What if Everyone in the World Became a Vegetarian?

Légumes du marché 2The answer, of course is that it would be much, much better for our PlanEat! LV Anderson poses the question at Slate:

The meat industry is one of the top contributors to climate change, directly and indirectly producing about 14.5 percent of the world’s anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, and global meat consumption is on the rise. People generally like eating meat—when poor people start making more money, they almost invariably start buying more meat. As the population grows and eats more animal products, the consequences for climate change, pollution, and land use could be catastrophic.

Attempts to reduce meat consumption usually focus on baby steps—Meatless Monday and “vegan before 6,” passable fake chicken, and in vitro burgers. If the world is going to eat less meat, it’s going to have to be coaxed and cajoled into doing it, according to conventional wisdom.

But what if the convincing were the easy part? Suppose everyone in the world voluntarily stopped eating meat, en masse. I know it’s not actually going to happen. But the best-case scenario from a climate perspective would be if all 7 billion of us woke up one day and realized that PETA was right all along. If this collective change of spirit came to pass, like Peter Singer’s dearest fantasy come true, what would the ramifications be?

At least one research team has run the numbers on what global veganism would mean for the planet. In 2009 researchers from the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency published their projections of the greenhouse gas consequences if humanity came to eat less meat, no meat, or no animal products at all. The researchers predicted that universal veganism would reduce agriculture-related carbon emissions by 17 percent, methane emissions by 24 percent, and nitrous oxide emissions by 21 percent by 2050. Universal vegetarianism would result in similarly impressive reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

[continues at Slate]


Majestic is gadfly emeritus.

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93 Comments on "What if Everyone in the World Became a Vegetarian?"

  1. Liam_McGonagle | May 5, 2014 at 1:22 pm |

    People are quick to project all sorts of benefits like lower incidence of cancer, heart problems, etc., etc. But what about the methane problem? Elevator rides will become increasingly dangerous.

    Also, given the personality of the average people you know, are you REALLY sure you want them to live longer?

    I’m just saying, think this thing through.

    • emperorreagan | May 5, 2014 at 1:32 pm |

      You have inspired me to quit my job and go door-to-door with deep fried meat products on sticks. Cheese-filled, bacon wrapped, beer battered sausages on a stick for everyone!


      • Liam_McGonagle | May 5, 2014 at 3:07 pm |

        All I ask is be patient. We’ve been at a similar strategy in Wisconsin for a while now, and though progress has been made, an alarmingly large proportion of people remain disturbingly alive.

      • InfvoCuernos | May 5, 2014 at 11:02 pm |

        I think this must be the idea behind Carl’s Jr’s whole menu. Ice Cream Pop tart sandwiches and EXXXTRA!!! bacon burger?!?! I’m pretty sure they’re trying to exterminate the human race, one cardiac arrest at a time.

    • I live with a meat-eater and we agree, mine are louder, but his are exponentially more deadly.

      • ^This. I get a certain amount of grief from Ms Grim and the two Grimlets about this as I’m the only vegetarian in the family, but the olfactory-offensiveness-factor is infinitely less than their scent of rotting meat-gas, so I fart with a certain degree of… if not pride, then certainly lack of guilt.

  2. Ted Heistman | May 5, 2014 at 1:24 pm |

    Keep those poor people from buying more meat! How dare they?!?

  3. Agri-Nazis™ Suck

    I agree Big Meat™ is terrible for the planet and most people who consume it, but there are plenty of ethical ways to raise, treat, & slaughter animals that are “nature friendly” and “people friendly”.

    From an evolutionary perspective, our bodies are much better suited to foods from the Hunter/Gather™ period than foods from the Civilization™ period (esp the Post-CilivizationⒶ period we are currently in). Or even better, we could all go be Fruitarians™.

    Or, you know, bio-individuality. Not so much profit there though, unless you write duh Selfie Help™ genre.

    • Hadrian999 | May 5, 2014 at 2:00 pm |

      thats one great thing about living in the midwest, plenty of places to get meat from small farmers, buying a whole animal and having it butchered locally is also cheaper

      • That and Pizza are probably the two things I miss most about living in the Midwest. (Though I did just find a killer pizza joint tucked away in Pacifica ermahgerd.)

        You can find some of this stuff in Cali, but usually not in my income bracket. Fortunately I live in a Foodie™ paradise and have learned the virtues of Ḥalāl when it comes to foodstuffs.

        • HelloFeds | May 5, 2014 at 5:12 pm |

          Curious – what are the virtues of Halal meat over regular factory farmed?

          • If the practice is held up to a “true standard”, this is a pretty good summation:

            Islamic law says that in order for meat to be considered halal, very specific procedures must be followed. Muhammad forbade “the beating or the branding of animals” and also forbade “cutting off animals’ tails and other mutilations.” A person must recite the name of Allah over the animal before it is killed, and the animal’s throat must be cut in order to ensure a quick and relatively painless death. Factory farms, which employ all varieties of inhumane methods for raising and slaughtering animals, do not comply with these standards. Furthermore, Muslims are not permitted to eat carnivorous animals, yet many factory farms feed animal remains to livestock.
            (via: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/factory-farming-vs-islamic-law-2.html#ixzz30uRbXmAO

            But because everything known to humans can be corrupted…

            Halal products are often mislabeled. The eating of pigs, carnivorous animals, and blood is forbidden by Islamic law, but did you know that these are in many meat and dairy products that claim to be halal? Pig bones are frequently used in the feed for cows who are used to produce dairy products, and factory-farming methods often cause injury and swelling to cows’ udders, leading to the presence of blood in their milk. Chickens are routinely ground up and fed to sheep and other animals, in which case the meat is not halal, even if the approved dhabiha slaughter method is used.

            Investigations into the sources of halal meat have also uncovered many unacceptable abuses and instances of neglect. Animals sent to slaughter arrive beaten and bruised, sometimes with open wounds. Knives are often not properly sharpened, resulting in much pain and suffering as the animals’ necks are sawed and hacked at. Some of the animals are skinned while they are still alive. One investigation into an Egyptian slaughterhouse revealed appalling abuses: Workers stabbed animals in the eyes and slashed their tendons—all without giving the animals any painkillers—before finally cutting the animals’ throats while they were still conscious. In a final act of cruelty, while the animals were bleeding to death, workers used knives to slash them under their tails.
            (via: http://www.petaasiapacific.com/feature-halal-meat.asp

            So, theoretically speaking, factory farmed can never be halal. At the very least, the animal was likely treated and slaughtered 1000000x more humanely than at a CAFO. On the whole, halal is probably prepared in a more sterile and well maintained facility as well.

    • Craig Bickford | May 6, 2014 at 9:58 pm |

      We need animal saturated fats for sex hormones, brain function, cholesterol (yes you need cholesterol), repair to cell membranes etc. Plato suggested that the slave/servant class become vegetarians because they knew over two millennium ago what it did to people. It makes you unhealthy and it makes you sub par in the area of reproduction and cognitive ability, two things that the master class doesn’t mind having in effect with their slaves. Yes you cna get saturated fats from coconut oils and maybe a couple others, but you cannt make cholesterol, you can’t get important enzymes, and you can’t ultimately undo the plans of the psychopathic eugenisists who own you. That last one is kind of important.

      • The only missing component of a non-animal diet I am aware of is B12, which can be taken in supplement form.

        Plato would suggest some shit like that. It probably works on a local or regional level too, when there is no kind of alternative information source available. It’s very easy to live a junk food vegetarian/vegan existence. Whole Foods™ is predicated on this notion.

        Thankfully we don’t have to resort to the words of some fossil, we have ¡Science!™ to tell us more. I would suggest you read The China Study by T. Colin Campbell to see how lethal the Western Diet™ is and how successful it is at vegetating the slave class. When you realize how overweight the average Wisconsinite is, it’s really no surprise that the Madison Uprising went nowhere. They ain’t gonna Occupy™ shit unless it’s a bar, preferably one that serves good ole Merikan Cuisine™, on game night.

        You can dismiss people such as Tony Gonzalez or Arian Foster as outliers if you like, but armed with knowledge (generally freely available) and $$$, Meat™ starts to look a whole lot more like fodder for addictive behaviour.

          • Thank you for those links. I’ve become quite tired of being clubbed over the head with this book by the vegan in my life, but I’ve not cared enough to bother to seek out substantive criticism. Kudos!

            However, I am not arguing for the part of the book where Campbell makes his (apparently) somewhat specious claims. The actual statistical survey that the book takes its title from still charts the change from a traditional, agrarian-driven Chinese diet to one that is distinctly more Western in nature, to the best of my understanding. Remove the ideological axe to grind against Meat™, I believe there is still a lot of value left to what may indeed be a flawed argument.

            As for charting the change in diet with the change in response to the state, I will admit that my observation as presented here is based on causation and not correlation. But who does the heavy lifting in a “revolution”? Healthy people or grossly corpulent people that can’t get off the medical gurney?

            As for @pelirrojo:disqus’s citation of his and his wife’s professional accomplishments, I read their relevance to be much the same as my citation of Tony Gonzalez or Arian Foster. Namely, there are easily cited real world examples that readily expose “Craig Bickford’s” attempts at trolling as just that.

          • misinformation | May 8, 2014 at 11:19 pm |

            “But who does the heavy lifting in a “revolution”? Healthy people or
            grossly corpulent people that can’t get off the medical gurney?”

            But you’ll agree that doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with vegetarianism or meat eating.

            A “western diet” is a bit of a ridiculous label. It’s been some time since I paid much attention to the China Study but I’m completely on board with avoiding processed foods and refined carbs. But did the study take into account that fact that most processed foods are chock-full of plant (soy, corn and wheat) based filler? Does it take into account the explosion in the use of vegetable oils in most diets over the last several decades (if you’re interested in this, I recommend, The Oiling of America as another study in the causes of disease addressed by the China Study). Campbell’s assertion that any cholesterol is negative (from my memory of their assertion) is patently ridiculous.

            Ime, vegetarians rarely take into account the source of food. One does not have to go the route of factory farming in order to eat, well, anything. Decentralizing ones food source is perhaps the most appropriate choice in attempting to change their response to the state.

            As per my comment regarding pelirrojo, I’ve already said that I handled it lazily. Other than being an emotional reaction (something I’m familiar with) to a post he didn’t appreciate, I still don’t see the point in bringing up his profession. If it were relevant to a discussion about vegetarianism, fine – how being a lawyer has anything to do with that is beyond me.

            For the record, I don’t necessarily agree with Craig Bickfords assertion or style in that particular post either. Though there is merit in some of his claims – whether they are convoluted or not.

          • I advocated bio-individuality
            “Craig” advocated a meat eater vs. vegetarian myth
            I replied where I saw fit

            Thank you for keeping me on my toes. This round has been educational.

      • pelirrojo | May 7, 2014 at 6:33 am |

        What a load of paranoid nonsense.

        My wife and I have both been vegans for years, I am a successful lawyer and a legal scholar, she is a successful psychotherapist and brain researcher.

        What do YOU do for a living, by the way?

        • misinformation | May 7, 2014 at 11:00 pm |

          You forgot to mention that you put way too much stock in career titles…

          • It’s because of nasty, snarky comments like this that we can’t have nice things.

          • misinformation | May 8, 2014 at 9:34 am |

            Interesting. I thought it was because someone went out of there way to tell everyone about their resume, as if it had anything to do with the topic at hand – or very much else for that matter not to mention phrasing it in such a way as if to indicate that being a lawyer naturally incurs more reverence for other professions.

            If I’m incorrect, you’ll have to forgive me, I’m not an attorney so I don’t understand things clearly.

            But I’ll grant you that I should’ve just asked what being a lawyer or psychotherapist had to do with anything.

      • Care to link to some proof of those rather excessive claims?

  4. Hadrian999 | May 5, 2014 at 1:58 pm |

    not worth living in

  5. BuzzCoastin | May 5, 2014 at 2:15 pm |

    Modernity and it’s down side
    meat, automobiles, oil & consumerism
    every up has a inevitable down
    the ballon eventually pops
    like the collapse of the Bronze Age or the fall of Rome

    wee will become vegitarians after the next collapse

  6. VaudeVillain | May 5, 2014 at 4:55 pm |

    I imagine that, at least for a while, the stench of rotting cattle would be overpowering. Around here most cattle are dairy,so we probably wouldn’t have to be afraid of rampaging angus, but once the farmers gave up feeding, cleaning or otherwise caring for them it would get pretty ripe.

    After that… I doubt it would be as great as the vegan evangelists claim,because nothing ever is.

    • ‘… at least for a while, …’

      To hell with the long term benefits, if it causes me the slightest discomfort in the meantime.

      Why so defeatist?

      • VaudeVillain | May 5, 2014 at 7:42 pm |

        I’m not on board with the hardcore veganism movement to start with. It’s only defeatism if you think the premise is a good one.

        • Strange, after acknowledging the ‘great’ness of their proposal.

          • VaudeVillain | May 6, 2014 at 9:14 am |

            I acknowledge their greatness like you advocate the virtues of National Socialism.

            If you’re going to evangelize at me, you’ll need to be better. A lot better.

          • Only if one equates the Royal British Legion poppy with scepticism.

          • VaudeVillain | May 6, 2014 at 6:28 pm |

            Or if you take single words or concepts out of idiomatic use in order to completely change a message.

            You’re not improving yet.

      • Hadrian999 | May 5, 2014 at 10:04 pm |

        no point in being alive if you don’t enjoy life. longer life span as a vegan seems more like a punishment than a benefit.

        • Chad Burke | May 6, 2014 at 9:18 pm |

          The studies showing vegans to live longer and have fewer cardiac problems didn’t take into account in their sampling that vegans are more likely to watch their health, exercise regularly, and be non drinkers and non smokers in the first place. Stands to reason if you care enough to go vegan or vegetarian, you are more likely to be a healthier individual to begin with. A newer study, I think out of Oxford and a uni in Austria, attempted to balance these variables and found some interesting results. Not in accordance with what the veggie movement has promoted.

    • Vegetarianism and veganism aren’t the same thing.

      • VaudeVillain | May 5, 2014 at 8:10 pm |

        I’m aware. The article brought up both paradigms. I’m also not a fan of the vegetarian evangelists. Actually, evangelists in general just rub me the wrong way.

        • Hadrian999 | May 5, 2014 at 9:43 pm |

          I hate when vegans lie, here try this chestnut to fu meatloaf, you will never tell the difference…..bullshit……and that goes double for every type of vegan “brownie” that has ever existed

          • DonovanCagliero | May 5, 2014 at 11:17 pm |

            While I can’t speak for the meat-alternatives, I can certainly tell you that vegan baking tastes no different than animal-based baking when the cook knows what they’re doing. I make vegan brownies for my family once every few weeks and they tend to come out rich and at a nice consistency.

          • Chad Burke | May 6, 2014 at 9:10 pm |

            Sorry, that’s a load of crap. You might make one or two passably edible vegan knockoffs, but if you’re cooking a traditional dish and substituting for animal meat, fat or dairy ingredients of any sizeable portion, I guarantee I could pick it out of a lineup. For some things there are no substitutes.

          • DonovanCagliero | May 8, 2014 at 1:35 am |

            Animal meat is the only plausible ingredient that is easy to pick out in recipe alternatives. I bake vegan 100% of the time, it really isn’t that different in taste or texture than what I used to eat before going vegan. Consider the fact that lots of cake mixes are vegan but call for the addition of eggs and milk. I use a good store-bought egg substitute along with home made cashew milk, and the cake comes out fantastic. Replacements for meat are a tougher one in recipes, you can tell 9 times out of 10 when a meat alternative is being used. This will not be the case for much longer with brands like Beyond Meat. If you ever pass by a Beyond Meat product at your local grocery store and feel adventurous, try it. I fooled my entire (9 people) family with their chicken strips. Don’t even get me started on vegenaise (which you aught to try for flavor alone, because DAMN that stuff is delicious).

    • Yeah, because if there was a worldwide adoption of vegetarianism, everyone would instantly just abandon their cows in their fields to die or go feral…

      Pardon me while I indulge in a little bit of *eyeroll*, but I’ve seen variations on this comment for years, and it never fails to startle me with it’s WTF level of divorce from reality.

      • VaudeVillain | May 6, 2014 at 9:26 am |

        Just out of curiosity… what makes you think that many of the people who currently raise livestock, especially livestock intended to be slaughtered for meat, wouldn’t abandon them? Because they’re nice people who love animals? If a thousand head of cattle transform overnight from working asset to absolute liability, what do you think happens?

        Speaking of divorce from reality: worldwide adoption of vegetarianism scenarios only ever come from that broken home to begin with. If the responses to them seem insane: garbage in, garbage out.

        • Well, since you ask, if you’re seriously discussing this, I think the most obvious answer to your question would be another question, to whit:

          What makes you think that, if global vegetarianism became a thing that everyone would (or would have to) stop eating meat on the spot?

          Are you seriously suggesting that if The Scary Vegetarian Powers That Be (cos you know, they’re such a powerful and wealthy political lobby group, those darn vegetarians…) mandated that all meat consumption ceased at midnight on the Xth of X, all the farmers would just throw up their hands and walk away?

          Or do you think it might be more likely that every slaughterhouse / abbatoir in the world would find itself working the heaviest shifts of their existence, trying to “process” the enormous backlog of work that suddenly appeared, as everyone tries to get their (blood) money and maximise profits before the game is over?

          Because, you know, if worldwide vegetarianism were mandated, no-one would try and get as much meat-eating in as they could, before the bell, so there’d obviously be zero demand for meat, just like that, right.


          (An aside re: worldwide vegetarianism: I am certain this would never happen, so funnily enough I totally agree with your “divorced from reality”/insane scenario point. And to be clear on a personal experience/attitude level so you know where I’m coming from, I’d never argue that it should: as a now-vegetarian ex-hunter/bowhunter my problem with meat-eating is primarily about the industrial scale and methods used for culling, and people’s almost total divorce of their eating from the reality of where it comes from and what the animal goes through on its journey to their plate. If I had to kill an animal for the ongoing survival of myself or my family today I’d give it about five seconds’ consideration before doing it. But as with when I regularly hunted for food, I’d try and do it as quickly and (relatively) humanely as possible. And at least said animal would have had the benefit of a normal/wild life, up to the point where I ended it.)

          • VaudeVillain | May 7, 2014 at 1:23 am |

            In order:

            Because that was the stated premise. I don’t think this would ever happen, and I think any hypothesis predicated on the idea is so fundamentally baseless that there is no possible means of differentiating them.

            Let’s just go ahead and start referring to these pretend power-veggies as Agenda 21. it will be funnier when the Teabags’ heads explode that way. anyway: yes, I do think the farmers would throw their hands up and walk away IF such a measure were to somehow be put into place ANDthe dates had either come to pass or were so close that nothing could be done about them.

            I don’t see it as an either/or proposition. I’m sure the meat industry would go into overdrive right until the last minute, but unless they were given a very long lead time they would never clear the backlog and a lot of people would still be left in the cold at the end.

            Again, I was responding to the proposition as it was posited: everyone wakes up tomorrow and stops eating meat forever. No lead time was indicated, so I assumed none. Also, again, I don’t know that any time frame under at least a year would actually be sufficient for all existing livestock to be slaughtered and processed even if the will were there to do it.

          • Well, I’ll just assume that in our evolution of the hypothetical proposition the deadline for the No Meat No More No How Veggie Apocalypse is less than a year but probably not so close to the date of the announcement that nothing could be done.

            I reckon (But have no facts or figure to prove it either way – but when does that stop anyone around here? Heh!) it could be done in a year though, and I don’t think the will to do it is in question. Current slaughterhouse workers wanting to get their last wages in (plus some overtime, why not?), working in shifts round the clock, in tandem with all those hardcore meat-eaters who’d gladly trade a few hours with a bolt gun for some discount beef would take care of it nicely.

            And since it’s all hypothetical anyway, I’ll take any cows that are left and adopt them as my bovine children.

            PS The mental image you inspired of Teabags’ heads exploding at the awesome horror of the Mythical Power Veggies of Agenda 21 was more than worth the admission price of this discussion.

  7. As a construction work friend of mine noticed, vegetations can really work though a day of hard work. While I know a vegan bodybuilder, but that’s the exception not the rule. Anyway, I am off to get some Foie gras and caviar and you can enjoy being vegan.

  8. Rus Archer | May 5, 2014 at 8:01 pm |

    what if people stopped having kids

    • …it’s usually the people that should have kids that wind up following advice like that…

      • Ever consider the possibility that intelligence is actually a bad thing?

        • Of course.

          The evolutionists basically say that intelligence is why humans are humans and everything else is everything else. “We chose intelligence over short term survival” is how the story goes, I believe. (≠ ᴱᴺᴰᴼᴿ$ᴲᴹᴱᴻᵀ)

          I was thinking more in terms of Consciousness™. People that choose not to breed tend to have thought it through pretty thoroughly in my experience.

          • If they should have kids, perhaps they haven’t actually thought it through well enough.

          • The first world price of raising just one child is ridiculous and guarantees nothing under even the best of circumstances.

            Some people see all the hate, greed, poverty, and self-inflicted suffering and just don’t understand how others can so irresponsibly breed our way into potential extinction.

            As an additional component, some people are just wise enough to realize that they can barely take care of themselves, so it’s probably not a good idea to have to bear that responsibility for someone else as well.

            I’m far from being an Anti-Choicer™, but I do find the statistics on abortion incredibly disturbing. Systemically speaking, I think those stats would tend to support that at the very least, the wrong people are having children engaged in of random acts of procreation.

          • Oginikwe | May 6, 2014 at 4:49 pm |

            I don’t buy that we’re the “intelligent” species. We’re just the most ruthless and self-centered.

          • Hence why I don’t typically subscribe to Intelligence™.

            If dolphins had opposable thumbs, we’d be so fucked.

  9. Watch it. I don’t eat meat, but I’m armed.

    • VaudeVillain | May 5, 2014 at 8:12 pm |

      Good. I love wings, and it would be disappointing to say the least if you didn’t have any.

      • You might want to consider other possible interpretations of my comment, for your own safety.

        • VaudeVillain | May 6, 2014 at 1:38 pm |

          I’ve recently developed a technique for unbelievably obtuse interpretations of common expressions, and find myself unable to consider any possibility that does not conform to my idiosyncratic reading.

          I’m afraid I just need to double down on fatalism.

    • Chad Burke | May 6, 2014 at 9:22 pm |

      What? There’s no such thing as a veggie gun owner is there?

  10. Echar Lailoken | May 5, 2014 at 8:57 pm |

    If this was to occur I’d put money into wild rice, quinoa, Kale, parsley, spiralina, honey, and blueberries.

  11. I didn’t say it wasn’t messy.

  12. astrofrog | May 5, 2014 at 9:51 pm |

    The vegans are welcome to their hair shirts and gradual brain damage. Me, I’m sticking with the bacon. We didn’t evolve big brains chasing after leaves. I rolled my eyes about the health risks of saturated fat when I was a kid, because my taste buds said “that’s clearly insane, this stuff is the bomb”, and what do you know? My taste buds were right, and two generations of nutritionists and doctors were full of (very profitable for the agricultural/pharmaceutical complex) poo. It’ll turn out to be the same with veg*anism. What would a world be like if we all gave up meat? Well, considering that this is a great way to ensure a world full of sickly, depressed people: probably pretty crap.

    • Catharsiopa Stern | May 6, 2014 at 7:02 am |

      I eat loads of saturated fats as vegetarian, you see no need to go to extremes to define a category, I even drink organic raw milk and butter. But the saturated fats are not only found in meat, everyday I take about 2 big tablespoons of coconut oil, which is basically only saturated fats and all of those fats are brain beneficial.

      Eating saturated fats etc has nothing to do with meat 😉 You can get those from being vegetarian more than plenty.

      • astrofrog | May 6, 2014 at 9:40 am |

        The point wasn’t that you can’t get saturated fats from non-meat products. The point was that experts have a tendency to be wrong about these things, and that on balance, I think the wise choice is to go with what my body has been prepared to eat by millions of years of evolution, rather than trying to force-fit my diet into a misguided ideology that simply does not match my biology.

      • Chad Burke | May 6, 2014 at 9:04 pm |

        I’ll take the occasional steak over coconut oil. There is a place in life for the enjoyment of food as opposed to mere sustenance.

        • Catharsiopa Stern | May 7, 2014 at 3:16 pm |

          Indeed, but I just wanted to point out that an adequate diet has nothing to do with whether you eat meat or not, but whether you know what your body needs and then supply that to it.

          As I said, I don’t like labels like vegetarian, carnivore etc, people should eat what they choose to, as simple as that.

          Whether your motivation is health related, enjoyment whatever, noone should care about the why.

          Only thing I have to say concerning meat is that I don’t agree with the way animals are slaughtered, there are more humane ways to raise animals and also more humane ways of ending an animals life.

          It shouldn’t be an unimportant issue for anyone to ask for food that is grown, raised, produced properly and ina more or less sustainable fashion.

          Most people just have a very excessive attitude towards eating and food, and seem addicted to their daily flesh and blood. Even in the past we didn’t overindulge in meat as we do today.

    • I don’t buy that our brains are the result of eating meat. In order to eat meat we need to prepare and cook it, because our mouths and digestive systems aren’t adequate. Plus, we need tools to hunt. All of that indicates to me that our brains came first.

      We do, however, have the physiology of insectivores.

      • Ted Heistman | May 6, 2014 at 11:42 am |

        well, we used to have much bigger jaws. They got smaller from eating cooked food, which enabled our craniums to expand. there are structural limitations to massive jaws in terms of brain size.

      • As primates, we were (largely) fruitarians and insectivores. Call it The Gift™ diet.

        The last “theory” I took in said our modern biological distinctiveness can be traced to our species’ time living in caves in South Africa. In which case, it is believed the increase of seafood in the diet facilitated the evolution of the modern brain (I’m sure shrooms from the caves didn’t hurt things either).

        Supposedly, the classic Hunter/Gatherer™ period follows this evolution.

  13. DonovanCagliero | May 5, 2014 at 11:18 pm |

    Veg*ns for the win! Glad to see some pro-veg discussion here. I’ve been vegan for one year and have lost a lot of weight, gained a decent amount of muscle (and will power) and am by-far the healthiest individual in my family. Animal-related ethics aside, I’m glad to know that my lifestyle is less harmful to the environment. It is not at all difficult to go vegan, and definitely no more costly than an animal-based diet. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to treat their bodies (and the bodies of animals) more nicely.

    • Chad Burke | May 6, 2014 at 9:29 pm |

      For all the talk of strong healthy vegans here, its odd that I’ve never met a single one. I have three pasty, sickly vegans in my own family who extoll it’s virtues endlessly yet are constantly ill and seem to be exhausted at all times.

      • DonovanCagliero | May 8, 2014 at 1:26 am |

        Well hopefully your mind is big enough to fathom that people, outside of the group of people that you know, exist.

        • Chad Burke | May 8, 2014 at 2:16 am |

          Yep. I eat the necessary proteins found in meat that allow my brain to function at full capacity and to peg people like you as snarky little douche bags. I’ve met dozens of vegans and vegetarians in my life and seen hundreds more in documentaries and on various television programs and they never fail to have the same sickly pallor, poor muscle tone and gaunt look about the face. I could pick them out of a lineup. Maybe some don’t fit this description, but not nearly enough to make me consider it. And how intelligent of you to presume the number and diversity of people I know based on a comment? Whose mind isn’t “big enough” here? Also didn’t know that minds have sizes which denote intelligence. You’re just full of information aren’t you?

          • Tuna Ghost | May 9, 2014 at 12:36 am |

            I stopped eating meat a while ago and I’m just as healthy as I was before, likely because I ride anywhere from 50 to 75 miles every week on a bike. It’s a lifestyle thing, not simply what you’re putting into your mouth.

          • DonovanCagliero | May 11, 2014 at 2:25 am |

            That’s an overly angry comment for responding to somebody pointing out that your stereotype does not hold true as often as you are saying it does.

    • Tuna Ghost | May 9, 2014 at 12:38 am |

      Anecdotal evidence really isn’t helpful. For all we know your family is full of fat-ass smokers and drinkers whose primary food source is 7-11. I could eat nothing but cats and with a healthy lifestyle I’d outlive all of you.

      • DonovanCagliero | May 11, 2014 at 2:21 am |

        That is a very good point. My family is comprised of 8 people (excluding myself) who eat what is known as the Standard American Diet (mostly meat, eggs, and dairy products). Most of them are of average weight, though one is obese and one is underweight. Most of them exercise a decent amount. I eat a vegan diet, take a multivitamin and several nootropics, and exercise for about 20-30 minutes per day.

  14. Catharsiopa Stern | May 6, 2014 at 6:55 am |

    Against all those saying vegetarians are frail and weak, sorry to have to disappoint you, and sorry to say that since I gave up meat I haven’t gotten sick a single time. I no longer have stomach problems or digestive issues, I actually am less tired, only need 8 hours of sleep whereas when I used to eat more meat etc, I used to be tired after most my meals since digestions was so hard.

    BUT I am not against eating meat, nor for vegetarianism, my problems with the meat industry is our excessive consumption of meat and how we treat those animals, at least organic pasture farming where the animals are treated to a good life is the bare minimum of respect we need to show our environment.

    And then for those screaming out against being vegetarian, well let me tell you something, don’t ever eat soy. The Soy industry that tries to replace ,meat, is idiotic and it is one of the worst things for your health.

    Being a vegetarian means informing yourself rightly and finding out what to eat.

    Plants are just as alive as animals, and I don’t see a difference in terms of morality concerning what we eat, but rather we should treat all life forms with respect-. Sadly the meat industry today has become one of the most gruesome and terrifying things man has running.

    Farms that focus on mass production are literlly keeping animals in conditions noone should ever be kept in. Treated and killed in manners that speak to the disconnect humanity has today , it speaks of the loss of heart and the loss of humanity.

    We are now in a time where we view everything like machines, our own selves are just illusions of individuality created by the goo we call brain. And with this thinking the human being has in my eyes devolved into a thing rather than being a feeling life-form.

    This is not true for everyone, but sometimes I imagine we are in a splitting of those humans who will devolve into something even inferior to most animals, and while others will strive to reconnect with their more humane side and move into the process of evolution.

    • Oginikwe | May 6, 2014 at 1:04 pm |

      We raise all of our own meat and our animals have very good lives with a myriad of humans waiting on them hand and hoof. We built a deck so we could have some human space while the poultry has the run of the place, that’s how spoiled our animals are.
      Slaughter is very hard and we view it as an extension of “sacred game.” That is, we respect that these animals give their lives so we can eat well. On the other hand, should anything ever happen to my better half who does the slaughter, I would never eat beef, turkey, or pork again. When you live intimately with animals and learn their different personalities, it becomes much harder to eat them. However, I wouldn’t have those same problems with the chickens.
      Factory farming is one of the most reprehensible and outright evil things that we do. If there is such a thing as karma, lots of people are going to be really unhappy as they experience what they’ve done from the animals’ point of view.

      • Catharsiopa Stern | May 6, 2014 at 6:56 pm |

        That’s exactly how it should be, wonderful to hear that you guys at least are living in harmony with the natural order we are a part of. Most people today don’t grow up close to nature as a few decades back. We now are living artificially in our own cages, feeding on the only sentient and beautiful thing left namely our planet and it’s nature. Destroying the womb we all came forth from.

  15. Joey Jacobson | May 6, 2014 at 12:50 pm |

    Bull hockey.

  16. Oginikwe | May 6, 2014 at 4:51 pm |

    I first saw this this morning and it’s bothered me all day. That’s just too horrible for words. I wish I could un-see it . . .

    • Sorry Oginikwe.
      I genuinely think of today’s world as totally callous.
      Did you see the horrific snuff images of Gaddafi’s murder?
      I’ll tone down graphic image posting here from now on.

      • I know too many good people to see the world as “totally callous.” There are lots of wonderful, caring people. I guess they just don’t raise geese for whatever bizarre food this is for. The thing is, once money enters the equation, people get the windigo sickness: what another poster referred to as “hungry ghosts” (maybe that was you)–that mental sickness where there’s never enough and zombie-ish people eat others alive.

        Please, don’t tone down your graphic images for me. These things should bother us and we need to see them.

  17. Craig Bickford | May 6, 2014 at 10:02 pm |

    The silliness never end with this climate terror crap.

  18. Oginikwe | May 7, 2014 at 8:16 am |

    The liver is the major cleansing organ of any animal and considering the body of research that illustrates it to be one of the major organs impacted by GMOs, resulting in tumors, give it time. Anyone who eats that is getting a double dose.

  19. Ed Cummings | Aug 27, 2014 at 11:34 am |

    Pollution levels will decrease but so will the populations of the polluters(the farm animals)

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