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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Opinions on the topic of Vegetarianism - 2

Part 2 of this topic, see part 1 for introduction to topic:

(After much discussion bashing PETA's often outrageous methods.)

If PETA is so bad, yet vegetarians tolerate it, then why don't meat-eaters organize to change PETA's practices? Are you thinking they won't listen to you because you are a meat-eater?

Meat eaters have the MOST say in how food animals live and die. Your money directs their lives and deaths.
Ideoform msg. 108
So it seems that you are only worried about PETA's affect on humans, not on animals, and PETA is only worried about meat-eater's effects on animals, not how it's actions effect humans. It sounds like both are doing the same thing--trying to draw an ethical line where certain things matter and certain things don't.

If it is the terrorism aspect of activism that bothers people about PETA, then why not organize around the issue of terrorism in all its forms, as it manifests in all the different organizations that people place their passions into?

If you could figure out the root causes of terrorism, how it gets triggered, and how to stop it or transform it into something less hazardous, then your information will be in high demand in several governments...

Hmmm, but then you would have to limit your own organizing activities to strictly non-violent, non-terrorist methods yourself, to show how its done. (And to avoid being labeled a hypocrite.)

"It might do many well to take a survival class.
When energy levels plummet in a ice cold, barren, winter wonderland, devoid of many edibles some roasted critter on a stick fuels that internal furnace and stops the shivering. Mental sharpness fades quickly without refueling, hindering your chances to survive. I would challenge people to put their money where their mouth is ..."

I took a Wilderness Survival course in college. It included camping in the winter. Also a course in Orienteering, and one on how to forage for edible wild plants (Ethnobotany.) And I took Botany. (I know my food REALLY well, inside and out. Gross, huh?) I think I could survive in most situations, but probably it would be easier to eat the vegetation than to try to hunt something, even though I know how to shoot a gun, do archery and fencing (in a survival situation I probably won't have a gun or bow and arrow with me anyway.) As for insects, I do like snails, if you can call that an insect. Its kind of an aquired taste.

Quote from previous post:
"I keep a dog as a pet, he's adorable and I take care of him as best I can making sure he's well fed, groomed, and trained (poor training can lead to a dog dieing if they run out into a road or run away)."

I have a pet, too. He's a house rabbit. He's litterbox trained and has the run of the house like a cat--except he doesn't jump up on the kitchen counters. I also have two African Clawed frogs and some pet fish. I have trained the fish to do some things. Fish are smarter than people expect. I never thought about calling them kittens. I think PETA is pulling people's legs a lot. Cats and water are like oil and water--just don't go together. Its a strong, weird image. Very compelling, I think.

Vegetarianism, Veganism, aren't really survivalist subjects, and they aren't really political groups. They are a lifestyle, mostly. Its a lifestyle that is good if you are extremely poor, or it is good if you are well-off enough to care about food more than how it tastes. Like where did it come from, how was it made, and was it aware before becoming food?

PETA is taking the individual philosophical arguments from the ethics books and making them point by point, by a time-honored argumentative method of taking the traditional idea and turning it upside down, or backwards, or using exaggeration to the point of absurdity...we see our own unconscious conformities in a new way by making them seem "strange" for a moment. Its a very spirited method and mostly fun, but the weirdos can't be kept out of any big organization enough to keep them from causing some damage (and using the organization as a framework or as a scapegoat for their own destructive impulses.)

For instance, nobody eats cats. I don't really know why (I mentioned the carnivore thing earlier.) Even in China where they eat dogs, I don't think anybody really eats cats. So PETA chose kittens (cuter, baby cats) to compare to fish...they could have picked hamsters, or snakes, or turtles, or frogs, birds, or chameleons (all are sometimes pets.) Yuck, who would eat a cat?

But I ate sea turtle once when we were in Nicaragua. Tasted like veal. (I was a kid, we were tricked, they said it was chicken.) It was the first time I had met my food face to face before it was eaten. I had seen it roped upside-down in the back of a pick-up truck by the ocean earlier that day (it was HUGE and filled the entire truck) and we were eye-to-eye for a moment. Its head was larger than mine, with huge eyes.

In Nicaragua, the family we were staying with had a pet Paka. It was a huge rodent the size of a dog with red eyes and stripes. It slept in the bathtub to stay cool. They had rescued it as some Mosquito Indians were chasing it down for food, and it ran across their property. It was smaller then, and must have looked looked cuter. I forget its name, but we treated it like a dog. The Indians laughed at us because we were treating food as a pet. My Dad worked in the hospital nearby, which was on stilts because of termites. They kept pigs underneath the hospital. For some reason, nobody thought the pigs were as cute...even though they were probably smarter than the Paka.

I always felt bad that the Indians, who had worked so hard to hunt down their evening meal had to forgoe their dinner because some forgeiners decided to keep it for a pet. The reason was, we also were there to help a village whose entire population was dying of starvation because of a company cutting down the rainforest they depended on the year before. Seeing the starvation, and then seeing the Doctors acting that way about things (they lived like kings compared to the natives) made me think twice about it. When I got back to America, I never complained about caffeteria food again.

I really like the food ethics of the Fair Trade movement. I haven't seen Fair Trade meats yet. But any product can be Fair Trade, its just that we import so much of certain types of food that it greatly affects the local economies of the countries our food is imported from.
Msg. 111
People eating cats --also known as ""roof rabbit" by many.

Felines are the main ingredient in a famous soup .
Guangdong, China-- home to the Cantonese people .
Cat meat fetches approx $1.32 a pound.

Basically if it looks like food, one of the 6 Billion people on earth has probably tried it.
Msg. 112
You'll never starve on a desert island, because of all the sand which is there.


Ideoform: Msg. 113

Hmmm, so people eat cats? I will have to go call PETA now to tell them to change their ad campaign.

I always say to people, that if it comes down to me or my rabbit, the rabbit will go. I tell my kids that even though we have gotten to know this individual rabbit and have chosen to make it a family member, that it is a food animal. Kinda like keeping a chicken as a pet. If we had to move, or someone living in our home became allergic to the rabbit, we would be sending him back to the Humane Society (where they give them away for free right after Easter when people tend to abandon them. You have to sign something to the effect that you won't eat them.)

Basically, I am kind of a Foodie. I have watched Marc Bittman's show over the years. He's this chef who has his own show, who travels around the world looking for the best food there is and then he challenges the chef to cook with him, and modifies the recipes but uses the same theme or technique the forgein chef employs. So he was on the radio just now. He has a new book out, called "Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating with More Than 75 Recipes." There is also a movie by the same name, produced by different people.

You can hear a clip of the radio interview at NPR:

This guy is a major Foodie. This means he's mainly about cooking, and the taste of food, and eating really, really well, and he's been like that for many years. If he's "converted" or changed his diet--enough to have written a book about it, then this is a big thing. It means you can eat really well (he lives in New York,) and even be a top chef, and have very good reasons to eat with a conscience.

Here's a little more about him:
His book "How to Cook Everything"––won the IACP/Julia Child award, the James Beard Award, and three international cookbook awards––is the bible of basic cooking for millions of Americans, and is in its fifteenth printing; the 10th anniversary, revised edition was published in October, 2008.

The TV show; "Bittman Takes on America's Chefs," first aired in spring 2005, later won the James Beard Award for the best cooking series of that year, and continues to run regularly. The second season, "The Best Recipes in the World," aired a year later. In 2008 he appeared with Gwyneth Paltrow and Mario Batali, in a show called "Spain: On the Road Again." He also appears twice a month on NBC's Today Show, usually on Wednesdays.

In the 90s, Bittman created a best-selling collaboration with the internationally celebrated chef, Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Their classic, "Jean-Georges: Cooking at Home with a Four-Star Chef," is widely considered to be among the most accessible chef's cookbooks available. Mr. Bittman's first book, "Fish—The Complete Guide to Buying and Cooking" is the best-selling contemporary book on the subject. "The Best Recipes in the World" is a companion to his television series.

Anyway, I was a vegetarian before he was, but I did enjoy watching his show. Now I eat some fish, eggs and a little of organic meats. This is essentially what he advocates, now, too.

I think it's about being conscious about how what you are eating affects you, your health, and the well-being of the rest of the world. Its not about "banning" the sale of anything. Isn't it better to promote better lifestyle choices, than to try to legislate some kind of law about it?

If we can ban trans fats, and smoking, we can ban anything. But I think that it doesn't have to come to that if everyone has open discussions about the issues and becomes informed, and makes their own voluntary choices. Then you don't have to waste money "enforcing" a ban, or over-regulating and inspecting things. People will vote with their dollars, and people have already set up their own types of monitoring and regulations with things like Kosher inspections, and different independent evaluations being paid for by the food industry and other food-related businesses like restaurants themselves.

However, sometimes a ban or a law becomes necessary to get people's attention. We banned alcohol once, but removed it later because it didn't work and created a black market. A ban doesn't have to be permanent...but if we think the ban would actually work, then it might level the playing field for businesses so that they can all compete with the same set of rules. We have learned that banning something addicting doesn't work. Witness the failed war on drugs. Bans don't cure people's addictions.

You can try to ban things in creative ways. Like with cigarettes, you can ban where people smoke. But you can't force them to quit. The addiction is too strong--even when people WANT to quit, and everyone agrees that smoking is bad for people.

Note: I am not saying meat eating is an addiction, nor is it morally wrong. I am saying that there are ways in which we could change the meat eating in the country that would greatly improve things for a lot of people, and not just in this country.
Ideoform Msg. 117

Quote from a previous post:
"Moderation is the key--too much of anything can kill you--"

Its about way more than just being moderate. If moderation were really a key to American well-being, then we wouldn't have a skyrocketing obesity rate, heart disease rate, colon cancer and diabetes. We all think we are eating moderately already.

In most ethnic cuisines meat is used more as a flavoring to a dish than the main thing on the plate.

Moderation in meat eating can help some; we consume over 10 Billion animals in America each year. If we cut back 10% on meat consumption, we would consume one billion fewer animals. Raising animals for food production is a very inefficient use of our resources, and this level of consumption, about 10 lbs. of meat a week per person, doesn't enhance our lives much if you take into consideration the health care costs of obesity, high cholesterol drugs, and colon cancer treatments.

We pay for our meat over-consumption three times: once when we purchase the meat, again when we have to go to the gym to work it off, and again in high-priced cholesterol-lowering drugs and other expensive treatments like heart surgery.

But moderation doesn't take into account the quality of the food you do eat, or its origin. Food isn't generic. Our food is produced around the world in varying conditions and by varying ways of treating the workers.

For instance, buying organic foods has a triple-benefit: First, you get fewer pesticides (which usually affect neural cells.) Second, you protect the farmer and his family. There is a large increased rate of cancer among farmers and their families who need to use pesticides to produce crops at the level of production we are requiring of them. Third, you protect the people who manufacture and transport the chemicals themselves.

There are safer products to manufacture. Why use something so toxic if we are already producing more than we need to feed ourselves and much of the world? We are an overweight country. Why do we need such a concentrated food protein in such abundance that we are harming our health anyway? We lead sedentary lives. Our livelihoods do not depend on how much energy we burn each day doing our work anymore, like we used to when America was mainly an agrarian society (mostly farmers.)

(Besides which, chemical fertilizer is a bomb ingredient--if we had less of it laying around, terrorists might have a harder time finding the ingredients for their chemical disasters.) Let's reduce the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. I like that better than trying to dictate exactly someone's menu.

The price you pay for organic foods is the true cost of the food, without the artificial incentives and requirements (and regulations) we have placed on our food producers. If your food budget seems tighter eating organic, you might naturally spend less on meat and more on other things, and eat a little less and be healthier. This is how the economy should work. All the other things we are doing to enhance our production only enhances someone else's bottom line who lobbied for some crazy legislation, at the expense of our health by selling us stuff we don't need.

I think that food's cost should reflect it's total lifespan effect on America. Like from when it comes out of the ground to when it goes back into the ground. With all its effects on people's health, the situation and health of those who produce it calculated in between.

The economy can do this if you think about it carefully. Its not totally about banning. Its more about accountability. Its more about having the true costs reflected in the price. If it has a cancer-causing effect, or an obesity effect (think the appetite enhancers like MSG, high-fructose corn syrup, and aspartame) then that is part of the cost of how we are producing food in our country. If you added these not so "hidden" costs to the price of non-organic foods, I believe the prices would end up being the same as organic foods.

If you knew that you could eat all you want, except that there would be a tiny bit of Arsenic or Cyanide in all the food, would you still eat it?
Msg. 120
(Quoting Ideoform:) "I always say to people, that if it comes down to me or my rabbit, the rabbit will go. I tell my kids that even though we have gotten to know this individual rabbit and have chosen to make it a family member, that it is a food animal. Kinda like keeping a chicken as a pet."

This is one area where I would differ from this poster. I too have a rabbit, and he is as much a part of my family as any human. Could I kill and eat him if I were starving? I truly don't believe I could. Now again, this is what I am assuming, not having been in the starvation is a desperate place to be in...but I honestly could not tel l you right now that I could do it. It would torture me to even consider the idea, as I look at him as family.
Ideoform Msg. 121

Hello fellow rabbit person. I know the feeling.

It was the time when I first looked into the eyes of my food.... the saucer-plate sized eyes of that huge sea turtle...he really seemed to actually LOOK back at me....and then finding out that we were tricked into eating him the next evening...that's I think what really primed me for acting on the ideas in that ethics book on food animals. Because ANYTHING that is alive can be food for humans. That's the consequence of being an omnivore. (Well, don't eat armadillos or monkeys, OK?)

OK. Just to be clear, I didn't mean to say that I tell people I'd eat my pet in a starvation situation.

I meant that he would go back to the Humane Society where he came from if we had to move to a place that didn't allow pets or some other problem like that. I say he's a food animal to people to remind them that he's really, after all, just a rabbit. My yard has several rabbits that have a route around my house they follow, trying to figure out why they smell a rabbit in there...I don't feed them or bring them in the house. We think they are funny, looking for our rabbit. And our rabbit sits on top of the couch, looking out the window at the yard a lot. I am keeping him away from his tribe. I feel bad about that. I give him lots of his favorite vegetable, cilantro, as compensation. He's really quite spoiled.

But I also allow my teenage son to go hunting with his father. Even though I don't own a gun myself and I am for gun control, I think it is a good male bonding kind of thing. Plus, I think its always a good idea if a guy in a wheelchair knows how to shoot a gun...

If I eat hamburger chili for dinner, I am being a real hypocrite if I say that my rabbit's life and well-being is more important than a cow. For one thing the cow is way bigger.

(Its about the same kind of logic that a lot of PETA people are trying to point out...)
Ideoform Msg. 123

(After very extended criticism of my previous posts.)

Dear Jiperly,

You are very young. You can take all the risks you want with your food. You will live forever for sure, at least for now.

Someday you might feel differently.
Ideoform Msg. 135

Quoting a previous post:
"A vast majority of produce, fruits and vegetables are truly quite dead by the time most Americans eat them.

Top 10: America's Healthiest Grocery Stores..."

I guess I have it pretty easy. I live within 10 blocks of two stores that sell whole foods.
I've seen that Woodman's has a big section of organic foods and other health foods, and their prices are very reasonable. I don't know if there is one in your area.

15 years ago there were only two stores in the entire city. We used to have an in formal food buying group. A bunch of us moms got together and pooled our grocery money together and got a truck to come from the warehouse with an order every month. We also bought shares from local farmers directly for produce.

Before that, I had a garden. They used to call them Victory Gardens. There was this really cool organic gardening magazine that was really crazy and funny and I miss it.

I was at an economic development planning meeting at our city last night and I met a Master Gardener. He was a retired lawyer, and really good at it. There are people like us just don't hear about it because we are usually pretty low-key about it. In my area there is a big group that is into buying all their food locally. They have a "challenge" to eat only food produced within 50 miles of where they live. Its not easy to do, but that's kind of the fun of it. It stretches your abilities, and makes you unhook from your old habits a bit. Its not like they are going to change the world, but you can change your part of the world...
Ideoform Msg. 138

Hey, cool that you have a house rabbit. I really don't know anyone else who has a house rabbit. I learned about it from a home health aide I hired for my Grandmother a long time ago, but her's died (was 18 years old!) and I haven't kept in touch with her. Everyone else locks up their rabbits in cages most of the time. I hate seeing animals behind bars. Its feels like they committed some crime, or are slaves of us or something, when what crime did they commit except by being our pets?

There's a website about house rabbits where I learned how to take care of one before adopting a rabbit. I have learned some things on my own, though, too.

I think caring for and living with pets teach tolerance and understanding to children. (If you teach it to them, that is.) It has helped my Autistic son learn to be gentle and understand other creatures better. Autistics have trouble with body language with people. Animals have only got "body language" so it forces them to relate on that level.

"btw, monkeys and armadillos are eaten by humans as well...some humans ..."

I put that comment in there because armadillos are known to be one of the few sources of leprosy. And leprosy is still incurable. And monkeys, gorillas and bats have been the suspected source of the Ebola virus disease that is also almost impossible to treat or to survive.

People don't read things here that carefully (I think a lot of us are at work and get a lot of interruptions) and I didn't want anyone to get the wrong idea that I was somehow advocating that people could eat any living thing at all --just because we CAN as omnivores.

There is also a really good reason to avoid cannibalism. Any animal that eats its own species is at risk for Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy, Mad Cow disease (prions--which are indestructible by normal sterilization methods such as cooking, radiation.) This is controversial, but might have some truth to it because almost no species regularly eats its own. Its possible that it causes more problems than it helps with survival.

"Plants breathe, metabolize, and grow--hence they DIE once pulled from the ground..."

I love that you brought this up because I get to use it as an excuse to brag about my senior high school science project. :)

I cloned carrots. It was fun. I duplicated the original cloning experiment. The procedure basically involves taking a really fresh carrot, slicing it up into very tiny bits, then keeping it in a sterilized rotating growth medium for a month. Each cell then turns green and can be grown into an identical carrot plant to the original. This I would hardly call "DEAD" material.

My mom wasn't crazy about my experiment sitting rotating in her kitchen for a month though.

"Calories in - calories out."

^^^The above statement is "scientifically" true in a chemistry sense. But this is a phrase that I believe was used by lobbyists for the food industry to protect their businesses from the problems they think would happen if everyone knew that food grown in one place is not identical to food grown in another place. You see, when the scientists who drew up the calorie content for various foods tested food, they simply burned them and found out how much carbon each food contained. To test for nutrients is more difficult, but was done. However, many of these tests are very old, and done on plants that were grown differently than they are today. Food grown in one type of soil can have significantly different levels of nutrients than one grown in another. Witness the Vidalia onions. They are only able to be grown in a certain place. The same has been known to be true for centuries with grapes used for making wine.
Ideoform Msg.

Quoting Jiperly:

" Are you honestly saying your stance has no victims? "

Sigh... Jiperly;

If you go looking for victims, you will always find them, because they volunteer themselves.

Ideoform Msg. 146

Quoting previous post by Jiperly (letting him push my buttons, I think)

"I don't understand Ideoform- you claim you're all for freedom and letting people decide with their wallets and that people have an inalienable right to decide what they put in their body- but you're equally arguing that people need to be protected from themselves, that people should not be left to decide things for themselves, and that the individuals freedom to decide what they put in their body is irrelivant when it comes to their health.

Which is it? Do you respect each persons ability to decide for themselves, or do you think people should be protected from themselves? Why all this talk of having "the true cost reflect the price"? Isn't that maniplulating the costs to force a healthy standard, rather than allowing people to choose their own healthy standard? Are you honestly saying your stance has no victims?"

So you want to know what my agenda is--what my bias is--because then it would be easier to research things to refute everything I am saying. I didn't answer your many earlier questions based on every line of my postings because your posting style leads me to think that you aren't really looking for the answers. You are looking for holes in people's arguments.

If by saying that you don't understand Ideoform, you mean for me to explain myself to you, then I have to say that I don't owe you an explanation of myself, but I will tell you, anyway. (Even though I don't think you want an explanation really, but more things for you to refute. And to use that to promote your own agenda. Which is fine, but it isn't really on-topic for this thread, which was about what goes into vegetarians' thinking, not about organizing vegetarians to take action. )

If you really want to organize vegetarians to action, that would be a really good idea for a new thread topic.

I like ideas, and I like putting them into form. (Hence, Ideoform.) I like listening to other people's ideas, collecting various bits of information, and studying topics like philosophy, science, ethics, and human behavior in some depth. I play around with the ideas, and after turning them around, inside out and upside down, I act on what I have learned and concluded.

This changes. Over my lifespan my values have changed. I have learned from this process. I have changed. I also know what works for me and what doesn't. I have seen these ideas play out over time. And seen the effects of my actions. It is one of the main benefits of growing older. Reflection.

I think that sometimes people think that the best judge of their own arguments is how firmly they can keep to their original conclusions. This negates the value of the argument that includes learning from experiences--including those of others. You can always go and check people's facts. (This is one of the main fun things about debating on the internet. You can fact-check almost immediately--WHILE you are arguing.)

If you are debating strictly as a scientist, then any discussion is not really an argument or a debate; it is an exchange of facts (or pseudo-facts.) If you think that all opinions are moot unless they are based on the current body of scientific evidence that has been researched and so-called "peer reviewed," then your bias is going to eliminate ALL OPINIONS. Because a fact is simply a fact, not an opinion. Plus, you will miss all the debate, feelings, motivations, problems, pressures, and emotions that go into forming what scientists choose to study, and how they formulate their hypotheses so that they can learn more about the universe.

I think that you have judged me as someone who attempts to maniplulate the facts to push an agenda. You want me to just present my sources. You have lost all interest in people's stories. You believe I am a cultist. You think I thrive on telling people reality is the opposite of what it is.

You say you entered this topic to encourage people who were outraged by people assuming that a violent organsation represented them, to create a counter organsation that promotes peace, tolerance, and acceptence of all people reguardless if they eat meat or not. And you admit it sounds like you are against "harmony and acceptance."

I am not outraged. I don't have that level of passion about PETA. And so far you haven't convinced any vegetarians that have responded to become outraged by them attempting to represent them. It seems as though YOU are the one who is outraged. Outrage is a pretty strong emotion. (Not very scientific at all. Not very objective.)

You accuse all vegetarians of supporting by default an organization that protects and supports arsonists who firebomb places where animal testing is conducted, while using the very benefits of animal testing to continue living to say such things as "Even if animal research resulted in a cure for AIDS, we'd be against it."

Are you saying that if we aren't against PETA we shouldn't be vegetarians to avoid association by people like you who would connect us, like McCarthy, to a terrorist organization even though we are not its members?

You say that if a vegetarian posts on this thread defending the way they eat, that it is as a bad as if we 'came into this forum and announced that Al Quedia, despite its flaws, still has a good message.' And you are 'surprised that someone was shocked and appalled at the outrage that flowed in response to such a message.' You say that there is no action you can take to rectifiy that situation- only vegetarians can help change it.

I think that there are lots of things you could do--here's one you probably won't do, but it would work if you care so much about this as your words say you do. You could become a vegetarian--or even PRETEND to become a vegetarian, and then organize a group to protest the tactics that PETA is doing. Or you could just organize vegetarians directly as a meat-eater. You could write letters to your representatives, do political advocacy yourself, to ban the political action practices PETA is using so no other organization that is advocating even worse ideas can try to use them.

I think that we can all be grateful that PETA is ONLY promoting not eating meat, or not hurting animals. How they are doing it can hurt some businesses, I haven't heard of any person being bombed by them.

I think you want to "get a bead on me" so you can tailor your arguments based on other people's arguments debating various political issues. You want me to fit into one of two "camps" that you present me with, like it's a war, like who I am is a black and white thing. You are either for this one group or against this one in-between. Or I must join or create a different group to justify my eating habits to others.

So here is my position: I'm posting on this thread because I have been both a vegetarian and a vegan for a very long time in my life, I have seen starvation caused by human intervention in a population's food supply in person, I keep an animal as a pet that I would probably not eat myself if I were starving, I have also fasted for a very long time (24 days) so I know what not eating feels like. I also studied ethics and philosopy in college where the issue of the ethics of food was discussed in depth. I have experience doing political advocacy for 8 years, so I understand some about what PETA is doing/trying to do.

The OP's question was an ethical challenge to vegetarians, involving starvation, and most of the posters used PETA as an example. I think the OP's question could be re-phrased as something along the lines of:

"Are you a vegetarian because you believe animals more important than people?"

I don't think animals are more important than people.

I became a vegetarian after reading a book. My 19 year-old self was so impressed by the facts presented, the morality proposed, and the arguments used to back them up that I acted on them right away.

It goes to the kind of person I am. I made a committment to myself when I was very young to try to live my values. Whatever I valued, whatever made sense to me, whatever grabbed my heart, and my gut instinct, and inspired me, that is what I would do. I wouldn't just talk about it, and think about it. I would start to do it--take some kind of action--that same day or as soon as it was relevant. I've been doing this for almost 30 years.

Live rewards action. Worrying, wishing, wanting, all help people to learn what it is they really want in life, and they are clues as to where our lives need change or effort or action. But life, politics, culture, posterity, fame, fortune, whatever you value--rewards action.

For example, I have "a few extra pounds" on my profile. I gained most of them during a stressful time when I was sick. I now go to the gym every day and I dance on the weekends, and take yoga for flexibility. Thinking about doing it won't help me loose the weight. I have already lost 25 lbs. This is very hard to do for a woman my age.

Once I became a vegetarian at 19, I felt healthier, and I noticed that most people like me had become a vegetarian for health reasons. It's all over the literature about it, the cooking books about it, and when people talk about it.

At the time, when I was young, I sort of thought that what appeared to others to be an obsession with health at that age was a little weird so I didn't talk about it much. As I have aged, though, and lost people I loved to cancer, the health benefits of anything have become very important to me. Particularly since I have had children, and my motivation skyrocketed to try to keep them healthy because their health was completely dependent on what I did, or did not do for them.

Having kids you cook a lot. I learned to cook for 4 picky people (my ex was one of them.) After learning about cooking, watching lots of cooking shows and practicing a lot, I have become a very good cook. I can cook lots of different styles. I learned to cook meat for my husband because I DIDN'T want to try to CHANGE him or CONVERT him.

I didn't become a vegetarian because someone converted me or tried to change me. Posters have mentioned vegetarians being "wimpy." Or in other words, "bleeding hearts."
Nobody saw a wimpy fool and then came to my door and tried to convert me to vegetarianism like it is a religion. My professor in college didn't teach me ethics to convert me to anything. We discussed about a dozen different religions in that class and I didn't convert to any one of them. In fact, at the time, I was an agnostic.

I didn't become a vegetarian because I was "against something" I became a vegetarian because I was "for something" that I was really very impressed by; which was a certain type of ethics and quality of ethical debate which I could not, in my own conscience, ignore. Once you know better, you do better. Once you know, you don't have the excuse anymore of not knowing about something. I chose to risk my current lifestyle to put it more in line with my values. If someday PETA does something I feel the same way about, then I might take action against them. For now, they seem to have the same reasoning that came from the book I originally read, but they are using political tactics that are both aggressive and a bit funny, but not on the level of the kinds of things I advocate for right now. In fact, I think the best use of my time right now is to promote the healthiest, sanest, most compassionate lifestyle for myself, my family, my community and my planet that I can.

As you have said that you don't "believe in" vegetarianism, you must be someone who does eat meat.

So from what I can read, you are on this thread only to attack the arguments, motivations and reasoning of any vegetarians that respond to the OP's question--which was aimed at vegetarians.


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