GLASSJAW Posted April 11, 2015 Share Posted April 11, 2015 What's your excuse for eating meat? I'm saying it like that because it's 2015 and you MUST know how the meat industry works by now. You MUST know how animals are treated or mistreated. So surely you have given this some consideration and made some argument, or some excuse, for why you feel it is ethically, morally, or otherwise justifiably okay to eat meat? And let's pretend you don't, or that you have your head willfully stuck in the sand. A 2009 article (there is no reason to believe the stats have significantly changed for the better) from the New Yorker summed up American meat consumption as follows: 35,000,000 cows 150,000,000 pigs 9,000,000,000 birds You should know that the vast, vast majority of these billions of animals are being killed in completely horrendous ways (the article calls it "barbaric"). The living conditions aren't much better: windowless rooms, excrement everywhere, breathing in straight ammonia, etc. (article goes into more description of the carcasses, sores, and violent scenes found in many, many, many/most farms in America today: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2009/11/09/flesh-of-your-flesh) But none of this is new. You know it without having to read it. And that's America. The numbers are different here, and in some cases, so are the conditions (for example, do we not have laws against certain growth hormones?). Buuuut that's a weak thing to hold onto. Of the hundreds of millions of animals slaughtered here each year, the conditions are still weak. According to The Canadian Federation of Humane Societies, Canada's "Farming, transport and slaughter practices in Canada have remained at the status quo for many years, falling further and further behind countries such as Australia, New Zealand and members of the European Union, where public demand has required progressive policies and legislation for farm animal welfare. For example, many countries and even some U.S. states have introduced legislation mandating the phase-out of battery cages, gestation stalls and veal crates." But again, you probably already know this. You have to be a serious moron to not know that animals are, by and large, mistreated. If you've read any of Michael Pollan's works or seen his interviews, you will even probably be familiar with misguiding labels which act as nothing more than a tensor for consumer guilt (i.e. 'grass fed' doesn't necessarily mean anything other than that some grass was in its diet, although it would lead many consumers to think the animal has a 'normal' grazing life). So even when you think you are eating ethically, you may actually not be doing so at all. But do you sincerely even take that into consideration? If you are okay with your dinner living a miserable life, suffering a painful death, and then being transported to your plate -- what about the environment consequences of eating meat? Damian Carrington of The Guardian writes: Beef’s environmental impact dwarfs that of other meat including chicken and pork, new research reveals, with one expert saying that eating less red meat would be a better way for people to cut carbon emissions than giving up their cars. The heavy impact on the environment of meat production was known but the research shows a new scale and scope of damage, particularly for beef. The popular red meat requires 28 times more land to produce than pork or chicken, 11 times more water and results in five times more climate-warming emissions. When compared to staples like potatoes, wheat, and rice, the impact of beef per calorie is even more extreme, requiring 160 times more land and producing 11 times more greenhouse gases. (the New Yorker article also goes into detail about the sea of 'crap' from some farms which fills up more space than that of Californians and Texans combined, each day, creating 'dead zones' and environmental disaster areas) But again, even the Guardian acknowledges that this isn't necessarily anything new. Even though the data or specifics may be clearer than before, we have known for years that cattle are environmentally dangerous. The New York Times had a contest recently (2012) for someone to write a short essay arguing for the ethical reason FOR eating meat. The selected winner option is linked here (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/06/magazine/the-ethicist-contest-winner-give-thanks-for-meat.html?_r=0), but if you read it, also check out the comment section, which has many hilarious responses about how the essay is sort of a failure. So, if the NYT couldn't really do it, how about us? How do you overlook the fact that your dinner is what it is? I know it sounds condescending, but I don't mean for it to. I think the simple facts of the matter simply MAKE it sound condescending. I'm only asking because I am seriously interested. I am not a vegan or something. This isn't a call to vegetarian arms, I am legitimately curious as to how we make our food choices. In the interest of full disclosure, I am not a vegetarian, but I do not cook meat on my own. I never make meat-based dishes. But I still have meat on/in some meals when I go out or have dinner with family and stuff like that, maybe 15 times a year or so. I could go the rest of my life without eating meat and be totally happy. If you can't, how do you reconcile that with the fact that individual sentient beings and the environmental world at large may suffer because of your choice? edit: link to Guardian article: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jul/21/giving-up-beef-reduce-carbon-footprint-more-than-cars Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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