Project helps ATI students ‘agvocate’ their story

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WOOSTER, Ohio — A couple students’ independent study project culminated in a presentation that reached more than 20,000 people Tuesday evening — in at least some form.

Sam Wildman and Amanda Wagner, students at Ohio State University’s Agricultural Technical Institute, introduced three well-known speakers during a farm advocating event called AGvocating: How producers tell our story.

The event was covered live by several Twitter users, and was recorded on video camera.

Care board

Bobby Moser, dean of OSU’s College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, gave an update on the work of the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board.

Moser, who serves on the 13-member board, said a lot of diligent progress has been made and encouraged students to get involved by attending a meeting.

He held up a draft copy of the new standards, a thick document which contains the work of 20 board meetings, 54 subcommittee meetings and thousands of public comments.

The board hopes to have the standards in place by mid-July, he said.

But the work’s not over, he said, because “standards are ever-evolving and never finished.” The board will continue to review and reevaluate new information as times change, and continue meeting at least three times a year.

Moser said agriculture in Ohio is a $107 billion industry employing nearly one million people, and college students play a critical role in its future and the state’s economy.

“You’re going to be going into the most important industry the state’s got,” he said.

Animal care

The evening continued with a talk on animal welfare issues by Leah Dorman of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation’s Center for Food and Animal Issues.

Dorman also has been active at the livestock care board meetings, and reminded students of the realities facing their industry from those less familiar with farming — especially livestock husbandry.

Dorman presented her PowerPoint presentation “We’re not in Kansas anymore: Animal rights vs. Animal Welfare.”

She showed the many ways radical rights groups are trying to equate animals and humans, and how some organizations have misrepresented animal agriculture with a few bad examples.

“Animal abuse is unacceptable,” she said, but so is “using emotion to override the science” about livestock farming.

She shared several examples of activists using the Internet and participating in media publicity stunts to misrepresent agriculture.

She told students their own voices are important tools in representing the truth, because no one knows farming better.

“There’s nobody better able to tell the story of agriculture than the people I’m looking at right now,” she said. “Where you folks aren’t talking, they’ll (activists) be happy to.”

OFBF Communications Specialist Dan Toland wrapped up the meeting, continuing to stress the importance of farmers using social media and making their message public.

Unlike wealthy organizations — such as animal rights groups — users of social media can communicate their message free and independent of wealth.

“The Internet is the great equalizer,” Toland said. “People can communicate no matter how much or how little money they have.”

Same thing, different approach

Toland said social media is nothing different than what humans have done for generations — communicate and converse. They’re just using a new way of communicating.

He showed how tools like Facebook, Twitter and blogs can be used to promote a farm or farm business. When these things are used, they show the company’s unique characteristics and help “brand” it as something special.

Users of social media are “building their personal brand,” he said, and their live resume.

When farmers use these tools, consumers begin to “see the face behind whose producing their food,” he said.

Some of the sites he encouraged were www.agchat.org and the YouTube video, The Evolution of Online Agvocacy.

About 70 people attended the event. Most were students, but some also were farmers and representatives of local farm businesses.

See Sam’s blog post about this event here.

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52 COMMENTS

  1. What a great idea! I think I’ll start encouraging my vegan and animal rights friends to start using social media for advocacy too! Who’d have thunk it? You guys are just so smart! ;)

  2. Looks like little Bea is an AR follower…That’s okay…they are everywhere but identified by their vegan lifestyle and radical ideas. Farming is the basic human work that enables civilization to exist. Without farming, we would all still be hunter/gatherers out searching for grubs, tubers and berries, with an occasional fish or animal kill. So, farmers and ag students, keep up the good work. Your work makes our civilization possible. Without farming, we would all be digging for grubs and fighting over ripe berries. Thank you.

    Now, for you vegans…I have a suggestion…why don’t you just go out and live the life you have chosen…eat a few grubs, plenty of greens, a few tubers and avoid the fish and dead animals. While you are at it, leave the rest of us alone to follow OUR interests. After all, we do live in a democracy where people have the CHOICE as to how to conduct their lives…so be a good citizen and leave us alone.

  3. Hi Laura Johnson! It doesn’t just “look” like I am for animal rights. I actually came right out and to make that claim with no hesitation or intent to deceive at all.

    Now, as far as eating “dead animals” thanks but I’ll leave that to the people who eat meat as that’s exactly what it is anyway… “Aged carcasses” – No thanks. However I will say that my diet is quite satisfying and nutritious. It doesn’t lack any abundance of variety. And I do totally admire and support the farmers who do make my food that I live on! Much more so in fact, than the “harmers” who filter food through fattened animals first at a ratio of 6 to 1 in the benefit. I eat well thanks to the farmers who grow all I need to live a good and healthy life.

    And finally Laura, your “interests” are all well and good without victims. But since there are others negatively affected and who can’t speak for themselves it is my duty as a decent person to speak on their behalf. You see I’m sincerely trying to be a “good citizen” by making sure everyONE is protected against unnecessary harm. I’m very sure that once someone might have complained had I spoken up for people of color, or for children, or for women, or for those following a different creed… Now, you wouldn’t have wanted to silence them too – Now would you? That’s the beauty of our democracy and the “web” as well… It allows input from all sides with dissenting opinions. You are welcome to come to my blog and discuss or disagree with whatever you don’t like there as well. In fact, in the interest of the fair exchange of ideas I invite you any time. ;)
    beaelliott.blogspot.com

  4. Well, Bea, here is the problem as I see it in regards to those who put themselves forward to speak for the creatures they define as “victims.”
    First, most of those talking about abuse and victims are individuals with NO actual background in animal husbandry or actual experience with any animals except perhaps pets. Now, most people who have pets did NOT breed the parent animals, monitor the birth or hatch of the progeny, work to raise healthy youngsters, etc. Their experience is with an animal that has already been through its early growth so they have no clue as to what has transpired in terms of the knowledge, work and dedicated effort to produce that animal, whether it is a pet animal or an agricultural animal or an exhibition animal.

    Furthermore, one of the serious issues that exist with the animal rights orientation is imagining that animals have the kinds of feelings that humans do. It is one thing to have compassion for living things, but it is another thing to imagine that we humans must make life “perfect” for all other living things, and within OUR terms of what is perfect. We cannot do that. However, we can provide appropriate environments with appropriate diets, based on science, not on emotion. We can provide appropriate veterinary care as needed and we can make a point of observing those creatures for which we are responsible. We just cannot make their lives perfect. Frankly, we cannot make the life of any human perfect either. This kind of “perfect world” thinking is not based in reality, but in fantasy.

    Finally, I don’t think that people of color, women and children should be compared to animals. That description is not based in reality. IF we are going to follow the AR agenda to its final fulfillment…we will stay in our houses in order not to step on a bug, we will not eat plants because they may suffer pain when cut and cooked, we will not clear land for homes or farming, because we will be displacing THOUSANDS of little creatures, most of whom will die as the bulldozers carve up and clear the land. We will eliminate all production of modern products, from furniture to computers and cell phones, because all manufacturing has displaced SOME creatures. Do you see where this is going?

    Animal rights is a failed concept because it is based on misconceptions of how the world really works. In the real world, many creatures that are hatched or born do not even live out one year of their lives before they are food for predators. The real world is one of tooth and claw and a food chain that exists from the tiny creatures up to the large creatures. You need to take a new look at nature and how the world actually works. Nature can be cruel.

    • Hi Laura – And thanks for addressing my issues.
      Hi Laura – And thanks for addressing my issues.

      And at the start I respectfully disagree that animal advocates don’t know about “livestock” husbandry. I believe most people have made themselves very aware of common practices regarding how “food animals” are raised and killed. And it is not important for our purpose to know the technicalities of what antibiotics to prescribe at what dosage, or how to efficiently remove testicles, horns, etc. That knowledge is secondary to the issue that these animals should not be confined, medicated, altered, bred or killed to begin with. In other words… I don’t need to know how much “milk replacer” a calf requires once he/she is removed from his/her mother to determine that that practice is wrong to begin with.

      As far as the people I know who are guardians to “pets” – They certainly would not know the “breeders” as these companions are rescues, courtesy of irresponsible “owners” who did not discourage the bad habit of allowing “ooops” litters.

      I’m sure there is dedication and effort to care for animals… My home has many refugees – the fur and feather sort. And too, there are countless sanctuaries that toil with just as much effort to maintain the health of their animals. They employ vets, supply appropriate diets and shelter, etc. But you see, their “reward” is in the happiness and wellbeing of those animals. Not the “profits” had at the “bottom line”. They do this hard work for the idea that these innocent beings deserve to live a whole and fulfilling life and not for the sake of getting a “good product” “to market”.

      I agree with you that there is no “perfect world” – I never implied that there was. Yes, there are injustices for humans as well… But we don’t throw up our hands in defeat of trying to make the world as good as it can be for as many as possible. We continue on a course that seeks to even the playing fields for the disenfranchised. The point is not how to live a “perfect” life, but rather how can one in earnest, attempt to lead a full life with as little harm to others as possible. Sure there are degrees, but these goals are not set on any “utopia” but rather a gradual cooperation towards a more peaceful existence with the Others that we share this planet with.

      Perhaps that means a more thoughtful way to live in recognizing the carrying capacity of the planet and even monitoring our own population to account for sustainability? And perhaps it also means to make wiser choices of what we use available land for… And water… And all resources – The questions might be how to make “things” go farther and make “beings” less prolific. That would have to include adjusting the 100 billion or so animals required to sustain a meat-based population expected in just 35 years or so. That’s an awful lot of additional carbon beings that will require that much more of an ever dwindling planet…

      Regarding plant suffering? I do hope you’re being sarcastic… (?)

      It’s true that predation happens to many animals in the “real world” as you say… But these animals who must kill to live have no other option. We are fast learning that a plant based diet is quite appropriate for anyone: http://www.eatright.org/about/content.aspx?id=8357

      Finally, Animal Rights is not a “failed concept”. Although some issues of animal use have been pondered and debated since recorded history… The “rights” debate is hardly a few decades young! Granted the contributions by Pythagoras, Leonardo da Vinci, Jeremy Bentham, Henry Salt to our contemporaries Carl Sagan, Tom Regan, Gary Francione and countless others today may appear to be an “endless struggle” – But I believe it is from here on that the most significant advances will be made. The timing is obviously right with our increased understanding that nonhumans are more similar to us than not. No longer thought of as “things” or “machines”, through interaction, science and education we KNOW they have awareness and an interest in continuing their lives. We also know that in order to evolve as a species ourselves, we must go ever-forward with consistently applied ethics.

      Furthermore, it was always assumed that what we “had” to do to animals was a matter of survival. We, especially in the Western World, were lead to believe that essential proteins could only be had through the consumption of flesh. That as all medical and nutritional science will confirm, is just not so. This knowledge helps people make better choices. Certainly if Bill Clinton with the best healthcare available has doctors that support and recommend his plant based diet – There is evidence that killing and eating animals is a matter of “taste” and habit rather than “necessity”. That information changes all the rules. ;)

      And too another thing that was not available to a conscientious population or consumer 10 or so years ago is the plethora of information on the web. This changes everything as your symposium suggests. Animal law is one of the nation’s fastest growing fields of legal study. AND this is without the subsidies that animal agriculture has been given to train “food animal” vets. I believe people want to do the right thing… Surely abstaining from killing the innocent without the “need” to advances that value system.

      Using animals as food, clothing and entertainment is one of the hottest topics of discussion (and disagreement) than any other time in our known history. So really, it seems to me that this debate is really in it’s infancy and has hardly “failed” or you and I would not be having this conversation at all.

      So really, I’m not challenging your “science” of animal agriculture but rather the “might makes right” (tooth and claw) premises that you base your industry on. If you could address these concerns it would be most appreciated. Thank you.

      • “But these animals who must kill to live have no other option.”

        As if kiling an animal for food was somehow “immoral”…And thats the nub of the matter. I and most people see nothing wrong/immoral about kiling animals for food.

        I would bet you are a “pro-choice” person as well. (nevermind the obvious contradiction). Well let me use a phrase pro-choicers use:

        “Dont shove your morality down my throat”

    • Laura, these militant vegan animal rights crackpots do not rationalize things in any way-they view their way as the ONLY way and their beliefs as the ONLY correct way of living. Whereby the majority of us acknowlege differing viewpoints as a right of our freedom, they completely disregard our freedom and right to live as we wish and pathetically feel they have the right to force us to live as their twisted, sick and evil minds deem “right”. Irregardless of ANY facts presented to them, they twist and contort facts to fit their point of view. They do NOT in any way want to hear or allow anyone elses’ opinions if it is not the same as theirs-there is absolutely NO dialoge with them-it is their way or no way…everyone who doesnt think as they do is plain wrong to them.

      I no longer even try to converse with them-they will twist and contort EVERYTHING that you may bring up and they will “change the rules” to fit their viewpoint-if you follow past discussions with them, it is VERY clear.

      However, we must NOT allow their sick, demented opinions to be forced on us or anyone else. We must NOT allow them to take our basic right of freedom and religious beliefs from any of us. We need to point out to government officials that they already have the right to eat what they want and raise THEIR animals as they want-and we have OUR rights to eat what we want and raise OUR animals as we see fit. We also have the right of religous beliefs-mine is that my GOD has CLEARLY given me the right to use animals for food and clothing-irregardless of what their religious beliefs are.

      It is great you are trying to have a dialogue-but from past experience, you are wasting your time with militant vegan ARs. We need to focus on others who are open to dicussion and willing to rationalize conversations. On top of that, we need to remind others that this country has constitutional rights and freedoms that cannot be taken from people-even if there are differing viewpoints. We need to focus on those who are easliy brainwashed and frequently targeted by AR groups-mainly our youth-and keep them from falling for the AR propaganda spewed by the AR groups. Like the article hinted at, many youths use “modern tools”-and we need to make sure that the AR propaganda isnt the only thing they see or hear from it…and while we may be wasting our time argueing with militant AR vegans-show the youth how irrational and distorted the AR movement is. You have made many excellent points that should be shared with people that havent been brainwashed and still have open minds-hopefully you can reach some of them.

      • Hi TY – Actually you know nothing about my stand on abortion – But it may surprise you… Regardless, that’s not the issue here.

        My contention is that killing when there are choices to do otherwise is what’s the problem. I certainly don’t think the Inuits or bushmen can be held to our same level of “morality” – They have no other choice but to kill for survival. Now last I checked my super-center had thousands of other alternatives.

        Finally, “shoving my morality down your throat”? You might want to walk a day in my shoes – At ever turn there are bill-boards, burger joints, “meat ads” that come in my mail… Trucks carrying carcasses to and fro- Messages on television and radio… Oh yeah, and the stink of my next door neighbor’s barbeque contaminating my fresh air. No… I hardly think an “opinion” compares to what’s forced in my direction.
        Good day.

      • Hello FED-UP &PO’d farmer! Please… What “facts” are you presenting to me? I’ve already conceded that your “science” does create meat from killed animals in an efficient and profitable manner… I’m not avoiding that truth. Is it really “twisted, sick and evil” to want to spare the lives of the innocent? Hummm….

        And you’re wrong – I very much would appreciate dialog. That’s why I asked specific questions… What is it that I have “twisted” or contorted? If you’re throwing out accusations – It would be decent of you to point out specifically what you’re referring to. Yes?

        I am not changing any “rules”. My understanding and statement was that it’s not kind to kill when it’s not necessary to do so. I’ve held that point throughout this conversation.

        Ugh… I was so hoping no one would bring “GOD” into the mix but predictably here we are.

        Now, I could ask which “GOD” you are beholding to? You see – my “GOD” might be the kind who would never, ever permit injury to the innocent. Even so – Which “bible” are you referring to? Every “religion” has dozens of “varieties” each written by hundreds of different men… Now whose interpretation are you adhering to? For example we can see that Genesis 1:29 has many versions of what “GOD” meant regarding the foods we eat – The most widely accepted though would be from the King James Bible or the American King James Version “And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which [is] upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which [is] the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.” But you can see for yourself, there are many “Good Books” that echo the same:
        http://bible.cc/genesis/1-29.htm

        Now I could also argue that no loving, just or merciful “gOd” would desire harm to come to helpless beings. I could also say that many believe that Christ as man, followed the desert fathers who lived on flat breads, figs and seeds… I could say that some believe he was an Essene whose first “commandments” were to harm none.

        Sure… Then you would say that Jesus ate fish — Then I would say that IF that was true… (again who’s interpretation of “truth” are we to believe?) – It was out of necessity and not an indulgence.j

        Then you would tell me about the lamb that was served at the Last Supper and I’d have to challenge you on where that was recorded and which bible… And isn’t it quite possible that shepherds had an arrangement with kings so that “high priests” would require a “mandate” to kill lambs and sheep to “boost sales” so to speak. The shepherds would pay the kings more “taxes” as a thank you and thus we have an entire “holy” ritual that has been “profitable” ever since. No? Don’t like that version of what might have been?

        What about this: No one will betray their faith if they refuse to eat meat. No “religion” in any modern world “demands” meat eating as a way to “appease” the “Gods”. Or this: We were all given “free will” to determine what is honest or not… You can pick and choose whatever “belief” you desire – But when it comes down to the living-our-lives part – Each of us has our own autonomous voice that guides us to what is just and fair.

        Now on to the political sphere… I am hardly “militant” – But I am a clear thinker… However, I do consider that I was “brainwashed” for 50 years to never question the “necessity” to kill animals for survival. I assumed as most do that there was no other healthy way… That simply isn’t so as I established in my previous posts.

        The “constitutional rights” and “freedoms” that you cite are mine too! ;) Now, just because something is “legal” doesn’t mean it’s moral… Nor does it mean that this assumption should be held forever without question or change, especially in the light of a better way… At one time I’m very certain many argued for their “right” to own slaves… But our culture has and will continue to yield to reason and justice – If we are to survive as a “culture” at all. Fear not – We have a remarkable evolution before us!

        Finally, I have attempted to use reason in all my comments. I have not called anyone names… Or told lies or used inflammatory “hate” speech. You however FED-UP &PO’d farmer have gotten very riled with no provocation. You appear angry and hostile — And inciting “GOD” as your vindicator might be seen as “jihadish”… Remember *I’m* the one that’s supposed to be an AR “terrorist”. ;) As long as we can keep whose “role” belongs to whom we sort through most any disagreement.

        I am merely advocating for peace and non-violence. Not only is it terribly unkind to kill the meek, but it’s an awful thing to pay someone else to do… All day long… Without a tear. Really, there is a better way – Perhaps it might be you who has the “closed mind”?

      • To all readers of this thread: I rest my case…The reply here proves my comment.(Reread it and compare!!)

  5. People vacccinate thier children to keep them healthy,farmers n ranchers vaccinate thier animals to keep them healthy.The animals slaughtered for humans to eat goes through a withdraw period before butcher. The AR and vegans that think animals should not be confined are just nuts, in my opinion, what do you suggest they all run free, how ridiculas is that.livestock is raised for meat,that is what they are here for to feed people.A vegan diet is not a healthy diet I don’t care what you all say, if it was why do vegans have to take vitamin supplement and even shots to stay healthy, it is because they lack what red meat put into thier body naturaly.

  6. Hello okiestorm1 – My issue as one who advocates for animal rights is not that there’s “just” a problem with the confinement of these animals but that a major problem in considering them as “things” or “commodities”.

    I do not believe that they are “here for us” to use… Anymore than I think women were put here for men to use. Or that children should be “used” by adults. I believe everyone one has a right to exist for their own sake.

    Now, as far a the healthfulness of a plant based diet you might want to keep a more objective mind as there is a plethora of information from doctors, health practioners, nutritionalists, and medical scientists who say otherwise. There’s also an ever growing population that supports this as evidence. Vitamin supplements? I don’t take any – at all. There is no “vitamin” content in meat that can’t be had through plant based sources. However, my meat-eating neighbor and her husband? They take “vitamins” like no tomorrow. I too took more “supplements” when I ate meat than I do now…

    Beans, legumes, a rich variety of vegetables and fruits, nuts, grains, seeds are all quite satisfying and nutritious. If not — We surely would be hearing once a month or even once a year of a grown adult being hospitalized or dead due to a vegan diet. It simply is not the case. There are far more reports of people in the hospitals or embalming tables due to a meat based diet.

    The power plate: http://www.pcrm.org/health/veginfo/index.html

  7. “Beans, legumes, a rich variety of vegetables and fruits, nuts, grains, seeds are all quite satisfying and nutritious”

    Those things are here for us to use. So are animals. Why discriminate?

    There is nothing immoral about killing an animal to eat and utilized long as it is raised and slaughtered humanley. Wether or not you need to kill it to survive is irrelevant. Evolution put us on top of the food chain; we are THE highest order creature. Our lives are more valuable than animals lives. Thus we have the right to exploit that condition as we see fit. Its only natural. To contort this law of nature and force fellow man to eat only certain foods for the sake of some warped philosphy is un-natural and an abomination.

    Vegans can preach all they want. Its a free country. But any legal attempts to shove their perverted definition of “morality” down our throats should and will be met with vociferous opposition.

    Keep your laws off my chops!

    • “Those things are here for us to use. So are animals. Why discriminate?”

      Well, legumes, beans, nuts, seeds, etc. are “things” animals are not. They have interests just like we do… The *like* their lives just like we do! Honestly an apple or carrot isn’t going to “care” if it is consumed…

      “There is nothing immoral about killing an animal to eat and utilized long as it is raised and slaughtered humanley.” What is “humane” about taking a life without need to? “Wether or not you need to kill it to survive is irrelevant.” Oh but it sure does – You would not accept human flesh eating yet it has happened many times… The “necessity” made the act “forgivable” because their was good reason for “survival”… This was not the case with Jeffrey Dahmer and we look upon him with revulsion… So “survival” IS relevant when it comes to eating human flesh and many of us believe it is relevant when it comes to eating nonhumans as well. “Evolution put us on top of the food chain; we are THE highest order creature. Our lives are more valuable than animals lives. Thus we have the right to exploit that condition as we see fit.” Really? There’s a little old man that lives across the street from me… He’s very feeble, has poor eyesight and his whole state is fragile. Now, it it okay for a bunch of healthy, big thugs to beat him up? Of course not! “Its only natural. To contort this law of nature and force fellow man to eat only certain foods for the sake of some warped philosphy is un-natural and an abomination.” It was natural to poop in the woods, to wear fur pelts on our feet, to copulate in groups, to remain unbathed an entire life time once… “Natural” is a state of constant refinement as we learn more we “evolve” to ways more consistent with our “enlightened” values.

      “vociferous opposition” Ouch! I’ll not close with anything as flamboyant just a simple quote from Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850-1919) that encapsulates where I stand in this “debate”:
      And I am my brother’s keeper And I will fight his fight, And speak the word for beast and bird, Till the world shall set things right.

      It’s not wrong or weak to be kind TY… In fact it is one of the highest virtues within us. Shame to waste it on accepting brutalities simply because we can cause them or just because they’ve existed for so long… You can help set things right as well.

      • >>>Well, legumes, beans, nuts, seeds, etc. are “things” animals are not.

        Um no, they are “innocent” life forms too..

        >>Honestly an apple or carrot isn’t going to “care” if it is consumed…

        Im sure if they could speak they would have something to say…

        >>>They have interests just like we do…

        I assume you mean animals…yes they have interests: eating, sleeping, copulating…so whats your point?

        >>The *like* their lives just like we do!

        They have no concept of human “liking”; just of pleasure

        >>What is “humane” about taking a life without need to?

        Nothing as there is no connection. “Humane” I am talking about refers to the method of slaughter, not of the decision to slaughter or not to slaughter.

        >>You would not accept human flesh eating yet it has happened many times… The “necessity” made the act “forgivable” because their was good reason for “survival”.

        Im not talking about eating other people. I am talking about eating lower life forms. It is done in nature, we are made by nature to consume it. We like it. We are on top of the food chain. Enough justification for me.

        >> Really? There’s a little old man that lives across the street from me… He’s very feeble, has poor eyesight and his whole state is fragile. Now, it it okay for a bunch of healthy, big thugs to beat him up? Of course not!

        Agreed. But Im not talking about exploiting (or beating up) ones fellow man. I am talking about eating lower life forms. Its only natural to do that.

        >>It’s not wrong or weak to be kind TY… In fact it is one of the highest virtues within us. Shame to waste it on accepting brutalities simply because we can cause them or just because they’ve existed for so long… You can help set things right as well.”

        I see nothing wrong with eating animals. Sorry. Cue up the “Circle of Life”

        Why dont you focus you energies on stoppping Man from harming his fellow Man instead? Or is Man beneath your concern?

  8. I can’t understand how someone raising animals for food can say they “care about their animals”. Caring for an animal doesn’t mean pulling them out into blinding sunlight for the first time in their lives, loading the terrified creatures into a truck that will haul them for miles to brutal slaughter.
    Someone mentioned religion and abortion…I work with many animal advocates of all faiths. Strict Catholics, Baptists, etc. Liberals as well as Conservatives. Some are for abortion and some are also absolutely against abortion. You are foolish if you try to label animal advocates, because it’s everyone from all walks of life. All over the world.
    You MUST follow your conscious. As for me (and many many others)…I feel I don’t have the right to confine an animal, brutally slaughter and eat it for my taste and pleasure. I also feel (as well as many many other people do) that it is my responsiblity as a decent human being to speak up against cruelty to any living being.

    LAURA, you are saying “Furthermore, one of the serious issues that exist with the animal rights orientation is imagining that animals have the kinds of feelings that humans do.”
    and….”The real world is one of tooth and claw and a food chain that exists from the tiny creatures up to the large creatures. You need to take a new look at nature and how the world actually works. Nature can be cruel.”
    Sounds to me like you are putting yourself down to the level of animals. If you are above the animals, why would you, like an animal… kill an animal for food?

    • “You MUST follow your conscious.”

      Who says meat eaters are NOT? My conscious says its perfectly A-OK ..AS DO MOST PEOPLE..

      “Sounds to me like you are putting yourself down to the level of animals. If you are above the animals, why would you, like an animal… kill an animal for food? ”

      Just becasue a human one does some of the same things as animals do doesnt necessarily “lower” oneself…Humans copulate, as do animals. Humans raise young, as do animals. Humans kill and eat other animals, as does animals…

  9. I was one of the students who put on this agvocating event. I would like to make a couple brief comments about the event, NOT about the comments posted below.

    The event was designed to encourage students to get involved with the industry they are studying to spend their careers in. We could probably come to agreement that it is important for professionals to understand what is going on in their area of expertise.

    Agvocating is not a tool for us to try to destroy animal rights groups and that is not our goal. While people like Wayne Pacelle have said that their goal is to eliminate livestock production agriculture we are not attempting to eliminate Wayne or animal rights. Agvocating is used as a way for us (producers) to show others (consumers) how our farms are run, what our production practices are, and how we do provide safe, proper care for the animals consumers purchase as meat products.

    There are many outlets of agvocating and some deal with animal rights groups and how we work with them to build the standards for production practices. Ohio has been a leader in working with animal rights groups and we plan to continue the relationship that is being built with these groups.

    The event was not put together to arm young ag professionals with weapons to hurt animal rights activists or their agenda. We have a more important goal which is to provide the consumers of meat products (not vegans) with the correct information about the animals. Animal rights groups don’t always have the most reliable sources for facts about agriculture and they have done some terrible things to animals to arouse emotion against consumers who don’t know what really happens on a farm.

    Agvocati was set up as a student led project for an independent study and I am proud of what was discussed and learned by the students at ATI. Not because we can fight animals rights groups and activists, but because the future farmers and producers of America now know a little more on how to give this important information to the consumers.

    Thank you to those who atteneded, read about it in blogs, followed on twitter, or have become interested in it.

    • Sam,

      What is your response to video footage showing actual abuses on meat and dairy farms?

      You must admit these show great suffering, no?

      -A

      • These videos are absolutely terrifying. I do not approve of them on any level or in any industry. The footage that you see from videos put out by groups like Mercy For Animals is deep undercover work that has been planned with the goal of destroying quality family farms. The owners of these farms would never allow anyone to treat an animal like that and we (the producers) would be the first to stand up against animal abuse of the nature you see in the graphic videos. We do not teach employees, or allow them to do these things with our knowledge. The employees that do these things are usually being paid to do it by the activists who make the footage public. The most frustrating part to me is that it usually takes weeks of undercover footage for them to make a video that they can publicly use to arouse emotions. If they truly cared for livestock then they would have put a stop to the viscous treatment they are recording. If I saw or heard of anyone treating animals that way I would be sure to inform owner’s, employees, and police!

      • Hi Sam… Where is your evidence that these videos have been staged? There is no plan on where Mercy for Animals sends an investigator. What would be the criteria anyway? And how would they know what place is vulnerable unless there were issues there already?

        My understanding is that they go to farms on “cold” leads as to who is hiring. No “deep undercover work” on what places to choose. Yet, every time – They (and other groups) have found horrendous abuses.

        Now, where is your proof that makes you think employees are paid to bludgeon calves, or stick pipes in the anus’s of pigs? Where is your proof that at chicken slaughterhouses the workers are paid to be particularly barbaric in their treatment of the birds as they’re hung upside down on the rails? Where???

        Finally, I hope you realize that within a few days most investigators DO contact local officials. As was the case with the recent E6 investigation. Officials told them to continue as planned to get more evidence. This is how it works. You just can’t go in a place and film one abuse. As it is most places scream that it’s an “isolated” instance. Imagine if all that was available was a one time event?

        Please, think of what your asking of these investigators and of the system we’re operating in before you make such rash judgments on what ought to have happened. The solid truth is every investigation by any group has wound up with unspeakable crimes. People ought to question why these things happen in the first place… Or as someone once told me on line: “Why does it matter how you treat the animals? We’re going to kill them anyway”. THAT is the root and the wrong of the whole business of institutionalized slaughter of living beings. Everything done to them stops mattering. Thank goodness many are catching on that we don’t “need” to do any of these horrible things to begin with!

  10. One of the fundamental principles of leading a moral life is to refrain from inflicting avoidable harm on others. One of the best, easiest, and cheapest ways we can do this is to choose a vegan lifestyle.

    Animals have a capacity to suffer just like us, and have a strong will to live, and – at least in the developed world – we do not need to kill and eat them in order to survive. Therefore we should choose compassion over violence, and choose a well-balanced, healthy plant-based diet.

    To those whose morals are influenced by the Bible: Animals were put here before us, not for us. God declared the world “very good” before humans were here. His ideal diet, layed out in Genesis, is vegan; therefore we should strive to live by that ideal – which, for most of us in the developed world, is very easy to accomplish, especially with the wealth of delicious vegan products now available.

    God does not want us to be cruel. He gave us consciences so that we could be kind to His creation, not look for excuses to be violent. Let us not interpret “Blessed are the merciful” and the Golden Rule in the most narrow, self-serving way possible, but use those principles as springboards to being considerate, respectful, and loving to all God’s creatures.

    The UN, the Worldwatch Institute, the Pew Charitable Trust, and other organizations have urged us to reduce our consumption of animal products in order to decrease our environmental destruction and have enough food to feed an ever-growing human population. Studies show that un most cases, it is far more efficient to grow human food from plants than from animals.

    http://www.vegweb.com has over 13,000 vegan recipes; most of them are rated and reviewed.

    Here are some possible starting points for replacing animal products in your diet with plant products:

    – The quality and variety of nondairy milks has never been better. Contrary to dairy industy propaganda, research shows that dairy does NOT improve bone health. In fact, countries with the highest rates of dairy consumption also have the highest rates of osteoporosis, and in the massive 20-year, 80,000 person Harvard Nurses Study, those who consumed the most dairy had the highest rate of bone fractures. Studies do, however, show a positive correlation between soy intake and bone health. Also, recent major studies in both Asia and the West show that regular consumption of soy can reduce the risk the risk of breast cancer *and* reduce the risk of breast cancer recurrence. Men: In a study of over 12,000 Seventh Day Adventist men, those who regularly drank soymilk instead of cow’s milk had a 70 PERCENT reduction in prostate cancer risk. In addition to soymilk, it’e easy to find almond milk, and increasingly you can find coconut, rice, and even hemp milk. Coconut milk ice cream is delicious!

    – Leading health organizations have cited processed meats such as sausage and bacon as major health risks. A wealth of studies back this up. One recent pubished study showed that just one sausage a day can significantly increase the risk of certain cancers. Try Field Roast or Tofurky sausage, which are made from grains, vegetables, legumes, and fruits. I’ve fed these delicious products to many meat-eaters and they loved them.

    – Nearly all hens in the egg industry come from hatchteries that kill the newborn male chicks by grinding them up alive or suffocating them in plastic bags. The industry does this – and freely admits it – because these chicks cannot lay eggs and have not been bred to grow fast enough to be profitable for their flesh. Through centuries of breeding, we’ve forced hens to lay ten times their normal number of eggs, which causes discomfort, robs their bodies of nutrients, and increases the chance of painful prolapses and ovarian and uterine cancers. Laying hens are killed around two years old, when their egg production starts to decline. They are not covered by the (already weak) Humane Slaughter Act, so they may be fully conscious as they bleed to death and are immersed in scalding hot water to loosen their feathers. There is abundant documented evidence of this. Vegan baked goods have won the Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars” twice so far, and have won blue ribbons at state and county fairs across the US. At vegan bake sales, the largely non-vegetarian customers rave about the items and ask for recipes. Learn how to make a couple of good tofu scramble recipes and you’ll never crave scrambled eggs again. Recipes abound online and there are tofu scramble recipes in dozens of high-quality vegan cookbooks available in stores and libraries.

    So if you care about animals, care about feeding humans, care about your health (and the health of your children), and care about the earth, please look at transitioning to a vegan diet.

    (Side note to thsose who say nature is cruel. Nature is also full of cooperation, not only between members of the same species, but often between members of different species. It is actually more common than violence in the wild. Birds of different feathers cooperate better than most humans at the bird feeder and bird bath. :) Remember, we take walks in the woods to find solace and peace. Meanwhile, humans commit genocides, eradicate species, destroy half the Amazon rainforest, and confine bilions of animals to horrid, filthy, hellish fatory farms. But even if nature were violent, that doesn’t give us the excuse to be violent. We have the capacity, and therefore the obligation, to chose kindness.)

    This video shows some of the standard practices in animal agriculture: http://www.meatvideo.com. These should be condemned and outlawed, not defended. Try taking your first step toward a vegan diet today – it’s easier than you think, and the rewards, and peace of mind, are magnificent.

    • ooo boy, trying to use the Bible?

      “Blessed are the merciful” is talking about being merciful to ones fellow man..

      Genesis 1:26—man is to have dominion over livestock..

      Oh and BTW, God didnt think much of the vegan Cain’s offering; God wanted MEAT on the altar..

      Not to mention before Jesus animal sacrifice was done per Gods instructions and they ate the animal.

      When it comes to diet, I am Pro-Choice, not anti-Choice. I eat meat. Amen.

      • Hy Ty – Do you understand that everything about “faith” is “belief” — That means *not* knowing for sure!

        Like every ancient text – Bibles have been written and re-written, “stories” have been told and retold hundreds/thousands of times over. Is there not a possibility of a *mistake* in whose “offering” was or wasn’t accepted??? I mean it’s a 50/50 chance here that someone may have gotten that wrong. Yes? And do you base ALL your decisions on what the bible says? Or do you “pick and choose” what portions are relevant to justifying your acts?

        And it is only your interpretation of who benefits for mercy or not. Surely if compassion means anything it extends itself to those who need it most – Certainly confined and brutally killed INNOCENT animals are deserving of kindness!

        So yes, you and I are both returning to the fact and privilege of “free choice” – Again I say, that no one will betray their faith if they refuse to consume meat or wear leather or drink cow’s milk ,etc. It really IS up to each one of us to do what “rings true” in their hearts and minds as to “fair treatment” to animals.

        I ask in all sincerity of desiring an answer… Other than what is or isn’t in any “bible” – Why and how can taking a life when it is NOT necessary be justified?

  11. – Why and how can taking a life when it is NOT necessary be justified?

    I disagree with that premise. Utilizing animals is justified based on the voluminous benefits it provides to mankind. Our modern existance would be far less productive and enjoyable without animals and animal by-products.

    • Hi Ty – I understand your position that you do see our use of animals as being of great benefit to mankind…

      Now, I will ask you to consider information that might be contrary to that. If you could objectively assess the many problems with animal agriculture you might see where I disagree with you…

      I don’t know that the world is in that great a shape after all… I know our oceans are being over-fished to the point of destruction. Almost half of the sea life being fed to other nonhumans. The rain forests are vanishing. Human health is plagued by all sorts of ills from obesity to cancers. There’s drug addiction, alcoholism, depression and so on… Our political, economic and legal systems are corrupted. I could go on and on about how many things are lacking for as “advanced” as we think our civilization has become.

      For example, for 3 years straight, twice a day I receive internet updates on lawsuits and disagreements concerning just CAFO’s. From the Chesapeak Bay chicken farms to the pig warehouses in Iowa… It’s obvious people’s right of enjoyment on their own property is being violated. The same goes for feedlots in Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, etc. The troubles stemming from dairies are the same from New York to California. So I don’t know… Is it so wonderful when the land, air and water becomes unfit for humans because of flies and air and water contamination?

      CDC estimates that each year roughly 1 in 6 Americans (or 48 million people) gets sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases. These diseases are all “fecal” in origin: l Salmonella, Toxoplasma, Listeria, and norovirus caused the most deaths;
      Nontyphoidal Salmonella, norovirus, Campylobacter. This costs America 5-6 billion a year. And exactly how many billions are being poured into countering e-coli bacteria funded by U.S. dollars as well? There are 73,000 cases of E. coli 0157:H7 infection and 61 deaths in the U.S. each year.

      There’s also good reason to believe that the use of antibiotics on “livestock” is compromising our best weapons to fight disease…

      We also know that the extreme water waste in animal agriculture will hamper us in the future… And if meat consumption continues or escalates where oh where will all the excrement go? Do we really want to turn this planet into a giant sewer?

      And the economics of it all… How many “deals” are made to force Asian countries to accept our “meat”? If animal ag could survive on it’s own merit it would not require the U.S. government to be it’s biggest customer with dairy in schools when the majority of kids are lactose intolerant… It would not be serving “pork” to patients in hospitals with heart conditions. Nor would it be feeding armies “beef” so that we may seize yet ever more oil (through wars) to keep the whole petroleum based food system going.

      Now, I know this gets complicated but hear me out just a bit further. I believe the very root of our LACK OF PROGRESS is due to the use of animals. I think on a deep sub-conscious level it pains us to harm the innocent. And when we do, we surpress this angst and it manifests in a variety of self imposed ways to joylessness and slow suicide.

      I didn’t even mention the toll inflicted onto slaughterhouse workers… The meat packing industries having the highest turnover and injury rates than any other. And what of their emotional damage that is never considered by our “humane” culture?

      I also can’t leave out the billion people that starve every year… One every 8 seconds! Do you say this is part of the “voluminous benefits” provided to mankind? Or to just “some of us” that can afford the frivolous “luxury” of exploiting land, water, humans and nonhumans alike?

      Ty if you are honest you will have to concede that there is a plethora of negatives associated with raising livestock, eating meat and killing animals.

      So now I will pose this question – How do we know that things might not have been much better had we gone a different route? You assume we are at the “apex” due to animal agriculture… But how can we compare it to anything else? There never has been an opportunity to discover even more efficient, healthier ways.

      I see now that we are making strides in vertical farming, hydroponics and invitro “cultured” meat. If all the money that went to government subsidized “livestock” went to these facilities instead (decades ago)- I’m very certain we’d now be looking back at animal agriculture as a very primitive means for survival. You cannot say with certainty that we would not be in a better position now, had we gone a different way rather than “industrializing” “meat animals”.

      Every rational bone in my body tells me that if we are to meet the challenges of the future and begin to have a productive and enjoyable existence we must leave the cows, pigs and chickens out of the equasion. They didn’t mesh with the future invisioned in Star Trek and they certainly won’t sustain us on this pale blue dot either.

      I say those who espouse the “virtues” of animal husbandry will stagnate our efforts to reach the full, enlightened tomorrow that we are capable of. If we are deserving or not will be determined by the courage we have to shift our focus away from the habits and “gifts” of the past to working towards a more cohesive and harmonious vision that is respectful of all life.

      So do you have a crystal ball Ty? Can you say for sure that this system of slaughtering 57 billion land animals a year is the best we were and are capable of? As for me, I think better of us.

      • >>I know our oceans are being over-fished to the point of destruction.

        False blanket statement.

        >>Human health is plagued by all sorts of ills from obesity to cancers. There’s drug addiction, alcoholism, depression and so on… Our political, economic and legal systems are corrupted. I could go on and on about how many things are lacking for as “advanced” as we think our civilization has become.

        Tell you what, lets invent a time machine and we can transport you back into the middle ages…Im sure you find the advancements and lifestyle much more to your liking…Me, I think I will stay put thanks.

        >>CDC estimates that each year roughly 1 in 6 Americans (or 48 million people) gets sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases. These diseases are all “fecal” in origin:…

        And what was the rates 100 years ago? Wanna bet it was worse? BTW people are killed by cars too.. Wanna ban them?

        >>There’s also good reason to believe that the use of antibiotics on “livestock” is compromising our best weapons to fight disease…

        I think you have a lot of “good” reasons to believe a lot of things that arent necessarily so… So dont eat antibiotic fed livestock….you can do that you know…

        >>>We also know that the extreme water waste in animal agriculture will hamper us in the future… And if meat consumption continues or escalates where oh where will all the excrement go? Do we really want to turn this planet into a giant sewer?

        Yes more chicken little talk. Im sure this was said 30 years ago. No open sewers to be seen yet…BTW excrement makes great ferterlizer for those sprouts you hold so dear. That is were it “goes”
        Which makes me wonder if we got rid of all petro chemical ferterlizers, a good thing in your opinion of course, and all animal ferterlizer, which is what will happen in your utopia, how would we get the ferterlizer needed to feed all these people now dependent on Arugula for their existance? 100% crop rotation and leaf compost is NOT going to cut it.

        >>How many “deals” are made to force Asian countries to accept our “meat”?

        “Force”? Its called “Trade” look it up…

        >>>If animal ag could survive on it’s own merit

        It can…and it does. Ever hear of locally grown and sold beef?
        They make a decent buck doing it.

        >> when the majority of kids are lactose intolerant

        Nonsense

        >>Nor would it be feeding armies “beef” so that we may seize yet ever more oil (through wars) to keep the whole petroleum based food system going.

        Would feeding them sprouts make it ok? God was a silly statement…

        >>I believe the very root of our LACK OF PROGRESS is due to the use of animals.

        I beleive you are very incorrect. Dont you know the REAL reason for the lack of “progress” is those nasty Republicans? LOL! …but I digress. We are making great progress. As a afficiando of history I wouldnt trade living now for any other time in history.

        >>The meat packing industries having the highest turnover and injury rates than any other.

        Its tough work…and so is a lot of other work…your point is?

        >>I also can’t leave out the billion people that starve every year… One every 8 seconds!

        Billions? What is the definition of “starving”? Dacheau starving or missing a meal? Anyway world hunger has nothing to do with the lack of food. There is plenty enough food. Its mostly becasue of politics.

        >>Ty if you are honest you will have to concede that there is a plethora of negatives associated with raising livestock, eating meat and killing animals.

        No, I dont subscribe to your definition of what you call “honest”..The benes far outweigh the negatives..Afterall if meat was such a horrible thing, then why has the world population grown?…enough said.

        >>How do we know that things might not have been much better had we gone a different route? You assume we are at the “apex” due to animal agriculture…

        Well first of all we cant compare the known to the unknown, Second, the best ways tend to come out on top. Animal use has evolved to be a net gain for humanity thus far, and I dont see that changing. If it turns out to be not so much, that will be become apparent thru the free market of commerce and ideas, not by shoving some legal dicates on everybody. When more people prefer the taste of soy to steak, perhaps plant use will get the upper hand. Till then, give me my steak, leather shoes,soaps, tannins and all the other great things
        derived from animals.

        >>I see now that we are making strides in vertical farming, hydroponics and invitro “cultured” meat.

        I thought you said we werent making “progress”….

        >> If all the money that went to government subsidized “livestock” went to these facilities instead (decades ago)

        Im against govt subsidies for big AG AND such research you mention. Let the free market figure it out.

        >>Every rational bone in my body tells me that if we are to meet the challenges of the future and begin to have a productive and enjoyable existence we must leave the cows, pigs and chickens out of the equasion.

        Not the Maoist utopia Im interested in…

        >>They didn’t mesh with the future invisioned in Star Trek

        Star-Trek = fiction.

      • Hi Ty – Apparently my links are holding up the posting of my comments so I’ll adjust the format.

        It’s not a “false blanket statement”. It’s reality! Almost half our seas are being over fished to fatten livestock.
        >>>And what was the rates 100 years ago? Wanna bet it was worse? BTW people are killed by cars too.. Wanna ban them?

        No Ty – Statistically food borne illnesses are on the rise at an alarming rate…
        cdc.gov/foodborneburden/2011-foodborne-estimates.html

        Sure people are killed by cars – But we don’t deliberately “breed” them to place them in traffic! Your point is totally irrelevant.

        >>>I think you have a lot of “good” reasons to believe a lot of things that arent necessarily so… So dont eat antibiotic fed livestock….you can do that you know…

        Yes that’s true. But your industry always touts that it’s “feeding the world”. This simply could not be done on the scale of “free range” and “anti-biotic free” that you’re implying. Only a very small handful of people (the wealthy) would have access to these “healthier” flesh-foods.

        >>>Yes more chicken little talk. Im sure this was said 30 years ago. No open sewers to be seen yet…BTW excrement makes great ferterlizer for those sprouts you hold so dear. That is were it “goes”
        Which makes me wonder if we got rid of all petro chemical ferterlizers, a good thing in your opinion of course, and all animal ferterlizer, which is what will happen in your utopia, how would we get the ferterlizer needed to feed all these people now dependent on Arugula for their existance? 100% crop rotation and leaf compost is NOT going to cut it.

        No. These were not obvious problems 30 years ago. There was speculation but I encourage you to Google “CAFO’s lawsuits” and see for yourself. These by the way aren’t “activists”, most are just simple people trying to enjoy the property they own without the stench, flies, etc. that mega farms create.

        Now, long before I became aware of industrialized animal ag, I was traveling through North Carolina and have had to stop for gas on the interstate. It was the most putrid, ugly smell imaginable and there were flies everywhere! I asked someone what in the world it was: “Pigs”, he said. Years later I investigated further – the “farms” were about 30 miles away.

        I also have heard that people living near feedlots can smell the manure miles away… In their schools, libraries, stores and public offices. Now that to me IS contamination.

        Actually, compost made from rotting vegetation could be quite sustainable. As can hydroponics and vertical farming. verticalfarm.com/
        Food wouldn’t have to travel as far. Water is all self renewing through condensation and evaporation AND it does use the first source of the “food chain” most efficiently: The Sun.

        >>>“Force”? Its called “Trade” look it up…

        No again… chinapost.com.tw/taiwan/foreign-affairs/2011/04/13/298427/Beef-issues.htm
        This is only one instance but you might want to research how many times the US government steps in to “negotiate” with certain countries that want no part of our goods. It may be called “trade” but it certainly isn’t “free trade”.

        >>>It can…and it does. Ever hear of locally grown and sold beef?
        They make a decent buck doing it.

        Ummm… Isn’t it true that if crops intended as feed fail – The government compensates for the loss? Isn’t it true that if livestock “producers” “loose” animals to illness, drought, storm, predators, etc. they are also compensated for that as well?

        Don’t you keep up with the mess that’s happening on Federally Protected Land intended for wild horses? The horses are being round up and warehoused WITH TAX DOLLARS so cattle interests can graze there. That’s MY DIME the cows are eating on!

        Just yesterday New Mexico has been granted rights to graze on federal land:
        cattlenetwork.com/cattle-resources/pasture-rangeland/Curry-County-livestock-to-graze-on-fed-lands–122722474.html?rated=y#comments?submitted=y

        Other states are also suffering severe droughts and they will be given access to public land too. But “welfare ranching” is nothing new: publiclandsranching.org/htmlres/wr_history_politics.htm

        >>>Re: Lactose intolerance

        Almost all Asians and Native Americans are lactose intolerant, and up to 80% of African Americans and Hispanic Americans also have symptoms of lactose intolerance.
        kidshealth.org/teen/food_fitness/nutrition/lactose_intolerance.html

        Remember we are a melting pot… It’s not only Caucasian kids attending school or being hospitalized. ;)

        >>>Re: Petroleum, wars and food

        Ty it might be you who is naive as to how the industrial-military-complex works. I assure you one of the best customers the meat industry has is our own government. See the Commodity Purchasing and compare fruits/vegetables with meat/dairy/eggs. Hardly a “sprout” to be found.
        ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/ams.fetchTemplateData.do?template=TemplateJ&page=CPDAnnualPurchaseSummary

        >>>As a afficiando of history I wouldnt trade living now for any other time in history.

        Ah… But you still don’t have a crystal ball to be entirely certain that things might have been much better… More “Eden-like” had we not gone the way of animal killing.

        >>>Re: My point about slaughterhouse workers is that it’s a terribly exploitive job. Dangerous. Low-pay and comes with immeasurable human suffering. I thought you liked and cared for humans?

        >>>What is the definition of “starving”?

        I mean starving like FAMINE. Also known as violent hunger. I mean so hungry that you eat dirt just to suppress your ravenous STARVING appetite.

        >>>There is plenty enough food. Its mostly becasue of politics.

        Exactly! And politics dictate what developing countries grow. Because we are so intent on “beefing up” to the Western diet – They grow crops intended for animals not for humans. It takes six to eight times more resources to get protein from animals than it does from plants. If it weren’t for fattening livestock we would have plenty of food for humans. As it is now – We don’t.

        >>>Afterall if meat was such a horrible thing, then why has the world population grown?…

        And you consider growth prosperity? Are you saying quantity is better than quality?

        What I’d really like to stress though – Is that just because something “was” doesn’t mean it’s good now or in the future. You do know we’re meant to evolve – right?

        >>>Animal use has evolved to be a net gain for humanity thus far, and I dont see that changing. If it turns out to be not so much, that will be become apparent thru the free market of commerce and ideas, not by shoving some legal dicates on everybody. When more people prefer the taste of soy to steak, perhaps plant use will get the upper hand. Till then, give me my steak, leather shoes,soaps, tannins and all the other great things derived from animals.

        I don’t know what “legal dictates” you’re referring to because everything I see and have stated confirm that it’s government seized dollars that dictate who gets what favors. For another example… The farm bills have historically supported meat/dairy/egg industries to the tune of 95% or so… Leaving the balance of funds to go to fruit and vegetable growers. So please – It is your system of “legal dictates” that are being shoved down my throat!

        >>>I thought you said we werent making “progress”….

        Vertical farming and cultured meat are dependent on private funds… Unlike all the aid, grants and favors the meat industry gets. Technological progress – Yes. Political progress however – a firm, fat NO!

        >>>Im against govt subsidies for big AG AND such research you mention. Let the free market figure it out.

        Well good! You and I are on the same wave length here. Surely you can see that the meat/dairy/egg industries are very heavily subsidized. If hamburgers cost what they truly should they’d be about $25/ea. Now… Why is it when I want a salad from a fast-food joint it costs almost $5? Now you see where I’m going…

        >>>Star-Trek = fiction.

        Yet… “The” bible is the whole truth?

        Fiction is predicated on a range of possibilities. We could also wind up in the Soylent Green sci-fi too. The point is – We have two directions from which to choose. One is more of the same for an unsustainable population that will be FACT in the future.

        The other is to adjust now while we can, for the sake of health both physical and spiritual. I really want our culture to get out of the cave and club mentality… I think a plant based diet is the method to accomplish this.

        Thanks for the civil exchange

  12. I highly admire your patience Bea, but to use FED-UP &PO’d farmer’s own words in talking to folk who still try to rationalize animal cruelty: “Irregardless of ANY facts presented to them, they twist and contort facts to fit their point of view. They do NOT in any way want to hear or allow anyone elses’ opinions if it is not the same as theirs-there is absolutely NO dialoge with them-it is their way or no way…everyone who doesnt think as they do is plain wrong to them.”

    Interesting though how people who derive pleasure and profit from torture describe US as being sick, twisted, evil and demented. Maybe they’re not capable of recognizing irony any more than goodness or mercy?

  13. I must say that I understand where every contributor to this blog is coming from. It feels like each of you is doing your best to follow your conscience — your highest sense of what is right. I picture each of you hunched over your computer pouring your heart and soul into each word, and believing every bit of what you write. Each comment made seems so innocent in intent, so well-meaning.

    For author Chris Kick and posters Laura Nelson, Laura Johnson, Ty, okiestorm1, Fed Up, and Sam Wildman, dairy farming or ranching has probably been your way of life since you were in diapers. No wonder you think as you do. And no wonder you defend your motives and your practices. It makes perfect sense. I’d do the same if I were in your boots, I’m sure.

    I grew up across the street from a small family dairy farm. We lived in the suburbs of a larger city; it wasn’t rural America. I drank the milk those friendly cows produced and thought nothing of the fact that Brownie, the little calf we fostered one summer, wasn’t drinking her mother’s milk, because we were.

    Some of us who didn’t question the common-place animal ag practices we accepted in our youth have been nonetheless ready to examine our beliefs when the opportunity presents itself. This is what happened to me. I had no particular interest in animals, but was forced into thinking independently of my culture when, for the first time, I was introduced to the subject of animal slaughter. That was the first of a series of turning points for me.

    My journey out of unquestioned adherence to the norm is ongoing. I hope it’ll never end! I can’t envision myself stopping and saying to myself, “OK, I’m done questioning the status quo.” On the contrary, based on new information I receive and new conclusions I draw from it, I am continually shedding patterns of thought and behavior that no longer make sense or seem decent — or necessary.

    Last year I published a free online “book” of quotes from men and women who have, with imagination and empathy, been able to place themselves in animals’ hooves. Shunning conventionality, they have come to the animals’ defense against all the excuses made for robbing them of their dignity, children, habitat, freedom, lives.

    One such fellow, an unassuming librarian and deep thinker, is Irwin Feldman, whose essay, “Where Violence Begins: Animal Industries and the Cult of Aggression,” is included in Creature Quotes.

    Here are a few sentences I’ve selected, sentences which I think make a powerful point about how we routinely violate animals — no matter how kindly we think we are treating them when we use them for our purposes.

    Referring to the roots animal exploitation: “Hunters and herdsmen compensated for the shame, horror, and cowardice of animal abuse by idealizing aggression. The cult of aggression, which replaced animals and nature as the focus of spirituality, elevated cruelty to a rite of male power. These new masculine ideals supported an unprecedented assault against animals and nature. Highly effective in justifying animal cruelty, such beliefs took root in many animal-exploiting cultures.”

    Reflecting on where aggression against animals has taken us: “With a rapacity bordering on apocalyptic, we now spill more blood of man and beast than all other terrestrial species combined. The cult of aggression responsible for this war against life originated in the distant past as a cover-up for animal cruelty. It may be the most archaic superstition to survive antiquity.”

    Speaking of animal agriculture: “Most people know intuitively that manhood consists in protecting, loving, and defending, not in victimizing. But the need to idealize aggression in order to promote animal agriculture produces a different concept of masculinity entirely. This version values aggression per se. It confers acceptance and prestige on those who dominate, and on the act of domination itself. Through the magic of social ritual, aggression against the weak achieves not only respectability but honor.”

    Commenting on the other forms of aggression that animal exploitation spawns: “Militarism, racism, genocide, crime, child and spousal abuse, economic exploitation, even sports and entertainment exhibit the malignant effects of our ‘aggression obsession.’ The primary model for human aggression is animal abuse. ‘They treat us like animals’ we say to signify total disregard for the rights of others.'”

    A few more quotes:
    ~ “As children we learn that animals can be exploited for human benefit. We quickly grasp the reason: they can’t defend themselves. Might makes right is the foundation of our interspecies relations. Whether we see animals as prey, prisoners, sacrificial offerings, slaves, commodities, experimental subjects, toys, ornaments, or educational tools, our relentless drive to profit from animal suffering inspires the most debased human behaviors.”

    ~ “[O]ur persecution of animals—the original scapegoats—sets the pattern for discrimination against any population deemed inferior or threatening. We always depict such groups as animal-like, therefore expendable.”

    ~ “Animal cruelty kills respect for life. When an entire society exploits animals on a massive scale, violence becomes an institution.”

    ~ “The Nazis proved how easily mass murder crosses the species barrier. Some of the bids submitted by the German manufacturers who built Hitler’s herding and killing facilities have been preserved. These bland documents are indistinguishable from contracts for livestock equipment. Industrialized violence kills millions of animals every day. ‘Collateral damage’ to our own species takes an additional toll.”

    ~ “We are not carnivores by nature and there is nothing manly about abusing the defenseless. Those who prey on the vulnerable are cowards and cutthroats.”

    His conclusion: “[P]ursuit of cruelty through the ages transformed violence into a human institution. For it is the systematic slaughter of sentient beings that has made history ‘a nightmare from which we are trying to awake.'”

    Am I too idealistic in hoping these statements provoke discomfort in this blog’s animal AGvocates?

    Am I too unrealistic in dreaming of the day when those entrenched in the culture of violence toward animals will be inspired to join me in condemning all aggression as being beneath their humanity?

  14. >>”Might makes right is the foundation of our interspecies relations.”

    Yes I can agree with this. Another way of saying it is it being called “The Food Chain”

    >>We quickly grasp the reason: they can’t defend themselves

    Uh no, we dont harvest fish, cattle, etc becasue they cant “defend themelves” We harvest them becasue they are a lower life form and can be used for our benefit, just as it is done in nature. Children learn the meaning of the “circle of life”.

    >>”Our persecution of animals—the original scapegoats—sets the pattern for discrimination against any population deemed inferior or threatening”

    I prefer “utilization” as to “persecution” (BTW the root of persecution is “person”) We dont kill animals becasue we deem them inferior nor threatening, rather we view their carcasses as useful to mankind.

    >>”We always depict such groups as animal-like, therefore expendable.”

    I like to think animals as a “sustainable natural resource”

    >>Animal cruelty kills respect for life.

    I dont equate human life on the level with animal life. Therefore killing other animals for our own used does nothing of the sort. I would think man’s cruelty to fellow man does more to cheapen human life than does kiling animals.

    >>When an entire society exploits animals on a massive scale, violence becomes an institution.”

    I fail to see how utilizing animals causes violence to humans. But I can see how jealousy,envy,greed,lust can do those things.

    >>>“We are not carnivores by nature”

    Wrong.

    >>”there is nothing manly about abusing the defenseless”

    Harvesting a lower life form for the benefit of mankind is not abuse imho.

    >>Am I too idealistic in hoping these statements provoke discomfort in this blog’s animal AGvocates?

    No I think your delusional if you think these quotes would mean anything to normal people. These quotes are taken from the viewpoint that human life and other animal life are on the same level. Once you reject that notion, the ridculoussness of the quotes becomes apparent. Long live “specieism”.

      • >>It’s not a “false blanket statement”. It’s reality! Almost half our seas are being over fished to fatten livestock.

        Your exaggerating (not the first time as we shall see) According to a overfishing site I just went to, its about 24% combined depleted and overfished. As for using it as animal food, its about 1/3 according to another site I went to. Regardless of the numbers, what is needed is improved management of fish stocks, (called “progress”) not some sort of ban

        >>No Ty – Statistically food borne illnesses are on the rise at an alarming rate… cdc.gov/foodborneburden/2011-foodborne-estimates.html

        Evasive answer. If they are going up, what is that level compared to 100 years ago? Still much lower I’m sure…we need to have better inspection regimes, and perhaps better inspection of food coming in
        from overseas whose standards aren’t up to ours. And I’m sure we have better reporting as well. But we don’t need to throw up our hands and say “gee I guess we can eat meat anymore” That’s a loser POV.

        >>Sure people are killed by cars – But we don’t deliberately “breed” them to place them in traffic! Your point is totally irrelevant.

        No we don’t breed them, we manufacture them. Look at all the use of natural resources used to make(breed) a car(beef) that on occasion kills people in the course of their being driven(eaten). Very good comparison actually

        >> But your industry always touts that it’s “feeding the world”. This simply could not be done on the scale of “free range” and “anti-biotic free” that your’re implying.

        The current industry DOES feed the world; veganism hasn’t proved it can. I would bet the free range and anti-biotic methods stand a far better chance of feeding the world than going with ferterlizer-free veganism. Nor am It willing to starve to death for some odd ball moral equivalence of human to animal life.

        >>Only a very small handful of people (the wealthy) would have access to these “healthier” flesh-foods.

        The poor can eat all the beans and rice they can right now. They still want meat.

        >>>No. These were not obvious problems 30 years ago. There was speculation but I encourage you to Google “CAFO’s lawsuits” and see for yourself. These by the way aren’t “activists”, most are just simple people trying to enjoy the property they own without the stench, flies, etc. that mega farms create.

        Nonsense. CAFO has been around a long time. The world is not an open sewer yet. (Another exaggeration) I’m not big fan of CAFO either. But again I do not favor throwing the baby calf out with the bathwater. Work out the issues instead of giving in to an emotional appeal devoid of factual realities.

        >>Actually, compost made from rotting vegetation could be quite sustainable.

        LOL! So you think that would work on the scale needed to feed the world!? As a part time grain farmer who knows a little bit about this, no way in h*ll!. Until the vegans work out that one, their ideas are built on sand. I do find it ironic that the idea of veggie-compost can feed the world, yet free range beef/antibiotic free beef cant….hmmmm

        >>No again… chinapost.com.tw/taiwan/foreign-affairs/2011/04/13/298427/Beef-issues.htm
        This is only one instance but you might want to research how many times the US government steps in to “negotiate” with certain countries that want no part of our goods. It may be called “trade” but it certainly isn’t “free trade”.

        If its not meat it would be something else…so it’s a pointless argument as to why we shouldn’t eat meat.

        >>>(It can…and it does. Ever hear of locally grown and sold beef?
        They make a decent buck doing it.) Ummm… Isn’t it true that if crops intended as feed fail – The government compensates for the loss? Isn’t it true that if livestock “producers” “loose” animals to illness, drought, storm, predators, etc. they are also compensated for that as well?

        And if those crops were grown as human feed instead of animal feed fail? Should the govt bail them out? They should not if you want to be consistent. Actually, very few free range/sustainable farmers are involved in any govt subsidies. Too small to start with. BTW most of them feed off pasture and use far less grown grains like their “traditional” counterparts. Also, much grazing is done on land unsuitable for crop production.

        >>Don’t you keep up with the mess that’s happening on Federally Protected Land intended for wild horses? The horses are being round up and warehoused WITH TAX DOLLARS so cattle interests can graze there. That’s MY DIME the cows are eating on!

        Those horsed should be slaughtered and given to the needy as a source of protein. They are an invasive species anyway. At least the invasive cattle grazing will benefit mankind in a more productive way.

        >>Just yesterday New Mexico has been granted rights to graze on federal land: cattlenetwork.com/cattle-resources/pasture-rangeland/Curry-County-livestock-to-graze-on-fed-lands–122722474.html?rated=y#comments?submitted=y

        I have no problem with that.

        >>Other states are also suffering severe droughts and they will be given access to public land too. But “welfare ranching” is nothing new: publiclandsranching.org/htmlres/wr_history_politics.htm

        If the ranching does not cost the taxpayer any money, then I have no problem with it. Ranchers have the right to use that land just as much as other citizens such as campers, hikers, boaters, etc. It’s their land too.

        >>>Almost all Asians and Native Americans are lactose intolerant, and up to 80% of African Americans and Hispanic Americans also have symptoms of lactose intolerance.
        kidshealth.org/teen/food_fitness/nutrition/lactose_intolerance.html

        But that does not equate to the exaggerated levels you proposed. BTW there are products out there to help with intolerance. And no one is putting a gun to kids head to drink milk either. Drink water, fruit juice. Again, another “excuse” that doesnt justify the sledgehammer-to–fly vegan solution.

        >>Ty it might be you who is naive as to how the industrial-military-complex works. I assure you one of the best customers the meat industry has is our own government. See the Commodity Purchasing and compare fruits/vegetables with meat/dairy/eggs. Hardly a “sprout” to be found.
        ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/ams.fetchTemplateData.do?template=TemplateJ&page=CPDAnnualPurchaseSummary

        So? Our military needs meat! whats your “beef”? (pun intended). As if feeding meat to our soldiers is some sort of evil thing…BTW thanks to the military industrial complex we are free. Vegans seem to want to take some of that freedom away.

        >>Ah… But you still don’t have a crystal ball to be entirely certain that things might have been much better… More “Eden-like” had we not gone the way of animal killing.

        Or much worse if we had not as you don’t have a crystal ball either. I can think of the many ways our lives would be adversly affected without animal products. I doubt our species could have survived if forced to eat grass and twigs, and cloth ourselves without leather exclusively.

        >>>Re: My point about slaughterhouse workers is that it’s a terribly exploitive job. Dangerous. Low-pay and comes with immeasurable human suffering. I thought you liked and cared for humans?

        I suspect you think every job is “exploitive”. Lord knows we have govt agencies charged with overseeing working conditions. “immeasurable human suffering”? Oh my exaggerate much? Lets see, Auschwitz or the Oscar Mayer factory??? Where should I work?? Bottom line is, bad working conditions are not unique to slaughterhouses. No need to blame meat; blame bad management and lax enforcement. You assume that there is no way to correct any problems thus it need to be shut down. Again, sledgehammer-to-fly solution.

        >>I mean starving like FAMINE. Also known as violent hunger. I mean so hungry that you eat dirt just to suppress your ravenous STARVING appetite.

        So you are saying there are BILLIONS of people eating dirt??? Gee why did we get all worked up over the Somalia famine that involved a few million. Again, gross exaggeration.

        >>(There is plenty enough food. Its mostly because of politics)Exactly! And politics dictate what developing countries grow. Because we are so intent on “beefing up” to the Western diet – They grow crops intended for animals not for humans. It takes six to eight times more resources to get protein from animals than it does from plants. If it weren’t for fattening livestock we would have plenty of food for humans. As it is now – We don’t.

        Well you just contradicted yourself. You agree there is plenty of food (“Exactly!”), yet at the end you say “we would have plenty of food for humans. As it is – We don’t”

        >>And you consider growth prosperity?

        I would thing that the one most basic measurement of the success or failure of a species is its growth rate, wouldn’t you agree?

        >>> Are you saying quantity is better than quality?

        Are you into eugenics? I thought all life was precious by your reasoning? Or is only human life less precious if it doesn’t meet your “quality” standard? Be consistent please.

        >>What I’d really like to stress though – Is that just because something “was” doesn’t mean it’s good now or in the future. You do know we’re meant to evolve – right?

        I think not using animals is not evolving but rather is devolution. We need to find more uses for animals. For example, my Father gained 10+ more years of life due to a heart valve from a pig. THAT is progress!

        >>I don’t know what “legal dictates” you’re referring to

        I am refering to the animal-rights agenda of chipping away of our rights to own and use animals under the guise of “prevention of cruelty”. As you stated: “politics dictate what dictate what countries grow” can apply to first world countries too

        >>Leaving the balance of funds to go to fruit and vegetable growers. So please – It is your system of “legal dictates” that are being shoved down my throat! Vertical farming and cultured meat are dependent on private funds… Unlike all the aid, grants and favors the meat industry gets.

        I am against favors/grants/ not so much as they are wrong as I have no problem with researching better ways to use animals, but because the govt simply cant afford it.

        >>Technological progress – Yes. Political progress however – a firm, fat NO!

        Again, you contradict yourself We have had much technological progress utilizing animals and you have said already it is not “progress” But your problem is with the lack of political “progress”? This only underscores my belief that animal rights/vegan is less about the animals and more about obtaining the political power to tell us how to live our lives to create some absurd meat free utopia.

        >>Well good! You and I are on the same wave length here. Surely you can see that the meat/dairy/egg industries are very heavily subsidized. If hamburgers cost what they truly should they’d be about $25/ea.

        Methinks you exaggerate(again) on that price.…Fine,get rid of the subsidies. I have no problem with food prices going up PROVIDED the govt lower the tax rates proportionate to the reduction in subsidies. Maybe the farmer will make a better living with the higher meat prices, and as a result more people will eat alfalfa sprouts, making you feel better…It’s a win win for everyone.

        >>Now… Why is it when I want a salad from a fast-food joint it costs almost $5? Now you see where I’m going…

        That seems cheap for all the value added to the product.—grown with fossil fuels and animal manure, trucked using fossil fuels, cleaned packaged, prepared for your near instant use in buildings powered by coal electricity.

        >>Yet… “The” bible is the whole truth?

        If one chooses to believe it. Of course one cant prove its true, but we can prove that the Enterprise and Captain Kirk doesn’t exist.

        >> One is more of the same for an unsustainable population that will be FACT in the future.

        Yeah I heard about the population bomb for many many years now. Must have a delayed fuse….

        >>>The other is to adjust now while we can, for the sake of health both physical and spiritual. I really want our culture to get out of the cave and club mentality… I think a plant based diet is the method to accomplish this.

        I think following the Ten Commandments is probably going to get us there quicker. (BTW “Thou shall not eat meat” is not one of them)

        >>Thanks for the civil exchange

        Anytime…

      • >>>Your exaggerating (not the first time as we shall see) According to a overfishing site I just went to, its about 24% combined depleted and overfished. As for using it as animal food, its about 1/3 according to another site I went to. Regardless of the numbers, what is needed is improved management of fish stocks, (called “progress”) not some sort of ban

        “Thirty million tons – or 36 per cent – of the world’s total fisheries catch each year is currently ground up into fishmeal and oil to feed farmed fish, chickens and pigs,” world-renowned fishery researcher and co-author, Daniel Pauly, told the University of British Colombia (UBC).
        sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091117094835.htm

        Forage fish account for a staggering 37 percent (31.5 million tonnes) of all fish taken from the world’s oceans each year, and 90 percent of that catch is processed into fishmeal and fish oil. In 2002, 46 percent of fishmeal and fish oil was used as feed for aquaculture (fish-farming), 24 percent for pig feed, and 22 percent for poultry feed. Pigs and poultry around the world consume more than double the seafood eaten by Japanese consumers and six times the amount consumed by the U.S. market.
        The Institute for Ocean Conservation Science

        And there’s a great pie chart here that breaks down which “meat animal” consumes what quantity of sea life:
        docs.google.com/viewer?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.minami-nutrition.us%2Fwebsite%2Fdocs%2F74-EN-4-en-Overfishing.US.070509.pdf

        I did say almost half… And these sites will confirm this figure.

        >>Evasive answer. If they are going up, what is that level compared to 100 years ago? Still much lower I’m sure…we need to have better inspection regimes, and perhaps better inspection of food coming in
        from overseas whose standards aren’t up to ours. And I’m sure we have better reporting as well. But we don’t need to throw up our hands and say “gee I guess we can eat meat anymore” That’s a loser POV.

        No – That a logical winner’s POV. It clear that there’s time for a change. I can say personally working and cooking in a kitchen that is animal free is liberating! I no longer have to worry about sanitizing every little corner of my world! One clean cutting board… No refrigerator shelves to clean blood drippings away… No worry that some microbe splashed on to a surface I missed. Magnify this into a world view –

        The way the USDA and meat industries advise handling meat it’s like a toxic substance! “Separate” in the shopping cart. “Separate” in the bags. “Separate” in the fridge. “Separate” on the counters. Why would anyone want to risk their lives over just a minor oversight?

        More inspections? Whose footing that bill?

        >>No we don’t breed them, we manufacture them. Look at all the use of natural resources used to make(breed) a car(beef) that on occasion kills people in the course of their being driven(eaten). Very good comparison actually.

        Nope – Car “accidents” happen without plan… That’s why their called “accidents”. Deliberately *breeding* animals to kill isn’t like cars at all… They are living beings.

        >>The current industry DOES feed the world; veganism hasn’t proved it can. I would bet the free range and anti-biotic methods stand a far better chance of feeding the world than going with ferterlizer-free veganism.

        “It takes a long time and a lot of grassland to raise a grass-fed steer. Western rangelands are vast, but not nearly vast enough to sustain America’s 100 million head of cattle. There is no way that grass-fed beef can begin to feed the meat appetites of people in the United States, much less play a role in addressing world hunger.”
        John Robbins author of Diet for New America

        And what of the 100 or so million pigs? And the 9.5 billion chickens – Are we “free ranging” them too? And what happens to all the wild-life that may be a “threat” to them? I assume we’ll just keep killing them only

        All this still doesn’t address the intensive water use to “process” their bodies. “The requirements for a pound of beef are 441 gallons of water.” Jim Oltjen and colleagues in the Department of Animal Science at U.C. Davis
        These are “your” guys and their figures.
        earthsave.org/environment/water.htm

        >>>Nor am It willing to starve to death for some odd ball moral equivalence of human to animal life.

        Interesting that you now know what “starving” means…

        I’m not giving nonhumans the “equivalence” to human life regarding “rights” to vote, drive, marry, or get an education, etc. Just the negative “right” to be left alone. To live unused and unharmed.

        And just a mention as to how sustainable animal products aren’t. I lived through hurricanes… With roads blocked and stores shut or destroyed. One of the storms had our power out for weeks. Everyone’s meat rotted – So did the eggs, butter, cheese, milk, etc. It really was a disgusting mess throughout my whole neighborhood.

        Yet — Here in my household – We still had a great supply of dry goods – Beans, legumes, rice, oatmeal, etc. No problems cooking anything to 160 degrees either. (People don’t bbq during hurricanes.) All my neighbors milk soured – Still, I had cartons and cartons of rice, almond and soy milk that don’t require any refrigeration. I could see completely then that a plant based diet was really the key to not only daily sustainable living but surviving emergencies as well.

        >>The poor can eat all the beans and hrice they can right now. They still want meat.

        Many are uneducated, brainwashed and/or under the wrong assumption that “meat” is a symbol of wealth and/or that it is healthy. None of the above is true.

        >>>Nonsense. CAFO has been around a long time. The world is not an open sewer yet. (Another exaggeration) I’m not big fan of CAFO either. But again I do not favor throwing the baby calf out with the bathwater. Work out the issues instead of giving in to an emotional appeal devoid of factual realities.

        It is said the first factory farm began when Mrs. So’n So back in the 30’s accidentally received 200 chickens instead of 20. Not knowing how to contain them she came across the idea of leaving them in her basement. Surprise! They lived… Soon after all chicken “growers” were adopting “confined” egg laying and “broiler” operations. Shortly thereafter, it was the pigs and finally the cows… In between then and now, the pharmaceutical industries had a hand in keeping the animals “healthy” enough for slaughter. And manure “lagoons” were built & built & built. And too – Our human population grew & grew & grew. So really Ty, in historical perspective, this “modern food production” is a recent experiment. We have never lived (or eaten) this way before.

        The factual reality is that in just under 100 years high consumption of modern “meat” is riddled with very, very questionable “practical” ills, and aloes untold physiological ones that are only now being questioned. So if the baby(calf) has 7 legs, 3 heads, razor sharp teeth, no eyes and breaths fire… Yes! Throw it out!

        >>LOL! So you think that would work on the scale needed to feed the world!? As a part time grain farmer who knows a little bit about this, no way in h*ll!. Until the vegans work out that one, their ideas are built on sand. I do find it ironic that the idea of veggie-compost can feed the world, yet free range beef/antibiotic free beef cant….hmmmm

        If it can be done on a small scale there’s no reason it can’t be perfected in larger ones. As I mentioned before with vertical farming, living walls and urban gardening food would be available to the mega-cities. Imagine if supermarkets actually grew crops on top of their stores. With just a minor bit of beautifying for customers their “fresh produce” wouldn’t travel a mile! The inedible remains could be composted or digested to provide lights/energy to the building. This is not my idea- There are blueprints in the works to make it happen on a proto-scale. If it works… What is your skepticism or complaint?

        >>If its not meat it would be something else…so it’s a pointless argument as to why we shouldn’t eat meat.

        Yes… And I wouldn’t mind so much if it were some”thing” else… Not some”one” else. You can bargain and trade with chips and coins all you want – But when it comes to living beings or that which harms them (human or non) — All bets are off.

        >>>And if those crops were grown as human feed instead of animal feed fail? Should the govt bail them out? They should not if you want to be consistent. Actually, very few free range/sustainable farmers are involved in any govt subsidies. Too small to start with. BTW most of them feed off pasture and use far less grown grains like their “traditional” counterparts. Also, much grazing is done on land unsuitable for crop production.

        I believe they should not. I like free-enterprise much more than you know Ty.

        I’ll concede that most “free range/sustainable farmers don’t qualify for govt subsidies. And that their “stock” probably eat a more natural diet.

        But… I will say, that had we gone another route, we would have left the land unsuitable for crops alone for wildlife… As it is now, even with “small” ranching… If wolves, coyotes, bears or any nonhuman “predator” is deemed a threat — They are killed for the sake of “livestock” only to be killed eventually as well.

        And too, who knows what we would have “used” the land for? Or what we might “use” it for in the future.

        >>Those horsed should be slaughtered and given to the needy as a source of protein. They are an invasive species anyway. At least the invasive cattle grazing will benefit mankind in a more productive way.

        But Ty… The horses that are slaughtered in Canada and Mexico are sent off to the wealthy in Europe and Asia. Horse meat starting at $15/lb for the “cheapest cuts”. I know… A friend just returned from France and gave me the scoop.

        How are you going to get horse meat or cow meat or chicken/pig meat to the needy without an incredible amount of processing to “preserve” the flesh or an incredible waste of resources just to keep it “fresh” as it travels to Somalia, Africa, Ethiopia? Keeping tons of flesh from rotting is quite expensive no? Wouldn’t the poor benefit more by being given grains, rice and beans that would cost less to ship and that wouldn’t require “refrigeration” once it was at it’s destiny.

        And the thing is with the BLM those horses are on PROTECTED land. The government and it’s people made a promise to those horses and to each other. It is being violated for cattle interests – Which totally reeks of corruption to me.

        >>I have no problem with that.

        You have no problem with my vegan tax dollars going to support a system I am ethically opposed to and you call me a “thug” who wants to push my views on you??? Really???

        >>If the ranching does not cost the taxpayer any money, then I have no problem with it. Ranchers have the right to use that land just as much as other citizens such as campers, hikers, boaters, etc. It’s their land too.

        Look — My husband and I have a small van camper — When we want to use an area on “public” land – We pay $38 every 24 hours for a 50 x 50 foot area. Cattle interests however pay about $3 every month for “leasing” rights… You’re smart enough to see there is no equity here. Please at least concede that cattle folks are catered to hand and foot to keep them in the biz of beef. Please.

        >>>But that does not equate to the exaggerated levels you proposed. BTW there are products out there to help with intolerance. And no one is putting a gun to kids head to drink milk either. Drink water, fruit juice. Again, another “excuse” that doesnt justify the sledgehammer-to–fly vegan solution.

        80% of non-Caucasian kids… With 30 or so percent of “white” kids equals almost half of all kids in schools.

        So you’re saying kids should take the drugs to avoid being sickened by dairy? Talk about a “sledgehammer solution”!

        There are also alternative plant based milks that have twice the amount of vitamin D and calcium than cow’s milk… But that industry doesn’t have the powerful lobbying leverage that the dairy folks have.

        Oh… And it’s not only “milk” – There’s hardly a thing on the school menus that don’t have “cheese” in them as well… According to you – these kids should just drink water and eat bread for the sake of the industries that have dominated school cafeteria politics. Not fair at all!

        >>>So? Our military needs meat! whats your “beef”? (pun intended). As if feeding meat to our soldiers is some sort of evil thing…BTW thanks to the military industrial complex we are free. Vegans seem to want to take some of that freedom away.

        The things that wars have been fought over have not made anyone free but it has made a lot of people (filthy) rich. Also I sure do disagree that the US army/navy, etc. should be one of the meat industry’s biggest customers. That’s not freedom that’s tyranny for those who must foot the bills for generations of senseless, needless war.

        >>>Or much worse if we had not as you don’t have a crystal ball either. I can think of the many ways our lives would be adversly affected without animal products. I doubt our species could have survived if forced to eat grass and twigs, and cloth ourselves without leather exclusively.

        Really, we owe part of our survival to “leather”? Not really.

        How is it people in other countries live without (or very, very little meat?) Google “The Blue Zone” and you’ll see a study that illustrates the longevity in several countries who thrive just fine on a plant based diet. Also research the findings of “The China Study” where it’s documented people in Asia who live mostly on rice and vegetables outlive us by 20 or so years on a statistical average. There’s much more than grass and twigs without flesh…

        As humans in the “civilized” world we grow and eat less than 7% of the variety of plant foods offered on the planet. We’ve “mono-cultured” ourselves into bad health while stripping the soil of all nutriments.
        Wake up Ty – We in the western world on our SAD (standard american diet) aren’t all that!

        >>>I suspect you think every job is “exploitive”. Lord knows we have govt agencies charged with overseeing working conditions. “immeasurable human suffering”? Oh my exaggerate much? Lets see, Auschwitz or the Oscar Mayer factory??? Where should I work?? Bottom line is, bad working conditions are not unique to slaughterhouses. No need to blame meat; blame bad management and lax enforcement. You assume that there is no way to correct any problems thus it need to be shut down. Again, sledgehammer-to-fly solution.

        When a particular occupation has the highest rate of suicide, drug addiction, domestic violence, high crime rates, alcoholism and depression I don’t know that any “management” can fix the root cause of these ailments.

        You can’t ask (desperate), (mostly immigrant) people to work all day killing innocent animals by the hundreds/thousands without it negatively affecting them. It IS a job for the soul-less!

        It is said there are two kinds of people that work in a slaughterhouse… Those that sure don’t want to be there — and those who do. Now, what kind of person is it that “likes” killing animals all day??? Without a tear? The industry either employs monsters or creates them. And an ignorant consumer base merrily goes about without questioning what it took to get their pretty meat in the cellophane packages. It’s a tragic sham on everyone.

        >>>So you are saying there are BILLIONS of people eating dirt??? Gee why did we get all worked up over the Somalia famine that involved a few million. Again, gross exaggeration.

        No – I was trying to define FOR YOU what “starving” meant.

        >>>Well you just contradicted yourself. You agree there is plenty of food (“Exactly!”), yet at the end you say “we would have plenty of food for humans. As it is – We don’t”

        “As it is” meaning – fattening animals on food that COULD be fed to humans is why we DON’T have plenty for everyone.

        >>>I would thing that the one most basic measurement of the success or failure of a species is its growth rate, wouldn’t you agree?

        No. Cancer and tumors grow. Warts grow… Bacteria grows. “Growth” in and of itself can’t be seen as beneficial if it’s costing the life force of others (or the planet) to exist.

        >>>Are you into eugenics? I thought all life was precious by your reasoning? Or is only human life less precious if it doesn’t meet your “quality” standard? Be consistent please.

        All conscience life that exists is precious to that life. That’s not an inconsistent statement. You are the one who keeps repeating the justification in killing “lower” life forms. I certainly don’t think we should, for the sake of “quality” of life that we should bring countless billions of carbon beings to life just to kill. It has already ruined “quality of life” for hundreds of species – extinct or almost extinct… As well as ruined it for many, many human animals as well. Live down wind from a pig or chicken farm and tell me about “quality” of life.

        >>>I think not using animals is not evolving but rather is devolution. We need to find more uses for animals. For example, my Father gained 10+ more years of life due to a heart valve from a pig. THAT is progress!

        But I know a man who died 15 years before his time from colon cancer that could be attributed to his high consumption of dairy, pork and processed meats.

        And today’s youth may be the first generation in our history to live sicker lives and die younger than their parent’s generation.
        nytimes.com/2005/03/17/health/17obese.html

        >>>I am refering to the animal-rights agenda of chipping away of our rights to own and use animals under the guise of “prevention of cruelty”. As you stated: “politics dictate what dictate what countries grow” can apply to first world countries too

        But if the eventuality of it is that the culture begins to grasp that killing animals is unnecessary, a burden to health and the environment then that’s the way our society’s values will shift. No one is “forcing” anyone into eschewing meat/eggs/dairy – The information of the truth accomplishes that fine on it’s own merit. Surly there were many slaveholders who would have argued that their “rights” were being threatened too…
        “Was there ever any domination that did not appear natural to those who possessed it” -John Stuart Mill

        >>>I am against favors/grants/ not so much as they are wrong as I have no problem with researching better ways to use animals, but because the govt simply cant afford it.

        But this is the only way we will keep hamburgers selling for a buck… So should we go further in financial ruin just to keep animal enterprise “prospering”?

        >>>Again, you contradict yourself We have had much technological progress utilizing animals and you have said already it is not “progress” But your problem is with the lack of political “progress”? This only underscores my belief that animal rights/vegan is less about the animals and more about obtaining the political power to tell us how to live our lives to create some absurd meat free utopia.

        I’m sure that in ancient Egypt the pyramids would not have been built if it were not for the brutalities endured by human slaves. Perhaps we would not have “leather couches”, “hot dogs” or circuses, if not for the exploitation of nonhumans — I think the world would be better without pyramids, slave-cotton and flesh products. I think the world would be more equitable, fair and plentiful. It’s not really “absurd” to desire a more compassionate world… It is the full manifestation of all our capabilities.

        It is not “just” about the animals – It is about making the full connection to better human health, a cleaner, more sustainable environment and equitable “sharing” of the planets resources:
        nonviolenceunited.org/veganvideo.html

        >>>Methinks you exaggerate(again) on that price.…Fine,get rid of the subsidies. I have no problem with food prices going up PROVIDED the govt lower the tax rates proportionate to the reduction in subsidies. Maybe the farmer will make a better living with the higher meat prices, and as a result more people will eat alfalfa sprouts, making you feel better…It’s a win win for everyone.

        Do you think I live on alfalfa sprouts???
        youtube.com/watch?v=xWzqt6rzpdk
        youtube.com/watch?v=Tc8TrchWeO0

        >>>That seems cheap for all the value added to the product.—grown with fossil fuels and animal manure, trucked using fossil fuels, cleaned packaged, prepared for your near instant use in buildings powered by coal electricity.

        Honestly? You don’t see the disproportion in a dollar hamburger and a $5 salad??? Surely your kidding! That hamburger “cost” the environment plenty too. Once the animal was fattened it had to be processed and then kept “fresh/frozen” being trucked to who knows where. Veggies do fine at 65 degrees – Already that beats -32 whether it’s trucking or keeping them in stores/homes. And BTW – I haven’t eaten in a “fast food joint” or restaurant in almost 3 years. Everything in my tummy is “homemade” goodness.

        >>>Yeah I heard about the population bomb for many many years now. Must have a delayed fuse….

        If you don’t believe that we need to curb our incessant growth before we tip “carrying capacity” of the planet then I don’t think you understand anything about the world’s resources. As it is – If everyone in the world were to consume like “civilized” countries – We’d need 3 more planets to sustain us. Believe or not – I think you’ll find even the good animal ag folks are aware of the looming problems of (too) “many mouths to feed”.

        >>>I think following the Ten Commandments is probably going to get us there quicker. (BTW “Thou shall not eat meat” is not one of them)

        But “Thou shall not kill” is. ;)

      • >>Hi Keith… I believe Ty was looking for alternatives

        Actually, YOU’RE the one who has to come up with viable alternatives
        to animal based nitrogen since in your opinion we shouldn’t
        husband animals anymore. As I said, compost is NOT a viable
        alternative to other forms of nitrogen. This is gardening 101 stuff.

        >>It’s practical

        Thus its not practical. Besides the nitrogen loss, composting human
        remains would be EXTREMLY hazardous. Human carcasses contain pathogens
        transferable to other humans. This is far less an issue with animals
        as most of those pathogens are not transferable. There is a reason
        why there are burial regulations pertaining to depth of burial, etc.
        The only way to capture the nitrogen potential would be to macerate,
        sterilize,and reconstitute grandma (using high amounts of fossil fuel)
        and bag her as a soylent green ferterlizer product available at Home Depot.
        Yeaupppp that will fly. Might as well just convert those fossil fuels
        to a more efficient petro ferterlizer. Once again this demonstrated
        how the veggie-only idea is not well thought and not based on reality.

        >>But as I mentioned touchy and “sensitive”.

        Well that’s an understatement! Not only impractical,
        It will never be accepted culturally in the west in my lifetime or if ever.

        >>>I really see very little difference in visiting old grandma’s grave
        (where she is decomposing in an enviromentally unfriendly box and weed/insect proof lawn)
        or a veggie patch…

        Why am I not surprised you see no difference? You think convincing people to
        go veggie is hard, just try convincing them also to do that would require grandpa
        should be put in granular form on a shelf at Lowes for someones rose bush..

        So far, I see very little way you could sustain pure vegetable only food
        production without animal nitrogen or petro-chemicals. Before one preaches
        the morality of veg only, they ought to get the technical issues resolved first.

        And speaking of veggies, if I am to take the animal rights viewpoint
        of all life being precious and we have no right to take it,
        carrots want to live just like any “precious” living thing. Just because they are not sentinent and are not conscious of a “want”, the will to live is implied. And that doesn’t mean their life is of less worth.

    • TY – You’re an ag student right? Surely you know that ecoli originates in the gut of every living being. Ecoli, Salmonella, norovirus, Campylobacter all live in the bowels of animals. You, me, the cow, the cat, etc. This does prove my point however (as I mentioned about the possibility of turning the planet into a sewer) — If animal ag/”livestock production” continues and escalates we will start running out of places to put the poop. As already seen with all “vegetable” ecoli/salmonella, etc. outbreaks and recalls… The problem is farmers spraying too much sh!t on human food crops.

      en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Escherichia_coli Research till you are knee deep in it yourself… No carrot, tomato, cabbage, or bean has the “ecoli” bacteria as part of it’s composition. It is ALWAYS introduced by animal waste… Obviously mega farms being the largest violators.

      I hope this makes sense to you and helps you see why not only “animal rights” activists are against animal ag but most informed environmentalists and health-conscious people as well.

      • Yes e-coli is everywhere, which is why it is a lame argument against meat. Yes those e-coli contaminated veggies are grown with the poop of animals you no longer want us to raise….no animals=no fertelizer poop=no veggies. And we are not running out of places to put “poop”…It is used to ferterlize those veggies you hold so dear…and as the price of petro-ferterlizer rises, the value of animal based ferterlizer has increased. I used orgnaic-approved chicken litter from a Perdue Chickin farm to ferterlize my “wholesome” food grade organic wheat that I bet some vegan has self righteously consumed somewhere over dinner while preaching against the evils of Perdue chicken meat.

        And how come no one has answered this question:

        How are we to fertilize the vegetables if we no longer use oil-based feterlizers and we no longer do animal husbandry with its fertelizer byproduct, both of which vegans are against?

      • >>>And how come no one has answered this question:

        How are we to fertilize the vegetables if we no longer use oil-based feterlizers and we no longer do animal husbandry with its fertelizer byproduct, both of which vegans are against?

        Ty there are numerous ways to make soil rich and fertile. To me one of the most obvious sources of compost material comes from the beings we already have so many of: Humans! It’s called “humanure” and it utilizes what’s here already… It would involve converting water-treatment plants to facilities that would also re-cycle the “waste”. As it is now, water-treatment facilities just retain and/or spray the human excrement on to their own property to fertilize grass. What a waste!

        There’s also Vermiculture (Worm Bin Composting). I garden a lot myself, and am always joyful to find plenty of fat worms as it’s an indicator of healthy “living” soil.

        The following is a list of good composting material:
        Cardboard rolls
        Clean paper
        Coffee grounds and filters
        Cotton rags
        Dryer and vacuum cleaner lint
        Fireplace ashes
        Fruits and vegetables
        Grass clippings
        Hair and fur
        Hay and straw
        Houseplants
        Leaves
        Nut shells
        Sawdust
        Shredded newspaper
        Tea bags
        Wood chips
        Wool rags
        Yard & highway grass/brush trimmings

        Finally… A subject difficult for some to embrace but think of the waste human bodies become being “preserved” and embalmed after death. It seems to me that it is our species that always attempts to avoid contributing (even our corpses) to “the circle of life”. Now, are we to be practical or sentimental about our remains? And why?

    • Nice image to promote there Bea, decaying human carcasses lying all over the planet. Talk about one unbearable smell. I used to do search and rescue, you must have no clue as to what a decaying body smells like, it sure don’t smell like an animal carcass I can assure you.

      Hey Little John, lets go down to farmer Smith’s veggie path this Sunday and visit your grandma’s rotting corpse and pick up some corn while we’re there.

      • “Hey Little John, lets go down to farmer Smith’s veggie path this Sunday and visit your grandma’s rotting corpse and pick up some corn while we’re there.”

        LOL! That there is funny! Can you imagine what a human compost pile would look like? Who would be the lucky dog responsible for turning the pile!LOL! My Dad always did say to bury him “in the manure pile”..and all along I thought he was joking….

      • Hi Keith… I believe Ty was looking for alternatives and re-using human bodies as compost is certainly a viable one. It’s practical… But as I mentioned touchy and “sensitive”.

        Now why would we have human bodies lying about? Why not “process” them too? And why is it that a nonhuman carcass is viewed as “food” but a human one is revolting?

        The odor and sanitary issues are exactly the same for farms that must dispose of dead “stock”. Unless they incinerate or bury the bodies they decompose just like a human’s would.

        I really see very little difference in visiting old grandma’s grave (where she is decomposing in an enviromentally unfriendly box and weed/insect proof lawn) or a veggie patch… That’s what ya’ll keep saying right? “Circle of life” – where does the human body fit in that scheme Keith?

  15. If vegans where “honest”, they would understand that they will never convince the majority of mankind to disavow animal products. The reasons is becasue it goes against basic human nature. We were made to consume meat. We have been doing it since pre-hitory. Most people find it very tasty. The side benefits far outweigh the negatives. Your never going to change that. Heck, we cant even convince people to stop doing things AGAINST human nature like drugs and smoking. It reminds me of the failure of Communism. It failed because it could not overcome the basic human nature of self-interest. The only way veganism and communism can be enforced is thru totalitarianism, and that obviosuly is not an answer.

    So instead of tiliting at windmills, perhaps the animal rights crowd should concede the reality of animal use and instead focus on promoting the humane treatment and slaughter of animals without using it as a vehicle for their unsustainable and unrealistic agenda.

    Personally I am all for the humane treatment of animals. Its the least we can do for a creature that will ultimately serve mankind.
    I have always wanted to pasture meat animals. I like the concept of the mobile slaughtering unit. The animals can be killed with a shot
    right where they are lounging. No stress, no fear, never knew what hit them. Thats the way I would do it if I were to engage in the business. The offal is composted onsite and nourishes the soil.
    The meat has been said to be much tastier than CAFO raised, no anti-biotics, the animal is usually pasterured,treated well, and the farmer makes better $ by selling a premium product. Its a beautiful example of the circle of life. THAT is the kind of thing the animal rights should be promoting. They would garner a hell of a lot more
    respect as a result.

    • >>> We were made to consume meat.

      How so? First the humor: Put an apple and a rabbit in a crib with a child… If he plays with the apple and eats the rabbit you’ve got yourself a carnivore.

      Now, the serious stuff… Our anatomy is not really designed to digest meat. “The Comparative Anatomy of Eating”, by Milton R. Mills, M.D.
      whale.to/a/comp.html

      Yes we have and “can” eat flesh… But it is not the best food for our bodies. I believe the more we understand the problems the more people WILL opt for alternatives. That truth can be seen in all statistics in “civilized” cultures: Meat-eating is down, becoming passe’, and reserved for fossilized “old school”, narrow minded thinking. And that is why exports are becoming so very important for the meat industries… They know they will eventually loose their market in more progressive countries that have a plenitude of better alternatives.

      >>>We have been doing it since pre-hitory.

      Perhaps, when there were no other choices… Even that I could argue though – The animals had to eat plants first… Hunting “game” was risky… Odds are we were opportunistic ominivores who ate whatever was available: grubs, insects, carrion, etc.

      >>>Most people find it very tasty.

      “Taste” shouldn’t determine ethics.

      AND I’d also vehemently disagree that plant based foods aren’t delicious! I am very satisfied with my food… I eat more variety now than in my 50 years of “beef, pork or chicken”… Now THAT’s boring! Besides… What’s so “yummy” about tendons, fat, tumors, growths, scar tissue, veins and blood? No thanks…

      >>>The side benefits far outweigh the negatives. Your never going to change that.

      I think that’s yet to be seen…

      >>>Heck, we cant even convince people to stop doing things AGAINST human nature like drugs and smoking.

      Those are self-inflicted ills. Most people don’t mind doing something awful to themselves but draw the line at harm to others.

      >>>It reminds me of the failure of Communism. It failed because it could not overcome the basic human nature of self-interest.

      I say “self-interests” includes living a moral life. You can’t put a price on a clear conscience. ;)

      >>>The only way veganism and communism can be enforced is thru totalitarianism, and that obviosuly is not an answer.

      No one is forcing me or millions of others to be vegan – Yet here we are! And growing in numbers all the time! ;)

      >>>So instead of tiliting at windmills, perhaps the animal rights crowd should concede the reality of animal use and instead focus on promoting the humane treatment and slaughter of animals without using it as a vehicle for their unsustainable and unrealistic agenda.

      But for the multitude of reasons I’ve already cited it is NOT unsustainable or unrealistic… It is INEVITABLE if we are to succeed as a species.

      >>>Personally I am all for the humane treatment of animals. Its the least we can do for a creature that will ultimately serve mankind.

      “Humane” means to be concerned with the alleviation of suffering. Since these animals are delivered young, healthy and fit for life – What “suffering” are you ending?

      They are not “serving” mankind – They are being killed by us, for us – WITHOUT NECESSITY.

      >>>I have always wanted to pasture meat animals.

      So what exactly is a “meat animal”? If we lived in Asian countries guess you’d have no problem in skinning kittens and puppies?

      >>>I like the concept of the mobile slaughtering unit.

      Your “mobile slaughtering units”… You know they are tax-dollar funded right?

      >>>The animals can be killed with a shot right where they are lounging. No stress, no fear, never knew what hit them. Thats the way I would do it if I were to engage in the business. The offal is composted onsite and nourishes the soil.

      It never fails to amuse me how some people find it “nicer” to remove a perfectly “happy” animal off the face of the earth. So strange – I’d think it almost more “humane” to deliver a miserable, meat-slave from a factory farm then to spoil the life of a contented “beast”.

      Furthermore – Your way Ty simply won’t “feed the world”. Statistically, we have enough land to do it your way, to feed a population the size of Rhode Island… The rest of the meat-eaters would still have to source their flesh from the CAFO’s you dislike.

      Either way, it is my belief that none of us, except through the “justification” of “might” have the right to an Other’s life. It is theirs. It is not our’s to steal from them. All beings value their lives equally – You, me, a frog, cat, cow, dog or pig.

      And I bet anything Ty – That should “advanced” beings from another galaxy come to earth and find humans suitable for use – We’d all scream holy terror at the injustice of it all. All compassion requires is to see yourself in someone else’s skin…

      >>>The meat has been said to be much tastier than CAFO raised, no anti-biotics, the animal is usually pasterured,treated well, and the farmer makes better $ by selling a premium product. Its a beautiful example of the circle of life.

      Ummm… You’re confused. You can’t treat an animal “well” if you’re going to butcher him or her. It’s contrary to logic. And I call that the circle of death.

      >>>THAT is the kind of thing the animal rights should be promoting. They would garner a hell of a lot more respect as a result.

      No… That would be for animal “welfare” not animal “rights”. One wants to utilize a being as a “thing”. The other is after the “well-being” of an autonomous life. Well”being” means continuing on with the precious lives that belong to them – Not us.

      • >>Yes we have and “can” eat flesh… But it is not the best food for our bodies.

        No one single food is the “best”. Meat has a lot going for it. Protein dense, nutrient rich, tasty.

        >>I believe the more we understand the problems the more people WILL opt for alternatives.

        To each his own. But don’t try to legislate away my right to choose meat.

        >> That truth can be seen in all statistics in “civilized” cultures: Meat-eating is down, becoming passe’

        Really?: animalfreedom.org/pics/global-meat-consumption-projected.jpg

        >> and reserved for fossilized “old school”, narrow minded thinking.

        Ahh—if one doesn’t agree with you, it must be “narrow minded” so much for “tolerance” eh?…

        >>Hunting “game” was risky…

        But still worth it obviously. Man knew early on it was well worth the trouble.

        >>“Taste” shouldn’t determine ethics.

        But it sure as hell can determines what we want to eat. Taste is important.

        >>AND I’d also vehemently disagree that plant based foods aren’t delicious! I am

        To each his own…If veggies were so much more tasty than meat, we would not be eating meat.

        >>What’s so “yummy” about tendons, fat, tumors, growths, scar tissue, veins and blood? No thanks…

        Well actually, none of those things are actually “meat” But certainly edible and often delicious. Ever try mountain oysters, kishka?

        >>>(The side benefits far outweigh the negatives. Your never going to change that.) I think that’s yet to be seen…

        Well after thousands of years of successful use, I think that’s been established already.

        >>Those are self-inflicted ills. Most people don’t mind doing something awful to themselves but draw the line at harm to others.

        Yes, so we cant even stop people from harming themselves, and you excpect to convince most people to stop eating something yummy and nutritious! Good Luck!!

        >>>(It reminds me of the failure of Communism. It failed because it could not overcome the basic human nature of self-interest.) I say “self-interests” includes living a moral life. You can’t put a price on a clear conscience. ;)

        My conscience is clear and my morals complete.

        >>No one is forcing me or millions of others to be vegan – Yet here we are! And growing in numbers all the time!

        The h*ll you are! No one is opposed to you spreading your “religion”. But what is opposed is the legal attempts to restrict our freedom to use animals. Some are blatant such as trying to confer “rights” on animals, but most are attempts to chip away at those rights thru legislation under the guise of animal welfare.

        >>>But for the multitude of reasons I’ve already cited it is NOT unsustainable or unrealistic…

        Disagree…the benefits lost to mankind if we stopped using animals is far beyond what we can reasonably tolerate.…I went to a vegan site and they listed the benefits of animals and their alternatives…a lot of them were “synthetic”…in others words OIL. Can you say “Drill Baby Drill” Vegan? And when the oil is all gone? Animals are renewable, oil is not.

        >> “Humane” means to be concerned with the alleviation of suffering. Since these animals are delivered young, healthy and fit for life – What “suffering” are you ending?

        Humane doesn’t just mean “alleviate” That implies suffering is already occurring, and you stated is not happening to born animals in most cases. It also means unnecessary infliction, but that does not mean we can not use animals as they are of immense benefit to mankind.

        >>They are not “serving” mankind – They are being killed by us, for us – WITHOUT NECESSITY.

        Says you. The products of animals serve man quite well. From Steaks to Glue to heart valves….and then there is that problematic veggie ferterlizer issue….

        >> So what exactly is a “meat animal”? If we lived in Asian countries guess you’d have no problem in skinning kittens and puppies?

        A meat animal is an animal you are going to eat. You didn’t know that? (Geez!) Different cultures have different examples of such. If they want to eat kittens and puppies that’s fine with me. Not my choice of meat as my culture uses them as pets, but to each his own. I wish they would take that snotty cat and yappy dog my wife owns and serve them up to someone. Would be the first useful thing those two irritating animals have ever done. (Not that I hate dogs and cats in general,…Just these two examples in particular)

        >>Your “mobile slaughtering units”… You know they are tax-dollar funded right?

        Yes. And they should not be.

        >>It never fails to amuse me how some people find it “nicer” to remove a perfectly “happy” animal off the face of the earth.

        Well, by nicer we mean the method of slaughter, not the desire to harvest, or as you so dramatically put “remove a perfectly “happy animal off the face of the earth” (LOL!). But yes isn’t it nicer to take down an animal with no stress, or fear?. Is wanting that for an animal you are going to kill somehow a bad thing? Or should we terrorize the snot out of an animal before we kill it? (and ruin the meat to boot)

        >>Furthermore – Your way Ty simply won’t “feed the world”. Statistically, we have enough land to do it your way, to feed a population the size of Rhode Island… The rest of the meat-eaters would still have to source their flesh from the CAFO’s you dislike.

        There is plenty of middle ground between CAFO and pastured beef.

        >>Either way, it is my belief that none of us, except through the “justification” of “might” have the right to an Other’s life. It is theirs. It is not our’s to steal from them.

        I disagree. In nature, higher animals have all the “right” in the world to eat other lower life forms. As do we. Its only natural.

        >>All beings value their lives equally – You, me, a frog, cat, cow, dog or pig.

        Yes, but not all lives are equal. I would stand knee deep in pig blood to give my Dad that heart valve…because not all lives are equal. …. House fire. Save your daughter or the dog?

        >>>And I bet anything Ty – That should “advanced” beings from another galaxy come to earth and find humans suitable for use – We’d all scream holy terror at the injustice of it all. All compassion requires is to see yourself in someone else’s skin…

        I was wondering when that one would come up! If that happened…oh well! on goes the circle of life! LOL! I would like to know what kind of exotic spices would be used as found in the book “How to Serve Man”

        >>>Ummm… You’re confused. You can’t treat an animal “well” if you’re going to butcher him or her. It’s contrary to logic. And I call that the circle of death.

        So giving the animal plenty of fresh air, food, shelter and veterinary care is NOT treating an animal “well”? Perhaps I should then poke them with pitchforks..would that suit you better? We treat them well up to the point of harvest. Doesnt sound illogical to me. “circle of death”? One animal dies so others may live…sounds like life to me….

        >>No… That would be for animal “welfare” not animal “rights”.

        Fine, then they can change their name too.. Whatever. But to confer rights on animals is ludicrous.

        >> Well”being” means continuing on with the precious lives that belong to them – Not us.

        Not by my definition.

      • >>No one single food is the “best”. Meat has a lot going for it. Protein dense, nutrient rich, tasty.

        Meat: Hard to digest – Stays in the colon 4 times as long as plants. This builds up toxins… Not good. Protein is in all foods… We eat twice as much protein as what our bodies require. No “vitamins” in meat – What “nutrients” are you talking about? Tasty? So’s my food. Necessitates the deliberate taking of innocent life – Unnecessary. No thanks.

        >>To each his own. But don’t try to legislate away my right to choose meat.

        I have no problem with people who wish to consume carcasses. In fact if one desires they may troll the interstates dawn and dusk for some tasty morsels. However —- I will till my dying breath defend the lives of innocent victims who are needlessly killed. ;)

        >>Really?: animalfreedom.org/pics/global-meat-consumption-projected.jpg

        Yeah – But that’s mostly third world folks who I’ve already said are under the assumption that meat represents “wealth” and health. You know – Smoking is way down in “industrialized” countries too – But guess what? It has found it’s market in under developed nations. That’s how “progress” goes… It won’t happen “world-wide” all at once… We’ll eeek out the last bit of “profit” by exploiting the poor last.

        And you wouldn’t happen to think this projection is to keep investors, farmers, producers in the financial loop of hope- would you???

        >>Ahh—if one doesn’t agree with you, it must be “narrow minded” so much for “tolerance” eh?…

        No. But you admitted to it yourself… Remember you said that we’ve been eating animals since forever… That it’s “approved” in the ancient scripts, etc. It was YOUR admission that you were a scribe to OLD ways.

        >>Hunting “game” was risky…
        But still worth it obviously. Man knew early on it was well worth the trouble.

        Then – it was an absolute necessity. That or starve. Believe it- of all the macho- “he”men I know if they had to risk their lives now or eat a veggie meal in front of their tv or laptop… They’re eatin’ veggies. ;)

        >>But it sure as hell can determines what we want to eat. Taste is important.

        Sure taste is important… But at what cost to whom?

        And by the way… I’ve served many “mock” meat meals to friends who ate heartily with satisfaction. They were stunned and shocked to discover the meal was “meatless”. ;)

        >>To each his own…If veggies were so much more tasty than meat, we would not be eating meat.

        Please, please – If you don’t go to any other link I list just go to this one… You will see the subsidies that have gone to the meat industry is 63% – fruits, vegetables and nuts received 3% — Now you’re smart enough to know about advertising… Guess who gets their commercials plastered all over tv, radio and billboards? Sure isn’t Delmonte or Green Giant. We’re eating meat because that’s where the money has been poured.
        pcrm.org/news/usda_food_plate_federal_subsidies_meat_dairy_110602.html

        >>>The h*ll you are! No one is opposed to you spreading your “religion”. But what is opposed is the legal attempts to restrict our freedom to use animals. Some are blatant such as trying to confer “rights” on animals, but most are attempts to chip away at those rights thru legislation under the guise of animal welfare.

        Ty – I’ve been around this debate for quite a few years now… I can put money on every time I’ve heard “gOd” gave us permission, blah, blah — So please do not equate this theory of thought, ethics and reasoning with “religion”.

        Yes, it’s true. Many do care about the welfare of animals… Many do want to make conditions for them better. And some – like me – Want to give them the “right” to live without institutionalized harm. You will have to change the way our compassion is leaning to ensure that “your way” remains in tack.

        I’d say that back in pre Civil War times you would have had to convince people opposed to slavery that Negros were really “lower life forms” and that it really wasn’t so bad for them after all… And that it was white man that was made in the image of “gOd”… That might have changed the tide a bit —

        Fortunately though, there were more people who saw through the inequity of it all. As many see it – Nonhumans are aware of their lives. They value their lives equal to the way our beloved cats and dogs do. What is the difference in the way we should treat one and not the other? Like “race” was once an excuse – so is “species” now… But I have no doubts this will all, (in time) change.

        >>>Disagree…the benefits lost to mankind if we stopped using animals is far beyond what we can reasonably tolerate.…I went to a vegan site and they listed the benefits of animals and their alternatives…a lot of them were “synthetic”…in others words OIL. Can you say “Drill Baby Drill” Vegan? And when the oil is all gone? Animals are renewable, oil is not.

        Gosh, I’d like to know which site you went to… But in any case – The alternatives to animal use will not happen over night. It will be a slow progressive “movement” towards this end as we discover better foods, materials and substitutes. Did anyone ever think the pony express would go away? Yet… Now even the US postal service is doomed — Everyone does everything online. It didn’t happen all at once – But it’s happening still. Same with gas lights… And now even old light bulbs are being replaced with new technology. No Ty… It certainly won’t be “oil” that replaces animals.

        >>Humane doesn’t just mean “alleviate” That implies suffering is already occurring, and you stated is not happening to born animals in most cases. It also means unnecessary infliction, but that does not mean we can not use animals as they are of immense benefit to mankind.

        Ummm… “humane”-—adjective
        1.characterized by tenderness, compassion, and sympathy for people and animals, especially for the suffering or distressed

        Synonyms
        1. merciful, kind, kindly, kindhearted, tender, compassionate, gentle, sympathetic; benevolent, benignant, charitable.

        Antonyms
        1. brutal.

        And you really, really think you can squeeze “slaughter” into this definition???

        So if I’m not a brute… And I don’t inflict pain upon the feeble old man across the street – I’m being “humane”. Huh?

        Compassion does not mean to do the very “least” to be kind… (Like “kindly” putting a bolt gun to a living being’s brain) But the most – like not putting the gun there at all.

        >>Says you. The products of animals serve man quite well. From Steaks to Glue to heart valves….and then there is that problematic veggie ferterlizer issue….

        Again – Follow the money. What symbols are on Wall Street? What’s the first word for money? Capital – which meant “head” or “livestock”.

        I’ll repeat myself – There’s nothing that proves we’re at an apex of progress because of animal use. Nothing.

        The system is ancient I’ll admit… Doesn’t mean it’s right though.

        >>A meat animal is an animal you are going to eat.

        Well that should include humans too right? Certain cultures did (and still do) consume humans. You’re okay with this right? If not. Why not?
        reuters.com/article/2011/05/17/us-russia-crime-idUSTRE74G5F820110517

        >>But yes isn’t it nicer to take down an animal with no stress, or fear?.

        And isn’t it even nicer still to not take down the animal at all? Golden Rule… You wouldn’t want someone to do that to you – why do it to someone else (who’s weaker)?

        >>There is plenty of middle ground between CAFO and pastured beef.

        Maybe for now… Say that in 35-50 years. Ain’t happening.

        >>I disagree. In nature, higher animals have all the “right” in the world to eat other lower life forms. As do we. Its only natural.

        Well, what works in nature should work for us right? I should be able to abuse, mistreat or “use” who ever is weaker than I. I should be able to bully/kill/eat whom ever I wish, regardless of species. If not then your not being consistent with your “chain” of “rights” and domination. It is subjective. And if it can be subjective for humans… I say it can be subjective for all living beings.

        Nonhumans do not have the alternatives we do. Some animals require “meat” to survive. If a bear, lion or wolf could walk into a superstore and select any plant-based food to nourish himself with and he still chose to kill we’d call him dangerous and evil. Now if it works with those creatures — Why not with us?

        “If we cut up beasts simply because they cannot prevent us and because we are backing our own side in the struggle for existence, it is only logical to cut up imbeciles, criminals, enemies, or capitalists for the same reasons.” ~C.S. Lewis

        >>House fire. Save your daughter or the dog?

        How about save a stranger’s daughter or MY dog?

        Or how about save MY dog or Ted Bundy? Jeffry Dahmer? Hitler?

        That’s entirely different now isn’t it?

        The thing is – Life is not a lifeboat. It’s not an us or them situation! We aren’t eating animals that are attacking us… Or “overpopulating” the earth… Or a threat in any way. We’re eating docile, peaceful herbivores. There is no “kill or be killed” here… No burning building! We have choices. :)

        >>>I was wondering when that one would come up! If that happened…oh well! on goes the circle of life! LOL! I would like to know what kind of exotic spices would be used as found in the book “How to Serve Man”

        But that’s not true… You would scream holy terror at the injustice. I’d bet anything on it!

        >>>So giving the animal plenty of fresh air, food, shelter and veterinary care is NOT treating an animal “well”? Perhaps I should then poke them with pitchforks..would that suit you better? We treat them well up to the point of harvest. Doesnt sound illogical to me. “circle of death”? One animal dies so others may live…sounds like life to me….

        Ugh! “Harvest” — Jeeze but you can distort the English language.

        Sounds like one animal is killed so a human with other choices may indulge their taste buds… Sounds selfish to me. Not necessary. Not kind. Not considerate. Not compassionate. And not humane. Sorry.

        >>Fine, then they can change their name too.. Whatever. But to confer rights on animals is ludicrous.

        But that’s what they said before they gave women “rights” and blacks… And American Indians… They said it was preposterous!

        “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice”
        ~ML King

        “Until we extend our circle of compassion to all living things, humanity will not find peace.” ~Albert Schweitzer, The Philosophy of Civilization

        “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated…I hold that, the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by [people] from the cruelty of [human kind]”—Mahatma Gandhi

        “Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.”—Albert Einstein

        With such wisdom as stated above I have every reason to continue fighting for animal “rights” as an extension of my own rights. ;)

  16. If we composted 100% of the below we would have no where near enough to ferterlize. Furthermore, many, if not most, composts are low in nitrogen, and nitrogen is what we are trying to get. And to top it off, many of the below products have their own issues. For instance, grass clippings…pesticide residue? Certain crop rotations can provide some nitrogen, but that will restrict what you can grow.
    You know what makes good compost? The proper combination of “greens and browns” Greens being plant matter, browns being…poop! Uh oh we have another problem dont we!!! Poop provides the needed nitrogen for porpoer compost creation. This issue is HUGE and vegans are whistling past the graveyard.

    Human waste as ferterlizer? So lets dump all those pharmaceuticals in the human feces into the soil! Not to mention it is full of harmfull bacteria. The e-coli outbreaks are often traced to veggies ferterlized for human waste.

    Peoples bodies? So are you going to FORCE everyone to give up their bodies to the STATE for composting? (You would need to do that) Sorry most world cultures wouldnt go for that. You are not being realistic.

    >>> Cardboard rolls
    Clean paper
    Coffee grounds and filters
    Cotton rags
    Dryer and vacuum cleaner lint
    Fireplace ashes
    Fruits and vegetables
    Grass clippings
    Hair and fur
    Hay and straw
    Houseplants
    Leaves
    Nut shells
    Sawdust
    Shredded newspaper
    Tea bags
    Wood chips
    Wool rags
    Yard & highway grass/brush trimmings

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