Fixing the corruption (both democratic and republican parties) in our our political would end up helping the environment a lot. That said, we have zero chance of fixing our corrupt political system. It will never happen, the elites have won that war.
One problem with reducing meat consumption is the general low skill level for cooking. Vegetarian food can taste better than meat dishes but you need skill and good ingredients. I have mixed feelings about Beyond Meat: my wife and I love the hot Italian sausage and burgers, but it is really not that healthy.
- which persuasively argues (with multiple sources) that the US meat industry depends upon massive labor exploitation of undocumented immigrants in order to 1) suppress wages and 2) maintain an otherwise intolerable working environment.
This shows that the problem is not simply corrupt legislation and lobbying, but a de facto symbiotic relationship between the meat industry, federal immigration authorities and border coyotes to maintain artificially low prices.
That's well-known about the meat industry. The problem with suggesting it as a reason to avoid meat in favor of vegetable-based food is the same is well-known to be true of agriculture generally.
On the other hand, slaughterhouses generally haven't seen any automation and other than size/scale mostly still resemble their counterparts from previous centuries.
I totally get this, and have similar feelings. But I try to remind my self what Beyond Meat and Impossible Burger are competing with: meat. They have similar saturated fat profiles to their "real" alternatives.
I look at these meat alternatives as mostly beneficial for:
1. Meat eaters looking to eat more sustainably, but continue eating burgers and sausages and whatnot occasionally
2. "Cook out" situations where you can bring a good veggie burger and not be a total social weirdo eating grilled corn by yourself. And it's a good conversation starter, and others are usually intrigued enough to try, and impressed after having done so.
"The science on this is very tainted" isn't a particularly strong argument.
So I see the conclusion as a mixed bag:
"Although higher SAFA intake might increase CHD risk by increasing plasma LDL-C , recent meta-analyses of prospective observational studies [1, 71, 72] reported that when compensating nutrients were not taken into account, SAFA intake was not associated with CHD or stroke mortality, all-cause mortality, or myocardial infarction. Two large, independent, prospective cohorts of US men and women confirmed this result 1. In a prospective Dutch cohort, higher total SAFA consumption was related to lower risk of ischemic heart disease, but not to CHD risk . In another Dutch cohort, a positive association was observed between CHD risk and palmitic acid, but not total SAFA intake ."
So the study you quote has lots of different outcomes as if the science is very difficult and under different conditions different results are found.
I'm not sure that a diet low in unsaturated fats can be conflated with one with high saturated fats. They tend to come from different sources (vegetables, nuts, and fish vs. meat, butter, and eggs, respectively).
Also, please do not make it this difficult to source your claims - the link you provide is to a homepage for an entire decades-long project full of results and reporting. This is incredibly annoying and unconstructive to the discussion.
I suppose you’ll disagree with his analysis because the FDA say eat loads of carbs.
They sound like right hacks. I'm not sure if you think the sugar industry paying for studies is great either, which a lot were.
Moreover, if you keep your diet low in fried foods (which I do), this is not a concern, since you don't expose the oil to high heat.
Meanwhile, a good lentil stew is a much more involved project. Much less home-made veggie burger patties which have dozens of ingredients and elaborate preparation processes.
Going full vegan is even harder, because cheese is a pretty good shortcut to making hearty food.
Here are some examples.
I know it's a punchline these days, but i grew up in the 80s eating avocado toast. You want more flavor? Just spread some marmite or vegemite.
The Tex-Mex take is to smash that avo with corn chips and salsa. Miss the cheese? Put some silky tofu. Think of it like queso fresco. Hey, you can also slice it on tomato with vinegar to make caprese salad.
What about beans on toast? If you're not a bread person, something i used to cook in my student days is can of beans, can of creamed corn, garlic, chili, soy, the end. It's hearty. It only takes 10 minutes. I still cook variations on that, sometimes with no corn or different beans. I like using sesame seeds to thicken it up, or pumpkin seeds for a different texture.
I also leverage peanut butter when i am feeling lazy. Spread it on some seaweed rice crackers for savory. You can put it on bread with sliced banana for sweet.
Real peanuts are great too. They are literally the first thing i throw in the wok. Oil. Peanuts. Garlic, ginger, chilis. Then the vegetable or mushroom or tofu or whatever. Or not, because just seasoned peanuts will go fine on top of whatever other vegan thing where you feel you're missing some crispy, oily, goodness.
There really is so much, and i think a lot of it is stuff most people already eat. I think the problem is that people tend to think of incidentally vegan dishes as somehow not being "real" meals, but that's a cultural bias that can be unlearned.
Kenji of SeriousEats does a vegan-month every year and claims that he enjoys it because he focuses on dishes that taste exciting, but happen to be vegan.
A particular favorite of mine is this Mapo Dofu that he started out making with meat but migrated to silken tofu
Really? I never thought that to be the case. To me, making a stew of lentils is just as easy as cooking meat. Sure, depending on the type of lentils it may take longer, but then there is red lentils which takes 20 minutes of cooking. It really is simple, I do not see why people make it sound like as if it was magic. Also... what do these meat eaters eat their meat with? Or do they eat meat on its own?
Entirely anecdotal, but essentially cutting dairy entirely from my diet has done wonders for me and my wife in more ways that you can imagine. She literally cured her life-long respiratory allergies just from no longer drinking milk / eating cheese. Greek yogurt is fine, for some reason
If you do it long enough it gets way easier as your cooking skills and methods adapt.
Some tips I follow:
-I highly recommend a CSA for great vegetables, delivered if possible
-Start a small raised bed garden for greens, cilantro, cherry tomatoes, etc.
-Batch prep veggies and store in bulk (I use cheap rectangular stackable tupperware) for super easy access. Batch prep greens and legumes, store in the freezer, take from freezer to pan.
-When batch cooking, clean veggies with a water and baking soda soak in a large mixing bowl. Just soak for a few minutes and then rinse a couple times
-Using a rice cooker to make grains is much easier than stovetop
-Use walnuts and unsalted nuts (peanuts are great, despite not actually being a nut) with moderation to make foods more substantial, while avoiding processed nut butters and oils
-Use good non stick pans to cut down on oil and cleanup time
-In general, cut back on foods and condiments rich in salt, sugar, fats, and especially processed foods, as they distort your taste palette. It’s a lot like drug addiction...”when I’m not on heroine, life just seems bland!”
-You don’t have to cook veggie meals as thoroughly as meat, experiment with varied levels of freshness and eat raw foods more...less cooking
-simple root veggies are awesome, cheap, hearty, and easy to cook (potatoes, sweet potatoes, beets, carrots...all can be boiled)
-Frozen organic blueberries, oatmeal, banana, sprinkling of walnuts, delicious :-)
Another way to say this is "eat bland food". Literally.
Salt, fats, sugars, and acids, are what make food taste good. These distort your taste palette? These _are_ your taste palette...
I lean toward the carnivore spectrum but there are a couple meatless soups that I enjoy:
* New England clam chowder
* Corn chowder
* Barley mushroom (though it’s even better with meat)
And while I’d never order it if given the option for a “real one”, vegetarian pho was surprisingly good.
Are clams not considered meat? Also any good New England Clam Chowder has bacon in it.
Not really an example of an easy to make recipe (lots of ingredients), but Yotam Ottolenghi's green gazpacho (made with green vegetables and walnuts rather than tomatoes) does really well when you are entertaining guests. It's listed in his Plenty. It's one of those cookbooks you can find in many homes around the globe due to its popularity — and it's all vegetarian.
Legumes tend to have a surprisingly balanced macronutrients at 21g carbs, 8g protein, 0.6g fat, vs a baked potatoes 37 g carbs, 4.3g protein, 0.2 fat.
Potatoes are also lower protein than a variety of grains and vegetables (which are low in macronutrients in general).
0.8 per kg is for a generic sedentary lifestyle, with increased activity your needs go up. 2000 calories on a 62.5 kg person is a non sedentary lifestyle.
Moderate levels generally shows up as low albumin levels on a blood test aka Hypoalbuminemia a type of Hypoproteinemia, and is associated with a huge range of symptoms. Westerners generally only get this due to Malabsorption.
Exactly. It's not really a "protein deficiency" as much as it is a "nutritional deficiency". You can easily get enough protein even if you just eat vegetables (for example) as long as you get enough calories.
The tendency to over eat, eat lots of meat, and have a very sedentary lifestyle are the main reasons it’s uncommon in the west. However, it does still occasionally happen to people due to very poor diets combined with active lifestyles. Healing and inflammation related heath issues can also increase people’s needs for protein.
PS: People also very rarely get scurvy via avoiding or over cooking all their sources of vitamin C for months. Occasionally taking a multi vitamin covers most nutritional issues except for macro nutrients.
This way you are missing maybe 90% of the soups of the world. Maybe try some exotic spices - I used to hate tomato soup from our school canteen with passion, but once I tried a properly spiced variant in Nepali Himalayas, things were never the same again (for the better) and I love it these days (I mean the Nepali version)
If you're okay with seafood, my wife and I really like this Lohikeitto recipe (Finnish salmon soup). If that seems a bit too heavy, I've made a variation where I reduce the butter, skip the heavy cream, and add harissa (or sub whatever combination of warm spices) for a lighter, spicier soup that tastes just as good.
I have found that with vegan soups, you have to change the way you approach making soup. You don't start with a heavy, umami stock and add a few things to it. Instead, you have to layer flavours. So, it's not necessarily harder, but you have to know how to do it.
One surprisingly ovo-vegetarian soup is garlic soup. There is a good description in Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Child, et al, but from memory: Boil a peeled head of garlic. Remove the garlic. Whisk in a home made aoli (sp? -- virgin olive oil mayonaise). Add salt. It's truly a surprisingly good soup. You could probably devise a vegan version, but you need to find a way to emulsify the oil.
A vegan soup that I often have with somen noodles (thin wheat noodles) is soy milk (yes, really) mixed half and half with a light vegetable broth, chili oil, and fried garlic (a trend?). Whisk in a light, sweet miso to taste (or you can use a naturally fermented soy sauce, but I like the miso better). You can also add a dash of sesame oil, or mix in defatted sesame hulls.
I'd write some more, but it's been quite a while since I did any vegetarian cooking and my memory is not that great! But, definitely there are lots of amazing vegetarian soups that are relatively easy to make if you know how.
If you don't use chicken stock there isn't much of an umami component. That doesn't really bother me, but Better Than Bouillon or just a bit of Marmite can give it a little umami boost.
Indian dals can pretty easy as well (if you consider them to be soup). The simplest don't need much more than cumin and mustard seeds, which I wouldn't call exotic. There are a huge variety of them and obviously they can get much more complex.
On the slightly more complex side, I also like vegetarian chili and Tuscan white bean soup. I think chili tastes better using whole dried peppers, but if you have chili powder you can throw it together much more quickly.
Beyond Meat is competing with freezer aisle foodstuff and there it handily wins out in just about every category (price, taste, nutrition), even if objectively it's unhealthy for you.
There's a world of vegetarian options outside of the preprocessed fauxmeats (including the entire produce section).
Regular veggie burgers and other products (not trying to imitate meat) are usually really good. They should embrace the fact that they can include a vast array of vegetables and spices. Example: Morningstar farms has a chickpea burger I really like. Also it's much cheaper than Beyond products. I share your concern about the Beyond products (and other vegetarian products); if I want a ton of saturated fat, I'd just eat meat. Chicken and fish are healthier than Beyond.
A society that eats less meat (or none) is inevitable given time, for both moral and practical reasons of health, scarcity and environmental impact. We should teach people to cook healthy vegan food that they enjoy. Just providing food options people enjoy without meat will reduce meat consumption without pushing a moral agenda that often receives hysterical responses.
Disclaimer: I eat meat, though I've been eating less for the above reasons.
That just isn't realistic; you'll wind up with a lot of really unhealthy people eating food they hate. Not everyone is good at cooking, and one big reason veganism is so unpopular is because it's so hard to make anything that tastes good with it. Meat is easy to cook, even for people who aren't very good at cooking. And veganism is generally unhealthy, because most people aren't dedicated or good enough at it to get the proper nutrition, so they leave out critical nutrients, whereas with meat it's really easy to get everything you need (like iron).
Expecting the whole populace to get good at cooking vegan food is like expecting the whole populace to become very skilled at C++ programming (including template metaprogramming). It isn't going to happen.
If someone makes vegan pre-made meals that can just be microwaved, that would be different.
Cooking is a basic part of human life and has been for millenia.
Comparing it to C++ programming is absurd.
Once the true costs of meat are priced in, people will figure it out. They're not going to just starve, chucking a few things in a pot is not some great hardship.
The viewpoint that cooking is some super difficult thing seems to be prevalent on Hacker News.
If anything, cooking vegetables is far easier than cooking meat, because it's difficult to get it wrong. Meat can go bad far more easily, requires cooking properly, etc. By contrast most vegetables can be eaten raw, or 'chuck it in a pot and boil it and wait a bit'. Add spices and oil. Done.
What? I make stew of any legumes and it does not require more skills than cooking meat.
If there the case, I don't think you can convince people to not eat meat because it's like telling them to stop using makeup or stop making efforts to become mor handsome/beautiful
Food stamps are designed to raise the market clearing price of food as a subsidy to agriculture (they’ve since become a means-tested welfare program as well, while retaining the original purpose); they have fairly strong political support, which definitely shows a partisan divide.
The Dairy Price Support Program and other agricultural price support programs likely continue to exist despite having the sole purpose of raising the price of food; were raising the price of food the kind of third-rail you are trying to imply, there would be a bipartisan consensus against such programs that would make it impossible to retain them.
They served their purpose well, but now they're almost impossible to remove.
No, why? Not at all... My cooking skill level is knowing how to use a
stove. What good ingredients do you mean? In my experience cooking
meat is always the hardest part.
Unfortunately, in my experience when I bring this up the typical response us that I must be a socialist.
We do have a chance. It's not going to be long until a critical mass of individuals understand that democracy is a system that legitimizes coercion, and that taxation is theft and generates poverty. We just need one more generation until that happens.
When people reach that conclusion, they will move their money away from fiat currencies and they will move their information into distributed systems (eg. blockchains).
By consequence they will make states and coercion not viable. Without the ability to control currencies, states go bankrupt and can't even pay for people to steal your money.
Welcome to anarcho-capitalism, while I wait for the downvotes.
So, less anarcho anything. More jail time, and then forced labor, and then one again paying taxes.
"Animal agriculture is responsible for 13–18% of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions globally, and less in developed countries (e.g. 3% in the USA). Fossil fuel combustion for energy and transportation is responsible for approximately 64% of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions globally, and more in developed countries (e.g. 80% in the USA)."
I think in the USA, it would be more productive to address the 80% as higher priority than reducing the 3%. I think this veganism initiative is also more driven by morality and political partisanship than by an effort to find a realistic and practical solution to GHG emissions. And this can backfire: I believe that a reason why nearly half the country will not even openly admit there is a problem, is because they fear the consequences of political over-reaction more than the problem itself.
It's not the first time that I'm seeing reactions about this report to focus on veganism. I don't understand where it comes from: the word "vegan" is absent from the article and the IPCC report doesn't recommend a any diet.
I understand debate about this report and the impact of agriculture and breeding, but I don't understand why the debate is centered around veganism.
The Skeptical Science link doesn't seem to touch on water usage, only focusing on greenhouse gas emissions. Groundwater decline and depletion is another factor that should be kept in mind as people consider their food choices.
I see this "not as bad as" fallacy again and again in various different discussions and it is mainly used to downplay issues by comparing them to something worse. There is absolutely no reason we cannot discuss and address one issue without it taking away from other (possibly more impactful) issues. Some issues have less impact but are easier to to solve, and some have more impact but are harder to solve. We absolutely can (and should) work to address them at the same time.
How is it a distraction to address the percentage (however small) that we can have as individuals while the larger problems are solved through legislation/technological advancements? They are not mutually exclusive. It's not like people/organizations/governments can only think about/propose/implement one change at a time. It's like making the argument that nobody can do any work on smaller bug fixes while the main code branch is being compiled. Both contribute to the success of the whole, but neither are mutually exclusive given enough manpower (which the world undoubtably has). You can certainly work on hobby projects at home without it taking away from your work in the office.
when we are at a tipping point for climate change and every bit of reduction in greenhouse gases matters, plus the fact that most of the contributors aren't easily affected at an individual level, there is no reason to not address both simultaneously. How most individual humans currently live is unsustainable, period. If we actually want to ensure the continued survival as a species on this planet, we are going to have to change our individual habits at some point. There is no amount of carbon capture/tax that can undo or prevent the destruction of the planets natural resources. You have to address the underlying unsustainability, not just treat the symptom.
At least in the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change's Global Calculator, the food lever seems to be much more powerful than your comment suggests.
one would need to calculate both the carbon output of animal agriculture and - crucially - the carbon that will /permanently/ not be captured via loss of land that serves as a carbon sink (Amazon rain forest is the big one) that results as demand for additional animal agriculture increases.
If you really want to have an impact while still eating meat, just stop eating beef/lamb altogether
The amount of food and water needed to produce 1kg of beef meat is just insane
Eat poultry or fish instead
>Cattle is the worst at something like 15:1. Aquaculture, specifically tilapia and catfish, is good at under 2:1
Which makes it much less positive than it first appears.
Take in mind that fish food for aquaculture has a small percentage of plant proteins and oils also. Is unclear if this was included or not in the claimed FIFO ratio, so some of this fish could be really soy (or maybe not). Reality is always more complex than a single numerical value.
The current 'plant based' fad diet recommendations are backed up by some very poor science and may be seriously unsuitable for humans and for children in particular, nutrition-wise. Animal agriculture is not even a major source of human emissions so to call for changes to our natural diet seems very premature.
To really contribute, it would be nice if you came up with some citations to your claim.
"It is interesting to note that humans, uniquely among the primates so far considered, appear to have stomach pH values more akin to those of carrion feeders than to those of most carnivores and omnivores"
Our requirements for DHA and B12 indicate a diet rich in both - both found almost exclusively in animal foods
Evolution of the Human Brain: the key roles of DHA(omega-3 fatty acid) andD6-desaturase gene
We wean our young for a very short amount of time compared to other apes.
"Our model indicates that carnivory has a specific and quantifiable impact on human development and life history and, crucially, explains why Homo weans so much earlier than the great apes."
Impact of Carnivory on Human Development and Evolution Revealed by a New Unifying Model of Weaning in Mammals
DHA can be produced by our bodies transforming ALA, which is found in plant sources: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S016378271...
Like the article says, there's debate over whether this is enough, as the conversion is very inefficient. As I understand it, ALA and LA compete for the same pathway, meaning that excess of LA intake (an omega 6 fatty acid, abundant in nuts and seeds, and of course oils processed from them) will reduce our body's ability to produce DHA, so a human eating prehistoric diet would likely have a better conversion ratio than on a modern diet. Also, there's apparently evidence that if we don't eat a lot of DHA, our bodies convert more of our dietary ALA to it to compensate: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20861171
But even taking all this into consideration, I'm not very sympathetic to arguments from nature. There's a big difference between saying "primal humans did X" and saying "modurn humans need to do X to be healthy". Even taking everything you said as given, there's overwhelming evidence that meat consumption is a big factor in for modern chronic health problems like heart disease and cancer. Eating whatever you can get your hands on (meat, eggs, fish, insects) makes sense when you just need enough calories to survive and reproduce, but that's not the problem now. We suffer from diseases of abundance. A plant-based diet with B12 and DHA supplementation is much healthier than an omnivorous one.
I'd not bet my health and my children's development on a novel way of eating without fantastic proof. Have you got any?
I wouldn’t call the world consensus of the IPCC poor science. It is actually the opposite: the best science we have available.
The report goes into depth about the health benefits these diets have also.
That is what the IPCC references. Great work, published in nature, peer reviewed and pretty solid science.
> The current 'plant based' fad diet recommendations are backed up by some very poor science and may be seriously unsuitable for humans and for children in particular, nutrition-wise
Care to provide evidence to back that up? Your broad, evolutionary talking points and observations on stomach pH in your other response hardly backs up your strongly worded supposition.
Plant based diets have been practiced by not insignificant portions of the population beginning in the 6th-century BCE with Buddhism and Hinduism. An estimated 20-40% of India is currently vegetarian. Not sure "fad" is an accurate descriptor.
I'm sure you'd have a hard time refuting the unending amount of "poor science" that shows plant based diets are effective for longevity, treating obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. The AICR recommends a plant based diet to prevent cancer, and ten other major Nutritional Organizations recognize the health benefits.
"It is the position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that appropriately planned vegetarian, including vegan, diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits for the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.
These diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, adolescence, older adulthood, and for athletes."
In terms of human history, he's right. 6th-century BCE was not very long ago at all: that's less than a mere 3000 years. Humans have been around for over 2 million years.
Also, he's right about the skeletal record: archaeology shows that humans lost about 1 foot of height when they switched to agriculture. Yes, much of India is vegetarian, but Indians tend to be pretty short, but then when they emigrate to western nations and adopt more western diets, their kids end up dwarfing them.
Exactly. It's like the unending articles that point to negligent "vegan" parents as the cause of child deaths/underdevelopment when they fed them super extreme, restrictive diets that just happen to be able to fit into the rules of veganism. You can get poor nutrition and technically follow the rules of many diets, but that isn't necessarily a reflection on the diets themselves, but on poor nutrition awareness.
3000 years is certainly long enough to take something out of "fad" status. I would challenge you to find another diet that follows specific rules that has been around for longer.
> Also, he's right about the skeletal record: archaeology shows that humans lost about 1 foot of height when they switched to agriculture.
Again - making broad, sweeping evolutionary correlations does not an argument make. You have absolutely no idea what specific shifts in eating, living or working habits resulted in skeletal changes. These are the same weak arguments proponents of the Paleo and Atkins diets make. Could you make a case for dietary changes effecting our evolution at the time? sure. Could you point to vegetarianism as the cause? Good luck with that.
> Yes, much of India is vegetarian, but Indians tend to be pretty short, but then when they emigrate to western nations and adopt more western diets, their kids end up dwarfing them.
Yet again with the generalizations. If we humor this for a moment, there is a much stronger argument for the correlation of poverty levels and height than there is for levels of vegetarianism. In fact, there is data to show the opposite. Poor diet in general results in impaired growth, not vegetarianism. I'm not even sure what you could argue would be missing in a vegetarian diet that would effect bone growth as most point to calcium in milk and vegetarians can drink milk...
When was the last time you had raw beef? for me, it was beef tartare a few years ago...
Raw grain? Nope, that's all processed, either by boiling, or grinding and turning into something else.
Homo Erectus was thought to have subsisted on raw meat. There's evidence of intestinal parasites that suggests such a diet.
Apparently, at some point, we decided to cook our meat, which reduced the parasite load and removed the need for low pH comparative to other carnivores.
But not too long ago, humans did eat some raw meats. Primitive hunters sometimes ate raw hearts, and drinking fresh blood was not unheard of. 1,000 years ago, the Mongols would sometimes nick their horses and drink blood to sustain them on long journeys.
It's also usually prepared in some way, whether it's flash frozen or treated with vinegar.
But, I guess my point is that the evolutionary argument doesn't really make sense in a world where we evolved tools and have been eating processed food for a long, long time.
Also, evolution happens a lot faster than people give it credit for. Something I read somewhere is that the genes for lactose digestion only started remaining "switched on" in adults like 8,000 years ago, and yet a third of the world now has this gene.
That's a really short time! That's not far from when we develop writing (around 6,000 years ago).
A neuro-scientist from Brazil:
You can do your own internet search for more such information. It's not proven, but is a widely accepted theory.
Hmm... this is how you get into an argument where people talk past each other. You may be correct when it comes to that little nugget of information, but when it comes to the larger context, that piece of information will not make sense to someone who has other contradicting pieces of information. ( for example a vegan who thinks that humans ought to have huge canines to be a carnivore).
Anyway it's unfair of me to critique your style/content of your argument without offering an alternative. How about this?:
Ask the person who is into the 'plant based' belief to conduct an experiment of eating only meat for 2 months and then report the results. i.e if both of you agree that most 'science' and 'research' is flawed. Of course it goes without saying that you too should have performed this experiment on yourself.
Side note - I have been carnivore for 6 years ( 99% of my diet is red meat, eggs and dairy ).
It took me at least one year to achieve this, because meat is so prevalent in our society. A friend of mine was in India recently and he said he did not miss meat at all since the non-meat dishes were so great. I think a lot of it is just how good the quality of vegetarian dishes is.
I believe restaurant options are very important since people learn from those and mimic them at home. We need restaurants to offer more vegetarian and vegan dishes for people to see that they can have a rich (IMHO richer) diet without meat.
I don’t know how to nudge the restaurants though. Lower tax on organic/sustainable food can be one thing, or even better subventions for such restaurants and produce. But most importantly the meat and dairy industry needs to get under real supervision. Governments all around the world have been looking away for far too long.
Visit and ask for vegetarian or vegan dishes. Move on if there is nothing worthwhile; let the staff know if you've liked a particular dish or find the selection too limiting. Demand drives supply.
In the Netherlands the vegetarian option used to be a boring salad with goat cheese. Nowadays not having decent meat-free options means you can't compete with the rest. This is something only the cheaper restaurants aimed at lower socio-economic classes can afford to do (but only for now). The reason for this discrepancy is that this class of people (mostly blue collar workers and their families) tends to lag behind the rest of society a bit as habits shift towards more healthy alternatives (smoking is another example).
It was interesting to me leaving Europe and coming to China. In upper class restaurants here, they put meat in everything, even as a "seasoning" in veg dishes. I think it's seen as an indicator of wealth. At working class restaurants the cheapest dishes are all veg, or have only the barest scraping of ground pork or bone stock. I much prefer to eat out here than i did in Europe (and definitely the North America) where meat and dairy tends to be the default option for blue collar grub. I still don't really understand how that works, economically.
(Not sure how famous Dr. George Washington Carver is outside the US. He was one of the first famous African American scientists and is known for discovering that rotating crops with peanuts will add nutrients back to the soil and then inventing about 300 uses for peanuts in order to convince farmers to plant them. However, despite popular belief, peanut butter was not one of the uses that he invented.)
Had I not known what I was eating, I wouldn't have known it was plant-based at all. The taste and texture was, at least in fast food terms, just a really good sausage.
I haven't been able to try the beyond burger Burger King is selling, but if it's on par with the beyond sausage, I can't see why I'd ever eat a meat-based fast food burger again. It was really that good, and an easy decision to make given the meat industry's impact on the environment.
People who diss those meat substitutes out of hand should try them with an open mind (i.e. not from a place of "you can't control me" or "I'll never stop eating meat".)
A&W and Carl's Junior are Beyond Burger joints.
Beyond is better in that bad burger place/greasy spoon medium to medium well, so its generally more consistent in places that serve other burgers, but it doesn't beat the Impossible at its best.
I was feeling hungry about dinner time a while back, but I couldn't decide what to eat so I skipped. I woke the next morning and didn't feel hungry at all. That seemed odd to me. So I skipped breakfast and ate lunch only (same portion size as normal) and continued to do so for six weeks. I felt great. Workouts strong, focus and concentration improved. I saved a bunch of time and money.
After that did a 13 day fast (zero food). Day 3 sucked, but the 10 that followed where really eye opening in a wholly positive way. I do a lot of boxing, and I didn't stop during this fast. I thought it would suck but I had tons of energy and lots of speed. At the finishing lime, the first morsel of food (some roast pumpkin) was savored and tasted incredible. It gave me a new awareness and appreciation of what and how much food I need to maintain maximum performance.
I know i could eat a LOT less than I do in a year and be as or more healthy and contribute to a healthier environment. We just have to break the habit. That's really hard given the social culture of eating.
I've moved to a calorie-limited diet, myself, and the effects on my health have been dramatic. My acid reflux has subsided; it disappeared when I went low carb for a month and has not come back, even though I've added fruit carbs back in to my diet. I'm down over 20 pounds, and hoping to lose another 20 or so, while at the same time working out and replacing fat with muscle mass.
We can be healthier, if we try. Unfortunately, our modern societies, especially here in North America, encourage excessive eating with all of the sad results that are evident if you go out in public and observe the clinical obesity that is commonplace.
I think this says it all. The consumption is not as much of a problem as production. They don't mention how much forest is also cut to build farms and it's not like plant growing industry is any better in terms of emissions  and water / land poisoning with pesticides and GMO plants.
Now, don't get me wrong, I have nothing against GMO that is done well, but the current direction that's only serving corporate greed instead of bettering farming industry is just disgusting. Without animals we are just as equally doomed as we are with them .
I also have a feeling that they're trying to optimize the 1% instead of tackling real problems caused by coal energy, cars, airplanes etc.
Animal agriculture is enormously more resource-intensive than plant agriculture:
How are we still having this debate?
Cows aren't the problem. Pigs aren't the problem. Chickens aren't the problem. Mankind's industrialization of cows, pigs, and chickens is the problem.
So, for me, that's why we're still having this debate.
Like a few years back when HN was going on about how the whole world would now stop eating regular food, and consume some powder mixed with water, I think it was called Soylent or something. That didn't happen.
If anything, I will only be eating more meat, better quality, but not less and this is probably also the case for millions of other people.
Having you eat even more meat makes you indirectly responsible for people’s death. It might not be right. But in the near future (2-3 years) you might feel ashamed of what you said right now.
I believe I'm healthier eating meat than not eating meat. My blood tests, blood pressure, and weight corroborate that. For whatever reason I could never find a vegan diet that didn't balloon absolutely everything while also sating my unreasonable appetite. I'm not saying this is a good thing (eating meat or eating junk food that happens to be vegan and thinking it'll be appropriate), but I am saying that no amount of quinoa or lentils ever hit the spot or made me feel full, not even when I was legitimately so full I wanted to throw up from all the food in my stomach. I was mentally ravenous, and it was turning me into a vicious beast. I could _nominally_ stay vegan if I ate deep fried _anything_, but that's clearly madness (which, again, showed itself pretty convincingly by all measures available to me).
I'm not going to kill myself to save the environment. I wouldn't expect you to, either. But at the least I can not have children - surely avoiding 1..N generations of 1..M descendants per generation is of FAR greater positive impact than eating burgers and steaks.
All of that said, I'm really holding out hope for lab grown meats, and I only eat meat when my body begins to demand it. It doesn't have to be an always food, is what I'm saying.
Particularly the nuclear power option. That one makes no sense.
Concrete is a major source of CO2 emissions. In some places, it contributes more than agriculture. Why isn't that being targeted for scientific studies on its impact, and recommendations from the UN on practices? Or has it, and those are just not newsworthy enough to make the BBC take notice?
I'm probably being cynical, but it all smells of hidden agendas.
You’re not going to guilt people into changing their behavior.
A carbon tax fixes this.
I'm not willing to agree that it would reduce emissions more than ending meat consumption. It would help, however.
Like most problems, there is not just one solution. Multiple modest to moderate changes in behavior can make a big difference.
- redesign cities to include more and better public transport (less car/truck traffic)
- reduce general product consumption (less global shipping) - we all know there's a lot of worthless stuff that gets manufactured and shipped, such as the low-end products you find in Walmart which break or fail after a short period of time
- create permaculture food forests in and around cities (reducing global shipping of produce)
- eat less meat (reducing production and transportation emissions)
To put it into perspective, it's a bit like getting fit and losing weight. Yes you can radically change your diet, or you can do crossfit every day, but those narrow+deep efforts are usually very unpleasant and unsustainable (in terms of a human's ability to keep with the changes). Instead, some diet changes, some consistent exercise, some lifestyle changes (walking/biking in place of some car drives) tends to result in lasting health benefits.
> A carbon tax fixes this.
Not really. A carbon tax encourages projects like mass forest planting of monocultures. That will result in some problem down the road.
You're conflating the tax with spending the tax revenue. You don't need to spend any of the revenue on carbon sequestering projects. Just implementing a carbon tax that pushed the price of things like air travel up to the reflect the real cost would do a huge amount to reduce the amount people pollute.
If the price of a flight doubled then fewer people would fly.
Regarding air travel specifically, it's less (and decreasing) in terms of pollution relative to other forms of transportation. One of the sources: https://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/policy_guidance/env...
Cars in sum produce more pollution than planes (at least in the US), and recent estimates say that the 15 largest ocean freighters produce as much pollution as all cars globally for a year.
So my feeling is that reducing global shipping - eliminating consumption of junk - and reorganizing cities to enable more walking/biking, would have a far greater benefit than focusing on air travel.
Concrete is a massive source of CO2 emissions. Rebuilding cities is really, really not going to help.
Animal agriculture is responsible for 14~18% of greenhouse gas emissions ; aviation only ~5% .
 - https://skepticalscience.com/how-much-meat-contribute-to-gw....
 - https://www.transportenvironment.org/news/aviation-2-3-times...
Uhm... how about stop travelling for business in the world of instant communication?
No question that physical presence is huge, but that doesn't justify it from an environmental POV at all, esp. since most sales are about making owners/investors richer, not making the world a better place.
I think real creative thought about how business travel could reduce impact would be massively impactful. It would probably need regulation, because the sales team that tries to, say, do all meetings virtual will be whomped by the other team that shows up.
The problem with that however is that many climate activists don’t actually care about the climate as a first priority, they care about wealth redistribution and larger, more powerful government. Climate policy is first and foremost an anti-capitalist masquerade. While that might seem to be a weird assertion, from where I sit, Climate activists also seem generally to share a strong anti-capitalist, anti-market perspective.
Nuclear power and profound incentives for remote work would get us much further than eating a fake-hamburger.
A challenge to get right for sure, but it could have significant positive impact.
Also it’s not just that can’t guilt people into changing behavior, I don’t think we should. Humanity moves forward by solving our problems not through everyone magically changing how they act.
This would likely best be achieved through slowly dropping tax incentives, and transferring them over to alternatives so that people have something equally economical to today's meat.
People do not traditionally eat that much meat because meat used to be expensive and its supply limited.
This is still the case in poor countries.
In developed countries, people started to eat more and more meat as they got richer because we naturally like meat and because of clever marketing.
We now eat too much meat, and also consume too much dairy (adults don't need to drink any milk and many don't digest it well, by the way). If people just stopped eating meat at every meal or every day, consumption would drastically drop without too much of a change in daily life.
One solution would be measures to increase prices but that is a political minefield.
In cities meat was more available as workers typically earned more. Option to eat meat each day was considered a luxury.
Where's the logical argument?
The premise seems valid: just because you can "survive" off of a low-to-no protein diet doesn't mean it should be espoused.
So if you want to maximize for protein consumption without putting on fat mass, you tend to look for meat, dairy, and things derived from them (whey protein isolate).
The controversy is about whether humans need gargantuan amounts of protein.
Your post is assuming protein is very important, and thus it’s important to maximize protein per calorie.
The post you’re responding to is discussing the fact that any time vegetarian or vegan diets come up, people launch into criticisms that are based on the assumption that humans needs lots more protein than occurs in vegetables.
That said, Americans are predominantly overweight and obese. A diet high in protein but low enough in total overall energetic content is an excellent recipe, when paired with weightlifting and a few days of cardiovascular activity, for improving musculature and eliminating fat.
A scientific example demonstrating this point, entitled "Higher compared with lower dietary protein during an energy deficit combined with intense exercise promotes greater lean mass gain and fat mass loss: a randomized trial": https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/103/3/738/4564609
Tone is something you read into things, as much as is written into them. If someone is responding because of a perceived tone, it would be wise of them to consider if they're being as aggressive as they accuse the other side of being.
Also, I dont mind being downvoted, I just wish someone would provide a logical argument in response.
As far as I can tell, this is completely false. Vegan diets do a lot of things well: reduce salt, saturated fat, and cholesterol intake, for example. Vegetarian / vegan diets improve cholesterol, blood sugar levels, and other things.
Here's some citations of studies and papers that demonstrate vegan diets are better for you:
Several more listed at https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vegan-diet-studies#sect...
The consensus of scientific evidence seems pretty clearly in favor of plant-based diets. The evidence is as clear as the world being round or climate change being real.
And I eat meat. Chowing on a burrito al pastor as we speak.
So the problem is really not the meat, but it’s amount.
That’s not because of lack of meat.
> In that lifestyle you may eat the clean meats on special occasions, but you eat the less desirable parts on a regular basis. Mostly in soups and stews because it stretches the food for longer. You save the bones and make soups out of them. Oh and you ate a lot of fat. Like smearing pig fat on bread. Technically pork was the cheapest meat. Only one purpose animal. Hens give eggs and fertilizer. Cows give milk, fertilizer and pull carts/plows. Kill them only when they're useless. Plus you may get meat from a butcher on special occasions.
This sounds like eating less meat?
However, slaughtering a pig or two once a year in the autumn also doesn't imply eating pork once a year, for a single family a single pig provides a quite large amount of various cured/smoked/dried meat products that are consumed over the winter, so you still have some meat products (not in large quantities though) on most days.
Its odd to call back to 1930s eastern europe for an example of how to live. There are many arguments to make against meat etc but 1930s belarus is not one that logically follows.
Never understood the obsession with drinking milk on its own (though I never liked the taste of it myself either). There's plenty of calcium to be found in other sources: kale, leafy greens, almonds, fortrified grains, beans/pulses etc.
For people that are trying to consume more calories and protein, I don't know of an alternative that combines comparable calorie & protein density, low cost, ease of consumption, and zero preparation time.
More generally, I think that one of the big challenges with plant based diets is a lack of easily available calorie and protein dense foods. (I'm not saying its impossible to get enough calories and protein as a vegan, even as a bodybuilder. Just that it is not nearly as easy.)
Dairy in particular can be source of inflammation. One of the benefits of the vegan diets for athletes cited is a fast recovery time after workouts.
That's not exactly true, he's just some buff guy that is strong. He doesn't even look big compared to bodybuilders, regular protein eaters at the gym are his same size.
His 'record' deadlift was 360kg, worlds strongest men all pulled 420kg+ this year. Arnold was in that class back in the 70's.
EDIT: After some research people are saying his european world records were all accomplished before he became vegan in 2011.
> That's not exactly true, he's just some buff guy that is strong. He doesn't even look big compared to bodybuilders, regular protein eaters at the gym are his same size.
So, because he's a strong buff guy, while "not looking big compared to bodybuilders" (category in which he has not been competing since 1999), and as "regular protein eaters at the gym are his same size", it's not "exactly true" that he's one of the top weight lifters ?
> His 'record' deadlift was 360kg
GP never said "top deadlifter". None of his records are about deadlift. Not sure why you mentioned it.
> EDIT: After some research people are saying his european world records were all accomplished before he became vegan in 2011.
2012 Doesn't count?
It's something that's been consumed for millennia. There are societies based on pastoralism where milk is a huge part of the diet. I'd hardly classify it as being an obsession.
Obsession is probably the wrong word, but I'd still be curious as to the history behind it (and how long it continued into adulthood). Especially given its association with and place in a juvenile diet.
And your argument can always be reshuffled. Swap milk with any one of the items you listed and one by one you can disqualify all of them from consumption. Variety is a good thing, meaning something should be eliminated because it's no good, not because there are alternatives.
There's no requirement or recommendation to cover your daily needs with the least varied diet.
In the early days soy milk was about the only alternative. Now there are so many dairy-free milk alternatives to try. The proliferation of grocery shelves is a testament to their growing popularity.
(Cow) milk just seems to have an unpleasant aftertaste to me. I get on well with oat milk, though.
Trying to go to an extreme is counter-productive because people won't follow.
Convincing people not to eat meat at every meal or every day has a much higher chance of delivering significant results quickly.
Maybe a solution would be to tax food based on how long it was shipped but to exempt fruits and vegetables from the tax.
Shipping things that spoil quickly or need refrigeration, obviously, will be less efficient. But on average, plant-based food sources will be significantly more efficient, even if shipped further, than meat ones.
Also, most of the US population is around the coasts. Shipping a bit of food inland to the people there isn't that big of an impact.
Overconsumption is generally less than 10% of their caloric needs, so they can't just drop a large source of nutrition.
Reducing waste would dramatically help the environment.
How much is "too much"?
We don't need to drink tea or coffee either; do you propose getting rid of those too?
For those of us who have no problems digesting it, what exactly is the problem with eating yogurt or drinking milk? Sure, consuming too much of those probably isn't good, but you can say that about literally any food.
For people who don't digest it well, then of course I'd suggest not drinking it. The same goes for any other food: if you're allergic to peanuts, don't eat them. If you're allergic to shellfish, don't eat them. If you're allergic to bananas, don't eat them. If you're lactose-intolerant, don't drink milk unless you really like the taste and want to add lactase enzyme.
I do agree that Americans in particular eat way too much red meat, but I think some people give dairy a hard time when I don't think it's that much of a problem compared to many other things. Most adults don't drink a lot of milk anyway; usually "dairy" for adults means eggs, cheese, yogurt, etc. I don't see the health problems with dairy the way I see with red meat either. For improving public health, we should instead be reducing how much red meat people eat, plus also reducing or eliminating stuff like HFCS, refined sugars, refined flour, alcohol, etc.
>One solution would be measures to increase prices but that is a political minefield.
What they should do is just eliminate the tax breaks that unhealthy industries enjoy.
It's only a political minefield because of corporate influence (dictation?) in politics.
I will never go vegan or vegetarian but I mostly limit meat to only dinner and in smaller portions. My grocery bill is much smaller, it's healthier, and better for the environment overall.
Pushing a full-blown switch to veganism as the only solution is not pragmatic.
Global warming due to greenhouse gas is a reason to go to the "other" extreme?
What's another solution?
People will keep slaves if it's legal.
Stopping the use of tax payer dollars to help people eat meat seems not that much of a minefield compared too?
Sounds like a win win to me.
Buy only locally farmed organic meat. Don't go to fast food places or restaurants that don't specifically declare that their meat is organic and local.
No. Don't buy meat. Buy beans. Buy tofu. Hell, buy Beyond Burgers. We don't need meat. It's bad for the planet, bad for your health and it goes without saying, bad for the animals.
Interesting. Do you have a source? I don't see a good reason for this off the top of my head.
This seems like the best strategy: If you force people to become vegan by law without giving good alternatives, you just make them angry at people who want to stop climate change. If you nicely ask them, some will switch but most won't. So I believe the best way forward is to invest into meat alternative startups and help them make their product as widely used and as cheap as possible.
That acquired taste can be reset if for 2-4 weeks one avoids any product with added salt or sugar. Then tofu and many other products including plain meat without any additives will taste much better.
Tofu dogs never taste like meat, ever. If you wait 2-4 weeks you're just creating a new habit, not approximating meat in any way.
Your comment, while potentially a healthy choice, certainly isn't an accurate description of meat taste. And meat eaters everywhere can recognize this because we have all tried the other products and it doesn't taste close, even after 2-4 weeks.
You won't convince people by lying to them about the flavor of things you want them to buy. They'll label you a liar and move on.
The question is rhetorical and is meant to show that 1) this proposal is not a “global solution”, as punishing a single country would hardly make any difference; and 2) you’re personifying a country’s exports, associating them to an administration you disagree ideologically with, to make it sound evil, and that is not rational nor productive.
I hear where are you coming from, though IMHO it's a problem with lack of knowledge/tradition/culture of producing vegetarian/vegan meals.
If you would say that you're vegetarian to my grandparents, they'd imagine that you eat vegetable salad all the time, with occasional baked potatoes for hot meal, they cannot imagine a meatless meal.
From my experience people tend to think that there must be a 1 to 1 replacement for meat foods: steaks, sausages, cutlets, burgers, meatballs, etc.
IMHO usually great vegetarian dishes (tasty, easy to make, not expensive, etc.) are mostly different set from meat dishes. It requires a cultural shift, which is insanely hard to change in general western population, where it's common and expected to have ham/bacon sandwich for breakfast, meatballs and spaghetti for lunch, steak for dinner, and beef burger or ribs on a bbq on a weekend.
You need a completely different set of dishes to change that meat eating tradition and IMO tofu sausages, cheap soy steaks and other meat analogues will not convert meat-eaters to vegetarians (fingers crossed for Impossible meat projects to change that).
Anecdotal example from the same thread on Indian vegetarian cuisine: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20652404
P.S. I very much agree with you on this:
> The theoretical advantage that artificial meat has is the lower amount of resources needed. Over time, because of this it can get much cheaper than real meat, at least if you don't factor in skewing of the market due to government subsidies.
Subsidies are really skewing prices of animal vs plant based products.
Where I am from pork is around 5-6€/kg, chicken 3.5-5€/kg, beef 10-30€/kg, milk 0.5-1€/l.
Whereas soy-almond milk 1.5-3€/l, soy meat analogues 5-15€/kg, mushrooms 3-15€/kg, etc.
There is no substantial price difference (mostly), which is spectacular to me. How it's possible to sell 1 kilo of chicken breast for 3.5€ is spectacular to me, when freaking beans cost around 3-4€/kg. How do they grow that chicken, when it's clear as a day that it requires probably an order of magnitude more resources compared to growing beans. I wouldn't even go how government is bending backwards for milk producers with tax incentives to keep prices "competitive", and I have no idea how pork is not 20-50€/kg, when every other year there's some disease, which requires to kill and destroy all pigs in farms in 500km radius.
This is exactly what I was reffering to. The current alternatives are not motivating enough for people to switch, but with good meat alternatives like impossible/beyond meat we should see trend changes.
It feels to me that the approach "just change your culture" has been tried out and has mostly failed because most people in the west have not switched. It requires a lot of political/moral conviction for people to switch. Good meat replacements will I think change this and make it easier for people to eat less meat while keeping their culture.
I agree with GP that most people don't care what a meatless meal could look like, culturally they just want meat each meal and will only consider an "impossible" substitute.
If we must change our impact on the environment, maybe it doesn't matter that people have a cultural desire to wait on impossible standards for substitutes and to continue harming the environment in the process. I don't know how important it is to change now, but if it critical then I'd be fine with something like rationing meat or some creative ideas towards forcing drastic change.
Also, maybe your grandparents can't imagine meat only once a week, but my grandparents certainly can, not because of current habits but from the great depression. They grew up on farms and had animals but they had more plants and usually ate the plants, only rarely they would slaughter animals for meat. Most meals were plants and that was the most normal thing in the world.
I assume meat at every meal is an extremely recent phenomenon and I think culturally we can easily move on from it, if we take the necessary measures.
Illuminating the moral quandary of meat consumption helps. It worked for me. Nobody had to ask me nicely, they just needed to help me to think about it and be self-reflective.
Even if you believe there to be ethical meat consumption (a notion I find dubious in modern life), people can reduce consumption and have a big impact. Modern commercial meat and dairy production is a horrible process and most people are so insulated from it that you get used to thinking meat is just this product that comes from a factory.
But if broccoli could scream would you stop eating it? Circle of life. Just the way it is.
However I do agree, there are a lot of commercial farming practices that need to be ended. Even if it means higher prices.
Wolves that eat deer don't also breed them to the point where they contribute to climate change. Hunter gatherer folk don't breed them to a point where they are a significant factor in climate change.
As carnivores wolves don't really have a choice to not eat meat. You do, though. With a couple of different choices at the supermarket or simply ordering different choices on the menu, you can help cut down our global emissions.
It's now illegal in USA.
Though I don't think it should be illegal unless slaughtering other animals is illegal too. I think our disgust with the idea of slaughtering dogs highlights our arbitrary ethical inconsistencies when it comes to eating meat.
Hunter gatherers ended up doing that once they figured it out. Civilization didn't magical come about. Hunter gatherers decided to start animal husbandry as a way to keep a surplus food supply. Then they became "civilized".
I heard that choice arguement before. No. I've done the vegan diet for about 1.5 years. That's when depression, anxiety, bone and muscle problems popped up. My bloodwork was shit and I felt like doom and gloom. I snuck off from my girlfriend, who forced me into it, with a friend and he peer pressured me to drink a glass of milk and eat a steak. I did shit myself silly that night, but it felt like I was actually awake and the brain fog was gone. We broke up a few months later because I made a lovely red thai curry with murdered chicken instead of tofu.
By the way, look up how many ground nesting birds and rabbits die during grain and soybean harvesting. Those combines are just pure murder.
Don't you think the current age of high depression and high anxiety is oddly correlated to the recent rise of "meat bad, tofu good", is a bit interesting? So no, I don't have a choice. From personal experience. Difference is, I never made existential excuses for the depression, anxiety, fatigue and brain fog. I did it for tail...which really wasn't worth it.
Most soybeans grown are consumed by livestock . A lot of wheat is also fed to livestock . We'd need a lot less if we as humans ate it directly instead of eating the animals that eat it.
I don't know what your diet was like, but this is not my experience (7 years in), and it is the position of the American Dietetic Association that vegan diets, when planned well, are healthy .
Now, let's say that even with good planning, you are still unhealthy on a vegan diet. That does not mean you couldn't be healthy on a vegetarian diet, or a diet that has drastically reduced meat consumption. The less meat we eat, the better for the environment.
Just because it is "natural" doesn't make it right. Nature is a cruel bitch, remember.
Again, this is in the scenario where we accept meat consumption is indisputably ethical. The way we get our meat is arguably a much bigger problem.
> But if broccoli could scream would you stop eating it?
If you're going to say starve to death, ha! The one thing westerners underestimate is starving and what it does to you. See how long you can go without eating. I've done a 5 day fast, with intents for a 10 day. Yes, I failed on that.
Take a wild guess what you crave the most. And it ain't plant fiber. Its muscle fiber. We live in the land of plenty that allows choices. Part of the exact problem we are running into. It's easy to say meat bad when you get fruits, veg and grain imported to you. Stuff you didn't really work to get. Because, out of personal experience, farming is hard ass work. And I dare anyone to try zero emissions large scale farming. Grab a scythe and harvest grain. Have fun with that.
What I'm getting to, it's always been a fact of life. It takes less effort to raise pigs and live off their flesh than it is to take care of a few acres of grain, veg and fruit.
What I can't stand, people not in the agriculture business or lifestyle pretending to be the ultimate authority. Grow all your own food, then you can have an opinion. Until then, don't pretend like you know what you're talking about. It's easy for anyone to wave their hand and say "everyone should live in this method because I say so".
"But if I spend all my time farming, I wont have time to do xyz"
Yea, that's the reason why our farming systems are as they are.
This is a red herring, though. They don't.
> It takes less effort to raise pigs and live off their flesh than it is to take care of a few acres of grain, veg and fruit.
This is dubious, but my point is not that I farm, but that I find commercial farms more ethical than commercial meat production.
That would certainly change the conversation. But given that there is dubious support for plants "feeling" pain in a sentient way, I don't see much reason to entertain it.
That said, my diet is mostly fruit, nuts and seeds anyway.
My theory is that you have to be ready / have to already, deep down, made that decision and then just needed a little push. Since this is a major topic in many societies with vegetarians and vegans proselytizing, I doubt that the majority of meat eaters aren't aware - they just don't come to the same conclusions or like it too much to quit.
Why is that dubious ? Ethics is personal. For me, consuming meat is ethical. Unless I'm forced to not eat meat then I won't stop.
You may want to consider the broader implications of using this reasoning.
> While i understand it sucks for you but for many people factory including me, factory farming is awesome and animal suffering is not important at all.
A rapist could make a similar case about how awesome the vagina feels. That the woman doesn't like it is not all that important. If you think about it, it's just some body parts touching, women really blow it out of proportion. And hey, animals do it. Why should the government limit my freedoms?
For some reason, meat consumption (i.e. slaughtering, factory farming, etc.) is one of the only topics where it's more or less socially acceptable to say "well, I like it, and that's all I care about. Ethics are personal btw."
Government consist of people, because to this group of people, its in their best interest, its ethical for them to not allow rape.
Does the government care about this rapist freedom ? No, in their perspective its wrong.
So whichever side that can force other to comply (persuasively or physically) get to decide the ethics.
In the case of rape, the government get to decide whether you can rape.
Millions of people are already voluntarily reducing their consumption and now virtually every restaurant in the UK has vegan options, making it easier for more people to switch.
I live in the outskirts of a relatively small, low-income industrial city and there are signs outside small shops and restaurants everywhere promoting their new vegan menus. A traditional pub near me has no fewer than 14(!) plant-based main courses.
I'd love to see tax incentives that reflect the damage that the meat and dairy industry are doing (ending the massive government subsidies would be a good start), however the changes I've seen in the UK give me hope that the grassroots level can sway public opinion without forcing people to change via legislation.
This can easily get clouded if you live in a place where you feel a new vegan place opens all the time. But this is very unevenly distributed. The UK is a place where vegan eating is strong, likewise Germany, Sweden and certainly a few other places. But even in very similar countries also in middle Europe - e.g. Denmark, France - vegetarianism is still very unusual.
A few back to back meat recalls in the US got me to try vegetarianism 8 years ago. The animal welfare element only developed after I started learning about the new diet I was on.
It also helps to promote stories of very healthy vegetarians (especially pro athletes). My favorites were Carl Lewis, Herschel Walker, and Venus Williams. There are many more out there.
The key is to find decent, not too complex recipes. Dropping a slab of meat on the grill is so easy and results in such a tasty primary component of a meal; but making an interesting vegetarian meal requires more effort (at first). Once you know some good recipes, you get to the point where the only time you miss meat is when you're at a festival and you smell barbeque :).
But even if you think it's not bad for you, it's bad for:
- the environment
- bad for people having to work in slaughterhouses killing and gutting animals all day
- bad for the animal
Also, good meat is expensive and cheap meat taste like shit so it's a good move for your wallet.
 growing amount of people saying "I want to fight climate change but can't do anything myself"
From the same wikipedia page, a bit above what you linked, there's also this chart: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Meat_Atlas_2014_subsidies... showing how many billions are spent on animal product subsidies.
Unfortunately I had no luck finding the actual OECD reports, though (aside from the "
Agricultural Policy Monitoring and Evaluation 2019" report, but that seems to just compare each country to the global average, rather than talking about different types of subsidies)
I'm all for removing subsidies to monoculture agriculture.
Yeah, I searched around a bit (even outside of the US) and I'm having difficulty finding any proper data to back up or refute it. That's a pity, would have been nice to know either way. The best I found was data on subsidies given to individual farmers in my country (I'm not in the US), but unless I scrape the site and aggregate and categorise the data, its not really useful (and doing that is too much work for me).
> I'm all for removing subsidies to monoculture agriculture.
Absolutely. I don't even mind animal products receiving subsidies, I'm not vegetarian and certainly not vegan, but I do hope that non-animal products get a large chunk of the subsidy pie, personally.
The 'cows farting' story is not a major methane source.
I.e. there was major uncertainty that scientists were measuring more methane than they expected, and these scientists tried to figure out where it comes from.
The only thing your argument says is that for methane emissions from meat production apparently scientists had a pretty good idea about the numbers.
You can't legally eat the meat of other humans in most (all? not sure) countries. You're not allowed to buy the meat of certain animals in certain countries, due to cultural norms (dogs) or due to protection of certain species.
It's an absolutely normal thing that laws regulate or forbid things that have negative effects on society.
There are plenty of valid reasons to restrict what people are allowed to eat.
Cows are not killing the planet. They are one of the few things you can raise that doesn't require pesticides or chemical fertilizers. They and other ruminants are important parts of grassland ecosystems.
The megafauna that existed on planet Earth just 200, 500, and 12,000 years ago were far more numerous than the number of livestock cows today.
This reductionist mindset about the environment that doesn't even attempt to quantify trade offs or factor for the important role livestock plays in crop production is beyond tiresome.
We also happen to need meat for healthy brain function. We need lots of Omega-3 fatty acids the kind that animal foods only provide and plants are not as healthy as they're made out to be. They have tons of oxalates, phytic acids, and inflammatory agents that harm human health in large doses. Not to mention the absurd amount of carbs we already consume from plant based foods.
I'm not the one who wrote the UN report on climate change that recommends reducing meat consumption. Maybe take it up with the UN instead.
> Not to mention the absurd amount of carbs we already consume from plant based foods.
Speak for yourself. I eat a plant-heavy low-carb diet (I do eat fish, eggs and meat too).
But... you're not replying to what I was saying and that is that there are perfectly valid reasons to restrict what people are allowed to eat. I didn't say anything about not eating cows or whatever, you took my comment out of context, which was simply "There are plenty of valid reasons to restrict what people are allowed to eat." The first paragraph was simply giving examples of reasons that various people might have to do so.
Appeal to authority.
> There are plenty of valid reasons to restrict what people are allowed to eat.
Name one. Sounds very tyrannical to me.
Uhhh.. the person implied that I was saying cows are killing the planet, I simply stated that I never said that, the UN did, so take it up with them instead of me. Why are you are you taking what I said out of context?
> Name one.
Are you just replying without reading the thread? My very first message named a few. I never said they were good reasons, but they are reasons nonetheless.
True in theory. Not in practice. Unfortunately most beef we eat doesn't come from grass fed animals. And if we were to convert the entire industry to grassing only, we wouldn't have enough land to produce the same quantity of meat. Which would imply exactly reduced meat consumption.
Properly-kept housecats stay inside and don't kill any birds. I suspect the vast majority of those bird deaths are caused by feral cats, not pets (though of course, most ferals probably are or descend from pets that were abandoned or escaped). Our society could be doing a better job with dealing with feral animals like this, because they are bad for ecosystems; they're basically invasive predators.
Bird-killing aside, the environmental impact of pets is actually pretty staggering. It's probably worse for dogs too, since they're much larger animals on average.
>The megafauna that existed on planet Earth just 200, 500, and 12,000 years ago were far more numerous than the number of livestock cows today.
Citation needed. Yes, there were millions of buffalo on the American plains 1000+ years ago, but a quick Google search shows there's over 94 million cows in America today. Also, from what I've read, there are more plains now than in the past, because forests were destroyed by humans to make grasslands.
Right is something that you or someone else has to fight for it. If you prefer to eat meat you have to fight for your right, likewise with the non meat eater.
Which makes me think. I wonder how much meat would people eat naturally, if they were note exposed to an image of a BigMac on every corner.
In part I, too have the right to control what people eat through voting.
Wonder why people have such negative views of environmentalists.
Personally, I'm not actually sure. The human race, like all things, is ultimately doomed so surely some consideration for values outside those of mere survival is necessary.
The govt's behavior is not motivated by climate.