This is a letter to the editor in my local paper about vegetarianism. I would like to respond to this, but I would like to get some help from this community. Here is the letter:
???My family and many of my friends are vegan and we are very healthy. Just as the famous vegetarian Dr. J H Kellogg said, ???When we eat vegetarian food, we don???t have to worry about what kind of disease the food died of. This makes a joyful meal.??? Changing to a vegan diet is a wise way of living, not only for health but also for many other benefits. For ecology: the use of land, water, energy, and human effort to produce meat is not an efficient way to use the earth???s resources. It leads to rain forest destruction, global warming, water pollution, water scarcity, desertification, misuse of energy resource, and world hunger. For economy: The worlds resources are enough to support the population of the entire planet if more people are vegetarians. More than one-third of the world???s grain harvest is diverted from feeding people to feeding livestock. If we feed people instead of livestock, no one would go hungry. The world???s resources would be more efficiently utilized if the land used for livestock production were converted to raising crops to feed people. For compassion, peace and nobility: The world belongs to all living beings, including animals. If we love and protect their lives by not killing and not eating their meat, then compassion will grow in our hearts. This in turn will lead to peaceful relationships between people, there will be fewer killing or wars, and our lives will be nobler and happier. Leo Tolstoy said, ???As long as we have slaughterhouses there will be battlefields. A vegetarian diet is the acid test of humanitarianism.??? So for the sake of health and peace on Earth, let???s adopt a vegetarian diet.???
While I could provide counterpoints to most of these statements, this is the first I???ve seen vegetarianism used as an argument for world peace. What is the counterpoint to that?
asked bymissionman (1208)
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on December 24, 2011
at 02:27 AM
Have you ever noticed how many paleos used to be raw foodies, or vegans?
A word to those of you who are throwing stones: You think you've found the light. But I can't be the only one who can look back and think 'What was I thinking? Did I really believe that? How wrong I was.'
And I don't mean 'How wrong I was then, how right I am now.' Because today is tomorrow's past so rest assured you will be wrong again. At least show some humility.
Because vegans certainly have the ecological argument, you cannot argue with the fact that energy is lost at each step of the food chain. You cannot argue with the impossibility of removing grains from the world's food supply without massive food shortages. There is certainly an ethical argument to not killing, although personally I think that it's okay as long as the animal is raised humanely. News flash: most animals are not raised humanely, and we certainly will never be able to produce humane meat on any massive scale.
People here advocate a diet that would lead to half the world starving to death if it was adopted on a massive scale. So, just stop throwing stones already.
If you want to talk about your optimum health, yeah I certainly think meat has an important role. A vegetarian diet can probably be negligibly less healthy assuming you have dairy and eggs and a variety of fruits, veggies, etc. Add in sea food and the negligible difference goes away completely in my opinion.
on December 24, 2011
at 02:21 AM
India, which by some estimates is 40% vegetarian, has a reported 5.5 murders per 100,000 people compared to 5.9 for the US whose vegetarian population represents only about 3%. ??But maybe it takes more people not eating meat to grow compassion in their hearts enough to see a significant reduction in violent crimes. However, you'd expect to see some effect if there was any truth to the hypothesis. ???? ???? http://www.nationmaster.com/compare/India/United-States/Crime
on December 24, 2011
at 02:18 AM
This is an excerpt from a great interview (http://letthemeatmeat.com/post/3484206816/interview-with-an-ex-vegan-erim-bilgin) with an ex-vegan who goes into the philosophy behind it. Basically veganism is a caring liberalism taken to its logical extreme.
"A raw food advocate wrote on his blog: ???In this day and age where everything seems to be dull, dead and decaying, the raw food lifestyle flips that all on its head and presents a totally different picture of reality. A reality of life, of living, of joyful activities, and of living in tune with Nature.??? Does this sum up how a lot of raw foodists see it? Is raw veganism a way of embracing life and avoiding death?
There is no avoiding death. However, even when I was raw vegan, I realized that a lot of vegans and raw vegans were incredibly scared of death. In fact, I made a thread once about dying young vs. living to old age, and somebody actually told me that they were disturbed by the thought of death, that they didn???t want to accept the fact that they would die one day, and that they would appreciate it if I deleted the thread please.
However, the aversion towards killing in veganism, and to an even greater extent in raw vegansim, isn???t about a fear of death. Basically it???s about conformity to society???s values. Society says killing is wrong, so these people blow that out of proportion and apply it to everything.
Veganism presents itself as a rebellious movement, but in reality it doesn???t go against the core values of the system at all. It takes the system???s existing values, enlarges the sphere these values apply to, and then blames society for not consistently abiding by its own rules. Concepts such as non-violence, equality and justice were created to allow an unnaturally large human population to live with each other. So these values help the system work. Veganism defends these values, in fact wishes to enforce these to an even greater extent on the population, and then it goes and calls itself rebellious.
The most common trait of people who get pulled into veganism is powerlessness. Most people who become vegans have weak characters. They cannot step up and decide their own values for themselves, so what they do is become the guardians of society???s values ??? they become model citizens. But then they look around and see that the very society whose values they loyally adopted don???t actually abide by those values themselves! They tell us to be non-violent yet they kill animals by the truckload, and so on.
And so, like a teenager whose dad tells him not to smoke and then lights one up, they get pissed at the contradiction. And veganism just gives them a way to channel their anger towards a cause: animal rights. Now, not only can they express their anger over society tricking them, they can also feel like they???re rebelling against society???s values, so by rebelling they feel like they???re establishing a personality, for the first time in their lives stepping up and establishing something for themselves. And that???s how ???vegan??? becomes part of their personality.
Veganism allows them to hide all these primordial emotions under the guise of ???compassion,??? so they also gain the moral high ground. But is it just me, or do vegans give off a wave that???s not very compassionate? Yeah, it feels like their primary motivation is to settle the score with society, doesn???t it?"
on December 24, 2011
at 02:15 AM
My response would be to completely ignore it, like I do with any other preached religious ideology. I live in the heart of the Transcendental Meditation movement in the US, and there are a couple thousand people here eating vegetarian to vegan diets and holding all sorts of hippie woo beliefs about it. If that gives them warm fuzzies and meaning to their lives, good for them. It still does nothing to change the fact that it's not an appropriate diet for me.