Meat Eaters

(James Blackwell) #1

There lots of talk on here about reducing meat eaten of giving it up. But I’m a big meat eater I just can’t get enough. I do however get most of my meat from the farmer or local butcher and on the odd occasion I buy from a supper market I buy only British produced meat.
I will eat all Matt’s of an animal that I can.
I also shoot and eat the game I kill.
I am a big believer that everyone should understand where there food comes from and what goes in it.
We have eaten meat as a species ever since we worked out how to catch it But now days most people only want prime cuts and won’t it the lesser cuts of meat of the offal, which can if prepared correctly be the best bits. It just takes a little education and we would waste a lot less. After all most mass produced burgers, sausages, nuggets etc a all the crap wash that no one wants to eat normal but people would them down.

What I’m saying is that meat doesn’t have to be bad for the environment if it’s reared and eaten properly, also if more people are things like rabbit and venison we wouldn’t have to conduct culls of the animals that creates waste meat.

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(Dan) #2

I’m vegetarian and I respect your views. I think people could learn a lot from rearing and hunting their own food. There’s a popular saying;

if slaughterhouses have glass windows, “everyone” would be vegetarian

While I contest “everyone”, I’m willing to bet most people would have second thoughts.

I turned vegetarian because I was eating supermarket crap. I forced myself to check ingredients. I was surprised how much sweets have meat content. I consider myself healthier as a result, but I do miss bacon, but if I can’t bring myself to kill a pig, I won’t eat it.

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(James Blackwell) #3

I have 4 children and all have been round animals being slaughtered of hunted the have then eaten said animal. It is how I was brought up and they will be too. I respect anyone’s derision to be vegetarian or vegan as there are a huge amount of reasons for it. Ultimately eat what you want but understand where it comes from and buy from sustainable and reliable sources.
What is worrying is that there are kids out there that don’t know that chips are made of potatoes and don’t know that veg grows on pants and in the ground that assume it just comes magicly in a packet.
We will never have a healthy population or planet if we don’t educate our kids on where and how our food is raised and produced for it to end up on our plates.

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#4
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#5

I think you have a misunderstanding about why meat is bad for the environment. There are many different parts of animal agriculture that are problematic – ethically and environmentally[1] – but the primary environmental concern is the animals themselves. The most environmentally friendly form of animal agriculture is actually the least ethical: mass production greatly reduces the per-calorie environmental cost.

The fundamental problem is that meat production is inherently inefficient, you’re taking food, passing it through an intermediary and then turning the intermediary into food… when instead you could cut out the intermediary and consume the food directly. I don’t have the exact figures to hand but I believe the energy transfer in that process is something like 10%.

You can certainly reduce your environmental impact by only eating wild animals, and consuming every part of the animal, but it’s simply not possible for a human to regularly consume meat while limiting their food’s environmental footprint to anywhere near the environmental footprint of someone who eats a plant based diet[2].

You could argue that you believe the value you get from meat justifies the environmental cost but it’s simply incorrect to say “meat doesn’t have to be bad for the environment” when compared to any non-animal source form of a food. There are a small minority of situations in which someone can consume meat in a relatively low impact way but those methods do not scale, so if we are to be a society of which the majority consume meat then we only have environmentally unfriendly options.

I completely agree that there should be more education around food but I think it should include a meaningful education on the true cost of different types of food, both environmentally and ethically. For example, beef has a very high environmental cost whereas chicken is much less environmentally costly – although still more than the worst plant-based food source. If someone makes an informed decision that they believe the value they get from meat justifies the environmental and ethical costs, so be it, however personally I can’t imagine being able to justify that cost.

[1] I consider the environment to be an ethical concern but typically animal welfare and the environment are considered separately so I’m separating them here.

[2] That’s not to say all plant based diets are equal, certainly there can be bad plant based diets (almonds for example are very environmentally costly!) but the best meat based diet couldn’t come close to the average plant based diet.

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(Andrew Schofield) #6

Someone at work pointed me towards this article today, which provides an interesting counterpoint to the “eliminate all meat production” argument.

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#7

Eating plants is not environmentally sound either - you are basically eating oil as mass agriculture can no longer survive without oil derived fertilisers. Once that runs out, we will be back to fertilising our plants the old fashioned way - with animal dung.

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((╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻) #8

Let’s destroy all animals then, who needs them if they’re doing so much harm? :roll_eyes:

Animals, nature and humans all work well together in keeping the circle of life going. The real problem is that some lazy and/or greedy producers are ruining it for everyone and giving a bad name to others.

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#9

I very much agree that a lot of our agriculture – whether it’s animals or plants – is problematic in terms of the environment and ethics, we have a lot of progress to make, however I find it difficult to suggest that the problems we face with plant agriculture are comparable to the problems we face with animal agriculture.

The problem is not animals, the problem is that humans are creating huge numbers of environmentally harmful animals. The conclusion is not that we should destroy all animals, rather we should do our best to minimise our impact on the environment by reducing the amount of animals we create.

The current situation is not a circle of life, it’s a circle of death: we are quite literally killing the planet and hundreds of millions of animals every single day. Humans do not need animal products to lead healthy lives and given the costs associated with our use of animal products (ethical costs, environmental costs, health costs) it is counter to reality to claim that we need to farm animals, in fact we need to do the opposite.

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((╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻) #11

So greedy producers like I said then?

Why should I have to suffer and cut meat from my diet because some fat bosses want to get rich and will cut corners and do whatever it takes to do so?

#12

I couldn’t disagree with you more.

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(Caspar) #13

I don’t eat any cow meat, or drink milk, because of the environmental damage caused by the huge numbers of cows. I still eat chicken and turkey, and fish.

I do try to eat more plant based foods, and usually add in some veggie burgers in my weekly shop now to replace some of the meats I’d normally buy.

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#14

This isnt really the correct problem or solution either. You might be missing the issue that the answer simply isnt stop eating meat, not to mention that animals aren’t strictly an intermediate. We don’t eat grass. Plant based farming has its own issues, its own ethical problems, and own environmental problems.

Cattle farming, along with most animal farming and plant based farming needs to continue to make changes, but animal based agriculture can be more sustainable, and can be done while providing fertile farming land for plant based agriculture as well. Look up regenerative agriculture. Some of it is already practised with livestock with the use of grassfed livestock and grazing management and rotation through crop fields between growing seasons.

The correct management can result in a far improved environment and reduced impact on the environment.


To go back on topic though. I eat meat. It is one of the only foods that are 100% safe for me to eat (so long as they are unprocessed), plant based food is hit and miss, and im still in the process of identifying safe plant foods and unsafe plant foods. (edit: ive considered just forgoing 95% of plant based food by default and not worrying about it anymore)

The good thing with meat is that its safe for pretty much everyone to eat, and those who are allergic to meat (caused by being bitten by certain tiks) is so rare there are no definitive numbers on it.

The problem with these products is actually similar to most processed foods. They’re processed. Because of that they tend to have additives in them, including preservatives that are allergens to a number of people (myself included it seems). So i cant eat store bought sausages, burgers, or essentially any processed refrigerated meat.

I tend to mainly buy grass fed meat from relatively local sources, this works well for me.

I missed this. This is entirely wrong. See above.

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(James Blackwell) #15

The point is that all agriculture is bad if you look deep enough. But we are a farming nation and have been for a very long time. The nice at problem is the mass farming we now see. Smaller scale farms with the direct rotations of crops and animals with the correct use of woodland etc is actually really sustainable and cost effective. One of the bite at pollutants from animals is methane but we can now collect that and use it as power. And the poo of animals is used to fertalise crops so putting back to the ground what the animal takes essentially.
Animals like pigs are also great that at disposing of leftover veritable waste as they will eat it.
And if we hunt and eat our own food in a responsible way we actually promote the ecology of the country by promoting healthy animal levels which in turn promotes healthy plant life.
What it all boils down to is being responsible of how we do it and creating as little wast as possible while doing it

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#16
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(James Blackwell) #17

Venison is one of the only protein based food that the body can make full use off hence it is incredibly healthy

(James Blackwell) #18

Simply not true at all

#19

I think you got the wrong person in that quote :smile:

(James Blackwell) #20

Sorry dude i was ment to quate the other one of it. Got a little distracted

(James Blackwell) #21

This is only true if you eat free range chickens and Turkey.
And if you eat any meat from good responsible farmers the impact of the farming is minimal

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