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The No. 1 Cause of Climate Change the Media Don’t Mention


#43

No response to the centuries-old ethical arguments defending the lives and well being of our fellow sentient nonhumans? Not to worry; vegans are “elites” or “hypocrites.” The Ad hominems flow like the milk of a tortured dairy cow whenever the feared V-word emerges.


#44

Below are two passages quoted in Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon.
The first is by Charles Hallmark from Health Freedom News:

If it were not for beef, the United States could produce perhaps 25% of the small grain it does. . … The factors that would limit our production is winter kill and tillering.

First, winter kill happens when small grains, such as wheat or oats, get into what is called the joint stage. Grain planted in the fall sprouts and grows fairly rapidly. Once it sends up the stem that the grain head grows on, and it makes the first joint in that stem, if it gets about 10 degrees Fahrenheit it will kill the plant.

To prevent this from happening, cattlemen and wheat farmers graze small grains with cattle. Without cattle grazing, the wheat, all wheat planted as well as oats, would have to be planted in the spring. Usually, moisture conditions remain too wet for this to work well.

Without beef you can kiss goodbye probably to 50% of the earth’s population.

Another misconception is water supposedly taken up by cattle. Water weighs approximately eight pounds per gallon. A one thousand-pound steer, if 100% water, would be 125 gallons of water. Where is the rest of the thousands of gallons of water? If handled properly, the waste water from cattle is a very valuable resource. It removes nitrate nitrogens and ammoniacal nitrogens and returns them to the soil. Nitrate nitrogens make forage, and ammoniacal nitrogens make seeds and flowers. Farmers pay big money for these in bag form to apply to the land.

And the second is by Mark Purdey from The Nutcracker Suite:

One of the most nutty, stereotype fallacies. . .is the vegetarian claim that crop husbandry is less chemically and energy intensive than livestock farming. Whilst this is true in consideration of the intensive grain-fed livestock units, the traditional mixed farming unit raises livestock for meat and milk off extensively managed, low-input grassland systems; and each acre of well-managed grassland can produce four harvests a season of high-protein forage utilizing its all-inclusive clover plants as a green manure for fixing free atmospheric nitrogen into the soil. Whereas, an arable cropping system will only yield one or two crops per season and will largely remain reliant on the inputs of artificial fertilizer for its nitrogen source; one ton of which requires ten tons of crude oil in the manufacturing process. . … Well-managed grassland is rarely sprayed with pesticide/fungicide/herbicide, not even on the most chemically orientated of farms. Yet virtually all vegetable and arable systems receive an average of ten chemical sprayings annually through from the initial seed stage to the final storage of the produce. Vegetables are so heavily sprayed that the more perceptive elements of the medical establishment have actually linked the victims of a mystery, novel neurological syndrome to the fact that they are all vegetarians in common. One team led by Dr. David Ratner from the Central Emek Hospital, Afula, in Israel, bloodtested several isolated cases of those suffering from this syndrome and found that various organophosphate pesticide residues intensively present in their vegetarian diet were responsible. Once the victims were convinced that they should return to a diet including meat and milk products, their symptoms and abnormal blood enzyme levels normalized rapidly.


#45

I’m glad that you’re opposed to inhumane factory farms. Don’t forget that taking over habitat of and killing off 50+% of all other species is done to grow cows*. And until the permafrost starts melting faster, cows produce more methane than any other single industry. So yes, there are some ignorant views RE the meat industry. I think you meant “regenerative agriculture”, and that includes getting rid of all the factory meat/egg farms.

*They used to sell the trees first but often in the Amazon they just burn it all and grow a few veggies for a couple of years until the land is exhausted, then they grow cows for American markets.


#46

Me admit being human animal evolved as omnivore.  Where you come from??


#47

Our omnivorous nature simply indicates the potentiality for digesting flesh (not the biological requirement to do so) and, therefore, presents us with an opportunity rationality and ethically to chose how best to live and let live.


#48

Proof positive meat-eaters are driven to literal quackery to defend their ugly habit. Better check your “sources” a bit more carefully:
https://www.quackwatch.org/04ConsumerEducation/Nonrecorg/nhf.html


#49

I realize that you’re just defending your strong commitments to an ideological worldview and personal lifestyle. But I’m not the enemy you think I am. I’ve spent periods of my life as a vegetarian or eating less meat. And I know many vegetarians, including my brothers. I have nothing against vegetarianism and certainly I’m not arguing against it on any kind of principle. I’m only noting that, as an environmentalist myself, these kinds of environmentalist arguments are a weak defense of vegetarianism. That said, there are other more compelling arguments, specifically from an ethical perspective.

It doesn’t help your position to attempt character assassination, as a way of avoiding any debate of the evidence. I have no particular opinion about that source, Health Freedom News. But the info is either factual or not, no matter your opinion of the organization. There are other sources I could use and we could play a game of endlessly throwing out sources and making appeals to authority. That wouldn’t be helpful, though.

Anyway, the National Health Federation is simply a source of info. That says nothing about the quality of the info. If the Nazi Ministry of Science said the earth was round and revolved around the sun, would you declare the complete opposite in order to virtue signal your defiance of genocidal authoritarianism? Or if the Alliance of Scientifically Respectable Vegetarian Organizations stated that pebbles are an excellent form of roughage, would you start eating rocks for breakfast?

Consider again the Health Freedom News magazine. I’ve never personally read it before. But since it was so important to you, I checked it out. It mostly seems like a general outlet for health info. Some of their views are more alternative, but I would make two points. First, much of their views are also mainstream. Second, even their alternative views are from across the ideological spectrum.

In the Health Freedom News magazine, there is published the quarterly column Health Bits and Pieces. Some of the columns are available online at the official site and I link to one below from some years ago (July 19, 2010). In that particular column, it briefly covers numerous topics and none of it is anti-scientific woo. Let me summarize. They report on the dangers of environment toxins and then offer the rather standard suggestions of ventilating your house for radon and filtering your water. They report on numerous scientific studies: “Antioxidant supplements can reduce damage from strokes”; “Consuming more beans, nuts, and cereal grains provides protection against cancer”; fat cells produce the CRP inflammation marker and increases insulin resistance; obesity correlated to “increased risk of Alzheimer’s and other dementias” along with additional risks; etc.

Interestingly, the very last item reported in that column was another study quite relevant to your own views. The study was on the health benefits of a vegetarian diet. So, apparently the organization doesn’t have an ideological axe to grind about vegetarianism. Instead, they report evidence from both sides of the debate. That seems like a reliable source of info to turn to, at least on this issue. But if you disagree with specific info from that source, then detail your criticisms, rather than dismiss out of hand what contradicts your beliefs.

You seem to think I’m a right-winger or something. I’m not. I was raised in a new agey religion, spent much of my childhood in a liberal college town, and as an adult I’ve become an increasingly radical left-liberal. Also, as I’ve noted, I’ve long had an attraction to vegetarianism and still find worthy certain arguments for it. My parents have told me of how I was shocked as a young child when I learned that the meat ‘chicken’ was the same thing as the chicken on a farm — I was a naive little boy living in the city — and I temporarily became a vegetarian back then even though I had no knowledge about vegetarianism.

If you have an argument to make and evidence to offer, then do so. I will listen to what you say and weigh it against all else. That is what I’d expect of you as well, assuming you want to participate in fair-minded and rational discussion. It is the standard I hold for myself. Let me give you some examples.

I’m a strong anti-racist, but I’m also intellectually curious and open-minded. I spent a period of time dialoguing with race realist HBDers, in order to understand their views. I actually found certain HBDers to be quite intelligent and interesting. On topics not directly related to race realism, we could have fruitful discussions and I sometimes found myself in agreement. It didn’t turn me into a race realist, if anything made me more strident in my anti-racism, but nonetheless I didn’t mind admitting what was correct on HBD blogs and websites, as it didn’t threaten my ideology or identity.

Here is another example. Similar to my position of anti-racism, I’ve become a strong defender of drug legalization or decriminallization, based on the evidence I’ve seen (e.g., Johann Hari’s writings). As a left-liberal, I generally can’t stand Fox News and don’t consider it a reliable source of info. But I will listen to Fox News on occasion, if only to understand the worldview of others. In doing so, I sometimes come across something interesting. Many years ago there was a long Fox News segment made in support of loosening of drug laws, based on a principled libertarian argument. It was well made and well informed. That the source was Fox News was irrelevant.

That is how I roll. But each to their own, I guess.


#50

At this time, that’s kind of like saying to religious fanatics who oblige their religion by obeying bans on birth control/contraceptives and keep mass producing kids. It is a “choice” but only the reckless would continue to make that choice.


#51

And then there’s the ethical perspective of gradually reducing the human population to a level sustainable indefinitely.  10% fewer humans, assuming the reduction is spread equally across all racial, economic and cultural groups, would consume 10% less resources (many of which are not renewables) and produce 10% less pollution.  A stable population of one billion humans would reduce resource consumption & pollution to less than one-seventh of the present unsustainable rates, and eliminate the need for further incursions into increasingly scarce natural environments and the territories used by other species to live comfortably and naturally (whether vegans, carnivores, or – like grizzly bears – somewhere in between).

AMEN!   But with our current presidunce doing so on an almost daily basis, who can blame others for following our fearless leader’s example?  I remember reading many years ago that “Profanity is the desperate attempt of a feeble mind to express itself forcefully.”  IMHO, character assassination is a form of profanity . . .


#52

So you’re calling poor people, or anyone not wanting to double their cost of living “reckless?” That’s a bit condescending of you.


#53

I appreciate your thoughtful reply; one that is certainly more in line with rational deliberation than my quick retort. While I would resist characterizing my view of our obligations to nonhuman others as an “ideology,” I am inclined to see the case for animals (and against their consumption in any number of ways) as radically overdetermined; that is, there are several, individually sufficient reasons for adopting the view (ecological, economic, health-related, and ethical) that, taken together, make the case for ending meat-eating (for example) overwhelmingly secure. However, as you intimated in one brief aside, the ethical arguments are most compelling (and perhaps indisputable), so even were we to question the ecological benefits of going green (I’m very skeptical!), our obligations to extend just treatment to sentient nonhumans remains in force.


#54

OK. And, yes, character assassination is obscene. Let’s say one accepts your arguments for a reduced population of humans; what to do about animal use/abuse in the interim? The ethics of current practice aren’t a function of a possible future state.


#55

No - YOU said that.

You’re also suggesting that it is the “poor” who make the choice to eat animals.
The diet of the poor is generally rice and beans.
Cheese (often given away by governments) and macaroni.
“Meats” have always been more expensive than vegetables.

Nor is the protein from animals suitable for humans –
It is the protein and sodium from vegetables which keeps humans healthy.
It is animal FAT – not the fat from an avocado – which clogs human arteries and creates
heart problems.

Having something nutritious on the table to eat means vegetation, not animals.

And those who have the money for “animal-eating” would be wiser to invest it in vegetables
and fruits.

The issue right now is our planet on fire.


#56

I guarantee that I’m in better shape than you and know a lot more about nutrition than you do. And I’m not a vegan. I eat meat, or at least something non-vegan, in every single meal. Ever heard of lean meat? Or are you just looping lean chicken breast into the same category is a ribeye steak?

And I care about my pocket-book too. I deliberately choose to not buy organic or “sustainably” farmed produce because I want to save money. If you want to pay more for your food, that’s fine. Just don’t impose your personal preferences on me and the rest of society through government force.


#57

We are probably not that far off in our views.

BTW when I refer to ideology, I don’t mean it dismissively. I’ve come to use ‘ideology’ often in the sense used by Louis Althusser, as a structured worldview. We all have ideologies, in spite of those on the political right claiming to be free of ideology (an argument that is equal parts amusing and irritating),

As for my ideology, it’s kind of loose and free-ranging and shift over the years. I’m not really sure where I presently stand on vegetarianism. No matter what diet one chooses, all of us (even vegetarians) should be eating more vegetables from healthier sources.

Part of my concern is that few people take seriously how systemic are the problems we face. Modern vegetarianism, particularly in countries like the United States, is as entangled in big ag and big oil as is modern omnivorianism. The environmental dangers we face are inherent to the entire system with population stress being an important factor but one among many.

I’ve grown suspicious of diet being used as yet another example of democracy being replaced with capitalism. The suggestion is that if only enough consumer-citizens made different consumer decisions the problems could be resolved and reformed from within the system itself, rather than requiring radical change to our economy and governance, our lifestyles and human consciousness.

Climate change and environmental degradation is an existential threat not just to Western civilization but to the entire human species, not to mention many other species. If we are to survive, we need a radical response, whether that is becoming vegetarian or eating more insects, decreasing the population load or returning to community-oriented agriculture.

First, we should acknowledge the problem. After seeing reality in all of its starkness, we can move on from there, both through public discussion and collective action. So, the house is on fire. How might we put out the fire before it consumes us all?


#58

tv –

The issue is Global Warming –

Are you a GW denier?

Are you depending upon capitalists to protect your health and not lie to you?

Even for those of us who avoid animal products, we still find that “animal products” can be found in products where we wouldn’t expect to find them. Some owners have noticed cats licking “Saran” wrap which contains animal products. If you use it on your foods, it can leak onto those foods.

If you’re eating animals for “nutrition” then you know little about nutrition.
It’s like those who profit from telling women/families that there’s no difference between breast milk/
breast feeding and formula in a bottle. The hormones from breast milk are used even into old age – our 80’s. Additionally, “Herd Immunity” is what we all had when women breast fed and passed immunities onto their children. No one can pass along an alleged immunity from a vaccine onto their children. Thus, vaccines are destroying “Herd Immunity” among many other harms they cause.

A normal cow is a herbivore and skinny/bony - we haven’t seen skinny cows in the US probably since the early 1900’s. You can see the difference this concept of animal eating has had on the human body – look at some old pictures from the 1920’s, 30’s.

You don’t have to “buy organic” – go to a local farmer’s market and you will find many foods there where they are NOT grown using pesticides and chemicals.

Consciousness-raising is about awakening –
The awakening that is coming to all of us right now is the realization that the planet is on fire.
You can either begin NOW to cooperate with the planet, or do it when your pants are on fire.

Note –

Ever heard of Mad Cow?

However, most animals are still allowed to eat meat from their own species. Pig carcasses can be rendered and fed back to pigs, chicken carcasses can be rendered and fed back to chickens, and turkey carcasses can be rendered and fed back to turkeys. Even cattle can still be fed cow blood and some other cow parts.

Under current law, pigs, chickens, and turkeys that have been fed rendered cattle can be rendered and fed back to cattle cow agents to infect healthy cattle.

Animal feed legally can contain rendered road kill, dead horses, and euthanized cats and dogs.

Rendered feathers, hair, skin, hooves, blood, and intestines can also be found in feed, often under catch-all categories like “animal protein products.”

Manure and Other Animal Waste

Feed for any food animal can contain cattle manure, swine waste, and poultry litter. This waste may contain drugs such as antibiotics and hormones that have passed unchanged through the animals’ bodies.

The poultry litter that is fed to cattle contains rendered cattle parts in the form of digested poultry feed and spilled poultry feed. This is another loophole that may allow mad cow agents to infect healthy cattle.

I guarantee that I’m in better shape than you and know a lot more about nutrition than you do. And I’m not a vegan. I eat meat, or at least something non-vegan, in every single meal. Ever heard of lean meat? Or are you just looping lean chicken breast into the same category is a ribeye steak?

And I care about my pocket-book too. I deliberately choose to not buy organic or “sustainably” farmed produce because I want to save money. If you want to pay more for your food, that’s fine. Just don’t impose your personal preferences on me and the rest of society through government force.

Or about the Hormones, Chemicals and Antibiotics in American “meats”?

Because the activities of Animal Pharma are so underreported, few Americans realize that most of the meat they eat is banned in other industrialized countries. One example is ractopamine, a controversial growth-promoting asthma-like drug marketed as Optaflexx for cattle, Paylean for pigs, and Topmax for turkeys and banned in the European Union, China and more than 100 other countries. Also used in U.S. meat production is Zilmax, a Merck drug similar to ractopamine that the FDA linked to 285 cattle deaths during six years of administration. Seventy-five animals lost hooves, 94 developed pneumonia and 41 developed bloat in just two years, Reuters reported.

The European Union boycotts the U.S.'s hormone-grown beef. The routinely used synthetic hormones zeranol, trenbolone acetate and melengestrol acetate pose “increased risks of breast cancer and prostate cancer,” says the European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Veterinary Measures. “Consumption of beef derived from Zeranol-implanted cattle may be a risk factor for breast cancer,” according to an article in the journal Anticancer Research.


#59

Agreed. Veganism is but one (very important) foundational assumption of my eco-socialism.