fields. I would do those things to animals.

  230. 231 Justin in Iowa
    June 6, 2008 at 19:31

    Steve: keep the arguments sensible, please. Go ask australians about how uncontrolled animals can run rampant, I’m sure they’d love to give you a run down on rabbits.

    Everything in life is about balance. Your arguments argue an extreme position out of balance… which is why, ultimately, you will never convince rational people to your position. Just as few people will ever be convinced to become purely carnivores.

    Extreme positions very rarely produce positive results.

  231. 232 steve
    June 6, 2008 at 19:34

    @ Scott

    You say “animals”. Are you suggest you aren’t an animal? Seems to me that people are born, eat, poop, sleep, reproduce, etc just like animals do. Oh we die too. Yet you are somehow “higher” and hence you can do whatever you want to with them because you feel entitled to. Interesting. Again, if a bear were to kill your family, would that bear and all other have to die, despite how humans have killed so many more bears than bears have killed humans? What’s the ratio, probaly 50,000:1 of Bears to Humans having been killed by each other?? We seem awfully similar, given we do the same things as other animals, so why shouldn’t the golden rule apply, becuase it’s not convenient for you? You want this and you want it right now , so the goldenrule doesn’t apply? Can you give me an explanation that isn’t about selfishness?

  232. 233 Barbara - Portland Oregon USA
    June 6, 2008 at 19:39

    I could happily be meat free 5 out of 7 days a week. Its cheaper, healthier, easier……now if I could just convince my husband!

    Whenever he travels the kids and I are completely vegetarian.

    I am trying – at least – to eat lower on the food chain….less beef, more chicken. The way we raise cattle for slaughter is crazy – and cannot continue for much longer. We will eat less meat because we will soon not be able to afford it.

  233. June 6, 2008 at 19:40

    Hello all, Chloe here. Thanks for the heated debate that has got going today. I appreciate many of you are passionate about this topic, but please let’s be polite to one another and keep to rational debate. Otherwise your comments won’t get published. I’ve deleted far too many today already. Thanks

  234. 235 Thomas listening in Memphis, TN.
    June 6, 2008 at 19:40

    Your guests are correct that we don’t have the resources to feed 4 billion people on a western style diet. However, there is a small part of the biotech industry that’s working on producing meat tissue without sacrificing any animals. Although meat grown in the lab may sound unappetizing, the average meat eater doesn’t give much thought to where or how their meat is produced. As long as it tastes the same people won’t care. In 20 years, poorer individuals will eat factory-produced meat while richer people will eat the old-fashioned kind.

  235. 236 Jill, from Portland Oregon
    June 6, 2008 at 19:41

    Going vegetarian or vegan doesn’t have to be a sacrifice. The food is wonderful; most vegans in developed countries have fantastic diversity and incredibly delicious foods in our daily diets.

  236. 237 Tino
    June 6, 2008 at 19:41

    @ Steve

    “A bean isn’t an animal. A deer is an animal. You should compare similiar things. Such as animals vs. animals (human vs. deer) rather than human vs rocks or humans vs. beans.”

    And I am trying to find out what makes animals so special as compared to plants I am comparing life to life. You seem to think vegetarianism is the way to go despite the fact that you slaughter tons of living things either way. I have not seen a good argument for why animals are more deserving of special treatment over plants.

  237. 238 Petr
    June 6, 2008 at 19:41

    If we stop eating meat and produce more grain an vegetables,it will maybe help temporarily, but then number of people on the planet will increase and new crisis will arise. Then what ? We will start eating bugs and algae ? We need to help poor people with education, help them to grow crops if they can. If they are living in a desert, move theme somwhere else, they can’t survive there anyways. Giving food for free doesn’t help anyone.

  238. 239 steve
    June 6, 2008 at 19:42

    @ Nancy

    Personal attacks are not tolerated here. yes, I understand those things, which we created. I’m saying people created the problems we have, then we blame the animals, and kill them, when WE are the reason there is a problem. How is that accepting responsiblity? If people are complaining about deer getting hit by cars, then why build roads where the deer live? It’s THEIR habitat, not ours. Again, who cuts down more trees, deer or humans? If the tree loss due to deer is so great that they need to be killed off, then why don’t you suggest the same about people, or at least have people cut down less trees than deers cause the loss of?

  239. 240 steve
    June 6, 2008 at 19:46

    @ Tino

    Then why would humans deserve even more special treatment over “animals” or “plants”, because you say so? “Because”?????

  240. 241 Dennis
    June 6, 2008 at 19:48

    @ Chloe and everyone else!

    Chloe posted @ 7.40PM on 6/6/2008

    I have to agreed with her [Chloe]…we need to be nice to each other and
    agreed to disagreed with each others point of view…[something i learn in my Interpersonal Communications class @ college]

    Dennis
    Onondaga Community College
    Syracuse, New York
    United States

  241. June 6, 2008 at 19:49

    So we have all these people healty and not hungry. Can anybody tell me what the frst order of business will be for these happy healthy people?

  242. 243 Joseph (via email)
    June 6, 2008 at 19:50

    Thinking about it, I am willing to completely give up meat to help save lives around the world.

    Please stop allowing people to say they can speak for anyone else but themselves. Many people so far on this show keep saying they can speak for other people, when they cannot.

    Thanks!!

  243. 244 Joseph (via email)
    June 6, 2008 at 19:51

    The idea that eating meat takes food out of the mouths of others is not outrageous; it is literally true.

    We, in our cultures, are so used to eating meat that we cannot conceive of animals not being food. They are not. They are beings in their own right.

    To continue eating meat at the current rate will undoubtedly destroy the earth. We have nearly emptied the oceans.

    Do I walk the talk? I’ve been a strict vegetarian for 37 years.

  244. 245 Anon via email
    June 6, 2008 at 19:52

    The idea that eating meat takes food out of the mouths of others is not outrageous; it is literally true.

    We, in our cultures, are so used to eating meat that we cannot conceive of animals not being food. They are not. They are beings in their own right.

    To continue eating meat at the current rate will undoubtedly destroy the earth. We have nearly emptied the oceans.

    Do I walk the talk? I’ve been a strict vegetarian for 37 years.

  245. 246 Glynn in Ohio
    June 6, 2008 at 19:53

    As I write this, I am frying bacon while listening to your program. I can appreciate this irony even more because I was a vegetarian for years, and lost an unhealthy amount of weight because of my very fast metabolism. I think entirely giving up meat is unpractical, not only for the varied diets around the world, but also for the global economy.

  246. 247 Loraine
    June 6, 2008 at 19:54

    Questions to consider:to feed the world: Better distribution; less waste; using land for food essentials such as diverting vast amounts of acreage used for non edibles such as coffee and tea to grow wholesome food; grwing the most nutritious foods per unit eaten. Perhaps land distribution to more people instead of huge plantation control would make arable land available to people to grow their own food. Revision of eating habits would be desirable in western diets especially to lower meat intake and encourage use of fruits and vegetables. Do we really need huge housing developments which landscape beautifully with ornamental plants and use this space to grow food instead? do we need to expend water, soil.and effort to keep luxurious gold courses in the desert?

  247. 248 Jeremy
    June 6, 2008 at 19:54

    Dear World Have Your Say,
    I concur totally with the caller who advocated grass-fed beef. Your vegan interviewees are historically incorrect when they claim that humanity has been vegetarian for most of its existence. Homo sapiens sapiens are omnivores, and the eating of animal proteins, as far as reliable scientists are concerned, was of cardinal importance in the development of our brains. Look at gorillas: they eat plant mass all day long and have significantly smaller brains. Factory farms are abhorrent, but let’s not be myopic about the past.

  248. 249 art
    June 6, 2008 at 19:55

    It’s obvious Ros hates vegetarians.

  249. 250 Ayodeji
    June 6, 2008 at 19:56

    Yes just as wine is the answer to the third worlds water crisis

  250. 251 - Portland Oregon
    June 6, 2008 at 19:57

    don’t call myself a vegetarian but I am a conscientious eater, I don’t eat any meet I haven’t for 10 months and I feel great not only physically but how I am making a difference in our world. I have also become involve in my local sustainable small veg farmers and will be getting all my veg fresh every two weeks. We can all make a difference human were not designed to eat meat our colons are so large that we don’t pass meat in a way a lion might do, so the meat rots in us creating greater health risk as we age. We don’t need meat Gorillas are vegan and they seem to manage just fine

  251. 252 Robert in San Francisco, USA
    June 6, 2008 at 19:57

    I have been a lacta-ovo vegetarian for 40 years. I am 63 and in perfect health. Ican easily work 10 and 12 hour days in heavy constrution work. Every day I eat delicious meat free food. This morning I had eggs, potatoes, vegetarian sausage and bacon. tonight I may have hotdogs, soup and salad.

  252. 253 Mark LaRue
    June 6, 2008 at 19:58

    Dear WHYS,

    I don’t think we can ever stop meat eating or force vegetarianism. Imagine the kind of law enforcement neccessary to enforce such a set of international and national agreements/laws. For example, now that China is more prosperous they are demanding a great deal more meat of all sorts. We can’t even stop China from harvesting shark fins at sea.

    The problem is human over population. The idea that we can sustain a food supply for an exploding world population by the cessation of meat eating is incorrect. Vegetarianism would only postpone the problem.

    It is time to look at world wide population control seriously.

  253. 254 David L
    June 6, 2008 at 19:58

    I have heard that because of artificial fertilizers the amount of vitamines and minerals in fruit and veg is lower than 30 years ago. If we go back to crop rotation where the animals have a function to fertilize the fields and that the fields are given a year to revive we probably have a beter long term solution. Planting only grain wil only work for a certain amount of years but that’s not the way to use the land, just like animal factories is not the way to use animals.

  254. 255 Jill in Oregon
    June 6, 2008 at 19:59

    The world hunger crisis is a natural extension of the increasing appetite we have for meat. Besides the hunger issue, the raising of meat affects the environment, depletes water resources, causes cancer and high cholesterol, and the unnecessary killing of animals. The production of meat uses astronomical amounts of antibiotics and pesticides that pollute the environment and natural resources. All told, we have a problem on our hands. We DON”T need meat to live well. At least not as much (meat) as we think we do. Further statistics and information is available from EarthSave, and if one would dare to read Diet For A New America or any number of other books on the subject, the evidence is quite convincing. I am a raw vegan, and I live a healthy, energetic lifestyle.

  255. 256 Tino
    June 6, 2008 at 20:01

    @ Steve

    “Then why would humans deserve even more special treatment over “animals” or “plants”, because you say so? “Because”?????”

    If you take your golden rule to its actual logical conclusion, everyone would be dead since we could not eat plants. Once you say plants are not deserving of this special treatment, with no grounds for such a conclusion (you tried to say they had no nervous system, but they do) then you lose any power of argument. If you can arbitrarily move the line above plants but under animals why can I not move the line above animals but under humans. Your arguments are all arguments from emotion: “Would you like it if I skinned your child” etc. There is no valid reason for why your stance on not killing animals should not be applied to not killing plants. Mine, however, is that we can kill and eat animals and plants – no contradiction. Anything under the legal law that we all agreed to be placed under is fair game to me.

  256. 257 David (mm venison) Corbett
    June 6, 2008 at 20:06

    (Bruce): The official handbook for the Live Earth concerts says

    [Me]: So? You’re saying my life and morality should follow the directives of concert promoters?

    (Steve): Why don’t we apply the golden rule to other animals? If we hunt them, they should be able to hunt us.

    [Me]: I love ya man, Can I buy you a bear..err. I mean beer?

    (David Riddy): Education is the key and it needs national compaigns and constant advertising to change the eating habits of the world.

    [Me]: One man’s “Education” is another man’s propoganda, just depends on what side you’re on. Do we -have- to all think the same? It’s choice, and if I choose to differ from you, that’s it. You belive differently than I do on many things I bet, but I’m not going to go and try to get governments and NGO to start spending tons and tons of my and your money to change your mind. I accept you, and what you believe with no problems or animosity, so long as you don’t attempt to begin infringing on my life. Stay out of my bedroom, and away from my table if you don’t like the menu.

    (Steve): Would you object to being slaughtered?

    [Me]: Duh! but then thats why I usually carry my little “friend”

    (Steve):Why not force people to have experiments on them?

    [Me]: Umm. we have? did not the U.S. Military do this to many African American soldiers in and around WWII, and I’m sure with very little effort I or anyone can find many examples where this has been done, and I can only assume still is done, somewhere in the world. Especially in time of war.

    (Tino): Perhaps if you are against it, you should volunteer for said testing?

    [Me]: Well said, oh and for the true believer’s, perhaps offer up your wife and children as well?

    (Steve): So long as we have landwhales, animals are dying unecessarily even if you could justify killing animals for food.

    [Me]: Wow.. so now global warming and the food crisis is the fault of fat people? By this logic, as long as I’m active, slim trim and look good in spandex, I -might- be justified in BBQing Bambi. sweet, lets see, lose 5 more pounds and I’m there. Sorry mom, just because you have a “hormone imbalance” is no excuse.

    (Steve): They aren’t evil like we are.

    [Me]: We all are evil, or only the ones that don’t agree with you? Steve, exactly where do you draw the line. Killing of animals for food, or the knowing, purposeful killing of animals at all, for any reason? Do you use any type of cleaning products at all? especially “anti-microbials”? Do you use bleach?, Do you drive or use any form of transportation that exceeds 5mph? which runs over frogs & snakes, splats bugs on the windshield? If you went to a hospital or doctors office, do you expect the tools and surfaces to have been disinfected? what were they “infected” with?

    Tino keeps asking the question, where do you draw the line?

    (steve): Every defense of eating meat is the same “I don’t care, I want to do what I do, don’t care about anything else except what I want”. It’s the same drive that SUV drivers have. People are disgustingly selfish, so much so they’ll take lives for their selfishness. Absolutely disgusting.

    [Me]: and every militant veggie’s is the same. “It offends me, and I don’t like it, so the whole world must bow to my opinion” Guess what Steve. Ain’t gonna happen.

    gotta stop for now, made it maybe 1/10th of the way through the messages so far..

  257. 258 David (mm venison) Corbett
    June 6, 2008 at 20:07

    oops. left off the top part:

    (Bruce): But what if I told you that 7 times as much crops (750m tonnes) are taken from the mouths of the global poor to feed chickens, pigs, and other farmed animals? Surely this is a crime against humanity of even greater impact.

    [Me]: Well, finally the question is answered. The Chicken crossed the road to get the starving baby’s wheat!

    (Bruce): The point is echoed by the respected environmental think tank, The WorldWatch Institute, which published a report a few years back that declares:

    [Me]: “Well Respected”? Never heard of them. Sorry.

  258. 259 steve
    June 6, 2008 at 20:09

    @ Tino

    So then if you agree we can kill and eat plants and animals, then we shouldn’t have a problem when animals kill people. Right? Next bear attack there is, will you be the first to say “maybe we shouldn’t go hunt all the bears in the area?”

  259. 260 Scott Millar
    June 6, 2008 at 20:17

    TO: STEVE,

    We’ve been through this before. You are not sticking to the argument and the points being made.

    I’ve never once said I can do what I want to animals. I am a vegetarian. I don’t have a pet because I think it is egoistic. I don’t ride horses.

    There is a practical fundamental difference between human animals and other animals. Aren’t you willing to state there is one? This is why the golden rule does not apply.

    Words by DANIEL DENNETT:
    “Comparing our brains with bird brains or dolphin brains is almost beside the point, because our brains are in effect joined together into a single cognitive system that dwarfs all others. They are joined by one of the innovations that has invaded our brains and no others: language.”

  260. 261 David (mm venison) Corbett
    June 6, 2008 at 20:17

    Depends on the situation. Did the bear attack the person, cause the person had invaded the bears den? just protecting itself. same as if a hunter got killed by the bear, when hunting the bear. guess this time the bear won.

    now. if I was hungry, and in the mood for bear.. maybe not “all” the bears, but one? But, if he wins the hunt, guess I’m din din. (wonder what wine bears pair with human?)

  261. June 6, 2008 at 20:21

    I thought this was a phenomenal program, and it inspired me to dedicate a pretty extensive blog issue to the topic.

    http://www.theblogword.com/2008/06/follow-up-to-todays-random-vid.html

  262. 263 steve
    June 6, 2008 at 20:25

    @ Scott

    “There is a practical fundamental difference between human animals and other animals. Aren’t you willing to state there is one? This is why the golden rule does not apply.”

    Yes, Whales can send out sonar pings that can kill squid. they are quite different. Birds can fly. The aren’t like us.

    As for language? If people are so smart, why can’t we understand whale songs? Why can’t we communicate with them? Why are some chimpanzees learned sign language? Why are there some birds that actually understand human language at a basic level, not just mimicking, but actually understanding the commands given to them, and they do exactly what the command was, not just having memorized something. So why can’t people understand what my bird says? If we’re so superior that the golden rule shouldn’t apply to them?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3430481.stm

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/10/science/10cnd-parrot.html?hp

    If neanderthals were still alive, given they couldn’t speak, they should have been killed off, because they cannot communicate, right, and so the rules, the “i feel like it” rule means would should be able to treat them like we treat other animals?

  263. 264 steve
    June 6, 2008 at 20:27

    @ David.

    People don’t seem to care why the bear wins. If it does, people go nuts, and go out and kill all the bears. It’s usually because it’s hungry, defending its territory, yet we go nuts and go kill everyone we can find. How “sporting”.

  264. 265 Tino
    June 6, 2008 at 20:30

    “So then if you agree we can kill and eat plants and animals, then we shouldn’t have a problem when animals kill people. Right? Next bear attack there is, will you be the first to say “maybe we shouldn’t go hunt all the bears in the area?””

    Already said I have no problem when that happens. Everytime I enter the ocean I am aware I could potentially be attacked by a shark and I do not hate them for it at all. If a bear attacked me I would of course defend myself but I would not then go on a crusade against the bears.

  265. 266 steve
    June 6, 2008 at 20:43

    @ Tino

    You might not go on a crusade, but the government will. That’s what matters. When we stop doing that, will have less of a problem, especially given the bear was most likely defending its cubs.. Do you remember before 9/11 what the big news was? Shark attacks during the summer. A couple people got attacked. Meanwhile, in the same time, people probably killed several hundred thousand or million sharks during those couple of attacks, yet it was constant national headline news until 9/11 happened.

  266. 267 Zak
    June 6, 2008 at 20:44

    Scott silence is often more golden than words; if you do not like someone’s argument attack it, not them, we’ve been over this and for that reason I’m going to ask you to rephrase your comment in order to keep solely personal remarks off the blog- the warnings have been issued enough times to warrant action.

  267. 268 Alison
    June 6, 2008 at 20:49

    A little off-subject maybe, but my curiosity is overwhelming me. When has the government gone on the attack against bears? They are protected animals where I come from…protected by the government, and bear attacks happen on a yearly basis.

  268. 269 PETER AMADI
    June 6, 2008 at 20:53

    I do not know why the world likes extremes. firstly, going veggie will not solve the world food problems.
    there are a lot of places where food is produced in large quantities (i am not talking about the mechanized farming of the west now) but in Africa, but facilities/infrastructures to bring those products to where they are needed are not there, and the storage facilities to keep them beyond the season is completely lacking.
    Again,the west use various measures aimed at stabilising prices to starve millions of starving people all over the world.
    We (the world) just need to look at their priorities once again, and examine what really they want, is it to feed every one alife, or maintain prices in the west,(or getting rich for corrupt leaders in Africa,who will rather steal money than invest in socially profitable goods.)
    thanx.

  269. 270 Jonathan Rasmussen
    June 6, 2008 at 20:59

    @Steve– You never disappoint.

    No, I don’t think vegetarians only eat lettuce, and I didn’t say or imply it.

    No, I didn’t propose,suggest,recommend, or even contemplate a diet entirely of meat.

    Yes, I have “looked at” and do know something about nutrition including content of vegetables and meat and all manner of things. I even know that “protein” per se is not sufficient.

    Yes, I do eat legumes including chick peas.

    What vegetables do you recommend for, oh, I don’t know, say, zinc?

    My statement was carefully worded, and I meant what I said. If you can refute it, do so. Until then, your fevered fantasies are entertaining.

  270. 271 dretceterini
    June 6, 2008 at 21:07

    Asking people to give up meat is as absurd as asking people to give up watching idiotic programs like American idol.

  271. 272 Scott Millar
    June 6, 2008 at 21:12

    TO AND AT: ZAK

    Excuse me ZAK, don’t patronize me. I was attacking the argument. Your suggestions are sophomoric and boring. Where was the personal attack? How is stating that Steve is treating “others with an egregious lack of rationality” not attacking the argument? That is exactly what I was attacking the argument. Explain?

    I’ll decide when silence is more golden then words. As you can too.

    What exactly was your post to me? It’s content is no different then my post.

    If this selective objectivity is what WORLD HAVE YOUR SAY is about. I don’t want any part of it.

    Oh, I forgot it is okay to bash everyone and everything on WHYS, just as long as those things cannot defend themselves on the blog. Very, very smart!

  272. 273 Will Rhodes
    June 6, 2008 at 21:16

    The first veggie that tells me I have to eat Sprouts, Broccoli, Cabbage or lettuce or Turnip, Swede or any other of that rubbish I will do a dance on their head! 🙂

  273. 274 Tino
    June 6, 2008 at 21:25

    “You might not go on a crusade, but the government will. That’s what matters. When we stop doing that, will have less of a problem, especially given the bear was most likely defending its cubs.. Do you remember before 9/11 what the big news was? Shark attacks during the summer. A couple people got attacked. Meanwhile, in the same time, people probably killed several hundred thousand or million sharks during those couple of attacks, yet it was constant national headline news until 9/11 happened.”

    Then you should target your focus on people who cull animals after attacks not people who eat meat. Secondly, it making headlines is not a problem – people have a right to know where attacks hapened to avoid the places at their choosing. Finally, if people happen to be interested then as a news company I would want to put that out there since I would like to keep making money by making happy customers.

  274. 275 Jonathan Rasmussen
    June 6, 2008 at 21:29

    @Scott Millar — [tipping my hat] Thanks very much, for offering the only response I got, for the compliment, and for the advice. I guess you’re right. A Roman circus, not a Greek debating society. More heat than light, by design.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that….

  275. 276 Jonathan Rasmussen
    June 6, 2008 at 21:38

    @Alison–Hey, bears aren’t especially off topic, by prevailing standards anyway. Where do you live? I ask because in the US, we take it very seriously. There’s a Constitutional right to arm bears.

  276. 277 Scott Millar
    June 6, 2008 at 21:43

    TO: JONATHAN RASMUSSEN,

    I think now I too have added to the “heat” above. But sometimes I think it is okay to be crazy with anger if it is what you feel—as long as you realize that’s what it is. Repression is no friend either.

  277. 278 Zak
    June 6, 2008 at 21:52

    This is one incredible discussion: my compliments to all of you for carrying it on so. On the blank page we’re discussing this somewhat too so if anyone feels like taking on a specific angle of the discussion that could be a receptacle; for instance to talk specifically about the ethical treatment of animals.

  278. 279 Jens
    June 6, 2008 at 22:15

    Wasn’t the whole Mad Cow thing due to farmers feeding cows other cows? The dead cows would get ground up, and made into a kind of mash, and they would feel it to other cows.

    steve you are miles off. it was sheep brains.

    interestingly we cannot contract scrapie from sheep, but some (very few) have contracted mad cow’s, which showed up as vCJD.

  279. 280 Jens
    June 6, 2008 at 22:26

    Meanwhile, in the same time, people probably killed several hundred thousand or million sharks during those couple of attacks

    Steve,

    i think at least a brazillian sharks were killed.

    don’t you think your number is a little high……

  280. 281 Alison
    June 6, 2008 at 22:30

    @Jonathan,

    I like that, very clever. I’m in the US also and have lived all over the NW and mountain states. People learn to live with and respect the bears and other wildlife. If you’re going to live so close to wilderness, you have to…or you may be their next meal….an ironic twist on the same issue I suppose.

  281. 282 Jonathan Rasmussen
    June 6, 2008 at 22:33

    @Zak–A page to discuss specifically ethical treatment of animals? You mean, instead of scrambled up amidst a discussion billed as being about a purported “world food crisis?”

    Good idea.

  282. 283 Jonathan Rasmussen
    June 6, 2008 at 22:41

    @Scott–Oh, anger is OK I guess, sort of a buildup, but penetration with the stiletto of sarcasm is the really satisfying part for me. Anyway, I think we were deprived of your fireball; left to interpolate it from the subsequent exchange. I always flinch at that big red box warning that my post will be “moderated,” but fortunately thus far it’s been an empty threat..

  283. 284 Zak
    June 6, 2008 at 22:46

    Well, yeah, something like that. Hop on into the discussion I’m doing the Don King style promotion by invoking the Order of Beings on the blank page- HALLELUJAH Yall!

  284. 285 Jonathan Rasmussen
    June 6, 2008 at 22:52

    @Alison–Thanks. I shall take your word on the wilderness thing; I’m pretty much homo urbanis, at least thus far. But yes, if I lived in the wilderness I would be lavish in my respect for the wildlife.

    What I’ve never understood is the appeal of killing animals by shooting them. By all accounts it’s a transcendently satisfying hobby even among people who also claim to “respect” the beasts. I don’t get the gun fetish, and I don’t get the thrill of the kill.

    (How’s THAT for off-topic….)

  285. 286 Jens
    June 6, 2008 at 22:55

    jonathan/alison,

    i live in the south west and i have regular visits of bears in my backyard, especially in late summer, when the dry heat has driven them off the mountains to get water and fruits from my appel and peach trees. i am not scared because i know what to do. many city dwellers freak-out because of bears and do exactly the wrong thing. i love tyhe fact that i m living in such a pristine enviroment which allows for bears, mountain lions, coyotes, deer etc to come and visit my backyard. although i could do without the rats, which carry the plague and tulerimia in this part of the world.

  286. 287 Justin from Iowa
    June 6, 2008 at 22:55

    I think WHYS should put this page in the archives on how NOT to hold a discussion… This was more of a shouting match without a lot of substance than a discussion, which regretably is usually what happens when you mix PETA and those opposed to their views.

  287. 288 Justin from Iowa
    June 6, 2008 at 23:04

    @Jonathan

    Its a mix of:
    –liking the meat (one of the easiest ways to, basically, get a free 2-300 lbs of meat if you own your own land to hunt on. Very economical in the midwest, not to mention being good tasting)
    –controlling overpopulation (like it or not we DID kill off most of the predator species, if we don’t perform some sort of population control the game populations would get painfully large)
    –enjoying the hunt (there is admittedly something primal and satisfying about going out and hunting down your own supper… we were omnivores throughout our history, hunting is part of our racial memory)
    –and trophy hunting (who is lucky and skillful enough to get the biggest deer with the biggest rack, the best turkey… not the most admirable of reasons but lets be honest, its part of the thought process behind most hunters)

    There are probably other reasons, but those are the main ones I think.

  288. 289 selena
    June 6, 2008 at 23:19

    @ Steve

    “If people are complaining about deer getting hit by cars, then why build roads where the deer live? It’s THEIR habitat, not ours.”

    Do you use that same argument for people? As in, we shouldn’t push people off their land because we decide to use the land for another reason or for other people.

  289. 290 Jonathan Rasmussen
    June 7, 2008 at 00:25

    @Jens–So don’t leave me in suspense…. what should this city boy do if Mr. Bear comes a-calling? And what would be “exactly the wrong thing?” I’m guessing it’s along the lines of either getting all dominant and puffed up, or assuming a submissive posture (but maybe that’s just me), with one being right and one being wrong?

  290. 291 Jonathan Rasmussen
    June 7, 2008 at 00:36

    @ Justin — Thanks for your explanation. Maybe it’s Friday night fever, but it occurs to me that for each thing you described, there’s an urban analog, from the thrill of the hunt to the consideration of population control to the savoring of the meat to bagging a trophy (right down to the biggest rack). Even the slight feeling of guilt, (“not the most admirable”). I think I get it after all.

  291. 292 Jonathan Rasmussen
    June 7, 2008 at 00:42

    @Selena — I just know I’m going to regret agreeing with Steve, whatever it is you guys are talking about, but yeah, as a general principle, indeed we shouldn’t push people off their land on some whim because we want to. Sounds reasonable to me. It’s a hot issue lately, because towns have taken to forcing people out not to build a bridge or a road, but to let someone build a commercial building on the person’s land.

  292. 293 Zak
    June 7, 2008 at 00:49

    Johnathan can you see the checkered flag yet? I’m urging you guys to salvage one or more parts of this discussion or the feeling that people are wasting their time may stick. I’m not of that belief but seeing all your comments, the frustration level is hitting a peak. The blank page is much more suited for this, perhaps you can all find a point to progress beyond because there’s about a snowballs chance in…of this getting much further.

  293. 294 Jonathan Rasmussen
    June 7, 2008 at 01:32

    Gosh, Zak, I’m all kinds of sorry. I had no idea that I was wasting anyone’s time, or elevating anyone’s frustration level. I surely didn’t intend to, and I hadn’t planned on going any further, and I won’t. Just tying up a few loose ends. I’m quite finished. Please to forgive a rube, new to these parts, ignorant of the prevailing mechanisms, traditions, procedures, rules, and etiquette. Over and out.

  294. 295 Zak
    June 7, 2008 at 01:41

    Please don’t misunderstand me: I’m referring to your comments, and Justin’s Johnathan, to mark the overall frustration level. I’ve been moderating by myself for the most part for the last few hours so I’ve seen everybody’s comments and WHYS moderators are asked to step in when the conversation has become too far off course, my effort is only to preempt that by redirecting your good points to a better format where they can be heard without piling through the now 300 comments on this topic. After a certain point carrying it on is just antagonism, and while there was no alternative before now that we can moderate as ordinary people we can similarly avoid that fate.

  295. 296 Rick
    June 7, 2008 at 02:35

    The issue is not to eat or not eat meat. It is to feed or not feed crops to animals which could be fed to humans. Nomads have been grazing heards on semiarid land for thousands of years. This land is not suitable for anything else. Also we are destroying the Amazon in order to graze cattle on that land. That is going to cost us dearly in the long run.

    The problem with our democratic/capitalistic society is that it is market driven. WE have lots of uninformed people with money to spend who just don’t care about anything but thier own sensual gratification. and lots of people looking to take advantage of that. The market has no morals.

    Education is an obvious answer, but who has the money and the will to convince people to NOT buy harmfull stuff.

    Mabye peak oil will save us by taking our spare cash
    so we can’t afford eat as much meat.

  296. 297 David
    June 7, 2008 at 08:18

    What vegiterian are looking for when we can not even have enough vegitables to go around??. As for meat, you will be eating humans soon. I am out of here!!!!

  297. 298 A.R.Shams, Pakistan
    June 7, 2008 at 10:17

    Vegetarianism is not the only answer to the global food crisis. Because in Vegetarianism also what they intake are all foods grown in agricultural fields. Therefore, a global agricultural revolution is the need of the time to tackle global food crisis to great extent.

  298. 299 arshams
    June 8, 2008 at 15:16

    More than much of agricultural productions and their open exports and imports from one country to another freely are the answer to the global food crisis. UN may please pay special attention towards this phase of activities so that there remains no huger, starvation and ultimately tragic deaths massively because shortage of foods in many countries of the world

  299. 300 selena
    June 8, 2008 at 15:49

    @Jonathan,

    🙂 I was being facetious. Sorry, sorry!!

    Just wondering if anyone would see the hypocrisy of saying that we shouldn’t push people off their land but, at the same time, having no compunction about the Palestinians who were pushed off theirs.

    Obviously, my little attempt at enlightenment was lost 😉 on everyone.

  300. 301 Roger in Prague
    June 8, 2008 at 21:11

    I was actually looking to see if my SMS made it on here – alas it didn’t. But I saw a lot of interesting posts and thought I might add my little bit.
    I am a vegan; have been for 34 years, work 52 hours a week, not been to the doctor in 34 years, 59 years old, don’t believe in preaching. You are what you are and I am what I am – and I don’t criticise you for it.
    I noticed that Tino didn’t get an answer to her question – how are plants different to animals ? Well – I have 3 reasons why I think that I can eat plants with a lighter conscience:
    1. Say boo to an animal and it will move away because it feels fear and has developed mechanisms to escape danger. Try it with a plant and it stays where it is. Nature is not wasteful and does not develop legs for non-sentient life forms that don’t need them.
    2. I have to eat something otherwise I would die – so I try to be selective.
    3. I guess that you eat plants too so don’t knock me for it.
    This original theme of veggie living saving the planet was also true 34 years ago – it is one of the prime reasons why I became veggie(36 years ago) and then vegan. Every non-veggie meals wastes 19 veggie meals in fattening up the victims.
    Good luck to all of you.
    Roger and out.

  301. 302 Rick
    June 9, 2008 at 00:15

    Thank you Roger. I am also a veggie of thirty years and don’t push it on anyone. Over the years I have heard all the stupid arguements for eating meat and the only honest one is that ‘I love meat and am not giving it up’. I grew up on a farm where we killed our own and have worked in abattoirs. I guarantee that if most city folk were exposed to the process, consumption would drop dramaticly.

    Selena, it wasn’t lost on me – see rick/bryan second last and ninth last blog on May 30 talk to Al Quida blog. Maybe your too subtle for some.
    One of the problems of blogging from Australia is the time zone thing. The action is over by the time I read it and the issue is dead.

  302. 303 Tino
    June 9, 2008 at 01:07

    “1. Say boo to an animal and it will move away because it feels fear and has developed mechanisms to escape danger. Try it with a plant and it stays where it is. Nature is not wasteful and does not develop legs for non-sentient life forms that don’t need them.”

    Their nervous system is roughly equivalent to say a clam or mussel. Some of them do move, as well.

    “2. I have to eat something otherwise I would die – so I try to be selective.
    3. I guess that you eat plants too so don’t knock me for it.”

    Basically, you are admitting you draw a line and stick with it. I do the same, mine is just under humans instead of all animals. I am perfectly content to let you live your life however you want as long as you do the same – and it seems like you would.

    My only problem is with people who think that eating meat makes me evil.

    @ Rick

    “I guarantee that if most city folk were exposed to the process, consumption would drop dramaticly.”

    I agree, and think if you cannot handle the process you shouldn’t eat it. Just because it comes wrapped in nice packing and presliced/cleaned doesn’t mean it is grown that way. I can take my meat from start to finish.

  303. 304 selenayvonne
    June 9, 2008 at 01:09

    @Rick

    My husband is a vegetarian. He usually cooks so there is no problem with that. I eat vegetarian in Paris.

    In Canada, where I am usually on my own, I cook and I eat meat at times. If he is here, he cooks and we don’t eat meat.

    I believe it should be a personal choice what one eats.

    Thanks for understanding my few words. I am always being told that no one understands me. So, it is wonderful to find someone who does. Is that egotistical or what 😉

    I am trying to find rick/bryan’s posts.

  304. 305 selenayvonne
    June 9, 2008 at 01:29

    @Rick

    Found the posts.

    I am afraid when people do not consider others they can make all manner of excuses for what they are doing.

    There was no excuse and there is no excuse for turning people off their land. Acknowledging that would go along way toward establishing peace.

    But, of course, it will never be done and that’s not just pessimism on my part. It won’t be done because of cognitive dissonance and its hold on the most rational of us.

    The last person we want to face is ourselves.

  305. 306 Sarah
    June 9, 2008 at 04:15

    This is the stupidest debate I’ve seen on WHYS in a long time.

    If the world population became vegetarian today, it would not impact the food crisis tomorrow.

  306. 307 Des Currie
    June 9, 2008 at 10:59

    Vegteblarians will be the downfall of good taste. A choice between a lamb chop and a vegtable sausage is hardly a choice at all.
    Des Currie

  307. 308 Brett
    June 9, 2008 at 12:34

    @ Sarah:

    This is the stupidest debate I’ve seen on WHYS in a long time.

    If the world population became vegetarian today, it would not impact the food crisis tomorrow.

    Nor would any other solution, short of a mass killing of billions of people.

    How does it make this stupid? Stupid because it conflicts with your views and lifestyle? Stupid because when looking at facts, not emotion or greedy mouths/pallates, there is little to no argument against this?

    Please, expand on why this is so stupid, and what ideas you have to solve the global food crisis.

  308. 309 steve b - uk
    June 9, 2008 at 14:30

    can’t help but be a bit silly

    wasn’t it George W Bush who said ‘ I am President of the United States and I refuse to eat broccoli anymore…’

    although I am a veggie I think he had a point. people eat things because they taste nice.

    some veggie food is lovely and evidence is growing that meat may actually be bad for us.

    cheers

  309. 310 Justin in Iowa
    June 9, 2008 at 14:51

    Well, sarah’s point does have some merit in my opinion, as the current food crisis is being caused by a variety of factors, among them a number of crop failures and food shortages world wide correct?

    Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but the nature of economics is people produce a good up to a point and then quit because once you get a large enough surplus of a good its not economical to produce any more. So applying this to food, after a certain amount is produced for consumption you quit producing it or start funneling it into other industry, otherwise you have a bunch of rotting unused food.

    No matter whether we were all eating veggie or all under the current food consumption pattern, we would not be producing oodles of food to leave rotting. So if we were all veggies, the same number of people would STILL be starving, because its not a hard cap on world production which is causing the food shortage at the moment, its a bad string of worldwide droughts and poor crops combined with poor world food distribution network.

    So this is a rather silly conversation from that perspective, as everyone turning veggie doesn’t really matter right now.

  310. 311 steve b - uk
    June 9, 2008 at 15:39

    Hi Justin in Iowa

    good points in my opinion.

    however, don’t you think that the METHOD of food production is important?

    why kill some perfectly innocent sentient being – with all the agony that the slaughterhouse procedure produces – when you don’t need to?

    I think the evidence suggests that we can be perfectly healthy without this.

    thanks

  311. 312 Ros Atkins
    June 9, 2008 at 16:11

    Mr Atkins.

    Let’s get real here. The first line of defense needs to be the cessation of dependence on fuel for too many vehicles, especially gas guzzlers. Most of the vehicles China and India are producing can run four weeks for every one of the US Hummvies, Pick-ups or SUVs. The US is the worst offender worldwide and as the result , the countries whose economies are starting to catch up are asking for the opportunity to own automobiles. The point here is that the whole world needs to put restraints on driving and economies of scale like carpooling and fewer trips to wherever. Namely, it is not important to make a trip to the store for milk. We are so accustomed to instant gratification we are unwilling to make any adjustment for the sanctity of other people lives. —

    So yes, we should seriously reduce our meat consumption for more reason than just scarity of food but first let’s rid ourselves of the things that represent such serious gross consumption.

    Donna Barnard

  312. 313 David
    June 9, 2008 at 18:45

    The anwer to global food problem lies in employing every food producer, agricultural scientist etc instead of retiring them prematurely.

    Personally, as an Agricultural Research Scientist, I am ready to volunteer if it will make a difference in food production.

    My 30+ years of finding ways of making more food should not have been a waste. Round every one who has any knowledge about food production and the environment and give them something to do (voluntary or not).

  313. 314 doug in eugene
    June 9, 2008 at 20:09

    just got done with my lunch. two slices of fried seasoned tofu in a bun. yum yum.

    I used to be a meat eater until my kids, a 15 year old and a 12 year old, looked at some peta videos online of how chickens, cows, pigs, gods creatures etc are taken care of before they are butchered. they said we should try not to eat meat and at first my wife and i thought it would be difficult to cook and make sure everyone got the necessary protein and vitamins etc. Truth be told, its way easier and you tend to have more leftovers, ie soups beans etc that can be used for the next days meals.

    Its not easy staying away from the alluring smell of bbqing ribs on the grill as summer approaches but you know what? Not only is it way cheaper to eat “non meat” but everyone in the family is healthier than a horse ;-0 and we don’t look like fat cows.

    in fact if you put most meat eaters next to a vegetarian you would find the meat eaters tipped the scale way heavier than the veg heads. also,

    also, meat consumption is directly linked to cancer in most adults.

    love from eugene, usa

    ps. if meat is taken from a dead animal, is it not right to call it “decaying” flesh. yum yum huh

    pss. would you show your lil susie or mikey how the double cheese burger they are eating originates beginning at the slaughter house.

  314. 315 doug in eugene
    June 9, 2008 at 20:17

    to will rhodes

    The first veggie that tells me I have to eat Sprouts, Broccoli, Cabbage or lettuce or Turnip, Swede or any other of that rubbish I will do a dance on their head! 🙂

    eat your veggies willie!

    and email me back if you think your ready to take on this veg head who works out every day, rides his bike for transportation etc. I’ll let you know where and when to come to get YOUR ASS KICKED back to meatdom

  315. 316 Will Rhodes
    June 9, 2008 at 20:33

    eat your veggies willie!

    and email me back if you think your ready to take on this veg head who works out every day, rides his bike for transportation etc. I’ll let you know where and when to come to get YOUR ASS KICKED back to meatdom

    If more proof was needed that being a veggie makes you nuts!

  316. 317 Tino
    June 9, 2008 at 20:51

    “peta videos online of how chickens, cows, pigs, gods creatures etc are taken care of before they are butchered.”

    Maybe you simply should have told your kids that PETA is made up of psychotic people and shown them something neutral?

  317. 318 selena
    June 10, 2008 at 12:56

    @Tino

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/10/science/10plant.html?_r=1&th&emc=th&oref=slogin

    There is so much about life of which we don’t have an inkling and yet we insist on acting as though humans are wisdom itself.

    I agree with you Tino. PETA is skewed in its beliefs. If one is truly interested in understanding the nature of the interactions of all life better to stay away from drama. Often times animal rights groups go to the extent of manufacturing what they want you to see.

    I think there is a point that is often overlooked. Nothing could survive unless it eats something that is alive. The only thing rights groups is doing is grading life, as in one thing that lives is better than another live thing.

    But I guess that is not surprising because we even do that to humans. One type of human has less value than another…

  318. 319 doug in eugene
    June 10, 2008 at 17:31

    wilt and tuna

    tuna. do you have kids. let em watch how you prepare their steak one day. yeah, i thought you’d have an excuse….

    wilt.
    I’m nuts, and greens and tofu.
    Your still scared huh?

    out
    l8r

  319. 320 Tino
    June 10, 2008 at 17:36

    Damn that article is cool. I think because plants do not move we are so ready to write them off as essentially ‘non-living’ when they display so much activity it is just slower.

    “The only thing rights groups is doing is grading life, as in one thing that lives is better than another live thing.”

    Thank you, could not have stated it better.

  320. 321 Jens
    June 10, 2008 at 18:16

    I’m guessing it’s along the lines of either getting all dominant and puffed up, or assuming a submissive posture (but maybe that’s just me), with one being right and one being wrong?

    Jonathan,

    the most importanat part is to give the bear a chance of being able to escape gracefully. if need be slowly move away while looking at the bear. NEVER RUN. stay as tall as possible and make noise. i had a bear in my trash can and i yelled at him. I was lucky he understood english as i told him to “ef-off”. if he shakes his head from left to richt etc, he is looking for an escape route. if he gets on his hind legs he just wants to see further. the moment to start pooing yourslef is when he stares at you and puts his ears back. that is very rare. he then usually will charge you, but more often than not not to kill you but to put you down. if that happens stay down but monitor where he will move to. usually they will trott off and not regard you as a threat, since you wered knocked over. if they attack you fight back. it’s the only chance you have. curlying up on the floor and they will crack you open like a nut. BUT that is really really rare. thing about the chances of a bear killing a person. there have been onl about 100 reported kills of humans by bears IN THE LAST 100 years. you have probably a beter chance of winning the lottery than getting killed by a bear. ohhhh, take bear maze with you if you go and hike in bear country. this stuff is much better than a 22mm pistol. since a 22 will only insure you really piss him off.

  321. 322 Sarah
    June 11, 2008 at 02:41

    @ Brett

    The reasons that I find this debate ridiculous are many, but conflict with my lifestyle views is not one of them.

    We have not begun to understand the ramifications of world vegetarianism. Is there enough land to produce enough food to continually feed the world population? Would deforestation for agricultural purposes be acceptable?

    A few issues that come to mind are soil death, crop failure, drought, floods… how then would we deal with feeding the masses? And what of the animals and livestock that would remain? Those that are herbivorous would compete with humans for food and/or be eaten by carnivorous animals. Species could then become extinct or overpopulated, the food chain destroyed… effects I can not fathom.

    We should completely understand an issue before we force changes on people… we do not have enough facts.

    But as a civil rights issue, why should what a person eats be determined by anyone but that person? The militancy that is displayed by many vegetarians to convert others to vegetarianism is akin to fundamentalist terror groups that want everyone to believe in the same god that they do, or have the same laws that they have. What is being suggested interferes with the right to choose, and if vegetarianism is first, what will be next? I will always stand by a persons right to choose, so long as it does not harm others, and I will support that choice even if it conflicts with my personal views.

    Finally, if I had ideas on how to solve the food crisis, I assure you, I would take the steps necessary to make them known.

  322. 323 parthguragain
    June 11, 2008 at 13:07

    How can vegeteranism be answer to global food crisis.what is the problem is growing human population.if we stop eating meat from today then also we need to clear forest to feed increasing population and for fueling our cars.so what will we be doing is displacing animals from wild which will ultimately be killed by people.so vegeterian or non vegeterian what will solve the problem is proper utilization of land and resources.

  323. 324 Catalina
    June 12, 2008 at 23:04

    “The way to stop this in years to come is to have food and dietary programs that are taught in schools from an early age and the governments should impose this form of education as part of a school’s cirriculum. Only then will things start to change.”

    You can teach children all you want about food and diet and whatever else, but unless the parent of that child makes a CONSCIOUS decision as to what type of food to give to that child, your school curriculum will be a waste of money. FYI: Health class & science already has a couple of weeks dedicated to the food pyramid and all that nonsense that made absolutely no sense to me when I took it in 6th grade, and it still makes no sense now as high school graduate.

    I also happen to find this discussion ridiculous only because of overzealous vegetarians who believe that not eating animals is the right thing to do. This assumption is unrealistic. You cannot impose your beliefs on the billions of people that live on Earth. If we can’t get people to recycle, how are we going to get them to stop eating meat? Aside from the assumption that not eating meat is the right thing to do, what about the food chain? Humans not eating animals would completely throw off the balance of the food chain and create more problems than solutions.

    In short: those of us who enjoy eating meat don’t shove our beliefs down your throat, so needless to say, don’t impose yours on us.

  324. 325 Roger in Prague
    June 14, 2008 at 22:21

    Just a few responses to some of the above points:
    1. if we stop eating animals, we will not need to find new land for our veggie crops – there will a surplus of land released for veggie cultivation by not using it, or its produce, for fattening animals. Remember that every animal meal requires 19 veggie meals to produce it. We can increase the yield on every piece of land currently used to fatten animals, or grow food for the same purpose, by almost 2000% by converting to veggie production for people.
    2. We already know this information so it is not logical to say that we do not understand the consequences of such a change.
    3. What will happen to all the animals ? – some of you ask. Well, they won’t be there. We only have so many millions of pigs, cows, chickens etc. in order to supply the demand for animal products. If we stop eating them, their numbers will decline rapidly.
    4. Some of you think that a veggie diet cannot be as interesting as a meat-based diet. Well, I was a raving carnivore until I was 23 thinking that my meat + 2 veg (3 on a good day) was really it. Only when I turned veggie and then vegan did I discover the thousands of other things that I had not even known about before.

    Think it over – you can do something to feed the starvivg because every veggie meal that you eat releases 19 more veggie meals to the rest of the world !!

  325. 326 Alex Hartfelt
    June 15, 2008 at 09:46

    I think there are many similariies between recycling and vegetarianism/veganism. Quite simply, and there is no scientific or statistical arguments against this, is that meat production and consumption (in the industrial feedlot-sense – not nessesarilly the mountain goat who eats what humans cannot) is a ineffective and wasteful use of limited resources. Discussions on ‘rights’ and ‘morallity’ aside, the belief that ones choice of nutrition is simply that: ‘a personal choice’ and nothing else is not satisfactory to me. It like saying ‘Well, I don’t recycle because it’s my personal choice, and the people who do recycle shouldn’t force their opinions on me’ . While that may seem to be a legitimate position, clearly you are argumenting for a bad and selfish practice, with arguments that derives just from your own narrow experience of say recycling or eating meat, while ignoring the consequences of these actions. Change your rhetoric or change your practice. Go Veg!


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