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mskerr

Forget Veganism, eat wild game!

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Hi all,

I was reading Serious Eats this morning. One of the writers is going vegan for a month as an experiment, just seeing what it's all about, presumably coming to some sort of opinion, and meanwhile sparking lots of discussion. As an ex-vegan who is now totally anti-vegan, I have some strong views on the subject. My comment turned into possibly the longest single comment ever in the history of serious eats. I figured I might as well post it here too... These sort of topics always seem to provoke a lot of discussion!

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I was vegetarian for eight years and vegan for five. What a mistake! I totally regret it. I was always hungry, annoyingly self-righteous, and dreaming of the foods I was depriving myself of. And for what? Now I am a happy, guilt-free omnivore. I lost 30 lbs after ditching the soy ice cream and constant grazing, actually felt satisfied for the first time in years, got more energy, and am now a happier person who enjoys life much more. And no, contrary to PETA, I did not turn into an acne-ridden, flatulent blob of colon cancer after taking up meat and dairy again. In contrast, it blows my mind that I ever thought myself healthy while eating a diet of ultra-processed veg substitutes which bear no resemblance to anything in nature.

I am a total greenie, love the environment, love animals, love plants, and hate to waste anything. Many vegetarians, vegans, and activist groups like PETA paint a black-and-white picture: either you are an evil person who doesn't care about the suffering of animals (and, according to PETA, you will be punished by dying a terrible premature death) or you are a kinder, gentler animal-lover who is saving the environment by buying soy versions of everything. Luckily, this is not the case at all. I think this misunderstanding is due in large part to the fact that for many Americans, everything comes from the store. In many stores, your only meat options are eggs from diseased caged chickens or beef from cows that lived in horrible confinement, were pumped full of antibiotics and hormones, and were fed a totally unnatural diet of the corn scraps left over from the high fructose corn syrup factory. Luckily, there are many ways to enjoy the wonder that is meat and dairy while benefitting your health, the animals, and the environment all at the same time, including eating humanely-raised meat or, best of all, wild game, raising your own chickens if you've got a bit of space, fermenting dairy, etc. It may not be the instant gratification of going to the market and buying everything immediately. It may take a bit of time to source things or make connections or go hunting, but hey, good things sometimes take a bit longer, and it's usually worth it.

A couple cases in point:

-Wild boar were introduced by explorers to countries all over the world. In many places, they are totally destructive to native habitats. Think Hawaii and New Zealand, for example. Wild boar are terribly destructive in these delicate environments. Wild boar are also delicious, and free of hormones and antibiotics. They are also absolutely free to shoot. So, hundreds of pounds of delicious, free-range, wild, hormone-free, antibiotic-free meat, including everyone's favorite, bacon, that doesn't cost a cent? I'll take that over soy grown on a massive industrial farm in the Midwest, processed god-knows-how into a weird meat lookalike, flavored with artificial bacon flavor from some factory off the New Jersey Turnpike, then sold to many well-intentioned but misinformed vegetarians by some "healthy" company that is actually owned by Philip Morris.

-Deer/delicious wild venison. With the bear, mountain lion, and wolf populations in decline in North America, deer have fewer natural predators. It is not going to harm the deer population for a couple or a family to kill one or two males (not females) a year, which will provide heaps and heaps of, again, delicious, wild, free-range, antibiotic-free, hormone-free meat. The deer lived great lives out in the wild, and were killed humanely. Unlike the hundreds or thousands of deer that die every year as roadkill, any deer shot by a hunter worth his salt is not going to go to waste. Generally speaking, when people shoot animals themselves, they appreciate the animal and do not want to waste any of it. Indeed, hunters arguably appreciate animals far more than many so-called "animal lovers" living detached from the natural world in the city, buying everything from a store, because they have an immediate and realistic understanding of how animals and humans relate to each other in the great scheme of things and in the web of life. And should you still worry that killing one deer a year for meat will harm the population, you can always counteract your impact by say, helping provide some habitat or shelter for the animals that will increase their chances of surviving winter, natural predators, etc.

Also, eating/killing animals should be evaluated in the context of a concrete place, not some moral fantasy world. In New Zealand, for example, deer are a positive nuisance! They were introduced into a country that had no native mammals, whose environment was therefore chock-full of delicate plant and bird populations. They wreak havoc on the environment there, so much so the government for decades paid cullers to shoot as many of them as possible. And all that free-range meat surely would have been a bonus!

- And there's always squirrels, rabbits, frogs... All sorts of meat there for the taking! It doesn't hurt to be able to braise!

-A helluva lot of the land in the world is simply not suitable for growing vegetables or grains. It's suiting for grazing (ex: sheep) but not much else. It's not a black and white scenario, where you could either get 5 lbs of meat versus 1000 lbs of cabbage. It's grazers or nothing, baby. Unless you want to cut out the sheep and eat the grass yourself?

-Quail, pheasants, dove, etc. On our property, we have been actively encouraging the bird populations by feeding them and building shelters from their natural predators (mountain lions, for example.) Next year, the population will be larger, and then we can selectively kill a few to eat - something that is especially useful when you live in the country/mountains where you can very easily get snowed in and cut off from town for long periods of time, not to mention during lean times when there's very little money for groceries from the market - or when you just need a good animal protein dose. And I can guarantee you we will not waste what we kill, because we will appreciate it, and anyway, the quail are our mates around the property! We love having them around and appreciate that at some stage in the near future, we might need them for survival.

As for health, humans lived for thousands of years eating fruit, foraged plants, vegetables, wild game meat, nuts, fish, fermented and preserved foods including fermented (and therefore more digestible) dairy, etc. Doesn't it make sense that our bodies are attuned to this sort of eating? Humans gorged themselves on animal fat when it was available, for health and survival, and I'm quite sure they enjoyed it as well. And they were presumably quite hearty (or else they died) and weren't getting diabetes at age 13. Hmm, is it possible that the health epidemics in this country could have something to do with the ultra-processed, over-sweetened, preservative-laced crap that crowds the supermarket shelves? Look at what's on the shelves: sodas and juices and sweet drinks by the gallon, "energy drinks" that turn your pee bright orange, cereals that are largely nothing more than sugar with a few vitamins added, every possible kind of instant, frozen, microwaveable meal possible, cheetos, beef from cows confined in terrible lots and fed an unnatural diet, beef-flavored instant noodles with msg (oh but they do taste so good!), diseased factory-farmed chicken and eggs, every kind of cookie and candy and cake you could dream of, instant dehydrated mashed potatoes and instant cheese-flavor powder and instant gravy mix and instant peanut butter pie mix, spam and something called "meat product" in a can, soy substitutes with ingredient lists longer than the phone book, "healthy" margarines that beg the question: where's the oil in a vegetable? (remember the Oleo "health" fad?), etc, etc, etc.

The body needs fat and cholesterol to survive. Our brains are pretty fatty, as anyone who has eaten animal brains would know. Our cells need cholesterol to maintain their structure. Fat and cholesterol have been demonized over the last few decades - and we don't seem to be getting healthier. Is it silly to recommend trying to eat more in line with the thousands of years of human history before 150 pound seven-year-olds and juvenile diabetes and people dying of heart attacks at age 23? There is a great book, "Nourishing Traditions" which counters much of the politically correct "nutritional" advice which has basically become dogma over the last decades, and points out how - shocker - lobbyists and industry might have something to do with the results from health "studies" that they themselves fund? On the funnier side, there's the documentary "Fathead" which follows a man who loses more weight eating fast food for a month than Morgan Spurlock did during quite a few months on his girlfriend's "healthy" vegan diet.

I can appreciate that many veg activists are well-intentioned when they hassle meat and dairy eaters about food choices. They don't want to support the meat industry, and I am certainly sympathetic to that. However, the state of the entire food industry in America is the problem, aided by our massive portion sizes, and general inactivity. Meat and dairy in themselves are not a problem. Humans would've been extinct long ago without them. The pioneers would've died long before they ever hit the west coast. Settlers would never have made it through a rough winter without going out and shooting some game meat. Read Little House on the Prairie if you have any doubts about how absolutely critical animal products were to survival in a pre-Whole Foods world. Animal fat and protein are awesome! One thing I know, there's no way my husband could spend a week chopping firewood for the winter and working twelve-hour construction shifts on a vegan diet. Dreaming!

If you are inclined towards activism, rather than attack meat- and dairy- eaters, attack the lobbyists and companies that are directing this drastic change in our diet and how animals are raised. Most of the "kinder, gentler" so-called health food companies are owned by corporations like Philip Morris and Coca-Cola! Not exactly the sort of companies I'd trust to keep my health interests in mind. They're getting rich on soy-Franken-foods and crap disguised as health food, while their well-intentioned customers are bankrupting themselves trying to buy ethically and do their small part to help the environment etc. If you really want to change the system or whatever, cut out these companies altogether! Eat game meat! Befriend hunters! They always have goodies in their freezer and are usually quite happy to barter or give it away, and hunters are everywhere - cities, little hippie towns, you name it. And surely most people have an uncle or cousin-in-law or friend of a friend who hunts? You can get a share in a co-op from someone who raises free-range chickens for eggs in a nearby town, then delivers them to the city. It doesn't matter whether you live in the city, or how much money you have. Great dairy and meat can all be pretty cheap or even free - unless you buy everything at the NYC Whole Foods. You can pay a farmer in a nearby small town to raise one pig a year for you, then slaughter it yourself or pay them to do it, and you'll have a freezer full of all the humane pork you could possibly eat. You can go onto craigslist and post a want ad asking local farmers what they can do for you or describing what you're looking for. If you're short on hunting skills or mates who hunt, but got the bucks, you can order game meat online from all sorts of places. You don't need a very big yard to keep a couple of ducks.There's a thousand different ways to get your hands on some awesome dairy and meat without supporting any companies with dodgy practices, no matter where you are.

Mmm, time for a wild elk steak yet?

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I don't think that your solution is very practical, and even if people would accept it, unlikely to be able to satisfy our world's enormous (and growing) demand for / consumption of meat.

On a related issue (less directed towards the OP) -- those who bring up more-humane animal agriculture, based on pastured animals, which would certainly be better than the current situation in terms of both health and animal welfare -- well, even if Michael Pollan becomes president of the world tomorrow, and even if US consumers were more adventurous eaters, I don't think there is enough meat to sustain the current world demand, let alone future demand, from pastured livestock and wild game only. It's true that some land is not suitable for agriculture and is suitable for animals to graze on, however, that land wouldn't be enough to feed a growing planet. Further, under such a system, unless meat were rationed and priced artificially low, many more people wouldn't be able to afford to eat meat at all.

The fact of the matter, though is that, no matter how much some of us might like for it to go away, industrial agriculture and "factory farming" of animals are here for the foreseeable future.

Whether or not you advocate a vegetarian or vegan diet, I think that anyone who is interested in seeing a more sustainable, humane, and environmentally friendly world needs to advocate a great reduction in meat consumption. So, you don't want to be vegan anymore... fine, but let's agree to agree that our world needs a drastic reduction in consumption of both meat and of processed foods. Further, we (vegans and vegetarians) aren't hurting anyone by eating less meat, and in fact, are making more meat available for the rest of you. Some kind of so-called "paleo" style diet featuring lots of meat (from the sources you mention or otherwise) is not going to feed the entire planet, especially considering the growing affluence, and meat consumption, of much of the developing world.

I think it's clear that most folks in the US and many other Western countries aren't particularly interested in eating wild game -- in fact, even of the foods that people eat, the vast majority of people eat only certain parts of the animal, culinary trends towards "whole-animal" eating notwithstanding, and there is not much interest in meat that is gamey tasting, or comes from sources which people aren't used to (road-kill). As you correctly observe, most people want to get their meat in nice packages at the supermarket. Maybe your solution is one that works for you, but I don't think it's one that's going to be palatable or practical for most, and neither is it going to feed the whole world.

A lot of people are vegetarian or vegan because they don't want to kill animals, and because they know they couldn't kill and butcher an animal. That is certainly how I became vegetarian, almost 20 years ago. Speaking for myself, I would not want to ask someone to hunt or kill on my behalf. While I can understand that hunting may, in some ways, be preferable to industrial animal "agriculture", that doesn't mean I approve of it or wish to benefit from it. We can split hairs over what humans are meant to eat, or what is the ideal diet, but it's clearly been proven that most humans can live happily and healthily without animal products, and even the medical mainstream accepts this as fact. Vegetarian diets don't have to feature mass-produced fake meat based on soy. There are lots of healthy and nutritious things to eat based on vegetables, legumes, and whole grains.

I can appreciate that many veg activists are well-intentioned when they hassle meat and dairy eaters about food choices.

Despite all meat eaters' griping about this, I rarely notice people who are vegetarian hassling non-veg*ns about their eating habits. Newly converted vegetarians, in their zeal, may be a bit annoying in this regard, but then, so are those who are newly converted to meat-eating (case in point). In my experience, this more often tends to go the other way (i.e., people hassling vegetarians about their food choices without provocation).

It's good to see that your self-righteousness hasn't totally vanished, though...


Edited by Will (log)

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Despite all meat eaters' griping about this, I rarely notice people who are vegetarian hassling non-veg*ns about their eating habits. Newly converted vegetarians, in their zeal, may be a bit annoying in this regard, but then, so are those who are newly converted to meat-eating (case in point).

My initial known contact with practicing vegetarians and vegans was somewhat different. They were long-time veg and vegan folk and were so militant and nasty in some of their comments that I wanted nothing to do with any other such person and was grateful when our paths diverged. I have met respectful veg and vegan people since then, some whom I call friends now, but it took quite awhile before the poison from before disappated and I was able to not feel defensive around them.

In my Renaissance Faire volunteer cooking I now happily prepare several vegan as well as vegetarian dishes for our group. I, however, am and always will be a carnivore.

I had an unknown-to-me co-worker, when I worked at a very large enterprise, whose bumper sticker did nothing to help their cause. The "Beef - it's what's for dinner" ad campaign was in full swing. The bumper sticker: "Beef - it's what's rotting in your colon." It did not persuade me, it offended me. Something about catching more bees with honey ...


Edited by Porthos (log)

Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

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Ooh, nice jab there at the end! Haha, all good fun!

Let me clarify a couple things...

What I'm trying to say is more complicated than "forget Veganism, eat wild game" but titles have to be short, so that's a big oversimplification.

This isn't some bs about "saving the world" or "solving the world's problems" or even solving my own town's problems or anything like that. That would be a massive delusion. I'm simply responding to views I have seen and heard espoused, generally by American urbanites and suburbanites, in regards to the personal decisions they make about their diets and the health, environmental, or political reasonings behind them. I'm only directly talking about the US, with a nod to new Zealand, since those are the only places I've lived. Even so, I'm not trying to solve America's problems. That would be the last job in the world I'd want, aside from new products tester at the tofurky factory.

I'm responding to the increasingly popular beliefs that meat is, by nature, unhealthy, bad for the environment, unsustainable, murder, etc. I'm not saying meat is automatically healthy and sustainable and ethical either. Everything is more complex than black or white. I totally agree that many people consume way more meat than is necessary or sustainable- 72 oz steaks are a bit much for lunch, right? This brings up another alternative to going veg, and I think it's pretty popular these days - the semi- or occasional veg. That's how I eat myself - lots of vegetables and beans and such, with a smaller amount of meat incorporated. And I love it, it works for me. A little bit of meat can go a long way, and indeed that's how a lot of people ate in this country until the last few decades - lots of beans with a little bit of salt pork, for example. From what I've heard or read, much of the world population eats exactly this way. a lot of noodles and veg, with a bit of meat, for example. Good stuff.

I'm saying there's a huge range of options for people out there, that there are many different ways to and procure and eat meat, if they want to. Some people don't want to. That's totally cool. Many people deprive themselves of food they do genuinely want to eat though, because of health or environmental or political concerns (I was one), and many of these people would be stoked to know that there way more options out there than the obvious ones. I'm saying that quite often, a false dichotomy pops up, of eating meat and collaborating in the destruction of the environment and torture of animals and fattening of america, vs. not eating meat at all or else shelling out big bucks for the organic or free-range stuff at the store.

When I spent the first 20 years of my life growing up in the jersey suburbs in a pretty typical American family, we got everything from the supermarket. When I read as a youngster how most meat is produced and how the animals were treated, as well as some of PETA's questionable health propaganda, it sickened me and I stopped eating meat altogether. I wish I'd known that there is tons and tons of meat out there that bore no resemblance whatsoever to the meat at our supermarket. In short: I wish I'd known how many options there are, rather than depriving myself of so much healthful, pleasurable food due to the misconception that there was no way to eat meat in a humane and environmentally sustainable and healthy way - and I don't mean it's some miracle way of sustainably feeding the whole world. I mean that it was a way that I could enjoy foods that I loved (bacon, cheese, etc) that reconcile with my own personal beliefs (like caring about the environment).

So: how is it impractical to suggest that, if people enjoy meat but do not eat it because of concerns about how industrial meat is raised, that they consider hitting up a local farmer on craigslist or hitting up a mate or mate of a mate who hunts and probably has more meat in their freezer than they know what to do with? How is it impractical to point out that, if you don't have money for groceries and are hungry, or can't afford the free-range meat at your market and don't want to buy factory farmed meat, that there are literally tons of ( free-range, antibiotic- free, hormone-free, sustainable, etc) meat out there for the taking, much of which ends up as roadkill anyway? To encourage those with environmental concerns to consider eating destructive invasive species? Is it impractical to suggest that, in a world with lots of food shortages and lots of insecurity about the future food supply, that it can be really useful to expand the range of foods, especially meat, you eat, if you're into it? I don't think so. I'm not saying that anyone should do anything in particular. I'm saying there are tons of options out there.

Vegetarian diets can be healthy or unhealthy as can omnivorous or pescatarian diets or any other kind of diet. I consider my veg diet to have been very healthy, all beans and whole grains and vegetables and fruit and olive oil with no refined sugar or flour, with the occasional indulgence of soy ice cream, and you know what? I still was pretty lethargic and was never satiated. My body clearly needed some good old animal protein. So while "studies" (of which there are a million contradictory ones, most funded in some way by some sort of vested financial interest) might "prove" that most people can live happily on a veg diet, I tried it for 13 years and never felt as good or satisfied as I do now. So, for me, it didn't work. Most people I know fall off the bandwagon eventually as well.

It's true that game is an acquired taste for many Americans. Many of them also have never been exposed to it. It doesn't exactly dominate the meat counter. Apparently, lamb is growing in popularity in America, so, hey, things are changing all the time. I think a lot of Americans are becoming more adventurous culinarily. Garlic and avocados were also acquired tastes for many americans half a century ago. Garlic was for smelly immigrants and avocados were just considered weird or something. Exposure, marketing campaigns, and inviting new presentations changed that though- look at 'em now!

Also, I would have to say from experience that tempeh, textured vegetable protein, and vegan soy cheese are not exactly something humans seem to intuitively crave... They are acquired tastes par excellence! And, as food shortages have been brought up, you know what they say - "hunger is a great sauce." Sure, squirrel isn't exactly my preferred meat, but you know what? When the cupboards are empty, it tastes pretty damn good. Good cooking skills never hurt, of course!

I think there's a good trend towards lots of different, reasonable veg, semi-veg, and omnivorous positions these days, so I'm not sure if there are still people on the "meat is murder" trip, but from a wee bit of a historical understanding of what humans ate pre-1940s or 50s or so, I reckon meat deserves a helluva lot of respect for the role that it has played in human's survival throughout the ages, and especially before most Americans lived in cities with everything they could ever want on the shelves of a store within a stone's throwing distance from their home. I'm sure it save plenty of a$$es again in the future, indeed it is all the time.

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I truly feel that omnivore is the way to go, but that most western diets are unbalanced in their use of animal protein. I do have respect for those who choose to go veg or vegan because of ethical concerns. Being willing to walk the walk, when it comes to your beliefs , whether I agree with your conclusions or not is admirable.

One point I would like to make though is that wild game from hunting isn't just free meat. Just ask any serious hunter , and they will tell you that pound for pound after it is all said and done most wild game from hunting usually costs more than just buying freerange organic at the store. I have a friend who is a serious hunter that refers to hunting as "visiting the outdoor grocery store". He broke down the cost for me like this, his time, travel(gas,accomodations occasinally) , processing large animals( most will get a butcher to do their deer or moose for them), storage( he runs 5 chest freezers full of assorted different critters. At the end of the day he figures the cost of a pound of wild game(last time I talked to him he had, bear, moose, goose, duck, partridge, wild boar,alligator,caribou,venison, elk in his freezers) is at least 3 to 4 times what cheap factory raised meat would cost him.


Edited by Ashen (log)

"Why is the rum always gone?"

Captain Jack Sparrow

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I feel that the real question here is why are people so obsessed with what everyone else is eating? Why do you care if I don't eat meat/do eat meat/dislike 90% of all vegetables/eat brussel sprouts like candy/never eat fast food/visit McDonalds every week/put soya sauce on my sushi/always serve completely authentic and traditional "ethnic" meals/enjoy a glass of wine here and there/never ever touch a drop of the stuff/etc.?

I really really don't care what you eat and I have no idea why everyone else is so fixated on the contents of other peoples' plates and shopping baskets. Whether it's being snarky about what "guilty treats" people enjoy or going on and on and on about why particular diets (low carb, no carb, complex carb, only raw food, nothing after 6pm, only soup on the second tuesday of every month beginning with M, etc.) don't or do work, it seems that it is impossible to escape from people telling you what you should or shouldn't be eating.

In my ideal dream world, everyone enjoys what they enjoy eating, and respects that not everyone in the world has the same tastes and beliefs about food.

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I don't care what other people eat.

I love to be invited to a vegan dinner.

I do meatless days regularly.

I am curious:

Do you think it is OK for children to have no food choice in a vegan family?

dcarch


Edited by dcarch (log)

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I too was a veggie for years and hated the idea of animals suffering for me to eat. I was like a stick insect I couldn't gain weight and had no energy. I support Peta and lots of other animal groups, but I am no longer a veggie and I hate that others in the Animal groups judge me because I choose to eat a varied diet of both meat and veg x

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Do you think it is OK for children to have no food choice in a vegan family?

dcarch

This is an interesting question. Personally I am vegetarian and if I ever have children I suppose I would feed them vegetarian food in my house because that's what I make and eat. But as soon as they were old enough to have their own thoughts on the subject (I don't know what that age would be...could be anywhere from around 5 or 6 if they were a thoughtful child) I would make it clear that they are absolutely welcome to choose to eat non-vegetarian food if they wanted. Just don't expect your dear mummy to cook it for you because she doesn't know how!

I know some people would get really outraged at a parent "depriving" their child of meat, but honestly the kid has the rest of their life to choose to eat what they like. So long as it is done healthily (and yes this is possible), I don't see the problem. I lot of people grow up eating things that they later on renounce as being utter rubbish. An example: many people have mothers and fathers who raised them on, in their own words, "awful awful food from cans and packets" but they then grow up to be excellent cooks and make amazing food. Does it really matter that much that they didn't get gourmet food when they were kids? They survived, no?!

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One point I would like to make though is that wild game from hunting isn't just free meat. Just ask any serious hunter , and they will tell you that pound for pound after it is all said and done most wild game from hunting usually costs more than just buying freerange organic at the store. I have a friend who is a serious hunter that refers to hunting as "visiting the outdoor grocery store". He broke down the cost for me like this, his time, travel(gas,accomodations occasinally) , processing large animals( most will get a butcher to do their deer or moose for them), storage( he runs 5 chest freezers full of assorted different critters. At the end of the day he figures the cost of a pound of wild game(last time I talked to him he had, bear, moose, goose, duck, partridge, wild boar,alligator,caribou,venison, elk in his freezers) is at least 3 to 4 times what cheap factory raised meat would cost him.

Good point! I should've qualified what I said about game meat being free. It definitely can be, say if there's deer, rabbits, wild turkeys, etc walking around right in front of you and you're somewhere where you can shoot them. Otherwise, yep there's costs associated with hunting like gas etc, which can range from dirt cheap if you're driving a little truck somewhere relatively nearby, to really expensive if you're driving a big ole v8 truck a couple states away. It's also cheaper if you're processing your own meat, vs paying someone to do it. Five freezers! I want to go to dinner at your mate's house! Is he in Alaska or something? Might be cheaper to move somewhere where it's freezing outside!

So, yeah, game meat can be free if you're lucky, or it may cost a bit, and then there's the folks who pay upwards of $10,000 to fly to places like new Zealand and hire a guide and get all dolled up in fancy gear and get helicoptered into some remote place where they have trophy animals penned up so you're guaranteed a kill.

Sometimes people just like to spend money on hunting because it's their hobby. Like fly-fishers too. You can go catch a fish for free, but gung-ho fishers can spend thousands of dollars on gadgets and gear, cuz they love their hobby so much. It's not like the fish they catch cost them thousands of bucks, it's the hobby part of it. Sort of like I have more dutch ovens than I need, but i just love 'em. After going to Cabela's headquarters in Nebraska, I can see how it would be a cinch to spend thousands of thousands of dollars on outdoor gear, but then again, my husband, being a lo-fi kiwi with a mcguyver-like way with a paper clip and an old button, can pretty much just grab a gun or a knife, and the dogs if it's boar hunting, and go get dinner without any fuss, and skin it and butcher it himself. So, there's a hundred ways to skin a cat, or however the saying goes.


Edited by mskerr (log)

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We could start with eating more seal - Seals blamed for lack of cod recovery.

I'm not big on eating game. I very occasionally cook kangaroo but really only have access to the prepacked supermarket brand, which may be why I haven't been too impressed. My partner doesn't really like meat at all, so we mostly stick to chicken and a little red meat.

I have no problem with people being vegetarian or vegan - personally I find it too hard work to cook healthy tasty vegetarian food but I'm happy when I do. I generally don't have a problem with people eating game if it is sustainably managed. I have moral objections to eating certain species, though.


It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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I'm responding to the increasingly popular beliefs that meat is, by nature, unhealthy, bad for the environment, unsustainable, murder, etc.

I wouldn't say those beliefs are all that popular in this particular forum, at least not that I've noticed. Some of us may aspire to eat less meat overall or more sustainable/responsible/organic meat overall, but egulleters are hardly a band of militant vegans. Who and where are these poor lost souls you feel the need to enlighten?

Forget veganism? No need, I never considered it :raz: Life is too short to eat soy "cheese".


Edited by pastrygirl (log)

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I am curious:

Do you think it is OK for children to have no food choice in a vegan family?

I think it's Ok, same as it's Ok for children to have no food choice in families that feed their kids on nachos and TV dinners. Given all of the health issues facing youth in our country, more vegan kids would probably not be a bad thing. As with just about everything else in life, parents have a right to impose their values on their kids, until they're old enough to earn their own money or move out of the house.

However, it is obviously important for the parents of children to look after their children's nutritional needs, and not feed them on a diet of apple juice and Boca burgers. While that's true for adults too, kids have some specific nutritional needs that aren't as much of an issue for an adult, especially a formerly omnivorous one. If a child has a serious allergy or sensitivity that makes eating a healthy vegetarian diet difficult, I would hope that most parents would take a less hard-line approach.

On top of any possible health and nutrition issues, there are obviously some social issues that would be potentially problematic (what to do when the class is eating birthday cake, or the kids are with friends / relatives who are going to take them to McDonald's) -- these issues aren't confined to vegan children, but the issue is slightly different than with someone who has, say, a serious food allergy. There's also the risk of putting them off veganism for life by making them feel deprived. So, I think a certain amount of flexibility is probably a good idea.

On the personal side of things, I'm a vegetarian, mostly vegan, married to an omnivore. We eat mostly vegetarian at home, but when we go out, we try to go to places which have both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. I think the experience of being with an omnivore definitely makes it harder to put things in super black and white moral terms, and has made me think a lot more about food and ethics. If we have kids, it's pretty much established that they'll eat kind of the way we do, but it will be an interesting thing to negotiate.


Edited by Will (log)

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I'm responding to the increasingly popular beliefs that meat is, by nature, unhealthy, bad for the environment, unsustainable, murder, etc.

I wouldn't say those beliefs are all that popular in this particular forum, at least not that I've noticed. Some of us may aspire to eat less meat overall or more sustainable/responsible/organic meat overall, but egulleters are hardly a band of militant vegans. Who and where are these poor lost souls you feel the need to enlighten?

As I stated at the very beginning, this is a repost of something that was originally a response to a vegan experiment on Serious Eats. Reading the other comments on that page, there are definitely people saying things like "we harm ourselves by eating animal products" and such. Like I said, I reposted my comments here just to spark some discussion with anyone who's interested. Sh@ts and giggles! It's something that interests me and I thought the whole point of these forums was to discuss food? Call me silly.

And yes, I would say that I encounter way more vegetarians and vegans and such now than I did when i was one of the lone vegetarians in my area 15 years ago. Needless to say, there were not vegan cupcake trucks in new jersey back in the 90s.

So, pastry girl, in response to your question, "Who and where are these poor lost souls you feel the need to enlighten?". Short answer: colleges all across the country, cities, especially new York, Portland, San Francisco, little hippie towns... Ever been to Santa Cruz, California? Lots of places.

Too bad Serious Eats already snagged their name, it would've been a perfect name for these forums. Serious Eats is actually quite fun in comparison!

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I find this a really odd statement, and I apologise because I haven't read the whole thread and may have missed something.

"I was vegetarian for eight years and vegan for five. What a mistake! I totally regret it. I was always hungry,"

I was vegetarian for 17 years and vegan for about 10. The only time I was every hungry was perhaps at the end of a 100 mile cycle ride. But then I ate rice and pasta. I also ate leavaned bread - so maybe I wasn't a real vegan depending on how much you empathise with yeast. There are some people who have bad diets. And some annoying people who force their ideas on others. Some are vegan. Some are vegetarian. Some are omnivores.

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Hm.

Well.

I am not personally a vegetarian, but I do post a lot about vegetables, vegan recipes, vegetarian recipes and vegetable-focused dishes.

I have never had these kind of responses from people. I think that has to do, in large part, by how I present myself.

I am not anti-anything, except maybe "anti-food that is not delicious". Life is short; so enjoy it while you can. :wink:

In my ideal dream world, everyone enjoys what they enjoy eating, and respects that not everyone in the world has the same tastes and beliefs about food.

This sums it up, essentially.

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I hate vegans because they're so incredibly sanctimonius. Anyone who kvetches about my chicken thighs gets a lecture on Ivory Coast chocolate slavery, banana republics, and the workings conditions required to make organic food profitable.

After you find out where your Hersheys bar and tomatoes come from, snapping the neck of a chicken doesn't really sound so bad.


Edited by jrshaul (log)

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