Regarding vegetarianism

Personally, I do not agree with vegetarianism and even less with vegans. I believe that humans need vitamins found on fish, eggs, dairy and meat products and there is no better way of absorbing these vitamins but by eating the right things instead of getting vitamin pills (personally I despise all pills). And besides, they taste good.

I understand that there are some cultures who evolved without meat altogether in their diet and that’s cool, because over the course of hundreds of years they managed to find alternative sources of what their bodies needed. Additionally, these people are not used to the taste of meat, so you can’t ask them to start eating it out of the blue.

But when you have someone who grew up in the west and was eating meat all his/her life, and suddenly decides to stop eating meat because he/she wanted to “stop the suffering of the animals”, this doesn’t sit well with me. I have to say this: there is a certain food chain on this planet, and that’s how nature works — deal with it. You are an animal yourself and by refusing to eat what you are supposed to eat on principle you are distancing yourself from your true nature rather than getting “closer to nature”. I agree that people in the west must eat LESS meat (especially in USA). But removing such products completely from a diet, I don’t see the point and you might endanger yourself if you don’t get supplementary vitamins. Humans are omnivores, end of story.

I’ve lived with a vegetarian fiance for 3 years and sometimes I had to cook for him different food than the one I was cooking for me, and some times in a special way (he wouldn’t eat anything fried). I tried being a vegetarian myself for 3 months in 1998. This thing just doesn’t work for me (and that’s true for most Greeks as well). I love meat (especially lamb), I like fish, I like eggs and I like cheese and milk. I see no reason why I should stop eating these, but I do agree that I need to reduce HOW much I eat of these. But I will never eliminate certain kinds of foods from my diet.

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vince wrote on October 19th, 2006 at 3:51 AM PST:

I am a vegetarian but I love meat. I gave it up for ethical reasons.. to balance the consumption of those who eat so much meat that we now genetically modify chickens to grow without feathers. (Notice I said ‘grow’ and not ‘raise’.. this is an important difference here in the US market.)

While I don’t expect you to agree with vegetarians, it would be nice if you would at least recognize that the affect we have, although small, is positive.


Luis wrote on October 19th, 2006 at 5:19 AM PST:

Interesting points of view from all.

I agree with Eugenia that it’s better to eat what’s natural for you, even if it’s an animal. I also agree that it’s a big sacrifice for many people to stop eating animals because of the way they’re “grown”. But I disagree in saying that vegetarianism is wrong (for health or ethical reasons). I myself can just applaud those who stop eating animals for ethical reasons. I don’t do it myself or want other to do it, but those who choose to do it have all my respect.

However, human beings are not all the same. Different populations have ha different diets for thousands of years. Then there are genetical factors too (and many others). So what’s good for one person is bad for another one. And yes, some people do need animals to keep a good health (me, for example). But for others, animals are a bad choice. They do much better being vegetarian (even the vitamin B12 is not a problem if you eat the right things). The story is not as simple as “Humans are omnivores” (and in Greece, as with the rest of Europeans, animals are not good for around 40% of the population).

It’s a pity we have such a poor education in something that’s so important as nutrition. Even those who are “experts” (in the western world) have such a lack of understanding that they lead us to incredible misconceptions. Eating completely right is absolutely impossible for any average person, but they should teach us at least not to eat too wrong.


Kitty wrote on October 19th, 2006 at 7:40 AM PST:

I’m a vegetarian, but not a vegetarian evangelist. So I usually only speak on the subject when I’m asked why I made the choice for myself. Regardless, I want to give it a shot here:

I believe that humans need vitamins found on fish, eggs, dairy and meat products and there is no better way of absorbing these vitamins by eating the right things instead of getting vitamin pills

True (we need those vitamins and proteins) and again True (the best as in easier way is to eat them from meat and fish and eggs and dairy). But that’s not the point: you _can_ also have a balanced and healthy diet by not eating meat and fish, and the only vitamins you need to specially make sure you area taking are the B vitamins, which you can drink as drops in the water every three days, or you can assume integrators in many other forms. Which by the way would be a very good idea for lots on non-vegetarian people. In particular, but this may not be your case since you are probably used to a very different diet, I’m always amazed every time I stay in the US of how little fruit and vegetables the average citizen consumes… That’s a far worse imbalance in the vitamins intake than that a conscious vegetarian goes through.

I have to say this: there is a certain food chain on this planet, and that’s how nature works — deal with it. You are an animal yourself and by refusing to eat what you are supposed to eat on principle you are distancing yourself from your true nature rather than getting “closer to nature”. … Humans are omnivores, end of story.

Everything True… and once again, not the point really. There’s a lot of behaviours that are “natural” and yet that we have deemed to be morally unacceptable. Murder, rape, infanticide of handicapped babbies to name a few. They are all “natural” behaviour patterns, they make sense in a certain state of animal behaviour. Would you say “Deal with it”? But we have developed a culture and a quite abstract sense of ethics, and we have to live with them. It’s not a judgement on what is “best”, mind you: I’m just saying that we _do have_ an ethics, it serves us right in many occasions, and we must suffer it in others, even when murder, rape or infanticide would be easier and more natural. We built our own chains, now we have to live with them.
What is the difference between murder, rape, infanticide and eating cows, forcing cows to give milk all the time damaging their health, chaining veal in a box hardly big enough to hold them so that they don’t harden thei muscles by walking around? The difference is in the object of the offence. In the first case human, in the second not. And while I’m not one of those that would say that the life of a chicken has the same value of the life of a human being, it’s still inflicting sufference enough to deeply disturb me. It tickles that ethic nerve that was developed for human beings, not for animals. But I have to live with that: an empathy for suffering in general. And let me tell you: I think that _most_ people in the west have the same “dysfunctional” sensitivity, but they can mask it because of the removal that the market and the society made between the products and the suffering needed to obtain it. How many of those who never lived in a farm would be able to look a lamb or cow or pig in the eyes and kill them, not for survival but just because they like the hamburger better than the beans? Not many, I think. But buying a small package of minced meat in the supermarket is so easy, that it doesnt seem like a moral choice at all.
But the “dysfunction” in ethics is still there: even those who say that yes, they would kill a cow like nothing, and laugh and boast… what would they answer if the object of the killing was a horse, a rabbit, a cat or a dog puppy? Depending on the culture, they’ll think that killing and eating some of those animals is icky… because they are “less animals” than the others. Again dysfunctional, you see :)

This thing just doesn’t work for me (and that’s true for most Greeks as well). I love meat

Liking it is not the point. I am italian and I ate meat and fish until I was 21. I _loved_ meat, fish and pork. I loved bacon and ham and steaks and shrimp and lobsters. I haven’t touched any in 11 years, since the very day I made my choice.

So to sum up:
1) Easy doesn’t mean right
2) Natural doesn’t mean right
3) Likeable doesn’t mean right
Each of us has an ethic. It may be skewed and incoherent, but we still live by it. It’s up to you developing it, and that’s what gives us the sense of what’s right. Trying to rationalize over what is a gut feeling won’t work though.


This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on October 19th, 2006 at 7:46 AM PST:

>B vitamins, which you can drink as drops in the water every three days

This is what makes me angry. Why the hell take “drops in water” instead of eating the real thing? To me, that’s just stupid. If you recognize the fact that your body needs some minerals or protein, just give it to it the _natural_ way.

Sorry, I can’t discuss this matter right now, I don’t care, I am very pissed off over our green card. I wouldn’t care less about food right now. Sorry for spoiling the conversation, I am in distress.


Kitty wrote on October 19th, 2006 at 8:36 AM PST:

No need to apologize if you have more important matters on your mind. You take care.


mikesum32 wrote on October 19th, 2006 at 9:03 AM PST:

People eat what they choose. There is no “supposed to eat” That’s like saying are supposed to wear clothing, supposed to be Catholic, or supposed to vote Rebublican. Why do you eat meat ? If you’re like me it’s because you were raised that way. If you were Indian, maybe you weren’t. It’s about choice. Who’s to say man ate fruits, berries, and nuts first and meat out of desperation. It doesn’t matter. It’s about free choice.

I’m not a vegetarian. I was raised on meat, and enjoy the taste, but I don’t think it grows on trees. If I tried to go vegetarian, I wouldn’t know what to eat.

I hate it when they rub it in your face, or preach like you’re in church. So self righteous. Yuck ! You are doing what a small minority of them do.

Look it me ! I eat meat you vegetable freaks ! It’s so good and so right. Yea meat !

I don’t do that.

I do eat meat and know that an animal died, and maybe it had a pretty good life and died quick, or maybe it suffered it’s whole life and died slow, but I’m the cause of it’s death because I eat it.

P.S.
How ’bout a preview button?


This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on October 19th, 2006 at 9:07 AM PST:

>How ’bout a preview button ?

It’s not possible on blogsome.


mikesum32 wrote on October 19th, 2006 at 9:12 AM PST:

It ate my italics tags where I quoted you !

Shit.


This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on October 19th, 2006 at 9:15 AM PST:

You probably did something wrong. Italics work fine.


mikesum32 wrote on October 19th, 2006 at 9:29 AM PST:

I think I made a close tag as the first italics tag.

Yeah. Oops.


Thom Holwerda wrote on October 19th, 2006 at 10:27 AM PST:

As Kitty said, being a vegetarian has a lot to do with ethics. I *hate* the bio industry. Animals just as well should have a normal life, instead of being exploited the way they are now. Vegeterians don’t eat meat because of the horrors in the bio industry; not because of the killing of animals in itself.

I suggest you take a look at some films made in bio industry “farms”, you will then probably change your mind about this issue.

And no, I am not a vegetarian.


This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on October 19th, 2006 at 10:33 AM PST:

I know about the “horrors” and I do not agree with them either. But I won’t distance myself from the vitamins I need. Besides, when I used to live in Greece most of the meat I was eating was coming from free range, well-treated, animals. This is something for the government to fix via laws, not via my diet. I am not going to play the hero “animal rescuer” using my health just because we have a bunch of idiots for governments.


hugh jones wrote on October 20th, 2006 at 3:34 AM PST:

Quite often, when you find out a bit more about something, you change your mind. It can and often does take years to come round to the other viewpoint, but it’s a one way journey..


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