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Tell Us Why It’s Ethical to Eat Meat

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by CoRoMo, Mar 20, 2012.

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  1. wrs840

    wrs840 Member

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    Yes. They're devolving quickly.
     
  2. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    I fail to see any connection between biology and ethics. Simple as that. One might question the ethics of the fool who dreamed up the "debate", for gratuitously disturbing one's peace of mind to no useful purpose.
     
  3. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer member

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    On good east coast grazing land you can raise one unit (cow and calf) per acre of grass. That's a lot of calories for the deaths of two animals.

    On the other hand, how many rabbit, quail, pheasant, vole, whatever, nests are ground up per acre of wheat harvest?

    How many larger animals are displaced by crop lands? How much water is diverted from wild lands to irrigate crop lands?
     
  4. guyfromohio

    guyfromohio Member

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    Because I'm made of meat.
     
  5. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    I am having a meatless dinner...forgot to defrost any...
     
  6. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    Most of the world's ills trace directly to farming: Cities, armies--and all that follows. Government, for instance.

    Nomadic hunter-gatherers don't create erosion. They do not drive species to extinction; they cannot do that, since when a food population drops below that of readily supplying food, they must move on--and return after that food supply rebuilds. Middens show generational usage over centuries of time. The best part, per the archaeologists is that they only "worked" some four hours per day to remain fed. Certainly beats 8 to 5, seems like. :D

    Probably less time spent in worrying about ethics, as well...
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2012
  7. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    My reply? F off and mind your own f'n business. That's what I'd tell 'em, eat what you want, don't tell me what to eat. Pretty simple, eh?
     
  8. wrs840

    wrs840 Member

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    You need to put some Salmon in the Freezer. Half of a filleted one defrosts in 45 minutes (sealed in the bag) submerged in the sink in cold water. Paul Prudhomme's Salmon Magic rub and grilled on Applewood makes for a very satisfying way to contribute to the advancement of our species.
     
  9. pbearperry

    pbearperry Member

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    If people don't eat animals,they will grow old and die, and maggots will eat them.Now that's unethical.
     
  10. Frozen North

    Frozen North Member

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    I'm a pig farmer. I look them right in their beady eyes before they become my meal and I still don't feel bad about it! :D

    I am a firm believer that humans are a natural part of the environment. We were blessed to have gigantic brains, thumbs, and digestive systems fit to eat many varieties of food. It is natural for us to do what we do, because it is what we are built for. To say we are immoral for eating meat makes about as much sense as saying a bear is immoral for eating meat. Unless we are an invasive species from another planet, we are just doing what nature intended us to do.

    My eyes are set forward, my mouth contains incisors, and my brain allows me to be an efficient farmer or hunter. Leave me, reality, and biology alone.
     
  11. Ranger J

    Ranger J Member

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    The brains of our ancestral species did not really begin to grow until we climbed down out of the trees and began to eat meat. As someone already noted it takes a lot of intestine to digest plant matter. When we began to eat meat regularly it allowed us to put less energy into feeding a large intestine and put it instead into growing a large brain

    RJ
     
  12. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Kind of funny, the groups I hang out with have no moral problems eating meat.

    More often than not green eaters have no moral problems with abortion....go figure.
     
  13. Loosedhorse

    Loosedhorse member

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    Whether of not it's ethical for you or me to eat meat? That's a personal decision, and one that we should each make for ourselves.

    A clearer question: is it ethical to pressure or force folks to eat meat if they don't want to? Of course not. So, conversely, it can't be ethical to pressure or force people not to eat meat if they do want to.

    And there are other, less clear questions. Do subsidies in the US artificially lower the price of meat, causing more meat to be consumed in place of other foods that might be healthier for us, or have lower ecological impact? To me, how our tax dollars are diverted to distort any market is always an interesting ethical question.
     
  14. Zoogster

    Zoogster Member

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    I eat meat because I am selfish and lazy.

    Selfish in that it is the food I look forward to most due to flavor.
    I also enjoy obtaining meat.

    Lazy in that it is very easy to get all your amino acids eating meat and a few other things in a day.
    With plant matter it is a lot more complicated. Protein is not all the same, and you need all the amino acids required to build new parts of your body in your system at once to build and repair well.
    With a plant meal this requires a lot of research into the specific amino acids available from each type of plant, and to prepare several types of protein at a time. This takes more energy and time, and can also be expensive.
    Vegetarians that do not do this tend to be less healthy than their meat eating counterparts, you cannot simply eat a single plant protein and compensate. Protein ≠ protein.
    Eating some amino acids one day and some another day doesn't really cut it to be thriving, but meat makes it simple. Many animal proteins have all the amino acids needed in one place. So it can build tissue easily.
    Your body can synthesize some to compensate when lacking some, but only to a certain extent and it can also deplete enzymes and other nutrients if it has to synthesize a lot and those need to be replaced or allowed to replenish as well. Things are more complicated with plant proteins and only a plant based diet.
    Thriving and being an active muscular vegetarian is a lot more challenging than just adding meat to a meal and making simple less complicated meals.
    Meat simple, me bite meat.


    However I also think that people trying to not eat meat for ethical reasons are doing something noble and I will not belittle them.
    In a nation that kills somewhere around 10 billion domestic animals for food a year, not counting fish, a little less death can be a good thing.




    Art Eatman said:
    Yes that was fine when the population on earth was minimal. When the population of human beings was a small fraction of other large animals. The planet could sustain a small population of humans that didn't have to contribute to raising, feeding, or growing food.
    Today there is more humans than large wild animals.
    In 1350AD there was less than 400 million people in the entire world, thousands of years prior there was a fraction of that amount.
    Today we live in a single nation of 300 million, a world of over 7 billion, with China and India each having over a billion.
    It is no longer a planet of primarily wilderness and a small number of humans able to reap a bounty from an exceedingly plentiful resource.
    When Europeans first came to the western hemisphere most of it was unexploited. Flora and fauna abounded. Today we have some areas set aside where flora does okay, but fauna is still limited. Migrating herds of healthy thriving animals? No we have highways and roads and fences everywhere, and a comparatively small number that manage to survive in spite of it.
    We went from having the most numerous bird on the planet, the passenger pigeon, to wiping it out.
    Why was it wiped out? For meat, most of it was harvested to be sold for food in Europe.


    Hunting can no longer sustain much of the population, in a single nation that kills 10 billion domestic animals a year, our wildlife would be wiped out very quickly if people replaced any decent sized percentage of that domestic food source with a wild one through hunting.
    It was shown that market hunting results in extinction and wiping out of species. So hunting for profit, primarily to sell as food, was prohibited, after most of our wildlife were wiped out.
    Today the same thing is happening in the oceans, the last open market hunting allowed, aka commercial fishing. A planet covered primarily in oceans, making up about 71% of the earth, has lost most of its sea life in half a century. Most of it for human consumption, aka meat.
    Modern nets first started to be widely created around the 1960s, when synthetic fibers allowed the creation of thin, robust, long lasting gillnets, that could be larger and more durable and less visible than any previous hemp based or similar natural fiber net.
    Nets went from small fragile things on the high seas that were easily seen under water, to large durable invisible things.
    In that short period of time the majority of the fish have been wiped out. (There is still a lot out there, but the majority were still wiped out, it is a fraction of what was out there.)
    Clearly the planet and a wild ecosystem is unable to sustain human beings unless they plan and raise their own animals for food.
    Instead it is a limited resource that can be enjoyed recreationally, with some hunting and fishing.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2012
  15. tarosean

    tarosean Member

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    No real argument to be made IMO...

    Every Vegan, Vegetarian and Meat eater will die. That is the simple fact of life.
     
  16. Zoogster

    Zoogster Member

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    I must chuckle a little when so many SHTF fantasy scenarios people come up with involve hunting for food for some long period of time.
    If say 10% of the population hunted for most of their food, even to the extent of compensating for a lack of calories from other food sources like carbohydrates, the animal population would be nearly gone in a year. For example a deer a week, multipled by 30 million people (10%), would be 1,560,000,000 deer a year. Or 1.5 billion deer. But there is only about 20-25 million deer. Not even enough for 10% of the population to kill 1 all year long, and still result in extinction. In fact much less has to be taken just to result in something sustainable.
    And deer are the most numerous large game animal.
    Feral pig numbers are much smaller.
    Even if you start adding in all the typical game animals, the forests would be quite barren within a year, and many of the species unlikely to ever recover, and others requiring decades to recover if even 1% of the population survived on hunted game as the primary source of their calories for a year.
     
  17. shiftyer1

    shiftyer1 Member

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    I'm not a veggie eater by any means, just never could develop a taste for them.

    And just think about what my food may have done to your food as it grazed!
     
  18. tarosean

    tarosean Member

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    Deer will be the only food source after a SHTF? Will all the current animals being farmed just vanish with the city slickers?
     
  19. cooch

    cooch Member

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    Ethics debates usually revolve around (a) suffering and (b) effect upon the environment.

    Dealing first with (a)
    DON'T start by getting into games of odious comparisons between farming and hunting. We are both meat utilisers and both involved in ways that sometimes cause some animal suffering. This is not the point. The point is whether what we do causes more suffering than not doing it. This is the point where we remind the veggies and animal crackers that real life is not Disneyland. No animal dies peacefully in a bed, surrounded by grieving family and friends. The only options faced by the majority of animals is death by disease, malnutrition, or predation. In contrast, the hunter's bullet or the slaughterman's knife are relatively humane. The consumption of meat does not increase the overall level of suffering amongst animal populations. They suffer just as much without us.

    Now (b) As hunters you will know that we can take meat from environments that are almost untouched, and do so in ways that result in little damage. What you should also know is that a considerable amount of meat is derived from rangeland farming in country that cannot be cropped without seriously damaging it. The killer is that almost all the foods that vegans prefer come from intensive farming systems. I can raise cattle and sheep on land with considerable biodiversity and a high number of retained native species. You cannot raise soybeans that way. Nor grains. Nor vegetables in large quantities. The tradeoff is this... if we cease eating meat, then we must have more arable land in order to grow crops. How much more of the Amazon basin do we wish to clear?
    Don't be sidetracked by claims that meat production "uses" X amount of water or grains that might be otherwise put to better use. The water claim is rubbish because there are no alternative uses for much of that water. It's not sitting in a tank somewhere, but falls out of the sky, is used by plants, evaporates, or runs away down a river, somewhere. Is water in a river "wasted"? Likewise, not all grains are fit for human consumption. We grow many of them because it is better to rotate species than to practice a constant monoculture. Ask the green-freaks why they don't want to eat low-quality food if they think that feeding it to cattle is "waste".

    Best of luck with your debate.

    Peter
     
  20. Davek1977

    Davek1977 Member

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    It tastes good (only reason I need!!), and my family owns a beef ranch. Vegetarianism would be the end of our way of life!
     
  21. 303tom

    303tom member

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    What does that say for the Venus fly trap, a VEGETABLE that eats MEAT ?
     
  22. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    "Deer will be the only food source after a SHTF?"

    Pigeons and rats are plentiful in cities. And dogs and cats. And sparrows.

    John
     
  23. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Member

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    THR did not disappoint. There are a few diamond posts in the rough here.

    Before I posted the OP, I knew that allowing 'them' to frame the discussion is the first mistake. But regardless, if we're starting from that position anyway, truth can still be told.

    I heard long ago that -if you removed meat from the diet of mankind- the usable land area of the earth cannot sustain the amount of farming needed to feed the human race. Not without utterly destroying the environment. If that's true, and it sure makes sense, then we'd be committing quite an immoral sin by wiping out every ecosystem simply for our own edification. We would be no steward of the earth by doing so. We are better than that.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2012
  24. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    Zoogster, farming is what led to population growth. Once there could be a surplus of stored food, people could organize as communities and have more resources to support larger families.

    Note that after the basic hunter/gatherer era, nomadic people dealt with animals which could travel more easily, and need lesser amounts of water. Generally, that meant sheep and goats, but not swine or cattle. Another generalization is that nomads did not have large families.

    And so we have large populations and rich societies. "Rich" means that some have the free time to worry about all manner of inconsequential things--such as an imagined ethical aspect to diet.
     
  25. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    Could be the solution to the hog problem, I suppose. :D
     
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