Eating Animals

What best describes you?

  • I eat meat and I think there are no problems with doing so

    Votes: 113 54.3%
  • I eat meat but I have some moral reservations about doing so

    Votes: 72 34.6%
  • I don't eat meat but I don't mind others doing so

    Votes: 21 10.1%
  • I don't eat meat and I consider it my own moral duty to implore others to reconsider

    Votes: 2 1.0%

  • Total voters
    208

mf

formerly monkfish
is a Forum Moderator Alumnus
The 'hot takes' thread has been sidetracked by some posts about veganism and vegetarianism, the topic is quite broad so I thought it's best discussed in its own thread (there will have been many similar threads in the past and will be more in the future).

My own position is that I ate meat for every meal of the day until January 2018, when I tried to go vegan for the whole month. I did it! And while the first three weeks were tough, by the end of the month I found that it actually wasn't... that... bad? Since then I have gone from being 'flexitarian' (trying to cut down on eating animal products) to pretty much full time vegan, or at least ovo-vegetarian.

My moral reasons for not eating meat are twofold:
  • I believe the evidence showing that meat production is, in general, more damaging to the environment than the production of an equivalent plant-based diet. It uses more energy, more water, and produces more harmful greenhouse gases. Needless to say I also believe in climatologists' predictions that human-driven climate change is going to be a catastrophic problem in the near future.
  • I believe that animals have some form of consciousness, and that the modern factory farming industry is a brutal dystopia. I believe in the theory of evolution, and see no reason to think that human beings are in some way special when it comes to consciousness, since we evolved from the same ancestors as cows and pigs. I expect that in 100 years' time (if civilisation remains intact), the way we currently treat animals will be looked back on with the same disgust as we now look back on the way white westerners treated people of colour.
Hit me with your best counter-arguments, or other thoughts on eating meat in 2020.
 
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Apagogie

Be what you would like to have
is a Battle Simulator Driver
I guess I have few things to share on this subject so here I am.

First of all, thank you for the thread! I thought few days ago that it would be a good idea to have (again?) somewhere to write posts about vegetarianism but I eventually give up this idea. I also want to congratulate you to have tried to become vegetarian, it proves you have a good control of yourself so even if you would have given up this experience, it's really nice to try only to prove you are able to do that.

Now about myself, I have been vegetarian since the beginning of my life. My mother was vegetarian so I naturally was born vegetarian. I'm European so it's a situation which is I think not the most common in the western world but around the world, it certainly often happens in India where near 40% of the population is vegetarian if I remember correctly. Still, due to this reason, I have absolutely no trouble to be how I am but I unfortunately don't have great advices to give to people who would want to start this lifestyle.

There are four big advantages to be vegetarian. Ethical, Ecological, healthy, economical. You talked in your post about the ethical aspect so I won't add more here. The ecological aspect is relatively new to the debate but it's a strong fact that raising animals to eat them asks an important amount of food available during several months to fatten and you would need less agricultural areas if you feed directly humans with this amount of food instead of using animals as receiver. About reasons less concerned by activism, vegetarianism reduces heart diseases and is generally good for health with a life expectancy more important for vegetarian people, especially men. It's also the reason why it's often used for diets. Finally, it's also interesting economically speaking since vegetables are less expensive than meat (which is quite instinctive because you need more energy to produce meat, see the ecological point), so it's a great way to manage the budget when we are student.

When my friends sometimes ask me why I'm vegetarian, I often give them a disappointing answer. I'm vegetarian not for these reasons but mainly because I'm used to be vegetarian. It's a habit, I have no reason to change so I won't change it and I will keep this lifestyle certainly for the rest of my live. I don't consider this lifestyle to be an exceptional fact about myself, only a part of my friends know that I'm vegetarian and if I don't specially hide it, I don't show it either except when we talk about this topic. They are honestly more curious than myself about vegetarianism, probably because it's something uncommon and what is uncommon is interesting.

I'm not specially an activist even if I honestly admire people who fight everyday to change mentalities. I think it's a good fight and it will be an important progress for humankind. History is with us since there are rationally more advantages than disadvantages to be vegetarian. I'm realistic though and we are unfortunately still a tiny minority. I think we are at best 1% of the population to not eat meat, maybe a little more for young people, so except if there is a trend or if the state forces people, we will stay a minority for again decades. We are in 2020 now but when we look about 2000, the situation was unfortunately pretty similar despite important researchs about vegetarianism. The situation will evolve slowly so in the meantime, I will still do my best to try to change a bit mentalities.

If you have any question, feel free to ask.
 

Ho3nConfirm3d

is a Site Content Manageris a Forum Moderatoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogon
Moderator
The most efficient way to get all 9 essential amino acids, the protein your body needs, is through meat and animal products. Animal protean is effecient and natural, and all of our bodies need sufficient protein to work and be healthy; not just body builders, but everyone!

For vegans, plant proteins need to be varied and watched carefully as to get all 9 essential amino acids in your diet and not to miss any / overplap. Unless you go the route for supplements, its hard for vegans to get all these proteins.

Ethically vegans often face delimas in their own diet. Take a vegan staple Quinoa. From this article, “The appetite of countries such as ours for this grain has pushed up prices to such an extent that poorer people in Peru and Bolivia, for whom it was once a nourishing staple food, can no longer afford to eat it.” So you’re telling me you don’t think its right to kill animals with your consumer choices, but the same choices you’re fine that they’ve starved natives from miles away? Similar cases with problems of child labor, supporting drug cartels, and worst of all (Edit: from a dilemma’s standpoint) deforestation comes into play too. The fact that so much natural habitat has been destroyed to make up demands for soy production means there are millions of animals dying through that manner versus the slaughter house. Least we as people get the benefit from the latter. Not saying all vegans eat quinoa or problematic produce, but I often find that their ethical concerns are a little too focused on animals and not on other living humans...

Now don’t get me wrong, while I eat meat, many days I go vegetarian. This is due to a lack of grocieries or just me changing up my cooking, but it happens nonetheless. I also don’t overeat red meat, and stick to chicken and fish most weeks; I still try to buy red meat once a month though. I’m also a lifter and I just need a lot of calories to maintain my weight and gains. It doesnt make sense for me to get full to my stomach on multiple different plants when meat is so much more calorie dense for the same nutrition; in this aspect, meat can be cheaper per ounce I’m fairly certain.

TL;DR Protein is more complex than what the nutrition label says, making meat very practical and efficient, and often (not always) vegans have their moral priorities out of order if they think their consumer choices of not buying meat but supporting the impoverishment and starvation of foreign people is totally okay.
 
I apologize, I will repost some similar content in the Hot Takes thread, this time in details.

Perpetually since 2013, I became vegetarian, I notice my health started to ameliorate. My skin starts glowing more, face clearing up, hair grows accelerate quicker. I combine this technique with essential oils, skin serums, multivitamins, probiotics, and omega 3s. The average human hair on their heads grows 6 inches (15 cm) per year, mine grows 12 inches (30 cm) per year. I also obtain more energy, stamina. I don't regret my choose. Exercising with my diet works too. My waist is already small, then it got smaller. This autumn, I will enhance my looks even more with derma pens to open my spores, and face spatulas for cleansing.

Alright, about life experience, nuts, soy, wheat, beans, lentils, quinoa, seeds, and rice are high source in protein correct? So what is the obsession of asking vegetarians, "Where do you get your protein from?" People ask me this question at family meetings, malls, neighborhoods, everywhere. Are they uneducated about nutrition or something? People even call me on the phone about this issue. It is very annoying. I also get, "If you don't eat meat, you are going to die."

I do not judge what people eat. I do business with street food venders to cook fried fish, meat burgers, pork sausages, coconut shrimp, crab cream cheese wontons to sell at festivals, beaches, and parks. By the way, the same people who intake chickens, ducks, cows, buffalos, and horses, what is the problem with some citizens from China, South Korea, Taiwan, and Vietnam eat cats and dogs? Another example are some French citizens eat amphibians and mollusks (snails and slugs) right? But think it is nasty that Americans & Canadians eat cows and buffalos. I say, let people eat what like.
 

mf

formerly monkfish
is a Forum Moderator Alumnus
Ethically vegans often face delimas in their own diet. Take a vegan staple Quinoa. From this article, “The appetite of countries such as ours for this grain has pushed up prices to such an extent that poorer people in Peru and Bolivia, for whom it was once a nourishing staple food, can no longer afford to eat it.” So you’re telling me you don’t think its right to kill animals with your consumer choices, but the same choices you’re fine that they’ve starved natives from miles away? Similar cases with problems of child labor, supporting drug cartels, and worst of all (Edit: from a dilemma’s standpoint) deforestation comes into play too. The fact that so much natural habitat has been destroyed to make up demands for soy production means there are millions of animals dying through that manner versus the slaughter house. Least we as people get the benefit from the latter. Not saying all vegans eat quinoa or problematic produce, but I often find that their ethical concerns are a little too focused on animals and not on other living humans...
this is a huge strawman. selecting a single problematic food and claiming that it's a vegan staple?? i haven't eaten quinoa in years and i guarantee you that it's mostly eaten by those who are not discerning about the ethical impacts of their diet. most vegans will absolutely factor human suffering into their ethical calculus
 

marilli

twinsies
is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Top Contributor Alumnusis a Past SPL Championis the defending Battle Spot Circuit Champion
this is a huge strawman. selecting a single problematic food and claiming that it's a vegan staple?? i haven't eaten quinoa in years and i guarantee you that it's mostly eaten by those who are not discerning about the ethical impacts of their diet. most vegans will absolutely factor human suffering into their ethical calculus
You as an individual might not consume quinoa, but the soaring price of quinoa says otherwise. You can make claims but economics don't lie. It's not a single problematic food, either. Farming of avocados, almonds, and other vegan foods are also very problematically non-sustainable.

I eat what I think tastes good. I often go weeks/months with just milk, eggs, seafood (you can find sustainable ones) and other seafood products being the only animal food products I consume. But I don't go around advertising my food preferences like "I'm a lacto-owo-pesco-vegetarian" or whatever you guys would call it, nor do I feel like I'm making a sacrifice of any sort - I choose to eat these things because they're delicious, and my cultural background probably helps me here. I have no problems eating meat, and would have no problems with buying lab grown meat or even meat substitutes if the current meat substitutes stopped tasting like food waste products. I mean, it literally is what they are selling as meat substitutes right now. Talking of meat substitutes I have no idea why Americans treat tofu as a "meat substitute" in the kitchen. I know that it's what they advertise it as because it's what gets people to eat it, but come on, stop substituting it into meat dishes and prepare them the exact same way and go wow this tastes like shit, of course it does. There's a reason why many authentic tofu dishes are not designed to be vegan.

If you feel removing animal food products from your diet is a huge sacrifice or a struggling challenge but you suffer through it because its the moral high ground and the good fight, some kind of moral crusade, then you know, you can choose to be a positive influence for the world elsewhere. It doesn't have to be through veganism.
 
Vegans are hypocrites. They refuse to consider the plant suffering as they pretend that they're morally superior by munching on a bowl of lettuce screaming ultrasonically.

The recordings revealed that the different plant species made distinct sounds at varying rates, depending on their stressor. Drought-stressed tomato plants emitted about 35 ultrasonic squeals per hour, on average, while those with cut stems made about 25. Drought-stressed tobacco plants let out about 11 screams per hour, and cut crops made about 15 sounds in the same time. In comparison, the average number of sounds emitted by untouched plants fell below one per hour.
https://www.livescience.com/plants-squeal-when-stressed.html

I don't buy the argument that consciousness matter. If it did matter, why wouldn't vegetarians eat non-conscious animals such as sponges, insects, mollusks, and lower fishes?

It seems more likely that vegans and vegetarians just want to pretend that they're morally superior by shaming everyone else for eating arbitrary living beings with no real consistent standards.
 
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mf

formerly monkfish
is a Forum Moderator Alumnus
You as an individual might not consume quinoa, but the soaring price of quinoa says otherwise. You can make claims but economics don't lie. It's not a single problematic food, either. Farming of avocados, almonds, and other vegan foods are also very problematically non-sustainable.
how are you jumping to "only vegans are responsible for eating these foods"? just because they don't contain meat? do you eat only animal products? never had an avocado? you can't appropriate a statistic like "the price of quinoa is rising" and equate that to "vegans dont care about the origins of their food" lol

I have no problems eating meat, and would have no problems with buying lab grown meat or even meat substitutes if the current meat substitutes stopped tasting like food waste products. I mean, it literally is what they are selling as meat substitutes right now. Talking of meat substitutes I have no idea why Americans treat tofu as a "meat substitute" in the kitchen. I know that it's what they advertise it as because it's what gets people to eat it, but come on, stop substituting it into meat dishes and prepare them the exact same way and go wow this tastes like shit, of course it does. There's a reason why many authentic tofu dishes are not designed to be vegan.
maybe it's time for you to try some better meat replacement products!
Super realistic vegan brand tricks food critics into thinking its 'bacon' is real meat

I don't buy the argument that consciousness matter. If it did matter, why wouldn't vegetarians eat non-conscious animals such as sponges, insects, mollusks, and lower fishes?
the overfishing of the seas is a huge issue for oceanic biodiversity and is completely unsustainable with the rate that most westerners demand seafood. aside from that i have no problem with eating something that has no central nervous system. mussel farming for example is not known to be bad for the environment and i don't believe it's likely they have consciousness (could be wrong but you have to draw the line somewhere, that's a different thread). subsequently i will happily eat them. im not eating bugs though thats fucking gross

It seems more likely that vegans and vegetarians just want to pretend that they're morally superior by shaming everyone else for eating arbitrary living beings with no real consistent standards.
is it inconceivable (to you) that someone might care enough about the negative impact of their actions on the world, that they make a sacrifice to lessen that impact? maybe have a think about why you feel that way
 
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marilli

twinsies
is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Top Contributor Alumnusis a Past SPL Championis the defending Battle Spot Circuit Champion
how are you jumping to "only vegans are responsible for eating these foods"? just because they don't contain meat? do you eat only animal products? never had an avocado? you can't appropriate a statistic like "the price of quinoa is rising" and equate that to "vegans dont care about the origins of their food" lol
me: There are some vegan products that aren't actually very sustainable. The reality is that some vegans aren't aware - and many do indeed consume these products. And if you claim to be environment-conscious you should think about these things.

you: how are you jumping to "only vegans are responsible for eating these foods"????
 
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mf

formerly monkfish
is a Forum Moderator Alumnus
me: you keep using this term "vegan products". an avocado is not a "vegan product". it's a fruit that is eaten by everyone. the vast majority of avocado eaters also eat meat, because avocado tastes good, like meat. it's absolutely a strawman argument

you, an intellectual: ah, have you considered that WHILST BEING VEGAN you also produce carbon dioxide when you exhale,

---

lets try and focus this topic on the ideology of eating, or not eating, animal products. not the ideology of eating avocados and quinoa, which AFAIK is not a real ideology
 

ShootingStarmie

Bulletproof
is an official Team Rateris a Tiering Contributoris a Forum Moderator Alumnus
Growing up I've always lived with an eating disorder. I won't go too much into it, and I'm not looking for sympathy or attention, but the general gist is I'm a very, VERY, fussy eater. I can go months eating the same 3 / 4 dishes day in and day out (and I often do). I grew up as a meat eater, and everyone around me consumed meat no questions asked.

One day I stumbled upon vegan gains on youtube. I'm not sure what brought me there, I think it was one of his fiery take downs of a fitness youtuber or something outlandish he did that gained attention. Regardless, listening to his arguments regarding animals and meat, I really couldn't find good counter arguments to defend my current positions at the time. We never spoke in person or anything, I was just molding over his ideas in my head, but I really became convinced mostly by his videos.

At the time the animals I consumed were chicken, bacon and fish. Going vegan I think was already out of the question, due to the nature of my already limiting diet, but the idea of giving up chicken, bacon, and fish seemed very feasible. Plus I also felt morally, I was improving my self just by being a vegetarian, which was more than enough justification to at least give it a try. Another thing that was comforting is that "vegan meat" is a very popular thing now, and is able to be purchased in pretty much any supermarket.

So I became a vegetarian, and I stuck with it for a long time. Slowly however, I started to gain weight. This is crazy right, vegans and vegetarians are supposed to be the healthiest people on the planet, how am I GAINING weight? I won't go into stats, as I don't think I'm trying to form an argument here (mostly just telling my story relating to this issue), but becoming a vegetarian made me gain weight. This isn't because a vegetarian diet is bad, it's mostly because of how limiting my diet is. When you eat so few fruit and vegetables, and meat is no longer an option, my number 1 food intake was usually carbs. I'm no fitness / diet expert, but eating garlic bread, pizza, pasta, and other carb heavy foods isn't a sustainable diet, and I felt like I was suffering because of it.

So my own body was suffering from my decision to become a vegetarian. At first I didn't mind so much, because I really felt like I was making a difference by not consuming meat, and while I didn't gloat to anyone, I did feel morally superior to people who did eat meat. The reality? Nothing changed. The amount of meat sold at the store stayed the same, the people around me who ate meat weren't gaining weight, and the impact I was having on animal lives and the environment was microscopic (if you could even call it an impact at all). It was also a very lonely journey, as everyone else around me happily ate meat, so I had no one in my life to speak about this sort of stuff with.

One night, I did the unthinkable. After months of struggling with my own moral compass and huge cravings I was feeling for meat, I finally gave in. I had chicken. And god damn it was delicious. The "fake" chicken and bacon does not compare. Up until this point I had been a vegetarian for over 3 years. I started to eat meat once again, and I felt A LOT better for it. My weight dropped instantly, and I haven't looked back since. So yes, in general I agree with the vegan / vegetarian philosophy, and I felt I gave it a good shot, but it really wasn't for me. At some point you have to draw a line in the sand and care more about yourself than you do about the animals, which were still being slaughtered REGARDLESS if you ate the product or not. I know the general idea of supply and demand, but until there's a HUGE cultural shift with how we as a society look at meat, your impact is tiny (like, really really tiny).

tl;dr, I'm a fussy eater.
Decided to become a vegatarian (mostly for moral reasons).

Gained weight over the process, realized my impact on the world wasn't worth the sacrifice I was making on my body.
Went back to eating meat, weight dropped, and healthier than ever.
Vegetarian philosophy stuck with me, I just don't practice it.
 
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Why is everyone obsessed with painting vegetarians and vegans as monoliths. As a group people have different motivations and reasons for choosing that dietary habit and also occupy many different places in the world physically and in terms of positions of privilege.
On top of this people have different ways in which they choose to live that lifestyle too, some worse for the environment and less ethical than others.... just like meat eaters lol.
Any talk of "all vegetarians/vegans are X" is rarely productive because Karen who shops for substitution meat in Beverly Hills is different from Akasha who comes from a vegan family based on their cast and religious beliefs who have lived that way over the course of generations.
Yes we could talk about how certain trends in plant based eating have been detrimental and raise awareness of that but there is virtually no ethical consumption under global capitalism in the first place so this is not unique to vegetarians and vegans and we shouldn't act like that diet is unique in destroying countries when our phones have materials mined in them that do the same thing, or that vegetarian diets are the only ones with workers struggling when the industry mass producing meat is also abusive to it's workers too.
As a whole we should stop trying to generalize and judge people's individual life choices and instead focus on systems that keep people hungry or that exploit resources of the global South.
Ur issue shouldn't be with some rando who's "doing it for the animals" even tho I'm sure it feels so good to call them misguided or a hypocrite or whatever, it should be with larger systems. And this goes the opposite way too btw. Vegetarians and vegans shouldn't be nagging people's individual diets but instead focus on the systemic issue of how the meat industry does harm to the environment, workers, consumers, animals, etc.
 
I don't think there's anything wrong with being vegetarian, its understandable if you don't want to eat meat, but first off;

1) If people don't eat meat, millions of companies will be unable to make money, and the economy will be unstable
2) If the animals are left their, they are going to expand in their population which will take up space, lots of it.

I think that people who eat meat shouldn't stop those who don't, and people who don't shouldn't stop those who do as it can only cause problems. Personally, I can agree to not eating meat, but only to a specific extent. If the animal is killed painfully in some kind of factory and the animal is not at ease, I can agree that is a kind of meat that is bad to eat and that you can urge people not to purchase from such things. But telling people not to eat meat entirely... thats something else.
Same with eating meat. People who don't want eat meat have their choice and have their opinion, and we have to respect that. If someone doesn't want to eat meat, it can be for some personal reason we don't know of. Maybe a traumatising experience.
Just saying, whatever your opinion is, you are right, but you can't force others into your own as then it becomes wrong.
 
I'm a fairly environmentally minded person and part of that ideology is that I'm willing to advocate for purges of literally millions of invasive animals to protect a few thousand individuals of a dying species

I also know about and appreciate that every single day, the natural world is absolutely filled with suffering.

I don't really care about my morality being 100% consistent, but an animal I have no emotional attachment to dying and suffering vs a fellow human dying and suffering is completely different to me.

Considering all the above, I see no reason to not eat meat. Being a human means being complicit in the suffering of millions of animals throughout your life no matter what you do. As long as the suffering doesn't go towards nothing, I think it's okay. Eat whatever you want, pig, chicken, fish, cow, dog, guinea pig, insects whatever.

I also think there is something inherently human and enjoyable about eating meat, some of the highlights of my childhood are going on school fishing trips and eating what we caught together.

I get why you would want to be vegetarian, I just don't think it's the clear cut morally superior option people make it to be.
 

mf

formerly monkfish
is a Forum Moderator Alumnus
I'm a fairly environmentally minded person and part of that ideology is that I'm willing to advocate for purges of literally millions of invasive animals to protect a few thousand individuals of a dying species

I also know about and appreciate that every single day, the natural world is absolutely filled with suffering.

I don't really care about my morality being 100% consistent, but an animal I have no emotional attachment to dying and suffering vs a fellow human dying and suffering is completely different to me.

Considering all the above, I see no reason to not eat meat. Being a human means being complicit in the suffering of millions of animals throughout your life no matter what you do. As long as the suffering doesn't go towards nothing, I think it's okay. Eat whatever you want, pig, chicken, fish, cow, dog, guinea pig, insects whatever.

I also think there is something inherently human and enjoyable about eating meat, some of the highlights of my childhood are going on school fishing trips and eating what we caught together.

I get why you would want to be vegetarian, I just don't think it's the clear cut morally superior option people make it to be.
i think this is a pretty coherent position. i like that you have addressed the inconsistencies that most people get hung up on between e.g. eating dog and eating cow, and that you correctly point out that suffering is inherent in the natural world.

if you're environmentally-minded, how do you reconcile this position with the significant impact that meat consumption has on the environment?

this type of thing just blows my mind:
Screenshot 2020-09-01 at 14.37.24.png
 

Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Smogon Media Contributor
I am mostly* vegetarian, but it's not because I think animals suffer, but because I generally feel somewhat ill after eating meat for whatever reason. I do eat fish, though, but I neither feel ill from it, nor is fish "meat" in the same sense as pork and co. And most of the meat in the groceries where I live are often full of all kinds of things to make it tastier/longer-lasting at the expense of healthiness, so I am not really missing out on a lot. I also do not eat seafood at all (bar fish, obviously), because I personally do not find it tasty at all. I mostly stick to dairy products, fruit, and vegetables (though I do have a sweet tooth, but I am able to control it, fortunately.

I do not judge anyone for eating meat, because everyone's body has different needs. Mine doesn't need meat, but my brother's does (and he eats a lot of meat).

* I have heard vegetarians do eat fish, but I am not really knowledgeable in this area to make a reliable claim
 

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