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Veganism


Jaymes
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And so, way down in Louisiana, deep in the swamps of the Mississippi Delta, beneath the Spanish moss, alongside the bayous, some of us eGulleteers are having this discussion: California Vegan in Thibodaux, on Fox

Is veganism a viable option only for the wealthy? If you have to scrap just to survive, much less eke out a living, does that necessarily mean that you really have to boil, roast or fry up everything that walks, flies, or swims past? Or could you subsist on things you could cultivate?

And would you really have to kill animals to make belts, shoes, billfolds, decorations for the rumpus room?

Or could you find easily and readily available substitutes hard by the Bayou Teche?

And instead of beef barons and chicken magnates, would we just transfer our hate, scorn and loathing to large corporate bean barons, or corn kings, or watermelon magnates that have cornered the fruit and vegetable markets?

What do you think?

Veganism -- silly, arrogant, impractical and elitist indulgence for the wealthy? Or viable, healthier, preferable and more moral option for us all?

Edited by Jaymes (log)

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Few vegetarians in my circle of friends (mostly Americans) have stuck with strict vegan or macrobiotic diets for an extended period of time. I do know some "mostly vegans". However, few of them can resist sampling a really tasty cheese or even a perfectly made (and responsibly farmed,) steak, if they are presented with it.

:raz:

I've never really asked about this pointedly; but, I know for myself and my wife, it is hard enough to get from scratch food on the table regularly, let alone worry about the balance of proteins and nutrients necessary for veganism.

I think it may be easier now to get things like tofu at the modern american megamart than at any time I can remember in my life.

However, it is interesting how many of the companies that sell "organic," "natural," or vegetarian products are now owned by General Mills, Kraft, or even Phillip Morris. This presents some interesting quandries for those of us trying to purchase responsibly.

There was a fascinating opinion piece in our paper about this recently:

Organic Inc.

A somewhat off topic grocery store pet peeve of mine are the the ubiquitous low carb foods. For example, at my local natural market all they have are regular tortillas and low carb tortillas. I would like to buy regular whole wheat tortillas or pitas; but, they no longer carry them because they are limited by shelf space and have to carry the low carb tortillas for the Atkins folks. The low carb tortillas may have whole grain in them...is carboard a kind of description of their texture?

edited for usage

Edited by eje (log)

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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"And instead of beef barons and chicken magnates, would we just transfer our hate, scorn and loathing to large corporate bean barons, or corn kings, or watermelon magnates that have cornered the fruit and vegetable markets?"

I think we should be careful to separate the issues of corporate agriculture from the veganism vs. carnophilia debate. To a certain extent (and related to eje's post) this confusion has affected the organic sector as well. Organic isn't equivalent to sustainable, and neither is veganism.

Martin Mallet

<i>Poor but not starving student</i>

www.malletoyster.com

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I tend to Jaymes's first definition of veganism in my understanding ("silly, arrogant, impractical and elitist indulgence for the wealthy"), which I believe is terribly inappropriate for a variety of reasons. :raz: I know my limits, so: does anyone have a good, working definition of veganism? Are we just talking about, a la the wikipedia, a total avoidance of animal products of all kinds?

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Vegetarians eat vegetables and no meats, but Vegans are holier than Vegetarians, because they don't eat anything that comes from animals at all -- such as milk and honey. And of course, level 5 vegans are the holiest of them all, as they eat nothing that casts a shadow.

:smile:

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Vegetarians eat vegetables and no meats, but Vegans are holier than Vegetarians, because they don't eat anything that comes from animals at all -- such as milk and honey. And of course, level 5 vegans are the holiest of them all, as they eat nothing that casts a shadow.

:smile:

I had a friend (briefly) that was part of a movement called the "Freely Given."

They could only eat things that were "Freely Given." Get it?

The theory was that plants feel pain, too....so when you cruelly yank stuff out of the ground, and kill them.....you're hurting the poor things. And they've hooked up electrodes to the plants to prove it.

So, according to this theory, beans, corn, nuts, fruits, veggies, which grow and then fall off are fine. As are milk, honey, eggs, all dairy.....discarded snake skins, one supposes...anything that the rest of the earth's creatures "give" to us.

:wacko:

Like I said....we were friends only briefly.

Pass the pork chops and greens, please.

Edited by Jaymes (log)

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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I must admit to being puzzled by the notion that dietary veganism is expensive.

When I look at my shopping cart, the most expensive items are the dairy and the meat items. Tofu where I shop is less expensive than any meat I can buy. And grains and dried legumes (which are the first things I'd think of if all animal products disappeared one day) are even cheaper.

I'm sure that products like flavored soy milk and the like could be expensive, but I don't see that one has to buy them, any more than a non-vegan needs to buy cold smoked salmon or premium ice cream.

Of course, I'm a meat and dairy consumer, so I may be ignorant of the hidden costs of veganism. I'd be interested in hearing from anyone who has practiced it for a considerable amount of time.

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Veganism -- silly, arrogant, impractical and elitist indulgence for the wealthy?  Or viable, healthier, preferable and more moral option for us all?

Generally, yes, I think it is a silly and flawed philosophy. And those people who eat only windfallen fruit? Fine, whatever, knock yourselves out. But don't even get me started on the vegans who raise their children on a vegan diet. And, for that matter, the vegans who put their pets on a vegan diet.

Now that really upsets me.

Provided I don't have to travel long-term with a vegan and/or cook for one on a regular basis, the only thing that really disturbs me is the blatant and absurd amount of self-deception that occurs in so many vegan kitchens. Living in denial is silly, sure. The vegans I know who live on processed foods made of isolated soy proteins and smoothies made with frozen fruit are going nowhere with the health argument, as far as I'm concerned.

I love animals. I live with some. I eat other animals, with gratitude. Somehow, I have managed to convince myself that I am less hypocritical than a vegetarian wearing a leather jacket. But uninformed vegans who abstain from animal products due to ethical priniciples have a responsibility to be consistent and knowledgeable about their lifestyle. I like to know, for instance, where my chickens come from and how they were raised. So, maybe start by doing some research to make sure it's the cows who are benefitting from their statement, and not, well, someone awful. And scary.

I have a hard time believing the folks who claim that they do it because they feel better on a vegan diet. Show me a veteran of veganism with good skin and hair, and I'll start believing.

Vegetarians are an entirely different species, methinks. I am more forgiving when it comes to them.

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I know a fruititarian (eats only fruit -- really) on the logic that only fruit grows to be eaten. Doesn't do dairy, though, so there's one hole in that logic....

Somehow the idea of ripping off a plant's reproductive structures for enjoyment (and then casting off the seeds to a place where they will for all intensive purposes never give rise to a new plant) doesn't seem significantly less cruel than eating meat. I believe in equal rights for all (i.e: eat everything :biggrin: ).

Martin Mallet

<i>Poor but not starving student</i>

www.malletoyster.com

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Somehow the idea of ripping off a plant's reproductive structures for enjoyment (and then casting off the seeds to a place where they will for all intensive purposes never give rise to a new plant) doesn't seem significantly less cruel than eating meat. I believe in equal rights for all (i.e: eat everything :biggrin: ).

No, no, you're doing the plant a favor. You eat the fruit (including the seed in some instances) and then cast the seeds off to a place where they won't be competing with their parents for resources. And you provide fertilizer as well.

Fruit is the plant's way of bribing you to distribute its seeds.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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I must admit to being puzzled by the notion that dietary veganism is expensive.

When I look at my shopping cart, the most expensive items are the dairy and the meat items.  Tofu where I shop is less expensive than any meat I can buy.  And grains and dried legumes (which are the first things I'd think of if all animal products disappeared one day) are even cheaper. 

I'm sure that products like flavored soy milk and the like could be expensive, but I don't see that one has to buy them, any more than a non-vegan needs to buy cold smoked salmon or premium ice cream. 

Of course, I'm a meat and dairy consumer, so I may be ignorant of the hidden costs of veganism.  I'd be interested in hearing from anyone who has practiced it for a considerable amount of time.

I agree - meat is generally much more expensive than vegetables, grains, etc. I ate vegetarian my first year at university, and I spent waaay less money on groceries than most people I knew. Granted this was because I cooked just about everything from scratch (eating vegetarian Weight Watchers frozen dinners for a year, for example, would probably be rather expensive), but all the same, my major expenses were nuts and cheese, and this was really only because I love nuts, and eat a lot of them, and I love cheese, and tend to splurge on nice ones rather than bricks of supermarket cheddar. I could buy a week's worth of tofu for 1,35$ (Canadian) - I don't think you'd be able to find a week's worth of meat at that price (at least, I hope not!)

Cutting the lemon/the knife/leaves a little cathedral:/alcoves unguessed by the eye/that open acidulous glass/to the light; topazes/riding the droplets,/altars,/aromatic facades. - Ode to a Lemon, Pablo Neruda

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Veganism -- silly, arrogant, impractical and elitist indulgence for the wealthy?  Or viable, healthier, preferable and more moral option for us all?

Generally, yes, I think it is a silly and flawed philosophy. And those people who eat only windfallen fruit? Fine, whatever, knock yourselves out. But don't even get me started on the vegans who raise their children on a vegan diet. And, for that matter, the vegans who put their pets on a vegan diet.

Now that really upsets me.

Provided I don't have to travel long-term with a vegan and/or cook for one on a regular basis, the only thing that really disturbs me is the blatant and absurd amount of self-deception that occurs in so many vegan kitchens. Living in denial is silly, sure. The vegans I know who live on processed foods made of isolated soy proteins and smoothies made with frozen fruit are going nowhere with the health argument, as far as I'm concerned.

I love animals. I live with some. I eat other animals, with gratitude. Somehow, I have managed to convince myself that I am less hypocritical than a vegetarian wearing a leather jacket. But uninformed vegans who abstain from animal products due to ethical priniciples have a responsibility to be consistent and knowledgeable about their lifestyle. I like to know, for instance, where my chickens come from and how they were raised. So, maybe start by doing some research to make sure it's the cows who are benefitting from their statement, and not, well, someone awful. And scary.

I have a hard time believing the folks who claim that they do it because they feel better on a vegan diet. Show me a veteran of veganism with good skin and hair, and I'll start believing.

Vegetarians are an entirely different species, methinks. I am more forgiving when it comes to them.

Most have a problem obtaining vitimain B12 in there diet it's hard work eating the right amount of yeast and vegetable extract to boost this, which then has a knock on affect on there Iron intake. What are these teeth in the front off my mouth for, why dont I have two stomachs! Most of us probably eat too much meat, but we are carnivores are bodies dont lie!

Edited to add I was bought up a vegetarian my brother still is though not for principles but purely because he doesn't like the taste or texture. It's brilliant to see him go at a principled vegetarian, they dont know how to take him.

I'm against what I call styrofoam carnivores, people that think meat comes in a packet with cling film and couldn't kill it but eat it.

Edited by PassionateChefsDie (log)
Perfection cant be reached, but it can be strived for!
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Somehow the idea of ripping off a plant's reproductive structures for enjoyment (and then casting off the seeds to a place where they will for all intensive purposes never give rise to a new plant) doesn't seem significantly less cruel than eating meat. I believe in equal rights for all (i.e: eat everything :biggrin: ).

No, no, you're doing the plant a favor. You eat the fruit (including the seed in some instances) and then cast the seeds off to a place where they won't be competing with their parents for resources. And you provide fertilizer as well.

Fruit is the plant's way of bribing you to distribute its seeds.

I don't really want to make a big deal out of it, since it was intended as a bit of a tongue in cheek (apologies if your remark was also facetious), but I tend to deposit seeds from the plants I eat into Halifax Harbour, via the sewage system.

I'm sure you draw the line somewhere...

I'm sure that one could come up with something that I would refuse to eat but I would say that, in general, I will eat pretty much anything that has been treated with a modicum of respect (i.e: no live monkey brain ! ). I think this is the point I'm really trying to make.

The simple fact is, no matter where you draw the line, when you eat something, ANYTHING, you kill it. And, being a biology student, I can tell you that in my view plants are no less amazing or complex or deserving of life than a cow or a bacteria or whatever. I embrace the food that I eat, and try to ensure that it came from a happy place. This generally strikes me as a pretty healthy outlook, rather than drawing some sort of artificial line on the tree of life and saying "killing anything on this branch is unethical and wrong, the other 99.999% of life on earth is ok".

Martin Mallet

<i>Poor but not starving student</i>

www.malletoyster.com

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I am so totally *not* a vegetarian, but I never quite understand the ire and disdain the mention of any kind of vegetarianism or veganism seems to arouse in some folks. And lest folks on this thread feel a bit put on the spot by this statement, I don't only mean just here--I've seen it all over and everywhere.

Surely there are vegans who are dumb about their veganism. I've seen 'em and heard 'em myself. But dumbness (alas) is an equal-opportunity phenomenon. I've seen and heard examples of people of every type of food preference, from full-on carnivores to full-on vegans, making what I would judge to be dumb statements and choices about their particular food choices; I've also witnessed examples from every position on the food-preference spectrum of wise and well-informed statements and choices.

So why, I wonder, the especial ire aimed at the veg end of the spectrum? And if your response is "because vegans say and do such stupid things about their food choices," I would gently request that you please re-read the previous paragraph about my observation that such stupidity is not a unique aspect of veganism, and ask yourself in all seriousness whether stupid things sometimes said and done by some carnivores have ever tempted you to similarly dismiss all carnivores as stupid.

Thank you.

Edited by mizducky (log)
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I can only speak for myself, but my ire is arisen by the general argument that killing X is immoral, but killing Y is perfectly fine. I can relate to vegetarians or vegans who make their dietary choices for what they believe will make them healthier but I simply cannot fathom the argument that killing animals (in the case of vegetarians) or consuming animal products (in the case of vegans), irrespective of the way they were treated or slaughtered, is somehow inherently cruel and/or unethical.

Martin Mallet

<i>Poor but not starving student</i>

www.malletoyster.com

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The simple fact is, no matter where you draw the line, when you eat something, ANYTHING, you kill it. And, being a biology student, I can tell you that in my view plants are no less amazing or complex or deserving of life than a cow or a bacteria or whatever. I embrace the food that I eat, and try to ensure that it came from a happy place. This generally strikes me as a pretty healthy outlook, rather than drawing some sort of artificial line on the tree of life and saying "killing anything on this branch is unethical and wrong, the other 99.999% of life on earth is ok".

Amen to that. As a fellow bio person, I've never bought the argument that just because an organism is animated or has certain nerve receptors that it's wrong to kill it. We all die, and other animals (lest we forget that humans are animals) act as hunters or predators. We have pointy flesh-tearing incisors for teeth. Sounds pretty natural to me.

As for the health argument, well, an herbivore can choose a healthful diet or not. So can omnivores.

I suppose religious beliefs as a foundation for vegism I have no problem with. I'm not out to proselytize.

Which brings me to mizducky's comment. I've never met a proselytizing carnivore, but several proselytizing vegans. Please, eat and let eat!

As for the financial discussion, on the individual level, vegism is probably less of an issue than being able to eat healthfully on a lean budget if you're not prepared to cook for yourself. If you're relying on inexpensive packaged or prepped foods, I think it's just difficult to get a balanced diet.

On the macroeconomic level, and the reason I started the thread on the Louisiana board was sort of a philosophical wondering -- if proselytizing vegans achieved the goal of all humans going vegan, then what happens to communities (like the Cajun family on Trading Spouses) who rely on killing animals (for food, for leather, what have you)?

Bridget Avila

My Blog

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Which brings me to mizducky's comment.  I've never met a proselytizing carnivore, but several proselytizing vegans.  Please, eat and let eat!

Ah. Allow me to introduce you to a few proseletizing carnivores:

http://www.karlloren.com/human-raw-meat-diet.htm

http://www.biblelife.org/stefansson1.htm

And there are more out there (Google is fun.)

And I would argue that certain followers of the Atkins/low carb movement do get on an evangelical wavelength about their meat-heavy ways. (And before anyone questions my picking on Adkinsites, (1) note I only said "some" of 'em; (2) I personally have done Adkins; while not solely responsible for my gout, it most definitely provoked my very first, and extremely painful, acute gout attack last year.)

Edited by mizducky (log)
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Personally, I love to eat meat, but not factory farmed meat (or eggs).

That is the personal line I draw in the sand, and everyone's is different.

The vegetarians I know choose to eschew meat or various animal products for many reasons. Some don't like the taste or texture, and have leapt out of their seats at the taste of Texturized Vegetable Protein. Some have religious convictions, are buddist or hindu. Some have concerns with the environmental impact of large scale animal husbandry. Some feel it is healther, and some feel it is ethically wrong to eat anything with a face.

I agree with the person who is contempuous of those that see meat as being born from a styrofoam tray, but I can't fish or even squash bugs- even though I eat fish, and might even try bugs.

Conclusion?

People are complicated. We all have reasons for what we will and won't eat, based on many, many factors. Food Taboos can seem incomprehensible to the "uninititated", so the best we can do is to eat with mindfulness, eat what pleases us, and look upon those with kooky food ideas with gentle indulgence.

But those raw food nuts?

Don't even get me started!!!

Edited by annanstee (log)

The sea was angry that day my friends... like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli.

George Costanza

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I don't really want to make a big deal out of it, since it was intended as a bit of a tongue in cheek (apologies if your remark was also facetious), but I tend to deposit seeds from the plants I eat into Halifax Harbour, via the sewage system.

Thereby clearly subverting the natural order of things. :wink: And yes, I've still got my tongue planted in my cheek.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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Just imagine how many alligators there'd be if they weren't once again allowed to keep the population down. And whether you love Bambi or not, too many in any area become quite dangerous pests. And I for one have not found any plant-based boots I'd wear, particularly where there's any fire ants around. :shock:

Lady Jaymes, I'd like to see some "freely-given" honey from wild bees.Ditto milk from non-farmed ones, seeing as how those ag methods would surely find no favor from such sensitive and high-minded folks :biggrin:

As far as the bad-guy vegan factories, they are already here. Talk to some of those who live in the factory camps, where everything's on a tab system, like the mines used to. Except no matter how hard you work, you never get to retrieve your soul from the company store. They are here and have been here, and will go on being here as long as they can buy their blanket acceptance in D.C.

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Lady Jaymes, I'd like to see some "freely-given" honey from wild bees.

:laugh::laugh::laugh:

So you don't think those bees are flying pots of honey over to the local Freely Given Shoppe?

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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