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to eat meat or not?

Hunting/Farming/Taxidermy, any topic that may get heated debate.

WARNING things may get a bit rougher here than the other forums.

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Lasergrl
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Re: to eat meat or not?

Postby Lasergrl » Thu May 05, 2011 5:50 pm

The fence farming of native species sounds like a good idea but really it wouldnt work. You would have to raise more of the natives because they have poor feed to meat conversion. Modern livestock has been bred to signicantly decrease the feed to meat conversion. For instance it would take 12 months to raise the average beef steer to slaughter, and it would yield approx 600 pounds of meat, while to get that same amount of venison you would have to raise 10 deer for 2 years. So its actually better for the environment to raise the steer, unless the deer are hunted. In a farming situation the steer would be better.
Even better is pork, a 7 month old pig will get you 200 pounds of pork! Of course hunting the feral ones would be even the best meat for the environment.
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Re: to eat meat or not?

Postby TamanduaGirl » Fri May 06, 2011 12:43 am

Just imagine the cost of meat if the only meat you could buy were hunted meat?

If you tried to feed the whole country on wild meat you'd have a shortage of meat and wildlife pretty quickly.
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Re: to eat meat or not?

Postby Botat » Sat Jun 11, 2011 7:31 pm

My opinion on meat is that it should not be eaten too much, nor too little. one of my favorite meals is stir fry and rice. Eating meat or not sounds more like an opinion on your lifestyle. The problem with most people is the way animals are put down. I believe that it is better for animals in very poor health should be humanely put down not as an act of harm or pleasure, but for the pain and suffering of the animal, all in all the problem isn't vegetarianism or the people that do not support the belief, it is the way the animals are treated. From birth until death.
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Re: to eat meat or not?

Postby Lady Beta » Sun Oct 02, 2011 5:24 am

I like to take everything about myself in as logical way as possible. Humans are omnivores, and we don't do all that well eating just one, *or* the other. Not the healthiest, so we have to find substitutes for what we don't/can't eat. I'm a very happy omnivore who gratefully eats what's put on her plate. Of course, I'm perfectly happy with any decisions other people make about whether or not they want to eat meat, that's their decision and not mine. I do stand for the rights for animals to be kept in the best conditions, since it isn't right to keep anything like that.
It's shame though I can't have as much red meat as I'd like, and I LOVE things like steak etc. but alas, this is not so because of my "Celtic Curse" aka. genetic blood disorder, Haemochromatosis. It is HIGHLY suggested that you go and have a blood test, *especially* if you have Celtic, or British heritage. Unchecked it can cause serious health problems like liver and heart disease, and much much more. I'm doing my best to raise awareness, I'm lucky to have been diagnosed so young when the symptoms aren't even noticeable.

On a different note, more animal related. In some respects everyone should lower how much meat they *buy*. Livestock take up so much more of the economy than crops do. Livestock require their own fields, and even their own crops just to feed them. If we lowered that, and raised more vegetation, we could easily feed the world just that bit better.

In terms of cows as pets; hell if they're my pet, I won't eat them but I'll still eat other cows 'cos they aren't my pets now are they?

I like steak, but I can't have it. At least it's for both my own good and the economy's. Hehe.
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Re: to eat meat or not?

Postby TamanduaGirl » Sun Oct 02, 2011 1:47 pm

Actually that's not true. Sure cows eat crops but if people stop eating meat they need to replace it and it takes much more vegetable matter to get the same energy from it. Also the cattle mostly eat hay they just get grain for a short time on feed lots to fatten them up before slaughter. You can get one harvest per year for many human crops, like corn which is the main human crop grown. Hay gets several cuttings/harvest per year some areas it can keep being harvested all year long.

So you will be using just as much if not more land if you trade meat for vegetable matter.

Heck a ton of cattle are still turned out on the range and just eat grass that is there anyway so not taking any real resources.
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Re: to eat meat or not?

Postby veralidaine » Mon Oct 17, 2011 3:22 am

TamanduaGirl wrote:Actually that's not true. Sure cows eat crops but if people stop eating meat they need to replace it and it takes much more vegetable matter to get the same energy from it. Also the cattle mostly eat hay they just get grain for a short time on feed lots to fatten them up before slaughter. You can get one harvest per year for many human crops, like corn which is the main human crop grown. Hay gets several cuttings/harvest per year some areas it can keep being harvested all year long.

So you will be using just as much if not more land if you trade meat for vegetable matter.

Heck a ton of cattle are still turned out on the range and just eat grass that is there anyway so not taking any real resources.


You took the words right out of my mouth! :eleph:

I am majoring in animal biology and minoring in nutritional sciences, so if you want the more scientific version, here it is; We get our energy, in the form of ATP, from glucose and fatty acids (we can also get energy from breaking down our own protein but we want to avoid that). We get fatty acids from fat, and glucose from carbohydrates.

There are three main types of carbohydrates; glycogen, starch, and cellulose. Glycogen is actually what our liver makes with blood glucose, which is gotten from simple sugars (sugar, fruit, refined grains). Starch is a more complex carbohydrate found in foods like potatoes, wheat, corn, rice, and cassava. Cellulose is the most common form of carbohydrate on the planet. This is probably what people are referring to when they say it would be more economically viable to live off vegetation. Unfortunately, humans cannot digest cellulose and therefore the energy provided by it is completely inacessible to us.

Animal fat is so energy dense that it would take us large amounts of grains and potatoes to get the same amount of energy available in a slab of meat. There are also some plant fats, like avocadoes and nuts, but I think that's about all. I would imagine that, by the time we had consumed enough vegetation to give us enough energy to go about our days, we won't have any room for the foods that are low in energy and high in nutrients.

There is also a problem with plant proteins. Protein is made up of building blocks called amino acids. There are 20 available amino acids and 10 that are essential (meaning, you need to get them from your diet). While animal proteins are often complete in their amino acids, plant proteins are often missing one. Grains lack lysine, legumes lack methionine (an EXTREMELY important amino acid for the body's protein synthesis), and cassava lacks tryptophan. Because tryptophan is such an important player in digestion, this means that societies that rely completely on cassava for their source of carbohydrates (there are some in Africa), don't end up getting much out of it because they can't digest it properly, leading to a large belly because the undigested carbohydrates have nowhere else to go.

Also, soybeans have a trypsin inhibitor, which basically screws up your digestion so not only can you not really digest the protein, but you can't digest anything you eat with the soybeans. Some people might say that the trypsin inhiobitors will be destroyed with light cooking however I have seen a ton of literature saying that the soy needs to be fermented before all the trypsin inhibitors are gone, making miso, natto, tempeh, or soy sauce.

Obviously, if you eat a good variety, you can get all the amino acids but I would think it would be VERY tricky.

Also, about nutrients; we can only get our B12 from animal B12, we cannot use plant B12. In adults, a B12 deficiency won't show if you have enough folate (green leafy vegetables) in your diet, but if you have children and breastfeed them, they will probably show the deficiency.

Iron is mostly available in vegetable that also have a lot of oxalates and phytates, which inhibit your digestion of iron, making plants not a very good source of iron. Also, haem-iron, which is important in helping your red blood cells carry blood, is only found in meat.

Thanks to the invention of supplements, people can still get by (although I'm still waiting on vegans to realise that the only source their B12 supplements could come from are animal) and I have immense respect for those who are vegetarian and still manage to live healthy lives, but I certainly wouldn't do it, and I would not think that the whole world becoming vegetarian would be either healthy, economically viable, or environmentally friendly.

As tamanduagirl said, if we ate all crops, we would probably need more crop fields (and thus cut down more trees, destroy more habitats) to get the right amount of nutrition, than the amount of cow fields we have right now.

Sorry, if all that information is too much; I just thought I'd explain some of the science of it.
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Re: to eat meat or not?

Postby MGinKC » Sun Feb 23, 2014 2:56 am

Being from Kansas City (a BBQ haven), meat is hard for me to get away from. I love to eat meat, but I don't overindulge. Most of my favorite dishes contain meat of some kind.

As far as exotic meats go, I've only tried bites of venison, rattlesnake (while in Arizona), and quail (which I actually thought was pretty good). I grew up in the city/suburbs, so I'm not a wild game eater.
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Re: to eat meat or not?

Postby Nìmwey » Mon Sep 01, 2014 4:34 pm

I've been a vegetarian "in practice" if not in name for almost three years now. It started earlier with me stopping eating chicken because I knew how it was produced and I just couldn't stand the thought of it anymore.
But I had absolutely no clue other animals were treated just as bad until I saw Earthlings (and the first thing I did after that was to make more research because "It couldn't possibly be that bad in Sweden!", but was shocked and disappointed by what I found), and gave all the meat in my freezer to the dog. I had already paid for it, but just couldn't stomach it after finding out about how it was made.

What I mean with "in practice", is that I only very rarely, say a few times a year, eat meat I consider ethically produced - like wild game. So in practice I'm a vegetarian, you almost never see meat in my home, and I meat substitutes (convincing enough for me) all the time.
I still love, as I always have, pork chops, hamburgers and more, but I have my substitutes, have to wait to find ethically produced meat, or simply live without it.

Still, here's me at a medieval market in Visby exactly four weeks ago, munching on wild boar.

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We have about 400 000 wild boar in this country and they're as far as I know the only animal you can hunt year round, anything but females with young. They've lived their whole lives in the forest, and then met a sudden end by a bullet in the vitals. A far cry from the life of a factory-farmed pig.

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And then I'm not showing the killing...

It is of course possible to raise and slaughter animals ethically (I know there is no way large numbers of people can live on wild meat, there's just too many of us), we have on our private family farms (that we abandoned just generations ago - my grandparents grew up on farms like that) for millenia, it's just that I can't trust the big business meat industry anymore.

With all this, I have to say I do hate moralizing about all this, I'm not "feeling superior", I want to raise awareness, and feel I'm doing the same thing with this post as I do about any other issue I care about, like wolf hunting, commercial parrot breeding, extreme show breeding in dogs, and (issues I'm a pro about rather than anti) cetacean captivity and private ownership of exotics, to name a few.

Even my mother has lately begun to pull back on meat more and more, she talks about it all the time as she knows my take on this, and starts buying more vegetarian stuff. She looks to me for "advice" and discussion because I already know a lot about it, but I feel afraid I'll be shoving things in her face or "moralizing", as I said, and I don't want to be an in-your-face-you-must-think-like-me-vegetarian.

Anyhow: I've seen a couple of new documentaries recently, produced by Michael Mosley, one about how healthy meat is, what kinds of meat are more/less healthy, and the other one about what's most eco-friendly. Very well-balanced films that let you look at both sides, are not AR in any sense (though I wish we'd have seen more about animal welfare, and I'm not at all convinced by that chicken farmer...), and I can give you spoilers and tell you right now that in short, the first one comes to the conclusion that very little meat (less than 100 grams per day) that is not processed, is healthier than no meat at all. But no meat at all is healthier than what most of us do now, large amounts of red and processed meat every day.

And the other one says in short that feedlots for cattle seems to be more eco-friendly than having cattle roaming large grassy fields, same for chickens in the huge stables with thousands of birds in each. And again, that we should eat less meat because as it is now, it is simply unsustainable. That all over the first world, we eat way more meat than we did just a generation or two ago, and something needs to change. (Again, these docus are very reasonable and there's by no means any message like "everyone must go vegan!", they don't even suggest vegetarianism as far as I can remember.)

I've seen them on Swedish TV and our internet TV, which you in other countries can't watch, but I found an article about one of them: http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-28858289

This got much longer than I had planned because I actually hate talking about this, I use to say I'm like Treebeard; "I am on nobody's side, because nobody is on my side". :lol:
On the one hand, we have vegos that go "MEAT IS MURDER! EVERYONE MUST GO VEGAN!" or try to argue that humans are obligate herbivores. :roll: And on the other hand we have some meat-eaters (quite a lot, I have to say) that go "Well why are animals made of food then?" or when they see cruel slaughter videos "Yum, I got hungry, I have to go get a steak, burger and some bacon right away!", or, a slightly more mature argument (but one I still hate), "We were made to eat meat through evolution (true), so that means it's okay for us to treat animals in Auschwitz-like conditions". (They never say it in those words, but that's what they mean - they just say we were meant to eat meat, so therefore any of our actions are all excusable, end of story.)

So I often get sick of both sides in this debate.

Just a last thing, about keeping carnivorous animals: I do feed my dogs and cat food with meat, and I hate people (okay, that's a strong word, but you get me) who make their cat vegetarian or vegan. Cats (and ferrets?) need meat, or they will get sick and die early. I wonder if they had a snake, would they try to feed it carrots? (Snakes can't be fooled though. They are much pickier than dogs and cats. :P)
Dogs on the other hand - seem to do as well as vegetarians as humans do. Natural omnivores, some do well as vegetarians, others don't. If I could feed my dogs vegetarian food, and they were as healthy as could be, I guess I would, but there's no way I could afford it.

I don't think I'm a hypocrite at all, I'm aiming to lower my meat consumption as much as possible. I don't say I'm a 100% vegan (I'm not ever aiming for that) and then go feed my animals meat. And I don't need meat for survival, as someone claimed earlier. Three years in, I'm no different.
It's just ludicrous to say that most humans in our society need meat for their survival. We're omnivores, not carnivores (or herbivores for that matter).
My main interest is in parrots, dogs, toothed whales and snakes.
Future animals I want to have when we have land are camels, wolfdogs/wolves, coyotes or jackals, striped hyena or aardwolf. Also poultry, rabbits water buffalo and/or yak for livestock.
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Re: to eat meat or not?

Postby BlueBaby1023 » Mon Sep 01, 2014 8:45 pm

Nìmwey wrote:And then I'm not showing the killing...

It is of course possible to raise and slaughter animals ethically (I know there is no way large numbers of people can live on wild meat, there's just too many of us), we have on our private family farms (that we abandoned just generations ago - my grandparents grew up on farms like that) for millenia, it's just that I can't trust the big business meat industry anymore.


I'm not entirely sure about the laws in Sweden, but I do know that, at least here in the US, although slaughter may appear to be cruel, it actually isn't. There are the oddball cruel people but for the most part the slaughter process is very well regulated and very humane. Part of the reason why it appears so cruel, I've found, is that most people believe that the animals are conscious or can feel pain while they are being bled out. Even though they kick, spasm, etc. they are most certainly not conscious. The Humane Slaughter Act requires almost perfection in stunning, and if an industry sector falls below that level, it is immediately shut down. However, part of the stunning process for most species affects the brain stem, which is why they spasm so violently. So, what most people see as cruel because they are "obviously kicking to get away and are in pain" really isn't even close.

You are completely right about the living conditions though. The current industry standards are hideous, at best. I've taken a lot of industry courses while getting my Bachelor's, but none of them made a good case for using the current system other than financial reasons. Which, is as good a reason as any for the industry. :roll: Although I can understand that successful industries must care about the bottom line, I think it is so often forgotten that we are handling the lives of creatures that are sentient and can, most certainly, feel pain, emotions, and much more than we've yet discovered.
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Re: to eat meat or not?

Postby Ash » Tue Sep 02, 2014 2:39 am

I used to eat meat a whole lot more than I do now. But that's mostly because I've grown picky lately (well, I've always been a picky eater).

I like ham and steak. Ribs too. Fish is delicious--especially catfish or bluegill.

But, in all honesty, if I had to, I think I could give meat up. The ONLY exception though is crab. In Vegas there's a buffet at the MGM where its all you can eat crab--but the crab claws are all pre-sliced. It's heaven.

Now, the one thing I REALLY wish I knew better about was how people euthanize sea food. Everything just seems super cruel, and it makes me very sad to think about. Maybe other people know more about that? I think a big electric zap (like when they clear out ponds) is best. Then you keep the whole fish. But when I go to Red Lobster I just get so sad seeing all those lobsters in the tank!

These are my thoughts on the meat industry, and maybe it'll help "comfort" some people: While I do agree that the conditions the animals live in could definitely improve, I know it's really just short-term for most of them. That's actually why I don't feel bad about veal. I think of it as "temporary housing." Kind of like if I were keeping my fox in a wire crate for the first few months of life until an enclosure got built. That is how most people keep their foxes for the first few months. I don't like it, it's not what's best, but it's temporary and isn't abusive.

Those are my thoughts. But like I said, I do agree that living conditions could be better, at least for the ones that are there longer-term.
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Re: to eat meat or not?

Postby TamanduaGirl » Tue Sep 02, 2014 9:16 pm

Ash wrote:Now, the one thing I REALLY wish I knew better about was how people euthanize sea food. Everything just seems super cruel, and it makes me very sad to think about. Maybe other people know more about that? I think a big electric zap (like when they clear out ponds) is best. Then you keep the whole fish. But when I go to Red Lobster I just get so sad seeing all those lobsters in the tank!


Really large fish like tuna are often clubbed which is actually pretty fast since it's brain trauma. I think smaller species aren't euthanized and are just frozen right after catching and washing(needed for crustations). Which is said to be cruel.

Most farmed fish are now transported live still in water to the processing plant where they would be killed by decapitation at the start of processing.

Not sure on farmed shrimp but I would guess freezing too or strait to cooking. Shocking would be better for farmed crustations but I think with wild harvest not really possible.
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Re: to eat meat or not?

Postby Ash » Tue Sep 02, 2014 10:46 pm

The clubbing and decapitation sounds good then. But still not entirely sure about crabs and lobsters. I can't imagine it would be difficult to give them a good zap. Maybe something to look into a bit closer.
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Re: to eat meat or not?

Postby Alynn » Sun Sep 07, 2014 9:53 am

I don't think I could give up meat, I think I'd like to, once I'm in the position to, learn to hunt, get a big ol' freezer, and hunt for sustenance, as well as raise my own meat.

But I would need to research it and make sure I could sustain myself and do it right.

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