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Comment: Dropping in on the animal rights movement

No change — they still want everyone to go vegan

The Animal Agriculture Alliance, the industry’s advocacy group in the U.S., recently sent me a report by two young interns who were sent to “blend in” at the National Animal Rights Conference held outside Washington this summer to gain some insight into the movement’s plans.

The short answer is more of the same, as 1,500 activists from 47 states and 22 countries spent three days discussing ways to eliminate the consumption of meat and advance the vegan diet.

On the whole it was a chilling summary. There were workshops on everything from organizing factory farm campaigns to the use of drones to gather damning video and how to garner media attention for the cause.

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Overall, the alliance pulled five themes from this report: people need to be convinced they are doing the greatest good for the greatest number; target young people because they want to be different; lead people step by step to veganism; focus on the public because the government and police are not your friends; vandalism is warranted if it can gain media attention and pressure restaurant and retailer policies.

None of this is secret information. Animal rights organizations have been following this manifesto for decades now. If anything, this report seems to show that the movement is becoming more widespread, and more organized over time.

Some of the workshops got into the nitty-gritty of direct action.

One well-known activist mapped out a strategy by which college kids opposed to health research on animals could trick the university into banning students from a building used for animal testing. Then he told them how to inflame the story to make it into something the media would pick up and pressure the university to respond.

He also encourages activists to start a blog and link to the bigger blogs that mainstream media watch for emerging stories.

Another encouraged activists to look at every action as a stepping stone, to scale back their initial demands to something acceptable and then build on each small victory toward the end goal. One example would be to campaign for the end of battery cages in poultry operations on your university, then push to end them in your state and eventually end them in the U.S.

His means of obtaining those small steps involves activists gathering video evidence that could be viewed as animal cruelty.

This strategy really hit home to me as I scanned through the report, as we’ve had a few fresh examples of its success hitting the news wires.

First came the announcement that McDonald’s was going to gradually switch to free-range eggs over the next decade starting with five per cent of its supply last month. According to Sylvain Charlebois of the University of Guelph Food Institute, McDonald’s buys 120 million eggs a year in Canada alone. That requires the services of 3.2 million laying hens that must be pulled from cages over the next decade just to satisfy this one customer.

Slowly over time, enough of the public has been encouraged to believe battery cages are bad, that a major buyer is now forced to tell its suppliers to switch. It means higher costs, which in Canada will certainly be passed on, but we can only imagine that McDonald’s factored that into its decision.

The same company has the cattle industry ramping up to raise fully sustainable beef, although the exact details of what that means are still to be determined. This, too, is in response to public pressure, much of it traced back to the actions of activists.

In August, McDonald’s and Tyson Foods jointly dropped a chicken supplier in Tennessee after Mercy for Animals released a video taken by an activist of workers beating and stomping some chickens.

In September, the Animal Legal Defense Fund released a video taken at a Tyson plant in Texas and filed complaints with the USDA for inhumane animal-handling practices and food safety violations, then asked the attorny general of Delaware to investigate Tyson Foods for similar violations.

You could almost hear them planning it at the annual convention, which by the way had a whole section on dealing with government, law and politics.

These stories are so frequent now we sometimes grow numb to them, especially when they hit other sectors or another country. But activists don’t think that way. They are happy with the long view. Every little success counts.

Meanwhile livestock producers are kept busy devising welfare plans, environmental farm plans, codes of practice, best management practices to show they do deal with their animals humanely. But we know it will never be enough.

If this report from the alliance says anything it is that the activist’s end goal is elimination of the livestock industry. Maybe we need to start asking, what is our end strategy?

About the author


Gren Winslow is editor of Canadian Cattlemen.

Gren Winslow's recent articles


  • AlpineDan

    “Maybe we need to start asking, what is our end strategy?”
    Tell your children (who might become vegans themselves) to find another way to make a living.

    • sabelmouse

      yup, sustainable living be damned in favour of dogma and veganic fervour.

  • Ty Savoy

    The end strategy for animal-killing-for-profit, in view of this industry’s inevitable end – is to grow food to feed human animals, not to feed non-human animals, which are then eaten by human ones. A more wasteful process there may never have been.

    People will still need to eat. A great deal of the progressive, smart money, (including Bill Gates) is on synthetic or lab-grown meat.

    Taking animal rights out of the equation – the planet is not big enough to sustain a population of 7 billion people, on a meat centered diet. Old traditions may die hard, but they do die, when they no longer make rational, objective sense.

    • Nothing is less wasteful than feeding animals waste products that come from the production of food products for humans. And nothing is less wasteful than utilizing ruminant animals to consume vegetation in areas where crop production is impossible, and such areas are more frequent than you know. Even so, using ruminant animals to graze fields after harvest is more beneficial for the manure left behind increases organic matter and nutrient content in the soil.

      Want a more wasteful agricultural process? Force everyone to go vegan and kill off all the domesticated food animals. Then just imagine the environmental damage that will be inflicted on this Earth in the next 10 to 20 years with no animals to clean up the mess we made due to the utter asinine ignorance to how the Earth evolved over billions of years with both plants and animals, and how neither can live without the other. Agriculture nor food production cannot sustain itself with no animals and all plants.

  • Chantal Poulin

    The future will be a more compassionate one, or there will be no future… It is completely unnecessary to kill animals to eat today. This whole animal agriculture is bad for the environment, bad for our health, and surely bad for the animals themselves… I feel so better, look better, sleep better, love better, since i am Vegan. Hope everybody will discover the joy of veganism! The real happiness does not pass through the stomach, but by the heart. 🙂

    • sabelmouse

      i feel so much better and sleep so much better eating animal foods, especially sat fats. that’s within the limits of long time chronic illness. but since i went back to practicing omnivory [ after 30 years] and heart palpitations, and am somewhat warmer too.
      i wish i’d done that sooner but the veganic blinders had to drop first.
      i initially did it for the sake of sustainability/the environment after moving to ireland.
      nutrients are very important and the digestive system might be more important to overall mental and physical health than previously thought.

  • Beth Aaron

    We are herbivores, betrayed by our own ideologies, and all the learned behaviors that began at the advent of so called domestication of non-humans. Tragic that history lessons skip over this imminent time when humans learned to use brute force to wild animals, what we commonly, mostly unthinkingly refer to as farmed animals. We turned them into physical , genetic freaks of nature with their wild ancestral brains longing for their natural lives. In doing so, our own “civilization” nurtured behaviors that led/lead to the macabre in humanity. We eat a plant based diet because it is the ideal diet to PREVENT diet related diseases, abate the massive , unfathomable environmental suicide from feeding, raising, transporting, drugging 65 billion farmed animals on 45% of the earth’s surface, which is 70% water and 30% land. It is as unhealthy, unsustainable, and insane as any food system could be. Define what food’s role should be? That IS the polar opposite of what animal production and consumption results in. Every human being changes jobs and careers. A MORAL government, knowing full well that climate change, chronic and infectious diseases, and incalculable violence to sentient animals is all bad, would HELP farmers transform to produce other products. Farm Bill welfare, State and Federal Diary Compacts, American Meat Institute, American Egg Board, Beef and Pork Check-offs, ALL in dire need of evolving to support what is HEALTHY, HUMANE, SUSTAINABLE and best for the common good! Thousands of athletes are vegan including body builders, weight lifters, marathon runners, olympic skiers, as well as 101 year young Dr. Ellsworth Wareham, a VEGAN cardiologist. The new head of the American College of Cardiology is promoting a plant based diet. It’s overwhelming for sure, that SO many interests rely on the diet of death but it is our human obligation to correct the wrongs and make them right. That is what a nation “Under Gd” does.

    • sabelmouse

      it’s amazing though how long we herbivores have been eating every and anything that’s edible and not poisonous.
      who indoctrinated those early humans to veer away from the righteous path and eat non herbivore foods. and how come we did so well on those?

  • JustPoppingBy

    Your end strategy should be to stop treating sentient beings as objects and to stop treating veganism as your enemy. Grow crops and provide Canadians with a larger variety of them. Be on the right side of history.

    • sabelmouse

      grow crops and kill the animals that would eat them, those that survived the initial tilling/habitat destruction.
      those can at least be food for other animals , ditto harvest kills, the mostly poisoned ”pest ” animals not so much.
      the right side of history would be the side of sustainability and welfare for ll animals, not killiung field animals to save a couple of cute pigs and cows.

      • JustPoppingBy

        Eating those “cute pigs and cows” means killing MANY more of those animals killed in plant harvest. Did you seriously think that harvesting tons of plant matter and feeding it to animals and then eating the animals means that less plant matter gets harvested?

        A good starting point for you would be to Google “trophic levels”

        • sabelmouse

          1. more than half of non pasture animal feed is by products from crops for humans such as soy after oil expression, all the leftovers from methanol and syrup production and so on.
          2. ruminants can be 100% grass/hay fed of course and usually spend about 3/4 of their lives on pasture. they do not spent their entire lives in feedlots as so many mistakenly think.
          3. pigs where traditionally used as waste eaters and should. there’s a pig farmer in nevada who feeds his entirely on casino waster.
          and what a lot of waste it is.
          if vegans really wanted to safe animals they’d eat more meat from locally raised and slaughtered , grass or waste fed, or responsible hunted animals.
          and less plant matter that necessitates habitat destruction and pest killing.
          google non human consumable phytomass.

  • liekasambodi

    Your end strategy should be to quit while your industry is still turning a profit. As more people come to understand that it is based on needless suffering and death, you’ll have fewer customers.

    Vat grown meat is being investigated at this very moment, and in the next decade, it will become an affordable alternative to your business model, and will probably be even cheaper, since it cuts out a lot of unnecessary waste.

    Whether or not veganism will go mainstream (spoiler: it will) is irrelevant. Vat grown meat will simply overtake “naturally” raised meat economically.

    tl;dr quit while you’re ahead, mate.

    • As people become further removed from Nature, the more likely they are to misunderstand it. People so far removed from nature don’t understand that it too holds far more “needless” suffering and death, and never can comprehend the fact that with Life there must be Death.

      Quitting is not an option, nor is it something that will be done. BTW, veganism will not go mainstream. Vegetarian maybe, but no veganism.

      • AlpineDan

        I live, as a vegan, in ranch and rodeo country in a mountain valley. I am thoroughly familiar with “nature” and it’s extreme cruelty. Humans, through science and technology, have controlled the harshest aspects of nature for ourselves. With science and technology, we can intentionally inflict the most horrific cruelty on others. We can also be the best healers. Let’s choose the latter; not just for ourselves, but for all who can benefit.

        • Good for you. I’d sooner we choose to live how Nature guides us to, to not fight it but embrace and accept it as best as we can. Just like with science and technology, you should then well know that Nature can also intentionally inflict the most horrific cruelty on others, yet supply means to be the best healer. Choosing either extreme is neither wise nor best for anyone or anything.

      • liekasambodi

        I understand the brutality of nature well enough to know that it’s a very, very poor model for human behaviour and ethics. Just because something is *not of human manufacture does not mean that it is good. Just because suffering and death are intrinsic to life does not mean that it is necessary for us to arbitrarily dole them out wherever we see fit.

        Quitting is an option, but whether it will be done is another matter. Human ignorance and greed will ensure that this system continues on, at least for now.

        Is your assessment of the mainstream viability based on your personal preconceptions, or on actual statistics? The interest in veganism, as well as the population of vegans is growing, and there’s no good reason for that to suddenly stop. Why would you even want it to stop? There is no good reason for us to continue eating animal produce at the rate that we are.

        *Everything in the universe is natural, even us.

        • If everything in the universe is natural then why go against nature with values that are equally unnatural? Humans aren’t naturally herbivorous, and the only reason an increasing population is going veg/vegetarian is because they are becoming further removed from the realities of Nature. Farm life is closely associated with nature, and as far as I’m concerned the only people who truly understand nature and the cycle of Life and Death are those who have been raised on the farm and been exposed to this at a young age. No statistics can show this particular fact, but pure observations from interaction with many people.

          I don’t think you understand nature on the whole. You can claim you know it, but do you really, really know it like someone who’s been raised on a farm and has had close interaction with Nature every single day? I don’t know you so I can’t say yes or no, but I’m leaning towards the latter.

          Veganism is not exclusive to human ignorance and greed for it too is based on this, especially human ignorance. The system will continue as long as people (consumers) demand meat with their buying power and not so much what they like to type out on a discussion platform like Disqus. People can claim to be vegetarian or vegan but when they sneak in a pack of bacon or some steak, or suddenly realize how unhealthy veganism really is…

          • liekasambodi

            “If everything in the universe is natural then why go against nature with values that are equally unnatural?”

            Equally unnatural to what? My point is that everything in the universe makes up the natural world.

            “the only people who truly understand nature and the cycle of Life and Death are those who have been raised on the farm”

            That’s an incredibly narrow understanding of nature. Did humans lack any sort of understanding of nature before we began agriculture? I think not.

            I could equally say that understanding of nature comes from analyzing data from the Large Hadron Collider, and forming theories describing the fundamental nature of the universe. By that metric, no one understands nature, not even the physicists themselves. I don’t fully understand nature, and neither do you.

          • At least your not the fool who tries to convince everyone that humans are herbivores. But with regards to farming I’m talking about in TODAY’S world, not when it first started. My point is that people and kids are much more closer to Nature who have been raised on a farm or ranch than those raised in the city or a suburban area.

          • liekasambodi

            “Farm life is closely associated with nature, and as far as I’m concerned
            the only people who truly understand nature and the cycle of Life and
            Death are those who have been raised on the farm and been exposed to
            this at a young age.”

            Science is the study of nature, and as far as I’m concerned, scientists are the only people who even come close to understanding nature.

            Also an unfair assessment of nature, but there it is.

            Watching the slaughter process doesn’t mean you understand the cycle of life and death, it just means you’ve numbed yourself to it. Or you had a weak empathic response to begin with. I guess you’ve been told from a young age that this large scale slaughter is completely natural and the way things are meant to be? It’s all for profit. We do not need to do this thing to survive. Not in the developed world, not today.

            I don’t understand nature as a whole. No one does, not even scientists. I do understand my nature. I don’t need to consume animal products to be healthy, and I don’t want others to suffer because of my choices. Veganism is just a logical extension of nature. Just as farming is.

          • Watching the slaughter process doesn’t mean one has become numbed to it. It means an understanding that animals have to die in order to get meat from them. And I didn’t get this from large-scale slaughter operations, I learned this from just local or DIY slaughter for the freezer. Please don’t assume something about me that you know nothing about.

          • liekasambodi

            Yes, animals have to die to get meat from them, and here is the crux of the issue. Meat is not something we need in order to live. We eat meat because we like it, because it tastes good. When you watch slaughter, do you tell yourself that it’s something that needs to happen? Unless you or your family are actually going to starve without meat (or you actually require meat because of a genetic mutation), you’re lying to yourself. You don’t need it.

          • Total bull. You said yourself that humans are omnivorous, but now you deliberately contradict yourself by saying that humans don’t “need” meat, even in a developed world. The need for meat is defined by our digestive anatomy and physiology, in case you didn’t know. As omnivores our digestive system is adapted to a diet of huge variety–you said so yourself–including various levels of meat consumption depending on enthicity, culture, religion, and location. But what you want to say is that people like you don’t WANT meat because you can have a diet, thanks to a globalized food production supply, that can be entirely plant-based. And what should come with this diet is an ideology to force on others that people don’t “need” meat based on some animal rights philosophies and an emotional revulsion to seeing an animal killed
            and cut up for meat. Without global food supply the need for meat is real. In a survival situation, meat is needed. For poor families who can’t afford the time or effort to force their kids and themselves into veganism, meat is needed. And for those who don’t have this mysterious “genetic mutation” you speak but less the interest, time or commitment to obsess over their daily nutrient intake, meat is needed as part of a healthy diet with plenty of vegetables and fruits.

            So do both of us a favour and spare the “you’re lying to yourself” BS when its just knee-jerk vegan rhetoric doing the talking here. I have no issue with you being a vegan, but I do have a huge issue with you telling me what you think I need or should or should not put into my body. I’ve found I do need meat, and that along with a great helping of salad.

          • liekasambodi

            Omnivorous does not equate to a need for meat, it just means we’re capable of digesting it. You made the contradiction yourself for argument sake. You said yourself, ‘varying’ levels of meat consumption. Zero meat consumption fits right into this. The Honeywell AGT1500 can run on a variety of fuel types, that does not meat it needs a combination of jet fuel, diesel and gasoline to run. What happens in a survival situation is different from every day life. In a survival situation, you’d kill another human being to survive. I’m not going to hear you use survival as justification for murder in ordinary circumstances, am I? Are you talking about people in the developing world when you talk about poor people? I’m going to assume not, because it’s not relevant to our own situation. Maybe people should ‘force’ themselves to go vegan, as you put it. Because it’s not catered for by the mainstream, it requires doing your own research on nutrition. Which a lot of people in the developed world could do with, because a lot of them are malnourished already. (They’re seriously overweight.)

            Sparing the BS would be doing one of us a favour. Replying to your comments has been the highlight of my day for the past week. I apologize if you feel like you’re under attack. It’s your core beliefs I take issue with. It’s nothing personal.

          • Sorry Lieka, “omnivorous” does actually equate to a need for meat, but not a want as in the case you’re trying to argue for. (You do know that omnivore means a consumer of both plant and animals, right? Otherwise you might as well be arguing that humans are herbivores.) The point I’ve been trying to make is that “need” certainly equates a lot more to than just being able to digest it. A horse is capable of digesting meat but does not need it because it has a large cecum that is used to help it break down plant matter. A cow is capable of digesting meat but does not need it because it has several forestomachs and a large population of bacteria to give her the protein she needs. (Marginal cases of cattle craving meat is when they develop a severe deficiency of nutrients like phosphorus and salt via a condition called “pica” that can drive them to kill and eat animals to quench their hunger for such nutrients. They still don’t need meat as a regular part of their diet because they’re herbivorous animals and normally will easily acquire protein through other sources not easily attained by most animals except other ruminants.) A human *needs* meat because they do not have a functional cecum nor multiple stomachs anatomically designed for a herbivorous diet. Meat is a much more readily accessible source of protein and fat, and doesn’t come with the often unnecessary extra baggage of carbohydrates that has actually contributed to the obesity epidemic (more on that later). And of course people aren’t going to be just consuming meat, they need to get other nutrients not found in meat from plant food sources, preferably real food sources that are easily grown and harvested in many gardens.

            RE: “Maybe people should ‘force’ themselves to go vegan, as you put it. Because it’s not catered for by the mainstream, it requires doing your own research on nutrition.

            LOL people can’t force themselves to go vegan if they have no desire, need nor want to do so in the first place, and even are questioning the practicality behind it. You brought up that people like to eat meat simply because of the taste, and you bet your boots that’s part of the reason, the other reason is because the sound of the words associated with “meat” brings on a response like Pavlov’s dog. All you need to do is utter some words like “hotdogs,” “bacon,” or “steak” and most, especially if it’s getting close to lunch or supper, will be all ears–except the vegans and vegetarians of course. And why do vegans like to buy meat alternatives that are pretty well named after the real thing and even presented to look like the real thing? Tofurkey, soy milk, veggie burger, veggie hotdog, veggie steak? Why are they even i>named after and made to look like such meat products if vegans are supposed to abhor meat so much that it “makes them sick”, and try to argue that we humans “don’t need” it? Is it to elicit this sense of satisfaction that they’re not consuming meat even though deep, deep down beyond the depths of denial they’re really craving real meat, so sort of like a placebo effect? Or is it to mask the truth that are forcing themselves to eat false food that tastes not nearly as good as the real stuff? Or maybe something else I haven’t thought of yet. If you can come up with a good answer to that, I’ll be impressed. Because the most I’ve gotten out of any vegan when I’ve challenged them with that is quite a bit of snarkiness and a desperate way to avoid the entire challenge. If you can be an exception to that, that’s good with me.

            Seriously, I just Googled “veggie steak” and the whole plate on all pictures I looked at look a lot like a true beef steak except that it’s obviously not from the hindquarter muscle of a bovine. Makes me wonder…do humans really not need meat if vegan meat alternatives are deliberately made that way? Mmmm… I’d rather have the real thing instead of this man-made fake stuff that is a lot more questionable than how the real T-bone steak from a Certified Angus Beef steer (or was it a heifer?) came about. 🙂 Nothing personal of course.

            So as far as doing one’s own research to become a well-rounded healthy vegan takes a pretty huge commitment. Believe me I’ve already had a discussion with one vegan who was very well informed about human nutrition because of all the extensive research he did, but not every individual is like that one guy I talked to nor are they going to probably going to want to devote all their time and effort to plan well to be a healthy vegan. I spoke about poor families not having the time or commitment, but I should’ve added in that it was for a lot of other people as well. And even those who do want to be vegan find they either can’t or can only do so for short term because of their genetics (not to some random genetic mutation), or because they didn’t have the time nor commitment to plan out every single intimate detail of their diets to a T, and ended up having to change back to an omnivorous diet for various reasons ranging from anemia to a need to increase their fat intake because their cholesterol levels are dangerously low. Or, they find that they actually are not meeting their desire to loose weight by going vegan or vegetarian. I can understand if you don’t take me seriously when that obese vegans exist, but mark my words, they actually do because I’ve met one in person, and have heard of several others. Which provides a perfect segue into your next reply:

            RE: “… a lot of people in the developed world could do with, because a lot of them are malnourished already. (They’re seriously overweight.)

            Oh yes, there are too many people that are seriously overweight to the point that they can’t even walk. But is meat the problem? No. Meat consumption levels haven’t really increased all that much in the past 60 decades or so, if at all. But if you look at grains and sugar, it’s another story. Consumption of wheat has at least doubled since the 1950s or ’60s, and sugar 100 times that. Just do a Google image search on “grains consumption US” and “sugar consumption US” and you’ll get your answer. It’s the carbohydrates that are the reason that people are so overweight and having metabolic disorders and diabetes and heart problems and all that. The Standard American Diet has historically told people to have 55 to 60 percent of their diet in the form of grains, from baked goods to pasta and breads. And the vegan diet is no different from this diet, minus the animal products. With all those carbohydrates and sugar and processed foods it’s an influx of energy that the body doesn’t need and finds better off storing as adipose tissue. Of course there are some very thin vegans who eat a whole lot of grains and don’t gain an ounce of fat, their metabolic system is different from someone who has a metabolic system that can’t burn and use the amount same amount of carbs taken in at the same rate. And I didn’t even get into activity level either, because that’s also a factor played in obesity. But meat and fat being primarily to blame? No, not a chance.

            People in the past, before grain production and consumption took off and became readily available as a food source, were mostly consuming meat from animals they hunted or raised themselves. The plants they got were either gathered in the woods or grown in a small garden by their house or shack. Grains like flour and sugar was quite limited. Not only that but these people were more physically active than most are today. And the number of obese people back in the 1800s were few and far between. Things have changed quite a bit since then.

            RE: “Sparing the BS would be doing one of us a favour. Replying to your comments has been the highlight of my day for the past week. I apologize if you feel like you’re under attack. It’s your core beliefs I take issue with. It’s nothing personal.

            LOL I’ve been sparing the BS as much as I can, and I’m sure you consider yourself the same. It’s harder to type out a response on a phone than on a computer like I’m doing now. And like-wise to you, nothing is better to look forward to than a debate with someone who doesn’t quite agree with me. Our core beliefs are going to remain at odds with each other no matter what (and we’re always going to be calling each other’s statements as BS, admit cause I know you’ve done it more times than you could count on one hand 😉 ), we might as well be an Atheist and a Catholic (not saying I’m one because I’m not) arguing if God exists and that praying and Faith in God is good for the soul and not just a psychological means to put trust in a deity that doesn’t exist… not the kind of argument I’m ever going to get involved with.

            So we might have to end this with an agreement to, “agree to disagree.” Unless you’re still up for more discussion because I’m still game. 🙂

            Have a good night/day.

          • liekasambodi

            Omnivore is a complicated term, which varies according to taxon and environment. A species can be classified as omnivorous without every single individual eating a strictly
            omnivorous diet. Most bear species are classified as omnivores, but you’ll find a wide variety of diets, ranging from almost exclusively herbivore or carnivore, varying by
            region, depending on what foods are available. Humans are the same, we are omnivores, meaning we can eat a variety of foods and meet our dietry requirements in a large variety of circumstances and geographical regions. Your claim that humans *need* meat is at odds with nutrition science, and the millions of healthy people going about their business who don’t eat meat. Despite humans not being herbivores as a species, our digestive system has more features in common with a herbivorous digestive system than a carnivorous system. The length of our digestive tract allows us to effectively absorb the nutrients that we need. It’s only recently, relatively speaking, that humans started eating meat. It is also interesting to note that humans and chimpanzees are the only primates to consume large amounts of meat regularly.

            On ‘forced veganism’, that was a stab at your previous comment, not meant in any serious way. No one is going to go vegan by force. Unless they’re in a concentration camp once we’ve achieved world domination! (Also a joke.) Meat alternatives can be attractive to vegetarians and vegans because they’re familiar. A very large section of vegans were not raised vegans, changing later in life. So they have a lifetime of conditioning to eat meat, and that’s not easy to shake. For myself, I’ve never had, nor been tempted to try meat alternatives. They’re essentially plant protien made to look like meat products. I’m totally fine with eating the plant protein without going out of my way to give it the texture and flavour of actual meat. (Which is quite a challenge.) The closest I’ve gotten is strips of marinated tofu, which I’ve been told by my friends taste like chicken. (Probably because they both soak up the flavour of whatever they’re in.) They could look like little squares of highly processed, ground up, reconstituted chicken meat I guess? Meat imitations are useful in the context of our society, because so many meals contain meat. It is convenient to get something that just slots right
            into the place vacated by the meat.

            Vegan meat alternatives looking like the real thing doesn’t say anything about human requirement for meat. If it were formulated to provide the exact same nutritional profile as meat, it might say something. (There’s a lot more to meat and substitutes than just protein.) What it does hint at is that we want meat. I mentioned above that we’re conditioned to enjoy meat. (Not hard, meat tastes great.) That Pavlov style conditioning doesn’t magically vanish when you decide to stop eating meat, it lingers. You have a good point about vegans craving meat. We didn’t give it up because we suddenly found that it tasted bad. We decided that the taste isn’t worth the suffering. It’s important to note that this is a general case, and is not reflective of all, or even most vegans. Pavlov’s dog still strikes whenever I smell steak, but otherwise, I don’t feel any real need to seek out fake meat.

            Doing your research is not as huge a commitment as you might think. If you want to drastically change your diet overnight, a tonne of research prior to that would be a good idea. But you don’t need to take things so quickly. It could be something as simple as reading about nutrition in your spare time, cooking a vegan meal once a week, learning what you like and what you don’t. Needing to increase fat intake because of dangerously low cholesterol levels speaks of another issue. Healthy human cells produce all the cholesterol they need. If they’re not, it’s a sign of another (possibly diet related) problem. I take you completely seriously when you say fat vegans exist. I’ve never met one, but I don’t see anything that would preclude their existence. Things like sugar and grains will be a much greater contributor to obesity than meat ever could be, simply because we can produce more of it, cheaper. Food these days is also overloaded with sugar, and there’s plenty of junk food out there that vegans will eat.

            The only point that you’ve made that I really disagree with is that humans *need* meat to survive, and on what constitutes an omnivore. (Which as I said above, varies depending on context.) There are probably some other statements that I’ve overlooked, which probably aren’t as importart. Even if we both exit this debate with no net change in our beliefs, we’ve still gained a better understanding of the other side of the field. (At least I have.) Discussion is important, otherwise both camps would just sit amongst themselves considering only their side of the story. This is a much nicer discussion than the Atheist vs Religion debate. We can throw science at each other! Unless you’re talking to creationists. Then you can throw science at them, and they can’t return fire in kind. Science isn’t very effective on them though.

            This argument could go on for eternity. (Or until one of us dies. Being more likely.) I’ve had much longer arguments about much less important things.

            It’s good to see you’re enjoying this as much as I am. 🙂


          • I agree that omnivore is a complicated term, just looking at other species like bears gives us both a good idea of such variation.

            But I have a disagreement with this quote you made: ” Despite humans not being herbivores as a species, our digestive system has more features in common with a herbivorous digestive system than a carnivorous system. The length of our digestive tract allows us to effectively absorb the nutrients that we need.”

            True, yes, but I think you were implying about length of digestive tract being more closer to herbivores than omnivores, right? (Via the “Comparative Anatomy of Eating” done by Dr. Milton R. Mills, which I know a lot of vegans like to quote to support their humans-are-closer-to-herbivores argument, but I found to be not all that truthful after some investigating myself.) So with that in mind, I did a little bit of research to see if this is true and found that actually most humans have the same, on average, length of small intestine, which is common to associate with length of digestive tract because it’s the longest portion of the GI tract, as a dog. A 24-inch-long canine–your average medium-sized Border Collie, I reckon–has an average of around 20 feet of small intestine. Humans are about the same, between 6 to 7 meters (19 to 23 feet) of small intestine. But a cow? She’s going to be having 40 meters (131 feet) or more of small intestine! A horse, by comparison (just for schitz and giggles) has 50 to 70 feet of small intestine. One site was quoted to have said that the entire GI tract (esophagus, stomach, small intestine and all) would or could measure up to 100 feet in length. Good Lord, if a horse is going to have that long a GI tract, a cow would be pretty close to that too, even though I didn’t find . Just doing the math, where humans, dogs and most other animals (omnivores and carnivores) would have small intestine length only about 3.5x their body length, a horse would have close to 8 to 10x its body length, a cow 20x its body length and sheep 25x their body length. Scientifically speaking, then, the digestive system of a human certainly is closer to a carnivore than a herbivore.

            You also said that, “only recently, relatively speaking, that humans started eating meat.” Well, unless you want to back almost 2 million years ago–I know some sources say a bit sooner, like 250,000 yrs from Wikipedia, though this link dates it a bit farther from findings of Homo erectus (here: probably not the best source but it’s worth checking out)–which isn’t exactly recently in even relative terms! As far back as that and maybe before from when the Homo species diverged from the common ancestor of chimpanzees, they were hunter-gatherers, and probably were consuming a little meat before the discovered, more than likely by accident, that cooked flesh–“cooked” as in an animal got burned alive-turned-dead in some naturally-caused forest- or grass-fire–actually tasted better than the raw stuff, just like how fire may have been discovered followed by cooking and other things. Of course, there’s still a lot of unanswered questions with regards to this, and always going to be more things that paleontologists will discover in due time. So far, we can only speculate based on the evidence already provided.

            You’ve actually impressed me with your explanation, Leika! Thanks for taking the time to do that for me.

            Now, I got another mention of yours I need to contend with:

            RE: “Needing to increase fat intake because of dangerously low cholesterol levels speaks of another issue. Healthy human cells produce all the cholesterol they need.

            Well, actually that doesn’t exactly work that way. It’s the liver that produces cholesterol, and through the bloodstream transportation system can and does get deposited into every cell of the human body. You’re right in what you’re trying to say that the human body does produce all the cholesterol it needs because of how critical and important it is to the body. But, diet can play a role in determining if your body is going to be maintaining healthy cholesterol levels or if your choice in food is going to be lowering cholesterol to dangerous levels.

            Vegan diets are such diets that tend to reduce cholesterol in the body, which can be bad. Per Dr. Mercola (

            Research published in Nutrition ( shows that people who eat a strictly plant-based diet may suffer from subclinical protein malnutrition, which means you’re also likely not getting enough dietary sulfur. Sulfur is derived almost exclusively from dietary protein, such as fish and high-quality (organic and/or grass-fed/pastured) beef and poultry. Meat and fish are considered “complete” as they contain all the sulfur-containing amino acids you need to produce new protein.

            Needless to say, those who abstain from animal protein are placing themselves at far greater risk of sulfur deficiency and its related health problems.

            Sulfur also plays a vital role in the structure and biological activity of both proteins and enzymes. If you don’t have sufficient amounts of sulfur in your body, this deficiency can cascade into a number of health problems as it will affect bones, joints, connective tissues, metabolic processes, and more. As Dr. Stephanie Seneff, senior scientist at MIT, discusses in the video above, areas where sulfur plays an important role include:

            – Your body’s electron transport system, as part of iron/sulfur proteins in mitochondria, the energy factories of your cells

            – Vitamin-B thiamine (B1) and biotin conversion, which in turn are essential for converting carbohydrates into energy

            – Synthesizing important metabolic intermediates, such as glutathione

            – Proper insulin function. The insulin molecule consists of two amino acid chains connected to each other by sulfur bridges, without which the insulin cannot perform its biological activity

            – Detoxification

            Researchers also concluded that the low intake of sulfur amino acids by vegetarians and vegans explains the origin of hyperhomocysteinemia (high blood levels of homocysteine, which may lead to blood clots in your arteries — i.e. heart attack and stroke) and the increased vulnerability of vegetarians to cardiovascular diseases.

            There’s more to this, which can be read in the link above.

            Conventional health recommendations are still found on the search I was trying to do on cholesterol levels and for vegan diets, but Mercola was one of the few that had some updated information on how these “good” and “bad” cholesterol facts was and is in fact no longer true. Via and and and others.

            Science is cool, and much more fun to debate over and discuss than religion, that’s for sure. And it needs to be discussed because, in taking what you were saying about it just sitting on either side, if it just sits and not gets discussed, critiqued and reviewed, progression in both thought and further possibility of more investigations into the issue will be also halted.

          • liekasambodi

            It seems my reply got deleted. Or something. I’m not typing that again. It was fun while it lasted. G’day.

          • Sorry it got deleted. I had written up a reply myself but it’s still pending. You’ll see it when/if it gets through.

            Agreed, have a good one. 🙂

  • Lachlan LeRoi

    My end strategy is to show people that farmers aren’t all animal-beating murderers. That the actions of a few slaughterhouse workers don’t reflect the actions of the actual FARMERS. I’ll start small, educating people at a college, then stat, national and global level. If their own tactics are good enough for them, why shouldn’t they work for us?

    • theconfusedone

      Good idea. I think I’ve seen something like that already:

    • Beth Aaron

      Oh please, really. Is there any way to slaughter animals humanely? Ask the 65 billion per year ( do the math per day )WOuld ANY cow, pig, chicken, lamb, calf, goat, CHOOSE to be born into the life of a food product or walk willingly to the bolt stunner or for that matter, onto a truck to be transported in extreme cold or heat, NO law regarding food, water, vet care. One sure thing about humans that is not present in any other species is the ability to deceive ourselves . Greek philosopher Schopenaur said truth comes in three stages. First, it is violently opposed, then it is ridiculed, then, accepted as self evident. We are at the end of the ridiculed stage as the masses learn the betrayal by animal agriculture, USDA, FDA, NIH, and other entities that have been making a killing, literally, off the suffering , abject suffering of animals AND humans who get so sick from this fare and the mind set behind it. See Humane!!!!!!! Obscene more appropriate.

      • There is a way to slaughter animals humanely, and that practice is already in place in all slaughter plants across North America. But you seem to be the type that would rather see animals die slow and painful in the “wild” than be killed so quickly they never saw it coming.

        And FYI animals aren’t human. They live in the NOW, not the future nor the past. They have no power to choose the way they lead their lives because they are driven solely by instinct, not conscience, and they certainly are not in control of their own fate, just like you and I. Earthlings is no “source” to further your point, more like just another vegan propaganda piece to spread around to anyone who’ll listen.

        The masses are still consuming meat and thereby supporting the animal agriculture industry. These stages you speak of are referring to the animal activist groups who have “informed” themselves of what they consider the “truth” and are being violently opposed to it by promoting vandalism, threats and spamming towards anyone involved with either hunting animals or even raising them, and even domestic terrorism. The masses aren’t the ones being violent, it’s the activists. No surprise you don’t believe this, of course.

        • AlpineDan

          Karin, there are millions of humans of all age groups who live exactly like you portray nonhuman animals. Humans are every bit as determined by birth luck as nonhuman animals (and vice versa).

          Your comment, taken seriously, can be easily used to “justify” eugenics, i.e. the killing of “stupid humans” and the breeding of “smart humans.” It can even be used to “justify” breeding, enslaving, and exploiting “stupid humans” for labor, which would be “enhanced” with eugenics.

          Animal agriculture is wrong because it treats individuals whose lives are important to them as commodities. We shouldn’t exploit other sentient species for the same reason we shouldn’t exploit each other.

          • Animals aren’t human, so there is no way that I am using it to “justify” eugenics. Your association and analogy has no merit, taken seriously or not.

            That’s hilarious considering animals and plants in nature exploit each other all the time, and there is no such thing as morals being important to individual animals. Morals don’t exist in Nature, and animals don’t have morals either. And FWIW, Nature views animals as mere objects as part of the ebb and flow of Time and Evolution. They have their place, and it’s not so they can feel individually special about themselves like what’s so typical of us humans to feel.

          • AlpineDan

            Humans exploit each other all the time as well. That doesn’t make it right. We don’t look to nature for moral guidance on how to treat each other; we shouldn’t do so for other species either.

            There are no characteristics that all and only humans have that animals do not also share. Sentience is the only morally relevant characteristic in deciding which species have an interest in their well being. Even people in animal agriculture acknowledge this, or we wouldn’t talk about “welfare.” The only difference between us is that while you consider unnecessarily inflicting pain on animals during “processing” wrong, vegans consider exploiting animals, per se, as unnecessary, and therefore, wrong.

          • Of course humans exploit each other all the time too. It’s only natural. We like to think we are an exclusive species; Exclusive in how we think and act and tell ourselves apart from other animals, yet Nature still rules many aspects of our lives whether we admit it or not.

            Of course we don’t look to nature for moral guidance on how to treat each other–we don’t want to think we do, at least–because we like to consider ourselves exclusive to Nature, even though we’re really not. But to not do so for other animals? That’s you telling me to treat a cow like a human when I’d sooner treat that cow like a cow, not a human being. That cow isn’t going to see me as a human being with morals because she doesn’t have nor care about morals. She’s seeing me as either another cow or a potential predator to be cautious about. That doesn’t mean I’m going to be looking to nature to find the best way to treat her, my human self guides me to both consider that bovine as a cow–not a human–and to treat her with the utmost respect as possible. That means if she is sick, “intentional harm” via a bullet to the brain is the best option for that cow. “Intentional harm” that is a cap-bolt gun used to stun an animal into unconsciousness so that it doesn’t feel its life fluid being drained out to encourage imminent death is the best option to what a wild predator would do.

            We cannot “easily” avoid intentionally and unnecessarily harming them if we continue to produce food for us speciesist humans. Animals are going to still die horrible deaths from crop production, either via traps, poisoning, or getting mauled up by machinery. If you want to avoid intentional and unnecessary harm to animals, then stop eating. Don’t try to use the “collateral damage” or “necessary evil” BS to counter that particular point. You aren’t avoiding harming animals by any means by continuing to grow and/or buy food for yourself.

          • AlpineDan

            In the US, we accidentally kill over 30,000 people in motor vehicle accidents. It would be morally irrational to use that fact to “justify” intentionally and unnecessarily killing people. In the same way, we shouldn’t use the fact that we accidentally kill rodents in harvesting to “justify” intentionally and unnecessarily kill other animals.

            Also, animal agriculture uses multiple times the amount of plant protein to feed animals as would be used to use plants to feed humans directly, so we kill multiple times the rodents in harvesting in an animal agriculture system as in a vegan system.

            The vegan system isn’t perfect from a consequentialist point of view (neither is driving a car perfect regarding human life), but it’s consequentially better than any other food system. And from a deontological point of view, being vegan is the only way to avoid speciesism. (For those unfamiliar with speciesism, google it.)

          • Starvation or cannibalism are the only ways to avoid speciesism. Not veganism. Veganism is still eating other species. So please don’t try to fool me with that particular little fact.

            Animal agriculture uses multiple times the amount of plant protein because a) animals being fed are a lot bigger, and b) many animals, like cows, eat plant matter that humans cannot consume nor digest, including waste products that are often a result of producing foodstuffs for humans. Cattle can be used in areas where crop production is both impossible and impractical. Cattle are not exclusively fed grains, actually most cattle are on pasture before they are in the feedlot. The biggest problem with growing plant proteins to feed animals is the production of chickens and hogs.

            Motor vehicle accidents is a very poor comparison to the animal deaths and displacements of the fields. You are trying to compare apples to oranges here which renders your rebuttal completely moot. Animals are killed for the production of a greater good. People are killed in motor vehicle accidents for an entirely different reason that is not related to food production, and the deaths resulting are not caused by a lesser population of beings, like humans to rodents or grasshoppers. So this “moral justification” BS is just you reaching for anything to make some sort of argument, sorry to say.

          • AlpineDan

            It’s clear from your response that you don’t understand speciesism. Speciesism doesn’t entail starvation. It merely requires not treating animals in a way that we wouldn’t treat humans, particularly vulnerable humans (e.g. children and the mentally disabled).

            Animals use multiple times the amount of plant protein because they use it up in living. It’s pretty simple.

            Humans are killed in vehicle accidents for the greater good of economic efficiency. It’s an excellent, perhaps even perfect, analogy. We simply don’t care enough about human life to limit vehicle speed to 5 miles per hour.

          • No, Dan, you clearly don’t understand speciesism. It certainly does entail starvation because it’s not exclusive to animals, it encompasses plants as well even though the official definition only mentions animals. Plants encapsulate millions of species as well, and many of such species are exploited to be consumed and used by humans. As speciesists, we value our species above all others, animal or plant, regardless if they are helpless babies or those that are mentally disabled. And as speciesists, we don’t care if animals get killed out in the field as we grow and harvest plants to feed ourselves. We care far less about those animals than those people who died in car accidents, even vegans, like yourself, admit to this. So please spare me the lecture on how I don’t understand speciesism.

            LOL “simple” is a relative term. Nothing is simple, Dan. Animals, like cattle, consume multiple times the amount of plant protein because they’re bigger than us. And as I said before, a lot of such plant protein sources come from plants we can’t ourselves even consume or get any nutritive value from. They don’t just “use it up in living,” they use it up for a lot more than that: growth, reproduction, lactation, etc. Clearly you show you don’t understand animal production.

            And yet we care enough about human life to have people trained in healthcare to save lives, and have laws and legislation to train people on how to drive when they get behind the wheel, and enforce these laws to reduce/eliminate vehicular collisions that happen from a number of causes. If you honestly think they happen because of the “greater good of economic efficiency” we’d have far more than 30,000 cases a year. So no, still not even an “excellent” analogy.

          • AlpineDan

            Karin: You have refuted nothing.

            We cannot be speciesist against plants because they no more experience life than rocks experience their existence.

            Chickens are much smaller than us. And yet they too consume at least twice the protein in living than they provide in animal products. It’s very, very simple.

            A vegan society would take greater care to reduce accidental harm to animals in crop fields. It’s a perfect analogy to our reasonable, but not absolute, protection of humans on highways.

          • Oh come on. A rock is a non-living, abiotic thing whereas a plant is LIVING and BIOTIC. Such a comparison is ridiculous unless you failed beginner science class. Plants experience life similar to an animal with every intention of wanting to live and reproduce before succumbing to the inevitable. Just because they don’t have cute faces and move around doesn’t mean they have the same life experiences as a rock.

            Still not simple, Dan. Chickens are omnivores, not herbivores like cattle and sheep so no schitzen their going to need more plant protein. Pigs are no different believe it or not.

            LOL yeah, just like a vegan society would take care to police anyone and send them to the mental institution if they get a craving for meat. I don’t believe what you said at all, unless you want people to work in manual labour all the time and live in fear of being reprimanded (tossed in jail for a while) for even accidentally harming a mouse. No Dan, a vegan society wouldn’t care that much unless they want more people to suffer “for the greater good of the animals.”

            I’ll have that steak now thanks.

          • sabelmouse

            it could not work anyways as vegans can’t live without hurting mice and never seem to care either.
            i don’t think he/they think this trough when they talk about animal rights, their thinking stops with food animals and circus/zoo/ animals, marine mammals.
            the only logical solution is voluntary human extinction and i don’t actually see vegans taking the lead there either.

          • FaunaAndFlora


            Clever plants chat over their own network

            Plant Communication: Sagebrush Engage In Self-recognition And Warn Of Danger

            Scientists Confirm that Plants Talk and Listen To Each Other, Communication Crucial for Survival

            Tel Aviv University researcher says plants can see, smell, feel, and taste

            Do Plants Respond To Pain?

            The ‘root-brain’ hypothesis of Charles and Francis Darwin: Revival After More Than 125 Years

            Are Plants Entering the Realm of the Sentient?

          • My sentiments exactly. Still chuckling at the comment at how plants have the “same life experiences” as a rock LMAO!!!

          • AlpineDan

            That’s some pretty comical speculation and pseudoscience there, FandF. Thanks for the chuckle. 🙂

            Plants process information via hormones. The iPad I’m typing on processes information via circuitry several orders of magnitude faster than the Venus flytrap (the fastest processing plant) and I know my iPad isn’t even close to being aware of its existence, much less caring about it. Animals process information via neural networks with billions of connections several orders of magnitude faster than my iPad. Just like an evolutionary biologist doesn’t take intelligent design advocates seriously, I don’t take plant sentience advocates seriously, so this is all I’ll write on this topic.

            Karin: The point on chickens went flying over your head. Maybe you should first try to understand what you’re responding to.

            A vegan society would be just as political about animal rights as we are about civil rights. No need to worry about animals taking over Congress or Parliament. 🙂

          • FaunaAndFlora

            Pseudoscience? Maybe you should check some of those sources. You know… like the Smithsonian. Or better yet, look up the definition of sentience. Here… I’ll help.

            Definition of SENTIENCE
            1: a sentient quality or state
            2: feeling or sensation as distinguished from perception and thought

            Notice that part about “as distinguished from perception and thought”?

          • AlpineDan

            And wild speculation, which is very common in academia.

            Let’s say we lived in a different universe where plants were sentient. In that universe, just like ours except that plants are sentient, vegan ag food systems use about 5 times less crops than animal ag systems because animals use up an average of 5 times the protein in living that they provide in flesh and other products. Therefore, in that universe, we should be vegan to reduce both plant and animal pain and death.

          • AlpineDan

            Vegans know the omnivores are desperate when they bring up plant sentience. 🙂

          • sabelmouse

            just realistic, something most vegans can’t recognise.

          • AlpineDan

            What some of those links do, FandF, is anthropomorphize the hormonal and mechanical processes that occur in plants. We could do the same with our digestive system: the pancreas “knows” the stomach just got some goodies because the stomach sent it a signal. So the pancreas “decides” to send digestive enzymes to the stomach to “help” digest the food. Meanwhile, the stomach also “reaches out” to the liver. The liver, a “good friend” of the stomach, also “helps out.”

            It sounds like the organs themselves (independent of the human organism) are sentient because of misleading language.

          • Flying over my head? LOL I doubt that.

            Speaking of which, you pretty much just confirmed what I said, even though you tried to twist it around to act like I said something that I actually didn’t even say if you took the time to read it.

            And it looks like you DID fail biology class since you still think plants are as non-living and unresponsive to their environment as a rock LOL!

          • AlpineDan

            Almost all abolitionist vegans (including me) are also big supporters of human civil rights. I would support legislation (which would require a vegan society to pass) that prohibited unnecessary and intentional acts of violence against animals. I wouldn’t support legislation to punish real accidents.

            I never wrote that plants weren’t living. Neither did I write that they are nonresponsive to their environment. I only wrote (correctly) that they do so hormonally, chemically, and mechanically without any feelings or awareness that they even exist — very much like our digestive system. In the strict sense that they have no awareness that they exist, they and our digestive system are like a rock.

          • Abolitionist vegans are all about oppressing of human civil rights. You are doing nothing to convince me otherwise.

            And face it Dan, your analogies stink. You obviously have no understanding of the physiology nor biology of plants therefore it’s too easy for you to compare them to an animals digestive system and (LOL) a rock. Both are a pathetic means to understand how plants respond and react to their environment, exploit animals to spread their seed to produce more offspring like them, and are anything but unaware of their existence. The organs in our body do not strive to reproduce and compete for nutrients and sunlight with other organs like plants do, they don’t respond to changes to their environment or to themselves by changing leaf colour in response to a cooler season, bending towards the sun (and even following the path of the sun to get the best light), nor do they regrow new shoots when their parts are eaten by animals. And a rock? LMAO it just sits there doing nothing but be worn by friction from water and parent material. You may not have said directly that plants were not living, but you implied it with your silly rock analogy.

          • AlpineDan

            Karin, I couldn’t possibly write anything that would convince you otherwise on any topic we’ve touched on. One reason is that you refuse to read or acknowledge anything opposed to your current view. You ignore what was written previously written and repeat yourself.

            I’m finished here. Have good life! Hopefully we won’t run into each other again. 🙂

          • Dan, honey, I read what you write, it just doesn’t mean I’m going to agree with you based on what i already know. And I’m well aware I repeat myself, actually I do it on purpose since you yourself aren’t inclined to understand what I’m trying to say. But thanks for noticing.

            You have a nice life as well, though I’m sure we’ll probably cross paths again a while from now, but like you I’m hoping that doesn’t happen either. Take care.

          • Ty Savoy

            And… watch ‘Speciesism, the Movie’.

          • Beth Aaron

            WE are mammals. Cows are mammals. Pigs are mammals. Who cares if they are not human mammals. They SUFFER!!!!!!!!!!! Don’t you GET that in suffering, they are our equal? Would YOU like to be herded onto a truck with other terrified beings, travel hours, days to a slaughterhouse, NO FOOD, NO WATER, perhaps sick or injured, to be off loaded by aggressive strangers poking you, kicking you, prodding you with electricity to a knock box where you’re restrained while someone shoots your brains into your head before you are hoisted by chains by ONE leg, to be carved up by chain saws and have your skin peeled off? Jesus! And you defend this illness that happens to tens of billions of feeling, aware, thinking, social beings???MY GD what has this nation become? Pathology normalized .

          • Whether we, cows and pigs are mammals is irrelevant. Anthropomorphism is not irrelevant here. You can’t know what an animal is thinking by giving it human characteristics it has not, especially when you love to blow things out of proportion because you’ve “educated” yourself from watching Earthlings and so many horrific videos from various animal rights websites. It’s past time you crawl out from your hole and go visit a farm or ranch to see how animals are REALLY treated and raised. Or better yet, go visit a slaughter facility to see how animals are really treated prior to and during the slaughter process to better educate yourself. (Don’t try to tell me to do the same for the latter because I’ve already been there and done that.)

          • Beth Aaron

            Your shell is so thick and hardened, and your heart so desensitized, you’ve actually convinced yourself that the needless butchering of innocent animals is permissible, even if eating them is not required, as all the buff and muscle bound vegan athletes know. For ten thousand years, mankind has killed, taken slaves, used our might for bad. That time is up as the moral evolution takes hold. The planet, nature, animals, and the child’s heart innately in love with animals, do NOT deserve this mentality and behavior any longer. Meat is dead as are the organs trying to digest this prodigious and disgusting fare from tortured beings who would NEVEr, NEVER, NEVER willingly end their lives and CERTAINLY not at the butcher’s hand!!!!! You live in a world of betrayal. All across the planet where empathy and compassion rein, another world is emerging. It only took ten thousand years for the human species to realize all the wounds in human culture are self inflicted due to our relationship, dysfunctional relationship with animals and nature. Yep, we be so smart….NOT

          • Ty Savoy

            James Lovelock, the eminent scientist, says the carrying capacity of the planet is about 1-2 billion people. Either we go back to that population, or we start living like we give a crap, and lessen our carbon footprint. The number one way a person an do that is to go vegan.

          • LMAO and your shell is so soft that you over-react and become the biggest drama queen on the Internet. You clearly have no idea how cruel, hard and heartless Nature can be, and how horrible death can be for animals that have to live with the threat of death hanging over their heads every day and eventually come in direct contact with it. Don’t come here crying to me how humans have had a “dysfunctional” relationship with animals and nature when your relationship with Nature is of inherently very poor understanding. Unlike you I’ve grown up being exposed to the realities of Nature from when I was very small and have seen the ugliness of death and suffering that you can only comprehend from watching Internet videos. If an animal really did have a choice, they’d sooner take the cap-bolt gun or bullet to the brain than being eaten alive by wolves or a bear. My meat-loving organs are alive and well thanks to my choice to go more vegetables and meat than grain-based foods and sugar. No schitzen meat is dead, why would it be alive?

          • sabelmouse

            do you cry like this for all the animals whose habitat is destroyed for crops or that are killed as pests?
            do stand on the side of the road crying for those that get run over? do you go to building sites praying for those displaced or killed for yet another house, do you go to coal mines and oil fields for all those animals. military maneuvers, film productions?
            car and motor cycle races?

          • Beth Aaron

            actually, I DO feel despair at the way humans treat the earth and nature. We are the ONLY species that in the name of self serving egomania, destroys what it spends trillions on military to protect. What a sick and pretentious reality the human being has created, destroying itself for eating animals. INSANE. That’s why ethical veganism seeks to do the LEAST harm possible in a culture built on theft, fraud and self destructive behaviors called normal. i also feed bad for children who are so very sick from the toxins they are exposed to and the culture of disease care they are born into. Everything for $$$$$$.

          • sabelmouse

            i see,m that’s why vegans say so much on all those issues rather than going on about who eats what.
            if ethical vegans really waned to do as little harm as possible they’d look at the whole picture rather than a few cute farm animals.

          • Ty Savoy

            Most people think it’s pretty undemocratic when animal agriculture hides in the shadows the things they do. When enough people see it with their own eyes, it will all end.

            Here’s what it looks like, some pretty gutsy television here. 2007 BBC television video showing a pig slaughter in a public viewing area, behind glass walls.

            ‘2007 BBC3. A restaurant was attached to an an abattoir to so consumers could see exactly how meat animals are reared and killed before they eat them. I directed the animal biographies and the produced the pig episode.’

          • hyperzombie

            “When enough people see it with their own eyes, it will all end.”

            Don’t think so, I just watched it and now I am craving ham and bacon.

          • LOL Ty are you really trying to scare me, because it’s not working. I’ve seen the slaughtering process myself on multiple occasions, and have seen how it all works. It’s is so quick that the animal doesn’t feel any pain after the stunning from the cap-bolt gun and once the knife goes into the jugular vein to spill the blood to render true death for the animal. The twitching and jerking on the line are not signs that the animal is “alive and struggling,” it’s the involuntary muscle contractions that happen when the central nervous system nerves are still firing even though the animal is brain-dead.

            I too have seen animals die slow and painful deaths no matter how much we do to try to save it and it’s far, far more heartbreaking than seeing an animal getting killed in such a way that it didn’t know what hit them. You can push your “animals don’t want to die” ideology all you want but know that death for animals is inevitable. And there are times animals tell you when they’re ready to die because they’re so sick or in so much pain that they just want it to end. Being a vegan I think you’d sooner prolong their suffering for as long as possible because of the ignorant “truth” you’ve convinced yourself of that “animals don’t want to die” than to end it as quickly and painless as possible.

            And since I just watched it myself, I think I’ll have a good helping of bacon with a couple eggs for breakfast this morning. So no, I don’t think people are going to be that soft and want to “end it all” when they see things like this. As I said before, education is key, not sensational propaganda based on lies and half-truths that is the basis of vegan ideology.

          • FaunaAndFlora

            I just butchered a nine month old lamb last week. Tonight’s dinner will be a nice stew made with the neck.

          • hyperzombie

            Mmmm, lamb stew. This discussion thread is making me so hungry. Going to have some nice pork sausage and eggs for breakfast, and I will skip the grains and taters just to piss off the vegans.

          • sabelmouse

            i’m just starting to appreciate the taste of lamb.

          • sabelmouse

            you seem to think that most people on this planet are urban westerners? they’re not.

          • Ty Savoy

            “Custom will reconcile people to any atrocity.” –George Bernard Shaw

          • FaunaAndFlora

            I don’t want to punish anybody, but there are an extraordinary number of people who I might want to kill…I think it would be a good thing to make everybody come before a properly appointed board just as he might come before the income tax commissioner and say every 5 years or every 7 years…just put them there and say , ‘Sir or madam will you be kind enough to justify your existence…if you’re not producing as much as you consume or perhaps a little bit more then clearly we cannot use the big organization of our society for the purpose of keeping you alive. Because your life does not benefit us and it can’t be of very much use to yourself.’ ~ George Bernard Shaw

            I appeal to the chemists to discover a humane gas that will kill instantly and painlessly. In short- a gentlemanly gas deadly by all means, but humane, not cruel. ~ George Bernard Shaw

            Shaw also supported Hitler.

          • sabelmouse

            no, nor would i like to see that inflicted on animals. that’s why i get meat from locally raised and slaughtered animals.
            something vegans frown upon, rather leaving the field open for monopoly and industrial meat production than supporting local, humane ways.

          • Ty Savoy

            Local and grass-fed might make you feel better. But from the perspective of the non-human animal, the end is still death in the slaughterhouse. Be glad it’s them and not you, I guess, as you chow down on their dead bodies.

          • sabelmouse

            the end for ALL live is death. and many animals die for plant foods. not to mention building, roads, traffic, oil, coal, other mining, industry, military. so many things that take away habitat and kill animals that vegans don’t seem to ever get their knickers into a twist over.
            unless it’s some very cute animals that can be used for propaganda purposes.

          • Ty Savoy

            If I follow your argument, sabelmouse, since I’m going to die anyway, it’s ok for you to kill me today, and sell my dead body parts, huh ?

            The reason that’s wrong, is the same reason it’s wrong to kill non-human animals. Some people have an easier time seeing things from the non-human animals’ perspective than others.

          • sabelmouse

            interesting how, in typical vegan fashion, you avoid all of my points and bring it all back to vegan superiority.
            what you’re showing us though is typical vegan hypocrisy.

          • And being vegan might make you feel better, but you can’t know the perspective of the non-human animal when all you do is anthropomorphise. From the real perspective of a non-human animal, the end is unknown. Better it to be unknown than to fear the future that can never be accurately predicted.

        • Beth Aaron

          OMG you really believe this babble? The Masses aren’t violent? What is your definition of violence. Is eating yourself to heart disease violent? YES! Is feeding children in society to be sick and need medicine as a result of what they are fed violent? YES! HUMANELY SLAUGHTER????Is that the epitome of oxymoron or what? Sure it’s humans, that’s why it’s done in walled, guarded, windowless concentration camps where NO one is allowed in and why animal industries are trying to pass “laws” to keep activists from obtaining video of the gruesome truth industry wants hidden. Activists violent ?????65 BILLION sentient animals brutally massacred every year , wildlife brutally massacred for livestock protection, 70% of all crops grown feeding farmed animals instead of hungry children and animal advocates are violent??? I think the veneer of your sides arguments has thinned sufficiently to be seen for what it is, massive deception and fraud to sell death and disease, what western culture grew from in the first place as soon as we got here and slaughtered the native people who at least had reverence for the earth, unlike white supremacist settlers who proceeded to poison the land, water, air, food supply for what is now industrial capitalism, pathology just like any cancer.

          • LOL look who’s doing the babbling. What’s going on in the world has nothing to do with their diet. It’s far more to do with religion and politics.

            These “65 billion” animals are 90% chickens, so try again. Animal activists vandalize, utter death threats and promote domestic terrorism so tell me again how they’re not violent. The veneer of my side’s argument hasn’t thinned so much as yours, with the mass deception and fraud that defines the animal rights movement.

            But go ahead, believe what you want. We all know you’re full of it.

    • Ty Savoy

      Call it murder, or call it human slaughter doesn’t change the fact that their lives were ended so people can enjoy the taste of their dead carcasses in their mouths, and people can make money from their suffering and deaths.

      • sabelmouse

        what do you call it when a million gophers a year lose their lives ti protect almond trees in cali, mostly poisoned?
        or the many other pest animals that are ”terminated” to protect crops or plants.

  • Our end strategy needs to be education and showing that producers are NOT greedy, uncaring and non-compassionate animal-abusers/-murderers. Education to show that producers are responsible stewards of both the environment and the animals they care for. Education starts by showing consumers just how much a producer cares, not how much he or she knows. It expands by encouraging people who have no background or knowledge in agriculture to get to different events held by agricultural organizations so they can better educate themselves about the food that is produced for them, and to see what the activist groups aren’t or don’t want to show themselves. Activists can post videos and memes all they want, but the farmers can show people what they do and how they do it by simply posting on social media and engaging people in a positive way.

    Ultimately it needs to be shown that producers are people too, people who work hard raising animals that will end up on people’s plates. And some facts about what misconceptions are false need to be shared too, like use of antibiotics for instance.

    I’m amused that several social vegan crusaders found their way on here, but not surprised either. They want to defend their ideology and opinions, and that’s fine, but the facts and predictions won’t necessarily be true or right. I disagree that veganism will become mainstream, or that test-tube meat will gain ground. I think there’s a lot of information out on the Internet that is so contradictory and confusing that it’s confusing consumers to know who to believe and trust. But what’s even more sad is that as more of the population becomes urbanized the more they become further removed from agriculture. And the more removed from agriculture they become, the more likely they’re going to both not understand the true goings-on of how farmers operate and they’re going to do the knee-jerk reaction of believing the heart-string-pulling, shock-value facts, videos and memes activist lobby groups put out.

    The end game for livestock producers is to NOT quit. Quitting’s way too easy, and at the same time way too hard. It’s to target public and youth equally as hard and more progressively than before. That can be done by opening themselves up to their farm life and even offering tours to their own farms.

    • Beth Aaron

      It’s all about being INFORMED, which Americans are NOT. If they were, the vegan skyrocketing ethic would have taken off way sooner. You show what you want, all the sanitized pastoral views that, unlike the TRUTH in slaughterhouses, leaves out the bolt stunning, skinning, scald tanks, dead piles ( some not even dead)manure pits, grotesque transport, chaining downer cows and pigs…You leave out the sheer and unmitigated VIOLENCE required to do this ugly, bloody, unhealthy, inhumane process of turning sentient beings, which you consider mere pieces of meat, into packaged corpses.
      No surprise that American culture is replete with so many problems, moral, social, mental, physical when its own food system is a disease.

      • Ty Savoy

        It’s pretty hard to have a peaceful world, when so much violence and death is built into carnivorous animal agriculture. It isn’t as hidden as it used to be, it’ll end soon.

        • sabelmouse

          lol! google india/partition.

        • LOL there’s no such thing as a peaceful world, Ty. You’ve been living under a rock for too long.

    • Ty Savoy

      There is no way to humanely kill someone who does not want to die.
      Non-human animals want to live as much as you or I do. The fact that some people make money from killing them doesn’t change this.

      ‘Don’t buy the humane lie… Animals do not want to die.

      • sabelmouse

        humane means as painless as possible, not asking and being given permission.
        you think those gophers or field mice WANT to die, or that they die painlessly?

      • Animals are not *someone.* You cannot know that animals do not or do want to die because you clearly are focused on anthropomorphisms because that’s all you can project onto your “nonhuman” counterparts to further your feel-good indoctrination. Herbivorous animals are living so they can die for other animals (including humans) on the food chain. Humans are a part of that food chain and anyone who says differently, that human values, morals and ethics shouldn’t be ruled by Nature just don’t understand how a part of the food web we are entrenched in. Nature doesn’t care of an elk wants to live as much as those pack of wolves with some pups to feed, that elk is going to die for those wolves, just like that steer has to die to feed 50 to 100 people. And those people aren’t going to be just eating meat, no, they’re going to have that little bit of meat with a good helping of plant-based food like salad.

        Animals live in the now, they have no comprehension of what will happen in the future nor live in the past. They only live according to their interactions with what happens to them and how they respond in the moment. They don’t nor cannot predict when they will die or how they will die. I won’t give in to the lie that animals never die, because the so-called “humane lie” is only a “lie” to those who do not understand it, and would sooner have animals die a slow painful death than a very quick and almost painless one.

        • Ty Savoy

          A knee jerk reaction, when people say observe that animals obviously feel pain and do that they not want to die – is the cry of ‘Anthropomorphism!’. From any sort of common sense, or objective scientific view, animals do indeed feel pain, and do not want to die. To not see this is to ignore the obvious. It is to ignore a person’s common sense.

          An example of empathy in non-human animals. In this case mice, seeing other mice in pain. Empathy is one of the most basic characteristics of animals, like mammals, be they human or non-human animals. It’s vital to our survival.

          (From: Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of
          animal rights )

          ‘Carey, Benedict. The New York Times. July 4, 2006.

          Jeffrey S. Mogil, a neuroscientist at McGill University, and a team of researchers studied how mice experienced
          discomfort under several conditions. In one, the scientists injected a pair of mice in view of each other with a chemical solution that caused a 30-minute stomachache. The mice squirmed significantly more when their partner was an animal with whom they shared a cage ² a familiar mouse ² than when the partner was a stranger. The sight of a relative in discomfort also heightened the experience, but not much more so than seeing a cage mate squirm.

          The only way the researchers could reduce this shared pain was by blocking the animals’ views of one another.

          Dr. Mogil said the mice almost certainly sent chemical signals of distress but that “it appears that the message
          ‘I’m in pain’ is transmitted strongly through vision.”

          Even mice, it seems are capable of caring for their comrades. This implies a relatively sophisticated social
          structure in which animals aid and take care of one another. It follows that the human ability to empathize and
          form moral communities is, to an extent, not unique either.’

          • Well apparently your knee-jerk reaction is to cry fowl about poor animals feeling pain and twitch at the word “anthropomorphism” when I didn’t even talk about whether animals feel pain or not. I don’t even think you actually read my response. So let me repost part of it again:

            Herbivorous animals are living so they can die for other animals (including humans) on the food chain. Humans are a part of that food chain and anyone who says differently, that human values, morals and ethics shouldn’t be ruled by Nature just don’t understand how a part of the food web we are entrenched in. Nature doesn’t care of an elk wants to live as much as those pack of wolves with some pups to feed, that elk is going to die for those wolves, just like that steer has to die to feed 50 to 100 people. And those people aren’t going to be just eating meat, no, they’re going to have that little bit of meat with a good helping of plant-based food like salad.

            Animals live in the now, they have no comprehension of what will happen in the future nor live in the past. They only live according to their interactions with what happens to them and how they respond in the moment. They don’t nor cannot predict when they will die or how they will die. I won’t give in to the lie that animals never die, because the so-called “humane lie” is only a “lie” to those who do not understand it, and would sooner have animals die a slow painful death than a very quick and almost painless one.

            And your little cute quip about mice feeling empathy for others in pain is a deliberate red herring. Mice aren’t cattle, they are not food animals, nor are they herbivores. And don’t lecture me about my “implication” that animals don’t feel pain because I’ve lived around them enough to know that the certainly do and will let you know if they’re hurting or not! But that’s not the point here. The point is that animals live in the NOW, they do not worry about the future nor live in the past. They cannot predict the future, they cannot know that they are about to die today or in three weeks, and they certainly don’t know that the place they are being shipped to, i.e., the slaughter plant, is a place their lives will end. They only respond to the pheromones of fear exhibited by other animals, because that’s like a domino effect: It only takes one. And yes I have seen the video on the “Free from Harm” website of a steer or, to you, “cow,” that supposedly was afraid to die and wanted to live. I didn’t see any fear from that animal, just a little nervousness and anxiety at being left alone and being separated from his herd mates.

            No, your bit of quote that mice feel empathy does absolutely nothing to show how herbivorous animals–mice are omnivores, by the way–actually show the exact opposite when one of their herd members is either sick or injured. Cattle will single out and bully the one member of the herd that is weak, and will continue to bully that animal until it learns to stay away from the herd, gets separated by the producer to be treated, or dies. Many other herbivorous animals do it, (horses, elk, bison, goats, sheep, antelope, etc.) because they value their own survival and their herds’ and certainly don’t find it advantageous to be empathetic to the weakest link that could spell trouble for their own kind. They’d sooner push that weak member away from the herd so that the predators can deal with it than keep it and protect it at the cost of their own species. Exceptions are with their young, as the young are valued much more highly than those with an injury or illness.

            Don’t tell me I’m being the one who’s doing the knee-jerk reaction when you did a good one yourself and posted a rebuttal that wasn’t even related to what I said. Nice try, though.

          • Nicholas Ashby

            So all this learning that omnivores do has to do with living in the ‘now’? ‘…so that that predators can deal with it …’ when? In the ‘now’? Hmmm. Seems a bit futurish to me. There’s no guarantee … Is that also thinking ‘in the now.? Watch a youtube video called Battle at Kruger to watch a well organized rescue of a buffalo calf from the jaws of a group of lions. There was a clear calculation as to what had just happened to one of their weakest, the mental anguish it and its parents were going through at that moment … the ‘now’ … and was about to happen in the future.

          • I think you completely took what I said out of it’s original context. So let me requote it again so you aren’t cherry-picking so much to suit your argument (bolded/italicized parts that you need to re-read and understand):

            No, your bit of quote that mice feel empathy does absolutely nothing to show how herbivorous animals–mice are omnivores, by the way–actually show the exact opposite when one of their herd members is either sick or injured. Cattle will single out and bully the one member of the herd that is weak, and will continue to bully that animal until it learns to stay away from the herd, gets separated by the producer to be treated, or dies. Many other herbivorous animals do it, (horses, elk, bison, goats, sheep, antelope, etc.) because they value their own survival and their herds’ and certainly don’t find it advantageous to be empathetic to the weakest link that could spell trouble for their own kind. They’d sooner push that weak member away from the herd so that the predators can deal with it than keep it and protect it at the cost of their own species. Exceptions are with their young, as the young are valued much more highly than those with an injury or illness. But if the young is ill, injured or weak and can’t keep up with the rest of the herd, then there’s no guarantee Momma’s gonna be there for long to constantly protect it from the hungry predators.

            There is nothing “futurish” nor “futuristic” about animals living in the now, it’s been going on for millions, if not billions of years. It’s only “futuristic” to those who do not understand ethology of how animals really think and act. You provided a perfect example of that when you tried to argue against it with the YouTube video “Battle at Kruger.” FYI and FWIW that clip is absolutely of no exception and actually proves to a T (or a P) what I said above how, “exceptions are with their young, as the young are valued more highly than those with an injury or illness.” Of course those buffalo aren’t going to let their young ones get eaten by lions, but they’d let an old injured bull get taken care of because he is truly the weakest link and stronger, healthier bulls can easily take his place. Yes, this is also “in the now” because when predators come a’ callin’, the first to go are going to be the weakest members of the herd, be it the young that can’t keep up or the injured, fatigued and/or sick. When no predators are around, the weak ones are still going to hang around. I shouldn’t have to explain this to you if you think you already know how animals act as well as wild herd dynamics and behaviors.

            Those buffalo did NOT make any future plans to the lion attack, no matter how “well organized” it appeared to you. They reacted according to what was happening now: Calf was getting attacked by a pride of lions, because they seen what was happening in front of them in the moment, i.e., NOW.. Immediate reaction was to rescue said calf from the lions, using a strategy they’ve learned from past experiences (and no, they are NOT living in the past by doing this), knew how to work together to rescue that calf. It was NOT some in-advance-planned-out, well organized rescue, they didn’t do a group-hug meeting first to strategize just how they were going to rescue that calf, no, they acted NOW using the strongest and cunning members of their herd who knew the lions and could react accordingly as defense.

            If those buffalo really truly knew what was about to happen in the future they would’ve taken action to protect that calf long before those lions/lionesses had a chance to go at it. THAT is thinking in the future. That is what humans would do to protect their loved ones, but buffalo don’t think like that. So my point remains inarguable.

            And FYI, there’s only one “parent” that has greatest concern over that calf, and that’s that calf’s dam. The bull isn’t so concerned with stuff like that, and he breeds a whole bunch of cow buffalo in his herd anyway.

    • Simon

      you can’t argue with vegans, they communicate with feelings

  • Beth Aaron

    Nothing like being informed, which up until now, we have NEVER been since the prevailing powers that be got away with murder. ISIS? Kill people! SO does eating the dead bodies of animals but no one gets to call the meat, dairy, egg industry terrorists now do they, even though MORE people die from eating this way than in war.

  • Ty Savoy

    Nice story here.

    Minnesota’s Last Beef Processing Plant Closes

    Oct 22, 2015

    ‘Cattle will no longer be commercially slaughtered in the North Star state.

    Officials of the PM Beef processing plant in Windom, MN announced that the facility—the last beef packing plant in the state—is shutting its doors December 11, and that slaughter had ceased in late September. A lessened demand for beef products coupled with a drought-stricken supply were cited as reasons for the closure. “Closing the facility was a very difficult but necessary decision based on years of deteriorating industry conditions, including rising cattle prices and limited cattle supply,” Lisa Hernandez, president of PM Beef Holdings LLC, said. Minnesota consistently ranks among the top livestock slaughtering states, but with the closure of this plant, and with more and more research into the ills of meat consumption, we may finally see a shift in the tide when it comes to animal agriculture.’

    • sabelmouse

      great, i m all for local slaughter.

  • Simon

    I support the right of vegans not to have to eat meat


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