27

votes

Compassionate Paleo

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created July 13, 2011 at 7:58 PM

Hi there. I'm very interested in the paleo lifestyle but am conflicted with consuming meat. I've been a vegetarian for 30 years (a vegan for 4 of those), but based on experience and current data, I believe a paleo diet and lifestyle to be advantageous. But I can't get past the meat - I've been consuming some eggs and fish but that's as far as I can go. I feel little ostracized by the vegetarian community. And some of the language used on Paleo blogs and podcasts are so rough with folks like me who question eating meat. Is there anyone else out there in the same position?

Thanks! Leslie

306aa57660d911781231f8090c2a5619

(3808)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

Bone broth is also a step towards using the gift of the animal's life as fully as possible. Some even eat the bones after. I don't because I dislike the texture, but we do feed them to the dogs, which means they eat less of some other animal.

Bcb2f5436d11467e89123680c046b858

(1356)

on July 25, 2012
at 09:07 PM

@Grok - eggs might not have feelings, but their mothers do. Conventional laying hens have miserable lives. I buy eggs from someone's back yard or from teeny little farms near me. Farmers markets usually have eggs.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on July 16, 2011
at 07:49 PM

uh, you can kill a cow but not a lobster? Have you ever killed a cow? Protip: you can hack off the spinal cord of a lobster before you throw it in a pot. PS plants are alive too. < / trolling >

Medium avatar

(297)

on July 16, 2011
at 05:23 PM

"I just don't get the all animals are the same attitude at all" - Melissa, all animals, of course, are not the same. But they ARE the same in ONE way: they're all alive. Which was my point from the beginning. As Grok said, taking a life is taking a life.... My rule is, if I can't kill it, I won't eat it. I don't eat lobster because I've been faced with having to throw one into boiling water, and I couldn't.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on July 15, 2011
at 07:04 PM

Some people at PETA must be a bit idiotic. They made a big stink about a fish market throwing the dead fish over people's heads at Pike's Place Market in Seattle, saying that it was "disrespectful" to the fish... the dead fish. So it's ok to kill it, bake it at 400 degrees, and eat, it, but if you toss it, you hurt its feelings. lol. Brilliant organization of people right there.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on July 15, 2011
at 07:03 PM

PETA is idioctic. They made a big stink about a fish market throwing the dead fish over people's heads at Pike's Place Market in Seattle, saying that it was "disrespectful" to the fish... the dead fish. So it's ok to kill it, bake it at 400 degrees, and eat, it, but if you toss it, you hurt its feelings. lol. Brilliant organization of people right there.

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on July 15, 2011
at 05:08 PM

@Melissa - would you consider discussing offline your vegan/religious comment above?

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on July 15, 2011
at 04:39 PM

@Melissa - would you consider discussing offline your vegan/religious comement above?

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on July 15, 2011
at 02:26 AM

I agree with Melissa on this one. I'm pretty surprised that not everyone makes some sort of distinction among animals. For me it's not as much shared characteristics as it is the animals capacity for shared emotion based on their nervous system (but this may just be semantics?.) For me it seems far more compassionate to kill a fish as I feel certain they are not capable of the same advanced emotion and intelligence as a cow or a pig.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on July 15, 2011
at 02:19 AM

+! That's lovely. Thank you for doing things the way they should be done.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on July 14, 2011
at 07:45 PM

It doesn't have to do with beauty for me. And yes, sentimentality towards animals with no capacity for feelings is sentimentality and has nothing to do with biology. I've been there, when snaily the snail died, but snaily the snail didn't know who I was, "he" didn't care about me or "his" family. It's a continuum though. A scallop obviously doesn't have memory, but a koi does. But does a koi suffer the way a pig does? That's a good question.

Cc93847bfa820f0f2da654060b401fa5

(746)

on July 14, 2011
at 07:12 PM

I understand what you're trying to say Melissa. Just playing devils advocate ;) If killing fish is no big deal for you, perhaps you're like the guy at the slaughterhouse who's driven a bolt through hundreds of cows heads. Conditioning. Beautiful creature is a beautiful creature to me. I'll admit, farmed mammal is harder to kill than a wild one. They've relied on human dependance & interaction. No escape. No game. Their number's always been up. It would be tougher to kill & eat one of my Mom's huge Koi that she's been hand feeding for years. BeastGirl's snakes & spiders point is good.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on July 14, 2011
at 06:28 PM

I just don't *get* the all animals are the same attitude at all. It's clear some animals share more with use than others. I guess it all stems from modernist philosophies that say there is nothing special at all about humans. It's not as if these animals are immoral to kill, it's just that they deserve special consideration and limiting their consumption might be wise.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on July 14, 2011
at 06:24 PM

I feel the same way about boars as I do about calves. Boars have memories, bonds with other animals, ability to anticipate the future, empathy...all kinds of things that make their death a significant event. I have killed ugly pathetic animals and felt bad about it. It's not about sentimentality, it's about biological similarities with humans. Let me know when you've slaughtered an animal. I don't think you understand. Sometimes people who slaughter laugh about it, but it's still something significant and hard.

Medium avatar

(297)

on July 14, 2011
at 05:54 PM

"When I catch a fish it's just no big deal at all" - that's your personal feelings, and that's fine. Not everyone feels the same way, though. Some people get attached to snakes and spiders, which I'll never understand. For some people killing a land animal is no big deal either. I know this from my childhood trips to the countryside (I grew up in Europe, and we went often). I was shocked and cried the first time I learned that all those beautiful cows I helped care for would get slaughtered at some point, and the farmer's kids just laughed at my reaction. It was not a big deal to them at all.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on July 14, 2011
at 05:50 PM

sorry if this seems attack-y, it's not. i think about this stuff a lot and am trying to exercise some critical thinking skills here. I see the practice of compassion as an action, not an emotion - though emotion can be involved. Sometimes in life we must act with compassion in spite of our emotions (as in anger); and sometimes we make choices that are emotionally difficult, but that can still be made with compassion (euthanasia, saying no to a child, eating cute animals).

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on July 14, 2011
at 05:48 PM

sorry if this seems attack-y, it's not. i think about this stuff a lot and am trying to exercise some critical thinking skills here. I see the practice of compassion as an action, not an emotion - though emotion can be involved. Sometimes in life we must act with compassion against our emotions (as in anger); and sometimes we make choices that are emotionally difficult, but that can still be made with compassion (euthanasia, saying no to a child, eating cute animals).

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on July 14, 2011
at 05:38 PM

many people don't have the emotional response that you are calling compassion (which i believe is actually sentimental anthropomorphism, but that does not make it less valid on a personal level). Are you saying you think eschewing cute animals is the "best thing" *for you*, or for everybody - including those that don't have the feelings you have? What about uncute animals, like boars and turkeys? Yum?

Medium avatar

(297)

on July 14, 2011
at 05:11 PM

It depends on your perception, Melissa. I know a few Buddhists who will strongly disagree with you. My point is not that "fish and cow are the same thing", my point is that "fish and cow are both living things". A fish may be less intelligent/responsive/relatable than a cow, but it's not any less alive. If one's issue is with eating living things, then my argument stands.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on July 14, 2011
at 04:50 PM

I actually purposefully do not abstain from gluten completely. I do not want to become gluten intolerant and/or become celiac. I have this nagging hunch that if I drop it completely, my body will become intolerant upon attempted re-introduction.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on July 14, 2011
at 04:40 PM

I switched to eating a lot less meat some time ago and I try to only eat meat where I personally oversaw the slaughter.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on July 14, 2011
at 04:39 PM

if you are eating a more compassionate diet that means not eating these animals at all or at least eating fewer of them

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on July 14, 2011
at 04:39 PM

the subject at hand is how to eat a more compassionate paleo diet. I think the best thing to do is eat fewer animals that arose compassion because of their shared characteristics with us or not eat these animals at all.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on July 14, 2011
at 03:42 PM

@Jack i wouldn't totally abstain from gluten either if i didn't have to! I was just being silly, but the subtext was that the truly dogmatic Paleo isn't as common here as some would think, even among the most vocal. Thankfully.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on July 14, 2011
at 03:15 PM

@MHGL what does that have to do with anything? if you were saying this in the context of reasoning that you abstain from eating land animals, it might mean something, but since you aren't a pescetarian, I don't get where you're going with this.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on July 14, 2011
at 02:59 PM

So it sounds like your point is that land animals are harder (for you) to kill; and you are postulating that this difficulty is hardwired in - not the result of cultural conditioning. I am still confused about how this relates to the subject at hand, unless you are saying that it is *unethical* to kill for food animals that are closer to us evolutionarily.

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on July 14, 2011
at 02:33 PM

@Jack - I admitted on another thread that I am a diet soda addict. But I have no more skeletons in the closet. The kimono is completely off and my unit is out there flopping in the wind

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on July 14, 2011
at 02:32 PM

@Jack - I admitting on another thread that I am a diet soda addict. I swear I have no more ghosts in the closet. The kimono is completely off and I'm out there flopping in the wind now.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on July 14, 2011
at 02:27 PM

oh and it was nice to here someone else talk about ghee. i just made some last night.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on July 14, 2011
at 02:24 PM

what's with the diet soda? I didn't read anything about that here! lol. and grenadine. that's very funny about me and pizza. I haven't had pizza in over a month. I just twice a month because every now and then I am caught in a situation where pizza is the food at hand and since I'm not gluten intolerant, I happily enjoy. @Aravind - here we have another thoughtful and deeply rooted answer from you. Thank you.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on July 14, 2011
at 02:06 PM

a big meaty upvote from me. i liked reading this grenadine.

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on July 14, 2011
at 01:41 PM

Leslie - the number of upvotes you've received should assuage your concerns regarding judgment within this community.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on July 14, 2011
at 12:52 PM

I'm saying that all animals can be food, but the death of an animal that shares more characteristics with a human being is more significant and harder. I think you are unusually sentimental Grok. I have killed probably hundreds of salmon. You can't logically compare a calf with a salmon. There is no evidence (or very shaky) that a fish feels sadness or love or empathy as there is for higher mammals. The idea that all animals are the same is cute, but has no basis in reality.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on July 14, 2011
at 12:49 PM

There are characteristics that higher animals share with humans that other animals don't share. That's facts.

Cc93847bfa820f0f2da654060b401fa5

(746)

on July 14, 2011
at 09:08 AM

When I smash the head of a nice 25+lb gasping salmon on the bank with a rock and watch it spaz & twitch it makes the killing pretty real. Actually it may even be harder than putting one through a deer's heart as he looks me in the eye. With the fish... slower death and closer interaction. The fish just turned my arm into a noodle fighting for his life in the river's current had a chance to earn my respect. Taking a life is taking a life. Can't stand the heat, maybe you shouldn't eat what's being cooked in the kitchen.

Cc93847bfa820f0f2da654060b401fa5

(746)

on July 14, 2011
at 08:23 AM

Then don't. Shellfish and eggs have no feelings. Eat them. You don't need red meat or poultry. Most of it's from nasty sources anyway.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 14, 2011
at 07:10 AM

What an awesome answer!

957a563c7e4a165663fd3c71207c39da

on July 14, 2011
at 06:25 AM

Such a beautiful answer. The part about how you intellectualised your choice really rings true. Us humans always get into trouble when we think we're smarter than mother nature.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on July 14, 2011
at 05:08 AM

^^^^just joking around. I really like your answer here, and upvoted it earlier. I totally got the placenta thing (even if it did almost seem like a non-sequitur) b/c I'd seen your earlier posts about it.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on July 14, 2011
at 04:58 AM

@melissa re edit - Compassion and anthropomorphism are two different things. True compassion is different than liking cute stuff. Yes, fish *are* different than mammals. I'm not sure I understand your point. Are you saying mammals are not food?

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on July 14, 2011
at 04:52 AM

thanks y'all. we wee persons sure do think a lot. sigh. big dumb brains...

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on July 14, 2011
at 04:33 AM

Anthropomorphism.. Is it useful in this context?

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on July 14, 2011
at 04:23 AM

anyone who doesn't see a difference between a fish and a cow clearly hasn't killed enough animals. http://cuteoverload.com/2007/05/30/moosday_furries/ vs. a fish? What evokes compassion more? What raises and nurtures its young with human-like care? What forms friendships and mourns the loss of its comrades? Not fish.

Medium avatar

(297)

on July 14, 2011
at 04:22 AM

Marie, thanks for pointing this out. I felt sick the first time I learned about this. More people need to know this!

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on July 14, 2011
at 04:15 AM

@Meredith - I added a quote for you in my user profile earlier this evening. Shake and bake baby!

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on July 14, 2011
at 04:07 AM

+ infinity - you will of course be on the TMS podcast TBI - I may be the Ed Mcmahon - or Cal Naughton:)

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on July 14, 2011
at 03:53 AM

Very thoughtful post!

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on July 14, 2011
at 03:48 AM

@grenadine/mem - I lack the vocabulary to express how much I appreciate the support!

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on July 14, 2011
at 03:45 AM

+1@ Merediteh - Love the easy flexibility that just rolls right out...

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on July 14, 2011
at 03:40 AM

+1@ Aravind: Points, points and more points for you.And a big paleo hug to you! I so totally get it. :) And how funny...given my current climate situation, I am getting fishier and fishier and eggier and less meaty. (Heat index 110 today...I am frying!) Your post reminds me of a number of jewish friends who while not "religious" will never eat pork or shellfish for the very same reasons. I happen to think that some of these *very* deeply felt/rooted inclinations/needs have *meaning* which may surpass our understanding.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on July 14, 2011
at 03:38 AM

I think it's awesome that you shared this, and I commend and thank you for it. :)

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on July 14, 2011
at 03:36 AM

And to be VERY clear, my comment regarding veganism in my post is only rooted in the biochemistry of it. The fat soluble vitamins available in full fat dairy, along with cooking in pastured butter/ghee is what I was trying to get at. It may not have come across the right way

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on July 14, 2011
at 03:26 AM

Thanks Melissa. I was a bit reluctant to be so open kimono, but then it felt like the right thing to do. Like I posted, I am not abstaining from meat due to any religious conviction at all. But even if I were, so what? Thanks for coming out with me. I now know I am in great company in this community :-)

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on July 14, 2011
at 03:19 AM

sweet reply :) There are a lot of closet vegetarian paleos. I eat vegan sometimes because of my religious traditions, but I don't often discuss it because I don't want to discuss religion very much on the internet. Maybe us closet bad paleos aren't so bad after all. It seems like the people who turn it into a religion are the ones who regret it (Don @ Primal Wisdom).

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on July 14, 2011
at 03:16 AM

I guess I rotate between feeling bad for cute animals and feeling bad for the environmental effects of seafood. I am hoping to do a freshwater prawn farming thingy so I can stop feeling bad ;)

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on July 14, 2011
at 03:13 AM

@grenadine: I love this:"Right away I was eating offal, and fish with head-still-on. I had to do it that way - I didn't want close my eyes and pretend like it wasn't happening. I'm finally, gratefully, accepting my place as actor in the cycle of life." I was only vegetarian for a couple years in my latter 30's, but know so well the terrible conflicted feelings and the final acceptance I came to, which you describe so well. I accept life on life's terms. Nevermind that it is NOT what I would have designed. I am a wee person in the cycle of life...

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on July 14, 2011
at 02:26 AM

There was a compelling piece on Slate a while back about the viability of considering of oysters as a source of animal protein which mimimizes pain/suffering. Since the bivalves don't have a central nervous system, it is theorized that they do not feel pain. http://www.slate.com/id/2248998/

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on July 14, 2011
at 02:08 AM

Maybe if you convinced me that there is meat in the diet soda, I would finally be able to kick the habit!

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on July 14, 2011
at 02:06 AM

ARAVIND!! first the diet soda, and now this??! And Jack Kronk eats pizza twice a month. Good gravy. ARE there NO paleo paleos?!?! The scandal!! It's like jesus isn't god or something. wait, what?

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on July 14, 2011
at 01:54 AM

Having killed fish, chickens, and seen the slaughter of a pig up close, I can tell you that from a compassion perspective fish and meat are very different. I felt very sick and actually cried when I dealt with the chickens and pig for the first time, a common experience. Let's just say when I first went fishing I didn't feel anything at all. Someone on my blog actually called me a fish psychopath, but the truth is that fish are very far from us on the evolutionary tree and share little of the characteristics that make pigs so sympathetic to most. Invertebrates even more so.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on July 14, 2011
at 01:53 AM

@wave @ben "it's ok to eat fish b/c they don't have any feelings.." j/k, but I think ppl tell themselves that. It's easy to make fish into an abstraction - the meat doesn't look "fleshy"; and it's often boneless and served in tidy trapezoids.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on July 14, 2011
at 01:46 AM

thank you akd. too kind! and back atcha!

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on July 14, 2011
at 01:45 AM

hahahaha "Oh, you have trouble with meat? Well shux, grab a plate - I got a placenta laying around here somewhere..."

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 14, 2011
at 01:31 AM

Certainly not for everyday consumption. Its pretty packed with girly hormones, so I don't know what the would do to a guy. I'm just saying that if you happen to have one lying around it is perhaps a cruelty free gateway meat.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 14, 2011
at 12:59 AM

I'll just comment that, while I've only dabbled with vegetarianism slightly years ago, I do kinda think that if you're eating meat you should at least once or twice kill and animal and know the reality of ending it's life and getting your sustenance from it's death.

Medium avatar

(4878)

on July 14, 2011
at 12:58 AM

Ummm...for anyone thinking PETA is an organization FOR animals, think again. They don't want you to have any pets, PERIOD. Just look at the number of animals they took into their shelter and how many were killed: http://www.petakillsanimals.com/petasdirtysecret.cfm

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 14, 2011
at 12:57 AM

@wave, I've always found the fish-but-no-"meat" version of vegetarianism silly, too. Nevertheless they're out there. Friend of mine is one tbh. I told her that that's fine, you don't need beef chicken etc. Fish, dairy, veg could make you strong and healthy

Medium avatar

(4878)

on July 14, 2011
at 12:56 AM

Ditto the bone broth! A broth and an egg make a great breakfast- add a little diced veggies and some cilantro, YUM!

Medium avatar

(4878)

on July 14, 2011
at 12:51 AM

Wow, an other vote up for Temple Grandin!

Medium avatar

(4878)

on July 14, 2011
at 12:50 AM

Ditto the gluten comment. As a recovering vegetarian, I hear where you are coming from!!! I was a meat virgin until 35!!! I ate the most beautiful diet, by MD standards, but was falling apart due to gluten and grain related intolerance. Now, I ONLY buy free range, grass fed, wild caught, etc. I'm doing my best to support the industries that are doing right by both the species and our health. I'd also suggest you read a little of Temple Grandin's work to understand the animal mind, if things are troubling you. I've found her work to be very insightful, especially to my newly meat eating ways.

07154e6d8e42065f230d06249700fe5b

(2057)

on July 14, 2011
at 12:31 AM

Fish has less fat but more polyunsaturated fats, mainly. But there are micronutrient differences as well. Compare on nutritiondata.com

306aa57660d911781231f8090c2a5619

(3808)

on July 14, 2011
at 12:09 AM

Yes. If you feel strongly about it, get your meat from ethical sources. Find a place where you can visit the farm and see the conditions for yourself. Find out about humane slaughtering practices and only choose someone who utilizes them. IMO, eating a cow that has been pastured, well cared for, and who has had an overall happy life is more ethical than using conventional milk and eggs. We raise are own chickens and goats, and know for sure that they are living in happy, healthy conditions. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver is another good book, and books by Temple Grandin.

306aa57660d911781231f8090c2a5619

(3808)

on July 14, 2011
at 12:05 AM

I agree. If you feel strongly about it, get all your meat from ethical sources. Find a place where you can visit the farm and see the conditions for yourself. Find out about humane slaughtering practices and only choose someone who utilizes them. IMO, eating a cow that has been pastured, well cared for, and who has had an overall happy life is more ethical than drinking milk or eating eggs from conventionally raised cows and chickens. We raise are own chickens and goats, and know for sure that they are living in happy, healthy conditions.

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7304)

on July 14, 2011
at 12:03 AM

PETA- People Eat Tasty Animals

36b7a2776d028dc8d5743e2e56ece34d

(812)

on July 13, 2011
at 11:49 PM

what's the difference between meat and fish?

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on July 13, 2011
at 11:34 PM

excellent answer. ive missed your posts. they are always so thoughtful and well-written.

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on July 13, 2011
at 11:31 PM

well thats fine if people choose to eat their placenta after giving birth, but surely you arent suggesting that people can sustain themselves on placentas as a legitimate source of animal protein. that idea makes me laugh out loud, which is why i assumed it was a joke. ive had two placentas, personally and dont think i could raise my family of four on them.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on July 13, 2011
at 10:55 PM

have you stopped eating gluten?

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 13, 2011
at 09:59 PM

MEETA...I'm in!

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 13, 2011
at 09:56 PM

I didn't mean to say they had to be gay, just a group existing within an organization that seems at odds with the group as a whole on the surface.

016de26fe61daf799662d3b7b2468324

(688)

on July 13, 2011
at 09:48 PM

+1 because I appreciate your honesty and respect your point of view.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 13, 2011
at 09:41 PM

I wasn't making a joke, nor was I taking a jab at vegans, but perhaps it is a fringe concept. I did a training course in placenta encapsulation, and it kept getting mentioned that placenta is the only organ meat that nothing dies to make it available for consumption, and if that placenta comes from your own body, no animals were exploited: technically vegan. Unless veganism is an aesthetic choice rather than a moral one.

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on July 13, 2011
at 09:35 PM

they arent gay vegetarians though, if thats what you meant by "log cabin PETA". ;)

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on July 13, 2011
at 09:34 PM

there is on facebook- http://www.facebook.com/pages/Meat-Eaters-for-the-Ethical-Treatment-of-Animals/138719069532792

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on July 13, 2011
at 09:32 PM

@ mark, i think the poster was just making a joke. @happy now, not too "woo woo" for me. i couldnt have said it better myself, and often feel the same way. im an ethical vegetarian in an omnivores body. frankly, if i could be healthy and be a vegetarian, i would be.

6fa48935d439390e223b9a053a62c981

(1676)

on July 13, 2011
at 08:54 PM

Just when I was thinking this was a thoughtful and sensitive answer I got to the placenta suggestion. I can't figure out if this is a rude jab at vegans or if you're seriously suggesting cannibalism to the questioner. Or maybe you meant non-human placenta? Leslie stated that she has trouble wrapping her head around eating meat and you suggest placenta??

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 13, 2011
at 08:54 PM

I've also noticed that my thoughts on life and death have evolved since eating meat. I no longer sit around worrying about dying. I developed more of an I'll go until I stop attitude. It has occurred to me that happy animals probably don't sit around worrying about dying (or maybe that's all they worry about, I haven't been able to get past the language barrier yet). I'm guessing they just go until they stop too, and a quick death probably causes less suffering than starving to death after losing the ability to care for themselves.

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on July 13, 2011
at 08:32 PM

I eat meat - many here are not into dairy, but if you can tolerate why not do dairy and eggs? These are good protein sources. Also, would you consider fish? Shellfish?

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17 Answers

26
D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on July 14, 2011
at 01:57 AM

At the expense of being ostracized myself, I am going to go for broke since I think I am likely to have a very different perspective as you will soon read. I might have to pull a Thomas Seay after this???

I was born into a strict Hindu family ??? meaning Lacto vegetarian (BTW ??? worlds apart from being a vegan). So for me, being a vegetarian was NOT a deliberate choice based on some ethical consideration or being won over by a celebrity preaching morality, but rather it was something I took as a given based on my ancestral heritage for literally 100s/1000s of years. This is no different than most people with respect to religion ??? with very few exceptions we are born into it and then rationalize/accept it. I am not at all religious and slave to the ritualistic bullshit (like many here, I prefer to think of myself as spiritual), but I have ???ancestral baggage??? for lack of a better term. 40+ years of habit, not necessarily conviction.

In 2010, I began a significant nutritional inquiry and started to devour everything I could read. My father, diabetic at 35, died of cancer at age 52. Now as a father myself for a few years, I felt compelled to do good not only by my daughter, but by myself, to ensure the well-being and longevity of our family. This led me to Paleo. I now am a proud and active member of this community. Other than the occassional inappropriate ???anatomical??? posts (which mysteriously seem to get deleted), I would like to think I am a thoughtful contributor here in recent months.

Ok, so time to come out of the closet???.I eat no meat or fish. I do, however, liberally eat whole eggs and full fat dairy. As far as eggs are concerned, I have eaten them since childhood. As absurd as it might sound, my mother when I was a few years old started feeding me eggs unbeknownst to my father because IN SPITE OF BEING A STRICT LACTO-VEGETARIAN HERSELF, she knew that eating eggs would be good for my health (aren???t mothers wonderful!). By the time my dad caught wind of it, I was already hooked and he never said a word (he knew it was good for me too). My death bed meal would unquestionably include eggs! But 42 years into life, I have never intentionally eaten meat or fish. I am not advocating this to be optimal at all based on my last year of nutritional inquiry. I am convinced that meat does the body good. But sometimes good enough is good enough.

My primary influence has been and continues to be Dr. Kurt Harris and his Archevore approach to Paleo. If are not already familiar with it, please see the following - http://www.archevore.com/get-started/ . One of the fundamental issues is how you define Paleo. Just use the search function above to see the countless debates regarding macronutrients, inclusion vs exclusion of dairy, inclusion vs exclusion of non-gluten grains (like white rice), etc etc. As per the Archevore approach, my definition of a Paleo diet has been primarily based on avoiding the ubiquitous Neolithic Agents of Disease

  • Avoidance of grains (excluding white rice as a ???safe starch???)
  • Avoidance of excess fructose
  • Avoidance of excess linoleic acid (Omega 6 from vegetable oils)
  • Avoidance of soy (limited inclusion of legumes that are prepared in a way that Stephan Guyenet and Weston Price would approve)

As a Lacto-Ovo Paleo, I am complaint with the above tenets. Then there are the Paleo lifestyle changes like adequate sleep, activity, lots of sex, etc. In doing so, my well-being and quantitative biometrics (weight, lipids, HbA1C, HS CRP, Deadlift 2x bodyweight, etc) are markedly improved. If you read the Archevore 12 steps, the vast majority of benefits are achieved via the early steps and is more about what you avoid than what you include. I talked to Dr Harris back in May 2011 (which was an amazing conversation). While he in no way suggested that avoiding meat was optimal (he definitely tried to persuade me to eat some good juicy lamb, or at least shellfish!!!), his primary focus continues to be the avoidance of NADs. I point blank told him I was willing to supplement fish oil if he thought I should and he was unequivocal in stating that his preferential approach was to reduce Omega 6 rather than the (hyper) supplementation of Omega 3. In your case, you can just eat some good ocean fish!

The bottom line to me is that as long as you are not vegan, and particularly since you are willing to eat eggs and fish, you can not only survive but actually thrive with the Lacto-Ovo-Pesca Paleo approach in comparison to being a SAD eater. And whatever you do, please don???t be vegan - ironic that a non-meat eater is making that statement : - ) I write this not because of some judgement of the ethical aspects of veganism or position of superiority, but simply because the nutritional deficiencies resulting from the avoidance of full fat dairy are enormous.

I???m not going to lie to you, IT IS VERY TOUGH TO FOLLOW THIS WAY OF EATING WITHOUT CONSTANT VIGILENCE, GIVEN THE SELF-IMPOSED HANDCUFFS. But the important things in life usually are tough. I am able to have my Paleolithic cake (avoiding NADs) and eat it too (honoring family tradition). Optimal? No. Better than the alternative. Hell Yes!!!

Also, perhaps a consideration for you is the impact to key relationships in your life. I am married to a woman of Indian descent and while she too was born into a Hindu family, she liberally eats fish and never passes up a good lamb chop (another myth in the Paleo community. There are more non vegetarian Hindus than vegetarian and rarely vegan). In spite of our dietary differences, this is not an issue between us. And as far as our daughter is concerned, I am not at all going to encumber her with my ancestral baggage so she will be relishing the lamb chops with mama and I will be happy (maybe even jealous?) as she does.

You are concerned about being ostracized by vegetarians. Excluding me, since I am clearly an outlier here in this community, I have witnessed enough compassion and thoughtfulness in this community to believe that you are going to be more than accepted by your new Paleo ???family???, so screw your judgmental vegetarian friends. Sure there are assholes here too, but show me a community, organization, culture, race, society doesn???t have them. ???Respectfully??? tell them to go fuck themselves if they get up in your grill.

Last comment which might surprise you???on behalf of my meat eating brothers and sisters here, I actually took exception to the title ???Compassionate Paleo???. This implies the others here are not compassionate because they choose to eat meat. I am bringing this to your attention because I am quite certain that you did not intend to offend anyone. But can you see how people that are choosing to eat meat might be? Something to think about.

That???s my 2 cents. Ok, let the shredding begin. Seacrest, out???.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on July 14, 2011
at 02:06 AM

ARAVIND!! first the diet soda, and now this??! And Jack Kronk eats pizza twice a month. Good gravy. ARE there NO paleo paleos?!?! The scandal!! It's like jesus isn't god or something. wait, what?

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on July 14, 2011
at 02:08 AM

Maybe if you convinced me that there is meat in the diet soda, I would finally be able to kick the habit!

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on July 14, 2011
at 03:38 AM

I think it's awesome that you shared this, and I commend and thank you for it. :)

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on July 14, 2011
at 02:24 PM

what's with the diet soda? I didn't read anything about that here! lol. and grenadine. that's very funny about me and pizza. I haven't had pizza in over a month. I just twice a month because every now and then I am caught in a situation where pizza is the food at hand and since I'm not gluten intolerant, I happily enjoy. @Aravind - here we have another thoughtful and deeply rooted answer from you. Thank you.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on July 14, 2011
at 03:19 AM

sweet reply :) There are a lot of closet vegetarian paleos. I eat vegan sometimes because of my religious traditions, but I don't often discuss it because I don't want to discuss religion very much on the internet. Maybe us closet bad paleos aren't so bad after all. It seems like the people who turn it into a religion are the ones who regret it (Don @ Primal Wisdom).

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on July 14, 2011
at 03:48 AM

@grenadine/mem - I lack the vocabulary to express how much I appreciate the support!

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on July 14, 2011
at 03:36 AM

And to be VERY clear, my comment regarding veganism in my post is only rooted in the biochemistry of it. The fat soluble vitamins available in full fat dairy, along with cooking in pastured butter/ghee is what I was trying to get at. It may not have come across the right way

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on July 14, 2011
at 04:15 AM

@Meredith - I added a quote for you in my user profile earlier this evening. Shake and bake baby!

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on July 15, 2011
at 05:08 PM

@Melissa - would you consider discussing offline your vegan/religious comment above?

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on July 14, 2011
at 02:27 PM

oh and it was nice to here someone else talk about ghee. i just made some last night.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on July 14, 2011
at 03:42 PM

@Jack i wouldn't totally abstain from gluten either if i didn't have to! I was just being silly, but the subtext was that the truly dogmatic Paleo isn't as common here as some would think, even among the most vocal. Thankfully.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 14, 2011
at 07:10 AM

What an awesome answer!

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on July 14, 2011
at 03:40 AM

+1@ Aravind: Points, points and more points for you.And a big paleo hug to you! I so totally get it. :) And how funny...given my current climate situation, I am getting fishier and fishier and eggier and less meaty. (Heat index 110 today...I am frying!) Your post reminds me of a number of jewish friends who while not "religious" will never eat pork or shellfish for the very same reasons. I happen to think that some of these *very* deeply felt/rooted inclinations/needs have *meaning* which may surpass our understanding.

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on July 14, 2011
at 03:26 AM

Thanks Melissa. I was a bit reluctant to be so open kimono, but then it felt like the right thing to do. Like I posted, I am not abstaining from meat due to any religious conviction at all. But even if I were, so what? Thanks for coming out with me. I now know I am in great company in this community :-)

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on July 14, 2011
at 04:07 AM

+ infinity - you will of course be on the TMS podcast TBI - I may be the Ed Mcmahon - or Cal Naughton:)

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on July 14, 2011
at 02:33 PM

@Jack - I admitted on another thread that I am a diet soda addict. But I have no more skeletons in the closet. The kimono is completely off and my unit is out there flopping in the wind

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on July 14, 2011
at 02:32 PM

@Jack - I admitting on another thread that I am a diet soda addict. I swear I have no more ghosts in the closet. The kimono is completely off and I'm out there flopping in the wind now.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on July 14, 2011
at 04:50 PM

I actually purposefully do not abstain from gluten completely. I do not want to become gluten intolerant and/or become celiac. I have this nagging hunch that if I drop it completely, my body will become intolerant upon attempted re-introduction.

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on July 15, 2011
at 04:39 PM

@Melissa - would you consider discussing offline your vegan/religious comement above?

22
559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on July 13, 2011
at 10:49 PM

I was a vegetarian for about 20 years, for many reasons. I now see vegetarianism as another way humans draw a line between "us" and "them" (them being the animals). I've come to feel that it's almost, like, an arrogance to believe that humans have risen above the requirement for meat as food... I guess I was thinking humans had perhaps evolved, (in 'consciousness' or something); and that I had a choice, that I was smarter than nature, that I was not an animal. I was also misinformed about nutrition, like most folks. The bottom line is that I am not physically evolved to eat the way I was eating (no meat, plenty of grains). I wasn't healthy. I had to make a choice to accept my animal nature, my instinct for survival, that I had intellectualized away with my big dumb human brain. Compassion and eating animals are not mutually exclusive; and like many other things - compassion must start within. I had to choose life. My life.

It has been about 5 months now. I still struggle with it sometimes - I don't take it for granted. If I start feeling squeamish, I practice gratitude; and I remind myself of my little place here on this planet, of the incredible symbiosis that brought us all here; and daily I feel ever more connected to life and the people and creatures who share this time here with me, as well as those came before and after.

Personally, I made no attempt to ease into things by abstracting the new food into nice tofu-like cubes, I dove right in and immediately began eating things that had identifiable parts, with bones and sinew and whatnot. Right away I was eating offal, and fish with head-still-on. I had to do it that way - I didn't want close my eyes and pretend like it wasn't happening. I'm finally, gratefully, accepting my place as actor in the cycle of life.

All that aside, my main motivation as a vegetarian was a desire to avoid supporting the ethical and environmental disaster of the factory-farming industry. The slow-food movement and the increased availability of sustainably farmed food made it possible for me to make the changes - I wouldn't have done it otherwise. I also feel like supporting local farms will do more to progress the food industry - even on a small scale - than eating (processed) vegetarian food. Like Rooty, I also recommend reading Michael Pollan (and for those of you who still eat CAFO meat, I recommend Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser).

Good Luck to you, I hope you find a way of eating that is both comfortable and nourishing. :)

ETA My meat buying-club just posted this on facebook and I like it:
We cannot live harmlessly at our own expense; we depend on other creatures and survive by their deaths. To live, we must daily break the body and shed the blood of Creation. The point is, when we do this knowingly, lovingly, skillfully, reverently, it is a sacrament; when we do it ignorantly, greedily, clumsily, destructively, it is a desecration." Wendell Berry

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on July 14, 2011
at 04:52 AM

thanks y'all. we wee persons sure do think a lot. sigh. big dumb brains...

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on July 13, 2011
at 11:34 PM

excellent answer. ive missed your posts. they are always so thoughtful and well-written.

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on July 14, 2011
at 03:53 AM

Very thoughtful post!

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on July 14, 2011
at 01:46 AM

thank you akd. too kind! and back atcha!

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on July 14, 2011
at 02:06 PM

a big meaty upvote from me. i liked reading this grenadine.

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on July 14, 2011
at 03:13 AM

@grenadine: I love this:"Right away I was eating offal, and fish with head-still-on. I had to do it that way - I didn't want close my eyes and pretend like it wasn't happening. I'm finally, gratefully, accepting my place as actor in the cycle of life." I was only vegetarian for a couple years in my latter 30's, but know so well the terrible conflicted feelings and the final acceptance I came to, which you describe so well. I accept life on life's terms. Nevermind that it is NOT what I would have designed. I am a wee person in the cycle of life...

957a563c7e4a165663fd3c71207c39da

on July 14, 2011
at 06:25 AM

Such a beautiful answer. The part about how you intellectualised your choice really rings true. Us humans always get into trouble when we think we're smarter than mother nature.

12
64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on July 14, 2011
at 04:43 AM

I try and say a prayer when I consume animals (which is nearly every meal), that includes

  • being grateful for the food
  • being grateful for the animal dying in order for me to thrive
  • offering the food before I eat it
  • that I may ingest the animal's strengths without ingesting the animalistic tendencies

11
Ff6560918e3b3cede8958b070cc07822

(407)

on July 13, 2011
at 08:50 PM

What about moving to sustainably/ethically-sourced meat?

Feedlot animals are treated horribly, and even for a die-hard meat eater like me, that's a tough pill to swallow. There are farms where this isn't the case, though. Animals that live a content, natural life, and then are slaughtered compassionately (that sounds like an oxymoron, doesn't it?).

Pick up a copy of Michael Pollan's book, The Omnivore's Dilemma. The first half or so will probably make you even more steadfast in your vegetarianism, but I think the latter half will turn things around a bit for you. Most notably, he visits and profiles Joel Salatin's Polyface Farms, which is about as diametrically opposed to normal CAFO-style agriculture as possible.

It just showed me how farming can be done, even if it's not as widespread as we'd like. With some research, and knowing what you're looking for, I think you can find meat that you'll feel okay about eating.

Medium avatar

(4878)

on July 14, 2011
at 12:51 AM

Wow, an other vote up for Temple Grandin!

306aa57660d911781231f8090c2a5619

(3808)

on July 14, 2011
at 12:05 AM

I agree. If you feel strongly about it, get all your meat from ethical sources. Find a place where you can visit the farm and see the conditions for yourself. Find out about humane slaughtering practices and only choose someone who utilizes them. IMO, eating a cow that has been pastured, well cared for, and who has had an overall happy life is more ethical than drinking milk or eating eggs from conventionally raised cows and chickens. We raise are own chickens and goats, and know for sure that they are living in happy, healthy conditions.

306aa57660d911781231f8090c2a5619

(3808)

on July 14, 2011
at 12:09 AM

Yes. If you feel strongly about it, get your meat from ethical sources. Find a place where you can visit the farm and see the conditions for yourself. Find out about humane slaughtering practices and only choose someone who utilizes them. IMO, eating a cow that has been pastured, well cared for, and who has had an overall happy life is more ethical than using conventional milk and eggs. We raise are own chickens and goats, and know for sure that they are living in happy, healthy conditions. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver is another good book, and books by Temple Grandin.

5
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 13, 2011
at 08:36 PM

Once upon a time I was in the same boat. I finally came to the conclusion that my ideals and my biology had come to an impasse, and I couldn't change my biology, so the ideals had change. I suppose I could have chosen to naturally select my meat needing genes out of the game, but I'm not that hardcore.

The thing that really made it feel okay for me was watching a documentary about urban farmsteading. The woman in it mentioned that predators have their eyes in the front, and prey have eyes on the side their heads. She also expressed sadness about butchering the animals she had hand reared. I appreciated that she divulged her full spectrum of feelings about it. I think it is normal and natural part of being human. Being super predators we might otherwise waste meat and overhunt if we didn't feel a little guilty about taking a life.

I go to the farmer's market to get cuts of meat directly from the people who raised and culled the animals. It somehow feels cleaner for me emotionally than anonymous meat in plastic wrap at the grocery store. One of the times was almost spiritual, like a ceremonial taking and giving of life force. Sorry if that last bit was too woo woo, but I think wanting to honor the sacredness of life is what kept me vegetarian, and knowing that I can take that into meat consumption is comforting.

There is also no rule that you have to eat high on the food chain. Ruminants do offer really awesome nutrition, but shrimp, mussels, clams, crawfish, small fish, etc. are quite nourishing.

If you can't bring yourself to a place of being able just say, heck this is my place on the food chain, there is one vegan meat out there: placenta.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 13, 2011
at 08:54 PM

I've also noticed that my thoughts on life and death have evolved since eating meat. I no longer sit around worrying about dying. I developed more of an I'll go until I stop attitude. It has occurred to me that happy animals probably don't sit around worrying about dying (or maybe that's all they worry about, I haven't been able to get past the language barrier yet). I'm guessing they just go until they stop too, and a quick death probably causes less suffering than starving to death after losing the ability to care for themselves.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 14, 2011
at 01:31 AM

Certainly not for everyday consumption. Its pretty packed with girly hormones, so I don't know what the would do to a guy. I'm just saying that if you happen to have one lying around it is perhaps a cruelty free gateway meat.

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on July 13, 2011
at 09:32 PM

@ mark, i think the poster was just making a joke. @happy now, not too "woo woo" for me. i couldnt have said it better myself, and often feel the same way. im an ethical vegetarian in an omnivores body. frankly, if i could be healthy and be a vegetarian, i would be.

6fa48935d439390e223b9a053a62c981

(1676)

on July 13, 2011
at 08:54 PM

Just when I was thinking this was a thoughtful and sensitive answer I got to the placenta suggestion. I can't figure out if this is a rude jab at vegans or if you're seriously suggesting cannibalism to the questioner. Or maybe you meant non-human placenta? Leslie stated that she has trouble wrapping her head around eating meat and you suggest placenta??

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 13, 2011
at 09:41 PM

I wasn't making a joke, nor was I taking a jab at vegans, but perhaps it is a fringe concept. I did a training course in placenta encapsulation, and it kept getting mentioned that placenta is the only organ meat that nothing dies to make it available for consumption, and if that placenta comes from your own body, no animals were exploited: technically vegan. Unless veganism is an aesthetic choice rather than a moral one.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on July 14, 2011
at 01:45 AM

hahahaha "Oh, you have trouble with meat? Well shux, grab a plate - I got a placenta laying around here somewhere..."

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on July 13, 2011
at 11:31 PM

well thats fine if people choose to eat their placenta after giving birth, but surely you arent suggesting that people can sustain themselves on placentas as a legitimate source of animal protein. that idea makes me laugh out loud, which is why i assumed it was a joke. ive had two placentas, personally and dont think i could raise my family of four on them.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on July 14, 2011
at 05:08 AM

^^^^just joking around. I really like your answer here, and upvoted it earlier. I totally got the placenta thing (even if it did almost seem like a non-sequitur) b/c I'd seen your earlier posts about it.

4
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on July 14, 2011
at 12:51 PM

Seek out meat from animals that just have one 'bad' day in their lives. That's ethical meat.

4
Ede0d8b12604a9ed5df5338e031ee9ba

on July 14, 2011
at 12:33 AM

I think many small-scale grassfed and organic beef producers see their work as vocation, or holy calling, and respect both the eater and the animals that are giving sustenance. I know that we don't sleep if the animals are in any way uncomfortable or lacking in anything, and we ensured that our processor used stress-free humane slaughter methods. A true husbandman "cares" in the fullest sense of the word, for his/her livestock.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on July 15, 2011
at 02:19 AM

+! That's lovely. Thank you for doing things the way they should be done.

3
2eae6378699f84d350e9b6cc357d9dc3

on July 26, 2011
at 05:06 PM

Leslie, I could have written 98 percent of your post myself. I'm also a 30-year veg-head, very light lacto-veg.

As I hit my 40s, I found I needed something different, so I'm researching, and researching, and researching. I recently had my first animal flesh protein since John Lennon was alive.

I was the lesbian who slept with a guy and woke up ousted from her community. (metaphorical, here...)

I moderate vegetarian forums...how could I eat fish? I get nauseous smelling bacon, or even seeing it on a cooking show. (life long, btw)

I am trying a bit of fish regularly to see if the system will work with it. Jury is out. More importantly, I'm lowering whole grains and eliminating refined grains. Sugar is next.

So, depending on why you traveled the vegan road, you have a few options: one, revert to L/O/pesca, which seems like it could do what you need (and that is more important than adhering to a philosophy in diet), and find a community not based on food (and that will be the bigger shock, I think). Secondly, experiment, and you might find you are fine as a veg, and that is OK, too. Thirdly, paleo with meat might work, and you will develop a new outlook.

All are fine. We eat to feed ourselves, not a ring of judges pointing bony or greasy fingers. We also feed our souls. That is intensely personal.

I never fully clicked with the philosophy of veganism: that humans have NO right to use animals in any way. I have always thought we should be present and aware in all we do, admit when we kill (that includes plants) and have an attitude of gratitude, and use the life to be better people in the universe.

3
Medium avatar

on July 14, 2011
at 04:20 AM

I understand where you're coming from, and yet I'm confused. I'm assuming your dilemma is with eating living things, which means you don't like that they have to die in order for you to eat them... Yet you say you eat fish. Aren't fish alive too? What difference is there between a salmon and a cow? I see none.

I love animals. I would do anything for my pets. If I could I would've given blood and a kidney to save my dog when she was dying. But I also realize that humans are, by nature, omnivores. There's plenty of evidence to that. When I ask myself, "would you kill an animal to feed your starving child?", the answer is "yes". My loving animals and my eating meat are kind of like two separate concepts. Through my own experiences and explorations I know what nature intended for the human race, and I feel it would be pointless to fight it, not to mention detrimental to my health.

Factory animals are treated horribly, and I don't blame you if you have a problem with that. I do. Look for local farms where animals are treated well and live happy lives. Not only does it affect the quality of the meat, but it makes our animal-loving hearts feel better.

Best of luck, whatever you decide.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on July 14, 2011
at 04:33 AM

Anthropomorphism.. Is it useful in this context?

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on July 14, 2011
at 04:23 AM

anyone who doesn't see a difference between a fish and a cow clearly hasn't killed enough animals. http://cuteoverload.com/2007/05/30/moosday_furries/ vs. a fish? What evokes compassion more? What raises and nurtures its young with human-like care? What forms friendships and mourns the loss of its comrades? Not fish.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on July 14, 2011
at 04:39 PM

if you are eating a more compassionate diet that means not eating these animals at all or at least eating fewer of them

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on July 14, 2011
at 03:15 PM

@MHGL what does that have to do with anything? if you were saying this in the context of reasoning that you abstain from eating land animals, it might mean something, but since you aren't a pescetarian, I don't get where you're going with this.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on July 14, 2011
at 12:49 PM

There are characteristics that higher animals share with humans that other animals don't share. That's facts.

Medium avatar

(297)

on July 14, 2011
at 05:11 PM

It depends on your perception, Melissa. I know a few Buddhists who will strongly disagree with you. My point is not that "fish and cow are the same thing", my point is that "fish and cow are both living things". A fish may be less intelligent/responsive/relatable than a cow, but it's not any less alive. If one's issue is with eating living things, then my argument stands.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on July 14, 2011
at 04:40 PM

I switched to eating a lot less meat some time ago and I try to only eat meat where I personally oversaw the slaughter.

3
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on July 13, 2011
at 09:02 PM

Some people get good results on a mostly starch diet with supplementary protein from fish and invertebrates and plenty of things like coconut and avocado. I'd suggest trying out such a diet and if you end up needing to add meat, then looking for local farms where you can visit and ask questions about how the animals are raised and slaughtered.

Edit: seriously? No difference between meat and fish in terms of compassion? I don't think anyone who says that has actually even killed an animal. Here is a story about a chef's first slaughter. I subbed in fish so you can see how absurd it is

"I first harvested an fish???an adult salmon and two fry???eight years ago," explains Cosentino, using the politically correct term he adopted after being bombarded by haters. "It's a whole mix of emotions???fear, hate, joy, awe???all the big ones. It was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, holding this baby fry in my arms and petting him until he died, trying to make him comfortable. Did I cry? Yes. Do I cry every time I harvest fish? Yes." There is a slight catch in his voice. "I cry every time I talk about it."

Cosentino continues to participate in slaughter. "My fish all have names; I've raised some from birth. You need to look your animal in the eye before you put it on the plate," he says. "It's very real. It's hard."

Evolutionary this makes sense. We are closer to cows and pigs than we are to salmon or scallops. Cows and pigs have behaviors and emotions that are very similar to ours. We can see the pain in their eyes and when you kill one you feel their pain. Slaughtering an animal was a hard experience for me. I just don't get the idea of feeling the same way about fish. When I catch a fish it's just no big deal at all.

07154e6d8e42065f230d06249700fe5b

(2057)

on July 14, 2011
at 12:31 AM

Fish has less fat but more polyunsaturated fats, mainly. But there are micronutrient differences as well. Compare on nutritiondata.com

36b7a2776d028dc8d5743e2e56ece34d

(812)

on July 13, 2011
at 11:49 PM

what's the difference between meat and fish?

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on July 14, 2011
at 04:58 AM

@melissa re edit - Compassion and anthropomorphism are two different things. True compassion is different than liking cute stuff. Yes, fish *are* different than mammals. I'm not sure I understand your point. Are you saying mammals are not food?

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 14, 2011
at 12:57 AM

@wave, I've always found the fish-but-no-"meat" version of vegetarianism silly, too. Nevertheless they're out there. Friend of mine is one tbh. I told her that that's fine, you don't need beef chicken etc. Fish, dairy, veg could make you strong and healthy

Cc93847bfa820f0f2da654060b401fa5

(746)

on July 14, 2011
at 09:08 AM

When I smash the head of a nice 25+lb gasping salmon on the bank with a rock and watch it spaz & twitch it makes the killing pretty real. Actually it may even be harder than putting one through a deer's heart as he looks me in the eye. With the fish... slower death and closer interaction. The fish just turned my arm into a noodle fighting for his life in the river's current had a chance to earn my respect. Taking a life is taking a life. Can't stand the heat, maybe you shouldn't eat what's being cooked in the kitchen.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on July 14, 2011
at 05:48 PM

sorry if this seems attack-y, it's not. i think about this stuff a lot and am trying to exercise some critical thinking skills here. I see the practice of compassion as an action, not an emotion - though emotion can be involved. Sometimes in life we must act with compassion against our emotions (as in anger); and sometimes we make choices that are emotionally difficult, but that can still be made with compassion (euthanasia, saying no to a child, eating cute animals).

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on July 14, 2011
at 02:26 AM

There was a compelling piece on Slate a while back about the viability of considering of oysters as a source of animal protein which mimimizes pain/suffering. Since the bivalves don't have a central nervous system, it is theorized that they do not feel pain. http://www.slate.com/id/2248998/

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on July 14, 2011
at 01:54 AM

Having killed fish, chickens, and seen the slaughter of a pig up close, I can tell you that from a compassion perspective fish and meat are very different. I felt very sick and actually cried when I dealt with the chickens and pig for the first time, a common experience. Let's just say when I first went fishing I didn't feel anything at all. Someone on my blog actually called me a fish psychopath, but the truth is that fish are very far from us on the evolutionary tree and share little of the characteristics that make pigs so sympathetic to most. Invertebrates even more so.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on July 14, 2011
at 02:59 PM

So it sounds like your point is that land animals are harder (for you) to kill; and you are postulating that this difficulty is hardwired in - not the result of cultural conditioning. I am still confused about how this relates to the subject at hand, unless you are saying that it is *unethical* to kill for food animals that are closer to us evolutionarily.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on July 14, 2011
at 07:45 PM

It doesn't have to do with beauty for me. And yes, sentimentality towards animals with no capacity for feelings is sentimentality and has nothing to do with biology. I've been there, when snaily the snail died, but snaily the snail didn't know who I was, "he" didn't care about me or "his" family. It's a continuum though. A scallop obviously doesn't have memory, but a koi does. But does a koi suffer the way a pig does? That's a good question.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on July 14, 2011
at 12:52 PM

I'm saying that all animals can be food, but the death of an animal that shares more characteristics with a human being is more significant and harder. I think you are unusually sentimental Grok. I have killed probably hundreds of salmon. You can't logically compare a calf with a salmon. There is no evidence (or very shaky) that a fish feels sadness or love or empathy as there is for higher mammals. The idea that all animals are the same is cute, but has no basis in reality.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on July 14, 2011
at 01:53 AM

@wave @ben "it's ok to eat fish b/c they don't have any feelings.." j/k, but I think ppl tell themselves that. It's easy to make fish into an abstraction - the meat doesn't look "fleshy"; and it's often boneless and served in tidy trapezoids.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on July 14, 2011
at 03:16 AM

I guess I rotate between feeling bad for cute animals and feeling bad for the environmental effects of seafood. I am hoping to do a freshwater prawn farming thingy so I can stop feeling bad ;)

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on July 14, 2011
at 06:28 PM

I just don't *get* the all animals are the same attitude at all. It's clear some animals share more with use than others. I guess it all stems from modernist philosophies that say there is nothing special at all about humans. It's not as if these animals are immoral to kill, it's just that they deserve special consideration and limiting their consumption might be wise.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on July 15, 2011
at 02:26 AM

I agree with Melissa on this one. I'm pretty surprised that not everyone makes some sort of distinction among animals. For me it's not as much shared characteristics as it is the animals capacity for shared emotion based on their nervous system (but this may just be semantics?.) For me it seems far more compassionate to kill a fish as I feel certain they are not capable of the same advanced emotion and intelligence as a cow or a pig.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on July 14, 2011
at 04:39 PM

the subject at hand is how to eat a more compassionate paleo diet. I think the best thing to do is eat fewer animals that arose compassion because of their shared characteristics with us or not eat these animals at all.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on July 14, 2011
at 06:24 PM

I feel the same way about boars as I do about calves. Boars have memories, bonds with other animals, ability to anticipate the future, empathy...all kinds of things that make their death a significant event. I have killed ugly pathetic animals and felt bad about it. It's not about sentimentality, it's about biological similarities with humans. Let me know when you've slaughtered an animal. I don't think you understand. Sometimes people who slaughter laugh about it, but it's still something significant and hard.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on July 14, 2011
at 05:50 PM

sorry if this seems attack-y, it's not. i think about this stuff a lot and am trying to exercise some critical thinking skills here. I see the practice of compassion as an action, not an emotion - though emotion can be involved. Sometimes in life we must act with compassion in spite of our emotions (as in anger); and sometimes we make choices that are emotionally difficult, but that can still be made with compassion (euthanasia, saying no to a child, eating cute animals).

Cc93847bfa820f0f2da654060b401fa5

(746)

on July 14, 2011
at 07:12 PM

I understand what you're trying to say Melissa. Just playing devils advocate ;) If killing fish is no big deal for you, perhaps you're like the guy at the slaughterhouse who's driven a bolt through hundreds of cows heads. Conditioning. Beautiful creature is a beautiful creature to me. I'll admit, farmed mammal is harder to kill than a wild one. They've relied on human dependance & interaction. No escape. No game. Their number's always been up. It would be tougher to kill & eat one of my Mom's huge Koi that she's been hand feeding for years. BeastGirl's snakes & spiders point is good.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on July 14, 2011
at 05:38 PM

many people don't have the emotional response that you are calling compassion (which i believe is actually sentimental anthropomorphism, but that does not make it less valid on a personal level). Are you saying you think eschewing cute animals is the "best thing" *for you*, or for everybody - including those that don't have the feelings you have? What about uncute animals, like boars and turkeys? Yum?

Medium avatar

(297)

on July 14, 2011
at 05:54 PM

"When I catch a fish it's just no big deal at all" - that's your personal feelings, and that's fine. Not everyone feels the same way, though. Some people get attached to snakes and spiders, which I'll never understand. For some people killing a land animal is no big deal either. I know this from my childhood trips to the countryside (I grew up in Europe, and we went often). I was shocked and cried the first time I learned that all those beautiful cows I helped care for would get slaughtered at some point, and the farmer's kids just laughed at my reaction. It was not a big deal to them at all.

Medium avatar

(297)

on July 16, 2011
at 05:23 PM

"I just don't get the all animals are the same attitude at all" - Melissa, all animals, of course, are not the same. But they ARE the same in ONE way: they're all alive. Which was my point from the beginning. As Grok said, taking a life is taking a life.... My rule is, if I can't kill it, I won't eat it. I don't eat lobster because I've been faced with having to throw one into boiling water, and I couldn't.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on July 16, 2011
at 07:49 PM

uh, you can kill a cow but not a lobster? Have you ever killed a cow? Protip: you can hack off the spinal cord of a lobster before you throw it in a pot. PS plants are alive too. < / trolling >

1
78fcdeee6ac4ee7d071bbac56b9e359f

(1035)

on July 15, 2011
at 06:53 PM

I feel like I'm just recommending books in every answer I give, but in Full Moon Feast, Jessica Prentice talks about being a former vegetarian who starts eating meat and how she reconciles that practically and spiritually. It's not totally paleo, but is within the realm of whole, seasonal foods. She also touches on the "blood in, blood out" idea of women needing meat even more so than men. (Sex, Time and Power also delves pretty deeply into the women/meat/iron issue.)

1
Bee33f6da1beec1cf15e3e7003f0120d

(351)

on July 14, 2011
at 10:44 AM

I've been wondering how to ask this question myself. A long-term ethical vego with a taste for meat, I started reading as much as I could about the dairy industry and realised that the dairy industry IS the meat industry. Where do you think the unwanted calves go? Do you think that dairy cows enjoy a better quality of life then beef cattle? I started flirting with veganism, but at around the same time stumbled onto some paleo stuff. I've become so convinced about the benefits (I'd go so far as to call it necessity) of paleo that I've made a pact with myself. I can have dairy or meat in my life, not both. I know there's plenty of debate around the "paleoness" of dairy, but I don't include any. It feels ethically about the same as when I was a milk-guzzling vegetarian, OK, but not perfect. As I get further into this lifestyle I might even consider ditching eggs as an ethical trade-off, but that's the subject of another hack.

1
3385f84d61990e5b880cb89fbdb9bc52

on July 14, 2011
at 05:44 AM

I had been successfully embrace the Paleo eating style even with my limitations of eating of not eating meat( except fish and crab) A good protein supplement helps a lot to keep you on track. I had been feeling very energetic. Good luck

1
07154e6d8e42065f230d06249700fe5b

(2057)

on July 14, 2011
at 12:24 AM

I think it's a personal decision. If you don't feel comfortable eating meat, don't eat it. It's that simple. Then again, remember that if you ever do feel an urge or a craving, try to let go of some of your reservations. Nutritionally, you might want to consider other "cuts" of ruminant, if it's the flesh you aren't comfortable consuming. Bone broths are a great addition to any diet, and it was what I transitioned with when coming out of veganism. It took me almost a year to let go of the guilt I had associated with eating flesh to be able to consume it without having little anxiety attacks. But during that time, because I believed it was necessary for me to heal to get animal protein and fat, I made lots of bone broth, ate pastured eggs, wild fish, shellfish, butter... I still don't think that that diet is any less healing or nutritive than that diet with ruminant flesh. Still though, lamb is quite good (when it hasn't been marinating in tears and moral crisis).

306aa57660d911781231f8090c2a5619

(3808)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

Bone broth is also a step towards using the gift of the animal's life as fully as possible. Some even eat the bones after. I don't because I dislike the texture, but we do feed them to the dogs, which means they eat less of some other animal.

Medium avatar

(4878)

on July 14, 2011
at 12:56 AM

Ditto the bone broth! A broth and an egg make a great breakfast- add a little diced veggies and some cilantro, YUM!

1
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on July 13, 2011
at 08:25 PM

I've always said that if I had to kill my own meat I'd be a vegetarian. But honestly, if faced with starvation I think I'd hunt for food and just feel awful about it. You have my compassion; you need to do what's right for you.

0
58ef24510df16024242df3e940ea5202

on July 25, 2012
at 04:44 PM

I am having the same issue. I have been a vegetarian just two years, and have loved it. I honestly don't think i can go back to eating meat. I rarely eat soy, I hate tofu.. but I have recently tried Paleo (I've tweeked it of course) and feel great. although, been attacked on my blog for doing so. I rarely eat eggs, some diary but mostly fruits and veggies. I feel this is enough. I think if we can make it work for us, we should be able to do so.

0
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 13, 2011
at 09:03 PM

I get on great with PETA activists until we try to eat lunch together. Is there some sort of Log Cabin Republicans equivalent in PETA? A group that believes in treating animals well, and then eating them.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 13, 2011
at 09:59 PM

MEETA...I'm in!

Medium avatar

(297)

on July 14, 2011
at 04:22 AM

Marie, thanks for pointing this out. I felt sick the first time I learned about this. More people need to know this!

Medium avatar

(4878)

on July 14, 2011
at 12:58 AM

Ummm...for anyone thinking PETA is an organization FOR animals, think again. They don't want you to have any pets, PERIOD. Just look at the number of animals they took into their shelter and how many were killed: http://www.petakillsanimals.com/petasdirtysecret.cfm

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 13, 2011
at 09:56 PM

I didn't mean to say they had to be gay, just a group existing within an organization that seems at odds with the group as a whole on the surface.

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on July 13, 2011
at 09:34 PM

there is on facebook- http://www.facebook.com/pages/Meat-Eaters-for-the-Ethical-Treatment-of-Animals/138719069532792

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7304)

on July 14, 2011
at 12:03 AM

PETA- People Eat Tasty Animals

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on July 13, 2011
at 09:35 PM

they arent gay vegetarians though, if thats what you meant by "log cabin PETA". ;)

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on July 15, 2011
at 07:03 PM

PETA is idioctic. They made a big stink about a fish market throwing the dead fish over people's heads at Pike's Place Market in Seattle, saying that it was "disrespectful" to the fish... the dead fish. So it's ok to kill it, bake it at 400 degrees, and eat, it, but if you toss it, you hurt its feelings. lol. Brilliant organization of people right there.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on July 15, 2011
at 07:04 PM

Some people at PETA must be a bit idiotic. They made a big stink about a fish market throwing the dead fish over people's heads at Pike's Place Market in Seattle, saying that it was "disrespectful" to the fish... the dead fish. So it's ok to kill it, bake it at 400 degrees, and eat, it, but if you toss it, you hurt its feelings. lol. Brilliant organization of people right there.

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