INFORMATION

This website uses cookies to store information on your computer. Some of these cookies are essential to make our site work and others help us to improve by giving us some insight into how the site is being used. For further information, see our Privacy Policy. Continuing to use this website is acceptance of these cookies.

It is time to become a vegetarian?

This forum is set aside for the BHA Humanist Vegetarian Group. All of Think Humanism's registered users are welcome to participate. If you wish to receive news and announcements from this group, please register with the HVG user group. See instructions near the top of the HVG forum.

Moderator: clayto

Message
Author
User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 24067
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

It is time to become a vegetarian?

#1 Post by Alan H » May 18th, 2008, 12:50 pm

In today's Observer:
********************************************************************************
Ethical dilemma: It is time to become a vegetarian? | Environment | The Observer
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2 ... iving.food
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It is time to become a vegetarian?

The statistics are stacked against meat eating, but are we really ready to give up our bacon sandwiches, asks Lucy Siegle

* Lucy Siegle
* The Observer,
* Sunday May 18 2008
* Article history

About this article
Close
This article appeared in the Observer on Sunday May 18 2008 on p81 of the Comment & features section. It was last updated at 00:05 on May 18 2008.

Think of the world as a giant fridge. The upper shelves (belonging to economically advantaged nations like ours) are stuffed full of chops, sides of ham, steaks and chicken legs. The middle shelves for emerging economies like China are beginning to stockpile burgers. This leaves the bottom shelves, for poor countries such as Bangladesh, not just meat free but devoid of pretty much any life-sustaining protein.

It's the inhabitants of these countries who feel the 40 per cent rise in global food prices most keenly, as demonstrated by the recent Dhaka food riots. Typically, biofuels are presented as the number-one culprit.

Certainly Gordon Brown spoke of biofuels at a summit on global starvation a couple of weeks ago, prompting Ingrid Newkirk, head of Peta, to suggest that he eat these words and turn veggie without delay. After all, 760m tonnes of grain are used to feed farmed animals, seven times the amount used to produce biofuels.

Meanwhile an estimated 30 per cent of the earth's ice-free land is directly or indirectly involved in livestock production, generating 18 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions - more than transport. Perhaps this is what prompted Chicago University researchers to state that going vegan is more effective at combating global warming than switching to a Prius. I'm nervous of this because it might suggest that if you eat tofu you are at liberty to drive a Porsche. Not so. And it should be remembered that some non-meat eaters are feeding their faces with non-sustainable fish (trawler fishing requires about 3.4 litres of fuel oil per kg of fish), cheese from cow's milk (the environmental burden of which is 9-21 times larger than for vegan cheese), and air-freighted fruit and vegetables (long-distance air transportation of 1kg of food has a nearly identical impact as the production of 1kg of meat).

So these veggies are no better eco-wise than careful meat eaters - particularly ones who eat organic meat; and deep-frozen vegetables can score worse (in terms of environmental burden) than organic meat from a local source. But the statistics in favour of (good) vegetarianism are compelling: on average 10g of vegetable protein are needed to generate 1g of animal protein, so why do I still feel I need a bacon sandwich as sustenance? Partly because - oh, the irony - I like animals. Without the meat industry there would be no pigs, sheep and cows around.

But with them, will there be anything else around? Most of the world's threatened species (on the World Conservation Union's Red List) are suffering habitat loss thanks to what UN expert Henning Steinfield calls the 'relentless growth of livestock'. Add to this the fact that the production of meat is set to double from now to 2050 and my bacon-sandwich habit looks indefensible. So yes, now is the time to go vegetarian. At least I will if you will.

lucy.siegle@observer.co.uk

[Captured: 18 May 2008 12:48:16]

###################
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

gregory
Died May 2009 R.I.P
Posts: 184
Joined: July 28th, 2007, 10:34 am

Re: It is time to become a vegetarian?

#2 Post by gregory » May 24th, 2008, 10:05 am

Useful stuff Alan.

How is it that when a friend says he is almost vegetarian or even nearly there it annoys me?

May be because I still hanker after meat when I am hungry and maybe because this particular person looks as if he needs more food. It is difficult because he has a health condition which may mean he burns calories up very quickly.

Message to all especially Chris. I was at a sandwich do this week and I have to say that I am most keen on veggie and vegan sandwiches being served separately from the rest. The annoying thing was that the sandwiches which were left may have been thrown away and they were not vegetarian sandwiches so its double waste. I have suggested that veggie etc sandwiches are served separately to try to prevent this happening and sorry in a way if my vegetarianism has led to food waste but it may not have been my fault anyway as the food was at a meeting and we were gabbing too much maybe. I should also suggest that food is eaten before the gabbing we are rather confining our time so we have to eat and gab.
There'll be blue birds over
The white cliffs of Dover

clayto
Posts: 384
Joined: July 22nd, 2007, 6:34 pm

Re: It is time to become a vegetarian?

#3 Post by clayto » May 24th, 2008, 3:49 pm

I think it is always better for veggie food such as sandwiches at a 'do' to be served / presented separately from meat 'offerings' for a variety of reasons including to reduce the risk of eating the 'wrong' thing, to help both veggies and non-veggies make an appropriate choice, to reduce risk of contamination which concerns some people and to make it clear / upfront which items are veggie and that consideration has been given to non-meat eaters -----although you cannot rely on the caterer to know or to understand what is / is not veggie, especially the difference between vegan and non-vegan veggie.

I note the author of the Observer article fails to realise that fish are meat. Quote: "And it should be remembered that some non-meat eaters are feeding their faces with non-sustainable fish ---- " . And is also one of those people who thinks that in order for there to be animals we have to eat them! Still, the conclusions are reasonable.

Chris
clayto

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 24067
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: It is time to become a vegetarian?

#4 Post by Alan H » May 24th, 2008, 7:20 pm

clayto wrote:...to reduce risk of contamination...
It's usually the tuna...
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

User avatar
Alan C.
Posts: 10356
Joined: July 4th, 2007, 3:35 pm

Re: It is time to become a vegetarian?

#5 Post by Alan C. » May 24th, 2008, 9:45 pm

"And it should be remembered that some non-meat eaters are feeding their faces with non-sustainable fish ---- " .
Chris, there are "sustainable" fish, thousands of tons of salmon and sea trout are produced here evey year, with no impact on the stocks of wild fish.
I often wonder why, in some of the areas of the world where people are starving, they aren't introdused to fish farming (a lot of these places have a coastline) instead of the various charities shiping in food as a short term solution, get them growing their own fish, droughts and other reasons for crop failure would have no bearing on fish farming.

"Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day, give him a fishing rod and........... " (I can't mind who said that) but very true.
And is also one of those people who thinks that in order for there to be animals we have to eat them!
Well that is certainly true with regard to cows, sheep, chickens, goats, pigs, et al.
These animals would not exist if it was not for the fact that we eat them.
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

User avatar
Emma Woolgatherer
Posts: 2976
Joined: February 27th, 2008, 12:17 pm

Re: It is time to become a vegetarian?

#6 Post by Emma Woolgatherer » May 25th, 2008, 1:57 am

Alan C. wrote:
"And it should be remembered that some non-meat eaters are feeding their faces with non-sustainable fish ---- " .
Chris, there are "sustainable" fish, thousands of tons of salmon and sea trout are produced here evey year, with no impact on the stocks of wild fish.
No impact? Are you sure about that? My understanding was that carnivorous species like salmon are fed on fishmeal and fish oil from wild-caught small fish. And that on average you need around 3 tonnes of wild fish to produce a tonne of farmed salmon. Because they're kept in crowded cages, farmed fish can also more easily contract diseases and harbour parasites like sea lice, which can then spread to wild populations (see Salmon Farm Monitor). And to try to control diseases and parasites, high levels of antibiotics and pesticides are used, which then pollute surrounding habitats, along with excess food and untreated wastes from fish farms, which can cause eutrophication and algal blooms, which don't do the wildlife any favours at all. It doesn't sound very sustainable to me. There was an acclaimed Shetland company called No Catch, which produced farmed cod, feeding them with offcuts of fish. But I can't see how such practices could succeed on a large scale. Besides, the business failed. So it seems there was a catch after all.
Alan C. wrote:"Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day, give him a fishing rod and........... " (I can't mind who said that) but very true.
It's widely attributed to Laozi (a.k.a. Lao Tzu), who apparently (allegedly) lived in the 6th century BC, a time when there were far fewer people (about 150 million, I think) and probably rather more fish . . .
Alan C. wrote:
And is also one of those people who thinks that in order for there to be animals we have to eat them!
Well that is certainly true with regard to cows, sheep, chickens, goats, pigs, et al.
These animals would not exist if it was not for the fact that we eat them.
Yes, it's true that the modern breeds of livestock animals that we're so familiar with only exist because they have been bred for food (and/or fibre). However, in many cases their (hardier) wild ancestors died out precisely because human beings hunted them to extinction. Fortunately, there are still several species of wild ungulates around, though many of them, like the wisent, are endangered, mainly because human beings have been so bloody determined to eat them! Somehow I don't find the "we're eating them for their own good" argument very compelling. :wink:

Emma

clayto
Posts: 384
Joined: July 22nd, 2007, 6:34 pm

Re: It is time to become a vegetarian?

#7 Post by clayto » May 25th, 2008, 6:23 pm

That seems a well informed response Emma; it is very welcome because you know much more about these issues than I do and because I have decided not to respond to Alan C for a while, not on any grounds of personal animosity but because after over a year of going round and round in circles, saying the same things, it seemed tiring to me and possibly tiresome to others. Alan C has always been opposed to the very existence of HVG and I don't like to see the veggie case not being defended so I really appreciate your contributions.

I have recently heard a couple of reports on the radio to the effect that a really major way of dealing with the environmental, cost and shortage issues of food production could be to return big scale to potato production, with cultivation of the many varieties of spuds providing a good defence against the potato blight disasters of earlier years. I recall the programs saying potatoes are easy to grow and provide a much higher yield per acre than alternatives and can be used for many products, such as plastics. Any comments?

Chris
clayto

User avatar
Alan C.
Posts: 10356
Joined: July 4th, 2007, 3:35 pm

Re: It is time to become a vegetarian?

#8 Post by Alan C. » May 25th, 2008, 11:20 pm

Alan C has always been opposed to the very existence of HVG and I don't like to see the veggie case not being defended so I really appreciate your contributions.
Chris, I think you are getting me mixed up with somebody else on this forum (AGAIN)

How many times do I need to say, I have NOTHING against vegetarians, indeed I admire your commitment.

What I can't agree on is your vision of a world without domestic animals, It aint gonna happen, so the best we can do is to make sure the animals that we have are looked after properly, and have a good life.

What do you think about fish farming in the regions that are suffering famine, due mostly to drought?
Last edited by Alan H on May 26th, 2008, 12:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Tags fixed.
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

User avatar
Emma Woolgatherer
Posts: 2976
Joined: February 27th, 2008, 12:17 pm

Re: It is time to become a vegetarian?

#9 Post by Emma Woolgatherer » May 26th, 2008, 12:50 am

Alan C. wrote:What do you think about fish farming in the regions that are suffering famine, due mostly to drought?
I think that fish-farming may well have a role to play in feeding vulnerable people in developing countries, but only if it's small-scale. On a large scale, it can deplete stocks of wild fish, and make matters worse. There's a fish-farming project in Malawi for families affected by HIV/AIDS, which involves digging small, rain-fed ponds and stocking them with omnivorous species like tilapia, which can be fed on farm waste and kitchen scraps. It seems to be a relatively cheap and easy way of providing protein to families that may otherwise find it difficult to feed themselves, and whose nutritional requirements are higher than those of healthy people. But small ponds can dry up during severe droughts, and I'm not convinced that aquaculture in general is any more robust than agriculture. It's vulnerable not only to drought and disease, but also to heavy rains, typhoons and floods. In any case, the reasons for famine and malnutrition are complex and varied, and obviously there's a lot more to it than the vagaries of nature. The solutions will have to be equally complex and varied, and will have to involve political and economic and social changes, and not just changes in agri/aquacultural practices. I'd personally prefer to focus on the solutions that don't involve killing animals (especially in this forum!), but that doesn't mean that I advocate vegetarianism (let alone veganism) for people who are struggling to feed themselves, and who have to get their protein any way they can.

Emma

User avatar
Emma Woolgatherer
Posts: 2976
Joined: February 27th, 2008, 12:17 pm

Re: It is time to become a vegetarian?

#10 Post by Emma Woolgatherer » May 26th, 2008, 1:23 am

clayto wrote:... I don't like to see the veggie case not being defended so I really appreciate your contributions.
Thanks, Chris. Although to be honest I hadn't really intended to defend the veggie case this time. I was just wading in to disagree, as usual! :)
clayto wrote:I have recently heard a couple of reports on the radio to the effect that a really major way of dealing with the environmental, cost and shortage issues of food production could be to return big scale to potato production, with cultivation of the many varieties of spuds providing a good defence against the potato blight disasters of earlier years. I recall the programs saying potatoes are easy to grow and provide a much higher yield per acre than alternatives and can be used for many products, such as plastics. Any comments?
I think one of the most significant things about the potato is that it is not a globally traded commodity, like most grains [---][/---] because it is bulky and perishable, and therefore not so easily traded internationally. As the International Year of the Potato website argues (yes, 2008 is the International Year of the Potato): "Only a fraction of total production enters foreign trade, and potato prices are determined usually by local production costs, not the vagaries of international markets. It is, therefore, a highly recommended food security crop that can help low-income farmers and vulnerable consumers ride out current turmoil in world food supply and demand."

Your point about the many varieties of potatoes is a good one, too. Apparently, there are several thousand varieties. Ireland might not have had a potato famine if they'd grown more than just a handful of varieties, all of which were susceptible to the blight.

Yes, it's fascinating stuff, this. I think I could become quite a potato enthusiast. I don't know what variety these are, but aren't they gorgeous?

Image

Emma

clayto
Posts: 384
Joined: July 22nd, 2007, 6:34 pm

Re: It is time to become a vegetarian?

#11 Post by clayto » May 26th, 2008, 12:03 pm

Alan C ----- I may perhaps tend to conflate you with Nick but I stand by my reaction to 'going round in the same circles'. I am not going to quote large chunks from numerous postings over the past year but the following response from an HVG member to your contributions from as along ago as August is an indicator:

Quote: "Alan, you're obviously very hung up on me being vegan and this is blinding you to the conversation that this thread was set up to address. I did you the courtesy of addressing almost every issues you raised although the relevance of some questions were somewhat off topic.

I, sadly, note that were I have again try to bring the conversation back to the thread's subject you have continued to rant at me over your objection to veganism, not to why such concepts as veganism even exist in the first place.

This isn't the forum for the debate you want, and over the years I have tired very much of this style of simplistic, look-it-up-in-google type arguments. The debate you want is not the reason I started posting to this site - I have to endure too many before.

Perhaps the conversation between you and I on this subject we should bring to a close as we want different things from it.

I'll see you in one of the other sub-forums - you forget I'm vegan and we can start-over.

all the best

Stephen"

Unfortunately Stephen has stopped posting here, as have a number of other Veggies / HVG supporters, because (I suspect) they did not expect this forum to be one in which they are called on to rehearse again and again answers to the same anti-veggie arguments they encounter elsewhere (non-veggies may not know the extent to which some serious veggies have to put up with this). Perhaps this is my fault, in my decision to make the Forum entirely open instead of restricted to HVG supporters (an option I was offered ---- see some other Forums on this site). As Stephen put it, 'this may not be the Forum for the debate you want' ---- and I do get bemused at times by posters attacking those of us who promote vegetarianism on what is after all a vegetarian Forum! Having said that, I do not want to give the impression I regret the decision, I think the challenging arguments put forward by some non-veggies here have been a key factor in making the HVG Forum the success it is (and I think it is very successful). Most have been serious (I try to ignore the silly ones) and good humoured, and encourage us to examine our own positions more closely which is of course an entirely good thing. But I do know some people get tired of too much 'circularity' and what appears as misrepresentation of what they say ---- and look for something more positive / constructive. Which in my case I have decided in some instances to respond to by not responding, even when it is a posting from me which is being taken to task. But I am glad when I see others continuing the discussions. Hence my remark.

Chris
clayto

clayto
Posts: 384
Joined: July 22nd, 2007, 6:34 pm

Re: It is time to become a vegetarian?

#12 Post by clayto » May 26th, 2008, 12:27 pm

Emma

"I'd personally prefer to focus on the solutions that don't involve killing animals (especially in this forum!), but that doesn't mean that I advocate vegetarianism (let alone veganism) for people who are struggling to feed themselves, and who have to get their protein any way they can."

I don't think we are far apart on this. As I keep stressing (round and round in circular arguments sometimes!) my beliefs are based on the case for stopping or at least reducing unnecessary suffering of all animals, non-human and human. What is or is not 'unnecessary' is of course a matter of factual enquiry and debate ('necessary' for whom, and so on). In the longer term (probably very long) I hope the world can move to food production in which killing animals is not necessary but while it is for people who are 'struggling to feed themselves' one has to accept it as part of our very imperfect world ---- not a world I can conceive of as having been created by an all-powerful benevolent creator god!

Maybe 'the answer lies in the soil' as a famous gardening broadcaster used to say ----- with the potato! I did not know it was the Year Of The Potato which probably explains the radio programs. I am starting to try out different spuds and perhaps learn their different uses; we have found a very appealing one called Vivaldi.

Chris
clayto

Nick
Posts: 11027
Joined: July 4th, 2007, 10:10 am

Re: It is time to become a vegetarian?

#13 Post by Nick » May 27th, 2008, 12:23 pm

clayto wrote: What is or is not 'unnecessary [suffering]' is of course a matter of factual enquiry and debate
...and thus unanswerable in practice? I'm somewhat with the Buddhists on this one. I cannot conceive of life from which suffering is eliminated. Would the absence of life equate to reduction of unnecessary suffering? Too negative for me, I'm afraid.

clayto
Posts: 384
Joined: July 22nd, 2007, 6:34 pm

Re: It is time to become a vegetarian?

#14 Post by clayto » May 28th, 2008, 1:39 pm

Nick, as a former Buddhist you do not appear to me to be be 'with the Buddhists' at all! A key feature of Buddhism is to try our best to follow the Middle Way, avoiding causing suffering to all beings and reducing the suffering of all beings ----- as well as one reasonably can. Hence vegetarianism. Hence giving serious thought to what suffering is totally necessary and unavoidable, what is less necessary and might possibly be avoided, and what is totally unnecessary and completely unavoidable ----- which applies to a great deal of the suffering inflicted by human on non-human animals (and on other humans of course). Or as Richard Dawkins has put it, 'we should try to live and eat in accordance with our humanist principles'. Richard tries to be a vegetarian but like many finds it difficult not to 'lapse'. The best that can be expected is that we recognise the case for reducing ---- and try to reduce suffering.

Chris
clayto

lewist
Posts: 4402
Joined: July 4th, 2007, 8:53 pm

Re: It is time to become a vegetarian?

#15 Post by lewist » May 30th, 2008, 9:56 am

Yes. It's not difficult and I don't think I would go back to meat.

I have discussed the morality of meat with various people and I know there are some very thoughtful meat eaters who look for organic meat grown on farms where the animals have a contented life until they are dispatched for food. However, my own wish is to eat without killing animals but I acknowledge that I wear leather shoes and so on. It's not easy.

Meat is controlled by big business and they are only interested in profit for shareholders. As demand for meat falls, big business will find other ways to maximise profit and the breeding of animals for meat should diminish to match demand. Carnivores may not have to eat beef. There are animals that are amazingly efficient at turning vegetable matter into meat - sheep and red deer for example turn vegetation most animals couldn't eat into very palatable meat - and perhaps there is a case for these animals being used for meat.

On the news last night there was a report on GM crops and the fact that much of the world has taken them on but not Europe. There's another whole can of worms! Do we veggies want to eat things with pig genes?
Carpe diem. Savour every moment.

clayto
Posts: 384
Joined: July 22nd, 2007, 6:34 pm

Re: It is time to become a vegetarian?

#16 Post by clayto » May 30th, 2008, 11:57 am

" ----and what is totally unnecessary and completely unavoidable." This should have read "completely avoidable" of course.

At the very least, should we not seek to completely avoid inflicting totally unnecessary suffering on any animal capable of experiencing suffering?

Chris
clayto

Nick
Posts: 11027
Joined: July 4th, 2007, 10:10 am

Re: It is time to become a vegetarian?

#17 Post by Nick » May 30th, 2008, 3:32 pm

clayto wrote:Nick, as a former Buddhist you do not appear to me to be be 'with the Buddhists' at all! A key feature of Buddhism is to try our best to follow the Middle Way, avoiding causing suffering to all beings and reducing the suffering of all beings ----- as well as one reasonably can. Hence vegetarianism. Hence giving serious thought to what suffering is totally necessary and unavoidable, what is less necessary and might possibly be avoided, and what is totally unnecessary and completely unavoidable ----- which applies to a great deal of the suffering inflicted by human on non-human animals (and on other humans of course). Or as Richard Dawkins has put it, 'we should try to live and eat in accordance with our humanist principles'. Richard tries to be a vegetarian but like many finds it difficult not to 'lapse'. The best that can be expected is that we recognise the case for reducing ---- and try to reduce suffering.

Chris
Hmmm. I think you've missed the point I was trying to make. The reference to Buddhism was an allusion to the universality of suffering, not to imply that I am Buddhist in thinking. Maybe I should have used a more explanatory phrase than "somewhat". Isn't the 'objective' of Buddhism (not quite the right word, but the best I can think of right now) the end of birth and re-birth? Maybe I don't know enough about Buddhism. Ho hum, so be it. However, suffering is everywhere in nature. There is also suffering in my life, physical and emotional, but I quite like being alive. Why is it that veggies consider that non-existence is better than humane domesticity?

Nick
Posts: 11027
Joined: July 4th, 2007, 10:10 am

Re: It is time to become a vegetarian?

#18 Post by Nick » May 30th, 2008, 3:51 pm

lewist wrote: Meat is controlled by big business and they are only interested in profit for shareholders. As demand for meat falls, big business will find other ways to maximise profit and the breeding of animals for meat should diminish to match demand.
I'm not sure I can agree, Lewis. Most meat production is not controlled by 'big business'. I can't think of a single UK meat producer listed on the stockmarket. Is there one? It is also questionable how far the profit motive is paramount in agriculture. Much more influential is the love of the farmer for life on the land, and the market-distorting intervention of the Common Agricultural Policy. Price support for the over-production of milk is hardly a veggie policy, so I'm looking out for veggie condemnation of the EU and France in particular :D

clayto
Posts: 384
Joined: July 22nd, 2007, 6:34 pm

Re: It is time to become a vegetarian?

#19 Post by clayto » May 30th, 2008, 5:56 pm

Nick

Quote "Isn't the 'objective' of Buddhism (not quite the right word, but the best I can think of right now) the end of birth and re-birth?" If I were still a Buddhist I would say Yes, because as you say suffering is everywhere (the wheel of suffering, life and death) and can only be ended when we attain Nirvana (the nature of which is beyond us but may be akin to 'the peace which passeth understanding'). BUT and it is a big but, we should do the best we can to reduce the suffering of all human and non-human animals as they travel through successive lives towards Nirvana (a) because it is an intrinsically good thing to do (b) because it produces good Karma (what we sow we reap), helping us on the road to Nirvana. The Compassionate One attained Nirvana more than anything because of his actions to reduce suffering in his former lives.

Quote: "Why is it that veggies consider that non-existence is better than humane domesticity?" Do they? Some might, though they would have difficulty in equating 'humane' with rearing animals for the purpose of killing and eating them, especially when it is not necessary for the lives of other animals (ie. humans) to kill and eat them . And some might not see any problem with xyz animals never having existed, among the billions (infinite numbers) of animals which will never have existed. Ethical veggies are not unlike most humane people in thinking that the unrelieved suffering of animals is best dealt with by 'putting them to sleep' ('they shoot horses don't they') rather than leaving them to suffer ----- and many believe in offering humans euthanasia / assisted suicide as an option of non-existence rather than continued suffering. It is mainly religionists who believe suffering, no matter how great, is always preferable to death / non-existence. I am not a religionist, not now even a Buddhist, I am a Humanist, so this non-existence thing does not have any meaning as far as I can see.

Chris
clayto

gregory
Died May 2009 R.I.P
Posts: 184
Joined: July 28th, 2007, 10:34 am

Re: It is time to become a vegetarian?

#20 Post by gregory » May 31st, 2008, 12:11 pm

Hi

Yes I think on the whole this subject has been well argued and clarified except perhaps in some places.

It is possible that contributors to this site tforget what was said in previous explainations and they do have (if one believes the assertiveness trainers) the right to ask for more information. i.e the right to ask again which does take the form of a comment sometimes.

I suggest that these questions are asked more than once if the contributor has forgotten the previous answer and that once asked the question is answered politely. I think this is possibly a rational Humanist response to this.

We should try to keep things fairly impersonal except when we want to say something nice about someone which I believe is considered polite. Or if we want to give someone important advice which may save their life that is another reason for being personal.

Re Buddhism it seems to be made up of various things and as far as I know the explaination of the Nirvana thing is correct and the aim to not harm things a good idea within most philosophies. It can be difficult and I do not think anyone is saying it isn't. What we hope for cannot always be achieved today, tomorrow or even next year we can but try.

Re potatos I am all for them not sure if we should concentrate on them quite as much as suggested by some. I live in an area of potato growers so most of them I buy are local except this time of year when they tend to be from Israel or Cyprus.

I think more and more people are trying to grow their own in gardens and plots of land similar to what happened in the war years if they can.
There could maybe be more community education to help people do this and in some places this is happenning where Asian women are growing their own herbs and getting company and maybe English lessons too.

No one wants to see people starve and helping these people with flesh production may be necessary and should be done in the short term It is difficult to judge who is right and who is wrong in terms of the availability of fish stocks. I daresay the answer is somewhere in between.

People who produce meat in the kindest way possible are to be respected as it will be a while before the world will be much different.

We are all learners in this life and we can all learn to get on with each other as best we can respecting our opinions. A bit of friendly banter is quite in order and a bit of catharsis can also be of use in certain instances. Remember though Ask a polite question, Get a polite answer.

(Or if we really want to we could try a good old rude fest???)
There'll be blue birds over
The white cliffs of Dover

Post Reply